Sometimes the work-life balance does not swing favourably in terms of time left to do hobby related activities. This week, and I suspect the next week, will be one of those times.
The little time I did have this week was spent progressing on the Rats for Dreadball and they are now ready for some detailing. When they are done it will give a full Season One painted set-up with 4 teams (including the a full complement of MVPs). Not great paint jobs but far better than the base grey colour of the plastic and I managed to do it in about 3 weeks of limited hobby time. The fact that the Little One is into it as well makes it more motivational to crack on with.
The Little One and I had a few good games of Dreadball using two human teams to get to grips of the rules – and we really like it. I really recommend the series of videos by Andy2D6 on YouTube, the first one “How To Play DreadBall – Part One: The Board” can be found here.
The following are a few shots from the games we played. The Little ones blue guys was a bonus we got when we bought another base set of eBay – to add a few more Season 2 teams cheaply. As per usual he rolled high and I rolled low, his Jacks (all-rounders) were as good slammers as my Guards (heavy hitters) and his ability to use the Strikers was very inspirational. Nevertheless after a few games we got a nice flow and we really enjoy playing it (did I say we like it?).
Since I prefer my hat Tricorne I have been looking forward to the latest version of the Command and Colors rules (e.g. Memoirs 44 and Command and Colors Ancients) called Tricorne Command and Colors – The American Revolution. I got my copy from Boardgameguru (see here) and I think that is the best deal currently on the net (or at least that I found browsing around). I have to admit that I felt that the price was a little bit steep but I had already made my mind up and I suspect the first print run will sell out fast and then it will cost even more to get hold of a copy later.
The rules booklet is downloadable here. The following scenarios are covered:
The following units are included (as the classical wooden blocks) to play the scenarios and I am tempted to do something with it in 6mm – at some point in the future. Baccus make all the miniatures needed (link to their AWI range here) and I think it would look absolutely fantastic.
/ I hope it will be like a Carlsberg – Worth waiting for! Incidentally I am also waiting for some magnets I have ordered to push on with the Rommel bases (see previous post here). Have a good week!
It seems like ages ago that we went to Sheffield for the Joy of Six 2017 and I have had my head down into work and some neglected duties like 1800mm terrain modelling (gardening) and real life painting (some feature walls instead of shield walls) with a limited amount of any useful hobby time. However, there is always some progress on some front in the Roll a One world (but more on that next week).
This is my take on the fantastic spectacle that is the Joy of Six – it is very biased as I frankly spent most of the day around the two tables I had brought. I had a few round trips but failed to take more than a few pictures of the other offerings – mainly because I ended up having a chat and then feeling bad that I had left the tables and rushed back. However, this was a little bit of an unnecessary mitigation as the games were running pretty well without my interference. The Wyre Foresters running the Lesnaya Table and the Little One the Lechnaga bash. So as far as a proper show report goes it is a limited one. For a better overview check out the report on Baccus page (link here and here).
A tale of two tables
It was a nice and sunny day in Sheffield and we woke up early as we actually managed to get to bed relatively early. The mat for the Lesnaya Battle was rolled out and it was so refreshing compared to the usual 2 by 2 feet boards I have been using in the past – that invariably have warped a little bit and/or the underlying tables being uneven leading to some interesting and unintended elevations.
I had some fears about the varnish and the rivers but it all seemed to work very well – I think I have convinced myself that I will do mats from now (more on this adventure here).
When we had put on all the trees, the houses, the wagons and the starting units I took a step back and I have to admit we were pleased. “It is GEFAG!”, the Little One said – Good Enough For A Game!
The Wyre Forrester, under the guidance of Nick Dorrell, got on with the job. Most of the time was spent talking about the table, the war, the mat and the Twilight of the SunKing Rules that was used on the day (the basing I use is the Polemos “standard” but this works equally well for the TotSK rules – one base is a small unit, two bases a normal unit and three bases a large unit).
At the latter part of the day the game started moving in earnest but did not reach a climax before we packed up.
Here are a few pictures from the action.
For the Lechnaga battle (see background here and here) we used one of the mats I did for the Saga stuff last year and the canopy forests (see more here on this terrain). The actual gaming area was the middle half of the 3 by 4 foot mat.
We decided to run the game (using Dragon Rampant Rules) with a war band/force sheet for each player and did a bespoke measuring stick based (we used centimeters instead of inches) on the units in the war band. We also did cards that to use to agree the order in which a player had a go – this created another layer of friction to the game. All, of course, colour coordinated! I have provided the files if you are interested in doing something similar.
I bought some cheap 20cm rulers for 50 pence each and printed out the file (download files here in PDF and Powerpoint – Dragon Rampant Rulers and Dragon Rampant Rulers) on some sticker paper (normal paper and glue may do as well!) and put them on the rulers where appropriate.
A then the file with the factions used on the day here Factions and here Factions .
We had a few good games – the Little One was in charge. Here are some pictures – a big thank you to the few who dared to sit down and roll a few dice with the kids. The future of the gaming community and industry salutes you! The Little One would like to give a special thanks to Oliver and Chris!
It was a very good day, but it always seems to end too quickly, here are a few of the things that I managed to capture.
Of particular interest to me was the Battle of Issus using Command and Colours (or is it Colors!) by the Wyre Forest gang. This really got me inspired to do something similar for the Punic Wars (but I save this discussion to another time – when I have not clue what to write about!). There is a picture of it on the Baccus link above.
Yet again a very good event indeed. Thanks to Baccus, Wargames Emporium and all the other people that makes it all happen. I have to extend the thank you to my two Little Ones – one doing her second year in the Yellow Joy of Six Jersey, selling entrance and raffle tickets, and the other for running one of the games. Also a big thanks to Nick and the other merry men from the Wyre Forest!
Finally and big thank you to all of you who came around and said hello and told me you were reading this blog and liked it. I really appreciate it and all you others who seem to come by every now and then!
We will back next year!, did I say thank you?
/ Have a good week!
Postscript (15/10/17): I have had a few queries on the sources of the trees I used for this project, I got these from various sources on eBay. Here are a few screenshots done on the date indicated above of what I used. None of these are based (apart form the Orbicular ones have a little of a root section) and I did it by using washers with a bit of Milliput and make a hole in, let it dry, glue on some sand and paint it up, flock it and stick in the tree with some glue. Some boring hours of work but I do think it is well worth it.
The fir trees were from Busch and I think I got 3 or 4 packs of these – shop around as I recall I got mine somewhat cheaper.
The other main tree was of this variety.
I also got a few packs of the following:
Another postscript a little bit later:
These are the blur for the two games we ran on that day.
One of the highlights of every Joy of Six is Per Broden’s annual exploration of his Swedish heritage as he stages wonderful games with a distinctly Scandinavian feel. At the Joy of Six 2016 he went one further and produced two games.
He is repeating this feat this year, with two very different offerings in scope and subject matter.
Here is what you can expect to see this year in Per’s own words:
I, Nick Dorrell and the very decent chums of the Wyre forest Wargames club will be doing three battles (two that took place and one that could have been) from the Great Northern War covering the, from a Swedish perspective, ill-fated Russian campaign 1708 to 1709. Each of these battles will be presented at the Joy of Six show over the next three years.
The campaign is the invasion of Russia by Charles XII of Sweden starting with the crossing of the frozen Vistula river in early 1708 and ends with the Swedish defeat at the Battle of Poltava in the Summer of 1709. It is the beginning of the end for Sweden as a dominant military power in north-eastern Europe.
The first battle is Lesnaya 1708 and is interesting as it is, in effect, an ambush by a Russian flying detachment, led by Tsar Peter himself, on a smaller Swedish army that is travelling through the forests of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Swedish army is led by General Lewenhaupt who is escorting a supply column of more than 4,500 wagons to support the main Swedish Army. From the perspective of doing the battle we need a lot of forest as well as about 40 or more bases to represent the supply column itself.
In writing this the miniatures (from the Baccus range) are about 95% complete with a few more Russian dragoons to go. The main thing remaining is the gaming area itself and a large number of trees is being finalised (there will be about 500 trees on the table!).
Overall the forces consists of:
Russians, a few leaders and artillery as well as 10 bases (24 miniatures, on 60 by 30mm bases) of infantry and 57 bases of Dragoons (9 miniatures, on 60 by 30mm bases).
Swedes, a few leaders and artillery as well as 10 Polemos bases (24 miniatures, on 60 by 30mm bases) of infantry and 57 Polemos bases of Dragoons (9 miniatures, on 60 by 30mm bases)
We will using Nick Dorrell’s adaptation of the Twilight of the Sun King Rules published by the Pike and Shot society, to play the game.
The game, and it’s very uneven progress, is being reported on the roll a one blog (rollaone.com) – you can follow it there and see if we make it over the finishing line in July.’
So game number one, is another of Per’s GNW epics. His second production couldn’t be more different both in scope and subject matter, although I do detect a little Swedish influence creeping in…
‘The Skirmish at Lechnagha in the Year of 708, since the birth of Suecia, during the Gigantic Northern War 700-721
A black arrow with red feathers suddenly hit one of the pack mules and it fell violently to the ground as its legs gave away to the heavy load it was carrying. This was shortly followed by hideous laughs and taunts from the surrounding forest – the same damn laughs he had heard so many times before. With the black and red arrow signature there was no doubt what was coming next. Prior Lewen Hauptmann of the Knights of Suecia, threw his red cloak over his shoulder, raised his warhammer and turned to his men and screamed; “Get ready for the Greenskin’s attack! Push them back to their rotten holes! Give no pardon as it shall not be given to you! From earth they have come and to dust they will go!”. He pulled down the visor of his helmet and gave a short prayer and looked around at his men – ironclad battle hardened Knights ready to fight to their last dying breath. “For the Glory of Suecia, give us your strength of battle!” he yelled out the blessing and his brothers responded concurrently; “We accept your strength”, to complete the linkage to the divine plane. For a moment a reddish glow could be seen from their swords and spears as they were imbued with the spiritual power.
The Prior reflected for a moment on the stupidity of this wretched mission and how he had been forced into it by the Knight Marshal Carrophlus following his failure holding the Fort at Narvay. He had chosen to spare his men from slaughter and made a deal with the treacherous Steward of Polesh, Arghaust the Strong who, he was the first to admit, surprisingly had let them go after opening the gates. The enemy had grown stronger under the combined leadership by Arghaust and the mighty Warboss Pethor the Brute, a tall Orc whose organisational skill, cunning and patience was remarkable for his kind. Pethor had manage to organise the Goblin and Orc rubble into a formidable fighting force. It had only been a matter of time before the Fort would fall and enough of his brothers had already been slain and reinforcements had not been forthcoming. The Fort was of limited strategic importance and he had chosen to live to fight another day.
As penance for this “disloyalty”, in addition to the demotion to Prior, he and his surviving men had been ordered to bring supplies to the cut-off townspeople of Lechnagha. He had no retinue of servants, squires, men-at-arms or Sergeants as was the custom for these kind of soul purification missions. It had been a hellish journey through Goblin infested forests with constant harassment. He had lost half the men they started out with and only half of them still had their horses. If their calculations were correct they were only a few miles away from the Town itself. It had a small regular army garrison and since he had felt the presence of evil watching them for the last few days he had sent a rider for some enforcements. But now that seemed to have been in vain. He thought back on the situation at Narvay and how his death there would have qualified his name into the songs of the minstrels but instead he was facing death here in the middle of this despicable forest – for what?
He was quickly brought back to reality as yet another arrow hit another mule. He looked around and could see Greenskins on both sides of the road riding their growling dire wolves closer. They always got excited at the beginning of the fighting and intensified their laughter, reminiscent of that of a raving lunatic, that normally stroke fear into their opponents. However, this was not what frightened him the most, it was the otherworldly scream he could hear from within the forest itself.
This is a participation game using the popular Dragon Rampant fantasy wargame rules by Dan Mersey (played to satisfaction not perfection). The main purpose is to have fun but also to showcase that 6mm can be used for games normally associated with the larger scales not just replacing individual miniatures with bases of many (like we did for Saga last year) but also scaling it down and still being able to enjoy a game. With a 2′ by 2′ board (the size of a small coffee table) playing in centimetres instead of inches is in fact like playing on 4’6” by 4’6″ board. We figure if you can have a few blokes taking a flag for a walk representing a regiment in some scales, why not do skirmish in 6mm?
We (the Little One and I) will run a few session over the day (with up to 4 participants each time) and welcome anyone to have a go. 1 to 2 players will control the Knights and 1 to 2 players will control the Greenskins. It will serve as an introduction to the rules and we will limit each session to about 45-60 minutes (including a high level rule go-through). We happily mix fantasy miniatures from Baccus, Rapier, Irregular Miniatures, Perfect Six and Microworld on the table.
We have blogged about 6mm skirmish extensively on the roll a one blog (rollaone.com) – I will bring some of the other miniatures for other periods for you to have a look at should you wish.’
After having banged the 6mm skirmish drum for a while I have no choice but to get on with the big battle of the Year as Joy of Six is getting closer.
In creating a battle board for gaming a known battle there are a number of steps I take to allow me to create a reasonable area that creates the right balance between four elements – historical accuracy, playability, available space and overall visual impact. Remembering important issues such as the difference between the ground scale and the figure scale for large scale battles (and building scale) – this is why you see towns represented by just a few buildings next to rivers that looks like the models could just jump over.
The Lesnaya Battle was not a straightforward “line-them-up-and-attack” battle but happened in stages where the Russians first attacked the Swedish rearguard that was reinforced in stages but the front line of battle constantly moved back towards Lesnaya – it quickly became clear that the battle would be best played length wise on the table.
I have used the map below as basis for the battle board and it was produced by Örjan Martinson on his absolutely brilliant Tacitus Webpage that contain a lot of useful information about the Lesnaya as well as other battles of the Great Northern War (link here http://www.tacitus.nu/gnw/battles/Lesnaya/ ). The map show the position of the opposing sides at the start if the battle (Note the name of Lesnaya in the traditional Swedish spelling – Ljesna).
The first thing I wanted to do was to overlay my conceptual 4 by 8 feet (120cm by 240cm) battle board space over the map and see what area this would cover – would it be enough to play the battle on? In this case I simply use the Freijbourg Rearguard as the basis for my battle board (marked in the red circle) for my calculations. The Rearguard consisted of 2 No. battalions of De la Gardie’s Regiment and 1 No. battalion of the Närke-Värmland 3-männing Regiment. In the Polemos Rules each battalion is represented by a 60mm frontage base and in the Twilight of the Sun King rules this is (at battalion level) represented by a normal unit (2 No. 60mm frontage bases) and a small unit (1 No. 60mm frontage base). Giving some space between the battalion I used a length of 20cm for the 3 bases.
In the PowerPoint files I used to do the exercise the length of the Rearguard Box (in the picture) was 1.4cm and I multiplied this with 6 to get the equivalent of 120cm (or 4 feet) length, this is 8.4cm and I created two squares (with 8.4cm sides) and overlay these on the map to represent the area the board would cover. To my (happy!) surprise the area covered (as shown in the picture below) was spot on for where the fighting actually occurred. Sometimes it does not work and you may not have enough space – you could easily cut this board down to a 6 by 4 table by taking away 2 feet of on the left hand side. The first notable encounter between the opposing armies was at the location of the rearguard. In addition it could be possible to reduce the depth as well but we did not have those problems on this occasion. All the Russian forces will not start on the board!
Following a deeper review of the overall battle from the start to finish with regards to the known locations of fighting, the area covered is sufficient to represent the fighting on the day.
But wait!, you may say… In the In the Twilight of the King Rules a base width (60mm, or 6cm, in our case) is about 150 meters, meaning that the frontage for our 3 bases (18cm) is about 450 meters. As we measured 20cm this equates to about 500 meters width for the set of three bases with some space in-between. We can clearly see that the width of the rectangle is far less than the 0.5km length based on the ruler in the to left corner. So in terms of adherence to real scale it does not work but in terms of ground scale and playability it does – I think that makes sense?
Case Study: Fraustadt 1706
Another example is when I did the wintery Fraustadt 1706 Battle a few years ago where the main feature was the line of Saxons and Russians between the two Villages (Rörsdorf and Geyersdorf). The key design feature of that battle board was to be able to fit all the based miniatures for this line the space available. I physically put all the bases on the table and used this to draw the features on the board, this gave me the “correct” measurements to play the game efficiently. I recall that I took some liberties on the Saxon/ Russian left flank to make the it work, but overall the battle board reflected the terrain features of the battle.
Back to the Lesnaya table and the next step which is to highlight the key features of the battlefield that are needed on the final battle board. The board will contain a lot of forested areas (!), roads (important as they cut through the forests), rivers and bridges and the elevation around Lesnaya and the river.
After this I mark out the features (I did not include the bridges or Lesnaya itself at this stage) and we are ready for the tools and the materials.
The mat will incorporate the forest areas and make these darker than the general white areas (these will incorporate a few fields) the marshland will be a in yet a different colour and I will create separate river tiles to put on top of the mats (with bridges), including the elevations around Lesnaya.
I have not yet started the mat, instead focused the weekend on basing some trees – I will need a fair few.
Hope to show some mat progress soon.
I am working on some 6mm fantasy stuff in the background, here are a few pictures of work in progress (I will do a write-up later).
We could not help ourselves and really ought to be cracking on with the main project (whatever that was) but enjoyed the game of Pikeman’s Lament last week (see here) so we thought we give it another try. As usual a lot of pictures, hope you like it… but first a few other things.
Loose ends from Last Week
I got some questions about some of the stuff I used for last weeks battle, especially about the battle board. I will do a similar one for the Joy of Six Sharp Practice game in a few weeks time so I will do a tutorial and post it here, as this will be done in a similar way.
Also I made simple cards for each unit and laminated these – simple but effectual. I did them in Excel and pasted them into PowerPoint and added a picture of each unit, with a national emblem and a background. No more information than on the normal company roster, just one of those things we feel enhances the gaming experience overall.
I have plenty of Swedish lead hanging around so I thought I do a few of these as well for our trials of the PL rules.
As per the plan a few blogs ago.
Aggressive Elite Gallopers
Rebasing the French Indian War Stuff
Whilst I was at it I have also rebased the French Indian War stuff I did for Sharp Practice using the “1-2-3 method” I have discussed before, as it is makes it easier to play especially for smaller skirmish. Here are some pictures of the bases with the “old” shock markers next to them. We will have to get things ready for this one as well pretty soon, as they are showing up at Joy of Six! Note the French Commander from our game last and this week (Lt. Dupont – the younger I suppose?). For the original posting and the previous basing, see here. Note that some of the units are based in a 1-2-2-3 for the 8 model units (line) and 1-2-2-2-3 for the 10 model units (militia).
A What-if Battle to test the Pikeman’s Lament rules again
We thought we should take the Swedes for a spin against the same Ottoman side as last week (see here).
We had a friend of the family visiting so we invited him to be the Swedes and the Little One got the Ottomans again. Unlikely pairing but we wanted to try the Swedes out and the Little One wanted to field the Ottomans again (and hoping to gain some more Honour to his Lt. Dupont). We agreed on doing it but keeping the historical blasphemy quiet.
I actually painted the Swedish infantry above as being part of the Dalregementet in uniforms they had around the time of the Poltava Battle in 1709 were they surrendered. The regiment was then reformed in 1710 and stayed in Sweden until they fought bravely at Gadebusch in 1712 . So they were certainly not around in Pruth.
The regiment was disbanded in 2000 and was the pride of the Dalarna region and fought in many famous Swedish battles throughout history, including Breitenfeld (1631), Lützen (1632), Lund (1676), Narva (1700), Kliszow (1702), Holovczyn (1708), Malatitze (1708), and as mentioned above at Poltava (1709) and Gadebusch (1712).
Their marsch was the famous Stenbocken Marsch to honour Fieldmarshal Magnus Stenbock who was Colonel for the Regiment at the Battle of Narva and later the commander of the Great Victories at Halmstad (1710) and Gadesbusch (1712). The lyrics in Swedish here. The first part of it translated to English (rather hastily) by yours truly below (the rest is as “poetic”, note that I have translate the Gå-På as Go Unto – this was the name of the offensive Swedish tactics used since Gustavus Adolphus days).
March, Soldiers! Go unto in the name of the Lord,
Cock the hammer merrily back, then eagerly present,
Give fire, musket down, take the sword in your hand.
Go unto, fear neither death nor fire
Go unto, for our native land!
To dare your life for king and family,
Is covered both in heaven and on earth,
Therefore we will plucky,
In our blue uniform,
Go unto, stand, thrust and slash,
Yes, beat them all, so
that they lay dead like cut straw
As for the Galloping cavalry I had a few left overs from the ones I did a few weeks back as I only needed one base of the Adelsfanan i Livland och på Ösel but had a fair few of grey coated cavalry I no longer needed. This is the Cavalry Corps of the Nobility in Livonia and Ösel. They were part of the march to Ukraine with Lewenhaupt and also surrendered at Poltava (1709) and a smaller part of the unit that had remained in Riga surrendered in 1710.
In fact, and based on reading the draft of Nick Dorrell’s upcoming book (discussed here), there were a small number of Swedish soldiers with the Crimean Khanate as part of the Ottoman allies most likely cavalry unit and some officers as advisors. I will repent and make another more likely force containing mostly of gallopers from the elite Drabanterna unit and some riders from the Södra Skånska Kavalleriregementet. These would most likely fight side by side with some light cavalry units.
But I digress and back to the what-if battle….
For the Swedes we chose (a 24 point force):
2 units of Shot @ 4 points each
1 unit of Pike @ 4 points
2 Aggressive elite Gallopers @ 6 points each
The Scenario and Set-up
With regards to the battlefield (yet again a 2 by 2 board) we had a little section of river with a bridge, a road, a field, a rocky hill, some houses and a lot of trees.
The starting positions for the Ottoman units were: (1) the Siaphi 3 cavalry units at the south end of the table behind the forest, and (2) the 2 Janissary shoot units in the southeast corner on the road next to the two houses.
The Swedes, of course, came from the North with the (1) two Adelsfanan cavalry units from the Northeast on the road and (2) the three foot units from the North.
Here some close-ups of those starting positions.
This was a straightforward battle to the end scenario.
The Swedish battle plan was to get up on the hill in the middle with one of the shot units (to which the officer was attached) and move the pike units towards the road. The second shot unit would move around the North West forest and move forward from there. The two cavalry units would advance to the other side of the bridge and wait for the foot units to get into position.
The Little One wanted to get his cavalry through the forest and start harassing the enemy as soon as possible but at the same time advance his shot to the middle of the road. He regarded the Elite Gallopers as the biggest threat with their stamina of 4. On me telling him not to underestimate the Swedish infantry he asked me if I had read about Poltava and told me that they would probably get lost in the forest! Fair enough point taken.
Below are the pictures I took during the battle. In short the Ottomans had some problems getting their shot getting to move on the road (perhaps the orders in French by Lt. Dupont were not clear enough). However the Ottoman Cavalry did managed to move through the forest and although it did manage to cause some damage to the Swedish cavalry who had advanced to the other side of the bridge it was not enough and instead the Swedish cavalry (being elite and with Stamina at 4) got the upper hand of that exchange but at very high cost.
The Swedish shot unit (as planned) got up on the top of the hill and from a relatively safe position managed to take out most of the Ottoman cavalry threat and also kill Ottoman shot unit with Lt. Dupont attached to it that had been successfully reduced in power by the pike unit. However it (the shot unit) became a target for the Ottoman Crack shots (the second shot unit) that successfully manage to remove almost half its units in one shot (having previously done the same with the unit coming down on the east flank), killing the commander and making the unit rout (miserable morale roll). But before then a reinforcement unit of Swedish shot had appeared.
The Little One waited for the right moment and managed to clinch victory by routing the newly arrived reinforcement and then manage to get reinforcements in the eleventh hour – but by this time the battle was over. The Little One had rolled brilliantly and turned the tides, yet again! It feels a little bit better not standing there as a looser for a change!
In short we had yet another great time and the reflections this time are:
The terrain modifiers with regards to movement and combat are simple but yet feel realistic.
The elite gallopers are a very potent force!
The pike ability of close order is very good and captures the role of pike in a simple straightforward way. It worsens the ability to attack but makes it better to defend and cause damage to the attacker much better. The Pikes stamina score of 3 is also useful and makes them very strong against attacking- (as opposed to shot) biased units – like gallopers.
The Little One learned that it is not over until the last dice are rolled although his cavalry was decimated he still had two strong (elite) shot units that made the day.
The rule of something good happening if you roll a double 6 on activation (and bad on a double 1) created some interesting events during the battle with the Swedish reinforcement about midway through the battle and the Ottoman reinforcement at the end of the battle. Again this adds to the Narrative and fog of war.
The Little Ones commander Lt. Dupont survived and was saved by the soldiers and he got another 5 honour so he is now “officially” a Lieutenant (at 24 points total) and he got the new trait of Fencing Master (giving him benefits if he challenges another Commander).
But, as you know by now, it is not over until the thumbs are up or down.
So all in all another successful game.
/ I hope that was of some interest, have a good week
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.
We selected 24 points for each side resulting in the following two forces:
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.
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).
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).
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 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.
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.
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!”.
However they opened fire and knocked out two of the six models making the unit wavering (we used ammo box markers for this!).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
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.
Very well, it seems like we have another game we can play together.
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.
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.
GNS01 (Tricorne) or GNS02 (Karpus)
GNS03 (Tricorne) or GNS04 (Karpus)
Aggressive Elite Gallopers
GNS05 or GNS06
Sorry trying to avoid drifting, back to the Pruth stuff.
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
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)
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).
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).
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!
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!
5 units of 12 Veteran Shot, based with the 1-2-3 method (12mm, 15mm and 20mm bases).
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are a few shots of our table in no particular order.
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.
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!
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).
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.
The Saxon contingent are all Cavalry and are commanded by Augustus the Strong Supported by General Brandt.
The Dragon units (all red uniforms with facing/cuff colours in parenthesis) –
Leibregiment (white), Milkau (yellow), von der Goltz (black)
von Brause (lemon yellow) and von Schulenburg (straw)
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)
Kurprinz (yellow) ,von Eichstädt (Coffee Brown), Gersdorff (grey) and Prince Alexander (green).
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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).
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!
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.
We also found a fork lift that seemed to scale reasonably well. This one will add some character to the overall proceedings.
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.
/ Next time some more 6mm units for Kalisz and hopefully we have done a game of The Men who would be Kings, take care.
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.
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.
and you can contact nick via email@example.com
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Ok next time I will get on with some Great Northern War stuff and the Towards Moscow Project / Keep on toysoldiering!