Swedish versus Polish – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report

Swedish-Polish Banner

The easing of Covid-19 restrictions allowed me to get my brand new Polish-Lithuanian Army on table. Chris, Jamie, and Adam came over and we played Swedish versus Polish using Tilly’s Very Bad Day. This was a pick up game with pre-generated army lists and terrain chosen via Terrain Cards. It was also the first time we played an Eastern Army.

Summary: A really enjoyable game. It see sawed but eventually the Swedes won the infantry battle and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth won the cavalry battle. Pretty standard outcome for these historical opponents. In this case the Swedes caused enough damage to take the overall victory. But it was a very near run thing.

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Snakes and Ladders Campaign for Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tilly's Very Bad Day - 30 Years War - Snakes And Ladders Campaign

Peter of Grid based wargaming has sparked some interest in using the children’s board game Snakes and Ladders as the basis for a wargaming Campaign. The snakes become tribulations and the ladders are campaign successes. So I have made up a board for a Tilly’s Very Bad Day Snakes and Ladders campaign based on Peter’s board for the 18th Century.

There is no skill in playing this campaign system as, like the children’s board game, random dice rolls lead to success. If you are lucky, you will win. For me this makes a Snakes and Ladders Campaign most suited to solo play where the goal is to provide narrative for the game. I’m not really a solo player myself, but I know some Tilly’s Very Bad Day players do play solo and I hope this will appeal to them.

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S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 2

Tilly-54a Table

Jamie and I thought we’d have another go at S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario. Our first play test was a blast and we both had ideas for how to play it differently. Once again Jamie was Saxons as the Red Army and I was Imperialists as the Blue Army. Tilly’s Very Bad Day of course.

Summary: Another great game. Five game turns. 1.5 hours game time. Tense and gritty, with a decisive result. We will play it again.

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S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 1

Tilly-35 The battlefield

Roger Calderbank play tested my S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario and gave it a thumbs up, so I thought I’d have a go. Jamie came over and took Saxons as the Red Army and I took Imperialists as the Blue Army. Tilly’s Very Bad Day of course.

Summary: A great game. Six game turns. 1.5 hours game time. Seemed balanced but ended in a decisive result. We will play it again.

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Musing on Unmounted Cavalrymen in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

von Essen 2000 Lion from the North - Vol 2

I was just reading Michael Fredholm von Essen’s latest book on the Swedish army of the Thirty Years War (Von Essen, 2000), and it seems the Swedes sometimes had unmounted cavalrymen. Not dismounted, unmounted, i.e. they were horsemen without horses. Naturally I started pondering how to simulate these men in Tilly’s Very Bad Day.

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

S01 Attack on a Prepared Position - Tillys Very Bad Day - Banner

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.

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Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenarios for All Ages

I’m looking for more small scenarios for Tilly’s Very Bad Day so I wondered how the “Scenarios for all Ages” of Charles Grant and Stuart Asquith would transfer. Although “for all Ages” the design of the scenarios is obviously for Horse and Musket so I think that transferring to Pike & Shot should be easy. To test this theory out I look at one scenario: Scenario 1: Attack on a Prepared Position. As it happens the scenario only needs very small levels of tweaking to get it to work for Tilly’s Very Bad Day. What follows is a bit of a blow by blow account of how I converted the scenario.

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Small Kircholm – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario

Kircholm - Tillys Very Bad Day - Banner

I have been Musing on Polish Winged Hussars in Tilly’s Very Bad Day and I needed a scenario to play test on. So here is the Battle of Kircholm (27 Sep 1605), in the Polish–Swedish War (1600–1611), using Tilly’s Very Bad Day. The Swedes had over 10,000 men and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth about 4,000, but it was a massive Polish-Lithuanian victory with the Swedes losing up to 9,000 killed to only 100 Polish-Lithuanians. This is one of many victories by the Polish Winged Hussars – and I introduce terribly draft rules to cover them. These defeats were pivotal in persuading Gustavus Adolphus that he had to reform the Swedish army. Given the number of troops involved in the real battle, this is a small game on a small table with small armies (in numbers of units).

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Small Boldon Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario

Table - Boldon Hill - Tillys Very Bad Day

This scenario represents the Battle of Boldon Hill (24 Mar 1644) in the English Civil War. Historically Boldon Hill was a rather inclusive skirmish, fought in the enclosed fields between the Royalists and Scots Covenanter Armies. It was such a minor affair that some accounts of the Scottish campaign in northern England don’t even mention the battle. However, Vincent Tsao recently played a game of TVBD using the In Deo Veritas scenario for the battle, so I thought I’d see what a scenario specifically designed for Tilly’s Very Bad Day would look like. Given the number of troops involved in the real battle, this is a small game on a small table with small armies (in numbers of units).

I have to say the skirmish nature of the historical battle means it is not really a good fit for Tilly’s Very Bad Day, which is designed for full field battles, but the scenario is small and that might appeal to some players. For it to work, as a scenario, one of the players has to go for it, and risk destruction in the enclosed fields. I have included an option, in the notes, for a scenario that is less historic but probably provides a better game.

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