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The Battleset Battle of Lake Peipus by Zvezda
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Écrit par Gabriele Manni   


First of all, let's start with the contents of the box:
  • 75 Plastic figures (boxes 8001-Russian Knights and 8016-Livonian Knights)
  • 2 Figures of an Orthodox and a Catholic priest
  • 10 Formation bases
  • 10 Formation banners with patches
  • 10 Laminated formation cards
  • 1 Marker
  • Rulebook (Age Of Battles 3rd edition)
  • Battle characteristics list
  • Rules of the camp usage
  • Rules of the actions of the priest during a battle
  • 1 x 20- sided dice
  • Range rulers
  • Turning template
  • Marquee made of colour paper
  • Army lists based on the Age Of Battle system

The box should provide everything necessary to recreate the battle fought by the Teutonic army and the Russian army of the Price Nevskji during the Baltic Crusades-in particular the battle that took place in 1242. On that occasion the Teutonic knights, less numerous, were heavily defeated by the army of the Prince Nevskij, and therefore they had to drastically scale down the Order's plans in the Baltic area and consequently in Russia.
Their intention is good, very good I would say, but this set doesn't respect the forces actually present on the battlefield: in fact according to the assessments the Teutonic army was composed of 800 Danish, German knights, and sergeants, of whom only a few were real members of the Order, and of about a thousand Esthonians; on the other hand the Russian army could rely on many more men, among whom Nevskji's Druzhina and a Mongol contingent, with a total of 6000-7000 (but it seems too much) men. In each case the Russian army was largely numerically superior if compared with the Order's one. However in the box we find 33 Livonians and 42 Russians, and particulary among the last we find only two knights, not enough for sure. For the reviews of the two boxes there is one of the Livonian knights made by Enrico here on SoL and anther one on PSR of the Russian knights. On the contrary the two figures of the priests are really interesting and unique, perfectly suitable for dioramas.

Exactly because it's a battleset, Zvezda gives us all we need to play with the "Age Of Battle" rules, the ruleset developped by the Russian manifacturer itself, thus the formation bases with the formation banners, the formation cards, the dice ecc.


The rules of the set consist of 68 pages black and white, divided into three levels of difficulty, with passages on sieges, short descriptions and characteristics of armies of the Antiquity and the Middle Age, of course only those you can build up with Zvezda's figures. It could be an interesting alternative to the rules we usually adopt for our battles, altough it is neither particularly easy nor complete. The description of the battle isn't complete either, it is too heavily reduced-only two pages that don't arouse interest at all.

The eight tents, four for each army, are very nice. A patient scissors work is needed, but the final result is really convincing, they're perfect to create both a Russian and a Teutonic camp.



The final judgement on the components for the battle is thus not so positive, since if they wanted to recreate a historical battle, first of all they would have respected the composition and the size of the armies involved in the battle. Moreover, the troops should start the battle from fixed positions, with a battle formation-at least at the beginning-that reflects the truth of the battle. Then special creteria, factors succeded during the battle (for istance the ice that breaks down under the excessive weight of the Teutonic knights- one of the causes of their defeat) and a short description of the place where the battle took place in order to provide a believable reconstruction. These are all things that are missing in the box, or they're superficially treated. Zvezda didn't care about this fact, which would be the discriminating factor between a battleset and a "two sets and a ruleset".

Thorough informations

The Battle of Lake Peipus - Osprey "Lake Peipus 1242" Campaign series n 46
Templars and German armies - Osprey "Medieval German Armies" Men-At-Arms series n 310 and Osprey "Knight Templar" Warrior series n 091
More battles of the Teutonic Order - Osprey "Tannemberg 1410" Campaign series n 122
On SoldatiniOnLine: see Francesco Giova's article about the Teutonic army


The battle of Tannenberg (1410) on ArsBellica

Review by Manni Gabriele and Scarfone Andrea