Home Forums Renaissance [Argad AAR] Ambushes on the road to Pondi / Pontivy

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    Avatar photoPatrice

    Last Sunday we played in a local cultural festival, “Paysages“ in Guerlédan, Central Brittany. To fit in the theme of this festival (where there was no other gaming) we decided to play in an historical context and on a miniature landscape (gaming terrain) looking as local as possible. That was appreciated by the organisers.

    And one more time it’s the “Guerre de la Ligue“ (the War of the League) in Brittany in the 1590s. Supporters of the new king of France Henri IV fight against ultra-Catholics of the Très Sainte Ligue (Very Holy League) who don’t accept this new king because he is a former Protestant. The League is very strong in Brittany (and receives Spanish support).

    In this game were two players and a GM, Argad ruleset. The players were on the same side (it’s easier to run with this RPG-minded ruleset) but they didn’t know it at the beginning, and they had different orders and informations.

    So, somewhere south of the main town of Pontivy / Pondi in central Brittany which is held by the Sainte Ligue…

    Views from the South. The village of La Houssaye is on the right of the picture, some other houses are on the left on the other bank (the right bank) of a river.

    A view from the West. There are two small bridges on the river, one in stone leads to the south, the other one made from planks is between the two parts of the village.

    Views from the East.

    From the East also, up river.

    A troop coming from the south arrives at the large house on the right bank. A few mounted men ride in front, some infantry follows them. A Holy League officer, Kercourtois, has been ordered to escort League delegates from Concarneau for a meeting in north Brittany, their road will pass by Pontivy. Night is coming and Pontivy is still far, his soldiers are tired, they insist to find accommodation in this village or near, and also it will be less expensive than in a big town. A large house is almost empty because of the war and they find rooms and shelter. Kercourtois places sentries for the night.

    Also coming from the south, but far behind, another troop led by a former brigand, nicknamed Yann an Tan. After other recent adventures the League leaders now have a good opinion of him.

    He received a request from a lady called Katell Ruz (Red Cathy, NPC) a woman apparently working on secret matters on behalf of the Holy League. She asked him to meet her at the chapel in the village of La Houssaye. So he wants to go directly to the main village …but he can see a mounted man, behind a tree, watching his troop.

    He sends his mounted soldiers forward to have a look at the village. Himself, on foot, follows with the rest of the group.

    The mysterious mounted man comes to meet him. He says he is the servant of Katell Ruz, that she could not stay near the chapel because it seemed dangerous, and that Yann an Tan should meet her in the large house on the other bank of the river.


    Avatar photoPatrice

    However, Yann an Tan decides to spend the night in La Houssaye. There is a large farmhouse on this side of the village and he tells the reluctant farmer that he will sleep there with his troop. Two sentries stand on the stairs to look around.

    He sends two mounted men to Katell Ruz (who is waiting in the large house on the other bank). They ride on the wooden bridge. Katell Ruz decides she will go to meet Yann an Tan in the morning. The two messengers stay in the same house.

    The night is calm.

    But at sunrise… the sentry standing near the river, tired, comes back inside the large house to eat a bowl of soup… not noticing that a group of enemies is crossing the wooden bridge and following him.

    Alarm is raised. The shooters of Kercourtois run to the windows and kill a few attackers, while his soldiers with other weapons run downstairs and outside to fight in melee. The enemy is beaten. A picture of the end of this fight:

    Local civilians are distressed by the war.

    Three enemy survivors run away on the wooden bridge, a few men of Kercourtois run after them …and receive a volley of arquebuses from a nearby field. Other Royalists are hidden there, near the village!

    When he heard the first shots Yann an Tan ordered his men to deploy in the village and (as he usually does) to build barricades with tables and carts.

    As soon as the first fight was over, Katell Ruz with her servant and the two mounted soldiers sent by Yann an Tan the previous day crossed the stone bridge to go to the village. There she meets Yann an Tan. She gives him good news: a scholar who had promised him to research his genealogy (in a previous adventure) has found that he is related to the Tanguy du Chastel a famous noble family. But that’s not the reason why she needs him now. Three days ago she came to the chapel to meet a monk who has important informations for the League, and he was not there, he had disappeared. She waited for him but she had to leave the village because some people looked unfriendly. She asks Yann an Tan to search the village to find the monk if he is still there.

    In a strong voice Yann an Tan asks the inhabitants if someone has seen the monk. The people are afraid and begin to run away. However, one of them discreetly points at two houses on the southern side of the village; Yann an Tan sends men to knock at these doors and also at the door of the chapel. Nobody answers and all the doors are closed, he orders to break them.

    All buildings are empty …except the last house (roof removed to see what’s inside). A man was hidden there and shoots a musket at the League soldiers, without effect.

    A few seconds after this shot, the Royalists who still were in the field on the other side of the village advance and attack.

    The Royalists slightly outnumber the League soldiers there, but the barricade is useful, some of the attackers are killed by musketry.

    The Royal bannerman has crossed the barricade …and finds himself alone.

    Yann an Tan himself runs at him, kills him, and takes the Royal banner.

    Meanwhile, the Royalist musketeer who is in the house kills with his sword one Ligueur who was trying to enter. Seeing this, Katell Ruz, who had been avoiding to fight till then, advances and kills him with her arquebus. There are one or two other men upstairs; one is a big guy who stands near the trap up the narrow stairs, it will be obviously dangerous to attack him there.

    Yann an Tan then decides to attack simultaneously by the stairs, and by the two windows with ladders! There are two defenders inside. Yann an Tan himself climbs a ladder, and fights the big guy who has the tactical advantage of defending a window. Surprise: Yann an Tan is a specialist of gouren (traditional Breton wrestling) and able to strike first. Wrestling through a window is very unusual 😉 but he succeeds to force his opponent to recoil!

    One of his soldiers enters the room by the other window (the other opponent is defending the stairs).

    The captive monk is in this room also (um, and we can see that the owners of this house kept a good track of calendar days…)

    Yann an Tan is a very good swordsman and can strike twice; he is still fighting the big guy, and…

    The monk is freed, Katell Ruz and her servant help him.

    Meanwhile, mounted soldiers of Kercourtois and Yann an Tan were riding after a man wearing a white doublet, that they had seen watching them during the fight. They catch him up river. The man surrenders, they bring him to the village, he seems to be an important Royalist spy.

    A part of this scenario (the escort of delegates and the surprise morning attack on a wooden bridge near this village south of Pontivy) was inspired by a real event mentioned in a book by Chanoine Moreau who lived in the late 16th and early 17th C.


    Avatar photoMike

    Nice. Thanks for posting. Always nice to read your reports.

    Avatar photoDarkest Star Games

    I always love these reports.

    It’s really cool that you modelled the table after the local area and used locale history for the game.  It gives a new angle to events and even places.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    Avatar photoPatrice

    Thanks. 🙂

    It’s really cool that you modelled the table after the local area and used locale history for the game. It gives a new angle to events and even places.

    We used the terrain tiles which were available then, the real Blavet river south of Pontivy is much larger. 😉 (another friend has terrain tiles with a larger river but he was on holydays). Inspiration for RPG-minded scenarios often comes from history books or from fictional novels or pure imagination, in this case it was 1/2 – 1/2. 😉


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