Our 25mm Rennaissance Game

The Swiss were cut down.

Using the Fields of Glory rules

We played this game on October 18, 2008 and we used a slightly modified Fields of Glory rules. This was our third experience with these rules and good time was had by all. Jay Stribling, Bill Hamilton, Sean Pitts, and Ed Sansing were the French with their core of Swiss pikemen. Jim Pitts, Travis Melton, Phil Young, and Larry Reeves commanded the forces of the Holy Roman Emperor (the Germans).

Jay Stribling devised rules adjustments to fit our existing armies into the Fields of Glory rules set and Phil Young was our rules expert. The troops belonged to Jim Pitts and Jay Stribling.

The game takes place somewhere in northern Italy between the forces of the Holy Roman Emperor and the King of France. The battle began with each army starting very close due to an early morning fog that concealed the army's set-ups from each other. The German battleplan was to use the mounted arquibusiers to screen the left flank while the gens d'armes and a reinforced pike brigade attacked on the right. The left wing of infantry was to protect the guns in the center and aid the left flank cavalry. This plan worked well.

Photo by Jim Pitts

Phil Young's German command holds the center with the 3 heavy guns behind a hedge.

Photo by Jim Pitts

Travis Melton's German left wing command (two regiments of mounted arquibusiers). Travis tied up Bill Hamilton's stronger command for the entire battle, preventing him from threatening the German center.

Photo by Jim Pitts

Bill Hamilton's French right wing. Although he outnumbered Travis' German light cavalry, he wasn't able to come to grips with the more maneuverable Germans.

The Contending Armies

The German army had 3 regiments of gens d'armes, 2 regiments of mounted arquibusiers, 6 regiments of Landsknecht pike, 3 regiments of Landsknecht arquibusiers, and 3 heavy guns. The French army fielded 2 regiments of gens d'armes, 1 regiment of mounted arquibusiers, 1 regiment of mounted crossbowmen, 8 regiments of pike (a mix of Swiss and Gascon units), 1 regiment of arquibusiers, and 3 heavy guns.

The German commanders were:

The French commanders were:

Photo by Jim Pitts

Larry Reeves German gens d'armes (on the left) face off against Ed Sansing's French command (1 regiment each of gens d'armes, mounted arquibusiers, and Swiss pike).

Photo by Jim Pitts

In the French center, Sean Pitts and Jay Stribling arrayed their forces on either side of the manor house. Facing them can be seen some of Jim Pitts' Landsknecht arquibusiers.

Photo by Jim Pitts

Jim Pitts, the German army commander, arrayed his command with the arquibusiers in the lead and the pike following close behind.

How long did this game take?

The Jackson gamers begin their Saturday games when The Dragon's Lair opens around 10:30am on Saturdays. The set-up for this game took about 45 minutes. We gamed till about 1:00pm and then took a lunch break at a nearby Chinese eatery. We resumed fighting after 30-45 minutes and ended the game around 3:00-3;30pm.

Photo by Jim Pitts

The attack in the center begins. Some of Jim's arquibusiers trade volleys with Jay's arquibusiers who are behind the manor house walls. Jim's other arquibusier unit shoots at the crew of the one heavy gun deployed in front of Sean Pitts' command. Jim's pike advance slowly forward.

Photo by Jim Pitts

On the German right flank, Larry's gens d'armes quickly force Ed's gens d'armes to flee the field and then chase away the mounted arquibusiers. Ed's pike unit goes into square to avoid getting run over. Later they would come out of square and surprise one of Larry's gens d'armes units, forcing it out of the battle.

Photo by Jim Pitts

Finally it comes to push of pike in the center as two of Jim's Landsknecht pike units go against one of Sean's Swiss pike units, eventually destroying the hated Swiss. In the background, Jim's right hand arquibusier unit has overrun the gun and is heading towards the French baggage. Meanwhile Jay's arquibusiers have come over the wall and charged Jim's left-hand arquibusiers, forcing them back against the steep hill to their rear.

Photo by Jim Pitts

But Jim's arquibusiers held on and fought toe to toe with Jay's arquibusiers, waiting for a German pike unit to descend on the flank of the French. Another of Jim's pike units can be seen in the rear facing off over the manor house walls against one of Sean's Swiss pike units. And in the far background, Jim's other arquibusier unit is approaching the French baggage train with thought of plunder on their minds after shooting the unit of gens d'armes to pieces!

Photo by Jim Pitts

After dispersing one of Larry's gens d'armes units, Ed's pike unit appears to be vulnerable to Larry's gens d'armes lurking in the foreground. In the background, Sean's third Swiss pike unit tries to hold the French flank against Larry's third gens d'armes unit.

How did the Flames of War rules work?

They worked pretty well. The large pike units - 8 stands each - absorbed a lot of casualties, and once melees began, they seemed to go on forever. The movement of the pike units was very slow and several of the units spent the game merely advancing, never reaching contact.

You may notice small slips of paper behind or amongst the troop units. These contained the Fields of Glory unit statistics for each unit.

We could not have played this game without Phil Young. He is our local expert on the rules and during the early part of the game, the poor man hardly was able to game himself because of all the rules questions. As the game went on, we began to remember the rules and it was easier on all of us.

So, who won the game?

Jay Stribling said: "The Imperialists did. The Swiss/French positioned their artillery poorly, then the central Swiss pike column attacked right into the teeth of the Imperialist artillery. They over-ran two of the Imperialist guns, but at a heavy cost." As night fell, the French were having their left flank crumpled and their baggage park threatened while their center was just about surrounded

Jim Pitts writes: "It appeared that the Germans had secured victory this day, destroying 3 French units (1 of gens d'armes, 1 Swiss pike, and 1 heavy gun) and threatening to destroy a unit of arquibusiers and 2 heavy guns and taking the French baggage. The French destroyed 1 unit of German gens d'armes and overran 2 German guns, which would have been retaken in short order by victorious German infantry as the French fled the field of battle."

Jim further states (so cruelly) "As far as we can tell, the French did not have a battleplan."

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