The Emperor and Elector were at odds. As this situation was fairly normal it calls for no explanation. Some particularly outrageous act by the Elector had provoked the Emperor to exclaim, 'This insolent and pretentious prince must be chastised.' and to order the instant invasion of the Electorate.
I was well aware of fantasy wargaming at this point, but it was the first time I'd encountered what has become know as "imagi-nations" with historical miniatures. I later discovered Charles Grant's The War Game and an article in Miniature Wargames by Henry Hyde describing his own project, the War of Faltenian Succession. I REALLY wanted to do something similar. I filled a notebook with sketches, maps, unit organizations, personalities, and plans to muster grand armies.
But it never happened. In the dark days before the internet, it much harder to get historical miniatures than today. The only historical models I could find in any quantity were 15mm Napoleonics and that became my focus for a while. I found other rules (Shako and later Piquet) and based my collection for those. They were really more practical for the size tables I had access to anyway. My plans for big battalions were pushed into the background.
Some time around 2015, I was flirting with the imagi-nation thing again. There had been a renaissance in the idea and there were dozens of blogs drawing inspiration from the same sources that laid the foundation for my journey into the hobby. I felt like the best path forward was to come up with a small map and go from there. While searching for ideas, I realized I had a map already. I've been running D&D games in my homebrew world, The Realm of Quindia, since the 80's. The geography and nations of my fantasy world would make a perfectly usable basis for my Horse & Musket project. I drew up the map above and sketched out a paragraph on each nation. It quickly became evident that I wanted my project to revolve around the Kingdom of Goland and Gran Duchy of Sazir. The Tower Hills are rich in silver and emerald mines and claimed by both nations. Goland is obviously much larger than Sazir, but recently out of a war with the Kingdom of Bronet, with whom it now retains an uncertain peace. To Goland's south lies the Skorhean Wastes which are home to savage nomadic horsemen. The Kingdom requires an inordinate number of its troops to protect its pastoral fields from these raiders. Finally, the Prelacy of Beelzia always seems ready to expand its territory and both Goland and Sazir keep a wary eye on them.
With the greater stage set, I turned my eye toward detailing the armies. The first thing I did was design flags uniforms. As an example, here's the Northern Corps of the Gran Duchy of Sazir, based mostly on the Russian army of the Seven Year War and headquartered at Navorish.
I still hesitated to dive into 48-model infantry battalions and instead decided to build the project in 15mm. I didn't paint them, because I find painting 15mm models a chore, but rather built them up over time from eBay.
I have twelve battalions of infantry (24 models each), seven regiments of cavalry (12 models each), and eight guns for the Gran Duchy of Sazir. The army of the Kingdom of Goland currently stands near a similar number of units. It's not really a huge army as some 15mm collections go, but there are enough units to fill out several brigades per side and provide enough maneuver elements for interesting games. I'll probably continue to add to these armies in the future...
Anyway, the point of all of this rambling had really just been background for my current project. That's right! Big battalions in 28mm! I have the models to build two "starter" armies at this scale. My initial goal for each side is two regiments of infantry (each 48 models plus officers), a company of light infantry (16 models plus officers), a regiment of cavalry (24 models plus officers), and a battery of artillery (2 guns, eight crew plus officers, limbers, and an ammo wagon).
Next time I'll dive deeper into the details and show off my first finished unit!