S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario

This Tilly’s Very Bad Day scenario is based on Scenario 40: Dominant Hill from “Scenarios for Wargamers” by Charles Grant. It is a small game on a small table with small armies (in numbers of units).


Mission

Setting: Either Thirty Years War or English Civil War.

The Red and Blue armies are marching towards each other on a north-south road. They are going to meet at a T-junction between two villages, a T-junction that has strategic significance. A large hill to the west of the T-junction has increased importance because of its dominant position and field of view. The vanguards will get there first with other commands following behind.


Map/Terrain

The map is:

Table - S140 Dominant Hill - Tillys Very Bad Day

Table – S140 Dominant Hill – Tillys Very Bad Day

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 branch road to the west forming a T-Junction
  • Three hills: large (8 TUM) and two small (3 TUM x 4 TUM; 4 TUM)
  • Three woods: medium (6 TUM) and two small (3 TUM x 4 TUM; 4 TUM)
  • Two small villages (3 TUM x 4 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 – Normal
  • 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

Each player chooses 16 units from the following army list. Two commanders are mandatory, but the third is optional. All other units are optional. Cannon are selected in pairs, and each pair counts as one unit for recruitment. The resulting army size will be 16, 17 or 18 units depending on the number of Cannon selected.

Army List

  • 2-3 x Commander [two are mandatory]
  • 0-10 x Pike+Shot
  • 0-3 x Shot
  • 0-6 x Horse
  • 0-1 x Light Horse
  • 0, 2, or 4 x Limbered Cannon [Each pair of Cannon counted as one unit to order of battle]
  • 16-18 Units; 64 Coins; 6 break point

Once you have selected the units you need to organise them into commands, one command per commander. Armies with only two commanders get a Vanguard and Main Body. Armies with a third commander add a Rear Guard.

Step 1.5. Scouting

No scouting.

Step 1.6. Deployment

Only the Vanguard deploys on table pre-game. It deploys in the centre zone. The Main Body arrives on the table edge of the centre zone in Game Turn 1. The Rear Guard arrives on the table edge of the centre zone in Game Turn 2. [On a small shallow table, the Vanguard enters the table on Game Turn 1, Main Body on Game Turn 2, and Rear Guard on Game Turn 3]


Blue Player (Attacking)

Objective

Seize the T-junction and the hill overlooking the T-junction.

Forces Available

16-18 Unit in 2 or 3 commands. See above.

Deployment

Only the Vanguard deploys on table pre-game. It deploys in the centre zone within the blue dotted line. Cannon deploy limbered or unlimbered at the player’s choice.

Reinforcements

The Main Body arrives on the table edge of the centre zone in Game Turn 1. The Rear Guard arrives on the table edge of the centre zone in Game Turn 2. [On a small shallow table, the Vanguard enters the table on Game Turn 1, Main Body on Game Turn 2, and Rear Guard on Game Turn 3]


Red Player (Defending)

Objective

Seize the T-junction and the hill overlooking the T-junction.

Forces Available

16-18 Unit in 2 or 3 commands. See above.

Deployment

Only the Vanguard deploys on table pre-game. It deploys in the centre zone within the blue dotted line. Cannon deploy limbered or unlimbered at the player’s choice.

Reinforcements

The Main Body arrives on the table edge of the centre zone in Game Turn 1. The Rear Guard arrives on the table edge of the centre zone in Game Turn 2. [On a small shallow table, the Vanguard enters the table on Game Turn 1, Main Body on Game Turn 2, and Rear Guard on Game Turn 3]


Victory Conditions

The T-Junction, large hill, and two villages are key features. The side that controls 3 or 4 of the key features at the end of Game Turn 10 wins the battle. Control of a feature means This means having at least one unit within 3 TUM of the feature and having no enemy units within 3 TUM of the feature. Control persists even if a friendly unit moves away, at least until an enemy unit gets close.

If both sides control less than 3 key features each, then the game is a draw.

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).


Scenario Special Rules

None


Notes

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).


References

Grant, C. S. (1981). “Scenarios for Wargamers”. Wargames Research Group.

4 comments to S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario

  • I am a ‘long term reader, first-time commenter’. Well, not quite first time, but I do not often comment. Just wanted to say that all the work that you put into compiling and laying out the information on your blog is much appreciated.
    Regards, James

  • Roger Calderbank

    I’ve been a bit reluctant to ‘use up’ the scenarios on solo games. However, as it seems the chance of face-to-face gaming in the near future is receding, I thought I would try this one with ‘extreme’ armies. Red was maxed out on pike+shot whilst Blue maxed out on horse and shot. It was a successful game, despite ending in a draw, with Red just failing to control the two objectives, but also being one unit short of its army break point.

    Blue’s cavalry vanguard rapidly took the large hill, but then had to stage a fighting retreat in the face of Red’s Main Body of pike+shot. Blue’s Rear Guard of pike+shot delayed Red’s Main Body and Rear Guard just long enough to have its last unit just within 3 TUM of the large hill at game’s end. On the other flank, it was Red’s weak Vanguard of horse and shot that had to fall back in the face of strong Blue shot and horse, but again lasted just long enough to prevent Blue getting to the rear of Red’s pike+shot. After 10 turns, Red had lost 5 units, Blue lost 4. Red held its own village, and the crossroads, Blue held its own village. The large hill was contested.

    RogerC

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