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Author Topic: Charlie's 15th century - Theatres of war (August 7th)  (Read 93226 times)

Offline Atheling

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - French light cavalry (June 24th)
« Reply #525 on: June 25, 2022, 11:38:24 AM »
Absolutely terrific minis!   

They are  :-*

Have you got a source/reference for
In the mid c.16th the archers that weren't supporting the gendarmes fought under a guidon flag on the wing.

Simon please?

Online bigredbat

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - French light cavalry (June 24th)
« Reply #526 on: June 25, 2022, 01:32:12 PM »
Hi Darrell,

I can't give a source, but have been discussing how the French Ordonnance companies fought with a learned French friend. He writes "The archers who skirmished with their guidon (the officer commanding the surplus archers) in front of the gendarmes, fall back on the wings of the formation. Once positioned on the flanks, they will fight " à leur manière" (in their own way), or wait to rush on the opponent if he is broken by the shock and seeks to fall back, they then rush in pursuit and prevent his rallying."  I'm encouraging my friend to publish his material.

You see it at Ceresole in 1544 where the Gendarmes are in the centre, and the archers (well at least some of them, as many likely stayed with the gendarmes, forming a second rank) are several hundred yards away on the left wing. I don't think there's any evidence for them skirmishing at Ceresole, they were lancer cavalry by then, just a bit lighter than the gendarmes.

Cheers, Simon


Offline Atheling

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - French light cavalry (June 24th)
« Reply #527 on: June 25, 2022, 01:51:52 PM »
Thanks Simon  8)

I can't give a source, but have been discussing how the French Ordonnance companies fought with a learned French friend. He writes "The archers who skirmished with their guidon (the officer commanding the surplus archers) in front of the gendarmes, fall back on the wings of the formation. Once positioned on the flanks, they will fight " à leur manière" (in their own way), or wait to rush on the opponent if he is broken by the shock and seeks to fall back, they then rush in pursuit and prevent his rallying."  I'm encouraging my friend to publish his material.

I do hope he decides to go for it. There is so little actually written on the subject of how the "Archers" actually fought.

You see it at Ceresole in 1544 where the Gendarmes are in the centre, and the archers (well at least some of them, as many likely stayed with the gendarmes, forming a second rank) are several hundred yards away on the left wing. I don't think there's any evidence for them skirmishing at Ceresole, they were lancer cavalry by then, just a bit lighter than the gendarmes.

Do you know if they were "Archers" or early "Argoulets" at Ceresole? Or were the formations of both mixed? It's a question that I tried to look into a while ago but came up with very little. Mind, it was mainly internet research as I found nothing satisfying in my own book collection.

Maybe this is a conversation we should have on the TtS forum or elsewhere as I think we might be going a little OT?

Online bigredbat

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - French light cavalry (June 24th)
« Reply #528 on: June 25, 2022, 02:14:14 PM »
Hi Darrell, no mention of the term argoulet at Ceresole, that's more Wars of Religion, but plenty of chevaux léger "archers". Yes feel free to drop me a line offline. 

Offline Atheling

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - French light cavalry (June 24th)
« Reply #529 on: June 25, 2022, 02:48:59 PM »
Hi Darrell, no mention of the term argoulet at Ceresole, that's more Wars of Religion, but plenty of chevaux léger "archers". Yes feel free to drop me a line offline.

Will do Simon. The Test Match is on now so it will be Monday evening  lol

Offline Griefbringer

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - French light cavalry (June 24th)
« Reply #530 on: June 25, 2022, 07:39:32 PM »
It's not actually clear to me if the French 'lance' also featured a coustillier - I've found conflicting accounts.

Every source I have encountered (not too many) specifies the French ordonnance lance as consisting of a gendarme, a coustilier, archers and pages/vallets, six men in total.

Where things get confusing is with the number of archers and pages/vallets. Sometimes this is specified as three archers and one page (as in the later Burgundian lance), at other times as two archers and two pages/vallets. One interpretation is that both versions existed, either at different times or places.

Offline Tonhel

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - French light cavalry (June 24th)
« Reply #531 on: June 26, 2022, 10:52:58 AM »
Lovely! This is such a fantastic plog!

Online Charlie_

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - French light cavalry (June 24th)
« Reply #532 on: June 28, 2022, 11:02:34 PM »
Every source I have encountered (not too many) specifies the French ordonnance lance as consisting of a gendarme, a coustilier, archers and pages/vallets, six men in total.

Where things get confusing is with the number of archers and pages/vallets. Sometimes this is specified as three archers and one page (as in the later Burgundian lance), at other times as two archers and two pages/vallets. One interpretation is that both versions existed, either at different times or places.

Yes it does get confusing.

Of course you've got to remember that when talking about the ordonnance companies we are covering a period from the 1440s to well into the 1500s, and the exact components of a 'lance' clearly changed over that period.

Off the top of my head, I think in 'my period' it's two mounted archers per man-at-arms, and possibly a coustillier as well. I don't worry too much about the non-combatants.

But of course, how often were the companies and their lances at full strength? All it takes is for there to be some casualties after one combat situation (or something more boring like sickness etc) and it all goes out the window!

So I'm happy with keeping it vague - archers and perhaps other 'light' troops supporting the men-at-arms, which would normally be bow-armed mounted infantry, but could also perhaps be seen in other roles (light cavalry, infantry with polearms, mounted crossbowmen?).

Offline HappyChappy439

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - French light cavalry (June 24th)
« Reply #533 on: June 30, 2022, 11:05:55 AM »
Great work on the light cavalry!

And ah yes, the struggle of identifying what exactly the sources are referring to by "Archers" in any given instance in the 15th century! Where there isn't even agreement between the French and Burgundian sources!

My understanding (at least earlier in the 15th century in Burgundy) is that "Archer" is just a generic catch-all for any non-noble professional soldier, and tended to have a specific salary-grade associated with the term, so your call on keeping it open would definitely be justified there! Although, I think crossbowmen were classified separately, presumably to cover the relatively more expensive training and equipment costs

Offline MaleGriffin

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - French light cavalry (June 24th)
« Reply #534 on: June 30, 2022, 04:48:37 PM »
Masterful brushwork! Fantastic looking figures!
Hoc quoque transibit
Sanguinem sistit semper

Online Charlie_

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - What's next? (July 1st)
« Reply #535 on: July 01, 2022, 07:58:22 PM »
Latest post on the blog - what is next for this project?

What's next?

So this blog has been going for over three months now, and I've more or less caught up with posting all my existing and recently completed units for both the French and Burgundians.

So what's next?

In short - lots more!

All the units I've posted so far were either finished over the past few years, or in the case of the cavalry have been rebased, reorganised and expanded in recent months. Most of the commanders and a lot of the cavalry additions (including most of the French light cavalry) are the most recent additions.

However from this point onwards the pace of finished units being posted will slow down, as I actually have to paint them from scratch! But I will be posting more work-in-progress stuff and plans for future units, and more history posts without minis.

Right now I'm half-way through a second unit of francs-archers, and I've got some more commanders and some French mounted crossbowmen waiting in the painting queue.







After that there is a big gap in the French army that will need to be filled - heavy infantry. I've got some interesting thoughts on how I'm going to do this, which I'll go into when the time comes!

Other units planned for the future in a rough order of priority are:

- Another German/Swiss pike unit.
- Burgundian longbowmen.
- Wagon forts, baggage trains, etc.
- More cavalry! Both light and heavy.
- More artillery.... More skirmishers.....More of everything pretty much....

I'm also thinking of doing some sort of step-by-step tutorial for designing flags digitally. If you would be interested in this please let me know - a few people have said they'd find it useful so far, but the more interest there is the more likely it will happen and the more comprehensive it will be.

I might do some other tutorials as well, perhaps painting horses? At least 'my way' of painting horses.

Thank you to everyone who has been following this blog, knowing people enjoy seeing what I'm doing is always encouraging.

Offline Griefbringer

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - What's next? (July 1st)
« Reply #536 on: July 05, 2022, 06:02:10 PM »
Looking forward to seeing the updates, especially the baggage train and French heavy infantry (any chance that a few Perry Italian heavy infantry figures might be doing a cameo appearance)?

Online Charlie_

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - What's next? (July 1st)
« Reply #537 on: July 05, 2022, 06:11:48 PM »
Looking forward to seeing the updates, especially the baggage train and French heavy infantry (any chance that a few Perry Italian heavy infantry figures might be doing a cameo appearance)?

Yes, a couple of the Italians will probably make it in, with headswaps of course, and I'm going to try and sculpt some livery jackets over the top.

By 'heavy infantry' I really just mean non-missile troops. Polearms etc. I am undecided whether I will have two different units, one being mostly dismounted men-at-arms and the other more lightly armoured (francs-archers with polearms perhaps), or whether i will mix them all together, and have both units with some men-at-arms in the front ranks. I think I'll just start assembling and painting miniatures and then see how they go together, which is the opposite to how I normally construct units!

Offline Griefbringer

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - What's next? (July 1st)
« Reply #538 on: July 06, 2022, 04:51:38 PM »
If you are going to make two units worth of French melee infantry, then it might be worth modelling them as two stylistically distinctive units. For example, previously when doing the French bowmen, you had the interesting decision to do the Francs Archers in marching poses, while the Ordonnance Archers were in more active shooting poses. Perhaps you could do matching units of melee infantry, especially if you have suitable figures at hand?

The marching unit of Francs Archers with melee weapons (bills/guisarmes, spears etc.) would thus tie well visually with their bow-armed companions, especially when similarly provided with livery coats, jacks and helmets. For the front rank you could perhaps try a few figures with a bit more armour (say brigandine or mail shirt), as well as a better armoured captain and standard bearer. There are plenty of model options from the Perrys, most obviously the plastic mercenaries and metal WotR liveried billmen marching, but also the metal Swiss halberdiers marching could be used for the rear rankers (especially with head swaps).

Then the other unit, of ordonnance infantry, could be posed with weapons levelled, as if just about to enter a fierce melee. They could be represented with a front rank of fully harnessed men-at-arms, backed by a second line of partially armoured (breastplates, brigandines etc.) coustiliers, all armed with a variety of polearms etc. Actually, considering the variety of figures available for dismounted men-at-arms, you could probably easily put together two such units without needing to resort to fielding duplicate figures.

Online Charlie_

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Re: Charlie's 15th century - What's next? (July 1st)
« Reply #539 on: July 06, 2022, 06:44:45 PM »
If you are going to make two units worth of French melee infantry, then it might be worth modelling them as two stylistically distinctive units. For example, previously when doing the French bowmen, you had the interesting decision to do the Francs Archers in marching poses, while the Ordonnance Archers were in more active shooting poses. Perhaps you could do matching units of melee infantry, especially if you have suitable figures at hand?

The marching unit of Francs Archers with melee weapons (bills/guisarmes, spears etc.) would thus tie well visually with their bow-armed companions, especially when similarly provided with livery coats, jacks and helmets. For the front rank you could perhaps try a few figures with a bit more armour (say brigandine or mail shirt), as well as a better armoured captain and standard bearer. There are plenty of model options from the Perrys, most obviously the plastic mercenaries and metal WotR liveried billmen marching, but also the metal Swiss halberdiers marching could be used for the rear rankers (especially with head swaps).

Then the other unit, of ordonnance infantry, could be posed with weapons levelled, as if just about to enter a fierce melee. They could be represented with a front rank of fully harnessed men-at-arms, backed by a second line of partially armoured (breastplates, brigandines etc.) coustiliers, all armed with a variety of polearms etc. Actually, considering the variety of figures available for dismounted men-at-arms, you could probably easily put together two such units without needing to resort to fielding duplicate figures.

Yeah I've considered all those ideas. A unit of francs-archers all with shouldered polearms will look nice, but I'm kind of against the idea of melee units in marching poses without lowered weapons, they'll look daft when they get into combat!

I'd quite like both units to look similar actually, rather than different. I dunno I guess I like symmetry.... The two units will often be working side by side. The question is whether one should be 'heavier' than the other or if they should both have the same mix of troop types.

 

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