From 1485 to 1490, while in the service of the Duke of Milan, Leonardo da Vinci produced designs for a number of wonderous devices, including flying machines, parachutes, and weapons of war such as the famous da Vinci tank. The tank was a conical shaped armoured war vehicle capable of moving in any direction and bristling with guns. It can be described as an upsidedown top on wheels. Although never built, it is interesting to speculate how it might have influenced late Medieval/Renaissance warfare if it had been used. David Kuijt has developed an outstanding Italian Condotta variant army for DBA that encorporates da Vinci war engines. His treatment includes the following variant rules for employment of da Vinci tanks:
An element of da Vinci Tanks functions in most ways as Warwagons. +4 combat factor versus foot; +5 versus mounted; all combat results as if it was Warwagons. They can fire 200 paces, also like Warwagons. They should be mounted on a Warwagon-size base.
"Tanks may not enter Bad Going off-road, like Warwagons. Tanks that fight while in Bad Going are subject to a -2 combat factor like most other troops."
The only differences from Warwagons are these:
- Tanks move 200 paces on a road, 100 paces on good going. This makes them the slowest troops available for DBA.
- Unlike Warwagons, Tanks may move into contact with enemy.
- Warwagons may only cross a river on a road (i.e. by a ford or bridge).