Friday, 30 July 2010

The Battle of Trimini

Attacks on armed camps were a feature of The Great Italian Wars. Ravenna 1512, Novara 1513, Marignano 1515, Bicocca 1522 and Pavia 1525 are all prime examples. In most cases camps were strong positions, fully entrenched.

At Novara 1513 the French camp was only partly entrenched and its defenders were badly deployed when a surprise attack by the Swiss overthrew it in short order. Novara is the germ of inspiration for this fictional scenario. But instead of massed Swiss pikes I have substituted a mixed force of Imperial and Venetian allies. I have also set it slightly later, 1520.

General Background:

The French, halting their march late on the previous day, only partly entrenched their camp with a series of redoubts for their artillery. French infantry (crossbowmen and pike men) were tasked to complete the entrenchments next day and slept in the open fields where the earthworks were to be dug. Believing the enemy to be some distance off, the cream of the army (Gendarmes and the Swiss) pitched camp north of the village of Trimini.

On hearing of the approach of the French the commander of the allied Imperial and Venetian army called a council of war to decide what was to be done. Intelligence reports suggested that the French had advanced without reconnaissance and they had failed to fully fortify their camp. Without a dissenting voice the council elected to launch a surprise attack at dawn.

Some time before dawn the French commander was awoken and informed that their were reports of enemy movements coming in from the outlying pickets. The French commander was not convinced but, remembering the disaster of Novara seven years earlier, he ordered half of his Swiss to stand-to. He then went back to his bed and his mistress (he was French).

Thus the scene was set for the bloody Battle of Trimini.


Terrain definitions for Piquet:
Hills are Type I - stop at contact, normal moves thereafter.
Woods are Type II.
Trimini is Type III.
French camp and redoubts are Type III.

French Order of Battle:

Commanders: 2 'combat bonus' commanders and 4 other commanders
French Gendarmes: 4 units of 7 figures.
French mounted crossbows: 1 unit of 6 figures.
Stradiots: 2 units of 6 figures.
Italian mounted crossbows: 1 unit of 6 figures.
Swiss pike: 2 units of 54 figures.
French pike: 1 unit of 54 figures.
French crossbowmen: 7 units of 10 figures.
French artillery: 2 batteries of heavy field guns.
Total figures used: 58 cavalry, 254 infantry, 4 guns and a dog.

Allied Order of Battle:
Commanders: 3 'combat bonus' commanders and 3 other commanders.
Imperial Men-at-arms: 2 units of 7 figures.
Mounted crossbows: 2 units of 6.
Landsknecht pike (plus shot sleeves): 2 units of 82 figures.
Organ gun: 1 organ gun.
Venetian Condottiere: 2 units of 7 figures.
Venetian Stradiots: 1 unit of 6.
Venetian mounted arquebus: 1 unit of 6 figures.
Venetian pike: 1 unit of 36 figures.
Venetian shot: 2 units of 15 figures.
Camp locks:
The French Gendarmes and half of the Swiss are in camp, half asleep and totally unprepared for what is to come. To represent this they have a number of 'locks'. These must be removed before they can undertake any voluntary action. A 'Whim of the Gods' card has been added to the French sequence deck. When it appears roll D4. For each pip on the D4 the French player may remove one 'lock'. Any unlocked troops caught in camp by the enemy count as unarmoured and in disorder.

French disorder:
To represent the general disorder caused by the surprise appearance of the Allied army, 2 'Command Indecision' cards are added to the French sequence deck for turn 1. Remove 1 at the start of turn 2, and the last at the start of turn 3.

Allied coordination:
Because of the inherent difficulty in coordinating an allied army in the field, an 'Uncontrolled Advance' card has been added to the Allied sequence deck. On the appearance of the card any remaining impetus pips can only be used by one of the armies. Roll any dice: Odd result = Imperial. Even result = Venetian.


Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

That's a Fantastic board packed with fantastic looking miniatures in a fantastic hobby room! It's well.. just......Fantastic!!


michael said...

Good luck with your game! If I was a betting man, I would say that the Venetians will loose.

Beautiful game and minis.

Mike B

Stuart M said...

I've been patiently waiting for you to do some renaissance stuff. I really like the romandiole pikemen, nice photographs.

Which figures do you use for the mounted crossbowmen?



Stuart M said...

Well done James, a really interesting scenario.

Excellent photographs as usual with some good close-ups for the details that we all love.

Which figures do you use for the mtd crossbowmen?



Hi Stuart,

some are OG and some are Redoubt. I'm not massively happy with either, but prefer the OG.

I'm hoping TAG (or anybody else) will put me out of my misery sometime soon by adding Mtd Xbow, Mtd. Arquebus, Genitors and Sradiots to their range. Sadly, 16C light cavalry are something of an afterthought (if thought of at all) for most manufacturers.

Bluebear Jeff said...

Amazing eye candy, sir. The heraldry and barding are just wonderful.

-- Jeff

Steven said...

Tremendous minis and set up. Loved it.

And my first flat in London was smaller than your games room.

Vinnie said...

Just amazing all I can say. Love the games you put on and the fantasic figures