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Author Topic: Lady Simone & the Royal Sussex ‘Special Duties’ Detachment  (Read 2449 times)

Offline Genghis

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 625
Lady Simone & the Royal Sussex ‘Special Duties’ Detachment
« on: January 01, 2014, 07:17:54 PM »
Rather long I'm afraid, I got carried away

Having stumbled upon some rather splendid Steampunk/VSF figures (not normally my genre), and subsequently IHMN as an excuse to get them, I got the main rules for Christmas.  I’ve put together the following fluff (quite long I’m afraid) & initial draft of the Company roster.  I’ve got the female figures on order at the moment, but will await their arrival before I buy the soldiers, so I can make sure I get ones of an appropriate size (the ladies are all supposedly 32mm, so I’m guessing ‘regular’ 28mm soldiers won’t work – I’m thinking probably Dystopian Legions or Victoria Miniatures may be suitable).  Either way, I’ve still got ~40 vehicles to paint for my Flames of War company first, so it’s going to be a while before I actually get round to realising this company in a playable form (& then work on finding someone who plays IHMN), but in the meantime, I’d appreciate any relevant constructive criticism of my conceptual efforts thus far.  (All pictures are from the web, not my painting)

Lady Simone

Lady Simone was 12 when her mother was murdered.  At the time, her father, Major General the Right Honourable Earl Grey (then a Lieutenant Colonel) was the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion of the newly amalgamated Royal Sussex Regiment.  The 1st Royal Sussex was despatched to Egypt in the summer of 1882 as part of an expedition to quell the Urabi Revolt.  Taking the opportunity to broaden his daughter’s horizons, the Earl brought his family with him, dispatching them to Cairo whilst he got on with the business of soldering. 

On 03 Oct, whilst returning from a visit to the Pyramids, Lady Grey and her daughter’s carriage fell in with a small, but heavily armed, British column that had been conducting unspecified official business at the Pyramids.  Feeling adequately protected by the presence of the British column, Lady Grey sent her small protective detail of Royal Sussex riflemen on ahead to alert the household staff in Cairo of her impending return.  However, on the outskirts of Cairo, in the gloom of dusk, the column was attacked.  Amidst the sound of gunfire, Lady Grey managed to hide Simone under a seat in their carriage and then sat and prayed, hoping that the British column would prevail.  By the time loyal Egyptian forces arrived, everyone in the column was dead, with several corpses showing signs of execution.  Lady Grey had also been killed, shot in her carriage.  The relief force found the young Lady Simone still hiding under the carriage seat, physically unharmed, but somewhat traumatised by events.

The official explanation attributed the attack to bandits allied to the rebel Colonel Urabi and that Lady Grey’s death was awfully unfortunate, but one of those things that happen in the less civilised parts of the world.  However, when Earl Grey began investigating, several facts didn’t quite add up.  Nothing had been obviously stolen or looted, neither arms from the column, nor valuables from the carriage, although Simone thought there might have been one less wagon than the column had when they joined it.  No enemy dead were left on the field of battle (although blood stains indicated that they had suffered casualties), which was unusual, let alone that a heavily armed British column had been overrun.  Whilst hiding, Simone heard some of the attackers speaking French.  Finally, the Earl could find no official reason for the presence of the column in the first place. 

When he took his concerns to his superiors, the Earl was told that French support to the current British efforts in Egypt was too important to jeopardise by asking awkward questions, and anyway, it was “clearly native bandits, dear chap”.  Shortly thereafter, the Earl was visited by a mysterious gentleman from Whitehall who made it abundantly clear that it was in the Earl’s best interests to pursue the matter no further.  Thus, the whole affair was brushed under the carpet and Lady Simone grew up not knowing why her mother had been murdered, only that the French were involved somehow.

On her 21st birthday, Lady Simone told her father that she wanted to find out who killed her mother and bring them to justice, and that given the official pressure that prevented him from so doing, she would do so on her own.  Knowing how strong-willed his daughter was, the Earl appreciated that there would be no stopping her, so he might as well use his position in the War Office and old regimental ties to discreetly support her (not to mention that he also sought the same ends).  Fortunately, Lady Simone’s upbringing had been a little more replete with martial skills than was perhaps considered ladylike so, equipped with the finest equipment daddy’s money and influence could provide, accompanied by a couple of maids (and a small detachment of Royal Sussex soldiers when required), she began the pursuit of her mother’s murderers.

Four years later, Lady Simone has established that a shadowy French organisation with some form of connection to the French Government was responsible for the attack, but is still pursuing those responsible.  Through his connections in the War Office and the House of Lords, Earl Grey manages to feed her occasional leads to investigate.  A few other peers have been taken into his confidence and also provide him with what leads they can unearth; having a small team operating outside of government knowledge and control being a useful organisation to have in their debt.  As such, Lady Simone occasionally finds herself conducting activities in support of these peers, in return for information.  When not actively pursuing leads on her mother’s murderers, Lady Simone will often discretely deploy her force to fight the evil that assails the Empire.  She claims this is just “to keep my hand in” but in truth, despite her need for revenge, she is a good person at heart and seeks to protect the weak and innocent from the fate that befell her mother.

Miss Lisa

Miss Lisa is the daughter of the Grey family cook.  A couple of years older than Lady Simone, the two were childhood playmates and grew up together.  Although perhaps somewhat improper, Earl Grey was content for his daughter to befriend the child of one of the staff as it kept her happy – especially after the death of her mother.  The two girls loved exploring the family estate at Petworth and eventually badgered the gamekeeper into teaching them how to shoot, with Lisa showing a particular natural aptitude for it.  Although good with a shotgun, it was when the Earl was persuaded to ‘acquire’ a spare rifle from the Regimental depot that Lisa’s marksmanship really became apparent.  Upon reaching a suitable age, Lisa was formally taken on as Lady Simone’s lady’s maid. 

There was something of a scandal at the 1890 Royal Sussex Regiment annual marksmanship competition.  Lady Simone and her maid came to watch the shooting and managed to talk some of the Subalterns into a wager that her maid could outshoot any man in the Regiment.  Humoring the old Regimental Colonel’s daughter (and with no intent to actually take her money), Miss Lisa was permitted to take her turn at the firing point and then proceeded to shoot a winning score, causing red faces all round.  When Lady Simone began her quest for revenge, there was never any doubt that Miss Lisa would accompany her, and the Earl gifted her a custom made Purdey hunting rifle with a specially commissioned Carl Zeiss telescopic sight.

Miss Emily

Thinking that a second maid would be in order for when his daughter began her ‘travels’, the Earl made some discreet enquiries to find the right women for the job.  The enquiries eventually lead to Miss Emily, who, whilst being somewhat evasive about her past, nevertheless had some excellent references from people the Earl could trust.  She had somehow acquired some fairly advanced field medicine skills and had a small mechanical terrier, called Gaspode, that she carried around in her medical basket and growled menacingly whenever anyone appeared to be ‘inappropriate’ towards her.  Emily is not blessed with Lisa’s skill at arms, so the Earl provided her with a blunderbuss “to keep the riff-raff away”.

Sergeant Faulkner & the Riflemen of the Royal Sussex Regiment

Sergeant Faulkner was one of the Privates sent ahead by Lady Grey that fateful day in 1882; although the Earl knew there would likely have been nothing his men could have done had they been present, Faulkner blamed himself for not being there.  Faulkner subsequently took part in the Nile Expedition (the unsuccessful attempt to save General Gordon and his garrison at Khartoum), where he earned his Corporal’s stripes.  After a transfer to the 2nd Battalion, Faulkner fought with distinction in the North West Frontier, being promoted to Sergeant before being selected for secondment to the Prince of Wales’ Extraordinary Company. 

Knowing that his daughter would need protection (and probably firepower) whilst on her ‘travels’, the Earl drew upon his old Regimental ties to secure the temporary detachment of a number of men for unspecified ‘special duties.’  The Earl also tracked down Faulkner at Horseguards and offered him the opportunity to lead this special detachment.  Despite meaning he would have to turn down an impending promotion in the Prince of Wales’ Extraordinary Company, Faulkner leapt at the chance to atone for his self-perceived previous failure.  Thus, whenever she is abroad from the Petworth estate on ‘official business’, Lady Simone is accompanied by the grizzled Sergeant Faulkner and a small detachment of Royal Sussex Privates. 

Although the Royal Sussex soldiers are largely equipped with standard weaponry, the Earl is occasionally able to use his influence to get the Regimental depot involved in trials of new equipment.  As long as the equipment is returned to the depot with the appropriate trials paperwork completed, no one asks too many questions as to the nature of the trials.  (At least not after a young armourer, who enquired just how one of the new Bulldog walkers got so much sand in it on Salisbury Plain, suffered a mild case of broken arm after ‘falling down the stairs’.)

Magneto-Static Corset:  A more ladylike variant of the Magneto-Static Waistcoat

Improved Magneto-Static Corset:  Light, Rating 10, costs 4 pts

Steely Poise:  Combines Inspirational & Erudite Wit, costs 15 pts (the steely calm of a young lady in combat inspires the chaps & is confusingly unnerving to the enemy)

Gaspode the (Mechanical) Wonder Dog:  FV +3, 1-handed, Pluck -2, costs 6 pts (a mechanical terrier that Miss Emily carries around in her basket of medical supplies, he comes to her aid should she find herself accosted & unleashes a whirling ball of sharp-toothed mechanical fury)

Stiletto Knife:  A small knife, easily concealable about a lady’s person, can’t be thrown, costs 2 pts

Rifle Scope:  A bit like a Monocular Targeting Array


To be determined (dependant upon what models I end up with), but pretty much as for the British Army options from the main book.

At 250 pts, I can take all 4 named characters, and 4 Riflemen with Bayonet Drill.  I could also drop Miss Lisa’s rifle scope & take 2 Riflemen with Bayonet Drill & 2 Riflemen with Marksman.
Instagram: @genghis_toy_soldiers

2023 - Figures Acquired: 35  Figures Painted: 40
2022 - Figures Acquired: 59  Figures Painted: 54
2021 - Figures Acquired: 56  Figures Painted: 60
2020 - Figures Acquired: 63  Figures Painted: 92
2019 - Figures Acquired: 85  Figures Painted: 50

Offline shadowking1957

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Re: Lady Simone & the Royal Sussex ‘Special Duties’ Detachment
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 08:17:11 PM »
wonderful minis and company

Offline Craig

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Re: Lady Simone & the Royal Sussex ‘Special Duties’ Detachment
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 05:45:07 AM »
A splendid effort.

In the supplement Heroes, Villains and Fiends there is a 'shadowy French organisation' called Le Cabinet Noir...
My sincerest contrafibularities
General Lord Craig Arthur Wellesey Cartmell (ret'd)

Offline Genghis

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 625
Re: Lady Simone & the Royal Sussex ‘Special Duties’ Detachment
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 04:38:00 PM »
A splendid effort.

In the supplement Heroes, Villains and Fiends there is a 'shadowy French organisation' called Le Cabinet Noir...

Hmm, they could well be the baddies that Lady Simone is seeking vengeance against.  I'll probably get HV&F in a few months - I've got a lot of Flames of War stuff to finish before I get properly started with IHMN, but I am very much looking forward to a little slice of something completely different.

Offline The_Beast

  • Supporting Adventurer
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  • As my grandchildren see me...
Re: Lady Simone & the Royal Sussex ‘Special Duties’ Detachment
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 06:07:13 PM »
Hmm, they could well be the baddies that Lady Simone is seeking vengeance against. 

British lies and innuendos!  :D


Offline Scorpio

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Re: Lady Simone & the Royal Sussex ‘Special Duties’ Detachment
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014, 12:57:34 PM »
British lies and innuendos!  :D

That should be the name of the third supplement.

"Seriously, there is an outrageous amount of running involved."

Offline Conquistador

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Re: Lady Simone & the Royal Sussex ‘Special Duties’ Detachment
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2014, 02:20:08 PM »
Abigale's face/ears imply Elvish genes to me!   ;)

Those are really nice miniatures, can't wait ti see how you do them.


Viva Alta California!  Las guerras de España,  Las guerras de las Américas,  Las guerras para la Libertad!

Offline Genghis

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 625
Re: Lady Simone & the Royal Sussex ‘Special Duties’ Detachment
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2014, 04:14:11 PM »
Abigale's face/ears imply Elvish genes to me!   ;)

I was thinking something similar, I'll see how the actual figure looks when it arrives.  I shall indeed post some photos once I've got them painted, although that is likely to be several months hence.  Hopefully I'll be able to do the sculpts justice - I suspect they'll require some slightly different painting techniques than 15 mm Panzergrenadiers...


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