April 11, 1512,
Spanish army of 28 units opposed to French army of 30 units
for a battle of complexity 0.66 at Company(I) level
on a 2.5 Km/Hex map
for 40 turns of 6 Hours each.
by Mark Stevens submited on 02-04-2006
Rugged-Defense Playing Statistics
The Battle of Ravenna, 1512
the first artillery duel
Version: 1.0, March 2006
This is a scenario using the modified XIXth database for TOAW - CoW. You can download it here
In April 1512 a French army, with troops from its ally the Duke of Ferrara, was besieging the Italian city of Ravenna, while a Spanish-Papal army marched to its relief. As was usual in the Italian Wars the French had far more striking power, concentrated in its 2,000 noble, heavily armoured gendarmes and 5,000 Landsknechts. They were supported by another 10,000 French and Italian infantry of more dubious quality, and 2,000 light cavalry, of which a body of stradiots was the most formidable. Critically, it also included 54 cannon.
The Spanish-Papal army fielded twelve of the new 'colunelas', mixed pike, arquebus and sword-and-buckler men with a theoretical strength of 1,000 each. In addition there were around 2,000 Papal infantry, mainly crossbowmen with some pike support, a little over 1,000 Spanish and 670 Papal men-at-arms, and 1,700 lighter cavalry, half of which were the famous Spanish 'ginetes'. They were supported by 30 cannon.
This wasn't enough to face the French army in the open, but the master engineer Pedro Navarro had undertaken to establish a position that would be impregnable to attack. Since the French could neither undertake a formal siege of Ravenna with such an enemy force nearby, nor beat it out of its entrenchments, Ravenna would be relieved.
This was to be the first real artillery battle of the Renaissance. The French commander, Gaston de Foix, formed up opposite the entrenchment but instead of attacking opened fire with his artillery. A small battery attached to the French bridge guard moved down the west side of the Ronco River and enfiladed the Spanish position. Although the Spanish infantry were reasonably sheltered, their cavalry, forced to remain mounted, suffered terribly. After about two hours their light cavalry made a charge for the Ferrarese guns and were met by the French cavalry. The Spanish commander, Ramon of Cardona, Viceroy of Naples, was obliged to send in his own heavy cavalry, which was duly beaten by the more numerous and better quality French. While this was going on Gaston sent in an infantry assault against the entrenchment, which was beaten off with loss.
However, once the Spanish cavalry had been disposed of, the French launched a combined arms attack, both frontally and round the sides of the entrenchment. Both the Landsknechts and - more surprisingly - some at least of the gendarmes were able to cross the rampart (perhaps it had been battered down by the artillery? - and from then on the battle became a massacre. To their credit, all twelve of the Spanish colonels were killed outright or mortally wounded at the head of their corunelas, while the Viceroy fled and Pedro Navarro was captured.
Using the 19th Century modified TOAW database - address on the map - allows for ranged artillery and infantry fire.
No replacements but units, except for named leaders and artillery, may reconstitute - the French at the church behind their lines, the Spanish on the road leading south.
Each turn (about 40) represents 15 minutes, whatever the automatic calender says.
Victory points: 50 VPs for either camp, 10 VPs for each of the six front trenches.
French morale will drop 10% if Gaston is killed (as he was) or their baggage is lost, the Spanish by 10% if the camp is stormed.
This isn't a wonderfully subtle battle, but it may be of interest to players who are interested in the period.