Great Northern Wars

Chance of another Great Northern War game the other week with “Broken Dice” and Nigel.

This was just a pickup points game using Black Powder with the Last Argument of Kings supplement.

Me and BD played the Swedes while Nigel played his Russians.

Russian Masses deployed

For once I tried something different with the Swedes and led the advance with the infantry just in case the Russians had hid their cavalry behind their infantry. This was not the case and soon the Russian dragoons were engaged in a firefight with the Swedish Infantry.

Swedish Infantry lead the way

While the artillery fire from the Swedish guns had started to cause damage on the Russians.

Russians suffering under artillery fire

Meanwhile the Swedish centre and left flank slowly advanced (BD was not having the best of luck on his command dice – again!).

Swedes advance in centre and left flank

On my flank the firefight was intensifying with both sides taking damage and trying to rally shaken units.

Battle joined on right flank

It started to get complicated trying to protect flanks and also protect the Swedish cavalry from the advancing Russian infantry fire in the centre.

Starting to get complicated

To try and force the issue the Swedish dragons advanced and managed to break a Russian dragoon unit forcing others to withdraw.

Swedish dragoons push forward

In the centre and left flank the advance continued and only long range shooting taking place.

Centres approach each other

The Russian advance in the centre had been halted and some of the Russian units withdrew to protect their flanks.

Engaing with artillery on the right

The Russian Horse Grenadiers had advanced and charged the Swedish Dragoons.

Russian Horse Grenadiers and Swedish Dragoons clash

While the Russian Infantry on my flank was starting to creak and look unhappy.

Russian left wing starting to creak

Now something you don’t see very often; the cavalry combat was a draw and with both sides shaken both regiments have to take a break test, and both fail. Therefore, both units head for safety rather rapidly.

Both sides have had enough

On the Swedish left flank BD had cleared the Russian Cavalry from his flank and started to close with the infantry.

Left wing cleared of Russian Cavalry

On my flank the infantry fight was still going strong with both sides taking casualties from close range artillery fire.

Close and Personal on the right

The Russian infantry brigade on my flank had finally broken and started to retreat although my infantry had also suffered and were close to calling it a day.

Russian Infantry starting to disappear

To force the issue on my flank the Swedish Cavalry moved forward to engage what was left if the Russian cavalry. Enough casualties were inflicted to shake the unit and break the cavalry brigade.

Swedish cavalry pushing forward

This just left the Russian infantry brigade in the centre and the Russian artillery brigade on the field and therefore the Russians army was broken.

Last Russians standing

Another great game and a close-run thing (at least on my flank) with Nigel left the think of more tactics to break the “nut job Swedes”.

Great Northern Wars

Italian Wars Campaign – Battle of Pescara

With the campaigning season coming to end in what would be the 2nd year of the campaign it was decided that Italian States (Nigel) and the Spanish (me) should try to force a decisive battle against the French (“Broken Dice” David) before our forces were again devastated by the coming winter.

My plan started well with the Spanish Veteran battalia marching onto the board and heading towards the walled fields, but from that point it went down hill rapidly. The 2nd and 3rd foot battalia failed their command rolls and refused to march onto the field and to rub salt into the wounds the Light cavalry decided that if the infantry wasn’t marching, they wouldn’t either!!!

Spanish Veterans wondering where everyone else is

Unfortunately the French didn’t have the same issues and were soon marching forward onto the table with their Landsknechts to the fore.

French matrch on

Now one of the rules we were playing in the campaign was that when an army broke in battle it left its guns behind. This sounded reasonable apart from where in an earlier game I had captured 4 guns from the Italians and then lost them along with 2 Spanish guns to the French. This meant that the French now had the “gun line” from hell that dominated the centre of the board.

French Gun line

On the second turn at least, some Italian Allies appeared on the far flank but the rest of the Spanish army again refused to enter the battle.

Something is missing

To make things worse the Spanish veterans also refused the order to advance but luckily the “steady” trait meant they advanced for a single move among for the cover of the far wall.

Advance continues

However the French Landsknechts had other ideas (they rolled low) and raced forward to defend the walls before the Spanish Infantry could occupy them.

Black Band race forward

On the other flank all the Italian States forces had now arrived and a “traffic jam” formed as they tried to avoid the fire of the French guns and seeing how many troops they can get into a single enclosure.

Italian traffic jam

To make matters worse for the Italian the Swiss had now arrived and were advancing to engage them supported by Gendarmes.

Swiss arrive

In the centre the French guns could only amuse themselves with long range “sniping fire” due to the lack of Spanish troops on the board.

Desolate centre

While unusually for the French Gendarmes rather than charging around the field like a bunch of lunatics they stayed patiently at the rear watching the Landsknechts and Swiss do the heavy lifting.

Gendarmes survaying the scene

It was now past the halfway point in the game and finally another battalia of Spanish foot and the light cavalry finally deigned to advance onto the field.

Some Spanish finally arrive

After several rounds of ineffective infantry fire between the Black Band and the Spanish the Spanish released the pike charge with some success pushing the Landsknecht pike away from the walls.

Spanish pushing the Black Band back

But on the other flank the Swiss had broken one of the Italian Landsknecht units and started to roll forward.

Swiss defeat the Italians

On the left flank the Spanish and Landsknechts had continued to pummel several shades out of each other the casualties were starting to wear the Spanish Veterans down.

Fight continues

On the right the Italians were in a state of shock as one of the Italian Pike units charged and manage to rout a unit of Swiss!!

Shock!! the Swiss break

We were approaching the end of the game and on turn 10 of 12, that’s right turn 10 the Spanish Men at Arms finally marched onto the table after 6 failed command rolls!

Spanish Cavalry finally arrive on turn 10!

The Italian success on the right was short lived as the Swiss soon broke another Landsknecht unit and with it the battalia.

Swiss destroy another Italian Mercenary Unit

In a desperate attempt to try and stabilise the situation the Italian C-in-C joined a cavry unit and charged the Swiss arquebus however it didn’t work and soon all the Italian forces had broken and were withdrawing from the field.

Desperate measures

We had reached the end of the game and although the allied Spanish-Italian Army hadn’t broken it was not far off.

Would we continue into another campaign year? Well looking at the situation where the French held Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome the Spanish decided it was time to open up the diplomatic front and come to some arrangement with the French at least until they could rebuild their armies. Now what is this “tercio” you were talking about.

Well done to “Broken Dice” for winning the campaign.

Italian Wars Campaign – Battle of Pescara

Down Mexico Way

Well not really the setting was the Crippled Creek ranch in Texas for the first game using the new What a Cowboy rules from the Too Fat Lardies.  

Six players with two characters each. Alan, Dave A and Paul took on “Broken Dice” David, “Uncle Albert” Julian and Nigel (or the over the hill gang as I will refer to them), while I supplied the umpiring services.

The setting was a ranch outside the town of Deadbeat the scenario was Scenario 4 from the rules “Highway Robbery”.  The “Over the Hill Gang” were defending the ranch and had placed 4 objective markers, 3 dummies and one the actual target (in the main Ranch House). Nigel positioned his shootist on roof to survey the scene.

Crippled Creek Ranch

The game didn’t start well for Dave A and his greenhorn who was running for the safety of the barn but got picked off by the sniper on the roof of the ranch , while he managed to dodge the shot he was pinned in the open.

Early sniper fire

Lame Red Man had got to the first objective marker inside the building by climbing through the window. There were jeers from his opponents as this meant he avoided being shot at. However the search revealed that the objective was a dummy.

Lame Red Man objects at fining a dummy marker

“Shootist Sid” and “Legs Diamond” defending the ranch which contained the real objective. With “Legs” causing problems to the attackers with long range sniper shots. It was a shame that no one ended up shooting him as I wanted to see what would happen in the “fall test” as he rolled off the roof.

Objective guarded by two characters

Now it looks all quite but 2 characters are now hiding around the barn. “K.O. Tellaway” a brawler had bravely ridden up to behind the wagon and immediately come under fire from “Sam Bass” in cover opposite wounding him. To avoid further damage he scuttled bravely back behind the barn, but he now has only had 2 activation dice out of 6!

No one in sight as everyone is hiding in the barn

“Jim Albion” and the Buffalo Hunter had moved up to try and flank the defenders. However, “Sam Bass” and “Legs Diamond” were soon “raining lead” down on them. In a desperate attempt to get rid in “Sam” the Buffalo Hunter cam to a sticky end as he ran across the open ground. Jim took the better part of valour and ran to take cover behind the wagon and survived.

Trying to outflank the sniper

“K.O. Trellaway” has become stuck behind the barn as limited activation dice means he keeps failing to move. In the meantime Dave A’s greenhorn can just be seen sheltering in the barn, some would say hiding but that would be cruel.

Getting a bit stuck

On the other side of the combat “Jimmy Yellowstone” has now moved up behind the house occupied by “Lame Red Man” and climbs through the same window for shelter.

Jimmy Yellowstone sneaking up

With “Lame Red Man” and “Jimmy” sheltering in the building “Shootist Sid” ran across the road and tried to shoot them through the window. The return fire made him duck for cover, before he could recover both the Lame and Jimmy moved to the door and shot him while he couldn’t move and took him out of the game.

That hurt

In another brave or foolish move depending on your opinion “Lame” now raced across the road, leaped the fence and tried to take out “Slow Sam” but failed. At which point “Slow Sam” gave “Lame” both barrels of his shotgun. Hit 3 times “Lame” failed to dodge and was taken out of the game through wounds.

“Slow Sam” strikes

The demise of “Lame” meant that the attackers had lost sufficient men that they needed to take a “ride or die” teat which they failed and decided to ride. Therefore the “Over the Hill” gang had triumphed and now controlled Cripple Creek ranch.

A god game and much hilarity was caused by some of the dice rolls and the unexpected consequences, now it is on to the next game to see who will control Deadbeat.

Down Mexico Way

McPherson at Resaca May 14th, 1864

This week’s game was a American Civil War scenario adapted from “The road to Atlanta” scenario book by Brad Butkovich.

The Union forces were commanded by Alan, Dave A, Dave B and Nigel, while the Confederates were commanded by “Broken Dice” David, “Uncle Albert” Julian and Paul. I supplied the umpiring services and tried to remain neutral. Figures and terrain are Paul’s since he had a bought of megalomania during lockdown, so my troops were no longer required 😧.

While both sides start the game in field defences overlooking a valley these do not really come into play. The main objectives are a line of 4 hills that at the start of the game are occupied by Confederate forces in “light works”.

The game was played using the “Pickett’s Charge” rules.

Victory points were awarded to whichever side occupied these hills at the end of the game. Victory points were also awarded for destruction of enemy units.

Also to add even more confusion to the game there were restrictions in place as to when forces could leave their defences which were different for either side. The Union forces could leave at any time but if they left before a designated turn (which varied by brigade) they would give victory points to the Confederates or issue a brigade a redeploy order. The Confederates would be released if either two of the hills fell, two units retired or routed, or they gave a brigade a redeploy order.

Initial Deployment – Confederates hold the hill line

On the Union side there was much debate as to when and where to release troops and a level of reorganisation was required. The troops had been deployed in historical locations which meant that some of the brigades were intermixed. The Union then suffered from OCD spending time marching troops back and forth to being various brigades together.

Union prepare to advance

Now on the Union left flank a single regiment had been deployed in skirmish line over the stream. The question was whether it stayed, advanced, or retired. After a single turn under fire from the Confederate artillery it soon scuttled back to the main defences.

Debating whether to advance or retire

On the Union right the brigade started to exchange fire with the Confederate troops holding the light works on the hills. As these were in skirmish order no real damage was done.

Skirmishers hold up a brigade

However, for the other two Confederate regiments defending the hills the tale wasn’t the same. “Lady Luck” smiled on the Union and then slapped the Confederates around the head. The Union player scored two “double 6’s” in succession causing heavy casualties and causing “see the elephant” test (the same as a morale test).

 Tethered lambs

The Confederates then took the test and one unit routed and the other retired!!. This left the hills open for the Union to occupy. But on the positive side it did mean that the Confederates could advance out of their defences.

Early set back for the Confederates
Time to reform

Charges by the Union had also driven back the skirmishers defending the hill. The last brigade on the Confederate left moved forward to try and retake the hill line. These troops were met with desultory fire from the Union.

Confederate reserves move up

While one Union brigade was attacking the hills another in the centre was worried about advancing from the cover of the stream and the woods due to the Confederate gun line. However this did leave the attacking brigade with its flank in the air. Could the Confederates exploit the situation.

Suffering under Confederate artillery fire

The attack on the hill had now descended into a firefight with both sides taking casualties.

Counter attack starts taking casulaties

To reinforce the attack on the hills “Broken Dice” had marched a brigade from the Confederate right flank to the centre. Now the old “BD” magic struck again and after it reached the centre it then refused to advance for the rest of the game with multiple failures on its command role and stood there “hesitant”.

Preparing to advance

The Union launched a series of charges to drive back the advancing Confederates one managed to drive two regiments back but the other stalled. The Confederates launched a charge themselves and drove the Union regiment back over the hills.

Charging again

However by now another Union brigade had moved forward and taken the hills on the far right of the Union line that had been empty since turn 1. The Confederates now advanced two regiments in the centre to try and assist the attack on the hills however, these were in skirmish formation.

Looking lonely

The Union brigade on the far right continued its advance to engage some Confederate units trying to retake the hills.

Moving to protect the hills

Union troops now launched a charge to clear the Confederate skirmish line. While this did the trick it also placed them under the musket and guns of the Confederate defences which turned out to be a painful experience.

Charged a bit to far

On the Union far right charges were also launched at the advancing Confederates which again proved to be successful and drove the Confederate back.

Union driving forward

Time was now running out and night was approaching (in game terms) a quick look showed that the Union controlled 3 of the 4 hills with 1 being disputed together with a Confederate regiment they had destroyed that gave them 13 victory points. The Confederates had not managed to retain any of the hills but had destroyed 3 Union regiments so had earned 6 victory points. So the game was declared a victory for the Union.

Night falls

Another good game using Pickett’s charge and an enjoyable game and a rare Union victory.

McPherson at Resaca May 14th, 1864

Great Northern War

Mid-week game last week using Great Northern War forces this was basically a pickup game using Black Powder 2 rules with the Last Argument of Kings supplement. The forces were 1500 points a side.

“Broken Dice” was fighting with the Swedes while Nigel and I fought the Russians.

 The Russians marched onto the board with standards flying.

Russian Forces arrive on the field

For once the Swedes were tardy with only some of their forces appearing, Charles blundered which would delay his entry onto the board 😊.

Swedes slight tardy for a change

On the Russian right wing the Dragoons advanced in company with Peter, the Russian Guard infantry and the Horse Grenadiers.

Russian Guard with Peter march on

But it didn’t take long before a unit of “lunatic” Swedish cavalry charged the Russian Dragoons, unfortunately for the Swedes the expected supports didn’t move so they were on their own. In the resultant combat both sides withdrew but the Russian dragoons were shaken.

Early clash on the right

On the left the Swedish cavalry had finally appeared on turn 3 and raced across the board towards the Russian Dragoons. We now tried our cunning plan, rather than charge and let the Swedes counter charge us, I decided to fire and try to disrupt the Swedes. Unfortunately this approach didn’t prove to be successful.

Russian left take aim

On the right another unit of Swedes charged in, again without supports and by some miricle the Russian Dragoons survive.

Swedes charge again on the right

Now a unit of the Swedish Guard decide to charge the Russian Guard supported by a battalion gun, with the Russians having first fire that is seven fire dice hitting them in closing fire.

Swedish Guard charge

They decide they don’t like this idea and exit the area.

Victory for the Russian Guards

Things are now getting messy on the Russian right wing with more organised Swedish cavalry charges being delivered and the pressure is starting to tell on the Russian Dragoons.

Things getting messy on the right

On the left things are not going a lot better with the Swedish Cavalry slowly digesting the Russian Dragoons on that wing.

Russian left starts to crumble

It is not long before the last of the Russian Dragoons exits the field.

Not going well

With the Dragoons quitting the field my infantry in the centre had their flank hanging in the wind so they quickly started to redeploy. Luckily the Swedes were close enough so the majority of the manoeuvre could be completed using “unit initiative” so no dice rolls were involved.

Infantry start to reform

This also put one of my infantry units onto the flank on a Swedish Dragoon regiment that didn’t appreciate being volleyed in the flank.

Volley fire in the flank

Luckily for me the Swedish Infantry were not close enough to use their initiative so were engaged in a long range musket dual with the Russian Grenadiers.

Swedish infantry lagging behind

Back on the right flank the too and fro of cavalry combats was still ongoing while the remaining Guard infantry eyed each other suspiciously.

Too and fro on the Russian right

But this situation didn’t last for long as the Swedish Cavalry soon broke the last of the Russian Dragoons.

Russian right wing cavaly are off
Last of the Dragoons break

This did put the Russian Guards brigade under pressure. However it also allowed one of the Horse Grenadiers to charge a shaken Swedish Cavalry Regiment.

Russian Guards under pressure

On the left flank to avoid taking anymore casualties from the Russian Infantry the Swedish cavalry had started to withdraw and trying to rally to avoid becoming a broken brigade.

Swedish cavalry start to withdraw on the Russian left

And on the right the Russians finally managed to win a cavalry melee, I know the Swedes were already shaken but it’s the principle of the thing.

Russian Cavalry finally win a melee

Also on that wing the Russian Guard had managed to break another Swedish Guard unit so things were starting to look up despite losing both Dragoon brigades which meant we were only one brigade away from defeat.

Guard versus Guard

However the Swedes soon had their revenge by breaking another Russian infantry regiment.

Swedish revenge

Both sides were now close to defeat as both had lost two out of five brigades and whoever lost the next brigade was beaten. On the right we had one last chance for glory. Even though they had been flanked a Russian Guards unit (3 shots) and one of my fresh infantry units (3 shots) had a chance to shake a Swedish infantry regiment that would break that Brigade. Alas it was not to be as I managed to miss with all three shots. The Swedes did not make the same mistake and with three infantry regiments issuing close range volleys into the last of the Russian Guards it became shaken, and the Russian army broke 😒.

Last chace for glory

This left my infantry brigade feeling very lonely sat in the middle of the field surrounded by Swedes.

“Were on our own lads”

Another cracking game played in good spirit.

Great Northern War

Corinth Canal – April 1941

Last weeks game was a scenario organised by Paul based around the surprise air assault on the Corinth Canal by the German Fallschrimjager in 1941.

The Germans were played by “Broken Dice” David, Dave A and “Uncle Albert” Julian while the Allies were played by Alan (Australian), Nigel (Greeks) and myself (New Zealand). Paul provided the umpiring service as well as the troops and terrain.  

Before the game the Germans had to choose which of the various “drop zones” they would use.  

Germans chose drops zones north and south of the bridge

They chose the drop zones closest to the bridge on both the North and South sides. For the troops dropping north of the bridge this meant that they would be dropping “inside” the defensive perimeter set up by the Australian battalion which would come as a shock to “Broken Dice”.

The key objective

While the Australians were guarding the “north” of the bridge, the Greek battalion were in a nearby town and would move out when any alarm was raised.

Greeks occupying the closest cover

The “alarm” was definitely raised when two German gliders put down either end of the bridge and disgorged their cargo.

Gliders arrive

While in the south the first wave of Fallschrimjager arrived and dropped. This uses the “old style” method of pieces of paper on a ruler which is then tilted and watch the paper flutter down. My pleas to open a window was ignored while the paratroopers were “dropped”.

First Fallschrimjager “drop”

While scattered the Fallschrimjager on the south of the bridge landed successfully and started to get organised.

South of the bridge scattered but OK

However on the north of the bridge the “reserved” fire from the Australians caused heavy casualties on the first wave of Germans with many landing in areas where they couldn’t get to their weapons containers.

North scattered but in trouble

One of the Bofers was charged and somehow managed to hold off the assault (well they drew) which forced the Fallschrimjager back where they were hit by the Bofers and nearby Australians.

Bofers drive off assault

To the south of the bridge the Greeks were advancing supported by a pair of carriers.

Carriers arrive

On the north in an attempt to get better weapons the Fallschrimjager assault a Vickers MMG position, unlike the Bofers there is not dramatic fight back and the Vickers is soon turned on the Aussie defenders.

2nd wave of Fallschrimjager capture the Vickers MMG

To the south of the bridge the Fallschrimjager were consolidating. The small pieces of paper show where individuals have landed and are moving to their weapons containers to arm themselves.

Consolidating South of the bridge

While the Germans were getting organised south of the bridge the Greeks and supporting carriers had moved forward and were now engaging the Germans.

Engaging south of the bridge

After suffering heavy casualties north of the bridge the Fallschrimjager had now got organised and started to engage the Australians. A sustained firefight now developed with casualties mounting on both sides.

Heavy casulaties North of the bridge

On the south the heavy weapons had now arrived but the only bright side for the allies was that the ammunition for the antitank gun had fallen near the wood which was under fire from the Greeks.

Organised choas south of the bridge
Clearing the bridge

After his early set back “Broken Dice” was fighting back consolidating the surviving troops in cover and starting to cause casualties. Both sides were rapidly approaching the point where their units would need to start taking morale tests.

Fighting back

On the bridge the engineers were happily going about their job of dismantling the explosive under “Uncle Alberts” command. While his other section had cleared out a company of Aussies and occupied their trenches.

Bridge consolidated

This was just as well as suddenly a couple of Vickers Mk VI appeared and shot down the road guns blazing and started to inflict casualties on the Germans.


The German commander on the south of the bridge now cheated and brought on a Stuka strike. Much to my surprise he ignored the MkVI’s north of the bridge and targeted the carriers attacking the south (well he was commanding the troops south of the bridge).

“cheating” Germans

To the south I soon had an ex-carrier as being hit by a 500lb bomb hurts. In addition the Greeks were also taking heavy casualties and would soon have to test morale.

ex carrier

On the north side of the bridge both sides had a morale test for their infantry and both passed so the fighting continued for another turn.

Surviving Fallschrimjager holding orchard

As the casualties continued to mount both sides had morale tests again. This time the Fallschrimjager passed but the Aussies didn’t ☹️. The north side of the bridge was now defended by a Bofers and the Brigade HQ. Oh, and two Vickers MKVI tanks.

Australians suffering

Things were not a lot better south of the bridge. While the New Zealanders had arrived and started to engage the Germans the other carrier had been destroyed and the Greeks had failed their morale test and disappeared.

New Zealanders attacking

We were running out of time and the game was called. With only the New Zealanders to the south of the bridge and the tanks with no infantry support to the north the game was declared a victory for the Germans 😧😒.

The End

Overall a very good game and the Rapid Fire Reloaded rules worked well and were fast to pick up if you have played the previous versions.

Corinth Canal – April 1941

Painting Coefficient March 2023

Well it’s that time again to look at what I’ve managed to paint in the first three months of the year and whether I am going to improve on how much I got painted last year (last year total was 525 figures, reducing my “pile of pride” by 216 figures).

Main focus for the first 3 months of the year has been my Carthaginian forces. First up we have the 24 Citizen Spearmen by Victrix.

Citizan Spearmen

Then I finished the 23 Veteran Spearmen who have swapped most of there Carthaginian equipment for salvaged Roman equipment.  

Now we have some allies starting with the Numidian Javelin Skirmishers. The other 12 were painted as the “heavier” Infantry of the later Numidian armies as can be seen they have a bigger shield, and some have helmets!!!

Next we have the Numidian Cavalry rated at the time as some of the best in the world.

And last but not least we have a Pachyderm.

Total: 99

Last up is a unit for my French army of the War of Spanish Succession. This is one of the Irish regiments in French Service and represents Lee’s Regiment of foot.

Total: 18

Now as for adding new figures I was doing so well until Victrix had a sale of their Punic War range when my resolve slipped so a few more figures have been added.

So, what does all this mean for the coefficient

Total Number of figures added = 108

Total Number of figures painted = 117

Overall Coefficient =  -9

So managed to still record a reduction (just) and now its time to get a move on again.

Painting Coefficient March 2023

Great Northern War

The other weekend gave “Broken Dice” David, “Uncle Albert” Julian , Nigel and myself managed to fit in another Great Northern war game which allowed Nigel and BD to play with their shiny new armies.

This was just a pick up style game where both sides had a couple of brigades of cavalry and Infantry each, but the Russians had been sneaky in that they had slipped a artillery brigade into their OB (more of the sneakiness later).

Russian Guns ready to fire

The Russians deployed both of their cavalry brigades on their left flank supported by one of their infantry brigades.

Russian Cavalry deploy
Russian Grenadiers

Now the Swedes had deployed both their cavalry brigades on their right flank and with his normal clam considered manner “Broken Dice” led to the first brigade in a dash across the table at breakneck speed.

“and there off”

Facing off the mass ranks of the Russian cavalry did not seem to phase them as they prepared to charge.

“Not dismayed”

While further back the 2nd Cavalry brigade and the Infantry brigades were not as eager to advance and gently strolled onto the battlefield.

More sober advance
Not quite as enthusiastic
Swedish Infantry watch cavalry advance

At the first opportunity the Swedes charged with the cavalry with Charles XII himself.

Initial clash of horse

While the initial cavalry battles were taking place the remaining cavalry brigade was slowly moving up.

Saunter forward

After initial success the Swedish cavalry pushed on into one of the Russian supporting units.

Pressing on

After another victory this did leave the regiment in a “slightly” exposed position, shaken and standing in front of two Russian Dragoon regiments. But they had done the job and broke one of the Russian cavalry brigades.

Could be in a bit of trouble

But the price was paid and the regiment was broken by mounted musket fire.

Quits the field

There was now a slight pause as the Swedes took the opportunity to reorganise their cavalry and try to rally off some of the damage that had been caused.

Swedish Cavalry reorganise

Once reorganised the cavalry moved forward in an attempt to destroy the last of the Russian cavalry, but were soon brought under musket fire from the Russian infantry.

“Taking fire”

This led to the strange sight of mounted dragoons facing off Russian infantry trying to protect the flanks of their cavalry.

Dragoons engage

There was now fighting along the line with infantry from both sides engaged in the battel for a farm on the Swedish left flank, the Cavalry engaging each other on the right flank while the last Swedish infantry brigade slowly marching forward to engage in the centre (my command rolls had been tosh).

Pause in the storm

In the centre the Swedish infantry finally arrived and charged across the stream to lift the pressure on their cavalry.

Fighting along the line

While the fighting around the village continued to go nowhere.

Swedes pushing forward

However in the centre the Swedes were grinding their way forward through the stoic Russian infantry.

Ongoing fight

The main problem in the centre was that the advancing Swedes were now in effective range of the Russian artillery and they soon brought their firepower to bear breaking one of the advancing Swedish infantry regiments.

Broken by the guns

But on the right flank “Broken Dice” was off again with the cavalry with Charles XII still leading the charges and engaging the Russian cavalry.

Cavalry at it again

While in the centre the Swedes had pushed across the stream and were on the flank of some of the Russian infantry.

Pushing the Russian line

On the left flank I had been trying to dislodge a Russian infantry battalion from the village for several turns to no avail and then with a poor break test roll the Swedish guards quit the field.

“waste of time”

On the right the Swedish cavalry had done their job and broken the last Russian cavalry brigade but we had lost one of ours in the process. This is where the “sneaky” artillery brigade came into play! Normally this would have been enough to break the Russians but thanks to the artillery we needed to break 3 brigades rather than two!!!

Driving of the Russian Cavalry

In the centre we only had to inflict enough casualties to shake one more infantry unit to “break” the Russian infantry brigade and we managed to do that.

End game

But at the same time the Russian Artillery managed to pound another infantry regiment to pieces which also managed to break my Infantry brigade. As we only needed to lose two brigades to break our army the game ended in mutual destruction.

Mutual destruction

A cracking game but a reminder that in Black Powder “odd numbers” are king.

Great Northern War

Battle of Padova – Italian Wars

It was time to fit in another game for a small Italian Wars campaign I am playing with “Broken Dice” and Nigel.

This time the armies clashed at the northern town of Padova where the French (Broken Dice) launched an assault on the Italian (Nigel) and Spanish (Me) forces.

The French deployed their impressive gun line although most had been donated by the Italians and Spanish due to previous defeats. Although to be really truthful most are Italian as the Spanish captured them from the Italians before donating them to the French.

French gun line

First to arrive were the Imperial Gendarmes from the garrison at Ragusa. However the Imperial Landsknechts refused to join the fray at this stage.

Imperial Gendarmes

The Landsknechts in Italian pay had no such reservations and marched boldly onto the field.

Landsknechts in Italian pay

These were quickly followed by the Swiss in the employ of the Venetians.

Swiss in Italian pay

The French Stradiots raced forward in an attempt to slow the progress of the mercenary foot.

Stradiots slow the Landsknechts

While the French Gendarmes and supporting cavalry rumbled onto the field.

French “heavy metal” arrives

Accompanied by the vanguard of the Swiss and Black Band Landsknechts in French pay.

Advance guard of Swiss and Black Band in French pay

“Broken Dice” was doing his best to assist us as a double 1 put one of his heavy guns out of action.


As normal it soon came to the clash of “heavy metal” as the Imperial Gendarmes took on their French counterparts and came off second best but at least they didn’t rout, instead falling back behind the Landsknecht.

“Clash of the Gendarmes”

The Stradiots were driven off by the pike as the advance continued.

Swiss advance

And “Broken Dice” did it again losing another heavy gun to a double 1, at this rate he was causing more loses to the French than the enemy was.

“Oops again”

The French Gendarmes then charged a unit of Landsknecht arquebus that failed to run back to their pikes and were soon ridden down. To make things worse the Pike on the flank failed their break test and fell back disordered.

“Thats going to smart”

The Gendarmes then hit that pike block and with it being disordered it no longer had the benefits of pike vs mounted and it too departed the scene.

“Sweeping advance” into disordered pike

It was better news for the other Landsknechts as they managed to hold and push back the Swiss pike. However the Swiss in Italian pay were suffering and had become disordered and shaken.

Swiss in Italian pay suffering

The Gendarmes continued to charge at every opportunity even trying to ignore a wall to get at their opponents but this didn’t work out well for them this time and they had to withdraw.

“Who put that wall there”

In the centre the pike had clashed again.

Clash of Pikes

The outcome was the Swiss in Venetian pay were beaten and the Landsknechts and other Swiss units shook each other and fell back. The bad news for the Italians and the Spanish was that both battalia were now broken.

French Swiss win

The Imperial Gendarmes had crossed the wall trying to destroy the French Gendarmes but failed miserably. The only good news was that the French Gendarmes had to use the “sweeping advance” and this took them into a pike unit.


With the Pike being in good order this time the Gendarmes failed miserably and died on the end of German pikes.

Ex Gendarmes

In a desperate bid to stave off defeat the Italian Elimati launched a charge at the French Gendarmes trying to break that battalia. Unfortunately it failed and the Italians quit the field.

Desperate charge

With only the Imperial Landsknechts left on that side of the field the Italian/Imperialist forces were beaten and had to quit the field. The Italians managing to donate two medium guns to the French to replace the heavy guns they had lost.

Last German Standing

It is now time to go into “winter quarters” in the campaign and for the Spanish and Italians to try and come up with some new cunning plans to stop the French.

Battle of Padova – Italian Wars

Great Northern War

A new period for us with the great Northern War, over the last few months Nigel’s paint brush has been busy and produced the Russian forces and also the Swedes for “Broken Dice” David.

For the initial battle there were a few English regiments masquerading as Saxons and both sides had Polish allied contingent. The Swedes were commanded by “Broken Dice”, Paul and myself while the Russians were commanded by Alan, Dave A, Dave B and “Uncle Albert” Julian. Nigel supplied the umpiring services.

The scenario was that a Swedish relief force was marching to relieve a besiege Swedish garrison and therefore had to secure the road exit opposite their deployment zone, the Russians simply had to stop them.

The Russians deployed with the Saxons on the left flank, the Russian infantry blocking the exit road with the Poles on their right and finally on the right flank the Russian Dragoons. 

The Swedes deployed with the Swedish Cavalry on the right facing the Saxons, the Swedish Infantry to assault the village, the Poles to their left and finally the Cossacks on the left wing.

Russians and allies

One of the “advantages” that Peter the Great possess in the “Last Argument of Kings” supplement is the ability to move one terrain feature. The Russians used this ability to move the farm away from just outside the Swedish deployment zone to just outside their own. However this then proved an obstacle to the Russian Dragoons that had to manoeuvre between the village and the wood.

Disruptive Farm

The Cossack allies of the Swedes were deployed on the left of the line and were to provide a nuisance to the Poles and Russian cavalry.


Unsurprisingly “Broken Dice” launched the Swedish cavalry into an all out charge at the first opportunity racing across the board to engage the Saxon cavalry.

Swedes launch their charge

And when the opportunity presented itself making use of the “sweeping advance” rule after breaking their opponents.

And again

But this unit of Swedish Dragoons came unstuck when it hit a unit of Saxon Cuirassiers which broke it.

But didn’t work out as expected

The Russian infantry started a slow advance to engage with the Swedes (poor command rolls).

Russian slow advance

While one Swedish infantry brigade had rapidly advanced to secure the village, while the other brigade advanced more sedately in the centre.

Swedish infantry set off

After the cavalry battle on the Swedish right had subsided the remaining Swedish cavalry brigade fell back to reform. Both Saxon cavalry brigades had been broken (mostly by units leaving the field rather than being broken) “Uncle Albert” was at it again, while one of the Swedish brigades had also been broken and was retiring from the field to lick its wounds.

Bit of reforming for the Swedes

On the other flank the Cossack allies were annoying the Poles, but both sets of Poles were holding back wanting to maintain their supports and just trading insults.

Poles waiting patiently

In the centre the Swedish Infantry were heavily engaged with the Russian and Saxon infantry and slowly making some headway but the Russian infantry was doing what Russian infantry always do being stubborn on the defensive and refusing to give way.

Russians holding

Also in the centre the Polish civil war had finally broken out and both sides were fully engaged.

Polish Civil war

In the centre the infantry were fully engaged and one of the Swedish Infantry units had been caught in the flank while already engaged (nasty).

Tough nuts to crack

While the Polish civil war had been resolved in the centre with the “Swedish” Poles beating the “Russian” Poles but only just as they were just one unit away from breaking themselves.

Poles survive just

However it was now time to call the game, while the Swedes had lost less brigades than the Russians they had not achieved the objective of securing the road exit so the game was declared a victory for the Russians. A good game to start a new period and no Nigel I’m not getting the Saxons as I have enough with the French for the War of Spanish Succession.

Great Northern War