What Wargaming Rules to use for the Italian Wars?

Wargaming rules for the Italian Wars. There are a few choices out there. The ones I’ve poked a stick at are:


The DBx family of rules offers a few options for the Italian Wars gamer.


DBR are the rules I’ve used most for the 16th Century, although in truth I never fancied them which is why I’ve not played Renaissance for a long time.


Standard DBA would probably give an okay game. But to make it a better game, you probably have to count massed arquebusiers as bow/crossbow.


DBA-RRR allows DBA to cover 1500-1700, i.e. the Renaissance, Reformation and Restoration (RRR). This is not a complete game; a set of the DBA v. 2.2 rules is required for play. DBA-RRR introduces new rules and troop types. I think it looks a good fit for the Italian Wars.

Aguilar, T. (2012). DBA-RRR: Renaissance, Reformation and Restoration 1500-1700 Extension Rules v. 1.21. FADBAG Yahoo Group.

Aguilar, T. (trans.) (2011). DBA-RRR: Renaissance, Reformation and Restoration Army Lists v. 1.21. FADBAG Yahoo Group.


Maximilian – a DBx off shoot that is specifically for the Great Italian Wars. I’ve not tried them but some like them.

See my Review of Maximilian Fast Play Rules. This is for Maximilian version 1:

Johnson, D. (1995). Maximilian: Fast Play Rules and Army Lists for the High Renaissance (1450-1550). Biggleswade, UK: Gladiator Games.

There is a version 2 available from Black Hat Miniatures.

Age of Gunpowder

Chipco’s fast play ruleset for the period 1500-1700. I like the simplicity of the armies. All 15mm figures are on 40x40mm bases, called a “unit”. Armies are 24 troop units plus 2 artillery units and a general. For 15mm figures battles are on a 4′ x 3′ table.

Field of Glory Renaissance

I’ve played FOG and although I found it a bit gruelling. I don’t think I’ll give Field of Glory Renaissance a go. Of course I own the rules and the army lists.

Warmaster Historical

Warmaster Historical – there is a renaissance version of Warmaster Ancients. I’ve not played it but given my experience of WMA I’m sure the game is fun. The Warmaster chaps do seem to be a bit light on historical simulation.

Virtue ‘Gainst Fury

I found a game using Virtue ‘Gainst Fury on YouTube. The title is a quote from Machiavelli, which I like, so went looking.

I can’t find the rules but John on the Pike and Shot Forum says:

Full title: “Virtue ‘Gainst Fury: Wargaming the Italian Wars 1494-1529” by Mark Unitt and Toby McLeod. No copyright date or date of publication, or publisher name for that matter.

The rules came in plastic spiral bound. Very detailed, interesting and appear to be well researched.

And on the FoG Forum:

There used to be as great set called “Virtue ‘ainst Fury” – they were free, too!

Unfortunately, they have disappeared – as has my hardcopy

I’d appreciate it if somebody can point me at a copy of these rules.

7 thoughts on “What Wargaming Rules to use for the Italian Wars?”

  1. I have an electronic copy of these rules (I think they’re the ones you are referring to). Must have downloaded them *years* ago when I was in an Italian Wars phase (bought lots of figures, painted none…). Let me know if you want them and I’ll ping you a copy – get me at michael.hennessy4[care of]btinternet.com

  2. I have a physical print of Virtue ‘gainst Fury that I printed out sometime in the 90s. Feel free to PM me on Facebook to remind me that I really ought to scan them and put them up on the Free Wargames site again.

  3. new boy on the block Renatio et Gloriam, 400+ renaissance lists and one book devoted to italian wars

  4. Also new to the period. Going to play Never mind the Billhooks (deluxe). Look like a lot of fun on the war of the Roses side ….the Italian wars looks equally appealing.


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