Small Lutzen – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario

Small Table - Lutzen - Tillys Very Bad Day

Tilly’s Very Bad Day has two game scales: Small Games and Big Games. I’ve already done the Big Lutzen Scenario and this is the Small Game scenario for the same battle: the Battle of Lutzen (16 November 1632) in the Thirty Years War. That means this scenario is for a small game on a small table with small armies (in numbers of units), and only normal Pike+Shot not Large Pike+Shot.

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3 Act Story Structure for RPG Scenario Design

Balagan 3 Act Story Structure

As an end of year special I’ll take a detour into the land of RPGs. Specifically story structure.

I first bumped into the 3 Act Story structure in the context of RPG Scenario Design. The 3 act structure I ended up with is pretty simple: hook, journey, confrontation. In truth I always found role playing discussion of this structure confusing. I couldn’t imagine having only three scenes in a RPG scenario. Well, the answer is obvious, of course. Acts are not scenes. Acts contain scenes. Clearly I have dive deeper into the 3 Act structure to understand how to

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2019 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2019

My Confessions of a Megalomaniac were my 2019 aspirations. How did I do?

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Musing on Cavalry Pursuit in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Prince Rupert's cavalry at Edgehill

I asked whether I should introduce baggage camps to Tilly’s Very Bad Day. Opinions where mixed, of course, but for me the big take away was baggage camps were a red herring. The thing to simulate is cavalry pursuit. The questions is how? I’ve been mulling over pursuit in a couple of contexts. I thought I’d share and see what you think. These are not well formed thoughts. Just a bit a jumble to reflect the various considerations and possibilities.

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Big Lutzen – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 2

Tilly-679 Massed Swedes

Adam and Jamie played my big Lutzen scenario for Tilly’s Very Bad Day.

Summary: Good game. A better game than last time. Jamie (Imperialists) beat Adam (Swedes) on Game Turn 6.

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John Mumby replays Imperialist versus Swedes in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Terrain Card Table 1 - Tillys Very Bad Day

John Mumby is one of my proof readers, and has also kindly sent through a short battle report. He replayed my Imperialists beat Swedes game of Tilly’s Very Bad Day

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Factions in a multi-player Thirty Years War Campaign

Factions for a Thirty Years War Campaign Logo

I keep thinking about a multi-player Campaign for the Thirty Years War. Two of the big questions is how many factions and what are they? I take a quick look at board games for inspiration before taking a view. There are quite a few board games for the Thirty Years War. Many focus on simulating the entire war so I thought I have a look at what factions they have.

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Big Lutzen – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 1

Tilly-574 Crossing the road under fire is not easy

Chris and Adam played a very raw version of my big Lutzen scenario for Tilly’s Very Bad Day.

Summary: Good game. Some debate about how to simulate the road and ditches. Adam (Imperialists) beat Chris (Swedes) on Game Turn 6. The scenario evolved after the game.

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Should I introduce baggage camps to Tilly’s Very Bad Day?

P1000834 Dutch Camp

Richard (doctorphalanx) has been encouraging me to introduce baggage camps into Tilly’s Very Bad Day. I like painting up camps for DBA and I already have a camp for my Dutch army of the Thirty years War. My question is, was looting the baggage train/camp a significant event in any battles of the Thirty years War or English Civil War?

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Big Lutzen – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario

Table - Lutzen - Tillys Very Bad Day

This is a big Tilly’s Very Bad Day scenario for the Battle of Lutzen (16 November 1632). An outnumbered Imperialist army must hold a strong defensive position until reinforcements arrive. Historically this battle is where King Gustavus died, so was a key moment in the Thirty Years War. In game terms this is a big game on a big table with big armies.

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Metal Measuring Sticks for Big Bases and Small

Sticks-02 40mm sticks used for Triumph during Punic Wars

I’ve been playing DBA for years, and all measurement is in multiples of 1 inch. However, many games are moving to base width as a measurement, which for most people are the 40mm wide DBx bases. But I’ve moved to Big Bases including for Big Base DBA. That means I need 2 inch measurements and 80mm measurements. Here is how I solved this problem.

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Imperialists beat Swedes – 2 Player Game of Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tilly-105 Locked in melee

Adam and Chris played an Imperialist versus Swedish match up of Tilly’s Very Bad Day. Adam and Chris have a very different play style to Jamie and I so this game played out in an interesting way. Very gritty with one giant scrimmage forming. Eventually Adam’s Imperialists took the day. We were playing several draft rules for a major revision.

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Yahoo groups is dead. Long live for Crossfire Discussion

After 20 years the Yahoo group for Crossfire is closing. This is not by our choice, Yahoo is closing all groups.

Like many other distraught groups, we are moving to With generous financial help from the fine chaps of the Crossfire community we managed to fund an expedited transfer from Yahoo to

The new Crossfire forum on is up and running. With the transfer we got all members (with active emails), posts, files, photos, whatever.

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DBA 3 – Improving the Simulation – Some Comments

DBA3.0 Cover

Joe Collins has highlighted a number of problems with DBA 3.0 and suggested ways to address these problems. Collin’s was part of the group that developed DBA 3.0 so he is both a fan and on the inside team. I really like Collin’s attempt to tackle some big problems with DBA. It would be great if more people did this, starting with Phil Barker. Unfortunately, Collin’s particular suggestions mostly leave the problems unsolved. I do like his solution for Bow but even that needs more.

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Making dragoons more effective in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

30YW-800 - Catholic - Dragoons

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.

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