Thursday, 13 December 2012

Cerignola - One Last Time

Last night I christened the upgraded war game table with (yet) another refight of Cerignola.
The deployment featured the alternate (and not very historical) set up of having the French artillery present; plus a few other minor balancing changes.

Probably the biggest change occurred off table, so to speak. I have been working on the rules and I have classified the troop types differently:
  • The Spanish infantry were downgraded to 'C Class' (D8 CC, D6 DD) with arquebus specialist status. This massively changed how the battle was fought - there were no grizzled Spanish veterans here!
  • The Swiss were 'A Class' (D12 CC, D8 DD) with stubborn status.
The reversion to rather old school classifications (A - E) has proved to be a very useful and flexible tool for this period.

The other alteration is to bite the bullet and do away with, light through heavy, artillery classification.
After much reading, I have decided that the weight of artillery is of little matter in a field battle situation. Artillery in the early 16th century was so inaccurate, slow firing, and the quality of powder and projectile construction so varied, that the size of a cannon ball would make little difference. The one exception would be when fired at castle walls and the like.

This flies in the face of most wargames rules, but just because cannon size features in most renaissance rule sets doesn't mean it is based in fact. Personally, I now rather think it is based in "wargames tradition'".
Crew quality, and the quality of the cannon's construction, was probably far more important at this date. So it is probably better to adjust fire dice by crew classification. Crews are usually D class (D6, D6) with C class (D8, D6) for the good stuff (French?), and specialist shooter status for the very best.

So what happened? Well, here is a short report. The French launched the Swiss at the defences:

Routing a Spanish colunela:

As the melee continued between the Swiss and German pike, the French launched their Gendarmes into the fray:

On the other side of the field French pike were halted at the ditch and subjected to volley after volley of deadly arquebus and cannon fire:

The fight became general along the entire front of the defences:

Following an explosion (Stratagem) in the lines, the French gain an advantage and cross the earthwork:

Fabricio is killed. The Landsknechts, after a fight that lasted most of the battle, finally give way:

The Spanish position is outflanked:

The French have won!

Peter has won (again) b*****d. I've tried three bloody times to win this battle using the French, and he does it first time!

Next week we will fight an open field battle. It will be fictional, but might involve the same armies.

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