- 09/12/2014 at 10:39 #13776
I’m thinking of dipping my toe into the Crimean War. It is a period I know next-to-nothing about so I wonder if anyone could suggest any guides to organisation and tactics of the various armies? For example, I would like to find out if all line infantry fought two-deep at this time or whether some still employed a three-deep line? I also need the very basic stuff like whether flank companies (grenadiers and lights) still existed and how many companies there were to a battalion. Are there any good books that cover this sort of information?
Also, is there a single volume, reasonably comprehensive book on uniforms for all the nations or would getting the appropriate Ospreys be my best bet?
Finally, does anyone have any rules recommendations? I’m looking for something with a 1:20 figure ratio or thereabouts.10/12/2014 at 09:49 #13819SparkerParticipant
All I know about the Crimean War is what I picked up in ‘Flashman at the Charge’ so all I will do is make a rules recommendation! (Actually you pick up quite a lot from George Macdonald Fraser’s books, and of course as a WW2 vet he’d been there and done that as far as writing about combat and warfare is concerned…)
Black Powder is written for a 1:20 figure scale ratio, and of course has a specific section on the Crimea, including the Cry Me a River scenario – oh dear! I heartily recommend Black Powder for a good balance between playability and authenticity, and of course you can add as much or as little period and scenario specific additional rules and troop stats as you please….
All the best with your new departure!
'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
Matthew 5:910/12/2014 at 10:19 #13825
I was thinking of putting Black Powder on my list for Santa so this gives me another reason. I also thought I’d give Neil Thomas’s 19th Century rules a look. Does anyone know if they include information on organisation?10/12/2014 at 12:06 #13830Not Connard SageParticipant
I also thought I’d give Neil Thomas’s 19th Century rules a look. Does anyone know if they include information on organisation?
Doubtful there’s any hard information on organisation in Thomas’ book. There’s one scenario (the Alma), and some ‘wargames army lists’.
You could look for online information, like Dawson’s site https://sites.google.com/site/frenchcrimeanarmy/home and the Victorian Wars forum, which seems to be staffed by stereotypical grumpy old ex-colonels http://www.victorianwars.com/index.php they do know what they’re talking about though. Mostly.
You might want to take a look at these http://web.archive.org/web/20070823062032/http://home.exetel.com.au/millsy/canister/days_of_empire.htm
I toyed with the idea of using the ‘Days of Iron’ rules for 6mm FPW. They were certainly…comprehensive.
"I'm not signing that"10/12/2014 at 15:39 #13842
Thanks Connard/Not Connard,
I’ve downloaded the rules and will give them a read this evening (but I am already a fan of the fact that measurements are in feet and inches – none of this new-fangled centimetres malarky). I’ve also checked out the websites you recommended. You are right about the Victorian Wars forum, you can almost hear them harrumphing from behind their walrus moustaches. I searched for information on British organisation in the Crimea and this was the first exchange I came across: http://www.victorianwars.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=7454 Still, I will try to find the nerve to stick my head above the parapet and ask a few questions since, as you say, they do seem to know what they are talking about.
Stephen10/12/2014 at 17:59 #13845CameronianParticipant
Basic and friendly:
'The time has come" The walrus said. "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings."10/12/2014 at 21:38 #13849SpuriousParticipant
Not a rules set or technical guide, but I thoroughly recommend having a read of Hell Riders: the truth about the charge of the Light Brigade.
It’s a collection of survivor’s accounts of events, news articles, official reports and analysis thereof without getting bogged down to give a very complete and at least as convincingly accurate as you can get without a time machine overview, yet it isn’t all just the famed charge but also all the events that lead up to it and the fallout after it. There is some utterly astonishing stuff in there. Some of it will probably make you go ‘well how on Earth do I wargame that?’ because some of the events are just crazy. Otherwise provides useful insight into the campaign that could very well be of use for adding flavour to scenarios, great characters of the time too.11/12/2014 at 00:29 #13853grizzlymcParticipant
There are a couple of moribund Crimean Yahoo groups, a search on criea would probably get you there. I haven’t looked backwards but a lot of these moribund groups have a brief period in the sun, and the photos and files can hide little gems.
I think the French had a better war than the Brits.11/12/2014 at 06:02 #13854SparkerParticipant
Gosh! I thought I could be crusty on occasion but clearly I shall have to work on my grumpiness!
'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
Matthew 5:911/12/2014 at 09:27 #13857
Thanks for the replies everyone. I shall check out all the sources suggested. I’ve just started reading ‘The Destruction of Lord Raglan’ by Christopher Hibbert and have got as far as his description of the Battle of Alma. Judging from his account I think wargames rules will need to take into account the short-sightedness (literal rather than figurative for a change) of the British officers. One general, who can barely see the end of his nose but who is too vain to wear glasses, allows the troops of his brigade to become confused with those supporting his flank because he can’t see where they are going; another orders his troops to form square, seemingly on the basis that since he can’t see any cavalry there must be some just beyond his field of vision.
Incidentally, the impulse for me to embark on my Crimean adventure came from the fine folk at Keep Wargaming. They run an internet/mail order service that is second to none and currently are selling Crimean War Minifigs for considerably less than list price. Their postage charges are also remarkably reasonable. I’ve bought loads of stuff off them over the past couple of years so I feel I should give them a plug. Their eBay store can be found here: Keep Wargaming11/12/2014 at 10:00 #13858Not Connard SageParticipant
Incidentally, the impulse for me to embark on my Crimean adventure came from the fine folk at Keep Wargaming. They run an internet/mail order service that is second to none and currently are selling Crimean War Minifigs for considerably less than list price. Their postage charges are also remarkably reasonable. I’ve bought loads of stuff off them over the past couple of years so I feel I should give them a plug. Their eBay store can be found here: Keep Wargaming
Bit of wargamey nostalgia there.
Is Keep still run by the Baileys, Paul and Theresa?
I remember visiting their shop in Devizes a few times. It was chaotic, but if you rooted around there was a chance you’d find all sorts of hidden gems! They stocked the Minifigs ranges, and were a damn site faster at supplying them by mail order than Minifigs were. Agents for WRG too, had all the rules and Armies and Enemies books.
And their shop was in an actual (Victorian) keep at Le Marchant barracks! Still there, but converted into ‘luxury apartments’ I believe…
Of course all you other old buggers already know this
"I'm not signing that"11/12/2014 at 10:24 #13861
Yes, it is still Paul and Theresa Bailey running The Keep. I don’t know them personally but they are far-and-away my favourite people to buy from over the internet. They still sell WRG and Minifigs (though in the case of Minifigs at least I believe they are selling off old stock and no longer get any new stock in). I’ve never been to their shop but it sounds like the kind of place I would love.
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