Communal Italian

Communal Italian

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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. Unfortunately in FoG the Communal Italian army is pretty small and may struggle to protect its flanks against anyone who is more manoeuvrable than a solid wall of pedestrians with pavises and sticks, and so buying the Fortified Camp is almost a must as otherwise it will get eaten by enemy light horse in many of your battles.

Using the army in FoG

  • Definately an army that doesn't benefit from the V2.0 change to allow Average Drilled knights to become undrilled Superior - they all can be that anyway apart from some non mercenary ones who are also compulsary ("7. All Drilled Average Knights specified as “mercenary” gain the option to be Undrilled Superior.")
  • I'd almost be tempted to maximise the Superior knights, minimise the foot and just charge to be honest...
  • Even the units used for bulking up the break point are not cheap, as they all need to be drilled.
  • Protected defensive spear are marginally better under V2.0, but need to be fielded in 8's so you can deploy them 3/3/2 which allows you to absorb some losses without going down to 1 rank deep and haemoraging POA's - but that makes them even more expensive.
  • The armoured spearmen remain well worth having, both as a way of overmatching protected spear opponents, resisting shooting from anything other than longbows, and also because when charged by Heavily Armoured Knights they are only one armour class down, so if they go DISR allowing the Knights to count their swords, the POA will remain at -1 as there is only one armour class difference
  • There are better Later period Superior Full fat knight armies. Lots of them.
  • Add your own suggestions
  • Just put each new suggestion on a new line, starting with an "*"

Tournament Results with this army

Have a look for them on the Official FoG Database on the FoG site - it looks like it has won in a tightly themed competition at Campaign 2010 somehow...

User-contributed links about this army. It was popular, and better under DBM and DBA so a lot of the pages refer to DBX armies.


An internal ally, or Italian Feudal.

Painting and Collecting the Army

  • See some nice examples in the list of links.

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures suitable for Late Medieval Armies

You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site

Image Image Image Image Image Image

Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army
Name of Army / Date

  • 1 Bowmen LF Unprotected Average drilled Bow - - 8
  • 2 Crossbowmen LF Unprotected Average Undrilled Crossbow - - 6
  • 3 Contadini Spearmen HF protected Poor Undrilled - defensive spearmen - 6
  • 4 Town Militia Spearmen HF protected Average drilled - defensive spearmen - 8
  • 5 Town Militia Spearmen HF protected Average drilled - defensive spearmen - 8
  • 6 Mercenary Spearmen HF Armoured Average drilled - defensive spearmen - 8
  • 7 Communal Knights Kn Heavily armoured Average Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen 4
  • 8 Contadini Knights Kn Heavily armoured superior Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen 4
  • 9 Contadini Knights Kn Heavily armoured superior Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen 4
  • 10 Crossbowmen MF Protected Average Undrilled Crossbow - - 8
  • 11 Unusual Foot for The Period MF protected Average drilled - Light Spear - 8
  • Carroccio CAMP - - - - - - 1
  • General TC - - - - - - 1
  • Sub-commanders TC - - - - - - 3

Remember to leave a line before you copy the above section as a template for your own list

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Created by admin. Last Modification: Tuesday 12 of November, 2019 19:00:13 GMT by admin. (Version 17)
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