The Rules Directory:
Polemos: War of the Spanish Succession

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TITLE: Polemos War of Spanish Succession (2005)Polemos WSS06

AUTHOR: Chris Grice, Nick Dorrell, Stu Gibson.

PUBLISHED BY: AdSigna Publications.  www.adsigna.ca


WEBSITE: Baccus web page. There is also a Yahoo Group that supports all of the Polemos rules sets.


REVIEWED BY: Chris Grice (Co - Author)

PERIOD COVERED: War of Spanish Succession. Marlburian Period.

THE BOOK: Polemos War of Spanish Succession is an 80 page A4 booklet. It has full colour covers and central section with photographs of a game in play. Includes a separate card quick reference sheet and army generator.

SCOPE: Grand tactical

ARMY SIZE: The rules are specifically designed for use with 6mm figures. Average army would be 30 to 50 bases, with each base being 4 or 6 strips of 6mm figures.

BASE UNIT: Infantry battalion, made up of approximately 24 figures, cavalry regiment of 12 – 15 figures.


    • Base width represents around 200 paces.
    • Time scale not set.
    • Infantry base represents 400 – 600 men; cavalry base 200 – 300 men; artillery base represents four guns.
    • Recommended figure size 6mm.
    • Table size recommended five feet by three feet or larger.
    • Game length, estimated four hours for average sized game.

BASING SIZES: All distances are given as Base Widths and Base Depths. Bases have a 2:1 width to depth ratio. The actual size is left to players’ discretion, so long as both armies are the same, but the recommendation is for 60mm by 30mm.


  • Tempo bidding – resolves which side has initiative.
  • Tempo player (i.e. player with initiative) allocates command points.
  • Tempo player moves.
  • Tempo player ranged combat
  • Outcome moves from ranged combat
  • Tempo player close combat
  • – k) Above phases are repeated for Non-tempo player
  • l) Outcome moves from close combat
  • m) Both sides rally shaken units


At the start of each game turn, both players will attempt to gain the initiative. They have a number of Tempo Points, calculated according to the number of generals present with the army. Each player chooses to bid some of these points with the highest bidder gaining the initiative for that game turn. The points remaining are used to issue orders to the army.

Movement is relatively cumbersome in keeping with the primitive command mechanisms of the period, with the advantage being with the player who can keep his lines intact.

Effectiveness of firing is dependant on the system, or school, used by the firer, subject to various modifiers for circumstances and the roll of a D6. Losers of combat accumulate shaken levels which may be rallied by the expenditure of command points. Too many shaken levels and the unit will break.


The rules include an army generator and historical army lists for the following battles:

  • Chiari 1701
  • Luzzara 1702
  • Speyerbach 1703
  • Blenheim 1704
  • Ramillies 1706
  • Almanza 1707


There is a table of contents and numerous diagrams to illustrate particular aspects of the rules. Examples of play are frequent and are contained within shaded boxes to make them stand out.

Appendices include suggested campaign rules, Optional extra rules, suggestions for solo wargaming and a historical overview of the campaigns.

It is intended that the rules should be simple to use and once grasped should not require too frequent reference to rules or quick reference sheet.

The successful player will take care over his initial deployment, plan moves carefully and keep his units together and lines intact. Supporting lines should be close enough to maintain pressure on the enemy without obstructing the front lines’ ability to manoeuvre.


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