Thursday, April 16, 2015

Republic of Rome - CZ#1

Republic of Rome
From the Command Zone game day in March, we dropped the role playing and the card game and in its place put in Republic of Rome.

A rousing early republic game that we ended up over-whelmed by the Punic Wars (all three of them ended up out at one time making it impossible to take on) and then more wars got rolling and finally the mobs became violent in the streets and we all lost.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Mobilization

Napoleonic French Infantry Uniforms
The Emperor never expected to avoid war, but for sake of teh French peace party the gesture had to be made.  Once the intentions of the Allies were made manifest and they could be castigated as aggressors by French propaganda, the mask could be dropped with safety.  On April 8 mobilization was ordered, but the Emperor still hesitated to reintroduce the hated conscription for a further three weeks.  In the meantime a torrent of edicts poured from Paris to make the most of available resources, for speed was vital if the Allied retribution was to be forestalled.  Every military commodity was in short supply - horses, harness, ammunition, clothing, weapons - but by tremendous efforts the deficiencies were slowly made good.  Every week a million and a half cartridges were manufactured; every day Paris workshops produced 1,250 uniforms.  Arsenals and depots were ransacked for firearms, however ancient, and teams of ordnance experts worked night and day to adapt the old weapons and refurbish them.

~ D. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon, p. 1014

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"the Ogre"

Bonaparte the Ogre ...
Napoleon hesitated to order full mobilization, for he was well aware that the vast majority of the people were wholly opposed to a renewal of hostilities. 
As a gesture to public opinion - and to win time - the Emperor at once put out peace feelers toward the Allied governments, hoping that their growing disillusionment with the House of Bourbon and the festering political divisions within their ranks would play into his hands and persuade at least a few to accept a fait accompli and acknowlege Napoleon as the ruler of France.

Any such hopes were soon dashed ino oblivion.  Seven days before the Emperor reached Paris, the representatives of the Powers met at Vienna to outlaw the Emperor and to pledge over half a million men for the destruction of "the Ogre" once and for all.  On March 25 a formal treaty of alliance was signed between England, Austria, Prussia and Russia, and the Seventh Coalition came into being, backed by a promise of &pound five million in English gold.  Prussia and England at once put a joint force of 150,000 men into the field, and the other governments began their preparations.  All negotiations with Napoleon were broken off.

~ D. Chandler, The Campaings of Napoleon, p. 1014


Friday, March 20, 2015

Palace of the Tuileries

Napoleon enters the Tuileries
On March 20 Napoleon entered the Palace of the Tuileries, and was once more in control of the apparatus of government, though he never regained his old absolute power.  Revolutionary figures from the dim past -- Carnot and Constant -- were persuaded to serve in his government, but the Chamber remained aloof and cautious.  Napoleon and the State were never again synonymous, and the Emperor could no longer repeat the proud claim of Louis XIV: "L'etat, c'est moi."  Vast efforts were made to rally the Parisians behind the new regime, culminating in June 1 in a huge celebration entitled Le champ de mai.  The civic part of the ceremony proved a ludicrous fiasco, but the military parade that followed was as impressive as ever.

~D. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon, Page 1012.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bourbon's flee

The Royal Family. From left to right: Charles, Count of Artois, Louis XVIII, Marie Caroline, Duchesse of Berry, Marie Thérèse, Duchesse of Angoulême, Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême and Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry.

Small incidents sometimes sway great events.  Just as James II of England is reputed to have decided that his cause was hopeless when he overheard one of his sentries whistling "Lillibullero" -- the marching song of William of Orange's rebels --- so the Bourbon Government noted with growing concern the signs of popular alienation.  In addition to humorous lampoons, grimmer slogans of Jacobin origin appeared overnight on the walls of Paris: "Down with the Priests!  Down with the nobles!  Death to the Royalists!  Bourbons to the scaffold!"  Exacerbated by the hard conditions of economic inflation, the Paris mob and metayers were once agani becoming restive.  Serious rioting in the streets of the capital was not calculated to cheer the heirs of St. Louis, already hypnotized by Napoleon's seemingly inexorable advance, and on March 19 the Royal Court decamped from Paris and fled for the Belgian frontier and renewed exile.  Over one hundred days were to pass before they regained their capital.

~ D. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon, page 1012

Sunday, March 15, 2015

COMMAND ZONE #1

promotional image used for Command Zone invitation

Initiating what I hope to be a more regular thing, COMMAND ZONE, a home-based game time.

My eldest son has been itching to have an invite game time for some of his friends, likewise I have been wanting to put lead on table.  Hence this game plan.  Photos to follow the event.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

"in an iron cage"

Marshal Ney
Meanwhile the Bourbon Government vainly issued orders for the Emperor's arrest and dispatched increasing numbers of troops to intercept his journey.  Marshal Ney promised Louis XVIII the he would return to Paris with Napoleon "in an iron cage," but when his forces met the Emperor near Auxerre on March 14 the old attraction again proved too strong and the men once more destered en masse, followed by their commander.  In Paris some wit posted a large notice in the Palace Vendome: "From Napoleon to Louis XVIII.  My good brother -- there is no need to send any more troops -- I have enough."

~ D. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon, page 1012