The Thirty Years War project

April 17, 2009


The set of rules we are designing and refining for the Thirty Years War is inspired by the now virtually standard hex board popularised by games such as Batttlecry, Commands & Colors and Memoir 44. At first it was no more than an expansion or modification, but as time has gone on what we have can truly be said to be new, but using those same elements: hex board and card driven.

The rules and units have been designed to closely model what we hold as the ‘feel’ of the period. The scales chosen allow us to play at the same operational level as the commanders of the day. that is: a unit, or regiment, on the board models a specific regiment with each block (or group of miniatures if you like) representing a historically probable number of men. Command and staff structures were primitive at that time. The commander asked individual regiments to do individual tasks and it was up to their own genius about how they achieved coordination. This informs both the scale of the game board, the unit representation, and the cards employed to model those limitations.

This set of rules and supporting material is a labour of love. Our findings and tools are free. We make them because we want to play the very best game about the topic: fast playing and easy to understand that captures the feeling of early 17th century warfare.

Over time complete card, counter, rule and supporting material will be placed in the Miniature Rules page. In addition we will give information on various regiments and formations, have commentary on tactics and strategy, analyze historical battles and campaigns, provide specific orders of battle and set up instructions for refights of historical battles, and present randomisation tables that will create historically reasonable armies and battlefields for simple competition.

If this period interests you then please drop us a line with your comments. If it doesn’t then don’t despair: Simon will be back soon with updates on the new and exciting That Samurai Game, and Greg will be placing more information on skirmish games and rules as we lead up to Little Wars 2009.




  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :). You can get 2 free games here: http://2freegames.netne.net?games=free

  2. We are designing an arms and armour exhibit and would like to use the picture of mounted 17th C Cavalry and pikeman as a background for our display. Can anyone inform us where we can get a good high pixel copy of this image. gschloss@nelson-tel.net

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