On the Imperial side was Jack on the right flank, with his own Florentines. While Donald played the Kaiser in the middle with my landsknechts, and Bart loved his role as Spanish Cavalry command on the left.
The opposition was Angus' Venetians on the French right flank opposing Jacks Florentines. English Michael was jumping in for Bill and playing the knucklehard Swiss against Donalds Imperial centre, while Campbell as French King led the attack of the Gendarmes against the Spanish on the French right.
The Imperials started the war (again) and moved first, a special rule allowed the CinCs to transfer either units or commander 3 times in the battle - so the Kaiser Donald gave his Gendarmes to El Bartolo, but the whole flank didn't moved and so gave the initiative to the French. On the other side of the table nothing much happened as the Italians just shot a little bit at each other ... a situation that should evolve into stranger things as we will see. In the centre gunshots were exchanged and unhappy screening Halberdiers and Arquebusiers were shot and maimed. The Inferno had nicely started.
On the Imperial left, Campbell was eager to get his Gendarmes into Spanish flesh, (2 Gendarmes and 3 Archer actually, enough to make anybody tremble). But I (as the sadistic Umpire) had warned that this time the Galloper rule would force Gendarmes into all following units - even pikes. That was what Bart exploited menacingly against Campbell by deploying Spanish pike behind his Ginets. The French Metal wave started and promptly vaporised the Spanish light cavalry only to be caught charging into Spanish pikes. For the first time in our club actually, gendarmes nearly broke Pike (Campbell forgot his d3 combat result, he will never do this again, my guess). Thus leaving shaken gendarmes in front of shaken but not broken Spanish pike!
In the centre Swiss Michael slowly advanced while both sides amused themselves with hard hitting cannon balls. As all Italian side, suspicious shots were fired, and some half hearted Horse attacks followed, drawing less blood than they should have.
As the terror of the guns continued the pikes drew slowly nearer and one support unit after the other went into the grass, the French archer attacked the Imperial centre but got caught in a Hailshot of a Basilisk and a third of this elite bite the dust. The Spanish just needed an all out charge of the rest of the German Cavalry - which hesitated ...
There suddenly was a movement on the Italian flank. the two old morally depraved condottieri decided Italians don't kill themselves (as they had failed to do so for the last 3 turns) and marched against the respecting centre opponents in a somewhat belligerent entente cordiale - to the shock of all others.
Now in the end phase the killing really got murderous, the centre clashed, we had a bad war between Donald and Michael, but the Swiss were to peppered and broke. On the cavalry flank Bart tried to regroup was again and again frustrated by bad command rolls, while Campbell got the chance and reformed with more than half of his Heavy metals.
On the Italian flank a wave of chaos that got tactical very messy, like a bolognese sauce, you love it but you can't avoid the mess.
At 22PM I called the shots and low and behold counted a victory for the good old holy roman Empire (5-6 units) - Florence was saved.
I guess I had fun like everybody else, and I also enjoyed the harsher galloper rule, making the gendarmes less of 1st choice of killer weapon. It seems that with my few house rules we have achieved somewhat of a renaissance balance (the paper-scissor stone thing).
Maybe we should think of a weekend battle in the near future ...
Figures: Venetians provided by Angus, Florentins by Jack, French and Spanish and Swiss by Donald and the Germans and the guns and some Pavisiers by myself.
Sorry about the terrain, it would have gotten in the way.
|The set -up|
|Some of the house rules|
|Campbells proud French Noblesse made from pure steel|
|Angus as the Doge|
|The initial deployment|
|The Imperial Guns are a blazing|
|French Gendarmes d'Ordonnance are falling into the Pike trap|
|Nothing much has a chance against French heavy cavalry|
|While the Italians are almost peaceful|
|But then the Venetian are turning toward the centre|
|While the Florentines are just watching - traitors?|
|While the Imperial Centre stands as a rock|
|Blazing away against the Swiss|
|But in the distance disturbing movements ...|
|And at last the Swiss impress even the longest standing veteran|
|Venetian Spezies are crashing into the centre|
|The Swiss finally make contact of the blunt kind to the misery of the Landsknechts|
|The front lines are blurring into a convoluted mess|
|No one knows friend from foe, but still firing ...|