Sunday 24 April 2016

Agincourt demo game at Royal Armouries

Our contribution to the Royal Armouries Gaming Event at Leeds was to re-run the demo game of Agincourt. The 'we' were Stuart Mulligan and Stephen Hall, using my figures and terrain.

The set-up reflected the French battle plan, drawn up a few days before the battle but not implemented on the day. This had crossbowmen positioned in the van and three main battles of men at arms, with small wings of mounted men at arms. We used 'Hail Ceaser' rules with the amends made by Alan & Michael Perry (thanks to them and the others at the event who kindly rallied to the distress email sent out on Friday evening when, sitting in a Leeds pub, I realised that I'd not packed any rules!). We'd planned to run the game twice during the day, using Impetus for the second one, but both time and energy ran out on us.

The French attack stuttered a little at the start, but Stephen made headway with his mounted wing and Duke of Orleans battle, only to meet an effective arrow storm which inflicted casualties and stalled the advance. In the centre the crossbowmen got into range and exchanged shots with the English archers.

The French nobility pressed on and the attack progresses in echelon, with the right wing advancing slowest, probably resulting from Stuart's dice throwing! The centre battle finally made contact - sweeping aside the first line of longbowmen and then pressing home into hand to hand melee with the English centre, including King Henry and the leading nobility. This seemed like the pivotal moment, as the French had superior numbers in support to exploit an advantage gained. However they narrowly lost and as they were carrying casualties from the advance under arrow shots, they retired and broke.

On the English left the archers managed to stall the advance of the last French advance, again the accumulation of casualties from arrow storm seemed to be the main factor.

So, Henry's God-given rights to the French crown were upheld, and on St George's day to boot!

The day seemed well attended, with a good flow of visitors from mid morning - including a good number of wargamers who were aware of the event, but some of the visiting public who were brave enough to enter a room full of folk hunched over tables and moving model soldiers about! We did our best to convey what we were trying to do with the game. There was a good selection of other HYW games and related societies.

It was great to talk to everyone on the day. Another highlight was the informative illustrated talk by Dave Marshall and the Perrys on planning and constructing the Agincourt 600 diorama, which we had a quick look at in its permanent location at the Armouries. Sadly we didn't have time to take in all the armour galleries.

 Alan and Michael sharing info on the resin blocks used for the French forces in the diorama 

The Wargames Illustrated WotR game, using the Perrys figures and terrain.

The joy of commerce! see Stuart's forthcoming blog post for details.

Thursday 21 April 2016

Supply Wagons - completed

Just finished off the English supply wagons, to be lurking behind the archers and ready to keep arrow stocks replenished. Although done at a brisk pace, I'm very please with them.

Sunday 17 April 2016

Supply wagons for Agincourt game.

Another interim posting on progress towards the Agincourt demo game at Leeds Royal Armouries on 23 April.

All of the extra French dismounted nights and men at arms have been done. This will create 18 additional bases of figures (I use 50mm square bass for my HYW). The highlight of these are the expertly painted knights which Stuart Mulligan has completed and sent to me. You can see more of these on his blog.

I’ve decided to leave the basing until the final stage next week, as I can complete these as a production line process. Therefore I’ve dived into creating a couple of wagons carrying supplies of arrows, to sit behind the English lines, as a non-gaming vignette. The inspiration came from the Agincourt 600 diorama, now at the Armouries. Exchequer accounts for 1415 demonstrate that huge numbers of arrows were purchased by the government and were supplied in boxes and barrels for transportation to France. Arrows were usually packed in bundles of 100 per box, along with bowstrings. The finds on the Mary Rose of arrow boxes also confirms the continuation of this practice by English armies.

The wagons are both Perry metals from the WR range, with 2 plastic figures caught in the middle of unloading by the advance of the French (using a mix of arm options). I’ve also added a couple of younger soldiers with the task of running the replenishments to the archers – one is metal peasant with plastic arm transplant to carry some sheaves, whilst the other is a Foundry HYW figure with arrow bags added from the Perry Light Cavalry plastics box. Both are in progress with the basing; paint and grasses to be applied.

I think I’ve run out of road to complete any other pieces for the game. I’ll try and squeeze in pictures of the finished figures – if I fail I’ll add them to the next post re the day. If you’re there on 23rd April, please do mosey over and say hello.

Saturday 2 April 2016

French Knights - reinforcements update

I have reached a 50-up stage for the French foot knights for the Agincourt game at RAGE on 23 April - so on track with the extra figures I've planned and just a few more to do.

All are plastic Perry Miniatures from the French Infantry and Agincourt Foot Knights boxes and all painted in the post-haste approach outlined in the last post. Any heraldry and decoration is kept to its simplest. This process seems to have worked OK; this is a personal best in terms of how many figures I've completed in a short period. I may even squeeze in a couple of other bits for the game. A deadline provides a great deal of focus!

The Perry French infantry box is an excellent addition, with loads of build options and I'm looking forward to using the remaining figures to build some crossbows and pavisers, sometime in the future.

More updates to follow....