Category: Wargaming

Wargaming and Military History are the interests I pour most of my spare time into. This section concentrates on the wargaming rules I’m interested in. I’ve got quite a lot on running wargaming campaigns. I’ve also got sub-categories on: Crossfire, DBx (including DBA and HOTT), Twilight of the Sun King, Engle Matrix Games, Megablitz, Liberators QPR, Field of Glory. All other rules are lumped together.


Lockdown Crossfire – Kiwis in Italy – A Crossfire Scenario

Crossfire Lockdown - Scenario deployment areas

Bruce Stewart, like many of us, has been trying to figure out how to wargame during the Covid-19 lockdown. Bruce’s idea involves video conferencing, a situation from the Band of Brothers, and New Zealand accents. You might recall that last year Bruce sent through a couple of battle reports for Kiwis in the Italian Campaign using Crossfire. Well, there is more of the same here.

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English Civil War Campaign Rules for Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Chris is really keen that we do a Campaign. Every time we play Tilly’s Very Bad Day he mentions this. So here it is. At least here are the rules. Unexpectedly I’ve chosen the English Civil War as the setting for the campaign, but only because I’m following the lead of Peter of Grid based wargaming – but not always. Peter’s ECW campaign system uses a simple area based campaign map to drive tactical battles and weaves in a bit of flavour along the way. Exactly what I’m looking for, but I feel obliged to change some things, of course.

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Peter’s English Civil War Campaign for One Hour Wargames

1642 Start of the campaign and the contest begins in the Yorkshire region

You might remember that Peter of Grid based wargaming inspired my Terrain Cards. Terrain cards were actually part of Peter’s Campaign set in the English Civil War (see Grid Based Wargaming – ECW). There is quite a lot to this campaign – Peter wrote something like 45 posts on it and played 30 games. I love it. Tons of inspiration. And I appreciate the obsessive element that saw Peter completing this project – I think it took him 18 months.

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Small Lutter – A Tillys Very Bad Day Scenario – Roger Calderbank

Table - Lutter - Tillys Very Bad Day - Roger Calderbank

Roger Calderbank and I collaborated on a small scenario for the Battle of Lutter (27 Aug 1626) using Tilly’s Very Bad Day. Lutter was, historically, actually a very good day for Tilly as his Catholic League forces defeated the mostly Protestant / mostly Lutheran army of the Lower Saxon Circle, led by Christian IV of Denmark in his role as Circle Colonel.

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Assaulting Bunkers in Crossfire – Possible House Rules

Australian Flame Thrower Clears Japanese Bunker

I’m not happy with bunkers in Crossfire. In normal Crossfire you just have to wait for the garrison to No Fire and then close assault. I think they should be harder to assault. Historically flame throwers, demolition charges and big guns were used to deal with bunkers. I’m inclined to introduce house rules to encourage this. So here is a possibility for bunker busting.

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Crossfire Probabilities: Percentage Success in each Die Roll Mechanism

My recent interest in Solo Crossfire got me thinking about the probabilities inherent in the Crossfire rules mechanisms. That means infantry direct fire / barrage / minefields, anti-tank direct fire, smoke, close combat, and rallying. Only read this post if you care about statistics of gaming mechanisms.

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Horse and Musket Crossfire – Crossfire for the Horse and Musket Era

I wrote this about five years ago because a couple of my projects, i.e. Albuera in the Peninsular and Sipe Sipe in South America, had stalled because I didn’t like any of the available horse and musket rules. Inspired by Roland’s WW1 experiment I wondered if I could make a horse and musket variant for Crossfire. These rules have now remained raw and unplayed for some time. I stopped work on them because I decided I had bent the rules so far that it is no longer Crossfire. But rather than having it lurk on my hard drive any longer,

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Quick Reference Sheet for Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tilly's Very Bad Day Logo

If you have already Downloaded Tilly’s Very Bad Day (PDF) you might want the Quick Reference Sheet (QRS) as well. This is for version 2.

How to get a paper copy of Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tilly's Very Bad Day - Printed Book - Lulu

Tilly’s Very Bad Day is available free for Download (PDF). Some some people will want a paper copy. Here are three options: print and staple; print and bind; lulu print on demand.

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Four Player Big Battle Big Base Triumph in the Punic Wars

Triumph-295 Iberians form battle line in woods

We played Big Base Triumph in the Punic Wars – liked the Triumph rules but thought some of the troop types sucked. To really challenge ourselves and test out that impression, we played another, bigger, game with Iberians on the table in force. So “Light foot” for both Scutarii and Caetrati and “Javelin Cavalry” for Roman, Numidian, Carthaginian, big shield Iberians, and small shield Iberians. I felt, somehow, I was about to rub salt in the wounds. Of course this is Punic Wars.

Summary: Romans (Chris, Adam) beat Allied Carthaginian (Jamie) and Iberians (Steven)

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Small Fleurus – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 1

Tilly-192 Protestant left wing

Chris and Adam played my Small Fleurus Scenario. This was, of course Tilly’s Very Bad Day, and was played before I published Version 2.

Summary: Spanish won. Scenario was too challenging for inferior Protestant Paladins. But potential for a good game with tweaks.

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Version 2 of Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tilly's Very Bad Day Logo

We’ve been playing Tilly’s Very Bad Day for a few months now and I think it is time for some substantive changes – a version 2. This post describes the changes.

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WW2 Battle Resolution for Engle Matrix Games

Hamster Press

One of the conclusions from my last game of the Missing General – An Engle Matrix Game was, for clarities sake, to combine the battle rules and World War Two mods into a single document. So here you go.

The original battle resolution rules were devised by Arthur Harman but have been revised by me (Steven Thomas).

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

Tilly's 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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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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