Monday, 12 December 2016

Somewhere on the Steppe: an Eastern Renaissance scenario for Pike and Shotte

This week the Muscovite and Cossack armies had an outing in a scenario based on a Cossack incursion into Muscovite territory.  The terrain was basic, just a plain with a small settlement on the Muscovite right.

For the Cossacks, the left wing cavalry was four units of Cossacks with a unit of horse archers as skirmishers.  In the centre were five units of infantry, two of registered cossack musketeers and three of moloisty, mixed spears and muskets, supported by two light guns.  On the right were the allied cavalry; two units of Polish pancerni and three of Tartars

The Muscovite left wing cavalry
On the Muscovite side were six units of noble levy cavalry, three on each wing, screened by horse archers.  In the centre were the two streltsy units, the soldatski unit and a unit of provincila musketeers.  The infantry were supported by a medium gun and a light gun.  In reserve were two units of Dvor cavalry and a reiter unit.  So this was a Muscovite army in transition, from an essentially medieval force into one modelled on the western model.

Muscovite infantry
Steve had command of the Muscovites and his levy cavalry moved forward in fine style.  They quickly caused my Cossack cavalry on the left  problems and although I managed to restore some semblance of order, the Muscovites had the upper hand.

In the centre both infantry bodies advanced, though the lines were not maintained as some units got ahead of others.

The Cossack foot ready to advance
I reckoned that my musketeers, supported by a light gun would be able to stop the streltsy.  How wrong I was.  The Muscovites charged through an ineffective closing volley from the musketeers and a close range shot from the gun.  In the melee they inflicted 5 casualties but only suffered one and in no time my musketeers were heading for the rear.  Sweeping on the streltsy then sent a moloisty unit packing and it was only the streltsy going 'shaken' which gave me a chance to recover.

The first infantry clash
Fortunately my right flank cavalry was doing better.  The Poles were better equipped to deal with the Muscovite cavalry and the Tartar archers managed to disrupt the Muscovite advance just enough to give me an edge in the melees

The rush for the exit

Success for the Pancerni
Once order had been restored in the centre the Cossack infantry advanced.  They outnumbered the Muscovite infantry and managed to make good  progress  The only unit showing any resistance was that of the border musketeers which avoided hand to hand conflict in favour of long range musketry.

By the end of the game each sides left wing was in trouble (that of the Cossacks being worse than their opponents); whilst fighting in the centre had stalled as units attempted to recover from the casualties they had received.  Steve and I agreed on a draw as the right result.

The high water mark of the Cossack advance
For our game we used 'standard' 24 figure units for the streltsy, soldatski and musketeers, whilst the moloisty were 'large' with 32 figures.  The levy cavalry were standard size (10 or 12 figures) but because of their lack of training operated in a two rank formation reducing them to 'small' size for melee.

The army list we used was an unofficial supplement called 'Edge of Empire' which can be found here, many thanks to Thaddeus for taking the time to produce it.

Russian levy cavalry


  1. There's some classic renaissance figures on show, very nice indeed.

  2. Sounds like a fun battle, glad you're still enjoying the lists!

  3. Really enjoy viewing your 28mm Eastern European games, more please!