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Battle Scenarios

The Battle of Falkirk (1298 AD)

Braveheart William Wallace and the English King Edward I (Longshanks) come to grips in this desperate battle between Scots Common (#140) and Feudal English (#145).

The Battle

In the historical battle, Edward Longshanks stole a night march on Wallace's Scots and forced them to give battle. Wallace drew up his army on higher ground overlooking a small creek (Westquarter Burn) with the Callender Wood to his rear. The ground opposite his center was a wet mire. He deployed his men in four schiltrons, with archers and light troops between and his Noble cavalry held in reserve.

Longshank's army entered the field in column lead by three bodies of knights who impetuously charged. The lead unit became mired in the marshy ground, extricated itself, and then circled left while the second unit circled right to hit the Scottish left and right flanks respectively. The schiltrons held, but the Scot archers and light troops who could not evade the English knights were cut down. At this point, Wallace's Noble cavalry left the field; whether this was by treacherous arrangement with Longshanks, as an act of self preservation, or as a result of combat is not known.

Unable to make headway against the leveled pikes of the Scots schiltrons with his Knights, Longshanks moved forward his archers as well as his Irish mercenaries, who were apparently skilled at the throwing of stones. Several historical sources record that Longshank's subject Welsh longbow units refused to participate. The English and Irish missile troops were able, however, to inflict casualties and create confusion in the schiltrons, which the English Knights were eventually able to exploit. Finally, the schiltrons broke and the remnants of Wallace's army fled in a panicked rout, leaving the field to the English. Wallace somehow escaped and was not heard from for several years thereafter.

Edward I had fallen from his horse during the night march preceding the battle and broken/bruised several ribs. Thus, when Wallace's army fled, he was content to let them go and spent the next several days resting while his men raided the local villages and tracked down stragglers.

Deployment

Scots deploy first anywhere within 800 paces of their baseline. English deploy second in column and move first. No camps.

Game Map (ASCII)


============Scots Common Baseline================
. . . . f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f . . . .
. . . . . f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f . . . . .
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. . . . . . . . . . . m m m . . . . . . . . s s .
s s . . . . . . . m m m m m m s s s s s s s . . .
. . s s s s s s s s s s s s s m . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . m s b b b s m . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . m s b b s m . . . . . . . . .
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===========Feudal English Baseline===============

SCALE: The distance between each dot/letter is one inch.

TERRAIN KEY:

.=Good Going
f=Light Wood
s=Stream
m=Marshy ground
b=Bog

Terrain Notes

Both streams are only 10-20 paces wide and shallow with low banks. Rather than slowing to 100 Paces to cross, elements only lose 100 Paces from their movement that turn when crossing a stream. Marshy ground is bad going. Bog is impassable to all mounted, treat as bad going for all foot. Light woods are bad going.

Historically, Wallace's Scots were deployed on higher ground which sloped gently from the Callender Wood toward the creek, but more steeply on his left flank down toward the road to Falkirk. Since the high ground (and especially the more steeply sloped flank) appear to have played little or no role in the outcome of the battle, I have not bothered to include them in the map.

Special Rules

May be played as regular or Double DBA.

Scots Common may use the variant rule for schiltrons.

The purported reluctance of the Scots Knights and Longshank's Welsh Longbow to participate in the battle can be simulated by the following options:

Victory Conditions

Use the normal DBA victory conditions, although note that no points can be scored for capture of an enemy camp since none are provided for.

Other Resources


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Last Updated: June 5, 1998

Questions, comments, and feedback are welcome. Send them to my attention at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.