Sunday 20 April 2014

An invasion of Bavaria. - 1399

Storm Within the Empire – DBA3 battle report.

The Duchy of Bavaria-Straubing was next on the Herzog von Steirermark’s list of acquisitions. Assembling an army, stiffened with Swiss mercenaries they marched along the Danube toward Passau. Scouts returned informing his Lordship, the Bavarians were “a-waiting his presence” north of Passau. So much for stealth.

To confront the gathering storm from Steirermark, the Grand Duke gathered loyal Bavarians from the domains of Landshut, M√ľnchen and Ingolstadt. 

Deployed to meet the Austrians, the Grand Duke held the centre with the majority of infantry and the reserve. To the right, Albrecht, his nephew commanded a mobile force supported with halberdier and handgunners. The left flank was held by Cousin Rudolf with a similar but smaller force.

Ahead, the Grand Duke could see clearly the Swiss on the right and to the left, a large formation of Austrian knights. The infantry in centre were numbered less than his own, but these were flanked by crossbowmen and more worrisome, cannon.

Bound one.
The Swiss yodeled their way forward and to annoy their enemy throughout their LH. Both formations of Austrians moved forward. As per plan, the Grand Duke moved his center forward with both wings held slightly back. It was hoped that weight of numbers would break the Austrian line where it met the Swiss.

Bound two.
A low die cast for the Austrians brought on a moment of hesitation. In this moment, reserve units were moved closer toward the main battle line. Unperturbed, the Swiss moved forward, while the artillery was still getting their range.
As the Austrians were less willing to move, the Bavarians brought the fight to them. Bavarian spearmen pushed their center line back, while other troops rallied to move forward and support the center. Now in range of artillery and crossbow, the Austrians were recoiling from fire storm.

Bound three.
Swiss pike and blade formations were pressing forward. The Swiss commander setting an example, lead the dance. The music, played false, the Swiss general fell sending a loud cheer among the Bavarian ranks. In the centre and right flank, the Austrians wriggled enough to deliver the first Bavarian casualties.

The Bavarians on the right seized the moment to knock about the broken formation, demoralizing the Swiss. In the centre, the Bavarians stabilized their line. On the left, losing two crossbow units, the Bavarians took advantage of the confusion to bring a unit of knight down.

Bound four
The Swiss, despite losing their general remained steadfast like a wall. At the Austrian centre, the clash of spear delivered another enemy unit, bringing the Bavarian total to 3 lost. The combat between knights on the right flank created only dust as units moved back and forth. The Bavarians on their turn were grinding the Swiss down to half the number they started with. In centre, the combat along the line delivered no results, perhaps due to fatigue, however, from the Bavarian left a loud cry was heard as their general bested the Austrian commanders. With both flanks demoralised, the Grand Duke ordered a retreat.

On a positive, the Grand Duke would save money paying less Swiss.

It has been a while since my Late Medieval armies have made an appearance. The practice game was actually a prelude to the same game being scheduled for later this month between two keen players.

With the exception of the Swiss, the composition of troops was identical; Kn, Cv, Bd, Cb and Sp. Although the Austrians outgunned the Bavarians in artillery, the “solid” foot helped the Bavarians. Flank support worked well and Ps handgunners did excellent work keeping the Swiss pike occupied.