Thursday, September 30, 2010

Renaissance Wargaming



Wow - this was (and I guess still is) one of my favorite periods in history.  Historians (as with most things) quibble over when the Renaissance should be placed (I think it goes well with the dried flowers on the mantle, but I never could decorate properly).  And of course there is some concern over the Northern vs. the Southern renaissance.  However, in painfully broad terms, this refers to the time of transition from the Medieval World to the Age of Enlightenment.  Warfare is characterized by a re-ascendancy of infantry over other arms; a rapid improvement in the worth and effectiveness of firearms; and causes for fighting that coalesce around modern ideas such as nuance in religious identity and nationalism.  In other words, Tercios, Pike & Shot, Roundheads, Sakers and Demi-Sakers, and all that other fun jazz.


There is a website making available a great series of articles from Airfix magazine that were all written by the most excellent wargamer, George Gush.  For those who don't know about George Gush, he is the author of several old-school sets of rules that continue to be played quite popularly.  One of those was the WRG set on Renaissance Warfare.  From the WRG Historical Archives
"In June 1976, a set of War Games Rules for the period 1490-1660 written by George Gush was published and this was followed in April 1978 by a slim book of 41 Army Lists. In 1979, the second edition was published and followed in March 1984 by a much thicker book of Army Lists which now included 90 armies. Since George now owns the copyright, no pdf version is included here."
George Gush's most excellent rules for 1490-1660

Okay, back to the articles.  These were published in the 1970s by Airfix Magazine, and other than a short introduction to the period (Part 1), there are sections on Infantry weapons and Tactics, Artillery, and Cavalry.  Then a whole series of different national army articles.  Very nice.  here is a list of the articles.
The website follows up with some links to other articles that Gush wrote, concerning Renaissance military concerns (from a website called My Armoury that features absolutely fabulous articles on military history as well as sword crafting).

This is mother's milk for a wargamer, and interesting for those of us with an interest in Military History in general.

Now if only Richard Borg would do Commands & Colors: Pike & Shot!

(please don't take this too seriously, it is meant as a joke - and wishful thinking)


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