Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Russian Militia & Command and Colours News

The few, the proud, the bearded

There's been precious little gaming going on in the Kinch household at present as the War Room is in "a terrible state o' chassis" and I've been working all the hours God sends. However, there is always time for toy soldiers and when I noticed that Simon over at Painted Napoleonic Armies had some Russian militia for sale, I decided to strike while the iron was hot.

I had intended to buy the HAT Russian Militia set myself, but I would have needed two boxes to get the number of pikemen that I wanted and I wouldn't have had much use for the rest of the box. Simon may be a little more expensive, but I got exactly what I wanted with no fuss and all I have to do is base them.  Simon not only had the right figures in stock, but painted extra so that I could have the unit numbers that I wanted. Well done Simon.

I don't actually know that much about the Russian army of the Napoleonic wars, beyond a bit of Tolstoy and a few snippets of Chandler, and I've been debating picking up the two Osprey volumes. I'm sure there are more knowledgeable chaps out there - what would you fellas recommend?

The HAT set offers a wide variety of figures for the smorgasborg of Russian militia units that existed, but I try to make sure the differant unit types are as clearly distinguishable as possible. And so far as the Napoleonic wars are concerned, nothing says that you are enjoying cocktail hour at the  Last Chance Saloon quite like going into battle with a pike. If you click the picture and enlarge, you will notice that these boys have hatchets tucked into their belts.

They are so far as I can tell Moscow Opelchenie, militia raised from the townsfolk of Moscow to see off the dastardly Frenchies. I know that there is some significance to the dark green frock coats worn by one unit, but I haven't been able to confirm what it is.

Opelchenie were raised in cohorts, a brigade type formation made up of two battalions of pikemen supplemented by a battalion of jaegers. Actually, militia jaegers might be a nice addition as Russian light infantry (much like the British) look very like the line infantry.

Their uniforms were rough and ready and they were led by whatever officers could be spared. I particularly like this officer figure, I could certainly see myself putting him in other units. I like the pose, he looks like a professional, probably old for his rank, brought out of retirement for one last battle.

Du Gourmand took the news rather hard

In other news, Command & Colours: Napoleonics - The Russian Army has been moved from a January release date to a first quarter of January release date. This blow is softened somewhat by the news that two additional scenarios have been added along with something called the "Pre-Battle Mother Russia Roll". I would suspect this might be something along the lines of the campaign rolls from the Memoir '44 campaign books, but I could be wrong.

The updated scenario list is as follow:

Czarnowo - 23 December 1806
Golymin - 26 December 1806
Pultusk - 26 December 1806
Mohrungen - 25 January 1807
Eylau Plateau Russian Rearguard - 7 February 1807
Eylau - 8 February 1807 (8AM to Noon)
Eylau - 8 February 1807 (Murat’s Cavalry Charge)
Heilsberg (Opening Phase) - 10 June 1807
Friedland - 14 June 1807
Borodino - 5 September 1812 (Shevardino Redoubt)
Borodino - 7 September 1812 (Village of Borodino)
Borodino - 7 September 1812 (Utitza)
Borodino - 7 September 1812 (Raevski Redoubt)
Polotsk - 18 October 1812
Maloyaroslavets - 24 October 1812
Krasnoi - 17 November 1812
Crossing the Berezina - 27/28 November 1812
Champaubert - 10 February 1814
Montmirail - 11 February 1814
Craonne - 7 March 1814

I've always had a soft spot for Craonne as it was included in Paddy Griffith's Sandhurst Book of Wargames. I never played it as it was a bit complicated for me, I generally stuck to the Chevaucee game.

A happy Austrian* 
(not as previously suggested General Du Gourmand)

However, on the plus side the Austrian expansion is now slated for the second quarter of 2013, so our cup runs over. I better start building some Austrian forces then...

 The Austrian scenario list reads as follows;

Wertingen - 8 October 1805
Günzburg - 9 October 1805
Haslach - 11 October 1805
Elchingen - 14 October 1805
Verona - 18 October 1805
Caldiero - 30 October 1805
1809Eckmühl - 21/22 April 1809
Ratisbon - 23 April 1809
Ebelsberg - 3 May 1809
Travis - 17/18 May 1809
Aspern-Essling - 21/22 May 1809
St Michael-Leoben - 25 May 1809
Wagram - 5/6 July 1809
Stockerau - 8 July 1809
1813Dresden - 26/27 August 1813
Leipzig (Liebertwolkwitz) - 14 October 1813
Hanau - 30-31 October 1813
Arcis-sur-Aube - March 20/21 1814

*Photo thieved from TapirGirl on


  1. Fine fellows one and all, bearded, unbearded, and furry. Is the blog written under chemical influences?

  2. Sadly no - as I had work later. Unless you count an ounce of Petersons Sunset Breeze as chemical.

  3. Good Lord - they look like two regiments of Rasputin's - is there a morale bonus??

    1. Not a bit of it.

      But they are lovers of the Russian Queen...

  4. The Ospreys are a bit dated but fairly consistent fair. Though very little on militia and none on artillery. It feels like a series unfinished and they should revisit them into a 5-volume set in my opinion, especially the dastardly flags.

    The Histoire & Collections books are very good and more recent. The best documentation is the Mark Conrad website

    which has transalations of original documents on uniforms. Very wordy though, takes some reading.
    Subsequent research from 2002 in Russia implies that even these are not correct, there has been recent reinterpretation of Russian Marine uniforms c1812. However, if the Russians don't even know about their own army, whatever you do with your figures can hardly be construed as wrong!

    From what I can gather of the Opelchenie Cohorts, they didn't stick to the battalions of pike/jagers with musket, the Moscow Opelchenie being 7000 men as:
    2 Jager Regiments@ 2 Bttns@ 250 men + musket
    8 Foot Cossack Regiments@ 4 Bttns@ 200-250 men+ pike
    1 Horse Cossack Regiment: 250-300 men

    In comparison to, say, the Smolensk Opelchenie:
    6 Bttns@ 300 men with pike and axe
    4 bttns@ 300 men with musket and axe

    (MicroMark List R3N)
    A full list of the Opelchenie appears on List R18N. What is clear is that the Opelchenie battalions should be tiny, 250 men being a good strength.


    1. Mark,

      What an answer! I shouldn't be surprised, you're always a man who goes straight to the sources. Thanks, I'll make my mind up about the Ospreys after Christmas.

      By the way, waiting for an order of MDF bases to arrive - expect Russian infantry and cavalry closing on your position shortly there after.

  5. The Napoleonic officer figures are always just a cut above the average toy soldier. There's something about the period which lends itself well to a nice pose in a sharp uniform and snazzy hat.

    Well played with the Paycock quote.