Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The battle of Milan 1522

We played a big Pike and Shotte game up at the club on Sunday.
I set up a semi historical scenario based on the battle of Bicocca.
The rules were fun and not a lot different to their parent Black Powder. I gave the pike a massive 8 stamina (that including their bonus for being a large unit) in the game just to make them last longer....i think back down to 6 next time....the Imperial/Papal right flank was smashed but on the left the Pope and his Swiss had seen off the French Royal Gendarmes and proceeded to smash up the French pike. In the middle the Swiss and the black Band had managed to come over the wall but were locked in bitter struggle with Frundsberg and his boys. The Pope called it a draw but truth be told i think the French/Venetians would have ground down the middle, just dont tell them that!
You can see some photos on my mate Thoran's blog http://northernsydneywargamesclub.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/battle-of-milan.html?showComment=1384242253726#c1297445644932294933

And here are some of my photos of the day! Apologies for the poor quality
The Pope watches over his flock....
The imperial/Papal line

The French and Venetians attack!

I wish this one was clearer...the Swiss lead the way for the French!

Great day!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

My collection as it stands and plans for the future.

I sold off most of my Italian Wars collection a while ago because it was more for the 1494-1505 period and I am more partial to the 1520s- Pavia etc.
So I have restarted the collection looking for a more puffy shirt style! :)

What I plan is a quasi-imaginations Italian Wars in the 1520s. The antagonists will only be referred to as "The French King" , "The Emperor", "The Spanish King" and "The Warrior Pope"....you get the idea.

I am using the Pike and Shotte rulesets and the plan is to use 24 figure units for pikes, 12 figures for Heavy infantry like halberds and sword and buckler men, 8-10 figures for missile troops and 6 figures for cavalry units.
Thus far I have a unit of Landsknecht done with two units on their way to be painted soon. I am using Artizan, Foundry and ProGloria figures for these guys and I have a foundry unit to start with.
I have 3 units of Stradiots using the Perry figures. These are based with a mix of weapons as in P&S I can rate them with a missile number and a melee number so mixing them is more historical I feel as I doubt we had the 1st Royal Stradiot Lancers or the Royal Stradiot Mounted Crossbows :) Stradiots being very much light cavalry marauders would have been armed however they like.
Of course my other unit i have at the moment is the Swiss Guard- no Pope would leave home without them!
Here are some photos- i rebased the Warrior Pope and he now has a mounted flag bearer as well as 2 Swiss Guardsmen and his faithful hound whom he calls "Borgia".:) Note the Coat of arms which follows the conventions for Papal crests. It has the cross Keys which are St Peters symbols. the papal crown and the Heradlry of the Della Rovere family the golden oak on the blue field (Julius II's original name was Giuliano Della Rovere and this is his actually Papal symbol)

The flag

Landsknecht- painted by myself

Landsknecht Commander- painted by The Cardinal

Stradiots- painted by the Cardinal

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Warrior Pope Himself

Here are some piccies of the Warrior Pope himself......I have actually just rebased him and will take some new photos and post them.

And his Swiss Guard

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Resurrecting the blog

Ok so its been along time....but i thought i couldnt let this one slip away....so where am I as far as Italian Wars goes....I have sold off a large chunk of my stuff that was really 1495-1505 and I have decided to expand now with later Italian Wars in mind so loads of Landsknecht and puffy clothes.....today I have ordered a unit of Progloria Landsknecht  http://www.progloria.de/
When they come in I shall review them.
I have also just sent a unit of Artizans Swiss down to the good Cardinal for him to paint.


My plan is to collect a few Landsknecht and Swiss units and then some Spanish, French and Italian style pike later.

Some photos from a game at the club



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Why the Italian Wars?

So why the Italian Wars?
Up until now I have pretty much been a Napoleonic gamer with brief forays into other periods. During one of these said forays I got ineterested in Italian Condottiere and did some searching on The Miniatures Page.
During this i discovered some threads on the Italian Wars and through them links to some web pages. When i saw the colour and gorgeous models i was hooked.
These three sites are primarily my inspiration for the period;

As you can see some gorgeous stuff and mainly Foundry (sculpted by the Perry's)

So I had a new interest but it went on the back burner until I had a good read of James Roach's Pike and Plunder campaign rules.

I read them and it mention a Warrior Pope, this peaked my curiousity. While being a non religiuos type myself i have always enjoyed the history of the Catholic Church and its rituals etc. So looked further into it and discovered there really was a Warrior Pope who lead armies into battle and his name was Julius II

I dont know why but i have always liked the idea of Holy Warriors, I love the idea of Warrior priests in Warhammer and always loved the Templars and Hospitallers as warrior monks. Not to mention the Buddhist warrior monks of Japan. Needless to say this was right up my alley so i began in my obsessive compulsive way to read whatever i could get my hands on about Julius and soon fell in love with the period 1490-1513.

The Borgias, Julius II, Gonsalvo, Emperor Maximilian, Louis XII of France and Henry VIII. What colour!
It was about now that also discovered Stuarts army for Henry VIII and the absolutely gorgeous figure he had done of him.

 I had been actually looking at doing the War of the Roses (which I still will do at some point!) but now I was completely sold on the early Renaissance and began collecting and painting as well as getting the good Cardinal to paint vast reams of figures.

 8 months later and I am at the point i am now. I am also working on my own version of Henry VIII as a strapping 22 year old like Stuart's for the 1513 invasion of France. Plus a unit of Yeoman of the Guard.
 I am pinching all of Stuarts ideas and some of his banners! Thanks mate!

Papal Army sheet

Princes, popes


A Black Powder Variant

Army Roster Sheet
Army Name: Papal States

Commander-in-Chief: Pope Julius II

Command Rating: 6
Aggression:MediumDecisiveness: MediumIndependence: High

Main Ward:
Commander: Francesco Maria I della Rovere, Duke of Urbino

Command Rating: 7
Aggression: HighDecisiveness: MediumIndependence: Medium
Swiss PikeInfantryPike, Sword8-36Large Unit, Steady, Ferocious charge, Determined Charge.
Swiss GuardInfantryHalberd7-24Steady, Elite, Stubborn
HandgunnersInfantryArquebus2243First Fire, Skirmishers
HandgunnersInfantryArquebus2243First Fire, Skirmishers
13 – 2 - 142

Commander: Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua

Command Rating: 7
Aggression: HighDecisiveness: MediumIndependence: Medium
Mounted CrossbowCavalryCrossbow5243Skirmishers
Lanze SpezzateCavalryLance8-25Lancer, Ferocious Charge, HC +d3
CondottieriCavalryLance8-34Lancer, Ferocious Charge, HC+1
Condottieri Cavalry CavalryCavalryLance8-34Lancer, Ferocious Charge, HC+1

Rear Ward:
Commander: Cardinal Leonardo Della Rovere

Command Rating:6
Aggression: MediumDecisiveness: MediumIndependence: Medium
LandsknechtInfantryPike8-46Steady, Large Unit
HandgunnersInfantryArquebus2243First Fire, Skirmishers
13 – 2 - 142

My Black Powder Variant

I am a big fan of the Black Powder rules. I like simplicity in a rules set. I like to play the game and not the rules. Having said that I like some granularity to rules, i like to feel like my unit is different etc and i have favourite units. Unit rules in BP are good for this. So here are my amendments. A note on the last three points. I play at a club where they like casualty removal and no markers on the field of play so this amendment is to make it more attractive to them. When playing others who dont mind the BP rules as is I remove the last three points and use the Stamina etc as normal.
Keep in mind this is a work in progress and i am well and truly open to ideas and changes!
The ranges are at 66% of normal BP ranges as we use this ratio to use a smaller table!
I give the generals quite low command ratings like 6 and 7 to reflect the fact that in this period there wasnt the command and control of later periods. I will post up my Papal army sheet later as an example.

Princes, Pope and pikes- a Black Powder Variant

All rules as per Black Powder with following exceptions.

  • The only formations are attack column, march column and skirmishers

  • pikes can form one more formation called the hedgehog which cannot move and they count as having no flanks or rear(therefore according to the following rule cavalry could not charge them at all in hedgehog). In hedgehog pike count as in square for all purposes (so while in hedehog cavalry cannot charge them unless they are disordered or shaken) except hand to hand where they still count in attack column.(Full attacks etc)

  • Pikes are treated as Infantry in square by cavalry to the front (so they cannot charge them if they are not disordered or shaken unless in hedgehog as above)

  • Pike always get the combat result bonus for square against cavalry even if cavalry are fighting them on a flank or the rear.

  • Pike always count as supported from the rear by the first 3 ranks after their first rank and if they are actually supported rear they can count extra support contrary to normal rules . In other words pikes can claim up to 6 supports- 3 physical units and their own support up to 3 ranks.

  • As commanders in this period were warriors and had fighting bodyguard their attack bonus for joining units is +3.
  • Arquebus only have 8” range.

  • Cannon cannot move after initial deployment except to pivot

  • Crossbows and longbows have a range of 12”

  • cannon have range of 36”

  • Brigades are called wards or divisions and still have the same break rules. Pike units count as 2 units for calculating the size of a brigade.

  • Casualty removal-units no longer have stamina. Casualties are removed instead. When the unit reaches half strength it is then shaken.

  • Rallying now only removes shaken and doesn’t recover casualties. A unit at or under half strength that has been rallied will again become shaken if they lose any more casualties. Once shaken, a unit must take break tests for all missile casualties.

  • In hand to hand combat the modifier to break test is excess casualties over half of the unit taken in total. Example: a unit that is under half strength by 3 models will take all break tests at -3 from now on until they gain new casualties and then the modifier increases to how many models they are now under half strength by.