I set up the table for Wednesday's game over the weekend. Honestly, having finished the Sword and Buckler Spanish I just wanted to put the armies out to see what they looked like.
Italian Wars French and Spanish mean a lot of heavy armoured cavalry (at least for the French) and also a lot of Swiss/Landsknecht pike. Fitting out two armies with these has stretched my resources, but I got there, none the less. As these are the starter armies from the rule book, you'll know what's involved, most likely.
Whilst I'm not regretting my decision to put the game on, there is a problem with it all. There aren't a lot of battles in this period, and the Spanish have got it cracked. I've just read (or rather am re-reading) Oman. He points out that eventually the English are ineffective against the French as they refuse to attack longbows in a defensive position. However, the French don't seem to apply that lesson anywhere else. The Spaniards tool themselves up with a superior missile weapon and hide behind some form of cover. The French and their Swiss supports then bash their brains out against them.
Okay, I exaggerate for effect, but you get my point. The Spanish broadly speaking won't attack because they don't have to. They just have to stay in-being to put French supply lines and resources to the test. Then, because they have a main mounted striking force where all the brains are definitely in the four legged part of the partnership supported by a group of mercenaries who are too self confident for their own good, the French attack to their inevitable destruction.
What that means for the game is it is hard to think of circumstances where the Spanish are going to fight in an open plain, or even fight at all. Putting lots of terrain in the middle of the board is just going to make the game very slow and dull.
I was intending to follow the FoG-R set up process for the game, but in the end it's quicker just to put terrain out. Plus it's probably easy, but I just find it awfully hard to follow.
I have given both armies a camp this time, against my better judgement. I cannot see how you can justify having the supply camps of both sides on table. They should be well behind the combat lines, unless one side is being attacked in its camp.
And whilst camps do feature in accounts of battles their sacking or otherwise has little to do with who has won or lost. No one cares if their camp's been looted if you're alive and the enemy is fleeing the field or occupying it with their corpses. They'll be plenty of loot to pick up.
So the camps will sit at the back, most likely, and I've put some interesting terrain on the flanks. What I do want to see in this game is some good, honest, heads down charging by fully armoured Gendarmes.
What can possibly go wrong.