Thursday, May 13, 2010

Grand Duchy of Poppenheim

In the grand tradition of Emperor vs. Elector, Gaming with Chuck presents the Grand Duchy of Poppenheim, a petty state of the Furstenberger province of Simia - located smack dab in the middle of Balkania.

The ruler of Poppenheim during the War of the Pumpkin-King Succession was Grand Duke Charles. He comes from a long line of gourd farmers in the Poppen line. His ambitions were to expand pumpkin patronage to not only the middle class, but also to the growing ranks of gourd-artists among his citizenry. During the Pumpkin-King crisis of 1696, he came into dispute (over the throne of the Pumpkin-King) with Prince Peter of Bombastia, which quickly resulted in armed conflict.

The three branches of the Poppenheim army were the Infantry, the Cavalry and the Artillery (not uncommon for European armies of the time, such as that of Sweden). In the field, such an army was often divided up into three "battles", corresponding to a central division, and two wing divisions. Within these, cavalry was not infrequently mixed with infantry, and it is a mistake to consider these divisions as the separate and flexible organizations found later in Napoleonic era armies.

The infantry of Poppenheim was organized into Regiments, which consisted of a number of companies of Musketeers, as well as a company of Grenadiers. The Grenadiers from a number of regiments would sometimes be converged together into a "converged regiment". Each of the Royal Duchy regiments were named for the town from which they were mustered. A number of nobles, supportive of the Duke, also raised independent regiments that were known by the name of their patron Nobleman.

The cavalry are also organized into Regiments, with a number of different types. Armored cavalry as well as dragoons are popular (the dragoons still fighting dismounted as often as mounted). Light, irregular cavalry were sometimes hired from the Carfathian mountains to the west, being usually tribal Bosniaks.

The artillery of the Poppenheim army is a strange creation. The individual guns are owned by skilled "artisan" artillery crewmen, and serve the Duke and his army at their own will (and for money). Because of this, artillery is somewhat unreliable, especially strategically. While a gun and crew may show up on a battle, in support of the army, there is no guarantee that it will follow the army on the march to the next engagement.

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