Sunday, April 28, 2024

Catholic League reinforcements...

After the recent (and incredibly fun) games of Liber Militum Tercios, I've been spurred on to add to my Thirty Years War collection. As previously mentioned, the armies were assembled based on those present at the battle of Fleurus. To game other early war actions, I need to paint some more units. First up are some classic infantry squadrons of the Catholic League. 


I resumed the Thirty Years War project while I was still painting up 10mm Ottoman infantry for the Crimean War project. I find often find myself painting a few different projects at once. 

It's been a few years since I've tackled figures for this project so I was curious if I would remember the process I previously used to painted them. Happily, I quickly got back into the rhythm of things. Here is the result, a relatively generic battalion from one of those Catholic German cities. The design painted on the cast-on flag was found from an online image search. 

Here is the rear of the unit. I went with a Bavarian blue and claret red color palette. To make them a bit less than uniform, I incorporated other colors: greys, browns and greens. I think it came out well. I should mention that this unit is comprised exclusively of Old Glory 10mm. Their 10mm English Civil War range is probably one of their nicest of their offerings in that scale. They are incredibly easy to paint up. 

As I prepare more Catholic League units for painting, I'm currently working on some 10mm WW1 Belgians that have been languishing on painting table for a few years. Hopefully I can snap some pictures of the aforementioned Ottomans and the Belgians and post them to the blog. Speaking of those Belgians, I really need to find a 10mm Minerva armored car somewhere...

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Nyenschantz 1656

Tonight my gaming buddy Alex and I got in another game of Tercios. Alex offered to design the scenario and bring the armies which sounded great to me as I just had to come and roll dice (and push lead).

Alex chose a battle from the Russo-Swedish War of 1656-1658, he took the "Defenders of the Realm" scenario and crafted it around the siege of Nyenschantz (1656). Historically, Pyotr Potemkin took his Russian army and laid siege to the Swedish-occupied city of Nyenschantz (present day St Petersburg). 

(Pyotr Potemkin)

For the scenario, as the Russian commander, I gained victory points for damaging the fortress. The Swedes needed to destroy Russian units and prevent the Russians from causing too much damage to the fortifications. 

The Russian army deployed. A streltsi unit on the left flank with two pike and shot units in the center with an artillery battery and cavalry on the right. Facing them are two Swedish pike and shot units and cavalry on the way to the rescue.

The Russian right flank comprised of two boyar units and a unit of dragoons (adorned in red).

The Russian right and center comprised of a unit of streltsi and two mercenary pike and shot units.

A Swedish defender of the realm. The Swedes start with two pike and shot units to defend their fort but could expect three units of cuirassiers to help push back the Russian horde.

A turn of cards during the opening rounds of the battle. My plan was to get the streltsi into an assault of the fort while the pike and shot pinned the Swedish foot. Alex decided the best defense is a good offense and moved his infantry forward.

A gap opened between the Swedish infantry units and my dragoons raced through towards the fort. My artillery moved forward and began to bombard the fort before getting wiped out by a Swedish infantry unit.

The pike and shot units on each sides lugged it out and the Swedish cavalry inflicted some wear points on the boyar cavalry. As the Russian commander, I was fine with this...the boyars needed to occupy the Swedish cavalry for as long as possible. To make this happen, the boyar cavalry executed several evades to stay alive and draw the Swedish cavalry away from relieving the siege.

As the Russian center held and the boyar cavalry played a delaying action, the streltsi and the dragoons assaulted the fort. At the end of five turns, the Russians had inflicted enough damage on the fort while keeping their army (barely) intact to achieve a victory.

The game was a blast, thanks to Alex's scenario design. It was a much smaller battle than Fleurus so it played smoother and quicker. I am a big fan of the rules, the cards create friction with the command and control. Units had orders but sometimes events on the battlefield made those orders less than ideal. I look forward to more games of Tercios in the future!