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Mittwoch, 11. August 2021

10mm Overview: Thirty Years War Cavalry


Heyhey, last time I talked about 10mm infantry for the Thirty Years War, today I'll have a look at cavalry figures in my collection. I'll compare the three main sources I use and mention a few additional options for cavalry of the period.

Depending on how deep you want to go into categorizations of cavalry during the early to mid 17th century you'll end up with either about 7 to 11 different sorts of cavalry or 1. It's entirely up to what you prefer. 

+++Trigger Warning: I will include dragoons in this article, even though we all know that they're not actually cavalry.+++

To take a very quick de-tour into the gaming side of things: I tend to be pretty lenient about the whole thing, not the least because I'm the only one to supply figures for the TYW games. Despite the fact that I have a pretty large collection by now, some scenarios will still require a ton more of a certain category of cavalry than I have as figures. No big deal, I usually find ways around it. All it takes it a little creativity.

Right, let's get straight into it. This time I'll keep it short by just listing Cavalry and go into details about individual offerings by various companies in the paragraphs themselves.


As with my infantry, the main stay of my collection is by Pendraken and Old Glory. As a general note, I tend to mix cavalry way more than infantry, mostly to get different poses into a unit. Sometimes I also have to mix figures into a unit to get to the desired number of 16 per unit (more on that, see below). As with the infantry, Old Glory, Irregular and Pendraken will mix nicely, Lancer Miniatures figures I'll usually keep to themselves since they're a fair bit chunkier.

Old Glory's cavalry is different in a few ways: First and foremost, the riders (incl. saddle and shabraque) are cast separately from the horses. In larger scales that's a thing I very much appreicate, at 10mm I don't really care all that much. If you use various packs, take care that you don't mix standing and running horses within the same unit.

My depiction of Bernhard von Sachsen-Weimar. Both Old Glory figures.

The horses are rather pretty, the riders with hats can look a bit samey at times. They offer pretty much everything you need: Cavalry in hats, cavalry in helmets, cuirassiers, mounted dragoons. The cavalry also has separte command packs in hats and helmets. The cuirassiers come with command figures in the pack.

Speaking of command: The OG command figures come with little fanions sculpted onto the figure, as you can see on Bernhard's pal in the picture above. On cavalry I don't mind that too much. It makes the units less flexible in terms of which side they're on, but on the other hand the flags are much smaller than on the infantry, and thus less prominent anyway.

Cost per cavalry figure (packs of 30): 53.3333333333p.(!)
Variants available: 6
Prettiness: Nice, but limited in poses. Made up for by four or so different horse poses
Convenience: Alrighty, depending on your stance on rider and horse comeing separately. Matter of taste.
Notes: Perfectly fine, but those are really pricy, and I don't quite know why.

Pendraken redid a lot of the cavalry in their English Civil War range in recent years. Their dedicated TYW range shrunk down a fair bit, but the ECW range will serve quite nicely. They offer the same variety as OG do in their ECW range: Cuirassiers, Cavalry in Hat, Cavalry in Helmet, mounted Dragoons. Plus some Scots.

Pendraken's cavalry with helmet from their webstore. Painted by yours truly.

The dedicated TYW range includes Croats (essential), as well as Arquebusiers and cavalry with helmet and pistol. The latter both are mono-pose and come without any command figures.

My monopose dragoons. One of them converted to hold a flag.

Pendraken got an ace up their sleeve though, and that's their Elisabethean range, which is very much worth a look. Most of the clothes won't fit the Thirty Years War, but I'd say that some of the cavalry and some pikemen and musketeers might find a way into your collection. Also: you can play Gustav Adolph's wars against Poland of course!

They also got a 16th century Ottoman range, which is a very useful source for light cavalry from say Transylvania, up to Hungary. But the main thing will be the 16th century Polish range. WINGED HUSS- yes, yes. But most of all this is where you get Cossacks and other "Eastern" looking light cavalry. You'll need those for Hungary, Bohemia, Lützen, Brandenburg, everywhere. Get a pack of Cossacks, a pack of mounted archer (no plural there, it's just one pose), and a pack of "mounted dragoons" (also one pose), mix them together, arrange them on one or more bases, and you got plenty light cavalry. They'll probably turn around and leave at the first sign of danger and start raiding your own camp on their way home. You gotta love those scrappy rascals.

Cossacks! Painted in 2013. Nice hats.

All packs of 15 figures come with command figures (cornet, musician, officer) included, which to me poses a bit of a problem. My units are 16 figures strong. So I'll always have to mix a bit.

Pendraken's cavalry flag carriers come with a flag pole cast onto the model, adding the flags is up to you. That of course gives you the option to switch flags in case you need this unit to fight for another army. Depending on your levels of sanity you'll have to be careful to keep the little pennants on the trumpeters in sync with the unit's flag. ;-)

Cost per cavalry figure (packs of 15): 36.666666666666p.
Variants available: 9 (plus loads of options from the Polish, Ottoman, Elisabethean ranges)
Prettiness: Excellent.
Convenience: Rider and Horse come in one piece.
Notes: Great variety, feel free to mix across codes if the equipment is similar. A safe bet, those Pendraken cavalry.

Lancer Miniatures joined the fray just a few years ago, but I quickly took to them after the first two units. They're just nice to paint.

Again, referring to this picture: Two units of Lancer cavalry in 'floppy hats'.

They do look different to OG and Pendraken's cavalry. And possibly in the cavalry this is even more apparent than in the infantry. These guys are massive. And the ones in the lobster pot helmets are a bit boxy. But they're charming in a sort of Lego figures way. Hard to pin down, but painting them is really fun. Not that painting OG or Pendraken's are not nice to paint, but Lancer's are different.

Another notable feature is the small pack size. Just 4 figures to a pack. For me with my 16-men units that would be perfect if the command packs didn't come with 3 figures each. :-D Oh well, it's the spice of life.

Maybe this picture illustrates the little size difference between Lancer minis and Pendraken's.
In the left you can see Protestant cavalry storm a slope, held by cuirassiers of the Catholic League.
The first wave of the attack is led by Pendraken figures, the unit behind them (way left) is by Lancer. Compare the helmet and sword sizes. It's okay at arm's length though.

Beyond the usual hat/helmet/cuirassier/dragoon differentiations between packs, you also get different packs for swords or pistols in hand, plus of course command packs, hence the whopping 11 when it comes to "Variants".

Flag carriers work like Pendraken's: flag pole cast onto the figure, add flag as seen fit.

Cost per cavalry figure (packs of 4): 33p.
Variants available: 11 
Prettiness: Nice, but a bit different.
Convenience: Rider and Horse come in one piece.
Notes: As mentioned above, they are different proportioned. Alright, but don't mix them. Due to the small pack size you're very flexible in your unit composition.

Now for Irregular Miniatures. As the name implies, these are a bit outside the now established norm. As mentioned in the article about infantry, Irregular let you buy single figures at 44p a pop.

The figures (and horses) are a bit flatter and slighter than other offerings (well, a Lancer mini looks like they have Irregular minis for lunch each day), but they're great for adding more variety to command bases, officers and musicians for cavalry units, and on top of it all they have horse holders for your dragoons!

So that's good. Do have a look at their website. It's worth the trip for the website alone.

Well, that's it for cavalry, I hope I didn't forget about anything. Hope you found this article, how ever niche-y it is, interesting. Next time I'll wrap up by talking about commander bases, artillery and useful bits in general.

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