Sunday, October 29, 2017

Worst Case Scenario #16: Sally from Munroveccio - An Italian Wars Sideshow

Like many images from the Italian Wars period this picture has virtually nothing to do with what actually happened...
This post begins at 30,000 feet as we wing our way to our vacation in Europe. Poignantly enough, our pilot cut-in to tell us that we were flying over the 100th Meridian and asked for a moment of reflection on the life and works of our nation's recently deceased poet/troubadour Gord Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip.

'At the hundredth meridian, where the Great Plains begin…’.

A few weeks ago ‘The Friday Night Raconteurs’ played an Italian wars scenario where the defenders of a fortified town (named 'Munroveccio', in honour of our visiting friend Doug) sallied out in the early dawn hours to disrupt the siegeworks of the dastardly Pietro Duglafino.

In reality, this was a scenario I shamelessly nabbed and embellished from Oli over at Camisado (thanks Oli!). It was also a thinly veiled excuse to paint-up and use some Forge World entrenchments that I've been sitting on for over a decade and to get both Peter and my collections on the tabletop for some colourful Renaissance mayhem.

Being that the town defenders had marched through the night, they would not know how, when, or in what order their troops would arrive. In turn, the besiegers would be caught sleeping and so they would be coming onto the table in dribs and drabs to support their beleaguered artillerists who had slept with their guns. The town defenders, a band of merry Landsknechts, would only sally out in support once they had a clear determination that they would not be isolated and destroyed before getting past the gates (meaning they were a bunch of weedy coves who weren't very interested in sticking their necks out).

Again, one of my amateurish hand-drawn sketch maps describing the table setup:

Many of the following pictures are from Peter, as many of my images got lost somewhere in the webisphere (thanks Pete!). I've tarted them up with some fancy-schmancy arrows to make them more 'dynamic'. 

The action started with units of pike, mounted 'archers' and mounted crossbows arriving on the table and cautiously advancing on the artillery position in the early dawn hours.

Doug oversees the sally in defence of Munroveccio.

The Swiss pike storm the gun position and begin spiking cannon and slaughtering the sleep-addled artillerists. Seen just above the large tent are Jinete light cavalry and Rodelero sword and buckler men, responding to the sally.

Below the Jinettes have managed to scrabble over the stone walls and are trying to manuever to threaten the enemy flank. The Rodeleros following behind are better suited to combating pikemen and so are preparing to get over the wall in order to engage. The blue arrow shows the advance of the mounted archers who will go over the embankment, dismount and begin assaulting the artillery position with their fellow pikemen.

The two light cavalry forces face off, while the Rodeleros wait for the sheep to pass before going into the assault (meaning they completely pooched their roll to charge in...)

The Spanish swordsmen go into the assault with a vengeance, but do not have the support that the Italian pike has, so the two forces remain locked in fierce combat. The light cavalry at the top of the picture clash several times without firm resolution except for accruing more and more casualties.

Meanwhile back at Munroveccio, the Landsknects 'prepare' to support their comrades by having a drink first. Okay, maybe make that eight drinks...

Hoi! Just one more for the road, eh?!

While the Italian pike and Rodeleros struggle (fittingly, they would both break simultaneously), the crossbowmen complete the job of destroying the artillery camp. Now, it's time to try to disengage and make their escape. The fly in the ointment is that there is a unit of papal gendarme cavalry in the rear. Hmm, time to send in the archers (which confusingly, unlike their name, was a class of heavy, lance-armed cavalry).

After a tumultuous clash, the papal gendarmes push the archers back, but are severely handled in the exchange, allowing the sallying force to begin to withdraw back to the town.

...which is good because this is what was coming on the table to say hello: two units of veteran Swiss and German pike, with supporting troops, who've put aside their animosity to chase off the town's force. 

The besieger's reinforcements arriving too late for the party...

So, a hard-won victory for the town of Munroveccio!

Many thanks to the guys for playing the scenario - it was tremendously great fun and nice excuse to get both Pete and my stuff on the table. Again, thanks chaps!  


As a final note, if any of you are planning to be at Crisis in Antwerp this weekend, please keep an eye open for me (I'll be the tall guy with silly facial hair, wearing a Canadian Remembrance Day poppy). I'm hoping to meet-up with some old acquaintances and make some new ones as well. 

It's going to be a hoot!