Wednesday, 4 June 2014

First thoughts on Marignano 1515 - The French

After a break of over a year (doing other projects) James has returned to the Italian Wars:

In the last couple of weeks I've been going through my (16th century) sources to settle on my order of battle for Marignano 1515. I have chosen to base my game on two books in particular, Oman of course, and the booklet "Marignano 1515" published by the Lance and Longbow Society.

I have decided, for no particular reason other than the lead soldiers I have available, to plumb for a figure scale of 1:50. So far, I think I have settled on the raw numbers composition of the French army.

I would ask that you look at it, and if you have information that I don't, or an idea I've not had, to let me know about it. OOBs in this period are largely a matter of educated guesswork and feeling rather than historical documentation, so if you 'feel' otherwise please, let me know.

10,000 cavalry - 200 figs, 50:1
20,000 infantry - 396 figs, 50:1
72 guns - 6 gun models, 12:1

Gendarmes 8
Archer (heavy) cavalry 8
Mounted crossbows 16
Stradiots 16
Gendarmes 32
French crossbows 72
French pike 72
Guns 6
Francis I
Gendarmes 48
Mounted crossbows 16
Mounted arquebusier 8
Landsknecht pike (Bandes Noires) 120
Landsknecht pike 72
Landsknecht shot 12
Gendarmes 24
Archer (heavy) cavalry 16
Mounted crossbows 8
French crossbows 48

Surprisingly, I need to paint up very few figures for this army - 12 Landsknecht pike, 60 crossbows, 8 Archer cavalry, and 16 Mounted crossbows - all of which are in my stock cupboard. Even more surprisingly, I don't think I'll need any more figures for the Swiss, but I'm still working on their OOB so we'll see.

Actually, I have a question about the Swiss that, perhaps, one or two of you might have thoughts on: Were the three Swiss pike squares equal(-ish) in size or was the mainward larger than the other two at Marignano? I ask because in Sides', Renaissance Battles 1494 - 1700 Vol 1, he puts the mainward at twice the strength of the other two. The Swiss had used unbalanced pike squares in other battles but is there evidence for this at Marignano?

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