Sunday, September 18, 2016

GNW, Trondheim 1718, The Revenge of Colonel Castrullenfjord

The Lt Colonel Vincent Fleksnaes directs the Norweigan infantry towards the Swedish menace

AAR, The Trondheim Campaign 2nd session

Time for another report from our ongoing Trondheim campaign. Set in the dead of winter 1718. The Swedes are slowly making their way towards Trondheim. In our last game session the Danish- Norweigans screwed up big time, and the cost for that was a defeat. The first Norweigan village fell to the dastardly Swedes and their evil Finnish minions. The Norweigan army was badly mauled by a rather unpleasant display of Gå På tactics. All that was dear and sacred in Norway was under threat. The Swedes celebrated by torching Norweigansupplies and in general way behaving badly. Now it is time to rectify this debacle for our great hero Colonel Marve Castrullenfjord.

The setup of the sceond game. Norweigans to the left, Swedes to the right...

The major objective is in the centre behind the closest to the bell tower

The boxes on the sleigh was the second objective

The supplies by the Härbre/Stabbur was the third objective

The Forces

The setup is similair to that of our last session. The Swedes had 4 musket infantry units and one unit of pike. One of the Swedish units had 12 figures( the Jamtland Dragoons - and yes it is a unit of foot Dragoons) the rest 10. The Norweigans had 4 musket infantry units and one unit of skirmishers. The Norweigan units had all 10 figures. The Norweigans also had a gun. 

 The Norweigans forming up and soon to face the enemy...

Swedes quickly moving on the main objective...

The Norweigans get it right this time. The red tide sweeps towards the third objective

A one sided fire fight - the Norweigans contesting the second objective fires at the Swedish pike..

Colonel Castrullenfjord director of Victory! least he is trying to get this right this time...

The Game

The Swedes attacked another village in a bold manner. I am sure their last victory spurred them. In this game the main objective in the centre is worth 2 points and the tow other one point each. This makes it more important to cease the centre objective. It is also harder to cease the main objective in this game. It takes two full actions to grab it. In game terms that will keep one unit occupied in two game turns in order to cease this objective.  To safely catch this objective one needs to clear the area around the objective otherwise you will most probably face an opponent with more units and you will get swamped. 

The 1st Tronheim Infantry forms afiring line to face the Swedish assult on the third objective

The Swedes charges ito the Norweigans, but this time the loose their momentum and the attack fails. The Swedes lost this one....

The Jamlandian Infantry faces Norweigan artillery and grenadiers...a bad mix

The Jamlandians would end up withe the Norweigan grenadiers eventually. This brought them down.

The End of the Jamtlandian Dragoons!

The final fight around the main objective...this one the Norweigans won...

How it all went

The Swedes went for an all out assault right from the start. All units moved swiftly towards all three objectives. In this they ignored the fact that most the Norweigans formed firing lines. The open terrain in the middle favored firing rather that close combat. The Norweigans also mangled to place the artillery right in front of the Swedish centre. The Swedish onslaught was a halted by disciplined fire followed by by deliberate and and carreful appliance of the bayonet. In short - they shot a salvo before the attacked rather than attacked straight away. This was a short session. The game was completed in less than two hours.

Colonel Castrullenfjord triumphant!.....for now.....

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Great Northen War, Trondheim 1718, The First Game

So we finally made it! The first game with the winter terrain and the miniatures painted up for the Trondheim 1718 Campaign was staged......

First a few picture before all hell broke loose....your average 18th century Scandinavian village. A nice place in all it´s snowy tranquillity. Who could suspect that the big bad from beyond the mountains are closing in.....

The Village before the battle

The local farmer doing ...uh....what  farmer usally does...

The Road into the village

The main objective is the powder cart

Nasty people are sneaking towards the village...the Swedes and their Swedish minions are about to do bad things to the brave Norweigans.

The situation at the start of the game. The main objective is the cart in the centre of the village.

The Norweigan army is on it´s way led by the brave Colonel Marve Castrullenfjord

The 1st National Trondheim Regiment is on it´s way....

Akerhuis Grenadiers- these guys were quite tough

How we got started with this Project

Roughly a year ago we started to work on our very own rule set called Musket Mayhem. We begun it all with a setting in the North Americas during the French-Indian war. Then we moved on, mainly due to practical reason to the American Revolution. However we wanted something more close to home and settled for the Great Northen War. Still we wanted something even more diffrent so finally it was decided to stage possiblyone of the least known campaign of this war( at least outside Sweden and Norway) - the short winter campaign of 1718 around the city of Trondheim.

The Rough Story behind the Campagin 

The Swedes tried to cut off Norway in the middle by talking the then significant city of Trondheim. It all failed due to the sudden and unexpected death of Charles XII in southern Norway (November 30th). Due to bad communication the war lingered on until almost a month later until the news reach the Swedish Comander General Armfeldt. The infighting in the remains of the Swedish court led to the withdrawal of all Swedish troops in Norway. The retreat ended in a disaster since the units retreating from the Trondheim region ended up in a major blizzard in the Scandian mountains.

Our first Game Session

By now the village is surrounded by forces from both side...the race for the objectives is on...

Colonel Castrullenfjord ordered his men to advance  in one file through the streest of the village- big mistake that costed him dearly.

Skirmishers in front of the infantry secures the Norweigan left flank...kind of pointless if one consider the outcome. The guys should have been more to the centre in order to play a significant role

The Norweigan second in command  Lt Col Vincent Fleksnaes is forming a firing line towards the incomming threat of pike armed Finns

Same situation as above, but from an other view....

Stacking troops and blocking the artillery....bad move!

In our first game a small unit of Swedes are trying to capture a Norweigan village.  The objectives plays an important part in this game. The aim is to capture at least two objectives. The game ends when all objectives are captured. The winner the player that holds at least two of these objectives. The basic idea is to force he players to play aggressive. 

The game can be set at a company or a regimental level. In this game one can consider each unit to be a company sized unit.

The Swedes

The Swedish unit consisted of four units of musket infantry and one unit of pike. The pike has no shooting ability, but has a bonus in close combat.

1x Jämtland Dragoons(infantry despite name) 12 figures, muskets, ability "brave" and "Gå på!"
1x Åbo län Regiment muskets 10 figures, ability "Gå på!"
1x Åbo län Regiment, pike, ability "pike" and "Gå på!"
2x Hälsingland Regiment, musket, ability "Gå på!"

Brave gives a bonus when talking a break test. Gå På and Pike gives a bonus in the first impact when entering close combat. 

Brave Col Castrullenfjord trying to correct a pear shaped situation...

Norweigans closing in on the objective...the Swedes are nearby...

Hot lead served to the Finns...while the very same Finns grabbs the first objective. 

The Norweigans 

1x 1 st National Trondheim Regiment,10 figures, muskets, no special ability
1x 2nd National Trodheim Regiment,10 figures, muskets, no special ability
1 x 3rd National Trondheim Regiment,10 figures, muskets, no special ability
1x Akershuis Regiment Grenadiers, 10 figures, muskets, ability hard fighters 
1x Norden Fjell Dragoons, dismounted cavalry 6 figures, ability skirmishers
1 x Artillery, medium cannon, special artillery rules

The hard fighters ability is quite powerful. It gives a bonus each Round of close combat. The artillery goes by rules that are unique for he artillery and no artillery have any special abilities. Skirmishes do have an extra save when shot at.

First clash by the main objective- the Norweigans manage to stop the first Swedish wave...

Only to be mauled by the men from Hälsningland...Hälsinge Regiment enters the fight..."GÅ PÅ!" has been ordered...

The Swedes are about to secure the final objective...but the Norweigans have a nasty surprise for them....a loaded cannon....
Oh Yes! here it is and soon abot to be fired straight into the blue and yellow horde!

Lt Col Fleksnaes men are closing in as well...unfortunatly the final clash was a major loss for the Norweigan side. The cannon was stormed by the Swedes before being able to fire effectively and the Swedes manged to fight off the Norweigans that remained...a Swedish victory this time....

How it all went

The game was from the very start a race to capture the objectives. The Swedes moved at first swiftly towards the objective, while the Norweigans due to the poor logistical skills of the commander( your truely) got stacked. However the Norweigans soon got going and a major brawl started around the objectives. It was more close combat that actual shooting. Neither side manged to get the upper hand at first, Both sides manged to secure one objective each(there were three on the table marked by tow wooden cradles and a powder cart).

The whole thing was a close call until the final round. The units reached the objectives first hot wiped out quite soon. The Swedes also managed to capture the Norweigan gun. The Norweigan grenadiers did their best to chop up the Swedes first reaching the central objective. However in these kind of games the one with most units nearby usually wins. The initial logistical mess on the Norweigan side led to their eventual defeat this time.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Great Northen War, Norweigan Artillery and more buildings

Time to introduce the Norweigan artillery. In the comming gaming campaign Trondheim 1718 the Norweigans needs a number of fortified artillery redoubts. The redoubts are stil in the works, but the artillery is ready.....well some of it at least.
This artillery piece is manned by a crew from the National Norweigan artillery. In 1718 the Norweigan artillery had red coats and purple cuffs(at least according to my main source: "Notes about the Norweigan army 1700-1720" by Daniel A Schorr). The miniatures are from Ebor miniatures and their 28mm WSS range.
The unit above is an artillery crew from the Trondheim artillery company. Most probably this was a unit that manned the fortifications around city of Trondheim itself. The uniform has almost reversed colours compared with the National artillery units. The uniform also comes awfully close to some worn by Swedish units in the same theatre of operations. The miniatures are from Reiver Castings.
A "Hebre" - Scandinavian storage barn. The idea behind placing a barn on stilts is to keep roaming wildlife away from whatever is stored inside. The model is originally a souvenir piece that I repainted and added some minor details to it. The moose head was made from small pice of balsa wood. The platform in front of the door was reworked as well as the door. Finally I mounted the model on a piece of foam core, repainted it and added some  snow flock from Game Workshop.

This cottage is scratch built. The design is a bit different than the last cottage I built. This one is not timbered. It is still typical for region and the period. There are still such cottages standing in parts of Scandinavia, although nowadays often painted red with white frames. The red painted cottages are typical for Scandinavia, but not very common until the mid 18th century, thus the grey colour scheme.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Great Northen War, How to build a timbered cottage

I have completed a few more buildings for my Trondheim project. The basic idea is to create buildings that will fit into a snowy Scandinavian enviroment. All buildings are built for 28mm miniatures. The basic design is of a generic Nordic kind. The same type of buildings can be found all over Scandinavia, especially the mid/Northen part of this region. The only exception is Denmark and the southermost part of Sweden(Scania), since those areas lacked suffcient sources of timber. One can also see similair wooden structures in parts of Russia and North America. My project has a focus on historical events that took place around 1718, but the same terrain pieces can be used for earlier as well as later periods.  In this blog entry I will show off the first building of this new batch.

Here is a step by step description on how I built the timbered cottage you can see above.....

The first step....

First a made a base on which to start to start making the basic structure. The base was made out of foam core. The timber was cut and placed in a similair fashion as when building a full sized timber building. The main challenge is to place the groves on the individual timber logs. There has to be certain degree of precision, otherwise the whole structure will become scewed.  I began using sticks made out hard pine wood. This was a mistake. Cutting the groves proved to be a rather arduous task. The solution was to use soft balsa wood. My building is built out of balsa and pine wood, though do recommend you all to use balsa wood, unless you own a Dremel tool or something similar. 

Cutting the individual pieces of timber is quite important. This was the trickiest part of this project. Use soft wood like balsa wood to create the timber.

The underlying roof structure was made out of wooden spatulas.

The Windows and the door was made out of balsa wood and plastic bases found in a
box of Warlord plastic miniatures.

The chimney was made out of foam core. It was covered by tissue paper and model railway gravel.

An old bath towel serves a new purpose...

The first layer of black coat. It is very important that every spot on the basic structure is covered by black base coat. If not then the unpainted spots will shine through. The next layer will be dry brushed green. Finally three shades of grey will be added. The cottage is now ready for summer use. However this is supposed to be a piece in a winter scenery. A layer of dry brushed white and snow flock will be added last.