I thought I’d just post a quick update to show off a new addition to my Polish army: a unit of Pancerni from The Assault Group‘s wonderful Polish Renaissance range. These soldiers, mainly used to soften up enemy ranks before the Winged Hussars‘ deadly charges, were often termed “Cossacks”, even though in reality they were actually raised from all over the Commonwealth and came from a variety of ethnic groups.
Also, “Pancerni” (literally “armed men”) is a rather broad term, describing several types of units with different types of armament. What I’ve gone for here is the most iconic one: “Eastern”-looking horse riders, clad in chain mail and using an assortment of ranged weaponry. They will mainly function as Gallopers in our Pikeman’s Lament games.
The Pancerni had a slightly more “down to earth” look than the infamously flamboyant Hussars. Perhaps this had to do with the fact that the Pancerni generally were not of noble birth and thus didn’t have the same incentive for showing off their individual wealth and prowess. Still, they made up an important part of the Polish army and constituted about 60% of the cavalry by the 1680s.
It was also during this later period that their use of lances became common. While our club games will mostly be about the earlier part of the 17th century I still decided to include the lances – they were used in the 1620’s as well, albeit not as frequently. And I might just come to field these models in other games as well (sorry about that, Michael).
As always, TAG’s models are a joy to work with; lots of crisp, clear details and dynamic but still natural poses. A bit “heroic” perhaps but to me that’s almost a bonus as I do think that 28mm models benefit from some slight exaggerations.
The horse tabard patterns are my own inventions, but based on historical models; they’re basically variations on the late and great Angus McBride‘s illustrations for Osprey‘s Polish Armies 1569-1696.
This is the first of two Pancerni units that I plan to bring to the table in order to pester Swedes, Scots and Flemish alike. The color scheme has a slight Hungarian touch this time, while the next batch will be decidedly more Polish.
Also coming up for my Commonwealth army in the near future: more Haiduks and Winged Hussars, plus a unit of Forlorn Hope and some Characters. In other words, you could safely say that I’ve got the Polish bug by now – it’s just such a fun army to collect, paint and play that I can’t help expanding it!