Jaucelme Chassagnoux
France
Orléans
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The king of England John Lackland had constituted an unprecedented coalition against his foe and suzerain, the king of France Philip Augustus: the counts of Holland, Boulogne, and Flanders, the dukes of Lorraine, Brabant and Limburg and last but not least the Emperor Otto IV. John himself was not present at Bouvines, fighting against the dauphin in western France. Although the Church forbade to fight on Sunday, Otto decided to engage the French army who had a river on its back.

At first sight, the scenario looks quite even. The Imperial army has two advantages. The first is the numbers, the battle of the emperor Otton being particularly plethoric. The second is the possibility to cut the French army from its communications depending on the bridge on the river Marque west of Bouvines. The French have their own advantages : a slight advantage in command, the fact that the Imperial army is closer to the map edge (so that every routed unit is threatened to be eliminated quickly). Furthermore, the congestion in the center of the Imperial line is also a threat because it can prevent the Imperial units to retreat or to perform their routing moves.



Turn 1: The French have the initiative. The two armies take position.



Turn 2: The French have the initiative. Count Ferrand of Flandres is captured on the Imperial left flank. The battle of Eudes of Burgundy eliminates a Flemmish militia. The French have 7 victory points.

Turn 3: The French have the initiative. On the French left, the battle of Robert de Dreux eliminates a men-at-arm and an archer from the English battle of William Longespée. They rout outside of the map. Then the battle of king Philip II eliminates two imperial pikemen who are trapped and can’t retreat. The successful French have 18 victory point.



Turn 4: The French have the initiative. They are still lucky in their die rolls. A knight from Boulogne is eliminated and his lord Renaud de Dammartin is captured. The French have 28 victory points.



Turn 5: No one has the initiative. Another Flemish knight is eliminated by the battle of brother Guérin. There is a gap of more than 30 points (the French have 33 points and the Imperials 0) so the battle ends immediately in a French automatic victory.



That’s a knock out blow in terms of victory points. Nevertheless, the French weren’t really decisive anywhere except on their left wing against the English, and had many routed units on the map when the game ended. They were lucky in their die rolls and benefited from the initiative and from the congestion of the Imperial army.



Philip Augustus can now take his prisoners Ferrand and Renaud to Paris, just as on this miniature from the fifteenth century.

Find more session reports in: Wargaming great battles of history
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Ted Stanfill
United States
Flint
MI
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Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing sir!
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