Welcome / Bienvenu

This blog presents my different wargames armies, after action reports, campaigns which I have run, some scenarios and a presentation of some of the different rules I play. The pages at the top of the blog contain historical information on the periods that interest me. They are an aid to my poor memory, and not in any way exhaustive nor necessarily correct. As I am an Englishman living in France, some pages are in English and others in French...sorry, I am too lazy to translate...

I hope this blog offers you much enjoyment and some inspiration !

mercredi 22 août 2012

Chinese (1894-1900)

My Chinese army took me four months of hard graft to paint. The effort was worth it, however, as it is such a fun army to play. "Native" troops are always outgunned, but the Chinese also have wretched morale to boot. They do however have the avantage of (vast) numbers, and many interesting troop types, including a few gems.  One thing to bear in mind with a Chinese army is that...they are not Zulus.  They are troops that shoot, not troops that charge recklessly.  Experience shows, however, that they are brittle : you think all is going well, and, suddenly, the whole brigade begins to evaporate...

Nonetheless, combining the infantry with the fairly good artillery, and using well the "jingals" that the skirmishers carry can be effective (theoretically, ie. one day it will happen...)

On the down side, I can't seem to find a use for the Chinese cavalry (though they do look good...).

TROOP TYPES
My army represents a realistic mixture of troops, since Chinese units were rallied around a general (typically a provincial governor, those senior mandarins who would spawn the warlords of the 1920s) rather than composing fixed combat formations.

Lu-Ying
The lowest of the low are the Lu-Ying, "Army of the Green Flag" who are simple militia forces, poorly armed and trained, often carrying nothing better than a sword or a halberd. They were used for internal security duties.  They wore either their peasant dress, or a military jacket over the top of it. There was no overall militia uniform, but certain towns or provinces seem to have had their own. For aesthetic purposes I have retained this idea.





Yung-Kansu
Other militia are provided by the "Braves", who are characterised by being volunteer troops, recruited directly by provincial governors to combat internal disorder and the threat from the Western powers. The term is used generically as well as specifically, but in my army applies to the 10,000 Chinese Musulmans who were incorporated directly into the Imperial Guard, in their bright red uniforms, and called, by one Western observer, simple "Islamic rabble".




Lien-chun
The Lien-chün are the "New Formations", formed in the 1880s and recruited from the best Green Flag troops.  They still had no uniform, but wore provincial colours.

After the defeat by Japan in 1894-1895, the Emperor authorised certain governors to train some Lien-chun units in the European manner. European NCOs and officers (often German) were brought in, weapons and ammunition purchased, and tactical organisation improved (though never to the point where such troops can be considered regulars). A radical innovation was the change in dress. Chinese peasant dress and jackets were abandoned, and troops dressed in a blue European-style uniform. My Lien-chun could not, however, be persuaded to cut off their pigtails...




Manchu Pa Chi
The "Bannermen" are ethnic Manchu (the ethnicity of the ruling dynasty). There were Eight Bans, each of around 8000 troops. They were the Emperor's personal army, whereas other troops were under the control of provincial dignitaries.
Like most Chinese troops, they wear their peasant clothing (blue being a common colour), with a long uniform vest thrown over it. Despite their use of firearms, the Pa Chi continued to deploy "Tigermen" on their flanks, brightly dressed troops armed with...grappling hooks, supposed to bring down enemy cavalry.



Artillery




Cavalry
One regiment of cavalry is a Green Flag unit, another is from the Imperial Guard. I also have irregular Manchu nomads, armed with bow and arrow, tribal contingents upon whom the Manchu emperors of China could still call.







The Lien-chün dressed in European-style uniforms are, of course, anachronistic for the 1894-1895 war : but hell, I use them anyway : ) Other than that, the troops depicted here can be used for any conflict in the second half of the 19th century. It was not until the 1910s that China began to modernise and homogenise (in the broadest sense) the uniforms of its army.

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