Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Anguish of the North

With our King somewhere on the continent, the perfidious French have spread their gold throughout the north.  Not seven days ago the lord Archbishop, William de la Zouche, marched north with the immediate forces of Yorkshire to join with Lord Ralph Neville to face the bastard Scots under William Douglas. I was to follow with additional troops of the shire...

Everything has changed now...

Yesterday, a messenger brought word that Ravenspur & Hull have fallen to a force of Danes.  Danes!!!  A force under their King, Valdemar IV, marches on Wressle with York as their obvious destination.  I have sent riders after the Archbishop but I doubt he will be be able to act in time.  As the High Sheriff of Yorkshire, I will bring the forces here at York south to confront the Danish invaders.

The host and list of the Yorkshire defenders:

The host and list of the invading Danes:

The experience of the Danish King allowed him to pick the open heath on the agricultural road from Hull southwest of Wressle.  The defending English opted to place the compulsory open field, an enclosed field and a gentle hill but the Danish attackers removed the gentle hill and both fields fell on the Danish side of the table.

The Danish deployed with the blue vested select levy on the right of their line partly in the open field with the red vested select levy only two files wide with the Feudal Knights beside the enclosed field.  The Danish king decided to deploy with the red levy just behind the knights.

(a close up of the Danish king behind the lines)

The English deployed with veteran longbow (i.e. those with swords) on each end of their line with the armoured retainers in the left center and the dismounted men-at-arms in the right center.  The under equipped longbow deployed behind the left and center of the English line.  Sir Thomas de Rokeby deployed with the men-at-arms to begin the struggle.

(a close up of Sir Thomas behind the men-at-arms--okay its Ralph Neville but I have not painted Sir Thomas)

The ire of the English troops being up, the English were ready first but decided to allow the Danish invaders to move on them first.  Thus ended the English 1st turn.

The Danish 1st turn witnessed the blue levy move 3" forward and shift 1 base to their right.  The knights moved 4" forward and shifted one base to their left.  The red levy (and the Danish king) expanded 1 file and advanced 1" on their first move and then 2" to come level with the blue levy on their second move.  At this point, no one was in bow range, so the turn ended.

The English opted to remain in place for their 2nd turn but did try to move the reserve longbow but failed a CMT to turn 90 to the left of the English line.
For the Danish 2nd turn, the knights remained stationary and expanded two bases to their left.  The red levy expanded 1 base and advanced 1" to come level with the knights.  The blue levy also advanced 1" to conform with the remainder of the Danish line.  The Danish king remained with the red levy in the center.  With no one in bow range, the turn ended.

For the English 3rd turn, the rear longbow passed a CMT and turned 90 to their left.  The remainder of the English line moved 1" forward.  Still being out of missile range the turn ended.

The Danish king, not wanting to dally, advanced all units 3" forward.  This move brought the longbow and crossbow within range.  The left English longbow BG scored 2 hits to the blue levy who shrugged off the hits and managed nothing in return.  The red levy could not bring enough dice to bear at long range to be effective while the right English longbow managed 2 hits on the knights who also shrugged off the arrow fire.  With nothing else to do, the Danish 3rd turn came to a close.

For the English 4th turn, the rear longbow moved 4" towards the left of the English line. Neither sides' missile fire was effective so the English 4th turn came to an end.

The Danish king felt the need to come to grips quickly in hopes of reducing the effect of the longbow arrow storm (and in the campaign context, to take advantage of the Archbishop of York's absence in the north) and decided to continue his advance in turn 4.  The entire line advanced 3" forward.  Both Danish levy units fired with gusto but to no avail as their crossbows had no effect on the stationary English.  The English, on the other hand, scored 3 hits on the blue levy and 2 hits on the knights.  Luckily for the Danes, the hits caused no ill effects and, after Sir Thomas moved to the longbow BG on the right end of the English line, the turn ended.

For the English 5th turn, the front English line remained in place while the rear longbow wheeled towards the end of the English line ending in a kinked column.  In the shooting phase, the blue levy scored 3 hits on the longbow to their front who disrupted from the crossbow bolts.  The return fire was negligible. The red levy and the longbow on the right end of the English line only managed 1 hit each to no effect.

To start the Danish 5th turn, the Danish king dipped his flag and the entire line charged ahead.  Sir Thomas joined the front rank of the left end longbow unit while the Danish King decided to remain in the rear ranks of the red levy in the center of the Danish line and not fight.  The blue levy scored 11 hits on the left longbow unit but none against the retainers in the center.  In return, the blue levy suffered 0 hits from the longbow but 3 from the retainers.  The red levy scored 4 hits on the retainers and 2 on the men-at-arms.  In return, the red levy took 2 from the retainers and 1 from the men-at-arms.  The knights scored 1 on the men-at-arms and 5 on the longbow on the right.  In return, the knights suffered 3 hits from the men-at-arms and 1 from the longbow.  Sir Thomas survived fighting in the front rank.  The left longbow BG suffered two bases lost from hits and then doubled dropped to broken on the cohesion test.  The retainers in the center of the English line suffers no base loses and rolled out of cohesion.  The men-at-arms suffered a base loss but won their impact.  The right longbow managed a draw against the knights but lost a base to hits.  The retainers looked with disdain at the fleeing longbow and carried on while the rear longbow were too busy trying to finish their wheel to worry when the longbow to their front broke (for the moment).  The broken longbow rolled long and crashed through the longbow behind them who dropped to fragmented.  On the Danish side, the blue levy lost a base due to hits.  The red levy survived with no loses but the knights lost 2 bases yet rolled a 12 on cohesion and survived.   The Danish blue levy could not pursue as they were still hung up on the retainers.  In the maneuver phase, the Danish line conformed as much as possible with only one file of the blue levy still fighting the English retainers.  There was no shooting on any worth in the shooting so into the melee phase the turn went.  The Danish knights only managed 1 hit to the longbow to their front who gave one back for a draw.  The red levy in the center of the Danish line did 3 hits each to the retainers and men-at-arms but took 4 total in return.  The blue levy gave 3 to the retainers and took 1 in return.  The English men-at-arms lost a base to hits and dropped to disrupted.  The English retainers lost a base to hits but rolled out of their cohesion test.  The The Danish king opted to remain where he was and watch events unfold while Sir Thomas was still fighting in the front rank so the turn ended.

The English 6th turn arrived and their situation was getting desperate.  The fragmented longbow moved 3" forward allowing them to come out of their kink and moved them out of arc of most of the Danish blue levy whose missile fire on the column was woeful.  In melee, the English retainers managed 1 hit total on the Danish red levy and 0 on the blue levy but suffered 5 in return.  The men-at-arms scored a single hit on the red levy taking 2 in return.  The longbow facing the Danish knights managed 3 hits and took 4 in return.  Sir Thomas survived another round of melee.  The English retainers lost a base to the hits and then fragmented on cohesion.  The English men-at-arms also suffered a base loss to hits and fragmented as well.  The longbow suffered a base loss from hits but passed their cohesion test.  The Danish knights managed to roll a 1 for their death roll auto breaking.  The Danish red levy to their right disrupted from seeing the knights break.  In their rout, the knights rolled short and were caught by the longbow in pursuit removing their last base.  At the end of the melee phase, the English stood at 5 attrition points to 2 ending the battle.  

Sir Thomas de Rokeby led the regard of longbow as the Danes consolidated on the field.  Hopefully the walls of Wressle will hold them up long enough for you to organize the defenses of York...

Thus ended the first test battle of the "War on the Doorstep" HYW campaign.  Incidentally, the Danes will only be able to field only 1/2 the max of Superior Knights as the knight BG was destroyed completely on the table in this fight.  I will try out the Victory Ripple and siege rules this week and see what happens next in the campaign.  Until then, here are a few close ups of King Valdemar IV and the Danish Knights.  All are Old Glory 15s and the shields are handpainted.  The flags were downloaded off a Danish site years ago and are no longer available that I am aware of.

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