I just finished one of the longest holidays I have had for a long time, however on the first day back it still feels like all the others – too short.
I have to admit that the idea of doing one of the Great Sieges with the Knight Hospitaliers and Ottomans in attendances (like Rhodes 1522 or Malta 1565) seemed to have planted itself in my mind. We will see for how long! Got myself a little prop just in case.
In addition I listened to the latest Meeples and Miniatures podcast about Sam Mustafa’s new ruleset Rommel (see link here) and I am currently in some wonderful la-la land with 3mm or 6mm miniatures on a desert board fighting out the North African campaign. I also listened to the latest podcast from the guys at Wargames Soliders and Strategy (WSS) and amongst other things learned about the Origin of Rommel’s legendary goggles (see a link to an newpaper article here and a link to the podcast itself here).
I also caught up on some other podcasts including Wargames Recon (here) and the Veteran Wargamer (here). I really like the stuff Jay Arnold of the Veteran Wargamer is doing and he has now done more than 20 shows now – all good.
I did improve on my travel battleground following a visit to a shop that seemed to sell everything – even wargames mats!. They had been labelled door mats in error and they only had one in green left. I parted with 3 coins of that euro currency and it was mine!
Worked a treat and we played a few more battles of Pikeman’s Lament with our 6mm French and British forces travel set-up. Having used these as presented in the last post (see here) we have really enjoyed our games. Veteran Commanded Shot (we used this category for the Indians) can be very annoying (for the opponent) if you have rough terrain/forest present, as they can move faster than other units and use their skirmish ability. Here are a few action shots from one of these games – including a typical damage roll from my perspective with two dice missing probably showing “ones”.
Regretfully the doorma… oops the battlemat had to stay behind. I do hope the next guests will put it to some good use – it would be a shame if it was not shown proper respect and was actually treated as a door mat.
Still on holiday in Rhodes and the Better One had arranged a little bit of a birthday party here on the island and, to my happy surprise, some friends from Sweden and France came along as well. Great times! Thanks to all involved.
I learned about the legend about Anastasia of Rhodes that I found interesting, she was a heroine and died during the Siege in 1522. She had taken her dead husband’s armour and sword, killed her children to prevent them from being taken by the Ottoman invaders, and fought like a lion until she was cut down.
However, I did bring some toys, so when my friend from Normandy showed up I took the opportunity to do a little French Indian War (FIW) action using the Pikeman’s Lament Rules. You may recall the picture from last time? (here).
In this little set-up I had some Punic War cards for Battleground – I have been using these in the past to learn some ancient rules – this time Sword and Spear and Basic Impetus 2 (but more about that some other time).
The main ingredient for any FIW game is a forest!, so luckily I brought some trees and some miniatures too.
The only thing I did not think through properly was my ground cover as all I had that was even remotely passable as ground cover was some kind of camouflage net thing – but it had to do.
I included a file with the forces, note that for the British we did not use the militia and only 3 of the native Indians for the French (file can be found here FIW PL).
Here is a short summary on what happened – well the key moments from my perspective. Basically I wanted to draw my French opponents two Indians out of the forest and then withdraw with my Rangers and use their ability to attack Ferociously (and overall superiority in terms of attack and stamina) in the rough terrain and then hopefully have enough punch left to at least do some damage to the Canadian militia unit.
Well after a lot of “not-so-successful-rolling” it did not really work out that well for the Rangers in the end and the unit was decimated and on the picture below a very short-lived last man standing moment! – perhaps last man wobbling would be more like it?
So what about the fighting in front of the farm? Well I had two units of veteran shot with their first Salvo ready to fire at the French as they breached the forest. However on activating the first unit to shoot I rolled, not just a, one but two. This leads to a random event and a further roll showed this to be attack, so the redcoats jumped the fence and charged forward straight into range and the waiting French firing line. The Rangers had done some fighting with the Indians but with their evade and skirmish abilities they can be very annoying, especially in the forest.
This was then followed by the other regular unit being attacked on the other flank and the rest is history.
I enjoyed the game and the fighting in rough ground (forest and hill) made it interesting and it felt ok, although this is not strictly the pike and shot period.
I take my tricorne hat off for Sous-Lieutnant Dupont who yet again outfoxed me on the Battle Field. He gave it a thumbs up! The rules are easy to pick up and they gave the right feeling to the little skirmish.
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
True to my words, at least this time, last weeks effort were focused on the main project. 17 bases of infantry inked, highlighted, based and flagged this weekend from the base painted pile. More on this below. It is nice to do some 6mm again.
I am really happy I managed to get that famous finger out of that dreadful place and get these done. I have had too many diversions lately on the hobby front with the Terminator stuff (did I say Terminators, Sorry!) and other pleasant non-priority things. On the personal front I had to go to France for a funeral earlier in the week. This was for a very special Lady who touched many hearts and inspired me in so many ways over the years, she truly was a manifestation of her own favourite poem “A thing of beauty, is joy forever” (link to it here). Hats off for you Dr. Bardaux!
I also got those flags I talked about to use for the French and Indian War games, one Nouvelle France flag and also the Kings Colours (looks very good, me thinks!).
Swedish Infantry at Lesnaya
The following are the infantry made for the Lesnaya Battle (with some facts from the eminent book by Lars-Erik Höglund and Åke-Sallnäs, The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms).
Estlänskt Infanteriregemente (de la Gardie), 2 battalions.
This was an enlisted regiment and raised in 1700 by the Governor General of Estland A.J. de la Gardie. After the Lesnaya Battle the regiment, due to heavy losses, where incorporated into the Västerbotten Regiment and fought in the Poltava Battle in 1709. They did not carry pikes and both battalions of the regiment were present at the Lesnaya Battle. The regiment, together with a battalion of the Närke-Värmland Tremänning regemente, formed the rearguard that were first attacked by the Russians.
Närke-Värmland Tremänning regemente, 1 battalion.
This was a temporary regiment that was raised in 1700 and had been reduced to one battalion in 1705. Was, due to losses, incorporated into the Livgardet (Lifeguard) after the Lesnaya battle. As mentioned above, part of the rearguard, that first had contact with the enemy at the battle.
Hälsinge Regemente, 2 battalions.
This was a regular indelta (provincial) regiment and had its origins from the 16th century. The survivors from the battle was transferred to the Dalregementet. The regiment was one of three regiments that first came to aid to the rearguard that was being attacked by the Russians.
Upplands, Västmanlands och Dalarnas Tremänning regemente, 2 battalions.
Another temporary regiment raised in 1700 and the survivors after the Lesnaya Battle was incorporated into the Livgardet. Was part of the early support force sent to help the rearguard.
Åbo Läns regemente, 1 battalion.
A regular provincial (finnish) regiment created in the 17th century. It had one battalion with the Lewenhaupt army (the other retained for fortress duty). As for the two regiments above part of the early support force.
Småland Tremänning regemente, 2 battalions.
Yet another temporary regiment that was raised in 1700 and you guessed it, due to losses, incorporated into the Livgardet (Lifeguard) after the Lesnaya battle. This like the other 3 regiments below was at Lesnaya during the Battle.
Åbo, Björneborg och Nylands Tremänning regemente, 2 battalions.
Temporary regiment that was raised in 1700 and it is not perfectly clear whether one or two battalions joined Lewenhaupts Army. Survivors after the battle were incorporated into the Västmanland regimente.
Öselska Lantmilisbataljon, 1 battalion.
This was a militia force raised in 1702 and took heavy losses at Lesnaya and after this was incorporated into the Västerbotten regimente. They did not carry pikes.
Österbotten regemente, 1 battalion.
A regular provincial (finnish) regiment created in the 17th century. It had one battalion with the Lewenhaupt army (the other retained for fortress duty). Survivors from the Lesnaya Battle were put into the Närke-Värmland regimente.
Nylands regemente, 1 battalion.
A regular provincial regiment created in the 17th century. It had one battalion with the Lewenhaupt army (the other retained for fortress duty). Was sent to enforce the troops at Lesnaya. Survivors after the Battle were placed in the Västmanland Regemente.
Björneborgs regemente, 2 battalions.
A regular provincial (finnish) regiment created in the 17th century. As for the Nylands regmente it came as an enforcement to the troops at Lesnaya. Survivors after the Battle were placed in the Västmanland Regemente.
Neil Shuck doing Sharp Practice in 6mm at Joy of Six
There are some very good news indeed with regards to Joy of Six this year, from my and I believe many others perspective, as Neil Shuck will be running some Sharp Practice in 6mm using my French Indian War stuff I did last year. You may recall that I and Neil did the Saga in 6mm last year. Neil will be developing a scenario so we are not yet fully sure what will happen on the day, but we will let you know as and when the mystery unfolds.
Most of you, I suppose, know that Neil Shuck is the man behind the, in my opinion, best wargames podcast available called “Meeples and Miniatures”. If you have not listened to Neil and his co-host give it a go, it is more than worth it (there is a link below). I have been listening to it for years and it has given my joy, inspiration as well as sound investment advice.
There are of course other podcasts out there, including the new, and equally, addictive Veteran Wargamer as well as the long running Wargames Recon show that are also very good. As I have said before listening to podcasts and audiobooks is my way of keeping my hands free to do painting and modelling.
Joy of Six is a show that from one perspective could be seen as an exclusive 6mm event but that would be a very (did I say very) narrow view, instead I, and perhaps you should too, see it as a fantastic event that bring something to all wargamers. To get an idea what it is all about you should check out the link to the show report from 2016 below. Personally it is another chance to see Dan Hodgson’s amazing Star Wars stuff that I totally missed out on last time due to the demand around the Saga tables.
Thanks Neil! Looking forward to seeing you again.
I will be running the Great Northern War Battle of Lesnaya 1708, if I ever get there!
Here are a few useful links with regards to the above:
Bare Winter Trees for my Chain of Command Winter War Project
I am finishing of the stuff I need for running some Winter War battles with regards to terrain and markers (see more background here and here). Trees are very important to get the right feeling and my current focus are on these. I already have a fair few pine type of trees (Christmas trees) and these are just the same Summer and Winter apart from some snow flock on top, but also wanted some bare (leaf less) winter trees. To get the right look I have considered Sea foam (but it seems to brittle for my requirements), making it with wires (but it seems too time consuming to do large quantities) or to go out looking for twiglets (but this gives limited amount of branches, unless you look very hard!). What follows is how I intend to do my bare forest.
I went to eBay and found these trees (see below) and thought I give it a try. As they come from China it could have taken a while to get them in the post – but I was pleasantly surprised to get them delivered in a week.
The look pretty much like the picture and if you were in severe rush you could probably base them and field them like this. I took a few more steps and I have written a narrative of what I did in the text for each picture on what I did. I thought this could have some general interest.
What you need:
The trees shown above (go to ebay and search for them, you can by other quantities, the one above is for 50 trees 5X 10X).
Something to cut with (whatever you have clippers, nail scissors, etc. The plastic is very soft)
Washers (for bases) mine were 25cm in diameter.
Putty or green stuff
Primer (I used Black Gesso)
Paints for the trunk and branches (see below for the ones I used)
Modge Podge (Matte), but perhaps PVA is as good
Modelling Snow Flock
Some sealer (have not done that yet) – maybe a matte spray varnish would be best?
I went to see Tiger Lillies perform at the Camden Roundhouse in London this Friday. The concert was in celebration of their latest album released last week called ‘Cold Night in Soho’. It was their only gig in London as was advertised and promised as a night to remember. As I may have uttered before, the first time I heard them I was not sure whether it was absolute rubbish or bloody brilliant – I settled for the latter and this concert yet again proved that decision was the right one, being a mixture of old and new and I really enjoyed every minute.
This is one of those very fine British cultural treasures and to quote the roundhouse webpage, “The music they produce is a mixture of pre-war Berlin cabaret, anarchic opera an gypsy music, echoing the voices of Bertholt Brecht and Jacques Brel”. Check them out here.
Could not resist chopping some heads
With regards to the Genisys project I did say I did not need any more miniatures, but I got a good deal on the John Connor and a Lieutenant set the other day so I could not resist getting these. What would the resistance be without John Connor?. Also I thought I would convert some of the resistance soldiers by using heads from Badsquiddo games (link here., I recommend a visit) to bring some gender balance in the resistance to the machines. Just as a note, one of the miniatures on each sprue in the box is a woman, but I wanted some more variety. I had also waited for an opportunity to use these heads since became aware of what Annie at Badsquiddo is doing.
Here are the shots of the resistance miniatures with the headswaps done (have not yet started painting them).
You may think the heads are a bit too big, and perhaps they are? They are good enough for my purposes. However, and this is great, they are sold in three different sizes fine, pulp and heroic. I bought the heroic ones and perhaps a size or two down would work better.
I also got my order of “wave whatever” ships for the X-wing miniature games, I have lost count of what wave it is (I think it is Wave 10!). However, they are very nice indeed and I suppose we have to test fly them soon.
The Quadjumper and Upsilon-class Shuttle from the Force Awakens movie as well as Sabine’s TIE fighter from the Rebels series.
I also got some plastic toy cars that I intend to use for the Winter War project, but more on that another time.
Thanks for not asking about progress on the TMT project!
This week the Sharp Practice shock markers were finalized for the two starting forces an also the first batch of painted miniatures arrived from Marching in Colour for The Moscow Trilogy Project (TMT). We also had some notable deliveries of (i) Conan the Boardgame and (ii) the Heroes of the Resistance Expansion pack for the X-wing miniatures games.
TMT – First Batch Arrives
The first batch of painted miniatures from Marching in Colour arrived this week but did not have time to get started on finishing them off. Absolutely brilliant stuff!. I wrote about Chris and his services in the last blog update (link here). I have already sent him the next batch. This will make the process, at this end, very quick!
Sharp Practice in 6mm – Shock/Casualty Markers and some new “heroes”
Step 9 – prepare ground basing by applying sand and painting it chocolate brown.
Step 10 – pick out the details of the unit the marker represents, e.g. in the middle the markers for the British Regulars and in the right upper corner the Rangers. I made two for every unit.
Step 11 – Drybrush with three colours (light browns and a light yellowish colour).
Step 12 – Apply static grass and tufts. This shows the French Canadian Militia. All ready to go!
Conan the Board game – Finally Arrives
This week we got a big parcel with the Conan Board Game stuff from Monolith games. I have to admit that I and the little one were following the Kickstarter at the time with great excitement and we had been waiting and waiting. The little one used to say “When is Conan coming?”. When I finally told him that Conan had arrived, he asked me “What is that?”. Joke aside what arrived was an impressive set of two boxes fully package with all you could ever want for the game. It was a Carlsberg moment and worth waiting for.
Conan is one of those boyhood heroes and I read several of the fantastic novels and of course watched the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. The scene, in “Conan the Barbarian” where the young Conan gets chained to the mill grinder (wheel of pain) and then turns into this enormous and muscular grown up man is a nice cinematic touch. I still find the books and the movies entertaining and, at least for me, the ex-California governor is truly etched as my mental image of the Cimmerian Warrior. One of the stretch goals during the Kickstarter campaign was a miniature depicting the Camel that Conan has some fisticuffs with in the “Conan the Barbarian” movie, another nice touch.
Many miniatures to paint if I am going down that route – however for the moment I have decided to play it first and then worry about painting some other day. A thought occurred to me of doing it in 6mm – just joking – however there are a lot of stuff out there that would make this more than possible.
The Dragon Order and Adventure Set from Perfect Six we discussed last time and of course all the fantasy stuff from Microworld Games, Baccus (who does Camels as well!) and perhaps using some Pendragon 10mm for monsters – but I suppose I should never say never again!.
The Welsh Wizard, Mike Hobbs, has done a series of blogs posts showing what the boxes contain and even had time to play a game so teleport over there if you want to see/read more by starting here. By Crom!, we have been waiting for this to begin.
Heroes of the Resistance
We also got our pre-order of the Heroes of the Resistance for X-wing Miniatures game containing the new (perhaps “older” is the word to use) Millennium Falcon, with its Square Satellite dish, and Poe Cameron’s X-wing. Fantastic stuff and ready to go straight out of the Box. We will have to have a go at flying these this evening.
I just finished listening to Braddock’s Defeat on Audible and ended up buying the physical book as well from Amazon as a reference copy. This is an amazing piece of work by David Preston and I have not had so much enjoyment (reading a book on Military History) since I read Oskar Sjöström’s Fraustadt 1706: ett fält färgat rött. The Fraustadt book unfortunately, as is the case for a lot of Great Northern War literature, is not available in English. But I digress…
If you are familiar with the French Indian War period of history you will have heard about the British General Braddock leading a expeditionary force, in 1755, through Pennsylvania to attack the French Fort Duquesne on the forks of the Ohio River. A smaller French Canadian force, led by the French Captain Beaujeu and supported by native Indian Tribes, had decided to seek battle before the British arrived to the fort and encountered and attacked the British at Monongahela (about 10 miles from what is now Pittsburgh). It was the French Canadian resolve and ability to quickly get organised and use the terrain efficiently in applying woodland tactics that won the day.
“Historians have generally ignored French and Native perspectives on the 1755 campaign. The French were outnumbered, outgunned, and faced crippling supply problems in their Ohio Valley posts. They despaired of their inability to halt or slow Braddock’s relentless march. However, convoys of French reinforcements led by a veteran officer, Captain Beaujeu, came to Fort Duquesne after an epic 700-mile voyage from Montreal, arriving only a few days before the fateful battle at the Monongahela. …..
A newly discovered French account from the Archives du Calvados transforms our understanding of French and Native American leadership and tactics at the Battle of the Monongahela. The French commander, Captain Beaujeu, sent out Native scouts who brought him exact intelligence on the location and disposition of the British. Dividing his force into three parallel columns, Beaujeu organized a frontal attack on the British column with his Canadian troops. He instructed the Indians to spread out in the woods on the right and the left, and to withhold their fire until he had engaged the British. The Monongahela was neither a meeting engagement nor an ambush, but a well-planned and executed French and Indian attack on a vulnerable British column. “
Ten questions about Braddock’s Defeat by David L. Preston, accessible here.
I really enjoy the story telling aspect of real history and to paraphrase Dan Carlin, “it has destroyed fiction for me” (go and listen to one of his Hardcore History Shows if you have not done so yet!, here is a link). However being factual, intellectual and educational does not need to be boring and can instead be truly inspirational and that is this book in a nutshell. If you have any interest in the period, or military history in general, I suggest you get hold of this one.
I think a lot can be done with the skirmish rules I have (i.e. Sharp Practice, Musket and Tomahawks and Songs of Drums and Tomahawks) but for the “larger” battles I am not sure what good rulesets are there that captures the flavour of not just the period but in the particular way the war was fought in this theatre. But then this was only a small diversion!
Crystal Palace and that very famous Battle
I was intending to spend the day at SELWG (South East London Wargames Group) show in Crystal Palace today, but the little one had his first rugby festival for the season and luckily, because I would be a really sad bastard otherwise, I actually prefer to see him play rather than going to a wargames show. As it is very close to where we live we ended up going for the last 45 minutes on our way home – but the last part of a wargames show is very often like drinking a pint of lager that was poured two hours ago. I did not take any pictures of the tables on offer, but there seemed to be a good collection – a nice ancient game with loads of pikes and a Doctor Who game caught my eye. Next weekend (on both Saturday and Sunday) is the big event at Battle with the 950th Anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings. We are looking forward to this.
Supporting Cast, Real Estate and Markers
I decided to spend the little time I had available for diversions this week finalising as much of the painting as I could for the initial Sharp Practice stuff – so I and the little one could play a proper game in a not too distant future. This, instead of getting diverted spending hours gluing small strips of spaghetti like last week (see my last blog entry here) I actually managed to get some of the more immediate and necessary stuff completed.
I was thinking about a scenario with the characters from a famous movie set during the French Indian War – and did the three little chaps below. / Until next
In the last update I toyed with the idea of doing a fort –“wooden palisade type with some vaubanesque feel to the corner sections optimised for the scale and basing I have for the miniatures“.
As the 6mm scale, rightfully, is primarily used for large scale battles where a small set of buildings represents a village or even a town, it is difficult to find commercial buildings that are appropriate to allow the full “6mm skirmish experience”. With this I mean the individual maneuvering around, on top of and inside buildings. In addition, as the models are based on relatively wide bases (in my case 9mm – in scale about 8 feet) there are difficult to fit in confined spaces if these are in true scale to the miniature. I set out to “design” the fort so that I could use palisade walking ramps and the interior of the buildings as part of the overall experience. This creates somewhat exaggerated features – but it works.
I used the footprint above and I stuck this on top of vinyl floor tiles and got on with it. Materials used are patience, thin Spaghetti, coffee stirrers, matches and a few 10mm by 1mm maples strips.
I then gave it a first coat of paint and some dry brushing. I still have to sort out some material for the roofs and an underlay for the fort courtyard – so almost done.
I showed an idea I had in the last Sharp Practice post of using Spaghetti to make snake/split rail fences (here is a wiki link). Well I liked the test piece results and set about to make a few more. These could of course be used for any future 6mm, never say never again, ACW (American Civil War) project. With this “risk” in mind I did a little bit more than I needed. I recently re-read Peter Riley’s Crisis of Allegiance ACW rules and got tempted but have to keep the project portfolio in control. I am currently listening to “The Civil War” edited by Don Congdon on Audible whilst doing my projects – It is a very good listen indeed.
These kind of rail fences were particularly useful in rocky ground as they do not require holes to be dug for posts. They were relatively quick to build and could be taken down and put up where they were needed. It adds that nice periodic and geographical flavour to the setting. Note these are a somewhat simplified in design, but I think they work well for my needs. In trying to learn the Sharp Practice rules we set up a little encounter where some French friendly natives are attacking two groups of militia firing behind some fences.
I used 10mm by 1mm wooden strips as bases and then put a magnetic strip under (poundland variety) . I then glued a template on top of each and cut the spaghetti into the required length. It becomes stronger than you think. I used PVA/Wood Glue and the only advice is to use moderate amount of glue to avoid getting the spaghetti too wet. But as a construction material it is brilliant and dead cheap compared to plastistruct or metallic rods. Get the thinnest spaghetti you can find – Angel hair or Cappelini seems to work best (he said sounding like a true veteran – go crazy explore the cupboard). Cocktail sticks feels a little to big in 6mm. On reflection I should probably have gone with 2mm thick bases as it makes in easier to pick them up.
I also ordered some bespoke designs from Warbases to use as movement trays for the unit – I think they worked really well. This will make movement a little bit easier. I have to say that Diane and Martin at Warbases are excellent to deal with and I recommend them for your normal and special basing needs. I have not yet painted the small “leader bases” I am using to distinguish the Leaders.
Next I am waiting for some reinforcements and stuff to finalise what I need. I am also tempted to make a little fort. A wooden palisade type with some vaubanesque feel to the corner sections optimised for the scale and basing I have for the miniatures. I have just the material for the stockade! – but will probably go for some wood supporting the spaghetti!
My mother was taken ill this week so I found myself spending the latter part of my week in Sweden. Luckily all went as well as possible given the circumstances and there are certainly worse places than Sweden to be in during September. I try to go and visit Rommehed when I am in my hometown. Rommehed was once the training ground of the Dal regiment that existed between 1621 to 2000. During the Great Northern War the regiment was involved in many of the famous battles, including the victories at Narva (1700), Düna (1701), Klissow (1702), Holowczyn (1708), Malatitze (1708) and Gadebusch (1712). In our Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) the Dal regiment will be present at our Gorki/Horki “what if battle” as well as the disastrous battle at Poltava (1709). Today the site is one of two sites of the dal regiments museum and is occasionally open during the Summer Months (not when I visited this time) and there is also a very brave stone soldier guarding the premises.
Therefore no major progress on any of my diversions and this is therefore a short update.
In a recent Meeples and Miniatures podcast the hosts discussed the mileage in doing Snake rail fencing in spaghetti. I used spaghetti for the bridges I did for my Saga in 6mm project. Armed with a little bit of very thin spaghetti – capellini (no. 2) and some superglue – I made a small section. I will show the build process in some more detail when I do the “real” fences later. I am very pleased with the result.
Support List Options
In addition I managed to get most of the markers and support options for Sharp Practice “modelled” by pimping some Baccus and Perfect Six carts (water, ammunition and engineering) and Perfect Six barricades. I also made some markers for artillery ammunition and out of ammo markers (illogically represented by an ammunition crate) 0 these, again, are from Perfect Six. I have included some pictures in the slide show below. I hope to be able to show them painted in a not too distant future.