Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How We Do It.

   I am often stopped on the street by the curious public. They recognize me, of course, as a famous blogger and wargamer. Anyway, the first question I usually get (after exclamations of how yuoung and handsome I am, for someone so knowledgeable about, well, everything) is "How do you and your assistants come up with all of those creative ideas?" It is especailly embarassing when young, attractive females approach me publicly - my wife is not amused.

   In order to save time, I have decided to share with all of my adoring public the secret to our process. I'll track a new idea that Eli and I are working on currently. I call it the bouncing ball theory of development. It starts with an email from one of us to the other:

Eli: "The United States as a 14th-15thC feudal states...  Rome cross the Atlantic in it's Prime and establishes colonies on the American continent. When Rome falls, you are left with a very different medieval America."

Me: "Interesting."

Eli: "I imagine you could go with the whole Rome gets ancient Chinese ship building technology and is able to cross the Atlantic with sufficient numbers and support to gain a foothold. The rest is built from there."

Me: "The Occidental Provinces, or Transoceania?"

Eli: "Interesting to think that the Vikings might come to America and find the descendants of the Roman colonies there, living in their own fragment of the Empire."

Me: "So a Viceroy for the Emperor of Rome ruling in Dark Ages America, with connection to Roma Mater severed for centuries."

Eli: "Or the Americas broken down into post-Roman warlord kingdoms. Another way to go would be for the Viceroy to have decided that no new news from Rome means that it must be done entirely and he renames himself Emperor of the only remaining portion of the Empire. 'Rome is dead....WE are Rome!'"

Eli: "Roman America would make a great RPG setting. Think about a Roman version of the Lewis and Clark expedition?"

Me: "Tribune Marius Agrippa Lewix (a Gallic Roman descendant) and Marcus Brutus Clarkus lead the XIIth Legio across Occidentalis to the Mare Pacifica, slaughtering numerous tribes of the red-skinned barbarians as they traveled. A slave girl, Sacagawea, acted as interpreter and guide through the newly discovered territory. Her assistance in crossing the mountains was invaluable, and in return, she was awarded citizenship and enrolled in a plebeian family."

Eli: "Works for me. Would the Romans call all Occidental tribes by their tribal names or collectively like they did the Gauls, Germans and Britains?"

Me: "Probably just one generic name. I don't know what it would be. My Latin isn't that good, sadly. I may have to figure out "red man" in Latin."

Eli: "I am trying to find a map with Indian place names for the eastern US."

Eli: Place names might be given out much as they were by later Europeans as a combination of Latin and Latinized versions of local names. Apalacia, for example was named after a local people. Manhattan is named after the local native name for it which really just means "island". Don't Latinized people names often have an "i" added at the end?"

Me: "Massachusetts as well, and Mississippi, and Illinois, Lake Huron, Ohio, Miami, Kentucky, Tennessee - all native names that were Anglicized. I think you would be correct in saying adding the terminal "-i" makes it plural, so it would indicate the tribe as a whole, as opposed to a single member of the tribe."

   For the record, this conversation has taken place over the course of the last two days. It is still an idea very much under development. Anyone stealing it will be sued until his britches are our britches. Then I send my good friends Guido and Salvatore to have a little 'talk' with them.


  1. Very nice idea. *Holds on to his britches even though he has no intention of stealing it despite the wow factor.*

  2. Dang, you got that up fast, J!

  3. Even more important. Rome would find itself in the unusual position of having cavalry superiority or even exclusivity if the are smart enough to keep tabs on the horses better than the Spanish did historically.

  4. This was brought up on TMP and a few good points to the contrary were made -

    1) The likelihood of Rome getting a large enough cavalry force across the Atlantic would be slim.

    2) That forests in the "virgin" eastern US would limit cavalry use.

    Once the Romans took care of all those pesky trees though, - and you know they would - then they could get their cavalry going.

  5. Bah! Trees are for slashing and burning, so you can get a good grain harvest in!

  6. Repeat of my comment in the next post - possibly 30 cavalry (a Turma) per ship according to CONQUEST by John Peddie.

    But even 30 could tip the balance.



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