The Campaigns of the Italian Wars Vol.I
All is Lost Save Honour

All is lost save Honour is a game about the campaigns fought during the Italian Wars (1494-1530), mainly between the Habsburgs (the Empire) and the Valois (the French kingdom). This first volume is dedicated to the campaigns between Agnadello (1509) and Pavia (1525).

The Campaigns

This first volume is dedicated to the campaigns between Agnadello (1509) and Pavia (1525).

We had to make a selection of all those campaigns fought in Italy during the Italian Wars. The five campaigns we have included are:
- Agnadello 1509, Venice defends its Republic against her foes.
- Novara 1513, the Swiss against the French army. The last triumph of the Swiss.
- Marignano 1515, François I grabs the Duchy of Milan from the Swiss
- Bicocca 1522, the French lose the Duchy of Milan
- Pavia 1525, François I loses the largest battle and Milan to the Empire

This is the time of charges of cavalrymen with the finest gliding armours; of the first use of effective firearms and artillery; sieges, mercenary troops, treachery, pillaging and all that chrome that may enlighten a wargame.


* new game system, operational-level, devoted to warfare in the XVIth century campaigns
* highly interactive sequence of play, focused on manoeuvre and careful planning
* various forms of combat: Major battles,Skirmishes, Sieges
* set of Exclusive Rules and specific rules and events for each campaign
* a 22" x 34" fine-art map , reproducing a part of XVIth northern Italy, based on an accurate study of ancient maps and sources
* gorgeous iconic counters representing all the main Capitani who fought there and the different combat units
* detailed (as it is possible) order of battle, with combat units differentiated by strength, maximum movement, quality and reliability
* very low counter density and limited play time

  • 22"x34" map of northern Italy
  • 360 1/2" die-cut counters
  • Standard rules
  • Optional rules and Instructions for 5 campaigns
  • Charts, tables
  • Boxed (1st ed.) Cover-folder (2nd & 3rd ed.)

Designer: Nicola Contardi

Historical introduction

This game system focuses on the military aspects of the campaigns fought during the XVIth Century throughout Europe, recalling from the past the enchant of a unique and epic era.

This first volume explores the Italian Wars from 1509 up to 1525, a period which, among other, saw the struggle between the Hapsburg (the Empire) and the Valois (France) to conquer Italy. This period is a real watershed between a medieval and a modern concept of war. During the Middle Ages, war was conceived as a physical fight to predominance, while little attention was dedicated to strategy or tactics. The task was to reach, as far as possible, that battle which would eliminate the enemy, while giving up the fight was seen as lack of military virtues. The following era of the Condottieri, Italy in the XV Century, was centered on the “maneuver”, which was almost forgotten by the medieval leaders. Soon the maneuver began the goal of the campaigns of the Condottieri, instead of a means. Regardless the high number of bloody battles in that period, it was not really customary for a totally mercenary army, to loose human lives, all the money and the reputation of the Condottiere in a defeat. To avoid defeat was often more important than to reach a victory.

All of that had to dramatically change during the first campaign of the modern era, the expedition of Charles VIII, the King of France, in Italy in 1494. After that date a long series of hard campaigns in Italy began, while the nation was invaded by huge armies coming from several countries of Europe. The characteristics of these armies were very different from those of the previous era: mercenary troops trained to intensive fight and lusting for booty, deadly fire arms, the first steps in the application of a strategy to wage war and reach Victory. These factors mingled with the medieval conception of war, which was hard to die, especially in the noble men which constituted the Chivalry. Firearms appear very soon, beginning with the medieval sieges. And then on the battlefield, firstly as a little contribution to field artillery, and then always more as portable arms. The heavy armoured cavalry-man had been the center of the medieval formation; and, reordered in units of Cavalry, remained, still for a long time, the main shock arm of the Renaissance armies; but it had now to confront with the deadly fire arms. While some of the biggest intellects of Human History (Leonardo Da Vinci, to tell one) were creating science and art works which had to defy the Time, other minds, not less ingenious, were striving to apply those technological and doctrinal findings in the art of war. History has deserved to us the names of some really illustrious leaders of the time: Gonsalvo Da Cordoba, the Marquis of Pescara, Alessandro Farnese, and so on. They are probaly less famous than Caesar, Napoleon, Guderian, but … who can really measure their Greatness ?