Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tercios - a new historical wargame

 Cover to Liber Militum

Tercios is an interesting set of miniatures rules for recreating battles set during the Thirty Years War. The game was developed by El Kraken Released, team, and is edited by Design & Edits WxW Co. There are 2 different versions of Tercios:

Liber Militum: The full version
Brevis Editio: Short Version, synthesized and free.

On the plus side, the developers have included a free brief edition of their game. On the minus side for we monolingual anglophones, the game is in Spanish. To be fair Spanish is kind of appropriate for a game about tercios. I downloaded the Brevis Edition and with the help of the Bing Translator here is my translation of the Introduction to the Brevis Edition.


Welcome. These lines begin Tercios, the great battles with miniatures game set during the Thirty Years War (1608-1648). You are enjoying the Brevis Edition of Tercios. This is a summarized, simplified version of Liber Militum: Tercios. The Brevis Edition is an ideal way to start if you have no experience in wargames, or if you want to try a rules light version of the game without adding too much complexity.

The game

As game developers, we believe that it is our responsibility to design rules that encourage the player to recreate the intended epic battles, historical or fictional and allow pleasant experience and the satisfaction of the unmistakable flavor of the period. The game table must be visually attractive. The game is reminiscent of those old paintings that recall the famous battles. For this we do not believe that it is necessary to add overly complex rules, because we consider game fluency more essential than over exaggerated realism. However, Tercios provides enough complexity so that victory is always a challenge.
Tercios is a game of battles on a large scale; each game represents the enormous formations that often comprised more than one thousand men. Which is why it is a game with more abstraction than some others, because this military recreation is indifferent to the action of individual soldiers, what matters is the whole.

Brevis Edition vs Liber Militum

All rules that you learn in this Brevis Edition also apply in Liber Militum. Which simply be expands the options and enriches the rules with specifics and additional background. The collected armies will be perfectly compatible.
We list the main differences:
Expanded texts: the Brevis Edition includes only what is necessary to play; it omits much of the text relating to the historical background.
Control units: the Brevis Edition does not include rules for the control panels. The Liber Militum controls are not limited only to providing moral to nearby troops. Control units have a selection of virtues and qualities that allow them to perform special tactics or tricks or provide a bonus to certain values in certain circumstances. These units add strategic depth to the game and army charisma.
Special rules: Liber Militum provides additional rules to represent different qualities for troop types that are not included in the Brevis version.

The game sounds interesting and the period is right on target for my setting. I haven't done a rough translation of the entire rule set yet (nor have I played the game) so I can't comment on the rules, but the comment the designers made that their artwork is supposed to be reminiscent of period art is most definitely truth in advertising. There is some very nice artwork included in the brief version so I can only imagine how much more art will be included in the full version. It definitely helps set the right mood. Here's an example:

Tercios is a rule set for use with miniatures. The brief rules provide what several examples or options both for basing and for creating period appropriate formations. Here's the depiction of a squadron of tercio in the classic infantry formation of a block of pike with sleeves of musketeers.

And they are planning on releasing a line of 28mm figures. These look good.

And here is the Count-Duke Olivares. For those of you not in the know, he was to Philip IV and Spain as Richelieu was to Louis XIII and France.

These pikes remind me of the movie Alatriste. I'm sure that's no accident. 

And in the pike and shot period you can't have pikes without musketeers. 

This group seems especially useful for RPGs.

If you are interested in miniatures battles or the Thirty Years War period check out Tercios or the free brief edition.

Thanks to the Wars of Louis Quatorze blog for bringing Tercios to my attention.

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