Long War plan pt 1…

If the previous Blog was about the ‘gaps’ in the current Renaissance ranges, and how they are likely to be filled, this post is more about where we are at present with our planned  expansion work.

Nick is currently engaged in working on our range of Dutch & Spanish ‘Long War’ miniatures. The war, running from 1568 until 1648, is a confusing mess of a conflict, with a nominal national and regional interests, cut with a undercurrent of religious tensions. A lifetime of reading and study, might not do the period full justice…

Fortunately for Nick & I planning the range, there’s a large ‘half time’ break in 1610 for a 12 year (!!!) truce, and after 1622 TAG’s existing range of TYW minis are ideal, with my preference of these Low Germans for the Dutch forces, and the Spanish helpfully recruiting large numbers of this type of more Catholic looking High Germans… and so we have a good proportion of that late period already accounted for…

Great, so we have some stuff covered, but in the period before 1610, there are 3 Dutch armies to consider, as well as the Spanish forces for a 50 year span… quite a task…

Happily the Spanish pretty much keep the same army and dress style for the whole period we are interested in, so we’d only need to make one ‘look’ of army, and although there are some advancements in troop types though-out the time frame, it not an army that goes though great change, so this is where Nick  will start work, iI think.

Spanish 1560’s – 1600

General, Parma or… (1).

Gente d’armes. Mounted knights, which the Spanish keep right in the 1620’s, a pack and a Command should do, the Command doubling up as a Sub-General if required (2).

Caballos Ligeros, Spanish demi-lancers, mainstay of the cavalry though out the period of the list, possibly two lance packs and a command (3).

Herguletiers, mounted arqubusiers, used in a small proportion to the other cav (2).

Herreruelos, Charging, pistoleers on the early Reiter model, and two packs of troopers and a Command group pack (3).

Tercio Infantry, comprising the normal pike and shot, with the only slight variant being that the shot/pike proportion changes slight over the period, from really deep formations to not quiet so deep formations, and that there is also a steady drift from arquebus armed shot troops, to ones armed with musket. Normally we make two packs of Command for infantry. So we’ll probably make four packs of pikes, to give those lovely bristly units we love, four of shot, two arquebus and two muskets, and the Commands… (10).

Artillery Crew/Labourers,  because you can have an army without them (1).

The Dutch 1568 – 1600* are a bit more complex…

The Earliest army consist of almost entirely of local foot troops with arquebus, and hired German Reiter (see below).

Dutch Levy, with couple of packs of arquebusiers, and maybe a pack of swords and a command group we would fill these quiet nicely, but I would like to add two or three packs of Sea Beggars (ship born infantry) if i can convince Nick to do them… (6)

The they hire a load of Landsknechts (see below)of the late variety, with the plunder hose and the pepper-pot hats and the mail coifs… tasty.

Then, in the 1570’s Maurice of Nassau reorganises the lot, and creates a model army.

Dutch Regimental foot, again with a mixture of pike and shot, with the shot made up of a 50/50 mix of musketeers and arquebusiers. Pikemen were in slightly shallower formation, so maybe we get away with only doing two pike poses, but we will need a couple of Command groups, and four packs of shot with a mixture of both weapon types  (8).

Dutch cavalry also go though a revolution in the 1570’s, from only a few…

Carabinier, lightly armoured mounted arquebusiers (2).

with the reorganisation in 1577, bringing…

Demi-lancers, like every one else in Europe, although the Dutch ones are often shown in cassocks, so we’d have to follow suit (3).

and then towards the end of the period…

Cuirassiers, fully armoured pistoleers, who were going to become the standard elite cavalry of the proceeding generation. again the Dutch ones are sometime shown in cassocks, so that would make them different to our current Germans Cuirassiers, which are fine for the period after 1622 (3).

Of course we’d need

General, Maurice. (1).


Labourers & Artillery crews, it’s a war of many sieges, and these are essentials (2).

Ok I think that this is enough to digest atm…

I’ll be back next time, with those lovely German Landsknechts and a passing mention of France.


*though-out this piece, and every-time I use the word ‘Dutch’, or for that matter; Holland, The Netherlands, The Low Countries, United Provinces, or The States General, please be assured that I’m using term, either inappropriately, or just plain wrongly…if you know better than me (Edwin, Peter) please forgive me, I’m English.


  • Hello Peter,

    I’m both impressed and delighted by your plans on the Long War.
    With your permission I would like to make some remarks:

    As for the shot troops, the arquebus was the main weapon. However during the first decades of the 80 Years War the musket was gradually making it’s appearance in Western European armies.
    From records it appears that up to the 1580”s some 10% of the shot may have consisted of the heavy musket with a rest.
    By 1600 this rate may have increased to over 50%.
    As for the Spaniards, they are known to have used the musket much earlier, howeverAlva in 1567 added 5% muskets to each shot company.

    As for the Dutch cavalry, this consisted at the start of the war of the Bandes ‘d’Ordonnance, originating from Burgundian times; these were in fact traditional Gentes d’Armes.
    They disappeared around 1590, being replaced by heavy cuirassiers.

    During the early years of the War the Dutch/Orangist army consisted mainly of German troops, but also English and French Huegenote mercenaries were present in reasonable numbers.
    The Spanish army during these years counted only 20% Spanish troops and for the remainder German, Burgundian, Walloon and Irish mercenaries.
    I can imagine that figures from other Renaissance ranges might fit for the early years of the war.

    As siege warfare was an important factor during the entire war, some nice packs of ordonnance and crew would be welcome.

    As for generals, the Duke of Alva took with him many relatives from the Toledo family, but also famous generals like Mondragon, Romero, Verdugo, Parma (Farnese) and Spinola.
    On the Dutch side the members of the House of Orange-Nassau often led their armies in the field personally: William of Orange, Louis of Nassau, Maurits of Nassau, Frederik-Hendrik. Also famous foreign officers and generals like Norris, Sydney, Hohenlohe and Schenck led Orangist armies.

    I ook forward to the Sea Beggars and Landsknechts in Pluderhosen.

    By the way, don’t mind using the wrong words, in the Netherlands people even do so.

    All the Best
    Peter Lenders

    • Thank you for your post.
      It is interesting to see the hard numbers for the percentage of firearms troops.

      Thank you for pulling me up on the Dutch ‘Ordonnace’ knights, there aren’t any in my old DBR list, and I see they were added to the FoGR list, but I had discounted them as an anachronism. How we’d make these look different to earlier “Burgundians” and/or from the similar, Spanish Gente d’armes, which we have planned, I don’t know.
      (pictures off these would be nice if you point me at some…)

      Generals, general generals, there are some great ones in this period, and I bet Nick could spend a year just sculpting them alone if we were to pick out all the good ones.

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