Sunday, 30 September 2007

The Jäger Korps

And so to the final unit of the line army, the Jäger Korps. The only regiment to comprise two battalions, the Jägers serve as the Hetzenberg army's light infantry component. The battalions are assigned one to each line brigade, but not on a permanent basis. A battalion may serve with the first brigade in one campaign and with the second brigade in the next. The only means of differentiating between the two battalions is by means of the unit number embossed on the pewter coat buttons. The Korps does not possess colors, rallying instead to the bugler when in action.

Initially the Korps was looked upon as something of a poor relation, an odd point of view considering much of the geographical nature of Hetzenberg favors the raising of light troops. The Korps has gradually gained acceptance in the army as the generals saw the sense of having a regular body of trained light infantry instead of relying upon irregular forces or paid mercenaries of doubtful loyalty.


Under the New Buckenham club's use of the Shako rules light infantry are typically based a dozen or so figures to a unit. They are useful chaps to have around, and downright dangerous to formed troops when operating in woodlands and other broken terrain.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Ducal Color & Guards' Standards.

Each line and guard regiment caries the Ducal color alongside their regimental standard. The Ducal color is quartered, and composed of the Ducal crest depicting a stylized Mount Hetzenberg, with the gold and sapphire Flory cross of St. Ungulant, Hetzenberg's patron saint.

The Guards colors reflect some aspects of the regimental duties. For instance, the Grenadier standard has the "grenade, fired proper" device in the upper-right canton. The tower in the lower-left canton represents both a fortified place - exactly the kind of objective grenadiers are trained to take - and their role as Guards of the Ducal household.

The two fusilier standards are almost identical, differing only in the numeral of the regiment within the wreath, and the color of the diamond which reflects the regimental facings. This device is known as a "fusil" in heraldry, hence its inclusion in the fusilier standards. Heraldry seems to be full of these puns...

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The Line Cavalry Brigade.

Hetzenberg's line cavalry arm comprises just two regiments, the Rumtopft Dragoons and the Noamchomski Hussars.

The former are an unglamorous workaday line regiment who still serve as mounted infantry when required. They were created in 1720 by amalgamating two smaller dragoon regiments which had seen hard service in the wars following the collapse of the Empire. Both regiments saw much action and their successor has the united battle honors to prove it. Their guidon bears the crossed arrows crest of their depot city of Rumtopft.

The Noamchomski hussars are a brand new creation, raised to follow the latest fashion in light cavalry. Their flamboyant garb is mirrored by their equally flamboyant behaviour. It was thought that brigading them with the sober and highly experience Rumtopft regiment would lead to trouble, but the hussars took one look at the battle honors on the dragoon's standard and paid them due respect ever since. It remains to be seen how the two work together on the field of battle. Their guidon device of a rampant bear is the the family badge of Count Nicolai Noamchomski, Colonel-Proprietor of the regiment.

As I'll be using the SYW option in the Shako rules, the line cavalry will be in 12-figure strong units and the hussars will be 24-30 figures. Final size will be determined at a later date.

Monday, 24 September 2007

The Ironclads!

From L - R: USS Canonicus, USS Monadnock, & USS Lexington.

From L - R: CSS Manassas, CSS Virginia II, & CSS Gaines.

Just for a change from Hetzenberg, here are some of the American Civil War Ironclad models used at our club in New Buckenham. The vessels are resin models from Old Glory built and painted by Paul Cotton, and are scaled at 10mm. A note to purists - some of these ships never saw action in real life. For instance the Monadnock was completed, but was used as a floating battery because her three turrets made her unweildy. On the original plans she was scheduled to have four but reason prevailed. The Virginia II was one of many Confederate Ironclads burnt on her slipway to prevent capture by the oncoming Union army. Our games therefore have more than a whiff of what if... about them.

For those interested we use the "Beer & Pretzels" rules. These give a good fun game which can be fought to a clear result in an evening. In the encounter game featuring the above ships, the Confederacy got royally trashed. Manassas rammed Monadnock but failed to inflict killing damage. Instead the 15" Dahlgren guns in the three turrets of her victim inflicted a brutal fire that sent her under in a matter of minutes. The "woodenclad" Lexington and Virginia II destroyed each other in a head-on collision. Paul was commanding the Lexington, and before he rolled the 20-sided dice for ramming damage he uttered the fatal words -

"Anything but a 19 or 20!"

He got a 20...

The only Confederate survivor was the CSS Gaines, ironically the lightest armored vessel in the squadron. She handed out useful damage to the Canonicus, without suffering much in return. With her squadron mates sunk, she decided discretion was the better part of valor and withdrew.

The South shall rise again!

Sunday, 23 September 2007

The Guards Cavalry.

The Guards Cavalry Brigade consists of the Horse Grenadiers and the Bishop of Guggenheim's Regiment (see below). Formerly acting as mounted infantry the Horse Grenadiers fully converted to the heavy cavalry role in 1732, at which time they dispensed with the grenades and musketoon which formed part of their equipment. Their guidon is a much simpler form of the Guard Grenadiers infantry standard.

Friday, 21 September 2007

The Bishop of Guggenheim's Regiment of Horse.

The Bishop of Guggenheim's Regiment of Horse has its origins in the Troop of Guides raised by the Bishop's predecessor for ceremonial and escort duties. Such was the nature of the violent times following the break-up of the Unangenehmes und nicht Notwendiges Empire, the escort part of their duties was no sinecure.

Within a few months of the Troop assuming active duties it became clear its numbers were insufficient to guarantee the Bishop's safety on his travels. In one alarming incident the Troop were surprised by a large band of deserters from the former Imperial army while the Bishop was spending a night in the village of Pfalz-Unterschift. The Troop only just succeeded in dispersing them and guiding their principal to safety. A number of troopers died in the skirmish and their names were entered on a roll of honor in the barracks.

Within a week of the Bishop's return to Guggenheim the call went out for new recruits "of sober, honest and trustworthy disposition" to gathered to the colors in order to increase the strength to four full squadrons. Unfortunately the Bishop died before the muster was complete, but his successor finished the task. In the few years since its formation to the outbreak of war the Regiment proved itself a tough and devoted force to be reckoned with.

Ironically with the coming of war the Regiment has become a victim of its own success. The Hetzenberg army's need for cavalry is strong, and the presence of a "ready-made" fully-formed and equipped regiment in the Duchy proved too tempting. As a result the Duke "federalized" it. This did not pass without a lot of horse-trading! The Bishop gained a number of concessions connected with land and trade tariffs, which his brother the Duke thought fair exchange. One concession he was pleased to grant was the inclusion of the Regiment in his own Guards cavalry brigade. It remains to be seen if the Regiment lives up to their status once engaged in full combat on the field of battle - a different environment to escort and ceremonial duty.


The uniform comprises a coat of clerical black, with cuffs and turnbacks of purple to denote their service to a Bishop. The saddle cloth is in the principal colors of the city of Guggenheim, with the mitre of a bishop in the corner. The Regiment's horses are all chestnuts, with the exception of the Colonel, guidon bearer and trumpeter, who ride greys.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

The Artillery,

The artillery of the line regiments follows the Prussian pattern uniform in the standard light blue of the line infantry, with the infantry Prussian blue weskit. All buttons are in pewter. The Guard follows the concept in wearing the same cut of uniform in the Guards purple with brass buttons. All gunners wear dark gray breeches.

Hetzenberg's ordnance is composed of 3 pdr guns attached to the line infantry regiments. At the moment I'm toying with the idea of having a single Guards battery of 12 pdr guns instead of assigning regimental guns so the Brigade will have a heavy punch.

The Fusiliers of the artillery train are the oldest fusilier regiment in the army. Their uniform coat is in the color scheme worn by the artillery up to 1740 in which year light blue was adopted. The Fusiliers and the drivers of the Train retain the gray, although as can be seen the Fusiliers were persuaded to adopt the line infantry's mid-blue breeches and Prussian blue weskit.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

The Guards Brigade

The Hetzenberg Grand Ducal Guard comprises one regiment of Grenadiers, and two of Fusiliers. The Grenadier regiment will number 18 figurines, those of the Fusiliers 24. At the moment I'm toying with raising a Guard Jager regiment. We'll see...

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

To be The First.

As the First infantry regiment to be raised, Sleibnitz has the "Right of the line," i.e, the honor of being placed at the far end of the army's right flank. By tradition this is the wing which in most armies leads an attack. Being the First naturally begets a high morale and such regiments are accorded élite status. The men of the Sleibnitz regiment are not slow to claim such merit.
Although contrary to the Hetzenberg Großartiger Armeerat regulations Count Sleibnitz decided to accentuate this distinction by equipping his men with breeches of Prussian blue, the main color of his family coat of arms. The army let the matter slide as they thought this would help the army commander see at a glance where the right of his infantry line was situated in the heat of battle. It also meant they wouldn't have to censure the notoriously prickly (and highly connected) Count Sleibnitz.

The Rivals.

A serious rivalry exists between Count Sleibnitz and Colonel von Wöhl, inhaber of the 2nd Regiment of the line. The two units completed their first muster within a matter of days of each other, Sleibnitz winning the unofficial race amid allegations of dirty tricks. It was said that recruiting parties for von Wöhl's regiment operating near the county borders were diverted by means of misaligned signposts and bribed guides so they wound up deep in the County of Sleibnitz – where they were corralled by the Count's men. The unlucky von Wöhl recruiting sergeants were arrested for violating army mustering codes (and released later "as a gesture of goodwill") while the bemused recruits found themselves in the Sleibnitz ranks. Although the two regiments serve in the same brigade, the tension between the two colonels is sometimes palpable. While the gentlemen concerned maintain an icy politeness, their rivalry occasionally manifests as fist-fights between their men as they strive to settle the issue of who was really the First. Both regiments endeavour to outdo the other on the battlefield, a factor which occasionally makes them uncontrollable if an opportunity to best the hated rival presents itself…

Monday, 17 September 2007

The Second Brigade

And here we have the second brigade. Note that the first regiments of both brigades have lapels in the style that's coming into fashion in continental armies.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

The First Infantry Brigade

Created using the excellent uniform blanks by David at his Not By Appointment site.
The Hetzenberg army follows uniform patterns similar to the Hanoverian army. It will comprise two brigades of infantry, each of four regiments, along with guard and cavalry components. The foot regiments will be 24 figures strong including a grenadier company and integral artillery. Commanders will have the option of brigading these into seperate units for special tasks.
The regimental colors depict the Flory cross of St. Ungulant of Hetzenberg, hero, hermit and gastronome. A recent move to adopt regimental numbers as well as the names of the inhaber is currently being trialed, and this number appears in Roman numerals in the upper-left canton. The field of each color follows that of the regimental facings except for Sleibnitz and other regiments with yellow facings. These have special dispensation to reverse the color scheme for the sake of clarity.

The Hetzenberg National Anthem.

The Hetzenberg National Anthem.
(Composed by James McGonnigal, Composer-Laureate to the Grand Ducal Court (Retd. – in a hurry!)
To the tune of O Tannenbaum.

"O Hetzenberg, O Hetzenberg!
We like you ever such a lot!
O Hetzenberg, O Hetzenberg!
Whoever loathes you is a clot!

Your mountains high! Your rivers deep!
The cost of living here's quite cheap.
The folks are nice, there's not much vice,
O Hetzenberg Forevermore!"

His Grace the Grand Duke Karl was seen to blanch during the first recital, although he maintained a fixed smile to the end. Later he awarded the Composer-Laureate the traditional salary of one hundred Reichpfennigs and a barrel of Doppeldorf claret. The Ducal court refuses to comment on the rumour that the Duke added a kick in the pants and the suggestion that he leave the Duchy within 24 hours...

And so it begins...

Some men of the Grenadier Company, 78th Frazer Highlanders
chatting with a Rhode Island Ranger.
Fort Massac 250th Anniversary Commemoration, Metropolis, Ill. 2007
This is the opening salvo of a new wargames blog, The Hetzenberg Chronicles. It's intended to be a showcase for my 18th Century ImagiNation of Hetzenberg, leavened by occasional notes of the doings at my club and random wargames material. I hope you enjoy it!