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GNW, Little One, Sweden 1943, Mutant 1984 and Podcasts – a review of 2019

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.

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This is my Twitter Feed and probably the best place to follow the going-ons!

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!

Background to your Miniatures – a little trick

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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.

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Overview of Poltava, the Monastery and the Swedish Camp
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Overview of the Redoubts and field outside the Russian Camp

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Detail of the Swedish Camp
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I was really happy with the Poltava model

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).

Some progress on the Poltava Battle and Grand Thoughts (TMT)

Poltava Town done (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – the Swedish Camp (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Redoubts and Casualty Markers (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Playing with Matches (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Plush Foam Fields (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Total Battle Village Tiles (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Trees, tree Bases and small rocks (TMT)

Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Siege Lines and the King (TMT)

All revved up and ready to go to Joy of Six (2019)!

Poltava 1709 at Joy of Six 2019 – the Grand Finale of the Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT)

Passing through Joy of Six 2019

What is up next? Great Northern War, Scanian War and some Bonus Pictures of Poltava 1709

Battle of Lund 1676

My next bigger 6mm project is the Battle of Lund in 1676. This is one of the most famous battles of the Scanian Wars.  I am doing this using the fantastic Wars of the Sun King range by Baccus 6mm.

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Rauch’s Geworbne Cavalry Regiment
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Prince Georg’s Regiment – a Danish regiment looking more Swedish than meatballs!

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Sea, Six and Scanian War – and a few Podcasts

Forces at the Battle of Lund 1676 (Scanian War) Part 1 – Danish Cavalry

Forces at the Battle of Lund 1676 (Scanian War) Part 2 – Danish Cavalry

Forces at the Battle of Lund 1676 (Scanian War) Part 3 – Danish Cavalry and a note on Winter Basing

Forces at the Battle of Lund 1676 (Scanian War) Part 4 – Danish Cavalry and some Aerosans

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.

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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.

Dear Henry,

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.

Hope to see you again soon,

Max

We also went to Mike Whitaker’s house and played on his fantastic Omaha Beach board, and we wrote about it here https://rollaone.com/2019/11/18/omaha-beach-iabsm-with-the-little-one/ .

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It was an absolute privilege playing on Mike’s table

We also painted up a lot Star Wars legion miniatures and terrain that we wrote a few blog posts about (more in the links below).

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The Little One’s review of Airfix Battles

Some Platoons for France 1940 and a kind of a review by the Little One of Airfix Battles

Star Wars Legion:

Painting Star Wars Legion with the Little One

Painting Star Wars Legion with the Little One – Part 2 (+ Basing and Mats)

Readers Digest version Feb-19 – Star Wars Legion and Great Northern War

The Little One’s review of Salute 2019

Salute 2019 by the Little One

 

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.

Roundpole fencing (picture borrowed from Wikipedia – link here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundpole_fence )

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.

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A Mechanised Platoon is getting into position to defend against advancing Germans in 1943 (the KP-bil, was not taken into service until 1944 as the initial batch was rejected due to the weak armour plating – in this what if whatever was available was pressed into service – as they look too cool to not be part of this project).

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Some tanks in support!
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Troops embarking and jumping over the roundpole fences – it does not get more Swedish than this!
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Tysken Kommer! (The German is coming!)

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Granatkastargrupp i Position, skjut mot skogsdungen! (Mortargroup in position, fire against the trees!)
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Target Spotted! Get ready to Fire!

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.

 

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These are a few in 28mm with some Mutant 1984 characters.

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Paul also does some gate options.

I have also found a reasonable Vallejo mix for Falu Rödfärg.

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50/50 of Bloody Red and Burnt Cadmium Red…
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…gives that dark red old style colour that was more common around 1943 than the brighter red colour being popular today…
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I think if works really well….
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Beautiful design by Paul Edwards

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).

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The two half-pint campaigns

Swedish Rifle Platoon in WW2 for Chain of Command – Getting a Ride

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25th Panzer Division for the What-if Swedish Invasion 1943 – Part 1

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Swedish Rifle Platoon in WW2 for Chain of Command – Getting some Heavier Support, Part 1

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Swedish Rifle Platoon in WW2 for Chain of Command – Updated Listzz1

German Infantry Platoon(s) for the What-if attack of Sweden in 1943

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Germans for the Swedish 1943 Tourist Season and CoC in Dulwich

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The Mutant 1984 Project and our Christmas Mutant Dinosaur Hunt

This project is my Post-Apocalyptic homage to the old 1984 RPG Mutant – anything goes.

Järnringen / The Iron Ring (Mutant 1984) – Part 3 – Nordholmia Infantry Regiment

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A Sharp Practice Force for the Mutant 1984 project and Colour Sergeant Bourne from Zulu

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Border Skirmish at Hammering – Mutants who would be Emperors (Mutant 1984)

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Mutant (1984) and Death Ray Guns – from Ganesha Games!

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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”.

See the source image

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).

Meeples and Miniatures, Part 1

Meeples and Miniatures, Part 2

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.

God’s own Scale

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.”

Thanks for having me Henry!

Henry Hyde’s Battlechat

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.

Lardy Da!, not La-Di-Da, my day(s) at OML7

I think it is over and out now!

Well almost…

The Winter War

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…

That was all! See you in 2020.

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2018 is almost over…

I had a lot of fun with the hobby in 2018 and this is my year end account of a lot of the things that has been and some things to come.  I really hope that your 2019 will be great and I am really grateful for all of you who visit this blog on a regular or occasional basis. One of the best things, this year, is that the Little One is getting more interested and involved in the hobby – thanks Mate!

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Also a big thank you to Nick Dorrell, who I did the Horka Battle with at Joy of Six in the Summer, also all the Twitter people (it is a very nice place to be, I call myself Per at Roll a One there), and all the fantastic hobby related podcasts I listen to in between the audible books whilst I try to put paint in the right places. These include, the Too Fat Lardies Oddcast, the Veteran Wargames, the Grognard’s Files, the WSS Podcast, Henry Hyde’s Battlegames (not strictly a podcast but he has done a lot of great ones this year), Wargames Recon, and Trouble at T’Mill.

I also regularly listen to the Meeples and Miniatures podcast and inspired by them the Little One and I thought we would do our own top 5 games we played this year, in no particular order.

  • What a Tanker – this is so much fun and it inspired me to do a lot of Russian and Finnish tanks during the Sovietic Summer Offensive 1944. I also did a List for the Finnish Tanker (see more below). A brilliantly simple, but not simplistic game, that I really recommend anyone to try (link to the rules here).
  • Bag the Hun – Provoked by some of the Twitter chums, you know who you are, but again got me a reason to explore some of the Finnish connection. The Finns basically flew the shit of the machines they had and painting those tumbling dice plane has been great fun (see more below). We only did a few games to learn the rules – we will definitely fly more next year (link to the rules here).
  • Maurice – we just pulled this out for our Christmas game but ended up playing another two games in the last few days. I had forgotten how good of a game this is, it really gives a very nice feeling of the larger battle with the cards adding that narrative feel and grand excitement to the outcome of the battle.  I wrote about this battle in the last blog post (see here) and a link to the rules here.
  • Saga – we have had fun this year using the Second edition of the rules (see more below) and we recently got the book of battles that is a fantastic product – that could be used for other games than Saga (link to the rules here).
  • Mutants and Death Ray Guns – In the quest for rule sets for my Mutant 1984 project (see more below) we have had some fun games using these rules. Perfect for smallish skirmish (link to the rules here).

Next year we are looking forward to playing all of the above, but also a few other games:

  • Star Wars Legion – the Little One got a fair amount for this game over Christmas. Looking forward to see if the force is with us or not. I am not a great fan in doing 28mm painting because it takes too long and I am crap at it – so I think we have more than our hand full with this project.
  • Chain of Command – I want to finish the Swedish platoon write-up and do a few Scenarios based on the 1943 Swedish invasion plan made by Adolf Schell.  Part of this plan had some of the lines of advance going through Dalarna (the county where I was born) in Sweden and it would be interesting to place some of the action here. I also would like to do some scenarios based on some of the fighting in the ‘Unknown Soldier’ book/movie during the Finnish Continuation war (I made some assault boats I really would like to put in a scenario). I also need to finish the Germans for the 29th Lets Go Pint sized campaign.

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Other stuff – I am excited about the Rebels and Patriot Rules, as we have enjoyed playing Pikeman’s Lament and the Rampant rules.  I also think the Little One is getting ready for a few more involved rulesets, like Twilight of the Sun King and some higher level WW2 rules.  In addition I will do the final battle of the Towards Moscow Trilogy, Poltava 1709, at Joy of Six, but plenty more of that next year.

Here are a summary of the projects I have been working on this year….

Kirbekan 1885 – 6mm Sudan/Egypt Colonial Project

This project was started this year to try out Peter Rileys draft “A Steady and Deliberate Fire” rules.  It has been fun to paint the Baccus colonial range. I will need to get some terrain together so I can have a go with the rules next year. Here are few pictures and links to relevant blog postings below.

Mahdist War, Battle of Kirbekan 1885 – making a start

Mahdist War, Battle of Kirbekan 1885 – a little more effort (Part 2)

Kirbekan 1885 – (Mostly) Some Mahdists

Kirbekan 1885 – End of the Beginning (Part 4)

Bison Riders – 6mm Armies of Dragon Pass Project (or something similar)

Rapier Miniatures are doing some fantastic Glorantha stuff in 6mm and 28mm, I could not resist to get a few of their Bison riders. They painted up really well. Here are few pictures and a link to the relevant blog posting below.

Riders on the Storm Bull

WW2 Platoons, 15mm for Chain of Command (or any other platoon based game)

I painted a fair few Platoons with supports this year, including a Swedish what-if platoon (with some initial notes on the composition to do a list for Chain of Command). Here are few pictures and links to relevant blog postings below.

Swedish Rifle Platoon in WW2 for Chain of Command – the bare bones

Swedish Rifle Platoon in WW2 for Chain of Command – Part 2 fleshing it out

29 Let’s Go Pint Sized Campaign for CoC – the American Platoon

29 Let’s Go Pint Sized Campaign for CoC – Houses and Battlefield Clutter in 15mm

More Platoons (Soviet and Italian) for Chain of Command and Lights

Russian Scout Platoon for CoC, Painting Rig and Strelkovy

Greek WW2 Infantry Platoon for Chain of Command

Finnish Continuation War – Infantry Platoon for Chain of Command

Finnish Assault Boats for Chain of Command

Winter War Terrain, 15mm Chain of Command

I also did a full set of markers etc, to use for winter war gaming of Chain of Command. I especially enjoyed doing the patrol markers and the tall pine trees. Here are few pictures and links to relevant blog postings below.

Markers for Winter War Chain of Command, Marching Colours and Henry Hyde

The Winter War effort continues – Making tall pine trees

More Markers for Chain of Command and Command & Colors Romans

Vulgar Display of Power – Just a little bit of progress on the Winter War Stuff

Boxing up the Winter War for a while

What a Finnish Tanker – Mikä tankkeri!, 15mm

Here are few pictures and links to relevant blog postings below. We have played a lot of games with these rules and made a list for the Finnish Tanker so we could play Continuation War scenarios. Here are few pictures and links to relevant blog postings below.

Who needs a Tiger when you have Sisu? – Finnish Late Continuation War Career Ladder for What a Tanker

More options for the Finnish Tanker

Finnish Aircraft – Bag the Hun, 1/600 Tumbling Dice Airplanes

Excellent fun painting these, putting decals on and exploring this ruleset.  Here are few pictures and links to relevant blog postings below.

Finnish Aircraft and a Swedish Army

The Russian Army at Horka and some more 1/600 aircraft

Got myself a Hex Mat

Horka 1708, 6mm Great Northern War, Twilight of the Sun King

This was this years grand project, the biggest one we have done to date.  Here are few pictures and links to relevant blog postings below.

The What-if Battle Horka 1708 at Joy of Six 2018

(TMT) Horka 1708 – Making the Battle Mat – Part 1

(TMT) Horka 1708 – Making the Mat – Part 2 and ready and steady for Joy of Six 2018

Mutant 1984, 28mm Post-apocalyptic madness

This is my old 1980s RPG nostalgia project. I let you read up on it, I even built a 28mm log cabin. Here are few pictures and links to relevant blog postings below.

Older blokes in robes! work in progress and the Grognard Files

Limited progress, but bear with me!

Pushing forward towards Moscow and Nekropolis

More Mutant 1984, other RPGs and all is the Dice’s Fault

Painted Cabin and Snowmobiles – Mutant 1984

Järnringen / The Iron Ring (Mutant 1984) – Part 1 Opening Scence

Järnringen / The Iron Ring (Mutant 1984) – Part 2 – The Attack of the Robots

Saga in 6mm

Have a look at this massive blog post.

GNW Horka 1708 update, Tiny Tin Troops, 2nd Edition Saga and Helion Books

/ I hope that was of some interest, I will be back next year at some point.

Saga 2nd Edition in 6mm Age of Vikings – Twilight of the Thundergod

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I had a very  nice day at Salute yesterday, but have decided to reflect on that next week as I think his blog post is long enough – 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.”  More next week on this and some further on the progress on the Horka Project.

 

 

 

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Ok, one picture for now of what I think was the most stunning table on the day and it was simply based on the colour schemes used – it was very nice.  Yes other tables had more impressive buildings and clutter but in terms of overall visual appeal and artistry this was the one to beat on the day – I think colour and composition goes a long way and this one I think proved that point.   This was put on by “A Few Brits and the Hobby” and was depicting the Battle of Leros in 1943.  It was a demonstration game and was depicting the last successful German invasion of the war (WW2) when the island of Leros was taken in November 1943 as part of the Taifun operation (yes you are right another operation in 1941 was carried out with the same name).  From the guys own blur for the game “Despite being outnumbered by the defenders, the Germans managed to gain local numerical superiority in various small battles and used total air supremacy to defeat the enemy despite heavy losses.  Leros was another British disaster in the eastern Mediterranean and Germanys last major campaign victory in the region.”

 

 

 

 

back to the main theme….

I decided to start this blog on the back of doing a participation game of Saga in 6mm with the gentlemen from the eminent Meeples and Miniatures podcast (link here) for the Joy of Six in 2016.  The demo game was Saga in 6mm and I went all out and did starter armies (4pts) for the 12 factions from the three first books for the Age of Viking era (a total of 15 official Age of Vikings factions were produced for the first edition rules, if we exclude semi-official ones like the Skraelings, Revenant and Steppe Tribes).

This is the 100th blog update since the start and I felt it appropriate to do an update on Saga on the back of the Second edition being published earlier this year.  It is a long one but I do hope you will find it of some interest.

For this special occasion I asked Neil Shuck for a few words as a kind of preface (thank you Neil).

“When I had a conversation with Dave Luff on the podcast about the possibility of gaming Saga in 6mm, we had no idea of the forces we were about to unleash.
Dave was on one of his ‘it’s only a counter’ monologues, and with the fact that that very nice Mr Berry had just brought out some more of his Dark Age range, we were discussing the idea of being able to play Saga in a smaller scale, and what impact that might have on the game.  As with many of our ideas, it never got close to the painting table, so imagine our surprise when Per contacted us to say that he had taken our idea and moved it to the next level.

We may have planted the seed, but Per is a force of nature when an idea takes hold, and the rest is, as they say, history.  Per did a fantastic job creating all the forces, plus building the tables, and the games were very well received on the day.  More importantly, the game still works – if anything, the grander scale created by the smaller models gives it a more epic feel.  Congratulations Per, you have done a fantastic job with this.” 

– Neil Shuck, from the Meeples and Miniatures Podcast (link here).

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Here is a link to that very first blog post with a postscript that makes a few notes and links to the other relevant posts.  Note that the Factions are presented again in the text that follows, I will not repeat the information in the Part 6 to 8 sections about terrain, buildings and painting.

We had a blast on the day of the Joy of Six 2016 Show and Neil wrote about his experience on the Meeples and Miniatures webpage here and my report on the Roll a One blog is here.

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From the 2016 event – we ran two table – The Queens table and the Kings table (you can see the Lewis chess Queen overseeing the proceedings on this table and the king is blocked by the Sign overseeing the other).

It was a nice project to get done and all-in-all I did 2,474 miniatures in a total on 324 bases (25mm square).  Each base contained between 3 to 10 miniatures depending on type, but in general:

  • Mounted – Warlord 5, Hearthguard 4, Warrior 3
  • Foot – Warlord 10, Hearthguard 9, Warrior 8, Levy 4

After the show the Little One and I played a fair few games of Saga and we really enjoyed it.  We then drifted away to other things and the models have been left standing relatively still for a while (apart from a few sessions using the eminent Dux Brit rules from Too Fat Lardies, a test of the Sword and Spear Rules and a few games of Saga here and there).  In the beginning of the year (2018) Studio Tomahawk released the updated edition of Saga (I will call is Saga 2) – where there is a core set of rules and then a book for each era (e.g. Viking, Arthurian, Crusade, etc.).  I was debating on whether to get the new rules or not as we found the old ones more than satisfactory, but as I stated in an earlier blogpost.

I have all the old Saga books and I am aware this version will probably not blow me away in the same way as the first set, but it is on the basis of that very first set I bought the second edition. Saga is a fantastic game and I, and especially the Little One, want to be part of the ongoing process of making it even better.

I got the basic rule book for £8.50 (this contains the basic rules) and the Age of Vikings (this has the Viking factions and 12 battle boards) supplement for £25.50, which I believe is very competitive, from Dark Sphere (link here) with free postage (as at 14/03/18). That is a total of £34.

The original Saga Rules were typically sold for £25 and gave you 4 battle boards, three additional supplements (actually four if you count the campaign supplement) were produced cover the Viking Age at a typical total cost of say £42.  This gives a total comparative cost at £67 vs. £34.  So this new packaging is more cost effective, although the start-up cost is higher (£34 vs £25) as you need some battle boards to play the game.

The only thing that slightly irritated me is that there is only one base scenario in the basic rules – Clash of the Warlords, and that there are no specific scenarios in the source books  either – instead there will be a specific scenario book.  I really hope that this scenario book is something really special as I honestly think that some more scenarios could have been included in the basic rulebook or in the supplement(s) – so the comparison above is not fully a like for like.

On the back of having read the rulebook and the Age of Viking supplement and had a few games, I personally think it was worth the upgrade. I can use all of my existing models to play and the Saga Dice are the same (I have two sets of each type of dice as I used them for demo gaming and that allowed a higher number of combinations to be played over two tables at the same time) with one exception (the Last Romans, see below).

On the other if you have the old rules I am not sure I would be a position to strongly insist you should do or feel the same.  It is still Saga after all. However, I do hope that more supplements covering other Ages will be developed and made available on the back of this re-release.  The pictures of some Samurai warriors in the rulebook gives an interesting hint.

This blogpost will re-introduce the factions presented in those old blog posts, with what I hope are better pictures. In addition there are some changes to the composition and I have now enough figures to do starting warbands for the 10 of the 12 included in the Age of Vikings supplement.  I will further include some notes on changes to the rules (that only makes sense if you know the first edition) and finally show a few pictures of from some of the games we have played over the Easter Period with some friends and family.  I hope it is of some interest – it was nice to get them on the table again.

 Factions (4 pt Starter Armies)

 Anyway let us look at some of the miniatures (again!, note I do not have miniatures for two of the factions but are repeating the advice I gave in Saga in 6mm – Part 12).  All models, with the exception of the Irish Dogs, are from Baccus 6mm (link here) and the codes are from their catalogue to indicate what miniatures have been used.  The original picture showing the whole 4pt warband have been reused here, but I have also included close ups of each unit.  I am in two minds about this as I think 6mm is best shown in mass not as individual close ups (well I let you form your own opinion).  When you paint bulk and fast like I do for my projects it does not always look that great in a close up – but then why not.  All are on 25mm square bases, you may want to refer to that as an inch at your own peril of being 0.4mm out!

A few changes are noted in the text basically:

  • Reduction of a Battle Board (-3)
    • The Welsh and Stratchclyde Welsh now share a Battleboard 
    • The Normans and Bretons now share a Battleboard
    • Their is no longer a Pagan Prince board, but I assume this one is now assumed included in the Pagan Rus board (as one of their heroic options are a Pagan Prince)
  • Renaming of Battle Board (+/-0)
    • The Frankish board is now renamed the Carolignian board
    • The Byzantine battleboard is now renamed the Last Romans (and actually needs a set of dice I do not have (yet!) – the Roman/Briton dice that were introduced with the Saga Aetius and Arthur rules. 

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Anyway here are the Warbands:

Irish Starting Warband

The front figure are from the ALR04 Lanciarii (from the Late Roman Range) and a banner miniature I do not know from where. The two row of warriors are from EMV02 – Unarmoured Spearmen (vikings!).
These are actually two Hearthguard (Fianna) Units and I used the ALR04 Lanciarii (from the Late Roman Range) to represent these Javelin armed units.
These are my favourites they are the Warrior units and I used EMV02 – Unarmoured Spearmen (vikings!).
The Irish have the option to field a warrior unit of war dogs and who could honestly resist that? I needed to find some 6mm dogs. Baccus does not do any dogs but I did not need to get to any extreme measures as Perfect Six (link here) do some nice ones (and since I ordered my dogs they now also do wolves that could represent even more terrifying dogs – mine were border collies painted grey rather than the less intimidating Lassie look) so I ordered enough dogs to do 8 No. bases with 5 dogs and a dog handler on each. I used AMO01 Moorish infantry from the “Rome and Enemies range” for the dog handlers. These were leftovers from another project and I felt that the movement in these skirmish type figures were suitable to act as “leaders of the pack”. The war dogs may be more legend than reality but I think they add flair to the game.

Welsh Starting Warbands

I have two Welsh starting warbands as there were two separate boards in the first edition – one for Welsh and one for the Mounted Strathclyde Welsh.

Welsh

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For the Warlord I used the unarmoured spearmen (EMV02 – from the Viking code) fronted by 2 spearmen figures
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For the Hearthguards 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 .
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These warriors were made by using a front line of  models from the Late Roman lanciarii code (ALR04) to mark the units as being armed with Javelin, with a back line of the EMV02 Viking unarmoured Spearmen.
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A Javelin warrior unit bases on ALR04 – Lanciarii
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For the bonnedig (levy) I used Norman Archers (EMN05) – to get some balance versus all those Javelins.

Stratchclyde Welsh

Stratchclyde Welsh Warlord – Modelled with AG003 – Gothic Heavy Cavalry. For the miniature holding his hand up I have no clue.
Stratchclyde Welsh Hearthguard (Teulu) – AG003 Gothic Heavy Cavalry.
Stratchclyde Welsh Hearthguard (Teulu) – AG003 Gothic Heavy Cavalry.
Stratchclyde Welsh Warriors – AG004 Gothic Medium Cavalry.
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Stratchclyde Welsh Warriors – AG004 Gothic Medium Cavalry.

Scots Starting Warband

Scot Warlord – the mounted miniature a AG003 Gothic Heavy Cavalry, the man with the axe from the EMA05 – Saxon Leaders and command set, the first row of soldiers a mixture of figures from various sets, the backline from AG001-Gothic infantry
Scottish Hearthguard – AG001 – Gothic Infantry
Scottish Hearthguard – AG001 – Gothic Infantry
Scottish Warriors – AG001 – Gothic Infantry
Scottish Warriors – AG001 – Gothic Infantry

Viking Starting Warband

Viking Warlord – The mounted Vikings are from the EMV05 – Viking Luminaries and Loonies pack and the foot from the EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen pack.
Viking Hearthguard (Berserkers) – the hero models are from the EMV05 – Viking Luminaries and Loonies pack and the foot from the EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen pack.
Viking Hearthguard – the hero models are from the EMV05- Viking Luminaries and Loonies pack and the foot from the EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen Pack.
Viking Warriors – EMV01- Armoured Spearmen
Viking Warriors – EMV01- Armoured Spearmen

Norman / Breton Starting Warband

As for the Welsh this is now one Battleboards for what used to be two – the Normans and the Bretons.  The difference is that the mounted Hearthguards have Javelins.

Norman

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Charging cavalry (EMN01) was used for the Warlord (but with one of the fronting figures from the EMN06 – Norman Leaders pack).
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For the hearthguards (Knights) I used the Charging cavalry (EMN01)
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Another unit of Hearthguard (Knights) using the Charging cavalry (EMN01).
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The crossbow unit are Warriors so I decided to put 6 on each base (mainly as I only had one pack of 48 miniatures EMN07 – Norman Crossbowmen at the time and it divides nicely with 8, if you remember your times table).
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The archers are Levy and based on the EMN05 – Norman Archers

 

Breton

 

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For the Warlord I used EMN01 (Norman Armoured Cavalry) , however in doing it again I would have used the EMN03 (unarmoured cavalry) code for all mounted Breton units – to represent the more Javelin oriented Breton cavalry.
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For the Hearthguard unit I also used EMN01 (Norman Armoured Cavalry), with the same comment as for the Warlord above.
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Another Hearthguard Unit using EMN01.
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These are the Warriors using the EMN03 – Norman unarmoured cavalry code and represent the Javelin armed mounted Breton soldiers.
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These are the Warriors using the EMN03 – Norman unarmoured cavalry code and represent the Javelin armed mounted Breton soldiers.
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Javelin armed levy using ALR04 – Lanciarii.

Anglo-Danes Starting Warband

Anglo-Danish Warlord – Mixture of Leaders and personalities from the early medieval range as well as EMA01 – Huscarles with Spear.  Technically this should perhaps be a heavy weapon (e.g Dane Axe equipment and this is how we play and just remember it).
Anglo-Danish Hearthguard – EMA01 – Huscarles with Spear and leaders from
Anglo-Danish Hearthguard (Heavy Weapons) –  EMA02 – Huscarles with Axe
Anglo Danish Warriors – EMA01 – Huscarles with Spear (look at the unit in the front left, seems like someone did not listen to their orders)
Anglo Danish Warriors – EMA01 – Huscarles with Spear

Anglo-Saxon Starting Warband

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For the  warlord unit I used the Huscarls with Spear (EMA01) fronted by miniatures from the Saxon Leaders pack.
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For the hearthguard  I used the Huscarls with Spear (EMA01) again fronted by miniatures from the Saxon Leaders pack.
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For the warriors I used EMA03 – Fyrd Spearmen
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Another unit of warriors, again, using EMA03 – Fyrd Spearmen
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These are the Ango-Saxon shield and spear levy and I used a thin line of  Fyrd Spearmen (EMA03).

Carolignians / Franks Starting Warband

For the Warlord I used the Norman charging cavalry (EMN01).
For the hearthguards I used the Norman charging cavalry (EMN01).
Another hearthguard unit (EMN01).
A warrior unit using the Norman armoured infantry (EMN01).
As one warrior unit can be armed with Crossbow I did so with Norman Crossbowmen (EMN07).

Norse-Gael Starting Warband

 

 

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For these domesticated Vikings I used armoured Viking spearmen (EMV01) for the warlord unit (fronted with miniatures from the Viking and Norman leader packs – leftovers from EMV05 and EMN06).
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For this hearthguard unit (heavy weapons) I used the Viking axemen (EMV03)
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This Warrior unit is using the  armoured Viking spearmen (EMV01)
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This warrior (heavy weapons) unit is using Viking axemen (EMV03)
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The final warrior unit used the unarmoured Viking spearmen (EMV01) fronted by the good old Lanciarii (ALR04) as these are Javelin armoured warriors.

 

Jomsvikings Starting Warband

The warlord is using Armoured Spearmen (EMV01) fronted by mounted characters from (EMV05).  I used a uniform look for this legendary mercenary norse warrior warband which is probably not very likely – but I like the overall effect.
This is a Hearthguard, again using the Armoured Spearmen (EMV01) fronted by characters from (EMV05).
Another Hearthguard unit, same as above.
Warriors using the unarmoured spear (EMV02).
Again, Warriors using the unarmoured spear (EMV02).

The Last Romans (Byzantines)

Did not make this faction, but here are my ideas (I have the miniatures and just need to get them done).

Starting Army: Mounted Warlord (CIS01 – Seljuq Turk Heavy Cavalry), Mounted Hearthguard (CIS01 – Seljuq Turk Heavy Cavalry), Mounted Hearthguard with Bow (ASS02- Armoured Horse Archers), Warriors (EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen), Warriors with Bow (ALR05 – Archer).

Pagan Rus

Did not make this faction either, but here are my ideas (I have the miniatures and just need to get them done).

Starting army: Warlord (EMV01 -Armoured Spearmen), 2 No. Hearthguard (EMV01 -Armoured Spearmen), Warrior (EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen) and Levy with Javelins (ALR04 – Lanciarii)

Starting Army (Rus Princes based): Mounted Warlord (CFR04 – Turcopoles), 2 No. Mounted Hearthguard (CFR04 – Turcopoles), Warrior (EMV02 – Unarmoured Spearmen) and Warrior with Bow (ALR05 – Archer).

Playing the Game

Changes to the 2nd Edition Rules

You may want to skip this sections if you have no interest in what the changes are between the two versions, as this only makes some sense if you are familiar with the rules.

When reading the two rules again side by side (pun not intended) a few changes can be noted between the versions.  In addition to what I will cover here the battleboards have changed but I have not yet analysed them and probably will not.  I have played most of the old battle boards at least once but would felt it a step too far for the purpose of this. Doing this review/rough notes took me longer than I wanted it to take, I do not pretend I believe it is complete and may have missed or misunderstood something:

  1. The Warlord model (base in our case) can no longer use the side by side ability
  2. Resilience ability now allows 1 fatigue to be taken instead of 1 hit  up to its limit (see below – but to lower your suspense it is now 3 fatigue markers for all units).  
  3. Only a Hearthguard model/base (within (S)hort distance) can be used to sacrifice/taking damage on behalf of the Warlord. 
  4. We obey ability now allows free activation of any action – not just movement. 
  5. The Warlord now has 8 attack dice (previous he had 5) and only generate one Saga Dice (previously it generated 2 dice)
  6. Heroic units gets the warlord abilities as well.
  7. Levies now generate Saga Dice if the unit has 6 or more figures – previously they did not generate any at all.
  8. Warriors generate Saga Dice if the unit has 4 or more figures – this avoids the 1 man warrior unit being withdrawn to generate Saga dide.
  9. The Saga Dices left on the battleboard from a previous round does not affect how many you roll in your next turn (unless the total of dice on the board + allowed Saga dice from units is higher than 8. As 8 Saga Dice is still the maximum in play at any given time).
  10. In combat you can use 2 fatigue to cancel an enemy activation
  11. You can spend 1 fatigue to reduce the movement of an unit activating to S(hort)
  12. In shooting you can spend more than 1 fatigue to decrease the defending units armour, and in melee the same and also for increasing the attackers armour.
  13. All units are now exhausted when it has 3 fatigue markers allocated to it (3 is the maximum accumulation allowed), this gives -1 to all attack dice.
  14. All units in a group fight if they are engaged with another unit.
  15. Movement is done in straight line (including charges/attacks) 
  16. Models (bases in this case) in a unit to stay within S(hort) from the first unit being moved – this technically means that levies at 12 models cannot create a long line. For our purposes not a big problem, we tend to play the units as 2 deep by 6 frontage (levies), 2 by 4 warriors and 1 by 4 for hearthguards.  This to simulate some kind of depth in shield wall concept typical for the “Age”.
  17. Movement is free (cost no Saga dice) if you are at L(ong) range away from any enemy and movement ends up L(ong) range from any enemy.
  18. Shooting – combat pool maximum at Step 1 at 8 dice, final maximum at Step 3 16 dice.  There is no limit on the number of defence dice that can be applied (previously twice the number of hit was the maximum).
  19. Meele – a unit can only be engaged with one enemy units. There is no longer a step 0 (the reaction abilities are no longer being used). Maximum combat pool is now 16 at Stage 1 and double at Stage 3.  As for missile there is no limit for the number of defence die than can be applied.  Defending unit may choose to Close Ranks and gain the effect of solid cover but only gets half of its normal number of attack dice (The old rule of sacrificing attack dice to get defence dice is no longer used).  Note this rule is not available to mounted, bow/crossbow armed units and heavy weapons (e.g. dane axes).  So perhaps a better name for the ability would be to “Form Shieldwall!”.  Defenders in solid cover never withdraw if they outnumber the attacking unit, other units may end up less than VS if there are terrain restrictions.
  20. If all the figures are in cover, the cover counts – if not it does not count.
  21. Dangerous terrain introduced – works like uneven terrain but also causes 1 fatigue to the unit.
  22. Changes to the dimension of the sizes of terrain – I let you go a figure this one, I do not tend to care about these things – sorry!.  It is getting late.
  23. Equipment /Weapons – clarification of modifications and restriction, changes to rules for composite bows (free activation and no fatigue), crossbow (+1 to attack instead of -1 to Armour, and can only shot once per turn), javelin (+1 melee attack dice when charging, an example of this is the classic roman infantry attack I suppose), there is a new improvised weapon category.

Playing it over Easter

We decided to play a few games over the Easter Period and we only used starter warbands and I used my 2 by 2 terrain tile (famous from sessions of Pikemans Lament last year) as this one can easily be accommodated in a house full to the brim of family and friends. As we had mixed familiarity of the rules this was sufficient to get a few games played, starting within direct engagement distance.

We play the rules exactly as written, one a base is the same as a base in the 28mm version, no adjustments for ranges of missile weapons or movement.

Here are a few pictures from these games, the games flowed nicely and went really well.

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The Easter set-up – all games played with the same terrain constellation and with the same opponents – Vikings vs Normans.  For the normans we used 3 units of 4 Knights/Hearthguards and a unit of 8 Sergeant/Warriors and the Lord himself.  The Vikings had a unit of 4 No. Hearthguard Berserkers and a normal 4 base strong Hearthguard unit, supported by two units of 8 warriors (and the Warlord himself, mounted on a horse but moving like a foot unit).
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The new rulebooks and  battleboards – they have the same feel as the old Crusade boards (if you are familiar with these).
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Let us ride down those Norsemen!
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I like the effect of this picture!
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I know there is only 1 No. One rolled here but I needed to roll 5 or more to hit, with 8 base and 3 bonus dice for my warriors. I hit shit all with that roll!

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Very powerful if used at the right time.  I got my warlord sacked by this ability being used.
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The Norse Warlord fighting unit of 4 Sergeants (Warriors)
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A Viking attack on the Norman Warlord
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The Normans breaking through my shield wall
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The Guys on the bench. It must have been when I played the Normans! A row of Hearthguard taken out!

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Conclusion:  Saga is still fun and works really well in 6mm whether you have the old or the new set of rules.  In its base it is a simple I go you go – you roll to hit and then your opponent rolls to save kind of game.  But with the addition of being able to use your opponents fatigue to gain benefits and the battle boards it is a unique game and I, and the Little One, really like it.  

Note: I have played six games with the new version and lost five. 

/ I hope that was of some interest, below two bonus parts one about music and the other some old Saga battle shots!

Bonus 1: Old Battle Shots 6mm in Action

Bonus 2: Music for you musings

In the original postings we included some recommended music whilst painting your warbands – so here are a few oldies and a few new ones

Amon Amarth starting with their Twilight of the Thunder God (that incidentially would be a fantastic title for a set of wargame rules in the Age of Vikings) followed by At Dawn’s First Light and Pursuit of Vikings – it does not get much more Viking melodic death metal than this.  This is perhaps not everyone’s cup of, sorry I meant horn of mead!

If that was too heavy for you do not despair there are some equally good options (youtube is full of this kind of things – should get your warbands done in an afternoon or give you plenty of inspiration to crush your opponents on the wargames table).

 

 

GNW Horka 1708 update, Tiny Tin Troops, 2nd Edition Saga and Helion Books

 

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Dark Ages Warriors (6mm Baccus)

I am currently spending a lot of hobby time finalising bases for the Horka 1708 project that will be presented at the 6mm show Joy of Six in July this year (a link to the webpage here).  This will be  my 6th year of putting a game on (2012 GNW Fraustadt 1706, 2013 GNW Klissow 1702, 2014 GNW Kalisz 1706, 2015 GNW Gadebusch 1712, 2016 Saga in 6mm, 2017 GNW Lesnaya 1708 and Dragon Rampant in 6mm).  It is my favourite show of the year because it showcases what can be done in this scale and what is available as a lot of the 6mm miniature and terrain/building traders are in attendance. I suggest you check it out and get yourself to Sheffield this Summer (15th July).

I tend to move big chunks of works forward at the same time rather than completing say 4 bases and moving on to the next 4 set of bases.  I used to do it in incremental steps, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to complete a big project/campaign by winning small victories on the way.  I still get a kick of a completed base and how that seemingly randomless drybrushing on top of the brown base, in combination with the static grass creates that little illusion that puts the models in some kind of bigger context!

However, my current small victories are all the other diversions (Gaslands, Winter War, Mutant 1984, etc.) whilst I slog away with the big one.  At times these diversions takes me away from the main mission for weeks.  But I have to admit that it does not take much to get me back to the Great Northern war period.  This final futile grasp of Sweden as a Great Power and the great battles, tragedies and personalities it contains.  I know how it all ends, but it still blows me away and there is so much more to find out.

On that note (and I have mentioned a few before) check out Helion Company’s Century of the Soldier series that have a lot of upcoming books for the Great Northern War in particular but so much more. Link to Helion here.  Give them a visit and get yourself some cool books.  I am really pleased to see Great Northern war books in English and anyone who is doing them will certainly sell me a copy – but also gets a shout out.

Here are a few of the titles I am looking forward to (various release dates):

I am currently (re-)reading another one from the Century of the Soldier series about the Pruth campaign that was released a at the end of January this year (incidentally, as Nick wrote it I had read the initial draft, but had not seen the bespoke drawings of troop types of the two sides and re-enactment pictures of Russian soldiers – and I really enjoyed it).  I discussed this book here that formed the basis for a little skirmish side project using Pikeman’s Lament (see more here, here  and here).  However this campaign lends itself to bigger battles.  Think about the mixture of differing troop types with the colourful Ottoman army of the period on one side againt the more westernized Russian army with Kalmucks, Tartars and Cossack support on the other – what a spectacle.  [editor notes: At this note he drifts away into that la la land again, planning battles and setting up painting progress spreadsheets again].

In 1711 Peter the Great, the Tsar of Russia, led a large army of veterans from Poltava and his other Great Northern War victories into the Balkans. He aimed to humble the Ottomans in the same way he had the Swedes a few years before. Victory would secure useful allies in the Balkans, cement Russia’s ‘Great Power’ status and offer Peter the opportunity to finally gain control over the Swedish king, Charles XII, thus completing his victory over Sweden. Yet within a few months, the ‘backward’ Ottomans had forced the Tsar and his Tsarina and their army of veterans into a humbling surrender near the Pruth River. The war was the first time that Russia was strong enough to confront the Ottomans independently rather than as a member of an alliance. It marked an important stage in Russia’s development. However, it also showed the significant military strength of the Ottoman Empire and the limitations of Peter the Great’s achievements. The war was of significance to the allies of both the Russians and the Ottomans. It was of course of an even greater importance to all those directly affected by the war such as the Swedish, the Polish, and the Cossacks, who had taken refuge from the reverses of the Great Northern War in the Ottoman territory. It would also bring about the defeat of the Moldavian and Walachian ambitions to shake off the Ottoman overlordship, elevating Dimitrie Cantemir into the position of a national hero celebrated to this day by the people of Romania. The book looks at the causes of this little known war and its course. Using contemporary and modern sources it examines in detail the forces involved in the conflict, seeking to determine their size, actual composition, and tactics, offering the first realistic determination on the subject in English. 

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Taken from the Helion website (link here).

So how am I getting on with the Horka project, then?. I actually did not know until recently as my notes were a little bit here, there and everywhere.  So I opened up a spreadsheet and did an inventory and counted the models I had to date.  Here is a summary of where the painting is at expressed as percentage complete (then there is basing etc, but since that is relatively quick I am only interested at this stage on whether I have enough painted lead or not!):

  • Swedish Infantry (672 foot) – 57% (16 of 28 bases done)
  • Swedish Cavalry (648 riders)  – 96% (69 of 72 bases done)
  • Russian Infantry (1536 foot) – 94% (60 of 64 bases done)
  • Russian Cavalry (819 riders) – 93% (85 of 91 bases done)

Overall – 90% complete (230 bases of 255 are now in painted condition) – over 3,500 miniature .  When I counted it all up I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised that I had so little left to do.  It is the largest amount of bases I have ever put on a table to date. The picture below show the two armies spread on a 12 foot (3.6m) table (the middle white and blue ruler shows 1 feet increments). Both have a 8 foot frontage (2.4m) and the Russian one is mostly 4 bases deep.  I think it will be worth the Joy of Six ticket just to see that – but then I am somewhat biased with regards to tricorne hats (and Karpuses).

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Then there is artillery and leaders but I have not yet checked whether I need to do any more than what I already have available from previous projects.  I am going to have a little chat with Nick Dorrell on the likely composition of the artillery at this stage of the campaign – I will have a view and he will correct it.

Here is a photo of the work in progress – or work in a mess more like it!

 

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All required bases at various level of completion – 90% painted, 100% Baccus

I would like to do a shout out for Tiny Tin Troops that amongst many things do flags (web page here) – I found their Russian GNW flags especially useful for my project.  With so much infantry a lot of flags are required and although you could do them yourself it can be time consuming of to recolour images, etc.

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They compliment the Baccus sheets I have used up nicely (link here) – order the 8mm version (this is not the scale but the height of the flag) – link here. Nice and pleasant to deal with.

Their range of flags covers Crusades, Flodden, ECW, Ireland 1690, GNW, WSS, 7YW, Napoleonic, Armada Naval and they also have some WW2 Posters (for 6-28mm figs).

There is a painting gallery there that you may find fascinating if you are into the period, especially these.  This is from the time TTT had a painting service – inspiration stuff!

  • 6mm GNW here
  • 6mm Camps and baggage here (my favourite!, and very inspirational)
  • 6mm WSS here
  • overview page here

As for the Terrain I will not start the terrain mat (5 by 12 feet) until the weather gets more stable as I ideally need a good few sunny days – lacking in space and inspiration to do it on a gloomy day.  This is normally the last thing I do anyway so I do not expect this to be done until end of May or June.

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The rough sketch of the battle

I will need to start worrying about the real estate that I will need for Horka itself and the Villages around it.  The Better one got me a nice bunch of Eastern European buildings (mostly churches) following my thoughts on the Monastery at Poltava (more here) that I need to paint up as well.  I have some buildings already so I do not see this as a major effort.

Overall it is all in hand.

I also got the latest Saga Rules and the Viking supplement and they are nice products indeed.  I am coming up towards the 100th blogpost (having done an average of 1 post a week since I started) and I would like that particular one to be about Saga v2 in 6mm as a homage to the very first blog post Saga in 6mm (link here).  Planning to run a few games with the models I already have (I made 12 starter factions so I do not think I need to paint any more at the moment).

Some of the changes I noted so  far are:

  • Warlords have changed significantly with regards to the special abilities.
  • Levy units generate Saga dice (if they are 6 or more models on the table).
  • Warrior units reduced to less than 4 models do not give you Saga dice. This avoids the potential of a 1 man warrior unit being held back to spawn saga dice.
  • If you are far away from an enemy you can move a unit for free as a first activation.
  • Some simplification of fatigue, combat and movement rules

I got the basic rule book for £8.50 (this contains the basic rules) and the Viking supplement (this has the Viking factions and the battleboards) for £25.50, which I believe is very competitive, from Dark Sphere (link here) with free postage.

I have all the old Saga books and I am aware this version will probably not blow me away in the same way as the first set, but it is on the basis of that very first set I bought the second edition.  Saga is a fantastic game and I, and especially the Little One, want to be part of the ongoing process of making it even better.

So we are, for sure, dusting of the cobweb of the warbands (that was used for the Original Saga rules and have been stand in for some games of Too Fat Lardies Dux Britanniarum games).  The Little One is smiling – the Big One too.

Here are a few shots of the Saga stuff (all based on 25mm square bases) as we felt obliged to stare at it for a few minutes.

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/Take care

 

 

 

Lead astray or a hike to the snow cladded lead mountain – Part 2

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Swedes attacking a defended Saxon position (Miniatures from Baccus)

With a little help to my friends

Twilight of the Sun King Rules

Nick Dorrell’s adaptation of the Twilight of the Sun King Rules I talked about in an earlier blog (see here) are now published by the Pike and Shot society.  I really enjoy these fast play rules that makes it possible to play large horse and musket battles during late 17th and early 18th century in a reasonable time. Basing is adaptable and the rules works at two levels standard/brigade and regimental scale. In the standard scale a unit represents brigade or its equivalent (2,000 infantry or 1,000 cavalry – so about 4 battalions or 8 squadrons). For the regimental scale a unit equates to 1,000 infantry or 500 cavalry.  I play the game in the regimental scale, as I do GNW where the battles tends to be smaller and I have more than enough miniatures to play in this scale, using two 60 by 30mm bases for a unit with a total frontage of 120mm per unit. This is the same basing I use for the Polemos, Maurice and the Might and Reason rules. Further the units can be classified as small or large to allow for the variation in units sizes during the period, e.g. to deal with smaller elite units etc.

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The rules are, to quote Nick from the Design Philosophy notes, “…radical, some would say reductionist, in their conception. It is based on the premise that during this time period, morale rather than numbers of casualties was the key to deciding combat and even the outcome of battles. Many wargames rules pay lip-service to this; however, these rules take the radical step of collapsing shooting and close combat into morale. This dramatically simplifies game play but does so, in the designers’ opinion, without significant loss of historical accuracy.”

The Rules as well as a Scenario book is now available from the Pike and Shot Society and can be obtained from them, http://www.pikeandshotsociety.org/, and other retail outlets.

The scenario book is called Louis XIV at War and features 10 battles – 4 of these are from the War of the Grand Alliance (1688 to 1697) and the other 6 from the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14). Each scenario includes orders of battles and a map.

A second scenario book is being worked on and will cover the Great Northern War and the Ottoman wars.

There is a Yahoo group:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/TwilightSK/info

and you can contact nick via wyreforestgamers@yahoo.co.uk

Collection Calculator

Another friend of mine, Peter Riley, came up with an idea for a Wargames collection calculator when he went to the Newbury show this year. As he walked and talked to gamers at the show it emerged from the many conversations he had is that we don’t know, in detail, what we have in our collections and what they are worth.  So to keep a good record of all the elements we have in our growing collections seemed a good idea.

A beta website has been set up here – http://collectioncalculator.com/ . Peter is looking for feedback on what you may think.

I think it is a brilliant idea and could be used to manage your collection, get an idea about its value for a sale or how much to insure your collection for. Try it out and if you like the general idea support it by letting them know how it can be improved.

In a recent Meeples and Miniatures episode the hosts discussed the issue about insuring your stuff when they were speculating what they would do if they lost their collection and got the opportunity to do it all again being given the full value from the insurance company. If you do not know what you have and are not adequately insured then this scenario could end it tears and not in speculation on what you would replace or not.

By the way Peter Riley is the author of a few sets of wargame rules, including the ACW rules Crisis of Allegiance and On They Came as well as the Franco-Prussian Wars rules Kommandant de Battaile and Kommandant de Armee. He is working on a few new sets including a colonial set called A Steady and Deliberate Fire.

Winter is coming

I have presented two Great Northern War battles at the Joy of Six show that took place during the winter season with snow and misery on the battle field – Fraustadt 1706 (with a mention in an earlier post here) and Gadebusch 1712.   I really like wintery landscapes having been brought up in Sweden, where minus degrees and snow is a constant for a large part of the year. It engulfs the land and when Spring finally comes it feels like the land has been subjected to some form of annual cleansing.

When I first did the Fraustadt Battle I was hesitant in “winter basing” the armies as I was going to do Klissow where I could have “re-used” a lot of the miniatures especially on the Saxon side. However the contrast between a wintery table and the rectangular zone of summer really annoyed me when I had finished the table and set up the bases on it.  So I got on with drybrushing all of the bases with white and then topped them up with some wintery tufts – it was worth the effort. Following the Gadebusch battle I now have fully sized GNW armies for the Swedes, Saxons and the Danes ready to rumble any time of the year.

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The Saxon forces at Fraustadt did stand and wait for the Swedes for a while but I do not think that it resulted in the grass growing, or that they had some Astro Turf ready to roll out. I agree with the fact that basing should make the miniatures stand out but this a little bit over the top!

So apart from the snow ventures above I have a passion, or perhaps compulsion, for the Winter War 1939-40.  It is a very interesting conflict and I went with the Baker Company Winter War 28mm Kickstarter a few years back – the project did not really go as intended and I only got part of what I expected. Instead I decided to go for it in 15mm and have recently completed enough to start playing some  Chain of Command with a Platoon with some options for each side (I will do a future posting for the Finnish and the Russian/Sovietic platoon).  I am also keen to try out the IABSM (I ain’t been shot Mum) rules from Company Sized actions. Both these rules are from the eminent makers of rules at Too Fat Lardies (Chain of Command here and IABSM here).

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Finnish Soldiers from the 1939-40 Winter War. The Light Machine Gun is the M-26 7.62mm Lahti-Saloranta.  The picture is taken from SA-kuva (Finnish Armed Forces Photographs) and you can find their webpage here.  This is a conflict to which the lead mountain has attracted permanent visitors from a number of scales.

So for IABSM I have a few options, (i) expand the 15mm platoons for Chain of Command, (ii) use the Pithead 10mm ones I bought a few years back or (iii) try out the 6mm Finnish from Heroics and Ros.

I bought a few test strips from Heroics and Ros from their Finnish Range and also a strip from the Snow/Ski Troopers.  I decided to paint these and base them to see how they would look like and put them on a 65 by 65mm base. I am pleased how they came out and I think it will work well for the IABSM rules (although I would probably use 25mm bases) – I hope you agree (Note one of the pictures show some 15mm miniatures from the Chain of Command Finns).  I used some snow flock mixed with Matte Mod Podge for the basing, it looks slightly better for real than in the photos.  I am going to do a winter company for the Finns, Russians and Germans as they did some combined operations with the Finns.  With this scale it should not take very long to complete a company worth of miniatures. It will look fantastic.

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I think I have to order some more from Heroics and Ros. For the Pithead stuff, well I have no problem with it staying on the mountain for now!  The 28mm Baker Company stuff I did get I will probably get rid off.

Not really Winter but cold as death

About 2 months ago I wrote about some new 6mm miniatures from Microworld Games (see here). I did not buy the Landsknechts this time but I bought the new duelists and peasants as well as a large number of zombies and ghouls for another little project I am working on (I am doing the Saga Revenants faction in 6mm when I have time). Anyway, I got them this week as it was a pre-order, and I really liked the look of the duelists and the peasants – some of these will be used for my Sharp Practice games. I could not resist painting up a little vignette on a 60 by 60mm base with some zombies controlled by a witch/necromancer (from Perfect Six)  attacking three witch hunters (the duelists) supported by a few farmers.  This is a homage to a roleplaying scenario I played when I was a kid (well at least a younger kid) and actually a Christmas present to a very dear friend.

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Ok next time I will get on with some Great Northern War stuff and the Towards Moscow Project / Keep on toysoldiering!

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Gadebusch 1712 from Joy of Six 2015 – the Swedes advancing over the frozen fields towards the Danes.

New 6mm Stuff, Painting Service and Shock Markers

Limited progress this week but an update of some new and upcoming 6mm ranges that caught my eye, some discussion on the TMT project and the enlistment of a painting service, a little diversion and reflection on 18th century warfare on TV & in movies, and some shock markers for Sharp Practice. 

New/Upcoming 6mm Ranges – Landsknechts, TYW/ECW and the Order of the Dragon

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Landsknechts – picture from Wikipedia (link in the text below)

I have to admit that a few new 6mm ranges have blown me away these last few weeks:

Microworld Games Landsknechts rangecheck them out here.  I stumbled across these when I was ordering something for my Saga in 6mm project. I am planning on doing the Revenant Faction at some point and needed some ghoulish looking creatures. Microworld  has a wide range of 6mm fantasy but these are, as far as I gather, looking pretty historical like the real Landsknecths.  Splendid!, based in the US, flat rate international shipping at $12 (excluding Customs and Charges if you live outside the States, but if you can overcome that this would be an impressive and colourful force to field).  I am very tempted to add a few of these to my next order even if I am not screaming for projects at the moment. The pictures are from Microworld’s webpage and they also have a few other new sets that may be of some interest.

 

Perfect Six Miniatures, that I have mentioned on several occasions on this blog, does not just sell fine scenic items but have a growing range of, mainly fantasy, miniatures. Their latest release is their Order of the Dragon Miniatures and they are really nice. They have just been released so I ordered a few packs. Again pictures from their webpage.