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?
How good were the 30 Years War Generals?
I’ve done rough assessment of some generals of the Thirty Years War.
I have to admit assessing the generals was difficult. Basically I just read the Wikipedia page and went for gut feel. I started by making lots of Generals “Superior” because they were capable military men. But I realised I was being overly generous. So I moved the competent military men to “Ordinary”. That still left a few who seemed larger than life to me.
|General||Special abilities||In service of|
|Hapsburg Coalition||Anti-Hapsburg Coalition|
|Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly||Catholic League|
|Franz von Mercy||Bavaria; Austria|
|Bernard of Saxe-Weimar||Various Protestant powers; France|
|Gustavus Adolphus||+1 to Initiative||Sweden|
|Henri de La Tour d’Auvergne, Viscount of Turenne||France|
|Lennart Torstensson||+1 to Initiative||Sweden|
|Louis II de Bourbon, Prince of Condé||France|
|Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein||-1 to Initiative||Austria|
|Gottfried Heinrich Graf zu Pappenheim||+1 to Initiative||Austria|
|Jean Reichsgraf de Merode||Austria, Spain|
|Johann von Aldringen||Austria|
|Ottavio Piccolomini||Austria, Spain|
|Carl Gustaf Wrangel||Sweden|
|Dodo zu Innhausen und Knyphausen||Sweden|
|Peter Ernst, count of Mansfeld, or simply Ernst von Mansfeld||Various Protestant powers|
|Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria||Austria|
|Matthias Gallas “destroyer of armies”||Austria|
|Rodolfo Giovanni Marazzino, also known as Ruldof Morzin||Austria|
|Christian of Anhalt||Palatinate|
Here are a few that I need to assess:
- George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Sweden)
- Jost Maximilian von Gronsfeld (Holy Roman Empire)
- Lothar Dietrich Freiherr von Bönninghausen
I’m thinking of using the same Superior, Ordinary, Inferior, Raw scale as Troop Quality. I’ll call that “Commander Rating”. Commander Rating could influence command range and commander rally.
12.1.1. Being “in command”
Commander Rating could affect the command range. Perhaps an inferior commander would have a command range of 6 TUM, an ordinary one 8 TUM (standard rules), and a superior general on 10 TUM. Or something like that.
15.5. Commander rally
Perhaps make the commander rally a die roll. And a commander could rally either an attached unit or an detached unit.
To rally an attached unit either recover one Resolve automatically or roll against Commander Rating. In rolling, roll the Commander Rating in dice and hit of 5+; each hit recovers a Resolve for the attach units.
Generals can instead rally a unit that is within command range but not attached. Again roll the Commander Rating in dice, hits on 6, and each hit recovers one Resolve. Note: there is no automatic rally for detached units.
What other special attributes might generals have?
I haven’t really tried to put in other attributes for these generals. That would require more analysis than I did. But possibilities are:
High initiative: +1 to initiative roll
Low initiative: -1 to initiative roll
Brave: 2d6 in melee not 1d6
Inspiring: +1d6 for rallying with Commander Ability
Tactical flexibility: if win initiative can give it to the enemy
Strong tactician: +1 Scouting Hits
Strong strategist: +3 Scouting Hits
Predictable: Enemy gets +1 Scouting Hit
Coward: Cannot hit in melee i.e. 0d6
Old Man: Cannot hit in melee i.e. 0d6
Artillery man: Double bombardment dice
Some of these can be combined. For example an Old Man who is a Strong strategist. But others can’t e.g. Coward and Brave.
What do you think?
I’m interested in your ideas on Commander Rating, how it could be used, other special abilities, or how to apply special abilities to the game. And other generals that really warrant a rating. What do you think?
Where to get Tilly’s Very Bad Day
Fletcher, J. (2005). Liberators! Volume 1: The War in the South. Grenadier Productions.
Fletcher, J. (2006). Liberators! Supplement 1: The War in the South. Grenadier Productions.