Before the battle
An Imperial (DBA III/52) force under Count Rudolf of Heckendorf encounters the militia of the Commune of Asti (DBA III/72) under its captain Marco Consigli.
The Italians set up with most of their force to the right of a main road, contadini infantry blocked the road, the contadini knights are formed up near the carroccio, and most of the communal infantry was on a gentle hill. To counter this the Germans form up their foot in column on the road with cavalry support, hoping to push back the contadini infantry and turn the Italian left flank. German milites are formed up in a wide formation to pin the Italian line.
The Germans roll an agressive 6 PIPs. The infantry move off down the road, with a group of milites also moving forward. The German centre holds back to allow their foot to deploy. The gap between the German infantry and the wood to their right proves to be too narrow for the Thuringian cavalry to pass through, so this is forced to stay back.
The Italians are more circumspect, rolling 2 PIPs. They begin to move forward in order to deny the Germans room to manouvre.
Another 6 PIPs for the Germans. Rudolf cautiously decides to deploy his infantry into line formation. He ends up with a 4Sp element in the woods. He manages to begin moving his Thuringian 3Cv more toward the centre, and sends another element of milites up to reinforce the left wing.
The Italians roll 4 PIPs and use this to continue moving to hem the Germans in.
The Germans roll 4 PIPs and continue reorganising their line.
The Italians roll 6 PIPs and maintain their aggressive stance by wheeling their infantry in toward the German milites, and sending their own knights toward the German infantry.
The Germans once again roll 6 PIPs. They use this to wheel in toward the Italian knights and continue organising themselves.
The Italians roll 2 PIPs. Consigli decides that a charge to glory would not be a good idea, and moves back into line with the main body.
Rudolf, with 4 PIPs, finally gets to where he should have been on turn 1. For some reason an element of milites remains behind the lines.
Consigli rolls 2 PIPs and brings his troops within bowshot of the Germans, but shooting against the Thuringian 3Cv is desultary (1+4 vs 6+3)
Rudolf rolls 5 PIPs. His troops engage the Italians all along the line, the Swabians dismounting before they do so. The Germans bounce off the Italian foot, but push back their knights.
Consigli, also rolls 5 PIPs. He begins to take advantage of the Swabians dismounting by redeploying the rear rank of infantry on his right flank. The contadini infantry begin moving forward. The see-saw combat continues with an Italian Sp and a German Kn recoiled.
Rudolf rolls 4 PIPs and re-engages but still cannot achieve any success in combat.
Consigli rolls 6 PIPs. He manages to ‘close the door’ on an element of Swabians, and continues bringing the contadini infantry up to ZOC the left flank. In combat the Swabian Bd are destroyed.
Rudolf rolls 3 PIPs, his lowest so far. He pulls the remaining Bd on his right flank back, and begins to move in on the contadini infantry. In combat the Thuringian Cavalry ride down the communal crossbowmen, but an element of milites manage to get themselves doubled by some supported spearmen.
Consigli rolls 5 PIPs. He exploits the gap caused by the rout of the German milites and closes the door on the Thuringian 3Cv. They put up stern resistance though and recoil the Italians (4+1 vs 2+5). However the fight between the Generals which has been raging for several turns is suddenly decisive – Consigli beats Rudolf 6-1. Game over.
I obviously need a bit more practice with columns as it was a lot of work deploying the Germans. It would have been better for the Germans to keep their command element and it’s accompanying 3Kn supporting his infantry rather than butting up against the Italian knights at 4:4. The Italians might then have been forced to try to move troops over to their left with all those German milites ready to charge in. The lonely forgotten German Kn would have been handy on the left flank too – it’s been a while since I played DBA!
I dismounted the Bd mainly to see what it was like. It was good in that the spears were back to +4 vs +5, rather than +5 vs +3 as they were against the Kn, but the Bd need their flanks protected.
So all in all not a very good first outing for the Germans but the Italians demonstrated that supported spear can do well. What was unusual in the game was that in all of the Kn vs Sp combat not one Sp was quick killed.
The East Franks are unusual because in most armies with dismounting Kn, all the Kn can dismount, so one thing I do need to do for my opponents’ sake is to make it more obvious which of the Kn elements are the Swabians.