After driving the Italians from the area surrounding his camp, Stockwood decided to make the hilly uplands near the Swiss border his primary staging point for further raids into Prosciutto's territory.
In the meantime, his current employer and sponsor, Rene of Provence (made over-confident by Stockwood's recent victory) decided to make his first shipment through the lands recently liberated by the mercenary general and his army... without consulting Stockwood before setting out!
As the small wagon train of merchants crossed the north-western Milanese countryside, mercenary outriders galloped into Stockwood's camp with alarming news. The arrogant Prosciutto had rallied his forces quickly after his recent defeat and was only a day's march from the defenseless caravan. Stockwood sent Rodger and the cavalry to form a rearguard and then followed with the infantry in an attempt to block the Italians in their pursuit. He hoped to give the French carters time to vacate the danger zone and to escape with both their goods and their lives intact.
When Stockwood and the infantry arrived, Rodger had already deployed the cavalry and was ready to engage the enemy. The Italians advanced as the mercenary archers formed-up.
The mercenary infantry held back with arrows at the ready as the Milanese advanced towards them.
While skirmishing broke out in the nearby woods, Rodger and Etienne led the cavalry around the tree line after a scout reported Italian cavalry riding round towards their flank.
Etienne and his men-at-arms fought hard but pulled back over the hill just in time to leave the Giovanni and his men in the open. In an instant, Rodger and his knights came crashing into their flank...
...and sent the survivors fleeing for their lives. Giovanni himself suffered a nasty leg wound from Rodger's sword thrust and screamed many insults in Italian as he galloped away.
Meanwhile, the Italian infantry were advancing carefully under the threat of arrows and Beauregard's knights.
The longbowmen unleashed countless waves of arrows upon the Italian militia. Serious damage was caused to the Italians, but a particularly determined group successfully charged Fenton Welsh and his band of archers. Long knives, clubs, and warhammers were drawn as bows were dropped to the ground.
In the end, Sir Giles Morton and his dismounted men-at-arms charged into join the fray. The Milanese were driven back once again.
According to eye witnesses, James Stockwood personally rode out to the merchant caravan the following morning and had harsh words with Daniel Gros, head carter and trademaster to King Rene. Meanwhile, the archer bands of the mercenary force began fortifying their position - digging trenches and constructing makeshift defenses. Apparently, their sponsor's money was still flowing and James Stockwood had no intentions of going anywhere anytime soon.
Another great game. Although it never came out in the story (i.e. I didn't get any good photos), Chris used his recently-finished artillery piece, and in both games he's used it, it has performed exceptionally well. The next time we play (next week), Chris will have finished painting his Familia Ducale and we will play our first 400-point game, and in doing so, take our 400-point medieval project to completion.
Thanks for reading,