Bande of Pike & Shotte - 'The Lucky Dogs' Mercenary Company

rapier17

Baron
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    The Bande of Pike & Shotte is an English Company of Mercenaries from England, formed circa 1648/1649. With the resolution of the Second English Civil War these men, hardened by war, forged by battle and with no wish to return to dull civilian life, are left adrift in an England still suffering from the first and second wars. Gathered up by the former-Royalist Captain James Digby, these veteran souldiers are given direction and purpose. Political stance, nationality, religious views – none of these truly matter in 'the Lucky Dogs', as these hard-bitten soldiers call themselves. Loyalty, trust and a ton of gold is all they ask for now, besides food, drink and a good wench of course.
   
Originally, true to their name, the mercenaries were split in to two divisions, pikemen and musketeers, but, as time moved on and casualties mounted, the Bande has come to focus primarily upon the use of the firelock as opposed to the pike. When they need to be equipped with the pike they will present a ferocious unwavering barrier of sharpened steel but it is as a group of skirmishers, fighting in a  loose formation that takes advantage of cover and concealment, where they excel now.



   
        Nottingham, November 1648. As the snow settles upon the rooftops, five men meet within the Olde Trip to Jerusalem public inne. From first glances, even without the firelocks stacked against the wall and the tuck swords and rapier, they are obviously souldiers. Four of the men are dressed in common clothing, their coats a variety of faded reds with one in grey and the fifth man dressed richly as befitting his birthright. All of them wear the worn faces of veteran fighters, most of them have powder burns scarring their skin, their hair lank except for one whose head is as bald as a matchlocks stock. Between them they drink and discuss, discuss and argue, argue and eventually agree. They seal their agreement with a toast and drink to their enterprise, to their future. That night, as bitter winds cut through the streets and snow swirls above the rooftops, the men get drunk on their pact, to raise a company of mercenaries to fight in distant lands.

    The five mentioned are James Digby, David Stryker, Bleddyn-dwn, Wil Lambert and Richard Flockton. All are veterans of the first and second of the English Civil Wars. Between them they see no future in England indeed each has a reason to leave these shores. James Digby is horrified at turn of events that would see his King removed from his throne and held prisoner by common men. David Stryker feels as Digby does and worries that Puritanism will be forced upon every Englishman. Bleddyn-dwrn is one of those rare men who truly relishes a fight, while Wil Lambert and Richard Flockton know no other life except that of the souldier.

    There were others who thought as they, or indeed had their own reasons for wishing to leave the shores of England. In Nottingham Captain Digby and Serjeant Flockton gathered these veteran souldiers, recruiting them as men of the pike and matchlock, intent on finding employment in Europa.

    After landing in Eastern Europe in 1649 they almost immediately found employment with the Polish forces during the Khmelnytsky Uprising. It wasn't to be until 1654 that they emerged from that conflict, their numbers viciously whittled down. Taking stock in Sweden they began to recruit soulders hailing from across Europa. Realising that once again conflict loomed upon the horizon, Digby readied the Bande, or 'Lucky Dogs' as they had become known, for war. Soon they found themselves marching with the forces of Sweden into Poland.





Captain James Digby is better known upon these forums as Leifr Eiríksson (formerly Eiríkr Rauði), former developer of the Mount&Blade: Warband modification 'Vikingr' and once head of the Shieldings Clan.

Serjeant Richard Flockton is better known upon these forums as rapier17. A former 'long-term' player of the mod Vikingr, rapier17, also known as Leo, raised & led the Saxon clan Fyrd of Lewes which, under his leadership, enjoyed a long period as one of the largest and most organised clans within the Vikingr mod.  Richard is also a member of the English Civil War re-enactment society 'Tower Hamlets Trayned Bandes' and currently serves as a musketeer.

Between us we have plenty of experience with the game, with the Deluge, having played it in the past when it was the Unofficial With Fire & Sword mod, and both of us, as well as most of our members, have a keen interested in the c17 period. We are especially interested in the English Civil Wars which, along with its prelude and aftermath, we regard as one of the most fascinating periods in English history. The only division is in our allegiances – Digby is a staunch Royalist, Flockton a Parliamentarian.




Unlike clans we have run in the past, Eiríkr and I intend for the Bande to muster solely for events and to play together as and when we can or want to. There will be no obligation to attend training events, as there won't be any, no demand to give up time to attend events/matches you do not wish to participate in. The 'officers' of the Bande are merely there to give the members direction, to have figureheads the Bande can form and rally upon in the midst of battle, as well as take orders from.




Our intention, with recruitment, is to find like-minded people who wish to enjoy the Deluge without being overly serious about playing it, which is why we are intending to recruit purely by invitation. Whilst there won't be any training days/evenings as such, we will 'train' by playing together on public servers and mould ourselves in the flames of battle rather than on the training field.




We don't have a clan 'tag' for our members to display. All you need to have is an ENGLISH forename AND surname, connected by an underscore ( _ ). For example;

James_Digby
Richard_Flockton

The names must be relevant to the period and to underline our status as an English mercenary company. By looking at our roster you will notice that we do have some members with Scandinavian names - those are Scandinavian members of the Bande who were members at its founding.





































[size=8pt]Sometimes upon the battlefield there are those moments that defy the laws of physics, that beggar reason and make a mockery of absurdity. These moments drawn as much as they may be from skill, timing and luck deserve to be rewarded. Within the Bande we reward those moments with a medal or armband depending on how the award has been earnt. Each of the armbands or rewards is named after the first person to achieve them.


This badge is awarded to those who, under the eyes of the Bande's officers, manage to strike down an opponent from extreme ranges or successfully execute an extremely difficult shot.

The wind whipped away the bank of powder smoke to reveal a fresh bande of pikemen marching across the valley floor, their long brown coats flapping about their legs. Serjeant Richard Flockton, leaning against his halberd, watched the enemy march, pike hafts swaying with the wind, a tawny coloured flag carried before them. He took the pipes stem from between his lips and spat in contempt. Flockton turned towards the men of the Lucky Dogs arrayed across the slope and ran a professional eye across them. They were crouched in open order, six ranks deep by ten files across. Their red coats seemed oddly bright against the green grass. At the end of their formation Captain Digby and Ensigne Throckmorton stood to one side, their heads bowed, deeply engrossed in conversation. Flockton lifted his halberd high above his head, grey eyes gleaming as they roamed from one end of the formation to the other, before lowering the halberd's point towards the slow-moving enemy.  “There's your target. Medal and five scillings to any man who can knock one of 'em down!,” he bellowed.

The musketeers grinned at the impossibility of the task, some jeering the Serjeant who laughed and turned back to face the enemy. The range was over one hundred and fifty yards and they were lucky if they hit beyond fifty. However, on the far right hand end of the line stood the finest shot within the Bande, Corporal Wil Lambert. He looked the enemy regiment over with a jaundiced eye and grunted. He sucked hard on the stem of his clay pipe, the tobacco flaring brightly within the bowl.
In one fluid motion he drew his Tower Hanger from its scabbard and thrust it point first into the ground. He sat down with a grunt, legs crossed. Carefully he slid the blackened muzzle of the snaphanse between the knuckle guard and grip of the sword, using the weapons hilt as a makeshift rest. The fingers of his right hand hauled the lock back until it clicked uneasily into place. Lambert leaned down to reverently kiss the oiled wood of the weapon before seating it's iron shod butt into his shoulder.

Within the guns weapons breach lay a powder charge, a charge of finely ground powder that sat nestled in the rear of the weapon. Upon the charge lay a small piece of cloth, a bit of rag from an old shirt he had torn to pieces for this very purpose. A round lead ball, the smoothest sphere of those he carried, had been rammed tightly down onto the powder before yet another piece of wadding had been pushed down the muzzle. The wadding would contain the force of the blackpowder's explosion, putting as much powder behind the lead ball as possible.

About him Wil heard the coughs, snarls and bangs of matchlocks, wheellocks and snaplocks discharging towards the enemy regiment. He lowered himself slowly onto his back and stared along the weapons rudimentary sights. He smiled grimly as he recalled the futility of the exercise, raised the barrel slightly and, slowly exhaling his lungful of air, pulled the trigger.


Awarded for fighting on, despite being outnumbered, outgunned and with only minimal chance of survival. Awarded either for surviving or for putting up a truly heroic fight.

With a defiant roar the firelock belched fire and smoke, a tongue of orange stabbing brightly into the darkness, briefly illuminating the ruined tower. The lead ball, no wider than a man’s thumb, took the Polish General in the base of the spine, lifting him from his grazing horse and slamming him cruelly into the stone wall. The noise of the shot echoed away, a thick pall of foul smelling smoke wreathing the ruin. Captain Digby hauled himself across the horses back, firelock clutched in his hand and hurriedly turned the beast out into the night, kicking his heels back.

James cantered the horse across the battlefield, his eyes searching the field for sign of his men. Bodies lay strewn across the field, small fires flickering where wadding had set the dry grass alight. In the distance the crack of firelocks echoed through the darkness, causing the horse to prick up it's ears. Digby soothed the horse, patting its neck, and yawned. It had been a long day and he felt shattered. His Lucky Dogs had been engaged from the early morning, first on one flank and then on the other. Their day had been lost to the strange passage of time that had seemed to descend upon the battlefield. Wearily he turned the horse towards a barn no more than thirty paces away, intending on staying low when the sudden crash of a firelock made him ram his heels back in shock and surprise. The beast tried to respond to the urgent demands of its rider but another explosion split the night apart as a second firelock discharged its bullet. Beneath Digby the horse shuddered as the lead ball slapped into its rump. It screamed in agony and lurched forward, toppling the Captain from the saddle, pitching him down a shallow slope.

He rolled over and over, tumbling down the slope, flattening the grass until his body collided with a low stone wall. Breathing heavily he rose, his balance unsteady. He half-clambered and half-rolled over the wall, dragging his snaplock with him. He hurriedly began to reload, his hands working quickly by habit whilst his eyes peered back up the slope. With the weapon reloaded he lay it upon the wall, the wooden stock rattling quietly against the stone. A flicker of movement showed in the darkness and James, staring down the length of the barrel, gently pulled the trigger.

The firelocks butt hammered at his shoulder, the flash from the pan robbing him of his night vision. Acrid smoke coiled up into the night sky, stinging his eyes. He dropped the butt to the ground and poured a fresh powder charge into the smoking barrel. He glanced up over the wall as a shape spat flame and smoke. The bullet ricocheted off of the wall, disappearing into the night with a blood-curdling screech. James’s fingers groped in his pouch for a bullet, plucked one free at random and dropped it into the muzzle. Another glance showed the shape was much closer now, no more than twenty paces, a dull gleam clutched in one hand. Snatching up his powder horn, he dribbled a pinch into the pan, closed the frizzen, lifted the butt to his shoulder and fired.

If the musket had been properly loaded with wadding tightly packed down upon ball and charge, the bullet would have missed. As Digby pulled the trigger his target dived desperately to one side to avoid the oncoming bullet. The lead ball, without the wadding to hold it tightly on to the charge nor having been rammed fully down the barrels length, rattled briefly as it flew down the barrel and, as it emerged into the night, flew off at an angle from the muzzle. It slammed into the Pole, punching through the man's coat and into his stomach. He fell to the ground with a shriek, clutching at the hole in his belly which pumped dark blood and fluids into the night.

Waving the smoke aside, Digby peered into the night as two more figures materialised in the darkness, no more than ten paces away. One stopped and whipped his firelock into his shoulder. The explosive roar hammered at Digby's senses, the flash almost blinding him but the ball fluttered off harmlessly into the night. His companion took his time, lining up the weapon and gently depressing the trigger. In desperation Digby dropped to one knee as the weapon fired and the bullet slapped past his ear, missing by a hairs breadth. With an oath the Pole dropped the gun and drew him sword, as Digby rose up, sword in his fist.

The blades met with a dull scratch, parted and met again. Digby cut, parried and thrust at his opponents, his blade everywhere at once, dazzling them with its speed. The blows rang out into the night as James pushed his opponents back. He grunted as he moved, graceful as a dancer, putting years of experience into practice.

He could have beaten them, could have fought them off, possibly even killed them for he was easily their master with the blade, but for the horseman sat several paces to his left. With a calculated motion, the horseman raised a pistol at Digby, his lips parted in a grin.

Dawn was breaking over the battlefield. The dead lay as though they slept, as did most of the wounded. Some, their broken bodies wracked with pain, still screamed and shouted, calling for help, their mothers, anyone. Digby lay where he fell, eyes closed, oblivious to the world. A boot nudged at his ribs, but he didn’t stir. Serjeant Flockton, face drawn with exhaustion, skin blackened by exploding powder, knelt beside his Captain. His fingers gently probed the hole in the buffcoat, finding the small lead ball trapped between the it and Digby's coate. He grinned at the unconscious Digby.

“You lucky bugger.”

Coming soon!

The Veterans armband is awarded by Digby & Flockton to members who have either attended 5 Deluge Events or served in the Bande for a significant period of time both on and off the battlefield. The black armband is worn on the upper right arm, stark against their red souldier's coats. Each veteran is awarded an additional 6d (pence) each day atop their 1s (shilling) pay.


Full credit for the caricatures in this thread must go to the brilliant Iron Mitten, whose fantastic images can be found on his blog here.
Full credit for the sketches go to PanzerKaput whose images can be found in his blog here.



 

Mitchel

Master Knight
WBWF&SNW
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You guys....your thread is AWESOME. Best of the lucks, I hope see you in the battle too  :lol:
 

rapier17

Baron
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No, the images were, shamlessly, pulled from the internet, from the blog of Iron Mitten. I put in credit & a link to his blog at the bottom of the post.
 

Æthelwulf

Master Knight
WBWF&SNW
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Lovely work Leo. Laaavly. Glad to be a pikeman, not everyday I get to hold something that long. Alas.
 

Hengist

Baron
M&BWBNW
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Greetings to you British bande!

My name is Caspar Hagendorf and after some boring years of farming, trading and getting older,
I have chosen to return to my prefered profession:
Killing for anyone who is good company and has a well-filled wallet.

I have seen that you plan to fight as a bande and if you really are lucky dogs as you claim to be and not lice-ridden stray dogs, I would enjoy fighting with you. You sound like you know how to win battles and get some fun and money out of them.

I must apologise though; I'm not English, but a man from Westfalia. Nor do I carry an English name. If this poses a problem, I guess I will have to send word to my cousin in England who would be up to the task as well.
 

DannyT

Knight at Arms
WBM&BNWVC
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Excellent thread gentlemen! I would like to offer my services. I'll change my name to Carver Doone while playing with the clan if you will have me.
 
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Fine evening, Carver. If you wish to put your luck in with our company, we must first come to an understanding that we give out our hard earned gold schillings to worthy men.

Our intention, with recruitment, is to find like-minded people who wish to enjoy the Deluge without being overly serious about playing it, which is why we are intending to recruit purely by invitation.
In short; we're online in the Deluge most nights. As of this patch, we're playing with the rose heradry and typically English names. The next patch will see our own banner implemented. Kick it back, relax and play with us when you find us.  :wink:
 

JokerNL

Regular
M&BWBWF&S
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Awsome thread, and i like the whole laid back feeling you got going here.
Have fun guys! And i hope to see you in the servers.  :razz:
 

DannyT

Knight at Arms
WBM&BNWVC
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Eiríkr Rauði said:
Fine evening, Carver. If you wish to put your luck in with our company, we must first come to an understanding that we give out our hard earned gold schillings to worthy men.

Our intention, with recruitment, is to find like-minded people who wish to enjoy the Deluge without being overly serious about playing it, which is why we are intending to recruit purely by invitation.
In short; we're online in the Deluge most nights. As of this patch, we're playing with the rose heradry and typically English names. The next patch will see our own banner implemented. Kick it back, relax and play with us when you find us.  :wink:
Sounds like just what I'm looking for the Mrs takes up most my time to be honest so I could not really commit to a training routine. I only play invasion, what is the server you guys use? The official one?
 
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DannyT said:
Eiríkr Rauði said:
Fine evening, Carver. If you wish to put your luck in with our company, we must first come to an understanding that we give out our hard earned gold schillings to worthy men.

Our intention, with recruitment, is to find like-minded people who wish to enjoy the Deluge without being overly serious about playing it, which is why we are intending to recruit purely by invitation.
In short; we're online in the Deluge most nights. As of this patch, we're playing with the rose heradry and typically English names. The next patch will see our own banner implemented. Kick it back, relax and play with us when you find us.  :wink:
Sounds like just what I'm looking for the Mrs takes up most my time to be honest so I could not really commit to a training routine. I only play invasion, what is the server you guys use? The official one?
Indeed. Our lady-friends often constitute a large portion of time, fortunately, mine is currently asleep in bed.  :razz:

As a group, most of us play on one of the two official Invasion servers. I personally prefer the smaller 40-slot server over the 250...

There will be no obligation to attend training events, as there won't be any, no demand to give up time to attend events/matches you do not wish to participate in.
Correctamundo! Both myself and rapier17 have had our fair share of arduous and pointless 'training' sessions - hence why we're refusing to have them here. It may be that we set a specific night further down the line and commit a quick ten or fifteen minutes during the evening on a private server to some basic formations but nothing beyond that and certainly not on a weekly-basis. That kind of activity would be a refresher, maybe once a month.

I look forward to seeing you on the servers, Carver.
 

Æthelwulf

Master Knight
WBWF&SNW
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Ahh so that's why you ain't on TS you old dog. I gave Leo the heads up and my name shall be changing forthwith, not sure what to yet so I dragged up a list of Royalist bastards done for treason and I'm sifting for a nice sounding name.
 

Haresus

Baron
WBNW
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Good luck, will be good to have you chaps guarding the supplies while us real Swedes do the fighting. :wink:
Hehe, but really, grand to see the Vikingr community arrive in your fine longships!