Saturday, August 19, 2017

ImagiNations and Imaginations

That saying about plans and contact with the enemy comes to mind when I look back over the past two years of this poorly neglected blog.

Between a work, health issues, and another graduate program, all too often as as I think about writing a post...I just don't get very far. Which is really unfortunate, as I enjoy the blogosphere. I do need to pitch in and do my bit, for King and Country...or for just the Country.

At any rate, I have been gaming fairly often. Generally, we play boardgames weekly and then once a month I get my miniature gaming in with my club. 

Of late, we have been playing Eclipse, which I should have purchased when it was first released, instead of waiting several years and missing out. The game is fun, and normally serves up to 6 players, but the Rise of the Ancients expansions allows up to 9 players. There are many ways to earn victory points in this nine turn game, but beware of "friends" suddenly deciding that YOU are their route to victory. (#@%!)

The above image is taken from someone else's game, but I wanted to give a glimpse of the game. Eclipse is available through Amazon, but it's US distributor/publisher is Asmodee, who does not sell games except through retailers. While that is cool, it also means we have to have retailers who actually bother to stock the game.

Moving on...

Years ago, I purchased Sam Mustafa's Maurice rules for horse and musket miniature gaming. By design, the rules support players who are into ImagiNations gaming. If you have not heard of this particular sin, check it out. Now, I get all of Sam's games. While they are not for every gamer, they certainly have inspired me. His new game, Rommel, is set to release within the next month or so.

However, I have been churning Maurice over in my head and, combined with some Old Glory 15s that I received in a trade, I am now putting together my own ImagiNations armies and campaign. It may be that I play this all on my own, perhaps recruiting a friend to step in and command an opposing army every now and then.

I have decided to play off of my Games Workshop experience, as I really did enjoy Warhammer Fantasy Battles, when it was a mass battles the 80s and 90s. I still have a Chaos Army of Khorne from 3rd edition, in a figure case on top of a bookshelf.

I am currently working on a map, using Worldographer, aka Hexographer 2, which is a quick and easy solution to making a map for my needs. I do prefer Campaign Cartographer, but a good map takes a while to produce and I want to get at this more quickly. I will likely go and spend the time down the road, should I enjoy my ImagiNations world.

What I have decided to do is go more "alternate Earth" instead of placing my countries within a quasi-historical 18th century Earth. I can make far larger counties, without needing lengthy explanations as to why Prussia remained a tiny backwater or that Bavaria was broken into multiple counties and earldoms. Instead, I am using the technology and military organizations of the early 18th century and transplanting them into a world of my own creation...well, I did have help from Worldographer.

Thus far, I have established four major powers and three minors:
Grand Duchy of Khornwallistein - Red border
County of Tzeeburg - light blue border, just below Khornwallistein
Nurglundian Marches - green border to the west of K.
Princedom of Slaavia - yellow border below Tzeeburg

Bishopric of d'Antonville - white border
Free City of Passant - gray border
Earldom of Mysterae - black border

I've decided to not do the silly people and place names that many other Imaginators have gone for. While they can be humorous, I am looking for wargames with consequences more than laughter or tongue-in-cheek humor. The other gents' stuff do cause me to smile, but we all have different things that "float our boats."

As you can tell from the map, I am just starting and have a ways to go still. I need to do some terrain edits, but also give labels, and figure out the political boundaries. These hexes are roughly 18 miles across, which zoom in to hexes of approximately 3 miles across, which further zoom in to hexes about 1/2 mile across. I may not go into such detailed levels, but I am leaving open the possibility.

If there's a historical counterpart for these, it would probably be Hesse, Dutch/Palatinate, northern France, Russia, for the majors and Paris, Liege, and Berlin for the minors. The minors are good, neutral, and evil, in their diplomatic and political maneuvers, matching the colors of their borders and also uniforms.

As Maurice has a campaign system, in addition to an army building system, including national advantages, I am incorporating much of Maurice's campaign ideas into my own. I have chosen 1740 (my world's years are eerily equal to ours in almost every context), as my starting point. The intent is to proceed, year by year, determining whether or not there is a war and if so, between whom.

When a country loses a war, they lose a hex of territory also. This will provide for some story elements and rationale for future conflicts. I have already added four other powers to my map, but I have not named them. I am still trying to figure out how to add my own political boundaries in the map program. It can do it automatically, but I've yet to be able to do it manually. I can draw borders, but cannot get the color fill to appear within said borders.

Since the 15mm figures I got in trade are a miss-mash of Austrians (Hungarians), Prussians, and French, I am just going to mix and match uniforms and troop types as I have need. The French musketeers, without turnbacks, will represent the regular infantry for the major powers. The Hungarian infantry will be used for one or two of the minor powers. I've not checked out the cavalry or artillery yet, as they are in my storage unit.

I will need to order a few more packs of the French Musketeer miniatures, but as I can get 4 infantry battalions from each pack, it won't be too costly.

My paint scheme is essentially a general rule: What was historically done, shall not be done. So, none of my armies can be readily confused for Prussians, Russians, British, etc. They will be rather different from the norm, at least for historicals.

I've ordered some 25mm Minden miniatures to do larger test versions of my planned uniforms for each of the named powers. I figure the larger size will better represent in person and via the internet.

More later. I promise...

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