Sunday, December 30, 2012

An interlude in Zerbst

The sight that greeted Marshal-General Antoine Noailles as he rode, accompanied by his small escort, into the city square of Zerbst, was not one to calm a temper irritated by the cares and difficulties of active campaigning.  Along one side of the plaza had been erected within the week of his absence a long gallows already adorned by a half-dozen wretches left to hang.  Noailles stopped and for several moments surveyed the terrible sight before him.  Silence fell.
Marshal-Genral Antoine Noailles as depicted in the
Zerbst Daily Zeal journal.

'Cut them down!' the Marshal-General turned to the Captain of his escort, 'and make sure they are given a decent burial.'  The captain saw that the look on his commander's face brooked no demurral.

'Jawohl, Herr Marschal!'  hurrying off with several of his escort, the Captain set about his grisly task.  At the same time an officious city individual, accompanied by an armed bodyguard of his own, approached the Marshal-General himself.

'Herr Marshal-General,' piped up this rather scrawny looking fellow dwarfed by his burly escort, ' I am Monseer Stanislaus Snivl, Secretary and Envoy of their Worships the Burgomeisters of Zerbst and the Republicke of Godde.  I bring you this...' he handed over a sealed paper. 'You are summoned to the Rathaus to answer certain questions in respect of your handling the war- ...'

'Indeed,' several of his remaining escort, recognising at once from the Marshal-General's drawl that a slow burn had been ignited, drew back slightly. '"Summoned", eh?'  He glanced through the missive.  'Well, sirrah! We can not leave the good burghers of Zerbst waiting, can we?'

The Rathaus at Zerbst
'You must cease removal of those criminals from the gallows,' the Secretary and Envoy said.  His failure to observe the signs proved his undoing.  The Marshal-General's hand shot down, seized the messenger by the lapels of his coat, and with a single heave hauled him up to eye level.  Whether the armed townsmen would have rescued their leader was rendered moot in the face of several swords and pistols facing them from Noailles's escort.

'Criminals, were they?' The words came grinding, heavily punctuated by the aroma of the Marshal-General's favorite garlic, from between clenched teeth into the hapless secretary's face, 'They were not criminals a week ago. They were not traitors.  What charges were laid?  Who laid them?  Was there a trial?  Confession?  Extracted under torture I have no doubt.  Witnesses?  Evidence?  Testimony?  Aye: I'll wager these were produced... Those people there will be given a decent  burial, prayers and a proper funeral service, forthwith, immediately and at once.  At the town's expense.  Or I shall want to know the reason why.  You hear me?  Do I make myself clear?  You will supervise this work, and report to me, personally, when it is done.'

'But they were traitors, Catholics-!'

'Know, sirrah, that at least two of those people were friends of mine - personal friends and colleagues.  Both were Catholics, granted, but neither did anything to harm our cause, and one even supported it with money and recruits.  I dare say those others were in like case.'  The Marshal-General turned to one of his staff officers. 'These four likely looking lads will make fine recruits for the army - just the sort we need to make good our losses.  See to it!'

Debates and trials in the Rathaus.
  Are the Revolutionaries starting to count their chickens...?
As the four townsmen were hustled off, and secretary Snivl wittered about ignored, the Marshal-General cantered off with the half dozen that remained of his escort  straight to the Rathaus, off the main square.  The burgomeisters of Zerbst were about to discover that it was no light matter to summon the Commander of the Army.  Suppose the Commander of the Army complied.  Then what?

To be continued:  A Debate in the Rathaus.


  1. OOps the Marshal general sounds mightly peeved methinks.

  2. I think the "defenstration of Zerbst" is in order here. Will the bodyguard see to that as well?

    1. Now that is a cool idea I hadn't thought of! Not so effective, though, if the Burgomeister Debating Chamber happens to be on the ground floor. The Marshal-General knows what the sentence is, but not yet upon whom to pass judgement. Perhaps that will be revealed next time!

  3. sounds like the towns leaders are in for a nice bit of A*** wipping... its all the deserve for their crime against a person due to their religious beliefs. in Oronegro such actions bring the death penalty!

    I hope the General can inflict punishment, such punishment that it never happens again

  4. Not all the town's leaders. The next episode will show what dastardly deeds, duplicitous disputations and dark diabolicalities have been happening behind the good Marshal-General's back...

    1. oh certainly not all the men of the council, only those guilty of the crimes.

      oh I forgot to say I got a large figs from someone in Canada I know have loads of old Airfix napoleonics and others, i can build some sutibly large enamy forces for my oronegreans. I am going to have my work cut out for me I think, there are loads of french and british in there

  5. Looking eagerly forward to watch the debate in the Rathaus!

    I have to confess i did not follow your 'Latin Wars' -indeed I really 'discovered' them in relation with Oronegro. It seems implied that nowadays (some of) your 3 countries border with Oronegro -no longer a native Kaxad empire between them- but for sure they have expanded 'inlandwards' since the 18th C.?

    Best wishes.

    1. I think I'll have to go back and re-read. Placing my 'Latin Wars' countries on the borders was Gowan's decision, unsolicited.

      At some point I was going to background mine as small countries on the cusp of nationhood, having relatively recently come into existence. Possibly this was a result of a revolt and break-up of a much larger country some 50 or 100 years before.

      The whole project was really to provide an Imagi-Nations backdrop for fighting World War 2 battles. Each of the Three nations have ties with one of the major belligerents of the war: Gran Bolivaria (that its initials are the same as Great Britain is no coincidence - so British equipment with some American lend-lease); Pan-Andean People's Republic (Soviet Union) and between them, the aggressive, expansionist Orotina (Germany).

      The last has built up a sizeable army for which after 1945 replacements become harder to come by. Before then, under flags of convenience (Swiss, Swedish), trade in local resources such as oil and tungsten was carried out between Orotina and Germany through neutral Sweden...

      Gowan's original project seemed to be placed in the present or near future, but he has obviously extrapolated it back into the 18th Century and before (no doubt influenced by the popularity of that period among imagineers' blogs). I had not really thought of GB, PAPR and Orotina having an independent existence at that time.

      Cheers, and happy New Year,

  6. I have not included Orotina or you other nations in the 18th century project of coarse they could be there however I was thinking it may be a good idea to have small european colonies which could be fighting against Oronegro at the time, their lands are first conquored by Oronegro and then perhaps during the 19th and 20th centuries some how lost and then claimed by the other 3 nations. stil working on who those little nations will be though, though those airfix highlanders give me a problem, do I have some scots in a colony or are they british forces or some sort of ethnic force from Oronegro or all 3 (having to ignore some unifrom issues but perhaps on Oronegro the British wore a slightly different uniform.

    1. It is easy to imagine that the small European colonies could over the centuries of struggle for survival, then for independence, and subsequent border disputes and a constantly changing political map, might eventually morph - at least in part - into the 'Latin Wars' states of the mid-20th Century.

      Incidentally, Gowan, if ever you need any 'proxy' battles fought in the period 1740-1830, say, I might be able to supply appropriate armies. It may depend a bit on how you uniform your guys, of course. But I do have some 'spare' shako wearing units that I use for generic irregular, militia or garrison types...


    2. actually my friend I am now well endowed with figures I seem to have quite a few shako wearing guys to be foes. Though its the rules that I am struggling with, I would like to Trial your system if you could email me it... please... then all I would need to do is come up with some 1/72 scale ship rules, well I would also need to adjust some things because for the most part Oronegrean warfare is based on smaller actions so some battles will be in 1:1 scale wile others may be like yours in 1:20... I'll just have to see. I guess your rules also have systems for Soloplay? or do I do what I do now and make the enamy move in Logical or more conventional ways.

  7. Gowan's decision to mention your Latin Wars Imagi-Nations is an obvious homage to a major source of inspiration!
    As for the popularity of 18th c. Imagi-Nations, the creator of the Wholly Romantic Empire can't deny his share of responsibility :-)
    Actually given their names I guess your countries are far, far West of Oronegro (which I'd tentatively place, if indeed on 'our' Earth, somewhere between Georgetown in Guyana and Sao Luis in Brazil?), with in the 18th C. some 1000 km of unexplored primeval forest.
    Then names of fictitious countries are not not always unambiguous indications of their location: Tintin had Nuevo Rico and San Theodoros which fought the 'Gran Chapo' (phonetically 'Big Hat') War and thus would correspond to Bolivia and Paraguay, yet most of 'The broken ear' is set in Amazonian forest: further evidence suggests that San Theodoros is a coastal statelet near Guyana. Gowan please note, afaik no one is playing Nuevo Rico and San Theodoros! Btw Spirou, the less successful rival of Tintin, had Palombia which, while inland, may be a closer neighbor of Oronegro and an intermediate between it and the Andian countries: but were 'white' firmly settled so deep inland by the 18th C.?

    Anyway I'm glad Gowan -following for a part your example- extended his interests to the 18th C. -and not only because I was 'hooked' by C. Grant's 'The War Game' (already 40 years ago?). This gave him a golden opportunity to express his creativity, both in writing the early history of Oronegro and in building its riverine fleet: the 18th C. Oronegran ships are far more original and personal than any 'modern' gunboat or armed landing craft he could have converted or scratchbuilt.

    But indeed you have most of what you could need to indulge in 18th C. Latin Wars.


    1. I don't know if you'll get to read this after all this time. At any rate, I've always tended to think of the Latin American countries that features in Tintin adventures as somewhere south of Mexico, west of Venezuela and north of Peru. I guess that that, together with an article in 'Model Soldier' magazine in the late 1970s, brought the idea of 'WW2 in South America' to me.

  8. As always, Ion, you write compelling flavour text to your campaigns.

  9. PS: Regarding rules there are plenty of 'pirates', 'flintlock skirmishes in the colonies' (such as 'Flintlock & Tomahawk' but even Napoleonic 'Sharpe's practice may be used, I guess) and large battles sets. You can find a lot of information (including reviews) on the 18th C. messages boards of The Miniature Page and the Pikes, Muskets and Flouncy Shirts board of the Lead Adventure Forum (you don't have to be registered to read and peruse the archives).
    For 'modern' Imagi-Nations the most commonly used set is seemingly AK47 Republic: designed for 'Black' Africa, banana 'republics' and 15mm minis, but perfectly adequate for Urogay or Pukistan and easily adapted to 1/72 figurines.