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In June of 1967 in the first issue of "Miniature Parade" I advertised One-Inch scale Scruby Miniatures of the THIRTY YEARS WAR. I included with this listing a couple of stories with ideas for rules for this type of war game.
Since then, as readers of later Scruby Publications will know, I have reported some of the interesting battles we have had using these soldiers. These games proved to be some of the best small scale actions David Rusk and I have ever had, and as a change of pace war game from the standard large-scale (in numbers anyway) Napoleonic battles, it is at the top of our estimation.
As one might suspect, sales of these 30 Year War models did not set the world on fire although those people whom I have met who use my soldiers for war games of this period are wild about their game!
As a result of lack of sales, however, I dropped this line from my 1971 catalogue. This war is unique however, and rather than designing a whole new series in a smaller scale, I decided to "revive" these particular one-inch scale models.
One reason for keeping to the one-inch scale for the 30 Year War miniatures is that this is not a "large-scale" war game, and one does not need to have thousands of models to make the game right. Historically the armies of the times were small, so that a "scale" representation historically will not fill the average war game table up completely with model soldiers!
Secondly, the uniforms are much fun paint, and in one-inch scale models, the player can go all out with color to brighten his armies.
To paint these troops, the best source is Volume I of the Funcken book "Le Costume et Les Armes des Soldats de Tous Ie Temps", available through any book shop these days. In full color the Funckens have several pages of soldiers of this war, and we suggest you purchase this book right off if you plan to go into wargaming in this period. It is available at most book shops, or through book dealers.
While on the subject of uniforms, there seems to have been no standard "uniform" as such for any soldiers during the 30 Years War though some sources believe the Swedish soldiers may have been uniformed - at least by regiment. Thus, you can paint your "brigades" as you see fit. I might add that I have found Shining Armor Household Enamel silver, gold and bronze to be the best paints for armor I have yet run across. This brand seems to be available at most hardware or paint stores.
Several months ago, after all these thoughts had traveled through my .mind, I began to re-design the One-Inch scale Scruby 30 Year War models. I planned that these figures would be sold through Ambrite Industries as "Ready-Cast" models, which meant they would be stocked ahead for quick delivery, and that prices would be cheaper than the original castings had been. I felt that making these particular figures into our "Ready-Cast" process, would give them a better chance on the market.
In order to prepare models for our ReadyCast process, much work is involved and each figure must be specially prepared. Despite the work involved, the results are most gratifying, and I believe our buyers will find the new models are much better than the old ones. Being ready-cast, they also are cheaper than the original ones were in 1967!
And one major change is the fact that we now cast the pikes in the hands of the pike men, where before, the buyer had to solder or glue piano wire pikes into their hands. This can be a hassle if you don't know what you're doing. Of course, tin alloy pikes may bend or corkscrew from handling, but they can be bent back into shape. If they break off eventually, you can solder or epoxy steel pikes on.
Thus our new models of the 30 Years War
are cheaper than before; are stocked for quick delivery; are better models
physically than the old ones; have little or no flash on them to clean. With all
these advantages to start with, let’s get you started in war gaming with them by
de living deeper into the subject:
The 30 Years War began in 1618, and during its long course, the transition in warfare and weapons was remarkable. Wargamers tend to ignore the horrible facts of wars and look only at the interesting side, and it is as well for this particular war was probably one of the worst of world history!
Technically, the war began as an "armored" war, fought in much the manner of medieval warfare with heavily armored cavalry, massed pikemen, and with most missile fire being the cross bow, plus a few muskets of horrible design.
Gradually, musket fire power increased, and tactics began to change. Armored knights on horseback dropped some of their armor to get more mobility, grabbed hand pistols instead of lances, and now used the "caracole" fire pattern to sweep ranks of immobile pikemen with pistol fire.
To compensate for this, the ratio of musketeers to pikemen grew more equal, and the addition of this firepower to a pike square could hold off cavalry with long range fire, thus protecting the pikes from the deadly pistol fire. If the going got too tough the Musketeers were trained to dash inside the pike square for safety.
The Sword and Buckler man had been very strong in the early days of the war, but the musket soon proved the equalizer, and these men became the skirmishers, since they could move easier without the cumbersome pike to contend with. They were known as the "lost children" because of the suicide-type work they did on the battle ground.
Under Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, Artillery came into its own during this war. For the first time mobile artillery was used, and great havoc was wrought on the massed humanity within pike squares by these guns. As a consequence, new tactical formations were used that bunched men up in smaller units so that losses might be held down.
In working up a set of rules for the 30 Years War, it is best not to get too bogged down with all these great changes in weapons and tactics. If you do, you may ruin a good war game. In my own rules, I took the most obvious points of combat during the 30 years period, and incorporated them into my game with happy results. I suspect the purist may protest the fact that my cavalry use caracole fire, whether my battle happens to be fought in 1618 or 1648, when it took quite a few years of action before this type of fire was actually developed.
But, to each his own, and I suggest that those interested in this war get hold of all the excellent books on the subject and study it. I'm certain you'll find it a fascinating subject.
In Visalia we use the Roster System and the Unit Efficiency value, and as a result all the model soldiers are mounted (glued) on balsa wood moving stands. Our armies are modeled along the lines of organization one would find in the middle years of the war, when Musketeers equaled Pikemen in numbers.
Our "brigade" of infantry is standardized at 20 Pikemen, 20 Musketeers and 10 Swordsmen. Moving stands of balsa wood are 4 inches long and one inch wide. Five model soldiers are mounted on each stand, representing a "company" or "band" of infantry.
This type of moving stand makes it
possible to maneuver your brigade into squares, column or line with ease. And
the T/O makes it easy to form up new "brigades" based on the same standard as
time and money will allow. It also is easy to beef up a brigade by adding
specialized troops to it, as we shall see.
Light Infantry brigades can be formed using the Halbardier casting (N-108) or the Landsknecht Pikeman (N-110), and since these men are lightly armored, or unarmored, they can maneuver more easily. Swordsmen and Musketeers in the brigade are more agile than pikemen so the term "heavy" or "light" applies to the pikemen within the unit.
We have two types of Artillery; Brigade artillery and Reserve Artillery. Brigade artillery is the Small Cannon and there is one attached to each infantry brigade in our organization.
This small gun can be moved, but it takes one game move to load it, and if it is being moved it cannot be loaded. As a consequence the smart general often saves this firepower for emergency action. Never-the-less it is a fairly powerful weapon on the field.
The Reserve Gun is the Large Cannon casting we advertise, and we generally limit these to two or three per army, depending on the size of your army. These guns have a long range, but must take two game moves to reload, and once set up in position prior to the battle, they can not be moved!
The guns are mounted on a square piece of balsa, but the Gunners (N-10l) are not glued to this stand. This is because our rules allow the gunners to fire off a shot, then dash to safety behind a wall of pikemen if the gun is attacked.
Cavalry are mounted on a 4 inch by 2 inch stand of balsa wood. Heavy cavalry have 4 models per stand, Light cavalry 3 per stand. This is done for identification purposes, not for an combat purposes. We find it easier to identify cavalry in this manner, and the numbers of the model does not cut down, or enlarge the combat values of the cavalry.
In my organization, two such stands make a "troop" of cavalry. I did this so that I could enjoy a variety of cavalry uniforms, rather than because of any historic reason. Light and Heavy cavalry should be about equal in your army, and since there were lots of cavalry in this war, we generally have 4 stands of cavalry for each full brigade of infantry.
Thus, with these "standard" troops composing a 3 Infantry brigade army, you'd wind up with 12 stands of pikemen, 12 stands of musketeers, 6 stands of swordsmen, 6 stands of heavy cavalry, 6 stands of light cavalry, 3 small cannons and 2 large cannons. This makes a good, balanced war game army to fight with.
Of course, we have some specialized men, and of these the DRAGOONS are the most interesting according to our rules.
Dragoons were Mounted Infantry at this period, NOT cavalry. They contained both Musketeers and Pikemen, rode to battle, and then fought on foot. In our armies we have 4 stands of these highly mobile troops; 2 Musketeer units and 2 Pike units. This forms up into a very effective small infantry unit that can do glorious work for your army:
Our Dragoons are mounted on a 4 inch by 2 inch balsa stand, which is split in two, and which is attached to a cardboard stand. One part of the stand contains one Mounted Dragoon casting (NC105) which acts as the "horse holder". The other half contains 4 Pikemen or Musketeer models. This half of the stand can be moved off the "mother" stand to "fight on foot" when required.
When the two stands are together on the "mother" stand, we consider the men are mounted and they move at cavalry movement. When they fight on foot, the infantry section is moved 'off the "mother" stand, the horse holder goes to the rear, while the dismounted Dragoons fight onward.
Dragoons on foot have all the prerogatives of "light" troops, but can be totally annihilate if attacked by cavalry when they are mounted!
Special cavalry, firing muskets can be organized (Casting NC-103 and NC-105) as cavalry musketeers, firing at longer ranges than the pistol-packing regular cavalry.
Another special unit is the Landsknecht long swordsmen (Casting N-109). These men, with their 7 foot long swords, were not used much during the 30 Years War, but it is fun to have a small unit of them to counter the ever persistent Sword and Buckler men. One swipe of this huge sword could cut a Cuirassier in half: So we assume the men who swung these weapons must have been brawny, so we use them as a kind of super-elite close-in fighting unit. And, with these swords they could effectively defend themselves against cavalry. Normally we have 4 stands of these men, and they are brigaded with our attack brigades, or are used in independent actions, such as taking and holding farm houses, etc.
The German "Rieter" (NC-107) is a sort of super-pistol man, getting superior firepower over standard cavalry. They are not good at melee, being trained only for "caracole" pistol fire. Generally, 2 stands per army are enough.
The Turkish troops are generally organized in our army in the same manner as the European troops, and we use them as "mercenary", rather than "national" soldiers. History shows that at this time the Turks were not great fighters, being better at missile work than melee. So we class them as Musketeers, giving them good firepower, movement, but little ability with the sword. The Mounted archer (NC-118) is considered a "Light" cavalry man, and his arrows are as deadly as a pistol. The Spahi (NC-119) is another heavy cavalryman, but we give all Turks (as mercenaries) a much lower Unit Efficiency rating than our other soldiers.
The following set of rules does not take into consideration the "basic" rules most people use, as we assume these are fairly standard throughout the hobby, and there is no reason to bog down specialized rules for this period with them.
In italics we explain the reasons for the special rules for this game which are based on historic fact.
And of course, these rules are based on the organization of the soldiers as noted above, and use the Unit Efficiency and Roster System as a base.
Closed Order - when moving stands are touching each other
Open Order - when moving stands are a minimum of one inch apart
(A study of these rules later will reveal "closed order" fighting is very important to Pikemen, and is the standard position they should be in for everything but movement)
LIGHT PIKEMEN (or unarmored
Pikemen, Halbardiers, etc.)
HEAVY CAVALRY (Includes Dragoons)
LIGHT CAVALRY (includes German Rieters)
Movement in the 30 Years War wargame is very important, and it cannot be emphasized too much the restrictions on Pikemen in their movement in closed order. Pikemen may not “wheel" around freely, since in closed order they are thigh to thigh and pike to pike; Thus the reasoning in allowing them only a 45 degree "face" when attempting to change front.
The straight ahead movements of a column are fast, BUT, watch out for those flanks! Or the rear! Better keep some Swordsmen handy to guard these vulnerable positions.
And, since Pikemen cannot face around to the rear under any circumstances, it has often happened that cavalry are suddenly upon this rear line, with woeful results. You'll find these restricted movement rules will suddenly change your tactics in short order, and that the vulnerable flanks and rear of any Pike formation must be protected with something!
As you will see later in these rules, you MUST put your pike men in closed order when under attack, for in Open order, they will be slaughtered. But, a penalty is paid for the protection offered by closed order formations!
“Caracole” fire was one of the big tactics of the period, developing into a kind of “rolling” fire of lines of cavalrymen or musketeers. The front line of such a formation would blast away, and then peel off to the sides, running to the rear rank, where they commenced the complicated task of loading again. By the time this was accomplished they were back at the front rank once again ready to shoot the enemy.
Thus, to use “caracole” fire in our war game it is best to line up your cavalry or musketeers in Column, which will allow you to use every stand in the ensuing firefight.
But, remember it takes musketeers one full game move to reload their muskets. So if you let them empty their muskets completely on one move you'll be helpless on the next! Experience has taught us to hold at least half the musketeers fire for the next move!
Thus, one finds the fire rules for a 30 Year War Game quite different from any other. For one must use fire and movement in this game, and a careful study of the fire rules below should explain the basic ways you can use cavalry and musketeers in fire fights.
This may sound complicated, so lets set up an example. Four stands of pistol-packing cavalry are firing at a square of Pikemen, with Musketeers inside. Basically, the first two ranks of cavalry fire into the pikes; the Musketeers jump out pumping their shots into the last two cavalry ranks moving up to fire, who in turn pump their shots into the musketeers, who in turn retire behind the pike line once again. Simple!
You can use your own morale rules for results after fire fights. Normally the loser of morale retires his soldiers behind a supporting line of Pikemen, or into a pike square. These troops, under our rules, cannot take offensive action again until they have been rallied, and must continue retiring until rallied. Normally it costs you Unit Efficiency points also when you lose post-volley morale. In our game, post-volley morale is not nearly as wicked as losing morale after loss of a melee.
Every War gamer has his own rules for Melee, so we do not attempt here to tell you how to fight a melee. Rather, these rules outline various aspects pertaining to melees which portray tactical fighting of the period. Once again, we call your attention to the Combat Table at the end of these rules for "kill" factors and casualties as we use them.
Dragoons are Mounted Infantry, not
cavalry. When mounted, move at Cavalry speed. And when dismounted as infantry,
follow all Infantry moves as for Pikemen or Musketeers. Horse holding stand
("mother" stand) has no combat value.
THIS RULE forms a most important function in our 30 Years War wargame, and is used only after a melee, not musket fire.
Dice a 1 or 2; the unit retires to the left
Dice a 3 or 4; the unit retires straight back
Dice a 5 or 6; the unit retires to the right.
As a result of the Scatter Rule, no "brigade" or cavalry formation will ever retire in one mass, but will be scattered allover the table top.
In our War games, we generally fight this second melee out, allow the victor another bonus move, and then get on with the next game move. Thus, one victorious melee may lead to two bonus moves and one extra melee.
Thus, when you lose a melee, you may be in for deep troubles. The Winner has two beautiful choices open to him for Bonus Moves - the regular winners move, or the Pursuit by Cavalry move. Either of these can be disastrous, so it behooves one to never let his opponent outnumber him too much in melee, or a whole army can be destroyed on Bonus Moves alone! I have had this happen to me more than once!
This is an extremely important formation
for all infantry, and it takes a minimum of two stands to form a square.
Normally it is best to form a 4-stand square and any men who can fit inside this
square are protected by it.
COUNTER BATTERY FIRE
CAPTURING A GUN
The Combat Table below shows you our rate of kills for guns, but of course you
can set your own as you wish. As for numbers of gunners, we generally use 4
gunners for a large gun and 3 for a small gun. As long as one gunner
remains at a gun, it operates at full capacity. If one wants larger
crews, he of course can set up fire rules depending on the number of men in the
Throw one die per
gun. On a “2” miss, all others are hits.
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