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"DBR Odd Models Lap Reindeer Artillery" Topic

De Bellis Renationis

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sillypoint11 Jan 2009 7:19 p.m. PST

I am often strangely attracted to odd models in armies. Like the Elephants in the Mughul army, the familiar unfamiliar winged hussars, and the nice false hussars you can run. Now there is a Finnish / Scandinavian army, (army list not at hand at the moment) that has Lap reindeer artillery.

What figures would you run with this? Will probably need to do a conversion, what figures should I get. What figures would I need to embed this unit into- Swedish types, or Russian / Polish type?
Apologies for mispelling.
Thanks for your opinions.

Griefbringer12 Jan 2009 5:19 a.m. PST

I would say that Lapp reindeer artillery sounds more like something from the realms of fantasy, rather than a likely actual military unit. So I would recommend adding Santa Claus himself to the unit.

Various British wargame authors tend to think that everyone on the northern side of the Baltic Sea go regularly around by reindeer. However, reindeers are only used in the northern areas (Lappland) which has historically not seen much in the way of military action – being sparsely settled and remote.

That said, technically it should be entirely possible in wintertime to use a team of reindeers to haul a sled containing a small artillery piece.



I seem to recall though that the Lapps had moose mounted scouts in the Medieval Scandinavian armies. This per Phil Barker of course.

Griefbringer12 Jan 2009 10:57 a.m. PST

I would love to see Phil Barker, or somebody else for that, trying to ride a moose.

That said, there is a small institute somewhere in Russia where they are trying to breed domesticated moose. But that is a long term project.


sillypoint12 Jan 2009 7:48 p.m. PST

Within the realms of DBR and an army with colourful units, 1996 DBR List 15 book 2, "Lapps with reindeer or reindeer sledges -LH (F)".
What infantry / mounted figure would you recommend? Will obviously need to build from scratch, but would like to incororate a figure that is available.

The reindeer artillery seems to be my imagination, think of the recoil!


Griefbringer13 Jan 2009 3:36 a.m. PST

Mounted figures? There is no way a grown man could ride a reindeer.

Here is a random old drawing of a reindeer pulled sledge from Lappland:


Not sure about origins, exact period and accuracy, but should give you a generic idea of what it could roughly look. Not exactly sure what year you are aiming at, either.

The sledge is obviously really useful only if there is sufficient snow on the ground, so you might want to model the unit with a portable patch of snow on its base. Which could look funny if there is no snow in the rest of the armies or on the gaming table.

I still hold the opinion that fielding a company worth of such reindeer-sledge troops in a battle the size of DBR is still in the realms of fantasy. Lest that they would have really effective military use in such a fight – as guides or scouts they could be invaluable in their native lands should the misfortune of war ever get that far, and I could just see them being involved in some odd skirmish game. However, allowing for a company of such troops to speed around effectively on a mass battle is like allowing ECW armies to field companies of Morris dancers.

Random reindeer fact: reindeers cannot empty their bladder while on the run. Thus, when travelling with a reindeer-drawn sledge, the driver needs to ensure that regular breaks are taken to allow the reindeers to empty their bladders.


vichussar20 Jan 2009 3:30 a.m. PST

I have a DBR Gustavian/ 30YW Swede army complete with Reindeer Herd Baggage and Lapps on reindeer LH(F). See middle pic right hand side.

The deer were from Eureka Miniatures as was the "Farmer" an Irreg Miniatures HR47 "Hussite Crossboman"
The riders were Minifigs, one is a Tartar bowmen the other a Muscovite.

BTW all the figs on the page are from my army, mainly Minifigs and Essex with some Hallmark

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