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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 December 1669 to LPBS, 180 Aylsham Drive, UXBRIDGE UB10 8UF or the LPBS orders e-mail address by Friday, 22nd September 2017.

Game Report for November 1669

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

The nights are drawing in as Paris wraps up the Autumn season. There seem to be very few people skulking about in the early hours, despite plenty of affairs of honour being triggered last month. One of the few is none other than our Commissioner of Public Safety, the redoubtable Sir Duncan d'Eauneurts. He has Viscount Was Nae Me at his side and his sabre under his cloak as he strides to his rendezvous. No skulking for him. The man he's meeting, on the other hand, is definitely maintaining a low profile. Sir Jean d'Ice brings his rapier, his CO, Sir Leonard de Hofstadt, and a certain air of gloom. Being a slighter figure than the hefty d'Eauneurts, carrying old injuries and having inferior expertise he feels the duel is stacked against him. Nevertheless he squares up to his opponent determinedly. Then he jumps out of the way, expecting a furious attack. Sir Duncan follows up nonchalantly and smacks him with a slash. Sir Jean surrenders.

A bearded lady (?) in a long dress, hands on hipsQOC Major Swindelle d'Masses has decided to meet DG Lieutenant-Colonel Frele d'Acier first in a series of inter-regimental affairs. He out-weighs Acier, but has the disadvantage of his wounds from last month. Plus, he is noticeably less skilled with the two men's regimental weapon, the sabre. He does have the company of his commander, Baron Terence Cuckpowder, while the DG commander, Marquis Etienne Brule, supports his man. The two men cross swords. Then, before Masses can get his sword into play, Acier boots him brutally in the groin. From a foetal position, Masses concedes the fight, while cursing his adversary's lack of sportsmanship.

After this encounter, Masses is in no fit state to meet any of his other scheduled opponents. Even worse for them, the Baron Cuckpowder also has a medical note after his battering in October. Even with the DG vs QOC disputes out of the way, there should be several more duels. However, Percy Mistic does not turn up to fight Inigo Montoya and Bill de Zmerchant leaves Jacques Diabolick hanging. Felix Antoine Gauchepied'er is present only in written form with Jean Ettonique. His note, delivered by a large, bearded man in a green dress, informs Ettonique that FAG will not be turning up as he was "far too beastly last time and ruined several of my dresses", but offers to "settle our differences in other, more gentile ways." Ettonique is confused: he had no idea they were following Jewish custom...

Marching gaily

Speaking of the gay blade that is Felix Antoine Gauchepied'er, Brigadier-General d'Eauneurts is on hand this month to sign him up for the King's Musketeers. Gauchepied'er promptly formalises his rank of Major (he's been wearing the uniform for a month) and then volunteers his new command for action on the Frontier - "to see what they're made of." He still has time to accept the job of Aide to General Sebastian de la Creme before following his men out of Paris, keeping a close eye on their rhythmic marching. Or maybe just their buttocks...

RFG Major Beau Reese Jean Seine would like the commander of First Army to move on. He's the only person bringing any influence to bear on the incumbent and it's not enough to persuade him to go. Still, at least Seine finds time to repay his loans before Guards Brigadier Leonard de Hofstadt mobilises the Royal Foot Guards. Like Major Seine, Colonel Amant d'Au and Lt-Colonel Jean Jeanie are caught out by the sudden call to arms. Brigadier Hofstadt is not sympathetic: "Col d'Au did not respond to requests a month old to indicate if his regiment was unfit for duty! They have no-one to blame but themselves."

Elsewhere, Horse Guards Brigadier Terence Cuckpowder appoints Swindelle d'Masses from his own regiment as Brigade Major. Lieutenant-General Gaz Moutarde fails to get command of First Foot Brigade. First, because there's already a Brigadier in place and, second, because he's a Lieutenant-General.

Joining the volunteers already mentioned are Major Jean Ettonique and his squadron of the Dragoon Guards. Lt-Gen Richard Shapmes volunteers to command a battalion of the Royal North Highland Borderers.

Loyal toast

A hatless Musketeer raises a glass of wine to propose a toastWe kick off November with the battle of the Sebastians. General S de la Creme is in the Fleur de Lys, but only accepting guests by invitation. Bdr-Gen S Adis II is in Bothwell's with an open house at his bonfire night. Joining Sebastian and Di Lemmere in the Fleur are Bernard de Lur-Saluces and Gaston le Somme, the latter accompanied by Bess Ottede. It's a small, select gathering who join in Sebastian's toast to "all those ensuring that the King's justice is carried out."

Down the road in Bothwell's, Sebastian and Marie Antoinette welcome a larger, more raucous crowd. The guest list starts, it seems, with Alan de Frocked, who donates 100 crowns for the Fallen Women of Montmartre. Charles Louis Desapear arrives next, with Josephine Buonoparte. Henri Dubois attends alone, but has a further 100-crown donation for the fallen women. Inigo Montoya has Deb Estaround on his arm and 20 crowns for the Montmartre charity. Jacques Diabolick brings Mary Huana and heads for the gaming tables. He loses his first wager, but promptly gambles the same amount again. He wins this time, leaving him with the same cash he started with, but slightly more kudos.

Returning to Sebastian's guests, Roméo Boudreaux escorts Thomasina Carrotte. Ranso Mware comes alone. Then it's Terence Cuckpowder, along with Fifi. As commander of the Queen's Own Carabiniers, Terence takes exception to the Dragoon Guards uniform worn by Henri. Their argument sucks in Terence's QOC colleague, Swindelle d'Masses, who was having a quiet drink in his club with his lady friend, Lucy Fur. Was Nae Me accompanies Vera Cruz and has 100 crowns more for the fallen women of Montmartre. Xavier Monet and Betty Kant would complete the guest list - along with a further 20 crowns for charity - but the mysterious figure known only as 'X1' is also in attendance. He regards Charles as hoi polloi who should not be breathing the same air and issues a challenge.

Week two sees Bernard, Gaston and Bess attending on Sebastian and Di at the Fleur again, but Bothwell's is devoid of anyone but staff. Strangely, it's the Fleur de Lys that is completely empty through the second half of November. The problem is, everybody's decided to Toady to Bill de Zmerchant, but there's no sign of the Field Marshal and War Minister. This leaves Duncan d'Eauneurts, Etienne Brule, Pierre le Sang, Sebastian de la Creme, Terence Cuckpowder and Was Nae Me kicking their heels outside the club as they wait, fruitlessly, for their host. Only Duncan and Terence find better things to do once they realise Bill isn't going to show - the other four remain outside the club for both weeks.

A view in silhouette of a flowerpot descending on two Musketeers arguing on a lady's doorstepThose attending on Alan de Frocked are more successful. Alan greets them at Bothwell's with Madelaine de Proust on his arm. This is clearly a new relationship. So, too, is the connection between Charles Louis Desapear and Emma Roides, who are two of Alan's guests. Charles's first attempt at wooing Emma didn't get very far when he met 'X1' on the doorstep and neither would give way. Even worse, Josephine got wind that he was straying and gave him the heave-ho. Luckily, Emma was more understanding when he presented himself as a single man. While 'X1' preferred the less demanding option of visiting the Bawdyhouses.

Alan's guests continue with Henri Dubois, who remains unaccompanied (though a visit to the Bawdyhouses has featured in his month's activities). Jacques Diabolick brings Mary and returns to the gaming tables. He wins his first wager, so makes another bet of the same amount. This one disappears, leaving him in the same situation as earlier: with the same amount of cash and a brownie point. The final guests are Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles and his companion, Sue Briquet.

Down market

Somewhere down market, Jacques ZeLad is partying at the Frog & Peach with Angelina di Griz. He's invited "lads and ladettes" to join them. They get Roméo Boudreaux, Thomasina, Xavier Monet and Betty. Drinking games ensue, but the participants have increasing trouble trying to remember the rules: "Bizz... no, fuzzy... oh, just give me another drink." Somebody probably won Jacques' promised prize for the best drinking game, but no-one can remember who it was.

Less jovial are the two socialites hanging around outside Hunter's. Sebastian Adis II and 'X1' are expecting to attend Felix's ARSE club. However, with the flamboyant one out of Paris servicing serving with the troops, all they get is a week on the cobbles.

It's not all parties. Many Parisians spend time in the clubs to which they belong through the month. Etienne Brule and Belle Epoque pass two weeks in the Fleur. Frele d'Acier takes Freda de Ath to the same place. Pierre Cardigan and Edna Bucquette are there, too. Pierre le Sang visits for two weeks, bringing Guinevere d'Arthur with him and accepting his monthly gift from Etienne. Uther Xavier-Beauregard visits the Fleur with Henrietta Carrotte.

Apart from the parties, Bothwell's is visited by Chopine Camus and Sheila Kiwi and Jean d'Ice and Ava alongside Sebastian's party, while Gaston and Bess have the place to themselves in week 3. Blue Gables sees Florent Sans de Machine and Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles start their month there, accompanied by Charlotte de Gaulle and Sue, respectively. It turns out Jacques ZeLad and Angelina are in the Frog & Peach all month. They see Ranso Mware pop in for two weeks - after his trip to the city's red light district - and Xavier Money and Betty for just one. Meanwhile Was Nae Me tries to visit his club. Only problem is that his application to the Fleur was rejected and he's already resigned from Hunter's. Oops!

A Musketeer demonstrates the 'block' in fencing This month's iron men are Balzac Slapdash and Jacques de Gain, both of whom spend all month in their respective gyms practising rapier. There are plenty of others practising for three weeks' once they've got an initial party out of the way: Chopine Camus (sabre), Frele d'Acier (rapier), Florent Sans de Machine (rapier), Gaz Moutarde (cutlass - though his first week was spent with his lady friend), Inigo Montoya (rapier), Jean d'Ice (rapier), Pierre Cardigan (sabre), Swindelle d'Masses (sabre) and Uther Xavier-Beauregard (sabre). This is why the clubs were empty!

Putting in two weeks' practice are Duncan d'Eauneurts (rapier - after a visit to the Bawdyhouses), Jacques Diabolick (rapier), Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles (cutlass), Roméo Boudreaux (rapier), Sebastian Adis II (rapier) and Terence Cuckpowder (sabre). And others made room for a week's practice in their schedule.

Supporting the Frontiers

The Frontier troops have some support this month, not least from the Royal Foot Guards, the sole regiment of the Guards Brigade in action. It seems the Spaniards don't feel like challenging France's premier regiment. The only man to see any action is Lieutenant-Colonel Jean Jeanie, who takes out a patrol and skirmishes with a Spanish patrol. He receives a Mention in Despatches ("The Jeanie in action!"), but there's nothing for Major Beau Reese Jean Seine or Colonel Amant d'Au. Brigadier Leonard de Hofstadt is reasonably happy as a promotion sees his rank made permanent. He picks up a little (very little) cash, too.

Major Jean Ettonique and his squadron of the Dragoon Guards are attached to Frontier regiment 1, which suffers heavy losses from Spanish artillery. However, the guns are unsupported and the threat of a cavalry charge sees them pack up in short order. Major Ettonique is Mentioned twice, which brings him a Knighthood.

Things go very wrong for RM Major Sébastian Da Silva, attached to Frontier regiment 3 with his battalion of the Royal Marines. An alert sees the soldiers spring to their posts - except for Major Da Silva. He is later found in his tent, claiming that he over-slept. This cuts no ice with the court martial and he is dismissed from his regiment.

The loudest thing on the frontier is Felix Antoine Gauchepied'er, newly arrived to join Frontier regiment 4 with first battalion, King's Musketeers. This apparition so bemuses the opposing Spanish forces that they fail to spot the battalion's levelled muskets. A couple of volleys later and Major Gauchepied'er is now (brevet) Lt-Colonel Gauchepied'er. He is Mentioned in Despatches, too ("What the hell is he wearing?!")

Lt-General Richard Shapmes takes command of a battalion of the RNHB so effectively that he is elevated to the title of Viscount. There is a Mention in Despatches for him and he pockets a hundred crowns.