Tuesday, March 25, 2008



See these posts for background:
March 12, 2008 Interlude At Sea
March 13, 2008 Intermission Ashore
Locations mentioned below may be seen and are described on the internet.
All are real and fun to see and read about.

Admiral Suthren
Lt. Général Pierre l’Duc de Galantier
Flag Capitaine Aigle
Admiral Suthren’s Coxswain
Hesse-Engelburg Ambassador Colonel von Heiner
Hesse-Engleburg Kommodore Hans Mueller
Tradgardland Rebel Leader Van Olsen
Tradgardland Emissary Alisona
Capitaine Tojour: Officer in command of the Gallian shore party

Narrator: May I recall your vicarious contemplations back to March 3, 1758? In the early morning darkness a Gallian shore party of 100 regulars with Lt. Général Pierre l’Duc de Galantier off loaded from the frigate l’Vengeance (40). They stormed in from the sea on the Main Island of The Shetlands. Their mission, to rescue the lovely widow and emissary Alisona of Tradgardland who had already made her escape.

Meanwhile, Gallian Admiral Suthren’s two squadrons of 8 x 74s entered Bressay Sound to demonstrate and distract Tradgardland rebel forces in the main town of Lerwick. Upon arrival a squadron of Hesse-Engelburg warships was observed to lie peacefully at anchor in the harbor. Signals were exchanged resulting in Admiral Suthren being rowed to the Hesse-Engelburg flagship Gewitter for conversation, news and fate. And now….


Admiral Suthren’s Coxswain: Barely grinning and quietly inquiring, “Will you be using the fine entry port Sir or trust your legs to the steps up the tumble home?”

Suthren: [Smiling at his old friend] “The entry port is for my elders whose dignity would otherwise suffer. Up I go. [Jamming his tricornerd hat more snugly on his head, the Admiral ascended outward and then inward arriving at the main deck. After saluting the Hesse-Engelburg flag with his upraised hat, he turned to Kommodore Mueller grasping the latter’s outstretched hand.]

Mueller: “Welcome aboard Admiral. I am glad to meet you. Allow me to escort you to the quarterdeck where l’Duc de Galantier and Oberst Ambassador von Heiner are waiting for us.

Capitaine Tojour: “Shore party! Prenez gard a vous! (Attention) Presentez …vos arms.” [Simultaneously the Gewitter’s marines also present arms to honor their surprise guest.]

Narrator: After introductions to the ship’s officers, courtesies and compliments on the quarterdeck, our main characters go below to the Kommodore’s day cabin for refreshment, conversation and news. After the last toast….

Suthren: “Kommodore, no doubt you are as surprised to see us as we are surprised to find you here. Let me begin saying certain information was passed to my government that a Tradgardland traitor named Van Olsen had seized control of the island, convinced the Tradgardland soldiers here to join his cause and afterwards imprisoned the Duke of Tradgardland’s daughter Alisona who came here to rectify matters. My squadrons with the King’s nephew l’Duc de Galantier were temporarily diverted from another mission to see what we could do here…if anything.

Galantier: “Yes. A Shetland fishing boat captain informed us at sea that Alisona was being held in a fortress named Broch of Clickimin on the southwest side of the town here, Lerwick. We hatched a plot for me to come in from the sea via a hidden inlet to recover the maiden while the Admiral demonstrated in Bressay Sound to occupy Van Olsen’s thoughts. We were obliged to act as if there was not a minute to lose.

Mueller: “Ja. Bold. I like it. But of course you had no notion the girl had made her escape before your arrival. Loyal Tradgardland soldiers at the little fortress where she was being held took her to Scalloway Castle a few miles west of here. Afterwards she boarded a small boat at the nearby fishing village of Hamnavoe for home. When Van Olsen heard this the rebellion ended with his suicide. A messy and tragic business, may God rest his soul.”

All: "Amen."

Von Heiner: “And Admiral, after l’Duc de Galantier and party captured the Broch of Clickimin one of our Hesse-Engelburg officers discovered your people there and under a flag of truce brought them here to explain things. Since we are not at war with Gallia, I thought it best to find out more…and here we are.”

Galantier: “Excuse me. Admiral, I sent a message for l’Vengeance to come round the point to pick us up. She may be appearing any moment in the Sound."

Mueller: “That just about explains it all gentlemen except our purpose here. We left the continent bound circuitously for these islands for reasons the same as yours…to see what, if anything, we could do. The Tradgardlanders are not known as a naval power with so many gallies and so our Sovereign ordered us here with carte blanche authority. We were shadowed by a Britannian frigate but lost them in a ruse at night.”

Von Heiner: “The soldiers stationed here remain loyal to their Duke but somehow were discombobulated by Van Olsen. We’ve rounded up a few of the traitors. There are hardly any. We think it best to bring them to Tradgardland when we weigh anchor in the morning for home. For the moment they are locked away in Fort Charlotte. There are enough loyal Tradgardland officers who have already assumed command.”

Suthren: "Well gentlemen. That seems to be the end of it. We shall weigh anchor in the morning as well and resume our original mission. But first, may I raise a glass to the Duke of Tradgardland and his lovely daughter Alisona?

All: “To the Duke AND Alisona!”

Narrator: That was NOT the end of it! Moments after the toast, Capitaine Tojour arrived at the doorway, hat under his arm. Suthren turned to inquire why he came aboard.

Toujour: "Capitaine Aigle is signaling from the flagship Sir. Enemy in sight! And Sir, l’Vengeance is flying up the sound round the point from the southward under all sail signaling the same.”


Gallia said...

Would someone throw 2D6, total and tell us the result here? This will be the number of ships in the enemy naval force.

Snickering Corpses said...

Narrator: Ill news for the Hesse-Engelburg squadron as well, to find themselves in exactly the sort of situation their small nation has avoided.....right in the middle of a dispute between the major powers. Right behind Capitaine Tojour is a Hesse-Engelburg officer, who simply steps aside to await his Kommodore's commands as the Gallian Capitaine delivers the news first.

Kommodore Mueller: Standing to his feet quickly, the Kommodore confers quickly with von Heiner, before turning attention to the Gallian Admiral. "Admiral Suthren, as time is of the essence and you will doubtless need to coordinate your squadrons, I shall be brief. My orders will not permit me to engage the Britannians, assuming that is who approaches, unless I have reason to believe it is their intent to engage us. However, we have several barges and other small craft available, which I am prepared to place at your disposal for offloading supplies but not soldiers from your transport vessels, if it is the Duke's intention to prepare defense against Britannian landing forces. The soldiers you will have to transport in your own vessels, but the supplies may perhaps be needed by the civilian population, and therefore within the bounds of our humanitarian mission if you would find such assistance desirable."

Von Heiner: Looking towards l'Duc de Galantier, von Heiner offers his own advice, "If there is to be battle around the sound, may I suggest Your Grace place a priority upon supplying artillery officers and men to take command of the shore batteries? The batteries have been neglected while dealing with the rebels, but the cannons should still be quite servicable. If Your Grace would care to accompany me ashore, we may discuss our matters there and allow these officers to deal with their squadrons?"

Kommodore Mueller: Meanwhile, the Hesse-Engelburg naval commander continues. "If it is your intent to give battle, my squadron will make sail and take a course a little separate from your own squadrons until we can determine the intentions of the approaching vessels. If they view us as hostile, we will join you in engaging them, for our own protection. If they do not intend to engage us, then I will have to consider the matter carefully, but you have at least my word as a gentleman that we shall not engage your own ships."

Gallia said...


Narrator: Soldiers and sailors ashore on The Main Island of Shetland and aboard naval vessels in Bressay Sound are intently waiting for the next act. When told that enemy warships were closing on Shetland, Admiral Suthren aboard the Hesse-Engelburg flagship Gewitter said...

Suthren: “I must of course depart immediately. I intend to engage the foe and win unless at a disadvantage. If at a disadvantage, my fleet remaining in being is vital for the success of my main mission elsewhere and I will leave these waters without delay. Let me say before departing for my flagship Sir, there is some reason to consider mischief could befall your squadron should you remain at anchor here.”

Mueller “Hesse-Engelburg is not at war with Britannia as we’ve discussed. I therefore cannot overtly join in a general action.”

Suthren: “Oui, surely this is true. That would be my choice too. The Britannians though may have other ideas since your vessels are on what they consider their territory taken from them by Tradgardland last year. Kommodore Mueller, I beg your forbearance for a hasty departure. Thank you for your hospitality and news.”

Suthren: “One more thing. There is no time now to take off our shore party or land more personnel. Monsieur l’Duc de Galantier, would you be so kind as to remain ashore and render assistance along with our new friends to maintain order, etc.?”

Galantier: “Certainly Admiral. I am honored. We will do our best with our new friends. Now Col. von Heiner let us discuss....”

Mueller: “I’ll show you off the ship Admiral. Good luck to you.”

Narrator: Admiral Suthren climbed down the tumblehome into his barge. He sat in the stern sheets, doffed his gilt laced tricornered hat to the Kommodre, wished him good luck and God speed.”

Admiral’s Coxswain: “BARGE CREW! Give way ALL! Admiral the game is afoot and the ancien Impenetrable isn’t waiting for us Sir. She is coming in to pick us up and fast. We’d best hurry.”

Suthren: “Aye, we must. I saw her. Flag Capitaine Aigle is a good one. Give my compliments to the crew later for turning back aboard my barge with good form and proper seamanship so fast.”

Narrator: The Impenetrable soon came near, pointed close into the wind, lost speed, welcomed Suthren back aboard and left the barge trailing behind on a line with the other ship’s boats. Aboard the flagship….

Aigle: "Admiral. The fleet is cleared for action and the four flutes are coming in under our wings."

Suthren: “Bon mon ami. You did well. Thank you. Signal the fleet to take station in two lines abreast with l’Vengeance leading and the flutes trailing. We head south. The Hesse-Engelburg squadron will make sail, if I am not mistaken. They are friends. Do we know how many enemy warships are coming in?"

Aigle: “No Admiral. There is fog where the enemy was sighted and l’Vengeance signaled she saw only two...so far. I cannot imagine the Britannians would come here with so small a number of warships. Alerte may know more. She is still far to the southward ... there one point to starboard of the bowsprit. She may be able to make out the number of enemy ships by now but the light is poor in these far northern waters at this time of year.”

Suthren: “Signal Alerte to look again and report their numbers. We may have a battle on our hands at sunrise tomorrow.”

Aigle: "Oui Sir."

Narrator: Would someone throw 2D6, total them and report the result here? This will be the number of enemy warships coming in. We await your participation in this enterprise. Thank you.

Tradgardland Squadron
Duke Karl Frederick
Wild Strawberries (90) Flagship Duke Karl Frederick commanding
Fanny (64) Captain Ulmann
Alexander (64) Captain Ekdhal

Hesse-Engelburg Squadron
Kommodore Hans Mueller
Gewitter (40) Flagship
Fechter (36)
Donnerkeil (36)
Gielfalke (20)
Johannes Sebastian (8) merchantman

Gallian Fleet
Admiral Suthren
Impenetrable (74) Flagship Flag Capitaine Aigle
Courage (74)
Vexation (74)
Discombobulator (74)
Audace (74)
Poseidon (74)
Acheron (74)
Mars (74)
l’Vengeance (40)
Alerte (20)

Warships en-flute carrying battalion Albany

Admiral Suthren
Lt. Général Pierre l’Duc de Galantier
Flag Capitaine Aigle
Admiral Suthren’s Coxwain
Admiral Suthren’s Coxswain
Capitaine Tojour (Compagnie franche de la Marine)
Hesse-EngelburgAmbassador Colonel von Heiner
Hesse-Engleburg Admiral Hans Mueller
Tradgardland Duke Karl Frederick

Frankfurter said...

2 D 6
5 + 3 = 8

As Bugs Bunny would say,
Bonn Voy-ah-gee!


Gallia said...

Narrator: Later aboard Impenetable.

Flag Capitaine Aigle: "Admiral, Alerte signals back there are eight Britannian warships. Seven ships of the line and one frigate."

Admiral Suthren: "The odds are fairly even then. Signal Kommodore Mueller this news."

Aigle: "Oui Admiral."

Suthren to himself: "The wind is falling. So, we await the dawn when she reawakens."

Narrator: Indeed. The Britannian and Gallian fleets will be a little closer by then. What will be the reaction in the enemy fleet when the Hesse-Engelburg squadron appears from the mouth of the Sound. Are there other surprises too?

Thank you Arthur for participating with throwing 2D6! We appreciate it.

Frankfurter said...

I look forward to the pictures!
I've never had the space to enjoy a good naval wargame ... but once there was a lovely game for this period and a friend had painted up a couple of fleets ...
We had several games before we lost contact (he was army and sent out of states)

Der Alte Fritz said...

I rolled two more D6s and rolled box cars, or 12, the number of first rate Britanian ships that have arrived to put an end to all this nonsense in the Shetlands, which, afterall, is Britannian soil.