Thursday, 27 June 2013

Where to start ...

Wargaming, that's where!

I have become fascinated by the history of China and of the Chinese "Empire" in the 19th century, and in the related Western meddling in much of Chinese affairs.  It would be easy to get lost in the disgrace of much of it, but that would be to ignore the huge wargaming potential that exists in this period:
  • The First Opium War (1839-1842)
    • British/Indian army vs Chinese
  • The Taiping Rebellion (1851 - 1866)
    • Chinese vs Taiping rebels, EVA vs Taiping rebels
  • The Second Opium War (1857-1860) 
    • British/Indian and French vs Chinese
  • Conquest of Cochinchina - southern Vietnam (1858-1864)
    • French vs Vietnamese
  • Tonkin Campaign - northern Vietnam (1883-1886)
    • French vs Black Flags and/or Chinese
  • Sino-French War (1884-1885)
    • French vs Chinese
  • Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895)
    • Japanese vs Chinese
  • Boxer rebellion (1900-1901) 
    • Boxers vs Chinese govt; Boxers vs Westerners; Boxers & Chinese govt vs Westerners; Chinese govt vs Westerners
That hardly begins to touch on all of the internal rebellions that China suffered during the period, nor the repeated Russian encroachments in Manchuria - from where the Russo-Japanese War is just a short stroll.  In terms of scale you go from massive set-piece battles in the Taiping rebellion, to patrols in the river valleys of Tonkin and the sieges, large and small, of the Boxer rebellion.  For the naval gamer there are sea battles, amphibious assaults, riverine warfare.

Over time (probably measured in geological terms) I intend to build up the pages on this blog - partly as a personal source of reference, and partly to share what I find and where my meanderings take me.  I hope to include lists of the various books and publications that I've read, with brief comments rather than full reviews.  I'll add links to interesting sites and pictures of the units and terrain that I build.  I SHALL!  Well ... probably anyway.

Just for the avoidance of doubt, this is the blog of a wargamer.  I have never had any formal education in Chinese history and my knowledge of Mandarin is on a par with that of Martian Parhooni.  If you're expecting an erudite commentary on the differences between Wade-Giles and Pinyin (look it up - I did), then you're on the wrong blog.  The use/abuse of terms such as Qin/Ching, Beijing/Peking and Tianjin/Tientsin will be frequent and inconsistent.  You have been warned!

Oh the bandits? That's us westerners.  Mostly :-)

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