Battle of Ravenna – A DBR Scenario

An Italian Wars scenario for DBR based on the Battle of Ravenna.

Historical Situation or Mission

Setting: Ravenna, Italy; 11 April 1512

Beginning in February 1512, the French forces in Italy, newly commanded by Gaston de Foix, Duc de Nemours, had been engaged in capturing cities in the Romagna and the Veneto, in an attempt to deny control of those regions to the forces of the Holy League (Wikipedia: Battle of Ravenna (1512)). Although he had been successful in a number of sieges, Nemours was aware that the impending invasion of France by Henry VIII of England would cause much of his army to be withdrawn, and he was determined to force the main army of the Holy League into battle before that occurred. Thus, in late March, Nemours, together with an Italian contingent under the Duke of Ferrara, marched east from Bologna and laid siege to the city of Ravenna, which was defended by Papal troops.

Julius II, alarmed at the prospect of losing his last stronghold in the Romagna, demanded that an army be sent to relieve the city; Ramon de Cardona had to comply, and the Spanish army set out for Ravenna with a company of Papal troops in tow (Wikipedia: Battle of Ravenna (1512)). By April 9, they had passed Forli, and were advancing north along the Ronco River towards the city, and on the next day had reached Molinaccio, only a mile south of the French positions, but still separated from them by the Ronco. Nemours, short on supplies and increasingly anxious to give battle before he was forced to withdraw from Italy, ordered a general attack for the following day.

Rules

DBR

The figure scale is DBR’s condensed scale. In brief:

  • artillery are 8 pieces per element;
  • formed infantry (pike and shot) are 400 men per element;
  • all others are 200 men per element.

French Order of Battle using 250 men/element

Map/Terrain

Key features are:

Pre-game preparation

None.

Spanish Player (Defending)

Objective

Defeat attacker in battle.

Forces Available

Command Composition DBR Type Elem. AP / Elem. Total AP
Vanguard
(Fabrizio Colonna)
670 Papal Lances Ln (O) 3 12 36
Battle
(Marquis della Padula)
575 Spanish Lances Ln (S) 3 15 45
Rearguard
(Don Alfonso Caravajal)
490 Spanish Lances Ln (S) 2 15 30
Infantry
(Pedro Navarro)
6600 Spanish 0
4000 Pikemen Pk (O) 10 4 40
1300 Swordsmen Bd (F) 4 5 20
1300 Arquebusiers Sh (I) 4 4 16
2000 Papal Italians (Ramassot) 0
1600 Pikemen Pk (I) 4 3 12
400 Arquebusiers Sk (O) 2 3 6
30 War carts Art (I) 5 6 30
Light Cavalry
(Marquis de Pescara)
1500 Light Cavalry 0
500 Papal Arquebusiers LH (I) 3 4 12
1000 Genitors LH (O) 5 5 25
Artillery 30 Guns Art (O) 4 20 80
Generals 3 20 60
Ditch and bank 12 2 24
436

Deployment

Deploy inside their entrenched camp.

Reinforcements

None.

French Player (Attacking)

Begins scenario with initiative.

Objective

Defeat defender in open battle.

Forces Available

>>>>>> Must separate the Gendarmes and the Archers (50/50).

Command Composition DBR Type Elem. AP / Elem. Total AP
Rear Guard
(Yves d’Alègre)
1000 Infantry (unknown type and didn’t participate) Pk (I) 2 3 6
400 French Men-at-Arms Ln (S) 2 15 30
Vanguard 910 Italian Lances Ln (O) 4 12 48
(Alfonso de’Este) 24 guns Art (S) 3 25 75
Battle
(Thomas Bohier)
780 French Lances Ln (S) 4 15 60
Extreme left 2000 light cavalry 0
(Caraciolo) Arqubusiers LH (I) 2 4 8
French Crossbowmen LH (F) 4 5 20
Stradiots LH (O) 4 5 20
1000 Dismounted archers Sk (O) 5 3 15
Infantry 5000 Landsknecht
(Jacob Empser)
0
4500 Pike and Halberdiers Pk (O) 12 4 48
500 Arquebusiers Sk (O) 2 3 6
8000 Gascons and Picards (Seigneur de Molart) 0
Gascon Archers [Xbow] Sk (O) 16 3 48
Picard Pikemen Pk (I) 12 3 36
3900 Italian foot
(Federigo da Bozzolo)
0
Pikemen Pk (I) 4 3 12
Arquebusiers Sh (I) 6 4 24
Artillery
(Ferrara)
24 Guns Art (O) 3 20 60
Generals 3 20 60
576

Note: Taylor says 9000 Landsknecht, Stevenson says 5000. This would add AP to the army.

Infantry 9000 Landsknecht
(Jacob Empser)
0
8000 Pike and Halberdiers Pk (O) 20 4 80
1000 Arquebusiers Sk (O) 5 3 15

Deployment

As per rules.

Reinforcements

None.

Victory Conditions

As per rules.

Scenario Special Rules

None.

Notes

None.

References

Stevenson, P. (1991). The battle of Ravenna 11th April 1512. Wargames Illustrated, 46, pp. 11-14.

Taylor, F. (1993). The art of war in Italy 1494-1529 (originally published 1921). Essex, UK: Partizan Press.

Wikipedia: Battle of Ravenna (1512)

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