Monday, 4 January 2016

To The Strongest !

Another game using Simon Miller's innovative game system for Ancient & Medieval battles.

Steve Clarke hosted and set up some of his impressive Medieval/Renaissance collection.

I won the toss and chose the French/Venetian force and Steve had the English opponents.

View along the battlefield, French/Venetians to your left & English to the right

Close up of English archers

Venetian mounted crossbows next to the guns

Venetian artillery

Their opposite numbers in the English army

Mercenary pike block out on the French/Venetian left

faced by light cavalry spearmen

A French hero showing off !

A Venetian commander

Concentrated French cavalry in the middle of the line 

Right ! They are on the move ...

After a stirring speech by their General !

The mounted crossbowmen spur forwards on the right across broken ground

English bowmen have advanced into the woods on their left

The French cavalry decide to move ahead of the rest of the army

as the Venetian artillery fire their first shots

The French & Venetian foot watch as their knights up the pace heading towards the enemy

The Venetian mounted crossbows outflank the woods

The knights are almost there ...

The English light mounted troops on the far side decide to counter the moves being made by the French in and next to the woods 

French & Venetian centre at this stage

Three groups of French knights accompanied by the army commander arrive in front of the English lining the hills

Venetians exchange pleasantries with the English bowmen lining the woods !

Over on the far side, the first of the English light cavalry decide to take on the Venetian crossbows in their woods

and pay the price, despite the advantage of their lances

Undeterred, the second group try too ...

More French knights are encouraged to advance

The English right wing commander decides to advance his men at arms and pikes

A strong English defensive position along the spine of the hills, seen from the right rear.

The French/Venetians advance looks like a chequer board at this point !

English troops take on the big pike block

Meantime, the first French cavalry charge hits home

Venetian spearmen advance on the right to support their crossbows heading for the woods

The English troops disrupt the mercenary pike block

Here's a view along the line as three French groups of knights battle it out with the English defenders

The pikes are wobbling as they take a second hit (one more and they are off)

Other troops move up to support them on their right

Venetian hand gunners trot forwards to assist their mounted crossbowmen

The tussle on the hill, close up

Some English archers have buckled

The English right flank has now advanced threatening the pikes too

Venetian gunners have had little effect and are now down to just one round.

The pikes have got some order back and inflict a hit on the English infantry

The English pull back to reform

Meantime, French spearmen have rushed forwards to engage English archers 

The clash on the hill continues with fortunes switching

The French cavalry start to reduce the opposition

The English right reforming.

All guns now fall silent as they run out of ammunition.

A close up of the French foot engaging the archers

A break through ! French knights have destroyed the English in front of them and now turn to flank the English besides them

The English foot knights refuse to be broken

The English men at arms rebound from the pike block again

English bowmen on the right loose a volley of arrows into the advancing French foot

The French order forwards more knights to try and complete the job in the centre

Just as one French group of knights is destroyed ! (Note the gap)

Time and again the pikes and English foot battle it out

and the French knights are unable to get the breakthrough in the centre that they seek

English bows continue to disrupt the French knights efforts

and men-at-arms hold off the French here

French and Venetian positions on the centre of the battlefield, with disrupted crossbows to the fore, courtesy of the English archers

What a mess ! Both sides have disorganised units now

Once more, the pikemen try to reorganise 

The French commander urges his men to make one more effort to break the English line

Tantalisingly close, but time and again the English commander stops the rot

A small English victory on their left as French troops are defeated

Nothing between them though on the other side of the field

English foot on the far left decide its the time to advance and confront the Venetian handgunners

Amazingly, the Venetians get the better of this exchange and their victory is the straw to break the camels back - the English will collapses

This game was a real slogging match but we are getting used to the mechanisms in "To The Strongest" so we were getting along quite swiftly after our break for lunch (as usual at The Chequers pub !).

If you've not played "To The Strongest", give them a go - we are really enjoying them.

(I hasten to add that I am not related to Simon Miller or have any commercial interest in these rules !)

But I have met him a few times and he deserves a pat on the back for what he has come up with here.



  1. Looks like you had a lot of fun! It's nice to see it too because I've spent the whole morning tussling with writing a Later Medieval German list; not an easy task. :-)

    I must come out to see you again later this year.

    Best, Simon

  2. We did a couple of TtS games using 15mm Romans and Greeks. Had a good time and I plan on using them for my 15mm early Medievals. Thanks for the good game report.


  3. Glad to see that you had brought along your spare camera batteries for this game - LOL!

  4. Well done Steve a well detailed report. I agree it was a game that hung on a knife edge for quite a while. I need to include stakes in the English order of battle next time.

  5. Wot no stakes? Tough on the archers! :-)