Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Derby Worlds - Cerignola 1503

This weekend The Ilkley Lads will present Cerignola 1503 as a demonstration game. On the Derby Worlds site it says that this will be a participation game but, this is a misprint, it's actually demo game. However, if one or two people want to pitch in for a few moves to try the rules, or simply to roll a dice or two, we are normally happy to oblige - with one caveat, due to the nature of the game and the figure collection is not really suitable for children (sorry).


As with all games put on by The Ilkley Lads, we will not have handouts. We will have an account of the battle and the OOB that can be read at table-side and blog address slips to so that people can find the same material published here if they want to use it in the future. 

We have put on a Cerignola game at a show before and much of the material that follows is a rehash of previous posts. However, this time we will use Pike and Shotte rules by Warlord to re-fight the battle. Consequently, the order of battle and scenario have been tailored to suit P&S and new figures have allowed more and bigger units to be used.


The Battle of Cerignola 1503


A short historical background.


The Battle set up on an 8' x 6' table with a 2' dogleg to allow d’Alégre to be deployed coming up into position. The dark green baize is, for game purposes, 'Out of Bounds'. The letters relate to the OOB below.

In 1500 Louis XII determined that he would re-conquer the Kingdom of Naples for France. In June 1501 his army, under the command of Louis d’Armagnac Duc de Nemours, began to mass in Rome in readiness for the invasion. King Federigo of Naples anxiously watched the French preparations and frantically tried to raise an army of defence; his one consolation was that several thousand Spanish troops under the command of his friend Gonsalvo de Cordoba had crossed the Straits of Messina to land in the south of his Kingdom. It seemed as though Federigo’s uncle, King Ferdinand of Spain, was coming to his rescue.



Spanish cavalry. These are under the direct control of the Spanish C-in- C, Gonsalvo de Cordoba.

Just before the French army departed south Pope Alexander VI disclosed the secret Treaty of Granada signed on 11th November 1500. By the provisions of the treaty King Federigo would be forced to abdicate and his kingdom would be divided. King Louis XII of France would become King of Naples and take control of Naples, Terra di Lavoro and Abruzzi. King Ferdinand of Spain would take the title Duke of Calabria and control of Calabria and Apulia. Federigo had been stitched up by his own family.


Spanish colunelas on the right under Pizarro de Paredes.

By the spring of 1502 it was all over for the old regime. The Kingdom had been occupied and divided by the armies of France and Spain. But not everything was settled. Two important regions in the Kingdom, Capitanata and Basilicata, were not mentioned in the treaty and both France and Spain laid claim to them. By the summer of 1502 what had started as angry skirmishes between French and Spanish outposts in the contested provinces had escalated into open hostilities.

The Spanish army was heavily outnumbered by the French. Fearing that he would be overrun Gonsalvo ordered most of his troops to concentrate at, and fortify, the port of Barletta on the coast of Apulia. There he would await reinforcements and events. Nemours moved the French army to blockade Barletta. Gonsalvo wisely refused to give battle and Nemours secured most of the rest of Apulia for France.


Gonsalvo's much prized Landsknechts under Fabricio Zamudio. So popular were they that, the common Spanish soldiery voluntarily gave up rations to make them feel more welcome.

Gonsalvo’s situation in Apulia began to change from the autumn of 1502. Nemours divided his army and sent a strong force to occupy Calabria; Nemours lifted the blockade of Barletta to put his army into winter quarters; Gonsalvo was reinforced - including a contingent of seven regiments of veteran landsknecht pikemen; in late February 1503, Gonsalvo led a sortie out of Barletta and took the town of Ruvo, capturing the French captain La Palisse, 150 gendarmes and 800 infantry. The scales were in balance (both sides were now equal in number with about 8,000 men each). Gonsalvo decided that the time had come to seek a battle with Nemours. On 27th April 1503 Gonsalvo marched his army out of Barletta and Nemours moved to confront him. 


Spanish colunelas on the left under Diego de Paredes.

The Spanish army arrived at the hill top town of Cerignola on 28th April. It was a swelteringly hot day but, rather than rest his men after their hard and dusty march, he set them to deepening and widening a wet ditch at the foot of Cerignola’s vine clad slopes. The spoil, held together with stakes and vines grubbed up from the hill side above, were piled into a low rampart. This rampart, lined end to end with thousands of arquebusier (early musketeers) would decide the battle to come. 

The French were marching to Cerignola, strung out along the road, advancing without reconnaissance, and harassed by Spanish light cavalry. It was very late in the day when they finally arrived before Cerignola. On seeing the Spanish army below the town the French held a council of war to determine their next move.


Italian infantry and cavaly under Fabricio Colonna holding the extreme Spanish left.


The Duc de Nemours favoured waiting until morning before attacking. This would allow his artillery (struggling up the road some distance to the rear) to come up, and his tired infantry (some of whom had suffered heat stroke) to rest after their long, hot march. Many of Nemours’ captains disagreed. Even though the army had not yet fully come up Yves d’Alégre, amongst others, urged an immediate attack. Surely, they said, one violent attack with a combination of the Swiss and Gendarmes that were present would decide the battle – as they always had – and afterwards they could all sleep, victorious, in comfortable beds in the town. The council became argumentative and Nemours was forced to bow to his officer’s wishes. No one in the French army had seen the deepened ditch and rampart.
 

French Gendarmes and light cavalry under Louis d'Ars deployed on the French right.

The French hastily formed up in echelon from the right. Nemours ordered the trumpets to sound the attack. The French line moved forward under fire from Spanish arquebusier and artillery. A light wind blew the powder smoke towards the French and that, with the clouds of dust kicked up by the horse’s hooves, blinded them to the danger of the ditch until they were upon it. The French were brought to an abrupt halt at the edge of the unexpected obstacle and subjected to a murderous fire. It was several minutes before the French crossed the ditch and came to close quarters with its defenders on the other side. 

In the French right centre, massed Swiss pike under Tambien Chandieu.

Suddenly, there was a moment of panic in the Spanish ranks as a powder magazine blew up inside the entrenchment. Gonsalvo, seeing his troops flinch, rode up in person to restore their courage. All along the ditch the French tried to break through the Spaniard’s defensive line. Attempt after attempt was made in vain. Crashing volleys of Spanish arquebus fire poured into them and soon the French were knee deep in mud, and the blood of their piling dead.

Gascon crossbow armed infantry in the centre right under Gespard de Coligny. In the distance, Louis d'Armagnac the Duke of Namours.
As the sun began to set the Duc de Nemours, riding along the line shouting words of encouragement to his men, was shot by an anonymous arquebusier. Then Chandieu crossed the ditch in an attempt to find a gap. He was immediately identified by his white plumes and fell, armour sieved, in a hail of shot. Darkness fell and the leaderless French began to falter.

Gonsalvo ordered a general advance. His infantry leaped across their breastwork crying out “Castile, Aragon, Santiago!” His cavalry crossed the ditch and wheeled in on the French flanks. The French broke. The slaughter was terrible. Only the darkness saved them from being completely massacred. The battle had lasted little more than an hour but, in that time, more than 4000 French soldiers had been slain. The Spanish had lost less than 100 men. 

For the first time in history, an army comprising the best troops in Europe had been defeated by a thin line of ragged soldiers wielding short lengths of iron tube loaded with gun powder and lead pellets. Warfare was changing……….

Coming up, Yves d’Alégre's cavalry. Somewhere on the road behind these troops the French artillery is struggling to reach the field before it's all over.


Spanish OOB

A. Gonsalvo de Cordoba (C-in-C) - Rating 10, Decisive.

  • 1 unit of Spanish knights and other heavy cavalry [16 figures].
  • 1 unit of Spanish Genitors  [16 figures].
B. Fabricio Colonna - Rating 7, Aggressive.
  • 2 units of Italian Lance Spezzate [16 figures each].
  • 1 unit of Italian arquebus [24 figures].
  • 1 unit of Italian infantry [24 figures].
C. Diego de Parades - Rating 8.
  • 2 large units of Spanish colunela [46 figures each].
  • 2 light guns [1 gun model plus crew each].
D. Fabricio Zamudio - Rating 7 Aggressive.
  • 3 units of Landsknecht pike [36 figures each].
  • 1 small unit of Landsknecht shot [12 figures].

E. Pizarro de Parades - Rating 8.
  • 2 units of Spanish colunela [46 figures each].
  • 1 unit of Italian shot [24 figures].
  • 2 light guns [1 gun model plus crew each].
Total - 376 Infantry; 64 Cavalry. 4 Guns.


French OOB

A. Louis de Armagnac the Duke of Nemours [C-in-C] - Rating 8, Timid.

B. Louis d'Ars Rating 7, Rash.
  • 3 units of French Gendarmes [16 figures each].
  • 2 units of mounted crossbowmen [16 figures each].
C. Tambien Chandieu - Rating 8, Agressive.
  • 3 very large units of Swiss pike [72 figures each].
  • 1 unit of Swiss shot [20 figures].
D. Gespard de Coligny - Rating 7.
  • 6 units of Gascon crossbowmen [24 figures each].
E. Yves  d’AlégreRating 7, Rash.
  • 3 units of French Gendarmes [16 figures each].
  • 1 units of Stradiots [16 figures].
F. Artillery Train - ostensibly under the C-in-C's command.
  • 2 heavy guns [1 gun model plus crew each].
  • 2 medium guns [1 gun model plus crew each].
Total - 380 Infantry; 144 Cavalry. 4 Guns.

Unit Characterisation Table for Cerignola 1503

CAVALRY UNITS
Unit
Unit Type
[move]
Melee
Dice #
Shooting
Dice #
Morale
save
Stamina
Special
French Gendarmes
Heavy Horse [12”]
10
-
4+
4
Elite: 4+ to rally disorder.
Valiant: Re-roll failed break test.
Heavy Cavalry Charge: add D3 melee result bonus.
Full harness: roll 2 extra morale save dice in melee.
French Argulets
Light Horse
[16”]
3
1
[12”]
5+
3
Cautious: may use free move to retire.
Crossbow: no close range
Evade: can evade
Spanish Knights
Heavy Horse [12”]
9
-
3+
4
Elite: 5+ to rally disorder.
Valiant: Re-roll failed break test.
Heavy Cavalry Charge: add D3 melee result bonus.
Full harness: roll 2 extra morale save dice in melee.
Spanish Genitors
Light Horse [12”]
5
1
[6”]
4+
3
Javelin: no close range.
Marauders: Do not count command distance.
Skirmish: Freely change formation; shoot at full effect.
Fire & Evade: can evade, or give closing fire & evade.
Lance Spezzate
Heavy Horse [12”]
9
-
5+
4
Heavy Cavalry Charge: add 1 melee result bonus.
Full harness: roll 2 extra morale save dice in melee.
Mounted Crossbows
Light Horse
[16”]
3
1
[12”]
5+
3
Cautious: may use free move to retire.
Crossbow: no close range.
Evade: can evade
Stradiots
Light Horse
[16”]
5
1
[6”]
4+
3
Brittle: quit if rally failed when shaken.
Javelin: no close range.
Marauders: Do not count command distance.
Skirmish: Freely change formation; shoot at full effect.
Fire & Evade: can evade, or give closing fire & evade.

ARTILLERY UNITS
Unit
Unit Type
[move]
Melee
Dice #
Shooting
Dice #
Morale
save
Stamina
Special
Light Artillery
Artillery
[4”, 8” limbered]
1
1 - 2 - 3
[32” - 16” – 6”]
5+
2

Medium Artillery
Artillery
[0”, 8” limbered]
1
1 - 2 - 3
[48” - 24” – 6”]
5+
2
May be ordered to turn on the spot.
Heavy Artillery
Artillery
[0”, 8” limbered]
1
1 - 2 - 3
[64” - 32” – 6”]
5+
2
May not move at all once unlimbered.

INFANTRY UNITS
Unit
Unit Type
[move]
Melee
Dice #
Shooting
Dice #
Morale
save
Stamina
Special
French Crossbows
Battle Line
[8”]
4
2
[12”]
5+
3
Brittle: quit if rally failed when shaken.
Crossbow: no close range.
Swiss Pike
Pike Block
[8”]
10
-
4+
8
Elite: 4+ (5+ post 1522) to rally disorder.
Valiant: re-roll failed break test.
Ferocious: re-roll misses when charging.
Bad War: melee break test +1 Vs Land’s / Swiss.
Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter 1 shot; static only.
Swiss Arquebus
Battle Line
[8”]
4
2
[12”]
4+
3
Elite: 4+ (5+ post 1522) to rally disorder.
Hedgehog: shelter with associated pike; static only.
Pre-Bicocca Swiss
-
-
-
-
-
Add: Pre-Bicocca: Ignore shaken battalia rules until all Swiss pike & halberdiers / army is shaken or destroyed.
Spanish Colunela
Battle Line
[8”]
5
2
[12”]
4+
5
Pike company: cavalry count as pike armed.
Colunela: add D2 melee result bonus Vs infantry.
Volley Fire: add 1 dice to ‘closing fire’ shooting value.
Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter integral shot; static.
Landsknecht Pike
Pike Block
[8”]
7
-
4+
5
Bad War: melee break test +1 Vs Land’s / Swiss.
Valiant: re-roll failed break test.
Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter 1 shot; static only.
Landsknecht Arquebus
Battle Line
[8”]
2
1
[12”]
4+
3
Hedgehog: shelter with associated pike; static only.

Elite Landsknecht
v
v
v
v
v
Add: Elite: 5+ to rally disorder.
Italian Arquebus
Battle Line
[8”]
4
2
[12”]
5+
3
Hedgehog: shelter with associated pike; static only.
Italian Infantry
Battle Line
[8”]
5
-
5+
3
2 Handed Weapons: -1 to enemy saves.


Scenario Notes

Terrain

There are only three significant pieces of terrain. 
  • The walled town of Cerignola is impassable.
  • The slopes of the hill, on which the town stands, count as light rough terrain.
  • The ditch and earthwork. The ditch counts as a linear obstacle that takes one full move to cross. It will disorder all troops that enter or leave it on a result of 3+. Troops in the ditch can engage with troops behind the earthwork in melee counting it as a fortification that gives the defender a +1 to morale save modifier (for cover) and a +1 melee result modifier (for defending a minor fortification). The earthwork, if undefended, takes one full move to cross.
  • All other terrain is only aesthetic.
Command Ratings
  • Decisive: May re-roll a failed morale check, counting a subsequent check failure as a blunder roll.
  • Timid: Re-roll any order resulting in three moves.
  • Aggressive: Add one to command rating when ordering a charge.
  • Rash: As aggressive except that the commander will blunder on rolls of 11 or 12. The first blunder he makes will always be an advance (50% chance) or charge (50% chance).
Blunder Rolls
  • See Rash above.
  • If the French artillery blunders it will halt in place for the remainder of the battle and be unable to fire - it is delayed, runs out of ready powder, etc.
  • If a Spanish artillery piece rolls two or more ones when firing there is a powder explosion. The artillery piece is destroyed and all units within 3" take 1 stamina loss and become disordered. This can happen only once in the game.
Turn 1 & Other Timings.
  • On turn one: The trumpets have sounded the order for the French to advance. The French have blindly moved forward into their present positions in preparation to charge (Note: Louis d'Ars Gendarmes start the game within arquebus range of the Spanish earthworks). The Spanish start the game.
  • The French artillery is some still way from the battlefield, struggling up the road in the heat. It may not enter the field until turn 3.

10 comments:

Peter Douglas said...

Once again, your table and troops look spectacular. Looking forward to OOB and scenario notes!
Cheers Peter

Gonsalvo said...

A favorite battle of mine... of course!
While stacked in favor of the Spanish, it usually gives a very exciting game!

TamsinP said...

I hope that all goes well with the game this weekend and look forward to seeing the AAR :)

Colin Ashton said...

James, I am very impressed and looking forward to reading more. Sadly I won't be at the show but I'm sure your game will be very well received.
Cheers
Colin

Ps My willpower is being severely tested every time I see your Italian Wars collection.

Vexillia said...

James you need to edit this post as you have put some some paragraphs in twice. There are two that begin "Suddenly, there was a moment of panic .."

Good luck at Derby.

JAMES ROACH said...

Thanks Martin. I did the post quite late last night. It was just a cut and paste but the photos wouldn't go in properly. By the time I'd crowbarred them in I was so infuriated that I forgot to check the text. Done now.

James

Jim Clarke said...

Looks great. What is your modifier for very large units?

Jim

JAMES ROACH said...

Hi Jim,

+3, +3.

Very large units are 12 stands (72 figures) and I have gone for depth rather than width for these. My large pike units (54 figs, 9 stands, 7 stamina) are three stands wide and three stands deep, very large are an extra stand deep. Normal units are six stand, 36 figs, 3 stands deep.

I upped the stamina of standard pike blocks to 5 to better reflect their general numbers in this period.

The characterisation table has the unit size included.

James

steve said...

Looks great James. Hope it goes as well as when we played it at Triples a few years back.

Oli said...

This looks superb James - and a part of the Italian Wars that always fascinates me. I like your command "tokens" with either a picture of the commander or their coat of arms - they work well.