Category: Eighty Years War

In the middle years of the 16th Century the Spanish Netherlands were wracked by secular and religious decent. The first open violence was the iconoclasm of 1566, however the convention is to give the date of 1568 as the beginning of the war, as this was the first year where armies fought open battles. The war ended in 1648, as part of the Peace of Münster, when Spain recognised the Dutch Republic as an independent country.


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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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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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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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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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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Basing Pike and Shot Figures for the 30 Years War

Swedish Yellow Brigade

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.

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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 Eighty Years War

15mm wargaming figures to use for the Eighty Years’ War and Thirty Years’ War. For the early period of the Eighty Years’ War the only figures I’m aware of are the Essex Miniatures Armada Period range.

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30 Years War Starter Armies for Field of Glory Renaissance

I’ve got a Dutch army and the majority of a Spanish army for the 30 Years War (and 80 Years War). The Dutch didn’t fight many open battles during this period so I’m wondering what I can use my existing figures for. That’s what the table below is for.

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30 Years’ War Spanish – 600 Point Armies for Field of Glory Renaissance

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).

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15mm to 18mm Wargames figures for the 30 Years War and English Civil War

Khurasan k2607 Thirty Years War German:Central European Musketeers with shooting jacket with sleeves unbuttoned

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.

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Steven’s Spanish Army of the Eighty Years War

My Renaissance Spanish army. These chaps can do service in the latter part of the Eighty Years’ War or in the Thirty Years’ War.

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Steven’s Dutch Army

My Dutch Revolt army was the first army that Roland Davis painted for me. In fact it was the second Dutch Revolt army Roland had painted in a row. He had previously painted this army for John Mclennan. I saw John’s army at a Wargames Tournament in New Zealand, fell in love with it, and asked Roland to paint one for me. Which he did. He was, I understand, a little tired with the Dutch by the end of it. These chaps can do service in the latter part of the Eighty Years’ War or in the Thirty Years’ War.

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Sources for the Eighty Years Wars

An annotated bibliography for the Eighty Years War / Dutch Revolt.