Sunday, 26 July 2015

A Report On Our Play Test Of "To The Strongest" For The Thirty Years War

The Imperialist and Swedish armies faced off over terrain that was constrained on the Imperialist left by a river and on the right by a town. The  river was there for no other reason than to see how bridges work as we hadn't used one in TTS to this point - but no units managed to cross it!. The Imperialist battery in the centre was covered by earthworks. Unlike at Lutzen, there were no ditches lining the road which could be used to hamper the Swedes approach and this would prove costly to the Imperialist defenders.
To roughly reflect a Lutzen type scenario, All Imperialist Cuirassiers were veteran, Arquebusiers were raw, and there was one unit of veteran infantry.
For the Swedes the Blue and Yellow brigades were classed as veteran.
I took the forces of evil for once and Dave took the Swedes.

Imperialist Deployment
Screening the cuirassiers with the arquebusiers was a mistake. Their shooting did cause some casualties but it made it difficult for the cuirassiers to get through and take advantage of disorder. It would have been better to interleave them.
Swedish Deployment
The infantry centre is lead by the Yellow and Blue brigades and the front line of each cavalry wing has interleaved commanded shot. The veteran infantry leading the attack were tough opposition for the Imperialist defenders.

Imperialist Left
On the wrong side of the river were Cossack light cavalry and some arquebusiers facing off against two squadrons of Swedish reiters.

The Swedish left flank advanced

The Yellow brigade was a tad reluctant at first.

Playing in the inside right position, the Blue brigade was a bit happier to try to dominate the midfield.

The Swedish right wing wasn't at all interested, probably pondering a lucrative transfer to a club fighting in the English Civil War league.

The Imperialist left wing moved forward.

The Imperialist centre left arquebusiers went on ahead of the cuirassiers in an attempt to take some pot shots at the advancing Swedes.

The Imperialist battery was reluctant to open fire until Wallenstein threatened them with something unpleasant.

And on the Imperialist right Croats and arquebusiers moved forward to engage the Swedes in the gap between the town and the edge of the world. The elite of the Imperialist army were of the opinion that this task was beneath them and failed to support.

Swedish artillery silenced the Imperial battery. The fervent prayers of the Bishop of Mainz were insufficient to save the guns (or himself when the next card was turned!)

The leading squadron of the Blue brigade succumbs to Imperialist fire.

Bur the Swedish Yellow brigade is beginning to take a toll on the Imperialist infantry.

Swedish commanded shot occupy the town, they would take some fire from the arquebusiers

On the Imperialist right the cuirassiers finally decide to support the arquebusiers after the Croats had done a runner. The better quality of the Swedish cavalry was causing problems for the recently recruited arquebusiers all along the line.

The Imperialist left wing commander is wounded. Wallenstein's general staff got off relatively unscathed, but the Swedish high command was decimated by the end of the battle.

The arquebusiers were managing to cause some casualties which were being rallied as long as the Swedish Generals survived. The Cuirassiers couldn't get into the melee though.

Meanwhile, in a world of their own on the other side of the river..........

The destruction of the left flank arquebusiers was one way to get the cuirassiers into the fighting line. The Blue brigade is mixing it with the Imperial infantry, but note the lack of Swedish generals.

The Blue brigade takes some punishment and their commanding general is wounded, but their veteran status is showing and that right hand Imperial unit is only one hit away from routing.

After several attempts a unit of Imperial commanded shot moves up to occupy the earthworks, while the Yellow brigade piles the pressure on.

An Imperial battalion cracks. leaving a gap in the line.

General mucking about in the town leads the loss of some Swedish commanded shot, but it's all a bit of a side show really.

"Weren't we supporting some arquebusiers?"

At the end of the game there was a large disparity in victory tokens lost - the Imperialists were hammered in a frontal assault by the Swedish brigades, but at the cost of nearly all the general staff - quite a Lutzen-esque result.
We concluded that the  wide margin of Swedish loss was not due to the rule amendments but to:
  • The relative quality of the troops - which was the idea.
  • The lack of any real measure of Wallensteinesque fortification along the entire length of the Imperial front.
It was a really good game and the only change we've made since is to reduce the cavalry ammunition.
The Swedes were in charge of the field, but there was no one left to tell them what to do next.
Apologies for switching between present and past tenses in the narrative.


  1. It was a good game, the rule adaptions to this period worked very well, so well that I think they would go through to the WSS so a try out there is on the cards.
    Cracking write up mate, well worth the effort.

    1. Give me a shout when you want to try it.

  2. I should also apologise for the split infinitive in the second paragraph!

  3. It looks great! Are you trying one of the variants that are circulating, or your own? If so I'd love to see it.

    I'm on my hols but am working on a horse and musket variant.

    Best, Simon

    1. It's the one I sent you a few weeks ago Simon, but with your suggested ammo mods. I'll send you my "final" revision this week.