Category: Italian Wars

Late medieval and renaissance Italy was divided into a gaggle of competing states. For 66 years during the period 1494–1559 the great European powers – notably France and Habsburg Spain – were in almost continuous conflict to control these small Italian states. The wars signified the passing of chivalry, largely due to the extensive use of gunpowder weapons by relatively untrained infantry, the arrival of artillery as a field weapon, and the rise of the famous Spanish Tercios. They were also characterised by the extensive use of mercenaries (Swiss, German and Italian) with the problems that entailed. On the whole the Hapsburgs were the winners, with Spain being left in control of Milan and Naples and France with nothing more than the Alpine marquisate of Saluzzo.


My Wishlist for DBA-RRR Big Base Italian War

Italian Wars 47 Existing Figures

You have gathered from my recent posts on the Reformatted DBA-RRR Spanish Army Lists and Reformatted DBA-RRR French Army List that I’m currently keen on DBA-RRR and the Italian Wars (1494-1559 AD). I started this project 20 years ago when I commissioned the Spanish from a professional painting company. I got the Spanish infantry back but I never saw my Spanish cavalry figures or the money again.

It has taken two decades to get over the shock but I’m having another go. I’m repurposing what figures I have for big bases and filling in the gaps. Of course I’m

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Reformatted DBA-RRR French Army List (Italian Wars 1494-1559 AD)

DBA-RRR Army List Logo

Following my reformatting of the DBA-RRR army list for the Spanish, I’m now doing their main opponents … the French of the the Italian Wars. The aim is to: (1) more closely match the style of other DBx army lists; (2) to understand them better with a view to perhaps tweaking them in the future; (3) know what to buy/build/paint.

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Reformatted DBA-RRR Spanish Army Lists (Italian Wars 1494-1558 AD)

DBA-RRR Army List Logo

Tony Aguilar’s DBA-RRR, for DBA Extension rules for Renaissance, Reformation and Restoration 1500-1700, look promising for playing the Italian Wars. Aguilar provides army lists to accompany the rules, based on those for DBR, but I have some gripes with the formatting. In this post I reformat the DBA-RRR Spanish Army Lists (1494-1558 AD) to more closely match the style of other DBx lists. I admit it also helped me internalise the lists – understand them better – with a view to perhaps tweaking them in the future.

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2018 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac

My inner megalomaniac is back. This post is a follow on from my 2017 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian. The previous post was a retrospective of the last 23 months, which means pointing out my successes. This post is the (overly ambitious) list of what I’d like to get done in the coming year. It is the more embarrassing part. The confession. Bear in mind these are more or less active projects.

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2017 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2017

I have noticed that my The Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian of 2015 was literally a confession, describing my overly inflated ambitions and incomplete projects. But the 2016 edition was more a reflection on my progress against those goals. It has been a 23 months since the 2016 edition and it is time to revisit. But I’m going to split the reflection aspect from the confessions bit. So this is my reflection on the 23 months from the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2017.

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Italian Wars – How did the Spanish colunela deploy in battle?

Detail from Siege of Alesia

In the first part of the Great Italian Wars, until the introduction of the Tercio in 1534, the Spanish were organised into columns (colunelas) under a Colonel. We have some idea of the theoretical organisation of the Spanish colunela, but how did the Spanish colunela deploy in battle? And what is the difference between a colunela and a coronelía? This is what I know.

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2015 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac

One of the things that really impresses me about Paul Ward of Matakishi’s Tea House is his focus. He chooses a new project, plans the project, does the project, finishes it, and moves on.

I’m a bit more scatter gun myself despite the fact that at work I encourage teams to limit work in progress. I start with a focus and get a lot done but then often wander off on a tangent when something else comes up that sparks my interest. I let myself do that because this is my hobby, not my job. A hobby shouldn’t really

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Pierre Picouet on Spanish Tercios from Pavia to Rocroi

Pierre Picouet Les Tercio Espagnols 1600-1660

I got a bit worried last week. Dr Pierre Picouet’s website on the Spanish Tercios had disappeared. But I quick email to the man himself and I discovered that the website had just moved. It is now at Tercio1617. What a relief. Pierre’s material is a must read for anybody with an interest in Spain, the tercios, the Great Italian Wars and/or the Thirty Years War. To celebrate finding it again I thought I’d do a small tour of the website.

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17th Century Cavalry – Investigations of a Dog

Royalist Cavalry

You know how sometimes something big is going on but you don’t hear about it. I feel a bit like that about Gavin Robinson’s blog Investigations of a Dog. The blog was active 2006-2013 but is, unfortunately, now closed. Luckily the site is still up and is well worth a look. It contains some marvellous analysis of certain aspects of 16th and 17th Warfare, particularly the use of cavalry.

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What is the origin of the term ‘Tercio’?

Early Spanish tercio

What is the origin of the term ‘Tercio’ – the name adopted by the large Spanish pike and shot units of the Renaissance? The word literally means a bundle, or a one-third part of something (Notario Lopez & Notario Lopez, 2012) but he origin of the term for a military unit is not known. There are, however, various theories.

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15mm Wargaming Figures for the Italian Wars

Here’s my guide to 15mm wargaming figures for the Italian Wars. When I started this project in the 1990s only Essex Miniatures and Gladiator Games (now Black Hat Miniatures) had reasonable Italian Wars ranges in 15 mm. These ranges were fine at the time but more recent ranges, such as Venexia Miniatures: Range 4, are much better.

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No-Mans Land Mini-Campaign

This is a skirmish level mini-campaign set in no-mans land on a fairly static front. It is applicable to any period (see the possible settings). Each player is a junior commander whose job is the patrol and control the area between the opposing forces. Over three game days and nights each player must plan and execute 6 missions from a predetermined list. The interest lies in the fact that each player is picking from a different list to that of his opponent. The key problem being addressed is “How does a commander react when faced with events not covered by

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Timeline of the Italian Wars

Timeline of the Italian Wars.

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Sources for the Italian Wars

Annotated bibliography for the Italian Wars.

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Renaissance Battlefield Tactics

I’m not happy with the various renaissance wargaming rules I’ve seen so I thought I’d type up some thoughts about how battlefield tactics. Applies to Italian Wars, Eighty Years War / Dutch Revolt, and Thirty Years War. I’m not sure where it will lead but we’ll see …

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