Renaissance Imperialists vs Turks March 2024

Another Renaissance battle using Principles of War rules, written by Tom P, who also wrote the report that follows: -

In the setup, being out scouted by the Turks, the Imperialists have to deploy first. They put their Infantry (three Tercios, skirmish harquebusiers and one shot unit) in the centre of the table, Behind them were a cavalry command (three Reiter and two mounted harquebusier). To the infantry’s left on the hill was the artillery (one heavy battery) and to the left of them was the remaining cavalry command (two Reiter, two mounted harquebusier and one Gendarmes). The apparent intent is to refuse their left and push through the centre with the Tercios with Reiters in support while on the left the other Reiters were to advance.

Seeing the Imperialist deployment, the Turks deploy their Sipahi of the Port command (three elite Sipahi, with four skirmish horse, two javelin and two bow) on their far right. Their infantry and artillery is deployed in the centre of the table. Lastly. the feudal Sipahi (three Sipahi, four skirmish horse. two javelin and two bow) on the far right. The Turks plan seems to be to hold the centre while their fast moving cavalry make sweeping attacks round the Imperialist forces to attack them from the rear.

For the first few moves the game goes pretty much as both players planned, with the Imperialists moving slowly forward deploying their mounted harquebusiers out on the flank to cut down the Turkish strategic movement opportunities. The Turkish cavalry move round the flanks slowly pushing the Imperialist light cavalry back. The Imperialist artillery gets the upper hand against their Turkish opponents causing them to retire on several occasions and requiring the Turkish C-in-C to rally them and bring them back into position. 

The Imperialists cause themselves problems, limiting their fire and manoeuvre opportunities by cramming their units to closely together. Their Reiter with the infantry have limited manoeuvring space and when one unit manages to get within range of the Janissaries they suffer casualties and on a morale roll of ‘20’ they rout. The Tercios continue their advance until a unit of Tribal foot hits the Imperialist skirmishers who hold for one move and are supported by the Imperialist shot. After two moves fighting, the skirmishers and shot retire and the Tribal foot follow up, hitting a shaken Tercio which, after a round of combat, rallies and forces the Tribal foot back.

On the Imperialist left the Turkish skirmish cavalry with bow screen the Reiter, peppering the heavily armoured blocks with ineffectual bow fire. The javelin armed skirmishers threaten the Imperialist mounted harquebusier, supported by the elite Sipahi. They force back the harquebusiers and overrun the Imperialist guns. After a round of combat with both taking heavy losses, a unit of Sipahi forces the Gendarmes to retire only to be hit in the flank by a unit of Turkish skirmishing cavalry and are routed. At the same time, two units of Reiter push through the screen of Turkish skirmishers and by the end of game one of the units has overrun the Turkish artillery. The second unit had been forced to retire from a flank charge by a unit of elite Sipahi by being held frontally by a unit of Tribal foot.

On the Turkish left the skirmish cavalry with bows masks the Imperialist mounted harquebusiers while the Sipahi move round the woods to threaten the Imperialist Reiter from the rear. The Reiter manage to turn to face heavy fire from the Tercios and manage to force the Turkish skirmish javelins to retire but then get charged by multiple units of Sipahi while shaken and are routed.

In the centre the Imperialist Tercios move forward. The first gets shaken by Janissary fire and pushed back by the subsequent charge. As their retreat was blocked by the Reiter, the Tercio is routed by the subsequent Janissary pursuit.  A second Tercio advances and is attacked and pushed back by the second Janissary unit but this time the Tercio rallies and win the subsequent combat. In the ensuing morale tests the Janissaries roll a ‘20’ and rout the Tercio rolls a ‘19’ and only survives because all their opponents in melee had routed.

In the subsequent moves the Tercios are charged in the front by the remaining Janissaries and Tribal foot, while hit in the rear by two unit of elite Sipahi. After losing the melee, both Tercios are cut to pieces.

At the end of the game the Imperialists had lost all their Tercios, three out of five Reiters with a fourth currently loosing a fight with elite Sipahi and their artillery. The Turks had only lost their artillery and one unit of Janissaries. So the game was a decisive victory to the Turks.