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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 January 1670 to LPBS, 180 Aylsham Drive, UXBRIDGE UB10 8UF or the LPBS orders e-mail address by Friday, 3rd November 2017.

Game Report for December 1669

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

Christmas is coming, the poultry of your choice is getting fat and certain Parisians are en route to a spat. In fact, there are only a few, select duellists this frosty December, but at least all of them show up.

First off, the mysterious 'X1' has a meeting with Charles Louis Desapear. This is a rare thing: a duel fought with foils - neither man is currently associated with any regiment. The beefy Desapear appears three times as big as the pint-sized 'X1', which suggests this fight will be one-sided. Desapear expects some sort of lunge. He starts with a parry, which is premature, but then jumps out of the way of the initial lunge from 'X1'. However, his own attack is a slash, which does no damage, while X1's second lunge strikes home. Desapear finally remembers to use a lunge himself. This blow brings a surrender, but still no name, from his secretive opponent.

Henri Dubois chooses to meet Swindelle d'Masses for his first duel this month. This is fought with both men's regimental sabres - no surprise given this is about regimental honour. The old injuries evident on d'Masses make this a more even fight than it would otherwise have been. Both men have seconds from their respective regiments: Jean Ettonique for Dubois and CO Terence Cuckpowder for Masses. Dubois catches his adversary napping, drawing first blood with a lunge. This does little damage, but even a little is enough to push Masses over the edge and he surrenders.

Cuckpowder is Dubois's second opponent and the neutral Uther Xavier-Beauregard arrives as Cuckpowder's second. Despite being nominated as well, Ettonique remains at his comrade's side. Cuckpowder has obvious wounds, too, and is similarly pinked by an early lunge from Dubois. He retaliates with a slash, prompting Dubois to concede. His 'conspicuous consumption' this month is largely of alcohol and bandages.

Same as the old boss

The big question this month is who His Majesty will choose to take Pierre le Sang's place as Minister of State now his term is over. The candidates are... well, just Earl Sang it seems. The King takes time to deliberate and hear representations from Ministers without Portfolio Beau Reese Jean Seine and Sebastian de la Creme. Sang has a word with him too and receives, by way of response, his re-appointment and the title of Viscount.

In military circles, Major Jacques ZeLad of the 13th Fusiliers urges his Lieutenant-Colonel colleague to resign so that he can buy the rank. However, ZeLad is not aware that someone else is been bending the man's ear - none other than the eccentric Lt-Colonel of the King's Musketeers, Felix Antoine Gauchepied'er. The two men cancel each other out and the incumbent stays, leaving ZeLad stuck at the rank of Major.

Soldiers march to the sound of a drumset labelled "France"Brigadier-General Terence Cuckpowder has had enough of his Number One (and acting regimental commander while Cuckpowder leads the Horse Guards). He joins forces with Sebastian Adis II and Swindelle d'Masses to persuade the man to quit, allowing Masses to acquire the rank for himself (though he's also serving in the Brigade).

Flush with his borrowings, new boy Raoul Bernard de Chenin Blanc offers his services to the Royal Foot Guards, but is turned down out of hand by the regiment's commander, Colonel Amant d'Au. That was a waste of some fine new clothes.

The Field Marshal, Bill de Zmerchant, appoints Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles of the Royal Marines as his Aide. "Thanks, Monsieur M," responds Terribles, to his new boss's bemusement. He is a Viscount, after all, and none of his names starts with an M...

As commander of the Cardinal's Guard, Lt-Colonel Alan de Frocked decides that the regiment should assist the Frontier troops during the hard season of Winter. However, he permits first battalion to remain in Paris, as Major Jean d'Ice has other plans. Not to be outdone, Lt-Colonel Felix Antoine Gauchepied'er volunteers his battalion of the King's Musketeers too. He spends some time looking out his warmest clothes before departing.

Two squadrons of the Dragoon Guards are off to the frontier as well: both Lt-Col Frele d'Acier and Major Jean Ettonique give their commands their marching orders. Or should that be trotting orders? Anyway, first and second squadrons leave Paris, taking a reluctant Captain Henri Dubois with them.

The last man in this small exodus is the disgraced Sébastian Da Silva, no longer of the Royal Marines and in search of redemption.

There's only one Bill de Zmerchant

There is only one social event of note this month: Viscount Bill de Zmerchant's two-week bash at the Fleur, which is open to all. And almost all who are in Paris turn up. Thus, the guest list begins, alphabetically, with Amant d'Au and Katy Did. Bernard de Lur-Saluces is next, followed by Beau Reese Jean Seine, who has Maggie Nifisent on his arm. Charles Louis Desapear escorts Emma Roides. Duncan d'Eauneurts is on his own. With his comrades on their way to the frontier, Etienne Brule is the sole representative of the Dragoon Guards and Belle Epoque accompanies him. Florent Sans de Machine brings Charlotte de Gaulle and is horrified to see a nobody like Bernard at the party: he issues a challenge in the strongest possible terms.

Gaston le Somme escorts Bess Ottede. Gaz Moutarde has Anne Tique on his arm. Having been allowed to remain in Paris by his CO, Jean d'Ice arrives with Ava Crisp. He engages those of his enemy regiment who are present in dispute: that'll be CPS Duncan d'Eauneurts. Jacques ZeLad has a ladette with him, Angelina di Griz, and is the second person to take exception to Bernard's presence. Leonard de Hofstadt attends with Frances Forrin. The refreshed Minister of State, Pierre le Sang, is there, bringing Guinevere d'Arthur with him. Etienne is quick to hand him his regular monthly donation. Roméo Boudreaux has not been able to maintain his erstwhile lady in the manner she expects and is thus unaccompanied. Raoul Bernard de Chenin Blanc has no plus one and neither does Ranso Mware.

Marie Antoinette is with Sebastian Adis II. The other Sebastian, Baron de la Creme, escorts Di Lemmere. Swindelle d'Masses has Lucy Fur and an argument with Etienne of the DGs, as he's in the Queen's Own. Terence Cuckpowder is CO of the QOC, so he joins the confrontation with Etienne, rather neglecting his date, Fifi. Uther Xavier-Beauregard brings Henrietta Carrotte. Vera Cruz accompanies Was Nae Me. 'X1' is mysterious on his own, but takes exception to both Bernard and Charles. Xavier Monet brings up the rear and Betty Kant.

Stuck in the foyer is Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles. He knows he's there to Toady to his boss, but can he remember the fellow's name? "M... M-something... I'm sure it starts with M," he mumbles, but this cuts no ice with the maître d'.

There are several other members in the Fleur, all trying to avoid the party. Jean Jeanie and Jacky Tinne sit at the bar. Pierre Cardigan takes Edna Bucquette into a back room. Richard Shapmes has a different idea: he and Kathy Pacific sit at another table watching the goings-on.

Chopine Camus takes Sheila Kiwi to Bothwell's, thus staying completely out of the way. As do Jacques Diabolick and Mary Huana at Hunter's.

The second half of Bill's bash is only marginally smaller than the first. Beau and Terence (and their ladies) are the people who don't return, having found better things to do. There are fewer others visiting their clubs, too: Richard and Kathy are back in the Fleur, but no-one else is. Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles has finally worked something out: he's not going to get in to the Fleur. He adjourns to Hunter's instead, drowning his sorrows with Sue Briquet.

A hatless Musketeer swings joyfully on a chandelierIce cold in Paris

The third week of December is much quieter. Etienne Brule provides some entertainment, laying bets in the Fleur with Belle egging him on. Five wagers at the houses minimum see him win two, lose two and cut one to end up a few hundred crowns out of pocket, but with some kudos. Pierre le Sang brings Guinevere to the Fleur de Lys and they welcome Duncan as their guest. Richard and Kathy, occupying their table in the club, have less to watch, but are still amused when Jean d'Ice and Ava Crisp turn up as Sebastian de la Creme's guests, along with Bernard de Lur-Saluces. That's because Jean and Duncan renew their exchange of insults as members of enemy regiments.

Bothwell's finds several members turning up this week: Gaston le Somme brings Bess, Sebastian Adis II escorts Marie, Swindelle d'Masses accompanies Lucy and Was Nae Me has Vera on his arm. Sebastian is off carol singing afterwards - "in aid of the fallen women of Montmartre," he claims - but can't persuade anyone to join him. Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles and Sue return to Hunter's, which is also the location for Charles Louis Desapear and Emma. Blue Gables is frequented by Florent Sans de Machine and Charlotte. Xavier Monet and Betty go to the Frog & Peach. And Roméo Boudreaux is the sole visitor to Red Phillip's.

1669 wraps up with much the same group in the Fleur de Lys waiting for the New Year. Etienne lays some more bets, losing three of this week's five to end further out of pocket, but continuing to earn some acclaim. Duncan and Jean continue to squabble, as Pierre and Sebastian's guests, respectively. Richard just people-watches.

Swindelle d'Masses and Was Nae Me are back in Bothwell's with their companions. Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles and Sue return to Hunter's. Florent Sand de Machine and Charlotte continue in Blue Gables. However, there's a bit of a gathering in the Frog & Peach as Xavier Monet hosts a New Year party for the Grand Duke Max Dragoons and friends. Inigo Montoya, now a Major, is the other member of the GDMD and turns up with Deb Estaround. His ostentatious dress makes him as conspicuous "as a well-illuminated Christmas tree" - though without actually adorning himself with little candles. Roméo Boudreaux has a special invitation from their host. However, Sebastian Adis II hasn't and is not allowed entry, despite declaring himself ready for a swim. Having spent a week at the Bawdyhouses for some company, Ranso Mware hangs around the club, waiting to see if any of the Dragoons will take a dawn dip in the Seine. And showing off his new conquest, Anna Rexique, is 'X1'.

Inigo is up for it, stripping off his party gear and diving into the river in naught but a brief pair of breeches. Royal Marine Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles is patrolling the Seine in a rowing boat, toasting his regimental enemies ironically and sniggering at the way they've turned blue. Hauled back onto dry land before hypothermia can set in, Inigo is revived by liberal application of the fine cognac that Xavier awards him.

Outside a closed door, a Musketeer is invisible behind a huge bunch of roses in the shape of a heartJacques Diabolick isn't seen about much as he's camped on the doorstep of a certain young lady. He has no chance to press his suit, however, as she's out all month. Luckily, Mary doesn't hear of his antics. Bill de Zmerchant isn't quite sure who he's courting, but this doesn't matter as she's out, too. He opts for a visit to the Bawdyhouses for New Year. Raoul Bernard de Chenin Blanc is successful when he goes courting, but keeps this to himself. And Jacques ZeLad's hangover cure is spending a couple of weeks at home with Angelina.

While Jacques de Gain makes his usual claim to be iron man of the month, the accolade is shared with Balzac Slapdash. Both of them spend four weeks practising rapier. Inigo Montoya has three weeks' practice before the GDMD party. Others hit the gyms after partying - whether alone or with others. Beau Reese Jean Seine and Jean Jeanie are in the gym with their rapiers for three weeks. Chopine Camus, Pierre Cardigan and Terence Cuckpowder practise sabre for three weeks. Amant d'Au throws daggers, Gaz Moutarde hefts a cutlass and Uther Xavier-Beauregard swishes a sabre, all for two weeks.

Off to Rome

His Eminence the Cardinal orders his guards to march ... to Rome!The new season see the French army in a defensive posture. The Frontier regiments are bolstered by the Cardinal's Guard - two battalions of the regiment anyway - and two separate squadrons of the Dragoon Guards. Plus Felix Antoine Gauchepied'er and some of the King's Musketeers.

Major Jean Ettonique and the DG second squadron join Frontier regiment 1. The regiment has a quiet month, so there's no reward for Ettonique.

The first squadron of the Dragoon Guards reinforces Frontier regiment 2. Spanish cavalry ambushes the infantry as they take up their winter positions. Sébastian Da Silva tries to stem the rout, but the result of one man standing in front of a cavalry charge is predictable. RIP. Frele d'Acier leads his DGs in a counter-charge, stopping the Spaniards in their tracks. There is a Mention in Despatches for Lt-Col Acier ("excellent counter-charge") and another for Captain Henri Dubois ("stopped the Spaniards!"). Acier gains elevation to the title of Viscount into the bargain.

The King's Musketeers and the flamboyant Gauchepied'er are assigned to Frontier regiment 4, along with ALC commander Percy Mistic. Spotting enemy troops reconnoitring the French positions, Mistic leads a charge that sends them packing. Sadly, being at the front of the charge is not the best position for longevity and Brigadier-General Mistic falls to a hostile pike. RIP. As the most noticeable figure on the battlefield - admonishing his troops to comport themselves delicately - Lt-Col Gauchepied'er has his rank made permanent. Checking over the dead for knick-knacks nets him the best part of a thousand crowns' worth of loot.

Expecting to be in action, the Cardinal's Guard find themselves diverted to escort His Eminence to Rome following the sudden death of Pope Clement IX. The first priority is making sure the Spanish don't get their man onto the Papal throne and a few (!) French troops in Rome will surely help... Unfortunately, this brings no military reward to the regiment's commander, Lt-Col Alan de Frocked.