Wednesday 22 August 2018
Just my imagi-nation....Once again
Founded in 1664 the Electorate of Kronenbourg changed the spelling of their name in 1715 to remove any Gallic overtones.
The Grand Duchy of Artois dates from 1366 and has been bickering with Kronenberg on and off since 1700. Aside from border disputes and police style actions there has been at least three wars directly between the two sides
In my last post I mentioned about the two ‘imagi-nations’ I came up with several years ago, originally for an 18th century set up. The Electorate of Kronenberg and The Grand Duchy of Artois were inspired by Messrs Grant, Young and Lawford and took their names from two well known beers. I liked both the names but ‘Germanised’ the spelling of Kronenbourg so it looked less French. I had great fun looking up names of German and continental beers for the regiments in the army of Kronenberg and the names of wines for those of Artois. As an example the senior heavy cavalry regiment in the Kronenberg army is the Holstein Kuirassiere whilst Artois has the Cuirassiers du Chablis. You get the general idea. I also toyed with the idea of having a ‘British’ force where all the units were named after cheeses but the idea never really matured….
My own opinion is that one has to make a huge leap of faith to produce an imagi-nation to its fullest extent. By its fullest extent I mean designing uniforms and standards etc as well as the terrain and the whole back story because, let’s be honest, most imagi-nations are very much personal affairs meaning that inevitably a carefully painted unit of one’s own design will not find favour with the more serious historical fraternity – other than to admire the brushwork perhaps. You would also probably have a job selling them on should the need arise. If I am honest this had always been a problem for me as I am a notoriously slow and reluctant painter so painting something with little resale value was not something I was keen on. Churning out a unit based on a whim is all well and good as long as one is fully committed to the cause and is in it for the long haul. I am far more relaxed about this kind of thing now – I am pleasing myself primarily after all - and so ‘imagi-neering’ is a lot more viable. I suppose I am at that stage of my gaming career when the idea of ‘pleasing myself’ rather than ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ is far more important!
Messrs Young and Lawford mentioned in Charge! about the advantages of using mythical armies and of being able to design one’s own uniforms and standards etc. I have no problem with this and have even worked on the basic colours used for each side. The end result will not surprise you in that the main coat colour for Kronenberg infantry is dark blue whilst those of Artois are mid to light grey. Regimental facings would be applied to the usual places – turnbacks, cuffs etc and the cavalry would usually be more colourful and not follow the uniform conventions of their foot compatriots.
For the 18th century I would opt to use the Spencer Smith War of the Austrian Succession range rather than the later and more traditional figures seen in The Wargame. I would do this simply because the choice is far better and more complete than the original eighteenth century range and the figures lend themselves to an easier paint job.
There is also the possibility of pitting the two opponents in later years so it would be possible to raise Napoleonic forces – again, Spencer Smith have a small Napoleonic range - and then the same for the third quarter of the 19th century – naturally with a naval dimension adding to the fun. Producing pairs of armies for three different periods is obviously a long term project but it would enable different types of games to be fought as tactics and technology evolved. One could ensure a degree of continuity between the combatants and their units which helps to flesh out the story.
For me at the present time the great debate is whether to go historical or imagi-nation for my Spencer Smith project and if the latter will Kronenbourg and Artois see the light of day or will those old adversaries Fezia and Rusland cross swords once again?
I have time to think about this and so am not going to make any hasty decisions – I have done this far too many times in the past and have lived to regret it – as I have a number of supporting ideas to consider as well.