Friday, December 31, 2010

Household Infantry Completed (after only 20 years) - Finally, after two decades of wars both foreign and domestic, His Majesty can proudly announce the completion of the infantry arm of the Royal Household Legion. This is the one, and only, battalion of the converged grenadiers de St. Maurice. The variety of uniforms is simply because they are, indeed, converged, with six troops from each of the eight line regiments of the army. They carry the colors of the king as well as the drapeau blanche, relegating them to the position of second battalion of the household infantry behind Maison du Roi. Indeed their officers all come from the ranks of the "senior battalion." This has not been without it's problems. In a most recent altercation with a Grand Duck (sic) who shall remain nameless, the grenadiers covered themselves in glory when they drove two enemy battalions from the field and were poised to visit mayhem on yet a third. They were left unsupported by the senior battalion however, and His Majesty's forces were obliged to withdraw due to severe losses elsewhere. Investigations are currently in progress. Meanwhile, the boisterous boys with the funny hats have been venting their collective spleen with a quaint little tactic involving their sycophantic officer corps that Vietnam era American soldiers will refer to as "fragging."
next - War comes to St. Maurice - Who'd have thought...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's In A Name - For years, His Benevolent Majesty has allowed the villages and towns along the frontier to operate according to their own whims providing of course, that approximately a third of their annual income manage to find it's way into the St. Maurice national treasury (in other words, his royal back pocket). The village of Vichyssoise was one of these. The villagers (largely Germanic, but otherwise good practicing Catholics) would enthusiastically celebrate His Majesty's birthday with a lovely little ceremony they referred to as a "roast," culminating in the burning of a dressed pig in effigy.

Imagine His Highness' severe disappointment when, upon reports that the army of Ardoberg-Holstein had been sighted, the village to a man changed the name to Lesser Horkheimer, donned leiterhossen, and began boiling sauerkraut. Within hours, His Majesty's forces were in full struggle with those of the Grand Duck (sic) and before the sunset what villagers remained who could still consume food were happily eating snails.

This little battle included something around 1400 miniatures, including a massive (by our standards) cavalry battle with 11 cavalry regiments (6 for the good guys and 5 for ...that German person). Enjoy the photos.

Next - The Household Infantry Completed - after only 20 years...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Return at Last - I realize that I have become delinquent in promptly posting to this site. Sorry. I have no good excuse except rampant complacency. The arrival within these blog pages of my arch nemesis, that black prince of Ardoberg-Holstein has propted me to action however, and I mean to spend more time here correcting the vicious lies, mis-spellings and inaccurate punctuation which passes for truth within the Holstein. More toward this anon.
Firstly, I need to display the most recent unit addition to les hommes de St. Maurice. Presenting (ta da!!) His Majesty's Engineers, Sappers and Miners.

This may not be the best of pictures, but will do until I can take a more formal shot. Of course maybe seeing them from the back would be the best way to display all the St. Maurice units. I've wanted a unit of engineers for some time although currently our rules have no place for them. I'm envisioning a unit that combats as militia, can detach it's companies to operate independently on such projects as sapping, intrenchments and earthworks with tasks agreed-upon before the battle begins. They can augment regular combat units to throw up make-shift defenses over a fixed period of time (3 turns say) as long as the unit doesn't come under fire or melee. More on this as we begin to solidify a rule. The figures are all Surens and the wagon is from Blue Moon Miniatures. By the way, for those of you interested in seeing what passes for an opponent to St. Maurice, please refer to (although why you would want to is anyone's guess.

coming soon: The Real Battle of Lesser Horkheimer (or Vichyssoise as it is now called)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A New Regiment and a Milestone turned - I have been delinquent from these pages for too much time. Long story short, the needs of the "real world" have superceded those of this imaginary one. While we are on this subject I would like to wish you all well. Our world is changing rapidly, and little for the better. I hope you are all safe and well. Enough!

His majesty announces the muster of the fourth regiment under the new two-battalion organization. This is the regiment La Marne and if the eagle-eyed viewer notices a slight difference in the coat color between the first and second battalion please understand that indigo is a damned difficult color to match in St. Maurice. In truth it is the result of painting the two battalions almost twenty years apart.
The only line regiment currently serving in the blue coat, the
regiment was originally to be a naval combat unit until someone
let it slip to His Majesty that St. Maurice was a land-locked country. Almost immediately the regimental name was changed
from La Marine to La Marne, and the troops were sent on their first 50 mile march.

The regiment serves with the Dauphin regiment, forming the St. Maurice Brigade III "Les Paysans," a title seldom used by the officers and men of the brigade themselves. The completion of
this regiment and brigade is a milestone in the development of the
St. Maurice might of arms as this is essentially the halfway mark for painting and mounting the
troops of the army. I currently have some 5 cavalry regiments (about 145 men all ranks) 4 infantry regiments (524 men all ranks) and 4 artillery batteries. Add to that 2 household battalions, abattalion of light infantry and a half-battalion of engineers, the total number of fighting men is approximately 800. The majority of these remain Suren and Stadden.
(coming soon - Maison du Roi........finally! )

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boys - One of the really great things about being royalty in a petty monarchy is the opportunities for self-aggrandizement. His Majesty has always been concerned that his subjects, as well as anyone else who might care, should know of his coming well in advance of his arrival. With that in mind, he has seen fit to create a detachment of herald trumpets to announce his movements and location. Clearly this little unit will last only until one of His Majesty's "loyal subjects" takes a pot-shot at him while on parade.

I've had these Suren trumpeters around for a while and couldn't think of anything better to do with them. Observant as you are, you will have noticed no banner attachment to the bugles at this point. Sheer neglegance on my part that will be corrected in the not too distant future.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Battle of Latoilette; Some afterthoughts - Like most
of battles we've fought over the past few years, Latoilette was a variation of the ever popular DBA, long a favorate of ancients gamers. The beauty of this system is it's speed of resolution. Movement is strait forward, combat is well defined, and it allows to aging wargamers the opportunity to resolve a rather large game (about 1700 figures total) in something just over four hours. That said, I like to think of this mechanism as a work in progress, and we most certainly have a little cleaning up yet to do. Cavalry vs artillery combats should be fairly strait forward following some determination as to whether the guns are able to fire round shot at a distance or cannister at close range (or possibly not fire at all!). The combat in the village actually went quite well. We opted to treat all combats as infantry in line with appropriate positives for assault and negatives for potential artillery targets. There may still be more for the light infantry to do in this situation, but if so, it will take more thought and practice.
At my request, we opted for a variation in command and control in this game also. Normally, we dice at the outset to determine who will go first, with the winner making the determination. After this is done, the moving side rolls a die for each brigade, with the number of pips indicating the number of active units for that turn. Ardoberg-Holstein held to this rule. St. Maurice, however, opted to roll one die for each command; left, center and right. This created a situation where, while as strong as A-H, St. Maurice was hampered with serious control problems which limited the effectiveness of any potential attack (for similar results see the 1870-71 war between France and Prussia). The right wing, for example, with seven units in it's command, was never able to activate all of it's units in a single move. Given the history and character of St. Maurice, I kind of liked it. Well, I really didn't like it, but it did seem to accurately portray my glittering, but inept, general staff.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Battle of Latoilette - Nestled at the base of the foothills in northeastern St. Maurice is the peaceful little village of Latoilette. The place has no particular strategic value ...unless you happen to be considering an invasion of His Majesty's realm. That datardly villain, the Duck
(sic) of Ardoberg-Holstein has set his sights on the village as a staging area for his latest foray into blending St. Maurice into the "world community" of Ardoberg. Fortunately, His Majesty became aware of these underhanded dealings,
and immediately ordered the army, under Col. Gen. Bertrand Malaise, to "advance vigorously and chastise the usurper. " The two forces met on the 10th of April, arrayed on either side of the town and with the community as it's centerpiece.
Almost immediately, Malaise ordered his central command under the able direction of Brigadier Julien d' Escargot, to infiltrate the town. "No German boots will sully hearth and home here my lads," declared d' Escargot. With a great "huzzah" the men of 1st Navarre, 1st Languedoc, 1st la Marne and the Arquebusieres de Bergerac surged into the town, occupying all but a few structures at the north end of the village. As they pushed north, the occasional pop of small arms was replaced by the almost continual rumble of musketry and cannon, as the Ardobergers began their valiant, if futile attempt to make all things Ardoberg. Fighting in the village lasted most of the day, but when it was over, the flag of St. Maurice continued to flutter over what was left of the community.

Meanwhile, on the St. Maurice eastern flank, Brigadier Noel Derrier was advancing against the ever-present British support, led by Brigadier Lord Muggles. The St. Maurician right consisted of the heavy cavalry brigade of FitzAndrew's Horse and the Rohan-Soubisse regiment, the light cavalry of the Loncheney Hussars and the Kilbasa Lancers, as well as two artillery batteries and the Household Legion of Maison du Roi and the Converged Grenadiers. The English, supported (marginally) by the A-H light cavalry, made a day of it, smashing the Rohan horseman and forcing the brigadier to re-think a quick flanking victory in favor of slugging it out with his guards battalions. Fighting on the eastern flank was inconclusive but managed to keep four regiments of British regulars out of the assault on the town.

The battle on the western flank was another matter altogether. Brigadier Olivier Andouillette was ordered to "face and destroy" the cream of A-H arms. Both the Electoral Foot Guards as well as the Grand Duck's (sic) Guard Cuirassiers were positioned here and were in no mood to suffer the pompous shenanigans of yet another St. Maurician army. Our brigadier commanded "Les Etrangier," 1st and 2nd Clare and 1st and 2nd St. Germain, as well as a second heavy cavalry brigade composed of Les Gendarmere de St. Maurice and the Isembourg regiment, and reinforced by a battery
of artillery. True to their history, the Gendarmere managed to last only three battle turns before being driven off the field, only lasting that long because it took the A-H Cuirassiers a little more time to get to them than anyone had thought. In all, the "Iron Men" of the A-H Guard Cuirassiers charged six times throughout the course of the day, routing both cavalry regiments as well as the 2nd battalion Clare. Their attack ceased only with the setting of the sun, as they rode to cover the retreat of their army. His Majesty's forces were yet again victorious and the good General Malaise will finally have something more to talk about at court functions than his gout. Here to the right is insidious enemy and great friend Gary Comardo, the Grand Duck (sic) of Ardoberg-Holstein. Look for his blog coming soon to a computer near you (finally!!). For those interested, the miniatures types used were Staddens for the most part for St. Maurice, supported by Surens, Old Glory and Blue Moon Miniatures. For A-H, the majority are Spencer Smiths, supported by miniatures from Wally Simon, and Hinchliffe. Between the two armies, there were about 1700 figures displayed on the table which measured 6'x20'.
Next: The Battle of Latoilette - A discussion of the rules, and thoughts about command and control.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

For The Ladies - March the 11th is not only His Majesty's birthday but, coincidently, Lady's Day in St. Maurice. Both are celebrated by a lovely little picnic in the park followed

by a band concert where the ladies can be regally entertained,
and "His Regalness" can shop for his new Spring mistress. Here on the left we see His Nibs nestled between three other jackasses (er... according to the pundits from Ardoberg-Holstein), with the ever-present Cardinal Richnlewd in close attendance. If it appears that the ladies seem to be keeping their distance, it may well be due to the close proximity of Custance de Boutonniere, the current paramour and the only woman visably armed. She can be seen dressed in th uniform of hussars, just behind His Majesty.
Music today is capably performed by the band of the household brigade. A talented group one and all. His Majesty, the Cardinal, the band, Lady Boutonniere, and several of the other attendants are Suren figures, while the remainder of the ladies are Blue Moon Manufacturing.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Repeat Performance - I've presented the Dauphin regiment on these pages before, so will not go into great detail as to history and origin. These photos are of the new two battalion orgainzation to conform with His Majesty's restructuring of the line infantry last Summer. As can be seen, the regiment is formed in battalion column with the colonel ahead of the first battalion colors and the sub-colonel (a Major, I suppose, in most armies), to the right of the color party of the second battalion. ...............and for Jean-Louis - The vivandiere is in attendance to the rear of the second battalion. The figures here are Staddens with the exception of both colonels, the ensigns and the vivandiere which are Surens.
Next: A Concert For The Ladies...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

More Than A New Suit Of Clothes - These two pictures are of the same regiment. The one on the left was taken about five years ago and represented the Royal Gendarmere, possibly the only heavy lancer regiment in existance in Europe at the time. It had served as you see them here for approximately 31 years, but were disbanded two years ago due to service violations as well as (and possibly more importantly) their sponsor, the Duke de le Bret had fallen out of favor with His Majesty.
Recent altercations with the age-old nemesis Ardoberg-Holstein have made it clear to Louis Philippe that holding a grudge may be no substitute for men in the field when the realm (or the royal person) is threatened. His Majesty has graceously agreed to the reformation of the regiment although under another name (as there currently exists another gendarmere regiment). The photo on the left, therefore, represents the newly recruited line cavalry regiment Les Chevalieres d'Isembourg. Their punishment remains obvious as they have now gone from royal regiment to simple line cavalry ("Oh what will father say!"), and their uniform has been reduced to a poor quality infantryman's coat ("How can I show my face..."). They do, however, and to the chagrin of many at the royal court, continue to carry their original least until thir next discipline.
Truth is I never quite liked the regiment in it's original form, but really liked the look of the Suren cavalry trooper on the Stadden horse. So I pried off the lance, loaded up the paint brushes and voila as we say here in the more civilized regions of Europe.

Next: The Boys In The Band...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"What do the simple folk do..." - Well it's almost Spring in St. Maurice. Time for........shooting some scallliwag in the face (or any other body part) over a matter of honor. In this case the Count d' Aramis seeks satisfaction from the youngest son of the Planchet family (banking folk don't-ya'-know) over a rude remark regarding the knotting of his cravat. Most may already recognize most of these figures as the work of Blue Moon Manufacturing with a sprinkling of Stadden and Suren thrown in. I'm a big fan of Blue Moon to fill out small vignettes within the St. Maurice realm. The figures (as may be seen in photo number 2) are not as tall and certainly more "chunky" than the Staddens or Surens, but as representatives of the civilians of the realm, their character more than makes up for the difference.

The figures here are (from left to right) Stadden, Blue Moon, and Suren.

Coming Next: An old cavalry regiment in new clothes...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Good lord it has been forever since I've posted anything here. Well, better late... I've done very little painting over the past several months, but one project for St. Maurice is the development of His Majesty's Regiment of Engineers or The 1st Penal Regiment. Under the command of Colonel-Captain Robespierre Mayonnaise, the battalion actually does have some moderately well educated engineers in attendance. It is, however, largely composed of current attendees of the St. Maurice Department of Corrections. His Majesty has long been a big fan of community service, believing that nothing is more likely to bring a man who has fallen out of favor whith his community back into the arms of the angels (excelt maybe a large sergeant with a club).

...and yes, that is a STOP sign for directing traffic being held by the
private in the center. And yes, as noted by His Grace the Duck (sic) of Ardoberg-Holstein, it should be written in French but it's not. There will eventually be three companies of impressment...
er, volunteers plus a wagon or two to complete the battalion. That's enough for now. Hopefully more soon. - Mike