Home Forums Renaissance Joint TYW and ECW Rules – Make Sense or Not?

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    Do you think it makes sense for rulesets to combine rules for the ECW/WotTK and TYW or not?  And why?




    Brendan Morrissey

    FWIW, I am not a fan of “generic” rules for the most part; in my chosen first period, AWI, I have had many disappointments using “18th Century” rulesets clearly designed for large(ish) European battles, with masses of heavy cavalry and artillery, which simply do not fit the mould of Revolutionary War actions with overwhelming numbers of infantry, few cavalry (all of it “light” by European standards) and smaller-calibre artillery, fought in either enclosed farmland, or dense forest with occasional clearings.  Whilst, superficially, the ECW and TYW might appear the same, especially in their simplest forms, different troops types, army sizes, tactical developments, and occasionally also terrain, suggests that there is enough about each that is unique to make a joint ruleset difficult to maintain across the entire spectrum of possible battles.


    The English army of the time were modeled after the Dutch and Swedish model armies.  So, yes.  To me it makes sense to have rules to simply cover both armies.  To my mind, the ECW was a subset of the TYW in terms of types of units.  In the ECW there are not any larger Tercios or large units of Currasiers.  But generally speaking, there were battalions and horse squadrons in the TYW and ECW.  The tactics and strategies were all similar between the two wars.

    Honestly, the only reason you see rules only cover the ECW is that then the author/designer does not have to account for the stuff unique to the TYW


    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    Victoria Dickson

    I think given the nature of wargamers any rule set only covering one will be used for the other anyway, players will make their own changes to allow for tercios or highland clansmen.



    There is absolutely no reason not to have these two wars linked and covered by the same war. As has already been mentioned the various armies the British wars were mainly modelled on those used at the time in the TYW. The only reason they appear in some wargames rules and in accepted wargamers ‘history’ to be different is that wargaming knowledge of the period is abysmal.


    To me it makes eminent sense, but then I’m thinking almost exclusively of adventure-oriented skirmish rulesets like The Pikeman’s Lament or hypothetical TYW-ECW versions of games like Sharp Practice, Donnybrook and Muskets & Tomahawks.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by Rhoderic.

    To me it is all just Pike & Shot, but people do like all their period/theatre specific chrome. Once you encompass the full gamut of TYW warfare, there is a much, much wider range of troop types, formations and tactics than the relatively narrow focus of the ECW. I would humbly submit that warfare in 1648 was a very different beast to 1618, but given appropriate levels of abstraction it is easy enough to bodge things up.

    Neil Thomas’ Pike & Shot rules cover the entire period, and  I’ve retrofitted a few ECW sets to TYW. You primarily need to account for larger formations, various mixes of pike and shot, and the really very eccentric tactical formations adopted by some armies (it becomes particularly hilarious when you’ve got Allies with different doctrines deployed side-by-side).

    Funnily enough I was in Stralsund this summer, and our visit coincided with the annual Thirty Years War festival.  A curious thing to celebrate but it was great fun, in particular the re-enactment of Wallensteins amphibious assault.


    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke


    FWIW we’ve been happy doing both with a tweak or two using Baroque.

    The tree of Life is self pruning.

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