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.
It has been a year since my Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian so definitely time for the 2016 update. I figured that, by sharing what I’m working on (far too much) and where I was up to with it (not far enough), I’d feel bad enough about my lack of progress to limit my work in progress and get some projects finished. Well, it worked, but only partly. I still worked on seven projects this year and finished none.
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.
Roland Davis has been painting for me again – some Swedes for the Thirty Years War. So I’ve been mulling over how to base them. Part of the answer is obvious – on big bases. The potential dilemma is what figures to put on each base given these are mixed pike and shot units. Here’s a few options I considered and a bit of a journey to get there.
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.
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.
Andrew Coleby, co-author of Twilight of the Sun King, has come up with a variant for the Thirty Years War that he calls the ‘Twilight of the Winter Queen’. All words are Andrew’s.
Fields of Glory Renaissance has a collection of army list books.
I’ve got most of the figures necessary for a Spanish army for the 30 Years War and 80 Years War in Field of Glory Renaissance. The Spanish of this period are represented by two army lists in the army list book Wars of Religion: Western Europe 1610-1660: Later Imperial Spanish (1621-59) and Thirty Years’ War Peninsular Spanish (1635-59). Both, of course, have a starter army. The armies are fairly similar but they’re not what I’m looking for. I want an army for the Battle of Rocroi (1643).
Most of my figures for the Thirty Years War are from Essex Miniatures. This was because they had the best at the time I started to collect. But there are some newer, and great, ranges available now in 18mm (e.g. Khurasan Miniatures, Testudo, Totentanz Miniatures, and Blue Moon Manufacturing). So I thought I’d revisit the figures available for the Thirty Years War and English Civil War.
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:
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.
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.