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L’art de la Guerre Renaissance

As we wait for the official Renaissance supplement from our favourite rules author, the Tercio continue with our stop gap set https://despertaferres.wordpress.com/lart-de-la-guerre-variant-les-grandes-revoltes/

The play testing so far has been set in the English civil war and is due for version 1.1 ASAP. Colin Evans is currently bringing his computer like mind to the task of compiling a larger, more ambitious set which will be published here too. Our game this week was the biggest so far and necessitated leaving our usual source of DBA lists. Martin and Chris were today’s play testers but are both slow readers so could not read the three page ruleset in the two weeks before this battle. Martin chose the Imperialist army from the Second Polish Swedish war , just before its conclusion in 1632. An exciting area of combat with some new and exotic troop types.

The Catholic Germans included;

Three ordinary generals, fifteen Pistols ( ordinary), four pike units, eight musket units, a regimental gun and an artillery piece. 

This was the first time we experimented with “units”. The pike and musket regiments had to stay within three UDs of each other. The other option is covered by the Baroque ruleset and early leaks of the ADLG Renaissance set, I.e. A single large multi unit base. See what you think? Should muskets stay within three UDs of the parent pikes?

Chris “lead” the Polish Lithuanian Rzeczpospolita

Three ordinary general’s, five Hussars ( Lancers fast), four Polish Armoured Cossacks ( heavy cavalry), three Polish unarmoured Cossacks ( lighthorse with carbines), six Haiduks ( shock shot), three Registered Cossacks ( shock shot), two elite Livonian Curassiers and two artillery units.

Martin and Chris followed the usual ADLG set up rules. Chris shielded his Cossack corps behind a low ridge on his right. He set up his cannon in the centre to the right of a long line of Haiduks and their ferocious looking axe rests.



Martin’s Imperialists positioned  just a single battery of cannons to hold his left. His pike and shot units filled most of his frontage, with massed heavy cavalry in the woodlands.


The musketeers and artillery units can shot in both turns so casualties usually accrue quite quickly. At Martins suggestion we experimented with downgrading mounted carbine fire to minus one. Chris’ Poles were already advancing across the whole length of the plain.


Martin had to wheel one of his German foot regiments to face the encircling Cossacks. Having supporting lay downgraded his fire, Martin also suggested that his deep formation Pistols should not get rear support. The mounted carbine fire did score a number of telling hits on the Hussars.
In the following combat, more Hussars were lost but their victories benefitted from “ferocious charge” and tore gaps in the Imperialist horse. Martin’s rear  ranks could not move due to poor manouvre rolls. Chris brought up his second line of Armoured horse and the line held.


The Livonian Curassiers carved into the Imperialist infantry regiment to the side of the cavalry melee. But, it was in the centre that the German foot was outclassed by the fearsome Haiduks. We classed the Haiduks as “shock” infantry so a winning score added to their opponents disorder. The more conventionally armed Germans could not hold. On the other side of the field, the Cossacks were running rings around their foes.


The imperialists conceded defeat as their cannons were taken by the Cossack raiders. It had been a close game and we need to consider the following additions to the rules;

1. Do the units of pike and shot need to stay close together. My inclination is not as the Polish foot are not so constrained. Plus, our definition of a unit is one that is capable of independent action.

2. Pistols should be two UD range. Carbines are minus one for shooting.

3. Pistols should indeed gain a support from a rear unit!

4.Furious charge works for horse and foot, Hussars and Haiduks.

5. We need to work on point costs

As always, thoughts and ideas are most welcome. Thanks for reading!

5 Comments

  1. Chris Jackson

    Was a very good game thanks Mike 🙂 It brought up a number of issues that Mike has listed above but the basic mechanics of the game worked as well as any Ancients LADG match up 🙂 My flanking march by the massed Cossack contingent worked well as Martin only left a heavy gun to protect the flank of the left most Pike block and as this block had to wheel across the sights of my pair of guns the nearest musket pike support took a real bashing so by time they made it to my Cossack foot it was easy for them to kill them off. The Cossack light cav flew down the flank and were threatening the flank of Martins gun in no time so my stratagem for that wing went according to plan 🙂 It didn’t go so well on the left flank with my over eager Winged Hussars taking the fight to Martin’s massed cavalry but they did enough damage to disrupt any plans Martin had for his mounted corps and leave that flank undecided. In the centre I advanced in to musket range and exchanged gun fire with the other two pike block muskets but as I had more guns to train on the enemy Martin was forced to engage my Haiduks who threw their muskets away with gay abandon and took up their axes and proceeded to chop chop chop for Poland in true “Jackson” style lol 🙂 Eventually it was a close fought thing but I inflicted enough casualties on them to break the army. I would love to get these rules working really well and play lots of Renaissance games using them but that said for a first draft they worked remarkably well. Nice one Mr Tercio I told everyone that they were mistaken in their comments about you, your rules and your haircut lol 😉

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    • Thanks for your input old pal. Colin Evans is currently writing a variant of ADLG for the whole period and the more who join the hive- mind the better, especially if they can read. James Churchill is down the week after next😁

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  2. JamesC

    No he’s not. He’s just been asked to go on a business trip. Could do the 18th instead if that’s OK? Most rule sets would downgrade pistol caracole horse in H2H. I can’t imagine they would stand if hit by those Polish Winged nut jobs. Pistols 1 ud – but two units can fire to front – ref caracole tactics. These guys were designed to combat pikes, riding up and shooting them down at very close range, pikes could do nothing in response.

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