My Dream Game – Early Stages and Advice Needed

I’m looking to recruit a few friends to play national leaders and strategic commanders of a continental scale game.  I’m getting into horse and musket for the first time ever, and it’s long been a dream of mine to play an actual campaign with more depth than a narrative campaign.  I’m hoping that they’ll enjoy the strategic level game, and that it will generate some organic and unusual tactical battles that I can play through solo on the tabletop.   

Figures by Irregular, painted by Nik Harwood

It will be a horse-and-musket era campaign in the Ruritanian/Elbonian style.  The strategic game would be run largely as a PBEM or online game among friends, so it can be pretty loose, but it needs enough structure for the players to be able to make informed choices.  Preferably something with a map that we can push counters and armies around on, and that opens up the possibilites of ra bit of strategic maneuvering.  The battles will be run using some fast play rules scaled for Corp level using 2mm figures.  Maybe throw in a few skirmishes if the strategic game allows for the chance to have some “Richard Sharpe” level fun missions, but that’s for later.

The prospect of running such a campaign is a little daunting, particularly given that my horse and musket gaming is largely limited to participating in games hosted by men with a lot more experience in the era and a lot more brains than myself.  

Any of you fine fellows have a recommendation for reading, or for strategic level rules that wouldn’t suck up all my game time with logistics and fiddly number crunching?

[Cross-posted from the Lead Adventure Forum]