Monday, March 28, 2011

Oh, where are the snows of years gone by?

Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan ? ("Ballade des Dames du Temps Jadis": 'Ballad of the Ladies of Times Past').

Where is Direktorix Katarin Lahmia, who honored the Presipality of Monte-Cristo with a visit?

Where is Fiona MacGillicuddy, who was spying the Jacobites for the 'Hanoverian' King of Britannia?

Where are Ursula von Hetzenberg and her friend 'Schwester Bum' Mary Amadeus (the inventor of nitroglycerin)?

Where is Alisona now? Last time we heard of her, she had embarked a Gallian ship -for what destination again?

Where is the Duchess of Saschen-Vindow? Still alive and well in the Stagonian Palace? In such 'House of Madness' her life is hanging by a thread: maybe she would ask to be sent abroad as a 'charming legate' to better the Stagonian repute; for sure the Queen Mother would support such initiative, being jealous of her influence ('control' would be inappropriate: Ludwig is totally uncontrollable).
The Duchess could do worse than come to Monte-Cristo: we value independent-minded, strong-willed women, and -being ourselves often deemed 'freaks'- we welcome without prejudice foreigners preceded by a bad repute. All our visitors enjoy their sojourn and leave with fond memories; not a few of them are changed, receive a kind of enlightenment / illumination:
- a Cardinal from very far away (portraits before he left Pangaea and when he came back there) on his return relinquished all his secular / temporal dignities and turned his Electoral Archbishopric into a (People's) Republic. And raised an 'Amazon' bodyguard...
- another devout Cardinal is adamantly refusing to leave our Women's Jail,
- a (reputedly) vampire Lady (anonymity respected) discovered here and *enjoyed* sunbathing (admittedly, if a vampire indeed she already was a 'day walker', but nonetheless...).
In the two last cases (some whisper 'In all three cases') part of the blame can be put on our (in)famous zerokini.
Thus, we gladly renew our previous invitation (Jan.06."09 comment) to the Duchess.

Where are these Ladies, how are they faring? Will they remain nameless here for evermore?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Ambassadors from Syldavia

An Announcement of the Office of the Chancellor, in the Service of
His Royal Majesty, King Stépan II of Syldavia

Stépan II, King of Syldavia, is pleased to announce the appointment of the following noble and meritous Gentlemen to the office of Ambassador and their investment as Knights of the Order of St. Vladimir:

Count Ignatio Hartthröb, who shall present his diplomatic credentials to the Duke of Tradgardland,

Baron Mihailo Milutin, who shall present his diplomatic credentials to the General Council of Tipplebruder,

Ret. Colonel Baron Janos Kerevice, who shall present his diplomatic credentials to the Reichfurst of Bembach-Schönau,

Ret. General Baron Josef Hrzik, who shall present his diplomatic credentials to the Basileios of New Byzantion,

Ret. General Ritter Petr Kotrimanic, who shall present his diplomatic credentials to the Viceroy of Catalonia,

Ritter Paul-Mihailo Pompphrish, who shall present his diplomatic credentials to the Ezerherzog of Hesse-Cassoulet,


Ret. Col. Ritter Ijani Bartolemi, who shall present his diplomatic credentials to the King of St. Maurice.

Upon formal appointment, these officials will depart forthwith to establish their embassies, where they will serve, at the King's pleasure and with the King’s confidence, as the King's spokesmen and witnesses abroad, in the service of the Syldavian homeland. 

Decreed, in the name of King Stépan II

To read the appointment decree in detail and to see the badge of the Order of the Black Pelican, granted to the potentates mentioned above, click  here

A New Template

After learning that most images in the Virtual Museum of War of the Spanish Succession Catalan language website are subject to a Creative Commons license, I decided to use some of these images to create the uniform templates I needed for my WSS times Infantry of the Line. Such templates are following the general pattern set at the excellent web resource, so that I've been able to keep a style consistent to those other templates used for other toop types -which had been straightly provided by David Linienblatt. Thanks to either his own templates or those produced by mixing features from both sources, I've been able to produce a complete templates collection covering all of my Army...

...except for one single troop type: Mountain Fusiliers.

David had already offered himself for designing a generic WSS Mountain Fusilier template, but he must alternate such kind of selfless work for the EvE community with other kind of commissions. As I was anxious to produce some overall view on that particular troop type -which were historically key in the extraordinarily successful Catalan/Galatan resistance face to the Two Crowns combined armies, albeit so underesteemed by foreign Military Historians- but I would deeply dislike pressing David to finish a job he selflessly had volunteered to, I've finally decided to produce a WSS times Mountain Fusiliers temporary template on the basis of an image of the above mentioned Virtual Museum. This way I can comfortably keep my own designing process without annoying anyone and, as soon as we have properly designed templates available, I'll be replacing the temporary ones by those.

If curious, please check the Galatan Confederation WSS Army website. You'll notice there that only 4 of the 11 active Mountain Fusiliers Regiments have been assigned a template so far, so that uniforms or standards suggestions for the rest are warmly welcome. The first 7 regiments are fully historic, while MFR 8 is actually an overrated independent company, and MFR 9 to 11 are completely fictional units.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Army Sizes

I became interested in the relationship between army size and population and did a quick survey - sadly I found it quite hard to get 18th century data on the Web, but Napoleonic data was ready to hand, so here is a comparison between the major states and some small states I looked at for comparison.

As you can see, major states were running at about 1 - 1.5% pre the Wars. Austria and Russia both increased army sizes in the region of c 1/2  - 2/3rds at peak. France had to find a lot of men to fight all the others, so is running at 2-3x the other big players. Britain is a bit misleading owing to the size of its Navy (not considered), and Prussia has a small population even in Napoleonic times. I recall reading once that if the population in arms of a country goes above c 5% it really suffers economically (if you consider that all the soldiers are fit and active males, who are about 1/6th of the population, then 5% of a population is pretty much 1/3rd of all active males in a country) so France and Prussia after the wars must have been pretty unpleasant.  

I also did some analysis of smaller states, as you can see they - on average - at their height are less militarised than the major powers. I counted the men in the units and multiplied by 1.5 for the "tail". Westphalia is possibly too high, I assumed 3 battalions per regiment for all their regiments but it may not have been uniform, and one cavalry regiment was paid for by Wurttemburg. Also, both of these states were ruled by Bonaparte family members so may have bean "leaned on" more than the others to provide men and material more in keeping with French style ratios.

As to why the small nations have a smaller % in arms, I don't know.

To estimate sizes in the18th century, I assume they are similar to pre-Napoleonic mass army times, then if we assume "Height Of" numbers for the smaller states had about the same increase as for Russia and Austria in the period, then a "Normal Situation " is c .75 - 1.5%, which the bits of 1801 data I have seems to agree with.

(Clarification from the comments below - I think the "peacetime" army is about 1% safely, but a fully mobilised manpower of 2% (trainees, reservists etc) is probably an achievable level that is "safe" economically without putting a country on a war footing.

So as a rule of thumb, your Imagi-Nation should be running at about 1% of  population for the army, unless you are totally militarised like a tinpot Prussia. Incidentally, the ratio of  Horse to Foot of the small countries I looked at is about  0.3 : 1 Horse:Foot, so about a quarter are cavalry.

For what its worth  European Turkey is c 8m souls at this time, so to field a peacetime army of about 20,000 (what I had initially designed x 1.5, as above) my Imagi-Nation (New Byzantium) needs to appropriate about 2m people - or 1/4 of it. That seems unrealistic, 1/10th was more what I was thinking, so clearly I need a lot of mercenaries (check) and a major trading city seaport to afford them!  

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hesse Cassoulet News

There is movement on the recruitment front enquiries have been sent out to Eurekasberg and Minden. Trouble with neighbours has ended, Wholly Roman Empire nosing about and artillery sciences to be advanced. To learn more.....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Distinguished visitor arrives in the Reich Duchy of Beerstein

Who is the distinguished guest who just arrived in the Beerstein capitol of Kronenberg?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Galatan IR 9 Daughters of Minerva

Lady Elisenda Folc de Cardona's own female battalion has been recently spotted while performing their daily training routine. They are anxiously waiting for an opportunity for demonstrating to the rest of Galatan Nation their fighting will and determination. In the meanwhile, first line commanders are hurrying to take profit from the apparent disagreements recently detected between Hispannia and Gallia.

Pictures of this 15mm regiment have been posted at my painting blog. Also, the corresponding templates have been posted at my Imagi-Nation's 1713 Army webpage.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Erzherzog Sends A Directive

The Paintenpigen has been approached by Pinz Xaver Hansuppen von Hessiansacken (Erzherzog Rudolf's older brother) to consider outfitting the new reform army, and to give indication to the best cut of uniform and accoutrement. 

The nothern districts are thinking Prushain

Newly arrived recruits from Minden

New troops and old are soon to arrive from Minden,  Eurekasburg, Foundarieville and Holgerholm and I have Little enough time to choose the colour of the clothe let alone the cut. Prinz Xaver has bought rough outlines of the Erzherzogs preferrences, still it will be a long process.

Chardonnay like the Gallic or  Fronsay Cut 
 I wonder at the sudden haste after so many years of peaceful neglect? It can be said our troops are very well trained, as can be confirmed by any enemy unfortunate to rub against our troops in foreign service, but numbers have always been minimal and the style aging in appearance, as is the equipment.

Shirazgau would prefer a red
I hear talk of Emperors and Electors, Reich Duchies and Kingdoms, campaigns and wars. Hesse-Cassoulet has always managed to avoid outright war, something must be brewing. The merchants trains from Persia, Turkostan and Venuce are larger better escorted and less frequent, something "must" be brewing to the south.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What News?

Today a rider bearing dispatches bought news from Beerstein, amongst other, indicating the College of Honors is to invest Erzherzog Rudolf Dascher Hansuppen II von Hessiansacken hausen into the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Tankard! Our Benevolent Landgraf overcome with emotion could not utter reply at first.

Some time having elapsed and emotion subsided the Erzherzog after some discussion with his advisers has decided to send the celebrated Hessiansacken artist in residence, Francios Metrelonge to Reich Duke Wilhelm von Beerstein for portraiture at the Erzherzogs expense, as gracious  acknowledgement on the honour bestowed.

Other news has kept ze Landgrafs closest confidants and Schlosse messengers busy but as yet no word as too what is occupying their minds.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Artillery Exercise at the HMKoNW

You are all invited to observe the Artillery of King Phillip go throught heir paces,...
Visit the Artillery Training Grounds here

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gunners and Staff Cadets ready for Action

You are all invited to view The HMKoNW Gunners of BREE's BATTERY and the Honourable Staff Cadets of Adfaburg Duntroon Military Academy

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Some advice needed

The General Deputation of the Principality of Galatea has just been acknowledged that a Brittanian fraternity of distinguished men has invested a considerable sum in raising a number of Infantry regiments in the Lower Countries, for Galatan service as Foreign Regiments. Three of such units have already been assigned uniforms and Colours, and payroll is nearly completed for two of them. However, advice is still needed to assign higher rank officers for these new units, as well as to give a proper name to one, which is still unnamed so far. Last but not least, advice is also needed to determine if the invested amount would be enough for further raisings -and to evaluate if there is left manpower enough in the Lower Countries, after their recent disbandment of Brittanian units in their own service.

If curious, please read more at this posting.

Imagining your Enemies

I am in the process of imagining mine own honourable opponents, the following is from a blog post I just wrote on some thoughts, be interesting to get the hivemind's. How do you all do it -Imaginary or Real, and if Imagined, how so - from your own (hopefully) fertile imagination, from others' - Tintin's Syldavia and Borduria, Hope's Ruritania, Christie's Herzoslovakia - or (and this seems most attractive) from some of the other members of the August community of Imagi-Nation creators. All have advantages and disadvantages:

- Real nations have the advantage of being known, in all sorts of ways, and any opposing force so built can play other opponents without them asking embarassing questions about why you have American Civil War Zouaves painted up like that

- One's own imagination can furnish more opponents than one can shake a stick at, but the worry is that they are all a bit same-ey.

- Literary Imagi-nations are a good bet, as you can glean something of them from the books/films/comics/whatever, but you risk the "how come your Bordurian Mountain Regiment  look like Greek Evzones, when everyone knows they should look more like American Civil War zouaves" problem* :-)

Besides, sources of Bordurian history in 1756 are sadly sparse.

- Other people's Imagi-Nations are very tempting, as there is a backstory and (in theory) two heads are better than one in creating campaigns etc, even though the endgame is to lop one head off. (Owing to poor translation, New Byzantium takes Kipling's advice rather literally, and have worked out the best way to cut to the chase is to ensure that all around you do actually lose their heads...). The problem with playing with Other People is thay can be so ill mannered as to win the battles, so this option shall have to be watched with great care.
Be curious to get people's opinions. Also, we are in the south to mid-Balkans, so if anybody is close by on our borders, we need to know.....

* That I have just created :-)

New Byzantium Looking for Neighbors

I just read the latest post from New Byzantium -- and he is looking to find out what Imagi-Nations are somewhat near to his borders. If you are, go his blog and let him know:

-- Jeff

Friday, March 4, 2011

rats, dinged again

At the end of January, I broke my leg ... and then fell again early in February.
The Doctor has stuck me in this nursing home until the leg heals ... may be a few weeks before I ressurect!
Interrupted a lovely game ... actually three games in one scenario (the assasination attempts at the hunting lodge). I don't know if the Apostate survives or not myself (groan).
This does mean I'm missing the SYW convention in South Bend for sure (*@#%!), alas.
Got to get off before the nurse comes back to her computer!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Terrain on offer

I'm selling off some of my 28mm-scale terrain (houses & roads), for anyone wanting to add to their supply, details available on my website.