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What is up next? Great Northern War, Scanian War and some Bonus Pictures of Poltava 1709

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.

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Fraustadt 1706 – The wintery table as laid out in 2012 – It is my second favourite table I have made so far and my favourite GNW Battle.

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.

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I already have a lot of trees to add that wintery feel to the table. This from this year’s Christmas Battle.  Some Danish vs Swedes using Maurice rules – more about that here.

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.

See the source image

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.

See the source image

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:

 

Some unpainted lead!
…and re-reading some books!
Basically the same as usual but without the Tricornes
This is really cool stuff!

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.

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/ Hope that was of some interest

 

Featured

Passing through Joy of Six 2019

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.

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It was fun to be on a panel with podcaster legend Neil Shuck and Guy Bowers who has made Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy into arguably the best damn wargames magazine in the world. I felt like the odd one out, but I am not really known for being shy so I had fun with it. I think the sessions will be published and I will provide a link on the blog later and leave it at that for now.

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.

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Napoleonic 1813 – Commission.
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Allied intervention on the RCW 1919 – MADgamers. Always something different and interesting. Masters of the convention game.

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A small beach party – Sheffield Wargames Society

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Target Saigon 1975 – Nick Overland
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Riot – the Brexit years – Doncaster Wargames
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Swordpoint: Rome vs Persia – Gripping Beast.
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(Jaco)bite sized Culloden – James Mitchell. This was my favourite game of the day!
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Gods of War: Lee – GM Boardgames
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3d Printed 6mm by GM Boardgames
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Chariot Racing – Grantham Strategy and Wargames Club. One of those fun games – I took a detailed shot but I messed up!
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Normandy 1944 – Mailed Fist. A lot of detail and very effectful terrain.
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Battle of the Little Big Horn 1875 – Wargames Collection Calculator (the Little One spent most of the day with these guys – thanks for making it a good day for him) – It got the Little Ones Medal of Merit for the Day!
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Battle of Kolin 1757 – Legion of Blokes – Special mention of the Day for overall impact, full of new Total Battle Buildings
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Warm… sorry Cold War Commanders – Perrier Ridge 1944 – always fun stuff! Big detailed tables.
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One of my true inspirations in the hobby! Battle of Hoth – Dan Hodgson.
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The Battle of Vimiero – Kevan Baker, effectful use of Kallistra tiles, and a nice shine on that river.
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Tough Day at Bad Deynhausen – Chris Sharp and Yorkshire Renegades. Everyone was smiling and having fun – a good sign!
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Normandy 1944 – Tony Morphet & Mike McKnight. A lot of detail and looked great!, very effectful!
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GNW Siege of Viborg – Luton Lancers – very nice dense blocks of troops and the game was tense and fun! Two GNW battles at the same show – hooray!

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I have had the pleasure of being next to Robert Dunlop on many occasions what a legend and yet again a wonderful recreation of a WW1 battle this time the Battle of Gnila Lipa – we never have time to have a proper chat but I feel somewhere that we must be some kind of soul brothers. Always inspirational stuff.

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!):

/ I hope that was of some use.

 

Poltava 1709 at Joy of Six 2019 – the Grand Finale of the Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT)

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This is a quick report back from Joy of Six focusing on the table Nick, Andrew, Neil (from the Wyre Foresters, thanks to all of you!) and I put up on the day. there are some additional reflections and pictures of the show overall that I will issue sometime this coming weekend. Thanks to everyone who came by we really enjoyed the feedback!

The Towards Moscow Trilogy

More than three years ago I decided to have a go at doing a few battles of the ill-fated Russian campaign (1707-1709) of the Great Northern War 1700-1721.  I set out the plan in a blog post (link here) and the three battles we would cover were:

Lesnaya 1708 – link to more pictures here in the blogpost from Joy of Six 2017:

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Battle of Lesnaya 1708 (8 foot table)

Horka 1708 (a what-if battle that would allow us to field a more balance army composition and linear battle that would be the case for the battles of the Campaign) – link to more pictures here in the blogpost from Joy of Six 2018:

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Battle of Horka 1708 (12 foot table)

This year it was a 16 foot table and the disastrous (from a Swedish perspective) Battle of Poltava. Here are a number of pictures from the day with the occasional comments and some link on how some elements of the tables was being made – we were far to busy talking to people to even have a go at actually trying to play it! I think the vision of a grand spectacle was achieved, hope you enjoy  (if you have any comments do get it touch through the blog and ask away):

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Initial disposition the Russian Infantry in the Camp on the left, the redoubts filled with Russian Infantry and the line of Dragoons behind the redoubts.
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Close up of the Redoubts, we can see the Swedes in the far right corner starting their march. More about the redoubts here and he colourful fields here.

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More detail of the Yakovetski forest, the Monastery, Poltava itself and the Swedish Camp.

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The Swedes quickly overrun the first redoubt and set about taking care of the other one.

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Poltava with the Siege Lines in the upper left corner. Buildings mainly from Total Battle miniatures with a Scratch built Fortress (walls and towers).  More on the Poltava here, the ruined villages here and the Siege Lines here.

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The Swedes are through
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Some battalions being lost in the forest

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The Swedes organising themselves for the main battle

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Some immense firing

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Swedish Artillery being left behind!

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Detail of the Swedish Camp, more about the camp here.

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Siege works

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/ Hope that was of some interest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All revved up and ready to go to Joy of Six (2019)!

It is now a few days until Joy of Six 2019 and I am really looking forward to it.

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Our Little Poster with the famous artwork by Martens.

The 16 by 5 foot mat is done and will be decorated with all the key elements on the day (in addition there will be trees, villages and a few fields – not to forget all the miniatures).

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I always made some cards (actually mdf bases) with all the Commanders, there were a large amount to be done.

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Command Cards – yes I got the Peter card wrong and did rectify Russian to Russia. The +1 and +3 indicate Command Ability, Peter being Average (+1) and the Swede Exceptional (+3)!

And the command structures are all done…

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Boxes have been packed and it all fits in the car – we are all revved up and ready to go!

Looking forward to see some of you at the show and to take some pictures to share with the rest of you, until then keep on toy soldiering!

Here are a few files you may find interesting (the command structures, the poster and the command card)

Poltava 1709 Command Structure and Units TotSK v1 

Poltava 1709 One Pager TotSK v1

Poltava Command Cards TotSK v2

/ All the very best!

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Siege Lines and the King (TMT)

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In writing this there is about 10 days to the Joy of Six show 2019, the best 6mm wargames show in the world and a damn good show overall.  I am now just polishing off some old stuff I need to take with me and doing some play aids for the day – a little presentation handout for visitors, some cards for the commanders and a list of the forces we will use.

If you do come to the show, please come and say hello. I will appreciate it ,but do forgive me if I seem distracted and do not give you the attention you deserve – it is normally a tiring day and I tend to be a little bit emotional as very often it is the first time I see the fruits of my labour  – I tend to see the things I could have done better rather the positive things I hope others do! I had a vision on how it would look and the story I wanted it to tell and I hope it will come through.

Peter has invited me to some kind of panel during the day that I am looking forward to.

You can read more about who will be there on this link (Baccus homepage).

 

In summary Nick Dorrell, the Wyre Foresters and I will put on Poltava 1709, it will be 4,500 miniatures on the table and although it only at about 1/20 to the real number on the day I do hope it will give the illusion of a grand battle taking place – I will do a further posting on the battle mat that is now complete later this week as well as some files with the hand-outs, this is a short update showing some of the elements that will figure on the day, (i) the Siege lines and (ii) King.

Siege Lines

To provoke the Battle the King (Charles XII) laid siege to Poltava (and I have presented the rather large model of it before – link here) and there is a more elaborate story about this than the scope of the current battle. The Russian had counter redoubts and the Siege lines were more complicated.

To achieve some kind of stylised and re-cyclable solution I decided to use the coving strips I had used for doing the redoubts to create bases of trenches (link to those here) – taking this further one could make many of these and perhaps even do a little Siege game using tiles moving towards the besieged city/fort/town.  I used some engineers from Baccus to show the men working with the digging – these were mainly Cossacks. The basic idea can be seen below.

 

Adding some filler, sand and a little bit of paint and we got something like this.

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…then combining them with some artillery positions I created earlier (Baccus miniatures) creates that little point I want to make about some Siege lines and artillery being present on the day.

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The clutter (Barrels, sacks and boxes) are from Perfect Six miniatures (link here) who do a nice range of stuff for your battle fields to add that little flair that makes the immersion greater – they also do a range of 6mm fantasy figures that is fantastic. Below some of the fantastic stuff you can get from Perfect Six.

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The Swedish King

Charles XII was shot in the foot before the battle and was carried around on a litter during the battle – some accounts states it was carried by horses, but I chose to make is a man carried version – perhaps it was carried like this too?

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I then added some soldiers and officers to the base and used my non-trademarked method to take shots with some backgrounds (link here).

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/That was all for this time, hope it was of some interest

Roll a One at Meeples and Miniatures Podcast – a tale in two parts

Just for the record I was invited to the excellent Meeples and Miniatures podcast in May-19 to have a chat with Neil Shuck and Mike Hobbs. I had a very good time indeed and I thought I put a link in this blog post to both parts (episode #268 and #269).  I hope it is of some interest.

To be honest I was worried about having something to say, in retrospect I feel that there is so much more to cover – however if anything provokes any questions or is unclear, please feel free to get in touch through the blog and I will try to give you an answer.

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Episode #268 – link to it here.

Neil Shuck & Mike Hobbs are joined by guest Per Broden for this episode of the show, as they take a look at 6mm gaming

00:00 – Introduction – This week’s guest, Per Broden, introduces himself

46:22 – Confessional – Time to own up to all those hobby purchases we have made recently.

As explained in the show, we leave it there, otherwise we will end up with a 4 hour podcast! Part II coming soon!
We hope you enjoy the show.

Episode #269 – link to it here.

Neil Shuck & Mike Hobbs are  joined by guest Per Broden for part II of this show, as they continue to look at 6mm gaming

00:00 – Our Hobby – We chat with Per about what we’ve been playing, building and painting

32:55 – Gaming in 6mm– Per talks about big battle gaming, converting wargames rules to use 6mm figures and different miniature manufacturers. We also discuss gaming with his son.

2:12:20 – Outro – What has ‘My other mate Dave’ bought this week – plus the continuing story of my Saga Magic Dice

 

 

 

 

Lardy Da!, not La-Di-Da, my day(s) at OML7

I had the pleasure of attending the wargaming event Operation Market Larden 7 (OML7) in Evesham last weekend. I was going to go to OML6 last year but things conspired against me. Luckily, it was whispered, this one was the best one so far.

I arrived the evening before and caught the end of the drinking session at the hotel where the day would be held and a small contingent of us ended up in a pub for far too long – but good times were had.

OML7 is one of the many Lardy Days that are being arranged by various Lardy Ambassadors in the UK and also in many places abroad. Basically there were 12 games being played on the day and each participant played in two games (one in the morning and one in the afternoon). I did take some random shots but have to admit that I was a little bit like a child in sweetshop on the day and focus on the games. I had none of the stresses of a show where I put on a table or where my compulsion forces me to run around and find new shiny. The only thing to purchase were an excellent collection of old books that were being sold to support the Combat Stress charity – I bought a few.

The games played were, of course, all using the Too Fat Lardies excellent rule sets and although the lion share of the Games were using the Chain of Command (CoC) or Sharp Practice 2 (SP2) rulesets, there were also individual games using; I aint been shot Mum (IABSM), Bag the Hun (BtH) and Dux Britanniarium (DB).

I played in an excellent game of WW1 East Africa action as Lt Beaverton in charge of a supply dump on the Shore of Lake Victoria and a force of some Kings African Rifles, a few regular british and a Vickers Team. I was further supported by a platoon of Belgian Force Publique.  The Supply dump was being attacked by a company of German troops. Very well Umpired by Bob Connor and the table looked stunning.

In the afternoon I played a Bag the Hun scenario controlling some mighty machines of the Italian Airforce in a joint German and Italian attack on a convoy (somewhere near Malta in 1942) defended by Hurricanes Our side had B109s and Stukas (with bombs) and Machis/CR42s and SM79 (with torpedoes). It ended up with classic dogfighting, bombs immobilising the ships and some torpedoes in the water hitting home but not on the main objective – the tanker –  but it was great fun. This game was put on by Geoff Bond and we flew Mike Hobbs wonderful 1/600 Tumbling Dice aircraft – some excellent decaling going on there.

The day was excellent and I met a lot of people which whom I have had interaction with on Twitter and other social media – I did not manage to have a proper chat with all but I really appreciate the ones I had. I do think our little Twitter corner is a wonderful place. Normally, I judge an event on how many “arseholes” in the allegorical sense I meet, and I have to admit I met none. Just some excellent games being put on and people having a bloody good time playing them.

The evening entertainment offered a nice curry and later some more beer drinking at a local pub with a small but cheerful crowd.

A big thank you to Ade Deacon, his family and friends who arranges the event, and to the Too Fat Lardies crew (Nick, Rich and Sid) and all the other wonderful people – good stuff.

I need a pretty good reason for not coming back to OML8.

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Bye for now, see you next time!