Photo by Ed Sansing

The littlest gamer. Larry Reeves with son Alexander (the great). Larry observed the game but did not play in it due to parental duties.

Our 25mm Rennaissance Game

Attack on DeNovo!

Using our Pikes and Gendarmes rules derived from the old Brom Standard rules - as are so many of our rules sets

Played at Hobbytown in North Jackson, October 30, 2004

In the late 1400s and early 1500s, the French Kings tried to conquer Italy. The Holy Roman Emperor and the King of Spain (often the same man) fought to prevent this. The flower of the young men of France and many, many hired mercenary soldiers perished in the attempt. France was never able to maintain the temporary conquests that they made, from time to time, in Italy.

This game represents a smaller action in those Italian Wars. The Game-master was Jay Stribling, who also wrote this battle report.

This game was played with exactly the same forces as our previous Renaissance game The Imperialist Defense. It went much slower however. We set up the game at 10am - the earliest time that we could get into HOBBYTOWN - and we were finished at 3pm. Everyone thought that the game would be a walkover for the Swiss but somehow, due to hard fighting and good dice the Imperialists won - overwhelmingly.

John Murdaugh, Jim Pitts and Robert Whitfield were the imperialists. They were set up on the field, defending the town of DeNovo and the crossroads to the east. The French, and their mercenary Swiss pikemen were gamed by Ed Sansing, Rick Loveday, Bill Estes and Mark Gilbert. The French/Swiss forces had to come on in road column on two of the four roads leading onto the field of battle. Each unit had to remain in road column for the first turn and could only switch to "tactical" formations on the turn after it's entry.

On turn four, that restriction was lifted and also a surprise "flanking" attack was made by additional Swiss Pikemen, on the road from the east. The imperialists only had those troops that they began the game with.

Photo by Ed Sansing

A view of the battlefield, the crossroad to the left and the village just right of center. Jim Pitts is setting up troops at the start of the game. The town on the right is DeNovo (the primary objective of both sides) and the group of houses on the left is "the crossroads" (the secondary objective).

All of our Renaissance figures are on single-figure steel bases. We mount these on magnetized stands which hold three mounted figures or five foot figures. Originally we used The Sword and the Pike rules which were more of a skirmish set and the figures were individually based for that.

From time to time, we have thought of remounting the figures on multiple-man bases, but as soon as we do that, we might need individual mounted figures again!

Victory Points were awarded for:

The town of DeNovo: 4 x D6 die's score of victory points
The Road Junction: 3 x D6
Each enemy unit driven from the field or in spent/routed at games' end: 1 x D6
Each enemy gun in hand at games' end: 1 x D6

Photo by Ed Sansing

On the first turn Gascon Arquebusiers in French service enter from the foreground and see the Imperialist forces lined up against them. Imperial commanders Jim Pitts (left) and John Murdaugh (right) feign amusement at the paltry force the French are moving onto the table.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Still on turn one, but from a different angle you can see the Imperialist rieters forming the right of the battle line supporting the Landskects to their front. The small force of Gascons arquebusiers can be seen, advaning up the road on the right. The first units of Rick Loveday's French Gendarme cavalry enters from the west (top of the photo).

The Forces Involved

The French/Swiss forces:

Three units (12 figures each) of Gendarme Heavy Cavalry
Six units (20 men each) of Swiss Pikemen
One unit (20 men) of Gascon Pikemen
One unit (20 men) of Gascon Arquebusiers
Three light guns (2 crewmen each)

The Imperialist forces:

One unit (12 figures) of Gendarme Heavy Cavalry
Three units (12 figures each) of Reiter pistol-armed Cavalry
Five units (20 men each) of Landsknecht Pikemen
Two units (20 men each) of Landsknecht Arquebusiers
Three Heavy guns (4 crewmen each)
Two light guns (2 crewmen each)

Photo by Ed Sansing

John Murdaugh maneuvers his Reiters (firearm cavalry) of the extreme right of the Imperialist line, about to use them against Rick's French Gendarmes. Jim Pitts looks to be readying the Imperialist heavy guns on the hill.

Photo by Ed Sansing

On turn two, Imperialist Reiters, under the command of Jim Pitts, swing around the woods, ride up to the side of the Gascon pikes (second French unit to enter on the northern road) and empty their pistols with telling effect.

Photo by Ed Sansing

On turn three, Swiss infantrymen are marching onto the table, via the north road. The Reiters have withdrawn and the Gascon pikemen think that their purgatory is over. Just at that movment imperialist arquebusiers hidden in the woods give fire!

Photo by Ed Sansing

A view of the French advance along the Northern road from the Imperialist side. Note the fortified cemetary from which Landsknect arquebusiers fired into the Swiss pikemen.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Imperialist Gendarmes have positioned themselves to defend their artillery on the hill from Rick's French Gendarme cavalry. Figures painted by Jim Pitts.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The French arquebusier fire have pushed the Landsknect arquebusiers out of the woods. The Landsknect fell back (out of the woods) but did not rout and were able to continue to fire the next turn. Note gaps where figures have been removed on Swiss stands.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The French Cavalry have pushed the Imperialists back and now threaten the Imperialist artillery. The gun shown traded hands twice, but was counted in the French account for victory points.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Mark Gilberts' Swiss Pikemen enter the table attacking the crossroad. The view is from the east, onto the table. This was a surprise attack by three Swiss pike units plus a light gun. The sole occupant of the crossroads, a Landsknect Pike unit, under the command of Robert Whitfield, barely had time to orient itself to face the attackers.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Imperialist arquebusiers, in the walled cemetary,fire into the flank of the advancing French. Late in the game, as the Swiss assault falterd, these arquebusiers vaulted the wall and closed onto the Swiss. By this time the Swiss had no firepower left. Thier Gascon arquebusiers had fled the field, after exchanging fire with the Imperialist shot. The French light cannoneers were shot down by the Landsknect arquebusiers.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Reiters under the command of Jim Pitts attack and fire into the flank of Mark Gilbert's swiss troops, distracting them from their assault on the crossroads. The Swiss cannon with yellow wheels was the only firepower left to the Swiss by this time (turn 4 or 5) and it remained in action till the game's end, but was "too little, too late".

Who was the victor in this game?

The Imperialists won the game, overwhelmingly - 71 points to the French 25 points. In addition to staving off the threat of Rick Loveday, who was maneuvering the French Cavalry in the Imperialist rear, they managed to throw the Swiss pikemen out of the crossroads on the Eastern side of the field.

Robert Whitfield did this with one unit of Landsknect Pikes (and some support from Jim Pitt's Reiter cavalry) against THREE units of Swiss Pikes and a light gun! To be fair, the luck of the dice had completely deserted the Swiss commander Mark Gilbert.

Go to the first battle in this series of 4 games.

Go to the third battle in this series of 4 games.

Go to the fourth battle in this series of 4 games.

Go to the rules Pikes and Gendarmes that we used in this game.

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