Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

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ZeaBed
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Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by ZeaBed » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:09 am

Some historian(s) referred to this battle as 'the Italian Hastings." The Norman family of d'Hauteville, which included the notoriously larger than life Robert d'Hauteville, called The Guiscard (cunning weasel), had secured a foothold in Apulia and meant to conquer all of southern Italy. The Pope hammered together a ramshackle alliance to eject the Norman upstarts. This battle was the result. (I wanted to upload this scenario before Tropical Storm Isaac shuts down my internet connection tomorrow. :cry: )

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40593264/Battle ... B)v4.0.zip

UPDATE: My Final Final FinalVersion 4.0 uploaded.
Last edited by ZeaBed on Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:05 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by Micha63 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:08 am

Thank you.

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by amenofi64 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:52 pm

Thank You and good luck for Isaac...

ZeaBed
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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by ZeaBed » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:39 pm

Thank you. Isaac is underperforming thus far, luckily.

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by ZeaBed » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:23 am

Version 2.0 is now in the original post. I added more historical detail and corrected some imprecisions and inaccuracies in the unit types and geographical features. There is more historical records for this battle than for many other medieval conflicts, but that helps only up to a point. For geographical background, Google Earth San Paolo di Civitate and Manfredonia - and add 1,057 years of changes to the terrain to get a dim idea of the location.

On the playability aspect, I tried to make the scenario better balanced which, for some reason, is particularly difficult here. It's easy to err on either side with even a slight attempt at correction. I hope you enjoy this "new and improved" scenario.

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by stockwellpete » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:24 am

What are yor sources for this one, Zeabed? The map you have used seems to be like the one on Wikipedia but I have also found this on the DBA site this morning, which is quite different . . .

http://www.fanaticus.org/DBA/battles/civitate.html

I am playing Frank in a paired game at the moment and the Papal army is getting hammered in both games. Initial observations are that there are a lot of 11thC images available in the scenario editor that could be used here instead of 13/14thC ones (e.g. Swabian knights) and there are some generic crossbowmen images that can be used too. I have only read the Wikipedia and DBA pages about the battle but it seems that the Norman army was half the size of the Papal army but twice as good (at least), so maybe a lot of the Papal foot need to be "poor" (no battle experience) and the Papal mounted "average", so that their extra numbers create the possibility of "chain-routs" when charged by the excellent Norman cavalry ("superior, drilled").

I'll come back to you when we have finished our games. :wink:

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by ZeaBed » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:12 pm

stockwellpete wrote:What are yor sources for this one, Zeabed? The map you have used seems to be like the one on Wikipedia but I have also found this on the DBA site this morning, which is quite different . . .

http://www.fanaticus.org/DBA/battles/civitate.html

I am playing Frank in a paired game at the moment and the Papal army is getting hammered in both games. Initial observations are that there are a lot of 11thC images available in the scenario editor that could be used here instead of 13/14thC ones (e.g. Swabian knights) and there are some generic crossbowmen images that can be used too. I have only read the Wikipedia and DBA pages about the battle but it seems that the Norman army was half the size of the Papal army but twice as good (at least), so maybe a lot of the Papal foot need to be "poor" (no battle experience) and the Papal mounted "average", so that their extra numbers create the possibility of "chain-routs" when charged by the excellent Norman cavalry ("superior, drilled").

I'll come back to you when we have finished our games. :wink:
Yes, the DBA writeup on Civitate is quite different from other accounts I have consulted. I decided not to rely on DBA.

I have consulted the following:

1. The Norman Conquest of Southern Italy and Sicily, by Gordon S. Brown, McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003. I have the Kindle version of this publication. The battle of Civitate is covered in Chapter VIII, "The Pope's Wrath".

2. The Italian version of the wikipedia article is much more extensive and detailed than the English version. It has every indication of on-site acquaintance with this battle by the author(s).

3. The account of this battle that I like the most is Siggurdson's blog 2010 article in the American Legion's Burn Pit website at http://www.burnpit.us (search using 'Civitate'). It contains a description of the battle and uses the same map as the one in wikipedia.

4. San Paolo di Civitate, west of Manfredonia (near old Siponto) is the closest indication we have today for a geographic location of the 1053 battle. If you look for San Paolo di Civitate and Siponto (directly south of the modern Manfredonia) on Google Earth map, you can almost trace the possible Norman route west/northwest to the battle and how they approached the Papal Army and Civitate.

5. Yes, the Papal forces usually get their arses beat, unless the unit strength balance is carefully tuned. Even so, it's a tricky challenge to achieve balance. Even the FoG units available for the Swabians cannot be made to reflect the prowess of these units with the two-handed sword. The reality was even worse, as the Italian left (Lombards) and at least part of the center famously (or infamously) broke formation and just ran away at the sight of the Norman lances, according to the accounts I've read, with multiple references. Should I lower the value of the foot soldiers even more, it would make the game even more lopsided. I will continue to work on playability balance for this scenario, but currently have run out of ideas. The Pope had a motley crew of inexperienced and haphazardly protected horse and foot. "Is a puzzlement!" So sometime in the future, expect version 3.0 and beyond!

Cheers. :wink:
Last edited by ZeaBed on Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ZeaBed
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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by ZeaBed » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:33 pm

Peter, if you could recommend which 11th century units could replace the 13th-14th century ones I would appreciate it, as I can't find any guide to the relative dates of some units (e.g., medieval vs. feudal, etc.). The Lombards and Normans were pretty straightforward choices, as they are specifically identified as such in FoG. But the Swabians, for example, were a formidable fighting group, reportedly able to bisect enemies and behead horses with their two-handed swords. They were only defeated after Richard Drengot chased off the Papal left wing and crossed the field to flank-attack the Swabians. I couldn't find any units equipped with Two-Handed Swords (or even Heavy Weapons +) in FoG. The units I assigned to them were the closest I could find to that profile.

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by stockwellpete » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:59 pm

For the Swabians I think the Viking armoured swordsmen look OK - "viking HF swordsman a" and "viking HF swordsman a general". I would also go "impact foot, swordsman+" with them, not light spear.

I would not use the Lombard spearmen - they look like they are carrying pink umbrellas! :lol: so I would use something out of the "feudal foot" selection.

Also, for some of the Papal knights use "knights 1175" from the feudal mounted section (not very accurate, but it doesn't look too bad).

ZeaBed
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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by ZeaBed » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:04 pm

Thanks! I must have missed the 1175s. Better make sure I have them. No pink umbrellas. (not that there's anything wrong with that. Lol). Vikings fighting Vikings (Normans). I'd never thought of that.

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by ZeaBed » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:34 pm

I've uploaded the latest version to dropbox and have edited the link in my first post accordingly.

As I've mentioned, it's difficult to design consistent balance for this scenario while respecting the records we have for this historical battle, which are consistent on key aspects. :roll:

My thanks to Peter Weller and others who have play-tested this scenario. I have incorporated some recommendations as likely improvements to the original version.

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by frankpowerful » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:13 pm

hello zeabed
any reason for giving some light infantry impact capability?

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by ZeaBed » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:24 pm

frankpowerful wrote:hello zeabed
any reason for giving some light infantry impact capability?
Seeking balance,. and to underscore the higgledy-piggledy way the hasty mélange that was the papal alliance was put together.

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by frankpowerful » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:46 pm

Version 3.0 has the papal forces much stronger than they really were; i just finished a paired game and both gos were won by the popists 56:100. This one surely needs further adjustments, sorry. also, i think that light infantry as impact foot is an oxymoron (except for very special cases)

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by ZeaBed » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:08 pm

Ok. I'll give it yet another look. As I wrote in earlier posts I've found this a difficult scenario to balance. On this side, the Normans have won most of the encounters, albeit at a thinner margin than in previous iterations. Maybe I will just retrofit the scenario to an earlier status for the opposing forces. Thank you for your insight.

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by ZeaBed » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:58 pm

Very well, I've just amended the scenario to version 3.1, retro-engineering it to an earlier iteration. I expect to hear from the player(s) playing the Norman side next. :)

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by redcoat » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:12 pm

Thanks for your hard work ZeaBed.

I've just looked at the latest version of your scenario. Maybe you could think about using different figures for the cavalry in the Papal army. Italian warriors at that time often used Byzantine style armour with kite shields. So I think the following figures would be suitable:

- Byzantine Cav cavalry lancer c' (and general)
- Byzantine Cav cavalry lancer d' (and general)

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by ZeaBed » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:12 pm

redcoat wrote:Thanks for your hard work ZeaBed.

I've just looked at the latest version of your scenario. Maybe you could think about using different figures for the cavalry in the Papal army. Italian warriors at that time often used Byzantine style armour with kite shields. So I think the following figures would be suitable:

- Byzantine Cav cavalry lancer c' (and general)
- Byzantine Cav cavalry lancer d' (and general)
Thank you redcoat. I've not managed to delve that far into scholarship of the era and didn't know that. But it makes sense, given the strong Byzantine influence in Italy at that time, since the fall of the Roman Empire. I'll give it a look.

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by ZeaBed » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:27 pm

Redcoat, I tried switching over the Papal Knights to the Byzantine cavalry figures, as you suggested. The result was to downgrade the Papal Knights to cavalry units. The ensuing battle results: Normans 5/40 and Papal forces 50/50. I know the shield shape is important, but as part of my seemingly endless pursuit for some acceptable balance for this scenario, I reinstated the knightly status among the units described as Papal knights. After all, they're called Papal knights, not just Papal cavalry. :wink: The other Italian (non-Lombard) mounted troops are represented by the Byzantine figures you listed in your post. So I will continue to work on this scenario until either I find some reasonable balance respectful of the historical record (such as it is) or just give up on it altogether. Life is short.

Here's an end-screen capture of that lopsided encounter:

Image

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Re: Battle of Civitate 1053 AD

Post by redcoat » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:16 pm

My suggestion was only cosmetic. I was thinking about the appearance of the figures - rather than there combat stats/abilities. So you could have Papal Knights that looked Byzantine.

The problem with historical battles is that they were often unbalanced one way or another. :)

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