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

 

 

 

Pushing forward towards Moscow and Nekropolis

Some progress on the Towards Moscow Trilogy Project with some Swedish Horse done for Horka 1708 and some further progress on the Mutant 1984 project.

Swedish Horse for the Horka 1708 Battle

As I have promised myself I finally did another push on the Towards Moscow project and finalised another batch of Swedish cavalry (30 bases). More background on this project here.  Most facts from the book “The Great Northern War 1700-1721 – Colours and Uniforms”, by Lars-Eric Höglund and Åke Sallnäs.  That concludes the Swedish cavalry needed for the Project (a total of 66) – next I will “attack” the Swedish Infantry.

Dückers Dragonregemente

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Dückers Dragonregemente, also known as the Preussiska (Prussian) dragonregemente. Colonel/Överste Karl Gustav Dücker. Raised in 1704, recruits from Bremen, Pomerania, Livland and Courland. 1000 men at the Battle of Horka. Captured at Poltava 1709  and not raised again. 

Gyllenstierna Dragonregemente

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Gyllenstiernas Dragoonregemente formed of six companies (750 man) in 1707 when the Gortz regiment was divided into two smaller regiments. Captured at Poltava and never raised again.

Stenbocks Dragonregemente

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Stenbocks Dragonregemente, enlisted regiment formed by Magnus Stenbock in 1704 through enlistments.  Colonel for the Horka Battle is N. Hielm.  Captured at Poltava and never raised again. 1000 men (initially 600 but increased in size in 1707).

Meierfelts Dragonregemente

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Meierfelts Dragonregemente, enlisted regiment since 1703. Colonel Meierfeldt, 1250 man since 1707, initially 600 men.  Captured at Poltava and never raised again.

Skånska Ståndsdragonregementet

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Skånska Ståndsdragonregementet was a temporary regiment that was raised from the households from the clergy, persons or rank and the well situated in Southern Sweden. The Colonel of the Regiment was the Prince of Würtemberg, and 1,250 man strong at the time of the Horka Battle. Captured after Poltava.  Raised again in 1712 and then broken up in 1721.

Taube Dragonregemente

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Taubes Dragonregemente (also known as the Schlesiska Dragonregementet). enlisted regiment with recruits from Bremen, Pomerania, Livland and Courland.  Established in 1704, captured at Poltava and was not raised again.  Originally 600 but 1000 man strong at the time of the Battle. Colonel G.A. Taube.

 

Upplands (Livregementet och Östgöta) Tremänningsregemente till Häst

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Temporary cavalry regiment raised in 1700 from regions in central Sweden. Colonel at the time C.G.Kruse and 834 man strong.  Captured at Poltava and reestablished in 1712.

Adelsfanan in Sweden and Finland

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This was a very old unit at the time of the Great Northern War and had its origins from the feudal times when the nobility needed to provides Knights in service of the crown. Adelsfanan can be translated as the Cavalry Corps of the Nobility and all officers were of Noble birth. The regiment was 600 man strong at the time and the Colonel was A. Ramsvärd.

 

Nekropolis Bunker Guard Unit and Scientists

I also managed to get some time to do some of the miniatures I need for the Mutant 1984 project (see here).  This time some soldiers for the bunker.  Basic models are Warlord American Infantry Plastics (see here – although I got a very good deal from eBay).  These models require some assembly that is great for this project as I wanted to do some headswaps and specials – I used Tamya Extra thin cement for this (apart from the metal bits with a glued with gel superglue) and it works very well (here is a review about it).

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This product made me drop the hate in my previous love hate relationship to the hard plastic miniature stuff.

 

It also fills my bit box with some cool stuff that can be used for other things (bazookas, backpacks, smgs, pistols, rifles, etc).

The only direct description we have from the original scenario book are that the uniforms were green and the trousers have red stripes.  Did these in a sitting – wargames standard I suppose and happy overall.  I think I will make the Bunker floor grey concrete but not sure yet – so maybe I will change the base colour later.  (Note to self: Uniform bronze green with german field grey).

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Oberstløjtnant Hintz and  Major Rantzau (I used two of the Scientist heads from Crooked dice – see here).

 

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Another Scientist head was used for Sekondløjtnant Tamyia Sand, and for the Baboon soldiers head I do not remember were I got it from.

 

 

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I glued some extra legs on a guy and added a rams head to another (again some old miniature I had lying around got brutalised) – this is Chefsergent Niels Laudrups team.

 

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Some more soldiers, I think my favourite is the guy with four arms and two rifles.

I also painted the 4 scientists, these are from Crooked dice and are fantastic models.

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You can find the first 3 models here and the other one here.

I also update the write-up page (here) with this one as well for the soldiers in the border cabin (after snow basing them).

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/ That was all, until next take care.

 

 

Swedish Cavalry, Gaslands and Seasonal Greetings from him

I have to admit to being less than productive recently due to work and other real stuff, but hey ho (ho ho ho.. it is soon Christmas!).  A short blog entry this time.

Stuff for Horka 1708

I did do a few bases for the next TMT installment the Battle of Horka 1708 (more here), here is some Swedish Cavalry:

Kunglig Majestäts Livdragonregementet (His Royal Highness Lifedragoon regiment) – this enlisted regiment was set up by General Carl Gustaf Rehnskiöld in 1700.  It was a prestigous regiment and it had fought at many of the big battles of the Great Northern War.

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Södra Skånska Kavalleriregementet (South Scanian Cavalry regiment) – this provincial regiment fought during the Scanian War at the Battle of Lund 1676 and Landskrona 1677 (it was then called the Blekinge regiment at Horse).  After the Scanian War it was stationed as one of the provincial cavalry regiment of Scania (Skåne, this is the most southern Swedish Province that has been fought over  by  Swedes and Danes for eternity!) and got the name it was known for during the Great Northern War.

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Nylands- och Tavastehus läns kavalleriregemente (Nylands and Tavastehus County Cavalry Regiment) – this Finnish Provincial regiment had origins from the early  17th century.  I already had some but then realised they were on wintery bases, for Fraustadt, so I had to make a few more.

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Gaslands Death race Track

I also finished my Gaslands Board and if failure is the best teacher I now know a few more things about resin – But it is all hard now!  I wanted to create an effect of toxic and radioactively radiant water and I think it looks pretty decent with some after pouring messing with paints etc – I also put a few vehicles into the resin giving the overall feel that if you end up in the toxic/radioactive it does not end well.

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I have also ordered some smaller sized movement templates for Gaslands – but they are yet to arrive. It will probably be on the other side of Christmas before I have a go at racing the track, but I will let you know how it goes.  More about this here.

I will do a little end of year review next week after I have met family and friends for some fun over the festive seasons.  This will be a summary of the last fifty or so blog entries and my reflections on my plans and what I actually ended up doing and perhaps a reflection or two.

/Until then Seasonal Rolls of Ones from him!

 

 

100 years of Finnish Independence, Chain of Command Glory, Gaslands and Stressing about Poltava 1709

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Finnish Declaration of Independence from the Russian republic.  Incidentally it is also my Sisters birthday, but she is no 100 yet! So double joy.  Finland had (since 1809) been part of the Russian Empire and ruled by the Russian Emperor as Grand Duke.  Before this Finland had in essence been part of the Swedish Kingdom since the 13th century.  The independence and resolve of the Finns have been tested on many occasions, most significantly during the civil war in 1918, Finnish Winter war in 1939-40 and during the Sovietic offensive in 1944.  In addition the cold war era was also to become a balancing act in trying to move forward next to the Soviet State. On the whole, this young nation has done an amazing journey as a nation from a very unstable start in 1917, when the deck of random event cards was firmly shuffled, to the current position of strength and stability.

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We have put two candles in our window this morning.  This was traditionally done to show support to the young Finnish nationalists who travelled through the countryside on their way to Germany (during the Great War) to get military training to aid their fight for Finnish independence.  The candles also meant that the house was ready to offer shelter and keep them hidden from the Russian Authorities.

Germany, who was at war with Russia, supported the Finnish independence movement as this would weaken Tsarist Russia.  The support was in the establishment of the Royal Prussian 27th Jäger Battalion that consisted of Finnish volunteers.  The Anti-Russian sentiment had grown strong following repressive Russification of Finland that up to this date had a certain level of autonomous rule.  This had escalated since 1899 and as a consequence many Finns hoped the Russians would loose the war against the Germans.

There is a very interesting article here about the Jägers; covering (i) the time leading up to independence and the actions during World War 1, (ii) their role during the Finnish Civil war that broke out in 1918, and (iii) their influence on the build up of the Finnish army that fought so bravely during the Finnish Winter War in 1939-40 (more here and a further related article here  and here).  There is a lot of wargaming potential here – but then I have not yet done much with the Winter war Finns and Russians for Chain of Command I completed last year (see more here and here).

However, when Tsarist Russia fell to the Bolsheviks in 1917 the Finns seized the moment – more or less (read all about it here).  The rest is history – 100 years ago today! Being one part Swedish and the other Finnish, this is an important day for the family.  We will be eating some Karelian Pasty and some Stew and perhaps a shot of Vodka or two (but maybe not the Mango version!).

 

Also, but a day late, but with reference to the Chain of Command mentioned above, an official “well done” to the Too Fat Lardies on winning the best game category as voted by the readers of Wargames Illustrated.  You can find out more about Too Fat Lardies and the Chain of Command rules here.  Whilst you are there check out their Podcasts, oddly called, Oddcasts! – enjoy the lard!

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Gaslands moving forward

I have been working on my Gaslands Track I showed last week but did not like it and decided to do a new one – I will pour Resin this weekend. This is how things look so far. We have had the Gaslands Track inspector over and he has given us the Green Glow on the progress so far.

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Poltava Anxiety

As you may be aware, I am going to do Poltava at Joy of Six in 2019 as part of the Towards Moscow Project.  This is the long term project I am doing with Nick Dorrell and the Wyre Forresters (we did Lesnaya 1708 this year, see here, and are currently working away on the what-if Horka 1708 battle for 2018, link here and here) and I occasionally reflect (or perhaps Stress) on how I want to present it. The Poltava Battle is after all one of the most decisive battles of Swedish history and, I am sorry to say, without doubt a total disaster from a Swedish perspective.  I have to admit that I found some of the past Battles that resulted in glorious Swedish victories like Fraustadt, Klissow and Gadebusch easier to present and prepare for than the battles at Kalisz or Lesnaya where the Swedes were defeated. The disaster at Poltava is in a separate league of its own.

One way of doing it is to show the full story including some additional elements on the table than normally are presented.  The tables I have seen to date are showing the main action outside the Russian Camp; sometimes the redoubts are included and this is frankly all you need for the Battle.  One example of this is the recent Poltava Battle, laid out by Jon and Diane Sutherland, at Crisis (in 28mm). This battle looked absolutely fantastic and as far as I could tell covered the main action and the redoubts.  To me it looked as grand as one of Simon Miller’s To the Strongest Offerings (see link here if you do not know what I mean) – a real battle of the era and I wish I had seen it on the day.

However when we do it, and because we are doing it in 6mm,  I will not let practicalities be in the way of creating a different kind of spectacle and will extend the narrative to include further elements that are important to the background of the Battle.  So, in short I found myself compulsed to do a little plan/sketch over the battlefield and the various elements I wanted to include in addition to the mandatory Russian camp and redoubts.

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Poltava Battlefield Highlights

 

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Battle of Poltava by Denis Martens (1726) . The Russian Camp is on the left.
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Drawing of the Redoubts (more information and pictures here)

Here we go.

1. The Swedish Camp – I want to take all the Wagons that I did for Lesnaya (link here and here) for a spin.  The camp will be made from things from the Baccus Equipment Range (link here, EQU04 – Tents and EQU05 – Camp Site).  Here is a link to Tiny Troop’s gallery showing some great and very inspirational GNW stuff and what can be achieved with these models as a base.

2. The Fortified Town of Poltava – at the time of the Poltava Battle the fortress was surrounded by ravines, had wooden palisades and a number of bastions. It had five gates and each of these was protected by a special tower.  I found mainly stock photos, but if you google Cossack Forts you will get the picture – I will do this using very thin spaghetti (see here for how I have used this excellent material in the past).  As for some buildings I really like the Total Battle Miniatures range that contains a large number of town type buildings that will work well (link to the range here). Most other ranges contain farm/village type of eastern houses – but for the Poltava battle I want to have the rural look outside the walls and some more “town” character within the walls.

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Siege of Poltava – not sure the colourist had been in the region? Actually not sure how accurate anything is in this picture – to be honest.
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Wooden Tower
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Map of the Poltava Fortress

3. The Swedish siege lines, with trenches, engineers and artillerists, gabions, siege guns, etc.  The Swedish King (Charles XII) had laid Siege to the fortress in an attempt to provoke the Russians to a battle.  Again, I will be using stuff from the Baccus Equipment ranges (see link above, EQU13 – Sappers/Pioneers, EQU06 – Military Site) and some Siege Guns and mortars (link here, WSS16 – WSS Siege Guns and WSS17 – WSS Mortars).

4. The Cossacks – the surrounding area is full of Cossacks and Kalmuks and I have a 2 meter frontage worth of these to put up in various places of the Battle (I used these in a similar role for the Kalisz Battle, we last tabled at Salute in 2016, see more here and here).

And finally

5. The Holy Cross Exaltation Monastery that still exists and have been there since 1650.  It sits on top of a wooden hill and it would be shame if this was not part of the table. On the eve of battle it was used as headquarter by the Swedes and the infantry was deployed around it.

I have seen pictures of the Monastery on the net and it typically looks like this.

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So in doing this in 6mm with a ground scale with a battalion frontage of about 60mm, some simplification is required, my first thought was to do the centre church and the taller clock tower closer to each other, and that would be it.

I even found two good contenders for the role of the centre church, both beautiful models.

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Magister Militium – link here and a very nice model.
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Total Battle Miniatures – link below.

 

However doing some further research I learned that the Monastery had been burnt down in 1695 (having been a classical wooden construction) and was being re-built in stone and a the two buildings we can see on this classic picture did actually not exist at the time of the battle.

  • The left hand clock tower was completed in 1776.
  • The Cathedral in the middle was completed in 1756.

Leaving us with the following skyline.

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So there goes the main features I have had in my mind all these years. As to how it may have looked I have no clue.  You can read more about the Monastery (and a lot more on the battle) on this webpage dedicated to the Poltava battle.

So, instead I thought I will represent the monastery with a Eastern type of Church of some kind. There are a number of options in doing this, so what follows is a little bit of a showcase of some of the ones to consider (this is based on browsing pages in the beginning of December 2017).

Total Battle Miniatures

I have a few Total Battle miniatures from their Pike & Shotte and Black Powder Europe  ranges and they have been used to represent Klissow, Kalisz and some other places in the past.  With regards to Eastern Churches there are a few options – with two smaller wooden churches and the massive Orthodox church presented above (link here).

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Leven Miniatures

Leven have some options too.  I have a fair few of their dark ages range that I use for Saga battles (see more here).  They have some fantastic stuff and the range is constantly growing, check out their Vauban fort whilst you are there.

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Timecast

I have a few a number of Timecast’s models including the Small Wooden church.  You can also buy a similar small wooden church from Baccus, with a plinth base (More here and here).

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Irregular Miniatures

Irregular offers a Russian Village that includes a Church in their 6mm scenic and assessor range (link here).  The full set will set you back £20.

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Hovel

Hovel does a Greek Orthodox Church with Onion dome  (link here).

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Battlescale Wargames Buildings

I also found this one that I think looks really good from a company I had not heard of before. Link here.

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What next

I felt I needed a nice Eastern type of Monastery so although it represents overkill for the time of the Poltava Battle, I went for the more flashy look, and got the following set from Total Battle Miniatures (it includes the monastery and the large grand building on a tile):

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On further inspection I also “fell” for the Timecast large Orthodox Church – this will be my church in the fortress itself, so I got myself one.

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I also got the Russian Village church from Leven and the Russian Church from Battlescale Wargame buildings, and maybe one or two other items (like some cottages, mills, Zulu huts!, etc.) as I always feel it is a shame only ordering one thing considering postage.  Now, that will deal with my spiritual needs for Poltava (and all of it actually all useful for the Horka battle too) and a few more pieces of resin to toss on that famous pile.

/ Order restored

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am the out-of-controller! – Reflections, a Kickstarter, and the start of another project and some progress on an old one

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I got carried away again, in summary this time:

  • A few ideas on some wargaming projects – Samurai, Black and White, Seasons, and I conclude that I am a sucker for 1980s nostalgia and fell for yet another diversion.
  • An interesting Kickstarter if you need some forest for your wargames table
  • Some progress on the Towards Moscow Project – Russian Infantry and Dragoons

Great Eastern War?

For twenty years, Peter had been playing with soldiers; first toys, then boys, then grown men. His games had grown from drills involving a few hundred idle stable boys and falconers to 30,000 men involved in the assault and defense of the river fort of Pressburg. Now, seeking the excitement of real combat, he looked for a fortress to besiege, and Azov, isolated at the bottom of the Ukrainian steppe, suited admirably.”

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From the book Peter the Great: His Life and World by Robert K. Massie

Like most of us, I suppose, I end up on small virtual journeys when I am on the net with no special destination in mind. This weekend somehow I ended up on this blog posting I really enjoyed (see here) – it is about the death of Charles XII.   In the post was a picture from a Japanese 1905 print of Peter the Great and King Charles XII dressed more like Samurai warlords than 18th century Monarchs – I really liked it and it made me think about a imagination Samurai like campaign with a series of great battles between the Green/Red against the Blue army, with nicely lacquered armour and flying banners.  I wonder if you go to Henry Hyde’s Dahlia and travel east you come across Chang Lee the keeper of the 12th Key of Swedsuma fighting his doomed campaign against the gigantic Gurēto Piri and his horde of undead Samurai raised after the devastating battle at Nariwa?  Baccus will sell you everything you need to make this spectacle in 6mm (here is their Samurai ranges) or perhaps making a Swedish or Russian inspired warband for Warlords Test of Honour (see here), if you are more into 28mm and skirmish.  But to date my excitement has not (yet!) lead to any lead being bought.

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Peter and Charles at Poltava!

World War 2 in Black and White

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”
Ted Grant

I have previously reflected on doing a WW2 table using black and white painted miniatures and terrain.  The talbe would look like all those clips we have seen on History Channel and the documentaries.  Not sure if it already has been done, but I think it would look really interesting if it was done correctly and with the right level of passion.  But on the other hand not sure how fun it would be to do, using a palette of fifty shades of grey, and also to experience when the final novelty has worn off.

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Some 15mm WW2 Norwegian ski troopers I made (..and regrettably got rid off) many years ago. Made from Peter Pig WW1 Austrians models (here) and headswapped Austrian heads (here) with Resistant Rooster (see here) and perhaps some other old stuff (I think the Sniper was a Peter Pig German WW2 Model).

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Sovietic infantry advancing through a Village (Miraculously no snow on the Roof!).  These are Battlefront Winter War 15mm Russians.

Quattro Stagioni – All year round battles and Forests

I know I am but summer to your heart, and not the full four seasons of the year.

Edna St Vincent Millay

Another idea that I thought about was a participation game with 4 No.  small battles going on at the same time. Each of the battles taking place at a different seasons.

Perhaps participants would be offered some Pizza and Vivaldis amazing Violin Concerti would play in the background.  I could do this with the Great Northern War Stuff I already have as I have a large number of wintery bases and could pimp some Summer ones to look like Autumn and Spring.

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My cringe moment, Summery bases on Wintery terrain! – Ouch! – but in fact these are actually mobile Astroturf mats that were developed in the early 18th century to avoid that the men froze their toes off and alos to instill a morale boost!  The mats were developed by a company called Pipe Box Battle Mats.  The picture was taken by the 4th Doctor at Fraustadt 1706.

On a related subject I would like to direct you to a kick-starter that is up and running (and has already achieved its the funding goal) that is being being run by a friend of mine, Les Hammond.  Les will be producing terrain pieces to represent forests that can be used for a number of scales including from 2 to 15mm. They work on the canopy principle as opposed to individual trees.  I think it is well worth a look and when you do it make sure you check the update from 1st November showing the new, and I believe improved, design for the foliage effect.  There are several different sets covering different type of trees and all the seasons.  Check it out here!

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Screenshot from the Kickstarter on the 2nd November 2017. More here.

We don’t need another Project – 1980s nostalgia hits again

Out of the ruins
Out from the wreckage
Can’t make the same mistake this time
We are the children
The last generation
We are the ones they left behind
And I wonder when we are ever gonna change it
Living under the fear till nothing else remains

We don’t need another hero
We don’t need to know the way home
All we want is life beyond the Thunderdome  ….

“We don’t need another hero”, from the Movie Thunderdome, sung by the phenomenal Tina Turner.  Link to the Music video here.

It was more difficult to resist the next impulse that came in the form of some new vehicles and miniatures being released by Microworld for the their Micro wasteland range (link here) – these are 6mm vehicles and figures.  I really enjoyed the Mad Max movies and it got me thinking what could be done with these.  If you have followed this blog you know that I am a sucker for 1980s nostalgia, like the Terminator and Mutant 1984 stuff I did earlier (see here and here) and the out-of-control mode quickly kicked in,

I recalled some good times with Combat Cars and Car Wars many years ago.  There was a Swedish version/translation of the Combat Car rules that a good friend had and we used to play it many times.

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Swedish version of the Combat Car rules.

I found a set of on-line rules called Road Wolf (see link here).  What is interesting, and I have seen a similar game at Salute a  few years ago doing the same, is that in these rules the terrain is moving and not the cars (more than relative to each other).  After having tried it out with some of the Little Ones Hot Wheels  collection we decided to give this a go.  It simulates a frantic forward moving battle that I think is essential for these kind of games instead of some kind of Scalectrix-like track setup.  This means that the game board, especially in 6mm, is relatively small as it basically is representing a stretch of random highway.  Apart from motorbike, cars and trucks the game includes rules for obstacles appearing on the road like slippery part, wrecks, tunnels, etc.

So I ordered a bunch of vehicles and I suppose with that started another little diversion. Should not be too time consuming to get into pole position on this one.

I also got myself the “Mad Ron” set of cars from Irregular Miniatures (see here) and also got the set of normal cars.  One of the scenarios for the Road Wolf rules needs a train in the middle so I got an American Diesel train set from Irregular as well.  In addition I also needed some railway tracks that I got from Leven miniatures (see here).

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Some of the Mad Ron cars – Picture from Irregular’s Webpage (link above)

I have not mentioned the 6mm wargames page (see here) before but it has been a fantastic inspiration for me over the years.  Kieran who runs it has an amazing collection of 6mm goodies worth more than a look.  I checked out his guide on civilian vehicles (see more here), which led me to do a small order from Heroics & Ros.  I got some WW2 BMWs motorcycles with sidecars, a few (12 No.!) Bushmasters APCs variants,  a pair of Toyota Pick-ups, a pair of GMC Pick-up trucks, a pair of Foden Cargo Trucks, Honda Motorcycles, a WW2 Opel Blitz Bus, a Land Rover and WW2 Mercedes staff car. I intend to use the Bushmasters (see link here) as near future Police/Law enforcement vehicles and the others as car wrecks and civilian cars (but some of them may be pimped up to road warrior status).  That should be (more than) enough vehicles to make this into a proper project over the Christmas Period.  The Little one is ready to press the pedal to the lead!

So that is the vehicles sorted and on their way! (I hope they will mix reasonably well! – otherwise I will know next time around).

In anticipation I did a piece of road required using a 20cm by 40cm block of blue foam, a strip of N Gauge Asphalt road 4omm wide that I bought from eBay for a few pounds in a 1 metre length (you could also go to a pound shop, or a hardware store,  a buy some wet and dry  paper, that is similar to sand paper but comes in black.  You would then have to paint the markings and, unless you got a roll, you would not be able to do a sufficient continuous length without some patching up).

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Blue foam with the self adhesive road applied

After having put the road in the middle I painted the sides on the top with a mixture of brown paint and pva glue, and applied some different coloured sands, then added some different coloured static grasses and a few tufts. I then painted the sides brown. Looks like a road with some uncontrolled but relatively flat vegetation around it – Good enough to start with.

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Still waiting for some vehicles…

I will do another board, slightly wider with a railroad track in the middle and two road sections on the sides, but that is not a priority right now.

I also need the following terrain, these are items that are being generated by a card deck as part of the road’s turn to have a go (I go, you go, and then the road goes – however I may introduce some random activation element between the players):

  • Slide – this is a part of the road being broken/damage, overgrown, etc. It basically creates off-road conditions.
  • Slick – road is slippery, most likely an oil spill.
  • Debris – smaller obstacles in the road, e.g. scattered rubbish,
  • Wreck – bigger obstacles in the road, e.g. burned out cars.
  • Bridge and Tunnel – these are safe places to go on the road, but instead problematic to go on the side (i.e. off-road), I plan to make these as wide as the road (20cm).
  • Supplies – this is like a level up item in a computer game, not sure how I treat this or if I exclude it.

If we get into this proper I may get the Warlands (here) or the Outrider rules (here), both can be downloaded from Wargames Vault.  You could also pick up some of the classic ones like Car Wars (here), Dark Future (link to living rule book here) or try to find Combat Cars (here) on eBay – to name a few.  I will stick to the Road Wolf rules as I really like the concept of the game. I will do an update once we have done some road vehicles and perhaps a scratch built gyrocopter (unless someone knows where to find one).

“I am the Nightrider. I’m a fuel injected suicide machine. I am the rocker, I am the roller, I am the out-of-controller! “

The Nightrider, from Mad Max 1979

Current Projects

Ok, I know I have other stuff to do than inventing new ones.  This week I made some progress on one of the ongoing projects and here are some completed Russians that I need for the Horka project (more on this project here and here).  All are from the Baccus Great Northern War range (here).

Infantry

 

12 Busch
Repnin’s Grenadiers
17 Buturski
Lefort’s Regiment
21 Lefort
Butyrski Regiment
26 Luzhski
Luzhski Regiment

 

Dragoons

 

72 Tobolski
Tobolski Regiment

 

 

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Yaroslavski Regiment

 

 

65 Belozerska
Belozerska Regiment

 

 

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Kazanska Regiment

 

 

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Rjazanska Regiment

 

 

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St. Peterburski Regiment

 

/Keep on toy soldiering!

 

 

 

 

 

Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) – The Battle of Horka 1708 Preparations and the Swedish Army List

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As you may be aware the next Great Northern War installment of the Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) is the Battle of Horka in 1708.  The battle did not happen but was inspired from reading Nick’s book on the Russian campaign and with the addition of some artistic, or should that be historic, freedom I think we have something good enough to work on and present at the next Joy of Six in 2018.  As always I will try to write a fair few installments here on the blog as things progresses (you can follow us here or like us on Facebook if you want to keep up with the developments or just come back every now and then).  Anyway let us do a little bit of an intro so we are all on the same page (as per normal I have included links to previous posting and some external sources that may be useful if you are interested).

The Battle of Horka

Having ousted the Danes out of the Great Northern War (see more here) by the invasion of Zealand and crushed the Russians with the decisive victory at Narva, the young Swedish Monarch, King Charles XII (Carolus Rex, Karl XII) had decided to turn his efforts to deal with the final member of the coalition that had challenged Sweden’s Baltic supremacy – Saxony / Poland.  It took him another 6 years before he had secured a treaty with Augustus the Strong.   However the King still had unfinished business with the Russians and the time had come to march towards Moscow …. (you can read more about the TMT project and some of the background here)

In the beginning of July 1708, shortly after his victory at Holowczyn (see more here), the  King had reached the Dnieper river with the Crown Army at Mogilev.    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.

“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 the 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.

I will detail more about the assumptions on the armies that will clash on the day of battle in later postings.   In the background I have been working away on the Russians and they are in various stages of completion.  I had Chris from the excellent Marching in Colour helping me with a large part of the Lesnaya Russians last year and I also sneaked in a few ones for this project in the Order –  so I had a good head start on these, but there are still a lot of work to do.

 

For the Swedes I had enough painted lead already from various project to cover about 45% of the bases needed – so there is a little bit more work to do on this front as well.  Took out the miniatures from the Storage and took a few pictures whilst doing the inventory.

Here is the current list of units required for the Swedish side, this is based on the 35,000 strong army as at Grodno in 1707.

Unit – Name of the Regiment/unit

Type – Infantry or Cavalry

Ref – Reference

Polemos Bases – 60 by 30mm base with 9 riders or 24 foot (60 by 60mm bases  with 7 for the light cavalry) – 2 of these are a normal unit in Twilight of the Sun King rules. 1 is a small unit and 3 a large unit.   The X/Y indicates how many I have already and how many I need to do.

Class – GH/GD – Galloping Horse/Dragoon (Swedes with Aggressive cavalry), GP – Swedish Infantry with Pike.

 

Unit Type Ref Polemos Bases

Have/Need

Class
Drabanterna Cavalry S01 1/0 GH
Life Horse Cavalry S02 6/0 GH
Life Dragoon Cavalry S03 2/4 GH
Adelsfanan Cavalry S04 0/2 GH
Smålands Kavalleriregemente Cavalry S05 4/0 GH
Nylands Kavalleriregemente Cavalry S06 2/2 GH
Östgota Kavalleriregemente Cavalry S07 4/0 GH
Norra Skanska Kavalleriregemente Cavalry S08 4/0 GH
Södra Skanska Kavalleriregemente Cavalry S09 0/4 GH
Hielm’s Dragoons Cavalry S10 0/4 GD
Meierfeldt Dragoons Cavalry S11 0/5 GD
Taube Dragoons Cavalry S12 0/4 GD
Duckers Dragoons Cavalry S13 0/4 GD
D Albedyhl Dragoons Cavalry S14 0/3 GD
Gyllenstierna Dragoons Cavalry S15 0/3 GD
Upplands 3 männingar Cavalry S16 3/0 GH
Skånska Ståndsdragoner Cavalry S17 0/5 GD
Vallacker Cavalry S18 3/3 LH
Livregementet Infantry S29 4/2 GP
Upplands Regemente Infantry S30 2/0 GP
Skaraborgs Regemente Infantry S31 0/2 GP
Södermanlands Regemente Infantry S32 0/2 GP
Kronobergs Regemente Infantry S33 0/2 GP
Jönköpings Regemente Infantry S34 0/2 GP
Dalregmentet Infantry S35 2/0 GP
Östgota Regemente Infantry S36 0/2 GP
Västmanlands Regemente Infantry S37 2/0 GP
Västerbottens Regemente Infantry S38 2/0 GP
Kalmars Regemente Infantry S39 2/0 GP
Närke-Värmlands Regemente Infantry S40 2/0 GP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) – The Joy of Six 2017

It seems like ages ago that we went to Sheffield for the Joy of Six 2017 and I have had my head down into work and some neglected duties like 1800mm terrain modelling (gardening) and real life painting (some feature walls instead of shield walls) with a limited amount of any useful hobby time.  However, there is always some progress on some front in the Roll a One world (but more on that next week).

This is my take on the fantastic spectacle that is the Joy of Six – it is very biased as I frankly spent most of the day around the two tables I had brought.  I had a few round trips but failed to take more than a few pictures of the other offerings – mainly because I ended up having a chat and then feeling bad that I had left the tables and rushed back.  However, this was a little bit of an unnecessary mitigation as the games were running pretty well without my interference. The Wyre Foresters running the Lesnaya Table and the Little One the Lechnaga bash.  So as far as a proper show report goes it is a limited one.  For a better overview check out the report on Baccus page (link here and here).

A tale of two tables

It was a nice and sunny day in Sheffield and we woke up early as we actually managed to get to bed relatively early.   The mat for the Lesnaya Battle was rolled out and it was so refreshing compared to the usual 2 by 2 feet boards I have been using in the past – that invariably have warped a little bit and/or the underlying tables being uneven leading to some interesting and unintended elevations.

I had some fears about the varnish and the rivers but it all seemed to work very well – I think I have convinced myself that I will do mats from now (more on this adventure here).

When we had put on all the trees, the houses, the wagons and the starting units I took a step back and I have to admit we were pleased. “It is GEFAG!”, the Little One said – Good Enough For A Game!

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View with Lesnaya at the far end.  There was a nice shine in the river and the simple bridges (made from thin Spaghetti) worked really well!  In the middle Freijbourgs rear-guard awaiting the onslaught of the Russian war machine.
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Side table for the Russians as they were coming onto the table during the Battle from the directions – Golitsyn’d Division with Tsar Peter, Menshikov’s Divison and Bauer’s Division. There were also few Swedish enforcements (on the top left hand corner).
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Bauer’s eventual entry point in the left corner.
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Shot showing the defensive lines of Wagons, Lesnaya and Stackelberg’s Infantry (Swedish) as well as some of the Cavalry.
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Another Angle
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With the Cavalry commanded by General Lewenhaupt himself.
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The density of the forest really worked

 

The Wyre Forrester, under the guidance of Nick Dorrell, got on with the job.  Most of the time was spent talking about the table, the war, the mat and the Twilight of the SunKing Rules that was used on the day (the basing I use is the Polemos “standard” but this works equally well for the TotSK rules – one base is a small unit, two bases a normal unit and three bases a large unit).

At the latter part of the day the game started moving in earnest but did not reach a climax before we packed up.

Here are a few pictures from the action.

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For the Lechnaga battle (see background here and here) we used one of the mats I did for the Saga stuff last year and the canopy forests (see more here on this terrain). The actual gaming area was the middle half of the 3 by 4 foot mat.

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We decided to run the game (using Dragon Rampant Rules) with a war band/force sheet for each player and did a bespoke measuring stick based (we used centimeters instead of inches) on the units in the war band. We also did cards that to use to agree the order in which a player had a go – this created another layer of friction to the game. All, of course, colour coordinated!  I have provided the files if you are interested in doing something similar.

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I bought some cheap 20cm rulers for 50 pence each and printed out the file (download files here in PDF and Powerpoint – Dragon Rampant Rulers and Dragon Rampant Rulers) on some sticker paper (normal paper and glue may do as well!) and put them on the rulers where appropriate.

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The turn order cards are here Turn order Cards and here turnorder cards.

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A then the file with the factions used on the day here Factions and here Factions  .

We had a few good games – the Little One was in charge.  Here are some pictures – a big thank you to the few who dared to sit down and roll a few dice with the kids. The future of the gaming community and industry salutes you! The Little One would like to give a special thanks to Oliver and Chris!

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Other tales

It was a very good day, but it always seems to end too quickly,  here are a few of the things that I managed to capture.

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Arguably the warmest smile for miles!, but this is how we most commonly see Dr Mike in action. His posts on the Baccus forum in the old days got me inspired enough to get on with painting my first set of 6mm units. Grey primer, black wash, block and Nut-brown ink and base it nicely and consistently.
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My first contact with Waterloo was through that famous Abba Song and my mother moving like a Dancing Queen in front of me.  Dan Hodgson’s (on the front left) Waterloo was equally brilliant and was an absolute treat.  Chris Grice, on the right who wrote the Polemos Napoleonic rules, looked like a true General pondering on his next move of the day.  Here is the blur from the Baccus page.   I am a fan of Dan!
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Mr Peter Berry himself doing the Raffle and the many thanks session!   Never in the field of human table top conflict have so many had so small toy soldiers to thank for so much!

 

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Cold War Commanders – Landjut 1989 (Always having a good time and game, link to their blog here).  As a Swede I love when the Danes get a little harmless kicking on the table top.

 

 

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Mailed Fist – Last Train to Berlin (always very nice games and detailed terrain).  I should have taken a picture of the town but got star struck and just stared!

 

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South London Warlords – Neustadt Crossing 1985 (Excellent!). More about it here.  Iain we should meet up for a game at some point!
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MADgamers – Eastern Front 1700 (Trevor, thanks for the little chat).  Always happy to see you Gents at Joy of Six!

 

 

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WW1 Grand Style (I think the sign had a slight error – I let you go and figure).  Very nice!

 

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Salford 1642 – Excellent and so many houses! Link to some more blur here.

There were more tables that deserved to be shown of, but my lack of focus resulted in a limited set of pictures.  However, again here is the link to the Baccus official report part 1 and Part 2.

Of particular interest to me was the Battle of Issus using Command and Colours (or is it Colors!) by the Wyre Forest gang.  This really got me inspired to do something similar for the Punic Wars (but I save this discussion to another time – when I have not clue what to write about!).  There is a picture of it on the Baccus link above.

Yet again a very good event indeed. Thanks to Baccus, Wargames Emporium and all the other people that makes it all happen.  I have to extend the thank you to my two Little Ones – one doing her second year in the Yellow Joy of Six Jersey, selling entrance and raffle tickets, and the other for running one of the games.  Also a big thanks to Nick and the other merry men from the Wyre Forest!

Finally and big thank you to all of you who came around and said hello and told me you were reading this blog and liked it.  I really appreciate it and all you others who seem to come by every now and then!

We will back next year!, did I say thank you?

/  Have a good week!

Postscript (15/10/17):  I have had a few queries on the sources of the trees I used for this project, I got these from various sources on eBay. Here are a few screenshots done on the date indicated above of what I used.  None of these are based  (apart form the Orbicular ones have a little of a root section) and I did it by using washers with a bit of Milliput and make a hole in, let it dry, glue on some sand and paint it up, flock it and stick in the tree with some glue.  Some boring hours of work but I do think it is well worth it. 

The fir trees were from Busch and I think I got 3 or 4 packs of these – shop around as I recall I got mine somewhat cheaper.

Capture

The other main tree was of this variety.

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I also got a few packs of the following:

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Another postscript a little bit later:

These are the blur for the two games we ran on that day.

One of the highlights of every Joy of Six is Per Broden’s annual exploration of his Swedish heritage as he stages wonderful games with a distinctly Scandinavian feel.  At the Joy of Six 2016 he went one further and produced two games.
He is repeating this feat this year, with two very different offerings in scope and subject matter.

Here is what you can expect to see this year in Per’s own words:

‘Lesnaya 1708

I, Nick Dorrell and the very decent chums of the Wyre forest Wargames club will be doing three battles (two that took place and one that could have been) from the Great Northern War covering the, from a Swedish perspective, ill-fated Russian campaign 1708 to 1709. Each of these battles will be presented at the Joy of Six show over the next three years.

The campaign is the invasion of Russia by Charles XII of Sweden starting with the crossing of the frozen Vistula river in early 1708 and ends with the Swedish defeat at the Battle of Poltava in the Summer of 1709.  It is the beginning of the end for Sweden as a dominant military power in north-eastern Europe.

The first battle is Lesnaya 1708 and is interesting as it is, in effect, an ambush by a Russian flying detachment, led by Tsar Peter himself, on a smaller Swedish army that is travelling through the forests of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.  The Swedish army is led by General Lewenhaupt who is escorting a supply column of more than 4,500 wagons to support the main Swedish Army.  From the perspective of doing the battle we need a lot of forest as well as about 40 or more bases to represent the supply column itself.

In writing this the miniatures (from the Baccus range) are about 95% complete with a few more Russian dragoons to go.  The main thing remaining is the gaming area itself and a large number of trees is being finalised (there will be about 500 trees on the table!).

Overall the forces consists of:

  • Russians, a few leaders and artillery as well as 10 bases (24 miniatures, on 60 by 30mm bases) of infantry and 57 bases of Dragoons (9 miniatures, on 60 by 30mm bases).

  • Swedes, a few leaders and artillery as well as 10 Polemos bases (24 miniatures, on 60 by 30mm bases) of infantry and 57 Polemos bases of Dragoons (9 miniatures, on 60 by 30mm bases)

We will using Nick Dorrell’s adaptation of the Twilight of the Sun King Rules published by the Pike and Shot society, to play the game.

The game, and it’s very uneven progress, is being reported on the roll a one blog (rollaone.com) – you can follow it there and see if we make it over the finishing line in July.’

So game number one, is another of Per’s GNW epics.   His second production couldn’t be more different both in scope and subject matter, although I do detect a little Swedish influence creeping in…

The Skirmish at Lechnagha in the Year of 708, since the birth of Suecia, during the Gigantic Northern War  700-721

A black arrow with red feathers suddenly hit one of the pack mules and it fell violently to the ground as its legs gave away to the heavy load it was carrying. This was shortly followed by hideous laughs and taunts from the surrounding forest – the same damn laughs he had heard so many times before. With the black and red arrow signature there was no doubt what was coming next.  Prior Lewen Hauptmann of the Knights of Suecia, threw his red cloak over his shoulder, raised his warhammer and turned to his men and screamed; “Get ready for the Greenskin’s attack! Push them back to their rotten holes! Give no pardon as it shall not be given to you! From earth they have come and to dust they will go!”.   He pulled down the visor of his helmet and gave a short prayer and looked around at his men – ironclad battle hardened Knights ready to fight to their last dying breath. “For the Glory of Suecia, give us your strength of battle!” he yelled out the blessing and his brothers responded concurrently; “We accept your strength”,  to complete the linkage to the divine plane. For a moment a reddish glow could be seen from their swords and spears as they were imbued with the spiritual power.

The Prior reflected for a moment on the stupidity of this wretched mission and how he had been forced into it by the Knight Marshal Carrophlus following his failure holding the Fort at Narvay.  He had chosen to spare his men from slaughter and made a deal with the treacherous Steward of Polesh, Arghaust the Strong who, he was the first to admit, surprisingly had let them go after opening the gates. The enemy had grown stronger under the combined leadership by Arghaust and the mighty Warboss Pethor the Brute, a tall Orc whose organisational skill, cunning and patience was remarkable for his kind. Pethor had manage to organise the Goblin and Orc rubble into a formidable fighting force. It had only been a matter of time before the Fort would fall and enough of his brothers had already been slain and reinforcements had not been forthcoming. The Fort was of limited strategic importance and he had chosen to live to fight another day.

As penance for this “disloyalty”, in addition to the demotion to Prior, he and his surviving men had been ordered to bring supplies to  the cut-off townspeople of Lechnagha. He had no retinue of servants, squires, men-at-arms or Sergeants as was the custom for these kind of soul purification missions. It had been a hellish journey through Goblin infested forests with constant harassment. He had lost half the men they started out with and only half of them still had their horses.  If their calculations were correct they were only a few miles away from the Town itself.  It had a small regular army garrison and since he had felt the presence of evil watching them for the last few days he had sent a rider for some enforcements. But now that seemed to have been in vain. He thought back on the situation at Narvay and how his death there would have qualified his name into the songs of the minstrels but instead he was facing death here in the middle of this despicable forest – for what?

He was quickly brought back to reality as yet another arrow hit another mule.  He looked around and could see Greenskins on both sides of the road riding their growling dire wolves closer.  They always got excited at the beginning of the fighting and intensified their laughter, reminiscent of that of a raving lunatic, that normally stroke fear into their opponents.  However, this was not what frightened him the most, it was the otherworldly scream he could hear from within the forest itself.

This is a participation game using the popular Dragon Rampant fantasy wargame rules by Dan Mersey (played to satisfaction not perfection). The main purpose is to have fun but also to showcase that 6mm can be used for games normally associated with the larger scales not just replacing individual miniatures with bases of many (like we did for Saga last year) but also scaling it down and still being able to enjoy a game.  With a 2′ by 2′ board (the size of a small coffee table) playing in centimetres instead of inches is in fact like playing on 4’6” by 4’6″ board.  We figure if you can have a few blokes taking a flag for a walk representing a regiment in some scales, why not do skirmish in 6mm?

We (the Little One and I) will run a few session over the day (with up to 4 participants each time) and welcome anyone to have a go.  1 to 2 players will control the Knights and 1 to 2 players will control the Greenskins.  It will serve as an introduction to the rules and we will limit each session to about 45-60 minutes (including a high level rule go-through). We happily mix fantasy miniatures from Baccus, Rapier, Irregular Miniatures, Perfect Six and Microworld on the table.

We have blogged about 6mm skirmish extensively on the roll a one blog (rollaone.com) – I will bring some of the other miniatures for other periods for you to have a look at should you wish.’

All the best!

The Joy (of Six) is over

We had a very nice weekend up in Sheffield with the Better One and the Little Ones going to the Joy of Six show – now back to work and a hectic week ahead. Will write about any potential thoughts in due course, over the weekend. In summary we had a great time and even had time to sneak into Conisbrough Castle just outside Doncaster.  I had wanted to go there for some time as it is the setting for the classical novel Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott.

Ivanhoe has a special place in modern Swedish tradition as the 1982 movie (with Anthony Andrews, Olivia Hussey, Lysette Anthony and Sam Neill) has been shown every New Years day since 1988.

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We did set up the tables and had a fantastic time – the mats worked well!

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/ A proper reflection this weekend, all the very best

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting Ready for Joy of Six – Spaghetti Bridges, Varnish and the War Bands done

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Next weekend Joy of Six and time for us to head up to Sheffield and run some games with Nick Dorrell and the other Chums from the Wyre Forest Wargames club – we are looking forward to it!

A write-up of the two games can be found on the Baccus homepage (see here), I suggest you go there and have a look at these and the other things that will be going on at the Joy of Six.

I have spent the last week finalising the units we will field for the fantasy game and also completing the battle mat (discussed last week, here).

I have varnished the river sections using Liquitex High Gloss Varnish, I hope it will not crack to badly when the mat is rolled up! As per the tradition I have to bring some terrain made out of spaghetti to Joy of Six! This time all the bridges on the Lesnaya table are partially edible! (Al Dente!, more on spaghetti terrain here, here and here!).

 

As for the Fantasy game we will be running a participation game using Dragon Rampant. The rules are fun and easy to learn and I think will work well in this setting.  As this was a last minute change I have done a lot of short burst brushwork the last two weeks and had some great fun with the Little One preparing it all.  I think we need a break after Joy of Six!

Here are a few shots of the units we have been working on (not all made it to the final war bands below).

 

However for the game on the day, we will allow a maximum of three players per side (Good vs Evil) using the following warbands (notation based on the dragon rampant rules):

The Good Guys

Knights of Suecia (24 points)

Leader: Prior Lewen Hauptmann (18/00 Strength leader trait, actually a blessing from Suecia, giving him re-rolls in battle).

“He pulled down the visor of his helmet and gave a short prayer and looked around at his men – ironclad battle hardened Knights ready to fight to their last dying breath. “For the Glory of Suecia, give us your strength of battle!” he yelled out the blessing and his brothers responded concurrently; “We accept your strength”,  to complete the linkage to the divine plane. For a moment a reddish glow could be seen from their swords and spears as they were imbued with the spiritual power. “

  • Leader unit – Elite Foot (6 points)
  • Second Unit of Knights on Foot – Elite Foot (6 Points)
  • 2 No. Units of Knights on Horse – Elite Horse (12 points)

 

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The Knights – all the models are from Perfect Six (here is a link! – great growing fantasy range!)

 

Elves of the Fine Lands (24 points)

Leader: Warmaster Líndal Coamenel (Strong leadertrait)

  • Leader Unit – Elite Horse (6 points)
  • Second unit of Elf Riders – Elite Horse (6 points)
  • 2 No. Elven Archers – Light Missile with Sharpshooter upgrade (12 points)

 

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The Elves – all models from Baccus (Really nice ones, link here!)

 

Suecian Light Detachment (Garrison of Lechnagha, 24 points)

Leader: Captain Capri (Boneshaker leader trait)

  • Leader Unit – Heavy Riders (Centaurs, 4 points)
  • Second unit of Centaur Warriors – Heavy Riders (4 points)
  • 2 No. Outriders (Centaur Bowmen) – Light Riders (8 points)
  • 2 No. Foot soldiers – Heavy Foot (8 points)

 

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The Men and Centaurs from Lechnagha – All models from Rapier Miniatures (Link here – Centaurs from the Greek Mythology Range and Footsoldiers from the Ancient range. Lovely models and the Rapier guys are really nice chaps overall!)

 

The Bad Guys

Pethor the Snotty’s (Son of Pethor the Brute) Gang (24 points)

Leader: Pethor the Snotty (Strong leadertrait).

  • Leader unit – Warchariot – Heavy Rider with Chariot upgrade (6 points)
  • Boar Riders – Heavy Riders (4 points)
  • 2 No. Wolf Riders (short range missiles, javelins) – Light Riders (6 points)
  • Wolf Rider archers – Light Riders (4 points)
  • Giant Boars – Lesser Warbeasts (4 points)

 

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Pethor’s Gang – A mixture of models with Goblin Wolfriders from Baccus (See link above) and Microworld (link here, fantastic range of fantasy stuff, I am getting some undead next!), Chariot from Baccus, Boar Riders from Perfect Six (see above) and Giant Boars from Irregular Miniatures (see link here – Ogres Mounted on Large Boars).

 

Baahuer Backstabber’s Gang (24 points)

Leader: Baahuer Backstabber (Sky Darkener leader trait).

  • Leader unit – Light Foot, with Wizardling Upgrade (5 points)
  • 2 No. Goblin Infantry – Light Foot (6 points)
  • Snotlings – Light Foot (3 points) – this are modelled with double models (i.e. 24 in total instead of 12 models).
  • Ogre Gunners – Heavy Missiles (weighty projectiles, simulating very bad accuracy with a short range, 3 points) – 3 ogre models but small snotlings on the  bases still allowing the 1-2-3 basing.
  • Troll stone hurlers – Heavy Missiles (weighty projectiles, stones, 3 points) – 3 troll models, with stones on the bases allowing the 1-2-3 basing to work.
  • Archers – Light missiles (4 points)

 

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The Backstabber’s Gang – Goblin infantry from Baccus, Snotlings from Microworld (actually Goblins), Ogre gunners from Irregular Miniatures, Stone Hurlers from Perfect Six and the Backstabber himself from Microworld.  I will try to remember to give the infantry some flags (the poles look a little bit empty!).

 

Stinghy’s Gang (24 points)

Leader: Stingy Stjartdell (Goader leader trait).

  • Leader Unit – Heavy Riders (Scorpion Men, with Venomous Upgrade, 7 points)
  • Scorpion Guards – Heavy Riders (Scorpion Men, with Venomous Upgrade, 7 points)
  • Ferocious Manticore – Lesser Warbeast (Flying, Venomous, Hatred of Elves, 10 points) – using Harpys to mark Strength.

 

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The Stingy Ones – All models from Rapier Miniatures. These are my favourite models – the Manticore and Harpys from the Greek Myth Range and the Scorpion Men from the Glorantha Range.

 

All the very best. come and say hello if you come to Sheffield next week. For those who do not, I will write some updates in the next few blogs!

Have a good week!

 

 

 

Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) – Part 8: Filling in the brown spots and Plan B

With two more weekends before the Joy of Six show, I felt under positive pressure this week to get the final bits completed, the key item being the mat.

The idea this year was not to use terrain boards, as I have done previously, but instead try to do a terrain mat that contains most of the terrain features (see some background here and here). I had this rolled up piece of plastic backed drop-sheet with the acrylic paste on top – all dry but a very heavy 8′ by 4′ mat.  Having been rolled up for about 2 week I did notice some cracking and a few strange folds, but nothing scary.  It was time to decorate.

Remember the objective (upside down compared to the previous postings).

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Marking it all out and getting stuck in there.

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Drybrushed and ready for some static grass and flock!

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After static grass, flock and river detailing (and a good vacuum clean!) – I am actually very pleased. Dark green areas will be covered with trees and I will make some small bridges to put over the river crossings, and some buildings for Lesnaya and finally some features to show the elevation on the left.

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Some details (note road space exaggerated – to allow a basewidth through!)

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I think it will be good enough for the day! It took some time but I think it was worth it.  It took two relatively long sessions to get it done.

Plan B

As you are aware we have two tables at Joy of Six this year (16th July in Sheffield, see more details here) – the Lesnaya Battle as show above but we were also going to do some French-Indian War using the Sharp Practice 2 (SP2) rules with the help of Neil Shuck, of Meeples and Miniatures (see, or actually listen, here!) fame; “Hello Neil!”.  Neil and I ran the Saga games last year and we had a blast.  However Neil is not able to make it this year so I decided to change the plans slightly and run something with the Little One.  We have too little time to get up to speed with SP2, to give it a fair go, so we decided to go with plan B.  As you are well aware we have grown very fond of the Dan Mersey rules and as there are no other fantasy games on offer at Joy of Six this year – we went and figured.

I will do a little presentation of that game next week but you can see some background in previous posts (here). In addition I decided to do a few more units and here are some work in progress shots (Ogres and Treemen from Irregular Miniatures, Elves from Baccus and Centaurs from Rapier Miniatures).

/ Take care and hope to see you at the Joy of Six(tenth July)