A few days before Christmas I was invited to speak on Sean Clark’s podcast Gods Own Scale, where I covered some thoughts and reflections from the year that just passed (link below the picture, if you want to check it out).
It is always great to catch-up with Sean and it is well worth checking up his back catalogue if you are not already familiar with it.
Anyway as a kind of complement I will do a quick overview of some of the things I did on the hobby front this year (mainly an organised listing of links to blogposts). As always in doing the review I realise that I have been doing far more than expected.
The sections are
More 3D printing
Commissioning some 6mm miniatures
Sweden 1943 Project 15mm
The Battle of Lund 1676 6mm and the 6mm Charity Project
Fantasy Ice Hockey 28mm
An Awarding Year – Caesar Award (Wargaming Blog 2021) and Best in Show at Salute (6mm Poltava 1709
More 3D printing
I continued some exploration of 3D printing and came to the conclusion after a lot of printing that I should stop just printing and just keep things back until I intended to paint stuff, avoiding creating yet another mountain – this time in resin instead of lead. On the whole I really enjoy using the printer and the result it produced – it has not really reduced the amount of stuff I buy but has given me some options for doing alternative stuff. Here are few of the stuff I did do.
More details on this here
Commissioning some 6mm miniatures
I also commissioned some 6mm miniatures to be used as commanders for my GNW 6mm stuff. I did 5 minutures in total, the one below shows Stenbeck at Helsingborg in 1710.
More about that here and the other miniatures that I commissioned.
Sweden 1943 Project 15mm
Further Progress was made on my Swedish 1943 Project and I added some more tanks and armoured cars (well trucks). I also did a high level army list for O Group, the new game from Too Fat Lardies.
More about this project here
The only big 6mm project I did start in the year was the Forces in Holstein 1700 as part of the start of the Great Northern War. This offers two very colourful opposing armies and the potential for a very interesting wargaming experience – in reality there were no big field battles, but this project offers some exploration of this.
I also bought some already painted 6mm ancients that I rebased and quickly got my 6mm Ancient Punic War collection substantially increased. I also did a summary blog on a lot of the #6mmtips I have shared on twitter over the last few years. More on these projects below.
The Battle of Lund 1676 6mm and the 6mm Charity Project
This year I took the Battle of Lund 1676 to the Virtual Joy of Six event, I ended up doing a video to present the game and also talked about the Charity Project that was completed last year. There are some links to two video that was produced to support these projects.
I did a lot of terrain projects this year most notably I did a lot of clutter, or immersion markers as I prefer to call them, for the 1943 table, but there are some generic ideas you could use for other theatres and scales. I also did a fair few buildings and fields.
These projects has allowed me to create some really immersive battlefields, like this one. Here a little video that Des Darkin did showing off the table laid out using many of the terrain elements produced this year (thanks Des).
Fantasy Ice Hockey 28mm
I did some further work on my Fantasy Ice hockey project and we are developing some alternative rules to use. More on some conversions and some 3d printed models below.
Those were my main activities for the year, here some of the smaller projects that was done
I received two awards this year, the Caesar Award for the Blog of 2021 organised by Little Wars TV and also the Best Game in Show (Presidents Award) at Salute for the 6mm Poltava 1709 table.
Here a video made by Alex at Storm of Steel covering the show with an interview with Nick and I discussing the battle.
Nick Dorrell, his Merry Wyre Foresters and I presented the Poltava 1709 6mm table at Salute yesterday and had a smashing day. We talked with so many people that came by of all ages, some knowing more than others about the period and the scale. We had a constant flow of people to our table up to about 1pm an after this it slowed down. For everyone that came to our table during the day I hope that either the table or our interaction with you blew you away, hopefully at least the former but I wish the latter too. I also, as always had great help from the family with the Better One and the Little One both making sure I got there and back safely.
Here some pictures of it all. All miniatures are by Baccus 6mm, the miniatures are based for playing the Twilight of the Sun King rules but we have used them for a number of rule sets over the years. I have made a very short summary of the rules here.
Here some pictures of the table.
Anyway halfway through the day we were presented with an award from the organisers of Salute – The South London Warlord. I have to admit I did not expect us to get it, but I think it was about time not for me but for a lot of small scale gamers out there old a and new. I am certainly no one-trick pony and I do understand the merits of each scale as a tool for telling a story – the Battle of Poltava needed to be told like this, the Town that was laid under Siege by the Swedes to force the Russian to give battle, the dense Yakovetski forest was there so we could understand how some of the Swedish Battalions got lost in it, and one of the key surprises was the fact that the Russians had built 10 redoubts slowing down the Swedish advance, all this before the main battle and not possible to show in less than 16 feet at 6mm with a battalion frontage of about 60mm – it would be tough to do it in 28mm.
In doing an inventory of the Units I had before the show I realised I had done about 20 bases of Dragoons I had surplus to my requirement and therefore thought I could do something for the hobby. Every person I noticed and judged being 10 years or under that came to the table during the day and showed some interest I gave a base. I had given away 15 at the end of the day and had a small talk with them and their Dad or Mum. They all now know the difference between a Dragoon and a Standard Cavalry unit during the period.
I did not declare this as I wanted to to make it as a surprise and I only had 20 bases and did not want to let anyone down. Anyway I wanted to do this on the back of dragging around the Little One to wargames shows since he was 5 years old and having him being occasionally either ignored or looked at like he was Satan himself. I, and more importantly he, cherishes the times when someone talked to him and engaged with him directly and got him involved. I just wanted to try to create a few of those moments.
If you are interested in the Poltava project there is a lot of posts on my blog covering various aspects of it, I think these are the main ones (the first two showing a lot of pictures of the set up).
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.
It has been a little bit of a strange year with a lot of pressures making it difficult to devote as much time as I would like to the hobby – but in retrospect and upon reflection I seem to have been doing a lot more than I thought. I had lots of fun with the hobby and that is what it is there for!
This is a summary blog of the year and contain some additional pictures not covered in any published blogs. I hope you will find this review interesting. I take my hat off for all of you who engage with the blog directly, follow the roll a one page on faceboook (Roll a One, @rollaonepage) or the Per at RollaOne feed on twitter – It really matters to me – so thank you very much. I had as an unwritten rule to do a blog every week, this year I have managed to do 41 blog posts – so I failed the objective but I am happy with that. I could easily have dragged this one out over a few blogs with the extra material but wanted to make a long one of this last one.
The most popular blog post this year was this one detailing how you can enhance your 6mm, or any scale, pictures using your computer screen. Bleeding obvious to me but a lot of people have found it useful!
This blog post has a lot of pictures and links (these are the underlined sections, they lead directly to the blog post I am talking about) and basically covers:
Poltava 1709 and Joy of Six 2019
Battle of Lund 1676 project
Gaming with the Little One and a book from Henry Hyde
WW2 What-if Invasion of Sweden in 1943 and roundpole fences
The Mutant 1984 Project and our Christmas Mutant Dinosaur Hunt
Being on Podcasts and some other stuff
Poltava 1709 at Joy of Six 2019
This was the culmination of a three year project covering the Russian Campaign of the Great Northern War and this year I presented Poltava 1709 at Joy of Six show in Sheffield. This has been a fantastic project and this 16 by 5 feet table actually made me somewhat emotional when I first put it up on the Show (but then each one is pretty special at the time). I did plenty of blog posts about the project this year, you can find them below. We will put up the table again in 2020 at Salute in April. This project was done using 6mm Baccus miniatures.
Here are some of the blog-posts covering this topic ( The last few are the finished article the others about how various elements were done).
Gaming with the Little One and a book from Henry Hyde
I have had immense pleasure in engaging with the Little One yet again this year in painting, playing games and going to a few events together. He even wrote a review of the Airfix Battles Rules and about his day at Salute on the Blog. When I asked him about the highlights this year he told me that it was the book he was sent by Henry Hyde, the day we had playing Mike Whitaker’s Omaha game and doing the Star Wars Legion miniatures (more in the links at the end of this section).
The Little One and I met Henry Hyde at Salute (who of course wrote the Wargames Compendium, was the editor for Miniature Wargames & Battlegames and now runs the Battlegames Patreon Site that I am a supporter of, see link here https://battlegames.co.uk/patreon-supporters/ . Please check it out as there is a lot of good stuff there in terms of podcasts, videos and articles – whether you are a supporter or not).
On the way back Max realised that the Henry we had met was the same guy that had written the Wargames Compendium, a book he really loves, and said that he should have asked for an autograph. I mentioned this to Henry and a few days later, to our great surprise and delight, a parcel arrived with a letter and a book.
It is was an enormously generous gesture and one of those moments I think the Little One will carry with him for his whole life – many thanks Henry! The Little One then read the Featherstone book and wrote a letter he sent to Henry that made me really proud.
Many thanks for sending me the Donald Featherstone book, it was very kind of you and it made me feel very special. I like the words you wrote and I will keep this book forever. It has taken me some time to finish the book as I have had a few other things going on.
I enjoyed the introduction where he writes about ‘what wargaming is’ and also the overview of the different periods for wargaming – my favourite period is WW2. You have so many different aspects of things going on – on land, in the air, on and under the water and you are not sitting around in a trench for four years as in the Great War. At the very end of the book he writes something I really liked! “General Sherman, of American Civil War fame, is quoted as saying, ‘War is Hell’. So it is, and perhaps the wargamer, seeing just how helpless his little plastic figures are against the dice simulated effects of cannon and muskets, will appreciate more than ever the utter futility of real war.”
I also have a copy of your book, The Wargaming Compendium, and I think it is the best book a wargamer can get as it covers everything you need to know. In particular I like the chapter on understanding sizes, scales and chance. I love the picture on page 17 showing the different scales.
I hear you are writing another one and I hope it is going really well!
I know you like the Horse and Musket period so I thought you might like this Kings Carabineer from the Battle of Blenheim 1704 and a book about the Battle of Poltava.
WW2 What-if Invasion of Sweden in 1943 and roundpole fences
Some further works was done for the 1943 German invasion forces and defending Swedes. Making some transports for the Swedes with some tanks (including conversions) and a large number of German soldiers and vehicles. I also updated the Chain of Command list for the Swedes. More in the blog posts below (that is also including a note on the visit I did to Dulwich playing Chain of Command at the Warlords Lardy Day – thanks Iain!).
One of the best things that happened to this project this year was the roundpole fences developed by Paul Edwards (@Amaz_ed on Twitter if you want to contact him, or let me know and I will pass it on) that will enable me to give that special feel of gaming in Scandinavia/Nordic much in the same way as Snake Rail fencing indicate a wargame in North America.
How is this relevant to you if you do not play anything in Norway, Finland, Sweden or Estonia (where these fences are common) – well according to some theories they were in use during Viking times so if you are doing Dark Age wargaming (or Colonials as we Norse call it). So if you want to create that little Norse settlement in your Saga game or some other game including some Vikings and want to make it feel a little bit special than maybe this beautiful fencing will be an idea.
I asked Paul if he could help me out and quicker than I could say Gärdsgård – the name of the fence in Swedish – I now have 4-5 meters of it and I hope you agree it looks good.
The ones I have has been made for 15mm but Paul can make some in 6mm and 28mm too.
These are the ones I will be using for my Scanian War project.
These are a few in 28mm with some Mutant 1984 characters.
Paul also does some gate options.
I have also found a reasonable Vallejo mix for Falu Rödfärg.
Here are some postings for the Swedish WW2 project (as in all my posts there is plenty of pictures in each of them). The next step is to produce two half-sized campaign for Chain of Command (or any other Platoon based set of rules).
In addition we had a special Xmas game this year based on a vote we did on Twitter where the Mutant 1984 Dinosaur won the Day (beating Winter War, Swedish invasion 1943 and a “proper” GNW battle!). We used a variant of the The Men who Would be King rules (the same as in the Border Skirmish above) and it was a fun game with two factions of soldiers and hunters trying to take out as many Monsters as possible (2 Dinosaurs, a Giant Beetle, a Four armed Gorilla, 2 Swedish Tigers, a Dark Young of Stubb-Nigarakan) whilst fighting each other. I did not do a write-up but instead I have included a bunch of pictures from the game.
The Swedish (Sabre Tooth) Tigers are based on the Swedish Wartime information Poster stating “En Svensk Tiger” that means both “a Swedish Tiger” and “a Swede Shuts-Up”.
Being on Podcasts and some other stuff
Any regular reader of this blog will know that I have a few wargaming podcasts that I like to listen to whilst I paint and model – these are in no particular order the Veteran Wargamer, The Lardy Oddcast, Meeples and Miniatures, Havoc Cast Podcast, Wargames Soldiers and Strategy, Wargames Recon, Henry Hyde’s Battlechats and God’s Own Scale Podcast. They are all excellent and whilst I occasionally listen to others, those are my solid ones I will try to listen to every time (I listen to a fair few more non-wargaming stuff like the eminent Grognards RPG Files and We have ways and Audible books).
This year I have been humbled by having been asked to come on three of these shows and talk about stuff mainly relating to the 6mm work I have been doing, but also about wargaming with children and my great passion – the Great Northern War.
A few weeks ago Neil Shuck announced that he will stop the Meeples and Miniatures podcast as he has reflected on the time it takes to do the show and other priorities like gaming with friends etc. Meeples and Miniatures has, in my opinion, become like a wargaming (and Meeples) institution and its legacy is enormous and Neil and the other presenters (Mike, Mike, Dave, Rich and all the guest presenters) should be enormously proud of having created this. I felt so honoured to be asked to attend the show and had a blast – so much that it was enough to fill two episodes (sorry!, but thanks Neil and Mike for having me).
When I listened to Sean Clarke’s episode 0 and he declared that one of his inspirations to starting his blog (focusing on 6mm an history) was the work I have been doing with this blog – it made that and many days last year. I contacted him and asked if I could come and talk to him and we had a great time talking about the 6mm stuff I have been doing but also getting an idea of Sean Clarke’s upcoming WW1 project for Joy of Six in 2020. This is another excellent show and I really like all the episodes to date with many friends from the 6mm trenches. The show with Robert Dunlop (No 3.) is one of the best Podcasts I heard last year. Thanks Sean for my second outing this year – I had an absolute blast.
Henry’s Battlechat has very quickly built up an impressive catalogue of podcasts with a wide range of guests from the industry, rules designers, miniatures producers, artists, book publishers, academics, etc. I have stolen parts of Henry’s intro for this:
“Per is a wonderful ambassador of the hobby, friendly, approachable, intelligent and with a dry sense of humour that you might only notice when you’re halfway out of the door after meeting him! (Watch out for his comment about the Dark Ages being “Scandinavian colonial”!) Here, then, is this Swedish superstar of the hobby in full flow, waxing lyrical about 6mm gaming, the Great Northern War and other Scandinavian conflicts of the 17th and 18th centuries, making snow-covered terrain and the joys of being a wargaming parent.”
Finally I would like to say that my favourite wargaming thing this year was the visit I did to Evesham and OML7 (Operation Market Larden No. 7) – Thanks to Ade et al for this. I met so many nice people and had a fantastic time playing some great games.
80 years ago Finland was fighting for its independence against Soviet Union in what has become known as the Winter War. The war has a personal connection to me as the family on my mother’s side is Finnish. We have therefore fought a few battles using the Chain of Command rules to honour and remember the people on both sides who fought and died in this war.
The war started with a Soviet Invasion of Finland without a declaration of war on the 30th November 1939, the war ended 105 days later on 13th March 1940. More than 25,000 Finnish died and many were wounded. At the end of the War Finland was still an independent state but had lost about 10% of its territory and 12% of the population lost their homes and where re-settled. The Soviet Union’s losses were far higher and somewhere in the order of 150,000. The campaign was badly planned and conducted by the Soviets and the Finns fought bravely and with great skill.
Here are few pictures from one of these battles, somewhere along a country road…
I have been overwhelmed with the feedback on the Poltava 1709 table I put on at Joy of Six last weekend (see more here) and looking back at it and I think it is my best effort so far. A lot of people have asked me what I will do next year at JOS 2020?
Truth is that I do not intend to do a new table but instead revisit the first Great Northern War battle I put up at Joy of Six back in 2012, the Battle of Fraustadt 1706. I need to review the battle boards as they have been in storage for about 4 years (when we took it to Salute). I believe that a face lift will make them look stunning and it is a far more playable game than Poltava.
Further I want to revisit some of the miniatures and take it up a notch overall, I also want to add some more wintery trees (increase the density of the forest) to the table and a few more terrain features. It should not be a too big job.
In addition we are going to take the Poltava 1709 table to Salute in April next year and have already got our table accepted. I have a few improvements I want to do with regards to some of the features to improve the overall feel of the table – I think the Siege lines could be best done as a single piece and filled with some more people. I would also like to add some more life onto the walls of Poltava itself as well as some further smaller details (like some actual gates for the fortress and some guards for the Swedish Camp).
Finally, I would like to use the Fraustadt table to test a few sets I have not played with before and see how they work – especially Gå-På.
However I have a plan for Joy of Six 2021 when I would like to do a Battle from the Scanian War (1665-69)! I got myself some of the new Sun King range from Baccus at Joy of Six. It is an interesting period in Swedish history with a King (Charles XI) who needs to step up and deliver during the war and realises what a shaky ground his empire was standing on following years of neglect by the regency council who had rules the country for 12 years until Charles came to age. After the war he sets out to take back control from the noblemen and strengthen the countries defenses and military might. This is the key reason to the ability of the Swedish army to be as powerful as it was in the Great Northern War.
I will discuss this in more detail at a later date, but currently I am leaning towards the Battle of Lund 1676 (another wintery battle) but have not yet made my mind up.
All the regiments on both sides have different Uniforms with a wide colour variety, this is the biggest appeal to me. I still intend to base them in the way I have based my GNW miniatures (60 by 30mm bases) as I am relatively fond of the approach, I may however base the cavalry on (30 by 30 bases) to represent a squadron instead of a base being 2 squadrons – but I have not yet made up my mind but looking at some of the paintings from the era makes me want to recreate that feeling with smaller blocks of cavalry than infantry.
You can find more information about the Scanian War here.
There are two books I do recommend for the Scanian War Period in English (thinking about it there are not many others!):
Charles XI’s War – the Scanian War between Sweden and Denmark, 1675-1679 by Michael Fredholm von Essen. It is, I think, the military history overview of this wars. I have a number of Swedish books as well but I think this is my favourite overall. Here is a link to it https://www.helion.co.uk/charles-xi-war.html
The second book can be a little bit harder to get hold of and is Scanian War 1675-79 Colours and Uniforms by Lars-Eric Höglund. It contains information of the Swedish uniforms, standards and organisation of the period.
You can find some more on the Sun King range from Baccus here.
This will be a slow project and will probably not take off until after the Summer holiday, but if you are interested you can follow this journey and the other madness on this blog, by:
On reflection there are plenty other projects I need to crack on with that are well developed but not yet nailed. Hopefully I will be able to complete these sooner than later (I wrote about some of these in the 2018 year end Roll a One Accounts – here).
Some Poltava 1709 bonus stuff
The Meeples and Miniatures Podcast has a special place in my heart and over the years it has given me a lot of pleasure whilst doing a lot of my hobby work (yes there are others that I really like too, like the Veteran Wargamer, the Lardy Oddcast, the WSS Magazine podcast, the Wargames Recon). They are also very nice people and very god friends and it was a joy to welcome them and two of the guest commanders, sorry presenters, to my table at Joy of Six again.
I am blessed with a fantastic family and my wife and two of our children joined me at Joy of Six this year – it has become a little bit of a tradition going up north doing some sight-seeing on the Saturday and then Joy of Six on the Sunday. The Better One had taken some pictures on the day of the table that I really liked – I was to excited by the grandeur of it all whilst she zoomed in on some of the details. I hope you like them too.
This is the 150th blog post issued on the 3rd anniversary of this blog. Some of the blog posts have been better than others – some of them I am actually even proud of (especially the two that were written by the Little One). Like most of us I have limited time to spend on the hobby and very often the blog updates goes out without too much second/proof reading but I hope they serve some purpose.
The first blog post was Saga in 6mm – Part 1 (16th May 2016) – it seems like a long time ago – it is still being read on a regular basis.
I will have a cake this evening and maybe even a beer. Whether this is the first time you are here of you have been before, thanks for checking it out!
If this is of any interest to you please engage by leaving a comment, follow the blog (you can sign up for e-Mail updates) and engage here, or on Twitter (@Roll_a_one) or Facebook (@rollaonepage). These interactions really makes a difference and it keeps me going! I love this hobby and this blog is my open door to what I am doing with it – use it as you wish!
Enough of that – some time ago I read Iain Fuller’s excellent blog (link here) Tracks and Threads where he had found some interesting looking material from Hobbycraft.
“I’ve recently started visiting some Facebook pages after resisting them for ages and apart from the odd silly comment (usually from people not reading the OP properly) it has not been too bad. The other day on one of the pages, 6mm Miniatures and Wargaming, a lovely bloke called Ricky posted that he had found (or more correctly his missus had) some A4 sized ‘Plush Foam Sheet’ that are perfect for fields whilst in a Hobbycraft shop. Upon checking out their website I saw that they do ‘Corrugated Foam’ sheets too so with my ‘Club Terrain Chap’ hat on I duly ordered some – Beige, Dark Green and Yellow ‘Plush’ and Brown ‘Corrugated’ and they arrived the next day, and they are ace: look good, great texture to the ‘plush’ ones and will drape over hills nicely and seem pretty durable to boot. Oh, and they cost 80p a sheet!!”
From the Tracks and Thread blog post “Nice 6mm internet terrain find”, 1st October 2018.
Note: Following some research Ricky is Ricky Bell who produces some fantastic 6mm Napoleonic stuff and posts frequently on the “6mm miniatures & wargaming” Facebook group. I also think the price has gone up to 99p per sheet.
In the run-up to Christmas last year I found myself at a hobbycraft shop with a gift voucher and bought a fair few of these sheets, I was very excited at the time but then stuck them in a drawer – passing them to the myths and legend of the terrain material mountain – a lighter but more colourful lump of stuff (compared to the lead mountain) that will never transform into nice looking terrain on the table. But faith would have another outcome for these plush sheets.
Last year I incorporated some fields into the terrain mat for the Horka battle, but there were two issues with it: (I) It added to the time to do the mat and (ii) the bushes around it were only indicative as they were built into the surface – it was ok, but I wanted to do something different this year.
So I thought I do some field tiles instead that I could place on the mat that would create a similar illusion to that achieved last year. I remembered those Flush Foam sheets. I ventured to the room of many things, rummaged through the boxes, found a lot of things I had forgotten I owned, some of it I had even bought twice, I even found some of the very rare purple lichen (!?) and then in the end I had the sheets in my hand and work could truly begin.
Here is a series of pictures that I hope will explain how I made some field tiles.
In an earlier blog posting I showed my prototype Russian redoubt for the Poltava Battle (see link here, that also describes how they were made). These were hastily fortifications that caused the Swedes a lot of trouble during the march up to the field where the main Battle was fought.
You can read more about the redoubt battle on the eminent Tacitus webpage here.
In this update we will cover:
The finalised redoubts
Some casualty markers to show whether a redoubt has been taken or not.
A few Swedish Siege Artillery pieces
All scratch built with Baccus 6mm miniatures, using a lot of their dismounted dragoons and casualty figures from the WSS and GNW range.
Hope that was of some interest!
Let us see that Dalregiment gentleman again! – the flag with the Dalecarlian bolts is waiving in victory. Wish it had gone like that on the day though!