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1879 - The Victorian Colonial Forces

As mentioned in my previous post, I am planning and invasion of the Victorian colony of Australia by Russia.

 Captain Darling very kindly sent me a link to information on Russian troops from the Russo-Turkish war to assist with some of the research I will need to do.

But, first of all, I am planning my Colonial forces.

What I would ultimately like to have is a small collection of figures to represent different troop types.

A couple of foot units, a mounted infantry type unit, a cavalry unit, some artillery (goes without saying) and even a Naval Brigade.

So, where to start.

Every army needs a good hero, so I am thinking this figure would make a very nice hero figure:

Figure from the Empress Miniatures "British Officer Types" pack
I am guessing by the uniform that my proposed hero is intended to be an Artillery Officer, but I like the pose. Combined with the patrol jacket and the pistol on the shoulder strap gives him an air of heroic potential.

The next chap would make a good commander for a unit of infantry. He is calmly reloading his revolver in the face of adversity; at least that is my spin on the figure:

Empress Miniatures British officer

The Empress Miniatures Natal Carbineers have a lovely mix of British and Colonial about them,so I feel they would be perfect for the unit holding the main focus of the game.

Depending on how many I need, I think I will have too many Sergeants looking at this pack

 and mounted:

Natal Carbineers

Natal Carbineers with Sergeant

Listed as "Auxiliary Command" on the web site, but can be used as a Carbineer Officer.

And these lads are intended to be 'standard' British infantry, but I think I might paint in a bottle green uniform with black facings to represent a rifle unit, which were often called "rangers" in the state of Victoria.

Empress Minaitures' British firing line to be painted up as rangers

The 'Imperial Mounted Infantry' packs are perfect for... err, well... mounted infantry:

Of course my forces have to have artillery, and here is a prime example of what is on offer:

 and these two Artillerymen (a mounted officer and a bombardier) would make nice leaders/characters for the game:

As the game will start near the coast line of Victoria, as any good naval landing should, I will also investigate what figures I can use to include as some Naval Brigade troops.

I am fighting the urge to add Lancers and Dragoons... but who knows, maybe at a later date.

When naming my units, I am steering away from naming them after townships, but rather using geographical features/areas instead.

Some names for proposed units are, but not limited:

Gippsland Carbineers (using the Natal Carbineer figures)

Strzelecki Rangers (using 'standard' British infantry with green uniforms)

Wyndham Volunteer Rifle Corps

 Latrobe Mounted Rifles (using the Imperial Mounted Infantry figures with nice red jackets)

Should I add lancers and dragoons to my Orbat, I have the following in mind:

King River Lancers 

Cumberland Dragoons

1879 Alternative Australian History gaming

One thing I love just as much as a campaign game is Alternative/What-if history game. Being able to create your own conflict based on some historical facts as a basis is a lot of fun.

 A number of years ago I made a list of Colonial alternative history, purchased a couple of figures, and promptly did nothing about it... as usual.

 Well, a fellow Aussie is living the dream and actually playing an Alternative History game where the Russians invade South Australia. Those interested in reading the background and the AARs can click here to do so: click me

Now, some of my readers might laugh at the idea of Russia invading Australia, but during the Crimean war it was actually believed that this might occur. Despite a small force of Colonial units had been raise in 1842, it wasn't until the Crimean War that these forces were increased in size and number.

The increase of these forces lead to the creation of militia units, some which provide the lineage of today's Army Reserve Units.

Some such units created in 1854 were  the Melbourne Volunteer Rifle Regiment and the Geelong Volunteer Rifle Corps. Other branches of service, such as cavalry, artillery, engineers, signals and torpedo units were raised after this, with the funding for many of these units being derived from private sources.

When British troops were no longer sent to Australia to protect the Colonies as of 1870, the need for our own troops was even greater.

Those actually interested can read more on these web sites: Click me & Click me too

So, with all of the above in mind, the astute reading can probably see where this is all going.. into a planning process!

Captain Darling, of "Captain Darling's Miniatures Emporium" (see the first link above) very kindly sent me a copy of the rules he is using for his games. The rules are not a lengthy tome, but they provide plenty of scope for some entertaining games.

So, what will my setting be?  The Russian invasion of Victoria, set in the same 'Alternative' World as Captain Darling's work.

My next post on the topic will most likely be about the figures I want to use and the units they will represent... I find choosing figures and deciding what the uniforms will look like a good way to fire up interest in a project, and it can be easier to weave the alternative history with units I have designed rather than coming up with the history and then matching the units to events.