Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Re-taking the Story

Glad to be back again and eager to re-take the story, that's how I'm feeling right now. It's been a real Annus Horribilis to me, due to the disproportionately high amount of time, commitment, effort and money invested on my Minairons miniatures company --a venture that has kept me not just busy, but permanently, deeply worried about all long this about-to-go year. An insane commitment ultimately depriving me from even my usual hobbies. Just for helping you to make an idea of what has this venture reported to me, I've played only 2 miniature games all long 2013!

Minairons Miniatures is still far from consolidation yet, but recovering my hobby time has become a priority now --for I'm certain I wouldn't be able to hold such working pace any longer without seriously damaging my personal and family life. I must find a way to reconcile both work and leisure, and Defiant Principality current adventure is a best therapy. So let's re-take the story where we had left it on last Summer.

A) To be short, we are now on our 22nd turn of military campaign, corresponding to the week of 11 to 17 December 1713. The Catalan player moves consisted basically of bringing some reinforcements to El Bruc area, where a battle started the week before was inconclusive, so making unavoidable a second fight on the same battleground.

B) Yesterday I posted here a new scene reflecting the Spanish player moves in turn; these consisted of reinforcing lines around El Bruc too --but also included a reckless advance into the Pyrenees valleys by a big army under Duke of Popoli --a rival to the current commander-in-chief, Marquis of Aitona.

C) From the Catalonian people and authorities point of view, a deep crisis seems about to erupt, as rumours about death of Princess Elisenda under the Spanish Navy guns keep growing ceaselessly, while the Junta de Braços (=name given by the Catalan Parliament to itself, when summoned without the Sovereign's attendance) is about to debate a likely poisoned proposal of peace talk by Philip V.

D) At the French held portion of Catalonia, Duke of Berwick is patiently waiting for news and orders from Versailles, in the confidence of having the country quiet and calm. For the moment, he has even managed to perform a prisoners exchange with the Catalans --so that only Spaniards are still being kept by them in Barcelona prisons. The French-Catalan front is amazingly peaceful, right now.

E) And last but not less important by any mean, Princess Elisenda has just arrived in the remote Valley of Aran, still unknown to everybody except for the Aranese themselves. There She has managed to earn the locals adhesion to Her cause, by granting them an update of the Querimònia protocol ruling Aran Valley union to Catalonia.

You can see her current position on the map below. Please have in mind she is still invisible to wargaming players. Depending on next turn's weather and road conditions in the area, rumours about her arrival in the Principality might spread quickly indeed --or she'll keep being invisible still.

Oh, I almost forgot. I wish to you all the happiest Christmas and New Year days!! Meet you again on the tortured Catalonian battlefields pretty soon!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Under pressure

El Bruc, 13th December 1713

--Any news from the rest of the Army?

Taken by surprise by the question abrupt tone, the aide-de-camp vacillated: --S-screen moves all long the front, Sire; j-just as your ordered.

Impatiently, Marquis of Aitona interrupted the assistant: --I give it for granted. I'm referring to Duke of Popoli's column.

--H-he keeps progressing with difficulty; melted snow has turned roads into mud everywhere, Sire.

--...Progressing still?

--He is progressing indeed, Sire.

The marquis dismissed the aide-de-camp in abrupt manner --and he immediately repented. "I'm being unfair to him, I shouldn't hold him as if responsible for this".

Finally alone, he plopped on a couch. He then glanced for the umpteenth time at the battlefield map on a wall. It was El Bruc battlefield, where goddess Fortune deprived him of a certain victory last week, transforming it into the certain threat of a new war of trenches. His captains were frightened by the remembrance of Prats de Rei battle two years ago --and such fear had begun inciting discontent among them. He was aware, but could do nothing to counter it... except winning the battle tomorrow.

He knew for sure. He ought to break the fierce Catalan defense at that point, or the entire campaign would be cut off. And his own reputation with it.