In part 1 I talked about the game I set up, along with the army lists. This was a game, set in the 1490s, between a rather generic French force, and a rather generic Italian force. In looking at the history a little closer, and also looking at the units in the armies (from the lists by Neil Thomas, in Wargaming: An Introduction) I think it is fair to say that a good inspiration for the army lists that I settled on could have been representative of the Battle of Fornovo (July 6 1495, near the city of Parma).
|Battle of Fornovo|
The Battle of Fornovo was fought between the forces of Charles VIII (of France) and the Republic of Venice, with help from the Duchy of Milan and the Margravate of Mantua.
In my case, rather than having a river extend between the two armies, I had it run down the table, from the Italian side of the battle field to the French. The battlefield looked something like this:
|The battlefield, using new Terrainguy tiles, purchased from Hal|
The battle opened up, with a turn of maneuver, and then the two battle lines were within artillery range of each other. The French army had two modern (for 1495) pieces of artillery, and the Italians had an older, mid 15th century, bombard. The French artillery was used, to good effect, against one of the units of Italian Gendarmes. The Italian Bombard blew up. Yes, the first time it was attempted to be fired, the Italian bombard exploded.
The Neil Thomas rules play very fast, and since there is no order writing, or maneuver planning, it is pretty well suited for solo play. With the very simple army list and troop type structure, and no points values, I don't think it would make for a great basis for a solo campaign.
|The Swiss Pike - 2 units, 6 stands each|
|The Italian Shot, armed with crossbow, inbetween the swordsmen and the Italian pike|
|French cavalry, to left, encounter Italian Gendarmes. Swiss Pike, at bottom, still approaching|
|Mercenary Italian Crossbowman, in French Service|
|French Gendarmes encounter Italian Swordsmen|
|Used as French Mounted Archers, without their bows|
|Mercenary Crossbow preparing to cross the river|
In the picture above, you can see some of the terrain elements I used. Of course, I used felt for the road, which is always serviceable. I used my commercial river, which looked good on the tile surface. I also used a painted bridge and villa, both in resin originally. And woodland scenics trees, mounted on fender washers. The hills are beadboard, with paint and grass applied. I did not make the hills, but I do have a series in the works - they are awaiting final finishing, and I hope to feature them in a game later on this spring or summer.
|Mounted Crossbow in the Italian army|
During the game, I only had painted one unit of mounted crossbow available, and the Italian army called for two. The army also had a unit of foot crossbow, so I made the decision to dismount one of the mounted crossbow units, and field it (for the battle) as a foot unit. I actually have (recently dug out, and based for priming) enough Minifigs mounted crossbow (in the 15mm Renaissance line) to complete a unit. Pictures to follow, as they get completed.
|I use nylon upholstery rings for casualty markers|
Stands come right off the unit. The rules allow for mixed units (halberd/bow, and pike/shot, for instance). The rules are, when a unit loses a stand in melee combat it is always either a pike or halberd stand. When it loses a stand from fire combat, it is always either a bow or shot stand. When you lose a stand to shooting, that is all. But when you lose a stand to Melee combat, then you have to pass a morale test (the only morale tests in the game) - for instance, Levy troops require a 5 or 6 on a D6 roll. No such rolls are required for losing a stand to Fire combat.
|French Gendarmes ride past an Italian Villa|
|The Italian Condottieri leading the Gendarmes|
|Charles VIII Enter|
|The Situation in Italy|
|Great images of soldiery from the time, in this set of German prints showing city flags and heraldry.|