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Author Topic: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"  (Read 34582 times)

Offline von Lucky

  • galactic brain
  • Posts: 7317
    • Donner und Blitzen Wargaming
Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2015, 12:05:01 AM »
Nice. I'm slowly gathering my forces. I think punch ups at CanCon and at each of the Little Wars is looming...
- Karsten

"Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Blog: Donner und Blitzen

Offline von Lucky

  • galactic brain
  • Posts: 7317
    • Donner und Blitzen Wargaming
Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2016, 10:04:49 PM »
The book is slowly coming along:
http://arbm1933.blogspot.com.au/2016/01/a-right-bloody-mess-publication.html

I've just put the final decals on an Avro 504K for the Tasmanians after I found the half painted thing in the pile. Needs a little weathering, but I'm pretty happy with it.

Offline Ewan

  • bookworm
  • Posts: 60
Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2016, 12:08:45 PM »
The book is slowly coming along:
http://arbm1933.blogspot.com.au/2016/01/a-right-bloody-mess-publication.html

That's good as I thought the project was dead as it has been a while since there was an update.

Now to start thinking about what figures I will need to buy.

Offline Leigh Metford

  • scientist
  • Posts: 207
Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2016, 11:03:24 PM »
In 1933 WA did vote for secession and... nothing happened (!); no mass rallies with rabble rousing speeches by charismatic separatist leaders waving rifles and vowing to defend the new republic to the death; not even a riot. In best Australian tradition there was a grand apathy on the part of the majority of citizens about the whole idea of bleeding for a political abstraction. All it took to thoroughly dissipate any lingering secessionist sentiment was a positive economy. The secessionists had obsequiously asked the British Government to allow WA to secede, and meekly accepted its refusal. The will to act outside the imperial political system didn't exist - so there's simply no historical underpinning for this concept.  

What I don't understand is why a completely historically implausible background set in 1933 has been selected as the foundation for this concept over a series of events from only the year before that brought part of this country as close to the brink of civil war as it's ever been: the New Guard plan to kidnap NSW premier Jack Lang, overthrow the state government, and install its own para-fascist regime. If Lang hadn't been sacked in May of that year the New Guard very probably would have attempted to enact its coup plot, the Australian Labor Army would have reacted, and it would have been on for young and old; and once the fires of armed conflict had been lit in NSW, who knows how much of the rest of the nation would have been drawn into the subsequent conflagration.  
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 11:08:19 PM by Leigh Metford »

Offline Happy Wanderer

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 802
Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2016, 11:55:04 PM »
A year ago when I first caught attention of this idea at Cancon it was the earlier potential civil disorder in New South Wales that we discussed on the drive back to Sydney...as being most viable.

Matt has done a lot of research however, so it'll be interesting to see how he fans the flames of conflict in WA with the background you describe and have it spill over into a great conflict ala AVBCW.

Interesting stuff so I shall watch with interest how this spins out.

Cheers

Happy W

Offline Leigh Metford

  • scientist
  • Posts: 207
Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2016, 06:31:26 AM »
There's a detailed analysis, including the military aspects, of the Lang crisis and the potential for civil war had he not been sacked by Andrew Moore at www.schools.nsw.edu.au.

Offline von Lucky

  • galactic brain
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    • Donner und Blitzen Wargaming
Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2016, 08:36:29 PM »
As a what-if (both scenarios), it's probably pointless to argue if one could happen or not over the other (when there's a chance both could cause all out civil war - albeit with various probabilities). Wargaming is all about what-ifs anyway.

Best just to let go and wargame whatever you want to (whether it's ARBM or not) and have fun; you do remember how to have fun?

Offline Leigh Metford

  • scientist
  • Posts: 207
Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2016, 02:21:04 AM »
... or for that matter, various degrees of improbability.

Isn't this supposed to be an open forum for the free discussion of the subjects presented? Once a participant - whether or not personally connected to the originator of a project under discussion - defensively stoops to infantile, snide, sarcastic personal attacks, no further mature exchange is possible. 

Offline von Lucky

  • galactic brain
  • Posts: 7317
    • Donner und Blitzen Wargaming
Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2016, 12:44:48 PM »
Totally agree.

Offline FramFramson

  • galactic brain
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Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2016, 09:22:39 PM »
... or for that matter, various degrees of improbability.

Isn't this supposed to be an open forum for the free discussion of the subjects presented? Once a participant - whether or not personally connected to the originator of a project under discussion - defensively stoops to infantile, snide, sarcastic personal attacks, no further mature exchange is possible. 

You could have just replied "No."

Offline Leigh Metford

  • scientist
  • Posts: 207
Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2016, 09:52:11 AM »
For a plausible alternative history you ideally need a single, easily expressed 'What if...?'; a clearly identifiable decision point at which history could have taken a very different turn. In the case of an alternative history set in 1932, the 'What if...?' is unmistakable:

What if Premier Jack Lang hadn't been sacked by the governor in May?

At that moment tensions were at boiling point, representatives of all factions were openly making inflammatory pronouncements and threats of militant action, and/or preparing to bring secret plots to fruition, and right-wing figures had stated unequivocally that he and his administration would be forcibly removed and the apparatus of government taken over at gunpoint.  It was only his dismissal that defused the ticking time-bomb - and just in time. Tensions then ebbed away and there was a return to a less belligerent political atmosphere in which the probability of civil war markedly diminished.   

The more coincident decision points required to generate a 'What if...?, the more implausible it becomes.

I'm curious: what's the single decision point in the 1933 scenario from which a convincing 'What if...?' can be constructed? :-) (see...I'm having fun!).



 

Offline Arlequín

  • Supporting Adventurer
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  • Posts: 5956
  • Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?
Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2016, 11:25:06 AM »
For a plausible alternative history you ideally need a single, easily expressed 'What if...?'; a clearly identifiable decision point at which history could have taken a very different turn. In the case of an alternative history set in 1932, the 'What if...?' is unmistakable: 

Different strokes for different folks. The degree of plausibilty required is reliant on individual tastes; for some it has to be eminently plausible, while others are quite happy with just a whiff of 'maybe'.

Let's face it, the most commonly played 'what if' of the 20th Century is Operation Sealion, something totally implausible (even to Hitler in the final analysis)... yet millions in the UK (including the government) were convinced it was going to happen. You have to hand-wave away so much to make it work, yet WWII gamers will go at it all the same in spite of that.

While I am supportive of adult discussion here, I would think that considering the project is six months down the line it might be a tad late to point out 'the year before would have been better'. It might be more constructive instead to offer possible reasons why it could still work in the chosen time frame, rather than suggest tearing down the house and starting over... purely my opinion as an observer of course.

 :)

Offline Leigh Metford

  • scientist
  • Posts: 207
Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2016, 11:38:41 PM »
There's an obvious, very major difference between a hypothetical Operation Sealion and the ARBM concept, Arlequin: the historical context. WW2 was real and in progress in the proposed OS time-frame, and its hypothetical belligerents were real belligerents actually engaged in a desperate life-or-death struggle. In contrast, ARBM has to be generated from and imposed upon a peaceful Australia. It's a much shorter step to the former than the latter.

As you asked, I think the only way to rationalise the 1933 scenario is as occurring in some sort of parallel reality or universe, rather than alternative history that can be traced to events taking a different turn at a single historical pivot point. If gamers are happy with that, I say good luck to them. In the end it's all just mucking about with toy soldiers anyway. :-) (the fun just never stops).   




Offline Leigh Metford

  • scientist
  • Posts: 207
Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2016, 07:18:21 AM »
For those who might want to take up the 1932 'Lang Crisis' option, from my reading I've identified six possible 'sides':

1. The New Guard and other, smaller fascist and near fascist elements, bent on replacing the constitutional state government with a para-fascist regime.

2. Conservative federalist forces determined to remove Lang's administration and end his moves towards a more socialistic system, and reimpose federal control of state revenues. These would include the military forces of the Commonwealth, and paramilitary organisations that Andrew Moore has identified as cooperating under the auspices of the Old Guard, but which other commentators believe operated independently.

3. The NSW Police Force, determined to uphold its position as guardian of public order and security, and inimical to any groups it considered a threat to its power.

4. Popular left-wing elements such as the Australian Labor Army, who vowed to defend the Lang government from right-wing threats, but had no revolutionary agenda.

5. Smaller far-left organisations, such as the Communist Party, who could be expected to exploit any disorder to further their own revolutionary plans.

6. Groups advocating independence for rural regions.

There are some very interesting potential martial dynamics here. For instance, as might be expected, the police had had a long history of confrontation with organised labour, but in 1932 the unions wholeheartedly supported the constabulary's show of force against right-wing plotters. And perhaps surprisingly to some, the 'Old Guard' and New Guard were bitterly opposed to each other, and could be expected to violently contest power if the various factions had opted for the bullet over the ballot.

Even for those who choose this scenario over ARBM1933 as published, I'm sure there will plenty of relevant and useful material in Matthew's book.

     

     

Offline Leigh Metford

  • scientist
  • Posts: 207
Re: Australian Civil War or "A Right Bloody Mess"
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2016, 02:39:20 AM »
On the subject of potentially useful 28mm figures for the NSW 1932 option, because the action would be kicking off in May and you'd probably be looking at a fairly short conflict that didn't extend into the Summer months, many of the figures used for VBCW would work just as well for this concept. The only proviso I would make when considering the options is that some packs, such as many of the dedicated sets from Footsore, contain figures with a mixture of British and non-British weapons (e.g. Mausers; dodgy even for VBCW, IMO, both from an historical accessibility and unit logistics perspective) that would be very unlikely to turn up down under in any numbers. There would be large stockpiles of the standard British-pattern weapons and equipment used by Australian military forces available, and these would be the first preference for all factions due to familiarity, experience, and logistics considerations. For combatants unable to access this materiel the next best option would be assorted obsolete military/police, and civilian sporting weapons.

I see that Reiver Castings has an extensive dedicated VBCW range, which although not of the same sculpting standard as the likes of Footsore (but much cheaper!), has all its civilian figures kitted out with British weapons and equipment.

Of course all this applies equally to ARBM1933, except that with it being envisaged as a much longer, multi-season conflict, figures in distinctively Aussie summer gear (slouch hats, militia in singlets etc.) will also work, and would help to more obviously set it apart from VBCW. No doubt Eureka's forthcoming range will reflect this antipodean aesthetic.         

 

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