Since I’ve published Tilly’s Very Bad Day I figure I should update my painting guide for the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). Although the title refers to the Spanish this is the guide covers all troops in Spanish service whether Spanish, Italian, or Walloon.
I’ve been on the hunt for a set of wargaming rules for the Thirty Years War for a couple of decades. The hunt has taken so long that I’ve ended up writing my own. I’ve called the rules “Tilly’s Very Bad Day” in memory of the Battle of Rain (15 April 1632) where Field Marshal Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, got hit by a Swedish cannonball. He, of course, subsequently died. I’d like to thank Brett Simpson for the inspiration to undertake the project and for play testing from the first draft.
Our recent game of DBA-RRR with 24 elements a side, shared between two players was great fun. But it did exhaust my supply of figures, as I’d collected enough for 12 point armies using all options. It also resulted in both army looked pretty much identical. Lots of shot, men-at-arms, and light horse. With as few pike as possible. I think more games with 24 point armies are quite likely in the future, but I’d like the army lists some real choices in what troops appear on table. So how should I arrange my 24 point army lists?
The Spanish surprised their French and Swiss opponents in the Italian Wars by putting arquebusiers behind a ditch and bank. So I thought I should make one. Or, more accurately, make some modular sections of ditch and bank so I can make any shape of fortifications. The modular features are using my Big Bases for use with Big Base DBA and DBA-RRR.
DBA-RRR has lots of army lists for the Italian Wars. I can field all the variations so the question is, which army lists will we use for each game. In our recent games we have arbitrarily chosen a date and that has given us the army lists. One night I went for 1512 (Battle of Ravenna) and another night Adam chose 1525 (Battle of Pavia).
I’d like to systematise the choice, preferably using a die roll or cards. So in this post I do a bit of analysis on the battles in the Italian Wars and line them up with the army lists. I have a particular focus on Spanish and French because those are the armies I have, but Swiss and Italians of various flavours do appear. My focus is also within the boundary of modern day Italy because that is the theatre that interests me most.
Given the upcoming year long campaign for Stalingrad, I thought I should do a stocktake of Crossfire forces for the Eastern Front. It turns out my collection is insane. Your average gamer doesn’t need this. If you are new to Crossfire then you can get by with a lot less figures; check out How many figures will I need to start playing Crossfire? For the first 10 years of my Crossfire gaming, I only had a reinforced battalion for each of Germans and Russians, backed up by a couple of Pz III Gs and three T-34s. That was more than enough. Then I got some more kit and played my Armour Fest with everything I had, but even that wasn’t really a lot. Much more than you need for a normal Crossfire game but not a lot in the grand scheme of things. Then, um, I guess I got greedy. It is kind of embarrassing.
Continuing my Megalomaniac tendencies, this is my reflection on 2018 and how I did against my world conquering goals. Check out my 2018 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian for my overly ambitious aspirations.
If you didn’t know, Balagan means messy or chaotic. And lately my head has definitely been balagan. I’m trying to justify building up a Japanese force for Crossfire. I’m trying to find ways to fit the Japanese into my Official Focus of Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, and Israel. I’ve got to say, it ain’t easy. But with quite a lot of mental gymnastics I might manage it.
I recently rebased my Reconquista armies on Big Bases. That includes the elements I use for Big Base HOTT. In this post I feature the Christians which can also serve in Arthurian HOTT. You might have seen some of these guys on small bases in my Strathclyde Welsh (Northern Cymry) for Britannia 600 AD. Of course they complement my “El Cid” Feudal Spanish Army for Big Base DBA and my Dark Age Horde.
Chris, Jamie and I played the pick up version of my Sagrajas 1086 – A Big Battle Big Base DBA (BBBBDBA) Scenario. This was an excuse to use my new El Cid Army for Big Base DBA. Each side had 24 elements on a 6′ x 4′ table.
Chris and Jamie are coming over and I wanted to use my new “El Cid” Feudal Spanish for Big Base DBA. So, of course, I’ve gone crazy and devised a A Big Battle Big Base DBA (BBBBDBA) Scenario for the Battle of Sagrajas 1086. I’ve only gone for 24 elements per side (not 36). We only used the historical context to give a bit of flavour for the pick up game, but I have included suggestions for a more historical simulation at the end.
With my new “El Cid” army about to hit the table. I thought I’d have a look at the army list – III/35b Feudal Spanish 951-1200AD. The DBA 3.0 list has changed from the DBA 2.2 version. The changes are generally good but I thought I’d revise it to align more with the related Field of Glory army lists. These changes give more flexibility in the list. Personally I think flexibility is good because, really, we don’t know what any of the armies were really like.