Italian Wars Unit Characterisation for Pike and Shotte

I have recently tweaked my master table for characterising units for Pike and Shotte games set in the earlier part of Italian Wars – between Charles VIII’s 1494 invasion of Italy and the Sack of Rome in 1527. It only provides a rule of thumb list for my games and is by no means exhaustive. It has several similarities with the classifications in the master rules but, I have added and changed several definitions and statistics, and I have even altered one or two master rules. This will be especially noticeable in the following:
  • my creation of the colunela as a single combined unit – mine being two stands of pike (12 figs), two stands of Sword and Bucklermen (6 – 8 figs) and four stands of shot (16 figs). 
  • the downgrading of light horse melee factors.
  • the increase of movement rates and ranges.
  • the change in the master rule for crossbows and javelins – they get closing fire in my games but do not get the close range to hit bonus.
  • artillery is far less mobile than in the master rules.


I’m posting it here because I think it might be of use, especially for newcomers to the period. Though it only reflects my personal opinion about unit ability I think I can argue the case for the entries. 

If anyone would like a MS Word doc. version of these tables, so they can tinker for themselves, or to lose the dropped letters (due to blog post compression of the table width), drop me an email at the address in the side bar.

Pike and Shotte list for the characterisation of units during

The Great Italian Wars

CAVALRY UNITS

Unit

Unit Type

[move]

Melee

Dice #

Shooting

Dice #

Morale

save

Stamina

Special

French Gendarmes

Heavy Horse [12”]

9

3+

4

Heavy Cavalry Charge: add D3 melee result bonus.

Elite: 4+ to rally disorder.

French Argulets

Light Horse

[16”]

3

1

[16”]

5+

3

Cautious: may use free move to retire.

Crossbow: no close range

Evade: can evade

Spanish Knights

Heavy Horse [12”]

9

3+

4

Heavy Cavalry Charge: add D3 melee result bonus.

Elite: 5+ to rally disorder.

Spanish Genitors

Light Horse [12”]

5

1

[8”]

5+

3

Fire & Evade: can evade, or give closing fire & evade.

Javelin: no close range.

Marauders: Do not count command distance.

Skirmish: Freely change order; shoot at full effect.

Italian Casa / Famiglia

Heavy Horse [12”]

9

3+

4

Heavy Cavalry Charge: add 1 melee result bonus.

Elite: 5+ to rally disorder.

Imperial

Men-at-arms

Heavy Horse [12”]

9

3+

4

Heavy Cavalry Charge: add 1 melee melee result bonus.

Elite: 5+ to rally disorder.

Wedge: re-roll one melee miss [large unit only].

Condottiere

Heavy Horse [12”]

9

4+

4

Heavy Cavalry Charge: add 1 melee result bonus.

Brittle: quit if rally failed when shaken.

Lance Spezzate

Heavy Horse [12”]

9

4+

4

Heavy Cavalry Charge: add 1 melee result bonus.

Mounted Crossbows

Light Horse

[16”]

3

1

[16”]

5+

3

Cautious: may use free move to retire.

Crossbow: no close range.

Evade: can evade

Mounted Arquebus

Light Horse

[16”]

3

1

[16”]

5+

3

Cautious: may use free move to retire.

Evade: can evade

Stradiots

Light Horse

[16”]

5

1

[8”]

5+

3

Fire & Evade: can evade, or give closing fire & evade.

Brittle: quit if rally failed when shaken.

Javelin: no close range.

Marauders: Do not count command distance.

Skirmish: Freely change order; shoot at full effect.

ARTILLERY UNITS

Unit

Unit Type

[move]

Melee

Dice #

Shooting

Dice #

Morale

save

Stamina

Special

Light Artillery

Artillery

[4” manhandled
/ 8” limbered]

1

1 – 2 – 3

[32” – 16” – 6”]

6+

2

Medium Artillery

Artillery

[8” limbered]
1

1 – 2 – 3

[48” – 24” – 6”]

6+

2

May be ordered to turn on the spot.

Heavy Artillery

Artillery

[8” limbered]
1

1 – 2 – 3

[64” – 32” – 6”]

6+

2

May not move at all once unlimbered.


Pike and Shotte list for the characterisation of units during

The Great Italian Wars

INFANTRY UNITS

Unit

Unit Type

[move]

Melee

Dice #

Shooting

Dice #

Morale

save

Stamina

Special

French Pike

Pike Block

[8”]

5

6+

5

Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter shot; static only.

Brittle: quit if rally failed when shaken.

French Crossbows

Battle Line

[8”]

3

2

[16”]

6+

3

Crossbow: no close range.

Brittle: quit if rally failed when shaken.

Swiss Pike

Pike Block

[8”]

7

4+

5

Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter 1 shot; static only.

Elite: 4+ / 5+ to rally disorder.

Ferocious: re-roll misses when charging.

Bad War: melee break test +1 Vs Land’s / Swiss.

Swiss Halberdiers

Battle Line

[8”]

6

4+

3

Elite: 4+ / 5+ to rally disorder.

2 Handed Weapons: -1 to enemy saves.

Ferocious: re-roll misses when charging.

Bad War: melee break test +1 Vs Land’s / Swiss.

Swiss Arquebus

Battle Line

[8”]

3

2

[16”]

4+

3

Hedgehog: shelter with associated pike; static only.

Elite: 4+ / 5+ to rally disorder.

Spanish Colunela

Battle Line

[8”]

5

3

[16”]

5+

5

Pike company: cavalry count as pike armed.

Colunela: add 1 melee result bonus Vs infantry.

Volley Fire: Add 1 dice to ‘closing fire’ shooting value.

Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter integral shot; static only.

Spanish Pike

Pike Block

[8”]

7

5+

5

Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter 1 shot; static only.

Spanish Arquebus

Battle Line

[8”]

3

3

[16”]

5+

3

Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter shot; static only.

Volley Fire: Add 1 dice to closing fire shooting value.

Hedgehog: shelter with associated pike; static only.

Spanish Sword & Bucklermen

Battle Line

[8”]

5

5+

3

Sword & B: +D3 melee result bonus Vs pike, +1 Vs other.

Close fighters: re-roll melee misses in town fighting.

Veteran

Spanish

v

v

v

v

v

Elite: 5+ to rally disorder.

Landsknecht Pike

Pike Block

[8”]

7

4+

5

Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter 1 shot; static only.

Bad War: melee break test +1 Vs Land’s / Swiss.

Landsknecht Halberdiers

Battle Line

[8”]

6

4+

3

2 Handed Weapons: -1 to enemy saves.

Bad War: melee break test +1 Vs Land’s / Swiss.

Landsknecht Arquebus

Battle Line

[8”]

3

2

[16”]

4+

3

Hedgehog: shelter with associated pike; static only.

Veteran Landsknechts

v

v

v

v

v

Elite: 5+ to rally disorder.

Italian Pike

Pike Block

[8”]

6

6+

5

Hedgehog: no flanks / rear; shelter 1 shot; static only.

Brittle: quit if rally failed when shaken.

Italian Arquebus

Battle Line

[8”]

3

2

[16”]

6+

3

Hedgehog: shelter with associated pike; static only.

Veteran Italian Arquebus

Battle Line

[8”]

3

2

[16”]

5+

3

Skirmish: Freely Change formation; shoot at full effect.

Volley Fire: Add 1 dice to ‘closing fire’ shooting value.

Italian Crossbows

Battle Line

[8”]

3

2

[16”]

6+

3

Crossbow: no close range.

Hedgehog: shelter with pike; static only.

Italian Sword & Bucklermen

Battle Line

[8”]

4

6+

3

Sword & B: +D3 melee result bonus Vs pike, +1 Vs other.

Close fighters: re-roll melee misses in town fighting.

Venetian Schiavonni

Battle Line

[8”]

4

1

[16”]

Arquebus

6+

3

Sword & B: +D3 melee result bonus Vs pike, +1 Vs other.

Close fighters: re-roll melee misses in town fighting.

Schiavonni: do not count command distance; freely change order; shoot at full effect.

Italian Infantry

Battle Line

[8”]

4

6+

3

2 Handed Weapons: -1 to enemy saves.

Italian City Militia

Battle Line

[8”]

4

6+

3

Brittle: quit if rally failed when shaken.


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Autor: JAMES ROACHOlicanalad’s GamesOlicanalad’s GamesOlicanalad’s Games

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