Monday, 11 April 2011

The lure of the Chaco

The news that Osprey intend to publish a book in their MEN AT ARMS series about the Chaco War has been around for some time, and I have already pre-ordered a copy.

This war has fascinated me for a long time. In fact, the first article I ever wrote for MINIATURE WARGAMES (No. 13 – 1984) was about the Chaco War, and ever since I have maintained an interest, buying books and games that dealt with any aspect of the conflict.

I don't know why this particular war has such a fascination for me ... but I suspect that it has a lot to do with my being an avid reader of Hergé's TINTIN books (and specifically the THE BROKEN EAR) when I was young. (I also enjoyed KING OTTOKAR's SCEPTRE, which probably accounts for my interest in the recreating wars involving minor fictional Balkan states).

The Chaco War is very suited to being recreated using THE PORTABLE WARGAME rules that I am working on. Tanks and aircraft played a relatively minor role, and were used in very small numbers. This was essentially an infantry war, with both sides using whatever artillery (usually mortars and mountain guns) that they could obtain ammunition for.

I therefore intend to re-read Adrian J. English's THE GREEN HELL – A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE CHACO WAR BETWEEN BOLIVIA AND PARAGUAY 1932-35 over the next week or two, with the intention of using the Chaco War as a possible back-drop for a session at COW2011 (the Conference of Wargamers 2011).

16 comments:

  1. Ordered it? I'd have expected you to write it, Bob!

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  2. Trebian,

    Sadly, I was never asked to write it!

    One day ... one day ...

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. The Chaco War has some appeal to me as well. I attended a lecture at the local college regarding South America's War in the Pacific and the Chaco War was brought up as a consequence of that conflict.

    Looking forward to seeing how you bring the subject to the tabletop with miniatures.

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  4. Have you seen these figures from Khurasan:

    http://khurasanminiatures.blogspot.com/2010/12/chaco-war-1-paraguayan-infantry.html

    Andrew

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  5. Paul Leach,

    I also have an interest in both the War of the Pacific and the war between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance.

    In fact, what I ought to do is to set up a group of imagi-nations that replicate the main features of the main South American countries for a future late nineteenth/early twentieth century wargames project.

    Perhaps that could be a retirement project for me?

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. ADB,

    I had seen them ... and very nice they are to.

    The problem is that they are 15mm, and my poor old eyes are not as good as they were ... but I am tempted, very tempted.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Hi Bob

    That's a coincidence as a Vickers 6 Ton tank and two Carden Lloyd tankettes popped through my letterbox this morning. I also thought the portable game would be ideal for this period and the Khurassan figures were just the prompt I needed. The other abvantage is that most of the tanks of this period will fit in a square!

    Nick

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  8. Nic101,

    What a coincidence!

    The 15mm figures do look nice, but I was hoping to use some existing 20mm-scale figures that I already have. They are based on SCW Assault Guards, and make more than passable Bolivians and Paraguayans (in peaked caps) ... or even better, San Theodorans and Nuevo-Ricans.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. I couldn't agree more. When are we going to see your next written work?

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  10. Conrad Kinch,

    Sooner rather than later, I would hope.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. I remember your article well.

    It almost got me started on the Chaco War but, back then, there was a shortage of figures.

    I'd do it in 10mm now I think?

    Boggler

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  12. Boggler,

    I am glad that someone does remember that article!

    10mm sounds like a good idea ... if you can find suitable figures.

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. For some reason you original comment was attributed as having come from me. I don't know how this happened, except that I read and answered it via my iPhone.

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  13. Bob,

    I've nominated your blog for a Stylish Blogger Award:

    http://jimswargamesworkbench.blogspot.com/2011/04/stylish-blogger-award.html

    Congratulations!

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  14. You've been nominated for a style award!!

    Details here: http://steve-the-wargamer.blogspot.com/2011/04/stylish-blogger-award-egad.html

    Well done… :o))

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  15. Boggler,

    Many thanks for the nomination. It is much appreciated.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  16. Steve-the-Wargamer,

    Thanks for letting me know.

    I have just arrived back in Southampton - and have finally managed to read my emails after two weeks of not having reliable Internet access - and this was very great news to read.

    All the best,

    Bob

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