Monday, October 29, 2007

Winter Quarters...

Schloss Schlüssel-Largo

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 “The Snibor-Renrawians have withdrawn from Fedoran soil, Your Excellency.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.”

“Yes?”

“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!”

4 comments:

Bluebear Jeff said...

What a clever way of re-organizing for BAR . . . I hope that He Who Has Been Named sees it.

Bravo!


-- Jeff

abdul666 said...

Astutely 'in character', indeed!

"Take the opportunity to renew the unit colors, issue new bayonets and swords, everything.": what about a few new (for us at least) uniforms?

Cheers,
Jean-Louis

Ed Youngstrom said...

Jean-Louis,

Shhhhh!!! "They" might be listening.

All I can say for now is that Her Excellency Landgrafin Lauren has been mightily peeved at the lack of Household troops with a feminine slant...

Ed v. H-F

Gallia said...

Très bon et merci beau coup mon ami pour votre honour grande,
Guillaume
---
Apology to Jean-Louis for errors above. I tried to say, Very good and thank you very much for your honor to me my friend. Something like that.
--
Robert Piepenbrink's very kind loan of cavalry really helped us along in the past twelve months especially with the two BIG battalion games Der Alte hosted. In the past year I've raised 132 new cavalry of my own. Thus another group thought I might benefit by having Roberts cavalry, as forces are built, cavalry taking the longest to paint.

If I may recommend it, building underlying six-man movement trays will be enormously helpful since moving 120 miniatures individualy perhaps every turn consumes too much game time. I was lucky to have a lot of movement trays for these chaps Ed, that I built for our floor game that never happened some years ago at the SYWA Meet. I had all kinds of sizes but perhaps trays for six cavalrymen will be the thing. Twenty things to move instead of 120 per turn.

Plus having Spencer Smith's is OS.

Thanks a million for your interest in Batailles de l'Ancien Régime (BAR) and very kind sentiments.

Votre Serviteur,
Bill