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Mid-Life Crisis or another diversion? – Mutant 1984 with Ospreys Scrappers – Part 1

Mutant – a nostalgic flashback

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).

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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).

An idea

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).

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This is the unit almost completed, I have some tidy up to do for the hats and hairs before I seal them.

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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.

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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 ).

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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The Zulus who would be Shakas – our first game of the Men who would be Kings rules

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.

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Three columns of Zulus, 192 of them in total plus two leaders. 2 packs of Baccus finest!.

This is twice the amounts of Zulus needed for the basic 24 point Zulu army in the rulebook.

Opposing Forces

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 )
Fokazi (Stranger)
Hlatshwayo (Stabbed one)
Igama (Name)
Kwanele (It is enough)
Mthokozisi (The one who gives joy)
Zwelikude (Far away)
Chitauli (Dictator, One who tells the Law)
Lwazi (Knowledge)

Bhekizizwe (Look after the Nations)
Azisa (Honour, Esteem, Pride)
Ayanda (Augment the family )
Iqhunde (Rooster)
Khayalethu (Our home)
Gabangaye (Putting one’s trust on other; Faces in the sun)
Engameli (President)
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.

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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.

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The Battle

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!).

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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?).

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A little close look at the proceedings on the British right and…

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on the left.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Reflections

  • 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.
  • The Little One liked it and gave it thumbs up!

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/ Take care

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Kalisz 1706 at Salute 2017 – Dusting off the Miniatures Part 1 – Hussars and other Exotic Cavalry

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.

(Winged) Hussars

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.

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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.

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Pancerni

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.

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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.

Warsaw Confederation (Pro-Swedish) – 21 bases

Sandomierz Confederation (Anti-Swedish) – 17 bases

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Light Horse Units

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).

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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).

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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).

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Other Projects

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!

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  • 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.

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  • We also found a fork lift that seemed to scale reasonably well. This one will add some character to the overall proceedings.

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  • 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.

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/ Next time some more 6mm units for Kalisz and hopefully we have done a game of The Men who would be Kings, take care.

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Zulus and taking the rusty cars for a spin

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Little One set them up with some of the Terminator miniatures and we felt they passed the test!

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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.

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Temporary harmless flamer unit but the resistance failed to take full advantage of the situation. Instead it was allowed to continue the carnage until a sticky bomb took it (and the user) down.

 

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.

Here are a few more pictures, have a good week.

 

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“A prayer’s as good as a bayonet on a day like this” – Colonial 6mm, Welsh Wizardry, Car wrecks and Focus in Combat

col2A 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Lardies here.

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?”

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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.

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Kalisz 1706 at Salute 2017 – Prologue to the Towards Moscow Trilogy

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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.

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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)

/ Take Care

Featured

Battle of Hastings – Wargaming in 1800mm

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.

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The Little One trying out some Norman equipment!
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We visited both camps and, as always, with re-enactors it is not just about having the right sword and helmet but a much wider and deeper experience.  I think I get it. The level of detail and care in the presentation of these camps were fantastic and, I dare to say, as impressive as the later Battle in presenting a close to genuine experience from a far-gone time.
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There were also presentations of the various arms used in the Battle.  Here a victorious Anglo-Saxon with the feared Dane Axe.  We were also introduced to spears, swords, cavalry as well as the impressive shield wall.
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Setting up the Anglo-Saxon shield wall. Getting ready to fight the real deal.

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William with Harold’s Standard at the end of the Battle. Game over, I suppose!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) Part 1 – Overview

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):

  1. Swedish:  a la Baionette, Steady Lads, Cavaliers, Clerics, Maison du Roi, Great Captain if Charles XII is in command
  2. Danish: Lethal Volleys
  3. Prussian: Steady Lads, Lethal Volleys.
  4. Saxon/ Polish:  Feudal if the army includes Poles.
  5. 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
  6. 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”

From the Song “The Carolean’s Prayer” by Sabaton

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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’”. 
  4. 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.

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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). 

The time had come to sort out the Russians.

For a summary of the Great Northern war there are a few good places to start: Learning Site, Wikpedia and the The eminent Tacitus Website.

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).

Lesnaya 1708

[116 bases, excluding commanders – a total of 1,424 miniatures]

[Wikipedia link here]

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The Battle of Lesnaya (1708) by Nicolas Lamessin (1722-24)

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)

Artillery – 2 light gun bases (2 cannon with 6 crew)

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+

Horka 1708

[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)

Poltava 1709

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Battle of Poltava 1709 by Denis Martens the Younger (1726)

[354 bases, excluding commanders and a total of 4,758 miniatures]

[Wikipedia link here]

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.

/ All the very best

 

 

Featured

FIW – Sharp Practice in 6mm – Part 1

As I eluded to in an earlier post (link here)

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

Leader, Status I

Leader, Status II

Three Groups of 8 Regulars, Muskets

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British Regulars two leaders, I used the Baccus SYW SBR01 – British Line Infantry Code. You get 96 miniatures in a pack (for £6.60) so I have plenty room to grow my force (I used 26).  The NCO is from the command strip and the Senior officer with Sword on the right is a standard bearer with the pole cut off to represent a sword.

Leader, Status II

One Group of 6 Provincial Rangers, Muskets

I then added

Leader, Status II

One Group of 6 Provincial Rangers, Muskets

Rangers
Provincial Rangers, I used the Baccus AWI AWB06 – HIghlanders – Code. You get 48 miniatures in a pack (2 poses at £3.30) I used 14 miniatures .  For the officers I was just going to use one of these and paint the “beret” blue but instead I used two miniatures from the AWL03 – Queen/American range pack from the AWI range.

Leader, Status II

Two Groups of 10 Frontier Militia

Frontier militia
For the Newly formed militia I used AWR02 – Militia – skirmish from the Baccus AWO range. 48 miniatures for £3.30. I used 21 miniatures for this with the Leader being a conversion form the Indian pack (see the French below).

French (1755)

Leader, Status III

Two Groups of 8 Marine Infantry, Muskets

Marine
Marine Infantry, I used SFR10 – Comagnies france de la marine – Formed from Baccus SYW range.  96 miniatures for£6.60! –  you can build 4 units like this from one pack There is also skirmish pack at £3.30 that could be used instead.

Leader, Status II

Two Groups of 6 Milice Canadiene, Muskets

Canadina Militia
For the Canadian Militia I used SFR12 – Canadian Militia Advancing and SFR13 Canadian Militia Firing (this gives you 8 different poses) from the SYW range.  You could however just buy one pack (each pack £3.3o and 48 miniatures)

Leader Status II

Two Group of 12 Indians, Tribe, Muskets

Indians
For my Indians I used AW02 – Woodland Indians – shirt. You get twice this amount out of a pack for £3.30.  (For my next upgrade I will get some AW01 – Woodlands Indians Barechested and make some more warlike Indians with face paintings and use these guys for the British side).

/All the very best

Featured

Saga in 6mm – Part 1

This the first part  of what became a 12 Part serie of Blog Post on doing Saga in 6mm. Hope you enjoy. If you have any comments or questions feel free to contact me through the blog or the Roll a One facebook group.

I have been putting up 6mm wargames tables at the Joy of Six for the last four years with the Wyre Forest Wargames club (WFWC). They have been depicting various battles from the Great Northern War (GNW).  This year (to save me from tears) I have decided to do something else.  The main reason was actually due to the fact that my good friend (and authority on all things warfare in general and the Great Northern War in particular) Nick Dorrell could not make this show and it felt strange not having his guiding hand to oversee the practical matters of running the game.  But I hope we will be back with some GNW action next year and do the interesting battle of Lesnaya 1708 (but things have changed before). I will be back with some GNW postings once the Joy of Six 2016 and the 6mm Saga adventure have come and gone as there is still plenty to do before July.

Since Baccus released their early middle age range with Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans I have wanted to do a dark age project.  I noted a mention on the Meeples and Miniatures page about doing Saga in 6mm – it made me think for a second or two.  As many others I am better at buying figures than painting them and really wanted some kind of challenge and a clear deadline – so I decided to do Saga in 6mm.  Here is my blur I submitted to the Joy of Six show just before Christmas last year.

“This participation game allows the player to try out Studio Tomahawks Saga rules in 6mm, using one of the 12 factions from the basic rules and the first two supplements (Anglo-Danes, Norman, Viking, Welsh, Anglo-Saxons, Irish, Strathclyde Welsh, Norse Gael, Bretons, Jomsvikings, Scots or Capetian Franks).  The warbands are pre-selected and are all at 4 points.  Each individual model from the normal rules are replaced with a 25mm square base with 3 to 10 models, depending on type of unit.  The game is more or less played as normal apart for some changes to distances (movement and range combat).  Prior knowledge useful but not required.  We run each game to conclusion or an hour (whatever occurs first). We will play 3 or 4 games per table during the day – further details will follow. The terrain boards, although not historical, will be in line with what we normally do for the Great Northern War stuff.   There will be a few hills, forests and a small Viking or Saxon settlement somewhere in the background.”

Anglo-Danish
The Anglo-Danish Faction 4pt Starter Army

 

Since then I have completed all but one faction, done two 3 by 4 feet mats and have some terrain to complete.  In future parts I will go through the factions and what models I used, how I painted them, how I made the terrain mats we will use on the day and some of the terrain pieces.  All in all the project have resulted in 324 bases (the equivalent of over 100 Polemos bases) and a total of 2155 miniatures – they are small but many.

Being a long time listener of the Meeples and Miniatures Podcast and having had a chat or two with Neil Shuck over the years I decided to approach him and David Luff at Salute – knowing they liked the game. I asked them if they wanted to help out on the day and they said yes – I am not sure who was the happiest at the end of the day – my son who got to try out the new Halo Ground Command game or I.

halo ground 1
The Young One directing the UNSC forces trying out the upcoming Halo Ground Command rules at Salute 2016

 

When Mike Hobbs (as documented in the Meeples and Miniatures Podcast No. 170) decided to join and help it really made my day.  I just have to finish a few things and we should be good to go.

Please come back and have a look (or follow the blog), we aim to post something at least every Sunday.

/ The One

Related links:

  1. Joy of Six
  2. Wyre Forest Wargames Club
  3. Baccus
  4. Studio Tomahawk
  5. Meeples and Miniatures Podcast

 

 

Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) – Part 4, Bon Voyage Dr. Bardaux, FIW Flags and Swedish Infantry finally done for Lesnaya

True to my words, at least this time, last weeks effort were focused on the main project. 17 bases of infantry inked, highlighted, based and flagged this weekend from the base painted pile. More on this below. It is nice to do some 6mm again.

infantry.jpg

I am really happy I managed to get that famous finger out of that dreadful place and get these done.  I have had too many diversions lately on the hobby front with the Terminator stuff (did I say Terminators, Sorry!) and other pleasant non-priority things. On the personal front I had to go to France for a funeral earlier in the week.  This was for a very special Lady who touched many hearts and inspired me in so many ways over the years, she truly was a manifestation of her own favourite poem “A thing of beauty, is joy forever” (link to it here). Hats off for you Dr. Bardaux!

I also got those flags I talked about to use for the French and Indian War games, one Nouvelle France flag and also the Kings Colours (looks very good, me thinks!).

16809147_1441154642621280_1364557531_n

Swedish Infantry at Lesnaya

The following are the infantry made for the Lesnaya Battle (with some facts from the eminent book by Lars-Erik Höglund and Åke-Sallnäs, The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms).

Estlänskt Infanteriregemente (de la Gardie), 2 battalions.

This was an enlisted regiment and raised in 1700 by the Governor General of Estland A.J. de la Gardie. After the Lesnaya Battle the regiment, due to heavy losses, where incorporated into the Västerbotten Regiment and fought in the Poltava Battle in 1709. They did not carry pikes and both battalions of the regiment were present at the Lesnaya Battle. The regiment, together with a battalion of the  Närke-Värmland Tremänning regemente, formed the rearguard that were first attacked by the Russians.

de-la-gardie

Närke-Värmland Tremänning regemente, 1 battalion.

This was a temporary regiment that was raised in 1700 and had been reduced to one battalion in 1705.  Was, due to losses, incorporated into the Livgardet (Lifeguard) after the Lesnaya battle. As mentioned above, part of the rearguard, that first had contact with the enemy at the battle.

nv.jpg

Hälsinge Regemente, 2 battalions.

This was a regular indelta (provincial) regiment and had its origins from the 16th century. The survivors from the battle was transferred to the Dalregementet.  The regiment was one of three regiments that first came to aid to the rearguard that was being attacked by the Russians.

helsinge.jpg

Upplands, Västmanlands och Dalarnas Tremänning regemente, 2 battalions.

Another temporary regiment raised in 1700 and the survivors after the Lesnaya Battle was incorporated into the Livgardet.  Was part of the early support force sent to help the rearguard.

uppland.jpg

Åbo Läns regemente, 1 battalion.

A regular provincial (finnish) regiment created in the 17th century. It had one battalion with the Lewenhaupt army (the other retained for fortress duty). As for the two regiments above part of the early support force.

abo-lans

Småland Tremänning regemente, 2 battalions.

Yet another temporary regiment that was raised in 1700 and you guessed it, due to losses, incorporated into the Livgardet (Lifeguard) after the Lesnaya battle. This like the other 3 regiments below was at Lesnaya during the Battle.

smaland.jpg

Åbo, Björneborg och Nylands Tremänning regemente, 2 battalions.

Temporary regiment that was raised in 1700 and it is not perfectly clear whether one or two battalions joined Lewenhaupts Army. Survivors after the battle were incorporated into the Västmanland regimente.

abo-bjorne

Öselska Lantmilisbataljon, 1 battalion.

This was a militia force raised in 1702 and took heavy losses at Lesnaya and after this was incorporated into the Västerbotten regimente. They did not carry pikes.

osel

Österbotten regemente, 1 battalion.

A regular provincial (finnish) regiment created in the 17th century. It had one battalion with the Lewenhaupt army (the other retained for fortress duty). Survivors from the Lesnaya Battle were put into the Närke-Värmland regimente.

osterbottens regemente.jpg

Nylands regemente, 1 battalion.

A regular provincial regiment created in the 17th century. It had one battalion with the Lewenhaupt army (the other retained for fortress duty). Was sent to enforce the troops at Lesnaya.  Survivors after the Battle were placed in the Västmanland Regemente.

nyland.jpg

Björneborgs regemente, 2 battalions.

A regular provincial (finnish) regiment created in the 17th century. As for the Nylands regmente it came as an enforcement to the troops at Lesnaya. Survivors after the Battle were placed in the Västmanland Regemente.

bjorneborgs.jpg

/ See you next week

 

 

These ruins do not look very good Papa, do they?

If you have followed this blog you know that I have been doing some Terminator stuff to get the Little One a little bit more involved in the non-electronic side of the gaming hobby.  Initially I wanted to get the box, paint a set and get a few games of it before going on to more things.  Last week I finished painting another starter set worth of miniatures as well as 7 specialized machines and a handful of resistance specials (this includes the ones with the headswaps from Badsquiddo Games (link here) I showed in the blog last time, see link here). Basic quick paintjobs based on the little ones preferred uniform colours and ready for the table!

I also converted an old German Paratrooper set to a resistance mortar (as these are no longer for sale) and did a headswap from a celtic dog handler to avoid the German look, I then used the three dogs in the set to do some sniffer dogs for the game (Again, these are also sold out. These are dogs that can identify a robot infiltrator and consequently the model can be attacked – in game terms the model can sneak around freely until (1) a dog handler challenges it or (2) it attacks).  I felt the game needed some sniffer dogs as well as some mortar support for the resistance.

This was based on the following two packs from Warlord Games (link here).

Obviously the ones originally produced for the game look much better (but this solution works for us!). If they are offered again the resistance of course will be futile, but until then here we are.

The game comes with some cardboard terrain, including some flat ruins as shown in the picture below.  On inspection and reflection the little one looked at me and said “These ruins do not look very good Papa, do they?”. I agreed that they didn’t but instead said, “They are ok, we just use our imagination!”, thinking that I had other things to do, like this years installment of the Towards Moscow Project that needs to be ready for the Joy of Six or, even closer, the Kalisz Battle for Salute.  I seemed to have wiggled myself of the hook!

 

basic tiles.jpg
Nothing wrong with these but I find mixing 3D (like minatures) with 2D is, let us be honest, far from appealing in any sense.

 

Later that evening when the Little One was visiting Neverland I packed up the stuff from the game we had played and looked at those ruined tiles again – Nice artwork aside, they did not look that good.  I went on ebay and ordered some mdf ruins (yes I could have used 6mm floor insulation foam and cut my own shapes) but I this stage I thought I just get some mdf ruins and paint them black and drybrush them in grey – job done!

capture
This is what I got! I used about half of the stuff I got in doing the four ruins presented later. I, as always unless I mention it, have no affiliation with this seller and can really recommend these. It is very good value for money!

 

After a few days they arrived but when I had assembled them I got second thoughts about how to finish them and instead of just painting them after assembly I pimped them up a little bit before priming. I cut out some bases from some vinyl floor tiling material I had lying around (left over from the Saga table I did last year) and glued the ruins on top (I used hard as nails adhesive).  I then applied some PVA glue on the ground and added sand. For the walls I applied a thin, but rough coat of modelling paste on the walls. I took some stones from the garden, cut some cocktail sticks and matches into small pieces, cut up some pieces of plastic into small squares and mixed it all with PVA glue and applied it here and there. I also added some small stones on the edges of collapsed flooring and wall sections. In addition I added thin sand on top of each wall (using PVA) that was not broken (to take away the evenness of the laser cut). I also had a few crates etc I added here and there.  I ended up with this!

Once it was properly dry (With PVA it takes a while) I primed it in Black Gesso, painted the ground brown, then drybrushed it with a light brown. For the walls and rubble I just dry brushed it with a dark grey followed by a light grey. I added a few dry tufts.

I got thumbs up from the Little One and they have already been put to use in a skirmish today.  I am just waiting for him to tell me “This game mat does not look very good, does it!” (It is made of paper and from the basic box!)..

Here are some shots from the opening of that game.

So until I get the mat request, I will now fully dedicate my modelling hours to the Towards Moscow Project.  Here is the current progress, mostly thanks to Chris at Marching in Colours! A few more models to be inked, detailed, flagged-up and based.

img_1704

I also got some table flags that I will use when  I do Winter War gaming. I thought it added a nice touch, although I did surprise a friend of mine when he came over and noticed the Soviet flag. However, the explanation about using it when I played with toy soldiers seemed to make him think I was more weird than what the flag itself implied. I have also ordered a King’s Colours flag (or Great Union flag, that was used by England and Scotland up to 1801) and a Nouvelle France flag for my French Indian War Battles, and a Swedish and Tsarist Russian Flag for the Towards Moscow Battles.

finnsovflags

/ All the best, and although “I will be back!”, there will be no terminators next time, I promise.