Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Ravenna At Fiasco 2018: Fought To A Conclusion

As the clocks changed from BST on Saturday, most of us got an extra hour in bed so the early start, for a Sunday, didn't feel quite so harsh. The day was bright, cold but rain-free, which is always a bonus when you are loading open topped boxes of soldiers in and out of cars.

Furthermore, although the Ravenna game employed 999 toy soldiers (exactly) it is relatively 'terrain-less' so it all fitted into six large tomato boxes and a carrier bag (plus cloths) - small in comparison to some games, where a removals van would be handier than a car.

We arrived at the venue at 8.45 and were set up by 9.45, 15 minutes before the doors officially opened. I was suffering with a bad head cold, that I've had for a week, so I was pleased that everything had gone so smoothly.

Members of the Leeds club were as helpful and welcoming as always - which is always nice - and we had a volunteer gamer to help push the troops about - so things boded well.



From behind the left of the allied line - commanded by the 'Holy League' of Graham and guest player 'dice chucker' Bob, or 'Chuckie' as we will call him from now on.



From behind the French left, looking north to the Ronco. French commanded on the day by Peter.



Following the artillery bombardment the League, as historically happened, were forced to send their cavalry out before it was destroyed without purpose to French gunnery. They didn't fair well and soon the French army was launching itself, en masse, towards the League's entrenchments.



At this point Chuckie is looking rather worried by the Landsknechts who have struggled across the 'hidden ditch' under heavy fire.



It's an awesome sight, and what's more the League's cavalry is now streaming to the rear in rout.



The Landsknechts have been badly mauled in their approach but their commander, Jacob Empser, has managed to rally and inspire them to further effort. They breach the Spanish infantry line.



Everywhere the The Spanish and their Papal allies are close to breaking point. The French cavalry are behind the earthworks at both ends of the line.



The French are moving to exploit the breach made by (the now almost spent) Landsknechts with Italian and French infantry following in their wake. The Spanish are at zero morale points, the French have seven. The game is called - a French win, and fairly historical in every respect.

Bad lighting (for a modern venue the lighting is awful), and my head cold aside, the show was a good one for me. I was pleased by how busy it was, certainly much busier than the last couple of years, and how many people dropped by to say hello, and stopped to watch the game.

One chap, yes that's you Robbie, said he only came down to see the game, and he didn't even stay to see it end - silly sod. There was even a photographer, who apparently sold her photos on to one of the national papers (Telegraph), who took a fancy to the game, so it might appear UK wide this week - that would be a first.

The game, as convention games go, went extraordinarily well though I was wilting by 2 pm. The scenario worked, and the rules worked. A historical result was achieved. Everyone said they liked the whole set up - job done.

I got see a lot of the usual suspects, and some suspects who had obviously just been recently released. Good to see all of you.

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