Monday, 18 July 2022

1506 - Big Sunday Heatwave Game - Great Italian Wars

This Sunday we played a (totally fictional) Renaissance battle with a heat wave topic at my place: 28mm, Great Italian Wars, Pike&Shotte - Bart choose the French and I played the Imperialists. The Germans were to be attacked by the French and Swiss, who supposed to be eager to charge, while the Imperial Marshal had made a mistake by building up the camp near a dried up river, easily fordable (and just rugged terrain) - due to a nasty Italian heat wave!

The French had better and more cavalry,while the Imperialists had one more pike block and the bigger guns. I got the first turn, but decided to play it traditionally, i.e. to bombard them and then maybe dare a raid with my few gendarmes in the hope to soften them up before.

One extra scenario rule was that each gun had 6 shots and an extra powder casks (plus 1d6 shots) and 2 powder casks in their camp/baggage train. The number would be rolled once the 6 shots were fired. Also, we made the explosions chance a bit "hotter" as we introduced an technical dice at long range (different colour) that would be just there to give a second 1 - in which the guns would explode! If that would happen with a powder cask near all units within 6" would get 1d6 automatic hits. The heat was on!

Unusually Bart had the same idea of playing cautious - which gave me time to fire away at his guns. Unfortunately right at the start one of my biggest guns exploded and harmed Gendarms, Men-at-Arms and some Doppelsöldner around it!

The progression of the battle was rather restrained cautious, with some action at the flanks - as Bart seemed to wait for the right opportunity to charge my walls just when my guns would run out of ammo, while I was waiting to catch the right moment to sally forth with my few gendarmes to prevent that!

My large pike at the flank exchanged itself in a "bad war" manner with a Swiss pike block. Bart send  one of his Gendarmes in as my block was disordered - ouch -  total sweep up!

On the right flank my Italian light cavalry battalia just was not making any progress! His guns  and powder cask were rolling 6s, while I was just rolling 1s or 3s - I would be soon out of ammo! Even so I stripped Bart of most of his guns. While all parts of the battle seemed stable on Barts side, my left flank was on the down and the right flank was an impasse.

Then Bart launched his French Grande Attack! One gendarme d‘Ordonnance and two Men-at-Arms, he could even afford two light cavalry to bolster /pressure my left flank - it didn‘t look good! But something happened, his rolling wasn‘t on top, he failed his big charge, and then due to some lucky shots from me, his knights got disordered, and then I charged back. He never got out of his disorder and I could charge a second time and then his middle (cavalry) line was gone! I beat the French on horse, huzzah!!!

That was when we realised that the battle was over, as his centre was missing and my knights stood there ...

It was a thrilling battle, much more thrilling as we both waited for the "right" time to set the charge. Unfortunately for Bart his "Grande Charge" had not worked out, if it would, I would have lost the battle, I am sure of. Also the defining power of getting a unit (gendarmes or a pike block) disordered by even the tiniest shot unit is worth a million bucks!

A Imperial victory: 5 German vs 10 French units.

Initial set up, French on the left

Imperials on the right staying put

Then my gun exploded

My Italian right flank stumbled on

while in the centre my gendarmes lick their wounds

His stradioti and the Black block block my Italian advance on my right

I advance on my left

His Swiss stay unusually put in restrained fashion

my advances are slowed

it will be a bad war!

while my centre blasts away

Bart builts up pressure on the right

My light manages to destroy a light gun

Then the Swiss counter charge my large pike block

and the rest of the Swiss battalia follows

Bad war happens

and his halberdiers manage to soften up my pike

then the pike blocks clash

and i manage to destroy a Swiss pike!!!

we survived just about it

but the next Swiss block is on its way

and further behind ...

the French heavy cavalry

and as the large block is disordered they sweep in for the kill

the other Swiss go after my remaining block

I retreat and Bart senses blood and charges with the rest of the French gendarmes to my centre

but he gets caught disordered and I counter harge!

and counter charge

and counter charge

until his  once proud French knights are in the ground

End of battle


  1. A great looking game. I love the extra rule about the guns overheating, its these extra rules that really help to add flavour to the narrative.

    1. Thank you, Oli! I find it a great temptation to include exploding guns in scenarios/narratives ... guilty as charged... :)