Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bit of an of mixed post this one with varied topics, as I have been very busy with the new term at school (little painting done). First I would to start with some new figures for Poles from the 17th century. The photo here is from the website of a little known company called 'Bears Den Miniatures' in the UK. The company has just released a large range of Poles to fight their very nice Ottoman range. The figures may well not be to everyone's taste but these winged Hussars in plate armour fill a gap that is still there in the market. The new Essex Miniature ones are unispiring (and mine have already been converted to Muscovite Hussars) whilst the Old Glory heavy cavalry are way too small and no one in his right mind could afford Foundry Miniatures (and they are small as well). TAG said they may do some Hussars in plate later on but as they are about to start a large TYW project I don't see this happening for awhile, if ever (there is also talk of an Italian Wars range after the TYW).
Anyway see this link for the new company I really like the Mounted command, Hussars, Tartars and small gun and crew whilst the Ottoman range has some very tasty Spahis and command on armoured horses, the foot figures are not really to my taste but the cavalry are very good and only cost 2 pounds each. I will be ordering some Hussars very soon and will post a review if anyone is interested. It is good to see a sudden surge in interest in Eastern renaissance wargaming and especially new and excellent ranges of figures.
Those who might be interested in the Transylvanian lists that I have posted for the Deluge period (very very pretty army), I obtained a great link from the Ottoman Wars Yahoo site posted by Rick Orli on the Hungarian and Ottoman cohabitation during the period 1500-1700. The link is and contains some good images and information on the ill-fated Transylavanian incursion into Poland during the Deluge period as allies of Karl X and the Cossacks.
On a completly different note I offer up a fantastic primary online source for the battles, uniforms and sieges of Karl X's wars in Poland and Denmark. During the Deluge period the Swedish king always had with him a very interesting character called Erik Dahlberg, whose writtings and drawings showed first hand all aspects of the campaigns of his King. Many of these drawings were used by Samuel Pufendorf to make a fantastic record (i.e. book) of the short reign of Karl X. These images always appear in the books that deal with Karl X and I thought I might see how much one of these would cost as it would be a fantastic resource. Anyway a quick search showed the cheapest copy going for 6000 Euros, so perhaps I might have to put it of awhile (Christmas present perhaps)? Here is the link online at a Polish University Have fun investigating the pictures, they have loads of uniform, battle and modelling inspiration.
Finally it has been inspiring to see a Yahoo group set up to talk about wargaming and the military history of Eastern Europe. There has been a lot of great discussion yet one thread has interested me a great deal and that is the one on wargaming the Deluge period. Daniel Staberg, a keen Swedish gamer who has studied the period closely at University maintains that because of the superiority of the Swedish army and the ad hoc basis of the Polish armies the battles will always be a one sided affair. This got me thinking because whilst this is true on paper the fact remains that the Swedes did lose the war and many major battles. The largest defeat being one of the last ones in Denmark during the war, Nyborg which saw a large Danish, Polish and Dutch force smash a smaller but experienced Swedish army. Daniel has made several very interesting statements but I think that he has approached gaming the period in a very different way to myself. I am a gamer who is interested in researching, collecting and painting my armies but it is a game that I play at the end of the day not a simulation. Daniel I believe is a simulator who tries to recreate the many different variables present in an army and a battlefield. I too once liked this style of gaming and would like to take it back up sometime (Empire and Ancient Empires), but and it is big but, the rules take ages to learn and a good sized game takes forever to play (2 days). Many people like to get their gaming over in a 4-5 hour period as family, jobs and the pressures of the modern world interfere in our day to day world and gaming time.
I would be the first to admit that WECW is not the perfect answer and that is why our group has taken ages to try and get it right. I think we have reached a happy medium for games under 6000 points and the mechanisms of the game can handle it in a reasonable manner. If you don't like a rule etc. change it so that all your gamers in the group feel happy. Gamers are a funny lot and we all have a different perspective on all aspects of the hobby but what has attracted me to the Deluge period is the huge variety of the armies and the personalities. The personality and career of Karl X just gets more and more interesting the more I read about him. Having spent several hundred dollars over the last few months on Swedish books I must say that the interest will coninue to grow.
To finish off my ramblings I would just like to check if people would be interested in a basic introductionary work on the Deluge period? I have been working on collating wargaming information (regiments, uniforms etc.), on the Swedish, Danish, Brandenburg, Muscovite, Cossack and Transylvanian armies and a basic overview of the campaigns. I would simply post it on this site as a link, but it is a fair way off as I am only half finished. Until next time, keep painting and I hope to have those damn Muscovite lancers posted next time.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thursday Game

Played my first game with a Muscovite army proper yesterday and had a very good win over Robert's Ottomans. It did help that I had Kevin on my side and his dice rolling was inspiring but 5000 points allows a player to put a lot of troops on the board which can cover some lost combats. I used my 2 Cossack pike and 2 Cossack cavalry as Muscovite new regiments, as I have yet to paint them up (got them Wednesday from Old Glory). I also recieved two cavalry unit packs from TAG yesterday for my Ottoman and Polish armies. I will start painting Ottomans when the Muscovites are finished but the next unit on the painting desk after the Jiltsi lancers are a 12 man Hussar unit using Polish Winged Lancer figures from Essex miniatures. These figures only need a bit of work with green stuff and of course no wings to pass muster as Muscovite heavy Hussars.
The Muscovite army used on Thursday had a German mercenary pike unit and cavalry regiment that Kevin had just finished painting, so this battle was the first blooding of his troops and they went well. Kevin is building an Austrian/Imperial army for the Deluge period whilst his brother Kenny has started a Mercenary army with 2 units of Scots which he will add German troops to later on. Karl X enlisted 3 regiments of Scottish foot totalling 3000 men for the Polish invasion in 1655 and a lot of German regiments (foot and horse). I am in the process of translating and listing a brief regimental history of these units from my newly purchased books from Sweden (Carlbom and Stade). Kevin's 15 year old son James is also building up a Brandenburg force that can be used as allies for the Swedes and then later on for the Poles, Austrians and Danes. The new gaming recruits and Russ (with Swedes) makes our group now number 6 very keen players, so I hope to start the campaign anew in the next few months and even sooner if Robert sells his very large collection of ECW figures to Kevin (come on mate I know you want to). Anyway will post the seperate lists over the weekend but now I am going to the movies to see 300 and see how dire the film really is. Cheers Scott

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Muscovites and Easter weekend

Hey guys had a great Easter weekend of gaming at the Brisbane Muster put on by friend Gerry Webb of Castaway Arts (thanks mate). My friend Nathan and I put on a very large game of WAB using the draft rules from the yet to be released "Successor Supplement", that I have been lucky enough to be a part of (hope these get published one day). We played the battle of Gabiene between Antigonus and Eumenes in 317/16 BC (see my Slingshot articles issues 233-34 if interested), and had a ball. This period has always been my favourite period and one that I hope to finish a PHD in one day, however my gaming enthusiasm has been tested by the long wait Jeff Jonas has had to endure to get this published (WAB headquarters seem to be interested in publishing supplements about little known periods from UK based authors or so it seems to non based UK gamers). Anyway anti WAB rant over, we used 12 x 6 foot desert terrain built by Robert Fletcher for the Sudan (the battle was in Iran and thanks again BOB), to recreate the battle and it looked and played very well with nearly 1000 28mm figures on the board. The battle was lots of fun and flowed backwards and forwards as a Macedonian civil war game should. I should have posted a taster picture of the game but as this is Blog is really about the Deluge period I will ask those who are interested to use the links page to visit Nathan's 'Lonely Gamers' page to see loads of pictures of the great game (he also has Broadband compared to my very slooooow dial up). I would also like to thank Kenny for taking loads of great pictures as my poor digital could not handle the poor light.

Anyway back to the Deluge period and my lists especially those concerning the Muscovite army which I have been busily painting. I recieved my Old Glory order today and am now able to build 5 x 8 units of New cavalry regiments (Reiter regiments) and finally have the pike components for the infantry units. I have added a Hussar unit to the lists that I somehow left out. I know the first unit was raised in 1662 but one squadron of each of the new reiter regiments were equipped in this fashion from the beginning. I don't really don't know how to simulate this in WECW, so the ability to field a seperate unit seems to be the best option in a Muscovite army of the Deluge period and very historical after 1662. Anyway it gives me the excuse to paint a very different unit which I can use the newly purchased Essex Miniatures to represent (without wings of course and Redoubt Miniatures heavy cavalry head conversions). The spare wings from the Polish Hussars that I now have can be used to represent Tartar nobles who nearly captured Karl X whilst fighting with the Poles. I have my first game with my Muscovites tommorrow versus the Ottomans (5000 points) and look forward to seeing how they play and I will post the photos ASAP. On the weekend I will post all of the improved and hopefully streamlined army lists by themselves on this site on the weekend so they can be quickly downloaded. Cheers Scott