Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Ball

It was just another of those interminable balls thrown by the close friends of the Landgraf, the Graf Nicklaus and Grafin Nora von Spanielberg. Most of the guests had arrived already, and Landgraf Bogey was just about to walk away from the receiving line when the majordomo made another announcement.

“The Countess Jodylynn von Kolich-Hrvatska, and her escort, Major Edwina!”

Bogey stepped back between Nora and the Landgrafin. Looking at his wife, he asked, “Slim, is this the one you you have been wishing to meet?”

“His Excellency forgets He is in public!” Landgrafin Lauren snapped at the use of the nickname she disliked, just as Nora, having accepted the curtsy of her guest, turned to Bogey.

“Your Excellency, Countess Jodylynn von Kolich—err…”

A vision of blonde hair above a brilliant and amused white smile were quickly lost as the Landgraf’s attention was drawn to an imposing valley of décolleté. The smile never faltered as she said in a strange, Eastern accent, “von Kolich-Hrvatska, Your Excellency.”

“I am pleased to meet you, Countess,” Bogey said as he kissed the proffered hand and remembered just in time to look the newcomer in the eye. As he did so, he felt the Landgrafin’s heel dig into his foot.

“And may I present Landgrafin Lauren to you, Countess?”

Never losing her smile, the countess turned to the Landgrafin. A quick narrowing of eyes informed the countess that her beauty and figure did not impress Bogey’s wife.

“Charmed, Countess. What brings you to our modest little country? I’m sure the glittering capitals of Europe are more to your…bent.”

A quick curtsy, just deep enough and no more, and the countess replied, “Thank you, Your Grace. I am afraid that I have fled my small estate in Kentukevania. I was hoping that—.”

Just what the countess was hoping was interrupted by a great shout from Graf Spanielberg. “By Jove, Major! You’re a WOMAN!”Countess Jodylynn's Own

Silence descended in the hall as every eye turned to look at the entrance. Standing in a rich brown coat with coral smallclothes and facings at cuff and collar, the officer next to the countess was now seen to be just that:  a tall, athletic woman wearing a military uniform.

 

Nora, never at a loss, spoke quickly. “Major, welcome to Schloss Spanielberg. Have you met our Landgraf?”

As bows were exchanged, the countess completed her sentence. “I was hoping, Your Excellency, that you would honor me by allowing my escort and her legion to join with your army. You will find them to be, shall we say, an exceptional BODY of troops?”

The countess and major walked into the now buzzing hall. Nick cleared his throat. Nora, searching for something to add, quickly commented, “The countess was wearing such exquisite earrings, do you not think so Lauren?”Countess

Nick answered, “Yes, most impressive.”

Nora rolled her eyes. “Dear, the earrings were higher up than you were looking.”

 

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And thus Countess Jodylynn’s Own, a legion of lithe, blonde, Slavic warriors joined the Army of Hesse-Fedora.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Demonstrations"

Generalmajor Norris looked up with a surprised and bemused expression. He focused on the hussar lieutenant and asked,

"Who? Is doing WHAT?!"

"Sir, the ReichsArmee Brigade attached to the Corps du Vin, which in turn is attached to Marshal Soubise, is moving up and demonstrating on our border. And they've got that old fire-eater, Graf Malthus, with them. They seem to think we are supporting the Germanian army and that they could get some exercise while covering their flank."

"Exercise? I'll exercise them all the way back to Vienna if they cross the border. Any sign of Homburgers with them?"

"No sir, although the rest of the Gallian corps is not very faraway."

Norris thought a moment, then pulled a map out of his pocket.

"Very well. Get a fresh horse and move on to Fedora and inform His Excellency. Please inform the Landgraf that I have taken the precaution of moving..." Norris ran his finger down the map, "Regiments von Earle and von Spade, the Hussars, and my jägers to observe their 'demonstration.' We will move via Königstor and will be there by Tuesday."

"Yes sir. Report to Landgraf Bogey and you are moving two battalions,the Hussars and jägers to Königstor by Tuesday. Anything else, sir?"

"Good job, lieutenant. But one question: how did you find all this out?"

A wry grin spread across the hussar's face. "Well, sir, I, umm, ahh,had a drink with Fürst Werther, sir, son of the Duke of Saxe-Märchen. He is VERY enthusiastic, if perhaps a bit indiscreet."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ladder Campaign

Over on Emperor vs. Elector and on his own blog at Saxe-Bearstein, Jeff has challenged people to make up a ladder campaign from the Charles Stewart Grant's book Scenarios for Wargames.

Brigadier Grant has published several books, plus he and his father have published many magazine “teasers.” So it happens that I have already made a ladder campaign using the Scenarios for the Ages book and the first Teaser published in Battlegames magazine, issue #1. At Jeff’s suggestion, here is the campaign. As usual, click to “embiggen:”

Ladder

Sunday, October 9, 2011

You fight a war with the army you have…

A quote from Don Rumsfeld? Well, actually, Ross Mac got me started by this post at Battle Game of the Month:

“Like many another Autocrat who has come to power with absolute right over the life and death of his subjects and control of the army, I find my power over my armies of Toy Soldiers less absolute than one would expect. Once the bands have played, the soldiers have paraded by and cheered and the senior officers have pledged their allegiance, I find myself not starting from scratch to build an ideal army according to my reveries but dealing with an existing infrastructure, a limited treasury, shortages of barracks and men and the enemy pressing at the gates.”

My 28mm Napoleonic collection started out from a desire from my friend Ray and I to put on a “cool” Napoleonic participation game at our local convention, Millennium. We started with 120 or so figures per side, playing Le Petit Empereur. Then we used those armies to expand to 30:1 ratio, using Wellington Rules. Then, megalomania set in.

My French-Allied army was based loosely on Marshal Suchet’s Army of Aragon in the Peninsula. For Wellington Rules, figures are singly based in order to use the game’s main mechanism, called “straggling.” I won’t go into that now, but suffice to say I have a French corps at 30:1 based singly. Oh, and a British division, too.

Now, my “French” army only had a single French infantry division. So I recently contact Neil at Reinforcements By Post and contracted for another French infantry division, 12 battalions of 24 figures each of Old Glory 2nd Edition. But without a game, I never based them.

This year I am helping to put on a game at Millennium. So it was time to base these troops. Oh, did I mention I also picked up a brigade of Perry Nassauers from the talented Roger Murrow? They needed based, too. That’s another five battalions of 30 figures each, plus some Neapolitans!

So this weekend, armed with a nice drinkable Italian red, I have done the deed:

Brigade for basingBasing materials

Sadly, and back to the topic indicated by the title, we have decided to move on to 20:1 units. Arrgh. I guess these will just be small French battalions!

Cheers!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Raising an army takes time

It has been since June 25th??! Really? Yikes!

During this time I have managed to play several games of The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game at the new GW store. Thanks to all involved, especially Charlie and Art. I won a game, too!

LOTR motivated me to finish a few figures to have a completely painted, 500 point army. I got four (4) whole figures done! What, you want proof?

Four heroes

I have also been plodding on the Prussians. I have to admit:  those of you out there that crank out dozens and scores of figures? I have no idea how you do it.

I don’t like painting, even though I love fielding a force that I have painted myself. I can even get into “the groove” on occasion and get some serious painting done. But not right now.

I tried to do production-line painting, but that was just depressing. So I am now working on the Prussians in 8 figure blocks. I have 16 complete and have just finished putting black on the next group, which includes the command figures. I had to stop because I was getting tired and sloppy. Still, I am progressing, if slowly.

Prussians in the cue

I also took an evening to assemble and prime a box of plastic Warlord Landwehr. You can see them here with the completed Perry figures.

Complete and Landwehr

I primed them with ArmyPainter Navy Blue, as in the article on the Warlord site. I think they are not dark enough blue, but will see when they are done.

Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully more interesting stuff in the (near) future!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

One down. How many to go?

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So here is the first Prussian after his bath in white primer. I had hoped to use ArmyPainter blue spray, but it was not dark enough. I note, however, that they just came out with a darker shade that I might try for the Landwehr.

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And here he is with basic colors blocked in. I can’t believe that it has been FOUR YEARS since I painted a figure! Let’s just say my brush skills are somewhat atrophied. Anyway, I decided on the unit will be the 10th Line (1st Silesian), so yellow collar and cuffs with white shoulder tabs.

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And here it is with a brushed on coat of ArmyPainter Quickshade Strong. I am very pleased with how it looks at this stage, although these multi-megapixel cameras sure point out the spots you miss! It will need to be completely dry before I do a few highlights and the coat of Anti-Shine.

All in all, I’m quite pleased. I’ve never been a fast painter, nor a high quality one. But I will be proud to have a new unit from my own workbench for my games.

Cheers!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Part the second, or “He’s kept his focus for 24 hours…”

First, let me just say that the current score is:

  • Perry Brothers:  46
  • Ed:  0

It took four (4) hours to assemble the first box:

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Even then, I still need to get the belly pouches onto the Jäger. You can see the pouches in the lower left of the pic.

My compliments to those of you who like to model with plastic. This was tedious work, made bearable only by the CWF interview with Henry Hyde that was my listening companion.

Anyway, I’m beat and my eyes hurt even though I was using my brand new, nifty Ott High Definition Craft Light with magnifier. So, now I’m sipping a nice Sangiovese wine that reminds me of our trip to Tuscany.

And then I remembered the REST of the lead pile. I completely forgot about the three boxes of Warlord Games Landwehr. I think I need to decide on which units soon!

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Now I just need for all the new Perry and Warlord goodies to arrive at the US distributor, Architects of War, to REALLY put me behind the curve!