Thursday, December 2, 2010

Public Sediment

Tidbits circulation in the Frankfurter market and barracks:

Oh, Stagonians brag, When they're deep in their wine
That Stagonian life is so very, very fine
That Gallians can keep
Their nasty goats and sheep;
A Stagonian will happily wallow with swine!

Given what he's taken for a wife, does Ludwig like his food also second hand?

Gallians are disgusting enough,
Beware a Stagonian with snuff ...

(the Ducal court denies that it has any part in disseminating such putrid humor).

Friday, November 26, 2010

and why??

While it may be Christmas before I can resolve things in the current story line, the intent is to try BAR again (will have to reread the rules again, too! LOL) with very tiny forces on the table.
A few squadrons of cavalry each, a couple of battalions of infantry each, and only the light artillery.

and of course a man to figure scale game for the "kidnapping" attempt ...


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Autumn (3 cont)

Autumn (con.t 4) \

Intendent Bastille had strolled into town to take his morning coffee and there met L’Comte d’Beauphaup. As they walked back out the gates to the Gallian stonghold, d’Beauphaup wondered how the Soweiter League was going to take the violation of Offenbach’s neutrality.
Bastille winced internally and casually asked what violation could the good count mean?
“We’ve intelligence that the 5th Porque Line and the Libbenstal Dragoons intend to use their crossing of the Main to move around the congestion around your depot,” the count answered.
“We’ve no such units in the Gallian Army,” Bastille protested.
“Really?” the count asked. “V. Mack reports than his team has intercepted their advance men in the Offenbach outskirts near our batteries.”
“But, we have no such units!” Bastille protested.
“Interesting,” the count responded nonchalantly. “We thought that they were another batch German recruits as only their officers spoke any French, at it was pretty vile .... Oh! Excuse me, m’Lord, I must intercept those flower carts I promised Madame V. Kern an excellent selection for today.”
Bastille strode purposefully back to his office. As he passed the guards at the door, he caught the eye of an ensign. “Get contact with Maistre Pierre,” he commanded brusquely and climbed up to the chart room, where he began spreading out local charts. Lt. Legume stepped helpfully forward and was handed an hastily scribbled note for Gen. Chevert.

Meanwhile, in the fields northwest of Frankfurter, the parish of St. Gertrude was being swiftly transformed into St. Gertrude of Jesus. Nice new statues were added to the graveyard and the nave. Close inspection might reveal that they’d been painted so swiftly that bugs were stuck on them. The congregation was in an unusual state of excitement. Even though few of them were really Catholics, the presence of the polite and healthy young advanced seminarians undergoing some field work experience under Fr. Umlaut was causing some comment. Even the local Anglerican circuit rider was jealous.
To placate him, Fr. Umlaut promised to take some Protestant men in to study Rubrics too. This may have been a mistake as the local frauleins soon realized the later young seminarians were eligible. The Vespers services and benediction began to attract a small crowd.
Fr. Umlaut let it slip that he was looking for a good Mission team (Revival for Protestants) to better minister to the temporary crowd.
An Italian merchant who happened to overhear him at the inn mentioned that he might soon be meeting with an abbot who would probably gladly provide somebody. Fr. Umlaut was grateful, as the merchants usually pushed on through to Frankfurter. The merchant assured the rustic cleric that it was no problem. The merchant had simply been too tired and a little unwell and didn’t want to have to deal with the Frankfurter gate hassles in the late evening.
“Such an experience is bound to leave a Mark on someone,” the priest agreed.
“Well there’s marks and there’s Marks,” the Italian philosophized. “Some are easier to deal with than others. Most of them you can cover up.”
“Just so long as one doesn’t make a Habit out of it, “ Fr. Umlaut agreed. “Ah well, I hope you have good luck, friend. Alas, I must return to read my office before the light fails.”
The Italian toasted him with his stein and watched the priest amble back to the Rectory. Then he rose and went around to the stables where his servant was caring for the horses. “V. Mark is here,” he told the lad.
“For sure?”
“Yes, the priest tried to warn me. I suspect he’s being watched rather closely.”
“If V. Mark is here, then surely the Apostate is not far away,” the youngster enthused.
“That is quite possible,” the merchant responded. “Anyway,” he continued louder, “you need to take the mare out for some exercise tonight. Steer clear of all these military patrols, won’t you, I need the horse back in the morning, and it would be helpful you came back too.”
“I’ll do my best,” the lad grinned as the merchant returned to the beer garden.

A few moments later, he rode an aging mare out of the paddock and down the road. Soon After the road had turned around the hill, he came on an hussar who was inspecting his saddle straps. “Guten Abend!” he called cheerfully.
“Depends on how and to whom you’re bending,” the hussar joked as he straightened up.
“I’ll drink to that!” the lad responded, to which the hussar quickly produced a flask, took a swig and offered to share with “Proust!”
The lad thanked him and took a drink. As he handed it back, he apologized, “I didn’t mean to drink the whole thing.”
“The whole thing?”
“That’s my guess, I’ve got to find the good merchant’s train to give them their Marks.”
“On your Mark, then,” the Hussar responded. “I’ve to to get back to my billet too.”

As the lad rode on into the dusk, SomeRussian Guyovitch mounted and turned back towards the hunting lodge. Events were developing again.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Autumn (2nd cont)

Autumn (2nd cont)

The room was small by comparison with others in the palace. Unfortunately, this made the lurid ostentation of the gilded, rococo furniture, the ornate frames of the erotic paintings, and the excessive folds of burgundy drapes even more overly lush. King Ludwig set his goblet (the stem being a statue of an orgastic dancer from some vile Greek rite) down on the small round of bluestone within the ropes of gilded ornamentation of the table and asked, “Andrew Kern? The order is sure?”
A portly courtier whose face hid behind bushy cheek beards and mustache grinned. “The last witness to our little escapades in the hunting lodge, Sire.”
“He’s an, ah, irritation,” the king continued, “and must be scratched. But why should we be concerned with Prince Allbrick? He’s illegitimate, disowned, and apostate. We can’t even use him ourselves.”
A tall courtier in riding clothes responded. “He was the eldest, Sire; and there’s a rumor that Stanken plans to acknowledge him and give him an auto-de-fe reconversion. That’d put another cavalry genius and skilled plotter in place as Prince Regent should the Hurtshog not recover from his unfortunate wound.”
“That’s another irritation!” the King snapped. “How could Herr Badspielman miss? We’d gotten him placed right beside that bloated bum as an aide!”
“It seems that the swollen sausage is very agile and slippery when riding into a charge, Sire. We’re lucky that the Frankszonians didn’t realize that it wasn’t just a battle wound.”
“Too bad about Badspielman, though,” the portly courtier shook his head. “Why did he let himself get carried so close to an infantry formation?”
“He didn’t,” the rider responded. “That’s just where his body was recovered afterwards.”
A moment of silence followed as the two courtiers thought that a bullet could have been fired by more than just the public combatants. The king returned to his complaint, “Why must we risk an agent against this greasy Frankfurter? We’ve already lost an entire team in our last attempt on the Kerns.”
“His return of the things he took with him into exile is perhaps more important than his person,” the portly councilor commented. “A seal, a ring or two, and a very small scepter.”

(A computer crash erased the interesting byplay as Pederastein, the Portly Courtier, and King Ludwig continued their plotting. Alas, too ill to recreate it, but here’s a synopsis)

They will infiltrate Stagonian troops into the area around the hideout. After all, the Stagonians are already uniformed like Gallians and their attack would trigger a general Frankszonian uprising and destroy the Fhartzen standing with the Gallians, and thus remove them from rule. Such deceitful tactics were deemed vile enough.
This attack, however, is a cover for another plot. Originally, they’d planned to kidnap and kill the Urpprinz and frame Allbrick and Andrew Kern for the deed. This was altered, though, when they realized that it might be too vile ... and arouse an horrible coalition against them if exposed ... which would create the kind of political community of minor princes which Frankszonia had been advocating as a response to the pressure of the greater powers. Therefore, they decided to make the attack on the Urpprinz a cover for an attempt to steal the Urpprinz’s treasure box. There was information that the items brought back by Allbrick were kept there under the guard of two large black Turkish warriors.
Thus they will vilely deceive the Fhartzen and Kerns into destroying themselves!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Autumn, (1st cont.)

Autumn (cont. 1)

A somewhat worn but quite well made coach pulled up to a coach house in rural Stagonia. Three, well attired merchants stepped down and entered the common room. With thick Italian accents they place their orders and ask for the ostler to assist their driver. The innkeeper disdainfully noted their accent and their freshly minted Florins. He grumpily told his waitress to take care of the foreigners and stumped out to the stable.
“Zuckerman!” he called. There was a clatter from the rear of the stables and a somewhat bedraggled man emerged with his fork still in his hand. “There is an Italian coach out front. Their coachman wants to you examine a horse for some reason.”
“Ja, ja,” the ostler replied and walked out into the courtyard. The innkeeper noticed that the ostler tucked something under his tunic just before he stepped into the light.

“Gutten Morgen,” Zuckerman greeted the coachman who was bent down examining some of the straps on a lead horse. “Und vat ist der problem, mein Herr?”
The coachman straightened up and turned to the ostler. As he did so, he made a small gesture above his right eyebrow. Zuckerman looked around the empty courtyard quickly and turned back to the driver who said, “these horses are a trouble. I’d swear one of them was obtained from those Croats and the other is a Protestant.”
“Perhaps,” the ostler replied, “they’d pull better if we changed them from side to side.”
“Pasha was already switched over here,” the driver replied, “but with Andrew Kern beside him, he tends to fight the lead a lot more.”
“Have you tried giving Andrew a stein of beer before starting?” the ostler responded, concealing an involuntary jerk as he heard the names.
“It’d take a whole keg to get us all the way to Frankfurter,” the driver responded.
“Can your party stay tonight, Father?” Zuckerman asked. The Driver quickly hushed him and looked around furtively to make sure the courtyard was still empty. Zuckerman looked up at some crows squabbling in the branches overhead. “I know a good horse dealer,” he continued, “who might be able to help you. Herr Pederastien.”
“Doesn’t he supply mounts for the Stagonian Lieb Garde?” the coachman asked.
“Sometimes,” the ostler responded, “and some good grooms too.”
“Well, as God Wills It,” the coachman sighed.
“Ja, as “god” wills it,” the ostler smirked as he turned back to the stables.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Order of Good King Joseph

The Hurtshog has been humbled by being included into a new order of heroes.
The honor which has been extended to us by Katzenstein will be fondly remembered.
We are barbecuing some beef now to celebrate.

The Hurtshog Stanken Fhartz von Frankfurter ....

Enter the Holy Man


(I apologize for the bad German in my posts. Forty odd years ago, I could read and mumble a bit of Deutsche along with some others ... all that burned away in a high fever about 1968 or 69. So I’m using dim memories of phrases common around the house .... in hopes of someday reviving access to those memories).

Father Umlaut, a cheerful, portly priest was putting up the buckets and brooms in the sacristy of St. Griselda’s. As usual, he’d had to clean up after the morning Mass. There were few Papists in his parish, and the episcopal directive that paid positions such as sexton (and except for musicians) had to be given to the “true Faithful” rather restricted the available pool of talent for sextons and such. No matter, he needed the little exercise it gave him, and the extra prayer time before the Eucharist. He was grateful for the good nature of the villagers. His Altar Sodality was mostly Protestant (and the reason that his main altar cloths were quilts). He finished locking up the chalice and rinsing out the cruet (most churches used two, one for water and one for wine ... since he tended to pour straight from the bottle which was shared with folks after Mass .... it being always donated by one of the local vintners .... he only needed one cruet).
He went out into the Sanctuary again, genuflected, and happily turned towards the doors and their enticing view of Bruderhansen beer garden across the road. Abruptly, a shadow detached itself from the stairs to the choir loft. “Eine Moment, mein Vater,” it whispered.
“Certainly, mein Herr ....?” Fr. Umlaut responded.
“Herr Schwartzmann, Vater,” the man whispered.
“You need Confession?” The priest asked the stranger.
“Nein. Ich nichts hier bin, Verstehe?” it whispered back.
“Ah,” the normally cheerful cleric was saddened. More difficulties, and now in his parish. “Sigh”.
“Kommen Sie vor dem Hurtshog.”
“The Hurtshog!?!” Father Umlaut quickly lowered his voice. There’d been rumors of a wound and an infection in the battle at the Gallian Depot. Were Last Rites needed for their patriotic ruler? “I’ll get my anointing kit,” he whispered to the stranger and turned back to the sacristy.
“Nein, nein,” the dark man responded. “Aber, Kommen Sie schnell, bitte.” The man tugged at Fr. Umlaut’s cassock urgently, so they went outside together. Father saw a tinker’s cart waiting beside the church and clambered aboard with Schwartzmann. They soon plodded out of town, but as soon as the road curved behind the first hill, Schwartzmann shouted and the horse broke into a swift trot. Startled, Father Umlaut looked more closely at the mane, tail, and rump rushing ahead of him. This was no tinker’s horse!
After they’d jounced down the road for about a half an hour, the cart turned onto a faint trace which Umlaut knew led to a dilapidated estate which had been an hunting lodge in a previous century. No sooner had the cart passed through the tree line, however, two dragoons rode quickly out of cover and challenged them. Schwartamann simply stood up in his seat and lifted the huge,, floppy hat. The troopers saluted and turned back to their hiding places.
Seconds later, the cart came into view of a very refurbished mansion. Fr Umlaut swept his eyes around quickly and spotted mounted Cuirassiers of the Lieb Garde posted about the park. Once again, the good priest worried for the safety of Frankszonia. As they drove through the gates, he noted that the sentry boxes were filled with Jaegers who stood guard with the crispness of Grenadiers. Two civilians came out to help the priest down.
“Herr Schwartzman,” one of the men said quietly to the priest’s companion.
“Herr Badmann,” the tinker replied.
“We’ve got some hot Frankfurters boiling.”
“I’ll drink to that,” Schwartamann completed what was obviously a ritual. “He seemed familiar?” he asked about the other civilian who was leading the cart and its horse away.
“Von Mack,” Baddmann grinned.
“Ah,” Schwartzmann nodded his acknowledgment.

As the party entered the gloomy hall, Fr. Umlaut heard a baby crying somewhere nearby. A door opened and a Russian hussar and a Turkish officer stepped towards them warily. “Well, Mackie,” the Turk asked in the local German dialect, “is this your little saint?”
“Prince Allbrick?” Fr Umlaut burst excitedly.
“Nein, Nein,” Schwartzmann interrupted, “Er ist der Pasha Pastrami!”
“Right,” the priest winked at the “Turk” who then introduced his friend, SomeRussian Guyovitch. They apologized for their unfamiliarity with local customs as they led the priest into a chamber where two ladies were soothing a cradle and a group of officers were clustered near the fireplace. Hottotrot and Beauphaup were seated with another lady beside a wounded officer lying on a chaise. Then, the Hurtshog rose somewhat stiffly from the cluster of officers.
“Benjamin,” the portly noble greeted Fr Umlaut. “I’d take you by the hand, but they’ve got it tapped to my side,” he chuckled. “Your Highness,” he called to the women by the cradle, “If you and your brother would be so good as to join us?” One of the ladies rose and joined with Guyovitch and the Pasha. Umlaut recognized the Duchess v. Kern.
“This is a pleasure!” the priest hugged her jovially. “We were all afraid that you’d been killed in one of Stanken’s mad schemes.”
“Unfortunately,” one of the officers responded grimly, “the order knows we’re all alive too.”
“The order?” Umlaut was shocked. “That was suppressed!”
“Yeah, right,” the “Pasha” responded. “I had to shoot my way through them at Aschenberg.”
“And,” Guyovitch added, “since they’re suppressed, they can’t possible be combining with von Pederastein from Stagonia, right?”
“That’s sickening,” Umlaut agreed.
“We’ve thought of a way of spotting them, however, before they strike,” a tall, dark officer volunteered in an heavy accent. “They will be hunted even as they stalk us.”
“And that,” the Hurtshog chimed in cheerfully, “is where you and your empty church come into the game.”

Monday, August 30, 2010

some cheery thoughts

Last night, at our evening prayers, Edie and I got a bit of an insight.
Our bodies have been scaring us a lot lately ... serious pains, heart trouble, blood clots, etc. etc.
for years, we've counted on the prayer support of our friends to carry us over the crisis.
We were wondering why all these prayers were getting such partial results when we realized ...
for some years, our living conditions had been really horrible ... and every attempt to improve them proved either beyond our reach or suddenly evaporated.
In the last few months, however, several of these problems have suddenly found real solutions which may be developing into a sustainable situation.
It seems obvious to us now that God saw that healing our bodies would be non-productive as long as the conditions which seemed to create our troubles continued ... and the healing began with things like getting our yard bull dozed clean.
Praise and Thanksgiving !

Friday, August 27, 2010

just an update

First of all, I thank you all for your kind wishes.
The recovery continues apace ... unfortunately at a very slow, pre-Frederick pace!
As one problem improves, another is unmasked. If things continue, I'll be able to start new therapy September which will be a major improvement all around.
Unfortunately, until then, between the zombie impact of the medications and the time to lie very quietly with my legs up ... there's less than an hour out of every four. I'm hoping that I'll be able to undertake a speaking engagement in September which doesn't leave me any time to paint figures, push lead, or really write fun events.
This has led to a major hiatus with the Margrafin and Mr. Mack ... for whom I'd planned a dizzying set of dances, parties, and intrigues (a couple of my officers being classic ... uh ... romantics? .... ) I'm tempted to say that they had to be put into quarantine for their protection ... but as a lovely adventure seems about to be written for them on another blog ... :)
On the good side, the wife came across a couple of scenario maps and wants to play one of the games, so a good game is now scheduled for the day after the new therapy starts! Of course, given that she'll be involved, there should be some good pictures too. Hope springs eternal!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ground Round ...

Just a quick hello ...
I've been laid up, but the infections seem to be receding and the deep vein thrombosis may be in control ... but alas, it limits the time I'm allowed to sit up and type!
I did manage to sneak a small game in anyway ... no pictures again, alas.
Report afterwards.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

swords are crossed

Giblet already knew that his own goose was cooked, but he gallantly attempted to fight. First he sent gallopers into the depot to bring warning. Then he called his scattered troopers to rally south of Friedburgerwart. Even as his detachments came rushing towards him, however, the Gallian officer saw the hostile dragoons dash through the village and wheel their sections into line. Knowing that his squadrons would never be able make a regular formation in time, Giblet gambled and ordered them to dash, helter skelter, into the foe.
Surprisingly, most of his troopers did charge, but many seemed to shout, “get stuffed!” and flee back towards the depot.
The foe made a short counter charge, but their mass and formation easily pushed aside the confused Gallians. Major Giblet had his hat shorn away and the epaulet on his right shoulder sliced in half. A Gallian dragoon grabbed the stunned Major’s reins and led him out of the melee onto a grassy knoll.
As the depressed and shaken officer tried to gather his faculties, he rejoiced to see the Oullette Hussars hurring up the road. Then his spirits were dashed again, as a couple squadorns of hostile dragoons caught the hussars still in march column and scattered them as well. Giblet observed that a particular officer, dressed in glowing white, seemed to be the spark behind the rapid reaction and energy of the enemy force.
Then, the alarm cannon and drums roared from the depot. “Finally,” Giblet told the few troopers who were gathering around him. “Let’s see if we can rejoin the cordon in time. Perhaps we delayed them long enough for Broglie to wake up and wave his hands at somebody to take care of the problem!”
They road back towards camp, and saw the other squadrons of their regiment formed up covering some infantry battalions deploying. The Gallians, however, made no attempt to advance to the site of the skirmish, where a huge, reverse colored Frankszonian flag marked the center of a reforming, and still growing, force.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The raiders close in at last!!

(Used a lot of graph paper and dice ... heavens! I miss my miniatures! May be September before they're excavated {something about not letting me heave around tubs filled with lead ... Pfui!})

Major Giblet was worriedly riding his squadron's post at Friedburgerwart just inside the Frankfurter close. The major Gallian supply dumps lay just south of him inside the Frankfurter Gebeit (which is surrounded by tree lined ditch and dyke). Word had already reached him that the expected Resistance raid on the depot had begun. There had been intense fighting to the west, and the smoke rising from the echoes of cannon fire were not as exhilirating as distant fireworks.
The Major ordered his detachment to spread out in skirmishing order towards the west in case any of the foe got by the Frankszonians who were trying to stem the assault for themselves.
He had a good unit. Drawn from the Queen's Garden, l' Tampon Azure had acquired a reputation for plugging many a bloody hole in the line. He was confident that their ability to soak up the pressure would give time for the depot to deploy its defense.
Suddenly, one of his troopers came dashing down the line from the dyke. "There's a large force advancing from the Justice De Burgerwart, M'seur!" the man shouted. Major Giblet raced to the dyke to discover a large cavalry force of several squadrons deploying less than a mile away behind him in the east! (A couple of lucky initiative rolls had forced the Gallian unit to guess at the angle of the attack ... they goofed and Parsleigh had force marched into position).

More to follow in a few hours, I"m not supposed to be up right now, LOL

Thursday, June 24, 2010

They Shall Not Pass!

Bill Protz has kindly undertaken to resolve the middle battle in the Tannes Berg (btw, Bill, the Tannes mtns are NORTH of Frankfurt, :) ).
Lovely pictures and resolution using his excellent BAR rules (which I've praised elsewhere and used myself once or twice).
So far, the battle is exciting and events are still in the balance.
We'll await results eagerly!

Woad is driven away from Rudelheim!

The after Action Report is at Murdock's Marauders ...

Woad will have greater control over his survivors than the Rudelheim contingent, so I figure they'll get back to base ... but the road is open for the flight of Parsleigh and RausenMarie after they've hit the depot ... at least as far as the main road over the Tannes Mountains, where another battle is taking place ...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Those Three Small Battles ....

I'm looking at three brigade size encounters, as the Gallians and the Frankfurters catch the Resistance forces coming through the mountain defiles. More details as soon as health permits ....

One collision will be Rudelheim militia and dragoons running into Highlander mercs and fusiliers and Hussars (Frankszonia under Broderick Woad) in open but rolling terrain. I think Murdock will be taking this one. This will be the western encounter.

Two: will be veterans versus Guard .... the resistance will be running the Old Retainers (elite unit), estate jaegers, and another line regiment with a regt. of curiassiers against a battalion of Guard, two converged battalions of Grenadiers and a regt. of Cuirassiers ... which are under the direct command of the Hurtshog. I think Bill Protz will be taking this one, as involves the resistance trying to sneak out of the woods on the Tannes berg (exiting a mountain pass).

Three: will be the Fisch Freicorps (2 battalions) and militia fusiliers with a brigade of dragoons and Marie's artillery under Parsleigh ... who will run into Gallian dragoons who will be swiftly reinforced by whomever is parked over the depot .... but the engagement will occur close enough that Marie's artillery or a squadron of dragoons will have an opportunity to try to fire the depot ....
Ideally, the Resistance forces will slightly outnumber their foes. If Frankszonia and Gallia win a scenario, the victorious units may try to interdict the retreat line of another Resistance unit ...

I'm trying to get some painting in, as that can be done in my bed (for a long while I couldn't even lean forward to touch brush to palette). Anyway, I've got another squadron of 14 Hussars on preliminary basing (and found the missing three riders tonight); a third squadron of 17 Hussars ready to prime (all Revell Plastics); about 30 Minden Prussian grenadiers (which would be two Koenig Krieg battalions) and 12 Minden fusiliers (another K.K. battalion) ready for priming.
Unfortunately, my primer bottles seem to have been swept up in the general haul out of stuff from the living room!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Catch up Post, May 2010

End of May 2010 catch up post.

Due to life intervening (which has turned out better than expected at the moment, thanks be to God), I’ve been off the computer for weeks. Moreover, my figures and terrain materials are in temporary storage. The only figures I’ve got out for painting are the Revell Prussian Hussars ... and they’re giving my limited skills fits!! LOL

This has left me with a whole series of planned scenarios which can’t be resolved until later in June at the earliest, so I’m looking for proxy battle volunteers who can field at least a good brigade of infantry and several squadrons of horse – all with artillery support for each side.
It would be nice if the officers, etc. of each army are given a sort of role play reaction to the events on the table .... as many know, there are short files on all of them down to battalion commanders! (Grin)

Some months ago, I lost my favorite atlas (Wesserman’s Grosser Atlas zur Weltgeschicte). We lucked up on an affordable version of the ‘67 edition, and my beloved wife made that her anniversary gift to me. Perusing the various pages (which naturally tend to emphasize German concerns), I am again amused by the incredible plethora of mini-states in Germany at the time. Indeed, in one map of a section of Swabia, I think, I found two “countries” which were less than 4 square miles in territory! Of course, this enthused me even more over our imagi-nations and their travails. The idea of many, very small force scenarios increases my frustration over this period of enforced inactivity (wry grin).

Anyway, it is necessary to update things as swiftly as possible.

V. Mack and most of his party survive ... Beauphaup is wounded (shot from the side while fencing with another assassin) and two of his aides are killed. The assassins are hirelings who’ve been paid with Gallian coin ... but the contact information one carries connects to a known Stagonian smuggling ring. With the return of the Hurtshog, Princess Stuftliana is able to extend official hospitality to the Beerstein party.
(There will hopefully be a more extensive after action report later ... can't promise it, alas. Also, my notes are confused as to which of the Beerstein men is fevered from his wound ... I'd kind of like to spare SomeRussian Guyovitch, but he was the target after all ...).

An envoy is dispatched to the Kingdoms of St. Maurice. We’ve come across some corrosive salt and pepper mixtures which damage zombies and cause them immediate distress when fired from shotguns .... also, bladders filled with oil of vitriol seem to show some promise ...

The Sultan of Swat has acquired a new staff officer, Hauptman Heinrich der Alte. He has an endorsement from the Trucks and Turbines for his service with light infantry and cavalry.

An envoy is dispatched to Hesse Fedora requesting them to expel the Frankszonian Resistance and Cheezers from their territory. Hesse Fedora is gently reminded of traditional friendship with Frankszonia which the Hurtshog has maintained in spite of their currently being allied to Germania.

An envoy is dispatched to Hesse Homburg, requesting that they do not violate Frankszonian territory in their internecine dispute with Hesse Fedora.. Also, complaints are lodged with Gallia about Hesse Hamburg's arrogance and territorial violations (ironically, it seems that Hesse Homburg may be filing almost identical complaints, just with the names switched so as to appear innocent).

Unsubstantiated and malicious rumors report that Frankszonian officers are reconnoitering the intervening terrain between the two Hesse Hats. That such rumors are fallacious is obvious. After all, prior to the Gallia / Hesse Seewald war, Frankszonia was very actively asserting its influence in that area. The Tannes Mountains are embraced by Frankszonian territory along the Nidda River ....
Hans Muckiethaler, the financier involved in the Frankszonian Resistance, has offered to loan Hesse Seewald a treasure apparently of Hindu origin. He is acting as the agent, he says, of a consortium of four adventurers who'd been lucky in Agra.

Baron Bastille, the Gallian Intendent at Frankfurter, has recently found himself the target of the attentions of two Fraulein. One has a dragon lady widow mother (who has also hinted at her loneliness, unfulfilled desires, etc.), and the other is staying with a tipsy uncle and her foppish cousin.
Gen. Hottatrot is seeking some hoboists to play in his regimental band.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Things have been a little hectic here .... getting some work done on the house and enduring some more health problems, but thankfully, doing a little better today ...
the 20th anniversary of our marriage ... the one time I know I beat my beloved's dice roll!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A brouhaha


Even as the landlord got his footing in the archway, dark shapes boiled out of several stalls. The Croat fired his musketoon and dropped one, but this drew a fusillade from the attackers’ pistols. The Croat was slammed against the arch and slid down with a groan. The dark figures continued their rush resisted by only the landlord.
Now it was true that the landlord had had little military training, other than the standard required of all the local citizens, but the peaceful reputation of his inn rested largely on the fact that the landlord was a pieceful man, in that other’s picked up the pieces etc.... The assailants ran into a much more muscular wall than they’d counted on. A fist used to easily handling fifty pound hams can also usually lift someone off their feet if properly placed just on the jaw. The landlord managed to knock another into the muck before a clubbed pistol behind the ear also dropped him onto the pavement.
By this time, however, the Prioress Hildegarrd had pulled two pistols from her robes and leapt into the gap. Her shots spun one assailant around and caused another to duck back. This left one lonely fellow to try to dagger the “nun” as he surged past. Unfortunately for the luckless man, he stumbled over the bodies in his way, and as Hildegarrd caught him, another Croat’s musketoon was discharged directly into his face.
More cloaked figures charged out of the common room while everyone seemed to be focused
on the fight in the stable archway. Their pistols dropped another Croat and hit one of the “nuns” in the shoulder. While the little priest dove under the coach, three of the nuns fired back into the charge. This intimate discharge quickly piled three bodies onto the porch and momentarily stopped the charge. Suddenly, the “nuns” displayed broad bladed scimitars and with a wild ululation they rushed their foe. These men rapidly redeployed back into the common room and managed to bar the door just as the first extremely large nun crashed into it.
Windows in the upper floor now slammed open, and men leaned out to fire into the courtyard. Another Croat was dropped and one of the horses began to plunge out of control. Two of the nuns quickly ran behind the coaches to cover. These new assailants, however, had overlooked the four men on top of the carriage whose shotguns abruptly blew the assailants back into their rooms.
In one room, a young man looked at the his two bleeding companions and anxiously began to try to help them. In the other, however, the third man counted on the moment when the enemy would be reloading and leaned out the window to take aim. His folly was completely corrected by four pistols fired from less than ten yards away ... the coachmen had plenty of back up firepower!
There was now a wild volley from the windows of the common room, and the nuns on the porch quickly took cover. The landlord, however, by now had risen from his feet, and the assailants in the stables had fled to their horses. “This way!” he shouted to “Sister” Hildegarrd and the now dismounted Croat. Bursting through a side door into the kitchen, he grabbed utensils from the kitchen table and dashed into the common room, taking the band clustered around the windows from behind!
The landlord’s furious scream as he charged was punctuated by the discharge of Hildgarrd’s pistol and the Croat’s musketoon. The confused assassins tumbled over each other as they tried to face this new assault. Which held one hapless man steady in front of the landlord’s flung cleaver.
The assassins discharged their own weapons into the smoke and drew their swords. They began to try to spread out, kicking tables out of their way. At this moment, an explosion ripped apart the door to the courtyard! As the “nuns” pile screaming into the room, a few men manage to escape, but most throw down their swords and yield.
As the landlord and his new guests search about the inn, they find two dead assailants and one unconscious in the stable yard; one dead and one injured upstairs; two dead and one injured on the porch; and four injured and three healthy captives in the common room. Alas, two of the Croats and on of the nuns were also dead. Two other Croats, including the veteran leader, were injured and two of the “nuns” were also bleeding. The little priest proved to be skilled surgeon and the wounded would probably all survive.
Nothing could be gained from the captives, unfortunately, other than “the Holy Office” had dispatched them to intercept “the Apostate” who was believed to be traveling disguised as a Croat to some anti-Papist plot in the Rhineland. The Croats were as confused as the landlord, and the “nuns” who were obviously Turkish eunuchs, weren’t conversant with enough German to illuminate anything. The four coachmen just demanded more beer and roasted pork.
Bernard was found sporting a bruised bump on his head and bundled into one of the stalls with a pregnant mare. The priest cautioned the landlord that Bernard’s seemingly minor injury could be more dangerous. “One cannot cauterize the brain,” he admonished the landlord.
“Funny,” the landlord responded, “all these years I thought somebody had already cauterized his brain.”

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Another family emerges:

Inspired by the presence of the Iznplotz regiments in Germania (see Alte Fritz' blog), I'm generating another military dynasty to help the poor Hurtshog.

Hauptman Izzent Plotzt, son of,
Col. Ishent Plotzt , son of,
Brig. Shnot Plotzted, (rummored to be a son of a Bysshe from England) ...

It was very wet night ...

As v. Mack hastened down the stairs, he heard a noise and bustle from the ground floor. Quickly taking a post at a landing, he glared down at the figures milling around in the foyer. To his surprise, he recognized the long absent Comte l' Beauphaup. However, Mack's professional eyes noticed that instead of the usual cluster of fancily dressed youth, the accompanying men had the hardened look of seasoned dragoons.
Mack quickly slid down the hall to the doors of his employers and gave the special knock.
"Wonderful!" the Duches v. Kern declared as he stepped in. "Have you noticed that Frankszonia has FINALLY decided to officially recognize our presence?"
"Perhaps," Mack responded coolly, "they decided they'd need to while we were still present."
"Oh, I wasn't planning on leaving without SOME sort of meeting," The Duchess replied icily.
"It's not your plans, but those of Louis and Hugh d'Vile I'm worried about," Mack responded.
Somerussian Guyovitch lurched to his feet. "Where?"
"Close, and with a team for backup."
"They mean to get all of us!" the Duchess gasped.
Mack's trained ears noticed the tread of cavalry boots crossing the floor above them.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I'd started to game the situation at the inn ... using a fudged version from Two Hour Wargames black powder rules. However, the game suffered a major cat-astrophe.
On the plus side, he did NOT jump on the battle board, but carefully avoided it like the good cat he is.
On the disaster side, his big fluffy tail ... ...
I'll need to fudge up something to replace the floor plan and hopefully find the other figures ...

Before I forget, however, initial moves reveal that the "nuns" are Turkish eunuchs ... armed with pistols and scimitars. The coach men are excellent shots, having pistols, rifles, and shotguns. The Croats are old soldiers ...

The assassins are NOT mercenaries, but fanatics and volunteers and of enough income level to dash about the continent on wild escapades ... hence, though they outnumber the target, they are much less well co-ordinated. They are talented and eclectically armed. At the moment, three are down in the porch of the common room, while others fire through the shutters ...

The rush from the stables has knocked down the old Croat and the innkeeper, but the struggle gave the "prioress" and "Sister Hermenigarde" time to engage. One of the other Croats is down and out (leaving three still up and mounted, though their muskets are now discharged). Two of the "nuns" are injured, and two have tried to take cover under or behind their coach. The coachmen have exchanged shots with attackers in upper windows ... the coachmen are all right so far, and the effect of their fire isn't known in the yard yet ...

The innkeeper, though knocked down, is not out, and is about to go into berserkergang ....

Of course, nobody has actually SEEN the Apostate yet ....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Meanwhile, back in Frankfurter ....

Von Mack, sitting near a window in a quiet cafe near the temporary residence of his nobles, observes a large man striding through the dark puddles of the wet night. That can only be Moosehunter, he thinks when the figure suddenly stops in a bit of shadow and seems to look directly at his window. Then, with a quick sideways jerk of the head down the street, the large man strides into the rain.
v. Mack quickly rises and tosses a coin to the barman, grabs his coat, and hurries out into the street. Moosehunter has vanished, as V. Mack expected, but a quick whisper from a sodden, late night vendor asks, "Some goat cheese, meine Herr? It's quite fresh, and there's more to be had at the Sign of the Broken Flute."
"Goat cheese?" v. Mack asks, then comments, quietly, "this looks more like some Muenster."
"There be plenty of monsters on the street tonight," the vendor responds. Then he quickly crosses the street, turns a corner, and vanishes.
V. Mack looks at the cheese in his hand, and notices the paper in which it is wrapped. He hurries back to his rooms and presses the paper against the chimney of his lamp to read "3 + karl v". Rapidly snatching up a case from his luggage, v. Mack hurtles out of his room towards the quarters of the V. Kerns.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Bell Rings

The landlord jerked awake behind his bar as the gate bell rang. Who would bother? The gate would not be barred this early, even though there was no custom to speak of on such a horrible night. Cold rain, dark cold rain, about what you’d expect at the end of winter, he thought. At least there’s no lightning.
The bell rang again, and there was pounding on the gate.
The landlord’s comments revealed his Platt Deutsche origins as he grabbed a lantern off one of the wooden pillars and trudged out into the rain. “Are you crippled?’ he shouted into the night. “The bar isn’t dropped yet!” Then, in the swaying shadows, he noticed that a barrel had rolled against the gate somehow. Between his rich, lowland comment on the situation, he assured the unseen guests that he would quickly remedy things. His language became even more florid when he realized that the barrel was from today’s shipment of Italian wines ... and he’d need every drop, he had, if his guesses about the strange crowd in the back rooms was correct. Had to be a mercenary band from Italy ... Italian officer, Spanish troopers, and God knows what else. They’d retired too early, but he’d wager that they’d be out for refreshment before the last bell rang. Mercenaries were always notoriously thirsty!
As he bent for keg, however, the landlord suddenly stopped an peered through the gate window. Armed and mounted men? Before he dashed back inside to raise an alarm, however, he spotted the two coaches. “Who are you all?” he asked. “Where on this d-m-d night are you headed?”
“The Prioress Hildegarrd from St. Kunnegunde’s,” was the heavily accented reply. “They’re being sent to start a ladies’ home in Bravaria somewhere.”
“Okay,” the landlord grumbled as he rolled the keg away. “Come on in, and I’ll rouse the ostler. Bernard!” he shouted. “Bernard! Look lively! We’ve got another herd of pf—ing horses, and you’ll have to find room for them.!”
The convoy rattled onto the paving stones of the inn’s yard, and some of the coachmen sprang down to place steps at the doors facing the inn. A small wiry man in priest’s garb came out first and helped down the prioress. The landlord greeted her fulsomely, while noting that she seemed much more plump than he’d expected ... ah well, he had some good hams which could be prepared quickly.
“Where’s the ostler?” one of the mounted guards asked.
“With tonight’s rain,” the landlord grumbled, “he’s probably sound asleep. He has had another large batch of horses to bed down earlier tonight.”
The men and the nuns exchanged quick looks at this. “Will you have enough room, then?” the priest asked in a reedy voice. The nuns in the second coach stopped dismounting and listened worriedly.
“Sure, they were a cheap bunch and bedded down together like they were back in the barracks,” the landlord responded grumpily. “Bernard!” He shouted again.
One of the Croats dismounted. “Perhaps,” he commented, “we will go together and rouse the stables.”
“I am so sorry,” the landlord apologized. “I am completely mortified, Mother,” he groveled to the prioress. “Alas, meine Herr,” he continued to the soldier, “I’m afraid you have the right. How long have you been in service?”
“Excuse me?”
“There’s hardly any accent in your Deutsche,” the landlord said. “Usually, that means a veteran in the Merry Teaser’s service.”
“Her father’s, actually,” the soldier responded.
“I’m afraid he was the last of the old emperor’s,” the landlord sighed. “Well, we’ve a reputation of being a quality but orderly stopping point for soldiers now for almost a hundred years.
“Sisters, the common room is just through that porch,” he continued. “My maid will be glad to wait on you. We do have some good stew on, and if that runs out we can have some excellent ham cooked in just a few moments.” He turned then towards the stable, escorted by the soldier leading his horse.
In a moment, they’d splashed through the arch leading into the stable yard. The landlord threw open the large doors and shouted, “Bernard!”
There was no answer, but a couple of lamps were still lit and a water bucket was spilled in passageway. The landlord cursed, and started forward, but the soldier grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back. In the same motion, the soldier slipped his musket off his shoulder and stepped back into the archway while cocking it.
“What? What?” the landlord spluttered. His fear of armed bands rushed back over him, as he noticed that the other guards had spread out in the court and also now were prepared for combat.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Scene: a dark, somewhat dingy room lit by a single candle. Bundled shapes lounge or lay about on crude furnishings while their breath steams in the cold. Rain drums on the strake shingles, but the sound of a horse galloping up and stopping outside is still audible. Most of the bundles begin to move into a more upright stance, and there is a sound of metal sliding across leather.
Steps and muffled voices sound from a room beyond the door, followed by a quick rapping.
One man rises and slightly opens the door while another stands behind it.

"They've been spotted at the Hausenstein ford," a voice says quietly from outside.
One man in the center of the room speaks clearly but with an Italian accent, "were they able to cross?"
"Yes, my Lord."
"They're continuing on in this storm?"
"It looks like they're trying to get here."

A moment of quiet excitement and rustling figures follows until the lord asks, "How many and how long?"
"Looks like about a half dozen outriders and two coaches, my Lord. Given the condition of the road, they could be over an hour out, but normally it'd be about half an hour to here now."

The nobles stands up and begins to divest himself of the rug in which he'd been wrapped. A Spanish accent from the corner cautions, "Quietly, Gentlemen. Quietly. And no smoking. Wait for the bell."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Growing grains ...

Given the recent splurge in interest in 18th cent colonial conflict, I'm guessing that Frankszonia will need to hassle with the Dutch in the East Indies .... we have to protect our spice supply!

Meanwhile, a couple of non-descript coaches and Croat outriders toil through the heights and rain and mud of western Austria ...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dispatch from Sonnenhauf near Klein Umstadt

From: General L'Marquie d'Hottatrot
To: His Grace, the Hurtshog Stanken Fharts v. Frankfurter


I have met and foiled an attempt to penetrate the defiles of the OdenWald by the Colon Coalition.
Our scouts and sources report a concentration near Radheim.
It is possible that the foe will attempt to maneuver further north to near Schafheim to strike at us via Schlierbach. As this would expose them to an assault on their flank launched from good cover, I believe that they will first attempt to force a somewhat more constricted passage directly from Radheim to this place.
Our forces have deployed for a rear slope defense, but a curve in a watercourse east of here provides us with the opportunity to contest two bridge crossings. The first is actually in the defile, but the second is below the ridge which we are holding. Furthermore, the enemy would be constricted by the bend in the stream and have only bridge to his rear for his guns.

I have the honor to be your servant,
L'Marquis Hottatrot

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mud on the Carpets!

Early morning and drizzly rain, the perfect time for a contingent of exhausted, mud splattered riders to crash through the various carts and stalls, splash across the square, and blunder into the palace grounds. As the guards snap to attention (trying to ignore the horrible splatters on their dress whites), the party squelches to a stop at the steps. They help each other dismount, demonstrating a degree of stiffness one would expect from courtiers and overweight nobles who had just endured a grueling, multi hour dash through increasingly foul weather.
As they clatter and clump (and I do mean clump) through the doors onto the marble floors and priceless carpets (much to the dismay of the maids who had just finished their morning cleaning). loud roars (commands distorted by fatigue) bring a few staff officers hurriedly into the hall.
"Your Grace!" one of the men exclaimed, "You almost beat your courier here, we're still gathering."
"Gathering? This late in the day? When we've troops in the field?" the Hurtshog was NOT pleased.
Another over large uniform came through the door. The soldier wearing it was obviously not as fussed about appearances as the first rush of staff officers. He also seemed to have slept, or perhaps not slept, in his uniform. "Your Grace," he mumbled with a polite reverence.
"Okay, what happened, Oscar?"
"Well, we were on that zombie hunt on the border with Maurice when there was a local mutiny."
"Yes, Sire, mutiny. We suspect Stagonian agents of course, but before we could prove anything, our flanking brigade ran into a war in Saxe-Bearstein."
"Saxe-Bearstein? Saxe-Bearstein!! Gut Got, Meine Herr, ve haff to haff SOME friends left in the world!" The Hurtshog's facial color was definitely getting florid.
"Nichts! Nichts!" Gen. Meyer reassured his old friend. "We were able to get in on our old friend's side. Already been some fighting down there. We've got Generals Schwann and Rosenschnauz in command of a good expiditionary force."
"By now," the one rider who somehow managed to still look daper intervened, "Gen. Hottatrot will be in command."
Gen. Meyer gave an inaudible sniff of disdain, but continued, "we have a slightly more serious situation though ..."
"I know, little Rausen Marie," the Hurtshog interjected. "I'm hoping we got here before anything happens."
"Well, we're not sure, ...." the old general seemed at lost for a moment how to continue ...
"The depot supplies may have been sabotaged again," one of the staff officers hesitatingly offered.

Meanwhile, Baron Bastille was angrilly shedding clothes in his quarters while staff gathered around. This being a family friendly forum, his comments on Frankszonian politics will not be shared. As his comments about Generals with Royal Favor being even less discrete and potentially harmful to his health, they will also be quickly smothered under a pillow.

Col. Mirage, however, was even more incensed than everybody else!
"Why .... I mean WHY haven't they been shot for mutiny?" he icily demanded.
"Well, Sir," the worried Major responded, "It's just happened, and honestly they do have a solid point. Besides, the powder is worthless ... it hardly ignites, let alone explodes."
"Okay," Mirage's expression seethed with not okay, "what happened."
"Well, the sergeants refused to make the cartridges because they thought the powder had been poisoned."
"To paraphrase, Sir, they said it smelled like a thousand cats had pissed in it."
"That would be some strong saltpeter," Mirage acknowledged. "Go on."
"Well, we tested a bit, and it just smoked and stank, .... And stank, .... and realy gagged us all, Sir."
"Has a chemist examined it yet?"
"That's in progress, Sir." Mirage interpreted this as a more urgent version of "we'll got on it right away, Sir." The major continued, "but I'd guess somebody took some charcoal kitty litter, ground it up, and mixed up the gunpowder in some of the barrels."
"Just how many is 'some,' Major?"
"About a hundred and thirty five, Sir," the happless officer answered. "We're still checking."
"Out of how many barrels checked, Major?"
"A little over a hundred and fifty, Sir."
*Good God! Merci or Merde, Generals Cheveret and Broglie need to know about this right away!* Col Mirage thought. Then he had an idea as how to spare himself the immediate fireworks. "Major," he ordered, "have your personel report to me. You must go instantly and report this to the generals!"
"Oui, M'sr," the Major managed a disciplined salute and withdrawel.

*Now,* Mirage wondered, *which Frankszonian noble has tons and tons of cats around ....?"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Flank Stakes

Flank Stakes

In one discussion group, folks were speculating on the classic, off-board Flanking Maneuver. The new idea was a strategic, rather than a tactical penetration. In other words, the flanking force would actually never appear on the table, as its target was deeper behind the lines in an effort to drive its foe (I’ll call them the target to keep things simple for my addled pate) completely from the position and to obtain a better battle ground for the decisive engagement.
Since this was the aim of the Colon Coalition in my last game, the question intrigued me a lot. I really wanted to see how Koenig Krieg handled off table movement, but my whole bag containing the rules, dice, and notes is missing (aftermath of the turmoil and turbulence of evicting a “houseguest”).

Now the key to understanding the conundrum here is the simple fact that both such a flanking force and whatever counterforce goes against them WILL NOT BE ON THIS TABLE AT ALL. Indeed, the outcome of the maneuver cannot be effectively known in the scope of a game which recreates the tactical or grand tactical encounter of forces in a specific place to be ideally resolved in one “game day” (or about 4 hours or less of play). While the flanking force and whatever it runs into provides a nice game scenario all in itself, the leading commanders today must fight without knowing how the flanking maneuver turns out. Their primary influence thus will fall into the objectives of the battle commander on that field and in the size and kinds of forces that commander would bring to the battle.

For the flanking player, the obvious choices would be as follows, I think:
a): the size and composition of the flanking force (for gaming purposes, I personally limit the options from 25% to 66 % of the O.B. available to the player);
b): the actual purpose of the strategic flanking maneuver (Is it a raid to say blow up a key bridge or depot? Is it to sieze a key node in the target’s supply line and hold it? Is it to seize a vital objective site to draw the target’s forces onto some sort of kill zone? Etc.): and
c): What is the actual objective now of the force left on the table (make a lot of noise, but run from any real counter offense; attack some point to prevent the target from quickly pulling forces out to meet the flankers; hold the position so that the flanker has to fall back to find another route or be trapped; etc. etc.)?

For the target, however, the situation is much more complex.
First, is the flanking maneuver detected? The determination of this can be a simple die roll modified by commander ratings; or it can be a complex matrix including the quality of scouting and screening forces deployed by each side, the nature of the terrain, who is “at home,” etc. etc. etc. For myself, I prefer very simple solutions.
BUT: if the flanking maneuver IS NOT detected, how to adjudicate “winner” and “loser” of the game, will the target player be allowed to make what sort of provision against the suspected strategic penetration?
IF the target suspects a flanking maneuver, but fails to roll a detection, what can he do? Should he crush the force in front of him and then race back to try to meet the force in his rear? Perhaps the flanking move is purely tactical? Should he hold back a force to deploy to either flank when the off board forces appear? This would obviously weaken the impact of any move made against the enemy on his immediate front. Perhaps, it might even freeze him in place.
On occasion, I’ve deliberately held units off the table on the first move or three simply in order to bring them on in my own rear to strike the target line where it had been weakened to defend against the suspected flanking maneuver (btw, I have consistently misspelled “maneuver” ... thank God for spill chick, eh?). With a “detect flanking force” roll, such a stratagem would be compromised ... as the foe will know they made their roll, yet no flanking force was revealed.

Here’s how I’m thinking of handling the problem.
First of all, both players bring “objectives” to the table, written down before deployment on the table, based on their intelligence of the opponent and what terrain they observe.
Second, tactical flanking forces can not be brought on the table for the first turn or two (there’s a number of systems for deciding when and how tactical flanking forces arrive ... I like simple ones based on the quality of the leadership).
Third, BEFORE DEPLOYMENT, any “detect flanking maneuver” roll should be made ... and this would require some basis ... scouting forces cut from the OB to scout: being on home ground: leadership quality. If the roll is successful, then the other player would need to declare that such a force exists. But this roll would ONLY apply to a strategic flanking maneuver ... in effect saying to the successful caster that some of my forces will not be on today’s table. This would retain the normal value of also including a tactical maneuver!
Fourth, at Turn Three, both players may write down revised objectives for their on board forces ... from “get away alive” to “crush these bozos to let me get at the rest undisturbed”. Then victory points or whatever can be considered in light of the last set of objectives ... and in the difficulty of switching one mode to another in media res ...

Obviously, this needs a whole lot more thought ... and remember I like simple but plausible mechanisms!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

just a quick note ....

before the bit about posting ethics ... there was some more byplay with the Gallians ...
I haven't had time to flesh out another scene do to some legal hassles down here (had to evict somebody).
Anyway, obviously, the gang comes thundering back into town to find everything in an uproar ... and relations with Raubenstadt will hit a new low when the dark beauty, Stuftliana, loses her temper over allegations of negligence from the Kerns .... V. Mack and various others will be running around trying to smooth things over ... while a suspected Stagonian noble is spotted near the waterfront across the Main visiting some house of low repute ...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Staggering Stagonians

I've been giving some thought, at Jeff's invitation, to some characters for Stagonia ... both those in the employ of the DeVilles and those who are under the illusion that they're free agents ...
One thing which was bothering me was the perversions and disgusting habits which I'd need to ascribe to them.
Obviously, there will need to be some degree of homosexuality ... it was a feature of the period for those who were determined to rebel against the mores of their class. Equally obviously, it needs to be handled with care. After all, I've already hinted at pedophila in the case of one expired character (whose son and protege are major characters in Frankszonia). In these times, such issues are very, very sensitive. So I need to watch my step.
There was some substance abuse in the period as well, but it was no where near as pervasive as it became later in the century ... and the selection was not nearly as diverse as it is today. So drug smuggling (with a side line in aphrodisiacs, knock out drops, etc.) seems like a likely industry for the Stagonian agent.
I've decided to not have ANY cases of abduction for sex (though abduction for hostage or for political marriage slides close to this) including no "date rape" scenarios (unless it involves a hint of bestiality, after all, those goats have a fiery personality).
So, at the moment, I'm looking at smuggling, drugs, seduction (either for sex or for treason) and debauchery, poison, scams, Ponzi schemes, extortion, protection rackets, crooked gambling, and writing filthy graffitti as the main lines for Stagonian agents ... any other ideas? And what would you guys suggest I NEVER really spell out (besides abuse and beastiality) ... ?
I've got a group of Stagonians on their way to perdition in Frankfurter to write up!

Traveling At Night

Traveling At Night

Some rock or pothole had jolted him awake. Frankly, he was surprised that he’d fallen asleep in the first place. These frontier goat paths through the mountains didn’t really qualify as roads in broad daylight, and sending a coach rumbling through these mountains at night time was insane. Typical of little Stinky though.
He wondered if the driver and escorts were Frankfurter or Wiener agents. The two outriders had Wiener accents and old sergeant manners, but Adolf who sat across from was clearly part of Kunegunde’s agency. He wondered if that fixed smile would become alive if Adolf was watching some poor wretch being tortured. The way Adolf always knew where he’d planted his small backup pistol was unnerving.
At least Adolf did seem very solicitous of Hans, the poor Stagonian servant. That man looked like someone who had tried one of the bad dream powders from Asia. Clumsy, retarded, obedient to the letter of every instruction, the poor fellow had to be dressed and cleaned by Adolf Badmann.

He wished he could look out, even though it was nighttime. Moonlight on the high snowfield was always lovely. He would love to share that with his s ... aide. The lad slept the innocent and cheerful sleep of youth, while his secretary slept the experienced sleep of the old campaigner. The last time he had come this way, he smiled to remember it, he’d been amused by the fantasies of sweet, little Stuftliana. She’d more than half expected to be introduced into some rude fastness where men with horned helmets growled about the battlements or roistered drunkenly in the courtyard.

So she was a mother now. He shook his head. Time passes. Things change, but she’d been a vastly better companion than Badmann’s mannequin like fixed, blue smile. In the dark coach, Adolf’s face looked varnished.

He thought of the note from Dilbers he’d found in yesterday’s brats and wondered how many monasteries they were trying to slip past

There was a quick rapping on the blinds. Adolf pulled one back slightly. “Ja?”
“Hussars, Meine Herr.”
“Hussars?” There was an incongruous note of surprise.
“Hussars,” was confirmed by the rider outside.
Badmann frowned a moment. “Ask them for fresh horses, and show them the documents from the blue case.”
“Now which case was that?”
“Blau, meine Herr.”
“Ja. Gut. And make sure that Hans has his blunderbuss ready.”
“Ja, meine Herr.”

There was stirring in the coach as everybody checked their frizzens and made sure that their other tools were accessible as the clatter of the wheels slowed.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dropping from the Cathedral Eaves ...

Eaves Dropping

Mack knelt in the darkness, leaning into the shadow of the great pillar. He smiled ironically. Frankfurter was mostly Anglerican / Lutheran and pro-Protestant. Still it had a sizable population of Papists, including the scandalous Later-In-The-Day Saints. That cult had very enjoyable festivals and celebrations, so everybody pretended to belong. Still, most days, the Ducal Cathedral was almost empty. Naturally, the foolish children thought of it as a private place for their trysts ... not realizing that anybody who actually entered the building was almost always noticed by somebody, and gossip blazoned their romantic secret across the market in seconds.

So, his informant being an imaginative lass from the mercantile class (which actually runs Frankszonia), had arranged her “secret contact” there.

It was no loss. The mother of the family came from the Reich Duchy of Beerstein, so folks would already assume that he would contact them. Then again, she was healthy, pleasant looking, and quite cheerful. Having himself linked in gossip with her could only enhance his carefully contrived reputation.

So, suppressing a quiet chuckle in the stained glass colored shadows, he began to cross himself and to rise ... but froze instead.

Another had entered the nave. Unlike most folks, who went softly and even attempted furtiveness, the figure strode quickly over to the candle stands and dropped some coins into the collection box.

“Do you need a lighter, my son?” an older cleric queried from the sanctuary.
“Certainly, Light is Needed,” the stranger replied. Mack could hear the capital letters and the Italian accent.
“Adjutorum nostrum in Nomine Domini,” said the monk.
“Qui fecit Caelum et Terram,” the stranger responded.
There was a moment of quiet as the two regarded each other and swept their eyes around the dark interior. They seemed to miss Mack still reverently kneeling behind his pillar.
“He’s been spotted,” the stranger.
“How close?”
“We don’t know yet. The General Secretary thinks he sailed on to Trieste and has alerted the Tyrol brothers.”
“But you?”
“Up through Croatia to Vienna and then across to the Main somewhere.”
The priest demurred, “A Turkish Captain General going through Vienna without being spotted?”
“He’s a Fhartz. They have a low opinion of the Wieners’ intelligence already, and he would be a traveling German noble. Hardly remarkable or even noticeable in the waltzes or beer gardens.”
“You’re right,” the priest mused. “He also is remarkably well suited to come as one of the Croats or an Hussar. What do you suggest?”
The stranger sat in a pew, and Mack noticed that in spite of his martial bearing he wore no sword. “I sent a Postulant to Father Feurenkopf. They’ll be watching the inns to the west of Vienna. I think we need to get higher up the Main and stake out the boats. He could easily make entrance from Offenbach.”
The priest began to pace nervously. “What shall we do if he makes it?”
“I honestly don’t know,” the stranger complained. “I know that the Secretary and his cronies have their ideas, but none of them are really used to working in the field. What’s old Stinky up to? This could be a subtle bit of pressure on the Reichs Rat in Wien. It could be a trigger for some rumpus inside Stagonia. It could be merely working out a new route to smuggle in more spices for their Frankfurters.” He grunted wryly, “it could even be a purely sentimental desire to visit again. They were quite close when the Hurtshog was little.”
“Do you think the Hurtshog might reinstate him?” The priest was very worried at this prospect.
“It’s possible,” the Italian threw up his hands. “Everybody forgets that the Apostate is legitimate, and he’d make a very skilled Regent if it came to that.”
“Gott in Himmel!” the priest paled. “We’d lose our status versus the heretics!”

One of the ornately carved doors creaked open somewhere and banged shut. The priest quickly turned to trimming the candles while the Italian rose and knelt before them. A young man, plainly dressed but in fine cloth, came in peering around. “Father Silenius?” he called from the back, is that you?”
“Yes, Richter. I’ll be with you in a minute.” Father Silenius turned to the Italian, “I’d be blest to hear your confession, traveller,” he covered quickly. “Come, let’s step into the sacristy to be private a moment.”

The two plotters exit, and the youth advances up the aisle, anxiously watching them go. Mack slips quietly away and down the stairs to the cellar. So he missed the quick light-footed entrance of a pretty farm girl who hurried up to Ricther and quickly gave him a sisterly peck on the cheek.
"Rose Marie," Richter greeted her. "I always love to see you, but here? Now?"

"You have to know," she grinned as if she were flirting but kept her voice low. "Beerstein is getting involved."
"Stagonia again?"
"Possibly, but this reunion ... there's Fhartzen whom the Reich Duchy Lace would love to see expelled and blown away."
There is a noise of a chair scrapping across the floor in the sacristy. Rose Marie flies back out again, calling, "You HAVE to come to our cookout!"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The General is indisposed

Somewhere in the Hessian scramble of states, a great army sits muffled against the winter cold. They are depressed as they seem to have stumbled on the threshold of a complete victory. Hesse-Seewald and Germania with British aid have stopped their advance. The cold, iron logic of the situation requires them to fall back on their ample depot near Frankfurter. Around their fitfully smoking campfires, the men are glad that the ground is firming up from the last winter storm. Marching in frozen mush is horribly uncomfortable, and the damage to their kit has all the sergeants practically incoherent. In their iced tents, they listen to the clatter and rumble of the endless wagon traffic bringing hay for the horses and taking the latest casualties ... most with frostbitten toes through the hills.

A low growl of noise seems unending from the thousands of men and their various implements and animals. Through this constant muted cacophony the sentries’ challenges and the clatter of couriers hooves occasionally places a stronger note in the mix. Tonight, however, some of the men at the fires stand up to watch, and some of the men raise their heads from whatever half frozen knapsack serves as their pillow. There is a rush of couriers, a cavalry horn sounds assemble, and staff officers and Brigadiers are seen hurrying about.

In his commandeered manor, General Chevert is irritably listening to an agitated Intendant Bastille. “This couldn’t have waited until the morning?” the General grumbles peevishly.

“Our own agents confirm the broad outlines of their warning,” Bastille asserts. “There could five or six thousand already mustered and more coming. It would be big enough to lob a lot of bombs into the depot, even if we keep them well out the supplies.”

“Really,” General Chevert replies, “shopkeepers, apprentices, farmhands, and the odd old noble who thinks himself a general!” He snorts disdainfully, “these seem hardly a threat.”

“You spend your summers on campaign, mon General,” one of Bastille’s aides intervenes. “These Frankszonians are weird. They pride themselves on their status as a Free State and as the traditional locale for crowning the Emperor. Their summer cook outs are accompanied by competitions in drill, manual of arms, and even marksmanship.”

“And I suspect that a lot of these wounded and prisoners going into Frankfurt are small units of Germanians or British, heavy on sergeants to provide the nerves for the force,” Bastille continues.

“Wounded and Prisoners to Frankfurter?” The General finally shows alarm. “They were supposed to concentrate on Mainz!”

“And, my agent pointed out another concern, General,” Bastille grabbed his advantage. “Many of the reliable and experienced Frankszonian units are involved in this affair down in Alesgarden. The people of Frankszonia are mostly Protestant and support the Elector against the Emperor. There is a good chance that some of the regiments in Frankfurter will turn coat. If they do, our foes could have twenty thousand men, many veteran regiments within yards of the Depot before any response could be made.”

“And Stagonia?” Chevert required.

“They definitely were involved in both the zombie affairs and in this recent mutiny which drew reliable forces out of town through the Stadt Wald ... and possibly in getting them mixed in with this Alesgarden Affair with the Reich Duchy of Beerstein.”

All of the aides now looked worried. Stagonia had the forces and the position to endanger all communications with Vienna and also would be a cancer in any defense of Bohemia. Since Aftschaftenberg was also in turmoil, the entire Gallian position could be fractured.

“What have you done already?” The General asked Bastille. Bastille was an excellent staff officer, and he had not shirked the firing line when his turn had come. The General was sure that the Baron had used his position to start some response already.

“I’ve sent the Marquis Hottatrot on with an escort of Hussars and Dragoons under Col. Mirage,” Bastille began, and defended his impertinence (which had already irritated the General), “ .... his men move fastest and the risk of a preplanned ambush could be best met his alert gifts for this sort of thing.”

“What’s done is done. What else?”

“The rest of the Frankszonian Nobles will be sent on back tomorrow with a flying wing of cavalry, light guns, and some freikorps.”

“I assume that you will accompany them, my Lord,” Chevert nodded.

“I suspect that the Hurtshog would cheerfully reinforce our depot guards with his own Lieb Garde and Cuirassiers in my absence, “ the Intendant acknowledged wryly. “It would be more efficient to steal our depot in one coup rather than the blood sucking they’ve used so far.”

“I am sure that his pet fop will write glowing reports of his sacrifice, energy, and dedication in service to our King and his Empress,” Chevert reflected. “I wonder what his real goal is?”

“Stagonia,” Bastille asserted.

Chevert looked at him for a moment and then back to the map table. “No, my lord Intendant,” he mused. “Stagonia is too far, too strong, and he knows we’d stop it until Stagonia stops sending us men, money, and supplies. Also, this whole thing stinks of that cabal’s little schemes. They’re trying to flush somebody out.”

There was a moment’s pause while everyone considered the irritations of the grating effect of the petty games of petty German princelings. One of the Intendant’s aides wondered aloud, “and where is Roquefort now?”


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Die HundeHof in der WodenWald

Much more coming as this post gets edited ...
am having to work in short stints due to household problems impacting health (sigh)

The fabulous paintings of Dame Edith have arrived. Quite fortunately, she had been doing some studies of the flora in the OdinWald when hostilities broke out.

Even though she was enraptured by the precious beauties of the region, she sought out her friends among the Frankszonian forces. She was happily greeted by their commander, Hottatrot, who appeared exhausted but confident of victory.
He informed her of the possibility of a minor action near one of the manors she had been visiting, and she dashed back to catch the action.

(Picture is Wild Roses by Pickren Hall Road)

She arrived not a moment too soon, but thinking there was still time rode forward until she suddenly found herself surrounded by the approaching enemy!

(battle reports will be posted beside the pictures)
West end of area ... all forested (I couldn't get to my primary tree box). the Coalition is on the bottom of the board, and almost entirely Giant of Hong Kong figures (20 mm plastics, allegedly the worst ever made for AWI).
The FRangipani Hussars (Revell) who were in advance post managed to get a first move card and are quickly retiring from the ragged Coalition line of militia, grenzers and jaegers. Behind the Hunde Manor in the upper right, a battalion of good troops awaits to hold the enemy's advance and Jay's Jaegers are hiding behind the forested hill on the left. Hottatrot himself is leading the Frankszonian force.

Having done some sketches in the area, Dame Edith tried to get around their forces by swinging southwest into rough ground, but encountered a developing firefight between Jay's Jaegers and the Jaegers and light infantry of the foe! (ever noticed how hard it is to type when a cat decides to beat the keyboard with its tail in jealousy?)

The Coalition commander, Oberst Taunjyk, orders the advance to begin on the right while his center follows carefully behind the retreating Hussars. The two companies of Grenadiers were ordered to stand as a reserve.
Meanwhile, Jay's Jaegers are sneaking over the hill through the forest.

Now Dame Edith found herself trapped behind the attacking forces, which, though they treated her well, would not allow her to return to the Frankszonian position (the cads! As if such a genteel lady would be a spy!). So she climbed trees and dashed back and forth behind their lines to get quick sketches of the rapidly shifting action.

Coalition forces advance against the Hunde Manor. Grenzer company on the right, a militia company to the left .... this attack would eventually stall, but it would give Hottatrot a few tense moments first.
(Yes, those are chenile craft trees. Fun to make, very light, photograph well, and don't leave bits and pieces and shreds everywhere).

Blocked by dense woods and debris from an ice storm, she failed to find a route around the enemy's right flank either ... and then the horrible sound of cannons, rifles, and muskets firing fouled the air!

Fire erupts along the entire line. Jay's Jaegers have advanced to the forward slope and have engaged the jaegers of the coalition forces in a deadly fire fight.
BAR rules permit saving throws, which tended in this game to favor the Frankszonians (No, I did NOT have Dame Edith throw all of them, but Hottatrot is her second favorite character in Frankszonia).

Chocking on the vapors of the battle, she imagined that she dimly perceived vast forms manipulating the brave mortals through the trees .... (Okay, so I had to keep checking the rule book, and getting a tad flustered on turn sequence. Give me a break, I'm isolated, solo, and this was my first run through).

The Coalition presses forward in the center with alarming success.
Most of the cannoniers of the Frankfurter column actually fall to a musket volley (only two saves for the whole gun!). Since the very good troops (Minden Miniatures, alas, none of the pictures from that side turned out well) from Hottatrot's own regiment are taking a pounding, the General is worried, but orders the companies to hold fast to the manor house, hoping that Jay's Jaegers and their supporting battalion will be able to overcome the Coallition left.

The giant mist (state of my brain trying to remember rules and use them) seems to loom over the action and to push Jay's Jaegers dangerously close to their foes in the forest.

This picture shows the intense fighting around the Manor house. The Superior Hottatrot muskets not only flay the attacking force, but are making about twice the save rolls ... but the central battalion of Oberst Taunjyk's command is still pressing forward, and the Hussars are even further away though reforming (out of picture to the left).

Jay's Jagers wipe out the foe's Jaeger company and decimate the rest of the Coalition's left battalion!

This enables Jay's Jaegers supporting musketeers to begin to threaten the central advance of the Coalition. Taunjyk calls his grenediers to begin to advance to support the central force's flank.

Dame Edith perceives that after their strong advance, the Coalition appears to have stalled. The elemental giant does not seem to be intervening any more.

(Der Grosser is considering whether to charge with the Hussars now ... and is wary, considering the historical value of troops in line facing off a cavalry charge. Given the nature of the BAR cavalry rules, he decides he has to fudge (table is too, too small) and start them trotting now).

And, she notices that the Frangipani Hussars are returning to the fray, advancing on the shredded battalion which had pushed recklessly into the field between the Manor and the jaeger filled woods!

Meanwhile the Grenzers on Taunjyk's right finally crumble under the disciplined volleys of Hottatrot's musketeers ... this enables Hottatrot to bring a cross fire on the central battalion just as it is trying to face the advancing Hussars!

Smoke blooms again as the Frankszonian forces press back toward Dame Edith's tree.

The Coalition central battalion attempts to halt the Frankszonian advance to give the Grenzers time to reform. However, the Hottatrot battalion is now concentrating on their front and the fire from the flank is galling. The Hussars break into a canter, and the center battalion gives ground!

Dame Edith wisely clambers up a nearby hill and finds another good tree limb to observe the last moments of the conflict.

Oberst Taunjyk gathers what troops he can around his grenadiers and retires into the mountainous forest. Hottatrot considers that he has achieved his local objective of persuading the Coalition forces to take the northern route through much clearer terrain. Besides, in the forest, the wiley Taunjyk just might turn the tables again!

So once again, as a hawk swirls above the mess, memories of the moment when Colon almost burst through!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Becoming Endarkened ....

Well, during a thaw, we clawed out over the mud and slush to the paved roads and drove into the next county .... in part, because that's the closest place to get film developed.
So I dropped off the roll which Edie had shot of the Odenwald battle ...
That night, as I was emptying my pockets, I found my nitrostats had mysteriously transformed themselves into a roll of film!
Yep, I had ...
Fortunately, I hadn't needed them (they're the emergency pills when my ticker takes off) and I'd a new bottle for back up at home.
Mall Wart has recovered my bottle and will hold it at their pharmacy for a few days ...
When, I hope, the pictures WILL be submitted for development.

Anybody need a court fool?


Sunday, January 31, 2010

First Blood in the Colon ....

First Blood ... OdenWald, near Rabach

First of all, I didn’t know which part of the Covenant army was facing Gen. Linnenblatt, so I took my farcical Order of Battle down there. Also, it was the first time in months that Edie had handled a camera (we’re snowed in, so it’ll be a couple of weeks). So I set this up as a preliminary skirmish using B.A.R. rules and a few of my Revell and Minden miniatures.

I had Oberst Taunjk leading his Grenzers supported by some grenadier companies through the Waldenburg to judge the practicality of the route (the main highway today).
The objective of General Hottatrot was to convince the Coalition that it needed the more open terrain of the more northern routes. So he took Jay’s Jaegers, the Frankgipani Hussars, and a battalion of his own Hottatrot Musketeers.

Hottatrot attempted to ambush Taunjk at a large estate north east of Rabach. Taunjk, however, halfway spotted the ambush and spread his grenzers out in a wide line and advanced. His forces had not spotted Jay’s Jaegers back in the woods and behind a ridge line until too late (happy card draw). The hussars had managed their fake flight without problem because the battalion coming down the road behind them had spotted the battalion guns at the estate.

Jay’s Jaeger’s eventually overwhelmed the battalion facing them, while the Hottatrot battalion, though badly shot up (the gun crew devastated) managed to hold on. Taunjk was regathering his own companies when he saw the Hussars returning to the field and withdrew behind the company of grenadiers.

Lessons learned,
1: even with just 24 man battalions, my little game board is not big enough to handle BAR.
2: Yes, one can forget almost everything one has read in the rule book in two weeks.
3: the card draw initiative creates some of the surprise of K.K.’s initiative rules (which I like, especially for solo play).
4: In spite of constant vigilance, the cats still managed to destroy one of my very rare Giant of Hong Kong Hessian Grenadiers (only have @ 6 left ... groan, gnashing of teeth).

The Farces of the Covenant of Colon are now approaching from the east via Radheim. There has been patrol contact at Hausenhof.
Hottatrot’s subordinates and staff are urging him to advance to the stream and gully from Gruenheckerhof to Eulheckerhof to exploit the forested rough ground on both flanks. Hottatrot has opposed this, however, and has elected to remain a Klein Umstadt and hopefully to engage the Colon forces before Sonnenhof.
His reasoning is that the forward position would enable the opposing army to also hold its ground without trouble, and even to mask a wide flanking movement to the north. At Sonnenhof, there is also a stream, though with two bridges and fordable for the length it is less of an obstacle. Hence, he hopes to draw the large Colon forces onto his own position in such a manner that his superior troops can exploit the open terrain to defeat them. Furhter, the rise from that stream to Klien Umstadt should enable him to spot any flanking maneuver in time to exploit the inevitable weakness this would cause to the Coalition forces.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Farces of the Semi Colon army

(this is a major amplification of earlier material)

The SemiColon Farces
Given that I've inveggled an invitation to play a proxy game with my farces near Oldendburg in the Alesgarden affair, I have to think up the enemy. Now the leaders of the Colon armies are brand name whiskeys, it seems. These days, the wife and I drink very, very little, so instead of brand names, I've focused on associated terms ...:)

Coalition of Colon
(Analyzed under the affluence of inkohol ....)

Co: Lt. General “Der Alte” Kroak

Sub Commanders: Major General d’Styll & Graf v. Ginnheim

d’Styll’s Command:

Cavalry: General Moenshein
CR Das Stiffs 1 X 14 @ (7) {Cuirassiers}
CR Talleine 1 x 14 @ (7) {Cuirassiers}

* Brigadier Brandett
IR “Inflexibles” 2 x 12 figs @ (5 morale) {+close order drill}
IR Furst Run 1 x 12 figs @ (4) (+drill}
* Inhaber V. Trink
IR v. Trink’s Frei Korps 2 x 12 figs @ (4) {Light Infantry}
IR “Die Alte Vinters” 1 x 12 figs @ (3) {militia}

1 battery light guns
1 battery 12 lbrs.

v. Ginnheim’s Command

Cavalry: Brigadier Passout
DR Schotzglas 1 x 14 @ (6) {dragoons}
DR Passout 1 x 14 @ (6) {dragoons}

*Brigadier Glasserstein
IR “Alte Still” 2 x 12 figs @ (4)
IR Wagnerein 1 x 12 figs @ (3) {militia}
*Brigade Taunjck
Oberst Taunjck
1st - 3rd Grenz 3 x 12 figs @ (4) {Light Inf}

1 battery howitzers

Of course, it might help to re-introduce these valiant gentlement who will be commanding the patriotic (if mostly foreign) farce of the foe ....

The Semi Colon Army Command

Frankly Phonies

Major General d’Styll (a steamy character)
Brigadier Passout (very unperturbable)
l’Comte Bourbons (ostentatious but smooth)
Brigadier Brandett (pronounced “Brandy” of course, can sneak up on you)

Die Deutsche Marks

*Lt. General “Der Alte” Kroak (who moans that the great old troops are nevermore)
Has been hired on basis of his glittering resume (gilt paper costs a lot.).
The resume lists the following:
his outstanding achievements in training infantry (he sponsored a good drill team);
His successful governorship of Fort Kleine Bubbles at Glashaus (little bubbles in the glass ... what actually happened was his fastidious obsession with appearance caused the fort to be so clean that local epidemics never had a chance);
His partnership with several other noted leaders (he served as an aide-de-camp during peacetime).
* Brigadier Glasserstein (lacks initiative but takes orders well)
* General Moenshein (a very bright leader)
* Graf v. Ginnheim (a refugee from Frankszonian Imperialism)
* Commander of the Grenz: Oberst Taunjck (pronounced “tonic” ... is a great friend of V. Ginnheim)

The Britischerwurst

General Cooper (likes to keep things closed up)
Brigadier Juggers (Commands the 1/5th Dragoons)
General Mash (known for his sour disposition)
General Charles Coel (diplomatic and known for smoothing things out ....)

Intelligence services lead by the Margravaine Inebria

Le Affair Dishabille

Le Affair Dishabille

Summons ME?!?
Merde! That @#&*’! Insignificant, flatulent petty princeling!!!
Summons Me!!
The rest of the thoughts of the Baron Bastille are untranslatable, gutter French as he storms up the stairs of a country inn in Hesse Seewald. His aides and l’Comte d’Beauphaup try to remonstrate with him as he storms towards a door slightly more ornate than others in the hall.
Hesse Seewald manages to barely, BARELY, repulse us at their own gates, and this (lost in translation) cleaner of foul orifices DARES to SUMMON me! the Baron rages internally. He bursts through the door.
For a moment of a shattered microsecond, the Baron sees a large room. On one table, there is a steaming samovar and the rich odor of fresh coffee fills the room. Just beyond it, a tall uniform is talking with some rumpled evening clothes. Then time slams on its brakes.
Four large pistol muzzles facing him do not frighten the Baron, but the huge jump in his anger litterally freezes him incoherent on the spot. Indeed, he barely notices the impact of his aides who chase blindly after him.
Before the Baron can find his voice again, the guns are lowered and the dressing coat admonishes, “Have a care, m’Lord Baron! The danger is great and the threat is close upon us!”

to be continued ...