The battlefields of the Ventura Battle System™ are occupied by Soldiers. A Soldier is represented by a round tile deployed on the map and by a card that contains the Soldier's characteristics. Both the tiles and the cards are characterized by a two-tone frame which determines the faction they belong to: in The Fall of the King™ yellow and black represent imperial Ghibellines, while white and red represent Bolognese Guelphs.
A matter of millimeters
There are only two types of Soldier tiles, with different diameters: the 25 mm (1 inch) tiles represent Pedites, a Latin term adopted by the game designers to indicate dismounted foot soldiers, while the 40 mm tiles represent Milites, who ride on horseback. Each tile is a single Soldier, and when one comes into contact with other friendly tiles, Groups or Formations are formed.
Not just Soldiers
Just like Soldiers, Civilians, characters involved in the battle with no aptitude for combat, are also represented by round tiles, following the same rules of diameter according to the presence of a horse. In The Fall of the King™, the only Civilians present in the battle are the Bolognese Engineers who work on the bridge of Sant'Ambrogio in the second Historical Scenario.
Victory by all means
The Bolognese Carroccio, a Guelph Vehicle that appears in both the third and fourth Historical Scenarios of The Fall of the King™, is represented by a large rectangular tile. All tiles have been designed to occupy certain spaces on the map and can be replaced at any time with 28 mm scale miniatures.
The space occupied by tiles simulates the actual overall dimensions that those people, their animals and other vehicles had and how this affected their actions. As players will notice while playing (especially if they are using miniatures), the importance that this space has in the economy of military manoeuvres is enormous. 25 mm is also the length of a playing segment, the unit of measurement for Actions.
Join the Group
Groups are friendly tiles in contact with each other that enjoy the advantage of performing Actions together, thus reducing costs in markers. Groups are a good compromise to manage your Soldiers in battle but they are not the best solution. Despite limitations, it is best for Soldiers to enter Formations for maximum effectiveness whenever possible.
Aye aye, Captain
Formations are friendly Soldiers of the same type, either Milites or Pedites, in contact and within the Presence of a Commander deployed on the same terrain. Formations guarantee the maximum benefits both in terms of movement and combat, thus largely repaying the hardships of maintaining them. The rules allow plenty room for manoeuvre and the player should always take advantage of that.
Soldiers need your help too
When enemy tiles come into contact, melee combats ensue and even in this case single Soldiers, Groups and Formations behave in different ways. The military organization of the Formations allows support, i.e. the participation of secondary lines, so that the randomness of dice can be manipulated.
Players must reflect before declaring the Actions that their Soldiers will perform, in order to make the most of all the benefits that the rules can offer. Going carelessly on the offensive hoping for a good dice result is a reckless tactic with low success rates. It goes without saying that you need to gain experience to fight to the best of your ability.
Don't lose your bearings
All of the round tiles have no orientation because the simulation level of Ventura Battle System™ does not need to establish such details, which would make the rules heavier and lengthen the game's procedures, causing it to suffer from problems many players are already familiar with. This doesn't impoverish the game experience, but actually enriches it, favouring more fun aspects.
One step at a time
We can imagine that many new players who have taken their first step in wargaming with The Fall of the King™ will soon become very experienced wargamers and eventually move on to more complex and challenging products, through a gradual growth path. Don't be in a hurry to rush through the stages and hasten your maturation if that may cause you to quit wargames prematurely or return to playing computer games.