Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Conflict between the Swedes and their various neighbours between 1670s and 1721. Including topics on Danes, Saxons, Saxon-Polish, Russians and anyone else the boys in blue were mixing it with!
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The Rabblerouser
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Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by The Rabblerouser » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:34 pm

Currently planning on a collaboration project for building a Swedish and a Russian Great Northern War army in 15mm. Is there any recommendations for the composition of units (e.g number of cavalry etc) for a generic army on both sides. From what I have gathered the Swedes were usually outnumbered but made up for this in experience and Ga Pa.

I am not using any specific ruleset to plan for this(although I would be interested to know what is available for this period). I just want to get some ideas for a balanced battle.
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Re: Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by Gunfreak » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:50 pm

In BLB2 Barry recommends Russians to have 50-100% more units then the swedes.
Swedes should be 50/50 infantr/cavalry or even a little more cavalry then infantry.
Few if any artillery for swedes. Quite a lot artillery for the russians.
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Re: Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by The Rabblerouser » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:13 pm

Thanks, would this also count for allied units for both sides (cossaks, poles).
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Re: Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by Gunfreak » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:34 pm

Yes I would think so.
The poles if anything fought worse than the Russians(5000 polish cavalry sent flying to their homes after a few volleys)
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Re: Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by RogerC » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:57 am

I would agree with Truls take on things. Cossacks were only really useful for skirmishing or chasing defeated troops, The Poles generally fought very badly, in both cases the majority of troops fighting were mounted if not all mounted. If the Russians dont outnumber the Swedes by a lot you will need to make up for this in earthwors and guns, the Swedes were generally very good and had much more horse than most armies of the period.
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Re: Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by The Rabblerouser » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:15 am

In the case of the Poles as allies for the Swedes would their mounted cavalry likely be Pancerni or Dragoons? Is it too improbable that some of them would be Winged Hussars?

Since I will be focusing on the Swedish army for this project, I have wanted to know what artillery was being fielded. I understand Charles had the usual stuff but he did not use it to its full advantage as Peter did. Would he have the standard battalion guns fer infantry units.
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Re: Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by Friedrich August I. » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:36 am

AFAIK the Poles who fought on the Side of Sweden have been mainly Cossack's and Pancerni in the role of Dragoons.

The main body of the Hussaria had sided with their elected Polish King.

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Re: Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by RogerC » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:26 am

The Swedish guns in most battles were 3 pounders and dint see much action, being left behind by the faster moving foot. 2 thirds of the Polish Cavalry were Pancerni. There wont be a lot of winged hussars but if you a feilding a lotof Poles perhaps use the odd one.
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Re: Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by barr7430 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:26 am

I recommend listening to Gunter (I always do! 8) )

The Swedes are not always an uber army, I have seen them defeated several times on the table.

They are like a Panzer Grenadier unit - mobile, punchy, highly motivated but somewhat few in numbers and therefore brittle if the going gets sticky. They don't like firefights and meat grinder battles. You need to win by manoeuvre, shock impact and morale and do it quickly.. if the enemy can absorb the first few hammer blows the wind goes out of them.
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Re: Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by The Rabblerouser » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:36 am

What about grenadier companies for both sides. As far as I have found out, apart from the Livgarde regiment there were no separate Swedish grenadier companies. I have even heard that some grenadiers didn't even wear mitres.

Also Russian companies had both infantry and cavalry grenadiers. Would these two have had different combat roles?
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Re: Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by Friedrich August I. » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:31 am

RogerC wrote:The Swedish guns in most battles were 3 pounders and dint see much action, being left behind by the faster moving foot. 2 thirds of the Polish Cavalry were Pancerni. There wont be a lot of winged hussars but if you a feilding a lotof Poles perhaps use the odd one.
You are on the right track :D
But as I said before, Hussaria are elite Noble Cavalry and most of them served to stem the tides of Turks. Therefore (and because their elected King had agreed to the terms to fight the Turks) they fought alongside Augustus II. Forces. Their numbers are roughly about 6.000 Horsemen.
There may of course be some confusion as the Hussaria may have been converted back from their new designation as Cuirassiers who fought in the ranks of the Small Polish Crown Army on the Swedish Side.

I like to point you towards the battle of Kalisz fought in 1706, weeks after the "surrender" of Saxony to the Swedes.
http://northernwars.site40.net/Kalisz.pdf
It as a battle fought by large Cavalry force, about 35.000, against a mixed Infantry/Cavalry force, about 15.000.

Cheers,
Günter
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"Sort your filth out by yourself!" The King of Saxony Friedrich August III., at his abdication 1918, referred to the quarrels in the parliament and the squabbling within the provisional government.
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Re: Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by Gunfreak » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:32 pm

The Rabblerouser wrote:What about grenadier companies for both sides. As far as I have found out, apart from the Livgarde regiment there were no separate Swedish grenadier companies. I have even heard that some grenadiers didn't even wear mitres.

Also Russian companies had both infantry and cavalry grenadiers. Would these two have had different combat roles?
Few if any grenadiers use the mitre.
There were to types of deployment of grenadiers in the swedish army.

In the provincial regiments each company had a handful of grenadiers.
In the enlisted regiments they had grenadiers on the flanks of the battalions.

Russian horse grenadiers were placed in their own units.
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Re: Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by The Rabblerouser » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:46 pm

Seems I can get away with using infantry with tricorns as grenadiers.

Is there any further suggestions for the number of cavalry units (curassiers, dragoons). The swedes have more cav than infantry but how much of each roughly? Same for the Russians?

When I began planning for this I was thinking of following the number of units that come in the Baccus 6mm starter army packs. I assume they are comprised to represent an accurate figure units.
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Re: Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by Gunfreak » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:36 pm

Sweden didn't have cuirassiers (neither did Russia)

Sweden had horse/cavalry and Dragoons, with very little actual difference between them.

Russians had Dragoons and horse grenadiers.

At Fraustadt the Swedish had 20 squadrons of dragoons (including 4 of liv dragoons)

And 15 squadrons of cavalry(including 3) from adelsfana.

At Poltova they had 44 dragoon squadrons

And 70 cavalry squadrons (12 of which were the life guard horse)
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Re: Balanced army sizes for GNW Swedish and Russian armies

Post by The Rabblerouser » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:02 pm

I assume that cossacks count as light/dragoon cavalry for both sides.

At the moment I am at least considering building the number of units based on the regiments and squadrons Charles had during the Russian campaign up to Poltava and any other generic battles. The number of flag decals available could be a good start.

At least 2018 promises to be good year for GNW research with Helion planning on publishing some books about both armies.
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