Saturday, 26 January 2008

Personalities And Plans

I have dissembled. I have held back dark secrets. But it is time, at last, to make admission of the hideous facts that lie behind this civilised facade.

In Castle Rheinfels the elderly Landgrave Wilhelm, sits precariously on his throne gazing out over the Rhine. When the fit takes him he sinks into dreams of when he held the stirrup of the great Marlborough, so that General would mount and lead his army on, south and east, to the glorious field of Blenheim. He looks into the deep waters and imagines himself still the immovable western bulwark of the Empire, still blocking passage to the forces of Louis, forgetting that the old alliances are undone and the Hapsburg Eagle and the Lilies Of France now march together.

He should look, instead, to the north-east where the jackals of the House of Marburg watch the his decline into senility with undisguised satisfaction. They wait impatiently for that sublime moment when they will reunite the two houses of Hesse at the point of the bayonet. The foolish Prince of Marburg is held in thrall by the sinister Graf von Arlitz, late of the Prussian Service. The Graf, connoiseur of the birch twig, has disgusted even Frederick with displays of sadism that went far beyond the excesses of even that most ferocious of monarchs. Now he terrorises the farmboys of Northern Hesse, making them into fodder for the ambitions of their Prince.

Ahem, well. Two of these gentlemen, and in one case at least I use the term loosely, are my avatars. On my bad days I am the Landgrave. On my very bad days I am the Graf von Arlitz. On my good days, I am neither and hope to recover some degree of sanity, after sinking into the heady waters in which my two alter egos swim.

Having established the people at the centre of affairs, I have now to decide what to do with them. It seems to me that my two sources provide a convenient progression with scenarios that engage increasing numbers of troops.. Considered in order of complexity we have:

  1. Blasthof Heath (Charge). Less than a battalion of infantry and half a regiment of cavalry on each side.

  2. Action! (The Wargame). Two line and one light infantry battalion and a full regiment of cavalry per side.

  3. Sittangbad (Charge). Two to four line, one light and one pioneer battalion, and two to three cavalry regiments per side.

  4. Mollwitz(The Wargame). Seven to ten line infantry battalions, and three to six cavalry regiments per side.

These are, for me, a series of landmark battles that provide me with milestones to aim at. I cannot see me ever getting as far as Mollwitz, but Sittangbad remains a plausible target even if it's one that, with my rate of painting, is far in the distance. The first landmark, Blasthof is within vision: if all goes well I shall be visiting that sometime before the middle of the year.


abdul666 said...

Milestones for all of us old (or Old School) wargamers!

Nobody close enough to provide an opponent, and thus 1/2 the minis required for Sittanbag?


Andy Mitchell said...

No opponent: I'm happy to be doing this alone because I can have things exactly as I like without having to make compromises to suit someone else's tastes.

Stokes Schwartz said...

Happy Saturday Andy,

Milestones? We all need them, and yours are great ones indeed. Never say never about Mollwitz. You just never know. This whole ting might grab you to such an extent that before you know, BOOM, you've got enough figures painted to do it. And why worry about getting it done before you slip into your dotage? Heck, we're all already playing with little metal soldiers anyway! ;-) Now the question begs -- Do you make musket and cannon noises with you mouth when no one is around?

Best Regards,


Andy Mitchell said...

It is entirely possible that I make musket and cannon noises and then deny doing so whenever asked.

Bluebear Jeff said...

A word of warning.

I too have a pair of Imagi-Nations. My primary one (based on Hanover) is the Principality of Saxe-Bearstein. It is ruled by the wise Furst Bruno.

My definitely secondary imagi-Nation is the Kingdom of Stagonia, whose people are ruled by that most vile of monarchs, Koenig Maurice.

The warning? Maurice is lots more fun to play. Mind you, I still root for Saxe-Bearstein, but the Stagonians are such troublemakers that they're just plain fun (besides, I don't care if they lose).

It looks like you've got the start on a nice pair of opponents. Have fun.

-- Jeff

Andy Mitchell said...

It may be a terrible comment on my world view but neither of sides has anything commendable about it.
Rheinfels is ruled by a paranoid, incompetent octagenarian despot whose state teeters on the brink of collapse. Marburg has all the worst excesses of Frederican Prussia with none of the attempts to moderate it according to the values of the enlightenment. It might all be very one sided without the intervention of the Empire.

If anything, I suspect I might come to sympathise with the Rheinfels side, just as Cervantes became fond of Quixote.