When it comes to gaming, my usual problem is not being able to settle on an army. In fact, I\'m pretty bad at settling on anything - period, rules, figures, scale… Thankfully, with Field of Glory now available, I have carte blanche to bounce from period to period and army to army almost at will, as I can use them all, regardless of the anachronism of the match-up.
That said, I did need to knuckle down and come up with an army to use in the soon-to-be-established Osprey lunchtime club. Joe, rather kindly, gave me the first choice of picking a list from which to build my forces, and agreed to pick second, based upon my selection. Immediately, I opted for Wars of the Roses English. Followed a couple of minutes later by Later Anglo-Irish. Then Foederate Roman. Eventually, however, I settled upon Italian Condotta - a nice bright army to paint up, and plenty of appealing opportunities for modelling terrain and baggage trains. Having never really read up on the Condotta before, I began to do a little homework, borrowing some books from the office: Men-at-Arms 136: Italian Medieval Armies 1300-1500, Warrior 115: Condottiere 1300-1500 and Campaign 43: Fornovo 1495. The next issue, of course, was scale. Despite a strong pitch to play in 6mm using the 28mm basing scale, we settled rather rapidly on using 10mm figures, offering a nice balance between affordability and the ability to field an impressively large-looking army.
Having fixed upon my army, and the 700 points army size limit (to give a decent-sized game without taking too long to build), I next needed some rough framework from which to pick my forces. Field of Glory Companion 2 Storm of Arrows: Late Medieval Europe at War, has a full Condotta Italian list, complete with a sample starter army, so I turned there. Now, one of the components of the sample list is a Battlegroup of 12 bases of Pikemen. One of my pet peeves with smaller-scale figures is the weakness of pikes and spears - too often have I seen an otherwise beautiful unit suffering from snapped shafts! So, my mission now was to develop a Late Milanese Condotta list (just so I can justify scattering some Da Vinci-esque tanks and inventions around my baggage camp), but with no pike!
The only compulsory troop choice for the Condotta Italian list is a minimum 10 bases of mercenary men-at-arms, and a third of the total number of bases has to be mounted. Even with these necessary limitations and constraints, this gives a lot of flexibility as far as army construction goes, and allows a player to build vastly tactically different armies using the same list. I wanted something a little adventurous, to represent a raucous, rampaging mob of drunken soldiers, but with the influence of the Duke of Milan and his tame inventor, so, without further ado, here is my basic Milanese list:
Commander-in-Chief (Field Commander) 50pts
Sub-commanders (2 x Troop Commander) 70pts
Mercenary men-at-arms 2BGs Each comprising 6 bases of men-at-arms: Average, Heavily Armoured, Drilled Knights - Lancers, Swordsmen 252pts
Famiglia Ducale 1BG 4 bases of Famiglia ducale: Superior, Heavily Armoured, Drilled Knights - Lancers, Swordsmen 104pts
Mounted Crossbowmen 1BG 6 bases of mounted crossbowmen: Average, Unprotected, Drilled Light Horse - Crossbow 42pts
Billmen 1BG 4 bases of billmen: Average, Protected, Drilled Heavy Foot - Heavy Weapon 32pts
Sword and Buckler men 1BG 4 bases of sword and buckler men: Average, Protected, Drilled, Medium Foot - Skilled Swordsmen 32pts
Handgunners 2 BGs Each comprising 6 bases of handgunners: Average, Protected, Drilled Light Foot - Firearm 60pts
Crossbowmen 1BG 4 bases of crossbowmen: Average, Unprotected, Drilled, Light Foot - Crossbow 20pts
Organ Guns 1BG 2 bases of Organ guns: Average, Undrilled - Light artillery 15pts
Bombards 1BG 2 bases of Bombards: Average, Undrilled - Heavy artillery 20pts
All told, this gives me 11 Battlegroups for a total of 697 points. 22 of my 50 bases are mounted, 12 of those being mercenary men-at-arms, so all my restrictions are covered. It gives what I feel is a pretty flexible army, with a fast-moving, hard-hitting mounted contingent and a solid infantry block, and one which has a bit of a theme to it - the higher than normal proportion of firearm troops representing the Da Vinci influence, and the Famiglia Ducale acting as representatives of the Duke and guardians of his interests.
Now… time to get painting!