Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Ravenna 1512

Louis XII of France placed his army of Italy under the command of Gaston de Foix. This very young but capable commander drove away the Spanish and Papal forces besieging Bologna, and then turned on the Venetians, inflicting a severe defeat upon them, and then successfully stormed Brescia.

Whilst Gaston de Foix was occupied against the Venetians, Ramon de Cordona the Spanish Viceroy of Naples and his Papal allies reoccupied much of Romagna. Gaston, realising that he could not pursue a campaign in two places at once, decided to force the allies into a decisive open battle, defeat them, and free himself to pursue any course of strategy he wished. To force Ramon’s hand Gaston marched on the most important city held by the allies, Ravenna. He set up his camp and sighted his artillery on the left bank of the River Ronco.

Ramon determined that Ravenna was in serious danger and marched to relieve the siege by threatening Gaston’s lines of communication without risking an open battle. But the celebrated engineer Pedro Navarro showed Ramon a position on the right bank of the Ronco, within two miles of the city, which given time to throw up a ditch and earthwork, he guaranteed impregnable.

Whilst the Spanish spent the night digging the French spent the night constructing a bridge of boats over the Ronco. Everyone knew that a fight would take place next day and the respective commanders issued formal defiances by trumpet.

To win the battle you must destroy or rout 8 units of the enemy (artillery sections and skirmish units count as half units) within 10 turns. Anything else will be considered a loss.

Your morale deck draw, not including 5 cards of morale chips only, has yielded the following.

D’Algre's rear guard
From the second appearance of your Stratagem Card you may bring up D’Algre's force via the bridge of boats. If the reserves are called you must destroy an extra unit of the enemy to win. These troops are from the (off table) rear guard that Gaston ordered to prevent a sally from the city. DO NOT DEPLOY THE ARTILLERY SECTION.

Hidden battery
Providing D’Algres is present, you may put a section of light artillery anywhere on the left bank of the river. This represents D’Alegres’ moving some artillery to fire into the flank of the allied cavalry.

Extra artillery reload card
An extra artillery reload card should be added to the French sequence deck.

To win the battle you must defend your earthworks in anyway you see fit until the end of move 10 and lose less than 8 units (artillery and skirmish units count as half a unit each) doing so.

Your morale deck draw, not including 5 cards of morale chips only, has yielded the following.

Hidden obstacles
Two of your Spanish infantry units have 20 or so small man handled carts equipped with heavy arquebus and various fixed spears and blades. These carts give the units a superior position frontally in melee and fire until the unit is pushed back in melee, when the carts are deemed destroyed. These carts, designed by Pedro Navarro, had two functions, firstly to break up infantry or cavalry formations, and secondly to provide a platform for heavy infantry firearms previously incapable of being deployed in a field battle.

Dead ground
At the outset of the game, you may declare that any/ all of your infantry is prone. Whilst prone troops count an extra down 2 cover bonus Vs artillery fire coming from the your side of the Ronco. Infantry may be ordered to stand on a Leadership card or for one opportunity pip. This represents Navarro’s orders for the infantry to lie down in the low ground to prevent artillery casualties before the French assault.

Extra opportunity chip: You have five opportunity chips rather than four.

HOUSE RULES: Spanish colunellas
This is a new formation. It comprises 8 stands. Four front row stands of arquebus backed by two stands of sword and buckler men and two stands of pike (the latter placed centrally). The formation counts as a battle-mass for morale, melee and target. It counts as a line for movement and fire. It may take one free stand of losses as per a pike blocks. They count three hits per stand.

1 - 2
Gaston de Foix. Two units of French Gendarmes [elite].
3 - 4, 9 - 10
Marshal de la Palice. Two units of Italian mercenary Gendarmes. Two units of heavy artillery.
5 - 8
Gascon crossbowmen. Four units of French militia crossbowmen [skirmish].
Jacob Empser's Landsknechts [twelve stands].
12 - 13
Seigneur de Morlat. Two units of Picard militia pike.
14 -16
Federigo de Bozzolo. One unit of Italian pike [six stands]. Two units of Italian shot [skirmish].
17 - 18, 19 - 20
Caraciolo. Two units of mounted crossbowmen [skirmish]. Two units of Stradiots [skirmish].
Ferrara's guns. One unit of heavy guns.
23 - 27
Yves d'Algre. One unit of mercenary Gendarmes. One unit of Italian pike [six stands]. Two units of Italian crossbowmen [skirmish]. One section of light guns.

1 - 2
Ramon de Cardona. Two units of Papal Gendarmes [one household, one mercenary].
3 - 4
Fabrizio Colonna. Two units of Papal mercenary Gendarmes.
Carvajal. One unit of Spanish Gendarmes [household].
6 - 7, 8 - 9
Marquis de Pescara. Two units of Papal mounted arquebus [skirmish]. Two units of Spanish Genitors.
10 - 11, 12 - 15
Pedro Navarro. Two units of light guns. Four Spanish colunnelas.
16 - 18
Papal infantry. One unit of Papal pike [six stands]. Two units of Papal provisionati crossbowmen.
Ravenna will be fought tonight using Piquet and the Band of Brothers 2 supplement. The Battle Report will follow ASAP.


Frankfurter said...

Nice pictures and good game order of battle ...
What line of miniatures are you using?
Also, since my wife is interested in the period, what rules do you recommend?


Hi Arthur,

Thanks. I use Piquet with the Band of Brothers 2 supplement. PK is not to everyones taste, but I love 'em.

The figures are mixed bag. It is almost impossible to get everything you want from one manufacturer, and with the exception of Redoubt and Front Rank they mix well. I just keep these in their own units.

Most of the infantry are Old Glory (this is one of their better ranges) with some Foundry and Front Rank (mainly crossbows and arquebus types for the latter - very nice) and the odd figure by Essex, plus one unit of Italian pike that, sadly, is not commercially available.

Artillery is Old Glory and Foundry.

Gendarmes are Foundry, the rest of the cavalry are Old Glory except for two units of mounted Xbow by Redoubt. Mounted arquebus are Foundry WoR prickers with guns added.

Nearly all the command figures are Foundry.

Hope this helps.


P.S. I will, hopefully some time soon, add some tips for Italianising figures and 'flagging'.

Willie Anderson said...


I am going through your old posts on the italian wars trying to decide how many to do! your painting on these is fantastic.

Best wishes