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!


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