Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Indian Summer

This is my favorite time of year. The heat and rains of Summer are over. All the crops in the fields are ready to be harvested. The weather is turning cooler, but is not yet cold. Bright sunny days and a bit of a breeze to let the leaves know it's almost time to go, but not yet. It's for days like these that I stay in Indiana. Indian Summer. There was a time, not so long ago, when mention of Indian Summer in this neck of the woods would make a settler's eyes squint, and he'd check the load on his rifle a little more often. Since both sides of that conflict lived so close to the agricultural cycle, a raid by either side before the crops were gathered and stored for Winter, would mean "starving times" in late February and early March, and some hard decisions would have to be made.

Nothing quite that grim around the Meltzer Schloss, though. The two youngest are off to college, and the two oldest are commuting to their jobs. The rennovation of the basement continues. Most of the heavy deconstruction is done, so now I'm taking a look at the decontamination and wiring requirements for the lighting. Visions of a wargaming area shimmer before me, like a glimpse of the Promised Land. I've been pouring through my back issues of Hal Thinglum's (May His Name Be Forever Blessed!) Midwestern Wargamer's Association Newsletter. There are a number of articles in MWAN that have just about everything about building a gaming area. It will be something to have it ready for the first game! I've been good enough for a Digita Camera this year for Christmas.....(Okay, okay! I'm throwing myself on Santa's mercy, but I blame Alte Fritz and his Closet o' Lead, for leading me to acquire my own "Mound o' Plastic".) and maybe I'll be able to post some pictures of the process early next year, if not before. Heh, heh, heh.

Those evil, evil men over at Zvezda with their excellent, reasonably priced, miniatures, and their just as evil minions over at The Perfect Captain, keep tempting me to try out different eras. So between them, most of my disposable income has been disposed of! (See Previous Comment on Mound o' Plastic.) TPC's "Battle Finder" system in particular, is very good, and I foresee a lot of campaigns based around it. Their "Hoplomachia" set of rules for Classical Greek warfare and Zvezda's Greek and Persian miniatures made for an irresistable combination. It remains to be seen how the Greeks fare under the leadership of their Hegemon, Democrates Erronious, against their nemisis, the Persian Satrap, Arses The Extremely Ill-Tempered The Fourth.

While cleaning up the basement, I came across eight unopened boxes of Airfix Napoleonic French Infantry. Who-hoo! (Purchased, stored away, and forgotten more years ago than I like to recall.) Recently, I've been thinking about how my little Imagi-Nation would have fared in the late 18th/early 19th Century. The King of Bavaria and the Grand Duke of Baden-Baden did alright in those tumultous times; so why not the Markgraaf and his descendants?! Hummmm......the painting line is pretty long already, but the vision of seeing the armed might of Raubenstadt in a Napoleonic version it just too hard to resist. The discovery of the Airfix boxes was an omen. (Yes. I admit I have a low sales resistance level and am a compulsive customer too.)

Speaking of Raubenstadt, it's been a while. So let's pop over to the palace grounds and see what's going on:

The Markgraaf and his Chancellor are taking a walk and talking in the formal garden, enjoying the day, while the Margravine and the General play cribbage in a temporary pavillion, so she can keep an eye upon her youngest son who is sailing a model ship (A gift from the Ambassador from Beerstein) in one of the fountains.
"So Otto...How did the first convoy to Frankfort go?"
"About as well as could be expected, My Graaf. No trouble at the borders, or with customs at the city gates, and a minimum of Gallacian 'inspections'. There was only one disturbance worthy of notation. A merchant who rejoices in the name, 'Cut-My-Own-Throat Dilbert, was under the impression that the barrels of salted pork from the village of Bad Ham belonged to him."
"Remarkable. What does Mr. Dilbert do for a living, and how did he receive such an impression?"
"He is, I gather, a vendor of questionable edibles on a stick."
"On a stick, Otto?"
"Yes My Graaf. Deep fried usually, but also served pickled, salted, or jerked. He has quite the reputation as an entrepaneur with low overhead. The barrels were clearly labelled with the village of origin. When the drover's back was turned, Mr. Dilbert, his associates, and two barrels were missing. My Graaf, I doubt that the situation will continue to be this placid."
"Ah Yes. The Germanians will be advancing soon from the Gap. What was the mood in Frankfort?"
"The Gallacians are so increasingly nervous, that they do not notice that the Frankfurters are stealing them blind! My Graaf. We'll try to get another convoy or two into the city before things come apart. I hope that it doesn't boil down to a prolonged seige. Both sides won't stay on their own side of the Main, if it's a long campaign. They'll be looking for supplies."
"Yes...Mr. Dilbert may be reduced to selling Rats on a Stick and still be making a profit. I'll notify the General that we'll have to look to our North. Brigadier von Klunker, the Grenadiers, and the Fusiliers will set out day after tomorrow. Perhaps showing the flag, with a bit of muscle behind it will be enough to discourage any foragers. I hope that with most of the Army dispatched to the South to deal with the Prince-Bishop of Spires, that we aren't in a cleft stick, Otto."
"Yes, My Graaf."
Concealing all traces of concern, the Markgraaf of Raubenstadt turned and shouted, "Ahoy there Admiral! How many bad pirates have you hung from the mainmast?"


Capt Bill said...

Glad to see our Ambassador to attending to his duties!

Fitz-Badger said...

Excellent vignette in text! I'll look forward to pictures of your minis (and battles and game room?). I'm sure your little state (founded by resourceful people) would find a way to survive into Napoleonic times (and beyond). I'm tempted to do some other eras with my little corner or ImagiNary Uerope one of these days (after I make enough progress on their SYW incarNation!).

Frankfurter said...

Cut - me - own - throat Dilbert is a character from Pratchett's series on the Discworld ... a marvelously satiric fantasy setting with really compelling characters. Cilbert is a sausage seller in Ahnk-Morpork, the primary city of the series. A nice enough fellow, always involved in dubious get-rich=quick schemes, his sausages are rumored to include diverse ingredients collected from both the morgue and the meat processor's garbage ... and that's the more mentionable ingredients!
Somehow, though, he always winds up on the side of the good guys in the books.
Obviously exactly a model character fro Frankfurter ...

In our EvE world, he specializes in being a knacker for horses injured in combat ... the latest battle near Frankfurt will be a windfall for him ... and "Bad Ham" is a good name for a lot of his produce ...