Waking the Bear

A Guide to Wargaming the Great Northern and Turkish Wars 1700-1721

Mark Shearwood

A detailed non-rules specific guide to wargaming the Great Northern War, written by a wargamer for wargamers.
Date Published :
February 2022
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Helion Wargames
Illustration :
1 b/w photo, 87 color photos, 18 b/w ills, 1 color ills, 10 b/w maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781913336615
Pages : 120
Dimensions : 9.8 X 7.1 inches
Stock Status : In stock


The Great Northern War (GNW) has seen a resurgence in recent years within the wargames community, however, there has not been a general (non-rules specific) guide to the conflict until now.

This book gives the reader a general understanding of the historical background to the conflict and to the main combatants. In addition to Russia and Sweden, the armies of Denmark, Hanover & Holstein, Ottoman Empire, Saxony, Poland, Prussia are covered, as well as the involvement of the Cossack nations.

The book looks at naval landings, siege warfare as well as the more traditional battles, with this focus on lesser known battles instead of the more traditional battles of Narva and Poltava. Battle reports primarily are focused on small evening games utilizing a small number of units and therefore achievable by the majority of wargamers. Options are included to turn a number of these into larger multi-player games.

While the majority of the GNW occurred in and around the Baltic states, the book also covers events on Russia’s southern borders with the Ottoman Empire and there are gaming suggestions for the continuation of the conflict on Russia’s eastern border with China.

Utilizing almost 100 unit and individual figure photographs from several renowned collections, the book contains a large amount of detail readily accessible to the reader, while incorporating the latest research into the period from internationally renowned academics, historians, and wargamers.

About The Author

Mark Shearwood has had a lifelong interest in military history and wargaming. Following a brief career in the Royal Engineers he spent most of his working life with the courier industry, returning to complete his master's degree at Leeds in 2018. His primary research focus is on the military of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century from the Monmouth Rebellion to the end of the Great Northern War. His current Ph.D. research is looking into issues of religion and loyalty within the armies of James II and William III. This is his second book for Helion & Co, the first published in 2020 From Pike to Shot: The Perfection of Military Discipline: The Introduction of the Bayonet 1660-1705 (Century of the Soldier) He is married with four children and lives in Chesterfield on the edge of the Peak District.


"The 95 color photos are sharp, in focus, and oozing with inspiration. From formed units to vignettes offering a historical color, the figures pop off the pages. You just want to go out and grab up a box of flintlock-armed troops and try out the scenario in the back or maybe set up your own scenario based on one of the eight black and white battle maps."

- Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

More from this publisher