Friday, 11 September 2015

The Great Nordic Wars – a club campaign

We had a club meeting the other day and with the formalities quickly done the fun began. There’s a new campaign in the club, The Great Northern War and specifically the Swedish campaign in Russia 1708-1709.
This was the first battle of the campaign – the Battle of Holowczyn where the Swedish forces surprised the Russian army in camp.
The participants of the campaign have their own unit and seek the most glory for them (and I guess all will be for nothing when they reach Poltava…).
The rules are Black Powder and The Last Argument of Kings supplement.
I was happy to just sit and watch the match. I have no units and don’t intend to be part of the campaign. Just enjoy the beautiful figures. I relaxed.
And then someone said “Hey, Joakim, you don’t have a unit, do you? You’re the General!”
What! I don’t know the rules. I don’t know the units. I’m not very good on what tactics were used. I simply know nothing.
“Excellent”, they said. “You probably inherited your post, anyway.” “And you’re nobility, and they are all inbred.” 
I was defeated even before the game began.
And here he is: General Joakim af Nincompoop.
"I say, what a wonderful morning. Carry on boys! Gå på! and all that."
The set-up. Heroic Swedes led by the Lion-pup of the North on the right. Evil Russians on the left.
I have a very vague recollection of which unit was which. ("Well, they are peasants, all of them, so who cares! Pretty flags, though.") 
We better let the General lead us through the battle. I think he can guide us through his strategic and tactical considerations.
Over to you, Sir.
That's me. I look splendid!
It's hot. Wave that flag more, peasant!
Now, that's better.
Those chaps in red... who are they? Danes?
Russians, you say. Really? What on earth are they doing here?
What do you mean, we're in Russia?
A, glory!
Can't they just run away so we can get this over with?
This is just what my father spoke of. Banners. Charging horses. Lines of soldiers marching through smoke and fire. Splendid.
If only they could stop shouting and screaming.
You there. On the ground. Shut up! 
Cowardly Russians! When the going gets tough the Russians run away! Afraid, are you?
I hear the commander of this rabble is a Dane. A hereditary foe. Can I kill him?
(Hi, Sören! He is commander of the Russian force and our resident Dane.)
I wonder what my cavalry is doing behind the infantry? They just loiter. That's not very brave and glorious, is it?
Ha, the Hand of God in action. He is on our side and removes those red infantrymen.
About time. You're late...
Ah, this is more like it. Eat Swedish steel you infidels. 
At last that incompetent cavalry officer is starting to rally those cowards on horses. What's there to be afraid of in the front line. It's there they can get glory.
For me.
Hey! Flag man. Yes, you.
Is that Robin Hood and his Merry Men?
No? Russians? But they're dressed in green.
Really? But green is soooo out of fashion. Why would anyone wear a green uniform? 
Yes, this is looking really good. we should make a painting of this. With me leading the charge of course.
But I have to make these donkeys on horses to start charging.
You there! Why don't you charge away?
I'm sure there was a blue and yellow unit there just before.
What do you mean grapeshot? They shoot grapes with those guns?
Why not make wine of it, instead?
Now, that was more like it. Another Russian unit anihilated.
Good job!
I did really splendid there.
What. Are they allowed to do that. Attacking my brave soldiers in the flank. They might take one of the flags.
How would that look? 
Phey. They sure didn't reckon with Swedish steel and the Hand of God.
He is starting to behave, after all. About time.
This looks more like it.
Tally ho! 
Russians. They really are chicken. And their pathetic excuse for a General.
Lost your voice, have you?
That's me. There, on the left. I do look splendid in uniform.
That's my cavalry. Riding for glory.
Hmm, but then they should be in the front line.
Wonder what they are doing there?
Ah, that's what I was thinking. Good planning.
But they really should have jumped those obstacles. How hard is it?
Incompetents. When I had made such a good plan.
Rallied another unit. I'm really good at this.
Don't be afraid of the wine-guns! Death is nothing to be afraid of! Charge, peasants!
Oops. They should let the grapes ripen a bit before using that gun.
We have to interupt while the General sorties the field. The troops before him died and splattered him with blood and gore. His uniform looked a mess and he really had to get a change. 
He will make the rest of the comments from the tailors tent.
Now, this looks better.
Really good planning on my part.
I'm just born for this. 
Camping in the wild. The cameraderie. Singing around campfires. Swordplay. Excuting prisoners.
Ah, what a life!
Now, this is a text-book example of a flank attack.
Notice how I planned long in advance and had those troops in just the right place in the right time.
Joakim Sun Tzu af Nincompoop, if you please.
They fled. Forward... Cowards.
Right. A good Russian is a dead Russian.
That's what Father always said.
A text-book example on how to anihillate a gun.
God, I'm really good at this.
Tada! Nothing there. 
Now, there's a charge. Glory for the cavalry! 
Glory for me!
No more Russians left, you say. Excellent.
Yes, that is a very nice uniform. Could I get more gold.
Yes, everywhere.
I think we leave the general now. He has some very pressing decisions before him.

More on this battle by another member of the club:

He actually had a unit and did rather well, the sneaky… 


  1. Excellent write up!!!! Thank you for being the General!! Great game and a lot of fun!! Hope you can join in on more games as we progress through Russia.

    1. Thank you!
      You did well there! Much glory for the General. And for you of course.

  2. Nice one Joakim! That's one of the most entertaining AARs I've read in a good while. :)

    The game was loads of fun and utter chaos. Good thing we had such a splendid general to lead us!

    1. Thanks, Jonas!
      The General is very pleased with the praise. Not that he would expect anything else, of course :-)

  3. Good batrep, good read, good pictures!

  4. Superb! You were obviously born to lead!

    1. Obviously!
      We were cleaning out a lot of paintings from a closet this weekend and found a painting of one of my distant relatives. From early 19th century. Full uniform, medals etc. Very stern. Would probably not approve of these kind of games...
      So I did actually inherit my post :-)

  5. Replies
    1. It was, Neil.
      Super-talented people in the club.

  6. Super game - you lifted the General's baton with competence! But the Russians are reinforcing. They will be back ;0)

    1. An excellent game played by the Russian commander, if I might say so.
      Made my own victory so much glorious.
      /J. af Stolle

  7. Excellent report with a great write-up...and splendid figures, these uniforms are fantastic...

    1. It was a pleasure being General for these chaps

  8. Great pictures and even funnier captions - brought a big grin to my face.