Sunday, 16 October 2011


Went to SELWG show today, they were selling off various Foundry figures at about half price so I grabbed most of the  7YW I could find, the net result is that Saxe-Märchen has had some uniform decisions made for it, ie Musicians and Standard bearers proudly wear the Prussian Fusilier's mitre. Also scored some (I think AWI) guys with a standard black hat but turned up on one side with a feather, they shall be the Grimmwald Jaegers.

Not only that but I managed to score enough bits and pieces for one squadron each of Cuirassiers and Grenadiers zu Pferd to form a combined Garde regiment, to join the Dragoon Regiment.

It's nice to have it all come about organically, as it were.

Update - even better, I know that Hanover had the same - a Garde du Corps/Grenadiers zu Pferd regiment, one squadron of each, and I have enough bits to do that too for my Perfidious Albion army. Not only that but they were the only Hanoverian troops in red, so I just have to build the Blues now to accompany them!

Also scored a broken box of Perry ACW Zouave Command with some bits missing for 50p, they shall be the Artillery and some command figs for my 1848 Trans Syldavians.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Perfidious Albion takes the (painting) field...

I mentioned that 2 friends had donated their British 7YW armies to me, I have sorted all the figures and the following is what I have decided to do (in 12 man Age of Reason battalions - I like Corps scale actions)


- British brigade - 3 Line, 1 Fusilier battalion
- German Brigade - 2 Hanoverian, 1 Hessian, 1 Brunswick
- Mixed Brigade - 2 Highland, 2 Legion Britanique
- Reserve Brigade - 2 converged Grenadier Battalions, 1 British, 1 German
- Lights - 1 Legion Britanique, 1 mixed Jaeger/British Pickets


- Hanoverian Garde du Corps and Grenadiers a Cheval in one heavy Regiment of 2 squadrons
- Scots Greys (Dragoons) - 4 squadrons
- British Light Dragoons - one regiment of 2 squadrons.

Guns - 1 British, 1 Hanover, 1 Brunswick, 1 Hessian

And there was enough left over to build a unit of horse, 3 line foot and a converged Grenadier battalion for Saxe-Märchen (just as well, as the French Corps du Vin foot are now feeling very outnumbered from their shelf, and after Minden they don't hold much cop for a cavalry superiority...) plus there was a small Russian guard contingent who shall become New Byzantium's Varangian Guard and Guard Balkan light infantry to brigade with the Turkish Janitzaroi  .

A huge amount of painting then (and more horse required), that should keep me busy well into next year, but they will have to take their turn behind Trans Syldavia 1848 (first game due in 2 weeks) and finishing Byzantia 1920's cavalry, and a Hammers' Slammers future Imagi-Regiment, the Boucaniers for their first game in November.....

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

On the Perils of being a Small Principality

Saw this on the Not by Appointment blog, and thought it was relevant:

The County of Henneberg was a detached part of Saxony well to the west in Franconia. As it was so isolated the inhabitants were expected to raise militia companies for their own defence; they were probably first raised in 1730 and disbanded in 1756.

Saxe-Märchen is another of those detached Saxon lands, so has exactly the same issues as Hessenberg, abd that has of course impacted the development of its military.....

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Introducing Saxe-Märchen

A Traveller's map of  Saxe-Märchen, showing main towns and other features

The Principality of Saxe-Märchen lies in the farthest southern lands of  the Saxon duchies, almost in Thuringia / Franconia, the Palatinate, and Bamberg - all who have claimed it at some point (In fact it's by by judicously either marrying into or playing off all these parties, that succeeding generations of Saxe-Märchen Princelings have managed to keep a modicum of independence).

Geographically, Saxe-Märchen is bordered to the south side by the Fluss, which originates in the West Thuringian heights and eventually joins the Weser many leagues to the north. A visitor to Saxe-Märchen, boating down the Fluss would notice how it cuts through the high Nebelbergen, (which themselves are an echo of those larger Thuringian heights), flowing vigorously through these high cliffs until it eventually (and with some relief to those nervous of water travel) reaches a point where the river wiidens and becomes more gentle. A small town on the North bank appears - this is Keinbrucken, the first Saxe-Märchen village and the best place in from where a ferry across the Fluss can be taken. After a league or so the Fluss then makes a wide bend  to the east, and on its northern lea shore are wide, flat sands, separated by a small rocky outcrop jutting into the river on which a small fort now stands. These sands are known as the Westerstrand and Osterstrand respectively. 

On the eastern side of the Osterstrand there is a confluence of the Fluss and a smaller tributary stream, the Ang, which flows in from the north. At this confluence are the twin towns of Driebrucken and Koblerz, on opposite sides of the Ang.. 

Koblerz (originally derived from the Latin confluentes for a river confluence, the name bestowed on the town by Charlemagne in his More Roman than Thou phase) has been settled forever, but when two bridges were thrown across the Ang many centuries ago, the settlement that grew on the western side was called Zweibrucken. In the Sixteenth century a channel was cut through the OsterStrang marshes to the Ang, thus avoiding the turbulent water-race where the waters meet. A bridge was eventually thrown over that channel too for the Keinbrucken road, and thus Zweibrucken became Driebrucken. Koblerz is now the junior town, and its inhabitants feel the slight and are famously given to exaggeration to compemsate, so in Saxe-Märchen whenever anyone tells a tall story, he or she is is known to be "talking Koblerz"

From Koblerz, the Fluss takes a very slow curve to the right for a number of leagues, and the steep north slopes of the river face the sun all year round, so have been used for grape growing for centuries. The Fluss then turns sharply left and northeast, and narrows again, and to the north can be seen the dark, brooding Grimmwald. Soon after this great forest starts, a small brook, the Offenbach, flows into the Fluss and this is where the last Saxe-Märchen riverside village - Muhl am Fluss - is located. About a half-league north, on a high promontory jutting out from the forest (at the first cataract of the Offenbach) is the Schwharz Turm, the castle of robber barons from the dark ages on but now used by the Saxe-Märchen army as a border watch point and local headquarters.

But let us assume the traveller puts in at Driebrucken, and takes passage through the marsh, up the Ang into Saxe-Märchen. The barge is pulled up the Ang along the west bank, as the Ang flows along the floor of a valley, the Gluchlichstal. To the west are the high Nebelbergen, to the east are the lower wooded hills of the Grunhöhe, and further north, in the distance, are the higher Blauerhöhe.

After several leagues the visitor will reach the medieval castle and town of Schonburg, the Principal town of Saxe-Märchen. It has always been a fairly well to do town as it is at the conjunction between the Ang and the road from the Nebelberg to the GrimmWald and beyond, but was made even more prosperous in the middle ages, owing to it being the stopping off point for the monastery at KlosterBaden.

Up on the forested heights of the Nebelberg, there are warm springs, and while shrines, hermits and quack doctors had been there for aeons, a monastery - the Kloster-Baden - was eventually set up, and a few years later miraculously announced they had a relic, the big toe of St Simeon Stylites. Not only that, but the monks brewed very good beer. The big toe plus spa waters (plus beer) prompted a medieval tourist rush, and as Klosterbad's reputation grew, Schonberg's inns, taverns and souvenir shops grew with it. 

Not to be outdone, a Nunnery was set up on the other side of the Ang, on the road up to the Blauerhöhe, and the dark blue habits of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy of the Blue Hills gave them the nickname "Blue Nuns". They specialised in winemaking, a light white wine being their speciality ("Our Lady's little helper" the Nuns called it) from the grapes of the wine-slopes on the Fluss, and they started an industry that continues to this day. 

However, the attraction of saintly big toes has long since waned, and KlosterBad and Schonberg are in genteel and sleepy decline, nothing much has happened since the Thirty Years War - and the Princes of the House of  C...  like it that way. However, as Schonburg is about a day's water travel up the Ang from Driebrucken in the south,  and Wahlheim and the Werzel Kanal in the north, it retains its attraction as a stop off point for all manner of merchants and travellers, and market day is not to be missed.

So our traveller, stopping at Schonberg, is at a crossroads - literally. This is the KreuzungPlatz, the main square of Schonberg. South is the road and river to Koblerz-Driebrucken from whence he or she has come, west is the road to KlosterBad and then over the Nebelbergen, East is the road up to the Blue Nunnery and the town that grew around it, Höhekirchen. Carrying on past Höhekirchen the road winds between the BlauerHöhe and GrunHöhe, through the hamlet of Hochenhöhe and down into the dark Grimmwald, and on through that huge forest until it meets the Offenbach, which is the eastern border of Saxe-Märchen. 

There, at the forest hamlet of Offenfurt the traveller can take a forest road south along the babbling Offenbach to the Schwarz Turm and Muhl am Fluss. Many do not like this dark road and prefer the High Road from HochenHöhe along the windy, winding slopes of the Grunhöhe that then cuts down to Muhl am Fluss 

Now, if our travellers in the KreuzungPlatz go north, by road or river, they will see the Glucklichstal widen until the flat northern plain of the Sonnefeldt opens out before them. Rising from the Sonnefeldt plain is the tall spire of Wahlheim's small Cathedral. Wahlheim is near where the Ang and Werzel Kanal meet, at a weir complex nicknamed the "Sturm und Drang". Wahlheim and the canal mark the northern border of Saxe-Märchen, (Theoretically the Saxe-Märchen Princes own some of the meadows on the far side, and the Bishopric owns parts of Wahlheim, but over the decades for convenience the Werzel has been seen as the border between the Princedom and the Bishopric. 

There is also a poorer road around the eastern slopes of the Blauhohe to Wahlheim though the Feeland, , but most people prefer to travel over the Hochhohe pass to ovaer to Grunberg and up the Ang from to Wahlheim instead, stopping at HoheKirchen and "taking in the waters" there as they go. 

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A "Proper" German 18th century Imagi-Nation

It's funny how things twist and turn...I started the New Byzantium project as a way to get my Balkan/Turkic 18th/19th century models into games, but it turns out they are now all going to be employed in the Imagi-Nation Trans Syldavia 1848 project*. And then two friends donated a huge (unpainted) British/Hanoverian army to me, to oppose my WAS/7YW French...who are now looking distinctly weak compared to that mass of perfiidous Albionese.

Anyway, last post I looked at having an Imagi-Brigade for the French, but a bit of research on a typical small ReichsArmee force showed that what I need translates into a typical small Small Imagi-Nation, to whit:

- 1 Kurassier Regiment
- 1 Dragoon Regiment
- 3 Infantry Regiments
- 1 converged Grenadier Battalion
- 1 Battalion of Jaegers
- Artillery

I have all the figures, so next step is to find a name, a location, a uniform (dark blue, I think...) and a flag......and I think it will be Saxe-something as the figures being donated have such a profusion of the Scots Greys in cavalry mitres that some will be given to the Dragoon Regiment above - and the only unit I have seen that has a similar hat is the Saxon von Bruhl's Dragoons. 

( *a few will still appear as the Legion d'Orient in my 7YW French )

Yes, dear reader - the Brigade Imaginaire will join the Corps du Vin for the next camapaign season I think....

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A Seven Years War Imagi-Brigade

The New Byzantium Project seems to have gone in a number of different directions, and here is yet another one...

First one, and now another friend has donated some 7YW British, with the result that the British army I now have is bigger than my original French, even with the Legion d'Orient (my specific New Byzantine units) attached! Even with the imaginary Chasseurs de Bergerac and the Swiss Batalion Valaison!.

Thus, I need to recruit another Brigade (4 battalions), a Heavy and Light Horse regiment, and could fit in some more guns and probably another Grenadier unit or even two.

My French are based on the well known wine producing areas, but I am running out of Regiments (I have even had to think about inserting cheese!) and have recruited my first Imaginary French battalion, the Batalion Valaise (My Swiss regiment, from the Valais wine area).

So, a new Brigade is required, maybe even time for a German ally (after 3 French brigades), and if so....well, why not an imaginary one of those too?

So far the only thing I have in mind is that the Heavy horse will be named after one of my army donors, and I fancy a Lorraine sourced Regiment Mosel, and I have another regiment of unpainted hussars I can use..

FYI it is currently at::

Brigade Champagne:
Champagne, Medoc, Beaujolais, Royal Italian

Brigade Touraine
Touraine, Provence, Perigord, Alsace

Brigade Imaginaire?:
Batalion Valais, Milices de Bordeaux* (or maybe Poictesme),  and 2 more (thinking of a Mosel regiment)

Chevaux Legere:
Royal Roussillon, Fleury, Bourgogne

Languedoc, Schomberg, one more needed

Unattached Lights (foot are c 1/2 battalion strength, Horse are 2 squadrons)

- Fischers (both Hussars and Foot Chasseurs)
- Clermont Prince (Foot)
- Legion d'Orient (Foot Chasseurs and Uhlan Lancers)
- Chasseurs de Bergerac*


Grenadiers Royaux de Chantilly
Gendarmes d'Anjou /Chevau Legeer d'Anjou (one Regiment)

(Probably need one more regiment of foot and heavy horse types now, if not two)

 *Existing Imaginary Units in paint