Virtual Grogmeet 2021 – Mission in Mos Mosel

As you may be aware the Swedish 1984 version of Mutant was my first Roleplaying (Rpg) experience and it was love at first play. I was cajoled into buying it by my cousin who was visiting us when I was 12. We spent about a year with Mutant being the main game we played in our little group, but then moved on and played a wide range of games throughout the teenage years – it was a bloody good time and apart from grinding a bass guitar in a death metal band formed the most important part of my teenage years. I was invited to the Grognard files to give my First, Last and Everything last year where I go into more depth about this, should you be interested (link here). It is with fondness I think back to those times and the adventures our group of friends shared. This post is really about a few reflections and thoughts on me running my first convention scenario for some 28 years.

The Blood Eagle – one of the “monsters” in the original Mutant rulebook. This of from the adventures of the nobleman Guss af Edelhus in the forbidden zone in Muskö year 105. Photos of Miniatures from the collection.

Rpgs became something I used to do for a long time and when I started to get back into the wider tabletop gaming hobby I felt more drawn to wargaming – perhaps because it is a more solitary activity in that a lot of progress can be made without having to align your life to someone else’s diary. It is also about the stigma of asking your neighbour at the annual barbeque session whether she or he fancies rolling some dice and fight a bunch of mutated land sharks in Post-apocalyptic Scandinavia.

And who will ever forget the Land Shark that almost killed Guss on that foggy day!?

Grognard Files?

I wrote a summary in an earlier blog about the Grognard Files – it is a podcast, that does conventions and other stuff -actually what is really is, is a great community.

I really enjoy the Grognard files podcast and the throwback to the good old days of 1980s roleplaying.  If you have any interest in roleplaying games (rpgs), whether you were around then or not, this is a fantastic show and you should try it out (here is a link to get you started). Being of the somewhat mature nature (not old! – I still bloody play with toy soldiers, so I go for mature or perhaps in need of some maintenance, but never old!) for me this is a proper non-imaginary deja vu experience – I do not just feel like I did it, but I really did this before.  I have played many of the games, back in the day, covered so far (often in multiple podcasts, and in addition podcasts have covered rpg magazines and fanzines):

Runequest, Call of Cthulhu, Traveller, Stormbringer, AD&D, Tunnels and Trolls, Top Secret, Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes, James Bond Rpg and Judge Dredd

Each game is thoroughly discussed, analyzed and reflected upon. Being a guest on the British Isles since the mid 90ies it is at a level of eccentricity that I recognise well and that is hard to find anywhere else.  It is similar to the exploits of those Victorian chaps who invented industrial breakthroughs in their back garden sheds.  I absolutely love the concept.  Bravo to Dirk, Blythy, Ed and the rest of the crew (not forgetting the eminent Daily Dwarf, link here).  I suggest you brew yourself a cup of tea and get a pack of hobnobs and sit down in your favourite chair and listen to the first episode on Runequest. The only thing that may prevent you from having a fantastic time is your ability in making a decent cup of tea!

The Grognard files have been a nice gateway drug back into the hobby, initially focusing mainly on nostalgic cheap tricks, luring you in with old solid showstoppers like Runequest and Call of Cthulhu, but then expanding to more modern games and concepts, provoking not just the re-purchasing of all the old stuff our parents had slowly binned whilst we were chasing the dream but also buying new and very often shinier things. Almost like a conversion kit really, like my friend’s old Ford Escort from the 80ies that he proudly keeps in pristine condition, not like a museum curator, because there is constantly new gadgets and gizmos being added. “It is still a Ford Escort mate!”, but as he perhaps correctly says, “you do not get it!”. Anyway, enough cars, if I was making a living selling games I would try to find a way to follow in the wake of the Grognard files, like a seagull and take advantage of what it throws up! Well maybe not just games, what about Runequest socks with the Death and Air rune on?.

Ford Escort MK4 front 20081215.jpg
A Ford Escort, Mark III, but popularly referred to as the 4th Generation, produced between 1986 and 1992. Developed under the codename Erika-86. Well if you get it, you know!.

Sorry think I drifted away again, stay focused …

So in this newfound nostalgia of the old days I got out my old Mutant rulebooks from 1984 (with the Purple Covers) a few years ago and so my wargame/miniatures project #Mutant1984 was born. I have had some great fun with this pressing the world and the miniatures into service to enjoy a wide variety of miniature wargaming rule sets, including Sharp Practice, Infamy, Infamy!, The Men who would be Kings, Mutants and Death Ray Guns, to name a few. Most of the miniatures are conversions from other ranges with headswaps, etc, but there are a fair few things out there that fits in really well with minor modification – well perhaps not anything, but most things, goes in #Mutant1984.

It is a clear contrast to my more “serious” wargaming, where I anal-retentively worry what uniform colour the Queens Life Regiment had in the Summer 1702 following some notes on a large purchase, in the regimental records, of cloth in a different colour than previous uniforms, in early May the same year – did they have time to make new uniforms or not for this particular battle? Joke aside, I am as serious about all my pursuits just in a different way.

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One of the many fun games we had, this time using the Men Who Would be King rules. We had Tanks, Giant Beetles, Some really tough Cocks and a unit of the Pyri-Commonwealths finest marksmen. Some other games below. Check out the Shub-Niggurath from Fenris Games in the last picture or the rare walking Murder Tree in the Mutant World.

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As part of Lockdown I have, when possible, attended a Virtual Painting session on Saturdays and as part of that I ended up playing in a Runequest group every 2 weeks herded by Jeremy Short. It has been an absolute blast and we have had some great fun exploring Sartar and getting involved in some excellent adventures. I ran a Call of Cthulhu for this group over Christmas based on a convention Scenario I wrote 30 years ago and really enjoyed GM:ing again.

I attended the 2020 Grogmeet as a player (being virtual due to the pandemic), and had planned to attend in 2019 but some work issues got in the way. Grogmeet is the annual event organised by Dirk and his merry people where people gather to play old and new games. I had an excellent time and played in some amazing games.

I decided to do something for Virtual Grogmeet 2021, that is also an annual event but intentionally virtual. I had to figure out what to run and sat down and reflected for a second on what the whole Grognard thing meant for me. I could have run one of the two Cthulhu scenario that still exist from way back, but thought that there would be a fair share of those offerings. I actually ended up playing James Holloway’s Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages scenario at Virtual Grogmeet this year, this was a fantastic immersion into the Crusader states era with a small scenario but well thought out and presented. This was a story about a delegation arriving from the archbishop looking to buy a relic and with the inhabitants (the players) of a small fief in Crusade-era Lebanon must try to protect the sacred remains without making a powerful enemy.

I was thinking about what I could offer that was a little bit unique and from back in the day, so I flipped through the introductory scenario for the 1984 Mutant book – Uppdrag i Mos Mosel (Mission in Mos Mosel) and realised that it is actually a workable scenario divided into two parts – an initial detective type of situation where the characters are trying to find out what is going on in the village and a second part where they find their way to the lair of the beast – so to speak (that contains it own little quirks with the possibility of forming an unexpected alliance and enough potential radiation damage to allow the characters to survive the scenario but still die after it – life is not fair, not even if you are a hero).

The scenario can perhaps be seen as the love child resulting from the union of Gamma world, D&D and Call of Cthulhu. It offers opportunities for both roleplaying and action (as if they were any different! but I hope you know what I mean). I do not want to go into the detail of the scenario itself as perhaps one day you may find yourself with Nicholas von Rijn in his Palace. The scenario is said to be heavily influenced by the AD&D Adventure Against the Cult of the Reptile God from 1982 (issued two years before Mos Mosel).

Nicholas fon Rijn puts away the pipe and looks intensively at you, “Well, do you accept the mission?” This was the only illustration in the scenario booklet (by Nils Gulliksson). Fon Rijn Later re-appeared in the epic Original Grey Death two parter and was further detailed in an article in the Gaming Magazine Sinkadus (with irritatingly high characteristics and skill value, but that is another story). The character name was borrowed from a character in Poul Anderson’s Technic History series.

The old Swedish 1984 version of Mutant was based on the Basic Roleplaying System, with the typical stats from 3 to 18 with some exceptions and skills being percentage based. I found our house rules from 1985 or 1986 and included these because it felt right and charming – this was mainly a revision of the set of skills rationalising some skills and including some communication skills (there is a summary of this later on in the handouts presented). The rules are simple and will not get in the way to get started immediately with a group of new players. I feel that too clever rules sometimes fails to shine in one offs, the key is not in how ingenious they are but how easy they are to quickly pick up and use efficiently in a short amount of time.

Mutant 1984 is of course the game that started the whole Swedish Post-Apocalyptic RPG era that is still going strong in the excellent Mutant Year 0 game by Free League (more here).

See the source image

The Free League version is set at an earlier era than the original Mutant and they have recently released Mutant – Hindenburg that is set later than the original Mutant, but so far only in Swedish.

The first thing to decided was how to run it and luckily the group I have been playing in has successfully used Roll20 for the visuals and rolling dice and Google Meet for video and audio. Google Meet is basically a virtual meeting platform that allows you to do an online meeting with multiple individuals and allows sharing voice and video. Roll20 also allows video and audio sharing but is on occasion a little bit wanting (well at least from my experience), but what it does allow though is the ability to manage visuals, as well as combat using maps and tokens for where characters are, and rolling for skills etc in an open way. There is a little bit of a learning curve and I tried but failed to align the character sheet with the ability to press on a skill and roll for it automatically. I run the session rolling in the app and then “manually” checking the character sheet – this works fine.

In addition I fleshed out the scenario a bit by adding some play aids that I have included here (in addition to the few presented in the actual scenario, I have just shown a fragment of one of them here, if you are interested in getting these to run this scenario, let me know).

Part of one the play aids/handouts, the contents of a safe

I also realized that all the main characters were men in the scenario, so I played around with this a little bit. One of the key characters in the Scenario is Wolf, the person that has disappeared, I made him a her called Wolf Babs (I took a picture of the Swedish singer Lill Babs 1960ies single Karl XII and mixed it with a picture of some American Civil war soldiers).

Wolf Babs, Nicholas fon Rijn’s representative in Mos Mosel. Previously a Captain in the Pyri-Commonwealth Army when this picture was taken. Given to the characters at the beginning of the Scenario together with a picture of the Constable Jerry Gaxy who was also missing.

Similar adjustment was done to the actual town of Mos Mosel where I swapped the roles of the Mayoral couple with Mariana being the actual Mayor instead of her husband Gottfred. They were small changes that did not change the overall story but I felt made it more inclusive and modern than the 1984 version. I thank my two girls who has and are showing me that it is not always the big gestures that matter, but also that the small ones does too and as they are easier to achieve and it all adds up, they might be more powerful in the long run.

As for the characters I needed to create some kind of balanced group and decided to base the characters on some of the pictures in the original rulebook – now there is one character in the rulebook who we may assume is a woman and that is a picture of a Bear with a pram and some cuddly baby bears, but I could not find a picture of a second female in the basic rule book and had to go to another Swedish RPG supplement of the era (the City Book Kandra for the Drakar och Demoner RPG). The second female character was a PSI mutant and I felt that the power in the drawing was telling the right story and in terms of style aligned to the others (The drawings are all by Nils Gullikson who was a great inspiration with his drawings in the early Swedish RPGs and also in the Swedish RPG magazine Sinkadus).

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The adventurers (Drawings by Nils Gulliksson)

I basically designed the Group in a two-role typical fantasy group with a Magician-Thief, the Barbarian-Hunter, Paladin-Bard and Warrior-Rogue. I find this blend works well and gives the characters some room for getting involved when the going gets tough as well as being the lead in some situations – in the rough part of town, in the forest, social interfaces, stealth operations, etc.

I issued each player with a character sheet, with an example below.

…and also a little summary what they know about each other (this to allow some familiarity but not knowing exact details about each other).

I also included a little note on the rules (high level)

finally I did a few slides about the setting (art from the original rulebook and two of the early scenarios).

In doing the first play test I realised that it would be difficult to play the scenario in the 3 hour session without making it a very stressful and possibly too linear experience. It took the play test group two sessions. So I decided to run the scenario in two sessions – then with what I call a forced fast forward if they characters had not figured out what was going on at the end of the first session, this would allow some start-up and investigation in the first evening and then the final showdown in the second session.

How did it go?

I did a play test of the scenario and the team managed to figure out what was going on indirectly and manage to find their way to the lair of the beast and successfully defeated her (They met with a caterpillar snake who was looking for a mate, the friendliest monster in the rulebook who you do not want to mess with, luckily they did not and carried on their own business).

Thanks to Max, Jeremy, Neil and Simon for helping me out testing the game.

For the team playing it on Grogmeet they also managed to get to the end and remove the problem to fon Rijn’s profits. I felt bad for Tom who tried to communicate in a friendly way in most of the encounters without success but the one time it did matter it solved the problem. Keep optimistic. The team had some unlucky rolls but so did the opposition, they players were relatively less unlucky which is all that matters in the long run.

Thanks Ian, Chris, Tom and Jim for spending two evenings with me!, hope you had a good time, I did.

I may do another scenario using the same characters again, at some future Grogmeet.

As a general comment with regards to the virtual tools available it is really easy to set up and although it is not as a real face to face experience these tools allow you to meet up with mates not just during forces isolation but perhaps also reconnect with that old scattered all over the place gaming group and run some games, both Roll20 and Google Meet are free.

I was a little bit nervous in getting back to running games but with a little bit of help from my friends and perhaps over preparing the scenario I got over it – overall a fantastic experience. All the old confidence is slowly coming back and the realisation is that it is all about trying to have fun and that people that are in this hobby, mostly, is in it for exactly this reason too. Things has not become more cerebral just because the hairline has receded and the waistline has become more generous – things are still ok! So whilst I may not understand the gloriousness of the Ford Escort 4th Generation, I do get this!

I also learned from Neil Benson (https://oldscouserroleplaying.com/), the importance and power of testing tech etc, in advance and also to get things rolling a little bit before, setting up characters, sharing rules information, links, etc. It really makes things easier and on the day and is worth considering if you have time. My best online experience to date was playing a Vikingr scenario with him where we were up and running immediately on the day of the scenario.

…and a Land shark did showed up…

The Land shark (Drawing by Bjornhilda Borg after the encounter)

/ Hope that was of some interest!

NOTE: I also managed to get Grandad into the scenario. He was a funny guy!

Gunnar the Trader
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By the way he also appears as a mad scientist in the first installation of the Grey Death Scenario, but that is another story (first on the left, models from Crooked Dice).

Fenris Games, Mutant 1984 Landsknects, Star Grave and 5 Parsecs from Home

I entered Fenris Games #Paintalloween in September last year. This is an annual thing that Ian runs with a few categories painting Fenris Games stuff, with the winners of each getting a £50 to spend on his products. I entered with my Death Dealer that in essence was a black painted model with some grey and Silver detailing, and some generous helpings of red and mainly yellow wash, I wanted to create the effect of a demonic knight riding on his supernatural stead through this lava landscape with the reflections from the lava on the horse. It was, like a lot of my stuff, a little bit of a trial and error and in the end it kind of worked from a distance, so take a step back and have another look at the picture below. The model is depicting the Death Dealer and is based on the famous 1973 paiting by Frazetta with the same name – more here. You make also recall it from the cover of the excellent album by Molly Hatchet in 1978.

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I was lucky and landed a £50 gift card that I put to good use and bought a few things (with a little bit of a top up, they have a lot of really beautiful stuff) – by the way here is the link to the Shop. Go and have a look at what they have – there is so much to explore.

The key miniature I got was a model of the the Cthulhu monster Atlach-Nacha, described by Clark Ashton Smith in his Bood, The Seven Geases in 1934

The dark form ran toward him with incredible swiftness. When it came near he saw that there was a kind of face on the squat ebon body, low down amid the several-jointed legs. The face peered up with a weird expression of doubt and inquiry; and terror crawled through the veins of the bold huntsman as he met the small, crafty eyes that were circled about with hair

You can read more about Atlach-Nacha here.

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The model is big, the heads you can see on the head are in 28mm scale. And needs to be assembles, which is easy with some green stuff (or putty) and some super glue. I end to get all together, like here, then wait a while and go over it with a scalpel and file afterwards.
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I applied some contrast colour (yes I bought a fair few bottles that I have not utilised a lot, but they are brilliant for doing this kind of work on bigger models and quick.

Then I just filled in the details gave it a few washes and became really happy with the results, it is a fantastic model. I would love to see what a more accomplished painter would do with it.

With the Call of Cthulhu Rulebook as a background.

In other news, I recently found a sprue I must have got for free in a magazine with six Landsknechts, that I thought I could something fun with for the Mutant 1984 project.

I believe they were from this set (from Warlord Games)

So in usual style we need to do some headswaps with the fantastic critter heads from Sally 4th (link here) – there is fair amount of different heads for all your headswapping needs!

Assembled and ready for the splash!

This will be a an elite body guard unit to one of the big trading house – the rainbow team.

Star Grave and 5 Parsecs from Home

There is a Nick Starter currently running for the new Frost Grave variant in Space – Star Grave, there is about 2 week left when I am issuing this blog.

For me I just needed to see these two pictures (the first from the Mercenary Set and the Second from the Crew set) and I am in at least buying the figures, because these are perfect for the Mutant 1984 project. (look at those heads). You can check out the Nick Starter here. I just got all the plastic models without the rulebook which still comes with the bonus items.

In addition you should really check out another pre-order set and this is the new edition of Five Parsecs from Home that you can pre-order now (with immediate downloadable PDF copy) for delivery in May this year, same time as Star Grave. Well you will need the same miniatures for both so why not get both sets. I have bought the Five Parsecs book and will only get the Star Grave miniatures (You can check out his game and pre-order the book here).

I have played the earlier edition of FPFH and really enjoyed it. I have got the Little One reasonably interested so we may take this for a spin at some point in the future.

Anyway, always a good Mutant 1984 angle to be found.

/Hope that was of some interest

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Fantasy Ice Hockey – Getting a Skeleton Crew

An anonymous message through the blog recently told me that!

“The skeleton team is available!”

https://www.myminifactory.com/object/3d-print-dread-hokey-163661

The link takes you to some STL files with a fantastic team of Fantasy Ice Hockey Skeletons. As you may be aware I did a little project last year (see link here), building an ice rink and painted up some amazing models (Orcs, Rats and Dwarfs) and with a resin 3D printer here on the hobby bench and $11 to spend I downloaded the files. Here are the teams I already have, Bromm’s Icers, Uruk-Hockey and Rats on thin ice (or something like that).

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Photo 10-05-2020, 11 03 53 (1)
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The Set comes with a bone goal, a Keeper, three types of winters/attack and 1 defender (I just mirror imaged this one and printed two, to give me the required 5 players and a goalie) and a referee.

Dread hokey image

Printing wise, I used base settings and let the CHITUBOX software add the light support and hoped for the best. With a total print cost of less than £1 it is not really worth overanalysing the supports. They printed well and in cleaning I broke one of the models but just superglued it back.

I gave them a quick paintjob and I am yet to finalise the basing, but I hope you agree these are great little models and good complements to the sets I already have.

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Here are the models (apart from the Goal and the Referee)…

I hope more teams will be made available… really good value and fun to work with!

/Hope that was of some interest

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Swedish Infantry Battalion for O Group (1943M Organisation) – Part 1

Well it arrived a few weeks ago – the new rule set from Two Fat Lardies (well actually Reisswitz Press) and this morning I had a read through and watched some of the videos available on the internet (Look for . It seems really interesting – new in terms of scale and some of the mechanics but familiar in terms of some elements of the Lardies rule sets I have come to like. But more about that when I have actually played the game and know what I am talking about.

Here are a few good starting points if you want to know more before you buy or getting up to speed once you got the rules.

My current WW2 collection consist of a large number of different platoons in 15mm (varying between 1 and 2 per theatre and period), including Finnish and Soviets (Winter War and Continuation War), German (Early, Mid and Late), British (early war), French (early war), Greek (early war), Italian (early war) and of course two Swedish Platoons.

Well, it took me about two minutes to decide to make this as a Sweden 1943 project and in 15mm, as I already have all the tanks, etc I would need and in essence would only need to do some more infantry on bigger bases (than the individually based I have for my platoon) which is something as was planning to do upscaling the toys to be in used for IABSM (the Company Level game by Too Fat Lardies).

Battalion Command awaiting the outcome of the Battalion O Group Dice roll – “You said how many 6s?”

I thought I share this as an example on how you could take a rule set and its army lists as a basis for developing your own for nations or theatre specific situations that are not covered by a set of base rules and also in this this case very unlikely to show up in future supplements. If you are doing a ‘What-if project’ for a German invasion of Sweden in 1943, you are probably on your own. But to me this is a lot of fun in its own right. It would be interesting to see a Finnish Continuation War Organisation at some point too.

No obstacle is too difficult for the Swedish Infantry!

The Swedish Infantry Regiment

The Swedish infantry regiment in line with the 1943M organisation consisted of the following high level elements (from April 1943).

  • Regimental HQ
  • MG Company (consisting of 3 No. MG platoons, with 2 sections of two MGs (normally the m/36))
  • Specialist company – heavy weapons company (AT Platoon with 6 No. Bofors m/AT guns). AAMG Platoon with 4 No. AAMG on Tripods, Pioneer Platoon (w. 5 flamethrowers), Heavy Mortar Platoon, 3 120mm m/41 mortars with FO, AA Gun Platoon, 4 No. 20mm Bofors m/40, on Tripod
  • 1st Battalion – more detail on the battalion below, but basically, HQ, 1 No. Jager Platoon, 3 No. Rifle Company and 1 No. Heavy Company.
  • 2nd Battalion – as above
  • 3rd Battaltion – as above
LMG Group doing its Job

An Infantry battalion

The infantry battalion, which will form the basis of the units you will have on the table consisted of.

  • Battalion HQ
  • 1 No. Jager Platoon – consisting of Platoon HQ and 3 sections
  • 3 No. Rifle Company (Skyttekompani), each with
    • Company HQ
    • 4 No. Platoons, each with
      • Platoon HQ
      • 4 Rifle Sections
      • Specialist Section – 1 No. AT Rifle and 1 No. 47mm Mortar
    • Weapons Platoon
      • MG Section – 2 No. MGs (m/36 or m/42)
      • Mortar Section – 1 No. 80mm m/29 Mortar
  • 1 No. Heavy Company (Tunga Kompaniet)
    • Company HQ
    • Mortar Platoon
      • 2 No. Sections of 2 No. 80mm m/29 Mortars
    • AA/AT Platoon
      • AA/AT Platoon with 4 No. Bofors m/40 Guns (Tripods)
    • MG Platoon (Kulsprutekompani)
      • MG Section – 2 No. m/36 MG

So how do we translate this into the O Group Framework, well studying how for example a typical German Infantry Battalion has been structured I have come up with a first framework enough to get some miniatures done. I will flesh this out with stats and costs later but I think this is a good start. Note that the There are no Artillery support at Regimental level, the extra punch is provided by the high number of mortars, including the 120mm Mortars. I believe this would have been effective and possibly used with the same devastating effect as the Finns used theirs. I need to do further research on the Divisional support list as currently I have limited information on the organisation and operations above regimental level, but this will get me started.

The Start of a List for the O Group Infantry Battalion List for the Swedish Infantry Battalion

So, if you do have some further information or ideas, please do a comment for this post or use the contact form on the blog.

Commanders at Company Level and above were mounted

I am going to get myself some Battlefront Italians for this project right now.

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/ Hope that is of some interest.

Sources

  • Pictures above are from Krigsarkivet (Military Archives of Sweden, link here) and I have borrowed them from the eminent page Tornsvalan about Sweden during the war years, link here.
  • ‘O’ Group – Wargames Rules for Battalion Size Actions in World War II (2021), by David C.R. Brown, Reisswitz Press. Link here.
  • An Introduction to The Royal Swedish Army in WWII – really useful resource link here. I used their listing of the M1943 as a basis for the presentation above.
  • Infanterireglemente (InfR) – Regemente I (InfR I) – 1945 – This shows the M1943 organisation and details some of the aspects that are not covered in the link above. Difficult to get hold off but occassionally some of the regulations do show up on https://www.bokborsen.se/.

Neo Men for Mutant 1984, or an excuse to get some Ork (Cow)boys on the table

In the Swedish gaming magazine Sinkadus no 11 (1988) a new potential player character option was presented for the Mutant Post-apocalyptic RPG, the Neo Man (Note: technically for the Mutant 2 iteration from 1986 – the one that added the characteristics of Perception and Education, introduced a segment based combat system, similar to Runequest’s strike ranks but continuous, introduced hit locations and a much more sophisticated skill system), the Neo Men.

The Neo Men were originally the product of biologically manipulating humans to become bigger and stronger to become an asset of the military as a criminal punishment, during the 21st century. The manipulation also affected their personalities and intelligence significantly in a detrimental sense. Following the catastrophe a lot of them survived the harsh reality and due to their resilience and created societies.

Extract from the Article on Neo Men – Sinkadus no 11 (1988).

The Neo Men, through natural selection, tends to be a little bit smarter than orginally but still much lower than the other types (2D6+2 compared to 2D6+6 for mutants and 2D6+8 for mutans) , but their societies has long ago been eroded due to the rise of the human and mutant societies. They tend to form part of the under class when they live in “normal” society. In a way they could be seen as the equivalent of the Neanderthals in our world and perhaps as Orcs in other worlds (but perhaps more timid).

During lock-down I bought a set of Cowboy Orcs (why not!) and I thought this could represent a gang of Neo Men, perhaps of the smarter type! I also wanted to make their skin pink and reddish, a little bit like muscles on one of those educational posters (because it used to scare the s**t of me when I was little). This is a little bit different than the more greyish looks proposed in the original article.

I bought them on ebay from Miniature Men, seller is called miniaturemen07. I might have bought a few more… but that is for another time.

Anyway, here they are…. (they were originally seven, but I seem to have lost one).

They are nice and bulky compared to normal sized 28mm, but then the Siz of a Neo Man is 2D6+20 compared to the normal 2D6+6!.

/ Hope that was of some interest…

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Davidsson and Goliath – Dalarna 1943

During the hostilities in northern Dalarna in 1943 the Germans used remote control mines (known as the Goliath) in trying to break through the fortifications of the Swedish border defences. Hauptman Pillistin of the Pioneer Company deployed a number of them during the fighting in Särna. The Hero of Skans 211 (the name of the fortification system at Särna) Corporal Davidsson managed to demobilise three of them using his Scoped Rifle and some pretty accurate shooting. This caused a significant delay to the offensive that bought necessary time at the early stages of the offensive to ready the Swedish defences at the inner lines.

Ok, it is my 1943 what-if again and one of the scenarios I am working on. The idea with the eventual set of scenarios is to provide a book with some interesting scenarios ranging from defending fortified positions, creating bridge heads positions, assaulting over water, and forest fighting. It will be set in Sweden but you could equally replace the Swedes with Polish during 1939 or the Finns (and the German with the Soviets) during the 1944 Summer offensive, etc. Interested in presenting We shall see how it goes.

The defensive system at Särna was built following the invasion of Norway in 1940, it can be see in the video below (the audio is in Swedish but the pictures could be of some interest) as it looks today.

Now what is this Goliath thing, well it is a tracked mine (German: Leichter Ladungsträger Goliath, “Goliath Light Charge Carrier”) and was disposable demolition vehicles and remote controlled (through a cable). You can read more about them on good old wikipedia (here).

So although to quote the wikipedia article “Mostly, they failed to reach their target although the effect was considerable when they did.”, I think a scenario with them in it would add some tension to the game with some slow moving Goliaths working their way through the defensive positions whilst the infantry sections are trying to stop it with small arms fire.

Recently I found some files on Thingyverse (here) and printed out some Goliaths with and without trolleys and added some Peter Pig Germans and two Kettenrads. Happy how they turned out.

/Hope that was of some interest

Featured

The International Force in Holstein 1700 – Part 2 The Danes

Matti, wrote this in the comments to the last blog post (see here), and it made me laugh.

I am fuming. For once I though I had come up with an original idea for a 6mm project, and even made my orders to Baccus, when you swoop in and do the same thing but better and more comprehensively! Curse you!

Jokes aside, they look great. There is a great book about the Danish campaign in Holstein and the naval situation associated leading to the landing at Humlebæk available at the Danish marine history page here called “King Frederik IV’s first war for South Jutland” http://marinehist.dk/?page_id=2845
It details the events and troop movements of the campaign in 1700 quite well, much better than any of the other sources on the campaign I’ve managed to find. While it’s only available in Danish, if I’ve been able to read it with my poor understanding of Swedish and the miracles of machine translation, I think anyone can manage it! The book also has listed in it the naval forces of both nations in the period, so if one would want to play out the naval battle that the Danish admiralty didn’t choose to take when the Swedish fleet crossed at the Eastern Sound.

Regards,
Matti

This is an excellent example of the kind of extremely useful interface that happens here on the blog and on twitter. Because the link in Matti’s e-mail is absolutely excellent. It gives the information I was looking for, namely the composition of the Danish Forces that was sent to Holstein. Thank you so much Matti.

Note that with regards to any discussions on units and bases the standard approach I have taken is that a battalion (400-600 men normally) is represented by 1 base of infantry, whilst a base of cavalry represents about 2-3 squadrons (200 to 300 men). This basing works well with the rule sets I am using Twilight of the Sun King, Polemos GNW and Maurice.

The book shows the regiments sent to Holstein (this from page 256-257 in the BIDRAG TIL DEN STORE NORDISKE KRIGS HISTORIE)

From the above we can derive that there were 18 battalions worth of infantry (assuming that the size of the battalions mentions for Prinz Georgs were about 100 men each). As for the cavalry I am not sure whether the full regiments were sent of not but for now that is my assumption, I assume these would be about 350 to 400 man strong, divied over 6 companies. That would make each cavalry regiment a unit of 2 bases.

So in summary 18 bases of infantry and 22 bases of Horse to do for the Danish side. For the potential Saxon support I will simply use the units I already have from my Kalisz and Klissow Projects. This project grew quickly! I do not think I can supply those from the lead mountain although I did paint a fair few Danes a few years back.

In addition Nick Dorrell has provided some useful links to the area of the Siege and the maps of the two camps:

With that in mind here are some links to maps of the rival camps, this is extremely useful in speculating how a potential field battle may have taken place.

http://www.digam.net/image.php?file=img/dokumente/3089/1.jpg&b=1200&h=auto

http://www.digam.net/image.php?file=img/dokumente/3090/1.jpg&b=1200&h=auto

http://www.digam.net/image.php?file=img/dokumente/3088/1.jpg&b=1200&h=auto

More Uniform Guides

I also realised that my sources (presented in the last blog) were somewhat patchy with regards to uniform information and flags, so I bought the following books from the Pike and Shot Society (link here):

  • Uniforms and Flags of the Armies of Hanover, Celle and Brunswick – 1670 – 1715 by Robert Hall
  • Flags and Uniforms of the Dutch Army 1685 – 1715 VOL I by Robert Hall, Iain Stanford and Yves Roumegoux
  • Flags and Uniforms of the Dutch Army 1685 – 1715 VOL I I by Robert Hall, Iain Stanford and Yves Roumegoux

Waiting to get these before I progress the miniatures too much as I think it may force me to do some re-paints, now what remains is the question of the uniform details of the Scheswig-Holstein-Gottorp regiments.

Foot

  • The Ducal Life Guard Regiment (unknown, Red with White Cuffs?)
  • Prince Christian-August (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs)
  • Bautzen (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs)
  • Von Barner (Hecules) (unknwn, blue with blue facings?)

Cavalry

  • Dragoon Guards (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs )
  • Baudisson’s, sometimes called Bauditz’s, Dragoon Regiment (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs, however says it was raied in 1702, another things to check)
  • Von Osten (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs, however says it was raied in 1702, another things to check)

I did crack on with some infantry the other day, it is the old line of Baccus WSS units (the newer one are even better, but I think they paint up really good).

/ Hope that was of some interest, as always let me know if I am getting something wrong or if you have something useful like Matti to add (thanks again).

Featured

The International Force in Holstein 1700, a new 6mm GNW project

See the source image

One of the first actions of the Great Northern War was the move by Danmark into Holstein-Gottorp, that was an ally and also bound dynastically to Sweden. Hedwig Eleonora of Holstein-Gottorp was the Queen Consort of Sweden, she was married to Charles X of Sweden from 1654 to 1660, then from his death 1660 served as Regent from to 1672, when her son Charles XI (of Scanian War fame) was an adult and again during the short time from Charles XI’s death to the time Charles XII assumed power at the age of 15. Later on she would be representing the Swedish Kingdom at home in Stockholm during Charles XII campaigns during the Great Northern War.

Hedwig Eleonora of Holstein-Gottorp, the de facto first lady of the Swedish Royal Court for 61 years, from 1654 her death in 1715. You can read more about her here.

The Danes laid Siege to the town of Tönning in 1700 but it was lifted following the deployment of the Swedish Army in front of Copenhagen that resulted in the Travendal Peace treaty in August 1700. Later in the war the town of Tönning would be besieged again but with a different outcome, but that is another (hi)story.

Tönning

During this time an International Force was sent to Holstein-Gottorp to aid the Duchy consisting of elements of the Schleswig-Holstein Gottorp Army with some Swedish Mercenary regiments, United Provinces (Dutch), the Hanoverians (Duchy of Luneburg-Celle and Duchy of Hanover-Calenburg) and a small Swedish Army under the Command of General Gyllenstierna.

It is this force I would like to do for my 6mm Great Northern War Collection, although no action really happened I would like to do a “what if” of a major field battle as this offers an interesting mix of units, commanders and also the possibility of potential support from the Saxons to the Danish side. I did a similar what-if with goof friend Nick Dorrell for the Battle of Horka 1708 at Joy of Six in 2018 (see more here).

So what are the details of this force? Well, Nick has done a tremendous job in presenting this information, see more here which is reproduced in a summary form below (with some additional information from my own notes and research). I will need to do some further research on the actual composition of the Danish force that invaded later.

Bases Needed for the Project

Basically I would need to do the following for this project:

Schleswig-Holstein Gottorp (9 infantry bases, 1 horse base, 3 dragoon bases)

Available Commanders – The Duke of Schleswig-Holstein Gottorp (Monarch)

9 infantry battalions – The Ducal Life Guard Regiment (2 btns), Christian-August (1 btn), Bautzen (1 btn) and Von Barner (Hecules, 1 btn), and then the Swedish Mercenary regiments: Wismar Garrison (1 btn), Stade Garrison (1 btn) and Wismar Governor (2 btns)

1 hourse regiment (not counting the small trabant unit) – Von Osten (1 base)

2 Dragoon Regiments – Dragoon Guards (1 base) and Baudisson Dragon Regiment (2 bases)

The Dutch (4 infantry bases, 3 horse bases, 2 dragoon bases)

Available Commanders – Anthoni Gunther, Prinze of von Holstein-Beck and Colonel Daniel van Dopf

4 Infantry battalions – Holstein-Beck’s Foot, Weller’s Foot, Keppel’s Foot and Capol’s Swiss Foot, each being represented by one 60 by 30mm base of infantry (as there were somewhere between 500 and 700 strong each). The Holstein-Beck Foot will be modelled with pikes based on Nick’s comments. I found the full names of the Colonels for 3 of these – Anthoni Gunther, Prinze of von Holstein-Beck, Hercule de Capol and Johan Rabo von Keppel.

3 Horse Regiments – Albermarle’s Carabiniers (Arnold Joust, Baron van Keppel, 1st Earl of Albermarle), Ostfriesland’s (Colonel Fredric Ulrich, Graaf von Oost- Friesland) and Aughrim’s Horse (Colonel Frederik Christian von Reede – Baron Aughrim). I normal model every 2 squadrons per base, in this case there were 3 squadrons for Albermarle and 1 squadon for the others. I will simplify this to three bases of each – it is a compromise I can live with.

1 Dragoon Regiments, – Colonel Daniel Wolf van Dopf’s Dragoons were also part of the force and these will be represented by 2 bases.

Duchy of Luneburg-Celle (7 infantry bases, 2 horse bases, 4 bases of Dragoons)

Available Commanders: Duke George William (Monarch) and General-Feldzeugmeister Marquis de Boisdavid

7 infantry battalions – Oberst La Motte (2 btns), Generalmajor de Luc (2 btns) and the rest with 1 battalion each for Generalleutnant Graf Detlef von Rantzau, Oberst Mally de Charles and Generalmajor Barthold Hartwig von Bernstorffs.

2 horse regiments (1 base each) – General-Feldzeugmeister Marquis de Boisdavid and Brigadier de la Croix de Frechapple.

2 Dragoon regiments (2 bases each) – Oberst von Villers and Reichsgraf Friedrich Johann von Bothmer

Duchy of Hanover-Calenburg (5 infantry bases, 7 horse bases)

Available Commanders: Duke Georg Ludwig (Monarch) and Generalleutnant von Sommerfeld

5 infantry battalions – Garde zu Fuß (Generalleutnant von Sommerfeld, 2 bases), Generalmajor St. Pol des Estanges, Generalmajor d’Herbeville and Oberst von Schlegel.#

4 horse regiments (2 base each except for Garde du Corps with 1 base) – Oberst Ernst Bogislaw von Podewils, Generalmajor von Voigt, Generalmajor Graf de Noyelles and Generalleutnant Christian Ludwig von Wyhe (Garde du Corps).

Sweden (12 infantry bases, 9 bases of “Galloping Horse”)

Available Commander – General Nils Carlsson Gyllenstierna and (TBD – need to review which Senior commanders would have been with these regiments during this time).

12 infantry battalions (or 10) – Skaraborgs (2 btns), Södermanlands (2 btns) , Kronobergs (2 btns) , Östgöta (2 btns) and Riksänkedrottningens Life regiment in Pommern (2 btns) and maybe Jönköpings (2 btn).

Horse and Dragoon (3 bases Galloping Horse each) – Pommerska Horse, Bremiska Horse and Bremiska Dragoons.

Summary 37 infantry bases, 13 horses, 9 Galloping Horse, 9 Dragoon bases = 888 infantry and 279 cavalry

Painting Guides

As for painting guides, I have consulted the following materials (and will improvise where I do not know):

Schleswig-Holstein Gottorp – link here / and “Der Deutsche Staaten I” by Claus-Peter Golberg

The Dutch – “Dutch Army of William III” C.A Sapherson

Duchy of Luneburg-Celle – “Der Deutsche Staaten II” by Claus-Peter Golberg

Duchy of Hanover-Calenburg – “Der Deutsche Staaten II” by Claus-Peter Golberg

Sweden – “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms” by Höglund & Sallnäs

A little bit of Progress

Good news is that I did two sessions this week painting about half the cavalry I need. I may be able to re-use some of the Swedish units from other projects. You may note that these are the older version of the WSS range from Baccus, but to be honest I think they paint up really good (I have to admit to having a little bit of a lead mountain so this atual project will not require any additional expense).

If you are interested in this or know more about the smaller states I am more than interested to hear more through the comments.

/ Hope that was of some interest, will keep you updated on progress.

Featured

Progress on the Sweden 1943 Project and a new Wargames Podcast

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The mighty Stridsvagn m/42

One of my favourite looking tanks is the Swedish m/42 tank, a domestic tank that was finalised in 1943 and plausable to take some kind of place in a 1943 what-if invasion of Sweden. It did initially have a lot of issues as was not very reliable and I found an interesting article here. I did have one of these in 15mm before but got another two from Shapeways some time ago – I was waiting for an alternative source but I think these are great even if they take you back about £19 each.

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An armoured Truck – Pbil m/31

The second one is a Paul Edwards special (who runs the excellent Sabotag3d company – https://www.sabotag3d.com/). I showed Paul a picture of one and of them and off he went and designed one for me and printed out a fair few, and I have had them lying around for about a year – it was time to put some paint on them. More about this vehicle here.

See the source image
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First one done, note the upgraded 1942 version had a 20mm cannon.
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Countryside touring in Dalarna 1943.
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I made Six because I had Six
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…and a few MC riders as escort
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And a few Swedish Engineering Types

That was all, see you in Dalarna in 1943!

Sorry one more thing, there is a new Podcast that is worth giving a listen and a follow. You may already be familiar with the excellent Yarkshire Gamer blog, Ken has decided to share not just his smooth voice but his passion in Audio, focusing in the grand spectacle stuff, big gaming.

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Part 1 – Episode 1 – World War Roses

Part 2 – Legendary Wargames

Go and try it out.

Featured

Me, a Caesar Award Nominee?

To my surprise and delight I found out last week that the blog has been nominated for Best Wargame Blog 2021 in the Caesar Awards that is held by the good folks at Little Wars TV. I am really grateful for the people who nominated Rollaone.com and having checked out the competition – two blogs that are stalwarts in the blogging world and blogs I enjoy myself – I am honoured to be in such a nice company. You should check them out.

Palousewargaming Journal

Analogues Hobbies Painting Challenge

I started Rollaone.com as a thank you to all the contents that is being provided by so many people out there that has helped me over the years in getting inspired, learning techniques, finding out more about various periods and frankly getting a little bit of an escape from it all.

The blog is still alive an active although I find that the microblogging, as Henry Hyde calls it, I am doing on Twitter is taking a bigger part and I am yet to find the perfect balance. Surprisingly the whole lockdown thing has on paper given me more time to do stuff , but has not really put me in the most inspirational mood. Things like this really makes me happy.

Go and check it out, you can only vote for the blog award or any others if you are a Little Wars patreon and/or one of the judges.

But there is one category you can vote for and that is the best Wargaming Youtube Channel 2021 (in the link here https://www.caesarawards.com/). Go and have a look, they are all great channels and whilst you are checking them out go and enjoy some time with Little Wars TV – an outstanding source of inspiration and great wargaming. For me they are all winners but I think that the solid contributions from Alex on the Storm of Steel Wargaming really hits the mark for me – giving a wide variety of content from historical accounts to playthrough videos of various rulesets – it is not slick and rehearsed, but brilliant and from the heart and delivers Wargaming inspiration in spades.

/ All the very best