Category: Thirty Years War

In 1617 the fiercely Catholic, Ferdinand of Styria, was elected by the Bohemian Estates to become the Crown Prince of Bohemia and the heir to the throne. In May 1618 a group of Bohemian Protestants in Prague seized Ferdinand’s representatives and threw them out of the palace window. This event started the Bohemian Revolt and the Thirty Years’ War. The conflict soon spread across the Holy Roman Empire, and then the whole of Europe, involving Spain, France, Denmark, Sweden, and a number of other countries. The war ended in 1648 with the treaties of Osnabrück and Münster, part of the wider Peace of Westphalia.


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

Baåçttle of Schlossmuele - Table

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.

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Snakes and Ladders Campaign for Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tilly's Very Bad Day - 30 Years War - Snakes And Ladders Campaign

Peter of Grid based wargaming has sparked some interest in using the children’s board game Snakes and Ladders as the basis for a wargaming Campaign. The snakes become tribulations and the ladders are campaign successes. So I have made up a board for a Tilly’s Very Bad Day Snakes and Ladders campaign based on Peter’s board for the 18th Century.

There is no skill in playing this campaign system as, like the children’s board game, random dice rolls lead to success. If you are lucky, you will win. For me this makes a Snakes and Ladders Campaign most suited

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S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 2

Tilly-54a Table

Jamie and I thought we’d have another go at S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario. Our first play test was a blast and we both had ideas for how to play it differently. Once again Jamie was Saxons as the Red Army and I was Imperialists as the Blue Army. Tilly’s Very Bad Day of course.

Summary: Another great game. Five game turns. 1.5 hours game time. Tense and gritty, with a decisive result. We will play it again.

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S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 1

Tilly-35 The battlefield

Roger Calderbank play tested my S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario and gave it a thumbs up, so I thought I’d have a go. Jamie came over and took Saxons as the Red Army and I took Imperialists as the Blue Army. Tilly’s Very Bad Day of course.

Summary: A great game. Six game turns. 1.5 hours game time. Seemed balanced but ended in a decisive result. We will play it again.

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Musing on Unmounted Cavalrymen in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

von Essen 2000 Lion from the North - Vol 2

I was just reading Michael Fredholm von Essen’s latest book on the Swedish army of the Thirty Years War (Von Essen, 2000), and it seems the Swedes sometimes had unmounted cavalrymen. Not dismounted, unmounted, i.e. they were horsemen without horses. Naturally I started pondering how to simulate these men in Tilly’s Very Bad Day.

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S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario

Table - S140 Dominant Hill - Tillys Very Bad Day

This Tilly’s Very Bad Day scenario is based on Scenario 40: Dominant Hill from “Scenarios for Wargamers” by Charles Grant. It is a small game on a small table with small armies (in numbers of units).

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S12 Fighting Across the River – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario

Table - S12 Fighting Across the River - Tillys Very Bad Day

This Tilly’s Very Bad Day scenario is based on Scenario 12: Fighting Across the River from “Scenarios for all Ages” by Charles Grant and Stuart Asquith. It is a small game on a small table with small armies (in numbers of units).

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S10 The Important Bridge – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario

Table - S10 The Important Bridge - Tillys Very Bad Day

This Tilly’s Very Bad Day scenario is based on Scenario 10: The Important Bridge from “Scenarios for all Ages” by Charles Grant and Stuart Asquith. It is a small game on a small table with small armies (in numbers of units).

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S01 Attack on a Prepared Position – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario

Table - S01 Attack on a Prepared Position - Tillys Very Bad Day - v5

This Tilly’s Very Bad Day scenario is based on Scenario 1: Attack on a Prepared Position from “Scenarios for all Ages” by Charles Grant and Stuart Asquith. It is a small game on a small table with small armies (in numbers of units). I described how I wrote the scenario in my post, Till’s Very Bad Scenarios for All Ages.

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Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenarios for All Ages

Table - S01 Attack on a Prepared Position - Tillys Very Bad Day - v5

I’m looking for more small scenarios for Tilly’s Very Bad Day so I wondered how the “Scenarios for all Ages” of Charles Grant and Stuart Asquith would transfer. Although “for all Ages” the design of the scenarios is obviously for Horse and Musket so I think that transferring to Pike & Shot should be easy. To test this theory out I look at one scenario: Scenario 1: Attack on a Prepared Position. As it happens the scenario only needs very small levels of tweaking to get it to work for Tilly’s Very Bad Day. What follows is a bit of

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Small Kircholm – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario

Table - Kircholm - Tillys Very Bad Day

I have been Musing on Polish Winged Hussars in Tilly’s Very Bad Day and I needed a scenario to play test on. So here is the Battle of Kircholm (27 Sep 1605), in the Polish–Swedish War (1600–1611), using Tilly’s Very Bad Day. The Swedes had over 10,000 men and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth about 4,000, but it was a massive Polish-Lithuanian victory with the Swedes losing up to 9,000 killed to only 100 Polish-Lithuanians. This is one of many victories by the Polish Winged Hussars – and I introduce terribly draft rules to cover them. These defeats were pivotal in persuading

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Musing on Polish Winged Hussars in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Winged Hussar 1697 - Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

After a bit of Spitballing on Eastern Armies in Tilly’s Very Bad Day I decided that the rules as they stand do not simulate Polish Winged Hussars adequately. So here is my current thinking.

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Small Herbsthausen – A Tillys Very Bad Day Battle Report

Tilly-30 Herbsthausen Table

In our first game since Covid-19 lockdown, Jamie and I played my Small Herbsthausen – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario. In Tilly’s Very Bad Day terms this is a small game on a small table with small armies (in numbers of units). The Bavarians (Jamie) heavily outnumber the French (Steven) so I was going to find this a struggle.

Summary: A quick game resulting in an rather spectacular draw. That is pretty much the best result the French could expect from the scenario.

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Army of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 17th Century

When I first visited London, in 1989, I attended a wargaming club in North London. I forget where. The club night featured a renaissance game with Polish Hussars dominating the table. I was captivated. Now, years later, I’m revisiting the army of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita). Poland was the biggest country in 17th Century Europe, nearly twice as big as the next biggest, France. Its army was powerful and combined elements of the east and west. The most distinctive component were the famous winged Hussars, but they also had good light cavalry, and western style pike and shot. And it

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Polish-Lithuanian Orders of Battle Converted to Tilly’s Very Bad Day

I just bumped into Jasinski’s Examples of the composition of the Polish Army in the 17th Century. Perfect for getting a rough idea of what a Polish-Lithuanian army list might be for Tilly’s Very Bad Day. I converted each of Jasinski’s orders of battle to Tilly’s Very Bad Day using different nominal unit sizes. Then I combined those for a small game so there was a range for each troop type. That gave me a single army list with a range of options.

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