We had our second try at the new Day of Battle IV. The two sides were French Feudal (Dick Bryant and Dick Messier) and English Feudal (Dick White and Jack Breen). Dick White (Baron Foley) and Dick Bryant(Baron Maldemer) chose their armies as below and decided the terrain placement earlier in the day of the game. Go to Chris Parker’s website and follow the demo game and a synopsis of the rules. We find these rules to be an excellent re-creation of the period and a fun game can be had in 1.5- 3 hours. See: http://www.dayofbattle.com/
3 Missile 1 Crossbow L/H/A Upgrades 1 and 2; (P-A) and M-H
1 Crossbow O/L/A Upgrade 3
1 Breton Javlin O/L/A
3 Foot 1 Militia Spears(Tr) C/M/A Upgrade 4
1 Men at Arms C/H/A
1 Feudal Foot, Sp L/M/A
The Coats of Arms pictured are the actual family Coat of Arms of the participants. We research these for all the new players. – Dick Bryant
overall view of game at the start
As there were two players to a side, each side was allowed an additional leader of one social rank lower than the side commander. Thus, Dick Messier and Jack Breen were each SR3 level Barons able to have 3 command cards ea. Dick White and Dick Bryant drew cards to determine the random terrain. Bryant had a wood and a field, while White had a hill and a field. The placement is shown on the map. Both armies choose terrain, by card draw, from the “mixed” list of terrain which can result in pieces ranging from a marsh to a buildt-up area(small town, castle keep, etc) with a variety of woods, rivers, and fields as well.
Initial Placement and First Moves
The sides were each divided into two “Battles”, the strength of which is discernable from the map. Great Baron Maldemer (Dick Bryant), won the initiative and though the attacker decided to advamce toward the hill to try to seize it as a better defensive position than the open terrain in which he found himself. Baron Messier’s Battle kept up on the left, except for his feudal foot which had tough going in the wood. This move was too cautious and, arguably, cost Great Baron Maldemer a win. Maldemer could have advanced a double rate (16”), being reduced to 12” as he crossed into the “near” range band of the enmy. He chose to advance only 8”, which had a cost later in the game. Maldemer’s opening bow fire was ineffective.
The advance. Maldemer's unit retreats
Great Baron Foley’s bow fire, from 2 units, was effective, however, causing enough hits to force Maldemer’s left most knight to fall back, slowing the advance to the hill even further. Baron Messier’s troops were able to continue on into the English line on the French left, While Maldemer was again halted and discombobulated by the English fire, with more retreats among the Knights. Maldemer recovered somewhat, having to use his prized Joker card to reorganize his 3 Knight units and his 3 retainer cards to continue the advance. The Militia spears moved through the ineffective crossbows, took the hill and drove the English archers away, finally opening the English for an attack by the French knights. The French left was locked in indecisive combat with the English right . But with several hits on his Knights and no retainer cards left, Maldemer decided that the possibility of a major defeat loomed large and decided to save his army for another day.
The Final Moves
Had Maldemer moved more aggressively would he have pushed the English bowmen away sooner? Would he have been in charge reach with fewer casualties? One can never know – he vows to do better next time.
The French Right
Note the unit on the left has turned around in retreat
The red markers indicate 2 hits on the Elite Kinghtly unit - getting close to breaking!