Sunday, September 29, 2019

AAR: A Return to Rügenwald 1630 - a Thirty Years War Skirmish in 28mm

A battle report using the Pikeman's Lament ruleset, depicting a raid during the Thirty Years War


The Thirty Years War had been raging on the European continent for already more than a decade when Gustavus Adolphus in 1630 landed in Northern Germany with an army, initially to take control over the German cities on the northern German coastline.

Gustaphus Adolphus landing in Germany 1630.
Reay's Regiment, a regiment under Scottish commander Donald Mackay, 1st Lord of Reay, joined the Swedish forces and was involved in taking the coastal cities of Stettin and Colberg. Like an earlier game, seen HERE, this game is set in between the taking of those two cities. During that time, in August 1630, six companies of Reay’s Regiment, was ordered to re-join the main body of the regiment at Stettin. En route, one of the boats foundered off the Pomeranian coast near Colberg, and nearly 200 men landed with only themselves, their "swords, pikes and some wet muskets". The Scots surprised the town of Rügenwald (today Darlowo in Poland) and obtained fresh powder, ammunition and other supplies. They held the town for nine weeks until Gustavus Adolphus sent Hepburn’s Scottish regiment to relieve them.

A print showing Scottish soldiers of the Thirty Years' War. 

Northern Germany by the Baltic Sea in 1630. Rügenwald is marked on the map.

In an earlier game of this setting the Scots clashed with Imperial troops outside Rügenwald. In this game, that we played quite some time ago, the Imperial forces have managed to contain the Scots to the city of Rügenwald. The Scots don't just sit and wait for Gustavus Adolphus to come and rescue them however, but try and make life as miserable as possible for the Imperials. This game sees the Scots sneak out of the city to raid one of the Imperial camps in a nearby settlement. 


We played the game using The Pikeman's Lament ruleset. Its a great ruleset written by Daniel Mersey and Michael Leck, from Osprey Games. The scenario was the Beating Up Quarter scenario from the rules with the Scots attacking and the Imperial troops defending. The defender - apart from a small unit - start asleep in the buildings and must successfully activate to enter the table. The attacker set up a given distance from the buildings. To win the attacker must succeed in setting fire to four buildings and not lose half of his force.

The Forces

The Scottish attackers.

The Imperial defenders.

Set up and deployment

We played on a 4x4' table.
The attackers must set up outside 12" from the camp.
Most defenders start the scenario in the buildings.

The Game

The Scottish attackers initially had some trouble putting houses on fire. Also, the Scottish infantry struggled against the Imperial forces that quickly managed do get out from the buildings to defend their camp. The Scottish fortune changed however and some Scottish horsemen managed to put first one and then another building on fire before the Imperials could come and stop them. In the end, just as the attackers were taking some heavy casualties they managed to set a third and fourth building on fire, thereby achieving their objective and they returned to Rugenwald victorious.

Below is the game in pictures.

The Scot raiders attack...

...and the alarm sounds.

A small Imperial night guard is ridden down.
The Scottish horsemen initially fail to put a building on fire.

The defenders rally from their quarters and mount up as the Scots close in.

The Imperial troops fire as the Scot gallopers charge.

The Imperials quickly form lines to repel the attackers.

Push of pike as the Scotsmen charge in.

Taking heavy casualties some Scotsmen turn and flee.

Having cleared the first line of defenders the Scottish
horsemen manages to put some buildings on fire...

...before getting back into the fight again.

The battle swings back and forth as more units charge in.

The fourth fire breaks out!
The Scotsmen have achieved their
objective and can retreat to Rügenwald.


  1. A wonderful looking and entertaining skirmish game, great pictures and write up...and a fantastic period to play this kind of game!

  2. Thank you Phil for the kind words! And I agree that the TYW provides a great backdrop to these kind of scenarios.

  3. Great report, thanks for sharing.


  4. looks outstanding, are the 3-2-1 cavalry bases larger than those in Pikeman's Lament.

    1. Thank you, sorry for the crazy late reply, if I remember correctly I added an extra 5mm to all the bases. It doesn't affect game play.