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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 October 1669 to LPBS, 180 Aylsham Drive, UXBRIDGE UB10 8UF or the LPBS orders e-mail address by Friday, 18th August 2017.

Game Report for October 1669

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

Paris returns to normal this month, with the regiments settled into their barracks and some socialites skulking to early morning appointments with steel beneath their cloaks. It's no surprise that there's an argument between the members of the Cardinal's Guard and the King's Musketeers. The disagreement is over precedence. CG Lieutenant-Colonel Alan de Frocked wishes to fight Duncan d'Eauneurts first. KM commander Eauneurts prefers to have Jean d'Ice as his first opponent. CG Major Ice insists on meeting Maurice Essai Deux first. While KM Lt-Col Deux has Frocked in his sights. The solution is for the senior officers present to start proceedings.

Thus Frocked gets his wish and meets Eauneurts in the first duel, despite the obvious mis-match between his slight frame and Eauneurts's beefy one. CG commander Leonard de Hofstadt turns up to second Frocked, while Deux is joined by Was Nae Me as seconds to Eauneurts. The surprise is that Eauneurts uses a sabre, rather than the regimental rapier, against Frocked's rapier. Mind you, he is more skilled with this weapon. First blood goes to Frocked as he opens with a furious slash. The slash with a rapier doesn't do much damage, while Eauneurts's return slash with his sabre is a hefty blow. Frocked evens things up with his cut, but must now regain his balance, allowing Eauneurts plenty of time to hit him with a second slash. That's enough for the Cardinal's man. He surrenders and declines his meeting with Maurice Essai Deux.

Standing over the body of his opponent, a duellist asks his second what the deceased said: "Geargh!"The next duel is thus between the junior officers present: CG Major Jean d'Ice versus KM Lt-Colonel Deux, which looks to be a remarkably even fight. This time rapiers are used by both duellists, with Deux having the superior expertise. On the other hand, Ice has a second - CO Hofstadt again - while Deux has none. Both men make some defensive moves before Ice draws the first blood with a lunge. Deux returns the lunge only to be hit by the cut from Ice's furious lunge routine. He launches into a furious lunge of his own, both attacks striking as Ice recovers. Then it's Deux's turn to regain his ground, allowing Ice to hit him with a slash and another lunge. Deux's parry is too late to stop the lunge, but he jumps out of the way of the subsequent slash. Both men lunge simultaneously. This blow is enough for Ice and he offers his surrender. Only then does he realise that his opponent's body is lying on the ground in a spreading pool of blood. RIP.

Jean d'Ice is too battered to meet Duncan d'Eauneurts, so this ends October's CG versus KM fights. The score may be one win to each regiment, but there's one less Musketeer around.

Time to move on to the antagonism between the Dragoon Guards and the Queen's Own Carabiniers. DG commander Etienne Brule takes on QOC commander Terence Cuckpowder with their regimental sabres. This would be another even match-up were it not for the old wound that Cuckpowder is carrying. On the other hand, he is far more skilful with his blade than Brule. Brule is seconded by his Lt-Col, Frele d'Acier. It's no surprise that Jean Ettonique doesn't turn up to second Cuckpowder - he's a member of the Dragoon Guards and his own fight with Cuckpowder is to come. Instead, General Uther Xavier-Beauregard supports Cuckpowder.

Cuckpowder demonstrates his skill by blocking Brule's opening slash and dodging the following cut in his furious slash routine. Cuckpowder then strikes with a slash and both parts of a furious slash before Brule can do anything about it. Brule concedes and needs Acier's support to limp back into town for medical attention, declining his meeting with QOC Major Swindelle d'Masses. Cuckpowder is untouched.

DG Major Jean Ettonique decides to take on the flamboyant Felix Antoine Gauchepied'er, commander of the Crown Prince Cuirassiers, for his first duel. He is surprised to find that Gauchepied'er has not only turned up for his duel, but has arrived well in advance. This is to give him time to decide how to dress for the fight. He has settled on a lavish white dress and a full blonde wig. Ettonique is thus greeted by this strapping, cross-dressed man rushing up to him, planting a smacker on his cheek and crying, "Ooh, what fun! Are we ready to start? I've been so excited waiting to see the size of your weapon, darling. Trissy said he thought you'd only have a small one but I knew it would be a big one! Dunkie said I have to be brave and promise not to cry so here I am."

Ettonique is noticeably bigger than Gauchepied'er and is carrying a sabre against his adversary's set of knives. Gauchepied'er is not very proficient with his weapon, though. Neither man has a second (unless we count Trissy, who's keeping guard over the rest of Gauchepied'er's wardrobe). Despite his long skirts, Gauchepied'er is able to hop back as the duel begins. He cocks his arm to throw his first blade, but Ettonique hits him with a slash. The knife misses Ettonique's shoulder by several feet and embeds itself in a small tree.

 "Oh, you brute!" screams Gauchepied'er, "That was my best dress and now you've gone and ruined it. I simply insist that we stop while I change into a new one." He faints dead away and has to be revived by Trissy with the application of cold water and a fan. Smiling drily, Ettonique waits until he's got back to his feet and hits him with another slash. Gauchepied'er's scream is shriller than the first and he shrieks again as Ettonique swings rounds and plants a cut on him. Trissy throws in the towel over the prone body of his friend and Ettonique sets off for his next appointment.

The benefit of superior expertise: a Musketeer effortlessly holds off the frantic attacks of an attackerMeanwhile, the Dragoon Guard/Queen's Own Carabiniers rivalry has continued with DG Lt-Col Frele d'Acier taking on QOC Major Swindelle d'Masses. Masses has the advantage of build, but is less skilled with his sabre in comparison to Acier - also wielding a sabre. The bandaged Etienne Brule seconds Acier, but Masses is unaccompanied. The duel starts with Acier rushing in and using his boot to put Masses off his game. This rather backfires as recovering his balance leaves Acier open to receiving both parts of a furious slash from Masses. Acier surrenders and will not be fit for his duels with Terence Cuckpowder.

The large bruise discomforts Masses, but he still squares up to the unscratched Jean Ettonique. He has more skill than this opponent, too, but it may well not be enough. The two cross swords and attack: their slashes land at the same time, both inflicting a wound. Their next two blows strike home at the same time as well. The difference is that Masses' is a cut, while Ettonique is slashing again (starting a furious slash of his own). However, it is Masses who surrenders, unable to take any more punishment.

Ettonique is able to proceed to his meeting with Terence Cuckpowder. Their fresh injuries leave the two on an even footing, apart from Cuckpowder being much the more expert with the sabre that is both men's weapon. General Xavier-Beauregard seconds Cuckpowder again, while Ettonique remains on his own. Cuckpowder again blocks his opponent's initial slash, but Ettonique then starts a furious slash. The slash hits just as Cuckpowder is recovering from dodging the expected cut. First blood to the Dragoon Guard. Cuckpowder's own slash coincides with Ettonique's cut. The cut does much more damage, of course, and thus it is Cuckpowder who concedes the encounter. Cuckpowder declines his meeting with Frele d'Acier, unaware that Acier is also too hurt to fight.

This leaves the scheduled encounter between Amant d'Au, Colonel of the Royal Foot Guards, and Inigo Montoya, Captain in the Royal Foot Guards. Whoops! Both men decide that the scorn for refusing to fight their duel is more bearable than the disgrace of fighting a duel with a member of their own regiment.

Not for ladeez

With the duels out of the way, Field Marshal Bill de Zmerchant invites Maurice Essai Deux to be his Aide. Sadly, Lt-Colonel Deux is no more and the position remains vacant.

Other applications fail as either the applicant does not meet the requirements for the post or the appointment is not vacant.

It is no surprise that Inigo Montoya resigns from the Royal Foot Guards - pinching your commanding officer's mistress will have that effect. He applies to the Grand Duke Max Dragoons, where Lt-Colonel Xavier Money is brave enough to accept him. Montoya buys a Captaincy, allowing him to retain his position as Aide to Lt-General Bernard de Lur-Saluces.

More surprising is that Felix Antoine Gauchepied'er resigns from the command of the Crown Prince Cuirassiers. First, however, he has the whole regiment troop over to the King's Musketeers barracks, laden down with his collection of dresses, wigs, make up and other sundries. When they arrive, he addresses the Cuirassiers: "Well, it's been fun, boys, but time to move on." He plants a big kiss on the cheeks of the Lt-Colonel, saying "They're all yours now, handsome."

Then he scampers towards the entrance with a cry of "Cooo-eee, Dunkie! It's me ... I'm here, darling!" His way is barred by the KM sentries. "And who are you?" enquires the bolder of the two, looking the apparition in front of him up and down. "I'm your new Major, darling," responds Gauchepied'er. The two sentries turn to each other, look at the pile of baggage and summon a sergeant. The NCO sniggers and orders Gauchepied'er on his way. His loud entreaties to "Dunkie" have no effect and, eventually, the disconsolate figure starts ferrying his possessions back to his lodgings.

Major Sébastian Da Silva has had enough of Paris already, it seems. He volunteers his battalion of the Royal Marines for active service.

A Tale of Two Parties

Paris's social life is busy this month - during the first half, anyway - as Pierre le Sang holds a ball in the Fleur de Lys alongside Sebastian de la Creme's celebration of being French and alive. Despite hosting the more exclusive event, Pierre attracts more people, starting with Guinevere d'Arthur, who joins him to welcome their guests. Top of the list, in alphabetical order, is Bernard de Lur-Saluces, who has no plus-one. Next is Bill de Zmerchant, escorting Mary Huana and smarting after a visit from the debt collectors. Beau Reese Jean Seine brings Maggie Nifisent with him. Duncan d'Eauneurts is alone. Etienne Brule accompanies Belle Epoque and hands Pierre his monthly contribution to the Very Patriotic Frenchman's Fund (luckily he still has some cash after the debt collectors visited him to collect on his loans). Freda de Ath is on the arm of Frele d'Acier. Gaz Moutarde brings Anne Tique. Jean Jeanie escorts Jacky Tinne. Kathy Pacific is on Richard Shapmes's arm. Terence Cuckpowder accompanies Fifi and starts the trouble. As commander of the Queen's Own, he takes exception to the presence of members of the Dragoon Guards: Frele and Etienne. These three exchange heated insults as the last of the guests arrive. Uther Xavier-Beauregard brings Henrietta Carrotte. Was Nae Me has Vera Cruz on his arm.

A lady glowers at her suitorIt doesn't take Sebastian, accompanied by Di Lemmere, quite as long to welcome his guests, though he does take time out for a brief chat with Pierre on Government matters. Chopine Camus brings Sheila Kiwi. Gaston le Somme escorts Bess Ottede. Ava Crisp arrives on the arm of Jean d'Ice, who makes an excursion to Pierre's ball to exchange challenges with Duncan d'Eauneurts. Jean Ettonique accompanies Alison Wunderlandt. Percy Mistic has Lotte Bottle on his arm. Marie Antoinette arrives with Sebastian Adis II. Swindelle d'Masses brings up the rear with Lucy Fur. However, he's in the Queen's Own and Jean Ettonique is a Dragoon Guard, so another row starts up. This comes to the attention of their colleagues attending Pierre's ball and there's soon three Dragoon Guards disputing with two Carabiniers.

In the midst of this, Pierre Cardigan tries to spend a quiet week in his club, the Fleur, with Edna Bucquette. Leonard de Hofstadt stays out of the way by taking Frances Forrin to Bothwell's. Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles spends the week in the Blue Gables with Sue Briquet. The Frog & Peach attracts Jacques ZeLad and Angelina di Griz, flush with his recent borrowings and a gift from Bernard de Lur-Saluces. There's disappointment for Alan de Frocked as the object of his courting is not at home. New Lt-Col Jacques Diabolick has the same problem. Roméo Boudreaux simply fails in his attempt to woo a young lady, while Amant d'Au and Inigo Montoya succeed in theirs. Florent Sans de Machine takes no risk, spending the week at home with his existing lady friend.

The guest list for the second week of Pierre's Ball is very similar. Only Terence Cuckpowder and Beau Reese Jean Seine fail to return. This means there are no disputes between the guests. Jean d'Ice is the only one who does not come back to Sebastian's celebration. His place is taken by Inigo Montoya and his new conquest, Deb Estaround. This immediately causes more friction as Inigo is now in the Grand Duke Max Dragoons, the enemies of Archduke Leopold's Cuirassiers, specifically Percy Mistic. Swindelle and Jean Ettonique continue their exchanges, with Jean gaining support from Pierre's bash in the form of Frele and Etienne.

Bothwell's sees Leonard and Frances in attendance again. Ranso Mware turns up at the Frog & Peach, having spent the first week sowing some wild oats in the red light district. Jacques Diabolick continues to find that his intended is out with her current beau, but Roméo Boudreaux is successful at the second time of asking. Jacques ZeLad has simply gone home with Angelina.

One of our Musketeers is missing

With Pierre's two-week Ball having concluded, the gap in the social calendar is occupied by Etienne Brule, hosting his annual Cavalry/Infantry "Luncheon", and Duncan d'Eauneurts holding the King's Musketeers' Regimental Dinner. Both are in the Fleur de Lys where Sebastian's celebration continues. Etienne and Belle welcome Etienne's colleague, Frele d'Acier, and Freda first. Then they are joined by their enemy, Terence Cuckpowder, who has Fifi with him. As the other three argue, Was Nae Me and Vera arrive and stay out of the dispute. Peace prevails long enough for the participants to offer their presentations, with Etienne awarding the prize to Frele for his suggestion on what to do with the QOC (cannon fodder, camp followers for FAG, etc). Terence counters with "Advice on Parking Your Horse", referring to the bad practice observed from the DGs during the campaign. The trouble starts all over again. Duncan would probably welcome this as he's sat at a table on his own. Of course, there is no-one else of note in his regiment any more.

Sur la Ville: a Musketeer looks back at a well-dressed lady walking pastSebastian and Di see their bar bill grow substantially. Their guest list is now topped by Bernard de Lur-Saluces, followed by Bill de Zmerchant. Chopine and Sheila are back. Felix Antoine Gauchepied'er arrives with Trissy, having spent the first half of the month getting into trouble. First, with his visit to the Bawdyhouses where he disappoints the footpads. Second, by setting up a market stall offering "Felix and Trissy's Fabulous Face Cream". Predictably, the pair ignore any female customers to concentrate on handsome men passing by. When they do find a customer prepared to join them in the tent, a fracas ensues and the two escape with their hose around their ankles as the city guard is summoned.

Gaston and Bess return to Sebastian's celebration. Gaz Moutarde brings Anne. Inigo and Deb make it for a second week. It's the third week for Jean Ettonique and Alison, but Jean's arrival provokes a hissy fit from Felix, who takes exception to the presence of such riff-raff. A sweetly perfumed lacy glove is slapped across Jean's cheek by way of a challenge. Richard Shapmes appears with Kathy. Sebastian Adis II is back with Marie. And Swindelle's return prompts further antagonism with Jean Ettonique, drawing in the continuing arguments at Etienne's Luncheon.

Hosting duties complete, Pierre le Sang and Guinevere try to have a peaceful week in the Fleur. Leonard and Frances are back in Bothwell's and Ranso Mware in the Frog & Peach. Jacques Diabolick continues to fail with his courting, but at least his intended was at home this week. Jacques ZeLad stays at home.

Only Sebastian's party continues into the final week, with much the same list of attendees. Bill de Zmerchant and Gaston le Somme are the two who don't come back while Was Nae Me finally joins the party with Vera. The regular challenges continue with Etienne and Frele joining in as they are both in the club under their own steam. Pierre le Sang is the other member in the Fleur, with Guinevere. The Frog & Peach has Ranso in again. Jacques Diabolick demonstrates the value of persevering as his courting finally succeeds - to the annoyance of Bill de Zmerchant. Jacques ZeLad remains at home.

This leaves this month's contest for the title of iron man. It is shared between Balzac Slapdash and Jacques de Gain, who both spend the entire month practising with their rapiers. They are followed by Amant d'Au (dagger), Beau Reese Jean Seine (rapier), Florent Sans de Machine (rapier), Henri Dubois (sabre, after visiting the Bawdyhouses), Jean d'Ice (rapier), Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles (cutlass) and Pierre Cardigan (sabre), who are all in the gym for three weeks with their chosen weapon.

Those practising for two weeks are Alan de Frocked (rapier), Jean Jeanie (rapier), Percy Mistic (sabre), Roméo Boudreaux (rapier), Terence Cuckpowder (sabre) and Uther Xavier-Beauregard (sabre). Bill de Zmerchant (two-handed sword now he's exercised his drinking arm), Gaston le Somme (sabre) and Leonard de Hofstadt (rapier) pop into the gym for just the single week.

All quiet

The Frontier regiments hang around France's borders trying not to get into any trouble. Sébastian Da Silva's Royal Marines are assigned to Frontier regiment 3 and have a run-in with a Spanish scouting party. The Marines come off better, allowing Sébastian to pocket over five hundred crowns' worth of loot.