Showing posts with label Russian Army. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Russian Army. Show all posts

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Battle of Fraustadt; 3rd February 1706 : Western Poland.

On a cold February morning in 1706, two armies faced each other across a  frozen plain. Facing East, a combined army of Saxon and Russian troops in a prepared position.

Facing West, a much smaller but very determined army of Swedish infantry and cavalry. There were no artillery pieces amongst these formations as their General, Rehnskoild had decided on a very rapid advance.

The two armies differed in composition. The Swedish army had all the cavalry and very little infantry. The Saxons along with their Russian allies had the infantry and guns, but very few cavalry.

Why was this?. Further East, the Swedish army led by their King, Charles 12th, besieged the Russian held town of Grodno. He had most of his infantry with him. The Saxon commander King Augustus " The Strong" had taken most of his cavalry in an attempt to break the siege.

General Schulenburg, the Russo- Saxon General left Saxony to attack what he thought would be a very weak Swedish battle group. On that cold February morning he had a very rude awakening.

Rather than retreating, that weak Swedish army led by a very resolute General had decided to attack!!

This is the opposing forces;


10,300 Saxon Infantry and artillerymen.
2,700 Saxon Cavalry.
40 Field Guns.
5,000 Russian Infantry.

Total: 18,000 = 18 points x 3 = 54 points.

The Saxons;
8 stands of Line Muskets @ 2 points each = 16 points.
2 stands of Pikemen @ 3points each = 6 points.
4 stands of Heavy Field Guns @ 2 points each = 8 points.
4 stands of Line Cavalry @ 2 points each = 8 points.
1 General ( Schulenburg ) @ 1 point.

The Russians;
4 stands of Line Muskets @ 2 points = 8 points.
1 stand of Pikemen @ 2 points = 2 points.
1 stand of Grenadier Muskets @ 3 points.
1 General ( Goltz ) @ 1 point.

The Swedish Army;

6,000 Cavalry.
4,600 Infantry.

Total; 10,600 = 10.6 points x 3 = 32 points ( rounded up).

1 General Rehnskoild @ 2 points.
1 General Von Krassow @ 1 point.
1 General Hummerhelm @ 1 point.

6 stands of Line Muskets @ 1 point each = 6 points.
2 stands of Pikemen @ 3 points each = 6 points.
8 stands of Line Cavalry @ 2 points each = 16 points,

Here is a map of the battle;

With a battle such as this where there are a disparity of forces special rules have to be introduced. The circumstances themselves played a part also.

● The Swedish stands are moved first on every Game-Turn.

●The Swedish Army gets the Initiative Point every Game-Turn.

● On every Game-Turn every Stand of the Swedish Army can be moved if desired. Before the Saxon-Russian Army can move, a 12 sided die is thrown. The result of the throw is the number of stands within the Saxon-Russian army that can be moved including Command stands. The type of stand to be moved is at the discretion of the player.

This rule is used because, during the actual battle there no clear command decisions being made within the allied army.

● The only stands that cannot be moved are the Russian Guns. If a gun stand suffers a " Move Back" as a result of firing it is given a "cannot fire" marker ( or a marker of any description ) which remains in play for that Game-Turn. If the Gun Stand suffers a "Move-Back as a result of Combat, it is removed from the table altogether. ( the crew have been killed and the gun dragged out of position).

● During the Firing Phrase of every Game-Turn, the Swedish Army always fires first, with every stand that can fire. The Saxon-Russian Army has a 12 sided die thrown for it. The result will show the number of stands that can fire. Any Artillery stands that are to fire are included in that number.

● Combat is played out as normal. The Swedish horses did not have shoes fitted so a number of them fell over on the icy ground during the advance,but this did not seem to effect their attack.

Removing a Defence-work;

The front of the Russo-Saxon army was cover by sections of Chevau-de-Frise. If a Swedish infantry stand is adjacent to a section at the start of a Game-Turn with no enemy stand adjacent to the same section, the Swedish stand can try to remove it.
Roll a 6sided die. If the result is 3,4,5 or 6 the section of defence work can be removed.

Final thoughts: When I read about this battle, French Grenadiers and line infantry were mentioned as being present in the Saxon ranks but as there was no further information on the actions of these units I have not included them in the initial deployment.
The battle was fought on a 3 foot x 2 foot ( 90cm x 60cm ) table of 2 inch ( 50mm ) squares.

The Winner.
This will be the side with the lower number of stands lost at the end of eight Game- Turns.
If both sides are equal in the number of stands lost, the Winner will be the side which lost the least total of points in stands lost.


The figures are a mixture of Miniature Figurines and Peter Pig. The Chavau-de-Frise sections are from Irregular Miniatures.

The flags are pieces of masking tape roughly hand painted by myself.
The buildings were painted and supplied by Total Battle Miniatures.
The trees were from Amazon and decorated with a snow paint by Tamiya and a snow kit from www.
The log sections were from Blotz ( I think?)
The snow field, river and roads were made from sections of thin cardboard bought from Wilkinson and The Works ( two local stores).
The backdrop and square 40mm bases were made from picture-framing cardboard supplied by The Works.
Finally. The round 40mm command bases were supplied by Minibits.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

The Great Northern War Part 3 : Narva 20th November 1700

The forces I used were scaled down as follows;

Swedish Army : 11,000 = 11 points.
(11 points x 3= 33 points).

General Rehnskiold ( C-in-C )

2 stands of  line Cavalry @ 3points = 6 points.

 3 stands of Line Infantry @ 2 points =6 points.
1 stand of Grenadier Inf @ 3 points.

 1 General=2 points.

General Vellingk:

2 stands of Line Cavalry @ 3 points= 6 points.

3 stands of Line Infantry @ 2 points = 6 points.

1 stand of Grenadier Infantry @3 pts= 3 points.
1 General @ 1 point.

The Russian Army : 20,000 = 20 points.
( 20 points x 3= 60pts ).

General Duke Charles Eugene De Croy  C-in-C.
General Sjeremetiev.

 3  stands of Cavalry @ 3 points = 9 points ( dismounted ).

 3 stands of Grenadier Infantry @ 3 points= 9 points.
14 stands of Line Infantry @ 2 points = 28 points.

  6 stands of Militia Infantry Skirmishers @ 1 point = 6 points.

 3 stands of Cossack Light Cavalry @ 2 points = 6 points.
 2 Generals @ 1pt= 2pts.

NOTE:  The Swedes get the initiative on every Game-turn.

●  The Swedish garrison did not play any part in the battle.

●  The artillery of both sides did not play any part in the actual battle.

●  The Russian army totalled 45,000 men, but only 20,000 faced the Swedish army.

●  The Russian defenseworks were given as 2 metres ( 6 feet 6 inches ) in height.

●  The  Swedes managed to break through in two places, hence the gaps. Therefore stands of both sides cannot move over the defense works or engage in close combat.

●  Opposed stands cannot fire across the defenseworks at each other if positioned in squares either side of the defenseworks. However Russian stands can fire out at the Swedish stands if the Russian stands are positioned against the defenseworks on their side and the Swedes are two squares away on the outside.

●  Stands cannot add points for " support " if there is a defense work section between friendly stands.

●  If any Russian stands suffer a " move-back" as a result of Firing or Combat, those stands are  moved toward either the camp or the bridge depending on their position and facing. Any stands that cannot be " moved back" are removed as casualties.

●  At the end of any Ģame-turn should the Russians have two stands on the bridge, a 6 sided die is thrown.   If a " 1" is thrown, the bridge collapses and any stands on it are lost.

Map of the Battle of Narva based on a 2" ( 50mm ) grid.

The " Snowstorm" at Narva.

The Swedes attacked as the storm blew toward the Russian position. Thìs is a procedure devised in an attempt to simulate the event.

GAME-TURN 1:     The Snowstorm is moved forward to the next square as shown in the  photo below. The Swedish stands are moved first.

 If the Swedish stands are moved beyond the " Storm" they  can  be shot at by the Russians.
If any Russian stands are moved there are only two options.

     A:  Turned on the spot.
     B:  They are moved toward the bridge WITH BACKS TO THE ENEMY. 

GAME-TURN 2:    The Snowstorm is moved forward to the 2nd position. The Swedish stands are moved forward.

If any Swedish stands are moved beyond the storm they can be shot at by the Russians.

The Russian movement is either on the spot or toward the bridge.


The Swedish player throws a 6 sided die. If a 1or 2 is  scored the storm lifts. The Swedes become visible to the Russians.
GAME-TURN 3:  The Storm is moved forward to the 3rd position shown on the map. The Swedish player moves their stands. The Russian stands can be turned on the spot or toward the bridge.

AT THE END OF GAME-TURN 3:   The Storm is lifted!.

GAME-TURNS 4 TO 8 :  These are now played as normal, however even in Solo play the Swedish army moves first on every turn.


At the end of the 8th Game-Turn : This will be the player who has lost the lower number of stands.

This photo shows the starting position of the respective armies;

In the actual battle the Swedes charged into the Russian positions under cover of the storm even managing to move some cheveu-de-frise out of the way.

The Swedes needed to win. The small Swedish garrison in Narva was close to exhaustion. The Swedes in the attacking force had left their greatcoats and packs at their camp. The cannon were not used by the Swedes so as not to slow the attack.

The Russians didn't fire their cannon because they could not see the Swedes advancing.

The Russian high command did not expect the outnumbered Swedes to attack!.

Toward the end of the battle a large number of Russians ran for the bridge. There were so many Russian soldiers on the bridge, it collapsed and many drowned in the
icey waters. 

Well, this is my take on the battle. Because this is a 3 foot x 2 foot table ( 90cm x 60cm) I only put in stuff that actually affected the situation.

Credits:   As explained in the previous blog the figures are a mix of Peter Pig and Miniature Figurines. The scenery is from the following souces:

The defense works are homemade using cardboard and cold-cure clay.

I  painted them white then painted over with Tamiya snow-effect paste.

The trees, I got from Amazon. I glued them to to 40mm square cardboard. I mixed up some white acrylic paint and some PVA glue with water so it's nice and runny. I then brushed the mixture onto the tree.

While the mixture was wet my Wife Joyce helped me in sprinkling on the snow dust. I got a " snow kit " from:

The " snowstorm" is white card. The bases I got from:

The tents of the Russian camp are resin and from the Peter Pig scenic range which I painted white and with snow scenic material added.

Finally, the field is overlapping  thin white card sheets with grey squares painted on.  The river is thin blue card. It doesn't look as picturesque as custom made river sections but it makes it easier forming sections for different battles.

I have played this game solo and with my Wife Joyce. In both instances the Swedes won. However if the storm of snow clears early, the Swedes could face a storm of lead instead!!.

Monday, 12 August 2019

The Northern War part 2

I thought I would do another piece just to show you the results of the last 6 months in preparing the the two armies. Although retired I still found myself " burning the midnight oil" to get them completed to war game standard. All 15mm.

The Russian Army;

The Swedish Army;

The camera on my tablet is not brilliant, but I have tried to get some close-ups of the musketeers converted from the excessive pile of pikemen I bought plus the pikemen themselves. The flags are made from masking tape and painted free-hand by myself. They would not win any medals for artwork but at least you know which army the unit belongs to.

The Top picture here shows Russian musketeers converted from the large number of pikemen I didn’t need! The figures are from Miniature Figurines.

The middle picture here shows dismounted Polish cavalry ( red and white squares ) which are from the Minifigs range. The horse's and riders are converted from the Peterpig AWI range with Peterpig monteforino heads.

This is a part work to represent Narva in the board. Using a square grid makes the measuring and cutting of building parts a lot easier.

This was also built and painted in a day. I covered the whole model in texturing paste (sometimes called Gesso?? ) before doing the paint job.

I used all picture framing cardboard for this job.  The weather was bad in November 1700 so all battlefield effects need to have snow in them, but on this fortress piece I want a temporary effect so I can use it for other battles.

I still have some defensework pieces to prepare that will fit the grid.

Why bother? Well, I find that even when you are doing a war game solo, having the scenery near enough to something like the actual conditions adds to the "mental immersion" into the battle itself. It's all part of the enjoyment of the hobby.

I have used the weather rules before ( See Table Top Battles, Wargaming on a Grid 2nd Edition). A French force had to dislodge a Piedmontese force from a siegework at the point of the bayonet. The weather during the game came up with a die result of " storm" so muskets could not fire.

However this will be the first time I have tried to recreate a historical winter battle, ( in 50 odd years in the hobby! ). This is one of the many reasons that I love war gaming. There is always something new that surprises me even now.

If you have managed to stick with me so far, the next blog will be the battle. Oh! Just to re-cap;

The musketeers and pike men are from Miniature Figurines which is part of Caliver Books.
All the cavalry are from Miniature Figurines Northern War range but the heads on the Line Cavalry were converted from lobsterpot to Peterpig Tricorn heads.

The Cavalry Standards are conversions of the same cavalry figures. The standard pole is from North Star 50mm javelin.

The line infantry Standard bearers, Officers and Drummers are Peterpig AWI range.
The dismounted cavalrymen are Peterpig Jaegers.

The cavalry markers are Peterpig AWI British horses, the horseriders have Peterpig tricorn heads (conversion).

The Small Cannon and crews are all Peterpig AWI range as are the Generals. The Large Cannon are from the Peterpig English Civil War range.

The 40mm square Stands are cardboard I cut myself.

The round 40mm round mdf Stands are supplied by Minibits which I think is linked to Pendraken Miniatures.

I think thats covered everything for the moment. ( hopefully!! )