A Triumphant Salute – Battle of Poltava 1709

Nick Dorrell, his Merry Wyre Foresters and I presented the Poltava 1709 6mm table at Salute yesterday and had a smashing day. We talked with so many people that came by of all ages, some knowing more than others about the period and the scale. We had a constant flow of people to our table up to about 1pm an after this it slowed down. For everyone that came to our table during the day I hope that either the table or our interaction with you blew you away, hopefully at least the former but I wish the latter too. I also, as always had great help from the family with the Better One and the Little One both making sure I got there and back safely.

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The background (yes it says Joy of Six, that was the last outing it had before the Pandemic)

Here some pictures of it all. All miniatures are by Baccus 6mm, the miniatures are based for playing the Twilight of the Sun King rules but we have used them for a number of rule sets over the years. I have made a very short summary of the rules here.

The base rules and the Second Scenario Book covering the Great Northern War and the Ottoman Wars, there are also Scenario Books covering other battles of the era e.g. War of the Spanish Succession. There is also two other version of the Rules covering the TYW/ECW period (Twilight of the Divine Right) and the SYW (Twilight of the Soldier Kings).

Here some pictures of the table.

The Swedish March towards the Russian Camp
The Swedes are attacking the first redoubt
The Yakovetski Forest and the Monastery, with more intensive fighting around the redoubts
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The Poltava Fortress, the Siege Lines and the villages burnt down by the Russians (Borrowed this one from Alex of the Storm of Steel Youtube Channel).
It is a tough day for the Swedes breaking through the Russian redoubts and more is waiting
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And the final weak Swedish thin blue line vs the multi-coloured Russian line full of field guns and Russians (Picture by Duncan Weldon)

Anyway halfway through the day we were presented with an award from the organisers of Salute – The South London Warlord. I have to admit I did not expect us to get it, but I think it was about time not for me but for a lot of small scale gamers out there old a and new. I am certainly no one-trick pony and I do understand the merits of each scale as a tool for telling a story – the Battle of Poltava needed to be told like this, the Town that was laid under Siege by the Swedes to force the Russian to give battle, the dense Yakovetski forest was there so we could understand how some of the Swedish Battalions got lost in it, and one of the key surprises was the fact that the Russians had built 10 redoubts slowing down the Swedish advance, all this before the main battle and not possible to show in less than 16 feet at 6mm with a battalion frontage of about 60mm – it would be tough to do it in 28mm.

I take that any day, thank you!

In doing an inventory of the Units I had before the show I realised I had done about 20 bases of Dragoons I had surplus to my requirement and therefore thought I could do something for the hobby. Every person I noticed and judged being 10 years or under that came to the table during the day and showed some interest I gave a base. I had given away 15 at the end of the day and had a small talk with them and their Dad or Mum. They all now know the difference between a Dragoon and a Standard Cavalry unit during the period.

sax drag 2.jpg

I did not declare this as I wanted to to make it as a surprise and I only had 20 bases and did not want to let anyone down. Anyway I wanted to do this on the back of dragging around the Little One to wargames shows since he was 5 years old and having him being occasionally either ignored or looked at like he was Satan himself. I, and more importantly he, cherishes the times when someone talked to him and engaged with him directly and got him involved. I just wanted to try to create a few of those moments.

If you are interested in the Poltava project there is a lot of posts on my blog covering various aspects of it, I think these are the main ones (the first two showing a lot of pictures of the set up).

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

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

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

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

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Trees, tree Bases and small rocks (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Total Battle Village Tiles (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Plush Foam Fields (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Playing with Matches (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Redoubts and Casualty Markers (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – the Swedish Camp (TMT)

Poltava Town done (TMT)

Some progress on the Poltava Battle and Grand Thoughts (TMT)

Nordic WW2 Movies, Cossacks and Kalmucks at Poltava 1709 – Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT)

Gearing up for Poltava 1709, painting some Horse Grenadiers & the Swedish Breakdown – Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT)

Little One won a Bolt Action Starter Box in the Raffle – good day overall.,,,

Until next time

/ As always hope that was of some interest, I will let you know my plans for Salute 2022 in the next blog update – a more modest effort but more charitable I hope.

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Re-Clutter your Life (#Terraintober Immersion marker Project) Part 31 – Summary of it all.

This Part 31 of a series I have been running during October in support of the #Terraintober initiative. Part 1 (link here) gives an overview and the philosophy applied to the series – cheap, simple and fun clutter in 15mm. So no master classes here, just quantity to fill that table with things to enhance immersion, that is what immersion markers are for.

As stated before nothing I will be doing is particularly original or difficult to do and I hope it will have some use and give some kind of inspiration to do some immersion markers yourself. I will try to discuss how I did each piece but it is really mostly about splicing some coffee stirrers, eyeballing it and Rock and Roll a One modelling. Some items will be more specific to the theatre I am aiming for, a rural Sweden in 1943, but I think you will find most items useful as generic clutter anywhere with a few modifications.

Here is a link to the individual blogposts, the objective was a total spend of less than £30, we hit £25 (with perhaps a little bit of cheating), it could have been significantly less. I Hope some of them might inspire you to either have a go or seek out commercial alternatives. Clutter leads to immersion, immersion enhances the game!

  1. Pigsty
  2. Root cellar
  3. Log piles
  4. Pile of Planks
  5. Dog Kennel
  6. Cellar Entrance
  7. Composter
  8. Small Pond
  9. Planter
  10. Wheelbarrow
  11. Well
  12. Hunting Tower
  13. Road Signs
  14. Washing Line
  15. Some Boxes
  16. Outhouse
  17. Swedish Hayrack
  18. Haywagon
  19. Play house and a See-saw
  20. Scarecrow
  21. Charcoal Burner
  22. Bee Hives
  23. Chicken Coop
  24. Mile Stone
  25. May Pole
  26. Bushes
  27. Charcoal Burner’s Hut
  28. Big Stones
  29. Tree Stumps
  30. The Belfry

My top 5 have been the following ones

  • The Charcoal Burner (and the hut too)
  • The Chicken Coop
  • The Pig Sty
  • The Swedish Hayrack
  • Dog Kennel

The next step of the project is to start getting some of the stuff on the table for the What-if 1943 invasion, plenty of Germans eager to jump the border. I have more than enough to do a varied amount of scenarios – for both sides.

These pieces of clutter will really add a lot of character to the stuff I already have.

Some Swedish Infantry advancing
Some Swedish APC (well these early versions lacking any useful armour) with Infantry demounting into the village buildings

So putting the new Clutter into some practice with a few quick shots, planned to do a game today but got an opportunity to do something better with the family so a few “staged” photos instead, but I hope you get the idea. Battle Mat from Geek Villain ( https://geekvillain.co.uk/ ).

First out a small farm with a lot of clutter, do you recognise it? The pile of planks, the cellar entrance, the wheelbarrow, the Hayrack, the planter, the Dog Kennel, the pile of logs, the boxes, the outhouse, the play house & see-saw, the haywagon, the well, the washing hanged to dry, the Chicken Coop and the Pig Sty.
A Swedish Anti-tank gun next to the hayracks,
The Beehives and the Earth Cellar and Swedish Tank and some Motorcycles cruising,
The instant cellar entrance!
That is the direction to the Folkpark!
Really enjoying the overall effect!
The Composter!
Scarecrow
A (Moose) Hunting Tower in the forest
A Charcoal burner, the Charcoal Burner’s Hut, some bushes, stone and tree stumps.
Some foods is being served at the Belfry with the small Duck pond in the background
From a different angle

Many thanks

/ Hope that was of some interest, I really enjoyed making this series. Now I do not want to see Coffee Stirrer for at least a week. If you do end up doing some of the clutter yourself please share your experience and pictures – I would really appreciate it. Or let me know which one is your favourite.

Re-Clutter your Life (#Terraintober Immersion marker Project) Part 30 – Belfry

This Part 30 of a series of a fair few posts, Part 1 (link here) gives an overview and the philosophy applied to the series – cheap, simple and fun. I have also added a section with links to all the other posts in the first one. Today will be the last entry as I plan to do an overview presentation of what has been done to date tomorrow.

I grew up in the Village of Sågmyra in Sweden and the picture below show the main building and the Belfry. I was baptized in that Church and I always liked the look of it, not as intimidating as other churches. The Belfry was built after WW2 but serves as an example of many similar ones that would have existed during the WW2 era.

See the source image

They are very common in the region and if you Google “Klockstapel Dalarna”, you will find may varieties (the one burning is Swedish, but not from Dalarna, it burnt down 4 years ago).

Here another picture of the Belfry (showing the front, during some repairs.).
See the source image

Anyway, here is my version (not a copy but like more “heavily inspired by”).

I think you get the gist from the pictures, I am using techniques already shown in previous episodes – base material is nylon floor tiles, then clad with coffee stirrers, cut lengthwise. Some cardboard for the shutters. I made it to fit the base size I used for the other items made as part of the project.

Just make a rough shape for the building, as you will see mine is not very straight as I did mine in a sitting.
Wonky but serviceable, I addes some plastic pieces around teh shutter to act like hinges.
I really recommend the Laser cut Brown spray paint from TT Combat
Painted in Falu Red
Magnetic Church Steeple
Really happy!

So final spend rounded up at £25.

See you for tomorrow’s finale..

/ Hope that was of some interest

Re-Clutter your Life (#Terraintober Immersion marker Project) Part 29 – Tree Stumps

This Part 29 of a series of a fair few posts, Part 1 (link here) gives an overview and the philosophy applied to the series – cheap, simple and fun. Today and tomorrow (when we make some tree stumps) we are doing yet again some really easy scatter.

This clutter simply adds a little bit of interest to a flat area and will hardly cause any visibility issue, some tree stumps. I based these in threes and in retrospect very orderly and dense – you might consider during yours as individuals or less ordered on a, perhaps, bigger base.

Material for this from your Garden, if you do not have a garden go to the park and help yourself there should be plenty of twigs all around the place. I have seen hobby shops selling twigs, I find that amazing!
Cut out some tree stumps (I used a hobby saw)
Glue the on a base and add some green stuff as shown (or clay, or pva soaked toilet paper) they will give the hints of roots later on, this is not sculpting just roll a length and apply it as shown, I just went for a few roots.
Then add glue and sand, note I left some parts exposed – “branch areas”
Then just paint it up, grass it etc, note the notion of the roots, creates a little bit a feeling that these are looking better than they are.
Fair enough, will do!

Spend is still £24.42 in total.

Tomorrow, we will do some tree stumps…

/ Hope that was of some interest

Re-Clutter your Life (#Terraintober Immersion marker Project) Part 28 – Big Stones

This Part 28 of a series of a fair few posts, Part 1 (link here) gives an overview and the philosophy applied to the series – cheap, simple and fun. Today and tomorrow (when we make some tree stumps) we are doing yet again some really easy scatter.

Today some freestanding stones, basically made these from blue foam, based them and painted them up.

Do not use superglue (PVA and patience works)

Spend is still £24.42 in total.

Tomorrow, we will do some tree stumps…

/ Hope that was of some interest

Re-Clutter your Life (#Terraintober Immersion marker Project) Part 27 – Charcoal Burners Hut

This Part 27 of a series of a fair few posts, Part 1 (link here) gives an overview and the philosophy applied to the series – cheap, simple and fun. In a previous blog post in thsi series (Re-Clutter your Life (#Terraintober Immersion marker Project) Part 21 – Charcoal Burner) we did a Charcoal Burner, The Charcoal burners would work in shifts and monitor the charcoal burner from a hut, often with a window toward the burner so they could observe it during the night. They came in many different shapes but I found this one inspiration and decided to use this one as a basis for my hut (form somewhere in Sweden, but not sure where exactly). Search on Google using the word “Kolarkoja” and you will find a lot of different huts.

I used this as my base inspiration, key items being the door, a roof above it, the window, the chimney and it all being covered with earth and growth.
I thought I could use one of the Nespresso type of capsules for this project
Cut off the top and clean the inside.
I found it a little bit too tall so cut if off a little bit
Then glued it back and glued it down on a base
Then I used some modelling clay to build up the earth around the hut
Making a few details by gluing coffee stirrers on pieces of nylon tiles or cardboard.
Slowly build up a shape I wanted with a door, a window, a pile of fire wood and a chimney for the burner inside. I also made a slightly different roof than the original picture.
Starting to look good with a little bit of sand
Simple painting the wood as old in grey then added some tufts and static grass, happy!

Spend is still £24.42 in total.

Tomorrow, we will do something else…

/ Hope that was of some interest

Re-Clutter your Life (#Terraintober Immersion marker Project) Part 26 – Bushes

This Part 26 of a series of a fair few posts, Part 1 (link here) gives an overview and the philosophy applied to the series – cheap, simple and fun. Today we are making some bushes, not the linear terrain kind of bushes but some bog standard ones to clutter your battle field and making it look at little less flat and interesting.

Ok here we go.

You can use many different material to build up the structure of your bush, I will be using three of the many ones you could use – (i) Coconut Fibre, (ii) Cut to small pieces foam and (iii) steel wool. I also made a few bases,
First we put some sand on the bases
Glue down the materials (I used superglue, note the foam is now brown (I mixed it with PVA and Brown paint)
Let dry then spray paint brown (the coconut probably needs a little trim with some scissors at this stage)
First thing is to drybrush the edges in some browns and perhaps yellows (I use light brown, pale terracota and wheat yellow). After this apply pva glue all over the structures and dip in some flock, mine is a mix of turf scatter and some small foam particles. Finally shake off and then put some pva and add grass to the edges. Finalise when dry by applying diluted PVA on top, hairspray or a spray adhesive (this will create layer on top making the terrain stronger).
Point here was that you can use a lot of different base mater

Spend is still £24.42 in total.

Tomorrow, we will do something else…

/ Hope that was of some interest

Re-Clutter your Life (#Terraintober Immersion marker Project) Part 25 – May Pole

This Part 25 of a series of a fair few posts, Part 1 (link here) gives an overview and the philosophy applied to the series – cheap, simple and fun. Today we are talking May Poles, or Midsummer Poles, as we call them in Sweden. The video below shows how they were installed.

Sorry for anyone who got an early version of Part 25 yesterday, a new version will be out on Friday (I finished a few items this weekend and this week is busy so most of it is already scheduled for issue, but I messed up Part 29, instead of scheduling I published – just life!).

Anyway some good memories of going to the local celebrations at Midsummer.

Some soldiers putting up a pole during the WW2 era.

Lets make one (this one being a large one in 15mm and a small one on 28mm, sizes of poles just like in real life varies)

Take a kebab stick and cut out a little part and install a crossbeam (I made mine from a coffee stirrer cut lengthwise in half).
Then I needed something for the rings, the solution was derived from an old note book.
Cut out and ready to install
I attached them with some Green Stuff (alternatively you could tie them with string and glue it and cut way any excess string)
I added green stuff all around the pole (again you could use string).
I then based the pole and then soaked the pole with superglue and applied Oregano (yes the spice) and the pole is done.
|Add some decorations (I used painted rice paper – the paint being 50/50 paint and pva), then shape it to give it some movement from the wind.
Nice height in this one
Ok very specific for Sweden but an example of taking something from your theatre and giving it that unique look.

Spend is still £24.42 in total.

Tomorrow, we will do something else…

/ Hope that was of some interest

Re-Clutter your Life (#Terraintober Immersion marker Project) Part 24 – Mile stone

This Part 24 of a series of a fair few posts, Part 1 (link here) gives an overview and the philosophy applied to the series – cheap, simple and fun.

MIlestones have been used throughout history and initially, at least in Sweden for the 17th century, were used to enable the administration to pay its staff for various cost relating to travel. Many materials were used including wood, stone and from the 19th century in iron. The milestones were phased out in the 1890ies but remain in many places today.

So possibly the easiest piece so far, I just took a piece of blue foam, cut a shape and glued it (do not use superglue) on a small base and there you go,

Spend is still £24.42 in total.

Tomorrow, we will do something else…

/ Hope that was of some interest

Re-Clutter your Life (#Terraintober Immersion marker Project) Part 23 – Chicken Coop

This Part 23 of a series of a fair few posts, Part 1 (link here) gives an overview and the philosophy applied to the series – cheap, simple and fun.

Today I have been running around like a headless, chicken so let us get straight into it, you will mainly need coffee stirrers cut lengthwise separating each in three lengths.

Create three walls and roof I make mine about 15mm high and 30mm wide.
Attached some neeting with superglue, but what is it (see below)
The material is referred to as Tulle Fabric (I had some at home)
Glue the pieces and add some detail (supporting beams, you can glue these carefully to create strength), also some detail for a door. Now put it on the side.
Cut out some pieces of nylon tiling like this, about 30 by 30 mm, with walls being about 15mm tall or something like that,
Glue them together to form this shape
Clad the whole piece with the coffee stirrers and put it on some short stilts (some planks to stop exit/entry) and a ladder
I added a few pieces to symbolise where the eggs would be collected.
Detailing on the front and roof (nylon tiles) and some chickens from the lead mountain (not required(
Detailing on the back (also I add some fine sand on top of the roof to create a roof felt structure.
I painted all before I glued on the cage. Alternatively if you do not have the fabric to make the cage, you can make yours like this.
Really cool seeing the Hens in there.
Have to say that this one and one in Part 21 (Charcoal Burner) are my favourites.

Spend is still £24.42 in total as we just used coffee stirrers. Ok, the chicken and the fabric would have cost some cash if I did not have it at home so it is debatable and in that case the budget is blown, however I am leeting myself off the hook this this time.

Tomorrow, we will do something else…

/ Hope that was of some interest