Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II, The House of Schöning-Ochsenknecht und Meckerfritz zum Stollen -- Considered something of a popinjay by his household staff and many of the ministers surrounding him, here's the Grand Duke sans his much-loved lobster costume, with two left claws, at the behest of his ever-patient and long-suffering English manservant Hives, who holds that a gentleman should never, ever. . . ever present himself publicly while dressed as a large crustacean.
Gerald Arthur Hives -- The personal valet to Irwin-Amadeus II, the English-born Hives has been in the employ of the Grand Duke for almost a decade. Hives often responds to the Grand Duke's odder ruminations, remarks, and observations with a cool, "Indeed, Sir." or equally, "Very good, Sir."
Freiherr Heinz von dem Salat -- The Prussian ambassador to Stollen, von dem Salat is less stern and more corpulent than is apparent from his portrait. He enjoys a good joke, spends much time each week heading off the Grand Duke's requests for Prussian military aid, and speculates often, "When's lunch?"
Freiherr Heinrch Schattzi von Pelznikkel -- One of a small group of ministers close to Irwin-Amadeus II, von Pelznikkel drew the short straw and as a result had to march his Grand Duke into the palace fountain at the end of a 10' bargepole for a much-needed bath, during the Great Losbster Costume Affair, as it came to be known, in the early summer of 1767.
Frau Katrina-Bettina von Heffelfinger -- The society page editor for Die Krankenstadt Tageblat, Frau von Heffelfinger frequently pens short articles about the military exploits of the Stollenian Army and the personal misadventures of Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II.
Princess Antonia III of Zichenau, The House of Lauterbach-Pfefferhassen und Taxis -- The nefarious ruler of the Electorate of Zichenau, Princess Antonia has always been suspected of murdering the former head of state, her adult son Prince Ruprecht I, in early 1768 by poisoning the fig tree from which he picked fruit to enjoy with breakfast each day.
General Phillipe de Latte -- A veteran of the Seven Years War, de Latte now spends his time as a mercenary-adventurer of sorts. He is also something of a dandy with a strong predilection for expensive English and Italian bespoke footwear. The de facto consort of Princess Antonia, de Latte conspires with her to reduce the Grand Duchy of Stollen to a completely subordinate role on the political stage of Post-SYW Europe.
Can't wait to retire to bed this evening with this new arrival! Earlier this afternoon, Digby Smith's Armies of the Seven Years War arrived with the mail. A quick glance through the book -- after wrestling it from its Amazon packaging -- shows it to be chock-a-block with information on the various combatants who partook in the conflict, their uniforms, standards, etc. While I've been aware of Mr. Smith's book for a couple of years, I only got around to purchasing it with some of Mom and Step-Dad's Christmas gift on December 26th. I cannot wait to examine it more closely later this evening, and might hit the sack right after supper with some fresh coffee and the book, leaving the Grand Duchess and the Young Master to their own devices for the remainder of evening. Weeeeeell, maybe not quite that early. . . but all bets are off by 9 or 10pm!
Thursday, January 4th
I just wrote my first review for Amazon.com on this book. It reads:
Not my own image, but you immediately grasp the point of today's post. So there I was. Saturday morning about 11am. Still in my pajamas and back down here in Zum Stollenkeller after breakfast upstairs at the dining room table with the Young Master. I returned to my chair here at the computer, second large mug of fresh French press coffee in hand, meaning to return to typing into my ever evolving mid-18th century rules a revised version of Mark Clayton's morale rules from Miniature Wargames issue #7.
I was about two minutes back into this activity when I reached for said mug of coffee, without really looking at what I was doing, and, of course, it slipped from my grasp. The contents spilled all over my keyboard, some papers nearby, a box of paperclips, and my non-functioning Swiss pocket watch that I've been meaning to take to the jeweler for repairs. Needless to say, I turned the air momentarily blue with muttered curses, took the steps upstairs two at a time to retriev…
Stirring scenes like this one, courtesy of the late Peter Gilder, are largely responsible for the way I go about the wargaming hobby now. Coincidentally, this is one of three early issues of Miniature Wargames that somehow turned up on the shelves of a hobby shop I frequented as a callow youth during the early 1980s. I still have the original copies, #6, #7, and #12, although I have since replaced them with 'newer' less well-thumbed copies as I have filled in holes in the collection of hobby print matter. Finally, I'll go out on a limb here and state that the covers of 'modern' wargaming magazines in current publication are rarely as charming or inspiring.
At its heart, my wargaming hobby stems from and grew out of playing with green, gray, and blue plastic
toy soldiers, tanks, etc. as a child during the 1970s. Probably like many of you GD of S visitors. I also
have very vague recollections of paging through a Phillip O. Stearns (?)
book on model soldiers a…