|The table set up - The walls of Montdidier are in the background with Thomas Palmer and the "skout watche of thenglishe army" in the centre of the table. In the foreground is the Lord of Pont-Remy and the French relief force.
|Captain Thomas Palmer and the scout watch hear the French relief force heading towards Montdidier in the night.
"entendyn to bryng gunnepouder and other necessaries to the toune of Moutdedier"
|In the darkness the English mounted archers from the scout watch dismount, listening for any movement.
|Sensing danger in the dark Captain Thomas Palmer charges ahead and drives off a force of French mounted archers...
|...only to then be caught himself by a force of Gendarmes under the Lord of Pont-Remy's brother. Palmer is slain.
|Pont-Remy's brother is then attacked by a force of border horse who have heard the disturbance from the English camp and ridden to the aid of the scout watch.
|More demi-lancers arrive from the English camp and Pont-Remy's brother is killed in the cavalry battle.
|A view down the field as more English and Imperial units arrive and attempt to stop the French from reaching the walls of Montdidier.
Hearing sounds in the darkness Captain Thomas Palmer and his men rode to investigate. The mounted archers flanked their captain, holding slightly back, whilst Palmer and his demi-lancers advanced into the night. Discovering a unit of mounted French archers Palmer charged his demi-lancers into them, driving them back, only for Palmer himself to be charged by one of the de Crequy family leading a force of gendarmes. His scouts had unwittingly advanced into an oncoming French relief force and the unfortunate Palmer was slain.
The noise caused by the fighting roused the English encamped before Montdidier. English and landsknecht troops headed towards the shouts and cries in the dark. Flushed with success the Lord of Pont-Remy's brother led his men onwards towards the walls where he was caught off guard by some border horse and another unit of demi-lancers arriving to support the scout watch. Pont-Remy's brother was unhorsed and killed by the English.
|The main part of the French relief force under the Lord of Pont-Remy, a member of the de Crequy family, are yet to engage...
|...but a fight develops in the dark as the English and Imperialists block the path of the oncoming relief column.
|A force of Stradiots has joined the French as reinforcements. They combine with the French heavy cavalry to drive off some of the Count of Buren's landsknecht.
|Pont-Remy has "staves broken upon hym" as he clashes with English knights but he manages to push through them...
More English and Imperialist units arrived in front of the French relief force and a melee began with landsknecht pike and shot attempting to force the attackers back. The French routed the landsknecht whilst Pont-Remy himself took on a group of English knights who had ridden into the fray. His gendarmes pushed through them allowing his less heavily armed men at arms and lancers to reach the town ditch. Here the French dropped off gunpowder and other supplies for Montdidier's garrison before disappearing into the night, their mission accomplished.
|...some of the relief force reach the ditch of Montdidier and are able to drop off the "gunnepouder and other necessaries" they were carrying to supply Montdidier's garrison.
|The Lord of Pont-Remy is not safe yet...
|..he is pursued by some of the English archers who capture him before he can escape.
|Seeing a small force of English horse riding along the walls troops from the garrison of Saint-Quentin leave the safety of the town to attack the Englishmen.
|The small English cavalry force riding "along the wall of the city and past the bailies of the gate in order to entice them out to the field" .
|English border horse skirmish with French men at arms.
|English mounted archers prepare to dismount to support the border horse and mounted knights.
|The English border horse are defeated by much heavier armoured French gendarmes.
Spotting a small band of English cavalry riding along their walls, calling for them to come out and fight, the garrison of Saint-Quentin armed themselves and opened their gates. They issued out of the town and immediately began skirmishing with the English, pushing back their border horse and charging into the demi-lancers. The small English force was shocked by the fury of the garrison's attack and attempted to escape by riding back along the walls.
As the garrison's cavalry gave chase the English waiting in ambush saw their chance and emerged from hiding to cut off the French. The Burgundian heavy horse also lying in wait were more cautious and remained stationary. They would see how things went for their English allies before committing to the attack.
|Demi-lancers and men at arms clash outside the walls of Saint-Quentin.
|The mounted archers shoot into the French cavalry from the cover of a hedgerow.
|The English knights who had ridden along the walls "in order to begin the play" are driven back by the garrison's heavy cavalry...
|...and defeated outside the walls of Saint-Quentin.
|Seeing the garrison distracted the English spring the ambush with demi-lancers and border horse charging the gate.
|The French infantry withdraw back inside the town but the garrison's horse are all still outside the gate...
|...seeing this the demi-lancers and border horse race to the gate to prevent a French retreat to safety.
|A view of the table as the ambush is sprung.
|The Burgundians are yet to act - they want to see how the English do before committing to the fight.
|The garrison captain looks on in dismay as much of his cavalry are caught outside the walls.
|A force of mounted crossbowmen are defeated as they try to get back through the town gate.
|Sensing that the heaviest fighting is over the Burgundian heavy horse commit to the ambush and emerge from behind the trees.
|The gate is blocked by English demi-lancers.
|A series of cavalry clashes take place outside the gate.
As the English ambushers bore down on them the pike armed infantry who had emerged from Saint-Quentin marched back inside seeking the safety of the town's walls. The town's cavalry were much further from the gate and could not get back inside the walls in time. Yes they had scattered the English horsemen who had initially taunted them, as they jeered and rode along the walls, but it was now the garrison's turn to panic.
The ambushing English demi-lancers and border horse reached the gate before the returning French cavalry. Seeing this the Burgundian heavy cavalry also sprung into action and charged into the panicked French horsemen. In a series of chaotic cavalry melee's Saint-Quentin's cavalry suffered a heavy defeat. The English had lost some of their cavalry but the ambush had worked and the town's garrison was dealt a severe blow.
|The panicked French cavalry are trapped outside the walls and outnumbered.
|Even the Burgundian heavy cavalry have joined the fray.
|The Burgundians ride down the remaining French forces.
These were two fast paced and action packed games with the cavalry style skirmishes being very different from the infantry battles and assaults that we have played recently. The night rules in the first game really changed the nature of that clash as well. It was a spectacular sight to see Stuart's French and English back in action on the table top and we did have a classic wargaming moment when his newly painted landsknecht completely routed after their first round of combat in our Montdidier game. The curse of new units still lives on!
As is always the case these games have given us lots of inspiration for future games and I think we will revisit this 1523 campaign for our next clash, focusing on what happened to Bourbon's ill fated landsknecht army that was meant to be linking up with Suffolk in 1523.