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    Avatar photoPaskal

    Hello everyone,

    Alternate history, story of fictional events from a historical starting point.

    The historical starting point here!

    In 97 AD, Pan Ch’ao’s planned invasion of the roman empire.

    Pan Ch’ao was a Chinese military general, explorer and diplomat of the Eastern Han Dynasty.

    He was born in Fufeng, now Xianyang, Shaanxi.

    Three of his family members – father Ban Biao, elder brother Ban Gu, younger sister Ban Zhao – were well known historians who wrote the historical text Book of Han, which recorded the history of the Western Han Dynasty.

    As a Han general and cavalry commander, Pan Chao was in charge of administrating the “Western Regions” (Central Asia) while he was in service.

    He also led Han forces for over 30 years in the war against the Xiongnu and secured Han control over the Tarim Basin region.

    He was awarded the title “Protector General of the Western Regions” by the Han government for his efforts in protecting and governing the regions.

    By this time ,in 97 AD, Pan Ch’ao seemed to demonstrate that he was invincible.

    Ansi (the Arsacid Parthe Empire) was defeated.

    Now Han China stood ,the greatest land-owning empire possibly only second to Rome.

    Pan Ch’ao ordered his second in command ,Kan Ying, to set forth across newly conquered Ansi, to “Ta -ts’in”, the Chinese name for the Roman Empire.

    As Pan Ch’ao only allocated a portion of the army to subdue this “additional Kingdom”, it is obvious that to call this a ” planned invasion”is stretching things a bit.

    Kan Ying advanced across the middle-eastern expanses towards Antioch, thought to be the capitol of the Roman Empire.

    Kan Ying was anxious to know of his enemy , so the Parthian began to tell him of the might and expanse of the Roman Empire.Upon gaining this new intelligence information ,Kan Ying that his force was not sufficient for the task, so he turned around and rejoined Pan Ch’ao.

    In 116 AD., Trajan’s advances into Parthia to Ctesiphon would be within one day march of Han Chinese border garrisons.

    As side note,97 AD was the first year of the emperor Trajan’s reign.

    It is quite interesting to speculate on the consequences had Yan Ying pursued his objective and attacked Roman Antioch.

    The story of fictional events must be written by you with your figurines !

    Avatar photoDeleted User

    TBH, such ” what- ifs” leave me cold.

    But more power to your arm. If you enjoy it, why not?

    I’m others will drop by to tell me why I’m so very wrong……



    Avatar photoPaskal

    Donald , the incredible thing would have been – Chinese versus Roman – no ?

    Avatar photoVictoria Dickson

    Just an observation, but it’s strange the Alternative History section of the forum doesn’t contain a place for discussing Alternative History other than VBCW…

    Avatar photoPaskal

    Good evening madam,
    What is VBCW ..?

    Avatar photoMike

    Just an observation, but it’s strange the Alternative History section of the forum doesn’t contain a place for discussing Alternative History other than VBCW…

    Not sure I follow:


    Avatar photoMike

    Good evening madam, What is VBCW ..?

    Very British Civil War

    Avatar photoPaskal

    Ok thank you.

    Avatar photoVictoria Dickson

    Not sure I follow

    Well, Alternate History involves (generally speaking) historical countries.  So it’s not Imaginations.  It tends to have a historical level of technological development, so it’s not Victorian Sci Fi.  It’s usually at a higher level than I would consider Pulp to be, though Pulp is sort of vague and you could easily have Pulp in an Alternate History ‘world’.

    VBCW is Alternate History because it’s considering an alternative historical course of events that could have happened in the 30’s.  But it’s a very specific one, not general Alternate History.

    So, as an example, say I wanted to game Harry Turtledove’s alternative history of the USA and the Confederacy, lets say I decided to refight the US invasion of the Sandwich islands to take them from Britain in 1914.  Where should I put a report of that game? (Polite suggestions only please.  )

    If it should go in the WWI section of the forum then shouldn’t Paskal’s thread have gone into Ancients by the same logic?  Two historical countries using historical forces to fight a war that never happened?

    It’s not a big issue, just an observation.

    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    I see Victoria’s point and agree it appears to be an anomaly – but I wouldn’t want to see a proliferation of ‘what if boards’ myself.

    I have been known to play various alternative histories – Glyndwr and the Percies manage to get their act together, possibly with a bit of French help, win the Battle of Shrewsbury, killing Henry IV and his upstart son Hal (IBM?) and actually implement the Tripartite Indenture -setting up decades/centuries of alternative British history.

    Does that go in medieval? Or later? They aren’t ‘Imaginations’ at least at the start.

    Apologies Paskal for wandering off topic – the idea of Chinese v Romans intrigued me ever since the whole ‘what happened to the legions from Carrhae’ thing went crazy a decade or so ago. Probably not thousands of Chinese ‘descended from Roman Legionaries’ but a good ‘what if’. You period looks very interesting too.

    Avatar photokyoteblue

    If you build it they will post.

    Avatar photoMike

    So, as an example, say I wanted to game Harry Turtledove’s alternative history of the USA and the Confederacy, lets say I decided to refight the US invasion of the Sandwich islands to take them from Britain in 1914.  Where should I put a report of that game?

    Ah, got ya.
    I think…
    I would put your example in Imaginations as you are imagining an alternate history of those nations.
    I don’t see Imaginations as simply imaginary nations fighting imaginary wars, but as also historical nations fighting imaginary wars.
    So you could put the Chinese invasion of Norway in 1458 in Imaginations also, as you are imagining a conflict between two nations that never took place, which means it should not go in any of the historical forums.

    I guess I am trying to say, if it is fantasy in the big sense of the word, don’t put it in a historical forum.

    Paskal did originally put this in ancients, but as these events never actually happened (like not even close?) I moved it here.

    It is quite late and I fear I am waffling, hopefully that makes sense, if not, maybe start a new topic so as not to de-rail this one too much.

    Avatar photozippyfusenet

    Mike, I’m going to offer that historical war*gaming* is inherently alternate history, since gaming historical conflicts allows and even encourages non-historical outcomes, and often includes non-historical inputs. What if…Jackson had lived to command at Gettysburg?…the Japanese carriers hadn’t been caught at Midway?…King Harold Godwinson hadn’t taken that arrow in the eye at Hastings?…the French Cuirassiers had broken the British squares at Waterloo? Let’s roll some dice and see.

    I think Paskal’s OP fits perfectly well into the Ancients board. What if the Han Chinese armies had marched a few hundred miles farther west and clashed with the Romans in Parthia? That’s quite an orthodox historical match-up for a DBA game; the armies are contemporary.

    Of course, I’ll read the thread where ever it’s posted or moved. I’m just arguing to hear my own voice.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    Avatar photoPaskal

    Mike, impossible for you to put it in both ? Forum> Alternative History> and forum> Ancients>?

    Otherwise its place was on the forum> Ancients>, it sinks of source, because historical nations fighting imaginary wars, provided that they really failed to take place, so it is not so imaginary that, especially if Pan Ch’ao and later Trajan had wanted it, it would have occurred.

    In the same vein, many people have been playing World War III fights taking place in northwestern Europe against the Warsaw pact.

    By cons a Chinese invasion of Norway in 1458 is different, it’s completely imaginary, because there was not a simple day of walking between Chinese outposts and a Norwegian army in 1458.

    The point is that when you have never been interested in Ancient Chinese like me, you do not imagine them as close to the Roman Empire.

    For me it’s surprising.

    Now for those who know the Chinese army of that time, what would have happened, who would have won in case of war ?

    According to the book of the later Han, the year 166, Romans arrive in China by taking a sea route through the South and bring gifts to the Huandi Court, posing as ambassadors of the Roman Emperor Andun, ie Antoninus Pius.

    It should be noted that historians Charles Hucker and Rafe de Crespigny believe that this Roman mission of 166 was conducted by Roman merchants daring enough to tempt the journey and not by real diplomats.

    Archaeological research carried out at the Óc Eo site in the Mekong Delta, near Ho Chi Minh City, has uncovered goods of Mediterranean origin, such as Roman gold medallions made under the reigns of Antoninus the Pious and Marcus Aurelius.

    At the time these objects arrive, this city is part of the Funan Kingdom, which borders the Chinese province of Jiaozhi.

    Óc Eo is perhaps the port city of South-East Asia known by the geographer Ptolémée and the Romans under the name of Kattigara or Cattigara.

    In the work of Ptolemy, Cattigara is a port where a Greek sailor named Alexandros would sail, having sailed through the north-east of the Golden Peninsula, which corresponds to the Malay Peninsula, to arrive in the Magnus Sinus , which corresponds to the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea.

    Avatar photoPaskal

    The Roman Empire was at its greatest expanse in 117 AD under Trajan.

    By this time the ailing Han were in retreat of their western protectorates.

    The closest time the Han and Romans came together was  in the first century before Christ.

    At this point there was a very strong Parthian Empire that prevented Roman eastern expansion.

    The two empires were never a one day march from each other.

    The problem with these “what if” invasion topics is the problem of supply and logistics through hostile enemy territory.

    My feeling is that the Romans could not (and did not) maintain appreciable territory in and beyond the Persian lands and neither did the Han with their western territories.

    They were never stable enough at their empires extremes to really contact each other.

    Too much land, too many hostile people in between them, and there were always enemies to deal with at their other borders.

    Plus, court intrigues and political instability kept the capitals distracted.

    In fact, this was the main cause of the Han collapse.

    Avatar photoPaskal

    Hello everyone,

    Which manufactures offer Han Chinese dynasty figures in 25 / 30mm  for the time of the Roman emperor Trajan?

    Thank you


    Avatar photoCerdic

    Here you go Paskal, a list of 28mm Han Dynasty figure manufacturers….




    Avatar photoPaskal

    Congratulations and thank you it’s a good start.

    Let’s see if there are others?

    Avatar photoPaskal

    QT Models but Sadly  no longer available except on ebay, Caesar makes 1/72 plastic figures, with an average height of 24mm, per Plastic Soldier Review. They seem to be the only company making such 1/72 plastic figures. There is also Watchful I Studio. Without forgetting Hinchliffe, but very old and not as good as the more recent products.

    Avatar photoRob young

    Pascal, QT are now owned by Wargames Design Workshop so might be worth getting in touch with them:



    Rob Young

    Avatar photoPaskal

    Rob, I’m happy for them,but the QT Han are not yet arrived at Wargames Design Workshop, the road must be long for Chinese of 25 mm…


    Avatar photoDarkest Star Games

    This is an interesting subject for me.  I’m quite surprised that Roman merchants were able to travel far enough to contact the port in Vietnam, especially considering the pirate activity along that route during that time.  But wow, that is cool!  Learning that gives me the sort of wonder I felt when I first learned that the vikings traded in the middle east…

    Personally, I’d love to read about how a rumble between the Romans and Han would have worked out, as they had vastly different doctrines.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    Avatar photoPaskal

    Me too, the Roman army of Trajan was a day’s march from the Han army! Romans against Chinese, we believe to dream!

    Avatar photoPaskal

    Dave and Clive from Wargames Design Workshop told me that they had Han’s Chinese QT range, but have not released it yet.
    The molds are ready for production at the moment. This should be done in the very near future.

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