My first post on this blog was made 10 years ago on 11 May 2010. Since then I’ve made 535 total posts–roughly 4.4 posts a month or one post a week. There have been 752 comments from readers and myself that Monlegionnaire has over 5GB of multi-media posted or available to download with an additional bunch of downloads available on Mediafire. Total all time views are 741,277 — a 10-year average of 6,200 a month. There are 138 folks who follow Monlegionnaire. Not bad I guess for a hobby but not a great showing when compared to similar blogs. I’ve not promoted this blog in anyway nor do I do what the experts say about driving up traffic. I’ve kind of just let this page get discovered and hopefully bookmarked or followed. Very old school I guess and I’m glad I’ve kept at it.
To celebrate this anniversary I upgraded my WordPress plan. Now you won’t see those annoying banners and pop-ups bothering your reading experience or tempting you to buy something stupid like face masks or romance novels.
Why did I ever create this in the first place you might ask? It’s a long and stupid story but it all started when I thought about developing a role playing game about the classic French Foreign Legion. A role playing game (RPG) is a tabletop game in which several players take on the roles of imaginary characters who engage in adventures in a fictional setting with a plot that is partly overseen by a referee or game master with the rest left up to the rolls of odd shaped dice. The most famous of these games is Dungeons and Dragons, a game I began playing in 1977. My Foreign Legion game was going to integrate a Beau Geste type of setting for the role playing portion with tabletop war game rules involving miniatures and square cardboard unit counters (like Avalon Hill strategy games) to resolve skirmishes and pitched battles. Needless to say I never got around to finishing the project and instead got caught up in the amazing history, stories, and general romance of this storied Corps.
What is the future of this blog? I’m going to keep plugging along for another ten years at least. I’m trying to increase my posting rate which admittedly has been slacking this past year. I have many, many drafts of future posts and a veritable hoard of additional material to get to. Right around the corner I’ll be: updating the library page with more downloadable books; book and movie reviews; some war game terrain tips; more monthly pulp fiction stories supplemented with adventures from various British story papers. I’m also thinking of ways to generate some income from all this work so I can purchase more material such as pulps, books, magazines, photographs, period postcards and various other items to share. I’m thinking of selling some eBooks with exclusive or original material but more to follow on that. I’m also decided on selling some rare items in my collection so I will announce these eBay listings here as well.
Looking back. I was very excited about my game project when I started it but like many other creative things I start it just didn’t happen. When I was drafting the outline for my game I knew I needed a bunch of maps so I created one for Sidi Bel Abbes in Algeria, the garrison city I believed would be the primary base for your Legionnaire characters. I then created another map for a barracks room typical of what you would find in the Quartier Vienot (the Legion base). The Sidi Bel Abbes map was my second post to Monlegionnaire so today I thought I would follow up that thread by sharing the barracks maps and a book extract I found about the town.
To understand why Sidi Bel Abbes would be the logical and equivalent choice for the proverbial “Village Inn” setting normally found in Dungeons and Dragons here is a chapter from a 1934 book called Sinful Cities of the Western World by Hendrick DeLeeuw. It is short but drips with potential plots and covers the illicit sex-trade of the Arab Quarter of that city pretty well. So if one is inclined to move this information into the gaming mode all that is needed is to populate the map with your bars, hotels, shops, secret societies, villains and friendly contacts and non-player characters, and you have the start on a Foreign Legion adventure straight out of the pulps.