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.
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.
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.
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 his orders?”
On Easter Day 1512 (11 April) a French force stormed the fortified camp of the Holy League – Spanish and Papal – outside the city of Ravenna. In a hard fought battle lasting six hours the French drove the Spanish and Papal forces from the field.