Tuesday 29 September 2015

A Very Public Falling Out

King Ferdinand Adolphus (you'll remember he has become known as "Sweet FA" to the subjects of Pils-Holstein) has made no secret of his affections for Teresa (Tessa) Pepisa, most notably having given her an honorary command of the Pils-Holstein light horse as well as considerable estates in Lower Holstein.

Her attendance at the court of Pils-Holstein had originally come about after her father (a wealthy Italian financier) presented her to the Astrovian Imperial court some years earlier, and the visiting King of Pils-Holstein, struck up a "strong friendship" with the beautiful debutante. Following the Queen's sad passing, Tipsi Pipsi became a regular visitor to the widowed King Ferdinand Adolphus, and soon their friendship blossomed into something more - Well, that's the official version anyway. Some say the timeline for this sequence of events is somewhat mirky, and there were even suggestions that the Queen's passing was hastened by her broken heart ... but, I couldn't possibly comment.

Regardless of the exact details of the whole episode, Tessa Pepisa, who is nothing if not absolutely charming and delightful, subsequently became a favourite with the people of Pils-Holstein too. Their nickname, "Tipsi Pipsi", showed their growing affection for this flame-haired femme who was popularly regarded as "a good thing" for the King.

Now, it turns out, Tipsi Pipsi is in fact not all she seems...

And, as a result of certain rumours (rumours I might add that are as yet unsubstantiated), things have gone awry between Tipsi Pipsi and Ferdinand Adolphus.
A series of public "sulks", raised voices when in private, and on at least one occasion door slammings, have not gone unnoticed.

Now, at last, with the King's angry words "Once a Hapsburg, always a damned Hapsburg!" ringing in her ears, Tipsi Pipsi has headed South-East once more, bound for Astrovia. 

(above: Tipsi Pipsi, with her ADC, Major Ligue).

However, what is more surprising is the level of loyalty and affection that her light cavalry troopers have now invested in their honorary commander. For, cantering over the rolling hills, in Tipsi's wake, a column of cavalry can be seen. Many of the Holstein Hussars, and all of the Transvladak Uhlanen have followed her into the moonlight (though the defection of the latter is presumably linked not only to their native heritage within The Astrovian Empire, being from the mountainous regions of Transvladakia, but also down to the promise of some form of booty and wealth from forthcoming campaigns). 

(above: Transvladak Uhlanen)

But, what can have precipitated such a defection?
And just who, really, is Teresa Pepisa?
And what does this all mean for the state of Pils Holstein, and poor "Sweet FA"?

Time will tell...


Saturday 12 September 2015

Prussian Brigade

With the basing of the combined Grenadier Battalion, Weddell (Gren 1/23), the rank and file for the first Prussian Bde is complete...

 Figure painting by Dave Jarvis, basing by me.


This Brigade, therefore, includes:
IR 1 Winterfeldt
IR 7 Bevern
IR 23 Forcade
Gren 1/23 Weddell
+ a Light Gun

All that is required now is the Brigade Commander (probably von Winterfeldt), and the brigade supply wagon; plus I may add a couple of additional vignettes.

Again, as I have mentioned before, note the absence of drummers within the units themselves. This was a conscious decision and whilst some have criticised this approach, it serves my purpose, and the "look" of the thing seems right to me. Having too many command figures within units breaks them up to my eye, and I specifically want the predominant impression to be an "unbroken" line of bayonets on the marching rank and file. Drummers therefore appear only as super-numeries as part of vignettes dotted around between the lines.

So, this will be the formula for all my Prussian Brigades. Essentially three line battalions, plus one combined Grenadier battalion, plus a light gun, supply wagon, and commander.
This might appear to be a "fudge" in terms of representing units historically, as I have only single Battalion regiments, but it allows me to field a greater variety of units, and the proportion of Grenadiers throughout the army appears about right. Most importantly, I'm happy with it.

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Partizan and Farewell to Kelham

On a complete whim, I headed up to Newark last Sunday for the final Partizan to be held at Kelham Hall.
It's only an hour away in the car for me now (gone are the days of the long trek south from Fife for these shows), the fact that it was to be the final Kelham Hall event, and these considerations, coupled with there being couple of games I particularly wanted to see, meant that when I awoke to a bright sunny Sunday morning, I thought "Well, why not!" And I'm glad I did.

The day was punctuated by regular "bump into's", and a host of opportunities to chat with so many people, such as Howard Simmons, Tricks himself (who told me of the plans for future Partizans), as well as David Imrie (good to get a chance to have a proper chat about painting and such like, after a few years out of touch), Dave Andrews, and Darrell Hindley who (along with Simon Chick) had a wonderful Swiss- Burgundian game on (apologies for the quality of some of the pics... just iPhone snaps, with no editing, I'm afraid).


The Derby club were out in force with a Grand Alliance affair, and chewing the fat with Stuart Parkin took me back to the good old days of early Partizans.

There's no show without a windmill, of course!

Also great to meet Andy (a fellow SK re-enactor) who had transferred his ECW passion onto the tabletop with a lovely little skirmish game.

Other games that impressed were a 20mm Culloden table,

plus the huge Dark Ages / Arthurian game.

The Nostalgic Bit...

I first went to Kelham in 1996, in the early days of The League of Augsburg, when we regularly put demo games on at shows throughout the country.

Here are just a few pics from Wargames Illustrated's, that feature games we put on back then... my tribute to Kelham.
Farewell to Kelham Hall...

And so, I'm inspired...

Yes, I came away feeling like I really want to do something fresh. Particularly as next year at the new venue, Tricks needs some more games to fill the large space available... so I said I "might" be able to drag something out for one or other of the Partizan 2016s.

But what to do?
My Pils-Holstein collection is growing as the main focus, but I don't want to bring that out until it has reached the right level - probably a few years yet.
My TYW collection?... that's a possibility.
Something new?... well, I have made up a shortlist of mini / set-piece projects involving just a few units per side. After all, I'm planning to have some painting time myself this winter, so who knows...