Saturday, 1 June 2013

ImagiNations war gaming

A few years ago I bought the Black Powder rulebook by Warlord Games as it was en vogue at the club and seemed like a good set of rules. Unfortunately the type of games played at the club and the fact that they were always ACW, put me of said rules to the point that I sold them on within a year. Fast forward a few years and my good friend Keith developed his own set of rules for the Seven Years War that had a lot of similar mechanics to Black Powder. I was very impressed with the rules and the fun games that they produced, helped in no small measure by Keith's knowledge of the period, his wonderful 'old school' games table and the spirit within which the games were played.

At around the same time Sam Mustafa released Maurice, a set of rules for use within the 18th Century. Again these rules were bought and a few games played, all of which were very enjoyable, once again helped by my regular gaming chums and their attitude to playing the game in the right spirit. However one thing and another led to these rules being shelved as gaming time was (and continues to be) limited. Due to the rules mechanics these were unsuitable for solo games, something which I try to look for in a ruleset.

So fast forward another year and my mind once again turned to the Black Powder era, for a variety of reasons. I had a whole host of 2mm figures based for Maurice, along with two AWI armies, but was really after a set of rules suitable for solo play as well as standard games with my friends. For some reason my mind turned once again to the Black Powder rules. Having promised myself at the start of the year that I would not buy any new rules, in the space of a week or two I had bought DBA 2.2 followed by Black Powder!

The latter purchase was I must admit 'researched' over a few weeks so was not a rash decision, which may come as a suprise to those that know me. So when the book arrived I hoped that my purchase had not once again been in vain. I am happy to report that the rules were all that I hoped they would be, if not more. I asked myself why I sold the rules in the first place, and I can only refer you back to the experiences I had at the club. 

So in typical wargames butterfly mode my mind turned back to my 2mm SYW and 10mm AWI forces. Both periods would provide for very different styles of games due to a variety of factors, such as the lack of cavalry seen in the AWI. However I wanted to flesh out the latter especially as some new units had been added to the Pendraken range since I bought my initial forces. But given that cavalry was little used in this theatre, the question was how to fit them into my force?

The answer came in the form of the whole ImagiNations period, one that was 'created' by Charles S Grant and Peter Young in the dim and distant past of the 1960s I believe. In a sense I had already dabbled in this form of gaming with the whole 'A Very British Civil War' concept, one that is very popular at the present time. Inspiration, if any were needed, was provided by the likes of The Gentleman Warmonger Blog and the Maurice Campaign Blog, both of which show the joys of the ImagiNations world. There are many, many others out there, but these are among my favourites.

So now it is a case of coming up with my own ImagiNations forces. Inspired by The Gentleman Warmonger blog, I'm now looking at either forces based in and around Bristol as per my own AVBCW units, or going back to my roots in Cambridgeshire with the English Civil War as my inspiration. Another option is to find something in Mittel Europa and the myriad of small States, Bishoprics and Principalities that existed at around this time. One thing is for sure and that that is my AWI forces will form the core of both armies, with additional unitsd being added purely for ImagiNation use. High on the list are units from the Pendraken League of Augsburg range, as they are wonderfully sculpted by Clibinarium who is responsible for the AWI range and so will have a cohesive look to them. One thought is to use them for units based in Norfolk, as those that have lived in East Anglia know that this is the county that time forgot, giving a convenient excuse for the differences in uniform!

So now it is a case of getting down to some planning for future purchases, background 'history', unit names etc. Hopefully I will be able to update progress on some ideas in the near future. That's assuming that I don't get distracted by another 'period' before then!


  1. If my little efforts have helped provide inspiration I am very honoured indeed! I look forward very much to seeing which of your ImagiNation projects you go for, either sounds like a grand adventure!

  2. I've already made a start on researching the British based ImagiNation Colonel, which has been great fun. More details to follow over the next few days.

  3. This looks great Steve. Looking forward to further developments.