Sunday, October 23, 2011

Armies of Atlantica: Part 1 - Faraway


The army of the Red Queen consists of 4 main components  The Household Troops, The District Troops, The Militia and the Faraway Trading Company (FTC) Troops.

In theory, Faraway's only permanent forces are the Household regiments but in practice many of the District troops have been embodied for years and are regulars in all but name while the FTC troops have fought side by side with the Queens troops for so long that its easy to forget they are essentially allies. not subjects.

There is a great deal of regimental variation in uniform and due to measures of economy, old style uniforms often continue to be issued, in some cases until the new pattern is itself obsolete and of course the Volunteers wear uniforms of their own choosing. There is also a tendency for District troops to wear locally acquired campaign dress items. However, some broad trends can be ascertained.

Cavalry: The Household Cavalry are all dressed in scarlet coatees with regimental facings, regimental headdress and dark blue booted overalls with a yellow stripe. The Queen's Hussars were an exception to this, wearing a scarlet pelisse and dark blue dolman. Supposedly a regiment of light cavalry, the Queen's uncle who was Colonel in Chief had selected the heaviest riders and mounted them on large horses, larger than the average Atlantica draft horse. Horses of this size are not bred anywhere in Atlantica and had to be imported at great expense. After the heavy losses suffered outside Thriegy in 1839, the need to rebuild the army meant that economies had to be implemented and the Hussars were disbanded.

The FTC Bodyguard were initially issued a short blue shell jacket with white facings, blue pants with a white stripe, hussar boots and a white metal helmet. Since the onset of the wars with Oberhilse, there have been several instances of mistaken identity since the Oberhilse cavalry also wears short dark blue stable jackets and plumed helmets though they normally wear peaked forage  caps on active service. As a result, the blue jackets have been replaced by red ones faced white.

Artillery. The artillery has always worn dark blue with red facings and this was adopted by the FTC troop of horse artillery although with their own flair: brass helmets with red plumes, knees boots and lots of lace. The traditional white trousers worn by the Faraway artillery have recently been replaced by dark blue for use on campaign along with the introduction of a dark blue shell jacket. The Royal Artillery replaced their white trousers with light blue during the peace of 1840/41 which led to an outcry due to the prevalence of light blue trousers in the Oberhilse army.

Infantry. Apart from the various rifle corps who wear a dark green uniform,  all Faraway infantry wear red coats with regimental facings. For full dress, and often in the field, this is a coatee, short tailed in the line, long tailed in the Household regiments, dark grey trousers with a red stripe and a shako apart from the Grenadiers who wear a bearskin cap. A broad topped shako had been originally been worn but a lighter straight sided one has been introduced. In the field, a short shell jacket and loose dark blue trousers are usually worn along with some form of forage cap, often covered with a white curtain in summer. When engaged in prolonged periods of bush fighting, it is not unknown for all sorts of improvised and adapted uniforms to appear.

Generally Volunteer units follow the  example set by Royal or District units but there are exceptions such as the New Dundee Highlanders, raised and equipped by Lord Bykirk at his own expense and recruited largely from Scottish immigrants, including many recruited abroad with promises of land grants from his estates in and about New Dundee. This regiment wears the full splendor of Victorian Highland regiments.

Here is a list of known regiments as of 1841. Those regiments marked in Bold type have seen service within the last 3 years. Those marked in Italic text are said to be incapable of taking the field until major recruitment, equipping and training take place,

The Household or Royal troops consist of 2 regiments of heavy cavalry, 1 battery of horse artillery, 1 battery of foot artillery and 2 regiments of infantry. The small staff of technical officers is also attached to the household. Oddly, despite the endemic border clashes, only the Royal Fusiliers and Royal Foot Artillery have been seen in the field in living memory and that only recently. This may explain some of the occasional mis-identification of units in various battle reports.

 The Household Regiments are:
  • Royal Horse Guards  (heavy cavalry, scarlet coatees, faced blue, and bearskin caps)
  • Princess Charlotte's Heavy Horse nicknamed the "Black Horse".
    (heavy cavalry, scarlet coatees, faced black, brass helmets)
  • Queen's Lancers (medium cavalry, scarlet coatees faced blue, lancer caps, lances)
  • Royal Horse Artillery (braided scarlet hussar jackets, (it is unclear if this is the pelisse or a dolman)  fur busbies)
  • Royal Foot Artillery (Dark blue coatees, faced red, broad shako, light blue pants)
  • Royal Grendiers (scarlet coatees faced blue, bearskin caps)
  • Royal Fusiliers (scarlet coatees, faced blue, broad shakos)
Left to Right, Household Troops: Princess Charlotte Heavy Horse, Royal Artillery, Royal Grenadiers, Royal Fusiliers.

    The district troops consist of artillery regiments and artillery batteries based in the 5 districts. Each has a depot and a permanent cadre but are only embodied for local service when needed by calling for volunteers from the militia. The artillery is normally kept in garrison but the infantry has seen constant service and the meaning of "local" has been stretched to include anywhere in South Atlantica.  The regiments have many local nicknames but the following are the offical names.
    The District Regiments are:

    Victoria Rifles (Dark green, armed with rifles)
    Belmont Fusiliers ("The Buffs" red faced buff)
    Wye Fusiliers ("Green Tigers" red faced green)
    Dover Fusiliers (red faced yellow)
    Uniake Fusiliers ( red faced yellow)

    A, B, C and D batteries are based in Dover, Uniake, Lawfordton and Wye respectively.

    Left to right, District Troops: Artillery, Victoria Rifles, Buffs, Green Tigers, Dover Fusiliers, Uniake Fusiliers


    All subjects are liable for service in the militia when called up. Lots are drawn for 5 years of service and those chosen are mustered once every 6 months. Little faith is placed in the militia but various volunteer units have been raised and some have done good service. In the central districts these Volunteers provide their own arms and uniforms and while they are sometimes looked down upon as Social Clubs for the rich, they train regularly and perform ceremonial and aid to the civil power duties. In some cases uniforms and weapons are provided by wealthy Colonels while in other cases individuals provide their own, On the frontier, volunteer companies are more likely to be non-uniformed volunteer light infantry raised amongst hunters and trappers, rivermen  and other woodsmen. Similar marine companies have also been raised on the coast from fishermen and sailors. There is no good record of these volunteer companies as yet.


    The FTC originally raised small bodies of armed men as guards for their trading posts and raised bodies of auxiliaries from friendly tribes as needed. As their interests and the area that they administered grew leading to increased conflict with various native tribes, they found themselves needing a larger force capable of a powerful, rapid response to threats. A regiment of mounted infantry was raised to serve as a combination police and armed force. This became the Director General's Bodyguard. A mounted rocket battery and a regiment of native lancers were eventually added. Once conflict with Oberhilse over the Rahdon gold fields became inevitable, the FTC troops found themselves acting primarily as auxiliaries to the Queen's forces.
    The FTC still operates on its own north of the mountains but the details of these operations have not been well researched yet.

    • Director General's Bodyguard (Medium cavalry, Originally dark blue faced white later changed to red faced white, white metal helmets. In theory they were to be armed with rifled carbines but I have not been able to confirm that this was ever done)
    • Larsen's Lancers (Green faced red, turbans, lancers, light cavalry)
    • Horse Artillery. (Blue jackets faced red, brass helmets with red plumes, armed with rockets or 6 pounders.)
    • Voyagers. These are various bodies of armed company "servants", hunters, traders, boatmen and the like. There is no official uniform but things such as coats are often provided by the company leanding an air of uniformity. Typical dress is a woolen cap and either a loose woolen shirt or blanket coat depending on the weather. 
    • Aeronautical Corps. The FTC has been experimenting with a balloon corps to keep its trading stations  linked together and well informed.
    • Native Auxiliaries. These are raised from allied tribes as and when needed.
    Left to right: FTC Troops: Director General's Bodyguard, mounted and dismounted, Horse Artillery, Voyager, Larsen's Lancers, native auxilliary of the Saskwatchay tribe.


    1. Ross,

      You are quickly developing an interesting background for your Atlanitica campaigning.

      I like it, sir. Very interesting and I look forward to more.

      -- Jeff

    2. Superb background and I await more with interest...

    3. I have to agree that your forces sound quite credible, and you have me looking into 40mm!

    4. Very well conceptualized and laid out, Ross ! I look forward to seeing more.


    5. Thank you to all for the kind comments. There was more adaptation than invention I'm afraid, heavy echoes of 19thC Canadian practices, but none the worse for that.

    6. Very nice. The figures have great charm and I love the Canadian references. Looking forward to more.

    7. Ross

      Very nice stuff! Can you confirm the uniform of the Director general's body guard. Your written source material says a blue coatee, but your vintage print shows a red coatee. Is the red a campaign mod, was there a change in uniforms or is it a case of sketchy information?

      Your Saskawatchay correspondent

    8. Yes, as per the paragraph on cavalry uniforms, the original blue uniforms were changed to red. This took place in 1841. I should update the 2nd section.