17th Century Games

And finally came the 30 Years war ...

After getting the frederician version, now the "Twilight of the divine right" rule set. And it fits ! 

One unit is a a Swedish brigade, or a (late-why would they never be on time?) tercio (1500 men) or a "regiment" of 1000 foot or 500 to 800 horse. A lot of work started to have my  By Fire and Sword "Swedes" convertible and heavily augmented to provide two armies and allow me to cover most of the the first half of the 30yw.


Harquebusiers in the rules are  800 a unit vs 5-600 for the others; suposed to do a bit of caracole or the like. So 12 vs 9 and deeper. To make it clear I made sub bases to have a 12cm front. Additional command stands will give the reuse of them as later sub Kuirassiers, 3 stands, one command to resuse two stands from two ex deep ones.


I wanted to minimize counters and looking at papers, and of course avoid numbering units/Id...
Swedish brigade stands position for the rules to show Pike heavy or musket heavy or mixed modes.
It sorts of gives them this shallow cross formation.


 Pikes front PH, musket center front Musket heavy; command left MX.... tercios have one more stand, regiment only a command stand at the rear. Needs more commands/ flags and front pikes to use in later period with only regiments (freeing part of the brigades and tercios stands).
Chosing +painting....


18+TURNS! Not to complicate the life, all imperial infantries were early tercios, all normal size, all  balanced mix of pikes and shots. One was a dismounted dragons who did nothing but collecting  wild nuts in a wood on the flank. All protestant infantries were on the Swedish brigade models, one deemed Elite, one big. I used the random true value when first needing to know it; added much uncertainty. Some were B most were C. All protestant cavalries were Swedish types, with 2 elites, one trained big. The imperials also had my two Croats light horses. Blue dice and green dice were near the units to show sides and "moral fails allowance",(size). 4 guns each side. Overall the Imperials were slightly more numerous, the "Swedes" had one cavalry general  rated 2, as both army commanders also 2, all others were 1. More than 20000 troops on each side!

As the rules do not give anything but to have some units within extreme artillery range at the beginning, I used a modified version of the pregame system from the defunct versions of Father Tilly rules. 


The imperial guns did damage. Their target listed as C quality revealed itself as Raw when shot at. The swedes approach was very slow as they did not want to leave behind their batailon guns.


The swedes infantry center finally went close to shoot, staying in mixed pikes order to be equal to the imperials if they wanted to come to close contact, but still shoot better thanks to their battalion guns. 


The test system can bring strong results, but with little chances; you hardly can ever be sure of anything. Here an average swede vanished at first fire, with a lowly 3 to 2D6. The harquebusiers close by unsetlled them, and the general was too far away to help.


The swedes left flank cavalry stayed put all game long because of a stream between them and the enemy with near equality in prospects. When wearing my fur hat I (rightly) counted on the flexibility of the Swedish brigades to carry the day.


The imperial left center falling appart. I still have forgotten the supporting protestant cavalry to come and engage these harquebusiers.  I refrained from commiting the army general tio try saving this unit as his loss would be more damaging.


The first 5 turns were a bit of redeploy and bombarding. The Swedes 4 guns in 2 batteries able to kill, the imperials one alike and two smaller just to annoy manoeuvre from a distance then support. Another protestant unexpectedly vanished, here something like turn 10. Imperials bring in their cavalry reserve for the ever important rear support.


There was quite a long series of turns with hits and no results, attritional fighting in the center. With no big modifiers and good troops plus rear support, it could last quite long indeed.


Left flank cavalry viewed from the imperial side.  Not feeling much supperior to the other side, they waited a long time, but were under fire from 2 guns which inflicted damage on the extreme left arquebusier. The imperials having only a 1 general, failed twice the action test to put the fellow in second line. Waiting for this to go in and do something significant. 


The imperials finally moved in close. The harquebusiers starting their shooting, largely offset by the musketeers detachments with the protestant first line; here represented by one solo foot figure close to the unit. At the same time, in two turns they lost their left flank Kuirassier from artillery fire and combat. Doomed. The hard action test for them to manouever allowed the Swedes to extend.    
I used one turn the two guns to force them to even one more test to move on two units.


The center fight raging on. I use brown and black small smoke puffs to mark the units who need action tests from gun fire or -1 for ennemy supporting fire in combat. Those black smokes from WW2/3 games  found another use...besides villages aflame. If I have a game with numerous differences in pike to muskets ratios, and troop qualities, I will have to put the little iD numbers with units, another thing to move ;)


Imperial center giving up. the left flank cavalry was broken but succeeded staying on with a good die roll of the leader and then miraculously good combat dice, 2 turns.
All in all something like 18+ turns were done.


Here the final turns. I just rolled the dice, not much moving the troops to speed up things. Flanking is a death sentence. It would be very interesting to play vs someone, with part secret unit characteristics and enhanced deployment system. need a system to sort out pursuit aftyer battle or not, trus casualties etc. integrated with GMT excellent boardgame
"Won by the sword".                              Page up

                    FORLORN HOPEs

Generating musketeers detachments for Commanded shot cavalry support, musket detachment to occupy villages, fortifications etc. as it was done. For example, the advanced redoubts at Nördlingen manned by commanded shot from the tercios, reinforced during the fight.

Each formation can generate a number of these (posed as 100 men average “construction block”). One of these is enough to put a CS modifier as in the rules to a cavalry unit. 

Forlorn hopes/ commanded shot units, to fit the rules function as dragoons but without the mounted ability, M units. So 4 blocks makes a small one, 5 an average sized, 6 a big one.

These must be created before the game or at start, before moving. Unless stated in a scenario or provided for a campaign, taking these musketeers from their parent units will, up to a point, lower their musketry ability. Already pure M units can be broken down though. A difficult action can send reinforcement to a village or fortification from a unit within 2BW, or use a marker 2Bw moves per turn (to be able to emulate Nördlingen) to join the intended place. 

MH/MX/PH blocks without change to shooting ability, with one musketry efficiency loss. 

Number of commanded musketeers blocks generated:

Unit size                     Small     Average     Big           Down one level shooting and one size

Early tercio                 1/0/0     2/1/0        2/2/1         +2/1 /0

Tercio                          1/0/0      1/0/0         2/1/0        +2/1/0

Swedish brigade      1/0/0      1/1/0          2/1/0        +2/1/0

Regiment                   1/0/0       1/0/0        1/1/0         +1/+1/0

So for example a basically (it can use the special rule) average MX Swedish brigade (their normal way) can generate 1 block and stay the same, 3 blocks and lose one shooting level (in using the sw brigade tricks too so only MX or PH) and one size. Usually PH units cannot unless really big, but maybe you can allow a bit, say one in two.


You can download them in mp3 using one of the converters on line, jusk ask mr Google.

La traduction en français du résumé de la règle. TWDR
Dont les  modifs pour les troupes de l'est+ trucs pratiques de la règle.    up page

                                                                                BATTLE JAN 2020
oobs used nearly Lützen as I did not came to  re doing my table terrain, only modify it, the historical one is complicated and.. I would need windmills?
I used Nic Birt Adjudant Introuvable solo opponent system, you can find links and examples here. I played the protestants, the Imperials were supposed to keep me clear of the road and their camp, supplies and hospital to evacuate. The IA from the solo opponent decided to have an all out advance. each turn or so, the opponent checks the attitude of its 3 wings and if the reserve comes and where. They lost but it was close. I use the random units values, for most of them and for a while mine were all getting "raw"but some behaved in a heroic fashion. Whenever I play a campaign with GMT boardgame, I will follow their history ans get them up or down.

My additional gun and concentration allowed to destroy one of his giving a significant support advantage. But it nearly went to the tubes as many of my units turned to be dissatisfied today despite testing on the B class! The the Birt Ai decided it will bring in its reserves, and engage them in the most unbalanced place.


Maybe the best thing, but a bit long and slow, so be played online with vassal and the battles on table instead of the inbuilt system, unless too lopsided. 

Won by the sword by GMT, (there is a vassal module there) and more presentation here

Analysis and more of this game on boardgamegeek .


TIME SCALE 5 to 7 days per Turn

MAP SCALE Point to Point

UNIT SCALE Infantry Regiments = 800-1000 men   (1-1/2 unit on table)

Cavalry Regiments = 400-500 men (1-2/3 of a unit on table)

Detachments = 200-300 men  

Artillery Units = 8-10 guns (2 guns on table)

Does not that fit nicely with TWILIGHT OF THE DIVINE RIGHT? (or other systems).          I will study more of the terrain making, as having historical battlefields located on some map zones and allowing for a die roll system to chose them or another, plus sort of scenario generator for encounters when  it is not obvious from the boardgame. You can also use the system by the creative thinking Steve Balagan   with his card system for randomized terrain. Never underestimate what has been already done well by another!  


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