Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The Battle of Hälsingborg, 1710 - The Swedish Army

On 10th March 1710, the Swedish army marched on Hälsingborg fuelled only with a shot of schnapps that morning. It was a frosty day, which worked to the Swedes' advantage, for that meant that the marshes and bogs along their line of march ceased to be serious obstacles to their progress. The Danish army was deployed north of Hälsingborg but the Swedish approach march was aimed at their flank so the Danes had to quickly redeploy, leaving most of their artillery behind.

About ten years ago I decided that I wanted to refight this battle. Don't ask me why, because I have no idea why this particular battle became the focus of my efforts. I had been looking at the Baccus 6mm Great Northern War ranges and decided to make a large purchase, my first from Mr Berry. I then set to painting the figures and doing background research. I found Dan Schorr's excellent Northern Wars website, and also Nick Dorrell's work on the same subject. Communications with Dan Schorr led to him sending me a copy of the Danish General Staff's description of the battle, which still languishes half-translated on my hard drive. One day I shall finish the translation but in the meantime I have read it through a few times and been able to apply what I knew to the production of my armies.

Having bought vast quantities of 6mm figures, I needed a set of rules. I had played Koenig Krieg before and liked them. I also had Volley and Bayonet, which I also enjoyed. I opted to produce my armies for Koenig Krieg. What I fool! Had I but realised, I might have had this project completed ere now by simply opting for Volley and Bayonet. So, I painted all the figures and dutifully began building terrain. Unfortunately, the project lapsed and languished not forgotten but merely shelved, because my opponent moved away and I had no one enthusiastic about the project to keep me interested in finishing it.

And so we return to the present. Followers of this blog will have read my reviews of Polemos: GNW, so you will have seen that Steve, my regular opponent, is foolish enough to have shown some interest in this period. Bwa ha ha ha ha! As a result, I have stuck all of my figures on bases to a Polemos standard, which will also work for Volley and Bayonet. I have just completed the rebasing process for the Swedish army, so here is the full Swedish army according to the order of battle in Polemos: GNW. A Volley and Bayonet version of the same army would be about half this size. I have posted more pictures of this army on my Photobucket account. Although I have not photographed them, each regiment has a full set of casualty markers in its own colours too. How sad is that?

The Swedish Army at Hälsingborg (click the pictures for larger versions):

Jönköpings regemente:

Smålands och Östgöta femmänningsregemente till fot:

Östgöta kavalleriregemente:

Along the way, I appear to have successfully managed to paint a whole pile of extra bits too. Some of these are versions of the infantry regimentes in the main army, but with pikes, while others are spare bits as a result of the change of order of battle caused by using different rules. The vast amount of artillery is brought about by a general feeling that I wanted it.

And finally, if you have been interested enough to read this far, I shall work up a scenario for this battle at some point in the near future and post it here. I also need to do the basing on the Danish army, so that will be one of my next projects. With that done, perhaps I can turn my attention to finishing the terrain. Fortunately, there is not a lot there because there were only a small number of low hills on the battlefield, none rising higher than 40' above ground level.


  1. Found a link to your blog over at PanzerFaust150's
    Fantastic stuff there, I love 6mm and it's good to see some of the more obscure wars getting attention

  2. Looking forward to the battle.



  3. @Donogh - Thanks for dropping by. I am pleased you like this stuff, and I agree that the more obscure wars deserve a lot more attention.

  4. Re. Obscure: While we do a lot of World War 2, we have yet to do a Normandy game! We've concentrated on the Eastern Front (we even did the Russo-Finnish War '39) and the Pacific (later on this year I want to do Manchuria '39)

  5. It's nice to hear that I am not the only one who avoids Normandy. My preference in WW2 is for the Western Desert, but I also have a 15mm Norwegian army and have played a few games set in Norway 1940. Hmm, I may have to post pictures of that too. That ought to make a good post.

  6. have you tested Might and Reason? There is an option for the great northern war.

  7. I have not played Might and Reason at all. I might check them out once we have tried Volley and Bayonet with some mods for the GNW.