Thursday, 8 September 2016

[15mm Historicals] Italian Wars Battle

Francesco Sforza - everyone's crazy
about a sharp dressed man
On Saturday night Jonathan and I had a game of Field of Glory. Jonathan is a FoG fan, specializing in the late Dark Ages/Early Medieval period. The earliest army I have figures for, apart from my Fantasy collection, is my Italian Condotta army which I used to play DBR with.

Jonathan borrowed a bunch of Medieval figures from John and was tossing up between using a French Army or a German Army for the Italian Wars period. Eventually, he opted for a German force.

With Jonathan's help I constructed a Milanese army that ended up looking like this:

Sforza Milanese (Italian Condotta)
1 Commander in Chief(Inspired)@ 80
1 Sub-Commander(Standard)@ 35
(1, 1)2 Battlegroups4 Mtd XBowLight HorseUnProcAvgDrilledXbow@ 84
(2, 2)2 Battlegroups2 Famiglia DucaleKnightsHvy ArmrSupDrilledLance/Sword@ 104
(3)1 Battlegroup6 Merc M-at-ArmsKnightsHvy ArmrAvgDrilledLance/Sword@ 126
(3)1 Battlegroup2 BombardsHvy ArtAvgUnDrilledHvy Arty@ 40
(4)1 BattlegroupPikemenHvy FootProtAvgDrilledPike@ 72
597 Points

The German General -
an eyewitness description
Jonathan's Medieval German army consisted of two Generals, 2 Battlegroups of Knights, a Battlegroup of two Heavy Guns, a unit of Defensive Spears, a unit of Crossbowmen, and a unit of Skirmishing Handgunners.

Milanese Deployment
After laying out terrain, we deployed. Field of Glory uses an army order-of-march to deployment system (the numbers in the brackets in the army list indicate which "division" of the order-of -march each unit is in) which meant that I deployed my light horse on either flank; a unit of Famiglia Ducale (Household Cavalry) on the left, behind the Light Horse and between the area of brush and the swamp; the second unit of Famiglia Ducale with the General alongside the large unit of Mercenary Knights to the right of the swamp; the pike block to the right of the horse; and in front of the pike, the two battlegroups of Crossbowmen.

The Heavy Guns were deployed to the right of the Crossbowmen, and the second unit of Mounted Crossbowmen Light Horse filled the gap to the area of brush on the right flank.

The Milanese Sub-Commander was in command of the Infantry, while the Commander-in-Chief commanded the Horse.

To the rear of the right flank area of brush, the Milanese pitched their camp.

View of the Milanese battle line from the German point of view.
The second photo shows the Milanese battleline in more detail. On the Milanese left (right of photo) can be seen the Light Horse leading the Famiglia Ducale; then the main body of knights and the pike block. The two battlegroups of Crossbowmen cover both the front of the pikes, and part of the front of the Knights. The Heavy Guns and the other unit of Light Horse deploy on the Milanese right (left of photo).

The German deployment
Across the field, the Germans were also deploying. On their right, separated from the rest of the army by a long ridge, was mustered their cavalry. Behind a small wood near the center, they pitched their camp. The Milanese could see movement within the wood, which could have been camp servants hanging washing and cutting wood for the dinner fires, or something more sinister and ambush-like.

To the left of the camp, and back from the center, the German Heavy Guns were deployed, while to the left of the guns were deployed a battlegroup of Spearmen, and a unit of Crossbowmen. Unbeknownst to the Milanese, a unit of Skirmishing Handgunners lurked in ambush in the wood on the German left flank.

Milanese Left - the German Knights (top) advance towards the Famiglia Ducale
and the Milanese Knights (bottom). The Milanese Light Horse slip out to the left.
As the massed Knights on the German right began to roll forward, the Milanese Light Horse swept around the edge of the area of brush and dashed out onto the left flank.

Meanwhile, the Milanese Infantry advanced and began to swing towards the right, towards the German Infantry, opening up a gap for the Milanese Knights to move forward to face the advancing German horse.

Milanese Crossbowmen advance on the German Defensive Spears. The Light
Horse discover German Skirmishers in the wood.
The Milanese Crossbowmen advanced rapidly on the German Defensive Spears and opened fire. With a click and a clack, not a quarrel hit (I rolled four1's). Out on the flank, the Light Horse approached the small wood, only to discover a big surprise - a fine crop of German Handgunners.

Meanwhile, the German Crossbowmen were maneuvering around the left of the Defensive Spears, At this point, things were looking a little dodgy for the Milanese, even with the Sub-General rushing the pike block forward to support the Milanese Crossbowmen.

The left flank face-off - the Milanese Light Horse approach the flank of the
German Knights. 
On the left flank, the German Knights were closing with the Milanese Knights. By this stage, the Milanese Light Horse had reversed direction and were threatening the flank of the right-hand German Battlegroup.

Milanese Famiglia Ducale (with General) and Mercenary Men-at-Arms
about to engage the German Knights with their General
The right-hand Milanese Famiglia Ducale Battlegroup and the Men-at-Arms Battlegroup squared off against the left-hand German Knight Battlegroup.

On the right flank, the Milanese Light Horse high-tail it for safety
Back on the right flank, the Milanese Light Horse quickly discovered that small Battlegroups shouldn't get into fire-fights with large ones.

With the German Crossbowmen advancing on them, and the Handgunners emerging from the wood, the Milanese Light Horse were forced to fall back towards the scrub.

Knight Fight! - Huge melee between the Knight Battlegroups rages. In this particular round, the Milanese Battlegroups inflicted more casualties then they received.
Back on the left flank, a huge melee between two Milanese and two German Knight Battlegroups ground on. Slowly, but surely, the Milanese began to gain the upper hand.

The left-hand Famiglia Ducale Battlegroup is routed by the German Knights
Meanwhile, the left-hand Famiglia Ducale unit was routed by the right-flank German Knight Battlegroup, but the tenacious Milanese Light Horse hung onto their flank, preventing a break-through.

The Milanese Crossbowman shoot holes in the German Defensive Spears
 while the German Crossbowmen wheel to engage on the right flank
Back on the right flank, the Milanese Crossbowmen moved closer to the German Defensive Spears. Having found the range, they unleashed a deadly volley of bolts. Attempting to charge, the Defensive Spears failed their morale test and hunkered down behind their shields. Meanwhile, the German Crossbowmen were frantically wheeling to engage the Milanese, only to find their maneuvers had brought them within range of the Milanese guns.

The Milanese Crossbowmen break the German Defensive Spears
 A second devastating volley fragmented the German Defensive Spears. With a shout, the Milanese Crossbowmen charged home, slaying the German Sub-General, routing the German Spearmen, and sending them fleeing from the field.

Things go badly for the German Left
With the German Defensive Spears in rout, the Milanese Pike swung round to threaten the German Crossbow Battlegroup. Already, several volleys from the Milanese Heavy Guns had shaken this unit, and they would soon be joining their fellows in flight.

End of the Battle, the main German Knight Battlegroups route and their General is slain.
Back on the left flank, the victorious German Knight Battlegroup was still entangled with the tenacious Milanese Light Horse when the main German Knight unit finally routed. I can't recall exactly, but I think the German Comander-in-Chief may have been slain in the final round of combat.

At this point Jonathan conceded but, when we did a points tot-up, it appears his army had reached its break point any way.

It was my first game of Field of Glory in several years, and the first game for Jonathan where he had to worry about gunpowder and guns, so we may well have missed, or miss-applied, some rules. All in all, a very enjoyable game (possibly helped by me winning) and reminiscent of WRG 7th Edition, though without the excessive geometry. I notice that the Field of Glory 2nd Edition rules appear to be out of print, currently, though there was mention of a 3rd Edition in development on a discussion board I found while attempting to source a copy of the rules.

I look forward to playing another game soon.

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