So, the set-up was both sides arrayed roughly equal distance from the earthwork, with some of the Spanish men at arms in a more forward position relative to the rest of the Spanish forces. The French moved first. Play would continue until both sides have suffered cumulative combined losses of 18 units – artillery pieces do not count towards this total. When the casualty mark is hit, the current side in play may complete its turn. Points would then be awarded as follows:
(Above: the initial set-up, perhaps after the conclusion of the first French moves. The French are on the right and the Spanish on the left. Both sides' light cavalry are closest. The Spanish men-at-arms who started in a forward position can be seen at the very top center.)
1. For each of the three sections of the earthworks, the side with more units on the “platform” will score 3 points (a unit counts as on the platform if half its figures are on the platform). Artillery pieces do not count.
2. On each flank, draw an imaginary line continuing out from the front of the platform to the edge of the table, and another line running back from the edge of the platform to the “rear” table edge. The side with more units in this zone will score 3 points (see below).\
3. The side which destroyed/routed the most units scores 3 bonus points.
4. Each side receives one bonus point for each enemy leader destroyed or routed or slain in a duel.
The earthwork counted as slowing movement to half-speed, but not as rough ground (and thus affecting shooting or melee). Units could not target units on the opposite side of the earthwork terrain piece unless the shooting unit was on the piece. Units on the earthwork's platform gained a +1 stamina bonus if being attacked from the "French" side of the earthwork.
(Above: another move or two into the game. The Spanish are manning their defensive works, and the French are beginning their assaults on the same.)
There were several custom Lion Rampant rules (or perhaps "streamlined" rules is a better way of putting it) in play:
1. Pikes were always considered to be in close order, unless they fell below half casualties or were disordered.
2. Landskneckt and Spanish infantry units (of any type – pikes, bucklermen, arquebusiers) had the "Tough" rule - When this unit fails a Morale/Courage test, the player must reroll one or both of the dice. The new results stands, even if it is of worse result than the initial roll. This rule is intended keep units on the table longer – and it works!
3. When any Landsknecht units fight another Landsknecht unit, "Bad War" ensues, and both sides will reroll all missed melee to-hit rolls.
4. Skirmishing cavalry (ginettes and stradiots) could move a full move instead of a half move when skirmishing, and neither suffered a -1 to hit on that ranged attack (both had javelins at 6" range). Both could evade but without a skirmish action, with that evasion being at the full move distance and not half.
5. Spanish Pike is classed as "Terrible" and can reroll missed Attack To Hit dice once. French Gendarmes are also Terrible but not Spanish men-at-arms.
6. All 'Wild Charge' rules were removed.
7. If a unit failed its activation roll, and its leader was within 12", it could reroll that activation. Can only be used once per turn.
In history, the French were able to take the Spanish flanks, and then dogpile on the fierce Spanish infantry in the center to eventually win the day. In my game, the Spanish left (the men-at-arms) lingered around, bloodying the French Gendarmes to the point where they were reluctant to make a final assault on the flank. On the Spanish right, the Ginette light cavalry, having dispatched the stradiots, was not faring well against the French mounted crossbows and bowmen. At that moment, the Ginette commander decided to challenge the French mounted crossbow leader to duel, which the Spaniard won 2 hits to 1. In the following courage checks many of the French units fell back, and out of the flank zone!
(Above: a big beautiful hot mess of infantry combat! I hink the unit of French landsknechts have just successfully pushed back some Spanish defenders in the center...)
Meanwhile, the battle on the earthwork was a hot mess of miniature melees, with Spanish forces being pushed off the terrain piece, then counterattacking and pushing the French back out. At one point the French player controlling a small reserve of Gendarmes under the French commander Gaston de Foix himself, charged and poured up and over the earthwork itself! They in turn were repulsed by Spanish infantry. The French, however, were getting the better of the Spanish, and when the 18-units-lost mark was hit, the French easily scored the +3 bonus points for destroying/routing more units.
I then tallied the scores, doubled-checked them, and read them out loud. The French scored points for most casualties caused (3 points), barely winning the light-cavalry side zone (3 points), and four Spanish leaders slain/routed (4 points), for a total of 10 victory points. The Spanish scored 3 points apiece for the opposite flank zone and two earthwork zones (9 points) and two points for slain/routed French leaders (2 points), for a total of 11 points! It was pretty easy to realize that the duel won by the Spanish was a critical bonus point! Additionally, the game could have easily gone to the French, either by securing one more zone or by simply winning the duel they lost!
As an observer and non-player I thought this game was pretty exciting to watch. I would run it again except that it doesn't fit on my home table and I'm reluctant to haul all the miniatures elsewhere to play it!
I did not take many photos, but here are some that other people took...
(Photo by Dean Motoyama)
(Photo by Kevin Smyth)