Thursday, September 29, 2016

Some Swedish

Still waiting for the Mars box, I decided to paint some more Swedish, using the Strelets boxes.

The first unit is the Sachsiska Regiment (Schommer), raised in 1707 with Saxon prisoniers from the Battle of Fraustadt. It was a purely muskeeter regiment; in 1718 the grenadiers wore the mitre cap, so I depicted a couple of  miniatures in such an attire. It is a way to use the countless grenadiers present into the Strelets box of Swedish infantry, in fact. The regiment was disbanded in 1721 and fought with distinction at Helsinborg and in the Norwegian campaigns of 1716 and 1718.

The other two units are cavalry. By the way the Strelets Swedish Reiters have the cuirass, as already noted on the post on the Danish cavalry. So they are pretty incorrect when one want to depicts the Swedish horse. Of course one can simply paint the coat over the cuirass or in alternative use the Swedish Drabants from Strelets without painting the lace. The problem with the Drabants are the shabraques. So, after having used a cuople of horse to make the Drabants base and another three to made General Officer horses, I was left with a bunch of horses with wrong shabraques. No problems at all: knife and Green Stuff, and we get the correct saddle.

The first regiment is the Adelsfana och Sverige i Finland, the oldest horse regiment of the Swedish Crown. Here is the “middle war” blue uniform with blue lining. Captured at Poltava, rebuilt and present at Helsinborg.

The other regiment was not at Helsinborg but I did it mainly to use the kettledrummers from the Swedish Reiter box. By using the Italaerei Mameluks head I obtained the Pommerska Dragoner kettledrummer, a moor whose name was Karl Johann and which is on the cover of the first edition of L.E. Hoglund book:

This is the result I obtained. However, I didn’t modify the kettledrums, I liked the original sculpt indeed.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

More Danish for Helsinborg

There were 3 Dragoons regiments at Helsinborg.

Livdragoner. The sources gives either green or white cuffs and lining. I went for white because I like the combination.

Bulow (Ungarske) Dragoner. This regiment was in service of Austria during the Spanish Succession War. There are many uniform variants, I went for the one with blue cuffs and lining. The cap was a typical “croatian” item: however I went for a regular tricorne which could be also in use.

Själland-Fynska Land Dragoner. Also this regiment has at least two variants known: one blue with white cuffs, the other in gray with blue lining. I choose the latter because I realized that none of my Danish cavalry regiment was in grey.

To complete the infantry I need one more box of MARS Saxon Infantry. Since my local seller was run out of the item, I need to order one box on the Web. In the meantime, by scraping the “bottom of the box” and with some help from the MARS Swedish Infantry, I was able to finish the Marine Regiment.

Also this regiment has many uniform variants grey with white or blue cuffs, red with yellow cuffs: by the way, the one with the red coat was probably a mistake of the “Swedish spymaster” which mistook the red cloack for a coat.  I decided for the 1695 uniform, grey-white with white cuffs and stockings since I liked the idea to have such a combination.

Danish Artillery. The gun is from Revell TYW Artillery. By the way the Strelets Swedish Artillery box allows for some nice scenette. Here the Officier is looking towards the enemy lines and the gunner with the sponge is probably asking himself what the hell he is looking for. The other two gunners, in the meantime, are minding they own business….

The red gun carriage are known for the Norway army: however I used the combination also for the Danish, since we have no clues for the carriage color.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Maurice playtest: part III.

The Swedish develops its attack, using “Passage of Lines” to interpenetrate its artillery without being disrupted. Four brigades move towards the Danish line.

The Danish conforms its line in a concave manner to maximize its fire,

and “stealing” the volley phase to the Swedish hit the leading trained brigade with canister.

In its move the Danish plays the card “This was not on the Map” and places a swamp straight in front of the Swedish leading brigade.

The swedish, undaunted, moves its artillery in front of the infantry and during the volley phase shot with cannister the Danish artillery, using “Whiff of grape”.

At this point we leave the narration to a contemporary witness: 

“The young Hereditary Prince of Denmark was with the Army. Despite the advice of the courtier, the young man was riding in front of the infantry when, suddenly, a cannonball beheaded him. Great was the shock for the death of His Highness and the soldier, as well as the Officiers were deeply demoralized, the High Rank officers speechless by thinking at the King rage”.

The Swedish play “Death of an Hero”, roll a 6 (even) and the Danish morale lower to 2. (I used the morale definition and the morale losses of the Lite version, so any unit which breaks is a loss of one point of morale. So the Danish army is only two units to the morale breaks).

The Swedish press on with the infantry attack, taking punishment by the Danish volley fire in the process. At this point the Danish charges with its right wing cavalry the Swedish cavalry, playing “Stirrups In”. The attack breaks the enemy cavalry: 1 morale point lost for the Swedish.

This result forces the second line brigade to wheel to confront the Danish cavalry, putting the whole Swedish attack in disarray:

in the following volley phase the Danish cavalry is fired by enfilade and breaks: only 1 morale point remaining; however in the firefight the “Lethal volley” advantage is taking a toll on the Swedish infantry, with the two most exposed brigade with 3 Disr each.


To make thing worst the Danish plays “Confusion” and the supporting brigade, after having broken the cavalry, get lost “à la Roos”.

But, when everything seemed lost for the Swedish, the Danish artillery is destroyed by cannister and the Army Morale breaks. The destruction of two swedish brigades by volley fire is useless, the Swedish retain 1 Army Morale points and win the battle, with one brigade of infantry and one of cavalry still fresh and uncommited.

We leave again the narration to our witness: 

“Our infantry, with a continuous and precise fire broke the swedish attack. However the Generals were deeply depressed by the Prince death and the soldiers were scared by bad omens. So after a Council of War the Commander decided to let the Swedish army escape its punishment and ordered the retreat, which was done with composure and order, in a gloomy mood”.

The “butcher bill”: 3 Swedish units to 2 Danish.

To summarize the result, I find the Rules easy to understand and the play was smooth and very funny. To the question: “Is it a good historical simulation”, the answer is manifold. First of all we have to decide what is historicity when we move miniatures on a green cloth. In any case, the rule renders the “chrome” of a XVIII battle well enough, with an ebb-and-flow tempo: of course a modicum of role-playing is part of the game. To give a more precise answer to the question I’ll play Kolin with Maurice and with Volley&Bayonet (the same can be done with Might&Reason) to better grasp the pros- and cons- of the two different simulation.
It was a funny replay and Maurice from here to now on will stand together with V&B in my Rules Pantheon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Maurice playtest: part II, the battle starts.

The battle starts with the Swedish left wing cavalry which advances to protect the infantry attack.  When the Swedish charges their card “Stirrups On” is counterplayed by the Danish card “Attack falters"

(In the top image the brown dices are the basic value, 6, the red and blue the dices rolled. In the right image the situation is after the Danish counterattack)

For a couple of moves the battle rages with 3 Disr for both; the Danish plays “Valeur and Discipline”, recovering all Disr and going to have the edge in the combat. At this point the Swedish advances two brigades of infantry for support. At the end the ensuing volley fase both cavalry are with 4 Disr, on the verge of being broken.

A second line brigade is put in column to support the advance: it will be a costly error, since it will remain stranded in the rear of the Swedish position till the end.

The Swedish in despair tries to rally its cavalry and succeeds: the Danish has no option left then to retire with a retrograde movement.

At this point the Swedish has two options: close to kill or pass: with few cards left, an activation at 12 BW would be costly and the Swedish decide to pass, takes 3 cards, and gives the Danish cavalry the possibility to recover.

(Notice in the picture the makeshift, less intrusive, Disr markers. The Disr value is that in contact with the unit)

At the end of this phase of the battle the Swedish is placed in a better position and can go ahead with the planned attack in echelon. The central part of the battle is going to develop.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Maurice playtest: part I

In the late 2013 I playtested Maurice Lite: no picture were taken since the camera was jammed at the time. Then in 2014 I bought the fully-flegded version of Maurice and after a more couple of years I decided to playtest it. I have painted enough Danish units to get a small army to oppose at a more or less equally small Swedish one.

The situation is that of the Scanian campaign, a small trained Danish army against a more numeros but less trained Swedish army (so this will not be Helsingors, rather an “Helsingors Lite”…). I kept the terrain as simple as possible (a wood and an hill with a stream at the “short” boundaries, two small hills behind the lines to mark the objectives.

The Danish army (in background) is composed by 2 Regular Cavalry, 3 Regular Infantry and 1 gun, all Trained. The national advantage is “Lethal Volley”. Total points 45.

The Swedish army (in the foreground) is composed by 2 Regular Cavalry, 1 Trained Regular Infantry, 4 Conscript Regular Infantry and 2 guns, Trained: the infantry is all pike-armed. The national advantage is “A là Baionette”. Total points 46.

The Army Morale should be 3 for the Danish and 4 for the Swedish: I fixed both Army Morale to 4 to avoid “sudden death” situations in the very first stages of the playtest.
The battle is a small one, so I can concentrate to understand the rules.

The Swedish plan is to attack with the left flank, which is covered by the wood: the cavalry must spearhead the advance of the trained unit (that with red facings: Narke-Varmalands and Jonkopings) and two further conscript units. The other two conscript are “refused” and protected by the cavalry. By using “A la Bàionette” the swedish hope to break the Danish morale and maybe conquest the objective.

The Danish plan is straightforward: wait for the Swedish advance and kill them piecewise with the “Lethal Volleys”.

The Danish centre with the artillery in front of the infantry units. From left-to-right Lollandske and Prins von Hesse brigade, 1st Danske and Prins Christian brigade and on the right Garden tip Fods and Grenadierkorpset brigade (I didn't make this brigade Elite in the playtest).

The Swedish centre: on the right the Narke-Varmaland and Jonkopings Trained brigade.

A close-up of the left-wing swedish cavalry with the two lines of infantry in background.

The view from the Swedish right-centre towards the Danish line.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Danish heavy cavalry at Helsinborg

There were six heavy cavalry Danish regiments at Helsinborg which I painted from the Strelets Reitars of Charles XII box. Their uniform was, before 1711, a grey-white coat with colored facings, only the Livgardet with a red coat and yellow facings. However their battledress was a buff coat (Kyller) with a black breastplate. I opted for such an outfit for all but the Livgardet which I represented in red.

Going into details the six regiments are:

1st Jyske Cavalry Regt: the oldest cuirassier regiment of the Danish army, in an uniform very old-fashioned with an helmet reminiscent of TYW. Indeed in 1699, they received royal permission to continue to wear a breastplate, which also covered the back as well as helmets and maybe even cover the arms and legs. Luckily enough the Strelets box has just two miniatures of this type (three if we count the an odd kettle-drummer)

Livgarden Til Hast Horse Regt: at Helsinborg, according to Snorrasson, the regiment was dressed in buff coat. However I like the red/yellow combination and I painted it accordingly. Also the flag is a later model, from 1720, the 1710 flag being white with some unknown design. 

1st Sjaelland Horse Regt.

1st Fynske Cavalry Regt.

2nd Fynske Cavalry Regt.

3rd Sjaellandske Cavalry Regt.

To complete the Danish Army at Helsinborg i have to paint three dragoons and  six infantry regiments, plus artillery and commanding officers.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Kolin: an update

Some time ago I started to post about the project Kolin, a case study of the battle simulation with three different set of rules, namely Volley and Bayonet, Maurice and Db-Hx, all of which have a nice scenario for such a paradigmatic battle.

At that time I missed a lot of hussars regiments to complete the V&B scenario. In these months I filled the gap and thanks to a new photo camera I am going to show you the results.

The 6 Austrian regiments still missing, which in details are, left to right: first line HR 41, Warasdiner, HR 17, Kalnoky, HR 36, Palatinal, second line HR 35, Morocz, HR 34, Desseffwy, HR 11, Nadasty).

The Prussians: 

HR 3, Warnery, HR 4, Puttkammer and  HR7, Malachowsky, (left-to-right)

on the right the HR 8 Gersdorff (the Maxen Red Hussars) and the HR 5 Ruesch (Totenkopf), whereas on the left two cuirassiers regiments which I didn't paint yet because they weren't at Torgau, the CR 9 Bredow and the CR 6 Baron von Schoinach (both of the Maxen lot, too)