Monday 29 April 2013

FOR SALE - five 16th C Spanish infantry.

I have recently completed my last re-organisation of painted renaissance figures (for re-basing) and, having done so, I have 5 Wargames Foundry 16th century Spanish infantry left over. I have no intention of adding more to make them into a unit. Consequently, I have based them individually for skirmish games, etc., and offer them for sale. The price for the 5 figures is £25 including package and postage (UK or EU). Payment must be by Pay Pal. First come first served.

Thursday 18 April 2013

Getting one's out for the Lads.

This week I got out virtually everything I have in my Italian Wars collection and put it on the table to do battle. The head count of men was exactly 1111.

The night's play would, except for sporadic artillery exchanges, take place exclusively on the French right. Here French cavalry would  play havoc with the Imperial cavalry facing them.
The Imperial cavalry, flanked by massed landsknechts would take the brunt of the initial French attack, but this attack was largely made in support.....
......of the Swiss pikemen.
The French cavalry move forward with alacrity.....
...and the Swiss, not to be outdone advance with panache - a triple move - they move so far that Graham has to help out -
Wallop! The game is barely three cards old and the Swiss and landsknecht light troops are already in a fierce skirmish.
The Imperials counter with Genitors moving up to harass the oncoming French gendarmerie. 
The cavalry battle becomes general as the pike close under artillery fire.
Landsknecht skirmishers putting up a good fight against the odds.
Cavalry, artillery, and infantry in a confused melee.
Push of pike, honours about equal.
A shot showing the battlefield at the end of the first nights play.
The pike battle could be key.
The cavalry battle is almost done and the French hold the field.
To be continued.....................

Monday 15 April 2013

Swiss contingent finished

I very much like that feeling, when I'm able to say "The last one is done". It brings on a warm glow.

This weekend I finished painting the last of the Swiss pike. This makes the Swiss contingent complete (though more shot, and even more pike, can be requisitioned from other contingents if required).

As a contingent, it comprises:
216 pike, 'collectionally' organised in three 72 man 'pike squares'.
16 halberdiers in a single unit.
24 arquebusier, in two units, based as skirmish shot.

Most figures are Old Glory, but there are one or two Foundry figures mixed in here and there.

The pike squares are organised in 12 stand units. They are four stands (12 figures) wide and three stands (6 figures) deep. Though not exactly square in any sense, they are efficient, and (IMHO) good looking wargames units.
The front stands are, probably unhistorically, armoured. But I like the look of a bit of three-quarter armour where the metal meets the meat.
A halberdiers unit, which I added only for 'spicey, gamey' completeness rather than historical necessity, in a small block of 16 figures.

Men with big choppers do it for me, anyways!

A close up of the relatively bright and simple paint job. These Old Glory figures are a doddle to paint up quickly - I love 'em!
One of the two units of skirmish shot. These are an almost 50% - 50% mix of 'ebay purchased' Foundry and Old Glory. They mix very well.

As I said, I have more Swiss units for refighting big battles such as Marignano. This is a unit of 72 Swiss pike (mainly Foundry figures) which I generally use as French. As with all of my Renaissance units (except one), all flags are on interchangable tubing so, once I make six more Swiss flags on tubing, these can be Swiss again in a seconds.

BTW, the first day of Marignano 1515 is my next painting goal. I have to paint 72 Italian pike (to use, wouldn't you know it, as French!), 48 crossbowmen, 32 arquebusier, and ten or so flags. I'll refight it at a figure ratio of 1:40ish, and with the usual piece of fudge.

For this Wednesday's game I've set up a battle using my entire collection (save a few command stands). It will be the umpteenth, fictional Battle of Fastapasta.

Sunday 7 April 2013

Italian Wars, painting update (March into April)

I have painted quite a bit of stuff since my January post. As well as the stuff pictured here, I have also painted 26 gendarmes and 16 stradiots. These had their own posts last month. Most of the figures pictured below are Foundry and Old Glory. The waggons and horses are Foundry, the barrel waggon is Hinchcliffe (?). The oxen are Front Rank. The Halberdiers are Foundry plus unknowns.

 A unit of landsknecht skirmishers.
A unit of 'generic' skirmish shot - they could Italian or Swiss.
 Another unit of 'generic' skirmish shot.
Some baggage waggons that will serve for most 'horse and musket' periods. That's why they have no crew. When I find some 16th C crew I'll put them on pennies.

The waggons are old, the teams have been repainted.

The waggon in the middle has had a tarp covered load added - using balsa blocks and miliput tarp. The one in the forground had it's tilt added a loooong time ago - I think it is glue soaked cloth over wire tilt bars.
A couple of Swiss (or early Italian) guns. I didn't have quite enough crew for them so I added a scratch built wagon as filler to one of the stands.

These figures only needed re-basing.
A unit of Swiss halberdiers.

Friday 5 April 2013

The Battle of Novara 6th June 1503.

This is a Hell Broke Loose scenario.

A short historical background
In 1512, following the Battle of Ravenna, France somehow failed to capitalise on her victory. In fact, the campaign proved to be a disaster, and she lost Milan. In mid May 1513, Louis XII of France dispatched an army, under the command of La Tremoille, over the Alps to retake his lost duchy.

By early June, much of the duchy had been retaken, and Tremoille had moved to besiege Novara (the duchy’s second city) where the duchy’s new, Swiss backed duke, Massimiliano Sforza, was holed up with 4000 Swiss.

Shortly after the French invested Novara a Swiss army arrived to its relief. On their approach La Tremoille, not wishing to be caught in his siege lines, withdrew his army. At nightfall, the dispersed units of the French army made camp around the village of Trecate. Unexpectedly, the Swiss did not tarry after their long march to Novara. They linked up with the garrison there and immediately followed up the French as they withdrew. Using local guides they made their way, in the dark, to within striking distance of the French army. Just before dawn, they attacked.

The attack began with skirmish between Swiss ‘enfants perdus’ and French pickets in the village of Trecate. La Tremoille, who had taken a billet in the village, narrowly escaped capture. But, the Swiss skirmishers did not follow up this attack. It was a feint, and their skirmishers withdrew to a wood that lay within shooting distance of Trecate’s houses from where they kept up a noisy fire.

The alarm had been sounded and French troops, bleary eyed and disorientated, were called to stand-to. They had no time to re-doploy to face their attackers – the Swiss were everywhere upon them.

This is where this scenario begins.

French order of battle
When the army invaded it numbered somewhat more than 12,000 men. It comprised 1000 lances of gendarmerie, 1000 light cavalry, 4000 Gascon and Navarrese crossbowmen, 6000 Landsknechts, and was amply provided with artillery.

Army Die: D10
Sequence Deck: D10
Morale Chips: 58
Additional cards: Scenario 1, Scenario 2.

Two commands of gendarmes.

(Motivation die D10).

1. La Tremoille with four units each of 8 gendarmes, all billeted in the village of Trecate. A class, fierce.

2. Robert of Bouillon with one unit of 8 gendarmes, outside Trecate. A class, fierce.
French light cavalry command.

(Motivation die D10).
One unit of 8 mounted crossbows. C class.

One unit of 8 stradiots.C class, grizzled, specialist close skirmishers.
French Gascon and Navarrese infantry command under Sieur de Beaumont.

(Motivation die D10).

Six units of 12 skirmish crossbowmen. D class, specialist crossbowmen.
Landsknceht and artillery command under Flourange.

(Motivation die D10).

One unit of 108 Landsknecht pike. C class, fierce, grizzled, murderous Vs Swiss.

One unit of 12 skirmish shot. C class, grizzled, specialist arquebus.

Two batteries of heavy artillery (1 gun each). D class, specialist for fire.

Milano Swiss order of battle
The Duke's army mustered less than 12,000 Swiss infantry and a few hundred horse of the Duke's bodyguard. The was divided into three bodies which advanced in echelon. The bodies were not equal in numbers. The first had a pike square 1000 strong, the second a pike square 2000 strong, and the third had a pike square of over 6000 strong. This accounts for about 75% of the force. I have no description of the supporting elements that made up the other 25% so I have added some shot and halberdiers. The army was ill supported in artillery - only a few light guns had been dragged up.

Army Die: D10
Sequence Deck: D10*
Morale Chips: 38
Additional Cards: Momentum March.

Milano-Swiss flank attack command under Massimiliano Sforza.

(Motivation Die D10).

One unit of 8 men-at-arms. A class.

One unit of 24 Swiss pike. A class, fierce, murderous Vs landsknechts.
 Milano-Swiss frontal attack command.

(Motivation Die D10).

One unit of 36 Swiss pike. A class, fierce, murderous Vs landsknechts.

One unit of 16 Swiss halberdiers. A class, fierce, murderous Vs landsknechts.

One unit of 12 skirmish shot. B class.
 Milano-Swiss main force command.

(Motivation Die D10).

One unit of 108 Swiss pike. A class, fierce, murderous Vs landsknechts.

Two units of 12 skirmish shot. B class.

One artillery battery (1 gun). D class.

Scenario notes
It is important that the bulk of the French heavy cavalry should not come too easily into the fight. To ensure this, they must be deployed billeted in Trecate (all, including the streets, is Type III + cover terrain). They may only leave the town via a road.

The marshy ground between the town and Landsknechts is Type III terrain. The French camp is Type II terrain. The Wood is Type II + cover terrain. All other terrain is Type I and open.

There is only one special scenario rule. The French sequence deck contains two Scenario cards. If a Milano-Swiss unit is in, or is in contact with, the French camp when a Scenario card is turned the French lose D6 morale chips.

Thursday 4 April 2013

Novara 1513 - Battle report

Last night Peter J. (commanding the French) and Graham H. (Commanding the Milano-Swiss) fought it out at Novara. We used the forces and scenario notes detailed in the previous two posts. The battle was done and dusted from start to finish in the evenings play (just under 3 hours). It was a pretty close run thing and both players enjoyed the encounter (I don't think they were only being polite).

There need to be very few alterations to the scenario for next weeks re-fight, where Peter and Graham will switch sides. The main change, will be the reinstatement of the two French Army Characterisation Deck cards (20 more morale chips) and a change in the definition of the two Scenario cards. It was found, that the French needed a few more morale chips, and the diversionary attacks needed a focus - the French camp. Consequently, the next time we play, whenever the French player turns a Scenario card and there is a Milano-Swiss unit in the French camp, the French player will lose d6 morale chips.

I will try, in the course of the next week, write up the full scenario with historical background, OOBs, and scenario notes in a single post.

Until then, here is the report of last nights clash

Here they come! The Swiss diversionary frontal attack swiftly assault the Gascon and Navarrese infantry.
The Swiss main force pushes its skirmishers forward but, disordered by artillery, their pike square advances tardily.
The Milanese horse and Swiss diversionary attack against the French camp forces back the light troops defending it with ease.
The Swiss frontal attack develops quickly, the Gascons and Navarese are fighting well - much better than expected.
The French gendarmerie is still in Trecate having  breakfast (you can't rush your Wheetabix), arming, and getting their Planchets to pay off the local bed warmers.

At last, Wheetabix eaten, armed, and groins scratched, the Gendarmerie comes out to play.....
...and some of it wishes it hadn't bothered.
As Gascons, Navarese, and gendarmes decide to find lodgings elsewhere, the Swiss diversionary flank attack (in the background) is meeting stiff resistance....
...very stiff resistance - the Milanese horse and Swiss go down to repeated attack from French cavalry. The camp is saved!
Meanwhile, (that new unit of) Swiss halberdiers, having become isolated, launch a frontal attack out of desperation against the best France has to offer. The gendarmerie must have not been as ready as it looked - it was routed, then dragged from their horses and butchered in the streets of Trecate.

Note the French cavalry far to the rear, the battle is almost over and it has only just getting into battle order. It rolled sooooo many odd move dice that it hardly moved in the first turns!
Finally, having suffered horrendous casualties to fire from artillery and arquebus, the landsknechts and Swiss main force come to grips.
The French have been at zero morale chips for some time and the landsknechts are beaten in short order.

The battle is over. The French are beaten.