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post #31 of 62 (permalink) Old 08-07-14, 12:05 AM
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Now: i may know just enough to be dangerous, but I always assumed that games set in this time frame would either be pretty boreing and non historical.

Given the dominance of Terico pike and shot tactics I would think that the only choices that would matter would be the exact ratio of Pike to Shot to cannon to Cuirassiers, and that most of the tactics regardless of side would reduce to aping Gustav and bringing lots and lots of cannon to blow the other sides Terico apart.

Further with Calvary being useless in a direct charge against the front of a Pike formation you would be limited to A: Caracole the front before charging home or B: flanking the formation, and the person who won the battle on the flanks deciding the battle by being able to smash his Calvary into the side of your pike men.

I'm not saying it can't be fun, but you have to sell it to me a bit more with mechanics before I jumped, especially when I can have all the fun of playing 30 year war Germany and still be able to shoot a cannon ball into a dragon that Warhammer's Empire gives.

Have to say though, love your models. You did a really nice job on them, the cotton ball smoke really adds to the game. Does that have a in game effect or is it just for looks?

note: if you see me giving tactical advice: just assume i have a internet tab open to 1d4 chan and I'm summarizing off of that.

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post #32 of 62 (permalink) Old 08-07-14, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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@elmir : Thanks very much.
@dragonkingofthestars : Thanks for your comment. First off, I don't intend to "sell" you on wargaming the period, so I certainly don't sense any danger there either. It's about tastes, that's all. My interest in the period is based on several different things beyond the particular kind of warfare. It's an interesting conflict on so many levels from the very top of monarchs, realms and systems wrestling to keep the upper hand, each one for their own interests, with this paper-thin coat of religious struggle, right down to the civilian population who lived through this seemingly endless period of total war. Even worse - a period of war and barbarism, becoming the norm, right at the time of Enlightenment. There's a lot of ambiguity going on, between war being fought with a seemingly rational and well-researched approach, yet being as barbaric as it can get. At the same time warfare changed a lot over the time of the conflict as well. There's a ton of very fascinating stuff going on and last but not least Europe was shaped for the centuries to come.

You're raising some valid points in terms of the warfare of the time possibly being static. However, anything can be boiled down to a very basic level. And even there the very basic challenges of battle remain (command, control, communication). This is very important, as always. And this alone I enjoy about games. Of course this isn't a specific strength of the period either but certainly a factor. However, getting through the enemy lines, creating a weak spot by the use of combined arms and pushing through (or getting repelled and dying horribly ) poses an interesting challenge. Coordinating units on a battlefield of course is a thing in itself. Also, if we're looking at the later battles of the war, the ratio of cavalry to infantry was surprisingly high which can make for very dynamic battles. And certainly the "shock" cavalry tactics wouldn't have been used more frequently again if cavalry was completely useless. Especially in terms of cavalry tactics (including the whole thing about the caracole) I think that there is a lot of additional research to be done because it's one of the bigger mysteries of the period. I'm currently looking for German or Dutch literature on the subject. As for aping Gustav Adolf and bringing lots of cannon - not sure if setting up a number of a certain formation counts as tactic. If you mean bring to bear at a certain point of the battlefield - sure, that was done by all sides involved as far as I know, at least of course with pieces larger than "regimental cannon". The goal after all is doing battles, not using a points list to get "the most" our of an army list. That's not really the kind of game I aim to play.

If you prefer to play fantasy battles that's cool (you mean actually playing Warhammer Fantasy I assume? Or do you play warmaster? Or something else entirely?). I wouldn't dare to say either was better than the other but me, I prefer to keep it historical and with the TYW. Which set of rules one uses is a whole different additional question. So in terms of mechanics, that's up to you and to what rules set you want to use. I'm happy with Pike&Shotte. I got the Father Tilly rules lying around too, hope I get to give them a go some day.

Thanks for the compliments on the minis. The cotton is only for looks and so we know which units shot and which haven't. What periods and rules sets for them do you like?
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post #33 of 62 (permalink) Old 08-07-14, 02:34 AM
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@Sigur : oh no, I don't play warhammer fantasy just 40k, I just know how much the Empire copies from the real world 30 year war Germany and how similar they are in tactics, just replace "terico" with "detachment".

And my problem with 17th century warfare when used as for a game was not that it as static, (See my next point), but that it was limiting, there are not a lot of tactical options for units, you have your pike, your shot, your Calvary and your cannons. That be ya lot as most army's had the same armaments of units. The only exception to that rule are the British who exchanged the Handguns for there famous Longbows. From your battle report you said that the units have varying quality's, such as veterans VS rookies which I suppose is where the game gets it's tactical depth.

My other issue is that one would think an accurate depiction of the Swedish army would be able to run circles around almost any catholic army. the Sweds used flatter formations then the Catholics did more kin to the later Neoplonelic line infantry tactics then the then dominate Tericos, and as Breitenfeld shows the Swedish infantry were able to move at astonishing speeds and managed to execute a perfect refusing the line and turn the table on the far more slow moving Catholics, add to that the sheer number of cannons Gustav favored, (even when he does not steal his enemies as he did at Breitenfeld) and I would think that the Swedes are either non historically accurate or over powered.

Bah, in any case I can understand your fascination with the 30 year war, it's an interesting time and I would like to say it was important to the modern formation of Germany, except after the war nothing really changed. IT was one of those " full of sound and fury" moments in history, I would say that it was tragic, but it was a tragedy that happened slightly less then 400 years ago, it's so far back it's kinda hard for me to empathize in any way other then in an abstract sense.

note: if you see me giving tactical advice: just assume i have a internet tab open to 1d4 chan and I'm summarizing off of that.

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post #34 of 62 (permalink) Old 08-07-14, 07:43 AM
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As a Swede the TYW are one of my favorite times in our history. How Sweden, a backwater country of 1,5 milion took on the Holy roman empire of 20 milion and shook the known world. Emeging like a greater power of Europe.

Now Gustav II Adolf had the favorit of superior tactics with his smaller units making manouver easier and higher morale due to regional regiments. Sweden was also payed by france, a catholic country, to continue the presens in germany.

I would also like to lift the name of Axel Oxenstierna here. He was responsible for govern swedens economy and domestic affairs. He built the logistic system that made the whole wareffort possible and also laid the foundation for the swedish empire for the century to come. Ending at Poltava in 1709.

Great to follow this project!

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post #35 of 62 (permalink) Old 08-07-14, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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@dragonkingofthestars: Well, the Warhammer Empire is based mostly on earlier stuff. Think 16th century. And Warhammer and tactics of course is always a thing in itself. As for little options. If you look at ancient warfare (which of course is something many military theorists of the 16th/17th century drew from) say Greece you got your Hoplites, your Psiloi, a little cavalry and that's it. Napoleonic Warfare you got line infantry, artillery and cavalry. But this is what it's all about really. Making these brances work together. (British didn't do much in the TYW at all except for a bunch of mercenaries who pretty certainly did not use longbows in the 17th century). Different levels of combat effectiveness is always a big factor in all battles throughout history I'd pair that with Command and Control as the most important factors. The 'hardware' I believe is often a bit overvalued in its importance in combat.

The oft-cited "Swedish Brigade" is one of these typical things Gustav Adolf did to turn a deficit (manpower) into a boon by reading Maurice of Nassau's treatises very, very closely. I'm sure it worked pretty well at the beginning, but catholic forces adapted to cope. Not that catholic commanders didn't read Nassau's works of course but it seems like it was harder to implement with the mercenaries on the imperial-catholic side. The drill Gustav Adolph liked to use certainly was more complicated than the traditional drill (which I wouldn't call "tercio" because the tercio is more of a military formation or administrative unit within the Spanish army rather than a tactic of any sort) but was nothing like line tactics employed in the 18th century or beyond. Gustav Adolf did not approach cannon as "get lots of them". Both sides used as many cannons as possible of course. What some historians attribute to Gustav Adolf is the wider introduction of the "regimental cannon", a very light gun not concentrated in batteries but rather than that dragged around by infantry formations to enhance firepower. No new idea either of course but he had the means of doing it.

I really suggest you read the Pike&Shotte rules (or others) before you claim that Swedes have to be either historically inaccurate or overpowered. The Swedish army successfully employed some innovations mostly prepared by the Dutch but I don't think that the balance of power was that much askew as you might believe, not only due to the fact that of course catholic commanders adapted. All these ideas of "the tercio" and the caracole are a little too prevalent with too little evidence in how and if they actually were employed beyond the mid-16th century at all.

The peace of Westphalia changed quite a lot of stuff around but it's less qiuckly visible on a map (in that say half of it is coloured blue all of a sudden) but it shaped the political landscape in quite a remarkable way and cemented trends that developed before the war. Reading any of the horrible accounts it's hard not to emphasize with the people who suffered under the war.
@Moriouce: Thanks very much and thanks for your comment. Yup, between the Polish-Swedish war and the TYW the Swedes did make a name for themselves. Of course they had a little help from their friends (France, massively so as you said, Danish and German protestant states, some less willingly so than others). The France thing I think shows how paper-thin the whole religious reasonings behind the whole thing were especially. Keep in mind that the HRE already was in a state of constant war since 1618 before the Swedish army landed. Yup, Oxenstierna seems like a capable chancellor (was that his title?) and administrator, turning Sweden from a bckwater place with a rather backwards economy and very little manpower into one of the big players in the 17th century.
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post #36 of 62 (permalink) Old 08-07-14, 10:36 AM
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Default More grimdark than 40k ever could be - Sigur does the Thirty Years' War

@Moriouce: Thanks very much and thanks for your comment. Yup, between the Polish-Swedish war and the TYW the Swedes did make a name for themselves. Of course they had a little help from their friends (France, massively so as you said, Danish and German protestant states, some less willingly so than others). The France thing I think shows how paper-thin the whole religious reasonings behind the whole thing were especially. Keep in mind that the HRE already was in a state of constant war since 1618 before the Swedish army landed. Yup, Oxenstierna seems like a capable chancellor (was that his title?) and administrator, turning Sweden from a bckwater place with a rather backwards economy and very little manpower into one of the big players in the 17th century.[/QUOTE]


Yes he was a chancelor but his swedish title was 'rikskansler' which tranalate as statechancelor which implice he was one step above all other chancelors.

His main duty was to be the chairman of the parliment and work as a foreign minister and diplomate. He also was the governor of all the swedish overseas territory that the army occupied during the war and had the main responsability for the army's logistics. Many of his legacies are still in work today in Sweden like the swedish post-service that was his initiativet.

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post #37 of 62 (permalink) Old 08-07-14, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Ah right, rikskansler, Cheers. I knew what he was doing but couldn't think of the term.
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post #38 of 62 (permalink) Old 09-15-14, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Behold, I managed to take those army shots!


First, houses along with just my Imperial-Catholics:






...and not just everything I've got (Imperials, German Protestants, Swedes) because I can. Mwahaha!













Not sure what you think of the scale of the houses in comparison to the scale of the figures but for me my fears have been confirmed - the buildings just look way too big. I think for one the buildings are meant to depict contemporary houses and of course the ground scale/terrain scale/model:man-ratio and such applies. I think I will have to go get some new (properly too small) 10mm buildings now and use these here for 15mm gaming for which they look about spot on. Pretty crazy, isn't it? Another crazy thing is that I don't really play anything 15mm set in middle Europe/Germany. These houses work for a lot of periods at least, from the mid-late 17th century on up to 20xx. Shame I decided to go 20mm on my Cold War 1980s stuff. :D But hey, at least I got army shots done!
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post #39 of 62 (permalink) Old 09-15-14, 01:12 PM
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Those look awesome! I love that period. Great work as always.
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post #40 of 62 (permalink) Old 09-17-14, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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@Tha Tall One : Thanks! I'm considering getting "proper 10mm" buildings from Pendraken or the likes. Glad you like the pictures though!
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