Home Forums Renaissance [Argad AAR] Cloth trade spills blood in Brittany

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    Avatar photoPatrice

    A game played one month ago at “Festival Sirennes“ in Rennes 2 University (Brittany) a cultural and literature event where there was a small area for gaming. The theme of this festival this year mentioned “weaving“ so we went for a literary sense and imagined a simple scenario about the wars of Religion in Brittany. There was one player (although the scenario could handle more) and a GM.

    The gaming table. A village is on the northern side. At the end of the southern side a narrow valley opens on the Blavet river (and downstream to the town of Pontivy).

    The small village. In the largest house, a Catholic merchant often sells linen cloth and hemp cloth, locally produced, to Spain (Central Brittany was exporting large quantities of these, till the 18th century).

    What a surprise, it was too quiet! A small troop of soldiers is approaching…

    They have a Royal flag and officers wear white sashes, they are supporters of king Henri IV of France (allied with England, enemy of the ultra-Catholic Holy League and of Spain). Their leader (player character) François de la Noë took part in some previous adventures.

    His orders (as usual, whatever happens) are to fight the Spaniards and the League, and to encourage the English to fight more.
    This time he also has more precise orders:
    – the villages of this area product hemp and linen; they should not sell cloth to Spain;
    – and old and renowned protestant soldier, Loeiz Kloar, has been recently (in a previous game) captured by the League, people say he may be prisoner nearby.

    Not far from the village the Royalists see a mounted man observing them. He goes away, they think he had a green plume on his hat (the colour of the League in Brittany).

    The Royalists arrive near the village, they see some smoke raising from the bastion, perhaps a campfire. Two armed men stand near the road, they say they are friends of the merchant, they look worried.

    Two shots from the bastion! A royal cavalryman fells.

    La Noë is angry and says he could kill everyone. The merchant, other villagers, and the two armed men, say it’s not their fault, and that two soldiers of the League are in the bastion. In fact, two horses are tethered near the bastion. The Royalists take the horses, then they attack the bastion with ladders taken in the village. The two Ligueurs do not wait for them and get away by the other side, without their horses.

    The Royalists search the village …not robbing anything, and they find nothing except a quantity of new cloth ready for sale. The merchant admits without difficulty that he sometimes sells some to Spaniards who bring them down river to the coast and to Spain or to the Spanish Netherlands.

    And, while they are discussing this… The mounted man they had previously seen appears again, this time with a small group of Spaniards, and advance towards the village.


    Avatar photoPatrice

    At the same time, a young lady and two men, with weapons, arrive in the village. She explains that she is the niece of Loeiz Kloar and looking for him.

    La Noë raises barricades on his left side, two Spanish scouts are already approaching there.

    And he places three musketeers on the bastion.

    The Spaniards do not outnumber the Royalists but are confident in their pikes, also they know that Ligue soldiers are not far. They attack… but suffer heavy casualties from the shots at short range. Then their chief is killed, another officer jumps the low wall but is captured.
    Um, in fact the GM did not expect them to win, but had not planned that the attack would end so fast.

    François de la Noë is ready to run after the surviving Spaniards.

    Then, another small group of armed men appears. They are English and Welsh soldiers, who seem lost in the countryside. With them is an English merchant who is very interested when he hears that there is cloth for sale, he immediately walks to the village with a halberdman for escort. La Noë invites the others to join him to chase the Spaniards.

    Then, one of the mounted Royalists who was riding around a small forest sees Ligueurs near a small hut. They run away by the same road as the Spaniards.

    There are two small groups of Ligueurs, some look like soldiers, others wear shirts as brigands… A woman in red clothes (who had been seen in previous adventures) is leading them.

    The Royalists and the English, in two groups, advance on the side. The surviving Spaniards are already far, they take a shallop (probably intended to carry cloth) on the river bank.

    One of the men in shirt seems to be the prisoner, Loeiz Kloar.

    The English merchant buys bundles of cloth to the merchant, and a cart to carry it. This trade could continue in the future. The merchant is a devout Catholic but makes no difficulty to trade with a Protestant (also he feared that the Royalists would blame him for his previous trade with the Spaniards).

    Hot pursuit on the road… Obviously the Royalists and English on foot will not catch the Ligueurs who walk as fast as them.

    …but the two Royalist cavalrymen and the English one use a caracole tactic, they come close to shoot their pistol or caliver at short range, then stop to reload, they do it again and again, all the way long.
    The Ligue arquebusiers cannot stop to reload but must keep running and cannot fire back.

    However, the first group of Ligueurs and their chiefs, manage to go away with their prisoner.


    Avatar photoDarkest Star Games

    You always put on such interesting games.  Good stuff!

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

    Avatar photoMike

    Thanks for that.
    One player and GM seems unusual to me?
    That sounds like 2 players?

    What did members of the public think of it all?

    Avatar photowillz

    Thanks for sharing an excellent AAR and some wonderful wargaming eye candy.

    Avatar photoPatrice

    Thanks. 🙂

    One player and GM seems unusual to me? That sounds like 2 players?

    Well, yes, and no… We sometimes game with one, or two, or even three players on the same side, “against“ a GM. It’s quite confortable to organise, you still must imagine a scenario but when it’s begun it’s much more …lazy… to run than if people were fighting vs each other. They know that they have a fair chance to reach their objectives (although never sure, in this AAR the player did not free the prisoner). And they can’t argue as much vs the GM (who is always right, that’s a rule!) than vs an enemy player. 😉

    But you are right, the GM is also playing. In another game I had a player doing a secret ambush against a NPC troop I was moving forward on the table, and I had to accept it. 😉 That’s part of the fun.

    What did members of the public think of it all?

    Wargames are not still well-known in France as in the UK… but boardgames are now being much popular. Many people seem to think we are doing a kind of boardgame (are they wrong? I cannot say, but it seems a way to be understood).

    Some lads say “Warhammer?“ then after a closer look they see it isn’t. Many people at first sight think it’s a diorama display, then they say “Ah it’s a game!?”

    Once an old lady said in a loud voice, when she understood we were playing toy soldiers “Mais vous avez vu l’âge qu’ils ont ?” (But have you seen their age?)… 😉


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