Wednesday, 19 July 2017

A Warlord rules question about proximity.

This is a Warlord rules (Black Powder, Pike and Shotte) question. I have also posted it on the Warlords forum.

Red is the Russian unit (in red uniform). Blue is the Prussian unit in blue uniform.

So the situation is this.

Blue is on the flank of A, having ordered a charge and come up short. Red is in blue's front quarter. Red can only move into its front or rear quarters because it is in proximity.

Now, red turns to face. Red rotates entirely in its front quarter to face blue. I know this is permitted. Red could do this under the initiative rule. Red's move would be legal because it was carried out entirely within its front quarter. 

However, let us assume that red had been more adventurous. Let us also assume that red has godlike foresight and knows he will roll a double one for any command roll.

The question is, rather than act on initiative, could red be given the order "turn to face blue and then, charge" ?

My question is aimed at what represents front and rear quarters under the proximity rule. Do the quarters that apply to the unit at the start of the turn apply to the unit for the whole turn (as per quarters for charge), or do front and rear quarters change with the moves carried out by the unit. If the former, the order is illegal; if the latter, the order is legal. 

BTW, I realise that red can never charge blue in the flank because it started the turn in blue's front quarter.


Opinions also welcome here.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Garigliano 1503 - Battle Report


Last night, after two trial runs, we played the first session of the Battle of Garigliano scenario. If I say so myself, it is developing into a great little battle.

Unusually, there was an extra player for last night's session. Graham's friend Don was up north on a two day pass and he took charge, most successfully as it happened, of the Spanish right; I took the Spanish left, mostly unsuccessfully; Graham took the French right, holding the French bridge in the face of my woeful opposition; Peter took the French left, only to watch his Swiss get shot to pieces and a charge of wonder by Prospero Colonna's bodyguard cavalry. 

My forces at the bridge. 

Before the game started I added a unit of Italian pike to bring the Italians up to their supposed numbers of 4000 and create two battalias rather than one. 

For most of the game this picture didn't change much. I had some minor success forcing the odd unit of Gascons to the other side of the river, but at the ened of the evening the French were still holding their 'tĂȘte-de-pont'.
Don's commands half way through the evening. 

The Swiss at Castelforte are being shot to pieces, the Spanish and Italian cavalry are moving up on both flanks. 

Just visible, disappearing behind Castelforte, are Colonna's famiglia cavalry which have just smashed d'Algre's Gendarmes - they will go on to rout a unit of Swiss pike, a unit of Norman crossbowmen, and a unit of mounted crossbowmen, all for a total loss of three stamina! Never in the field of human conflict have so many saves been made for so few (they were hit well over 20 times).
Towards the end of the evening the French left was in a good deal of trouble.

The Swiss have gone and the line has been filled by the Italians coming down from the mountains. They cause some casualties but, it's a fire fight they cannot hope to win. 
At the end of the evening Colonna's famiglia cavalry, in all of its pomp, has finished it's charge.
At the end of play.

The French pike on the left are now pretty much all that holds Castelforte for the French and even they are running out of options. 

Peter has developed a fixation on Colonna's famiglia cavalry (as had we all) and is desperately trying to finish them off with crossbow fire. Unfortunately, this battlia is now broken and they will have to withdraw next round - if they are lucky they might make Castelforte.
 Three Spanish colunelas advancing on Castelforte.
At San Cosmo, untouched Swiss pike (now of a broken battalia) are desperately trying to hold the line supported by contingents of their Italian allies.

Here too, Don was pushing his cavalry hard - in this case his Spanish knights.
A Spanish colunela and Italian cavalry hold the left flank of Gonsalvo's attack from interference by massed French cavalry, which withdrew as they approached.
French artillery (counting as one large battery) awaits targets beyond the river at the French bridge. 

In the background stands the Spanish objective - Formia.
The French on their side of the river at the French Bridge stand waiting for the Landsknechts and Italians of Gonsalvo's army to cross the river.
At the bridge I'm finally making some progress, though the Landsknechts have refused to budge for the entire evening.

Half of the palisade was knocked down by Italian infantry (before they were roughly handled by the French artillery) allowing Spanish Genitors to get inside the bridgehead.

I still have hopes that this attack might get somewhere.
The general situation between San Cosmo (left) and Suzo (extreme right). 
The general situation between the sea (left) and San Cosmo (right). 

We'll complete this scenario next week. Unfortunately, without Don's unique wrist action. Perhaps we'll see him at Derby later this year.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Italian Wars Unit Characterisation for Pike and Shotte

I have recently tweaked my master table for characterising units for Pike and Shotte games set in the earlier part of Italian Wars - between Charles VIII's 1494 invasion of Italy and the Sack of Rome in 1527. It only provides a rule of thumb list for my games and is by no means exhaustive. It has several similarities with the classifications in the master rules but, I have added and changed several definitions and statistics, and I have even altered one or two master rules. This will be especially noticeable in the following:
  • my creation of the colunela as a single combined unit - mine being two stands of pike (12 figs), two stands of Sword and Bucklermen (6 - 8 figs) and four stands of shot (16 figs). 
  • the downgrading of light horse melee factors.
  • the increase of movement rates and ranges.
  • the change in the master rule for crossbows and javelins - they get closing fire in my games but do not get the close range to hit bonus.
  • artillery is far less mobile than in the master rules.


I'm posting it here because I think it might be of use, especially for newcomers to the period. Though it only reflects my personal opinion about unit ability I think I can argue the case for the entries. 

If anyone would like a MS Word doc. version of these tables, so they can tinker for themselves, or to lose the dropped letters (due to blog post compression of the table width), drop me an email at the address in the side bar.

Pike and Shotte unit characterisation table for:
The Great Italian Wars

CAVALRY UNITS
Unit
Unit Type
[move]
Melee
Dice #
Shooting
Dice #
Morale
save
Stamina
Special
French Gendarmes
Heavy Horse [12”]
10
-
3+
4
Elite: 4+ to rally disorder.
Heavy Cavalry Charge: add D3 melee result bonus.
French Argulets
Light Horse
[16”]
3
1
[16”]
5+
3
Cautious: may use free move to retire.
Crossbow: no close range
Evade: can evade
Spanish Knights
Heavy Horse [12”]
9
-
3+
4
Elite: 5+ to rally disorder.
Heavy Cavalry Charge: add D3 melee result bonus.
Spanish Genitors
Light Horse [12”]
5
1
[8”]
5+
3
Javelin: no close range.
Marauders: Do not count command distance.
Skirmish: Freely change formation; shoot at full effect.
Fire & Evade: can evade, or give closing fire & evade.
Italian Casa / Famiglia
Heavy Horse [12”]
9
-
3+
4
Elite: 5+ to rally disorder.
Heavy Cavalry Charge: add 1 melee result bonus.
Imperial
Men-at-arms
Heavy Horse [12”]
9
-
3+
4
Elite: 5+ to rally disorder.
Heavy Cavalry Charge: add 1 melee result bonus.
Wedge: large unit only; free move to charge; re-roll misses when charging; cannot fight to flank.
Condottiere
Heavy Horse [12”]
9
-
4+
4
Brittle: quit if rally failed when shaken.
Lance Spezzate
Heavy Horse [12”]
9
-
4+
4
Heavy Cavalry Charge: add 1 melee result bonus.

Mounted Crossbows
Light Horse
[16”]
3
1
[16”]
5+
3
Cautious: may use free move to retire.
Crossbow: no close range.
Evade: can evade
Mounted Arquebus
Light Horse
[16”]
3
1
[16”]
5+
3
Cautious: may use free move to retire.
Evade: can evade
Stradiots
Light Horse
[16”]
5
1
[8”]
5+
3
Brittle: quit if rally failed when shaken.
Javelin: no close range.
Marauders: Do not count command distance.
Skirmish: Freely change formation; shoot at full effect.
Fire & Evade: can evade, or give closing fire & evade.

ARTILLERY UNITS
Unit
Unit Type
[move]
Melee
Dice #
Shooting
Dice #
Morale
save
Stamina
Special
Light Artillery
Artillery
[4”, 8” limbered]
1
1 - 2 - 3
[32” - 16” – 6”]
6+
2

Medium Artillery
Artillery
[0”, 8” limbered]
1
1 - 2 - 3
[48” - 24” – 6”]
6+
2
May be ordered to turn on the spot.
Heavy Artillery
Artillery
[0”, 8” limbered]
1
1 - 2 - 3
[64” - 32” – 6”]
6+
2
May not move at all once unlimbered.





Pike and Shotte unit characterisation table for:
The Great Italian Wars

INFANTRY UNITS
Unit
Unit Type
[move]
Melee
Dice #
Shooting
Dice #
Morale
save
Stamina
Special
French Pike
Pike Block
[8”]
5
-
6+
5
Brittle: quit if rally failed when shaken.
Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter shot; static only.
French Crossbows
Battle Line
[8”]
3
2
[16”]
6+
3
Brittle: quit if rally failed when shaken.
Crossbow: no close range.
Swiss Pike
Pike Block
[8”]
7
-
4+
5
Elite: 4+ (5+ post 1522) to rally disorder.
Ferocious: re-roll misses when charging.
Bad War: melee break test +1 Vs Land’s / Swiss.
Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter 1 shot; static only.
Swiss Halberdiers
Battle Line
[8”]
6
-
4+
3
Elite: 4+ (5+ post 1522) to rally disorder.
2 Handed Weapons: -1 to enemy saves.
Ferocious: re-roll misses when charging.
Bad War: melee break test +1 Vs Land’s / Swiss.
Swiss Arquebus
Battle Line
[8”]
3
2
[16”]
4+
3
Elite: 4+ (5+ post 1522) to rally disorder.
Hedgehog: shelter with associated pike; static only.
Pre-Bicocca Swiss
-
-
-
-
-
Add: Pre-Bicocca: Ignore shaken battalia rules until all Swiss pike & halberdiers are shaken or destroyed.
Spanish Colunela
Battle Line
[8”]
5
3
[16”]
5+
5
Pike company: cavalry count as pike armed.
Colunela: add 1 melee result bonus Vs infantry.
Volley Fire: add 1 dice to ‘closing fire’ shooting value.
Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter integral shot; static.
Spanish Pike
Pike Block
[8”]
7
-
5+
5
Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter 1 shot; static only.

Spanish Arquebus
Battle Line
[8”]
3
3
[16”]
5+
3
Volley Fire: Add 1 dice to closing fire shooting value.
Hedgehog: shelter with associated pike; static only.
Spanish Sword & Bucklermen
Battle Line
[8”]
5
-
5+
3
S&B: +D3 melee res’ bonus Vs pike, +1 Vs other infantry.
Close fighters: re-roll melee misses in town fighting.
Elite Spanish
v
v
v
v
v
Add: Elite: 5+ to rally disorder.
Landsknecht Pike
Pike Block
[8”]
7
-
4+
5
Bad War: melee break test +1 Vs Land’s / Swiss.
Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter 1 shot; static only.
Landsknecht Halberdiers
Battle Line
[8”]
6
-
4+
3
2 Handed Weapons: -1 to enemy saves.
Bad War: melee break test +1 Vs Land’s / Swiss.
Landsknecht Arquebus
Battle Line
[8”]
3
2
[16”]
4+
3
Hedgehog: shelter with associated pike; static only.

Elite Landsknecht
v
v
v
v
v
Add: Elite: 5+ to rally disorder.
Italian Pike
Pike Block
[8”]
6
-
6+
5
Brittle: quit if rally failed when shaken.
Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter 1 shot; static only.
Italian Arquebus
Battle Line
[8”]
3
2
[16”]
6+
3
Hedgehog: shelter with associated pike; static only.
Veteran Italian Arquebus
Battle Line
[8”]
3
2
[16”]
5+
3
Skirmish: freely change formation; shoot at full effect.
Volley Fire: add 1 dice to ‘closing fire’ shooting value.
Italian Crossbows
Battle Line
[8”]
3
2
[16”]
6+
3
Crossbow: no close range.
Hedgehog: shelter with pike; static only.
Italian Sword & Bucklermen
Battle Line
[8”]
4
-
6+
3
S&B: +D3 melee res’ bonus Vs pike, +1 Vs other infantry.
Close fighters: re-roll melee misses in town fighting.
Venetian Schiavonni
Battle Line
[8”]
4
1
[16”]
Arquebus
6+
3
S&B: +D3 melee res’ bonus Vs pike, +1 Vs other infantry.
Close fighters: re-roll melee misses in town fighting.
Marauders: do not count command distance.
Skirmish: freely change formation; shoot at full effect.
Italian Infantry
Battle Line
[8”]
4
-
6+
3
2 Handed Weapons: -1 to enemy saves.

Italian City Militia
Battle Line
[8”]
4
-
6+
3
Brittle: quit if rally failed when shaken.