The Army of Georland

The Army of Georland

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Progress with refighting Georland?

Three newly completed S Range units - the top one is a recent acquisition in two lots from ebay, ACW and originally painted as two Confederate militia battalions, now restored as one large (or two smaller) battalions of US marines. The officers, which came with them, are S Range French Crimean ones and fit rather well I think.

 The next two units are S Range Franco Prussian War - Saxon and Prussian line infantry. These have been part finished for around six months as other things jumped the queue ahead of them so it is a relief to get them finished. This means all my FPW guys are done, apart from eight or so generals and staff figures.

 The intention is that these will join the forces (S Range FPW, Crimean and some ACW) available to refight the Georland battles. The Marines and also some ACW zouaves will be available  if required. 

Were I starting from scratch and could afford to do so, I would go with Peter Johnstone's Spencer Smith Classic 30mm FPW range. These are new figures, not metal versions of any of the old plastic figures. George Keef originally used a collection of c40-45mm demi rondes figures and the Spencer Smith Classics would give an appropriate look in a more manageable format. Maybe one day.

 My intention is to use an adaption of Command and Colors Napoleonics both for Crimean War and for Georland. I have now acquired both an additional set of the old TSS 12" terrain hexes and a 6" hex mat from Corsec Engineering so am hoping to make a start sometime soon - just need to work out how I can get my two expanding tables set up in the house with room to move round them.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

The man himself

With thanks to the Royal Highland Fusiliers Museum.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Another War Game World

 I am indebted to John H for his flagging up this YouTube video to me. It is from a Russian TV programme dubbed into English.

At about 7 minutes 25 seconds it goes into an item about the toy soldier collection and war game of Boris Popov and his son Rudik. This revolved around a fictitious country called Elyria (I am not sure of the spelling). Boris Popov was an artist and started a Chronicle of the country in 1912, recording the major battles fought out with his brother and sister. It was illustrated by its author and the Chronicle itself and some sample pages can be seen in the YouTube item.

 John was struck by the similarities with the Keefs and Georland. True, it was about 50 years later, and the figures in the collection were flats, not demirondes. As artists the Popovs also made a large number of buildings. Many of these were lost as the family was forced to move around in Russia, but Rudik Popov has recreated many of these.

 Another difference with Georland is that the rules of the family wargame survive, and a game is show in progress. Moves are measured with dividers, missile fire is by nails fired from cannon, and hand to hand combat resolved by six sided dice.

 Thanks very much to John for this find. It has many parallels with Georland as well as interesting differences. It makes you wonder how many more similar collections and set ups are out there waiting to be discovered.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Wells Outgunned - Franz Stollberg

We don't (yet) know much about the way George Alfred Keefe, his brothers and their friends fought their battles, but we do know it involved firing miniature black powder cannons. I have seen it suggested that in some way this places them at the "playing toy soldiers" rather than the "wargaming" end of the spectrum. personally I don't think this argument holds water - they simply outgunned H G Wells's matchstick firing cannon, and RL Stevenson's "sleeve-links" and printers' ems.

We als know from his letters that in January 1878 George Alfred Keefe bought a kriegspiel set from a Colonel returning home; it was missing the rules and he sent home for a copy of Baring's English edition of the rules - this seems enough to put him in the serious wargaming fraternity.

This article from Wargamers Newsletter #101 of August 1970 shows this practice might have lasted longer than might have been expected.