Le Zharregular Progress 5

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The Bretonnian Connection

Bienvenue mes chers, c’est Vanvlak avec l’edition numero 5 de Zharregular Progress and the first English-French edition (wait until I get a craze for dogs of war!). The progress of my poor Nains de Chaos has been stopped by the wrong and businessy end of a lance. After years of futile searching (well, an hour or so) I dug up an online forum for Maltese Warhammer players, and found a few old friends there. I also spent the odd quarter of an hour trying to discover which of my Warhammer army books (it’s a very warhammery club) is still up to date: the only three are Wood Elves, Bretonnians and Khemri.  So it seems I’ll be building a Bretonnian army.

But why Bretonnians? Pragmatically, because rumours are rife that my Khemri army book will soon be obsolete, whilst my Wooden plans involved piles of conversions and more counts than a vampire army. Counts-as, that is. But quite apart from these mundane considerations lies the troubling fact that I often think the Bretonnians are the best Warhammer army. Not because of their lances (and this includes both the weapon and the formation), or their vows or multiple characters. Not even because of my historical victory at the head of a borrowed Bretonnian army of 2750 points against the infamous Dark Elves (I always had problems with the Dark side of Pointy-ears) – this incidentally was back in 4th (or was it 5th?) edition Warhammer, and the army had more cards than Vegas describing its myriad magic items. No. I like to believe (I want to believe!) that it’s because barring hippogryphs and pegasi and sorceresses, this is the Warhammer army closest to a historical force (the Empire comes close, but has steam tanks as well). And I have always admired historical wargamers. I am making a genuine effort to become one, but I am still halted by my Napoleonic koumpounophobia (fear of buttons, or rather, fear of painting the wrong number of buttons on a uniform sleeve). In fact my only historical models to date are German barbarians with far less than the average number of buttons holding up their trews.

My Bretonnian adventure has also been rekindled by digging up some old knights and archers. We might – fingers crossed here, please – be moving house, and I’m already planning the great emigration of orks and kindred plastic and metal souls, a splendid excuse for digging through strata of buried troops. The Brets luckily reside in one single box (well almost, I’m missing a unit of peasants and a Pegasus) which means I could determine that I more or less can manage a 2000 point armee.

But what about the poor old Chaos Dwarfs? Is this the end of the line for them?

No way. My drifting fancy is far too Brownian in nature, and although I’m currently pondering the wisdom of having an army led by a general on foot (sacre bleu!), I know the short hated gentlemen will re-emerge quite soon. Meanwhile, a wargaming friend is writing up rules for the 30 years war; another is coming to visit from a far country, and would like to try Warhammer; and I’m getting dragged into an Aeronef project of sorts….. This means that my old English Civil War troops might end up as slightly updated 30 years war cannon fodder. It also means that in one month’s time I would have to have completed a new Warhammer army in time for the wargames tourist (unless I want a Chaos civil war game). And finally, my beloved old Aeronefs might take to the skies again.

I have to confess a love for all things VSF. The idea of great clanking steam engines was boosted by a recent visit to SS Great Britain in Bristol, and I’m itching to continue working on my Aeronef fleet – an alliance between the Knights of St John, a Vatican-sponsored fleet, Venetians and a few Royal Aerial Navy ships to boot. The latter include HMAS Platypus, currently assigned to a shadowy organization named ‘Torchwood’.

Aeronef HMAS Platypus flying the Torchwood flag.

But what about the Bretonnians then? Are they already forgotten?

Only time – and Zharregular Progress 6 – will tell.

Ca va.

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