Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Setting up the Wargames Campaign

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
Here's an example of some regions and nobles.  More on the personalities in the next post.


  1. Sounds like fun Craig and a perfect excuse to take to the table for some smaller battles with real characters and local flavour. I would be happy to take to the field as John of Rosforth. He sounds just like me. :-)

  2. Nice explanation. I must admit I passe over the article, but I will take another look. Keep up the great work!