Category: Thirty Years War


States of the Holy Roman Empire

As I was working on the Timeline for the Thirty Years War I was musing on the major features for a campaign. The Holy Roman Empire comprised a vast multitude of more or less minor states. Representing them all in a campaign is probably unnecessary. I’m thinking about a Mapless Campaign so about 100 territories is about right. The question is, which 100. My initial thoughts are to represent only the most significant; this might be because the state/area was:

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Holy Roman Empire (HRE) Board Game

Mark McLaughlin designed a game of the Thirty Years War called “Holy Roman Empire” or HRE for short. I’ve never played it but I do have a copy. It looks a good basis for a miniatures campaign so I’ve summarised some of the features which I think make it interesting. I found the material on Board Game Geek: Holy Roman Empire useful when looking at the game.

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Mapless Holy Roman Empire Campaign

The Holy Roman Empire (HRE) board game by Mark McLaughlin has elements, including a great map, which make it a good basis for a miniatures campaign. A Mapless Campaign is simple to run and encourages on-going participation by the players. This is my stab at combining the two.

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Timeline of Thirty Years War

The 30 Years War can be divided into five major phases:

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Swedish Brigade of the Thirty Years War

In the field the Swedes used squadrons (battalions) and brigades (Brzenzinski, 1995). Squadrons first appeared between 1617 and 1621. A squadron was half a regiment, so about 500 men.

The standard formation was a pike block (36 files of 6 ranks) followed a musket block (32 files of 6 ranks) and the remaining musketeers in two small blocks behind (each 8 files of 6 ranks) (Brzenzinski, 1995). This suggests a higher proportion of shot than were actually present in a squadron, but I don’t where the inconsistency comes in.

Swedish Squadron

Brigades were introduced in

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Painting Guide for the Thirty Years War

The 80 Years War (1568-1648) overlapped the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). See the Painting Guide for the Eighty Years War for Spanish, Italians, Walloons, and Dutch. Other nations (Swedes, French, Imperialist, etc) are covered here.

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Protagonists in the Thirty Years War

The 80 Years War (1568-1648) overlapped the 30 Years War (1618-1648) and some protagonists, notably the Spanish and Dutch, fought in both.

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Orders of Battle in the Thirty Years War

The 80 Years War (1568-1648) overlapped the 30 Years War (1618-1648). The main protagonists of the Dutch Revolt, Spanish and Dutch, are covered in the Organisation in the Eighty Years War. Other nations (Swedes, French, Imperialist, etc) are covered here.

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Firearms of the Thirty Years War

The Spanish were still using the Arquebus in the 30 Years War. DBR annoyed me for several reasons but the fixed ratios of musket to arquebus and the relatively ineffectiveness of the arquebus were two of them, particularly because the Spanish came out badly in this formula. As a result I wanted to find out what the difference was and why the Spanish may have retained the arquebus longer than others (if, in fact, they did).

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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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