Saturday, July 30, 2016

1757 LEUTHEN 1:1 RATIO - Part 1

The problem in wargaming at 1:1 ratio in big battles is the fact that you need a lot of paper figures and - above all - a lot of space.
In fact, if a Km is represented by 415 cm wide boardgame, it's evident that recreating a front of 3 real Km will request a 1245 cm wide boardtable (i.e. 12 meters!)
I had to find a solution to this. My idea came out to buy Clash of Arms wargame, with its fantastic map of the battle of Leuthen, with a grid of hexagons of about 95 m wide.

Here the map of the battle from the wargame Leuthen of Clash of Arms. It is really very huge and detailed, but if I can make a critic it is too limited on its western edge and perhaps too short in its Northern edge. If you look at the map with attention actually you will understand what I mean. The space of maneuvre on the west of the village of Lobetiz is really limited. So if you desire to try a flank attack passing on the west of this village it will be impossible; even if you want to change the way Federick attacked, and instead of turning south after the village of Borne, you want to attack in front or even to turn Northward you will not have the space to maneuver. The map is limited on the North at the high of the Village of Borne and for example the North located village of Nippern is not visible, as it is not the Village of Saarawanze on the East Northern edge of the battle.

Just to give you an idea I post here bottom the map of the battle according to the Osprey Campaign Series "Rossbach and Leuthen" where the real dimensions of the battle of Leuthen are easily visible. 

Another point - for me essential - must be put in evidence: the dimension of the units; As I told before the map of the battle represents a grid of hexagons about - in the reality - 90 meters. This means that a single unit of the epoch cannot be held inside just 1 hex. The units, fighting in a strict linear way, were about 130/150 meters wide; this means that on the map they would occupy almost 2 hexes. This is for me a very serious mistake in the game that totally changes the proportion of the battle as it is done by Clash of Arms.
But I will use this map to fulfill my needs to recreate a 1:1 wargame battle; therefore I decide to design the units with their real dimensions, and cleaning them from all the unnecessary information on them;
In the picture below I show the differences between mine (top one in blue) and the counters of the game: my counter is actually almost the double in width.

I also showed the difference in the size of a normal infantry unit of the Prussian Army and an assembled Grenadier Battalion (on 4 companies):

I just wrote on the counters their movement capacity and the kind of unit. The X cross indicates that this is an infantry unit.

Top: using my counters I was able to recreate with the correct size the Prussian array at 11.00 AM on 5th December 1757; as said before, it's a very big pity that for example it's not possible to go easily on the left of the village of Lobenitz without risking to go out of the map.

Top: in this picture it's possible to see the Prussian (Infantry) array and its distance from the village of Leuthen. Please consider that every infantry units moves by 6 cm each turn.

Now that I criticized the wargame I also have to admit that the map is really unique and beautiful, full of details and very good choice of colors.

The aim of using the map with papersoldiers (but it could be applied to any wargame played with figures) is to recreate the battle at 1:1 ratio.
In fact, through this map and the units represented on it it's quite easy to move the entire array. When them to adversary counters will meet on this map, they will be immediately "transformed" in a fight using papersoldiers at 1:1 ratio, like this:
 or like this:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


The summer is coming, hotter and hotter. While I still dream about the snow here I post some pictures of a brave group of Norman Crusaders that are crossing the desert heading towards Jerusalem in 1099; they carry the insigna of Normandy

The dunes are all around in the hot summer

Thursday, July 21, 2016


It was really hard to cut and trim all these papersoldiers (about 1 month work!) but at the end I succeeded. I will keep on with my project about the 1:1 ratio re-fighting the battle of Leuthen; I think at the moment I reached the number 10.000 papersoldiers... but still there is a lot to be done! By the way the glorious "von Geist" Regiment is finished and ready for fighting and parading.
Some info about this regiment
Info from Kronoskaf:
On November 15 1678, 1,000 men which were previously stationed in Livonia were transferred to Prussia as Marsch-Regiment. In February 1679, Colonel Johann von Zieten created a new regiment (8 coys) from these troops.
From 1716, the garrison place of the regiment was Stettin. It recruited in the Pomeranian districts of Borck, Flemming, Greifenhagen and Saatzig; and in the towns of Cammin, Greiffenberg, Gülzow, Labes and Stettin.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part in the Siege of Prague in 1744. On June 4 1745, it fought in the Battle of Hohenfriedberg. 
During the Seven Years's War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • since June 25 1754: Georg Friedrich von Amstell (killed in action during the battle of Prague on May 6 1757)
  • from May 12 1757: Baron Karl Ferdinand von Hagen, also known as “von Geist” (died on February 19 1759 from wounds received at the battle of Hochkirch)
  • from February 25 1759 to December 13 1769: Julius Dietrich von Queiss
    Top: the 5 colours of the Second Battalion marching aside the coloumn

    Service during the Seven Years War

    In 1756, the regiment was considered as the best Pomeranian regiment and was initially stationed in East Prussia. In December, it was transferred to Lusatia.
    In the Spring of 1757, the regiment took part in the invasion of Bohemia. On April 21, at the Combat of Reichenberg, the regiment was deployed on the right wing of the first line of Duke of Brunswick-Bevern's force. On May 6, the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the first line in the Duke von Braunschweig-Bevern's Brigade. Its colonel was killed during the battle. On November 22, the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in Ingersleben's Brigade, in the first line of the infantry centre. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the regiment was deployed in Münchow's Brigade in the first line of the infantry centre. 
    In the Spring of 1758, the regiment took part in the invasion of Moravia and in the Siege of Olmütz. On October 14, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where it was initially deployed in the village and immediately to its left. Its second battalion vainly tried to recapture the Prussian battery planted near Hochkirch. During this battle, its colonel, Major-General von Hagen (aka von Geist), was mortally wounded.
    On September 17 1760, the regiment was present at the Combat of Hochgiersdorf. On November 3, it took part in the Battle of Torgau where it distinguished itself in the attack of the Süptitz Heights but was virtually annihilated.
     As it possible to see here, the unit can be deployed in column or in line, exactly as in the reality. Every base represents a company (8 per battalion) with a front of 4/5 stands of 4/5 papersoldiers each on 3 ranks; the stands have a magnet to glue them to a bigger base with iron inside, giving the possibility to play and remove one single stand (4/5 men) with a very very short time for deploying and entire battalion or even an entire regiment, as shown


    Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White field with black flames. Centre device consisting of a black medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and surmounted by a golden crown. The medallion is decorated with a golden eagle holding a sword and lightning bolts surmounted by a white scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, FR ciphers) and grenades in gold.
    Regimental colours (Kompaniefahnen): Black field with white flames. Centre device consisting of a white medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and surmounted by a golden crown. The medallion is decorated with a black eagle holding a sword and lightning bolts surmounted by a black scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, FR ciphers) and grenades in gold.

     the 10 colours of the complete regiment.

     This pictures are intented to show you the possibilities of papersoldiers in a 1:1 ratio; here it's introduced 2 battalions of the 8th Regiment at the Battle of  Leuthen;
    Close view
     There is a total of about 1.100 papersoldiers (still drummers and some NCO's and Officers to be done to complete); every battalion is about 60/70 cm wide;

    The 2 Battalions in line

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Hi Guys,
today it's very hot (35!) and so I decided to refresh my thoughts with some pictures from the cold hills of the Battle of Austerlitz back in 1805.
 Finally I realized a Major of the Novgorod Regiment. This figure was particullary difficult to me, due to the correct proportion of the horse and man.
 On the background you can see also a well, guarded by some men of the Regiment

The sun is finally rising in the cold morning of 2nd December 1805. The columns of the Russian Army (in this case the IV Column) are approching the battlefield under the attentive control of their commanders. Few of this figures will see the night. Their courage will last forever.
I have to admit: they look really great and realistic!

Saturday, July 2, 2016


I put here picture of the same unit (the Danish Fynske Regiment at the Battle of Lund on 4th December 1676 in two different versions. On the top page  there is allegedly 1 battalion of this Regiment while the other picture shows the same battalion with papersoldiers.
The first picture is taken from the site of Black Powder Games.
This unit (on the top) is composed of 12 musketeers, 4 pikemen (of whom 1 Officer), 2 colours, 1 NCO and 1 drummer for a total of 20 men representing about 320 men, meaning 1 figure represents 16 real men. This is actually already a very good proportion. Nonetheless I do believe that it lacks of realism. It is in fact impossible to reproduce the 2 guns on the flank of the unit tht were extremely important during the battles of that period, while the colours represent 10% of the men (!). Obviously no doubt about the beauty of every single figure that is a real masterwork of painting. The problem is whether the player wants to use a stand with some figures to represent a unit disregarding its real composition and deciding all with dies or prefers a more realistic representation of a single battalion even if the single figures are not that good. 
It is also worthy to say that the papersoldiers make their effect on the sight when they are together reforming exactly the visual impact an army had during the battle.
The problem is that a vert big battlefield is needed to display all the unit. By the wat the Battle of Lund in 1676 is a phantastic opportunity of recreating at a ratio 1:1 a battle, considering that the unit were arrayed on 6 ranks and the total numer was very reduced.
At the contrary, it will be impossible to recreate the entire battle of Borodino for instance, both because you need more than 200.000 paperfigures both because the needed space would be enormous. Perhaps in this case a reduction scale would fit.

In the pictures above, I just wanted to compare again the visual effect of a battallion of the same period, not to critize one or the other, but to permit a free choice. It is evident that the first big differnce consists in the number of figure. On the left 317 papersoldiers; on the right 18 metal figures. As a visual fact the right one is much more charming the in the single uniform, very detailled but the total vision is quite poor. More as a battallion it seen a group of friend gathered for a fun day outside. On the left (obviously I do support my papersoldiers) the large number of figures allows the player to come down to the details of a battallion, representing the fifers, the regimental guns, the grenadiers, the sappers, the pikemen, the NCO giving a real taste of what was a real unit in those glory days.

These photos perfectly represent the difference between a battle reproduced by nomal figures and a battle reproduced by papersoldiers.
It is  a real conceptual different vision of wargaming. 
With normal figures, every stand actually just represents an idea of troops disregarding the real number of soldiers, while with papersoldiers the real composition of an unit becomes the most important thing to solve a fighting exactly as in real.