Saturday, October 6, 2012

(Gnome Wars) The Bore Wars

All quiet on the gaming front here. Hopefully a little painting this weekend, but for now I'm catching up on a dozen and a half blog post at some stage.

While that is getting accomplished, I present to you, the Boer Wars, as imagined by Mike Lung. It's a great way to fight historic battles, using most gnome nationalities, teddy bears, frogs, and if you're in a modelling mood, Swiss style bunny cavalry!

Of Bores and Bears by Mike Lung
A disgruntled Swiss gnomish miner named Joseph Opalsmyth, Jr. was also a local religious leader and was considered a prophet by his followers. Opalsmyth was a simple man who preached that the gnomish gods wished that Gnomes live simple lives close to nature, managing their small farms, protecting local wildlife and of course mining gems. Although gnomes are naturally skilled craftsman, an over reliance on technology and other modern ways was frowned upon. He was a close advocate of following the ways of Saint David the Gnome and others like him. Opalsmyth saw the increasing German (technological and modern) influence not only as a threat to the traditional Swiss gnomish way of life, but sacrilege and an affront to the gnomish gods.

One day while mining, Opalsmyth found some mysterious, ancient golden tablets deep within a previously unexplored cavern. Only Opalsmyth’s closest friends and confidents were allowed to view the tablets up close as they were said to be a sacred sign from the gods and meant only for the eyes of the most faithful. Guided by these sacred writings and dreamlike visions, Opalsmyth was tasked by the gods to lead his faithful followers to a new gnomish promise land, a land of cheese and honey. Opalsmyth gathered his followers and set out on this self imposed exodus away from the corrupting, worldly ways of the Germans. Opalsmyth led his followers to a far off land know as Afrikka. He and his followers were later named Bores by other gnomes because their simplistic lifestyle seemed dreadfully boring compared to the wonders that technology was bringing to the lives of more modern thinking gnomes.

As caravans of Bore Gnomish settlers left the coastal imperial towns of southern Afrikka and moved inward across Afrikkan landscape, the promises and prophesies of Opalsmyth came true. Afrikka was indeed was a land of wonder…vast grasslands to raise cheese producing cows and goats, rock uplands and mountains to dig tunnels and search for gems, immense vast forest teaming with wildlife, and no foreign Gnomes to corrupt the minds of the young. It seemed like the Bores had found their Gnomish paradise. But all was not what it seemed.

Afrikka was occupied by a race of natives who had a teddy bear appearance and seemingly primitive ways of life. They were seen as a naïve, carefree folk whose less than industrious ways offended the dour, hard working gnomes. It is said these natives loved more than anything else to picnic, eat honey and chase butterflies. Indeed, gathering honey and herding wooden cows (that don’t move around too much) was their main economic occupations. At first, the Bores merely chased the bears away and took from them their land and honey without consideration. Later, the native bears were even killed or force to work as slaves in the gnomish mines or on gnomish mushroom plantations. The Bores justified these actions by saying the land was given to them by their gods, and therefore the natives of the land were also given to them to be done with as they chose. Efforts by the natives to resist were mercilessly crushed.

Naturally, unconquered native bears learned to fear the Bores and fought them in defense. But those efforts were scattered and unorganized. That was until the Bores in their arrogance stole a large honey hoard on located deep in Zulubear territory and attempted to seize by force a large area of land from the Zulubear nation. Unlike many of the other native tribes, the Zulubears were a highly organized, military society. The king of the Zulubears controlled a huge standing army. Each young male cub was taken from his family assigned into a regiment referred to as impis that became his new family. The impis were organized by age, trained as warriors, and were given fierce regimental names like Honeybees and the Golden Suffocating Death. These bears served as soldiers and laborers for their king until they had earned the right to settle down and marry. The earning of this right was known as the washing of the plungers and earned by plunging the Zulubear weapon into the gut of their enemies! Anxious to wash their plungers and take vengeance against the Bores, the Zulubears ambushed a wagon train and brutally plunged their plungers into the bellies all Gnomes in the caravan. Since then the war between the Bores and Zulubears has been fierce. Bitter hatred best described the relationship between these two groups.

If the Zulubear conflict was not trouble enough, large deposits of brightly color gems were found on Bore lands. Naturally, word spread like wild fire. Imperial colonists located along the coast of Afrikka who had up to now ignored the Bores were caught up in gem fever. Large numbers of colonists largely consisting of highlanders and leprechauns left the imperial port cities and moved into the lands claimed by the Bores in hopes of becoming rich. The Bores resisted this unwanted intrusion into their sacred land. Open hostility broke out. Imperial Sikh, Highlander, and South African gnome regiments were sent to quell the violence only to find themselves embroiled in the conflict. Even more antagonizing to the Bores, well trained and equipped imperial bear infantry regiments were sent. Naturally, the thought of arming and training bears to fight using traditional Gnome tactics was thought to be fundamental threat to the Bores and their way of life.

Further to the north, the Bores discovered a long lost ancient society of Gnomians. These were the descendants of the famous lost IXII Gnomini Legion who marched into Afrikka and mysteriously disappeared. As was normal Gnomian Empire practice, inhabitants of lands conquered were in Gnominized and assimilated into the empire as full citizens and served in the army. Many bear legionnaire regiments served alongside more traditional Gnomian legionnaires. The Gnomians were an aggressive, dangerous foe with their own imperialistic designs.

Also to the north, were vast jungles and swamps. These were the home to countless tribes of amphibian and saurians. The Kermitian tribe was the best known. These tribes tended to be highly aggressive. It is said that the most tribesmen had a taste for gnome meat!

Not to be outdone by their imperial counterparts, to the west the Germans set up a colony. On one-hand, the Germans were said to be more ruthless in their treatment of the native populations putting down rebellion with brutal efficiency. However, the Germans were also known to treat conquered populations with more compassion and fairness than many others. Natives were educated and could obtain leadership roles in colonial society. Native regiments were lead by German officers and NCOs and were considered an equal to most standard European regiments. Although the Bores had a traditional dislike for the Germans, they were served at least temporarily by the philosophy, “an Enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

So much for the peaceful idyllic life promised by Joseph Opalsmyth! The Bores and the rest of Afrikka was on the brink of war and total chaos!

Bore dress like Swiss…traditional civilian gnome clothes…usually blue coats and red hats…some wear green, brown or gray coats. Most Bores are extremely independent and proud so service in standing regiments is frowned upon. Most regiments are militia like in organization. However, there a few professional trained regiments. These standing regiments usual serve as a police force and as mine and border guards. Bores have adapted to Afrikka by becoming expert riders. They usually ride bunnies, but sometimes other animals are ridden as well. Since a gnome riding a bunny across often invites the attention of hungry Afrikkan wildlife, the Bores have become expert shots as well. Bore caravans consists of wagons pulled by draft bunnies. They can be formed into defensive laagers when attacked. This is particularly effective against bear tribesmen. Some wagons have been known to be fitted with cannons (think Hussite war wagons!).

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