L’art de la Guerre Variant- Les Grandes Révoltes Version 1.1

After literally a few games of this variant, the Tercio is proud to present the latest version of our backward looking melange of ideas. In the near future our chief play testers will have actually read the rules and tried out some earlier battles where formations will have to be added. In our usual manner, any thoughts or comments are most welcome. I thought to concentrate on the Wars of the Great Rebellion as a starting point but version 1.1 has widened its scope. I am deeply indebted to Phil Barker and Richard Bodley Scott for their ground breaking De Bellis Renationis. My debt to L’art de La Guerre wargames rules is obvious. All rules of the original L’art de la Guerre ruleset except where stipulated.

God save the Kinge!

Troop representation.

Each unit or base represents the smallest body of soldiers capable of independent action. This means one hundred formed infantry or dragoons in three or four ranks, seventy five mounted “pistols” in three ranks, fifty lancers “en haye”, fifty dispersed light horse or foot skirmishers, two hundred and fifty rabble. One gunne model represents four pieces. Please note, formations  like Pike Keils  and Tercios will be added at a later point. Units do not have to stay in proximity to any other unit.

Troop types

Mounted can be lancers, pistols, camelry, horse or  light horse.

Foote can be dragoons, pikes, swordsmen, shotte, bows, skirmishers or horde.

Train consists of gunnes, war-wagons, elephants or baggage.

Caldecot Castle mural

In addition to the LADG classification of elite and mediocre, we will add “superior”, “ordinary” and “inferior”. These new categories attempt to represent the new technologies and fighting abilities. “Fast” adds an UD to movement if the move or group move ends in contact with an enemy unit. All fast units gain the furious charge ability. 

Troop Categories


Partially Armoured cavalry armed with a pair of pistols. They can either charge furiously or use circulatory fire. Pistols can be Superior, Ordinary, Inferior or Fast. Move as cavalry.

Superior– Cuirassiers in three quarters plate. A rarity in the E.C.W but beloved of wargamers. Includes generals’ bodyguards and Haselrig’s Lobsters.

Ordinary pistols- Troops armed with plate corselets, trotting to discharge their pistols immediately before combat. Examples include the horse of the Eastern Association and the New Model Army.

Inferior Pistols- those horse units who prefer to shoot from a distance. The majority of Parliamentry horse.

Fast Pistols- those stirring sons of the gentry, charging to death or glory with Rupert. Charging with sword at the gallop. 

Dragoons– armed with firearms and riding inferior mounts. Superior dragoons carry fire locks and ordinary dragoons carry matchlocks. Movement as cavalry.

Pikes move as per LADG unless “fast”. Shot move as medium foot unless “fast”.

Shotte massed musketeers or arquebusers (inferior). Fast shotte include salvo foote.

Swordsmen– hand to hand specialists like Spanish sword and buckle men or impetuous Scottish highlanders.


Gunnes– crew served gunpowder weapons. Superior and ordinary only shoot in their own turn . They cannot move and fire. Pivoting by up to 45 degrees costs only one pip and does not inhibit firing.

To move a such a gunne takes an extra pip. Inferior guns are small pieces like Gustavus’ regimental pieces. Fast refers to camel carried very light guns and jingals.


Pistols (inferior),light horse with carbines, shotte and dragoons can shoot two U.D. s if inferior or fast, four U.D.s if ordinary or superior.

Skirmishers: two U.D. Or four U.D. If superior.

Bows, elephants ( bow armed crew) and warwagons fire up to four UDs.
Artillery: six U.D. if inferior , twelve U.D. if fast, twenty four U.D. if ordinary. The range of the heaviest pieces is thirty six U.D. . Note that the artillery fire at this period commenced at greater ranges than later periods. All gunnes can ignore enemy skirmishers and light horse if they are at greater than four UDs.

The protection value of all targets versus muskets, carbines or arquebus is one.

The protection of all gunne targets is reduced to zero.

The losses due to shooting are not limited to one step loss. If the winning score is over three then two losses are incurred.

Combat factors for unit characteristics

Skirmishers  protection =1.   Cohesion=2  versus  mounted opponent=2 foote=2 train=3 destroyed by any contact except  other skirmishers.

Swordsmen protection=2   Cohesion=3     versus mounted=2    foote =5. Train=3 ferocious charge versus foote

Dragoons     protection=2. Cohesion =3. Versus mounted =2.  Foote=3.  Train=3 any mounted opponent gets f.c.

Pikes protection =1 cohesion=4  4/3/2

Shotte protection =0.  Cohesion =3. 2/4/3

Horde protection =1. Cohesion =3. 2/2/2

Bow protection = 0 cohesion=3 4/2/2

Lancers protection =1. Cohesion =3.  3/3/3.  Ferocious charge versus all

Pistols protection=1 or two (s). Cohesion=3.  4/3/2 fast get ferocious charge versus all

Cavalry protection= 0 or one (s). Cohesion =3 3/3 Ferocious charge versus all

Light cavalry protection=1 cohesion=2 2/2

Camelry protection =1. Cohesion=3.  4/2/2

Elephants protection=0 or one (s). Cohesion =3     5/4/2

Gunnes and baggage protection =0 cohesion=4     3/3/3.  Captured gunnes 1/1/1

Warwagons protection =2 cohesion=4 4/4/4



We allow a side support factor. The unit must be in full side to side contact with a friendly unit.

+2 if shotte fighting mounted  or swordsmen  whilst supported by pistols (except inferior )or pikes

+1 if shotte supported by gunnes ( inferior)

-1 if mounted  fighting Lancers, pistols or pikes if supported by shotte or dragoons.
Rear Support

The units must be the same corps, the same type and quality. They must also be in open terrain.

Pikes ( not fast) add one for first support

Pikes (not fast) deduct one from enemy for second support

Pistols ( not. Fast) or swordsmen ( s) and (o) can get rear support versus all

Shotte (not fast) versus shotte

Following up

Lancers, fast pistols, swordsmen and hordes must follow up a destroyed enemy. Roll one dice . Mounted go forward one UD on a 1 or 2, two UD on a 3 or 4, three UDs on a 5 or 6. Foote go forward one UD on 1-3 or two UDs on a roll of 4,5 or 6. Combat takes place in current turn. following up unit may shift one UD to make contact with enemy.

I do hope you like our efforts to expand L’art de la Guerre to the seventeenth century. All mistakes are my own. My thanks once again to the two inspirational rulesets.  Thanks for reading.