Monday, December 31, 2007
To that end, the Regent of Hesse-Homburg hereby lets it be known that She is issuing warrants and regulations for the raising of Her own military force to better protect and secure Her son’s domains.
The Regent invites officers of noble family and upright character to submit their resumes to the Hesse-Homburg Kriegsrat for consideration. The Regent needs large numbers of qualified officers for the new army, the details of which are listed below. In particular, please note that Regimental Inhaber positions are available for most of the new units, those which are depicted with numbers instead of titles.
As the duties of Inhaber can only be carried out by the most responsible of individuals, the Regent offers immediate promotion to the rank of Generalfeldwachtmeister to those whom She entrusts the care of Her son’s soldiers. Further, Her Imperial Highness’ military has promised to respect those so promoted as having the same rank when operating alongside their forces.
It is only right that prospective candidates understand that their units will be composed of only the finest recruits available. The Regent envisions that the army will be recruited almost exclusively from the upstanding and well-proportioned inhabitants of the Kingdom of Leder-Hosen. Since that district is still sculpting its inhabitants, there will probably be some delay in fielding the army.
Please address your resume to:
The Office of Personnel, Casualty Notification, and Remains Disposition
Select Corps of Army Personnel Entering General Officer Acceptance Testing (SCAPEGOAT)
Or via Imperialmail to the officer in charge of SCAPEGOATs: ed_youngstrom at yahoo dot com
Proposed Army of Hesse-Homburg
Leib Regiment, 1 bn and 1 grenadier bn (Leib-Grenadier-Battalion)
1st Regiment, 1 bn and 1 grenadier co (red)
2nd Regiment, 1 bn and 1 grenadier co (dark blue)
3rd Regiment, 1 bn and 1 grenadier co (dark green)
4th Regiment, 1 bn and 1 grenadier co (rose)
5th Regiment, 1 bn and 1 grenadier co (black)
6th Regiment, 1 bn and 1 grenadier co (light blue)
7th Regiment, 1 bn and 1 grenadier co (light green)
8th Regiment, 1 bn and 1 grenadier co (purple)
Each infantry battalion has 4 companies of 12 figures, plus a Stabs-Standarten-Garde of 6 figures. Total 54 figures.
Each grenadier company has 9 figures. Regimental total 63 figures.
1st-4th Regiments’ grenadiers and 5th-8th Regiments’ grenadiers are formed into 2nd and 3rd Grenadier-Battalions, respectively, each of 36 figures.
Leib-Grenadier-Battalion has 4 grenadier companies plus a Stabs-Standarten-Garde of 6 figures. Total 42 figures.
Total force = 12 battalions, 600 figures.
Leib-Kurassiers, 2 squadrons and 1 carabineer squadron (Leib-Karabiniers)
1st Cuirassiers, 2 squadrons and 1 carabinier company
2nd Cuirassiers, 2 squadrons and 1 carabinier company
Each squadron has 12 figures.
Each carabinier company has 6 figures. Regiment total 30 figures. (Leib-Kuirassiers 36)
The two carabinier companies are formed into a single squadron and then combined with the Leib-Karabiniers to form another, 2-squadron regiment.
Total force = 96 figures
Leib-Dragoons, 2 squadrons and 1 horse grenadier squadron (Leib-Grenadiers zu Pferde)
1st Dragoons, 2 squadrons and 1 horse grenadier company.
2nd Dragoons, 2 squadrons and 1 horse grenadier company.
Each squadron has 12 figures.
Each horse grenadier company has 6 figures. Regiment total 30 figures (Leib-Dragoons 36).
The two horse grenadier companies are formed into a single squadron and then combined with the Leib-Grenadiers zu Pferde to form another, 2-squadron regiment.
Total force = 96 figures
Leib Artillery Company
1st Artillery Company
2nd Artillery Company
Each artillery company has 10 figures and 4 guns
Each artillery company supports an infantry brigade with three 4pdr battalion guns (2 figures each) and one 6pdr brigade battery (4 figures)
Total force = 12 guns and 30 figures
Jägerkorps, 1 battalion Jäger zu Fuss and 1 squadron Jäger zu Pferde
Freikorps, 1 battalion infantry and 1 squadron Hussars
Each battalion has 4 companies of 9 figures, no colors. Total 36 figures
Each squadron has 12 figures
Total force = 96 figures
Leib Regiment His Excellency the Furst of Hesse-Homburg
1st Regiment vacant
2nd Regiment vacant
3rd Regiment vacant
4th Regiment vacant
5th Regiment vacant
6th Regiment vacant
7th Regiment vacant
8th Regiment vacant
Leib-Kurassiers His Excellency the Furst of Hesse-Homburg
1st Cuirassiers vacant
2nd Cuirassiers vacant
Leib-Dragoons His Excellency the Furst of Hesse-Homburg
1st Dragoons vacant
2nd Dragoons vacant
Regiment of Artillery vacant
Sunday, December 30, 2007
I kept a written games “diary” from 1998 until June of 2006 when the journal was full. During that year I started keeping loose pages in my appointment book, and also started my first blog (Huzzah!) as a resource for my friend Ray and I to plan and track our big Napoleonics game for MillenniumCon X.
Then in March of 2007 I started this blog, mainly for my rekindled interest in “big battalion” Seven Years War gaming. That first month, as in many new hobby activities, was a flurry of activity, which has dropped off over the year. My plan (let’s not call it a resolution) is to update weekly in 2008.
So what did I accomplish in the past year?
The main project for the year, and which was a complete success, was the Napoleonics project mentioned above and documented at Huzzah! Ray and I were joined by Paul Bishop, who contributed enthusiasm and a fresh view on the project and the rules. It is always a pleasure to find someone that so fits in with your outlook. Thanks Paul!
The “big game” involved collecting essentially an entire Napoleonic corps at 30:1 in 25mm. Many orders were made to various miniature companies and painting services. In no particular order:
Ray and I live quite a distance apart (Warner-Robins, GA and San Antonio, TX), so we don’t get together often. But in 2007 we got in three practice games for the project, as well as a couple other games such as Wings of War and Victory at Sea.
Old Glory Miniatures
The Miniature Service Center (GMB Flags, Front Rank Figurines)
Charles Van Norman
Reinforcements By Post
Hinds Figures Ltd
Dragon Painting Service
Wings of War (“WoW”) was one of those side roads. Ray and I discovered the game while meeting Paul for the first time at the Houston game store, Little Wars over the Memorial Day weekend. Between charge and counter-charge, we did some shopping and found the WoW airplanes. Both Ray and I have played WWI air games in the past, and the beautiful little plans and the fun game mechanics launched a flurry of collecting frenzy. We each have the complete set now and look forward to the delayed release of the new sets.
I spent a lot of time preparing my Napoleonic armies for the convention, but nevertheless found time to catch the “Big Battalion” and “ImagiNation” bug for the Seven Years War. I have collected SYW figures for several years, and had even put together the beginnings of an ImagiNation plan before, but something really triggered me to start this fresh. And then I found all of the other people similarly engaged in the Emperor vs. Elector crowd. Thanks to everyone for almost a year of fun and frivolity.
My plans for the SYW Brunswick army, masquerading as the Landgraviate of Hesse-Fedora have been remarkably consistent. At one point I was thinking of representing every battalion at 10:1, but decided on just one battalion and two squadrons per historical regiment. But I did add the hypothetical Landgrafin’s Fusiliers.
Along those lines I picked up Bill Protz’s new rules: Batailles de l´Ancien Régime 1740-1763, as well as copies of the classics Charge! Or How to Play Wargames and The War Game. Reading about Bill and Jim Purkey’s (of Der Alte Fritz fame) big games has inspired me greatly, and together with Bill McHenry launched a plan for a Big Battalion game at MillenniumCon XI in November 2008.
Preparing for the next big game, and big battalions in general, has been fun. Like Hal Thinglum in his editorials in MWAN, I truly enjoy planning my wargames armies. Right now my projects include Minden Miniatures, RSM95 figures from Dayton Painting Consortium, Arquebusiers de Grassin from Eureka Miniatures (not to mention orders for literally hundreds of figures for the 100 Club Saxons, Dutch, British, and Spanish!) and Crusader Miniatures Austrians being painted for me by Old Army Painting Service. Oh, and I picked up a few extra figures from GAJO to fill out my units bought from them years ago.
I also plan to put on a BAR game at the local San Antonio convention, ChimaeraCon, in March, 2008. This is to get some experience with the system, but also to support the convention and to drum up enthusiasm for the project at MillenniumCon.
All of this lead bingeing has a price, though. I have considered a massive sell-off of my various miniatures, but in the end sold only my Flames of War and 15mm SYW collections.
Finally, I added bits and pieces to various projects, including figures and books for my Games Workshop Lord of the Rings collection.
Next year I plan to paint more SYW figures for the Big Battalions projects, and to expand my ImagiNations and their characters. Right now, the Hesse-Fedorans have received most of my attention, but the forces of Hesse-Homburg, Saxe-Jungbach, and Snibor-Renraw wait in the wings for their turn.
Thanks for visiting. I hope you have enjoyed it even a fraction as much as I have. I look forward to 2008, and wish you a prosperous New Year.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
First, apologies for lack of updates on the painted figures front because there isn't any.
Plotting and scheming has been my major wargame activity, since it can take place during such mundane activities as company Christmas parties and the 45 minute commute to work. Painting just doesn't work as well.
I was able to get the figures to flesh out my British battalions to 48 figures each, including 8 grenadiers per battalion. I have managed to rebase another couple cavalry units onto single bases, but none are terrained yet.
News has reached me of potential additions to the recruits from the Kingdom of Lederhosen. In a message to the UK Big Battalions group, Frank let slip the imminent release of Austrian infantry figures. So, the Prince of Hesse-Homburg has taken to updating his order of battle. This is purely wishful thinking at this point until I get the other projects cleared up.
I'm also looking forward to delivery of my copy of the new edition of "The Wargame" by Charles Grant, released by Ken Trotman Books. That will definitely fire up the motivation!
Look for a press release from the Homburgische Kriegsrat soon.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
It's difficult enough in these days of the Internet to get people on the same page. Imagine what the tailors and outfitters of literally dozens of small towns had to do.
Which really got me to thinking. What if I painted a Reichsarmee unit, using castings from all the different companies? Then, what about asking different people to do so?
For example, the Baden-Baden regiment was made up of 42 (yes, Virginia, forty-two) different contingents. They had a uniform cut in the Prussian style, with white small clothes, trousers, and facings.
So, give THAT information to a dozen or three gamers. Ask them to paint ONE figure from their lead mountain and send it to a single person to base (the basing will "tie them together").
So, everything from Minifig to Stadden via Foundry and Front Rank, all in one battalion. Do the "size forward, size right" drill, with the largest at the flanks.
And then I find out the Kapiti Fusiliers did so, albeit with all Front Rank French Napoleonic figures. See http://web.mac.com/nataliendpeter/Site/Napoleonic_Fusiliers_Batt.html
Anyway, said regiment could then become a traveling show, going to Big Battalion games or conventions. It would probably be best given to an organization, perhaps the SYW Association.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Here is the current order of battle that I will be bringing to that effort.
Infantry Regiment von Itzenplitz (IR 13), 48 figures
Infantry Regiment Prinz von Preussen (IR 18), 48 figures
Infantry Regiment Alt-Braunschweig (IR 5), 48 figures
Infantry Regiment Jung-Kleist (IR 9), 48 figures
Infantry Regiment Prinz Heinrich (FR 35), 48 figures
Infantry Regiment Alt-Münchow (FR 36), 48 figures
1st Grenadier Battalion (13/18/5/20), 48 figures
2nd Grenadier Battalion (35/36/GR3/GR4/NGR), 48 figures
Cuirassier Regiment von Seydlitz (CR 8) (2 sqd, 24 figures)
Dragoon Regiment von Schorlemer (DR 6) (2 sqd, 24 figures)
Hussar Regiment von Puttkamer (HR 4) (2 sqd, 24 figures)
2 x 12pdr with limbers
2 x 6pdr with limbers
Infantry Regiment Neipperg (IR 7) (48 figures)
Infantry Regiment Salm-Salm (IR 14) (48 figures)
Infantry Regiment Gaisruck (IR 42) (48 figures)
Infantry Regiment Kaiser (IR 1) (48 figures)
Infantry Regiment Moltke (IR 12) (48 figures)
Infantry Regiment Esterhazy (IR 37) (48 figures) (Hungarian)
1st Grenadier Battalion (7/14/42/52), 48 figures
2nd Grenadier Battalion (1/12/37), 36 figures
1st Cavalry Brigade
Cuirassier Regiment Alt-Modena (CRiii) (2 sqd, 24 figures)
Cuirassier Regiment Serbelloni (CR12) (2 sqd, 24 figures)
Converged Horse Grenadiers (DR9/19/31/X) (2 sqd, 24 figures)
2nd Cavalry Brigade
Dragoon Regiment Zweibrucken (DRX) (2 sqd, 24 figures)
Dragoon Regiment Savoy (DR 9) (2 sqd, 24 figures)
Dragoon Regiment Prinz de Ligne (DR31) (2 sqd, 24 figures)
2 x 12pdr
2 x 6pdr
2 x 3pdr
Infantry Regiment Conde, 48 figures
Infantry Regiment La Sarre, 48 figures
Cavalry Regiment Rougrave, 12 figures
Cavalry Regiment Royal Allemand, 12 figures
2 x 6pdr
Grenadier Battalion von Dobbs, 48 figures
Fusilier Regiment Landgrafin, 60 figures
Jägerkorps von Norris, 30 figures
Hussar Regiment von Steele (2 sqd, 24 figures)
Infantry Regiment Leib, 48 figures
Infantry Regiment von Spade, 48 figures
Infantry Regiment von Blaine, 48 figures
Infantry Regiment von Earle, 48 figures
Garde de Corps (1 sqd, 12 figures)
Karabinier Regiment von Marlowe(2 sqd, 24 figures)
Dragoon Regiment von Gunn (2 sqd, 24 figures)
4 x 3pdr
Electorate of Weisspferdheim Column
Weisspferdheim Leibgarde (2 sq)
Herzog von Beverforden (2 sq)
Der Blauens (2 sq)
Weiss Hussars (2 sq)
Rot Hussars (2 sq)
This unit may make it, if I can recruit the units up to strength. However, they are low on the priority list:
11th Foot (1 bn)
20th Foot (1 bn)
37th Foot (1 bn)
Grenadier Battalion (11/20/37)
2 x 6pdr
Almost everthing above is already painted, except the Landgrafin's Fusiliers. I also want to add a Hesse-Homburg column of 4 infantry units (54 figures each plus grenadiers), 2 each cuirassier and dragoon regiments of two squadrons (total, 24 figures per regiment) and artillery.
That's all. :)
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
The unit is organized in a manner unlike those of the “regular” establishment. The Landgrafin and her advisors scientifically determined the structure of the regiment, rather than simply accept military traditions. They settled on a structure of twos, as can be seen from this chart:
Zug (60 sergeants and men, 1 lieutenant)
Company (2 züge, 1 captain)
Division (2 companies, 1 major)
Battalion (2 divisions, 1 lieutenant colonel plus one grenadier company)
Regiment (2 battalions, 1 colonel)
So, a battalion has 2 divisions, or 4 companies, or 8 züge, for a total of 480 men, plus staff.
The grenadier companies are organized in the same manner as the line fusiliers, with the regiment’s two companies commanded by a grenadier major. Theoretically, as the scientific precision of this system becomes recognized by the hide-bound generals they will adopt the superior organization for the main army.
In an attempt to impose Her Excellency’s ideas on the army, the official title of the new unit is the Normal-Infanterie-Regiment, which translated from the German means “The Infantry Regiment which sets the Norm,” or more precisely “the Model Infantry Regiment.” In day-to-day use, it is usually referred to as “the Landgrafin’s Fusiliers.”
For uniform, the Landgrafin wanted a uniform distinctive from musketeers of the line. A green coat was adopted, as Her Excellency is quite convinced that her soldiers would be just as capable as that parvenu General Norris’ jägers in any situation. However, she picked a shade slightly lighter, and added burgundy distinctives and cream small clothes. A fusilier mitre was chosen as giving the soldiers an improved martial stature, without insulting the sartorial prerogatives of the grenadiers.
Monday, October 29, 2007
As General Larrabee and Ambassador Lorre rose from their chairs to take their leave, the Landgraf’s secretary appeared at the door.
“Major Generals Norris and Marlowe to see you, Your Excellency.”
The three men looked at each in other in surprise. “Show them in,” said Landgraf Bogey to the secretary and then turned to the others. “This is either very good, or very bad.”
As the door opened, the two generals strode in together. They could hardly have been more different: Norris wore his begrimed green major of jägers uniform still, and his face showed the redness of much wind and cold. Marlowe, taller and thinner, was resplendent in the sky blue full dress of the Fedoran Hussars, with every button and buckle freshly polished and boots that mirrored the weak autumn sunlight coming through the windows. They both halted before the desk and saluted.
“Report, gentlemen,” Bogey said after returning the salute.
“I met ‘General’ Norris as I was leaving the building, Your Excellency.” There was a slight emphasis on the title that showed Marlowe’s disdain for the newly promoted Norris. “Despite his ungentlemanly appearance and without any papers explaining his mission, he insisted on seeing you at once, Your Excellency. I thought it prudent to escort him to see you, rather than see him detained by the staff.”
Tugging at an earlobe, Bogey motioned the two generals to be seated. “And what is this urgent mission, General Norris?”
Norris remained standing as Marlowe began to sit down. “The Snibor-Renrawians have withdrawn from Fedoran soil, Your Excellency. They and their Dutch hirelings have all recrossed the frontier. I met Lieutenant Colonel von Wilmer in Ballaswein, observing their retreating columns. I do not know if they had become aware of my force, or if they acted for their own reasons.
“We enquired of the locals and found that there had been no molestation of our citizens. They paid for their lodging and victuals, enforced rigid discipline, and respected Your Excellency’s laws and officials. It was almost as if they thought they had been invited to an affaire, and when they discovered had entered the wrong house, made their apologies and left.”
Bogey turned to Lorre. “Pay a visit to my esteemed neighbor at his chateau in Maconga, Herr Lorre. Find out what he thought he was doing. Play it however you like, except make clear that we do not like unexpected guests.” The Landgraf turned to the generals.
“Gentlemen, this gives us our chance to set things straight again. The army will return to quarters. I want everything renewed, reorganized, and prepared for next campaign season. In particular, I have something with which I want all of you to become familiar.”
Turning to his desk, Bogey opened a drawer and pulled out a stack of thin, blue-covered folios. He handed several copies to each of the generals, and set the balance down next to Larrabee.
“This is the latest treatise by the renowned M. Guillaume de Protz, fils. I’m sure you are all acquainted with his work on the English Civil War? Well, he recently has returned from writing of that nonsense in the New World and put his talent to work describing real warfare.
“You will ensure that every unit is reorganized according to this drill book. Take the opportunity to renew the unit colors, issue new bayonets and swords, everything. I want a well-equipped, well-drilled machine when we take to the field in the spring.”
“That will be all, gentlemen.”
Norris, who still stood in the center of the room asked, “If I may, Your Excellency? I have another message of importance.”
“There are five regiments of cavalry on our border. Their commander, General Piepenbrink states that he brought them here at M. Protz’s suggestion and your invitation, and 1,200 veteran horsemen are looking for a bivouac.”
Larrabee exclaimed, “Where am I going to put them? Much less feed them?”
Bogey barked out a laugh. “You’ll make do, Linus. Perhaps these veterans will help us whip our lads into shape!”
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Anyway, I'm kind of enamored with M. Chevert-Protz's "have you and your buddies build a small force idea." Obviously, the Big Game at Millennium Con in 2008 will have lots of participation.
But I'm thinking about my own collection, and adding to it in "brigade" size chunks.
Disregarding my previous collection, my plan is to build up the Hesse-Fedorans to 4 big battalions, a small jager contingent, 4 guns, and 2 squadrons each of Karabiniers, Dragoons, and Hussars. Basically, the Brunswick army.
The Hesse-Homburgers, who look suspiciously Austrian, will be about the same size.
That's where things started getting out of hand.
I have enough Eureka War of the Austrian Succession Dutch ordered to make 3 battalions of foot (54 figures each), 2 squadrons, and 2 guns.
Next, I think I'll be getting the Eureka Saxons, but with an extra cavalry regiment.
So, what next? I don't have any Russians or Hanoverians at all, and no British, French, or real Prussians specifically for this scale.
And part of me is just screaming to do a 10:1 Reichsarmee battalion from Franconia or Swabia. You know, the ones with 40 or 60 different contingents? I'm thinking of buying ones and twos of extra figures from every manufacturer, and clumping them together into one rather ugly battalion...
Anyway, I've now ordered or dreamed of ordering enough figures to keep me busy for a couple years.
Friday, October 19, 2007
“Yes, Your Excellency. The ceremony was on the 14th.” The Ambassador Extraordinaire of the Court of Hesse-Fedora partially hooded his large eyes, trying to judge his Landgraf’s reaction.
“Any news from Zolms-Rottenwald or -Gruenewald?”
“No, Excellency. However, if I may be permitted to pass on a matter of rumor?”
“Meaning, yes there is news, but you cannot confirm it?”
“Yes, Excellency, that is an excellent summary of my…source.”
“And this rumor is?”
Ambassador von Lorre rolled his eyes to the other men in the room. Lieutenant General Linus von Larrabee, Deputy Minister for War, Quartermaster General and holder of various other crucial positions, folded his arms across his chest and looked impatient. Major General von Marlowe, the realm’s cavalry commander, was pretending not to listen and shammed looking at a muster return. Oberst von Leland, the army’s chief gunner, simply returned the Ambassador’s gaze.
“They are trustworthy, Herr von Lorre,” Landgraf Bogey said into the uneasy silence.
“Of course, Excellency. I simply do not wish to alarm anyone unduly.”
Bogey glanced at Marlowe. “Out, General von Marlowe. You too, Herr Oberst von Leland.” He turned back to von Lorre. “Minister von Larrabee stays.”
Marlowe rose slowly, looked distastefully at Lorre, and saluted Bogey. “As you wish, General,” and then he stalked from the room. Oberst Leland, unsuccessfully hiding a smile at the old hussar’s pique, gave his own salute and followed the general out the door.
Bogey turned to Lorre. “What is so secretive and important that you just insulted two of my highest officers?”
“Excellency, Solms-Rottenwald and the now united grafschafts have been ordering uniforms from the mills, and placed orders for additional soldiers to be recruited. Numbers for at least,” Lorre interrupted long enough to pull a scrap of paper from his breast, and to adjust a pince-nez, “two battalions, a squadron of cavalry, and battalion guns.”
“And the reason for this armament?”
Lorre shrugged. “Perhaps a wedding gift, Your Excellency?”
Larrabee spoke. “If I may, your Excellency? It will take months to reorganize the army after the last battle.”
“I know that, Linus. And Norris is off chasing those Dutchmen out of the northwest of the Landgrafschaft.” Bogart tugged at an earlobe.
“Thank you, Peter. See what else you can learn. Linus? Draft an order for Major General Marlowe to relieve Major General Norris in command of his column, and for Norris to report back to here with the hussars and jagers.”
The wind blew through the Königstor and left the battlefield clear and sharp to the eye. Norris was able to spot the group of officers gathered along the road and once clear of the former firing line, he urged the tired horse to a canter. Nearing the group he was overtaken by the sound of a galloping horse coming up the road from behind him, from the direction of Fedora. A hussar mounted on a lathered horse thundered past with a barely heard, “By your leave, sir!” and the messenger sawed at his reins to halt near the party. As the hussar reported to a dismounted infantry captain, Norris drew up to the group.
The captain led the hussar to several officers standing near a makeshift litter made from what looked to once have been white Imperial coats. Now they were red with blood. On the litter, a pale-faced young lieutenant gasped ragged breaths. Landgraf Bogart leaned down next to the dying man, holding one of the officer’s hands in both of his own.
The captain addressed the Landgraf. “Your Excellency, we have urgent news from the capital!”
“In a moment, Captain.” Bogart never turned his face from the lieutenant. “Go on, von Bellem.”
Lieutenant von Bellem tried to smile, but the pain was obviously too much. “You were right, Your Excellency! I am proud to be a soldier. I will remember…”
A short, sharp intake of breath cut off what the lieutenant wanted to remember, and when it was gone, so was he.
The captain looked at Norris, puzzled. “Remember what, Herr Major?”
The Landgraf answered instead. “I promised him he would remember this day.” Bogart stood up straight, and faced the hussar. “For the rest of his life. And you, trooper, what do you have to say?”
“Your Excellency, General von Larrabee has sent me with this dispatch,” he said, holding out a small envelope to the Landgraf. “I was instructed to deliver it to you immediately, and to let no one delay its delivery.”
“Very well. Captain, take this man and his horse and get them some water. Norris? Do you have anything to report?”
“Nothing new, Your Excellency,” replied Norris, saluting smartly despite his fatigue. “The Imperials are withdrawing across the border.”
“Running, more likely!” snorted General von Blaine.
“That’s enough, General,” Bogart said mildly, looking up from the note. “We have another problem. Major, how many troops do we have on the northern border?”
“Just one battalion, sir, along with a squadron of hussars and the third company of the jägers.” Norris knew that the Landgraf knew as well as he where the troops were, but Norris also realized when to play along to his commander.
“It would appear that our neighbor has decided to try and take a little piece of Fedora while we were occupied with the guests from Homburg. The Prince of Snibor-Renraw has moved soldiers into Harweiss and Ballaswein.
“It will take some time to reorganize the army that fought today. Major Norris, you are hereby promoted. Major General Norris, you are directed to proceed immediately to Arlesburg. That’s to where Larrabee reports the northern garrison has retired. When you reach Fedora, you have authority to order the first battalion of the Leib, and the Garde du Corps to accompany you.
“Stop the Snibor-Renrawians from coming any further. If they appear weak, push them back. Keep me informed. Dismissed.”
General Norris, who still rode his tired horse, saluted again. “It shall be done, Your Excellency.”
As the new general rode off over the pass, Landgraf Bogart turned to the officers and glanced down at von Bellem’s body. “Another memory for the rest of his life.”
Fedora: Two Generals Meet
“General, there is an…officer…to see you.”
Generalleutnant Linus von Larrabee, Deputy Minister of War, Quartermaster General of the Army, and Commander of the District of Oberfedora, placed the edges of both fists on the edge of the paper-strewn desk and pushed back. His broad forehead creased as he scowled at the clerk’s head peering around his office door.
“And which ‘officer’ would that be, Werner?”
“He introduced himself as a general, Herr General, but he is wearing a rather soiled jäger officer’s uniform.”
“Werner, did the officer state he was on the Landgraf’s business?”
“Yes, Herr General.”
“Then show him in.”
The clerk’s head hurriedly withdrew, and then Werner pushed open the door and announced, “Um, General Norris to see you on the Landgraf’s business, Herr General.”
Norris strode through the door, his face betraying nothing. He was indeed still wearing his major’s rank. And his uniform was sweat-stained and smelled of saddle leather. But he strode to the center of the room and cracked a salute that made Werner scurry to retreat, shutting the door behind.
“Major General Norris reporting at His Excellency’s order, General von Larrabee!”
Linus still sat with his fists on the desk and looked Norris in the eye. There were not many men in the Landgraviate who could do so without flinching. Norris’ answering gaze was not challenging, but it was penetrating and powerful. There was force behind those eyes, and force could be dangerous if it was not properly controlled.
Linus returned the salute without rising. “Sit down, General.” Raising his voice, Linus cast his words at the door, “Werner! Bring the schnapps. The good schnapps!”
“Immediately, Herr General!”
“We should toast your promotion, Norris. Judging from your appearance, I doubt you have had time to do so yet.”
“No, Herr General. I rode direct from the battlefield. Königstor is held, but at a high price. When His Excellency received your message about the north, he gave me the command of the border and ordered me to report to you en route to the area.”
Werner knocked discreetly at the door and entered bearing a silver platter. A fine crystal decanter with two glasses already poured indiscreetly full rocked as Werner approached the desk.
“Werner, His Excellency has promoted Herr Norris to the rank of Major General. So recently, in fact, that the good general has not had time to equip himself with the proper regulation blue general’s coat. I do not believe we have time to determine the proper cut of the coat for a general of jägers, but please prepare a commission with that rank for my signature.”
“Yes, Herr General. Is there anything else?”
As the door again closed on Werner’s bowed back, Norris said, “Thank you for that, Herr General. It will be useful up north.”
“Not as useful as some real intelligence, Norris, much less some real forces. Did our Landgraf acquaint you with the situation?”
Norris, who despite his appearance was extremely aware of rank and privilege, noted the use of his name without the honorific normally used even between two generals. “Landgraf Bogey told me that Snibor-Renraw has sent troops across the border and occupied Harweiss and Ballaswein. I was ordered to report to Arlesburg to take command of the units ordered there by you, and to take the first Leib battalion and the Garde du Corps with me. I am to prevent further incursion, and if the situation warrants, to push them off Fedoran soil.”
“That might be more difficult than you realize. Snibor-Renraw is being quite underhanded. The troops who crossed the border are not actually Renrawians. They made the push with their brigade of Dutch mercenaries. There are at least two and possibly three battalions of Dutch, along with some cavalry and guns. I’m not sure what the Stadtholder will think of this, but in the meantime those Dutch are your problem now.”
“And besides the Leib and Garde du Corps, just with what tools do I have to work?”
Standing, Linus turned to the wall behind him. An oversize copy of the flag of the Leib regiment hung there, obscuring a large portion of the wall. Linus reached to the side and pulled a cord, drawing up the flag to reveal a large map of the Landgraviate with slips of paper pinned across it. Most of the slips were clustered around the Königstor, with just a few others around the map.
As Norris rose and walked around the desk, Linus gestured at the slips pinned on the map near Arlesburg. “You will have the second battalion of von Blaine, the third squadron of the hussars, von Blaine’s regimental artillery, and your third company of jägers. All under strength, of course. The last returns came before the Dutch crossed.
“I have two reports since the incursion. The first reported the loss of Ballaswein, the second reported the fall of Harweiss. Some of the Dutch even crossed over the river at Harweiss and hold a bridgehead on the south side. Lieutenant Colonel von Wilmer, commanding the battalion there, withdrew without contact, but lost a few score men to desertion. He ordered the jägers and hussars to join him, but I have no confirmation that they did so.”
Norris traced his ordered route along the map. “From Fedora, to Arlesburg, to Harweiss forms a triangle. If I could cut straight across here,” pointing to the hills northwest of Fedora, I would be there in half the time.”
“You know as well as I do, there’s no road across that ridge. What looks like a gentle slope on the map is much steeper, relatively unpopulated, and completely impassable to artillery. I doubt the troopers and horses of the Garde du Corps would be very happy, either.”
Norris pressed his point. “I have taken this route myself, with the jägers. In fact, I would not be surprised in the captain of the 3rd company ‘misinterpreted’ his orders from von Wilmer and withdrew up onto the slopes to keep an eye on the Dutch. If I cross here, close to the lake, I will save 35 miles at least.”
Linus turned square to the newly minted general. “And what exactly will you do when you get there, Norris?”
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
As the brightly-garbed general in the lead returned the regiment’s salute, Lieutenant von Bellem turned to the dour jäger officer. The lieutenant’s red facings matched those of the regiment. “They are quite a sight, are they not Herr Major? Fine! Simply fine!”
“Indeed, quite a sight lieutenant. How many marched with you this morning?”
“We mustered 474 as we left the camp, Herr Major. Over four hundred muskets marching at our Landgraf’s call!”
Norris, as personal aide to Landgraf Bogart, made a quick comparison: 474 men and boys of the Leib Regiment of Hesse-Fedora stood in ranks for their sovereign’s inspection instead of the 1,260 that the decree which created the regiment had called to the colors. And it was the same in the other regiments they had inspected in the cold light of the new day.
According to the paperwork which he sometimes helped his prince struggle to control, the Landgraviate’s army contained no less than 12,000 infantry, almost 2,500 cavalry, and a suite of 8 artillery pieces. But on this field at this moment there were less than 3,000 muskets, 500 sabers, and only 2 cannon. And of his beloved jägers, only Norris himself was present.
The lieutenant, oblivious to the major’s thoughts, went on. “It makes you proud to be a soldier. Just look major. Just look!” As he spoke, his arm waved across the field. Three other small regiments stood alongside the Leib. Dragoons and hussars sat their mounts opposite the infantry, having already been reviewed.
A different voice interrupted whatever Norris may have thought to reply. “Indeed it does, Lieutenant von Bellem. You shall remember this moment for the rest of your life.”
Von Bellem, flustered at the Landgraf’s attention and thrilled to be addressed by name, replied, “I will, my prince, I will!”
“Very good. Major, if I may have a moment of your time?” Turning, the Landgraf addressed the generals beside him. “General von Blaine, deploy your men as we discussed. General von Marlöwe, return to your troopers. I think our Habsburg friends await.”
As the generals and their aides rode away, Bogart again faced Norris. “Any new information?”
“None, sir. Hesse-Homburg does not appear to have received any more reinforcements. His force is almost—.” Norris bit off the end of the sentence.
“Is almost what, Norris?” Bogart asked tartly.
“--is almost as sorry as ours,” Norris finished.
Bogart’s mouth twitched. “Maybe. We’ve done well in the time we’ve had, but you can’t create an army overnight. We are fortunate that Hesse-Homburg and his Imperial leaders underestimate us. They’ve given him a handful of understrength battalions and squadrons to deal with us. Once we’ve seen them off, it will take time to put together a second expedition. By then, the rest of our army will be ready.”
“Assuming we don’t have some passing Gallian or Imperial general decide to win some favor with the Empress by stomping us into the ground.” Norris turned as a shout went up from the infantry. “It looks like your idea is well-timed, my prince.”
Marching down the road from Fedora was a new addition to the army. Sun glinted off polished muskets, fixed bayonets, and brazen mitres. The Landgraf had assembled the grenadier companies of the regiments together and formed these veteran soldiers into a single unit. Now it marched into position as the army’s reserve: fierce, proud, warlike. The recruits in the other ranks stood taller and threw their shoulders back.
Landgraf Bogart von Hesse-Fedora raised an eyebrow at Norris. “It’s a fine day Norris. You will remember this.”
Monday, September 3, 2007
First, I have spent most of my gaming time preparing for the big Napoleonic game that my friend Ray and I have scheduled for Millennium Con X in Austin, TX on November 10. To that end, I've been basing figures and making movement trays. Sadly, we have decided to make one modification to the rules, and are using 2-deep figures to represent a line, that changes the basing for columns as well. Of course, all of my movement trays were already built for columns using the original rules...C'est la guerre!
I am fielding a reinforced French corps at 30:1. There are 25 battalions, 30 squadrons, and 21 miniature guns, about 800 figures all told. A complete OB is at Huzzah!
Here are some of the Napleonics:
French 13th Cuirassiers
Most of the corps...
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Like many of the Zwergstaaten of the era (see Emperor vs. Elector), Landgraf Bogey has retained David Linienblatt of Tippelbruder to prepare templates for the army's uniforms.
Herr Linienblatt even presented the Landgraf with a set of uniform designs at the Landgraf's express request, for which Bogey presented the first issue of the Cross of the Legion of the Maltese Falcon to a non-Fedoran.
Sadly, the Landgraf has been forced to whip the secretary who delivered the request, as the newly presented uniforms have the "Prussian" cuff. It turns out the Landgraf did in fact want the "Swedish" cuff for his troops.
Here Linienblatt's templates remain the basis for the Landgraviate's uniforms, and herewith are presented the first results of the design.
Monday, May 21, 2007
He missed the crossroad, even as he drove the carriage through it. Only the neigh of the horses of another carriage, parked under a spreading linden tree, showed him that he had passed the appointed meeting place.
Wheeling around at a wide spot in the road, Norris brought his seemingly plain carriage back to the tree. A highwayman would have recognized the quality of the wheels and the bloodline of the horses, but most people would have noted the lack of any coat of arms, indeed of any identifying markings, and ignored the rest.
The other carriage, the one under the tree, gleamed with the crest of a noble family. Norris, trusted as he was, had not been informed of the identity of the person they were meeting, but only the time and place. He glanced at the ornate coat of arms, and while one eyebrow raised in admiration, his free hand checked the pistol under his coat again.
Pulling the coach close to the other, Norris studiously avoided looking at the other coachman, who did the same. Once the brake was set, Norris thumped his elbow against the cab twice, paused, then twice again.
Light lanced into the darkness as both carriages’ doors opened. From behind Norris, a figure swathed in a heavy overcoat stepped into the mud, then up onto the rung of the waiting carriage. Norris, now clasping his pistol firmly, shot a look into the other carriage.
A woman, dressed in an elaborate court gown, powdered and bewigged with an enormous jewel hanging from a heavy chain between impressive décolletage, but wearing a painted mask across her eyes, offered her hand to the man in the overcoat. Another figure, wearing what to Norris’ eye appeared to be the uniform of an officer of the Garde Suisse, closed the door on the scene.
Five minutes later, the door swung open again. The overcoated figure stepped out, then turned suddenly. His hand was thrust under his coat, and he pulled out a parchment envelope. He glanced at the packet even as the rain poured from his hat, making the ink run, then handed it to the masked woman.
“You’ll miss your ball. Here you go, all official. Good luck, Ilsa.”
The Garde Suisse officer reached out for the door, and for just the slightest moment locked eyes with Norris. Even across ten feet, in a pouring rain with almost no light, the officer recognized what he saw in the coachman’s eyes. He shuddered, and shut the door.
“Home, Norris. The guard will be worried,” said Landgraf Bogey von Hesse-Fedora, as he climbed back into the coach.
Norris shook the reins, and the plain coach pulled back out onto the muddy lane.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
His Excellency has taken the opportunity of reviewing his latest recruits to present the Leib Regiment with its new standard.
The golden inscription from the coat of arms of the House of Bogart reads:
Das Material dem Träume von gebildet werden.
"The stuff that dreams are made of."
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Nineteen assorted regiments of horse, thirty-two battalions of foot, and fifteen guns of battle-proven Gallian, Germanian, and Imperial troops were shamelessly sold out of service in preference to larger 25/28mm soldiers. There were even sixteen general officers "let go."
Officials weren't commenting on how well they were bribed, but staff officers were in late night conference poring over diagrams, defense plans, and RSM95 catalogs. One adjutant was heard muttering, "...and now Crusader has gone and released dragoons and cuirassiers..."
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Just a quick note. Not much going on: busy at work, busy at home, and not feeling too well.
BUT...I finally decided to post a PDF of our local rules for the SYW.
So without further ado, take a look and enjoy.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I was able to find one last shot of the toys from a club game night that I have not already uploaded.
The infantry are French Old Glory 25mm, with Front Rank French behind them. The Austrian cuirassiers to the right were on the same side as the French, but were trying to get out of the way!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
These are beautiful castings. Well, duh, everyone has been saying that. And I even have a few in my collection already (British guns, gunners, and limbers that I bought from RSM at Cold Wars back in "double aught"). Now if I can just motivate myself to paint them!
Over the weekend my miniature gaming-related activity was limited to two areas: reading and planning.
The reading material was Christopher Ward's reprinted The War of the Revolution, which was recommended over on TMP. The book is a single-volume reprint, available at most local Barnes & Noble stores in the "value" section. I also had Greg Novak's two-volume The American War of Independence: A Guide to the Armies of the American War of Independence which is from Old Glory. Although I enjoyed the information in Novak's books, it is sadly full of typographical errors in the prose, which tends to make me wonder how many there are in all of the tables of organization and orders of battle.
The other activity, planning, might be more properly termed "plotting and scheming." Among the topics were, in no specific order:
1. How to get to Little Wars or the OSW Big Battalion game
2. Whether or not 4 regiments of Austrian infantry, BAR-style, would be a good start (since the Fedorans will hopefully muster 4 line, 2 grenadier, and a jager battalion, it sounds good!)
3. Hope impressive a BAR battalion from the Reichsarmee would look...or not
But, first things first. Let's get one unit painted!
Monday, April 2, 2007
Per your Excellency's instructions dated March the 14th, 1757 (2007 by Hesse-Fedora reckoning), I have this afternoon ordered the smithies of RSM and the Dayton Painting Consortium to provide the raw materials for the Leib Regiment of Foot and the troopers of the Garde du Corps.
I will keep your Excellency informed of the troop's arrival and progress in fitting out.
I have the honour to be your loyal servant,
Linus von Larrabee, QMG
Thursday, March 29, 2007
A note about the rules: they are not presented in the common manner. After the introductory information, unit composition, and army building guidelines the rules are laid out alphabetically. Yep, that's right, alphabetically: from Aides de Camp to Wargames Tables.
This is not a criticism, just an observation. The rules are intended to be played with the Quick Reference Sheets, and not the book. But I wonder that this might be a set that needs to be taught by someone experienced with them, rather than learned straight from the book. Hopefully I will get a chance this weekend to try.
I almost broke out Microsoft Excel to start scheming my armies. Oops, don't let the Landgraf see that! But I have always been a little like Hal Thinglum in his sadly defunct MWAN, in that planning, plotting, and scheming new wargames armies and their organization has been a big part of my enjoyment of this hobby.
Now the tough decision will be to rebase any of my existing figures!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Do you have the wargamer's ferret syndrome? Where you chase after bright new shiny things even though you have plenty of projects awaiting completion?
Right now I'm waiting to receive my copy of Bill Protz's Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763. Once I have that, I will put in my RSM order, making sure the figures will meet both the BAR requirements and our local rules.
BUT in the meantime I've ordered a copy of Might and Reason, and several books about the American War of Indepence. This all started when I picked up a copy of Washington's Crossing from the library. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and am now casting about for another Lace Wars book that would be a good read. Any suggestions?
So I have also been browsing online AWI resources, and admiring the Perry Miniatures AWI line. So many figures, so little time!
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Snickering made the mistake of asking for more pictures. I trolled the hard drive looking for pictures of the SYW toys, but didn't find much.
Except for this one photo of the Landgraf's favorite general, maneuvering his troops while blinding the enemy with reflected light! :)
Another interesting fact: I always assumed "Fedora" was an Italian term, but it turns out that it was really the name of a Russian female character!
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Here's the plan. Using RSM figures, I want to build the entire army of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, usually known to English readers simply as "Brunswick."
I intend to use RSM SYW Prussian figures from Dayton Painting Consortium.
I want the figures to be dual-use: 24 figure battalions for our club SYW rules, and 60-figure "Big Battalion" rules a la Charge! and The Wargame, or the soon-to-be available rules from Bill Protz, Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763, or BAR for short. I will use two battalions of our rules to form a single unit in BAR.
Here's the proposed structure:
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IR Leib (2 bn)
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Leib (Bogey’s Own)
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IR von Imhoff (2 bn)
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IR von Behr (2 bn)
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IR von Zastrow (2 bn)
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GB von Stammer (Leib/Imhoff)
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GB von Redecken (Behr/Zastrow)
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Jagerkorps (3 “brigades” of 85 jagers each)
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Garde du Corps (1 company)
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von Marlowe, Der Grossschlafen
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2 light companies (1 gun/reg)
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von Leland, von McCloud
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4 guns, 12 figures
Note this is draft, especially since I have not seen BAR yet!
My main source is R. D. Pengel 's German States in the Seven Years War 1740-1762: Supplement: Brunswick-Luneberg (Hanover), Hessen Cassel, Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel, Schaumberg-Lippe. This lists several other infantry formations, including a Leib-Grenadier-Garde, which I have not found elsewhere. Does anyone know if these are really different units, or just renamed previously existing ones? I know the book by Bill Biles considers at least some them to be renamed.
Either way, this is a serious amount of lead and will take a while to accumulate.
In the meantime, here's a pic of my armies in action at a club night.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Where do you do most of your gaming? I know lots of people with game rooms, or other places at home, where they can lay out fantastic settings for their battles.
Lone Star Historical Miniatures-San Antonio does most of its gaming "out." By that I mean we meet at either a local game store, or in a restaurant. Meetings are usually weekdays after work. Currently, the group meets Tuesdays at Dragon's Lair, and some of us meet Thursdays at a local restaurant, EZ's.
In both cases, games have to be relatively portable and quick to set up and tear down. For the most part that means felt battlefields. Thus the bright green fields as seen here.
I have recently invested in some of the "European Fields" mats from Hotz Artworks. Although intended more for an aerial game, I think they work better than monochrome felt.
Either way, they allow us to get to the game faster and play longer, before the establishments kick us out at 10 pm.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
My idea for the Austrians is to have about a 25-33% numerical superiority over the Prussians. But as my interest in the period or specific units waxed and waned (“Oooo! Look at the pretty facings on THIS one!!”), I have not kept well to the plan.
1st Brigade (3 battalions)
IR1 Kaiser (2 bn)
IR Rot-Wurzburg (1 bn)
2nd Brigade (4 battalions)
IR7 Neipperg (2 bn)
IR14 Salm-Salm (2 bn)
3rd Brigade (4 battalions)
IR12 Moltke (2 bn)
IR37 Esterhazy (2 bn) (Hungarian)
4th Brigade (3 battalions)
IR16 Konigsegg (1 bn)
IR42 Gaisruck (2 bn)
Cuirassier Brigade (15 squadrons)
CRiii Modena (5 sqd)
CR12 Serbelloni (5 sqd)
CR4 Ferdinand (5 sqd)
Dragoon Brigade (10 squadrons)
DR9 Savoy (5 sqd) (not yet complete)
DR31 De Ligne (5 sqd)
3rd Artillery Battery (not yet complete)
Again, the base battalion is 24 figures on four stands, plus another stand of grenadiers. However, I have not converged the Austrian grenadiers and therefore a four battalion brigade of Austrians is 120 figures strong, as opposed to 96 in a similar Prussian brigade. In addition, IR1 Kaiser is over-strength at 72 figures and is therefore brigaded with my
Figures are predominantly Old Glory, but include Hinchliffe, Crusader, Front Rank, and Falcon.
The Austrians field 14 battalions compared to 17 Prussian, but have 420 figures compared to 408 Prussians. Still, I need to beef up the Austrian infantry. They do enjoy a substantial cavalry advantage of 25 squadrons to 14.