Home Forums Horse and Musket General Horse and Musket Starting out on the Crimean War

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  • #13776
    General Slade
    Participant

    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.

    #13819
    Sparker
    Participant

    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!

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #13825
    General Slade
    Participant

    Thanks Sparker,

    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?

    #13830
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    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"

    #13842
    General Slade
    Participant

    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.

    Stephen

     

    #13845
    Cameronian
    Participant

    Basic and friendly:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Army_during_the_Victorian_Era

    Nafziger oobs:

    http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/CGSC/CARL/nafziger/854XAC.pdf

    Snippets:

    http://www.thediehards.co.uk/Crimean_War.htm

     

    '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."

    #13849
    Spurious
    Participant

    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.

    #13853
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    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.

    #13854
    Sparker
    Participant

    Gosh! I thought I could be crusty on occasion but clearly I shall have to work on my grumpiness!

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #13857
    General Slade
    Participant

    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 Wargaming

     

     

    #13858
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    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"

    #13861
    General Slade
    Participant

    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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