Friday, December 28, 2007

Unit Profile: Sumpflöwen Musketeers (The Marsh Lions)

Sumpflöwen Musketeers
Inhaber/Commander: Colonel Eric "Bussie" Burmeister
Depot: Zweibrücken
Battle honors: Vergoldeten, 1757

Regimental standardMusketeer uniformGrenadier uniform

Newly formed in late 1757 and recruited from the Zweibrücken area, the Regiment Sumpflöwen saw its first action at the Battle of Vergoldeten. Perhaps inspired by being brigaded with the famous Lintzer regiment, this regiment distinguished itself by executing its orders with a precision that surprised even its senior commanders, and put up a fusilade of musketry sufficient to shatter and enemy battalion.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Digression: Wargaming-related news

Rather than duplicate the post, I'll just point you over to my general wargaming blog at to read. Of SYW-related news, there's some figures mentioned for sale. :>

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Vergoldeten Update

A plate with the uniforms of Hesse-Engelburg troops engaged in the Battle of Vergoldeten has been posted on the Ober-Schweinsberg blog. Also, I expect to have the second part of the battle report up soon.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Small Progress

I finally made the decision to change the facings of the Lintzer Musketeers to purple rather than yellow, as the yellow I have is just not up to the task. So, I painted facings and turnbacks and collars on a handful of my in progress figures, and I'm rather pleased with the color. Not as pleased with the inconsistency of my painting. In particular, I'm not consistent in deciding which parts of the RSM figure should be the facings on the coat in front. :>

I'm also considering altering my organization slightly, so that instead of companies of six musketeers and one officer with spontoon, it's six figures total, with five musketeers and one officer with spontoon. Still debating, if I did that, what to do about senior officers, standard bearers, and musicians.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Vergoldeten - Arnold vs Asgar

The first part of the Vergoldeten battle report has been posted on the Landgraviate of Ober-Schweinsberg blog.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Uniforms at Vergoldeten Battle

Check the Landgraviate of Ober-Schweinsberg blog for post of uniforms of the troops at the battle, plus other battle info.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

New Drums Beating in Ober-Schweinsberg

It is often thought that the chillier temperatures fall, the less men's blood will run hot for war. But this is not always the case. Rumors are spreading along the trade routes from traveler to traveler, rumors that the chilled war in Ober-Schweinsberg is about to heat up again. And why not, observe the grumpier amongst the lot. All the rest of Europe is filled with uphevals, great wars, and petty strifes, so why not Ober-Schweinsberg?

The Armies of Prince Asgar and Prince Arnold have abruptly left their winter quarters and are reported to be marching towards the town of Vergoldeten on Ober-Schweinsberg's northern trade routes. Up till now, the town has remained somewhat of a neutral territory, but that all appears ready to change, if the two armies do not divert from their present course.

In the town, rumors fly of a bar-room brawl involving off-duty Irish mercenaries and representatives variously claimed to be from the Bad Nachtschwein League, either of the two Princes, Stagonia, or even the Koronet Korpus or Hesse-Engelburg. Maybe all of the above. As near as can be pieced together from the varrying rumors, the brawl appears to have begun when one person accused another person of having stolen a set of solid silver pig statues from the first someone's luggage. Accusations and blows appear to have flown from there, and the fight is reported to have left at least three people dead, though no one can agree on the identity of the casualties.

Some speculate that the importance of the city for trade and its nearness to the Hesse-Engelburg border may even draw Engleburg forces into the conflict, and local residents have reported various bodies of mercenaries moving along the roads towards the town, perhaps in someone's employ or perhaps simply speculating upon the likelihood that they can pick up employment on arrival. It remains to be seen how many forces will find themselves embroiled and how events will play themselves out, but a number of residents and merchants are reportedly leaving for outlying villages until the matter is settled.

Plotting a battle

Depending upon my time and motivation, and the timely arrival of a group of figures off of Ebay...I'm planning another battle for Hesse-Engelburg, this one larger than the Hirschtal fight. Things have been far too quiet on the Ober-Schweinsberg front.

As with the Hirschtal fight, in order to handle the very small quantities of figures I have on hand, I'll likely be using small battalions of 6-12 figures each. If I do, this should let me field 10-20 battalions and 1-2 regiments of hussars with my existing figures.

Meanwhile, those who are tracking the Emperor vs Elector blog, or the Tipplebruder blog, will know that a small contingent of Hesse-Engelburg forces are amongst the multi-national alliance troops prepared to defend Tipplebruder from Stagonian invasion.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Identify These Figures?

Through a trade, I picked up some Highlanders. 6 standing firing, and 12 kneeling firing. But the fellow I picked them up from didn't know what maker they were. Can anyone identify the manufacturer and a part number? I need to acquire another 6 standing firing, 6 grenadier-type figures, and a compliment of officers, musicians, etc if I can.

If I can form a proper battalion from them, these will form the basis of Hesse-Engelburg's first Highland regiment. Probably mercenary, but I'm not totall decided on that.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


I haven't posted in over a month here, but I promise I'm not dead. I've just been buried in work and other things the past few weeks, and wargaming has taken a backseat. I just started catching up on blogs a couple of days ago, with some 300 posts on my RSS reader, so I'm getting there. :>

Meanwhile, the only recent SYW-related activity is that I acquired a bagged set of all but one grenadier from a box of Revell SYW Prussian infantry off of Ebay for about $4. On that note, does anyone have a recommendation of a foot officer figure that could stand with a unit of Revell SYW Prussian infantry without looking odd? I can operate a battalion of these in my standard configuration if I do a 3-deep rank of firing poses, but the available poses leave me short 2 officers with spontoon and 2 foot officers with sword or cane.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Unit Profile: Garde du Corps Prinzessin Gertrude

Garde du Corps Prinzessin Gertrude
Inhaber: Prinzessin (Princess) Gertrude Blauerwolf
Commander: Oberstleutnant (Lt. Colonel) Milheiser
Depot: Engelburg
Battle honors:

Regimental standardMusketeer uniform

Grenadier uniformHussar uniform

When the decision to raise an army for Hesse-Engelburg was made, the very first to put personal finances behind the raising of a regiment was none other than Princess Getrude herself, eldest daughter of the Fürst and Fürstin. As is typical of royally maintained regiments, the Princess is herself the Inhaber of the regiment, but it is commanded in the field by Oberstleutnant Milheiser, formerly the second in command of the garrison of Schloß Blauerwolf itself. An unusual formation, its composition dictated by the Princess herself, the Garde du Corps Prinzessin Gertrude will field a mixed legion of infantry and cavalry of as yet uncertain size. Its depot is at Engelburg and its recruits mostly hail from Engelburg, Karlsdorf, and other towns and villages along the Schlafwasser river valley.

Unit Profile: "Eisen und Flamme" Artillery Battery

"Eisen und Flamme" Artillery Battery
Inhaber: Captain Steiger
Commander: Captain Steiger
Depot: Eisenbrückenstadt
Battle honors:

Artillerist uniform

Funded by the Steiger family, famed iron merchants of the city of Eisenbrückenstadt, this battery was the first artillery unit to form in Hesse-Engelburg. Most recruits for the battery are drawn from the mining families of Eisenhügel, rather than from Eisenbrückenstadt itself. The base for the unit is, however, Eisenbrückenstadt, and when not needed for field services its cannons are often mounted in the redoubt that guards the city gates.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hesse-Engelburg General Order #17

By the direction of Their Graces, Guntram and Sieglinde Blauerwolf, rightful Fürst and Fürstin of this Principality, and with the full advice and unanimous agreement of the Fürstentumrat advising, the following directives are issued to the armed forces of the Principality of Hesse-Engelburg.

As of this twenty-fourth day of the year of our Lord 1757, the Principality of Hesse-Engelburg declares and acknowledges that a state of war exists with the Banat of Togaras in response to its bellicose declarations against this sovereign state. As a result of this state of war, and the continued state of war with the illegitimate and illegal rebellious organization calling itself the Bad Nachtschwein League, the following orders are issued:

All vessels, property, and persons owing allegiance to either of these governments presently within the borders of Hesse-Engelburg or entering its borders until such state of war is ended are to be immediately seized and held pending review by such tribunal as Their Graces shall appoint to differentiate between military, spy, and civilian, and between government and individual property. Military personnel shall be held as prisoners of war. Civilians pertaining to these governments who are found to have no subversive intent may be required to execute oaths of allegiance to Hesse-Engelburg to the satisfaction of the tribunal or be provided safe escort to the border of Hesse-Engelburg so that they may return to their respective lands of allegiance. Those found to have subversive intent shall be imprisoned or deported at the discretion of the tribunal. Any individual initiating armed resistance against such lawful actions may be met with armed force as deemed appropriate by the most senior individual present at the scene.

Signed this 24th day of July in the year of our Lord 1757,
Generalfeldmarshal Baron Ernst von Krimm
Commander in Chief

(see Emperor vs Elector blog for further details)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Unit Profile: Staff Officers

Staff Officers

While variations are more likely at the level of general officers, there is an established uniform intended for the wear of those officers on assignment to headquarters as well as general officers not directly attached to a regiment. The uniform combines the standard basalt gray of the line infantry with the azure blue of the Guards regiments.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Question about which units

Stokes commented on my last post to ask which unit I'd begin painting first.
I've still got the Lintzer musketeers "in progress". There's another 2 companies of figures that you don't see in that picture, plus a few odds and ends including one more artillery crew without a gun. While I lined up all the musketeers as one battalion, in reality two of the companies in the picture will be from some other regiment as there are two companies (give or take a couple of figures) on my painting desk.

*Possibly* the leftovers will start the Garde du Corps Prinzessin Getrude. It depends on whether I hit a comfort level in my painting to actually tackle the pink coats, since I'll have to mix paint for it and I'm not yet competent with just the single colors. :P The artillery pieces will likely be done up for the Eisen und Flamme battery, and of course you already know who the Hussars will be.

Then we'll see if by then I'm wealthy enough to afford more. My big goal is to get at least the Lintzer finished before the BIG Game in October, whether I manage to come to the Game or not. Now, if I really hit a stride, then I may try to get the artillery and the two squadrons of Hussars painted up too.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

New RSM95 Photos

Had a small delay in getting the full set of the figures, due to a mixup which DPC very nicely fixed in which a custom bag order was sent as a standard bag. The 5 figures switched have arrived, however, in their proper poses.

For your viewing pleasure:
1) Panoramic view of troops
2) A full musketeer battalion of 4 musketeer companies and 1 grenadier company.
3) Two artillery pieces, with crew and command, forming a mixed batter of one 6pdr and one 12pdr. Yes, there are some equipment items for the crew, but they're cast separate and not in place yet.
4) two squadrons of Austrian Hussar in Busby for the Fuchshöhle Hussars. I still need to find a good command figure for these.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Notes and Answers on the uniforms

to answer Jean-Louis' question, I haven't developed a cavalry standard yet. I believe Jeff has plans to work up a set of templates when he gets a chance, so I'll probably borrow whatever he does (with his permission of course) and develop mine then.

As for the Princess Getrude regiment, that has morphed since then into a small legion-style force of mixed cavalry and infantry, exact composition as yet undetermined. I do know it will have at least two companies of musketeers and probably at least one of grenadiers. I've done uniforms for both of these, but none for any cavalry yet. Being somewhat subject to the whims of the Princess, it may end up being somewhat like Kleist's Freikorps in having various formations of different troop types all under one banner. Which would be an interesting way of using up the odds and ends of spare troops as I go. :>

Have I missed any questions?

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Unit Profile: Wolfgreifer (Guards) Fusiliers

Wolfgreifer (Guards) Fusiliers
Inhaber: Graf (Count) Rudolf von Heffernick
Commander: Graf (Count) Rudolf von Heffernick
Depot: Conradstadt
Battle honors:

Regimental standardFusilier uniformGrenadier uniform

The second guards regiment added to the establishment, most recruits hail from Conradstadt and surrounding towns, and the regiment's depot is located there. The unit is a prestigious one, gaining recruits from among the best educated in Hesse-Engelburg due to the location of the depot in a university town.

Unit Profile: Jager Regiment von Behler

Jager Regiment von Behler
Inhaber: Markgraf von Behler
Commander: Colonel Gebhard von Behler
Depot: Waldschloß
Battle honors:

Regimental standardJager uniform

Headquartered at Waldschloß, the hereditary home of the Markgraf von Behler, the Jager Regiment von Behler is formed of hunstmen from the forest region roughly bounded by the Waldschloß and the towns of Hirschtal and Fünfleben. Its Inhaber is the Markgraf von Behler himself, and its commander is his eldest son and heir, Gebhard. Companies of the regiment are on active service patrolling the border areas around the castle, and are responsible for keeping the road between the Waldschloß and the trading center of Südmarkt clear of bandits for the trade caravans that pass through.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Unit Profile: Grenadier Regiment von Platzen (Schwarze Grenadiere)

Grenadier Regiment von Platzen (Schwarze Grenadiere)
Inhaber: Colonel Rupert von Platzen
Commander: Colonel Rupert von Platzen
Depot: Platzenheim
Battle honors:

Regimental standardGrenadier uniform

Already obtaining a reputation for their eye-catching black uniforms with red facings, the Von Platzen Grenadiers recruit mostly in the hereditary lands of the Landgraf von Platzen around the town of Platzenheim. The regimental Inhaber is the third son of the current Landgraf. While his older brothers were born to the Landgraf's first wife who died giving birth to the second, Rupert is the eldest son of the Landgraf's second wife, and much of the regiment is reportedly financed from elements of his mother's own family fortune.

In their first major action at Hirschtal, the Schwarze Grenadiere performed adequately in extended volley fire but failed to distinguish themselves by any major achievement, earning no battle honors.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A note on unit profiles

If you like the format I've set up for these, and want the HTML to achieve it, drop me a line and I'll send it to you.

The templates are free uniform templates made by David Morfitt and can be found on his Not By Appointment blog - David has a growing list of Seven Years War templates available, including Prussian, Austrian, and French infantry and a couple of types of Hussars. He's got more infantry and some cavalry templates underway.

The flags are from a template done by Jeff Hudelson of the Saxe-Bearstein blog.

Many thanks to both of them for the use of the product of their labors.

Unit Profile: Grauerhimmel Fusiliers

Grauerhimmel Fusiliers
Inhaber: Colonel von Schlichter
Commander: Colonel von Schlichter
Depot: Grauerhimmel
Battle honors:

Regimental standardFusilier uniformGrenadier uniform

The second unit to enter the regular establishment, depot in Grauerhimmel. Recruits primarily from Grauerhimmel and surrounding towns. Its grenadier company is rumored to be formed entirely of second sons of goatherding families.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Unit Profile: Lintzer Musketeers

Lintzer Musketeers
Inhaber: Colonel Lintzer
Commander: Colonel Lintzer
Depot: Lintzhausen
Battle honors: Hirschtal, 1757

Regimental standardMusketeer uniformGrenadier uniform

The first unit entered upon the regular establishment, the Lintzer Musketeers are owned by Colonel Lintzer, and have their depot in Lintzhausen, the town founded by one of Colonel Lintzer's ancestors several centuries ago. The Lintzer family has made its fortune off of timber sales, and many of the recruits come from the town of Lintzhausen and the logging villages scattered through the surrounding forests.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Somewhere in Lagerburg

A letter, delivered by courier at night, along with a small package.

My dear Fritz,

It is with some concern I have heard from friends of the tensions between the Duchy and your Slobbovian neighbors. Things are nearly as on edge as they were when we served together in the freikorps in the last war, are they not? I thought it suitable to write you informally about a little tender inquiry I have been making of late. I think it would be possible, were you to wish it, for me to arrange an audience for yourself or some other representative of the Duchy to speak with the Trade Minister and/or the Foreign Minister regarding beneficial trade agreements. Enclosed, I believe you will find an excellent sample of the product of our recently discovered rich gold vein, the which I encourage you to examine and keep for your mineral collection. I thought that perhaps the division of such a fine mineral sample to some in your acquaintance might help to demonstrate the benefits of trade.



Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dispatch to Tradgarland

To Duke Karl Frederick of Tradgarland

Your Grace,

Their Graces have authorized me to conclude a non-agression pact between our two countries, as well as to propose the establishment of a joint river patrol to ensure that no soldiers or aid to our mutual enemies pass down the river we share in common.

Our forces are not yet in position to allow a formal pledge of complete certainty of armed assistance at this time. Let us say that we would each endeavor to aid the other to the fullest extent possible, considering our mutual security of grave importance. If this language is acceptable to Your Grace, I stand ready to conclude a formal accord to that effect at your convenience.

Our Minister of Trade also wishes me to inform you that we have ready a convoy of iron ore to assist you in development and arming of your own forces should you desire it, and we would be most interested in delivering samples of your fishing production to our markets to test the interest of our populations.


Burgraf Heinrich von Waffenschmidt
Minister of State

Monday, June 18, 2007

Digression: Over 2500 visitors

We've now crossed the 2500 visitor mark since this blog got its NeoCounter, and I'm amazed, but thrilled. Thank you everyone who's visited and commented.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fuchshöhle Hussars uniform

With thanks to David for the template, here is my rendition of my current planned uniform for the Fuchshöhle Hussars.

Reply to Tradgarland

To His Grace, the Duke of Tradgarland, greetings,

It is my honor to express the pleasure of Their Graces at the receipt of your message, and their wish that we might settle into a comfortable accord of peace and trade. To that end, it is my intent to call upon Your Grace or Your Grace's ministers during the coming week, after I have resolved certain matters regarding the contentious situation in our southern neighbor.

I believe if we work together, we can ensure the free flow of trade upon the river known to us as the Hasenwasser, which I believe bears another name as it flows south through your own country?

It is my hope that we can encourage close relations between our two peoples, and perhaps discourse regarding the recent troubles to the south and the whisperings of fresh war in other regions.


Burgraf Heinrich von Waffenschmidt
Minister of State

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Digression - Figure Quality

You know, one of the things that is slightly odd to me, though I suppose with the mold process it makes some a number of cases, the best of the plastic figures seem to be more finely detailed and carefully molded than the metal ones. In many cases, this is actually a blessing with the metal figures, as you don't have to paint every last little raised button on a tunic. But sometimes, it becomes a little odd in places where different items meet, and aren't clearly defined. Like figuring out where to separate the musket, shoulder, and neck of some marching figures, for instance, so you can paint each part properly.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dispatches from Hesse-Engelburg

Dispatch to Tradgarland

In regards to your recent extension of offers to view your musterings, the Principality of Hesse-Engelburg offers to send Colonel Stieffer of our own Fuchshöhle Hussars, a fine officer whom we believe may be of use in the advising of your light cavalry in the proper manner of rapid negotiation of woodlands while mounted. We would also extend to your ruler the offer of the hospitality of our fine hunting lodge in the Fuchswald upon some fine eve, where he may enjoy the local sport of fox hunting and a respite from the weight of rule.

Ludwig Strasser, Social Secretary for Thursdays

Dispatch to Saxe-Bearstein

To our esteemed friend, Prince Bruno, greetings,

Being much disturbed by the recent focus of war upon your region, we thought it fit to write to you in our own hand and offer the return of your kindly loaned officer should you have need of him. We also regret to enclose evidence that the Stagonians may be providing financial support to the Bad Nachtschwein rebellion in our neighboring state of Ober-Schweinsberg. Your Highness will no doubt recognize the seal of a certain nobleman of the Stagonians upon the enclosed dispatch, which was capture amongst a recent Bad Nachtschwein convoy that attempted to sneak past our alert Hussars. If we may be of service with our small supply of iron to assist Your Highness in preparing his troops for the upcoming campaigns, we do hope it is known you need only ask.

In friendship,

Fürst Guntram Blauerwolf of Hesse-Engleburg
Penned by our own hand.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Message to Gallia

Dear l'Comte de Rapprochement de Gallia,

The Principality of Hesse-Engelburg is, like our Saxe-Bearstein allies, considering our options at the present time. However, given our more northernly position than Hesse-Seewald and Frankfurt, we feel confident there is no necessity for Gallian troops to traverse our soil, though Their Graces have consented that diplomatic discussion may be initiated to prove otherwise if the Prince should feel it necessary.

In the meantime, Graf Sepp von Sickel, Minister of Trade, has suggested a meeting with his opposite number to discuss the security of trade routes through Gallia and her allies as well as to request that measures be taken to deal with one Madame La Grange, a merchant of Gallian cheeses who has been known to disparage the fine goat cheese products of Hesse-Engelburg with most reprehensible charges of having been cured by demon's breath or, even worse, of being in fact imported English cheese sold under false pretenses. We are certain the Gallian Minister of Trade will be eager to encourage the Madame to confine her advertising to positive qualities of her own product, which is a quite respectable cheddar enjoyed on occasion even at my own table.


Burgraf Heinrich von Waffenschmidt
Minister of State for Hesse-Engelburg

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Freikorps thoughts

While I'm not going to buy figures for it (or likely anything else much) in the near future, I've been seriously pondering creating a freikorps of Scots, in kilts, to serve in the army of Hesse-Engelburg. This is mostly due to my inate love of things Scottish and the idea of being able to paint some kilts in 30mm.

Does anyone have any examples of RSM95 Highlanders for the SYW period in pictures?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Message to Hesse-Seewald

In the names of Their Graces, the Fürst and Fürst Guntram and Sieglinde Blauerwolf, I bid greetings unto the rulers and representatives of Hesse-Seewald. Having been advised of the relative positions of our fine states, I thought it my duty to contact your government forthwith and extend our formal greetings and open a dialogue upon regional issues.

Naturally, under our present circumstances a primary concern is the current conflict upon our southern border, into which we have been drawn by the flagrantly illegal and ungentlemanly actions of the Bad Nachtschwein League in sending mercenary troops to invade our soil and threaten our southern trade routes. In view of this heinous action and believing your own state to be upon a primary trade route of this merchant league, we humbly request that you would enter into agreement to halt the flow of product from Bad Nachtschwein through your territories until such time as the grievance has been redressed and peace concluded between our Principality and the representatives of the League.

In accompanyment of this message we have dispatched Colonel Freidrick von Heiner and a small caravan of the local produce, in particular goat cheese, goats milk, and goat's hair cloth, as well as samples of the fine coal and iron to be found in our mines. We are confident of our ability to establish a base of trade and goodwill with your fine country that can only assist in increasing the stability of the region.


Burgraf Heinrich von Waffenschmidt
Minister of State

Slight Painting Progress

I got a little bit of time to paint again yesterday, and managed to complete the faces and hands on 9 musketeers, the face on the company officer, and repainted the cuffs, turnbacks, and lapels of my first figure white to allow for another try at the yellow facing color.

I've also started work on a map for Ober-Schweinsberg.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Hesse-Engelburg Declares War on Bad Nachtschwein League!

While the Principality of Hesse-Engelburg has to this point maintained neutrality in the Ober-Schweinsberg civil war, Their Graces have today issued a declaration that a state of war exists with the Bad Nachtschwein League. The decision was made after careful questioning of prisoners from the Battle of Hirschtal finally established that the two musketeer battalions involved in the battle were mercenary units in the employ of the Bad Nachtschwein League. It is believed that the League was attempting to secure control of the southern trade routes as it the League is driven primarily by merchant interests. Their Graces have further requested that all surrounding nations join them in a trade embargo against all Bad Nachtschwein goods in light of the League's unwarranted and illegal attempt to invade Engelburg territory and disrupt trade.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

RSM95 Update

I've heard from Richard, and my figures are due to ship out the Tuesday after Memorial Day. Waiting isn't easy, but having a date to look forward to is nice. Hopefully they'll arrive by the end of that week.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Carnage in Bad Nachtschwein

In the largest battle yet in the War of Ober-Schweinsberg Succession, the newly formed Bad Nachtschwein League endured its first test of arms as armies from not one but both Princes of Ober-Schweinsberg marched on Bad Nachtschwein to suppress what they view as an insidious rebellion among the middle class merchants. With the army of Prince Arnold marching from the east and the army of Prince Ansgar marching from the west, Bad Nachtschwein found itself fighting a two-front conflict with its small army operating out of the walled town.

As smoke and mingling of troops increased on the battlefield, several areas devolved into confused mobs, further exacerbated by the fact that most troops on the field either wore the Ober-Schweinsberg army uniform or civilian dress, with the differing allegiances marked mostly by banners or armbands or feathers and cockades in hats. It is impossible to judge how many casualties were a result of friendly fire in the confused circumstances of the battle.

The fighting might have continued unabated except for an unexpected intervention....the Mother Superior and her charges from the nearby Sisters of St. George convent (an unusual convent serving mostly expatriates from the British Isles) marched into the field of battle and apparently upbraided each commander in turn in most heated fashion for the destruction of a stained glass window shattered by the reports from cannon fire and the trampling of one of the outer vegetable gardens of the convent. Mother Superior Agnes Pellingham, decked out in the traditional white habit and carrying the red cross-shaped staff of her office, was seen to give a particularly harsh tongue-lashing to the general of the Bad Nachtschwein for the theft of ripe grapes from the convent's vineyards by one of his regiments. Locally, the sisters are known as the Drachenonnen or "Dragon Nuns", a reference most believe to be half to the legend of St. George and the Dragon and half to the disposition of the Mother Superior.

After all sides called a parlay, presided over by the Mother Superior, the wounded of all sides were taken to the hospital of the convent and cared for by the Sisters while the armies of the two Princes retired to their respective encampments and all sides began reorganizing their tangled forces. Even at this late hour, stragglers are still stumbling into the various encampments, and sometimes hurrying right back out again to find the right one.

Feldkamp Gala Invitations

If you feel that some gentleman or lady of your populace, whether of noble birth or not, might have reason to have been invited to the Feldkamp Gala (perhaps service alongside him on the Austrian borders as a mercenary in past years), drop me a line and we'll see if there is information of interest to be garnered.

Rumor has it that much of Hesse-Engelburg's knowledge of events comes from information passed at the Galas. Of course, the peasants will say anything, after all.

Hesse-Engelburg News

Hesse-Engelburg Extends Recognition to Hesse-Fedora

The Principality of Hesse-Engelburg has become perhaps the first small state in the region to extend recognition to Hesse-Fedora, offering their newly formed regional neighbor an exchange of ambassadors. It is as yet unknown if this will sour relations with Hesse-Homburg, but with the Principality already mobilizing to deal with the Ober-Schweinsberg situation, it's difficult to tell if Their Graces are making any increase in defenses in response.

Ober-Schweinsberg Disintegrating

In what is now being refered to as the War of Ober-Schweinsberg Succession, the Landgraviate of Ober-Schweinsberg is rapidly disintegrating into various armed factions. Besides a patchwork of districts loyal to either Prince Arnold or Prince Ansgar, various cities and lesser nobles have chosen to declare either independence or neutrality rather than support either Prince. Most notable of these, perhaps, is the Bad Nachtschwein League, a trade league formed by various Ober-Schweinsberg cities and led by Bad Nachtschwein, one of the principal market cities of the Landgraviate. The League has chosen to declare itself a government, and has called upon the surrounding states to recognize it as an independent association of free cities.

Feldkamp Gala to Continue as Scheduled

Major Reinhold Feldkamp, the well-regarded commander of the General Staff Headquarters Guard, is hosting another of his bimonthly parties on the morrow at his grand estate. While there was speculation the party might be cancelled with war worries escalating, Major Feldkamp has confirmed that the gala will be continuing as scheduled. The Feldkamp Galas are attended by visitors from several foreign nations, most of them individuals or the family of individuals who once served with the Major during his time in mercenary service on the Austrian frontier.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hesse-Engelburg Issues Diplomatic Advisory

Hesse-Engelburg's Ministry of State has issued an advisory to the diplomatic offices of all states in the region regarding the present unrest in Ober-Schweinsberg. The latest reports from Ober-Schweinsberg indicate the Landgraviate to be in a state of full-scale civil war, with the armies of the Landgrave divided between the two brothers, and additional forces being raised, conscripted, or hired by both sides.

The Ministry of State recommends that all countries bordering Ober-Schweinsberg increase their border patrols to ensure that the conflict does not spill into their territory as it recently did into Hesse-Engelburg. The Ministry of State wishes to confirm that the General Staff of the Army are interviewing prisoners from the recent Battle of Hirschtal to determine whether the units involved were acting upon the orders of either Prince or were operating under the command of a rogue general for personal gain. The Ministry of State wishes to emphasize that the Principality of Hesse-Engelburg has not yet chosen to intervene upon either side of the conflict and is continuing its attempt to broker a diplomatic solution.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Digression: After Action Report

First question: no, there aren't any pictures from the battle. There's nothing really visually impressive to show, as the battle was conducted on a 2'x5' plywood board with baremetal figures using oddly shaped sections cut from green index cards to mark wooded areas. It's also perhaps done to save our BIG battalion folks from the trauma of seeing my battalions marching along with exactly six figures each. ;)

With the sudden introduction of Ober-Schweinsberg and the questions asked about relations with Hesse-Engelburg, I wanted to get in a quick little battle Sunday evening rather than simply write up another article about it. So I took my the 3 musketeer companies and 1 grenadier company of the Lintzer regiment that are NOT sitting on painting blocks and put them on the tabletop, using each company as a battalion. Two units and a general a piece, but with Hesse-Engelburg receiving the grenadier unit.

Rules used were Standing Like a Wall, though I'm not sure Ioannis would even recognize them as I was playing a battle totally scaled wrong for them. The battalions were operated as separate entities borrowing brigade level rules from SLaW, while the overall general, despite commanding a force nominally the size of a regiment, was playing using the corps commander rules. It was my first attempt at using the rules, and I have to remember to send Ioannis some of my questions. I made decisions on the fly as to how to apply certain rules.

The battle started out with the two musketeer "battalions" of Ober-Schweinsberg starting at the south end of the table, at opposite east-west edges with the general roughly in the middle, and both battalions on Advance orders. Meanwhile, the Engelburg forces started at the other end of the table, similarly spread but with the musketeers (Lintzer) on Advance and the grenadiers (von Platzen) on Support orders.

Both forces advanced, with the Schweinsberg forces slowed down by successive lines of trees to go through, and the Engelburg forces funneling inward to a central open area between two large patches of woods, where their general rushed forward and took advantage of their closeness to switch Lintzer to Hold orders, thus causing the Supporting von Platzen to halt as well. They waited there for the Schweinsberg forces.

The Schweinsberg general joined the Eastern musketeer battalion, and they advanced forward until they passed through a small wood to emerge just inside firing range from the Engelburg musketeers. Already, the separation between the two battalions was causing me a bit of trouble, as I couldn't change the orders of the Western battalion, who continued marching onward. I'd forgotten I could send a messenger with the change orders at this point.

Initial volleying from Lintzer failed to cause any casualties, while the Eastern Schweinsbergers had to wait for another activation to return fire, having already expended their action points in their advance. von Platzen stood ready to support, but took no action, as the Lintzer battalion had not yet been attacked.

Next round the Eastern battalion fired on Lintzer with little effect, and von Platzen fired back with only one hit. Lintzer, however, took advantage of the nearness of the general to switch to Charge orders, and charged straight into the flank of the Eastern battalion. Intial melee action actually went against Lintzer and the Schweinsberg general headed off to redirect the Western battalion, but in the following round their dice were hot and the Eastern battalion took heavy casualties and broke and fled.

The Lintzer commander attempted to halt their pursuit, but without success, and the Lintzer battalion charged on after their vanquished opponents, catching them in the rear and wiping them out to a man in two more rounds of melee.

Meanwhile, the Schweinsberger Western battalion was caught up to by the general, and wheeled around to advance on the von Platzen grenadiers. This provoked volley fire back and forth, initially inconclusive with the Western battalion taking gradually heavier casualties. Incidentally, two consecutive attempts were made by the Schweinsberg general to send a messenger to try to rally the Eastern force before it was destroyed, but in both attempts the messenger idly sat around considering his hope of promotion without ever actually leaving the general's side.

As casualties mounted in the Western battalion, the Lintzer battalion wheeled through 135 degrees and made a forced march across the table, to approach the Western battalion's flank. The Schweinsberg generally finally admitted defeat, ordering the Western battalion to withdraw....but he had no better luck with it than with the messenger. It promptly ignored him and continued the firefight (failed morale role to disengage). The general abandoned the unit, fleeing for his life, while the continued volleys allowed the Lintzer battalion to come into range and charge. No actual contact was made, the mere fact of the Lintzer charge being enough to break the morale of the Western battalion and send it routing off the table edge to its rear.

Monday, May 14, 2007

First Battle Honor Awarded

In a special ceremony upon the field of battle outside Hirschstal, Generalfeldmarshal Baron Ernst von Krimm awarded the Lintzer Regiment with a battle honor for their exceptional performance. In addition to the battle honor, Their Graces have commanded that the regimental mess be supplied from the royal kitchens for one week.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Battle at Hirschtal! War Imminent?

At approximately 8pm this evening, a body of Ober-Schweinsberg troops was reported by alert Borderers entering Hesse-Engelburg territory south of the town of Hirschtal. A body of Hesse-Engelburg troops responded to the threat, marching south quickly and meeting the enemy outside of Hirschtal.

Our forces under Generalmajor Count Manfred von Waffenschmidt, the newly appointed commander of the army's 1st Brigade, were able to win a decisive victory in a prolonged engagement with the invading forces. The Lintzer Musketeers acquitted themselves especially well, being credited with the complete destruction of an entire enemy battalion in a series of sharp charges, coming away with the battalion's colors. Meanwhile, the second battalion of enemy musketeers were whittled down by a withering fire from the von Platzen Grenadiers, and routed from the field by a spirited flank charge from the returning Lintzer regiment.

Enemy casualties are estimated at over 700 dead and perhaps 20 captured, while our own casualties are believed to have been approximately 40 killed and 120 wounded. The seriously wounded have been transported to the hospital at Nonnenzuflucht, while the bodies of the slain are being identified for return to their families for burial.

At the present time it is believed the handful of captured prisoners are being questioned by staff officers to determine whether the enemy battalions were operating on orders from either of the brothers competing for the Ober-Schweinsberg throne. If either Prince is judged to be the instigator of such a heinous invasion, it is likely that a declaration of war will soon follow from Their Graces.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ober-Schweinsberg Succession in Doubt; Hesse-Engelburg Forces on Alert

News reports from Ober-Schweinsberg indicate that the reigning Landgraf was killed two days ago in a fall from his horse while hunting in the mountains. Couriers sent to deliver condolences from their Graces have reportedly found the Landgraviate in an uproar with the Landgraf's twin sons each claiming the right of rule. While it is clear that Arnold is the eldest of the twins by seven minutes, his younger brother Ansgar has reportedly accused Arnold of having caused their father's death.

Relations between Hesse-Engelburg and Ober-Schweinsberg have been cordial for the last century, though not always good in past ones, and there is some concern that the outcome of this conflict between brothers could be detrimental to Hesse-Engelburg trade interests. Their Graces have issued an advisory to all citizens of Hesse-Engelburg to avoid travel into the region while the matter is settled, and it is feared that the brothers may soon escalate from accusations to armed warfare. Already each of the brothers has been crowned Landgraf in a separate cathedral by competing bishops, and it is believed that the noble families of the Landgraviate will soon be taking sides.

Generalfeldmarshall von Krimm has issued an alert to Hesse-Engelburg forces in case the conflict should spill over, and it is reported that the garrisons of the Waldschloß, the Südschloß, and Festung Eisenschild have all been reinforced to ensure the security of our southern border.

Their Graces have also reportedly recalled Bishop Ulrich Frankel from his relief efforts in the Duchy of Saxe-Huack in the hopes that he may be able to offer his services to moderate the dispute.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Know Thy Neighbor

Because every good German state has to have neighbors, I present to you the neighbors to the south, the Landgraviate of Ober-Schweinsberg.

The ancestors of the current Landgrave received the land in gift after the first Landgrave, then a landless knight, raised and personally led a body of men into the stronghold of a powerful robber baron to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a nearby Duke. His success in not only rescuing the daughter but eliminating the band of robbers endeared him to the Duke, earning him not only the grant of the land of the former Baron but also the hand of the Duke's daughter in marriage.

Such, at least, is the official history, though there are those mostly from neighboring provinces who contend that the robber Baron was actually a partner to the Landgrave-to-be, and the entire kidnapping plot was simply a scheme to allow the knight and the daughter to marry with the father's blessings.

Regardless of the rumors, however, the Landgraviate is a small but proud country with a long tradition of arms and has been known to provide mercenary companies to many of the larger states in their various conflicts through the years.

RSM95 Reinforcements

After much dithering, pondering, and scraping together of funds, and repeated alterations of plan to maximize the purchase, there's a body of new figures en route from RSM.

Rich of RSM worked with me to make some substitutions on one of their Prussian Artillery Battery bags, allowing me to replace 5 designated crew figures with the Prussian Officer with Spontoon figure. This will give me a small 2-gun battery of mixed weight, with each gun crewed by 3 gunners under 1 officer with Spontoon. A Prussian Officer with Cane will command the battery.

The remaining 3 Officers with Spontoon will be allocated to command the companies of the Lintzer Musketeers. This will give me a battalion organization of:
4 Musketeer companies, each of 6 Musketeer Marching under the command of 1 Officer w/Spontoon.
1 Grenadier company, of 6 Grenadier Marching under the command of 1 Officer w/Spontoon.
Battalion staff of: 1 Mounted Officer, 1 Officer w/Cane, 1 Drummer, 1 Standard Bearer.

Accompanying the artillery batter is one cavalry bag of Austrian Hussars in Busby. These should form 2 squadrons of the Fuchshöhle Hussars. Later, when I can afford it, I'll add a second bag to bring the unit up to 4 squadrons.

Also accompanying these two bags are an additional 8 Musketeer Marching and 2 Officer with Spontoon. By combining these with the 4 Musketeer Marching left from the original Musketeer Marching bag, I can form two full Musketeer companies of the Garde du Corps Prinzessin Gertrude, with a command group of my remaining Prussian Officer with Cane, Drummer, and Standard Bearer.

End result, once painted up should be:

1 battalion Musketeers
1 half-battalion Musketeers
1 half-regiment Hussars

Perhaps down the line a bit, I can eek out the funds to fill out the remainder of the half-units.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Army of Hesse-Engelburg

Army Headquarters
Generalfeldmarshal Baron Ernst von Krimm
Husband of Baroness Verena von Krimm, the Chief Attendant to the Fürstin, Generalfeldmarshall Baron Ernst von Krimm is an officer of moderate experience gained mostly in mercenary service in the squabbles of one or two of the larger states. Not of noble birth himself, the Generalfeldmarshall is nevertheless well-respected, being regarded as a gentleman of excellent qualities. He is a keen rider, and a frequent participant in the fox hunts through the Fuchswald where he often leads the pack upon his favorite stallion, Sturm. He gained his title through his marriage to Verena, the sole heir of the former Baron, in a pairing undeniably that noble rarity of a love match. Even those with traditional dislike of a middle class gentleman entering the bloodline dare not speak against it openly due to the high favor in which the Fürst holds the Baron and the deep friendship between the Baroness and the Fürstin.

Major Reinhold Feldkamp
Though he is officially the commander of the small headquarters guard detachment, most of those "in the know" believe that Major Reinhold Feldkamp is destined for a bigger role in any actual wartime service. With experience in mercenary service on the Austrian frontier, it is believed that the Major would operate not only as a significant advisor to the Generalfeldmarshall, but also might be called upon for detached service to command a "fire brigade" of troops collected for key actions under the director orders of the Generalfeldmarshall. The Major is also known to maintain steady friendships with old comrades in various parts of the world, and no one seems to be certain exactly how many contacts he may have at his disposal. He is rumored to have amassed a small fortune during his service to Austria, a rumor primarily fueled by the lavish parties he occasionally throws for foreign visitors. While by no means on a level of the great crowns of Europe, his parties are still in excess of what a Major's pay or his small estate near Bieberheim would seem to justify.

Guards Brigade
Generalmajor Paul von Scheider - Brigade Commander
A man of limited combat experience, Generalmajor von Scheider is in his fourth decade of life and known to be devotedly faithful to his wife, Roswitha. Before the formation of the army, he led a body of the volunteer militia in the district near the capital, and is credited with the elimination of a band of robbers operating in the region during a hunt of six months duration. He and his wife will soon celebrate their 25th anniversary.

Garde du Corps Prinzessin Gertrude
Inhaber: Prinzessin (Princess) Gertrude Blauerwolf
Commander: Oberstleutnant (Lt. Colonel) Milheiser

When the decision to raise an army for Hesse-Engelburg was made, the very first to put personal finances behind the raising of a regiment was none other than Princess Getrude herself, eldest daughter of the Fürst and Fürstin. As is typical of royally maintained regiments, the Princess is herself the Inhaber of the regiment, but it is commanded in the field by Oberstleutnant Milheiser, formerly the second in command of the garrison of Schloß Blauerwolf itself. An unusual formation, its composition dictated by the Princess herself, the Garde du Corps Prinzessin Gertrude will field a mixed legion of infantry and cavalry of as yet uncertain size. Its depot is at Engelburg and its recruits mostly hail from Engelburg, Karlsdorf, and other towns and villages along the Schlafwasser river valley.

Wolfgreifer Fusiliers
Inhaber/Commander: Graf (Count) Rudolf von Heffernick

The second guards regiment added to the establishment, most recruits hail from Conradstadt and surrounding towns, and the regiment's depot is located there.

"Eisen und Flamme" Artillery Battery
Inhaber/Commander: Captain Steiger

Funded by the Steiger family, famed iron merchants of the city of Eisenbrückenstadt, this battery was the first artillery unit to form in Hesse-Engelburg. Most recruits for the battery are drawn from the mining families of Eisenhügel, rather than from Eisenbrückenstadt itself. The base for the unit is, however, Eisenbrückenstadt, and when not needed for field services its cannons are often mounted in the redoubt that guards the city gates.

Regular Infantry
Lintzer Musketeers
Inhaber/Commander: Colonel Lintzer

The first unit entered upon the regular establishment, the Lintzer Musketeers are owned by Colonel Lintzer, and have their depot in Lintzhausen, the town founded by one of Colonel Lintzer's ancestors several centuries ago. The Lintzer family has made its fortune off of timber sales, and many of the recruits come from the town of Lintzhausen and the logging villages scattered through the surrounding forests.

Grauerhimmel Fusiliers
Inhaber/Commander: Colonel von Schlichter

The second unit to enter the regular establishment, depot in Grauerhimmel. Recruits primarily from Grauerhimmel and surrounding towns. Its grenadier company is rumored to be formed entirely of second sons of goatherding families.

Grenadier Regiment von Platzen (Schwarze Grenadiere)
Inhaber/Commander: Colonel Rupert von Platzen

Already obtaining a reputation for their eye-catching black uniforms with red facings, the Von Platzen Grenadiers recruit mostly in the hereditary lands of the Landgraf von Platzen around the town of Platzenheim. The regimental Inhaber is the third son of the current Landgraf. While his older brothers were born to the Landgraf's first wife who died giving birth to the second, Rupert is the eldest son of the Landgraf's second wife, and much of the regiment is reportedly financed from elements of his mother's own family fortune.

Jager Regiment von Behler
Inhaber: Markgraf von Behler
Commander: Colonel Gebhard von Behler

Headquartered at Waldschloß, the hereditary home of the Markgraf von Behler, the Jager Regiment von Behler is formed of hunstmen from the forest region roughly bounded by the Waldschloß and the towns of Hirschtal and Fünfleben. Its Inhaber is the Markgraf von Behler himself, and its commander is his eldest son and heir, Gebhard. Companies of the regiment are on active service patrolling the border areas around the castle, and are responsible for keeping the road between the Waldschloß and the trading center of Südmarkt clear of bandits for the trade caravans that pass through.

Regular Cavalry
Fuchshöhle Hussars
Inhaber: Colonel Stieffer

Widely expected to be one of the most effective cavalry regiments in Hesse-Engelburg, the Fuchshöhle Hussars are formed from the town of Fuchshöhle, the center of the Fuchswald fox hunting world. Mounted on their own personal horses bred locally rather than on government-provided mounts, the men of the regiment have life-long experience riding through the local forests and hills and are likely to be used extensively for reconaissance and as guides in the event of war breaking out. Their commander, Colonel Stieffer, is a forest guide from one of the best respected hunting families in the region, which has provided the personal guides of the hunting parties of the Blauerwolf family for generations.

A Sad Defeat

At the last minute, someone has decided they wanted Soldier Kings worse than I did, and sent it out of my price range. Sad.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Debate on troop purchase

I've been debating on and off for several days now between possible troop purchases.

1) An artillery battery, which would give me some firepower of note alongside my infantry battalion.
2) A group of Hussars in Busby. I'm seriously considering doing all of Hesse-Engelburg's Hussars in busbies. In particular, I'm pondering doing the Fuchshöhle Hussars with a particular coloration in mind. Whether I can pull it off is another question. :>
3) A second battalion of Musketeers. If I follow this option, then I'm probably going to ask for a custom bag, replacing a few of the officers and musketeers with officers with spontoons to fit out my desired count of 1 per company.

Any number of a thousand other combinations are in my brain of course ;) One of the other interesting possibilities is doing a unit of Jagers using the hunting shirt figures from the French and Indian Wars or AWI lines.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Hesse-Engelburg Statistics

Having taken the income and population systems from Henry Hyde's Wars of the Faltenian Succession articles, with a little modification on my part, I've come out with the following figures:

GNP - 1,158,800 wolfzahn per annum
Population - 1,298,150
Men eligible for service - ~65,000

Hesse-Engelburg Map Draft 2

Not a lot of significant visible changes here. I found out how to turn all the text sections transparent, corrected a spelling error, and tacked a name onto the fortress in the south that lacked one. One or two minor positioning adjustments on terrain features as well.

Hesse-Engelburg Sends Aid to Refugees

A humanitarian relief column has set forth from Hesse-Engelburg at the direction of the Fürst and Fürstin, bearing wagonloads of goat's milk, goat cheese, and warm blankets in the direction of the city of Esch in the Duchy of Saxe-Huack. Their Graces have expressed their concern over the recent flood of refugees into the city. Detachments of the von Platzen Grenadiers and the Fuchshöhle Hussars have been detailed to escort the column to ensure against brigands, and Their Graces request safe passage from all territories through which they may pass in reaching the Duchy. To oversee the distribution of the relief supplies, Their Graces have chosen the well-regarded Bishop Ulrich Frankel of Conradstadt's cathedral.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hesse-Engelburg Map - Draft 1

This is subject to change, naturally, as I may well decide to add some towns or shift things around at some point. But below is a reasonably satisfactory map of the Hesse-Engelburg area, created with the GameMapr software.

I owe thanks to Henry Hyde for his articles in Battlegames Magazine about making maps for his Wars of the Faltenian Succession which inspired me and also provided a mechanism for randomly generating terrain. Additional thanks goes to Stokes Schwartz for his advice, and Klaus Schultheis for his assistance in checking my translations and some very useful suggestions that provided further naming inspiration. I also benefited from the examples of several other wargamers whose maps preceded mine.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Painting - Baby Steps

I admit, it doesn't feel like I'm getting very far with my first painting attempt. But I remind myself it's a learning endeavor. My workspace has been taken over at the moment by a family computer that died earlier this week, so that's been an inhibitor to further progress. But below you'll find pictures of the first company of the von Lintzer Musketeers (6 musketeers, 1 officer with spontoon) plus the 4 spare figures from the bag, all coated with gesso.

My first test figure now has some skin color, a sloppy coat of gray paint, and an attempt at getting the yellow applied. Unfortunately, the yellow seems to have separated too much to cover areas of gray, so I need to either get it to mix more thoroughly or switch colors. We'll see which. It's possible, given the time of late fall that the paint was delivered, that the paint could have frozen and separated somewhere along the way. I hope it's just settled and I need to shake it more.

Colors used:

  1. Vallejo 70815 Basic Skintone - the lighter color which can be seen where the head and rifle meet. I wasn't satisfied with it, so I painted over it.
  2. Vallejo 70860 Medium Fleshtone - the current flesh color in use. I'm happier with it, though I may try to learn how to put a little highlight in with the former.
  3. Vallejo 70869 Basalt Grey - The basic color for coats and trousers of Hesse-Engelburg regulars. I expect to use a lot of it.
  4. Vallejo 70953 Flat Yellow - The yellow that didn't cover well the first attempt at all, being liquid thin in places. We'll try shaking it up more, and applying a second coat.

I'm open to suggestions on better ways to handle that yellow. Worst case scenario, I may switch to violet facings perhaps.

And now the pictures:

Tourism Tops 1500

Well, the current total of visitors stands at 1504. That's considerably more than I'd have thought to have in such a reasonably short period. Thank you very much to those of you who've visited and left comments of encouragement.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Capitol and government

The capitol of Hesse-Engelburg is perhaps unsurprisingly named Engelburg, and is located on a lower slope in the Eingang des Himmels (Doorway of Heaven) mountain range in the northeastern part of the country. A walled city since medieval times, Engelburg forms not only the center of government, but also the first obstacle for any enemy seeking to reach Schloß Blauerwolf, the palace and hereditary castle of the Fürst and Fürstin.

The castle of the Fürst sits further up the slope, jutting out to survey the land for miles around and accessibly only by the main road up from the city below. From here, the Fürst and Fürstin rule over their land, though they are often to be found in the city below, mingling with the people or visiting the government buildings within the city housing the Fürstentumrat and various lesser offices.

Fürstentumrat (Principality Council)
The Fürstentumrat serves as a largely advisory body, housing representatives from the various cities and noble houses of Hesse-Engelburg. Each noble of Burgraf or above is entitled to a seat in the upper house of the council, while seats in the lower house are apportioned to each city of more than 10,000 persons, additional seats being granted to "districts" (kreise) composed of lesser cities and villages combined together in groupings approximating 10,000 persons. Members of the Fürstentumrat bear the title of Ratsmitglied (plural Ratsmitglieder), or Councillor, while the leader of the body is the Vorsitzender (Chairman). Members of the lower house serve for 5 years, while the upper house is hereditary, being always held by the current bearer of the noble title.

The Fürstentumrat has no decision making authority, but its counsel is often sought upon the matters of the principality, and members of the Fürstentumrat may bring petitions to vote before the body, which if agreed to by a majority are presented by the Vorsitzender of the Fürstentumrat to the sovereign in request of new laws. The decision remains firmly with the throne.

Once a month, either house of the Fürstentumrat may choose to issue a formal petition to the king for a matter which fails to pass the full Fürstentumrat, but only upon the agreement of 2/3 of that particular house. This is believed to offer a measure of balance to prevent either house dominating the agenda of the body.

The office of Vorsitzender is a particularly contentious one at times, being elected by a full vote of all members of the Fürstentumrat, and requiring a 2/3 majority for approval. A Vorsitzender retains his post until death, retirement, or until his removal by a 2/3 vote of all members. On occasion, a Fürstentumrat is unable to select a Vorsitzender. In such cases, the Fürst appoints a Vorsitzender, who remains in the position for one year, after which the Fürstentumrat may either confirm him for a full term, replace him by voting in another, or set aside the matter for an additional year if no 2/3 majority can be gained in favor of either option. Fürst Karl III, great great great great grandfather of the current Fürst, appointed a Vorsitzender in a particularly contentious time who served for a record 23 years before a replacement was finally elected.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

RSM95 Standard Bearer

I thought it worth mentioning, since several of us use the Prussian figures, that I had a suggestion from Richard that the Prussian officer with cane could be converted into an effective standard bearer. I lack the confidence to try any conversion yet, but I thought it worth mentioning for those who might want to give it a go.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

RMS95 Prussian bag compositions

Obviously, these are subject to change at any time by DPC, but here's the current compositions of some of the bags as sent to me by Richard Masse:

Prussian Cuirassiers
SYWP-CC - 1 Off, 1 Trumpeter, 10 Troopers (1 trooper can act as standard bearer), Swords, Flag Pole, 6 Standing Horses, 6 Trotting Horses.

Prussian Dismounted Dragoons Firing
SYWP-DDF - 2 Off, 34 Dismounted Dragoons Stand and Fire.

Prussian Dragoons (mounted)
SYWP-CD - 1 Off, 11 Troopers (1 trooper can act as standard bearer), Carbines, Pistols, Flag Pole, 6 Standing Horses, 6 Trotting Horses.

Prussian Fusiliers Marching
SYWP-FM - 2 Off w/Cane, 2 Off w/Spontoon, 2 Fusilier Drummers, 2 Standard Bearers, 28 Fusiliers Marching, 2 Flag Poles

Prussian Grenadiers Marching
SYWP-GM - 2 Off w/Cane, 2 Off w/Spontoon, 2 Grenadier Drummers, 30 Grenadiers Marching

And from my own experience:

Prussian Musketeers Marching
SYWP-MM - 2 Off w/Cane, 2 Off w/Spontoon, 2 Musketeer Drummers, 2 Standard Bearers, 28 Musketeers Marching, 2 Flag Poles

Monday, April 23, 2007

Getting Gesso out of clothing?

Stokes, have you had any experience with extracting gesso from clothing? I dropped a figure while coating them, which naturally landed on my best pair of pants. :P

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Reply to Stollen

Royal Residence, Engelburg, The Principality of Hesse-Engelburg

22. April 1768

To Their Graces, the Duke and Duchess of Stollen, the Furst and Fursten of Hesse-Engelburg send their warm greetings.

We were most disturbed to hear of the consternation caused within your fine Duchy at the recent mustering of our forces, and do wish to convey to you that we have no designs upon the Grand Duchy in our present activities. Hitherto, Hesse-Engelburg has relied upon our fine local militias and the stalwart vigils of the Borderers to maintain the sanctity of the principality's lands and sovereignty. It is only with concern about the increasing militarization of larger neighbors, doubtless a concern shared by your own people, that we have felt it prudent to follow suit of other principalities in raising a standing force for our protection.

Recent tensions with Stagonia, with whom our respected ally Furst Bruno V has had considerable troubles historically, have forced us to accelerate the activation of our units, but they should in no way be construed as a threat against the Duchy, with whom we hope to have the most cordial of relations. We do, however, extend our thanks for the offer of safe conduct across your territories, should we find it necessary to come to the aid of our allies.

With sincere regards,

Burgraf Heinrich von Waffenschmidt
Minister of State, Principality of Hesse-Engelburg

Friday, April 20, 2007

Gesso: the first attempt

Well, yesterday around 6pm or so, I brushed gesso on my first test figure. So far, so good. I'm rather pleased with the result. I'm including two photos below. The first is of the solitary figure, with a good closeup if you click on it to bring up the original. The second shows the same figure, but also includes my two earlier attempts in the background. The white one on the right is sprayed with white Plasti-Dip. The black one in the background was layered with plain black acrylic paint, but from an old tube, which failed to properly mix with the water I tried to mix it with. Too thin in places, too thick in others, I think.

For those who may be wondering, the gesso figure is stuck on a plastic piece which used to be one of a pair that enclosed HP printer cartridges in an earlier box design. I've got a dozen or more of them that I'd kept around with the eventual thought I'd use them for something. The figure is secured to the surface with a blob of Manco Adhesive Mounting Putty which we used to use to stick posters on the wall when I taught Sunday School several years ago. It's *supposed* to remain good pretty much forever, so we'll see how long I can keep using the same blob successfully.

Tomorrow evening, hopefully, I'll be able to try some paint on the first figure, and perhaps I'll figure out how to strip the other two so I can put gesso on them. Suggestions?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Update and Question

The gesso has arrived via FedEx today. We'll see how things go once I get a chance to try it. Results will likely be posted.

In the meantime, I'm wondering if any of you have favorite Windows-based software for doing maps of your various countries. I'm about to try out AutoRealms when I have the time.

The Army of Frederick the Great by Christopher Duffy

Stokes Schwartz of the Grand Duchy of Stolen (see links on right) asked if I'd post a review summary of the book The Army of Frederick the Great. I highly recommend it after just the bits I've been able to read the last couple of days. Loads of information.

I mentioned in my last post the diagram of a Prussian infantry battalion formation of eight platoons in battle line. The platoons are represented as rectangles, but the position of each NCO, Lieutenant, Captain, Standard Bearer, Drummer, Woodwind player is identified. If I were to make one complaint, it would be that the identities of the NCOs and officers are not noted such as to indicate what the specific ranks of the NCOs are, and which part of the battalion they're attached to. That said, this may actually be intentional, because according to the text the Prussian battalions were administered as 4 companies, but when mustered for battle they were divied out into 8 platoons without apparent regard for their company structure, so men might find themselves in a platoon commanded by an officer they barely knew. Still would have been nice to have a rank indication for NCOs at least :>

The book is filled with information, including a section that lists every regiment of the Prussian army, along with varying levels of detail as to its station, uniforms, name changes it went through, and combat history. It also identifies which grenadier battalions its grenadier company was assigned to in different years.

Additional diagrams include the various deployment methods into battle line or square, with text describing the evolution of the former and how it was used, as well as several good maps of important battles of the Prussian army in the period.

There are a lot of details in the text, describing the development of the army, the equipment and uniforms and how they were changed as well as the benefits and negatives of them. Training methods, discipline, Frederick's relationship with his troops...the book is around 270 pages, and pretty packed.

I'm seriously considering getting the Maria Theresa's Army companion book, also by Duffy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Book received, awaiting gesso

Today's mail brought "The Army of Frederick the Great" by Christopher Duffy, in which I have searched out the diagram of a Prussian battalion recommended by Alte Fritz of OSW.

Meanwhile, I'm hoping the mail will soon deliver to me an order of Liquitex White Gesso. Honestly, the Plasti-Dip remains very disappointing. While it actually makes quite a nice surface when sprayed, it's very difficult to get it into all the proper angles of a figure. It requires multiple sprays and figuring out how to mount the figure so you can reach the next spot. Far too slow for my liking. Therefore, I'm going with a recommendation from Stokes Schwartz of using the gesso. This will be painted on, hopefully allowing me to undercoat much more quickly.

I'm using the extra 4 musketeers as test figures, to get some idea of how to properly handle the painting before I start upon the actual battalion. I think I have finalized that the battalion will be the Musketeers von Lintzer, uniformed in gray coats and trousers with yellow facings.

Yesterday's mail brought the first five back-issues of Battlegames Magazine, which I highly recommend. I've already been flipping through Henry Hyde's articles on the Wars of the Faltenian Succession. I particularly like issue 6, as it coincided well with the stage I'm presently at.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Stagonian Incursions? Goatherd Spies?

Reports are filtering out through the usual gossip channels to suggest that the purported French troops recently captured after an attack on Fair Champion Goatherd Maurice Bouchet are in fact troops from the state of Stagonia.

Rumors are flying in Grauerhimmel that an unidentified Stagonian nobleman may in fact be using troops under his command to attempt to assassinate Herr Bouchet. Tongues are wagging as to the reasons behind such a situation, and indeed as to the exact nature of Herr Bouchet's past. At the SiebenZiegen Inn, Alte Ludwig (interrupted in his usual habit of toasting sequentially each reigning monarch and all their relations for the past 700 years) declared that the son of a friend of a stableboy's uncle's cousin's great aunt's chambermaid's brother's blacksmith's wife's sister's nephew was personally present when Herr Bouchet bested the nobleman and both his sons in duels of honor over a stolen goat. Frau Linkmeyer, the proprietor, disagreed, feeling it much more likely that some errant noble daughter had simply taken a fancy to the goatherd much to her father's chagrin.

Whatever the truth of Herr Bouchet's past, it is reported that our beloved ruler, Furst Guntram Blauerwolf, has dispatched Minister of State Burgraf Heinrich von Waffenschmidt to Saxe-Bearstein to confer with their well-respected ruler regarding the Stagonian incursions. Patrols have been increased along the borders, and the Musketeers von Lintzer are reportedly mustering for service in case of incursions in further strength.

To remember: Dismounted Dragoons

This is mostly for myself, as I'd wondered what the RSM Prussian Dismounted Dragoons looked like. It just so happens that the Duke of Alzheim is raising a unit with some of them.

The Duchy of Alzheim: Dismounted Dragoons

Thursday, April 12, 2007

More Unit Size Pondering

Here's what I'm considering currently. Thoughts?

Each battalion to consist of:

24 Musketeers in 4 companies of 6, and 6 grenadiers in 1 company. Each company to be commanded by a Lieutenant (officer with spontoon figure), who will stand to the left of the first row. The 4 companies to be divided into 2 grand divisions, each commanded by a Captain (officer with sword figure). The whole to be commanded by a Major (mounted officer figure).

I'm dithering, however, over where and how many to deploy of the standard bearer and drummer figures. For the standard bearers, it's either deploy one per battalion, or have the first battalion deploy both a unit standard and a Hesse-Engelburg standard. Drummers though....I dunno. I don't really want to have to do 5 drummers to get one per company. One option would be to stick with the two that come in a standard bag, and just assign one to each division commander. Another would be to assign both drummers to accompany the standard bearer and the battalion commander.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Digression: Followups

Thank you for the comments so far on my questions. Several are still open to further info.

A friend suggested, on the paint scheme question, that I might want to paint my first regiment as one of the more common colors, and wait till I'd gotten a little experience before trying to paint one of the "special regiments", so that any early mistakes would be less noticable by being on the less important units. There's some wisdom to that, though I'm still pondering. Lack of funding makes it difficult to decide to paint an "unimportant" unit first, as it's not certain when I'll then have the funds for the important ones. Decisions, decisions. In the meantime, even if I do paint it as one of the regular units (probably the von Lintzer regiment still), I have 4 leftover Musketeers after the battalion is formed. I intend to make use of those to paint test uniforms for some of the other units.

Stokes, thank you for the breakdown on your regiment. That's quite helpful. And to Alte and Jeff and Miniwargamer for the opinions on officers and priming. I'm still pondering organizational makeup. If I save the foot officers as regimental staff, and work with Richard to custom-build packs to suit my project, that might actually work out quite well. Ponder ponder.

On a separate digression, I've been looking for good cheap 25mm goats, pondering giving each regiment a mascot. We'll see if I actually do it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Digression: Height Observation

I measured the figures this morning, out of curiosity, to see how tall they were.

The marching musketeer is 30mm from the bottom of his base to where his tricorn meets his head. To the top of his pom-pom, I get 35mm. To the tip of his bayonet (vertical for the marching pose), I get 48mm.

The marching grenadier is 30mm, 39mm, and 48mm respectively.

The standard bearer is 25mm for the first measurement, and 27mm to the top of his tricorn (no pom-pom).

Digression: Questions and Answers

In which I answer some questions, and ask some others, and make random comments.

First off, a thank you to Bill of TMP, for having posted my two blogs onto TMP's news! Also, a thank you of course to Dayton Painting Consortium, for making such lovely figures. I'm now itching to ditch everything else this week and just paint. ;)

Answers to previous post comments:

1) Jeff and Miniwargamer ask what color scheme I'll be using for this regiment. Answer: I'm dithering at the moment. My initial plan was to go with the von Lintzer Musketeers, a solid line regiment with a color scheme of gray uniform, yellow facings. I'm very tempted, now that they're here, to paint up a Guards unit with Andrea Blue coat, gray trousers, undecided facing color. I had white in the initial color scheme I did with the template, but I'm starting to think I'd like a brighter color for the first Guards unit.

2) Regarding undercoating, I'm still debating whether to use the black Plasti-Dip, or go with the white gesso that I recently discovered was in a drawer. :> Two good friends, who've both painted competition miniatures for fantasy each use the opposite color, but a third did give an interesting analysis. If you want your colors brighter, use a white undercoat. If you want them darker, use a black undercoat. Whichever color I go with, I *do* intend to undercoat these. As Jeff observed, I didn't undercoat the warrior frogs. This was a purposeful decision on my part, because I was working with limited time, and the survivability of their paint coat wasn't important to me. I was just using them as test figures to practice painting with acrylics and brush on metal...something I've never done before.

Question for Stokes: What's the pose breakdown of your Grand Duchess' Own regiment? How many figures in a company for your regiment? Do you use one "Officer with Spontoon" per company, or some other division? I counted at least 3 in your original photo of the group layed out.

Questions for all:

1) For the SYW period, what position and rank would one expect for an officer with spontoon, an officer on foot with sword, and a mounted officer? I'm trying to decide what kind of officer mix I want for my regiments.

2) For a multi-battalion regiment, do you typically use a mounted officer for *each* battalion, or only for the regimental colonel?

3) For the SYW period, did Grenadier officers wear the normal tricorn, rather than Grenadier caps? RMS95 only seems to carry the officers in tricorns for Prussians, so I'm wondering if this was the norm.

4) I'm tempted to use one officer with spontoon per company in my regiments, which would give a total of 5 (4 for the line companies, 1 for the grenadiers). Does this seem reasonable? Is it too much? What role did those with spontoons play in the historical regiments?

Additional comments:

Still reading? I'm doing some revision in my thinking on unit sizes, in two areas. First, as some of you had already picked up on, I wasn't realizing that the count of 36 in a bag *included* the command troops. The actual count in my current pack is 28. This means I have 4 leftovers at present, from the Musketeers. At that rate, I won't make 3 battalions out of every two packs, obviously, as I was thinking. Rather, that's 7 battalions out of every 6 packs. So when I have some time, I'll be running some calculations to decide the best way to assemble the regiments I want.

As this doubtless extends to the cavalry as well (anyone have a cavalry pack breakdown?), I may take Alte Fritz's advice, and increase the projected size of my cavalry regiment as well.

I'm seriously pondering ordering a bag of Grenadiers to form the von Platzen Grenadiers, with leftovers going towards the grenadier company of my next line regiment. Incidentally, even though I've been speaking of battalion and regiment as sort of interchangable, I'm planning to have multi-battalion regiments once I've gotten some of the initial battalions underway. With a limited budget, however, I want the change to field multiple regiments first, purely so I can play with the fun paint schemes.

Any other random suggestions, painting tips for a newbie, etc?

Monday, April 9, 2007

RSM95 Figures arrive!

See, obviously they were just waiting for me to paint the frogs. Either that, or painting the frogs made them envious. But either way, they arrived this afternoon.

Here's the figure breakdown of a SYWP-MM Prussian Musketeers Marching pack:

2 foot officers with sword
2 drummers
2 standard bearers
2 officers with spontoon
28 musketeers marching

In addition, I ordered:

1 Prussian mounted officer (S5-100)
1 standing horse (LH-001)
6 Prussian Grenadier Marching (S5-007)

Without further delay, here's the pictures:

Digression: Warrior Frogs

Still waiting for the RSM95 figures to arrive. But in the meantime, I had a few minutes last night, so I decided to get out a couple of the Warrior Frogs that I received from Greg Horne (Thanks, Greg!) and try my hand at them. First try at painting figures with acrylics and real brushes (I used model enamels with toothpicks on the few figures painted in the teen years). It's also my first time trying to paint metal figures. With the exception of two souvenir Highlanders brought back from Scotland by a friend, I've never owned any metal figures before.

The frogs seem fun, and should give me a less than critical item upon which to develop my skills. They also remind me of the Wind in the Willows, and the Battle of Toad Hall, from my days of childhood.

Check my other blog ( for a photo of the first pair in progress.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Winning Goatherd Attacked by French Troops!

Maurice Bouchet, the French-born goatherd who won the recent Gruaerhimmel Fair "Best in Show" award for his prize goat Louise, has apparently been attacked at his small farm by a small party of French troops. Details are sketchy at this time, but it is believed that a group of 4 French musketeers attempted to kidnap Maurice as he was leading his herd to a nearby lake. An alert patrol of the Borderers is believed to have come to his aid, assisted apparently by a 70 year old woman who was gathering mushrooms nearby, and is reported to have downed one of the Musketeers with a blow to the head from her mushroom-filled bucket while he was engaged in an argument with Bouchet.

If details prove to be as initially reported, this would represent the second incursion of French troops into Hesse-Engelburg in recent months. Down at the SiebenZiegen in, speculation runs that perhaps the first party intercepted was after Herr Bouchet as well. Alte Ludwig, famed talebearer, disagrees, holding forth that the Frenchmen were in fact after some of Hesse-Engleburg's prize goats, in a move to counter the clear advantage these fine goats have given the principality in the production of cheese.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Minister of State Extends Invitation to Szlachta

Burgraf Heinrich von Waffenschmidt, Minister of State for their Graces, has reportedly extended an invitation to Filip, szlachta of Mieczyslaw, to join him at Their Graces' hunting lodge in the Fuchswald. This is believed to be an effort to foster understanding between Hesse-Engelburg and Mieczyslaw in the wake of the exchange of ambassadors between Mieczyslaw and Saxe-Bearstein.

Winner of Grauerhimmel Fair Goat Contest Announced

After several days of deliberation from the judges, the Grauerhimmel Fair has finally declared a winner of the Best in Show prize for the goat competitions. After the disqualification of 4 goatherds for fighting, the prize has been awarded to French immigrant Maurice Bouchet for his goat "Louise". Herr Bouchet has been a resident of the principality for several years with a small farm in the Rotwildsenke region.