Transylvanian Task Force

I am painting since more than two years on my transylvanian force for By Fire and Sword. In the meantime I have enough painted troops to play task force games. I had only two games until now, but these were really fun. As you already might have learned from me I have a faible for Hungarian topics and for forces, which went into really deep trouble, as did the forces of I. Rákóczi György. 

I am really happy with my choice, since the transylvanians historically met the Osman Empire, Sweden, Polish-Lithuanian Commenwealth, Holy Roman Empire, Cossacks and many more on the battlefields of the 17th century. In the following I will show you my troops in pictures by unit.

Household cavalry or Enlisted lancers

I will start with the best troops of the Transylvanians. The lancers were recruited among the noblemen of the country or their fellow bannermen. In the game you can field them as household cavalry which are elite cavalry, or as enlisted lancers. If you field these models as enlisted lancers, they do not have the elite cavalry rule and hence must move in close order. The lances and estocs are powerful equipment and make these troops very valuable. I painted two units so far, a third one is in the making.

Mounted Haiduk Section

The Haiduk (or Hungarian Hajdúk) were recruited at the borders of Transylvania and usually consisted of very rough people. In BF&S they have the rules Dragoons, Robbers and Skirmishers which describes this unit pretty well. I based the Haiduk for v1 of the rules, the recommendation for the upcoming v2 seems to be to base Dragoons on cavalry bases. I like the idea. Interestingly the Haiduks can be picked for the Vanguard troops, which is a very interesting choice for task force games.

Kurtany Squadron

The Kurtany depict steppe riders in transylvanian service, they are supposed to be of Wallachian or Moldavian origin. This option is also interesting for your Vanguard choice, since the riders can shoot the bow, they can fire a massive wall of arrows or they can engage in combat, at least once. Personally I find them difficult to manage, since you need to be able to change their order at a specific time. Im my collection I have models from Wargamer and from Totentanz miniatures, which are OOP.

 

Light Household cavalry

The light household cavalry is passionately hated by your opponents in v1 of By Fire and Sword. These troops can shoot from horseback with arkebuses and, when given a defence order, they can disengage from a charge. The provide hence a really interesting option to cover your flanks or fight down an opponent which tries to charge more important parts of your battle line. I painted them as the green light cavalry of Rákóczy György II.

Mounted Szekely Squadron

The Szekely provided one of the biggest ethnical group within Transylvania. Their origins are not entirely clear, during that time they spoke a hungarian dialect. In the game you can field them as dragoons which adds again towards the mobility of the transylvanian forces.

 

Seimeni Sqadron

The Seimeni depict Moldavian troops in transylvanian service. This is one of the few solid infantry choices you have as a transylvanian player, since they come with good quality firearms. The downside is a bunch of special rules like robbers, insubordinate et cetera, which let´s you suffer for having an actual advantage. Just kidding. If you field a household task force, you have better infantry options.

Commanders

So far I have three command bases in my force, the box came with very nice choices for officers and musicians and I could get my hands on the special miniature of Rákóczi György II (in the middle).

Transylvanian command

Artillery, camp followers and wagons

The transylvanian range also got specific sets for light and heavy artillery and two models of dancing camp followers. The wagons are general purpose but nevertheless very nice models.

Artillery, Wagons and camp followers

Gaming Markers

By Fire and Sword comes with nicely designed gaming markers, I painted both sets for the transylvanians. Also I created some markers for orders, since I prefer to have these on the table top.

gaming markers

Conclusion

If you ever consider to start with Transylvanians, I would advise you to start with painting lancers and comitatus cavalry. The latter is still wip on my desk and I kind of regret that. After that you should pick Hajduks for your Vanguard, Seimeni for your core and later on some light options like light household or Kurtany. The Skirmish box is a good start although the light cavalry is not the best choice for small games, where you need to be at two places to win a game. With Transylvanians you usually have the better reconnaisance and can pick disadvantages for your opponent. Also it is the perfect army if you like to move a lot and if you prefer to pick battles at places you want. For sure, this army can´t stand on the ground for long under fire and needs to take advantage of everything at hand.

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