Thursday, December 19, 2013

2014 Goals: Great Northern War Project Planning

The other day, in a fit of "productivity", I spent some time going through the Tabletop Teasers by Charles Grant, presented over at Steve the Wargamer's Tabletop Teasers page.

Although I intend to play historically-based scenarios with respect to the Russian-Swedish portion of the conflict, I know full well, I'll play fictional encounters more often. I have Programmed Wargames Scenarios and Scenarios for Wargames, but both suggest a rather large number of units for any given scenario. Eventually I may complete that many, but in the meantime, I want to play. 

What can I say? Patience is not my strong suit.

The Teasers from Battle and Military Modeling on the other hand are a good bit more manageable - several could be played with 4 units or less of cavalry and infantry, and 1 unit of artillery. So that's my starting point.

My original plans included 12-figure units, but that's still a lot of painting before the Swedes can take the table (the painted Russian infantry is 72 figures strong).

But, reduce the size of the units and voila! On the table sooner.

Really small units (like 4-figures per) can look odd though - unless they're on a grid. And there is the first goal - enough figures to play a grid based game where 1 unit = 4 infantry, 2 cavalry or 1 gun and crew. 

For an example of what such a thing might look like, see Fitz-Badger's Sowitzer League posts here, here, and here.

The next goal is to expand either into larger grid games (larger units or larger grid spaces for more figures) and grid-less games. For this, 8 figures per infantry unit and 4 cavalry figures per unit, in my mind, works quite well for this.

 If you question the aesthetics of an 8-figure unit, again, Sowitzer League provides: here and here.

Finally the large table (for me) game, using 12 figure units of infantry and 6 figure units of cavalry. Each unit would also have an ensign + NCO per All the King's Men's rules.

Based on what I've completed already, here is a painting schedule for 2014 to get me to the 4 infantry units-2 cavalry units -1 artillery unit + 1 officer (with extras sprinkled in):

  • Jan - 6 infantry (Swedes), 1 gun + 4 crew (Russian), 4 cavalry (Russian), 1 officer (Russian)
  • Feb- 6 infantry (Swedes), 1 gun + crew (Swedes), 4 cavalry (Swedes), 1 Officer (Swedes)

By the end of February I should be able to play grid-based games.

  • March - 6 infantry (Swedes), 4 cavalry (2 Russian, 2 Swedes), 1 gun + crew (Russian)
  • April- 6 infantry (Swedes) , 4 cavalry  (2 Russian, 2 Swedes) , 1 gun + crew (Swedes)
  • June - 6 infantry (Swedes), 2 officers/ensigns (1 Russian, 1 Swede)
By the end of June, I'll be able to field 2+x as many 4-figure units or four 8-figure infantry units, two 4-figure cavalry units and two guns each.

  • July -6 infantry (Swedes), 4 cavalry (2 Russian, 2 Swedes)
  • August - 6 infantry (Swedes), 4 cavalry (2 Russian, 2 Swedes)

By end of August, if I stick to this schedule, I can field four 12-figure infantry units, two 6-figure cavalry and 2 guns each.

  • Sept - 6 infantry (Swedes), 4 cavalry (2 Russian, 2 Swedes)
  • Oct -  6 infantry (Swedes), 4 cavalry (2 Russian, 2 Swedes), 2 officers (1 Russian, 1 Swede)
  • Nov  - 6 infantry (Swedes), 4 cavalry (2 Russian, 2 Swedes)
  • Dec - 6 infantry (Swedes), 4 cavalry (2 Russian, 2 Swedes)

By 2015, theoretically, I will be able to field: 

Six 12-figure infantry units, three 6 figure cavalry units (I'm not even sure I have enough boxes to do this!) + two guns each


Nine 8-figure infantry units, five 4-figure cavalry + two guns each

Eighteen 4-figure units, ten 2-figure cavalry units + two guns each. Might need some more guns!


  1. It's a good plan. The Tabletop Teaser link is a good one too.

  2. Hi John. Good stuff on the GNW. I had trouble with the right shade of blue for my Swedes as well. Must have tried dozens of mixes. Need to get back to it. If you are interested, I am about finished on a board game on 8 battles of the Great Northern War to be published by White Dog Games. While using counters, miniatures can be easily substituted. If you are interested, drop me an email at