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.
I tend to focus on the Thirty Years War in western and central Europe. Tilly’s Very Bad Day is written with this same focus. But there was a lot going on in the East. Russia, Poland and the Ottoman Empire were all big players. Even closer to home there was also the Hungarians and Transylvanians – sandwiched between the Holy Roman Empire and the Ottomans – and they could field large armies in their own right. So how can we / should we represent these armies in Tilly’s Very Bad Day? I don’t know the answer so figured we should do some “spitballing” on the topic.
For Version 2 of Tilly’s Very Bad day I’m thinking of making some changes to the sequence of play. Most of these are to make implicit steps explicit. There is one more radical proposal (changing initiative). But much of the sequence of play remains unchanged, even though some steps have changed names. I thought I’d share a few thoughts on why it is the way it is and why I’m changing some things.
I asked whether I should introduce baggage camps to Tilly’s Very Bad Day. Opinions where mixed, of course, but for me the big take away was baggage camps were a red herring. The thing to simulate is cavalry pursuit. The questions is how? I’ve been mulling over pursuit in a couple of contexts. I thought I’d share and see what you think. These are not well formed thoughts. Just a bit a jumble to reflect the various considerations and possibilities.
Richard (doctorphalanx) has been encouraging me to introduce baggage camps into Tilly’s Very Bad Day. I like painting up camps for DBA and I already have a camp for my Dutch army of the Thirty years War. My question is, was looting the baggage train/camp a significant event in any battles of the Thirty years War or English Civil War?
I’ve been playing DBA for years, and all measurement is in multiples of 1 inch. However, many games are moving to base width as a measurement, which for most people are the 40mm wide DBx bases. But I’ve moved to Big Bases including for Big Base DBA. That means I need 2 inch measurements and 80mm measurements. Here is how I solved this problem.
In my lost post on making under represented unit types more effective in Tilly’s Very Bad Day, I have a look at dragoons in the Thirty Years War. Under the rules their main competition is shot and light horse, both under represented troop types. Based on my previous thinking on those troop types I propose some ways to modify the rules to make dragoons more valuable/useful/effective.
We’ve been playing Tilly’s Very Bad Day for a while and it clear some unit types don’t make the grade compared to Pike+Shot and horse. Shot, dragoons, light horse and even cannons are all unpopular. So I’m going to run a short series of posts this week with the theme of making these unit types more effective. Not surprisingly I’m starting to form ideas for a major new version of the rules.
I start with Shot because I was just musing on types of (commanded) shot in Tilly’s Very Bad Day.
In Tilly’s Very Bad Day all pike+shot are the same. But Tilly, after whom the rules are name, was fond of the older style big tercios and Richard (doctorphalanx) has been encouraging me to do something about this.
And Tilly wasn’t alone in the appreciation of big brigades. Gustavus Adophus invented the Swedish Brigade of the Thirty Years War and this was as big as Tilly’s tercios although the interior configuration differed.
What to do with the large pike+shot units in Tilly’s Very Bad Day?
In our recent game of Tilly’s Very Bad Day Chris observed that, as the defender, he could exploit the terrain placement rules to his advantage. This is my proposal to address Chris’s concern. These rules allow randomised terrain for pick up battles in any period.
The terrain placement rules described here borrow heavily from Terrain Cards for a ECW Campaign.
I quite like Brzezinski’s (1993) analysis of cavalry in the Thirty Years War. He believes there were three types of horse (Arquebusier, Horsemen, Cuirassier) and I think unit quality can simulate these types in Tilly’s Very Bad Day. All three types could shoot or charge but typically a unit did one or the other; I leave this choice to the player.
Roland Davis has been painting for me again – some Swedes for the Thirty Years War. So I’ve been mulling over how to base them. Part of the answer is obvious – on big bases. The potential dilemma is what figures to put on each base given these are mixed pike and shot units. Here’s a few options I considered and a bit of a journey to get there.