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Swordpoint! The Battle of Vitkov Hill (1420)

Philip umpired a late medieval clash between the Hussite forces of Jan Žižka and the crusading Imperial forces of Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund last night, as we refought the Battle of Vitkov Hill.

Theo and I deployed our Imperial army outside Prague, where the Hussites led by Doug and Phil held the fortified hill with a line of Hussite battle wagons, among other forces.

After advancing against the hill with a mixed force of dismounted knights, bowmen, mercenary foot, skirmishing handgunners and armoured knights, my units (left and centre) saw off Doug’s skirmishers, and looked to be making good progress.

Theo’s right flank also advanced, pushing back Phil’s cavalry and skirmishers.

Reinforced knights on my left engaged Doug’s knights but suffered in the melee and were damaged by Doug’s crossbowmen. After a few more close combats, my knights were forced to retire.

Doug meanwhile had rolled for reinforcements and duly deployed several units on my left flank, as occurred historically. I had guarded this with a unit of bowmen in the ‘wood’ (vineyard), and fortunately had a unit of mounted knights and another of dismounted knights held further back, which prevented a rout, though the bowmen were expelled from the vineyard.

Further Hussite reinforcements arrived on Phil’s side, with several battle wagons deployed to seal off this flank against attack from Theo’s Imperial forces. All in all, the game was going the Hussites’ way, but might more accurately be termed indecisive at close of play. The historical battle ended in a not very bloody Hussite victory.

In what was the first Medieval wargame at the club in my memory, Philip’s figures looked great, and the Swordpoint rules worked well. While we reflected that the club rarely plays ancient or medieval games, these might well be periods worth another look for those interested in trying an exotic new project.


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