Communal Italian

Historical Overview Section

The Italian city-states were a political phenomenon of small independent states mostly in the central and northern Italian peninsula between the 10th and 15th centuries. Many of these towns were survivors of earlier Etruscan and Roman towns which had existed within the Roman Empire but by the 11th century, many cities, including Venice, Milan, Florence, Genoa, Pisa, Siena, Lucca, Cremona and many others, had become large trading metropolises, able to conquer independence from their formal sovereigns.

The first Italian city-states appeared in northern Italy as a result of a struggle to gain independence from the German Holy Roman Empire. The Lombard League was an alliance formed around 1167, which at its apex included most of the cities of northern Italy including, among others, Milan, Piacenza, Cremona, Mantua, Crema, Bergamo, Brescia, Bologna, Padua, Treviso, Vicenza, Venice, Verona, Lodi, Reggio Emilia and Parma, though its membership changed through time. Other city-states were associated to these "commune" cities, like Genoa, Turin and, in the Adriatic, Ragusa.

In central Italy there were the city-states of Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Siena and Ancona, while south of Rome and the Papal States there were the city-states of Salerno, Amalfi, Bari, Naples and Trani which in 1130 were united in the newly-created Norman Kingdom of Sicily.

Around 1100, Genoa and Venice emerged as independent Maritime republics. For Genoa — nominally — the Holy Roman Emperor was overlord and the Bishop of Genoa was president of the city; however, actual power was wielded by a number of consuls annually elected by popular assembly. Pisa and Amalfi also emerged as maritime republics: trade, shipbuilding and banking helped support their powerful navies in the Mediterranean in those medieval centuries.

The states are most famous in wargaming terms for the Carroccio, a four-wheeled war altar mounting a large vexillum standard, usually drawn by oxen. They were often rectangular platforms on which the standard of the city and an altar were erected; priests held services on the altar before the battle and the trumpeters beside them encouraged the city's fighters to the fray. In battle the Carroccio was surrounded by the bravest warriors in the army as the carroccio guard (rather a waste of your handful of good troops if as in FoG, the Carroccio is the baggage - so maybe best to model these guys on the baggage base rather than expend a whole unit on defending the baggage). It served both as a rallying-point and as the palladium of the city's honour; its capture by the enemy was regarded as an irretrievable defeat and humiliation.

Using the army in ADLG

  • Drilled Medium Knights, non impetuous are rather good in theme
  • Papal is the option to choose
  • A Sicilan ally will get you some Almughavars
  • Medium Spearmen should not be discounted for exploiting gaps and occupying terrain
  • The LH are only so-so so you may want to split the two of them and leave them lurking
  • Will the Kn really go over spears in period? They are Elite, and Armoured so they can slog it out but again they may be better exploiting and filling gaps

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Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army

200AP from Dogs of War 2017

4 HI Spear Pavise
1 Papal Guard
1 Mixed XB/Sp
4 HI Spear
2 LI XBow
1 Competent General
4 Medium Impact Elite KN
2 Sp/Xbow infantry
1 LH Xbow
1 Competent General

200 AP from Dogs of Ware 2017 Hubert Bretagne

1 XBow
1 LH XBow
1 Halberdier
2 Spear
Impact Elite Kn
Competent General
1 Papal Guard including General
1 LF Xbow
2 Mixed Sp/XBow
1 Impact Elite KN
2 Spear
1 LH XBow
1 Kn Elite
1 Brilliant General
1 Halberdier
2 Spear
1 LI
1 Xbow
2 Medium Spears

2017 Dogs of War Game 3
3 Knights including Ordinary General
2 Mediocre Spears
1 MCv Xbow
Allied Sicilians
4 Almughavars, full far
2 Medium Kn Impetuous
4 Mixed Sp/XBow
1 Papal Guard
2 Horde
2 Mediocre Spear
Ordinary General

200AP from the 2016 Worlds - Duthill


2 LI Bow
1 LMI XB pavise
3 MI spear
2 Levy
1 HI Spear
3 ½ spear ½ XB
2 HI 2HW
1 MKN Impact Elite

+0 included

1 MKN Impact Elite
2 MKN Impetuous Elite

+0 included

3 MKN Impact Elite

Sicilian Ally Brilliant Allied
Qty Troop description Troop type Quality Cost
4 Feudal Knights Medium knight impetuous Elite 12
2 Saracen Archer Light infantry bow ------ 4
2 Aragonese lancer Light cavalry impact ------ 6
4 Almughavars Medium swordsmen impact Elite 10
Qty Troop description Troop type Quality
3 Italian Knights Medium knight impact Elite
1 Mounted Crossbowmen Light cavalry crossbow ------
Ally Ordinairy
Qty Troop description Troop type Quality
4 Communal Militia Medium spearmen ------
3 Levy Levy ------
2 Light infantry Bow Light infantry bow ----
2 Communal Militia Heavy spearmen Mediocre
Ally Competent
Qty Troop description Troop type Quality
6 Crossbowmen

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