Category: Spain

My specialty is the Military History of Spain and Portugal. The Spanish bits that seem to interest people the most are Carlist Wars, Rif Wars, Spanish Civil War and the Spanish involvement in WWII (mostly the Blue Division).


Big Base Triumph in the Punic Wars

Triumph-19 Libyans face the Roman battleline

Despite the fact I play DBA a lot, I’m always on the look out for a better game system for the Ancients period, including the Punic Wars. So when the guys said they’d be willing to try out Triumph I leapt at the chance.

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Spanish draw Swedes – 4 player game of Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tilly-899 Swedish foot blaze away

In a very exciting game the Spanish (Jamie and Steven) just barely managed to deny the Swedes (Chris and Adam) the victory they thought well in hand. We really enjoyed our first game of Tilly’s Very Bad Day following publication. Again the rules proved themselves able to provide a fast and exciting game, with lots of flavour. We are still struggling to break deeply ingrained habits from DBA, e.g. bunching up, and the more we do this, the more we enjoy Tilly. And we still need to iron out the problem with chequerboard formations.

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First Battle of Seminara 28 June 1495

Ferdinand II (Ferrandino) of Naples

During the Italian Wars, there were three battles at Seminara, in toe of the Calabrian peninsula. This is the first one (28 June 1495), where Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, known to history as the Great Captain (El Gran Capitán), suffered his only defeat. This battle was also the first field battle in the Italian Wars. The French gendarmes drove off Gonsalvo’s genitors, the Calabrian Militia panicked, and the Swiss pikemen (apparently) rolled over the lightly equipped Spanish infantry. This defeat forced Gonsalvo to rethink Spanish arms and tactics. Decisions that subsequently lead to the successes that made his name.

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Musing on Types of Horse in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

30YW-769 - Generic - Harquebusiers

I quite like Brzezinski’s (1993) analysis of cavalry in the Thirty Years War. He believes there were three types of horse (Arquebusier, Horsemen, Cuirassier) and I think unit quality can simulate these types in Tilly’s Very Bad Day. All three types could shoot or charge but typically a unit did one or the other; I leave this choice to the player.

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Swedes beat Imperialists in play test of Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tilly-70 Imperialist Harquebusiers

Adam, Chris, and Jamie came over for a play test of Tilly’s Very Bad Day. It was a good quick game, with considerable spectacle. There were lots of troops, and, yay. I’ve finally got my Thirty Years War forces on table. Although it was a reasonable game, we did come up with quite a long list of observations, suggestions, and tweaks to the rules. By the way, the Swedes beat the Imperialists.

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Spanish Painting Guide for the Thirty Years War

30YW-784 - Spanish - Pike and Shot

Since I’ve published Tilly’s Very Bad Day I figure I should update my painting guide for the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). Although the title refers to the Spanish this is the guide covers all troops in Spanish service whether Spanish, Italian, or Walloon.

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Imperialist Painting Guide for the Thirty Years War

30YW-856 Who is this guy

Since I’ve published Tilly’s Very Bad Day I figure I should update my painting guide for the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). This is the guide for the Imperialists throughout the war.

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Download Tilly’s Very Bad Day – Fast Play Rules for the 30 Years War

Tillys Very Bad Day Logo

I’ve been on the hunt for a set of wargaming rules for the Thirty Years War for a couple of decades. The hunt has taken so long that I’ve ended up writing my own. I’ve called the rules “Tilly’s Very Bad Day” in memory of the Battle of Rain (15 April 1632) where Field Marshal Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, got hit by a Swedish cannonball. He, of course, subsequently died. I’d like to thank Brett Simpson for the inspiration to undertake the project and for play testing from the first draft.

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Constructing 24 element armies for DBA and DBA-RRR

Constructing 24 element armies for DBA and DBA-RRR

Our recent game of DBA-RRR with 24 elements a side, shared between two players was great fun. But it did exhaust my supply of figures, as I’d collected enough for 12 point armies using all options. It also resulted in both army looked pretty much identical. Lots of shot, men-at-arms, and light horse. With as few pike as possible. I think more games with 24 point armies are quite likely in the future, but I’d like the army lists some real choices in what troops appear on table. So how should I arrange my 24 point army lists?

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2 by 2 Napoleonics – A battle report

2x2Nap-82 Battle on hill goes badly for the French

Adam, Jamie and I had a go at 2 by 2 Napoleonics. Of course we used my normal Peninsular War figures, in 15mm, on Big Bases. Using Big Bases for the Peninsular War meant this was really 4 by 4 Napoleoncs.

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Making a ditch and bank for the Italian Wars

Ditch and Bank 43 Swiss attacking Spanish camp

The Spanish surprised their French and Swiss opponents in the Italian Wars by putting arquebusiers behind a ditch and bank. So I thought I should make one. Or, more accurately, make some modular sections of ditch and bank so I can make any shape of fortifications. The modular features are using my Big Bases for use with Big Base DBA and DBA-RRR.

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Choosing a date for a DBA-RRR game in the Italian Wars

DBA-RRR Army List Logo

DBA-RRR has lots of army lists for the Italian Wars. I can field all the variations so the question is, which army lists will we use for each game. In our recent games we have arbitrarily chosen a date and that has given us the army lists. One night I went for 1512 (Battle of Ravenna) and another night Adam chose 1525 (Battle of Pavia).

I’d like to systematise the choice, preferably using a die roll or cards. So in this post I do a bit of analysis on the battles in the Italian Wars and line them up

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Crossfire Stocktake – My forces for the Eastern Front

Crossfire Order of Battle Logo

Given the upcoming year long campaign for Stalingrad, I thought I should do a stocktake of Crossfire forces for the Eastern Front. It turns out my collection is insane. Your average gamer doesn’t need this. If you are new to Crossfire then you can get by with a lot less figures; check out How many figures will I need to start playing Crossfire? For the first 10 years of my Crossfire gaming, I only had a reinforced battalion for each of Germans and Russians, backed up by a couple of Pz III Gs and three T-34s. That was more than

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2018 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2018

Continuing my Megalomaniac tendencies, this is my reflection on 2018 and how I did against my world conquering goals. Check out my 2018 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian for my overly ambitious aspirations.

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A Case Study in Balagan Thinking – How I justify collecting Japanese

Fuzzy Thinking Brain

If you didn’t know, Balagan means messy or chaotic. And lately my head has definitely been balagan. I’m trying to justify building up a Japanese force for Crossfire. I’m trying to find ways to fit the Japanese into my Official Focus of Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, and Israel. I’ve got to say, it ain’t easy. But with quite a lot of mental gymnastics I might manage it.

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