Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Florence v the Papacy (C14th-15th ish) battle

The latest To the Strongest battle to be played between club members was a late medieval battle between the forces of the city state of Florence and the army of the Papal States.  The Florentine forces were commanded by the married couple Chris and Eileen using the Early Italian Condotta lists, while the Papal Forces under the command of Simon were taken for the Later Italian Condotta lists, obviously the Papacy had got first refusal on the new Gucci kit of the C15th, but would it help them secure victory?  Only time would tell. 

With the second Papal general unexpectedly delayed the Papal forces won the scouting and so the Florentines set up with their heavy cavalry taking the centre, with crossbow men on the near flanks and light cavalry on the wings, two camps near the centre were protected by units of spearmen who adopted a defensive posture.  The army was split into two commands with Chris on the left and Eileen on the right.  The Papal army set up similarly although with more Heavy Cavalry including some with the very latest kit (Later Knight) holding the centre of their line and the right flank with a mixture of crossbowmen and a unit of pikes (the very latest thing apparently – just don’t say that in front of Alexander the Great).  Simon had split his army into three commands for greater tactical flexibility.

The first turn started predictably with the Papal force lumbering towards their opponents, The Florentine response started badly with Chris forces closing with the enemy while Eileen stalled at the first draw (1).  Memories of a recent battle where Eileen managed to draw a 1 as her first chit in five of the six turns caused groans from the Florentine command team.

The Florentine Left Flank engage the shiny Papal Knights (on the left)

The second turn saw the start of bow fire and the initial clash of the knights as the Florentine cavalry charged their foes, some damage was caused but no units were lost in the centre however both sets of Florentine light cavalry advanced across the board, on the right the Papal skirmishing crossbows were cut down by accurate bow fire while on the left the Papal and Florentine Light exchanged desultory volleys arrows to little effect.

Turn three saw the Papacy in the ascendent with a hole being torn in the Florentine centre and a column of the best Papal cavalry on their right flank starting to push through the Florentine defences.  Sadly for the Pontiff the Papal troops failed to take advantage of the breach and it was quickly sealed by Eileen’s cavalry moving to fill the gap meanwhile the flanking column was damaged by crossbow bolts.

Papal flanking column menacing the Florentine crossbowmen

Turn 4 saw little significant action in the centre with some ineffectual attacks making little headway.  The Papal attack column rallied and then was promptly disrupted again by the shooting of the raw crossbowmen facing them.

Turn 5 saw Papal heavy cavalry in the centre starting to get the worst of the deal with most units disrupted and one destroyed.  The attack column of the right made no progress and the Papal light cavalry were destroyed by their Florentine opponents.  Both Florentine Light cavalry forces advanced round their respective flanks toward the Papal camp.

Turn 6 saw the end of the battle for the Papal army.  Their centre collapsed with the rapid elimination of their remaining Heavy Cavalry leaving a massive hole in the Papal centre while the Florentine Light cavalry continued in their double envelopment to get within attack distance of their camp.  Surveying the battlefield saw Simon throw in the Papal towel and the battle was over with victory to the forces of Florence!

The Papal Centre is missing!

Overall a fun battle, well fought, with 130 points aside and completion in approximately 1 hour.

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