Battle of Morat (Murdon) (June 1476 AD)
(A Big Battle DBA Scenario)
By Ken Blackley
Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, may have lost to the Swiss at the Battle
of Grandson, but he wasn't beaten. Not by a long shot. Within days of the defeat, he had already begun mustering his army at Lausanne in preparation
for an assault on Bern itself. But first things first. And that meant
marching his army through the Vaud and besieging Bern's outpost of Morat.
By mid-June the Burgundian army was in place around Morat, with the first
direct assault taking place on the 18th. To add to the festivities,
Burgundian crossbowmen busied themselves shooting messages into the town
with attached notes explaining how all the defenders would shortly be hung
by their throats. Nice guys.
But Bern had not been idle while the siege was taking shape. Swiss troops
began arriving in the vicinity of Morat; Burgundian scouts even located
their camp near Umirtz. By the 21st of the month, most of the 20,000 strong
Swiss army was in place and ready to attack. However, they opted to wait
until the 22nd to allow for a few more contingents, including heavy cavalry
under Duke Rene of Lorraine.
Charles guessed the Swiss would attack on the 21st; when no assault
appeared, he assumed that the Swiss were not about to attack in the near
future, despite reports of Swiss troop movements in the woods of the
Murtenward to the east of the Burgundian positions. Against the advice of
his captains, Charles ordered the army to stand down and for his treasurer
to issue their pay.
Charles soon had a terrible surprise. No sooner had the army stood down than
the massive Swiss vanguard (Vohut) advanced out of the woods to the east of
the Grunhag (a Burgundian defensive position guarding the right flank of the
siege lines). The longbowmen and artillery manning the barrier were soon
overrun, and all three Swiss divisions swept towards the totally unprepared
Burgundian army, destroying each Burgundian unit as Charles army tried
piecemeal to confront the advancing kiels. Meanwhile, the defenders of Morat
poured out of her gates to assault the few Burgundians in the siege works.
The result was a horrendous slaughter. The Swiss covered all the escape
routes and butchered every Burgundian they found. Only a few of Charles'
horse escaped, with the Swiss capturing over 100 artillery pieces and the
entire Burgundian camp, as well as killing thousands of Burgundians as they
frantically sought to make their escape.
Burgundians (Burgundian Ordonnance) -- The Burgundian army is treated as a single command, rolling 1d6 for PIPs.
1x3Kn (Gen), 1x3Kn, 6x3Kn/4Bd, 3x8Bw, 1x2Lh, 1 xArt,
1xBd, 4x4Lb, 2x4Cb, 2x2Ps.
The Burgundian army breaks after losing seven elements.
Swiss -- The Swiss are divided into three commands: the Vorhut; the Gewalhut; and, the Nachut. Each command rolls 1d6 for PIPs.
- Vorhut -- 8x4Pk, 2x3Bd, 2x2(Ps)
- Gewhault -- 8x4Pk, 2x3Bd, 2x2Ps
- Nachut -- 6x4Pk, 2x2Bd, 2x2Ps, 2x2Cv
The Swiss army is treated as a normal BBDBA army.
The game is played on a normal BBDBA board.
The woods of the Murtenward take up the eastern board edge, spilling out
towards the west. 600 paces from the eastern board edge is the Grunhag, a
defensive position wide enough to protect five elements. In the center of
the board is a hill (the Bois Domingue), upon which is placed the Burgundian
camp. For interest's sake, buildings representing the town of Morat can be
placed near the north table edge, with the shore of Lake Morat just beyond.
Defensive siege positions can also be placed around Morat if desired.
Deployment and Reinforcements
The game begins with only four Burgundian elements on the table - an element
of artillery, two elements of longbows and a mounted knight unit that are
all placed behind the Grunhag. The Swiss player places the Vorhut, on the
eastern board edge, emerging from the Murtenward.
At the start of the second Swiss turn, the Gewalthut and Nachut are placed
on the table. Both begin on the eastern table edge, with the Gewalthut
placed to the north of the Gewalthut, but south of the Vorhut.
Beginning with his first turn, the Burgundian player rolls 1d6 and divides
by two, rounding down. He then places that many units of his choice on the
table. These arriving elements may be placed anywhere west of an imaginary
line running north-south 600 paces west of the Grunhag
Special Scenario Rules
Burgundian foot elements defending the barrier receive a +1 cf. Any unit
attacking across the Grunhag count as being in difficult terrain.
What?!? This will be a slaughter!!!
Sure will. If you want to make things more interesting assume Charles' army
had not been stood down. As such the Burgundian player can deploy his entire
army anywhere west of the Grunhag.
But even with such an advantage, the Burgundian player will still he
hard-pressed to win this one. And that is how it should be.
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Last Update: Dec. 8, 2001
My thanks to Ken Blackley for this scenario. Gamer feedback is welcome. Send comments to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.