Tuesday 26 March 2024

Russo-Polish War 1920 Plans

So with a lack of activity on painting or gaming due to a bit of gut injury I have turned to a bit more planning. 

My next project will be to add  Polish forces to my Russian Civil War collection. Long term followers will note that I already have some Poles for this conflict so this will actually be more about expanding the initial fairly fragmented force I have currently.

Polish Legion Cavalry MG

Its an interesting project as there are very few dedicated Polish options, most troops will have some form of minor conversion required. The only dedicated figures I have found are Studio Siberia, lovely figures if slightly expensive to import from Russia, with the added difficulties with the political situation in the Ukraine.

I will assume that the reader knows less than I do about the campaign, apologies if that's not the case,  and shed a little light on the historical background. 

Pre WW1 Poland did not exist, it had been partitioned long before and its component parts were now part of either the German, Russian or Austro Hungarian Empires. During WW1 all these sides, plus the French, offered the Poles their own sovereignty if the Poles fought for them and they won the war, leaving large forces of Poles, often in their own Polish units, fighting for all of the Empires and having a division fighting for the French on the western front. As the war ended and Poland regained its own sovereignty these troops all became part of the new Polish army.

So Poland now had a decent sized army of trained troops with unstable borders, a plethora of potential enemies and a degree of support from the Allies. The army spent 1919 fighting German Friekorps and Ukranian Galicians for control of  various border areas before war between Soviet Russia and Poland kicked off towards the end of the year.

From a wargamers perspective the army is really interesting. Most units had their WW1 uniforms still with the addition of Polish badges and sometimes caps. So normal German Uniforms with red and white collar tabs or armbands, maybe an eagle on the steel helmet and sometimes the four cornered caps. French uniforms still in Horizon blue with a white eagle on the helmet, Russian Uniforms with Adrian helmets and the eagle or Polish Legionnaires in a more bespoke Austrian style Uniform and caps. Add to this volunteers with the new grey greenish Polish uniform and you have a very eclectic army. Right up my street.

Polish Legion figures Studio Siberia and Woodbine

We use Triumph of the Will for this period with some tidying up and clarifying of the rules. This means that the troops will be organised into Regiments/Battalions usually of 4 companies. Companies are between 10 and 6 figures but usually 8. Machine guns are attached to a specific company within a battalion. With my Reds and White I have maybe one MG per 2-3 batallions, the Poles probably should have a bit more as they were well equiped.

Initial plan is to have one regiment each in German, Legionnaire and Volunteer uniforms and two in French Horizon Blue. 3-5 MG's, 2 armoured cars, 1-2 FT17's (The Poles had a whole regiment of them) at least one biplane and lots of cavalry.

My cavalry may be in companies/squadrons of 8 brigaded together rather than whole regiments. 

The cavalry was, if anything even more diverse than the foot. Cavalry was viewed as a very useful arm on the Eastern front in WWI and would prove to still be so in the war. The same diversity of uniforms applied to this branch with the added flamboyance of cavalry and the inclusion of coloured cap bands with many units. To add even more colour and diversity a number of Cossack units, particularly Don and Orenburg Cossacks, deserted en-masse from the Red army and fought for the Poles.

I started this project some time ago but it is very much in its infancy still. One of the big head aches was getting the right heads for the troops in German, French and Austrian Uniforms. For the most part this was solved by buying a lot of heads from Studio Siberia to help me fill gaps, but my initial attempts involved ACW puffball caps and clippers to make the square tops. I was unhappy with the quality of some of the heads I originally used and the basing is a very old style I dont use any more. I now plan to remove the current figures from the bases, tidy them up, new heads where needed and mix them with some new buys to get the units I want.

More Studio Siberia Legionnaires

Flags from Flags for Lads

Polish Volunteers Woodbine centre Studio Siberia right and left 

German Foot I currently have about 12 painted. For the most part I will add to these with straight WW1 Germans in stahlenhelm and add splashes of colour with Polish armbands and collar tabs.  So twenty or so plus an MG required. Very tempted by the lovely Great Wars minis for this.

For French uniforms (these guys were known as Hallers Blue Army as still in the horizon blue uniforms) I have around 25 figures painted however the caps I did for these were not great so a bit of work needed. As the caps are peakless these are still a potential issue as even Studio Siberia dont do the peakless Polish hats, but not a massive one most will have Adrian helmets whilst officers and NCO's had peaked caps which I can cover off. I will buy the Gripping Beast range Woodbine miniatures French for these, separate heads makes these really useful. Probably about 40 figures and 1-2 MGs required for these.

French with dodgy head swaps

The Volunteers will need Polish Caps or Adrian Helmets, I have enough of both heads from Studio Miniatures, the Legionnaires will need the small round cap, again I have plenty of these. In both cases I will buy Woodbine Miniatures Turks without heads (bare with me here). The uniform is the same cut as is the webbing and the rifles fit well. With their Polish heads and pike grey or grey green uniforms they will look very different to Turks when finished. Currently I have 8 Legionaires and 4 Volunteers painted, happy with how they have come out but plenty more to do. I do also have some Studio Siberia Poles with separate heads to mix in with these units. Again the first couple painted are very nice. 40 or more figures needed to plug this gap and an MG to be attached to each unit.

For artillery I have two German 77mm guns with enough figures to crew them in the new 1920 Polish uniform. I do also fancy doing a French crew with a French gun at some point and possibly a German gun and crew too.

The Cavalry! What is a Polish army without lancers?

Russian Imperial Guard Polish Lancers

No surprise I already have some of these completed, I have 5 units painted so far (That's companies/Squadrons of 8 or so) again very eclectic. I have two units of 8 Russian Imperial Guard Polish Lancers. They were there, having fought in the Civil War before transfering to Polish territory, but I have used some (a lot) artistic licence with these, I couldn't help it. I have one unit of ex German army Lancers, grey tunic, green cap with blue band and blue trousers, I actually used Zulu War lancers for these with head swap and modern rifle glued to their backs and they look ok. I may add another unit to these, perhaps using the correct Great War German Uhlans. I have a unit of Volunteer lancers in the Grey Green, with a yellow band around the cap, coloured collar tabs and nice yellow over white pennants. I already have enough figures to create a second unit. These are German WW1 lancers with head swaps for the Studio Siberia heads. Lastly a unit of Polish Legion Cavalry, lovely Studio Siberia miniatures with a very Polish looking uniform in blue-grey and hussar type pelisse slung over one shoulder. This unit has a dismounted MG attached and I am very tempted to buy another pack to give myself then 2 of each units, so 8 units probably brigaded together in 4's for 2 "regiments" of cavalry.

Polish Legion Cavalry

Ex German Army Lancers

Lancers in the new Uniform

Added to this I have at least 6 8 man units of Cossacks, I would probably use the three units of Caucasian Cossacks I have completed along with the Tchanka I have yet to paint to add a third "Regiment", although the Don Cossacks are probably more historically accurate and I have a couple of units of those too.

I already have an FT17 and an Albatross in Polish colours. I will add a German Ehrhardt armoured car in Polish colours to this and possibly another FT17 and a further armoured car of some type. The Poles used Model T ford armoured cars which look nifty but I can only find 1/35 kits. I may opt for a French Renault or Laffly armoured car instead but lets see.

Whilst completing this my initial orders of figures have come through and I have most of what I need now barring some Germans, it has however encouraged me to pick up some more Anarchists for a further faction to fight alongside or against the others. I am now actively browsing through Empress Miniatures German Revolution range for Frei Korps to use as Poles and Sailors and Spartacists to mix with the anarchists.

So lots to do, a really interesting project and my bank account is taking some punishment as I start to buy the figures to fill in the gaps, but not much to get over the line to provide a first small game, possibly try get some Legionnaires finished initially. I think this will be a really nice and very unique collection in 28mm. Watch this space for updates on progress.

Tuesday 19 March 2024

40mm Peninsular Workbench Update

This week a few more Spanish and Hessian 40mm to expand the Peninsular project. 

Firstly two Standard Bearers for my green faced regiment, both Perrys. Flags are hand painted. The standard bearers are both from the set of part painted/nearly finished figures from Tony Runkee

The part painted figures do not include any in waistcoat so to add some variety I have these two, need at least a couple more to flesh out this unit. Civilian Hats to add to the campaign look.
Hessians, I like how these are coming out and I pretty much have enough painted to base up the first two groups of 8. Pompoms unpainted so I can decide which fit together later.
The flags are fabulous hand painted pieces very kindly donated by Shaun Bryant, cheers Shaun.
The quality of these flags is just lush.
Couple of shots with the older phone camera cant decide which I prefer.

On this occasion the older camera seems to have taken a nicer picture, it all depends on the light, its a very bright winters day today so this works, when I tried the same last week in poorer light the newer camera was far superior.
I think the Hessians also look better here. The striped trousers seem to have come out ok so may have a couple more pairs of those mixed in.
The latter part of the week sees another 10 figures for this project which is pretty good going.

Again the majority of these are Tony Runkee part painted. As Tony used colours I might not usually try this provides a nice contrast as with the officers trousers here. The sergeant is a lovely sculpt, the open hand in just the right spot to shove someone back in line by their shoulder. 
Four in overalls with different heads and a mix of trouser colours.
Three with breeches, the middle figure is painted from scratch by me, Tony had not done any of this figure in waistcoat so I intend to paint a few to finish the unit off and mix in. The blanket is a sculpted variation of this figure, I particularly like this Bonnet De Police of the 4 options.
Lastly a Hessian drummer, quite like this figure.
I have also taken the same pictures on the personal mobile, not entirely sure which I prefer.

OK so just a few more Spanish to finish this unit off, the focus will no doubt turn to finishing more Hessians and working through the Paris Municipal Guard.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday 3 March 2024

AWI Raid Sharp Practice AAR

Tonight at Steve's we were back to a Sharp Practice AWI game. This was to be a Tory raid on rebel supply lines in closed down terrain which did present challenges to both sides main formations.

The Rebels had two militia skirmish screens on table with 3 rifle skirmish screens off table and 24 continentals. These fine fellows would be led by me.

The Tories meanwhile had a formation of 16 militia, 8 light dragoons, 2 lots of 10 Indians, 6 Jaegers and 6 British Light infantry. Chris C would command the dastardly Tories.

The Tories were tasked with burning the three buildings on table to deny stores to the rebels. The Patriots needed to stop them.
The two units of Militia skirmishers did ok inflicting casualties on the Indians and Jaegers but the first one was soon hors de combat.
The front unit of rifles did rather better taking Indian casualties at long range in support of the militia.

Chris quickly identified his cavalry were best placed to sweep around the outside and try occupy the furthest barn, he was right, the closed down terrain did not allow my Americans to deploy the continentals to stop him. Two activations in quick succession and they were almost at the barn with not a rebel in sight.

A second unit of rifle skirmishers manages to get a long range shot off and empty one saddle.
A third unit of rifles advance on the furthest farm building hoping to get ahead of the Tory skirmishers.
The English light bobs almost reach the door, the rifles in turn charge into them with tomahawks flashing.
The Light bobs are defeated and pushed back but the sneaky Jaegers slope around the back of the melee and into the farm house whilst everyone else is busy.
The Light Dragoons dismount and occupy the barn, 2 out of three buildings taken by the crown forces.

Finally the Continentals are in position, a long range volley is the best they can do dropping an Indian out of an adjacent tree.
The Rifles at the rear charge the light dragoons as they attempt to remount having fired the barn. Typical of my dice for tonight they are eaily driven off despite a flank charge.
The Jaegers fire the forward building and my depleted forces can do little to stop them.
Last move and the Tory militia turn around to trample some more turnips having marched all the way up, not fired at all, they can now march back in glory.
Having fired one volley and taken no casualties the continentals cant figure out how they managed to lose.
Fun quirky game, more terrain than usual causing both sides headaches and a few more skirmishers than usual allowing a different game.

Thanks for stopping by.