The Battle of Perosini, 1087

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. 

Setup

Turn 1 

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. 

The situation at the end of turn 1

Turn 2 

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 continue deploying

Turn 3 

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. 

Italian knights probe the German right flank

Turn 4 

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. 

The Germans eventually manage to get themselves organised

Turn 5

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) 

Turn 6 

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.

The Italians successfully resist the German attack

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.

The situation at the end of turn 6

Turn 7

Rudolf rolls 4 PIPs and re-engages but still cannot achieve any success in combat.

The German centre recoils

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.

The Italians make inroads on the German left

Turn 8

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.

An ignominious end to some German 3Kn

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.

Game over, Rudolf's element is destroyed.

Review

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.

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4 responses to “The Battle of Perosini, 1087

  1. Nice description. I’ve found Kn tend to lose against supported Sp. did your Swabians dismount as they went into combat? I’m not sure that’s allowed (I’ve just been rereading the rules).

    Dismounted Swabians flanked by knights that went in against the Sp with psiloi behind it would give the Sp something to worry about.

    • From memory they dismounted and then walked a short distance into combat.
      For a game with such concise rules it’s remarkably hard to find the one you’re after sometimes – where was the rule that you saw?
      Yes a blade/knight combo would be pretty fearsome – further experimentation is required!

      • It’s the last line of the section on movement (p. 8). There’s a logic to the layout of the rules, just not a very useful one!

      • Yes there it is in a paragraph of its own. A lesser rules set might have had all the rules about how to dismount in the same section.
        Its interesting that IWC 2011 has a ruling to only allow dismounting in setup or turn 1. Many of the Book IV armies that seem to do well in competitions (French Ordonnanace, say) feature a large amount of dismounting troops. If the defender opts to dismount during setup then the attacker can choose to do so if they can with no PIP expenditure during setup. But if the defender can dismount and chooses not to do so, but the attacker does, then the defender would have to use PIPs in their first bound to counter that.

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