Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cavalry rebuilding project

When I set up my 18th Century Imaginations collection many years ago the vast majority of the figures were the newer Spencer Smith American War of Independence range for the infantry and the older Spencer Smith cavalry. The cavalry served me well for decades but they were somewhat smaller and of a different sculpting style than the rest of my figures and those of my opponent. Last year I decided to rebuild my cavalry with the new plastic figures offered by Perry and Wargames Factory. Perry was first out of the gate and their Napoleonic Curraissers with the heads traded out for Wargames factory tricornes provided two new curraisser regiments. Here is a picture of the new Hussar Regiment Covell that I finished painting last night.
The regiment was raised for the Elector's service by the Comte De Covell, the insanely jealous younger brother of he who styles himself the King of San Maurice. The Comte has been in exile in Ardoberg since a scandalous outburst at the family Joan of Arc Day dinner last year. The regiment is not yet quite ready for service since M. De Covell insists on giving all commands in Hungarian for the sake of authenticity, even though neither he nor his troopers understand that language.

A few days ago Wargames Factory released their much anticipated War of the Spanish Succession cavalry. I ordered enough to provide two regiments of dragoons for Ardoberg and one for our Anglo-Hanoverian allies. This will complete my cavalry rebuild. The Ardoberg-Holstein army will now have:
3 Curraisser regiments
3 Dragoon regiments
3 Hussar regiments
14 single battalion Infantry regiments
Our San Maurician nemisis has a somewhat larger army. Fortunately, our Hanoverian neighbors distrust the Francophone San Mauricians so an Anglo-Hanoverian corps of observation is always near at hand when war breaks out. Whether King George is the Electors employer or just a generous friend is debatable.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you

The long, beautiful summer was drawing to a close and autumn slowly enclosed the forest in her gentle embrace. Bees buzzed in the glades, storing their bounty for us all to enjoy while fawns and their bucks gamboled in the pines. Life was good in the Great Jellystone Forest until 'they' came. Grim two legged hairless bears with their guns. Damn them, damn them to hell! We had heard of these creatures from animals that had fled to our part of the forest from beyond. They had lived near the fringes of Jellystone adjoining the Barren Land where trees scarcely grow. They had been driven from their homes by the hairless bears, and now those monsters had followed them to our home.
Yogi in happier times
  My friend Yogi and I had lived here all of our lives in harmony with nature and at peace with the other animals. We had a comfortable den, good friends and a plentiful supply of nuts, berries, honey and salmon, supplemented by the occasional picnic basket that Yogi would pinch from the Barren Land. I would never have the nerve to do something like that but Yogi was never afraid of anything. I guess that's what did him in.

One morning we awoke to the frantic sounds of our neighbors fleeing the area. The Hairless Bears had come to a clearing near Yummy Salmon Stream and had set up a kind of flimsy den. There were too many of them to count and they had murder in their eyes. I begged Yogi to lay low until the strange creatures went away, but he wouldn't listen. He left the den intending to drive the intruders away or die trying.
The Hairless Bears
  He didn't have far to look because the Hairless Two Legged Bears were looking for him. Until they came Yogi's fangs and claws were the most awesome weapons in Jellystone, but these creatures brought weapons such as had never been seen in our paradise. I heard the battle but I was too afraid to leave the den. Later the squirrels told me Yogi had fought the invading hordes like a...well, like a bear but they were too many. As fast as he struck one down two would take his place. Finally the great bear fell to the invaders. I've been told these monsters make rugs for their dens out of their victims. I don't like to think about it. After their great crime the Hairless Bears left as quickly as they had come. The rest of us will go on the best we can but I don't think the Great Jellystone Forest will ever be the same.