Throughout the Hundred Years War, the desperate French peasants occasionally revolted against their misery. They were starved, bled white by invasions and mercenaries, taxed into insolvency, forcibly pressed into armies, ransomed and tortured by renegade troops, decimated by the black plague! (1) They sometimes rose up in despair, burned a few castles, cut off some heads and appropriated food, wine and brocade dresses. Their respite was short-lived. The repression by the ruthless nobility always came swift and merciless: armed slaughter, hangings and burnt villages.
Your village has just risen up in arms. You have taken and partially destroyed the castle and killed all its defenders. You are holding the Lord prisoner (on his word) and he must survive or you will be utterly defeated. You do not have much time. You have a little food and almost no gold. You can only raise spearmen and archers: no other troops! In 1362 you will have to fight hundreds of swordsmen, pikemen, and crossbowmen, accompanied by siege machines. Others will come first to test your resolve. Survive, and perhaps you will be allowed to bargain your way out of the gallows. Use all means at your disposal.
This map is derivative, inspired by Sulis’ wonderful Bamburgh siege map. Thought I’d let the peasants take it over and defend the valley. My thanks to Sulis for his example and high standards.
Tips if you find the scenario too hard to survive
- Quickly develop your economy. Keep your villagers happy: they have a lot at stake here (of the burning kind).
- Protect your village from the initial attacks. This is vital.
- Patch up the castle: spare your stone. Build a couple of towers close to the stockpile and granary. Protect your food, armory and military production at all cost.
- Save your pitch for the last fight. You will need it.
- Troops: make up in quantity what you lack in quality: massive numbers of spearmen, more archers if you can (outlaws should be enough . With 200 spearmen and 150 or so archers, well-placed pitch traps and killing pits you can survive. Block the enemy passage. Make him fight for his progress through the castle. Remember to use braziers everywhere to improve your archers’ killing power.
- In 1362, give it all you have. Abandon the village. Man the castle. Try to destroy the siege machines. Let the archers and pitch do as much damage as possible. Avoid melee combat till the last.
- Then roast a couple of pigs and sleep for a week.
Any feedback always gratefully appreciated. I hope you enjoy it.