Really this is just a musing, but it was sparked when I had a look at the Liberators miniatures for the Spanish American Wars of Independence today. Ive got both of John Fletcher’s books, and have a real interest in this period. In fact, it may end up being the ‘Napoleonic’ front that I wargame at battalion level, but more of that later. For those that are unaware of this site, it can be found at:
John’s work is exceptionally well researched, and the books are great value for money. In short, I recommend them!
But this got me to thinking. There are a number of eras that I find fascinating, that I would like to game, but which have not translated into wargames armies yet. Possibly through a lack of available figures, available books as a resource etc. But also because they seem so secondary to the mainstream gaming areas, and this is where money and time should go first.
I guess for some, World War One and Marlburians would be considered esoteric. They fall outside the standard Ancients, WWII, and Napoleonics that make up the bulk of historical gaming. But for me, they represent substantial conflicts with quite active global gaming communities. WWI is my WWII, Marlburians are my Napoleonics. And yet, I still feel it necessary to have WWII and Napoleonic armies of some sort as well. Admittedly, my Napoleonic armies are at two different ends of the spectrum – skirmish and DBN big battles rules, but for some reason I still see it as very important to have figures to game these conflicts. With Ancients, I dabble in DBA, Warmaster and WAB. But again, I don’t game anything too obscure (except the New Zealand Wars, but even this is colonial gaming, which is alive and thriving at the moment).
No, what I don’t game is interesting because these are conflicts that pique my curiosity, I want to game them, but probably never will. Amongst these conflicts are: the Russian Civil War – particularly the Polish-Soviet conflict; the Russo-Japanese War (I’ve actually got some Old Glory 15s for this war); the Russo-Turkish War; the Indo-Pakistan conflicts of 1965 and 1971; The War of the Triple Alliance (Paraguay vs. Everyone); the Spanish-American Wars of Independence; The Schleswig Wars; The Balkan Wars 1912-13; The Greco-Turkish Conflist 1918-22; The Taiping Rebellion. I guess in the end, there is so much that I am doing anyway, that getting around to these is a very distant possibility. But I always find that if I am interested in a period I am very motivated to game it. And I could say without a doubt that I find the War of the Triple Alliance more interesting than World War Two, but here I am with WWII armies and no Paraguayans.
I guess a lot of it depends on what your opponents are prepared to game, that is if you aren’t a die-hard solo wargamer. Dan and I have certainly branched into more periods than we can reasoanbly hope to finish in the next 5 or 6 years, and it makes no sense for me to embark on several massive solo projects when we can combine our efforts on things we both enjoy. At present, the Marlburians are my baby, and I want to get them completed, but I’m aware that Dan and I have combined goals as well, so they get put off, and painted in between other projects.
At any rate, the Liberators miniatures look extremely attractive, and it wouldn’t surprise me if a few don’t end up in the mail to me. Whether it becomes a full project, only time will tell.