Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How it works

I was recently asked about the size of the armies being shown in the army list and to whether I can field such large groups of figures.
I thought while I am laying the ground work for the coming campaign season I would take the time out to show some of the mechanics and my thinking in creating such a large imagi nation blog.
As to the size of the forces available I have two checks in place

         Most nations must keep a percentage of their forces “Off table” as it were because of commitments       
             elsewhere, for example Hapburgia has forty regular Infantry battalions.
I have a rule where all Empires must keep 30% of their existing armies positioned on border areas. For Hapburgia 12 battalions on the Attaman and Tsarist borders is not unreasonable considering that if they attacked there the attacking forces would be considerably greater. Anyway  for Hapburgia losing those 12 battalions brings their Regular field battalions down to around 28 battalions. I could in an extreme case with the help of friends manage that, but the Hapburgian field army will likely have several areas to watch;
a)     The Wartenburg Campaign area
b)     The Buchenwald Border area
c)     A reserve
So this again will bring any field army down to a manageable level say for arguments sake the Wartenburg campaign would likely take all of the I Corp
That leaves the II Corp to watch Buchenwald possibly as a reserve for Wartenburg, and the Landwehr will to put down rebellions that will likely occur.
Now even within I Corp which has 20 battalions, 6 cavalry regiments and 9 batteries some of these forces will need to be detached to watch flanks or protect depots, so a slow attrition of the field armies will occur until we get to the point of contact and manageable armies. In the case everyone goes mad and everything turns up at the same place, then at worst extreme I will declare that an unknown volcano suddenly developed and blew up and wiped out huge sections of everyone’s field army J
My friends and I are quite used to running campaigns with larger troops than our figures allow, so I think we will manage with some care.

For another example the Kingdom of Vandahalla
I have created a situation where Vandahalla will need to detach considerable troops to watch Pomona, because they have “serious border issues”.
Now their army has18 regular battalions, 5 regular cavalry regiments, and 5 Art batteries, they also have 6 Landwehr Battalions and 2 Landwehr Cavalry regiments.
I have a ruling where Militia and Landwehr cannot move outside national borders, so the Vandahalla field army might look like this
10 battalions 3 cavalry regiments and 4 Art Batt, the rest including the Landwehr remain to watch the Pomona border. Now if the Vandahalla field army arrives to join the Hapburgian field army that might create issues (which we could handle at a stretch) but we would deal with that if it occurs, but realistically I don’t see a Vandahalla army being too far from Vandahalla.

I also have an extensive “events charts” that if something happens in one country its immediate neighbours and allies check to see their reaction. For example while Danemark is under my control I doubt they would suddenly invade Rechburg, but if Rechburg loses a large battle then that would trigger an event check and its more than possible with the modifiers and a fair wind in favour of the die rolls Danemark could attack Rechburg.
I also run a national morale chart where events like victories in battle raise morale and losses drop it. A rebellion in ones country has quite a significant impact on a nation’s national morale as well as the events chart.
I can say for example that Hapburgia goes into this coming campaign season in a very precarious position, its morale is quite low (lost 2 battles, 1 negative event (losing Papal throne), and a rebellion in Wartenburg puts Hapburgia about as low as you can go without imploding, which is why I predict almost certainly there will be local revolts coming in Hapburgia this month. Hapburgia faces a wedding to a Protestant Princess, as most of Hapburgia is Catholic then that is yet another negative event for next campaign month.
More than anything Hapburgia needs two things, victories and regaining Wartenburg, two or 3 Victories would bring it into a safety margin though far from happy, at the moment Hapburgia is sitting in what I have called the “Fiasco zone” which generally means if a bird burps, the nation has to check to see how they feel about it.

Every significant Character and all leaders and their kin are significant, therefore all have personalities that I draw from the “Lone Warrior” charts. I have to say so far the characters have fitted perfectly well into the storyline and together make quite an interesting collection of individuals, the only area I cheated was in developing the Characters within the Rechburg family, but then I'm not perfect.

Finally for a nation to attack another there has to be a “reason”, it just cant happen over night and just one being catholic and the other protestant is not reason enough. What triggers a foreign policy to reach War, requires a past history of issues, one side having really low national morale helps hugely, a viable explanation and really good die rolls.
 There are some cases though where war may occur as much as a surprise to one side as it does to the other. I would cite once again Danemark and Rechburg, the storyline indicates they are developing towards good relations, but have issues over the duchy of Flensburg, now if the Duke of Flensburg were to die, despite him having a heir; that would not matter to most Danemarkians, so in that one event I have gauged as a +4 on its own (needs 7+10d to trigger an event) as for driving Danemark into war. The logic behind it is if the leader doesn’t declare war, the death of a hated enemy ruler may create such a clamour (+4) that the people in his own country ensure he is driven into a war regardless (mob mentality).
In other words a defacto state of war exists, if the leader personalities allow (he is not a craven coward) then military units will march off to war, if not there will be attempts at peace, again a die roll.


  1. Extremely interesting and deeply thought.
    This means that units often 'count as' other units in another front (I suppose in extreme case you can even 'field' units from another country / player). Did you nonetheless design 'theoretical' uniforms and flags for all your 'paper strength' units?

  2. According to the last post on Ion / Archduke Piccolo's blog, some (most) of the armies are [quasi?] historical, Imperialists = Austrians, Myasmans = Russians; less flagrant for some (Ursaminor with artillery in Tarleton?).
    What is the part of 'Imagi-Nativity' in your table-top armies? It would be specially interesting to have a 'parade' of the various 'unhistorical' units, uniforms and flags; and a 'correspondence table' for the historically based units / armies.

    Btw what is the actual size of your miniature armies? Charles Grant used rarely more than 13 units of infantry + 6 of cavalry / side in his major battles; according to 'The War Game Companion' and the 'Campaign of Saint Michel' something like 20 infantry regiments, 10 of cavalry with the corresponding artillery, maybe a pontoon train and a siege train, and a few 'territorial' units (sedentary fortress artillery, militia) are quite enough to play a large campaign (with always the possibility for e.g. a 'real' unit deployed on the Southern front to 'moonlight' as another unit without actual minis fighting on the Northern front).

  3. I havent even remotely done enough flags and uniforms for all my imagi armies and because it is based late 18th century one would get around this by explaining most uniforms are close to our historical versions.
    My Imagi Rechburgians are French based figures in cornflour blue and white uniforms, not unlike the Bavarian but with a shako. All our armies are 15mm, except for Ion who runs a 25/28mm army, Ions army is the more traditional Imagi army set in the 1730-40 period.

    Most army sizes for the smaller nations in my world are of two sizes, the smaller realms usually have 20 Battalions, 6 cav regts and 4 Batts while the larger Empires will have 30-40 battalions, 10 Cav regts and 6 Art batt. As already explained in no circumstances would all of one nations armies turn up at one place. For example my Rechburgians have a field army of around 12-14 Bns, 4-5 Cav regts 3 art batteries, so quite small.

    If I pool all the figures from my friends which we often do we can field armies with up to 25-30 Bns aside, it then begins to look impressive.

    Unlike a lot of Imagi nation players to me the emphasis is on "Imagi nation" where others do it for the excellent painting work in figures and flags, some for the pure imaginative story lines and others for all of the above.
    For me painting is an issue, I have early Parkinson's which means I have shaking hands, so the days of good paint jobs are now behind me, so I very much rely on borrowing friends armies. I am very blessed in having very good friends, and even better very good friends with absolutely beautiful armies which allow me to hide my rather poor work quite nicely.

    The rules we use are a "private set" being developed by a friend, he intends to publish them so I am restricted in how much I can say, but they are bases on "elements" of 4 fig bases representing 100 men (or in a Bn around 1 company). They are perhaps the best 15mm rules I have used but are still in the development stage with work in progress.

    I am at the moment working on changing Ions own set of rules "The Corsican Ogre" into a set that can fit our 15mm armies which are all based with four fig per base in Inf and 2 fig for Cav.Ions rules are brilliant and if I were to go 25mm it would only be to play his set.