Army of the Month – Tiny Pike and Shot

Although we’re now into March, this is my slightly late February Army of the Month. There’ll be another one along before the end of the month!

This is the army where my involvement with the Grand Duchy of Medetia began.

To try to cut a long story short it all stemmed from the innovative Realtime Wargames rules produced by the guys at Realistic Modelling. Although the rules were for 19th century battles in 6mm or 10mm they appealed because they used both a gridded board and NICE (number indicates combat effectiveness) unit representation. Based on these principles my friend and I saw further possibilities with them. We settled on the idea of building up armies of our own ficitious Renaissance countries, which would sit loosely between the mid-16th century and the mid-17th century and would allow us to field regiments of pike and shot as well as more exotic troop types that took our fancy. The scale would be 6mm.

So, back in 2002, was born the Grand Duchy of Medetia and their sworn enemies from Schwartzberg, one with an Italian feel, the other German. To give us a chance to start playing games relatively quickly we built our armies in ‘forces’ of 5 units each, plus a general. Infantry, cavalry and artillery were the building blocks and we put some mild restrictions on composition to ensure a level of balance. One of my inspirations for this was Donald Featherstone’s book, Wargame Campaigns, which is a classic I return to regularly for inspiration or just plain enjoyment. In it he describes a club ECW campaign where players contributed 3 units each, made up of their choice of a combination of horse, foot and guns. I liked this approach and borrowed a modified version of it for this new project. We also defined these forces (or contingents, as was typical of the period) as either regular or irregular, and applied some simple rules for their relative effectiveness and for how larger armies would be commanded and led.

To the army of Medetia (and it’s irregular allies) then. All figures are from Heroics & Ros which, for me, balance the basing flexibility of being single sculpts, with the appeal of being more anatomically accurate than those of other companies. Over the years (and this army is still growing) I’ve plundered the ECW, Renaissance, Wars of the Roses, Napoleonic and ACW (a round hat is a round hat at this scale!) ranges and thoroughly enjoyed the freedom to be creative that this type of wargame project offers. I’ve also begun adding a second army of my own, the French-inspired Kingdom of Fleurie, to allow me to play solo games when the Schwartzbergers can’t make it.

I regularly enjoy returning to this army to play games, paint a little more, scratchbuild something or just look at the little guys. Basically, it’s one of my favourites. Enough background, here are some pics..

The army deploying for battle. It was sunny when I took these pictures and I struggled a bit with getting the lighting balanced.

Massed Cavalry

Field guns and labourers

Fortified camp

Eastern allies – Cossacks and Poles




Two regiments combine as a Tercio

Some battle shots from the last few years





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