22/07/2017 at 22:19 #68159
On Saturday 1st July we went to Langoëlan (Central Brittany) where a young gamer wanted to organize a game. The mayor was kind enough to let us play in the council room of the Mairie, so we had decided that the scenario should mention this village and also the nearby little town of Guéméné-sur-Scorff / Ar Gemene.
The game was part of our mid-14th century campaign, War of the Breton Succession at the beginning of the HYW. In this war some Bretons were allied with the French, others with the English: “Franco-Bretons” vs “Anglo-Bretons”. There were some surprises and mysteries in the scenario, to which all players reacted very unexpectedly! Great fun.
There is a temporary truce in the whole area. North-west of the largest table, the keep of Coëtuhan in the forest of Coët Codu. Its owner, Jean de Coëtuhan (a vassal of the Viscount of Rohan, Franco-Breton) tries to stay out of the war.
The village of Langoëlan, on an important (north-south) trade route. Today is a market day!
Guéméné Castle stands on another table, further south. The road from Langoëlan to Guéméné is partly off tables.
Guéméné did belong to other vassals of the Rohan family but is occupied by an English garrison since the beginning of the war. The name of the English captain is Roger Davy.
Not far from Langoëlan, on the other bank of the small river Scorff, a small Franco-Breton vanguard has installed its camp.
(The characters mentioned above are NPCs. Their names are historically attested …but what players can do to them is not, as we shall see).
OOoooh, can you believe it: small troops of men-at-arms and soldiers are on their way (different ways) to these peaceful places!
In the north, in the wood of Coët Codu, this is Auffret du Cosquer (a pro-English Breton knight).
(In a previous game Cosquer had captured the Viscount of Rohan and had asked for a ransom. A ransom had been brought but disappeared and the Franco-Breton knight who escorted it was mysteriously killed. To avoid such dishounourable events again, Cosquer’s prisoner is now guarded by the English till a new ransom is paid. He thinks that they have brought the Viscount in Guéméné).
South-west of the forest, the Bâtard de Quimerc’h (a pro-English Breton knight of fearful reputation) orders his men to set up their camp on a small hill. He rides to the village inn to meet secretly a spy who has informations about French garrisons elsewhere.
West of Langoëlan, Gildas de Toulbodou (a pro-French very pious Breton knight) leaves the Franco-Breton camp and crosses the Scorff. He brings a new ransom for the Viscount of Rohan and must meet the English south of the village for the exchange.
He also has secret orders to free the Viscount without paying the ransom, if he can, because some great lords are unhappy to pay a second time…
A group of Genoese mercenaries in French service, led by Ricceri Grimaldi, is coming by the southern road. There are many people on this road, carts going to the market, etc, and a lady with a small escort whose pavises are painted with the arms of Rohan.
This lady is Jeanne de Rostrenen, wife of the Viscount de Rohan. She is worried about her husband, she has no news from him but she knows that a new ransom will soon be paid. She heard that an important nobleman is held prisoner in the area, it could be him. She comes to enquire, escorted by some of his guards.
Further south on the same road (but on the other table) Guilo Clec’h (a pro-English knight) is going to Guéméné.
He has been ordered to fetch the Viscount de Rohan, that the english captain will give him, and to being him in Langoëlan where a party of Franco-Bretons will bring the ransom to buy him.
The English captain of Guéméné is already waiting:
List of player characters:
Cosquer would like to know if the ransom for the Viscount he had captured will soon be paid, but he has not much information about it and has nothing special to do.
Quimerc’h must meet a spy in the village for secret informations, nothing more.
Guilo Clec’h must go to Guéméné to fetch the Viscount, escort him to Langoëlan, and exchange him for the ransom.
Toulbodou must bring the ransom to Langoëlan and exchange it for the Viscount (or free the Viscount without paying, if possible).
Grimaldi is looking for wealth.
Jeanne de Rostrenen wants to know where the Viscount (her husband) is, and if he will soon be free.
http://argad.forumculture.net/22/07/2017 at 22:20 #68160
Cosquer and his men advance on the road but avoid to stay too close of the keep.
Suddenly, ahead of them, they see some thieves attacking two merchants and their cart!
Cosquer arrives too late to save the merchants. The thieves run away but Cosquer captures one of them.
The cart is loaded with trade goods, including many large bags full of “andouilles”.
The captured outlaw says they became thieves because they are starving. Cosquer gives him one “andouille” and lets him go.
(“Andouille” is a traditional smoked sausage for which the small town of Guéméné is now renowned, that’s why we wanted to mention it in the game; perhaps it was not already renowned for it in the Middle Ages but this sort of sausage existed so there’s no anachronism. Another reason why we wanted to mention it is that this word is also a friendly mild insult for a stupid person; the title of this AAR in French is “Marchés d’andouilles à Langoëlan” with a double meaning…)
The Bâtard de Quimerc’h obtained informations from the spy in the inn. Unhappy to stay in the village where Franco-Breton troops are now arriving, he rides back to his camp on the hill. On the road he meets his old friend Cosquer. The two knights think that there is nothing to gain south of the village… but the keep in the forest could be a tempting objective…
The crowd in Langoëlan is busy as in any market day, but there is trouble also.
Grimaldi’s Genoeses look closely inside any cart they see. Then they take merchandise from the traders, and want to sell it themselves…
After a moment of unrest, the village priest comes to protest. They seize a woman and say they will burn her as a witch if the priest doesn’t give them valuable things from the church…
The villagers run away from these men…
Guilo Clec’h went to Guéméné where he met the English captain Roger Davy, and he now is in charge of the Viscount of Rohan.
He rides back towards Langoëlan with his famous prisoner, hoping to meet there the Franco-Bretons who bring the new ransom.
On the road he happens to meet Jeanne de Rostrenen who is heading to Guéméné.
After a short talking Guilo Clec’h understands that the Lady de Rostrenen doesn’t recognize the Viscount her husband. The man he escorts is not the Viscount! The English have lied!
Guilo Clec’h is so furious that he kills the man instantly without listening to his explanations, and throws his body in the ditch near the road!
Jeanne de Rostrenen arrives in Guéméné. The English captain Roger Davy is not there but the guards let her enter (without her escort).
Local people tell her that the Viscount her husband has been seen in the castle and was in good terms with the local priest. But this priest is away too.
After some time in town, Jeanne de Rostrenen decides to go back to the village.
Jean de Coëtuhan (NPC) comes to the camp of Quimerc’h with only two men. Bad idea.
Coëtuhan (young GM): “May I ask, what are you doing on my lands?”
Quimerc’h (player): “You are the lord of this land? The owner of the keep? And you are rich?”
Coëtuhan (young GM): “Yes, yes, I am.”
Quimerc’h (player) very calmly: “Good. Seize him.”
Coëtuhan (young GM) truly astonished: “But… but… no… that’s not chivalrous… that’s not honourable…”
Other GM who overheard from the far side of the room: “Don’t use words unknown to him. …What? You went to his camp almost alone?!!… (sigh) …I warned you about him…”
What happens north, and south, of the village now have two different rhythms; the GMs and players decide to desynchronize game turns. One of the GMs takes charge of Coëtuhan and of other Franco-Bretons in the north; the other GM plays Roger Davy and the English garrison at Guéméné.
Quimerc’h, bringing Coëtuhan with him, meets Cosquer near the keep.
Hard times for a beginner who still believes in honour and chivalry: the young herald of the sire of Coëtuhan (GM, centre) finds himself under heavy pressure from Cosquer (left) and the Bâtard de Quimerc’h (right). “Open the door of the keep, or we kill your master!”
After a few minutes of this, he accepts. Quimerc’h and Cosquer take the keep without a fight!
Then they convince Coëtuhan to send his herald to the Franco-Breton camp on the other side of the river Scorff to ask for help. They are ready to fight for their new earnings, they think the sooner the better and they believe they will have the advantage in the woods.
South of the village, Toulbodou rides peacefully towards Guilo Clec’h. He thinks that Clec’h escorts the Viscount, but he has seen some strange moves and he doesn’t understand what happened.
Toulbodou and Clec’h talk together. They notice that a troop of mounted Englishmen came from Guéméné by another road, have stopped near a ruined building and seem to be waiting.
The English send two riders to Toulbodou to tell him that their captain Roger Davy is there with a priest from Guéméné and the Viscount dressed as a commoner. They suggest to make the exchange with the ransom now.
Toulbodou and his men come out of Langoëlan with the mule carrying the ransom. The Genoese stay in the village, ready to fight if necessary.
Roger Davy and the small English group come towards them …wondering vaguely why their Breton ally Guilo Clec’h takes position behind them.
Treason! Toulbodou breaks the truce and attacks the English by surprise!
Double treason! Guilo Clec’h (pro-English Breton till now) joins him to fight the English! Roger Davy and his escort are killed!
http://argad.forumculture.net/22/07/2017 at 22:20 #68161
Toulbodou brings the Viscount de Rohan and the ransom to the village, and let him there with two of his men.
Then Toulbodou and Guilo Clec’h realize that the English at Guéméné are now deprived from their captain and still think that the truce is going on…
They head to Guéméné, piper blowing, without any siege machine or whatever and without any chance of success…
…but as fast as possible.
On the road they meet Jeanne de Rostrenen and her small escort. When they tell her that her husband is free and that the truce is broken, she orders her guards (bearing the arms of Rohan on their pavises) to join the attack.
The (NPC) English in Guéméné are suprised, their captain is not there and they still believe there’s a truce.
Some who were wandering outside come back hastily: the doors are still open.
Longbowmen on the walls shoot at the attackers and kill some; the mounted knights charge the billmen at the door.
Heated fight at the gates.
The astonished GM (who didn’t believe that such an impossible attack could even be considered) says that the issue of this fight will decide if the gates will be shut.
English gatekeepers fall. One attacking knight dies too, so the gate guards can close one of the gate wings, but another knight (I don’t remember who) is in the narrow passage… and prevents the other gate wing to be shut…
More knights pass under the porch! Behind them, the pavise-bearers sent by Jeanne de Rostrenen, followed by the footmen of Toulbodou and Clec’h. Guéméné has fallen !
Back to the woods of Coët Codu.
As requested by Quimerc’h and Cosquer, the herald of Coëtuhan went to the Franco-Breton camp on the other bank of the river Scorff to ask for help.
(Quimerc’h and Cosquer want to get ride of this danger when they have the advantage …and they also need a good fight. Coëtuhan accepted to send his herald because he hopes they will be defeated).
A Franco-Breton troop (NPC) advances across the small river.
Fights in the woods. Both sides are almost equal but Quimerc’h and Cosquer were waiting on the forest edges, and their opponent is uneasy to deploy his force in the woods.
Cosquer had also asked the thieves to support him, they wouldn’t take much risk but they help with harassment on the sides.
On the small patch of easy ground between the forest and the village, the opposite knights fight with couched lances and then with swords.
Quimerc’h et Cosquer are wounded but gain the victory. The Franco-breton vanguard is totally destroyed.
SO WHAT DID HAPPEN?
— Two pro-English Breton knights have taken the keep of Coëtuhan (whose owner was a vassal of Rohan, pro-French) and destroyed a Franco-Breton vanguard and camp.
— Two pro-French Breton knights (one of them having just changed side) have taken Guéméné from the English.
Some time later (after game end) the dead bodies of the Viscount of Rohan, and of two of Toulbodou’s men who were guarding him, are discovered in a barn in the village. Nobody knows what happened. And Toulbodou finds that the mule carrying the ransom has disappeared with its load!
Later news… The priests of Langoëlan and of Guéméné, shocked by the violence they have seen in the village, went away with the mule. The ransom is now in the hands of the bishop, a pro-French supporter. Perhaps they also told him if they have seen the death of the Viscount (?)
The small mysteries in the scenario (always more than what players can resolve):
— The English captain Roger Davy had lied to Guilo Clec’h because the Anglo-Bretons chiefs wanted to avoid what happened in a previous game (a ransom disappeared). He did not give him the Viscount, but an actor, and led himself the Viscount by another road. The actor was supposed to explain this later. The (unexpected!) meeting on the road with Jeanne de Rostrenen, who did not recognize her husband, led Guilo Clec’h to believe that the English had betrayed him (it was not exactly the case, he had only been lied to and used as bait). He didn’t like that at all…
— The thieves in the forest were attacking merchants and hid what they stole in an underground passage which led …somewhere. The Corporation of Charcutiers and Andouille-makers was paying an old soldier to protect the trade, but he was dishonest and gave informations to the thieves. Enquiries in the village could have resolved this (but the players had no time for it).
— Coëtuhan (NPC) wanted a revenge from his lord the Viscount of Rohan who had refused give him one of his daughters to marry. When he heard that the Viscount would soon be free, he sent two men in the village to find someone who could murder the Viscount for a reward. The Viscount has been killed, nobody knows by whom… (I can’t say more about it, the campaign still goes on).
The players have changed History!
(Historical facts: the Viscount de Rohan lived a few more years; Guéméné did not fall, the king of England gave it to Roger Davy, who married Jeanne de Rostrenen…)
The players and GMs: “Auffret du Cosquer”, “Jeanne de Rostrenen”, “Guilo Clec’h”, GM (“Coëtuhan” + Coët Codu), GM (“Roger Davy” + Guéméné), “Gildas de Toulbodou”, “le Bâtard de Quimerc’h”, “Ricceri Grimaldi”.
http://argad.forumculture.net/22/07/2017 at 23:15 #68162
Very enjoyable report, and so many inspiring pictures. Thank you. 🙂22/07/2017 at 23:43 #68167
Breathtaking terrain and figures !!!23/07/2017 at 10:09 #68193
MikeKeymaster23/07/2017 at 12:21 #68202
This is fantastic, great table and great story, many thanks.
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