Bolt Action ACW Rules

Sunday, 25 April 2021

The End of the 1st Italian War?

 As you left us last time Milan had stormed Bologna but the Milanese army was trapped in the city by the Bolognese relief army that arrived just too late.

Meanwhile the Genoese had advanced to the outskirts of Milan and faced a much smaller Milanese army. If Milan lose to Genoa their armies will be trapped in 2 cities and doomed to lose the war. But if they can beat Genoa decisively then they can relieve the trapped army in Bologna and win the war. They need to be quick the Pope is from Bologna and war with his home city will get Milan excommunicated.

All is set for a decisive battle.

The Milanese are on the left, blue command stands, and the Genoese on the right with green command stands

2 regiments on knights on the Milanese right

2 pike blocks form the Milanese centre

The Milanese left is missile troops and a unit of knights

The Genoese left, 2 regiments of knights and regiment of stradiots

THe Genoese centre only has 1 pike block with 2 units of heavy infantry and 4 cannon

The Genoese right, missile troops and knights

THe Genoese left advances

On the Genoese right both armies advance


The opening salvos do little damage

THe overly confident stradiots charge the Milanese crossbowmen in woods but fail to rout them

One of the Milanese knight regiments skirts the woods and smashes into the flank of the stradiots. They are doomed

The regiments of knights face upto each other

The Milanese victory is decisive

and they sweep the Genoese right flank from the field

The same happens on the Genoese left.

As the Genoese centre advances there are 2 regiments of undamaged Milanese knights on the flanks threatening the whole army

They strike on the left 

and the right

The Genoese have been enveloped and worse is to come. The infantry clash and once again Milan is victorious. It is a crushing victory by Milan who were outnumbered 3-2.

It is time to take the spoils of war. Milan sues for peace to prevent being excommunicated. Genoa loses 3 terrain tiles to Milan, not very valuable but securing the Milanese flank. They get peace with Milan and Venice. The city of Bologna is returned back to the Bolognese but they lose 4 terrain tiles. Milan has increased its size by 25%. Bologna still exists but can no longer field a army strong enough to take on anyone. They will have to seek protection from stronger allies in future campaigns

The closing map.
THis is the end of the 1st Italian War and I've really enjoyed it. Most things worked very well and only some minor tweaks are needed, such as making it easier slightly easier to change diplomatic status, and the ability to dismount cavalry in besieged cities to give a better mix of defenders, and make cannon slightly easier to fire - they were very weak. I plan to use random events more so in future wars and have ordered peasant troops for revolts etc.




Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Italian Wars The Battle of Bologna

 This will be the 1st of 2 posts on the pivotal turn of my 1st Italian Wars campaign. When you left us last time Milan was besieging Bologna whilst trying to keep Genoa away from Milan. To be successful Milan must storm Bologna this turn and fight Genoa, so they must split their available mercenary pool.

THe 1st battle is the attempted storming of Bologna. Bologna is defended by its home army of a pike block, 2 aquebusier troops, 2 regiments of knights and a cannon. Milan needed cannons to blow the walls down. Mercenary selection is randomised by troop class - Cavalry, infantry and missle troops. Cannon are readily available so they started with missile troops and 1 troop of crosbowmen, 2 troops of aquebusiers and an organ gun later they finally got a cannon, giving them 2. But now over 1/2 the army was missile troops, not great for storming a town.


The walls of Bologna. The aim is for cannon fire to bring down the walls and charge through

As a diversionary attack there are 2 units of forlorn hope with ladders

The cannon open up and start to damage the walls (walls can take 30 hits and have a defense value of 8). However Bologna has a cannon on the walls and wipes out the Milanese cannon with the walls intact. Milan will have to use the ladders

The forlorn hopes advance and aquebusiers open up on them

They are whittled down but the Milanese have loads of missile troops and sweep the walls clear of defenders

A forlorn hope races across the ramparts to open the gates

Defending aquebusiers open fire

But the Forlorn hope opens the gates

A unit a halberders charges through but is annihilated. Then I forgot to take photos but the forlorn hope in the gatehouse attack and dent the defending pike block. A forlorn hope charges through the gate and inflicts more damage 

Then the Milanese pike block smashes home and the defenders are routed.
All is lost. The Milanese flood the ramparts with missile troops and the Bolognese have no response. 

Milan have captured Bologna but are immediately beseiged by the remaining Bolognese army. Milan needs to win a decisive victory against Genoa. It they do they will win the war. If they lose to Genoa they are doomed. 

Stay tuned


Monday, 19 April 2021

Italian Wars Campaign Turn 2

 The start of the 2nd turn sees Milan now at war with Bologna and Genoa, whilst Venice has allied with Milan and declared war on Genoa. However they aren't at war with Bologna yet so can't attack Bologna.

Genoa has advanced to the walls of Milan and Milan has taken to the field to face them. 

Milan is on the right and Genoa the left. Milan has the larger army, approx 20% bigger and has a very large artillery force of 6 cannon and organ guns against Genoa's single gun.

The Genoese right, infront of a series of fields and farms

The Genoese centre and left, 2 pike blocks with knights in support

The Milanese centre, lots of pike blocks

Strong Milanese right with knights and crossbowmen

The Milanese right advances to threaten the Genoese flank

Aquebusiers inthe woods fire and waver Milan's mounted crossbowmen

There is a general advance from Milan and 2 cannon open fire severly mauling a Genoese pike block. This could go very badly very quickly for Genoa.

Even worse the aquebusiers in the woods are routed, small units and be jolly deadly but are very fragile

Over on the Milan left the battle of the farmland is a victory to Milan due to 2 devastating volleys from the organ gun. Milanese artillery has been brilliant so far, especially since a made it very hard to reload.

As the Milanese pike blocks advance the Genoese knights advance and attack. This is suicidal but they needed to breakup the milan advance. It works well enough that it gives time for the Genoese right to move over and support

Pike blocks are rock hard to the front but everything is in trouble is attacked in the flank or rear, and a unit a halberders is kicking butt.

A unit of Milanese knights had made it round the back and threatens the rear of the Genoese. Luckily one of the pike blocks has destroyed it's opponent and turns to face them. The knights will be kebab'd

This is it. a badly shaken genoese pike block against a fairly undamaged Landsknecht 1/2 size block. THe Landsknechts have a forlorn hope that can attack before the blocks clash. They are very small but very good at pike blocks. Big swords and halberds get them between the pikes and rout the Genoese. The final Genoese pike block is then routed by crossbow fire

Milan win but it was a bloody mess and only a minor victory.

The genoese army is forced back 1 hex.
The next turn is going to be a big one that could end the 1st italian war. Milan is beseiging Bologna but the relief force is near at hand, and Milan must storm Bologna. Genoa must attack again to split the Milanese forces or Bologna is effectively out of the game.
Stay tuned for the next thrilling episode





Sunday, 11 April 2021

Italian Wars Campaign - Turn 1

Dear reader

you left us last time with the map completed and the forces massed. Next I needed to work out the diplomacy. This was simple. There are 8 levels of diplomatic relations from 1 - Allies to 8 - War. I simply rolled for these on a D8


I have added the Pope, seems like an important chap, and I randomly gave him a Nationality, Bolognese. Whilst not taking an active roll in the fighting the Papal States will influence how others see each other. Diplomatic status changes each turn based on a D6 roll (1,2 improve, 3,4 remain same and 5,6 worsen) with some factors based on current status.

Generally all the sides stated at peace but Milan and Bologna were a war and Genoa and Bologna were Allies.

Being at war the strong Milan immediately attacked Bologna and Bologna moved to intercept.

The 2 states met just outside Bologna and as the Bolognese moved in to the hex occupied by Milan they were the attackers. The hex was farmland so i limited the terrain to 1 hill, 1 wood and some fields. Other terrain types will be applied depending on the hex, for example a hilly hex will have minimum of 3 hills, etc.

So a battle was fought. Both sides could call on the full value of their terrain to buy mercenaries. As a result the Milan side was 50% bigger than Bologna. This will be a major problem.

Bologna are the closest and are outnumbered in everything. They have cannon and aquebusiers in the centre, cavalry to the right and a pikeblock and halberders to the left. Milan's cavalry is mainly facing the Bolognese cavalry, they have cannon and 2 pike blocks inthe centre and a further pike block and knights on their right. There are 3 objectives, hill, wood and farm. 

I should have set up the Bolognese differently as they are too spread out. But they make a general advance

Milanese mounted crossbowmen take the hill and are immediately hit by cannon fire, wavering them and causing them to retreat. Once a cannon has fired it must roll a 4+ each turn to be able to fire again

THe Milanese cannon have routed a troop of aquebusiers and they advance in the centre and with their cavalry. 2 regiments of stradiots clash and the Bolognese win but there are knights following up. 

The Bolognese cannon  fire on the advancing pike blocks and inflict only 1 casualty. This could get very bad very quickly

THe Milanese cannon are butchering the aquebusier units in the centre. Bologna are losing badly. But they have set their knights to attack

On the left the 2 pike blocks attack  sending out forlon hopes to cause a mess. THe Bolognese Halderders have been wiped out by a single charge of knights

The Milanese pike blocks are ready to strike

As are the knights and pike block.
THe writing is on the wall and the Bolognese leg it back to Bologna. A crushing defeat and Bologna is beseiged. Bologna (me) made a pigs ear of this. But is was the 1st battle and takes a while to understand the various strengths of the units.
Turn 1 ends. Turn 2 begins with diplomacy and Genoa come to the end of their allies and declare war on Milan. Milan is now fighting on 2 fronts against 3 armies (1 Bolognese army is trapped in Bologna)
On to turn 2, will Milan storm Bologna, Will Genoa