Our 25mm Rennaissance Game
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 king of France had deep pockets and always tried to hire the men of the Swiss Cantons, the finest pikemen in Europe. Often, he could not afford to pay them regularly and sometimes when they had enough of waiting unpaid, they took action into their own hands.
In our game, the Swiss have decided to attack and get their own pay by looting three small Italian towns behind the enemy left flank. The rest of the French army tries to keep up with the Swiss. The forces of the Holy Roman Empire try to block this unexpected attack.
This game represents a small but unknown action in the Italian Wars. Note the Swiss Captain-General at left urging his men on. The horse was a red-brown, not the bright red that the artist has rendered it.
The Swiss Attack!
Using our Pikes and Gendarmes rules variant
The French Gendarmes on the extreme left flank of the Swiss/French force. A few Gascons can be seen skirmishing on the mounted forces' right flank. The enemy in the distance attempt to defence the northernmost town of the three objectives of the Swiss attack.
The main force of the Attacking Swiss. A large corps of pikemen screened by a few Gascon crossbowmen and arquebusiers made for the central town. Once they cleared the woods they would wheel right and go straight down the road into the town.
Their commander, Fred Diamond, was plagued by poor dice rolling for command response during the first few turns. His pike corps were slow to move and did not move quickly once they got moving. Because of this, the climactic assault on the central town (which would have given the Swiss thier victory) was too late and the game ended first.
The Southernmost town, showing the forces arrayed to defend it. Note the battery of heavy guns to the right. The town itself had a unit of arquebusier-men in it. They beat off two assaults, but on the third, angry Swiss breached the defenses and poured into the town, looting, drinking, cursing - Typical tourists! The arquebusiers left by the back gate.
The southern flank, looking from the rear of the Swiss starting position. Most of the troops shown are of the Swiss/French alliance. The dark-armored cavalrymen at the right rear are Imperialists, as is the Landschenkt pike unit at the top left. These pikemen kept falling back instead of supporting the town!
Jim Pitts (in blue shirt) is moving one of his Gendarme units. Jay Stribing (in red shirt) tries to understand how he just won that melee. The Imperialist forces won on their extreme left flank, but it took the rest of the game to get around the small copse of woods with slow-moving pikemen.
The Jackson Gamers involved on the Swiss/French side were:
The Jackson Gamers involved on the Spanish/Imperialist side were:
The French left flank (cavalry) moves against Robert's troops. Ouch! Some of the Gascon skirmishers have already been knocked over by the Imperialist shot in the edge of the woods. Massed pikes (as yet unmoving) are shown in bottom left. Those pikes are sharp!
Jim's Swiss troops advance against the village at the southern end of the battlefield. Pikes lose thier melee plus when attacking a town. You can see why!
Bill Reiman's French cavalry at the extreme north of the field moves forward in preparation to charge
Bill's 3 cav units have hit Robert Whitfield's 2 mounted pistol units and the immovable pike square. The gunners just this side of the pike square are happy that THEY were not the target of those horsemen.
SO, who won the game?
The Spanish/Imperialists did. They kept control of the central town (containing 10,000 silver florins) and the Northern town (with 7,500 silver florins). The Swiss pikemen took the southernmost town which had only $5000 silver florins, so the Swiss will have to be satisfied with that for pay.
The Jackson gamers begin their Saturday games when Hobbytown opens at 10:00am. We game till about 1:30pm then take a lunch break. We resume after 30-45 minutes and end the game around 3:00-3;30pm. If we had gone a bit longer the Swiss might (MIGHT - I say) have taken the central town. They would have never gotten the Northernmost town, where Robert Whitfield had lured the French Gendarmes to their death on his pike-points.
More to Come!
Go to the rules "Pikes and Gendarmes" that we used in this game.
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