Sunday, September 27, 2015

Great Northen War, A New Russian infantry unit and Danish Cuirassiers


I have two new units to add to my Great Northen War collection. First we have a new Russian unit.
The colours of this unit is a bit unusual, however it could be either one of the unit Kievski or
Ingermanlandski. Both units had the same uniform colours. The flags are speculative. It's not regiment colours, rather it is flags that denote a particular company, if I am not mistaken. The two units fought the Swedes at Poltava 1709.

The minatures are a mix of Reiver Castings and Warefare miniatures. The flags are from Warfare miniatures.

The Cuirassiers below are Danes from the 1st Jyske cavalry regiment. The unit started as an ordinary cavalry unit, but was turned into a Cuirassier regiment during the early 18th century( a rather odd move). They were present with body armour and all of that at Helsingborg 1710.

The miniatures are a mix of Warfare miniatures and Wargames factory. The flag is a fabric flag bought from Maverick Models

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Heroes of the Revolution Don't Surf - But They Do Like Heavy Metal....

Hi Guys,
I have just completed another set of Soviets for our Karelian and East Front gaming using the Chain of Command rules. This project started with me and Jeppan doing some gaming set in the Finnish Winter War. Then it just sort of grew....
So now I find myself with Soviet figs in both winter and summer gear along with some tanks, guns, etc. Here's the latest batch of stuff.

For my winter guys there's a sniper for those times you want to remove a particular counter-revolutionary individual in a precise manner.
And then there's a super-heavy KV-2 tank for those other times when you don't need to be subtle about enforcing Marxist-Leninist ideology and don't mind sending over 15 cm HE shells to remove the enemies of the Revolution (and incidentally re-arranging the landscape).
Winter sniper and KV-2 tank
And even in summer someone has to bring the troops more ammo and, more importantly, vodka and borstj. For that you do need some transport as provided by GAZ trucks and lend-lease Jeeps.

Jeeps and GAZ trucks

I also added a few more SMG-toting avtomatchiki in summer gear along with another sniper.
SMG-equipped Heroes of the Revolution and a sniper.

And I found I really liked the look of the KV-2 behemoth, so I did one for summer use as well.
KV-2 and Avtomatchiki advancing

The whole gang's off to find some enemies to chastise, led by Mr Collateral Damage in the KV-2......

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Forlorn Hope - perhaps not the smartest thing

I thought I had completed the Imperialist force last weekend. (The force was supposed to be used in playtesting the upcoming game "Pikemans's Lament") . That provet not being the case. I lacked 6 points. Like in Lion Rampant 24 points is kind of a standard size for a basic army( or whatever is supposed to call this). Supposedly a force of Musket armed Forlorn Hope would cost 6 points. 

Forlorn Hope is the kind of guys that indeed are forlorn. They are the ones that are supposed to rush forth in front of their unit and do something bord....think the guys with a ladder during a siege. They are usually the ones that die first. However leaders are boring and siege warfare is not the main scope of this game. So I figured that Guy with a serious bomb surrounded by Musket armed  protecting compatriots would do the trick. When talking bombs during the Thirty years war I suppose one have to do with a powder leg and a fuse. Ones at the right place it's a matter of lighting the fuse and dropping the keg. With a bit of a luck one might survive the blast.  

The poor follow with the 17th century bomb, he is goner for sure....

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Imperialists from the Thirty Years's War

I was somehow drafted into a playtesting project by a friend of mine, Michael(Dalauppror).  You can read more about this upcoming gamed called Pikeman's Lament on his blog. In this project he cooperates with the author of Lion Rampant, Daniel Mersey. In short it is a big skirmish game, much as in the same manner as Daniel Mersey's previous game Lion Rampant.  If you find the basing a bit odd then blame it on Michael, he made me do it. ;)

The Officer with the flag is from Warlord minatures. I am usually not a fan of casted flags, but somehow this one worked out fine. 

In any case I was supposed to paint up an Imperialist force from the Thirty Year's War. So I bought some straight out of the Box Warlord minitures and added some odd bits and pieces. That would do for the infantry, but I needed cavalry. Why then settle for ordinary cavalry when there are Curassiers- the very last fully armoured warriors in history. Sören another friend at the club informed me about a fairly new brand that was turning out miniatures - Bohemian Minatures. The brand is Czech, but the sculpts have been made by Paul Hicks. In short they are among the best you can find for this period. I can recommend them. The delivery was swift and efficient. I got then miniatures within a week of ordering.

The Pikemen - a must in this conflict. 

Unfortunatly Bohemian miniatures do not make any horses. Thus one have to buy these beasts seperatly . Front Rank horses are supposed to be the best match, but I found some Old Glory horses that was gathering dust in my drawers, and they fitted perfectly.

The unit I painted got a rather uniformed look. Maybe I was a bit influenced by the cover if the Warlord Box. During the Thirty Year's War the concentrated of uniforms were not really invented as such. However one numerous paintings regimenets from the time could have some kind of uniform semblance. This probably had to do with the fact that cloth for the soldiers' clothing were often issued in bulk when the unit was raised. If so then a unit would have a certain uniform look at the start of a campaign. Certain armies, notably the Swedish army as well as the Imperial army of Wallenstein had at times centralized systems of cloth production. When issued cloth I doubt the soldiers would have recieve an ample selection of colours to chose from.

Alt Piccolomini Curassiers 

The flag from the other side

The flags in this force( I could hardly call it an army) are more or less copied from historical sources. The Infantry have been given the colours of a unit that lost it colours at the very last staged of the war, captured at Prague in 1648. The name of the unit remains unknown. The flag is currently a  part of the Swedish State Trophy Collection. So is also the flag of the Curassiers. It was lost at Jankow in 1645. The name of this unit is Alt Piccolomini, named after the Imperial General Octavio Piccolomini (1599-1656).  Most of details I got from the book " In Hoc Signo Vinces - A presentation of The Swedish State Trophy Collection". It a very useful source when it comes to flags. You can find all kinds of flags taken from the enemies of the Swedes( Danes, Russians, Imperials and a few more). It also writen in English, which would make it bit easier for those that doesn't speak Swedish( I can Imagine there are a few out there). I picked up the book at fleamarket, so I have no idea what to pay for it in full price.

The book I used as main source for my flags

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Summer in the Ukraine

Yesterday me and Sören played a game of Big Chain-of-Command set on the outskirts of Kiev during operation Barbarossa.
The idea behind this scenario is that Infanterie-Regiment Grossdeutschland is taking part in the encirclement of Kiev (which they did historically), and is tasked with taking control of a suburban area just outside the city.
At the same time as the IRGD task force is approaching their objective, a similar Soviet force is moving up to defend the area.
Sören had painted up a very nice infantry platoon from IRGD with some armour support. And I used my new summer Soviets, so it was actually the first time any of these figures were used in a game.


There was an urban area in one corner of the table, where the Soviets could enter. The rest of the table was fairly open countryside with farm buldings, crops and small patches of wood.
There was also a river with a couple of bridges running down the length of the table.
The table - Soviets to enter from the right in this picture


This was Sören's first full game of CoC, so we decided to keep things simple and did a basic encounter scenario. We just entered our Patrol Markers from our respective table edges. There were no terrain objectives, and the mission was simply to force the opponent to withdraw.


As we were doing a Big Chain of Command scenario, we had two platoons each. Sören used a standard German Barbarossa rifle platoon and an armoured platoon consisting of a PzIII with the short 50mm gun and two early StuG III.
I used a standard Soviet Barbarossa Rifle platoon and a full strength tank platoon of 5 T-26s.
We rolled quite low for Force Support, so there was not that much stuff we could add. The Germans added a sdkfz 222 armoured car and a satchel charge (both assigned to the infantry platoon), while the Soviets gave each infantry squad leader an SMG.

Early Game

The Germans gained initiative and deployed a squad in the table centre (obviously headed for the cover of the built up area and the juicy Soviet Jump Off points over there). The German Armoured platoon entered in the centre of the table as well and headed for the BUA too. The Germans at this point had a series of remarkable Command Dice throws and generated a huge number of Chain of Command dice and double moves. While this was very nice, the huge number of CoC dice meant that there were not that many actual command dice available to deploy and move troops.
The Grossdeutschland Regiment rushes forward
The Soviets had more average command dice and entered most of the tank platoon opposite, but not in LOS of, their German counterparts. A couple of Soviet infantry squads deployed into houses in the BUA to prevent the German squad and StuGs to just roll right over them.

Soviet infantry and tanks deploy in and around the BUA to counter the attacking Germans

Mid Game

The German infantry squad heading for the BUA sprinted into a large stone building, where it was engaged by a Soviet squad in a nearby wooden building, and settled in for a firefight.
Meanwhile the German armoured platoon trundled up to support the fight in the BUA and caused some casualties to the Soviet infantry.
But at the same time, the painfully slow Soviet T-26s managed to trundle forward far enough to be able to fire on the German squad in the stone building while still being out of LOS of the German armour.
The German armour moves up to support their infantry in the stone building in the foreground

The Soviet infantry deployed another couple of squads in farm buildings outside the BUA, while the Germans countered by deploying their remaining infantry squads on both flanks along with the sdkfz 222 armoured car. (At this point, the game got so tense, I forgot to take any photos for a while. Sorry....)

Both the Soviet and German infantry in the BUA were taking casualties while the Soviet infantry in the farm buildings on the flanks were being pounded by the German armoured car and a tank that rolled into position to engage. The Soviets lost two squad leaders, and suffered some loss of morale.
At the same time, one of the German squads was getting seriously depleted in spite being in good cover. But that was not surprising, as it was being fired on by several T-26s and two Soviet squads. But it did not go down and gave as good as it got. Brave lads in that German squad....
The other German squads started rushing forward, but had quite a distance to go.

Late Game

The end game was quite sudden and brutal.
The German tank commander decided on a bold gamble. He advanced into LOS of the Soviet tankers and then used some Chain of Command dice to fire repeatedly on the T-26s before the Soviets could react. This could very well have worked, but the Germans were quite unlucky in their die rolling; every round fired hit the T-26s, but caused little damage in spite of the decent German guns and the poor armour on the Soviet tanks.
The decisive armoured battle with the seemingly invulnerable T-26 in front, shrugging off the concentrated fire of the PzIII and the StuGs
With all those hits and the poor armour on the T-26s the Germans really should have knocked out at least one of their targets. But luck was with the T-26s. Especially one of them that was in an exposed position and took seven or eight hits from all German AFVs with only a damaged gun sight and some shock as a result. The guys in that crew needed a bottle of Vodka each to calm their nerves after the battle....
In reply, the T-26s, with similar guns to the Germans, scored several hits on the German platoon commander's vehicle and knocked out its main gun as well as killing the driver. The platoon commander was now a sitting duck unable to shoot back or get out of the way. Ouch.
The German platoon commander's tank is knocked out, and things are starting to go pear-shaped for the Grossdeutschland...
The StuGs then opened fire again on the T-26s, but once more did no real damage.
Finally, the T-26s fired a final volley that knocked out the German command tank and one of the StuGs as well. The final StuG was damaged.
One of the StuGs go down as well, finally repelling the Germn attack.
The only remaining AT weapon for the Germans was the brave sdkfz 222 armoured car and an explosive charge carried by an infantryman. The German infantry was in pretty good shape, except for the one squad in the BUA, but the other units were too far away and dispersed to have an effect for quite some time.
The Soviet tanks had suffered no complete losses, and although the infantry had taken a beating with two squads badly depleted, the Soviet infantry platoon's morale had held up quite well.

But, with the loss of the German armour, we saw no real prospect for the Germans to force the Soviets back, so at this point we decided to call it a day. The IRGD were repulsed and did not take this gateway to Kiev today.
There are gloating victory bulletins in Pravda celebrating this glorious victory, and Comrade Stalin is ordering big shiny medals for everyone.

Meanwhile, back at the Wolfsschanze, Adolf is foaming at the mouth and plotting revenge......