Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Invasion of Byzarbia - Preparation

"So," Sir Robert Carleton, Governor of Anafor Gri, studied the dispatch he had just been handed. "Let me get this straight, aye? Grenouisse are aimin' to press on their campaign and take Byzarbia?"

"Aye sir." The messenger shifted from one foot to another. "T' Duke wants y'r opinion as t' which side we'd be better off helpin'."

The Governor frowned, moving to study the map of the Road, the Duchy's principal sea trade route that wound down from the port of Northferry in Elland, in through the western straits of the Grossmeer, through his own holding, the rocky, cliffside port of Anafor Gri, and thence to the quaintly named Byzarbian port of Tel-i-Tubi. Either the Duchy could side with Grandprix, newly defeated by Grenouisse, and defend their trade interests that way, or they could go in with the victors...

Remembering some of the reports of the battles around Grandprix, he chewed his bottom lip for a moment, then looked up. "Tell 'Is Grace my recommendation is t'side with Grenouisse. If I were a bettin' man, I'd back them. Might open us some trade wi' t'likes of Prunkland, too."

The messenger nodded. "Aye, Sir Robert. I'll tek word, then."

Three weeks later, he watched from the balcony of the residence as four transports bearing the yellow and blue flag of Elland docked. By his shoulder, his sister trained a telescope on the dockside. "So what did they send us?" The statuesque Lady Jacqueline Carleton was bordering on 6', towering above her brother by a good handsbreath. She snapped the telescope shut. "It looks like the Ninth, at least."

He chuckled, and fished the dispatch that had arrived a week ago out of a pocket. "Aye. Mickey Jones and the Ninth. The Sniffers...."

She smiled at that, "Good. Happen we could use some decent cavalry."

He nodded. "Aye. Y've got Johannesson's native horse as well, of course, and Byter-Legge's Jägers."

She grinned, then sobered. "We're taking half the garrison, if you count my regiment."

"I know, lass. But you're goin' t'need the Fifth more than we will, I reckon."

She turned at movement on the docks, raised the telescope again. "Ooo." He smiled to himself at his sister's enthusiasm, as she pointed. "The Don sent us guns?"

"He sort of did, aye, Seein' as how we can't spare ours."

A puzzled look. "How so 'sort of'?"

"Turns out the trades guilds are keen that we should keep t'Road open. So they got up a subscription, an' both the barrel makers an' the folks as makes horse harness bits paid fer them, and fer a couple of professional gunners. Master Terence and Master Peter."

She watched as a red-haired man in a gold-trimmed blue officer's uniform, twin to hers, disembarked. "No way!"

Laughter, "Aye. Sir Billy himself." Sir William Braemar was a legend amongst the Elland army - victor in countless down-and-dirty border wars with Stretford and Roker, hard as nails, a leader of men. "He's t'defer to you should it come down t'treaties an' such, but..."

She smiled. "No. That's just fine." A sigh, and a quick hug for him. "I'd best go see to getting the Fifth aboard. I'll come see you again before we set sail."

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


So - after much playing with Hexographer, I now have a map of the Duchy....

Calligraphy icon graphics by Kevin
Chenevert of 
Full size map here.

Monday, 2 April 2012

First steps to building an amy

I present the rank and file of Carleton's Fusileers... so far, just assembled.

As is probably pretty obvious, these are Wargames Factory WSS infantry, and to my annoyance, I just realised that I have got my maths wrong, and need another box.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Maelstrom's time machine

So, yesterday morning, the following turns up in my email:

Hello Mike,

We are pleased to tell you that your order #2069478704 has been dispatched today, 21st March 2012!

The following items from your order were dispatched:

    Q Item                                                   Cost
    1 Katherine Vinoq, Noble Adventurer                   £10.49
    2 War of the Spanish Succession Cavalry               £27.72
    2 War of the Spanish Succession Infantry              £27.72
Dispatched SECOND class, mark you. Imagine, as I'm sure you can, my considerable surprise when at 2pm yesterday the postman turns up with a large box from Maelstrom! Painting's on hold till 2nd April, mind...

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Advance notice of puns and word games

Someone on the WD3 forum has, indeed, already guessed why the Duchy has the name it does.

In the best tradition of the beast, once you've figured it out, look deep. I love puns and word games, and my English, Latin, French and German (as well as my ability to wield Google Translate) are more than equal to producing some moderately obscure ones. And not all of them are in the proper names of characters and places in and around the Duchy, either.


As I may have mentioned in my other blog, I've created an imagi-nation to take part in Henry Hyde's Wars Of The Faltenian Succession Byzarbian campaign via the WD3 forums.

I give you: the Duchy of Elland.

Elland is a moderately-sized but punching-above-its-weight state somewhere on the borders of something not too unlike Britian. Elland does have a bit of a reputation for fighting hard and not always fair, but that's offset by an equal reputation for being surprisingly egalitarian.

Elland's nearest outpost to Byzarbia is the coastal port of Anafor Gri, West along the coast from Byzarbia, with the feel of a Mediterranean coastal outpost (i.e. a base for operations to deal with pirates, etc) threatening the Duchy's lucrative trade route (known to the Duchy as simply "The Road") with Byzarbia. Elland supplies cloth from its newly opened mills, fine quality barrels and a surprising line in craftsman-made horse tack (spurs, bits etc), traded for Byzarbian... who knows? Spices? silks? what DO the Byzarbians have for trade?