L’art de la Guerre Variant- Les Grandes Révoltes

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 more to follow. 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.

Troop types

Cavalry can be lancers, pistols or  light horse

Foot can be dragoons, pikes, swordsmen, shot, bows, warband, skirmishers or horde.

Train consists of artillery, war-wagons 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 and cavalry adds “impact” to other mounted combats. Fast foot add “impact” against other foot. 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”.


Pistols (inferior), shot 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.

Artillery: six U.D. if inferior e.g. Battalion gun, 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.

Combat factors

            Enemy                Cavalry.                Foot

Pistols.                                     +2.                    +2.    Pistols (I) and (o) can get support from same class directly behind

Pikes.                                        +2.                   +2      Pikes can support pikes from behind. 

Lancers.                                  +1 impact.       +2.    

Shot.                                          +1.                     +2.   Shot( not fast) in combat with shot can be supported by shot from behind

Dragoons.                               +1.                       +1

Skirmishers.                          +1.                      +1

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

+1 if shot fighting cavalry or warband whilst supported by pistols except inferior or pikes

+1 if shot supported by artillery ( inferior)

-1 if cavalry fighting Lancers, pistols or pikes if supported by shot or dragoons.

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. Armylists and a sample battle to follow. Thanks for reading.