Saturday, 28 September 2019

Thirty Years War: Updated unit plans for Tilly's Very Bad Day

In order to help develop some scenarios for Tilly's Very Bad Day and to better identity the units I need to model, I've been spending a lot of time analysing the Orders of Battle given in William P Guthrie's Battles of the Thirty Years War: From White Mountain to Nordlingen, 1618-1635. This turned out to be very time-consuming but somebody had to do it, and I had a pressing interest in narrowing down what additional figures I needed to get.
I picked three battles from the Swedish period for which details are quite complete and readily available:

Breitenfeldt 1631
Lützen 1632
Nördlingen 1634

I've forwarded the results of this research to TVBD author Steven Thomas, and am looking forward to seeing scenarios produced in due course.

For the Catholic-Imperialists, Guthrie sometimes lists units as Cuirassiers or Arquebusiers but often just describes them as "CR" (Cavaly Regiments). For these, it was necessary to make an estimate so we took the numbers and apportioned them to Cuirassiers and Arquebusiers in a 2:1 ratio.

The other big surprise of this exercise was the discovery that most of the 'Swedish' Horse were not Swedish Horsemen, but German Cuirassiers and Arquebusiers - the same sort of cavalry to be found in the opposing armies.

The revised requirements now look like this.

Commanders    11
German Cuirassiers    14
Swedish Horsemen    3
German Arquebusiers     7
Croats    2
German Dragoons    2
German Pike-and-Shot    17
Swedish Pike-and-Shot    9
German Commanded Shot    1
Swedish Commanded Shot    2
Cannon    8
Spanish Cuirassiers    2
Spanish Arquebusiers    1
Spanish Dragoons    1
Spanish Pike-and-Shot    6

My two initial Baccus orders are now on the way so I should soon be able to make a decision about how many figures per base.

New Version

Tilly's Very Bad Day is being continually updated and has now reached version 1.3. It remains downloadable from the same page .


  1. This is 'almost' the best part of wargaming :-)

    1. I find that sorting figures into units is possibly the most satisfying aspect of the whole process. Unfortunately some of my projects never get any further!

  2. Thanks for your hard work on the orbats for these battles. I hope the resulting scenarios live up to your high standards.