Sunday, April 15, 2007

The "Big Picture" --

The Principality of Saxe-Bearstein, like most 18th century imaginary nations, represents a small state in the Holy Roman Empire -- not one of the "major players" (Austria, Prussia, France, etc.).

In my local area we are gearing up to run the "Wars for Arcadian Glory" -- The Arcadian Guild being our local "gaming umbrella organization". What we are at present envisioning is that our small states will be joining one of the major powers for small local campaigns against our neighbors.

The major powers will be . . . the Elector and the Emperor . . . yes, that is a definite nod to the forces used in "CHARGE! or How to Play War Games" by Young and Lawford. Currently (although this is definitely open to change) we're thinking of a 1740 "starting date" for our wars.

All of our imaginary countries are, of course, free to change sides at will . . . perhaps supporting the Emperor one battle and the Elector the next (depending upon who we are fighting) because, after all, our primary concerns are for our own small nations and not what happens to the "big boys".

We further envision encouraging new players by allowing them to join into a battle with as little as one unit (as freicorps). I, for one, hope to eventually have some "loaner units" to those who'd like to join in.

Anyway, it occurs to me that the overall concept of "Elector vs Emperor" is one that would work for the many fictional nations here in "blog land". Many bloggers have created not only their own fictional nation, but their traditional rivals as well. Certainly we are all free to take one side or the other and have our traditional rivals take the other side.

So, if you find that you like this concept, feel free to use it . . . it may well inspire even more cross-blog interaction at best . . . and, at worst, it still gives us a potentially larger framework for the fun we have with our little nation-states.

Now, which do I like best? The Elector or the Emperor? Hmmmm, I think I may have to re-read CHARGE! to see which is more interesting.

-- Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein


Snickering Corpses said...

Now, the question this immediately brings to my mind, with the small countries free to change sides at will, is whether they're allowed to change sides in the midst of a battle. Obviously, a nation too prone to this would get a bad rep. But it's not unheard of historically.

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

You hit the nail on the head, Jeff!

My biggest difficulty with developing a plausible background for the grand Duchy of Stollen and the Electorate of Zichenau is that both are located far beyond the historical perimeters of the Holy Roman Empire -- somewhere to the northeast of extreme Northeastern Prussia, sandwiched between Russia, Poland, and Courland. And I have had a devil of a time working out a short narrative to explain the exisitence of how these Germanic territories and their ruling families came to be.

This I can tell you though. Stollen's ruling family is an obscure branch of the family ruling the historical Hesse, hence the similar infantry standards with the red and white Hessian Lion in the center. And following the third partition of Poland in 1795 Stollen, Zichenau, and the rest were absorbed by their three bigger neigbors. The ruling families were demoted to landed gentry. All military units were either absorbed or disbanded.. But, of course, since it's perpetually 1PM on June 01, 1768 in Stollen, Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II and company haven't learned of their eventual demise!

Best Regards,


marinergrim said...

Of course all this bears a remarkable resemblence to the actions of Maxamillian Emmanuel, the Elector of Bavaria, during the War of the Spanish Succesion. The Elector decide to throw his lot in with Louis XIV rather than his "feudal" overlord The Emperor sat in Vienna (of course when war broke out Louis had not been defeated in over fifty years and the Empire was almost broke and saved only by Prince Eugen - a self impose exile of louis's court). The elector played both sides for the first few years but remained on the side of louis to the end, despite having his country ravaged by the armies of Marlboroug, Eugen & The Prince of Baden.
Just goes to show that any scenario can be found in the history books!

Bluebear Jeff said...

While Bavaria may have remained true to the French cause, Piedmont, which initially was allied with the French, switched sides a few years into the WSS.

Paul, it is interesting that you bring up the WSS, since Murdock (whose army is already painted and ready to fight our "Wars for Arcadian Glory" has suggested that our nominal starting date be earlier, about the time the WSS (or GNW) started.

-- Jeff

MurdocK said...

Yes, I think that 1700 matches better as a 'start date' for our planned elector vs. emperor set of games.

Not only do you have the WSS and GNW, but the likes of Prince Eugene, Charles XII, Peter I (the great), and Emperor K'ang Hsi were at or nearing the height of their respective power.

Places like St. Petersburg get their foundations laid during the period of population expansion.

Events like the Peace of Karlowitz and the Act of Settlement come into being, allowing for a stability in the 'heads of state' and permitting them the creation of arms (especially the smaller sub-nations).

The colonizations were well underway and the Privateer // Pirate actions are also at their most exciting levels (some may argue that 1650 was a higher Pirate Time, certainly there were more pirate victories). The battles for these locations were to become more energetic over the next century.

Ultimately the 1700-1713 period is one of very big actions (though not linked all over the world, certainly the whole planet was busy). At least until the Peace of Utrecht