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The Swedish Infantry for Horka 1709 and some post-Salute 2018 Stuff

“…but in summary of Salute I can say “a lot of people, met some new and old friends, the games looked great, got some gifts(!), picked up some stuff and bought some more, What a Tanker from Too Fat Lardies looked fun, a fantastic GNW battle from Michael Leck – from my perspective the Show rolled a Six.” 

From about a week ago!

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We have been busy with the Little Ones year end Rugby Tournament the last week so I have not been doing that much hobby wise lately.  We went to Isle of Wight and had a blast – it is a wonderful part of the world.

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The Little One getting ready for another day of fun!

 

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Isle of Wight is a nice part of England and with the ferry crossing it almost feels like a “proper holiday!”

I realise that it is now about 10 days ago since Salute 2018, so I think there are plenty of better places for an overview of Salute –  I suggest you try Big Lee’s most excellent blog here.   Alternatively, or as well, you could go to youtube and watch the terrain tutors very nice video of the show (press play below) – if you have not checked out his other stuff do that as well.

What follows are just a few snippets of things from my personal experience.

Twisting the Dragon’s Tail

On St George’s Day! 100 years ago the Royal Navy attempted to block the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.   The idea was to block the canal entrance by sinking obsolete ships – this to stop U-boats and light shipping from leaving port.

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Lovely model of the Vindictive (An Arrogant Class Cruiser).  Her guns were replaced with flamethrowers, howitzers and mortars for the raid.

The game presented by the Maidstone Wargames society showed the actions of the HMS Vindictive that carried a troop or royal marines that were to take out some German Gun positions.  It was a beautifully presented game and the ship was a thing of beauty and  scratch built (using a lot of tomato pure tubes as sheeting material – that is hard core in my books – “What a we having for Dinner today?”, “It is another round of Pasta with Tomato Sauce!”).

Mission Command: Normandy

Mission Command is a new set of WW2 rules that promises to capture the essence of tactical and operational combat for company level to division level.  It captures the way in which different armies (nationalities) operated in practice in terms of tactical and operational command, control and communication.  It was a pleasure to have a chat with the guys.  I found it intriguing – more information here.  It is currently at the final stages of playtesting and a relatively inexpensive beta ruleset can be obtain through the link above.  The game is Umpired and orders are given at the beginning of them game but can be modified.  However the changes to the orders have to be achieved within command structures where the fog of war, imperfect information and confusion can cause unintended outcomes.

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Mission Command: Normandy. Bocage, I think they are from the Tree Fella!  Ground scale is 1mm equals 2 meters.  Each figure represents 5 to 10 men and a vehicle model 2 to 5 vehicles.  They used flames of war based models on the day.  Further theatres and armies will be covered. I really like the players manual that can be downloaded from the their page – it has some interesting overviews of doctrine, practice and organisation for the Americans, British and Germans (here).

The Battle of Foy

Most of us remember this from the phenomenal Band of Brothers book and TV-series.  This table was a joy to watch and the group presenting it was passionate about sharing their enthusiasm.  I have a special place somewhere for snow terrain and this one was inspiring.  The miniatures used were 20mm and it was played using the Bolt Action rules.  The tall pine trees are made with the same technique as I used from my trees earlier in the year (more about how to make them here).

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Tumbling Dice and another Diversion – Bag the Finn!

Paul at Tumbling Dice (link here) have a nice range of 1/600 aircraft and I bought myself a bundle of his nice aircraft that I want to use for some aerial dogfights between Finland and Soviet.  They are very nice and they are relatively easy to paint them and it will not cost you a fortune to get started.  I have some already that I used for Battle of Britain 1940.

I also got myself a selection of books from Amazon recently about the Finnish and Sovietic air force of the period – mostly second hand from Amazon at a not too heavy cost.

 

I will be using the Too Fat Lardies rules Bag the Hun for these (link here).  The Scramble supplement have a little piece of using the Rules for the Finnish Winter War to get me started, but I think I will focus on the Continuation War period – those Brewster Buffalos looks far too cool!.

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A selection of Aircraft used by the Finnish Airforce in the Winter War and early part of the Continuation War, including the Bristol Blenheim, Gloster Gladiator, Brewster Buffalo, Curtiss Mohawk, Morane-Saulnier MS406, Fokker DXXI and VL Myrsky.  This is from the Tumbling Dice trade stand from Salute. They are between 10mm to 20mm long.

 

I was not going to but I got some of Lifecolors nice paints for this project (I got all the colours individually, from their paint set pictures below a part from the black as I thought I could get away with it!).  This is a perfect on the move project as it does not take a lot of space – a handful of paints and a handful of planes and you can take off anywhere!

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The full set from Lifecolor

The only question is what playing surface to use.  It would be really good have a aerial picture with good resolution of a winter land scape from above.  Have not seen anyone doing one and I do not know where to get a good resolution picture from – any ideas gladly taken?

 

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Like this but, taken from a higher altitude.

 

Eureka!

With some help from the Welsh Wizard, Mike Hobbs, we manage to order for a sufficient amount to get a healthy discount from Eureka (more here) – who did their annual trip from down under to Salute. They have a good selection of stuff and I got myself a lot of 15mm (some WW2 Australians with Great Coat and Russian Partisans) and some 28mm stuff (for my Mutant 1984).

 

I will show these in a later post as I have no intention of doing anything with them at the moment.  Big shout out to Nic and crew – see you next year!

 

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My favourite miniature in my Eureka Order was this Boiler Suit Monkey with a Submachine Gun M/45B – also known as Carl Gustav.  Today an obsolete weapon (being developed in the 1940s) having its last years of service with the Swedish Home Guards.  But in Mutant 1984 this is a potent and useful weapon.

 

 

What a Tanker!

Too Fat Lardies were demonstrating their What a Tanker game and it looked great.  Go and do yourself a favour and buy the book from here.  If you need a little more convincing check out the stuff below.  Had a good chat with Rich, Nick and Sidney – thanks for your time!

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The Command Dice results

For more on the game if you do not want to take my word for it.

A video by the Lardies themselves:

Also check out these links for podcast whilst you paint your tanks:

  • The Veteran Wargamer (Jay) have gone Tank Mad in a wonderful way – check out his two podcasts for more here and here.
  • ..and the Meeples and Miniatures here.

We are hopefully doing a game of What a Tanker this weekend using some 15mm German tanks vs Russian or American tanks – preparations are underway more to come.

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However 6mm may be a good option and I spotted Baccus Shermans and Panzer IVs at Salute – they look very nice and the Sherman is due out very soon.

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Baccus tanks – very nice!

 

Stäket 1719

Michael Leck and friends, as have become tradition, presented yet another stunning table with a historical battle with a Swedish denominator – this time depicting the battle of Stäket 1719 (more here). This is a small battle at the end of the Northern War with with the King having been shot in Norway in 1718 and with the Russians and Cossacks terrorising the Swedish east coast with a fleet of Galleys (this was know as the Russian Harryings (Rysshärjningarna).  The attack was repulsed but the Russians managed to escape without any damage to their fleet allowing them to continue their harrying the following year.

 

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Mr Leck himself – setting things up!
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The Pikeman’s Lamen rules that Michael co-wrote with Dan Mersey were used to run the Battle
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Jan’s homemade galleys – they were “mass produced” by making a master and a mould!
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Overview!   You can read more about this battle on the Dalauppror blog here.

 

The galleys and the terrain boards (and a few of the miniatures) were made by Jan (who is another exile Swede living in the UK). The rest of the miniatures were flown in with Michael and chums.

As I have declated before Michael, and I, used to roll dice and use our imagination in the same role-playing club many moons ago.  It is always nice to see him and his latest stuff – he actually brought me two presents, a giant stag beetle and a Swedish king.  Many thanks Michael!

 

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This Giant Stag Beetle will be bent into shape and used for my Mutant 1984 project.  It is one of the most memorable monsters from the 1980s rpg.  The miniature is 28mm.

 

 

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This is the stats from the original 1984 rulebook, not very clever but big!  A gigantic Stagbeetle is 7 meters long, 2 meters tall and 2.5 meters wide. It is very aggressive. Its colour is blue-black with blue jaws.

 

 

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The next gift came in a nice box and is a miniature depicting the Swedish King Gustav Vasa. The model is based on a painting by Carl Larsson showing his entry to Stockholm as King 1523 (more about him here).

 

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This is Michae’s painted version of the model.  Mine is on the lead mountain – maturing as Sidney would say.  Some more background on the model can be found here.

How much is your collection worth!

I also had a nice chat and a coffee with good friend Peter Riley who is running the Wargamer Collection Calculator (I have discussed them before on the blog, here) that now features a wargames directory with more than 1,000 traders, clubs and societies – is your club on it?  Their base offer is in effect a collection manager where you can log you wargames collection in words and pictures with some high level estimate of its potential worth – perhaps for the purpose of using this as a basis for a separate insurance of your collection.  Even if you do not want to insure your collection you could perhaps use it as a collection manager. Registration is free.  Check them out here.

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…I think that represents a biased but still fair sample of Salute goodies!  I forgot the Daleks, here we go.

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Horka 1708 update – Swedish Infantry and Artillery thoughts

I have been working away with the Horka project and here is the Swedish Infantry contingent. 28 bases (compared to the 64 Russian ones, presented earlier here).

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I am also working on Artillery and have come to some kind of compromise for artillery. The Russian used a lot of smaller artillery pieces – battalion guns.  In the accounts of Poltava once of the key elements is the Russian Artillery ripping away the advancing Swedes, changing to shrapnel for the last 200 meters.  Placing a few cannons on the sides, as is the typical set-up, where the cannons representing 8 to 16 pieces of something like are shown as two bases on the sides, that does not really convey the story.  So I will use thin frontage bases (15mm wide)  and put them between the Russian battalions to illustrate these pieces.  It may be overkill from a ratio vs model count – but we can deal with this and having a quick glance at the way it looks I do not think there is a way back.  More about artillery in a later post.  This was just me getting carried away!

 

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Fire!
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Looks good enough for me!

 

/ Hope that was of some interest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

The Joy of Sixteen Degrees in the Shade – Getting back to normality

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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).

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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!

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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.

/ All the best! Keep toysoldiering on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

The Joy of Thirty-Six degrees in the shade – FIW with Pikeman’s Lament

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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).

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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.

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Basic Set-up – Farm in the upper middle being held by two units of British Veteran Shots (Regulars, 12 models per unit, in cover behind the snake rail fences), flanked by two units of Forlorn Hope (Rangers) one on each side (one being on the top of the hill to the upper right and the other between the field and the forest on the upper left).  The French are advancing from the south (Bottom) and consist of (from left to right) a unit of Indians (these were in fact veteran commanded shot), a unit of French marines ( veteran shot), another indian unit, a unit of Canadian Militia (Fornlorn Hope) and a final third unit of Indians.  Both sides at 24 points.

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.

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Note I turned the table around 360 degrees – the Rangers are awaiting the Native Indian attack.

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?

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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.

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This was then followed by the other regular unit being attacked on the other flank and the rest is history.

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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.

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/ Take care

 

 

 

 

 

(Pruth Campaign) Skirmish Action in 6mm using Pikeman’s Lament – Part 4: The Swedes, another Game and rebasing the FIW stuff

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Part of a Sipahi cavalry unit contemplating their next move

 

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.

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Some Swedes

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.

Swedish No Pts/ unit Total Pts Unit Size Total Models Baccus Pack
Shot

5

4

20

12

60

GNS01

Pike

2

4

8

12

24

GNS03

Aggressive Elite Gallopers

3

6

18

6

18

GNS05

Total

9

46

102

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5 units of Shot

 

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2 units if Pike

 

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3 units of 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

Forces

We thought we should take the Swedes for a spin against the same Ottoman side as last week (see here).

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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

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We promised not to tell anyone. Detail from the Painting Silence, by Fernand Khnopff (1858-1921), painted 1890

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.

Table

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.

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Here some close-ups of those starting positions.

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This was a straightforward battle to the end scenario.

The Battle

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.

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So all in all another successful game.

/ I hope that was of some interest, have a good week

Pruth Campaign Skirmish Action in 6mm using Pikeman’s Lament – Part 3: First Game

The Little One and I were eager to have a go and test the Pikeman’s Lament (PL) rules, here is a write-up of it.  For some background on this diversion see here  (initial thoughts and overview) and here (painting up the units).  6mm miniatures played on a brand new 2 by 2 feet board (that we made the day before) played using centimeters instead of inches so in relative terms it would have been as playing with on 5 by 5 feet board using 28mm and inches. It is not a roll-for-roll account but a summary how it all played out.

Forces

We selected 24 points for each side resulting in the following two forces:

Ottomans

2 units of  Veteran Shot @ 6 points each (Janissaries; may form Close Order)

3 Gallopers @ 4 points each (Sipahis cavalry, I changed my mind of these from being Trotters)

For the Ottoman officer we rolled Mercenary Officer, representing a foreigner with some renown but not fully trusted bythe men (offering no morale bonus for units within 12”) We decided that he was a French officer and we used the French officer from our Sharp Practice French Marine unit to mark his unit – one of the Janissary units.  We named him Lieutenant Dupont,  a young commander disgraced in his home country turned mercenary and eager to get promoted through the ranks by impressing the Pasha.

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Russians

3 Dragoons @ 4 points each

2 Forlorn Hope @ 6 points each (Grenadiers)

For Officer background trait we rolled the result Hothead indicating an officer with difficulties with his superiors but, leading from the front, with the full trust of his men. This gives him the ability of Strong – a re-roll for an attack/defence die during every attack. We decided that he was Podporuchik Alekseyev (Podporuchik was a rank introduced by Peter the Great in 1703, equivalent to a second Lieutenant). We used one of the other Dragoons as a marker for this leader in the battle (not counting him as a figure).

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The Scenario and Set-up

We opted for the scenario C: King’s War Chest. The Russian’s are defending and at the Start of the Scenario have one of the Dragoon units taking a bath in the river with 3 No. war chest wagons on the road. The rest of the force are off-board but can enter (if successful at activating in Turn 2)  The Ottoman strike force is aware of the important cargo and are coming from the South (right in the picture below) – this would be a good way for the young Lieutenant DuPont to get some recognition from the Pasha.  The Russia commander has just been made aware of the approaching danger and need to reinforce the Dragoon unit (that has just finished its bath and geared up) and get the wagons out of danger, either to the east or west.  The French Ottoman Lieutenant will seek to take the wagons down the way he came (South).

battle 1.JPG
Overview at the start of the battle – left near the river the refreshed dragoon unit and in the South the Ottomans are getting ready to attack. Two units of Shot and a Galloper in the upper corner and two units of Gallopers in the lower corner.

 

We now rolled for who is playing what and the Little One rolled highest on both dice and chose to attack and to be the Ottomans.  I hoped that was the last of his high rolls today!

The Battle

The Little One set out the onslaught by successfully managing to activate most of his units and my Dragoons got their act together and rode towards the Wagons.

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The Ottoman pressed forward further and the Dragoons failed to activate a shoot action to reduce some of the oncoming impact. But, by a miracle, I decided to get all the Russians on the table – the Dragoons on one flank and the Forlorn Hope on the other.

One of the Gallopers did the first attack of the day and with the follow-up attack managed to disable the Dragoons in one round. Lucky, but what a nice way to start the battle.  He then spent the following round routing them off the table.

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After this the Little One got one of his other Gallopers to get onto attacking the Forlorn hope units – I could see him being “Charged up!”.

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However they opened fire and knocked out two of the six models making the unit wavering (we used ammo box markers for this!).

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Meanwhile on my Left flank the Dragoons had advanced and used the skirmish feature attacking the Shot unit with the commander and managed to get it wavering too.  It looked like a had regained some control.

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However two rounds later the Gallopers who routed the first Dragoon unit had forced the Dragoon unit with the Russian Commander to evade straight into the jaws of the enemy.

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Shorty afterwards the Officers Dragoon unit was destroyed and the other Dragoon unit having sustained heavy fire from the Shot units withdrew toward the river. Meanwhile one of the Forlorn Hope units had snatched one of the wagons and I hoped to do the same with the other unit.

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However the second Forlorn Hope was decimated by the remaining Ottomans and I had no longer a feasible chance of doing anything more than drag some of the total war chest out of the Enemy’s hand.

The result

With only a Forlorn Hope unit left but with control of one of the War Chest wagons we agreed a 4 -2 victory to the Little One. Fair enough.

That means that Lieutenant Dupont could add 4 Honour to his roster, whilst the Russian got 2.  We also rolled on the table to see the impact of his health being a casualty in this battle – we found (following a low roll – of course) that he had manage to escape the battle field and hidden (in some honour unfriendly manner) and got captured loosing 5 points of honour.

So the honour tally of our Protagonists’ are 19 to the Ottoman and 7 to the Russian.

Afterthoughts

These were our observations:

Managing the Resource of Luck

The tests for actions (move, attacks, etc.) are good as it creates a fog of war situation, it is also interesting that a failed test for one unit stops the overall activation phase for the player.  It is irritating when it happens but not a bad rule feature – like being scared whilst watching a horror movie (I do not like it, but I like horror movies!).  The activation values for the units we used were in ranges between 5+ and 7+ (i.e. success on a role of the value or higher) or 4+ to 7+ if considering that an officer within 12″ (or cm in our case, give a -1 to the roll), the probabilities for success of doing the action, and doing anything else that round, are:

4+ – 92%, 5+ 83%, 6+ 72% and 7+ 58%.

So it gives a nice balance between trying to optimize the order in which you activate. If there are no other considerations they you should do them in the lowest activation roll order. However this indirectly decreases the chance of being able to activate a unit that may be critical for that particular round.  Luck is a finite resource and it is important to manage that resource well!

Cool Units

We found the Gallopers being very powerful and the follow-on attack was devastating – it would have helped to have some Pike available.  The Dragoon ability to evade was interesting and worked really well in the game (but I did fail to activate it a few times, and the Little One outsmarted me in using it).  We also like the Shot First Salvo rule as it makes the Shot very potent (especially the Veterans we used).

Officers

As for the Men Who Would be King rules (see more here) there are the officer traits (although there is an overall officer as opposed to unit commanders) that we found interesting – that the Little One talked with a French Accent whilst commanding his Ottomans made the game more enjoyable.

Next time we will try the special orders (i.e. sub-mission to give more glory – or to loose some) and see how it goes.

Simple but not simplistic

As for the other rules in the Series the rules are relatively simple but there is more to it and with the special abilities, activation considerations it has sufficient depth to make it interesting and very playable.

But as we say in Sweden “till syvende och sist” (at the end of the day) it is not over until the Little One’s thumb has had its say.  We both had a good time this afternoon and are looking forward to the next session.

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Very well, it seems like we have another game we can play together.

 

/ Take care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pruth Campaign Skirmish Action in 6mm using Pikeman’s Lament – Part 2: The painting and the basing

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In the previous blog entry (see here) I set out the forces and the miniatures I intended to use for this project.  I have just completed these units this week and hope to get a game with the Little One in the near future.  Same approach as always in trying to achieve reasonable results not individual master pieces.  The units I planned to do were as follows, based on some possible small encounters during the Pruth Campaign 1711.

Ottomans No Pts/ unit Total Pts Unit Size Total Models Baccus Pack
Veteran Shot

5

6

30

12

60

OTT02

Trotters

4

4

16

6

24

GNP05

Total

9

46

84

Russians No Pts/ unit Total Pts Unit Size Total Models Baccus Pack
Dragoons

4

4

16

6

24

WSS12

Forlorn Hope

3

6

18

6

18

WSS03

Raw Trotters

4

3

12

6

24

WSS08

Total

11

46

66

I am very happy with the result and I am tempted to make a small Swedish “force” from the same era (with some pikes).

Perhaps something like this.

Swedish No Pts/ unit Total Pts Unit Size Total Models Baccus Pack
Shot

5

4

20

12

60

GNS01 (Tricorne) or GNS02 (Karpus)

Pike

2

4

8

12

24

GNS03 (Tricorne) or GNS04 (Karpus)

Aggressive Elite Gallopers

3

6

18

6

18

GNS05 or GNS06

Total

9

46

102

Sorry trying to avoid drifting, back to the Pruth stuff.

Russians

For the Russians I decided to go for units with red as a common denominator and painted them as  based on units that took part in the campaign (based on a list from the draft of Nick Dorrell’s upcoming book – discussed in the previous blog, here).  All these are from the “new” Baccus WSS range – I had not yet painted these but I must say that they are a joy to paint.  I have so far used the old WSS range for my GNW stuff as I have a fair few of the ones lying around from previous purchases with hybric flavours.

On the subject of the Russians of this era I did notice a book currently on pre-order due out in November this year. The book is titled The Russian Army in the Great Northern War 1700-21 with the subtitle Uniforms, Organization, Materiel, Training and Combat Experience. I hope this will have some more information on uniform colours than what is currently available. Although I have to admit that I pre-ordered it based on the title, what is really interesting is the background of the author.  I let you read it yourself.

Boris Megorsky was born in Leningrad, USSR in 1978. He lives in St Petersburg, Russia with his beloved wife Olga and three-year-old son Vadim. He did his PhD in Political Science and works in Human Resources, but his true passion has always been military history. As a scholar, he specializes in the everyday life of the Russian Army, its uniforms and siege warfare of the Great Northern War period; he has written dozens of articles and theses on these subjects. His book about the siege of Narva in 1704 was published in Russia in 2016 and, as a re-enactor, he is a member and sergeant of the Preobrazhensky Life Guard Regiment, 1709 ( Russia’s leading re-enactment society of the early 1700s). His passion for miniatures makes him pay great attention to details both in research and in reconstructions, be it re-enactors’ kit or graphical illustration consultations. He has consulted on a number of films, museum and publishing projects, and has worked with miniature manufacturers and artists.   – From the Amazon Webpage

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Here is a link to it at Amazon (but there are probably other places where you can buy it too, like the book depository). Worth having on your radar, but a long way from being out.  Would  of course be useful for the Pruth campaign too. Back to the key thread again.

Permski Dragoon Regiment (Dragoons)

The Permski dragoon regiment were present in the 1711 campaign so I decided to make my dragoon units represent a detachment from this regiment.  They had white coats with red cuffs.  I have already painted some of these for the Lesnaya Battle but they are based on 60 by 30mm bases.  As these represents the Dragoon in the traditional role of being more mounted infantry than cavalry they have been based with unmounted figures but with a horse present on each base.  I have used the 1-2-3 system (shown in the Pikeman’s Lament rulebook), modified to fit the 6mm scale, and as discussed in this blog entry if you do not have the book at hand.

4 units of 6 dragoons, based with the 1-2-3 method (15mm, 20mm and 25mm bases)

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Repnin’s Grenadiers (Forlorn Hope)

I painted these to represent Repnin’s Grenadiers that had red coats with (speculative?) blue cuffs. Named after the Russian General, and eventually Field Marshal, Prince Anikita Ivanovich Repnin who commanded one of the Russian centre commands at Poltava in 1709 (you can read more about him here).  These were also based with the 1-2-3 system.

3 units of 6 Forlorn Hope, based with the 1-2-3 method (12mm, 15mm and 20mm bases).

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General Sheremetev’s Dragoon Squadron (Raw Trotters)

For these I wanted them to represent General Sheremetev’s Squadron, I painted them with red coats and white cuffs. Potentially these could be classified as non-raw (or even Veteran) assuming that the General’s squadron may be more potent than the standard dragoon unit.  Boris Sheremetev commanded the overall centre at Poltava in 1709 and led the main army in the Pruth Campaign (more about him here).

4 units of 6 trotters, based with the 1-2-3 method (15mm, 20mm and 25mm bases). 

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The Ottomans

I do not have a lot of information of who wore what for these units – so I did a quick decision to paint them based on a basic livery green (green ink on the clothing and then picking out some detail with Livery Green). Finally got to use this fine Colour!

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I would be very keen to get some comprehensive information on detailed organization and uniform guides from this conflict – but until then artistic freedom will do.  I you have any views or suggestions please do let me know through the contact option on the blog of find us on facebook and ask away.

Janissaries (Veteran Shot)

I painted these in a green coat with the traditional white headgear with some simple pink detail/  There is a little story about how models were developed by  Master 6mm painter Dr. Mike also known as Cranium (here).  He is the man who runs the SMS (Small Model Soldier)  painting clinics at various shows, teaching people how to paint “something so small”.  I developed most of the techniques I am using in painting 6mm from reading his entries on the old Baccus forum (I do not find these anymore) – my favourite is the use of Windsor & Newton Ink (Nut Brown) after the painting is done – the army painter quick shade equivalent for smaller scales (kind of!) . It really makes the models “look better than they are”, in my opinion. Try it for yourself – go nuts!

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5 units of 12 Veteran Shot, based with the 1-2-3 method (12mm, 15mm and 20mm bases).

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Sipahi (Trotters)

Again a green colour scheme with bronzed helmet. I painted the flags green with three crescents as I had seen this for an Ottoman unit many years ago at a wargames show and liked it.  Having done some research I am not 100% sure it is a valid flag for the Ottomans – but I like it so it stays until I have better alternative.  The bronze helmets also looks good and, like the pink and white on the Janissaries, show that these uniforms where not designed to blend into the countryside but to look stunning!

4 units of 6 trotters, based with the 1-2-3 method (15mm, 20mm and 25mm bases)

ottoman1.jpg

Hope that was of some interest, another read of the rules and we have to hit the table with these. Not the same splendor as individual 28mm bases for skirmish, but it works for me. The fact that I have produced two opposing forces of almost twice the recommended starting size in a week of hobby-time is perhaps the biggest advantage.

I did a similar project for the Men Who Would be Kings rules that you can find information about (here, here and here).

Next week I will be showing some progress on the main project (a proper large battle). As the package with models came through from Marching in Colour last week (see here) and I have started slowly getting my act together again this week (afterthought – as if it ever was there!).

I have decided to give the Mutant 1984 project a break over the Summer – I did paint the two little structures/buildings I did a few weeks back (here) and showed them on the Facebook page. For completeness I include them here as well. I think we are getting closer to having the terrain we need for a proper game with these rules.   I am excited to start a campaign with some Pyri Commonwealth Soldiers  – The recollections of rifleman Crocodylus. However there is something rather therapeutic in doing some terrain so perhaps there will be some pieces done in the background of everything  else.

some more progresssome progress

The picture below shows the good Rifleman Crocodylus  himself next to to one of the 6mm Dragoon bases above and a BIC pen for size comparison, as I occasionally get questions about this through the site. The Rifleman is a converted Warlord 95th rifle model (28mm scale) with a head from a crooked dice model.

croccomp

/ Take care

 

Pruth Campaign Skirmish Action in 6mm using Pikeman’s Lament – Part 1: The planning and the buying & some other stuff

 Long blog update this time, here is a summary:

  • Pikeman’s Lament in 6mm – Planning and Buying Stage
  • Another batch for the Towards Moscow Project from Marching in Colour
  • Mutant 1984 for Scrappers, some more “terrainish” stuff – a Citroën, oil tanks and some old Trucks

Pikeman’s Lament in 6mm

I bought a copy of The Pikeman’s Lament by Daniel Mersey and Michael Leck a few months ago.  It is, as the title hints, a Pike and Shot period skirmish level game and in the sample companies provided it covers the Thirty Years War (TYW), English Civil War (ECW), the Deluge (Northern War 1655-60), Scanian Wars, King Williams War (the First French Indian War) and the Great Northern War (GNW). Being a Osprey book it has the typical style and layout of their other wargames books.

The rules are derived from the very popular Lion Rampant rules created by Daniel Mersey (who also wrote the Dux Bellorum and Men Who Would be Kings that the Little One and I really enjoy playing having had a few goes, see here for our first game) and on a quick read these rules caught my interest sufficiently to get me thinking about trying them out.

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Michael Leck is, perhaps, more famous for the fantastic stuff he presents on his Dalauppror blog (here) and his articles in the Wargames, Soldier and Strategy magazine where he has presented snippets from the rich Swedish military history and how to adapt some popular rule set to play in these, more than often, unknown theatres.  You may recall that I put up a picture of his fantastic, and award winning, game at Salute in the last blog update (here).  Michael, and I, used to roll dice and use our imagination in the same role-playing club many moons ago.

There is a comprehensive review of the rules on the “I live with Cats blog”, that I found useful (link here). I wanted to give them a try doing two small starting forces in line with the Men Who Would be King stuff I did before.  I just needed to find a period – a pleasant problem looking for a solution.

Last week Nick Dorrell, and I, were talking about some (far) future projects and we discussed the Russian Pruth Campaign. This was whilst we were running our Salute Game (more here).   Nick has a book soon to come out called Peter the Great Humbled: The Russo-Ottoman War of 1711.   Nick’s book tells the story about this campaign that led to the surrender of the Russian forces near the Pruth river.  It also presents the forces involved in the conflict, their size, actual composition, and tactics used. It is not a very well known conflict but due to the natural link to the Great Northern War I find it very interesting and I am looking forward to read the final book (I pre-ordered my copy of Nicks book from here).

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Although the engagmement were mainly attacks on fortifications some “what ifs” or special scenarios could be played – but then I thought why not do a few units from this period and try out the Pikeman’s Lament Rules. Following on from this I went ahead and actually bought a few miniatures from Baccus at Salute that will be perfect for a very small diversion to try out the Pikeman’s Lament rules. Arguably more shot than pike as the Russian left their pikes at home for this campaign (if my sources are correct), but why not?

Miniatures

I got the following packs from Baccus (pictures taken from their Webpage, as I have not yet even opened the packs):

Ottomans

OTT02 – Janissaries, musket – firing and loading

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GNP05 – Hussars –  to represent Ottoman Sipahi cavalry

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From this I will do:

5 Veteran Shot @ 6 points each (Janissaries; may form Close Order)

4 Trotters @ 4 points each (Sipahis cavalry, the Polish Hussars without wings being used as a reasonable proxy)

Russians

WSS03- Grenadier (Tall Mitre)

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WSS08 – Dragoons

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WSS12 – Dismounted Dragoons

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Forces

From this I will do (note the models are from the WSS range not the GNW Russian Range, as these works perfectly well for Russians of this period. I also wanted to get a chance at seeing these):

4 Dragoons @ 4 points each (these are Dragoons in a traditional dismount to fire role as per the rules)

3 Forlorn Hope @ 6 points each (Grenadiers)

4 Raw Trotters @ 3 points each (In reality also Russian Dragoons but to simulate a more active cavalry role classified as Trotters. The Russian Dragoons did practice some all out cavalry attacks and by this time it seems reasonable but still classified as raw).

This gives me 46 points for each side (starting size is 24 points so should be more than plenty to give me some variety in size). There is also enough to do another few Shot units and Trotters for the Ottomans and some more Trotters and Forlorn Hope units for the Russians.

In summary:

Ottomans

No

Pts/ unit

Total Pts

Unit Size

Total Models

Baccus Pack

Veteran Shot

5

6

30

12

60

OTT02

Trotters

4

4

16

6

24

GNP05

Total

9

46

84

Russians

No

Pts/ unit

Total Pts

Unit Size

Total Models

Baccus Pack

Dragoons

4

4

16

6

24

WSS12

Forlorn Hope

3

6

18

6

18

WSS03

Raw Trotters

4

3

12

6

24

WSS08

Total

11

46

66

Basing and Notes

These will based as I did my Zulu war stuff based on the 1-2-3 method discussed in a previous posting (see here).   I have had a few questions about where I get bases of small size like 9mm etc. Basically I order Penny Washers from ebay, here is an example (I have no association with this seller) but I have successfully bought stuff from them.

Penny Washers

In the detail provided the following list is given, we can see the diameter we may need (outer diameter). Just pick the one you want.

Penny Washers 2

With regards to the little hole in the middle I put a magnet inside and cover it with a sticker on both sides (see here to get the idea, Step 6 in the “Shock Marker” tutorial). I think the washers are also sometimes referred to as fender washers.

Another batch from Marching in Colour

As discussed in previous blog posting I have decided to use Marching in Colour painting service (link to the background to this decision here and to the Marching in Colour Website here) to help me with the Towards Moscow Project and Chris sent me through the pictures from the latest batch the other day. I have to admit that my experience in using this service have been second to none. I am looking forward in getting these and complete the miniatures needed for this and next years Joy of Six. I will get to this in the next few weeks (as I have to!) and will post updates as I progress and also discuss the next stages of production to final based units.  Here are the pictures (Russians and Swedish), I let them speak for themselves.  Although it is a little bit of a luxury this is the best decision for some time I have done with regards to my hobby time (and budget!).  Thanks for your help Chris!

More about the Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) Great Northern War project can be found here.

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Mutant 1984 for Scrappers

I did a few more pieces for the Mutant 1984 project inspired by three recent purchases (see more about this project here).

Muddy Car

When I went to South of France a few weeks backs I went to a French Market and found one of these for a few Euros.  It is a Citroën ID19 and is in 1/43 scale. I love the look of these cars.

citroen

I thought it would be weird to make it into a military vehicle and found this little pack with two plastic (28mm) miniatures given out for free at some show a few years back.

judges

I carefully opened up the car and added one of them as a driver and the second one standing on the top. Then I painted it in three colours and gave it a Sepia Wash.

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Then I put the two pieces together and applied some mud. Job done and weird enough.

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Oil Tanks

Our Salute table was next to a demo table showing some oil tanks from Bandua wargames.  I convinced myself that I needed some of these. You can buy them from Wayland Games (here).

oil tanks

These are ready painted and the looked great with the other ready painted terrain on the table. When I had assembled them I got some second thoughts and decided to modify them slightly. I cut out some plastic (from a DVD box) and added this on top and then did some detailing on the hatch (a little piece of plastic).  This created a little more detail to the piece and took 5 minutes.

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Then I dry brushed it with Gunmetal and added some dots of rust (light rust from the Vallejo range) and then applied a light wash with Vallejo rust effect.

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Poundland Trucks

We (I and the little One) bought some grey spray paints from Poundland here in the UK. We noticed some trucks and thought we could do something with them – we splashed out and bought two of them.

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And turned them into two terrain items (good value indeed).

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/ All the best, have a good week