TYW- What about the Tercios?

 


One of my biggest struggle with completing this project has been the representation of the massed infantry Tercio of the Imperial forces versus the the layered  Brigades used by the Swedes.  The woodcuts for Breitenfeld (1831) show the Imperials in their Tercios with 4x sleeves of gunners each and the Swedes in their smaller brigades.  The balance of the forces seems to be roughly 1 Tercio = 1 Swedish Brigade in overall strength, with the Swedes holding the advantage in firepower.  

Warlord's rules seem to address this issue by adding another pike block to the existing formation increasing its width by 33%.  Changing to single unit basing makes this somewhat troublesome.  My challenge is twofold:  1) Come up with a viable way to represent the formation on the table and 2) Find a way to represent the difference meaningfully within the rules. 

  

Shown here is a prototype to fit the bill.  I went from a 3.5" x 3" base to a 3.75"x3.5" base.  I trimmed two strips of marching musketeers into five man sleeves to place at the corners.  For the infantry, I kept them in their original 10 man strips and upped the number of strips from 4 (20) to 6 (60) centered on the base.    



Given the fact that I am always hopelessly behind on updating this blog, I managed to apply this to four of my existing regiments so far.


A completed Spanish regiment

Comparison to a Swedish Squadron

Stages of evolution

The project so far; four Tercios and three German Battalions

The next step will be finding the right way to represent the difference on the battlefield.  Impetus and Samurai Battles both treat these types of armies as having missile and pike units as separate entities.  ECW rules are simplified based on both sides having essentially the same formations.   
 
Has anyone seen it done properly at this scale?

Thanks for looking

Comments

  1. The tercio basing looks good to me and definitely illustrates the difference in tactical doctrine. Depending upon which rules are in play, I wager that finding a reasonable solution won’t be too difficult.

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    1. Thanks, finding a way to model these differences realistically and maintaining an enjoyable game is always an interesting challenge.

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  2. It is good to encounter someone else wrestling with the basing of Tercios vs Swedish Brigades. Both organisations were very flexible in deployment. The Tercios kept their central pike block, but this could be varied greatly in width and depth to suit the situation it faced. The Swedish formation seems to have been able to vary the deployment of muskets and pikes to suit defence or offence. The problem for the wargamer and painter is which particular deployment pattern to pick - unless you want to do multiple versions of each in different deployments, which I guess might be possible if you are operating in 2mm or 3mm scale but not otherwise. At 10mm scale I have gone for putting muskets, pikes and command on separate small strips that can then be grouped on a sabot appropriate for a Tercio or smaller regiments - so the figures for a full Tercio can be used for two or three regiments for battles where the larger formations had given way to more linear, musket heavy regiments. I am still working on the combination of strips needed for a good visual representation of the Swedish Brigades on the frontage required by the rules I use. Your figures and basing are looking very good. Enjoy gaming with them.

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    1. Thanks, I agonized for quite some time on how I could properly base up my Tercios. I settled on differentiating this collection on abstracting the units down to single combined arms formations for the infantry. I already have my Italian Wars and Samurai collections broken out for different weapon types, so I wanted to create a different experience.

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  3. I think you have come up with a very decent answer to the tercio/brigade problem, they look really good, nice work on them and the difference between the two armies is noticeable which works well.

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    1. Thanks, that was the look I was going for. It seems that forces will end up looking rather similar for later periods of the war, so I will need to build up "German Regiments" to cover the gap.

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  4. I like how you have done that - here is my attempt in 10mm. When I compare teh two your's looks more likley as the shot is closer packed to the pikes than mine

    http://rctlittlesoldiers.blogspot.com/2018/12/tyw-tercio.html?m=0

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    1. Very Cool! Thanks for the resource, I am still making my way through your archive.

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  5. They look very good. The situation is complicated by the fact that there is serious question whether the "bastioned square" formation was often deployed in the field that way. After all, why have all that shot in the rear where they cannot shoot? Or perhaps they rotated the shot companies forward and backward to keep up the firepower. That seems perhaps more likely.

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    1. Excellent point. I am less concerned about where the shot were physically placed versus how the Tercio formation different from the Layered Brigade system favored by the Swedes. The stands are meant to represent the overall organization. I agree they would have moved all guns forward for rotating fire, as well as placing some musketeers and swordsmen to the front. The scale I am aiming for is the operational level where the player is managing brigades and not worried about tactical decisions at the individual unit level.

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