Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Finum Mundi - A Narrative ImagiNation Campaign

Finum Mundi - A Narrative ImagiNation Campaign

Campaign Principles

The campaign game principles in Finum Mundi are simple and are designed to produce as little record-keeping and paperwork as possible and to get to the tabletop battle as quickly as we can and have fun. Toy soldiers are the name of the game here and there is no need to weigh down the proceedings with boring paperwork. Better to have fun than be an accountant
Finum Mundi Countries and Players

Each Player is the ruler of a country, of which there are seven:

Le Grand-Duché de Gourmandie
Das KaiserReich
Ducato di Libagioni
The Eastern Reaches (inactive)
Dunklerwald (inactive)

Note: There are also colonies for those nations with navies.

Each country has an army whose organization is fixed and immovable (yet may be added to as units are painted and added to the collections). Players need not worry about organizing and re-organizing, since that would involve far too much paperwork. The armies are typically organized into four or five brigades of various troop types, the composition of which remain fixed.

Only two countries have navies, Nordstrum and Libagioni. These can also be part of a player’s strategic plans. In fact, there is no reason why these can’t be hired or used as bargaining chips by other countries. Oh, the possibilities…
Some countries have fortresses (easily distinguished on the map) and player’s can besiege their neighbours if that is their wont. But sieges can be costly in terms of manpower and time.

A player makes the strategic choices and sets the strategic direction for his country. Of the seven countries, those that have players at their head are active and the rest are inactive. Inactive countries are managed by the umpire and are not so easy to conquer or manipulate as one might imagine. Inactive countries always have forces and defenses, so they are no pushover (and may a source for hiring mercenaries). Each country has a character and these are used by the umpire for the inactive countries to determine their responses. While an active player is not required to behave as the country’s character dictates, the character and behaviour of the player/ruler can often determine Victory Points and/or Prestige Points. *
*What are these? Good question, for which there is no definable answer. There are no particular rules for this (as could be said for much of this type of campaign). As many an Enlightenment philosopher was heard to utter, “this is entirely made up and the points don’t matter!” It would be prudent, however, to act as a gentleman ruler of the 18th century would (which can provide much fodder for the imagination).


The strategies open to Finum Mundi players are unlimited! A player may do whatever he/she wishes, all he/she has to do it get it past the umpire (which basically means attempting to remain within the confines of 18th century propriety). These strategies, submitted each campaign turn, are called intentions and may be no more than 25 words, must be in complete sentences, and specify the resources to be used, if any (no Twitter-ese allowed). Intentions may have conditions in them but not conclusions. For example, the Grand Duke of Gourmandie could submit a conditional intention thus: “I will attack Libagioni, if Libagioni attacks Das KaiserReich.” If the condition of Libagioni attacking Das KaiserReich is met, a battle would be forced between Gourmandie and Libagioni. If the condition is not met, the intention is effectively invalidated and a No Intention default is invoked. Intentions can also be quite simple: "I want to hold position and train the army” or “I want to forage for supplies in enemy territory." The former may gain some bonuses for the army at the expense of strategic movement while the latter may again gain some short-term bonus for the army but may incur the wrath of various other countries. A conclusion is simply illegal. For example, the KronPrinz of Das KaiserReich intends to “defeat a St-Julien army and annihilate it by pursuing it with all available forces." The "defeat" means it's a conclusion, which the KronPrinz player would first have to bring about on the tabletop. Thus, a no-no!

Note: Although a player’s army is organized into brigades that can be mentioned in a player’s intentions, a player is not required to do this. For example, a player could send “the light cavalry” to “scout the enemy capital” or order the “2nd and 4th Brigades to remain near the border as security against incursions.” Equally, a player can be rather vague: “I want to hold position and train the army.” There are myriad ambiguous details that could bog down this intention but it is easily adjudicated by the umpire’s secret and mysterious dice rolling and whims.

The umpire compiles all intentions, compares them, and decides if a battle will take place and what its nature will be. Those that do not involve attacks or possible battles will be resolved by the umpire’s whim and various mysterious die rolls. If no battle takes place everyone fills out a second set of intentions and so it goes until we get a battle, or the campaigning season ends. The umpire will concoct the supporting story (or narrative) that carries the players from one campaign turn to another.  

Campaign Turns

A word about campaign turns and the campaigning season may be in order. Campaign turns have no set length and are determined as much by campaign events (based on intentions) as on the passage of time in the real world (i.e. that mundane world in which all the players and the umpire really exist) and the ability of players to gather and push toy soldiers around. The campaign season usually starts in late April or early May and extends to late November, depending upon the weather (the real world weather). The weather in the real world determines not only the start and end of the campaigning season but also the tabletop weather on the real day the battle is fought.
Giving Battle

When the umpire determines that a battle is to be fought, the players involved will need to make a number of decisions. For instance…

How much of the army will be directed to this battle? This depends largely on the player’s submitted intention at the beginning of the campaign turn. If, for instance, a player’s intention was to “move cautiously into Libagioni with my light troops while keeping the bulk of the army in the capital to defend the homeland” and Libagioni’s intention was “to hold the majority of the army near the border to defend against attack,” a rather lopsided battle might occur. There is no need to take up space in the 25-word intention with specifics about particular unit movements (although nothing says a player can’t do this). The umpire will determine the best possible scenario based on the rival intentions.

Will the player/ruler be present at the battle? The short answer is YES. Unless something in the player’s intention prevents it: “The Kronprinz will host a grand review of the army in the capital, less 3rd Brigade sent to forage in the Gourmandie countryside.”

What is the plan of battle? If the player/ruler is present, this will be answered in person during the tabletop battle. If the ruler is present at the battle but the player him/herself is absent or if the player/ruler is not present at all, the plan (i.e. cautious defence, aggressive attack, probe, delaying action, etc) will be determined largely by the player’s intention for the turn and the country’s character.

Should I give battle? It is always to the player’s credit (and prestige amongst his peers) to stand and fight although at times it may be prudent, in the grand scheme of things, to retreat and give ground. The results will, of course, vary, depending upon the various intentions of the players and the strategic situation. It is safe to assume, however, that shying away from battle will bear rotten fruit.

It is important to note that one player/country could be involved in more than one battle in a campaign turn, depending upon intentions. It would be prudent, however, to remember that sending one’s entire army off to attack a neighbour, although aggressive and potentially glorious, would most likely leave one’s own country and capital city open for attack itself. Oh, the decisions to be made!

What Happens After the Battle?

This depends entirely on the outcome of the battle (obviously), players’ intentions, and the characters of the respective countries. 

Non-Military Intentions, Economics, and Other Sundry Stuff

It’s important to note that a player’s intentions need not be entirely military in nature: “Gourmandie will raise taxes to allow the raising of a new militia infantry regiment.” Or perhaps, “the KronPrinz will hold a grand public celebration to commemorate the victory over Libagioni.” Both or either of these could have military, economic, and/or political consequences. Players are encouraged to be creative but within the bounds of 18th century propriety. 

What if a player wishes to add to or upgrade his army? Upgrading is the simpler method. This can happen in a number of ways. The army can gain experience on campaign and in battle. Training can also help to improve quality and performance (but not so much as real campaign experience): “The army will hold training maneuvers in the environs of the capital.” Adding to the army is not as easy and could happen in a number of different ways. First, new units may be added at the whim of the umpire at any time (i.e. new units come off the painting desk in random fashion). Second, a player might ask if a new unit could be added. In this case, the umpire checks the available lead pile for possibilities and a negotiation may result. Keep in mind, however, that the interval between requesting a new unit and the realization of such a request (i.e. seeing the new unit in battle) is not guaranteed (as would be in real life). Of course, a player could just order the new figures required and send them to the umpire’s door!

You will notice there are no rules or guidelines for economics. How do you pay for the army? What is the basis for your nation’s economy? How do you pay for that celebration of the Duke’s birthday? There is no currency as such; rather, it is assumed that each nation has a stable economy at the beginning of the campaign. Losses or gains of territory could decrease or increase the stability and output of the economy. The ability to pay for new army units, treaty agreements, a new fleet, hiring foreign mercenaries, or your mistress’ new lingerie is entirely dependant upon a player’s military and political performance and intentions. If you want something, go and get it! But be prepared for the consequences, at home and abroad.

Le Grand-Duché de Gourmandie

Le Grand Duché de Gourmandie is ruled over by Grand-Duc Pierre Louis. His armies are commanded by Jean Lafitte Roquefort, Marquis de Fromage. The Grand Duchy is a hereditary territory, having passed from son to son for more than 300 years. The ruling family is notoriously conservative and the Grand Duc normally sends the Catholic Arch-Bishop Ambroise de Chabichou du Poitou into the field with his army to ensure adherence to God's Will and the moral rectitude of the men.

Army Commander: Jean Lafitte Roquefort, Marquis de Fromage

1er Brigade (Phillipe Grand-Nez, Comte de Roquefort)
1er/Infanterie Roquefort
2e/Infanterie Roquefort
Artillerie de Roquefort

2e Brigade (Jean-Jacques LaPierre, Comte d'Auvergne)
1er/Infanterie d'Auvergne
2e/Infanterie d'Auvergne (incomplete)
Artillerie d'Auvergne

3e Brigade (Henri Sanglier, Vicomte de Champaigne)
Grenadiers de Camembert
Grenadiers de Gourmandie (incomplete)
1er/Artillerie de Gourmandie
2e/Artillerie de Gourmandie

4e Brigade (Georges leRoque, Comte de Boursin)
Grenadiers à Cheval Boursin
Dragons de la Grande-Duchesse (incomplete)
Hussards de le Grand Duc

Das KaiserReich

Das KaiserReich, a strictly protestant state, is ruled over by KronPrinz Friedrich Wilhelm, who also personally commands his army in the field. The state is rigorously controlled by an efficient and ruthless bureaucracy, at the head of which sits The Council of Twelve, a group of influential and wealthy burghers. Constant strain and tension between the hereditary rights of the KronPrinz and the economic and personal interests of The Council serve to limit the powers of the royal family. Thus, many of the regiments that make up the army are militia, raised and paid for by their Inhabers, landed gentry from the various districts of the Reich (most of whom are closely tied to the royal family by blood or obligation).

Army Commander: KronPrinz Friedrich Wilhelm
1. Brigade (Reichsgraf Reinhard von Blumhardt)
Musketiere Krombacher
Musketiere Märzen 
1. FeldArtillerie zu Fuß

2. Brigade (Freiherr Erik von Radeburger)
Füsiliere Weißbier
Füsiliere Schwarzbier (incomplete)
2. FeldArtillerie zu Fuß

3. Brigade (Freiherr Ulrich von Schlender)
Grenadiere Oettinger
Lieb Grenadiere zu Fuß (incomplete)
Freikorps der Jagers Radeburger

4. Brigade (Markgraf Vidalius von Beyrösch-Nachbarschaften)
Lieb Kürassiere (incomplete)
Grenadiere zu Pferde Warsteiner

5. Brigade (Reichsritter Hildebrandt Freytag)
Ulanen Hasseroder
Pistoliere von Doppelbock

Ducato di Libagioni

Centered around the Vedicchio Lagoon, Ducato di Libagioni and its ruler, Il Prinicipe Giuseppe Martellato, rely upon a sizeable navy to project their regional power. Supported by multiple small colonies and settlements along the north coast and overseas, the Duchy once held considerable economic power. Due to the rise of Le Grand Duché de Gourmandie to the south, the Duchy's holdings and territories have gradually shrunk. The army, also somewhat diminished from years of mismanagement and neglect, is made up nonetheless of soldiers known for their fanatical aggression and liquid courage.

Army Commander: Il Prinicipe Giuseppe Martellato
Prima Brigata (Barone Vincenzo Paradiso)
Battaglione di Sambuca
Battaglione di Campari

Secondo Brigata (Conte Immacolato Baldelli)
Granatiere dell'Amaretto
1/Primo Artiglieria
2/Primo Artiglieria

Terza Brigata (Conte Gaudenzio Campobasso)
Cacciatore di Galliano
Cavalleria di Strega
1/Secondo Artiglieria


St Julien is ruled by El Duque, Juan Carlos Gobernante de Grasa, the particularly wicked and malevolent leader of the La Inquisición, an institution whose aim is to aggressively combat heresy in the Catholic faith (and, in fact, in all Christendom). De Grasa’s regime is oppressive and tyrannical, wherein all decisions are centralized in the person of El Duque. He uses his position to communicate the true word of God, not only to his own nobles and peasantry but to the world at large, much to the chagrin of his neighbours. The St-Julien army is largely conscripted from among the rural peasants and led by the nobility, both whom live in constant fear of El Duque’s wrath.

Army Commander: El Duque, Juan Carlos Gobernante de Grasa

Primera Brigada (Vizconde Inigo Montoya de la Espada)
1ª Mosqueteros Tortosa
2º Mosqueteros Tortosa
3ª Mosqueteros Tortosa
Lanceros Tortosa
1ª Artillería

Segundo Brigada (Vizconde Oliverio Navarro de la Granja)
1ª Mosqueteros Aragon
2º Mosqueteros Aragon
3ª Mosqueteros Aragon
4ª Mosqueteros Aragon
Lanceros Aragon

Tercero Brigada (Barón Cristoval Lopez de la Boca Grande)
1ª Mosqueteros Navarre
2º Mosqueteros Navarre
2º Artillería

Cuarto Brigada (Vizconde José Forjador del Bosque)
1ª Mosqueteros Navarre
2º Mosqueteros Navarre


Nordstrum is a fanatically secular state, governed by the FolksParlament, at the head which sits Chancellor Karl Gustav Gustavsson. The Chancellorship is an elected position and is beholden to the whims of the people in the form of the annually elected FolksParlament. The small but professional army mirrors the state, wherein advancement is based on merit and service, rather than birth and preferment. The common soldier fights for his family, his regiment, and his country (God has little, if anything, to do with it). Nordstrum is notorious for staying out of the common disputes amongst its more pious and monarchic neighbours, while preferring to promote its overseas trading interests.

Army Commander: General Adolphus Lundgren

1. Brigad (Överste Alexander Rosenqvist)
Infanteri Prinsessa
Volontärer Neumunster
Artilleri Neumunster

2. Brigad (Överstelöjtnant Valdemar Skoglund)
Grenadjärer Prinsens
Marinsoldater Brokkebjerg

3. (Utländsk) Brigad (Överste Emanuel Hagström)
1. Utländsk Legion
2. Utländsk Legion
3. Utländsk Legion (Jägare)
Utländsk Kavalleri
Utländsk Artilleri

4. Brigad (Major Ramund Sjöström)
Kavalleri Karstadt
Kavalleri Bybjerg


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  2. Sounds like a fun way to do a campaign. Question: in the army list for St-Julien I noticed that your third and fourth brigades seem to have troops from Navarre which are the same. Is this an error or do these represent separate battalions from the same regiment?

  3. Ah yes, a cut & paste mistake. Thanks for finding that :)