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"Lützen, 1632 - a 2mm battle of the Thirty Years' War" Topic

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1,743 hits since 17 Nov 2016
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Sidney Roundwood17 Nov 2016 10:31 a.m. PST

I ran a 2mm scale game of the battle of Lützen on Tuesday evening. I've posted some pictures and thoughts on the game, and the set of rules I've been working on with a friend of mine (Curt Campbell), on my Blog.

We've written the wargame rules for the battle as a "homebrew" set (taking parts we enjoy from other rules, and some ideas of our own). Our aim has been to try and make a wargame focused on re-creating iconic 17th Century battles in a manageable space, and in a compressed time period (something around 2 to 3 hours wargaming time). I also wanted to try and capture the visual impression and "feel" of a 17th Century battle on the table top.

I hope you enjoy the photos and blog post. All comments welcomed!

Best regards



alan L Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2016 10:47 a.m. PST

Very impressive: well done.

Are they Irregular Miniatures figures?

Every time I see the like of this posting, I am tempted about English Civil War/30 Years War in 2mm. It does seem to be a period well suited for 2mm, rather than later eras, due to the massed formations.


Sidney Roundwood17 Nov 2016 12:10 p.m. PST

Hi Alan.

Yes, all the figure blocks are from Irregular Miniatures' 2mm Renaissance range. The range is pretty flexible, and I was surprised how versatile they are, especially when adding in some of the figure blocks from the Irregular Miniatures' Horse & Musket range.

One of the main motivations for trying 2mm for the Thirty Years War was the opportunity to try and recreate some of the famous formations from the period – Swedish brigades, early and later Spanish and Imperial Tercios, versatile Dutch formations, "German" foot formations, caracole cavalry, commanded musketeers, and so on. I think each of these can be recreated in 2mm scale without too much trouble.

Altefritz17 Nov 2016 1:21 p.m. PST

Very nice!

KTravlos17 Nov 2016 1:55 p.m. PST

wow this looks great!

boy wundyr x Inactive Member17 Nov 2016 2:55 p.m. PST

Great to see 2mm in action!

alan L Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2016 3:17 p.m. PST


Thanks for the posting.

Where does one go for information on the various formations used during this period, particularly the ratio of shot to pike? I presume that these nuances between nationalities are of importance and need to be reflected in the rules and tactics on the table.

What commercially available rules would best suit large battles in this scale?


Noldor42 Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2016 5:37 p.m. PST


Allen5717 Nov 2016 5:48 p.m. PST

IIRC Tony Francis recommended "Principles of War, Renaissance" rules for 2mm in this period. I bought them and tried a game or two some years ago. They played well but there was something I did not care (cant remember exactly what????)for. Any rules set you like which removes bases of figures will work. Check the 2mm Yahoo group they have some good information.

Sidney Roundwood18 Nov 2016 6:41 a.m. PST

@Alan – as for information regarding the various formations used in the battle, a great start is the Osprey Campaign on "Lutzen" by Richard Brzezinski. For a more detailed analysis, there are a number of good descriptions of mechanically which formations were being used in Wagner's "European Weapons and Warfare 1618-1648", which I think Warlord Games reprinted a short while ago. If you read German, "Spanier auf dem Albuch: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Schlacht bei Nördlingen im Jahre 1634" by Pavel Hrncirik is very good for the minor tactics used at the later battle of Nordlingen.

As regards your question to whether the ratios of pike to shot, and the different formations being adopted by different combatants in the Thirty Years War, make a significant difference to success or defeat on the Thirty Years War battlefield (and therefore to wargamers and wargames rules) … that's a different question, and one for which there's lots of different answers. Some writers downplay tactical formations as being responsible for the difference in battlefield success or failure. Some writers focus more on deployment than formations. Some writers think that differences in tactical formations were materially important. In thinking about and designing a wargame, the beauty is that it's your choice. You can do the reading, and make your own choice.

Personally, in putting on wargames at my local club, it's very clear that a lot of players love to compare formations and tactics and think about whether, if at all, the formations of the time were partly or largely responsible for victory in the Field. Wargames are all about those discussions, and having that fun in judging Tercios (early or late) against shallower "German" battalia, or Swedish brigades, and so on. If you end up having a great game with friends, and a good simulation of what you (personally) think were (some of) the key elements in the "anatomy of victory", that's a perfect wargame for in my book.

For commercially available rules – I've not found the "perfect" Thirty Years War ruleset for an Army-level game. A lot of wargames rules focus on smaller-scale actions (not that a bad thing at all). What we were trying to do in 2mm was focus on the bigger, Army-scale actions and abstract out a lot of the clever nitty-gritty tactical work with sub-units, sub-battalia and companies.

But to answer your question, a while back we tried "Forlorn Hope", which was fun, and I like Nick Dorrell's "This War Without an Enemie". I bought "Liber Tercio" and "Baroque" at the Crisis show in Antwerp after hearing good things about both and certainly intend to try them both, although possibly not in 2mm scale.

Does that help? It possibly doesn't, but I tried!

@Allen57 – thanks very much. I do have a set of Principles of War somewhere and shall give them a try with 2mm.

alan L Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2016 12:43 p.m. PST

Thank you.

Olivero21 Mar 2017 4:44 p.m. PST

Sidney, any chance of your rules being published or Made available?

Part time gamer25 Mar 2017 12:43 p.m. PST

ok.. WOW
I had no idea they even had 2mm. I perfer 28's, (guess just brings back the "green army men" memoriesgrin) 54's wonderful but.. shows too much of my "lack" of skill.

I thought 10mm was cool for mass battles, then heard of 6, thought 3mm as "microScopic" .. but 2mm amazing.

You cant deny, the smaller the miniatures, the closer you can recreate the "massive" battles of history, possibly even 1 to 1 ratio.

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