Computer-Assisted Historical Miniatures Wargames

While the Devil Rules

Miniature Warfare in the Thirty Years' War, 1618-1648

Figure Scale: This game is designed for use with 25mm/28mm miniatures, but can be used with smaller miniatures by increasing the number of figures per base, or by reducing all measurements (centimeters instead of inches, dividing by 2, etc.)

Equipment Needed: Armies of 10 to 40 units (typically 2 to 6 bases each) are needed, one per side. Table and terrain requirements are normal. Rulers/tape measures in inches are needed.

Type of Game: Tabletop competitive grand-tactical battle game for conflicts involving a few thousand participants per side.

Link to App: While the Devil Rules

Rules and Guidelines for Play: HTML   PDF

"The Road to Warsaw, 1655" (Fictionalized Scenario based on Sabota): HTML   PDF

"Battle of Pulovicje, 1621" (Fictional Scenario - Bohemian Phase): HTML   PDF

"Battle of the Schwarzenbach, 1622" (What-If Scenario - Palatine Phase): HTML   PDF

"In the Service of the Jesuit King" (Swedish Deluge What-If Scenario): HTML   PDF

"The Battle of Muellerbach, 1622" (Fictional Scenario - Palatine Phase): HTML   PDF


While the Devil Rules is designed to refight the field battles of the Thirty Years' War and the conflicts of the mid-17th century in Scandanavia and eastern Europe such as the "Swedish Deluge." Incidental to this, it can be used also for the Franco-Spanish War, the later Eighty Years' War, and the English Civil War. This period saw the ultimate expression of pike & shot warfare, with units combining both arms in an integrated fashion. While cavalry was not as powerful as it had been, it was still present in huge numbers, and played a critical role on the battlefield.

Unlike other rules for the period, the different infantry formations are portrayed as they fought historically, as single units trained to work as an organized whole, rather than as a collection of smaller units which might or might not work together. Because of this, Swedish brigades and tercios really are different than the smaller Dutch battalions, giving a more-accurate portrayal of period combat.

The game is optimized for both remote and convention play, and intended for these reasons to be used with 25mm/28mm figures. With the colorful uniforms and flags of this era, the larger figures allow for great tabletop spectacles! Games play quickly, typically lasting 2-4 hours. The game app handles all chart look-ups and (if you choose) dice-rolling, keeping players focused on the battle, rather than on the rules.

The Game App

The game app performs all calculations, giving players the choice to do their own dice-rolling or have the device do it for them. Initiative passes back and forth between sides frequently, to keep players engaged. The app itself is simple, with only a single screen (depicted below), and serves to speed play. It can be run simultaneously on more than one device for large games.

So marshall your companies and form your squares, unfurl your banners and sound the trumpets and drums, but most important: "Trust in God e'vn While the Devil Rules"!

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