S12 Fighting Across the River – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 1

S12-101 Top view of table after deployment - Banner

I persuaded Adam and Chris to play my S12 Fighting Across the River Scenario for Tilly’s Very Bad Day. Although this is a generic scenario, the armies were from the Thirty Years War. Chris was the Blue player, the attacking Swedes. Adam was the defending Red player, with the Imperialists.

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Contested river crossings in the Seventeenth Century – Musing for Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Map of the Battle of Rain 1632-04-15 - Banner

Recently we play tested my S12 Fighting Across the River scenario for Tilly’s Very Bad Day (which I’ll post about soon). After the game Adam and I got to talking about the premise of the scenario and Adam encouraged me to take a closer look at some 17th century battles that feature a river crossing. In this post I look at four such battles and look for patterns in four factors: (1) crossing points; (2) forces present; (3) forces engaged; and (4) the battle result. The nature of the river crossings includes whether the river was fordable and how many crossings there were. A lot of men might have been nearby but only a minority were actively engaged, which suggests whether these battles were ‘nasty fights’ or ‘grand battles’. The result of battle is on the list because the defenders of a river crossings had a habit of ‘retreating once things get serious’.

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Books – Reorganising my history bookcase made me think about my interests

Steven's History Bookcase - Banner

My big history book case is in the living area and not surprisingly my wife gets annoyed when the books get messy. Recently I tidied it up. Aside from the fact it took hours – which I didn’t enjoy – I found it interesting what this filing task highlighted about my interests. Aside from my enduring interest in all things Spanish and Portuguese, it turns out I have quite a big interest in World War II (okay, not so surprising), and a huge interest in Colonial Empires with a side order of Cold War.

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Steven’s Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Army for Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Polish-109 Left Wing - Banner

Last year I collected a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Army for Tilly’s Very Bad Day. They are what got me interested in the Northern Wars. Actually it was the Gustavus Adolph’s campaigns against them that got me interested – he formed his military ideas in the Livonia fighting the Commonwealth before sailing to German for the Thirty Years War.

I thought I’d share some photos. Rather than have a separate painting guide I’ll give painting guidelines here.

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Generic 30 Years War Army List for Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Generic 30 Years War – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Army List - Banner

The rules for Tilly’s Very Bad Day include a generic Army List for the Thirty Years War. I wanted to explain the army list a bit so copied it here. And having copied it, I couldn’t resist tweaking it. This list applies to all western and central European armies i.e. those of Spain, the German Catholics (Bavaria/Catholic League, Austria/Imperial), the German Protestants (Palatinate, Brandenburg, Bohemia, Saxony, etc), Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and France.

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S01 Attack on Prepared Position – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 1

prepared-111 Spanish Army - Banner

I invited Chris and Adam over to play test my version of S01 Attack on a Prepared Position Scenario for Tilly’s Very Bad Day. This is an adaptation of a scenario from “Scenarios for all Ages” by Charles Grant and Stuart Asquith. My scenario is Thirty Years War with Spanish attacking entrenched Swedes in high ground.

Summary: Short and intense. A much better game than any of us anticipated. It was a close run thing with Swedish (Adam) breaking the Spanish army (Chris) just as the Spanish horse broke past the Swedish line and were going for the baseline. We all agreed it would be good to play again with some minor tweaks.

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2022 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian - Banner

I am pretty happy with my efforts in 2021 and now it is time to lay out my plans for 2022. As always they are crazy megalomaniac plans. 2021 proved that even pumped I can’t achieve all my annual goals. But I’ll try.

I start with a brain dump of my active projects, i.e. those all projects that are more or less “in progress”. The list is split into three parts: likely in 2022, unlikely, and background activity.

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Musing on Commander Ability in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Musing on Commander Ability in Tillys Very Bad Day - Banner v2

I like the way John Fletcher (2005, 2006) assigns explicit abilities to the generals of the South American Wars of Liberation. In Liberators QPR generals are classified on a five rating scale from abysmal, through poor, average, good to excellent. And then he gives come generals extra abilities e.g. improved initiative. So how would that work in Tilly’s Very Bad Day for the generals of the Thirty Years War?

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Alternative Chacabuco – A Live Free or Die Battle Report

Chacabuco-603 Maroto's Division waiting at Chacabuco Farm - Banner

Chris, Adam and I had a go at Live Free or Die. The scenario was Alternative Chacabuco so a Liberators game using my Live Free or Die house rules for Big Base Liberators. Chris was the Patriots, Adam the Royalists and I was rules interpreter.

Summary: The game system defeated us. After hours of play we were no where near a conclusion so we gave up.

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Live Free or Die House Rules for Big Base Liberators

Andrés Ferrari suggested I have a look at Live Free or Die: Tabletop Battles of the American Revolution. Not because I play the American Revolution, but because he thought these could be adapted to the South American Wars of Liberation. So I got the rules and now I have to figure out how to play them with my kit. The big question are my Big Bases but there are a few other points worth touching on so, where appropriate, I compare Live Free or Die to Liberators QPR because this is what the scenarios refer to. Using the concepts discussed here I have I’ve also written a Alternative Chacabuco Scenario for Live Free or Die.

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Alternative Chacabuco – A Live Free or Die Scenario

I’m on a roll. A Liberators roll. Jamie got me started but this scenario is because of Andrés Ferrari. He suggested I look at Live Free or Die for Liberators. I needed a scenario to play test it on and John Fletcher’s Alternative Chacabuco (13 Feb 1817) is my go to scenario for trying out rules for this period. This is my conversion of John’s scenario to Live Free or Die.

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