Sunday, November 13, 2011

Organizing an Army

Well, it's been a whopping three months and I have yet to make any real progress procuring miniatures for this project. That is not to say the project is dead, but there have been other projects that were closer to the front of the line than this one. 18th century Alcovia will just have to wait its turn.

In that time, I have given much thought to the sorts of forces that I want to collect for this conflict. Much of it seems a bit backward but then again so is Alcovia. As mentioned in the last post, I am trying to avoid the usual trapping of the period - tricorns, mitres, lots of buttons and brass. Sure it seems to fly in the face of the period but Alcovia is backward after all. I've settled on the basic themes for the army of Alcovia during this period. These are discussed below along with possible figures to represent them.

King Ullo’s Royal Guard
Recruited from loyal Kuzak warriors and trained and reinforced using foreign and local mercenaries, the Royal Guards as his regular soldiers came to be known, numbered only a thousand men. These men were broken into 100 man groups with 25% of their total number being held in reserve in the king’s capital.

For these troops I am considering using Pandurs or Grenzers or maybe even the cool Montenegrans from Irregular. Heck, maybe I'll use them all in one capacity or another.

Kuzaki Cavalry
Loyal to the king the Kuzak people formed the core of the king’s cavalry troops. Hard-riding and powerful in a charge, these men formed a powerful heavy cavalry armed with saber, spear and carbines.

For these figures some sort of Cossacks will work fine. There are so many out there, it'll be a chore to figure out which ones to use.

Flying Artillery
Due to the highly mobile nature of combat in Alcovia, King Ullo saw a need for light artillery that could keep up with the rapidly advancing cavalry. To this end, he had several light cannons mounted onto robust wagons, their muzzles facing out of the rear of the wagon. The cannons could quickly be wheeled into place without the need to unlimber and limber them.

For these, I'm going to have to do a little kitbashing. I figure I can take a period or slightly out of period wagon with a flat cargo bed and out a light pirate deck gun in the back. Maybe a Russian Tchanka might work though I'm curious if such a small wagon would be able to carry much of a cannon.

Mobile Fortresses
Taking a queue from the Middle Ages, the Alcovian army built hundreds of protected wagons. These heavy plank built wagons were meant to serve as mobile fortifications capable of protecting the Alcovian infantry when on the march and when encamped. Some of these wagons were armed with light swivel guns similar to those found on naval vessels.

In addition, such mobile fortresses could be used to set up semi-permanent supply depots without the need for building timber walls and towers. Against the crude horse clans that populated Alcovia, this proved an effective means of defense, even more so when the wagons could be further fortified by hasty works.

Included in these mobile fortresses were wagons loads of replacement planks and fittings packed and protected from the elements to allow for field expedient repairs and replacements.

I am pretty certain that Hussite war wagons or Eastern Ren. protected wagons will work for these, The addition of some pirate swivel guns will finish the models. Something along the lines of the wagons below but filled with musket-armed men.

Riding Infantry
Whereas the infantry of most nations were forced to march from battle to battle, King Ullo recognized that this was a drain on his limited fighting resources and made available wagons  to carry his men. Originally conscripted wagons pulled from farms, lumber camps and mines, they were later replaced by the protected wagons used for the mobile fortresses.

These later wagons not only provided a way to move troops without undo fatigue but also provided a protected fighting platform, giving the troops a better defense against the savage horse nomads they often fought.

I imagine that these would use the same wagons as the mobile fortress wagons.

Tribal Auxiliaries
Many of the nomadic tribes and warrior people of Alcovia believed in King Ullo’s dream and fought along side him as auxiliary infantry and cavalry. As he conquered tribes and/or converted them to his cause, the king’s army grew to include more and more of these types of troops.

In many cases, members of these horse clans would be recruited into Ullo’s core of modern soldiers in an attempt to instill them with a sense of inclusion and belonging. In some cases, enough of these troops were recruited to form their own distinct regiments with their own uniform variations.

For these I plan o use everything from Cossacks to Tartars. Anything wild and vicious looking will suffice. Many of the tribes of Alcovia were not even armed with firearms at this time and carried bows, spears and swords. What firearms did exist among the various horse tribes were often outdated but well maintained weapons from earlier periods.

Thanks for reading this intro to my brainstorming for the various troop types for the army of Alcovia. Also, thanks to the various people who's pictures I used to illustrate my ideas. I can only hope that my miniatures come close to looking this good.



  1. Hi Eli

    This sounds like an interesting project. Looking forward to seeing how it goes.

    Good Luck

  2. All of them? Not all would neccesarily fit in the same army.