Tuesday, 10 December 2013

How the GrimmWald Jägers won their bagpipes

Among the reports on the increasing activity north of Saxe-Märchen came the report of strange goings on at a remote old Inn just over the Feeland borders. A company of the newly formed GrimmWald Jägers were sent to investigate in force. As they drew close, they saw some strange men wearing skirts. The Feelanders had always had a reputation for being a bit odd, but this was very odd. The Jägers approached, but as they did so one of the dressed-in-a-dress ones fired a shot at them. The Jägers, though inexperienced soldiers, were all sons of the backwoods and good shots and promptly fired back, dropping the shooter. This prompted a horde more of skirted ones to come storming out the Inn, who started shooting at the Jagers.

GrimmWald Jagers discover men in skirts in old Inn who want to shoot at them

No sooner had a firefight developed, than another bunch of troops, in light blue coats, erupted from around the ruined farmhouse and started shooting at the Jagers too.  The GrimmWald boys began to wonder whether joining the army was such a good idea, no matter how much pretty girls loved a uniform....

 Taking fire from ruined farmhouse...the Jagers are outflanked and in danger

The Jägers decided to retire into an enclosed animal pen, to get cover and some sort of barrier against the skirted ones, who were now clearly massing for a charge and making an unearthly din to boot. The Jägers blew their hunting horns for aid, sent off two of the youngers boys to get it and prepared to make a fighting retreat back to the woods to their rear - or sell their lives dearly

The Jägers retire into an enclosed pen, shooting at the skirted ones, who are massing for a charge

 However, just when things looked at their most grimm (boom boom) yet another bunch of men appeared, and with a crashing volley dropped a number of the enemy. The Jägers, mostly sons of woodsmen and hunters who had never been much farther from home than the dance hall at Muhle am Fluss were both extremely relieved, but also doubly nonplussed - who were all these people running around the wilder bits of the Feeland? A few wild horses and the odd mindering wastrel was it for these parts, usually.

Some crashing volleys from the newcomers send the enemy back into cover

The newcomers carried on their rapid advance towards the old Inn, signalling furiously that the Jagers should do the same. Old Wilhelm Tell, the Jäger company commander, ordered his men to fix bayonets and with a collective gulp, they vaulted the hedge and charged the men in skirts who made the wailing sound. Despite their fervent hopes, the wailing continued.

The GrimmWald Jägers charge with the bayonet

Their opponents however, proved very tough and fought back furiously - until the wailing sound changed, and they all hotfooted it away. The Jägers were exhausted and sank down where they stood. Their strange rescuers came up to the Inn. The Captain of the green clad rescuers had been badly wounded, but while he and the other wounded were being seen to, one of the unit's NCOs spoke enough German to make himself understood and came up to them.

"Who were they - and who are you" asked the Jagers, crowding round him, now more energised by the flow of beer from the Inn's barrels.

"I am Serjeant Roger de Lapin, of the Chasseurs de Fischer, d'Estrees Army of the North, of His Glorious Majesty Louis XV of France. You have just faced off and chased off Scottish highlanders, some of the toughest troops in the English army"

"What - those ones in skirts making an unearthly din? They were just a bunch of hairy girls" said one of the Jägers", braver now

"Don't be fooled by their skirts - they are mountain men, tough as old leather and harder than army biscuits". 

"And who were that other lot in light blue?" aasked another Jäger.

"Those were Hanoverian Legion Brittanique, we have been chasing them for several days, that's why we came here - they have some captive officers with them who we want back. But with our captain wounded we are going to have to stop while we sort him out. There is a squadron of our cavalry nearby, I'm sure they will ride here to the sound of the shooting, and they will have to carry on the chase. The enemy have clearly all being using this Inn as a sort of rendezvous HQ but have now scarpered. However, in their haste they have left some interesting documents. Now, who are you lot" said the NCO "You are clearly very experienced men, to be able to take on and beat the Scots like that"

"Um...we formed last month" said one of the Jägers. "This is our first fight" said another. "And if you lot hadn't showed up, it would have been our last" said one of the more thoughtful Jägers.

"Well now" said Serjeant de Lapin "Your first fight eh? Well, that was some fight you put up!"

"Of course we did" said Tell "We are from the GrimmWald, we may not know about soldiering, but we can all shoot an apple off your head at 50 paces. But still, you did come in the nick of time"

"What was that unearthly noise they made?" said another Jager. "It sounded like a mountain goat dangling by its nuts from a tree-fork* "

"Those were bagpipes, the Scots play them instead of drums and horns and trumpets. Look, they have left some here in their rush to get away..."

"How do they work....."

And that, dear reader, is why the GrimmWald Jägers play the bagpipes.

(Songs of Drums & Shakoes skirmish rules, c 500 pts each of the Jägers, 87th Highlanders, Chasseurs de Fischer and Clermont Prince, and 1st Bn Legion Brittanique. Rules work very well, we used their Napoleonic definitions of similar troops, worked fine).

*And the GrimmWalders would know, believe me....


  1. Excellent reading! Is an adequate miniature conversion planned?

  2. Greetings from Hungary! :D Songs of Drums & Shakoes? Well done!

  3. @Abdul I do have aspare bagpiper...maybe a bit of hacking is required :)

    @Janos yes we decided on a few interpretations that makes the games flow more quickly. I'll show you when you get back, so get those Grenzers ready :)