Wednesday, October 31, 2007

North Sea


Flundra and Blackfisk have detached from the convoy and have sailed nearer the Brittanian coast. They watch for the Royal Navy and the advent of their ominous presence. All is still -no sightings as yet. Spyglasses are trained westwards day and night. The convoy sails on......

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Offenbach reviewed...

The battle of Offenbach, a first by proxy here at the Emperor vs. Elector, has new been reviewed in detail.

For those wishing to know more of the juicy bits see MurdockS MarauderS.

The Fleet sets sail.....

The Tradgardland Fleet sets sail . It consists of : Guld Sill , Flagship,70 guns, 680 crew , 80marines/soldiers, 2 decks ,1850 tonnes. Delfin, 1st rate,64 guns,600 crew, 60 marines/sailors,2 decks ,1750 tonnes. Tumlare,1st rate,60 guns,600 crew, 60 sailors/marines,2 decks ,1750 tonnes. Piggsvinn,2nd rate,50 guns,400 crew,50 marine/soldiers,2 decks,1100 tonnes.Blackfisk,3rd rate,40 guns,300 crew,40 sailors/marines,900 tonnes. Flundra,4th rate,20 guns,200 crew,20 marines/sailors.
Plus 3 transports each carrying around 200 crew and 300 soldiers.

Night:
From the high tower overlooking the sea the Duke watches as the fleet ventures forth. He is wracked with doubt, going over in his mind the letters from Gallia.The tower door creaks open and the Duchess appears wrapped in a cloak. She walks over to him and stands with him in companionable silence, each lost in their own thoughts...

Gallian Summaries: October 1757/2007

As Bill, I am near breathless summoning memories, developing story lines and attempting to weave multiple threads which have somehow come to life into one whole cloth. Dear reader, if you press on below, I will do my best to be brief as I commence at ....
---------
Versailles:
Lady Belle Silhouette has not been seen for more than two weeks. She is an occasional companion to Lady Diana Pettygree and Lady Cherish Masquerade. The last anyone knew, she took horse riding to the northwestward with a bodyguard of de Saxe Lanciers commanded by Lt. Gardier.

Channel Isle de Pettygree:
l'Vengeance (40) arrived in the harbor of Charlestuartier remaining there for a day. You will perhaps recall Lady Diana Pettygree was transported thither from the Gallian mainland port of LeHavre to visit her ailing father at his request. A lady presumed to be Lady Pettygree escorted by a de Saxe officer did indeed debark. l'Vengeance left twenty-four hours later said to be bound for Brest. Reaching to the westward on a broad reach, lookouts on the island and no doubt spies as well, did indeed see l'Vengance disappear into the setting sun to the westward.

Port of LeHavre:
The poor crew and disconsolate Capitaine Briege of Rhapsodie debarked from a Tradgardland ship at the port on the 28th instant. The crew was paid off and/or joined other naval vessels in harbor. Meanwhile Capitaine Briege and the surviving officers boarded a river galley to travel up the Seine to Versailles and there report for court martial for the loss of their ship in a Tradgardland port. All the capitaine knows is that somehow the watch was breached, a person or persons unknown set an uncontrollable fire to the frigate and she sunk with some loss of life. The Capitaine's career is going to end with dishonour regardless of facts or inferences we think. He has little to offer in his defense. Tradgardland authorities are stumped reporting only the mad speed of a black and red coach out of town on the night of the disaster.

Ministry of Marine:
News of the loss of Rhapsodie preceded Capitaine Briege. One or two ministers view the incident with cautious neutrality while one is of a darker mind seeing a possibility of treachery from within Tradgarland itself.

l'Duc de Broglie:
The battle at Preisserstadt on the 13th instant has given pause to the Marshall still at or near Minden watching the Britannian Marquis of Granby. Casualties were horrific to the corps de armée de Broglie sent to battle the Hesse Seewald Army though there is some small consolation that Der Erbrprinz retired from the theatre. The battle turned on the breadth of a hair. The Duc has expressed the opinion that not much more may happen in in theatre before returning to winter cantonments is forced upon him. Granby's position at Minden is said to be remarkably strong.

Lt. General Chevert:
Idle, rebuilding and restoring the Army defeated at Salzungen in August. The fient attack launched by Der Erbrpinz to cover the latter's march to engage de Broglie was repulsed by a determined Advance Guard of Frankzonian allies. Chevert remains content to hold his ground east of Frankfurt Am Main.

Frankfurt Am Main:
l'Intendant Bastille's fractured nerves have settled down due to the absence of Frankzonian confusions among the ruling authorities, combustable personalities and the quietude of rebels who roused themselves to a mischief in the heat of the summer. Most are in the new jail. No doubt the completion of the enormous jail and the continued presence of l'Duc de Poyanne's Corps of 25,000 Gallians are a blessed tonic for the Intendant.

l'Duc de Poyanne:
Has received orders to march north in haste to harry the retreat of Der Erbprinz and to possibly capture what is said to be a moderately massive source of supplies at the village of Ditherdorf. Approximately 8,000-10,000 Gallians are hard upon their march northwards while the rest remain at Frankfurt Am Main. Arrival at Dithersdorf is expected on the 2nd-3rd of November. (The BIG battalion game at Rock Con. near Rockford, IL USA is on the 3rd.)

Questions?
1. Where is Lady Pettygree?
2. Did l'Vengeneance arrive at Brest? If not, where is she?
3. What will be the Ministry of Marine Court Martial's verdict of Capitaine Briege?
4. What will be the public and private face of Gallia over the loss of Rhapsodie?
5. How much longer will de Broglie watch Granby?
6. Why is Granby reticent to attack de Broglie?
7. Has Chevert's Army restord itself sufficiently to resume the offensive?
8. Is Bastille's peacful demeanor justifed at Frankfort Am Main?
9. Will there be a battle at Ditherdorf?
10. Will Tradgardland really invade The Shetlands alone?

And THAT, dear reader, brings you and me up to date if you have come this far. Have you?
Adieu.
-----------

Off Althavn...

And so Gentlemen , here is the plan.We sail at our
earliest convenience.The Galley Fleet will escort the Convoy until the waters are beyond its capabilities. At this point the Galleys will return to port. The Convoy will then proceed with all haste to the Shetland Isles . A decoy consisting of two warships will attempt to confuse and confound the Brittaninas . God willing we will land on the Shetland Isles very soon . We will establish a base , fortify it for our winter sojourn and supply it from the Duchy by ship. Once we know the willingness or otherwise of the French we shall set sail God save the Duchy!
With that the Duke sat down, took a long draft of mulled Tradgardian Ale ( against the vapours of the season ) and listened to the excited chatter of his commanders. There would be time for questions soon but now let them talk....

Monday, October 29, 2007

In Harbour

Flying the Tradgardland Ensign the flagship of the Tradgardland fleet waits in Althavn harbour.Aboard are officers waiting orders and in the other ships the regiments have embarked awaiting the order to set sail. A sense of tension pervades all - what of the Gallians?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Banat

The Banat is back with a new name and focus - click on the link and enjoy....

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tradgardland Moon



It is full moon tonight- when the roads of the Duchy resound to marching feet and singing troops making their way to home or from home to a half month's military service....

However tonight will be different for many. Regiments 1 and 2 , along with the recently formed mounted Jaegers , will march for the port of Althavn where orders will await them.

Locals have seen a gathering of the Galley Fleet in the last few days too

Friday, October 26, 2007

A letter



The Gallian crew, fed and re clothed , are being transported back to Gallia. Their Captain carries a note from Von Bergman as follows:

Gallian Friends !

Greetings in the name of the Duke. We send our felicitations to those friends we met at Versailles and wish to ask for aid for our forthcoming voyage to the Shetland Isles. We wish to establish a base there prior to the winter storms. This base will act as a place to begin our conquest of Northern Brittania in the company of our Galian Allies. Send word at your earliest convenience - we are ready.

Von Bergman

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Offenbach Prevails

The patriots of Offenbach, in danger of being overwhelmed by 2 superior and apparently hostile forces, managed to hold onto the city of Offenstadt and the Offenbach Tuba Works for the time being.
Meanwhile, the Council of the Soweiter League has called a hasty meeting to consider possible courses of action. Some are calling for an investigation to determine whether they can trust the Frankzonians, the Stagonians, or neither. Military preparations continue in the event of need for defensive or offensive action, to protect or liberate the League's states.

This message brought to you by the Hesse-Offenbach Ministry of Tourism - "Visit lovely Offenbach Falls, favored destination of newlyweds and detectives."

Offenback Falls!

Alas, it seems that the vacillations of the local Offenbach leaders has left them victims to Stagonian duplicity. The tiny, brave brigade; which Frankszonia had so generously sent to their aid in response to the earlier Stagonian Ultimatum was driven back.
We gather together again.
We call upon all the friends of the Soweiter League to assemble against the Vile Stagonian invasions.
Offenbach shall be free again!

Perhaps, it is only natural in the disorder naturally accompanying Stagonian rule, that the battalions celebrating near the Tuba Works on Wine, Bratwurst, and other condiments supplied by Offenbach merchants should accidentally set the works on fire. Surely, the stories of brats exploding with white fire and other tales are apocryphal events derived from the inebriated state of the participants in the barbeque ...
When Offenbach is liberated, the Freedom Alliance will surely restore the works and improve upon them ....

--- Note to the Intendant Bastille ___
Sire, Given the recent intelligence of the dear victory obtain by the Marshal Broglie, the absence of immediate threat to Gen. Chevert, and the unfortunate debacle in Offenbach, it is necessary to recall all Frankszonian forces to urgently concentrate to defend our integral territories.
We have unconfirmed intelligence, however, that some understanding exists between Gallia and Vile Stagonia. If so, obviously your valiant and skilled men can not assist us in this affair. As proven friends, however, the Hurtshog and his court wish to advise you to be wary of Vile Stagonia, which is well known not only for its perversions, but also its perfidies ....
Sincerely, l' Beauphaup ...

---
from Arthur:
It's been an hilarious romp ... I haven't been able to catch up my own blog on it even! I hear everybody had fun, though one person had to drive home in an horrible storm (been there, glad he made it ok!).
All right, who's next?
")

Monday, October 22, 2007

Backstory at Le Havre

Narrator: Whilst the Tradgardland Diplomat von Bergmann was in transit to the Gallian Port of Le Havre from Versailles, we are offered the opportunity to view proceedings in the office of the Port Admiral at Le Havre. The gentle reader may forgive me to remind you that Lady Pettygree was also en-route to Le Havre departing Versailles several days before von Bergmann. She arrived at Le Havre first to be taken home.
-------------
Port Admiral: "Bernard-Louis?"

Bernard-Louis: "Oui Monsieur l'Admiral."

Admiral: "New orders for the frigate l'Vengeance ici...."

Monsieur l'Capitaine de l'Vengeance,
I have the honour to inform, you Monsieur, you are required and directed to take aboard The Lady Diana Pettygree. Expect her to repair on board your vessel at ten of the clock this morning. Convey her to the Isle de Pettygree at the first tide today and thence proceed to Brest to await further orders.
Votre Serviteur,
Henri 'lComte de Ste. Germain
Port Admiral Le Havre

Bernard-Louis: "Monsieur l'Comte, if I may beg to say, this leaves only the old 36 gun frigate Rhapsodie in harbor to convey the Tradgardland Diplomat von Bergmann back to his homeland."

Admiral: "Oui Bernard-Louis, the requirements of the service. The Rhapsodie though old is a fine ship and was careened last month to remove barnicles from her bottom. She is fast and sea-worthy enough for the short jump to Tradgardland and back." I'll compose Rhapsodie's orders for you to take to l'Capitaine Briege within the hour. Meanwhile take the these orders to l'Vengeance and I'll have new orders for Rhapsodie when you return."

Bernard-Louis: "Oui Monsieur l'Comte. Right away."
---------

A Formal Announcement From Zolms

An older portly gentleman dressed in the style of an hussar of the Imperial Army and wearing a golden ambassador's chain, bows deeply to those assembled, clears his throat and says in a measured tone:

I have the honor to be Wilhelm Christian Otto, Burggraf von Zolms-Braunwald and Brigadier Commanding the Leib Brigade of the Grafschaft of Zolms. It is my privilege to be the Ambassador-at-Large to the Graf von Zolms-Braunwald-Braunberg, Karl August Wilhelm and on his behalf and in his words, I beg leave to address those here and present his message -

"To Her Imperial Majesty Maria Theresia, Holy Roman Empress, Queen of Bohemia and Hungary, Archduchess of Austria;
Members of the Council of Electors, Archbishops, Pfalzgraf, Herzogen, and Margrave;
Members of the Council of Princes of the Ecclesiastical Bench, Archbishops, Grand Master, Bishops, Provosts, Priors and Abbots;
of the Secular Bench, Herzogen, Pflazgraffen, Margraven, Landgraven, Fursten;
of the Colleges of Graffen;
Members of the Council of Freie Reichsstadten -

Konigen, Fursten and Prinz of foreign states -

Greetings from Karl August Wilhelm, Graf von Zolms-Braunwald, Graf im Zolms-Braunberg, Herr von Münzenberg, Wildenfels & Sonnenwalde

On the occasion of my wedding to Sophie Auguste Wilhelmine, Grafein von Zolms-Braunberg, on the 14th instant, having fulfilled the final condition of my late honored father's will, I take up my titles, ranks, responsiblities and duties as Graf von Zolms-Braunwald-Braunberg, prinz-presumptive of Zolms. We wish to express our loyalty to Her Imperial Majesty, our leigelord. Also we express our thanks and gratitude to those who have shown us courtesy in our wedding and my assumption of inheritance. It is our purpose to restore the Furstschaft of Zolms to its traditional and rightful stature within the Empire and to reunite the several severed portions of that principality under our rule and that of our heirs forever. We ask the blessing of the Lord and of Her Imperial Majesty upon our work and the practical assistance of our neighboring rulers.

Given under my hand and seal, on this 20th day of Oktober, year of grace 1757, at the Schloss Braunwald, Grafschaft of Zolms,
Karl August, Graf und Prinz.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

VILE STAGONIAN VICTORY at OFFENBACH!

Stagonian General Baron Gaspar du Vile was feasted this evening in the Burgomeister's hall in Offenbach after the stunning victory over Frankzonian forces outside the town's defences.

The battle began as the rains let up at mid-morning, the Earl of Flynn had defused the tensions from the past two days and appeared to have established a modus-operandi between the Frankzonian camp and Offenbach. Within the hour Stagonian troops marched off the west roads and into formations within artillery range of the Frankzonians whom began firing at them immediately.

With the rains continuing on and off for the next two hours the Frankzonian guns boomed out.

General Leopold remained near the town edge and the Works at his command site while the Offenbach Militia Battalions rushed to the improvised barricades. News was brought to General Leopold that a rider group bearing a white flag was approaching the Hesse-Offenbach Marching Band near the fort, Conductor-Colonel Korngold took the Stagonian emissary at his word and with a section of men and subaltern as escourt the ADC of General du Vile was brought to General Leopold's presence. His message was one of neutrality. Stagonian troops would not molest or attack Offenbach or the Soweiter League forces if they did not attack Stagonian ones first. General Leopold accepted this message and sent the ADC back with the news that Soweiter forces would hold in positions behind defences and so long as Stagonian troops did not approach these defences nor fire at Soweiter troops so too would they hold their fire. This message was passed to those on the barricades and the ADC was escourted back thru the Hesse-Offenbach Marching Band lines.

Meanwhile the agreement made earlier with Frankzonia was also taking place, all the Frankzonian cavalry was being led to the south of the fort into the open ground so that they would fall on the flank of the vile Stagonian troops. Also the artillery barrage was being answered in kind with the Frankfurt Guild Militia Battalion taking the brunt of the fire.

Mercenary troops were also ascending the heights north of the fort, pushing back Frankzonian jagers and causing a response from the Foot Longs 2nd Battalion whom were climing the opposite side of the hill in a race to the top...Prinz Robert Axe won the race and began pouring fire into the Foot Longs 2nd Battalion, who also began to fire back, this musketry rang out for an hour while the cavalry race to the south was coming to an end.

Frankzonian Hillary's Hussars were into line first, then HC Reiters; the Hussars charged into the Elite von Kirschstein Kuirassier routing them (amazingly!), but Hillary's Hussars were themselves routed by the Jailler Hussars, whom were ruthless in pursuit and scattered many squadrons, while managing to recover themselves from a wild pursuit before HC Reiters were able to blast at them from pistols and carbines.

The cavalry positioning continued, with only Benzler Dragoons holding the lines for the Stagonians permitting the blown Hussars and shaken Kuirassier to recover. Frankzonian cavalry was content to 'follow-up' and continue pistol shooting at the Hussars and Dragoons while the distant Elite Vinny's Vincibles formed up into battle line and moved to flank position.

Stagonian cavalry recovered first, while in the north the IR O'Duffy was routed, being reduced from 6 companies to less than one which was ragged and shell-shocked after standing taking fire from Frankzonian batteries for close to three hours! These were the three hours that political officers Graf Adolf von Voss and du Vile argued over the meaning of the word 'advance'!

Not waiting for the Frankzonians to get into position the Benzler Dragoons charged into the heavy cavalry of HC Reiters. It was a gamble by the Benzler Dragoons, but it paid off, though not without penalty, as both formations of cavlary lost at least a full squadron in the melee, with the Benzler Dragoons coming out the better for it, vile Stagonia then kept the momentum and followed up the charge with a lively pursuit that shattered another squadron of HC Reiters.

While the cavalry charge was finishing, Brigadier Prinz Robert (the) Axe finally succeeded against the Foot Longs 2nd Battalion, it took both the Poulardes (plump chickens) and Formies Rouge (fire ants) to take the north hill, but at long last; 5 hours actually; he was standing alone atop this hill with a fresh battery of artillery ready to pour fire and destruction into the ranks of the Foot Longs 1st Battalion.

Aware now that his cavalry was going to be outnumbered, Brigadier Shlidelisht changed tactics and prepared his elite Vinny's Vincibles to move south, beyond the range of the blown vile Stagonian cavalry. He sent word to General L'Haugen Bienz, to the effect that the south was not secure, the cavalry would need a day to rest and re-organize, he Brigadier Shlidelisht would take an alternate route across the river to the south, then re-form with the remaining Frankzonian troops outside the city of Frankzonia, as defence of the great city must remain a priority, whatever gains were to be had here in Offenbach were now only of secondary importance. Brigadier Shlidelisht essentially told General L'Haugen Bienz that this battle was over and it was a loss.

General L'Haugen Bienz knew of this first hand as he could personally see the battery of artillery setting up on the great hill to his left, Offenbach troops had only manned their defences, they did not seem to do much more than take up space.

Perhaps he should have simply stormed the town and blasted that fort himself...as he had wanted to do two days ago!

Time for lost opportunity was gone, as were the Foot Longs 2nd Battalion, Frankfurt Guild Militia Battalion, and apparently Hillary's Hussies!

General L'Haugen Bienz wasted no further time in the deepening gloom of a fresh downpour and the shadows of night upon them he ordered the general retreat, vile Stagonia would have to pay for this victory yet!

Early Look at Battle of Offenbach

Things have not gone well for Stagonia during the early stages of the Battle of Offenbach. Brigadier Graf Adolf von Voss seemed to have a great deal of difficulty getting his brigade to lead the attack on the Frankzonian forces.

Then, once he finally started, he quickly screeched to a halt . . . and, despite orders from C-in-C General Baron Gaspar du Vile, seemed unable to get them moving again. Meanwhile the Frankzonian artillery continued to pound the lead battalion, that of Colonel O'Duffy, when this reporter had to leave.

For more information, refer to:

http://stagonia.blogspot.com/

and (sometime later -- after the battle is over), a fuller battle report should be found at:

http://murdocksmarauders.blogspot.com/

The Tradgardland Broadsheet


After an uneventful voyage from Gallia a frigate mysteriously caught fire in Althavn Harbour. Whilst the Captain was at Supper- a guest of the newly returned and celebrated Von Bergman, the crew discovered a fire which was unable to be put out. Two shadowy figures were seen swimming away at about that time. Any information leading to arrests will gain a significant reward.
The Gallian Crew are being comforted and are in good spirits. Rumour has it that enemies of the recent Gallian Tradgardland rapprochement are to blame . Only time will tell.

Compliments, Wishes and Apologies.

We, Louys of Monte-Cristo, offer Our most sincere wishes and compliments to the newly wedded Grafein of Zolms-Braunburg and Graf of Zolms-Braunwald. Let their union be happy and blessed with peace and prosperity.

We present to Our Dear Young Cousins Our deepest regrets for the unjustifiable absence of any special Monte-Cristan Representative of high enough Status at their wonderful Ceremony. Our diplomatic (and other) "Agencies" failed miserably to keep Us informed in due time of the situation in the Furstschaft of Zolms: some heads will roll (figuratively speaking, of course: let no blood spoil this union! And, as any Monte-Cristan, We have a visceral hatred of any violence - obviously)!


A group of young Monte-Cristan ladies, carrying this Letter, will immediatly depart from the Presipality to present the Newly-Weds with pine-seed dragees and other typical Monte-Cristan delicacies, and two richely illustrated old books of appropriate nature from the Presipapal Library.

With all Our Paternal affection,
written by Our Own Hand and signed
Louys

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Offenbach Tuba Works...battle looms

In the post dawn light sentries of the Offenbach Militia "Legrand's Brass" are changing, when one spies a dark mass approaching from the north road...

"ALARM! TO ARMS! TO ARMS!" Two of the other sentries rush to the nearby barn to alert the company officers.

Moments later dozens, then hundreds of men have rushed into ragged formations, their volunteer sergeants hastilly pushing men into files or lines in an effort to make a good show, at least once, before a foe. Further shouting of alarm can be heard towards the works and center of town as Steiner's Strings are being similarly mustered (so as to be able to 'cut' it).
A few officers were ready, most are still buttoning tunics as they emerge from the barns and outbuildings next to the works, Colonel Legrand himself is seen tugging at a boot a number of times before finally limping to the center of the line of men now formed before the road barricade.

The color of Colonel Legrand's skin turns a very pale gray as he sees a battery of artillery being manhandled into position pointed straight at him...thru the misty rain he can also see companies of dark tunic'd men forming behind and to the sides of the guns. Swallowing hard and trying to find moisture in his mouth the Colonel dabs at his mouth with his hankerchief before calling for the count of his Battalion.


--- across the divide ---

Oberst Pfennighalter shivers slightly, as his clothes are soaked and his fast marching was keeping him warm, but now as the men are forming lines he has time to feel the cold morning air. The artillery battery is formed, but the gun captain has twice reminded Pfennighalter that the train is incomplete and that, at best he has three shots, with only one of them grapeshot which he was loading now. The train waggons were bogged down totally in the mud and every officers horse along with some oxen that had been 'requisitioned' from the nearby farmers were hard at work to get the ammunition wagons closer to the new 'front'.

Moreover, he was going to have to do this operation with only 3 companies from the 2nd Foot Longs, as General Beinz wanted the camp fully manned in case the Stagonians decided to 'raid' with their marauding cavalry...something that Pfennighalter would have to face alone if that 'raid' happened to be targeted at the Works. Supposedly Shlidelisht was out 'managing' any potential raiding. The Hussars were being worked heavily, with the 'Heavies' spending lots of time, grooming, much more than needed was what Pfennighalter thought.

None of the troops Pfennighalter had at hand were of a 'flank' nature, so he would have to make a 'show' of force and hope that it was enough to convince the Offenbach Militia that they should not fight against him. General Beinz was very specific in his order,

"Remember all! We are hear to protect Offenbach, not destroy it ... it is Stagonia vee must bury und nich praise, Jah?"

So now what was he to do?
If the Offenbach Militia fired on him, it would be most natural to fire back, and yet he knew that to resist firing and take that time to cross the ground, might permit him to carry the defences and blocks. He could take the Tuba Works with minimal losses to the Offenbach soldiery, this alone might even convince them to 'change sides'.
If he fired back with cannon, he would likely shatter the Militia, but that show of force would not do him well if the other Battalion of Militia was nearby, and Pfennighalter had no way of knowing if they were or not.

Patience seemed to be the better option for the moment, at least it would give the Ordinnance time to get closer with the ammunition waggons.


--- Offenbach Town Square ---

"Form a column. A COLUMN!" Shouted Colonel Steiner, a command that was echoed by the company officers. His 'battalion' was somewhat short of men, he had at least a dozen sergants out knocking doors and outbuildings to find the missing, but time was of the essence as it the messenger had come with news that artillery from Frankzonia was setting up outside town. Were the Frankzonians really ready to blast them with cannon?

Steiner's men were still forming when from the town Burgomeister's home came that dandy, James Ryan, the Earl of Flynn along with Graf von Offenbach followed by General Leopold. Seeing the General waving him over, Colonel Steiner marched smartly over, scowling at a sergent with four men on a rope and motioning for them to stay put behind a garden wall.

"Colonel", Graf von Offenbach started, "We have reached agreement with the Frankzonians." He nodded to Ryan.
"You will escourt the Earl of Flynn to the Frankzonian lines nearby," he waved his hands to the north, "Then you will support our other militia should the Frankzonians take umbrage with our terms."

The Colonel nodded to the Graf, glancing to the General he saw him nodding the affirmative slowly.

"Yes, excellency." Colonel Steiner saluted and turned back to his men marching with them towards the north, the Earl of Flynn strode leisurely in the rear.

Graf von Offenbach was about to turn back into his home, when a clatter of hoofbeats drew him back, watching a dragoon gallop up to the General.

"Report," said General Leopold simply.

The ruffled dragoon saluted and looked to the Graf,
"Excellency! Our Dragoon patrols are all but shattered in a number of small actions to the south and west we have encountered large numbers of Stagonian cavalry." he was exhausted and the General helped the man off the horse to his feet, then into the Burgomeister's Hall.



"Tell me where you encountered them again," stated the general once the dragoon had time to take a seat and gather his breath.

Homeward bound



Von Bergman takes a turn around the deck,the combination of music, good wine and company have left their mark upon him. Soon refreshed and reinvigorated he borrows the telescope from a passing sailor and surveys the horizon.A familiar sight meets his eyes- the towers and buildings of Althavn. Landfall will be in no time at all.

Von Bergman has persuaded the captain spend a night in port after taking in the sights of Tradgardland. He suggests that the captain waits in order that the Duke may send written greetings to the Gallian King.This is agreed to with mutual pleasure.The frigate soon enters harbour. Von Bergman has come home!

Frankszonian ditty

The Black Skirts and militia tolling through the muddy hills to Offenbach are cheered by a little ditty with the following refrain:

"Oh pity the petty, vile kinglet called Maurice
Who must keep all the secrets of his state in his valise:
Some panties so pretty,
Some garter so gritty,
And pictures that quickly he must hide from his police!!"

Friday, October 19, 2007

Offenbach town square...

Yet another meeting, just as the rain abated as evening shadows drew on...

This time between the good James Ryan, the Earl of Flynn and Graf von Offenbach.

The meeting ended and Offenbach called for his military commanders, along with a dispatch rider from the volunteer dragoons, all of them withdrew to a small house outside the medaeval fort whose decrepit walls were now manned by Soweiter troops of the Hesse-Offenbach Marching Band. A 'military' councel is convened, at its conclusion the good James Ryan, the Earl of Flynn rides away with a dragoon section of escourt towards the Frankzonian encampment.

An astute artist captures this moment for posterity.

The war clouds are dark and again threaten rain, along the way to the Frankzonian piquet lines the good James Ryan, the Earl of Flynn cannot but help to notice the hundreds of bivouac fires lit to the west as the sun sets on this last 'pleasant' day in Offenbach.

Von Bergman and matters nautical and musical


With the seagulls circling overhead in the brilliant Autumn sunshine Von Bergman leans on the Galley rail. He muses upon all that has passed. Was it the right decision to ignore the invitation to converse with the beautiful young woman? Should he have at least heard what she had to say?

His reverie is broken by the cry of the lookout informing all that the frigate is in sight. Von Bergman returns to below decks to check all is in order for the transfer. He dearly awaits his first sight of the Duchy and has much to tell.

An hour later ,ensconced within the frigate Von Bergman takes a glass with the Captain.

Give you joy of your return home Monsieur Bergmann!

And you of your Command my Dear Captain!
Now my dear Von Bergman I have my violin tuned and ready,music composed and transcribed lying on the table. My spare oboe awaits you monsieur. Let us play together my new composition- Von Bergman's return to the Duchy.
It will be an honour Sir- I am ready ...

The Ambassador Reports

“So they finally got married, Peter?”

“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.”

Aftermath

Norris’ horse picked its way warily through the debris and bodies, while the rider watched for any movement among the corpses. Nearby, some women from the local village were already stripping the valuables from a pile of fallen Imperial soldiers.

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?”

“No. Dismissed.”

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?”

Offenbach lines formed

"Herr Oberst!" called a soaked subaltern of the Frankfurt Guild Jager company. A hooded and cloaked man waved back to him and both hustled thru the muddy street in a downpour.

The two officers hustled to "The Oak" a roadside coaching house and current Frankzonian Headquarters.

In the main room both took off their cloaks and glancing about saw dozens of other officers crowded either around the fire, drying out themselves or huddled over a plan map of the Offenbach area, in discussions.

Oberst Hillenbrand, shaking his shoulders again after taking off the wet travelling cloak, his suspenders never did get properly set this morning, stepped closer to the fire long enough to drop off the wet cloak and grab a jug of wine, then walked to just behind the other officers at the map. He turned to the still wet and uncomfortable subaltern whom had followed him, eyes blazing and seeming to burst with his urgency.

"Very well," Oberst Hillenbrand began to pour a mug of wine for both of them, "What news from the piquets?"

"We are driven back sir." letting the gravity of the news and tone of voice tell for him the situation.

Oberst Hillenbrand shoved his way to the map and elbowed away another junior officer to let the sabaltern to the map,
"Where?" he nodded to the map.

The subaltern considered the map layout then moving his hand in a broad arc past the two major hills that dominated the west road into Offenbach he stated,
"All three stations have been pushed back to the brow of both hills, we shall likely spend the night either in the fort, if the Soweiter regulars will open the gates, or at the very least in the lee of the hills away from enemy view."

Oberst Hillenbrand considered this,
"So the Soweiter troops are marching out from the town now?"

"NO Herr Oberst, we are being driven back by the advance guard and mercenary cavalry of the Stagoinans!" the young man spat at the floor after saying the last word.

Oberst Hillenbrand eyes went wide a moment, then he looked again back to the map. He drained the mug of wine then simply stated,
"Everyone remain here, we shall need runners before the night is out."
Oberst Hillenbrand then purposefully strode into General Beinz's room that he was using for an office, the aide de Camp shouting for him to stop as he passed...

In like Flynn

General Leopold and his officers conducting their council of war, planning for the impending action at the Offenbach Tuba Works.
General Leopold: "We will set up defenses around the Tuba works outside the town walls. From this position we can fall back on the town walls if need be. The dragoons will be sent out to scout the enemy forces and attempt to discern their disposition."

James Ryan, the Earl of Flynn, rides full-tilt into the town square of the city of Offenstadt in the graftum of Hesse-Offenbach. Quickly alighting from his lathered horse (heck of a time for a shampoo and rinse!) he rushes to find the Graf von Offenbach in his offices in his town residence near the town square.
"Your Grafness, at the request of the League Council I have been in communication with the Frankzonians and have come to ask you to reconsider the Frankzonian offer. It would be sheer madness to try to stand up to both the Frankzonian forces and the Stagonian forces that will soon make their appearance. I have the honor to present this clarification of the Frankzonian offer."

One: Offenbach retains its membership and participation in the Soweiter League.
Two: Offenbach shall appoint two representatives to the Frankfurter Bundt to represent its interests.
These first 2 terms are clarifications of the the relationships involved between the various entities and in no way imply relinquishing of Offenbach sovereignty.
Three: Offenbach welcomes a Frankszonian alliance against vile Stagonian aggression.
Four: Offenbach’s military shall be incorporated as intact allied units into the Frankszonian forces observing Vile Stagonia.

Offenbach reserves the right to defend its own territory and to maintain its primary allegiance to the Soweiter League. While Offenbach has the freedom to enter into temporary agreements with other nations to protect its interests this alliance is provisional pending discussions and ratification by the League Council.

Meanwhile, is that the distant sound of cannon-fire?

"Look!" said Jane. "Look! Look! Look!"

Or, as the librarian at the Unseen University would say, "Ook, Ook!"
A proposal was made to generate games which could be resolved by our isolated (like me) players with their collections.
Frankly, I'm quite happy with how Offenbach Crisis is turning out ... it looks good to generate at least two games. Though I do apologize for the bad Limericks. Gen. Woad is my wife's creation, and he is supposedly obsessed with writing these and having loud voiced sergeants shout them across the lines before a battle ....
And given that the lovely pictures that I get to post are her work, I keep her happy!!
(of course, there are also other reasons to keep her happy, but they're not directly a concern of our blog! LOL)

Now folks, we're having a lot of fun here ...
Could perhaps a few more of you join the glee?
Pick a map neighbor you have little chance of ever gaming with, set up a scenario between the two of you, and recruit volunteers to play it out ...
One key which I'm trying to work with this scenario is to have the reconcilation mechanism in place even before the muskets go bang!

And really, it's fun!

Arthur

News of Offenbach

Soaked to the skin the Frankzonian Hussar stood outside the commanders door, awaiting an invitiation to enter by either the General or an Aide de Camp.

Moments later a voice called from behind him,

"What is the matter?"

Oberst Hillenbrand, officer of the day was still straightening out his tunic and suspenders.

The soaked Hussar offered a much drier oilskin pouch to the senior officer, whom at once opened it and noted the seal of Brigadier Woad as he broke the wax.

Reading it as is the message made no sense, it was talking about some family birthdays and giving a weather report saying something about the road conditions in northern germany, then went on about his sister ... the Oberst was certain that the good Brigadier had only two brothers? Shaking his head in confusion the Oberst went into the General's room.

The General applied the code-mask to the text and the real message became clear.

"The roads in and around Frankzonia are impassible to heavy waggons and carts due to the inclement rains having turned them to muddy bogs anywhere near the river. Barges cannot pass under the south gate bridge, again due to the rains the river has swollen and is too high to permit the passage under the great bridge. I shall have to move the ordinnace via roads away from the riverside and this will delay the arrival of my column by no more than two days. I estimate reaching your camp by monday afternoon earliest."

Upon finishing the translation the General simply said,

"Bring in the map."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Offenbach territory fills with armed units

The regions around the town of Offenbach and its works are filling with military units.

Already there has been a military command established at the gasthaus and a 'camp' has sprung up around it, Frankzonian forces are mustering and being 'quartered' in homes and barns in the area as rains continue to fall.
Among the comings and goings at this makeshift headquarters is a carriage, following this carriage was a queer meeting, that forced out all the multifarious officers from the common room and out into the rain. Their grumbles were only lessened by an issue of wine and spirits (coming from the officer's baggage train, could it be that General Bienz's personal stock was tapped to quiet so many senior officers being treated this way?).

Upon the conclusion of the meeting there was another hurried gathering in the street, where a rider was hard dispatched with escort and a pass thru the Frankzonian lines to the town defenders.

Ultimately it is the great Tuba Works that all this fuss is about and they are currently amply defended by two battalions of the Offenbach Militia.

What remains to be seen by these two encamped armies is the size of the immense Stagonian army that approaches...

A rider for Murdock'S MaruaderS appears to have the details.

Urgent Diplomacy near Offenbach

Even as the Frankszonian officers glower at the rascally captive, the carriage of l’Comte d’Beauphaup clatters into the yard. Everything is held in suspense as guards quickly leap to the door and assist the elegantly attired young diplomat descend from his ornate vehicle. Seeing the flouncy lace shake in the man’s springy step, the captive leans out the window and shouts, “Guiles!”
“Ryan! you scoundrel!” laughs the count. “Whatever are you doing with this crowd?”
“Same thing you like to do,” Ryan rejoins, “holding hands with the most hirsute guards.”
The guards momentarily flinch away from him, but the mutual laughter of the two men, keeps everyone else from intervening. As the count traipses into the room, he gets serious. “I’m glad to catch you here, Ryan. There’s work to be done.” Then, without a further comment to anybody , he pulls Ryan aside into another room from which they expel the various aides, clerks, and officers.
“Ryan,” the count begins, “you’ve got to help me get the Soweiter Burgomasters to reason. The Stagonian forces coming down the river outnumber both of us together, and Gen. Chevert is on the wrong side to intervene.”
“Reason, I suppose, means submission to your Hurtshog’s whims and abandonment of our ancient liberties?” retorts Ryan scornfully.
“No!” the count continues angrily. “That’s what the first provision was meant to secure! Your “ancient liberties” are not by Imperial Edict and have never been acknowledged by Hesse Darned Stadt nor by Nassau. Frankszonia, however, has all of that.”
“Just how does our inclusion as a Frankszonian town defend it for our selves?” Ryan responds skeptically.
“Look, the Frankfurter Bundt is NOT the Stadt Council of Frankszonia, never has been. Wurstinburgers and other great towns have always been represented ... joining the bundt actually increases your status as well as gives an almost automatic improvement to the whole Leagues status.”
“I’ve never heard of becoming a protectorate increasing anyone’s status!” Ryan snaps.
“A mutual defensive alliance might have sounded better,” Guiles admitted, “but do you really want your boys getting blown away in fights with Limburger or Munster or Hamburger? Let alone becoming Gallian cannon fodder.
“Look, the Hurtshog isn’t gaining all that much by this. He’ll lose the tarrifs on the hundreds of tubas you sell each year in Frankszonia; he’ll lose a major bit of the river tarrifs on traffic past the bridge. Moreover, as a Frankszonian “protectorate” he can pressure L’Intendant Bastille into dispatching the many fine crafts men and engineers from Gallia along with our own laborers for the restoration of your towns defenses. Scheise! three modern redoubts, even if just ditch and dirt, would triple your town’s resistance.”
“You can promise these engineers?”
“They’ll be here within 36 hours of any agreement.”
“So your officers can use our own men to seize rule in the town?” Ryan turns away, “You know us better than that!”
“Verdamnt! Ryan! ‘Intact units,’ ‘Intact units.’ Do you honestly belief any lieutenant, hauptman, or especialy a Feldwebel of Soweiter would permit such an abuse?”
“Then why under YOUR officers and command?”
“We’ve got the more troops. Your units are Reichs Armee trained, ours are Germanian ... orders from the commanding General would be confused by your obersts and intendants. Besides, the Hurtshog has put together a real army staff ... look at the guys next door!” The count pleaded. “Offenbach simply must let itself become an active part of the Frankszonian community!”
“We are ourselves, not you,” Ryan snarls. “And what happens if, no when, the Stadt Council tells you how to use your offers?”
“Get real, Ryan,” Guiles answers sadly. “Stagonia shall not be allowed to obtain the tuba works intact. I play an Offenbach tuba, what do you think I want?”
Ryan looks out the window at the traffic of messengers and patrols for a moment. “Guiles,” he says, “even if it ruins us, they can’t swallow the arrogance of the proclamation.”
“Then reword everything to whatever works.” the count urges. “We need commitments to achieving the purpose together ...” a sudden clatter interrupts them. The various Obersts are leaving, looking grim and purposeful and with determined strides to their soon galloping mounts.
“You know Haugen Bienz.” the count continues. “If a diamond ring would roll by his foot, he’d stomp on it in case it was green fly .... and Woad and the big guns will be here in hours. The Hurtshog doesn’t want to hurt a hut here, but Stagonia must not obtain the works intact.”
Beauphaup opens the door. “Bienz!” he shouts, “quickly, before you do anything else, get this man a pass through our lines, a good horse, and a neat aide to ride escort!”
“Ach!” the general replies, “you diplomat! Ve haff un grosse schlact hier und Sie vill to gift this rascal stuff stop our soldiers? Nein!”
“In the Duke’s Name!” Beauphaup responds more forcefully than any of the officers had ever heard. Suddenly, Beauphaup pulls of his heavy riding gloves and thrusts a ring under Haugen Bienz’s nose. “And, under the Seal von Frankfurter! Now yield and obey!”
“Ja! Ich musten!” the general stammers. “Schnell, ein Grande Pferd und mit him, Emil!”
Within moments, the two riders dash off into a swirling mist which is rising into the cold air ....


Taking the terms in order:
One: Offenbach retains its membership and participation in the Soweiter League.
This is a matter for the League and not something to be ruled on by foreign nations.
Two: Offenbach shall appoint two representatives to the Frankfurter Bundt to represent its interests.
The League is more than willing to send an ambassadorial contingent to Frankfurter to represent the interests of the League and its members.
Three: Offenbach shall accept Frankszonian protection.
While Hesse-Offenbach and the Soweiter League is quite capable of defending itself we would graciously accept, as equals, an alliance against Vile Stagonia or other enemies of the League.
Four: Offenbach’s military shall be incorporated as intact units into the Frankszonian forces observing Vile Stagonia.
Hesse-Offenbach as a member of the Soweiter League cannot and will not place its forces under the command of foreign officers.

Developments at the camp near Offenbach

A piquet of Hillary’s Hussies beyond Offenbach spots a bedraggled officer sneaking towards them in the dark. As they dash forward to seize him, he exclaims: “Frankzonians! Oh Blessed Spirits!” and collapses. When they carry the unconscious man into camp, another officer recognizes the missing Oberst Bratmann!
Brig. Shlidelisht quickly orders him brought to the quarters of L'Haugen Bienz, where they carefully give him a few drops of schnapps. Bratmann revives for a moment, recognizes a friend and exclaims, “Franz, Franz, Die Stagonian marchen!” The battered man collapses again amid the exclamations of alarm from the assembled officers.

L'Haugen Bienz moves quickly to the map table. “Meinen Herren, ve musten machen schnell!
Kommen Sie.” He quickly marks out on his charts new positions, concentrating his forces on the western side of Offenbach. “Im der Morgen,” he continues, “ve shall by ein battalion uff Nathan’s Nationals und der 1st Black Skirts under Brig. Woad be joined. They escort a supply convoy und ein battery uff 24 lbrs. When they arrive, they will our second line immediatly deploy as. Die grosser guns, aber, will be unlimbered against the crumpled section and open fire immediately. Aber, against der vall und stone alone must they fire. When any breach appears, the Reiters will dash forward, discharge their pieces towards the town, and then retire if anyone returns a sinlge shot.
If ve can the Offenbach men out of the town draw, ve may be able to ride ofer dem vithout hurting them too bad.
Remember all! We are hear to protect Offenbach, not destroy it ... it is Stagonia vee must bury und nich praise, Jah?
If we musten the walls assault, we must carry through on the first rush or pull back into our entrenched camp.
This battle must bevore the Vile Stagonians arrive be over!”

As the staff begins to write out the necessary orders, a shout resounds from a guard outside the house where they are working. Soon, a dapper gentleman is dragged into the room by soldiers.
“We caught him beneath the staff room window, Mein Herr,” their corporal reports.
“Ach!” L'Haugen Bienz exclaims, “und, whom might you be? Vile Stagonian Spy!”
“Oh, hardly that!” the captive impudently chuckles .....

graffitti appearing along the Main River

Stagonian Verses:

I don’t know, though I have heard
That the cuckoo is the Stagonian bird.

Though clearly descended from Father of Lies,
That’s not why horns are above the Stagonian eyes.
It’s a question of legitimacy,
And perhaps too much intimacy
With what a small drink in Stagonia buys!

Old Stagonia must sponsor the writer’s art.
See how great is just fiction’s real part
With colorful mendacity
Recounting their descendency
Where mothers can’t tell the fathers apart!

The tale of Stagonia’s minister’s execution
Is a rumor precluding a proper prosecution
For the mangled man’s state
When crushed by the weight
While evading a stronger husband’s perception.

If Bob’s your uncle by a relation
Not found in a legal, recorded compilation,
In Stagonia, no fuss;
Indeed it’s a plus
To be born into such a relative complication!

No wonder Stagonian noses stick in the air,
For looking down, their men could never dare. .
If he chanced a quick glance
Down about his pink pants,
He’d find much less than he expected there!

We have not yet begun to fight!

The small force preparing to defend Offenbach from the aggression and depredation of foreign armies is under a bit of a quandary. It appears there are 2 powers marching on Offenbach, the Frankzonians, who have sent demands for submission, and the Stagonians, who have previously threatened members of the Soweiter League. Which is the real threat? Or are both? Can Offenbach hold out against both or either?

The forces of other members of the League that are not ocuppied elsewhere will be mounting a relief expedition, but this will take time. We can only hope the Offenbach forces can hold out long enough.

The Soweiter League asks only that other civilized nations witness these acts of aggression against our sovereignty and do what is right when the time comes.

Never give up! Never surrender!

Versailles ,once more.......


Von Bergman picks up the young woman's fan, smiles at her, hands it over to her and says that he awaits a vital meeting and bids her good night. As she leaves the French delegation come into sight , bid him welcome and ask him to join them in private to discuss urgent matters.........

Update on the Texas Big Battalions Game in 2008

Gentlemen,
XXXX
In order to not "clutter up" the other Groups and Blogs that we all belong to, Ed Youngstrom and I have created a Blog specifically for the Texas Big Battalions Game in 2008 that you can find here:
XXXX
http://texasbigbattalions2008.blogspot.com/
XXXX
The Blog contains links to all of the relevant information that you should need. Please direct your questions, offers to participate, helpful suggestions (or derisive jeers), etc. to the comments section of this Blog-spot. Or, you can e-mail me at wpmchenry@charter.net offline.
XXXX
Respectfully, Sir William of M'Uedail and Sir Edward, the Landgraf of Hesse-Fedora

Soweiter threat is real!

The rumors swirling around the Stagonian forces massing on the borders of the Soweiter League are now rumored no longer.

A massive force of three Infantry Brigades, a Cavalry Brigade and train of artillery have begun to cross into the Soweiter League!

Their destination is not yet certain, however tavern talk has it that the Works of Offenbach are the target, if not to seize the entire lands of Hesse-Offenbach, then at the very least to capture what ordinance can be obtained from the works.

The leaders of the Soweiter League must now come to grips with this foe or risk losing the entire region. The Frankzonian forces that had halted pending the talks are now going to have a forced march to make it to Offenbach in time to form-up with the Offenbach defenders and formulate a plan...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Versailles


Von Bergman waits in the library , as prearranged, at the appointed time . This is to be his final discussion prior to taking a galley back to Tradgardland. He has enjoyed the wonders of the French court but looks forward to the alefest and northern light of his homeland. He has been away for an age he muses. Anyway patience is the order of the day. He returns to his reading matter - a medieval bestiary gifted to a French Monarch by a Tradgardland Duke 300 years ago. His eyes alight upon the beautifully illuminated Phoenix ( a symbol of Christ's Resurrection) in the tome on his lap. He is reminded of hopes for the great days of renewal under Gallia that is eagerly awaited. Von Bergman hears steps approaching and looks up....

Feedback or Input Requested

Gentlemen,
XXXX
I have recently been in communication with Ed Youngstrom (the Landgraviate of Hesse-Fedora), and would like to request your input on one of our discussion matters. Both the Landgraviate of Hesse-Fedora and the Duchy of M'Uedail have "colonies" in the land called Texas. It seems that there is one major wargaming convention in central Texas every year known as MilleniumCon, and it is held in the hamlet of Austin. This year's convention is November 9-11 and Ed already has something planned for a chap named Napoleon. We would like to arrange for a Big Battalion Game at next year's convention. Ed is in a position of authority with the Lone Star Historical Miniatures Association, the dominant club in Texas and the organizer's of this convention, and can guarantee an appropriate setting for the game. And, of course, both M'Uedail and Hesse-Fedora will be mustering as many troops as they are able to.
XXXX
We are trying to determine who and how many, if any, might be interested in a visit to Texas around the 2nd weekend of November, 2008. I realize that is a long time from now, and would of course not expect "firm" commitments from anyone. We are just trying to get a "feel" for any interest in traveling to Texas to help us determine if the idea is even feasible. Austin has excellent airport connections, local transportation can be arranged, and the convention is held in an excellent hotel. There are, of course, many other entertaining "distractions" in Austin as well for after hours.
XXXXX
We are attempting to get as many local gamers involved as possible, but right now that is not looking promising. I think much of it is the usual, "I'll play but I can't (or won't) paint all those figures." We are even lowering our sights somewhat and only seeking 42 to 48 figure Battalions for the 1st (of what we hope will become an annual) game. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.
XXXXX
Sir William

Combat looms on the horizon of Offenbach

Offenbach, of the Soweiter League, has a major army of the Kingom of Stagonia marching upon it.

These forces have been gazetted at Murdock'S MarauderS

While the fate of the Offenbach Tuba Works hangs in the balance it would appear that the 'allied' forces of Frankzonia and the Soweiter Leage have still not settled their designs and designated a command structure...

This 'divided' force is a bonus for the Stagonians, as they may be able to seize the Works and leave the two 'allies' to continue to argue while they take the Works and the spoils...

Plans afoot....

Feldmarschall Antonious Strudel rides with his escorts within the Austrian Netherlands. He has much to prepare since the communication was received from Altberg. He rides to the camp where the infantry are beginning to think of winter quarters.
If plans go well they will spend the winter within the walls rather than here in tents muses Strudel to himself...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Response to Frankzonia

Having received the Count L’Beauphaup's message Hesse-Offenbach must refuse the offered terms.

Hesse-Offenbach, as a sovereign member of the Soweiter League, cannot and will not agree to submit to having terms dictated by a foreign power. Further, Hesse-Offenbach will not be coerced into being placed under "protection" nor to having it's forces submit to the command of a foreign officer.

Taking the terms in order:
One: Offenbach retains its membership and participation in the Soweiter League.
This is a matter for the League and not something to be ruled on by foreign nations.
Two: Offenbach shall appoint two representatives to the Frankfurter Bundt to represent its interests.
The League is more than willing to send an ambassadorial contingent to Frankfurter to represent the interests of the League and its members.
Three: Offenbach shall accept Frankszonian protection.
While Hesse-Offenbach and the Soweiter League is quite capable of defending itself we would graciously accept, as equals, an alliance against Vile Stagonia or other enemies of the League.
Four: Offenbach’s military shall be incorporated as intact units into the Frankszonian forces observing Vile Stagonia.
Hesse-Offenbach as a member of the Soweiter League cannot and will not place its forces under the command of foreign officers.

While we deeply regret the possibility of enmity between our 2 great nations Hesse-Offenbach, backed up by the other members of the Soweiter League will defend itself from foreign invasion.

University sends medical teams

Fürstin Katharina Universität Conradstadt, the premier university in Hesse-Engelburg and a revered institution of higher learning, has suspended all medical classes in order to assemble teams of medical students to offer their services to all sides in the recent major battle as reports of severe casualty rates have come in. Their Graces have given their approval to the venture, and issued a letter reminding all concerned that the Principality of Hesse-Engelburg remains neutral in this conflict, and requesting that troops of all sides treat the medical teams with the respect and consideration they deserve for their selfless act of going forth to assist with a flow of wounded that is doubtless difficult for any one medical systems to deal with.

Conference between Bastille and the Hurtshog

Conference notes between L’Intendant Bastille and Hurtshog Fahrtz.

Infantry Regiment Sanders / Chicken to be recalled and restored to full strength,
I.R. Relischer under Oberst Pickle is to replace it in Gen. Chevert’s corps.
1st Hottatrot battalion is to be changed similarly for the 2nd Hottatrot battalion.

Nathan’s Nationals (militia) is to form a battalion and march with 1st Black Skirts under Brig. Woad. They will escort a supply convoy and a battery of 24 lbrs to the camp at Offenbach.

The Count L’Beauphaup will attempt to obtain Offenbach’s agreement to the following terms:
One: Offenbach retains its membership and participation in the Soweiter League.
Two: Offenbach shall appoint two representatives to the Frankfurter Bundt to represent its interests.
Three: Offenbach shall accept Frankszonian protection.
Four: Offenbach’s military shall be incorporated as intact units into the Frankszonian forces observing Vile Stagonia.

Ducal Proclamation:

Frankzonians!

After its insulting note to our great friends, the Soweiter League,
Vile Stagonia instituted a program of covert sabotage and incindarism against Tipplebruder.
In Righteous Anger, our young men have marched to Offenbach to help guard them against similar nefarious aggression.
Alas!
Alas!
Vile Stagonian agents have already planted their insidious poison into the body of that fine city!
Misled as to our friendly and wholly honorable intentions, the citizens of Offenbach have given Stagonia a gift of their own valiant forces.
Now, the horrible tragedy looms that we, who should be brothers feasting together, may soon engage in the hateful horrors of battle!
Frankszonians!
It is this very pestiferous, petty pride that precludes our honorable German communities from enjoying those awesome attributes of acknowledged autonomy. It is this refusal to unite against the criminals in our own midst that yields our fields to foreigners!
Unite!
Rally to the Right!
Congregate with your comrades in the community of the committed!
Reach out to your relatives and associates afar, that conglomerated together we can grind this beastly boar into sausage!

Long Prosper Frankszonia!!!

dispatch from near Offenbach to Frankfurter

Dispatch from General Bienz:
To: His Highness Stanken, the Hurtshog Fahrtz von Frankfurter

Sire:

On approaching the town of Offenbach, we found that the local stadt council refused our generous offer of protection against the nefarious plots of Vile Stagonia. Indeed, a crowd of ruffians and mechanics assumed a motley of “uniforms” and have challenged our colors, threatening to attack our camp unless we withdraw.

After a council of war with Brig. Shlidelisht and Oberst Pfennighalter, we have decided to entrench our camp and retain our position on the outskirts of Offenbach. We hear that vile Stagonian agents have influenced the city mob in order to bring about this confrontation.

Perhaps, Your Highness, a high level diplomatic mission may yet defuse this situation, though there has been some random firing along the piquet lines.

Y’r srvnt.
Huagen Bienz

To Arms! The Battle Rages!

Okay, first of all, on the Yahoo group,Old School Wargamers, there's been some lovely information posted about the great battle .... and Alte Fritz has his pictures up ... and more may be forthcoming elsewhere.
Sounds like a grinding crunch of an operational draw ... Thank God, it was a game!
Also sounds like those of us who missed this event will regret it for a long, long time ... and, alas, that includes me, though I expect that next year, when I've finished setting up Edie's studio, I'll have tons of pleasure from that instead!

Bill, I told you I should have shipped my figures up there! Just think, an extra three hundred plus infantry and one more gun for the Gallian Alliance on that right wing ...
:)

Secondarily, the proxy game of Soweiter defending Offenbach against the haughty "protection" force from Frankszonia seems to be getting under way ...
So ... now that the rumble's started. How's about some other guys getting a proxy game going?
I'd volunteer to game it out myself :)

Army Headquarters, Austrian Netherlands

Sitting in his book lined study Feldmarchall Antonious Strudel looks up from his theological tome, disturbed by a cough from his Aide de Camp.
Excellency, sorry to disturb your time of contemplation but here is the long awaited dispatch from Altberg.
Read it to me Max
Yes Excellency. It reads as follows: From Sean Dow , Altberg Town Guard, to Antonious Strudel.
Greetings ,old friend, I trust this finds you well. Now is the time to move ,the city is yours for the taking,the Town Council divided as ever! I await your instructions!

Thank you Max !Leave me now I have much to think about..........

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Apologies from the Soweiter League

Please excuse my extended absence. A long, but not serious, illness sidelined me for a while longer than I liked. I did get over it, just in time for a long-planned and much-needed vacation. I'm back now and trying to catch up on all of the activity in the various blogs of the ImagiNations, SOD, etc.

In response to the proposal for a proxy battle involving the Soweiter league I would be pleased to have this happen. As I am painting some American Revolution minis (in addition to a number of other minis) I think it would be quite fitting to envision the forces defending Offenbach to be sort of analogous to the Americans. I must confess I am a bit uncertain on how forces in such a situation might be organized. I'm thinking something along the lines of a defensive force mostly composed of citizen-soldiers. Mostly infantry and artillery (the Offenbach Tuba Works converted to producing guns while war is in the offing?). The minis I have currently include 3 infantry units (at least that is how I plan to paint them), and 2 artillery pieces (1 howitzer and one cannon - 6 pounder?), and 3 mounted officers. Of course the defending force does not have to be limited to my (mostly unpainted) minis, but that seems like a good starting point.

Your humble servant,
Zurik Fitz-Badger

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The World Waits to Hear . . .

A hush has fallen over the imagi-nations of 18th century Europa. Somewhere between Minden and Hamm a pair of armies have met in a titanic clash of arms.

This battle, with forces of such size that no living man knows of its like may not decide the fate of Europa . . . on the other hand, it may. So the world waits to hear what's happened . . . who has won . . . who has fallen . . . who will be next to face the "Elephant".


-- a town crier waiting for news

Friday, October 12, 2007

Interesting (I Think) Treatise on Painting Plastics

Kind Sirs;
XXXX
May I please direct your attention towards my alter-ego site, Sir William's World of Wargaming, for a treatise, with photo's, on my observations regarding the prepping and painting of plastics. I do not claim, by any stretch of the imagination, to be an expert or "the final word" on the subject. However, I have had an interesting opportunity to "torture test" some painted plastics and would like to share the conclusions drawn. Many thanks, as always, for your attention and patience. That Blog-spot is found here: http://sirwilliamswargames.blogspot.com/
XXXX
I would especially appreciate feedback and comparisons from Will McNally, Stokes Schwartz, Allen M., and any of the other fine gentlemen out there who are also utilizing plastic for their gaming endeavors.
XXXXX
Respectfully, Sir William

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Battle of Seifreidsburg




Draft Report posted on Frankszonia blog, and in the Yahoo groups: SocDaisy and Old School Wargamers ....


photo albums in SocDaisy ... will also be posted to Frankszonia over the next few days ...


:)
Hurtshog Stahnken Fhartz v Frankfurter

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Audience 3

Von Bergman :
Your Majesty , Gentlemen many thanks for your words of wisdom and council . If i may prevail upon your hospitality further until your experts give you their ideas. I await the outcome of deliberations with great interest. That is all I wish and need to say at present.

A Proclamation...

The Free Imperial City of Altberg calls upon all free Cities of independent and fraternal mind to consider this proclamation with due gravity-
We this day proclaim the founding of The Altberg Free league. We ask others to join us for mutual benefit in trade upon land and sea as well as aid in times of war.Those interested are asked to write directly to the The Burgomeister c/o The Rathaus Altberg Freie Reichsstadt .

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Audience 2

Von Bergman sips and speaks:
Your Majesty I convey the greetings of Duke Karl Frederick and of the Duchy to you. He has long admired you and what you have done for France ,ney Europa, and for the Faith. He asked that I convey his earnest desire for Gallia and Tradgardland to come closer in all ways both here and in the new World. With Gallia as our guide the Duchy will prosper ever more.
The Duke asks for aid in mounting an expedition to the Shetland isles that we might be together a thorn in the flesh of Brittania. The isles are Tradgargian by right and history and we wish to hold them in joint sovereignty with yourselves. We seek ships and men to help mount the invasion. Your Majesty knows of the tragedy this Summer with the loss of many good men.
We also wish to Help upon the mainland of Europa and in the New World the cause of Gallia. With aid and support may we work together to be the Family of Europa with you as the Father and the Duke as your eldest and favoured son. Instruct, inform and supply us , Majesty , and you will find us willing and able!
Von Bergman sits down flushed with emotion and awaits the wise words of the King....

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Audience

Narrator: We are about to enter the Audience Chamber of the Gallian Royal Palace. As we walk forward, twenty foot tall doors painted in Louis XV blue with gilt fleur dy lys loom in front of us. Beside the double doors stand four guards casting their eyes upon us. Familiar with Gallian Diplomat l'Comte de Rapprochement, our escort, the sergeant momentarily halts ourselves and the Tradgardland Diplomat von Bergmann only briefly. The doors swing open and....
------------------
Guard: Monsieur l'Secretaire, l'Comte de Rapprochement et l'Tradgarland Diplomat von Bergmann are here to see the King at the appointed hour.

Secretaire: Oui. Entré, sil vous plait.
--------------------
Narrator: Within we are ushered to sit at the door edge of a large room by the secretary. Beyond we see ornate tapestries and flor to ceiling wall paintings of battles of Louis XIV, the King's father. The King sits at the far end of the room conversing at table with his Foreign Minister l'Prince de Charade and....
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Charade: Monsieurs, welcome. Come forward. [We rise and slowly walk forward with two of the aforementioned guards, Rapprochement and the secretary beside us. We stop near the table as Louis rises smiling.]

The King: Monsuer von Bergmann. I am so very glad to make your acquaintance. Please be very welcome and sit there. I am gratified to see, if I may say so, you look the picture of good health in spite of the vexing incident of June and your cruel injury. May I offer you some wine?

Narrator: A steward pours wine for us and replenishes the glasses of the King and l'Prince de Charade.

Charade: Your Majesty. Monsieur von Bergmann has jouneyed far if not by vast distances but in time delayed by his recuperation at the naval hospital at LeHavre. He brings the news I had the honour to mention to you two days ago from his Sovereign and from his colony in the New World.

The King: Oui. I am pleased to welcome his information in person to contemplate it and more.

Von Bergmann: Your Majesty I am honoured to be received today. Moreover I commence, if I may beg to do so, to compliment you on the skill of l'Capitaine and crew of l'Vengeance who brought me to LeHavre in spite of the unfortunate and unavoidable naval battle with the Britannian frigate Invinceable. The ships suregeon saved my life though it was in doubt. My recovery remained in doubt at the naval hosiptal but the care I was given there with sustained prayer proved to be the ace to heal me. The Sisters of Mercy partucularly cared for me with prodigious diligence. I am so very grateful Your Majesty.

The King: I thank you Monsieur for your very kind remarks and sentiments. You may be interested to know I honored l'Capitaine of l'Vengeance with the Nouvelle Ordre de Louis for his skill in the naval battle.

Von Bergmann: Deserved, I am sure, Your Majesty.

Charade: And now Monsieur, we would be pleased to hear the words of your Sovereign and that of the Administrator of your New World Colony - the purpose of your mission I believe.

Narrator: We pause dear readers for von Bergmann to commence. Sipping his wine he begins saying....
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