Monday, May 28, 2012

Begging your assistance

As you can easily imagine, it's becoming far from easy to manage your daily life in nowadays' Spain. My gaming mate Jordi and I are both in serious trouble to find a suitable date for the two battles of this turn. As a self employee, he must rely on his own effort only to meet the requirements of his customers --harder and harder every day; and I'm at a critical, all-or-nothing step of my projected miniatures company, as some might already know.

Besides, when I get in front of my PC I'm usually feeling quite dry, empty lately. Can't keep pushing my pending storyboards or finding alternate, non-figure resolutions for pending battles. Other problems keep filling my mind instead and prevent me from calmly concentrating on the Defiant Principality story.

As a result, I can see that the whole storyboard mechanism is dangerously risking to sink.

However, proxy gaming groups are still planning --or already developing-- their own adventures or games, based on our wargaming campaign: not only The Escape AAR skirmishing series already posted a few days ago, but a new thrilling RPG adventure has just started, lead by a second gaming team. They're enthusiastically co-operating in co-ordination with our Defiant Principality wargaming campaign, in the confidence that my story telling machinery will not stop...

...But I'm so afraid not to be able to face the challenge right now!

This is why I'm humbly begging this community assistance, helping me to sort out this hopefully temporary period of abandonment by the Muses. I cannot expect from you to do the storytelling work for me, but might I ask for your assistance in proxy gaming my pending battles? This would at least allow me to decently finish our current turn and start a new one, thus giving some room to our proxy gaming teams...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The escape (3): The Hunt

Somewhere between Lleida and Balaguer, 9th November 1713

While the fighting was re-taken inside Lleida town...

...a small group of characters discreetly vanished away from town, through a marshy area next to Segre River.

Their pursuers intense shouting echoed close behind them (at a 2 turns distance).

The group moves between hills, with the intention to avoid too clear lines of sight to the Spanish soldiers on their pursuit.

Unfortunately, a second squad of Spanish soldiers emerges between them and their salvation. Our heroes are caught in a very bad situation.

After a first exchange of fire the Spanish commander falls badly hurt, but a lucky shot leaves Pepon knocked out too.

Maria Sauret bravely drags Pepon out of reach of the enemy. Fortunately, Pepon's wound is just a scratch.

Meanwhile, Madriguera takes a bold decision: he charges by surprise against the smaller enemy group, trusting on his own greater skills at close quarters to defeat them --or at least to purchase some time for his friends to escape.

Easily imaginable, it was far from a good idea. Madriguera pitifully wastes his surprise attack, and 3 enemy soldiers reduce him. Only a heroic luck spares him a deadly bayonet blow. He falls temporarily unconscious.

Maria and Pepon throw themselves out from cover in a desperate attempt to rescue Madriguera, with a pistol and musket respectively; but only the veteran miquelet succeedsd in hitting an enemy. Even worse... thanks to his years of experience, Pepon is able to reload in a record time, but Maria isn't that skillful, so that her pistol remains unloaded at the end of turn.

It's just now when Goddess Fortune finally smiles to the fugitives: suddenly, a handful of armed men emerge out of the bushes behind the Spanish soldiers and engage them by fire... deserters, thieves or fugitives, who are they? ...doesn't matter too much for, whoever they are, their timely apparition has just spared our heroes' lives...

The unexpected reinforcements take positions behind the ruins of some ancient buildings --which are told to date back to times of the Earthly Paradise...

The unknown allies stand face to the former Spanish group, who have finally got close enough for a last trial. One of those falls from a shot in the chest...

...But his sacrifice wasn't in vain for, thanks to this, our characters have managed to escape!

The manager of this proxy played adventure and us have agreed that Maria Sauret and her mates will now head northwards, to the town of Tremp where a contingent of Miquelets under General Moragues' command have recently cleared the area from enemies. We've been told that, once there, they will try to persuade the General to assist them in building a small guerrilla force, whose ultimate mission is far from known by us --for there is certainly some hidden intention in mind of Josep Cassay, the wealthy tradesman who is behind Maria Sauret's escape...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Favored by Muses

Versailles, 10th November 1713

--No shadows of sadness should be allowed to obscure such a beautiful face like yours, Milady...

Surprised, Princess Elisenda startled. Who was he, who so boldly had entered her garden? Surprise soon gave way to amazement however, when she suddenly realized the stranger had addressed to her in Catalan language --instead of French, as expectable in Versailles.

Even before the man introduced himself, she had already acknowledged him: he was Jacint Rigau, or Hyacinthe Rigaud as he was commonly known at Versailles, the King Louis famous courtly painter. Flattered by that elegant gentleman, Elisenda hurried inviting him to some coffee under the porch. The evening passed peacefully in company of the artist, who constantly abounded gentle courtoisies to the young princess, amidst a casual conversation plentiful of funny gossips about the inhabitants of Versailles --just what she needed for calming her mind.

At a given moment, Rigau switched to a totally different subject, however: --You shouldn't be that restless about the French, my princess. It's only a matter of giving them time enough to digest the consequences of the treaty you're about to sign with them... As much time as you actually need, too.

--You aren't going to get from them all what you dreamt, of course --he continued--. Not immediately, at least. Allow them to turn down their distrust towards you Catalans, just as they must give you time for relying on them.

--You're right, Jacint --she admitted--. It's far from easy to erase a several centuries old enmity.

--Such will be your job henceforth --he added with a tone of confidence--, for I'm persuaded King Louis is going to ratify you as Princess. Duke of Orléans has already paved the way for it.

Given such confidence, Elisenda experienced an intense relief, and her face reflected it.

--So I like! --Rigau enthusiastically exclaimed-- You're glowing like a goddess when you smile... By the way, I've started painting a Birth of Venus, and I was wondering whether you'd consent in... er... being my model.

--A Birth of Venus? --Elisenda blushed-- ...but... isn't she always depicted nude there?

--For sure --he admitted with a malicious smile.

She wouldn't reprime a nervous, playful laughter: --Er... when would you like to start?

--Evening is always favored by Muses...

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

In flames again

Lleida, 9th November 1713

Enraged by the successful escape of Maria Sauret, the Spanish commander Baron d'Asfeld abrupty stopped conversations with Lleida town's rebels, and hostilities were resumed in a matter of few hours. Giving no time to defenders for getting prepared, Asfeld's troops stormed the downtown --where the rebels had entrenched themselves.

Asfeld had two almost full battalions, belonging to the Regiments of León and Marina de Sicilia, whose joint force nearly tripled that of defenders. However, they had no artillery support. Scattered by the bastions sorrounding the town, there was a complete battery at disposal, but the magnificent cannons remained idle because they had no crew assigned.

Days ago, Marquis of Aitona had promised to Asfeld a whole company of artillerymen for manning those bored stiff guns --but they hadn't arrived in town so far. This way, deprived of artillery support, assailants were unable to break the fierce resistance of locals, who filled their fighting inexperience with extraordinary doses of courage --perhaps as a result of desperation. The match ended with nearly two hundred casualties on both sides --wounded or dead. The assault had been repulsed.

[This time, we've chosen to solve the fight using the procedures defined in our own Campaign ruleset (Chapter 9), using them as if the attackers were storming a breach in walls. The combined Assault Value of assailants was the result of multiplying their no. of figures (33) by the individual value given to drilled foot (4), while the equivalent force of defenders was 13 figures x value 3.]

[Therefore, respective AV resulted to be 132 to 39 --a comfortable 3:1 ratio for the attackers, only in theory. We afterwards threw a virtual D6 using, which gave us a result of 2. That is, an easy repulse of the assault.]

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Let's fight a bit else!

Catalonia, 8th November 1713

[Apologies for my last days silence. Some issues related to my projected miniatures company have got me too uneasy for keeping an adequate posting rythm --not to say about a far more pleasant business, this one related to our 25th wedding anniversary: my lovely wife conceived the briliant idea of presenting to me a weekend stay at a superb ***** hotel in Puigcerdà town, as a kind of second honeymoon... Just an advice, my friends: if given the opportunity, don't ever miss the chance of spending some days at the Catalonian Pyrenees --either side is fine, the (so far) Spanish one, or the French too...]

Well, let's get into matter again. Before my absence, we were immerse in a rather troubled campaign turn, with several possible field battles along with a proxy gamed swashbuckling adventure, where a local heroine had been released by a handful of patriots. In the meanwhile, a Catalan legacy headed by Princess Elisenda was dealing hard at Versailles a separate peace with France.

I'm in the sad duty to announce that the successful releasing of Maria Sauret, whose head as the leader of Lleida uprising was claimed by the Spaniards in exchange for a general pardon to the town's population, has brought an abrupt end of negociations. Urban fighting has been retaken, this time in a quite worse condition for the defenders, who must face a 1 : 2.5 ratio of forces.

On the other side, 2 of the 4 possible open field battles have been refused by one side or the other. This leaves to us 2 confirmed battle scenarios, one inside Montblanc town hex (the third one!) and another at an adjacent hex. While the first batlle can be considered a big one for this campaign's standards, the second one is easier to deal with: a Catalan Regiment of Horse (2 squadrons) will have to stand face to the attack of a Spanish force consisting of 2 battalions of Foot Guards and 2 Squadrons of Horse Guards. Quite a bad business for them, I'd say!