The Little One and I were eager to have a go and test the Pikeman’s Lament (PL) rules, here is a write-up of it. For some background on this diversion see here (initial thoughts and overview) and here (painting up the units). 6mm miniatures played on a brand new 2 by 2 feet board (that we made the day before) played using centimeters instead of inches so in relative terms it would have been as playing with on 5 by 5 feet board using 28mm and inches. It is not a roll-for-roll account but a summary how it all played out.
We selected 24 points for each side resulting in the following two forces:
2 units of Veteran Shot @ 6 points each (Janissaries; may form Close Order)
3 Gallopers @ 4 points each (Sipahis cavalry, I changed my mind of these from being Trotters)
For the Ottoman officer we rolled Mercenary Officer, representing a foreigner with some renown but not fully trusted bythe men (offering no morale bonus for units within 12”) We decided that he was a French officer and we used the French officer from our Sharp Practice French Marine unit to mark his unit – one of the Janissary units. We named him Lieutenant Dupont, a young commander disgraced in his home country turned mercenary and eager to get promoted through the ranks by impressing the Pasha.
3 Dragoons @ 4 points each
2 Forlorn Hope @ 6 points each (Grenadiers)
For Officer background trait we rolled the result Hothead indicating an officer with difficulties with his superiors but, leading from the front, with the full trust of his men. This gives him the ability of Strong – a re-roll for an attack/defence die during every attack. We decided that he was Podporuchik Alekseyev (Podporuchik was a rank introduced by Peter the Great in 1703, equivalent to a second Lieutenant). We used one of the other Dragoons as a marker for this leader in the battle (not counting him as a figure).
The Scenario and Set-up
We opted for the scenario C: King’s War Chest. The Russian’s are defending and at the Start of the Scenario have one of the Dragoon units taking a bath in the river with 3 No. war chest wagons on the road. The rest of the force are off-board but can enter (if successful at activating in Turn 2) The Ottoman strike force is aware of the important cargo and are coming from the South (right in the picture below) – this would be a good way for the young Lieutenant DuPont to get some recognition from the Pasha. The Russia commander has just been made aware of the approaching danger and need to reinforce the Dragoon unit (that has just finished its bath and geared up) and get the wagons out of danger, either to the east or west. The French Ottoman Lieutenant will seek to take the wagons down the way he came (South).
We now rolled for who is playing what and the Little One rolled highest on both dice and chose to attack and to be the Ottomans. I hoped that was the last of his high rolls today!
The Little One set out the onslaught by successfully managing to activate most of his units and my Dragoons got their act together and rode towards the Wagons.
The Ottoman pressed forward further and the Dragoons failed to activate a shoot action to reduce some of the oncoming impact. But, by a miracle, I decided to get all the Russians on the table – the Dragoons on one flank and the Forlorn Hope on the other.
One of the Gallopers did the first attack of the day and with the follow-up attack managed to disable the Dragoons in one round. Lucky, but what a nice way to start the battle. He then spent the following round routing them off the table.
After this the Little One got one of his other Gallopers to get onto attacking the Forlorn hope units – I could see him being “Charged up!”.
However they opened fire and knocked out two of the six models making the unit wavering (we used ammo box markers for this!).
Meanwhile on my Left flank the Dragoons had advanced and used the skirmish feature attacking the Shot unit with the commander and managed to get it wavering too. It looked like a had regained some control.
However two rounds later the Gallopers who routed the first Dragoon unit had forced the Dragoon unit with the Russian Commander to evade straight into the jaws of the enemy.
Shorty afterwards the Officers Dragoon unit was destroyed and the other Dragoon unit having sustained heavy fire from the Shot units withdrew toward the river. Meanwhile one of the Forlorn Hope units had snatched one of the wagons and I hoped to do the same with the other unit.
However the second Forlorn Hope was decimated by the remaining Ottomans and I had no longer a feasible chance of doing anything more than drag some of the total war chest out of the Enemy’s hand.
With only a Forlorn Hope unit left but with control of one of the War Chest wagons we agreed a 4 -2 victory to the Little One. Fair enough.
That means that Lieutenant Dupont could add 4 Honour to his roster, whilst the Russian got 2. We also rolled on the table to see the impact of his health being a casualty in this battle – we found (following a low roll – of course) that he had manage to escape the battle field and hidden (in some honour unfriendly manner) and got captured loosing 5 points of honour.
So the honour tally of our Protagonists’ are 19 to the Ottoman and 7 to the Russian.
These were our observations:
Managing the Resource of Luck
The tests for actions (move, attacks, etc.) are good as it creates a fog of war situation, it is also interesting that a failed test for one unit stops the overall activation phase for the player. It is irritating when it happens but not a bad rule feature – like being scared whilst watching a horror movie (I do not like it, but I like horror movies!). The activation values for the units we used were in ranges between 5+ and 7+ (i.e. success on a role of the value or higher) or 4+ to 7+ if considering that an officer within 12″ (or cm in our case, give a -1 to the roll), the probabilities for success of doing the action, and doing anything else that round, are:
4+ – 92%, 5+ 83%, 6+ 72% and 7+ 58%.
So it gives a nice balance between trying to optimize the order in which you activate. If there are no other considerations they you should do them in the lowest activation roll order. However this indirectly decreases the chance of being able to activate a unit that may be critical for that particular round. Luck is a finite resource and it is important to manage that resource well!
We found the Gallopers being very powerful and the follow-on attack was devastating – it would have helped to have some Pike available. The Dragoon ability to evade was interesting and worked really well in the game (but I did fail to activate it a few times, and the Little One outsmarted me in using it). We also like the Shot First Salvo rule as it makes the Shot very potent (especially the Veterans we used).
As for the Men Who Would be King rules (see more here) there are the officer traits (although there is an overall officer as opposed to unit commanders) that we found interesting – that the Little One talked with a French Accent whilst commanding his Ottomans made the game more enjoyable.
Next time we will try the special orders (i.e. sub-mission to give more glory – or to loose some) and see how it goes.
Simple but not simplistic
As for the other rules in the Series the rules are relatively simple but there is more to it and with the special abilities, activation considerations it has sufficient depth to make it interesting and very playable.
But as we say in Sweden “till syvende och sist” (at the end of the day) it is not over until the Little One’s thumb has had its say. We both had a good time this afternoon and are looking forward to the next session.
Very well, it seems like we have another game we can play together.
I do apologise if you are a follower of this blog and got sent an update earlier this week. I did a draft based on what I intended to do this week and instead of saving it to add some more text and pictures to over the weekend (when I actually had something to show) I pressed publish. Anyway here is the real update, hope it is of some interest.
Back to basics again and a update on the progress with the Lesnaya battle, this time the hard-hitting Swedish Cavalry. All based in a wedge formation. This formation represents the way in which the cavalry (and dragoon units) attacked (knee-behind-knee) as part of the overall Gå–På–method focused on aggression and shock.
Picture by Krigsarkivet (Swedish War Archives) from 1707, Public Domain (link here)
All these miniatures were part of a commission I received from Chris at Marching Colour (link here), this is the third batch he has done for me and I have nothing but praise. I know I said it before, but it has given me time to explore some alternative stuff I normally have no time to do.
My remit to Chris was “Block painted neatly not with layers, hightlight, varnish or basing”. I also asked for the flags/standards to be left blank.
My job is the pleasurable task of doing some final touches (including flags), ink them, some highlight and base them up. Before I show the individual overall units, I will go through these steps. The models from Chris are more or less ready to be based without doing these additional steps – but to me it makes a difference and adds some satisfaction in having provided some kind of input into the overall production process, whether you can actually see it on the table when you stand up and look down at them. A kind of flat pack approach to miniature painting, but hopefully more enjoyable than those Billy Bookcases from IKEA. I am using the brave riders of the Åbo och Björneborgs Kavalleriregemente as an example. With regards to painting guide there are some reasonable information but a lot of gaps (see the discussion here, on the Tacitus webpage that also shows a reasonable interpretation of the material available for this and many other battles). I am also lucky enough to have copies of the eminent Acedia Press books The Great Northern War 1700-1721 : colours and uniforms Part 1 and Part 2 that contains a lot of further information. The books are long since out-of-print.
Step 0 – Done by Chris – block paint miniatures neatly (the longest step)
Step 1 – do the flags and any repainting (e.g on some occasions I have changed the colour of a horse etc)
Flags (a orangy standard for these guys)
Trumpeter (or drummer) details
Light Silver on the swords (adds to the overall effect)
Highlight the hat lace (in this case yellow)
Horsetails in dark grey (german grey)
I changed the schabraque and pistol covers to Orange although I had told Chris something different (no information and perhaps unlikely but Orange it will be).
Step 2 – Paint the bases of the miniatures brown (I use a burnt umber or chocolate brown for this – same as for my base terrain colour)
Step 3 – Apply Nutbrown Ink – let it dry. Apply generously, avoid the metal parts (no soldier would keep his, mostly men in this case. sword rusty). I sometime add some highlights if the ink makes it to dark or messes something up.
Step 5 – Prepare base. I paint the edges brown as it saves time later. I use 2mm laser cut 60 by 30mm bases.
Step 6 – glue to base. Well first you have to cut the strips into the individual riders, make sure each of them can stand on a flat surface so they do not fall in the glue later. Apply glue all over the base when you are ready to put them on the base. Note: The miniatures forms a shallow wedge shape (in line with the picture above) with the trumpeter on the right and the Kornett in the middle and furthest ahead holding the standard. The Kornett, or Cornet in English, was the lowest commissioned officer rank equivalent to a Second Lieutenant (or Fänrik in Sweden) . The rank was also used in the British army up to the late 19th century. It has nothing do with the family of wind instruments with the same name.
Step 7 – Apply sand as soon as possible. Carefully flip it slightly so that excess sand falls off. If any bare metal still shines through or the bases are too obvious apply a little bit more of glue in these places and apply some more sand, “flip away” the excess carefully and then let dry.
Step 8 – Paint the sand brown (I do not as I have some chocolate coloured sand)
Step 9 – dry brush Colour 1 to 3 (decide on a set and stick to it, all your stuff will look the same whether you do them today or several years ago. The picture does not really come out well. The colours are a very pale brown, a little more yellowish brown and fnally a light yellow. But try out your own combo.
Here are the colours I use.
Step 10 – add PVA glue where you want the static grass. Apply Static grass and shake off excess (same here get a lot of a brand and stick to it, I use Busch light and dark grass. Mostly the light) I then stick on some flowery tufts when I feel for it (they are a little bit overwhelming scalewise, but I like it!).
Step 12 – Add base to your collection (here with the other three bases of the regiment).
Anyway here are the other ones I have done this week in no particular order,
Karelska Kavalleriregementet (4 bases)
Adelsfanan i Sverige och Finland (1 base) – a company was part of Lewenhaupts army. So a base may be excessive. But why not.
Adelsfanan i Livland och på Ösel (1 base), this is the Cavalry Corps of the Nobility in Livonia and Ösel. Strictly speaking Adelsfanan means the Nobel Banner.
Dragoon Regiment / Squadrons
Skogh’s Dragon Skvadron (1 base)
Karelska Land Dragon Skvadron (1 base)
Damn, forgot to this one. Well…..
Schreitterfeldts Dragonregemente (2 bases)
Schlippenbachs Dragonregemente (2 bases)
Upplands Ståndsdragoner (2 bases)
Öselska Land Dragon Skvadron (1 base)
Light Horse Regiment
Vallack / Vollosh Regementet (2 bases) – light cavalry unit formed from Polish and Lithuanian Free Companies. I have plenty of these from the past already so I will be using a few of those on the day.
I did the Swedish infantry before (see here). So all that remains for the Swedes are some commanders and that dragoon base I forgot!
In the previous blog entry (see here) I set out the forces and the miniatures I intended to use for this project. I have just completed these units this week and hope to get a game with the Little One in the near future. Same approach as always in trying to achieve reasonable results not individual master pieces. The units I planned to do were as follows, based on some possible small encounters during the Pruth Campaign 1711.
I am very happy with the result and I am tempted to make a small Swedish “force” from the same era (with some pikes).
Perhaps something like this.
GNS01 (Tricorne) or GNS02 (Karpus)
GNS03 (Tricorne) or GNS04 (Karpus)
Aggressive Elite Gallopers
GNS05 or GNS06
Sorry trying to avoid drifting, back to the Pruth stuff.
For the Russians I decided to go for units with red as a common denominator and painted them as based on units that took part in the campaign (based on a list from the draft of Nick Dorrell’s upcoming book – discussed in the previous blog, here). All these are from the “new” Baccus WSS range – I had not yet painted these but I must say that they are a joy to paint. I have so far used the old WSS range for my GNW stuff as I have a fair few of the ones lying around from previous purchases with hybric flavours.
On the subject of the Russians of this era I did notice a book currently on pre-order due out in November this year. The book is titled The Russian Army in the Great Northern War 1700-21 with the subtitle Uniforms, Organization, Materiel, Training and Combat Experience. I hope this will have some more information on uniform colours than what is currently available. Although I have to admit that I pre-ordered it based on the title, what is really interesting is the background of the author. I let you read it yourself.
Boris Megorsky was born in Leningrad, USSR in 1978. He lives in St Petersburg, Russia with his beloved wife Olga and three-year-old son Vadim. He did his PhD in Political Science and works in Human Resources, but his true passion has always been military history. As a scholar, he specializes in the everyday life of the Russian Army, its uniforms and siege warfare of the Great Northern War period; he has written dozens of articles and theses on these subjects. His book about the siege of Narva in 1704 was published in Russia in 2016 and, as a re-enactor, he is a member and sergeant of the Preobrazhensky Life Guard Regiment, 1709 ( Russia’s leading re-enactment society of the early 1700s). His passion for miniatures makes him pay great attention to details both in research and in reconstructions, be it re-enactors’ kit or graphical illustration consultations. He has consulted on a number of films, museum and publishing projects, and has worked with miniature manufacturers and artists. – From the Amazon Webpage
Here is a link to it at Amazon (but there are probably other places where you can buy it too, like the book depository). Worth having on your radar, but a long way from being out. Would of course be useful for the Pruth campaign too. Back to the key thread again.
Permski Dragoon Regiment (Dragoons)
The Permski dragoon regiment were present in the 1711 campaign so I decided to make my dragoon units represent a detachment from this regiment. They had white coats with red cuffs. I have already painted some of these for the Lesnaya Battle but they are based on 60 by 30mm bases. As these represents the Dragoon in the traditional role of being more mounted infantry than cavalry they have been based with unmounted figures but with a horse present on each base. I have used the 1-2-3 system (shown in the Pikeman’s Lament rulebook), modified to fit the 6mm scale, and as discussed in this blog entry if you do not have the book at hand.
4 units of 6 dragoons, based with the 1-2-3 method (15mm, 20mm and 25mm bases)
Repnin’s Grenadiers (Forlorn Hope)
I painted these to represent Repnin’s Grenadiers that had red coats with (speculative?) blue cuffs. Named after the Russian General, and eventually Field Marshal, Prince Anikita Ivanovich Repnin who commanded one of the Russian centre commands at Poltava in 1709 (you can read more about him here). These were also based with the 1-2-3 system.
3 units of 6 Forlorn Hope, based with the 1-2-3 method (12mm, 15mm and 20mm bases).
General Sheremetev’s Dragoon Squadron (Raw Trotters)
For these I wanted them to represent General Sheremetev’s Squadron, I painted them with red coats and white cuffs. Potentially these could be classified as non-raw (or even Veteran) assuming that the General’s squadron may be more potent than the standard dragoon unit. Boris Sheremetev commanded the overall centre at Poltava in 1709 and led the main army in the Pruth Campaign (more about him here).
4 units of 6 trotters, based with the 1-2-3 method (15mm, 20mm and 25mm bases).
I do not have a lot of information of who wore what for these units – so I did a quick decision to paint them based on a basic livery green (green ink on the clothing and then picking out some detail with Livery Green). Finally got to use this fine Colour!
I would be very keen to get some comprehensive information on detailed organization and uniform guides from this conflict – but until then artistic freedom will do. I you have any views or suggestions please do let me know through the contact option on the blog of find us on facebook and ask away.
Janissaries (Veteran Shot)
I painted these in a green coat with the traditional white headgear with some simple pink detail/ There is a little story about how models were developed by Master 6mm painter Dr. Mike also known as Cranium (here). He is the man who runs the SMS (Small Model Soldier) painting clinics at various shows, teaching people how to paint “something so small”. I developed most of the techniques I am using in painting 6mm from reading his entries on the old Baccus forum (I do not find these anymore) – my favourite is the use of Windsor & Newton Ink (Nut Brown) after the painting is done – the army painter quick shade equivalent for smaller scales (kind of!) . It really makes the models “look better than they are”, in my opinion. Try it for yourself – go nuts!
5 units of 12 Veteran Shot, based with the 1-2-3 method (12mm, 15mm and 20mm bases).
Again a green colour scheme with bronzed helmet. I painted the flags green with three crescents as I had seen this for an Ottoman unit many years ago at a wargames show and liked it. Having done some research I am not 100% sure it is a valid flag for the Ottomans – but I like it so it stays until I have better alternative. The bronze helmets also looks good and, like the pink and white on the Janissaries, show that these uniforms where not designed to blend into the countryside but to look stunning!
4 units of 6 trotters, based with the 1-2-3 method (15mm, 20mm and 25mm bases)
Hope that was of some interest, another read of the rules and we have to hit the table with these. Not the same splendor as individual 28mm bases for skirmish, but it works for me. The fact that I have produced two opposing forces of almost twice the recommended starting size in a week of hobby-time is perhaps the biggest advantage.
I did a similar project for the Men Who Would be Kings rules that you can find information about (here, here and here).
Next week I will be showing some progress on the main project (a proper large battle). As the package with models came through from Marching in Colour last week (see here) and I have started slowly getting my act together again this week (afterthought – as if it ever was there!).
I have decided to give the Mutant 1984 project a break over the Summer – I did paint the two little structures/buildings I did a few weeks back (here) and showed them on the Facebook page. For completeness I include them here as well. I think we are getting closer to having the terrain we need for a proper game with these rules. I am excited to start a campaign with some Pyri Commonwealth Soldiers – The recollections of rifleman Crocodylus. However there is something rather therapeutic in doing some terrain so perhaps there will be some pieces done in the background of everything else.
The picture below shows the good Rifleman Crocodylus himself next to to one of the 6mm Dragoon bases above and a BIC pen for size comparison, as I occasionally get questions about this through the site. The Rifleman is a converted Warlord 95th rifle model (28mm scale) with a head from a crooked dice model.
Pikeman’s Lament in 6mm – Planning and Buying Stage
Another batch for the Towards Moscow Project from Marching in Colour
Mutant 1984 for Scrappers, some more “terrainish” stuff – a Citroën, oil tanks and some old Trucks
Pikeman’s Lament in 6mm
I bought a copy of The Pikeman’s Lament by Daniel Mersey and Michael Leck a few months ago. It is, as the title hints, a Pike and Shot period skirmish level game and in the sample companies provided it covers the Thirty Years War (TYW), English Civil War (ECW), the Deluge (Northern War 1655-60), Scanian Wars, King Williams War (the First French Indian War) and the Great Northern War (GNW). Being a Osprey book it has the typical style and layout of their other wargames books.
The rules are derived from the very popular Lion Rampant rules created by Daniel Mersey (who also wrote the Dux Bellorum and Men Who Would be Kings that the Little One and I really enjoy playing having had a few goes, see here for our first game) and on a quick read these rules caught my interest sufficiently to get me thinking about trying them out.
Michael Leck is, perhaps, more famous for the fantastic stuff he presents on his Dalauppror blog (here) and his articles in the Wargames, Soldier and Strategy magazine where he has presented snippets from the rich Swedish military history and how to adapt some popular rule set to play in these, more than often, unknown theatres. You may recall that I put up a picture of his fantastic, and award winning, game at Salute in the last blog update (here).Michael, and I, used to roll dice and use our imagination in the same role-playing club many moons ago.
There is a comprehensive review of the rules on the “I live with Cats blog”, that I found useful (link here). I wanted to give them a try doing two small starting forces in line with the Men Who Would be King stuff I did before. I just needed to find a period – a pleasant problem looking for a solution.
Last week Nick Dorrell, and I, were talking about some (far) future projects and we discussed the Russian Pruth Campaign. This was whilst we were running our Salute Game (more here). Nick has a book soon to come out called Peter the Great Humbled: The Russo-Ottoman War of 1711.Nick’s book tells the story about this campaign that led to the surrender of the Russian forces near the Pruth river. It also presents the forces involved in the conflict, their size, actual composition, and tactics used. It is not a very well known conflict but due to the natural link to the Great Northern War I find it very interesting and I am looking forward to read the final book (I pre-ordered my copy of Nicks book from here).
Although the engagmement were mainly attacks on fortifications some “what ifs” or special scenarios could be played – but then I thought why not do a few units from this period and try out the Pikeman’s Lament Rules. Following on from this I went ahead and actually bought a few miniatures from Baccus at Salute that will be perfect for a very small diversion to try out the Pikeman’s Lament rules. Arguably more shot than pike as the Russian left their pikes at home for this campaign (if my sources are correct), but why not?
I got the following packs from Baccus (pictures taken from their Webpage, as I have not yet even opened the packs):
OTT02 – Janissaries, musket – firing and loading
GNP05 – Hussars – to represent Ottoman Sipahi cavalry
From this I will do:
5 Veteran Shot @ 6 points each (Janissaries; may form Close Order)
4 Trotters @ 4 points each (Sipahis cavalry, the Polish Hussars without wings being used as a reasonable proxy)
WSS03- Grenadier (Tall Mitre)
WSS08 – Dragoons
WSS12 – Dismounted Dragoons
From this I will do (note the models are from the WSS range not the GNW Russian Range, as these works perfectly well for Russians of this period. I also wanted to get a chance at seeing these):
4 Dragoons @ 4 points each (these are Dragoons in a traditional dismount to fire role as per the rules)
3 Forlorn Hope @ 6 points each (Grenadiers)
4 Raw Trotters @ 3 points each (In reality also Russian Dragoons but to simulate a more active cavalry role classified as Trotters. The Russian Dragoons did practice some all out cavalry attacks and by this time it seems reasonable but still classified as raw).
This gives me 46 points for each side (starting size is 24 points so should be more than plenty to give me some variety in size). There is also enough to do another few Shot units and Trotters for the Ottomans and some more Trotters and Forlorn Hope units for the Russians.
Basing and Notes
These will based as I did my Zulu war stuff based on the 1-2-3 method discussed in a previous posting (see here). I have had a few questions about where I get bases of small size like 9mm etc. Basically I order Penny Washers from ebay, here is an example (I have no association with this seller) but I have successfully bought stuff from them.
In the detail provided the following list is given, we can see the diameter we may need (outer diameter). Just pick the one you want.
With regards to the little hole in the middle I put a magnet inside and cover it with a sticker on both sides (see here to get the idea, Step 6 in the “Shock Marker” tutorial). I think the washers are also sometimes referred to as fender washers.
Another batch from Marching in Colour
As discussed in previous blog posting I have decided to use Marching in Colour painting service (link to the background to this decision here and to the Marching in Colour Website here) to help me with the Towards Moscow Project and Chris sent me through the pictures from the latest batch the other day. I have to admit that my experience in using this service have been second to none. I am looking forward in getting these and complete the miniatures needed for this and next years Joy of Six. I will get to this in the next few weeks (as I have to!) and will post updates as I progress and also discuss the next stages of production to final based units. Here are the pictures (Russians and Swedish), I let them speak for themselves. Although it is a little bit of a luxury this is the best decision for some time I have done with regards to my hobby time (and budget!). Thanks for your help Chris!
More about the Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) Great Northern War project can be found here.
Mutant 1984 for Scrappers
I did a few more pieces for the Mutant 1984 project inspired by three recent purchases (see more about this project here).
When I went to South of France a few weeks backs I went to a French Market and found one of these for a few Euros. It is a Citroën ID19 and is in 1/43 scale. I love the look of these cars.
I thought it would be weird to make it into a military vehicle and found this little pack with two plastic (28mm) miniatures given out for free at some show a few years back.
I carefully opened up the car and added one of them as a driver and the second one standing on the top. Then I painted it in three colours and gave it a Sepia Wash.
Then I put the two pieces together and applied some mud. Job done and weird enough.
Our Salute table was next to a demo table showing some oil tanks from Bandua wargames. I convinced myself that I needed some of these. You can buy them from Wayland Games (here).
These are ready painted and the looked great with the other ready painted terrain on the table. When I had assembled them I got some second thoughts and decided to modify them slightly. I cut out some plastic (from a DVD box) and added this on top and then did some detailing on the hatch (a little piece of plastic). This created a little more detail to the piece and took 5 minutes.
Then I dry brushed it with Gunmetal and added some dots of rust (light rust from the Vallejo range) and then applied a light wash with Vallejo rust effect.
We (I and the little One) bought some grey spray paints from Poundland here in the UK. We noticed some trucks and thought we could do something with them – we splashed out and bought two of them.
And turned them into two terrain items (good value indeed).
Nick and I had a fantastic day at the Salute Show and my thanks also goes to Rob and Laurent who provided some priceless support in helping out before, during and after the Show. We basically talked to people about the table, the game, the battle and the rules all day – it was brilliant!. We did not have time to do more than a few token moves on the table.
I also would like to thank all of you who have read this blog that came by to say hello – I really appreciate it. In addition to all of the others who stopped by to have a look, ask a few questions or take a picture. Finally, I have to say that Warlords are very good at organizing this massive event and we had no problems this, or the last time, we attended Salute in 2015.
I had a quick chat with Peter Berry of Baccus who said that Joy of Six in July was now full and that he had to turn away games – this is brilliant news! Not for the people who get turned away but that there is a huge interest in putting on 6mm games. I just wonder why there are not more 6mm, or smaller scale 2 to 10mm, land battle games at Salute, or should I say, wargames shows in general? I have not heard many people say that they have a decent table worth of figures and some terrain in 6mm – but that have been turned down setting up a game by a wargames show. But I will leave that thought for this moment.
Apart from our table there was one more 6mm game, the Battle for Neustadt that is a cold war scenario set in West Germany in 1984. This was a nice table run by Iain Fuller and others from the Warlords Club. They will also attend the Joy of Six in July so there is another chance to catch them there. I have had some e-mail communication with Iain in the past so it was nice to have a quick chat and say hello.
I also got a chance to see the new Baccus TYW/ECW sculpts and I let the battalion of pike and shot talk for itself. Wonderful stuff from Baccus yet again. Peter gave me a copy of the new Swedish flag sheet for the Thirty Years war – it is very tempting indeed.
I also talked to Peter Riley and David Pead who are the men behind the wargames calculator that I have mentioned before on the blog (see here). They told me they have some interesting stuff coming up so I would follow them on Facebook and see what they are up to.
I also said a quick hello to Neil Shuck but did not get a chance to give him the Sharp Practice stuff for Joy of Six as I had planned.
I also had a chat with an old friend of mine, Michael Leck who put on a really nice game using his Pikemans Lament rules called Fort Mosquito 1654. This was a battle between Swedish and Dutch colonial forces set in mid 17th century Delaware, involving native tribes, attempting to wrestle control of the river and the important fur trade. Incidentially they grabbed two of the prizes of the day – well deserved. For more information see his blog (link here). I had a very useful discussion with Jan (who did the terrain and buildings) on how to make log cabins and the trees using steel wool that I will have to try out some time in the future.
Here are a few shots of our table in no particular order.
In addition Nick has put on some pictures on his facebook page (here) and on the Wyre Forest Wargames club page (here).
We produced a few organization charts to simplify the proceedings, they turned out being very useful and look good too. There were made using SmartArt Graphic in Excel and then pasted into PowerPoint with some added pictures etc.
Finally, the 1914-21 Society (link here) who was attending had a Maxim machine gun on display but, in my view, the key piece was the Madsen Light Machine Gun. I knew the Madsen as the LMG of the Norwegian and Danish soldiers of WW2, but did not know it was the first true light machine gun produced in a major quantity and that it was used extensively by the Russian Army in the Russo-Japanese war and during the Russian Civil War. Thanks for your time gents!
Long weekend of Rugby with the annual ‘long distance’ tournament with the Little Ones – this year held in Bournemouth. The Little One had a blast and made us proud as always. A weekend in Dorset is never wrong and we had to sneak into the Tank Museum in Bovington for a quick look. We did not do much hobby related this week, so in no particular order a few shots of the (a) Kalisz Battle boards for Salute and some Swedes, (b) some pictures from the Tank Museum and (c) some progress on the Mutant 1984 project.
Kalisz Battle boards and Swedes
I got the 2″ by 2″ boards out this weekend. They have been in the attic since the table was laid out at Joy of Six in 2014 – some warping evident and a damaged bridge but not beyond unacceptable and the bridge can be fixed. Now I have to find the buildings for the two villages and Kalisz itself – I wonder where they are?
I also got the Swedish (few) elements out and realized that I need to do some flags for the infantry – it seems like we ran the game last time without infantry standards (Perhaps that was the reason the Swedes lost?).
Bovington Tank Museum
We went to the Tank Museum in Saumur last year and loved it (see blog entry here), the one in Bovington is equally impressive if not better. From the perspective of telling history and putting the tank into a perspective the Bovington experience is brilliant. Here are a few pictures of what we found particularly interesting. Go there if you can (link here). T(h)ank you Bovington – we had a great day!
Mutant 1984 – Ulvriket Patrol – Work in Progress
Work in progress on the next unit for this little diversion. This is the Ulvriket Patrol with some further detailing and basing remaining but a small step forward. As discussed in the previous blog entry (see here) basically WW2 Americans in Greatcoat and a WW2 German Officer. I used a Russian WW2 Vehicle Green for the Coats and Khaki for details and helmets. Looks familiar but odd.
Then the mutated element with conversions (I will give further details for what I used in the blog update for these when they are finalized).
When I was 12 my cousin came by for a visit and he told me about this new thing, at least as far as I was concerned, called role-playing and a game called Mutant – one of the few Swedish roleplaying games on the market at that time. By the end of the day he had convinced me to buy a set and the following day we played the introductionary scenario “Uppdrag i Mos Mosel” (Mission Mos Mosel).
The session blew my feeble mind away and very soon some friends and I played RPGs on a regular basis up to our very late teens and had a great time. We quickly moved onto other games like MERP (those covers were fantastic and so many supplements released), Call of Cthulhu (explains a lot you may think), Chill (A more structured approach to fighting horror), Star Wars (roleplaying in medias res), Champions (with a very good and balanced points system and a lot of freedom required to design superheroes and not just mortal men), Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (The amazing Enemy Within Campaign) Gurps. AD&D 2nd Edition (I never really liked the system but the GM was so brilliant in creating a story that held together, with a number of subplots, over a long period of time that I do think this was the best campaign I ever played). Some great adventures were had and some of the characters played I still remember fondly – like the Tyr Cleric Lour Hawklin who adventured the Forgotten Realms with the Eavesdrop adventuring Group or Armorman the Super Hero, that was a shameless copy of Iron Man, to name two of these legends. I digress badly on this. However, I always retained this nostalgic and very fond attachment to that very first role-playing game that we played during the early years.
The background blur of the game makes me reflect on these wonderful words by H.P. Lovecraft, “We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity and it was not meant that we should voyage very far”. Basically following a deadly and incurable epidemic caused by samples from a mission to Mars the human civilization collapses. The survivors build enclaves and start experimentation on humans and animals, in effect creating mutants, to see how they will survive outside the enclaves. However conflicts arises between the enclaves and it leads to a nuclear war sealing the fate of the world.
Fast forward a few hundred years and the from the ashes new civilizations start to emerge with mutated humans and animals, some “pure” humans and even some mutants with mental powers. There are remnants of the old worlds scattered all around, and some androids/robots from the old days are still around. In addition there are certain areas where the effect of radiation has left some strange effects on the flora and fauna and these areas are called “Forbidden Zones”.
The game is set in Scandinavia, but not as we know it today, and the general level of new technology is equivalent to that of the 19th Century, give or take. There are steam engines, muskets and some emerging rifle like weapons, heliogram for communication, etc. Some of the old technology has survived but is rare.
The game evolved and underwent a lot of development (see here) and today there is a very interesting new version called År Noll (Year Zero) that is set in an earlier (and wilder) period. I may pick this up when the nostalgia gets the better of me (there is an English version produced by Modiphius, you can read about it here).
So why have I been rumbling about this?
I got this urge to do a little miniatures project as a homage to the 1984 rules and perhaps my lost youth – call it a miniature wargamers mid-life crisis. I thought I would make some small warbands of say 10 to 15 miniatures for each little gang/unit/fellowship.
Gangs and Miniatures
Pyri Soldiers – a unit of soldiers and their officer and say two NCOs, mainly equipped with musket and bayonets/swords but with a few carrying some old technology weapons like a sniper rifle and some automatic shotguns to add some flair. In addition some mutated animals and humans being part of the group. Uniform to be based on the 95th rifles from the Napoleonic days (think the Sharp Movies) but painted in a blue Colour with some buff detailing. Pyrisamfundet (The Pyri Commonwealth) is what today is central and southern Sweden and this was the centre of the adventures produced for the game. Some conversion of miniatures therefore required. I got a pack of Warlords Miniatures Chosen Men (link here) and also two female 95th rifles from ebay (Seller plantanmachineryguy).
This is the unit almost completed, I have some tidy up to do for the hats and hairs before I seal them.
The Crocodile and Dog heads are from the Killers set produced by Crooked Dice (I have another use for their bodies of which more in a later blog entry) as part of the Grandville range (see link to them here). The Sniper Rifle and the Automatic shotguns/grenade launchers are from Anvil Industries (link here). Overall it works for me, sufficient input of some high tech and some mutants to make it look surreal enough in combination with the old fashioned Napoleonic uniforms. These guys may have been sent to the Forbidden Zone on a rescue mission, to look for a criminal or to retrieve some old high tech.
Ulvriket Patrol – more of a high tech unit with some old technology rifles, SMG and LMG. These will be based on some American WW2 infantry in Great Coats and the Uniform painted in a Military Greenish colour with red stripes on the trousers and some red on the collars. Again some of these would be mutated animals, so some conversions would be required. Ulvriket is a country in the South (Denmark) who is a little military dictatorship with some unclear ambitions. As a basis I got some of the nice Americans in Great Coats from Artizan Design (here). I am eagerly waiting for these models.
Zone Explorers / Adventuring Group – this would be a motley crew of mutated humans and animals who would be roaming around looking for something. Perhaps some psychic characters too. Basically a large RPG group! A mixture of weapons both old and new technology. Lacking in military prowess but with their own surprises up their sleeves. There are some nice models out there that would fit the bill and this is probably the funniest gang to do. I have ordered a bunch of miniatures from various manufacturers including CP Models, Rapier Miniatures, Crooked Dice, Interloper Miniatures , Moonraker Miniatures and Black Cat Bases. As and when I finish some of these I will give details from where I got them in future posts on this subject, this will be the most interesting unit to build.
My best find, to date, are probably the models from Interloper Miniatures. Here area a few pictures taken from their webpage (see link above, great stuff). The models really fit what I would like to do.
Security Robots – this would be a force of security robots that were still operational protecting some old installation or having got some malfunction in orders and being more mobile. I have a number of Terminator robots that are all ready to go for action. The 1984 angle works brilliantly as this was when the first Terminator movie was set. All done, the models can be seen in some old blogs (including here ).
Further I intend to use the Resistance Fighters from the terminator game to use as a unit of humans from the past who have been woken up from hibernation.
I am also thinking about doing a gang of Cultists (perhaps a bunch of “brown hooded” anti-mutants) as I got a box of Frostgrave Cultists (here) with the Sci-Fi conversion kit (see here).
That is a total of six gangs and I have already ordered all that I need. The original cover (see above) had these strange looking primitives with bluish tattoos and spears not sure if there is a good range out there – let me know if you have any ideas.
Terrain and Rules
for the terrain I intend to use the terminator stuff I already have for a start. I also recently got a battle mat from hexy-shop (link here) that I intend to use.
For rules, well this just caught my eyes and they seem to fit too without too much modification. The rules are called Scrappers and is a set of Post-Apocalyptic Skirmish Wargame Rules from Osprey, see further link here. It will available by the end of April.
The blur is almost spot on and I felt obliged to do a pre-order.
“More than 150 years have passed since the apocalypse that nearly destroyed the Earth. Today, the planet is a torn remnant of its former glory, ravaged by nuclear fallout and mutagens. New lifeforms – Mutants and Synthetics – challenge True Humanity for dominance, while warring factions compete for survival and supremacy, and all must carve out their place in this brutal landscape, or else perish as billions before them. Scrappers is skirmish miniatures game set in the wastelands, where players assemble Scrapper Crews and send them out to scavenge scraps of Ancient technology and battle rival factions. Explorers, cultists and raiders clash with mutated creatures, robotic soldiers and embittered True Humans in this wargame of salvage and survival in the ruins of the future.” – From the Osprey Homepage on Scrappers
There is also this review that I found informative. I probably need to do a few tweaks but I do think this diversion is easier to realize than I initially thought! I hope there are rules for musketry! This is a long term project and I am not sure at what speed it will develop as I really need to focus on the two 6mm events coming up – perhaps the pace will pick up in the autumn. But I am feeling good about it. The good news is that I will have some miniatures to do a test game fairly soon after the rules arrive.
/ Hope that was of some interest! Next time starting to wrap up the things for the Salute Show.
The Little One and I finally managed to do a test game of the Men who would be King rules this weekend. Basically we had a British force with regular infantry, supported by a Lancer Unity, fighting some Zulu Tribal warriors.
I recently completed two more batches of 64 Zulu miniatures based as the first one (for some further stuff on this project click here and here). I did each batch in a different shield design and I think they look ok from the distance they will be seen from.
This is twice the amounts of Zulus needed for the basic 24 point Zulu army in the rulebook.
We used the Zulu name generator (found here) to get some names for the Zulu leaders we would use in our test battle. We are not that familiar with Zulu naming convention, but we randomized a list of ten twice and got the following names.
Fuzo (Heredity, resemblance)
Bongani (Be thankful, Grateful )
Hlatshwayo (Stabbed one)
Kwanele (It is enough)
Mthokozisi (The one who gives joy)
Zwelikude (Far away)
Chitauli (Dictator, One who tells the Law)
Bhekizizwe (Look after the Nations)
Azisa (Honour, Esteem, Pride)
Ayanda (Augment the family )
Khayalethu (Our home)
Gabangaye (Putting one’s trust on other; Faces in the sun)
Kgabu (Richly decorate )
Minenhle (Having a good or lovely day)
Ndonsa (Bright morning star)
We then did combination of these names for the leaders as shown below. Here is the force the Zulu player would field on the day.
Zulu Force (24 points, 6 units, 96 models) – the Hero, the pleasant and the Ugly!
Fierce Tribal Infantry Unit 1 (unmarried warriors) @ 4 points, led by Kwanele Azisa with a leadership value of 7+ (not very good) and with the leader trait of “Jolly Sporty” which means he has an additional 2″ (2cm at our scale) move when doing an at the double action.
Fierce Tribal Infantry Unit 2 (unmarried warriors) @ 4 points, led by Kgabu Minenhle, leadership value of 7+ (another crap roll), with the trait of “Up and at them” which means he must always opt for the attack.
Fierce Tribal Infantry Unit 3 (unmarried warriors) @ 4 points, led by Fuzo Bongani, leadership value of 5+ (that is more like it), with the trait of “Favourite of the Chief” which means that he could chose another upgrade for free and the Little One took Elite (which gives +2 to discipline).
Veteran Tribal Infantry Unit 1 (Married warriors) @ 4 points, led by Lwazi Ndonsa, leadership value of 5+ (another good roll), with the trait of “Ugly” that has no effect on gameplay (loving it!, the Little One is still laughing).
Veteran Tribal Infantry Unit 2 (Married warriors) @ 4 points, led by Iqhunde Chitauli, leadership value of 7+ (another crap roll), with the trait of “Pleasant Manner”that has no effect on gameplay.
Veteran Tribal Infantry Unit 3 (Married warriors) @ 4 points, led by “Bhekizizwe Azisa”, leadership value of 5+ (good roll), with the trait of Hero of the Zulu Empire which gives him a Leadership value of 4+.
A nice little mixture of some very good leadership values (the lower the better!) and some not so good!.
For the British we used a few names inspired by some of the fantastic stories by H.P. Lovecraft.
British Force (24 points, 4 units, 44 models)
Regular Infantry Unit @ 6 points, led by Colour Sergeant Nahum Gardner, leadership value at 5+ (good roll), with a trait of being the “Favourite of the Major-General” giving him a free trait, we went for Sharpshooters that bring firing to 4+ (a very good value).
Unenthusiastic Infantry Unit @ 5 points, led by Corporal Wilbur Whateley, leadership value at 7+ (another 1 rolled) and with the trait of “Coward” meaning he must always attempt to move to stay beyond enemy movement distances (brilliant against Zulus who very likely will be charging!)
Unenthusiastic Infantry Unit @ 5 points, led by Corporal William Dyer, leadership value at 5+ (good) and with the trait of “Hero of the Empire” giving him a leadership at 4+.
Regular Lancer Cavalry Unit @ 8 points, led by Sergeant Thomas Olney, leadership value of 6+ (average for the unit type) and with the trait of brutal – meaning that he is a sadistic pig that his men hate and this affects the units discipline with -2.
Another characterful little band of brothers.
The Scenario / Situation
We chose the “A Sigh of Relief” Scenario (Scenario G), this has the defender with a small detachment in the middle of the table and the attacker coming from one side and some reinforcements for the defender from the other.
I opted for the two unenthusiastic units being the ones in the middle, speculating that there were unenthusiastic and low on morale due to their exposed position. I hoped that the Lancers would be quick to reinforce the units and then the superior shooting from the Colour Sergeant’s drilled men would save the day.
The Little One set up his six tribal units at the other end of the table and told me it would be a piece of cake to rout the “Corporal Coward” and “Corporal Hero of What Empire?”. The position looked exposed indeed.
First round and the attack was on – the Little One’s tactic was to push his units forward with “On the Double” giving them additional speed but at the cost of needing to test for activation. The first round only three units pushed forward.
I managed to move the two reinforcements forward and Colonel Whateley fired a salvo at one of the Zulu units that resulted in reducing the unit with 4 models – but it did not result in it being pinned. Colonel Dyer formed his men into Close Order to allow a more potent salvo in the next run.
The Little One managed to activate all but one unit for the next round and the Zulus started to come a little bit too close for my liking.
Next round Cpl. Dyer successfully did a Volley Fire that hit the Zulu unit (Bhekicizme Azisa) that was fired upon earlier – now down to 5 units and a pinned marker, enough to stop it from moving next round. The Lancers also managed to get closer into the action. Whateley, in line with his trait, decided to move (successfully) away from the oncoming Zulus (there are too many of them!).
The oncoming force of the Elite unit of Fuzo Bungani, in combination with an attack by the Ugly Lwazi Ndonsa’s unit, had a hard impact on Cpl Dyer’s seemingly thin line and forced him to withdraw but he successfully managed to resist being pinned. The Little one still suffered some in getting momentum on his right flank as he had problems rolling successfully in the double activations (maybe the Roll a One trait is hereditary?).
A little close look at the proceedings on the British right and…
on the left.
Next round I charged the Lancers straight into the Pleasant Mannered Ighunde’s unit and the combined with a successful volley by the Coward Whateley – lead to them being double pinned (but they tool it in a good and polite way). The Colour Sergeant were pushing closer and I felt that this was going the right way when Cpl Dyer manage to pin another Zulu unit with some fine shooting.
The following round the Little One tried to push in with the Elite unit and needed three or more on 2 dice to activate, but instead rolled to 1s. The unit did not attack. Game Over I thought, but I was wrong.
In a series of attacks in the next round the Zulus managed to decimate the Lancers (who did not give up without a fair fight, but they were outnumbered. Timing of cavalry attacks is not yet second nature to me!) who had to push back.
Following this things got too interesting and we forgot to take photos, but basically the Little one realized that the caution (cowardice) of Cpl Whateley meant that he just needed to push against him and he would retreat, he then pressed forward with his remaining forces and managed to get his units organized by combining “going to ground” and “skirmish movement” followed by all out melee attacks to bring all my units out of action.
Piece of cake!
I really like the rules, they are not complicated but with some of the special abilities/actions of the units, e.g. “Going to Ground”, “Close order and Volley Fire”, gives a nice and for me convincing flair of the period – at least from my perhaps over romantic perspective.
The character traits for the Officers, the good and the bad, added to the overall experience.
It is nice and plays fast and reasonably well. We will certainly play this again!
We played on playing area of 50 by 72 cm and had a great time – skirmish in 6mm works very well indeed.
I spent some time assembling the forces needed for the Kalisz Battle over the weekend and think I found most of them but there are still a few of them missing in previous action – but I will/have to find them sooner or later as the Show is in 6 weeks. A few of the spears (looking at the pictures) need to be bent back, but apart from that there are no major issues that need to be resolved.
For some background on the battle you can have a look at an earlier posting here.
This first part will show the more exotic units specific for this theatre, compare to War of the Spanish Succession (WSS) units. Perhaps the Swedes themselves would have fitted into this entry, but I will hold them back for now.
Codes refers to the Baccus catalogue of splendid 6mm stuff for this period (link here). The combination of the GNW/WSS range (and a few packs from other ranges) offers a total coverage of everything you may need to represent all battles in Eastern Europe of the period (even the Pruth Campaign, with the Ottomans and Proxies). There is even a simple trick in doing some Swedish Karpus cavalry I may reveal in a later posting.
The rules references are to Polemos – Great Northern War (PGNW) and Twilight of the Sun King (TotSK). I discuss these rules to some extent here and here.
6 bases Poles/Lithanian supporting the Warsaw Confederation that were against the King of Poland (Augustus II the Strong) and fought with the Swedes. The rest of the bases (4 No.) represent members of the anti-Swedish Sandomierz Confederation.
These hussars are the heroes from Vienna in 1683 (see link here) where they played a key role in the dramatic climax of the battle as the spearpoint of an eighteen thousand strong cavalry charge (that from the receiving end must have looked absolutely terrifying and been a true spectacle to witness). These units are charging cavalry and have been based in a wedge formation (9 miniatures, 60 by 30mm base) to be easily identified (as if the wings were not enough!).
They hussars forms the elite element of any Polish-Lithuanian army. Steel and shock is definitely the dish being served by these type of units. In the rules they are classified as Galloping Horse (GH). It is not clear whether they still wore their wings in this battle, but for the sake of look I have decided they did.
I have used a mixture of models – look at the GNP01 to GNP05 and pick the ones you like.
These were the backbone of the Polish-Lithuanian cavalry arm and were medium cavalrymen. Their name is derived from the Polish name for chainmail – “pancerz”.
In the PGNW/TotSK rules they are classified as Eastern Horse (EH) and to distinguish them on the field of battle I have based them in three lines of three as can be shown in the picture. This type are not powerful in the charge but are better in continued melee and maneuvering compared to normal Western Horse of the period.
In the battle there are Pancerni units in both of the armies fielded (GNP06 – Pancerni, was used from the Polish range). There were based on a 60 by 30mm base and arranged in three groups of three. Some of them are classified (3 No.) as Galloping infantry (GNP07 – Petyhorcy) and are organized in a wedge formation like the hussars.
There were a few different types of Light cavalry present at the battle – these are open formation skirmish units and tend to avoid close combat if possible. In the two rulesets they are classified as Light Horse (LH). I have based them on 60 by 60mm bases and with 7 miniatures in open order (apart from the 3 Vallacker units that have 8 miniatures, including the Swedish Officers). The types are:
Kalmyks – These are light cavalry units from the Kalmyk Khanate, with Mongolian roots, and are allies to the Russians. These play no active part in the battle and are guarding the Swedish potential retreat on the other side of the river. These were made by using various codes from the Baccus Ancient ranges, basically anything on a horse with a Bow (e.g. AHU01 and AHU02 – Hunnic Horse Archers). Useless for the battle but they do look good en masse. But calm down, these and the Cossacks, will make another guest appearance for the Poltava Battle (but that luckily is some time away).
Cossacks – these are light irregular cavalry units allied to the Russians. Similar story as for the Kalmyks. The miniatures used are the Cossacks from the Great Northern War range (GNR10 – Cossacks, they are with the Russians).
Jazda Lekka – these are Polish-Lihtuanian light cavalry (Jazda Lekka, simply means light cavalry in Polish!). These will be part of the main battle but are not showing up in any large numbers. They are fighting as part of both armies (the code used are from the Great Northern War range, GNP08 – Unarmoured Cavalry, they are with the Poles). 7 on the anti-Swedish side and 3 on the Pro-Swedish side (I chose to make these like Vallacker with Swedish Officers).
This terminator project is getting a little bit out of hand – but in a nice way! Well it must be since both I and the Little One are having fun. Got some more stuff to work on this week.
2 No. Humvees from Pig-Iron (link here), with additional stuff like the smoke grenade launchers, assault rifles and stowage from a Tamiya model accessory kit. The models are very nice, no clean-up required and you just need to glue on the wheels, and very competitively priced at £9.50 each. The miniature is from the Terminator Set and is about 28mm scale. Not sure how we will paint these yet, but the Little One is thinking!
Some cars arrived that we ordered from China (“1:50 scale Train Layout cars” should be enough to find them again). These are likely to get smashed up a little and end up like the ones we showed last week (see here). £7 all in from China.
We also found a fork lift that seemed to scale reasonably well. This one will add some character to the overall proceedings.
Finally, we checked out the relatively new Walking Dead miniatures game and they have a Scenery Pack that looked interesting (the picture show half of the contents and these will be great for the expanding rubble and car wrecks) so we got one of those as well. We got the set from eBay at a very good price.
/ Next time some more 6mm units for Kalisz and hopefully we have done a game of The Men who would be Kings, take care.
I think I promised to show off the Kalisz stuff for Salute this week, but the weekend just disappeared and I have to get on with it next week instead. However I did finish off some Zulus for my little diversion into doing some Colonial 6mm skirmish (see last blog entry here). I also ordered some Boers from Baccus (these ones) as I fancied doing a few units of these as well. I have also rummaged through my old boxes and found some Gatling guns and some other stuff to do when I have time.
I organized these on bases with different number of figures to simplify the management of moving many figures and still being able to remove casualties. Each unit of tribal infantry is 16 figures strong – so I based them in on bases with 4-4-3-2-2-1 figures. I intend to make another 8 units to get enough Zulus to get the balance right vs the British.
Next week I hope to have a go trying out the rules (The Men who Would be Kings) and using these figures – they (the rules) seem pretty straightforward and fun having read them through twice.
I did finish of the car wrecks we prepared last week for the Terminator games we play and gave them a rather tired and rusty look to blend into the ruins we already have.
The Little One set them up with some of the Terminator miniatures and we felt they passed the test!
Having taken out the stuff we thought we might as well have a game. We did not plan the Scenario too much, instead we had a “high level” situation where a platoon sized resistance force (Lt, 2 NCOs, 20 fighters) , supported by a Mortar team and two rocket launched equipped fighters, encountered a unit of 15 Endo Skeletons (1 Lvl 2 leader, 12 Normal ones, 1 with two Plasma Rifle and the star of the evening a skeleton with a flamer). Basically a “Beat the crap out of each other situation”. We used a few of the ruined building we had prepared earlier as well as the car wrecks.
It was a tight game and initially the resistance side managed to take out a fair few of the terminators before they fighting got close and the machines started dominating. Below are a few of the before and after the flamer attack pictures.
And this was after I (yes I was the resistance and yes I lost yet again!) had almost knocked out the flamer unit with a single shot but did not manage to finish it off.
We both enjoy playing this game, I find it challenging for the resistance to be successful and things can turn nasty very quickly. I still remember almost shitting myself in the cinema when I watched the beginning of Terminator 2 when the machine crushes the human skull with its feet (see the clip here if you do not remember – 42 seconds in). As for the rules they really capture the feeling for the setting and work ok as they are. I may tweak the activation slightly so that it is not certain that all units are activated in turn to add to the level of friction. Currently you activate between 0 to 2 figures (but can be modified with leaders) per pulse (part of a turn) but everyone activates.
A few things to write about this week, so I better get on with it…
The Men who would be Kings in 6mm
I have to admit that I like the format of the little blue Osprey Wargame booklets (link here). Not all of them have suited my palate in terms of period or type of rules. However, I have bought a fair few of them to date and found most of them interesting and worth a go. One of the earliest I really liked was the Dux Bellorum rules (Arthurian stuff) by Daniel Mersey. I fondly remember trying to figure out the rules one evening after sunset on the Island of Rhodes using some flats I had printed out before the trip. I have since used it to play some games using my Dark Age stuff I did for Saga, which in technically terms in not from the Arthurian period – but none involved seemed to suffer!.
However, this posting is not about Dux Bellorum, but instead relates to another of Daniel’s sets (also published by Osprey) that I want to give a try, namely the Men Who Would be Kings rules. This is a large skirmish rule set derived from his very successful Lion Rampant rules. As implied by the title it is a colonial period rule set.
I have to admit to some, well actually a lot of, 6mm Baccus colonial stuff (link here) on my lead pile that I “will get to one day!”. I have also promised to have a go at trying out “A Steady and Deliberate Rate of Fire” (yet to be published) that seem to be another great set of rules, by Peter Riley who did the Polemos Franco-Prussian war (link here) and the American Civil War rules (link here) . I seem to be a lead mountain away from testing the rules, unless I use some flats but that is more a last resort issue. Sorry Peter, I will get there one day!
What my experience with Sharp Practice has taught me is that it is possible to do skirmish in 6mm that works (see more on this here). With some emphasis on the terrain and playing the game seated instead of standing the immersion is on par with other bigger scales. Further it only requires 40% of the foot print (doing it in centimeters instead of inches) of your normal table. If you pick a range that is well served and have models that are possible to single base easily (like those of Baccus, Rapier and Adler) you can do a good job of it.
I thought I would do a simple set of two forces to try the rules out – I wanted to do some British and Zulus to start with. I find this conflict being one of the most interesting in combination of not needing to buy any new miniatures. Miniatures I have been using are Baccus 6mm form their colonials range and I have been using the 1,2,3 basing method as described by Michael Leck, on his eminent Dalauppror blog, here. By using a combination of 9mm (for leaders),12mm (for singles), 15mm and 20mm bases for infantry and 15mm, and 20mm for cavalry (I did actually a 1,2 basing for these). This is, I think, a very clever way of basing miniatures for large skirmish rules that removes individual miniatures (e.g. Sharp Practice), especially for 6mm that can be a little bit fiddly with small bases. I suppose you just have to make sure you base each unit so that all combinations of models left can be done.
So far I have finished the little British force consisting of 4 units of regular infantry (12 in each unit) and 2 units of regular cavalry (Lanciers, with 8 in each unit). I am very pleased with the way they look and the little space this force takes. I will add a few more unit and some artillery later, but this is enough to get started.
The Zulus are quick to paint and I have to brush up (sorry for the pun) on my Zulu shield knowledge before I can complete them. There is some variation based on marital status and experience (age) if I recall things correctly. I am nearly there though.
A Welsh Wizard’s tome
I bought the War of 1812 supplement for Sharp Practice penned by Mike Hobbs last week. You might be familiar with Mike if you listen to the Meeples and Miniatures podcast. I am not that familiar with the period but having read it on a train last week I am now resisting getting some miniatures to have a go. There is a thread on what miniatures to use for this in 6mm if you are interested here. I really enjoyed reading it and if you are interested in the period than this is a very good things to get started with even if you do not play Sharp Practice. I actually may end up using the scenarios for my French Indian War battles with a few modifications. The fact that Mike is very enthusiastic about both the Sharp Practice rules in general but more importantly about the period itself shines through and puts that sparkle of magic on top of it all.
The book contain a listing of the opposing forces and a very good campaign write up for the 41st foot regiment, and seven scenarios. Most of the scenarios are based on the memoirs of Private Shadrach Byfield [A Narrative of a Light Company Soldier’s Service in the Forty-First Regiment of Foot (1807-1814)] and, in my view, offer a wide range of challenges.
Further it introduces a few specific unit characteristics for the War. My favourite is the War Cry that allow an Native Indian unit to instill fear (technically Shock) in another unit. The army lists for both sides covers standard infantry forces, royal marines, militia, scouting forces and native forces (and some cavalry for the Americans). It looks comprehensive enough to me. There is also an overview of the war and two Appendices cover the two armies of the war.
You buy and download the PDF from Too Fat Lardieshere.
Terminator Car Wrecks
We needed some more terrain to provide some additional cover for the Terminator games so. This give some additional cover to give the resistance a better chance of winning against the machines.
I and the Little One got some close enough to 28mm scale cars from a charity shop for 20 pence each and stuck them on bases and added some debris on the side (cut up matches, toothpicks, some plastic from a DVD cover and added some various sized stones and mixed it with PVA glue) and, after they were dried, spray painted them grey. Painting left to do, but will do a very good job in breaking up the field of battle.
Focus in Battle
On a funnier note (and repeated from the Roll a One Facebook page) I came home from work one day finding some particular modifications having been done to the Little Ones Nerf gun glasses.
“Why have you stuck pieces of paper on your glasses?”, I asked the Little One.
“They are tactical information screens, it gives me the ability to focus in battle. Got that Private?”
A sleeping hero
The title of this posting – “A prayer’s as good as a bayonet on a day like this” is said by Colour Sergeant Bourne in the movie Zulu (link here). Colour Sergeant (Frank Edward) Bourne was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (CDM) after the Battle at Rourke’s Drift and was, at the time, the youngest soldier in the British Army who had achieved the rank of Colour Sergeant. He ended his career as a Lieutenant Colonel and was awarded an OBE. As I read up about him I found out that he was buried not far from where I live. I think I will take the Little One and have a look for it after Rugby next Sunday. Although he was only 5’6″ tall he was certainly, in every sense of the word, a big man.
/ All the very best, next time I will go through the forces who will be fighting the Kalisz battle at Salute in April this year.
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)
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.
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.
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
This is the 50th blog post since we started last year following Salute 2016 (here is a link to the very first post) – no big parties lined up or memorial statues being carved but there is a certain level of satisfaction involved – I am celebrating the occasion rolling a few ones and having a few crafty beers.
We spent last week in Southern France visiting some friends with the compulsory sampling of the local produce to the small hours. The Little One practiced his camouflage skills and apart from the bright NERF rifle it was difficult to spot him and his friend in the undergrowth.
On the Wargames front there is not much new – all the Stuff for Salute is packed.
We have told you where to look for us at Salute in the last blog entry (see here) and here is the general blur about it (see here) – hope we will see you there!
I had to rearrange a little bit so the Russians got out of their box anyway in their full glory. Here are a few shots showing 24 of the total 32 bases that will be present on the day.
And finally and most important to create some dimension on an otherwise relatively flat battlefield – the trees.
Below is a link to an PDF file with the details of the bases for the Battle and game statistics for both Polemos GNW as well as The Twilight of the Sun King. See the notes below on regards on what each bases represents in the Polemos rules which should make it relatively easy to translate the overall list to whatever rules you are using. Note that this list is slightly different to what I have presented in previous postings as some corrections in the list have been made.
I think we will run the Demo game using the Twilight of the Sun King rules on the day, see more here.
With regards to the Polemos Basing the following act as guidelines. Note that the leader/commander bases are markers indicating where the leaders are located on the field of battle and not active combat units. I tend to base them with 1 to 3 models on the front row representing quality (1 – Poor, 2 – Average and 3 – Excellent) and models on the back row representing Tempo points (used in the Polemos rules).
The extract below is from the Polemos GNW Rulebook (Page 5).
“The actual ratio of figures to real men will vary depending on how many figures you put on a base. A base represents the following: A base of infantry, except skirmishing infantry, represents between 400 and 600 men. They can be a single large battalion, a pair of smaller ones or a group of subunits up to this approximate strength. A base of cavalry, dismounted dragoons and skirmishing infantry represents two to three squadrons or similar groups, representing 200 to 300 men. A cavalry base is assumed to include wide intervals between squadrons, allowing friendly cavalry bases to pass through each other. An artillery base represents four to eight guns. The number of guns that a base represents varies depending on the size of the real guns. Four heavy guns will be represented by one base. While eight light guns will also be represented by one base. “
And there was another thing…
A delivery of some Corrugated Sheet Metal
I get a fair few deliveries from Amazon (google it if you are not familiar with them) and I noted that their packaging have a very nice and tight corrugation. I have seen this being used in the past to simulate corrugated sheets but had not tried it myself. I wanted to give it a try as I want to expand on the terrain I have for using with the Scrappers Mutant 1984 project I am working on (See more about it here).
Armed with a sharp knife I set slowly cut away the cover sheet on one side (I hope it is bleeding obvious but be careful when you use a knife).
After a few minutes I had plenty of uncovered sheets (I only cut them on one side).
After this I cut out small 40 by 20 mm pieces.
I got a nice pile of them.
I then built a simple test structure using some coffee stirrers (like the ones you get at Starbucks), matches, and my corrugated sheets. Using superglue and PVA to stick the things together, The two colorful pieces on top are made from some Kinder Egg rubbish the Small One had lying around – I and the Little One speculated that these could be part of some semi-portable wind based energy system. They had some interesting detail that will look good when drybrushed later.
I gave it a spray with a grey primer and I think this will paint up reasonably well (here with some unfinished miniatures to understand scale) and I think it looks ok with the 28mm figures.
Next week the Scrappers rules should arrive (from Amazon) with some new building materials! (although the little structure hardly caused a dent in the pile).
I recently found out that there used to be a Lager named after the famous Swedish Field Marshal that is one of my favourite soldiers from the Great Northern War era, namely Stenbock (there is a very nice online article about him here).
I could not find out who the brewers were but stumbled across a few others with slightly different spelling.
Stepherd Neame used to brew a beer called Steinbock Lager that was described as “…a light, crisp, refreshing lager with an underlying sweetness, a slight floral tang and a clean finish”. It is no longer produced (see more here).
Monsteiner Steinbock is another Lager. This one is made in Switzerland with nice artwork on it (more here). And another one, but I digress…
I really wanted to talk about Laagers, defined by Wikipedia as…
A wagon fort is a mobile fortification made of wagons arranged into a rectangle, a circle or other shape and possibly joined with each other, an improvised military camp. It is also known as a laager (from Afrikaans) (English: leaguer).
At the battle of Kalisz the Pro-Swedish Polish-Lithanian Army established a Laager outside the town (of Kalisz) with a square of Wagons and some quickly raised earthworks. To represent this I used some of the Wagons and tents from Baccus and made a small (fully modular) representation of the Camp.
The Saxon contingent are all Cavalry and are commanded by Augustus the Strong Supported by General Brandt.
The Dragon units (all red uniforms with facing/cuff colours in parenthesis) –
Leibregiment (white), Milkau (yellow), von der Goltz (black)
von Brause (lemon yellow) and von Schulenburg (straw)
The Cuirassiers units (all red uniforms with facing/cuff colours in parenthesis)
Chevaliergarde/Garde du Corps (blue/red/white), Leibregiment (white), Kurprinz (yellow), von Damitz (Bleumourant), Königin (straw)
Kurprinz (yellow) ,von Eichstädt (Coffee Brown), Gersdorff (grey) and Prince Alexander (green).
That leaves us the Russian contingent of 32 dragoons that I packed before I took any pictures. I suppose you have to come to the Salute show to see them!
At Salute we are the Wyre Forest Wargames Club and we are in location GG15 – it is just below the upper red G (in the circle) on the floorplan/map of the show. It is only 2 weeks to go and if you do go, come by and say hello. Further details on the show and how you can get tickets can be found here.
On the Lager thread I did find a nice little bottle at the Tank Museum last week (more here) – it is made by the Dorset Brewing Company (DBC) and is called Landship. The name comes from the Landship Committee that was established in February 1915 by Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, with the purpose of developing armored fighting vehicles to use on the Western Front. The work culminated in the development of the first tanks. Tank, by the way, was a code name for the vehicles.
I found an inspirational review of this beer on the net (link here) and decided, for research purposes, to have a go myself and I do agree with the sentiment of the review. If nothing else it is a cool bottle.
/ Until next, Cheers and do not drink (too much) whilst gaming!
Appendix – Below is a little summary of the units that will be present on the table, 207 bases in total including small bases for leaders and artillery. The basing are in line with the Polemos Rules where a base is about 200-300 cavalry (about 2 squadrons) or 400-600 (one battalion) infantry. In Twilight of the Sun King two of these bases, in general, forms a fighting unit. Leaders are Poor, Average or Excellent, The second value is the tempo contribution as per the Polemos rules.