Sunday 29 May 2022

More Polish-Lithuanian cossack cavalry

 This post sees a new unit of cossack cavalry joining my Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth army. 

28mm figures from TAG, Foundry and Warlord.

“Gustavus then prizes one cossack banner that having had been assaulted and circled completely by the 4 Swedish cornets, yet despite having been in a tight corner, with such a valour in their midst was explaining itself with cold steel …” A comment on the Swedish King’s view following the Battle of Honingfelde/Trzciano 1629.

[UPDATE - Michal from the Kadrinazi blog makes an important note on this quote in the Comments section, so please check that out.] 

These 28mm figures are from a mixture of manufacturers.  The riders are from TAG, Warlord and Foundry, with the horses all coming from TAG.  The figures have had some minor conversions, to add carbines, and other equipment, mostly from TAG with some bits from the Warlord plastic cavalry set. 

In a previous post (here), where I covered the previous unit of cossacks that I completed, I gave a description of this type of cavalry, along with the figures, conversions and the nail art stickers used in constructing them.  

[UPDATE - Some of the links in the previous post no longer work.  The original place that I saw the nail sticker art used on figures is also here: .  I think Jose is an awesome painter and his wonderful Polish collection has been a real inspiration for me.]

I have now used these cossack cavalry in a few games.  Here are the factors that I have been using for games using Warlord’s ‘Pike & Shotte’ rules.

For those not familiar with ‘Pike & Shotte’ these factors translate as follows (all comparisons are with the typical ‘harquebusier’ cavalry of the period, that makes up the majority of Swedish cavalry in the tabletop battles I have fought):

  • As Light Cavalry they move slightly faster.  They are also able go in to a ‘skirmish’ or open order formation that makes them a more difficult target for shooting, and allows them to evade from formed troops.
  • They are slightly less hard hitting, and slightly more vulnerable, in melee. (I may look to vary this in future and have some units more comparable with the Swedish harquebusiers.)
  • The ‘Marauder’ special rules means there is a no negative modifier for the distance from the general when orders are issued.  This allows them to operate in a more dispersed manner, that seems appropriate for these light troops.   

This combination of factors has seen the cossacks being most successful when either supporting the heavier Hussars, or operating on the flanks of the enemy formations.  They have been less successful when expected to take on frontally the Swedish cavalry. 

I’d be interested to hear about how other think the cossack cavalry should perform on the tabletop. 

In the next post I will be looking at some temporary defences supposedly used by the Swedish troops in the 1626-9 campaign against the Poles. 

Until next time!

Andy @ The Friends of General Haig.

Postscript. I wanted to share a snippet of information that is related to the Blogger platform, the service I use to deliver this blog, rather than related to hobbying.  Blogger does not get much love from its current owner (Google) and it can feel a bit limited in use.  It is even worse if you try and use Blogger with only a mobile iOS device. These limitations had grown much worse for me recently as I couldn’t make the Comments function work, either for my blog, or in other people’s blogs.  I found a fix today, almost by accident.  So here is my quick tip that works for me as of 29th May 2022.

First of all I use the Chrome ‘app’ / browser on my iOS devices to access Blogger.  In the past this has solved a lot of problems with Blogger; Google’s own browser working better with Google’s blogging platform.  The new tip is a cookie setting.  You need to go to iOS Settings and then look within the settings for Chrome.

From the screen snip above you can see that you need to switch on “Allow Cross-Website Tracking” which is in effect enabling third party cookies. This seems to fix the issue that I had been having with Comments in Blogger blogs, including my own.

I hope this helps someone else.  If anyone has any thoughts on this fix, or knows any other tips for using Blogger on a mobile device, then I’d love to hear them.

I have started looking in to Wordpress as an alternative for blogging but this fix has at least delayed my imminent switch! 


  1. Great looking unit, as always :) I especially like mix of armour and unarmoured figures. Regarding this episode from Trzciana - it is in fact possible that banner in question was not cossack cavalry but lance-less hussars from Royal Prince Władysław's banner. Whole episode with Polish soldiers acting so quickly that they managed to cut off hands with pistols of Swedish reiters sounds bit anectodal, as Polish source mentioned that someone that arrived from Swedish camp told whole thing, allegedaly mentioned by Swedish King. Apparently though, in one place on the battlefield there were plenty of cut off hands still clutching their pistols, so who know ;)

    1. Much appreciated, Michal 👍. Interesting note about the quote. I have added a postscript in the blog to ask people to come and look at your comment. The “piles of cut off hands” sounds incredibly grizzly, but I guess testament to some impressive sabre skills!

  2. A beautiful looking unit Andy, love all the conversion work. Each figure does look individual. Good tip on blog comments. I've been the same as you, unable to comment on my mobile. I actually worked this out last night. For some reason, it must have been an update, I was using the Samsung browser, which doesn’t like blogger at all. All fixed now though!

    1. Cheers, Ray! 👍 I’m quite relieved to have sorted the issue. Replying and making comments is a much nicer experience now 😀.

  3. Great mix of figures in that unit; very colourful. I've always really like the Pancerni with their odd mail helmets but never had a reason to buy some. Using the nail art decals for decoration is an excellent idea.

    1. Soldiers equipped with chainmail and misiurka helmet (so what we tend to see as typical pancerni cavalrymen) were present in cavalry units through the whole 17th century, so from wargaming point of view they are very useful to mix with unarmoured cossack cavalry miniatiures. Even from 1670s onwards, when in theory all cossack cavalry banners should be equipped as pancerni, it was common to have mix of equipment (and lack of it) in units.

    2. Many thanks, Codsticker 👍. I’ve added a new link to the guy from whom I took the nail sticker idea idea up in the blog, as I noticed the old links no longer worked. Jose’s work is definitely worth checking out.

  4. Splendid looking cossack unit, lovely mix of figures and it sounds like you've got them about right in terms of they're ability!
    Best Iain