In the last week or so I've had three events worthy of posting about, rather than doing them individually I thought it best to simply do a bumper summer blog posting.
Last year I commissioned David Marshall of TM Terrain to add to my existing terrain representation of the South West side of the walls of Therouanne. The nucleus of this commission was that this side faces the villages of Bomy and Guinegatte (Enguinegatte), the ground between which saw the Battle of the Spurs on the 16 August 1513, one of the key notable points of Henry's French campaign of that year, you can see a summary of the historical battle in an earlier blog post here.
Following the addition of the real estate the natural progression was some bespoke terrain to hold the walls; a road runs alongside with open terrain to the left and deep trenches skirt the walls, an eyewitness account of a Welsh soldier testified that these trenches were so deep that men were afraid to walk near the edge in case they fell in and their banks were set with impenetrable hedges, David's interpretation of this next chapter in the commission partnership can be seen in these photographs taken in his workshop;
* * * * *With a reasonable section of walls and accompanying terrain the Army Royal venture had reached a notable chapter in its 8 year history, a refight of the Battle of The Spurs seemed a fitting way to mark the occasion.
To help realise this notion Michael Perry and Simon Chick offered their assistance; Michael had the space, additional figures and considerably more terrain to fully represent the action whilst Simon stepped in to offer troops from his Burgundian armies to bolster my meagre French forces. The stage was set for a day of gaming and socialising.
The Battle of the Spurs (or Guinegatte) 1513
The Battle of the Spurs, otherwise known as Guinegatte was the subject of the game this weekend. Simon Chick with his large and impressive Burgundian Army and Stuart Mulligan with his equally stunning Henrician force were up for the game fest. We thought that the Burgundians would suffice for the French army with a few additional figures from Stuart and Michael. David Marshall of TM Terrain also joined us to see the walls of Therouanne, that he'd built for Stuart, in situ on the table. This is a beautiful piece of work as you can see by the photos. Dave Andrews, who's responsible for a large part of the terrain squares, was also here along with Aly Morrison and Rick Priestly, who remembered most of the rules. Michael took the photos unless otherwise stated.
In 1513 Henry VIII and Maximilian I besieged the town of Therouanne in Artois. The French were determined to break the siege and a second attempt (the first being successful) of resupplying the town with bacon and gunpowder carried by Stradiots on their saddles was made on 16th August. Accompanying the Albanian cavalry were French cavalry with the intention of distracting the besiegers while the supplies were rushed around the flanks. Infantry were not deemed to be needed and were left 12 miles to the south. However, the French were surprised when cresting the ridge at the village of Bomy to find the English arrayed to meet them. English and allied cavalry and mounted archers went out to greet them. Henry, apparently, wanted to join in but was advised to stay back with the infantry and so kind of missing his one and only battle. The French cavalry waited a little too long and were caught changing formation and falling back. This ended in a rout for the French.
Michael included French infantry in the game set up so as to make a potentially more interesting punch up. Also he added a small French garrison that could attempt to sally out of Therouanne and attack the guns. We used 'Hail Caesar' with the troop stats shown in the previous battle report. For the French, Simon commanded the large infantry ward and the small reserve of cavalry, Aly took the large division cavalry, Alan the small infantry ward and medium sized division of cavalry and Michael the medium ward on infantry. For the English it was more of a committee approach with Rick generally ordering the the two divisions of cavalry and Stuart, David and Dave commanding the three infantry wards, one of which were Landsknechts and two of English troops. English and allied troops were placed first in behind the line indicated on the photo (below) and the French second.
The Landsknechts,in the centre made a move to their right to try and worry the on coming cavalry the other English ward had some trouble moving and only advanced slowly. The third ward failed to enter the table.
The English managed to get their reserve cavalry and infantry on to the field, the cavalry supporting their comrades and the infantry moving up through Guinegatte.
Gradually, the two lines closed along the front and fire was exchanged while Aly made his first cavalry charge against a unit of Border horse, wiping them out and going into the next unit of horse.
Charging and counter charging by Rick's horse carried on for the next few turns but with the English horse only winning one of the combats. The Landsknechts did charge in against Alan's horse but unluckily threw bad dice and recoiled.
The game was up, no wards or divisions were actually broken but both English cavalry formations were so close with the French still having one in reserve and the infantry in the centre would then be out flanked and so it was judged a French victory! So, it was a complete reverse to the original battle, but the French did have infantry this time.
* * * * *
I was keen to create a unique unit for the game and considered the date to be a fitting opportunity to present my latest sculpting and painting with this unit of Tudor bill under the command of the Marquis of Dorset;
I shall draw to a close at this juncture as I'd like to write some biography on The Marquis of Dorset as well as outline how the unit came together and my plans for the future.
I hope you've enjoyed this extended post.
Bye for now