Sunday, April 16, 2017


The usual suspects gather early... anticipation of another Game Night!

Last Friday our club had it's monthly game night.  As usual, we had three games. This time, I was among the game masters.  As usual, you may clix pix for BIX PIX in this report.

My offering was a preview of the Thirty Years War skirmish game that I will be running at the upcoming Huzzah! Wargame Convention on Saturday morning using my home brew rules, Smalle Warre, a system I'll eventually put on this blog to share, but more about my game at the end of this post...
Look for this sign at Huzzah!
This game night was something of a black powder Baedecker, with three 28mm games spanning the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries. Unfortunately, I was heavily involved with my own game, so I only have some splendid eye candy to present on the others.  Pete Sablock ran a War of the Spanish Succession game using his excellent armies and the Blenheim 2004 Anniversary Rules. 
And Mark, of Come on my Brave Fusiliers! Blog fame, ran a War of 1812 game using Fife and Drum rules and his spectacular 28mm Knuckleduster Figures. For a more detailed report, I encourage you to visit his blog (link above).


This brings us to my game. Those with strong constitutions may continue. Others may wish to down their gin rations before continuing...very well, we'll proceed. 

This is a game that I've run before, dusted off, tweaked, and brought forward to inflict on the unsuspecting denizens of the Huzzah! convention. The game description is below:

Croats and Cuirassiers and Reiters--Oh my! 
Smalle Warre / 28mm Thirty Years War Skirmish (home rules) 6 Players 

On 8 November 1632 “an advance party of about 100 men under Oberst Brandenstein found the main bridge over the Saale poorly guarded and captured Naumburg only hours before two Imperial regiments, De Suys’ foot and Bredau’s cuirassiers, arrived on the scene"(Richard Brzezinksi, Osprey Books). This incident of “small warre” would lead to the epic Battle of Lutzen eight days later. This scenario asks, “What if Imperialist elements had arrived sooner?” Up to 6 players get to find out. Convention-tested home brew 17th Century skirmish rules, 28mm figures, and buckets of dice.

I've been running this system at conventions and club games for about ten years.  Most recently, I've revamped the reference sheets, which seemed to work well in the game. But I digress. Back to the game... 

Above: The setup: Imperial start zone to the left and Protestant to the right. There are two opposing hills one on each side, worth 2 points each, and in the middle of the table there are three 1 point objectives, making 3 swing points up for grabs--a formula for a brawl! 
The Imperial Croats start by themselves on the table. 
The scenario can work for up to six players.  On this occasion, four brave souls decided to play in my game...
 ...Left above: Rob and Chris took up the Imperial cause in colorful fashion, while their  protestant adversaries, Charlie and John (above right), maintained an appropriately Lutheran composure.
Above left and right: Early moves. The Croats move to an objective, but then the Protestants bring up some Reiters to contest.  In the foreground the Imperial "Red" Cuirassiers make their appearance. These were part of Rob's command, with whom General Dice was not riding this night. To say that his dice were "cold" would be an understatement, and these cuirassiers, in particular, were nothing short of cursed.

Above: Mid-battle and things are getting interesting as opposing lines come up and cavalry engagements cross back and forth over the center.  A sequence of mirrored events occurred when Protestant Reiters fruitlessly chased the Imperial Croats and the Imperial "Blue" Cuirassiers could not engage some Protestant Reiters who also chose discretion as the better part of valor. 

Above left: The expert German Musketeers come up to shore up the Imperial center. Above right: Protestant dragoons dismount and prepare to support with fire.

Above: Deeper into the game and the back-and forth continues.  Both sides have bounced each other back from the objectives.  Still a dead tie. The kill rings indicate empty muskets (if you're looking closely).

When game night ended, it was a dead tie as far as victory points went. Even my clever tiebreaker mechanic did not produce a decision.  Both sides agreed, however, that the Imperials had taken more lumps and probably would not prevail were the game to go on for a few more turns.  Thus, we called it "advantage" Protestants by mutual consent.  I would like to thank the players and in particular Rob, who wins the good sportsmanship award for  maintaining his good attitude in the face of an awful run of luck. Although I will have six players at the Huzzah! convention, I would say that I'm comfortable with the play balance based on this four-player version.  This game also gave me the chance to exercise the system before the convention to ensure that it will run smoothly there.

If you're in the New England region and going to be at Huzzah! on Saturday morning, drop by the table and say hello.


  1. All handsome looking games, Ed! Your TYW rules must be very well tuned after ten years of trials by fire. Say, what is the story with the die being carted around in a wagon? Was that casualty of war? A fresh supply? Enquiring minds want to know!

    1. Thanks, Jonathan. Yes, I think that at this stage it's safe to say that the rules have been well proofed and are mechanically sound, meaning that there are no holes. Now I need to produce the rules to go with the player references.

      The red dice were used to mark objectives (one pip for one point, two for two). I'm not sure how the one wound up out of the wagon and the other inside--I would call that "casualty of war". One fun thing about this scenario is that the objectives can be dragged about (didn't happen in this game). So once a side gets one, there is the spectacle of it being pulled 6" at a time to put it out of reach of the other side.

  2. STAND and ADMIRE...these splendid games...and additions on the pictures...great!

    1. Thanks, Phil, I very much admire what you do with graphics and pictures on your blog, too!

  3. Loverly stuff, Ed! I am jealous that you have fallen into yet another group of Historically minded individuals with some fabulous collections on the table! Looking forward to your Smalle Warre rules.


    1. Thanks, John, I hope to use the momentum from the Huzzah! convention to get these into shape to share. I agree that it is a happy circumstance that has allowed me to go from one good gaming situation to another.

  4. Lovely looking game Ed. Sorry I wasn't feeling well enough to attend.


    1. Hi AJ, Missed you on game night and heard that you were down. Hope you're up and with us soon!


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