Musing on Sequence of Play in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tillys Very Bad Day Logo

For Version 2 of Tilly’s Very Bad day I’m thinking of making some changes to the sequence of play. Most of these are to make implicit steps explicit. There is one more radical proposal (changing initiative). But much of the sequence of play remains unchanged, even though some steps have changed names. I thought I’d share a few thoughts on why it is the way it is and why I’m changing some things.

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Battle of Nieuport 2 July 1600

Nickle Figure 1 - Dutch formation - Battle of Nieuport - Hexham Part II diagram between pp 21 and 22

The Battle of Nieuport (2 July 1600), also known as the Battle of the Dunes, was one of the few open field battles of the Eighty Years War, and the Dutch beat the Spanish. At that time anybody beating the Spanish was a surprise. I have reproduced Barry Nickle’s (1975) account of the 1600 campaign including the Battle of Nieuport. Then I’ve supplemented with some other sources, including Henry Hexham (1641).

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Small Fleurus – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario

This scenario represents the Battle of Fleurus (29 Aug 1622) using Tilly’s Very Bad Day. Historically the Spanish defeated the Protestant Paladins Mansfeld and Brunswick, and destroyed the Protestant infantry, but did not prevent the Protestant horse from reaching the Dutch. Given the number of troops involved in the real battle, this is a small game on a small table with small armies (in numbers of units).

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Rafa “Archiduque” paints Minairons’s Spanish Civil War Figures

Archiduque 6 - Mando Miliciano

Every now and then I have a chat with Rafa, aka “Archiduque”, from Rafa “Archiduque” Miniatures Painting Studio. He got in touch recently and, after our chat, I had a look at his blog. Specifically his Spanish Civil War Gallery. Wow.

Rafa has kindly let me post some of his work here. Amazing. Have a look.

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Kiwi Vehicle Names in WW2

Kiwi Vehicle Names in WW2

I’ve posted on Kiwi Vehicle Camouflage during WW2 but didn’t spend any time researching specific vehicles. Some of the Kiwi vehicles during World War 2 were named e.g. “Discord” and “Katipo”. I thought I’d have a look at my books and see what came up. This is inspiration for my Kiwis in Italy – Steven’s Wargaming Project.

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Kiwis in Italy – Steven’s Wargaming Project

Kiwi Sherman from Cover of 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade in Italy

They have been on my to do list for years – Kiwis in Italy or, more technically, 2 (NZ) Division in the Italian Campaign of 1943-45. I’m thinking a Crossfire Battalion of infantry and some armour to support them. Here are my overly extravagant Kiwi plans for 2020.

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2020 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian


2020. New year. New decade (depending on how you count these things). 2019 was a good year but I want 2020 to be even better. My crazy inner megalomaniac demands I monologue about my world conquering (i.e. overly ambitious) list of what I’d like to get done this year. Get ready for the ride …

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Small Lutzen – A Tillys Very Bad Day Battle Report 1

Tilly-926 Swedish Sandwich gets chewed up

Jamie and Chris play tested the pre-publication version my Small Lutzen – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario. This is a small game on a small table with small armies (in numbers of units), and only normal Pike+Shot not Large Pike+Shot.

Summary: Scenario needed tweaking before publication. Swedes couldn’t win.

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Small Lutzen – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario

Small Table - Lutzen - Tillys Very Bad Day

Tilly’s Very Bad Day has two game scales: Small Games and Big Games. I’ve already done the Big Lutzen Scenario and this is the Small Game scenario for the same battle: the Battle of Lutzen (16 November 1632) in the Thirty Years War. That means this scenario is for a small game on a small table with small armies (in numbers of units), and only normal Pike+Shot not Large Pike+Shot.

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3 Act Story Structure for RPG Scenario Design

Balagan 3 Act Story Structure

As an end of year special I’ll take a detour into the land of RPGs. Specifically story structure.

I first bumped into the 3 Act Story structure in the context of RPG Scenario Design. The 3 act structure I ended up with is pretty simple: hook, journey, confrontation. In truth I always found role playing discussion of this structure confusing. I couldn’t imagine having only three scenes in a RPG scenario. Well, the answer is obvious, of course. Acts are not scenes. Acts contain scenes. Clearly I have dive deeper into the 3 Act structure to understand how to

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2019 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2019

My Confessions of a Megalomaniac were my 2019 aspirations. How did I do?

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Musing on Cavalry Pursuit in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Prince Rupert's cavalry at Edgehill

I asked whether I should introduce baggage camps to Tilly’s Very Bad Day. Opinions where mixed, of course, but for me the big take away was baggage camps were a red herring. The thing to simulate is cavalry pursuit. The questions is how? I’ve been mulling over pursuit in a couple of contexts. I thought I’d share and see what you think. These are not well formed thoughts. Just a bit a jumble to reflect the various considerations and possibilities.

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Big Lutzen – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 2

Tilly-679 Massed Swedes

Adam and Jamie played my big Lutzen scenario for Tilly’s Very Bad Day.

Summary: Good game. A better game than last time. Jamie (Imperialists) beat Adam (Swedes) on Game Turn 6.

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John Mumby replays Imperialist versus Swedes in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Terrain Card Table 1 - Tillys Very Bad Day

John Mumby is one of my proof readers, and has also kindly sent through a short battle report. He replayed my Imperialists beat Swedes game of Tilly’s Very Bad Day

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Factions in a multi-player Thirty Years War Campaign

Factions for a Thirty Years War Campaign Logo

I keep thinking about a multi-player Campaign for the Thirty Years War. Two of the big questions is how many factions and what are they? I take a quick look at board games for inspiration before taking a view. There are quite a few board games for the Thirty Years War. Many focus on simulating the entire war so I thought I have a look at what factions they have.

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