Plans for 2022: napoleonics

Starting off the new year away from the paint pots I have had some time to think about what to work on in the coming year. First among my priorities is more work on figures for the Finnish war of 1808. In 2022, I will try to paint up enough miniatures to represent one particular battle, namely the battle of Lappo (Lapua) in west-central Finland (Österbotten, Ostrobotnia). I am also working on figures for the most important battle of the war, at Oravais (in September of the same year). That is part of a joint effort which is aiming at a demo game at Salute in 2023. Oravais was a slightly larger battle, and it also features several Swedish regiments. I will only do some of those, and a large part of them also took part at Lappo.

Lappo is a more modest goal, but it is also a good way to get the most important units painted up. With these figures finished, I will have a good base for other scenarios for the Finnish part of the army, who did most of the fighting in 1808 (the major part of the troops from Sweden proper only arrived in the late summer).

Battle of Lappo (Lapua) July 14th, 1808

Plan of the battle, State archives (RA), Stockholm.

I have drawn up an order of battle for the “affair at Lappo”, a part of the Swedish summer offensive. Historically, this was a victory for the Swedish army, but the Russians were able to withdraw in good order and casualties were low. The armies numbered around 4000-4500 infantry, a few hundred cavalry and around 15-20 guns on each side.

The forces are described well in the official Swedish history (Sveriges krig åren 1808…, vol. 3, which can be found on google books) and wargames scenarios have previously been published on two separate but equally excellent websites:

http://the-ancientscom.virtualserver26.hosting.fi/gemigabok/suomen-sota-1808-1809/battles-we-fought/refight-of-lapua-14th-of-july-2008/

http://www.thelittlecorporal.co.uk/blog/2021/09/13/the-battle-of-lapua-14th-july-1808/

In other words, it was easy for me to create an order of battle to re-fight the battle with 28mm figures. To make the whole thing more manageable, I will reduce the number of battalions slightly, especially on the Swedish side. I will even leave out the Swedish first brigade entirely, as it only had a single infantry battalion.

I will also use standard sizes for units, i. e. 16-man battalions in most cases, although in reality battalions varied in size (as was almost always the case). I will probably have a single gun model with crew represent one artillery battery, at least to begin with – I can always expand with two-gun batteries later, as that does look better.

With these adjustments, the forces will look as below. As you can see, 4th brigade is done, 2nd brigade is half-way there, while 3rd brigade still remains to be painted for the most part. If my arithmetic is correct, I need to paint around 60 more figures on the Swedish side (out of a total of ca 180 or so for Lappo). I painted more than 150 Swedes/Finns in 2021.

On the Russian side I need to do about 50 figures, although I may also end up using figures already I have (i. e. using a Kaluga battalion to represent a Petrovsk), especially if that is what is necessary in order to actually set up a game and play IRL! In fact, I am already using figures painted as the Sevsk regiment to represent the Kaluga regiment – but those two regiments did have very similar uniforms, and identical flags.

Similarly, I may use Savolax jägers to represent the small units of Nyland and Björneborg jägers. For some reason I started out painting a bunch of the Savolax jägers and ended up with a disproportionate number of them. There seems to be some confusion over the colors of the Nyland jägers’ uniform and their headdress anyway, so it might be just as well.

Units given in italics are figures which remain for me to paint, while the rest is done.

Swedish forces at Lappo

Commander: major general Carl Johan Adlercreutz

2d brigade

Brigade commander, col. Georg Carl von Döbeln

1st bat. Björneborg (Pori) regiment

2nd bat. Björneborg regiment

3rd bat. (Rusthållsbataljon) Björneborg regiment

Small unit of Björneborg jägers (3/8 figures painted)

3-pdr. battery, 2 guns, 6 figures (2 guns, 4 figures painted)

4-horse limber

Parts of the 2d brigade.

3rd brigade

Brigade commander, col. Hans Henrik Gripenberg

1st bat. Tavastehus (Häme) regiment

2nd bat. Tavastehus regiment

Jäger bat. Tavastehus regiment

Jäger bat. Nyland (Uusimaa) regiment

6-pdr. battery, 2 guns, 8 figures (2 guns, 4 figures painted)

4-horse limber

4th brigade

Brigade commander, col. Johan Adam Cronstedt

1st bat. Savolax (Savo) regiment

2nd bat. Savolax regiment

1-2 (small) bat. Savolax jägers

1 small bat. Karelian jägers

Light 3-pdr. battery, 2 guns 6 figures

1-horse limber

The 4th brigade is pretty much complete.

Cavalry

1 sqdr. Karelian dragoons

1 sqdr. Nyland dragoons

The beautiful Finnish cavalry is all done.

Russian forces at Lappo

I am not sure of who commanded what on the Russian side yet, Ill have to look into that. The Russian “brigades” were more ad hoc-groupings as I understand it.

Commander: lieutenant general Nikolaj Nikolajevich Rajevsky

1st brigade

Brigade commander

1st bat. 23 jägers

Grenadier bat. Kaluga regiment

1 3-pdr. battery

2nd brigade

Brigade commander

Grenadier bat. Petrovsk regiment

3rd bat. Petrovsk regiment

(small bat. Kaluga regt.?)

1 6-pdr. battery

3rd brigade

Brigade commander

Grenadier bat. Velikie Luki regiment

3rd bat. Velikie Luki regiment

1st bat. 26th jägers

1 6-pdr. battery

1 3-pdr. battery

Cavalry

1-2 sqdr. Grodno hussars

1 sqdr. Cossacks

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