I have had a busy start of 2020 – not the kind of busy I would have wished for but that is how things are sometimes. The lack of blog posts is as a direct consequence to this but I have decided to force myself to pick it up and perhaps publish something every second week as a minimum.
Gosh, the last blogpost was on the 26th December, back in 2019 (If you still remember that year). Although I have been silent here I have actually made some significant progress on the hobby front – so there is a backlog of stuff to write about on the various projects. We will start with the current Big(ish) project – Lund 1676.
Swedish Infantry at Lund 1676
Today we turn back to the Scanian War and the Swedish Infantry that fought at Lund 1676. As for all my Scanian War models I have used the eminent book, Scanian War 1675-1679, Colours and Uniforms, by Lars-Eric Höglund (2002), as my primary source for colours and uniform details – it is not complete but covers most of the detail you may need.
Most of the Uniform detail in the book is straightforward, or in some cases not known, however the entry for the Gestrike-Hälsinge Tremänningar was interesting as it stated “1676: 19 men had yellow coats, 63 green, 50 gray, 53 brown, 38 musk-colored, 15 blue, in addition 2,240 alnar gray pjuk was issues to sew uniforms”. The reason for the different uniform is that this was not a standing regiment and had been raised because Sweden was at war – it is likely that they were issues with spares until they got their uniforms (possibly grey based on the information). So at Lund, late 1676, they may all have been dressed in fresh Uniforms, or maybe there was not time to get that sorted… Well since every other regiment will be in uniform uniforms I thought I go for the latter option. I simply painted the 24 unit base in the same ratio as the different colours above – I think it looks smashing.
We are rushing away… Sorry, the following infantry regiments were present at Lund.
Name of Regiment
Here some pictures of these…
Flagging up your infantry
This is the method I use to attach the flags/standards to the unit.
It has been a little bit of a strange year with a lot of pressures making it difficult to devote as much time as I would like to the hobby – but in retrospect and upon reflection I seem to have been doing a lot more than I thought. I had lots of fun with the hobby and that is what it is there for!
This is a summary blog of the year and contain some additional pictures not covered in any published blogs. I hope you will find this review interesting. I take my hat off for all of you who engage with the blog directly, follow the roll a one page on faceboook (Roll a One, @rollaonepage) or the Per at RollaOne feed on twitter – It really matters to me – so thank you very much. I had as an unwritten rule to do a blog every week, this year I have managed to do 41 blog posts – so I failed the objective but I am happy with that. I could easily have dragged this one out over a few blogs with the extra material but wanted to make a long one of this last one.
The most popular blog post this year was this one detailing how you can enhance your 6mm, or any scale, pictures using your computer screen. Bleeding obvious to me but a lot of people have found it useful!
This blog post has a lot of pictures and links (these are the underlined sections, they lead directly to the blog post I am talking about) and basically covers:
Poltava 1709 and Joy of Six 2019
Battle of Lund 1676 project
Gaming with the Little One and a book from Henry Hyde
WW2 What-if Invasion of Sweden in 1943 and roundpole fences
The Mutant 1984 Project and our Christmas Mutant Dinosaur Hunt
Being on Podcasts and some other stuff
Poltava 1709 at Joy of Six 2019
This was the culmination of a three year project covering the Russian Campaign of the Great Northern War and this year I presented Poltava 1709 at Joy of Six show in Sheffield. This has been a fantastic project and this 16 by 5 feet table actually made me somewhat emotional when I first put it up on the Show (but then each one is pretty special at the time). I did plenty of blog posts about the project this year, you can find them below. We will put up the table again in 2020 at Salute in April. This project was done using 6mm Baccus miniatures.
Here are some of the blog-posts covering this topic ( The last few are the finished article the others about how various elements were done).
Gaming with the Little One and a book from Henry Hyde
I have had immense pleasure in engaging with the Little One yet again this year in painting, playing games and going to a few events together. He even wrote a review of the Airfix Battles Rules and about his day at Salute on the Blog. When I asked him about the highlights this year he told me that it was the book he was sent by Henry Hyde, the day we had playing Mike Whitaker’s Omaha game and doing the Star Wars Legion miniatures (more in the links at the end of this section).
The Little One and I met Henry Hyde at Salute (who of course wrote the Wargames Compendium, was the editor for Miniature Wargames & Battlegames and now runs the Battlegames Patreon Site that I am a supporter of, see link here https://battlegames.co.uk/patreon-supporters/ . Please check it out as there is a lot of good stuff there in terms of podcasts, videos and articles – whether you are a supporter or not).
On the way back Max realised that the Henry we had met was the same guy that had written the Wargames Compendium, a book he really loves, and said that he should have asked for an autograph. I mentioned this to Henry and a few days later, to our great surprise and delight, a parcel arrived with a letter and a book.
It is was an enormously generous gesture and one of those moments I think the Little One will carry with him for his whole life – many thanks Henry! The Little One then read the Featherstone book and wrote a letter he sent to Henry that made me really proud.
Many thanks for sending me the Donald Featherstone book, it was very kind of you and it made me feel very special. I like the words you wrote and I will keep this book forever. It has taken me some time to finish the book as I have had a few other things going on.
I enjoyed the introduction where he writes about ‘what wargaming is’ and also the overview of the different periods for wargaming – my favourite period is WW2. You have so many different aspects of things going on – on land, in the air, on and under the water and you are not sitting around in a trench for four years as in the Great War. At the very end of the book he writes something I really liked! “General Sherman, of American Civil War fame, is quoted as saying, ‘War is Hell’. So it is, and perhaps the wargamer, seeing just how helpless his little plastic figures are against the dice simulated effects of cannon and muskets, will appreciate more than ever the utter futility of real war.”
I also have a copy of your book, The Wargaming Compendium, and I think it is the best book a wargamer can get as it covers everything you need to know. In particular I like the chapter on understanding sizes, scales and chance. I love the picture on page 17 showing the different scales.
I hear you are writing another one and I hope it is going really well!
I know you like the Horse and Musket period so I thought you might like this Kings Carabineer from the Battle of Blenheim 1704 and a book about the Battle of Poltava.
WW2 What-if Invasion of Sweden in 1943 and roundpole fences
Some further works was done for the 1943 German invasion forces and defending Swedes. Making some transports for the Swedes with some tanks (including conversions) and a large number of German soldiers and vehicles. I also updated the Chain of Command list for the Swedes. More in the blog posts below (that is also including a note on the visit I did to Dulwich playing Chain of Command at the Warlords Lardy Day – thanks Iain!).
One of the best things that happened to this project this year was the roundpole fences developed by Paul Edwards (@Amaz_ed on Twitter if you want to contact him, or let me know and I will pass it on) that will enable me to give that special feel of gaming in Scandinavia/Nordic much in the same way as Snake Rail fencing indicate a wargame in North America.
How is this relevant to you if you do not play anything in Norway, Finland, Sweden or Estonia (where these fences are common) – well according to some theories they were in use during Viking times so if you are doing Dark Age wargaming (or Colonials as we Norse call it). So if you want to create that little Norse settlement in your Saga game or some other game including some Vikings and want to make it feel a little bit special than maybe this beautiful fencing will be an idea.
I asked Paul if he could help me out and quicker than I could say Gärdsgård – the name of the fence in Swedish – I now have 4-5 meters of it and I hope you agree it looks good.
The ones I have has been made for 15mm but Paul can make some in 6mm and 28mm too.
These are the ones I will be using for my Scanian War project.
These are a few in 28mm with some Mutant 1984 characters.
Paul also does some gate options.
I have also found a reasonable Vallejo mix for Falu Rödfärg.
Here are some postings for the Swedish WW2 project (as in all my posts there is plenty of pictures in each of them). The next step is to produce two half-sized campaign for Chain of Command (or any other Platoon based set of rules).
In addition we had a special Xmas game this year based on a vote we did on Twitter where the Mutant 1984 Dinosaur won the Day (beating Winter War, Swedish invasion 1943 and a “proper” GNW battle!). We used a variant of the The Men who Would be King rules (the same as in the Border Skirmish above) and it was a fun game with two factions of soldiers and hunters trying to take out as many Monsters as possible (2 Dinosaurs, a Giant Beetle, a Four armed Gorilla, 2 Swedish Tigers, a Dark Young of Stubb-Nigarakan) whilst fighting each other. I did not do a write-up but instead I have included a bunch of pictures from the game.
The Swedish (Sabre Tooth) Tigers are based on the Swedish Wartime information Poster stating “En Svensk Tiger” that means both “a Swedish Tiger” and “a Swede Shuts-Up”.
Being on Podcasts and some other stuff
Any regular reader of this blog will know that I have a few wargaming podcasts that I like to listen to whilst I paint and model – these are in no particular order the Veteran Wargamer, The Lardy Oddcast, Meeples and Miniatures, Havoc Cast Podcast, Wargames Soldiers and Strategy, Wargames Recon, Henry Hyde’s Battlechats and God’s Own Scale Podcast. They are all excellent and whilst I occasionally listen to others, those are my solid ones I will try to listen to every time (I listen to a fair few more non-wargaming stuff like the eminent Grognards RPG Files and We have ways and Audible books).
This year I have been humbled by having been asked to come on three of these shows and talk about stuff mainly relating to the 6mm work I have been doing, but also about wargaming with children and my great passion – the Great Northern War.
A few weeks ago Neil Shuck announced that he will stop the Meeples and Miniatures podcast as he has reflected on the time it takes to do the show and other priorities like gaming with friends etc. Meeples and Miniatures has, in my opinion, become like a wargaming (and Meeples) institution and its legacy is enormous and Neil and the other presenters (Mike, Mike, Dave, Rich and all the guest presenters) should be enormously proud of having created this. I felt so honoured to be asked to attend the show and had a blast – so much that it was enough to fill two episodes (sorry!, but thanks Neil and Mike for having me).
When I listened to Sean Clarke’s episode 0 and he declared that one of his inspirations to starting his blog (focusing on 6mm an history) was the work I have been doing with this blog – it made that and many days last year. I contacted him and asked if I could come and talk to him and we had a great time talking about the 6mm stuff I have been doing but also getting an idea of Sean Clarke’s upcoming WW1 project for Joy of Six in 2020. This is another excellent show and I really like all the episodes to date with many friends from the 6mm trenches. The show with Robert Dunlop (No 3.) is one of the best Podcasts I heard last year. Thanks Sean for my second outing this year – I had an absolute blast.
Henry’s Battlechat has very quickly built up an impressive catalogue of podcasts with a wide range of guests from the industry, rules designers, miniatures producers, artists, book publishers, academics, etc. I have stolen parts of Henry’s intro for this:
“Per is a wonderful ambassador of the hobby, friendly, approachable, intelligent and with a dry sense of humour that you might only notice when you’re halfway out of the door after meeting him! (Watch out for his comment about the Dark Ages being “Scandinavian colonial”!) Here, then, is this Swedish superstar of the hobby in full flow, waxing lyrical about 6mm gaming, the Great Northern War and other Scandinavian conflicts of the 17th and 18th centuries, making snow-covered terrain and the joys of being a wargaming parent.”
Finally I would like to say that my favourite wargaming thing this year was the visit I did to Evesham and OML7 (Operation Market Larden No. 7) – Thanks to Ade et al for this. I met so many nice people and had a fantastic time playing some great games.
80 years ago Finland was fighting for its independence against Soviet Union in what has become known as the Winter War. The war has a personal connection to me as the family on my mother’s side is Finnish. We have therefore fought a few battles using the Chain of Command rules to honour and remember the people on both sides who fought and died in this war.
The war started with a Soviet Invasion of Finland without a declaration of war on the 30th November 1939, the war ended 105 days later on 13th March 1940. More than 25,000 Finnish died and many were wounded. At the end of the War Finland was still an independent state but had lost about 10% of its territory and 12% of the population lost their homes and where re-settled. The Soviet Union’s losses were far higher and somewhere in the order of 150,000. The campaign was badly planned and conducted by the Soviets and the Finns fought bravely and with great skill.
Here are few pictures from one of these battles, somewhere along a country road…
On Saturday the Little One and I had a real treat as we were invited to Mike Whittaker’s Mill Studios (@TaTM_blog on twitter) to play the eminent Omaha Beach game that we had missed to play at Salute this year (see link here). The Little One, Andy (who built the terrain but never played the scenario) and I played the American Side, we were being skillfully empired by Mike who also played the Germans. We
The scenario is from the excellent IABSM scenario book called “Where have you been boys” and can be bought from the Too Fat Lardies website here.
This is scenario Six and in the book and promises “The game will be nasty, bloody and gritty, it shouldn’t be anything else”. It takes place at the eastern end of Omaha beach (Colleville-Sur-Mer) and involves the US 1st Infantry Division – the Big Red One. This is very much the scenes from Saving Private Ryan stuff. The scenario shows the difficulties on the day and for this kind of operation in general. The Germans have relative little Firepower but are in very good protected position whilst the Americans are mainly in the open up to the shingles of the beach, then protected by the cliffs before having to be in the open again trying to get through the wires and mine fields.
The US forces, just like on the day come in waves, and basically first wave took a lot of damage, so did the second but managed to clear some wires and take out some of the nests form a distance, then the final and third wave started to turn the balance. It was a different wargame in that most of the time, from our American side, was spent hoping that the next barrage of artillery, HE guns, sniper fire and MG would not wipe the whole section out and that some of the men who survive and get to the shingles and momentarily be safe. The two Sherman tanks who had made it to the beach did provide some initial fire power but they were soon taken out. It was very sobering and certainly kept to the promise in the scenario book, as it was indeed “nasty, bloody and gritty” and leaves you with a lot of reflection on the terrors facing the men on that day. We had to leave just as the third wave had arrived, but at this time it looked like the first part of the job was done, at least on the side of the beach I was not responsible for (luckily Andy and the Little One had cleared a lot of wire on their side of the board).
Mike had added a few features like General Norman “Dutch” Cota, coming as part of the second wave, who was useful in rallying and getting some moving on where needed and also Robert Capa who took some iconic photos.
A few other memorable moments was the first shot from the Sherman leading to one of the guns in the bunker getting out of action and the off–table German 88 being taken out by some Royal Navy guns very early. In addition the effect of artillery and the way it works is really effectful and realistic (as is the use of HE weapons) leading to units becoming pinned and stopped in their tracks – not based on casualties in itself – I really like this (keeping your head down). Some of my units arrived without leaders and it was difficult to get these men up to beach to do their job – the unit with the leaders fared better but I was let down by some bad dice rolling (rolling ones, who would have believed that!).
What follows are a lot of pictures from the day. I believe that Mike will be doing a write up of his thoughts from having played the scenario a number of times in the upcoming Lard Magazine that will be out later in the year.
All the miniatures were from Battlefront!, except for a few Peter Pig casualty markers.
As for the Little One and I? I think we both would be tempted to do something similar perhaps in 6mm?, one day!
It was a great day indeed, thanks for having us Mike.
The Little One and I went to the SELWG wargames show today – it is our local show. We both had a great time and it always has a nice mix of games in different scales. Here follows a dump of some of the photos I took with some notes here and there. I do hope it gives some kind of impression of the games that were laid out (I may have missed a few of the games – sorry!).
Special mention and my favourite of the day goes to Shepway Wargames Club’s WW! game “You will be home before the Leaves fall”. I hope the pictures conveys some of the goings on…
Thanks SELWG, we had a fantastic day and we were especially delighted to see so many dads and mums having brought their children and were allowed to engage with the games.
I had Friday off and had a look at my paint tray that was full of 28mm miniatures for the Mutant 1984 project as well as a lot of 6mm for the next batch for the Scanian War. I decided to try to get done as many as possible of the 28mm stuff.
Following on from my joyous time of painting the Pyri Commonwealth soldiers (Nordholmia Regiment) a few weeks ago (see here, it also includes a summary of what this Mutant 1984 nonsense is all about) I got thinking about building some bigger skirmish forces than originally intended.
I decided to get a plastic box of some Skirmishing infantry from Perry (I bought mine at a very favourable cost from ebay). I am basically in the Business of creating two Sharp Practice forces for some Border Skirmishes, yes some of the Old Tech Weapons would require some additional thought and perhaps a Chain of Command adaptation would be better, but that is a later issue. The most common form of firearm in this period is a musket or a single shot rifle.
In addition I added some animal heads from Sally 4th and some weapons from Anvil Industries (as well as making some of them with extra limbs) to give that subtle Mutant 1984 feel. These together form part of a Wilderness force of the Jemtland Army – a very small country North of the Pyri Commonwealth.
As for the actual uniforms I have no information, so I decided to go with a Green coat (with red details), red trousers and red caps for the line infantry.
For the Flags we know that the Jemtland flag is a white Moose on a blue background. I decided that the Military flag was only showing a Moose head and that the specific flag for the Wilderness force is based on the old Skogsmulle organisation (this was the children organisation of the Swedish Outdoor association that I have some fond memories of from my childhood, and just for fun, see more here).
…and we also got some rangers
….and some Machine Gun crew (I bought the Gatling ifself from Ebay, unknown manufacturer).
…putting it all together
Finally I had the pleasure of being given the last issue of Wargames Illustrated by the Little One (a fantastic read I may add) that came with a sprue of Early Imperial Roman. Again having had the Mutant 1984 treatment! These are part of the Monster hunters (Monsterjägare) of the Pyri Commonwealth army – a very specialised unit. The Monstrosities that occasionally emerges from the forbidden zones needs to be taken care of.
That was 47 no. 28mm miniatures in a day (well, I did do the basing on Saturday the following day) – not any pieces for the museum but effectful enough on the table from the right distance! Now I have a few more things to do to flesh out the opposition.
Colour Sergeant Bourne and Others
In addition the Little One and I went to find the Grave of Colour Sergeant Bourne on Friday. It was something we had planned to do for some time (Since we first played with our 6mm British and Zulus).
The title of this posting [see link here to the old post] – “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.
Here are two pictures from our visit to his grave at the Beckenham Cemetery and Crematorium.
In addition the Little One found a few more graves that told some interesting stories following some research on the Net, like this one.
Sergeant-Major Evans got a V.C. at Somme in 1916 volunteered to take back an important message after 5 runners had been killed in attempting to do so .. 700 yds of severe rifle and machine-gun fire …. dodging from shell-hole to shell-hole . Read more about it here.
This contains an updated file to that one presented in a previous blog post (see here), some corrections and information for both Rifle Platoon (Skyttepluton) and Ranger Platoon (Jägarpluton).
POST NOTE: The Mortar team in the support option states 3 crew, it should be a crew of 2. Also the KP-bil was not equipped with a MG during the WW2 era, so is probably more a list One or Two option.
During the hostilities of WW2 the Royal Swedish Army was undergoing a lot of changes and the most significant at the Platoon level was the change introduced in 1943 (the so called 43M organisation). This introduced more power for the Rifle Platoon by equipping the NCOs with SMGs, adding 2 No. Semi-Automatic rifles to each section. Further firepower was also provided by the introduction of a fifth specialist team with a 47mm Mortar Section and an Anti-tank rifleman to each Platoon. In addition a rifleman per section was a designated Sharpshooter and had a scoped rifle.
These changes were gradual and we suggest that the player can choose to play either the 1940 to 1943 or the 1943 to 1945 Rifle Platoon for the 1943 campaign. As an example the number of sub-machine guns and semi-automatic rifles would be aspirational in 1943.
These list allows you to field a normal Rifle Platoon (Skyttepluton) or a Ranger Platoon (Jägarpluton). The latter was more than often be used to do specific recon missions and to distress the enemy. These platoons would most often march onto to the battlefield, with a platoon cart and a horse. Some platoons may be equipped with bikes and some may even be driven to the battlefield in a truck.
Hope they are of some use, the file can be downloaded here.
Followers of this blog may be aware I have a undying love for my first RPG I played when I was 12, it was a Swedish RPG called Mutant. In Mutant the world has risen from the ashes and new Societies has developed. The game is set in Scandinavia, but not as we know it today.
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.
There is a summary of what I have been up to with this project here (if you scroll down a bit).
During the Robot Attack in Nordholmia, discussed in Part 2 (see link here), there will be a detachment of Soldier as part of the defending force – some regulars of the Nordholmia Infantry Regiment. This regiment can trace its origins back to the early days of the Empire and was originally set up as a town militia.
I wanted to do use some miniatures from the relatively new Perry Miniatures range of Swedish Napoleonic soldiers, as I really like the sculpts. Perry does some fantastic miniatures (here is a link to the Swedish Napoleonic range). I got myself a standing Command Pack and two of the Firing line packs.
They arrived promptly and to “Mutantinize” them I did a few headswaps with some Animal heads from Sally’s 4th, link here.
Next was the decision on colour scheme, from the original set of rules and expansions we know that the Pyri Commonwealth flag is basically a Yellow Eagle with a Blue background. So I went with Blue Uniforms with some yellow details as this would fit the flag and also a nod towards the Swedish 18th century uniform of the Great Northern War (and also to that 91:an cartoon character!).
As for the standards I wanted to have a large national flag of the Pyri Commonwealth and a smaller for the Regimental one. From the ”sources” we know the flag for the Commonwealth, there are two versions.
(I) One from the Mutant 2 expansion – the world Map.
(II) Another one from the Efter Ragnarök module – on the map of Hindenburg.
Giving us these two options:
I went with the more stylised version.
For the regimental flag I used the symbol of the County of Dalarna, but replaced the Crown with the Eagle.
I have to admit it being some time ago I did any flags for anything else than 6mm – they tend to be on normal paper you add some glue and bend it a little bit – nothing very elaborate. I felt this was not appropriate for this project and I wanted to avoid the stiff and printed look you can sometimes get with flags in 28mm scale. I have seen a few of Sidney Roundwood’s amazing hand painted flags (link to some here) and set out to find a quick solution to do something similar – I found this video from Wargames, Soldier and Strategy and an intriguing type of paper was mentioned (it should run if you click on it).
Being a little bit of a materials enthusiast I got this kind of intriguing paper from Amazon (Japanese Calligraphy Paper, 100 sheets) and it worked a treat for me.
I painted the flags with undiluted Vallejo acrylics (clean you brush as you work but wipe it on some paper before you get more paint – this paper is very thin and absorbant. Work carefully!).
This is how they came out.
After this is was just a matter of “installing” them on the poles (using some random forest as a background on the Laptop Screen).
Next I think we need some skirmishers to complement these guys. I am currently working on some heavy Pyri Commonwealth assault cavalry.
In related news….
NoMAD – A Post-apocalyptic anthropomorphic miniature range in 28mm from Sweden.
I am a backer but not associated to the team in any way – I hope the kickstarter goes well.
Its based on a small 1:56 scale (28mm) range with a post-apocalyptic touch.
In the far future our domesticated animals have developed into sentient beings just as humans did so long ago.
These anthropomorphic citizens has evolved or perhaps were created by a since long gone dying old world that was ruled by humans alone. This is only remembered by the new civilization through legends, stories and myths.
As we have seen before in ancient civilizations a ruling class often need a lesser class to stand upon to “rise” above the masses.
For the Mutants of the working class the struggle is real, and many take refuge to the wild. The dream to explore ancient ruins and the possibility for a life in luxury and ease after just one successful expedition draws man and mutants alike.
/ Hope that was of some interest, I personally love this s**t.
I have been overwhelmed with the feedback on the Poltava 1709 table I put on at Joy of Six last weekend (see more here) and looking back at it and I think it is my best effort so far. A lot of people have asked me what I will do next year at JOS 2020?
Truth is that I do not intend to do a new table but instead revisit the first Great Northern War battle I put up at Joy of Six back in 2012, the Battle of Fraustadt 1706. I need to review the battle boards as they have been in storage for about 4 years (when we took it to Salute). I believe that a face lift will make them look stunning and it is a far more playable game than Poltava.
Further I want to revisit some of the miniatures and take it up a notch overall, I also want to add some more wintery trees (increase the density of the forest) to the table and a few more terrain features. It should not be a too big job.
In addition we are going to take the Poltava 1709 table to Salute in April next year and have already got our table accepted. I have a few improvements I want to do with regards to some of the features to improve the overall feel of the table – I think the Siege lines could be best done as a single piece and filled with some more people. I would also like to add some more life onto the walls of Poltava itself as well as some further smaller details (like some actual gates for the fortress and some guards for the Swedish Camp).
Finally, I would like to use the Fraustadt table to test a few sets I have not played with before and see how they work – especially Gå-På.
However I have a plan for Joy of Six 2021 when I would like to do a Battle from the Scanian War (1665-69)! I got myself some of the new Sun King range from Baccus at Joy of Six. It is an interesting period in Swedish history with a King (Charles XI) who needs to step up and deliver during the war and realises what a shaky ground his empire was standing on following years of neglect by the regency council who had rules the country for 12 years until Charles came to age. After the war he sets out to take back control from the noblemen and strengthen the countries defenses and military might. This is the key reason to the ability of the Swedish army to be as powerful as it was in the Great Northern War.
I will discuss this in more detail at a later date, but currently I am leaning towards the Battle of Lund 1676 (another wintery battle) but have not yet made my mind up.
All the regiments on both sides have different Uniforms with a wide colour variety, this is the biggest appeal to me. I still intend to base them in the way I have based my GNW miniatures (60 by 30mm bases) as I am relatively fond of the approach, I may however base the cavalry on (30 by 30 bases) to represent a squadron instead of a base being 2 squadrons – but I have not yet made up my mind but looking at some of the paintings from the era makes me want to recreate that feeling with smaller blocks of cavalry than infantry.
You can find more information about the Scanian War here.
There are two books I do recommend for the Scanian War Period in English (thinking about it there are not many others!):
Charles XI’s War – the Scanian War between Sweden and Denmark, 1675-1679 by Michael Fredholm von Essen. It is, I think, the military history overview of this wars. I have a number of Swedish books as well but I think this is my favourite overall. Here is a link to it https://www.helion.co.uk/charles-xi-war.html
The second book can be a little bit harder to get hold of and is Scanian War 1675-79 Colours and Uniforms by Lars-Eric Höglund. It contains information of the Swedish uniforms, standards and organisation of the period.
You can find some more on the Sun King range from Baccus here.
This will be a slow project and will probably not take off until after the Summer holiday, but if you are interested you can follow this journey and the other madness on this blog, by:
On reflection there are plenty other projects I need to crack on with that are well developed but not yet nailed. Hopefully I will be able to complete these sooner than later (I wrote about some of these in the 2018 year end Roll a One Accounts – here).
Some Poltava 1709 bonus stuff
The Meeples and Miniatures Podcast has a special place in my heart and over the years it has given me a lot of pleasure whilst doing a lot of my hobby work (yes there are others that I really like too, like the Veteran Wargamer, the Lardy Oddcast, the WSS Magazine podcast, the Wargames Recon). They are also very nice people and very god friends and it was a joy to welcome them and two of the guest commanders, sorry presenters, to my table at Joy of Six again.
I am blessed with a fantastic family and my wife and two of our children joined me at Joy of Six this year – it has become a little bit of a tradition going up north doing some sight-seeing on the Saturday and then Joy of Six on the Sunday. The Better One had taken some pictures on the day of the table that I really liked – I was to excited by the grandeur of it all whilst she zoomed in on some of the details. I hope you like them too.
Putting on a table at a Wargames Show does not go very well with trying to cover what is available on the day, I had a short lunch break and then attended a panel with Guy Bowers and Neil Shuck – that was my day! I had a little ego-trip with the Poltava table in an earlier blog here, this covers most of the other fantastic games on display.
Anyway a few pictures from the “car window”, there were many tables on offer showing a range of games and periods. I did not get a snap of all of them. I hope this give you enough to perhaps search for them on Google to get more detail. Also I did not include the trader details, but if you go to the Baccus webpage it should be all there if you need.
In addition a video was put up on youtube that does a brilliant job in showing what was going on, by Storm of Steel Wargaming (thanks for this Mate!):
Some time ago I fancied doing some Swedish WW2 era soldiers for fun, originally thinking I would do some kind of border skirmish scenario or something similar. It grew in scope somewhat, I have recorded the progress so far in a number of blog posts (here, here and here).
Current I am planning a few Scenarios based on the 1943 Swedish invasion plan made by Adolf Schell. Part of this plan had some of the lines of advance going through Dalarna (the county where I was born) in Sweden and it would be interesting to place some of the action here. So having some units for the Swedish side I really needed some suitable Germans and decided to start by doing some tanks representing the 25th Panzer Division as it was in the Summer 1943 when it was stationed in Norway.
So from this we know that the division had the following tanks:
Hotchkiss H39 (captured French tank)
Suoma S35 (captured French tank)
Self-Propelled assault Guns
As the Swedes on the other side did not have a very strong tank force and anti-tank capability at the time, this list is still challenging but not as devastating as a list with Tigers and Panthers for example.
In addition the division would have a number of other supporting units like Panzer grenadiers, scouts/recon, artillery etc. I will get to these later, however as this is a Chain of Command project, I am not interested in some of the heavier stuff and/or supporting companies, but it would be fun to include some scout types as I read somewhere that they were mainly on Motorcycles and did not have armoured cars, etc.
However back to the focus of today – the tanks.
First I had to decide on how to paint them, my initial idea was to just make them Panzer Grey but since the directive was to paint them in dunkelgelb was issued earlier in the year, I asked people on twitter for some advice and got may helpful hints, like this one from Petri Niemenien (thank you):
To be specific, Feb 1943: Dunkelgelb RAL 7028 base coat + Rotbraun RAL 8017 and Olivgrün RAL 6003 stripes 😉
So, and I noted this down mainly for myself, this is the process I used (it creates some reasonable and quick results, it works for my table):
I used Plastic Soldiers Tank Spray Dunkelgelb (link here) cans – awesome product to be honest, saved me a lot of time. But you could of course use a brush.
Then I dabbed/stipple (use a thin wasted brush) on the Olive Green mixed with the Dunkelgelb paint (4:1 mix to tone it down) forming some 2-3mm stripes – I used the paints in the picture below, but anyone will do. The MIG paints are a little bit runny and work great for this, if you use other paints water them down somewhat, I want to have some of the primer shining through.
The same with the Rotbraun (reddish brown).
Then I highlighted the green stripes with the Oliver Green unmixed, tried to do a line in the middle kind of – do not paint stipple it on.
For the Rotbrown stripes, use the colour again but mix in some dark brown (I used burnt umber). Again highlight the middle.
Let it dry
Wash the tank with a light brownish wash – I used Army Painter Quickshade – Soft Tone.
Let it dry
Drybrush with the Dunkelgelb
Do the details as appropriate.
Put on Decals (I used Plastic Soldier Company Decals for mine).
I will do some further weathering but will perhaps add some division insignia decals (I will do these myself later) and decide what time of the year the actual invasion “happens” so will wait with that and do it when all is completed.
I really fancied the idea of including some of the French captured tanks – as they are rarely seen on a wargames table unless it is depicting France in 1940. I went to the Tank Museum in Saumur in 2016 and really enjoyed the French tanks in the collection.
I bought three each of these French tanks from Peter Pig (link here) and they are brilliant metal models with limited parts, just ensure you use either 2 part epoxy glue or some milliput or equivalent when you assemble them to ensure strength and durability.
The French tank had cupolas instead of hatches on top and in many cases the Germans added hatches on top. I did not modify the H39s but on the S35 a used a modelling knife and did a cut in the middle of the cupola to represent a hatch on two of them and a tank commander with some improvised hatches (I cut some plastic Sherman hatches roughly from a Plastic Soldier Company sprue the Little One had not used).
Here are the H39s (Peter Pig)
..and the S35s (Peter Pig)
Then the standard German tanks, first out PzKpfw II.
Then the PzKpfw III.
So now we have some options, and good progress overall on the tank front.
PzKpfw II (done)
PzKpfw III (done)
Hotchkiss H39 (done)
Suoma S35 (done)
Self-Propelled assault Guns
I guess next I will do some PzKpfw IVs and StuGs but fancy including some early other Self Propelled Guns as well – but that will be the next binge batch some other time.
By the way I also did some Hanomags and command vehicles… (all from Peter Pig, except the Befehlswagen that is from Skytrex, this is the last vehicle in the second Picture)
If you have any information about the 25th Panzer Division that could be relevant up to them leaving Norway in 1943 I would be more than interested. Also any books that may include some coverage of the Division or the individual regiments/battalions that formed it, etc.
In the last update on the Poltava project that will be laid out at Joy of Six in July this year I presented Poltava itself and I wrote about it here.
As I have stated on a number of occasions, this is just one of the many features I want to capture on the Battle Field. In an earlier update I showed some plans I had in doing the Swedish camp.
I had no idea whether a tent was standardised or not (but since everything else was I assumed it would be) and got some input from Oskar Sjöström who works at the Swedish Army Museum (and also wrote a brilliant book on the Battle of Fraustadt 1706) in the form of photos of tents from re-enactment groups (the one below representing enlisted tents).
In addition I came across this old document from 1699, showing an officers tent. It is signed by the King himself (Carolus, Charles XII) – straight on top of the drawing.
Another prominent feature of the camp are the Swedish Supply wagons, these were based on another design from the Period (I wrote a blog on how I made these wagons for the Lesnaya project here).
The overall design of the camp is based on how a battalion camped during the era, and I used the following picture as an inspiration (from the book Poltava 1709 – Vändpunkten, by Moltusov and Lyth).
You may recall that I did some work on a Swedish Rifle Platoon in WW2 for Chain of Command last year. This is part of a What-if Project I have been working on for some Potential WW2 actions involving the Swedish Army. I have been working away slowly with this project in the background. The rules I am using are Too Fat Lardies Chain of Command, but if you are interested in this What-if then you should be able to get something out of this even if you use another rule set.
I will shortly do an update of the Swedish Platoon list for Chain of Command as there are a few errors in the support options.
One of the most iconic Swedish vehicles of the era was the Terrängbil m/42 KP (Off Road Vehicle), also known as the KP-bil. It was a domestic development and would allow the troops to keep up with the tanks and also offer some protection from artillery and small arms fire. The KP-bil was a APC basically developed from an army lorry with armour-plates. The first ones were delivered in 1944 but there were a produced in 1943 but rejected (due to weaknesses in the body). In the What-if scenarios I am developing with a German invasion of Sweden in 1943 these will be pressed into service earlier.
The KP-bil was finally de-commissioned from Swedish Military Service in 2004 and was baptised in fire during its service with the Swedish UN forces in Congo in the 1960s. It was sometimes referred to as the Coffin due to it shape and in Congo it was also known as the White Elephant. You can find more about this vehicle, in English, from these web pages:
In doing the research for this WW2 Swedish project I found that it is possible to buy the KP-bil in 1/100 scale from Shapeways (link here).
The first issue is in the fact that these come with Machine Gun Mountings that were not included as standard until the 1950s – I could have stretched the imagination a little bit in this what-if and said that perhaps when they were pressed into service the mounting were attached? I decided to take them away. I did this with a fine cutter and then applied two pieces of thin card to cover the whole, the round piece incidentially the same diameter as a normal hole punch hole – I covered them with PVA glue.
I then painted them in three colour scheme – I have used this for the Tanks I am working on too (future posting).
The looked ok, but as they do not cover with any passengers the look a little bit boring. I thought I add some, but wanted to be able to take them out to show whether they were occupied or not on the gaming table.
During a very long telephone conference I got an idea and doodled it down – not a very clever one but good enough to achieve what I needed to do. I thought I would just create a block of soldiers that could be put in and out the vehicle.
I got some Italian Flames of War models (the one I used for the base Platoon I made) and created four bases (that I made sure fitted into the vehicles) with soldiers glued together (I used Grip Fill) trying to create some interesting “going ons”.
The I painted them as I did the other Platoon I did (see link here to that blog post for what Colours I used).
Had to get them out on a test spin, I think it was worth it.
The Little One wrote a blog entry last time around about his day at Salute (you can find the link here) and I said I would do the same but have not repeated the stuff he already covered (like the games we played!). A lot of people have read that one and engaged in making comments on the blog, twitter, Facebook and various wargaming forums. It is really encouraging that the hobby is so welcoming and happy to see youngsters amongst it ranks, so thank you all from the Little One and I.
For me Salute is about impressions and meeting people, In summary I felt Salute this year being spacious, having a lot variety in type of games being presented and we did have a good time – we always do. There were games that could be played on a 2 by 2 mat and there were games on very large tables, some were very simple others were pieces of art, some were storyboards conveying the passion of a period, others were bland but functional. It reflects my gaming in a nutshell as for some projects I go absolutely mad and for other projects I just want to get it on the table and play – although I do have a LUDO set with a Green, Yellow, Red and Green “fire team” somewhere.
As always we wandered around and met a lot of nice new and old friends including Henry Hyde, Mike Whitaker, The Too Fat Lardies (Rich, Nick and Sidney), Simon T, Iain Fuller , Ken Eccentric!, Dave Hickman, Neil and Josh Shuck, Peter & Dave and the other Wargames Collection Calculator crew, Mark Backhouse, Guy Bowers, Michael Leck and his Nordic Crew, the Berrys, the Space Vixen crew, Friends of General Haig, Dave Brown and then everyone I forgot as well. I wanted to run into Big Lee but I failed, hi Lee!
Between the talking, playing a few games with the Little One, doing some limited shopping and picking up some pre-orders from Baccus (from their 6mm Great Northern War range) and Gripping Beast (the New Saga supplement and a few of the custom dice), I took a few pictures of things that interested me during the day.
I just thought I put a few of these pictures here, with a few comments where appropriate. I hope this reflects a mixture of easily achievable as well as more inspirational long term projects.