Friday, July 19, 2019

Burgundian Ordonnance versus 100 Years War English

This was the longbow battle.  As it turned out, almost exclusively so.

Yesterday, my Burgundians took on Mark Wood's English (but perhaps of a distinct Scottish extraction) in a 400 point game using Impetus Second Edition.

The English sat on that hill the whole game.

 Turn 1.
On the far left flank of the English is a bombard.
It proceeded to make a mess of the Burgundians.

 Turn 2.
The bombard seems to be hitting with every shot.

 The English bombard commander gets promoted as a result.

 Turn 3.
My crossbowmen eliminated the bombard, but I fear it has wrecked my army.
It fired four times (which includes returning fire on the crossbowmen) and hit every time.
I was lucky my crossbowmen hit it first time.

 Turn 4.
Now I have my vengeance, with my longbowmen picking off the opposition at long range.

 Turn 5.
Units that were previously weakened by the bombard are targeted by the enemy.


 Turn 6.
The attrition is taking a toll, especially on my weakened right hand command.

 The general of which somehow locks in his claim to be an expert.
After this his command breaks...

 Turn 7.
We fight on, but it is hopeless.

Turn 8.
All over.

Totally different game to normal.  Commands break when they have lost a third and so it can happen quickly.  Perhaps units breaking due to missile fire should only count half points to the break number?


Now I have a 2nd Edition Army Builder spreadsheet (see here: it turns out my Longbow units should have only counted 1 point towards my armies morale, not 2.


Hmmm, Excel must have been playing tricks on me.  On looking again, Longbow units still count as 2 points.  Only thing that would have helped in the game was to go to 50% before the command fully breaks.  So, I'm back to liking the idea of half points for units routed by shooting.


  1. H'mmm. The English did here as the English tended to do forever; adopt a tactical defensive. War gamers who do this are generally looked down upon as 'baseline defenders'. Beating 'baseline defenders' is quite hard, especially missile troops, as you have to run the gauntlet of the firepower. As the Greeks discovered at Marathon, when you do beat the 'baseline defender', it can be most gratifying. Ask Aeschylus.

  2. If that bombard hadn't been so successful things might have been different. It scored the equivalent of four sixes in eleven rolls. Or rather one six in every three rolls. My units then threw poorly on their cohesion tests.

    At the end of the game I looked at rushing in with my knights, but it would have been a hard road.

    But it was an excellent learning experience.

  3. This game illustrates my major frustration with Impetus generally. Its all about missile fire. Even so its not a bad game set and great for a club night. The upside was the generalship rolls look slightly better this game!

    1. My Generals were back with their right armies.

      Basic is good, but having now played a few Impetus 2nd Ed, I think they are superior based on more tactical decision making. Two things I needed, a one page (albeit double sided) QRS and a Army Builder spreadsheet I've now found posted on the Impetus forum

      As to missile fire, that bombard was lucky! I've also found I had an error in my Army List that caused the command to break too early.

  4. Sometimes you get that. I recall in a battle with my Byzantines against Roman 'fast' artillery, he hit my cavallarioi every bally time he fired at them (he simply had to beat my roll, dash it all). Man, it was harrowing. Fortunately I won the battle elsewhere on the field. I think I still have the battle map somewhere kicking around...

  5. I agree about the baseline defence strategy. Truthfully, as Mark well knows, I'm an up the guts kind of general but we played it this way to test the longbow A aspect of Impetus and I found it wanting. Ok it was a historical style game but the longbow is too powerful in these rules and it wrecks the fun of it. As to the VD for longbow, I think its 2 per unit, it certainly came out that way in the spreadsheet. Thinking of selling my longbow armies so that this fiasco cant happen again

    1. Harsh and you won lol.

      I need to perfect my attacking strategy with the Burgundians and hope your bombard is not so accurate in future.