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"To feudal or not to feudal" Topic


De Bellis Multitudinis

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maverick290916 Aug 2015 6:49 p.m. PST

Hello everyone! So I just accquired a medieval army. I will be rebasing it and I am going to make it into an English army. I really like this time period and especially Richard I and the 100 years war, however, the problem comes when I go to build a DBM list. There are two lists, Feudal English (which would be Richard I) and a 100 Years War list. The tough choice will be for one list I have to base them 3 archers per stand while the other list would require them to be 4 archers per stand. I'm not sure which to go with and was wondering what you all felt was the most fun and would play the best. I am leaning toward the Feudal English list right now as I'll get more bow stands and mounted bow (s) seem highly over costed. What are your alls opinions? Thanks and happy war gaming!

Stanton

Moe Ronn16 Aug 2015 7:05 p.m. PST

It doesn't matter in DBM. Only the base size matters and both 3LB and 4LB go on the same size base.

Now 3 figs means irregular and 4 means regular, and that is only important if you can have both in the same army list.

If that is the case, you can designate that by how you paint the 3 figure elements, regular elements could have all the same uniform surcoats and irregular elements a mix of patterns.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2015 7:23 p.m. PST

maverick2909, Not to sound like one of "those" gamers, but Richard died in 1197, the Hundred Years War started around 1337. Completely different types of armies, no archers in Richard's army, mainly crossbows, except for Welsh.

Great War Ace16 Aug 2015 7:33 p.m. PST

Why not base individually and use movement trays to create elements? That way you can also skirmish game with the same figures.

Richard's England had plenty of archers. Crossbows at the time were preferred. But throughout the next hundred years, bows gained in popularity and effectiveness. From Richard to the start of the HYW forms possibly the most static part of the middle ages for armor development. "The Age of Mail" only begins to end with the advent of masses of longbow in the first battles of the HYW. So there isn't as much difference between Richard I and Edward III as you make out. The armies are more similar than they are "completely different types"….

maverick290916 Aug 2015 9:22 p.m. PST

Yeah I know Richard I didn't have much in the way of archers, but it's what I got to work with and the list in the DBM book lets you take up to 56 stands of irregulars. That's what it comes down to is I can base them as irregulars at 3 models per stand or regulars at 4 models per stand.

I like the idea of 3 models per stand but make them look orderly, that is doable and would give me the flexibility I need. How well does the HYW list fair in game? I feel like you're paying a lot for the regular bow (s) and not getting that much more out of them. Thanks for the great responses!

janner16 Aug 2015 9:59 p.m. PST

The armies are more similar than they are "completely different types"….

I'd also favour a degree of continuity and I'm assuming that this is a smaller scale army given the choice of rules (15mm?). So the foot wouldn't look so different. At that scale, helmets would be the major difference for elite horse, commanders etc.
On archers, both Richard and his father recruited significant numbers of Welshmen and Marchmen. Got to love Pipe Rolls wink

Pedrobear16 Aug 2015 11:13 p.m. PST

Can you deploy the Bw as two ranks?

If so you can base them 3-4 on a double depth base and call it whatever you like. :)

JPKelly17 Aug 2015 10:08 a.m. PST

Basing individually & using movement trays sounds like it won't work for DBX. I have never seen anyone try that. DBx is the most base precise game there is leaving no wiggle room for anything but proper base sizes. People expect you to have things based to DBx standards if you want to play tournaments.

JPK

David Taylor17 Aug 2015 10:41 a.m. PST

I use 3 longbowmen on a base for my 15mm 100YW English army. It looks right and means you get more elements for the same number of figures.

So base them as 3 to a base and then try playing both armies to see which you prefer.

John GrahamLeigh Supporting Member of TMP17 Aug 2015 3:58 p.m. PST

Good to see some DBM discussion!

Richard I's and Edward III's armies would look very different – not so much the archers, though the later ones might have livery and red cross badges while the earlier ones wouldn't, but the knights/men-at-arms. Richard's would fight mounted, be in full mail with generally open-faced flat-topped helmets, and might or might not have surcoats over their mail. They'd have longish triangular shields. Edward III's would have mixed mail and plate, with shorter surcoats, and bascinets plus great helms; visored bascinets were coming into fashion. They'd usually fight on foot.

If I were in your place, I'd raise Edward I's army. He used a lot more archers than Richard I did, and his mounted knights would look much more like his grandson's. Give them dismounted duplicates and they'll do for the early part of the HYW as well as the campaigns in Wales and Scotland.

Neither of these armies is particularly good in DBM competitions, especially open ones where you might meet Macedonians etc. The HYW army has the advantage of Regular troops and generals, but is very small – not many cheap troops to bulk the numbers up. The earlier one relies on mounted knights who count as Ordinary rather than Superior, which is a big handicap. However, both are fun to use – I've used both in competitions and greatly enjoyed them.

Best of luck.

maverick290917 Aug 2015 6:32 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the advice! I think I have a much better picture about what I am going for now and how to base them. 3 figures sounds like it will be no problem for either army (the group I play with is pretty lenient as well which is nice). Thanks for the in depth analysis of the differences between Richard and Edward, it does seem that is army is what I'm going for and the model description fits what I have better. Now to go buy some literature and start reading up on Edward I!

Best,

Stanton

janner17 Aug 2015 10:27 p.m. PST

Richard I's and Edward III's armies would look very different – not so much the archers, though the later ones might have livery and red cross badges while the earlier ones wouldn't, but the knights/men-at-arms. Richard's would fight mounted, be in full mail with generally open-faced flat-topped helmets, and might or might not have surcoats over their mail. They'd have longish triangular shields. Edward III's would have mixed mail and plate, with shorter surcoats, and bascinets plus great helms; visored bascinets were coming into fashion. They'd usually fight on foot.

Agreed on helmets, but there is evidence to suggest livery being worn in the late twelfth century as well (based on robe giving by William Marshall and bulk purchase of clothing, such as for the crew of the royal esnecca, in Pipe Rolls). Much of the plate would have been hidden under the surcoat with additional limb protection being less obvious on a 15mm figure. Moreover, surviving shields demonstrate that length was already in the process of being reduced. So heater types would have been quite common, I believe. As to the elites fighting mounted or dismounted, Anglo-Norman/Planatagenet armies did both, depending on the tactical situation. Beyond an increase in the number of archers, across the table (or battlefield), I don't think they'd look markedly different.

I agree that Edward I's army offers lots of options though, including the Second Barons' War grin

aynsley68318 Aug 2015 3:40 a.m. PST

As to the basing bit, base them either way, 3 or 4 to a base just declare to your opponent if they are reg. or Irr. then you could do both lists if needed.
I generally make sure I have two or three different groups I can tell apart on the table, ie. the archers with red shirts are reg. the others in green are Irr. if you have to mix them in the same army, can't remember the list off hand.
You shouldn't get any issues using 3 to a base for reg's .

John GrahamLeigh Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2015 3:40 a.m. PST

True, but I'm sure that shields were smaller and livery more common in the 1330s than in the 1190s.

The DBM Feudal English list, covering 1181-1322, doesn't allow knights to fight dismounted, except when storming/defending fortifications or when landing from ships. I agree with this restriction, as it reflects the normal tactical stance of these troops during that period – and it also means you don't have to paint duplicate foot figures!

We've fought the Barons' War of 1264-6 twice, having fun both times. My first DBM competition army in 1997 was The Lord Edward's, and the 25mm figures looked jolly fine.

janner18 Aug 2015 5:51 a.m. PST

True, but I'm sure that shields were smaller and livery more common in the 1330s than in the 1190s.

In addition to the couple of examples I've already given, we know that the three major crusader contingents from North West Europe agreed on distinct emblems in 1188 and that the Military Orders had adopted distinct forms of dress in the twelfth century. So why assume that livery was uncommon?

As to shields, the illustrations from Matthew Paris (c.1250) indicate the use of heater shields and this is supported by surviving early thirteenth century examples from Germany. So I think that the significant reduction from the long 1066-esque shields took place sometime before that. Examples in Marburg do show a reduction between 1250 and 1350, but not one that would be noticeable at 15mm I suggest.

The DBM Feudal English list, covering 1181-1322, doesn't allow knights to fight dismounted, except when storming/defending fortifications or when landing from ships. I agree with this restriction, as it reflects the normal tactical stance of these troops during that period.

Noting the exclusion of litteral operations and fixed defences, I'm not sure we enjoy enough examples of English armies in the field to support this restriction. Knightly elements of the Royal army certainly dismounted during the course of the battle of Lewes and we lack detail on other engagements, such as Gisors and Cymerau. So if it was a normal tactical stance before and after that period, why assume it was abnormal for 'English' knights to fight dismounted?

John GrahamLeigh Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2015 7:55 a.m. PST

Let's agree that shields became smaller and livery more common, more or less steadily from about 1100 onwards. There are always exceptions to the rules.

The DBM lists allow knights to dismount during periods when this was their normal tactic; in the 13th century they seem generally to have fought mounted, even against Welsh and Scottish spearmen when dismounting would have been a good idea! Anyway, if the original poster wants to use his Edward I army in DBM competitions his knights will have to fight mounted because the army list says so.

janner18 Aug 2015 12:03 p.m. PST

Let's agree that shields became smaller and livery more common, more or less steadily from about 1100 onwards. There are always exceptions to the rules.

I can live with 1100 onwards, but would favour an early surge in North West Europe as full mail and tournaments became the norm, i.e. these were not exceptions.

Anyway, if the original poster wants to use his Edward I army in DBM competitions his knights will have to fight mounted because the army list says so.

Very true grin

Clays Russians22 Aug 2015 9:35 p.m. PST

Deus Vult…….

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