Historical Overview

This period includes the Army of Flanders, built upon the concept of the Spanish tercio, a pike-heavy infantry formation that well suited the nature of warfare in the Netherlands.

The Army of Flanders was to play a key part in all the campaigns of the Dutch Revolt (1567–1609). The Duke of Alba had first brought the army into Flanders, and despite losing the Battle of Heiligerlee to William I of Orange, the rebel leader, was able to pacify the north until a resurgence of rebel activity occurred in 1572. Unable to deal with the crisis, Alba was replaced by the more moderate Luis de Zúñiga y Requesens in 1573. Requesens was hampered by the bankruptcy of the Spanish crown in 1575, which left him without funds to maintain his army. The Army of Flanders mutinied, and shortly after Requesens' death in 1576 almost effectively ceased to exist, disintegrating in various mutinous factions. Don John of Austria took over the command of the province, attempting to restore some semblance of military discipline but failing to prevent the Sack of Antwerp by mutinous soldiers.

By the time that Alexander Farnese, the future Duke of Parma, took control of the army in 1578, the Low Countries were increasingly split between the rebellious north and those southern provinces still loyal to Spain. Farnese set about consolidating Spanish control in the south, retaking Antwerp and other major towns. At this point the Army was diverted from its original function of fighting the northern rebels to addressing the problem of England, at war with Spain. Farnese believed that the Army could hope to cross the Channel in force, relying upon a Catholic uprising in England to support it; instead, Philip decided to undertake a naval attack using the Spanish Armada in 1588. The Army of Flanders moved against Ostend and Dunkirk in preparations for a follow-up manoeuver across the Channel in support of the Armada, but the defeat of the main naval force brought an end to these plans.


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  • 4 TCs
  • 6 LF with arquebus
  • 4 LH with carbine
  • 4 Average Horse, Armoured, Light Lance, Sword
  • 4 Average Horse, Armoured, Light Lance, Sword
  • Pike and Shotte unit, 6 Pike, 4 shotte
  • Pike and Shotte unit, 6 Pike, 4 shotte
  • Pike and Shotte unit, 6 Pike, 4 shotte, Armoured Pike
  • 4 Gendarmes
  • Huge Early Superior Armoured tercio
  • Huge Early Superior Armoured tercio
  • 2 Gunnes


  • The light lancer horse appear to have no real battlefield role so use them carefully or as rear support only
  • Big Tercios have a beauty and resilience all of their own - don't let them get taken out of the game as they need to beat more than one enemy unit to be worthwhile
  • Careful with the mixed foot units. If they deploy pike in 2 files that are 3 deep they can't then expand out to be 3x2 as it's not a legal expansion. They can contract from 3x2 to 2x3 though.
  • Have a Great Commander. You will have to endure heavy enemy fire and your troops must reach arquebus and charge range as steady as possible.
  • Use two BGs of eight stands of superior arquebusiers. These are your game winners IMHO. Artillery hits them on 5´s and check morale when receiving three hits, not two. Once they are in range their fire is devastating and can fight in melee as good as a LT or P&S unit. Try to have them together to maximize their fire. And they can go into rough or difficult going. They have to be protected from enemy mounted, so have your own mounted, a keil or a ET near or between them (although ETs work better on the flanks of the rest of the infantry).
  • ETs should deploy on the flanks of the infantry to give protection against enemy mounted. Make them 8 pike and 6 shoot if you emphasize charge or 6 pike and 8 shoot if you prefer fire. 8 and 8 is better but expensive.
  • Deploy your heavy mounted (men at arms, celadas, reiters) among the infantry or very close to the ETs if deployed on the wings. ETs proximity is their haven. If deployed among infantry wait until the enemy is disrupted to charge, and intercept salvo or impact foot charges (so negating their impact POAS). Use to pursue and get deep between enemy lines. They can also be used to give rear support to your arquebusiers. Try not to fight enemy mounted with yours if possible. Have them heavily armoured to have a melee POA if they have to fight enemy mounted, as the enemy will usually just be armoured.
  • Deploy any light horse on the wings to slow enemy mounted. Preferably in BGs of 6 stands so they can last much longer.
  • Have at least one BG of light infantry and try to block or even charge enemy artillery. Enemy will have to react to the threat and, with luck, they won´t fire as often against your ETs.



Created by admin. Last Modification: Thursday December 27, 2012 13:31:32 GMT by admin. (Version 6)

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