Battalion line, column, and square – Tactical formations during the Napoleonic Wars

Napoleonic Tactical Formations - French Infantry Battalion 1808-1815 - Banner

Line, column, square … the tactical formations available to infantry of the Napoleonic Wars, South American Wars of Liberation, and Carlist Wars. Line is pretty straight forward but I thought I’d describe the others, in particular column. People think of columns as long and thin, and some were, but most columns of the Napoleonic Wars were usually stubby. I use the post 1808 French as the main example because the Spanish followed their lead, but the other nations were similar.

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Alternative Chacabuco – A Bolivar’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 2

Chacabuco-833 Melee results on left - Banner

Chris and Adam played my variant of John Fletcher’s Alternative Chacabuco scenario, my go to for testing out rules. We were play testing incredible rough draft of Bolivar’s Very Bad Day, a Liberators variant of Tilly’s Very Bad Day.

Summary: Really good fun game. Adam’s Patriots took the game but it was down to the wire. Adam lost Bernardo O’Higgins and his command stalled. Chris lost Field Marshal Del Pont and his command evaporated.

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Steven’s miscellaneous Liberators units for 1812 and 1814

Liberators-848 Royalist 1814 Venezuelan Battalion - Ill armed - Column - Banner

As I gear up for my 1815-1819 War in the North – Steven’s Wargaming Project, I had a look at my collection for the South American Wars of Liberation. I discovered a few units I haven’t shared elsewhere: 1812 Argentine Patriots; 1814 Venezuelan Royalists. These are not complete armies, just isolated units that I collected mainly because the figures looked cool.

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Bolivar’s Very Bad Day – Is that the right name?

I’ve been musing on a variant of Tilly’s Very Bad Day for the South American Wars of Liberation for a while. Back in 2021 Jamie and I had a go at the then draft rules with Alternative Chacabuco. “Bolivar’s Very Bad Day” has always been the working name of the draft rules. This is partly to honour the Liberator Simón Bolívar and partly because I couldn’t think of anything else. With my War in the North Project rushing towards me, I thought I should get a bit more definitive about the name.

What do you think? Should I stick with “Bolivar’s Very Bad Day”? Make it official? Or go for something else?

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1815-1819 War in the North – Steven’s Wargaming Project

Battle of Boyacá - Martin Tovar y Tovar - Banner

Once again I’ve been chatting to John Fletcher of Grenadier Productions about the South American Wars of Liberation. These chats are always informative, but often a risky experience. In this case, I’ve decided to stop procrastinating and do a “War in the North” Project. The independence of the Viceroyalty of New Granda started in Gran Colombia and Venezuela and then drifted through Ecuador to Peru. Like my previous 1817-18 Chilean Project for the South American Wars of Liberation (with the follow on the the 1815 campaign in Upper Peru), my War in the North Project will have several phases to spread the expense and painting efforts. Each phase will focus on one or two key battles. This is, of course, a ridiculously large and overly ambitious project. Some would say megalomaniac.

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Musing on resolve – horse and pike+shot in difficult terrain

Musing on Pike+Shot and Horse in Difficult Terrain in Tillys Very Bad Day - Banner

We really like the resolve mechanism in Tilly’s Very Bad Day. Bundling all morale factors into one number and using that to simulate combat, reaction to the result of combat, and a commander’s ability to rally. We think it one of the things that makes Tilly’s Very Bad Day unique. So I wondered how to take it further. One possibility is to weaken resolve when moving in disrupting terrain.

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Musing on distance distortion in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

30YW-871 - Swedish - Pike and Shot - Yellow Brigade - Banner

A couple of people have commented on the seemingly distorted distances in Tilly’s Very Bad Day with ranges being overly generous compared to unit frontages. I thought I’d respond. The truth is, I deliberately distorted the distances to enhance game play and they’re actually not as wrong as folk seem to think.

This post is part of my musing on Tilly’s Very Bad Day.

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1643 Game 8 – Lower Thames Valley – English Civil War Campaign

ECW-843 Royalist horse eliminate Parliamentarian commander - Banner

We had a full house for the eighth game of Populous, Rich and Rebellious our four player Campaign using Tilly’s Very Bad Day, and set in the English Civil War.

Summary: In the “Battle of Romford”, the Royalists successfully defended London against a Parliamentary army approaching from the north-east.

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2024 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian - Banner

2023 went pretty well although there were a few bumps and I still didn’t complete nearly enough of my plans. So what is on the megalomaniac agenda for 2024? Well, you’ll see below. As usual I present this as a brain dump of my active projects, i.e. those all projects that are more or less “in progress”. The list is then split into three parts: likely in 2024, unlikely, and background activity.

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Musing on Units and their attributes in Tillys Very Bad Day

Musing on Units and their Attributes in Tillys Very Bad Day - Banner

Although Tilly’s Very Bad Day is for the Thirty Years War, I’m thinking of expanding the system into other periods. The Ancients, Medieval, and Gunpowder settings all look suitable. I’ve already experimented in the South American Wars of Independence with Bolivar’s Very Bad Day. I’m looking for inspiration so in this post I explore the attributes assigned to units in Tilly’s Very Bad Day.

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