lundi 29 juillet 2013

Dux Bellorum for the Burgundian war of Succession

As some of you may know, Luddite did a post on using Dux Bellorum for the Wars of the Roses. I've tried these and they're rather good, and following an idea i had for using my figures for the Burgundian War of Succession, i knocked up a quick version for this setting. It can be used for any European conflict of the late 15th century, even the Italian Wars.
I've only really added some period flavour strategies, modified one or two things and added continental units. I've had one game with them, pictures to come soon. I might also add more strategies as i think of them. Enjoy!


Type
Move
Bravery
Aggression
Missiles
Protection
Cohesion
Notes
Pts
Foot companions
2
10
6
-
6
6

5
Mounted companions ^
4
10
5
-
5
5

5
Mounted men-at-arms ^
4
9
5
-
5
4

5
Dismounted men-at-arms
2
9
6
-
5
5

5
Coustillier ^
4
7
4
-
5
4

3
Skirmishing Coustillier ^
5
8*
3
-
4
2

2
Mounted crossbowmen
4
8*
2
2
4
2
2 BW range
2
Heavy infantry
2
7
5
-
5
5

3
Militia infantry
2
7*
4
-
5
4

2
Archers
2
7
2
3
4
4
Pavise, 4 BW range
3
Militia archers
2
7*
2
3
4
3
Pavise, 4 BW range
2
Skirmishers
3
8*
1
2
4
2
4 BW range
1
Field artillery
1
6
1
3
4
2
Unlimited range
5
*Brittle: Use bravery 6 when testing for rout.
^Must follow up if win a combat.

Companions: The elite troops who form the bodyguard for the army leader. They are the best equipped and the most motivated troops in the force. Can fight mounted or dismounted.

Men-at-arms: Made up of the gentry, richer citizens (the poorterij), professional soldiers and knights, and are the gen d’armes of the ordonnance companies. Armoured in full harness, they may fight mounted or dismounted. They may be supplemented by some squires or coustilliers in the rear ranks.

Coustilliers: The lighter cavalry who often scouted for the enemy. This unit represents a band of these horsemen who have been detached from the main body of gen d’armes, or could be used to represent French ‘archers’ who later fought as mounted lancers.

Mounted crossbowmen: Either mercenary Italians, or mounted ordonnance archers, these men are similar to coustilliers but have crossbows and fight in a loose formation.

Heavy infantry: Either dismounted coustilliers, ordonnace pike men or halberdiers, Swiss mercenaries or better trained and motivated town militia (or town watch even). There might be some heavier armoured men in the front rank as leaders or to boost the line. Lowland and Swiss heavy infantry carry pikes.

Militia infantry: Either Lowland militia drawn from both the towns and the countryside, or franc archers for the French, but armed with spears and halberds instead of missile weapons (franc voulgier). Lowland militia infantry carry pikes.

Archers: Either ordonnance archers or Lowland shooting guilds armed with a variety of weapons. No difference has been made between crossbows and bows, as it is possible that both were mixed in the same units. These units may carry pavises. Could also be English mercenary archers, these troops do not carry pavises but have a protection of 5.

Militia archers: Either reluctant shooting guilds or franc archers. As above, they will carry a mix of weapons and are equipped with pavises.

Skirmishers: Loose order missile troops, these troops are a mix of crossbowmen and handgunners; no difference has been made between the weapon types.

Field artillery: Can be bombards, light cannons, organ guns…

Special rules:

Pikes: Units pike armed always count as moving as a group even if a single group. Any enemy fighing a pike armed unit frontally with suffer a -2 aggression and gets no bonus for moving into contact. If fighting to the flank or rear, pike armed units suffer an additional -1 aggression in addition to the normal -2.

Pavises: A pavise armed unit has a protection of 6 against missile fire (except field artillery). It loses this benefit if the unit retreats from close combat.

Ammunition: All archer and skirmisher units only carry enough ammunition to allow them to fire 3 times during a game. Field artillery has unlimited ammunition however.

New strategies:

Horse armour: Armouring horses with padded, leather, chain or plate armour increases protection against missile weapons. Effects all mounted companions and mounted men-at-arms in the force. This unit gains a protection of 6 against missile fire. 3 points if 5 or less units are equipped, 5 points if 6 or more.

Wedge: A cavalry tactic to break through enemy ranks, wedges rely on hitting power and depth to destroy the enemy. A unit of mounted men-at-arms or mounted companions may have a unit of mounted men-at-arms or coustillier (not skirmishers) directly behind it and gain an additional +1 aggression when moving into contact. The units may move as a group, but not with other units and may only move forward. Formation lost if force to withdraw in combat. 3 points for training.

Armoured mounted crossbowmen (in front rank): It is possible that some mounted crossbowmen fought with the men-at-arms, firing their crossbows not long before the charge hit. Drawings from the period show armoured mounted crossbowmen in almost full harness, so include them if you wish. Including armoured crossbowmen in you mounted men-at-arms gives them a single missile aggression with a 2 BW range. It does not hinder their ability to move that turn as the crossbowmen will fall back. 3 points if 5 or less units have mounted crossbowmen in their ranks, 5 points if more.
All mounted men-at-arms units must have armoured crossbowmen if this strategy is taken.

Read here for some thoughts on this subject.

Swiss tactics: The Swiss trained their militia to charge the enemy in dense columns, a revolutionary tactic that impressed military minds all over Europe. Many mercenaries were hired by all the major powers and the tactics were copied by the French and Germans. A unit of heavy infantry may form an attack column with another unit of heavy infantry behind it (or militia eventually) giving it an additional +1 aggression when moving into contact. Pike armed groups may also move normally if alone. 3 points for hiring the Swiss or getting them to train you men.

Eager nobles: Although the age of chivalry is coming to an end by the 15th century, with infantry beginning to dominate the battlefield did not mean that the nobles still held onto their ideas that war was a noble pursuit. All companion and men-at-arm units are Impetuous. 3 points.

Extra ammunition: All shooting units with limited ammunition have an additional turn’s ammunition. 3 points if 5 or less units carry extra ammunition, 5 if 6 or more. This may be bought twice, giving 2 turns of extra shooting, at 6 or 10 points.

Organised supply train: Allows some cohesion points to be restored. If a unit has lost cohesion this game and is further than 5 BW away from the nearest visible enemy may restore 1 cohesion point. A unit may only restore 1 point in 1 turn, and the supply train has 2 cohesion points in total. 4 points to organise the wagons and obtain the supplies.

Subterfuge: Spies spread rumours around the enemy camp, lowering morale and causing some men to desert. Before the battle, choose an enemy unit and remove d6-1 cohesion points. If this takes the score to 0 then the unit does not arrive. It does not count as a loss and is ignored for all moral purposes in the game. 4 points to pay for the spies or buy off reluctant enemies.

Personal standard: The leader has brought his personal banner to the battle, and his inspiration means that men are more willing to fight for him when things become tough. All units within 3 BW of the companion unit may re-roll bravery tests for morale. 3 points.


The following strategies can be used freely: Ambush, Assassination, Dismount (Companions men-at-arms and mounted crossbowmen only), Experienced warlord, Loyal, Monks, Swift deployment, Veterans (men-at-arms, coustilliers, or heavy infantry)

5 commentaires:

  1. Good stuff Max... I will have to take a look at these rules. Good call on the period too, as you know, it is my 'war of choice' for the late medieval era.

    Personally I would perhaps change 'Companions' to represent the French Ordonnance Gendarmes and the better of the Burgundians/Low Countries ones, while 'Men at Arms' could represent the bulk of the latter.

    I'm saying nothing about Coustilier and Ordonnance 'Archers'... I struggle to determine the 'whats' and 'hows' of these, except that they were not 'proper cavalry' and definitely not 'light cavalry' in the sense we understand it. However, some were quite capable and in lieu of anything better, they sufficed.

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    Réponses
    1. I'm interested in this war too, as we all know about the Wars of the Roses while we forget about the continent a bit.

      I know what you mean about the names and roles thing, but i used the names to avoid confusion. Probably i should call Coustilliers 'light cavalry' instead, so that way they could be coustilliers, mounted archers, or even less motivated men-at-arms.

      Like everything for this era, the list will change as i learn more about it. And i tried to keep it quiet generic so it is open to interpretation.

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    2. I wouldn't go that far, as you're dealing with a specific war. I'm also in favour of using contemporary names too.

      Coustilier and Archers were the best light cavalry in North-West Europe at the time, by virtue of being the only light-ish cavalry there.

      While the Anglo-Scots Border Reivers and the Stradiots were more in mind of what we would call light cavalry, they weren't there.

      However, as the rules seem to use a 'stat line' for troops, you can distinguish between the limited troop types available and with some variation within each type too. So you can have 'run of the mill' types, along with somewhat more elite groups.

      As examples, you could have an average type of Franc-Archer, but with the Paris Militia segment having slightly better characteristics. The variously coloured 'Kaproenen' of the Flemish cities can have a better stat-line than the multitude of the militia.

      Generic is fine when you are covering a broad spectrum of conflicts, but you can really go to town when you are focusing more closely on something in particular.


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    3. I did actually first do 2 lists, a French and Lowland list, but the original rules use only one list so i changed them into 1 to 'keep to the rules', but i guess i could reanimate them, change some names and add some stuff to them too.

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    4. There will be some troops who are very similar across two lists, but there is enough variation of types to support separate lists though.

      The trick will be making changes without unbalancing particular troop types against others.

      Nevertheless it will be fun!

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