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"19th century Canadian military history...." Topic

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917 hits since 17 Oct 2015
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Personal logo Blake Walker Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member17 Oct 2015 4:05 p.m. PST

Hi, can someone enlighten me on the Red River Expedition of 1870 and the Reil Rebellion of 1885 in Canada? I know it started out as a fur trapper protest.

Is it worth gaming? Reason I ask is that someone locally wants to sell me their Reil Rebellion figure collection of RAFM figures. I asked him about the two rebellions. From the way he talked, it didn't sound promising.

Any Canadian wargamers willing to fill me in on specific battles, possible scenarios, etc? I could write something up for it using The Sword and The Flame. However, I don't think I'd ever get around to painting up everything up for it.

That would be my next question. Any good websites besides Wikapedia worth checking out for uniforms and general background?

Thanks in advance,

Andrew Preziosi Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2015 4:16 p.m. PST

The Metis Rebellion of 1885 has TONNES of possibilities. Legion Wargames has two games on the subject.

The RR Expedition was more a study in logistics, transport and diplomacy.

FoxtrotPapaRomeo17 Oct 2015 4:41 p.m. PST


Wiki main article link gives a good overview of the 1885 rebellion and there are links to each of the battles. Lots of colour and variety. Cree Indians, Meti, North West Mounted Police (the Mounties), militia, regulars, gatling guns and artillery …. mainly small skirmishes, but would make an interesting campaign.

Have a great day, FPR

dBerczerk17 Oct 2015 4:44 p.m. PST

You might draw some inspiration from the film, "North West Mounted Police" set during the Riel Rebellion. Not one of Gary Cooper's most memorable roles, but possibly of some interest.



Glengarry517 Oct 2015 5:20 p.m. PST

Keeping in mind that the movie "North West Mounted Police" has NOTHING to do with the actual Riel rebellion… there are no mountain ranges in Saskatchewan.

willthepiper17 Oct 2015 10:15 p.m. PST

The 1870 Red River Expedition did not have any battles. By the time the expedition arrived at Fort Garry, Riel had decamped. You could play the whole thing as a what if campaign.

The 1885 North West Rebellion was over pretty quick, after only a few months, but it has several gameable battles, with relatively small forces. The Wikipedia articles are a good place to start. Fish Creek and Cut Knife are particularly interesting battles as the metis/Indian side won those ones.

If I recall correctly, the book 'Great Canadian Battles' by E Humphreys has a good article on the Battle of Cut Knife.

boy wundyr x Inactive Member19 Oct 2015 10:35 a.m. PST

And the Battle of Batoche lets you bring in a war steamboat!

Although the rest of the battle was pretty anti-climatic, Willthepiper has the good ones listed.

"The Strange Empire of Louis Riel" by Joseph Howard is a pretty readable and balanced old school history, written in between the 19th century demonization and late-20th-century beatification of Riel. Used paperback copies should be easy to find.

I have a small collection of the RAFM figures, probably will end up doing some very small fictional skirmishes with them.

zippyfusenet Inactive Member19 Oct 2015 2:38 p.m. PST

Finally! A use for those 54mm Britains Mounties that your parents bought for you after you saw the Musical Ride with your grandparents when you were eight years old!

Ruffian Rob Inactive Member08 Feb 2017 10:24 p.m. PST

Here is a Youtube link to a CBC movie from a few years ago. Not totally accurate but useful: YouTube link

One of the common misconceptions was that the North West Mounted Police were at the Battle of Batoche – they were noticeably absent.

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