Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Princess Juliana Chasseur Elite Regiment for Flintloque

I had hoped that I would not have had to post this particular article for some time. The Princess Juliana Chasseur Elite Regiment of Dwarves is named after my niece, Juliana Cartwright who passed away earlier this week after a long and heroic battle against Pancreatic Cancer. Juliana leaves behind a loving husband and three young children as well as a gaping hole in the lives of all who knew her.


The story of The Princess Juliana Regiment started some time ago when Alternative Armies asked if I could sculpt/convert some Flintloque Dwarves to be released to accompany the latest Flintloque 3rd Edition rulebook Bier & Bones. I produced a group of Dwarves which were quickly accepted by Gavin at AA and then cast in whitemetal. I was asked if I had any thoughts about a background for the regiment and wrote a short back story - see below.

I was also asked to base, paint and photograph the group of 16 miniatures and the three photos below are the result.

The Princess Juliana Regiment - The Chasseur Elite Musketeers

Within the tomes of Dwarf military history, there can be few stories that could out-do the Chasseur Elite Musketeers of the famous Princess Juliana Regiment for double-dealing. During the pre-Black Powder period, the regiment was blessed with extreme good fortune and strong leadership in the shape of a female dwarf warlord called Juliana, who through her foresight and planning won many, many battles. However the small principality of Growtonburger was doomed to be nothing but a ‘bit-player’ in the Great Mordred Wars.

While the Finklestein Confederation and the Krautian League were convening councils of war, Roberto Locke, the head brewer of the local Dwarf Micro Brewery was oblivious to how these petty little wars would turn his world up-side-down! Robbo was an average brewer, although he will remind you that he did come third in an Ostrian Beer Exhibition for his Olde Dodger, a very old style of dark and wheaty ale, - you could counter with that fact that there were only four entries and one of those was entered in the wrong competition! But I digress. Robbo was a brewer, he knew about yeast and wheat and water, he did not know about flintloques and shotte, black powder and the intrigue of War. He would have to learn, and quickly!

In an attempt to remain independent, some of the elder Dwarves, well I say elder, I actually mean ancient Dwarves, (so ancient in fact that some were actual statues) had decided that a treaty with the Ferach and their allies would (hopefully) mean that This Principality would be passed by in the wars between Dwarf and Dwarf! (Ferach, Dog soldiers, Ogres and even the cute little Bunnies did have some part in the war – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves). Robbo was happy to go along with this, continuing to brew beer and write his weird memoirs. Then the bombshell! The Ferach wanted a regiment of able-bodied Dwarves to take part in the next offensive and as proof that the signed treaty was honoured. Now able-bodied Dwarves were a thing of great rarity in these parts and really the only able-bodied workers were the brewers and draymen (I mean Dray Dwarves). It was therefore decided that the first Juliana Chasseur Elite would be made up of brewers and dray Dwarves. The obvious choice of leader – Robbo the Head Brewer!

The small regiment, in number (and stature), was actually very well equipped (Brewers are some of the richest guild members after all) with a new Ale-brown jacket and Froth-white trousers, piped in gold to mimic the golden hops and wheat so evident in this area and so key to the brewing of fine ales. The whole regiment were given serviceable (but rather antique Dwarf Muskets Mk II) and huge Black Shakos. The standard was actually a cut down paddle (used to stir the fermenting beer) topped with a white flag, actually a beer soaked rag used to clean out used barrels, that’s beer barrels. All in all the first time the Chasseur Elite marched from the brewery the air was full of the sweet smell of hops, beer and dregs!

The resplendent Dwarves were also rather old, all white beards and bent backs, something to do with drinking too much beer and a droopy brewer meant that younger dwarves were a great rarity?

For the first couple of months a complaining Robbo made sure that he kept his head down and the regiment was rarely if ever called upon to do more than guard supplies or clean the camp. There nickname amongst others was the Welching Brewers. Then one night the unsettled calm was shattered, when an argument broke out amongst some un-educated Dwarves about the merits of Karlsberg, verses Kronesburg brews. As well as two deaths, fifteen seriously injured Dwarves and over a hundred minor injuries, a huge Finklestien Ogre had his rock-hard nose chipped. The blame for the gravel injury was fixed upon Robbo, who was the only Dwarf left within a hundred paces of the Ogre when the damage was discovered. He was actually innocent of the crime, having taken shelter beneath a large supply wagon when the disagreement broke out. However such blood-feuds are nothing to be sniffed at and Robbo decided then and there that discretion was truly the better part of valour. That evening Robbo and the Brewers blew out of camp and retired from active service, well that was the plan!

Three days later and with many disagreements within the regiment they were found by a band of Krautian Jagers, who were acting as an advance guard to the main League forces. Thinking quickly Robbo greeted the enemy soldiers with a smile and ‘well met’, telling the Captain that they were a regiment of Brewers wanting to enlist in the struggle against the Ferach invaders! The 1st Juliana Regiment was accepted almost immediately, after all who had ever heard of a Dwarf regiment changing sides (or a brewer lying).

Once again Robbo kept his head down and guard duty was the order of the day. Well three days to be precise. On the third day a huge mixed force of Ogres and Dog Soldiers attacked the Krautian army and most were routed. Robbo was left in charge of part of the supply chain and in a moment of greed, decided that two full wagons of supplies would be a great pension for him and his passive Welch Brewers!

For days Robbo and the smiling Dwarves marched home, counting and re-counting their ill-gotten gains when a Squad of Finklestein Hussars mounted on huge war-boars trotted up alongside. “Vat have ve heir?” was the simple enquiry from the commanding officer. And once again Robbo, thinking quickly (unusual for Rob) said “urgent supplies for the Confederation, very urgent supplies”, “Ist sat zo?” was the reply, “in zat caze ve vill accompanies youse to ze mainz campz”.

A double desertion! What a reputation old Uncle Walruss had gained. Uncle Walrus being a term of endearment bestowed on Robbo by his men, due to the huge and now very white moustache that adorned his face.

In all The Chausers Elite of the Princess Juliana Regiment never fought in any battle, in fact some of the initial weapons are now museum pieces, pristine and never fired! They swapped sides another three times and never got caught. They therefore make the perfect Flintloque Wargame unit, being uniquely uniformed, can be used by either side and never suffer any casualties (due to the fact that they swap sides rather than fight!)

It is said that the strong aroma of Beer or Dwarf Ale that accompanied the regiment and the quick thinking of Olde Uncle Walrus was a major factor in the survival of this regiment, that and being so old, that others just thought of them as Grandfather figures and harmless!

The manner in which this regiment operates requires some special rules, namely that the regiment is allocated to one side or another at the beginning of a scenario. The choice can be left to the umpire or diced for, then during the game the regiment can change sides (usually just once per game, but we all know how fickle this group of turn-coats are and it has been known for Uncle Walrus and the Brewers to sneak off twice in a single battle!)

For ease of playing this regiment, you should consider them more of a hindrance than a help and giving them conflicting game or scenario objectives can offer a considerable amount of confusion! And fun.

Alternatively, you could paint them in dark green jackets and call then Jagersmeisters!


Juliana is the name of my niece; currently undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, Robbo is based on her Father, you should see his moustache (my Brother-in –Law). I am sure that this VLU and background story will add a very welcome smile to their faces and offer gamers an added headache.

The above story was written by me some time ago in the hope that it would raise the spirits of Juliana and Rob. Readers will be pleased to know that Juliana saw the finished and painted miniatures and read the story before being admitted in to Ty Olwen Hospice last month.

The miniatures will be available from Alternative Armies within the next couple of weeks, they are to be the third Limited Edition Unit (LEU) and will be a limited edition pack of 100 boxes of 16 Dwarves. Princess Juliana Dwarves LEU03, for full details please see; this link

The figures were painted over a black undercoat and mounted on to UK 2p coins. The painted building is a very limited casting of a Flintloque inspired building set that was sculpted by me and cast by Dave at Grand Manner. Please note that the run has now sold out and the mould has been destroyed.

I had planned on releasing these photos in the opening round of the Lead Painters League 5 over on The Lead Adventure Forum, but given the sad circumstances I have now posted the images and the background story here.

Finally I know that Juliana enjoyed reading the story and seeing the miniatures, this is a small and heart felt tribute to a beautiful person. God Bless.



WQRobb said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. You tribute is a touching one, and I am sure she appreciated it as the expression of fondness it was.

RRatliff said...

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I can truly sympathize, as I lost my husband last November. I am sure you put a smile on Julianna's face with your heartfelt tribute. May your memories comfort you and your family in this time of sadness.

Thanos said...

Mate besides the figures that look fantastic, I must congratulate you for the background terrain pieces....
They look simply stunning!!!!

Christopher said...

These are excellent. If AA were minded to charge a bit extra for them, with the balance going to the hospice, Id pay.