Battle of Lesnaya, September/October 1708


Another Great Northern War scenario and game.  My favourite period and my favourite style of game- an historical clash.

The Battle of Lesnaya was a decisive clash of the GNW. It took place on September 28th 1708 between a Russian army commanded by Tsar Peter I of Russia. (October 9 for the Swedish Calendar) His number two was Prince Aleksandr Menshikov who ably assisted the Russian ruler. The Russians numbered approximately 14,000 men. The Swedes, numbering 12,000 were commanded by General Adam Ludwig Lewenhaupt. Lewenhaupt was one of Sweden's foremost generals and commanded a well trained and motivated force. Some of his regiments were veterans of many years' campaigning. 

For Peter the Great it was his first great victory over the Swedes.

The Russian guns from the southern column deployed.

Swedes waiting by the town

Overview of the table. The Swedes were tasked with holding the village and the crossing in it- and the crossing at the very bottom right of the picture. They had no troops at all at that point- and as is marked a Russian column was headed straight down the road.

Ottomans and Teutonic Knights!


Sticking with my late medieval/ early Renaissance themed battles-  another game one afternoon when both Ross and I were on holidays- and it was a bloodbath!! 

His late Teutonic Knights came out of hiding to take on the Glorious Might of the Sultan and his Janissaries! 

The Ottoman army had Janissaries, finesse, style, colour, dash, archery, Janissaries and a nice big bombard.  Oh...and did I forget to mention I had Janissaries?

The Teutonic Knights lacked all that. They just charged. That's all..hell for leather, heads down, get the flock out of the way because here we come, charge.  

My Ottomans- heavily weighted on the right with Cavalry.

The you can see, off into the distance, a long line of people who think that diplomacy, negotiation, tact and any other sort of interaction starts and ends with a charge.

Renaissance Clash: Spanish vs Maximilian's Imperials!

 Ross and I played a game from the late Middle Ages/ Early Renaissance a little while ago.  I took all these photos at the start....then forgot to take more as the game progressed. It was Spanish vs Maximilian Imperialist. One of those games where I totally forgot to take the pics because it was such a close fought engrossing for posterity...I'll put them on the blog and in years to come kick myself for forgetting to take more pics!

The Spanish- left flank anchored on wood- lots of pike, some supporting shooters and a bit of cavalry.

Maximilian's boys- not quite as much pike- less shooters...but a bit more heavy metal- The Knights!

Thracians vs Samnites

 An interesting game between two armies that never actually met on the field of battle- but were both from the same time frame. Ross' Thracians came out to take on my Samnites. Both armies are made up of predominantly Light Infantry or Light Heavy Infantry.  Ross' Thracians have a lot more cavalry- I had two units for the Samnites- he had four for the Thracians. His Thracian Cavalry also have the ability to mix in Light Infantry , which slows the cavalry but gives a crucial +2 dice in melee.

My best troops- Linen Legion

Battle lines moving up.

AWI: Bennington 16th August 1777

I got the AWI collection out the other day and decided to refight one of the battles that struck me as being a little different to the many of the other I’ve refought in the past( Click on AWI link on the right hand side!)

I settled on Bennington  16th August 1777  and used the Scenario Booklet 4 from the British Grenadier rules, but decided to try the Little Wars TV rules, “Live Free or Die” as I have watched their games on YouTube and was impressed with the way they played. I used the OOB in the scenario book and just divided the number of figures by 4 to get the appropriate number of bases. For skirmish units I divided the number of figures required by 2 ( see below).

What particularly grabbed me about the fight was two interesting ingredients. The first was that the Continentals ( well- militia mainly) are assaulting defensive redoubts instead of the usual attacking redcoats. The second aspect was the fact that on the ‘redcoat’ side there are few actual British troops. The vast bulk are Brunswickers, Loyalists and some Indians…so hardly any ‘redcoats’…just a few riflemen! 

The table- looking north.

Poles vs Swedes

 Trying out our own rules and wanting to put some of my Poles and some of my 17th Century Swedes on the table, I dragged a couple of boxes over to Ross' house. The armies weren't big, we just wanted to get a feel for the period and our rules modifications- and see if I made the right choice in basing the infantry the way I did- see previous blog on TYW/ECW basing!

Poles to the left, Swedes to the right.

Romans vs Macedonians

 A few months ago Geoff and Zels asked us to put on a game to run through our own home grown set of ancient rules that we have been using for a long time now. It was my Republican Romans vs Ross' Antigonas One-Eye's Macedonians. 

The Roman right flank- Elephants and Light Infantry backed up by a unit of Triarii. We won on this side.

Last of the Mohicans..........Painted!!

 My painted Indians for the AWI are done! I found these a joy to paint..but it clearly didn't improve my painting quality. Anyway....a game soon is a must! 

Success for Admiral Seymour - Boxer Rebellion ( Part 4)


The campaign towards Peking continues and Admiral Seymour's Allied force has taken the first major obstacle! 

The eight Allied continents started at each end of the table- four at one end, four at the other and had to fight their way into the huge fort that took up the centre of the table.

Following on from the format from the large game a couple of years ago- all players were on the same side against an umpire controlled enemy. Each player was briefed as to who they could and couldn't assist and who they were in fierce rivalry with.  The main objective- establish a foothold in the fort. Other objectives included the 4 Chinese artillery firing platforms and the 3 gates - 2 at the northern end, 1 at the southern end.

Renaissance Poles.

 My Renaissance Polish army is growing and so is my collection of relevant books. I had a Polish army 30 years ago, sold it, but always figured I would rebuild it one day. 30 years ago I had limited sources of information; the 2 Osprey books and a few articles in magazines as well as George Gush's book on Renaissance armies. 

Recently there have been quite a few on the market by Helion- so they have all been added to the collection!

I am particularly taken with the books on the Swedish Deluge- so many armies and fascinating campaigns! 

All my new books are at the end of the post!

Polish Winged of the most iconic of all wargame units!

My two all time favourite Osprey books- and my one of my favourite Osprey pictures ever is the cover of Volume 1! I have two copies of these; much thumbed, dog eared and well read over the years.

Romans vs Carthaginians

After Chris P had walked us through Sword and Spear earlier this year, I put on a game in Spyros' gaming room to show off our home grown set. It was a good game - Republican Romans vs the Carthaginians and an interesting game it was too...although to be was a while ago and I can't remember the results. I think it was a very close run thing with the Romans just getting across the line!


 I was given the opportunity to be walked thru the Sword and Spear rules by Chris P,  a good friend of Spyros'. 

He brought his two very well painted armies- Republican Roman and Pyrrhic Macedonian.

I have never played these rules but Chris knew them well. The command and control were straight forward. Each unit has a die and they are all put into a bag. We drew 9 dice out each time. The side that drew the most had the initiative. All the dice that are drawn out are rolled. 1s are discarded. The other numbers are placed next to the units that you wish to move/fight or fire that turn.  

THE ARMIES OF LOUIS XIV...books..not the figures.

 Many...many..many years ago I had been inspired by the articles by Mark Allen in Wargames Illustrated and by the "Armies of Louis XIV' by Osprey  and these were about the only two sources of information that I had for the Armies of the Sun King ( as well as the Funcken and Funcken books at the Uni library!).  

As anyone who has spent more than 30 seconds on this Blog, Louis XIV's army is one of my biggest collections.  I love the uniforms, the characters, the history and the great figures available (Front Rank being my favourite!).

So the purpose of this post? No purpose- I just wanted to take photos of my books, because I now have an over abundance of information and it's awesome!

Helion have published some fantastic books and I, being an addict, have been buying them.

One of my all time favourite Osprey MAA books. Much loved and much read.

All the books I have far!!

Tunisia 1943- Rapid Fire

   Spyros has a small force of LRDG who he wanted to use to cause mayhem and chaos.  Visiting his new wargame room a few weeks ago he told me to bring some suitable Fallschirmjager in desert camo.  They hadn't been in a good fight for a long time. 

His friend Chris P wanted an introduction to Rapid Fire, having been a fan of Bolt Action.  All very serendipitous- time for a game.

The scenario was a LRDG raid on a radar/ammo cache/fuel dump using Rapid Fire rules.
The German position was far behind from the front and the Germans weren't expecting trouble. (Seriously???? Well that was the scenario!). 

The first two turns were in darkness with 6" visibility. Turns 3 and 4 were played with 12" visibility. Turns 5 and 6 were 24" visibility and normal observation rules etc applied from turn 7.

The Raiders moved quietly and quickly, with the first Group getting to the Radar station undetected until the very last step, when they were forced to eliminate the German guards. The ensuing gunfire alerted the garrison that something was amiss but the limited visibility meant that they were limited in their response.  A randomised die roll for the various units of the garrison dictated the level of response. This meant that the armoured car unit, for example, didn't just drive over to the attackers and blast them to kingdom come- they couldn't see them for starters, so were hesitant to start committing everything all at once.

First group of raiders approach the radar installation. Visibility is 6" ..the guards couldn't see them.

Why did you buys those????

 Ever bought something completely irrelevant and unrelated to any of your projects just because they were very nice...and very cheap?

I did- these figures from the Carlist war of the 1830s:


I bought these on ebay by making a very low bid ( $40 for 40 figures) and ended up winning. I really like them....but not sure what to do with them!! I guess I'll figure something out!

Still, they are very nice!

AWI 28mm Purchase


I've had a sizeable collection of AWI for a while but don't have a single Indian figure to represent the native bands that fought during the conflict. They played an important role in some battles ( Oriskany for example) and decided to buy some Perry Miniatures. They just arrived ( within two weeks!) from the UK.

Time to start painting.

Normans vs Byzantines

 Lockdowns are finally time for more games!! Ross threw his Byzantines into the path of my rampaging Normans. A good historical match that looked like it might go to the Normans in the early stages, but by mid game the tide had turned......but ended with both armies exhausted and over 50% a bloody draw!

GNW- Battle of Holowczyn: July 1708.

Finally a chance to get all my Swedes and Russians onto the table- very gratifying to see the project come together! 

A large game that represented Charles XII attempt to force the Russian positions along the Vabich river in 1708.

A bit of background:

After dealing with Poland, Saxony and Denmark, Charles XII of Sweden decided in 1708 on an invasion of Russia.  The Russians had created a solid defensive line along the River Vabich. Charles decided to force the river by launching a surprise attack through what was thought to be an impassable marsh. He selected a spot between the villages of Holowczyn and Novoje Selo. Struggling through the marshes the Swedes took the Russians by surprise. In a very tough, confusing battle, fought with little subtlety, the Swedes drove the numerically superior Russians off.

The game:
I had been working towards recreating this for a while as I think it's a fascinating battle. The table was set up with two Russian infantry brigades in the redoubt (8 Battalions with 4 stands of guns) and the Swedes just emerging from the swamp to their north.

The Swedes: Ralph, Richard M, Richard T.
The Russians: Ross, Paul and me!

The Russian redoubt!

The table setup for opening moves.

Greek War of Independence- first game

 The scenario was simple- 24point force each- two units of Ross' Greeks were holding a small village and were being attacked by my Ottoman forces. The remainder of the Greeks had to break the siege.

The Greeks had a unit of regular cavalry ( which got destroyed pretty quickly) a regular infantry unit and three units of irregulars.

The Ottomans had 2 cavalry ( One regular  - which got shot to bits by the Greek regular infantry) and one irregular (which also got shot to bits by the same Greeks!), a field gun, two irregular infantry units and one regular infantry.

Our first small attempt using the Men Who Would Be Kings rules. 

A unit of Greek Klephts ( Brigands- irregulars) holding the ruined house. ( Wargames Foundry figures- Greeks from their Russian Crimean War range)

Christmas stocking!


Santa was very good to me this year- a variety of wargame goodies that should keep me busy for a while!