Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Imagi-world of 1891 ... is almost complete

I have almost finished writing the background information about each of the countries of my imagi-world of 1891, and I hope to finish this task by the middle of next week.

I made some basic assumptions when I began. These were that:
  • The imagi-world's population, whilst large, is smaller than the real population of the world in 1891
  • There are fewer countries in the imagi-world of 1891 that there were in the real world
  • The 'Scramble for Africa' is coming to it end in 1891 and not still in full flood
  • The Fezian (i.e. Turkish Ottoman) Empire still has nominal control over a larger area than it actually had in 1891
  • The Federated States of America (i.e. the USA) has not undergone a civil war in the middle of the century, that slavery was abolished earlier in the century, and that the numerous Amerindian tribes have been integrated rather than subjugated
  • Britannic Chindia (i.e. British India) is a confederation of allied native states that enjoy Britannic protection and accept Britannic overlordship in exchange for that protection and being allowed to run their own internal affairs
I have also made other assumptions as the work has progressed, but these were the main ones I started with.

I have found doing this task to be a very interesting one, as it allowed me to turn some historical possibilities into realities. I had created imagi-nations before, but not anything larger. This is a much bigger project (hence the amount of time and effort it has so far taken!), but it does give me a background that has lots of potential for me – and others – to exploit over the foreseeable future.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Bob,

    As a labour of love this has very parallels and of course, every alternate world/imagi-nation has to have a some basic assumptions to begin with as a foundation upon which the story can be built.

    The one surprise for me was your handling of the USA. Every alternate make up of North America I have ever seen has either a Southern victory or a stand off but the war always happens. Very interesting to see your angle and so regular US army types with native American 'Sepoy' types or tribal allies is a neat idea

    Overall though a great piece of creative work and I for one will look forward to many adventures set against this background!

    All the best,

    DC

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  2. Some interesting choices there, especially the "kinder, gentler" America. Without the driving force of the "late unpleasantness", I imagine your FSA turning out to be a very different place.

    So once your Imagi-world is complete, what will be the next step? Might I mention that since November has been dubbed "Solo Wargaming Appreciation Month" this would be the perfect opportunity to launch Imagi-world with a significant bit of a barney somewhere.

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  3. David Crook,

    I understand that the founding fathers of the USA did discuss the possibility of integrating the Amerindians rather than subjugating them, and this seems to be a good place to start. Likewise the avoidance of the Civil War, which might have been achieved if the USA had followed the pattern set by Britain and paid the slave owners adequate compensation.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. Dr Vesuvious,

    I envisage a much more egalitarian America, based on the principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence (I suppose that it is my Masonic background influencing my judgement!) and emerging as a country that is far more at peace with itself during the nineteenth century than it actually was.

    I was unaware that it was 'Solo Wargaming Appreciation Month' in November, but I would be quite willing for more people to be made aware of my imagi-world if you think it would be of interest to them.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. It was an idea floated around the various solo-gaming fora at the end of last year that 1/1/11 would make a good "Solo Gaming Appreciation Day" due to all the ones in the date, however in practice everyone had far too much family-related doings that day and not enough time to prepare anything. It was then loosely agreed that x/11/11 would be a good alternative. The idea is to do something special solo in that month - a mammoth sized game, a full blown campaign - anything that's above and beyond what you'd normally manage.

    I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet, as Real Life (tm) has robbed me of any planning & prep time this month, but I fully intend to do something.

    http://solonexus.blogspot.com/2011/05/commit-to-solo-tabletop-gaming.html

    As for your FSA (whoops! You mentioned the M-word. It's OK though, I think you got away with it) I think an America that lived up a little more to its founders' ideals is an interesting proposition. I can see it as being a lot less industrialised, having not being driven to a war footing mid-century. Without a generation of hardened soldiers thrust back into civilian life and an integrated native population, would the West have been anywhere near as Wild? Would the FSA have been more willing to tussle with their neighbours to the North and South, or would they have become more fiercely isolationist than in real life. I think there's a degree-level thesis in just this one corner of Imagi-World.

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  6. Dr Vesuvious,

    Many thanks for the background information about the 'Solo Wargaming Appreciation Month'. It sounds very interesting, and my imagi-world project would fit in with it very well indeed.

    In my mind I envisaged that the Federated States of America would have slowly pushed westwards, assimilating as best it could those tribes that showed a willingness to be assimilated and fighting or recognising as semi-independent those who would not. I thought that the tribes of the Great Plains would have been allowed to continue to live as they always had, but that after some initial resistance they would have become a semi-autonomous group living within the States that bear their names. They were called 'the best light cavalry in the world' and it would be interesting to see what an Americanised regiment of Cheyenne Cavalry might look like! Likewise the Apache Scouts would be an interesting mounted light infantry unit to use in battle. Such a proposition was the basis of a book written some years ago by Martin Cruz Smith, and I think that it makes for an interesting starting point for an alternative history.

    Whatever happended, I think that my version of America would have been a confident if somewhat insular nation, but that their byword would have been 'America for the Americans', thus leaving the field open for potential conflicts with Iberia, Britannia, and Rusland.

    All the best,

    Bob

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