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    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Dear ListI put on a game at Fall-In! which I have started doing again (putting on games at HMGS conventions) simply to keep my oar in. Rather than trot out the Princess’ armies I gave them a rest and went back and did a Renaissance Game, “The Battle of Mortadella” which was the last battle from a campaign we had several years ago, called “The Elvish Civil War.” In this battle the Elves were fighting each other, and the two faction were the “Faerines” who called themselves “true elves” and the Attrantio’s who called themselves “New Eleves” had been fighting for ten years in three conflicts. This was the last one and the True Elves had hired a Swiss army to do their fighting for them, and the New Elves had hired a Swinnish (Landsknect) Army to do the same for them.  Elvish Armies of either side were, in point of fact, crap militarily. In the original campaign somewhere in the middle of the battle both the Swiss and the Swinns discovered the Elves (both sides) had no money, so they immediately turned and massacred every one they could lay their hands on

    In this battle I did not have this political interplay, so it was more or less an expression of “bad war” of Swiss versus Landsknechts. The Elves provided the gayly colored window dressing.

    The game was fought on my hexagonal terrain set up (but it’s not a hex game, the hexagons are 12″ across and simply are bases for terrain. And the armies were large and wildly colored.  The rules were my own “Oh God! Anything But a six, or more correctly ” O Dio !! Tuttt’ Altro Che Un Sei! which is “Oh God! Anything But a Six in Italian.

    The rules ar4e simple and fast paced and remarkably realistic for their whole 12 pages.

    The game went off quite well. The event card deck decided to play a completely ephemeral part in this game so there were no strange and freaky occurrances.  The Swiss, being “terror troops” had a fearful effect on any Elvish units they came in contact with, as did the Landsknechts, which while they were not terror troops  did have very powerful arquebus enhancements so it was for the Elves of the other side, who got in the way  pretty much on the one hand like bare-knuckled boxing with a wood chipper, or standing up to a mini-gun. One unit of Elves  in an excess of feudal pride and arrogance masked half the Swinnish Artillery  by standing in front of them to have the honor of receiving the charge of the guards of the other faction and after the Swinnish commander had about three turns of this nonsense fired off his batteries blasting both from behind.

    In the end the Swiss pretty much had the best of it and everyone agreed that  they would win, though I pointed out that half the Swinnish Regiments had not yet been engaged yet

    One of the features of this iteration of “Oh God! Anything but  a six” is the “double flag units.” This means they have two flags on the base tag labels of their stands. One is of course the side they are from, but the other can be reminders that this unit may have particular enemies or particular friends on the same or the other side which will have tactical consequences.

    The use of “terror troops” confers benefits such that when a terror troops faces a non-terror troops  all the values of the none-terror unit go down to 1 in all categories (if they are not zero) and  all values of the terror troops go up to 5. If terror troops face terror troops combat is normal. Landsknechts are NOt terror troops but they don’t care. They gain no benefit against non-terror troops , but they also are not degraded when facing terror troops. Their advantage is their high missile value from the arquebus

    One thing that makes the game is the mounting system.  A regiment of Landsknechts is 25 pikemen, 5 officers and 24 arquebusiers  on a 3″ by 8″ stand. A Swiss “Hut” or main central phalanx of a regiment has 60 pikemen and 18 musketeers on a 5″ by 7″ stand.  The table top thus ALWAYS looks like a Renaissance battlefield because the units are permanently in the formations of the day.  The game is predicated on the players being the general of a segment or wing of the army, left right, or center, and thus small scale folderol like mounting, dismounting, limbering, unlimbering and even facing is ignored. Facing comes in only through the zone of control which is from 45% radiating out from the front of the unit. If you are flanked in a unit you simply turn the unit to face the new threat. That’s what troops were trained to do ad infinitum and we see no need to think they didn’t become expert at it. If a unit is attacked front and flank, then you get to chose which one to face, and if you make the movement roll, you can turn and do so. The only advantage to the flanking unit is that he doesn’t get fire or melee from the unit it is flanking

    The game went pretty well, with over 800 figures on each side we got through the battle in about three hours and reached a decision

    In the game  Swiss, Turkish Janissaries, French Gendarmes and Spanish Infantry are Terror Troops.  Landsknechts are not, but as I said, don’t care.  It makes for very interesting campaigns.

    At the other end of it there are SCM! These are small stands of 2″ by 4″ of six to eight figures which are skirmishers. They form an inhibitor to movement because even though an inconsequential body of troops they can still halt enemy movement, and they are persistant gadflies in that they can fire and harass an enemy. The rules to them are peculiar. If any unit is in range of a SCUM stand, it must take one shot from them. However, no matter how many stands of scum it is in range of the maximum number of shots to any unit is one. Thus assume you had a non-scum unit in the center of a circle of a dozen SCUM units. It would take a single  shot. If the positions were reversed with twenty four non-scum units  in a circle around  with ONE scum unit in the center, EACH would take one and only one shot from the single scum unit.  It’s a great annoyance and makes one truly hate scum, which is, of course, it’s purpose. In actual play that never happens and usually only half a dozen units take fire, and it’s inconsequential. Except– yes, there is a chance a very small chance, the untire unit could get eliminated from that shot. Sounds crazy but it works very well to represent the random annoying effect of skirmish fire.

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