Small Fleurus – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 1

Chris and Adam played my Small Fleurus Scenario. This was, of course Tilly’s Very Bad Day, and was played before I published Version 2.

Summary: Spanish won. Scenario was too challenging for inferior Protestant Paladins. But potential for a good game with tweaks.


Version of Tilly’s Very Bad Day

We played a draft set of Tilly’s Very Bad Day (version 2.0). The main difference from the draft and the final version was the draft, like version 1.0 through 1.3, allowed units to move backwards up to their full move. You will see this a lot in this game.


The Draft Scenario

I made some tweaks to the orders of battle following the game. For this play test all Spanish were ordinary and all Protestant Horse and Pike+Shot were inferior.


Pre-Game

The guys deployed following the orders of battle, i.e. the left wing on the left.

Tilly-188 Deployment

Tilly-188 Deployment

Adam pointed out that this didn’t make sense as the cavalry heavy Protestant left wing was on the flank with the heavy terrain. Well, it must have made sense to Christian of Brunswick at the time. I guess his command was the vanguard and he deployed from the march facing the obvious threat. But who knows now.

Tilly-189 Protestant Paladins

Tilly-189 Protestant Paladins

Tilly-192 Protestant left wing

Tilly-192 Protestant left wing

The Spanish right was anchored on Chaussard Farm. Like his historical counter part, Chris had the shot in the farm itself.

Tilly-191 Spanish right

Tilly-191 Spanish right


Game Turn 1

My lot like the attacker having initiative every game turn. So game turn 1 and the Protestants surged forward.

Tilly-193 Protestants surge forward

Tilly-193 Protestants surge forward

The Spanish musketeers opened up and a Protestant horse unit routed.

Tilly-195 Spanish musketry

Tilly-195 Spanish musketry

The Protestant cavalry on both flanks charged. On the left the Spanish counter charged.

Tilly-196 Charges

Tilly-196 Charges

The melee on the Spanish right was brutal. Another Protestant horse unit routed.

Tilly-198 Violent clash on Spanish left

Tilly-198 Violent clash on Spanish left

But surprisingly Christian of Brunswick charged a Spanish Pike+Shot unit frontally and managed to drive them backward.

Tilly-199 Protestant horse successful against Spanish foot

Tilly-199 Protestant horse successful against Spanish foot

Tilly-201 Battlefield

Tilly-201 Battlefield


Game Turn 2

Game turn 2 had the Protestants trying to close as fast as possible. But they had to suffer Spanish fire first.

Tilly-203 Spanish musketry

Tilly-203 Spanish musketry

Chris now revealed his strategy for the Spanish. Shoot and move backwards. In the version of TVBD we were using he could move his full movement and shoot. So he could pull away as fast as the Protestants advanced. And Chris insisted in leaving the shooting markers behind when he moved his units, thus orphaning the smoke.

Tilly-204 Orphaned smoke

Tilly-204 Orphaned smoke

But some Spanish were in charge distance and more Protestant charges resulted.

Tilly-205 Protestant left wing charges

Tilly-205 Protestant left wing charges

But another Protestant unit of horse routed. Those inferior horse, with only two resolve, were pretty fragile.

Tilly-206 Protestants stall in front of Spanish foot

Tilly-206 Protestants stall in front of Spanish foot

Tilly-207 Battlefield

Tilly-207 Battlefield


Game Turn 3

The Protestants kept coming forward.

Tilly-210 Battlefield

Tilly-210 Battlefield

The Spanish shot at them.

Tilly-211 Spanish musketry

Tilly-211 Spanish musketry

The Spanish pulled back.

Tilly-212 Spanish pull back again

Tilly-212 Spanish pull back again

But some Protestant charges would go in.

Tilly-213 Charges

Tilly-213 Charges

Another routed unit of Protestant horse. But the got the commander of the Spanish right wing (Baron de Gauchier),

Tilly-214 Spanish rout another Protestant horse

Tilly-214 Spanish rout another Protestant horse

By this stage the Spanish left wing was alongside the wagon park.

Tilly-215 Battlefield

Tilly-215 Battlefield

But the Spanish right were still firmly positioned around the farm.

Tilly-216 The farm

Tilly-216 The farm


Game Turn 4

Game turn 4 was the finale. The Protestant line crashed against the Spaniards.

Tilly-218 Battlefield

Tilly-218 Battlefield

For a small game I still found it quite impressive.

Tilly-219 Centre

Tilly-219 Centre

The Spanish infantry routed one of their Protestant opponents through musketry.

Tilly-220 Infantry fight

Tilly-220 Infantry fight

Musketry was engaged along the line.

Tilly-221 Battlefield

Tilly-221 Battlefield

Tilly-222 Battlefield

Tilly-222 Battlefield

The Spanish continued to pull back.

Tilly-223 Spanish foot keep pulling back

Tilly-223 Spanish foot keep pulling back

Tilly-224 Battlefield

Tilly-224 Battlefield

More charges

Tilly-225 Charges

Tilly-225 Charges

Another Protestant infantry unit routed.

Tilly-226 Another Protest foot rout on Spanish left

Tilly-226 Another Protest foot rout on Spanish left

And further along a Protestant horse unit routed.

Tilly-227 Spanish foot punish Protestants

Tilly-227 Spanish foot punish Protestants

End of the game.

Tilly-228 End Game

Tilly-228 End Game


Conclusions and Observations

The Protestant Paladins lost six horse and two pike+shot. The Spanish lost one cannon unit and a commander. Clear Spanish victory.

We decided the Paladins didn’t have a chance. So talked about increasing the Protest horse to ordinary and half the Spanish pike+shot to superior. Both Adam and Chris were keen. In the end I upgrade only half the Protestant horse to ordinary and left he rest as inferior. We’ll see if that is enough to give them a chance.

In version 2 I also made it much harder to do what Chris did, a fighting withdrawal. Now units can only do a backward movement (except a rally back) if they neither shoot nor charge in the game turn.

3 comments to Small Fleurus – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 1

  • Vincent Tsao

    Making the fighting withdrawal more difficult should be a big change. It is the most difficult thing to do in real battles.

  • James Shevlin

    Excellent report. Are the rules flexible enough to play Ottomans or Easter European Poles and Muscovites?

    • Steven Thomas

      James I think it should work for the eastern armies. Light Horse is included to cater for these nations. I would treat lancers as Horse. Shot. Cannon. A few rabble. Should be fine.

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