El Gran Capitán

Miniature Warfare in the Age of Córdoba, 1500-1546

Figure Scale: This game is designed for use with 25mm/28mm miniatures, but can be used with smaller miniatures by adjusting the measurement units for all distances (centimeters instead of inches for 15mm, etc.). Basing is consistent with many popular Renaissance (and Medieval) rules sets.

Equipment Needed:Armies of 6 to 24 units (typically 3 or 4 bases each) are needed, one per side. Table and terrain requirements are normal. Rulers/tape measures in inches are needed.

Type of Game: Tabletop battle game, similar to many other Renaissance rules, but not intended for tournament play.

Link to App: App

Rules and Guidelines for Play: HTML   PDF


The Italian Wars spanned more than half a century, featuring the pagentry of the late Middle Ages alongside some of the most colorful mercenary troops to ever take the field, the Landsknechts and the Swiss Reislaufer whom they imitated. The general who was responsible for the dominant style of warefare in this period - and the first effective use of massed gunpowder weapons - was Córdoba. He was the father of the Spanish tercios, the originator of true pike & shot warfare, and the leading military genius of his age. He was called "El Gran Capitán", the great captain.

El Gran Capitán is designed to support remote play, using miniatures and cameras, and to provide an easy system for regular convention play. It is decisive, easy to learn, and produces relatively short battles (2-3 hours is typical), while employing armies of goodly size. (It is not an exercise in fine-tuned geometry, unlike many rules sets of the era - it presents the gamer with the challenges of command in battle, rather than tedious exercises of the classroom!) It is designed for use with 25mm/28mm figures, as those are the easiest to see both on-screen during remote play and at the convention table. Armies are some of the most colorufl in all of the history of warfare!

The Game App

The game app performs all calculations and dice-rolling, with the initiative passing back and forth between sides frequently, to keep players engaged. The app itself is simple, with only a single screen (depicted below), and serves to speed play. It can be run simultaneously on more than one device for large games.

So assemble your gendarmes and mercenaries, and make your way to the battlefields of Italy, to see if you can win the title of El Gran Capitán!