This was the second round of campaign moves and, now the players were familiar with the campaign system and its objectives, they were carried out at pace and with purpose. During play it became obvious that a Holy League had been negotiated between the Papacy and Spain.
Following their victory at Barletta the French successfully besieged the area whilst the Spanish looked on from their new position at Cosenza. In the north Saluzzo then Nice fell to cannon and storm, the latter holding out with some resolution and causing heavy losses amongst the French soldiery.
Obviously distraught at their defeat at Barletta the Spanish took time to reorganised themselves at Cosenza (no initiative due to "Next Player" cards). Then a fortunate piece of luck came their way ("Learning the Lesson" card) - Gonsalvo arrived. Re-invigorated their field army marched on Naples and took it by storm from under the very noses f the French, installed a garrison and marched back to Barletta. (Note: Rule change 1 below.) During the siege of Naples it was learnt that the King of France, always too enamoured of the ladies of Naples, died in the arms of a dark haired beauty.
Venice, hemmed in by the French on one side and the Papacy on the other, moved to consolidate its position in the Romagnol. In a lightening campaign which awed the whole of Europe, the forces of Venice stormed and took Ferrera, Ravenna and Bologna, the latter by a mine ("Ruse de Guerre" card) which exploded to such devastating effect that it fell without further resistance, before putting Modena under siege. With Milan as an ally, Venice is currently the leading power in the Italian Peninsular (It is 8VPs clear of its nearest rival France).
Except for forming a new army to hold its north eastern flank against possible Venetian aggression this has not been a successful period for the Papacy. Its troops have despoiled the area of Genoa carrying out atrocities that have shocked the civilised world ("Pillage" card and the loss of 8VPs). Its diplomat, whose energy was so marked in the previous campaign rounds, was assassinated before a treaty with the Pisans (formerly Florentines)could be finalised. To cap it all the Florentines have risen in open revolt (with Venetian encouragement) and raised an army to retake their capital ("Florence Has A Rush Of Blood" card). The Warrior Pope, undaunted and proud of his new possession, and with his army (Army Value 50) of steadfast soldiers, marches out to meet them in battle.
Campaign Rule Changes
1. Sieges - An army in an area before the arrival of an enemy army may still besiege it on its next turn. It is important therefore, to keep the army markers stacked correctly so that whoever occupied the area first can be easily seen. If the army is engaged midway through a siege it has two options: Give up its siege markers and fight with the army's full strength, or, leave d6 multiplied by the area value in the siege lines, thus maintaining the siege, and fight with what is left. The decision must be made before any dice is rolled.
2. Diplomats - It has been found that a single diplomat is not enough. Each player starts the campaign with one diplomat. A further diplomat may be added on the appropriate campaign card. No state may have more than 2 diplomats at any one time.
Coming soon - The battle for Florence (to be fought 31st October 07).
Written by James Roach.