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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 September 1671 to LPBS, 180 Aylsham Drive, UXBRIDGE UB10 8UF or the LPBS orders e-mail address by Friday, 27th September 2019.

Game Report for August 1671

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

The last month of the campaign season arrives with mixed feelings of anti-climax and anticipation. The anti-climax is in the front lines, where there's just mopping up to do. The anticipation is in Paris, where the return of the army will mean a resumption of partying next month.

In the meantime, Major Greg de Bécqueur of the King's Musketeers has suggested that his superior officer, the current Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment, should consider his position. Bécqueur calls in a couple of favours to support this. His request is also backed by Bastian de LaGarde, Beau Reese Jean Seine, Duncan d'Eauneurts and Terence Cuckpowder. It's less of a resignation, more of a vaporisation. Bécqueur buys the rank, of course, leaving a vacancy at Major in the KMs. There's a similar vacancy in the Royal Foot Guards as Major Seine buys the empty rank of Lt-Col in that regiment.

The Picardy Musketeers gain a Captain in the person of Zavier Ulric Turenne. Captain Turenne sets off in his nice new uniform to join his regiment in action. However, Bendroit de Tres's application to the same regiment fails. What's more, Hugh Jass doesn't want him in the 13th Fusiliers either, leaving him to join a Frontier regiment.

Xavier Money admits Amaury Saint-Yves to the Grand Duke Max Dragoons and Saint-Yves spends his cash buying himself a Captaincy. He is quickly en route to the front with the other recruits. So, too, is Jacques Gillier, a new arrival in Paris who's now junior Major in the Archduke Leopold Cuirassiers. This was facilitated by Frele d'Acier, who admitted him to the regiment, and by the large loan he took out.

A General in dress uniform looks on fondlyThe most surprising recruit, though, is the Commissioner of Public Safety, the one and only Felix Anton Gauchepied'er. The campest of camp signs up with the Queen's Own Carabiniers - well, she is a Queen, you know - and buys the rank of Major. Despite Gauchepied'er's well known aversion to putting himself in danger, he is off to join the army - albeit travelling in style in his coach, accompanied by a whimpering Trissie.

Brigadier-General Etienne Brule resigns his position as Minister without Portfolio and accepts the Inspector-General's (Chopine Camus) offer of becoming Brigadier of the Dragoons. What Lt-General Camus has failed to notice is that Brule is only a brevet Bdr-Gen and not in the Dragoon Brigade, so he's not eligible for the post. Which is occupied by Xavier Money anyway.

General Leonard de Hofstadt, commander of First Division, makes no mistake in appointing his Aide, Lt-Col Greg de Bécqueur, to be his Adjutant. Les Anonyme seems to have boobed, though. Buying himself the rank of Lt-Col in 53rd Fusiliers (he has precedence over the junior Major in the 53rd, Hercule D'Engin, who'd also like to be Lt-Col) means he can no longer get the appointments he had applied for: Aide to a General and Brigade Major of Second Foot.

Time to go home

First Army isn't expecting to have much to do this month as there's no point in the Spanish launching any further relief attempts. However, the troops are harried and probed as they prepare to return to Paris and the Cavalry Division is deployed to see off the attackers. The Frontier troops take little notice of the occasional musketball flying past and fresh private Bendroit de Tres survives without any trouble.

Grand Duke Max's chase off one Spanish reconnaissance force after a flurry of musketry. There are few casualties, but one of them is acting commander Lieutenant-Colonel Padamus Da Grim. A musketball ricochets off the pommel of his saddle to catch him under the jaw. RIP. The good news is that the Dragoons capture a couple of supply wagons into the bargain, so there's loot to be shared by the survivors. Major Augustin Fourier takes 500 crowns worth for himself. The new Captain, Amaury Saint-Yves, dives in for a bit more than this figure.

Their colleagues in the Dragoon Brigade, Princess Louisa's, see no real action, but their commander, Georges Hommemince, collects just over a hundred crowns worth of booty. Dragoon Brigadier Xavier Money makes the best of it with a decent Mention in Despatches. This brings him a Knighthood even as he's claiming over 500 crowns worth of the GDMD's plunder. His rank is made permanent as well, making him eligible to command any Brigade next month.

Heavy Brigade finds little action. The Crown Prince Cuirassiers skirmish with some Spanish cavalry scouts, allowing Major Ben e'Volence to scoop up a couple of hundred crowns worth of loot. He is brevetted to Lt-Col and Mentioned in Despatches ("Excellent pick-up from horseback"). Colonel Chris Knight is also Mentioned ("Stays safely in his saddle") and brevetted - to Brigadier-General in his case.

Bdr-General Frele d'Acier, commanding Archduke Leopold's Cuirassiers, is disappointed not to encounter any enemy. He and Major Jacques Gillier have no reward for their month, but Acier does take over command of the Brigade for the journey back to Paris. For First Army commander Jacques de Gain there is a few hundred crowns worth of booty and a token MiD ("He's still in charge").

Passing the baton

Head and shoulders of an armoured Spanish cavalrymanFor Second Army there's still some mopping-up to do - and the ever-present hope of stumbling across a cache of something valuable as the soldiers ransack the fortifications. This is mostly First Division's job - Second Division is busy filling in the siegeworks (infantry) or watching out for any surviving enemy trying to escape (Horse Guards). General Pierre le Sang, commanding the Army, wraps up the campaign with a nice round thousand crowns worth of loot and two Mentions in Despatches ("He's going to be Field Marshal") before returning to Paris to collect his marshal's baton.

General Leonard de Hofstadt commands First Division with Lt-Col Greg de Bécqueur serving alongside him, now as Divisional Adjutant. The two get prize pickings of the loot, Bécqueur taking well over a thousand crowns worth, while Hofstadt's cut comes to over fifteen hundred crowns. The General appears in the Despatches as well ("He's in the money").

The Guards expect to get the lion's share of the booty, so Brigade Major Bastian de LaGarde is pleased to get even more than General Hofstadt. There's a brief Mention for him (He's in the money"). It's the King's Musketeers who actually do the work, subduing a last squad of Spanish infantry. They turn out to be holed up with a whole heap of goodies and KM commander Duncan d'Eauneurts walks off with well over two thousand crowns worth.

The Cardinal's Guard take over a tower, but it proves to be unstable after the previous months' bombardment and collapses with several members of the regiment inside. There is an immediate scrabble to get the bright shiny things glinting in the rubble. Unfortunately, some of these are the brass on Bdr-General Alan de Frocked's uniform. RIP. Lt-Col Jean d'Ice takes over command of the regiment and receives promotion to Colonel to cement this plus a Mention in Despatches ("It's an ill wind"). His share of the takings is worth well over fifteen hundred crowns.

Colonel Jean Jeanie commands the Royal Foot Guards and sets his men a sterling example. For this he is brevetted to Bdr-Gen. His silver collection is later valued at just over fifteen hundred crowns. No promotion for Lt-Col Beau Reese Jean Seine, but he does get a fulsome Mention in Despatches [redacted] to go with his rather more than a thousand crowns worth of plunder. Sadly, the streak of silver spotted by Captain Luc Azzat is a booby-trap and he is the regiment's only casualty this month. RIP.

The acting Brigadier of First Foot is RM Lt-Col Henri DuShite and he stays out of trouble for the month. This leaves Major Alonzo Fonde-Lapatrie in charge of the Royal Marines and following his colleague's lead. Picardy Musketeer Captain Zavier Ulric Turenne just does what he's told. However, that's enough to earn him promotion to Major.

The Royal North Highlanders take out the final Spanish refuge. General Sebastian de la Creme and Field Marshal Uther Xavier-Beauregard each command a battalion and share in the glory. For Creme, this means over fifteen hundred crowns worth of booty. Xavier-Beauregard makes do with under a thousand plus a Mention in Despatches ("Last month as marshal") before heading for Paris to hand in his baton.

French troops bivouac beneath the spreading branches of treesThe soldiers of Second Division are in a grumbly mood as they spend more time with shovels. Divisional Adjutant Robert d'Lancier finds enough time to pocket a couple of hundred crowns worth of goodies, ignoring the opportunity to command First Foot (well, it would only have been until the start of September). Lt-Colonel Hugh Jass, commanding 13th Fusiliers, does better with 500 crowns finding its way into his coffers. His opposite number in the 53rd, Lt-Col Les Anonyme, is acting commander (the Colonel is acting up as Brigadier) and may be out of his depth. Certainly there's no reward for him or Major Hercule D'Engin.

Slightly further afield, the Horse Guards regiments run down enemy stragglers. Brigadier Swindelle d'Masses wraps up his campaign with just over 300 crowns worth of loot. There's a hundred crowns less for Brigade Major Perci Urbain Fanci-Free. It's Mentions all round in the Dragoon Guards, mainly for sticking to their regulation uniform. That's Bdr-Gen Etienne Brule, Lt-Col Jean Ettonique and Major Henri Dubois.

The reason for their reward is the display of flamboyance that is the Queen's Own Carabiniers now that their new Major has arrived. Yes, Felix Anton Gauchepied'er adds a dash of completely-over-the-top to the normally reserved cavalrymen. As pink sashes and shiny tiaras proliferate, Gauchepied'er receives a Mention in Despatches ("She's here!"), over 500 crowns worth of goodies and follows her new commander up the chain with promotion to Lt-Colonel.

Boys/girls come out to play

Could anything in Paris compete with that? Well, let's see. While Gaz Moutarde, Horace Bury and Pierre Cardigan are visiting their mistresses (or prospective mistresses) and Justin Thyme takes his mistress, Sue Briquet, to the Frog & Peach, the Guards Reserve is assembling. Waving bottles and staggering slightly, Chopine Camus and Terence Cuckpowder arrive at the gates of the Bastille, followed by liveried staff carrying a couple of tapped casks. The cheerful duo demand entrance loudly so that "Feely weely can 'ave a drink wiv us!" The guards' protestations that the Commissioner is not at home are shouted down by the increasingly belligerent and decreasingly drunk pair. When the gates are barred, they order the casks set down, light fuses and retire, joining the entire Guards Reserve Battalion in the side streets.

The explosion leaves the gates scorched, but still solid and the Bastille guards even less inclined to admit anyone, insisting they need orders from Major Gauchepied'er. The military rank confuses Chopine and Terence, neither of whom believes that any regiment would admit Felix, as a private, let alone a senior officer. However, there is a definite impasse here. While Chopine goes about his business, Terence settles down with the Reserve, blockading the Bastille for the rest of the month on the assumption that his prey is within.

Missing out on the fun are Bernard de Lur-Saluces and Balzac Slapdash, who spend their first week in the gyms with their rapiers. In fact each puts in three weeks practice across the month. Bernard breaks in week 3 for a visit to the Bawdyhouses for some female company and a date with the footpads. He's carefully spent his cash, so the muggers get nothing and he gets a sore head. Balzac completes his August in Blue Gables with Alison Wonderlandt and some dice. He places three bets, losing the first but winning the next two to emerge ahead of the game.

After his adventure, it's two weeks sabre practice for Chopine, interrupted by a week in the Fleur de Lys with Sheila Kiwi. Pierre Cardigan turns up for two weeks with his sabre after his courting succeeded at the second attempt. Horace Bury also failed when he went courting, so a visit to the red light district is called for. He gives the footpads some exercise, but no cash, and then hits the gym with his rapier.

After visiting his lady, Gaz Moutarde visits his cutlass. Three times. And Justin and Sue stick to the Frog & Peach all month.