Friday, June 30, 2006

Rhoxolani light cavalry

These are 2x10 figure light Sarmatian cavalry for my Pontic army (Rhoxolani). The figures are all Foundry Dacian/Sarmatian light cavalry with added shield, bow and quiver. They are all mounted on 1st Corps horses, some small conversions have been carried out on the figures such as the musican in the center of the top photo.

Sarmatian Nobles

This is the Sarmatian/Scythian King leading a 18 figure Sarmatian Noble cavalry unit (2 more to paint). The figures are a mix of Foundry Scythians, Sarmatians and Old Glory Sarmatians (many of the armoured horses are from Navigator Miniatures). These figures are presently used in the army of Mithradates of Pontus with varying results.


Two units of 15 Parthian Cataphracts. I use these in my Parthian army for WAB as well as Armenians as allies for the Pontic army of Mithradates. So far I have been using the Parthian and Pontic lists designed by Jeff Jonas for the forthcoming 'Successors' supplement (coming some time in 2007). The figures are a mix of Old Glory, Newline Designs and the old Navigator range. The character with the sword and lion cloak on the rearing horse is one of my favourites from Navigator.

Finally got around to painting some lance pennants and a flag for the Lithuanian Hussar unit. I will start painting the second unit of 12 very shortly, the unit will have a Bishop and be equipped with single wings.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Two units of Polish dismounted Dragoons, these are Old Glory Miniatures and are very detailed and easy to paint. The mounted pack from Old Glory are very good as well and would be the only cavalry pack from the Polish range that I would buy as the others are very small but this does not matter that much with Dragoons.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Essex Miniatures on Elite Miniatures horses painted as Lithuanian Pancerni with light lance, large saddle clothes added with Green stuff. The 2 varient rank and file figures are from the Muscovite range, kettle drummer is from the Polish range and the officer comes from the Ottoman Turk range. I have 4x12 units of Essex Miniatures Muscovite cavalry on the painting desk at the moment (on 1st Corps horses) as well as 2x12 units of Old Glory Muscovite cavalry. The bottom picture shows another view of the Polish Winged Hussars (can never have enough).

Polish Hussars

A unit of Redoubt Miniatures Polish Hussars and horses. I painted these for my friend Robert Fletcher along with 2x12 man Pancerni units, 30 dismounted Dragoons and a command base. I hope to one day persuade him that his main interest lays with the Ottomans and the Poles would find a fine home with me. I love painting these figures but hope to try a unit of TAG hussars next.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Saturdays game: Cossacks versus Ottomans

Hey guys here a some pictures from Saturdays Game: Surprise Attack Ukraine 1661.
The top one shows the full Cossack Tabor of 8 wagons 40 foot and 2 medium guns with 8 crew. The bottom one shows the Cossack line stretching into the distance.

The quality of some of the pictures are not the best (too excited whilst taking them into the sun).

Ottoman forces 6450 points
Cossacks 6400 points (200 foot, 4 guns and 136 cavalry)

Turn 1: Pre-Turn moves
The Cossacks had deployed first and launched a surprise attack on the Ottoman army who were still trying to get their unruly forces into formation. On the right flank a regimented Cossack unit of pike and shot moved up to secure the right flank of the small village, on the left a Cossack unit moved out of line and advanced towards the enemy.

Skirmishers of both sides (4 inches) and Nomadic style cavalry (Tartars 16 inches) get a free move and then the Cossack line advanced. The Tartars on the right flank fire at their traitorous brethren and kill one whilst the other unit to their left kill one of the heavily armoured Spahi. The medium gun fires at the line of Delis approaching but the fire goes over and fails to hit the huge column of Spihis behind them.

The whole line of Ottomans have finally gotten into some type of order and advance towards the Cossacks but their surprise attack has meant several pieces of vital terrain have already been taken whilst the Ottomans got slowly out of bed. The Ottoman rabble on their left loose of a volley at the Cossack tartar allies and kill one. The two units of Spahis on the left fail to hit any of the flighty cavalry to their front and in the centre the Ottoman Tartar kill one of their erstwhile brethren. The Tartars on the right target the regimented Cossack unit yet only kill one with their hail of arrows. Three Ottomans guns on their right target a large Cossack foot unit of 40 men and kill 5 brave heroes, they test for artillery fire and pass easily (so they should).
Turn 2
The Tartars in the village attack the Ottoman tartars to their front. Cossack foot unit on the left gave the Delis to their front a volley at long range and failed to hit a single figure but the neighbouring managed to kill three figures. The Tartars on the right flank kill another Spahi and two Akinjis. The guns on the right fire and kill one Kapikulu but the medium gun manages to blow the head of one of the crew who got in the way (misfire roll of 5). The Tartars in the centre fight viciously and the Cossack allies manage to kill two whilst suffering one in return (he rolled 4x5,6 to save his men) and the Ottomans also passed their leadership test.

The Delis fail their rash test and charge the foot unit to their front, 39 Cossacks and Orthodox Bishop (rules from the El Cid supplement). The Cossacks Tartars are charged by the entire Ottoman left flank and withdraw but this means the Tartar heavies are struck by a Spahi unit whilst stationary (big trouble). Ottoman guns once again target the same Cossack unit and kill four more heroes. The Delis are bounced by the Cossack foot and lose two figures and the Cossack unit pursues but fail to catch them (Cossack with the Bishop are subject to hatred). The Tartar nobles actually manage to beat the Ottoman Spahis and despite the nearby presence of their general they fail their test and are caught and destroyed but the rest of the Ottoman flank holds firm under the glare of their leader. The combat in the village between the two Tartar forces goes the way of the Ottomans but the Cossack allies just manage to hold (rolled a 6 for morale).

Some views of the battle, the top shows the right flank of the Ottoman line and the bottom shows the Cossack left facing it.

Turn 3

The Tartar nobles on their breakthrough charge the Ottoman general and his body guard whilst the Muscovite allies finally do something and charge the light cavalry to their front (two units of heavies on the Cossack right flank but obviously the Tsar had instructed them to observe and apart from killing two Tartars 24 Muscovite heavies did nothing except make up numbers). Three Cossack guns on the left fire, the first overshoots any target, the second shoots the head of another gunner (misfire roll of 5) and the third with its first shot blows up (I hate guns). Musket fire all along the line is ineffective but the combats all go the Cossacks way. The Ottoman Tartars in the village are beaten and finally destroyed but the Cossack allies get carried away and pursue into a rather large Janissary regiment (whops), the Ottoman general and his bodyguard are broken as are the Tartars protecting their flank (the whole Ottoman left flank has collapsed. The regimented Cossacks unit to the right of the village beats and destroys the Azab unit to its front but they pursue to far and have a Ottoman cavalry unit on its flank. The death of the general means the whole army has to test but most units pass the test but the Cossacks have the upper hand.

This turns sees everthing go from bad to worse for the Ottomans, the isolated Cossack unit is charged by an Ottoman foot and cavalry unit but manage to beat them off and they are caught in the pursuit which triggers several failed leadership tests. The only Ottoman victory for the game is the destruction of the Tartar unit which pursued into the Janissary unit.

Overview: The game only lasted three turns but because there was only the two of use and very large armies it took about 4 1/2 hours from start to finish (1/2 hour for a nice lunch of course). We took our time and apart from his accurate artillery fire Robert's dice were against him when it really counted. The turning point of the battle is when I killed his general (didn't even know it was there), many many times in the last 2 years I have killed Bob's general even when he had a higher WS then my general. He should have learnt by now keep his general away from any danger and this is especially so with WECW which doesn't superpowered characters (thank god), this is one of my main complaints against WAB. Look at the stats for a Saxon or Norman king and you could be mistaken in thinking that you are playing WFB. Anyway great game and we are hopefully going to start a 4,000 point aside campaign soon using the modified El Cid campaign rules, you can find them at the bottom of this Blog (5-6 players I hope). We had a great campaign using the El Cid campaign rules nearly 2 years and enjoyed them tremendously.

Collecting and Modelling the Armies

Collecting any of the ten Armies that I have written lists for is very easy with a wide range of excellent 25/28mm figures available from a number of Manufacturers, and the following figure ranges are just some of my model preferences and is in no way complete. The largest variety of figures presently on the market can be found amongst the Eastern Renaissance, Ottoman Turk and Cossack ranges by Old Glory miniatures, indeed the collector could build his complete collection from this source and be very satisfied with the result, just be wary of their smallish cavalry figures. Then there is the brilliant range of Polish, Muscovite and Ottoman figures sculptured by Nick Collier and marketed by the ‘The Assault Group’ (TAG), the only minus I can see with range is that they are slightly more expensive than their competitors (but you can buy them in unit packs which are very good value for money, drop them a line). The range of ECW figures designed by Nick Collier for Renegade and Bicorne Miniatures are superb and can be used at a pinch to represent European style cavalry and infantry units in many of the armies. Redoubt Miniatures produce a small range of Polish armoured and un-armoured Hussars and armoured Pancerni which are slightly larger than the TAG figures and positively dwarf the Old Glory horse, however these figures have to be some of my favourites on the market but just don’t mix them with other manufacturers. Redoubt also do a very large range of Ottomans which are very nice especially the heavy cavalry and they even include a nicely detailed wagon with small cannon, ideal for a Turkish wagon tabor. The ECW and TYW figures made by Redoubt miniatures are also some of my favourites and include all sorts of vignettes such as command groups, punishment scenes, gallows and a beautiful coach (I bought the three musketeers varient two weeks ago). Wargames Foundry make a small range of Polish figures as well as a larger ECW and TYW range which are very useful for our period, additionally a small Cossack range has some very beautiful figures which are truly inspiring. Perry Miniatures have a well designed and extensive ECW range, the two brothers also designed the Foundry Polish, TYW and ECW ranges. Essex Miniatures produce a surprising variety of figures for all ten armies listed above including ECW, Polish, Tartars, Ottomans, Cossacks and Muscovites, the Persian Islamic range is an excellent source for heavy Asiatic cavalry figures used in Ottoman, Tartar and even Muscovite armies. Finally there are several manufacturers of SYW/Napoleonic Cossacks that can be used to represent Regimented units of mounted Cossacks. I use several units of Cossacks from Elite miniatures Russian Napoleonic series and the SYW Cossacks from Front Rank Miniatures are also very good to represent the more uniformed regimented Cossack units.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The top picture shows a close up of the Swedish pike block and colours whilst the bottom one shows the two sleeves of shot deployed to the front of the pike ready to give those pesky Polish hussars a taste of Scandinavian firepower.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Swedish Infantry arrive

The Våstergotar infantry regiment marches into Poland, one sleeve of 10 shot in front of 20 pike and another 10 shot bringing up the rear (2 more foot units to paint plus 1 painted Scots regiment). Karl X introduced uniforms for all regular Swedish infantry regiments, so far my research shows 15 in total. The flags are from the later period of Karl XI (Karl X's son). I am waiting to pick up several books on Karl X's army which also depict his flags. I am going to Norway at Christmas with my partner and I will go across to Stockholm for several days and pick up these books and have another look at the excellent Swedish Armee Museum. The museum is highly recommended, it has loads on the TYW and GNW and they even have a large model diorama there from the TYW using several thousand 30mm foot and horse figures from the Swedish model manufacturer Tradition (wouldn't mind wargaming with that).

Scots in Swedish Service

Full Scots regiment of 40 figures in the service of the Swedish army in Poland 1655-60, with the musket wings deployed to the front of the pike. The flags used are from the TYW (Blue regiment I think).

Scots Pike

Pike component of a Scots regiment in the service of the army of Karl X of Sweden. The unit is composed of Renegade Miniatures with a couple of Redoubt pipers. The flags carried by this unit and most of the others in the army of Karl X has so far escaped my research but I will get there, anyone with information please share.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Starting the Deluge

Picture is the Swedish King Karl X. For anyone interested in the Deluge period in Poland, my recommended starting point is the fictional works of the great Polish author Henryk Sienkiewicz (better known in the West for Quo Vadis). The 3 books (but 4 volumes in English) are a fantastic read and their 3600 pages will keep you engrossed from start to finish, I have read them twice in the last year (girlfriend thinks I am slighty warped but I am a wargamer so what does she expect). The trilogy consists of; 'With Fire and Sword', 'The Deluge', and 'Fire in the Steppe'. If you just want an introduction to the story (80 pages) try 'The Trilogy Companion ISBN 0870522213', I got mine on Amazon for about 15 USD. For those whom visual inspiration is all important, all 3 books have been made into movies by the great Polish director Jerzy Hoffman. The movies are; 'With Fire and Sword 1999, 205 minutes', 'The Deluge, 1974, 280 minutes', and the last movie is called 'Colonel Woloyjwski 1969, 147 minutes' and is a rendition of the novel 'Fire in the Steppe', for those who like Poles versus the Ottomans this is the movie for you. All movies I got from Amazon and are Polish with English subtitles, unfortunatally they require a multi-regional DVD player to watch, if you are in Australia or UK. If you don't have one buy a cheap Chinese or Tawainese player for 60 dollars in Australia (they all seem to be multi-regional). If anyone is interested I will post website links and books that I found most useful but there is not that much in English, if you can read Swdish then there is a plethora of works to consult on all aspects of Karl X.

Close up of one of the light Tartar units. I have 3x10 light cavalry and 1x16 heavy cavalry units painted so far. I don't think I really need any more unless I decide to do a specific Tartar army. The 'Husaria' rules produced by Ian Wilson has excellent army lists for the period 1580-1680 and include at least 3 seperate Tartar lists. I have yet to play these rules but they look fun and I was fortunate enought to see a demo game put on by Ian and friends on the show circuit in the UK in 1999 (please more photos Ian). The game was Zbarazh 1648 and was shown in all its glory in Wargames Ilustrated (Feb. 200, no. 149). I blame Ian for my intense interest in the last 18 months, as the game, colour and history had a great impact upon me but did not come to fruition until I came back to Australia 2 years ago after 2 years in Norway studying. Our group played Zbarazh just over a year ago and one of our group (Robert Fletcher) even built a nice wooden fortress for the game. I must say that it was a great and fun game with the Poles trying to rescue their brethren from the besieged fortress, they had to fight through hordes of Cossacks and Tartars. I have painted more Cossack and Tartar cavalry since so we should give it another go.

More Tartars, light cavalry and a close up of the heavies, once again they are all Essex Miniatures and the lights are mounted on Old Glory horses (lights are on GW 60mm round bases, which I feel looks good for skirmishing cavalry). Some of you may have noticed that some of the figures have a slightly glossy look? This was a result of a so called spray matt varnish going wrong, I am sure many of you have had the same problem and I am still looking forward to finding a good and consistant matt spray (would really hand varnish everything if I wasn't so lazy).

Tartar heavy cavalry from Essex Miniatures on 1st Corps Miniatures horses. The Tartars are very useful figures for many armies during the 1640's-1680's, so you should paint some to use whenever they change their allegience (which was often). They fought for the Cossacks during the early years of their rebellion against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1648-54), they of course were vassals of the Ottomans and are almost always present in their army, they fought for the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth against the Swedish and Brandenburg forces during the Deluge period (1655-60). The cavalry above are heavies based upon references in the Polish and Muscovite Osprey volumes. The contemporary painting shows a type of Tartar cavalry with small wings fighting for their Polish allies, they very nearly captured the Swedish King Karl X and could have ended the war at a single stroke. Redoubt Miniatures do a pack of 5 large single wings that could be cut down to represent this Tartar type and I will post these when I finish painting them.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Nathan Vinson of 'Elite Miniatures Australia' who put on the game using his figures for the army of Ptolemy and my figures for the army of Demetrius. Nathan's Macedonian Pike (with red pikes) and Companions are from A and A miniatures, and his Greeks are Black Tree Designs. My Macedonian pike are Foundry whilst the two units of Pantodapoi are Essex and Old Glory. I will be posting Parthians, more Successors, Cathaginians and Caesarian Romans in the next few weeks. I will post photos of a large battle between Sulla's army and the Pontics of Mithradates when I talk one of my group into giving me a game (interested Mark!).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The breakup of forces for the battle of Gaza demo:Antigonid Early Successor Army
Demetrius, Sub commander and Battle standard; 2x10 Companions, 10 horse archers, 1x32 Silver shields, 2x32 Pantodapoi, 2x32 Greek Mercenaries, 30 Thracian Mercenaries, 3x12 light infantry (bow, sling and javelin units) and 5 elephants. Ptolemaic Early Successor Army
Ptolemy, Seleucus and Standard bearer; 1x10 Companions, 1x6 Companions, 1x10 Light Thracian cavalry, 3x32 Macedonian Pike, 3x32 Greek Mercenaries, 3x12 light infantry (bow, sling and javelin units and anti-elephant devices). The anti-elephant devices stopped the advance of Demetrius' elephants and unlike the real battle there ensued a push of pike in the centre. Demetrius' line had been upset by his own fleeing elephants and the honours went to Ptolemy and Seleucus.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Pikes about to clash, both sides have a phalanx mix of Macedonian, Pantodapoi (Pike armed native levies) and Greek mercenaries.

Two more photos from the Gaza demo game put on at the Brisbane Easter convention. The thracians are from an unreleased range by Gerry Webb at 'Castaway Arts', rumour has it that he is expanding the range to fully cover the Thracians in the Hellenistic period.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ptolemy's light troops spring their trap, boards with spikes linked together by chains. Diodorous Siculus (Bk. XIX 84.1-6) using the lost source of Hieronymous of Cardia (who was present at the battle), says that these stopped the elephants in their tracks. The anti-elephant devices are scratch built by Leroy Simpson who also painted many of Nathan's Greeks (he also painted the shields of my Greeks).

Demetrius' elephants advance against the light troops of Ptolemy who have a suprise in store them.

Demetrius leads his heavy cavalry into the attack. The picture of the battle line up should have noted that Demetrius' forces are on the left (with 5 elephants) and Ptolemy's army is on the right with anti-elephant devices.

I know that in the last month I have shown nothing but Eastern Renaissance but I am also a very keen ancients gamer (probably my main love). I and my gaming partners use WAB they are not perfect but they are fun and encourage well painted armies. These pictures are from a convention put on by Gerry Webb of 'Castaway Arts', in Brisbane over the Easter weekend. The battle played was Gaza 312 BC when the army of Demetrius was routed by that of Ptolemy and his ally Seleucus. The game was put on by my good friend Nathan Vinson who now owns and runs 'Elite Miniatures Australia'. Nathan and I originally brought the moulds and license in 1996 but university here and in Norway forced me to sell my share (Leroy Simpson was also owner and partner at one time, long story here). The armies used in the display come from my collection and that of Nathan's (I have more painted and unpainted). The terrain was done by Nathan and he used the trial Successor army lists from the forthcoming WAB 'Successor' supplement done by Jeff Jonas. I had been lucky enough to be invited to help with some of this supplement (early Successors), when it is published I feel it will be the best so far as Jeff and his Yahoo group have done a tremendous job.
Got to met the man behind the Blog 'Realistic Miniatures', Mark Temple yesterday (16-06 we had briefly met about 4 years ago), see Mark has a beautiful house in the Sunshine Coast hinterland just below the Mountville ranges. He has been collecting for many years and it was good to meet someone nearby who is as mad about the hobby as I am, but Mark has a mountain of painted and unpainted metal that puts me to shame. His Front Rank French SYW army is very large and a joy to look at, as is his ACW army (Dixon Miniatures). Mark has a very large shed that he uses for gaming and has a 12x6 foot table set up at the moment and he hopes to lengthen this to 24 feet (look forward to that)! Mark and I hope to have a game in the next few weeks, it will be set in the Deluge period (1655-60) with Swedes versus the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Mark is currently very interested in the ECW and he has loads of Bicorne and Renegade ready to go, so these along with my Swedes will be battling the proud and couragous Poles. I will post the games photos when we play but next week my Cossacks will put to flight the Ottoman Turk army that has had the temerity to invaded the sacred Ukraine (6,500 points a side), see you then.

Friday, June 09, 2006

SYW Blog

Hey guys just a quick note to point you all to another site that has some excellent modelling articles and resources (templates) for a Vauban typ fortress that would great with the Polish and Swedish forces I am building up. The blog is at when I work out how to add links I will put it up. The blog is called The Duchy of Alzheim and it was an article about this site in the wargaming magazine 'Battlegames' that got me onto creating a Blog of my own. The site has some axcellent old style figures and the 'Prince August' figures remind me of my first starter kit from them when I was 13, had a thing for Swedish troops of Karl XII ever since. All good stuff, check it out!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Haven't posted for awhile so I will post a few pictures of my growing Polish army. These Pancerni are by Redoubt miniatures and are mounted on Bicorne horses with tassles and saddle cloth made with Games Worshop green stuff.