Here is my most recently completed DBA army: Italian Condotta, IV/61.
|The army arrayed: DBA IV/61: Italian Condotta. Mirliton Figures.|
The figures are Mirliton, 15mm. Most are from the DBA army box, but I supplemented this with extra packs for dismounted knights and gunners. The flags are also from Mirliton.
|Condotta Knight general and four other knights.|
25 stands for only one army, and I still don’t have the 3Bd and 4Ax stands done? Crazy talk.
JM and I decided the halberdiers provided by Mirliton weren’t appropriate for the Bd/Ax, so we bought sword-and-buckler men by Essex. However, they arrived after most of the rest of my figures were painted, so I haven’t started them yet.
I’ve painted this army for the Two Davids campaign event at Cold Wars 2012: Condotta Chaos. I’ll be playing Verona in a series of battles stretching across Italy and beyond. The red flag with white cross is Verona’s (among others), and the rest are Condotta banners.
|Light Horse: mounted crossbows and light cavalry.|
The DBA army list has many options: 1x3Kn (Gen), 4x3Kn, 1x2LH, 2x8Cb or 2Ps, 2x4Sp or 4Pk, 1x4Cb or 4Ax or 3Bd or 2LH, 1x2Ps or Art. In addition, the campaign allows all knights to dismount, requiring another 5x4Bd. But there’s also a DBA-RRR event at Cold Wars, which I didn’t have a good army for, so I picked up 2x4Sh for that as well.
I chose red and white or red and yellow for militia forces, and green and yellow for Condotta troops (if they needed any color at all). The army has color, but it doesn’t dominate over the neutral colored armor. I much prefer the look of this period over earlier gaudy tabards and caparisons.
Before the campaign was announced, I knew nothing about the Condotta, and wasn’t very interested in the period. The first thing that triggered my interest was an opportunity to play with the new Pavisier rules the Davids came up with. In DBA 2.2, these are treated identically to other bows, so it never seemed worth painting 6-8 figures when 3-4 would do. But with different rules, I’d have to paint the larger element to try the rules, so why not now?
|Condotta Artillery, manned by Curly, Larry, and Moe.|
In playtesting play by e-mail games, I have enjoyed Pavisiers. Their combat factors and combat results make them very different than other bows. They’re more resilient in close combat, and actively want to close the ground when in a shoot out with ordinary bows. They are also quite large and a bit cumbersome: they advance slowly if they’ve been forced to recoil in a previous combat.
|Crossbowmen and gunners.|
As usual, as I started to learn more about the Condotta in order to paint them, I became more interested in them. During the 14-16th centuries, Italy was in a very interesting military situation. They disarmed the civilian population to reduce violence, and instead, every city-state hired its own mercenary army to supplement the local militias. “Condotta” means “contract,” and refers to the complex binding contracts these mercenary forces engaged in when providing services.
Armies are expensive to hire and require a lot of food to maintain. They also have a tendency to bother the local population. All of the economic and social incentives at the time pushed Lords to keep their armies on campaign in enemy territory, so they ate the enemy’s food and fathered the enemy’s children. This made for a long period of fighting between the Italian city states.
|Psiloi: gunners and archers.|
The colors aren’t based on any particular historical evidence, but choosing colors ahead of time was crucial to allowing me to finish the project at all. Paints are all my standard selection: primarily Vallejo, with some GW for metals and Snakebite Leather, along with a few craft paints.
I’m glad I’ve finished with this army. It was fun to paint, but the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing a project definitely helps start the next one. At this point, all the rest of my armies look small and easy, so I’m hoping to tackle Post-Mongol Samurai without butchering them too badly.
|Italian Militia Pikes|
|Italian Militia Spears|
|Condotta Dismounted Knights (Blades)|