Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Battle of Maisnon - BatRep

Having reached critical mass and wanting to get his latest project onto the gaming table, Jake hosted an afternoon of gaming at his casa in Moscow.   Kevin and I made the trip from Spokane while Don made the journey from Nez Perce.

What was the latest project about to see its maiden battle?  Great Italian Wars in 28mm using Impetvs.  Jake has been working on this project for about one year and great progress has been made.

Before the battle, a short teaser was sent out to participants to set the stage.  Included was a sketch map, OB, and background.

Battle of Maisnon:
"Situation: Mercenaries in them Employ of Charles V have captured a key crossroads south of the Town of Maisnon, rechristening the town "Machtsnichts". The site is also the location of the only traffic-able ford across the Aben river capable of handling heavy supply wagons. The local noble has assembled his Gendarmes and is leading a group of Swiss Mercenaries and local militia to re-open the road."
The stage is set!

To read Jake's battle perspective and to see the full OB employed, visit, Battle of Maisnon at Dartfrog's Adventures in 6mm.

Upon arrival, we were treated to a display on the sunken sand table.  Nifty bit of construction work by Jake, himself.  After the battlefield was shaped, a game mat and terrain were placed on top.
Initial deployments
As the French attackers, Don and I line up on the left with an objective of clearing out the opposition to open up the river crossing.  Don's column is deployed against the river with an objective of cutting the road.  My objective on the right is to eliminate the Imperial cavalry opposite my position and then swing onto the enemy flank.
French forces
Imperial forces deployed to interdict
French Gendarmes on the right
German cavalry on Imperial left
As the battle begins, the French right lopes into action.  With the Imperial left covered by artillery, French light cavalry is sent forward in an effort to screen the gendarmes from cannon fire. 
French right advances
While the Imperials wait, the French begin a general advance upon the German and Spanish positions.  With evenly matched forces, the French attackers will likely suffer.
Battle view behind French lines
French (in foreground) left advances
Not content to allow the French to advance unmolested, artillery and arquebus fire begins to take its toll on the French horse while the gendarmes cross the open ground.
Gendarmes advance
German cavalry trot out to meet the French
while Imperial left outflanks the French (in background)
With their flank being threatened, the French pikes advance.  Getting within striking distance of the Imperial line, the French left closes.  Led by the Swiss, the pike block strikes into the Spanish pike.
Swiss strike Spanish pike
On the other flank, the gendarmes charge in as well.  After a heavy clash, the French heavies prevail and clear the enemy left of their horse.
Gendarmes overpower the Germans cavalry
Unaware of the pike clash on the French far left, the gendarme charge on the right may be too little too late.  The critical phase of the battle is unfolding on the left.  The Spanish, pushed back by the impetus of the Swiss, are rescued by a timely counterattack.     
The Swiss, themselves, pushed back, fall under artillery fire and are then attacked once again by the weakened Spanish pike.  Bold move on the Spanish to attack having been weakened in the earlier fight.
Swiss pushed back,
and counterattacked by Spanish pike.
This day, God was with the Spanish as their counterattack caught the Swiss off balance.  Striking a severe blow, four hits on four dice are scored against the Swiss with only one loss to themselves.
Miraculous! Four Hits to the Swiss!
and take only one
Having lost the Swiss and with the remainder of the French left in tatters, the French general calls off the attack.  No victory for his troops today.
French disengage
What a fun and tense battle!  The destruction of the Swiss sealed the fate of the French aggressors.  Within the confines of the valley, the French could do little more than advance straight ahead and into the teeth of Charles V's force.

While we have gamed Basic Impetvs (BI) in both the Punic Wars and Reconquista, light troops actually had an impact in the outcome of this game.  In the Great Italian Wars, the skirmish stands of doppelsoldners hold a positive Impetus bonus allowing them to wade into the pike blocks and knock the starch out of the freshly pressed formation.  Accomplishing that task pays dividends later when the pikes no longer maintain their Impetus bonus.  In a similar light infantry tactic, the arquebus-armed lights can stand off at a distance and pepper away at the more dense pike blocks hoping to score a hit.

Now, I am planning a force to field as well.  Maybe that was Jake's plan all along?


  1. Spectacular looking action - my word, that's a remarkable wargame. Fabulous.

  2. A fantastic batrep with beautiful knights Jonathan!

  3. Top looking game Jonathan! And look at all them 6's!!

    1. Kevin threw more than his share to devastating dice in the battle. He was lucky to get a ride home!

  4. Great looking game and figures, Jonathan. It's something I've been thinking of with WHFB Empire figures - on a much smaller scale of course. In fact, I don't have any pike like so well displayed in this game.

    1. Dean, all of the figures and game layout are the work of Jake. It was a splendid game.

      Pike armies are attractive are they not? I know I like the look of my ECW collection for the same reason.

  5. Wow! Those are some great looking figures. Well done battle report also.

    1. Hi Dan! I only take credit for the BatRep. Figures are Jake's. He will be pleased to read this.

  6. Really nice looking game Jonathan! I think Impetus really captures the Italian Wars just right. One day I hope to build up some armies for it. Looking forward to following your efforts.


    1. In our one game of Impetvs, we found the same. That is,Great Italian Wars is a great match for the rules. Looking forward to more games.

  7. Great looking battle and report. As you know, the Great Italian Wars are is of my favorite eras for wargaming, with La Bicocca on tap for Historicon this year.

    1. Thanks, Peter. Our first game was great fun and very colorful, for sure. Of course, the game immediately pushed this period into my Must Do list. Oh, is that list long...

      What reading recommendations do you have for this period?

    2. The two most useful sources are:

      Sir Charles Oman, The Art of Ear in the 16th Century, and
      F. L. Taylor "the Art of War in Italy, 1490 - 1525".

      Useful background is Bert Hall, Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe

      There really isn't much in English Some additional titles in James' Bibliography


    3. Thank you, Peter! I have Taylor on order.

  8. It's a beautiful collection Jake has got there, and I completely understand if the color and visual appeal of this period could lure you into a new project! Warlord just bought ProGloria and have started launching some wonderful Landsknechts. The good thing about warlord is you get free postage on orders over 75 dollars - just saying;0)

    1. As you know, it does not take much to lure me into another period. Great tip on free postage from Warlord. I will look into it!

  9. Good looking game and nice batrep.Haven't enjoyed my Italian Wars games with Impetus to date, thinking they were lacking a bit of period feel but I might give them another go after this.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Granted I know very little about the period but I found the game quite enjoyable. In your experience, what was lacking from Impetvs and what should be changed to better reflect your understanding of warfare during this period?