I have been running a little bit of an occasional series on Twitter (@Roll_a_one) giving some more or less profound advice with regards to the 6mm aspect of the hobby from my perspective, you can find these under the #6mm tips and were done in 2019 and 2020. I also asked the Hive Mind for some advice recently and I have used these two sources to write a little bit of a rambling post about some of the insights I have learned from painting 6mm miniatures over the last 15 years or so. They are my own views and your Glorantha may vary! I am passionate about the scale and try to share the love I feel for it as much as possible.
Thinking about 6mm
If you have never tried painting 6mm why not find a manufacturer and order a small pack and see if it works for you – you might be pleasantly surprised. The models shown below are Bison Riders from Rapier Miniatures, Sci-fi models from Brigade Models, 8th Army infantry from Adler and some SYW Mounted Grenadiers (used as Russians in my GNW games).
Approach to Painting
I think this summary from Joe about his first experience of painting 6mm is extremely useful for how I think 6mm is best tackled, of course some people are spending a lot of time on detail and there is no problem with that. I tend to do too large projects to be able to spend a lot of time on each little miniatures. Paint an army that looks good from when you stand up or sit back looking at it on the wargames table. The second tweet shows that every now and then you will achieve something that looks really good in detail even if you did not plan it.
Painting your Miniatures
I did a few painting guides last year, showing “my” method with regards to how I tend to paint, but there are various ways of doing it. Below is a link to an old blog that gives links to the 4 guides I did. Use a good brush with a good point, try to get used using a Size 1 or even 2 for the majority of the painting. A 10/0 is just a waste of time in my opinion, wears out quickly and holds no paint – dip paint dip paint, instead of dip paint along! I use grey with black wash, some prefer black (perhaps drybrushed white), brown or white undercoat. I struggle with white as it is less forgiving than darker undercoats, but with some washed people can achieve some excellent results. As for the colours go a little bit brighter as this will look better from a distance, play with contrasts if you can, it works better than highlights if you do it right.
The first one relates to washing your miniatures or not (this is washing them as part of the painting process, not before your start working on them, which I heard you should but I never do). Some people paint their miniatures nicely and perhaps even do a few highlights and do not bother with a wash. I tend to block paint my miniatures as good as I can, then add Winsor and Newton Nutbrown Ink on top, make sure it does not pool too much and sometimes I add some highlights once it has dried. I find this method being the most efficient balance between a lot of work on detail and limited detail as the wash tends to do a good job and I just love the shine of the Nut. I never varnish my 6mm stuff – perhaps I should?
Detail when it matters
Some detail can really pay off and look ok even from a distance, for my Gallic warriors below I just carefully added some blue ink – upfront it does not look very well but from a distance you could image that those are some kind of tattoos. The second tweet show the power of using highlights on bare skin making a hell of difference to the final result. The final tweet is showing how powerful some nicely detailed shields can be. The last one about painting Tartan in 6mm, well actually it is not Tartan at all – the brain will fill in what is difficult to paint.
Basing is not everything but pretty close
Make sure your basing is consistent and think about how it interfaces with your board/mat, well at least the one you are most likely to use. It is more powerful if the base blends into the playing surface and the army is aligned. All my 6mm stuff is more or less aligned, this includes the terrain – it all comes together.
Light and Sight
This is really important if you are not able to see properly your painting will suffer. First priority get a good daylight lamp, mine cost about £120 but I do spend a lot of time under it. Second if you are not able to see properly get some magnifying glasses to support you doing the work – I just use my normal glasses and it works fine at the moment.
Some Bonus Tips
Anyway, I do hope that was of some interest, please provide some tips and advice of your own in the comments.
I was flashed a Republican Roman army by Ebay the other day, it looked well painted and there were a lot of miniatures for the £65 asked for including postage, with a mixture of Baccus and Rapier models. Doing a quick calculation I found the metal value was about £62 if the models would have been bought from Baccus and Rapier, the models were really well painted.
Well for the cost of bare metal and the models already base painted I thought it might be quicker to remove the figures from the bases, add some details and rebase them in my own style and base style – I have based all my ancients on 50 by 20mm bases (based on some Command and Colors stuff I have done). Before you do this it could be worth asking the seller how they based the figures – if they based the modes with sand and pva, it is relatively easy to do this (even if they superglued the models first), if a form of filler were used it is still ok but messier and finally if a superglue was used for both attaching the figures and to bind the sand – I would probably give it a pass. These were glued on then based with PVA and Sand – piece of cake.
Here is the steps I took.
In total it took me a few sessions, about 9 hours to rebase all the miniatures (including doing the shields and a few more highlights) – I would not have been able to paint the bare lead and base up nowhere near this amount, so it was well worth it and fun. With addition of detail and uniform details it is difficult to see any difference between the models I have painted from scratch and the ones I have rebased.
It is messy and I suppose if the basing has been done with superglue and sand it may be tricky to deal with, but otherwise perfectly ok. I managed to increased the size of my Romans significantly to match my Carthagians very quickly.
In other news…
In other news I have enjoyed painting another excellent model I got from Fenris Games – it is called the Dweller in the Ruins and can be bought here in the UK and from Barbaric Splendor, here, in the US. It did not take long and it is an absolute master sculpt – I think a more skilled painter than I could do something really remarkable with the model, but I am more than happy with this result.
Matti, wrote this in the comments to the last blog post (see here), and it made me laugh.
I am fuming. For once I though I had come up with an original idea for a 6mm project, and even made my orders to Baccus, when you swoop in and do the same thing but better and more comprehensively! Curse you!
Jokes aside, they look great. There is a great book about the Danish campaign in Holstein and the naval situation associated leading to the landing at Humlebæk available at the Danish marine history page here called “King Frederik IV’s first war for South Jutland” http://marinehist.dk/?page_id=2845 It details the events and troop movements of the campaign in 1700 quite well, much better than any of the other sources on the campaign I’ve managed to find. While it’s only available in Danish, if I’ve been able to read it with my poor understanding of Swedish and the miracles of machine translation, I think anyone can manage it! The book also has listed in it the naval forces of both nations in the period, so if one would want to play out the naval battle that the Danish admiralty didn’t choose to take when the Swedish fleet crossed at the Eastern Sound.
This is an excellent example of the kind of extremely useful interface that happens here on the blog and on twitter. Because the link in Matti’s e-mail is absolutely excellent. It gives the information I was looking for, namely the composition of the Danish Forces that was sent to Holstein. Thank you so much Matti.
Note that with regards to any discussions on units and bases the standard approach I have taken is that a battalion (400-600 men normally) is represented by 1 base of infantry, whilst a base of cavalry represents about 2-3 squadrons (200 to 300 men). This basing works well with the rule sets I am using Twilight of the Sun King, Polemos GNW and Maurice.
From the above we can derive that there were 18 battalions worth of infantry (assuming that the size of the battalions mentions for Prinz Georgs were about 100 men each). As for the cavalry I am not sure whether the full regiments were sent of not but for now that is my assumption, I assume these would be about 350 to 400 man strong, divied over 6 companies. That would make each cavalry regiment a unit of 2 bases.
So in summary 18 bases of infantry and 22 bases of Horse to do for the Danish side. For the potential Saxon support I will simply use the units I already have from my Kalisz and Klissow Projects. This project grew quickly! I do not think I can supply those from the lead mountain although I did paint a fair few Danes a few years back.
In addition Nick Dorrell has provided some useful links to the area of the Siege and the maps of the two camps:
With that in mind here are some links to maps of the rival camps, this is extremely useful in speculating how a potential field battle may have taken place.
I also realised that my sources (presented in the last blog) were somewhat patchy with regards to uniform information and flags, so I bought the following books from the Pike and Shot Society (link here):
Uniforms and Flags of the Armies of Hanover, Celle and Brunswick – 1670 – 1715 by Robert Hall
Flags and Uniforms of the Dutch Army 1685 – 1715 VOL I by Robert Hall, Iain Stanford and Yves Roumegoux
Flags and Uniforms of the Dutch Army 1685 – 1715 VOL I I by Robert Hall, Iain Stanford and Yves Roumegoux
Waiting to get these before I progress the miniatures too much as I think it may force me to do some re-paints, now what remains is the question of the uniform details of the Scheswig-Holstein-Gottorp regiments.
The Ducal Life Guard Regiment (unknown, Red with White Cuffs?)
Prince Christian-August (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs)
Bautzen (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs)
Von Barner (Hecules) (unknwn, blue with blue facings?)
Dragoon Guards (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs )
Baudisson’s, sometimes called Bauditz’s, Dragoon Regiment (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs, however says it was raied in 1702, another things to check)
Von Osten (SORTED – covered in “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms – Part 2” by Höglund & Sallnäs, however says it was raied in 1702, another things to check)
I did crack on with some infantry the other day, it is the old line of Baccus WSS units (the newer one are even better, but I think they paint up really good).
/ Hope that was of some interest, as always let me know if I am getting something wrong or if you have something useful like Matti to add (thanks again).
One of the first actions of the Great Northern War was the move by Danmark into Holstein-Gottorp, that was an ally and also bound dynastically to Sweden. Hedwig Eleonora of Holstein-Gottorp was the Queen Consort of Sweden, she was married to Charles X of Sweden from 1654 to 1660, then from his death 1660 served as Regent from to 1672, when her son Charles XI (of Scanian War fame) was an adult and again during the short time from Charles XI’s death to the time Charles XII assumed power at the age of 15. Later on she would be representing the Swedish Kingdom at home in Stockholm during Charles XII campaigns during the Great Northern War.
The Danes laid Siege to the town of Tönning in 1700 but it was lifted following the deployment of the Swedish Army in front of Copenhagen that resulted in the Travendal Peace treaty in August 1700. Later in the war the town of Tönning would be besieged again but with a different outcome, but that is another (hi)story.
During this time an International Force was sent to Holstein-Gottorp to aid the Duchy consisting of elements of the Schleswig-Holstein Gottorp Army with some Swedish Mercenary regiments, United Provinces (Dutch), the Hanoverians (Duchy of Luneburg-Celle and Duchy of Hanover-Calenburg) and a small Swedish Army under the Command of General Gyllenstierna.
It is this force I would like to do for my 6mm Great Northern War Collection, although no action really happened I would like to do a “what if” of a major field battle as this offers an interesting mix of units, commanders and also the possibility of potential support from the Saxons to the Danish side. I did a similar what-if with goof friend Nick Dorrell for the Battle of Horka 1708 at Joy of Six in 2018 (see more here).
So what are the details of this force? Well, Nick has done a tremendous job in presenting this information, see more here which is reproduced in a summary form below (with some additional information from my own notes and research). I will need to do some further research on the actual composition of the Danish force that invaded later.
Bases Needed for the Project
Basically I would need to do the following for this project:
Schleswig-Holstein Gottorp(9 infantry bases, 1 horse base, 3 dragoon bases)
Available Commanders – The Duke of Schleswig-Holstein Gottorp (Monarch)
9 infantry battalions – The Ducal Life Guard Regiment (2 btns), Christian-August (1 btn), Bautzen (1 btn) and Von Barner (Hecules, 1 btn), and then the Swedish Mercenary regiments: Wismar Garrison (1 btn), Stade Garrison (1 btn) and Wismar Governor (2 btns)
1 hourse regiment (not counting the small trabant unit) – Von Osten (1 base)
Available Commanders – Anthoni Gunther, Prinze of von Holstein-Beck and Colonel Daniel van Dopf
4 Infantry battalions – Holstein-Beck’s Foot, Weller’s Foot, Keppel’s Foot and Capol’s Swiss Foot, each being represented by one 60 by 30mm base of infantry (as there were somewhere between 500 and 700 strong each). The Holstein-Beck Foot will be modelled with pikes based on Nick’s comments. I found the full names of the Colonels for 3 of these – Anthoni Gunther, Prinze of von Holstein-Beck, Hercule de Capol and Johan Rabo von Keppel.
3 Horse Regiments – Albermarle’s Carabiniers (Arnold Joust, Baron van Keppel, 1st Earl of Albermarle), Ostfriesland’s (Colonel Fredric Ulrich, Graaf von Oost- Friesland) and Aughrim’s Horse (Colonel Frederik Christian von Reede – Baron Aughrim). I normal model every 2 squadrons per base, in this case there were 3 squadrons for Albermarle and 1 squadon for the others. I will simplify this to three bases of each – it is a compromise I can live with.
1 Dragoon Regiments, – Colonel Daniel Wolf van Dopf’s Dragoons were also part of the force and these will be represented by 2 bases.
Duchy of Luneburg-Celle (7 infantry bases, 2 horse bases, 4 bases of Dragoons)
Available Commanders: Duke George William (Monarch) and General-Feldzeugmeister Marquis de Boisdavid
7 infantry battalions – Oberst La Motte (2 btns), Generalmajor de Luc (2 btns) and the rest with 1 battalion each for Generalleutnant Graf Detlef von Rantzau, Oberst Mally de Charles and Generalmajor Barthold Hartwig von Bernstorffs.
2 horse regiments (1 base each) – General-Feldzeugmeister Marquis de Boisdavid and Brigadier de la Croix de Frechapple.
2 Dragoon regiments (2 bases each) – Oberst von Villers and Reichsgraf Friedrich Johann von Bothmer
Duchy of Hanover-Calenburg (5 infantry bases, 7 horse bases)
Available Commanders: Duke Georg Ludwig (Monarch) and Generalleutnant von Sommerfeld
5 infantry battalions – Garde zu Fuß (Generalleutnant von Sommerfeld, 2 bases), Generalmajor St. Pol des Estanges, Generalmajor d’Herbeville and Oberst von Schlegel.#
4 horse regiments (2 base each except for Garde du Corps with 1 base) – Oberst Ernst Bogislaw von Podewils, Generalmajor von Voigt, Generalmajor Graf de Noyelles and Generalleutnant Christian Ludwig von Wyhe (Garde du Corps).
Sweden (12 infantry bases, 9 bases of “Galloping Horse”)
Available Commander – General Nils Carlsson Gyllenstierna and (TBD – need to review which Senior commanders would have been with these regiments during this time).
12 infantry battalions (or 10) – Skaraborgs (2 btns), Södermanlands (2 btns) , Kronobergs (2 btns) , Östgöta (2 btns) and Riksänkedrottningens Life regiment in Pommern (2 btns) and maybe Jönköpings (2 btn).
Horse and Dragoon (3 bases Galloping Horse each) – Pommerska Horse, Bremiska Horse and Bremiska Dragoons.
As for painting guides, I have consulted the following materials (and will improvise where I do not know):
Schleswig-Holstein Gottorp – link here / and “Der Deutsche Staaten I” by Claus-Peter Golberg
The Dutch – “Dutch Army of William III” C.A Sapherson
Duchy of Luneburg-Celle – “Der Deutsche Staaten II” by Claus-Peter Golberg
Duchy of Hanover-Calenburg – “Der Deutsche Staaten II” by Claus-Peter Golberg
Sweden – “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms” by Höglund & Sallnäs
A little bit of Progress
Good news is that I did two sessions this week painting about half the cavalry I need. I may be able to re-use some of the Swedish units from other projects. You may note that these are the older version of the WSS range from Baccus, but to be honest I think they paint up really good (I have to admit to having a little bit of a lead mountain so this atual project will not require any additional expense).
If you are interested in this or know more about the smaller states I am more than interested to hear more through the comments.
/ Hope that was of some interest, will keep you updated on progress.
I really like some of the classic art depicting the Great Northern War era (1700-1721), not just the big battle scenes but also some of the powerful character portraits. Most of the most famous ones were done long after the events during the so called national romantic era in the late 19th century. I am doing to quickly share a few of these and its purpose will become clearer as we progress.
Magnus Stenbock at the Battle of Helsinborg 1710
The first one is the painting showing Magnus Stenbock at the Battle of Helsingborg in 1710. A decisive victory over the Danes and stopped Denmark’s final military effort to regain the southern provinces of Scania that had been bitterly fought over since the 1650ies. The painting is by Gustaf Olof Cederström (1845-1933) and shows Stenbock raising his hat and a young drummer boy looking up to him – Sweden’s faith was in the balance after the disaster at Poltava 1709. My father had the picture in a book at home and told a very young boy about the newly raised army rising up to the task and winning on that glorious day. The accolades, not just from the Swedish people, from around Europe including the Great Duke of Marlborough himself. Stenbock was appointed Field Marshal after the victory. It is a fantastic painting.
Charles XII of Sweden and Ivan Mazepa after the Battle of Poltava
The next painting is another Cederström and shows Charles sitting down at the Dneiper river with the Cossack Ivan Mazepa who had aided the Swedes during the lead up to Poltava. Maybe Ivan is telling him to hurry up before the Russian comes and take him prisoner. The disaster at Poltava in 1709 was the worst day in Swedish military history.
Charles XII at horse
And finally and perhaps my favourite Charles XII on a horse by David von Krafft (1655-1724) who was a Swedish court painter. The painting shows the king in his simple blue uniform like his soldier and without any embellishments.
So why am I sharing these pictures with you? Well before Christmas I commissioned a few 6mm miniatures to enable be to do some Command bases inspired by these painting as the arrived today and I put some paint on them. I hope you like them.
All based on a Penny!
And the commission was with Combat Miniatures 6mm, you can find them on facebook @6mmcombatminiatures. I am really happy with the miniatures and the service.
As you may know I like using adhesive vinyl floor tiles that you can get cheap from Poundland as bases for my terrain projects and have used both the long plank variety as well as the square foot type (as shown in a few old posts, like this one way back (link) or this one (link).
For the Lund 1675 project I want to make a wintery mat (later post) and also add some frozen fields with bushes etc around them. These would be stand alone fields and I wanted to make a test section to see how it would work out using some tiles and well as draught excluders. I got some of ebay, and the smallest one 9X6mm or something like that, they are handy in that they are adhesive. I think they are sent in container from China.
The steps in the captions
Hope that was of some use, these tiles will enhance the table and I will make them bespoke to the scenario and then a few generic ones. They are really easy to make and relatively cheap.
Now I just need to get some more vinyl floor tiles,
Gosh, how do you review 2020? It was a bloody miserable year from many aspects and I think better analysts will summarise the world events like COVID-19, Brexit, American Elections and whether historical wargaming is dying. This review is more personal…
Well given all the time I have had working from home rather than getting into an office my blog activity has been really poor – this is only the 24th blogpost this year, that is about half the number of blog posts I normally do. However I do a lot of mini-blogging on Twitter and sometimes wish that I could link the two in some way. The blog posts feel more permanent and perhaps more like an achievement and gives time for a little bit more thought and wider information compare to doing tweets – I do not know.
Anyway thanks to everyone who follows this blog, the facebook group (not sure what to do with it) and/or my twitter account. All your encouragement has been really helpful this year, keep it up!
In terms of the hobby it has been a fantastic year and a few highlights for me have been playing in Jeremy Short’s Runequest campaign with some great people, attended the virtual Grogmeet that was an absolute blast and again catching up with new and old friends, hosted my own RPG on Roll20 for the Gang running a 28 year old scenario I wrote for the first Dalcon in 1992 (The Dweller in Darkness). Mike Hobbs set up a virtual paint club that I have really enjoyed and again met new and old friends for some casual chat. Thanks to all of you!
The Little One and the Others
The Little One is always up for a Game and playing with him is not something new I have discovered during lock-down but we had a blast playing a lot of games including Chain of Command, What a Tanker, Twilight of The Sun King, Men who Would be Kings, Dragon Rampant and many others. We have even got the rest of the family involved in some RPG and board game fun which I have to say is an achievement, Cheers mate!
Painting for Charity
I also had this idea that now seems like a no brainer about paining an army together as a community projects and try to make some money for charity. Well what a total blast that was and in 2021 we will take it further. This project actually makes me really proud and I take my Tricorne, of is it floppy hat off to all the painters who participated.
Here are some links about the project, including painting guides, etc.
Below a few pictures when we fought a Battle using these two amazing armies, with the help of the Twilight of the Sun King rules.
The high level plan for the project moving forward is
Doing a booklet with the armies
I would like the Army to fight a Battle at a Proper wargames show
Raising monies to Combat stress by doing a Raffle to win the army
More about this in 2021, again thanks to all who participated and encouraged.
Gods Own Scale Podcast
Sean Clarke re-launched the Gods Own Scale following some, I hope positive pressure, from Peter Berry and I. Sean has a relaxed style and brings out the best in the interviews he carries out, his passion shines through and the his list of guest have been varied and some new voices not previously heard, I especially enjoyed the episodes on Irregular Miniatures and Heroics and Ros.
I was invited together with Daniel Hodgson, Alex Sotheran to the Christmas special. It was a long show and I hope it came across like a few hobbyists having a good talk in the pub, because that is how it felt.
After a long and relentless campaign of trying to get Dirk at Grognard Towers to do an episode on MERP he did TWO episodes and he even brought Legend Liz Danforth to the party – what an absolute delight. Dirk also asked me to do a “First, Last and Everything”, you can listen to it in the link below.
The project got some attention from the Dala Radio and it was fun to talk about the project and I wrote about that here. I have also made some suppression markers and jump off points here as well as some river assault boats, here. This is a great project and I will try to start playtesting some scenarios for a Swedish Half-Pint sized campaign in 2021. You can find the latest Swedish Platoon lists here.
I also did some strange base forces for Infamy! Infamy!, more here. This is expanding the Mutant 1984 world in an early era.
I did some cool 2mm bases and that I will use to try out Mark Backhouse’s upcoming rule set “Strength and Honour”. More here. This will be my early 2021 focus.
So for 2021 it will be more of the same, I wish you from the bottom of my heart a fantastic 2021!
But before I go, we had a fantastic game last night and I am too tired for a write-up and there are other things to do, so a few pictures from the Twitter Feed – Another Mutant 1984 diversion using a variant of “The Men who would be Kings” rules, with some freaky events.
Been busy with work and other stuff the last few weeks and as seems to be the case this year suffered in doing any regular blog updates. Will try to get back in the saddle at some point. If you are using twitter you could always go and find me there as “Per at Roll a One” @Roll_a_one, I am currently running a #36traystochristmas series “showing off” some of the many trays of 6mm I seem to have produced over the last few years. Breaks the isolation boredom.
I bought a few packs of peasants from Baccus to use in my 18th centry games. These are the WEC13 from the Wars of the European Range.
Really fun to paint them and different, not a battle winner but will look good around towns and cities on the table.
A small undead force
I bought myself a small set of skeletons and some other undead types on ebay from Microworld games (Cavalry, spear, sword, bows, etc), I did a black primer and a heady white drybrush followed by the bone horde contrast splash all over, then did the details in an evening sitting. Really happy with the result and based them in line with my Ancients on 50 by 20mm bases.
Finally, for this time, I would recommend this book from Osprey if you are interested in the Finnish Continuation war. I read it a relaxed afternoon and really enjoyed it.
It is really nice to see a book from this theatre in English. The publisher’s blur goes like this.
” In the summer of 1944, the Red Army staged a massive armoured assault up the Karelian Isthmus with the intent of eliminating any remaining German and Finnish forces facing the Leningrad region.
Most of the Soviet units sent into Finland were new to the region, moving mainly from the fighting in the Leningrad area. As a result, some had the latest types of Soviet equipment including the new T-34-85 tank, fielded alongside the older T-34-76. Germany refused to sell the Finns new tanks without a reinforced military alliance, but in 1943 began selling them a few dozen StuG III assault guns. This made the StuG III battalion the most modern and powerful element of the Finnish armoured division, and it saw very extensive combat in the June-July summer battles.
Featuring specially commissioned artwork and an array of archive photographs, this is the absorbing story of the parts played by Soviet and Finnish armour in the epic battles in Finland during June and July 1944.”
Following on from the last update (link here) when we had about 60% completion we are now well over 80% there, with 36 of the 44 entries sent in. The Denswe side is in the “lead” with 19 of the 22 units in total vs the Siarus Army at 17 of 22. However the Siarus miniatures was sent out a week after the Denswe ones so this would be expected.
So we are waiting for another 8 contributions to complete the armies, there is really no major rush but hopefully we should be there soon. The King of Denswe, did have a letter delivered by the charming Colonel of the Klarkling Regiment giving an explanation of his delay.
A background to this project can be found here. And a number of painting guides has been produced, a good start is this one as it contains links to the other ones.
I pray thee foregive my tardiness in moving my regiment to your positions. We have suffered such deprivations upon our march that we have resorted to eating our horses.
My men are the finest that Denswe has to offer and they will take pride of place in the line to push back the foul forces of the enemy. I myself, will be cheering them on, though I fear not from the front lines as I had wished. Unfortunately I twisted my ankle whilst boar hunting, and I am abed, in the care of Madam Pomfroy, who has provided board and lodgings within her estaminet.
How I wish I could see my boys, in the finely cut coats, marching to glory! I shall raise a glass when the hour comes. Anyway, I must now sign off. Madam Pomfroy tells me it is time for my bed bath and I must not disappoint her.
Tally ho, and here’s to today’s fox!
Your obedient servant
Army of Denswe
Needless to say the King sent out a detachment to recover the Colonel and for him to heal his ailment in camp. We will present his regiment in the next update.
This update will focus on the Command Bases as we received the minatures by Sidney Roundwood this week and they are really nice indeed. I decided to do a more elaborate basing than I had done for the Denswe command bases and that led me to update those as well.
Any way here is how they turned out.
For the trees I have a number of small trees ordered from China and I just add some more scatter on top.
And for the other type they are the railway modelling type of fir trees that when inspected closely look like the bottle cleaners I used to clean my children’s baby bottles, but again you can, if you wish make them look less so. They look fine without the scatter but for that Command base I felt obliged to do better.
Anyway here is how they turned out in some more detail:
I think they look great! I have use my standard “trick” for doing these photos with a background as described in an old blog, link here.
As I said I added some more details to the Denswe bases too, here they are:
/I hope that was of some interest, the two armies are presented in some detail in a previous blog post, here.
The following draft document contains some background to the two armies that forms part of the 6mm Chartity Project that is currently in full Swing (you can read more about this project here).
The Battles that will be eventually be fought will utilise the fine Twilight of the Sun King (ToSK) ruleset. The lists for the two armies (Denswe and Siarus) has been developed by Nick Dorrell who also wrote the latest set of the ToSKrules. The key design philosophy was to create two armies that had a similar composition on the table but being totally different in terms of play. The armies developed are in this sense at a high level reflective of the fragmented information we have about the actual battlefield tactics of the two armies. Nick has done extensive research at the Military Academy of Burgothen studying the drill manuals of the period, the King of Denswe’s (Markus Backhus) diaries and the writings of Repet Rerby after the war. The collected writings of Field Marshal Exas who then served as a Cornett in the Barnov Kuirasserse regiment has been an invaluable source in assessing the battlefield performance and composition of the Siarus army. The writings of the Siarus Commander Drevesina that to date has been the common account for these wars has to a large extent been disregarded in line with Professor Drallop’s damning conclusions in his book about him (I know some wargamers will miss the Burning Denswean Pigs, the Siarusian Battle Hounds and the magical skills of the Tsar).
The Denswe army has a number of powerful trained charging units, but also an element of more traditional units that are wavering (i.e. lacking loyalty as allies) and an element of raw units (the fanatics) facing a more traditional army as we would expect in a Horse and Musket battle between say 1680 to 1710. I think the stats and general gist of the army could be easily translated to whatever your rule system of choice is for the period. (Note: we will play the rules with only one base per unit, as opposed to the more common 2 bases per unit as the armies are relatively small).
The guide also contains the coat and cuff information for each regiment that was finalised before the units were sent out to the volunteer charity painters. Some changes have been made to this list and some bonus units added.
It also contains infantry standards for the regiments, these were developed with the help of our expert consultants Mark Backhouse (Denswe) and Sidney Roundwood (Siarus).
The main sources for the uniforms and flag information for the Denswe army comes from Archives of the Military Museum in Holmstock, that I had the pleasure of visiting on several occasions during 1987 and 1988. I fondly remember the cold mornings rummaging through the collections and then spending the rest writing and referencing following by the wild evenings of dancing, drinking and singing. Some further reference material, especially on the Siarus army, has been found from the city of Cowmos official Library of War. The collected work and the drawings of Major Nevscire on the Kuirasserse (unpublished) at the Tavapol State Archives, deserves a special mention and has been invaluable in terms of detail and to validate some earlier (often false) assumptions from the more popular Denswe sources.
Later updates of this guide will contain a picture of each unit with the name of the painter who brought it to life. It will also contain a little bit of a geographical overview
A Guide to the Army of the Tsar of Siarus
The Tsardom of Siarus has undergone great changes in recent years. The new Tsar has reformed and modernised the army from what in essence was a feudal arrangement with nobles providing foot and mounted units, to a more modern army in line with those developed in the wars between Great Tainbri and the Kingdom of Necfra. These changes have been pressed into service and has led to some problems within the army but should provide a solid platform for military success in the forthcoming campaign.
Leadership: Command of the army is entrusted to General and Field Marshall Kruglaja Drevesina. Drevesina is a flamboyant and masterful strategist and his skill in logistics in secondary to none, but he is only an average battlefield commander.
Twilight of the Sun King rating: 1
Generalnyj Bogatyj Koži (Left Wing Commander) is an able commander but his flexibility on the Battlefield is limited due to his physical health. People who do not fear losing their head say he is a Too Fat Lardie.
Twilight of the Sun King rating: 1
Generalnyj Čempion Šuk (Right Wing Commander) was recently promoted to General following a successful charge against the Horde. Unstructured and inexperienced of high-level Command.
Twilight of the Sun King rating: 0
The Tsar’s Guard: Under the command of three of the closest childhood friends of the Tsar the three Guard regiments of the Siarusian army are the premier units of the army. The Plaudetski, Carraletdinov and Kenatonov regiments are the oldest units in the reorganised army and are armed with a 1/6 ratio of pike just like the normal line units. Only chosen men are enrolled in these units and the Tsar himself often accompanies one of them in action.
Twilight of the Sun King ratings: Foot: Elite, Infantry, ‘p’
The Nobles: The Count of Xam-Denbro leads this elite regiment of cavalry in the army (Hussari). The unit is the only surviving unit of the old style of cavalry and originated from a mercenary unit raised from the heroes of Andpol after the Siege of Navien. The Tsar has a nostalgic attachment to the unit but there are rumours that once the aging Count retires his commission the unit will be scrapped. The Count is committed to show the Tsar, and his young cronies, that he has made an error converting the old-style units. Armed and equipped in traditional fashion, with heavy armour, lances, and flapping wings, and very eager to engage the enemy and prove their value.
Twilight of the Sun King ratings: Count Xam-Denbro Regiment: Elite, Cavalry, Galloping Horse – impetuous[The unit must attempt to move into contact with any enemy unit that it can reach within its movement allowance. If more than one is available, it must contact the nearest.]
The Horse: The 7 regular Horse regiments of Garetsimov, M Hunvicnikov, Hiscyshkin, Barnov, Dorrenev, Baldiliev and Princess Andralex are the backbone of the Siarusian cavalry (the Kuirasserse). The units represent the first wave of reforms and consists of a mix or foreigner and Siarus nationals, they are well trained and experienced cavalry. The Garetsimov’s regiment was originally raised by the Gueseportu émigré Jose Di Maio. Later made a Prince of Siarus and was instrumental in helping the Tsar in building his navy including the introduction of the Man o’ War ships.
Twilight of the Sun King ratings: Cuirassier Regiments: Trained, Cavalry
The Dragoons: The new Tsar insisted that the old-style units were reformed as Dragoons and there are 6 regular Dragoon regiments of the army: the regiments of Bailvin, Earparov, Ripelev, Davisirikov, Bowtiak and Simmutov. Although the units are trained, they are still not very competent in the new tactics they have been told to use. This has also led to them having lower morale as they lack confidence in their new role.
Twilight of the Sun King ratings: Dragoon Regiments: Trained, Cavalry, Poor
The Regular Foot and artillery: The 5 regular foot regiments are the Naylosov, Blakrutov, Nillionov, Fulvukhin and J Hunvicnikov. These units are steady regular units relying on solid defensive tactics using fire power to defeat their opponents. Thus, whilst they retain pikes in the units for security against cavalry and infantry attacks the emphasis is more on firepower than shock action.
The Fulvukhin, Nillionov and J Hunvicnikov regiments are classed as Large units. These come from the most populous regions of Siarus and are larger than the others
The artillery led by the reformer Count Melepev has the latest field guns compared to the heavy artillery of old. The Count is more than sure that he can outshoot the arrogant commoner Colonel Jakgöta in charge of the Denswe Artillery.
Twilight of the Sun King ratings: Foot Regiments: Trained, Infantry, ‘p’, (3 regiments are large) Artillery: Trained, Field Artillery
Overview of the Siarus Army
A Guide to the Army of Denswe
The dynamic King Markus Backhus has introduced new aggressive tactics into the regular army that has proven successful in many of his battle. These tactics emphasises the shock element hoping the enemy will flee the field of battle instead of prolonged fire fight. The King and his advisors are confident that these tactics will give the steady troops of his army the edge in the coming war against Siarus. All the Denswe mounted and foot units, from the homeland provinces, are using these aggressive charging tactics. The tactics is commonly referred to as Go Punching (GP)– referring to the hand-to-hand emphasis.
The small main Denswe main army are supplemented by units raised from the newly acquired Niasca province and the fanatical followers of Repet Rerby.
Overall, these troops provide their leader with a formidable army that have been the victors of many battles, albeit against smaller countries. The army marches to war confident that further victories will be achieved against the heretic Siarusians.
Leadership: King Markus Backhus is an excellent tactician who was born to rule. He can be reckless but is very stubborn and loves to win.
Twilight of the Sun King rating: 2
The left wing is Commanded by Prince Olaf Saylind Backhus, the Kings uncle. He is a solid and experienced Commander but currently lacks the skill and nerve of his nephew. His fondness for the bottle is well known in the army and often carries out his inspections being drunk.
Twilight of the Sun King rating: 1
General Repet Rerby (see more about Rerby’s Fanatics below) is untested in Battle but the King believes in his leadership.
Twilight of the Sun King rating: 0
Denswean Homeland Horse Grenadiers: The elite of the Denswe army is the Horse Grenadiers, or the Trabants, led by Duke Heinrich von Hyde. This unit is the de facto Royal Guards. Their charge has been the main cause of many of the Denswe victories to date. A sight to behold on the battle field with their tall Mitre Grenadier hats with golden front plates reflecting the sun light as they gallop in with their charge. The Duke’s resilience, resistance, and resourcefulness in the face of danger is legendary. He fought for the Siarusians at the Siege of Navien repelling the Great Horde.
Twilight of the Sun King rating: Horse Grenadiers: Elite, Cavalry, GH, Small, Determined
Denswean Homeland Cavalry and Dragoons: The only difference between the cavalry and the dragoons in the Denswe army is how they are funded. The Cavalry units are raised by the Three Chalices church and are in general better paid. The Dragoons are raised by the Burghers are in general seen as less prestigious than the Cavalry. However, on the battlefield their role and performance are identical.
The Dragoon units have provided drafts for the newly raised Rerby’s fanatic units, see below. This has provided some much-needed experienced personnel but it means that the regular units are understrength.
Horse Regiments: Åhlheterén, Petersson, Viskin and Mäshitalo
Dragon Regiments: Hoblund and Matthjälm
Twilight of the Sun King rating: Horse: Trained, Cavalry, GH Dragoons: Trained, Cavalry, GH, small
The Infantry: The foot units are aggressive and the success of the initial push of the infantry will be important in achieving victory, about 1 in 6 carries pikes and most an axe or a saber to use in the charge. Jakgöta’s artillery is, when it can keep up with the King’s rash decisions, a well drilled unit. Colonel Jakgöta’s steady firing at the Battle of Duln was a key moment in the rapid breakdown of the advancing Markden Army.
Foot Regiments: Matlund, Rotdin, Teijler and Polmörth
Twilight of the Sun King ratings: Foot: Trained, Infantry, GP Artillery: Trained, Field Artillery
Niascan Units (Horse and Foot): The province of Niasca has only been part of the Kingdom for a few years. The Kingdom gained control of the province in the last war and it has yet to fully reconcile itself to the province’s new circumstance. The province provides 2 Horse regiments and 3 Foot regiments to the army. These units are well trained, experienced units, using traditional tactics not the aggressive approach of the other elements of the army. However, their commitment to the army and their new commander is doubtful. The Crown Princess (who is the regent of the Province) Guard regiment has recently been renamed for the campaign and is only a Guard Regiment in name.
Horse Regiments: Freltin and Johan
Foot Regiments: Klarkling, Tomqvist and Crown Princess Noraeleo’s Guard
Twilight of the Sun King ratings: Horse: Trained, Cavalry, Wavering Foot: Trained, Infantry, P, Wavering
Rerby’s Fanatics (Dragoon and Foot): Denswe is a deeply religious nation and with the prospects of a war against the unbelievers in Siarus the nation has become inspired. The teachings of the fundamentalist preacher Repet Rerby swept through the nation and lead to many new units being formed for the upcoming crusade against Siarusian heretics. Rerby argues that the scales that God uses to balance the powerful in the world are tipped in favour of Denswe. They are convinced that they are the measuring instrument that god will use to change the balance. With their rallying cry “Gods own Scale” these fanatics will surge forward against the Siarusian unbelievers.
The followers of Rerby have formed 5 Dragoon regiments and 1 Foot regiments for the crusade against the Siarusian. These volunteers are largely untrained but are fired up by their beliefs. As loyal Densweans they are committed to using the new tactics of the regular army. Unfortunately, shortages of ammunition mean the cavalry are limited to only firing when faced by cavalry. In other circumstances they will face to charge and rely on God’s help.
Dragoon: Melblom, Milomberg, Hodgvén, Benelin and Karström
Twilight of the Sun King ratings: Dragoons: Raw, Cavalry, GH, Determined Foot: Raw, Infantry, GP, Determined – may only fire on mounted units.