I had a lot of fun with the hobby in 2018 and this is my year end account of a lot of the things that has been and some things to come. I really hope that your 2019 will be great and I am really grateful for all of you who visit this blog on a regular or occasional basis. One of the best things, this year, is that the Little One is getting more interested and involved in the hobby – thanks Mate!
Also a big thank you to Nick Dorrell, who I did the Horka Battle with at Joy of Six in the Summer, also all the Twitter people (it is a very nice place to be, I call myself Per at Roll a One there), and all the fantastic hobby related podcasts I listen to in between the audible books whilst I try to put paint in the right places. These include, the Too Fat Lardies Oddcast, the Veteran Wargames, the Grognard’s Files, the WSS Podcast, Henry Hyde’s Battlegames (not strictly a podcast but he has done a lot of great ones this year), Wargames Recon, and Trouble at T’Mill.
I also regularly listen to the Meeples and Miniatures podcast and inspired by them the Little One and I thought we would do our own top 5 games we played this year, in no particular order.
What a Tanker – this is so much fun and it inspired me to do a lot of Russian and Finnish tanks during the Sovietic Summer Offensive 1944. I also did a List for the Finnish Tanker (see more below). A brilliantly simple, but not simplistic game, that I really recommend anyone to try (link to the rules here).
Bag the Hun – Provoked by some of the Twitter chums, you know who you are, but again got me a reason to explore some of the Finnish connection. The Finns basically flew the shit of the machines they had and painting those tumbling dice plane has been great fun (see more below). We only did a few games to learn the rules – we will definitely fly more next year (link to the rules here).
Maurice – we just pulled this out for our Christmas game but ended up playing another two games in the last few days. I had forgotten how good of a game this is, it really gives a very nice feeling of the larger battle with the cards adding that narrative feel and grand excitement to the outcome of the battle. I wrote about this battle in the last blog post (see here) and a link to the rules here.
Saga – we have had fun this year using the Second edition of the rules (see more below) and we recently got the book of battles that is a fantastic product – that could be used for other games than Saga (link to the rules here).
Mutants and Death Ray Guns – In the quest for rule sets for my Mutant 1984 project (see more below) we have had some fun games using these rules. Perfect for smallish skirmish (link to the rules here).
Next year we are looking forward to playing all of the above, but also a few other games:
Star Wars Legion – the Little One got a fair amount for this game over Christmas. Looking forward to see if the force is with us or not. I am not a great fan in doing 28mm painting because it takes too long and I am crap at it – so I think we have more than our hand full with this project.
Chain of Command – I want to finish the Swedish platoon write-up and do 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. I also would like to do some scenarios based on some of the fighting in the ‘Unknown Soldier’ book/movie during the Finnish Continuation war (I made some assault boats I really would like to put in a scenario). I also need to finish the Germans for the 29th Lets Go Pint sized campaign.
Other stuff – I am excited about the Rebels and Patriot Rules, as we have enjoyed playing Pikeman’s Lament and the Rampant rules. I also think the Little One is getting ready for a few more involved rulesets, like Twilight of the Sun King and some higher level WW2 rules. In addition I will do the final battle of the Towards Moscow Trilogy, Poltava 1709, at Joy of Six, but plenty more of that next year.
Here are a summary of the projects I have been working on this year….
Kirbekan 1885 – 6mm Sudan/Egypt Colonial Project
This project was started this year to try out Peter Rileys draft “A Steady and Deliberate Fire” rules. It has been fun to paint the Baccus colonial range. I will need to get some terrain together so I can have a go with the rules next year. Here are few pictures and links to relevant blog postings below.
Rapier Miniatures are doing some fantastic Glorantha stuff in 6mm and 28mm, I could not resist to get a few of their Bison riders. They painted up really well. Here are few pictures and a link to the relevant blog posting below.
WW2 Platoons, 15mm for Chain of Command (or any other platoon based game)
I painted a fair few Platoons with supports this year, including a Swedish what-if platoon (with some initial notes on the composition to do a list for Chain of Command). Here are few pictures and links to relevant blog postings below.
I also did a full set of markers etc, to use for winter war gaming of Chain of Command. I especially enjoyed doing the patrol markers and the tall pine trees. Here are few pictures and links to relevant blog postings below.
Here are few pictures and links to relevant blog postings below. We have played a lot of games with these rules and made a list for the Finnish Tanker so we could play Continuation War scenarios. Here are few pictures and links to relevant blog postings below.
To Katie, Henry, Mike and Neil (I will explain later),
I have a twitter account Per at RollaOne (@roll_a_one) were I ran a vote on whether to do a Christmas game with Swedes fighting Danes or Saxons. Here are the results. Being Swedish I did not want to us to do a game without the Swedes on the table. It would have been a strange Great Northern War battle without them anyway.
So here a presentation of the forces and a short AAR with some picture of the Battle…
The Rules, Opposing Commanders and their Forces
We decided to use the Maurice Rules for the game and made two 100-pointish armies each. 1 unit is represented by 2 No. 60 by 30mm bases (a battery by 1 No. smaller base) – normally you use 4 square bases for a unit – this is 2 bases – the only issue is that the column formation looks funny – I can live with that.
Maurice is an excellent game by Sam Mustafa and you can download some information on his webpage, including a lite version that you can play with (link here). The rules works well for us and suits the way we play.
We have not done a what-if, instead it is a just a battalion level clash with familiar names of regiments for both sides, but with two totally fictitious Generals (quickly sketched up by yours truly).
I am using Maurice because I would like to do a little campaign, at some point, of the Swedish lacklustre efforts against the Prussians during the Seven Years War. This is a chance to dust off these rules that I think gives a fun flair and works for the Period. It is a card driven system, cards are used for activation and in additon can give bonus to firing (called Volley in the game), actions (charge, march, bombard, rally) or events can be played. You can also buy national advantages that gives your army bonuses. There is also a good campaign system, heroes (notables that work as supporting Commanders) and other stuff not covered here.
I made some notes on Maurice earlier with regards to the Great Northern War era (link to that blog post here). In addition we are using the special rules for stationary artillery and pikes (for the Swedes).
This is not a review of the rules and I will just discuss the set-up and the result of the Battle briefly, there are a lot of reviews and playthroughs on the net, as the game has been around for some time, that you may want to check out. I really like the concept and the card system. As you will see in the actual game we played it creates a narrative.
The Danish Side
The Danish Major General Schmeicel is a tired and laconic individual, but can cause some occasional spark on the battlefield. He is mainly an infantry specialist and have fought many campaigns in central Europe and his men are well drilled in firing – in accordance with the Dutch School. This places less emphasis on the bayonet and is highly dependent on platoon firing with a rippling of fire down the whole length of the battalion. His strength lies in a prolonged firefight again the inferior firing Swedish units but will find it difficult once caught in the melee. The conscript horse units are represented by Dragoons.
For the Danish side we went for the following:
National Advantage: Lethal Volleys – 12 AP (this to represent better fire drill than the charge oriented Swedes)
8 No. Regular Infantry (Trained) Units – 48 AP
2 No. Regular Cavalry (Trained) – 12 AP
3 No. Regular Cavalry (Conscript) – 12 AP
4 No. Artillery units – 10 AP
Improve two units to Elite – 5 AP (1 No. Cavalry and 1 No. Infantry)
A total of 99 AP, 16 infantry bases, 10 cavalry bases and 4 Artillery bases.
We are also assuming Stationary batteries for the Artillery (See Chapter 10 – advanced rules). In this era
Resulting in the following force:
Foot Guard/Queens Req, Regular Infantry, Elite
Grenadiers, Regular Infantry, Trained
Marine Regiment, Regular Infantry, Trained
Frijs Regiment, Regular Infantry, Trained
Arnoldts, Regular Infantry, Trained
Zepelin Regiment, Regular Infantry, Trained
Staffels/Kragh, Regular Infantry, Trained
Viborg/Aarhus National, Regular Infantry, Trained
Horse Guard, Regular Cavalry, Elite
2nd Fynske, Regular Cavalry, Trained
Life Dragoon, Regular Cavalry, Conscript
Bulow Dragoon, Regular Cavalry, Conscript
Jyske Land Dragoon, Regular Cavalray, Conscript
1 to 4 Artillery Units
The Swedish Side
The Swedish Major General Stryptagh has risen quickly through the ranks and is one of the Kings youngest Generals. Keen to impress, he is rash and a fully aligned with the Swedish offensive tactical doctrine (Gå-På). He needs to get into contact as quickly as possible to win the day with superior shock cavalry as well as pike armed infantry units, hitting hard. The religious doctrine is represented in the use of clerics which is more to give an edge than clerics running around throwing incence. The cleric will be marked using individually bases figures. There is no difference between Cavalry and Dragoons in the Swedish army in this game, or in reality, the are all count as galloping shock attacking cavalry.
As elegantly described in the book “Vägen till Poltava” (‘The Road to Poltava’, by Konovaltjuk and Lyth) the Swedish doctrine of marching slowly and steadily, towards the enemy in silence, then fire a Salvo at 70 steps and then at 30 steps from the enemy, with no reloading, before charging in, was based on simple mathematics.
Here is a rough translation of the relevant passage.
“The Swedish method of infantry attack was based on the limited accuracy (spread) of musket fire and the time to reload for a new salvo. The spread meant that units preferred to shoot at the same time with many weapons – salvo fire – and hoped this would create gaps in the human wall in front of them, even though many shots failed to ignite or missed their targets. A salvo had a limited impact on distances above 70 steps (50 meters) – except against cavalry that had a bigger target area and were the horses reaction was more important than the riders. In shooting repeated salvos, whether they were fired by rank, platoon or by all, you had to wait for all to reload. The time for unified reloading has been discussed a lot and sometimes assessed to be at least one minute and up to two minutes. In a minute the enemy had time to march one hundred steps (75-80 meters) and run 150 steps. If the effective range for a salvo was 70 steps the unit that opened fire at a longer distance became a defenceless target for the opponent that calmly and steadily advanced and fired its salvo at a shorter distance and therefore with a bigger impact. The Gå-På method was based on this simple calculation.”
In reality it seems that the first and second salvos were fired even closer as the war progressed. It was very effective and very often led to a routing enemy at or before contact with no protracted melee. The horse charged in with a wedge shaped formation as was equally offensive and did normally not fire any weapons at all.
For the Swedish side we went for the following:
Major General Stryptagh
National Advantage: Cavaliers – 9 AP (Shock Cavalry), Clerics – 9 AP (to illustrate Swedish Determination) and A la Baïonnette! – 9 AP (shock infantry)
5 No. Regular Cavalry (Trained) – 30 AP
5 No. Regular Infantry (Trained) Units – 30 AP
Improve four units to Elite – 14 AP (1 No. Cavalry and 3 No. Infantry)
Also Swedish infantry are armed with pike and we are using the advance rules for Pikes (See Chapter 10 – Advanced Rules). Typically a third of the Soldier had pikes in the early Stages of the War.
A total of 101 AP. 10 No. Cavalry Bases and 10 No. Infantry Bases.
Resulting in the following force:
Närke-Varmland, Regular Infantry, Elite
Västerbotten, Regular Infantry, Elite
Västermanland, Regular Infantry, Elite
Kronobergs, Regular Infantry, Trained
Södermanland, Regular Infantry, Trained
Queen Dowagers Horse, Regular Cavalry, Elite
Bremiska Dragoon, Regular Cavalry, Trained
Bassewitz Dragoon, Regular Cavalry, Trained
Norra Skanska Cavalry, Regular Cavalry, Trained
Nylands Cavalry, Regular Cavalry, Trained
We then made our selection from the Winter based stuff, we used about 25% of it.
We fought the battle on the dining table, using a 3 by 4.5 feet snow mat I have had for some time. With the relative small forces at hand (and a base width at 30mm) this should work fine.
We drew the following battle field card.
Going through the motions of the card we find that we can place a maximum of 1 hill, 2 marshes, 1 rocky ground, 2 towns/village, and 6 wood terrain features (the red around marking around the forest number indicates that it is mandatory to choose some forest features (makes sense since the battles is in a woodland area).
Next was scouting and this is done by rolling a die each. The Little One rolled 6 and I rolled, yes you got it, One!. There are modifiers based on the number of units you have of the type on the card (regular cavalry and irregular infantry in this case) but there was no point checking this, the Little One won. He wanted to be the attacker! – it was what the Swedes did in this era.
We ended up choosing two town/village and a few forest terrain areas. The table was set up as follows.
In addition being the attacker the Little One was allowed an additional ‘mercenary’ units – we just added another Swedish infantry unit.
We then recorded our Army Morale values which were 17 for the Danes and 11 for the Swedes, this is based on number regular of units!
A little bit of shuffling and card allocation later we could start the Battle.
The Jingle Bells rang and we were ready to get going….
The Game got a thumbs up from the Little One. I have to agree, although the write-up perhaps gives the impression of Swedish onslaught it hang somewhat in the balance. The cards are interesting and the national characteristics gives the right Great Northern War feel we get from the traditional history books.
We had blast, but then we always do. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a really good Christmas if that is your thing, if not have a blast anyway. I will be back with some reflective stuff before the end of the year. That will be the normal review of the Year, from this/my blogs perspective (and there is a wide variety of stuff to cover), and some Crystal ball gazing for next year. Hope you will be back for that! The next big project is Poltava, with some 350 bases on the table (the battle we just presented above had 50 bases) at Joy of Six in July – it will be a spectacle. Here is a “nice” video about the battle from YouTube.
A sad but also, I hope, inspiring end to this post…
Being somewhat detached from worldly events at times, I totally missed that my favourite Danish Artist Kim Larsen died earlier this year, on the 30th September 2018. This was after a long battle with prostate cancer.
I remember many drunken occasions in my youth listening to his band Gasolin and have been listening to him since. I have included my favourite song below – “Det bedste til mig og mine venner” (“The best to me and my friends”).
This year I have also sadly been reminded of the issues of mental health within my family, friends and in the work place. I am happy that the awareness and understanding is increasing in our society but I think there is a lot more to do. In the wargaming community I especially applaud efforts from Katie Aidley, Henry Hyde and the Meeples and Miniatures crew (of course there are others too). They have all in their own way inspired me to reflect, consider and learn new things about these issues. This blog post is truly dedicated to them.
I let you explore the fantastic creative work of these fantastic people on your own, but here is a little bit of help for you to get started.
I had a Christmas Greeting from an ex-colleague who retired a few years ago, he said some nice things, and one part really made me happy “…working with you was a pleasure. And I noted you covered by back quite a lot”. He actually covered mine and many others backs all the time. It is what builds strong teams, friendships and people! Look out for each other!, … and yourself!.
This is a follow-up on a previous blog post about my miniature skirmish adaptation of the Swedish roleplaying scenario Järnringen from 1985 (see more here) for the Mutant RPG, if you intend to play this as a Player Character it is probably best that you stop right now.
The lights are dimmed and Morgan gets onto the stage, dressed in dark clothes with an enigmatic smile on his lips. He holds up a playing cared – Queen of Spades. He mumbles something and suddenly holds three cards in his had – three Queen of Spades. At the same time the triplets appears on the stage, dressed in red, blue and yellow.
“My Ladies and Gentlemen”, says Morgan, still smiling. “As we all know there are people that possess strange powers, but I will prove that no mutation, no power is stronger than MAGIC! With its help I will move a young girl from one place to another in front of your eyes!”. Janice hovers forward, dressed in red sequins, and dances around Morgan.
“Now, of course, you believe that the Lady is a PSI-mutant!”, says Morgan starting a roar of laughter from the audience. They just need to cast a glimpse on the overly dimensioned blonde to understand that she it not.
The other triplets pushes in two black boxes. Janice steps into one of the boxes and pulls a black curtain. For a moment the stage seems to glow from a blue light and then Morgan pulls away the curtain and the box is empty. The curtain in the other box is pulled away and Janice takes a step out on the stage with a great smile. The trick gets standing ovations and Morgan bows and disappears behind the stage curtain and the show goes on.
– Roughly translated from the 1985 scenario Järnringen (the Iron Ring) for the Swedish Roleplaying Game Mutant!
In the original scenario there is a chance that Nordholmia (the town) is attacked by Robots (unless the Players Characters manages to figure out was is going on and stops it) – I am currently working on a scenario to play this with miniatures. The scenario basically is a situations where robots are appearing and the players tries to get to the source of the attack to stop more robots coming and where the supporting cast (the defenders of Nordholmia) are fighting the robots. Guess where the robots are coming from!
As for the robots there is the following illustration in the book (by Peter Johnsson), but I always felt this was too cartoony and did not really fit into what I had in mind (it is a cool drawing though).
There would be no more suitable type of robot to be used for this project that than the T-800 model from the movie Terminator.
Some time ago, I and the Little One had a go with the Terminator Genesys miniatures games, so we have a fair few of robot models already.
This week I have finished a few proud defenders of Nordholmia using the LDV unit I bought at SELWG a few weeks ago, with some headswaps from Sally 4th.
I tried to the get feeling of some citizens using primitive guns and whatever they have handy to fight with – humans, mutants and animals fighting side by side. I think I need a fair few similar kind of models and will browse various VBCW miniature manufacturers as these will fit the bill nicely. Here they are.
In other news, I did also finish this little gift I got from a friend for this Mutant 1984 project. It is a frog caught in some carbonite, Han Solo style!
In addition for the latter part of the scenario I am trying to find a suitable model for Makron – no, not the French President, but the host of Hotel Imperator, with his blue hypnotic eye.
Let me know if you have any ideas for a model for this chap. I currently I am painting this one, but it arguably looks more like a confused professor than an evil master mind (that can cause fear and illusions).
/ Hope that was of some interest, now I just need some more defenders of the town. I guess I would need another 30 or so.
If you have followed this blog you may know that Nick Dorrell, some other Chums, and I put on a game at Salute in 2017. It was the Kalisz Battle and it required a lot of Cossacks and Kalmucks, actually more than 30 No. (60 by 60mm bases, link here). In reviewing the needs for the Poltava Battle I realised that I had too few light cavalry bases as both sides had sizeable contingents (the Swedish side being supported by Mazepa’s Cossacks, and the Russian with its normal light cavalry contingent). I only put 7 miniatures on each base but realised I needed about 16 bases. I prepared the miniatures for painting but they have been sitting on the painting table for some time now – I was not feeling too excited about getting started.
Podcasts and a WW2 Diversion
This weekend offered almost uninterrupted rain, so I caught up on some Podcasts, including Henry Hyde’s patreon question time that was amazing (link to that project here), the Veteran Wargamer giving some advice (Jay with Friends) on WW2 movies to watch over the Christmas break (link to his excellent podcast here) and a festive Oddcast session from the Too Fat Lardies (listen to it here) that was fun, as always, to listen to. I felt sorry for Sidney Roundwoods Christmas presents – I hope he gets some better ones elsewhere ;).
In the Veteran wargames show I like the fact that Finnish War movies in general were mentioned, also the Norwegian Max Manus and the Danish 9th April (incidentally I think there will be an upcoming Chain of Command Pint Sized campaign covering this). Here are these and a few other Nordic WW2 movies, in no particular order I recommend them all (a mixture of trailers and clips).
…. and finally a movie about the aftermath of WW2 (an absolutely excellent movie).
As for my own favourite Nordic WW2 Movie I have to admit that I like the Cinemaphotography of the new Unknown Soldier (above) and would love to see it on the Silver Screen again – it made me make some assault boats (I have not yet used) some time ago (more here)
However the following movie makes the journey to Mount Doom seem like a walk in the park – so here is another non-English movie to check out.
However I really like Fury, Private Ryan and A Bridge to Far, as well….
Here is a movie I never heard about, I ordered it today (about the invasion of Norway).
Back to the Cossacks
I got on with the painting and the podcasts offered sufficient time to get these done (they are the Cossacks from Baccus 18th century range, GNR10 Cossacks link here), with a special mention to Henry with his three and a half hour session.
Quick job, then Windsor and Newton Nutbrown Inkwash, basing and good to go.
Now I need to park the Russian Dragoons on the painting table to brew for a while.
You may recall that when I started this little Kirbekan diversion I had as an objective to get enough bases to do the scenario as presented in Peter Riley’s draft colonial rules so I could lure him to demonstrate the rules for me – I think I am almost there with the miniatures. There is still some desert terrain and hills to be done before I can call this project done.
If you want to catch up on previous progress and some further background on this project have a look at some of the old blog entries:
In the last update I showed some nearly finished 19th Hussars, some British Leaders and some Mahdi Dervish Irregular Infantry. I based these and added flags as appropriate (All are from Baccusm 6mm colonial range, link here).
First out the 19th Hussars (more about them here).
…then the Leaders
And finally the completed British Contingent for Kirbekan:
(I also made all of them in marching column)
Here are the Dervish Infantry
And the more or less completed Mahdi Contingent for Kirbekan. Missing the leaders bases – Moussa Wad Abuhegel, Ali Wad Hussein and Hamisd Wad Lekalik.
Next step is to do some terrain, I intend to play this on a 4’6″ by 3′ mat that I will make using the good old acrylic mat trick and with some sand cladded styrofoam hills. The idea with this was to have small bases (40 by 20mm) and being able to play games on a normal kitchen table.
I stole this quote and the map from Peter’s Draft document.
“The terrain is very Hilly, with rolling hills that have flat and sandy bottoms between them. All of the hills have gentle slopes, even the two contoured ridges are gentle slopes up to the summits and ridges.”
From the unpublished “Polemos Colonial Wars – A Steady and Deliberate Fire”, by Peter Riley.
In other news, I and the Little One had a go at Sword and Spear and had a blast (more here). We did a simple “DBA sized” game. We will definitely do a few more and perhaps do an AAR when we know the rules a tad more! We used the 6mm Punic War forces.
I also started the first step of rebasing some Prussia SYW stuff I have as I have a little idea for a Maurice based campaign (the good, and not so old, honour Game by Sam Mustafa) on a ALT-history version of the Swedish campaign in Pomerania during the Seven Years war (Sweden vs Prussia). Another long term project, but it would be fun to develop some specific command cards, etc. Hellish work in rebasing! It will be a long process and parts of me has regretted it already!
I also need to get going with the Poltava Project as soon as possible, I have loads of Russians and Cossacks to paint and another bloody big battlemat to do.