Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!! - His Majesty, Henri-Phillippe VII, of St. Maurice cordially wishes His tow or three friends, as well as his vast array of enemies a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Blessings to you all.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Life Guard - In his marvelous book, "Charge! Or How To Play War Games," Brigadier Peter Young states that the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, "may have a life-guard of not more than ten troopers." In the kingdom of St. Maurice, this service is performed admirably by a squadron of mamelukes.
These excellent
light horsemen impressed His Majesty while exiled... er, on vacation in Egypt, and he brought a detachment with him when he returned home. This nonsense that Napoleon 1st was responsible for introducing these exotic soldiers to the world seems to be yet another example of yet another credit placed upon that miserable Corsican for someone else's idea. The squadron (also referred to as The Khomene Light Horse) is always in attendance when His Majesty takes the field, and occasionally with some senior commanders. Marshall Neigh in particular seems to make good use of the bodyguard. It may be simple coincidence that he is also the general least popular with the troops.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hovels and Ruins and Shelters, oh my - My friend Gary suggested that I post some photos of the structures we've created over the past couple of years for our wargames table. I constructed the majority of the buildings using block molds created by Hirst Arts Fantasy Archetecture. No links, but the web address is:

I highly recommend them to any wargamer wanting to punch up the look of the table top. In addition to the blocks, the buildings are almost exclusively with a craft item called Skinny Sticks and the adhesive of choice is Aleene's Tacky Glue. Both products can be purchased in Walmart, or any craft store. Ok, here are pictures of some of the stuff we use:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Now THAT'S a Regiment! - In accordance with His Majesty's Summer decree, all line regiments in the army of St. Maurice will reorganize in the continental style. Each will be composed of two battalions plus one understrength company of grenadiers, permanently detached to the Battalion of Converged Grenadiers and part of the Household Legion.
As might be expected, Clare was first to expand it's numbers (it's simply never difficult to recruit Irishmen into a fight). The gentleman to the far right in the picture (at the end of the second battalion), is the sub-Colonel commanding the second battalion. A close look will also show that the second ba
ttalion marches with the royal standard and the Colonel's color for the Clare Regiment, while the first marches with the royal and the regimental colors. When I began to develop the army of St. Maurice, I wanted about 1000 infantry. As my little state is truly little, it never made much sense to create a lot of regiments, so I've opted for what you see here. There will be eight regiments, each of two battalions. Don't know how it will fight, but it sure does look good to me!

Next report: Another Battle

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The St. Maurice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Flintlocks has received word of and illegal spirits processing operation, developed in the small town of Chagrin, on the border with Ardoberg-Holstein. Never one to allow free enterprise to go unpunished, His Grace Edmond, Duke of Duque, has dispatched a patrol from the Clare Regiment (His Majesty's "Royal Shenanigans") to obtain a sampling of the volatile liquid and bring in a member of the current development crew to "answer a few questions." When they arrive, the patrol discovers that the substance created has turned out to be something less than a world class vermouth. The whole town has been turned into zombies, and the Irishmen realize they must return with enough evidence of the disaster here to convince His Majesty to dispatch the remainder of Clare to kill, burn, and otherwise destroy all of Chagrin and the immediate surroundings (in the interests of the survival of human-kind don't-ya'-know).
The first picture is of our intrepid band of St. Maurice's finest, led by that legendary Irish sergeant Victor McLaughlin, and includes privates O'Dool, O;Tool and McGillicuty. In the game, each trooper had 5 activity points per turn, while the zombies had 4. The objective was to search the tavern ("La Vin Noir") and find 4 items (by card draw) that could be used as evidence.
Move 1 - O'Dool shoots a zombie, killing him (again), as McLaughlin advances toward the bar (goes without saying). O'Tool and McGillicuty move to the door of the processing room.
Move 2 - O'Dool's shot was not enough as his zombie opponent rises almost immediately and attacks McLaughlin. The sergeant shoots him in the face, and this time he stays dead. O'Tool and McGillicuty enter the processing room where the latter shoots another zombie. O'Tool searches the work tables and, over the next two turns, comes up with a recipe for the swill and a fluid sample.
Move 5 - Our intrepid pair in the bar have been slugging it out with the dead from the beginning, and it's beginning to tell. O'Dool is down to 2 activity points while McLaughlin remains unscathed. In the mean time, O'Tool and McGillicuty have moved on to the kitchen, where they kill anothe zombie and manage to turn up the secret ingredient for the whole concoction.
Move 8 - O'Dool is in really rough shape and developing a craving for barBQ'd brains. McLaughlin remains uninjured, but severely disappointed that the bar seems to offer nothing but wine ("It's a sin I tell ya"! A mortal sin!"). The adventuresome pair from the kitchen have made their way back into the bar just in time to take on several more zombies that have broken in through the back and side doors.
Move 9 - O'Tool (with a final card draw) manages to locate the creator of the concoction, Henri Pissoir, hiding in a barrel. "Why did you not arrive sooner," cried the indignant Pissoir. "Can't you see that I've ruined my clothes?!"
Move 10 - Our final picture shows the Irishmen extricating themselves from the bar (Begorrah, who'd have thought we'd be fightin' our way OUT of a bar?")

This was a great little game which took Gary and I about an hour and a half to play. Fast moving a a roaring lot of fun. We're planning a follow-up with the troopers in the street trying to exit the town. Great fun. I would be remiss if I didn't give credit for the rules. They were originally developed by Bruce Hurst of Hurst Arts Fantasy Architecture. I no longer have the web address, or I'd put a link here.
Sorry, but the pictures are not coming through, Will try to add them later.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

La Marne - This is the infantry La Marne. When originally conceived, it was titled "La Marine" (hence the blue coats as opposed to the Quaker gray worn by all other line infantry), but became the oxymoronic given St. Maurice's land-locked status, and the fact that there isn't a navigable waterway in the whole country. La Marne brigades with Dauphin As the St. Maurice brigade III, and has been in existence for about fifteen years. In accordance with the royal decree of 1758 (right now), the regiment will add a second battalion, in the continental style, hopefully before next Summer.

Coming Next - Bad Wine - An 18th century zombie game just in time for Holloween.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dauphin Regiment - This regiment is dedicated to my son. The first of these troopers was painted the week he was born, and they are currently celebrating their 26th (or is it 27th) anniversary. I've begun to measure the age of my units, as well as it's combat experience, by the number of snapped bayonets in the rank and file. Dauphin has almost a full company without the wee sharp pointy things. Dauphin is brigaded with the Regiment la Marne (coming soon), and represent Brigade III "Les Paysans" ("The Peasants") as they do not come from the social elite of St. Maurice. Given that "social elite" and "St. Maurice" may in fact be an oxymoron when used in the same sentence, one can only imagine the origins of the rank and file parading here.
The figures are predominantly Stadden with a Suren Colonel and, Vivandiere and junior officers in the color party.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

We're Baaaaaaaaaaak - Well, after a much needed vacation, the entire army of St. Maurice has returned to quarters (minus the Fromage Regiment, and the less said about that little incident the better). His Majesty's forces have already locked horns with their traditional adversary, Ardoberg-Holstein. Glorious results but no camera to record for posterity, so you'll simply have to take my word for it............................. (come on guys, please!).
Ok, so no battle pictures yet, then back to the forces in detail.

Kilbasa Light Horse - Like all the light horsemen serving with the forces de St. Maurice, the lancers are not native to the country. They are in fact Polish, and led by Count Stanislau Kilbasa, an itenerate Ukranian adventurer and nerdowell. Rumor has it that the count (title has never been confirmed) secured a hefty sum to provide cavalry to His Majesty's forces. He then disappeared back to Poland (much to the shagrin of Polish authorities) and scoured every jail and mental institution until he secured what he considered to be "the best of the best" for his regiment. Voting is still out on this as, to date, they have yet to find their way back to St. Maurice.
The figures are old 30mm Mini Figs from a limited range they produced back in the 70's, and the horses, of course, are Stadden. I know the uniform style of the lancers is more in line with a Napoleonic army than anything approaching the 1750's. In fact, my dragoons (yet to be developed) may also be a closer facimility of the later period. I simply don't know yet. St. Maurice is after all an imagi-nation, that at this point may have more in common with Gilbert & Sullivan than Frederick the Great. Vive la Self-Indilgence!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Serving Notice - His Majesty de St. Maurice wishes to inform all who may visit here that he, indeed the entire St. Maurician army, will be on holiday from now until the end of the Summer. All those inclined to invade our little berg are encouraged to restrain themselves until sometime after the first weekend in September. Making war on a country on vacation just isn't done don't-ya'-know.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Enter the ladies - This week's entry is the Regiment St. Germain. The regiment's recruitment comes mainly from the German speaking populace of of St. Maurice near the border with Alsace-Lorraine as well as foreign expatriates from the north. One of the older line regiments, approximately 29 years of active service as of this Summer, St. Germain is paired with Claire to form the army's second brigade "Les Etranger."
As an added bonus this week, may I introduce the first of the Vivandiere, this is Hildegarde von Rottenfartz ("Tilly" to the men). I don't know; there's something about a woman in a red dress........ (sigh!).

Monday, June 2, 2008

Les Chevaliere de Rohan-Soubise - Yet another cavalry regiment, Rohan-Soubise represents the newest of the heavy cavalry regiments. Formed this last Winter, it, along with FitzAndrew's Horse, form the first heavy cavalry brigade. Rohan-Soubise, along with Les Chevaliere d'Isembourg, are true line cavalry regiments, and not to be confused with dragoons (His Majesty is waiting patiently for a really nice miniature in the fatigue bonnet that will sit well on a Stadden horse). More later on Rohan-Soubise as they cover themselves with glory......, and bandages no doubt. Oh by the way, the bugler is a conversion of the Stadden cavalry trooper, and not available commercially. Coming soon; the Vivandiere!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Artillerie de la Garde - This is the oldest battery in the artillery arm of the St. Maurician field forces, mustered into uniform approximately 32 years ago. Originally an independent battery, they are currently part of the Legion of Guards. This is an all-arms formation composed of the Gendarmere, Maison du Roi (Le Garde du St. Maurice), one battalion of converged grenadiers, and these artillerymen. While they were originally quite active, their service these days is nominal, with most of their duties being taken up by the line artillery. Their huge 24# guns have always been a major headache on campign, and thus they are not popular among the more aggressive of the nation's general officers (that is, assuming we ever manage to find an aggressive general officer.).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ye Gods and Little Fishes...

It's been almost a month-and-a-half since my last update. Where does the time go. In my scramble to catch up, I'm going to try to add another update sometime in the next two weeks. I know; good intentions (sigh!). Well, let's go...

FitzAndrew's Horse - This is my newest cavalry regiment, FitzAndrew's Horse, or as they are referred to by the rest of the army, "Les Cuirassiers Gris," or "The Grey Cuirassiers." They have no combat history to speak of, although a squadron of the cuirassiers did supplement the Gendarmere at the Battle of Hilton Heights this past Winter. Commanded by that notorious Scottish expatriate Charles, Edward, Thomas, Robert, William, Malcolm Stewart, to date no one in St. Maurice has any idea just what the Scotsmen are saying, assuming they are actually attempting to communicate at all. More on the highland horsemen as their adventure unfolds.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Loncheney Hussars - Recruited from some of the more questionable regions of the vast Austrian empire, the Loncheney Hussars are the first light cavalry regiment of l'Armie de St. Maurice. Here, we see the boys parading in royal review, with their colonel Tepps taking the salute of His Majesty. Holding with the tradition of the cavalry, the hussars have yet to win so much as a fist fight. They do look good however, and in St. Maurice that certainly must count for something.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A New Reorganization - St. Maurice is in the process of reorganizing it's troops. Here, the regiment Maison Du Roi is formed in battalion line with each of it's three companies represented by a single stand of 16 privates, and officer or NCO, and a drummer. The color party is mounted separately, with the King's color on the left (as you look at it), the regimental color on the right, and flanked by NCOs. The colonel's stand and quartermaster's stand are also separate and round out the battalion/ regiment. This new organization makes the movement of large numbers of figures much easier, but keeps the flavor of the OSW that we have come to know and love. Maison du Roi is the only guards regiment in the army of St. Maurice. Formed in the year 1726 (MY 1976), they have become the centerpiece of the Household Legion, which is also composed of the converged grenadiers, Les Gendarmere de St. Maurice, and the Guards Artillery. It probably says a great deal about the military philosophy of St. Maurice that the regiment has never distinguished itself in the passage of arms. This may also explain the otherwise enigmatic logo found on the national color; Quando Omni Funcus Moritati ("When all else fails play dead").

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Battle of the Hilton Heights - St. Maurice and Ardoberg-Holstein crossed swords yet again today in the Battle of Hilton Heights. This was a full scale battle, pitting approximately 1000 infantry and 300 cavalry in combat for a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday afternoon. Gary (the Ardo in Ardoberg), and I are working out the bugs in a very strait forward set of rules based on the DBA mechanism. It will allow us to fight truly large battles over a very short time, with the focus being on those headaches a commanding general would have to deal with. Movement trays are 2"x6" for all troop types which allows both movement and storage convenience. Here's a little picture essay of the engagement:
Here's the initial disposition of the A-H forces, with heavy cavalry to the right (foreground), light cavalry to the left and his household troops in the center.

Here's a rather poor shot of the early deployment of the St. Maurician forces.

At the beginning of turn 4; some serious maneuvering going on on the St. Maurice left. The center has closed to artillery range, and the guns are in operation. On the right, the Arquibusiers are moving up the Hiltonwald, and the Gendarmere are moving in on the hussars. It's almost crunch time.

By turn 7 we see some serious combat underway on both flanks, and with the center involved in both artillery and small arms exchanges. The battle is well and truly involved.

By move 10, things were still up in the air, but seemed to be moving slowly and steadily in favor of the A-H forces. At this point Marshall Neigh formally requested to disengage. This was granted and the fighting ended after approximately five and a half hours of solid fighting. All in all, a very enjoyable little contest.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Arquebusiers de Bergerac - The only light infantry in the army de St. Maurice was added to the lists last Summer as Les Arquebusiers de Bergerac. We would like to suggest that the similarity between these gentlemen and their counterparts, the Grassins, is purely coincidental. This is, however, not the case as it is common knowledge that large stores of uniforms and equipment were "liberated" from French military stores at approximately the same time as the unit was organized. There is, in fact no noble family named Bergerac in St. Maurician service, and it is thought the name was derived from the hero of Rostand's famous play. No mean feat as the play will not be published until 1897. While this theory may seem absurd, the battalion's motto ("We have a nose for trouble") may actually lend some credence to the idea.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Artillerie de St. Maurice - As with any functioning army of the current century, St. Maurice sports it's heavy weapons detachments, albeit a bit thin by most modern standards. Pictured here is, currently, the only active line battery in the army. It is currently supplemented by the single battery of the Household Brigade, as well as the battery of the horse artillery. Current table of organization has four of these batteries in the final structure of the army, one per line brigade of infantry.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Dauphin - The regiment Dauphin is one of the more recent additions to the St. Maurician army, and the senior regiment of the fourth brigade, also known as "Les Enfants Terribles." Battle honors include a credible defense of of the earthworks at Mabb's Knoll as well as a solid showing in the Battle of King's Park. Dauphin is a royal regiment, and her current colonel is some shirt-tail relative of His Majesty.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Irish regiment Claire has the dubious honor of being the first regiment in the service of the throne of St. Maurice. Dubious because the men or Erin never let the locals forget that their country owes it's independence to the rambunctious Wild Geese. Formed in 1724 (MY 1974), these sons of the old sod have taken part in all but one of His Majesty's altercations, and remain the most feared troops in the battle line. Irish to a man, the regiment has done more to expand an appreciation for Guinness on the continent, than any other single entity.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Navarre - Currently composing one half of the Brigade I "Les Anciens," Navarre represents one of the oldest infantry regiments in the army. It's colorful history can be traced to approximately the end of April 1727 (MY 1977), and has the honor to be the only regiment to participate in some capacity, in every battle fought by the army of St. Maurice, including the first ever engagement fought by members of the Seven Year's War Association. The fact that the regiment is composed almost exclusively of convicted criminals, and suffers some of the greatest losses under fire, has suggested that His Majesty may have found a rather creative method of "thinning the herd" so to speak. To date, His Majesty has not found the time to deny such allegations, although he fully intends to (...just as soon as he can think of something).