Friday, 11 March 2016

Cerignola 28th April 1503

I‘ll give you Cerignola, Ladies and Gentlemen! And that Lady heavy-handed doesn't take it lightly, as the French found out to their demise! 

I have to apologise upfront, that forseeing the true spirit of my club mates, if they can't charge immediately, they'll do it piecemeal, ...  it was cruel of me, to offer them this For-the-French-not so-legere-scenario in Pike and Shotte (with some of my useful rules amended).

Bart and Campbell were happy behind the ditch and playing the Spanish under Cordoba, the Gran Capitan! While Angus, as we all know, jumped at the occasion to play Louis d‘Armegnac the French CinC. Donald opted for the right flank as Yves d‘Agres and Peter got the centre with the very big Swiss pike block. Funnily enough our Club Frenchman, who first wanted to join in, opted out as he came to know that here was just a place free on the French side.

Now Cerignola was the first battle were the Arquebusiers really did decide the day, so I gave them (and the Crossbows) a penetrating bonus (-1 on saves for hits under half range) as they really hit hard at short distances, but without exaggerating their fire capacity (still same number of dice) – but no one really did make use of it ...

As the French dithered, the Swiss stayed in the Centre and d‘Armegnac limbered slowly forward to get the guns, which in hindsight, he probably shouldn't have done, as the guns just arrived so see the last round without firing a shot. Donald on the other hand and flank, did came forth and withered the Arquebusiers slowly away with the crossbows - out of firearms range of the Spanish - very safe, but less impactful. Then he advanced with his 2 gendarmes and Argulets crossed the river and had a wee cavalry skirmish with the Spanish under Campbell de Cordoba, but they just retreated behind the safety of the walls. At a last instance Donald led a truly gallant attack of the remaining Gendarmes deep into the fortifications of the Spanish. But without support into the heart of Cordobas Spanish gendarmes, a truly desperate and doomed act of chivalry. They hurt the Spanish, but got beaten and lost the test and got disordered just to be on the plate for the Spanish gendarmes - and they swiped them away.

Then as the last hour came nearer, the Swiss pushed on ... but were shot down and beaten up badly by the Pikes, Arquebusiers and Rodeleros. In the end the Swiss broke! Due to a very bad morale break test ... but such is Fortuna, this day clearly not with the French.

On the other flank the Gendarmes dithered too long got coaught up in light gun fire and came too late to play  a role ... Donald's gendarmes didn't lived long enough to tell that they entered the walls and the rest died or dithered on the outside.

In the end, just like you would put a broken animal out of its misery, I declared the Spanish victorious.

It seems to me that you have to really think hard how to co-ordinate different arms together to a successful attack – and if all plays well together then, and just maybe then, you get the chance to wipe the opponent away. The Renaissance warfare, truly a league for kings.

Figures: Donald, Angus and me.
Scenario: blatantly stolen out of the "Internetz" and beefed up by myself a little
Terrain: by Angus, SESWC and me

Initial set up

The Spanish Centre safe behind ditch and wall

Four fearsome French Gendarmes  d‘Ordonnance
The plan

The French set-up

The Spanish Set-up

the fierce Swiss and their double-handed weaponry

errm... some Reiter agreed to jump in as Gendarmes

... still quiet in the centre ...

... while Navarro pounds away at the French

... the French crossbows encircle the Spanish ...

The famous gallant Death-ride of the d‘Algres

Swiss ante potras ...

.. finally the other gendarmes ... perhaps a little too late???

the Swiss are coming!!!

The Swiss get broken

.. and the other gendarmes shot away ...


  1. What a great looking renaissance game and it played out much like the real thing. What a difference a ditch makes!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain, well yes and even the biggest pike blocks seem to be fragile.

  2. Spectacular, beautiful figures as usual...and great looking terrain as well...

    1. Thank you Phil, yes, Angus‘ Spanish houses are splendid.

  3. That is a great looking game - Cerignola is a fascinating battle

    1. Thank you Oli, indeed it makes you think about the battle field dynamics of that particular time.

  4. Cerignola is a great little battle. We did it as a demo game at a show a few years ago.

    1. I know, my set up took incidentally a lot of inspiration from your set-up. ;)