Village in Saxony (currently Germany).

Breitenfeld is mostly known for two major battles fought outside the village in the Thirty Years' War. The first one is one of the most important battles in European history, both due to the effect of the battle on the outcome of the war and because of the tactics used in and before the battle.

In the battle of Breitenfeld Swedish forces led by king Gustavus Adolphus supportded by German troops under John George I of Saxony, met the forces of the Holy Roman Empire commanded by field marshal Tilly, who had led an extremely successful campaign up to this point.

The battle started with a partly successful cavalry charge from the imperial forces. Their right flank, commanded by Count Fürstenberg managed to rout the opposing Saxon forces. The protestant's other flank and center held, however, and Gustavus Adolphus sent Swedish infantry to seal the breach on their left. At the same time, the mobile and fast Swedish forces started an intense barrage of musket fire that broke up every attempt from the Imperial forces to charge. This continued for seven hours, until in the late afternoon when the Swedish king called up his reserves and routed the imperial forces in a massive cavalry attack.

Tilly, who had been all but invincible until this battle was wounded and his reputation never healed after this defeat.

Gustavus Adolphus, on the other hand, was not trusted by his allies early in the war, but after Breitenfelt he gained a lot of important supporters, and also the reputation of one of the greatest generals in history.

Breitenfeld was published in Strategy & Tactics #55 by SPI, in March 1976. Designed by JA Nelson. The game is subtitled Triumph of the Swedish System, 17 September 1631. The historical article Thirty Years War: The Dawn of Modern Warfare, 1618-1648 was written by Albert A. Nofi.

This game was a real sleeper. Once or twice a year, the SPI staff ignore their Feedback and publish something they want to play instead of all those insipid WWII tank games. To everyone's surprise, the battle between King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden and the Imperial army of Saxony under the command of Tilly caught on. In fact, its combat system inspired an entire 30 Years War Quadrigame.

When I opened this game, I was struck by the colors. The Swedes had large dark blue counters, and the Imperials had blood red chits. The map was sparce, with a hill being the most important terrain.

Until this time, almost all S&T games had featured "locking ZOCs." Once a piece moved next to an enemy, they were locked together until one or the other was eliminated. Breitenfeld introduced quite fluid ZOCs. You could move through them, if you had the movement points.

The game system also featured leader units and the all-important artillery. In my opinion, proper use of the Sweedish cannon in a historical fashion can ensure a win for King Gustav.

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