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.