Friday, 31 January 2020

Marignano 1515, September the 13th - The Duel of the Giants

28mm, Pike and Shotte, Great Italian Wars it was again and nothing less than the slaughter at Marignano. Bart played the underdog cavalry of Maximilian Sforza, while Daniel played the rearguard of the Swiss and Mike the CinC (and the Gewalthaufen/ main guard) and the vanguard of the Reislaeufers. The rather over-eloquent French were Peter as CinC, Mike (MDF) as the Duke of Bourbon and Alisdair as the Cavalry (D‘Alencon, de la Marck AND Bayard!!! all in one!).

Both had an extra command (Bayard and Cardinal Schiner) that could enhance a command permanently OR function as a extra commander. The Swiss were immune to blunder from turn 1-4, had an extra 6 plus points they could spent on command rolls AND two "engineers" that could turn French lost (medium or heavy) guns.

I told the crew/audience/punters that this would be a hard and bloody fight - after turn 6, night would creep in and command, visibility, fire and melee would get increasingly more difficult. I shalt not worry!

The Swiss won the initiative and pressed forward the maximum just right after timetable. The Italians blundered and didn't move. Then the French began to fire and one of their medium guns blew off.
On the right flank Mike let the Vanguard do a hedgehog and bottlenecked the French cavalry effectively as Peter was busy to maneouvre around them for the rest of the game.

On the other flank it didn't look better for the French. Even though Alisdair was the only one who used the add. command correctly, he also had massive manouverability issues and nothing much going apart from one Italian horse unit - Well done! But Bart had also successfully bottlenecked/blocked the French right flank. It looked quite good for the Swiss at that point ...

But in the centre Mike and Daniel progressed quite quickly but not quick enough. They also lost their screen cover of their pike block and could not get in to the French camp quick enough. The French lost an additional Siege gun (got shot away by Daniel - thats the way to do that!!) - BUT in the end  the crossbows and arquebusiers of the King did it - The  big main guard Swiss pike block and then the vanguard fell (short sharp shots, 1 over stamina break test mandatory and both rolled low!!) - game over in turn 4!!! (the French turns were exceptionally painfully slow due to overthinking (or beer?) So that broke the Swiss morale 2 thrids of their plocks were gone, the Italians wanted to go home as well, and the next day there would be the Venetians anyhow ... a well earned French victory.

The Swiss still had some command points left and didn't used the extra command as they might should have, but to be fair Mike was a bit under the weather.

Point wise: 17 points for the French vs 4 points for The Swiss. (the Venetians would not be needed at all!)

I thought a poster would be nice ... for the non-gaming audience ... 
The time/turn table ... I shouldn‘t be too worried with my folks though ...

The French centre with camp and small walls ... and a tiny rivulet/stream ...

The Swiss vanguard or Captn Steiner

Francis I left flank

The vanguard and the mainguard are well off into the field ...

But the Francis‘s cavalry tries to circumvent these reislaeufer!

The gendarmes d‘ordonnance

Then a French gun blew off (double 1 !!!)

still the French artillery crew gave them hell

the fatal 4th turn

Monsieur d‘Alencon still just about on the board

The Sforza still didn't move or flinch

The main attack of the centre

a French gun got shot down! 
The Pikes got the full heat of the French

D‘Alencon still no move at all -  too noble 
one second the main Swiss are there ....

the next its just Uli and his gun engineer ... ouch! 
The French pike was just decor, the gun was broken but the Arquebusiers killed the rear guard of the Swiss

Only one Swiss pike block left in hedgehog formation  .... hmmmm 
the minute the rearguard got shot to pieces ...

The battle map

the few extra useful/scenario rules

the Swiss and Italian stats 
The Swiss stats  rest

The French stats

King Francis I stats


  1. Spectacular, wonderful looking armies...Great report!

    1. Thank you Phil! I definitively need more Renaissance games in my life!

  2. Gorgeous Italian wars battle! Fabulous figures and a historical result (if a little fast!)
    Best Iain

    1. Thank you very much, Iain! Yes, I bolstered the Swiss, but due to bad luck and unused boni/ less consideration, it seems they had an prematurely end of battle.

  3. Great looking game Michael - some of the renaissance games I have had have turned out to be very onesided like this!

    1. Thank you for the compliment, Oli! Well, the devil lays in the detail. One can only arrange similar starting chances (and or additional game enhancing factors to include) and hope for the best. The rest is (thank god) unpredictable and depending on each participating player (and his actions).