Tuesday, April 15, 2014

IV/61 Italian Condotta

15mm DBA 2.2ver  Miniatures by Essex

This amazing Army consists of 20 elements with so many options.

1 x 3Kn General, 4 x 3Kn, 1 x 2Lh, 2 x 8Cb or 2Ps, 2 x 4Sp or 4Pk, 1 x 4Cb or 4Ax or 3Bd or 2Lh, 1 x 2Ps, 1 x Art.

Historical Enemies: Sicilians, Germans, Lusignan Cypriot, Navarrese, Early/Later Swiss, Later Hungarians, Anatolian Turkomans, Ottomans, Catalan Company, Medieval French, Albanians, Armagnac Free Company, French Ordonnance and other Italian Condotta Companies.

Brief Historical Notes
The Italian Condotta (Condottieri) were professional free companies "mercenaries" soldiers who were available for service during the Middle Ages and Renaissance Italy. most of these guys came from or were hired from the Balkans, Germany, Hungary and the most popular to hire during 1300's -1350's were the Catalans, these guys helped form the "Grand Company" and along with their "Band of Brothers" the Germans and Hungarians manage to take over military control of Romagna, Tuscany and Umbria. 

The Italian Condotta (Condottieri) were hired by the Papacy and the Nobility from powerful Italian City States i.e. Venice, Genoa and Florence. The Condotta fought many years for their masters, i.e. 1282 - 1302 AD War of the Sicilian Vespers and during the 1330's the minor Perugia War in Umbria, central Italy.

During the later part of the 14th Century French and English mercenaries were also hired. The most popular and famous English "Condottieri" Captain was Sir John Hawkwood who formed the White Company in Northern Italy, Sir Hawkwood's company served for about 30 years. Hawkwood had a reputation of butchery, sacking Italian villages and slaughtering it's citizens.

During the periods of 1494 - 1559 AD Italy struggled with back stabbing betrayals, formed and broken treaties, alliances and counter alliances causing the beginning of The Great Italian Wars and/or Hapsburg Valois Wars. The Wars were generally disputes over power and territorial gains over the Duchy of Milan and the Kingdoms of Lombardy and Naples.

The majority of the Condotta companies were trained, discipline and drilled to perfection by Muzio Attendolo Sforza of Naples and also by Sforza rival Braccio da Montone of Perugia. Condottieri Muzio Sforze, son of Francesco Sforza, was considered the best, with charismatic leadership, great military organizer and tactician manage to win control of Milan in 1450. 

Interesting to note that during the late 15th Century "Italian Citizens" began forming their own Free Companies to earn pay/ pocket money to help support their families to survive the continuous bloodbath Wars during the power struggles of Renaissance Italy......

.........anyway on to the figures :o)

I think Essex Miniatures, bless their hearts :o) made wrong figure choices with this army pack i.e. There should be also dismounted knights MER36a miniatures included in the Army pack. The 4 figure Ax should have mix weapons and dressed with more Armour like the Pike men, the 3Bd element should be dressed like the Pike men as well, armed with double handed swords or as Billmen MER29 The Ps should be armed as hand gunners MER26 The 8Cb (8 figure Cross bowmen element) should have 4 figures armed with crossbows and 4 Pavise, A large convex shields used to protect the entire body of footmen armed with missile weapons i.e. Archers and Crossbows. The Pavise was develop in Pavia, medieval Italy, I think, around 1340's AD? 

Painting these guys was sort of ok, I painted the artillery element gun carriage red. I had a difficult time painting the Knights caparisons and I don't think I painted them historically..oh well :o) The flocking of the bases are mediocre.

General 3Kn

Knights 3Kn

Light Horse (one element armed with crossbows)
Pikemen 4Pk

Spearmen 4Sp

Crossbow 8Cb

Spanish? 3Bd


Mercenary Crossbow 4Cb

Skirmishers Crossbow 2Ps


Battles of the Condottieri

Battle of Forlì (1282) - a French army, for the Pope, against Guido I da Montefeltro, for Forlì
Battle of Montecatini (1314)
Battle of Parabiago (1339 - Lodrisio Visconti's "Company of St. George", for Verona, against Luchino Visconti and Ettore da Panigo for Milan.
War of the Eight Saints (1375–1378)
Cesena Bloodbath (1377) - Papal and Breton mercenaries under John Hawkwood slaughtered more than 2,000 citizens of Cesena.
Battle of Castagnaro (1387) - Giovanni Ordelaffi, for Verona, against John Hawkwood, for Padova
Battle of Casalecchio (1402) - Alberico da Barbiano, for Milan, against Muzio Attendolo and others for the Bolognese-Florentine league.
Battle of Sant'Egidio (1416) - Braccio da Montone, for himself, against Carlo I Malatesta, for Perugia
Battle of Maclodio (1427) - Count of Carmagnola, for Venice, against Carlo I Malatesta, for Milan
Battle of San Romano (1432) - Niccolò da Tolentino, for Florence, against Francesco Piccinino, for Siena
Battle of Anghiari (1440) - Niccolò Piccinino, for Milan, against Florence, Papal States and Venice, under Micheletto Attendolo
Battle of Fornovo (1495) - Italian League against Charles VIII of France
Battle of Agnadello (1509) - Bartolomeo d'Alviano, for Venice, against France and Italian League
Battle of Pavia (1525) - Spain against France
Battle of Marciano (1554) - Gian Giacomo Medici for Florence and the Holy Roman Empire against Piero Strozzi for Siena and France

Condotteri - Captains

Roger de Flor (c. 1268 - 1305)
Malatesta da Verucchio (1212 - 1312)
Castruccio Castracani, Lord of Lucca (1281 - 1328)
Walter VI of Brienne
Cangrande della Scala (1291 - 1329)
Sir John Hawkwood (Giovanni Acuto, c. 1320-1394)
Giovanni Ordelaffi from Forlì (1355 - 1399)
Facino Cane de Casale (c. 1360 - 1412)
Andrea Fortebracci, aka Braccio da Montone (1368 - 1424)
Alberico da Barbiano (1344 - 1409)
Muzio Attendolo, aka Sforza (Strong) (1369 - 1424)
Giovanni Vitelleschi (d. 1440)
Erasmo da Narni, aka Gattamelata (1370 - 1443)
Niccolò Piccinino (1380 - 1444)
Francesco Bussone da Carmagnola aka Count of Carmagnola (1390 - 1432)
Micheletto Attendolo (Muzio Attendolo’s cousin or nephew)
Francesco Sforza (1401 - 1466)
Sigismondo Malatesta (1417 - 1468)
Bartolomeo Colleoni (c. 1400 - 1475)
Federico III da Montefeltro (1422 - 1482)
Cesare Borgia (1475 - 1507) (died 1510)
Bartolomeo d'Alviano (1455 - 1515)
Gian Giacomo Trivulzio (c. 1441-1518)
Giovanni dalle Bande Nere (1498 - 1526)
Ferrante Gonzaga (1507 - 1557)
Astorre I Manfredi (1345 - 1405)


  1. Another excellent post Phil, love your style! The knights are splendid (love the lances!), beautiful spearmen too (amazing shields!) and artillery especially...another great looking army!

    1. Thanks for your kind words Phil, maybe I was a little harsh on myself regarding painting the mounted Knights caparisons and lances.


  2. Brilliant, I love all of your knights! All those bases and the pike must make this a tough army.

    Like Phil, I also love the last shots of the artillery. I appreciate the history as this is one that I'm not too familiar with. What a long and distinguished list of battles and captains.

    1. Thanks Monty, There are a lot of Captains during Renaissance Italy period to pick from to put together a company/army or even the enemies, regardless which wargame rules are being used. actually Monty, I can see you commanding Roger de Flor Free Company and with your painting style it would be awesome! ;o)


  3. That's an impressive DBA army. Looks great.

    1. Thanks Mark, It was a bit of a slog painting the buggers :o) I must admit though, the arrayed army looks cool on the table...


  4. Superb Italians Phil! Do you always paint up all options for you DBA armies?

    1. Thanks Mike for your kind comment, yes I always prefer to have all options available with the army. There are miniature manufactures who produce Army packs to save time buying individual figure packs.

      To name a few, 15mm Essex, Mirliton, Tin Soldier, Warmodeling and Xyston DBA army packs come with all (elements/figures) options available.


  5. Wonderfully colorful army! Throw in some Arquebsuiers, and they'd be usable through Pavia at least.

    1. Thanks Peter, yes you are correct and agree with you, I do have the Arquebusiers for this Army for Pavia. The miniatures are sitting on my work bench I will paint them and update this post with photos of the hand gunners soon.... all the best...cheers,

  6. great
    italian touch !
    historically ?
    i'm sure we can find italian knight with these color
    i'm sure
    if you find somebody that tell you you're wrong tell him that it's obvious that he doesn't know
    all the italian heraldic
    i'm a specialist of heraldic ( i'm french anyway so i'm a specialist, i wear some all day long and live in a castle like any french ) and i tell you you are right
    ; ))

    the + is the historical article

  7. Thank you Marco I really appreciate your comments ;o) I agree with you there are so many Italian, and other European for that matter, Heraldic "coat of arms" Color schemes and pattern designs to represent the gentry and nobility is very difficult to follow, unless I do more research :o) before painting my armies. Thanks again for your support.


  8. Marvelous work! Very impressive heraldry and lance spirals!

  9. pretty nice blog, following :)

  10. Superb Phil, I really like the details you achieved on these, and especially those mounted chaps!

    1. Thanks Chris, appreciate your kind words...

      I enjoy visiting your blog - love your late medieval painting/miniatures i.e. your Swiss Pike men

      all the best,

  11. Awesome army, fab blog. Love the clean pro style :)

    1. welcome aboard Deon! thank you for your visit and kind words... more DBA armies to come! :o)



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