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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 March 1670 to LPBS, 180 Aylsham Drive, UXBRIDGE UB10 8UF or the LPBS orders e-mail address by Friday, 12th January 2018.

Game Report for February 1670

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

There aren't many duels to start off February: just the two involving Jacques ZeLad that were postponed from January. ZeLad brings his second, Bernard de Lur-Saluces and his rapier to his first meeting, with Charles Louis Desapear. This causes an awkward conversation.

    "Hallo, good friend," starts ZeLad. "Come to be my second? Whaaaaat? We're duelling as well? Why am I duelling you? ... er 'cos I'm Noble and you're not? How did that come about?" Then a light dawns, "Oh, 'cos I have a Dad who happens to be a Baron... (but couldn't be arsed to marry my mother) ... and we were at this grand party and you say I was very drunk at the time and took exception to your presence...?"

    "Hang about, mate," concludes ZeLad, "let me get this one out of the way..." And he whispers, "Not sure I'll be in any state after and we can both retreat with our honour intact..."

Desapear is armed with a rapier as well, but clearly has the advantage over the slight figure of ZeLad. Both men start cautiously, parrying against an expected furious lunge. Desapear then jumps while ZeLad blocks. Only when both have regained their guard do they actually attack. A slash from Desapear deflects ZeLad's lunge, but both blows hit home. Neither causes more than a scratch. Desapear now launches into the expected furious lunge, striking with the initial lunge. ZeLad's blow was also the start of a furious attack, however, and his cut is the next to land. Then it's Desapear's cut, hitting ZeLad hard again. He surrenders, conceding the fight.

    "There," gasps ZeLad to Lur-Saluces, "don't have to fight you now..." And his injuries are certainly severe enough to excuse him.

Filling the vacancies

A smartly dressed Musketeers looks up General Uther Xavier-Beauregard has had enough of the nobody he was saddled with as his Aide and calls in a favour to remove the blighter. It's no surprise when said gentleman resigns. Next in Xavier-Beauregard's sights is the Quartermaster-General of Second Army, his command. Here he is aided by Charles Louis Desapear, who uses some of his (well, mainly his lady friend's) influence to assist Xavier-Beauregard in creating a vacancy. Into which Xavier-Beauregard promptly appoints Desapear.

Brigadier-General Chopine Camus has applied to take over as commander of the Heavy Brigade and has some influence to help. Field Marshal Bill de Zmerchant throws his weight (well, a large favour anyway) behind Camus and he is duly appointed Brigadier.

New arrival Vulson de Chalais wishes to join Princess Louisa's Light Dragoons. However, the regiment doesn't like the look of him and his application is rejected. Chalais quickly moves on to the headquarters of the 27th Musketeers, which regiment is happy to sign him up. He promptly buys the rank of Major and follows the time-honoured course of many arrivals in Paris by volunteering his new command for active service.

The commander of Grand Duke Max's Dragoons, Lieutenant-Colonel Xavier Money, recruits Augustin Fourier for the regiment. Fourier is content to take the rank of Subaltern.

Colonel Amant d'Au decides the Royal Foot Guards should be in action and volunteers his men for a jaunt to the frontiers. Neither Lt-Col Jean Jeanie, nor Major Beau Reese Jean Seine (who's just taken out a substantial loan) seems to be expecting this. They follow their marching orders with bad grace.

Colonel Gaston le Somme does the same for the Royal Marines, but his subordinates (Lt-Col Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles and Subaltern Robert d'Lancier) are aware of the plan and support their commander.

Now that he's acting commander of the Picardy Musketeers, Lt-Colonel Roméo Boudreaux orders second battalion and the regimental HQ to join him and first battalion in action. Joining the marching men is Major Ranso Mware as he's commanding first battalion.

Major Jean d'Ice feels it's time the first battalion of the Cardinal's Guard joined the rest of the regiment in Rome. His men are not happy about the long journey, but are hoping for fun and frolics in the eternal city, while Ice hopes to meet the Pope.

General Sebastian de la Creme dons his uniform to join his fellow Sebastian in commanding a battalion of the Royal North Highland Border regiment.

Clubbing and... swording?

The February doldrums have struck Paris: there is not a single social event going on. However, most of the city's clubs remain reasonably busy as members bring their ladies for drinks or a quiet tête-à-tête. Thus, the Fleur de Lys is home to Minister of State Pierre le Sang and Mademoiselle Guinevere d'Arthur throughout the month. Occupying another room for February are Richard Shapmes and Kathy Pacific. Generals Pierre Cardigan and Uther Xavier-Beauregard visit at the start of the month, escorting Mlle Edna Bucquette and Mlle Henrietta Carrotte, respectively.

A heap of coinsTheir visit is enlivened by the antics of the Minister of War, Field Marshal Bill de Zmerchant, who is accompanied by Mlle Ada Andabettoir. Bill and Ada take over the club's gaming tables for Bill to place a sequence of substantial wagers. Cash is no object - which is good, as he ends substantially out of pocket after winning three bets, losing five and cutting one when the house rolls his bogie number. However, his profligacy does bring Bill some reward in terms of respect. He returns to the Fleur the following week, but without Ada or any gambling. After a week's practice - with two-handed sword! - he passes the last week of the month at home with Ada.

Round at Bothwell's, the gentleman occupying the place all month is Was Nae Me, who has Mlle Vera Cruz on his arm. The lightly-bandaged Charles Louis Desapear, accompanied by a pile of ledgers marked "Second Army" and a bored-looking Mlle Emma Roides, is there for three weeks. Guards Brigadier Leonard de Hofstadt pops in with Mlle Frances Forrin in the first week - with all three of the Brigade's regiments away, there's not a lot for the Brigadier to do. The new Heavy Brigadier, Chopine Camus, visits in the following week, bringing Mlle Sheila Kiwi with him.

Hunter's is empty through the middle of the month, but February is bookended by the visits of Florent Sans de Machine and Mlle Charlotte de Gaulle. Jacques Diabolick brings Mlle Mary Huana along in the first week as well.

The Frog & Peach is actually busier. The heavily-bandaged Jacques ZeLad and the secretive 'X1' show up right through the month. Mlle Angelina di Griz accompanies Jacques, demanding the staff provide lots more "pain relief" - in the form of bottles of wine. Mlle Anna Rexique is with 'X1' and holds her own counsel. For most of the time, a third couple is visiting, too: Xavier Money and Betty Kant. However, Xavier has something better to do at the end of the month.

Gaz Moutarde doesn't take his lady to any club: he spends all his time at her place.

A Musketeer demonstrates a block with his swordThe iron man title is shared this month, with both Bernard de Lur-Saluces and Jacques de Gain spending the entire month practising their rapier thrusts (Bernard is either anticipating or avoiding another confrontation with his mate, Jacques ZeLad). After hitting the red light district, Balzac Slapdash puts in three weeks with his rapier. Jacques Diabolick and Leonard de Hofstadt are in their clubs to begin with, but follow the same path for the rest of the month. For Pierre Cardigan and Uther Xavier-Beauregard it's three weeks practising sabre after their time in their clubs. Chopine Camus also works out with his sabre for three weeks, but mixes things up by visiting his club in week two. Florent Sans de Machine manages two weeks rapier practice and a few others pop in to their gym for the odd week.

New boy Augustin Fourier does not, however. After his two attempts at courting have gone awry, he reports to the bawdyhouses and enjoys himself. However, it's then off to the regimental barracks to complete his February supervising the troopers.

Going Dutch

Some of France's most prestigious regiments are bolstering the Frontier regiments this month, along with the Royal Marines. And the Picardy Musketeers. The Horse Guards Brigade, patrolling the foothills of the Pyrenees, is joined by the Royal Foot Guards. This is fortuitous as the Spanish still think that the cavalry is without accompanying infantry. The Dragoon Guards are ambushed and take casualties. Only the speed of their horses lets much of the regiment - and almost all the senior officers - escape. There are Mentions in Despatches for all the officers. Captain Simon Alfred Devereux "rides like the wind". The more senior Captain, Henri Dubois, is promoted into the sudden vacancy at Major and is characterised as "riding like a stiff breeze". Major Jean Ettonique is Mentioned as "squally". Lieutenant-Colonel Frele d'Acier's Mention characterises him as "gusty". And regimental commander Brigadier-General Etienne Brule is "a breath of fresh air". He still finds time to send Pierre le Sang his monthly subscription.

Horse Guards Brigadier Terence Cuckpowder enjoys what appears to be a horse race between the members of the Dragoon Guards and wins 300 crowns betting on Devereux to win. He has his rank made permanent, thus removing his association with the Queen's Own Carabiniers. Brigade Major Swindelle d'Masses is too busy writing up the race Despatches to earn anything for himself.

Modelling a metal helmet with nose piece and metal segments at the backOn the field, the Spanish are taken by surprise in turn by several well-aimed volleys from the Royal Foot Guards. They depart sharpish, leaving plenty of goodies behind. RFG Major Beau Reese Jean Seine acquires some 500 crowns' worth of loot for himself. Lt-Colonel Jean Jeanie does much better: his haul comes to well over a thousand crowns. Colonel Amant d'Au picks up just as much as his number one and is brevetted to Brigadier-General as well. He is Mentioned briefly in the Despatches ("Au got promoted").

In the north-east, the King's Musketeers are not amused by the arrival of the Royal Marines and the Picardy Musketeers. However, the King's men have got used to the conditions, while the new arrivals struggle in the snow and ice. KM Lt-Col Felix Antoine Gauchepied'er makes several demonstrations against the opposing Dutch forces. This consists of him trying on different outfits and marching about where the enemy can see him to get their opinion. What he does not expect that they'll express their opinion with volleys of musket fire. "Some people," he huffs, "have no taste!" He is, of course, Mentioned in Despatches ("I preferred the long, pink number"). His CO, Bdr-Gen Duncan d'Eauneurts, takes advantage of this distraction to mount raids against the Dutch positions. He returns with the best part of a thousand crowns' worth of loot, which he splits 60:40 with Gauchepied'er.

The Royal Marines seem to be all at sea. Except that, if they were at sea, they'd know what they were doing. Hence they do very little all month. Colonel Gaston le Somme is brevetted to Bdr-General and gets a bonus hundred crowns. There is no reward for the unenthusiastic Lt-Col Louis Oeuf Ur Terribles, but the reluctant Subaltern Robert d'Lancier is Mentioned in Despatches ("I don't think he wants to be here").

The Picardy Musketeers see an opportunity when they spot some Dutch troops marching off. They charge across the open ground to chase them. Unfortunately, it's a trap. The Dutch blow a dike and a wall of water floods across the area, sweeping away much of the regiment. RIP Lt-Col Roméo Boudreaux and Major Ranso Mware.

Frontier regiment 3 has the advantage this month of having the company of second squadron of Grand Duke Max's Dragoons and first battalion of the 27th Musketeers. They have a good, secure position with plenty of men and have a relaxed month. There's no reward for GDMD Major Inigo Montoya, despite his desperate pleas for a title. However, 27M Major Vulson de Chalais finds his name going into the Despatches ("good work from the new boy").

The RNHB is busy in the hills of the Ardennes. Bdr-Gen Sebastian Adis II commands one battalion. His men find a Dutch supply train, chase off the guards and fill their boots. Adis's share comes to a thousand crowns and he is Mentioned in Despatches ("he should be a quartermaster!"). Bdr-Gen Sebastian de la Creme leads another battalion, but doesn't find such rich pickings, despite engaging enemy patrols in musketry duels. After the first musketball has ripped through his tricorn, he swaps it for a metal helmet. Creme still has the opportunity to bag 400 crowns' worth of booty. He is Mentioned as well ("Holey hat!").

Meanwhile in Rome, His Eminence has come to the conclusion that the rivalry between France and Spain means the conclave is deadlocked. He and his opposite number from Spain reluctantly agree a compromise candidate, to take the Papal throne as Clement X in due course. Thus, just as first battalion arrives to join the rest of the regiment, the Cardinal orders them all back to Paris. He rewards Lt-Colonel Alan de Frocked with promotion to Colonel, cementing his command of the regiment, and presents him with 50 crowns. Major Jean d'Ice gets no reward and definitely doesn't get to see the Pope.