Wednesday, 8 February 2017

A germ of an idea.

Always thinking of ways to improve my wargaming experience, I picked up my copy of Don Featherstone's Creating a Campaign. A great source of ideas and of course it got the old brain cells ticking over.

I have seen and read, a number of Imagi-nation type blogs and find them fascinating, creating your own world or continent, filling it with imaginary nations and characters. Keeping a detailed diary, or should that be blog? in these more modern times of the internet.

Many seem to favour 18th or 19th Century, with armies in a distinctly European like setting. I can see the lure of this period, with fancy uniforms, allowing the gamer to really go to town creating uniforms and regimental flags for his troops. Maps are created, kings and governments rule the people, along with raising taxes to finance all those impressively dressed battalions.

My drawing skills are nil, so any map I created would look like something a five year old had drawn. Also, I really wanted to use troops that I already own, painted and based, ready for action. The answer I have come up with is to transpose the American Civil War to Ireland!

I already have the armies, and professionally created maps are freely and widely available on the net. I don't even have to think up imaginary place names, they are all there.

The topography is ideal for a wargame campaign. 

The scale of the map could be increased many fold if a continent is needed, the counties becoming countries, though the current scale will suit my purpose very well, I was going to rename the counties as states, or even call them shires, now where have I heard that before? But will probably keep them just as they are. I will of course need to come up with names for the two warring factions, Union and Confederate would not do at all in this fictional island nation. The counties breaking away, though it will certainly not be along the current borders of Ulster and the Republic, this isn't really Ireland after all. Using the first letter of the four main areas, Connacht Ulster Leinster Munster, gives me 'Culm' the name of my Imagi-nation.

The counties and major towns, already named for me.

I also found this map dated at 1850, which is pretty close to the 1860 period I would be emulating in my campaign. Very detailed with all the tiny villages also marked. A real treasure of a map. Rather difficult, if not impossible, to read here, but the saved copy on my hard drive, allows me to zoom in on particular areas with no problem.

So the nation of Culm is born. There is a lot more work to be done before it is playable, but an enjoyable task ahead. I will record that journey here, and it may even warrant its own blog later, we shall have to see.


  1. Ah, the most beloved Mr Featherstone - The Godfather of Wargaming. Way back when, he was nearly the only source for things like this. I shall look forward to your campaign and dearly hope it comes out better than my last. I am an avid hiker of the area I live in. Having finished painting two arimes for Bolt Action, I thought I would develop a campaign using maps of the local counties. I spent hours working out all the fun fiddly details and then walk out to the area of contact and study how it might be set up on the tabletop (that was great fun). However, luck or fate (i.e. the dice) decreed that the Germans were to be doomed from the start. They did not simply lose, they fubar'd almost every roll - they got constantly lost - they fled the battlefield at the first shot. Hours of planning were paid with seconds of battle and I gave up in disgust. It has been long enough that I am finally willing to try again, this time in the time period of the French Indian War. I think combining Erie with the armies of the ACW, you should have combatants far more stubborn & pig headed to give you some excellent scraps - play on!

    1. Many thanks Fred, this really is at a very early stage, I am still only making notes on back story, politics, population, currency etc. A huge amount of work, but the type of research I actually enjoy. Culm will need a history, a reason for why it breaks into two warring factions, leaders and their character traits, as well as 101 other things lol. Good to know you will be following along, and feel free to make suggestions or correct any obvious gaffs that I may make.