|Mercy's Bavarians surprise Turenne's French at Mergentheim|
|The initial Bavarian charge routs the French cavalry|
|Bavarian infantry advance on the French center while their cavalry on the wings rallies.|
|The vicious infantry fight to dislodge the French from the woods|
|Late in the day, the French are still on the field despite being driven back and taking serious losses|
This is an age when cavalry was still very much the decisive arm. Cavalry is deadly on these battlefields, sweeping infantry away easily with charges from the flank or rear. At the same time a cavalry wing is quickly blown from a single charge, and will take several turns usually to fully recover morale, reform itself, and reload pistols. Even more disconcerting, cavalry will often pursue defeated units off the board, not to return during the game. They can even take the wing commander with them, depriving you of a critical leader at just the wrong time.
I've managed to acquire the entire series of these games now and I'm glad I did. Once the series rules are learned, these games provide over 30 battles from the Thirty Years War and the English Civil War. These games are a real treat if you're a fan of the period, offering a very compelling tactical treatment of pike and shot warfare. The rules seem complicated at first but are well worth sticking with - playing a few turns will really help clarify things. Vassal modules are available for all of the games as well, making online play easy.
Unfortunately the games themselves are very nearly all out of print, and certain games in particular can be expensive to acquire secondhand. If you, like me, simply have to have the entire series I recommend keeping a watch not only on good after market sellers like Enterprise Games, but also in places like the Wargamer's Marketplace Facebook group, where I found several of the games at more reasonable prices.