flodden Troop types

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Switzer
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flodden Troop types

Post by Switzer » Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:21 pm

Hi

These rules are probalbly not supposed to cover flodden but as me and my opponent are currently learning
them i will probably use them with my henry viii army and their scottish opponents.
Just for fun and practice you understand.
Scots pikes - i though pikes heavily armoured superior until all the front rank dies then perhaps
pikes protected average- apparently the front rank nobles were so heavily armoured the Longbows
had nil effect - once they die leadership gone.
English Bill - heavy weapons - is that a correct estimate ?
Highlanders etc - MF no protection impact .

Brits all average.

Boggy bits will be as per the terrain rules.

I know this is outside the timeline but any pointers useful as i cant be bothered learning a renaissance
set and want more practice with FOG.

Steve

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Post by shall » Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:10 pm

These rules are probalbly not supposed to cover flodden but as me and my opponent are currently learning
them i will probably use them with my henry viii army and their scottish opponents.
Don't see why they shouldn't work fine. Read a fair bit about it but some years ago so memory chip may be inaccurate...
Scots pikes - i though pikes heavily armoured superior until all the front rank dies then perhaps
pikes protected average- apparently the front rank nobles were so heavily armoured the Longbows
had nil effect - once they die leadership gone.

I suspect they were commenting on a pretty small number of nobles and that the best reflection is armoured pikemen representing the overall mix. Or 2 ranks armoured and 2 protected. The size of the BGs will make the longbows struggle a bit againts them. I would put them in at 12s.
English Bill - heavy weapons - is that a correct estimate ?
Yes for sure.
Highlanders etc - MF no protection impact .
MF UProt Impact Foot Swordsmen will make for a interesting troop type IMHO. Gives them the vulnerability to missile fire you probably want.
Brits all average.
yep
Boggy bits will be as per the terrain rules.

Lots of uneven
Simon Hall
"May your dice roll 6s (unless ye be poor)"

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Post by Quintus » Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:38 pm

I visited the battlefield a few years ago. The Scotch were arrayed on a high steep hill overlooking a lower hill upon which the English were stood. It struck me that heavily armoured and equipped men, eager for action (or nervous) would have found it a difficult descent. It would be interesting to know how well-ordered the Scottish host was after that. From then on it was quite a long, drag up to the English positions. I daresay it would have been tiring for the pikemen in particular.

I don't know enough about the history so I cannot comment upon bogs. When I saw the battlefield it was covered in wheat.

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Post by sagji » Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:30 pm

For the Scots pike I would suggest - poor, 1/4 armoured, 3/4 protected, pike. These should beat anything the English have, but if the English get lucky the pike are likely to fail the CT, or loose a base, which makes the fight evens. I think making 1/4 Heavy armoured is hard to justify (IIRC there were only enough for 1-2 ranks and a base represents about 4 ranks, plus it only makes a difference against dismounted men-at-arms, and longbow men shooting.

Even at armoured the longbowmen will get 4.5 dice at evens needing to get 3 hits to do anything.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:13 am

I would think Poor was being rather harsh on the Scots. The main problem for, I think, 2 of their pike bodies was that they were disordered by the terrain not that they were Poor troops - in FoG terms they would lose dice for the disorder and probably not get the 4th rank PoA.
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Post by rbodleyscott » Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:26 am

sagji wrote:For the Scots pike I would suggest - poor, 1/4 armoured, 3/4 protected, pike. These should beat anything the English have, but if the English get lucky the pike are likely to fail the CT, or loose a base, which makes the fight evens. I think making 1/4 Heavy armoured is hard to justify (IIRC there were only enough for 1-2 ranks and a base represents about 4 ranks, plus it only makes a difference against dismounted men-at-arms, and longbow men shooting.

Even at armoured the longbowmen will get 4.5 dice at evens needing to get 3 hits to do anything.
FOG doesn't go in for BGs with different Armour Class in different ranks as the effect would be disproportionate both to historical reality and the points cost. There is no reason, for example, to suppose that all the English arrows would fall on the front 1 or 2 ranks.

In general FOG would classify a formation with a front rank of heavily armoured and most of the other ranks protected at best as Protected for the whole formation. And as Nik says, in this case Average, not Poor.

So I suggest Average, Protected for all of the pikes. It may not be glamorous, but it will get the right effect. It is certainly how we would have classified Scots pikes if the adoption of the pike had not occurred after the end of the FOG period. Also, presumably, they would be Undrilled.

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Post by marshalney2000 » Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:09 pm

Lots to comment on here. Firstly this is probably the first drilled Scot's army as the King of france sent over experts to train them in the swiss tactics including operating in blocks in echelon. This was the first time the Scots had the full length pike of Swiss length rather than the half pike or long spear of memory. Their disruption was caused by the steep hill which was also sodden with rain as welll as a significant ditch at the bottom which was not visible from the top. This disrupted the formation and made them susceptible to the English bills. With regard to archery invulnerability, the nobles as well as being very heavily armored also carried pavises but I suspect that those would have been ditched as they slithered down the slope. Some of the Scots removed a shoe from one foot to help them gain a foothold.
The rear ranks wore quilted jerkins and a wooden targe like round shield. In all the armour class of the formation was probably not that different from earlier Scot's formation where dismounting the nobles in the front rank was common. I think there were quite a few armoured men as many of the provosts (mayors for the benefit of the sassanachs among you) of towns and othe rminor gentry were also heavily armoured.
Re the highlanders, drawings of the period show them in full coats of mail to the knee although I suspect this again would have been the chiefs and their higher relatives while the humblies in the rear ranks would have been jerkins and targes. Also do not forgot that the longbow was still carried and so the classification I suggested and was adopted for Medieval scots still holds good for the Flodden period.
Interestingly it was the wing with the highlanders and borderers which was most successful routing the wing facing them. I think it was Gordon who then wanted to smash into the English flank but was discouraged by the leader of the borderers who seemed happier to loot. There was also the question of them not wanting to tangle with their fellow borders on the English side lest this create even more border feuds than existed before.
Hope this helps.
John Munro

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Post by rbodleyscott » Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:10 pm

marshalney2000 wrote:Firstly this is probably the first drilled Scot's army as the King of france sent over experts to train them in the swiss tactics including operating in blocks in echelon.
I stand corrected on this then, they should be Drilled. (If not, anyway, they would have been the only Undrilled pikemen in any of the lists).

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Post by Redpossum » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:05 pm

Eeeeeeh, the drilled vs undrilled issue is debatable.

Yes, there were French drillmasters. Yes, they were assigned to teach the Swiss tactics and the close-order drill required to implement those tactics.

The question is, how long does that take? From what I have read, the Scots only had 2-4 weeks of training.

Now, my step-father having been both a DI (Drill Instructor) and later a Series Officer at MCRD San Diego, I know a bit about recruit training (at least as it existed 30-40 years ago, but I doubt much about the basics has changed in the last 2000 years). Standard recruit training at MCRD was 13 weeks in peacetime. IIRC, that was shortened to 11 weeks and then again to 9 weeks at the peak of the Vietnam war. But contrary to the BS shown in Full Metal Jacket, recruits do not go straight from Recruit Training to a line unit, they go to another 2-3 months of Basic Training up at 1st ITR/ITS at Camp Pendleton.

So, at least in peacetime, the USMC reckoned it took almost 6 months to turn a civilian into a "little gear in the Big Green Machine".

Now, by contrast, my own personal experience.

I arrived at Camp Pendleton on August 7th, 1974 as a 14-year old Devil Pup. Along with just under 300 other likely lads ages 14-18, I was treated to 10 days of (slightly, very slightly) scaled-down recruit training under the tender, loving care of the USMC. In the course of that 10 days, we learned to march in step and perform the basic evolutions of drill, but none of the advanced manuevers were even attempted. Of our 5 platoons, two became reasonably proficient at drill. The other three platoons did a lot of push-ups. Well, take that back, we all did a lot of pushups. The other three platoons did even more :)

For the record, of just under 300 who began, only 203 graduated. I'm proud to say I made the cut. But there were dozens of broken arms and legs, several who just collapsed psychologically, and one kid who broke his back off the 20' tower, and faced the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

OK, as usual I've taken a long time to approach my point, but we're finally there.

Is 2-4 weeks enough to teach a bunch of wild scots enough to become drilled troops? Keep in mind that a level of discipline which was possible with a bunch of terrified and thoroughly intimidated American teenagers of the late 20th century might not be possible for French drillmasters to impose on adult and very independent-minded Scots of the early 16th.

Thanks for your patience. I know I'm long-winded :)

****edit****
I would also point out that the DI's at Devil Pups created in 10 days at least two platoons capable of basic maneuvers only by breaking nearly 1/3 of the candidates. Under most circumstances this would be thought an unacceptable washout rate.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:45 pm

Drilled does not mean Guards at the trooping of the colour capability. Having done about 1/2 day pike work way back when I did some ECW re-enactment I'd say 2-4 weeks would be plenty sufficient to get to the bottom end of the drilled classification - the one wrinkle would be wheeling but then again that is usually too easy in wargames rules for long lines of men.
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Post by marshalney2000 » Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:10 pm

Re drilling I think the comment re wild Scots is a little misplaced here as the French were not on the whole training troops who indulged in a wild highland charge. The vast bulk of the Scot's army were the lowland troops who were expected to be profficient with their weapons and appear at "wappinshaws" ( show of arms) They were town militias, noble retinues etc. They were already profficient in the use of the long spear and short pike in a solid formation but the training was designed to introduce Swiss style tactics and the longer pike. This wa spart of the strategy of James the Fourth who was attempting to move the Scot's army to a new level of professionalism and his admiration of what the swiss were achieving in europe was the model he wanted to follow. This new professionalism was also reflected in other arms particularly artillery where the Scots brought with them an artillery train which in both calibre size and quantity of guns was probably as good as any other european army. Unfortunately when Howard moved round the Scot's army to threaten their supply line with Scotland, the Scots did not have time to redeploy the guns which were dug in and emplaced in the original position of the army. Ther eis an excellent episode of "Two me in a trench" whre they actually identified the position of the Scottish guns.
A significant debate still exists as to whether or not the highlanders and borderers fought as pikemen or in their traditional style.
Another related point worthy of debate was whether the Scot's army at Bannockburn should be classed as drilled. In the period before the the English army arrived Bruce continuously trained the previously rather static schiltrons to manouvre and indeed manouvre quickly in order to fit in with his battle plan. This training was evidenced in the day before the main battle when the english cavalry attempted to relieve the seige of Stirling Castle but were intercepted by the schiltrons of Douglas and Moray which came storming in formation out of the Tor wood and intercepted them. Contemperary English accounts reflected their surprise at the manouverability of the spearmen and the speed that they moved. On the day of the main battle they moved over boggy ground but maintained formation to push the English chivalry back. Intersting to see how that would play out in FOG with HA knights against protected spears (disordered?).
John

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Post by CrazyHarborc » Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:46 pm

IMHO, comparing modern troops to ancient up to oh ECW is not a good one. Drilled way back "then" and now....not even close to today's neccassary level of training. IMHO, "drilled troops " of yore could have been trained in 2-4 weeks. Hey....12 hours a day 7 days a week. They were drilled for then, drilled as compared to undrilled for then.

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More Flodden

Post by Switzer » Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:50 pm

Thanks for all the ideas guys but i think undrilled sounds about right.
In order to simulate the lack of input from james (fighting in the front
rank) i wont give the scots a commander or maybe james can only stay
with his pike block.
The english only get one troop cmd - not a lot of tactics except it seems
from stanley.
The english i would think also undrilled.
The scottish left i would have as pike - the alternative is half MF IMPACT and
half pike - cant seee it really
I have read Niall barrs book on this one and he see it as a classic swiss echelon
attack with assorted highlanders etc.... left out as a last ditch reserve.
So jocks - undrilled protected HF pike - gotta be said - the longbow is recorded as
being ineffective in this one so i might stick with front rank armoured - once it dies
all protected.
English - undrilled protected MF heavy weapon.
Prickers - Either LH Light spear skirmisher protected
or if dismounted - MF light spear protected

One more thing -
The longbow = I was maybe going to use them during the impact phase to shoot
then but cant i also shoot during the melee at the 3rd and 4th ranks - at least that
what it implies in the rules.
Also another alternative is to allow the LB to flow to the flank (in 2 ranks) and fight frontally as
swordsman unprotected MF or as an overlap - as apparently they did in the wars of
the roses - or does that sound a bit too radical.


whaddya think ?

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Post by nikgaukroger » Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:29 am

A lack of commanders will make the game quite scary as once a BG loses any cohesion it cannot get it back :shock: One lucky shot by the English on a Scots pike BG at it has had it realistically before it ever gets to close combat. I'd consider a couple a side.

Having a front ranks of he Scots as armoured will make no difference at all as Longbow shoot at them with exactly the same PoA as if they were Protected.
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Post by MarkSieber » Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:16 pm

Undrilled Pike is something of an oxymoron, without drill no such formation would be possible. There's no particular advantage to drilled vs undrilled with this troop type, as the depth of the formation and the need to stay contiguous with other pike BG's diminishes the likelihood of zooming around like swordsmen. (You could do it, but would break up the line.)

Even if undrilled, they are unlikely to require a commander for the final approach, since they need to advance straight into combat in support of each other for best effect.

Being shock troops and bound to charge--or test not to--they retain the 'wild' characteristic in that regard.

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Post by marshalney2000 » Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:31 pm

I think the above debate persuades me that if we extend FOG into this period we have a bit of thinking to do about classifications and grading. I think to call the Scots and indeed the englishas undrilled is very wrong and it is recorded that the English archery did little damage to the Scots so maybe the armour class plus pavise needs to reflect this.
Re command there is no question that the scot's command fought in the front rank but there was more to it than James as each schiltron had its own commanders attached and not just the King's schiltron which was basically the reserve for a short period.
As an aside i always find it quite amusing that Scot's army lists for the 15th and early 16th century seem to consist of the Flodden army and then leap immediately to the English Civil war or at best the pre civil war tussle between the Scots and Charles the First. This totally ignores the Rough wooing, Pinkie and Solway Moss. it is almost like the Scot's army went in to a time capsule for 130 years and then woke up to find the arquebus and musket had been invented. There is never a Scot's list that gives them firearms until 1639. Just lack of knowledge of those involved especially in dbr.
John

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Pinkie

Post by Switzer » Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:18 am

As far as i can see the scots were pretty similiar at pinkie.
Except the front rank didnt have much armour
Also a unit of archers - but there is a lot to be said for the
highlanders at flodden being archers.
The problem is the english army i think.
They seem to have had mobile light and medium artillery.
Mounted arquebusier.
That might require some looking into.
Ought to work though.
Pinkie - probably the combined arms - artillery cavalry
and bow - designed battle fought in the british isles.
Again no one mentions skirmishers on either side -
either they werent there or no one could be bothered
mentioning them.

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