Friday, 31 August 2012

Regular Infantry Tactics

Bodstonian troops are drilled, alongside regular rank and file tactics,  to fight in open order.
This method of fighting was brought in for three reasons;
1.Due to the small population density of Bodstonia it is not possible to maintain and therefore field a large regular army, one which is capable of fighting in the volleyfire tactics so prefered on the mainland.
This tactic also leads to unnaceptable casualty rates..firing into the packed ranks nearly always leading, if not to a death, then an injury, especially when under cannon fire.
2. The disparity of weapons. The regular troops, the 1st Regiment of foot, the Bodstan Fusiliers, is equiped with the same type and bore of muskets, but the Folks Militia has a wide range of musket types, some even using shotguns and blunderbusses. This disparity, in a rank and file system would lead to varying  loading and firing times.
3. Topography. The main areas around Bodston are largely cleared of forests but still are hilly and broken with hilly rocky outcrops meaning that forming up in rank and file is only possible on the rarest of occasions.

The main battle tactic would start with the troops entering the field and taking up position towards the enemy in two extended ranks.The spacing between each rank and each man withing each rank is that of two paces.
Closed order the opening order with which the troops enter the field..enemy to the front.

The command, Officer,  Staff sergeant, drummer and standard bearer, form up in the centre of the two ranks.
At a signal from the Staff Sergeant, both ranks move outwards from the command, to the left and right until a spacing of 5 paces between each man.
The front rank now moves 3 paces forward, kneels anfd lays on. The rear rank then moves 3 paces to the left (left of command) and 3 to the right (right of command). It kneels and makes ready.
This  opens and  staggers the ranks, enabling the rear rank to fire through the front rank without hinderance.
Fully deployed in open order

Attacking/Advance (Open Ground)
From the deployed position, the front rank remains kneeling, the rear rank stands and runs forward 10 paces ending up 5 paces to the front. They kneel and lay on,  the now rear rank stands and the procedure is repeated until contact is made.
The command always remains in the rear rank. The number of paces that are to be moved can be altered depending on the proximity of the enemy and the lay of the land.

Attacking/Advance (Broken ground)
When advancing in broken ground, woods etc, the company is broken into pre-arranged 4 man units. These then act as if attacking over open ground, though in this case each unit acts independantly of the rest, shortening or lengthening thier advance in consideration to the lay of the land but keeping an eye to not staggering the battle line to drastically, signalling to each other by voice or hand signals.
Advancing in "4´s"

Defence (Open Ground)
In certain circumstances a concentration of firepower is required. In this situation  the front rank kneels and lays on. The rear rank then stands and moves to within 2 paces of the front rank. They then move from the left and right towards the centre until they are within two paces between each man. They then kneel and lay on. The front rank then stands and moves towards the center until they are also within two paces between each man observing that the end up in a staggered line to the rear rank. They then kneel and lay on.. Basically then form up in a close order formation, the only difference being that the two ranks are staggered.
Moving into close order from open order

Closed order with two paces between each man

In either open or deployed formations. The rear rank kneels and lays on whilst the front rank stands and moves 10 paces to the rear. They then turn to face the enemy, kneel and lay on as the second rank stands and moves 10 paces to the rear and so on.
Withdrawal in close order
Changing Flank
The Staff sergeant holds his staff along the line that the troops are to take up. The outer most "4´s" then move as rapidly as possible, revolving around the command in the centre. This is a difficult manouvre, which requires a lot of training and is best carried out when militia or mounted infantry are available to cover the exposed troops as they move into position
Flank change to face the left.

These skirmish tactics are only used by the regular troops or seasoned militiamen as untrained troops will encounter problems.
The main problem is with bunching or thining  of the battle line, especially in broken ground
The tactic of moving into defense or changing flank can also become problematic for unseasoned troops but drilled troops resolve this with the extremes (farthest left and right of centre) moving faster to quickly close or open any required spacing.

The Militia are, in a battle situation, put to the left and or right of the main regular battle line in support of any mounted infantry, defend and aid the artillery and to act as a mobile reserve.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Adahy ("Live´s in the woods")

Member of the Native tribe, the Illini. Adahy is a man of few words who can dissapear into the wilderness for months at a time, appearing as if called to aid and assist James Forrester and the Albon Brothers on thier quests to map and record the "unknown" areas of Bodstonia.
He speaks, along with several native dialects, Bodstonian
His age is unknown but he must be in his 40´s. No wife has been seen or mentioned

Monday, 27 August 2012

Bodstonian Anthem - "The Flashing Blade"

Penned by Ebenezah Bladewell in 1717 to mark the 1st year of Bodstonias independance from the mainland.
Interested parties can listen to the Anthem HERE sung by the Bodstonian Folks choir, instrumentation by the Folks Orchestra.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Symphonie DelaCroix

Symphonie (19) is alone in the world..her parents, both artists of some renown,  were killed in a boating tradegy. Fortunately, for Symphonie,  they left behind a not inconsiderable sum of money in the bank and the  family home .
Not being able to reconcile her feelings of loss whilst living in the family  home, Symphonie sold it and on the spur of the moment boarded  a ship leaving for Bodstonia.
This was just over two years ago, in which time Symphonie has started to paint, draw and write, an enterprise in which she has some sucess as Bodstonia lacked a cohesive artistic community.
She has become the head of a small group of like minded ladies, and the occasional rare Gentleman.
James Forrester has been known to attend the occasional book reading, much to the delight of Symphonie.

A large barn in Bodston has been converted into a rough and ready playhouse for the purpose of putting on plays and musical soirees. With the support of Jeremiah Coleman, mainly because Jeremiah´s Wife, Anne, is part of the Bodstonian Ladies of Culture group, there have been moves made towards garnering support from the council of 12 to have a purpose built playhouse created.

Symphonie has  had several "proposals" from the  Menfolk of Bodston, all of which she has politely declined and has only shown interest for one man in the whole of Bodstonia..James Forrester.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Harmonie and Melanie Turset

Harmonie and Melanie, daughters of Thomas (41) and Hannah Turset (40)
Thomas has a large cloth trading business, importing nearly 3/4´s of all the cloth into Bodstonia and exporting the same percentage of furs and skins abroad. They have also a considerable cotton farm.

Melanie (18) is a very outgoing young lady, whose interests revolve mainly around horses,two of which she owns herself.. This equine interest has brought her into contact and the notice of Bradley Ashyt. They are well matched although no proposal of marriage has been made.
She also shoots for a hobby, can handle a rapier quite well and plays cards.
Melanie at home with her 4 legged friends
Harmonie (21) is bethrothed to Charles Livesy, Captain of the Artillery section of the 1st Regiment of Foot, the Bodstonian Fusiliers. Harmonie has a shrewd mind for figures, at a glance she can spot a deal that will bring her monetary gain. She sings and plays the harpsichord with ease.
The wedding is scheduled to take place in the May of next year...that is if their new house will be finished by then.
Classic "habitat" for Harmonie..a ballroom

Monday, 20 August 2012

Jeremiah Colemann

Jeremiah Coleman of the Pentridge Colemans, Colonel of the  1st Regiment of foot, the Bodston Fusiliers.
Born in 1679, he served with distinction in the Army on the mainland. He entered at the rank of captain and  slowly bought and worked his way up through the ranks.
After recieving a large sum of  money from his father, he was among the first to move  to Bodstonia, setting up a saw mill, became the main supplier of timber in Bodstonia and to the mainland which greatly increased the families riches.
Loyal to the core, although a bit hot tempered at times, he has a shrewd eye for tactics although he has been prone in difficult situation to let his temper get the better of him.
This fiery side to his character proved to be of advantage at the battle of Trapton in 1702, during the Great war of the Federations, when at the age of only 23, he rallied two companys of grenadiers and then led an assault on an  enemy redoubt, capturing the guns therein and turning the tide of the battle.
For this, The city of Styrow on the Foam gave him the freedom of the city and he was promoted to the rank of major.
Married to Anne (Born 1682) he has three children, Elizabeth, 31, Rupert, 29 and Walter, 28.
His father, also called Jeremiah, is the Major elect of Pentridge, a town some 25 leagues North of Styrow on the Foam

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Braunstone Brothers

Builders. Everyone need them and Bodstonia is no different. They repair, mend and build the homes and workplaces of the population.
The town of Bodston has a team of builders, the brothers Emmet (37), Francis (36) and Peter (34) Braunstone.
When there´s no or not enough building or repair work to keep them employed, Francis and Peter work on the local farms whilst Emmett works in Jeremiah Coleman´s Sawmill.
All three of them are the Folks Militia, Emmet with the rank of Group leader.
From left to right, Peter, Emmett and Francis

Here the brothers are preparing the ground for a log cabin, built on a plot of land recently aquired by the DeWitt family. As the project is out of town the brothers sleep in a tent next to the site. The clothes they wear are typical of Bodstonian manual labourers. Britches have been replaced by trousers as they offer more protection to the shins. The hats are of a simple design, but being made of thick felt they offer some head protection.

From a slightly higher vantage point we can see the staking out of the eventual position of the cabin on the DeWitt´s Plot of land. Posts are hammered in to mark the lines of the Log cabins walls.

The positioning of buildings upon a plot is  the owners choice, although a couple of basic rules need to be observed.
1. The outer wall of the building should be no less than 2 stick lengths (2 meters) near to the border of the plot.
2. The building should be no less than 4 stick lengths (4 meters)  from the track, road or thorofare.

These basic rules are to help prevent the spread of fire and if needed, give room to expand the width of any tracks or roads running along the property.
The measurement "the Stick" was first introduced to Bodstonia after the Lord Protector, Bartholomew Motesfont used it in a small land dispute. At the time there was no measuring device readily to hand and Bartholomew, in a rare fit of pique, threw his walking stick down onto the floor with the words "by the stick!!!" Since then his walking stick, known as the "Protectors Yard" is the basic unit of land measurement in Bodstonia. The "Protectors Yard" is roughly 1 meter in other world measurments)
The phrase "by the stick!" has been adopted as  the rallying cry of the Bodstonian Folks Militia, meaning "look to the standard".
Obviously in the town these rules do not apply as they were only brought in in the 6th year of Bodstonias existance and after a substantial part of the town had already been built.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Children´s Toys and Games

As allover, rich or poor, children play a wide variety of games, they are by nature inquisitive and inventive and no less than anywhere else than in Bodstonia.
It would be long and exhaustive to relate all the games played but a few examples of the most popular ones will be illustrated here.

The first game is one involving  horseshoes and is called, perhaps not suprisingly, Horseshoes. A post is driven into the ground. Players throw their horseshoes, usually 3 per player, at this post from a set distance. Points are scored for those that encircle the post, lower points are given for shoes that lean on or touch the post.

A similar game involving throwing is called "Huzzlecap" and uses coins, when they were available. The goal is to "capture" pennies by tossing your coin to land on top of your opponent's. This game is considered a form of gambling and is frowned upon by the adult Bodstonians.

A common toy used by all children, more so the younger ones, is one called "Catch the hobbit". This involves a stick, at one end of which is a small cup and a ball which is joined to the stick by means of a string. The object is to flip the ball and try to catch it in the cup.

Another is the spinning top. This is either one driven by simply turning it with the hand or wrapping a string around the top handle.
The aim of the game is to keep the top spinning longer than any other, using a small whip to aid in this end.

Jackstraws is a game played by the Native children and taught to Bodstonian  youngsters. Native children play the game using grass or reed straws whereas Bodstonian children use coloured wooden sticks. The object of the game is to drop a bundle of sticks -- usually 31 -- and pick them up, one at a time, without moving another stick in the process. The child with the most sticks at the end is the winner

Of course, a great favourite among the female youngsters of Bodstonia are thier dolls. These come in a large range of variations, from the simple rough rag doll of the lower orders to the specially made dolls of the richer children with porcelain heads and hands.
To the right we can see examples of girls dolls with their owners.

"Hoop" is another game played by both sexes. It is basic in it´s nature but highly popular. A simple wooden hoop is "whipped" along by the means of a small stick, "Hoop" races being common.

Boys, and indeed a great number of the older Bodstonian males have an interest in collecting and "wargaming" with sets of toy soldiers. These are usually made out of lead which can make them an expensive item but skilled craftsmen are able to produce wooden toys soldiers, and most  fathers will whittle a few such figures for his son during the long winter nights.

Among the  most expensive of toys are "Automatons" These wind up tinplate toys are quite amazing to behold, some of the most expensive performing several actions...even walking, issuing noises and some even produce smoke !!!
Here we see an "automaton" of a poor gentleman being assaulted by a mythical beast, the "tigre"

Lastly, the Rocking horse. As with the dolls, these can be either very ornate, realistic paintwork, and having saddles, bridles etc or basic wooden representations of the equine creature.

There are of course a great many other games played by the children of Bodstonia, those involving balls, those with cards and a great many more. As written at the begining of this small treatise on childrens Toys and Games, children are similar the world over. If you, in your part of the world see a child happily at play with marbles, a skipping rope or banging a small toy drum, then it is of guarantee that they will at some point play the very  same in Bodstonia.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Bodstons Fort Artillery

Here we see a  6pdr and a 20pdr held in the town´s main fort. 10 pieces in total, six 6pdr´s and four 20pdr´s.
Rarely are these guns taken outside of the fort, the Bodston Fusilers having two 2pdrs that are intended to  escort them into the field.
Along with the Folks Militia, the artillery and the Marines of the Fort are under direct control of the  Lord Protector, Bartholomew Motesfont
"Mary" one of the 6pdr´s and one of the four 20pdr´s, ( known as the 4 "Puddies")
On this occassion we see a team of the gunners from the fort out for a range day, testing their skills as a gun team in not only hitting a target but the time in which it takes to re-load thier guns.
Generally only two of the 6pdr´s will be used on a range day along with two teams chosen from a rota system.
Each team vys to better the other, the punishment for the loosing team? They have to supply the winners with free ale that evening..with drinking bouts going on long into the night, this can be expensive, not only on the purse but on the next days constitution. The reason why gunnery practice is held on a saturday and then,  not every saturday!!
These "shoot downs" have become a small event in Bodstonian life. A small fair is set up near the range with people turning up from far and wide to see which team comes out trumps. Bets are placed and an unnoficial  "Team League Table" is created each year, the top team recieving a small purse and a gold plaque which is  attached to the winning guns carriage.
It has even drawn attention of the "upper orders" with a party being held in celebration on the weekend of the last "shoot down" the so called Cannon Ball.

Monday, 13 August 2012


James Forrester and his two faithfull companions, the  brothers Pierre and Pascal Albon, 23 and 24 years old respectively.
The brothers are extremely  experienced woodsmen, crackshots and expert trackers.
They keep themselves to themselves, living in a log cabin on the very edge of the uncharted  native territories, virtually thier only contact with civilisation being James, Adahy* or an occasional Army patrol.
They finance their living through selling of furs and meat.
Pierre and Pascal, living where they do, have a extensive knowledge of the native language and customs..although not everything is known about the natives, hence the need for the three to travel deep withing the interior, mapping and learning as they go.

The three companions setting off on another adventure
Pierre and Pascal

James Takes aim to shoot tonights dinner

Their two mules, Dora and Dotty
* Adahy ("Live´s in the woods") is a Native who often goes on the companions journeys. He is wary of being seen by "outsiders", hence his not being in this set of pictures.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Bartholomew Motesfont - Lord Protector

Born in 1670, Bartholomew Motesfont is one of the richest men in Bodstonia, his fortune made through the steel industry which he sold off 12 years ago, retiring to come to Bodstonia.
He carries the  Title of "Lord Protector" and is married to Agatha (born 1672)
They have two children, Clementine (36) and Stuart (39)
This is an elected Titel not an inherited one. The election takes place every 2 years, postponed in times of   emergency, and is decided by a Pyramid system of voting. He abides over a council of 12, the only permanent members of which are Jeremiah Colemann and  Judge  Cornelius Makepeace.
The duties of Lord Protector include;
Protector of the land..deciding final usage of land and any disputes
C & C of the Military in Times of war.
Deciding Vote in the council...although this use of this is considered to be  an indication of the failure of the council´s abilities.
Lord Protector is the only person allowed to wear a bi-corn.
His walking stick is known as  the "Protectors Yard"

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Company A of the 1st Regiment of Foot, the Bodstonian Fusiliers

Created in 1716 from the local Militia, The Bodston Fusiliers consists of four  20 man Companys, A - D.  Attached to them is a field artillery section of 16 men with two 2pdr cannons, an 8 man squadron of dragoons.
Added to the Fusiliers is the Folks Militia of Bodstonia. The  strength of the Militia is variable  but seeing as all able persons can take part in the militia thier numbers are at least twice that of the regular troops.

The Bodston Fusiliers are affectionately known as Colemans "Mustards" due to thier Uniform colour of Mustard yellow, a nickname which they have taken to heart as it suits the fiery nature of thier commander Colonel Jeremiah Coleman.
Range day. Company A practices Volley fire by Ranks.
A Company has the privelage of carrying the Bodstonian Standard
Staff Sergeant Obediah Hardwill. He lost his left hand not in combat but in a sawmill accident.

Company Colours of The 1st Regiment of Foot, the Bodstonian Fusiliers
Cockade on the tricorn in silver, the buttons Gold

A Company
B Company

C Company
D Company

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Bodstonian Gentlemen

Dr Greyham Watt.

Dr Watt is the leading   Dr in  Bodstonia and owns the only apothecary.
Born in 1666, he was among the very first to come to Bodstonia in 1714.

Possibly Dr Watts most prized possesions, his medical instruments.

James Forrester

Born in the same year as Bradley Ashyt, James is Bodstonias adventurer and map maker, although you wouldn´t guess it by his quiet and some would say, shy nature. 
He is Polite and curtiess to all, but when on his travels he dresses in buckskins, racoon hat and has be known to literally "go where no man has been before" (No Bodstian man that is) taking on the mannerisms of a woodsman. In one instance he even fought with a bear..his only defence being a knife.
This oddity in his character lead some to believe he is schizophrenic but others say he represents the true nature of a man, that of using the head to control his animal passions.
James is,  alongside Jeremiah Cheesman, Joint commander of the Bodston Folks Militia.
Here we can see him tipping his hat as he  rushes busily past Symphonie Delacroix. Symphonie secretly admires James, the attention she pays him has, as of yet, not been reciprocated but time will tell.
An Artists representation of the Famed Bear fight.

Bradley Ashyt esq

Born 1710, this young man inherited some not inconsiderable moneys on his 18th birthday and has used it to build the largest set of stables on Bodstonia.
He has shown some interest in Melanie Turset, who like him shares a passion for horseriding and hunting.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Mr Cheeseman - School Teacher

Jeremiah  Cheeseman, Born 1679, referred  to by  his pupils (the cheeky less studious ones) as "Cheesy" or more indearingly, especially by former Pupils  as "Old Cheesy" is the towns School teacher. With his wife Cordette he runs the little school of Bodston. The school bell will ring at 07.30 and the pupils are expected to be in thier seats by 08.00 prompt and ready to learn until 14.30, 5 days a week.
The class sizes vary, schooling not being compulsory and the lesser well off, especially during the harvest,  keep thier children away to help with the extra work.
He teaches maths, English and history. He also teaches some science but this only to the older pupils and mainly to the boys.
His wife Cordette, Born 1681,  teaches Sewing and Drawing..mainly the use of colours rather than anything technical.
He is definately old school,  so the pupils can expect a piece of chalk to whizz in thier direction for small misdemeanors and 6 of the best for major ones.
Mr Cheesemans other role is that in times of emergency he acts as a doctor. Though not trained as one and lacking expertise in matters such as medicines, he has some knowledge of the internal workings. He can,  to  satisfactory degree,  fix a bone, remove a musket ball and has through his efforts saved the life of many a fellow  Bodstonian.
Jeremiah is, alongside James Forrester,  joint commander of the Bodston Folks Militia

Mr Cheeseman teaching an english lesson. For the sharp eyed among you you can see that it is  late summer, August in the year 1731 to be precise.

The  Bodston School house with Mrs Cheeseman standing at the door.

No shuffling of feet or hiding of "illicit" objects in this school. Seats designed to keep backs straight and benches for older children to sit next to and aid the younger members of the class.

The Cheesmans where married at the turn of the century, 1700 and have no children of thier own.