Medieval Welsh 1405AD

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Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by stockwellpete » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:44 pm

Hello. I play the PC game, not TT. A couple of queries about the Medieval Welsh list in SOA . . .

i) why don't the mounted knights have lances as well as swords?

ii) would it be possible to include some mounted archers in the list? Maybe LH? At Myndd Hyddgen at the start of Glendower's Revolt it is thought that the Welsh fought mainly on horseback.

Thanks.

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by philqw78 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:13 pm

stockwellpete wrote:why don't the mounted knights have lances as well as swords?
They probably carried them but the list writers thought they weren't as effective as others around at the time at using them, so like Mongols, Mamluks and some of the English mounted they are not given a POA for them.
would it be possible to include some mounted archers in the list? Maybe LH? At Myndd Hyddgen at the start of Glendower's Revolt it is thought that the Welsh fought mainly on horseback.
If the authors are aware they thought that, again, they didn't do anything with their bows whilst mounted to warrant getting the ability.
Lots of troops throughout the lists have weapons in historical records that they do not get an advantage for in the game as they weren't considered there effective battlefield weapon/MO. Persian Immortals had sidearms but do not get any combat POA for them. Lots of English longbowmen carried heavy weapons (two handed swords and large axes) but are only given swordsman capability, many Swiss 'Pikemen' carried halbards but are classed as pike, Sarmation cavalry practically all carried bows but they get no missile capability.
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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by stockwellpete » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:41 am

Thanks for your reply, Phil.

On the mounted horse archers there is this, or something similar, in many accounts of Glendower's first victory in his revolt. So it would add to the variety of the list to add a new entry for horse (or pony) archers, who maybe could dismount before a battle if required.

“It is thought that Owain's force would have been made up mostly of archers mounted on hill ponies that would have been well suited for travelling across boggy or mountainous regions.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mynydd_Hyddgen

On the knights, I can only assume that the two knight units that you can choose in the PC game are meant to represent English defectors, such as Edmund Mortimer, who was captured and then changed sides. Whether there were that many knightly defectors who actually fought with the Welsh in Wales to warrant two units is unclear to me, but certainly somebody of the social standing of Mortimer would have been accomplished with the lance.

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by grahambriggs » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:25 am

Archers travelling on ponies while marching are understandable. But is there any evidence of them shooting a longbow from the back of a pony? I very much doubt it.

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by stockwellpete » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:37 am

grahambriggs wrote:Archers travelling on ponies while marching are understandable. But is there any evidence of them shooting a longbow from the back of a pony? I very much doubt it.
All the accounts about the battles in the Welsh revolt are quite vague, sometimes there is just a place name, not even an agreed date. I don't know the answer to your question, maybe they couldn't really do that or maybe they carried shortbows instead? Or maybe they were moving about the battlefield on ponies, jumping off, firing, and jumping back on again. Possible, I suppose in very rough terrain against a very inexperienced English and colonist force.

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by stockwellpete » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:00 am

Found this now about the 12thC, which is interesting . . .

"In Ireland, in Henry II.'s time, Strongbow made great use of Welsh bowmen, whom he mounted for purposes of guerrilla warfare, and eventually the prowess of Welsh archers taught Edward I. the value of the hitherto discredited arm."

http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Archery

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by ShrubMiK » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:50 pm

Yes. But you really need to justify not that they had ponies, but why they should be treated any differently from the large numbers of English longbowmen who were mounted for strategic mobility, but dismounted for battle.

And on the knights front...one man wouldn't make up for the other several hundred in the BG not being accomplished with lance, so you need to change the focus of your argument a bit if you want to get anywhere ;) Historical accounts of Welsh knights charging home effectively in large set-piece battles would be a good start.
And arguing that the Welsh knights should be as effective as the English ones doesn't help much...check the Enlgish HYW and WOR lists and note that a large proporition of the English men-at-arms must fight dismounted, and of those that fight mounted are mostly rated as sword only.

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by stockwellpete » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:06 pm

ShrubMiK wrote:Yes. But you really need to justify not that they had ponies, but why they should be treated any differently from the large numbers of English longbowmen who were mounted for strategic mobility, but dismounted for battle.
But if you read something about what happened at Myndd Hyddgen then it may be the case that they fought as mounted archers for all, or part of, that engagement. Apparently they were taken by surprise in their camp at dawn and then they fought their way out of the encirclement. Presumably their hill ponies were part of that camp and presumably they rode them to escape the trap. I think it might be a mistake to see Myndd Hyddgen as a conventional battle - it may well have been a highly unusual encounter. I don't know the answer - but it is an interesting question.
And on the knights front...one man wouldn't make up for the other several hundred in the BG not being accomplished with lance, so you need to change the focus of your argument a bit if you want to get anywhere ;) Historical accounts of Welsh knights charging home effectively in large set-piece battles would be a good start. And arguing that the Welsh knights should be as effective as the English ones doesn't help much...check the Enlgish HYW and WOR lists and note that a large proporition of the English men-at-arms must fight dismounted, and of those that fight mounted are mostly rated as sword only.
But are these knights in the list actually Welsh? I am wondering if they are meant to represent defecting English knights who joined the Welsh revolt, like Sir Edmund Mortimer (after he was captured). Presumably the various Follower cavalry units represent the indigenous Welsh nobility in the list? If these 2 units (in the PC list) are meant to be English then it probably one unit too many as there were not wholesale desertions to Glyndwr, but I think English knights would generally be competent with a lance at this time - it was part of their basic training, wasn't it?

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by ShrubMiK » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:31 pm

The wikipedia page doesn't say anything about archery whilst mounted. It talks about the Welsh being advanted by marshy ground, which doesn't sound particualrly like a mounted battle. The numbers it talks about make it a skirmish in my eyes rather than a full battle that would be represented by a game of FoG. Do you have another source?

And I'm accepting your suggestion that they Welsh kights might have been English defectors (or at least, loacal landowners who decided to throw in their lot with the rebellion - national identity was a bit more fluid in those days...look at people like Robert Bruce a hundred or so years before and a few hundred mules further north, for example). But that's my point - see if you can spot any Lancer capability in the English HYW list that (I assume) would be providing the opponents of Owain. The English HYW (Continental( list gets some, but those are the Gascon knights, the English ones are sword only. And in any case that is for use only on the continent. In Britain, the only Lancer capability ithey get is northern light horse/cavalry. So why would they suddenly discover lancer abilities because they have changed allegiance?

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by stockwellpete » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:58 pm

ShrubMiK wrote:The wikipedia page doesn't say anything about archery whilst mounted. It talks about the Welsh being advanted by marshy ground, which doesn't sound particualrly like a mounted battle. The numbers it talks about make it a skirmish in my eyes rather than a full battle that would be represented by a game of FoG. Do you have another source?
Well, it is not stated explicitly in the Wikipedia article - rather it is implied. This link is to the Glyndwr Society's account of the battle and again it is highly suggestive that the Welsh were mounted for at least part of the engagement . . .

http://www.owain-glyndwr-soc.org.uk/Bat ... ddgen.html
And I'm accepting your suggestion that they Welsh kights might have been English defectors (or at least, loacal landowners who decided to throw in their lot with the rebellion - national identity was a bit more fluid in those days...look at people like Robert Bruce a hundred or so years before and a few hundred mules further north, for example). But that's my point - see if you can spot any Lancer capability in the English HYW list that (I assume) would be providing the opponents of Owain. The English HYW (Continental( list gets some, but those are the Gascon knights, the English ones are sword only. And in any case that is for use only on the continent. In Britain, the only Lancer capability ithey get is northern light horse/cavalry. So why would they suddenly discover lancer abilities because they have changed allegiance?
My point here would be that although the English knights tended to fight on foot (in defensive positions with longbowmen during the 100YW), they were still very competent with the lance (training, jousting etc) and if the army list in question allows for a few mounted knight units then they should definitely have that lance capability. When Richard III and his knights charged down the hill to their doom at Bosworth it is my understanding that they were carrying lances, not just swords and maces - and they very nearly managed to break through and kill Henry Tudor during that charge.

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by grahambriggs » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:56 am

stockwellpete wrote:
ShrubMiK wrote:The wikipedia page doesn't say anything about archery whilst mounted. It talks about the Welsh being advanted by marshy ground, which doesn't sound particualrly like a mounted battle. The numbers it talks about make it a skirmish in my eyes rather than a full battle that would be represented by a game of FoG. Do you have another source?
Well, it is not stated explicitly in the Wikipedia article - rather it is implied. This link is to the Glyndwr Society's account of the battle and again it is highly suggestive that the Welsh were mounted for at least part of the engagement . . .

http://www.owain-glyndwr-soc.org.uk/Bat ... ddgen.html
That article says nothing about the Welsh being mounted archers in battle. It quotes a poetry secondary source which in effect says the "battle" was on a mountain but makes no reference to horse archery. The terrain sounds most unsuited to horse archery. There were perhaps 1,500 a side so smaller than FoG attempts to represent. the author seems to just assume the welsh had hill ponies, perhaps they did, perhaps they didn't. There seems no evidence here of mounted archery in battle.

In order to give the Welsh an optional BG of lance armed knights you'd want evidence that they were used in groups of 1000 or more and that their primary mode of warfare was a charge with the lance. Some Welsh and English gentlemen being in the army would be expected, but that doesn't equate to units of charging lancers.

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by ShrubMiK » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:06 pm

Stockwellpete, if you want to argue that English knights when fighting mounted deserve "Lancer" capability, you should start by doing so for the English lists. If the English lists are changed (don't hold your breath ;)) you then have a leg to stand on in arguing that maybe some of the Welsh knights were in fact English in origin, and therefore should be graded similarly to the English knights in English lists.

You don't seem prepared to accept the very fundamental point of FoG classifications that just because troops carried a particular weapon, and therefore almost inevitably must have had "some basic training" in its use, they are not automatically entitled to get that capability in game. But whether you (or I, or anybody else) like it or not, that's how the rules and lists work. Another way of looking at it is that "Lancer" capability should actually be taken to mean "More than just-about-competent Lancer".

I don't think the wikipedia article does "imply" anything about mounted archery. It would be more accurate to say that from it you are "inferring" mounted archery. I don't draw the same inference from it.

Update: your Bosworth point is interesting now I come to think about it. You are now in a later list though, IIRC English WotR list allows 2 bases of "Royal Knights" with Lancer capability. So the list authors can be assumed to agree with you on that...but sadly at a later point in time and thus not very helpful for Owain and co!

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by stockwellpete » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:35 am

grahambriggs wrote:That article says nothing about the Welsh being mounted archers in battle. It quotes a poetry secondary source which in effect says the "battle" was on a mountain but makes no reference to horse archery. The terrain sounds most unsuited to horse archery. There were perhaps 1,500 a side so smaller than FoG attempts to represent. the author seems to just assume the welsh had hill ponies, perhaps they did, perhaps they didn't. There seems no evidence here of mounted archery in battle.
The Welsh were raiding so they would have had hill ponies with them. When they were taken by surprise in their camp, did they abandon their ponies then? Possible, I suppose - but the very limited sources suggest that they escaped the trap and then shot up the English (who also had some cavalry) for good measure. I am just trying to imagine what happened - that is a big part of the enjoyment of this hobby for me. :wink:
In order to give the Welsh an optional BG of lance armed knights you'd want evidence that they were used in groups of 1000 or more and that their primary mode of warfare was a charge with the lance. Some Welsh and English gentlemen being in the army would be expected, but that doesn't equate to units of charging lancers.
Why would you though? Groups of 1,000, I mean. The Welsh, Irish and Scots mounted all have lances in the lists, so do the currours and "northern horse", but did they fight in groups of 1,000? I think not. So why don't the mounted English knights have lances. Seems a bit odd to me. The primary mode of warfare for mounted English knights would have been the lance (maces and swords as secondary weapons) - it just so happens that most English knights fought on foot alongside the longbowmen at that time. When I make my scenarios for the PC game I always give the few mounted knights units I include lance capability.

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by stockwellpete » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:43 am

ShrubMiK wrote:Stockwellpete, if you want to argue that English knights when fighting mounted deserve "Lancer" capability, you should start by doing so for the English lists. If the English lists are changed (don't hold your breath ;)) you then have a leg to stand on in arguing that maybe some of the Welsh knights were in fact English in origin, and therefore should be graded similarly to the English knights in English lists.
Yes, I agree - and I would argue that for those limited number of English knights who fought in the saddle in this period.
You don't seem prepared to accept the very fundamental point of FoG classifications that just because troops carried a particular weapon, and therefore almost inevitably must have had "some basic training" in its use, they are not automatically entitled to get that capability in game. But whether you (or I, or anybody else) like it or not, that's how the rules and lists work. Another way of looking at it is that "Lancer" capability should actually be taken to mean "More than just-about-competent Lancer".
Not at all - just think mounted English knights should be classified like French mounted knights, with the option to dismount at the start of the game.
I don't think the wikipedia article does "imply" anything about mounted archery. It would be more accurate to say that from it you are "inferring" mounted archery. I don't draw the same inference from it.
Ok, we are interpreting it in different ways, that's fine. :wink: Did you read the Glyndwr link?
Update: your Bosworth point is interesting now I come to think about it. You are now in a later list though, IIRC English WotR list allows 2 bases of "Royal Knights" with Lancer capability. So the list authors can be assumed to agree with you on that...but sadly at a later point in time and thus not very helpful for Owain and co!
Yes. That charge at Bosworth was quite an extraordinary event, set in the context of what had gone before in the Wars of the Roses - and there was the lance, right in the centre of the stage. :wink:

Scroll down to second picture . . .
http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/Documents/ ... sworth.htm

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by ShrubMiK » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:11 am

So how would you model that English knights were widely perceived to be inferior to the French? And the belief that that is why they chose to dismount when facing them? Or would you make them exactly equivalent, but in smaller numbers? That's a defensible position, as long as there is evidence that English knights of that period could do the shock thing effectively.

>extraordinary event

I agree. And yet you seem to be arguing that it should become routine on the table, many years earlier?

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by stockwellpete » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:04 am

ShrubMiK wrote:So how would you model that English knights were widely perceived to be inferior to the French? And the belief that that is why they chose to dismount when facing them? Or would you make them exactly equivalent, but in smaller numbers? That's a defensible position, as long as there is evidence that English knights of that period could do the shock thing effectively.
Well, in France, they fought on foot early all of the time so the problem of modelling them in that context doesn't occur really. I should perhaps say that I make a lot of scenarios for the PC game so I do use the scenario editor to modify certain troops and step outside the normal FOG parameters for them. Hypothetically, you could model it so there were fewer English knights as you say, or you could make them "average" and the French "superior".
>extraordinary event

I agree. And yet you seem to be arguing that it should become routine on the table, many years earlier?
I can only say again that English knights would have been competent with the lance because of their basic training (hoop and quintain) and then they would have gained more experience through jousting. And I believe that these skills would have been retained even though English knights fought mainly on foot during the 100YW (1337-1453) and WotR (1455-1487). I would say that the fact that Richard III charged down the hill with a lance at Bosworth is something that supports what I am saying. So when the FOG lists allow for mounted English knights then I would be more comfortable if they were allowed lance capability. This is what I do in my scenarios anyway.

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by philqw78 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:55 pm

stockwellpete wrote:So when the FOG lists allow for mounted English knights then I would be more comfortable if they were allowed lance capability. This is what I do in my scenarios anyway.
But the list writers do not agree. And they have studied this far more than me, most of the Wikipedia authors and probably you, unless you can quote some evidence.
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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by stockwellpete » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:32 pm

philqw78 wrote:But the list writers do not agree. And they have studied this far more than me, most of the Wikipedia authors and probably you, unless you can quote some evidence.
The list writers do not agree that English knights were competent with the lance in the 15thC? I don't believe you. Quintains, hoops, jousts? Ring any bells? :?

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by grahambriggs » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:49 am

stockwellpete wrote:
philqw78 wrote:But the list writers do not agree. And they have studied this far more than me, most of the Wikipedia authors and probably you, unless you can quote some evidence.
The list writers do not agree that English knights were competent with the lance in the 15thC? I don't believe you. Quintains, hoops, jousts? Ring any bells? :?
Well Pete, since you do PC game scenarios I guess you can follow your own muse. I believe the rules writers went down the line of troops that frequently dismounted to fight and almost always did in France need a reason in the lists to do so.

Jousting was certainly very popular in England; though it wasn't all the tilt of a lance - many of the weapons used would have been on foot.

I think the issue here might be the "top down" nature of the games design. c15th English knights are very often fighting on foot and did not have as good a reputation as, say, contemporary French knights. So the rules and lists are designed to encourage it. Ways to do that include making them only available as dismounted troops or making them only swordsmen with an option to dismount. Yes, they had lances, and no doubt had skill with them but the rules are trying to reflect how the army fought most of the time.

In terms of the mounted charge at Bosworth, it's a rartiy in the WOTR. It also failed.

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Re: Medieval Welsh 1405AD

Post by tadamson » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:42 am

grahambriggs wrote:
stockwellpete wrote:
philqw78 wrote:But the list writers do not agree. And they have studied this far more than me, most of the Wikipedia authors and probably you, unless you can quote some evidence.
The list writers do not agree that English knights were competent with the lance in the 15thC? I don't believe you. Quintains, hoops, jousts? Ring any bells? :?
Well Pete, since you do PC game scenarios I guess you can follow your own muse. I believe the rules writers went down the line of troops that frequently dismounted to fight and almost always did in France need a reason in the lists to do so.

Jousting was certainly very popular in England; though it wasn't all the tilt of a lance - many of the weapons used would have been on foot.

I think the issue here might be the "top down" nature of the games design. c15th English knights are very often fighting on foot and did not have as good a reputation as, say, contemporary French knights. So the rules and lists are designed to encourage it. Ways to do that include making them only available as dismounted troops or making them only swordsmen with an option to dismount. Yes, they had lances, and no doubt had skill with them but the rules are trying to reflect how the army fought most of the time.

In terms of the mounted charge at Bosworth, it's a rartiy in the WOTR. It also failed.
Presumably this was done to force dismounting (same as DBM made them 'inferior'). That said, such real evidence as there is shows 'English' men-at-arms to be just as good as 'French' men-at-arms when fighting mounted (eg they won in most of the mounted combats!), it also shows most 'French' men-at-arms fighting dismounted.

As for mounted archers, they were common by 1405 and had been in use in Wales for the previous 150 years or so. There are also a fair number of contemporary illustrations of them shooting while mounted as well.

By 1405 'English' and 'Welsh' armies were pretty much the same.

Tom..

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