Spanish draw Swedes – 4 player game of Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tilly-899 Swedish foot blaze away

In a very exciting game the Spanish (Jamie and Steven) just barely managed to deny the Swedes (Chris and Adam) the victory they thought well in hand. We really enjoyed our first game of Tilly’s Very Bad Day following publication. Again the rules proved themselves able to provide a fast and exciting game, with lots of flavour. We are still struggling to break deeply ingrained habits from DBA, e.g. bunching up, and the more we do this, the more we enjoy Tilly. And we still need to iron out the problem with chequerboard formations.

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First Battle of Seminara 28 June 1495

Ferdinand II (Ferrandino) of Naples

During the Italian Wars, there were three battles at Seminara, in toe of the Calabrian peninsula. This is the first one (28 June 1495), where Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, known to history as the Great Captain (El Gran Capitán), suffered his only defeat. This battle was also the first field battle in the Italian Wars. The French gendarmes drove off Gonsalvo’s genitors, the Calabrian Militia panicked, and the Swiss pikemen (apparently) rolled over the lightly equipped Spanish infantry. This defeat forced Gonsalvo to rethink Spanish arms and tactics. Decisions that subsequently lead to the successes that made his name.

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Musing on Types of Horse in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

30YW-769 - Generic - Harquebusiers

I quite like Brzezinski’s (1993) analysis of cavalry in the Thirty Years War. He believes there were three types of horse (Arquebusier, Horsemen, Cuirassier) and I think unit quality can simulate these types in Tilly’s Very Bad Day. All three types could shoot or charge but typically a unit did one or the other; I leave this choice to the player.

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Swedes beat Imperialists in play test of Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tilly-70 Imperialist Harquebusiers

Adam, Chris, and Jamie came over for a play test of Tilly’s Very Bad Day. It was a good quick game, with considerable spectacle. There were lots of troops, and, yay. I’ve finally got my Thirty Years War forces on table. Although it was a reasonable game, we did come up with quite a long list of observations, suggestions, and tweaks to the rules. By the way, the Swedes beat the Imperialists.

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Download Tilly’s Very Bad Day – Fast Play Rules for the 30 Years War

Tillys Very Bad Day - Logo

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.

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Constructing 24 element armies for DBA and DBA-RRR

DBA-RRR Banner v2

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?

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Making a ditch and bank for the Italian Wars

Ditch and Bank 46 Swiss attacking Spanish camp - Banner

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.

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Choosing a date for a DBA-RRR game in the Italian Wars

DBA-RRR Banner v2

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.

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Crossfire Stocktake – My forces for the Eastern Front

Order of Battle - Crossfire - Banner

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.

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A Case Study in Balagan Thinking – How I justify collecting Japanese

Musing - Collecting Japanese - Crossfire - Banner

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.

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Steven’s Arthurian and Reconquista Christian Elements for Big Base HOTT

Christian HOTT 920 Religious Stronghold

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.

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