For the last few weeks I've been humming and haring over which battle to to for, Fornovo or Ravenna for a demo game which,will be featured at Partizan and Salute 2020 (I need to organise the Salute game if possible!).
I've decided to settle on Ravenna. Why?
It is basically a more interesting battle. Any re-fight of Fornovo would involve the crossing of a limited number of fords accross a raging torrent of a river which would only serve to leave the vast majority of the number of miniatures on the tabletop out of the loop. The units simply would not all be able to engage even given the extended time available to play the game at a show. I thought about doing the battle with the River Taro at a low ebb but in the end I would have to be creative with the rules, which as many can attest to is something that I'm dreadful at doing- trust me! I'm not ruling out Fornovo for a future project. In fact it's going to happen, possibly after Ravenna when I've had more time to get my head around game mechanics and dealing with the river situation. At the end of the day Ravenna seemed to speak to me more as there was a lot more happening during that particular battle:
The most important of which is the artillery duel at the start of the battle. This was not your Late Medieval shoot off a few rounds at one another then get stuck in affair; rather, it was a sustained artillery bombardment by both sides inflicting significant casualties and effecting morale for both parties.
Massed Cavalry Charge- It just always looks fab!
Sustained Infantry Combat between the inception of two different approaches to the utilisation of infantry.
The use of the infamous Spanish "war" wagons. NThese were not at all like the Hussite War Wagons but more like guns mounted on a cart which the infantry held and could push forward!!?? It is an enigma wrapped inside a mystery that I will delve into in more detailas things progress. It's certainly very intriguing!! As for modelling the carts? It's going to be very interesting to say the least! (once I've figured out what they are!!)
Heraldry. To be perfectly honest this was one of the main reasons why I was not keen on doing Ravenna. There is a distinct lack of information in English on who bore what arms. This had the potential of making the game look very bland. After all, what sort of Late Medieval/Early Renaissance wargame worth it's salt has not got a glut of standards and banners fluttering? Thankfully I have been helped venomously by a couple of friends a few years ago (sorry, I have forgotten who was who!! Gulp!) and more recently by Luca Gualandi and Alessandro Bazzocchi.
As a last thankyou I would like to express my gratitude to Charles Singleton, one of the editors for Helion and Company Books for sending me the draft for The Great Italian Wars 1: The Expedition of Charles VIII into Italy and the Battle of Fornovo which will be getting a full and thorough review just as soon as I am given the green light.