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"Rules for Large Renaissance(Italian Wars) Battle" Topic

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Oudinot16 Jan 2016 7:52 a.m. PST


Could anyone suggest a set of rules for 15mm Italian Wars?

I like lots of figures on the table, so something suitable for big blocks of Pike and Gendarmes. (A renaissance version of Peter Gilders In a Grand Manner would be good!)

I've played WRG many moons ago, but I'm not sure what is available for this period now

Thank you in advance for any help offered.



Skeets Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2016 8:23 a.m. PST

The Perfect Captain has a complete system for the period, it's free and the quality of the product is very high: link

Timmo uk16 Jan 2016 8:33 a.m. PST

I've not played it but Flames of Glory Renaissance (FoGR) is very popular and suitable. There are some good on-line ARR at the MadAxeman's blog.

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2016 10:25 a.m. PST

Impetus works well for this period.

GamesPoet Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2016 10:43 a.m. PST


Phillius Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Jan 2016 12:36 p.m. PST

We played a very large Italian Wars game at a show last year, using Black Powder Pike and Shotte. It was our second outing, and although the structure of the armies required some work afterwards, the game went ok.

Tip: don't include lots of poor shot units in your Swiss command. When the rest have gone, the Swiss go home.

But they work for large and reasonably fast moving games.

rct7500116 Jan 2016 1:04 p.m. PST

Another suggestion of Impetus

(Leftee)16 Jan 2016 10:37 p.m. PST

Like the look and feel of Impetus. Another nice set is 'Warfare in the Age of Discovery'. Really like the push of pike and halberd/swordsmen rules.

olicana17 Jan 2016 3:34 a.m. PST

I rather depends on what you want when you say you want big units of pike.

I've seen a lot of Italian Wars games played with big units of pike, but then discovered the big units are, in fact, lots of little units, joined together in a lump but fighting separately like the smallish units in a Macedonian phalanx. This is not my understanding of pike squares in the Italian Wars, which were far deeper and generally fought or fled as a single body when they say a unit of 9000, that's what is was, the middle fahnlein didn't get routed leaving the flanking fahnlein to fight on, which seemed to happen a lot in these games.

My games have big squares of pike. They start at 54 figures (9 x 6) and get as large as 216 (18 x 12). Typically they are 72 96 figures like these shown in this shot of pike tangling in this re-fight of Marignano 1515.


But, like I say they do get bigger. This was the Swiss pike square for our re-fight of Cerignola 1503 (played at 1 figure = 25ish).


compared to the rest of the units it was a whopper


Having said that, as you can see, it's only the pike that operate in huge units. I believe most infantry and cavalry, tended to operate in companies and squadrons. Most infantry operate in 16s, cavalry in 8s. My Spanish colunelas are 36 figures as they were properly combined 'brigades'.

If this is the kind of thing you want, go to this link. You'll find my email address in the side bar, drop me a line and I'll send you the rules.



Supercilius Maximus17 Jan 2016 7:27 a.m. PST

I think if you want Italian Wars specifically, then what "olicana" has offered is well worth considering.

However, if you want generic Renaissance rules that will cover this war among others, then look at FoG Renaissance (they have a sale on at the moment, here: link ) or Impetus. I have played both and both give a good game; I prefer FoG:R (just) from the rules viewpoint, but Impetus allows you to create mini-dioramas, so you can use those "charge/push-of-pike" types that don't work very well with other rules.

platypus01au17 Jan 2016 2:52 p.m. PST

Also, WRG's DBMM can be used for the Italian Wars quite successfully.


Sandinista17 Jan 2016 6:48 p.m. PST

Warlord's Pike and Shotte are a good set of rules


Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Jan 2016 4:32 p.m. PST

Another vote for Impetus, as it works quite well for the Italian Wars (this era was probably in the mind of the Italian developers). Movement often depends on wether you make your command roll (at last additional movement, which may give you the decisive push). Its a ruleset that really handles skirmishers well.

FOGR works, too. The rules are far more precise and movement is pretty reliable here.

Experimenting with other rulesets or modifying exsting rules should never trouble you, as thes transitional times are hard to catch with a fixed ruleset anyway.

Yesthatphil18 Jan 2016 5:06 p.m. PST

FoG-R does do a good job in ths period


VicCina Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2016 11:41 p.m. PST

You can use Hostile Realms or Band of Brothers by Piquet. Excellent rules!

Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Jan 2016 12:38 a.m. PST

FOGR is currently on a hefty sale with Slitherin, as they will take it out of production.

On another note of Impetus/FOGR – the basing is compatible, as four FOGR bases (in the typical DBA size) will combine to one Impetus base. Of course you an also use Impetus bases for their 28mm size (12*8cm) and create mini dioramas on each. Pike blocks are usually 2 or 3 bases stacked.

Dexter Ward20 Jan 2016 2:57 a.m. PST

FOG:R and DBR would both work well.
(DBR in condensed scale for big battles is very good).

The Last Conformist23 Jan 2016 4:33 a.m. PST

Also, WRG's DBMM can be used for the Italian Wars quite successfully.
It's designed to handle the period up to 1515.

Oudinot11 Feb 2016 8:22 a.m. PST


Thank you for your help and advise.

I will take olicana's offer and try his rules.

I will post details of our first game

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