Background: The Hundred Years War Begins!

This week, we’re diving into the political maelstrom that sparked a hundred years of bloody war and tipped the balance of power in Western Europe forever!

Banner1

In 1328, Edward III of England was the nearest living relative of the recently-deceased Charles IV of France. This claim passed to him through his mother, Isabella, who a council of French nobles declared could not pass on the divine right of kings because of her sex.

As Duke of Aquitaine, Edward III was forced to do homage to the new French King, and obliged by feudal custom to obey his liege lord in all things.

The French King, Philip VI, took issue with English ownership of the duchy, particularly the lucrative vineyards of Gascony. He began to meddle in Gascon affairs, fomenting unrest against his vassal.

Chev Example GuyThe army lists and narrative tools included with the Chevauchee core rules cover the opening stages of the Hundred Years War. Future expansions will explore the second (including John of Gaunt’s ill-fated Iberian expedition) and third phases of the war. 

While the game is set in the late 14th and early 15th centuries, players are encouraged to use the flexible system presented to recreate conflicts from any time period they wish!

Enter Count Robert III of Artois. Former close advisor to Philip, now branded exile following a botched attempt to recover Artois from his aunt by deception. Several times, he sought shelter with a relative, only to have them turf him out when Philip threatened them with invasion.

Robert arrived at the court of Edward III in 1332, where he immediately spilled all his secrets on the inner workings of the French court. Philip demanded that Robert be returned to France.

Reluctant to give up  Robert – now a member of his royal council, Edward refused. In response, Philip confiscated the duchy of Aquitaine.

Urged by Robert to press his claim to the French throne, Edward declared open war, and the Hundred Years War began!

TomThumbOut of my own selfishness, I have themed the game around the Hundred Years War between the intertwined Kingdoms of France and England – since watching Laurence Olivier in Henry V as a child, I have been obsessed with this conflict, and regard it as the absolute epitome of medieval-ness.

Despite this, I encourage you to use these rules to fight battles from any point in the medieval period – whether that’s Viking raiders pillaging Lindisfarne, or Venetian bravos duelling in the streets. The only limit is your imagination and the size of your figure collection.

Next Week…

We’re diving into the activation and morale system that underpin Chevauchee’s core mechanics!