Of the many ImagiNations which have inspired this blog, one in particular had a very impressive amount of detail on the nation’s history, geography and personalities. The delightful blog’s country was:
“Ober-Bindlestiff, an electorate somewhere in Germany, [which] 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”!
With its’ three counties named Hither, Thither, and Yon, it was populated with highly detailed amusing and outrageous tales characters such as its jovial Elector Karl XI and his sexually voracious and sadomasochistic Electress, Marie.
One early post in particular provided, I thought, a good list of reasons for starting an imaginary nation (not that one is at all needed, in my opinion!).
His reasons were:
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- I can write the history (which I’ve done). That can be entertaining in its own way.
- It gives me an excuse for wargaming. As if I needed one anyway.
All of which are excellent reasons. Though I don’t do the last activity, I do enjoy painting and this blog is a good motivation to keep on doing it.
Ober-Bindlestiff had a rival to fight, of course. This nation was Saxe-Schweinrot, “whose flag features a red pig.” All of which gets me thinking – I need to spend some time thinking about the rivals and history for the Duchy of Charnwood. I’ve already floated a couple of possibilities in an earlier post (the Bishopric of Cannock and the Electorate of Belvoir) and it seems that the Duchy has an ally in the form of the neighbouring Marquisate of Bosworth. It seems I need to get to work on filling in some more detail on the Duchy…
Note: Ober-Bindlestiff appears to have been sadly dormant for some years now, having diversified into other areas of the author’s interest. However, the blog is still live at time of writing: