SAS Wargames Club

SAS Wargames Club
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Monday, 26 January 2015

Battle of Benevento - 26 February 1266



This two week game is the first of a number of Sicilian Vespers related games that are planned to be put on by John. The games will utilise John's extensive 15mm crusades collection but put the figures in a European setting, i.e. Sicily, to make a change form the run of the mill crusaders middle age games.

The Battle of Benevento was fought  in present-da Southern Italy, between the troops of Charles of Anjou and Manfred of Sicily. Manfred's defeat and death resulted in the capture of the Kingdom of Sicily by Charles, effectively ending Hohenstaufen rule in Italy.

Background 
The Papacy had long been in conflict with the German Imperial house of Hohenstaufen over their rule in Italy. At the time of the battle, the Hohenstaufen ruler in the Kingdom of Sicily (which included Sicily and southern Italy) was Manfred, illegitimate son of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor. While the rightful heir to the kingdom was Frederick's legitimate grandson Conradin, he was young and safely across the Alps in Bavaria. Taking advantage of a false rumor of Conradin's death, Manfred had usurped the throne in 1258. Pope Urban IV determined to wrench the Kingdom from him, and in 1263, concluded a secret treaty with Charles of Anjou, giving him the Sicilian throne.

The Ghibelline Forces
The Guelph Forces
The Game
Utilising the club's own Ancients to Middle Ages rule set, the game saw two substancial armied pitted against each other across the tabletop. The Angevin French (Guelph) armies were commanded by Steve, Mike N &

Rupert whilst Mike W & Phil took command of Manfred's Scilian, German & Italian (Ghibelline) forces.

At the outset of the game the Guelph forces had 3 battles on the field, deployed in line across the table. The Ghibelline forces only had two battles on the table and these were deployed one behind the other, Cavalry out front and Infantry behind. Much of the Ghibelline forces were Saracin allies and German mercenaries with a core of Italian knights.

From the outset the Ghibellines, pushed their light cavalry archers out to harass the closing Geulph knights, initially they came off worse, with one unit getting caught and nearly destroyed whilst another fled at the sight of such danger. Luckily these rallied and they were able to slow down the relentless advance.

As the Guelph forces advanced the third Ghibelline battle was able to advance onto the tabletop, formed of Italian & German knights, these joined up with the existing knights on the table and then surged forward to attack the enemy lines.

At the end of the first week it was nip & tuck, the Ghibelline light cavalry is no more but two units of Guelph Sergeants have been broken and the knights continue to fight in the center.

Horse Archers melee with European Sergeants - and loose!



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