The Franco Spanish War 1635 to 1659

1643 Rocroi 2

Last night saw the launch of the Franco Spanish War 1635 to 1659 in the Wargamorium using Tercio Brevis Editio Rules for the first time. These rules can be downloaded here  268954336-Brevis-Editio-Tercios-English

All of the figures used were from the Totentanz Miniatures Thirty Years War range and it has to be said that these are truly excellent 15mm figures, beautifully sculpted with practically no flash and a pleasure to paint. I am hoping to see more figures from this manufacturer in the near future.

The Franco Spanish War 1635 to 1659 was the result of French involvement in the Thirty Years War. The first French minister, Cardinal Richelieu, declared war on Spain because French territory was surrounded by Hapsburg territories. According to Wikipedia there were 25 land battles and  naval engagements during the war so plenty to choose from. This war saw the end of the dominance of the Spanish Tercios and the emergence of France as a great power. The most famous battles were Rocroi won by the Great Condé and the Battle of the Dunes won by Marshal Turenne.  This battle was also noted because some English regiments fought on both sides.

The rules  are translated from the Spanish and gave a great game.  The mechanisms are simple and yet subtle we were more than happy with the value and defence systems used to reflect the different nationalities and formations. There is a forum on which to post any rules queries although I have to say that the responses are not always quick.  We played the rules straight from the book but there was a strong temptation to introduce some house rules which we had to resist for the moment anyway.

We started with a simple game on a plain flat table and both sides advanced towards one another.  The order system is very good and forces players to anticipate the next move as the type of order also dictates what the unit’s possible reaction to the enemy can be rather than just acting and reacting whatever way they chose. Despite the profusion of order cards on the table we rather liked this system and players are free to create smaller less intrusive cards if they wish.

The game is designed to finish after a minimum of 5 moves and a maximum of 8 moves so a game should normally be completed in one night.  As this was our first game and players only saw the rules just before the game started our play was slower and we will complete the game next week but we expect future games to be over in one session.

We have since bought the printed version of the complete rules and although all of the essential mechanisms remain the full set does include some extra features and a comprehensive command system which we will try the next time.

Overall we give a resounding thumbs up to these rules so far and an impressive score of 98.4%!  The only deduction is for the slow reaction to posted rules queries which issue I am sure the authors can address quite easily.

Some photographs below.


Both sides drawn up before the battle. The large bases on the left are the Spanish Tercios while the smaller and more numerous bases on the right are the French ‘reformed battalions’.


A view from the French side showing the Order Cards system. These are turned over when each unit is activated so that their orders can be seen by all.


A bird’s eye view of the armies converging.


French battalions drawn up behind their artillery.


Spanish Tercios drawn up in chequerboard fashion


The French commander, Louis – the Great Condé


A Spanish Tercio ready for action.


The Flanders Tercio.


French ‘Reformed Battalions’.


A cavalry clash on the Spanish left flank. Both sides have suffered losses. Advancing on the left can bee seen a Cuirassier regiment armed with pistols as well as swords.


Spanish Tercios advancing in echelon.

Part 2 of this battle to follow………………




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