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"Fictitious 18°C countries on the Web: an attempt of census" Topic

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abdul666lw06 Sep 2007 5:24 a.m. PST

To use mythical mid-18°C countries in a wargame campaign was, AFAIK, initiated by P. Young and C. Grant in their ‘Charge !' and ‘The Wargame' books in the early "70. Henry Hyde took up the public torch with his "Fictitious Wars" article, published in Miniature Wargames 47, April 1987 (he kindly posted it in the Files of the Old School Wargaming Yahoo group). Yet, before the Internet era each wargamer or wargaming group lived in relative isolation, and such endeavours remained known only locally.

Now that information flows on the Web, it appears that the practice is less rare, not to say ‘freak', than one could had believed ref its lack of mention in the wargaming press.
I posted on my blog
links to all blogs and sites I know of devoted partly or totally to fictitious Lace Wars (taken in a wide sense) countries. 37 URL at the last counting, plus the ‘Battlegames' magazine site, where Henry Hyde posts, under ‘Old School Games', tremendous photo reports of his ‘Prunkland vs Borscht' battles.
An almost equal number of other fictitious Lace Wars wargaming countries are mentioned, described or illustrated in the archived messages, files or photo folders of the Old School Wargaming and SOCDAISY Yahoo groups, or in the archived posts of the ‘Emperor vs Elector' diplomatic campaign blog.

THIS POST IS WRITTEN IN THE HOPE TO DISCOVER ADDITIONAL FICTITIOUS LACE WARS ARMIES ON THE WEB, with or without their own blog /webpage. you know of such, please mention it here, giving a way to contact their author and learn more about them. A personal pet idea of mine is to built one day, as a group effort, an exhaustive compilation that would be ‘our' «Fictitious Armies of The Lace Wars » FUNCKEN.

Wargamers who chose to ‘play' fictitious countries do so for 1 to 3 of three major reasons; the ‘unhistoricity' of their country and army increases with the number of these reasons that motivated theit personal choice.
1-To avoid arguments about ‘national characteristics' (my troops are bettet shot, they deserve special rules, yes but mine have a more resilient morale…) and perhaps to avoid also some uneasy feeling from blasphemously altering the historical records of countries, commanders and armies. Such wargamers play totally historical countries and armies, just giving them and their characeters of note assumed names. No blog that I know is devoted to such masquerading historical games though Alte Fritz in his Journal refers to the ongoing war between Hesse-Seewald (Prussia) and Gallia (France); reports of this campaign are posted in the files of the OSW group.

2-To scale down the conflict. As advocated by C. Grant, the campaign is limited to a map suiting exactly the player's wishes and taste, with no side disadvantaged from the start Your batallions have neither to count as brigades on the tabletop, nor to moonlight as other units when playing a battle on a second front. Gamers motivated by these 2 reasons create countries mythical in their name and geography, but which can field a totally historical army: C.S. Grant's Grand Duche de Lorraine (WAS French units) is an exemple.

3-To enjoy the process of *creation*. As underlined by H. Hyde, to create a totally fictitious campaign setting is to act as a novelist. Indeed, to design your own uniforms instead of faithfully reproducing historical ones (no longer a meritorious achievement, with all the information available on the Net) is exactly like writing a novel instead of ‘passively' reading
published books. Such players as a rule fully develop their country in non-military matters, inventing its history, detailing the ruling family and its genealogy, the major characters in the Court, Government and High Staff, observing the plots, keeping record of love affairs and health or pecuniary difficulties… All was already part of Tony Bath's seminal Hyborian camapaign, and for the players involved there was a part of role playing involved, before the word was coined.
C. Grant's Vereinigte Freie Städte and P. Young's Empire and Electorable are venerable pioneers in this domain.
Note that the fictitious uniforms and flags are NOT designed according to whim, but reflect a deep knowledge of historical armies of the era, then modulated by personal taste: H. Hyde accurately descibed the process,ref. also the July post «Fictitious Lace Wars Armies can ‘look right'» on my blog.

Wargaming fictitious wars is of course possible in other eras, yet it is not my mere chance that most are set in the mid-18°C.
°Firstly, players gaming in this time are () generally a bunch of gentlemanly, friendly, relaxed, open-minded people (there was a lot of humor in Grants and Young battle reports). More so, on the average, than in other wargaming circles, as argumented here by Alte Fritz last June; indeed all Ancient and Napoleonic gamers I knew were overserious historical integrists (though they hope to change History when refighting a battle ‘their' army lost!).
°Then, with its some 300 independant countries the Holly Empire sets a reassuring precedent. No one would feel sacrilegious to add a pair of enbattled mini-countries to this already overcrowded background.
°Thirdly, the cut of european uniforms was, precisely, extremely uniform, at least at the level of minis seen en masse on a tabletop. By the 19°C almost each and every nation had its own specific cut of clothes, its peculiar shako, kasket or helmet. Thus your fictitious troops will immediatly be identified as British, French or Prussian minis painted in odd colors. This could be an advantage if you want to use them as proxies of historical majors powers in a fictitious mini-campaign, but generally their credibility will suffer.

And of course, the ‘ballet-like' manœuvres of two initially symmetric battle lines marching up to one another in a sort of minuet of combat, the chess-like tactics, even the fact that war seems so much more civilized (if there is such thing) give a somehow ‘artificial', ‘theatrical', almost ‘oniric' feeling specially propitious to the addition of a fictitious element to the setting.

I wrote of *existing* fictitious Lace Wars armies, but I can't refrain to hope this post, and other by people more knowledgeable than me (and with English as their native language!) will prompt NEW GAMERS TO TAKE THE PLUNGE!


John the OFM06 Sep 2007 6:31 a.m. PST

Slobbovia was not on the Web, but a postal Diplomacy variant cnetered on the fictitious "country" of Slobbovia, that was "updated" every 2 weeks.

I was heavily involved, but I see that the Raskolnikovs have become "un-persons".

wehrmacht06 Sep 2007 7:12 a.m. PST

Jeez, I thought you were asking about countries where the mean temperature was 18 degrees Celsius. Imagine my confusion…


Khevenhuller06 Sep 2007 8:19 a.m. PST


Personally, I fit into category 3 with elements of 1. The historical notion being that the 30 Years War did not go the way it did and the following 100 years have created a more 'balkanised' Europe, with France having been riven by its wars of religion.

This has been the 'cover' if you like to allow me to use historical places, maps and families but place them in an alternate history. I have spent many years getting the feel and texture of these countries just right, with their subtle and glaring differences.

Currently I now have a fractious coalition of German Protestant States (The Northern League) and a unified but currently half-hearted eastern French state (Alsatia) attacking an outnumbered but unified and geographically advantageous southern German state (Franconia). More smaller countries are likely to join in as the game progresses: The Archbishoprics of Mainz and Trier, Sponheim, Zweibrucken and Lippe look likely to intervene depending on how the war progresses with Naples and the Pope already having undertaken to provide financial assistance to Franconia to allow her to hire mercenaries.

Although campaign movement and the 'story' is solo, battles can be both solo and multiplayer. As long as you are fair minded and rational, and your characters are well rounded, solo play is perfectly possible, issues such as "Hmm, he is a rash individual and is likely to do this" or "He is a cautious and careful character and is unlikely to do that."

So far I am quite happy that things have gone reasonably well, with no glaring a-historical issues. Against Alsatia, although defeating the initial thrust, the large Alsatian army now in situ is besieging Strassburg is covered by another that has the Franconians bottled up in northern Strassburg awaiting reinforcements.

These must come from the Black Forest (on their way) but also from the northern front. Here the army of the Northern League is besieging Wurzburg and the major engagement looming is to see if the Franconians can relieve it and send troops to the Rhine to help relieve Strassburg in time. If they cannot defeat the Northern League army at Tauberbischofsheim the liklihood is that they will boost that army for a second effort and leave Strassburg to its fate. If they win they still have to race to the Rhine to relieve it before it falls.


ivaraasen606 Sep 2007 1:16 p.m. PST

Exactly Jean-Louis!

I fit into all three categories. By opting for historically plausible, albeit imaginary, combatant territories and small armies (say, the size of reinforced brigades), I can indulge my creative tastes along with a love of military history, uniforms, and flags. Plus, I enjoy the freedom of not worrying about things like national characteristics. As with many of the actual combatants of the 18th century, my little armies (fighting for The grand Duchy of Stollen and The Electorate of Zichenau respectively)consist of highly trained regulars and a few skilled mercenary units. So, the playing field is, more or less, even.

Charge! by Young and Lawford is my personal touchstone, but I've borrowed many ideas, and get much inspiration, from Charles Grant's The Wargame too. And I eagerly await each new issue of Battlegames, to see what Henry Hyde discusses, cocerning his fictitious Wars of Faltenian Succession campaign. I've never enjoyed the hobby as much as these passed couple of years since making the decision to go ahistorical!

Best Regards,

Stokes Schwartz

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Sep 2007 1:58 p.m. PST

Some of us have fictional countries, but we just don't have blogs for them yet. That could change soon. Good luck with your endeavor.

Barmy Flutterz06 Sep 2007 10:57 p.m. PST

This is very good stuff, I'm working on something like this with the renaissance now, but the 18th century is tempting too.

abdul666lw08 Sep 2007 9:59 a.m. PST

Two new links added since I posted this message: to the Abbey of Kempten and the Duchy of M'Uedail (and both with an original, 'novelized' approach): yippee!

abdul666lw10 Sep 2007 12:23 p.m. PST

One more to-day: The Principality of Jordvicken!
OK, I'll no longer pester you everytime a new blog devoted to a fictitious Lace Wars country is recorded. If you are interested, periodically go and see by yourself at or
At least another blog is to open next weekend.

Personal logo andygamer Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2007 4:41 p.m. PST

Jean-Louis, would it be possible for you to organise the links grouped by clubs or fictional wars rather than alphabetically?

abdul666lw17 Sep 2007 12:47 p.m. PST

A 41st link to a website or blog partly or totally devoted to a Lace Wars Imagi-Nation added yesterday to th Presipalty of Monte-Cristo blog:

For a friendly, joyful and useful rallying point, look at

Andy, only very few of these 41 Imagi-Nations / blogs are materially integrated in a campaign, i.e. are owned by players belonging to a local group and /or able to meet across a battle-table. The Duo Gallia – Hesse-Seewald and the trio Mieczyslaw – Norden – Saxe-Bearstein are the only such groups I know of among the 41 sites/blogs listed. At the 'Mythical European'campaign level these two groups carry own their long-standing feud on different parts of the map, without interaction (other than joyful diplomatic exchanges). Yet 'Emperor vs Elector'is beginning to provide some 'material' interaction between them and the other countries (each belonging to an isolated player, often a solo wargamer). In practice, currently, this amounts to allow a player having received 'an allied contingent' to field more (of his own) minis. Some players will 'loan' mercenary units in the same way. Another possibility is for a solo player or a local group to play battles as proxies for two 'rulers' located a continent away in The Real World. Thus, actually, there is a gradient of implication of countries in a 'real' (with tabletop battles) campaign, and the situation is fluid. Hence the alphabetical order (disregarding the 'titles' of the countries), as most convenient, at least for me I confess, to class 41 fictitious countries – hope for a few more soon.

Personal logo andygamer Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2007 3:35 p.m. PST

Merci, Jean-Louis.

abdul666lw01 Oct 2007 2:44 p.m. PST

Now 43 links to 'Fictitious 18°C countries on the Web' on . 33 of them are contributors to the eemperor vs elector web campaign (aim described here: TMP link ).
Note that I'm just one among these 33, not the ownerof the blog!

Luke Mulder01 Oct 2007 3:02 p.m. PST

Wow. Like Tolkien, I'll bet C. Grant would never have thought that his fertile mind would have spurred so much creativity and historical inquiry from so many others.

Jeremy Sutcliffe01 Oct 2007 4:43 p.m. PST

"Jeez, I thought you were asking about countries where the mean temperature was 18 degrees Celsius. Imagine my confusion…"

Well at 18 degrees Celsius the discussion won't get over heated.

(If it was 18 degrees Farenheit – no doubt this would get a frosty reception)

JeanLuc01 Oct 2007 10:31 p.m. PST

Well Jean Louis,

none of 1,2,3.

Le Lichtenbourg started 20 years ago and was part of the Confederation du rhin.
We then campaigned the Lichtenbourg medieval war.
From there 8 years ago the Valiant Lichtenbourg stormtroopers slaughtered the hordes of aliens in 3560 ad.
And in 2004 timewarp again to the 1750's.

Jean Luc

abdul666lw13 Nov 2007 1:38 p.m. PST

An appeal in manner of post scriptum

Several ‘Brothers in Lace Wars Imagi-Nation' really *would* create their own blog to display their original creations, currently accessible only in the ‘files' or ‘photos' directories of Yahoo groups such as OSW link and SOD link (access restricted to members) or merely quoted in very tantalizing messages in the same groups or on the TMP!

Specially (but not exclusively):

-Alan B. ‘alanbgam' for Lower Fenwick (Niederpfenweig) (posts on OSW & SOD)
-‘bogdanwaz' for his ‘Sci-Fi games in the Age of Reason' (files and photos on the GASLIGHTrules group link
-Richard B. for Byzantium Reconstitued
Emperor vs Elector )
-Georges ‘charla51' for Rubovia (OSW photos, inc/ Colonel Clouseau's Pink Pandours)
-Peter Coles for Argoz-Bern (OSW files)
-Garyl Comardo for Aldoberg-Holstein (OSW photos)
-Mike Covell for Saint-Maurice (OSW & SOD photos)
-David C. ‘Ogrefencer' for Artois and Kronenburg (posts on OSW)
-‘dandamianoff' for the colonies of Mindt and Maroon in North America (posts on OSW)
-Rob DeWolfe for Bad-Bierwurst (posts on OSW)
-‘eastridingmilitia' who is dealing with the ‘imaginary' uniforms of de Saxe's ‘daydreamed' mixed Legion TMP link
-‘Grey Ghost' for Vestland, the seige of Vechta (and other creations):
TMP link TMP link
TMP link
-Groves ‘sevorg' for Grovania (posts on SOD)
-Norris Hazleton for Vapidia (empty folder on SOD)
-Ken H. ‘Oldsmoblogger' for Scandalusia (SOD)
-Chris J. ‘nancella20170' for Bratwurst (posts on SOD)
-Jerry Lannigan for Argonne, Braunschweig and Hangover (posts on SOD)
-Michael Lonie for Barataria, Graustark and at least 8 other mythical countries (posts on SOD)
-Hal Lotman for the Levitzer Rabbinate (empty folder on SOD)
-Mike L. for the Lace Wars on Harn link
-MacDuff for Rosmark (a few photos link
-Ross W. M. for Axphania (posts on OSW)
-‘Luke Mulder' who converted minis to de Saxe's ‘daydreamed' legionaries TMP link
-Pete Murray for Schwiesslander (file on SOD)
-Neil Patterson for Arcadia and all the other countries of «Soldier King» (posts on SOD)
-GdP ‘Paris Guard' who did, and is planning, promising fictitious Lace Wars units TMP link
-Howard "altfritz"for another «Soldier King» campaign with minis (post # 20839 on the ‘Lace Wars' Yahoo group
-Joe Saur ‘shandysbrigade' for the Grand Duchy with No Name (folder on SOD)
-Ed Youngstrom, who tells us nothing of Gauchestein and Ostphalia (SOD)…..

And all of you that I don't know as yet, but hopefully shall discover one day on the Web !

Ed von HesseFedora13 Nov 2007 4:48 p.m. PST

Sadly, the mighty realms of Ostphalia, Gauchestein, Twixt, and Dreibrucken have been absorbed into the greater sartorial and martial conflict between Hesse-Fedora and Hesse-Homburg. In fact, it would appear that the armies of Ostphalia have been recruited wholesale into Fedora, while the Gauchesteinische Armee now appears to be marching under the banners of Homburg.

However, all is not lost. Now that the great Battle of Round Rock ( see ) is over, I can return to the Land of Tricornes and resume the tale of General Norris.

Also, depending on delivery of certain miniatures from certain manufacturers, I can reliably predict that several new Zwergstaaten will be making their debut amongst the ImagiNations of Urope.

Personal logo andygamer Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2007 9:21 p.m. PST

There was a typo in your link for "MacDuff for Rosmark", Jean Louis. Here's an accessible one:

aa1900319 Nov 2007 3:10 p.m. PST

this is exactly the sort of thing that my smattering of 25mm Old Glory figures would do well in!

With scruffy Colonist AWI regiments for militia, Hessians for infantry, and Prussian dragoons and Hussars, colonist and tory light dragoons, and a bag of Lauzans Legion lancers awaiting paint, My army is merely awaiting its fictitious petty princeling to fill in its details and become the 301st backwater of the HOly Roman Empire (not Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire).

I refer you gentlement to the writings of LLoyd Alexander RE: The chronicles of Westmark, including "Westmark", "the Kestral" and "The Begger Queen", for excellent work in this genre.

abdul666lw20 Nov 2007 10:08 a.m. PST

Thanks for the replies:

- Ed, these are *great* news! Hopefully David's templates will be used soon and abundantly!

-'andygamer', thanks for the correction; I checked that the link on my blog is correct;

-'aa19003', for sure I'm not the only one to wait eagerly for new and rich details about your '301st backwater of the HORE': Hopefully you'll open a blog for this Imagi-Nation (believe a dinosaur from the age of mechanical writer and wired telephon: its *easy*!), so that I'll have the pleasure to add a "Fict:.." link on my blog!


abdul666lw20 Nov 2007 10:28 a.m. PST

as the Creator & Ruler of a Lace Wars Imagi-Nation, did you visit the "'Emperor vs Elector': (diplomatic) exchanges -and more if affinities- between Lace Wars fictitious countries" blog?

TMP link
TMP link

Hoping to see you there,

aa1900328 Nov 2007 6:01 p.m. PST

Ok, I just got there. I'm investigating what the ramifications are of pursuing this even now. Philadelphia has several large gaming groups, there's plenty of possibilities for us to play here.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.