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, however, the Red and Blue players must 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 along the road.

Forces Available

Divided into two commands:

Defender Order of Battle

  • 2 x Commanders
  • 5 x Pike+Shot
  • 1 x Shot
  • 1 x Horse
  • 1 x Unlimbered Cannon
  • 6 x Field Fortifications
  • 10 Units; 50 Coins; 4 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 defending units and fortificationscan deploy across the table, so ignore the normal rule that all Pike+Shot units must deploy in the centre.

Cannon must 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 12 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 must deploy limbered.



Victory Conditions

Game Duration: The game lasts for up to 12 turns (10 turns on a small narrow table).

The Blue defender wins if either of these occur:

  • Blue holds the line of hills and denies Red the ability to move north for the game duration
  • Red reaches their army breakpoint

The Red attacker wins if either of these occur:

  • Red exit two or more units off the central zone of the the northern table edge within the game duration
  • Blue reaches their army breakpoint

If both sides meet their victory conditions then the game is a draw.

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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