FIW – Sharp Practice in 6mm – Part 6 Inspiration and Some Progress

Braddock’s Defeat

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.

Painting showing a contingent of French and Indians attacking General Braddock, in the background, who is falling from his horse being assisted by Major George Washington, the future first president of the United States of America – one of many key characters of the American revolution that were involved in this expedition. (Painted by Edwin W. Deming, the painting forms part of the Wisconsin Historicial Society’s collection)

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.

My temporary “Out of ammunition markers” using crates from Perfectsix – I did a few more. “Resthouse” by Leven Miniatures. The bases are 9mm in diameter.
Ammo markers for artillery (again made from PerfectSix materials).
Mule Train from Baccus
Barricades based on various items from PerfectSix
As above but from a different angle
Breastworks based on some old Irregular stuff I had lying around. Painted up really well!
As above but from a different angle
Holymen and Doctors for both sides – Pere Bleu, Docteur Bleu, Doctor Red and Father Red.
Carts – Engineering, Water and Ammunition Carts

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





FIW – Sharp Practice in 6mm – Part 3

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.

Spaghetti Fences

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.

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/ All the best and be careful out there

Lesnaya Part 4 – but mostly other stuff

Yet another week in a sunny, and this time also rainy and windy, France.  I thought I bang the drum for three of the places I visited with the family that may be of some interest.

Château de Talmont, Talmont St Hilaire, Vendée

Nicely situated on a rock that once was surrounded by a lake and the river Le Payre.  The Castle was originally built on the orders of William the Great, Duke of Aquitaine.  William actually was not that Great and lost a lot of his lands to Vikings and other french nobles. I am not that convinced we will see him as a warlord in future Saga supplements!  However from 1152, the Duchy of Aquitaine was held by the Plantagenets, who also ruled England as independent monarchs.  Richard I Lionheart (or Richard Coeur de Lion as they call him in France) is the most famous of the rulers of Talmont and he did a lot of alterations to the castle. The castle have taken some damage over the years but is well worth a visit and depending on the day some activities to keep the family entertained including some periodic games and falconry. You can read more here.

Talmont Castle


Le Mont-Saint-Michel, Pontorson – Le Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy

I have spent a lot of time in Normandy over the last few years going to the various WW2 sites (Pegasus bridge, the D-day beaches, Sainte-Mère-Église and seen the famous Church and visited the airborne museum to mention a few) and they are all amazing but there is a lot of older history that is also worth checking out.  It seems like it is directly from a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying (WFRP) module. When I was standing on some of the viewing platforms on the top, with the wind blowing in whatever hair I have left, it did not take a lot of imaginary effort to feel like I was standing somewhere on the top of Minas Tirith in Middle-Earth viewing the hoards of orcs..sorry tourists approaching.  This island have been used since the 8th century as a centre for religious worship, defensive position and even as a prison.  Rich with history and to slowly walk along the small streets and passage ways up to the top and a visit the cathedral and the prison is a immersive experience that is not to be missed if you are in the region. There is a nice video showing off this amazing place here.

Le Mont-Saint-Michel


Le Musée des Blindés, Saumur, Manche

This is a fantastic tank museum that, I personally, think is as good as the Bovington museum in the UK for us WW2 enthusiasts.  It is even better if you are into cold war stuff I have been told by reliable sources.  Here is a link to a video on YouTube showing a lot of the tanks and here is the official link to the museum itself.  I bought myself some German Tank Paints by MIG and I tried out the dunkelgrau on some early German Zvezda tanks I found in a shop in Cherbourg.  It seemed to work well.

What about the Lesnaya stuff?

As far as the Lesnaya project is concerned I had a little break from it last week. I did catch up with Nick Dorrell about it and we are good to go with the overall Towards Moscow Trilogy project I discussed in an earlier Blog.  It is very likely that, after Lesnaya, we will do a what-if-scenario where the Swedish army attacks the Russian Position at Gorki 1708 instead of Holowczyn, but more on that later.

Having started to paint the Finnish tanks for my Finnish Chain of Command project I got inspired to order some more stuff and when I came home a nice parcel was waiting with some Battlefront products including some finnish (Sissi) ski troops, a command group (to get an anti-tank rifle unit), and some Panzershreck and Panzerfaust teams (they were used by the finns but at the very end of the war). In addition some more vehicles including a BA-10 armoured car (from Zvezda), a BT-42 assault gun, a Vickers 6-ton tank and a Landsverk AA-tank.  In that nice model shop in Cherbourg I also bought a T-60 and a KV-1 again from Zvezda.  Yes the purist will say that the one T-60 known to have been captured by the Finns never was used in action – but I could not resist!

/ All the best


Saga in 6mm – Part 10 – Pre-Show

Work commitments has led to limited time to spend on anything remotely funny recently.  I see that Neil and Dave have been busy doing Saga  games on the Meeples and Miniature site so I suppose they are more prepared than I.  It looks as the game works in 28mm scale as well – who would have thought! 😉  Having checked out some of the other games being presented at the Joy of Six I think it will be a good day out and it seems like 6mm sceptics can get in for free – my favourite so far is Dan Hogdsons Star Wars Games. I first saw Dan’s 6mm Sudan stuff at the first Joy of Six a few years back and was blown away.  His work actually  inspired me to put on my first big 6mm table – the battle of Fraustadt 1706 (that is the date of the battle by the way, I am not that old yet!). Do spend some time on the Baccus site because the other games seem equally good.  If you are coming to the Show please come by and say hello and perhaps join in on a game.

The Battle of Fraustadt 1706 – my first outing at Joy of Six. It is the first of four Great Northern War (GNW) games I have put on at JOS. I will do a write up at some future point. Missing Nick D and Wyre forest gang but hopefully we will return in splendor at some other show with some 6mm GNW stuff.

I spent today checking that I have everything I need before the journey to Sheffield next week. Both mats are packed, the terrain sorted, all miniatures sorted out, Saga dice counted, measuring sticks made, etc.

All the miniatures being stored in a transparent acrylic display case and ready to rumble. It was sold as a make up display case but works for 6mm dark ages stuff as well.

It is all looking good. Let us hope we have fair wind on our journey to the north! Some photos from the show coming up next week or shortly after and then I have to think about what is next! I was planning on spending the Summer on catching up on some of my half finished projects of old until I had a Shuck moment – yes one of those.  Neil discussed a new naval ruleset he is reviewing and I read the article in the morning, ordered the rule set from Amazon and got it delivered at home the same evening.  I then recalled that Outpost Wargames Services had a 1/3600 naval range so I decided to order a few of them and got them yesterday – they are small! –  My summer is “saved”. I am already thinking about doing a mat similar to that I used for the Saga mats, using a thin layer of acrylic sealant mixed with green blueish colour and some fine sand – fix it up with some sponging (more about that some other time) and then let it dry and finally spread a layer of transparent acrylic sealant on top to create some depth – it has to be done!


Some Quinquiremes in 1/3600 scale without sails next to some Axe wielding 6mm Norse Gaels. Thanks Neil!



/ Take Care

Saga in 6mm – Part 4

Note 1: It probably makes more sense if you read Saga in 6mm – Part 1 before you read this.

Note 2: All miniatures are from Baccus miniatures, unless indicated otherwise, and the codes relates to their catalogue.

Welsh, Anglo-Saxons and Jomsvikings

We decided to take some advantage of the weather and the English Heritage membership so ventured to Pevensey Castle and then later to the Abbey at Battle. The old Abbey is overseeing what is probably one of the most famous battle fields in history – the Battle of  Hastings 1066. I recommend visiting both these sites if you have a general interest in history and it is great for the children too.  Here are a few pictures from the day that may interest you.

Pevensey Castle –  this is the Anglo-Saxon shore fort that was overlooking the bay where the Normans landed in 1066 (today suitably called Norman Bay).
Detail from one of the information posters around the battlefield showing the Anglo-Saxons on top of the slope with the Normans below.
The Battlefield 950 years later with the Abbey on top of the slope. The Abbey was ordered to be built by the Pope in 1170 as penance.
Today There are only a few sheep grazing away. I suppose later in the year the field will be full of reenactors and visitors. It will probably be a memorable event – it is 950 years ago after all!
The Little One taking advantage of a lessons in early Medieval Swordsmanship.

Now over to the main event, starting with the Welsh…


Codes used:
ALR04 – Lanciarii
EMV02 – Unarmoured Spearmen
EMN05 – Norman Archers
For the Hearthguard and Warlord I used the unarmoured spearmen (EMV02 – from the Viking code) fronted by an individual model from the Late Roman lanciarii code (ALR04) to mark the units as being armed with Javelin – the Warlord unit was fronted by 2 spearmen figures For the bonnedig (levy) I used Norman Archers (EMN05) – as I thought I had enough Javelins already.  Painting inspiration perhaps by listening to those mighty Manic Street Preachers and perhaps “There by the grace of God”.
Welsh 4pt Warband

Anglo- Saxons

Codes used:
EMA01 – Huscarls with Spear
EMA03 – Fyrd Spearmen
EMA05 – Saxon Leaders and command
For the warriors and the shield and spear levy I used the Fyrd Spearmen (EMA03).  The thin line for the levy unit works well to represent these weak but potentially useful peasant soldiers.  For the hearthguard and the warlord unit I used the Huscarls with Spear (EMA01) fronted by the miniatures from the Saxon Leaders pack. I suppose these are late Anglo-Saxons less tarnished by the Danes than the Anglo-Danes (!).  As for painting songs listen to anything with Saxon – one of Yorkshire’s finest bands and still going strong – “Crusader” is a good choice.
Anglo-Saxon 4pt Warband


The semi-legendary unit of mercenary Norse Warriors selling their spears (swords, axes and shields too) to the highest bidder.  I opted for a shield with the same design as the Icelandic flag – I wanted to give them a coherent look.  I used these codes:
EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen
EMV02 – Unarmoured Spearmen
EMV05 – Viking Luminaries and Loonies
For the hearthguard and warlord units I used the Armoured Spearmen (EMV01) fronted by characters from (EMV05) and for the Warrriors the unarmoured spear (EMV02). Amon Amarth’s “Way of Viking” is very appropriate for these tough guys (from their recent Jomsviking album).
Fight until your dying breath!
This is a matter of life and death!
“Way of Viking” by Amon Amarth
Jomsviking 4pt Warband

Next time the last three factions. If you want to follow the blog enter your details on the left or like us on facebook.  All the best / The One.


Unit Faction Pts Type Miniatures per Base
Warlord Welsh 0 Warlord 1
4 Teulu with Javelin (Hearthguard) Welsh 1 Hearthguard 9
8 Priodaur with Javelins (Warriors) Welsh 1 Warrior 8
8 Priodaur with Javelin (Warriors) Welsh 1 Warrior 8
Bonnedig (Levy) with Bow Welsh 1 Levy 4
Warlord Anglo-Saxon 0 Warlord 10
4 Thegns (Hearthguard) Anglo-Saxon 1 Hearthguard 9
8 Ceorls (Warriors) Anglo-Saxon 1 Warrior 8
8 Ceorls (Warriors) Anglo-Saxon 1 Warrior 8
Geburs with Spears & Shields (Levy.) Anglo-Saxon 1 Levy 4
Warlord Jomsvikings 0 Warlord 10
4 Jomsvikings (Hearthguard) Jomsvikings 1 Hearthguard 9
4 Jomsvikings (Hearthguard) Jomsvikings 1 Hearthguard 9
8 Dreng (Warriors) Jomsvikings 1 Warrior 8
8 Dreng (Warriors) Jomsvikings 1 Warrior 8

Related Links:


Pevensey Castle

Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield

Manic Street Preachers “There by the Grace of God”

Saxon “Crusader”

Amon Amarth “Way of Viking”