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.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Thoughts on upcoming troops

Stepping out of news reports and correspondences into the real world thoughts, I've been pondering some more regarding the structure of my units. I haven't even begun to consider artillery...we're still in the stage of dealing with infantry and cavalry.

Here are some planned strengths:

Standard fusilier/musketeer battalion: 24 fusiliers/musketeers in 4 line companies of 6 figures, plus 1 grenadier company of 6 figures. The grenadiers will, of course, be able to be grouped with other grenadier companies to form combined grenadier battalions if needed. Total figures if the grenadiers remain: 30. This dovetails well with the size of the RSM95 bags of 7YW infantry (36 figures gives me 1.5 battalions per bag), and should allow for later splitting up of bags between battalions if I wish to increase the strength to 60 total, or even to 60 line.

Every 2 bags, I'll be able to form 3 battalions, with the assistance of a command set for the third battalion and 18 grenadiers.

A single bag of grenadiers (also 36) could supply grenadier companies for 6 line battalions, or be split between a standing grenadier battalion and 1 or more companies.

Cavalry squadrons: While I might vary these if I feel it needed, I believe I'm going to standardize on a squadron of 4 figures. Since the RSM95 cavalry figures typically come in bags of 12, this will be evenly divisible, giving me 3 squadrons per bag.

Cavalry regiments: I really remain indecisive on these. I'm seriously considering 4 squadrons in size, but I may go with the 3 squadrons per regiment that would allow each RSM95 cavalry bag to produce one regiment. I'm strongly tugged towards the idea of slightly larger regiments however. I really think 16, or perhaps even 20, would look lovely on the table. 16 might be the simplest, and would make some sense, as horse regiments needn't have grenadier companies, and therefore their 4 squadrons would parellel the 4 company formation of the infantry battalion. It would also mean that for ever 4 bags of cavalry (if all the same type), I'd be able to form 3 regiments. Being able to form 4 regiments of 12 would be more economical, but I think I'll enjoy the look of 4 ranks of 4 on column of squadrons better.

Rumor: Goatherds Spying for Saxe-Bearstein?

Word has circulated within Grauerhimmel that the two local goatherds involved in the incident have left their flocks in the care of relatives and chosen to make their way on a journey to allow the flames of anger to die down a bit.

Unsubstantiated rumors claim that the goatherds may in fact have gone to the Duchy of Mieczyslaw in order to watch the recent maneuvers, possibly even at the behest of the government in order to provide information for Saxe-Bearstein. Other rumors even suggest one or more of the goatherds may in fact have joined the Mieczyslaw armed forces. Official sources have refused to confirm or deny the matter, stating only that rumors are common in a time of militarization and uncertainty.

At the SiebenZiegen Inn, local innebriate Alte Ludwig claims that the Eisenhügel goatherder most closely involved in the original dispute has run away to join the forces of Mieczyslaw, and the Grauerhimmel goatherds have gone to bring him back. Frau Linkmeyer, the cook of the SiebenZiegen, feels that the events are much less sinister. "Those old fools? They've run away to join the circus, or maybe the gypsies. Irresponsible louts the lot of them. And that's *before* their first beer. After they get some beer in them, there's no end to their idiocy. Good riddance, I say."

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Grauerhimmel Fair Erupts in Anger

The annual Grauerhimmel Livestock Fair erupted into an open riot Friday after three herders from Grauerhimmel accused an Eisenhügel herder of having shaved a French fleur de lise into the sides of their prize goats during the night to hurt their chances in the competition. A fight erupted between the Grauerhimmel and Eisenhügel herders, drawing in additional villagers and citizens from both towns until the small brawl erupted into a full-scale riot. After the better part of an hour, the riot was finally quelled by the Grauerhimmel Fusiliers, quick-marched from their barracks under the direct command of their regimental Inhaber Colonel von Schlichter.

Briefed by the Fair organizers, who were hiding from the riot on the top of a haystack, the Fusiliers marched to the center of the crowd with lowered bayonets, parting the way without having to injure any of the citizens, and arresting the central figures who started the matter. The goatherds at the center of the controversy have been barred from the competition for the next two years, and ordered to pay fines to help clean up the damages generated. Approximately 30 additional crowd members who joined in the fighting have been issued fines as well, commensurate with their level of involvement.