As well as looking at the general feeling of discontent across the country I did focus on an incident in Glasgow.
In Great Britain the government feared a bolshevik uprising and was quick to oppress any potential threat to the established order. One of the biggest areas for concern were the labour movements and trade unions. One strike in Glasgow in 1919 eventually resulted in a street battle between strikers and police, which was so bad, the army was called in. The “Battle of George Square”, also known as “Bloody Friday” and “Black Friday”, was one of the most intense riots in the history of Glasgow; it took place on Friday, 31 January 1919. Clashes between the City of Glasgow Police and protesters broke out, prompting the War Cabinet to make soldiers available to the civil power, to prevent the violence from escalating.
I also saw this post the first of a series of blog posts.
In future blog posts I want to have a look at potential battles in the 1919 British Revolution and the forces involved.
I did start thinking about possible scenarios and forces. I have in the cupboard the boxed set of Battlefront’s 15mm The Great War Mitchell’s Marauders.
The boxed set includes one Company HQ, two Rifle Platoons, one Machine-gun Platoon, one Royal Artillery Gun Detachment. It also has one Medium Tank Platoon comprising a single Mark A Whippet and a Heavy Tank Platoon which is two Mark IV tanks.
I was thinking that this would be a good starting force for the 1919 British Revolution.
In my original blog post I used a couple of contemporary photographs, one was of the tanks, Medium Mark C tanks, and soldiers at the Glasgow Cattle Market in the Gallowgate waiting to be called in for action in Glasgow. The other photograph though was a Mark IV tank on the streets of Dublin.
I realised that I wanted to do some more research into this era and as you do went to Google. As well as finding more photographs from the era I also discovered that there was a book about a range of incidents across 1919.
1919; Britain’s Year of Revolution tells the story of an almost unknown passage in British history. On the August Bank Holiday that year, the government in London despatched warships to the northern city of Liverpool in an overwhelming show of force. Thousands of troops, backed by tanks, had been trying without success to suppress disorder on the streets. Earlier that year in London, 1000 soldiers had marched on Downing Street, before being disarmed by a battalion of the Grenadier Guards loyal to the government. In Luton that summer, the town hall was burned down by rioters, before the army was brought in to restore order and in Glasgow, artillery and tanks were positioned in the centre of the city to deter what the Secretary of State for Scotland described as a ‘Bolshevik uprising’. Industrial unrest and mutiny in the armed forces combined together to produce the fear that Britain was facing the same kind of situation which had led to the Russian Revolution two years earlier. Drawing chiefly upon contemporary sources, this book describes the sequence of events which looked as though they might be the precursor to a revolution along the lines of those sweeping across Europe at that time. To some observers, it seemed only a matter of time before Britain transformed itself from a constitutional monarchy into a Soviet Republic.
Back in the day, my first “experience” of wargaming was back in the 1970s with those bendy and flexible Airfix and Matchbox model soldiers and often using Britain’s matchstick firing weapons.
One of my favourite toys and probably the thing that got me into gaming more than anything else was the 1:32nd Matchbox Counter Attack Playset.
In the set you got a set of American infantry with an M8 Greyhound. Their job was to attack the enemy.
On the German side, you got German infantry, a watchtower and they took refuge in a ruined cafe or restaurant. Watching Saving Private Ryan decades later I was reminded of the building as I watched the defence of the ruined village.
In the box you had two air pump weapons, a machine gun and a rocket launcher. The building was designed that you could knock down and put back together. Pieces fell off it as it was hit by the weapons.
It was an incredible toy that I really loved playing with. I think I was always a little disappointed that they never did more sets in this range.
You could certainly add more infantry, even tanks and trucks, but there was no more scenery or buildings to be had.
It was this game that got me into gaming, and where did I got next, well 25mm Napoleonics.
So today I realised I had been playing one of the cards in Talisman “wrong” for nearly forty years.
I first played Talisman back in 1983 when the first edition was released, back when there was black and white adventure cards. A friend in our gaming group back then had bought a copy of the game.
Can’t quite believe that was 38 years ago…
We would play the game quite a bit and as with most games I played back then I was quite reliant on the interpretation of the rules so followed their lead.
When the second edition was released, which was a colourised version fo the first edition (and the game board was changed from a single folded unit to four interlocking pieces) I took the time to read the rules.
One rule was this one on gaining craft.
2.4 Craft can only be gained as a result of Encounters.
You could gain strength by “cashing in” Enemy cards and with every seven enemy strength points you would gain one strength. We would play a similar rule for gaining craft by “cashing in” Enemy cards where the enemy would use craft.
I am not sure if we changed our gameplay as a result and kept a house rule where you could collect enemy cards and cash them in for craft, as you could for strength.
I never understood why you could cash in strength but not craft, as this was a real disadvantage for those characters who were stronger in craft than strength.
Those who play Fourth Edition will know that is now the norm.
It’s funny how when you play a game, sometimes your interpretation of rules or assumptions you make become normalised and you don’t realise you’ve been playing it wrong.
Playing Talisman today I realised I had been playing one of the cards in Talisman “wrong” for nearly forty years.
That card is one of the best weapons in Talisman, the Runesword.
This weapon would add one to your strength in combat and if you win the combat and cause a loss of life, you would gain a life.
Or so I thought…
I was playing the game today and my character, the Halfling, managed to pick up the Runesword. It was then reading the card that I realised I had been playing the card wrong for nearly forty years.
I had been playing that if I used the Runesword in combat against any Enemy (or a Character) and took a life, my character would gain a life.
However if you actually read the card it says:
2. When you use it in Combat to defeat a Monster or another player and then cause them to lose a Life, you gain 1 Life.
So in the second edition, the Runesword would only work against Enemy Monsters. You wouldn’t gain a life when fighting animals or dragons.
One of my biggest disappointments with Warhammer 40000 is the lack of space lizardmen. Back when the game was launched, we had space orcs (as in orks) space elves (eldar) and even dwarves (squats). However despite the fact that there were fantasy lizards in Warhammer, there were no space lizards in the same way as the other fantasy races.
Everytime I see a model like the Saurus Scar-Veteran on Carnosaur at Warhammer World I think how would that look in the WH40K universe.
We know that the Slann came from space, so where are the Space Saurus?
Across other games and literature we have seen space lizards.
The Harry Turtledove Worldwar in the Balance series of books had small lizards, the Race, arrive in starships in December 1941 and invade the earth in May 1942. However their equipment is more akin to 1990s Earth technology rather than anything more futuristic, despite the face they travel between the stars.
In the world of Space 1889, though there were no lizards on Mars in 1889, there were some on Venus.
I did once consider converting some Skinks and Saurus warriors that came in the fifth edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle that came out in 1996. However I realised I didn’t have many spare 40K style guns and that idea was left on the workbench. Writing this I now realise that there are quite a few third party stockists of 40K style weaponry that I could use, so if I can find the plastic sprues in the garage maybe I can have a go at that idea.
In the February issue of Wargames Illustrated however there was an advert from Wargames Atlantic about a forthcoming release of Fantasy Lizardmen. However there are options to arm them with muskets or auto-rifles (AK47 style weapons).
This hard plastic box set allows you to field up to 24 Lizardmen with options to arm them with sword and spear, fantasy and British muskets, or auto-rifles. There are four unique head types for all bodies in the set so that you have options to use these figures for fantasy, Victorian Science Fiction, or straight science fiction Lizardmen.
So you could use the musket armed lizardmen in the world of Space 1889 for games on Venus.
The auto gun armed lizardmen could be used as alien invaders, as in theWorldwar in the Balance series, but they may be a little too big, as the Race is described as smaller than humans, but it’s science fiction, so why not. As for rules, well what about Bolt Action?
I think I might get a box and see what I can do with them. In the meantime I think I will dig out my old plastic Saurus warriors.
When the Mordheim boxed set was released I didn’t buy it. I was never a completist that went andbought every boxed set that Games Workshop released. I bought things I liked and things I would actually paint and game with.
There were various reasons I didn’t buy Mordheim, it was partly the focus of the game, a fantasy skirmish. This was something that I did enjoy as a concept, Flintloque (even though Napoleonic in setting) was very much a fantasy skirmish game. So there had to be more to Mordheim then just the core concept. The background didn’t really appeal, a destroyed town to fight over.
The game is set in the Empire city of Mordheim 500 years before the present day in the Warhammer Fantasy time line (pre Age of Sigmar). The game is set during a time of chaos and civil war in the Empire after a comet struck the city of Mordheim destroying it and scattering a material called wyrdstone throughout the ruins. Mercenary warbands from all over the Warhammer world battle with one another for the wyrdstone.
I also didn’t think much of the hybrid scenery either, part plastic and part cardboard. I was a fan of cardboard buildings, I really liked Blood on the Streets. I quite like plastic building kits as well. However the hybrid mix that was available in the boxed set didn’t really rock my boat.
So after glancing at the set at the time, I left it on the shelf.
Here we are twenty odd years later and I did however quite enjoy this retro unboxing of a shrink-wrapped copy of Mordheim.
What I did like was some of the models in the box. It actually got me thinking once more about fantasy skirmish games….