Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Winter of 1839

A positive sign that my brain is starting to work again is how Empress Miniatures new Maori Wars range caused my remaining two braincells to spark and go "Ah Ha! These figures are perfect for a Very Victorian Civil War". Yes civil war set in early Victorian Britain - well, you can get bored of DPM!

 "Pass the ammunition Mr Pickwick. There's a good chap!"

Could it have happened? A Victorian Civil War? Yes! There were a number of potential flashpoints, including the Chartist uprising in Newport in 1839.

I must confess. The Chartist movement slipped conveniently from my memory after I completed my A levels, way back in the Sixth form (around 1979). Where, it was lost along with all those taught by rote list of dates of when various acts, repeals, laws and prime ministers all came and went. And good riddence too.

There was something Dickensian in these miniatures that appeals to me. And no, not BBC Dickens, think instead of David Lean's Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948) where in black and white you could smell the putrid streets of Victorian London. On top of that I get to utilise Foundry's Opium Wars range, early Victorian low-lifes by Brigade Games and HLBS/Northstar. Plus and here is the BIG bonus - Perry's British Legion from their Isabellino Carlist Wars range. Rules will be a suitably modified Sharp Practice from Too Fat Lardies - DONE!

I had previously been looking at utilising what I have in Winter of 79 terrain for 20mm 1930's style VBCW. It seemed a sensible use of resources but a disaster with some 20mm Britannia WW1 was a reminder that Im not really into Tommy Guns and Cream Teas, and saw me lose any motivation.

If you are a dyed in the wool 'Moderns' C20th gamer and gave up before reading this far - shame on you! It might be that you are also thinking 'where does that leave Winter of 1979?' Well, I've been working quietly behind the scenes and put some wheels in motion.....

Meanwhile, A Very Victorian Civil War whilst appearing to be completely divergent from Winter of '79, and of course it is figurewise,  but it actually reinvigorates me with a fresh perspective and fresh motivation to get back into working on terrain.

Cheers
Mark

16 comments:

  1. Inspired by a Kim Newman short story I did write an article for Ragnarok entitled 'The Wild Wild West Country' that had in its background a Victorian Civil War (and using Home Service redcoats for the south and Khaki Boer War troops for the North). Lots of West West puns and very, very silly...

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  2. Oi! Mark! Git outta my head willya?!! :-)

    http://axisofnaughtiness.blogspot.com/2011/07/march-of-progress.html

    I went for mid-Victorian era - 1870+, with Queen Victoria's withdrawl following Prince Albert's death as the tipping point. In real life it led to a very strong republican movement and had the queen failed to fulfil her duties of state, it could well have led to a constitutional crisis. I've not taken it any further than that original post, being wrapped up in the steampunk "Invasion of England 188x", but it's something I'm tempted to come back to if the Kaiser & Tsar get booted off our green and pleasant land too quickly.

    I do like your grittier, earlier Chartist revolt idea though. The early-Victoriana period has a flavour that's distinct from the later "Imperial Adventures" style. All Dark Satanic Mills and oppression of the working classes, much closer in tone to Winter of '79.

    Good to see you've got some of the old spark back and looking forward to seeing where you go with this.

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  3. The Maori Wars (or Land Wars) here weren't until the 1860's and 1870's. I don't know how much effect that had on equipment/mens fashions/facial hair though (being one of the tragic "modern era" guys in your post)... :-)

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  4. Nothing wrong with being a Modern gamer!

    I like me Zulu, Boer, Sudan and NW Frontier soldiery but it's sort of been done to death. I always preferred the idea of the Indian Mutiny period for Victorian Sci Fi.

    There's just something about the "rawness" of the early Victorian period that appeals in a manner that the more industrialised, 'Jewel in the Crown' period doesn't.

    Im not going to be strictly historically accurate in dress so something that looks close enough will do. And to my limited Wiki knowledge, the conflict in New Zealand began around 1840 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagstaff_War) which makes the Empress Minis armed civvies more or less spot on.

    Cheers
    Mark

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  5. Interesting potentialities here...
    Where can I access Steve's story?
    Altough heavily into vbcw I fear the germs of another idea brewing due to your post & comments- grrrrrr!
    Alan

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  6. Alan - I'll ask the webmaster to fast track it for inclusion on the SFSFW website. Everry time I drive down the A37 the ideas come flooding in. Jesse Jones gang from The Valleys, the Wells Fargo from Bristol to Wells, sheep rustling!

    Mark - funny you should say that about VSF, I am rebooting Aeronef to have it start in time for the ACW and Land Ironclads has the famous Charge of the Mechanised Brigade in it for this very reason...

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  7. Look forward to seeing that myself Steve! Sounds a riot! I know Maff will love the idea too.

    Cheers
    Mark

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  8. Heh, this could be fun, Working-class Republicans fighting Gentleman Royalists in a British 1839 version of Europe's 1848. Just throw in a little steampunk and this would be perfect!

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  9. Just to add that my favourite TV show as a kid was Whiplash - http://youtu.be/FWyrUa65nRc - set in Australia in the 1840s/50s and the first skirmish game I read in Featherstone's Wargamers' Newsletter was a mail coach hold up set in early Victorian Australia.

    Cheers
    Mark

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  10. Well, i think there are two ways to approach it - a) look for historical fault lines - chartism, 1848, post Albert mourning as above, even the marriage to Albert "Is England to be ruled from Belgium and Coburg via the marriage bed?" or b) go pulp - tongs, anarchists, dr moriarty etc etc. i'm typing this wearing round the house issue DPM so you can guess where my loyalties lie.....

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  11. Mark - you might like this: http://www.blease.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/WG.gangland.scn.1831.html

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  12. Mark nothing wrong with a Victorian civil war! Have a look at the Gripping Beast's "Chaps on the Hunt."

    http://www.grippingbeast.com/product.php?ItemID=2169

    It wouldn't be a Victorian Civil War without some angry gameskeepers!

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  13. My name is Eli and I approve of this concept!

    I've been tempted to do something similar in Old New York :)

    -Eli

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  14. I love the Idea.. You can also work in Irish Fenian Renegades who after 1866 attempted to sieze arsenals, Attacked police vans to rescure captured comrades, prison breaks, as well as bombings and assasinations..

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  15. its a pity that we didnt take to the streets against thatcher

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