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 Post subject: Re: The Cardinal's Guards
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:23 am 
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higgins wrote:
With the exquisite detail, however, I'm having trouble making suggestions on how the medical character ended up in the Richelieu's guard. He's an MA7, Medicine TN5 character specialising in bullet wounds. Well, that doesn't strike me as some common army butch...uhm, surgeon. :) I thought that he may have been a doctor who has helped various Richelieu's agents in the past and he's good enough to be his personal doctor. I have however... been unable to suggest a convincing reason why a physician of such quality should also be a guard. :(


Have you heard this tale?

A newly commissioned lieutenant in Wellington's battalion was told by his peers that it was a tradition that new officers challenge their commander to a duel. The young fellow, on entering the officer's dining room, marched up to the commander's table and challenged Wellington to a duel. Wellington, aware that the young man had been encouraged to this by his fellow lieutenants, pointed down the table and said "That man there has been responsible for more deaths in this battalion than any other. I suggest you challenge him instead." The young man thanked Wellington, marched down the table, and challenged the grim-faced man to a duel. He was of course the battalion's doctor, who politely refused the duel.

Richelieu's Guard were foremost a fighting unit. Like the Musketeers, they may have been seen as a personal guard but in reality they were an elite fighting unit. They would have all the infrastructure of a Company of men -- a barracks, physician's, logistical supply, horse and foot. They would be ready for deployment in the field as needed. A such I see no problem with having the doctor as a sous-lieutenant or captain. He is a doctor, foremost, but then the reasons any officer serves still apply -- a purchased commission, advancement and social status, serving the cause.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cardinal's Guards
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:42 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
"That man there has been responsible for more deaths in this battalion than any other. I suggest you challenge him instead."
Well, that's my whole issue. I think he's too good to be a military surgeon, even for an elite unit. :)

Ian.Plumb wrote:
A such I see no problem with having the doctor as a sous-lieutenant or captain.
I haven't done any thorough research on the matter but I was left with an impression (from the Dumas' novel) that captain was the commander of the musketeers, so, I assumed guards will also be commanded by one. Also, I wasn't aware that a surgeon could hold a lieutenants or a captains commission as a part of his profession.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cardinal's Guards
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:09 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
"That man there has been responsible for more deaths in this battalion than any other. I suggest you challenge him instead."


higgins wrote:
Well, that's my whole issue. I think he's too good to be a military surgeon, even for an elite unit. :)


Wellington wasn't inferring that the doctor was a bad surgeon. He was simply having a joke at both of their expenses.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
A such I see no problem with having the doctor as a sous-lieutenant or captain.


higgins wrote:
I haven't done any thorough research on the matter but I was left with an impression (from the Dumas' novel) that captain was the commander of the musketeers, so, I assumed guards will also be commanded by one. Also, I wasn't aware that a surgeon could hold a lieutenants or a captains commission as a part of his profession.


A Captain commands a company of men, perhaps 3 platoons (from the 17th century French peleton). A lieutenant commands a platoon (perhaps two or three dozen men). As I understand it, the Captain is the highest rank deployed in the field.

The commissioned officers hold their commission from the King. Warrant officers hold their warrant from a commissioned officer, typically the commander of the unit. A warrant officer ranked above the non-commissioned officers and troops. They were the specialists -- doctors, engineers, and other professionals required by the unit.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cardinal's Guards
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:01 am 
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I wrote this reply this morning, but didn't get a chance to post it before all the replies. I figured it might be worth something anyway:

Would there really only be one captain over all the guards? 150 people is a pretty big group for one guy to be in charge of without some underlings to help out. Surely they would be split into squads of some sort. So, you have one guy in charge of everybody, then say 10 squads of 15 each. Besides that you have seniority, from the raw recruit to the lifetime veteran. Seniority provides a number of privileges, including the sweetest jobs and the ability to bully those lower than you. Probably access to better equipment, too. That might provide a diverse enough pecking order.

Captain
Senior Lieutenant
Junior Lieutenant
Senior Guard
Junior Guard
Raw Recruit

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 Post subject: Re: The Cardinal's Guards
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:44 am 
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higgins wrote:
In any case, the fourth character will be a charmer, one of the best physicians in France who is the mortal enemy of Gaston, Duke of Orleans. :)
higgins wrote:
With the exquisite detail, however, I'm having trouble making suggestions on how the medical character ended up in the Richelieu's guard.

He fled there, seeking to escape the wrath of the Duc d'Orléans. Maybe he was a court physician or some high nobility's personal physician and somehow ran afoul of the Duke, or the Duke had him framed because of their enmity. The physician needed protection, needed it real bad, but luckily, he knew somebody high up in the cardinal's employ, and so he was tucked into the guard, maybe hidden there.

EDIT -- EDIT -- EDIT -- EDIT -- EDIT


There’s also one more thing. I suspect you’ll do like this anyway, but if you are already going against Dumas’ clichés, you might as well do it all the way:

“Capitaine Rochefort is a dramatic, lean figure, invariably dressed in only dark, sombre colours, mostly black. But his most striking feature is the black velvet patch where his left eye used to be – an eye he lost several years ago to a tankard thrust into his face by a drunken musketeer when he was trying to break up a riot of feasting musketeers in a Paris tavern. Since then, Rochefort has had an abiding dislike of the musketeers and their frivolous antics – not that he would allow his personal feelings to colour his judgement, of course. In fact, Capitaine Rochefort is probably the most just and fair man you have ever met, and quite possibly also one of the most pious ones. It is true that he is sombre and austere and sets very high and strict standards of discipline and conduct for his men, but still less so than he does for himself – and most importantly, no justified complaint to the capitaine will ever go unheeded.”

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 Post subject: Re: The Cardinal's Guards
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:25 pm 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
A Captain commands a company of men, perhaps 3 platoons (from the 17th century French peleton). A lieutenant commands a platoon (perhaps two or three dozen men). As I understand it, the Captain is the highest rank deployed in the field.

The commissioned officers hold their commission from the King. Warrant officers hold their warrant from a commissioned officer, typically the commander of the unit. A warrant officer ranked above the non-commissioned officers and troops. They were the specialists -- doctors, engineers, and other professionals required by the unit.
Yes, that all makes sense -- doctor would hold a position of a surgeon (warrant officer), not a lieutenancy or captaincy, who deal with commanding the men.

Daeruin wrote:
Would there really only be one captain over all the guards? 150 people is a pretty big group for one guy to be in charge of without some underlings to help out. Surely they would be split into squads of some sort.
He would have lieutenants and a french captain would probably command 150 men or a little less. As I've understood, colonel commands a battalion which holds about 800 men. In Napoleonic Wars, the British divided them their battalions into 10 companies, while the French divided into 6. Each of those companies would be commanded by a captain, so, 150 is a bit above the norm in France but not much. It's always been puzzling to me how the major fits in all that.

Also, in the era we're talking about here, there were no bayonets, so, the company would consist of both "pike" and "shot" in a 2/3 ratio. The guards having MUCH different duties than fighting in major battles would probably be an exception to this with no pikemen. It is also unclear to me whether the musketeers would be using matchlocks, wheellocks or flintlocks. As they were the elite, I think wheellocks make sense, as it's a bit early for flintlocks...

So, your table makes sense but I have no wish to distinguish the ranks in this particular game. They're all more or less equal and I simply gave away the captaincy as I didn't want to be the one who would give them explicit orders. :)

Grettir wrote:
He fled there
I like it. :)

Grettir wrote:
There’s also one more thing. I suspect you’ll do like this anyway, but if you are already going against Dumas’ clichés, you might as well do it all the way:
Well, I wasn't actually going to use the characters from the Musketeers. My memories of the book are hazy at best and so I'm going to make it in an alternative history line of game... because I'm quite sure the Duke of Buckingham will be shot and possibly killed, should he somehow manage to be in range for the crack-shot character. Doesn't matter in the big picture, he was historically dead soon after the siege anyway. :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Cardinal's Guards
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:00 pm 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
The commissioned officers hold their commission from the King. Warrant officers hold their warrant from a commissioned officer, typically the commander of the unit. A warrant officer ranked above the non-commissioned officers and troops. They were the specialists -- doctors, engineers, and other professionals required by the unit.


higgins wrote:
Yes, that all makes sense -- doctor would hold a position of a surgeon (warrant officer), not a lieutenancy or captaincy, who deal with commanding the men.


Warrant officer is a distinction from commissioned officer -- the ranks though are the same as this defines the pay they draw. In this case, the doctor outranks the NCOs and troops. If you are going to have the Guard structured so that this doctor is the only doctor then lieutenant would be appropriate. It would be better I think if this doctor were responsible for a group of men -- two or three doctors and a number of stretcher-bearer equivalents.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: The Cardinal's Guards
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:16 pm 
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The game was a blast! Tons of fun. :twisted:

The Connections and good uniform asset made less impact than I had hoped for, as the very efficient captain kept his men on tight leash and more or less strictly on duty. I agree it made the game much better to have those connections however, and the next time I'd definitely give +1ATN to crappy muskets, not half range. Those muskets were bad beyond belief!

Also, the connections column made it possible to guess what relationships the other players might have... Which was quite hilarious. :)

When the players started to ask about changing their standard equipment, I said that they should address their concerns to their commanding officer (Player A).

Player B: "Monsieur capitain, could I have pistol instead of the musket, not in addition to it?"
Player A: "Why should I allow such a breach or regulations?"
Player B: "I'm a damned useful guy."
Player A: "You? You're sleeping with some huguenot chick, aren't you?"
Player B, rather than deny the accusations, looks at me, shocked.
Player B, to me: "I can't believe you told him!"
A moment of silence, then everybody bursts out laughing. :lol:

Some time later, they manage to find out that the pass phrases for British picket lines are "flash" which must be replied with "thunder"... only to have player C go loud with the steepest French accent imaginable: "THANDEUR!!" :lol:

Oh yeah, and when the priority pick mechanic received some critique, meaning they didn't quite like that the officer should have worse skills/etc than everyone else because of his high rank, I simply replied: "In France, you fail upwards." :P

Thanks for everybody for their input again. :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Cardinal's Guards
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:28 pm 
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Sounds like fun!

Were they successful in the mission?

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 Post subject: Re: The Cardinal's Guards
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:53 am 
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Sounds like a great game!

higgins wrote:
The Connections and good uniform asset made less impact than I had hoped for, (...)

When I suggested Connections I was already suspecting that they wouldn't quite come into their own in a one-off. :(

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 Post subject: Re: The Cardinal's Guards
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:53 am 
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A cocky musketeer was knocked out in a tavern brawl, the seawall wasn't blown up (yet, alas, winter ice destroyed it a few months later as it historically happened), a traitorous eye-patched noble was arrested after one of the players engaging him in a duel while others directed volley fire to the mansion house, the capitain had his horse shot under him, they recovered loads of good British gunpowder, blew up a major British magazine on Île de Ré and survived a naval action in which Gaston, duc d'Orléans, was killed by a musket bullet despite his protective cuirass (the doctor did it using an early rifle prototype he found from the traitor's mansion, nobody would suspect him as the range was far too great for an aimed musket shot).

The rapier-hero character married his true love, the daughter of the mayor of La Rochelle and was commissioned as a king's officer in the newly appointed king's garrison in the city. The other could open his medical office without fear again, now that the king's brother was dead and he found happiness with his former sergeant Theresa. The capitain Lupin would be a useful ally to the cardinal for the years to come, and all their paths will come across again... 15 years later, when their services are needed again to uncover the heinous anti-crown plots of Henri Coiffier de Ruzé, marquis de Cinq-Mars and the eye-patched traitor André Daupin.

I'd call that succesful. :)

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