Tuesday, September 18, 2035

The Origins of the Thirty Course War
      The continent of Epicurea had long known peace. Certainly there were the occasional uprising, riot, food fight or revolt along with the odd dynastic squabble or border conflict but, on the whole, the land had known peace for the better part of a century. That was before the Great Debate had degenerated into the Grand Conflict which, as everyone knows, brought about the the Irredeemable Disagreement. The humble origin of this continent shattering cataclysm was the issue of The Small Plate; more specifically whether one could legitimately replace lunch with a selection of Small Plates as a proper form of repast if one was considering a larger meal later that day. Not that anyone had ever done such a thing, just whether, as a point of philosophy and practicality, it would be proper to do so.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Khurasan 15mm TWY miniatures

              At Christmas my son bought me some 15mm Khurasan Thirty Years War minis. I finally got around to painting them and I am quite satisfied with the results (despite my limited painting skills). Five Generals, three of which depict the "Three Sons of Gluttonia"; Hanz, Granz and Clauz. The balance of the minis are sword and buckler figures to provide Melee Companies to back up my existing Thirty Years War figures, five bases in all. But on to the minis!

the Three Princes; Hanz, Franz and Clauz
very nice figures with loads of character and detail

Sunday, January 26, 2020

A Matter of Outposts

       To; Commandant of Veloute
       From: Captain  Lars Vanderhoute
       Regarding:  The recovery of two cannon by our patrols along the road to Bourguignonne

                 As your esteemed majesty will remember the enemy engaged out forces on the 25th of October in Anno Domini 1619. In the course of that battle our troops routed the enemy militia of Veloute and overran their guns. These cannon were not recovered at the time because the enemy had burned the carriages. I am happy to report that those guns are now safely on their way to you. On the 26th of January one of our patrols observed a sizeable enemy force moving to the old battlefield.  At first they thought it was just Small-Platers foraging but as they continued to observe it was clear that the enemy was up to more than collecting supplies.     
        They reported this activity and continued to shadow the Small Plater unit. As they observed the enemy I ordered that all of our available patrols were to be summoned to the area. We waited until the Small Platers had remounted the guns on carriages and had brought in draft animals to begin carrying away the cannon. At that time we had only been able to assemble four companies of Horse and two of Dragoons, the enemy had two units of Horse, a unit of Pike and three of Shot as well as artificers, drovers and gunners. Despite the lack of infantry I decided to launch an attack as the enemy was harnessing his teams to remove the cannon. Through the bold and brave action of our soldiers we were able to overcome the enemy and eventually capture the cannon and draft teams. Causalities among our troopers were unavoidable and heavy but the enemy force was scattered.

            Your Most Humble and Obdedient Servant,
                                                               Captain Lars Vanderhoute

the patrols from the west advanced resolutely and in perfect order, 
the dragoons were particularly effective in countering the enemy musketeers hidden in the woods

with the musketeers distracted by the Dragoons, Lt. Deveraux's Horse charged the cannon and drove off the gunners while Lt. Asby-Smythe's Horse shattered the Small-Plater Cuirassiers

Lt. Asby-Smythe deserves particular credit for his heroic actions leading his men they completely shattered the enemy's heavy cavalry with one brilliant charge 

       This was a small battle that we fought out using Pikemans Lament, I do apologize for using my Lace Wars Horse, I am still in the process of painting my remaining Thirty Years War Horse.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Dijon In The Dunes......

.......or How To Save Your Frigate (which you thoughtlessly let become grounded on a hostile shore)

December 6th, Anno Domini 1619, somewhere on the coast of Nylia

           This small  game is a follow-up to The Tale of Two Frigates; it was played using Pikemans Lament rules with one modification; a failed Command Test would not end your turn just prevent the unit in question from moving. The Nylian force consisted of eight units of Akinji, mounted troops that were treated as Trotters and four units of Azabs who were treated as Clansmen. The stranded sailors were represented by the Topmen (sailors used to working the rigging and less suited to melee) they were formed into units of Commanded Shot, Deck Hands who were treated as Clansmen, and Cadre (officers and Marines) who were considered to be Veteran Forlorn Hope. The Freedonians had also managed to recover a Heavy Cannon from the frigate and place it in a prepared position. The Freedonians also had constructed some redoubts from wreckage and barrels of supplies. Trunkmonkey commanded the Freedonains and I ran the Nylains.

the Nylian force, eight units of Akinji and four of Azabs,
 and. ironically,  a glass of bourbon

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A Tale of Two Frigates

            Captain Rene Chartrand looked at his ship, the Dijon, as she lay on the sand, battered and beached by the storm, then he glanced further down the shore at the broken remains of the Moutarde and sighed. Shielding his eyes against the glare of the sun he sought out his First Mate Alaine Clermont. "How many healthy men have we left?" he queried.
             Alaine looked up at his from his seat on a barrel, and replied in a matter of fact tone, "Between both vessels we have about two hundred men fit for service and another fifty that will be fit in a few days, the rest are drowned or soon to be dead".
            "Food and water?"  the Captain queried.
            "We are fortunate in that we had just been re-provisioned; enough to last us six weeks at full rations. Much was spoiled but then, many men are dead, so it works out rather well"
             Chartrand felt somehow annoyed at Alaine's callous tone but tried to focus on the matter at hand. "How long do you think it will take to get the Dijon afloat?" he asked as he gazed at the rigging trying to determine how badly the lines had been damaged.
             Alaine leaned back on his seat, squinted against the sun and replied in a surprisingly confident tone, "Twenty-one days exactly, M'Lord"
            "You are a wonder-worker Alaine, just three weeks? That is wonderful" Chartrand was elated at the good news, he had been dreading spending the better part of six weeks on this God-forsaken beach.
            "Be careful of what you wish. I said three weeks because the extreme high tide will lift the vessel in that time regardless of whether we have made her seaworthy or not. One way or another there will be sea beneath the keel."
             Chartrand felt the blood drain from his face and his shoulders slumped, how could his first command of a ship have ended so poorly? "Well we will certainly have our work cut out for us then".
             Alaine replied with a chuckle, "I wouldn't be too worried M'Lord, we are unlikely to be alive at the time of the tide"
             Chartrand shot him a quizzical glance, "Good God man, what are you talking about, you just told me that we have food and water for six weeks!"
             Alaine gave him a graveyard grin and pointed southward across the dunes at the line of figures on the horizon, "There were only one or two an hour ago, now there are dozens, within a couple of hours there are likely to be hundreds. They are here to pillage the wrecks and we are in their way"
            "We can let them have the Moutarde while we keep the Dijon, no blood needs to be spilt over this" the Captain said hopefully as he gazed at the tiny dark outlines on the edge of the dunes.
            "I like your way of thinking Captain, but, as soon as they find out that we are Freedonians, they will want our heads. The Sultan of Nylia still has a bounty on Freedonians sailors, ever since the Battle of Guigal Gulf in 1602. His favorite son died there fighting against us."
            "Well then. It seems that we have an abundance of problems this day my dear Mr. Clermont. Have the men gather any arms and powder that they can find. We will construct a barricade of wreckage, barrels and crates and see about getting a few cannons off the ship to provide these scavengers a warm welcome".

Monday, January 13, 2020

Preparing for Flintcon 2020

the armies laid out on a 6 x 4 foot table
the convention game will be on an 8 x 5 table and feature a lot more terrain

      I will be hosting a demo game of Tercio at Flintcon on 8FEB2020  in the afternoon session. If you would like to give the rules a go without having to rebase all of your minis drop on by and take a role as a general (or two). You can download a free copy of the simplified rules compliments of the publisher   

Friday, December 27, 2019

After the battle, the situation at the end of 1619

     Having won the battle the Proper Meal faction was in position to drive their foes into submission. The Freedonian generals suggested that the Proper-Mealers should chase the Ferndalian and Hollandaise troops eastwards and the Freedonian troops would see to the Small-Platers from the south and west. The weary but stalwart Tercios followed the retiring Ferndalains with determination but weather and hunger prevented them from overtaking the fleeing enemy. Along the way they took the nearly defenseless town of Veloute. From there they learned that Nantua had been captured by Ferndalain troops that had marched along the seacoast from Roquefort. To the universal dismay of the Proper-Meal faction the Freedonian "pursuit" of their enemy was so dissolute that not only did the enemy manage to return to their hometowns but a wandering band of troops from Buerre Noir captured Rouille almost by mistake. Having lost their prey the Freedonians retired to Buerre Noir to "remain in supply from home" (and certainly not because of the famous cooking school located in that town!). The following maps show the state of developments

the retreat of the defeated armies 

the advance of the victors

 the troops in winter quarters

      The end of the year finds the interior of the country entirely in Proper-Meal hands (except for the central part of the capital) while the Small-Platers are confined to coastal enclaves and the one Ferndalian intrusion into Hollandaise. The armies have settled down into winter quarters but there will certainly be smaller actions fought out in the frozen landscape.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Battle of Hamburg 23DEC1619, The Small-Platers are rebuked

a Tercio Viejo prepares to express its intentions

       It was the shortest day of the year when the two great armies met just east of the tiny farming village of Hamburg. For many it would seem the longest day of their lives. For others it was the last day of their lives. It undoubtedly was the smashing of the Small-Plater ambitions to take the capital by storm and install their claimant to the throne by force majuer. By sundown their army had been shattered and their Ferndalian allies were in full retreat.

          Marching in the misty gloom of the later December night both armies ended up slightly out of their planned positions when the sun finally peeked over the hills. The initial moves were spent getting the forces aligned for battle and sorting out some deployment mistakes. As the sun came fully into view the cannon began to roar and the troops steeled themselves for the chaos of battle.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The greatest Battle of the Year on the shortest day of the year

      Impatient to see some results of his efforts Peter the Famished demanded of his generals (and his Small-Plater allies) another attempt to emplace Hanz on the Gluttonian Throne. No impromptu effort this time, his generals carefully coordinated the gathering of the armies to the south of the capital to effect a storming of the fortress and link up with the Small Plater faction holding the citadel. Marches were organized, garrisons called into action, the border with Boozonia was sealed off to prevent any untoward surprises. Everything was in order except for one small factor, a spy in the copy-room was passing the information to the Proper-Meal faction.

           This allowed the Proper-Mealers to organize a timely response; Freedonian forces moved eastward with sudden urgency and the armies gathered to block the advance of the Small-Platers. By happy circumstance the garrison of Bourguignonne showed up having deduced that the sudden absence of the Small-Plater forces in the area meant that they were moving against the capital. They had undertaken a forced march that only such highly trained troops could endure to appear just in the nick of time.

          The circumstances are now set for the largest battle in living memory with the throne of Gluttonia as the prize.

Friday, December 13, 2019

And in the East......Ferndalia moves as well

       Having reorganized his forces, and not content to wait until next campaigning season to begin his moves, Peter II of Ferndalia has pushed his troops westward. Heartened by these reinforcements the Small-Platers in  Hollandaise have bestirred themselves. Seeking to avoid an "invasion" from the north they have sent a blocking force to close the road from Hollandaise to Laphroaig. The balance of the combined army has moved to Veloute where it is equally well positioned to either strike at the capitol, Vienee, or at the stronghold of the Proper-Mealers in Bourguignonne. A victory in either direction would greatly advance the Small-Plater cause; the symbolic siezure of the seat of government, or the conquest of the home of the Gluttonian Infantry School (a truly formidable task as it is also the home of four Tercio Viejo). Peter II would certainly prefer to knock Bourguignonne out of the war and secure the entire Nantuan valley to his rear before embarking on a further advance into Gluttonia (he also covets the Nantuan valley for his own. It remains to be seen as to which ambition is satisfied.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The situation as of 10DEC1619 Freedonia gets it's way......

       Louis the Ravenous' bold move of using his fleet to turn the position at Cape Canape has paid off handsomely. The Freedonian army was freed to advance into the Soubise valley and then into a blocking position where the road from Soubise to Bordelaise crosses the mountains. The Soubise garrison, now free of threat from the Small-Platers in Bordelaise, has moved toward Ravigotte by way of Espagnole. Meanwhile in the north the Freedonian army has moved forward at a casual pace, gathering in the garrison of  Marinara before before moving to Beurre. Despite the late season Louis' troops do not seem to be in any haste to get to Vienee. Far to the south the much-traveled garrison on Nantua has finally found a friendly port at Poivrade where they provide some very welcome reinforcements.

The Origins of the Thirty Course War       The continent of Epicurea had long known peace. Certainly there were the occasional uprisin...