Tiny Battle Publishing to release “The Devil’s to Pay: the First day at Gettysburg” by Hermann Luttmann

Fred Manzo February 20, 2019 12
Tiny Battle Publishing to release “The Devil’s to Pay: the First day at Gettysburg” by Hermann Luttmann

Hi, all.

Well, it looks like the old band is getting back together for a run at a new “Blind Swords Lite” game called “The Devil’s to Pay: the First Day at Gettysburg.” Hermann Luttmann will be the designer, I’ll handle development, Rick Barber will be the mapmaker and the new member of the band will be Jose Ramon Faura as its artist. Tiny Battle Publishing is hoping to get the game out to the public in time for Origins. In fact, it will be the premier edition of Tiny Battle Publishing’s new deluxe line of games.

Note the background color of the Confederate troop counter’s. The map is finished I believe but the counters are being tweaked as we speak.

As far as I know, which is subject to change, it will come with one map sheet, 12 pages of rules and one counter sheet. It will have 100 men equalling 1 Strength Point, and 1 tube equalling 1 artillery Strength Point, with the black number on the left of a counter being its strength; the letter next to it, the unit’s weapon type; the red number the unit’s morale rating or CR, and the Roman numeral in a circle on the right the unit’s corps number.

The system is one we’ve been hoping to finish for a while now. It will be a cutdown version of the standard “Blind Swords” system. In other words, it will still be a chit pull system with plenty of chaos and the Fog of War, but with simpler mechanics. For example, there won’t be two levels of chits needed to activate the maneuver element. You will now draw a chit, then roll on a chart against the leader’s ability. Superior leaders, who roll well, get to be more flexible with their troops each turn. Poor generals, who roll poorly, get to maneuver no one or perhaps only a very few troops under their command and poltroons will have a hard time getting out of their own way.

Also, the scale will be somewhat different than the standard “Blind Swords” game. Instead of having regiments as the maneuver element, we’ll be using parts of brigades, with brigades being represented by two or three counters, depending on how they were used in the actual battle. The time per turn will be an hour as compared to 20 minutes for a standard game and a hex will represent 250 yards. So some changes in the way we handle artillery, for example, will be needed. (Artillery can fire out of a woods hex, because at 250 yards it’s likely there was plenty of open ground in the hex for the battery to deploy.)

I believe these last two pictures represent the situation at Noon on the first day.

Right now the map is done, as far as I know, the art is done, we are playing around with the background colors of the counters a bit, but that seems to have been settled and the game is in playtesting.

During the last playtest, for example, either Henry Heth had a very bad day or he was following Robert E. Lee’s orders not to bring on a general engagement to the letter. But that’s why you playtest.

As always I’m playing the Union and Herm has control of the Confederates.

Here is the last version of the counter sheet. We changed the Confederate counter’s background (for now) to something a bit like butternut.

Remember, all this is the playtest version.

If the game is a success we are hoping it will be the first in a whole line of brigade-sized battles using the “Blind Swords’ Lite” system. Things like “Champion Hill” or “Perryville” or whatever was simply too big a battle to be handled by the standard regimental game with a 125-yard hex pattern. So here’s wishing Tiny Battle Publishing all the success in the world.

– Fred


  1. Dan February 20, 2019 at 6:18 pm -

    This looks awesome! Barber map! Only the best.

  2. Sagrilarus February 21, 2019 at 1:26 am -

    I’d love to have a lookat this for a writeup on ThereWillBeGames.com. You have something in good enough shape to send out?

    • Fred Manzo February 21, 2019 at 1:52 am -

      I’ll ask Herm. But as far as I know, we have one map and one set of an older version of the counters. Thanks for asking. – Fred

  3. Rod Brombacher February 21, 2019 at 1:35 am -

    That looks really good.

  4. Rob Bottos February 21, 2019 at 6:32 pm -

    Does this mean that there will be no more regimental civil was games in the future with Revolution Games? I picked up Longstreet Attacks and was looking forward to seeing it paired with a similar first day battle.

    • Fred Manzo February 22, 2019 at 12:21 am -

      No. I’m sure there will be additional regimental games in the series. For example, Claude Whalen is working on First and Second Kernstown right now. But when we asked people for suggestions for a new game we got an awful lot of great ideas that just couldn’t be fit into the original limitations. We were working with one map, 125-yard hex pattern and regimental maneuver elements. Well, unless we cut up a battle into segments that left out battles like Champion Hill or Perryville etc. But, if we shifted to full brigades, a la “At Any Costs: Metz 1870,” we still had newbies facing the same learning curve. This way we are expanding the number of battles covered and, even more importantly, we are creating a stepping stone to the standard series. Sort of killing two birds with one stone.

  5. Sam Smith February 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm -

    Super-exciting News (and a nice look) ! Hopefully the new rules will square the circle in terms of ACW games really needing units below the brigade to simulate tactics satisfactorily, 0but at the same time keeping the map manageable. Not 100% sure I get your point about not needing two chits to activate? Do you mean there are still Division level chits in the cup, but no Brigade level leaders who these may or may not activate?

    • Fred Manzo February 22, 2019 at 12:35 am -

      Well, this all is in the playtest stage right now, so things are in flux. But basically, there are events and leaders in a cup, which have to be pulled one at a time. Once you get a leader chit you roll on a table against his ability to see how many of his subordinate commands are released. This way, you don’t have to keep track of who was previously activated and who is still eligible to be activated. We are hoping this speeds up play and is a good halfway point for those new to the “Blind Swords” system. We will be giving the newest version of “Blind Swords Lite” a speed test soon and I’ll get everyone more details as soon as possible.

  6. Sam Smith February 25, 2019 at 8:30 pm -

    Thanks Fred, that makes sense and I can see the intent to simplify a little. Also good that its subject to playtesting. I’m still just super excited that Blind Swords is going to be applied to battles a step up in size – I never thought we’d see the day and regretted that, as I’ve tried a number of other systems and they just didn’t quite do it. Blind Swords was and is perfect for me – except for not yet having wanting bigger battles (which as a brit recently into ACW as a period I’ve not done to death) .

    Anyway, I suspect there will be others similarly enthused when word gets out more widely, but I’ll leave that to you in due course.

    • Fred Manzo February 26, 2019 at 2:55 am -

      Thanks for the kind words. I’ve always found the American Civil War fascinating, maybe because it was the last war where just about everything was comprehensible to the average person, or perhaps because, as they say, “if you listen closely you can still hear the artillery.” By the way, the name “Blind Swords” comes from Stephen Vincent Benét’s “John Brown’s Body.” A great epic poem that is much underappreciated these days. Anyway, the Blind Sword system is a labor of love and you can be sure that we won’t release one without it being as near to perfect as it is possible for us to make it.

  7. Ezekiel February 27, 2019 at 12:17 pm -

    So excited to see this game system cover the 1st day of Gettysburg! I think the current graphics for units look excellent and I do like the butternut choice of color for the rebels. I’m curious to see how the streamlining of rules goes for this but have high hopes. This looks great so far!

    • Fred Manzo February 27, 2019 at 9:59 pm -

      Thanks for the compliments. Our aim is to produce an exciting game that is also a “doorway” to the full “Blind Swords” system. Right now we are trying to fit a streamlined version into 12 pages of rules and is still have it capable of producing a historically accurate result in a minimum of space and time. I think we are well on our way and with a little luck, it will be ready for the public by Origins.

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