During the time we have been playing Maurice, we have developed a network of ImagiNations. These started with the brightly coloured Riskovians and their dour arch-enemies of the Duchy of Sans Couleur, which were swiftly followed by the armies of Albion and the Confederation of Tea States. We have even created back-stories and personalities for these nations.
Fun as they are, though, I have found the games lacking ... something. As much as I enjoy fantasy (indeed this blog's original remit is to a set of fantasy rules), I also like games that have some grounding in an historical basis. The nature of the armies for our ImagiNations has changed from game to game, as we have explored different makeups and national Advantages. As I move my figures forward into a more permanent basing and possible paint-job I wanted them to be at least partially based on an historical prototype, so far as the rules and the numbers and look of figures allow.
What I'd like to achieve is two armies, each capable of being built to 100pts. National Advantages would be fixed and factored into the cost, but it would be nice to have a few options in terms of units of upgrades for each side. I'd need to allow for the mercenary unit option of the basic attack/defence game in the rules.
Essentially the armies of Riskovia and Sans Couleur will disappear, to be replaced by two armies that look vaguely like historical ones.
|Looking at this picture constitutes|
about 50% of my research into the GNW.
(i) They are both slightly more exotic than Prussians/British/French, without being too obscure.
(ii) We honeymooned in St Petersburg, and got caught up in the cult of Peter The Great promulgated by the tourist guides. Charles XII seems to have been a bit of a personality as well. So the main men are both interesting characters.
(iii) It's set in the early part of the period covered by Maurice, and I always find that the early stages of an era are the most entertaining - the kit and tactics are often clunkier and more entertaining.
(iv) The uniforms are pretty - I like the blue and yellow of the Swedes, and the green and red of the Russians.
OK, so where do I start?
Firstly, this is the era when some armies still used pikes, specifically the Swedes and Russians. So the Pikes rule would be in effect, and I will need to look at modifying one base in each infantry unit to become pikemen. I'm not sure quite how this will work with the pose offered by the Risk infantryman, but we'll see. I'm sure it won't be impossible. The Risk infantry has tricorne hats, which will work, although the Swedes also wore a nifty little blue and yellow cap, and the Russians had mitres. the caps I could probably reproduce with a little bit of judicious knife-work, but I'm, not sure how easy mitres would be to make. Or, indeed, if they're worth the effort for this project.
I think some of the cavalry ought to be wielding pistols, but the sword-waving Risk cavalry will have to do.
I have the following units to play with for each side:
The Swedes have a well-trained, motivated army and a tactic (the Ga Pa) that consists of getting stuck into close combat as quickly as possible. Their cavalry might also be more prone to a 'traditional' knee-to-knee charge than their Russian opponents. The Russians often outnumbered the Swedes, but had an army that was undergoing reforms. Russian armies always seem to be depicted as steadfast, even if not entirely competent, so I'm going to run with that stereotype.
So, for the Swedes I am considering:
6 x Trained Infantry = 36pts
4 x Trained Cavalry = 24pts
4 x Artillery = 10pts
Total = 70pts
Plus: A La Bayonette and Cavaliers = 18pts
Total = 88pts
For the Russians:
6 x Conscript Infantry = 24pts
2 x Elite Infantry = 17pts
4 x Trained Cavalry = 24pts
4 x Artillery = 10pts
Total = 75pts
Plus: Rally To The Colours = 12pts
Total = 87pts
Left Over - two Infantry units, one of which I can paint in some generic uniform that doesn't look Swedish or Russian, and which can be the Mercenaries.
As you can see I'm still short for both armies, but they are at least roughly equal in points, and usable for a game. The Russians have the larger army, relying on the two Elite units backed up by a crowd of dross. Rally To The Colours should nicely represent their steadfast nature. The Swedes are a smaller army, geared up for close-combat, with their cavalry having a slight edge over that of the Russians.
I'm not sure how I'd make up the rest of the points at this stage. Ideally I'd like to get hold of another set of Risk figures, in which case I can make new units to add in. I'd like at least of couple of units of Cossack Irregular Cavalry, as both sides used them. A unit each of Irregular Infantry (dismounted dragoons) would be a nice option for each side as well. Otherwise I think the extra points would be spent on adding to the line infantry force - three more Conscripts for the Russians and two more Trained Infantry for the Swedes. Sadly I haven't seen any cheap, knock-off Risk sets for a while. I'm regretting not buying two sets when I had the chance*.
I'm certainly not going to pretend that the armies are 'accurate' representations of their GNW equivalents, but they would give the forces a little bit more character and identity.
Anyway, despite the length of this post, these are all just thoughts at the moment, and subject to me actually sitting down and doing something with the figures. But it's a start.
*In fact if you have, or know of, a spare set of tricorne Risk figure, I'd love to hear from you. I estimate I need about 100 infantry and 30 cavalry to pretty much do everything else I want to do.