by Jay Blackwood…
Contrary to the bad press he’s received, Nicolo Machiavelli was a nice boy – I mean, just look at that sweet smile! On the other hand, when it came to pondering military matters, he was a bit of a duffer. He believed pikemen would be outmatched by troops wielding sword and buckler; that firearms and artillery would have a limited impact on the contemporary battlefield; and that cavalry would mainly function as skirmishers. His errors stemmed, according to the historian Sir Charles Oman, from a misreading of recent battles and – crucially – from a misguided attempt to apply the ‘lessons’ of classical warfare to the Renaissance era. In particular, Nicolo believed that the triumph of the Roman maniple over the Successor pike block would be replicated in his own day.
Machiavelli’s musings do however provide the basis for a rather different sort of Renaissance Italian army, as detailed below…
1 Knight General (the Prince) @ 2 AP = 2 AP
6 Blades (infantry armed with sword and buckler, Spanish style) @ 2 AP = 12 AP
2 Spears (Italian pikemen) @ 2 AP = 4 AP
2 Shooters (arquebusiers) @ 2 AP = 4 AP
1 Rider (light horse armed with crossbows or guns) @ 2 AP = 2 AP
1 Sneaker (Machiavelli, with a cunning plan) @ 3 AP
1 Horde (admiring Princes) @ 1 AP
1 Artillery (catapult firing copies of classical military texts) @ 3 AP
1 Behemoth (Da Vinci tank) @ 4 AP
1 Magician (a Renaissance alchemist or necromancer) @ 4 AP
1 Flyer (Da Vinci flying contraption) @ 2 AP
An Italianate tower or fortified house – must have own library!