I am currently spending a lot of hobby time finalising bases for the Horka 1708 project that will be presented at the 6mm show Joy of Six in July this year (a link to the webpage here). This will be my 6th year of putting a game on (2012 GNW Fraustadt 1706, 2013 GNW Klissow 1702, 2014 GNW Kalisz 1706, 2015 GNW Gadebusch 1712, 2016 Saga in 6mm, 2017 GNW Lesnaya 1708 and Dragon Rampant in 6mm). It is my favourite show of the year because it showcases what can be done in this scale and what is available as a lot of the 6mm miniature and terrain/building traders are in attendance. I suggest you check it out and get yourself to Sheffield this Summer (15th July).
I tend to move big chunks of works forward at the same time rather than completing say 4 bases and moving on to the next 4 set of bases. I used to do it in incremental steps, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to complete a big project/campaign by winning small victories on the way. I still get a kick of a completed base and how that seemingly randomless drybrushing on top of the brown base, in combination with the static grass creates that little illusion that puts the models in some kind of bigger context!
However, my current small victories are all the other diversions (Gaslands, Winter War, Mutant 1984, etc.) whilst I slog away with the big one. At times these diversions takes me away from the main mission for weeks. But I have to admit that it does not take much to get me back to the Great Northern war period. This final futile grasp of Sweden as a Great Power and the great battles, tragedies and personalities it contains. I know how it all ends, but it still blows me away and there is so much more to find out.
On that note (and I have mentioned a few before) check out Helion Company’s Century of the Soldier series that have a lot of upcoming books for the Great Northern War in particular but so much more. Link to Helion here. Give them a visit and get yourself some cool books. I am really pleased to see Great Northern war books in English and anyone who is doing them will certainly sell me a copy – but also gets a shout out.
Here are a few of the titles I am looking forward to (various release dates):
I am currently (re-)reading another one from the Century of the Soldier series about the Pruth campaign that was released a at the end of January this year (incidentally, as Nick wrote it I had read the initial draft, but had not seen the bespoke drawings of troop types of the two sides and re-enactment pictures of Russian soldiers – and I really enjoyed it). I discussed this book here that formed the basis for a little skirmish side project using Pikeman’s Lament (see more here, here and here). However this campaign lends itself to bigger battles. Think about the mixture of differing troop types with the colourful Ottoman army of the period on one side againt the more westernized Russian army with Kalmucks, Tartars and Cossack support on the other – what a spectacle. [editor notes: At this note he drifts away into that la la land again, planning battles and setting up painting progress spreadsheets again].
In 1711 Peter the Great, the Tsar of Russia, led a large army of veterans from Poltava and his other Great Northern War victories into the Balkans. He aimed to humble the Ottomans in the same way he had the Swedes a few years before. Victory would secure useful allies in the Balkans, cement Russia’s ‘Great Power’ status and offer Peter the opportunity to finally gain control over the Swedish king, Charles XII, thus completing his victory over Sweden. Yet within a few months, the ‘backward’ Ottomans had forced the Tsar and his Tsarina and their army of veterans into a humbling surrender near the Pruth River. The war was the first time that Russia was strong enough to confront the Ottomans independently rather than as a member of an alliance. It marked an important stage in Russia’s development. However, it also showed the significant military strength of the Ottoman Empire and the limitations of Peter the Great’s achievements. The war was of significance to the allies of both the Russians and the Ottomans. It was of course of an even greater importance to all those directly affected by the war such as the Swedish, the Polish, and the Cossacks, who had taken refuge from the reverses of the Great Northern War in the Ottoman territory. It would also bring about the defeat of the Moldavian and Walachian ambitions to shake off the Ottoman overlordship, elevating Dimitrie Cantemir into the position of a national hero celebrated to this day by the people of Romania. The book looks at the causes of this little known war and its course. Using contemporary and modern sources it examines in detail the forces involved in the conflict, seeking to determine their size, actual composition, and tactics, offering the first realistic determination on the subject in English.
Taken from the Helion website (link here).
So how am I getting on with the Horka project, then?. I actually did not know until recently as my notes were a little bit here, there and everywhere. So I opened up a spreadsheet and did an inventory and counted the models I had to date. Here is a summary of where the painting is at expressed as percentage complete (then there is basing etc, but since that is relatively quick I am only interested at this stage on whether I have enough painted lead or not!):
- Swedish Infantry (672 foot) – 57% (16 of 28 bases done)
- Swedish Cavalry (648 riders) – 96% (69 of 72 bases done)
- Russian Infantry (1536 foot) – 94% (60 of 64 bases done)
- Russian Cavalry (819 riders) – 93% (85 of 91 bases done)
Overall – 90% complete (230 bases of 255 are now in painted condition) – over 3,500 miniature . When I counted it all up I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised that I had so little left to do. It is the largest amount of bases I have ever put on a table to date. The picture below show the two armies spread on a 12 foot (3.6m) table (the middle white and blue ruler shows 1 feet increments). Both have a 8 foot frontage (2.4m) and the Russian one is mostly 4 bases deep. I think it will be worth the Joy of Six ticket just to see that – but then I am somewhat biased with regards to tricorne hats (and Karpuses).
Then there is artillery and leaders but I have not yet checked whether I need to do any more than what I already have available from previous projects. I am going to have a little chat with Nick Dorrell on the likely composition of the artillery at this stage of the campaign – I will have a view and he will correct it.
Here is a photo of the work in progress – or work in a mess more like it!
I would like to do a shout out for Tiny Tin Troops that amongst many things do flags (web page here) – I found their Russian GNW flags especially useful for my project. With so much infantry a lot of flags are required and although you could do them yourself it can be time consuming of to recolour images, etc.
Their range of flags covers Crusades, Flodden, ECW, Ireland 1690, GNW, WSS, 7YW, Napoleonic, Armada Naval and they also have some WW2 Posters (for 6-28mm figs).
There is a painting gallery there that you may find fascinating if you are into the period, especially these. This is from the time TTT had a painting service – inspiration stuff!
- 6mm GNW here
- 6mm Camps and baggage here (my favourite!, and very inspirational)
- 6mm WSS here
- overview page here
As for the Terrain I will not start the terrain mat (5 by 12 feet) until the weather gets more stable as I ideally need a good few sunny days – lacking in space and inspiration to do it on a gloomy day. This is normally the last thing I do anyway so I do not expect this to be done until end of May or June.
I will need to start worrying about the real estate that I will need for Horka itself and the Villages around it. The Better one got me a nice bunch of Eastern European buildings (mostly churches) following my thoughts on the Monastery at Poltava (more here) that I need to paint up as well. I have some buildings already so I do not see this as a major effort.
Overall it is all in hand.
I also got the latest Saga Rules and the Viking supplement and they are nice products indeed. I am coming up towards the 100th blogpost (having done an average of 1 post a week since I started) and I would like that particular one to be about Saga v2 in 6mm as a homage to the very first blog post Saga in 6mm (link here). Planning to run a few games with the models I already have (I made 12 starter factions so I do not think I need to paint any more at the moment).
Some of the changes I noted so far are:
- Warlords have changed significantly with regards to the special abilities.
- Levy units generate Saga dice (if they are 6 or more models on the table).
- Warrior units reduced to less than 4 models do not give you Saga dice. This avoids the potential of a 1 man warrior unit being held back to spawn saga dice.
- If you are far away from an enemy you can move a unit for free as a first activation.
- Some simplification of fatigue, combat and movement rules
I got the basic rule book for £8.50 (this contains the basic rules) and the Viking supplement (this has the Viking factions and the battleboards) for £25.50, which I believe is very competitive, from Dark Sphere (link here) with free postage.
I have all the old Saga books and I am aware this version will probably not blow me away in the same way as the first set, but it is on the basis of that very first set I bought the second edition. Saga is a fantastic game and I, and especially the Little One, want to be part of the ongoing process of making it even better.
So we are, for sure, dusting of the cobweb of the warbands (that was used for the Original Saga rules and have been stand in for some games of Too Fat Lardies Dux Britanniarum games). The Little One is smiling – the Big One too.
Here are a few shots of the Saga stuff (all based on 25mm square bases) as we felt obliged to stare at it for a few minutes.