So well. After giving much thinking to it and having already hoarded a sized force of both French and British, I decided at the end to make up a project I've had in my head for more than a year now. To try something different and in the line of Imagi Nation building, I've tried to find a good startpoint and a plausible enough development but, before carrying on with it, resolved to go asking for advice and opinion.
Year of start is 1805-06. By early 1803, in anticipation of a probable fail of the Peace of Amiens and during an escalade of tension which would ultimately lead to the war declaration of May 18th., a secret meeting was made between British envoys and Catalan dignitaries, in a most secret way and a very discreet location. The goals were to test chances to renew the Pact (or Treaty) of Genoa of 1705 (you can see it here: link although it is in Catalan, Spanish or French; you can Google translate it, and can access the text of the Treaty here: link and again translate it if you can't read Catalan or Spanish). In this Treaty the British crown promised to send troops and equip those recruited by the Catalans to confront those of Philip d'Anjou (the future Philip V, king of Spain). That war (War of Spanish Succession) ended badly for the Catalans, who lost their independence along a huge number of casualties, their institutions and constitutions and were repressed from that moment on. But, 100 years later, the situation was dire in Catalonia by those days, but the commerce suffocated by British raiding and blockading and French influence on Spain rowing at an alarming rate. The meeting, which was under preparation for several months, led to a new, later encounter in Portuguese lands. This time the Catalan dignitaries met with British plenipotentiaries and agreed to sign a new Treaty which followed close the writing of the former, of course with the due changes relating the names of those involved and the goal of keeping the Spanish crown for anybody. This time the British crown would nurture and supply both with money and human and war materials the rebellion by the Catalan people and encourage the formation of an independent Catalan state, equipping its troops and providing more in the form of mercenary contingents to beef up and professionalize the hopefully nascent Catalan army. By caution the British and Catalans would hold secret this Treaty so the insurrection was directed only against Spain, France's ally, and could not be looked upon as an act of war by the United Kingdom so on principle it could not bring upon it the French intervention which would be unwelcome by the Spanish either (although it would seem logical; you can see link for the treaties between France and Spain). British intention was to threat Spain from both sides of the Peninsula and also to distract attention from her ally Portugal. Also, the creation of a thorn in the Spanish/French side was an interesting venture of its own. And this takes us to the start of the campaign, to say so.
The thing is that the Catalan army should be British equipped so uniforms will be British factured and modeled on the British ones, just changing colours. It makes for easeness finding suitable figures but also it is logical, not having the Catalans a model of their own and willing to easily diferentiate themselves from Spanish or French troops. It makes also suitable to incorporate British "mercenaries" without much difficulty. Infantry will be identical, clad in British blue (and some red) uniforms. Lights will be equipped like British marines (with backpacks) but in brown colours. Cavalry will differ but be closely similar. Arty will be identical to British one (with the rare Gribeauval gun).High Command will dress in red. All in all a mix of British equipment and Catalan tradition (blue infantry, red dragoons, brown lights and red commanders). By the way it makes for an interesting scenario when Spain starts its own war against France, because the British will support, at the start, two possibly opposing sides which both will oppose the French. More information will come with time. For now, could you ladies and gentlemen kindly share your opinions with me on this matter? Do you see it as plausible enough? Which changes would you affect on this affair? Thak you very much for your attention. P.S.: I apologize for the long post.
Its obviously something you havn't just thought up over night. I hate trying to be hyper critical here but you appear to be bordering on fantasy/altrernative history.Is this really what you want? If it is then go for it! You will be relying on your own information as there will not be any books to inspire you.
Another word of caution though. I am a member of some fantasy forums ( left over from my GW days) and have seen many good intentions of what appear to be brilliantly thought out themed armies .However more often than not the interest appears to die off after a short period of time with much money spent on what will now be unpainted/unwanted soldiers.
If I was yourself, I would have another rethink before I started a project like this and have a further read to see if a mainstream army would not be a better choice.
I have no sage advice to offer as to the wisdom of making an imagined nation. I can see the appeal seeing as you already have French & British. However I don't have Colonel Whites broad gaming experience. If you do proceed a couple of suggestion.
1. For fun you could add a Rifle regiment to you army, these could be perhaps partly made up of British troops sent over to train their allies in the newly evolving, experimental skirmishing tactics the British were trying. I understand that Victrix are planning a plastic boxed set of Riflemen.
2. It might need a lot of green stuff but you could replace the shakos on a regiment of you Catalans with Barretinas, the traditional cap of the Catalans. These would look great (but admittedly would be a tonne of work.)
Just my ideas.
Rufus T. Firefly: Oh, I'm sick of messages from the front. Don't we ever get a message from the side?
Well, I would not put much effort in a napoleonic fantasy army, but why not
But I would like to give a hint to the typical equipment of a foreign army by the British in short time:
The example would be Prussia 1813. The Reserve Regiments got British made dresses produced for Portugal, Spain and British Rifle units. Often with stove pipes. There was no big production of special Prussian items. Just take what is ready or fight nude. The 1796 Light Cavalry sword was delivered in large numbers, as was the India Pattern Musket. But no Baker rifles.
@Mikeland: funny, you nailed it with the barretina! I can say so, I am Catalan after all. And yes my intention is to redress some two regiments with barretines (pl. for barretina in Catalan). Two Front Rank early Spanish light infantry regiments which will literally lose their hats. These will be replaced by greenstuff barretines and maybe the occasional top hat. So this is going to be a real project, one which will be worked on and not left out.
@Invisible Officer: Prussian reservists (the future Perry plastic ones) will play as militia (Catalan Sometents). They will dress in grey so they can always double as... Prussian reservists! And Catalan troopers will have of course British equipment. No big issue, no fooling; as you say (or imply) British equipment was issued to allied armies. Prussia is a perfect example. Or Hannover. BTW americans had British like equipment and uniforms as standard. AFAIK Prussian reservists were not that happy looking as British soldiers and took out lace, even adding "false" buttons to make their coatees look more "Prussian". Having no tradition in uniformity of their own since 1714, Catalans should have not that problem. ..
Last edited by DOGGED on Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Line Infantry will be British infantrymen clad in blue coatees with plain stovepipe shakoes. Lights will be British with British marine headgear. All of them Victrix plastics. Dragoons will be British ones with Tarletons (coming from the aforementioned Spanish early lights) while Light Dragoons will be British ones, unchanged. Dragoon Guards will be Front Rank British early Dragoons, unchanged. Guard infantry will be grenadiers (British line with French grenadier bearskin tall caps) and fusileers (British line with Hanoverian stovepipe shakoes with cords). Differences in uniform will be presence and colour of piping or lace and headgear.
I currently have no opponents in my area. In fact I'm the only one historical collector and I still can't consider myself as a player, having not played! But I'm patient; when I have enough minis mounted and/or painted I'll call for several fantasy players or historical players to be and get to play at last. So as you can see there is no problem in compatibility with other historical armies 'round here. And there will not be as much troops as to consider it a waste, thanks to plastics God!
At long, Catalans will side with British against French. No rifles in my army as it's still 1805 and it is enough to have the cadres trained by Moore himself (got to check for time and place compatibility). reinforced by several "mercenary volunteers" from the UK and helped by the might of the British Navy herself.
Front Rank and Victirx are not compatible as to put them in the same unit. Front Rank ones tower and are bulkier, specially their heads. But can play fine in their own units, even siding one besides the other. And they won't be even that close.