Sunday, April 24, 2016

Under inspection (1)

Barcelona, 2nd March 1714

Here you have the status of the Catalan Cavalry before and after the 1714 reform, shown as a uniforms and flags plates compared collection:

In the scene below, this is what Duke of Popoli sees after his cursory inspection.

Despite the lounge is large and beautifully illuminated through large windows, its atmosphere has become dense and thick. Around the large central oak table sit the delegates Duke of Berwick (France), Duke of Popoli (Spain) and Marshal Villarroel (the Principality), each one accompanied by a senior officer and several secretaries.

Courteous ways have been lost long ago, and delegates are heatedly, loudly arguing when Princess Elisenda enters the wide room. She discreetly stands there until the men notice Her. They then stand up and salute courteously at the young princess – all, except for the Duke of Popoli, who remains seated showing a surly air.

--Thanks Honorable Milords, please do not stop for me. Don't you get tired either, Signore Restaino –She answers to the gentlemen before interpellating the Duke of Popoli using his first name. The alluded blushes intensely but does nothing to mend the attitude.

Princess Elisenda seats by Marshall Villarroel and gracefully says: --Please, gentlemen. As if I wasn't here.

Duke of Popoli clenches teeth and resumes his talk to Marshall Villarroel, shaking a wad of printed paper before him: --Prior to the truce you Catalans had 8 regiments of horse, and after the reform there are 6 still. Might I know what do you mean for "a half"?

--I'd suggest you to read the full text body, rather than just taking a glance to the headline, Popoli –-Villarroel grimly replies--. Our regiments were 2 squadrons strong each, and are 1 now. So before the truce we had 12 full squadrons and 2 independent companies at hand; after the reform there are 6 squadrons left. Isn't it the half perhaps?

--Certainly, Sir. But don't forget to explain that your Hussars Regiment seems to have vanished from lists! --Popoli exclaims in turn.

Princess Elisenda then unexpectedly talks: --It has been transferred to Mallorca. The Regiment is no longer ours but under imperial service, flying the colours of Emperor Charles. The point is that the Principality once controlled 2,640 war horses, while now 1,320 only.

"... Besides of a 920 horses stock for breeding and Reserve, thanks to that same number of licensed or invalid veterans ...", Villarroel thinks shyly.

Duke of Popoli snorts soundly but keeps silent when realizes how the Duke of Berwick courteosly nods, giving as closed the discussion. The French marshal then says: -–I'm glad we've met an understanding on the matter, then. Let's start the infantry listings?

Something in Berwick's expression makes Elisenda understand he's caught the gamble. "He's aware I'm going to be appointed Vicereyne of Majorca, undoubtedly; but Popoli doesn't". She simply returns back to Berwick a winsome smile.

My Catalan Cavalry consisted of 66 figures. I first retired the Hussars Regiment from listings, so as to symbolize its transfer to Majorca. This meant 10 figures less. Then I rolled one D6 for each horseman figure left according to the table in my previous posting, with the following result:

  • Licensed: 16
  • Invalids: 7
  • Available: 33
One of the Dragoons Regiments was then disbanded (DR4) and 30 out of the 33 figures available were evenly distributed among the surviving units. Three remaining figures were used to create a new Guard Cuirassiers Squadron (which as a matter of fact is at half the theoretical strength of a squadron)

The gamble here is that Catalan Institutions are eluding the responsibility of including one Horse regiment in their compulsory reform, by transferring it into Imperial service in Majorca. However, as Princess Elisenda is to become Imperial Vicereyne of the island too, in the practice the unit keeps being at Her disposal. This doesn't prevent the forces in Majorca to be reformed too --but at the Viceroyalty's expense, not Catalonia's own.

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