sunnuntai 1. helmikuuta 2015

Battle inspired by Agnadello - Ranskalaiset venetsiaa kurmoottamassa

After a long break me and my gaming buddy returned to Pike and Shotte.
He wanted to give outing only to the Venetians he had painted fully, while I wanted to use everything I have on various stages of completion. (The Italian wars guys were producy of my first painting efforts, so they were now a bit painful to look at.)

Googling Aganadello I deviced a simplish scenario. Venetians deploy on the table - Frenchies - their opponents - come at them in three waves. First phase lasting to round 8 or until French advance force is broken. If Venetians can do that they get the first set. Second phase group almost equal toVenetians, with victory condition being if I can beat the Venetian center to submission. Third wave, superior to original Venetian group in numbers was to appear 8 rounds after the second - now Venetians either have to beat the Frenchies or evacuate their troops.

 Venetians have a battaglia of Stradioti with 4 units and a commander. Main force with four pike blocks, one block of halberds, two units of swordsmen, two light batteries of cannon and two units of arquebusiers with skirmish ability. Lastly the Venetian commander, drunk perhaps, begins the game with his heavy cavalry and mounted handgunners, two units of both and an inept cavalry commander.
Venetsialaisten pääjoukko keskellä, stradiotit kuvan oikeassa ylälaidassa

First to meet the Venetians is the reconnaisance group led by (anachronistic) Piero Medici who brings to field 4 units of stradioti, 3 with lances, a block of Italian mercenary pikes supported by line of arquebusiers and a line of swordsmen.

This battaglia was agreed to not count towards French army breaking  point, since it was meant to be sacrificial. Game started with French advance - fast one by stradioti - slower by infantry. Venetian commands started badly and his troops mainly waited passively for couple of first rounds. (With all random commanders I ended up with mediocre, but competent battagliacommanders, except last cavalry commander who was brilliant and  king Louis XII who was having a splendid day.) Stradioti of this group managed to destroy the Venetian cannons and in a mad dash seriously hurt another unit of swordsmen - shaking them. That was the extent of damage done by my avantgarde though. Surrounded by sweeping motion of the stradiots to their flank and threatened to their front by superior Venetian center the troops formed a hedgehog to protect them from the attack of the horsemen. This left them vulnerable to shooting and piecemeal they were shot to breaking point by round 6. Thus Venetians won first set.
French stradioti have destroyed the cannons, their colleagues plague the swordsmen.  Albanialainen ratsuväki on tuhonnut venetsialaisen tykit. Kollegansa kiusaavat venetsialaisen miekkamiehiä.

The stradioti who achieved stuff have been annihilated. Venetians advance in the center is hindered by the shaken mercenary swordsmen who are trying to flee. Tuhoia tehneet albaanit on lahdattu. Venetsian eteneistä haittaa palkkasoturimiekkamies yksikkö, joka rallyn epäonnistuttua haluaa lopettaa sotimisen.
After losing all the stradiots French avantgarde is broken. Hence arrive the Swiss and cavalry with Charles d Amboise, and - ahistorically I notice, the French general king Louis XII . Etujoukko on murtunut menetettyään kaikki kevyet ratsumiehet. Saapuu toinen aalto. Kolme blokkia sveitsiläisiä piikkejä, battaglian komentaja Charles d'Amboise - ja epäajanmukaisesti ranskalaisten kenraali, kuningas Louis XII

Enter my attack battaglia three blocks of Swiss - to give Venetians  a fighting chance. Two troops of mounted arquebusiers and a troop of Scottish mounted Archers ie. troops armored liked gendarmes but carrying crossbows in addition to lances. Quite a lot of hitting power, but still under strength in comparison to Venetians.

Hampered and harassed by shot and light cavalry 2 Swiss blocks managed slowly to get into charging position.
Bernese have charged, and lost the battle since they had no support. Karhulipun alla rynnäköineet berniläiset ovat vetäytyneet hävittyään tuetulle benetsialaispiikkineliölle. 

At round fourteen third wave arrived. The Swiss and Scots had failed to breach Venetian line- indeed
 they had suffered heavier losses than the Venetians. Second set to Venetians.

Third wave consisted of cavalry battaglia with excellent commander, two units of gendarmes and two units of mounted medium crossbowmen. Infantry battaglia had three native French pikeblocks, each with supporting crossbowmen or arquebusier unit, two blocks of landknecht pikes, with a unit of arquebusmen, a block of italian mercenary halberdiers with a line of crossbowmen.

At this point aim we agreed that Venetian aim of evacuation is fulfilled, if he can take majority of his pikeblocks and elmeti into safety.

Helas the shaken Bernese break and are destroyed, taking  with them unit of Scots that had run into support. Cavalry advances nicely into contact, but infantry is having hard time with bad command and the remains of Swiss blocks in front. On the other hand bad commands are making the Venetian retreat slow affair too.

 Footsloggers still tarrying. Gendarmes and Elmeti have had a slaughter of epic proportions leaving both shaken.

Venetians show battlelust and try to break the rapacious mountain invaders, but loose the push of the pike. And, if I remeber correctly, broke.

In the end Venetians retreat with parts of their cavalry but the shaken Elmeti get smashed and broken by the untouched gendarmes. Evacuation of centre gets speed, but is hit on the side by gendarmes, who annihilate one pike block and together with the advancing pikeblocks could smash two in the centre at the point game ended to time constraints. So majority of pikes cut off from retreat or lost and half of heavy cavalry broken my opponent conceded the last set to French. Match 2-1 to Venetians, who also inflicted huge losses on the French waves.

Overall the very loosely defined scenario worked decently. Were I to do it again I might define Venetian deployment as starting in march order - with troops either in columns or just deployed one after another facing their own table egde. Also the victory conditions might need to take into account the casualties.

Overall game ran smoothly. With over a year since last game of pike and shotte we were referring to rules constantly, but the game did not get bogged down by this. Some kinks need to be checked - like the use of proximity rule. And lots of complementary painting needs to be done. A nice beginning to gaming year and we managed to get one game in January. 

2 kommenttia:

  1. Thanks for your report. A battle and period close to my heart. Early 16C is a period that fascinates most war gamers - alas it is neglected because of painting slashed clothing. Personally, I love it!

    1. Landsknechts and their clothes are the thing that makes me contemplate moving over to 28mm. I find it hard to have nice balance between representing those huge masses of pikemen in thousands and getting all the interesting minor units numbering perhaps dozens or hundreds to same field and to interact in interesting way.