Wednesday 25 September 2013

Battle and a very Civil War

No prizes for guessing what my two choices of reading material currently consist of - the updated edition of Charles Grant's Battle and Three Weeks in November - the military history of the Swiss Civil War in 1847. Both have been very inspiring in different and occasionally similar ways.

Battle has given me much to think about for my 42mm plastic WW2 project - both from the rules perspective and how I will be organising my collection. I am very fond of the rules and could easily turn them into a hex-based set for use with my Hexon set up if needed - I should mention perhaps that my original intention was to use a version of MOMBAT by Bob Cordery or even just go with Memoir 44 as they stand. Either way it is no big deal and I am quite relaxed about the rules side of the project.

My initial forces for this collection will be fairly modest in terms of numbers and will equate to roughly a Grant sized platoon of around 30 figures. By careful choices in respect of figures this will also double up for any '4 figure unit' style games - such as the aforementioned MOMBAT or Memoir 44. I have settled on 30mm square bases for the figures and have a supply en route from Peter Pig. No mention yet of vehicles or artillery as I am still thinking about this.

The Swiss Civil War of 1847 has really given me a lot to think about. Whilst I have no plans to refight this in its entireity I shall, after some gentle persuasion, fight a couple of the actions using the block armies - what I have in mind would make for an interesting game in any event. The main inspiration for me from this book though is the sheer potential from an imagi-nation perspective and also the way it has made me think about tackling a Napoleonic era set up along those lines. The uniforms worn are largely late Napoleonic in style and so producing armies would not be a problem using a selective repaint. I am not about to do this but it has made me think about how the concept of cantonal armies in the later part of the century - after the war of 1847 or, assuming that in never took place. With a little artistic licence with the geography - perhaps reducing some of the mountains and enlarging the lakes (one has to think of the naval dimension!) as well as combining the cantons into larger 'national' groupings you have a ready made area for fighting over. Allow the Austrian border to be disputed by the Turks so they have a presence (I simply could not leave them out!) and you have all the ingredients for something rather special and late 19th century.

I need to develop this a little further and so my first port of call will be to look at a decent map of Switzerland to see how it could be, ahem, carved up....;-)


tradgardmastare said...

Interesting thoughts indeed.I have always been attracted to Switzerland for my gaming.The continuation of Cantonal armies post 47 has a great potentiality for imagineering.I toyed with this uniform concept for FLW in 54mm as well as looking at a 1847 rematch circa 1913- a sort of the Cantons will rise again yehaaaa!
The extending of lakes and addition of Turks adds much potentiality.I look forward to hearing more...

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


Sounds like you have a couple of interesting projects to grapple with. I particularly like the idea of using the Swiss Civil War as the basis of some wars between small imagi-nations/cantons set in the later nineteenth/early twentieth century period.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Trad,

I was particularly taken by the 3 distinctive regions Switzerland has - the German/Austrian, the Italian and the French as this could translate into armies modelled on these but with a Swiss twist if one did not want to use solely Swiss forces.

The Turks are a piece of whimsy on my part but if they had ever pushed up through Austria they could have been 'in the area'....

Steamers are mentioned in the book which is all the excuse I need for generating the navies!

I need to spend some time on this but I have a number of ideas on how it can be tackled which I will post in due course.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

Needless to say I have a number of plans around all this lot - and to make use of the Battle stuff for games set in Switzerland!

All the best,