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Hailed as the first modern battle, Pavia marked the rise of hand-held firearms as a tool of warfare. The arquebus became the bench-mark for an entire species of guns. It offered a wooden stock, shaped to nestle in the shoulder, which now meant a gun could be aimed. Politically, France’s defeat at Pavia changed the balance of power in Europe. As a prisoner, the French king Francis I wrote: “To inform you of how the rest of my ill-fortune is proceeding, all is lost to me save honor and life, which is safe …”
The game map represents the battlefield of Pavia. A hex grid has been superimposed on the map to regulate movement. Each hex represents about 200 yards. The game has 12 turns, each turn representing about 30 minutes. Each combat unit represents from 400 to 800 men or horses or guns.
The game starts with the Spanish army having arrived to relieve the siege of Pavia by the French army. Play is composed of 12 turns. Each turn comprises two identical sequences of phases, one for each player.
Sequence of play
The active player’s turn is organized into the following phases:
a) Out of command check
c) French Commander Initiative Check
e) Passive Player Reaction Movement
f) Defensive Fire
g) Offensive Fire