Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Oily Roaming Empire

In considering that this is basically a Dark Ages fantasy universe, the juxtaposition of wildly anachronistic elements must be assumed. So I may used legionary figures to fill out the forces of the Oily Roaming Empire and similar uncouth moves which the hysterical war gaming community abhors.

One point, in this “universe” I admit only one force with hand gunnes. That would be Brain’s Barony. Brian McArthy was a very dear friend of ours who died from complications from his diabetes. He was an advid railroad buff (as his step father had been a station master for the Southern Railroad), a civil war re-enactor, a good fighter in the SCA, and ran a D&D campaign where the primary rule was to make the Game Master (Brian) laugh! When he gamed, he often played dwarves, and I often allowed his dwarves first access to gunpowder.
In the Pigg’s Eyeland set up, however, it is plausible for other forces to have bombards, rockets, and mine explosions. On the whole, I hope to keep that to a minimum.

The Oily Roaming Empire has the advantage of the most stable base of resources, and thus claims to be the true ruler of whatever happens to be there. In actual fact, however, its only stable core would be the large units of very heavy infantry, who are loyal to their current paymaster. The mounted elements are usually volunteer noble units or mercenary foreigners. Missile troops and irregular infantry can be obtained either by forced levies or by obtaining more mercenaries. Thus a peasant horde is always around to use as a “soak off” unit by the Imperial legate on the scene.
Most legates, however, tend to be very cautious commanders ... if they’re rash and wind up losing big, they get publically executed; if they’re bold and talented, they get privately assassinated; and if another legate is under the command, that legate is bound to be unreliable!
One effect of this is that there is a big factor of disunity and parochialism in the Empire. So often, the “Emperor” of the week doesn’t have the capacity to really punch out some fringe problem. The standard response is then to “outlaw” the sector. Under this, brigandage, rapine, etc. etc. are not crimes but patriotic acts. Given the very taxing nature of the Empire, most regions at one time or another are Out Law districts ....

Which of course gives me many scenarios in which to deploy my little toys!


Religions in Pigg's Eye Land

Phos (dreived from a series by Turnbull)
The Holy Aurea:
The Four Prophets: (not only the Videsssos cycle, but also the Sikhs).

Divii Urbivm:
other "idol" cults

The Great Attractor:
The Golden Fire:
The Beneficent One:
The Life Force:
Hagia Sophia:
The Great Mother:
Almighty Dollah (an important God in one of the first D&D games I ever played).
Zen Hooey (Zip-ee Doo-Dah)
The Gods of Ifni:
Maxwell's Demon
Vesche (from “Hellspark”)
The Forces

St. Alice of the Spear
St. James the teacher
St. Phielia the Nurse
St. Towxy the Doctor
The Angels
The GrandParents
The Faery Cult
St. Noxious of the Grave Demeanor
St. Dismas the thief
St. Cecilia the Singer
St. Vegas (patron of travelers and gamblers)

Scenario forming

Since I've begun pulling together some scattered plastics (given the massive damage to my leads a couple of years ago), I've got enough for some small scenarios ...
One which is gelling right now (still need to finish some knights mounted for it):

Dame Edith's Defense ...
This will be a multi encounter scenario, as Dame Edith initially will be primarily concerned with husbanding her resources against the incursion of the Oily Roaming Empire under Luscious LXIX and his large companies of very heavy infantry ...

One, village evacuation;
two, Small castle defense;
three, Grand Ambush (in which Dame Edith's allies finally arrive in force to make Legate Leui Gasius try to extricate the Imperial troops ...

Battles coming soon!

Friday, November 13, 2009


My confuser was down for a couple of days, so I missed posting my own salutes to the honored folks who had served before, with, and after me.
My grandfathers, of course, both served in W.W.I.
Grandad Carnes came back so committed to pacifism that he would not defend himself when a bully attacked him.
Grandad Pigg was much more enamored of his adventures as a Navy man ... even though he spent three days swimming the North Sea when his ship was torpedoed.
My step-Grandad Clifton Talbert was in the trenches ... and he would talk about it on occasion and kept his VFW magazines all his life.

For myself, however, I was recently extended an honor which I don't really deserve. The American Legion (for whom I hold good feelings because they didn't discriminate against my Viet Nam friends like the VFW did back then) informed me that I was now defined as a combat era vet. Unfortunately, I don't feel like I deserve it all. It's a long story, but I never served a single day under fire or even out of the country.

Now that I am legally part of the gang whom I always honored, however, I feel ever more keenly the struggle for them to be treated properly by we stay-at-homes who never made the horrendous sacrifices still being demanded of all troops of free countries. I've been under fire during some violent strike settings, and it always amazed me that these men functioned, survived, and came home after enduring endless days of a thousand times more intense struggles. Yes, a few of them came back quite damaged in their spirit, but most came back to be folks who existed at what I felt was a higher level than mine. Who had day after day put all their dreams and all their selves on the line, often for things they didn't really understand.
Great history, to me, is actually the art, the music, the food, the discoveries, and so forth of a time; but I am cognizant of the overwhelming fact that none of that would survive or even be possible without the good soldier and the stained knight.
Which, in part, is why I wargame.

My games are often funny, always trivial, and the worst wounds occur when I'm trimming the flash off of a new figure. But in the background, it's a way to honor the real heroes. Not the great conquerors, most of whom could rightly be seen as monsters even when as benign as the Persians; but the young officer bravely holding the flag staff in a square at Waterloo thinking that he'd never heard of a battle where everybody died ... as it seemed was happening all around him then.

Nor do I forget the fellows who fought on the other side. It is popular today to hate the German soldier, but ninety percent of them had real reason given their limited knowledge (deliberately limited by their rulers, just as occurs today in dictatorial or fanatical regimes)to believe their cause was just. Even if they did not, they still felt the need to stand for their country against war's destruction.
So the guys who marched so far barefoot under Jackson or struggled across the sand for Rommel I honor too.

We may never be free of the horrors of war until the Parousia, but until then, I honor the good folks, now boys and girls, who willingly march into hell for me or for their own families.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009


It's been more than a year ... and very loaded it was.
But recent developments, and by going plastic, I should be in a position to resurrect Pigg Hollow next month!!!
I'm working on a unit of the Oily Roaming Empire's super heavy infantry these days ... and had finished a major addition to Peculiar County's forces a couple of months ago ...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Piggs Are Grunting

Due to some health issues, I have to spend sometimes inordinate amounts of time in the bathroom. So naturally, I tend to run paper and pencil imaginary games for myself while stuck there.

Now the folks who've been here a few years may remember Pigg's Hollow ... a fantasy setting for my pre-gunpowder figure. Now recently, I'd been playing against a wanna-be Dark Lord. The guy never really had enough punch to conquer everybody, and the alliances against him managed to survive some treacherous break-ups. (yes, I have ... and sometimes lose ... dice in there too).

I was stuck for a way to bring the series to a conclusion I liked. While the Dark Lord rarely appeared in person at the battles, his armies could be worn down and defeated. Being a mega powerful mage, the Dark Lord could hold a few of his strongholds indefinitely. It was a bad logic loop until it occurred to me that many mages follow funny diets ... what if part of the guy's diet wasn't so much magical power as food allergy? So, three tries later, on a campaign to secure the ever important ancient ruins, a batch of biscuits cooked in peanut oil ...

Okay, the Dark Lord is gone. One by one his lieutenants have either killed each other or been driven off. But there are these areas of miasma where much of the earlier battles and long term conflicts were waged. I'd like to run a set of skirmish games for mopping up exercises, but had a brain fart.
Used to be, I could rattle off formations and officers for several Medieval armies ... and suddenly could only recall that the lance was five to six folks and mounted and that English archers basic squad was 20 folks.

So I'm interested in basic TO&E's for basic small patrol and picquets and drawing a total blank. These spots of anemia are, unfortunately, another side effect. I couldn't even remember the last name of my old friend who ran the Wackamania campaign (a very Daisy sort of D&D ,,, saving throws could be adjust by how much your playing could make Brian laugh -- my wife told me his name when I got upset).

So rather than trying to recall lost data, I'd hoped that we might have bits of trivia floating around I could steal ...

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Exploring parties have reported sighting a number of strange monsters in other lands.
Often these animals appear to be some sort of magical cross breed.
These include, but are not limited to the following:
A cross between the Unicorn and an Elephant;
Giant camels crossed with leopards;
People covered with fur who neither speak nor build fires;
Giant cattle with huge flat horns that curve like sheep horns;
Water dragons with poisonous breath and spittle;
Deer who, instead of antlers, have twisted devil horns;
Birds with gems for feathers who do not sing, but shriek!