Twilight of Divine Right: Battle Report

Seeing as how it’s been six months since I played some Twilight of Divine Right I invited Cpt.Shandy for a game again.

The Scenario

Instead of using a scenario from the Thirty Years War scenario book (Europe’s Tragedy), I looked through a nice little book I got a few years ago:

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

I wrote a review on this book a while ago, which I’ll probably put up on here as well at some point. For now we’ll have to do with the external link. 😉

For a while I was looking at a few of the scenarios in there to use with Twilight of Divine Right, and finally decided to give scenario #4 (Encirclement or Breakout) a try. Nothing about the scenario was changed, I took it straight from the book.

An Imperial detachment (red) goes after a smaller Swedish force (2) into enemy territory. The commander forgoes proper recon and finds his detachment surrounded by enemy troops (1, 2, 3). Now it’s time to turn tail and get back to friendly lines unscathed!

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

Imperial / Catholic League Detachment (start facing towards 2):

Gen. Graf Felix von Reinach

  • 4 Tercios (Breuner’s, Baden-Baden’s, Colloredo’s & Kehraus’)
  • Piccolomini Harquebusiers
  • Von Götz’ Cuirassiers (Small)
  • 2 Gun batteries

Swedish / Protestant Force:

1:

  • 2 Regiments (Schleinitz’, Von Trott’s)
  • Carberg Reiter

2 (start facing directly away from the Imp. Detachment):

  • Gen. Bernhard von Sachsen-Weimar
  • 2 Swedish Brigades (Yellow Guards & Aus dem Winckel’s Blue)
  • Finnish Cavalry
  • Västgöta Cavalry
  • 2 Gun Batteries

3:

  • 3 Regiments (Goldstein’s, von Uslar’s, Erpach’s)
  • 2 Gun Batteries

The Game

We set up the troops and rolled for who’s to play which side. Cpt.Shandy would take command of the Swedish and Protestant allies, I would take Graf Reinach’s role.

At the centre of the table we got the Imperial forces deployed in Column, hunting down the Swedish regiments.

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

Bernhard decides it’s time to order the Swedish force to halt and turn to counter-attack.

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right
Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

During the early phases of the game all the Protestant horse storm towards my troops to pin them down while the enemy infantry to my left move to my force’s rear to lock down the most obvious route of retreat off the table.

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right
In the back you can see Saxon cavalry approach my flank as my formations struggle to comprehend the new situation.

My unwieldy Tercio formations and massed cavalry have serious trouble getting into gear and after moments Swedish cavalry are all over them.

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

Then finally Kehraus’ and Colloredo’s regiments manage to march off to the rear. Unfortunately the rest of my frontline (hastily forming line) is caught up in skirmishes with the Swedish cavalry. This is where I make a decisive mistake by opening up a huge gap in my force.

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right
Two of my Tercios move back, resulting in a big old hole, which immediately is exploited by Saxon cavalry.
Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right
Here they come…
Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

Maybe they see an opportunity, maybe they would have just galloped head on into my tercio anyway – the Finnish horsemen, howling heathen curses, smash into Baden-Baden’s regiment. With the Saxon Reiters in their back, the formation crumbles instantly. Uh oh…

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

After having ridden down Baden-Baden’s men, the Finnish horsemen storm into von Götz’ cuirassiers. They too are thrown into disarray and retreat.

The hardy, odd-looking men drive their hardy, odd-looking horses on even further to pursue the fleeing cuirassiers, but smash into Kehraus’ Tercio.

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

The infantry finally manages to stop the onslaught of the Finns. They take a hit and retire back to their lines.

Meanwhile the Saxon Reiters and the Swedish Västgöta try the same trick they pulled on Baden-Baden’s regiment earlier:

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

The Swedish cavalry, with the Yellow Guards regiment as rear support, charge Breuner’s regiment of foot. To their backs they have the Saxon Reiters move up and start unloading pistols at the infantrymen.

Here’s an overview of the situation at that point:

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

There’s a lot of blue arrows, and just one red one (depicting involuntary movement). This alone illustrates the dynamics of the battle: My formations just don’t manage to gain any sort of initiative. This might prove deadly, as the cordon around my troops is tightening each turn.

At least Breuner’s regiment holds for now. The cannons (who just managed to avoid getting overrun by Swedish cavalry early on) unlimber and commence support fire for Breuner’s regiment. Thus they get rid of the Swedish cavalry (for now).

Menacingly the Yellow Guards overview the situation and make ready to strike.

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

Now even my Piccolomini Harquebusiers (who thus far did nothing all game) start moving, and get into the hair of the Saxon Reiters in Breuner’s rear. Maybe things aren’t lost just yet.

Nope, there the Hessians arrive. It’s Protestant force #3 who, bored with just cutting off my path of retreat, arrive at the scene now.

Just as Von Götz’ cuirassiers rally from the shock the Finns caused them, Erpach’s foot regiment arrive to shoot them to bits. Their officer’s last words quote the regiment’s Inhaber’s ancestor.

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

The other Hessian regiment (Von Uslar’s) move straight up into the rear of my regiment Kehraus, as they make ready to crush the Protestant cavalry to Breuner’s rear.

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

In the following phases I manage to destroy some Swedish cavalry, and rund down a Protestant infantry regiment, but Kehraus’ tercio is ground up between Aus dem Winckel’s Swedish Brigade and Von Uslar’s Hessians. Breuner’s Tercio also finally folds, which leaves me with very, very little to work with and I’m forced to forfeit.

It’s a Swedish-Protestant Victory!

Debriefing

Oh well. that was interesting. My guys didn’t get moving at all. My dice rolling was abysmal, but what actually broke my back was the enormous mistake of opening up a huge gap for the enemy Reiters to slip in and do horrendous damage throughout the game.

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

When early on my opponent sent annoying, but brittle cavalry to pin me down, I was hoping I could pick them off and then destroy the infantry one by one or just walk off the table. To get this done of course I should have bascially formed a huge square of pikes, let the cavalry bounce off or get shot up. Oh well.

Afterwards we had a chat about the scenario and how it might have played out if the roles were reversed.

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

Either way, it’s a very interesting scenario. The usual battle lines are entirely broken up, and the forces involved are generally a bit smaller than in the battles from the Thirty Years War scenario book (some of which are epic in proportions). Very interesting and fun to play though.

Thirty Years War Wargames Twilight of Divine Right

Same goes for the Twilight of Divine Right rules in general of course. I’ll have to give Baroque another go and should try Tilly’s Bad Day, but currently, ToDR is my favourite rules set for the period.

Thanks for reading, thanks to Cpt.Shandy (visit his blog!) for playing, and I hope that you enjoyed this battle report!

3 thoughts on “Twilight of Divine Right: Battle Report

  1. Cracking report, lovely figures!

    I like a bit of Twiglet for floppy hats and awesome lace, and I got the Divine Right flavour on the weekend so it’ll see a bash soon, I hope 🙂

    Nathan

    1. They are fun rules. The whole “a unit may potentially go on forever” thing may seem strange at first, but in practice it’s not any more extreme than in any other rules set that uses similar way of modelling ‘fog of war’. At least getting one’s units into the scrum goes reasonably fast and simple. 😀

      So what particular kind of floppy hats and awesome lace do you play?

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