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Pruth Campaign Skirmish Action in 6mm using Pikeman’s Lament – Part 3: First Game

The Little One and I were eager to have a go and test the Pikeman’s Lament (PL) rules, here is a write-up of it.  For some background on this diversion see here  (initial thoughts and overview) and here (painting up the units).  6mm miniatures played on a brand new 2 by 2 feet board (that we made the day before) played using centimeters instead of inches so in relative terms it would have been as playing with on 5 by 5 feet board using 28mm and inches. It is not a roll-for-roll account but a summary how it all played out.

Forces

We selected 24 points for each side resulting in the following two forces:

Ottomans

2 units of  Veteran Shot @ 6 points each (Janissaries; may form Close Order)

3 Gallopers @ 4 points each (Sipahis cavalry, I changed my mind of these from being Trotters)

For the Ottoman officer we rolled Mercenary Officer, representing a foreigner with some renown but not fully trusted bythe men (offering no morale bonus for units within 12”) We decided that he was a French officer and we used the French officer from our Sharp Practice French Marine unit to mark his unit – one of the Janissary units.  We named him Lieutenant Dupont,  a young commander disgraced in his home country turned mercenary and eager to get promoted through the ranks by impressing the Pasha.

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Russians

3 Dragoons @ 4 points each

2 Forlorn Hope @ 6 points each (Grenadiers)

For Officer background trait we rolled the result Hothead indicating an officer with difficulties with his superiors but, leading from the front, with the full trust of his men. This gives him the ability of Strong – a re-roll for an attack/defence die during every attack. We decided that he was Podporuchik Alekseyev (Podporuchik was a rank introduced by Peter the Great in 1703, equivalent to a second Lieutenant). We used one of the other Dragoons as a marker for this leader in the battle (not counting him as a figure).

russian commander.JPG

russian force.jpg

The Scenario and Set-up

We opted for the scenario C: King’s War Chest. The Russian’s are defending and at the Start of the Scenario have one of the Dragoon units taking a bath in the river with 3 No. war chest wagons on the road. The rest of the force are off-board but can enter (if successful at activating in Turn 2)  The Ottoman strike force is aware of the important cargo and are coming from the South (right in the picture below) – this would be a good way for the young Lieutenant DuPont to get some recognition from the Pasha.  The Russia commander has just been made aware of the approaching danger and need to reinforce the Dragoon unit (that has just finished its bath and geared up) and get the wagons out of danger, either to the east or west.  The French Ottoman Lieutenant will seek to take the wagons down the way he came (South).

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Overview at the start of the battle – left near the river the refreshed dragoon unit and in the South the Ottomans are getting ready to attack. Two units of Shot and a Galloper in the upper corner and two units of Gallopers in the lower corner.

 

We now rolled for who is playing what and the Little One rolled highest on both dice and chose to attack and to be the Ottomans.  I hoped that was the last of his high rolls today!

The Battle

The Little One set out the onslaught by successfully managing to activate most of his units and my Dragoons got their act together and rode towards the Wagons.

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The Ottoman pressed forward further and the Dragoons failed to activate a shoot action to reduce some of the oncoming impact. But, by a miracle, I decided to get all the Russians on the table – the Dragoons on one flank and the Forlorn Hope on the other.

One of the Gallopers did the first attack of the day and with the follow-up attack managed to disable the Dragoons in one round. Lucky, but what a nice way to start the battle.  He then spent the following round routing them off the table.

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After this the Little One got one of his other Gallopers to get onto attacking the Forlorn hope units – I could see him being “Charged up!”.

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However they opened fire and knocked out two of the six models making the unit wavering (we used ammo box markers for this!).

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Meanwhile on my Left flank the Dragoons had advanced and used the skirmish feature attacking the Shot unit with the commander and managed to get it wavering too.  It looked like a had regained some control.

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However two rounds later the Gallopers who routed the first Dragoon unit had forced the Dragoon unit with the Russian Commander to evade straight into the jaws of the enemy.

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Shorty afterwards the Officers Dragoon unit was destroyed and the other Dragoon unit having sustained heavy fire from the Shot units withdrew toward the river. Meanwhile one of the Forlorn Hope units had snatched one of the wagons and I hoped to do the same with the other unit.

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However the second Forlorn Hope was decimated by the remaining Ottomans and I had no longer a feasible chance of doing anything more than drag some of the total war chest out of the Enemy’s hand.

The result

With only a Forlorn Hope unit left but with control of one of the War Chest wagons we agreed a 4 -2 victory to the Little One. Fair enough.

That means that Lieutenant Dupont could add 4 Honour to his roster, whilst the Russian got 2.  We also rolled on the table to see the impact of his health being a casualty in this battle – we found (following a low roll – of course) that he had manage to escape the battle field and hidden (in some honour unfriendly manner) and got captured loosing 5 points of honour.

So the honour tally of our Protagonists’ are 19 to the Ottoman and 7 to the Russian.

Afterthoughts

These were our observations:

Managing the Resource of Luck

The tests for actions (move, attacks, etc.) are good as it creates a fog of war situation, it is also interesting that a failed test for one unit stops the overall activation phase for the player.  It is irritating when it happens but not a bad rule feature – like being scared whilst watching a horror movie (I do not like it, but I like horror movies!).  The activation values for the units we used were in ranges between 5+ and 7+ (i.e. success on a role of the value or higher) or 4+ to 7+ if considering that an officer within 12″ (or cm in our case, give a -1 to the roll), the probabilities for success of doing the action, and doing anything else that round, are:

4+ – 92%, 5+ 83%, 6+ 72% and 7+ 58%.

So it gives a nice balance between trying to optimize the order in which you activate. If there are no other considerations they you should do them in the lowest activation roll order. However this indirectly decreases the chance of being able to activate a unit that may be critical for that particular round.  Luck is a finite resource and it is important to manage that resource well!

Cool Units

We found the Gallopers being very powerful and the follow-on attack was devastating – it would have helped to have some Pike available.  The Dragoon ability to evade was interesting and worked really well in the game (but I did fail to activate it a few times, and the Little One outsmarted me in using it).  We also like the Shot First Salvo rule as it makes the Shot very potent (especially the Veterans we used).

Officers

As for the Men Who Would be King rules (see more here) there are the officer traits (although there is an overall officer as opposed to unit commanders) that we found interesting – that the Little One talked with a French Accent whilst commanding his Ottomans made the game more enjoyable.

Next time we will try the special orders (i.e. sub-mission to give more glory – or to loose some) and see how it goes.

Simple but not simplistic

As for the other rules in the Series the rules are relatively simple but there is more to it and with the special abilities, activation considerations it has sufficient depth to make it interesting and very playable.

But as we say in Sweden “till syvende och sist” (at the end of the day) it is not over until the Little One’s thumb has had its say.  We both had a good time this afternoon and are looking forward to the next session.

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Very well, it seems like we have another game we can play together.

 

/ Take care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Pruth Campaign Skirmish Action in 6mm using Pikeman’s Lament – Part 2: The painting and the basing

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In the previous blog entry (see here) I set out the forces and the miniatures I intended to use for this project.  I have just completed these units this week and hope to get a game with the Little One in the near future.  Same approach as always in trying to achieve reasonable results not individual master pieces.  The units I planned to do were as follows, based on some possible small encounters during the Pruth Campaign 1711.

Ottomans No Pts/ unit Total Pts Unit Size Total Models Baccus Pack
Veteran Shot

5

6

30

12

60

OTT02

Trotters

4

4

16

6

24

GNP05

Total

9

46

84

Russians No Pts/ unit Total Pts Unit Size Total Models Baccus Pack
Dragoons

4

4

16

6

24

WSS12

Forlorn Hope

3

6

18

6

18

WSS03

Raw Trotters

4

3

12

6

24

WSS08

Total

11

46

66

I am very happy with the result and I am tempted to make a small Swedish “force” from the same era (with some pikes).

Perhaps something like this.

Swedish No Pts/ unit Total Pts Unit Size Total Models Baccus Pack
Shot

5

4

20

12

60

GNS01 (Tricorne) or GNS02 (Karpus)

Pike

2

4

8

12

24

GNS03 (Tricorne) or GNS04 (Karpus)

Aggressive Elite Gallopers

3

6

18

6

18

GNS05 or GNS06

Total

9

46

102

Sorry trying to avoid drifting, back to the Pruth stuff.

Russians

For the Russians I decided to go for units with red as a common denominator and painted them as  based on units that took part in the campaign (based on a list from the draft of Nick Dorrell’s upcoming book – discussed in the previous blog, here).  All these are from the “new” Baccus WSS range – I had not yet painted these but I must say that they are a joy to paint.  I have so far used the old WSS range for my GNW stuff as I have a fair few of the ones lying around from previous purchases with hybric flavours.

On the subject of the Russians of this era I did notice a book currently on pre-order due out in November this year. The book is titled The Russian Army in the Great Northern War 1700-21 with the subtitle Uniforms, Organization, Materiel, Training and Combat Experience. I hope this will have some more information on uniform colours than what is currently available. Although I have to admit that I pre-ordered it based on the title, what is really interesting is the background of the author.  I let you read it yourself.

Boris Megorsky was born in Leningrad, USSR in 1978. He lives in St Petersburg, Russia with his beloved wife Olga and three-year-old son Vadim. He did his PhD in Political Science and works in Human Resources, but his true passion has always been military history. As a scholar, he specializes in the everyday life of the Russian Army, its uniforms and siege warfare of the Great Northern War period; he has written dozens of articles and theses on these subjects. His book about the siege of Narva in 1704 was published in Russia in 2016 and, as a re-enactor, he is a member and sergeant of the Preobrazhensky Life Guard Regiment, 1709 ( Russia’s leading re-enactment society of the early 1700s). His passion for miniatures makes him pay great attention to details both in research and in reconstructions, be it re-enactors’ kit or graphical illustration consultations. He has consulted on a number of films, museum and publishing projects, and has worked with miniature manufacturers and artists.   – From the Amazon Webpage

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Here is a link to it at Amazon (but there are probably other places where you can buy it too, like the book depository). Worth having on your radar, but a long way from being out.  Would  of course be useful for the Pruth campaign too. Back to the key thread again.

Permski Dragoon Regiment (Dragoons)

The Permski dragoon regiment were present in the 1711 campaign so I decided to make my dragoon units represent a detachment from this regiment.  They had white coats with red cuffs.  I have already painted some of these for the Lesnaya Battle but they are based on 60 by 30mm bases.  As these represents the Dragoon in the traditional role of being more mounted infantry than cavalry they have been based with unmounted figures but with a horse present on each base.  I have used the 1-2-3 system (shown in the Pikeman’s Lament rulebook), modified to fit the 6mm scale, and as discussed in this blog entry if you do not have the book at hand.

4 units of 6 dragoons, based with the 1-2-3 method (15mm, 20mm and 25mm bases)

Russian3

Repnin’s Grenadiers (Forlorn Hope)

I painted these to represent Repnin’s Grenadiers that had red coats with (speculative?) blue cuffs. Named after the Russian General, and eventually Field Marshal, Prince Anikita Ivanovich Repnin who commanded one of the Russian centre commands at Poltava in 1709 (you can read more about him here).  These were also based with the 1-2-3 system.

3 units of 6 Forlorn Hope, based with the 1-2-3 method (12mm, 15mm and 20mm bases).

Russian1

General Sheremetev’s Dragoon Squadron (Raw Trotters)

For these I wanted them to represent General Sheremetev’s Squadron, I painted them with red coats and white cuffs. Potentially these could be classified as non-raw (or even Veteran) assuming that the General’s squadron may be more potent than the standard dragoon unit.  Boris Sheremetev commanded the overall centre at Poltava in 1709 and led the main army in the Pruth Campaign (more about him here).

4 units of 6 trotters, based with the 1-2-3 method (15mm, 20mm and 25mm bases). 

Russian6.jpg

The Ottomans

I do not have a lot of information of who wore what for these units – so I did a quick decision to paint them based on a basic livery green (green ink on the clothing and then picking out some detail with Livery Green). Finally got to use this fine Colour!

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I would be very keen to get some comprehensive information on detailed organization and uniform guides from this conflict – but until then artistic freedom will do.  I you have any views or suggestions please do let me know through the contact option on the blog of find us on facebook and ask away.

Janissaries (Veteran Shot)

I painted these in a green coat with the traditional white headgear with some simple pink detail/  There is a little story about how models were developed by  Master 6mm painter Dr. Mike also known as Cranium (here).  He is the man who runs the SMS (Small Model Soldier)  painting clinics at various shows, teaching people how to paint “something so small”.  I developed most of the techniques I am using in painting 6mm from reading his entries on the old Baccus forum (I do not find these anymore) – my favourite is the use of Windsor & Newton Ink (Nut Brown) after the painting is done – the army painter quick shade equivalent for smaller scales (kind of!) . It really makes the models “look better than they are”, in my opinion. Try it for yourself – go nuts!

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5 units of 12 Veteran Shot, based with the 1-2-3 method (12mm, 15mm and 20mm bases).

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Sipahi (Trotters)

Again a green colour scheme with bronzed helmet. I painted the flags green with three crescents as I had seen this for an Ottoman unit many years ago at a wargames show and liked it.  Having done some research I am not 100% sure it is a valid flag for the Ottomans – but I like it so it stays until I have better alternative.  The bronze helmets also looks good and, like the pink and white on the Janissaries, show that these uniforms where not designed to blend into the countryside but to look stunning!

4 units of 6 trotters, based with the 1-2-3 method (15mm, 20mm and 25mm bases)

ottoman1.jpg

Hope that was of some interest, another read of the rules and we have to hit the table with these. Not the same splendor as individual 28mm bases for skirmish, but it works for me. The fact that I have produced two opposing forces of almost twice the recommended starting size in a week of hobby-time is perhaps the biggest advantage.

I did a similar project for the Men Who Would be Kings rules that you can find information about (here, here and here).

Next week I will be showing some progress on the main project (a proper large battle). As the package with models came through from Marching in Colour last week (see here) and I have started slowly getting my act together again this week (afterthought – as if it ever was there!).

I have decided to give the Mutant 1984 project a break over the Summer – I did paint the two little structures/buildings I did a few weeks back (here) and showed them on the Facebook page. For completeness I include them here as well. I think we are getting closer to having the terrain we need for a proper game with these rules.   I am excited to start a campaign with some Pyri Commonwealth Soldiers  – The recollections of rifleman Crocodylus. However there is something rather therapeutic in doing some terrain so perhaps there will be some pieces done in the background of everything  else.

some more progresssome progress

The picture below shows the good Rifleman Crocodylus  himself next to to one of the 6mm Dragoon bases above and a BIC pen for size comparison, as I occasionally get questions about this through the site. The Rifleman is a converted Warlord 95th rifle model (28mm scale) with a head from a crooked dice model.

croccomp

/ Take care

 

Featured

Kalisz 1706 at Salute 2017 – The Show

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Nick and I had a fantastic day at the Salute Show and my thanks also goes to Rob and Laurent who provided some priceless support in helping out before, during and after the Show.  We basically talked to people about the table, the game, the battle and the rules all day – it was brilliant!.  We did not have time to do more than a few token moves on the table.

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Rob, Nick and Laurent

I also would like to thank all of you who have read this blog that came by to say hello – I really appreciate it.  In addition to all of the others who stopped by to have a look, ask a few questions or take a picture.  Finally, I have to say that Warlords are very good at organizing this massive event and we had no problems this, or the last time, we attended Salute in 2015.

I had a quick chat with Peter Berry of Baccus who said that Joy of Six in July was now full and that he had to turn away games – this is brilliant news! Not for the people who get turned away but that there is a huge interest in putting on 6mm games. I just wonder why there are not more 6mm, or smaller scale 2 to 10mm,  land battle games at Salute, or should I say, wargames shows in general? I have not heard many people say that they have a decent table worth of figures and some terrain in 6mm – but that have been turned down setting up a game by a wargames show.  But I will leave that thought for this moment.

Apart from our table there was one more 6mm game, the Battle for Neustadt that is a cold war scenario set in West Germany in 1984. This was a nice table run by Iain Fuller and others from the Warlords Club.  They will also attend the Joy of Six in July so there is another chance to catch them there. I have had some e-mail communication with Iain in the past so it was nice to have a quick chat and say hello.

I also got a chance to see the new Baccus TYW/ECW sculpts and I let the battalion of pike and shot talk for itself. Wonderful stuff from Baccus yet again.  Peter gave me a copy of the new Swedish flag sheet for the Thirty Years war – it is very tempting indeed.

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PIke and Shot from Baccus – Wonderful!

I also talked to Peter Riley and David Pead who are the men behind the wargames calculator that I have mentioned before on the blog (see here).  They told me they have some interesting stuff coming up so I would follow them on Facebook and see what they are up to.

I also said a quick hello to Neil Shuck but did not get a chance to give him the Sharp Practice stuff for Joy of Six as I had planned.

I also had a chat with an old friend of mine, Michael Leck who put on a really nice game using his Pikemans Lament rules called Fort Mosquito 1654. This was a battle between Swedish and Dutch colonial forces set in mid 17th century Delaware, involving native tribes, attempting to wrestle control of the river and the important fur trade.  Incidentially they grabbed two of the prizes of the day – well deserved.  For more information see his blog (link here). I had a very useful discussion with Jan (who did the terrain and buildings) on how to make log cabins and the trees using steel wool that I will have to try out some time in the future.

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Fort Mosquito 1654
Here are a few shots of our table in no particular order.

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In addition Nick has put on some pictures on his facebook page (here) and on the Wyre Forest Wargames club page (here).

We produced a few organization charts to simplify the proceedings, they turned out being very useful and look good too. There were made using SmartArt Graphic in Excel and then pasted into PowerPoint with some added pictures etc.

Swedish Playsheet 1

Saxon Playsheet 1

I also updated the PDF showing the bases used on the day (download link here – Kalisz Bases Polemos GNW and TOTSK v2 ).

We also handed out a leaflet with a few notes about the Battle and the Game, here –  Kalisz Leaflet Salute 2017.

Now getting ready for Joy of Six in July.

Finally, the 1914-21 Society (link here) who was attending had a Maxim machine gun on display but, in my view, the key piece was the Madsen Light Machine Gun.  I knew the Madsen as the LMG of the Norwegian and Danish soldiers of WW2, but did not know it was the first true light machine gun produced in a major quantity and that it was used extensively by the Russian Army in the Russo-Japanese war and during the Russian Civil War.  Thanks for your time gents!

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The 1914-21 Society Table (Laurent, thanks for the Picture)

/ That was a fun weekend

 

Kalisz 1706 at Salute 2017 – Dusting of the Miniatures Part 3 and some Lager

I recently found out that there used to be a Lager named after the famous Swedish Field Marshal that is one of my favourite soldiers from the Great Northern War era, namely Stenbock (there is a very nice online article about him here).

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Stenbock at Helsinborg 1710

 

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I could not find out who the brewers were but stumbled across a few others with slightly different spelling.

Stepherd Neame used to brew a beer called Steinbock Lager that was described as “…a light, crisp, refreshing lager with an underlying sweetness, a slight floral tang and a clean finish”.  It is no longer produced (see more here).

Monsteiner Steinbock is another Lager.  This one is made in Switzerland with nice artwork on it (more here).  And another one, but I digress…

I really wanted to talk about Laagers, defined by Wikipedia as…

A wagon fort is a mobile fortification made of wagons arranged into a rectangle, a circle or other shape and possibly joined with each other, an improvised military camp. It is also known as a laager (from Afrikaans) (English: leaguer).

At the battle of Kalisz the Pro-Swedish Polish-Lithanian Army established a Laager outside the town (of Kalisz) with a square of Wagons and some quickly raised earthworks. To represent this I used some of the Wagons and tents from Baccus and made a small (fully modular) representation of the Camp.

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wagon 2

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The Saxons

The Saxon contingent are all Cavalry and are commanded by Augustus the Strong Supported by General Brandt.

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Augustus at the Battle of Kalisz 1706

 

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Dragons

The Dragon units (all red uniforms with facing/cuff colours in parenthesis) –

Leibregiment (white), Milkau (yellow), von der Goltz (black)

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von Brause (lemon yellow) and von Schulenburg (straw)

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Cuirassiers

The Cuirassiers units (all red uniforms with facing/cuff colours in parenthesis) 

Chevaliergarde/Garde du Corps (blue/red/white), Leibregiment (white), Kurprinz (yellow), von Damitz (Bleumourant), Königin (straw)

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Kurprinz (yellow) ,von Eichstädt (Coffee Brown), Gersdorff (grey) and Prince Alexander (green).

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That leaves us the Russian contingent of 32 dragoons that I packed before I took any pictures. I suppose you have to come to the Salute show to see them!

A Map!

At Salute we are the Wyre Forest Wargames Club and we are in location GG15 – it is just below the upper red G (in the circle) on the floorplan/map of the show. It is only 2 weeks to go and if you do go, come by and say hello. Further details on the show and how you can get tickets can be found here.

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salute

On the Lager thread I did find a nice little bottle at the Tank Museum last week (more here) – it is made by the Dorset Brewing Company (DBC) and is called Landship.   The name comes from the Landship Committee that was established in February 1915 by Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, with the purpose of developing armored fighting vehicles to use on the Western Front.  The work culminated in the development of the first tanks.  Tank, by the way, was a code name for the vehicles.

TANKS

I found an inspirational review of this beer on the net (link here) and decided, for research purposes, to have a go myself and I do agree with the sentiment of the review.  If nothing else it is a cool bottle.

/ Until next, Cheers and do not drink (too much) whilst gaming!

Appendix – Below is a little summary of the units that will be present on the table, 207 bases in total including small bases for leaders and artillery.  The basing are in line with the Polemos Rules where a base is about 200-300 cavalry (about 2 squadrons) or 400-600 (one battalion) infantry. In Twilight of the Sun King two of these bases, in general, forms a fighting unit.  Leaders are Poor, Average or Excellent, The second value is the tempo contribution as per the Polemos rules.

Kalisz
Side Element Bases Type Description Class. Quality
Pro-Swedish Swedish Contingent 1 Leader Mardefelt CiC Ex:4
Pro-Swedish Swedish Contingent 1 Leader  Krassow Cmdr Av:2
Pro-Swedish Swedish Contingent 2 Infantry Pommerska GP T / Dt
Pro-Swedish Swedish Contingent 1 Infantry Swiss GP T
Pro-Swedish Swedish Contingent 1 Infantry French GP T
Pro-Swedish Swedish Contingent 2 Infantry German GP T
Pro-Swedish Swedish Contingent 4 Cavalry Södra Skånska Cav GH T / Dt
Pro-Swedish Swedish Contingent 3 Cavalry Bremiska Dragoon GH T / Dt
Pro-Swedish Swedish Contingent 4 Cavalry Verdiska Dragoon GH T / Dt
Pro-Swedish Swedish Contingent 4 Cavalry Pommerska Dragoon GH V / Dt
Pro-Swedish Swedish Contingent 1 Gun Light Gun LG V
Pro-Swedish Swedish Contingent 1 Gun Field Gun FG V
Pro-Swedish Pro-Swedish Polish 1 Leader Potocki Cmdr P:2
Pro-Swedish Pro-Swedish Polish 1 Leader Lubomirski Cmdr A:1
Pro-Swedish Pro-Swedish Polish 16 Cavalry Pancerni EH T
Pro-Swedish Pro-Swedish Polish 4 Cavalry Hussar GH V
Pro-Swedish Pro-Swedish Polish 2 Cavalry Jazda Lekka LHx T
Pro-Swedish Pro-Swedish Polish 2 Gun Light Gun LG T
Pro-Swedish Pro-Swedish Polish 1 Gun Field Gun FG T
Pro-Swedish Pro-Swedish Lithuanian 1 Leader Sapieha Cmdr A:1
Pro-Swedish Pro-Swedish Lithuanian 4 Cavalry Petyhori / Pancerni GH / EH T
Pro-Swedish Pro-Swedish Lithuanian 2 Cavalry Hussar GH V
Pro-Swedish Pro-Swedish Lithuanian 2 Cavalry Jazda Lekka LHx T
Pro-Swedish Pro-Swedish Lithuanian 3 Cavalry Dragoon D T
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 1 Leader Augustus the Strong CiC + Monarch A:3
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 1 Leader Brandt Cmdr P:1
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 1 Cavalry Chevaliergarde / Garde du Corps H E
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 1 Cavalry Leib H E
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 2 Cavalry Kurprinz H T
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 2 Cavalry Damitz H T
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 2 Cavalry Konigin H T
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 2 Cavalry Eichstadt H T
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 2 Cavalry Gersdorff H T
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 2 Cavalry Prince Alexander H T
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 1 Cavalry Leib D T
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 2 Cavalry Milkau D T
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 2 Cavalry Goltz D T
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 2 Cavalry Brause D T
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 2 Cavalry Schulenburg D T
Anti-Swedish Saxon Contingent 1 Gun Light Gun LG T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 1 Leader Menshikov Allied Cmdr A:4
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 1 Leader C Avalry Commander Cmdr P:1
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 1 Leader Cossack Lord Cmdr A:3
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 1 Leader Kalmuck Lord Cmdr P:1
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 1: Moskovski (542) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 3: Vladimirski (551) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 4: Pskovski (548) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 6: Novgorodski (544) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 7: Troitski (543) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 8: Astrakhanski (550) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 9: Siberianski (546) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 10: Smolenski (558) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 11: St. Peterburgski (547) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 13: Vjatski (554) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 14: Nizhni Novgorodski (553) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 15: Yaroslavlski (592) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 18: Ingermanlandski (565) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 19: Nevski (573) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 21: Ryanzanski (574) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Cavalry 25: Vologodski (576) D T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 22 Cavalry Kalmucks LHf T
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 15 Cavalry Cossack LHx R
Anti-Swedish Russian Contingent 2 Gun Light Gun LG T
Anti-Swedish Anti-Swedish Polish 1 Leader Siemianski Allied Cmdr P:3
Anti-Swedish Anti-Swedish Polish 1 Leader Rzewuski Cmdr P:1
Anti-Swedish Anti-Swedish Polish 1 Leader Smigielski Cmdr A:1
Anti-Swedish Anti-Swedish Polish 16 Cavalry Pancerni EH T
Anti-Swedish Anti-Swedish Polish 4 Cavalry Hussar GH V
Anti-Swedish Anti-Swedish Polish 5 Cavalry Jazda Lekka LHx T
Anti-Swedish Anti-Swedish Polish 4 Cavalry Dragoon D R
Anti-Swedish Anti-Swedish Polish 4 Cavalry Dragoon D T
Anti-Swedish Anti-Swedish Polish 3 Cavalry Horse H T
Anti-Swedish Anti-Swedish Polish 2 Gun Light Gun LG T
Anti-Swedish Anti-Swedish Polish 1 Gun Field Gun FG T

 

 

 

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Kalisz 1706 at Salute 2017 – Dusting off the Miniatures Part 1 – Hussars and other Exotic Cavalry

I spent some time assembling the forces needed for the Kalisz Battle over the weekend and think I found most of them but there are still a few of them missing in previous action – but I will/have to find them sooner or later as the Show is in 6 weeks.  A few of the spears (looking at the pictures) need to be bent back, but apart from that there are no major issues that need to be resolved.

For some background on the battle you can have a look at an earlier posting here.

This first part will show the more exotic units specific for this theatre, compare to War of the Spanish Succession (WSS) units. Perhaps the Swedes themselves would have fitted into this entry, but I will hold them back for now.

Codes refers to the Baccus catalogue of splendid 6mm stuff for this period (link here).  The combination of the GNW/WSS range (and a few packs from other ranges) offers a total coverage of everything you may need to represent all battles in Eastern Europe of the period (even the Pruth Campaign, with the Ottomans and Proxies). There is even a simple trick in doing some Swedish Karpus cavalry I may reveal in a later posting.

The rules references are to Polemos – Great Northern War (PGNW) and Twilight of the Sun King (TotSK).  I discuss these rules to some extent here and here.

(Winged) Hussars

6 bases Poles/Lithanian supporting the Warsaw Confederation that were against the King of Poland (Augustus II the Strong) and fought with the Swedes. The rest of the bases (4 No.) represent members of the anti-Swedish Sandomierz Confederation.

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These hussars are the heroes from Vienna in 1683 (see link here) where they played a key role in the dramatic climax of the battle as the spearpoint of an eighteen thousand strong cavalry charge (that from the receiving end must have looked absolutely terrifying and been a true spectacle to witness). These units are charging cavalry and have been based in a wedge formation (9 miniatures, 60 by 30mm base) to be easily identified (as if the wings were not enough!).

They hussars forms the elite element of any Polish-Lithuanian army.  Steel and shock is definitely the dish being served by these type of units.  In the rules they are classified as Galloping Horse (GH).  It is not clear whether they still wore their wings in this battle, but for the sake of look I have decided they did.

I have used a mixture of models – look at the GNP01 to GNP05 and pick the ones you like.

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Pancerni

These were the backbone of the Polish-Lithuanian cavalry arm and were medium cavalrymen.  Their name is derived from the Polish name for chainmail – “pancerz”.

In the PGNW/TotSK rules they are classified as Eastern Horse (EH) and to distinguish them on the field of battle I have based them in three lines of three as can be shown in the picture.  This type are not powerful in the charge but are better in continued melee and maneuvering compared to normal Western Horse of the period.

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In the battle there are Pancerni units in both of the armies fielded (GNP06 – Pancerni, was used from the Polish range). There were based on a 60 by 30mm base and arranged in three groups of three. Some of them are classified (3 No.) as Galloping infantry (GNP07 – Petyhorcy) and are organized in a wedge formation like the hussars.

Warsaw Confederation (Pro-Swedish) – 21 bases

Sandomierz Confederation (Anti-Swedish) – 17 bases

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Light Horse Units

There were a few different types of Light cavalry present at the battle – these are open formation skirmish units and tend to avoid close combat if possible. In the two rulesets they are classified as Light Horse (LH). I have based them on 60 by 60mm bases and with 7 miniatures in open order (apart from the 3 Vallacker units that have 8 miniatures, including the Swedish Officers). The types are:

Kalmyks – These are light cavalry units from the Kalmyk Khanate, with Mongolian roots,  and are allies to the Russians. These play no active part in the battle and are guarding the Swedish potential retreat on the other side of the river.   These were made by using various codes from the Baccus Ancient ranges, basically anything on a horse with a Bow (e.g. AHU01 and  AHU02 – Hunnic Horse Archers). Useless for the battle but they do look good en masse. But calm down, these and the Cossacks, will make another guest appearance for the Poltava Battle (but that luckily is some time away).

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Cossacks – these are light irregular cavalry units allied to the Russians. Similar story as for the Kalmyks. The miniatures used are the Cossacks from the Great Northern War range (GNR10 – Cossacks, they are with the Russians).

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Jazda Lekka – these are Polish-Lihtuanian light cavalry (Jazda Lekka, simply means light cavalry in Polish!). These will be part of the main battle but are not showing up in any large numbers. They are fighting as part of both armies (the code used are from the Great Northern War range, GNP08 – Unarmoured Cavalry, they are with the Poles). 7 on the anti-Swedish side and 3 on the Pro-Swedish side (I chose to make these like Vallacker with Swedish Officers).

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Other Projects

This terminator project is getting a little bit out of hand – but in a nice way! Well it must be since both I and the Little One are having fun. Got some more stuff to work on this week.

  • 2 No. Humvees from Pig-Iron (link here), with additional stuff like the smoke grenade launchers, assault rifles and stowage from a Tamiya model accessory kit. The models are very nice, no clean-up required and you just need to glue on the wheels, and very competitively priced at £9.50 each. The miniature is from the Terminator Set and is about 28mm scale.  Not sure how we will paint these yet, but the Little One is thinking!

humvee1

humvee.jpg

  • Some cars arrived that we ordered from China (“1:50 scale Train Layout cars” should be enough to find them again). These are likely to get smashed up a little and end up like the ones we showed last week (see here). £7 all in from China.

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  • We also found a fork lift that seemed to scale reasonably well. This one will add some character to the overall proceedings.

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  • Finally, we checked out the relatively new Walking Dead miniatures game and they have a Scenery Pack that looked interesting (the picture show half of the contents and these will be great for the expanding rubble and car wrecks) so we got one of those as well.  We got the set from eBay at a very good price.

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/ Next time some more 6mm units for Kalisz and hopefully we have done a game of The Men who would be Kings, take care.

Lead astray or a hike to the snow cladded lead mountain – Part 2

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Swedes attacking a defended Saxon position (Miniatures from Baccus)

With a little help to my friends

Twilight of the Sun King Rules

Nick Dorrell’s adaptation of the Twilight of the Sun King Rules I talked about in an earlier blog (see here) are now published by the Pike and Shot society.  I really enjoy these fast play rules that makes it possible to play large horse and musket battles during late 17th and early 18th century in a reasonable time. Basing is adaptable and the rules works at two levels standard/brigade and regimental scale. In the standard scale a unit represents brigade or its equivalent (2,000 infantry or 1,000 cavalry – so about 4 battalions or 8 squadrons). For the regimental scale a unit equates to 1,000 infantry or 500 cavalry.  I play the game in the regimental scale, as I do GNW where the battles tends to be smaller and I have more than enough miniatures to play in this scale, using two 60 by 30mm bases for a unit with a total frontage of 120mm per unit. This is the same basing I use for the Polemos, Maurice and the Might and Reason rules. Further the units can be classified as small or large to allow for the variation in units sizes during the period, e.g. to deal with smaller elite units etc.

totsk

The rules are, to quote Nick from the Design Philosophy notes, “…radical, some would say reductionist, in their conception. It is based on the premise that during this time period, morale rather than numbers of casualties was the key to deciding combat and even the outcome of battles. Many wargames rules pay lip-service to this; however, these rules take the radical step of collapsing shooting and close combat into morale. This dramatically simplifies game play but does so, in the designers’ opinion, without significant loss of historical accuracy.”

The Rules as well as a Scenario book is now available from the Pike and Shot Society and can be obtained from them, http://www.pikeandshotsociety.org/, and other retail outlets.

The scenario book is called Louis XIV at War and features 10 battles – 4 of these are from the War of the Grand Alliance (1688 to 1697) and the other 6 from the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14). Each scenario includes orders of battles and a map.

A second scenario book is being worked on and will cover the Great Northern War and the Ottoman wars.

There is a Yahoo group:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/TwilightSK/info

and you can contact nick via wyreforestgamers@yahoo.co.uk

Collection Calculator

Another friend of mine, Peter Riley, came up with an idea for a Wargames collection calculator when he went to the Newbury show this year. As he walked and talked to gamers at the show it emerged from the many conversations he had is that we don’t know, in detail, what we have in our collections and what they are worth.  So to keep a good record of all the elements we have in our growing collections seemed a good idea.

A beta website has been set up here – http://collectioncalculator.com/ . Peter is looking for feedback on what you may think.

I think it is a brilliant idea and could be used to manage your collection, get an idea about its value for a sale or how much to insure your collection for. Try it out and if you like the general idea support it by letting them know how it can be improved.

In a recent Meeples and Miniatures episode the hosts discussed the issue about insuring your stuff when they were speculating what they would do if they lost their collection and got the opportunity to do it all again being given the full value from the insurance company. If you do not know what you have and are not adequately insured then this scenario could end it tears and not in speculation on what you would replace or not.

By the way Peter Riley is the author of a few sets of wargame rules, including the ACW rules Crisis of Allegiance and On They Came as well as the Franco-Prussian Wars rules Kommandant de Battaile and Kommandant de Armee. He is working on a few new sets including a colonial set called A Steady and Deliberate Fire.

Winter is coming

I have presented two Great Northern War battles at the Joy of Six show that took place during the winter season with snow and misery on the battle field – Fraustadt 1706 (with a mention in an earlier post here) and Gadebusch 1712.   I really like wintery landscapes having been brought up in Sweden, where minus degrees and snow is a constant for a large part of the year. It engulfs the land and when Spring finally comes it feels like the land has been subjected to some form of annual cleansing.

When I first did the Fraustadt Battle I was hesitant in “winter basing” the armies as I was going to do Klissow where I could have “re-used” a lot of the miniatures especially on the Saxon side. However the contrast between a wintery table and the rectangular zone of summer really annoyed me when I had finished the table and set up the bases on it.  So I got on with drybrushing all of the bases with white and then topped them up with some wintery tufts – it was worth the effort. Following the Gadebusch battle I now have fully sized GNW armies for the Swedes, Saxons and the Danes ready to rumble any time of the year.

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The Saxon forces at Fraustadt did stand and wait for the Swedes for a while but I do not think that it resulted in the grass growing, or that they had some Astro Turf ready to roll out. I agree with the fact that basing should make the miniatures stand out but this a little bit over the top!

So apart from the snow ventures above I have a passion, or perhaps compulsion, for the Winter War 1939-40.  It is a very interesting conflict and I went with the Baker Company Winter War 28mm Kickstarter a few years back – the project did not really go as intended and I only got part of what I expected. Instead I decided to go for it in 15mm and have recently completed enough to start playing some  Chain of Command with a Platoon with some options for each side (I will do a future posting for the Finnish and the Russian/Sovietic platoon).  I am also keen to try out the IABSM (I ain’t been shot Mum) rules from Company Sized actions. Both these rules are from the eminent makers of rules at Too Fat Lardies (Chain of Command here and IABSM here).

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Finnish Soldiers from the 1939-40 Winter War. The Light Machine Gun is the M-26 7.62mm Lahti-Saloranta.  The picture is taken from SA-kuva (Finnish Armed Forces Photographs) and you can find their webpage here.  This is a conflict to which the lead mountain has attracted permanent visitors from a number of scales.

So for IABSM I have a few options, (i) expand the 15mm platoons for Chain of Command, (ii) use the Pithead 10mm ones I bought a few years back or (iii) try out the 6mm Finnish from Heroics and Ros.

I bought a few test strips from Heroics and Ros from their Finnish Range and also a strip from the Snow/Ski Troopers.  I decided to paint these and base them to see how they would look like and put them on a 65 by 65mm base. I am pleased how they came out and I think it will work well for the IABSM rules (although I would probably use 25mm bases) – I hope you agree (Note one of the pictures show some 15mm miniatures from the Chain of Command Finns).  I used some snow flock mixed with Matte Mod Podge for the basing, it looks slightly better for real than in the photos.  I am going to do a winter company for the Finns, Russians and Germans as they did some combined operations with the Finns.  With this scale it should not take very long to complete a company worth of miniatures. It will look fantastic.

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I think I have to order some more from Heroics and Ros. For the Pithead stuff, well I have no problem with it staying on the mountain for now!  The 28mm Baker Company stuff I did get I will probably get rid off.

Not really Winter but cold as death

About 2 months ago I wrote about some new 6mm miniatures from Microworld Games (see here). I did not buy the Landsknechts this time but I bought the new duelists and peasants as well as a large number of zombies and ghouls for another little project I am working on (I am doing the Saga Revenants faction in 6mm when I have time). Anyway, I got them this week as it was a pre-order, and I really liked the look of the duelists and the peasants – some of these will be used for my Sharp Practice games. I could not resist painting up a little vignette on a 60 by 60mm base with some zombies controlled by a witch/necromancer (from Perfect Six)  attacking three witch hunters (the duelists) supported by a few farmers.  This is a homage to a roleplaying scenario I played when I was a kid (well at least a younger kid) and actually a Christmas present to a very dear friend.

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Ok next time I will get on with some Great Northern War stuff and the Towards Moscow Project / Keep on toysoldiering!

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Gadebusch 1712 from Joy of Six 2015 – the Swedes advancing over the frozen fields towards the Danes.
Featured

Kalisz 1706 at Salute 2017 – Prologue to the Towards Moscow Trilogy

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Kalisz 1706 is a strange epilogue to the GNW Saxon Campaign or a prologue to the Russian Campaign. It will  field a significant amount of bases with 6mm minatures (close to 200 bases counting leaders and artillery, a total of over 1,700 miniatures).  It will have a large amount of Polish Pancerni and Hussars as well as a significant contingent of Russian Cossacks, Kalmucks and Dragoons supporting the Saxon cavalry force. A very small Swedish contingent (in relative terms) with an infantry section consisting of a large portion of prisoners of war from the Fraustadt Battle and with very few indelta regiments overall, supported by a Polish-Lithuanian contingent that historically were eager to fight but withdrew after the first enemy push.

This Battle (link to Wikipedia entry here) that was part of the Great Northern War is not very known as the outcome did not make a significant impact on the overall war. It is an interesting event in several ways:

  • Augustus the Strong (Electorate of Saxony) had agreed to a peace treaty with the Swedes following the decisive victory at Fraustadt 1706 followed by the Swedish crown army invading Saxony. But Augustus did not tell his Russian ally and instead tried to get the Swedish General Mardefelt to retreat to save his own face. The Battle was therefore unnecessary and considering an estimated 5,000 men died in the process it seems pointless.
  • The battle includes a lot of different fighting forces – Saxons, Russians, Swedish-Finnish, 2 Polish contingents (one on each side), Lithuanians, Kalmucks and Cossacks.  It creates a very “colourful” table.
  • The Poles on the Swedish side fled the battle on the enemy side advancing although they had given assurances they would stay and fight to the last drop of blood. The Poles, whose country had been torn apart by the war, were perhaps not as motivated as those famous winged hussars who saved the day in Vienna 1683 or invigorated by the warrior spirit like the Polish soldiers who held back the Wehrmacht for 3 days at the Battle of Wizna 1939, when they were fighting 40-1 (Which incidentally is one of the best early Sabaton songs, you can find here), neither did they show the prowess nor resolve of the brave Poles of the No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron that fought the Germans in the Battle of Britain 1940.  There is no question about the quality of the Polish soldier throughout history – however during this conflict their heart was certainly not in it.

I presented this battle with Nick Dorrell and his merry men from the Wyre Forest Wargames Club at the Joy of Six in 2014. We applied to run it at Salute in 2017 and we got the acceptance letter this week. The Battle will be presented on a 8 by 4 feet table and there will be a lot of bases on it.  Models by Baccus from the GNW codes apart from the Kalmucks that are made from the ancient/ rome’s enemies Hun range.

We got a positive mention by Neil Shuck (Famous for running Saga Games in 6mm at Joy of Six amongst other things and perhaps slightly more famous for the Meeples and Miniatures Podcast) in the Miniatures Wargames Magazine (September 2014)  for the Kalisz Battle, who said “It’s a shame that it won’t be touring other UK shows, as this is a fantastic example of what can be achieved in this small scale. Not so much a war game as a work of art.”

[Note: However, he did not get the name of the battle or the year of the battle right in the article.  😉 ]

Salute, as you may know, is the biggest wargames show in the UK (you can read all about it here) and we have been “showing off” before as I and Nick presented a table with the Fraustadt 1706 battle in 2014.  So if you are going there come and say hello. We will be presenting this as a Polemos (GNW)/Twilight of the Sun King Battle.

I will provide some more detailed photos of the various elements after I have found them and dusted them off.

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Kalisz Summary Forces

Swedish Force (excluding command bases and artillery)

Polish – 22 cavalry bases (60X30mm bases, with 9 cavalry  models on each)

Lithuanians – 11 cavalry bases  (60X30mm bases,  with 9 cavalry models on each)

Swedish Infantry – 6 infantry bases (60X30mm bases, with 24 infantry models on each)

Swedish Cavalry – 15 cavalry bases (60X30mm bases, with 9 cavalry models on each)

Saxon/Russian Force (excluding command bases and artillery)

Polish – 36 cavalry bases (60X30mm bases, with 9 cavalry models on each)

Saxon – 22 cavalry bases (60X30mm bases, with 9 cavalry models on each)

Russian – 36 cavalry bases (60X30mm bases, with 9 cavalry models on each)

Kalmucks – 22 light horse bases (60X60mm bases, with 8 cavalry models on each)

Cossacks – 14 light horse bases (60X60mm bases, with 8 cavalry models on each)

/ Take Care