I have added the term POTESHNYI to the tag line of the Wargamorium Blog.
I came across the term in Angus Konstam’s excellent Osprey Man at Arms book on the infantry of Peter the Great. According to the book the “Poteshnyi” were a group assembled by the young Tsar Peter to play out wargames so that he could study the art of war and fortifications. By 1685 they numbered 300 and were quartered in a purpose built barracks in Preobrazhenskoe and Semyonovskoe and went on to form the First and Second regiments of the Russian Guard.
All the lands have learned to know us,
First and foremost Turks and Swedes,
To our victories and our battles
’tis the Tsar himself who leads.
March of the Preobrazhenski Regiment