Sunday, January 21, 2007

What's in a Name? --

Some months back I selected a bunch of names for my Saxe-Bearstein units. They were, in accordance with my theme, mainly using the names of beers with a few that referenced bears. Some examples are:
  • von Coors Kuirassiers
  • Edelbrau Dragoons
  • Infantry Regiment von Schlitz
  • von Grizzley Grenadier Guard
Now there's nothing wrong with names like these . . . and I still might use them. But for some reason I got to thinking about the naming of units during the 18th Century; and it seems to me that there are a number of different "systems" that were used by various countries to "designate" their military units. Among these are:
  • by TASK -- such as "Lifeguard", "Grenadier Guard", etc.
  • by OWNER -- such as "Prinz Karl's", "Queen's Own", etc.
  • by COLONEL -- such as "Luckner's", "von Bulow's", "O'Neill's", etc.
  • by LOCATION -- such as "Sodermanlands", "Normandy", "Kievski", etc.
  • by NUMBER -- such as "5th", "11A", "23rd", etc.
  • by COLOR -- "Yellow Dragoons", "Red Hussars", etc.
There may well be others, but certainly all of the above were commonly used by a number of countries.

So, having thought of this, I then began to question how I really wanted to name my units. And, for that matter, did I want to be consistent? Or would I prefer to "mix and match" naming styles?

I still like the "beers & bears" concept . . . but I also like the idea of naming units after "provinces" and "cities" in Saxe-Bearstein. Why? Because if we use the simple campaign that I outlined in my October 26th post, we will be fighting over provinces and each unit will need to be "assigned" to a province anyway.

Of course, this could be a "beer or bear" unit; but it could also be one named after a particular area. It could also include a mixture. So, no decisions right now. I'll just have to think up a number of names for units . . . then let them sit for a while until I get to needing them. Then I can look over the lists and see what still appeals to me.

What appeals to you?

-- Jeff


El Grego said...

Perhaps you could combine two different naming approaches... Mercenaries could have the 'beer' approach, and provincial troops would of course be named after their home province.


marinergrim said...


Some countries of course used more than one convention to name it's regiments. The French used the provincial names for the line regiments, nationality for the foot guards (Swiss guards for example), Colonels names for the Wild Geese (Dillon, clare, Lacey and the like), and description for the mounted elements of the Maison du Roi (Mousquetaires, Grenadiers etc.). so you could quite ligitmately mix and match to suit your taste.

Anonymous said...

I personally love the beers and bears idea... maybe the provinces could be named after beers?

I am starting on a French army for the League of Augsburg period and toyed with the idea of only picking units named after alcohol (Starting with the actual units Champagne and Bourbon, then adding fictional units like Bicarde, Cognac, and Cabernet). Either the coat colors or secondary color (cuffs, etc) would corrospond to the the licquor.

Now, after I sobered up, I discarded that idea, but I still like the beers and bears idea!

Bluebear Jeff said...


I actually like your "French" idea . . . but it might not fit as well with the LOA which had so many colorful and interesting units anyway.

Any idea when the new ULB rules will actually be available?

-- Jeff

Anonymous said...

For the Kingdom of Wittenberg (and Monrovia) I've decided on using names of mathematicians and philosophers. For eample the von Riemann Dragoons and suchlike.


Bluebear Jeff said...


That sounds like a good plan. As one of the WAG gamers has discovered, once you pick a theme, then all sorts of possibilities start coming to mind. Place names (for example, for theories perhaps) will soon follow your selection of unit names.

Good luck with your project . . . and stay in touch.

-- Jeff