A tabletop gaming blog, with a vague bias towards Central/Eastern Europe and the Early Modern period.

Monday, January 28, 2013

More Pikes

I don't need this many pikemen for Berestechko, but they came with the musketeers. Anyway they'll be handy for other battles. This batch is red, to contrast with the previous blue block. I promise that the next (and final, for the foreseeable future) block will be non-uniformed in the historically-correct manner.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Just a quick work-in-progress. I was trying to figure out what to do with all the wargames factory horses that had given up their tails for my tasseled pancerni from back in the day. Well, at some point during the December holiday season, I realized that reindeer are basically horses with stumpy little tails and big antlers. Also they have shaggy necks instead of proper manes. So a bit of greenstuff work and wire later...

There will be more, this is just a test figure. I may also make riders - I don't think Gustavus actually had reindeer-riding Livlander scouts like in the woodcut below, but it would be cool to have some anyway.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

King's Reiters redux

Based on advice provided by the illustrious Kadrinazi, I have re-worked my reiters. Their coats were repainted blue (although some of the ones lacking metal armor got buffcoats), I clipped the triple-bar faceguards off of the helmets, and I added some carbines (though only the one in the front rank is actually visible in the pictures I took).

Now that their faces are exposed, I probably ought to paint them better. Someday...


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Royal Bodyguards

I haven't yet picked out, let alone purchased, a miniature for Jan II Casimir Vasa. But here are the two drabant bodyguards that will accompany him into battle. The metal one is the free miniature I got from Warlord Games for preordering Pike & Shotte, the plastic one is from the pike & shotte box set, but with Wargames Factory WSS arms and banner pole. The halberd heads are from Games Workshop's empire militia box.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cossack Horse - painting in progress

Here are my ACW-turned-Cossacks, painted except for horse tack and other details. The picture isn't great, on account of it being cloudy outside, but I think you can get the gist of it.

The Road to Berestechko

With the new year firmly in place, I suppose now is as good a time as any to give an overview of where my Eastern Europe Pike & Shotte collection is heading.

My current plan is to attempt to collect both armies (or, all three, depending how one defines them) for recreating the Battle of Berestechko at approximately 1:250 scale (one 28mm miniature represents 250 actual soldiers).

According to Wikipedia, the general army compositions were:

POLES: 12,255 pancerni cavalry; 2,589 hussars; 2,050 other cavalry (German-style "rajtars"); 500 arquebusiers; 960 Tatars; 1,550 Lithuanian volunteer cavalry; 2,790 Hungarian-style infantry; 8,900 German-style infantry; 2000 dragoons; 30,000 noble levy cavalry

COSSACKS: 40,000 Cossacks (mostly on foot); 40,000-60,000 peasants; 30,000 Tatars, "a few thousand Turks and Vlachs"

As you may have noticed, I field cavalry in units of eight, line infantry in units of twelve and block infantry in units of sixteen. With the necessary rounding, this results in something like:

6 squadrons of pancerni
1 squadron of hussars
1 squadron of reiters
1.5 squadrons of miscellaneous cavalry
1 regiment of haiduks
3 regiments of musketeers
1 regiment of dragoons
15(!) squadrons of noble levy cavalry

10 regiments of Cossack musketeers
1 regiment of Cossack pike
3 squadrons of Cossack horse
10 (or more!) mobs of peasants
15(!) squadrons of Tatars

Now, as I've progressed, I've noticed a few issues with this plan. The first and foremost is lack of variety... that is a LOT of peasants, Tatars and nobles. I'm not too worried about the Tatars, since A) they're easy to convert from cheap plastics, B) the Tatars are a reasonably formidable unit in-game, and C) the models should be useful across a wide variety of eras. I suppose A and C are true of the peasants as well, but even sticking with the most basic conversions, 160 models is too much work for what is essentially filler. Finally, the noble levy cavalry is basically also filler, quite period-specific, and I haven't even figured out any simple way to convert them.

Option 1 is to ignore the numbers provided for peasants and levy nobles,  and just make as many of them as I feel like making. It's not like either of them really contributed anything to the outcome of the battle, as far as I can tell. This way I could even collect the rest of the battle's participants at a higher ratio.

Option 2 is to choose a different battle. The Battle of Chudnov would let me use everything I've already got, and also add Russian traditional cavalry and Streltsy to the mix.

Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts. I'm pretty much just thinking out loud here.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

OK, who let the peasants have guns?

Got a few more peasants to post here. This should be last of my half-assed phone postings. My computer is here, and the monitor should arrive in the morning.

Mostly these are WGF Persians, with a few zouave bits and a very few Warlord Games peasant weapons.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Good news and bad news

Good news: I just bought a computer. I should be getting it around the weekend, and it will be very handy for properly editing my photos and for typing out nice long blog posts.

Bad news: I will have to clear off this desk...


Some pics of my first German-style pike block, painted blue to match the King's Footguard. Subsequent pike units will be more raggedy.