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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 June AND July 1673 to LPBS, 180 Aylsham Drive, UXBRIDGE UB10 8UF or the LPBS orders e-mail address by Friday, 1st October 2021.

Game Report for May 1673

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

Skulking through the Mayday celebrations are several Parisian notables concealing sharpened steel beneath their cloaks. There's no jollity in the engagements they're going to. Rick Shaw, for example, has a meeting with an enemy, Augustin Fourier, and is taking his sabre with him. Plus Justin Thyme. However, Fourier pleads ill-health ("I need to be in fit shape to fight the enemies of France") and doesn't show up.

Ben e'Volence decides that Hercule D'Engin should be first on his schedule. He brings his sabre and Phillipe F'Loppe to this meeting (Chris Knight should also have been seconding him, but doesn't seem to have got the memo). Engin has a rapier and is backed up by Les Anonyme and Greg de Bécqueur. Volence's old injuries mean only their choice of weapon differentiates the duellists. Oddly, Engin expects his opponent to lunge and parries, awaiting an opportunity to riposte. E'Volence slashes away with his sabre until Engin has had enough. That's two blows before he surrenders. His injuries mean Engin isn't fit to face Chris Knight. Not that Colonel Knight is anywhere to be seen.

Les Anonyme hangs around as he's Volence's second appointment, with Hercule D'Engin remaining as his second. Again this is sabre versus rapier, but Anonyme is clearly the bigger man. He opens with a furious lunge, immediately skewering Volence, who promptly concedes the fight. After this easy victory, Anonyme is hopped up to face Chris Knight. However, Knight is still absent.

Freshly bandaged, Ben e'Volence rejoins Phillipe F'Loppe as his second. F'Loppe has chosen to meet Mustafa Lekk first, but he's another man with better things to do. Hence, Justin Thyme is F'Loppe's first adversary. Thyme is expecting to duel Marc de Zorro first, but Marc isn't and Thyme doesn't notice the non-appearance of Lekk for their duel. Thyme brings Rick Shaw and Zavier Ulric Turenne as his seconds plus his sabre. He greets F'Loppe: "aah, the stable boy-molesting Diabolical Scumbag has turned up." However, it's F'Loppe who has the advantage of build. The two men weigh each other up and attack. Thyme gets his slash in first. F'Loppe responds with a similar blow, but takes a big hit from Thyme's cut. He responds with another slash and blocks against the next attack. However, he's mis-timed this and the two men strike together with their next slashes. Both surrender, making this an honourable draw.

Petit-Garson Riche is disappointed as first F'Loppe (who at least is too hurt to fight) and then Lekk avoid him. Nor can F'Loppe now attend his encounters with Balzac Slapdash and Marc de Zorro. While Louis Renault and Zavier Ulric Turenne are frustrated by Lekk's continuing no-shows.

No more Public Safety

Minister of State Beau Reese Jean Seine may be leading the troops in the United Provinces, but he still finds time to carry out his Ministerial duties (and more). With his term as Commissioner of Public Safety about to end, Bastian de LaGarde accepts Minister Seine's offer of a Ministerial appointment without portfolio. Seine then asks Eclair de Lame to take on the CPS's role, but receives no answer. Both CPS and Minister of Justice are thus vacant this month.

There is no answer from Phillipe F'Loppe, either, when Leonard de Hofstadt asks him to be Adjutant to First Army. The position remains empty, so there's still time for someone to take it before this year's campaign begins.

As the summer campaign approaches, brevet Brigadier-General Zavier Ulric Turenne has applied for command of First Foot Brigade. He calls in a favour to persuade the Inspector-General of Infantry that he's the man for the job. Backing him up with influence of their own are Beau Reese Jean Seine, Greg de Bécqueur and Jean Jeanie - though Jeanie's pull doesn't reach as high as a Lieutenant-General. There's enough pressure that Turenne is a shoo-in for the job.

Turenne is still the nominal commander of the Picardy Musketeers (though Lieutenant-Colonel Louis Renault will now lead them in the field) and, as such, signs up Hubert Silvestre for the regiment. Silvestre takes the rank of Private, a bit of a come-down from the Subaltern's rank he achieved in the Frontier regiments. Silvestre is already in action with Frontier regiment 4 and remains there.

Augustin Fourier commands the Grand Duke Max Dragoons and accepts Nouveau W Odeur to its ranks. Having borrowed what he can, Odeur buys a Captaincy and the requisite horse.

The last flourish from the Minister of State, as titular commander of the Royal Foot Guards, is to make sure that the senior Captain obeys his request to resign. Greg de Bécqueur throws his weight behind this invitation, too, but it's really not necessary. The remaining Captains in the regiment move up in seniority as a result, leaving a space at the most junior position.

Guards Brigadier Jean d'Ice summons the King's Musketeers to join the rest of the Brigade in action. Colonel Duncan d'Eauneurts, Lt-Colonel Greg de Bécqueur and Majors Robert d'Lancier and Tarquin le Hatter are thus all off to see some action. Joining them on the road to the United Provinces are the Crown Prince Cuirassiers, led by Colonel Chris Knight and including Lt-Col Ben e'Volence and Subaltern Rob d'Masses, and the 27th Musketeers, commanded by Colonel Mustafa Lekk. Not to be out-done, Lt-General Bernard de Lur-Saluces volunteers to lead an RNHB battalion.

Lilies versus Gentlemen

Two social events have been advertised for May, both at the start of the month. Despite being held in the lower-ranked club, Petit-Garson Riche's "Young Gentlemen of Paris" meeting just out-does Louis Renault's "Fête du Muguet". Perhaps the exclusiveness of the Horse Guards club (very few Parisian socialites are members), where the former is held, adds to the attraction. Louis's bash is in boring old Hunter's after all.

With Di Lemmere at his side, Louis welcomes four couples to these familiar surroundings. Claude de Nord brings Ada Andabettoir. Jean Jeanie escorts Jacky Tinne, who has no interest in becoming May Queen, according to Jean anyway. Lascar Vivrebras has Marie Antoinette on his arm (and some cash in his purse, courtesy of Terence Cuckpowder). And Xavier Money accompanies Betty Kant. There is no rivalry between the guests and thus nothing to disturb Augustin Fourier's quiet week in his club with Pet Ulante. There is some noise from the foyer though. Balzac Slapdash, clutching a bunch of lilies, insists that he should be admitted as the guest of Lou Scannon. While Captain Scannon is a member, he is not in Paris - just like he wasn't last month. Alison Wunderlandt is not impressed and flounces off while Balzac argues his case.

Two Musketeers heatedly exchange challengesEmma Roides is with Petit-Garson to welcome guests to the Horse Guards. Balian Isle-de-Tours is first alphabetically. Hugh Challavas-Vichy is next. Then Hercule D'Engin. Justin Thyme escorts Guinevere d'Arthur. Nouveau W Odeur brings Belle Epoque. Rick Shaw arrives last, with Leia Orgasma on his arm, and takes exception to Nouveau's nice new Grand Duke Max's uniform. An exchange of challenges leaves a duel to be scheduled.

While these events are going on, Cyrano de Lancet and Jean David Goliath are to be found in the Blue Gables - Cyrano's new club. Separately. Cyrano goes courting the following week. His visit to the Bawdyhouses the week after betrays his lack of success and then it's time for his regimental duties.

The Fleur de Lys sees three members through its doors. Les Anonyme is accompanied by Carole Singeurs. Leonard de Hofstadt escorts Frances Forrin. And Pierre Cardigan brings Edna Bucquette to their usual table.

Pierre ducks out for a week's sabre practice, but the other two couples remain in the Fleur for week 2. Jean Jeanie and Jacky make the third couple. This goes up to four the following week when Pierre and Edna return. However, only Leonard and Frances stick it out for the full month. They're all off practising with their weapons - though Les and Jean prefer the rapier to Pierre's sabre.

Members arrive in Bothwell's in week 2, notably Xavier Money and Betty, who take up residence for the rest of the month. Gaz Moutarde brings Anne Tique to the club for a change of venue after their week at her place. They are joined by a Toadying Zavier Ulric Turenne, who has Lucy Fur on his arm now he's got a week's rapier practice out of the way. The foursome returns in week 3 before Gaz and Anne go back to her place and Zavier is practising again. Bothwell's is a bit more crowded in week 3 as Marc de Zorro arrives to show off Cath de Thousands, his conquest earlier in the month and in whose company he spent the previous week. Cath is abandoned for the end of the month, though, as Marc heads for the gym with his sabre.

Louis and Di stay on in Hunter's all month with a much depleted guest list. It's just Lascar and Marie, in fact. And them only for weeks 2 and 3 (Lascar needs to spend a week supervising the privates). Justin Thyme brings Guinevere to Hunter's for those two weeks, before fitting in a week with his sabre. And Leia is there with Rick Shaw for just a week as Rick has an appointment with his sabre for the second half of May.

Jean David Goliath's finale this month is the more traditional trip to the bawdyhouses for a bit of 'company'. In between, he sticks to the Blue Gables and even has Jacques Hatt as his Toady in the third week. Jacques has already been to the Bawdyhouses and practised sabre. He finishes the month by haring off to the Prix d'Or to enter the Jacques As Memorial Stakes. Only a month late.

The Frog & Peach is where to find Claude de Nord for a couple of weeks. He brings Ada to his club both times and then takes his sabre to the gym once. Phillipe F'Loppe and Freda de Ath occupy the club ("for a night of romance and quite [sic] merriment") while Claude and Ada are absent. This is Phillipe's break from his strenuous sabre workout - not to mention re-scheduling his loans.

And Red Phillips sees just a single visit from a single member: Balian Isle-de-Tours is there between a visit to the Bawdyhouses and his regimental duties.

Jacques de Gain is the man in the gyms all month, as usual. Four weeks with his rapier add further to his bulging biceps. Augustin Fourier practises sabre for three weeks after taking Pet out in week 1. For Balzac Slapdash it's three weeks with rapier following his abortive visit to Hunter's. After partying, Nouveau W Odeur is in the gym with his sabre. So is his host, Petit-Garson Riche. Terence Cuckpowder is the last man to fit in three weeks with his sabre. He spent the first week with his lady friend. Hercule D'Engin manages two weeks rapier practice with a trip to the red light district in between. Hugh Challavas-Vichy hits the Bawdyhouses first and then waves his rapier around for two weeks.

Less mud, more troops

As the weather begins to brighten up, military operations intensify in the United Provinces in preparation for this year's campaign. The arrival of the King's Musketeers bolsters the Guards Brigade, which steps up its siege operations. This is particularly good news for Brigadier Jean d'Ice, who is promoted to full Brigadier-General. An Earldom comes with this promotion, along with nearly a thousand crowns' worth of loot. The promotion also severs Ice's connection with the Cardinal's Guard, leaving Lt-Col Jerome Fortmayne in undisputed command of the regiment. Except that Fortmayne is serving as Ice's Brigade Major. In this capacity he survives a near miss when a Dutch sharpshooter destroys his writing desk - there's ink all over a week's worth of reports. As he's busy re-writing these documents, Fortmayne's share of the booty is a couple of hundred crowns less than his boss.

The anguish of war: a sombre officer looks at mapsThe Royal Foot Guards overrun an enemy bastion that had recently been re-supplied, resulting in a large haul of plunder to be shared around. Regimental CO Beau Reese Jean Seine only takes 1,300 crowns' worth. With a Brigadier in post, he can't be promoted, but does get a full Mention in Despatches ("Well, he is Minister of State"). Lt-Colonel Bastian de LaGarde gets even less loot and a much smaller Mention ("Well"). Senior Major Eclair de Lame sticks to the looting and rakes in a hundred crowns more than his CO. Camille de Polignac may be the junior Major, but his booty is closer to two thousand crowns' worth. And there is a Mention in Despatches ("That's better") for him.

The regimental Adjutant, Captain Neville Moore, grabs the same amount as Polignac and receives a Mention ("him too") as well. Captain Lou Scannon can't quite match this amount of booty and his Mention is more of a footnote ("see above"). Some determined pillaging lets Captain Charles Trenet hit the two thousand crowns mark with his name going into the Despatches to boot ("Is that the best?"). At least this softens the blow of repaying his loans to the moneylenders, but doesn't bring him the title he craves. Attracting less attention, junior Captain Dureau Celbonet collects over two thousand crowns' worth of goodies, but nothing else.

The fresh King's Musketeers only need a little time to find their feet before they are contributing to the fighting - and raking in the booty. However, Colonel Duncan d'Eauneurts gets too close to the enemy walls as cannonballs bring down the battlements. He is buried under a large pile of rubble. RIP. This sad departure allows Lt-Col Greg de Bécqueur to be promoted to Colonel. He pockets a thousand crowns' worth of loot into the bargain and appears in the Despatches ("New Colonel"). There's a bit less loot for senior Major Tarquin le Hatter, but this is nearly three times what junior Major Robert d'Lancier picks up. On the other hand, Lancier is Knighted for his bravery and Mentioned in Despatches ("New Knight").

As the ground dries out from the early Spring rains, the firmer footing is better for the cavalry. Chris Knight leads the Crown Prince Cuirassiers to capture Spanish wagons bringing supplies to the Dutch. Colonel Knight gets busy, sending his subordinates to chase off the Spanish cavalry escort while he checks over the wagons. That's over a thousand crowns' worth of plunder coming his way. For Lt-Col Ben e'Volence and Subaltern Rob d'Masses there's nothing. Nothing at all.

Royal Marines commander Henri DuShite has his troops back up the Guards and they arrive on the scene in time for some rich pickings. That's close to two thousand crowns' worth for DuShite and a mention in Despatches ("Almost as good as the Foot Guards").

Colonel Mustafa Lekk and the 27th Musketeers are to be found on the battlefield. Somewhere.

The arrival of Private Hubert Silvestre's new uniform as a Picardy Musketeer just seems to attract the attention of the Dutch defenders. And by attention, I mean cannonballs. Parading in his shiny new outfit, Silvestre is flattened by one. RIP.

Then Royal North Highlanders see Lt-Gen Bernard de Lur-Saluces take command of a battalion. Despite their misgivings, he does a decent job. Decent enough to bring him nearly a thousand crowns worth of loot, anyway. He also receives a Mention in Despatches ("What tartan is that?").