The Age of Chivalry, Lion Rampant, 28mm
It’s been a long while since I played Lion Rampant. My wargame buddy Gyles had an army though, and so I promised to raise a force myself. I opted for French, for two very good reasons. First, I like their red wine, and secondly, I could build a whole 24 point force from a single £20 box of Perry plastics – their “Agincourt French Infantry, 1415-29” one. A bit of gluing and painting later, .. et voila! My French force consisted of two units of expert foot sergeants, a unit of crossbowmen with pavises, and a small unit of dismounted men-at-arms. That’s 24 points, and 42 figures – not counting the standard bearer accompanying my leader, the Bastard of Orleans. Gyles went for 24 points too for his English army, which he spent on a regular spear unit, a unit of irregular wild foot, a small unit of dismounted knights, a unit of veteran archers and mounted sergeants.The only problem though was that Sean and Lindsay turned up wanting a game too. As they preferred the French, I graciously gave them my toys to command, while I shared Gyles’ motley crew.The game was played out on a 6×4 foot table, with a river – the Essonne – running down the middle of it. So, we diced to start, then got stuck in. Gyles and I kept failing our activation rolls, which in Lion Rampant kills your side’s movement for that turn stone dead. Still, we eventually reached the stream, and my longbowmen got within bow range, screening the wild troops on their right. That’s when I made my first mistake. the French shot first, and those French crossbow bolts took down a couple of lightly-protected English archers. I soon found that shooting back wasn’t so easy, as those pavises I painted up provided excellent protection for the crossbowmen As a result, in the shooting match that followed, the English lost badly. In the end my archers broke and ran. That didn’t stop Gyles though. He sent his dismounted men-at-arms charging across the river, followed by the mounted sergeants. Facing them were the French men-at-arms, supported at a distance by a unit of expert foot sergeants. The trouble was, thanks to more bad activation rolls, the attack wasn’t well coordinated.The crossbowmen took out two English men-at-arms, and then the foot sergeants did the rest. The English were pushed back into the river, where they were duly hit by the French men-at-arms. This really wasn’t going according to plan at all! To support them, Gyles sent his six cavalry in, who charged the French men-at-arms. The melee though, ended with the horsemen retiring back over the stream, leaving half their force dead on the field. The main melee wasn’t going too well either. In fact it all ended badly for Gyles, who lost his leader (I forgot who he was), and what remained of his six-strong men-at-arms unit then broke and ran. That left us with two units – the spearmen and the wild foot. Gyles sent his spearmen in to support the withdrawal of the English men-at-arms, and inevitably it went badly. He lost four of his twelve spearmen in a melee with their veteran French counterparts, and got forced to retire over the river again. They were then hit by the four remaining French dismounted men-at-arms, and were broken. So, the Bastard of Orleans had won the day! Actually, we had one unit left. Thiose wild foot – I suppose they’re meant to be Welshmen or something – had been lurking on the English right, near the river bank. Fancying my chances, I launched a charge agaisnt the second unit of French spearmen. Amazingly the French unit lost badly, then broke and ran. Flushed with success I tried charging on into the crossbowmen. This worked well – at first. I took two casualties, dropping me to half strength (and half the normal die roll), but the crossbowmen took three casualties, and were pushed back. Then, thanks to a missed activation, they got to go first, and the Welshmen were wiped out. So, this battle was a clear French victory, and Sean and Lindsay were delighted. I was too, as after all, apart from one unit getting wiped, my French figures dd pretty well for themselves. Now, Gyles had vowed to paint up more archers, while Lindsay is raising a small Flemish force. For my part I fancy more French crossbowmen – and of course those oh-so-useful pavises to go with them.