Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Thursday 2 April 2015

The Thirty Years War: Battle of Leuthen

The other game I have had a go at recently was a re-fight of the Terry Wise's Battle of Lutzen 1632 scenario from Miniature Wargames issue 03, fought with my Baccus 6mm ECW armies on a 3'x2' board, using Neil Thomas' Wargaming:An Introduction Pike-and-Shot rules. The game was enjoyable enough, with the rules providing a decent game.  I do always notice how "attritional" his rules are, however.  I don't mean to imply the games are slow, slugfests - they are absolutely not - but rather that attrition rather than shock is definitely the key tactical mechanism.  I disagree with this theory in terms of history, but it gives a pleasing enough game, especially as Neil Thomas is always bold enough to write clean rulesets, un-cluttered by lots of interacting exceptions.  So definitely recommended!

The centre of the battle from behind the Blues (Swedes) as they advance towards the (exaggerated) causeway.  The Red (Imperialist) cavalry is advancing on the right of the picture.  There wasn't any useable pictures of the full deployment unfortunately!

A better shot of the Blue right wing cavalry facing the impending red cavalry onslaught.

The Blue cavalry on the left, demonstrating against the Red position around the windmill.

The crux of the battle: the veteran Blue infantry try to pierce the Red centre, attempting to shrug off their casualties from the Reed musketry.

Windmill hill is hotly contested - note that Red's reinforcements (Pappenheim's troops) have arrived at the rear of their table edge.
It was definitely a bad photo day as no photos from the end of the battle were useable at all.  In a reversal of history, the Reds held on for a very hard fought victory.  Although the Blues in general were higher quality troops,  the Reds were able to use their superior numbers, although the battle had been roughly consistent with the historical action before the final moves.  I think that the lack of subtle Army-level morale effects probably gave a slight ahistorical benefit to the Imperialists in this battle i.e. the mechanism for the Imperialist defeat is hard to reproduce on the table using these rules.  Good game though!


  1. I really like how those bases blend seamlessly into the gaming mat.

  2. That's very kind, thank you! Of course, I slightly ruined the effect with too much bright table clutter...hopefully my games have improved their "look" in the last 18 months or so.