Battle of Schlossmuele – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report

Malcolm Dove shared an after action report for his first solo game of Tilly’s Very Bad Day. He calls it, the Battle of Schlossmuele. All words are Malcolm’s.


Introduction

This is my first solo tryout of TVBD, using all the 6mm units I have so far painted.

In the late autumn of 1629 the armies operating in the Rhine valley between Strasbourg and Colmar were looking for safe and rich winter quarters, detachments from both armies were sent to the area of Schlossmule where the castle would give security and the rich pasturelands ample food. The clash took place on the afternoon of 30th September. The warden of the castle immediately barred the gates awaiting the outcome of the battle and climbed to the ramparts to enjoy the show.


Game length

Game length 8 moves.


Orders of Battle

Both armies were similar with 2 commanders, 4 P&S and 1 shot infantry units and 4 units of horse. At the start of the battle dice for each unit on a 1 it is inferior due to losses in the campaign. The attacker can ignore 2 inferior dice roles, but loses the battle if the opposition is not broken.


Map

The Vosges Mountains (in green) and the castle are impassable. The village and the stream are difficult ground.

Battle of Schlossmuele - Map

Battle of Schlossmuele – Map


Deployment

I then diced for each side
1,2 the smaller command deploys and the larger command arrives at the end of turn 1,
3, 4 the larger command deploys and the smaller command arrives at the end of turn 1,
5, 6 both commands deployed at start of battle


The battle

My solo battle started with the defending Imperialist cavalry command deploying in the NW, with the Protestant cavalry opposite them and their infantry extending the line to the village, behind which their shot was advancing to occupy it (see photo).

Baåçttle of Schlossmuele - Table

Baåçttle of Schlossmuele – Table

Both cavalry commands advanced to the stream and exchanged ineffective fire. The Protestant infantry front line crossed the stream, while the Imperial foot moved up. Over the next 2 turns there was some incredible shooting, first a Protestant pike and shot unit was destroyed by the Imperial opening salvo (4 sixes from 4 dice!), next an Imperial P&S unit took 3 hits (3 sixes from 3 dice) and an Imperial horse unit took 2 hits. Emboldened by their success the Protestant cavalry charged across the stream only to flounder unable to damage their opponents. Likewise the Imperial foot advanced to make good their numerical superiority only to suffer losses to firing and to be thrown back.

Seeing the battle slipping away the, Protestant cavalry commander put himself at the head of men and charged across the stream ignoring the ineffectual fire and destroying their opposition. The Imperial cavalry leader had joined his badly damaged unit and smashed their soggy opponents, their heroics and a rally brought back to full efficiency. Next turn saw things slipping away for the Imperialists with now two cavalry units destroyed and their inferior reserve being charged by the enemy general their horse was in bad trouble, Worse all 4 P&S units now were badly damaged and the next turn saw two rout as well as the inferior horse. The Imperialists spent a cold hungry winter, but would be revenged next spring?


Notes

This scenario is based on an actual location in Alsace although I have moved the buildings around. This area of France is very picturesque with quaint villages and castles dotted along the flanks of the Vosges every couple of miles or so. Ribeauville alone has 3 ruined castle overlooking the village. I took inspiration when I discovered that castle Haut Koenigsbourg (about 3 kilometres north of my fictional battle) was slighted by the Swedes in the 30 Years War and left a ruin until restored by the Kaiser prior to WW1.

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