Aut Cesar, Aut Nihil, Wargaming the Borgias.

Aut Cesar, Aut Nihil, Wargaming the Borgias.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Italian Sword and Buckler men.

One of the nice things about the army of Cesare Borgia is the chance to include sword and buckler type troops. The Italians opted for this troop type and quickly saw their merit when fighting at close quarters.
The Perry twins,have made a really fine group of figures,which they show painted with papal crest on their shields. No doubt I will include this design on some of the unit,but I have to try and copy some of these contemporary designs for some of the unit,I hope.
The first design is a Vitteli stemma. 
 This design is an actual Borgia stemma,so is compulsory in my eyes,anorak that I am.
These stemma's come from the correct period,and show the richness of the designs that were used.


Things go a bit Awry

When I set this sister blog away,my firm intention was to build the army of Cesare Borgia using only Perry figures.It seemed a good idea,and the range although not big,was still complete enough to get things done.
How wrong can one be.
 After Jim Sweeney descended at the beginning of the month,I was able to examine his army. Jim had gone for a more eclectic collection,buying odd figures from all the ranges.
Well I liked the look he went for,and started looking about.
I think Perry are still the most suitable,and the best figures,but I have decided to add to them by collecting figures from other ranges.
 Realizing that I will need an opponent,I have decided in the main to paint up a French Renaissance army to grow alongside the Borgia one.
 Cesare relied a great deal on his French ally,and it therefore made sense to look at that army as a second project.
Secondly Italian Gendarmes tended not to be as gaudy as their French counterparts, using more sleek armour mainly from Milan.
The French went for more show.
At least that's my excuse. I am determined to collect two units of Foundry Gendarmes,and one unit of Eureka Gendarmes,if I can raise the cash,or sell my soul.
However as a link to my Old School regression, I have returned to my roots and purchased from the Hinchliffe range of renaissance figures.
They are a good price, their Gendarmes are one of my original favourites and Peter Gilder designed them.
Historically there are some mistakes,but what the hell.
Saying that I have finished a second pike block for Cesare's army.These are part of the Swiss contingent lent to Cesare for his first and second campaigns to recover the Romagna,and are part of the army that behaved so badly against the Italian citizenry.

The block is made up of half Perry plastics a couple of old Citidal figures and some Old Glory Swiss pike.I know its an eclectic mix,but this is one of Old Glory's best ranges and I like the life in the figures.

As always I have a couple of command bases done.I always seem to gravitate towards these bases,I think its the chance to use the Mini flore grass range that does it.

 This general,is an old Citidal figure with a Foundry standard bearer.
 This base is the lovely Italian Cardinal range from the Perry twins. All the flags are from the excellent Pete Smith of Pete's Flags. Check out his blog and E Bay.Absolute top class flags.


Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Good day for Renaissance Warfare.

I must have known Jim Sweeney a good 25 war gaming years. For a big ugly person he paints a mean war gaming figure.
On top of that he somehow managed to buy up some of mine and John's old Renaissance units.
 Anyway I bumped into him at Derby and convinced him to travel North for a game of Pike and Shotte,[Renaissance Black Powder]
Today was the day,and Jim and his mate Tom arrived with a lot of units.One unit in particular brought back a few memories, John's Hinchliffe Blacke Bande, one of the units that inspired me the first time to research the Italian Wars.
John painted this unit over thirty years ago,and somehow Jim picked it up off Ebay.

But I digress, Me taking on the persona of Francis, assisted by Tom who commanded a Scottish contingent faced an Imperialist army led by John as Georg Frundberg, and Jim as well Jim.
I think its fair to say the game itself was a tense affair,where up until the last couple of moves Tom and I were actually on top. But as is usually the case,things start to turn and everything starts to go wrong.
Here's Jim being a really good winner,after he had managed to rout my French Archers,and disorder all my Gendarmes. The smug grin says it all, 'hard luck old boy'.....not.

Jim is a very good painter, and when he turned up with his Eureka Miniatures Gendarmes, I knew I had to get some. I will have to see the bank first,but they are lovely figures. I'm pleased to say,they routed off the table after a battering by my Gendarmes.

The Pike and Shotte rules lend themselves well to the Italian War period,and cause the player to really have to think.Often things don't go to plan,but when they go right,a move can be pretty decisive. 

Because of the Rash nature of Francis, his cavalry command was always forced to charge any unit that came in range. Twice the gendarmes had to charge against a pike block,and twice they bounced out, a pretty wasteful tactic.

John was forced to hold back advancing on his wing by the threat of the Scots Schiltron's or in his opinion, he tied up the enemies pike blocks by staying where he was, that was until he moved all his cavalry into a more central position.  

John then unleashed his Stradiots onto the flank of one of my pike blocks that was already disordered.
The result was as expected,as the block routed.  

One of the stand out units in the figures,Jim and Tom brought North was a unit of Romagnol pike men.
They were clearly Jim's favourite unit,and his pride and joy. Now that is a dangerous thing on a wargame table, as one of two things inevitably happen, either they are indestructible or they run away.Jim's ran away. I didnt crow too much. Well not to start with.

 The unit below, managed to fail every order given to it by the Imperialists,it still managed to cause my light cavalry a lot of trouble.

 It was a bit of an anachronism but we had to put the Carricocio on the table to lend moral support to the Imperialists. Luckily I was able to chase away the defending unit around the wagon,but failed to capture it. 

 A view from the centre.

 Jim likes to go in for BIG flags, and these French gendarmes won the award for having the biggest,
as they routed their Venetian counterparts.The more conservative sized flags are by the excellent Pete Smith of Pete's flags.

Part of John's command tying up the Scots by sitting on their backsides.

The Scots of Tom's command. The new range from Claymore Castings,a little early for the period,but a lovely range of figures.

 This unit was awarded the best value unit,as Jim managed to ride it around my Gendarmes and get them to run after them. Some how Jim bought these of Ebay, thirty odd years after John had sold them, still a lovely figure from Hinchliffe.

John and Jim,looking like butter wouldn't melt in their mouths as they scrape a draw close to injury time.

 After fighting all day,John and Jim managed to claw back a defeat into a tense draw.Most of the French were on the brink of exhaustion,and their Scots allies,were way out of position,and couldn't influence the game. But it was a great game,and definitely inspired me to get on with my painting.
I would like to thank Jim and Tom for bringing their figures North. Hopefully I can create some units to match theirs. Some how I doubt it.

A really great game...........................

Honour Guard of Cesare Borgia.

Honour Guard of Cesare Borgia.