Friday, 15 July 2022

Backstories for my Belle Époque imagi-nations: The Principality of Stalbania

As I explained back in January, I was looking through the pile of REALLY USEFUL BOXES that I store many of my wargame figures in when I came across a number of painted 15mm Minifig American World War I figures. These figures had been given to me some years ago by a fellow member of Wargame Developments and player of my PORTABLE WARGAME, Nick Huband, and I soon realised that I had enough figures to create a small Belle Epoque army ... and thus the Army of Stalbania was born!

The Principality of Stalbania

Stalbania was invaded by the Sofaman Empire during the sixteenth century and incorporated into the empire as a province. It proved to be a troublesome possession, and although Stalbanians proved to be some of the empire's best troops, they were always regarded as being far too independently-minded.

As the power of the empire began to wane during the middle of the nineteenth century, Stalbanians began to press for some sort of home rule, but when this was not forthcoming, a revolt against Sofaman rule took place. The fighting did not last long and ended with a total withdrawal of Sofaman troops and officials and the declaration of Stalbanian independence.

The thorny problem of who was to become the prince of the newly-independent country almost led to a war between Burgundy and Schwarzenberg as both countries supported rival claimants. In the end, a member of one of the leading Stalbanian families was elected prince by plebicite. He was former general in the Sofaman Army, and one of his first tasks as ruler was to organise and recruit a small army capable of protecting the country from potential invaders. In addition, every able bodied Stalbanian under the age of suxty-five was expected to serve in the National Militia, whose role was to reinforce the regular army in time of war.

The flag of the Principality of Stalbania.

Stalbania is a small mountainous country that is famous for it vinoculture. Most of the population live in small towns and villages and are involved in agriculture, either as farmers or as artisan craftsmen making farm implements etc. They are hardy and make ideal soldiers.

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