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Battle of Dorf auf dem Hügel

Page history last edited by Guy Farrish 4 years ago

Twilight of Divine Right: Run Through Game


I received the rules about two weeks ago and had a very rough run through last week.

This weekend I decided to give them a full solo trial game.


The scenario was a battle originally generated by a semi solo campaign I played a few years ago.  Set in 1622 it assumed a less strange Protestant leader than the Mad Halberstadter, Christian of Brunswick had emerged as the champion of the Protestant/Anti-Imperialist/Bohemian cause. With Tilly presumed otherwise engaged with Mansfeld at the other end of the HRE this was the third battle in the Brunswick/Westphalian region between Friedrich (I hadn't decided whether this was Baden Durlach or not) and Johan Graf Anholt.


The Protestant army under Friedrich had been beaten twice by Anholt.

This village overlooking a river crossing was chosen as a good place to face the pursuit while possible help from the Dutch came up.


So the Battle of Dorf auf dem Hügel.


The set up is as near as I can remember/reconstruct from the notes on the campaign.

The Armies were as follows:




Left wing

2 Cavalry



4 Tercios

2 Field guns


Right wing

2 Tercios

2 Cuirassiers




Left wing

2 Cavalry



1 Regiment

2 Tercios


Right Wing


2 Regiments

2 Cavalry


The units didn't have qualities in my previous rules so I semi-randomised (probably gave Friedrich's army a bit of leeway as they were so much smaller).

The quality of the generals was determined by scenario, so Friedrich (my Friedrich anyway) was 'good' while Anholt was good and his sidekick was average.


The river was bad going except for the section between the marshes which was fordable without penalty.


It was left to a die roll on first attempt to cross them to determine if the fields to the south (left as you look at it) of the town were to be bad going or not. If I were doing it again I'd change a few things – I don't think the bad going made as much difference in the previous game using my own rules. And the river did produce problems – more later.


The Protestants had to slow the Catholic forces long enough to allow the approaching Dutch to get close enough to save the day.

This was difficult as I wasn't sure how long to say each turn represented – no sign in the rules, something I dislike with most modern sets. I decided on 24 turns 12 of each side. If the Protestants still controlled part of the hill and they hadn't broken then I decided night would be falling and the Dutch would be here in the morning. Probably.


The Start: Protestants  on the ridge and Imperialists about to cross the river from the east



There are two more Imperialist brigades of cavalry to the south (left) – below



Looking from the south:



The Imperialists march forward to assault the town across the ford



It was at this point I realised the 'bad going' decision for the majority of the river was going to be a problem. In the previous game it delayed them one turn only but here by making it 'bad going' it made it very slow – especially for cavalry who had to change formation – I'd do it differently now I think.

Meawhile the Elite Protestant cuirassier charged into the Imperialists cuirassier who had forded the river without trouble and nearly died on the next, Imperialist, turn. Fortunately the Protestant General was with them and they passed the re-roll with flying colours!


The Protestant artillery meanwhile, after failing to do anything the first turn found its range and started shooting up the lead Imperialist tercio struggling across the main part of the river.

In the distance the imperialists managed to get one unit of horse across the river and back into fighting formation before the Protestant horse contacted them. The second unit is stuck in the river in column. Unable to support or do much of anything.


Meanwhile the cuirassiers are suffering despite being Elite and the presence of the General. The Imperialist cavalry are still crossing the river in column. 

On the Protestant left things are going better. The artillery continue to batter the lead tercio and the cavalry are making a mess of the Imperialists. The Imperialist horse has managed to extricate itself from the river and start manoeuvring, what for exactly is unclear. 


On the Imperialist left the cuirassier units are still locked in combat and the infantry have joined the fray. The far left cavalry have found out that the areas of cultivation are after all bad going and they remain in column to cross them.


And then something odd.

The Protestant left cavalry rout the Imperialist cavalry. According to the rules, the routed troops disappear while the winning cavalry may have to pursue. They are trained gallopers so it is a foregone conclusion. They pursue – a lot. However there is that river in the way.

On reflection I should probably just have said they disintegrated as a fighting force. As it was I decided they would cross the river using their pursuit moves pro rata and carry on, ending disordered, in column and with one morale failure marker. I could and perhaps should have just let them cross and breakthrough to head for the baggage (not represented here). The supporting cavalry managed to hold.


The cuirassier combat continued with everyone too heavily protected for anyone to cause any damage. The Imperialist infantry on the other hand were getting into trouble. The left lead tercio was suffering casualties at the hands of the Protestant foot while the centre lead tercio had been destroyed by the artillery. Odd thing continue on the right. The supporting cavalry that did not pursue appears to have somehow acquired a General, which as the only Protestant one present is stuck with the cuirassier suggests he is an Imperialist who has got lost! I don't think he did anything to affect the outcome but I couldn't swear to it, and who knows what he might have done if he had been where he should have been?


The Protestant cuirassiers finally inflict some damage, next to them the infantry fight continues, the artillery is shooting away at the next infantry unit, while the Imperialists are trying to fight their way into the town (there is a mostly musket armed Protestant unit in the large gabled building). The left flank Protestant cavalry unit has charged the flank of the supporting Imperialist infantry.


The flank hit infantry disintegrates and the Protestant cavalry pursue into the next infantry unit, who had anticipated the threat. (That General is still apparently cheering the wrong side!).

You can just see the morale markers in the centre of the town that belong to the Protestant musket unit in the gable fronted building.


The Protestant horse finally meet their match and are destroyed by the rear Imperialist infantry unit. Somehow the two cavalry over the river have sorted themselves are fighting. The imperialist attack on the town is stalled. The Protestant right has seen off an infantry unit, at quite a cost, the lead cuirassier unit, and a cavalry brigade (which just got across the cultivated ground, never reformed and was shot to pieces by the Protestant infantry who marched out to meet them. Its supporting cavalry has withdrawn to try another approach.


It all gets too much for the Imperialists. True they have reached the guns and silenced them but the Protestant infantry next to them finish the attackers off with shot, the rest of the town assault is about to collapse and just out of shot the remaining right wing Imperialist cavalry break, precipitating an army test, which it unsurprisingly fails. (Note the Imperial General has just remembered which side he is on – bad timing if you ask me).

This was turn 22 (11 each) and near the end of what I had allotted as 'the day' in any case


So, a good day out for the Protestant cause, better than the result in the original campaign, which required a lot of effort from the Dutch to keep the minor Protstant princes going at this point after a horrible first day.

I suspect I didn't realise the impact of my decisions about how to treat the river and the areas of cultivation.

Next time (assuming I could be bothered going for the decider) I'd keep the central area as a ford and just make the other part of the river a condition test for both foot and horse with no formation changes required. I might make the horse disordered for a move after crossing with a -1 if they were contacted.


The whole business with the horse pursuing on the Protestant left (right as you look at the photos) threw me I confess. I should have just removed the Protestant pursuers. If not then I should have let them pursue their full distance which would have seen them off to the races, or the baggage at least. I presume this has the same effect as there appears to be nothing in the rules to suggest what might happen after this.No suggestion I can find of a regroup and return to the battle.


That obviously affected my thinking as I can't think how else to explain the wandering General! I don' t recall him intervening in any way and when the nit he appeared to be following disintegrated I got him back on side. 


There are a couple of points I am not completely in agreement with in the rules - I might tweak the pursuit rules a bit to give a remote chance of return.

Also - the depth of support for some melee advantages - 6 supports! that's 7 units behind each other! 7,000-10,500 men! I don't feel this was a usual depth from my reading and I can't honestly figure out how the 4th+ ranks could have any impact in morale terms on the front brigade. I suspect I am unlikely to get there but never say never.


I think it is clear I need some more horse for these rules.


But I enjoyed the game (and the first rough run through before this one). I will be using them again, hopefully against live opposition at some stage. 

So thanks to Nick Dorrell, Wyre Forest Gamers, The Pike and Shot Society and JWH/Whirlwind for writing, developing, publishing and reviewing the rules so eventually I noticed them!








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