Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Diplomatic? Note

Early Morning (i.e., actually before noon!): At the offices of the Minister, Prince de Charade:

Servant: M’seur Bernard, there’s some sort of formal delegation from one of those German princelings here.
Bernard: Without an appointment? What the **** do they want?
Servant: They say that they have to present a Note to the Prince. (He hands Bernard a slaver with cartes de visite on them).
Bernard: Merde! The Migraine! and she’s coming officially?
Servant: With escort, translators, and attaches, M’seur.
Bernard: I’ll get the Prince prepared. (Sighs) Where are they?
Servant: Since they were on official business, M’seur, I have brought them past the foyer into the hall d’Assemblies.
Bernard: Move them on into the wardrobe, I guess. Serve them coffee and warn them that there may be a delay of (he checks the weather outside) about an hour to an hour and a half ... unless I get lucky.

Both men leave.
Bernard hurries down a back hallway into the groom’s waiting room. Seeing the Prince’s coachman sitting down with a pastry and latte, Bernard hurries over to him.
Bernard: Is he really here already?
Coachman: Oui, M’seur. He’s changing from his travel cloak in the wardrobe now.
Bernard: Now?!
Coachman: Oui?
Bernard hurries rapidly from room in considerable trepidation.

In the Wardrobe (actually, a suite of rooms), the Frankszonian party and the Prince du Charade enter simultaneously. The Prince is still attired in his burgundy and fur trimmed travel cloak and florid hat.
Margravaine Rhabbidiers (nasally): Merci! Your Highness! We did not mean to cause you to rush so suddenly, but we must discuss the note together ... and perhaps it is best that we do so before you have to actually read it.
Charade (somewhat startled and taken aback to find the party there):: It is nothing, my Lady. In Gallia, we do not wish to keep beautiful women waiting too long. I’ve found that they can be quite creative in overcoming such boredom.
A small gasp introduce Bernard, whose pace changes abruptly from a hurried rush to a sedate walk.
Bernard: Your Highness, the envoy of Frankszonia, to deliver a Note of State.
Charade: A Note of State? (he looks back at the Frankszonian contingent, noting the formal uniforms and the presence of an interpreter) If you would pardon me but a moment, my lords and ladies; I must change and ensure that the proper aides are present. In my office in half an hour?
Rhabbidiers: (curtseying) That would be most gracious, My Lord.
Charade: Bernard? (both men exit as other servants enter with trays and a steaming samovar).

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Note from the Hurtshog Fahrtz to l'Intendant Bastille

We apologize for recent impressment of several of your Gallian laborers into the forces of Frankszonia. After interviewing your straw bosses, however, it seems that the number so encumbered is only about a hundred or so, barely 20% of your work force. Since we have a sufficient number of skilled personnel in our debtor's prison, we would gladly permit them to be dragooned into your service for your projects in this area.

Please understand that this was not an intentional intervention, the press gangs were looking for mechanics and laborers, and in the low class inns at night, such distinctions are quite easy to ignore. Our own native labor pool has suffered much higher stress from the current crisis also. So the employment of these artisans by your foremen would ease a number of local political stresses.

Surely you are pleased with the quiet redeployment of Frankszonian main forces to the south. While we've retained some key units for our personal and urban security, we feeel that the Gallian muster in the area is sufficient to sustain order on the right bank of the Main.
\Our scouts have gathered information that implies that the Vile Stagonian force which recently struck us at Offenbach has redeployed to the south east, apparently planning to join in the Stagonian violation of peaceful Tipple=Bruder. In spite of the treacherous acquiesence of the Offenbach leaders in the Vile Stagonian duplicity, we feel that to support the Soweiter League and its associates is the best policy for an Imperial Frei Stadt. Therefore, our forces will again advance on Offenbach to see if this might draw back the Stagonian Brigade from their depredations in the Odin Wald.

Meanwhile, the battalions which so bravely held the Hesse-Sewald assault are being rebuilt at our outpost across the Main from Offenbach. While there, they are constructing earthworks sufficient for a battery of heavy artillery sufficient to reach across the river to the Offenbach docks.

While our officers are dismayed over the recent turn of international diplomacy, as an Imperial Frei Stadt not holding a distinct and explicit treaty of alliance with Gallia, we are compelled for the time being to withhold further direct assistance of your brave heroes. By the Imperial agreement, Frankszonia is no longer an enemy of Hesse Seewald. It is our sincere hope, however, that the Gallian Foreign Minister will soon rectify this rather embarrassing encumbrance with a sufficient instrument of friendship which acknowledges us as an autonomous entity.

Meanwhile, an anti-Stagonian alliance has arisen all over the continent. Indeed, we expect to hear of a major clash in the region of Tipple-Bruder as soon as the weather clears enough to permit movement.

Meanwhile, let us toast the honor and vigour of our cousin, your Gallian Monarch!

Herr Stanken, Hurtshog Fahrtz von Frankfurter
by the hand of le Comte de Beauphaup ...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tides on the Main ....

Frankszonian forces continue to assemble in the Saxenhausen area south of Frankfurt. At Offenbach, however, the citizens notice that across and slightly down river from their town, large gun emplacements are under construction.
These do not appear, at the moment, to be Frankszonian units, but rather small units of local Stadtholders ....

In Frankszonia itself, rumors abound that the recent catastrophe at Offenbach was the result of secret collusion between Stagonia and Gallia. Folks around the Hurtshog's court, however, insist that such a conspiracy is "too Cheezy". Somehow this does not reassure the mechanics, who resent the presence of Gallian laborers in their area.

Nonetheless, a force of some four to six thousand men is definitely gathering south of the Main along with its normal gaggle of camp followers.

stumbling along

Been a tad ill lately, so the blog has suffered.
However, I'd recommend you all go to the Empire vs Elector blog to get connections to several quite lovely accounts (and photographs) of the nice battle at Offenbach.

Further developments now coming in ...

Frankszonian forces moving into Saxenhousen area south of Frankfurter, sending out scouts looking for the Stagonian column which they lately faced.

An alliance is forming in and around Tipple-Bruder to face another Stagonian column in the sodden November weather in the Wodenwald ....

(for which I'm feverishly trying to paint 72 figs for the Stagonians ... might not get done in time).

More later, probably next week ...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Offenback Falls!

Alas, it seems that the vacillations of the local Offenbach leaders has left them victims to Stagonian duplicity. The tiny, brave brigade; which Frankszonia had so generously sent to their aid in response to the earlier Stagonian Ultimatum was driven back.
We gather together again.
We call upon all the friends of the Soweiter League to assemble against the Vile Stagonian invasions.
Offenbach shall be free again!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Last Minute Diplomac y

Even as the Frankszonian officers glower at the rascally captive, the carriage of l’Comte d’Beauphaup clatters into the yard. Everything is held in suspense as guards quickly leap to the door and assist the elegantly attired young diplomat descend from his ornate vehicle. Seeing the flouncy lace shake in the man’s springy step, the captive leans out the window and shouts, “Guiles!”
“Ryan! you scoundrel!” laughs the count. “Whatever are you doing with this crowd?”
“Same thing you like to do,” Ryan rejoins, “holding hands with the most hirsute guards.”
The guards momentarily flinch away from him, but the mutual laughter of the two men, keeps everyone else from intervening. As the count traipses into the room, he gets serious. “I’m glad to catch you here, Ryan. There’s work to be done.” Then, without a further comment to anybody , he pulls Ryan aside into another room from which they expel the various aides, clerks, and officers.
“Ryan,” the count begins, “you’ve got to help me get the Soweiter Burgomasters to reason. The Stagonian forces coming down the river outnumber both of us together, and Gen. Chevert is on the wrong side to intervene.”
“Reason, I suppose, means submission to your Hurtshog’s whims and abandonment of our ancient liberties?” retorts Ryan scornfully.
“No!” the count continues angrily. “That’s what the first provision was meant to secure! Your “ancient liberties” are not by Imperial Edict and have never been acknowledged by Hesse Darned Stadt nor by Nassau. Frankszonia, however, has all of that.”
“Just how does our inclusion as a Frankszonian town defend it for our selves?” Ryan responds skeptically.
“Look, the Frankfurter Bundt is NOT the Stadt Council of Frankszonia, never has been. Wurstinburgers and other great towns have always been represented ... joining the bundt actually increases your status as well as gives an almost automatic improvement to the whole Leagues status.”
“I’ve never heard of becoming a protectorate increasing anyone’s status!” Ryan snaps.
“A mutual defensive alliance might have sounded better,” Guiles admitted, “but do you really want your boys getting blown away in fights with Limburger or Munster or Hamburger? Let alone becoming Gallian cannon fodder.
“Look, the Hurtshog isn’t gaining all that much by this. He’ll lose the tarrifs on the hundreds of tubas you sell each year in Frankszonia; he’ll lose a major bit of the river tarrifs on traffic past the bridge. Moreover, as a Frankszonian “protectorate” he can pressure L’Intendant Bastille into dispatching the many fine crafts men and engineers from Gallia along with our own laborers for the restoration of your towns defenses. Scheise! three modern redoubts, even if just ditch and dirt, would triple your town’s resistance.”
“You can promise these engineers?”
“They’ll be here within 36 hours of any agreement.”
“So your officers can use our own men to seize rule in the town?” Ryan turns away, “You know us better than that!”
“Verdamnt! Ryan! ‘Intact units,’ ‘Intact units.’ Do you honestly belief any lieutenant, hauptman, or especialy a Feldwebel of Soweiter would permit such an abuse?”
“Then why under YOUR officers and command?”
“We’ve got the more troops. Your units are Reichs Armee trained, ours are Germanian ... orders from the commanding General would be confused by your obersts and intendants. Besides, the Hurtshog has put together a real army staff ... look at the guys next door!” The count pleaded. “Offenbach simply must let itself become an active part of the Frankszonian community!”
“We are ourselves, not you,” Ryan snarls. “And what happens if, no when, the Stadt Council tells you how to use your offers?”
“Get real, Ryan,” Guiles answers sadly. “Stagonia shall not be allowed to obtain the tuba works intact. I play an Offenbach tuba, what do you think I want?”
Ryan looks out the window at the traffic of messengers and patrols for a moment. “Guiles,” he says, “even if it ruins us, they can’t swallow the arrogance of the proclamation.”
“Then reword everything to whatever works.” the count urges. “We need commitments to achieving the purpose together ...” a sudden clatter interrupts them. The various Obersts are leaving, looking grim and purposeful and with determined strides to their soon galloping mounts.
“You know Haugen Bienz.” the count continues. “If a diamond ring would roll by his foot, he’d stomp on it in case it was green fly .... and Woad and the big guns will be here in hours. The Hurtshog doesn’t want to hurt a hut here, but Stagonia must not obtain the works intact.”
Beauphaup opens the door. “Bienz!” he shouts, “quickly, before you do anything else, get this man a pass through our lines, a good horse, and a neat aide to ride escort!”
“Ach!” the general replies, “you diplomat! Ve haff un grosse schlact hier und Sie vill to gift this rascal stuff stop our soldiers? Nein!”
“In the Duke’s Name!” Beauphaup responds more forcefully than any of the officers had ever heard. Suddenly, Beauphaup pulls of his heavy riding gloves and thrusts a ring under Haugen Bienz’s nose. “And, under the Seal von Frankfurter! Now yield and obey!”
“Ja! Ich musten!” the general stammers. “Schnell, ein Grande Pferd und mit him, Emil!”
Within moments, the two riders dash off into a swirling mist which is rising into the cold air ....

Taking the terms in order:
One: Offenbach retains its membership and participation in the Soweiter League.
This is a matter for the League and not something to be ruled on by foreign nations.
Two: Offenbach shall appoint two representatives to the Frankfurter Bundt to represent its interests.
The League is more than willing to send an ambassadorial contingent to Frankfurter to represent the interests of the League and its members.
Three: Offenbach shall accept Frankszonian protection.
While Hesse-Offenbach and the Soweiter League is quite capable of defending itself we would graciously accept, as equals, an alliance against Vile Stagonia or other enemies of the League.
Four: Offenbach’s military shall be incorporated as intact units into the Frankszonian forces observing Vile Stagonia.
Hesse-Offenbach as a member of the Soweiter League cannot and will not place its forces under the command of foreign officers.

graffitti appearing along the Main River

Stagonian Verses:

I don’t know, though I have heard
That the cuckoo is the Stagonian bird.

Though clearly descended from Father of Lies,
That’s not why horns are above the Stagonian eyes.
It’s a question of legitimacy,
And perhaps too much intimacy
With what a small drink in Stagonia buys!

Old Stagonia must sponsor the writer’s art.
See how great is just fiction’s real part
With colorful mendacity
Recounting their descendency
Where mothers can’t tell the fathers apart!

The tale of Stagonia’s minister’s execution
Is a rumor precluding a proper prosecution
For the mangled man’s state
When crushed by the weight
While evading a stronger husband’s perception.

If Bob’s your uncle by a relation
Not found in a legal, recorded compilation,
In Stagonia, no fuss;
Indeed it’s a plus
To be born into such a relative complication!

No wonder Stagonian noses stick in the air,
For looking down, their men could never dare. .
If he chanced a quick glance
Down about his pink pants,
He’d find much less than he expected there!

Developments at the camp near Offenbach

A piquet of Hillary’s Hussies beyond Offenbach spots a bedraggled officer sneaking towards them in the dark. As they dash forward to seize him, he exclaims: “Frankzonians! Oh Blessed Spirits!” and collapses. When they carry the unconscious man into camp, another officer recognizes the missing Oberst Bratmann!
Brig. Shlidelisht quickly orders him brought to the quarters of L'Haugen Bienz, where they carefully give him a few drops of schnapps. Bratmann revives for a moment, recognizes a friend and exclaims, “Franz, Franz, Die Stagonian marchen!” The battered man collapses again amid the exclamations of alarm from the assembled officers.

L'Haugen Bienz moves quickly to the map table. “Meinen Herren, ve musten machen schnell!
Kommen Sie.” He quickly marks out on his charts new positions, concentrating his forces on the western side of Offenbach. “Im der Morgen,” he continues, “ve shall by ein battalion uff Nathan’s Nationals und der 1st Black Skirts under Brig. Woad be joined. They escort a supply convoy und ein battery uff 24 lbrs. When they arrive, they will our second line immediatly deploy as. Die grosser guns, aber, will be unlimbered against the crumpled section and open fire immediately. Aber, against der vall und stone alone must they fire. When any breach appears, the Reiters will dash forward, discharge their pieces towards the town, and then retire if anyone returns a sinlge shot.
If ve can the Offenbach men out of the town draw, ve may be able to ride ofer dem vithout hurting them too bad.
Remember all! We are hear to protect Offenbach, not destroy it ... it is Stagonia vee must bury und nich praise, Jah?
If we musten the walls assault, we must carry through on the first rush or pull back into our entrenched camp.
This battle must bevore the Vile Stagonians arrive be over!”

As the staff begins to write out the necessary orders, a shout resounds from a guard outside the house where they are working. Soon, a dapper gentleman is dragged into the room by soldiers.
“We caught him beneath the staff room window, Mein Herr,” their corporal reports.
“Ach!” L'Haugen Bienz exclaims, “und, whom might you be? Vile Stagonian Spy!”
“Oh, hardly that!” the captive impudently chuckles .....

Monday, October 15, 2007

High Level Conferences

Conference notes between L’Intendant Bastille and Hurtshog Fahrtz.

Infantry Regiment Sanders / Chicken to be recalled and restored to full strength,
I.R. Relischer under Oberst Pickle is to replace it in Gen. Chevert’s corps.
1st Hottatrot battalion is to be changed similarly for the 2nd Hottatrot battalion.

Nathan’s Nationals (militia) is to form a battalion and march with 1st Black Skirts under Brig. Woad. They will escort a supply convoy and a battery of 24 lbrs to the camp at Offenbach.

The Count L’Beauphaup will attempt to obtain Offenbach’s agreement to the following terms:
One: Offenbach retains its membership and participation in the Soweiter League.
Two: Offenbach shall appoint two representatives to the Frankfurter Bundt to represent its interests.
Three: Offenbach shall accept Frankszonian protection.
Four: Offenbach’s military shall be incorporated as intact units into the Frankszonian forces observing Vile Stagonia.

Ducal Proclamation:


After its insulting note to our great friends, the Soweiter League,
Vile Stagonia instituted a program of covert sabotage and incindarism against Tipplebruder.
In Righteous Anger, our young men have marched to Offenbach to help guard them against similar nefarious aggression.
Vile Stagonian agents have already planted their insidious poison into the body of that fine city!
Misled as to our friendly and wholly honorable intentions, the citizens of Offenbach have given Stagonia a gift of their own valiant forces.
Now, the horrible tragedy looms that we, who should be brothers feasting together, may soon engage in the hateful horrors of battle!
It is this very pestiferous, petty pride that precludes our honorable German communities from enjoying those awesome attributes of acknowledged autonomy. It is this refusal to unite against the criminals in our own midst that yields our fields to foreigners!
Rally to the Right!
Congregate with your comrades in the community of the committed!
Reach out to your relatives and associates afar, that conglomerated together we can grind this beastly boar into sausage!

Long Prosper Frankszonia!!!

Field dispatch from Offenbach

Dispatch from General Bienz:
To: His Highness Stanken, the Hurtshog Fahrtz von Frankfurter


On approaching the town of Offenbach, we found that the local stadt council refused our generous offer of protection against the nefarious plots of Vile Stagonia. Indeed, a crowd of ruffians and mechanics assumed a motley of “uniforms” and have challenged our colors, threatening to attack our camp unless we withdraw.

After a council of war with Brig. Shlidelisht and Oberst Pfennighalter, we have decided to entrench our camp and retain our position on the outskirts of Offenbach. We hear that vile Stagonian agents have influenced the city mob in order to bring about this confrontation.

Perhaps, Your Highness, a high level diplomatic mission may yet defuse this situation, though there has been some random firing along the piquet lines.

Y’r srvnt.
Huagen Bienz


The grand "BIG BATTALIONS" battle in Illinois has happened, a grinding draw, it seems from first reports. Gallia and Hesse Seewald continue their grueling grind ....
Also a grand event, which we who have not attended, will miss for a long time.
Alte Fritz has some photos up on his blog spot and some battle reports are on the Yahoo Groups "Old School Wargamers" site.

The founder of the Empire vs. Elector blog has long suggested that we get "proxy" games going, in which gamers who are isolated have a third party actually game out their battles.
In furtherance of this goal, I've managed to engender a battle between the Soweiter League (actually our allies, sigh) and Frankszonia which is to be resolved by Murdoch ...

So the fun continues ...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Koenig's Krieg

I've long been a fan of these rules, ever since I got totally turned off by an overly detailed Napoleonics game in which extremely unreal events happened and true player initiative was difficult. This happened at an HMGS East convention, which can be a lot of fun, even though I was primarily an ancients gamer / WRG VI in those days.
I then had three Koenig's Krieg games in a row in which I was not prohibited from attempting things which forces of those periods attempted. The "Festung Krieg" rules were still not officially adopted then, and I got to play a round which I still feel was my outstanding performance at a convention game.

Alas, Koenig's Krieg is currently out of print, though the odd copy can still be found in some shops and it does show up on various second hand forums from time to time.
There is good news on that front, however. Not only are the current copyright holders working on bringing out a new edition (the last one had a lot of typos and poor illustrations), but also, there's a rumor that in spite of several annoying delays in their project, something good may happen soon.

Now, about those rules.
Koenig's Krieg is a deceptively simple set. Like chess, I've found it to incorporate surprising complexity in actual play.
It is based on 15mm / 12 figures = battalion usually (1 figure = @ 50 men). One inch (yep, it's inches, not millimeters)= @ 200 feet. Adaptation to 24 figure battalions and 25mm figures are fairly easy. Combat is fairly abstracted, with the eye candy of different formations extremely simplified.

On the other hand, K.K. features an "initiative" roll system, in which the winner declares who acts (one brigade at a time) ... and this roll occurs several times in a single phase, as most games will involve at least two brigades on a side. While I've seen this choice feature in other games, I've not seen it repeated in a single phase ... and the proper use of this choice can be quite decisive in that turn's events.
Secondarily, the turns are divided into operation phases ... combat is actually a function of movement in this game ... so instead of the usual move / fight simplicity, one has to choose to more or to shoot ... and only those units which have moved close enough can later act in the "close combat" phase ... which means, among other things, that unless you're careful, your cavalry will get shot down on its approach to charge distance!

These game mechanics underscore a unique feature of the period ... things actually did not happen exactly simultaneously. Who gets off the first volley can be decisive. Even though tactical considerations such as range, first volley bonus, platoon versus rank firing etc. are not considered, the unpredictability of who gets to do what next can generate quite unexpected and exciting turns of momentum within a single "turn" of the game.

In Seifreidsburg, for instance, the Jaegers performed much better than I expected. Furthermore, I would have bet that the Rotheisen Grenadiers would have been destroyed before they took the Grand Battery ... Santa Anna made a similar mistake in the Mexican American War. But, once it had happened, their heroic and suicidal attack actually made sense in the period dynamics!
Also, the nefarious Lt. General of the first wave managed to get his forces sufficiently dispersed as to leave them effectively all out of command ... Rosenblum's activation rolls were consistently, extremely good: which contributed to the constant attack against Lt. Oberst Sanders' battalion.

While K.K. functions quite well on brigade and larger scale, I've found it difficult for a single player to handle more than twenty or so battalions. So a "corps" sized game is about the largest I'd attempt myself (I have to game solo most of the time). On the other hand, the nice simplicity of the game makes it unsuitable for me for anything smaller than a brigade sized engagement. At the smaller scale, intricate details of range, tactics, formation, and so forth are much more important, and gaming at that level, for me, requires rules to consider ... and to portray such distinctions visibly.

If you do get a chance to try these rules, I predict that you will enjoy them.
I just wish I could have a live, face to face opponent who really understood them so I could learn much better how to exploit their unique subtleties.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Pictures posted

Okay, Jeff, even after you viewed the blog, I was still adding pictures ... a long and agonizing process.
BTW, I used less than half the lovely pictures my wife made for this game, and she's eager to photograph another soon!
Alas, I shall miss both the big game this weekend and the RockCon next month ... but looking forward to those pictures as well from the other guys!
will now creak off to bed ...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Draft Report on Battle of Seifreidsburg

Battle of Seifriedsburg, The Battle Itself:
(This Post will be Edited with Pictures in the upcoming days)

Key locales / reference points:
Salzugnen , Fulda, Gemunden am Main,
Wurzburg (Wurstinburgers), Frankfurt (Frankszonia)

Schonau, Ascheroth, Weyersfeld, Hollrich, Seifriedsburg, Reichenbuch

*{Initial comment: I had set up the battle using the 24 figure/battalion adaptation of Koenig’s Krieg, but set up the battle on a table better scaled for the 12 figure / battalion. Alas, I overlooked this until I’d already set out most of the figures. Hence, instead of the maneuvering which I had expected, the game decayed into a slug fest series of frontal assaults. Obviously, the original orbat provided the Hesse-Seewald forces with totally inadequate artillery, so I effectively doubled (again) the power of the Hesse Seewald battery and converted the whole thing into a great collection of howitzers. As the game developed, I was at first afraid that even this had been inadequate, but about turn four, this adaptation finally worked as expected).


As the drums beat “Alarm!” and “Assemble,” the forces under V. Ballpark’s command fall in.
In the fog shrouded, wooded valley below them, vague figures can be seen forming into battle lines. More troops can be seen debauching from Ascheroth and approaching the bridge between Ascheroth and the Seifreidsburg plateau. The mist rumbles with the competing drum rhythms of the various forces gathering for the looming battle.

Along the crest of the plateau with its cleared fields
*(the yellow zone in the pictures – the cleared fields along the Wursburg road are represented by tan),
Ballpark has constructed lines of chevaux au frise. The east side of the table is dominated by the fields along the Wursburg road and the village of Ascheroth. The Seewald attack is based on Ascheroth, from which it moves down across a stream (bridged on the road from Ascheroth to Seifriedsburg and the road from Weyersfeld to Seifriedsburg) into the scrubby pastureland and woods on the slopes leading up to Seifriedsburg.

Coming up to Seifriedsburg from Schonau, a road climbs the steep canyon walls on the north side of a gulch. The stream which forms this gulch rises from a spring on the very eastern edge of the plateau (the green band through the plateau). On the western side, this gulch is bridged, but on the eastern side it is almost an insignificant feature
*(only forming a one move delay and also halves the melee value of a unit).
The plateau itself forms a good passage through the tree covered ridges and bluffs arising above the river... so is flanked by higher, wooded hills. Another road, however, does lead south from Seifreidsburg to Reichenbuch, which is another high flat, fielded site and is the designated rally point for von Ballpark’s command.

Brigadier Rosenschnauz, in spite of his hangover, rushes the infantry regiment “Chicken” into position on the forward edge of the plateau. His light artillery is posted on the left flank to obtain an oblique field across the front of the advanced under Lt. Oberst Sanders.
L’comte Hottatrot, assembling his kit with the aid of the attractive daughter of the local mayor with whom he had been quartered, positioned his battalion in column about fifty yards behind the center on the north side of the stream. He advanced his 12 pounder artillery into the stream to cover the gap between the two battalions of Chicken.
Col. Bombalier also sent a battery of 12 pdrs. to join them there to provide a concentration of fire down the straight road leading up the plateau.
V. Ballpark detached the half battalion of V. Kamps Jaegers to advance down into the woods to the right of I.R. Chicken in order to cover the road from Weyersburg. This was the route on which he expected a cavalry force to join him.
Col. Bombalier also took command of all the howitzers present and placed them in battery behind Intendant Chicken’s battalion. He also positioned his own light artillery on the right flank of Chicken’s battalion where it could support either Int. Chicken or cover the road from Weyersburg, a decision which would have key results in the following battle.

Observing that most of the guns were massed around Intendant Chicken, Brig. Rosenschnauz decides that he will post his headache, which already feels as if it has endured bombardment, behind Lt. Col. Sanders battalion. Again, this decision, taken more from the bottle than the map, proved key in the development of the battle.

Meanwhile, Le Sorbet drew up the 1st battalion of the 4th Laura Anns as the second line position behind Lt. Col. Sanders. The 2nd battalion was posted on the road leading from Schonau. Brig. Duplicite posted himself on the right flank of the 1st battalion in order to create a swift response. The Grenadiers, however, were posted on a second line of chevaux au frise covering the south side of Seifriedsburg and the route to Reichenbuch.

As the fog thins, Brig. Maudelin can be seen climbing the steep road from Schonau with the L’Lagalle Dragoons. He seems to be swaying side to side, fortunately in rhythm with the many twists in the road. Furthermore, the Falsie Hussars can be seen approaching from Weyersfeld. The other cavalry regiments are left to guard the defiles. On the low ground below the Chicken regiment, Low German oaths explode through the fog as the Feldwebels align their troops.
*(Another note: The Hesse-Seewald / Germanian forces in this encounter will often be represented by red-coated figures painted for the Britischerwurst / Hungover forces).


Before dawn, Lt. Gen. Klompen had briefed his generals and their brigadiers. “Diese Frankszonian baurengraben are az if zey haf something to prove behaving. Und(t) dey scramble diese hillen up like zum goats! Aber, Now dey moosden zu fight standen! Vor, if dey move again, dhen, ve schall upon dere Gen. Chevert like blitz und dhunder gefallen! Achtung, Meinen Herren! Diesen Morgen, shall ein Kampf bevore Gotterdamerung haben vir!! Alle Commanden, vorward Harch!”

Upon his signal being passed quietly forward, Oberst Rothheisen leads his grenadiers in a swift dash across the bridge, driving off the Frankszonian pickets without firing a shot. However, as they flee up the road, the Frankszonian soldiers shot wildly into the fog, and alert the battalions bivouacked above them. Rothheisen’s grenadiers push into the scrubby, sloping pastures as a skirmish line to cover the crossing the rest of General v. Rottenbeck;s infantry.
The same fog which conceals their advance and deployment, however, also deprives their massed howitzer batteries from firing any advance bombardment.

V. Rottenbeck, who has been secretly conspiring to undermine Klompen so that Rottenbeck could take over the lucrative Klompen regiment – and whose resentment of Klompen is increased because that Klompen regiment is marching first under Klompen’s orders – decides to insult his commander by ordering the Klompen regiment to deploy to the left of the road and Infantry Regiment Rosenblum to the right. This will prove to be an ironic decision ...
Then, as Brigadier Funft begins to lead his regiments over the bridge, Brig. Fungamungus rides forward and orders Rothheisen’s grenadiers to concentrate into an assault column and the entire brigade Fungamungus begins to advance. Unfortunately, there is only room in the scrubby pastures to set a battalion in line on either side of the road up the hill. So each Regiment sends forth its first battallion while the Grenadiers remain in an assault column as the third battalion of the assault and Rottenbeck opens a fifth.


Abruptly, the wind shifts and the fog streams away! Many linguistic variations of “offal of hogs (and other livestock)!” sound in the valley! The Frankszonian guns immediately begin to fire upon the Hessian grenadiers ... the roundshot bounces beyond into the first battalion of I.R. Klompen. Fungamungus shouts the charge, and the Hessians advance.
The Klompen regiment suddenly begins to take fire from more batteries and from the jaegers in the woods on their flank. Even as the first battalion begins to shred and to fall back, the second battalion swings towards the woods to disperse the jaegers. Meanwhile, the first battalion of I.R. Rosenblum clambers up the slope into the barricades before Lt. Oberst Sanders. The combination of Frankszonian musketry and grape shot, however, forces their retirement.
At the same time, the Rothheisen Grenadiers bravely rush straight at the 12 lbrs, in the middle of the Frankszonian line. Even though they sustain horrible casualties, the heroic soldiers seize the guns and scatter the gunners!

Meanwhile, General Klompen has moved to the howitzer battery to try to get their fire ranged on the Frankszonian position. As he galloped out of Ascheroth, his alert eye spots the movement of the Falsie Hussars and Brig. FitzAle to the south. Seeing that they are committed to crossing their bridge and uniting with the Frankszonians on the plateau, Klompen orders Brig. Gruener to capture that bridge and to attack the Frankszonians along the Weyersfeld road (much of the rest of Gen Pferdkopf’s cavalry has already marched south along the Wursburg road to cover that flank from a possible counter attack from Gemunden.

In the storm of action on the hillside, Fungamungus drives the 2nd bat. Rosenblum up to support the grenadiers’ amazing success on the road. Rottenbeck is distracted by the complete disintegration of the coveted Klompen regiment (the remnants of the 1st bat are clustered by the stream bank while the 2nd bat. happily settles down in the leafy underbrush ... out of site, out of mind, out of anybody’s line of fire). Brig. Funft deploys his commands methodically in the original position that Fungamungus had used: I.R. Trinken on the right and I.R. Drunker to the left.
At the top of the hill, Gen. Hottatrot sees the Hessian grenadiers directly in front of him, and orders his battalion to counter attack. His precision drilled veterans unleash practiced volleys as they advance and quickly overwhelm the surviving grenadiers. The musketry of Sander’s battalion holds the Rosenblum battalion at the barriers, and Fungamungus knows that they must be withdrawn before that battalion is decimated as well.


Now both commanders are beginning to hope for victory. Ballpark has seen two assaults repulsed, and the third attack, led by Brig. Funft, does not seem to have any greater chance of success. Gen. v. Klompen, on the other hand, observes that his infantry is continuing to stream across the bridge and attack the Frankszonian line intrepidly. Furthermore, he can watch the Falsie Hussars continue to file into Seifreidsburg, leaving the Weyersfeld road open for his dragoons. Moreover, the howitzers are finally beginning to bring fire upon Seifriedsburg. Though the impact of the howitzers on the Frankszonian line is not yet serious, the primary Frankszonian battery has been clearly eliminated (Hottatrot orders the withdrawal of what equipment could be salvaged).

In a few minutes, v. Ballpark , Rosenschnauz, and Hottatrot cheer as the first battalions of Funft’s assault are driven back, even though they had managed to break through the barriers at some points. Moreover, as Brig. Gruener ordered his Strumgen Dragoons to dash across the apparently undefended bridge, the lead squadron is suddenly exterminated by jaeger rifles firing from ambush!
Angrily, Gen. v. Klompen shouts across the stream and orders Rottenbeck to stop fooling around! The remnants of the 1st bat / Klompen are sent to join Rosenblum who is forming a composite battalion, and Rottenbeck is order to take the 2nd bat/Klompen under command and to capture the Weyersfeld road bridge, “Schnell! Sie fharten, rotten, SchweinHunde Dumpkopf! Verstehen Sie?!?”
In order to conceal the importance of this move and to keep v. Ballpark’s attention, Klompen orders Funft to commit the rest of his battalions.

STAND IN THE BREACH! (or, Pull Up Your Trousers!)

As Rottenbeck rides into the forest, the old sergeants of 2nd Klompen are already getting their men up and moving. They’ve discovered that the leafy vines have a very irritating, tridentine nature (okay, so I’m guessing that Germany has poison ivy too ... it seems dang near universal over here in the States). Once again, the forest shadows are further darkened by the acrid smoke and rattled by the musketry of the opposing forces. Observing this, Brig. Gruener orders the Teufelbond Dragoons to renew the charge across the bridge while he rallies the Strumgen squadrons. The v. Kamp Jaegers, outnumbered and struck from two sides, quickly flee across the Weyersfeld road and up the wooded ridges beyond.

Carrying out the order to pin the Frankszonian forces in place, Gen Funft urges his battalions into the assault, and Fungamungus is able to contribute a battalion to the attack as well. They urge their men forward, claiming that the Frankszonian line is clearly weakening. Their rather fatuous reassurances, however, are surprisingly confirmed when an extraordinarily accurate discharge of the Hessian howitzers shatters Oberst Chicken’s battalion! Cheering, I.R. Drunker streams through the barriers onto the plateau! Sander’s battalion is barely able to hold, thanks to the aid of the attached battery and the direct participation of both v. Ballpark and Rosenschnauz. For a moment, it seems that the Gallian forces are broken!
At the moment of their exaltation, however, the Drunker regiment receives direct fire from the howitzers and guns of the Gallian right wing. The same time, L’Comte Hottatrot turns his battalion and, firing into the flank of the momentarily disordered Drunker soldiers. Once again, the Hessian formations stumble back down the hill.


Now the forces of Gen. Googlen are beginning to form for the assault. Reformed battalions are pulled together from the prior assaults by Fungamungus and Funft, and some of them are joined by a battalion of Fingerlein Fusiliers. The Teufelbond Dragoons form a column and gallop up the hill against the flank of Hottatrot’s battalion. By now, Seifreidsburg behind Hottatrot is in flames.

Once again, Bombalier’s howitzers and Sanders light guns join with the musketry of the infantry to halt the Hessian infantry battalions. The Hessian dragoons, however, with great elan charge uphill towards the light artillery battery Suddenly, the dragoons are swept by case shot from the light artillery, from a battery of 12 lbrs. which was posted with the Gallian grenadiers, and the musketry of those Grenadiers. Since Brig. Gruener was still with the Strumgen dragoons, bringing them across the bridge. the Teufelbond goes to the devil and breaks back down the hill.

Gen. Klompen, however, sees the flames from Seifreidsburg and, knowing that he still has fresh battalions and other forces approaching, orders that the assault be constantly renewed.

Once again, Gen. Rottenbeck is ordered to take control of the 2nd Klompens and is directed to advance on the left. By now, another battalion of dragoons and squadrons of cuirassiers are also across the stream. A major reshuffle begins, as battalions are maneuvered at the foot of the hill.

The reorganized bits of Brigs. Fungamungus and Funft are brought to the north of the road as the right wing. The Grenadiers, backed by cuirassiers, form an assault column on the road, and Fingerlein’s Fusiliers line up with 2nd Klompens on the left. Brig. Gruener permits the Teufelbond Dragoons to flee down the road and across the bridge, and reforms the Sturmgen Dragoons at the foot of the hill.

Observing the enemy regrouping into ever larger formations, v. Ballpark warns Gen. Sorbet that the time for their plan to first fall back to the town itself is approaching. He orders the light artillery and howitzers to be limbered and moved back into the town to be repositioned. Gen. Sorbet in turn, alerts his brigadiers and hastens to rally the remnants of Col Chicken’s battalion. As he is known to them from the Battle of Bad Tannes, he is able to get them to post themselves between the burning houses on the eastern edge of town to cover the withdrawal of Hottatrot’s battalion. At the same time, he orders the Falsie Hussars to advance on the right to a position from which they can charge any force coming up the Weyersfeld road. Maudelin deploys l’Lagalle’s dragoons to cover the open fields behind Rosenschnauz


Riding forward from his position by the howitzers to the bridge, Gen. Klompen orders a trumpeter to clear the way over the bridge through the Turkies inf. reg.

Unfortunately, Fungamungus, Funft, and Googlen all interpret this as the signal for a general advance. So in a mix of columns trailing beside the battalions formed in line, they begin to hack their way back through the now much raveled scrub. The Feldwebels scream themselves hoarse over the drum and howitzer fire to keep some alignment as their men work through the shrubs and over or around the wrecks of the previous assaults.

Abruptly, a great shout arises from the Hessian line as the Gallian artillery falls silent and the standards of the Frankszonians disappear from the barriers at the crest of the plateau! Everyone, even Gen. Rottenbeck, scrambles forward cheering. The Seewald howitzers fall silent as their battalions finally climb into the target area.

Meanwhile, Brig. Rosenschnauz and Lt. Oberst Sanders, in a prepracticed maneuver, file around the flank of the 4th Laura Anns and march towards the Seifreidsburg square via the town bridge. On the Gallian right flank, however, the withdrawing howitzers block the routes through the flaming houses, and for a vital moment, d’Hottatrot is caught between swarms of Hessians and burning houses. The Grenadiers V. Hesse swarm up the road and into the creek on Hottatrot’s left. The Fingerlein Fusiliers are breaking through the barricades, 2nd Klompen is breaking out in ... uh ... out of the woods on his right, and the Strumgen Dragoons are trotting up the hill beyond them.


Now the Gallian gallantry is tested to the utmost. Brig. Duplicite flings Col. Phule into the flank of the Hessian Grenadiers and brings Col. Dummass up in line to delay the forces clambering over the barriers. Still, The Hessians are able to drive three battalions through the smoke of Col. Dummass’ old battalion. On the right flank, the Gallian light artillery chooses to continue firing in hopes of delaying the Fusiliers advance, but are overrun by 2nd Klompen.

At this moment, the Jaegers v. Kamp hear Brig. Hottatrot shouting encouragement to his men (his line battalion literally with their backs to a burning wall), and emerge in time to fire on the flank of the Strumgen Dragoons. Even as Brig. Gruener tries to keep them trotting forward, the Falsie Hussars thunder around the woods and crash into his force. Behind them, the Grenadiers fire into 2nd Klompen with case shot from their 12 lbrs.

Then, before the Hessians can close with Col. Dummass, Brig. Maudelin, rolls into the Hessian flank! For a confused moment, the Hessians recoil back through the barriers. Gen Klompen pushes through the confusion with the Lieb Garde Cuirassiers and I.R. Turkies in an attempt to renew the advance, but it is too late. The Gallians have fired the houses on the north of the creek to deprive the Hessians of their cover and have pulled safely back over the bridge. The Count d’Hottatrot is able to join the remnants of Chicken’s first battalion, and the howitzer battery is redeploying while the Frankszonian light artillery sets up at the end of the bridge.


Brig Maudelin pulls back into the ravine leading down to Schonau ... any attempt to pursue him will run into many roadblocks, ambushes, and be under fire from Aschenroth as well. All the Hessian Cuirassiers can accomplish is to disuade him from bursting back up the hill into the battle. The Grenadiers and Fusiliers under Brig. Google refuse to assault the new Gallian redoubt.. Even worse, the I.;R. v. Klompen is highly irritated and is clustering with itching ... uh ... itchy fingers below the plateau crest. Meanwhile, there are reports of more Gallian cavalry approaching on the Weyersfeld road.

Von Klompen clomps around the hill top angrily attempting to reorganize, but he knows that only the arrival of further Hessian forces will enable him to advance. Moreover, a quick dash up into the hills by Gen. Chevert could leave Klompen facing a much larger Gallian force. At least, his current position would be as hard for the Gallians to force as their position is for him. Meanwhile, he awaits the arrival of another corps of Germanians, who could choose to push on to Wurzburg instead of reinforcing him.


Frankszonian / Gallian:
Rosenschnauz receives another wound in his ample flesh, but Intendant Chicken has been seriously injured by shrapnel. The I.R. Chicken will be reorganized as the Col. Sanders / Chicken Regiment.
Van Kamp has taken a sword cut above his right ear, apparently this is also not serious, and he remained in command of his troops.
Brig. Maudelin seems to have suffered a breakdown over his failure to drive the Hessians from the hill and was sent weeping on leave.

Gen. Rottenbeck is suffering a severe rash and has been sent north to the sea for a cure.
Col. Rosenblum was hit several times and is hospitalized in serious condition.
Oberst Rotheisen fell at the great battery, he was captured and died before he could be taken to the surgeons.
Brig. Gruener was injured and captured along with the regimental colors.

Frankszonia has lost 2 12 lbrs and 1 Howitzer.
Gallia has lost 2 12 lbrs and 4 light artillery.

Frankszonia / Gallia:
I/R Chicken: nearly 50%
1st Hottatrot: 40%
Jaegers V. Kamp 30%
L’Lagalle Dragoons, @ 25 men
Col.Phule’s bat. 25%
Col. Dummass: 15%

Hesse-Seewald / Germania / Hungover
I.R. Klompen 75% (about half the casualties medical leave for severe rashes and poison bites).
I.R. Rosenblum 60%
I.R. Trinken and I.R. Drunker; 30%
Rothesien Grenadiers: 90%
Sturmgen Dragoons: 60%
Teufelbond Dragoons: 40%
Fingerlein Fusils: 30%
Grenadiers v. Hesse: 45%

Battle Honors:
*(a ribbon for each unit)
*4th Laura Anns
*I.R. Rosenblum
*Rotheisen Dragoons (post humurously)
*I.R. Fingerlein Fusiliers
*Brigadiers Rosenschnauz and d’Hottatrot,
*Lt. Oberst Sanders to Oberst Sanders
*Brig. DuPlicite
*Col. Bombalier
*Oberst Rotheisen (posthumorously)
*Brig. Fungamungus to Maj. General
*Oberst Rosenblum to Brigadier
While I game with Koenig's Krieg rules, and enjoy them ...
an awful lot of my cyber buddies are using "Battles of the Ancient Regime from
The price there includes postage at $37.00 American ....
These rules are designed to be highly flexible ... units can run from @ 24 to 60 men, depending on space available and your collection ... differing basing systems are considered with suggestions as to how to make your collection against the other guy's basing, and so forth.
Also, Bill is a nice guy.
And I don't say that just because he runs Gallia in the Elector vs. Emperor blog!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Battle of Seifriedsburg, Strategic Background

Battle of Seifriedsburg, Strategic Background

Salzugnen , Fulda, Gemunden am Main,
Wurzburg (Wurstinburgers), Frankfurt (Frankszonia)

Schonau, Ascheroth, Weyersfeld, Hollrich, Seifriedsburg, Reichenbuch

Okay, the above list of names etc. are the key points of reference in order to discuss the Battle of Seifriedsburg. The two URL’s are excellent resources for understanding developments. The FEEFHS map is derived from a pre-World War One map and thus shows key sites and routes fairly much as they were in the 1700's (before modern road building swept all over the place). The Multi Map site has not only an excellent road map program, but also has aireal (okay, it’s misspelled, but I prefer to spell it this way) photographs of all the terrain involved ... which will give a very clear picture as to the nature of the defiles and why the battle had to occur where it did.

Now this battle developed as a consequence of a battle between the forces of Gallia / Saxe-Rachstein and the forces of Hesse-Seewald and its allies. Gallia’s General Chevert received another check at Salzugnen and had retreated to the fortress of Gemunden. My three Frankzonian battalions under the command of Baron V. Ballpark which had been vetted to Chevert were the core of the covering force in an advanced position on the route from Salzugnen to Gemunden. Their primary task was to delay the foe while Chevert obtained reinforcements and another general secured the supply routes through Frankszonia (where there is a tremendous amount of resentment over the arrogant occupation and behavior by Gallia, even though the Hurtshog thinks that this presents a great opportunity for Frankszonia).
Woosh, that was a long sentence!
Anyway, to set up the battle, I of course went looking for Salzugnen and Gemunden on the maps ... and found no less than SEVEN (7) places called Gemunden. Moreover, there were two quite logical candidates for the Gallian position on good routes from Salzugnen. Furthermore, since Gen. Chevert had two or three times failed to overwhelm the Bishopric of Fulda and the Fulda gap thanks to the versatility of the Hesse-Seewald / Germanian forces there, both routes looked like good candidates at a campaign drive to bypass the Fulda Gap. Bill Protz, who is the player / creator of Gallia, said that on his game map, Gemunden was southwest of Frankfurt ... which clearly indicated that the site was Gemunden am Main.

Now there were several routes to Gemunden Am Main from Salzugnen. Two follow the canyons created by tributaries of the Main which flow into the Main just south of Gemunden. Their mouths are separated by only a mile or two. The western canyon led directly to Fulda while the eastern canyon linked up to roads which went through Salzugnen. Furthermore, there was a major route on more or less the high ground which goes about five to ten miles east of Gemunden on its way to Wurzburg. A route branches off this highway and comes down to Gemunden from the south. The rough nature of the terrain in the area created a problem in that v. Ballpark’s command could not cover both the route from Fulda and the other two routes. Gen. Chevert therefore commanded him to cover the direct route from Salzugnen while he made other arrangements for the route from Fulda.
Unlike Frankfurt, where the Main flows through an area with fairly large flats around it, the Gemunden region is very hilly, and the rivers basically flow through entrenched meanders ... which means very narrow and steep valleys ... more properly, I think, canyons ... with only a few broad places on the inside of some of the bends. Gemunden itself is overlooked by high river bluffs. Furthermore, a force which was holding defiles on the middle route could easily post itself on high ground which not only commanded that canyon, but also provided easy access down to the route leading to Wurzburg. In consequence, the Hesse-Seewald forces had been working their way down the middle route, and turning the defiles with their superior forces by accessing routes behind them up to the high ground and working down on the Gallian artillery.
When this process came to within an easy day’s march of Gemunden (Schonau is less than 10 kilometers away as the buzzard flies, though much longer on the roads twisting through the canyons), Chevert reinforced v. Ballpark who made a stand at Seifriedsburg which commanded the route toWurzburg and covered the route twisting down the canyon walls to the Schonau defile. Even so, v. Ballpark had already gained almost four days delay in the Hesse-Seewald advance.
On the morning of the battle, a very strong force from Hesse-Seewald drives across the creek bed separating Aschenroth from Seifriedsburg under the cover of morning fog ... as the fog lifts, the Frankszonians and Gallians gather behind their chevaux a frise barricades on the edge of the farmed area on the plateau around Seifriedsburg to look down on the Germanian horde deploying to assault them ....

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Cannon fire and burning buildings at Seifriedsburg

Since early morning, cannon fire has been heard from Seifriedsburg. By noon, billows of smoke indicated that buildings were on fire, though the cannon fire continues ....
Rumors abound ....

One: Frankszonians wiped out, Gallian forces taken heavy damage, but Hesse Seewald and Germania have basically expended an entire corps, though a cavalry division is rumored to be descending on Gemunden already.
Two: Frankszonians held the crest of the plateu and slaughtered the brigades sent against their barricades, but Hesse Seewald managed to flank the position.
Three: Seifreidsburg is burning, the Allies force has been split apart, but Von BallPark and Gen. Sorbet are rallying troops on the edges of Seifriedsburg to challange the lodgement gained by Hesse-Seewald ...
Four: Official disaptches in the early morning, initial Hessian assault repulsed, but Frankszonian position has been flanked and the force is falling back into the town proper Messengers galloping into camp are smoke smudged and occasionally injured ... rumors that Ballpark has said position is lost without reinforcements by nightfall ....

PS: The noted artiste Dame Edith has been making swift sketches of the conflict which may accompany the official report later ...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Orders of Battle for Seifriesburg

Orders of Battle for the Battle of Seifreidsburg
*numbers (initiative or morale rating); ## = # of figures; x # = # of Battalions; @ # = “cost per figure.”
Note: once again, artillery will be at double strength due to the paucity of prepared figures ....

Gallian / Frankszonian

Commanding General: Maj. Gen. von Ballpark (with rocking horse) (1) @ 15


Brigadier Rosenschnauz (0)
I.R. Chicken (musketeers)
Intendent Chicken (0)
1st battalion: (5+)* 24 x 1 @ 1.1
Lieutenant Oberst Sanders (0)
2nd batt: (5+)* 24 x 1 @ 1.1
Lite artillery, 1 battery @ 4

Brig. Hottatrot
1st Hotts: (5+)* 24 x 1 @ 1.6 (dbl A)
Intendant V. Kamp (1)
I.R. V. Kamp (Jaegers)
1st v. Kamp (4) 24 x 1 @ 1.5 (skr, R)
Howitzer battery @ 5
Heavy battery @ 6

Maj. Gen. Le Sorbet (1) @ 10

Brig: FitzAle (0) @ 5
Cav. Reg. Churchy (Cuirassiers)
Col. Churchy La Femme (0)
1st Wing (7) 14 x 1 @ 4
Col Falsie (0)
Falsie Hussars (7) 14 x 1 @ 3

Brig. Maudelin (0)
Col. L’Lagalle (0)
Lagalle Dragoons (6) 14 x 1 @ 2
Col. Maingie du Cheval (0)
Maingie Hussars (7) 14 x 1 @ 3 (at Weyersfeld)

Brig. Duplicitie (0)
I.R. 4th Laura Anne
Col. Phule (0) bat: (5) 24 x 1 @ 1
Col. Dummass (0) bat: (5) 24 x 1 @ 1
Grenadiers (6) 18/? to 24? x 1 @ 2

Col, Bombalier
Lite artillery, 1 battry: 4
Howitzers: 1 battry @ 5
Heavies: 2 Battrs: @ 6

* The Frankszonian troops, coming from their stellar performance versus the Nidda brigade, have an exaggerated unit morale and thus receive the “Russian” bonus of minus one on morale die rolls. In addition, Hottatrot’s soldiers are true professionals and highly drilled, and thus are granted the “Prussian bonus” of double action in the move/fire segment.
Furthermore, the Frankszonian troops forming the first line of a defense in depth, delaying position, have been drilled in a voluntary retreat maneuver so that they can pull back to prepared defenses in their rear. (When the full battle report of the various “agendas” is made, this will hopefully contribute to the story line).

Hesse Seewald / Germania

Commander of First Line: Lt. General Klompen (1) @ 20

Maj. Gen V. Rottenbeck (0) @10

Brig. Fungemungus (0) @ 5
I.R. Klompen (5) 24 X 2 @ 1
I.R. Rosenblum (5) 24 x 2 @ 1
Brig. Funft (0) @ 5
I.R. Trinken (5) 24 @ 1
I. R. Drunker (5) 24 @ 1
Oberst Rotheisen (0)
Grenadiers (6) 24 @ 2
1 Battry light @ 4
1 Battry Howitzer @ 5

Maj. Gen. Pferdkopf (1) @ 10

Brig. Goutier (0) @ 5
Bricht Schiesehause Hussars (7) 14 @ 3
Dunklehof Hussars (7) 14 @ 3
Brig. Claude Gruener (0)
Strumgen Dragoons (6) 14 @ 2
Teufelbund Dragoons (6) 14 @ 2
Tinklein Dragoons (6) 20 @ 2

Maj. Gen Googlen (0)

Brig. Eisenhoff (0)
I.R. Fingerlein Fusils (5) 24 x 2 @ 1
I. R. Turkeys (4) 24 x 2 @ 0.75
Brig. Rosenbaum (0)
Grenadiers V.Hesse (6) 24 @ 2
Lieb Gard Cuirassier (7) 12 @ 5

Monday, September 17, 2007

Frankszonian Anthem ...

Nobody knows the Frankszonian anthem, by the time we get around to singing it, we're too drunk to
pronounce the words .... sort of like the old "Louie, Louei" song ...
Something like
Hurray, Frankszonia! mit dum dee dum.
Hurray, Frankszonia! wee dribble ... something ... Bum!
Ta Ra! ... something .. something Am de Main,
Veer wibble ... something ... something ... insane?
Hurrah! Hurrah! ... something ... upsie stein
gurble, gargle, slurp.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cannon fire heard from Seifriedsburg since dawn

From: Gen. V. Ballpark at Seifriedsburg
To: Gen. Chevert at Gemuden

Sir, in my previous post, I reported the following situation after several days of manuevering:
As the position at Aschenroth seemed to offer the foe too many manuever options with his superior forces, we have concentrated on the plateau at Seifriedsburg, The enemy appears to be deploying directly against us, but I have ordered the squadron at Weyersfeld to remain there as an outpost should they attempt another flank march, as this would put them on the Wursburg route again and thus evade our position entirely.
Our left flank is covered by the defile between Schonau and Wolfsmunster. This is barricaded and covered by some light guns and dragoons ... and the hillside is mined to cause blocking landslides should the foe attempt to force it.

This morning before light, a force of enemy grenadiers rushed the bridge crossing the wooded gully between Aschenroth and Seifriedsburg. As I write, Hesse Seewald forces are crossing the bridge and deploying on the scrub covered slopes and pastures below us. They appear to have at least twice our strength in this assault. Unfortunately, the morning fog prevents us from discerning their position and strength more accurately, but we can see over the mists that further forces are moving out of Aschenroth towards us. It appears that the northern forces have committed to gaining this plateau and its direct access towards your camp.

I have concentrated my brigade, your 4th Laura Ann regiment, and a battalion of jaegers at the crest before Seifriedsburg. We are supported by some squadrons of dragoons and hussars, I have ordered the squadron at Weyersfeld to join us in haste. The enemy appears to be weak in artillery at this moment, so I have hopes of at least delaying them with some cost at this position.

If we are forced off this plateau, the defile at Schonau will be outflanked, and the troops there will have to fall back to positions near your piquets.

Your servant,
V. Ballpark

Message from lady Pettygree to the Prince du Charade

Note from Lady Pettygree to the Prince du Charade:

My Lord Charade:

I cannot be more specific on the contents of this note, as the package contains further packaging for a further note, which I believe may be an appeal directly from Granny Loomis to the Royal Family. She is, after all, related on the female side to the Gallian royal house. Lady Rosenschnauz, however, has given me several points which the letter may concern.

First of all, the family Fahrtz is extremely concerned that Hurtshog Stanken’s commitment to Gallia may actually doom their reign in Frankszonia, an area notoriously Protestant and pro-Germanian in sentiment. Therefore, their court is extremely desirous that Gallia be much more visible and prominent in its co-operation with and esteem for the Hurtshog.
Towards this end, they have frequently requested a detachment of a military training cadre.

Secondarily, I believe that they are desirous of written commitments of refuge and support should Germania prevail and the family Fahrtz be driven from Frankszonia.

Thirdly, even the loyal officers are enraged by the Intendant Bastille’s treatment of prisoners as “rebels” ... with the implication that they are rebelling against Gallia. Such treatment denies the autonomy of Frankszonia as well as ignoring that Frankszonia is an Imperial Frei Stadt, not a vassal of the Gallian throne.
I believe that they wish these prisoners to be designated rather as prisoners of war, and thus accessible to normal exchanges and ransoms. Further, if a “rebel” designation is still needed, that such cases be submitted directly and supremely to the Hurtshog himself, whose focus is entirely on his dynastic legacy now that his exotic Princess has presented him with an heir.
Unfortunately, the Hurtshog is a young man, and all he perceives in the Intendant is a very capable officer, and thus is not active enough to prevent the growing perception of him by the Frankszonians as a Gallian puppet. Furthermore, during a recent crisis, all of the battalion commanders have begun to station piquets and other safeguards to prevent their units from being disarmed by some sudden coup. Already, as you are aware, several high officers and their entourages have fled to join Hesse Seewald.
The Hurtshog values the experience and skill of the Intendant, and considers his own leaders to be either too elderly or too inexperienced to be effective in the Kaiser Schacht that is forming. Providing these men with Gallian adjutant / advisors should balance the concerns of the Hurtshog and maintain Frankszonian pride.

Given the sacrifices and risks which the Stanken family has already made on behalf of Gallia, I believe that a prompt and courteous reception of their message may be required.

Alas, it seems that I will be unable to personally discharge their commission unless your Highness acts promptly due to a family crisis.

Your devoted friend, Lady Pettygree

Divers News From Gallia

Divers News From Gallia

Esteemed Gentlemen,
Mostly to keep me on track, may I offer this news?
Gallian Armée du Marshall de Broglie:
Near Minden, Germania where the Britannian Army and her allies are posted.
Broglie pursued the Marquis of Granby after the latter was defeated in June at Gütersloh, Germania.
Gallian Armée du Lieutenant General de Chevert:
Adjacent to the fortress of Gemünden awaiting Der Erbrpinz von Hesse Seewald. An Avant Garde of Frankzonians blocks the main road northward from which Der Erbprinz must march, if he marches south. Chevert retreated to this location after his defeat at the hands of Der Erbprinz at Salzungen in August. The army is just about fully recovered. The fortress anchors Chevert's flank. Confidence is returning. The armée of Lt. Gen. de Poyanne is near at Frankfurt Am Main and Lt. Col. Enigma and his cavalry are returned to the theatre.
Gallian Magazine At Frankfurt Am Main:
l'Intendant Bastille's paranoia has subsided regarding mischief, confusions and intrigues everywhere. Calm has been restored especially since Lt. General de Poyanne remains close by with his 25,000 Gallians. Rebels were scattered by the latter some weeks ago making things more peaceful. It also helps Bastille's digestion that the Ladies Pettygree and Masquerade left under the care of a massive brigade of cavalry commanded by Lt. Col. Enigma at the very height of politcal distress. The latter has just returned to Frankfurt Am Main awaiting orders. The new jail is filled to near capacity with rebels.
At Versailles (Gallian capital):
The party of Lady Diana Pettygree and Lady Cherish Masquerade arrived at Versailles and are recovering from their lightning fast jounrney from the Gallian magazine of Frankfurt Am Main. Lady Pettygree has requested an audience with the Gallian Foreign Minister, Prince du Charade to present to him a letter from the Frankzonian government. So far the Prince has not asked Lady Pettygree to attend him with the letter.
Gallian Foreign Ministry:
The Prince de Charade issued an opinion to the King that the perpetrators of the fire attack from a certain nation of the Orient be tried as spies. He further noted a declaration of war at this time would be pointless. Time will allow some action another day. The war in Germania and alarms from Governor General l'Duc de Silhouette from the Fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island in the New World are keeping Gallia busy enough. Charade is about to write a letter full of thanks to the the Gallian ally Freyburg for reinforcements en-route into the Gewrmania theatre of war.
Aboard l'Vengenace:
Enseigne Bargot reported to l'Capitaine that the frigate has logged an amazing 1,200 miles in six days from Louisbourg in the New World bound for Le Havre. The frigate is amazingly fast and was aided in this journey by convenient sea currents some navigators say come from the eastern seaboard of America and the Gulf of Mexico. Our voyagers do not know the wind of an approaching but distant hurricane to said eastern coast also added significantly to their journey. At this rate they will reach Le Havre on the 20th instant or thereabouts. The ship carries important diplomatic dispatches from Ny Tragardland and the Gallian Governor General of the Fortress of Louisbourg, l'Duc de Silhouette.
Naval Hospital at Le Havre:
The chief surgeon is about to dismiss the recuperating Tragardland diplomat von Bergman. He thinks the 20th instant will be the day. Von Bergman is understandibly in earnest to resume his mission to Versailles to court the Prince de Charade into an alliance with his country. Von Bergman's gruesome wound suffered in the naval battle between l'Vengeance and Invinceable has healed miraculously. Lucky fellow.
Aboard Britannian Frigate Invinceable:
Damage suffered by lucky long shots in the naval action of mid-June with l'Vengeance is repaired. A new bowsprit and foremast have been fitted at the naval yard at Portsmouth. The captain desires permission to resume cruising off the Gallian coast, especially to return favors with his nemesis aboard l'Vegeance.
Channel Isle de Pettygree:
Lady Pettygree's father is very ill. He may request that his daughter and son return home to his care.
That Woman:
Wherabouts unknown. Presumably she will appear in an intant to advise Lady Pettygree how to preserve herself from next dangers.
The Mysterious Nemesis!:
Her wherabouts also unknown.... Who? What? Why? Where? Does she exist?
Colonel Bauer:
The enigmatic Hesse-Seewald Black Hussar Officer. Wherabouts unknown but is presumed to be with Der Erbprinz or the Mysterious Nemesis.
Der Erbprinz:
No doubt massing for the next battle. Where will he strike?
Votre Serviteur,
Bill Protz

Nearing The Chateau of l'Prince de Charade

Nearing The Chateau of l'Prince de Charade

Narrator: Lady Pettygree, as the dear reader may recall, left Frankfurt Am Main, was thereafter escorted to Coblenz and from there travelled to Versailles, Gallia with an important message from the sovereign leader of Frankzonia. What is in that message, we can only guess.
Lady Pettygree: "Lt. Gardier?"

Gardier: "Oui Mademioselle."

Pettygree: "I observe we are a day's coach ride from Versailles. It would be a blessing if you would dispatch an escorted messenger to l'Prince de Charade, at his chateau I should think, announcing our imminent arrival. Please to mention we carry an important dispatch from Frankzonia which he must see at once, if he so pleases. Kindly extend my compliments as well and my desire to see him upon my arrival at Versailles."
Narrator: And so the story moves along a little more. Perhaps next time, we shall enter the library of l' Prince de Charade and read the message together.

Warps of Religion

Warps of Religion

As Jeff pointed out, the "Wars of Religion" were technically over in our period.
But ...
Fred the Grape in our period played "the Protestant Card" in order to isolate Vienna and France ... and to sustain his support from England and northern, Protestant German districts. Apparently, this ploy worked well.
The historical (as opposed to our hysterical) Frankfurt raised three companies for the Reichs Armee. They were supposedly well tricked out (in all the meanings of "trick" I'm afraid) but quit en masse when they discovered that they were really going to have to take the field ... while a FreiKorps battalion was raised there for Prussia.
Given that my Frankszonia is deliberately a schizophrenic mish mash (just ask the Intendant Bastille!), this seemed to be a good fragment to toss into the brew!
As we Later in the Day Saints, say, "I'll drink to that!"

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Fictional America runs into a bit of a shock ...

In the spirit of things, I'm working on another Hysterical Country, in the newest of New Worlds ....
And we ain't no stinking paleface colony either!
Much more later, and probably in an another blog ...
I've not posted lately here due to several deaths in our family ...
One of them was supposed to have gamed with the wife and myself this week ...
Rather shaken to have three close together like this ...
And may still have to deal with the fall out for another week or two ...
So the humor may be a bit forced at first,
But I'm counting on the chiefs: Three Feathers (to the Wind); Big Moose Noises; and White Raven to provide both humor and commentary when it rolls around.

Meanwhile, the secret communication from Frankfurt is being recomposed, and the game rethought since there'll be only the wife and I to push the lead ....

Alf and Edie's Grandmother had been suffering horribly anyway, so to a degree, we're not that bad ... but even so, they were close friends and terribly missed.

Your host,

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dispatch from V. Ballpark

Baron V. Ballpark at Schonau
Gen. Chevert at Gemunden.


Pursuant to your orders, my dispositions were thus:

A squadron of dragoons each at Grafendorf, Diebach, and Hammelburg.
The Grafendorf position covered the direct route from Salzungen and Fulda; Dielbach a route which could be used to flank our right;, and Hammelburg on the excellent road leading to Wursburg which actually passes about four miles east of Gemundenm and to which a good road from Gemunden leads.

I had posted Oberst Chicken at Wolfmunster, Lieutant Oberst Sanders at Ascheroth, and the 1st Hottatrot battalion back at Schonau. This last as they have a reputation for impetuosity and thus I could count on their advancing quickly to the point of contact. Most of the Cavalry was also at Wolfmunster. The Gallian infantry was also posted at Wolfmunster.
As the enemy approached via Neuwirthshaus, Wartmannsroth, and Waizenbach, the squadrons at Diebach and Hammelburg were withdrawn to Aschenroth and Weyersfeld.

When the enemy arrived at the bridges and defile at Wolfmunster, two days ago, they discovered that all of the open terrain between the ridges on both sides of the river were under our 12 pdrs posted on the east ridge. They decided not to contest that defile but ascended the ridge at Schonderfeld, the next day, flanking our batteries.. As the position at Aschenroth seemed to offer the foe too many manuever options with his superior forces, we have concentrated on the plateau at Seifriedsburg, The enemy appears to be deploying directly against us, but I have ordered the squadron at Weyersfeld to remain there as an outpost should they attempt another flank march, as this would put them on the Wursburg route again and thus evade our position entirely.
Our left flank is covered by the defile between Schonau and Wolfsmunster. This is barricaded and covered by some light guns and dragoons ... and the hillside is mined to cause blocking landslides should the foe attempt to force it.
We are trying to create a series of delaying positions across this plateau. Even though we are only about six miles from Gemunden, the nature of the terrain is such that should we fail here, there are several other defiles on the route, which winds more than ten miles from our position to yours.

Yr Srvnt,
V. Ballpark

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pettygree and Masquerade Depart

The Nidda River Bridge
Scene 1 of 1
Narrator: Dawn. The Lancers de Saxe commanded by Lt. Gardier have posted piquets out a mile with the requisite number of mounted rider posts positioned in circular fashion back to the center. The ladies Masquerade and Pettygree arising are housed at a stone farm house near the bridge surrounded by the remainder of the lancers. Lt. Col. Enigma and Lt. Gardier are talking over a fire.
Enigma: "A red sky Gardier."

Gardier: "Oui, red sky at night, a sailors delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning."

Enigma: "More inclement weather."

Gardier: "Oui Monsieur, perhaps before noon. Another muddy day. Well...."

Enigma: "Gardier, look to the east. Do you see?"

Gardier: "Oui Monsieur. The picquet rides round and round but no one is alarmed."

Enigma: "Then it must be our expected relief. My own soldiers."

Narrator: Sure enough. Within a half hour five brigades* of Royal des Carabiniers de la Garde arrive at the bridge and dismount. After a rest of two hours all turn westward onto the Coblenz Road.

And so dear reader we find Lt. Col. Enigma (formerly The Black Mask at the party), Lt. Gardier, the Lancers de Saxe, the Carabiniers and Ladies Masquerade and Pettygree with the latter's lady in waiting, Martha riding within with the important message for the Gallian Foreign Minister, l'Prince de Charade.

Along the road they are unexpectedly reinforced by the Saxe-Raschstein von Rutowski Chevaulegers released from duties at the last minute by l'Intendant Bastille from the Frankfurt Am Main garrison. Among them is the young Lord Charade, quite pleased to be away from the turbulence of the magazine city and its tribulations.

Ordre de bataille
Lancers de Saxe: 120 (1 esq.)
Carabiniers: 600 (5 brigades)
Rutowskis: 400 (3 esq.)

* In this unit a brigade is equivalent to a squadron.

Thus dear reader we have a picked cavalry force of 520 Saxons who are still aggrivated and highly motivated for vengeance by the loss of their country last season along with 600 armoured elite heavy cavalry. The whole commanded by the brave and severe Lt. Col. Enigma are heading for home via the Gallian magazine at Coblenz.

August 24, 2007 1:50 PM
Bluebear Jeff said...

I tend to think of the wars of religion being in the previous century . . . but you are undoubtably correct in your assumption that it still plays an important role in our period.

-- Jeff

August 25, 2007 4:36 AM

Gallia said...

Arrival At Coblenz, Germania
Narrator: In spite of the expected inclement weather, rain, high winds and muddy roads, Lt. Col. Enigma pushed the brigade of horsemen unmercifully toward Coblenz. During the afternoon of the third day, all safely arrived within the city walls.

Coblenz you may recall is the magazine supplying the Duc de Broglie's Armee now at Minden to the north. Once again we find our ladies within the walls of a garrisoned town. After some rest, they will procede to Versailles with the note for the Prince de Charade of the Gallian Foreign Ministry from the government of Frankzonia. What does it say?

But what of Lt. Col. Enigma, his Royal des Carabiniers and the Saxe-Raschstein Chevaualegers? Will they continue to Versailles or return to Frankfurt Am Main? Methinks the Lt. Col. may have unfinished business there in cooperation with l'Intendant Bastille. But orders from Versailles, dispatches from de Broglie or even Lt. Chevert may intervene with a different destiny. Meanwhile let us allow our weary travelers to rest, sup, drink and let tomorrow, take care of tomorrow.

Allow me dear reader to pour you a generous glass of Chevert wine.

August 25, 2007 11:41 AM

Gallia said...

For Jeff, et al,
My Saxe-Raschsteiners (Saxony) are not upset about religious matters. Rather, Der Alte invaded and took over half of Saxe-Raschstein last year in the autumn. Following that, the foe pushed into The Imperium (Austria) and was defeated at Lobositz (November, 2006 BIG Battalion game at Rock Con). Like the historical Saxons still being enraged at their treatment in the War of Austrian Succession, my Saxe-Raschsteiners are equally distressed and looking for vengeance. They are puzzled why Saxe-Bearstein remains neutral when Lobositz was fought on their ground. I am not puzzled since Jeff explained he wants to remain neutral for the BLOG. And that's okay too.

August 25, 2007 11:55 AM

Friday, August 24, 2007

Eddies and Rapids in Formal Costume

Eddies and Rapids in Formal Costume

Scene 1: the Gallian Flood

The original schedule for Sunday’s fete had been as follows:

Noon: Inspections of Infant, Mother, and Hurtshog by Court Physicians
2 PM: Processional March to Cathedral
3 PM: High Mass, Blessing of Banners,
4 PM: Recessional March to Palace
5 PM: Another grand feast ... which must include many, many ceremonial toasts ....

Now, these events will occur as scheduled, but obviously much, much more is going to happen this Sunday!

After the uprising of the Frankfurter Constables, who attempted to storm the new Bastille, and the assassination of the strange Englishman at the Masquerade, the town is in turmoil in the morning. All that is known is that the town council and constables, whose Protestant and Germanian sympathies are well known, reacted violently to Bastille’s attempt to seize and to imprison their leaders under a Gallian style “carte blanche”. In the morning, every burgomeister and constable still alive (and not attending the Masquerade the previous night) is either in prison or in flight through the sodden country side.

Even as the crowds start to gather in spite of the efforts by the dragoons to keep them dispersed, a loud drumming fills the air! A huge force of Gallian troops pours through the city gates and, led by picked troops of loyal Frankszonians, quickly clears the streets and occupies key points and the great bridge. The few civilians who are brave or foolhardy enough to try to talk with these troops find that not only are these forces not defeated (as rumors still insist happened), but have struck and scattered the infiltrated corps of Hamburgers in Russell Wald!

Sunday’s schedule will enjoy much smaller civilian celebration. The crowds are replaced by long lines of alert Gallian bayonets!

Scene 2: Rocks in the River

Earlier in the morning, the tired and harried General Bastille received l’Comte Beauphaup and * Herr Eberhard Kunegunde: Master of the Frankszonian Secret Police. While Kunegunde looked more worn and tattered than Bastille, Beauphaup was his normal, impeccably attired and pomandered self (to keep things simple and short, it’s been a bad night after all, I’m going to keep to bald narrative today). After assuring the Intendant that the Hurtshog understands Bastille’s motives for his actions and sympathizes, the nature of the events force him to take a public stand which is less friendly than his personal feelings.

They deliver a stiff note of protest from the Frankszonian Court concerning the Gallian security sweep. Not only does the Hurtshog view this as a serious violation of Frankszonian autonomy, but also, Beauphaup tells Bastille, the swift removal of the ladies removed the only sure way of investigating the murder at the Masquerade. It is obvious that the Lady Pettygree could have, at least, identified the victim and given them an idea as to his purposes. Kunegunde also reminds the Intendant, that as a personal confidant of the Hurtshog, his forces could have been utilized more safely and without arousing the latent pro-Germanian attitude of the merchants and craftsmen. Furthermore, the Gallian preemptive action within the city has meant that the real resistance leaders in the countryside and many of their forces are now either fled or in strongholds, whose reduction may not be worth the effort they would require.

Furthermore, Fettucine, the Italian dancing master whom the victim apparently knew, has taken refuge with Count Saucie, the Ambassador from Bologna. General Woad, on whose Black Skirts suspicion has inevitably fallen, has mustered his regiment and barricaded himself in an Estate beyond the walls. The Hurtshog understands that Broderick Woad had been at the Masquerade, but had rushed to his troops even as the victim was dying in the hall. Woad himself, is not Scots, but clearly knows something. However, the Jacobite emigre and his officers insist that they will only cooperate if “a certified representative of the Gallian Monarch” is present and participates in any investigation.

Beauphaup also personally advises General Bastille that he should order Rosenschnauz and Hottatrot to rejoin their troops post haste. While the quality and loyalty of both men and their troops is proven, Beauphaup feels that they would be better employed in the field. Unfortunately, since they are also old friends of the Hurtshog, Fahrtz has balked at making them resume their duties away from court, using their wounds as an excuse to keep their company. Both men, however, had shown vigor and quickness at the masquerade in their own ways, however, and Beauphaup believes that with the Gallian forces currently in Frankfurter, their presence is really unnecessary.

Kunegunde also requests that the Gallian troops continue their rigid security in the streets until their own constabulary can be rebuilt. Both men assure Bastille that Gallian participation in the day’s schedule of formal events is desired, but if Bastille wishes to remain away personally, this supposed rift might lure other disaffected elements into revealing themselves.

As the visitors leave, Bastille ponders their messages. He also holds a note from Phillipe: “The rebel Rosemary was at the masquerade and was at Beauphaup’s house this morning.” Given the count’s, ah, proclivities, a romantic attachment seems unlikely. Bastille wonders what plot the slimy intriguer is generating now.

Scene 3: Into the Maelstrom

As the Ladies Pettygree and Masquerade canter through the early morning mists with their martial escort, wagons are suddenly pushed into the road to block it! Phaulies Fusiliers form up behind the wagons, bayonets levelled, while Hussars dash from concealment to surround the troop!

Even as Lt. Gardier’s troopers lower their lances to break out of the trap, General Phaulie gallops up shouting at his troops to hold their fire! He dashes up to the Gallians with apologies on his lips when he is startled to see the ladies. “My Ladies!” he says, “what madness is this? We’ve been skirmishing with Hamburger and rebel remnants along the highway all night! You all are riding right through a battle!”

“It’s not the first time for them,” Lt. Gardier retorts. Then at Phaulie’s insistence, gives him a brief account of the night’s events.

Gen. Phaulie then requests a private word with Lady Pettygree. When he is assured that the lovely woman has the Hurtshog’s private communications for Charade, he declares that the safety of the ladies is more important than rounding up fugitives. He, himself, takes two squadrons of Hussars to act as outriders for the Gallians and escorts them at speed to the bridge at Nidda, parting from them at sunrise. Even so, as they ride rapidly through the muddy lanes, the Gallians note the signs of recent troubles, a few burning barns, cottages with their windows shot out and doors smashed, an inn heavily damaged by cannon balls, an unfortunate herd of cows mistaken for cavalry in the darkness, and similar scenes meet them ... though parties of peasants under control of soldiers are already working to gather the few human bodies from the places where darkness had hid them.

Gen. Phaulie tells the ladies that religious tensions in the area are contributing to the troubles. The Anglericans tend to be more receptive of Protestant alliances than the Later in the Day crowd, he assures them ... and they have the adherence of many tradesmen and country nobles, while the peasants and the Court tend to be much more in favor of the Catholic powers.

“There’ll be a drinking dirge tonight,” he tells them sadly, and explains that it is a formal toasting which must be done with inferior libations as a penance.

August 24, 2007 (12:18pm)