To continue with my adaptation of the campaign system discussed previously: not everybody will have a Miniature Wargames with Battlegames (MWwBG?) copy handy, and although I'm adapting it and shall explain a bit of my thinking - I still strongly advise anybody interested to get a back-copy online!
I wanted the campaign to be in a fictionalised region of the North of England, so I kept the basic notion of dealing out a random 5 x 5 grid of playing cards. The result for me is in the picture below:
The numbers of the cards represent the strength or wealth of the region, the higher the better. Court cards are naturally something special, so they are taken as a strength of 12 and represent a city, castle, or other powerful noble's personal estates. The other feature of the cards is their suit - since the Wars of the Roses is split between two factions, I took all the red-suit cards (hearts & diamonds) as nobles with a pro-Lancastrian leaning, while the black suits (clubs/spades) are taken as having pro-Yorkist sympathies. Our protagonist lord may still have to fight in feuds with pro-Yorkists as rivals for royal favour, but they are generally more amenable to him than the Lancastrians.
From the photo above you'll see that I got a not-bad draw. There are about 15 pro-Lancastrian regions compared to 10 pro-Yorkist ones, and an above-average six cities/castles. I drew 4 Lancastrian strongholds against two Yorkist, but I felt this might be a bit too lop-sided and decided to switch one to make it three-each.
Next, a bit of character to each region - which I think is an important bit of any campaign. By looking around on Google Maps, I was able to get a quick list of appropriately 'Northern'-sounding names for each area. I didn't want any actual places in the fictional map, so I split each name in two and randomly mixed them up. For example, places like 'Whitbeck' or 'Cornforth' can be switched around to make 'Whitforth' or 'Cornbeck', for example - non-existent places, but they sound right. You can do it manually, or - as I did - rig up an excel sheet to randomly generate match-ups for you.
Each area needs a lord to represent it, of course - and the names of the lards are handled in pretty much the same way as the place-names above. A Google search for 'northern english surnames' turned up plenty of examples, and then I prepared a list of common first names - I used the character cards from 'Perfect Captain' but there's no great surprise to them: lots of Johns and Richards, etc. Again, I randomly paired up the results.
|Basically knocked up on an Excel spreadsheet - complete with clip-art for the Castle in Wolviston|