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Subject: Anachronistic or Alt-Historical Theme? rss

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Jeff Weber
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I started perusing the rules pdf of this one. Looks like an interesting game. The first line jumped out at me "Clans of Caledonia is a strategic economic game set in 19th century Scotland."

I thought that the clans (in real life) had been wiped out by the mid 18th century. Are there design reasons for setting the game in the 19th cent. ?
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Doug Stewart
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Jeff Weber wrote:
I thought that the clans (in real life) had been wiped out by the mid 18th century. Are there design reasons for setting the game in the 19th cent. ?


Source? As someone with a clan/family/sept history that goes back to at least the early 1600's, this is news to me.
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Bill Buchanan
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Jeff Weber wrote:


I thought that the clans (in real life) had been wiped out by the mid 18th century. ?


That's like saying Southerners were wiped out after the American Civil War ...
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Jeff Weber
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I really was just curious about the game design.

As for the history, I suggest a little reading. Events such as the Battle of Culloden, and later the Dress Act and other related laws, effectively brought about the end of the Clan system at the hands of the British monarchy in mid 1700s. Families survived, of course, but the Clan system was over.

The game theme presents a happier alt-history, but some time later, with Clan life intact and flourishing.
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Greg Justice
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Good grief, is that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in your avatar? A blast from the past, I love it.
 
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Doug Stewart
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Jeff Weber wrote:
The game theme presents a happier alt-history, but some time later, with Clan life intact and flourishing.


I suggest it's likely you who are overreaching on this one. It's not alt-history, it's noting that the various clans/families/septs (whose shared lineage and geographic localities largely stayed intact, even though their political clout was essentially demolished) had reputations for certain pursuits. The kilts in "Braveheart" were a-historic and inserted for the purposes of making a good film -- I would view the tartans and, yes, even the Clans in the game in a similar light.

The Clans themselves weren't wiped out, but rather their political power. They continued to be the people of Scotland and, accordingly, continued to practice that which they were good at, which is what is simulated in CoC.

(At least that's my view on it.)
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Scott Hill
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Pretty sure the Scottish Clans are still legally recognised entities to this day.
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Uisge Beatha
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The game picks up some elements of Scottish history from roughly the time period it's set in but, yes... it's not really historically accurate.

The clan system that had been in place for centuries was indeed utterly destroyed by the slaughter at Culodden in 1746, the ferocious recriminations afterwards and the systematic eradication of highland/clan culture that followed - with the clan chiefs' traditional powers to dispense justice supplanted and even the speaking of Gaelic and the wearing of highland dress banned - death by hanging being the prescribed punishment.

Many died, but not everyone, and the clan names live on - but not the clan system. The modern image of the clans owes its origins partly to Sir Walter Scott - who was massively successful in his day (imagine JK Rowling with no TV, films or internet to compete with) and then Queen Victoria's professed love for all things Scottish, which really kick started the tartan industry.


Having said all that, I don't think the game is trying to be historically accurate but to give a Scottish flavour to the game - and I think it's quite successful at that. The historical snippets in the clan descriptions are accurate and give a bit of flavour to their special powers. Which is fine; it's a euro game.


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Bill Buchanan
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Celtic wrote:

The game picks up some elements of Scottish history from roughly the time period it's set in but, yes... it's not really historically accurate.

The clan system that had been in place for centuries was indeed utterly destroyed by the slaughter at Culodden in 1746, the ferocious recriminations afterwards and the systematic eradication of highland/clan culture that followed - with the clan chiefs' traditional powers to dispense justice supplanted and even the speaking of Gaelic and the wearing of highland dress banned - death by hanging being the prescribed punishment.

Many died, but not everyone, and the clan names live on - but not the clan system. The modern image of the clans owes its origins partly to Sir Walter Scott - who was massively successful in his day (imagine JK Rowling with no TV, films or internet to compete with) and then Queen Victoria's professed love for all things Scottish, which really kick started the tartan industry.


Having said all that, I don't think the game is trying to be historically accurate but to give a Scottish flavour to the game - and I think it's quite successful at that. The historical snippets in the clan descriptions are accurate and give a bit of flavour to their special powers. Which is fine; it's a euro game.




Weren't most, if not all, of the repressive laws banning "Clan Culture" reversed near the end of the 18th centurty and there was a new "romantic clan era" that emerged following?
 
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Bruno Gaia
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Scorpion0x17 wrote:
Pretty sure the Scottish Clans are still legally recognised entities to this day.


They are. I am Lord Bruno Gaia of Glencoe so I should know. :D

(yeah: Highland Titles, make no mistakes)
 
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Uisge Beatha
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WBuchanan wrote:
Weren't most, if not all, of the repressive laws banning "Clan Culture" reversed near the end of the 18th centurty and there was a new "romantic clan era" that emerged following?

Yes, that's when the Walter Scott and Queen Victoria influences began to take over. But it remained illegal to use Gaelic in the education system until well into the 20th century. And a century and a half of brutal repression of an essentially oral culture, where even the language itself was banned, means that the highland culture that existed pre-Culodden is almost all lost to us. Most of what people now think of as clan culture is an essentially a Victorian creation.

 
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