True to my words, at least this time, last weeks effort were focused on the main project. 17 bases of infantry inked, highlighted, based and flagged this weekend from the base painted pile. More on this below. It is nice to do some 6mm again.
I am really happy I managed to get that famous finger out of that dreadful place and get these done. I have had too many diversions lately on the hobby front with the Terminator stuff (did I say Terminators, Sorry!) and other pleasant non-priority things. On the personal front I had to go to France for a funeral earlier in the week. This was for a very special Lady who touched many hearts and inspired me in so many ways over the years, she truly was a manifestation of her own favourite poem “A thing of beauty, is joy forever” (link to it here). Hats off for you Dr. Bardaux!
I also got those flags I talked about to use for the French and Indian War games, one Nouvelle France flag and also the Kings Colours (looks very good, me thinks!).
Swedish Infantry at Lesnaya
The following are the infantry made for the Lesnaya Battle (with some facts from the eminent book by Lars-Erik Höglund and Åke-Sallnäs, The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms).
Estlänskt Infanteriregemente (de la Gardie), 2 battalions.
This was an enlisted regiment and raised in 1700 by the Governor General of Estland A.J. de la Gardie. After the Lesnaya Battle the regiment, due to heavy losses, where incorporated into the Västerbotten Regiment and fought in the Poltava Battle in 1709. They did not carry pikes and both battalions of the regiment were present at the Lesnaya Battle. The regiment, together with a battalion of the Närke-Värmland Tremänning regemente, formed the rearguard that were first attacked by the Russians.
Närke-Värmland Tremänning regemente, 1 battalion.
This was a temporary regiment that was raised in 1700 and had been reduced to one battalion in 1705. Was, due to losses, incorporated into the Livgardet (Lifeguard) after the Lesnaya battle. As mentioned above, part of the rearguard, that first had contact with the enemy at the battle.
Hälsinge Regemente, 2 battalions.
This was a regular indelta (provincial) regiment and had its origins from the 16th century. The survivors from the battle was transferred to the Dalregementet. The regiment was one of three regiments that first came to aid to the rearguard that was being attacked by the Russians.
Upplands, Västmanlands och Dalarnas Tremänning regemente, 2 battalions.
Another temporary regiment raised in 1700 and the survivors after the Lesnaya Battle was incorporated into the Livgardet. Was part of the early support force sent to help the rearguard.
Åbo Läns regemente, 1 battalion.
A regular provincial (finnish) regiment created in the 17th century. It had one battalion with the Lewenhaupt army (the other retained for fortress duty). As for the two regiments above part of the early support force.
Småland Tremänning regemente, 2 battalions.
Yet another temporary regiment that was raised in 1700 and you guessed it, due to losses, incorporated into the Livgardet (Lifeguard) after the Lesnaya battle. This like the other 3 regiments below was at Lesnaya during the Battle.
Åbo, Björneborg och Nylands Tremänning regemente, 2 battalions.
Temporary regiment that was raised in 1700 and it is not perfectly clear whether one or two battalions joined Lewenhaupts Army. Survivors after the battle were incorporated into the Västmanland regimente.
Öselska Lantmilisbataljon, 1 battalion.
This was a militia force raised in 1702 and took heavy losses at Lesnaya and after this was incorporated into the Västerbotten regimente. They did not carry pikes.
Österbotten regemente, 1 battalion.
A regular provincial (finnish) regiment created in the 17th century. It had one battalion with the Lewenhaupt army (the other retained for fortress duty). Survivors from the Lesnaya Battle were put into the Närke-Värmland regimente.
Nylands regemente, 1 battalion.
A regular provincial regiment created in the 17th century. It had one battalion with the Lewenhaupt army (the other retained for fortress duty). Was sent to enforce the troops at Lesnaya. Survivors after the Battle were placed in the Västmanland Regemente.
Björneborgs regemente, 2 battalions.
A regular provincial (finnish) regiment created in the 17th century. As for the Nylands regmente it came as an enforcement to the troops at Lesnaya. Survivors after the Battle were placed in the Västmanland Regemente.
If you have followed this blog you know that I have been doing some Terminator stuff to get the Little One a little bit more involved in the non-electronic side of the gaming hobby. Initially I wanted to get the box, paint a set and get a few games of it before going on to more things. Last week I finished painting another starter set worth of miniatures as well as 7 specialized machines and a handful of resistance specials (this includes the ones with the headswaps from Badsquiddo Games (link here) I showed in the blog last time, see link here). Basic quick paintjobs based on the little ones preferred uniform colours and ready for the table!
I also converted an old German Paratrooper set to a resistance mortar (as these are no longer for sale) and did a headswap from a celtic dog handler to avoid the German look, I then used the three dogs in the set to do some sniffer dogs for the game (Again, these are also sold out. These are dogs that can identify a robot infiltrator and consequently the model can be attacked – in game terms the model can sneak around freely until (1) a dog handler challenges it or (2) it attacks). I felt the game needed some sniffer dogs as well as some mortar support for the resistance.
This was based on the following two packs from Warlord Games (link here).
Obviously the ones originally produced for the game look much better (but this solution works for us!). If they are offered again the resistance of course will be futile, but until then here we are.
The game comes with some cardboard terrain, including some flat ruins as shown in the picture below. On inspection and reflection the little one looked at me and said “These ruins do not look very good Papa, do they?”. I agreed that they didn’t but instead said, “They are ok, we just use our imagination!”, thinking that I had other things to do, like this years installment of the Towards Moscow Project that needs to be ready for the Joy of Six or, even closer, the Kalisz Battle for Salute. I seemed to have wiggled myself of the hook!
Later that evening when the Little One was visiting Neverland I packed up the stuff from the game we had played and looked at those ruined tiles again – Nice artwork aside, they did not look that good. I went on ebay and ordered some mdf ruins (yes I could have used 6mm floor insulation foam and cut my own shapes) but I this stage I thought I just get some mdf ruins and paint them black and drybrush them in grey – job done!
After a few days they arrived but when I had assembled them I got second thoughts about how to finish them and instead of just painting them after assembly I pimped them up a little bit before priming. I cut out some bases from some vinyl floor tiling material I had lying around (left over from the Saga table I did last year) and glued the ruins on top (I used hard as nails adhesive). I then applied some PVA glue on the ground and added sand. For the walls I applied a thin, but rough coat of modelling paste on the walls. I took some stones from the garden, cut some cocktail sticks and matches into small pieces, cut up some pieces of plastic into small squares and mixed it all with PVA glue and applied it here and there. I also added some small stones on the edges of collapsed flooring and wall sections. In addition I added thin sand on top of each wall (using PVA) that was not broken (to take away the evenness of the laser cut). I also had a few crates etc I added here and there. I ended up with this!
Once it was properly dry (With PVA it takes a while) I primed it in Black Gesso, painted the ground brown, then drybrushed it with a light brown. For the walls and rubble I just dry brushed it with a dark grey followed by a light grey. I added a few dry tufts.
I got thumbs up from the Little One and they have already been put to use in a skirmish today. I am just waiting for him to tell me “This game mat does not look very good, does it!” (It is made of paper and from the basic box!)..
Here are some shots from the opening of that game.
So until I get the mat request, I will now fully dedicate my modelling hours to the Towards Moscow Project. Here is the current progress, mostly thanks to Chris at Marching in Colours! A few more models to be inked, detailed, flagged-up and based.
I also got some table flags that I will use when I do Winter War gaming. I thought it added a nice touch, although I did surprise a friend of mine when he came over and noticed the Soviet flag. However, the explanation about using it when I played with toy soldiers seemed to make him think I was more weird than what the flag itself implied. I have also ordered a King’s Colours flag (or Great Union flag, that was used by England and Scotland up to 1801) and a Nouvelle France flag for my French Indian War Battles, and a Swedish and Tsarist Russian Flag for the Towards Moscow Battles.
/ All the best, and although “I will be back!”, there will be no terminators next time, I promise.
Neil Shuck doing Sharp Practice in 6mm at Joy of Six
There are some very good news indeed with regards to Joy of Six this year, from my and I believe many others perspective, as Neil Shuck will be running some Sharp Practice in 6mm using my French Indian War stuff I did last year. You may recall that I and Neil did the Saga in 6mm last year. Neil will be developing a scenario so we are not yet fully sure what will happen on the day, but we will let you know as and when the mystery unfolds.
Most of you, I suppose, know that Neil Shuck is the man behind the, in my opinion, best wargames podcast available called “Meeples and Miniatures”. If you have not listened to Neil and his co-host give it a go, it is more than worth it (there is a link below). I have been listening to it for years and it has given my joy, inspiration as well as sound investment advice.
There are of course other podcasts out there, including the new, and equally, addictive Veteran Wargamer as well as the long running Wargames Recon show that are also very good. As I have said before listening to podcasts and audiobooks is my way of keeping my hands free to do painting and modelling.
Joy of Six is a show that from one perspective could be seen as an exclusive 6mm event but that would be a very (did I say very) narrow view, instead I, and perhaps you should too, see it as a fantastic event that bring something to all wargamers. To get an idea what it is all about you should check out the link to the show report from 2016 below. Personally it is another chance to see Dan Hodgson’s amazing Star Wars stuff that I totally missed out on last time due to the demand around the Saga tables.
Thanks Neil! Looking forward to seeing you again.
I will be running the Great Northern War Battle of Lesnaya 1708, if I ever get there!
Here are a few useful links with regards to the above:
Bare Winter Trees for my Chain of Command Winter War Project
I am finishing of the stuff I need for running some Winter War battles with regards to terrain and markers (see more background here and here). Trees are very important to get the right feeling and my current focus are on these. I already have a fair few pine type of trees (Christmas trees) and these are just the same Summer and Winter apart from some snow flock on top, but also wanted some bare (leaf less) winter trees. To get the right look I have considered Sea foam (but it seems to brittle for my requirements), making it with wires (but it seems too time consuming to do large quantities) or to go out looking for twiglets (but this gives limited amount of branches, unless you look very hard!). What follows is how I intend to do my bare forest.
I went to eBay and found these trees (see below) and thought I give it a try. As they come from China it could have taken a while to get them in the post – but I was pleasantly surprised to get them delivered in a week.
The look pretty much like the picture and if you were in severe rush you could probably base them and field them like this. I took a few more steps and I have written a narrative of what I did in the text for each picture on what I did. I thought this could have some general interest.
What you need:
The trees shown above (go to ebay and search for them, you can by other quantities, the one above is for 50 trees 5X 10X).
Something to cut with (whatever you have clippers, nail scissors, etc. The plastic is very soft)
Washers (for bases) mine were 25cm in diameter.
Putty or green stuff
Primer (I used Black Gesso)
Paints for the trunk and branches (see below for the ones I used)
Modge Podge (Matte), but perhaps PVA is as good
Modelling Snow Flock
Some sealer (have not done that yet) – maybe a matte spray varnish would be best?
I went to see Tiger Lillies perform at the Camden Roundhouse in London this Friday. The concert was in celebration of their latest album released last week called ‘Cold Night in Soho’. It was their only gig in London as was advertised and promised as a night to remember. As I may have uttered before, the first time I heard them I was not sure whether it was absolute rubbish or bloody brilliant – I settled for the latter and this concert yet again proved that decision was the right one, being a mixture of old and new and I really enjoyed every minute.
This is one of those very fine British cultural treasures and to quote the roundhouse webpage, “The music they produce is a mixture of pre-war Berlin cabaret, anarchic opera an gypsy music, echoing the voices of Bertholt Brecht and Jacques Brel”. Check them out here.
Could not resist chopping some heads
With regards to the Genisys project I did say I did not need any more miniatures, but I got a good deal on the John Connor and a Lieutenant set the other day so I could not resist getting these. What would the resistance be without John Connor?. Also I thought I would convert some of the resistance soldiers by using heads from Badsquiddo games (link here., I recommend a visit) to bring some gender balance in the resistance to the machines. Just as a note, one of the miniatures on each sprue in the box is a woman, but I wanted some more variety. I had also waited for an opportunity to use these heads since became aware of what Annie at Badsquiddo is doing.
Here are the shots of the resistance miniatures with the headswaps done (have not yet started painting them).
You may think the heads are a bit too big, and perhaps they are? They are good enough for my purposes. However, and this is great, they are sold in three different sizes fine, pulp and heroic. I bought the heroic ones and perhaps a size or two down would work better.
I also got my order of “wave whatever” ships for the X-wing miniature games, I have lost count of what wave it is (I think it is Wave 10!). However, they are very nice indeed and I suppose we have to test fly them soon.
The Quadjumper and Upsilon-class Shuttle from the Force Awakens movie as well as Sabine’s TIE fighter from the Rebels series.
I also got some plastic toy cars that I intend to use for the Winter War project, but more on that another time.
Thanks for not asking about progress on the TMT project!
Today my uncle would have been 65 years old as he passed away far too early. I thought about him yesterday as I went to see Black Sabbath at the O2 and how much he would have enjoyed watching the show. He played the album Paranoid for my cousin and I when we were very young and it blew my mind away. I have been listening to Black Sabbath ever since. This tour that is very near its end is suitably called “The End” and it is nice to see them a last time especially when they were playing songs from the first four albums of which none felt surplus to the requirement of providing a damn good show. When I first heard about this tour I had hoped to see Bill Ward (the original drummer) in the line-up but that was not to happen. However, Tommy Clufetos, always plays drums like there is no tomorrow. It was the best show I have been to for a long time. A lady in her seventies, who was sitting next to us, had come with her daughter and they both sang along word by word with every song played – that could have made my day in its own right. Thank you Black Sabbath for all these fantastic years and for being one of the most influential bands in shaping what we today call (and some of us love) Heavy Metal – Hats off!
Children of tomorrow live in the tears that fall today
Will the sun rise up tomorrow bringing peace in any way?
Must the world live in the shadow of atomic fear?
Can they win the fight for peace or will they disappear?
From Children of the Grave, by Black Sabbath
All relatively quiet on the hobby front (code for “Done f**k all!”)
On the hobby front I have continued doing some snow basing for the Chain of Command Finnish and Soviets, but nothing substantial. Let us see how the next week goes. I did rectify that house I discussed in last week’s entry and added some snow to make it look a little bit more wintery. I am currently waiting for some stuff I have ordered that I need to finalise the terrain. I hope to write a blog entry about the terrain and the markers I will be using in a not too distant future, maybe in about two weeks time if it goes as planned.
I found myself buying a platoon worth of Soviet Scouts (see here) in 15mm from Peter Pig that I thought I would use to fight my Continuation War Finns. They have recently expanded the range significantly and I found what I needed. No idea when I will do these but when I make a decision I do not want availability to hinder progress! Pictures from the Peter Pig website. Wonderful stuff.
I also found a pack of the 1984 set for the Terminator: Genisys game I have been on about in the last few postings. This set includes the main characters from the first two movies, the “Arnold Machine”, Sarah Connor, Kyle Reese, T-1000 (Police Officer version) and three police officers (I got these from Wayland Games). Not sure what I will do with these but I could not resist. I also got two more starter sets! I bought these from Buysend.com for £10.49 each (as at 31/01/17, see here). The set is similar to the one you can buy from the Warlords website (as at 31/01/17) for a reduced cost of £35 as discussed last time. The key difference between the set is that the main rulebook and the bonus metal model (Kyle Reese in resistance outfit) is not included in the cheaper set Since I already have the rulebook and metal figure I thought it was good value to get another 10 machines and 16 resistance soldiers for a tenner. I think that would be all I need for now for this game.
Following on from the last blog about terminators, the Little One and I have been doing a few more games of Terminator Genisys and we are still enjoying it. I actually ended up buying two more miniature sets, the T1000 (the liquid metal one from the second movie or to be correct mimetic polyalloy) & Infiltrator as well as the Special Endoskeletons set. I have also dusted off the old movies and although the first one (here) feels a little bit dated, with regards to the CGI, it is still a damn good movie. The second movie (here) I think is brilliant and the Little One is looking forward seeing the rest.
I have realized that if I want the Little One to get into this hobby it is not by trying to force feed him with 18th century linear tactics battles where we abstract the unit with a few models representing many or elegant mechanisms with built-in firing, damage, moral etc. Instead I think I need to, as well, offer him simple skirmish type of rules where each model represents a man, or a woman or in this case a machine, in a setting that excites him and he understands (the key here is ..as well!). It is fantastic when he gets it and we have not had so much fun since we first played X-wing or Saga together.
Finnishing (and Sovietic) touches
However, science fiction aside, I did feel obliged to continue my Chain of Command Finns and Russians so I could get some games of Chain of Command under my belt – I added some snow flock to the bases and made an entrenchment with some floor insulation blue polystyrene and a plastic base from a DVD cover (Terminator 2 – who needs covers anyway!) – I think I will make more like this. I covered it with glue and added sand, painted it chocolate brown and dry brushed it white and then added some snow around it (actually a mix of snow flock, matte modge podge and a few drops of off-white paint). Here it is.
Here is the first picture in Colour (I need to add some snow to that roof, to make it look authentic).
Chevaux de Frise
I got a question through to the blog last week that I thought potentially had some general interest. The question was about how I did the Chevaux de Frise (link to Wikipedia here) shown in some of the pictures in the Polemos Great Northern War rulebook (link here). These were shots based on the armies I did for the Fraustadt 1706 battle where the whole Saxon/Russian front line was standing behind these mobile defensive structures.
Peter Berry kindly included some pictures taken by my daughter of Swedes battling Saxons and Russians in wintery conditions as well as some Polish Panzerni and Winged Hussars in a more summery setting.
This is a high level, but I hope sufficient discussion, on how I made them (but first a few notes):
They are based on 60mm by 10mm bases, these are 2mm thick (the same thickness I use for all my bases)
They are not to scale, i.e. these are in fact large compared to the models. However, in my opinion, it does work visually.
Be careful when if you embark on trying to make these. Plan your work to avoid drilling or cutting your fingers. Also when you cut brass rod pieces make sure you are careful as small pieces may fly all over the place and cause direct damage whilst in flight or indirectly when they plant themselves into your foot at a later date. I speak from hard earned experience on (all!) these matters.
They are basically done by using model making matchsticks (That are about 5cm x 2mm x 2mm) – you can buy about 1000 of them at ebay for about £4. You need one matchstick for each base. You also need round brass rod (0.5mm) or equivalent. You will need a more than you think – normally they are sold in lengths of about 30cm and each will give you 25 pikes/spears at 12mm. Each chevaux de Frise base will need 28 pikes. 10 No. 30cm rods will give you enough to do 8 to 9 bases.
Mark up the matchstick in the middle and make seven lines with the same distance from each other and make a mark on the line in the middle.
Flip the matchstick 90 degrees and extend the original lines and make a mark in the middle between the original lines (I used a red pen to do this).
Cut it in half (do the same mark-up for the other side, or do both at the same time) – use a razor saw and cut it gently to avoid damage – do not use clippers.
Drill the holes using a 0.6mm drill bit with a model drill. It is tempting to use a sharp object and pierce through a hole but it more than often damages the matchstick, so go for the drill approach.
Cut small pieces from the brass rod. I made mine about 12mm long and stick them in your holes.
Then do the rest and slab on some PVA/White glue to make it sturdy and avoid the rod pieces to slide off, then paint it and base it up and you are done.
Just as last year was nearing completion I got an e-mail from Warlord Games indicating that they had a sale on the Terminator – Genisys game that was released last year. It was reduced from £70 to £20 and although my understanding of economics is that price is an information carrier (i.e. if the price is low the product is usually not that good) I ordered a box. I checked today (17/01/17) and it looks like there is still a deal on the Genisys game but the cost is now £35. I also bought a copy of the Pirates of Nassau board game that was reduced significantly too, but that is still in its shrink-wrapped state.
The Genisys box comes with literary everything you need to start playing the game, including miniatures for the resistance (17 No.) and the machines (10 No.), a 2 by 3 battle mat in thick paper and some terrain tiles. The Little one and I had a go at the basic rules and we were in full swing within minutes – we played two of the starter scenarios and had a good time overall. The rules are simple and you can activate 0 to 2 models per pulse (part of a turn) depending on a dice roll (with the possibility to activating more if you have leaders). The robots are hard to kill, but with overwhelming fire there is a decent chance of denying the model an action in the turn and hope for that lucky killing shot at some point. Terrain is important and a model in the open is soon taken down.
I think we have found ourselves a little fun game to play every now and then. The small playing surface makes it very easy to set up and play without upsetting any of the other going-ons in the house. A game with the number of miniatures we currently have does not take very long to complete.
I spent an evening painting them up to a basic standard – it is always better to have some paint on the miniatures than not.
More Metal to the People
We also had the pleasure, well not the Little Ones, of seeing Sabaton at the Brixton Academy this weekend. They were supported by Twilight Force and Accept. Due to events outside of our control we arrived too late to see Twilight Force but instead our first dish of the evening were served by Accept – I have not seen Accept since my younger days and I have to say I was positively surprised and yes they did Balls to the Walls! Powerful and very seasoned.
Then the onslaught started!…
Fast as the wind, the invasion has begun
Shaking the ground with the force of thousand guns
First in the line of fire, first into hostile land
Tanks leading the way, leading the way …
… They are the panzer elite, born to compete, never retreat – Ghost Division
In good tradition Sabaton unleashed themselves upon the audience with the eminent song Ghost Division. The song is about the 7th Panzer Division that both the German Command as well as the French constantly lost track of during the invasion of France in 1940, due to its speedy advance.
Thirteen songs later a break and then a triple encore with the classic Primo Victoria about the D-Day invasion, Shiroyama the final battle of the Samurai and then the sad but brilliant To Hell and Back about the Battle of Anzio.
In short – “Awesome!”.
Marching in (Brilliant) Colour
Last week I got my second batch of painted miniatures from Marching in Colour (link here) you may recall from a few updated ago (if not have a look here!). I am really enjoying this experience and it is nice not needing to do all of it myself – for a change. I have asked Chris to provide a basic paint job. This allows me to add my chestnut brown ink and to do some final touches before adding/painting flags and basing them to make them seamlessly blend into the existing stock. I will start working on this batch shortly – I currently have 90 Polemos bases worth of miniatures to complete – 45 cavalry bases (with 9 mounted miniatures to each base) and 45 infantry bases (with 24 miniatures to each base). I have plenty to do and will post about getting through this pile next time.
This is a continuation from the last post.. but first some reflections – it is that kind of time of the year after all…
I started this blog to help to promote the Saga game I ran with the help of Neil Shuck et al at the Joy of Six 2016 show about 35 weeks ago (as this is the 35th blog update and I think we have done one per week!). I continued running the blog for three reasons – (i) I actually enjoy doing the blog posting and it does not take very long to do, (ii) it helps me being more productive, and finally (iii) it seems that people do end up on this blog and the average visit ends up in more than one entry being viewed.
The blog has been running for about 8 months and I have mainly covered 6mm projects and it is likely that it will be like that moving forward. I think the scale is very rewarding when you have limited time to work on each project and want to create a visually stunning representation of a big battle. I have also tried to show this year that you can take 6mm to ‘another level’ in my Saga and Sharp Practice examples. I will be doing some more 15mm WW2 era stuff and I may even do some Halo Stuff that I have been eluding to for the last few months – but it depends on how hard pressure the little One will apply.
With the Saga project I wanted to show that for some games we can just replace the individual based with a base with a few 6mm soldiers and still run a very pleasing game. For the Sharp Practice stuff I have just scaled down everything I am playing with half inches instead of full inches. We have now done a few games and it plays really well – and set-up time is very quick. But the main reason for doing them was that they are good and solid games and I have enjoyed playing them. The drop in scale did not affect playability.
As for the main activities for next year it will be the preparation of the first installment of the Great Northern War Towards Moscow Trilogy – Lesnaya 1708 – at Joy of Six in July. It seems like ages away but I know that it will come thundering like a Swedish Gå-På attack but I think my progress so far is promising – failure, however, is not an option. There is also the dusting off to be done for the Kalisz 1706 game at Salute in April, but all is already more or less done so I am not worried about that. We will be running these games using The Twilight of the Sun King (see a little write-up here) or the Polemos GNW Rules (see here). In the background I am slowly getting on with the supply column and will show these in a future blog.
I bought a copy of the Dawns & Departures campaign supplement for Sharp Practice 2 and would like to use my 6mm FIW figures to do a campaign. This is an excellent supplement and I suggest you buy it even if do not use Sharp Practice (you can find further information here), I think it would be useful for anyone considering running a wargames campaign. I will also enjoy my finished Finnish and Soviet platoon and play some Chain of Command – I noted the useful stuff for the Winter War in the Lardies Winter Special 2016 I just bought (again from the Lardies site, here).
I will also do some forces for IABSM (see here) in 6mm and maybe some more Chain of Command Continuation war stuff in 15mm. I also have a few more lead mountain leftovers, that on reflection may trigger renewed interest – there is still some veins of good lead to be found. I may also put up some action shots as well next year, because we do play some stuff not just paint the buggers.
With regards to playing games, in addition to those mentioned above, I will try out the new Basic Impetus 2 rules (see here) and Sword and Spear (see here) using my 6mm Saga War Bands.
I think this far exceeds what I will end up doing, so as an ambition this is absolutely brilliant!
It is about having fun with your toy soldiers at the end of day. And so we have… thanks for having stopped by.
Please leave some feedback if you want, sign-up here or like the page on face book – and you will be updated on new postings!
For more on the Toward Moscow Trilogy Project, click here.
Now back to the Chain of Command Finnish Platoon for the Winter War (if you have not read the first part you should perhaps go back to the last blog, you can find it here).
The Finnish Winter War Platoon for Chain of Command
You can find the army list here from Too Fat Lardies (The Platoon Force Rating is +0 for regular and +7 for elite, 5 command dice for regular and 6 for Elite).
NOTE: As before the bases are in desperate need of some modelling snow flock – not done yet.
Platoon Headquarters – Vänrikki Ruotsalainen (Senior Leader with Pistol), Kersantti Hautamäki (Senior Leader with Rifle).
Section One – Alikersantti Linna (Junior Leader with Rifle), Rifle team (four riflemen) and SMG Team (one man with SMG and four riflemen).
Section Two – Alikersantti Paasilinia (Junior Leader with Rifle), Rifle team (three riflemen) and LMG Team (LMG with two crew one rifleman). Painted skulls on two of the helmets based on some pictures and original helmets from the war.
Section Three – Alikersantti Torvalds (Junior Leader with Rifle), Rifle team (three riflemen) and LMG Team (LMG with two crew one rifleman).
Section Four – Alikersantti Aalto (Junior Leader with Rifle), Rifle team (four riflemen) and SMG Team (one man with SMG and four riflemen).
Medical Orderly – a artillery crew member with a box painted with a cross and as by magic a medical orderly.
Engineering team – mine clearance, wire cutting, etc. This is a mix of standard and converted models.
SMGs to allocate – These are from Legion East, Resistant Rooster and Battlefront.
For the Satchel charge, Molotov cocktail and Captured SVT-38 I make a note before play (runners are not represented on the table). Terrainy objects once I get some pictures from an actual game.
I do not have a model carrying a Russian LMG (Captured). May have to do one.
AT Defense Team – these are from left to right – converted Legion East Grenade Thrower with a log, Battlefront log carrier with Peter Pig Head, Battlefront Original, Resistant Rooster Molotov Cocktail man, ditto from Battlefront and finally a grenade thrower from Legion East. A Motley Crew and mix. However they are more than ready to mess with your tank.
Anti-tank Gun, MMG and AT Rifle Team, 5 men (three with rifles) from Battlefront (not sure where the AT Gun is from though).
Sniper Team – Legion East helper and a Peter Pig German Sniper.
I am currently working on the Bofors Gun and the captured Soviet Gun – I got these from Battlefront (the 37mm beautifully designed Bofors Gun can be found in the Polish range, just get some Finnish Crew).
Forward observers – two German models from Peter Pig.
Next I need to figure out what playing surface to use, but that is for another time.
I considered just putting up some old pictures and change the titles – I might get away with it for individual units but I am afraid it would fail en masse at the Joy of Six in July next year. Anyway, joke aside and in line with the promise I solemnly made to myself I did force myself to complete a few more bases for the Project. This time 3 No. Russian Dragoon regiments (As before these are from Baccus 6mm).
Winter War – Chain of Command
A little bit of an intro
The Winter War was the invasion by Soviet Union of Finland in 1939 (30 November) to 1940 (13 April) in order to protect its interest as it, amongst other things, perceived Leningrad’s proximity to the Finnish border being a security issue. This short war showed the difference between a bad & overoptimistic plan, inadequate equipment & training for the theatre of war, unmotivated & badly led men (remember Stalin’s 1936 t0 1938 purges of the Red Army leadership) against a disciplined, trained and mobile force of highly motivated soldiers who used the arctic conditions to its advantage. Although the Soviet Union won the war it was not the quick and total victory that had been expected.
Onlookers marveled at the Finnish resolve but more importantly the incompetence and seemingly badly preparedness of the Red Army was noticed by the Germans and this is traditionally seen as one of the contributions to the start of the Barbarossa Campaign in 1941. However, although the lesson was correct in 1940 it did not consider that the Red Army had learned a few lessons too. The sobering and embarrassing experience of the War led the Red Army High command to review its performance and from this implement a number of reforms including changes to tactics, logistics, communications and training of officers. It also introduced the wider use of field mortars to support infantry, toned down the role of the political commissar, as well as the wider use of submachine guns. Although these changes were not fully implemented at the start of the Barbarossa campaign, the Red Army in 1941 was not the same army that invaded Finland in 1939.
The family on my mother’s side are Finnish and I have heard many stories from this period – some heroic but most of them being about the sad realities of war and the people that had to endure them directly and indirectly. For example one of my relatives, a pioneering educationalist working in the Finnish border areas, had to take home his two sons in coffins during the war – both of them were volunteers and the youngest was 17. My hobby is very much related to war and I think it is important to remember that in reality it is far from a game. This awareness does not take out the fun of it but adds respect to how I deal with it.
I recommend you read more about the conflict here and why not get a copy of the Talvisota/Winter War movie while you are at it. There is a good youtube video with Sabaton’s Talvisota with clips from the Talvisota movie – you can find it here (this is a good one, did I say that?). Other sources on the net that are worth checking out to start with are:
Sami Korhonen’s Battle of the Winter War webpage, here (lots of links to other useful stuff) – very good source.
The Jaeger Platoon webpage – weapons, formations and some battle write-ups as well as links to other information, here.
Some war stories can be found here. It forms part of the Axis History Forum’s Winter and Continuation war forum (here) with over 1800 topics.
And three relevant and good papers:
New approaches to the study of Arctic warfare by Pasi Tuunainen, here.
Elimination of pockets in Western Lemetti during January – February 1940: Use of German Experience with Storm Troops by the Finnish VI Army Corps, by Pasi Tuunainen, here.
Finland in the Winter War by Ville Savin, on the Lardies website, here.
I find the following books useful and a good start:
The Winter War: The Russo-Finnish War of 1939-40 by William R. Trotter, link to the publisher here.
Finland at War: The Winter War 1939-40, by Vesa Nenye, Peter Munter and Toni Wirtanen (the second in the Series about the Continuation War is good too). Link to the publisher here (but could perhaps be bought cheaper elsewhere).
From a Wargaming perspective I intend to use the Chain of Command rules from Too Fat Lardies (they are really good and you can find them here). I also have a few other resources including the Skirmish Campaigns book Finland 39-40 The Winter War (This was not written for the Chain of Command rules but can easily be used for the system, and this have been discussed to some extent at the Chain of Command forum, here search for “Skirmish Campaigns and Chain of Command”).
I decided to do this project in 15mm and got myself a few packs of miniatures from Battlefront (yes 15mm Flames of War miniatures, sometimes you can find packs on ebay and other alternatives but if this fails buy it directly from Battlefront) as they were doing early war Finns and Soviets for their Rising Sun supplement (Well I got a fair few actually). The packs are still for Sale and I think they are ok – in addition buy some loose heads from Peter Pig of the German WW1 helmet and you could even buy some Japanese helmets without netting (to simulate the Swedish helmets worn by some units, the Swedish M-26 helmet is being used to make fake Japanese helmets being sold on the collectibles markets), and some German field caps and fur hats and you have some headswap options to create some variety with the same poses. Similarly for the Russian side you can get some early Sovietic helmets (known as the M-36, these were replace by the more iconic SSh-39). Your winter war Russian looks best with the pointy hats and/or the M-36 helmets.
Peter Pigs head range can be found here – snip off the head and drill a little hole, put some superglue and attach the new head (be careful and you will be fine, it is worth it).
I have added some additional things using more Peter Pig (main page here) stuff, some old Resistant Rooster stuff (here) as well as a few really old True North stuff (here, but I am not sure they are still in business?). But this is really for variety – the only issue with the Battlefront miniatures are the lack of LMGs.
Battlefront Finnish Packs Used
FI721 Jääkari Rifle Platoon (Winter) – main pack
FI722 Jääkäri SMG Platoon (Winter)
FI724 Machine-gun Platoon (Winter)
FI727 Tank-Hunter Platoon (Winter)
FSO113 Finnish Anti-tank Gun Group (Winter)
FSO112 Finnish Artillery Group (Winter)
FSO115 Finnish Sissi Troops (Winter)
SU500 45mm obr 1937 gun
FI570 76K/02 (76mm gun) (x2)
Battlefront Soviet Packs Used
SBX28 Strelkovy Company (Winter) – main pack
SSO120 Greatcoat Command & Komissar Team
SSO152 Artillery Group (Winter)
SU560 76mm obr 1927 gun (x2)
SSO153 Anti-tank Group (Winter)
SSO192 Soviet Dismounted Tank Crew
SSO151 Flame-thrower Platoon (Winter)
SU766 Sappers (Winter) Upgrade
SU002 T-26S obr 1939
SU422 Zis-5 3-ton truck (x2)
Now to some more detail on the platoons, the Soviet Platoon this week and the Finnish Platoon next.
The Soviet Platoon
You can find the full army list from Too Fat Lardies here (The Platoon Force Rating is +6 for Regular and -2 for Green, 5 Command Dice when regular and 4 when Green. The Winter war forces are regarded as Green during the initial phase (Nov-39 to Jan-40) and can be regarded as Regular after that). These are not elegant maneuvering elements – this is brute force! UHRAAAAH!
I tried to go for some variety to the coats but painted the pointy hat in the same colour (with the red star) using a field bluish colour – it gives a somewhat uniform look to the units. It works for me. I got some inspiration from some nice photos from this site – it shows some reenactors of the conflict – both Finnish and Russian.
NOTE: The bases are in desperate need of some modelling snow flock – not done yet.
Platoon Headquarters – Leytenant Tretiak (Senior Leader with Pistol), Starshina Fetisov (Senior Leader with Rifle). The Starhina is from Battlefront and the Leytenant is from Peter Pig.
Squad One – Serzhant Kasatonov (Junior leader with Rifle), DP-28 LMG with two crew, twelve riflemen. All are from Battlefront.
Squad Two – Serzhant Krutov (Junior leader with Rifle), DP-28 LMG with two crew, twelve riflemen.All are from Battlefront I added a flag bearer to each squad for show, not sure this is realistic – but it looks good.
Squad Three – Serzhant Larionov (Junior leader with Rifle), DP-28 LMG with two crew, twelve riflemen. All are from Battlefront.
Squad Four – Serzhant Makarov (Junior leader with Rifle), DP-28 LMG with two crew, twelve riflemen. All are from Battlefront.
SMG upgrade – PPD SMG – I made a few SMG armed ones based on Peter Pig winter war Russians with headswaps (using heads from the Battlefront Peaked cap miniatures or the Early Russian Helmet Head packs from Peter Pig). Not a very common weapon at this time of the war.
SVT-38 Semi-auto rifles – did not do specials for these. They were being tried during the Finnish Winter War. If they are used we just make a note and get on with it. Slightly longer than the normal rifle and a with a cartridge magazine. The initial reaction of the troops to this new rifle was negative as it was felt it was cumbersome, difficult to maintain and the magazine could fall of the rifle.
Engineering Teams – 3 men for each (Mine clearance, Wire Cutting, Demolition or what ever). These are from the Battlefront Sappers pack.
Other more terrainy stuff have to wait until I do my next battle (Minefield, Barded wire, entrenchments)
Mortar teams using the 50-PM 38 (50-mm company mortar model 1938), comes in the base winter infantry pack.
Flamethrower team, armed with the ROKS-2 Flamethrower designed to be easy to conceal on the battlefield (22.7kg, effective range 25 meters, but could fire up to 30-35 meters). The Finns captured some of these and they were later put in use as the Add to dictionary M/41-r. Nasty weapons. The are from the Flamethrower platoon pack.
For the pathetic but charming T37 see picture below, do not have a T-27 Tankette or a BA-20.
Sniper Team – this is just a standard infantry model from Battlefront without the bayonet and his spotter.
M1910 Maxim MMG (Will do a few more) – very dark picture again from Battlefront.
Political Commissar/Officer – I think this is a headswap story with a Peter Pig body and a Battlefront Peaked hat head. He is screaming out communist propaganda whilst running into the sights of the White Death.
For the T26 see the tank picture at the end. These are Battlefront.
Another infantry squad – Serzhant Pushkin (Junior leader with Rifle), DP-28 LMG with two crew, twelve riflemen. This time with the early War Russian helmet bodies from Battlefront and heads from Peter Pig – Early Russian helmets.
I need to paint the 45mm AT Gun and the 75mm infantry gun, I got both these from Battlefront.
For the Kht-26 flamethrower tank and the T28 see the tank picture at the end. The Flamethrower tank is from Zvezda and the T-28 from Battlefront.
T28E (using the T28 again), see the picture below.
I hope this was of some use, I will show the Finnish Platoon next week…
/ All the very best, and seasonal greetings! Keep toy soldiering on!
I have just reviewed the children’s Christmas wish lists to do some final clicks on Amazon trying to support the market in its constant struggle to achieve equilibrium. I have not done a wish list for myself for a long time, my mother still asks me what I want every year and I normally answer peace on earth! – the best battles are fought on the tabletop with toy soldiers.
I tend to cherish experiences and last year I enjoyed the visit we did to the reenactment of the Battle of Hastings (see here for some notes from the day) or another example is when we went on the Dreknor boat in Caretan (Normandy) a few years back. I like to get an insight in how things looked like, worked and/or felt, it is sometimes difficult to capture this from the pages of a history book. So I do hope to get a similar experience of some kind in 2017.
Talking about experiences I took the children to watch Rogue One this evening – overall I thought it was fantastic fun and so did the kids (well, except the middle one!). I have to admit that Episode VII and this movie has reinvigorated my faith in the Force again. Although I do not think I ever lost it! A Light Saber that would be nice, I think I put that on my wish list.
I have a friend who used to compete in long distance motorcycle off-road events whose motto used to be, and I suppose still is, “Accelerate or break!”. It dawned on me that I was coming to a position with the Towards Moscow Trilogy project (see here for a summary of what the heck this is all about) where I had to get real and stop faffing about. So after being told off by myself I will stop this wishy washy stuff and get on with some painting instead.
I actually have not completed any bases of miniatures since August for this project, so I decided to complete at least ten bases by the end of each week. Here is how I got on this week (in red bases completed this week):
Russian Units for Lesnaya, TMT Part 1
And the mandatory proof (All 6mm scale from Baccus).
I am currently at the final hurdle of finishing of a Finnish and a Sovietic platoon for Chain of Command in 15mm – so I may do a few notes on these in the next few blogs.
I also got my order of Waggons from Baccus so we will continue doing the Supply column in the next few weeks or so.
Nick Dorrell’s adaptation of the Twilight of the Sun King Rules I talked about in an earlier blog (see here) are now published by the Pike and Shot society. I really enjoy these fast play rules that makes it possible to play large horse and musket battles during late 17th and early 18th century in a reasonable time. Basing is adaptable and the rules works at two levels standard/brigade and regimental scale. In the standard scale a unit represents brigade or its equivalent (2,000 infantry or 1,000 cavalry – so about 4 battalions or 8 squadrons). For the regimental scale a unit equates to 1,000 infantry or 500 cavalry. I play the game in the regimental scale, as I do GNW where the battles tends to be smaller and I have more than enough miniatures to play in this scale, using two 60 by 30mm bases for a unit with a total frontage of 120mm per unit. This is the same basing I use for the Polemos, Maurice and the Might and Reason rules. Further the units can be classified as small or large to allow for the variation in units sizes during the period, e.g. to deal with smaller elite units etc.
The rules are, to quote Nick from the Design Philosophy notes, “…radical, some would say reductionist, in their conception. It is based on the premise that during this time period, morale rather than numbers of casualties was the key to deciding combat and even the outcome of battles. Many wargames rules pay lip-service to this; however, these rules take the radical step of collapsing shooting and close combat into morale. This dramatically simplifies game play but does so, in the designers’ opinion, without significant loss of historical accuracy.”
The Rules as well as a Scenario book is now available from the Pike and Shot Society and can be obtained from them, http://www.pikeandshotsociety.org/, and other retail outlets.
The scenario book is called Louis XIV at War and features 10 battles – 4 of these are from the War of the Grand Alliance (1688 to 1697) and the other 6 from the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14). Each scenario includes orders of battles and a map.
A second scenario book is being worked on and will cover the Great Northern War and the Ottoman wars.
and you can contact nick via email@example.com
Another friend of mine, Peter Riley, came up with an idea for a Wargames collection calculator when he went to the Newbury show this year. As he walked and talked to gamers at the show it emerged from the many conversations he had is that we don’t know, in detail, what we have in our collections and what they are worth. So to keep a good record of all the elements we have in our growing collections seemed a good idea.
I think it is a brilliant idea and could be used to manage your collection, get an idea about its value for a sale or how much to insure your collection for. Try it out and if you like the general idea support it by letting them know how it can be improved.
In a recent Meeples and Miniatures episode the hosts discussed the issue about insuring your stuff when they were speculating what they would do if they lost their collection and got the opportunity to do it all again being given the full value from the insurance company. If you do not know what you have and are not adequately insured then this scenario could end it tears and not in speculation on what you would replace or not.
By the way Peter Riley is the author of a few sets of wargame rules, including the ACW rules Crisis of Allegiance and On They Came as well as the Franco-Prussian Wars rules Kommandant de Battaile and Kommandant de Armee. He is working on a few new sets including a colonial set called A Steady and Deliberate Fire.
Winter is coming
I have presented two Great Northern War battles at the Joy of Six show that took place during the winter season with snow and misery on the battle field – Fraustadt 1706 (with a mention in an earlier post here) and Gadebusch 1712. I really like wintery landscapes having been brought up in Sweden, where minus degrees and snow is a constant for a large part of the year. It engulfs the land and when Spring finally comes it feels like the land has been subjected to some form of annual cleansing.
When I first did the Fraustadt Battle I was hesitant in “winter basing” the armies as I was going to do Klissow where I could have “re-used” a lot of the miniatures especially on the Saxon side. However the contrast between a wintery table and the rectangular zone of summer really annoyed me when I had finished the table and set up the bases on it. So I got on with drybrushing all of the bases with white and then topped them up with some wintery tufts – it was worth the effort. Following the Gadebusch battle I now have fully sized GNW armies for the Swedes, Saxons and the Danes ready to rumble any time of the year.
So apart from the snow ventures above I have a passion, or perhaps compulsion, for the Winter War 1939-40. It is a very interesting conflict and I went with the Baker Company Winter War 28mm Kickstarter a few years back – the project did not really go as intended and I only got part of what I expected. Instead I decided to go for it in 15mm and have recently completed enough to start playing some Chain of Command with a Platoon with some options for each side (I will do a future posting for the Finnish and the Russian/Sovietic platoon). I am also keen to try out the IABSM (I ain’t been shot Mum) rules from Company Sized actions. Both these rules are from the eminent makers of rules at Too Fat Lardies (Chain of Command here and IABSM here).
So for IABSM I have a few options, (i) expand the 15mm platoons for Chain of Command, (ii) use the Pithead 10mm ones I bought a few years back or (iii) try out the 6mm Finnish from Heroics and Ros.
I bought a few test strips from Heroics and Ros from their Finnish Range and also a strip from the Snow/Ski Troopers. I decided to paint these and base them to see how they would look like and put them on a 65 by 65mm base. I am pleased how they came out and I think it will work well for the IABSM rules (although I would probably use 25mm bases) – I hope you agree (Note one of the pictures show some 15mm miniatures from the Chain of Command Finns). I used some snow flock mixed with Matte Mod Podge for the basing, it looks slightly better for real than in the photos. I am going to do a winter company for the Finns, Russians and Germans as they did some combined operations with the Finns. With this scale it should not take very long to complete a company worth of miniatures. It will look fantastic.
I think I have to order some more from Heroics and Ros. For the Pithead stuff, well I have no problem with it staying on the mountain for now! The 28mm Baker Company stuff I did get I will probably get rid off.
Not really Winter but cold as death
About 2 months ago I wrote about some new 6mm miniatures from Microworld Games (see here). I did not buy the Landsknechts this time but I bought the new duelists and peasants as well as a large number of zombies and ghouls for another little project I am working on (I am doing the Saga Revenants faction in 6mm when I have time). Anyway, I got them this week as it was a pre-order, and I really liked the look of the duelists and the peasants – some of these will be used for my Sharp Practice games. I could not resist painting up a little vignette on a 60 by 60mm base with some zombies controlled by a witch/necromancer (from Perfect Six) attacking three witch hunters (the duelists) supported by a few farmers. This is a homage to a roleplaying scenario I played when I was a kid (well at least a younger kid) and actually a Christmas present to a very dear friend.
Ok next time I will get on with some Great Northern War stuff and the Towards Moscow Project / Keep on toysoldiering!
Recently I have been rummaging around my various past projects and found a fair few forgotten ones – they all seemed like a good idea at the time. I felt myself obliged to consider whether I could reignite the fire/impulse that had trigger the start of these projects in the first place – if not I may as well get rid of them. These projects range from a number of unopened packs to being considerably started and with a few bases even being completed! I thought one way of going about this process was to paint a few models for each project and then see how I felt in taking them to the very end.
The World’s Smallest Wargame
The smallest unfinished project I found was a little vignette Peter Berry gave me at the Baccus open day a few years back. This is normally held the day before the Joy of Six and gives a chance to see how Peter and Igor produce the little soldiers. The model depicts two 6mm scale war gamers playing a war-game. I decided to give it some acrylic love and base it up. I thought it would be fun to plant it on the table for the next outing and see if someone spots it. I wish they were all that easy!
Note: I added the BIC pen with a diameter of 9mm to the picture as I occasionally are being contacted by people who wonder how tall these guys are. In general when we refer to scale in Xmm it is the measure of the height from the base of the miniature to the eye level or the top of the head. Baccus in general are between 6 to 7mm and the two gentlemen here are 7mm (the bearded bloke) and 6.5mm (the accountant) respectively.
In the next section I will be showing 15mm soldiers and these are of course about 15mm from the base of the miniature to the eye level. But remember that these scales are indicative and the actual size of a Xmm miniatures can vary significantly between different manufactures and sometimes even between their ranges.
I used a BIC pen as it is probably one of the most known items on the planet (I made that up!) and based on my extensive research has sold over 100 billion pens since the 1950s that is enough pens to stretch 40 times the distance from the earth to the moon if laid end to end.
Western Front 1940
Another, and perhaps a better example, of these projects was to use the Skirmish campaign books and the Arc of Fire ruleset to do some early France 1940 WW2 platoon level scenarios. I had started painting a few of them but there was still some work to do.
I intend to put some effort into this and use the excellent Chain of Command rules from Too Fat Lardies. I printed out the Chain of Command army list for the German 1940 platoon (you can download it here) and checked that I had the right amount of miniatures (these being 15mm and mainly from the excellent Peter Pig range) and realized I had most of what I needed and fairly quickly over the last few weeks got to a state of having them all block painted and based. This included some support options like anti-tank rifle, AT-guns, infantry gun, sniper team, heavy machine guns, flamethrower unit and a forward observer. What remains is some washing, highlighting and base detailing. They are individually based on 15mm washers (with a magnet in the hole) and prone LMGs, heavy machine guns, 50mm mortar and AT rifles on small flames of war bases. I base the AT and Infantry guns on medium flames of war bases. In addition I need to do some vehicles, but this should not be too difficult for early Germans!
I have also made good progress on the BEF 1940 Platoon using some old Skytrex and Peter Pig Miniatures. We should be able to wrap this project up in a not too distant future.
I was saddened to hear that Joe Dever had died a few days ago. He was one of my childhood heroes who allowed me to become one as well every now and then in the fantastic world of Magnamund. I met Joe a few years ago at a gaming convention where he was busy taking pictures of the proceedings. We had a short but very enjoyable chat. Hats off to you Sir!
The picture is of the Swedish translation of his first game book “Flight from the Dark”.
Kalisz 1706 is a strange epilogue to the GNW Saxon Campaign or a prologue to the Russian Campaign. It will field a significant amount of bases with 6mm minatures (close to 200 bases counting leaders and artillery, a total of over 1,700 miniatures). It will have a large amount of Polish Pancerni and Hussars as well as a significant contingent of Russian Cossacks, Kalmucks and Dragoons supporting the Saxon cavalry force. A very small Swedish contingent (in relative terms) with an infantry section consisting of a large portion of prisoners of war from the Fraustadt Battle and with very few indelta regiments overall, supported by a Polish-Lithuanian contingent that historically were eager to fight but withdrew after the first enemy push.
This Battle (link to Wikipedia entry here) that was part of the Great Northern War is not very known as the outcome did not make a significant impact on the overall war. It is an interesting event in several ways:
Augustus the Strong (Electorate of Saxony) had agreed to a peace treaty with the Swedes following the decisive victory at Fraustadt 1706 followed by the Swedish crown army invading Saxony. But Augustus did not tell his Russian ally and instead tried to get the Swedish General Mardefelt to retreat to save his own face. The Battle was therefore unnecessary and considering an estimated 5,000 men died in the process it seems pointless.
The battle includes a lot of different fighting forces – Saxons, Russians, Swedish-Finnish, 2 Polish contingents (one on each side), Lithuanians, Kalmucks and Cossacks. It creates a very “colourful” table.
The Poles on the Swedish side fled the battle on the enemy side advancing although they had given assurances they would stay and fight to the last drop of blood. The Poles, whose country had been torn apart by the war, were perhaps not as motivated as those famous winged hussars who saved the day in Vienna 1683 or invigorated by the warrior spirit like the Polish soldiers who held back the Wehrmacht for 3 days at the Battle of Wizna 1939, when they were fighting 40-1 (Which incidentally is one of the best early Sabaton songs, you can find here), neither did they show the prowess nor resolve of the brave Poles of the No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron that fought the Germans in the Battle of Britain 1940. There is no question about the quality of the Polish soldier throughout history – however during this conflict their heart was certainly not in it.
I presented this battle with Nick Dorrell and his merry men from the Wyre Forest Wargames Club at the Joy of Six in 2014. We applied to run it at Salute in 2017 and we got the acceptance letter this week. The Battle will be presented on a 8 by 4 feet table and there will be a lot of bases on it. Models by Baccus from the GNW codes apart from the Kalmucks that are made from the ancient/ rome’s enemies Hun range.
We got a positive mention by Neil Shuck (Famous for running Saga Games in 6mm at Joy of Six amongst other things and perhaps slightly more famous for the Meeples and Miniatures Podcast) in the Miniatures Wargames Magazine (September 2014) for the Kalisz Battle, who said “It’s a shame that it won’t be touring other UK shows, as this is a fantastic example of what can be achieved in this small scale. Not so much a war game as a work of art.”
[Note: However, he did not get the name of the battle or the year of the battle right in the article. 😉 ]
Salute, as you may know, is the biggest wargames show in the UK (you can read all about it here) and we have been “showing off” before as I and Nick presented a table with the Fraustadt 1706 battle in 2014. So if you are going there come and say hello. We will be presenting this as a Polemos (GNW)/Twilight of the Sun King Battle.
I will provide some more detailed photos of the various elements after I have found them and dusted them off.
Kalisz Summary Forces
Swedish Force (excluding command bases and artillery)
Polish – 22 cavalry bases (60X30mm bases, with 9 cavalry models on each)
Lithuanians – 11 cavalry bases (60X30mm bases, with 9 cavalry models on each)
Swedish Infantry – 6 infantry bases (60X30mm bases, with 24 infantry models on each)
Swedish Cavalry – 15 cavalry bases (60X30mm bases, with 9 cavalry models on each)
Saxon/Russian Force (excluding command bases and artillery)
Polish – 36 cavalry bases (60X30mm bases, with 9 cavalry models on each)
Saxon – 22 cavalry bases (60X30mm bases, with 9 cavalry models on each)
Russian – 36 cavalry bases (60X30mm bases, with 9 cavalry models on each)
Kalmucks – 22 light horse bases (60X60mm bases, with 8 cavalry models on each)
Cossacks – 14 light horse bases (60X60mm bases, with 8 cavalry models on each)
For the first part of the TMT, the Lesnaya 1708 battle, I need a large number of bases to represent the Swedish Supply column.
I had seen the picture above in Pavel Konovaltjuks and Einar Lyths book “Vägen till Poltava” (The Road to Poltava) and wanted to have something similar for my Supply Column. I opted for Baccus ox wagons (from their equipment range). I felt these were a close enough match.
However they do not come with a canopy and I did not want to miss a chance to see a splendid row of blue and yellow waggons. I had to do some sculpting and it was not too difficult to do a canopy, but I needed another 39! So I bought myself some Mould Making Silicone Putty from ebay and made a mould from my first creation. It cost me £6 and was very easy to do and very satisfying. I cast them using dental plaster – I made three moulds to speed up production.
I have ordered enough waggons from Baccus that are yet to arrive but I already had a few so I did a few test bases today – one waggon and two towed artillery pieces (one Field and one Siege gun and some limbers, again from the Baccus range). I think they turned out ok.
/ Take care
Note to self (as I will paint more of these) on colours used.
The last few years we have spent Remembrance Sunday at our local Rugby club where the Little One plays. This Sunday was joint practice with the other local, and rival, club. But local rivalries were set aside and the children had a very good training session and what made my day was them standing shoulder to shoulder in remembrance! Rugby is a beautiful sport on and off the field and this day was a very strong manifestation supporting this.
“They went with songs to the battle, they were young. Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow. They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,…
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.”
-From the Ode of Remembrance by Laurence Binyon
We, I and the other Ones, also had some time to re-visit Chislehurst caves, on Saturday, that played a key role during WW2 as an air raid shelter and at its peak it had in excess of 15,000 people staying here over night. Interesting place and this is as close to Dungeons and Dragons you get but with no encounters – incidentally there is a live action roleplaying company running some stuff next door if that is your cup or tea – or perhaps pint of mead (they are called Labyrinthe, and here is a link. I think you have to pre-book). The caves are actually hand dug chalk and flint mines and have since been used to store explosives, grow mushrooms, host pop and rock concerts and as a backdrop for some movies and television series like Doctor Who. As with all of these kind of places there are stories of ghosts and mysterious events in the tunnels – it is worth a visit!
Norwegian GNW Infantry
I finalized some more Norwegians from the Great Northern War era – this time some infantry. Please see my previous post (last week here) for flag sheets, etc. I have decided to put this diversion on hold for a while and crack on with the main GNW project – but here are the bases I did get on with.
Trondhjemske – this regiment was over 2000 men strong so I made it 4 bases. The nice company colours really stands out and make the unit look really good. The white flag represents the Colonels (the head of the regiment) battalion.
Gyldenløves Geworbne – this regiment was 2 battalions strong so I made it 2 bases.
Hausmanns Geworbne – same as above. Colours of the flags are speculative (I made it up!).
We were blessed with the presence of Amon Amarth in London on Friday last week as part of their Jomsviking European Tour – it was a very good show and awoke those old Scandinavian rhythms inside. We, I and the Beautiful One, missed the first support band but managed to see most of Testament – a band from my youth who sounded as good as ever! – it was a fantastic evening. Thank you Amon Amarth!
Mounted Norwegians for the Great Northern War
A while ago I re-read the eminent “Notes on the Norwegian Army 1700-1720” by Daniel A. Schorr and got inspired to do a few bases of Norwegian cavalry and infantry [the booklet, in PDF form, used to be available on-line in the past but I can not located it anymore]. I got about halfway in painting a fair few bases of dragoons and infantry a few months back so I thought it was time to get these finalised and completed a few of the bases. I used Baccus Russian GNW Dragoons for these mixed with a few WSS cavalry (not the latest re-sculpts). These are suppose to represent the units at around 1701. In addition to the Schorr piece I used “Tacitus” eminent page on Norwegian units as a painting guide (you can find it here). Notes from his page are included in italics below.
Fölckersamb Dragon regiment
1701 The national [skrevne] companies had blue coats with lining and trimming in white, and the enlisted [geworbne] companies had blue coats with lining and trimming in green. [I painted the saddle details etc. in blue with white/green trim].
Sehested Rytter regiment
1701 The regiment would continue to wear light grey coats with red lining after the reorganization to dragoons. [I painted the saddle details etc. in red with white trim. The regiment was re-organized in 1701 but I base them as if they were normal horse].
This week I will finish some of the infantry and tidy up these a little bit. Yes I know I ought to work on the big TMT project but I just needed to get these out of the way. I am tempted to do some dismounted dragoon bases as well to complement these – but let us get some overall progress on the other stuff first.
Here is a painting guide for Norwegian Infantry with some colours to use as well. I do the flags about 8mm high for my 6mm miniatures. Cut them out and stick them together with PVA glue around the flagpole, add some paint when dry if required – I suppose you know the drill.
This week the Sharp Practice shock markers were finalized for the two starting forces an also the first batch of painted miniatures arrived from Marching in Colour for The Moscow Trilogy Project (TMT). We also had some notable deliveries of (i) Conan the Boardgame and (ii) the Heroes of the Resistance Expansion pack for the X-wing miniatures games.
TMT – First Batch Arrives
The first batch of painted miniatures from Marching in Colour arrived this week but did not have time to get started on finishing them off. Absolutely brilliant stuff!. I wrote about Chris and his services in the last blog update (link here). I have already sent him the next batch. This will make the process, at this end, very quick!
Sharp Practice in 6mm – Shock/Casualty Markers and some new “heroes”
Step 9 – prepare ground basing by applying sand and painting it chocolate brown.
Step 10 – pick out the details of the unit the marker represents, e.g. in the middle the markers for the British Regulars and in the right upper corner the Rangers. I made two for every unit.
Step 11 – Drybrush with three colours (light browns and a light yellowish colour).
Step 12 – Apply static grass and tufts. This shows the French Canadian Militia. All ready to go!
Conan the Board game – Finally Arrives
This week we got a big parcel with the Conan Board Game stuff from Monolith games. I have to admit that I and the little one were following the Kickstarter at the time with great excitement and we had been waiting and waiting. The little one used to say “When is Conan coming?”. When I finally told him that Conan had arrived, he asked me “What is that?”. Joke aside what arrived was an impressive set of two boxes fully package with all you could ever want for the game. It was a Carlsberg moment and worth waiting for.
Conan is one of those boyhood heroes and I read several of the fantastic novels and of course watched the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. The scene, in “Conan the Barbarian” where the young Conan gets chained to the mill grinder (wheel of pain) and then turns into this enormous and muscular grown up man is a nice cinematic touch. I still find the books and the movies entertaining and, at least for me, the ex-California governor is truly etched as my mental image of the Cimmerian Warrior. One of the stretch goals during the Kickstarter campaign was a miniature depicting the Camel that Conan has some fisticuffs with in the “Conan the Barbarian” movie, another nice touch.
Many miniatures to paint if I am going down that route – however for the moment I have decided to play it first and then worry about painting some other day. A thought occurred to me of doing it in 6mm – just joking – however there are a lot of stuff out there that would make this more than possible.
The Dragon Order and Adventure Set from Perfect Six we discussed last time and of course all the fantasy stuff from Microworld Games, Baccus (who does Camels as well!) and perhaps using some Pendragon 10mm for monsters – but I suppose I should never say never again!.
The Welsh Wizard, Mike Hobbs, has done a series of blogs posts showing what the boxes contain and even had time to play a game so teleport over there if you want to see/read more by starting here. By Crom!, we have been waiting for this to begin.
Heroes of the Resistance
We also got our pre-order of the Heroes of the Resistance for X-wing Miniatures game containing the new (perhaps “older” is the word to use) Millennium Falcon, with its Square Satellite dish, and Poe Cameron’s X-wing. Fantastic stuff and ready to go straight out of the Box. We will have to have a go at flying these this evening.
Limited progress this week but an update of some new and upcoming 6mm ranges that caught my eye, some discussion on the TMT project and the enlistment of a painting service, a little diversion and reflection on 18th century warfare on TV & in movies, and some shock markers for Sharp Practice.
New/Upcoming 6mm Ranges – Landsknechts, TYW/ECW and the Order of the Dragon
I have to admit that a few new 6mm ranges have blown me away these last few weeks:
Microworld Games Landsknechts range – check them out here. I stumbled across these when I was ordering something for my Saga in 6mm project. I am planning on doing the Revenant Faction at some point and needed some ghoulish looking creatures. Microworld has a wide range of 6mm fantasy but these are, as far as I gather, looking pretty historical like the real Landsknecths. Splendid!, based in the US, flat rate international shipping at $12 (excluding Customs and Charges if you live outside the States, but if you can overcome that this would be an impressive and colourful force to field). I am very tempted to add a few of these to my next order even if I am not screaming for projects at the moment. The pictures are from Microworld’s webpage and they also have a few other new sets that may be of some interest.
Perfect Six Miniatures, that I have mentioned on several occasions on this blog, does not just sell fine scenic items but have a growing range of, mainly fantasy, miniatures. Their latest release is their Order of the Dragon Miniatures and they are really nice. They have just been released so I ordered a few packs. Again pictures from their webpage.
Baccus upcoming English Civil War (ECW) / Thirty Years War (TYW) range are presented here and here. Based on these snippets this, in my view, promises to be Baccus finest range yet. It is not just the detail but the poses are phenomenal and I am more than sure that at some point I will have to get into this period and make a Swedish Army led by the Lion from the North. The pictures are from the Baccus page. Baccus are also soon releasing more French Indian War stuff that I am very much looking forward too.
Painting Service for my Great Northern War stuff
I decided to enlist some help in completing the Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) project (see the long and winding presentation of it here, if you have not read it yet) and have asked Marching in Colour (Painting service, with a link here) to paint a lot of the miniatures that will be used in the 3 battles. I have opted for block painted units that I will finish by applying some nut-brown ink and then some highlighting and basing – this way they will nicely blend into the existing collection.
I have had a previous experience of using a painting service that was ok, but I have to admit that I really like the way Chris communicates and deals with you as a customer. I find his prices reasonable too. The problem I have is that I have more ideas than I have time and I think I have already proven to the world, or at least to myself, that I can paint 6mm Great Northern war miniatures en masse. This approach allows me to, in an IKEA like fashion, be directly involved in the production process and still have time to push on with all that other stuff.
With a little bit of luck I will be able to complete all the miniatures needed in the next year or so. This will give me time to do some of the things that are currently not being done like the 15mm miniatures for the Winter War of 1939 between Finland and Russia and perhaps more importantly the Little ones Halo Ships and Battles stuff.
So in summary, I will be outsourcing most of the Russians I have left to do and will also have some of the Swedish Infantry done by MiC. I have seen the first batch on photos and I am eagerly waiting for them to arrive.
TV and Movies
I have recently started watching the TV Series “Turn” that is set during the American Revolutionary War period. I was watching the 2nd series finale depicting the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse and although the number of men involved were reminiscent of the Battles in the Sharpe series, i.e. being very few men compared to the real deal, I really enjoyed it. It is not that often 18th century battles are depicted on the white or silver screen, with a few notable exceptions including Barry Lyndon, The Last of the Mohicans and the Sovereign’s Servant that incidentally is about the Battle of Poltava – the last breath of the Russian Campaign 1708-09.
I also had another go at the Northwest Passage movie with Spencer Tracy. Not as adventurous as my childhood memory had indicated. The portrayal of the Indians on both sides is not very flattering even for its time – it was made 1940 . I would still recommend it and it serves part of the my background “research” for my Sharp Practice in 6mm project. I have Drums along the Mohawk and an alternative version of the Last of the Mohicans to look forward to as well – when I have a few minutes spare. I also ordered the Broken Chain with Pierce Brosnan, based on a recommendation.
Sharp Practice Shock Markers
Talking about Sharp Practice, I did start making some shock markers for Sharp Practice in line with my discussion in an earlier post. The design concept is reproduced below.
Here is a picture that may be useful as well, adjust to the size of your washers, I did mine with 15mm washers.
Step 1: Print out the sheet above with the right dimensions.
Step 2: Cut out the top parts and stick to the adhesive side of a Flexometal sheets (or any other sheet that is magnetic, i.e. contains some metal. I bought mine from Abel Magnets but you can also get them from other sources) – then cut them out carefully, as seen in the picture below.
Step 3: Glue on your shock/casualty markers – these are from the Baccus ECW and WSS range and will do fine for my purposes (as there are no specific ones for the period). It is difficult to see any detail at this stage. So trust me or come back next week and have a look at the painted ones.
Step 4 – prime the shock markers and set aside to dry. As per usual I prime them in grey.
Step 5 – cut out the round dials (0 to 9) carefully
Step 6 – take your washers (these are of the flat/penny washer type with a hole in the middle) and stick a round label/sticker on top, turn it around and put a (Neodymium Disc) magnet inside, put another sticker on top, then glue on the dial (0 to 9) on the top using PVA glue. These steps are shown below. Put PVA glue on the top of the washer and on the top of the dial as well to seal the paper on using a brush. Do not be too aggressive and do not worry it will dry clear.
Step 7 – let it dry and join together. As you may have guessed due to the ferrous sheet and the magnet the two parts stick together and the dial can be turned allowing you to set any value you want it to show.
Step 8 – They are now ready for basing and painting, but we did not get any further this weekend. I hope to be able to report on some more decorated markers next week.
I had some plans to use some of my miniatures to put up a little refight of Hastings this weekend but failed miserably. However instead we spent Friday watching the docudrama 1066 and then Saturday in Battle watching the re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings that took place 950 years ago. It was a fantastic spectacle put on by English Heritage and I hope that these pictures gives some kind of justice to the proceedings. So without any further ado, here we go. / Back with some miniatures stuff next week.
I just finished listening to Braddock’s Defeat on Audible and ended up buying the physical book as well from Amazon as a reference copy. This is an amazing piece of work by David Preston and I have not had so much enjoyment (reading a book on Military History) since I read Oskar Sjöström’s Fraustadt 1706: ett fält färgat rött. The Fraustadt book unfortunately, as is the case for a lot of Great Northern War literature, is not available in English. But I digress…
If you are familiar with the French Indian War period of history you will have heard about the British General Braddock leading a expeditionary force, in 1755, through Pennsylvania to attack the French Fort Duquesne on the forks of the Ohio River. A smaller French Canadian force, led by the French Captain Beaujeu and supported by native Indian Tribes, had decided to seek battle before the British arrived to the fort and encountered and attacked the British at Monongahela (about 10 miles from what is now Pittsburgh). It was the French Canadian resolve and ability to quickly get organised and use the terrain efficiently in applying woodland tactics that won the day.
“Historians have generally ignored French and Native perspectives on the 1755 campaign. The French were outnumbered, outgunned, and faced crippling supply problems in their Ohio Valley posts. They despaired of their inability to halt or slow Braddock’s relentless march. However, convoys of French reinforcements led by a veteran officer, Captain Beaujeu, came to Fort Duquesne after an epic 700-mile voyage from Montreal, arriving only a few days before the fateful battle at the Monongahela. …..
A newly discovered French account from the Archives du Calvados transforms our understanding of French and Native American leadership and tactics at the Battle of the Monongahela. The French commander, Captain Beaujeu, sent out Native scouts who brought him exact intelligence on the location and disposition of the British. Dividing his force into three parallel columns, Beaujeu organized a frontal attack on the British column with his Canadian troops. He instructed the Indians to spread out in the woods on the right and the left, and to withhold their fire until he had engaged the British. The Monongahela was neither a meeting engagement nor an ambush, but a well-planned and executed French and Indian attack on a vulnerable British column. “
Ten questions about Braddock’s Defeat by David L. Preston, accessible here.
I really enjoy the story telling aspect of real history and to paraphrase Dan Carlin, “it has destroyed fiction for me” (go and listen to one of his Hardcore History Shows if you have not done so yet!, here is a link). However being factual, intellectual and educational does not need to be boring and can instead be truly inspirational and that is this book in a nutshell. If you have any interest in the period, or military history in general, I suggest you get hold of this one.
I think a lot can be done with the skirmish rules I have (i.e. Sharp Practice, Musket and Tomahawks and Songs of Drums and Tomahawks) but for the “larger” battles I am not sure what good rulesets are there that captures the flavour of not just the period but in the particular way the war was fought in this theatre. But then this was only a small diversion!
Crystal Palace and that very famous Battle
I was intending to spend the day at SELWG (South East London Wargames Group) show in Crystal Palace today, but the little one had his first rugby festival for the season and luckily, because I would be a really sad bastard otherwise, I actually prefer to see him play rather than going to a wargames show. As it is very close to where we live we ended up going for the last 45 minutes on our way home – but the last part of a wargames show is very often like drinking a pint of lager that was poured two hours ago. I did not take any pictures of the tables on offer, but there seemed to be a good collection – a nice ancient game with loads of pikes and a Doctor Who game caught my eye. Next weekend (on both Saturday and Sunday) is the big event at Battle with the 950th Anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings. We are looking forward to this.
Supporting Cast, Real Estate and Markers
I decided to spend the little time I had available for diversions this week finalising as much of the painting as I could for the initial Sharp Practice stuff – so I and the little one could play a proper game in a not too distant future. This, instead of getting diverted spending hours gluing small strips of spaghetti like last week (see my last blog entry here) I actually managed to get some of the more immediate and necessary stuff completed.
I was thinking about a scenario with the characters from a famous movie set during the French Indian War – and did the three little chaps below. / Until next
In the last update I toyed with the idea of doing a fort –“wooden palisade type with some vaubanesque feel to the corner sections optimised for the scale and basing I have for the miniatures“.
As the 6mm scale, rightfully, is primarily used for large scale battles where a small set of buildings represents a village or even a town, it is difficult to find commercial buildings that are appropriate to allow the full “6mm skirmish experience”. With this I mean the individual maneuvering around, on top of and inside buildings. In addition, as the models are based on relatively wide bases (in my case 9mm – in scale about 8 feet) there are difficult to fit in confined spaces if these are in true scale to the miniature. I set out to “design” the fort so that I could use palisade walking ramps and the interior of the buildings as part of the overall experience. This creates somewhat exaggerated features – but it works.
I used the footprint above and I stuck this on top of vinyl floor tiles and got on with it. Materials used are patience, thin Spaghetti, coffee stirrers, matches and a few 10mm by 1mm maples strips.
I then gave it a first coat of paint and some dry brushing. I still have to sort out some material for the roofs and an underlay for the fort courtyard – so almost done.
I showed an idea I had in the last Sharp Practice post of using Spaghetti to make snake/split rail fences (here is a wiki link). Well I liked the test piece results and set about to make a few more. These could of course be used for any future 6mm, never say never again, ACW (American Civil War) project. With this “risk” in mind I did a little bit more than I needed. I recently re-read Peter Riley’s Crisis of Allegiance ACW rules and got tempted but have to keep the project portfolio in control. I am currently listening to “The Civil War” edited by Don Congdon on Audible whilst doing my projects – It is a very good listen indeed.
These kind of rail fences were particularly useful in rocky ground as they do not require holes to be dug for posts. They were relatively quick to build and could be taken down and put up where they were needed. It adds that nice periodic and geographical flavour to the setting. Note these are a somewhat simplified in design, but I think they work well for my needs. In trying to learn the Sharp Practice rules we set up a little encounter where some French friendly natives are attacking two groups of militia firing behind some fences.
I used 10mm by 1mm wooden strips as bases and then put a magnetic strip under (poundland variety) . I then glued a template on top of each and cut the spaghetti into the required length. It becomes stronger than you think. I used PVA/Wood Glue and the only advice is to use moderate amount of glue to avoid getting the spaghetti too wet. But as a construction material it is brilliant and dead cheap compared to plastistruct or metallic rods. Get the thinnest spaghetti you can find – Angel hair or Cappelini seems to work best (he said sounding like a true veteran – go crazy explore the cupboard). Cocktail sticks feels a little to big in 6mm. On reflection I should probably have gone with 2mm thick bases as it makes in easier to pick them up.
I also ordered some bespoke designs from Warbases to use as movement trays for the unit – I think they worked really well. This will make movement a little bit easier. I have to say that Diane and Martin at Warbases are excellent to deal with and I recommend them for your normal and special basing needs. I have not yet painted the small “leader bases” I am using to distinguish the Leaders.
Next I am waiting for some reinforcements and stuff to finalise what I need. I am also tempted to make a little fort. A wooden palisade type with some vaubanesque feel to the corner sections optimised for the scale and basing I have for the miniatures. I have just the material for the stockade! – but will probably go for some wood supporting the spaghetti!
This rather long post officially closes the Lesnaya series that will be merged into the TMT series. I, Nick Dorrell and the very decent chums of the Wyre forest wargames club will be doing three battles (2 that took place and one that could have been) from the Great Northern War covering the, from a Swedish perspective, ill-fated Russian campaign 1708 to 1709. I will provide a brief overview here and on how many bases and figures we need for the project – there will be more historical background as we get into these projects in more detail. There is a lot to do. The Battles will be presented at the Joy of Six Shows 2017, 2018 and 2019.
I plan to do an update every 4 weeks on this particular project. I do try to update this blog on a weekly basis with other stuff I am working on or something else that takes my fancy. If you are interested in following this blog you could register your e-mail here or like the Roll a One group on Facebook or, if you prefer, come back from time to time.
Basing and Rules
As I already have thousands of 6mm GNW miniatures from previous projects I will base these new miniatures in the same way. This is in line with the GNW Polemos basing standard for 6mm figures and is done on bases measuring 60mm by 30mm. However these bases have been used to play with other good rules including Maurice (using two bases per unit which makes the column formation look funny but works), Might and Reason (the standard is two bases 50mm by 25mm per unit) and Twilight of the Sun King without any problems. There are of course other rules that can be used for the period and invariably rules, I have found, can be adapted to whatever basing you have. None of these rules are 6mm specific – so other scales works equally well. There are few things to consider when wargaming the early 18th century period in general and the Great Northern War in particular.
For Maurice there are some additional rules about more immobile artillery and pikes that needs to be included in a GNW setting and if you are using Might and Reason make sure you download the excellent (and free) module Sun King – A Module for Might and Reason 1689 to 1721 by Greg Savvinos. This module contains special rules for the Swedes as shock troops (see notes below). I think the following from the module is a spot on summary of the Swedish Army and the King from a period of history that produced some amazing military victories for the Swedish army but also its greatest defeat.
“The Swedish army of the GNW was a formidable combination of regular and militia that had been forged together to form a devastating battle field force that was able to sweep its enemies from many a battlefield. One of the great strengths of the Swedish army was the capable team of leaders it fielded, headed by the soldier king Charles XII. Unfortunately whilst Charles was a brilliant battlefield commander, he was less than mediocre as a strategist or diplomat and ultimately led his country to disaster at Poltava. The Swedish Army never recovered from that catastrophe and the rest of the war marked a steady decline in its quality. Yet Charles was willing to keep fighting to the last Swede, and very nearly did so by the time he was felled by a bullet fired from the Swedish lines whilst besieging a Norwegian fortress in 1718”.
From the Might and Reason supplement “Sun King – A module for might and Reason 1689 to 1721” by Greg Savvinos
Whilst the Great Northern war was the twilight of the Swedish Great Empire it was the dawn of the Tsarist Russian empire. I have to admit a bias in being Swedish but that does not blind me from the skillful and cautious build up and modernisation of the Russian army following the defeat at Narva in 1700. On top of the organisational changes the army had gained valuable experience from the smaller campaigns in the Baltic States and Finland. The skillful strategy adopted by the Russians during the Russian Campaign itself by using scorched earth tactics (as was later used against Napoleon and Adolf Hitler) and the successful ambush on the reinforcement supply column are amongst some of the reasons that the Battle at Poltava ended in a total disaster for the Swedes. Peter, who truly was Great, more or less on his own moved Russia from being a medieval and isolated culture to become a major european power with a strong army and navy. The Russian army fighting the Swedish army during the Russian campaign is a better trained and more experienced force.
I find this essay on Peter the Great being a good summary of his achievements. I further recommend the brilliant book by Robert K. Massie on Peter the Great if you are interested in this period of history.
Sam Mustafa, who wrote Maurice (and Might and Reason), provided the following guidelines on his Honours forum for the national advantages to be used in Maurice for early 18th century battles (for both WSS and GNW – I have just included the ones relevant to the GNW):
Swedish: a la Baionette, Steady Lads, Cavaliers, Clerics, Maison du Roi, Great Captain if Charles XII is in command
Danish: Lethal Volleys
Prussian: Steady Lads, Lethal Volleys.
Saxon/ Polish: Feudal if the army includes Poles.
Russian 1695-1702: Feudal, At least half the regular units must be conscript. Russian 1703-1707: Maison du Roi, Feudal Russian 1708-1724: Steady Lads, Maison du Roi
Ottomans: Feudal, Skirmisher, En Masse. No more than four regular Cavalry. At least 3 regular infantry must be conscript.
I think this is a good interpretation and the clerics represent the strong religious indoctrination of the Swedish army. Priests and religion were central to the Swedish Army’s development of the discipline needed to successfully implement the offensive tactics.
“Morale and discipline unites them
A common faith to keep them strong
Always on their way to heaven
In the name of Christ their enemies chastise”
You can find a link to the GNW Polemos rules here written by Nick Dorrell. Nick, amongst other things, is also working on a new version/adapatation of the Twilight of the Sun King rules for this period but these are not yet in print.
Whatever rules you are using for this period and the specific theater of war in the east in summary you need to consider some issues special to this theatre:
The use of pikes – The normal pike to musket ratio in the Swedish army was about 1 to 3 and for the Russian about 1 to 6 for the period leading up to and including the Russian campaign.
Swedish shock tactics – The use of shock tactics by the Swedish Army, both by the infantry (with pikes and swords) and cavalry (with naked steel and wedge formation charges). These attacks focusing on speed and aggression took advantage of the, still, relatively low firing rates and expected the enemy to waver and flee, which indeed happened on may occasions. I and the little one was once charged by a band of reenacting English Civil War pike men and it was indeed a scary experience.
Swedish Determination – The effectiveness of the Swedish army who seemed to win time and time again although numerically inferior to its enemies. This is elegantly solved in the Polemos rules by using a temporary determined status, giving benefit in combat, for some Swedish units where the “..opponents can work to take the ‘edge’ off the Swedish by seeking to remove this status. Also it was a useful device to show the difference between the main Swedish army and the troops available elsewhere. Often the troops in the minor armies and theatres did not have this ‘edge’”.
Troop types – including more varied cavalry units including old style Panzerni, Polish hussars as well as light horse units.
Below is a slideshow of some GNW miniatures from my collection (They are all from Baccus) as a thank you for reading this far. There are Saxons, Russians, Polish and Swedes.
Towards Moscow background and the Battles we will do
The campaign is the invasion of Russia by Charles XII of Sweden starting with the crossing of the frozen Vistula river in early 1708 and ends with the Swedish defeat in the Battle of Poltava in the Summer of 1709. It is the beginning of the end for Sweden as a dominant military power in north-eastern Europe.
The Great Northern War in started in 1700 when a coalition formed by the Peter the Great of Russia, Frederick IV of Denmak-Norway and Augustus II the Strong of Saxony-Poland attacked Sweden. The coalition were formed following the death of the Swedish King Charles XI and the belief was that the new and very young King (Charles the XII was 15 when his father died) would not be able to put up an organised fight. Following Swedish successful expansion during the 17th century a lot of these neighbours wanted lost territories back, limit Swedish economic dominance and gain access to the Baltic Sea.
However the King turned out to be a skilled warrior and leader of men and the preparedness, quality and efficiency of battle methods of the Swedish army built up by his father was second to none during this era. The King quickly pacified Denmark and a Peace Treaty was sign in Travendal 1700. The Russians were defeated at the Battle of Narva in 1700 but then the King turned his attention to Saxony-Poland and Augustus. It took the King 6 years to defeat the Saxon-Polish and force the abdication of Augustus the Strong from the Polish crown (1706 Treaty of Altranstädt).
I have used Nick Dorrell’s book Dawn of the Tsarist Empire that you can buy from Caliver books to derive the units present for the Battles and the bases needed (remember a base of infantry represents 400 to 600 men, about a battalion, and for cavalry 2 squadrons of about 200 to 250 men). It is probably the best book available about the full Russian campaign written with the “wargamer in mind”. I would also recommend Peter Englund’s fantastic The Battle that Shock Europe about the Poltava Battle – this is probably the best book I have ever read with regards to battles and warfare.
For painting guidance and colours/standards I have copies of the excellent books Great Northern War 1700-1721: Colours and Uniforms Part 1 and Part 2, by Lars-Eric Höglund and Åke Sallnäs. Not sure where these can be found nowadays more than the second hand market – for me these books are priced possessions. However a lot of information is readily available on the Tacitus Website (see above – with uniform detail for many battles) and is a good start. There is also a few relevant Osprey Books – Peter the Great’s Army Part 1 and Part 2 as well as a campaign book on Poltava (I will go through some other sources and provide some overviews in future installations of some of the other, including Swedish, sources I have and will be using).
[116 bases, excluding commanders – a total of 1,424 miniatures]
This is an interesting Battle and in effect is an ambush by a Russian flying detachment of a smaller Swedish army led by General Lewenhaupt escorting a supply column of more than 4,500 wagons for heading for the main Army in Ukraine. From the perspective of doing the battle we need a lot of forest as well as about 40 or more bases to represent the supply column (wagons, carts, marching soldiers, etc). Please find the figure count for the Battle.
Russian Army (72 bases, excluding command bases)
Infantry – 10 bases with 24 miniatures per base (240 miniatures)
Dragoons – 60 bases with 9 miniature per base (540 miniatures)
Swedish Army (44 bases and 50+ bases to represent the convoy, excluding command bases)
Infantry – 17 bases with 24 miniatures per base (406 miniatures)
Dragoons/Horse – 22 bases with 9 miniature per base (211 miniatures)
Vallacker Light Cavalry – 1 base with 7 miniatures per base (7 miniatures)
Artillery – 2 light gun bases and 2 field gun bases (4 cannon with 14 crew)
Train/Convoy – a large number of bases, say 50+
[245 bases, excluding commanders – a total of 3,296 miniatures]
We were going to do the Battle of Holowczyn but instead decided to do a “what-if” battle at Horka 1708. When Charles XII was waiting for Lewenhaupt and the supply column to arrive at Mogilev (Belarus) the Russians had occupied a strong position nearby at Horka (sometimes called Gorki). As noted in Nick’s book this could have been the site of the decisive battle of the campaign. In reality the King decided not to attack – in our scenario he decided to “Gå-På” for it.
We went for this idea for the following reasons:
Although the position was beneficial for the Russians we felt that the balance between the forces was such that it would make an interesting battle with similar strength on both sides than the more one sided battle at Poltava battle at year later.
The Holowczyn battle was fought on a wide frontage, whilst this idea offers a more solid a classical (for the time) set up with a long line of soldiers getting on with it.
Currently we will run this what-if with the following forces (but since we have some artistic freedom it could change, e.g. we have no information of Russian cavalry at the Horka):
Russian Army (137 bases, excluding command bases)
Infantry – 54 bases with 24 miniatures per base (1,296 miniatures)
Dragoons – 59 bases with 9 miniature per base (531 miniatures)
Kalmyk/Cossack Light Cavalry – 16 bases with 7 miniatures per base (112 miniatures)
Artillery – 4 light gun bases and 4 field gun bases (8 cannon with 26 crew)
Swedish Army (108 bases, excluding command bases)
Infantry – 28 bases with 24 miniatures per base (672 miniatures)
Dragoons/Horse -66 bases with 9 miniature per base (594 miniatures)
Vallacker Light Cavalry – 6 bases with 7 miniatures per base (42 miniatures)
Artillery – Artillery – 4 light gun bases and 4 field gun bases (8 cannon with 26 crew)
[354 bases, excluding commanders and a total of 4,758 miniatures]
The final installation will be the disastrous Poltava in 1709 that from a war game perspective will be a spectacle with a big table and many troops – however most of them are Russians (or fighting on their side) and it will be impossible for the Swedes to win. 42,000 men on the Russian side and 17,000 on the Swedish side. However if we can not go for playability we will go for spectacle and ensure the table is large and that units not directly involved are also included on the table. In addition the Russians had 86 cannons vs the 4 the Swedes brought to the battlefield. So if we are struggling with playability we will put on a spectacle and make the table bigger and include units in the area including the Siege at Poltava itself. This gives us the following miniature figure count for the Poltava battle, subject to review before the day of battle (July 2019).
Russian Army (266 bases, excluding command bases)
Infantry – 89 bases with 24 miniatures per base (2,136 miniatures)
Dragoons – 132 bases with 9 miniature per base (1,188 miniatures)
Kalmyk/Cossack Light Cavalry – 30 bases with 7 miniatures per base (210 miniatures)
Artillery – 11 light gun bases and 4 field gun bases (15 cannon with 47 crew)
Swedish Army (91 bases, excluding command bases)
Infantry – 18 bases with 24 miniatures per base (432 miniatures)
Dragoons/Horse – 41 bases with 9 miniature per base (369 miniatures)
Vallacker Light Cavalry – 4 bases with 7 miniatures per base (28 miniatures)
Cossack Light Cavalry – 20 bases with 7 miniatures per base (140 miniatures)
Artillery – 4 light gun bases and 4 field gun bases (8 cannon with 28 crew)
That is all for this time, I hope to show some progress on the Sharp Practice project next week.
My mother was taken ill this week so I found myself spending the latter part of my week in Sweden. Luckily all went as well as possible given the circumstances and there are certainly worse places than Sweden to be in during September. I try to go and visit Rommehed when I am in my hometown. Rommehed was once the training ground of the Dal regiment that existed between 1621 to 2000. During the Great Northern War the regiment was involved in many of the famous battles, including the victories at Narva (1700), Düna (1701), Klissow (1702), Holowczyn (1708), Malatitze (1708) and Gadebusch (1712). In our Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) the Dal regiment will be present at our Gorki/Horki “what if battle” as well as the disastrous battle at Poltava (1709). Today the site is one of two sites of the dal regiments museum and is occasionally open during the Summer Months (not when I visited this time) and there is also a very brave stone soldier guarding the premises.
Therefore no major progress on any of my diversions and this is therefore a short update.
In a recent Meeples and Miniatures podcast the hosts discussed the mileage in doing Snake rail fencing in spaghetti. I used spaghetti for the bridges I did for my Saga in 6mm project. Armed with a little bit of very thin spaghetti – capellini (no. 2) and some superglue – I made a small section. I will show the build process in some more detail when I do the “real” fences later. I am very pleased with the result.
Support List Options
In addition I managed to get most of the markers and support options for Sharp Practice “modelled” by pimping some Baccus and Perfect Six carts (water, ammunition and engineering) and Perfect Six barricades. I also made some markers for artillery ammunition and out of ammo markers (illogically represented by an ammunition crate) 0 these, again, are from Perfect Six. I have included some pictures in the slide show below. I hope to be able to show them painted in a not too distant future.
Due to the marriage of some very good friends, this week has very much been devoted to getting the clan ready for the occasion. For most of the family the question is, “do I look good in this?” to which I answer “Absolutely fantastic!” for me it is “Can I fit in this?” and if the answer is yes then I am good to go! I can report that we had a fantastic time indeed even though we were by no means in the centre of any attention. Being in the vicinity of Twickenham I wanted to go to the Twickenham Museum and the “Footballer of Loos exhibition”.
Footballer of Loos
From the museums webpage: The first Big Push of World War One took place on 25thSeptember outside the small mining town of Loos in northern France. It was kicked off with a football by rifleman Frank Edwards. After the war Frank came to live in Twickenham and died in Whitton in 1964. During his lifetime he was known as The Footballer of Loos. The story of Frank’s exploit is told by way of an action tableau accompanied by artefacts and information about the Battle of Loos and is set against a striking backdrop painted by local children. Our community audio drama The Greater Game about Football on the Front in First World War …. To listen or download go to The Greater Game.
The actual football that was kicked about by the London British Rifles appeared on the Antiques Roadshow a few years back. Here is a short article about the programme.
Anyway, I was prepare and ready for it, but we ran out of time so perhaps another time.
French Indian War further thoughts
Inspired by the skirmish based 6mm miniatures I did last week I ordered some more miniatures from Baccus for my FIW project (again from the SYW and AWI ranges):
SFR09 – French Artillery. I need this to make an artillery piece for each side but also to use some of the artillery crews to make some of the supporting miniatures options, like the physic and the holy man.
SYG – Generals; to have the option of fielding a senior officer on horse and perhaps some characters for scenarios.
AWI01 – Indians – Bare Chested, to get some more variety of
AWL02Loyalist Infantry – Skirmish; these may be a better option to use for Rangers?AWB05 – Highlanders – Formed; just because I would like to have a unit of formed highlanders and the officer in the command strip just looks brilliant, and
AWB10 – British Light Infantry- Round hat, Campaign, Skirmish. To give some line infantry options, and.
ECW23 – Scots Dismounted Dragoons, from the English Civil War range!. I may get away with these as firing Rangers. But let me verify this after I get them from Baccus.
I also ordered some buildings from Leven miniatures that I thought could be useful for doing farmsteads, small fort and village, including ACW03 – Blacksmith’s Forge, ACW06 – Blockhouse, ACW26 – Shiloh Church, ACW25 – Brotherton Cabin, ACW07 – Timber Shack, WES04 – Livery Stable and WES18 – Outbuildings. I mainly used Leven miniatures for my Saga project and I really like their products. I have included pictures from these items from Leven’s catalogue, you can find Leven’s webpage here. I sense some spaghetti is being required again for fencing and palisades.
6mm Blacksmiths Forge
6mm Timber Shack
I also need to dig out some horses/mules and carts I have lying around to make the other support options, including water cart, ammunition cart, mule train and the engineering groups with cart. I also need to build some barricades and breastworks I have ordered a few items that would be useful for this purpose from perfect six (including their Black powder civilians including Barricade 20mm, cannonball stacks, 2no carts complete with famers cart horses and a dog and wooden Barrels).
I like minimal battlefield clutter and for the recent Saga game I used casualty markers to represent fatigue that blended in on the battle board (See an earlier post here). I did not make these as casualty dials but as individual markers due to the fatigue markers being actively used as part of the game itself – as the fatigue markers can be spent by the opponent. I believe I would need the following markers for Sharp Practice – with my current thoughts:
Present markers – I think I will use markers similar in shape to the overwatch markers used for Chain of Command or a marker with an arrow. These will be based and with some static grass on top to blend in.
Uncontrolled markers – again I will make a shape to represent this, perhaps a simplified “chaos” symbol with arrows in four directions.
Shock markers – I will try to make some casualty markers with a dial inspired by this 10mm Napoleonic’s blog. My concept sketch for this is included below – I just need to ask Peter Berry if he can do some Parrots in 6mm. This parrot is lead! Of course you could get away without using parrots and although Baccus does not do SYW or AWI casualty packs they do them for WSS (with Tricornes) and ACW (with hats and kepis that can be made to look the part I believe).
Ammo markers for artillery – I though I make small bases with cannon ball stacks (I have ordered these from Perfectsix) and place 3 (or more if the option have been bought) next to the artillery and take one away each time it fires.
Out of ammo markers – this is in the instances that a unit runs out of ammo as this is the exception and not the norm. Not sure what I will do for these. But I will figure something out. Perhaps you could give me an idea (as the norm is that there is ammo for the unit the marker is only useful for the “out of” situation).
I better get on with it, so we can have game and see how it goes…
Next time, if things goes to plan, I will be picking up on the Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) project again as I have been in some discussion with Nick Dorrell on how we do this and we also have some other plans.
However things may be temporary suppressed by a promise to the little one. I had words from Wayland games that the delayed Halo Ground Command pre-order was shipped, so I may need to clean my brushes and get on with that. He has been waiting for this since he play tested it with Spartan Derek at Salute this year.
French Indian War Skirmish in 6mm – I have some fond memories from this period and my dad read me the Last of the Mohicans about 3 times when I was little and when I was older we watched the movie with Daniel Day-Lewis together on more than one occasion. Dad left us far too early – this project is for him. I have ordered a fair few SYW/AWI from Baccus, including the new Compagnies France de la Marine and Canadian Militia. I also ordered highlanders, Indians, jaegers, continental light infantry, queens ranges and British line. This should be plenty to build a decent French and British force. I intend to use these with the Musket and Tomahawk, Sharp Practice and Songs of Drums and Tomahawk rules sets.
There is no major secret that I am fond of the 6mm scale for doing my big 6mm GNW battles and this is where the 6mm scale is arguably at its best. I did my “Saga in 6mm project” this year (you can start reading about it here if you are unaware of it) and took it to the Joy of Six in Sheffield to show that 6mm could be used for a game more commonly used with larger scales. The game worked really well and I replaced each miniatures with a 25mm square base of 4 to 10 miniatures. Following advice from the Welsh Wizard Mike Hobbs I did not change any of the rules and we just played them straight from the box. The ground scales are somewhat abstract in Saga and the only thing that in detail seemed a little bit wrong were Javelin distances.
For my next project I wanted to take yet another step and actually use individual based 6mm miniatures to do a skirmish game. I had seen some fantastic stuff done in this scale for the Napoleonic era and I thought it looked good. I decided to combine this with my itch to do something related to the French Indian war. Since then I have skimmed the three rules I identified above and decided that I would start building forces based on the Sharp Practice rule set (you can find more information here)
To date I have managed to paint one British and one French starting force, they are all based on a 9mm washer and are from Baccus Minatures (from their SYW or AWI range) with a small 3 by 0.5mm magnet put in the hole. I painted each force in an evening sitting and to buy them from Baccus was at a cost of £13.20-16.50 per force (and giving enough additional miniatures to at least double each unit) – what is there not to like? I boosted the British Regulars to get some “point” balance against the French Raiding Party. I have included some pictures below.
Next I will need to make the necessary markers and support list accessories, make some sabot bases, build some fences, buy some American style buidings and perhaps get some more troop options – I have already started a new shopping basket at Baccus.
British Regulars (1755) with additional Rangers and Frontier Militia Support
Yet another week in a sunny, and this time also rainy and windy, France. I thought I bang the drum for three of the places I visited with the family that may be of some interest.
Château de Talmont, Talmont St Hilaire, Vendée
Nicely situated on a rock that once was surrounded by a lake and the river Le Payre. The Castle was originally built on the orders of William the Great, Duke of Aquitaine. William actually was not that Great and lost a lot of his lands to Vikings and other french nobles. I am not that convinced we will see him as a warlord in future Saga supplements! However from 1152, the Duchy of Aquitaine was held by the Plantagenets, who also ruled England as independent monarchs. Richard I Lionheart (or Richard Coeur de Lion as they call him in France) is the most famous of the rulers of Talmont and he did a lot of alterations to the castle. The castle have taken some damage over the years but is well worth a visit and depending on the day some activities to keep the family entertained including some periodic games and falconry. You can read more here.
Le Mont-Saint-Michel, Pontorson – Le Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy
I have spent a lot of time in Normandy over the last few years going to the various WW2 sites (Pegasus bridge, the D-day beaches, Sainte-Mère-Église and seen the famous Church and visited the airborne museum to mention a few) and they are all amazing but there is a lot of older history that is also worth checking out. It seems like it is directly from a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying (WFRP) module. When I was standing on some of the viewing platforms on the top, with the wind blowing in whatever hair I have left, it did not take a lot of imaginary effort to feel like I was standing somewhere on the top of Minas Tirith in Middle-Earth viewing the hoards of orcs..sorry tourists approaching. This island have been used since the 8th century as a centre for religious worship, defensive position and even as a prison. Rich with history and to slowly walk along the small streets and passage ways up to the top and a visit the cathedral and the prison is a immersive experience that is not to be missed if you are in the region. There is a nice video showing off this amazing place here.
Le Musée des Blindés, Saumur, Manche
This is a fantastic tank museum that, I personally, think is as good as the Bovington museum in the UK for us WW2 enthusiasts. It is even better if you are into cold war stuff I have been told by reliable sources. Here is a link to a video on YouTube showing a lot of the tanks and here is the official link to the museum itself. I bought myself some German Tank Paints by MIG and I tried out the dunkelgrau on some early German Zvezda tanks I found in a shop in Cherbourg. It seemed to work well.
What about the Lesnaya stuff?
As far as the Lesnaya project is concerned I had a little break from it last week. I did catch up with Nick Dorrell about it and we are good to go with the overall Towards Moscow Trilogy project I discussed in an earlier Blog. It is very likely that, after Lesnaya, we will do a what-if-scenario where the Swedish army attacks the Russian Position at Gorki 1708 instead of Holowczyn, but more on that later.
Having started to paint the Finnish tanks for my Finnish Chain of Command project I got inspired to order some more stuff and when I came home a nice parcel was waiting with some Battlefront products including some finnish (Sissi) ski troops, a command group (to get an anti-tank rifle unit), and some Panzershreck and Panzerfaust teams (they were used by the finns but at the very end of the war). In addition some more vehicles including a BA-10 armoured car (from Zvezda), a BT-42 assault gun, a Vickers 6-ton tank and a Landsverk AA-tank. In that nice model shop in Cherbourg I also bought a T-60 and a KV-1 again from Zvezda. Yes the purist will say that the one T-60 known to have been captured by the Finns never was used in action – but I could not resist!
Currently enjoying some days in a nice and sunny France, I did manage to spend two mornings before the clan woke up painting the ships from the Halo Fleet Battles Ensign box – it is amazing how quick paint, washes and ink dries in hot conditions. Not used to this living in England. They are not brilliant but were rated GEFAG (Good enough for a game) by the little one. I have to admit I really liked painting these – now we have to learn the rules and I suppose buy some more ships. I have tried to make my ipod cover represent the infinity of space in the pictures below. I will get them onto their bases and onto a proper mat for some action shots later.
I also had to try out the Finnish WW2 Army Paint set I bought to do my Finnish continuation war vehicles and equipment with (Look for it at ebay before you pay a tenner in postage for it though). I felt that some of the paint advice I had seen in the past (I suppose for battlefront Finns) did not, in my view, really produce convincing looking vehicles painted to blend into the Finnish forests. However, after some internet research, I felt convinced enough to give this paint set a chance and painted a bunch of Zvezda 1/100 tanks (got them from ebay at £3.50 each, good value for money). The tanks are far from completed as I do not have any decals yet and will put them on in the next step before weathering etc. I am happy with the colour and the contrasts so far and really like this little set. I now need a BF-42, a landsverk AA, some armoured cars and a KV-1 to complete the Continuation war garage.
As for the Lesnaya project I only managed to complete one Russian dragoon regiment this week.
I always use the Summer to take some reflective thoughts on what to do next and as discussed in the last post I did have a fair go at some GNW (Great Northern War) miniatures for yet another legendary battle – although it seems more like a prologue to that devastating battle in Ukraine a year later. So far I, Nick Dorrell and his chums from the Wyre Forest Wargames club, have put on the following Great Northern War Battles at the Joy of Six (from 2012 to 2015):
Fraustadt 1706 (2012)
Klissow 1702 (2013)
Kalisz 1706 (2014)
Gadebusch 1712 (2015)
Following this years sabbatical I have decided on doing the “Towards Moscow Trilogy” and do the three key battles for future Joy of Six shows, namely:
Lesnaya 1708 (2017)
Holowczyn 1708 (2018)
Poltava 1709 (2019)
Perfectly doable projects and some reusability of miniatures from battle to battle with a natural build-up (..to disaster, at least if you are Swedish). Apart from the finale it should be possible to fit these on 4 by 8 tables. They are all very different types of battles so this offers some variety. Now I just have to convince Nick Dorrell et al that this is a jolly good idea. If I still have the will to live after this I think Narva 1700 and the two key battles of the Finnish Campaign 1713-14 would be fun to do too. But that is rushing ahead a little bit too much.
Overall I am working on a few different strands at the moment:
Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) (as discussed above) with the next target being Lesnaya 1708 for the Joy of Six (2017)
Halo Ground Battles – I and the little one are waiting for the box to arrive. We pre-ordered at Salute in April earlier this year and the little one took part of the first demo game of the day. He really enjoyed it. This is my dad and lad project. We are painting some Halo fleet battles in the interim.
French Indian War Skirmish in 6mm – I have some fond memories from this period and my dad read me the Last of the Mohicans about 3 times when I was little and when I was older we watched the movie with Daniel Day-Lewis together on more than one occasion. Dad left us far too early – this project is for him. I have ordered a fair few SYW/AWI from Baccus, including the new Compagnies France de la Marine and Canadian Militia. I also ordered highlanders, Indians, jaegers, continental light infantry, queens ranges and british line. This should be plenty to build a decent French and British force. I intend to use these with the Musket and Tomahawk, Sharp Practice and Songs of Drums and Tomahawk rules sets.
Finnish Winter, Continuation and Lapland Wars 1939 to 1945 – I have started a project doing the Winter War in 15mm using the Chain of Command rules. I am using miniatures from Battlefront, Resistant Rooster and Peter Pig with the idea of being able to field, for both sides, a platoon for the Winter War (1939-40) as well as the later stage of the continuation war (1941-44) that allows (with limitation) an interesting range of supports to the finns including the Landsverk L-62, F-42, Vickers 6 tonne, SU-152, T-26, T-28, BT-5 & 7, KV-1, Panzer IV Ausf J and Stug III. Some more likely than others to appear on the Battlefield. Later in the war they also get Panzerfaust and Panzerschrecks too. This again is a historical period that is personal to myself as my mother was born in Finland. Finland basically fought for its existence during the those cold Winter months of the Winter War against the Russians and the sacrifices on both sides deserves our respect and remembrance.
Other Stuff – I will do some more Saga factions as some point and also do something with the 1/3600 galleys I bought for Poseidon’s Warriors (however it currently feels like they will take a back-seat for a while). I also have 1940s Germans, French and British Chain of Command Forces I am slowly working on. I also have some kickstarters that are screaming for some paint including Zombiecide:Black Plauge, Bloodrage and soon, I hope, the stuff from the Conan Boardgame. There are probably more things on the (slow) go.
I will try to provide some variety in updates based on these projects but as they move in very different speeds it would be pointless to do have a rolling schedule. Things will be updated as and when they are done.
Nevermind, some further Lesnaya progress. Three dragoon regiments. / Take care.
I started on the next Great Northern War (GNW) project this week, namely Lesnaya 1708. I will do a write-up of the Battle and my thoughts on how I will do this at some later date. You can read about it on Wikipedia. In the meantime here are 10 finished bases of Russian Infantry. There were only 4 infantry regiments present.
For painting guide I used the eminent tacitus webpage that have full uniform details for the battles of the era. There are some blanks for regiments we do not know what uniforms they wore, but that is not a problem for these 10 battalions of elite russian infantry. These, like all my GNW, are bases with one base representing a battalion of 400 to 600 men. I have not yet added the standards. Here we go (all miniatures by Baccus, from their 18th century GNW range).
I wanted to do a short note on some of the additional Saga factions I intend to do next. I have been diverted doing some other stuff and the good weather has been non-inspiring with regards to painting.
The following are my notes on the three factions in the SAGA supplement called Varjazi & Basileus (all reference are to Baccus figure codes):
Starting army: Warlord (EMV01 -Armoured Spearmen), 2 No. Hearthguard (EMV01 -Armoured Spearmen), Warrior (EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen) and Levy with Javelins (ALR04 – Lanciarii)
For these I would just use the Baccus Viking codes (Spearmen) for hearthguard and some later roman lanciarii for Levy Javelins (although by now I have painted more of the buggers than I would have liked to).
Starting Army: Mounted Warlord (CIS01 – Seljuq Turk Heavy Cavalry), Mounted Hearthguard (CIS01 – Seljuq Turk Heavy Cavalry), Mounted Hearthguard with Bow (ASS02- Armoured Horse Archers), Warriors (EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen), Warriors with Bow (ALR05 – Archer).
This gets slightly more interesting and I thing the codes above gives a nice mixture of different troop types.
I have had a few busy days since returning from the Joy of 6 show and I suppose I need to write a summary of what happened on the day. In short it was an excellent day. We actually arrived the evening before and had the pleasure of doing the traditional stop in Broom Hill for an ale at the York and then a Curry at the Balti King with Peter Berry et al. It is a nice little preamble to the show and this year the discussions ranged from milk protein paint (looks interesting indeed) to kickstarters we had backed (seems like I am not the only one who has some big boxes of stuff at home).
The Sunday weather on offer was magnificent and I do not miss the old venue as it tended to get very hot inside. The new venue is superb and it is nice to see how the show grows every year and the selection of periods, game systems and style of presentation is very varied and makes the event well worth going to. It is also nice to meet up with some old friends, although the time for a chat is limited when you are running a participation game. Here are a few links showing off some of the stuff presented on the day (one, two, three, four).
I and Neil Shuck arrived at about 9am with the doors opening at 10am. Usually I have hundreds of Great Northern War units to put up which invariably I mess up giving me an headache in setting up – does the Kalmar regiment stand on the left or right flank?, is the Dorrellian Dragoons dismounted or on their horses? Instead I just rolled out the mats and placed the terrain and we were good to go. Neil umpired the Kings table where we had Normans vs. Strathclyde Welsh and I umpired the Queens table where we had Vikings vs. Anglo-Danes. You can read about Neil’s day on his blog here.
Neil, not just a smooth voice on the radio but a pro umpire, just got straight into it and had a father and son playing within minutes so I just had to get going. We ran 7 or 8 games over the day and we did not dramatically change (at least knowingly) any of the original rules – they (the rules) works very well as a 6mm game. And it gives a different feel to the warband than in 28mm of being bigger – but not big enough to be an army. The Saga rule set allow the person with the most impressive facial hair to go first in case of a tie in rolling for initiative – and on more than one occasion it was hard to tell the best beard of the day! What is great with Saga is that it takes a while to master each faction and I learn something new every time I play (or in this case watch others playing it).
I think everyone who tried out the game enjoyed it and although I do hope it promoted the Saga rulesets per se I am more keen that it provoked some thought about using alternative scales for other games. This is not universal but applies to a lot of games – Mike Whittaker has posted some interesting things about ground scale and other considerations you may need to take (see his blog.). I have seen Flames of war in 6mm and it looks beautiful especially when there are many tanks on the table compared to 15mm, Chain of Command is based on a 15mm ground scale but perfectly playable in 6mm using centimeters instead of inches (but some consideration should be given to the basing of team instead of individuals).
Thanks to everyone who came by and asked about the terrain and how I had done this and that – it really makes my day! In addition a very big thank you to my daughter who helped out on the day and of course to Peter Berry and Wargames Emporium for putting on another fantastic show. I am also more than grateful for the support I have had from the Meeples and Miniatures crew in getting this done (Dave I hope your foot gets better soon and Mike we need to have a beer at some point) – so thank you Neil.
I am not 100% sure what to do for next year but I have some thoughts….
I will discuss a few more Saga issues in the next posts, including some thoughts on other factions and what Baccus models to use. Then we may move on to something completely different – but more about that later.
Work commitments has led to limited time to spend on anything remotely funny recently. I see that Neil and Dave have been busy doing Saga games on the Meeples and Miniature site so I suppose they are more prepared than I. It looks as the game works in 28mm scale as well – who would have thought! 😉 Having checked out some of the other games being presented at the Joy of Six I think it will be a good day out and it seems like 6mm sceptics can get in for free – my favourite so far is Dan Hogdsons Star Wars Games. I first saw Dan’s 6mm Sudan stuff at the first Joy of Six a few years back and was blown away. His work actually inspired me to put on my first big 6mm table – the battle of Fraustadt 1706 (that is the date of the battle by the way, I am not that old yet!). Do spend some time on the Baccus site because the other games seem equally good. If you are coming to the Show please come by and say hello and perhaps join in on a game.
I spent today checking that I have everything I need before the journey to Sheffield next week. Both mats are packed, the terrain sorted, all miniatures sorted out, Saga dice counted, measuring sticks made, etc.
It is all looking good. Let us hope we have fair wind on our journey to the north! Some photos from the show coming up next week or shortly after and then I have to think about what is next! I was planning on spending the Summer on catching up on some of my half finished projects of old until I had a Shuck moment – yes one of those. Neil discussed a new naval ruleset he is reviewing and I read the article in the morning, ordered the rule set from Amazon and got it delivered at home the same evening. I then recalled that Outpost Wargames Services had a 1/3600 naval range so I decided to order a few of them and got them yesterday – they are small! – My summer is “saved”. I am already thinking about doing a mat similar to that I used for the Saga mats, using a thin layer of acrylic sealant mixed with green blueish colour and some fine sand – fix it up with some sponging (more about that some other time) and then let it dry and finally spread a layer of transparent acrylic sealant on top to create some depth – it has to be done!
There are a fair number of companies selling 6mm buildings and terrain out there. Previously I have used buildings from Baccus, Total Battle, Irregular Miniatures, Magister Militium and Timecast for my 18th century GNW stuff. For this project (with the exception of the palisade walls of the second village that are from Irregular miniatures) I used the excellent buildings from Leven Miniatures. Leven has a very extensive range of buildings and fortifications in 6mm for all kind of periods. They will also attend Joy of Six in July together with Baccus, Total Battle and Timecast.
For the first village/settlement I wanted to create the feeling of a slightly larger settlement continuing off-board. I did a base to place the buildings on top to allow the ability to make it look more like paths between the buildings instead of putting them directly on the bare mat (with the perusual cocktail of some brown sand, chocolate brown paint, acrylic sealant topped up, when dry, with some dry brushing). The buildings are from Leven and are the Saxon great hall, round houses and cottages. The walls and the gatehouse is from the upcoming Palisade Fortifications set (accidentally it works very well to place my 25mm bases on top of the walls). I could have built the walls myself but really liked the Leven model and could not resist it for very long. Note the well that is from Perfect Six (you may recall from a previous posting that I got the Irish war dogs from there too). The same type of well was used in the second village (as they come in a pack of two).
For the second village I used buildings from Leven’s Viking settlement range with the palisade being formed by a combination of the walls and gates from a wild west fort from Irregular Miniatures but with the corners replaced by 3 no. Leven Viking watch towers and one of their fantasy watchtowers. Again on top of a base dry brushed and with grass to make the buildings blend in.
I got the longboats from Heroics and Ros. They come with the option of having the shields hanging on the outside and there are rowers and crew as well. However, I wanted to show them as being left whilst the warband is rolling Saga dice on land. They look a little bit plain, but I am not sure what the final configuration will be – so I will leave them like this for the moment and probably for the show too.
Next time I will show some “in-action” pictures from some of the games we have played. Looks like Neil and Dave are getting ready for the event as well, over at the Meeples and Miniatures “island“!
As discussed in the last entry I use a base colour (chocolate brown) and dry brush 3 colours on top and then apply two different types of grass for my miniature bases. I use exactly the same approach on my terrain pieces (more or less). For me the aesthetic side is important as it helps the immersion in the game. I do not mind playing with pieces of felt but it is relatively easy and cheap to achieve something slightly more pleasing to the eye and where the pieces interplay to create a (in my opinion) more pleasant experience. For me the game itself includes the terrain and the miniatures – but I know that is not an universal opinion. [I will not drift away talking about preferring to sit in my comfortable sofa, as opposed to a camping chair, whilst watching a good movie.] By using a consistent approach you can use the terrain pieces you make for most of your game and scales. This is not a step-by-step guide but more a high level discussion/presentation with some links to sources. If you have any questions just ask here or come to Joy of Six on the 17th July 2016.
As we will use two tables for the Saga demonstration game at Joy of 6 I needed two 3 by 4 playing surfaces. I normally use terrain boards but wanted to allow more flexibility in setting up and the mats (as opposed to boards) are taking less space. I got inspired by this posting on the Meeples and Miniatures blog on making your own wargames mat using acrylic sealant and canvas. I followed the approach as described but (i) applied the static grass after it was all dry (this allowed me to drybrush the mat before grass was put on top – using my three colours) and (ii) made the acrylic mix dark (chocolate brown) using Brown acrylic sealant and dark chocolate brown emulsion, (iii) used plastic backed drop sheets instead of canvas, and (iv) spread the mix with an old plastic VHS tape cover. I am happy with the results. It is easier than it looks and make sure to secure the sheet when you do it with clamps as it does shrink a little.
Note: Buy the acrylic sealant (sometimes called adhesive) from places like Screwfix at about £2 or less per 310ml to use in an applicator gun (silicone based sealants do not take paint well so avoid these). Use cheap paint. Allow a weekend for this project, do not apply to thick and make sure there is sufficient amount of sand to create some graininess without making it to dry when you mix it. Also vacuum clean the mat when dry to get rid of excess static grass.
Roads, Rivers, Marshland and Shoreline
To create roads, rivers, marshland and shoreline I use “Nylon Adhesive tile planks”. They are normally 3′ (90 cm) long and allows you to create continuous looking pieces for terrain. I bought mine from Wickes. I use acrylic sealant mixed with brown paint and sand that I spread all over the road (and then use a plastic fork to create a wagon trail), create banks for the river and to do the land for the shoreline piece (work on the sticky side).
I paint the edges of the road in the normal three dry brush way, as well as the banks and the shoreline land. I painted the river and the ocean in shades of blue with some white detailing and applied Gloss Mod Podge carefully on top to create some structure as well as a gloss shine to the water. I applied the same process for the marshland, but use a darker green-blue shade for the water.
Note: Be careful with these long pieces as they snap easily if you bend them too much. If you have no space to store them make smaller lengths instead.
I use Styrofoam that I cut out and shape to taste, brown acrylic mixed with sand on top and then the normal procedure. There must be thousands of tutorials on making hills out there – pick your favourite.
Mailed Fists wargames group put on a great looking participation game at JOS 2015 called “The Hungry Legions” that had some nice forest tiles that allowed the creation of pieces of forests as opposed to trees (the bases could “hide” under the trees). After some searching on the net I found something very similar here. As always I did make some changes:
(I) Instead of the Woodland scenic foliage I decide to do my own as I recalled a youtube video on making your own foam foliage that you can find here. Great stuff and cheap. I bought a budget range mixer for £10 and got a £5 bag worth of upholstery off cuts, some cheap green emulsion and mixed with some brown colour to create different colours for each little batch I made. Most blenders are designed to run for about 2 minutes continuously – any longer and they may overheat and possible stop working. Be careful and take small breaks. It needs to dry for some time so this is a slow project is terms of waiting time. It will take days for it to dry so plan for it accordingly.
(ii) I opted for removable tree trunks instead of building them into the base or the canopy. This makes it less bulky to store as well as the ability to make stumps for different scales. I did mine 30mm that will work even with the mounted based for this project. If I would use these for another scale I just need to check my tallest model that will be used and adjust the tree trunks accordingly. The tree trunks are twigs mounted on 20mm penny washers using putty pellets from poundland – I made 39 treestumps with a pack!. I also made the forest tile slightly darker than the the mat itself – i.e. more dark static grass.
I wanted bridges that could allow the 25mm square bases to sit comfortably on the top and to work with my river tiles. I could not find anything so I made some from a lolly pop stick, matches and spaghetti – “Cheap as spaghetti as they may say in Italy!”. They look alright and make a great story. The final result can be see in the picture of the river above.
I have some rectangular fields that I bought a few years back that are ok but put together on a table they look too similar and unnatural for my taste. I wanted to create some funkier looking fields and did some odd shaped nylon tiles with fields all over the place. To avoid the problem of floating bases on top of high coir mat sections (that can look a little bit overwhelming in 6mm scale) or needing to remove sections I just used different colours of short static grass. I applied a layer of browned acrylic sealant and shaped ploughed fields with a plastic fork, then let it dry and put some pva on top of the furrows (leaving a few gaps here and there) and use a different colour every day for a few days (to allow the pva glue to dry between grass applications) and you end up with some funky looking field tiles (me thinks!). Then I add some borders (brown acrylic) and brushed them up with the three colours and decorated with some static grass and tufts. Does it for me.
None of these projects are difficult if you plan carefully and take your time. Next time I will discuss the “terrain items” I did not do from scratch and where I got them from – the villages and viking ships. Bye.
I have been painting 6mm miniatures for some time and I have to admit I found it difficult at first due to (i) not having painted any miniatures for a long time and (ii) I wanted to paint more detail than I needed. I stumbled across 6mm miniatures searching for a book on the Great Northern War that Peter Berry, of Baccus, was selling at the time. I ended up buying a lot of GNW miniatures and my first attempts at painting them were dreadful. I still have one of those bases somewhere. With some experimentation (and a lot of inspiration from Dr Mike and his 6mm painting clinics and postings on the old Baccus forum) I did not give up as I felt that the scale is second to none for large mass battles and this is what I wanted to do for the GNW era.
Generally my objective is to do a big battle or a project every year and normally need to produce a large amount of miniatures to achieve this. I have been able to achieve this for the last five years due to signing up to the JOS event – it puts the right level of pressure and my half-finished projects of old justifies this approach. Here is my step-by-step approach to painting them:
Preparing to Paint
After having painted almost 2000 shields for my current Saga project I have to admit that there are days when the destination does not seem to outweigh the journey. On these days I find that listening to music and perhaps even better a podcast helps me along. I have especially enjoyed the following relevant podcasts in no particular order – Meeples and Miniatures (and View from the Veranda), Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, Ancient Warfare Magazine, Nova Squadron Radio and In the Garage. But there is so much more good stuff out there.
Check if the miniatures are ok. Normally I paint Baccus figures that does not require any further work (i.e. filing) apart from perhaps a little bit filing on some of the older casts under the base to ensure the model stands straight when you base it later. I then mount them on ice lolly sticks with Blu Tack. I do not glue as I can reuse the Blu Tack and this gives me the ability to do stage 2 immediately. I should say something about soapy water. I tend not to wash my 6mm miniatures and do minimal prep of them – I do not feel the need. But other people say you need to – so perhaps you should listen to them.
Spray your miniatures with a grey base coat – I buy grey spray cans (Primer) from poundland (for this purpose they are brilliant!). Let it dry, ideally for 24 hours. Do it outside! You could do white or black. I used to do black but prefer grey with black ink to better see details and with my sloppy approach white does not work.
Apply a black wash (diluted ink – enough to highlight the details in the figure). This helps with the painting as it allows the detail to be seen more easily. It also creates a shading in the deeper areas. Let it dry, again ideally for 24 hours. I use a mixture of equal parts of water and pledge multisurface wax (with klear) that I drip some black artist ink into, but you may opt for a dark pre-mix wash from one of the paint producers.
Note: When doing a project try to get this done for as many miniatures as possible as you need to wait for (literary) paint to dry. Make sure you are always a few painting sessions ahead with the prep.
Painting and Shading
Block paint the miniature with a decent brush – I used to buy good quality brushes but messed up a few too many so now I buy some detailed nylon brushes from the Works – I get 24 brushes for £10 and occasionally they have even better deals. They are not brilliant and wear out, but I can paint a fair few miniatures before they give up. If you can manage your brushes better than me then go for quality. I use acrylic Vallejo paints as I like them – you will not use a lot of paint in a session. Keep the lid tight and shake them well before use – I have some that are over 10 years old!. Try to get the paint to hit the right parts of the miniature. Do not over apply the paint – less is more. Let some of the grey and black show, but not too much. I do not have time to spend much quality time with each figure so that is it. Sometimes I do some more elaborate painting on some key units. However the next stage will do the trick.
Note: I tend to paint large batches at the same time. For the Saga Project I have painted one full faction at the same time. I very often started with the shields did a few in a colour then another and so on, next ringmail and clothes, then face etc. Construction line approach!
Make sure the miniatures are dry and then go for Nutbrown ink! (can be bought from almost any art shop, Winsor & Newton drawing ink) dip in your brush and let it flow…. This is magic! Be generous. Move your brush over some tissue paper and dip it at areas where too much of the ink have stayed, e.g. around the shield boss. Try it out on a few miniatures first and learn how to get it to work for you. Let it dry.
Paint the bottom of the strip in chocolate brown. . Do not use Vallejo paint for this as it far too expensive and unnecessary for this purpose – buy a cheap acrylic hobby paint or even a tester paint pot. Let it dry.
Basing your miniatures
Cut the strip of miniatures if required, normally cavalry and skirmishers.
Put a mixture of 25% paint (same brown as before), 25% water and 50% PVA glue (bought in bulk from Screwfix or cheap from Poundland) on the base.
Put the miniatures on the base
Sprinkle sand on top – I use chocolate brown sand that used to be available from hobbycraft – not any more. And let them dry safely. Be careful when you handle the base so the minatures do not fall of.
Paint the sand chocolate brown watered down a bit so it flows nicely (unless you used coloured sand). At this stage I also apply more glue and sand if I can see the base of the miniature too clearly. I hate seeing the small squarish bases through the sand.
Drybrush the ground – I use three colours – first one goes on the whole base the second and third goes on “randomly” on the base – covering less and drybrushing lighter. I have used this combo for the last few years on all my (non-winter) bases. I also use the same scheme for my terrain. Make sure it is dry before next step.
Apply random dots of watered down pva glue (50/50) and apply static grass Grass (I use Busch Spring Meadow and Marsh Green, with an emphasis of Spring Meadow with a little bit of Marsh Green). Shake off.
When it is all dry I use the vaccum cleaner whilst holding each model firmly to get rid of any excess grass and glue a strip of adhesive magnetic tape on the bottom. Again I get this from poundland. Job done.
Note: Develop and approach and stick to it with regards to basing. Next week I will discuss terrain and it is nice when the base on a miniature blends into your table – it helps with the immersion aspect – that for a moment or two it looks like an army marching or attacking on your table.
By the way I did use those farmers, carts and mules for something as I needed a few bases for the Saga Escort! scenario! I hope you like them.
Note 1: It probably makes more sense if you read Saga in 6mm – Part 1 before your read this.
Note 2: All miniatures are from Baccus miniatures, unless indicated otherwise, and the codes relates to their catalogue.
Breton, Norse-Gael and Franks
I spent last week enjoying some relaxed time with friends and family and forgot to update the blog yesterday (Sorry!). The closest I came to something related with the Saga project was in drinking some Hippocras. We tried “La Licorne (the Unicorn)” that is handmade in Normandy and is composed of rare spices and light wine made in medieval tradition from the 13th and 14th century. The spices works as a conservative so no chemicals are added to the drink. It is sweet but yet intense and strong in flavours. The main spices, of the 15 used, are mace (the lacy layer around the nutmeg), cinnamon, galanga root and maniquette seeds. We spent the evening guessing the other 11. Splendid stuff! Now over to the last 3 factions.
EMN03 – Norman unarmoured cavalry
EMN01 – Norman armoured cavalry, charging
ALR04 – Lanciarii
For the Hearthguard and Warlord I used EMN01, however in doing it again I would have used the EMN03 code for all mounted units – to represent the more Javelin oriented Breton cavalry. I did however use the EMN03 code for the mounted warrior unit. For the levies I (again) used the late roman lanciariis. Try out the Breton metal band Herzel and their “Nominoë” for some inspiration (Check out the link below).
EMV03 – Armoured Axemen
EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen
EMV02 – Unarmoured Spearmen
ALR04 – Lanciarii
EMV05 – Viking Luminaries and Loonies
EMN06 – Norman Leaders
For these domesticated Vikings I used armoured Viking spearmen (EMV01) for one of the hearthguard units as well as the warlord unit (fronted with miniatures from the Viking and Norman leader packs – leftovers). For the second hearthguard unit I used the Viking axemen (EMV03), this code was also used for one of the warrior units but I did not paint them with armour. The final warrior unit used the unarmoured Viking spearmen (EMV01) fronted by the good old lanciarii (ALR04) as these are Javelin armoured warriors. Did I mention Amon Amarth before? Try their “Death in Fire” for inspiration.
EMN04 – Norman armoured infantry
EMN01 – Norman Armoured Cavalry, charging
EMN07 – Norman Crossbowmen
I have chosen to depict the Capetian Franks that more or less looks like a Norman warband. For the Warlord and the hearthguards I used the Norman charging cavalry (EMN01). As one warrior unit can be armed with Crossbow I did those with the Norman Crossbowmen (EMN07) and the other warrior unit using the Norman armoured infantry (EMN01). Listen to the multi-talented Christopher Lee’s Charlmagne album as inspiration (his last metal album).