David of Burgundy who resided in Wijk bij Duurstede took in August 1481 into his service the bask commander Jean de Salazar. David allowed Jean to rape and plunder the hinterland of the Bishop of Utrecht. A month later Jean with his army was close to the city of Amersfoort where he looted and plundered the cattle from the surrounding farms. This greatly infuriated the local residents who organized a pursuit party. Near the village of Scherpenzeel they caught up with Jean de Salazar and his army.
We recreated this battle based on the cattle raid scenario in the age of Arthur. The typical terrain for this part of the Netherlands is open and flat. Besides the road we had the pillaged village of Scherpenzeel and a small rise on the table. On the road were three units of cattle spread out. The aim of Jean de Salazar was to move these units of the table while the troops of Amersfoort aimed to recapture their cattle.
Both armies deployed in line facing each other with Jean along the road covering their loot. Amersfoort had first turn and their knights advanced. Their centre stayed still and their left flank also did not move because the distance between the commander and the flank units added to much for orders to be transferred efficiently.
Jean ordered his infantry to step sideway to the left in order to engaged the knights. A blunder and instead his entire line stepped to the right uncovering the crossbowmen that were kept somewhat to the rear in order to stay out of reach of charging knights.
next turn Amersfoort ordered one unit of knights to charge the crossbowmen, and this they did with great enthusiasm. The other unit was ordered to move pass the flank of the infantry line and turn so as to be able to charge in the flank. They didn’t move. The sole contribution of the crossbowmen was to inflict one casualty in the knights, and it was off back to the box for them.
The inactive knights provided Jean with the opportunity to rearrange his line. Using the initiative the flank units could turn and face the knights, a follow me moved another unit further to the flank and face the knights that had just destroyed the crossbowmen. The situation was stabilized.
In the mean time the Amersfoort left flank was advancing slowly towards Scherpenzeel. Their centre failed order after order and stayed put. Since the Amersfoort knights were now blocking the road the long distance that the Amersfoort left flank still had to traverse to get to any cattle made Jean decide to move his knights from his right to his left. The infantry was moved backwards at an angle in order to block any advance from that direction. The cattle moved along the road.
The Amersfoort centre continued their attempts to advance. A blunder and they moved backwards instead. This proved to be a possibly time waisting maneuver. Next turn they did advance only to end up at exactly the same spot were they stood before.
Then the Amersfoort centre understood what they were supposed to do. Three moves forwards and the feel of the situation changed again. They were not abel to charge so Jean took the opportunity to charge in his turn. The following engagements were tough and bloody. The Amersfoort dismounted knights unit with double handed weapons proved awesome. In the end they were responsible for the destruction of three units. The other units had more mixed results and in the end both lines exhausted themselves.
The Amersfoort knights had also charged into the infantry facing them. Although initially winning their combats they infantry stood their ground. Next round the infantry was more successful and now the knights stood their ground, which is a bad result in Hail Ceasar for cavalry. The knights of Jean were now nearby and one unit was able to move into support. This destroyed on of the Amersfoort knights. The infantry then wheeled into the flank of the second and next turn this units was destroyed as well. The road was open again.
Amersfoort then advanced with the infantry in one last attempt to break through to the road. The combat was won, but the shaken units of Jean did not break and only retreated. Jean and his sub-commander then took a business executive decision. They each ordered a follow me on a unit of cattle, moving two of those units off table, leaving their men behind to die and still winning the scenario.