At the end of last year a Kickstarter caught my eye and got me really excited – this was of course the Zone Wars – Mutant: Year Zero Multiplayer Skirmish Mayhem (link that will take you to the kickstarter, that was fully funded and will probably have a late pledge option once they get the pledge manager up and running. Go and check it out).
The game is based on the Mutant Year 0 universe, and the computer game with the same name, and offers 4 factions in the full pledge of 5 miniatures – these are basically mutated animals, mutated humans, robots and psionic users (PSI mutants back in the day).
As you might be aware I have been a hardcore fan of the Post apocalyptic Scandinavian theme since the Mutant RPG (the predecessor to Mutant Year 0) in 1984. I have done a number of projects with this as a theme over the last few years, if you explore the blog.
The Kickstarter will no be delivered until the end of this year, however it is possible to try out the rules as an early version of the ruleset, with cards and markers, is available to download here (link to a Free League Drop box folder as of today 03/01/23). It required as little bit of work to cut our the cards and to make the markers, but since we were looking for a Christmas Game I thought it would be worth making the effort, and as will be revealed later we had a blast playing it so it was worth the effort.
Further I decided to make a few gangs based on miniatures I had instead to seeking proxies to the models in the actual game at least for this test run of the game.
I created the following four gangs (details on stats etc provided at the end of this post). Are they balanced? – maybe not but hopefully balanced enough.
Also went to town creating some jump off markers, including a flying stand for one of the many memorable beasts of the RPG rules from 1984.
As for the game, it was a blast and we laughed and had a jolly good time. The basic premise was to pick up a number of old tech items and return with these avoiding to get killed by other player or as we found the zone itself. The Zone is more than capable of making life hard for the players in a wonderful way, the zone activates once a round through a marker and normally introduces a potential bad thing of some sort. In addition, as the the game progressed there is a build up of Acid Rain cards that works as a countdown mechanism – as the fourth card is played all the models on the board not returned back to their jump off point dies.
Here are a few pictures from the game:
In summary good fun…
All the best and keep toysoldiering on!
We will continue exploring the zone with some further stuff in the making.
Here are the models and stats we used on the day (apart from the Psykers as we were only three playing):
A few days before Christmas I was invited to speak on Sean Clark’s podcast Gods Own Scale, where I covered some thoughts and reflections from the year that just passed (link below the picture, if you want to check it out).
It is always great to catch-up with Sean and it is well worth checking up his back catalogue if you are not already familiar with it.
Anyway as a kind of complement I will do a quick overview of some of the things I did on the hobby front this year (mainly an organised listing of links to blogposts). As always in doing the review I realise that I have been doing far more than expected.
The sections are
More 3D printing
Commissioning some 6mm miniatures
Sweden 1943 Project 15mm
The Battle of Lund 1676 6mm and the 6mm Charity Project
Fantasy Ice Hockey 28mm
An Awarding Year – Caesar Award (Wargaming Blog 2021) and Best in Show at Salute (6mm Poltava 1709
More 3D printing
I continued some exploration of 3D printing and came to the conclusion after a lot of printing that I should stop just printing and just keep things back until I intended to paint stuff, avoiding creating yet another mountain – this time in resin instead of lead. On the whole I really enjoy using the printer and the result it produced – it has not really reduced the amount of stuff I buy but has given me some options for doing alternative stuff. Here are few of the stuff I did do.
More details on this here
Commissioning some 6mm miniatures
I also commissioned some 6mm miniatures to be used as commanders for my GNW 6mm stuff. I did 5 minutures in total, the one below shows Stenbeck at Helsingborg in 1710.
More about that here and the other miniatures that I commissioned.
Sweden 1943 Project 15mm
Further Progress was made on my Swedish 1943 Project and I added some more tanks and armoured cars (well trucks). I also did a high level army list for O Group, the new game from Too Fat Lardies.
More about this project here
The only big 6mm project I did start in the year was the Forces in Holstein 1700 as part of the start of the Great Northern War. This offers two very colourful opposing armies and the potential for a very interesting wargaming experience – in reality there were no big field battles, but this project offers some exploration of this.
I also bought some already painted 6mm ancients that I rebased and quickly got my 6mm Ancient Punic War collection substantially increased. I also did a summary blog on a lot of the #6mmtips I have shared on twitter over the last few years. More on these projects below.
The Battle of Lund 1676 6mm and the 6mm Charity Project
This year I took the Battle of Lund 1676 to the Virtual Joy of Six event, I ended up doing a video to present the game and also talked about the Charity Project that was completed last year. There are some links to two video that was produced to support these projects.
I did a lot of terrain projects this year most notably I did a lot of clutter, or immersion markers as I prefer to call them, for the 1943 table, but there are some generic ideas you could use for other theatres and scales. I also did a fair few buildings and fields.
These projects has allowed me to create some really immersive battlefields, like this one. Here a little video that Des Darkin did showing off the table laid out using many of the terrain elements produced this year (thanks Des).
Fantasy Ice Hockey 28mm
I did some further work on my Fantasy Ice hockey project and we are developing some alternative rules to use. More on some conversions and some 3d printed models below.
Those were my main activities for the year, here some of the smaller projects that was done
I received two awards this year, the Caesar Award for the Blog of 2021 organised by Little Wars TV and also the Best Game in Show (Presidents Award) at Salute for the 6mm Poltava 1709 table.
Here a video made by Alex at Storm of Steel covering the show with an interview with Nick and I discussing the battle.
This Part 31 of a series I have been running during October in support of the #Terraintober initiative. Part 1 (link here) gives an overview and the philosophy applied to the series – cheap, simple and fun clutter in 15mm. So no master classes here, just quantity to fill that table with things to enhance immersion, that is what immersion markers are for.
As stated before nothing I will be doing is particularly original or difficult to do and I hope it will have some use and give some kind of inspiration to do some immersion markers yourself. I will try to discuss how I did each piece but it is really mostly about splicing some coffee stirrers, eyeballing it and Rock and Roll a One modelling. Some items will be more specific to the theatre I am aiming for, a rural Sweden in 1943, but I think you will find most items useful as generic clutter anywhere with a few modifications.
Here is a link to the individual blogposts, the objective was a total spend of less than £30, we hit £25 (with perhaps a little bit of cheating), it could have been significantly less. I Hope some of them might inspire you to either have a go or seek out commercial alternatives. Clutter leads to immersion, immersion enhances the game!
The next step of the project is to start getting some of the stuff on the table for the What-if 1943 invasion, plenty of Germans eager to jump the border. I have more than enough to do a varied amount of scenarios – for both sides.
These pieces of clutter will really add a lot of character to the stuff I already have.
So putting the new Clutter into some practice with a few quick shots, planned to do a game today but got an opportunity to do something better with the family so a few “staged” photos instead, but I hope you get the idea. Battle Mat from Geek Villain ( https://geekvillain.co.uk/ ).
/ Hope that was of some interest, I really enjoyed making this series. Now I do not want to see Coffee Stirrer for at least a week. If you do end up doing some of the clutter yourself please share your experience and pictures – I would really appreciate it. Or let me know which one is your favourite.
A lot on at the moment with work and the fact that No. 2 daughter is heading off to University soon. However I have been progressing a lot with smaller stuff, doing 30 minutes here and there and taking a little bit or extra time on a few models I have been intending to do for some time. It is impressive though how it all kind of adds up doing a little bit here and there – I might be able to tackle this lead (and other materials) mountain before my 154th birthday. Talking about the lead mountain, I did take a hike on it and found some old Doctor Who miniatures I had bought at some point in 2019, and as happens it provoked me to buy a few more (funny how that always works, one down, two more bought, like one step forward, two step back).
Being a hard core fun of the series and remembering fondly watching the fourth Doctor a few years after their original airings on some early satellite channels back in Sweden. I was working weekend distributing leaflets and selling a Sunday broadsheet newspaper (Dagens Nyheter) to one of the poshest areas in my hometown – guaranteed sales and plenty of tip. I was 12 and it was a great Sunday earner for a fair few years. Doctor Who use to air early in the morning and I used to set the clock early to wake up, collect my leaflets and the newspapers and then watch the Doctor Who whilst having my breakfast then off to earn some monies to buy RPGs, adventure books and comics – amazing times.
Doctor Who – Pyramids of Mars
This is one of my all time favourite Doctor Who adventure, evocative, scary and bloody brilliant. Here are few shots from the adventure.
I did the Mummies, Suketh on his throne, two of his servants, Namin and Marcus Scarman. I already have the Doctor somewhere. I also painted Leela, standing in for Sarah Jane, who was originally in the adventure. All models are from Black Tree design – I really like these.
I intend to use these playing some scenarios using the Doctor Who miniatures games (I think it was produce in 2010). It was available free for a while and I managed to get hold of the game and a fair few Scenarios.
I believe the system is very similar to the current 7TV ruleset by Crooked Dice. There are scenarios for a number of different Doctors, I have ordered miniatures for Black Tree for the following scenarios. These are also scary and atmospheric.
These were the codes I got from Black Tree, but will have to get some additional fillers from other ranges, like the Tong Cultists, a Range Rover for the Unit soldiers, etc.
DW462 – 4th Doctor in Sherlock Holmes Hat
DW311 – The Master
DW702 – Brigadier
DW322 – Capt Mike Yates
DW323 – Sgt Benton
DW1003 – Unit Patrol (7)
DW314 – Bok
DW327 – Azal the Daemon
DW413 – Weng Chiang
DW414 – Mr Sinn
DW418 – Lih, Sen Chang
And I did do the miniatures I would need for the Warriors of the Deep last year, but I do think I ever wrote a blog about it, well another time – this is my second favourite Doctor Who episode (and there is no Tom Baker in sight!).
So loads of Whovian fun lined up with some of the finest episodes.
One of my many lockdown projects that never made it to a blog posts was me working on the Judge Dredd miniatures game and they many fantastic miniatures from the Warlord Range and a few others, so here is a wrap up of that.
The first Judge Dredd magazine I read was this one that my Mum bought to me. It has long since been lost but I managed to get a mint copy a few years back. This is the first issue of the Eagle Comics Judge Dredd, in Swedish, from the magical year of 1984 (well you know my love for Mutant 1984).
It is an excellent cover, and I really hope that Warlord will make some Sov-Judges one day.
I am Death and I have come to Judge you, in Swedish.
It blew mind away and I have been a fan since.
Anyway I got into the Warlord Games miniatures range and bough a lot of the sets over the various lock downs and painted away. Here are a fair few of the ones I did (not all of them being from the Warlord Range, but most of it).
The following is a companion blog post for the Lund 1676 battle that will be presented at the Virtual Joy of Six 2021 on Sunday 4th July 2021 (starting 10am, UK time, more detail will follow on Baccus.com). It contains the Ordre de Bataille that is used to set up the table and play the game presented, also the unit types and qualities used for the battle. These a specifically for the Sun Kings rules, but I hope you could have some use of these for whatever rules you use. The idea is aggressive Swedish Units but not up to the quality we would expected in the Great Northern war – a lot of the galloping horse (i.e. shock cavalry) are using the tactics but are classed as raw due to lack of experience in the method (with a few exceptions). Similar the Danes used the Caracole and this have been classified as Poor Cavalry but trained (bad tactics but good soldiers). Similar for the infantry but we have assumed all units as trained. The extra morale factor for the Swedes often used in the Great Northern War is not present in this battle. Note that a large number of the Swedish units are classified as small due to the very small numbers of reported men in the battalion or the squadrons.
Note that we used a base width of 30mm and therefore most units where 60mm wide (battalion scale lite, as this does only one battalion and 2 squadrons per units, instead of the normal two battalions and 4 squadrons per base. We used some odd 30mm bases and used these are an additional base for the large units and this base, was taken away when the first morale loss was failed (simulating the additional resilience of the large unit). Also note that the Dutch Sailors have been given the inferior infantry classification, this means that they are always inferior to the normal infantry units in melee and in musketry. As for cavalry the Swedes had 12 guns and the Danes 56 guns, I have given the Swedes 2 gun bases and the Danes 6, perhaps the Swedes only deserve one?
/ Hope that was of some interest, let me know how you have interpreted Lund 1676, and I hope you check out Joy of Six, there will be plenty of 6mm related things to explore.
Lots of things going on at the moment but getting in the occasional session and have been doing a fair few things recently.
A dropship for the 28mm stuff the Little One and I are doing, and also a really exciting Space Bus on its way.
Some clutter for Urban Sci-Fi gaming
A few more things for the Mutant 1984 project
Following from our two games so far with the Stargrave rules (we showed some pictures from one of the games here), the Little One and I felt the need to get some shuttles of dropship without breaking the bank and we found a nice model from Mantic Games (model here) that seemed to fit the bill – it sells for about £25 but we managed to get one for £20 including postage from Ebay, as usually there are some re-sellers that may sell it to you cheaper than buying directly from Mantic.
I spray painted the model with Silver paint and used a series of washes to get a dark green metal with grime look. The funnies part of it was the last step which was done applying some Flory Models Grime Wash (I bought a few of these washes some time ago and I am really happy with the effect after in essence just dabbing it on with a brush (you can get them from here).
Really happy how it came out – quick but effective.
Clutter for Urban Sci-Fi Gaming
I had some 3D printed terrain I bought from Sabotag3d a year ago for my Judge Dredd project.
Put some paint on it this weekend trying to get a little bit of an overall cartoon feel to it all. All metallics are gold or silver base paint with contrast paint on top – I like the effect it gives.
And of course with a little bit of miniatures and other terrain.
Finally I have had some fun painting some miniatures from Fenris Games for my Mutant 1984 project, as per usual the the nobleman Guss af Edelhus in the forbidden zone in Muskö year 105 has an apperance, he is from Warlord Games.
Jageret Svin – bandit and explorer
Wolfram Varg and his fellow Hunters, some of the most sought after troubleshooters in the Pyri-Commonwealth
A Pit Guillotine (well actually a Gug from the Cthulhu Mythons)
/ Hope that was of some interest, have a good weekend (eventually)
I have been running a little bit of an occasional series on Twitter (@Roll_a_one) giving some more or less profound advice with regards to the 6mm aspect of the hobby from my perspective, you can find these under the #6mm tips and were done in 2019 and 2020. I also asked the Hive Mind for some advice recently and I have used these two sources to write a little bit of a rambling post about some of the insights I have learned from painting 6mm miniatures over the last 15 years or so. They are my own views and your Glorantha may vary! I am passionate about the scale and try to share the love I feel for it as much as possible.
Thinking about 6mm
If you have never tried painting 6mm why not find a manufacturer and order a small pack and see if it works for you – you might be pleasantly surprised. The models shown below are Bison Riders from Rapier Miniatures, Sci-fi models from Brigade Models, 8th Army infantry from Adler and some SYW Mounted Grenadiers (used as Russians in my GNW games).
Approach to Painting
I think this summary from Joe about his first experience of painting 6mm is extremely useful for how I think 6mm is best tackled, of course some people are spending a lot of time on detail and there is no problem with that. I tend to do too large projects to be able to spend a lot of time on each little miniatures. Paint an army that looks good from when you stand up or sit back looking at it on the wargames table. The second tweet shows that every now and then you will achieve something that looks really good in detail even if you did not plan it.
Painting your Miniatures
I did a few painting guides last year, showing “my” method with regards to how I tend to paint, but there are various ways of doing it. Below is a link to an old blog that gives links to the 4 guides I did. Use a good brush with a good point, try to get used using a Size 1 or even 2 for the majority of the painting. A 10/0 is just a waste of time in my opinion, wears out quickly and holds no paint – dip paint dip paint, instead of dip paint along! I use grey with black wash, some prefer black (perhaps drybrushed white), brown or white undercoat. I struggle with white as it is less forgiving than darker undercoats, but with some washed people can achieve some excellent results. As for the colours go a little bit brighter as this will look better from a distance, play with contrasts if you can, it works better than highlights if you do it right.
The first one relates to washing your miniatures or not (this is washing them as part of the painting process, not before your start working on them, which I heard you should but I never do). Some people paint their miniatures nicely and perhaps even do a few highlights and do not bother with a wash. I tend to block paint my miniatures as good as I can, then add Winsor and Newton Nutbrown Ink on top, make sure it does not pool too much and sometimes I add some highlights once it has dried. I find this method being the most efficient balance between a lot of work on detail and limited detail as the wash tends to do a good job and I just love the shine of the Nut. I never varnish my 6mm stuff – perhaps I should?
Detail when it matters
Some detail can really pay off and look ok even from a distance, for my Gallic warriors below I just carefully added some blue ink – upfront it does not look very well but from a distance you could image that those are some kind of tattoos. The second tweet show the power of using highlights on bare skin making a hell of difference to the final result. The final tweet is showing how powerful some nicely detailed shields can be. The last one about painting Tartan in 6mm, well actually it is not Tartan at all – the brain will fill in what is difficult to paint.
Basing is not everything but pretty close
Make sure your basing is consistent and think about how it interfaces with your board/mat, well at least the one you are most likely to use. It is more powerful if the base blends into the playing surface and the army is aligned. All my 6mm stuff is more or less aligned, this includes the terrain – it all comes together.
Light and Sight
This is really important if you are not able to see properly your painting will suffer. First priority get a good daylight lamp, mine cost about £120 but I do spend a lot of time under it. Second if you are not able to see properly get some magnifying glasses to support you doing the work – I just use my normal glasses and it works fine at the moment.
Some Bonus Tips
Anyway, I do hope that was of some interest, please provide some tips and advice of your own in the comments.
The Little One has been excited about trying out the new Stargrave rules (more here) with the crew he built and painted and yesterday we got an opportunity to have a go. Playing a simple mission of grab objectives and get the hell out of there, using his crew with “Big Man Pete” as Captain and “Hard Man Franky” as First Mate. This is just a few pictures from the game and a few comments, not a review or an actual battle report.
I did a crew based on the North Star plastics just the Little Ones above, but have to admit that they are not yet completed. Instead I enlisted the Galaxy’s best band “Spawn of Speed” for this mission – they are the meanest sounding band in the Galaxy but are known to take the odd job if they like the Rhythm of it, and there is some cash involved. Especially since the authorities have clamped down of their royalties following a series of aggressive and political songs. Led by the Singer, and “Captain”, Lemmy Araya and supported by the meanest Roadie in the Galaxy known as the Silver Machine (First Mate). They travel the galaxy in their Light Cargo Ship – The Slaying Hawk (named after their first album).
The game itself was fun and led by the Little One, I had only flipped through the rules but he knew them well enough for us to have a good game. I was badly prepared in how my Captain and First Mate powers worked and could have been more clever using those. I had some initial luck in my more aggressive strategy and at one point had 3 of the 5 loot markers but the Little One managed to turn the tides and ended knocking out the whole band and I conceded so I suppose it was a 0-5 loss in the end. We will definitely have a few more games and I encourage anyone to have a go – most of us have some old Sci-fi troopers and characters lying around and what environment you fight in does not really matter as long as there is some terrain features. We might do the next game in a forest or something like that. It has not yet blown or scared me away – so we will see how it feels when I have had a few more games and learned the subtleties of things like powers and the system itself. The Little One is a real fan of the rules. We had a good time which is the first rule or whether a set is fun or not, what follows are a few pictures of the game.
It was with great sadness I received news from Neil Shuck late on the 20th April 2021 that Mike Hobbs, the Welsh Wizard or the Gamer, had suddenly passed. The many beautiful messages on Twitter about Mike and what impact he had on so many aspects of our hobby of gaming, from writing rules, presenting games, talking about games, reviewing games, playing games, painting, etc. Not just wargames but all kind of games – a true table top wizard, be it wargames, board games or roleplaying games. But the best things with Mike was that he was a good mate to me and many others – to me the tweet by Marshal Luigi, kind of summed it up!
Here are just a selection of some of the many impressions Mike made on me and for which I will remember him.
Mike instigated a virtual painting club during lockdown where a bunch of us have been meeting up on a regular basis getting that needed social interaction and escape from it all. It has really been a morale boost during the hard times we all have had during this period. Mike always would lend you an ear not just for the banter but for some harder more serious issues too.
He also did the Hoblund’s Dragoons as part of the 6mm charity project we did last year, that I hope to be able to take somewhere soon. In our first battle his Dragoons played an important role in stressing the Siarus left that eventually led to the overall victory.
When I was planning on doing the Saga in 6mm project a few years ago I had extensive discussions with Mike on how to base the figures and deal with what in essence became a totally different looking and feeling game. He really gave me a lot of time explaining not just the basic rules but how the various battle boards worked, etc.
I also remember that big order we did from Eureka when they came over to Salute to get the full discount – well believe it or not but there was no need to go together to achieve the required amount for the discount when we had finished our shopping carts. Mike ordered Hawkmoon miniatures from their 28mm range – and we recently discussed them and that perhaps he would put some paint on them – I wish I could have seen those.
And all those episodes of the Meeples and Miniatures podcast – what a backlog of great listening Mike, Neil and the other hosts built up over the years. It still my favourite podcast – you should check it out.
But finally my favourite memory was when he, Neil and a few others came up to see me at Joy of Six in 2019. Mike gave me the nickname “the Godfather of Six” and he told me I more than deserved it for the Poltava battle – I am really happy you liked it mate and would have liked to share more stuff with you.
When I asked Mike, at Joy of Six, what I else he had been checking out, he said “I just came to support you Per”. That was Mike in a nutshell! He made you feel special and always included.
Mike, as you pass over the rainbow bridge to Valhalla (your Glorantha may vary!), I hope you get to see at least a glimpse of all the love that has been pouring out for you over the last 24 hours and I am sure will continue. You did not deserve to go now, but wherever you go you deserve the best.
Hope to see you again one day, I will raise my horn for you! Thanks for all your support to me and the blog over the years! You were brilliant!
Your mate, Per
I extend my most sincere condolences to Mandy, Mike’s family and all his friends, especially to his best mate Neil Shuck (who wrote a really nice blog post about Mike here.).
The link takes you to some STL files with a fantastic team of Fantasy Ice Hockey Skeletons. As you may be aware I did a little project last year (see link here), building an ice rink and painted up some amazing models (Orcs, Rats and Dwarfs) and with a resin 3D printer here on the hobby bench and $11 to spend I downloaded the files. Here are the teams I already have, Bromm’s Icers, Uruk-Hockey and Rats on thin ice (or something like that).
The Set comes with a bone goal, a Keeper, three types of winters/attack and 1 defender (I just mirror imaged this one and printed two, to give me the required 5 players and a goalie) and a referee.
Printing wise, I used base settings and let the CHITUBOX software add the light support and hoped for the best. With a total print cost of less than £1 it is not really worth overanalysing the supports. They printed well and in cleaning I broke one of the models but just superglued it back.
I gave them a quick paintjob and I am yet to finalise the basing, but I hope you agree these are great little models and good complements to the sets I already have.
Here are the models (apart from the Goal and the Referee)…
I hope more teams will be made available… really good value and fun to work with!
Well it arrived a few weeks ago – the new rule set from Two Fat Lardies (well actually Reisswitz Press) and this morning I had a read through and watched some of the videos available on the internet (Look for . It seems really interesting – new in terms of scale and some of the mechanics but familiar in terms of some elements of the Lardies rule sets I have come to like. But more about that when I have actually played the game and know what I am talking about.
Here are a few good starting points if you want to know more before you buy or getting up to speed once you got the rules.
My current WW2 collection consist of a large number of different platoons in 15mm (varying between 1 and 2 per theatre and period), including Finnish and Soviets (Winter War and Continuation War), German (Early, Mid and Late), British (early war), French (early war), Greek (early war), Italian (early war) and of course two Swedish Platoons.
Well, it took me about two minutes to decide to make this as a Sweden 1943 project and in 15mm, as I already have all the tanks, etc I would need and in essence would only need to do some more infantry on bigger bases (than the individually based I have for my platoon) which is something as was planning to do upscaling the toys to be in used for IABSM (the Company Level game by Too Fat Lardies).
I thought I share this as an example on how you could take a rule set and its army lists as a basis for developing your own for nations or theatre specific situations that are not covered by a set of base rules and also in this this case very unlikely to show up in future supplements. If you are doing a ‘What-if project’ for a German invasion of Sweden in 1943, you are probably on your own. But to me this is a lot of fun in its own right. It would be interesting to see a Finnish Continuation War Organisation at some point too.
The Swedish Infantry Regiment
The Swedish infantry regiment in line with the 1943M organisation consisted of the following high level elements (from April 1943).
MG Company (consisting of 3 No. MG platoons, with 2 sections of two MGs (normally the m/36))
Specialist company – heavy weapons company (AT Platoon with 6 No. Bofors m/AT guns). AAMG Platoon with 4 No. AAMG on Tripods, Pioneer Platoon (w. 5 flamethrowers), Heavy Mortar Platoon, 3 120mm m/41 mortars with FO, AA Gun Platoon, 4 No. 20mm Bofors m/40, on Tripod
1st Battalion – more detail on the battalion below, but basically, HQ, 1 No. Jager Platoon, 3 No. Rifle Company and 1 No. Heavy Company.
2nd Battalion – as above
3rd Battaltion – as above
An Infantry battalion
The infantry battalion, which will form the basis of the units you will have on the table consisted of.
1 No. Jager Platoon – consisting of Platoon HQ and 3 sections
3 No. Rifle Company (Skyttekompani), each with
4 No. Platoons, each with
4 Rifle Sections
Specialist Section – 1 No. AT Rifle and 1 No. 47mm Mortar
MG Section – 2 No. MGs (m/36 or m/42)
Mortar Section – 1 No. 80mm m/29 Mortar
1 No. Heavy Company (Tunga Kompaniet)
2 No. Sections of 2 No. 80mm m/29 Mortars
AA/AT Platoon with 4 No. Bofors m/40 Guns (Tripods)
MG Platoon (Kulsprutekompani)
MG Section – 2 No. m/36 MG
So how do we translate this into the O Group Framework, well studying how for example a typical German Infantry Battalion has been structured I have come up with a first framework enough to get some miniatures done. I will flesh this out with stats and costs later but I think this is a good start. Note that the There are no Artillery support at Regimental level, the extra punch is provided by the high number of mortars, including the 120mm Mortars. I believe this would have been effective and possibly used with the same devastating effect as the Finns used theirs. I need to do further research on the Divisional support list as currently I have limited information on the organisation and operations above regimental level, but this will get me started.
So, if you do have some further information or ideas, please do a comment for this post or use the contact form on the blog.
I am going to get myself some Battlefront Italians for this project right now.
/ Hope that is of some interest.
Pictures above are from Krigsarkivet (Military Archives of Sweden, link here) and I have borrowed them from the eminent page Tornsvalan about Sweden during the war years, link here.
‘O’ Group – Wargames Rules for Battalion Size Actions in World War II (2021), by David C.R. Brown, Reisswitz Press. Link here.
An Introduction to The Royal Swedish Army in WWII – really useful resource link here. I used their listing of the M1943 as a basis for the presentation above.
Infanterireglemente (InfR) – Regemente I (InfR I) – 1945 – This shows the M1943 organisation and details some of the aspects that are not covered in the link above. Difficult to get hold off but occassionally some of the regulations do show up on https://www.bokborsen.se/.
En svensk tiger : hårda fakta och siffror över svensk beredskap och upprustning 1939-1945 (2014) by Sven-Åke Bengtsson.
During the hostilities in northern Dalarna in 1943 the Germans used remote control mines (known as the Goliath) in trying to break through the fortifications of the Swedish border defences. Hauptman Pillistin of the Pioneer Company deployed a number of them during the fighting in Särna. The Hero of Skans 211 (the name of the fortification system at Särna) Corporal Davidsson managed to demobilise three of them using his Scoped Rifle and some pretty accurate shooting. This caused a significant delay to the offensive that bought necessary time at the early stages of the offensive to ready the Swedish defences at the inner lines.
Ok, it is my 1943 what-if again and one of the scenarios I am working on. The idea with the eventual set of scenarios is to provide a book with some interesting scenarios ranging from defending fortified positions, creating bridge heads positions, assaulting over water, and forest fighting. It will be set in Sweden but you could equally replace the Swedes with Polish during 1939 or the Finns (and the German with the Soviets) during the 1944 Summer offensive, etc. Interested in presenting We shall see how it goes.
The defensive system at Särna was built following the invasion of Norway in 1940, it can be see in the video below (the audio is in Swedish but the pictures could be of some interest) as it looks today.
Now what is this Goliath thing, well it is a tracked mine (German: Leichter Ladungsträger Goliath, “Goliath Light Charge Carrier”) and was disposable demolition vehicles and remote controlled (through a cable). You can read more about them on good old wikipedia (here).
So although to quote the wikipedia article “Mostly, they failed to reach their target although the effect was considerable when they did.”, I think a scenario with them in it would add some tension to the game with some slow moving Goliaths working their way through the defensive positions whilst the infantry sections are trying to stop it with small arms fire.
Recently I found some files on Thingyverse (here) and printed out some Goliaths with and without trolleys and added some Peter Pig Germans and two Kettenrads. Happy how they turned out.
Matti, wrote this in the comments to the last blog post (see here), and it made me laugh.
I am fuming. For once I though I had come up with an original idea for a 6mm project, and even made my orders to Baccus, when you swoop in and do the same thing but better and more comprehensively! Curse you!
Jokes aside, they look great. There is a great book about the Danish campaign in Holstein and the naval situation associated leading to the landing at Humlebæk available at the Danish marine history page here called “King Frederik IV’s first war for South Jutland” http://marinehist.dk/?page_id=2845 It details the events and troop movements of the campaign in 1700 quite well, much better than any of the other sources on the campaign I’ve managed to find. While it’s only available in Danish, if I’ve been able to read it with my poor understanding of Swedish and the miracles of machine translation, I think anyone can manage it! The book also has listed in it the naval forces of both nations in the period, so if one would want to play out the naval battle that the Danish admiralty didn’t choose to take when the Swedish fleet crossed at the Eastern Sound.
This is an excellent example of the kind of extremely useful interface that happens here on the blog and on twitter. Because the link in Matti’s e-mail is absolutely excellent. It gives the information I was looking for, namely the composition of the Danish Forces that was sent to Holstein. Thank you so much Matti.
Note that with regards to any discussions on units and bases the standard approach I have taken is that a battalion (400-600 men normally) is represented by 1 base of infantry, whilst a base of cavalry represents about 2-3 squadrons (200 to 300 men). This basing works well with the rule sets I am using Twilight of the Sun King, Polemos GNW and Maurice.
From the above we can derive that there were 18 battalions worth of infantry (assuming that the size of the battalions mentions for Prinz Georgs were about 100 men each). As for the cavalry I am not sure whether the full regiments were sent of not but for now that is my assumption, I assume these would be about 350 to 400 man strong, divied over 6 companies. That would make each cavalry regiment a unit of 2 bases.
So in summary 18 bases of infantry and 22 bases of Horse to do for the Danish side. For the potential Saxon support I will simply use the units I already have from my Kalisz and Klissow Projects. This project grew quickly! I do not think I can supply those from the lead mountain although I did paint a fair few Danes a few years back.
In addition Nick Dorrell has provided some useful links to the area of the Siege and the maps of the two camps:
With that in mind here are some links to maps of the rival camps, this is extremely useful in speculating how a potential field battle may have taken place.
I also realised that my sources (presented in the last blog) were somewhat patchy with regards to uniform information and flags, so I bought the following books from the Pike and Shot Society (link here):
Uniforms and Flags of the Armies of Hanover, Celle and Brunswick – 1670 – 1715 by Robert Hall
Flags and Uniforms of the Dutch Army 1685 – 1715 VOL I by Robert Hall, Iain Stanford and Yves Roumegoux
Flags and Uniforms of the Dutch Army 1685 – 1715 VOL I I by Robert Hall, Iain Stanford and Yves Roumegoux
Waiting to get these before I progress the miniatures too much as I think it may force me to do some re-paints, now what remains is the question of the uniform details of the Scheswig-Holstein-Gottorp regiments.
The Ducal Life Guard Regiment (unknown, Red with White Cuffs?)
Prince Christian-August (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs)
Bautzen (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs)
Von Barner (Hecules) (unknwn, blue with blue facings?)
Dragoon Guards (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs )
Baudisson’s, sometimes called Bauditz’s, Dragoon Regiment (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs, however says it was raied in 1702, another things to check)
Von Osten (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs, however says it was raied in 1702, another things to check)
I did crack on with some infantry the other day, it is the old line of Baccus WSS units (the newer one are even better, but I think they paint up really good).
/ Hope that was of some interest, as always let me know if I am getting something wrong or if you have something useful like Matti to add (thanks again).
One of the first actions of the Great Northern War was the move by Danmark into Holstein-Gottorp, that was an ally and also bound dynastically to Sweden. Hedwig Eleonora of Holstein-Gottorp was the Queen Consort of Sweden, she was married to Charles X of Sweden from 1654 to 1660, then from his death 1660 served as Regent from to 1672, when her son Charles XI (of Scanian War fame) was an adult and again during the short time from Charles XI’s death to the time Charles XII assumed power at the age of 15. Later on she would be representing the Swedish Kingdom at home in Stockholm during Charles XII campaigns during the Great Northern War.
The Danes laid Siege to the town of Tönning in 1700 but it was lifted following the deployment of the Swedish Army in front of Copenhagen that resulted in the Travendal Peace treaty in August 1700. Later in the war the town of Tönning would be besieged again but with a different outcome, but that is another (hi)story.
During this time an International Force was sent to Holstein-Gottorp to aid the Duchy consisting of elements of the Schleswig-Holstein Gottorp Army with some Swedish Mercenary regiments, United Provinces (Dutch), the Hanoverians (Duchy of Luneburg-Celle and Duchy of Hanover-Calenburg) and a small Swedish Army under the Command of General Gyllenstierna.
It is this force I would like to do for my 6mm Great Northern War Collection, although no action really happened I would like to do a “what if” of a major field battle as this offers an interesting mix of units, commanders and also the possibility of potential support from the Saxons to the Danish side. I did a similar what-if with goof friend Nick Dorrell for the Battle of Horka 1708 at Joy of Six in 2018 (see more here).
So what are the details of this force? Well, Nick has done a tremendous job in presenting this information, see more here which is reproduced in a summary form below (with some additional information from my own notes and research). I will need to do some further research on the actual composition of the Danish force that invaded later.
Bases Needed for the Project
Basically I would need to do the following for this project:
Schleswig-Holstein Gottorp(9 infantry bases, 1 horse base, 3 dragoon bases)
Available Commanders – The Duke of Schleswig-Holstein Gottorp (Monarch)
9 infantry battalions – The Ducal Life Guard Regiment (2 btns), Christian-August (1 btn), Bautzen (1 btn) and Von Barner (Hecules, 1 btn), and then the Swedish Mercenary regiments: Wismar Garrison (1 btn), Stade Garrison (1 btn) and Wismar Governor (2 btns)
1 hourse regiment (not counting the small trabant unit) – Von Osten (1 base)
Available Commanders – Anthoni Gunther, Prinze of von Holstein-Beck and Colonel Daniel van Dopf
4 Infantry battalions – Holstein-Beck’s Foot, Weller’s Foot, Keppel’s Foot and Capol’s Swiss Foot, each being represented by one 60 by 30mm base of infantry (as there were somewhere between 500 and 700 strong each). The Holstein-Beck Foot will be modelled with pikes based on Nick’s comments. I found the full names of the Colonels for 3 of these – Anthoni Gunther, Prinze of von Holstein-Beck, Hercule de Capol and Johan Rabo von Keppel.
3 Horse Regiments – Albermarle’s Carabiniers (Arnold Joust, Baron van Keppel, 1st Earl of Albermarle), Ostfriesland’s (Colonel Fredric Ulrich, Graaf von Oost- Friesland) and Aughrim’s Horse (Colonel Frederik Christian von Reede – Baron Aughrim). I normal model every 2 squadrons per base, in this case there were 3 squadrons for Albermarle and 1 squadon for the others. I will simplify this to three bases of each – it is a compromise I can live with.
1 Dragoon Regiments, – Colonel Daniel Wolf van Dopf’s Dragoons were also part of the force and these will be represented by 2 bases.
Duchy of Luneburg-Celle (7 infantry bases, 2 horse bases, 4 bases of Dragoons)
Available Commanders: Duke George William (Monarch) and General-Feldzeugmeister Marquis de Boisdavid
7 infantry battalions – Oberst La Motte (2 btns), Generalmajor de Luc (2 btns) and the rest with 1 battalion each for Generalleutnant Graf Detlef von Rantzau, Oberst Mally de Charles and Generalmajor Barthold Hartwig von Bernstorffs.
2 horse regiments (1 base each) – General-Feldzeugmeister Marquis de Boisdavid and Brigadier de la Croix de Frechapple.
2 Dragoon regiments (2 bases each) – Oberst von Villers and Reichsgraf Friedrich Johann von Bothmer
Duchy of Hanover-Calenburg (5 infantry bases, 7 horse bases)
Available Commanders: Duke Georg Ludwig (Monarch) and Generalleutnant von Sommerfeld
5 infantry battalions – Garde zu Fuß (Generalleutnant von Sommerfeld, 2 bases), Generalmajor St. Pol des Estanges, Generalmajor d’Herbeville and Oberst von Schlegel.#
4 horse regiments (2 base each except for Garde du Corps with 1 base) – Oberst Ernst Bogislaw von Podewils, Generalmajor von Voigt, Generalmajor Graf de Noyelles and Generalleutnant Christian Ludwig von Wyhe (Garde du Corps).
Sweden (12 infantry bases, 9 bases of “Galloping Horse”)
Available Commander – General Nils Carlsson Gyllenstierna and (TBD – need to review which Senior commanders would have been with these regiments during this time).
12 infantry battalions (or 10) – Skaraborgs (2 btns), Södermanlands (2 btns) , Kronobergs (2 btns) , Östgöta (2 btns) and Riksänkedrottningens Life regiment in Pommern (2 btns) and maybe Jönköpings (2 btn).
Horse and Dragoon (3 bases Galloping Horse each) – Pommerska Horse, Bremiska Horse and Bremiska Dragoons.
As for painting guides, I have consulted the following materials (and will improvise where I do not know):
Schleswig-Holstein Gottorp – link here / and “Der Deutsche Staaten I” by Claus-Peter Golberg
The Dutch – “Dutch Army of William III” C.A Sapherson
Duchy of Luneburg-Celle – “Der Deutsche Staaten II” by Claus-Peter Golberg
Duchy of Hanover-Calenburg – “Der Deutsche Staaten II” by Claus-Peter Golberg
Sweden – “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms” by Höglund & Sallnäs
A little bit of Progress
Good news is that I did two sessions this week painting about half the cavalry I need. I may be able to re-use some of the Swedish units from other projects. You may note that these are the older version of the WSS range from Baccus, but to be honest I think they paint up really good (I have to admit to having a little bit of a lead mountain so this atual project will not require any additional expense).
If you are interested in this or know more about the smaller states I am more than interested to hear more through the comments.
/ Hope that was of some interest, will keep you updated on progress.
One of my favourite looking tanks is the Swedish m/42 tank, a domestic tank that was finalised in 1943 and plausable to take some kind of place in a 1943 what-if invasion of Sweden. It did initially have a lot of issues as was not very reliable and I found an interesting article here. I did have one of these in 15mm before but got another two from Shapeways some time ago – I was waiting for an alternative source but I think these are great even if they take you back about £19 each.
An armoured Truck – Pbil m/31
The second one is a Paul Edwards special (who runs the excellent Sabotag3d company – https://www.sabotag3d.com/). I showed Paul a picture of one and of them and off he went and designed one for me and printed out a fair few, and I have had them lying around for about a year – it was time to put some paint on them. More about this vehicle here.
That was all, see you in Dalarna in 1943!
Sorry one more thing, there is a new Podcast that is worth giving a listen and a follow. You may already be familiar with the excellent Yarkshire Gamer blog, Ken has decided to share not just his smooth voice but his passion in Audio, focusing in the grand spectacle stuff, big gaming.
To my surprise and delight I found out last week that the blog has been nominated for Best Wargame Blog 2021 in the Caesar Awards that is held by the good folks at Little Wars TV. I am really grateful for the people who nominated Rollaone.com and having checked out the competition – two blogs that are stalwarts in the blogging world and blogs I enjoy myself – I am honoured to be in such a nice company. You should check them out.
I started Rollaone.com as a thank you to all the contents that is being provided by so many people out there that has helped me over the years in getting inspired, learning techniques, finding out more about various periods and frankly getting a little bit of an escape from it all.
The blog is still alive an active although I find that the microblogging, as Henry Hyde calls it, I am doing on Twitter is taking a bigger part and I am yet to find the perfect balance. Surprisingly the whole lockdown thing has on paper given me more time to do stuff , but has not really put me in the most inspirational mood. Things like this really makes me happy.
Go and check it out, you can only vote for the blog award or any others if you are a Little Wars patreon and/or one of the judges.
But there is one category you can vote for and that is the best Wargaming Youtube Channel 2021 (in the link here https://www.caesarawards.com/). Go and have a look, they are all great channels and whilst you are checking them out go and enjoy some time with Little Wars TV – an outstanding source of inspiration and great wargaming. For me they are all winners but I think that the solid contributions from Alex on the Storm of Steel Wargaming really hits the mark for me – giving a wide variety of content from historical accounts to playthrough videos of various rulesets – it is not slick and rehearsed, but brilliant and from the heart and delivers Wargaming inspiration in spades.
I really like some of the classic art depicting the Great Northern War era (1700-1721), not just the big battle scenes but also some of the powerful character portraits. Most of the most famous ones were done long after the events during the so called national romantic era in the late 19th century. I am doing to quickly share a few of these and its purpose will become clearer as we progress.
Magnus Stenbock at the Battle of Helsinborg 1710
The first one is the painting showing Magnus Stenbock at the Battle of Helsingborg in 1710. A decisive victory over the Danes and stopped Denmark’s final military effort to regain the southern provinces of Scania that had been bitterly fought over since the 1650ies. The painting is by Gustaf Olof Cederström (1845-1933) and shows Stenbock raising his hat and a young drummer boy looking up to him – Sweden’s faith was in the balance after the disaster at Poltava 1709. My father had the picture in a book at home and told a very young boy about the newly raised army rising up to the task and winning on that glorious day. The accolades, not just from the Swedish people, from around Europe including the Great Duke of Marlborough himself. Stenbock was appointed Field Marshal after the victory. It is a fantastic painting.
Charles XII of Sweden and Ivan Mazepa after the Battle of Poltava
The next painting is another Cederström and shows Charles sitting down at the Dneiper river with the Cossack Ivan Mazepa who had aided the Swedes during the lead up to Poltava. Maybe Ivan is telling him to hurry up before the Russian comes and take him prisoner. The disaster at Poltava in 1709 was the worst day in Swedish military history.
Charles XII at horse
And finally and perhaps my favourite Charles XII on a horse by David von Krafft (1655-1724) who was a Swedish court painter. The painting shows the king in his simple blue uniform like his soldier and without any embellishments.
So why am I sharing these pictures with you? Well before Christmas I commissioned a few 6mm miniatures to enable be to do some Command bases inspired by these painting as the arrived today and I put some paint on them. I hope you like them.
All based on a Penny!
And the commission was with Combat Miniatures 6mm, you can find them on facebook @6mmcombatminiatures. I am really happy with the miniatures and the service.
I bought a 3D printer at the end of last year but it stood doing nothing for some time. Work was crazy leading up the Christmas break and during the break I got otherwise engaged. However I recently got it all up and running and how much fun I have had with it.
So far I have printed 1/3000 ships and 1/100 tanks and a lot of 2mm city buildings and walls (but more about that some other time).
The first thing I printed was the ships for the Battle of Denmark Strait 1941, where famously HMS Hood was sank by Bismarck.
These 3d files can be bought from Ghukek’s Miniatures,
I painted them in grey, gave them a black wash highlighted some of he detail with the same grey and painted the deck details with a light brown. I gave the decks a light wash of brown.
For the basing and wanted to get a quick results and painted the base in blue then outlined the bow wave in light blue and some streaks around the boat, then when dry some of the Atlantic blue from Vallejo (it is a modelling paste, link here). Let dry and carefully add some white to enforce waves and wake, and here and there. Really happy how they came out.
We will try these out in battle shortly, I will write about it then. The Little One is reading up on the Naval Thunder Rules.
As you may know I like using adhesive vinyl floor tiles that you can get cheap from Poundland as bases for my terrain projects and have used both the long plank variety as well as the square foot type (as shown in a few old posts, like this one way back (link) or this one (link).
For the Lund 1675 project I want to make a wintery mat (later post) and also add some frozen fields with bushes etc around them. These would be stand alone fields and I wanted to make a test section to see how it would work out using some tiles and well as draught excluders. I got some of ebay, and the smallest one 9X6mm or something like that, they are handy in that they are adhesive. I think they are sent in container from China.
The steps in the captions
Hope that was of some use, these tiles will enhance the table and I will make them bespoke to the scenario and then a few generic ones. They are really easy to make and relatively cheap.
Now I just need to get some more vinyl floor tiles,
Gosh, how do you review 2020? It was a bloody miserable year from many aspects and I think better analysts will summarise the world events like COVID-19, Brexit, American Elections and whether historical wargaming is dying. This review is more personal…
Well given all the time I have had working from home rather than getting into an office my blog activity has been really poor – this is only the 24th blogpost this year, that is about half the number of blog posts I normally do. However I do a lot of mini-blogging on Twitter and sometimes wish that I could link the two in some way. The blog posts feel more permanent and perhaps more like an achievement and gives time for a little bit more thought and wider information compare to doing tweets – I do not know.
Anyway thanks to everyone who follows this blog, the facebook group (not sure what to do with it) and/or my twitter account. All your encouragement has been really helpful this year, keep it up!
In terms of the hobby it has been a fantastic year and a few highlights for me have been playing in Jeremy Short’s Runequest campaign with some great people, attended the virtual Grogmeet that was an absolute blast and again catching up with new and old friends, hosted my own RPG on Roll20 for the Gang running a 28 year old scenario I wrote for the first Dalcon in 1992 (The Dweller in Darkness). Mike Hobbs set up a virtual paint club that I have really enjoyed and again met new and old friends for some casual chat. Thanks to all of you!
The Little One and the Others
The Little One is always up for a Game and playing with him is not something new I have discovered during lock-down but we had a blast playing a lot of games including Chain of Command, What a Tanker, Twilight of The Sun King, Men who Would be Kings, Dragon Rampant and many others. We have even got the rest of the family involved in some RPG and board game fun which I have to say is an achievement, Cheers mate!
Painting for Charity
I also had this idea that now seems like a no brainer about paining an army together as a community projects and try to make some money for charity. Well what a total blast that was and in 2021 we will take it further. This project actually makes me really proud and I take my Tricorne, of is it floppy hat off to all the painters who participated.
Here are some links about the project, including painting guides, etc.
Below a few pictures when we fought a Battle using these two amazing armies, with the help of the Twilight of the Sun King rules.
The high level plan for the project moving forward is
Doing a booklet with the armies
I would like the Army to fight a Battle at a Proper wargames show
Raising monies to Combat stress by doing a Raffle to win the army
More about this in 2021, again thanks to all who participated and encouraged.
Gods Own Scale Podcast
Sean Clarke re-launched the Gods Own Scale following some, I hope positive pressure, from Peter Berry and I. Sean has a relaxed style and brings out the best in the interviews he carries out, his passion shines through and the his list of guest have been varied and some new voices not previously heard, I especially enjoyed the episodes on Irregular Miniatures and Heroics and Ros.
I was invited together with Daniel Hodgson, Alex Sotheran to the Christmas special. It was a long show and I hope it came across like a few hobbyists having a good talk in the pub, because that is how it felt.
After a long and relentless campaign of trying to get Dirk at Grognard Towers to do an episode on MERP he did TWO episodes and he even brought Legend Liz Danforth to the party – what an absolute delight. Dirk also asked me to do a “First, Last and Everything”, you can listen to it in the link below.
The project got some attention from the Dala Radio and it was fun to talk about the project and I wrote about that here. I have also made some suppression markers and jump off points here as well as some river assault boats, here. This is a great project and I will try to start playtesting some scenarios for a Swedish Half-Pint sized campaign in 2021. You can find the latest Swedish Platoon lists here.
I also did some strange base forces for Infamy! Infamy!, more here. This is expanding the Mutant 1984 world in an early era.
I did some cool 2mm bases and that I will use to try out Mark Backhouse’s upcoming rule set “Strength and Honour”. More here. This will be my early 2021 focus.
So for 2021 it will be more of the same, I wish you from the bottom of my heart a fantastic 2021!
But before I go, we had a fantastic game last night and I am too tired for a write-up and there are other things to do, so a few pictures from the Twitter Feed – Another Mutant 1984 diversion using a variant of “The Men who would be Kings” rules, with some freaky events.
One of the scenarios I am envisaging for the “What if”German Invasion of Sweden 1943 project I am working on is a river crossing over the Dalecarlian River (Dalälven) – as it is such a central feature of the county.
The German army used the Leichtes Sturmboot 39 that were small high-powered assuault boats with by an 30 HP “Powered oar” outboard motor, they were used for river and small waterway assaults, crossings and to push pontoon boats. They were mainly used by Engineering typically to form a bridge head to build a pontoon bridge. Below is a small video showing them in use from Youtube.
I made a few improvised boats that I wrote about in an earlier blog for my Continuation War Finns.
Anyway the new ones are based on the actual boats and 3d printed. You can buy the files from 3D wargaming here. You can print out two versions one is an uncovered version (open boat, as can be seen in the video above) I believe the covered versions were used by the Marine. Well in my 1943 campaign they came from some marine units in Norway just before the invasion. I also have some uncovered ones that I will use to “redo” the Finnish ones I showed above. I asked Paul Edwards at Sabotag3d (https://www.sabotag3d.com/) to print them out in 1/100 or 15mm scale.
As for the crew I used some Germans from the lead mountain – yes mine is substantial. For the “drivers” I used pointing NCO or artillery models and for the others a selection of different infantry types. As the models are close together pay attention to helmet size as they tend to vary between manufacturers and can look strange next to each other. I cut most of the bases off and also the feet or parts of the legs to make some interesting positions. In reality the were probably less obvious targets when crossing in them but I think you agree that it looks nice and dramatic in the pictures below.
I added a base to them and painted the boats in a dark and light grey, most pictures indicate this type of camouflage pattern being used. I tried to create some effect of water and some foam by painting the bases dark blue, the drybrushed with a medium blue before adding some vallejo Atlantic water effet, finally I paintes some white to represent the foam. Here are the finalised pieces, I am really happy with them.
During the hostilities of WW2 the Royal Swedish Army was undergoing a number of changes and the most significant at the Platoon level was the 43M reorganisation. This organisation was ordered for the Army in 1940. The objective was that all units would have completed this reorganization by 1943. This re-organisation introduced more fire power to the Rifle Section by equipping the NCOs with SMGs and adding 2 No. Semi-Automatic rifles to each section. Further firepower was also provided by the introduction of a fifth Specialist Section with a 47mm Mortar team and an Anti-tank rifleman to each Platoon. In addition, a rifleman per section was a designated Sharpshooter and had a scoped rifle.
These lists allow you to field a normal Rifle Platoon (Skyttepluton) or a Ranger Platoon (Jägarpluton). The latter was more than often used to do specific recon missions and to distress the enemy.
These platoons would most often march onto to the battlefield, with a platoon cart and a horse. Some platoons may be equipped with bikes and some may even be driven to the battlefield in a truck.
The changes were gradual, and we suggest that the player can choose to play either the 1940 to 1943 or the 1943 to 1945 Rifle Platoon for the 1943 campaign.
You can download the latest lists in a PDF format below (they are work in progress, if you have any views or suggestions let me now).
In a recent blog I set out my idea on how I would use the excellent Too Fat Lardies rules in the Post-Apocalyptic era following the Pyri-Commonwealth Monster Hunters in their role of protecting the civilised parts of world against the marauding wild gangs and monsters in the forbidden zones. You can read more about it in an old blog here.
“Some of you may recall the Pyri-Commonwealth Monster Hunters I have been doing for my warped Mutant 1984 project (based on the first version/incarantion of the Swedish RPG, now known as Mutant Year Zero). Well my take on Infamy!, Infamy! will be to expand my Monster Hunters and detail their exploits in the early days of the Pyri-Commonwealth when they fought for the Emperor against feudal warlords, wild beasts and marauding mutant warbands in the forbidden zones – trying to re-build a lost civilisation.”
I have been working extensively on this project since that orginal post when I had two units of Pyri-Commonwealth Soldiers.
Based on the Early Imperial Roman Legion Force in the Infamy! Infamy! Rulebook.
I am fielding this with 4 Groups of Monster Hunters (Legionaries) and 1 group of Auxiliary Archers. Will add some Auxiliary options in the next phase.
Here some pictures of the individal units.
The Laug Gang
This is a Marauding gang causing all kind of problems in the area, the are based on the Gaul list.=, with 2 Groups of Cavalry, one group of Elite Warriors, two groups of warriors and one group of tribal slingers.
In doing the cavalry groups I used Oathmark Wolfriders and then use all kind of things from the different sprues and the kit box. Basically buy some loose sprues and just mix it up (there are some WW2 helmets and more modern hat thrown in there for good measures, as well as the occassional animal head and additional limb). The same approach was used for the other Groups and they are a mixture of basic bodies, arms and heads. I wanted to create a non-uniform look apart for the elite warriors that I painted with a base Jade colour.
Next I will be working on some additional units and support options. Having fun!
Another weekend coming to an end, but some hobby time was found.
Mark Backhaus, who you may know as the General of the Denswe Army of the Charity Project I am running (or perhaps as the chap who turns out all those interesting articles in Wargames Soldiers and Strategy) asked if I wanted to do some playtesting of upcoming ancient rules Homunculus Est using my collection of Punic war 6mm stuff. Of course I was! I will play test it with the Little One.
The rule set aims to be a fast resolution Ancient battle wargame, playing very big battles on smallish tables. It is specially designed to be played in smaller scales creating a spectacle of big formations battling each other. Mark has done some amazing bases showing massed formations in 2mm and although I do have miniatures to try out the rules in 6mm I thought I could have a go at making a few big 2mm bases.
I ordered a starter pack of 2mm Romans from Irregular Miniatures (link here) to have a see how it would be to work with the scale. I had a done a try as few years ago and I did not like it, it felt like there were just small blobs shaped in some kind of manner to look like something but too small to get into some detail, compared to the 6mm and above I was used to.
However I have been blown away of some of the works done by some of my friends recently like Mike Hobbs, Vlad Seabrook-Smith, Sidney Roundwood and Mark himself.
The trick is just the same as I found in my large 6mm battles where I try to create a spectacle reminiscent of the old battle paintings that fascinated me as a youngster (here are few examples). It is really about focusing on being artistic to reach something looking realistic. A massed line of 28mm miniatures will look realistic but you need a bloody big line to really give the realistic look of a “big” battle.
Anyway some pictures and some narrative how my little test base went.
On the whole I am really happy with this and will get some more to do the bases for playtesting Mark’s rules using 2mm big bases, my notes are:
I will be using 100mm by 50mm bases (slightly smaller than the one used for this project)
I will use an early Imperial Roman formation for Legions
I will use another base coat and will spray the base with Matt Brown before I start painting it and make the bases look a little bit greener, more like my normal 6mm bases.
I will also need to make some warbands etc.
It will be fun and they paint up very quickly, possibly a little bit longer doing warbands assuming differing shields and clothes, etc.
Infamy! Infamy! Mutant 1984
I wrote last time about my take on Infamy! Infamy! setting it in my childhood haven of Mutant 1984 (more here). I did do my first unit of some cavalry in my Laug Warband, loosely based on the Gauls in the rules.
These are the Red Riding Wolf Riders and were made using a combination of Oathmark Wolf riders, some ancients plastic sets and some WW2 plastic sprues and some animal heads from Sally 4th.
/ Hope that was of some interest! Have a good week.
I realised that most of the recent blog postings have been about what has turned into a most excellent project – the 6mm charity fun (see here for example). There has however been a lot of other goings on with the little free time I am enjoying at the moment.
The Little One and I have done some testing of Two Fat Lardies latest rule set “Infamy!, Infamy!” (link here) and it is really good and inspiring – I especially like the difference in how the units fight. Yet again a quality product. It is basically covering late Republican Romans and early Romans and their fighting against the barbarians. I have used some of my 6mm ancients bases but really fancied doing something a little bit different and perhaps unexpected.
Some of you may recall the Pyri-Commonwealth Monster Hunters I have been doing for my warped Mutant 1984 project (based on the first version/incarantion of the Swedish RPG, now known as Mutant Year Zero). Well my take on Infamy!, Infamy! will be to expand my Monster Hunters and detail their exploits in the early days of the Pyri-Commonwealth when they fought for the Emperor against feudal warlords, wild beasts and marauding mutant warbands in the forbidden zones – trying to re-build a lost civilisation.
On the other hand I have used the same setting for playing Sharp Practice but at later stage of development, more here.
Never mind, back to the orginal thread…..
Some background to Mutant 1984 here.
Basically following a deadly and incurable epidemic caused by samples from a mission to Mars the human civilization collapses. The survivors build enclaves and start experimentation on humans and animals, in effect creating mutants, to see how they will survive outside the enclaves. However conflicts arises between the enclaves and it leads to a nuclear war sealing the fate of the world.
Fast forward a few hundred years and the from the ashes new civilizations start to emerge with mutated humans and animals, some “pure” humans and even some mutants with mental powers. There are remnants of the old worlds scattered all around, and some androids/robots from the old days are still around. In addition there are certain areas where the effect of radiation has left some strange effects on the flora and fauna and these areas are called “Forbidden Zones”.
The game is set in Scandinavia, but not as we know it today, and the general level of new technology is equivalent to that of the 19th Century, give or take. There are steam engines, muskets and some emerging rifle like weapons, heliogram for communication, etc. Some of the old technology has survived but is rare.
From a Blog entry some years ago, link here for more.
So, basically I have a few of the Monster Hunters already done. They will basically be the equivalent of the early Imperial Romans – drilled fighters.
I have also ordered a fair few sprues of differernt ancient and fantasy plastics that I will make into mutant warbands – mixing, swapping and adding the occasional animal head . Similar to the blue men we used for our Christmas Great White Hunter fun that were based on a set of native americans from warlond. I think it will be perfect.
I have also made a few other units that perhaps not necessarily will form part of the Infamy! Infamy! stuff, but as enhancers for the overall project, first the Anti-Monster Unit. I recently came across a picture of some Roman Re-enactors with a MG-34 machine Gun. I thought it looked funny and decided to get a similar feel for the Monster Units, but instead of a MG using an Anti-tank gun. So I got his nice piece from Warlord Miniatures and slightly modified things!
However old tech is not always reliable…
Another of those funny monsters from the old Mutant 1984 book is the Land Shark that is tunnelling through the earth and throwing itself up on unsuspecting travellers. How does it do that?, no clue but I did not worry about it when I was twelve and I do not really care now either.
Some time ago I got the miniatures from the Aftermath Kickstarter by https://puttymonkey.com/ – the range is based on some of the art from the Aftermath Rpg from back in the day. Really fun to paint the characters from that iconic cover. They fit straight into the Mutant 1984 madness.
/Hope that was of some interest, next time I will hopefully present the first finished bunch for Infamy! Infamy! Postapocalypso Mutant 1984.
Following on from the last update (link here) when we had about 60% completion we are now well over 80% there, with 36 of the 44 entries sent in. The Denswe side is in the “lead” with 19 of the 22 units in total vs the Siarus Army at 17 of 22. However the Siarus miniatures was sent out a week after the Denswe ones so this would be expected.
So we are waiting for another 8 contributions to complete the armies, there is really no major rush but hopefully we should be there soon. The King of Denswe, did have a letter delivered by the charming Colonel of the Klarkling Regiment giving an explanation of his delay.
A background to this project can be found here. And a number of painting guides has been produced, a good start is this one as it contains links to the other ones.
I pray thee foregive my tardiness in moving my regiment to your positions. We have suffered such deprivations upon our march that we have resorted to eating our horses.
My men are the finest that Denswe has to offer and they will take pride of place in the line to push back the foul forces of the enemy. I myself, will be cheering them on, though I fear not from the front lines as I had wished. Unfortunately I twisted my ankle whilst boar hunting, and I am abed, in the care of Madam Pomfroy, who has provided board and lodgings within her estaminet.
How I wish I could see my boys, in the finely cut coats, marching to glory! I shall raise a glass when the hour comes. Anyway, I must now sign off. Madam Pomfroy tells me it is time for my bed bath and I must not disappoint her.
Tally ho, and here’s to today’s fox!
Your obedient servant
Army of Denswe
Needless to say the King sent out a detachment to recover the Colonel and for him to heal his ailment in camp. We will present his regiment in the next update.
This update will focus on the Command Bases as we received the minatures by Sidney Roundwood this week and they are really nice indeed. I decided to do a more elaborate basing than I had done for the Denswe command bases and that led me to update those as well.
Any way here is how they turned out.
For the trees I have a number of small trees ordered from China and I just add some more scatter on top.
And for the other type they are the railway modelling type of fir trees that when inspected closely look like the bottle cleaners I used to clean my children’s baby bottles, but again you can, if you wish make them look less so. They look fine without the scatter but for that Command base I felt obliged to do better.
Anyway here is how they turned out in some more detail:
I think they look great! I have use my standard “trick” for doing these photos with a background as described in an old blog, link here.
As I said I added some more details to the Denswe bases too, here they are:
/I hope that was of some interest, the two armies are presented in some detail in a previous blog post, here.
A background to this project can be found here. And a number of painting guides has been produced, a good start is this one as it contains links to the other ones.
Following on from last weeks update (link here) were we had about a 25% completion we are now well over 60% there, with 26 of the 44 entries sent in and there are many more on the way. The Denswe side is in the “lead” with 15 of the 22 units returned vs the Siarus Army at 11 of 22. However the Siarus miniatures was sent out a week after the Denswe ones so this would be expected.
I said last time the small notes that have come with the models have been fun to read and put a smile on my face (thank you all for these).
A few of the painters has written about their experience on their blogs and here are a few I am currently aware of (let me know if I have missed or forgot any):
This weekend I started putting the flags on the infantry and based all the other miniatures that had arrived to date. The flags were designed with Sidney and Mark for their respective Imagi-Nation. We will publish a little booklet supporting the project later that will contain information on all these flags, painting guide etc.
The booklet will also discuss the particulars with the two armies for playing them with the Twilight of the Sun King rules that Nick Dorrell has developed. Nick is one of volunteers doing a units (see the picture below).
The key design philosophy is to create two armies that may look similar in terms of composition on the table but being totally different in terms of play (remember that we orginally based this on two identical starter army sets). The Denswe army has a number of powerful trained charging units, but also an element of more traditional units that are wavering (i.e. lacking loyalty as allies) and an element of raw units (the fanatics) facing a more traditional army as we would expect in a Horse and Musket battle between say 1680 to 1710. I think the stats and general gist of the army could be easily translated to whatever your rule system of choice is for the period.
Here are a few of the units completed this weekend (we will do a full presentation of all of them once the armies are complete, this is just a random selection).
Someone asked me last time how I add the backgrounds to the pictures, this old blog (link here) will show you the very high tech rig I am using.
And I almost forgot, what about the Siarus management team. Well Sidney tells me they are on their way and damn fine they look too.
/ Hope that was of some interest, Great stuff all around!
A background to this project can be found here. And a number of painting guides has been produced a good start is this one as it contains links to the other ones.
So all the models has been sent out to the brave painters and I have had the pleasure of receiving 14 of the 44 batches of models already. I will do a presentation of the units in a special blog update once the armies are completed, so today is just an overview of where we are at. So the project is now about 25% complete with 7 entries for the blue Denswe army and 6 for the red Siarus army (sent out a week later). The Denswe king has a arrived and I know Sidney is cracking on with the Siarus Field Marshal. To say that I am proud of the painters would be an understatement.
I have been delighted to get the different small packs of models with small notes that has really given me some good smiles …. (just a good example below).
I have had some helps from the Middle One in making sure I do not mix everything up in getting on with basing them all.
I got my sand, paints and grasses out and got on with the basing.
I find basing someone else’s models like holding a little baby the first time – it freaks me out. But I got over it.
Ok I said I would not do a presentation of any specific units, well I changed my mind, here are 3 of the mounted ones and the Denswe King (I will do the flags for the infantry in a batch when I have more).
/ Hope that was of some interest, Great stuff all around!
This is the third painting Guide supporting the 6mm Charity project that has now started (you can read more about it in a previous blog here). There will be a total of 4 painting guides, covering Horse, Dragoons, Foot and Artillery of the Baccus Wars of the Sun King Range. Here some links to the other ones.
We will start this one at Step 5 – which is the painting stages (I highly recommend that you read Step 1 to 4 in the First painting guide as it covers some things that are important in preparing the miniatures and yourself for the challenge, a link is provided here).
Starting with the Dragoons that is very similar to the Horse in Guide 1 (the main difference being a drummer instead on the trumpeter and the troopers are holding their muskets not the swords).
Step 5 – the Painting (depending on how you access this you may just see one picture, but it is a slideshow with the steps)
/ Hope that was of some interest, oh and by the way, here they are on their base.
JUST A NOTE TO SAY THAT ALL SLOTS ARE NOW FILLED FOR THIS PROJECT – THANK YOU ALL WHO HAS VOLUNTEERED FOR THIS. MINIATURES WILL SENT TO YOU SHORTLY AND I WILL GET BACK TO YOU WITH FURTHER DETAILS.
Let us build some small armies together..
This is a long post and in summary it invites you to participate in a community effort to paint one base of 6mm miniatures to support the building of two opposing armies in 6mm – provided free by Baccus 6mm. You will then send back the painted miniatures and they will be based up in a unified manner and a few battles fought with them and then they will be sold-off and the proceeds given to the Combat Stress charity. Whether you painted 6mm or not previously is not important and I will provide some painting tutorials in future blog posts. With this I hope to share some of the Joy of Six I have had over the years (unfortunately you can only participate this time around if you are based on the UK – Sorry!).
A lot of us, assuming most people visiting this blog are wargamers, has had a few hobby outings this year that have been cancelled due to COVID-19. I have been looking forward going to the excellent Lardy Event in Evesham, showing off the Poltava 1709 Battle at Salute and a few others. However my favourite show in the year is when we all go up to Sheffield and share the joy of six at the Joy of Six. This is the annual show focusing on the 6mm scale and was scheduled to take place in on the 5th of July this year. It was recently cancelled for the right reasons, but will be back next year.
I was going to take my old Fraustadt 1706 board this year, with a few modifications, and play the example scenario in the Twilight of the Sun King rule set. It was the first big 6mm project I completed and still one of my favourites.
I have had so much fun with the 6mm scale in doing my various projects over the years and all the other positive aspects I have had as a result in terms of meeting some great people, seemingly inspired some of them as well to get into 6mm, been invited to podcasts to talk about this passion, etc.
Here the podcasts I have had the pleasure of sharing my love of 6mm with:
Contrary to popular belief I am still very much doing 6mm projects, and I wanted to do something to share the Joy of Six, so I had an idea. I would like us as a community to paint up two 6mm armies and I need your help. I do not care if you are a hard core 6mm fan or just want to give it a go for fun.
I would like you to either paint one base worth of infantry (24 No. miniatures), cavalry (9 No. miniatures) or a set of 4 Artilley bases (16 No. miniatures and 4 guns). These will be from the Baccus Wars of the Sun King range, that I have used for my Lund 1676 Project – they are some fantastic models. Here are some of the ones I painted (more pictures from an earlier blog here).
Each army will consist of (pictures from the Baccus home page): • 8 units of foot – 8 persons
• 6 Horse – 6 persons
• 6 Dragoons – 6 persons
• 4 artillery bases – 1 person
Times two, that is a total of 42 available slots.
The picture below show these kind of bases in relation to a 28mm (from Crooked Dice) and 15mm (from Peter Pig) model.
This is the look of each army (this is a Saxon army from the Great Northern War/WSS range).
It works like this:
(i) You will register your interest by contacting me on this blog rollaone.com – use the contact form (there is a link on the top), leave your e-mail address and state that “I want to paint some 6mm” (unfortunately you can only participate this time around if you are based on the UK – Sorry!). I will contact people on a first come first served basis and ask for your address so the miniatures can be sent to you, either 24 infantry, 9 mounted or 16 artillery men with 4 guns (this will be random to make things easier). Please read and understand the “A few notes” below.
Once I have a full list of people and addresses I will share this with Baccus who will be sending out the miniatures. Hopefully this should not take too long.
(ii) You will be sent a pack of 6mm miniatures (at no cost to yourself), paint them based on some general guidelines, you will then send them to me (at your cost) and I will base them up in a uniform way, attach flags to the infantry, and we then have two small armies ready for the table top.
(iii) I and the Little One will play a few battles with these armies and report the outcome on this blog.
(iv) We will then offer up the armies for sale on ebay (or similar) with the full sale price less the auction site costs, going directly to Combat Stress Appeal. Not because I necessarily think, but do hope, it would bring a substantial amount of financial gain, but because it is a good thing and also because this is not done for any personal gain but for the Joy of Six.
A few notes:
It would be great to have you onboard, but please only do this if you intend to take the time to paint up the miniatures and send them back in a reasonable timescale, say maximum 4 weeks from receipt. Even if you do not participate in this you can still get into the fun and follow the progress on the blog and/or twitter.
This is not a painting competition, this is about painting the units and building the army. I know that styles, skill and approaches vary but one of the things I hope this will prove once and for all is that when these 6mm armies are put on the table with uniform bases and we take as step back it does not matter who painted what – it will look like a battle is ready to commence.
I will, in further blog updates, provide generic guidelines for the two armies, they will be imaginary and the idea is that you will be given a coat colour (say red or blue) and a cuff colour (each being different). You can paint the hats, brims, socks, pistol holsters, etc, in any colour you like, perhaps your officers have different coats, etc. This to make some uniformity to the armies but giving you some freedom in making your own choices.
There will also be painting tutorial for each of the elements (horse, dragoon, infantry and artillery) and make it available on this blog in a few weeks time (in line with the miniatures being sent out), this will be a simple straightforward optional approach that you may want to adopt in doing your set.
In addition I have asked Sidney Roundwood and Mark Backhouse to paint the leaders for each army. Mark and Sidney are both well-known profiles in the hobby and I am delighted to have them onboard. Here some links to some of their many contributions to the hobby.
Also a very big thanks to Peter Berry of Baccus who is providing the miniatures for free and will be sending out all the small packages at his cost.Link to Baccus Home Page
I have initially published this here on my blog, but also on the Wargames Website and the Lead adventure forum and on twitter (Per at RollaOne, @roll_a_one). I decided to go for a more generic audience to start with and depending on uptake, I may share this is on more 6mm specific forums later. I am not sure what the interest may be and I am sorry if you wanted to have a go but it was too late. You can still follow the progress on the blog.
This is a very short-worded blog, but instead I hope the pictures will be of some interest, perhaps the “winteriness” will give you some relief in the heat. This is the Danish and Swedish armies for my Battle of Lund 1676 project. I finished them earlier this month and the next step will be to make some specific terrain for the battle. More about this project later, all models are from the Baccus Sun King range (link here).
/ That was all for now, a closer inspection of the units in the next update!
Writing this after another day working from home during the Corona lock-down in Greater London – I am happy to report that my immediate and extended family are all ok. It all feels very surreal, and I hope as always that this blog will give you a few moments of being away from it all in a safe place.
More pictures from the Dalarna 1943 Project and being contacted by Swedish Radio
A note on my appearance on the Grognard Files
I was contacted by the Swedish Radio last week, their regional Dalarna branch, about this project and recorded a short thing for their morning show today. It made me happy, I hope I did not come across as too much of an idiot whenever it is being aired.
Here is a sound file containing the segment (in Swedish, aired 03 Apr 2020)
A lot of recent progress on this project as I have finished the third batch of Prints from Sabotag3d (link here). I am really happy to see that Paul has been shipping some round pole fences (gärdsgård) over to Sweden and consequently me not being the only one fascinated by this type of Fence. So if this appeals to someone get in contact with Paul and see what he can do for you, he makes these fences in 1/100 scale (15mm size miniatures) as well as for 28mm miniatures. But I suppose you can get them in any scale you like – it really takes us straight into the Dalarna landscape of old (and new) without to much leap of faith. We should also add that Paul also did a few damaged sections for me, to be used to illustrate the impact of an explosion or that a tank has driven through them.
Last time around we had done the basic village tiles and the round pole fences and it allowed to create something like this (there is a link here to an earlier blog that covers this is some detail and talks about the Falu Red colour used for the houses, etc).
For further detailing I wanted to have some mail boxes, typical of the Swedish country side. So I sent Paul the idea and as always he returned a fantastic little print (truth is that the state post box may not have had the colour scheme and the symbol at that time, but I felt it just needed to look that way).
Milk of course was collected differently in those days and milk churns would be standing on tables alongside the road, ready for collection on the morning.
The centre of the village is the Lanthandel that would sell you the supplies you needed.
And finally a little petrol station, probably not that operational due to rationing, but again a not to uncommon feature in the Sweden of 1943.
On top of this I have spent some time doing further features to add to the landscape and increase the immersion factor on the table.
We laid out another table and had a game with the Little One last weekend (using the Chain of Command rules by Too Fat Lardies, link here) and then we did a lot of shots of vehicles because we could.
A Little Game
Some random shots of Swedish WW2 Vehicles
The Grognard Files – First, Last and Everything
For you not familiar with the Grognard files here is Dirk’s own summary what it is all about (stolen from his webpage).
I’m Dirk the Dice and this is the GROGNARD files podcast, talking bobbins about table-top RPGs from back in the day and today. The Armchair Adventurers are small FRPG group that meet monthly in Bolton. We first got together thanks to a ‘small ad’ in WHITE DWARF in 1983. We got back together in 2010 to play Call of Cthulhu Masks of Nyarlathotep monthly for 3 years. Playing again reignited our passion for RPGs, so we returned to some more classic campaigns from our teenage years: RuneQuest BORDERLANDS, Traveller ADVENTURE, RuneQuest GRIFFIN MOUNTAIN and Call of Cthulhu FUNGI FROM YUGGOTH. Our interest began to shift towards what had happened to RPGs during our period away from the hobby.
I have been, in a friendly way, been pestering Dirk to do a podcast about the Middle Earth Roleplaying Game for a long time (check out #grogmerp on twitter if you do not believe me). Last month he released part 1 of the MERP (Middle Earth Roleplaying) show and he asked me to do a “First, Last and Everything” segment for Part 2 – that is a presentation of my first, last and overall favourite RPG games. I went for (because it is true) the first being the old Swedish RPG game Mutant (from 1984) that I have written about here on a few occasions (link some of it here, here, here and here), MERP as it is the last one I played and you can find out more about it in the two Episodes below, my everything is the classic Call of Cthulhu Rpg.
Here are the links to the two parts of Episode 36 – Middle-Earth Role Playing (MERP) with Liz Danforth:
/ As always I do hope that this was of some interest, stay safe during these and any other times
First, Last and Everything
Hi, My name is Per and I am delighted to deliver my first, last and everything. You can find me on Twitter as Per at RollaOne or on my blog rollaone.com.
It was 1984 and I was 12 and my slightly older cousin Mika was visiting us in our little provincial town in the heartlands of Sweden, Dalarna, where if you take the wrong fork you may come upon a lonely and curious country, in areas that remind you of some Lovecraftian environment – desolate, quiet and with the occasional character sneaking around, or looking through the windows with empty stares and some doors hanging on rusty and consequently noisy hinges blowing in the wind. These are places where they say shoot-dig-keep quiet – that kind of thing. I mean all that Nordic Noir crime stuff must have come from somewhere? But most of it are quaint red houses with white trimmings, surrounded by, wait for it, round pole fences.
He, my cousin, cajoled me into buying this new game that he had played called Mutant, a game set after the catastrophe in a future Scandinavia. You could play as mutated humans & animals or be a robot from the old time (but with a messed up memory bank, with a tendency to obey orders from pure humans or those who had not too obvious mutations – later I learned they were programmed to follow Asimov’s 3 robotic Laws). You could also be a PSI-mutant with mental powers, shunned by most people with or without fur. They were like magic users but very often with defects like madness or confusion triggered by failing to use a mental ability – making it very frustrating at times, or pure (non-mutated) humans considerable sturdier and more clever than we are today and with a patronising at best to a disrespectful view on mutants. The society that had risen was roughly at the technology level of the early 19th century – you could arm yourself with a musket if you had the cash but equally common were a baseball bat and an old bin lid, or traffic sign with a moose, as a shield. It was a more organised society than in movies like Mad Max – things had calmed down. There were forbidden zones to adventure in and the dungeon equivalent were old research labs or other underground facilities with the chance of finding old tech, crazy cyber computers, frozen people from the old times or mutated beasts – sometimes all at once. The dragon equivalent were giant beetles and land sharks that swam through the earth It was my fist role-playing game and we had never heard about anything like it and it also came with some funny looking dice, but no gaming board. Just a little cardboard sheet that was used to resolve whether the character understood what the old tech item he has just found was. My cousin had never GM:ed before and actually as it turned out he had never played the game – however he spent a day reading it and the following evening a few friends and I made some characters – mine a mutated moose, a hunter, with a big club and a musket – then he very ably played us through the introductionary scenario “Mission in Mos Mosel” until the small hours ….it was love at first play….
This game has evolved to what today is known as Mutant Year 0, and a number of the modern products has given more than a nod to the old modules and adventures.
However we quickly advanced to non-Swedish rpgs – it was not as cool to play the Swedish games – at least not in those days.
We went on a School trip to London in Year 9, this was 1987, and the trip was funded to not a small part of us selling loaves of home baked breads outside a local shopping centre and we also set up a school show and invited all the parents and students – I and yet another cousin and fellow gamer Sebastian played two drunk characters and we made some crap jokes pretending to be pissed and we had a grand finale with the song “Shut uppa you face”, by Joe Dolce. In London we, equipped with a Summer of earnings from working for the local council’s real estate department cutting lawns, bushes and collecting rubbish, delivering leaflets at weekends or selling the Sunday issues of a broadsheet newspaper, bought a lot of RPG games and modules from Orcs Nest (still on Earlham Street today), Games Workshop and The Virgin shop on Oxford Street. We got Judge Dredd, MERP (Middle Earth Roleplaying Game), Call of Cthulhu, and “who ya gonna call” Ghostbusters, Top Secret, Chill, Timemaster, Paranoia and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying and god only knows what else, I remember the only non-rpg stuff I bought was the God Save the Queen single by Sex Pistols and Bob Marley’s Exodus (movement of Jah people).
But also a shout out to the Amazing swedish shop Hobby Huset in Uppsala – they had an amazing selection of RPGs in their catalogue and excellent shipping service. We sometimes even took the 1.5 hour train trip and visited the cellar it was located in and got some strange stuff from the bargain bucket. It was this shop that really opened up the hobby for us country boys.
We played so much RPG games in our youth, in people’s houses but eventually in a shed with a heater that made it bearable. We hated splitting up the group as we had to stand outside in the bloody cold freezing our Dirks off (remember this was Sweden when we had proper seasons). Later we asked our school if we could use one of the class rooms in the evening and weekends and the head teacher gave us a key and we had a hell of a good time. We had a good group with a few changes along the way, but then playing in death metal bands, national service, university education, and moving abroad split the old gang. We had our ups and downs but now 30 years or so later I can only recall the positive aspects, so to my old Grogsquad Jonas, Petri, Sebastian, Tommy, Thomas, Magnus, Micke, Reidar, Erik, Petter, Christer, Anton, Fredrik and the guy who only came once and played Pendragon with us and anyone else I forgot, but also to my new Grogsquad the Adventurers Club led by Dirk, Blythy, Ed, and the Daily Dwarf, I raise my glass of vodka to you all!
Although there was a lot of fear mongering around the Rpg hobby in the mainstream media at the time, thinking we would become too introvert, turn into extremists or jump from buildings imagining we could fly, I think our parents were grateful for the fact that instead of being out drinking moonshine vodka, a speciality of the region, and making the town unsafe, we instead sat in the shed telling each other stories and rolling dice. I think we all turned out ok in the end.
In the day we shared the burden of Game Mastering in our Little but Merry band, but the longer campaigns were usually game mastered by myself or Jonas and one of the first games he ran was MERP – Middle Earth Roleplaying. Jonas was amazing with regards to preparing for campaigns and game sessions and his knowledge of Middle Earth was very deep – he had even read the Silmarillion and the Lost Tales! Later Jonas were to run a very long AD&D campaign (2nd Edition) and although I never really liked the system, his overall campaign with a mixture of shorter episodes, long running plots and reappearing protagonists was probably the best one I ever played. However back to MERP. The rules today feels old-fashioned, being a Lite version of the bigger Rolemaster System but at the time offered us some kind of balance between the always fragile characters in the basic Roleplaying system kind of game and rise of your AD&D characters toward immortality – with MERPs open-ended rolls there was always a chance that an opponent could score critical hits and do some substantial damage whatever the differences in character levels, armour class etc. You had to be careful and not every encounter would be a question of drawing a sword. And the magic system was definitely not Tolkienesque but then Jonas did not allow us to be wizards. But what was more on top of this and perhaps the real legacy of MERP was the many fantastic modules and not the rules. The modules had some fantastic drawings and amazing covers that shaped our vision of this amazing world. There were many talented artists contributing to these modules but for me there are two I would like to mention especially – first the legend Angus McBride who did some exceptional cover art for many of the MERP modules. The second artist is of course Liz Danforth who created an outstanding visual presentation of the various characters, races and creatures of this wonderful world, and by the way a big thanks to you Liz for your support to the #grogmerp campaign on Twitter. But there was more, the modules contained information about the people and lands and it felt like it stayed true to the lore but expanded where there were white spots. Herbs, requires a special mention, and were like modern mobile phone apps – there was an app, sorry I meant a herb for that. It is actually my last RPG, I played and a big part of my recent interest in the hobby.
However, there was only one game that I really really immersed myself into in the day and it was the Call of Cthulhu rpg – I guess it does not need any deeper introduction. The first time I played it was at the RPG club in my hometown that some of us used to go to and play as well as playing with the core group, the club was founded by Magnus Seter and Dan Algstrand who today are well known characters in the RPG Industry. It was an excellent way in getting to know likeminded and try out a wider array of games. The club even run a few conventions and I wrote the Call of Cthulhu Scenario for the first two – with the imaginary titles of – the Shadow in Darkness and the Dweller in the Shadow (You can actually find these on the net, but mind you they are written in Swedish). Our little band played some of the epic campaigns like the Fungi form Yuggoth (later more adequately renamed the Day of the Beast), the Spawn of Azathoth and even the Horror on the Orient Express – although our campaign derailed after a few stops. But for me it was the Arkham county series of books that really made the game come alive – we played scenarios in the Miskatonic Valley – in places straight from the Lovecraft stories like Arkham, Dunwich, Innsmouth and Kingsport. The players included Professors working at the Miskatonic University, a PE teacher who could throw a javelin like no other, a retired Major from the British Army (yes he was a hell of a Marksman with his Webley Revolver), Private Investigators, a daredevil pilot and a Medical Doctor at the Arkham Asylym. The scenarios both readymade and homebrewed focused on local events – it made it more scary and intense when reoccurring NPCs asked for help, suddenly disappeared, ended up at the Asylum, or were found dead. When you could weave in characters family trees into the scenarios with the realisation that great grandfather Elijah Waitrose was a Cthulhu cultist or that Great Aunt Tess Collie was an adventurer lost in Dreamlands. As For anyone who may not be familiar with the literature I really recommend that you read the wonderful but not for the faint hearted stories like “The Call of Cthulhu”, “The Dunwich Horror”, “Escape from Innsmouth”, “The Whisperer in Darkness” and “The Colour out of Space” to name some of my favourites. Yes, having moved on more than 30 years from that initial fascination, I know that H.P. Lovecraft probably was a man I would end up arguing with in the pub – he was a racist, homophobe etc, revealed by studying his letter and analysing some of the stories – I get it! But I was never in it for that, I was in it for the chill, sense of hopelessness in a world full of unknown things that humanity at best had a very limited understanding of, the desperate fight against overwhelming odds of getting either permanently insane or ending up dead. The sheer joy of game mastering a group of seasoned investigators in gathering clues from libraries, local newspapers, speakeasies, weird locals, etc. They, the characters, were never flashing heroes with shiny armour and glimmering swords or caped crusaders flying the flag , they were mostly normal people who endlessly fought on. Call of Cthulhu is my everything!
If you have followed this blog you may recall that I have been working on a project relating to a “What-if” German invasion of Sweden in 1943 through the Dalarna County – where I “incidentally” was born and grew up. There is a good summary of where I got to with this project to date in a previous blog post (link here).
Dalarna, Sweden in 1943 does not look like Normandy or the Eastern Front and one of the challenges to create the immersion is to create an overall look that feels right. A lot of the existing wargames buildings and terrain are not suitable for this theatre – the Normandy buildings looks totally out of place whilst the typical eastern European houses, whilst in wood, does not neccesarily have the right look (the common thatched roof on many of these houses are not really suitable). However I have found a few houses, barns etc that will fit.
The house on the left in the picture and the excellent round pole fences are made by Paul Edwards. Paul does some amazing work (Sabotag3d.com) and future blogposts will show more of the stuff he has been doing for me once I have painted them up.
The other houses shown in the pictures above and below are from Timecast (Eastern European 15mm buildings, link here) and Ironclad Miniatures (link here).
I have also, previously, talked about the typical red colour that was predominant, and still is, in the area – The Falu Red Colour (Falu Rödfärg).
Although the paint fell out of favour in the Urban areas during the 18th century the paint still survived and in the countryside, even today, is still the dominant type of colour.
The origins of the pigments used for this paint was a rest product from the process of calcination of copper ore at the Mines in Falun, in the Dalarna county. In the 16th century it was found that these pigments mixed with lineseed oil and rye flour worked as an excellent anti-weathering and preservative when applied to wood.
The Falu mine itself deserves a mention as it operated for 2000 years and at its most productive phase in the 16-17th century it produced more than 60% of the copper in Europe. It even had its own regiment (with some infantry and cavalry units) during the Scanian War and Great Northern War era.
Every School child in the county visits the mine to learn about its glorious past – today it is not longer a working mine but a fantastic museum with a permanent exhibition as well as the opportunity to travel down to the depths of the mine.
Farm tiles and Gas Wood Cars
As easy way to integrate your built up sections is to make tiles for a building or a set of buildings. This allows a more defined look on the table and makes the buildings blend in better in your layout. I made mine from adhesive floor tiles from Poundland (they are made from vinyl) some acrylic paste (caulk) and sand.
Start by marking up where you want your buildings to go. I also consider the size of the fencing around the farm.
Then it is time to start the messy bits, with acrylics, sand and paint.
But what about these strange cars? Well if you study cars during this era, not just in Sweden you will notice the strange burners on other arrangements attached to the cars. These are utilising wood gas to power the vehicle due rationing of fossil fuels. I have rarely seen these on WW2 tables but very often in pictures so I made a few (based on some Kinder Egg vehicles I bought off ebay).