Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Imagining your Enemies

I am in the process of imagining mine own honourable opponents, the following is from a blog post I just wrote on some thoughts, be interesting to get the hivemind's. How do you all do it -Imaginary or Real, and if Imagined, how so - from your own (hopefully) fertile imagination, from others' - Tintin's Syldavia and Borduria, Hope's Ruritania, Christie's Herzoslovakia - or (and this seems most attractive) from some of the other members of the August community of Imagi-Nation creators. All have advantages and disadvantages:

- Real nations have the advantage of being known, in all sorts of ways, and any opposing force so built can play other opponents without them asking embarassing questions about why you have American Civil War Zouaves painted up like that

- One's own imagination can furnish more opponents than one can shake a stick at, but the worry is that they are all a bit same-ey.

- Literary Imagi-nations are a good bet, as you can glean something of them from the books/films/comics/whatever, but you risk the "how come your Bordurian Mountain Regiment  look like Greek Evzones, when everyone knows they should look more like American Civil War zouaves" problem* :-)

Besides, sources of Bordurian history in 1756 are sadly sparse.

- Other people's Imagi-Nations are very tempting, as there is a backstory and (in theory) two heads are better than one in creating campaigns etc, even though the endgame is to lop one head off. (Owing to poor translation, New Byzantium takes Kipling's advice rather literally, and have worked out the best way to cut to the chase is to ensure that all around you do actually lose their heads...). The problem with playing with Other People is thay can be so ill mannered as to win the battles, so this option shall have to be watched with great care.
Be curious to get people's opinions. Also, we are in the south to mid-Balkans, so if anybody is close by on our borders, we need to know.....

* That I have just created :-)


Fitz-Badger said...

I tried to post this comment on your blog, but nothing happens when I click to submit.

I'm sure there are other ImagiNations near yours.
For my own games I've invented my own opponents. I like to think I've made them different from each other. So my original ImagiNation is a loose league of very minor states, mostly Germanic but with a few other nationalities included. My second ImagiNation and the principal opponents of the League is a more homogenous Francophone state under a single ruler, and even though they are the protagonists they are not "the bad guys" per se. The third state takes its inspiration from eastern Europe and they are "bad guys", but are far enough removed their involvement thus far has not included any direct military action. More like agents provocateur. They like to stir up trouble.

MurdocK said...

For a picture of the early Imagi-nations see:


There are many more out there now ... maybe its time to re-draw it?

When it comes to trouble makers the Vile Stagonians are always in there somewhere...

Soldadets said...

In my case, the Imagi-Nation I'm running is being set up while still involved in the nightmare of War of Spanish Succession; therefore, I had it quite easy at first to select their enemies -their Historical ones, France and Spain, only slightly masked as Gallia and Hispannia.

Given the dramatic unbalance of forces between both sides, most logically "the Enemy" would be seen as "true bad guys" by my own Imagi-Nationeers -and this is the scope I've subjectively reflected in my posts so far (admittedly unfair as it is).

True that inter-action with other EvE gamers has brought as a result a fairly more complex overall view, where (historically accurate) suspicions arise between both powerful allies, so that one of them has started considering the possibility of abandoning their role as "the Enemy".

Even if my provisions of having Gallia as a perpetual "arch-Enemy" finally fail, I admit to have it still easy so far, because I believe Hispannia wouldn't so easily drop off their role as "arch-Enemy". As explained somewhere else before, I'm fully persuaded Hispannia would actively seek a revenge opportunity for long -just as they historically did with Sicily and Naples.

However, this EvE community is a true "bag of surprises" (as commonly said at my home country), so that I shouldn't fully discard being left with no enemies at all, thanks to someone else's wise diplomacy!

If such happens, no doubt my Imagi-Nation would be actively seeking for friends & foes all around the Mediterranean ;)

Jiminho said...

My Imagination contribution, Syldavia, is most certainly a neighbour as are the rotten Bordurians. I have left a longer message on your NEw Byzantion site.


freecloud said...

Thanks all, I am increasingly thinking a mix is good but can see a few who are definitely nearby.

@Jiminho have replied in more detail on my blog - thanks!

Principe dell'Estria said...

If New Byzantium's holdings reach to the Adriatic, then Estria is at least a maritime neighbour.

For opponents, I have started out by creating them internally. Three rival Grand Dukes will be contesting the election when the present Prince dies. In fact they have already begun their machinations. The Grand Dukes are a fractious lot. They are somewhat autonomous, and each maintains a small army.

Mind you, I am not averse to finding an external threat that might either unite the Grand Dukes in common cause, or divide them further....