6mm Charity Fun – an overview of the Two Armies (first draft)

The following draft document contains some background to the two armies that forms part of the 6mm Chartity Project that is currently in full Swing (you can read more about this project here).

The Battles that will be eventually be fought will utilise the fine Twilight of the Sun King (ToSK) ruleset. The lists for the two armies (Denswe and Siarus) has been developed by Nick Dorrell who also wrote the latest set of the ToSKrules. The key design philosophy was to create two armies that had a similar composition on the table but being totally different in terms of play. The armies developed are in this sense at a high level reflective of the fragmented information we have about the actual battlefield tactics of the two armies.  Nick has done extensive research at the Military Academy of Burgothen studying the drill manuals of the period, the King of Denswe’s (Markus Backhus) diaries and the writings of Repet Rerby after the war. The collected writings of Field Marshal Exas who then served as a Cornett in the Barnov Kuirasserse regiment has been an invaluable source in assessing the battlefield performance and composition of the Siarus army.  The writings of the Siarus Commander Drevesina that to date has been the common account for these wars has to a large extent been disregarded in line with Professor Drallop’s damning conclusions in his book about him (I know some wargamers will miss the Burning Denswean Pigs, the Siarusian Battle Hounds and the magical skills of the Tsar).

The Denswe army has a number of powerful trained charging units, but also an element of more traditional units that are wavering (i.e. lacking loyalty as allies) and an element of raw units (the fanatics) facing a more traditional army as we would expect in a Horse and Musket battle between say 1680 to 1710.  I think the stats and general gist of the army could be easily translated to whatever your rule system of choice is for the period. (Note: we will play the rules with only one base per unit, as opposed to the more common 2 bases per unit as the armies are relatively small).

The guide also contains the coat and cuff information for each regiment that was finalised before the units were sent out to the volunteer charity painters. Some changes have been made to this list and some bonus units added.

It also contains infantry standards for the regiments, these were developed with the help of our expert consultants Mark Backhouse (Denswe) and Sidney Roundwood (Siarus).

The main sources for the uniforms and flag information for the Denswe army comes from Archives of the Military Museum in Holmstock, that I had the pleasure of visiting on several occasions during 1987 and 1988.  I fondly remember the cold mornings rummaging through the collections and then spending the rest writing and referencing following by the wild evenings of dancing, drinking and singing.  Some further reference material, especially on the Siarus army, has been found from the city of Cowmos official Library of War. The collected work and the drawings of Major Nevscire on the Kuirasserse (unpublished) at the Tavapol State Archives, deserves a special mention and has been invaluable in terms of detail and to validate some earlier (often false) assumptions from the more popular Denswe sources.

Later updates of this guide will contain a picture of each unit with the name of the painter who brought it to life. It will also contain a little bit of a geographical overview

A Guide to the Army of the Tsar of Siarus

The Tsardom of Siarus has undergone great changes in recent years. The new Tsar has reformed and modernised the army from what in essence was a feudal arrangement with nobles providing foot and mounted units, to a more modern army in line with those developed in the wars between Great Tainbri and the Kingdom of Necfra. These changes have been pressed into service and has led to some problems within the army but should provide a solid platform for military success in the forthcoming campaign.

Leadership: Command of the army is entrusted to General and Field Marshall Kruglaja Drevesina. Drevesina is a flamboyant and masterful strategist and his skill in logistics in secondary to none, but he is only an average battlefield commander.

Twilight of the Sun King rating: 1

Generalnyj Bogatyj Koži (Left Wing Commander) is an able commander but his flexibility on the Battlefield is limited due to his physical health. People who do not fear losing their head say he is a Too Fat Lardie.

Twilight of the Sun King rating: 1

Generalnyj Čempion Šuk (Right Wing Commander) was recently promoted to General following a successful charge against the Horde. Unstructured and inexperienced of high-level Command.

Twilight of the Sun King rating: 0

The Tsar’s Guard: Under the command of three of the closest childhood friends of the Tsar the three Guard regiments of the Siarusian army are the premier units of the army. The Plaudetski, Carraletdinov and Kenatonov regiments are the oldest units in the reorganised army and are armed with a 1/6 ratio of pike just like the normal line units. Only chosen men are enrolled in these units and the Tsar himself often accompanies one of them in action.

Twilight of the Sun King ratings: Foot: Elite, Infantry, ‘p’

The Nobles: The Count of Xam-Denbro leads this elite regiment of cavalry in the army (Hussari). The unit is the only surviving unit of the old style of cavalry and originated from a mercenary unit raised from the heroes of Andpol after the Siege of Navien. The Tsar has a nostalgic attachment to the unit but there are rumours that once the aging Count retires his commission the unit will be scrapped. The Count is committed to show the Tsar, and his young cronies, that he has made an error converting the old-style units. Armed and equipped in traditional fashion, with heavy armour, lances, and flapping wings, and very eager to engage the enemy and prove their value.

Twilight of the Sun King ratings:  Count Xam-Denbro Regiment: Elite, Cavalry, Galloping Horse – impetuous [The unit must attempt to move into contact with any enemy unit that it can reach within its movement allowance. If more than one is available, it must contact the nearest.]

The Horse: The 7 regular Horse regiments of Garetsimov, M Hunvicnikov, Hiscyshkin, Barnov, Dorrenev, Baldiliev and Princess Andralex are the backbone of the Siarusian cavalry (the Kuirasserse). The units represent the first wave of reforms and consists of a mix or foreigner and Siarus nationals, they are well trained and experienced cavalry. The Garetsimov’s regiment was originally raised by the Gueseportu émigré Jose Di Maio. Later made a Prince of Siarus and was instrumental in helping the Tsar in building his navy including the introduction of the Man o’ War ships.

Twilight of the Sun King ratings: Cuirassier Regiments: Trained, Cavalry

The Dragoons: The new Tsar insisted that the old-style units were reformed as Dragoons and there are 6 regular Dragoon regiments of the army: the regiments of Bailvin, Earparov, Ripelev, Davisirikov, Bowtiak and Simmutov. Although the units are trained, they are still not very competent in the new tactics they have been told to use. This has also led to them having lower morale as they lack confidence in their new role.

Twilight of the Sun King ratings: Dragoon Regiments: Trained, Cavalry, Poor

The Regular Foot and artillery: The 5 regular foot regiments are the Naylosov, Blakrutov, Nillionov, Fulvukhin and J Hunvicnikov. These units are steady regular units relying on solid defensive tactics using fire power to defeat their opponents. Thus, whilst they retain pikes in the units for security against cavalry and infantry attacks the emphasis is more on firepower than shock action.

The Fulvukhin, Nillionov and J Hunvicnikov regiments are classed as Large units. These come from the most populous regions of Siarus and are larger than the others

The artillery led by the reformer Count Melepev has the latest field guns compared to the heavy artillery of old. The Count is more than sure that he can outshoot the arrogant commoner Colonel Jakgöta in charge of the Denswe Artillery.


Twilight of the Sun King ratings:  Foot Regiments: Trained, Infantry, ‘p’, (3 regiments are large) Artillery: Trained, Field Artillery

Overview of the Siarus Army

Overview of the Siarus Army

A Guide to the Army of Denswe

The dynamic King Markus Backhus has introduced new aggressive tactics into the regular army that has proven successful in many of his battle. These tactics emphasises the shock element hoping the enemy will flee the field of battle instead of prolonged fire fight. The King and his advisors are confident that these tactics will give the steady troops of his army the edge in the coming war against Siarus. All the Denswe mounted and foot units, from the homeland provinces, are using these aggressive charging tactics. The tactics is commonly referred to as Go Punching (GP)– referring to the hand-to-hand emphasis.

The small main Denswe main army are supplemented by units raised from the newly acquired Niasca province and the fanatical followers of Repet Rerby.

Overall, these troops provide their leader with a formidable army that have been the victors of many battles, albeit against smaller countries. The army marches to war confident that further victories will be achieved against the heretic Siarusians.


Leadership: King Markus Backhus is an excellent tactician who was born to rule. He can be reckless but is very stubborn and loves to win.

Twilight of the Sun King rating: 2

The left wing is Commanded by Prince Olaf Saylind Backhus, the Kings uncle. He is a solid and experienced Commander but currently lacks the skill and nerve of his nephew. His fondness for the bottle is well known in the army and often carries out his inspections being drunk.

Twilight of the Sun King rating: 1

General Repet Rerby (see more about Rerby’s Fanatics below) is untested in Battle but the King believes in his leadership.

Twilight of the Sun King rating: 0

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Denswean Homeland Horse Grenadiers: The elite of the Denswe army is the Horse Grenadiers, or the Trabants, led by Duke Heinrich von Hyde. This unit is the de facto Royal Guards. Their charge has been the main cause of many of the Denswe victories to date. A sight to behold on the battle field with their tall Mitre Grenadier hats with golden front plates reflecting the sun light as they gallop in with their charge. The Duke’s resilience, resistance, and resourcefulness in the face of danger is legendary. He fought for the Siarusians at the Siege of Navien repelling the Great Horde.

Twilight of the Sun King rating: Horse Grenadiers: Elite, Cavalry, GH, Small, Determined

Denswean Homeland Cavalry and Dragoons: The only difference between the cavalry and the dragoons in the Denswe army is how they are funded. The Cavalry units are raised by the Three Chalices church and are in general better paid. The Dragoons are raised by the Burghers are in general seen as less prestigious than the Cavalry.  However, on the battlefield their role and performance are identical.

The Dragoon units have provided drafts for the newly raised Rerby’s fanatic units, see below. This has provided some much-needed experienced personnel but it means that the regular units are understrength.

Horse Regiments: Åhlheterén, Petersson, Viskin and Mäshitalo

Dragon Regiments: Hoblund and Matthjälm

Twilight of the Sun King rating: Horse: Trained, Cavalry, GH Dragoons: Trained, Cavalry, GH, small

The Infantry: The foot units are aggressive and the success of the initial push of the infantry will be important in achieving victory, about 1 in 6 carries pikes and most an axe or a saber to use in the charge. Jakgöta’s artillery is, when it can keep up with the King’s rash decisions, a well drilled unit. Colonel Jakgöta’s steady firing at the Battle of Duln was a key moment in the rapid breakdown of the advancing Markden Army.

Foot Regiments: Matlund, Rotdin, Teijler and Polmörth

Twilight of the Sun King ratings: Foot: Trained, Infantry, GP Artillery: Trained, Field Artillery

Niascan Units (Horse and Foot): The province of Niasca has only been part of the Kingdom for a few years. The Kingdom gained control of the province in the last war and it has yet to fully reconcile itself to the province’s new circumstance. The province provides 2 Horse regiments and 3 Foot regiments to the army. These units are well trained, experienced units, using traditional tactics not the aggressive approach of the other elements of the army. However, their commitment to the army and their new commander is doubtful. The Crown Princess (who is the regent of the Province) Guard regiment has recently been renamed for the campaign and is only a Guard Regiment in name.

Horse Regiments: Freltin and Johan

Foot Regiments: Klarkling, Tomqvist and Crown Princess Noraeleo’s Guard


Twilight of the Sun King ratings: Horse: Trained, Cavalry, Wavering Foot: Trained, Infantry, P, Wavering

Rerby’s Fanatics (Dragoon and Foot): Denswe is a deeply religious nation and with the prospects of a war against the unbelievers in Siarus the nation has become inspired. The teachings of the fundamentalist preacher Repet Rerby swept through the nation and lead to many new units being formed for the upcoming crusade against Siarusian heretics. Rerby argues that the scales that God uses to balance the powerful in the world are tipped in favour of Denswe. They are convinced that they are the measuring instrument that god will use to change the balance. With their rallying cry “Gods own Scale” these fanatics will surge forward against the Siarusian unbelievers.

The followers of Rerby have formed 5 Dragoon regiments and 1 Foot regiments for the crusade against the Siarusian. These volunteers are largely untrained but are fired up by their beliefs. As loyal Densweans they are committed to using the new tactics of the regular army. Unfortunately, shortages of ammunition mean the cavalry are limited to only firing when faced by cavalry. In other circumstances they will face to charge and rely on God’s help.

Dragoon: Melblom, Milomberg, Hodgvén, Benelin and Karström

Foot: Grovgren

Twilight of the Sun King ratings: Dragoons: Raw, Cavalry, GH, Determined Foot: Raw, Infantry, GP, Determined – may only fire on mounted units.

Summary of the Denswe Army

Summary of the Denswe Army

/ Hope that was of some interest, Per

Featured

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

It has been a little bit of a strange year with a lot of pressures making it difficult to devote as much time as I would like to the hobby – but in retrospect and upon reflection I seem to have been doing a lot more than I thought. I had lots of fun with the hobby and that is what it is there for!

This is a summary blog of the year and contain some additional pictures not covered in any published blogs.  I hope you will find this review interesting.  I take my hat off for all of you who engage with the blog directly, follow the roll a one page on faceboook (Roll a One, @rollaonepage) or the Per at RollaOne feed on twitter – It really matters to me – so thank you very much. I had as an unwritten rule to do a blog every week, this year I have managed to do 41 blog posts – so I failed the objective but I am happy with that. I could easily have dragged this one out over a few blogs with the extra material but wanted to make a long one of this last one.

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

The most popular blog post this year was this one detailing how you can enhance your 6mm, or any scale, pictures using your computer screen.  Bleeding obvious to me but a lot of people have found it useful!

Background to your Miniatures – a little trick

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This blog post has a lot of pictures and links (these are the underlined sections, they lead directly to the blog post I am talking about) and basically covers:

  • Poltava 1709 and Joy of Six 2019
  • Battle of Lund 1676 project
  • Gaming with the Little One and a book from Henry Hyde
  • WW2 What-if Invasion of Sweden in 1943 and roundpole fences
  • The Mutant 1984 Project and our Christmas Mutant Dinosaur Hunt
  • Being on Podcasts and some other stuff

Poltava 1709 at Joy of Six 2019

This was the culmination of a three year project covering the Russian Campaign of the Great Northern War and this year I presented Poltava 1709 at Joy of Six show in Sheffield.  This has been a fantastic project and this 16 by 5 feet table actually made me somewhat emotional when I first put it up on the Show (but then each one is pretty special at the time). I did plenty of blog posts about the project this year, you can find them below.  We will put up the table again in 2020 at Salute in April.  This project was done using 6mm Baccus miniatures.

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Overview of Poltava, the Monastery and the Swedish Camp

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Overview of the Redoubts and field outside the Russian Camp

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Detail of the Swedish Camp

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I was really happy with the Poltava model

Here are some of the blog-posts covering this topic ( The last few are the finished article the others about how various elements were done).

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

Poltava Town done (TMT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Passing through Joy of Six 2019

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

Battle of Lund 1676

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

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Rauch’s Geworbne Cavalry Regiment

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

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Sea, Six and Scanian War – and a few Podcasts

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

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

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

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

Gaming with the Little One and a book from Henry Hyde

I have had immense pleasure in engaging with the Little One yet again this year in painting, playing games and going to a few events together.  He even wrote a review of the Airfix Battles Rules and about his day at Salute on the Blog.  When I asked him about the highlights this year he told me that it was the book he was sent by Henry Hyde, the day we had playing Mike Whitaker’s Omaha game and doing the Star Wars Legion miniatures (more in the links at the end of this section).

The Little One and I met Henry Hyde at Salute (who of course wrote the Wargames Compendium, was the editor for Miniature Wargames & Battlegames and now runs the Battlegames Patreon Site that I am a supporter of, see link here https://battlegames.co.uk/patreon-supporters/ . Please check it out as there is a lot of good stuff there in terms of podcasts, videos and articles – whether you are a supporter or not).

On the way back Max realised that the Henry we had met was the same guy that had written the Wargames Compendium, a book he really loves, and said that he should have asked for an autograph.  I mentioned this to Henry and a few days later, to our great surprise and delight, a parcel arrived with a letter and a book.

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It is was an enormously generous gesture and one of those moments I think the Little One will carry with him for his whole life – many thanks Henry!  The Little One then read the Featherstone book and wrote a letter he sent to Henry that made me really proud.

Dear Henry,

Many thanks for sending me the Donald Featherstone book, it was very kind of you and it made me feel very special. I like the words you wrote and I will keep this book forever. It has taken me some time to finish the book as I have had a few other things going on.
I enjoyed the introduction where he writes about ‘what wargaming is’ and also the overview of the different periods for wargaming – my favourite period is WW2. You have so many different aspects of things going on – on land, in the air, on and under the water and you are not sitting around in a trench for four years as in the Great War. At the very end of the book he writes something I really liked!
“General Sherman, of American Civil War fame, is quoted as saying, ‘War is Hell’. So it is, and perhaps the wargamer, seeing just how helpless his little plastic figures are against the dice simulated effects of cannon and muskets, will appreciate more than ever the utter futility of real war.”

I also have a copy of your book, The Wargaming Compendium, and I think it is the best book a wargamer can get as it covers everything you need to know. In particular I like the chapter on understanding sizes, scales and chance. I love the picture on page 17 showing the different scales.

I hear you are writing another one and I hope it is going really well!
I know you like the Horse and Musket period so I thought you might like this Kings Carabineer from the Battle of Blenheim 1704 and a book about the Battle of Poltava.

Hope to see you again soon,

Max

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

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It was an absolute privilege playing on Mike’s table

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

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The Little One’s review of Airfix Battles

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

Star Wars Legion:

Painting Star Wars Legion with the Little One

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

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

The Little One’s review of Salute 2019

Salute 2019 by the Little One

 

WW2 What-if Invasion of Sweden in 1943 and roundpole fences

Some further works was done for the 1943 German invasion forces and defending Swedes. Making some transports for the Swedes with some tanks (including conversions) and a large number of German soldiers and vehicles. I also updated the Chain of Command list for the Swedes. More in the blog posts below (that is also including a note on the visit I did to Dulwich playing Chain of Command at the Warlords Lardy Day – thanks Iain!).

One of the best things that happened to this project this year was the roundpole fences developed by Paul Edwards (@Amaz_ed on Twitter if you want to contact him, or let me know and I will pass it on) that will enable me to give that special feel of gaming in Scandinavia/Nordic much in the same way as Snake Rail fencing indicate a wargame in North America.

How is this relevant to you if you do not play anything in Norway, Finland, Sweden or Estonia (where these fences are common) – well according to some theories they were in use during Viking times so if you are doing Dark Age wargaming (or Colonials as we Norse call it). So if you want to create that little Norse settlement in your Saga game or some other game including some Vikings and want to make it feel a little bit special than maybe this beautiful fencing will be an idea.

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

I asked Paul if he could help me out and quicker than I could say Gärdsgård – the name of the fence in Swedish – I now have 4-5 meters of it and I hope you agree it looks good.

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

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Some tanks in support!

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Troops embarking and jumping over the roundpole fences – it does not get more Swedish than this!

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Tysken Kommer! (The German is coming!)

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Granatkastargrupp i Position, skjut mot skogsdungen! (Mortargroup in position, fire against the trees!)

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Target Spotted! Get ready to Fire!

The ones I have has been made for 15mm but Paul can make some in 6mm and 28mm too.

These are the ones I will be using for my Scanian War project.

 

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

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Paul also does some gate options.

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

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50/50 of Bloody Red and Burnt Cadmium Red…

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…gives that dark red old style colour that was more common around 1943 than the brighter red colour being popular today…

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I think if works really well….

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Beautiful design by Paul Edwards

Here are some postings for the Swedish WW2 project (as in all my posts there is plenty of pictures in each of them).  The next step is to produce two half-sized campaign for Chain of Command (or any other Platoon based set of rules).

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The two half-pint campaigns

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

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

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

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

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

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Germans for the Swedish 1943 Tourist Season and CoC in Dulwich

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The Mutant 1984 Project and our Christmas Mutant Dinosaur Hunt

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

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

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

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

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

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In addition we had a special Xmas game this year based on a vote we did on Twitter where the Mutant 1984 Dinosaur won the Day (beating Winter War, Swedish invasion 1943 and a “proper” GNW battle!).  We used a variant of the The Men who Would be King rules (the same as in the Border Skirmish above) and it was a fun game with two factions of soldiers and hunters trying to take out as many Monsters as possible (2 Dinosaurs, a Giant Beetle, a Four armed Gorilla, 2 Swedish Tigers, a Dark Young of Stubb-Nigarakan) whilst fighting each other. I did not do a write-up but instead I have included a bunch of pictures from the game.

The Swedish (Sabre Tooth) Tigers are based on the Swedish Wartime information Poster stating “En Svensk Tiger” that means both “a Swedish Tiger” and “a Swede Shuts-Up”.

See the source image

Being on Podcasts and some other stuff

Any regular reader of this blog will know that I have a few wargaming podcasts that I like to listen to whilst I paint and model – these are in no particular order the Veteran Wargamer, The Lardy Oddcast, Meeples and Miniatures, Havoc Cast Podcast, Wargames Soldiers and Strategy, Wargames Recon, Henry Hyde’s Battlechats and God’s Own Scale Podcast.  They are all excellent and whilst I occasionally listen to others, those are my solid ones I will try to listen to every time (I listen to a fair few more non-wargaming stuff like the eminent Grognards RPG Files and We have ways and Audible books).

This year I have been humbled by having been asked to come on three of these shows and talk about stuff mainly relating to the 6mm work I have been doing, but also about wargaming with children and my great passion – the Great Northern War.

A few weeks ago Neil Shuck announced that he will stop the Meeples and Miniatures podcast as he has reflected on the time it takes to do the show and other priorities like gaming with friends etc. Meeples and Miniatures has, in my opinion, become like a wargaming (and Meeples) institution and its legacy is enormous and Neil and the other presenters (Mike, Mike, Dave, Rich and all the guest presenters) should be enormously proud of having created this. I felt so honoured to be asked to attend the show and had a blast – so much that it was enough to fill two episodes (sorry!, but thanks Neil and Mike for having me).

Meeples and Miniatures, Part 1

Meeples and Miniatures, Part 2

When I listened to Sean Clarke’s episode 0 and he declared that one of his inspirations to starting his blog (focusing on 6mm an history) was the work I have been doing with this blog – it made that and many days last year. I contacted him and asked if I could come and talk to him and we had a great time talking about the 6mm stuff I have been doing but also getting an idea of Sean Clarke’s upcoming WW1 project for Joy of Six in 2020.  This is another excellent show and I really like all the episodes to date with many friends from the 6mm trenches.  The show with Robert Dunlop (No 3.) is one of the best Podcasts I heard last year.  Thanks Sean for my second outing this year – I had an absolute blast.

God’s own Scale

Henry’s Battlechat has very quickly built up an impressive catalogue of podcasts with a wide range of guests from the industry, rules designers, miniatures producers, artists, book publishers, academics, etc. I have stolen parts of Henry’s intro for this:

“Per is a wonderful ambassador of the hobby, friendly, approachable, intelligent and with a dry sense of humour that you might only notice when you’re halfway out of the door after meeting him! (Watch out for his comment about the Dark Ages being “Scandinavian colonial”!) Here, then, is this Swedish superstar of the hobby in full flow, waxing lyrical about 6mm gaming, the Great Northern War and other Scandinavian conflicts of the 17th and 18th centuries, making snow-covered terrain and the joys of being a wargaming parent.”

Thanks for having me Henry!

Henry Hyde’s Battlechat

Finally I would like to say that my favourite wargaming thing this year was the visit I did to Evesham and OML7 (Operation Market Larden No. 7) – Thanks to Ade et al for this. I met so many nice people and had a fantastic time playing some great games.

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

I think it is over and out now!

Well almost…

The Winter War

80 years ago Finland was fighting for its independence against Soviet Union in what has become known as the Winter War.  The war has a personal connection to me as the family on my mother’s side is Finnish. We have therefore fought a few battles using the Chain of Command rules to honour and remember the people on both sides who fought and died in this war.

The war started with a Soviet Invasion of Finland without a declaration of war on the 30th November 1939, the war ended 105 days later on 13th March 1940.  More than 25,000 Finnish died and many were wounded. At the end of the War Finland was still an independent state but had lost about 10% of its territory and 12% of the population lost their homes and where re-settled.  The Soviet Union’s losses were far higher and somewhere in the order of 150,000. The campaign was badly planned and conducted by the Soviets and the Finns fought bravely and with great skill.

Here are few pictures from one of these battles, somewhere along a country road…

That was all! See you in 2020.

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

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This is a quick report back from Joy of Six focusing on the table Nick, Andrew, Neil (from the Wyre Foresters, thanks to all of you!) and I put up on the day. there are some additional reflections and pictures of the show overall that I will issue sometime this coming weekend. Thanks to everyone who came by we really enjoyed the feedback!

The Towards Moscow Trilogy

More than three years ago I decided to have a go at doing a few battles of the ill-fated Russian campaign (1707-1709) of the Great Northern War 1700-1721.  I set out the plan in a blog post (link here) and the three battles we would cover were:

Lesnaya 1708 – link to more pictures here in the blogpost from Joy of Six 2017:

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Battle of Lesnaya 1708 (8 foot table)

Horka 1708 (a what-if battle that would allow us to field a more balance army composition and linear battle that would be the case for the battles of the Campaign) – link to more pictures here in the blogpost from Joy of Six 2018:

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Battle of Horka 1708 (12 foot table)

This year it was a 16 foot table and the disastrous (from a Swedish perspective) Battle of Poltava. Here are a number of pictures from the day with the occasional comments and some link on how some elements of the tables was being made – we were far to busy talking to people to even have a go at actually trying to play it! I think the vision of a grand spectacle was achieved, hope you enjoy  (if you have any comments do get it touch through the blog and ask away):

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Initial disposition the Russian Infantry in the Camp on the left, the redoubts filled with Russian Infantry and the line of Dragoons behind the redoubts.

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Close up of the Redoubts, we can see the Swedes in the far right corner starting their march. More about the redoubts here and he colourful fields here.

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More detail of the Yakovetski forest, the Monastery, Poltava itself and the Swedish Camp.

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The Swedes quickly overrun the first redoubt and set about taking care of the other one.

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Poltava with the Siege Lines in the upper left corner. Buildings mainly from Total Battle miniatures with a Scratch built Fortress (walls and towers).  More on the Poltava here, the ruined villages here and the Siege Lines here.

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The Swedes are through

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Some battalions being lost in the forest

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The Swedes organising themselves for the main battle

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Some immense firing

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Swedish Artillery being left behind!

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Detail of the Swedish Camp, more about the camp here.

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Siege works

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/ Hope that was of some interest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

It is now a few days until Joy of Six 2019 and I am really looking forward to it.

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Our Little Poster with the famous artwork by Martens.

The 16 by 5 foot mat is done and will be decorated with all the key elements on the day (in addition there will be trees, villages and a few fields – not to forget all the miniatures).

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I always made some cards (actually mdf bases) with all the Commanders, there were a large amount to be done.

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Command Cards – yes I got the Peter card wrong and did rectify Russian to Russia. The +1 and +3 indicate Command Ability, Peter being Average (+1) and the Swede Exceptional (+3)!

And the command structures are all done…

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Boxes have been packed and it all fits in the car – we are all revved up and ready to go!

Looking forward to see some of you at the show and to take some pictures to share with the rest of you, until then keep on toy soldiering!

Here are a few files you may find interesting (the command structures, the poster and the command card)

Poltava 1709 Command Structure and Units TotSK v1 

Poltava 1709 One Pager TotSK v1

Poltava Command Cards TotSK v2

/ All the very best!

Featured

Gearing up for Poltava 1709, painting some Horse Grenadiers & the Swedish Breakdown – Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT)

I have done my first proper effort on the 2019 Joy of Six project – the Battle of Poltava 1709.  As I have stated before it will be a full blown table showing not just the main battle, but also the besieged Poltava, the Monastery and of course the redoubts (more background at the end of a previous blog here).

I did a inventory of the Swedish miniatures needed and found (not to a great surprise to be honest) that I have everything I need apart from some Cossacks and the models required for the Poltava Siege works (I want to make the siege lines, siege guns and sappers, etc), as for the forces on the table, all I need is (excluding artillery and command bases):

  • 41 cavalry bases (60 by 30mm bases)
  • 18 infantry bases (60 by 30mm bases)
  • 24 Vallack and Cossack bases (large light horse bases 60 by 60mm)

That is 83 No. of bases (and detailed below) in total compared to 100 No. of bases for the Horka battle.

I will do the same review for the Russians, but I already know that there will be substantially more work as the number of bases for Horka was 155 No. but I will need a total of 259 No. for Poltava.

  • 140 cavalry bases (60 by 30mm bases)
  • 89 infantry bases (60 by 30mm bases)
  • 30 Cossack and Kalmyk bases (large light horse bases)

Now all these did not fight in the main battle, but it allows a little bit of a reflection as to the relative strength of the Russians vs the Swedes in terms of available resources in the area. It will be a busy table, considering that it is about 40% more models (however they will be somewhat differently spread).

In the interim I do know that I have no Russian Horse Grenadiers and I need 3 No. regiments of 4 bases worth of models, so I have been painting some of these.

Horse Grenadiers

In 1708, Peter the Great, formed some Horse Grenadiers regiments, taken from the Grenadier company of existing Dragoon regiments.  It is a little bit confusing and unclear how these units were uniformed at the Poltava battle and how many were present, so what follows are an interpretation.  In game terms we will treat these as a better quality dragoon units and I have modelled these on a basis of 4 bases per regiment. Note that these are from Baccus Seven Years War range (and not from the WSS or GNW range) – they are wonderful little models and you can find them here.

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A. Kropotov’s Horse Grenadiers

I painted these in the most common uniform combination of the Russian Army at the time with Green jacket with red facings, this is a speculative uniform combination. The flag is green and I am thinking of making some transfers to add some detail to them (I bought some printable transfer paper).

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G. Kropotov’s Horse Grenadiers

Again speculative uniform – I made them as above but with blue instead of Green, apart from the flag.

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von der Roop’s Horse Grenadiers

Yet again speculative uniform – I made them blue coats with red facings and a blue and red Mitre.

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I have given them an ink wash (nut brown of course, see below) and will base them up shortly.

/ Hope that was of some interest

List of the Swedish units required for Poltava 1709 based on a rough guide of one base of 9 models of riders per 200 to 300 cavalry (about 2 squadrons) and the same for base of 24 models of infantry per 400 to 600 infantry (a battalion).

Unit Type Ref Bases
Drabanterna Cavalry S01 1
Life Horse Cavalry S02 4
Life Dragoon Cavalry S03 2
Småland Cavalry S05 1
Nyland Cavalry S06 4
Östgota Cavalry S07 3
Norra Skånska Cavalry S08 2
Södra Skånska Cavalry S09 1
Hielm’s Dragoons Cavalry S10 2
Meierfeldt Dragoons Cavalry S11 4
Taube Dragoons Cavalry S12 2
Duckers Dragoons Cavalry S13 1
D Albedyhl Dragoons Cavalry S14 1
Gyllenstierna Dragoon Cavalry S15 1
Upplands 3 männingar Cavalry S16 1
Skånska Ståndsdragoon Cavalry S17 2
Vallacker (light horse) Cavalry S18 4
Karelska Horse Cavalry S21 4
Livlands Adelsfanan Cavalry S22 1
Schreiterfelt Dragoon Cavalry S24 1
Schlippenbach Dragoon Cavalry S25 2
Upplands Ståndsdragoon Cavalry S28 1
Livregementet Infantry S29 4
Upplands Infantry S30 1
Skaraborgs Infantry S31 1
Södermanlands Infantry S32 1
Kronobergs Infantry S33 1
Jonkoping Infantry S34 1
Dal Infantry S35 2
Östgota Infantry S36 1
Västmanland Infantry S37 2
Västerbotten Infantry S38 1
Kalmar Infantry S39 1
Närke-Värmland Infantry S40 2
Kossacker Cavalry S52 20

 

 

 

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 (I think that if you look at my flowery shirt long enough and then stare on a white sheet of paper you will see something very special!).32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engagement at Wargames Shows and a final call for Joy of Six 2018

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Following on from some discussions I have followed on twitter recently (@Roll_a_One) I wanted to write a short note about two things about wargame shows that triggered a little bit of deeper thought than I normally allow myself. Also helped by the fact that I have spent more time than I ever wanted on delayed trains this week and have had no chance to do anything practical hobby wise, here we go.

1. The Show walkthrough
2. Demo vs. Participation Games

The Show Walkthrough

I had the following amusing situation (well at least in my view) at Salute a few years back (it was when Nick Dorrell and I demonstrated the Fraustadt 1706 game):

“Do you mind if I take a picture of the table?”, a middle-aged man with a beard that would be called trendy nowadays with a smart looking camera asks politely.

“Not at all!, are you familiar with the Battle of Fraustadt or the Great Northern War?”, me leaning in and hoping for some kind of interaction.

“Not at all!”, the man says taking a few shots form above and then moving away from me trying to zoom in on one of the Saxon infantry bases and his camera takes some time to autofocus (the lighting being unforgivable in the Salute hall).

“The models are from Baccus and they are mostly from their Great Northern War range, they are 6mm. Those Saxons are from their War of Spanish Succession range as the Saxons wore similar uniforms to the Western Europeans”, me moving closer and leaning even deeper.

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“Couldn’t paint anything so small”, moving onto the Swedish side and taking another quick succession of shots and then a close-up of some of the cavalry bases, with the same issues with the autofocus.

“This is the decisive Battle of the Saxon campaign of the Great Northern War and as a direct consequence Charles XII managed to obtain a peace treaty with Augustus II the Strong of the Albertine line of the House of Wettin was Elector of Saxony, Imperial Vicar and elected King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. after 6 years of war”, me getting very excited and with sweeping arm movements I am set up to transfer this essential knowledge of history to the man with the camera.

“Sorry not really interested, I am just taking pictures for my blog. Do you mind moving a little bit so I can take a picture showing the name of the Battle”, he interrupted me, I moved surprising swiftly out of his firing arc, he took his snap and then proceeded to the next table repeating the procedure.

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I put my waving hands behind my back and carried on! I reflected on the fact that he would never know that the marshland on the Saxon/Russian left flank was moss from my garden baked in the oven then soaked with pva glue, that the hedges around the field were made from green scourers, that the reason the line was not straight were due to a miscalculation on the available space between the two villages by the Saxon Commander, that the Saxons/Russian had been standing in their position for ages and were freezing their balls off, that the reason I painted the Russians in Red Coats was that they had turned their coats inside out to look like Saxons, etc.

I was interrupted in my thoughts as another a middle-aged man with a beard that would be called trendy nowadays with a smart looking camera came towards the table. I got my lean-in position ready.

The incident above made me laugh and I reflected on these unsung heroes rushing around taking pictures of stuff not for themselves but to share with other people who may be interested but not able to attend themselves – it s a great service and sacrifice! So to the Man with the Camera – thanks for doing this and sorry for retelling the story in what may be confused with irony or some kind of bitterness.

I find myself invariably drawn into a wargames table (yes we are drifting back towards that kind of thing again) and I am keen to understand what is going on and very often how things have been done and how it works – I am kind of into this hobby you see. It is not always obvious and I like it when a table either gives a nice history/story lesson and/or gives a great game – I love it when it does both. I also like nice terrain and clever solutions mainly with regards to decluttering the table of makers and instead using inventive markers that blend in with the table – it helps the immersion.

It is a lot of hard work and research behind most of the games that are presented at shows and my best advice when going to a show is to stop and talk to people and learn more. If you are shy just stand next to someone who seems to be part of the group until they are free and I bet someone will start talking to you. Grab a handout and ask, they did not just come to show of their game as a flashy post card in an album of many – let them give you its soul and perhaps you will fall in love with it to. Perhaps you could share this experience to the world with a little write-up and maybe a picture or two trying to convey what you felt about the game as a whole – not just what it looked like. I think we need a few more Walkthrough Reflectionists too – the slow walkthrough. Beauty, it is said, is only a paint layer deep!.

Are Demonstration Games the Opposite to Participation Games?

Some groups putting on games seem to treat shows as an outing and any passers-by as a distraction. They face inwards and normally seem to have entrenched themselves with everything they need for the day within reach – they are there to play their game with themselves. Luckily, I think these ones are in decline.

When Nick (Dorrell) and I do our Great Northern War battle we do them as demonstration games, but you can participate for as long as you like. Perhaps to try out some of the mechanisms of the game, we never expect to play the game to its conclusion – although, as a notable exception, we managed to finish Klissow 1702 a few years back at Joy of Six. The game is there as a discussion point in our case about the Battle itself, the rules we are using, the origins of miniatures and terrain, how we painted it and built it, etc. We have roles – I talk about the terrain and the miniatures (having painted and built it), Nick does the rules questions (having developed the latest set of the Twilight of the Sun King rules), we both talk about the Great Northern War (both being passionate about it). Anyone else helping gets a role depending on what they know, normally they will keep the game going.

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Some time ago I heard, or perhaps read, Richard Clarke (one of the Too Fat Lardies) saying that he does not run dumbed down versions of the rules at shows to make it easy – he runs his rules as they come. I think it is important to reflect on this in how you want to present your game. I have had a lot of fun playing some game specific rules in 30 minutes at many shows, but we cannot run the Battle of Fraustadt in 30 minutes with the rules we are using – Sorry! Therefore we need to engage in a different view.

They key with a show game, in my opinion, is that it is should be there to engage with others should they want to. Have handouts to give out or to refer to, bring some books about the period (it always looks impressive) or props. We want people to get a feel for whether this kind of game, period, miniatures used, etc is something for them. Scaring people away will not showcase your particular niche of the hobby and to be honest it is at your own detriment.

Demonstration games should not be the opposite to participation games – you actually have to work as hard, or perhaps harder, interacting with the visitors. What the hell are you demonstrating? It is your flippin’ job on the show mate!, you may not get paid but you are taking up space.

Let me know what you think!

By the way, you have a chance to see whether this engagement talk is just bullshit at Joy of Six next week as Nick and I are putting on a table. You are free to ignore us, come by and take a photo and just go, or to stay around and ask a few questions if there is something of interest, or even stay and roll some dice for a while. We are happy to engage with you at any level you want.

We will be putting on a 9 by 12 table with 250 bases of the finest Russia and Sweden had to offer in 1708! – Horka 1708.

Check it up here. And here some background on the table we are putting on, but there are 22 other games ranging from ancients to sci-fi and pretty much anything in-between.

All the best,

/ Have a good day!

(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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horka 1708 update – Russian Infantry Completed

In the last posting (here) I set out what this blog posting would be about:

Blogpost 98, w.c 02-Apr-18. Some completed stuff for Horka 1708, this will be pictures of the completed Russian Infantry – the 64 bases required.  I just need to complete the basing and add flags to the final ones in the next few days. 

For once I seem to have managed to live up to at least my own expectations. I spent the first day of the Easter Break finalising the basing and then added some flags the following day – boring at hell at times but I figured it would be worth the effort. Here are some pictures (there is a listing the completed unit at the end of this posting).  All models are from Baccus (link here).

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Aerial shot of the Russian Infantry element of the Horka 1708 army, 64 bases and each base represents a battalion. There are another 91 bases of cavalry to add as well as some artillery and leaders.  Note that I have tried to avoid the lines being too straight as I think this adds a better feel of “movement and maneuvering”.  The units without standards/flags are grenadiers. 

 

 

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A few dudes with flags from Baccus and Tiny Tin Troops

 

 

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The majority of the Infantry have Green Coats with Red Cuffs, but there are some more colours on offers.

 

 

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A lot of the Russian had Karpus/Kartuz it is a type of hat worn by Swedish and Russian Soliders – you can find more on headgear on a blogposting by Boris Megorsky here 

 

I am doing the final cavalry elements and hope to be able to inspect them on the parade ground shortly before I get onto to finalising the Swedes.

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Last cavalry unit drying following application of Windsor Newton Nutbrown Ink.

 

In other news I have ordered some stuff over the last few weeks for my Mutant 1984 project (1980s roleplaying in a world that most certainly was), I would like to give a little shout out for the miniatures from Space Vixens from Mars.  They regularly show up at shows and do their games and invite anyone along for a hilarious ride.   Here are a few of the models that I will be using for my Mutant 1984 project (taken from their webpage – link here).

I wanted to have a rock band with mutated Beetles but had to go with Plan B, the Mutated Beetles.  They are famous throughout the Pyri Commonwealth and I will try to find a Walrus head and do a headswap!

Here is their typical set list (length of the show tends to be dependent on the capacity of the steam powered electrical generator of the local venue).

Here comes the Burning Sun, For the Benefit of Mr. Rijn, Baby You Can Ride my Horse, Mutant on the Hill, Got to Get you into my brain, Happiness if a smoking blunderbuss, I am the Mutated Walrus, I want to hold your four hands, Mental Mystery Tour, Mean Mr. Ketchup, Roll Over Justin Beaver, September in the Acid Rain, Three cool mutated cats, Two of Me and finally (and I suppose you also grew tired of the list!) You’ve Got to Hide Your Mental Powers Away.

Anyway, hope that was of some interest.  We have also been playing some games over the Easter Break but those will be presented in some future blogs as per the plan presented last in the last blog.

 

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Saga in 6mm played over the Easter Weekend using the new Saga rules – good times were had!

 

If you are interested in following the blog you could like it on facebook (link here), become a follower on twitter (link here), or sign up here as a wordpress user or by leaving your e-mail.

/ See you

Russian Infantry units at Horka 1708

(now 100% completed)

Unit Type Ref Bases ToTSK Unit Models
Preobrazhenski Infantry R01 3 Large Unit 72
Semenovski Infantry R02 3 Large Unit 72
Ingermanlandski Infantry R03 3 Large Unit 72
Astrachanski Infantry R04 1 Small Unit 24
Moscowski Infantry R05 2 Normal Unit 48
Sibirski Infantry R06 2 Normal Unit 48
Pskovski Infantry R07 2 Normal Unit 48
Kazanski Infantry R08 2 Normal Unit 48
Vologodski Infantry R09 2 Normal Unit 48
Nizhegorodski Infantry R10 2 Normal Unit 48
Busch’s Grenadier Regiment Infantry R11 2 Normal Unit 48
Repnins Grenadier Regiment Infantry R12 2 Normal Unit 48
Kievski Infantry R13 3 Large Unit 72
Narvski Infantry R14 3 Large Unit 72
Schlüsselburgski Infantry R15 2 Normal Unit 48
Novgorodski Infantry R16 2 Normal Unit 48
Butyrski Infantry R17 2 Normal Unit 48
Rostovski Infantry R18 2 Normal Unit 48
du Bois’ Grenadier Regiment Infantry R19 2 Normal Unit 48
Rentzel’s Regiment Infantry R20 2 Normal Unit 48
Lefort’s Regiment Infantry R21 2 Normal Unit 48
Kargopolski Infantry R22 2 Normal Unit 48
Koporski Infantry R23 2 Normal Unit 48
Tobolski Infantry R24 2 Normal Unit 48
Belgorodski Infantry R25 2 Normal Unit 48
Luzhski Infantry R26 2 Normal Unit 48
Olonetzski Infantry R27 2 Normal Unit 48
Ryazanski Infantry R28 2 Normal Unit 48
Vjatski Infantry R29 2 Normal Unit 48
Chernigovski Infantry R30 2 Normal Unit 48

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) – Horka 1708 – Russians and the Field of Battle, GNW Stuff and Podcasts

Horka 1708 – Notes on Russians and the Field of Battle

I presented the Swedish army I would need for the Horka 1708 battle two weeks ago and gave a little background to this what-if battle (it may help if you have not read the previous entry if you start here).  For the Swedes we basically assume it is the same army that set out from Grodno in the beginning of 1708 that will fight at Horka – yes in all fairness the body of men should perhaps be reduced to allow for the attrition effect of an army on the march (illness, skirmish casualties, desertions, etc.).  For the Russians at Horka, Nick provides information in his book (The Dawn of the Tsarist Empire, by Nick Dorrell, link here) on the likely composition for the infantry based on available sources (a few assumptions have been made based on this detail to produce the army list, also note that this may change as we move forward, but I want to have a list to work from in completing the miniatures – I will also need all of them for the upcoming Poltava battle so doing them will not be a waste).  For the Russian cavalry we assume a similar composition to that of the Battle of Holowczyn.

The full list of units for the Russians I will be working on are presented at the end of this post.

Below is the illustration from Nick’s book, showing the Russian position at Horka, this will be used as a basis for making the table.

Horka Map

The next sequence of pictures show at high level how I derived the map (Call it Horka 1.0).

Mapping out 1.jpg
(i) Based in the assumed sizes of the regiments in Nick’s book I estimated how wide the three infantry sections would be and found them about 100cm (3’6″) each (assuming a base width of 6 cm).  The red box show the standard size I have used for my GNW Battles of old (8′ by 4′) but, as you can see, this does not really capture the battlefield this time.  The black box (dotted line) show a 12′ by 6′ shape – that is more like it! (ii) I then tilted the box as this seemed a more natural way to cut the field of battle.  However I was not totally happy and wanted to create a little more space in front of the Russian right.

Mapping out 2
(iii) I decided to compress the middle and make the built-up area and the river/marsh section narrower. I did this by cutting the picture in three slices and cropping them (in width).  That felt better – kind of a battle field diet, (iv) The picture was made straight! and (v) overlaid with some details (in powerpoint, using some textures to make it look more interesting) and ended up with a nice guide for how to make the final table.

mapping out 3.jpg
Horka 1708 v1.0, I may still go for a 12′ by 5′ instead of 12′ by 6′ as it would make it more practical. And some more spaghetti bridges.  A caveat is that there is still time to change our minds about where this Battle took place.  Perhaps it did (not) happen somewhere else?

Still finalising batches of painting so not much to see here, hurry along… and moving swiftly over to something else.

GNW Books and Scenarios

Over the years I have met many people in the UK who are interested in the Great Northern War but struggle to find decent books on the subject in English (apart from the usual suspects like Peter Englunds fantastic book on Poltava, the Massie book on Peter the Great, or the Osprey Poltava book) – this is a shame and I wish more books were available.  At the SELWG show last week I had a few discussions along these lines with a few old and new friends.   For example, I think Oskar Sjöström’s book on the Battle of Fraustadt 1706 (link to it here) is an amazing book and ought to be available in English.   It won the best Swedish history book of 2008 and is an absolute gem – it inspired me enough to paint thousands of 6mm soldiers with winter bases for my first Joy of Six outing many years ago whilst listening to Sabaton’s Carolus Rex album.

At Fraustadt the Swedish forces faced
An army almost twice its size.
And on that day we showed the world not only
Our superiority in battle but also
How cruel man can be. Frozen ground,
Ride with the wind
Emerge from the gunsmoke like demons
Rehnskiöld’s men
Charging their flanks
The enemy trembles with fear”
From the Song Killing Ground by Sabaton, from the Carolus Rex Album (2012)

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The wintery Battle of Fraustadt 1706 at Joy of Six 2012 (I think!). You can actually download the Ordre de Battaille here (showing who is who, if you do not already know).

The recent two-part Great Northern War Compendium was a very welcome addition, not just for the English reader but for anyone interested in this period, and is a fantastic set.  I think you can still get copies of it from Caliver books – it is expensive and I doubt it will go down in price once the print-run has sold out.

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I found a review on Amazon that I think encapsulate my own feeling about the set.

“This set is hands down one of the most lusciously detailed, illustrated, written, translated, and produced works of military history I have had the pleasure of reading in a long, long time. And that is not hyperbole. From the quality of the original research and translations, to the breadth of coverage, to the details of the individual battles and topics, to the huge number of gorgeous maps that accompany almost every article, this set is simply stupendous. Let me mention that last part again. So many works of modern military history neglect the critical aspect of cartography. With a topic as obscure as the Great Northern War maps are critical. Not only are the maps a huge part of this work, they are literally works of art. They are easy to understand, numerous, clear, and beautiful. I can not say enough good things about this fantastic resource. Even if the GNW is not your period of main interest, I guarantee that you will not be disappointed in your purchase. I would have bought this set at twice the price, and I mean that nor do I have any connection whatsoever with the publishers.”

From Jason C. Pipes review of the Great Norhtern War Compendium taken from Amazon.com 15/10/17

“So why the excitement”, I hear you thinking, “…we know about your Fraustadt Battle already and the Compendium was released more than a Year ago!”. Ok, sorry, here we go.

I noted recently that there is a book coming, preliminary in May 2018, that sounds really interesting and I pre-ordered a copy. The book is called The Swedish Army of the Great Northern War, 1700-1721 and written by Lars Ericson Wolke.  Lars is Professor at the Swedish Military Academy in Stockholm and have written widely on Swedish and international military history and I have read many of his previous books with great pleasure.

Swedish Army.jpg

Here is the blur about the book (taken from Amazon):

The book describes the development of the Swedish Army during the Great Northern War, 1700-1721, when Sweden fought against a coalition of Russia, Denmark-Norway and Poland-Saxony. For parts of the War also Prussia and Hannover joined the enemy coalition. The book describes how the Army was reorganised in the year before the outbreak of the war, with its unique allotment system of recruitment. The book also includes a list of all Army units during the 21 years of war.

The strategic situation in the Baltic Sea region in the last 1690´s is given, and is then followed up by an analysis of the strategic situation in the early 1720´s.

A description of the Army as it was at the time of the outbreak of the war in 1700, as well as the system of fortresses around the Baltic Sea is provided. The equipment and tactics of the Army are presented, not the least how they developed during the long period of the war.

The development of the 21 years of war are described and discussed to give the reader a good overview of the military (and partly the political) development. The battlefield Performance of the Swedish Army is in depth studied through descriptions and analysis of six battles and one campaign.

The book includes a list of suggestions for further reading, and is supported by a large number of illustrations including specially-commissioned colour uniform plates.

Wow!  I pre-ordered  a copy from Amazon here.  This is part of the same series as the other book (I am wating for!) I discussed in an earlier blog entry about the Russian Army of the period, link here.

In addition, and from the same publisher, there is another Great Northern War book being completed.  This one is called “The Battle of Poltava 1709” by Valerii Alekseevich Moltusov.  I am happy this work will be available in English, as I suspect this may be a translation of a book he wrote in 2010 about the Battle (but I may be wrong), that was translated into Swedish.  The book was brilliant.

9781912174874

And the blur from the publishers page:

Based on Swedish, Russian and Ukrainian source, this book presents a modern look at the pivotal battle of the Great Northern War. The uniqueness of the book is that it reveals the consistency and logic of the Russian army’s actions. The book also provides a detailed historiography of the Battle of Poltava. The author reveals the secrets of military engineering art Russian and Swedish armies. For the first time, new evidence for the location and configuration of the fortification system on the battlefield is given, as well as new information on the actions of Russian artillery in battle is given. In addition, there is much information on the strength and composition of Russian troops аt different stages of the battle, as well as an examination of the participation in the battle of irregular military formations on both sides. The author’s conclusions complement our understanding of the battle. Highly illustrated including specially-commissioned colour artwork and maps, this is a major new account of one of the 18th century’s most important battles.

Here are three other books relevant to the Great Northern War in English for you to check out, all of them are covering a longer period of history. They all give insight into the rise and decline of Sweden as a major power in the region and puts the build up to the war and its aftermath into context.   I recommend all of them (the first one is normally available second hand from Amazon at a very low cost).

  • The Struggle for Supremacy in the Baltic 1600-1725, by Jill Lisk (link here)
  • A Warrior Dynasty: The Rise and Decline of Sweden as a Military Superpower, by Henrik O. Lunde (link here)
  • The Northern Wars 1558-1721, by Robert I. Frost (link here)

In addition Nick (Dorrell) gave me a copy of his Second Scenario Book for the Twilight of the Sun King (TotSK) rules at Joy of Six in July.  It took me until recently to have a read through.  It is called the Ottoman & Great Northern Wars and contains the following scenarios:

TwilightScenario2.jpg

I only went through the Great Northern War scenarios.  None of the tables required to play these (with a base width of 60mm, two of these bases makes a normal unit in the rules)  are bigger than the normal 6′ by 4′.  For each Battle there are options and in some cases what-if proposals, e.g. a field action at Narva where the Russians march out on the fields in front of Narva, instead of staying in their fortified positions, and take on the Swedes. Overall I think the mix of scenarios works well and the only one I felt was missing is the Fraustadt 1706 battle – but then I remembered it is the example battle in the main TotSK rules.

Narva and Holowczyn are attacks by the Swedes on a strong position. Klissow, Gadebush and Storkyro are more traditional battles of the era.  Both the Lesnaya and the Crossing of the Düna scenario are interesting in that the objectives, from a Swedish perspective,  are not necessary to win the battle outright but to establish and defend a bridgehead in the case of Düna and to limit the destruction of the marching army in the Lesnaya scenario.

We have presented both the Lesnaya and the Gadebusch battle using the rules and the scenarios at Joy of Six in the past.  My favourite one is the Crossing of the Düna where a Swedish assault force supported by artillery tries to secure a bridge head whilst a pontoon bridge is being completed at the same time as a full army of Saxons are advancing.  I have played versions of this battle using the Polemos as well as Maurice rules in the past and may give it a go with the TotSK rules in a not to distant future.  I have promised myself this time to do it with a proper gun boat, artillery float and a pontoon bridge.  I find that the additional rules in some of the scenarios for weather effect (snow storm for the Narva scenario) and rolling for enforcements in the Crossing scenario adds a nice uncertainty to the game.  The Holowczyn what-if scenario is very similar to the Horka idea.

More about the rules and the scenario books here.  I also wrote a few lines about the rules in a previous blog (see here).

The 10mm Gunboat I bought last week at SELWG (see more here) is slowly going to take the role of a gun sloop at Düna – supporting the Swedish crossing.

I also got a nice surprise in that a friend of mine Michael Leck is doing a Great Northern War battle at Salute this year using the Pikeman’s Lament rules (that he and Dan Mersey wrote and I and the Little One have enjoyed played on many occassions, for example see here and here).  You may recall his fantastic Fort Mosquito set-up from Salute last year or known him from some of the other stuff he has done over the years.

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

From some blogs ago

He will be doing the Battle of Stäket which is the last land battle of the Great Northern war.  He provided a sneak preview of the table being made recently.

 

DSCN5617 small
Apart from a few 24 pound cannons, Carl Baltzar von Dahlheim, had two battalions of the Östgöta tremänningar regiment, a barge and three galleys at his disposal”. A great Swedish hero of the Great Northern War who served from the beginning of the war, to this, the last land battle when he chased out the Russians from Stockholm in 1719. This is looking like another brilliant table!

 

But we baked you some Biscuits!

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If you have not yet listened to the “The Lardy Oddcast” that you can find on the Too Fat Lardies webpage then go and do so – it is very interesting! (link here).  They have produced some of the exceptionally good and innovative rules over the years (like IABSM, Sharp Practice and Chain of Command to mention a few) this give a nice insight to what is going on the Lard Island as well as in the head of the islanders – well worth a listen!

Capture.JPG
Some of the many titles from Too Fat Lardies

It is another welcome thing to do whilst painting or whatever else you do with your hands when you listen to a podcast.  I am still yet to get going with my Chain of Command 15mm Winter War stuff  – but I seem to be running out of excuses.  I still have to do some of the terrain but should get cracking with a game at some point (here is were I got up to last year, link here and here).  I have done a few games of Chain of Command but would really like to get a few more under my tight belt!

As you are aware, I am a fan of the Wargames Veteran podcast (link to it here) and the latest episode was another good one, especially as Jay had invited Peter Berry along for a chat.  Peter, if you were not aware, is the owner of Baccus 6mm (link here) – I may have featured a few of his miniatures on this blog! (also the podcast before this one is a good one with Henry Hyde and his upcoming Campaign book, and the one before that one… and the one before that one,….).

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You will find out how Baccus came about, and also why it is not spelt Bacchus, but more importantly Peter and Jay discuss the current trends in the wargames publishing market – mainly focusing on 28mm and skirmish type games.  I think it is a fair observation and it is worth listening to what Peter actually is trying to say.  This stems from an opinion piece Peter published on the Baccus home page recently.  The underlying message is that there is something we hobbyists could do in helping and that is to submit articles to the editors of the magazines, whatever scale or type of wargaming we are into.

Jay, as always managed to nutshell the moment, with the following statement, “If we want this hobby to continue, then we gonna have to be open and willing to share , and willing to help and maybe not be so negative towards the neo-fights!”

And with reference  to Neo-fights!, the Brits and Americans are yet again debating the greatness of something without having done a full sample of the market.  Everyone knows that the best biscuits are from Gothenburg and are call Ballerina, and you definitely dunk these, in whatever liquid you have at hand. 😉

Ballerina.jpg

He also interviewed Howard Whitehouse about Mad Dogs With Guns (link here).  This is a new gangster game from Osprey Games that I have made myself a post-it note to check out.

A few other things I took away from the Berry Interview were the word Scanian War range and re-sculpting the Great Northern War range!

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Finally the Little One has expressed some interest in some Star Wars miniature gaming – we already have a large collection of the ships from the X-wing game – so this next venture will be into some skirmish gaming.  Imperial Assault has been out for some time and soon Star Wars Legions will be out.  A majority of the Fab Four at the Meeples and Miniatures podcast discusses Imperial Assault in their latest show and I am very tempted to give it a go, but resisting as I do not have time for another diversion at this moment – like the Dreadball one, having painted 6 teams over a very short period of time.  Legion or Assault?- it is still open for us and not an immediate issue to resolve. Listen to the Meeples podcast here.  I am a long time sufferer of the show and can proudly call myself a Meep, check it out and become one you too.

/ Have a good week-end I am certainly on a high this week, that was a long rant!  But at least an early posting for a change.

Russian Army List

Here is that Russian army list, I promised earlier.

Unit – Name of the Regiment/unit

Type – Infantry or Cavalry

Ref – Reference

Polemos Bases – 60 by 30mm base with 9 riders or 24 foot – 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 indicate how many are needed.

Class – RD – Russian Dragoon, RI – Russian Infantry with Pike.

Unit Type Ref Polemos Bases Needed Class
Preobrazhenski Infantry R01 3 RI
Semenovski Infantry R02 3 RI
Ingermanlandski Infantry R03 3 RI
Astrachanski Infantry R04 1 RI
Moscowski Infantry R05 2 RI
Sibirski Infantry R06 2 RI
Pskovski Infantry R07 2 RI
Kazanski Infantry R08 2 RI
Vologodski Infantry R09 2 RI
Nizhegorodski Infantry R10 2 RI
Busch’s Grenadier Regiment Infantry R11 2 RI
Repnins Grenadier Regiment Infantry R12 2 RI
Kievski Infantry R13 3 RI
Narvski Infantry R14 3 RI
Schlüsselburgski Infantry R15 2 RI
Novgorodski Infantry R16 2 RI
Butyrski Infantry R17 2 RI
Rostovski Infantry R18 2 RI
du Bois’ Grenadier Regiment Infantry R19 2 RI
Rentzel’s Regiment Infantry R20 2 RI
Lefort’s Regiment Infantry R21 2 RI
Kargopolski Infantry R22 2 RI
Koporski Infantry R23 2 RI
Tobolski Infantry R24 2 RI
Belgorodski Infantry R25 2 RI
Luzhski Infantry R26 2 RI
Olonetzski Infantry R27 2 RI
Ryazanski Infantry R28 2 RI
Vjatski Infantry R29 2 RI
Chernigovski Infantry R30 2 RI
 Menshikovs livskvadron Cavalry R46 2 RD
 Vladimirska Cavalry R47 3 RD
 Sibirska Cavalry R48 3 RD
 Nizjegorodska Cavalry R49 4 RD
 Vjatska Cavalry R50 3 RD
Nevska Cavalry R51 3 RD
Novgorodska Cavalry R53 3 RD
Rostovska dragonregementet Cavalry R54 4 RD
Smolenska Cavalry R56 3 RD
Troitska Cavalry R57 3 RD
Tverska Cavalry R60 4 RD
 Moskovska Cavalry R64 4 RD
 Belozerska Cavalry R65 3 RD
 Archangelgorodska Cavalry R66 3 RD
Livregementet Cavalry R67 4 RD
Azovska Cavalry R68 3 RD
Kazanska Cavalry R69 3 RD
Rjazanska Cavalry R70 3 RD
S:t Petersburgska Cavalry R71 3 RD
Tobolski Cavalry R72 3 RD
Yaroslavski Cavalry R73 3 RD
Kalmuk Cavalry R74 8 RD
Cossack Cavalry R75 8 RD
Astrakhanski Cavalry R87 4 RD
Psokovski Cavalry R90 4 RD

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