Making dragoons more effective in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

In my lost post on making under represented unit types more effective in Tilly’s Very Bad Day, I have a look at dragoons in the Thirty Years War. Under the rules their main competition is shot and light horse, both under represented troop types. Based on my previous thinking on those troop types I propose some ways to modify the rules to make dragoons more valuable/useful/effective.

30YW-801 - Catholic - Dragoons

30YW-801 – Catholic – Dragoons

These are the posts in the mini-series on making certain unit types more effective:


What are dragoons?

As a reminder, Tilly’s Very Bad Day defines the unit type:

Dragoons are mounted infantry; they ride nags, so move faster than other infantry, but still dismount to skirmish with fire arms.

Or, in other words, shot on a bad horse.

30YW-799 - Catholic - Dragoons

30YW-799 – Catholic – Dragoons


Proposed changes to dragoons

Dragoons are basically shot on a bad horse. Like shot they were used to contest difficult terrain. They just got there quicker. However, in Tilly’s Very Bad Day dragoons also have half the number of men of a shot unit.

My proposed changes to Make (commanded) shot more effective in Tilly’s Very Bad Day were:

  • Shot start with resolve 4
  • Shot lose ability to evade
  • Pike+shot lose their to hit bonus in difficult terrain, so hit on 6 rather than 5-6
  • Pike+shot lose the cover bonus of difficult terrain

Dragoons share a commonality with light horse being mounted, focussing on skirmishing, and being used to contest difficult terrain. Dragoons were also used for scouting in preference to horse, at least in the English Civil War. The main differences were the preference to dismount to skirmish and the lack of the Croat’s ferocious charge on disadvantaged enemy.

My proposed changes to Make Light horse more effective in Tilly’s Very Bad Day were:

  • Light horse start with resolve 3
  • Light horse hit on 4-6 when charging an enemy unit in flank or rear and when charging an enemy unit that has a resolve of 1 (regardless of terrain)
  • Horse lose 1d6 in difficult terrain when shooting or in melee
  • Light horse can evade
  • Light horse contribute (a lot) to scouting at the start of the game

Conclusions

I think dragoons adopt some of the changes of both shot and light horse:

  • Dragoons start with resolve 3 (like other mounted)
  • Dragoons lose ability to evade (they have to do this via normal movement)
  • Dragoons contribute to scouting at the start of the game

They also benefit from restricting horse and pike+shot in difficult terrain:

  • Pike+shot lose their to hit bonus in difficult terrain, so hit on 6 rather than 5-6 (so the same as dragoons)
  • Pike+shot lose the cover bonus of difficult terrain (but dragoons get this)
  • Horse lose 1d6 in difficult terrain when shooting or in melee

What do you think?


Where to get Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tilly’s Very Bad Day is available for Download (PDF).

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