Monday, November 19, 2007

So-called Light Troops

There has been considerable buzz in the cafes about "light" troops. According to rumor, these are either troops made out of light, perhaps the mysterious "eighth ray", or some such. Others think they are soldiers who weigh less than other soldiers, and thus cost less to feed or clothe. Finally, though, word has come from the Elector's Palace describing these "light" troops.

Light troops are soldiers who are used for outposting, scouting, and raiding, much like our dragoon squadrons are today. However the term appears to come from the weight of the horses they ride (less than those in the regiments of horse), and for their habit of having "light" fingers, and snatching up everything that isn't nailed down (Count Furioso has noted that most light troops have clawed hammers for those things that are nailed down).

The Elector appointed a panel of experts to study the subject, and they concluded that there might be a use for such "light" troops, but only if they refrain from looting. The Colonel-General of Dragoons has also studied such troops independently, and concluded that their use would be similar to the already well-equipped and well-trained dragoon regiments. Why, he asked, should we duplicate something that already exists?

This valid point was not lost on the Elector. Apparently he modeled the uniform, and found it less utilitarian than gaudy. It consists of tight breeches--the ladies would like that--a tight dolman or tunic with braiding across the chest, a half-jacket that hangs from the shoulder but is insufficient in size for the trooper to close it, and a hat that looks like an inverted flower pot.

The soliders who viewed this were not impressed (and neither were the generals). It reminded some of Zirconi the circus rider, only twice as gaudy.

After much deliberation the decision was made to raise another brigade of dragoons instead.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

St. Mary's

...and of course no visit to Ober-Bindlestiff would be complete without a visit to St. Mary's.

St. Mary's is an old and venerable institution in Ober-Bindlestiff, predating the actual formation of the country. Where monasteries devote themselves to beer, St. Mary's is involved in other things that bring pleasure, all of them quite open and aboveboard, and not involving anything even suggestive of carnal sins or carnal pleasures.

Spokesperson for St. Mary's, Sister Mary Margarita, put it best when she said, "There are a lot of things you a visitor to our halls do, our chapter has devoted itself to one of the more harmless ones."

Echoing her are other sisters of the Order. "Even the most impoverished nobleman, or even those of modest upbringing and means, can stop in our sacred lounge and have a few," Sister Mary GinFizz said. "We provide a restful atmosphere from the cares of the world," Sister Mary Vodka Martini said. "We've decorated with everything a discerning patron could want."

Unlike some other establishments, St. Mary's caters to both genders. At first they kept separate rooms, the women on one side, the men on the other. But in the last few years, with a bow to modern principles, they have allowed the genders to mix. Sister Mary Whiskey Rocks put it best when she said, "It's the natural order of things, and provided they behave themselves, who are we to criticize?"

The Order of St. Mary's of the Lounge was founded in the late 1500s, but really did not flourish until the 1680s. In 1681 the Mother Superior of the Order, Mother Mary Scotch and Soda, discerned a need to end the public drunkeness so rampant in the city. Her Order had produced mixed drinks for over a century, but she helped set up a lounge, complete with ferns and a harpsichord player in the corner. Aware of the needs of a modern gentleman in that bygone era, she even provided a dueling ground to handle any untoward disturbances.

This dueling ground is still in operation, but things have changed with the times. No longer do participants duel to the death. Instead honor is deemed satisfied with first blood. And Sister Mary Menopause, who is noted for her ill-temper, enforces the rules.

Those seeking more carnal pleasures are directed down the street to the Convent of Our Lady of the Night St. Jezebel, which is under the control of Mother Superior Lilly Marlene. Others, who find they cannot navigate the streets of the town due to having imbibed a large amount of spirits, are escorted across the street to the Monastery of St. Ignacius of the Flophouse, where they can be put up for the night.

Let it not be said that St. Mary's shies away from those who wish to merely make a purchase and leave. Many orders are fulfilled to speed people on their way into the evening. The Order has many arrangements with the Yellow Cartage Company to see people home. Truly, what other Order is so thoughtful.

So the next time you are in town, be sure to stop in at St. Mary's. It will truly be a night you may even remember the next morning!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Today, after some work (and a lot of searching), I present the national colors of Saxe-Schweinrot.

The field is green, and because a certain culinary style is so popular in the country, the mottos on the flags were obvious.

Saxe-Schweinrot was settled by people from the Franco-Spanish border region (displaced by Louis XIV during the numerous court cases that proved all of these lands devolved to him (thus the War of the Devolution). This explains the motto on one side in Spanish, and the motto on the other in French.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

News from Ober-Bindlestiff

Gleamings from the Ober-Bindlestiff Chronicle:

The Office of the Official Mistress is pleased to announce that her eldest non-succession son has graduated from Ober-Bindlestiff Trade School. He majored in Three Card Monte. The Office is looking forward to him having a long and fruitful career (away from Ober-Bindlestiff). When pressed, the Office admitted that while his marks in the double-shuffle were not high, he did exceptionally well in the crossover pass. Due to his size and build he also scored well in Glowering and Dealer Protection.

The Chef of the Begneit Regiment was traded to the Chef de Fer Regiment for a Sous Chef to be named later. This is seen as having a far-reaching impact on the readiness of the Chef de Fer Regiment as the Begneit Regiment is notorious for being alert in the morning. Sugar requisitions are not expected to markedly increase in the Chef de Fer Regiment.

The Electoress, warmed by the esteem shown for her well-being by various foreign powers, has vowed to respond in kind. While it was too late to invite the respective Ambassadors to a soiree at her hunting lodge, she has agreed to give private interviews to each Ambassador in the near future. As is well-known, these private interviews are public events, being considered private only because servants are not allowed within 20 feet of the Electoress' table. Volunteers are being sought for "really, really double-secret private interviews" to be held on the Electoress' private barge. On a private note, nothing untoward (for Ober Bindlestiff) occurs at those interviews, though many of the participants are known to take a rest cure afterwards for exhaustion.

The Elector, with a change in the seasons right around the corner, will be interviewing graduates of the University of Ripplestadt for a position in his household. All positions are welcome.

The Convent of Our Lady of the Night Saint Jezebel thanks all of the donors to their recent campaign to install street lamps in all of the cities of Ober-Bindlestiff. This was headed up by Sister Lily Marlene, and the Composer's Union in Ober-Bindlestiff is commisioning a song in her name as a means of thanking her.

With the harvest coming in soon, preparations for the Thank You Tour of the provinces are well underway. This is the annual tour where the male members of the nobility thank the hardworking milkmaids for their efforts, while the female members of the nobility thank the hardworking farm lads (big, husky farmlads) for their work. This Tour is looked forward to each year.

When elements of the Navy returned with reports of new and impressive islands in the South Seas that were now available for investment, a more serious matter arose at the same time. It seems that the crew of the ship returned with a number of grass skirts, leading the fashion industry to wonder: a) how could petticoats be worn beneath them; b) when sold in stores, were these to go in apparel, or food?

Relations with Saxe-Schweinrot have cooled in the last few months--when have they ever been warm--leading to some suspicions that there might be trouble in the future. As is well known, both countries scrupulously refuse to fight across their common border as this would potentially depress the land prices in the area. However this does not prevent the respective forces from being shipped to other locales to settle their disputes. Even as this is written, agents are fanning out to find such locations.

Monday, July 9, 2007

News from Ober-Bindlestiff

Somebody recently asked me that if this was a blog about an Adult version of Saxony in the early 18th Century, where was all the sex?

All right, I'll oblige.


There, that's out of the way.

On a more general note, the Erbprinz of of Ober-Bindlestiff was recently sent off to Countess Furioso's School for Educating Nobility. Here he will learn all of the proper things a nobleman needs to master in this modern age: card playing, dice playing, horse racing, seduction of chambermaids, seduction of milkmaids, seduction of young ladies casually met on the side of the road while out hunting (and the proper method to install them temporarily as a mistress), and dealing with lackeys.

The Elector holds out great hopes for the Erbprinz's educational progress. His Excellency hopes that this will stop the Erbprinz from lifting young lady's petticoats to find out what lies beneath because he will know. The Elector has long felt that there are more productive reasons to lift a young lady's petticoats than merely to indulge in idle curiosity.

Other news about the Electoral Family - the Erbprinz's sister Genevieve has recently returned from her succesful tour of Yon Province. One note that caused some concern: during her routine trip her entourage was set upon by ruffians seeking to rob everyone. Genevieve took charge of the situation, and through a very forward use of her womanly charms not only turned aside the attack, but recruited several of the better equipped ruffians into her own personal guard.

Ladies in Thither Province recently held a fundraiser for the troops quartered in that province. While details are lacking, the correspondent has learned that it did involve paintings created just for this occasion. There is one rumor that the material painted was canvas, but there are a large number of rumors that a more personal material than canvas was used. A large amount of money was thus raised. It is comforting to know that if the troops ever do leave the province, they will be supported.

A messenger recently arrived from the Ministry of the Navy bearing news that one of the ships was recently seen making its way back from the Southern Ocean. Many rumors about concerning their discoveries. The entire fashion industry in the Electorate is waiting breathlessly to learn the customs and clothes of that ocean. It is confidently expected that these discoveries will be featured in next year's fashions.

The Colonel of Regiment Chef de Fer has announced a series of cooking competitions. Details will follow.

The sisters of the Convent of Our Lady of the Night has undertaken a subscription to raise money to increase the number of streetlamps in each city as the ones in use are getting too crowded. People are urged to contribute to this worthy cause.

Students at the University of Ripplestadt have reportedly developed a new method of torturing those people who visit their city. Songs that were composed and ably sung by trained and experienced musicians will now be performed by untrained and inexperienced people with little or no musical training. The Ministry of Justice is investigating this as a method to get stubborn prisoners to confess. Credit for this innovation is being given to Don Juan Kar y Oakee, a Spanish gentleman who is in Ripplestadt, he says, to take the air. Members of the Ministry of Justice worry that this "torment" may be too barbaric for modern and refined tastes. Studies are proceeding.

Look for more news later.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Foot Regiments of Ober-Bindlestiff

1/Intendant General M4,PT,EP,EFD
2/Intendant General M4,PT,EP,EFD
1/Blesois M4,PT,EP,EFD
2/Blesois M4,PT,EP,EFD
Royal Boullibaise M4,PT,EP,EFD
1/1st Germans M4,PT,NE,EFD
2/1st Germans M4,PT,NE,EFD
1/2nd Germans M4,PT,NE,EFD
2/2nd Germans M4,PT,NE,EFD
3rd Germans M4,PT,NE,EFD

1/Chef de Fer M4,PT,EP,EFD
2/Chef de Fer M4,PT,EP,EFD
Provisionaire Genl M4,PT,EP,EFD
Procurer General M4,PT,EP,EFD
La Vielle Putain M4,PT,EP,EFD
1/Croissant M4,PT,EP,EFD
2/Croissant M4,PT,EP,EFD
1/Navarre M4,PT,EP,EFD
2/Navarre M4,PT,EP,EFD
Grenadiers M4,PT,NE,SHK,EFD
Eu de Cologne M4,PT,EP,EFD
Bourbon et Branch M4,PT,EP,EFD

Explanations: M is morale (4); PT is Partly Trained; EP is Elites Present; NE is No Elites; EFD is Early Firelock Drill; SHK is Shock. All of these are V&B terms.

These were converted from a different set of rules, so that's why there will be 1/ and 2/ regiments.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Foreign Regiments of Saxe-Schweinrot

Regiments of the Isles in Saxe-Schweinrot Service:

Lt. Gen. Sir Percy Poundfoolish
The Foot
1st Brigade exh: 8
Lord Lovaduck's M4,PT,EP,BN blue distinctions
100-Acre Wood Frstrs M4,PT,EP,BN green distinctions
d'Escoigne-d'Escoigne M4,PT,EP,BN red distinctions
The Buffs M4,PT,EP,BN buff distinctions
Lord Rakehell's M4,PT,EP,BN orange distinctions
2nd Brigade exh: 6
Bartleshire Yeomanry M4,PT,EP,BN white distinctions
Lestrade's Rgt M4,PT,EP,BN yellow distinctions
McAlpin's Fusiliers M4,PT,NE fusil caps & yellow distinctions
H.M.O.R.L.EB.5th.Fus. M4,PT,EP,BN white coats with red distinctions
3rd Brigade exh: 1
Shropshire Rgt M4,PT,EP,BN light blue distinctions

A word about the above things. These are set up for Volley & Bayonet. M4 is morale 4, not the greatest. PT means partially trained - nobody maneuvers in step. It's too new-fashioned for Saxe-Schweinrot (or Ober-Bindlestiff). EP means there's a grenadier company present. NE means no elites (McAlpin's are also the Marines). BN means battalion artillery present. H.M.O.R.L.EB.5th Fus. is Her Majesty's Own Royal, Loyal, and Excessively Brave 5th Fusiliers.

Unit name origins:
Lord Lovaduck - a Marx brothers movie
100-acre woods foresters - Winnie the Pooh
d'Escoigne-d'Escoigne - A Tale of Two Cities
The Buffs - all units with buff facings are REQUIRED to be called the Buffs
Lord Rakehell's - from my wife's romance novels
Lestrade's - from Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories
McAlpin's Fusiliers - an Irish folk song about the navvies who built things in England
H.M.O.R.L.EB.5th.Fus. - a Hoka story
Shropshire Rgt - from a Daffy Duck/Porky Pig cartoon about the Shropshire Slasher!

The Horse
Household Brigade M6,HVY,SHK - blue cuffs
Buffs/Irish Mtd Fus. M5,HVY - buff/green facings
d’Escoigne M5,HVY - red facings

HVY means heavy cavalry, SHK means they get 'shock' in a melee.

Obviously the d'Escoigne regiment (on a VnB regimental stand) is the cadet branch of the family, hence only one "d'Escoigne".

There's also an artillery train of one light battalion of artillery.

Enemies & Rivals

After much debate, and a couple of successful mini-campaigns, I've decided I have no choice but to create an opponent for Ober-Bindlestiff. This will be the neighbor, of course, Saxe-Schweinrot, whose flag features a red pig.

The basis of Ober-Bindlestiff is a hotted up Saxony in our world. This means a lot of suggestiveness and innuendo about the pecadillos of the ruling family. So what would be the basis of Saxe-Schweinrot? Well, the other day, while pursuing customer service problems in the town of Snohomish, I happened to pass by the Barbecue Shack with their cavorting pigs. Now these pigs were the subject of controversy because they were clearly cartoon pigs, and they weren't wearing pants!!!!!!!! Oh shock and horror! They also didn't "fit in" with the "ambience" of 1st Street in Snohomish, which is full of antique stores (and bars).

So the basis of Saxe-Schweinrot will be...(wait for it)

Specifically barbecue. Now I belong to a couple of discussion groups on the web, and I've observed that nothing gets people worked up so much as barbecue sauce. It isn't politics, it isn't religion, it isn't sex, it's barbecue sauce. Perhaps that's because you can discuss it online in public with children and those of hyper-sensitivity present. Suffice to say, Saxe-Schweinrot will be based on food (and food jokes). Expect a few from the Food Network, too.
All right, what does this mean for my armies? Well, first, I can make the division between the Maritime Powers and the Continental Power. The latter, of course, is Ober-Bindlestiff, with it's French/Spanish flavor (my troops are Marlburian). That means my English and Dutch will now become the basis of Saxe-Schweinrot.

This won't be a coalition, though. Just a lot of troops "in service" to Saxe-Schweinrot. Think of the Low Countries and the English, as well as the Dutch habit of hiring troops (in part to keep them out of the Service of France).

More to come later!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Foreign Matters

Yes, foreign matters. In Ober-Bindlestiff the phrase 'foreign affairs' has quite another connotation entirely.

This announcement was just put forth by the Foreign Ministry:

"Yesterday, in a stunning rebuke of Franzonia, the Ministry of Fashion published a scathing review of the fashions paraded by several ladies of the court. Their dress and hair designers were ridiculed unmercifully, though the ladies were praised for putting up with wearing such trash. The taborets on their dresses were considered a finger-width too high for court wear, and several severe comments were made about the hemlines of their dresses rising so far as to only brush the floor. The Minister of Fashion allowed as how this was only to be expected of the designers to the Court, and expressed an earnest wish that in the future better designers more in tune with current fashion would be engaged."

This just in:

"The Minister of Fashion has deplored the bright shade of red on the heels of the shoes of dandies in the court of Saxe-Bearstein. However the Minister thought that if perhaps the ruler of Saxe-Bearstein were to not have such clean streets in his capitol, this would not be a problem. The Minister has directed that mud be offered (at cost!) to Saxe-Bearstein to help alleviate this problem."

Uniforms & Regiments of Ober-Bindlestiff

The basic uniform color is white, though sometimes undyed wool is provided instead. All equipment is natural leather, but the longer a soldier stays in the army, the darker the leather will be. Stockings are part of the uniform. The coat is not turned back, but the cuffs are. Button color is the same as the hat lace.

In some regiments the officers will have reversed colors, as will musicians (though with more lace). Non-commissioned officers uniforms will vary from those worn by commissioned officers in the fineness of the cloth, tin instead of silver, and brass instead of gold. White tape and yellow tape line the hats.

Distinctions are found in: hat lace/buttons, stockings, lining of coat, and the waistcoat. Some of the fancier regiments (richer Colonels) will have lacing on the waistcoat in the button color. The regiments from Yon Province will have chords on the left shoulder in the cuff color.

Now for some specifics:

Foreign regiments will all wear colored coats. Blue is popular for the ones from the rest of "Germany", while "Red" are either the Scottish Regiments, or the "Regiments of the Isles". By the way, the Elector thought they said the "Regiments of the Aisles", so by special decree from the Electoress (to avoid confusing her husband), those soldiers are allowed to be ushers at whatever entertainment that has been organized by the Army. The one "Russian" regiment wears green, though it has been likened to mildew rather than the more solid green.

Native regiments, with the exception of the Electoress's Personal Escort, the Gondolier Regiment, and the Mistress's Regiment, wear white.

The Gondolier Regiment wears white pants and are bare-chested (oil is provided to give their chests that "sheen" the women delight in so much. The men are barefoot (of course). Entrance to the Gondolier Regiment is by competitive singing. Each company sings in a different key. The men must be able to pilot a gondola while signing.

The Electoress's Personal Escort wear leather, and the fewer questions asked about them the better, save that they are very thoroughly disciplined.

The Mistress's Regiment wear "Electoral Red", sort of a faded red that has been likened to a muted Polish Crimson.

Officers of the Auditor General's Regiment wear black, though the men wear white. The musicians of this regiment wear red. The cuffs/stockings, and linings are red.

Artillerists wear blue with red trim for the field companies, and white for the fortress companies.

Cavalry obey the same rules for clothes as the foot, except that some of the native units wear dark blue instead of white.

Generals wear any damned thing they please, but those who belong to the Gondolier Regiment as well may not wear their Gondolier Regimentals while accompanying any other troops.

There are grenadiers, and they, for the most part, wear a little mitre, except those that wear a fur cap.

Pioneers wear aprons and carry axes, though it is rumored that there is a contingent of pioneers in the Mistress's Regiment that have lace on their aprons. This is not a subject that is best brought up in front of those men.

There is a mountain regiment, but nobody remembers what they wear. There is some suspicion it might be light gray, or white, or brown, or something like that.

There are two Dragoon regiments. One wears yellow, the other green.

There are no light troops in the army. When asked about light troops, the Marshal-General had everyone weighed, and determined that no one regiment was significantly lighter than any other.
Weaponry - the pike has been officially suppressed, so only a third of the army trails that noble weapon, and those units are not front line units. Everyone else in the Foot uses a fusil, except, of course, those units that use a matchlock. Horse relies upon swords, with each man carrying two pistols. Dragoons carry a carbine (as well as pistols), and have not only suppressed the pike, but discarded it as well!

Artillery carriages are painted in whatever color could be purchased in the depot city, which is why some are dark blue, and others are a dark red; all have dark iron fittings and bronze guns.
If we ever find the Navy we'll tell you what they wear.
Court versions of all of these uniforms are fancier with more braid and feathers. Rumor has it that the Electoress's Personal Escort's uniform while attending the Electoress in her private quarters is much less than what is seen in public, with only certain strategic places on their bodies being covered.
A complete listing of all uniforms by regiment was mislaid as recently as 30 years ago, so is probably incomplete. But if it is found, it should be illuminating.
None of this covers the militia, though they all wear white (white coat, white breeches, white waistcoat, white stockings), and have hats that are not turned up in a tricorne. The militia do carry pikes. They generally have muskets, too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

King's War

This is the obligatory post about King's War, and is only indirectly related to Ober-Bindlestiff.

King's War is a set of pike & shot rules. It was originally written for the period 1660 to 1678, but was relevant to the closing stages of the Thirty Years War and the English Civil Wars. Later refinements now include Eastern Europe and the Turks, and go up to 1695.

A "unit" is a regiment/battalion of infantry, or a regiment of cavalry, or a gun battery. Foot includes shot, pikes, and those armed with melee weapons only. A typical regular foot unit is 12 shot and 6 pike on 6 stands of 3 each. A typical mounted unit is 3-4 stands of 3 each. Horse comes in cuirassier (3/4 armor and more), horse, lighter horse, and irregular horse. Dragoons in this period were a breed apart, often used on the fringes of the battlefield and in outpost work. They can dismount.

Units are grouped in brigades. Experience has shown that 2-3 regiments of mounted, or 3 regiments of foot make good, handy brigades. Turkish "brigades" are organized with 5-6 units, some mounted, some foot, some irregular horse, some "heavy" horse. Guns are either attached to the CiC, or to individual brigades.

King's War uses a card activation system. Each brigade has two cards. When a unit's card is drawn it can move and fight. When a unit gets into a melee, that is determined at the end of the turn. There is also a "Reshuffle" card in the deck that ends the turn (yes, it is possible for a unit to not move at all in a turn). The CiC (who has two cards of his own) can activate a nearby brigade. Thus it is possible for a brigade to move/fight at least three times in a single turn.

When a unit fires at an opposing unit, and hits it, that unit tests to see what it does. It is entirely possible for that unit to shoot back! The first unit, if hit, tests its reactions, and might shoot again! Thus we could have a nasty little firefight between a couple of units who lose sight of everything else around them as they hammer each other.

Hits are really disorders. If a unit accumulates enough disorders, it dissolves and flees from the field. Generals clear disorders. This is important because a unit with even one disorder on it cannot advance, and the disorders effect combat. My view is that a battlefield is a very disorderly place; it is very easy to get disordered, and takes time and trouble to straighten things out. By the way, there is no direct corelation between the number of casualties a unit has taken and disorder.

Movement - I like things simple, and I read accounts of battles where the generals and other officers went to a great deal of effort to make sure everyone moved at the same rate. The only ones who move faster are generals and cavalry charging. Everyone else moves 6" per turn.

Odds & Ends - Generals intercept their share of the metal in the atmosphere. When that happens, they roll to learn their fate. Be warned, you may get to gasp out some famous last words if a general is mortally wounded.

Melees are dealt with in the order in which they occurred, after the "Reshuffle" card is drawn.

There is a time limit on the game based on the number of cards played. Thus you don't quite know when the game is going to end. You may decide for some 'last turn heroics', only to find there is at least one more turn, and your units are hung out to dry.

The rules are available commercially. A local (for me) store is The Game Matrix in Tacoma, WA (well, Lakewood). Google them if you are interested in getting a copy of the rules. These are often played at local gaming conventions in the Pacific Northwest.

And before you ask, I've done testing of the system for later periods.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Personalities of Ober-Bindlestiff

Famous Personages

Hereditary Elector Karl Gustav Rurimondo Gaspode Klement Pavlovovich von Hither, XI (his mother was popular, and named him for every man who could have been his father—ironically, he doesn’t look like any of them). Commonly known as Karl XI. He is someone who enjoys a good time. Very conscious that he is the Elector, though he seldom stands on his dignity. He likes the jobs, especially the perks. He is fond of the palace wenches, most of who were chosen by Lucinda, his Senior Mistress, and are in her pay. If there is a party going on, he can usually be found at it. He likes to dance, and has been known to dance the night away.

Helga Matilda Marie Bridgitte von Hither, Electoress of Ober-Bindlestiff—known popularly as Electoress Marie. She is much given to thigh high leather boots, tight leather corsets, spiked heels and whips, all usually covered with black velvet (the fabric, not the drink, though she’s been known to cover herself with the drink from time to time and let her current suitor lick it up—well, she enjoys herself, and it’s a great honor for the young gentleman to be with her). She is referred to as “Mistress Marie” (though not to her face). The common joke in certain circles is that the Elector has two mistresses living in the palace. Not given to artificial beauty marks, she is petite, with soft blue-eyes, red-hair, and smooth, soft, porcelain like skin. She is originally from one of the more prominent families in Thither (Lucinda was her earliest and best friend, and still is, for that matter). She concerns herself with the domestic and economic well-being of the country (knowing more about money than most people in the country). She runs the palace with a “firm” hand (the palace staff is the most thoroughly disciplined palatial staff on the continent). She has been married to Karl ever since he was a young Erbprinz “with prospects”. She is considered quite charming by everyone who meets her at parties (especially the men), and has been known to flirt away an entire evening.
While she came by some of her recreational habits naturally, an earlier lover encouraged her interests in leather and some of the creative things that can be done with it. Her natural inclinations took her from there (much to the delight of most of the men in her life, especially her loving husband). She is the Colonel Proprietress of the Electoress’s Own Regiment of Horse, having auditioned and chosen the junior officers personally. She has inexhaustible endurance and imagination, and successful officer candidates must last the night with her, and still turn out in proper style for regimental parade the next morning.

Marshal General Stanley Bouffré—Commander of the Army. He is related to the famous Major General Stanley (Garrison Commander of Penzance in England) and Lord Stanley of Umbrage, Army Commander of Gottingen-Hoff. He is an enthusiastic amateur when it comes to music with, alas, a tin ear. As a result, the operas he stages are known for being loud rather than good. He has an on-going feud with most general contractors in the capitol as he keeps seeking to either add on to his opera house, or to build a new one. He is quite wealthy from having captured a baggage train almost single-handed during an earlier war, as well as having been gifted with various lands. When he’s not arguing with contractors, he is a student of the military classics, the earlier the better. When he was much younger he served under the famous General Count Raymondo Furioso. As a result, when faced with a military problem, he constantly asks what Count Furioso would do, then he tries to the exact opposite (which is probably why he is reasonably successful). He is married and spoils his wife tremendously (which she is not really aware of). He is one of the few senior people in the country who does not have a mistress (his lack of a mistress is considered an amusing eccentricity).

Count Rudolofo d’Extravaganza—Chancellor, Minister of Foreign Affairs (he is in charge of recruiting numerous mistresses for the nobility), and, incidentally, Governor of the Province of Yon. Of the Venetian Extravaganza’s, famed for his parties, his wit, and that he has a (very) distant claim on the throne as his family would inherit if something happened to the Elector’s family, something he is loathe to let happen as it would all be such a terrible bother. He is an elderly gentleman much given to writing bad love sonnets to his two mistresses. He plays the violin wretchedly but enthusiastically. He was chosen for his post, in part because of his diplomatic ability, and in part to give him something to do (otherwise, who knows what kind of mischief he might get up to). He is a tall, thin man with a balding head, a prominent Adams apple, and a taste for imported brandy. He gives an air of being amused by the world around him...generally, and is perceived by most people as a kindly man. He can also flay the skin from a subordinate’s back with a few well-chosen words, and hides a ferocious and impatient temper. In earlier years he served in a variety of diplomatic missions, from which he grew quite wealthy (he sold trading licenses to blockade runners in a previous war). He is the Colonel-Proprietor of Infantry Regiment Procurer-General.

Marquis Viscoso d'Serpente, Governor of the Province of Thither. He is a very private person, interestingly enough, he is a bit of an ascetic. He dresses in dull clothes, lives in a dull house filled with dull paintings, along with a dull wife and several dull children. His only hobby is peculation. He loves to play cards, having graduated from the University of Bindlestiff with a degree in Three Card Monte. He is the only senior member of the government who does not own a regiment.

Admiral Lord Sitandwait—Admiral General of the Navy (or what there is of it, we have one around here somewhere...don’t we? I thought I saw it last week, or year, or something) and Colonel in Chief of the Gondolier Regiment (he is a baritone).

Countess Lucinda Esmerelda Obrigata, Free Proprietress of Thither—Senior Mistress of the Elector. Known as Lucinda, or, to her friends, ‘Cinda. Never as Lu or Luci (or, worse, Luci-Duci)—the last to call her that was given the honor of leading an escalade of a fortress while in foreign service. She is the Colonel-Proprietress of Infantry Regiment Saint Jezebel. She is a lifelong friend of the Electoress, they grew up and went to school together in Thither province, and the story goes the Elector could not choose between them, so he chose both. Her official duties include providing the back-up heir in case the Electoress does not. She is also the official head of the Electoral House of Fashion, and as such helps design all the latest fashions. Scandalmongers have stopped whispering about her as she openly admitted that not only were all of the stories probably true, but they didn't know the really juicy ones. She is enthusiastic in practicing her duties, and is reputed to hand-pick all of the officers of her regiment. She is also in charge of all of the other mistresses, her office administering their incomes. She is a lush, dark-haired beauty, voluptuous in the Italian sense, though without the hips. She is much given to dressing in the daring peasant style, though she certainly likes her silks.

The Government

The government of Ober-Bindlestiff is comprised of three parts: the Privy Cabinet, the Select Cabinet, and the General Cabinet.

The General Cabinet is composed of delegates from each province (appointed by the Governor of that province and numbering 10 in number) who “advise” the Elector on matters concerning their own province. The Elector (sometimes) heeds their advice.

The Select Cabinet is composed of the Heads of the Departments of the Government: Foreign Affairs, Postal, Cultural and the Exchequer. They have the same power any Permanent Undersecretary has (which is to say, quite a lot).

The Privy Cabinet is composed of the members of the Government that the Elector wants to see at any given time. There is no standing membership in this Cabinet, except for the Exchequer.

Independent of these are, of course, the Army and the Navy. Administration of the Army is left in the capable hands of Marshal General Stanley, while Admiral Sitandwait manages the Navy (or at least he says he does). If someone can find our Navy, please send a post to "The Navy Society, The Palace, Ober-Bindlestiff". Please include a SASE for any reply that is made. Do NOT send it postage due as this will assuredly invite a hostile audit by the Auditor General of the Army.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Other Miscreants

Just a brief word today (you don't want to know how many times I fiddles with that post involving pictures). But another site to visit is: for a look at another imaginary country. And of course if you have a sense of humor, and you enjoy gaming for the entertainment value, you might want to check out the Society of Daisy on Yahoo Groups.

Tomorrow (or the next day) I should have more about the Army of Ober-Bindlestiff, and may even include information about the Corps of Guards that accompany the Electeress wherever she goes. Suffice to say they are the most thoroughly disciplined unit in the army. And all goes well, I might have a word on the selection process for cavalry officers.

Pictures of Action!

Our intrepid photographers have provided us with pictures of troops from the countries that later would become Ober-Bindlestiff in action. This was during the War of the Bindlestiff Succession. As those who are gifted in math can figure out, this means it was probably the matchlock and pike era. Yes it is, and the rules in quesiton were King's War.

Here is a tense moment with battle already joined against the forces of Gehen-Sie-Broke. Due to the multitude of uniform styles and colors, it is impossible to say anything about who was on which side.

A different perspective of the same moment captured on celluoid (the Electress has banned the word cellulite from use in Ober-Bindlestiff -- miscreants who use it in her presence will have a 'C' branded on their tongue!). There must have been a strong wind, otherwise we would see smoke from the muskets.

For those in the know, the red chips are disorders on a unit, the more, the worse the situation, culminating in the unit falling completely apart and being removed from the battlefield.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Overview of Ober-Bindlestiff

Above is the Electoral Bunny, which adorns a great number of flags in Ober-Bindlestiff.

The Hereditary Electorate of Ober-Bindlestiff is one of those countries that just sort of happened. It is made up of a lot of little duchies, counties, free states, and other odds and ends that sort of got swept together into three provinces: Hither, Thither, and Yon. The core of the country is the province of Hither, but even this is subject to some confusion (the histories are silent on some of the details). The other two provinces were acquired as part of the Peace of St. Vitus-Where-He-Danced. There is a pleasant story that the Electorate gained the provinces because nobody else wanted anybody else to have them, but this can’t be confirmed.

The Electorate was originally the County of Gehen-Downtown. At that time the Elector was the Count Karl, Hereditary Count of Gehen-Downtown, an ancient family that traced its roots to the time of Frederick Barbarossa. During a campaign against the Infidel Khafooli’s, Frederick’s Army had settled in siege around the famous fortress of Khafanni-Khafooli. While the troops were laboring at their siege works, someone had the bright idea of holding skits to pass the time. Count Karl took part, and lampooned Frederick so thoroughly, and with such telling effect, that Frederick exploded in anger. He roared that Count Karl should “...go hither to his estates!” and banished him from the army, along with his entire retinue of playwrights, actresses, clowns, jugglers and acrobats. As a result Count Karl thought it necessary to rename his County Gehen-Sie-Hither.

Count Karl’s grandson married Esmerelda, the only child of the Hereditary Duke of Kommen-Sie-Often. Together they had four children (separately, 23), and were rumored to host the wildest parties seen since ancient times. Esmerelda, though, was insistent upon settling some sort of future on each of her children. She developed and practiced a shrewd diplomacy involving gauze curtains, breathless sighs, and tabarets that were a finger-width lower than those worn by other Countesses. Her personal diplomacy resulted in the elevation of her husband to the rank of Elector, and the position being made Hereditary. This was just in time for the Seventeen Year and Five Month War.

That war drew heavily upon the resources of the newly created Electorate. But the people of the Electorate were up to the requirements of modern war, and created some of the best baggage trains yet seen on the continent. And, mindful of the effects of their acting on Frederick Barbararossa, the skits and plays were always tastefully done and of the highest tone (the same, however, could not be said for the actors, actresses and card sharks that populated the baggage trains). The people of the Electorate grew rich on the war, many of the actresses sending money home, along with little bundles of joy. The infusion of money and noble blood enriched the Electorate beyond all expectations. Not only was the wealth of the peasants greatly enhanced by the war, but so were the various families.

The support role by the Elector’s people did not go unnoticed. When the peace conference finally opened, the Elector agreed to host it at the quaint town of St. Vitus-Where-He-Danced. The delegates were quite taken by the pure rustic charm of the town, and the (not so) pure rustic charm of the local maidens. There was one thorny issue that threatened to bog down the talks: what to do with two provinces that nobody else wanted. Each side did not want the other to have them. For a time it looked like the war would resume, but this impasse was brought to an end by a clever solution. It was proposed to offer them to the Elector of Gehen-Sie-Hither as payment for the sacrifices his people had undertaken in the common cause (the people of the Electorate had, by then, a very well developed self-promotion industry). Very few people commented on how both sides in the war were in debut to the Elector for support (his people had formed baggage trains for all armies).

The Elector demurred, at first. But then the spirit of noble self-interest broke out--by having three provinces, he actually was granted a non-revocable vote during the elections. He feigned reluctance as he took over rule of the provinces of Thither and Yon. At first he thought of using the same name for the newly enlarged electorate, but after some thought, chose Ober-Bindlestiff to commemorate the nomadic lifestyle of the people directly responsible for his newly created country.

Twenty-six years later the country was torn by civil war. The event was the War of the Bindlestiff Succession. For a number of reasons the Electoress had not produced an acceptable Heir. As given by custom, though, the first born son of an Official Mistress would succeed to the title. Unfortunately for all concerned, at the time there were several Official Mistresses who were great with child. Two happened to give birth on the same day, and both produced a male child. There was no record as to what time of the day these children were born, and this led to the disputed succession.

As a civil war, the WBS was a decided success. Both armies did their best to avoid each other (both sides were trying to be civil about this war, after all). Once, when both armies came to the same crossroad at the same time, one army civilly stopped to allow the other to pass. But the war spilled over the borders when a small but aggressive neighbor, the tiny Duchy of Gehen-Sie-Broke, attacked in an effort to seize a part of Ober-Bindlestiff.

Both Successor armies united long enough (they resented anyone intervening in a family squabble) to thoroughly thrash Gehen-Sie-Broke, winning a stunning triumph against inferior odds (though that is not the way it is written in the history books) at the famous Battle of Burg-und-Fries. Other battles quickly followed as the two Successor Armies took turns battering the army of Gehen-Sie-Broke. The battles roll off the tongue: Stadtdorf, Obersitzenflesch, Muhlhaus unter der Wasserdam (Millhouse behind the Watergate), until the Duchy surrendered to the Successor Armies. The armies, their reason for uniting behind them, resumed their campaign of march, counter-march, and demi-marche.

Meanwhile, in the background, negotiators were resolving the differences between the two sides. In the end it was decided that whichever of the two children would fill a diaper the most in a single day would inherit the country (this was called the Grand Poop-off--the official who presided at the event was later granted the ennobling title of the Grand Poop-bah, later shortened to Grand-Pooh-bah). The loser would be compensated by inheriting the now vacant throne of Gehen-Sie-Broke. The negotiators also decided that the latter Duchy would be merged with Ober-Bindlestiff when that successor died. This happened a few years later when the new Duke of Gehen-Sie-Broke died (fortunately without an heir) while he and his number two mistress were sporting on horseback. His fall settled any succession problems at once.

The current Elector (grandson of the successful pooper) assumed the at the age of 26. He concerned himself with many important affairs, among which can be numbered the affairs of state. He was married to his wife while both were of the tender age of 19.

Now let us look at the provinces in more detail.

Hither -
Technically speaking this is the County of Kommen-Sie-Hither, composed of the Barony of Gehen-Sie-Hither, the Barony of Hither-und-Dither, the Duchy of Kommen-Sie-Often and the Duchy of Gehen-Sie-Broke. Hither is a well-populated province, with an open, rolling countryside a (relatively) adequate network of roads, canals and rivers, a warm and sunny climate, and four major cities. The transportation system is best described as adequate. All four cities are developed, three of them are fortified, the same three recognize the legitimacy of the crown. The other city (Ripplestadt) houses the famous University of Ripplestadt. The same three cities are well-developed, Ripplestadt has well-developed coffee houses where wretched poetry and bad songs are served with the morning coffee. Ripplestadt also features more newspapers per capita than anywhere else in Ober-Bindlestiff. By decree of the University Chancellor, a free press has been instituted. Since, by that decree, all newspapers are free of charge, this has given rise to a flourishing pulp and paper industry, and the best practiced bankruptcy lawyers in Ober-Bindlestiff. Ripplestadt also has the least expensive printing presses in the entire country. It might be noted that the University is in the more elevated, up-country, part of the province, and, by decree, all university buildings are painted alabaster white (they couldn’t import enough ivory paint).

The people of west Hither (around the city of Grootdefeatfontein--see below) are sort of like the Dutch in that they are willing to negotiate anything, if the price is right. This has resulted in the one known festival in the west country, the Haggling Festival, where people haggle and bid on merchandise they could never hope to own. The people of central and eastern Hither tend to be fun loving, with numerous parties, festivals, and other holy days (the days spent celebrating the Festival of St. Bacchus are known as the High Holy Days).

Yon -
Yon is the furthest from the capitol (to the east), an open land with a pleasant (warm) climate and one major city. What is it about the people of Yon that mark them as different? Think distant relatives you aren’t normally wild about seeing. That is the attitude of the people of Yon towards the rest of Ober-Bindlestiff, and that is especially the attitude of the citizens of their provincial capitol, Ober-Jonder. The transportation system is the charitably described as execrable, though parts of it rise to merely wretched. Ober-Jonder is homogenized (more in the culinary sense than in the population--their chief products are cheese and milk duds). However they do recognize the legitimacy of the ruler--perhaps the fortifications have something to do with that, perhaps it was the way in which the Elector acquired them. The city fathers (in every sense of the word) are currently in competition to build the biggest Opera House in the country, bigger than the one they completed two years ago. It won’t be as big as the famous Yodel-Hall, home of the Yonder Yodel Hall Corps d’Ballet. However, the new Opera House will be big enough to seat hundreds of people in moderate comfort while they listen to the works of the great Masters (Barney and Siegfried Masters). The new Opera House also features the first bronze spittoons (not that cheaper brass) in the whole country.

Thither -
Thither lies between Hither and Yon. This province is definitely difficult going, with lots of small valleys and thick woods with poor transportation (think eastern Kentucky), and one city, Polka. Geographically Thither is the largest province of Ober-Bindlestiff. Thither is also known (at least in Hither Province) as the back country. It is part of Ober-Bindlestiff simply because it never occurred to anyone that they could be part of any other country. They are also somewhat conservative in their manners, and cling to their allegiances with a stubborn pride that does not even allow a hint that they might be better off somewhere else. The people of Thither are a rustic, simple people, who practice a hedonistic lifestyle full of feuds and in-breeding. Every valley seems to be a separate political entity. Their chief exports are sons (hired out as mercenaries and servants in everyone’s army), daughters (the girls of the local “nobility” are trained in all of the arts of the coquette at the various Convents of Our Lady of the Night, Saint Jezebel, the other orders make some of the best domestic servants in the country, and apply their own native talents to their domestic “duties”). They also produce strong liquor made from tree bark and other unidentified vegetable matter, and some of the finest nosewhistle players seen this side of the north pole.

Many touring companies of actors and musicians can be found in Thither, where they are “honing their skills” before trying to land a gig in the capitol.

The people of Polka recognize the legitimacy of the ruler, their attitude being “If he leaves us alone, we’ll leave him alone”. This equitable arrangement has been a pleasant working relationship between the rulers and the ruled for years.

* Ober-Jonder - the capitol of the province of Yon. It is fortified, and the people prefer the current ruler of the country to most others, perhaps recognizing that others would intrude into their private lives and thus be worse.

* Krashtinkeldorf - this is located in Hither province. It is the home of several world-famous porcelain factories, and currently the only place where commemorative plates are manufactured (be the first to collect all six of the set “Famous Mule Teams of Thither”). Krashtinkeldorf was originally composed of two smaller towns (Krash and Tinkel) divided by the Splash River. The porcelain factories are in Tinkel. The people of Krash annually celebrate the Great Cattle Fair by driving their cattle through the streets of the city (both cities, actually). Young men demonstrate their bravery by running in front of the cattle, attempting to incite them to stampede. In this they are usually successful.

* Polka - the capitol of Thither Province, and home of the (in-)famous Polka Opera Company--it is not often you hear opera sung with an oompah backbeat (provided by accordions and accompanied by horns) while dancers in clogs perform in the foreground. Truly it is an...experience. This city is unfortified, just hard to get to due to the primitive transportation system. It is a city only because all of the local competition is not. Polka is also a religious center, and home to several Holy Orders that practice salvation through penance in old age. Of course one can only achieve salvation by having sins one can repent, so the early part of one’s life (the first 30-40 years) is spent accumulating those sins that one can repent later in life. Polka is also home to Our Lady of the Perpetual Audit, a very poor religious order that preaches salvation through double-entry sinning--you must commit sins to offset all the good deeds you did when you were an innocent young child (and ideally end up with just one sin outstanding for man is a sinful creature). This Order also teaches double-entry bookkeeping to those who are interested (which is very few). Polka is also home to the famous Pig-Squealing Contest, in which contestants are supposed to squeal like a “stuck pig”. Pigs are provided, gratis, as a comparison for this contest.

* Grootdefeatfontein - in the western part of Hither Province. Named for the most stunning defeat the country ever had (at the hands of the Khafoolistani’s who looted it during the Great Pirate Migration of only a few hundred--well, several hundred--years back). The city of Grootdefeatfontein is the home of most of the Anabaptists in the country, who obviously prefer their sins without the patina of religious blessing. The city is the banking capitol of the country, and is located on an estuary (or what passes for one). This dour people do not have Opera companies, or Chorale groups, or any other form of entertainment (except taverns, of course). This is the home of the country’s Mint Works, producers of mints and other confections that are created from produce drawn from the nearby countryside. The city is a hereditary fee-for-service city (as opposed to other cities, which are Preferred Provider), which means you pay as you go rather than as you the local monopolies. As a result it has very flourishing market dealing in anything that can be traded (the famous Black Market, so named for the black soot that covers the walls of the buildings. These are from fires--did I mention that Grootdefeatfontein has the worst fire department in the country?). It is ruled by the Stellenbosch family (who later emigrated to South Africa where they founded a Pension and Half-Pay Club for British officers, but that is another story). Their ruling concept is that you can do anything you want, provided you bought a license for it, first (in later years this will be known as licensed anarchy). This even includes overthrowing the Stellenbosch family (the license for that is very very expensive). Grootdefeatfontein is the terminus for the famous Worsted Fiber Route that tried to carry Worsted Fiber to Cathay in exchange for silk (it was not a financial success). As far as cities go, it is even reasonably developed--the streets are paved, there is a sewer system (of sorts), and they have recently installed street lights (red in certain districts...well, most districts). The city is known for having the least crime in the country, the various large financial houses and major families hate freelance competition.

* Grösser Bindlestiffdorf is, no surprise, the capitol of Ober-Bindlestiff. This is the city home of the Elector (well, his winter home). This city has more concert halls and stages per capita than any other city in Ober-Bindlestiff. The city is well-developed (both in the citizens as well as in the city infrastructure; the city is famed for its breastworks, both those of the city's fortifications, and also with the distaff side of the population), featuring a sewer system, paved streets, street lights, and a large number of breweries and wineries. The city is a leader in chocolate, wine, and has a flourishing trade in crème de menthe. The city is also well-known for linen, lace and gauze production. Spring is the favorite time of the year as that is when the new fashions are displayed by the fashion salons of Ober-Bindlestiff, many featuring the aforementioned lace and gauze. Every year the latest fashions are displayed in a series of Spring Fashion shows. These clothes have recently caused a great deal of comment. Men now can add padding to their silk stockings, while the hemlines of women's dresses have scandalously risen so they only brush the ground, rather than drag on it. The bust lines on dresses have plummeted to the point that chills in the evening are a very real possibility. Life in Grösser Bindlestiffdorf features many parties, festivals and other entertainments.

* Ripplestadt is the home of the University of Ripplestadt, and was formerly the capitol of Gehen-Sie-Broke. The city is divisive and poorly developed. Every proposal to fortify the city is turned down by the Elector’s government; in case of student riots (a tradition in Ripplestadt) the government does not want any fortifications for the students to hide behind. The government has stated openly that anyone who conquers Ripplestadt will take it, but they doubt they can keep it--they believe that garrisoning the place to hold the students down would take more troops than anyone could afford. Aside from the University, Ripplestadt is famed for a large number of taverns, cabarets and dives. These often feature bad poetry, worse folk-singing, and very bad musicianship. There are other entertainments offered in Ripplestadt appealing to the baser instincts of the student body. There is the pleasant story that there is more drinking done in Ripplestadt than by the rest of the populace of Ober-Bindlestiff put together. This story is repeated very often by the purveyors of the city’s only domestic product, Ripplestadt Ripple.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Creating Ober-Bindlestiff

The hobby of wargaming has many interesting side quirks, not the least of which is the creation of imaginary countries. This dates back to the days of Brigadier Peter Young and Charles Grant, and their two imaginary countries that were locked in a perpetual struggle for supremacy somewhere in Germany. The reasons for this are many, but let's focus on why I want to do it.

  1. I get to design the country the way I want to. I don't have to worry about a past history, or other historical baggage that might get in the way of enjoyment. This means I get to write the history, and it can be as serious, or as absurd as I wish it. And the country can contain as many odd little ins and outs as I want. It is, after all, my sandbox, and there were more than 300 tiny little German countries in the 18th Century. Who's to say this couldn't have happened?
  2. When I design the country I can do as many stupid and silly things as I want; for example, have a Royal Mistress's Regiment with their pink coats. Or have clerks who mismanage the paperwork in creative and amusing ways.
  3. I get to design the uniforms. This can be great if you like fanciful uniforms. Or it can be as simple as settling on white, and coming up with regimental names. By the way, I chose the latter. Though there might be an English contingent, probably expatriates. They aren't Irish, so they aren't Wild Geese. Oh, let's try something else. All right, these are the Wild Robins who left England (it's before 1708 so it isn't Great Britain) because of...well, that's their secret.
  4. I can be a monarch, at least in my own mind. This strikes some people as dangerous fantasy. But why is this worse than pretending you are the Doom Warden of the Western Marches in a D&D game. I know, that's a game. So is this. Only this doesn't have any rules; I make those up as I go along. But being a monarch means being as extravagant as possible (Louis XIV). For example: the army is such a bother -- feed me, pay me, clothe me, always me, me, me! Never a thought for their poor ruler with his three palaces, a mistress, and all of the other obligations of royalty.
  5. I can write the history (which I've done). That can be entertaining in its own way.
  6. It gives me an excuse for wargaming. As if I needed one anyway.
My earlier attempts at creating an imaginary country brought forth two: first, my Napoleonic country, Gottingen-Hoff, which was sort of a French country. And second, my Bronze Age city state Kwazituya (pronounced "What's-it-to-ya").

The latter was one of those small city-states that could muster a lot of warm bodies, a few chariots, a few real troops, and otherwise kept to itself in the fervent hope that Egypt or the Hittites would ignore it. Gottingen-Hoff was part of a larger continent that included my arch-enemy, Quackenbruck, and a number of "allies", Methylonia, Doff, and Pfaffenhoffen. These were part of an on-going campaign, that was done by fighting the battles, and then creating the campaign that led up to the battles. In an inverted way, it worked.

By the way, why France in the Napoleonic wars? Why not somebody else? That was because I felt more comfortable with the methods and techniques of the French Army, not because of some awe of Napoleon. I "fought" my Napoleonic battles in a French style, and so I settled on a French country. I later tried adapting to an Austrian style for my 6mm figures; that is another story. But wargamers fight their battles in distinct styles. There is nothing sadder than watching somebody flounder with a system they are not comfortable with; see my earlier reference to Austrians in 6mm.

So it is early in the 18th Century. Ober-Bindlestiff, an electorate somewhere in Germany, has a history, has an army, a government, and a many and varied population. It has a government based on the more lurid versions of the Court of Versailles and the Electorate of Saxony, only without the poisoning. More details will be forthcoming.
Now a word about related matters. I'll be linking to other blogs with their imaginary countries, and I hope to be putting up pictures of the army. I settled on Marlburian because I've been on a Marlburian kick for several years, and have a lot of figures for it in 15mm. Besides, this is before the Prussians upset everyone's applecart by actually getting serious about war. Oh, and it also takes me from 1702 to 1755. Focusing on the Seven Years War only gives me about, well, seven years.

Rules - yes, what's wargaming without rules? For mid-18th Century I've used Warfare in the Age of Reason by Tod Kershner and Dale Woods; used it, as a matter of fact, for a long long time (since 1983 I think), and even wrote the siege rules for them. For the period of Ober-Bindlestiff, I use Volley & Bayonet, 2nd edition, playtest copy as modified from the Age of Frederick for the Marlburian period. My modifications, by the way, but everybody seems to agree with them. My reasons for using these rules are many and varied, and I won't get into the particulars here.

Links - as I get them I'll link. But as a first cut, this is from Ambrowsehawk: via the Society of Daisy. There will be others as I sort through all of this.