DBA III/76 Papal Italians

This army list covers the army of the Papacy and its allies from 1049 to 1320. The period it covers begins with the ascendancy in 1049 of Pope Leo IX, who began a power struggle with the Holy Roman Empire, and it ends with the rise of condottieri mercenary knights. I have modelled an 11th or early 12th century force. The actual ‘Papal’ part of the army is very small or non existent. It mostly comprises mercenaries or contingents sent by cities allied to Rome.

The Papal Italian army arrayed on a somewhat wrinkled battlefield

There are up to three 3Kn elements in the army, an optional Kn command (a lay gonfalonier), and two compulsary Kn representing feudal knights owing allegiance to the Papacy, or the Swabian volunteers who served at Civitate. The Kn Command carries the red cross on a white field that was adopted by enemies of the Holy Roman Empire. It shows their diametric opposition to the Germans by reversing the colours of the flag they often carried on campaign. These are Old Glory figures, except for the commander who is from Irregular Miniatures. He is in a good dramatic pose, and I like that he has a couple of sacks with him on his horse, but his mace arm is quite weird.

Feudal and allied knights, and an optional lay gonfalonier

As an interesting alternative to the Kn command there is an optional 4Sp command, representing the Papal Guard. The core of the army’s foot is three 4Sp elements, mercenary spearmen or contingents from allied cities. The Papal Guard carries an early version of the Papal flag, depicting the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. The Papal Guard are from Old Glory, while the spear are a mixture of Museum and Khurusan figures (with the longer spears) and Old Glory.

Allied and mercenary spearmen, and the Papal Guard

Supporting the Sp is a pair of 4Cb, who would again be mercenaries or Italian allies. These are Museum Miniatures figures.

Allied and mercenary crossbowmen

The army has plenty of light troops, having three 2Ps mercenary or allied archers. These are a real mix of Museum Miniatures Normans, Essex Miniatures, and one who looks to be to be a Feudal Castings Viking archer!

Skirmishing allied and mercenary archers

To provide a little colour there is one element of Hd, representing the peasantry who would occasionally join up with the army when they got angry enough at freebooting Normans or Saracens.

Grumpy peasants – those Normans have pillaged the wrong village this time!

Overall the army might be easier to use than the Communal Italians because it has more knights, one less Hd, and no unwieldy WWg. I think that if more thought had been given to how the Communal Italian army might have looked when on campaign (rather than just outside the city walls) when list III/72 was being written, it might look like this.

What do you think?

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