Ten Of War

Ten of War
Title nicked from the title of the committee that Machiavelli served on in the 1500’s

Renaissance House Rules.

Period Covered.
I’d like the rules to cover everything from the start of the Early Modern Period, with the invasion of Italian by the French and Spanish in the 1490’s through to the beginning of the 1700’s, with the War of Spanish succession (sometimes called Marlburian)

Scale armies should only consist of troops that were available and were used by real Generals of the period, no what ifs, no troops from mixed armies of the same prince, no unhistorical allies.

Troops Types;

Spilt into Mounted, Foot and Train;
Foot can be either Melee foot (which are called Pikes, Blades and Warband), or Shot troops.
Shot foot are also sub divided into; Skirmishers, early Shot, Counter-march firing Arquebusiers/early-Musketeers, Later Musketeers and Superior Shot.
Mounted are divided into the following categories; Lancers, Pistoliers (early and late), Spahis, and Light Horse.
Train include; Ordinance, small, heavy and ordinary, Limbers, Baggage etc.

All troops are classified by the way the units were raised, units are either Regular, Feudal or Mercenary.

Moral class.
Troops are graded in to one of four moral classes;

  • M1 Elites, guards, veteran nobles, fanatical, religious or political radicals.
  • M2 Confident and brash.
  • M3 Steady, or previously good troops gone to seed.
  • M4 Poor, a liability on the battle field.

Again, sub divided into four;

  • T1 Highly drilled like, Spanish Pike in the 1530s onward, or trained since birth like Western Noble Gendarmes or Janissaries, and proven on the battlefield.
  • T2 Veteran drilled soldiers, experienced in battle.
  • T3 Barely trained or trained but untested
  • T4 Untrained


The distance between individual troops of both mounted and foot is an important part of battlefield roll.
Bases of miniatures are either; Open-order, Order, or Close-order.
Close-order foot have 4 miniatures to a base, (15mm x 30mm area)
Order foot have 3 (20mm x 30mm area)
and Open-order only two. (30mm x 30mm)

Mounted have one less miniature to each base of the corresponding type.

Train bases are always Open-order, but have as many miniatures on them as necessary to make them representative.


Troops graded as Impact/ferocious troops have a reputation for braking open the tight formations of the period. These troops will need to be handled correctly to make decisive interventions but should have an edge over similar less aggressive counterparts.

Some troops are significantly faster than counterparts; usually this is done by lightening the equipment carried, Troops get more movement but are less likely to stand a continued melee.

Armour plays a lesser and lesser part in Renaissance warfare as the time period progresses, but still proves to have a strong physiological effect for men in combat.

There are three grades of armour with any Foot or Mounted stand.

  • Light/Un-armoured, everything from no armour, up to back and breast plate, or padded jacks, and helmets.
  • Armoured, including everything more armoured than back and breast, either in proofed plate, or a combination of suits mail and silks.
  • Fully armoured, full suits of proofed steel armour for Foot, and Mounted with at least some added horse protection.

Miniatures need to be based in to Formations which resemble their historical equivalents.
(which is where i have a problem, Nick wants to base all his minis separately, on coins and washers so that he can use them for other skirmish games and plans to mount stand them on movement trays for large actions, Steve has recently taken to Impetus style ‘Diorama bases’ which look great, but… I’m a died in the wool, DB* element chap so…)
So make up units, with Close-order Foot being 15mm frontage, Order be 20mm, and Open-order 30mm and Mounted being similarly; 20mm for Close, 30mm for Order and 60mm for Open-order.

Units of mixed weapon types with-in Formations are allowed, but only with-in historical types.
For those with an interest, the figure scale is 64 men to 1 Foot miniature, and 33men for each Mounted. Allow 30mm of depth for each rank of Foot minis, and 40mm for Mounted

(these are not hard and fast numbers to be trusted, generals of the period would not know how many men they have under there command, they might know how many they paid for, and how many the muster rolls say they had, but…)


Armies should be divided into 2 – 4 parts at the player’s choice, each sub division getting a Generals command base, one becoming the superior officer (CinC) and the rest sub-generals

Minis on bases are organized in to combat units or battle groups.

Unit sizes vary, 4 bases would be a minimum for Mtd troops, maximums would be 10 for Regs/Mercs, more for irregulars (12?)

Infantry units could be very small, 3 or 4 bases could form a single unit or sub-unit, or very large, a full sized Tercio could be 32 bases.

Irregulars tended to have larger units.

Units can only be of mixed types when used as sub-unit but may still not mix Mounted, Foot and Train types.

All units and sub-units must have a command stand/base, command stands receive orders and control units.

Only Regular and Mercenary Units may be broken down into Sub-Units.

This will be what holds units together as fighting groups.
Each Unit will have a number of Cohesion Points, 3 for each Close-order base, 2 of each Order and one for each Open-order base.
Generals stands have 0 (zero) Cohesion.
(+1 for Infantry (???)

Loss of cohesion
Losing Cohesion reduces fighting effect and will eventually lead to a unit looking to leave the battle field.
Cohesion markers are added to each unit as the game progresses.
A pristine untouched, untroubled unit will have no markers, once a marker is placed a unit is no longer pristine and is called Damaged, a unit with over 1/4 of it total cohesion as markers is Ragged. Once a unit is at half it’s CP, it is Shaken and at 3/4 is Shattered.

Set-up (still thinking about this, I’d like a DB* style Attacker/Defender thing, but I haven’t worked one out yet…)
Hidden troops

Before play starts all players secretly chose which orders they wish to issue to their commanders, these dictate the way that the units will start to react at the start of the game.

Orders are;

  • Attack, troops move at full speed to whatever separation distance is appropriate for the troop type, and will engage with the enemy as best they can.
  • Hold, troops advance only to seek tactical advantage (slopes, or cover it can use) with-in one normal move, otherwise will stand and deploy to resist an enemy, but will not advance or follow a retreating force.
  • Retire, troops will execute a fighting withdrawal from the field or to a rally point, Standing and fighting only if confronted by enemy troops in charge range, firing if possible, and charging or counter-charging only if required to by reaction test.
  • March, to move large distance, or to arrive on the field from an off table position.

Units and sub units move around the battle field, only under orders and then only when directed to by Impulse Points. A Unit can only move without direct control of the CinC, or Sub-general, if it is directed to by a Moral test result.

Impulse point are generated randomly at the start of each turn by roll 1D10 for each General or Sub-general currently active on the table/battlefield. The active player rolls all the dice and then allocates the dice according to his needs.

Spending impulse points
Making Units move on the battle field takes Impulse Points, making Units do difficult thing takes lots of Impulse Points. To move units, consult the table…


Movement distances are measured in multiples of 60mm. All troop elements are 60mm wide and this act as a handy tool for easy gaming.
All measuring is done from the nearest corner of the command stand of each unit or sub-unit. Commands are normally placed in the middle of units it this period, and Ensigns (standard bearers) are virtual heart of the units.
Units with different types of troops in the formation move at the speed of the slowest type, unless split in to sub-units.

In normal tactical movement, Troops may move only up to the maximum number of Movement Units shown below;

  • Mounted troops in Open Order move 5 Units
  • Mounted troops in Order move 4 Units
  • Mounted troops in Close-order, Foot troops in Open Order or Order and Small Ordinance move 3 Units
  • Foot troops in Close-order and all other train move 2 Units

Terrain effect
All the terrain features on the tabletop battlefield will affect movement in someway, but also may affect a units Cohesion.

Difficult going, woods, town, marshes and other tough or dense terrain reduces movement by 1 Movement Unit, and cost 1 Cohesion for each round spent moving in that type of terrain for Foot and Train troops. and 2 Movement Units and 2 Cohesion for Mounted troops.

Poor going, scrub, rutted fields, orchards or vineyard, or other areas of light vegetation, cost 1 Movement Unit or 1 Cohesion loss for Foot or Train troops for each turn of movement with the area. Mounted troops may loose 2 Movement Units or 2 Cohesion points.

Marches are moves with take place outside of normal tactical distances. Whenever a unit is more than 4 Movement Units away from any all known enemy units, it may March move as many times as it has impulse points to do so. March moves never approach closer to a known enemy unit that 4 Movement Units, if a unit becomes aware of an enemy unit whist marching it must stop at the point it becomes aware.
Units with mix troop types March at the slowest speed available to all types unless the formation is slit into sub-units. Units receive a Cohesion marker for every turn spent Marching after the first.
Units may only march in 1 stand wide columns.

Charges are movements that end with contact between two troop groups from opposing sides.

Any unit wishing to engage another must be impelled to do so by the chain of command, unless specifically the results of a Moral test. Once prompted to charge, the unit then test the Moral of the charging unit and moves it up to its maximum distance – 1 Movement unit, where it waits for its opponent to test its moral and conduct its shooting if any. Final charge moves, to contact are concluded only, when a Waiver Moral test has been taken.
Interpenetration is only allowed in the following circumstances;
Open order foot can interpenetrate, everything.
Open Order Mounted Interpenetrate Open-order Foot or Train in any direction, or themselves and Stationary Order troops, front to back.
Order foot can only interpenetrate, Stationary Open order foot, and to Hide in close-order units

Hiding units, Close-Order foot may Hide up to one Stand of Order or Open-Order Foot per stand of Close-Orders in the Unit. Hidden units can not be targeted but are subject to all outcomes that the parent units suffer.

(lining up like)

Compulsory and out-come moves
For most of the game units will only nominally be in the control of the General, real or table-top, so to represent this the reaction test will take control of your units once thy come with-in their opponent’s tactical range.

Reaction Tests
I want the reaction test to make players confirm to the tactical types of the time. Units will test using their Moral grades, passing or failing will result in different troop types doing different things. The circumstances of the test too will be very important, making players conform to what the units want to do.

When to test;
• at first opposition.
All troops take the test shown when any one of the following applies;
a) a unit moves to its own tactical movement distance from the enemy.
b) an enemy comes to its own charge move distance,
c) a unit is shot at for the first time,

• to shooting,
All troops take a reaction to shooting test whenever they are shot at and receive one Cohesion lost. Units do not test if the reacted to test for first opposition, or they are about to test to charge home (waver test).

• to charge/receive charge,
Taken by all units that wish to contact another enemy unit, or by a unit which has had such a charge with in its own tactical distance.

• waver test,
All units that wish to contact an enemy and have moved to 1MU distance, or has had such a charge declared on them and the enemy unit reaches 1MU.

• after melee,
All units that take part in any close combat this turn

• to recover,
A unit that has not moved, is not in contact with enemy units, and has not come under fire this turn, may attempt to raise its moral and regain its cohesion by this test.


Combat starts takes place at the first point that units come with-in Tactical range of dominant Tactical type. The two-main forms of Combat are distance shooting and Melee, but , these things merge. Assume shooting may be at very close range, but considered as part of melee, or at extreme ranges beyond tactical effect

Troops able to shoot,
Shot, early Pistoliers, Ordinance, and Lancers, Light Horse, or Spahis with ranged weapons.
Troops must be in range, and in-sight.

Muskets, or Longbow on foot 4MU
Arquebus, or Bows and Crossbows on foot 3MU
Pistols, and mounted Bows 2MU
Javelins, or improvised 1MU

Artillery ranges, are Close, Effect and Tactical.
(but i haven’t sorted out what these might be yet, don’t want to over power the top end…)

Bases able to fire
Units fight as formations not individual stands, so troop in second or third ranks my effect fire.
Early Shot, Spahis and Light-horse count all front ranks stands and half of those in the second rank if stationary
Counter-March firing troops count all front and half of those second or third rank stands.
Later Musketeers count all first and second rank stand
Early Pistoliers count all front rank stands and half of those in a second or third rank.
Everything else is one rank only.



Who fights.
Units in this period on the whole fight in quite deep units, even the shallowest would operate in two or three ranks of fighting men. So to simulate this and larger formations, each troop type is allow to participate in melee if it has rear troop stands which of a suitable type.

Lancers, all first rank against Foot, Train and Light-horse, and in up-to two ranks against other.
Pistoliers fight in up to two ranks against mounted, and up to three against foot.
Spahis and Light-horse fight in up to 2 ranks deep.
Pikes count all, first and second rank Stands, and half third and forth ranks against Foot.
Shot, Blades and Warband count all first ranks and half of those in a rear rank.
Skirmishers fight in two ranks against other skirmishers or Light horse and in one rank against all others…

For each full Stand (or equivalent) fighting, equivalent work out who has the melee Advantage (see table). Stands with most Virtues fight at Advantage, those with less at Disadvantage, if equal, then both fight at Equal.
Roll one dice for each Stand fighting and take CO loss as shown(see table), CO loss is taken by the unit that the dice roller is engaged with, and must suffer any resulting hits on itself and no-one else.

Combat Out-comes.
Units which take more Melee hits than they inflict must take a Reaction test, note in the case of multiple Unit Melees, it is possible to more than one unit in a melee to take this test. If the tester fails the test the out given must be follow. If the Unit passes then it will Recoil 1MU if able to do so, and keep fighting if necessary.

Unit which win the Melees (those that gave more CO hits than they sustained) react as follows;
All Regular and Irregular Mounted follow-up 1MU, Mercenaries may follow up, or Recoil 1MU if Orders permit.
Irregular Foot, always follow-up 1MU, unless behind Obstacle or Fortifications
Regular Foot may follow-up 1MU.
Mercenaries Foot may follow-up 1MU or may recoil 1MU
Train Stand.

Casualty calculation, removal.
Casualties are marked in the form of CO loss, again I am stymied by our inability to base our (Nick’s, Steve’s, Mine) miniatures in a uniform way.
Casualties must be taken by the Unit or part there-of that received the hits first (nearest to enemy) and then the rest of the Unit as a whole, For Melee this is easy, but with shooting effects must be spread among all the Troop types in range of the effect, the first hit going to the nearest Troop type and then subsequent loss going to each of the
Troops in range

At the end of each Turn both sides remove casualties.
Those using Stands should at first mark loss (with curtain rings or ‘dead’ markers) and then remove one whole Stand for each CO loss equivalent the Unit or Sub-Units has suffered. Those (like Nick) who are using separate minis and large movement treys, should remove Casualties as they occur, those using double size Diorama bases, may like to mark there CO loss with markers like the Stands, but should only remove a whole base once all its Troops are lost.
Unit should remove Stands, Bases or minis from the rear, as fresh troops are pressed forward

(see table)
Order of Play