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

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.


Setting: Either Thirty Years War or English Civil War.

A small Blue army has been retreating in front a much larger Red Army. They must defend a line of low hills and delay the advance their opponents. Overnight the Blue force dug some entrenchments to help compensate for their small numbers. The Red army must force their way through the defenders.


The map is:

Table - S01 Attack on a Prepared Position - Tillys Very Bad Day - v6
Table – S01 Attack on a Prepared Position – Tillys Very Bad Day – v6

Key features are:

  • A small table of 30 TUM x 30 TUM (this is 4′ x 4′ with my 80 wide bases)
  • Shallow small table lines for those who want a more smaller battlefield – these are the thin green dotted lines – use as the base edges
  • Flank lines – these are the grey dotted lines – used for deployment
  • A north-south road
  • A line of five low hills (Small 3 TUM x 4 TUM; Small 4 TUM; Medium 4 TUM x 6 TUM; Medium 6 TUM; Large 6 TUM x 8 TUM)
  • Another hill (Small 3 TUM x 4 Tum)
  • Three woods (Small 3 TUM x 4 TUM; Small 4 TUM; Medium 4 TUM x 6 TUM)

Pre-game preparation

Game set-up (Phase 1) is a bit different. The steps are:

  • Step 1.1. Agree game size – Small Game
  • Step 1.2. Recruit army – Scenario specific
  • Step 1.3. Determine attacker – Defined by scenario
  • Step 1.4. Place Terrain – Defined by scenario
  • Step 1.5. Scouting – None
  • Step 1.6. Deployment – Scenario specific
  • Step 1.7. Bombardment – Normal

Step 1.2. Recruit army

The army composition is given by the scenario. Red and Blue organise their armies into commands.

Step 1.5. Scouting

No scouting.

Step 1.6. Deployment

Red attacker first deploys all units. Blue defender deploys second.

Blue Player (Defending)


Blue must hold the ridge of low hills to prevent Red from proceeding northwards.

Forces Available

Divided into two commands:

Defender Order of Battle

  • 2 x Commander
  • 5 x Pike+Shot
  • 1 x Shot
  • 1 x Unlimbered Cannon
  • 2 x Field Fortifications
  • 9 Units; 34 Coins; 3 break point


Deploys second. All units deploy behind the blue dotted line. Optionally deploy a shot unit in the neutral zone as a forlorn hope.

All Pike+Shot units must deploy in the centre (between the grey dotted flank lines).

Cannon deploy unlimbered.



Red Player (Attacking)

Begins scenario with initiative.


Red’s aim is to force a way over or through the hill line and proceed northwards. If there is no result within 8 Turns, they lose the battle.

Forces Available

Divided the army into three commands:

Attacker Order of Battle

  • 3 x Commander
  • 2 x Horse
  • 3 x Shot
  • 9 x Pike+Shot
  • 1 x Limbered Cannon
  • 18 Units; 70 Coins; 6 break point


Deploys first. Deploys behind the red dotted line.

All Pike+Shot units must deploy in the centre (between the grey dotted flank lines).

Cannon deploy limbered.



Victory Conditions

If Blue holds the line of hills and denies Red the ability to move north for the given number of moves then Blue will have won. If Red are able to push part of Blue aside such that the Red army can continue northwards (exit the northern table edge anywhere in the central zone) with two or more units within the designated period then Red will have won. The game cannot be drawn.

Normal victory conditions also apply. A side loses when, in the Army Morale step, they have reached their army break point (lost at least ⅓ of the original Units). If there is not a result within 8 Game Turns then the attacker loses.

Scenario Special Rules



Nominal unit size: 1000 for Pike+Shot, Shot, and Rabble; 500 for Horse, Dragoons and Light Horse; 8 guns for Cannon.

Where to get Tilly’s Very Bad Day

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


Grant, C. S., and Asquith, S. A. (1996). “Scenarios for all Ages”. CSG Publications.

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