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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 1675 to LPBS, 180 Aylsham Drive, UXBRIDGE UB10 8UF or the LPBS orders e-mail address by Friday, 18th August 2023.

Game Report for February 1675

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

It's a chilly start to February, so the several Parisians heading for clandestine meetings are well bundled up - all the better to hide the sharp steel they're carrying. Pierre Cardigan chooses to take on Henri DuShite first and brings his sabre to match against DuShite's cutlass. Cardigan's superior expertise could save him here, though he is the larger of the two men as well. And he has a second, Alexandre Capone - his other second is Beau Reese Jean Seine who is also his next duelling opponent and has thus decided not to appear.

Both men launch into attacks and slash at each other. It's no surprise that the cutlass does more damage than the sabre. However, DuShite then has to manoeuvre his heavy blade back into position and Cardigan takes advantage of this to hit him with a cut (yes, his was a furious slash). This is a vicious blow that quickly provokes a surrender from DuShite.

As already mentioned, Beau Reese Jean Seine is Cardigan's next adversary. He wields a rapier and is accompanied by Jean Jeanie. Like DuShite, he doesn't have Cardigan's skill with a sword and is thus disadvantaged. However, he attacks immediately with a (furious) lunge and Cardigan promptly concedes the fight.

Seine and Jeanie move on to their appointment with Rick Shaw, who is a really big bloke. And he carries a sabre against Seine's rapier as well as being a bit more expert with a blade. His second is Justin Thyme and Shaw looks a bit nervous as he's not in evidence when the duellists meet. But, before they can square up to each other, Thyme appears with an armful of bandages and the medicinal brandy. Shaw starts by parrying in case there's an immediate lunge, but Seine has paused a beat and skewers him as soon as he drops his guard. Shaw strikes back with a slash and Seine surrenders.

In the meantime, Cardigan and Capone have moved on to Capone's duels. However, neither Alvin Charles nor Louis Severin Descartes show up for their appointments and his meeting with Ray de Sofdelosdarc is postponed.

Sword point at his throat a beaten Musketeer holds up his hands in surrenderArquebusier Thomas de la Lune would like to fight Maurice Pauvre to begin with, but there's no sign of the Picardy Musketeer. Hence Lune crosses rapiers with Come Asiouar first. Lune is the beefier, but both are carrying old injuries and Asiouar can't match his expertise. Neither has a second, though Asiouar was expecting Zeold von Tu to support him. An immediate lunge from Lune aims to catch Asiouar by surprise, but he jumps out of the way of this. However, Lune's superior skill means Asiouar can do nothing about the following cut and he surrenders after taking this blow. Lune's duel with Ray de Sofdelosdarc will have to wait for next month.

King's Musketeers Claude de Nord and Kitt Chevalier-Cavalier are due to fight each other, but decide to attend other duels first. Chevalier-Cavalier's meeting is with Louis Severin Descartes (who's being choosy about which duels he fights). Chevalier-Cavalier is not a big bloke, but he would easily make two of the diminutive Descartes. However, Descartes is using a sabre against Chevalier-Cavalier's rapier. Jacques Hatt seconds Descartes, but Tristand Sault doesn't. Descartes proves a wily customer as he parries his opponent's lunge and dodges the subsequent cut. This gives him time to thump Chevalier-Cavalier with a slash and win the duel.

Nord waits for Alvin Charles to turn up to their rendezvous, but in vain. Neither Nord nor Chevalier-Cavalier attend their appointment, either. Nord's third duel, with Ray de Sofdelosdarc, is postponed, as are Descartes and Maurice Pauvre's fights with Sofdelosdarc.

Call this a rescue?

The Captain of the King's Escort, Pierre a'Noyer, takes a personal interest in the health and safety of the condemned Leonard de Hofstadt in the run-up to his execution. This turns out to be a very good idea as Noyer is on hand when choking noises are heard from the doomed man's cell. Drawing his sword, he rushes in, pausing to skewer a mouse that tries to climb his leg to where the keys are hanging, and thumps Hofstadt hard on the back. A furry object is expelled from his mouth - later investigation shows it to be a fake moustache. A check on the remainder of the fresh pastries that Hofstadt was digging into, reveals a file, twine and some crowns. The question is, which Parisian sent Hofstadt a hamper of baked goods?

After this half-baked (!) escape plan, the guard is doubled on Hofstadt and the King's Guard, led by a'Noyer, escorts him to the headsman's block. A booing crowd largely drowns out Hofstadt's last words ("I still think the super-string trebuchet is an opportunity for total military superiority.") and cheers when the axe falls.

Call this a new Minister?

Lieutenant-General Louis Renault would like to command First Division. But first he must get the incumbent out of the way. He calls in a favour to gain some leverage over the guy and Rick Shaw adds some more pressure. However, the First Division commander is backed by the influence of Terence Cuckpowder and stays.

Subaltern Zeold von Tu of the Cardinal's Guard has enough influence to persuade the Ensign of the Cardinal's Escort to quit. That's useful as it allows him to take the post himself.

The two candidates for Minister of State are Ben e'Volence and Beau Reese Jean Seine, the previous Minister. Seine throws all his influence - and some cash - into regaining the position and is backed by Les Anonyme (though he does not have the King's ear), Pierre Cardigan and Xavier Money. E'Volence seems to have lost interest and His Majesty is pleased to re-appoint Seine. The new Minister of State, just like the old one, leaves the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer vacant.

Fresh face in Paris Tiny Thierry Toothpick applies to join the 69th Arquebusiers and is backed by Claude de Nord, who calls in a substantial favour to make sure this application is approved on the nod. Having taken out a sizeable loan, Toothpick is able to buy the rank of Major in his new regiment, along with the stable of horses needed for such a rank.

Kitt Chevalier-Cavalier has none of this assistance when he visits the barracks of the 53rd Fusiliers, but is accepted just as quickly. He already has the funds that allow him to become a Major.

The other Fusilier regiment, the 13th, is Stephane Etrange's goal and he, too, is signed up when he applies. A Captaincy is all he requires, financed by a visit to the moneylenders.

Ramond Repose de la Tombe tries to join the Royal Marines when he arrives in Paris, but Henri DuShite refuses him. He has better luck when he moves on to the Picardy Musketeers. Colonel Maurice Pauvre is only too happy to add him to the regiment's roster. Louis Renault funds Tombe's purchase of a Majority (taking the junior Major's position as Come Asiouar has bought his way to senior Major with his new loan and gifts from Maurice Pauvre and Terence Cuckpowder) and Pauvre chips in the cost of a horse. He's definitely being looked after. So much so that he promptly volunteers his battalion, keen to put his military ability to the test.

It's no surprise to most when Dragoon Brigadier Jacques Hatt mobilises the whole Brigade - effectively taking the Grand Duke Max Dragoons, led by Louis Severin Descartes, to join Princess Louisa's boys in action. GDMD Major Alvin Charles settles his debts and trots off with the regiment while Lt-Colonel Tristand Sault and Captain Fouche La Vache (recipient of some cash from Zavier Ulric Turenne) join HQ as Brigade Major and Brigadier's Aide, respectively.

Also on the road, but heading south, is the Horse Guards Brigade, volunteered by Brigadier Terence Cuckpowder. QOC commander Justin Thyme and Lieutenant-Colonel Roger d'Horne are surprised by their orders, but must join their regiment.

As the Brigade Major of Second Foot, Antoine d'Eques has no-one under his command so, when he wants to see some action, there is no alternative but to sign up for a Frontier regiment.

And Lt-Gen Bernard de Lur-Saluces decides he'd like to try commanding a battalion of the Royal North Highlanders. Either that or he really wants to see how he looks in a kilt...

Call this a party?

February sees another sequence of parties for socialites to hop between, though they're left to their own devices for the last week. The first event is at the Fleur de Lys and hosted by Camille Polignac with Angelina di Griz. This is limited to the Guards Brigade and senior Parisians, so too exclusive for many. Xavier Money and Kathy Pacific's Valentine's Day bash, also at the Fleur, is second and much more inclusive. Despite having Katy Did with him, Louis Renault lowers the tone a bit as his venue is Bothwell's - and the event starts with some boxing - but is open to many in Paris as well.

First of the three-time party hoppers are Felipe Savant and Pet Ulante. Greg de Bécqueur brings Bette to all three parties. Hector William Boone turns up to them all without anyone on his arm, but a look of satisfaction at having re-scheduled his debts. Martin de Garnache escorts Fifi from party to party. Neville Moore follows suit, accompanied by Vera Cruz. Zeold von Tu turns up at Camille's bash on his own, brings Bette Noire to Xavier's do (which seems appropriate) and then appears at Louis's party on his own again. Lou Scannon only brings Bess Ottede to the parties at the Fleur. Last of Camille's guests are Eclair de Lame and Lucy Fur, but Eclair has better things to do than party for the rest of the month. Entertainment is provided by Camille's success on the gaming tables. Using the cash he just borrowed. Wagering 600 crowns a time, he wins three bets in a row, cuts the next and wins his fifth to end the week with a couple of thousand extra crowns to his credit and quite a bit of kudos.

A silhouette of two Musketeers arguing on a young lady's doorstep as a flowerpot descends on themCelebrating St Valentine clearly has more appeal for Parisians as a whole bunch more turn up for Xavier's party where their host manages to provide out-of-season strawberries as well as champagne. Alexandre Capone comes along with Ella Fant before they move on to Louis's shindig. After missing the first party by staying at home with Anne Tique, Greg de Bécqueur turns up to this one, with Anne, and they move on to join Louis in Bothwell's afterwards. Of those Toadying only to Xavier, Claude de Nord is the first, alphabetically. His companion, Madelaine de Proust, is largely ignored as Claude spots a regimental enemy and marches over to exchange challenges. Take that, Zeold von Tu! Jean Jeanie brings Jacky Tinne. Louis Renault and Katy relax before it's their turn to host. Pierre a'Noyer comes alone, as does Thomas de la Lune. Having re-scheduled his debts, Thomas went courting the week before, only to encounter his regimental enemy, Come Asiouar, on the young lady's doorstep. Even worse, their argument is so loud that Violet Bott gets wind of what he's up to and Thomas is suddenly single. Zavier Ulric Turenne and Laura de Land are the final guests.

The only people to add to the list of party-goers attending on Louis and Katy are Xavier and Kathy, enjoying carousing at someone else's expense.

There's plenty going on in Paris apart from the parties. Kitt Chevalier-Cavalier and Emma Roides start the month in the Blue Gables. For Claude and Madelaine it's Claude's new club, Bothwell's. And there are quite a few in the Fleur, staying out of the way of Camille and guests. Jean Jeanie is there with Jacky, Xavier with Kathy and Zavier with Laura. Pierre Cardigan and Justine Caisse host Alexandre Capone and Ella.

Tiny Thierry Toothpick goes courting in his nice new Major's uniform and succeeds. Stephane Etrange wins the heart of a lady as well. And both of them have duels coming with the men who were neglecting their mistresses. Rick Shaw's courting comes to naught, however. While Vinne d'Pooh gets his oats in a Bawdyhouse.

Henri DuShite and Jean-Claude Etienne start their month in the Royal Marines' gym, sparring with their cutlasses. The Royal Foot Guards' barracks see Beau Reese Jean Seine and Pierre a'Noyer practising rapier. And Les Anonyme, Jacques de Gain and Louis Renault practice their rapier routines in commercial premises. And Maurice Pauvre has confined himself to quarters.

Call this gambling?

The following week sees Stephane reveal his conquest by taking Mlle Thomasina Carrotte to Red Phillips, the club he's just joined. Similarly, Tiny Thierry has enrolled in the Frog & Peach and is there with Sue Briquet. Blue Gables has the pleasure of Kitt and Emma again. It's Eclair's turn to occupy Bothwell's, with Lucy. Pierre Cardigan and Justine are back in the Fleur. As are Camille and Angelina for some more gambling. At 600 crowns a time, Camille loses his first bet, cuts the next three and loses the last one again. And all the money he won last week is now back in the club's pocket.

Rick perseveres with his courting and is received favourably this time. Vinne rolls up at his favourite Bawdyhouse again, but doesn't feel the need for any more female company. Come Asiouar is in the red light district, too, and he is enjoying some company.

Henri and Jean-Claude keep going in the RMs' gym. Beau is on his own at the RFG HQ. Les and Jack keep their rapier practice going. And Maurice is still in his digs.

A single coin is all that's leftWhen the partying moves to Bothwell's, the Fleur quiets down. Lou Scannon and Bess roll up to join the Dauphin as Lou is his Aide. Pierre Cardigan and Justine continue at their table. Jean Jeanie and Jacky are back as well and are joined by the Toadying Zavier and Laura. Of course Camille and Angelina arrive to have another go with the dice. Winning his first two wagers puts a smile back on Camille's face, but he then loses the next three and is out of pocket on the month.

Kitt and Emma are still in Blue Gables, Tiny Thierry and Sue in the Frog & Peach and Stephane and Thomasina in Red Phillips. However, Jean-Claude Etienne and Viv Ayschus turn up at the Frog to find Jean-Claude's regimental enemy (Thierry) ensconced there. An exchange of insults follows, culminating in mutual challenges.

Thomas returns to his courting and has success this time. While Vinne's sojourn in the Bawdyhouses is interrupted by the footpads. They've guessed that he has spare cash and take it away from him. Maurice still doesn't show his face.

Only Henri keeps going with his cutlass. Pierre a'Noyer rejoins Beau in the RFG gym where they are joined in rapier practice by Eclair de Lame. Come Asiouar starts working out in the King's Musketeers barracks. But Claude de Nord eschews the Picardy Musketeers' gym as he wants to develop his sabre skills. So does Rick Shaw, while Les and Jacques continue practising rapier.

The nearest to a party at the end of February is Beau Reese Jean Seine celebrating his re-appointment as Minister of State in the Fleur with Chris Pacquette. They are joined by Les Anonyme and Carole Singeurs, Xavier and Kathy and Zavier and Laura. Other members in the club are Camille and Angelina, looking wistfully at the dice, but not prepared to wager what wonga he has left. Greg and Bette have a table. So do Jean and Jacky. And Pierre and Justine.

Bothwell's is fairly busy. Claude and Madelaine are in one corner. Gaz Moutarde rolls up for a fling on the tables and loses the 300 crowns he's prepared to bet. Henri DuShite has a quiet drink in another corner. Louis and Katy enjoy a hair of the dog after their party. And Lou and Bess are the last of the membership to visit. Stuck outside is Tiny Thierry Toothpick who's expecting to be admitted by Claude, but to no avail.

Neville Moore takes Vera to Hunter's - the club's only visitors this month. Kitt and Emma are in Blue Gables again and Red Phillips sees Stephane and Thomasina in residence.

Vinne's boozing in the Bawdyhouses is alongside that of Hector William Boone and Maurice Pauvre, both of whom indulge in some female company. Zeold von Tu is back in the Cardinal's Guard's barracks to supervise the privates.

Quite a few finish off February with weapons practice. Jean-Claude returns to the RMs for a third week with his cutlass. The RFG gym sees Eclair de Lame, Martin de Garnache and Pierre a'Noyer practising. Their colleague, Felipe Savant, does not join them as he wants to work on his sabre technique. Other rapier men are Come Asiouar with the Picardy Musketeers and Fourth Arquebusier Thomas de la Lune. Alexandre Capone reports to the Archduke Leopold Cuirassiers' gym for a week with his sabre. Jacques de Gain completes his fourth week of rapier practice and Rick Shaw his second with sabre.

Call this Holland?

This month there is action in the Pyrenees where the arrival of the Horse Guards Brigade bolsters the local troops. It's a mixed result for the horsemen, but a success overall as the fortress of Bellegarde is re-taken from its Spanish occupiers. The Queen's Own Carabiniers do well, bringing the regiment's commander, Justin Thyme, an Earldom. He pockets almost a thousand crowns worth of booty without being reckless. There is no reward for Lt-Colonel Roger d'Horne, though.

It's harder work for the Dragoon Guards, but their CO, Phillipe F'Loppe, earns two flattering Mentions in Despatches with his bravery. His take of the loot is less than 500 crowns. The same amount goes to Lt-Col Claude Oppere, who is equally brave but receives no Mention. At least he's repaid his loans. Brigadier Terence Cuckpowder gets into the action briefly. Just long enough to add a hundred crowns worth of booty to his coffers.

Chaaarge! A Musketeer almost losese his hat as his enthusiastic horse hurtles towards the enemyBack in the Low Countries, the whole of the Dragoon Brigade is now occupied with keeping the Imperial army bottled up around the Rhine. Brigadier Jacques Hatt plunders over five hundred crowns for himself and also gains a MiD. A couple of hundred crowns accrue to Brigade Major Tristand Sault while the Brigadier's Aide, Fouche La Vache, survives handily. Princess Louisa's Light Dragoons do the better of the two Dragoon regiments. The man in charge, Balzac Slapdash, gets a Mention in Despatches (thus redeeming his disgrace) and well over five hundred crowns worth of loot. Major François-Xavier Flamand is less fortunate. An almost-spent musketball misses his left ear by a couple of inches. It goes straight through his forehead. RIP. Colonel Louis Severin Descartes of the Grand Duke Max Dragoons is brevetted to Brigadier-General to go with his Mention. Major Alvin Charles sees his name go into the Despatches as well and scoops up nearly a thousand crowns worth of booty.

It's a pretty ordinary month for the Crown Prince Cuirassiers. Colonel Ben e'Volence becomes another brevet Bdr-Gen and plunders his way to almost fifteen hundred crowns worth of goodies. There's even more booty for Major Frank X Change, who also gets a Mention in Despatches.

Frontier regiment 1 suffers when a Dutch force sallies in force from the fortress they are besieging. Major Ramond Repose de la Tombe's battalion of the Picardy Musketeers stands firm to bring the new man a (brevet) promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel.

Attached to Frontier regiment 4, 13F Major Antoine d'Eques gets a footnote in the Despatches as this regiment, too, suffers at the hands of the Dutch.

Bernard de Lur-Saluces has fun leading a battalion of the RNHB: two Mentions and 500 crowns of loot.