Thursday, 13 October 2011


For Part Two see

Summer 1494

With the Neapolitan Army reeling in retreat back into Naples the Papal forces followed close behind. The goal was to bring the Neapolitans to battle and with a victory knock them out of the war. However, to the north trouble was brewing. Whether spurred on by Neapolitan gold or just seeing an opportunity the combined armies of the Minor States invaded the Papal territory from the north. Caught between two enemies the Papists decided to temporarily concede the north and allow the Minor States to enter unopposed. It was now even more important to bring Naples to battle and with a victory knock them out of the war. Then with the southern frontier secured the Papists would turn their attention north.

Not an ideal situation but the best course of action. By conceding the north the Papal Major Morale would be reduced by one but the Minor States would not gain any morale. Hopefully a victory over Naples would offset the concessions in the north.

Driving quickly into Naples the Papal army made straight towards the capital city. Duke Nicolas hastily drew up his scattered forces and turned to face the Papist advance. Unlike the previous battle the Neapolitan Commander had chosen a wide flat plain with a small hill to the front and left of his position. Although he was technically the defender he realized that numbers favored the Papists and to wait for them to attack at their leisure put him in jeopardy of being overwhelmed across the line. Instead he decided to take the initiative. He would refuse his own left and attempt to encircle the Papist left flank while pinning him to the front. Hoping to outnumber the Papists on one edge he could roll them up before enemy's superior numbers came into play. It was a gamble but one he readily would take.
Having had success in the last battle with a defensive stance the Papal Commander chose to deploy along the line with his more numerous missile troops to the front. He would again take a defensive stand advancing only to bring his missile men into range. Perhaps the fire would goad the impetuous Neapolitan Commander into a rash charge. 
Rolling on the Basic Army Tactics Table (page, 52) allowed me to deploy each side based on their army type. The Neapolitans scored an Encircle the Flank result while the Papists a Static Defense. This would give the Neapolitans a numbers advantage to the right flank as they had hoped. The troops were deployed and it was time to start the battle.

The Neapolitan right of three City Knight units trotted forward towards the small Papist left flank or one City Spearmen and one Contadini archer unit. The center moved forward at half speed, missile men to the front with a rank of spear in support. Duke Nicolas and two other knight units moved from the reserve spot towards the right flank.
The Papists stood their ground.
With a shout the three City Knights charge forward at an angle towards the end of the center and against the archer unit on the left. The Contadini thought better of it and routed around the City Spearmen, who held their ground. A swift fight ensued with the infantry routing but not before they had inflicted some casualties against the heavier armored cavalry.
Meanwhile in the center the other Contadini archer fired and emptied some saddles before retiring behind the center of the line. This accounted for both flank units of knights. The center Neapolitan knights charged onwards and were intercepted by three Papist City Knights who had wheeled earlier into a column prior to contact. Slamming into them the Papist routed one enemy knight unit, they then caught a second as it tried to retire and regroup. The third Neapolitan City Knight unit retired back towards the main Neapolitan line. In a short time the Neapolitans had lost half of their mounted units.
Three turns to disaster! The Neapolitan right wing ran into some bad luck. Failed morale tests, casualties from missile fire and in melee, two units take two hits and the center unit slammed by twice their number of cavalry and unsupported at that. Two dead knight units and one reduced to half strength and one Contadini archer and City Spearmen in return. Not a good trade off and the flanking attack stopped.
The Neapolitan second line of knights, with the CinC, pulled up flush with the center. It's time to roll the dice, trust to luck and press the attack against the Papists if this battle is to be saved. Turn four and the Papists open fire.
Both sides exchange missile fire with Crossbowmen on both sides going down. The Neapolitan knights form up on the right, the three fresh and one worn unit while across from them half of the Papist cavalry form line to charge. Duke Paolo wheels his reserve into column and spurs them to support the front line of troops.
The missile duel between the Crossbowmen is inconclusive. The Papist fire first and the Neapolitans score a retire result, only to stand their ground and take another casualty as they cannot pass through the supporting infantry. On their turn they fire at the papal missile men and achieve the same result. Both sides have casualties but neither move away. Turn five will see the missile fire continue and a cavalry charge.
Another volley from the Papal Crossbowmen send the Neapolitan counterparts routing away. The Papist CinC, Duke Paolo, wheels two knight units into support behind his cavalry as the Neapolitans charge! The Neapolitan Knights crash into and through the Papal Knights who are cut down as they try to retire. As before the second line of Knights halt their attempts to escape causing them to disappear from the battle. With a shout the Neapolitans continue on towards Duke Paolo and his units of knights. "For God and the Pope!" shouts Duke Paolo and they charge into the battle. For a moment both CinCs meet face to face and Duke Nicolas is at risk but remains in the melee. One Neapolitan Knight unit retires making the fight even at two units apiece.
The Neapolitan center is ordered to charge. With no missile men to screen them they have little choice. This time they charge, the Papist Crossbowmen, three of the four units runaway while the fourth stands and fights. The fight is bloody but the Papists giving out twice they get. The Neapolitan line wavers then breaks, the Papists too spent to do more than cheer.
To the left the two CinCs continue the melee, even in numbers and in spirit as each side bloodies the other. One of the Neapolitan knight units charges and routs one of the depleted knight units but fight is a side show as the main melee between leaders and bodyguards continue. Suddenly Duke Nicolas is felled by a blow, knocked from his horse and out of the fight! Word spreads quickly through the army. The bodyguard fights on, protecting their leader as do the other Knights. The rest of the army begins to retire away while some units rout from the field.
The order is issued, advance and drive the non-believers from the field. Few stand while those that do, such as the Knights, are quickly overwhelmed. Duke Nicolas is captured and the pursuit is launched!

The defeat was overwhelming. With the capture of Duke Nicolas and the loss of the battle the National Morale of Naples was reduced to zero. The Papal States would go down one for conceding the north but go up one for wining a victory. This gave them a final Morale of 6. When news of the victory reached the Minor States to the north a minor fuss was raised by the lesser city states as they had been assured that an actual fight was unlikely before early next year. Instead it would be coming this fall.
Peace terms were negotiated and Naples would have their Recruiting Rolls reduced by one to nine and the Papal States increased to eleven. In addition Naples would have to give the Papists one recruiting Roll in the spring of each year for six years or the year 1500. In return the Papists would become the hated enemy of Naples. Ironically Naples would be cut off from the rest of Italy during the enforced peace as she only bordered the Papal States.

Next up Fall 1494


  1. Awesome report! I'm enjoying following this campaign, keep it up!

    Are those 15mm figures you're using?


  2. 15mm but don't know what manufacturer.