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  • Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    I wrote this on another thread. It’s how I handle permanent storage and also temporary for movement. As both were mass produced by non-wargaming companies economy of scale coms in and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. I’ve seen most war game storage made for the hobby and it’s very poor.  In the temporary storage  method below it’s cheap and while it requires a bit of work, it will keep minis protected for a long time, is not bulky and can be easily replaced.


    A decade or so ago I bought about a dozen American Standard Bookshelves with moveable shelves and cut myself extra shelves so I can make storage cases with shelves about 5 inches high. For these resulting 5″ by 32″ wide spaces I made “drawers” out of wood and lexan that allowed me to slide them in and out of these spaces. The Lexan was on the front so you could see into the shelf which was electrified and you could see all the minis therein. There were about 8 shelves per case and the lower 3 feet of the shelf was large open space to stack up board games and books. So the minis are sort of always on display. These are in my hobby room.
    I like to see my minis.
    The shelves are quite handy. You can pull them out of the bookcase and take them over to the table , pick out the figures you wish, and then return the self tray to the case.
    They can be made for any case. Simply take a piece of pine 5″ by 12″ and saw diagonally from two opposite corners to make two right triangles. On the 5″ side rabbet with a router a grove parallel to the short side and 1/2″ in. On the long bottom side cut a piece of white faced Masonite to the size of the shelf. Screw and drill and glue the supports to the white Masonite, and to each upright screw a small handle to move the shelf around with. Place a piece of 5″ by 31″ lexan in the rabbeted grove and you are done. I use a top reinforce of a dowel glued in to the sides because my figures are rather heavy. This is what I call the carry-shelves.
    I originally tried a heating element across a larger piece of lexan to make the base and front of the shelf in one piece, but it was too weak.

    I got fancy and used address labels printed out with the name of the unit affixed to the base so each unit had its own shelf and place. The lighting was provided by using those small “under lighting units for kitchen cabinets. I’ve not mentioned above a lot of fuss and fit fidgets I developed over time. For example, a 1/2″ back lip to prevent minis from sliding back off the shelves, and stops here and there, but it works well.
    By the way for transporting troops to and from convention I use the 15” white mailers you can get at any STAPLES or OFFICE DEPOT store. To the bottom of these I attach thin strips of cardboard scarphed from any old packing case. These are glued on top of ribs of basswood so that the stand can be “locked” under the lip to prevent the stand moving around in transit. The boxes nest exactly into a larger packing crate, also available from staples so whole armies can be “unitized” for transport. The lips and ribs in the bottom of the box lock the stands in and I have dropped them on all sides and the stands rarely come out of the guides. Best of all, the way I do it on the bottom it does not prevent the mailer from being knocked down flat for compact storage after the convention or distant game.


    in reply to: Are you in sync with new product releases? #81629
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    One more point. I am in the same vein  as Autodiktatosaurus. If the history of the period doesn’t inspire me then it’s dead to me.  For example the least interesting period for me is Dark Ages.  Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Miserigoths, Gepids, wepids, lipids, limpids, aphids, vandals, handles, Darryls and his other brother Darryl … The thin, smelly,  fur-clad line has no interest for me.  Others love it, but not me.

    in reply to: Are you in sync with new product releases? #81627
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    When I was young, and stupid, I was an avid aficianado of the new.  Like Phil  though I saw that  with each new rule set that came out, and each new release of figures in our group would mean a trashing of a set we had just gotten used to and mastered, or a topic which we likewise were just getting enough figures to field a force for.  I quickly lost interest as  each new learning curve had to be masetered, and I noted that most of them never were.  In the end, all those rules wound up like trying to paint detail on figures before the first coat was dry. It turned into a smeary mess.

    Unfortunately complicating the issue was  that the players I gamed with did not read the rules. They relied on me, and others to hand-hold them through the rules which  turned into an even smearier mess when they remembered rules from years ago.  I then developed my old and haven’t changed.  We got to the point when someone said “Hey What About  doing  “Napoleons Buttons!” or “Umpires Ego’s and Liars!” we said to the guy. “GOOD! GREAT! you get the rules and buy the figures and learn them and you can put on the games.”

    That ended the enthusiasm real quick!

    Today I still gave gamers who ask after thirty or forty games with the same rules  “How many dice does a machine gun roll again?”  I realized that players just don’t pay attention and read the rules, even the rules they want to play. Now, I completely ignore rules releases and new periods.  Strange I find everyone still comes and will gladly play the game of whatever you want to put on provided you do all the work.

    I remember one time in our club that one guy said one day.

    “Hey how about we do Russo-Japanese War.”

    This had about as much legs on it as a sponge.

    Everyone said “Ummm OK… good, we’ll play it, when do you think you will be ready to put a battle on.”

    The guy  was a little shocked.

    ‘You expect ME to put it on? Why should I have to bear the work and expense of it. I meant for you guys to do it so I can play in it.”

    Swear to God, that was exactly what the guy said.

    Needless to say there was never one battle in the Russo Japanese war put on.

    I too get about a game a month on a good year.

    in reply to: Checking Out Your Own Self #81626
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    A decade or so ago I bought about  a dozen American Standard Bookshelves with moveable shelves and cut myself extra shelves   so I can make storage cases  with  shelves about 5 inches  high. For these resulting 5″ by 32″ wide spaces I made “drawers” out of wood  and lexan that allowed me to slide them  in and out of these  spaces. The Lexan was on the front so you could see into the shelf which was electrified  and you could see all the minis therein. There were about 8 shelves per case  and the lower 3 feet of the shelf was  large open space to stack up board games and books. So the minis are sort of always on display. These are in my hobby room.

    I like to see my minis.

    The shelves are quite handy. You can pull them out of the bookcase and take them over to the table , pick out the figures you wish, and then return the self tray to the  case.

    They can be made for any case. Simply take a piece of pine  5″ by 12″ and saw diagonally  from two opposite corners to make two right triangles.  On the 5″ side rabbet with a router a grove parallel to the short side and 1/2″ in.  On the long bottom side cut a piece of white faced Masonite  to the size of the shelf. Screw and drill and glue the supports to the white Masonite, and to each upright screw a small handle  to move the shelf around with. Place a piece of 5″ by 31″ lexan in the rabbeted grove and you are done.  I use a top reinforce of a dowel glued in to the sides because my figures are rather heavy.  This  is what I call the carry-shelves.

    I originally tried a heating element across a larger piece of lexan  to make the base and front of the shelf in one piece, but it was too weak.

    I got fancy  and used address labels printed out with the name of the unit affixed to the base so each unit had its own  shelf and place. The lighting was provided by using those small “under lighting units for kitchen cabinets. I’ve not mentioned above a lot of fuss and fit fidgets I developed over time. For example, a 1/2″ back lip to prevent minis from sliding back off the shelves, and stops here and there, but it works well.

    By the way for transporting troops to and from convention I use the 15” white mailers you can get at any STAPLES or OFFICE DEPOT store. To the bottom of these I attach thin strips of cardboard scarphed from any old packing case. These are glued on top of ribs of basswood so that the stand can be “locked” under the lip to prevent the stand moving around in transit. The boxes nest exactly into a larger packing crate, also available from staples so whole armies can be “unitized”  for transport. The lips and ribs in the bottom of the box lock the stands in and I have dropped them on all sides and the stands rarely come out of the guides. Best of all, the way I do it on the bottom it does not prevent the mailer from being knocked down flat for compact storage after the convention or distant game.


    in reply to: I CAN'T HELP MYSELF. #81611
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    But it’s not a stereotype at all. No one says Indians are actually that way.

    in reply to: Redneck Life #81533
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    It’s technically not a war game but there is competition between players  and for my part there’s precious little between shooting down another player with an AK47  or  bashing his “rig’ to bits in a demolition derby or drag race thus forcing him to go deeply into debt which he can never pay. The guy shot by the Ak47 is at least dead and out of his misery. Unless it’s a zombie game in which he can be brought back for an even more hellish existence.

    Morally the difference between murder and mayhem is up to you. Which is better an end in horror, or a horror without end?

    Historically the game is the only one I have ever seen which rips off the game design of the “Game of the Goose” with the board being a spiral. (See Faulkner. Games Ancient and Oriental  for a good exposition of the early versions of this game design). It is not circular like Monopoly or many other family games but essentially a line. you start, you pass through squares which give you life “adventures” and you get to the end and that is it.  Your life is liquidated in every sense, usually at half price, and the winner is the person with the most teeth.  I bought it simply for that for my board game archive, which I use for inspiration for ideas to rip off for miniature game design. For example I ripped off Buccaneer for my sailing ship rules.

    It is a gallows humor game.  A grim and savage satire on the life of rural and urban lower white classes and there is a message in here, but on the whole the ruling principle of the game is “schadenfreude”– a fine old German term which means deriving pleasure from the misery of others. It is, I suspect primarily for the enjoyment of non-rednecks who have been born above such a status commonly known as “poor white trash”  and the game would have redeeming social value if it was played by persons in that lower class as a demonstration of what their life will be like unless they change their ways.

    Let me make one observation about this. The satire of he game is on those people who WILLINGLY chose this life style .  Simple observation of these people in real life  shows that few accept this and most are desperately trying to avoid the circle of poverty and petty crime it depicts. A huge swath of the people who join the armed forces and do valiant service for the country come from these classes, and so do those who work as hard as they can to keep body and soul, family, and decency together. So the satire is supposed to be aimed at the true slackers.

    On the other hand… the game is popular enough that TWO game expansion kits have been produced and sales seem to be brisk. This I suspect says something about people in general. I cannot believe that at $39 for the base game and $18 for each expansion this is a game that is a pure gag gift and not played, which says something about non-rednecks more or less whistling past the graveyard. I note that the same game could be reworked “Middle Class Futility” and be just as complete  a satire about most of the rest of us  and played by the very wealthy. If you are inclined to doubt check out Jerry Springer, or Judge Judy, or a host of other shows which troll human misery to present these situations for people to look down upon and feel smugly superior to.

    I find the game truly sadistic because for the player WITHIN the game, there is no way 0ut. This is made eminently clear by a cursory look at the rules. The only way to get out and succeed is to land on certain squares of the board which will give you absolutely enormous wealth. However the game mechanics make it impossible to ever get to those squares, and you constantly zip by them with only a look, just like your real life counterpart who knows there is such enormous wealth but utterly beyond him as if it was on Tau-Ceti 4.

    But there is more than one joke in  the game. The first course of the spiral is your education. In this when you get to the end of this section you roll for your education and the choices invariably are low pay, low status, and entirely inadequate to keep you out of debt and misery the rest of the game.  Your salary varies from $200 to $500. By the time you get to your graduation you already are usually more heavily in debt than you can ever pay for the rest of your life.  The rest of your life is more of the same except for hoping for a card which will give you a few hundred that you vainly attempt to pay off your debt with, but always fall behind again.  Neophytes to the game import their proper middle class values and attempt to apply the lessons of their lives to the game, but the jokes on them.  There is a second joke here… that within the confines of the game the players ARE doing what they should- they are trying to improve their lot  by getting an education, by exercising thrift, by living decently, but it’s all governed by a chance die roll and their own efforts are worthless.  There is therefore little difference between  the high end and the low end of what can be achieved. One begins to see that while the game may be savage about its estimation of “the redneck” the savagery extends to the non-redneck playing the game.”

    The joke is on you too!

    Change the cards from “Spend the mortgage money on beer, get into a fight with your spouse and lose a tooth”  or “House flattened by two other players drag racing and crashing right through your home. You must buy a new home. pay $3000″  to  ‘Corporate downsizing and company  moving to India you are out of a job forever and your wife leaves you  ” to “Little Melissa comes home pregnant with a black baby pay $3000 for an abortion” and you are instantly l transported from Redneck Fears and dangers to Middle Class fears and dangers and the game is really no longer a game.

    There are several more bits of sardonic humor which I will leave you to find out on your own.

    I do find value in the game for the war gamer and war game designer. I have seen MANY rule sets which are essentially the same. By the death of a thousand cuts  (or a thousand modifiers) players in games are prevented from any reasonable hope of winning. In the desperate desire to try and make a game realistic  or follow history the game is forgotten and players are locked into a hopeless situation where they are little more than rats in a maze and there’s no cheese, and only the chance of being tortured like a small animal. I especially mean for example those Napoleonic Rules which are essentially- “All French are +4”  Gamers where you can win if you can roll a 7 on one six sided die and the opponent rolls a 0.  People who design these rules wax loquacious on the realism and intellectual challenge, but there’s really none of that. It’s simply one more way to make sure you stay in debt to the French and lose a tooth.

    The Horrific end of Redneck life is on the last square of the final reckoning. All through the game you have been loosing teeth so that when you die you have only abut a third of what you started with. You are allowed to buy back teeth at $100 a tooth, and you get this from liquidating all your assets at half price. Then when you have paid your debts, and you usually have no money to buy back teeth,  Cousin Sammy or whatever, who has been the guy extending you credit all through the game, comes back and for each $100 you owe him (and by the way Cousin Sammy on the cards always has a full set of gleaming choppers)  takes one remaining tooth for each $100 you owe him.  Nice huh?

    Bleak game huh?

    True Game.

    Realistic game.

    Like one of the denizens of the game who spends the mortgage money on beer, I wonder sometimes how much better I would be had I not spent a lot of money on toy soldiers.

    As I said, the existence of Jerry Springer and other bottom feeding shows, and their seemingly inexhaustible popularity along with survivor shows, crime drama’s, and funniest home videos shows that people have an inexhuastable appetite for schadenfreude and cautions us about being too judgemental about the game.





    in reply to: I CAN'T HELP MYSELF. #81452
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    OK, I have most of the easy work done on figuring how i’m going to handle light and heavy artillery and get the Hodonensaunee their light and heavy cavalry, incluiding their renowned Longhouseholdguards. I’ve even decided on some of the names. Chief Bear Shitting in the Woods, Chief Falling Rock, Chief Rolling Rock, Princess Minnietonka. and so forth.  “regiments ” named Wamsutta, Winnebego or Bagawino, The hard part is  the back-story.

    We have Princess Trixie, the Valley Girl of Saxe Burlap und Schleswig Beerstein, King Faustus the Grump and Prince Umberto of Bad Zu-Wurst and sibling rivalry run amuck. we have the sweet chipper wholesomeness of the cookie baking Tzarina of all the Gulags, then there’s the Grand Duke of the Grand Duchy of Gorgonozola where all the worlds a stage and his ministers are simply players thereon pelted with Bravo’s, bouquets or rotten tomatoes, and of course the Nattering Nabob of Negativism Sha Na-Na of Ikea who makes people go looking for the mutes with bowstrings.

    Now I have to work out something for Iroquoia.

    Hmmm maybe a chain of exclusive lounges and entertainment palaces throughout the land drawing a lively tourist trade from puritanical New England where they don’t have dancing and gambling, and gala show-girls in feathered gowns, beaded pasties,  with lounge lizard comics… Hmm. “The Blue Beaver Lounge…” The Taj Mohegan where you get indian style entertainment provided by the other Indians– Venison Tandoori, … Bear Curry.
    Maybe a land where all the Indian villiages produce local “handicrafts” for sale in the white man’s land like those little cedar boxes with the name of this or that forest clearing , or fake sculptures of Indian Tommahawks, and peace pipes to hang above your fireplace , or better yet, little tom-toms with little beaters you can buy for your friends 8 or 9 year olds along with a few pounds of “Indian Candy” highly sugared to give to your grand kids, or even better yet pictures of wolves, moose and Indians on forest scenes painted on black velvet where the eyes follow you around the room. Not only that here you can buy genuine Indian Maple Syrup (made at the Aunt Jemima plant by the people who make oven mits) and of course, Big Chief Pine tree’s potency restorer- Rock-hard which is sold under the counter as sort of an Indian’s revenge against the white man for all his cheap whisky. Of course a line of gag-gifts like the arrow on a loop of wire to wear on your head, “woo woo whoopee cushions? False Scalped wigs,  T shirts that say “I was at the Monongahela and all I got was this lousy T-shirt… Edible Wampum belts.’

    A series of theme parks, Dutch wonderland, Thanksgiving Land, etc.  Canoe rides, early versions of water parks,

    in reply to: Some thoughts on the turn sequence #81451
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Naval games can be much cleaner than land games when it comes to simultaneous movement. For my own part though I tend to give the initiative to the side with the higher maximum speed.  For example in my “Yo-Ho-Ho: Little rules for big ships” which is NOT a pirate game but an 18th century sailing ship game, the sequence of action is simple. It is a hexed based game  and the speed of the ship at the START of the turn determines the turn order. Thus a ship moving at 4 hexes which is the slowest ship given it’s attitude to the wind blah blah blah, moves 4 hexes and moves first. The next highest speed ship then moves as it desires, all the way up to the ship that can move up to 12 hexes racing along with the wind behind it.  A system of “puffs” and “gusts” can be used to snatch another ship and bring it closer, and so forth. When all ships have done moving  there is fire. Ships coming adjacent to an enemy ship are ruled to have “fouled” and must stop. A ship moving past an enemy two hexes away, if the non moving ship has a “puff” can pull the ship adjacent and stop it. A ship moving past an enemy two hexes away, if it has a “puff” can fire at the ship it is passing.

    In more modern games where ships steam and not sail, it’s essentially the same, though the puffs and gusts are not used.


    in reply to: Satisfactory Pike and Shot rules #81450
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Dear Guy


    As I said, I gave up on separate basing for shot and pike as just too much trouble. Besides the numbers are irrelevant as everything is handled by units. So a whole stand of say 72 figures is either unharmed, degraded in some way, or eliminated. All units have five values, these are printed on the stand- Move, which a unit must roll less than or equal to  to move, Charge, which is Melee, which is the number of combat results cards I can deal out, To Stand, which is the value it must roll less than or equal to toss off a combat results card. Rally which is the number or less it must roll to rally, and it’s Fire value which is the number of combat result cards it can deal out when firing on an enemy in range, and of course– R for range it can fire. These values are printed on a small tab on the base of the unit. In addition some units are “terror units.” These are Swiss, Jannisaries,  Polish Winged Hussars ,and French Gendarmes.  Any unit facing them within one measure (abut 8″) has all its values reduced to 1. Some units are exempt from fear or terror units, like Landsknechts and Spanish Infantry.  The rules are for the period 1425 to 1580.  Terror units have no effect on other terror units (professional courtesy.)

    The reason is not only simplicity, but I want the units to look good on the table top. Seen to many battles where people blend and mix and match the stands into “bladey” units and “shootey” units. This means small stands with few figures which mean a lot of wear and tear from handling.  Gamers tend to use “the claw”, their hands, like a bucket loader and crush stands, spears, muskets colors and pikes. That doesn’t happen too much because I reinforce the figures, and leave the piano wire pike points razor sharp.  The stands are then so heavy and unbalanced that you hace to almost use two hands to move them.  For cavalry I will also run hard wire mandrels from through the base into the body of the horse to keep them from being bent.

    “Famiglia” or feudal troops are usually  M- 1, C-1, S-1, R-1, F-1, and D for distance 1,

    Contottierei or mercenary forces are valued from 2 to the.

    Swiss are M-5, C-5, S-5, R-5, F-1 and D 1

    Landsknechts are M-3, C-3, S-4, R-4,F-5 and D-1

    French Gendarmes are M-3- C-5, S-3- R-3- F-0 and D-0

    and so forth.

    All battles are part of a campaign/scenario generator system  where you always get Feudal or Famiglia troops, if you have the opportunity you can get Condottieri or Professional troops, and if God smiles on you the Swiss or the Landsknecht and other troops


    in reply to: What would you NOT play? #81449
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Unfortunately Guy, the GM did explain the situation. The result was rather grim.  The “kill them all” were unfazed. “It was their own fault that they didn’t fight back” was the answer. The GM was simply repeating the Milgram and Zimbardo experiments.

    As I said no one wants to play a game to be taught a moral lesson.



    in reply to: What would you NOT play? #81432
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    The other dimension to this  is epitomized by the phrase “What went ye into the Wilderness to see?”  If as according to the original poster you are sitting around brain-storming  edgy games that’s one thing  and can be a lot of fun between you as to the edginess alone. On the other hand putting it on as an actual game opens a door which you may not be happy when you see what walks through.

    People play games to have fun and not to be taught moral lessons.  Further you always run the gauntlet of disturbing feelings perhaps buried deep in the mud of the mind.

    Imagine you are television executives sitting around brainstorming a new comical series. Someone comes up with the idea of a show about Allied Prisoners of war in a German stalag.  How can that possibly be funny!!!???  Dunno– ask Hogans Heroes. Of course the rules of comedy are different… are they?

    I recall one convention where a friend of mine entered a sort of patrol in Iraq or Blackhawk down scenario. Here you got points for killing the bad guys and lost points for killing  the good guys. I tried to steer her away from this but she wanted to play. So the game begins and she comes up to go first.  the GM says to her “You see a man leave a building  and walk down the street. What do you do.:”  Immediately the answer I dreaded comes out of her mouth.” Shoot him down!”  The GM is shocked and explains again that it might be wiser to interrogate him to see if he’s one of the enemies.” She snaps back, they’re all the enemy.” Thus began the massacre of the village, and while her actions might be somewhat understandable having lost a brother in the twin towers, the rest of the gamers joined in with what can only be a cathartic experience.

    You never know  what you’re going to awaken. I said to the GM later “Well, you got what you came for.”

    To my friend when I asked her about it on the ride back from the convention, she said only “I’m so tired, I’m so tired…” and breaking off on the verge of tears.  A few days later she finished it with “I’m so tired of people feeling sorry for these scum.”

    When you delve into the human psyche- bring a shovel and hold your nose.

    Even worse.

    I had a friend who put on a science fiction game where this alien race was being attacked by your typical space storm troopers. The aliens were fairly easy to kill.  The secret of the game was at it heart a misapprehension of intention. The aliens were not trying to kill the storm troopers only establish contact. My friend wanted to see how long it took the players as manipulators of the storm troopers to overcome their indoctrination and realize that the aliens weren’t harming anyone.

    Fair ‘nuf.

    Well a few of the storm troopers got it very quickly and were noticing ‘Hey, none of us are hurt, none of us are getting killed and they’re almost letting themselves get slaughtered, and they pulled back. Several other gamers  gleefully went on killing the aliens because they could, just for the fun of killing something and if the aliens weren’t fighting back  it made it all the easier. They saw no moral dilemma in just plain killing.


    In war games it’s best to leave these things out of it.

    Attempts at self-righteousness and moral chest thumping are mocked by the Monsters from our Id.






    in reply to: Satisfactory Pike and Shot rules #81361
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Wrote my own Renaissance rules.  I game in a much earlier period of the Italian and Turkish wars. Gave up on this pike/shot thing and just mounted them on the same stand. My units are HUGE. For example a Regiment of Landsknechts are 4″ by 9″ with 25 pike, 5 officers, color and musicians, and 36 shot on one stand.  The Swiss Hut, or block has  72 pike, halberd and shot on a single stand. Cavalry have 16 to 32 figures on a stand. All of these are large 28mm. The rules are 12 pages  single spaced  3/4″ margins, all rules, examples, illustrations and designers drivel in that space.  They work very well.

    in reply to: Some thoughts on the turn sequence #81345
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Dear Painting Little Soldiers


    Here is the link to sign on.

    [email protected]


    in reply to: Some thoughts on the turn sequence #81333
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Dear Painting Little Soldiers

    The Society of Daisy is a Yahoo group founded in 2000 and still going strong. It has 270 or so members and is devoted to humor, fun, whimsy, and fellowship in war games. It also is a source of devotees of Imagi-Nations in particular to get together and talk about it. It has very large photo archives and lots of rules and articles in its files.

    The rather odd name is from one of our members who had an army, Imagi-Nation of course , in which the leader of his army was always followed around the field by his pet cow, Daisy. We decided it was as good a name as any, and were tired of discussing what the list should be named. I had the link to subscribe copied but I seem to have lost it. Will copy it again and pass it along. The best thing to look for is SOCDAISY which is the official abbreviation.


    Here is the ‘Welcome” sheet which we welcome new members with which tells more about it.

    Welcome to Daisy. This is an odd group and an unusual one and it has always been so for the seventeen years of its existence. Long ago I said that Daisy had the social milieu of a basement group of friends gathered around the table, or a down at the heels gentlemen’s club. Certainly in daisy we do not have the anonymity of most e-lists and communities and we are very concerned with our fellow war gamers here as persons and as friends, and this means in the personal sense. Daisy is a small group of only about 270 or so souls who enjoy each others company and who enjoy the fun of war games. There has never been a flame war on Daisy, and while sometimes we can deal with weighty and imposing subjects, which finds members on extreme sides of the questions, we soon degenerate into frivolity and a non-serious approach to the hobby.
    Daisy is has been a source of friendship, support, caring, and social pleasure for our members. We generally tend to the whimsical and non serious and perhaps the most passionate debates we have had here have been on the composing of the perfect character for our imagi-nations and also who has the best looking women, Earth, Klingons, Romulans, or Vulcans.
    We also publish a quarterly PRINT newsletter, Saxe N’ Violence, which is going on it’s twelfth year, and seems to be going strong. We also are presently involved with some of the members in a campaign in 18th century Imagi-Nations which has table top resolution of battles and copious battle reports put on by myself. It’s 16 to 20 full color pages, no adds, and the costs are just to cover printing and postage. We have published in this full games, articles on constructing Imagi-nations, and reports and archives from campaigns and Imagi-Nations our members have made.
    We also run a convention at the Continental Inn in Lancaster PA in June, and 2018 will see the these of “Naval Warfare, Victory at Sea.” Themes at the convention don’t mean much. The emphasis is on fun, games, friendship, food, fun and good times and meeting new friends.
    But the most important part of Daisy, I feel has been the longevity of friendship and the low key approach to the hobby. We have an average of 260 posts a month. Being a group dedicated to humor and whimsy, Imagi-Natuions and imagination in the hobby, we don’t take ourselves too seriously and for us, War Games has always emphasized the “GAME” rather than the War part.
    So welcome again you wish, step forward and introduce yourselves, or if you prefer just lurk for a while. You will always find someone willing to cheerlead you, help or contribute.

    Make him feel welcome gang.


    in reply to: Some thoughts on the turn sequence #81328
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    We’ve had several go-rounds on the top of Simultaneous Movement on my Society of Daisy List.  Most of the time we end up agreeing that anything but Igougo is not worth the candle. We started this again a few days ago. pretty much what we came up with was the same, but more useful perhaps was that while we could never get simultaneous movement to work what we came up was a “confused” movement might be as good. What I mean by “confused movement” was  that the enemy might or might not be able to react to it.

    One of the elements in this is that “Oh God! Anything but a Six!!!” has several elements that mitigate the situation to make simultaneous movment, perhaps, irrelevant. First of all it’s for the musket period and the range of all but artillery is 1 measure, which is the frontage of an infantry stand or regiment. This is 8″ This is either for the melee value or the fire value of units. While this may seem long for melee the turns are theoretically an hour long, and can represent several charges over short distance, back and forth with periods of firing, melee, sparring, rock throwing,  name calling.  all within that time. So yes melee range is fire range , and that tosses out the need for a lot of “fiddely” movement in other games. Granted here are some hot-shot regiments that have a range of two measures, but like artillery which goes up to 4 and 6 that’s a somewhat different kettle of fish. Further, because of the time period (18th Century) there’s no need for such things as overwatch etc.

    Overwatch is also not needed because of the movement system.

    The system uses initiative in which one side has it and the other doesn’t. The side WITHOUT  initiative moves second and can move up to one measure for infantry and guns and two measures for cavalry. The side WITH initiative can move as far as his “leedle ole heart desires” even from one corner of the board to the extreme opposite corner so long as he doesn’t enter a rough or very rough terrain area, or he comes within 1 measure of an enemy unit, in which case he must stop. So there’s no need for overwatch- he’ll be here soon enough! Firing comes after movement within that one measure area.  We did a lot of work and investigation and found out that “pass through” fire, that is where a unit enters the range of another but does not close with that unit simply did not expose itself long enough for an effective reaction or weight of fire and could ignore it. If it was close enough it would fall under the “within 1 measure” rule and would have to stop and get shot at normally.  Further once the initiative side has his fun with zipping all over the fields his flanks were still open to the enemy when he got close and the defender could make his charge or counter-charge or reaction to the enemy. if he made his movement roll.

    My interest in simultaneous move was only as a time saver. That is the side who was not moving would not have to sit there while his opponent piddled away the time finneckying with his troops. I solved this by the simple expedient of spending some cash on some egg-timers. A player could take all the time in the world with DECIDING what he wanted to do with his troops without limit, but once he started his movement he had one flip of the three timers to actually physically move it. Units he did not get to were not allowed to move, and any units still in their hands after the third timer ran out were taken off the field.

    It encourages decision and attention!

    Note that combat is entirely simultaneous and you can attack anybody within your 1 measure.

    In addition there is not only movement, but “maneuver.” In “movement” in order to move a  specific unit you must make the units’ movement value or less on the roll of a die. To this movement value you can add the value of any officer within 1 measure of the unit, thus if a line infantry unit has a movement value of 2, which means you have to roll a 1 or a 2 to move it, if you had a “4” rated officer within one measure you could add that officers value to the unit raising its value to a 6. However you must always have a possibility of a fail, so you can only really raise it to a 5. if you roll 1 to 5 the unit can move, if a 6, you fail. The officer is then tipped over to show he is used and can’t have his value apply to anything else. in Maneuver you are allowed to make a “command group” of however many officers you want so long as they are within 1 measure of each other, and the total is rolled against. If you make the roll you can move any unit within 1 measure of that group and do not have to roll for each unit. Thus if for example, Generals Potzunpans (2), The Prince of Saxe-Hillbilliehausen (1), General Knyppentuck  (1), and general Alt Macdonald (2) are within I measure of each other they can combine for a total of 6,  and roll one die, and if it is a 1 to 5 can move ANY unit within 1 measure as they want. (Remember though 6 there must always be a chance of failure.  The player added Knyppentuck  because he wanted him to move with the units.

    Note that with or without initiative the maneuver works for both sides and if the above group had initiative it could have moved as far they wished, even off the board, if the group did not have initiative infantry could move only one measure while cavalry could move two.

    This system works very well because


    1. There is no need for the folderol of movement chits or written orders, which invariably leads to cheating (look close with movement chits, you’ll find them squerreled under any bit of loose lichen or a stand ready to be flipped out to evade what the commander actually did, or the inevitable debate on what “Advance as Deemed fit”
    2. Units do not go into a complicated “do-se-do” of movement attempting to fake out the enemy and conform to the enemy action.
    3. Each side gets to do what they want, and be done with it. The person with initiative has the advantage of determining the point of action and making a bold stroke which makes the decisive attack and the enemy gets to counter it as best he can, usually with decisive effect.
    4. Everyone is busier than a one-armed paper hanger, even when not moving, and no one’s sitting around while the umpire goes through a long complicated “activation” sequence. Everybody moves at once and everybody’s eyes are scanning the table top to see ways of countering the move, or what has to be done next turn,  and if they’re not looking at that, they’re looking at the egg-timers hoping the sands flow faster or get stuck!
    5. In short excitement is the rule of the day.
    6. Then there’s the combat.

    The combat is simultaneous but quite unique so it does not drag through opposed rolls or looking up modifiers for each situation. I have not described this because it is not pertinent to the idea of simultaneous move.

    You don’t need complicated activation sequences of complex orders or chits.





    in reply to: Some thoughts about moving on square grids #81326
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Square grids work fine. I used them for a decade while designing my “Oh God! Anything but a Six!!!” rules. We did this so we could concentrate on sequence, game theory, and streamlining the game. Once I had all that worked out I could go back to free move. But they worked fine as a game. Never went beyond the squares and didn’t trouble about diagonal distances, a square was a square and it was simply range in integers.  By the way Henry Bodenstedt in the 70’s had a square gridded game in the 70’s on the Franco Prussian War.

    Presently, I use squares for naval games. It’s all in the conceptualization. In the game the conceptualization is NOT as a stretch of sea, but a map-table in the admiralty like you see in “Sink the Bismark.”

    Anyway, after we got “Oh God! Anything but a six! perfected we went to a hex grid on the size of Geo-hex, but that was simply for terrain making. We use free movement for the game and it works fine. We like the visuals better.


    in reply to: Why Don't You Use A Painting Service? #81325
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    If you don’t paint them they ain’t yours.

    in reply to: What do you call "GW size" minis? #81323
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    I started the hobby with 30mm. — Scruby’s to be exact. Then went on to Stadden and Surens which were 30 to 32mm. ?Went to 25mm  and so on and the scale has crept all over the place. Now today I still have my Stadden and Surens and use them  with impunity with half a dozen other manufacturers , no wait… a dozen or more, some of which are all over the place with regard to scale. These include the old SAE’s and Greenwood and Ball minis,  and so forth. The one thing I f0und is that if you don’t mix the minis on the stand, then no one notices.  Thus the SAE’s in their unit when on the table top don’t look dinky at all compared to the majestic Surens’etc. I don’t have many GW sized figures because they don’t make much in the periods of interest I have, but I have used some of them as bases for conversions and even then look dinky sometimes.

    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Dear Guy

    Maybe so but  it’s a human tendency to become narrowed in focus. One has to make the effort. It used to be easy but  then there was less to war games back then. I chose to express it as a “fault” on my part simply because a component of being involved in a hobby  is you simply can’t do EVERYTHING, though I fully admit there was a time when I really tried.  As proof of that I offer my 750 man Ral Partha Zulu Army which I acquired once in great excitement, and which I painted and which has sat on the shelf for over twenty years and NEVER… never been in battle. My Mongol Army of 550 keeps them company. It to has never been in battle, both witness to interests once eager and now well past dead.  Similarly I was introduced recently to several board games by friends that came and went simply because I was not looking for them.

    That’s the great thing about this hobby. It is so varied, and so multifaceted and so intriguing that the choices we have are wide  but it’s gone beyond the ability of anyone to know everything.  Two stories to relate on this.

    I was at a convention with  a friend who had brought his young, 12 year old with him who was let loose in the dealers area with his hard-saved up Chirstmas money. He came up to us after an hour and said “DAD DAD look, I found these really neat figures, aren’t they beautiful!!!” It was a bubble pack of Some Ral Partha Figures.  I said that they were and we had many packs of them back home. He was astounded to know we knew them, he thought they were brand new. “You know they went out of business over a decade ago!” his father said, and his son looked immediately crestfallen- nay crushed!

    We go through life and at one point we give up any thought of trying to keep abreast of things.  I think we substitute depth and intensity in fewer things.






    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    I think it depends on what you want to hear.

    Here I admit it is my fault.

    Been in the hobby now since 1962 , that’s 56 years.  Back then the hobby was much smaller and largely confined to historical miniatures or Imagi-Nations. Since then the advent of sci-fi, role playing, and the proliferation of periods beyond simple ancient, musket, and modern, has shattered the hobby like a piece of safety glass when you try and cut it.

    Where I and many other gamers are at fault is that we try a lot of things and gradually settle into one or two of those little shards and decide that we like that, or a few of the shards and that is all and the rest we don’t care about. If you don’t care about it then you’re not interested in what the “hottest” thing is. I go to several conventions in the US , including the three big HMGS cons, with a huge dealer area. I know what I’m interested in and of the 100 plus dealers there I’ll walk right by 98% of them and not even stop to look. I go to those who sell stuff I want and like.  Then it’s “Hi Dave, whachagot for me?  Dave shows me,  and it’s “OOOOhhhh Shiny!”  Several hundred bucks later I’m done.  That’s for the minis. I don’t buy rule books as I write them all myself.

    What I mean in all this is that I think most people have their interests and aren’t really interested in buying new things, or going into the latest craze. Wargames is a strange hobby where not everyone has to have everything and deep and abiding interest shows up in selected and often very narrow ranges.

    As for information myself I get almost nothing from the forums. I go there to talk about war games and I like to talk about projects, swap stories and have the sociability.  I used to like the magazines but with the demise of the Courier and Historical Gamer a long time ago there has been no American War Games Magazines and I don’t really care for the three remaining ones which seem long on fluff and adds and very low on content. As for Facebook I simply don’t do social media.  Of the electronic forums far to many now are toxic and unpleasant. TWW is nice as are a few others, but even there it’s not going to be a place to get me interested in new stuff. I have about three periods/scales I’m interested in and that’s it, and there is NEVER anything new and interesting in those periods (28-33 mm Chariot Ancients, Renaissance, 17th and 18th century, and between the World Wars in 20mm, and a complete antipathy to skirmish gaming). I think a lot of gamers are like that.  For the latest and greatest in my interest areas, Dave keeps me up to date. In fact I’ve even taken to commissioning figures from sculptors and making them in the 18th century.





    in reply to: I CAN'T HELP MYSELF. #81294
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    The nice thing about Imagi-Nations is that we are free to make up a backstory to suit. We only need plausibility pushed to the extreme and not historical exegesis. The Indians had no voice in the affairs in the house of Burgess or in that of the dealings with the Walking Grant in Pennsylvania, or New York. There would be held consultations and “conferences” with the Indians at some remote point in the wilderness where the Indians would express their grievances, usually to the very people who were aggrieving them, and the latter went back and said they agreed to everything.  A cadre of Inian Lawyers would have done far more simply by pure obstructionism in the courts  than an army of 25,000 men.

    As William Cronin’s book “Changes in the Land” showed, the different ideas of land use and land tenure hampered any such mutual understanding.

    But for our project in war games fortunately ideas are much more transferrable than habits. The hunger for land which was the driving force for expansion from the colonies was easily handled by the Indians if you separated the speculators from the process.  Most important it would have ensured a flow of cash into the Indians able to finance their own protection.

    As I said, again, we only need plausibility and very little of that. What I want is to make a model of an Iroquois Army or what one would look like. Remember nothing prevents them from learning, adapting, and adopting.

    in reply to: Card Terrain #81237
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Neat stuff


    Let us know how it works out in battle.



    in reply to: What would you NOT play? #81227
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    I’ve played “Redneck Life” by Gutbustin Games which is pretty sadistic and in completely bad taste, and it can be fun with the right group.  First off this question is somewhat invidious on its own as it is dealing with subjects that CAN be taken and perverted to personal attacks. To address what was said, when you’re talking about people with neither morals, scruples and a sense of decency so “slaves” being sold by them as just another piece of merchandise is probably better than in real life where the pirates would have just tossed them overboard and let them drown as their ship was too small to accommodate them and they were too much trouble to look after– also being witnesses.

    But on the larger question of what we won’t play, it depends. I play modern games  of between the wars to middle of WWII but I use Imaginations. I don’t care to game as one of the three greatest moral evils ever to inflict mankind. So two of the Imagi-Nations are “Fahrvergnuggen” or the 7 3/4 Reich, and another is WWWF, The Workers Winter Wonderland of Freeland.  The third is the Empire of Terramasu– or Samurai Night Fever!  You can pretty much guess who is who.

    I won’t game Vietnam, and certainly not modern games against terrorists. I have a weak spot in my love of art, which is the highest of human expression and all we have to remember the achievements of the millions who have gone before. Art is sacred.

    But for me the question is not what I won’t game, but that what I like to game, the wars of the 18th century in Europe are so much more fun and pleasurable it is hard to pry me loose from them. The art, the literature, the customs the society. It is fascinating.  I prefer surrounding myself with things of beauty and thinking nice things than wallowing in the liminal.  Thus in my 18th century games, I prefer them because everything is created in whimsical fashion. There are heroes and heroines, but the villains are never truly evil or mean, but reduced to gross charicatures  like Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier, or Osmin from “Abduction from the Seraglio” and like Die Fledermaus, everything is a case of mistaken identity and can be put down to a bit too much champagne.

    I don’t like zombies either. It traduces the most sacred underpinning of civilization, our rites of the dead.

    To put it simply. There is enough misery in the world and I have no need to bring it into my hobby.

    Now as far as Pirates selling slaves as trade goods and the whole question of slavery…

    If you could make it where the pirates capture a huge bevy of beautiful girls who are wards in chancery to a very modern major general, and they all decide to get married with impunity… no wait, that’s been done.

    Or a young beauty and her serving maid are captured by pirates and sold in the slave market, but they are bought by this virtuous honorable Pasha, call him Selim, who would never think of forcing himself on her and he gives her maid to Osmin his overseer and she henpecks and nags him to death… No wait that’s been done.

    Or another young Italian beauty is captured by corsairs and sold to a Pasha who has gone off his wife and wants a big fine lusty Italian girl instead, and she resists his advances and convinces him that she will yield to him only if he agrees to become a pappatatzi…  no wait that’s been done.

    Or a pasha who comes to Italy looking for a lost slave girl he fell in love with and takes up with an old Italian Merchant’s gorgeous wife, then finds the slave girl… no wait that’s been done.

    Or a slave who is kept by the pirate captain because he has taken a liking to him and makes him his manservant. Then one day tells the slave a secret that he is NOT the dread pirate Roberts… no wait that’s been done.

    Or there’s no slaves, just servants who are aroused to anger when their Count is planning to insist on the right of the first night when his wife’s maid is going to marry his barber, and there’s all this fanforade about cabinets and chairs and switching the countesses costume with her maids costume…. no wait that’s been done.

    Who wants to play those games when there’s so much fun stuff to play.







    in reply to: Variable objectives #81167
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    I’ve tried this both in randomized or in letting players pick their objectives from a list. It all falls apart after turn one and a half. After that  all players want to do is push lead, roll dice, and kill things, preferably the closest enemy unit. When I mention “ummm… your objectives?” they invariably say “Uh yeah.. oh that… ”  Then someone else says “hey Dave, you have to roll for morale for this unit!” and it’s gone out of their mind and it’s back to “kill da wabbitt, kill da wabbit!!!
    It’s like a puppy dog romping in he park and across the way a little girl is spreading bubbles from a hoop. The puppy sees the bubble, snaps at it, it bursts and the dog has a “brain fart” for a moment and then goes back to romping  around.  Now I Just let them do what they want. No one complains and everyone believes they have attained their objectives– which they have–  roll dice, push lead, kill things, and have a good time with their buddies.

    in reply to: I CAN'T HELP MYSELF. #81166
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    On the subject of Civilians, the Eureka figures are OK, but the Empire dresses are not that great and not really historical.  (I know,  I know, NOW you are quibbling about historical accuracy–  Otto!!!)  Sorry… I am looking for figures that looked like they stepped out of scenes from Barry Lyndon. Marie Antoinette and Catherine the Great (the 1930’s ones not the modern remakes.  William Suren used to make civilians in this vein with character, the modern makers are too wooden. I want for example, a figure of the Duc of Orleans to be as slimy and oily as Joseph Schildkraut was in the film.


    One of my on-again-off-again projects is a game of civilian life in the 18th century. That’s not some sort of ginned up version of En-Garde. There will be literally NO combat in this game, only social combat between great families for the patronage at court or marriage alliances, and the swapping of ministries and positions. And I also like to make dioramas which I use on the table top in games as well.



    in reply to: I CAN'T HELP MYSELF. #81165
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    I think Indians were smart people and  showed how they adapted to  and adopted many items of European culture  readily.  Horses  and cows, sheep and goats, chickens and ducks,  the colonists they raided from they could have had aplenty if they wanted to engage in serious animal husbandry.  After reading Wiliam Cronin’s “Changes in the Land” and many other such anthropological and environmental stories, I think they could have easily done it, and they could have adapted the settlement of the Europeans had they been able to accept modified European ideas.  Not only animal husbandry, but blacksmithing and other artisanal crafts could have been learned which would have broken the bonds of “gift giving” that put them in bondage to the Europeans.  For example, the real enemy to the Indian and especially the Iroquois confederacy was no the settler but the land speculator who sold large tracts of Indian land  to the settlers and then let the settlers go out and take it.  Had the Indian been able to cut out the middleman of the land speculator it might have been different. That is where the Indian sold land to individual farmers, or also modified their idea of land sovereignty as Cronin shows.  The Indians already had the idea of sovereignty over the land but saw it mainly as the “usufruct” of the land as far as hunting.  They were quite able to make wars against the Cherokee and others over hunting, why not political sovereignty as residence. The Indians  also as part of these sales were always offered the chance to send some of their young men to the schools the white men set up. Mostly they judged this to be no real life for a man. However, had they,  it would not take more than a dozen “shyster” lawyers to be able to hold their own in any courtroom against land claims put up by the speculators. A few Indian lawyers would have tied up these people in litigation for decades.

    And besides this is Imagi-Nations where we can do what we want.

    And in the end, if the Speculators decided to use their political influence with the crown to send an Army against Iroquoia, if the Iroquois had an army, there, on the scene, which did not have to be transported across the water…

    There’s no cause or drum to beat here.  It’s purely to make nifty armies and units. I have a system for my games which you all have probably heard about elsewhere. Rather than tying my brain in knots trying to figure up mechanisms of making Europeans and Indians equal on the table top,  and bearing in mind I don’t like gaming massacres of isolated farmhouses, the best way to do it is to simply accept equality.  The game system provides a means of setting up battles quickly and workably. There are two strategic units, the Army and the Brigade.  All armies and brigades have the same units in them and are identical across national lines. Armies are of one type (mostly) and Brigades are of many types but a smaller number of units  so there are infantry brigades, elite brigades, artillery brigades and so on. An infantry brigade of Saxe Burlap and Schleswig Beerstein und Saxe Burlap and one of Bad Zu Wurst are identical in numbers and values, and have four infantry regiments, one dtragoon regiment, one light gun, and one wagon and a number of officers. In setting up a game you can a maximum of two units in a force. The legal combinations are  one brigade, two brigades, one army, and one army and one brigade. This is usually derived from the campaign.

    An Army is much larger and has five line infantry regiments, two elite regiments (which you can make either light infantry or Grenadiers, or Engineers) and if you chose light infantry you can have them in several organizations and break a unit down to six stands of SCUM or skirmishers. There are also four heavy cavalry and four light cavalry regiments, two light, and two heavy guns and five wagons and a passel of officers.

    Now… I use the same for my Turkish Army. It has five regiments of regular infantry same as line infantry, two regiments of elites which can be either Jannisaries (grenadiers) or Bashi-Bazooks (light infantry)  four regiments of Spahi’ heavy cavalry, four units of Light Cavalry (tatars perhaps)  two light and two heavy guns.  I allow the Turks, if they wish to convert all their guns to the big super-heavy but immobile ones they used if they wish.

    I want therefore to keep the Iroquois “army” within that format. Five regiments of braves acting as line infantry, two regiments of Elite (Grenadiers from white settlers or light infantry as Courier DuBois  as skirmishers etc. with light and heavy cavalry etc. and a few other choices special to the Indians . I admit this is not historical at all, but … admit it… wouldn’t you love to see a regiment of European colonists in Indian lands in long overcoat advancing on skates? With a light gun pulled by deer?

    in reply to: I CAN'T HELP MYSELF. #81140
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    I’ve already been working with a sculptor who has made two original figures for me. One is a Potsdam “giant” Grenadier of the regiment of “giants” raised by Frederick William I, Frederick the Great’s Father. It is gorgeous. He also has made a drummer boy for the regiment for me dressed ‘Alla Turca” in turban and plume and kaftan, which many regiments of the day used.

    I am particularly pleased with the artist. I have the seen the photos of the above and they are great. I am waiting delivery of them in a day or so when I will send them off to a company in the states to have the molds and masters made and the production masters made. Once I “prove” the system that the artist creations work with the castings, and the process works, I will give him a second commission.

    It will be a cooperative effort between us and I will only give him general suggestions and he will interpret them artistically. For example I’m thinking of modifying points of Indian Costume poking out the cuirass for a heavy cavalryman, or plates of iron sewn together. The big element will be the headdress or helmet and I was thinking of a boiled leather (cuir bolli) in something like a high peak with feathers hanging from the back spine, in imitation  kind of like a Nappy Cuirassier helmet or just a frame on top of a steel “secrete” or skull cap.  Another idea might be to adapt a tricorn by letting the brim down in the back and attaching feathers to that.

    I also want to do other figures . I might even make a whole line. I don’t want to make figures everyone else makes, but specialty figures, and ones of a kind. I know there’s no money in this at all, but it would be nice to have, and to do something.

    Suggestions have come in for enginer officer figures, and court ladies in full gala dress, Marie Antoinette in Shepherdess  costume, Maria Theresia  mounted with full regalia at a review.

    I want to make  scenes like Napoleon bent over a table signing his abdication in 1914, but I also would like to make a diorama, Cherubino and Figaro, which is from the opera “La Nozze Di Figaro” marriage of Figaro, of the scene where the Duke has decided to end Cherubino’s sniffing around his wife by sending him off to the regiment. Figaro sings then his famous aria “Non pedri..” singing how instead of disturbing the sleep of all the young maids he’ll be marching through mud with a heavy knapsack on his back, and racking up lots of glory but not much money. “La Fanfare de Tromboni, Le Bombardi de canone!”

    The figure of the page cherubino will be of a small boy with a huge grenadier miter on his head cocked forward giving the salute while he has his leg raised in a charicature of a goose step, while Figaro is dancing next to him beating a small child’s drum


    I know… crazy I don’t expect ever to sell a few.

    Also like to do one of Louis XVI on the scaffold or more military figures no one makes like Russian Chevalier Guard of the Russo Polish Wars (huge tumbling plumes, bat wings on the  helmets, and the like.



    in reply to: Yeah, that is nice, but what about my question? #81133
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt


    As several have said. It’s universal. It is no different at internal websites at your job. I remember several places I worked you would put out a message to sales like

    “Where are we on receiving the Capital Communications Order for 1,000 of our model number 5800 D’s?

    The answers will be…


    “Model 5800 D’s. why are they ordering that? We should sell them our Model 5800B-25.”

    “Where are we on that project? Has engineering knocked out the bugs or are they making a 5800B- Actuaria model?”

    “I thought Capital Communications was out of business?”

    “Holden McGroyne says that they are still evaluating the model 4600 and haven’t gone on to the 5800”

    “No they are ordering it through their subsidiary Metzger Communication instead.”

    “Hey!! How bout dem Metz!!!”

    When you put an topic or question on the net, it’s like putting a message in a bottle and tossing it into the sea. You never know what sort of barnacles will attach to it.

    People have a thing to say and they will.

    in reply to: Blatant Sexism At Shows? #37818
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    For the life of me I can’t see how giving women free admission to shows will encourage participation in he hobby. If they are gamers they are gamers already. If not. you’re not likely to get them to play because admission is free. Admission is nothing more than getting money to pay the bills for renting the space. I don’t care about football. I don’t even know how many baskets make a home run, nor do I car, so giving me bench seats at the Superbowl for Free wouldn’t get me to go. I don’t see any great disservice to gamers here, nor any offense meant or condescension to women. Chivalry perhaps as I have seen enough women with a mask of bland endurance at conventions masking a face of screaming agony of boredom as they sat next to their geek husbands and boyfriends totally absorbed in a game and completely ignoring them.  Why do they come, or why their males insist on bringing them I have no idea. It smacks of discourtesy and rudeness, but… they are war gamers. Some of these wives and girl friends are quite stunning! I can’t imagine why their men are fixated on toys soldiers, but then.. they are war gamers.

    At the convention I run, “The Weekend, ” we have about 10% women attend, most of whom are gamers. Admission is free for everyone if you get a room at the hotel.

    in reply to: 18th Century Imaginations Campaign #37562
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Dear List


    Here is the “purple prose” report of the Battle of Picknikov.



    The Royal Council of the King of Flounce had just convened. Few in that August body expected anything other than the normal round of inconsequential bickerings and ditherings, endless caveats and digressions that normally characterized deliberations.  As it began though, it was noticed that the Minister of War, the Grand Marshall, Claude DuPieces sat rotund and smug as a self satisfied statue of the Buddha, smiling discreetly. When at last all had wound themselves up into a dudgeon of indignation and argument, and then dissipated it all in fruitless debate and disputation, at last the Good Marshall began his expostulation.


    My dear Gentlemen, I believe I have accomplished something in the last week that shall be of inestimable value to the state (and then shifting his eyes from their magisterial gaze over everyones head at the sublime transcendent middle distance, to briefly, flickeringly affixing everyone s gaze eye to eye, he said.  I have been contacted by King Sangria IV upon the matter of a highly lucrative and profitable war against the Infidel Ikeans.


    Immediately groans of protest from the assembled ministers flooded the room.  Oh no, not that old chestnut of a Crusade again?!!!?   said the Duke of SanSimpleton,  Ah, does that man have only one song he can sing?!!? intoned the Count of LaDoubledouche.  With a casual wave of the arm the Marshal smiled and said  Oh yes, all of that, but this time something more!  This time there is no talk of refurbishing the fleet to carry the crusading army, and no chimeral overseas ambitions.


    The Marshal held forth.   It seems that the Empress of Gulagia, Sophia IV has taken pity on the poor, morose, despairing Shah Na-Na …   Called the Nattering Nabob of Negativism  broken in the Chevalier Di Petitfours   … and has sent an embassy to the Ikean Court , the Sublime Porte, The seat of the ottomans, the divans of the dervishes, and the Grand Celestial Purple Peacock Throne and Wet Bar of the Seraglio,  too personally try and cheer up the despairing ruler.     While the ebullient, cheery Tzarina is away, his majesty Sangria IV of Spam suggest that we attack Gulagia and catch it unawares, and thereby win a quick victory over it, extracting as a price for our victory some favorable trade concessions, in the form of cookie sales, fleecy mittens, and especially her recipes for tuna noodle casserole.  It also will help Sangria by diverting the one power which has a sympathetic and friendly relations with Ikea, and thereby isolate it, rendering it all the more vulnerable to Sangria s designs.  He then offers that when he has partitioned the land, to toss about a few titles our way, all of which , of course, would go to members of this council, and which would be an admirable enhancement to our incomes.


    DuPieces gave his words a few moments to sink in and while visions of baklava and curry, halvah and harem girls danced like sugar plums in their heads, he prepared his riposte for the objections sure to follow.

    He did not have to wait long.

    But it is entirely chimeral!   cried the DucDe Saint Smipleton.  His majesty will never agree, and besides even if he would, which I sincerely doubt, we have not been able to FIND his majesty for a month now. True we can easily find a King in the royal robes wandering around the palace a but inevitably we find it is one of the look-alikes and stand-in s the king has hired to impersonate himself and fool us, allowing him to shirk his royal responsibilities for the joys of quiet family life.  In the end, then we will not be able to get the king s approval so no matter how beneficial, glittering, and attractive the proposal might be, it will all be for naught!   The Count of LaDoubledouche  took up the argument.

    Yes Monsieur Le Marshall! How will you even find the king. He is an expert of disguise, and has been known to go about dressed as a lackey, an officer, a petitioner, one of the cooks, a butler, a chambermaid, even a chamber pot! Why, he might very well be masquerading as Monsier Le Duc de Debacle here…or.. Yourself!

    The Duc de Saint Simpleton began again   Yes Monsieur, in fact, so good are the powers of dissimulation of the king that he might in fact be masquerading as myself right here and I do not have the slightest knowledge of it!  Do you not remember that the last time we actually saw the king was in the matter of the Maitresse en tete?!   The Count of Fleu DeCoupe tugged at the elbow of Le Duc DuDaffi, next to him and said  Pardon Monsieur Le Duc but…


    The Duc inclined to the Count and said  It was before your time on the royal council . The king had just started employing about a dozen doubles and dopplegangers to impersonate him. It was a positively chaotic time! The only way we were able to find the king, so good and expert were they disguises of the doubles was that the king had forgotten one detail. That detail was that disguised as the king, these doubles were free to go about doing all the things the king would do in matters of state.  The  false Leonardo s  then began to insist that Le Maitress en tete, provide for them the services the same as for the King.  She naturally objected, and for a long time secretly betrayed to us who was the real king, as she was not willing to provide, how shall I say … umm the companionship.. Which she regularly granted to His Majesty.


    Really! But how could she tell the doubles and impersonators apart from the real King?  asked the Count of Fleu De Coupe.


    The DucDuDaffi looked at him for a moment while an expression of scorn passed over his face  She used her… um… woman s intuition.

    Ah Merci !   Said the count.

    Recovering his composure the Duc continued again  Yes , it was a good time, a happy time and we set several spies to watch Le Maitresse and see which one of the imposters was turned away with a look of disappointment on his countenance. It worked for a long time, and we would circulate a list each day of the costumes worn by the various imposters so we would know not to waste our time with them. But unfortunately that Idiot DuPieces, left his unattended, and the real king found it.

    What did he do?  the Count eagerly inquired.

    It was quite diabolical. Immediately there were a dozen doubles, look-alikes, and impersonator s the Maitresse En Tete, and so we didn t know who to watch. The doubles of the king were quite happy, and Le Maitresse was quite happy, even the king was happy!

    Yes I imagine he was, being able to continue his policy of royal anonymity and ruling incognito.  said the Count.

    Yes all that, and so good were the doubles of Le Maitresse, that the King himself could hardly tell them apart! Le DucDu Daffi pronounced.

    The count thought for a moment and then said  Oh Mon Dieu, did they have to do the same for the Queen, hiding her among a bevy of doubles?


    The Duc laughed  Oh Monsieur, such innocence, such naivete on your part. There was no need fo that at all. The King NEVER visits the queen and begs  favors  from her. In fact anyone doing so , and there have been a few, are immediately dismissed by the king as revealing their  masquerade!  To think! The king visiting the Queen! Mon Die, Sacre Blue, Oh it is too much! You are tres amusant my dear Count!


    The conversation had now reduced itself to a general agreement that the project was good, but the problem as one of FINDING Leonardo XV and getting him to agree to it. The Marshall had not lost his serene confidence and said  I have a solution to that!  he said. We can hardly hope to find the king in an expeditious manner, nor even if we did, hope to persuade him to fall in with he plan. However I have hit upon a means to get him to willingly come forward and agree to it, AND, moreover, lead it!


    At this the whole council chamber was immediately turned to hysterical laughing and insults as they thought The Marshall quite mad!  However are you going to do that! You know his majesty can hardly be brought to get out of bed in the morning?  and so forth. It was then that the Marshall said . Well, you know his majesty delights in the simple pleasures of family life and eschews the pomp and circumstance of his royal duties. He will eagerly go to the Postmans ball, or sit by the fire-side eating milk and cooquies waiting for Santa with his kids every Christmas.. Well I intend to announce to the King that he has arranged a family picnic in Gulagia for him, his wife, his mistress, Le Douphuss his heir, La Douphussette , his daughter, and his sisters and so forth.  I have, if I might take the presumption of saying so, cleverly put out a circular on the beauties of the landscape and natural wonders of Gulagia and that the Empress of that land has encouraged people to come and enjoy the hospitality of that land. I have also presented this to the Queen and all the Mistress  and it will undoubtably fall into the hands of the king and I imagine that any day now, in fact even this moment, the King, the real king, will arrive, not being able to resist such an intimate and family gathering.


    At that very moment, as if on cue, there was a knock at the Council Door, and as it swung open, his Majesty Leonardo XV came into the room and greeted his ministers.  Monsieurs I approve heartily of the picnic.!


    Of course it took time, and the king busied himself with menus and entertainments. All behind the scenes were the preparations for the invasion of Gulagia enhanced.  Of course this was all kept from the king who was told that the dedication of a full brigade of wagons was to ensure enough food, supplies and necessaries for the comfort and ease of the court and Royal Family were necessary and the Army itself was to be kept well out of the line of march save for the household cavalry of the King, who would provide a bodyguard.   Ummm I understand the need for wagons, Monsieur Le Marshall,   said the king,  but why are we taking so many troops for a simple picnic?   Sire, it is necessary. Gulagia is a vast land with many lawless sections and the personal safety and security of your majesty is of paramount importance to the Tzarina, as well as to ourselves. It would be an unthinkable international incident were your persons to fall into the hands of such outlawry as abound in these regions!

    Very so   said the King  but is it not possible to avoid such persons?

    It would be the best thing, of all, to do your majesty, but it seems that in Gulagia such persons also provide the local entertainment and quaint peasant dances and songs that the tourists much hanker after and so we are inseparable from them!

    Ah, I see Lord Marshall, I suppose that we would not wish to miss one smidgeon of local color!  I know the Queen is eagerly looking forward to the outing!

    Very well your majesty!

    And so the planning continued, always the king, now visible and totally known to his counselors, eagerly worked on the details fo the picnic, which grew larger and larger and began to consume more and more of the wagons of the army with traveling arrangements and impedimenta, till at last the day drew near. One detail intruded towards the consummation of this effort. It was announced a scant week before the departure date that Madamme De Primpanpreen, the Royal Maitresse en tete was to accompany the expedition! This was an unfortunate eventm, not for the extra baggage and supplies it required, there were already arrangements for sit-down dejeuners sur le herbe for 144, but it engendered an inauspicious event which seemed to cast a pale of impending dread over the whole party.


    It was on the day of departure when the King, the Queen, and the whole family were mounting the coaches to depart, when Leonardo, about to enter the coach with the Queen and the Maitresse en tete, turned to Madame Primpanpreen, and turned to her suddenly and said.

    Madamme- You are wearing scent!   You know how I despise scent!

    To this Madamme Primpanpreen retorted tartly  Yes I am wearing scent. I must wear scent. This will be a long journey and you are not in the habit of bathing often, so you stink I have to wear scent!

    The king, overcome with anger then slapped Madamme Primpenpreen whereupon the Maitresse en-tete hauled off and brought the king down with a vicious right hook. He then kicked Madame Primpenpreen and they both went down, struggling, wrestling, slanging at each other like fishwives, rolling around in the mud, dirt, and horse dung. Meanwhile watching on was the rotund Douphuss, the Douphussette, their children, and half the court. They were at last separated but not before the Douphuss was heard to ask  Why is daddy fighting with whore mommy!  1.


    Many have seen this as a providential sign that went unheeded as the disaster unfolded.


    The journey passed pleasantly as the Royal party, moving in the midst of the Royal army, (which marched incognito around them for a distance of several miles) wended its way to the frontier and then across it. At each stop a luncheon was served and in the Gulagian plains pleasant stops were made at Inns and manor houses of the great nobles.  Here a regular advance guard of two whole battalions of domestics, clean-up crews, maids, janitors, and engineers, ensured that each inn was scrubbed spotless, redecorated with the latest Gulagian gee-gaws filched from the tourist shops, and put on display for the Royal family. Several decorators and even hardened engineering officers of many campaigns had nervous breakdowns when they saw the miserable hovels they had to rehabilitate in 24 hours to be ready for the advent of the royal party. This of course was the palaces of princely estate I am speaking of, the normal Inns were simply razed flat and a whole battalion of engineers erected pre-fabricated inns and outbuildings of impeccable rustic charm to entertain the Royal Family on their perambulations through the Gulagian veldt.


    Of this journey we know that neither the Queen or Madamme Primpanpreen were the least taken in by the tergiversatious Inns and hostels, and even the King from time to time noted the odd sameness of them all, being fobbed off with an explanation from Marshal DuPieces, that it was the extreme success of Flouncaisse engineering and the Inn-Management that had captivated the imagination of the Tzarina s  hoteliers  and thus many had been rebuilt to the patterns in the book.  Amazing! Said the King  why they even have the ink spot by my night stand that I dribbled there the first night inadvertently when I woke from a dream!

    Erratta,, your Majesty, the Royal Periodical Service of your Majesty supplies them with all the latest addenda.

    Of the children of Leonardo XV, the trip was a great joy.  His son, his younger child, a pretty precocious boy of eleven years old and six foot circumference, had plenty to eat, and in between those times of shoveling his face and taking apart clocks (which alas he could never put back together) amused himself with his other past time, that of torturing small animals. He relished being able to dismember alive many examples of Gulagian wildlife that came his way, though several wagons of such bucolic victims from Flounce had been brought along just in case. The prince was much taken with the knew knowledge of science and naturalism, and whatever the prince experimented on found its way into the stewpot of the servants. His older sister, a pretty girl of sixteen delighted in dressing up in various costumes such as a milkmaid or shepherdess, or a local Cossack girl or the like. It was to be noted that here costumes tended to be a bit shocking with low decolletage and high hemlines, and her  Shepherdess  costume was reputedly quite risque.  The rather flirtatiousness of the young Douphussette was well noted by the Queen, and Madame Le Primpenpreen, as well as half the army when they visited the latrines and read  For a good time call…..

    The Queen asked Marshall DuPieces if there was a danger to her virtue in such outlandish garb if she was captured by the Gulagians.

    No madame, none whatsoever , however if she chose to go about costumed as one of her sheep neither I nor the entire Household Guards could assure her safety should she be captured by the Gulagians.

    While this royal progression through the southern reaches of Gulagia was under way, the servants of the Tzarina had not been idle. With the Tzarina away the command of the armies of Horse guards, foot guards, massed regiments of Moujiks and swarming Cossacks had been mustering under the command of Prince Peter of Pskov. This rotund boyar, who could match the Doufuss girth for girth, had moved the army to a blocking position at the town of Picknikov. This place offered some advantages of terrain, but had flanks which were wide open, and Prince Peter, it is believed, chose it because of the ironic likeness of name. Stabbing his finger onto the map! (Metaphorically speaking) of course because his arm barely reached beyond his diameter,) It is here he said that we shall give Leonardo a Picnic he will never forget!


    And so the disastrous day dawned.  The Marshall had chosen a stout walled enclosure of a garden wall in a small manor for the picnic that day.  When the king asked why two batteries of artillery were loopholing the front wall he was told hat it was for the fireworks to be launched later in the day.  Walking on the wall to admire the board Gulagian landscape they espied off to the left their own Horse Guards and Household troops drawn up in serried ranks. Across the way the Gulagian army was to be seen lining the hills and valleys. When the king asked  Who are those fellows out there?  The King was told that was a large collection of masquers and actors drawn up to represent the enemy army, and there was going to be a grand mock battle given for the families entertainment that day!   Marvelous, Marvelous  said the King! You know I occasionally miss these pleasures of a monarch, but I simply can t stand the stress and strain of the real thing.  Le Douphess asked if he could help the doctors  in the hospitals amputating the limbs of the victims  only to be told that it was not going to be a real battle, but a mock one. But does it matter,  the rotund little prince whined,  I can dissect them anyway! I m sure they, being actors, can produce the most realistic screams!   Marshall DuPieces patted the little tyke on the head and motioned to two of the horse guards in attendance to find a convenient tree for them to tie him to if he should get any ideas of carrying this scheme out.


    As the day began, the King, the Queen, Le Maitresse en tete, Le Douphuss, Le Douphousette and others stood on the walkway around the garden as the Horse Guards, Gendarmes, Grand Carabiniers, Mousquetiers du Roi, Le Mousquetiers du Mickey, and several regiments of Hussars swept by the garden walls and on to attack the Gulagian left.

    In tribute to their passing and to return their salutes, the King, the Queen, Le Maitresse en tete, Marshall Du pieces  and Le Douphuss raised their hats.

    Le Douphessette raised her skirts.

    Almost at that moment the whole party were almost swept off their feet by the discharge of the cannon at the loopholes below them, and the King noted  My word, isn t it a bit early to start the fireworks

    No your majesty, you see we have arranged with the actors across the way that their repertoire, their ballet, will be timed by the clever and complex reports of our guns.

    The royal family watched the proceedings for an hour, both on the right and the left, and then retired to have their lunch. When a few cannon balls passed over the enclosure the King was a bit taken aback. He was put to rest by the oily DuPieces who said that it was all in the name of  Verite  and that the actors prided themselves on their craft and were attempting to impress his majesty with their skill.  Unfortunately at one point a canon ball bouncing along the ground struck a large case of bottle of Bordeaume, chiliing for the fish course, and shattered it. The king, seeing this, said  Ah, this wine does not travel well.

    Du Pieces had expected the massed cavalry charge to sweep away the Gulagians in front of him and induce the Gulagian army tp retire thus drawing the curtain closed on  The Masque

    . Alas, it was not so and as the day wore on he was continually exercised in his wits to come up with explanations of why the Gualgian Masque was still going on.

    I say Du Pieces, those fellows are making an awful lot of racket over there  said the king.

    Sire, the actors insist that no diminution or abridgement of their craft can be allowed, they have their pride they say..

    But couldn t they take a break, an intermission, a recess, after all we aren t watching them now but trying to eat our lunch.  Questioned the king.

    Sire, that would be the custom with our Flouncaisse actors, but you see here in Gulagia, the opportunities for the actors are so few and far between, and   they are paid by the hour  to keep body and soul together they must work as much as they can.

    Really!?   The King said in surprise.  Is that so!   you mean they are not paid by the performance?

    Yes sire, it s the Union rules. And think of all the little moujiks and moujikas that will go hungry if you recess their performance.

    Well My Lord Marshall, if it s for the little Mouniks and Moujikas;…

    And so the battle wended through it s day until at last the Marshall could no longer hope for a Victory. Still he did not wish to give up the fond hopes he had treasured in the morning.

    Then at last the whole affair collapsed into ruins in front of Du Pieces eyes.

    Le Douphesette came running into the royal presence, dragging a handsome young man in a uniform the King did not recognize. She stopped in front of the king and said, breathlessly,

    Daddy Daddy, I met this really handsome hunky guy…

    Madamme Primpanpreein said in shock  Child! Your, decolletage, your skirts, your umm arrondismont.

    The young ingenue looked down and noticed and smoothed down her skirts, adjusted her neckline as best she could and put her hat on aright.  Daddy Daddy, this guy is from the Tzarina s Guard of the Cheval! He was telling me…

    What!   said the king in astonishment!  Do you mean he is not one of the actors!

    No Daddy, he s an officer in the Gulagian Army, in fact in the Tsarina s Guard of the Cheval!

    What is the meaning of this Du Pieces  demanded the king!

    Well sire, well, ere ah… let me explain…

    Daddy anyway he , I mean Boris here, was telling me that in the time of the former Tzarina she had this horse…

    Not now child!   The King said with impatience.  What is going on here! This is no picnic!  This is a real battle! Sir you have gotten me into a battle! You know how I abhor battle!

    Du Pieces was flabbergasted and began to defend himself in fluent Flouncaisse but soon under the yammering and bantering of the king began to lapse into his native dialect of Perdue,

    Umm ere ah.. hammena-hammena-hammena…

    Daddy, anyway Boris said they would winch up this horse…

    The Queen clamped her hand over the mouth of  Le Douphoussette and said  Not now dearest, Daddy s busy administering a royal reaming to the Marshall.

    At this point Le Doufuss himself came waddling up with a basket of parts from some animals and said  I found the loveliest squirrels legs, anyone want one!?

    Distracted by the intrusion of the Douphesss the King said  Umm not now my son, maybe later with desert. Then turning to The Marshall he said  I am leaving! You have played me very false Lord Marshall, and I shall not forget this! Your Majesty, Madame Primpanpreen, come we shall retire!

    The queen released her grasp on the Douphessette.

    Daddy, then Tzarina would…

    And so the army began to retire.

    Come daughter, do not bother your father with such things…  said the Queen…

    As the picnic began to break up and follow the army in retreat, the King was so angry he could not even be bothered to clap DuPieces in irons.

    His daughter said to Madame Primpenpreen

    Do you think Daddy will let me have a horse all of my own?

    I don t think so   the Maitresse un tete said, I think he s to occupied right now.

    Daddy, Boris followed me home! Can I keep him!  she said plaintively.

    He ll probably be cheaper than the horse.  Madame Primpenprean grumbled.

    The girl smiled and said  Yes, and we won t even have to winch him up!


    1. The story of the King and Queen and the Kings Mistress traveling in the same coach and the affair of the scent is a true one, but it is from Louis XIV and the Mistress was Athene de Montespan. History is replete with such actions so when you are tempted to dismiss such things, do not. Just imagine ole Le-etat cest moi,…  rolling around in the mud wressling with his doxy while the queen looked on.


    Napoleon was turned on by such oders. Once from the front he sent Josephine a letter announcing he would be back in Paris for a few weeks, and told her Do not bathe.


    Such my children is the influence of sex upon the great.

    in reply to: 18th Century Imaginations Campaign #37396
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Here is the purple prose- fanciful report on the campaign. next will be that of the battle.


    The War of the Bazoomian  Succession.

    Music by Moe Zart, Libretto by DelMonte


    Act one, Scene One. The Ducal Palace  Palace of the Duke of Gorgonzola, somewhere near Naples. Conferring in one corner of the stage is the Samgrio IV, King of Spam and his ambassador Don Praelino. As the overture ends, the King goes into his aria.

    All cry Viva Espamia- Viva Espamia  when my coach approaches

    All cry Long live the King Long Live the king  when my barouche goes by

    I am the very renowned King of Spam, the King of Spam,

    And all agree, that s none but me and I m quite a king I am.


    Chorus: He is the King of Spam he am,

    The only one in the land we see,

    He s well renowned, and royally bound

    Tis no one else but he.


    I ve got four sons I need to find, thrones to sit on and wives to bind

    They re an OK lot as princes go, Marco, Paolo, Raulo, Benito and Mario.

    One is stupid, one is ugly, one is fat and one is a lout, all so-so

    What you want as a mate, but not a bad lot as princes go.


    So here I am to advance my plans in Gorgonzola s sunny lands

    I ll see what alliance I can make to place my sons and frame the bands

    to marry them off and get them thrones, by plots both high and low

    It ll be hard, but what can I do, I ve got to get rid of them soon you know.


    Don Praelino: Excellent you majesty, Bravo, that was magnificio, It will certainly make a good impression on the Grand Duke.


    King Sangria IV: I have to admit it is a bit unusual, ….


    Don Praelino: (Becoming very excited and frantic.) Your majesty! You re majesty, remember, ala recitative! Ala recitative!!!


    King Sangria IV: (singing now in the style to the accompaniment of the orchestra.   Oh yes, you said so. Very well I find this most amusing that I a grand King must speak in cavatinas and tones, like some common street serenader, but if you say it will make a good impression on the Grand Duke, then so be it.


    Don Praelino (adopting a studied pose) Yes your majesty, it is the manner in this court and I would not urge it so strongly upon you re your royal personage did I not know the character of this Duke. It will go well!


    King Sangria IV: I hope so Don….(forgetting himself for a moment and falling out of tune into plain speech, but catching himself and starting again) I hope so, for I tell you my Good Don that my life has become a holy hell. My four sons, Marco, Raulo, Paulo, Benito, and Mario are a trial to my life. They are useful for nothing, and endless expense, and they wreck the furniture, eat my food, ignore me and leave their droppings in the corner! You have no children do you Don Praelino?!


    Don Praelino : No sire, but I have cats and I can assure you it s the same thing. At least they don t smell.


    King Sangria IV: Aha!!!… I see you ve never met Marco, Raulo , Paolo, Benito, and Mario!


    Don Praelno: Apparently not sire.


    After a pause, Dion Praelino says.


    Don Praelino: Please tell me sire, you have come here to find thrones for you four sons, but you keep mentioning five?


    King Sangria IV. Paolo and Benito are identical twins I am hoping to get one married off somewhere and slip in his twin unnoticed and thus get two for the price of one.


    Don Prelino: Ah, I see. But tell me your majesty, won t the quondam Queen of wherever who gets one of them, won t she notice that the king, the prince… will be ubiquitous!  that is constantly around?


    King Sangria IV: Please!!! Do not speak of such things, I really think it is highly impertinent of you, admittedly a minister of the most exalted level to speak of the matter so personal as the goings on in a royal bed. As you know the church especially forbids quondams, and at the same time er- ah- let us say that Prince Benito s ubiquitousness is a scurrilous rumor begun by my enemies, and I assure you that he is quite normal in all respects, and rumors of his collection of … er… particular portraits he keeps under his bed are completely false!


    Don Praelino: Of course your majesty, never would I think that such things would stand in propinquity to the royal family.


    King Sangria IV: Oh! You ve heard about that too! My goodness I wonder how my suit shall fare if the news has spread as far as Gorgonzola.


    Don Praelino: I would not fear your majesty, here is the Grand Duke Fortunato himself come to tell us all.


    Enter Grand Duke Fortunato with a chorus of courtiers.


    Grand Duke Fortunato: Yes, I m the Grand Duke and I have come to tell you all.


    Don Praelino : Yes he s the Grand Duke and he will tell us all.


    Chorus He s the Grand Duke and he will tell us all.


    King Sangria IV: Ah! The Grand Duke who will tell us all.


    Grand Duke Fortunato takes up position center stage and begins.


    Fortunato s Aria.


    All manner of titles and honors I attract

    I value them all the great and the small

    the fabled and farcical, the fantasy and fact

    And I write them down with letters so tall.


    Chorus: Oh It s the Grand Duke Fortunato,

    The sovereign of  Gorgonzolo

    His domains are here , his domains are there

    And he has domains quite anywhere

    All hail our Fortunato, the Lord of everywhere


    I m the King of Sicilly, the Doge of Vencie

    The King of Jerusalem and Pharoh of Egypt

    I ve even collected the title of Negus

    and King of Naples, Sardnia and Cyprus.


    I m the Shofet of Carthage, King of Illyria,

    The Lord of Atlantis, the Emperor of China

    The Duke of Athens and Lion of Judah

    In escutcheon and blazon my arms cant be finer.


    I have myself crowned wherever I roam,

    But of all of my lands and titles and areas,

    the one I love best, the place I call home

    is the my own Grand Duchy of Gorgonzola



    Fortunato: Ah Welcome my cousin! Welcome, I greet you as a brother, nay as my own son, or my uncle. Perhaps you have something I could inherit? A duchy or a principality I could add to my many thrones and crowns.


    King Sangria IV: Well Actually Fortunato, I was rather coming here to discuss the getting of crowns myself.


    Fortunato: Well of course, mind you I ve none to give away, and am in the marker for more myself. In fact I was telling my royal Council that I would especially like that of the Emperor of China, the Grand Mogul, and the Emperor of the Moon.


    Sangria IV: (a bit shocked) But your grace, can you actually lay claim to those?  Can you even get there?


    Fortunato: It makes no never mind, All I need is a few feet of soil to stand on when they crown you and it s done.


    Don Praelino: But don t the local rulers er-ah  object?


    Fortunato: No not at all, once a significant payment for the patch of ground is made they are quite happy to have the ready cash, and will in fact, provide the costumes, chorus, and catering for a right fine event! It gives marvelous employment to the locals.


    Sangria IV: Even the Moon?


    Fortunatio: Completely! My good friend Baron Munchausen has promised to take me there, or at least bring back a few cubic yards to stand on when I am crowned his celestial Lunar Majesty, the Loon of La Lune!


    Don Praelino: But pardon, your grace, doesn t it take a lot of money to do that, I mean to pay for the costumes, chorus and caterers?


    Fortunato: Indeed it does my good man, but you can easily recover it. Why –I am presently negotiating to become the Great Mogul. Once I have it and have come back here, I can go into my court and ask my and advertise that a whole slate of advisers, courtiers, positions, claquers, and hang-abouts has been opened up and that for a mere three thousand Florins, you can be named the Grand High Exalted Panjandrum- Igluk First Class (Acting) in the ministry of Justice.


    Sangria IV: Really, but aren t these meaning less titles?


    Fortunato: Of course, they are, but few know and it is not without it s reward, Consider how efficacious it might be for a noblemen to impress his chambermaid, milkmaid, or some local ingenue that one is the Grand High Exalted Panjandrum- Igluk First Class (Acting) in the ministry of Justice of the Grand Mogul?


    Sangria IV Well, I suppose…


    Fortunato: Don t you think it would be far more impressive to say you were the Grand High Exalted Panjandrum- Igluk First Class (Acting) in the ministry of Justice of the Grand Mogul than to say that one is the second under-intendant of the collection of animal offal for St. Stefano or somewhere?


    Sangria IV: I see your point.


    Fortunato:: I admit it s not as impressive as if you the Grand High Exalted this and that of the Treasury or the Harem, but those are available too, but at a higher price.


    Sangria IV: Hmmm you may be right.


    Fortunato: Of course then there are the residuals?


    Sangria IV: Residuals?


    Don Praelino : Oh! Your majesty- ala recitatif, ala-recitatif!!!


    Sangria IV: A slight bow as to excuse is indecorum) I apologize for my lapse your Grace, .. Residuals!!!


    Fortunato: Excellent!   I applaud your obligato alla Sforzando! I abhor Singspiel in all its forms.


    Sangria IV: I have heard, tell me do you have such antipathy because you dislike the Germans?


    Fortunato: Not at all, I like their sausages and schnitzels, and tortes and tarts… (aside as in soto voce- Especially their tarts  with a lascivious wink of the eye.) But I must support my own Italian singers here in Italy and they become enraged at the ideas of these Germans in attempting to put them out of business.


    Sangria IV. Well that s is all well and good, but now, can… can we… talk in private about… um.. The matters I have come here to discuss? (Sangria looks around uneasily at the clustering courtiers and busy bodies).


    Fortunato: No worry, go on, you can say anything you want here.


    Sangria IV: But your majesty, will not so many umm… ears and umm tongues hear and tell? I mean what of the secrets of state, the private arrangements to be made.


    Fortunato: Glancing around. Oh them, don t be worried, they are merely the chorus and nobody of particular. Some of them are high noblemen, but I have found that whatever you tell people they will inevitably mishear, misread, mangle and create such a load of rubbish out of the honest truth, that it works better than the most clever code or cipher. It is simply too hard to pick out the bits of truth from the gibberish people reduce it to.  And besides, All of these people have paid a lot of money to get tickets to be here and hear the proceedings of the ultra-secret deliberations of my cabinet! Why I can recall the debates on the populations of mules in the province of Calabria once held the entire capital spellbound for a week!

    Don Praelino: I remember that your grace! The crowd brought the house down with applause, and there were calls for encores after encore s for the  Braying Chorus  performed by the Ministers involved.


    Fortunato Yes, and we had to extend the debate for a whole week once word got around.

    The take was marvelous!


    Sangria IV: You mean to tell me that the top level secret deiberations of your cabinet are done as an opera?


    Fortunato: Exactly! It s much more entertaining and informative, people actually listen to what they are saying, and it brings in a nice purse of money at the same time. And then there are the residuals. The books, the pictures, the costumes, the latest recipes of Aida, or the chocolate chip cookies of Mary Stuarda.


    Don Praelino : And the costumes your grace, don t forget the costumes!


    Fortunato: Ah yes, the costumes and the outfit. I tell you the whole kingdom goes riot for the new costumes. Let me put on Lucia Di Lammemoor and the whole country must truck itself out in Cavalier and Royalist Garb. A purely second rate Boheme and everyone goes round dressed like starving artists. There was that Aida though, which we performed in mid winter and several hundred women were carried off by pneumonia as they tripped around in diaphanous Egyptian costumes but!…


    Sangria IV: Amazing. Astounding, wondrous!


    Fortunato: Of course there are pitfalls and risks as with any production. I remember once when we had a report on the level of prostitution in Naples , it started with a bang but the audience soon lost interest and trooped out. It was a perfect bust, the debate closed that night!


    Sangria IV: Really, and such a lively topic!


    Fortunato: And so thought I, but we did not, you see, show pictures or give any particular names, addresses or references, and he public acquitted it a great bore! I honestly think I missed on inventing the  infomercial.


    Don Praelino: How tragic, your grace!


    Fortunato: Not to worry! I had the producer pilloried. He s hanging around here somewhere.


    Sangria IV: Still your Grace, I would feel more comfortable, if we were a bit more sotto voce


    Fortunato: Very well, (turning to the chorus) I say… I say… I have just been given word that they are going to be a massive production of    Boris   down the road and they are going to need an especially huge chorus for that! So if you would like to go tryout….

    The scene is reduced to pandemonium as the chorus rushes out.


    Fortunato: Turning to Sangria IV. There! They are gone, so what do you wish to say.


    Sangria IV Well, your Grace, as you know you are the possessor of the foremost number of honors, titles and crowns in the world, and quite expert in getting your hands on them. I am trying to get my four sons , Marco, Raulo , Paolo, Benito, and Mario thrones, and I thought who better to come to than to you.


    Fortunato: Ah I see, now do you want these to be real thrones…?


    Sangria IV: Yes, they re a pretty rum lot but even they would notice if they had an empty throne with no one to rule over.


    Fortunato: I see, but you said four sons.


    Sangria IV, Yes but Raulo and Paulo are twins, and I figured I could get away with two for the price of one.


    Don Praelino: I thought you said Benito and Paolo were twins?


    Sangria IV. Oh yes that s right. They all run together after a while.


    Fortunato: Yes, a lot like that fellow Wagner. So you wish to acquire royal dignity for your sons.


    Sangria IV, mostly to get them out of the palace, they re very expensive and make a frightful mess. The royal hunting hounds are neater. Do you think it can be done?


    Fortunato: Of course it can be done, have you see then the state of royal princess these days! The only difference between them and the royal hunting hounds are that they ARE neater.


    Don Praelino: The dogs or the princesses?


    Sangria IV. Good, it will serve Marco, Raulo , Paolo, Benito, and Mario right!


    Fortunato: Do you have any idea of where you would like these thrones for your sons?


    Don Praelino: Well we thought that the Sultanate of Ikea might be the trick. It s large, poorly led, and the monarch is very unhappy, and it could be carved into several kingdoms . There are other things to recommend it besides!


    Fortunato: Such as?


    Sangria IV: It s on the other side of the world from Espamia.


    Fortunato: Yes, they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder so I see you wish to acquire a great love for your boys.


    Don Praelino: Yes they say that Marco, Raulo , Paolo, Benito, and Mario are an acquired taste.


    Fortunato: Well let s see, then we need a plan and for a good plan we have to find a good libretto… Let ms see (he walks over to stage right where there is a huge desk overflowing with manuscripts… Let me see.. Donna… No,.. Aida… no… Meistersinger … (ugh what a bore..) Manon … No… Porgy and Bess… definately not!..


    Sangria IV (perusing another pile, pulls out one thick folio) What about this! The War of the Austrian Succession!


    Fortunato: His face going ashen, his eyes popping wide the glasses falling off his nose… : That work!!! No No No, all wrong. It s a horrible piece written by one Frederick Von Hohenzollern and he has committed the worst mistakes of all. It goes interminably for seven years! How can you compress seven years into even four acts, let alone a comfortable three, and he seems to have made himself the star of the whole thing.


    Sangria IV: Incredible!


    Fortunato: Not only that he treats the soubrette  role shamefully and steals her land and house, and when she s all alone and forlorn does he do what any self respecting character in opera would do? Does he take pity on her  NO!


    Sangria and Praelino : No!


    Fortunato: Does he rush to her rescue NO!


    Sangria and Praelio , No!


    Fortunato: Does he marry her and live happily ever after! NO!


    Sangria and Praelino No!


    Fortunato: (thoughtfully pausing for a moment) It was wise to let the chorus go. If they were here I would have been forced to break into my second patter song and create the famous No! Trio

    It would go something like.


    No No, No Nonono La No, no no,


    Sangria and Praleino as chorus No! No! No!


    Fortunato (thoughtfully pausing again ) I must say your entirely adequate tenors, but your coloratura and accompiagetto is abominable.

    Sangria and Praelino : Ah me.. Ah me.. Ahh Ah… me.


    Fortunato: No no, I m certain this will simply not do. (He takes the libretto Sangria IV was reading and tosses it back on the pile.) Now.. Here we have something. L Italiani …it s a wonderful story. It s about a beautiful young girl who is captured and hauled off to Turkey where a lecherous old Pasha wants to make her his new wife!  She resists him and there s all sorts of light fun. We ll take that part of it blend it with a little  Abduction  and have the Pasha s son fall in love with her and contrive to have her escape…  It ll be wonderful!  I guarantee a triumph.


    Sangria IV: But your grace… umm. How will… I mean who will.,,,


    Fortunato: Oh, the Princess of Saxe Burlap und Schleswig Beerstein of course. A flighty, giddy, gorgeous girl of sixteen, interested in shoes, boys, shopping, boys, and boy toys. Who could be better, and a perfect soubrette! Her sister the Princes IN Saxe Burlap und Schleswig Beerstein can also be abducted! She s a good soprano, though merging into a mezzo! But there can be delightful duets and a bit of rivalry for the affection of Murad the son of Shah Na-Na, the Nattering Nabob of Negativism.


    Sangria IV: But your majesty! How will we accomplish that!



    Fortunato: Oh simple, we ll have her abducted by that great international Banditti Don Di Draino! I have him on retainer, he s always kidnapping people, switching babies, hiding princes and princess  with beggars and shepherds , and arranging to have the rescuing leads arrive at the right time! True we ll have to make some of his crew look like vile Easterners, but we can use the costumes from  Turk in Italy  and put on a bit of black face here and there…No, maybe those from Mithridates King of Pontus would be better.


    Sangria IV: But your grace… I don t see that this is at all a good idea!


    Fortunato: We shall Kidnap Princess Katherine of Saxe Burlap und Schleswig Beerstein, and sell her to the young Pasha of Ikea in the slave market!  He will bring her back to the Harem and fall in love with her. She will resist him. His leering lecherous father will want to possess her, but she will foil him by naming him her  Pappatazzi  (which the old fool will spend the rest of the piece trying to figure out the meaning of) and the Armies of the world will join in a crusade to invade and partition Ikea, giving you perhaps two and a half thrones.


    Sangria IV: Two and a half thrones?


    Fortunato: Yes, it will be easier for Paolo or Benito to have half a throne to disappear to.


    Sangria IV: ( a bit worried) I see, your grace!


    Fortunato: Then we will have a grand and glorious crusade, triumphal marches, romantic love scenes, secret missions, great battles, tremendous arias, duets, triplets, quartets and so forth with a climactic orgy at the main temple where the hero pushes out the pillars and brings down the temple on the revelers… No … wait, that s Sampson..:  But don t worry we ll ave a stirring rescue scene, and a grand finale! Maybe a slaughter of the Innocents! A runaway country fair, a riot, or I have it! The whole world will burn up….


    Sangria IV: (Hopefully) I say, could we have Marco rescue the Princess?


    Fortunato: Somewhat grimly… What is he?


    Sangria IV: Well, a prince, my son…


    Don Praelino: Um I think the Grand Duke is asking what voice does he have, tenor, baritone, basso.


    Sangria IV: Actually he can t carry a tune in a bushel basket.


    Fortunato: Absolutely unacceptable, we have to have a really star role for this. But perhaps a stand-in. Is he handsome and dashing?


    Sangria IV: (disappointed) well no, he s rather short and dumpy.


    Fortunato: There! You see.


    Don Praelino: But aren t we treading a dangerous course? I mean what will the princess think! Will she be willing to do this.


    Fortunato: Oh not at first, but think of it. All women, milkmaids to  princess  are drama queens and what more dramas can she have than this, dastardly abductions, revealing outfits, danger kept at bay, glorious rescues! Grand Chorus  and she in center stage in almost every scene! I tell you if we did not think of it she would have engineered it herself!


    Sangria IV: I am amazed that such a fanciful and outlandish idea could even be thought to become history.


    Fortunato: I see you haven t read much history! But tell me , have you made any arrangements in your project so far.


    Sangria IV: To tell your majesty the truth, I have intrigued with the King of Flounce to attack the Empress of Gulagia. I had spies tell me that she was attempting to make Shah Na-Nah of Ikea less morose and self pitying, and was sending a mission to the country. As this might mean an alliance in the offing, I thought to divert the Gulagian Empress from that project to the defense of her own lands and so isolate Ikea.


    Fortunato: Excellent work, timely done! How did the King of Flounce respond!


    Sangria IV. He positively sprang at it. Of course I first suggested that he might want to marry his four daughters to my sons, but he became acutely interested in Gulagian picnics  when Don Praelino mentioned it.


    Don Praelino: Yes Your Grace, he positively leaped at the idea.


    Fortunato: Excellent! We shall have to work him in on the plot somewhere perhaps a second act walk on will suit him.


    End Act 1.

    in reply to: 18th Century Imaginations Campaign #37038
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Dear Williajn Harley


    If you wish a copy of the 11 page report with all the maps and pictures inside just send me your e-mail address and I will send them to you as attachmens.

    in reply to: 18th Century Imaginations Campaign #37013
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Here is the detailed battle report of the Battle of Picknicov.  It is just the text, no photos or maps. There’s dozens of those but I can’t upload them. If you want a folio of the whole thing, send me your snail-mail postal delivery address at [email protected].  You can get the gist of how it runs though from the text.

    UNITS FROM THE “Army Strategic unit.”


    Marshall Claude du Pieces (1) commander

    General Cherfollie (4)

    General LeDouche (3)

    General Bosseau Noveau (3)

    Marshall De St. Mallomar (2)

    General Le Duc Du Daffi (2)

    General LaBanza (2) Part of the Wagon Brigade

    General D’Bacle (1)

    General; D’Espair (1)

    General D’Espond (1)



    Heavy Horse

    Cuirassiers de Fleu de Coupe

    Cuirassiers de Fiasco

    Cuirassiers Le Tout et Fruitti

    Cuirassiers Le St, Crueton


    Gendarmes (Dragoons) De San Mallomar


    Light Horse

    Hussars Lanbourgoine

    Hussars Bernaise

    Hussars De Banlon


    Artillery (heavy)

    Batterie Pompoudor

    Batterie Escaulator

    Artiullery (light)

    Batterie Purolaitor

    Batterie Kelvinautor



    Grenadiers Gorre and Daphetid

    Grenadiers Snivellie et Whinnie



    Line Infantry

    Regiment L’Arches D’Or

    Regiment Bois Hardi

    Regiment Duc Du Daffi

    Regiment L’Ornadunes

    Regiment Mal D’Mer (Royal Marines)




    General L’ Estoil (2)

    General Le Duc du Bon Ami (1)

    General Sniveling et Whinnie (1)

    Gendarmes (Dragoons) De St. Quentan.

    Grenadiers Charlebraun


    There were 5 wagons from the army and 5 from the Wagon brigade but they were not put on the table top for clarity on the maps and the photographs. Their function is to recover from “Out of Ammunition Markers”


    The Army of Gulagia.


    Note. I did not use many of my Gulagian Army Units. Since I have retired I have been painting a lot and finishing a lot of units, including the big reconditioning project of refurbishing an old friends American Revolution Army of S.A.E’s which he bequeathed me. Because everyone is equal in “Mon Dieu!!! Tout saife un six! (Oh God! Anything but a six!”) it can easily be a “red army blue army” game, so that will account for the many Italianish names that appear for the regiments, along with a few for my Bad Zu Wurstian Army. As my Gulagian artillery figures are still completing in the box (I paint in oils, takes a long time to dry) I used the artillery from Sax Burlap und Schleswig Beerstein. No complaints from the Osprey Nazi’s out there. If Charles Grant in the War Game can Use French troops and Flags as Austrians for the battle of Lobositz, I can do this. And, if the real life War of the Polish Succession the major actions were fought on the Rhine and in Italy by the French and Austrians, there’s no  complaining about this.


    ARMY (the Strategic Unit )




    Marshall Prince Peter of Pskov (4) (try saying his name with a mouthful of crackers).

    General Razumatazsky (3)

    General Baggodonutz (3)

    General Roustibuckett (2)

    General Dillgherkinsky (2)

    General Wydjaleevwidoutme (2)

    General Pandemoniumsky (1)

    General Xanthodontia (1)

    General Grubygrimetsky (1)

    General Toadstoolovitch (1)


    Heavy Horse

    Snazzynoff Cuirassiers

    Ekatikorner Cuirassiers

    Zuppozitorinsk Cuirassiers

    Guard of the Empress’ horse (former empress) Present empress Sophia I will have none of that. Horsing around.



    Schlemeil Dragoon Regiment.


    Light Cavalry

    Alt Knickerbocker Hussars. This is actually a Bad Zu Wurstian unit I just completed. It is painted like the Prussian death head Hussars, and the standard is all black with a line drawing of the Headless Horseman on it in white complete with jack-o-lantern. Unfortunately I don’t have the command figure of this regiment ready, it’s still on my table. It is a figure of a colonel of the regiment, but he’s holding a jack-o-lantern in his arm, and he has, you guessed it, no head. His horse also has no head, and its stuffed mounted on a little four wheeled platform which is pulled by one of the Hussars of the regiment. The officer tag on the base says “I’m the Headless Horseman! (And I’m the Headless Horse!”)


    Der Koenigenfragen Hussars. This is another Bad Zu Wurstian unit I just completed. It’s quite colorful and snazzy, in yellow uniforms and red pelisse. The standard is red with a sphynx on it and in a circle around it is the Queen’s Question (which the regiment gets its name from, and the Question is “Does this dress still make me look fat!” One has to indeed be among the bravest of the brave to answer a question like that from one’s wife, let alone the queen. It is rumored that the Headless horseman is the only man in creation to say “Yes” when asked.


    Der Fusslange Hussars. (The Footlong hussars) This is another Bad Zu Wurstian unit. It’s pretty in light blue and yellow and the name is echoed on the banner, Inside a circlet of bratwurst is a picture of Rapunzel in her tower. The circlet on the ring of wursts is “I don’t let my hair down for any old brat!”


    The Riboflavinsky Hussars (I know… pretty boring after the above. )


    Grenadieri di Sardegna (Grenadiers of Sardegnia)

    Grenadieri di Sicillia (Grenadiers of Sicilly)


    Line Infantry

    Regiment “La Lupe di Tuscano” (loved this name on an Italian unit in the “Anzio” game.) “The Wolves of Tuscany!

    Regiment “La Minotaurio de Crete. (The Minotaurs of Crete)

    Regiment “La Reina de Atlantio” (The King of Atlantis)

    Regiment “Sparta”

    Regiment “Athenio”



    Again, as I said I used my Saxe-Burlap und Schleswig Beerstein guns for this, as the artillerists for the Gualgian Army are still tacky. (I used linseed oil instead of thinner, but it works much better.

    Heavy Artillery

    Battery Todt,

    Battery Kupfertopf


    Light Artillery

    Lord Delco’s Battery

    Battery Schwersterben


    5 Wagons




    General Pitzkammer (2)

    General Orlop (1)

    General Popumpkin (1)


    Grenadiers of Schlemeil

    Dragoons of Hazerei.


    Heavy Artillery

    Battery Kraftmachtig

    Battery Krashenbummen


    Light Artillery

    Battery Rey O’Vac

    Battery Immerfertig


    1 Wagon.


    Like the Flouncaise forces, the wagons were kept of f the table for clarity and we assumed were where they were needed when a unit was out of ammo.




    One of the defenders advantages is that they must set up first, so the attacker can see his dispositions before laying out his own troops. This advantage is balanced by the defender getting to chose the side of the battle he sets up on. This would be unfortunate for Billy, the commander of Flounce as it meant George, in addition to having a more powerful brigade (the artillery Brigade) would have the side with defensive terrain. This was a double disadvantage for Billy, but he made some clever dispositions and It was obvious that he intended to attempt to overwhelm the Gulagian right (his own left) early in the game and seize the advantage.  As umpire it is up to me to decide about flanks and so forth and I declared that as this was in Gulagia with the broad Gulagian plains, and the broad Gulagian rivers, and the broad Gulagian women, all flanks were open and short excursions off the table edge were allowed, as well as wide turning movements. Neither side took advantage of these in the game so we will move on.


    Billy’s  tactics were not necessarily foolhardy as in doing so he would get is troops out of the reach of most of the Gulagian guns of which George had a two to one superiority. Pete, following in the same idea wanted to tie down the Gulagian left by massing his grenadiers and some infantry and light cavalry support below the ridge line, making sure he organized himself for an assault on the left. From there one would have to see what one could do.  George, Mike, and Norm had decided that they saw no advantage to proceeding into the plain until the opportunity arose for a counter attack, and besides this movement would mask their own guns and throw away one of their greatest advantages. Note that they could only deploy up to two hexes from the edge, so this frustrated them in occupying all of the hills and was going to give Pete a little edge to cling on to. Pete’s strategy paid off as he was able to tie down the Gulagian left for almost the whole battle and gave as good as he got.


    Billy (Flounce) had the initiative but this doesn’t mean much at this point, only giving the initial advantages, AND the necessity of drawing the first card from the Event deck. This is a deck of 144 cards which specify special cases or events that will take place for THAT turn, and will not carry over from Turn to Turn. As Umpire I was able to veto any event that would be a pain to implement in the game. As is usual in these things I had to do so, when Bill pulled a :heavy rain card, which would have ended the game, and we didn’t set this whole thing up to not have a battle, so he pulled another. The cards apply to one side or the other or both, and in this case it unfortunately went to George who had the ability to make a “Master Maneuver.” This sounds a bit more grandiose than it is. This allows a greatly facilitated movement, but as George wasn’t moving anywhere and had some other restrictions on him, it really didn’t give him much. It did allow him to reshuffle some troops expeditiously but it was no great advantage. I will explain it when we get to movement.

    Turn 1. Billy, having the initiative, moves first and he has the advantage in movement There are four types of moment in “Oh God! Anything But a Six” but two of them are rather special and complex and we shall not explain them here as we did not use them. Normal simple moment is by rolling one die for a unit you wish to move and if you roll less than or equal to the “M” or movement value you can move that unit.  If you roll greater, the unit is stuck. You can use any officer you have within 1 measure (8″) of the unit and “tip him” before you roll (the tipping signifies he has been used) and apply his officer ability to the movement ability of the unit, thus increasing it and making it easier to roll less than or equal to.

    The officer then cannot use any of his abilities on any other ability of the unit. He is “tipped” for the turn and will be “untipped” at the start of the next turn.


    Now… the advantage of having the initiative is this. If you DO NOT have initiative you are limited to 1 measure “8″ for infantry and wagons, and 2 measures for cavalry and horse artillery. If however you DO have initiative you may move that unit as far as your leedle ole’ heart desires, so long as you do not enter Rough or Very Rough Terrain, or come within 1 measure of an enemy unit, in either case of which you must stop and end your movement. This means that as the person with initiative you can swing wide around behind the lines to attack on the other flank, take advantage of a gap that opens up in the enemy line and all those wonderful things.  Billy decided to eschew such dramatics and simply put his bold plan into action. He launched his massed cavalry, the “Household Troops” of Flounce, which he said were simply there carrying the picnic supplies and silver service for Leonardo, and wanted to prevent the uncouth Gulagians from crashing his picnic.

    The second type of moment is the maneuver.  This is where you can take a group of officers who are within 1 measure of each other, total up their officer abilities, and if you roll less than or equal to that total you can make a maneuver, which is where you may move any units within 1 measure of that group as one. Couple this with the ability to move unlimited which goes with initiative and it is quite easy to pull off movements like Frederick’s at Rossbach or Leuthen.


    In this case Billy was able to make his maneuver, shown by the blue arrow, which brought the whole of the glittering mass of cavalry down on the Gulagian right, while . Mike used his Event card to make his maneuver shown by the yellow arrow. Note that doing a maneuver does not change the initiative/non initiative status of either side. Mike could only move 1 measure with infantry and 2 with cavalry.


    Shown below  are two views of the Flounce Move, as the massed horsemen of both sides clash as Billy attempts to ride down the light horse and dragoons in front of them.  The bright yellow and red uniforms of the “Koenigenfragen” Hussars are at front with next to them the Fusslange Hussars and then a regiment of Dragoons. The Alt Knickerbocker Hussars are in support, the black coated troops in the rear.


    Below them are two views of the movement on the Flounce right, sneaking up to the base of the hill and using it as a dead zone to shelter from the Gulagian Artillery, and preparing for an assault next turn. Unfortunately for Billy’s plans, Norm moved his troops up to occupy the forward ridge.


    Apologies for the ugly base of the stanchion light, but it was an intermittently overcast day and I wanted to prevent darkness from shutting off the light too quickly.


    The assault on the Gulagian Left of course was the main event on the first turn. It became one of the deciding points of the battle as disaster struck both sides.


    Combat in “Oh God! Anything but a six! “ is simultaneous, and both fire and melee occur in the same phase. This phase comes just after the defender moves and it is done by means of a combat results deck. This is 120 cards about business card size which have various results on them. These can be “Eliminated,” “Officer Casualty,” “Retreat 1 measure” “Disorganized” which reduces all values by 1, “Broken” which reduces all values of a unit TO 1, “Shaken” which means the unit can’t move etc. If you get two broken cards on a unit it is eliminated, and if you get four retreat one measure, it also is eliminated.  Each side tosses down the cards from the combat results deck as they wish on any units within 1 measure (some units can fire two measures) whichever value they wish to use.  The “C” value of the unit is for charge or Melee, and the “F” for fire or musketry.


    When all cards are placed, each player then attempts to roll off the cards they have had placed on their units by their “S” – Stand or “to stand” value. Again any cards you roll less than or equal to your stand value are “rolled off” and any that you roll higher apply to the units.  You may break up cards among several targets and so forth.  In the deck of 120 cards there are 3 Eliminated cards, 3 officer casualties, four panic routs, twenty “No effect” thirty “Retreat 1 measure” and 10 each of “Disorganized, Broken, Shaken, Fatigued, Out of Ammo, and Out of Control. These last five have colored triangles on them and represent “state cards” so to speak which act as markers which persist on the units until rolled off in Rally (which is in the next phase) and again the method is the same. To roll off a card you must roll less than or equal to your “Rally” value, which is not the same as your “to stand” value.  There are also 10 cards with special circumstances like heroic rally, pursue, exploit etc.  One thing to be noted is that the game has twelve decks of cards on the table. All are mixed up and used repeatedly, so there is no resetting of the deck. You just take a pile of cards from anywhere and start tossing them, then rolling them off.


    Anyway as it transpired in turn 2 the event card was “Lost Forces” which if either side had been making off the board movements would have resulted in them being lost to the game entirely, and no one had any such forces the play continue. The fight on the Gulagian right continued the hammer blows of cavalry and on the Gulagian left, Norm hung on grimly to the hills by advancing to take the sheltering units below the hills in fire.


    In the photo above left Billy pulls the event card and prepares to come on again with his cavalry. In the photo at right of a panorama of the battle with Pete Frechtling at the far end. You can see in the foreground , the field after cards are placed and before they are “rolled off.”  While unsightly, it lasts only for a moment as most are rolled off or placed discreetly between the figures as marker.


    Shown at left from the last turn of the game is an extreme example. The Gendarmes De St. Mallomar have one of each marker.  The fatigued marker means it can’t use its charge value or move unlimited if the side has initiative, the broken marker means all it’s unit values are reduced to 1, the Shaken marker means it can’t move, and the out of control marker means it can’t use it’s officers to help it. The disorganized marker shouldn’t be there. Disorganized markers are tossed off when the unit is broken, as the disorganized reduces all values BY one and the much more severe broken marker reduces them to 1. The good Dragoons are in a parlous state.


    On the Gulagian left, Norm Thime (right) and George Deppner (left) doggedly hold on to the hills.


    Turn three was more or less a continuation of turn two, with the two flanks grinding away at each other. In the center Mike continued to press forward.  The event for this turn was “Battle Frenzy” which Mike could assign to one unit. It allowed the unit to ignore an Eliminated result from either the cards, or retreats. He assigned it to a Cuirassier unit in the center, and it did nothing.




    Turn four saw some dramatic things. Billy succeeded in pulling the “ Idiot with initiative card, which meant that he could move any and all units within one measure of an officer This he did, allowing Pete to take the first line of hills and throw the entire Gulagian left flank back On the right though he grimly held on in his pressure on the Gulagian right, but it was clear that he was not going to make any headway there. Below is a picture of the dwindling effort.


    The Battle maps and the photographs tell the whole story as Billy bravely and skillfully attempted to beat back the Gulagian Army, but he was clearly overmatched unless given some miracle by the event deck or some gross mistake by the Gualgian players, who are far too good table top generals to make such a blunder. In the end though, only a lucky roll of getting one more critical casualty card enabled George to eke out a minor victory and avoid a straight draw. On turn 4, the remainder of the Flouncaise attack on the left is cut off. And below is a picture of the last moments of the Bois Hardi Regiment.


    By turns 5 and six the battle was clearly lost and in the photo above the patched up center grimly holds on hoping for a miracle, or night, or dinner. It was at this moment that the “womenfolk” came back and though Mike was a little bloodthirsty and wanted to pay back Billie for the heavy thrashing he took earlier in the game, agreed with George that the humane thing to do was to allow the disappointed picnickers to pack up their luncheon on the grass and creep back to Flounce. Besides, the ladies were hungry and it would be the height of “lese majeste” to be so unchivalrous as to keep them waiting.


    All had a good time and enjoyed the battle immensely Billy put with a huge amount of razing about his insistence that “It was only a picnic.”  At the same time all admitted that he was overmatched a bit and struggled against superior numbers and terrain, but that the closeness of the battle (9 to 10) was a tribute to his skill.


    In the post mortems over dinner, many agreed that more should have been put into the charge on he Gulagian right , though I held that any more troops there would have simply been useless. My thought was that the far better thing was to remain out of range of most of the Gulagian artillery, surrendering the initiative to them. This could be done by Billy playing his “1″ card on turn 1 which meant that unless he threw a 1, the initiative would pass to Mike. Mike then would have to come off his hills and displace his artillery forward (not easy to do) or mask his batteries by moving forward his cavalry and infantry. This developed a minor debate on which was best, to keep the initiative, with all the various arguments pro and con.  Significantly even Debbie and Dot took part in this debate. Dot has proofread all my rules and knows them by heart, though she doesn’t game, and Debbie is regaled with all the details on the long drive home. The conversation then turned to all the usual subjects like toys, conventions, flea-markets, toys and so forth, while Pete and Sean chose their countries, and everyone wrote out their intentions for the next battle next month and the second turn of the campaign.


    For myself I was satisfied with the campaign so far. The rules worked well and while I was a bit worried that Billy was overmatched, that’s the way campaigns are .  What all the players quickly caught on to was that the Gulagian defensive benefit of an attacker having to take along a Wagon Brigade limited the combat forces he could field, at the same time it in no way gave the Gulagians an untrammeled advantage.  In a team up of two or three players against them they could be cut down to size, but even more by clever play they could be beaten. The option of many small attacks with brigades, or attacking George after he had used his armies offensively all came to mind. All were eager to continue.

    in reply to: Terrain Problems #36009
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Several gamers have noted disappointment on disparity between figures and terrain of some gamers. What you must remember is that those people who do that are probably the more mentally stable among us. It IS after all a game, and the soldiers and units are the “active” pieces that we use to create and pursue the actual narrative of the game.

    The others? well….

    Being a model Railroader as well I have noticed something.  The majority of model railroaders make layouts that are from the steam era, and now, at this stage, most of them have never seen a steam engine (I saw two, and this was working steam engines on a train line). Most of the rest in diesels pitch their era in the transiton to 60’s and 70’s erea . The unifying thing to all these is that they pitch their eras in a time when they were very young or not even born, and the detail and craftwork they lavish on it simply marks them as idolizing an earlier, happier time than now. That is, they want to go back to the time of their childhood to a world of wonder and the halcyon days of yore when people looked like you see them in the old movies.


    It’s a psychosis.

    Gamers, like me, are infected with it, and lavish detail on their battlefields and on structures and scenes that have almost NO chance of EVER being on a battlefield. I made, for example a model of the palace of Princess Trixie of Saxe Burlap und Schleswig Beerstein. This includes the gardens and little bungalows and kiosks in the “wilderness” park. Like model railroaders those of us who overbuild on terrain are building stages our mind can act out our little dramas on. This psychosis came over me quite young.

    When I was in High School they put out a yearbook and underneath your picture was a brief bio of your name, nickname, what you studied and favorite saying and other characteristics. At the end was a statement “Leaves for…” Which usually was “The Army, Rutgers, NJIT, Yale, U of some state and so forth.

    Under my picture they wrote “Leaves for the 18th century.”

    I got tired of waiting for the celestial bus and realized I would have to build it on my own.

    I don’t begrudge people who don’t lavish attention on their terrain, it makes my own look better.



    in reply to: Terrain Problems #35967
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Before I was a gamer I was a model railroader so terrain and scenery were always very important to me. This was when I was about 14.

    Later on I noticed the terrible wear and tear terrain took (especially when you built it like model railroad terrain) and was literally destroyed after half  dozen battles.  Then back in the days when GEO-HEX first came out I was interested in that, and got a few pieces, but they degraded almost as fast, and while they were good for slopes it was hard to make complex terrain, so I made up my own system. I made plywood plates out of 1/4″ luan plywood in exactly the same size as geo-hex  (12″ across on the parallels of the hexes, about 14.5″ point to point of the hex.  these I used as the basis for scratchbuilding model terrain. I used regular slopes for hills, and developed “boxes” for forests with lids that allowed troops to be IN a forest and really concealed. For houses and towns, walls and bridges etc., I modeled them directly to the plate. These another improvements (like using the metal from electrical wire for the rails in fences slowly over time made a set up that was not only modular, but was almost indestructible. Some sections have been through dozens of battles and look as good as new. It also is modular and quite functional, and it looks very good. When I began using the porcelean Lithuanian Candle Houses , which are beautiful but quite fragile, the hexagonal plate allowed a positive “lock’ so an incautious movement wouldn’t knock them over or off the table. My game is not hex based, it’s open movement, so  the hexes are really just for the geomorphic effect. There are plain hexes, hexes with roads of various configurations, town hexes hills, forests marshes, rivers and so forth. Sometimes I think it’s getting obsessive.


    Anyway as time goes on and I have now lots of figures and armies and have developed as part of my rules a mechanism to stop painting on one army (and start another) by use of orders of battle, I have started branching out and sprucing up the terrain with small scenes and vignettes. For example one hex with a small hillock and a stand of birch trees has a shepherd and sheepfold in it. The large “box” hexes for forests have scenes on the outer flanges of figures of picnics, lovers in trysts and my favorite- fairy tales and folk tales. I’m working on looking for the figures and material to make a scene from A Midsummer Nights dream with bottom with the jackass head lounging by the river with Titania.

    Yes it can be an end in itself.



    in reply to: Military Terms / Slang #35742
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt


    There is already a manual of this.


    SNAFU: Sailor, Airman, and Soldier Slang of WWII by Gordon L. Rottman Osprey Publishing Co., Oxfod & NY 2013  376 pgs. ISBN 978-1-4351-5112-3

    Gives the slang terms for all three services for American, British, and German armed forces in WWII.



    in reply to: Painting Services #35449
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Dear Mike

    That’s a tragedy!  What scale? If you wish I can try my hand at painting a hundred or so for you.




    in reply to: What's on your bench? #34882
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt
    1. Repairing my convention torn up 30 years War figures (25mm minifigs and hinchcliffe) and rebasing them (on big bases, 60 figures on a stand 36 pike, 32 musketeers. Some in block formations, some in Swedish “crosses.)

    2. Four regiments of Cavalry for my Imagi-Nation 7 Years War Armies. 30mm Surens and Staddens. Als0 two regiments of Turkish Infantry, 18th century,  Two coaches for the headquarters stands which are mini-dioramas for use in the battle. Three regiments of infantry one for Flounce (France) one for The Grand Duchy of the Grand Duke of Gorgonzola, and four my between the wars 20mm, four heavy mortars, four light artillery and four medium artillery for Bandrika, all scratch built.

    3. Salacian War Elephants for my Ancient armies (25-28mm). This is a huge project of 12 elephants all of which are serious conversions and a lot of modeling.

    Each elephant is named and has a different scene on it.

    Rubadubdub has a hot tub instead of a Howdah with two guys in Turbans and two babes soaking in the tub (scratch build like a huge barrel. The Driver has a towel rack and there is a keg of beer with a pump on one corner.

    Partianimal- Howdah with an old Der Kriegspieler Harradrim figure manning a hibachi with two hot babes drinking wine, and another one tossing a salad.

    Whamboppawham.  A band from the old converted Harradrim, including a drummer and on a platform above the howdah, a stripper-pole dancer.

    Mr. Peanut- A normal war elephant except that a Mr. Peanut figure is dangling from a rope on a long pole held by the driver.

    Gottagogottagogottago- a normal Howdah and crew except for a short catwalk and a platform behind  which has an outhouse on it.

    eight others.

    4. Amazon Army  with dinosaurs


    in reply to: How much would you pay? #34881
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    I pay  1.6 to 2 pounds for Surens and Staddens from Tradition of London for foot figures and up to 3 pounds for  cavalry. That’s fine by me. I like the 30mm size and always liked these figures since I started buying them 45 years ago. Smaller scales have no allure for me.  Postage is on top of that.


    in reply to: Appeal / Seduction of 'other' Genres #34542
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt

    Post Apocalyptic Games- But not the post apocalyptic ones you’re thinking of.

    I mean post apocalyptic in the sense of games about being in heaven.

    Where you get “points” toward winning for doing nice things for the other gamers. No shooting, killing, combat, pain, suffering or nastiness.

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