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Les Petites Bêtes Soyeuses
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LPBS Masthead: Roland as a Musketeer

Les Petites Bêtes Soyeuses

Being a correspondence game of En Garde! run by Pevans since April 1986 and now published as part of To Win Just Once.

If you'd like to play, you'll need to subscribe to TWJO (follow the link for details). You will need a copy of the rules to En Garde! - or at least access to a copy. The additional rules for LPBS are available as a PDF document. (You will need Adobe Reader to view this: it is available free from Adobe.)

Orders for September 1669 to LPBS, 180 Aylsham Drive, UXBRIDGE UB10 8UF or the LPBS orders e-mail address by Friday, 14th July 2017.

Game Report for September 1669

Sections: Duels, Trials, Appointments and Regiments, What happened in Paris, What happened at the front.

As the armies return, Paris is full again. And, for once, swords remain in their sheaths ... until next month. With the regiments back in town, some of the city's latest arrivals are quick to sign up for a uniform. Jacques ZeLad enlists with the 13th Fusiliers, where he is able to buy the rank of Major (and the necessary horses) and thus to take command of First Battalion.

Both Roméo Boudreaux and Ranso Mware succeed in their applications to the Picardy Musketeers. Here their paths diverge as Mware purchases the vacant Major's position (Thanks, Shylocks!), while Boudreaux sticks with a Captaincy (spending less of his borrowings).

Colonel Gaston le Somme admits Sébastian Da Silva to the Royal Marines, donating the price of a horse to his new recruit. Given the amount Da Silva has borrowed, this is probably unnecessary, but it helps him buy his way into the junior Major's slot - commanding Third Battalion.

Then it's on to the main business of the month: sorting out the new military appointments. First, however, there are some Government positions to sort out, not least a new Minister of War. His Majesty has three candidates to consider: Bill de Zmerchant, Sebastian de la Creme and Was Nae Me. The King dismisses Creme and Me out of hand and mulls over Field Marshal Zmerchant's qualities for several seconds before deciding to make the best of a bad job. Taking out his sword, His Majesty then awards the new Minister of War the title of Viscount.

The Minister of State, Pierre le Sang, was ready to make Zmerchant a Minister without Portfolio, but this isn't needed. Sir Sebastian de la Creme is very happy to take such a position, though. He is even more pleased to become a Baron as well. Beau Reese Jean Seine accepts an appointment as Minister without Portfolio as well, but remains a Baron. Minister le Sang does not want Terence Cuckpowder in the Government, it seems, and refuses his application to become a Minister without Portfolio.

As Field Marshal, Bill de Zmerchant appoints Uther Xavier-Beauregard to command Second Army, a nobody in charge of First (which Xavier-Beauregard would have preferred) and leaves command of Third Army vacant. He then makes Bernard de Lur-Saluces Adjutant-General while Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles is his choice of Aide. Unfortunately, despite being a Lieutenant-Colonel, Terribles does not meet the required social standing for this position and it remains empty. As Minister of War, Zmerchant also has the posts of Inspectors-General in his gift, but lets the military bureaucracy take care of them.

A Musketeer looks up, hand on his sword hiltAdjutant-General Lur-Saluces is quickly on the job. He has the applications of Jacques de Gain and Was Nae Me as Division commanders in front of him. He awards Second Division to Was Nae Me and Cavalry Division to Jacques de Gain. The First, Third and Frontier Divisions remain leaderless. For the time being. Lur-Saluces also appoints Inigo Montoya as his Aide after he's failed to make the grade as either Crown Prince's Aide or Captain of the King's Escort.

Both Percy Mistic and Sebastian Adis II have applied to be QuarterMaster-General of First Army. Both men are qualified, but it's Adis who gets the nod (well, he is of higher social standing). General Xavier-Beauregard, the new commander of Second Army, won't have Mistic as his QMG, preferring a nobody. Mistic doesn't even make the shortlist for QMG of Third Army.

Next up are the Brigadier positions, so Mistic is in the running when it comes to the Heavies. The Guards are first and Leonard de Hofstadt calls in a favour and receives fulsome backing from Duncan d'Eauneurts, his regimental enemy. With the CPS behind him, Hofstadt is a shoo-in for Guards Brigadier. He refuses to make Jean d'Ice, his colleague, Brigade Major, however. The job goes to the luck of the draw and falls to the junior Major in the Royal Foot Guards.

Having been unsuccessful elsewhere, Terence Cuckpowder renews his command of the Horse Guards Brigade for another year. He doesn't fancy either Jean Ettonique or Swindelle d'Masses as his Brigade Major, preferring to leave the post empty.

Pierre Cardigan steps in to back up Mistic's application for the Heavy Brigade and he is duly appointed. The other Brigadiers are appointed by the bureaucracy and their Brigade Majors are decided by drawing lots: Jacques Diabolick is the lucky Major to take on the role in First Foot.

Despite the lack of an Army commander, Gaston le Somme calls in some favours to swing his appointment as Adjutant of First Army. If he hadn't got this post, Xavier-Beauregard would have given him the same job in Second Army. General X-B leaves the position free instead.

Lt-Colonel Alan de Frocked gains the position of Adjutant to First Division without needing to use influence. Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles is simply rejected when he asks to be Third Division Adjutant, while Jacques de Gain keeps the Adjutant's position empty in the Cavalry Division.

Most junior positions are filled on the nod, but there are still a few vacancies in military circles.

Back in the party swing

Woman in grand ball gownParisian socialites have a dilemma at the start of September. At least those of the Cavalry have: should they attend Uther Xavier-Beauregard's bash or Duncan d'Eauneurt's Victory Celebration? Uther's looks to be more exclusive, but it's on all month. Besides, Duncan is CPS... Uther (plus Henrietta Carrotte) has five Toadying to him in the Fleur during week 1. Three of these are in the Dragoon Guards: Colonel Etienne Brule, accompanied by Belle Epoque, Lt-Col Frele d'Acier, who has Freda de Ath on his arm, and Major Jean Ettonique, escorting Alison Wunderlandt. One is a Queen's Own Carabinier: brevet Brigadier-General Terence Cuckpowder, accompanied by Fifi. The exchange of insults is only broken by the arrival of the final guest, Felix Antoine Gauchepied'er, who takes exception to Jean's presence. Apparently he's an oik - and Trissy thinks so too! Jean is flabbergasted to be picked on by a couple of men wearing "our finest dresses".

Duncan's guest list is rather longer. At the top of it (alphabetically) is Alan de Frocked, who is in Duncan's enemy regiment. Their greeting is less a salutation, more a snarl. Unpleasantries out of the way, Bernard de Lur-Saluces is next. Gaston le Somme brings Bess Ottede with him. Gaz Moutarde has Anne Tique on his arm. Inigo Montoya is unaccompanied, as is Jacques Diabolick. Jacques adjourns to the club's gaming tables, in order to lose some money. Jean d'Ice brings Ava Crisp. He is another member of the Cardinal's Guard and so exchanges challenges with his host.

The arrival of Maurice Essai Deux brings Duncan some relief as he's a fellow Musketeer. Duncan points Maurice in the direction of Alan and Jean to swap challenges. After this, he moves on to the gaming tables where his wager is sneered at until he ups it to the house minimum. Then he wins. Percy Mistic brings Lotte Bottle to the celebrations. Richard Shapmes escorts Kathy Pacific. Swindelle d'Masses turns up with Lucy Fur. He has no fight with any of Duncan's guests, but feels he must pop over to Uther's do to support his CO, Terence, against Etienne, Frele and Jean. Sébastian Da Silva is unaccompanied, while Was Nae Me has Vera Cruz as his plus-one.

As both parties get under way, everybody ignores the faint cries from outside. The aggrieved party is Chopine Camus, who has not been admitted to Uther's party as he is no longer part of any cavalry unit.

Apart from the party-goers, Pierre Cardigan, Pierre le Sang and Sebastian de la Creme are in the Fleur. Each has a female friend with them - Edna Bucquette, Guinevere d'Arthur and Di Lemmere, respectively - and each couple spends all month together in the comfort of the Fleur. Etienne Brule finds time to hand Pierre le Sang this month's donation to the Very Patriotic Frenchman's Fund.

Come the second week and Swindelle (plus Lucy) and Percy (plus Lotte) join the gang Toadying to Uther. The regimental arguments continue, but at least it's now two QOCs versus three DGs. And Felix in drag having a go at Jean. The man left outside is Bill de Zmerchant, who's also not part of any cavalry unit. He has company in the form of Jean Jeanie, who's chosen the wrong week to come to Duncan's party. Uther's bash continues unabated through week 3, Bill and all, with only Terence ducking out in week 4.

Still swinging

Two angry Musketeers face to face, one brandishing a gloveUther has some competition through the second half of September as Gaston le Somme hosts his party in Hunter's. Amusingly, this is in honour of "the noble Count Xavier-Beauregard". Gaston has Bess as hostess as he welcomes his guests. Gaz Moutarde is there for just the first week. Henri Dubois attends both weeks. Jacques Diabolick pops in during week 3 to try his luck on the tables, but loses his one wager. Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles makes it for both weeks and brings Sue Briquet with him. Also present for both weeks is Maurice Essai Deux, drowning his sorrows after his failed courting. Richard Shapmes escorts Kathy for two weeks' partying. Sébastian Da Silva is last on the list and attends both weeks. Standing outside the whole time is Ranso Mware who, despite now being a Major, did not serve during the campaign.

The last - and least - party of the month is Jean d'Ice hosting "all soldiers who served in this campaign" at the tail end of the month in Bothwell's. His guests are Alan de Frocked and Duncan d'Eauneurts, who continue their regimental spat (involving Jean as well). Jacques Diabolick stays out of the argument and wins his bet here. Gaz Moutarde is not admitted - he's not a member of any regiment - and sulks outside.

Bothwell's other visitors are Jean Jeanie and Jacky Tinne, plus Beau Reese Jean Seine and Maggie Nifisent during week 1. After being snubbed in week 1, Chopine Camus brings Sheila Kiwi here in week 2. Hunter's is home to Was Nae Me and Vera for the three weeks after their appearance at Duncan's do. Inigo Montoya turns up in week 4 with Katy Did on his arm. This explains what he was doing the two weeks before (she turned him down at first), but he will have a duel with Amant d'Au. Jacques ZeLad takes Angelina to the Frog & Peach for the whole month. The only other person they see is Ranso Mware, who pops in for week 2.

There's a lot of competition for the iron man title this month. Jacques de Gain is in the running, of course, practising with his rapier all month. He is tied with Balzac Slapdash and Pepé Nicole, who also get four weeks' rapier practice. Amant d'Au throws knives around for the month: either he regrets this as the cause of losing Katy's affections or he's glad he's practised for his forthcoming duel with Inigo. Not competing for the title are Beau Reese Jean Seine, who gets three week's practice with his rapier after visiting his club, and Florent Sans de Machine with his rapier after spending his first week with his lady love.

Those practising for two weeks each are: Bernard de Lur-Saluces (rapier), Chopine Camus (sabre), Duncan d'Eauneurts (sabre), Jean d'Ice (rapier), Jean Jeanie (rapier) and Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles (cutlass). Lots of others pop into the gym for the odd week with their preferred weapon.

Parisians' other favourite sport takes place in the red light district. Ranso Mware and Henri Dubois make the Bawdyhouses their first stop of the month - as a new face, Ranso attracts the footpads, but has spent his cash. Bernard de Lur-Saluces and Roméo Boudreaux end up there at the end of the month (in Roméo's case after he's been turned down by two women). This time Roméo is mugged, but his pockets are empty. Alan de Frocked, Jacques Diabolick and Sébastian Da Silva make their visits to the Bawdyhouses during September and all escape the footpads.

The one person who's not seen in public this month is Leonard de Hofstadt, who spends his time at home with his mistress, plying her with fine wines and chocolates.