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

In summary, not done too much in the last three weeks, some “diversionary-but-I-hope-of-some-interest-blur” to fill out the blog and then some pictures of new stuff at the end.

This is my 8th consecutive year of putting on a table at Joy of Six. With the exception of 2016 when Neil Shuck and I ran Saga in 6mm, Nick Dorrell and I have staged a range of Battles from the Great Northern War (GNW), including Fraustadt 1706, Klissow 1702, Kalisz 1706, Gadebusch 1712, Lesnaya 1708 and Horka 1708.  I think it has been an fair run and I am currently debating with myself whether the table this year, Poltava 1709, will be the last GNW table I do.  I feel like it has been a good run and looking at all these tables in the pictures below I enjoyed all the effort I put in and when we presented them, I have been told, others enjoyed them too.

 

There are a few more battles of the war that I think would be interesting to put on the table, including:

  • Narva 1700. Swedish attack on fortified Russians with a snow blizzard during the battle.  A few Swedes against many, many Russians.
  • The Duna Crossing 1701. Swedish river assault supported by floating Gun Platforms, etc. Against the Saxons.
  • Battle of Helsingborg 1710. Fighting on Swedish soil with the Danes last attempt at getting the Scanian lands.

Actually there are many more and if you go to the eminent webpage Tacitus.nu there is a nice table showing all the bigger engagements of the War, when they occurred, who the Swedes fought and who was the main Swedish Commander (link here, and while you are there you will find detailed uniform information for some of the largest battles, based on some of the best resources available).

It is strange, having read so many GNW books and painted so many 6mm miniatures from the Baccus GNW range, that I still have this fascination for the period.  I still remember my Father’s retelling of the bravery of the soldiers in the Dal Regiment, when its Battalions breached the defences at the Battle of Narva in 1700 under the leadership of Magnus Stenbock, then a Colonel, who later (I suppose subject to some argument) became one of the Greatest Generals of the era. Another story was the one about the Duna crossing and I remember I closed my eyes and felt the splashes of water from the cannon balls landing next to the rowing boats as the Swedish advance force pressed on toward the river bank on the other side.  There is no historical era that is even close with regards to the level of satisfaction and sense of adventure in my opinion – but then I am unashamedly biased.  All the other stuff I do are also very interesting but are truly just diversions, I suppose the Great Northern War is what they call “a first love”.

I seem to have convinced myself to keep on going but we will see how this year goes.  There is a small benefit in that apart from making the mat/terrain there is limited work in setting up most of the tables after I have finished the Poltava Battle this year, as any painting required will be limited (I have extensive Saxon, Swedish, Russian and Danish armies, so I am reasonably well covered. Some of them I have based for Summer and Winter).

So.., how is Poltava going?

In an earlier posting about a year ago, I was stressing about Poltava (that Posting was actually reasonably interesting, with a link here). I want “my” Poltava to tell the story about the battle not just as a line of Soldiers facing each other at the final attack of the decimated Swedish force against the overwhelming Russian packed lines.

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The Key Features required

Given this, the following needs to be done (with level of completeness given as a percentage, where 0% means done shit all and 100% all done and dusted):

  1. Finish all the Swedish and Russian miniatures (for the main action, but also for detachment around the battlefield) – 95%
  2. Swedish Camp – 50% (have a lot of Swedish supply wagons, just need to do some camp bases)
  3. Swedish Siege Lines around Poltava – 0%
  4. The Poltava Fortress and Town – 25% (have some houses I can reuse, but will need to do the wooden walls and towers)
  5. Russian Redoubts – 0%
  6. Cossacks / Kalmyck irregular cavalry – 100%
  7. Monastery on the Hill – 0% (but have bought the models)
  8. Surrounding Villages – 50% (I will use some existing ones but need to buy some more)
  9. Russian Camp – 0%
  10. The Battle Mat – 0% (I think a 12 by 4 sheet will do).

The fact that almost all the miniatures are painted is a very good place to be, but I learned not to underestimate the time it will take to do the other stuff – especially the battle mat.  The above is the tracker I am using for the Project.

Just before Christmas I did some bases of town folks I will use as Poltava Militia – now do they really look like we would imagine a militia unit of the region?  Maybe not but I felt that the Streltzy code would make them look too uniformed, too organised – so I did them like this.  The idea was that each miniatures was painted differently, I think I achieved the look I wanted.  Note that I have not yet based them as I want to do this when I know how I make the Poltava town/fortress section of the battlefield – so the bases can blend in nicely.

This week I also did some more Dragoons, it seems like there is always more Russian Dragoons to be made – I think that may be it for this time. However,  I will do another review just to make sure. I have run out 60 by 30mm bases at this time, so I will have to base them later.

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/ Hope that was of some interest, all the best to you.

 

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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.

Featured

Nordic WW2 Movies, Cossacks and Kalmucks at Poltava 1709 – Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT)

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If you have followed this blog you may know that Nick Dorrell, some other Chums, and I put on a game at Salute in 2017.  It was the Kalisz Battle and it required a lot of Cossacks and Kalmucks, actually more than 30 No. (60 by 60mm bases, link here).  In reviewing the needs for the Poltava Battle I realised that I had too few light cavalry bases as both sides had sizeable contingents (the Swedish side being supported by Mazepa’s Cossacks, and the Russian with its normal light cavalry contingent).  I only put 7 miniatures on each base but realised I needed about 16 bases.  I prepared the miniatures for painting but they have been sitting on the painting table for some time now – I was not feeling too excited about getting started.

Podcasts and a WW2 Diversion

This weekend offered almost uninterrupted rain, so I caught up on some Podcasts, including Henry Hyde’s patreon question time that was amazing (link to that project here), the Veteran Wargamer giving some advice (Jay with Friends) on WW2 movies to watch over the Christmas break (link to his excellent podcast here) and a festive Oddcast session from the Too Fat Lardies (listen to it here) that was fun, as always, to listen to. I felt sorry for Sidney Roundwoods Christmas presents – I hope he gets some better ones elsewhere ;).

In the Veteran wargames show I like the fact that Finnish War movies in general were mentioned, also the Norwegian Max Manus and the Danish 9th April (incidentally I think there will be an upcoming Chain of Command Pint Sized campaign covering this).  Here are these and a few other Nordic WW2 movies, in no particular order I recommend them all (a mixture of trailers and clips).

…. and finally a movie about the aftermath of WW2 (an absolutely excellent movie).

As for my own favourite Nordic WW2 Movie I have to admit that I like the Cinemaphotography of the new Unknown Soldier (above) and would love to see it on the Silver Screen again – it made me make some assault boats (I have not yet used) some time ago (more here)

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15mm battlefront miniatures in some homemade boats!

However the following movie makes the journey to Mount Doom seem like a walk in the park – so here is another non-English movie to check out.

However I really like Fury, Private Ryan and A Bridge to Far, as well….

Here is a movie I never heard about, I ordered it today (about the invasion of Norway).

Back to the Cossacks

I got on with the painting and the podcasts offered sufficient time to get these done (they are the Cossacks from Baccus 18th century range, GNR10 Cossacks link here), with a special mention to Henry with his three and a half hour session.

Quick job, then Windsor and Newton Nutbrown Inkwash, basing and good to go.

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The 16 bases, used some tufts I had lying around.
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I used many different colours to provide an non-uniformed look.
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Some of the Tufts works better than others

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As above…

Now I need to park the Russian Dragoons on the painting table to brew for a while.

/ Hope that was of some interest

Featured

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

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Yesterday, the Wyre Foresters and I had the pleasure of presenting Horka 1708 at the Joy of Six.  We have discussed the background to the battle before and I have attached a handout that contains some background on the idea of the battle, the rules we used (Twilight of the Sun King) as well as an list of the forces used on the day:

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Handout – word format – Handout – Horka 1708 v2

Handout – pdf format – Handout – Horka 1708 v2

It could be useful to read this one before pushing on.

Following a nice family Saturday in the Derbyshire Dales, visiting the impressive Crich Memorial for the Sherwood Foresters Regiment and the nearby Tramway village, we went to Sheffield and attended the famous BBKBCE – Baccus Balti King Beer and Curry Evening.  This is a chance to meet some old a new friends on the eve of the many battles being fought at the Joy of Six.

The Doors at the Joy of Six opened at 10am, but by this time I had been trying to set up the table since 8.30am.  It took me a few minutes more – I always mess up some of the regiments in terms of placement and being pedantic with regards to these things knock-on effects on the schedule are inevitable.  The mat worked reasonably well, but I had some issues with the sides and I may want to use some duct tape when I roll it out again.  I am still in two minds on how I will do the Poltava battlefield next year as it has some interesting elevation – perhaps reverting back to boards or a mix of elevation pieces and a mat – I have a few more months to worry about that.

Having put it all on and taking a step back I have to admit that I said a little “wow”, and reflected on the fact that this is why I do this.  Not to stare at an individual miniature being nicely painted (because that is not really my forte, but I do like nicely painted larger scale stuff), but to stare at something that resembles a battle when you take a step back – a battle from one of those many pictures the old man used to show me when I was a little boy and an aspiring General.

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The Battle of Poltava, 1726, by Denis Martens the Younger.  One of those paintings that really inspired me. It is the grandeur and the drama, Peter the Great in the middle front with his entourage fighting their way forward, the Russian camp on the left and the first Russian Line of infantry and battalion guns giving fire towards the oncoming Swedish force, the smoke, the intensity – just brilliant!

 

Admittedly not your average evening game weighing in at 12 by 5 feet, more than 3,700 miniatures on more than 270 bases – but at Joy of Six – why not! Here is Horka 1708.  I dedicate this game to my Dad, who I hope is feasting in Valhalla!

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The squares (65mm) are “Command Cards” – 5 for the Swedes and 10 for the Russians.  I printed these on sticky labels and put them on MDF bases. It adds a little bit of flair to the game – I think – and also indicates the rating of the Commander. From Poor (+0) to Exceptional (+3).

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Here is the file I used for these – Command Cards – Horka 1708  (and in Powerpoint – battle of Horka commanders ).

The actual battle worked out great for the Swedes.  The Russian left cavalry flank collapsed under the pressure of Major-General Creutz relentless cavalry attack on the other side of the river, combined with the strong push of the centre.  The Tsar himself died heroically in the Battle.  Surprising Field Marshall Rehnskiöld with the finest of the cavalry regiments was struggling on the Russian right.  It was a decisive Swedish victory.  In a re-fight setting we would probably consider making the Russian position stronger with defences and perhaps treat the waterway as more treacherous.  So the next refight may be more desperate for the Swedes than this first go indicated.

However, for now, the Swedes won at Horka in 1708.

I will do a general update about the show itself later this week – but I actually did not have time to do very much. It is how it works out when you have table to attend to.  There are however some things I need to mention, a few shout outs to people, the seminar I attended and a few of the tables that caught my eye (and I actually took some photos but only a few)  but that is for another time.

/ Hope that was of some interest, a few more pictures of the battle.

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Many thanks for passing-by, next year we are doing Poltava 1709.32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handout for Joy of Six 2018

Trying to get organised for the Joy of Six show…

Count Basie! (I hope it is all there).

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Packing some books

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Dice, measuring stick and markers

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Making the table stand poster…

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Getting some questions on what we are doing etc so here is write-up for the handout we will be giving out on the day (some of it has been used in previous blog updates), it is to give the passer-by some information on what they are looking at.

 

The Battle of Horka 1708 – a what-if battle

POSTSCRIPT – I have provided an updated version of this in a later blogpost (see link here) – there is a downloadable word and pdf document that covers this and also show the forces and the commands we used on the day – I suggest you go to the other blog post and stop reading this).

The Great Northern War started in 1700 when a coalition formed by Peter the Great of Russia, Frederick IV of Denmak-Norway and Augustus II the Strong of Saxony-Poland attacked Sweden. The coalition were formed following the death of the Swedish King Charles XI and based on the belief that the new and very young King would not be able to put up an organised fight.  Following Swedish successful expansion during the 17th century a lot of these neighbours wanted lost territories back, limit Swedish economic dominance and gain access to the Baltic Sea.

However the King turned out to be a skilled warrior and leader of men and the preparedness, quality and efficiency of battle methods of the Swedish army built up by his father was second to none during this era. The King quickly pacified Denmark and a Peace Treaty was signed in 1700 at Travendal. The Russians were defeated at the Battle of Narva in 1700 but then the King turned his attention to Saxony-Poland and Augustus.  However due to a number of factors it took the King another 6 years to defeat the Saxon-Polish and force the abdication of Augustus the Strong from the Polish crown (1706 Treaty of Altranstädt).

But the King still had unfinished business with the Russians and the time had come to march towards Moscow ….

In the beginning of July 1708, shortly after his victory against the Russians Holowczyn, the King had reached the Dnieper river with the Crown Army at Mogilev (in todays eastern Belarus).    It was, he believed, the last major physical obstacle on the road towards Moscow.  The Russians had not made the advance easy as they had applied an scorched earth policy (the same policy that both Napoleon and Hitler would come to know later in history) destroying or removing supplies, burning bridges, withdrawing from villages, harassment of the moving army by irregular Cossack and Kalmuck light horse and dragoons, in combination with the constant rain (it had rained for about 4 weeks almost every day) that destroyed the crops and the hay and also affected the roads that further slowed down the March.  The Russians would not give the King the decisive battle he needed.  An army does indeed not only march on roads in knee deep mud but also on its stomach and there were still another 300 miles to Moscow – but as we know hope was on the way in the form of the column of supply and soldiers being brought by General Lewenhaupt.

“So once the Swedes had secured the area around Mogilev they stopped to wait for Lewenhaupt and his vital supplies to arrive. … Meanwhile the Russian army had also halted and encamped, as the next obvious destination of the Swedes was the city of Smolensk, the Russians occupied a strong position on the road from Mogilev to this city.  The camp was at Horka, sometime called Gorki, a short distance east along the road to Smolensk. … The Swedes considered attacking the position but in the end did not. Had they done so it seem likely that the Russians would have stood and fought.”

from The Dawn of the Tsarist Empire, by Nick Dorrell

We know the King would have liked to get on with it.

“Charles XII wanted to march on and put further pressure on the Russians after their disappointing defeat at Holowczyn – the sooner the better – before they had a chance to recover.”

Translated from Katastrofen vid Poltava (The Catastrophe at Poltava) by Peter From

So in our scenario the King gave the order to break up the camp and “Gå-På” towards the Russian position at Horka and the Russians did not slip away.  It is large battle for the period and roughly represent a force of 32,000 Swedes vs. 55,000 Russians.

The battle is fought on a 12′ by 5′ table using Baccus Miniatures from the Great Northern War and the Spanish Succession Range.

The Russian Army consist of 787 cavalry miniatures and 1536 No. infantry figures (excluding artillery and command bases) on 155 bases.

The Swedish Army is about two thirds of the size of the Russian Army and consist of 636 cavalry and 672 infantry.

Typically a base on infantry represent a battalion of about 400 to 600 men armed with musket and pike, typically represented by 24 miniatures.  They are grouped in either normal units of 2 bases or large units of 3 bases.  A base of cavalry represents two or three squadrons of about 200 to 300 men, as for the cavalry they can be organised as normal or large units.  There are normally between 7 and 9 cavalry models on each base with.

We are using the Twilight of the Sun King Rules to run the game, The rules are, to quote 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.”

We are the Wyre Foresters and the Game is Umpired by Nick Dorrell who has edited the latest version of the Twilight of the Sun King Rules and Per Brodén who has painted the miniatures and made the terrain.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS AND/OR WANT TO ROLL SOME DICE PLEASE APPROACH US – THAT IS WHY WE ARE HERE AT THE SHOW.

We will be back next year putting on the Battle of Poltava 1709.

For further information:

Wyre Forest Wargames club: wfgamers.org.uk

Per Brodén’s Wargaming blog: Rollaone.com or twitter @roll_a_one

Twilight of the Sun King rules: http://www.wfgamers.org.uk/resources/C18/Twilight/ToSK.htm

 

 

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

It has been some busy weeks since the last update on this mat business.  Had time to go to a 50th birthday party, visit the Tower with the kids, Father’s day celebration, some relaxation by the river and starting a new Job.  However I have done some progress on the 12 by 5 feet battlement, or the hairshirt as I call it,  that I will march my soldiers on at the Joy of Six on the 15th July.

I managed to do the dry brushing for most of the mat, I use the normal three colours on top of the chocolate brown I have used for the last 10 years or so.  It may not be the best combination but serves to tone down the cholate brown and the final light yellow is very effective.  All my stuff, terrain, model bases, etc. fits together, it is done with the same colour and even the static grass (I use the two tones of green that Kalistra sells).

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Colour I use to drybrush with and the order they are applied.

Here is my best advice for doing the dry brushing of the mat, use a small brush (not a paint brush) and take your time, change direction, small brush strokes.  Dry brush to scale!

 

 

I prefer a little bit of patchy application of the grass areas as I want parts of the base mat to be seen, you may like it differently.  This is a messy process as it is difficult to turn around the mat to shake the excess of with this big mat without causing major mayhem – with static fibres flying everywhere.  When I did my 2 by 2 boards I used to shake them in a large plastic bag.  Now I use a bagless vacuum cleaner (make sure it is empty before you start) but it is not a perfect process.  I also detailed up the river and used some high gloss varnish on top.  This is how it ended up (note the darker grass areas are to be filled with trees on the day) and I am very happy – apart from the real estate, bridges and trees it is all in the mat.

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The Original Concept Sketch

 

 

So apart from making some bridges (5 No.) I think we are ready to go and I can fit the roll in the car….

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the trees are ready….

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and so are the men…

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Joy of Six 2018 we are ready for you,  I hope to see you there (link here).

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Traders

  • Baccus
  • Wargames Emporium
  • Commission Models
  • Brigade Models
  • Leven
  • GM Boardgames
  • Heroics and Ros
  • Rapier
  • Christopher Morris (Books)
  • GS Miniature Workshop

And as for the games…

  • GM Boardgames
Battle of Seven Pines
  • Wakefield and District Wargamers
Ultra fast Sci-Fi
  • SAD Wargames
Operation Excess
  • Cold War Commanders
  • COGS
DBA
  • COGS
To the Strongest
  • Gripping Beast
Swordpoint 6mm
  • Naval Wargames Society
Zeebrugge Raid 1918
  • Per Broden and Wyre Foresters
Horka 1708
  • Commission Figures
Napoleonic
  • Mailed Fist
Normandy 44
  • Yorkshire Renegades
Megara
  • Ian and Mark Henderson
Hastings
  • MAD gamers
Future War Commander
  • Baccus 6
Manchester 1642
  • Milton Keynes
DBMM Ancients
  • Harry Ryder
Battle of Issus
  • Grantham Strategy and Gaming club
Battle of Britain
  • Ian Willey and Lee Sharpe
Magnesia
  • Robert Dunlop
Matz 1918
  • Sheffield Wargames Soc & WD
Cliches of the Great Patriotic War
  • James Mitchell
ECW – Halfway Down

 

Also some seminar and Dr. Mike’s painting clinic, more stuff here http://www.thejoyof6.co.uk/

/ All the best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

First a big thank you to all of you who either come by here by chance, occasionally, have registered as followers of the blog, likes the Roll a One page on facebook and/or follow the Per at RollaOne account on twitter (@Roll_a_one).  Please feel free to get in touch here, on Facebook or Twitter if you have any questions or comments on this or anything else.  Just doing this for fun, thanks for making it more so. Now without further ado…

It has become a tradition in doing a battle board for Joy of Six as a start of the Summer in our house. For the last few years I have made 8 by 4 feet tables for my GNW stuff, but this year I came to the conclusion that I needed a 12 by 5 feet beast (more on the battlefield and how it was derived can be found in a previous blog post, click here).

mapping-out-2
Some of the stages in deriving the map for Horka 1708

For the first generation of boards (Fraustadt 1706, Klissow 1702, Gadebush1712 and Kalisz 1706) I used 8 No. 2 by 2 feet mdf boards with underfloor heating boards (blue styromfoam) on top that could be shaped to rivers and hills, etc. This created more sturdy individual blocks but it takes a lot of space, especially when you start getting a fair few of them. There is also a question of warping and its impact on the gap between the boards, unless you make very sturdy ones.

 

In the process of needing to make two smaller tables (4 by 3 feet) for running Saga in 6mm at Joy of Six in 2016 I tried out a method I had seen on the net.  This used a canvas sheet covered in a mix of paint, acrylic sealant and sand (see my notes from then here). This worked really well and creates a mat with some nice texture on top that can be dry brushed and decorated very much in the same way as I would do with the boards (and you can also incorporate roads and rivers directly into the mat).

This is the mat I did last year and apart from the houses, trees, bridges, some small elevation markers and miniatures, all the features are in the 8 by 4 mat and it makes set-up very quick (here are some notes on that process here , here, here and here) – no gaps!

lesnaya1708
The Mat at Joy of Six 2017 – The Battle of Lesnaya 1708.  It is very difficult to roll up the mat with all the trees so I did not glue them in place.  The bridges are also loose, but flat and placed on top of the river crossings.

I decided to have another go with the mat approach this year and got myself some backed dust sheet from Screwfix here in the UK (I did get some before but it was not backed, so I kept this for some other day). The reason I use the backed version is that the backing (a layer of plastic/poly) stops the paste going through the sheet when it is applied and I also think it strengthens the actual mat, compared to using a non-backed dust sheet.

dust
No nonsense sheet, I cut out the desired dimension 12 by 5 feet and will use the other part some other time.

The “innvoation” for this year was that I had some paper backed grass sheets lying around that I cut out some fields from and glued straight onto the mat (I used gripfill for this purpose, still not sure they will stay on!) – the colours are very sharp so far but I think it may work better once the shit (sorry, I meant chocolate brown) colour is dampened by my normal 3 colour dry brushing and the static grass is being added.  Here are a selection of photos from the work so far.

The issues I have found (so far) in making and using this kind of mat are:

  • It is physically harder work to make one than you think – it gives a good workout! My Doctor told me that I need to gain more height so I think this is a good exercise for that purpose – there is a lot of stretching involved!
  • It is very difficult to manage a 12 by 5 sheet when you make it. I do not have a big enough space to put the whole sheet down on a flat surface. So I tend to work on it in sections and then roll it up again, meaning that you have to wait for it to dry which means that works have to be done in short burst and then wait for 12 to 24 hours. If you have a flat surface for the full size of the mat then this is not a problem at all (however if the surface is not totally flat this can effect the shape of the acrylic you apply and also the effect of the dry brushing as any edges will show through very well by the technique – something you may not want. I did mine in the lounge but this is honestly not the ideal place if you are not on your own. It is not just the space you occupy but other impacts to consider.  I try to use low odour stuff but this does not mean no odour so ensure you have your windows open and create a draught. Health and safety for you and yours are more important than a bloody wargames mat – just be sensible.  Luckily, I have a more than understanding family when it comes to these kind of things.   They are more than happy to spend the weekend with breathing apparatus in their own rooms (that was a joke, sorry!).
  • The sheets seem to be 4 feet standard width.  The 12 by 12 sheet I bought from Screwfix was made of 3 no. 12 by 4 feet sheets, it means that there is a border to be dealt with for any greater widths than 4 feet.  I covered it with some gripfill before I got the mix on top. This mediocre mitigation is more than likely going to fail in the future but I am ignoring it for now.  In general it does crack in places but normally looks decent when it lies flat – be prepared to do some repairs the first few times you roll it out.
  • Although I did iron the sheet before I applied the paste (properly I thought, but being mindful not to melt the backing), very often some of the folds seem to reappear and this is less than ideal. I will try to hide this as part of the drybrushing stage by avoiding to make the fold stand out to much by being careful with the brush – you do not want to highlight the fold, it does not look very natural.
  • It does not allow you the same artistic freedom compared to a fixed board. Hedges are more difficult to incorporate into the design and rivers obviously can not be filled with resin (but if you apply some varnish it at least gives some reflection to the surface that fools the eye, at least from a distance.
  • It goes without saying that the mat is not very versatile with the features built-in (rivers, roads, etc.). This is not an issue for me, and it was the same when I did the boards, but worth considering with regards to how much specific stuff like roads and rivers you incorporate into the mat, especially as it is an investment in money and time to make one.
  • Looking back some of the features of those boards some are very difficult to beat using the mat. Maybe some boards next year!?

Obviously none of the points above were showstoppers for me this time, but I hope this discourages you unless you are prepared to get into to something heads on and improvise along the journey.  The rest of the family laugh at my swearing and screaming when I mess things up, so if nothing else it is some cheap entertainment – maybe that is why they tolerate me doing this in the first place?

[To be continued when appropriate level of progress achieved]

conntinue

/ Hope that was of some interest, keep toy soldiering on!

In other news I had the opportunity to see the fabulous Tiger Lillies (the forefathers of Brechtian Punk Cabaret!)  last week and it was absolutely brilliant! More on them here.  I stumbled upon them a few years ago as they had done an album called Mountains of Madness as a homage to H.P. Lovecraft.

tiger lillies
Tiger Lillies