Home Forums Renaissance Battle of Dorf auf dem Hügel. A Twilight of Divine Right AAR

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    Guy Farrish

    I received the Twilight of Divine Right 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.

    You can see the results at my wiki; Corrigenda

    The situation was based on the third battle of an old campaign played with my own rules which I abandoned in a fit of pique not long after the first run through of this game.

    It’s 1622 and Friedrich (possibly of Baden Durlach, but maybe not) has taken the role of leader of the minor Protestant prince rather than the Mad Halberstadter, Christian of Bruswick and Johann Anholt has been fighting him while Tilly and Mansfield are occupied with each other at the other end of the HRE.

    Friedrich has fared no better than in real life and lost two battles and this is is his last gasp to halt the pursuing Imperialists long enough to allow Dutch

    aid to arrive.

    Initial positions from behind the Imperialists lines

    Initial positions

    Initial positions from the south


    I enjoyed this first proper battle with the rules and will be playing more with them. A few teething problems, mine mostly – finding a general changing sides accidentally half way through for one!

    All in all a good experience.

    Thanks to Hwicce and Whirlwind for bringing these to my attention.

    Steve Johnson

    A nice game Guy and reading other AARs, there are, like many rulesets, areas that might need clarification, house rules or some common sense.

    Guy Farrish

    Thanks Steve.

    Common sense? Aye there’s the rub! I remember reading about it.

    Seriously the rules seem to work really well in terms of game flow and ease of use, and produce a game that feels not a million miles away from what I would generally expect from reading about Thirty Years War battles. (Sample size a bit small perhaps – two games!)

    I will play some more straightforward set piece battles – no rivers, no complicated areas of unknown terrain, no town, all of which was pushing it for a second run through of a new set.

    That I had so few moments of doubt speaks volumes for what an elegant set of rules they are. Indeed the reason I felt comfortable about the idea of running a complicated scenario that emerged from a campaign as my second game with them was because the first run through had been so smooth.

    I tried a few games of Polemos for this period -ECW not TYW after reading some of Whirlwind’s reports  a while back, but I just can’t get on with the idea of the bidding system. I didn’t get on with it in the first Marlburian set they produced and however much I try it just feels gimmicky to me. Sorry, it’s not you it’s me, but there it is.

    Anyway -ToDR, a really good set.

    Thanks again to all involved for inspiring me to try them.



    Thanks to Hwicce and Whirlwind for bringing these to my attention.

    You are very welcome!  Really interesting scenario and write-up too: it is now officially on my list of scenarios to steal.  I did notice that thing too about just how much rear support you are allowed, and need to max out on your combat chances.  Regarding the pursuit, someone clarified the ‘breakthrough’ effect in the comments to my Lens AAR.  Basically the ‘pursuit’ bit seems to be a one-shot and then the cavalry can get back in the game, viz:

    On breaking through the unit moves the distance indicated by the procedure and then is ‘rallied’ – i.e. it can move as normal. It is likely that it will take sometime before it can actually get back into action as it will be facing the wrong way, out of command distance and quite a way from ‘the action’.


    Guy Farrish

    Ah! Thanks for that. You know now you mention it I think I may have read that – shame it didn’t occur to me at the time. Too busy wondering what effect charging into a river would do to unit cohesion!

    Still, however it may have happened, it happened. If the Imperialist horse hadn’t been off looking for another way of crossing the river, they would have reacted faster and smashed the Protestant horse anyway. As it was they threw appallingly badly on their tests to manoeuvre and charge.

    Steal away – interested to see how it work in other hands.



    Thanks for a great AAR and an interesting scenario.  I am glad you seem to enjoy the rules.

    I thought I would clear up a few points and make some suggestions.

    On the pursuit Whirlwind is correct. The breakthrough pursuit is a one-off move and then the unit can act as normal. Of course the unit will be facing the wrong way and likely to be out of command range & a long way from the action. So probably it is going to be a while before the unit can do anything else.

    On the multiple ranks of support the thing to remember is in the game it is a morale test and not a melee or whatever you are testing for. So the 2nd line gives you support, ie they are potentially helping with whatever the from rank is doing. The other ranks are just scaring the hell out of the target. The other thing to bear in mind is you will rarely get a chance to stack up that many units. It is going to be very rare in the ECW/TYW where the battles are relatively small but in the larger later post TYW battles and battles against the Ottomans. In general it tends to be used when one side is outnumbered  and in a fortified position. The other side then might assault part of the line with a deep formation to try to crack it. Basically using the extra troops they have to do this.  So you should find it will be rare in ECW/TYW games but more common in later games. But you could maybe use it for something like the storming of Bristol in the ECW.

    On the river/stream thing I would recommend using action tests for them. Remember it can take more than 1 to do something and also you can combine it with ‘Bad going’. So obviously you could have a river/stream that just takes 1 action test to cross. But also you could for example have 1 to enter the river and a second to leave. It could be 1 to enter, 1 to cross to the other side and a 3rd to leave. You could also combine this idea with ‘bad going’. For example often rivers have a marshy area on one or both sides. So that could be ‘bad going’ and the actual river an action test to cross.

    I also noticed you are interested in Marlburian battles. In case you don’t know the 1st set of rules in this series covers Marlborough’s era – it is called Twilight of the Sun King. There is also a 3rd set called Twilight of the Soldier Kings which is for SYW time. Finally you might be interested to know there is a 2nd set of TYW scenarios on the way, including some from the same kind of era your game is. It is being sent to the printer this week but there might be a delay in printing, because of the current crisis. It will have the following battles –

    Wimpfen – 6th May 1622 1
    Hochst – 20th June 1622 3
    Crossing the Lech – 15th April 1632 5
    Lützen – 16th November 1632 7
    1st Nordlingen – 6th September 1634 9
    Wittenweier – 9th August 1638 11
    Honnecourt – 26th May 1642 13
    2nd Breitenfeld – 2nd November 1642 15
    Rocroi – 19th May 1643 17
    2nd Lleida (Lérida) – 15th May 1644 19
    Freiburg – 3rd & 5th August 1644 21
    Rochetta Tanaro – 23rd September 1653 (Franco-Spanish War) 24
    Valenciennes – 16th July 1656 (Franco-Spanish War) 25
    Dunes – 14th June 1658 (Franco-Spanish War) 27
    Ameixial – 8th June 1663 (Portuguese Restoration War) 29

    I hope this helps,


    Guy Farrish

    Nick, thanks so much for that.

    I really like the rules and I have tried all sorts for this period since Gush, Tercio and Newbury in the 70s/80s and these fit the bill for me the best. (Liked Gush – but you wouldn’t fight a game this big very quickly and Tercio drove me crazy and I’m not sure I ever finished a turn of Newbury). I was beginning to think that apart from my own set (and let’s face it they are currently awaiting some ‘tweaks’), convincing rules for Pike and Shot were like hens teeth.

    But these work for me.

    Still not entirely sure about the depth thing, (entirely happy with the concept of morale vice casualties, my own work the same way) but we’ll see!

    I have plans for more TYW figures, particularly cavalry of various sorts, having found a set that really work for me and these are my priority for now.

    Marlburian/GNW? Don’t tempt me! Well maybe a little bit.

    Thanks for the heads up re scenarios.

    Best wishes



    OK Guy and happy gaming. Get in touch if I can help with anything.


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