The Siege of Gerona, 1684 - Part One

 Jose Maria - Hello friends, for this year 2021 I have started a very ambitious project - a 28mm campaign, using actual period characters as leaders for my armies, perhaps introducing role-playing elements in skirmish-type games (like Donnybrook, Pikeman's lament or Encamisada) and also other games in traditional wargame field battles with rule sets such as Beneath the Lily Banners or Pike & Shotte. 

The campaign/battle I have chosen is the siege of Gerona in 1684, a Spanish defensive success against a numerically superior French army, in the context of the War of the Reunions 1683-84.

Luxembourg under siege by the French

I have a lot of painted miniatures for this period, but I will paint several new units and miniatures specifically for this project, as I will show you in future blog entries.

I have chosen this period because it was a brief conflict but with interesting battles, in the years between Franco Dutch War and League of Augsburg War, and I have chosen this campaign because, fortunately, a lot of stories from the protagonists who fought in that battle have reached our days intact. Reading those documents, immediately caught my attention. I have been following Mr. Sidney Roundwood's  blog with his project "Laarden 1688" a semi historical account of the battles fought in Flanders in the early League of Augsburg War. His blog is a real gem, I strongly recommend it! So I thought about doing a similar one :)

Tercio de Barcelona

I am using miniatures from Warfare Miniatures, Northstar 1672, Front Rank, Wargames Foundry, Dixons Miniatures and Warlord Games. With all of these, I hope to get the most complete combination of 28mm minis for a 1684 battle.

I will update the list of "Dramatis Personae" for the different actions, the generals, the captains, but also the commoners... the unknown heroes and leaders of both armies.

Now some context. This short but bloody war, saw Louis XIV, despite peace established by the 1678 Treaty of Nijmegen, seizing the Imperial city of Strasbourg in 1681 and in 1682 occupied the Principality of Orange, then a possession of William of Orange... but formal war began in 1683, When France attacked Spain in Luxembourg and Catalonia, apart from a "terror" bombing of the Republic of Genoa, a traditional ally of Spain.

Marshall Créquy
The French succeeded in Luxembourg, defended by 4000 troops (Spanish, Flemish, German...) who managed to inflict 8000 causalities to the French army, which numbered 20,000 men, lead by Marshall François de Créquy and the military genius, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, the best siege expert of his time...

But our campaign is set in the south, in a beautiful place just south of the Pyrenees, in the Spanish city of Gerona (Girona in Catalan), where the French were less successful...

More coming soon! Jose is a wargamer based in Cartagena, Kingdom of Spain, and since 2013-14 he has been very interested in the armies of the League of Augsburg war. Being Spanish, he wanted to investigate the participation of his country in the war - the sources are scarce, and in Spain, few people have armies of this period. His main project is the Spanish Tercios in the Principality of Catalonia when France invaded in 1689 (You can read about that here!).