Sunday, 20 June 2021

1503 - Bad war on the hills - Early Renaissance somewhere in Italy

This time it needed to be: 28mm, Early Renaissance, Pike & Shotte (with amended useful rules), all fictional and over House Party ... Campbell choose the Imperial side, while Bart chose to fight for the French King. I lined up both parties relatively near and parallel to each other with a little hill in the middle. Both sides had 5 commands (all 8), 5 guns, 3 pike blocks, 2 shotte units, 2 two-handed weapons units, 1 sword&buckler unit and 6 cavalry units. No modesty or complicated strategies needed, just an opportunity to enjoy early modern warfare carnage in a simple clash.

The French just had better horse 4 heavy cavalry units (the Gendarmes!!!) and two Swiss pike blocks, (and two tokens to re-roll a failed command to simulate the quick Swiss), while the Imperials had all the heavy guns and one large pike block and two normal ones.

... And so they were needed as Bart failed two times his battallia roll in his 1st turn, but then the second token did the trick - the Swiss were on the hill! On the other side of the table we were witnessing the usual, the Imperial and French Horse were marching up to engage in a heavy metal clash of prestige and feathers, we all had apparently the same thoughts were this would end. While the Imperial gun men were drowning the field in noise and blood.

BUT then somewhat miraculous happened. We all saw the gendarmes and men-at-arms clash and inflict high casualties on both sides, lots of units were shaken and ... 

... the French failed their break test ... and some subsequent support break tests ... ouch! The German Imperial cavalry, for the first time since I play these era (along 7 years), dealt the French a heavy blow. Their main Gendarmes d'Ordonnance were shaken and for the rest of the game stuck (due to some failed rally orders).

In the centre and on the hill the fighting intensified, Doppelsoeldner and halberdiers and pikeblocks clashed, Swiss vs Landsknechts and vs Landsknechts - all out Bad War no quarters were given. 

Due to time and space limits we had to end this, but the final toll showed 6:4 for the Imperials - congratulations again Campbell, "the Slayer of the French" henceforth shall you be known. And this wonder of the metal clash really "stunned" the French cavalry in more than one way!

Initial set up

The rules

The French centre with some Gascoigne pavise men

The Imperial ordonnance - heavy guns

The Swiss swiftly march forward

The Swiss battalia is on the hill

The Bande Neri follows suite

The German fire and advance with their cavalry!

Some skirmish on the hill

The seconds before the Gendarmes clash

The seconds after ... where are the French?

The French cavalry seems to struggle

Swordsmen and Swiss heavy halberdiers clash

The German Imperial horse has the French Gendarmes shaken!

The guns roar

The Spanish rodeleros can‘t break the Swiss

even with their extra combat result dice!!!

The gendarmes d‘ordonnance of both sides lick their wounds

The pike blocks start to move in

The mounted crossbowmen keep the gendarmes in check

The Swiss halberdiers die

On top of the hill the fights are getting bloodier ...

The first pike blocks clash - Bad War!!!

The French horse stays checked

More carnage on the hill

The French cannot get their gendarmes back from shaken

The Spanish swordsmen in front of some Schwyzer

The only Swiss arquebusiers are hacked down...

The Blood table on the left the French (6 units) vs Imperials (4)


  1. A spectacular and gorgeous battle, love the heavy guns overlooking this impressive battlefield...A feast for my eyes Michael!

    1. Thank you for your compliments, Phil! The French player, had a completely different opinion about the guns, understandably.