Saturday 4 February 2012

The Grand Duchy of Cheddar

Grand Duchy of Cheddar
The Grand Duchy of Cheddar was carved out by Mad Prince Lodwijk the Indestructible, an enterprising but illegitimate son of Cornelius V the Fruitful, Rat-King of Jarlsberg. A nation proud of its traditions, all of the Cheddar grand dukes have chosen not to marry, but maintain harems in honour of their illegitimate origins. The son considered to be most able is designated to succeed his father although the act of succession must be ratified by the assembled rats of the Cheddar army. The mother of the heir-apparent is bestowed the honorific title of duchess and becomes titular colonel of one of the foremost regiments of foote.
The duke, his harem and the army rule the duchy from Cheddar Hall, an immense labyrinthine warren, luxuriously appointed in gold and crimson cloth as befits the ducal residence. Although it is mainly situated below the West March, Cheddar Hall has tunnels which emerge in all of the Four Marches. These form vital thoroughfares through which the hinterland is policed and supplies are extracted from the rural serf-rats.
The reign of the current duke’s grandfather, Tarky II the Small, saw the beginning of a military revolution in Cheddar with the introduction of black-powder weapons and the creation of a small body of regular companies to guard the duke and his harem. His successor, Lodwijk IV the Efficient, father of the current duke, expanded the army, creating permanent regiments. However, it has been the long reign of the eighth and current grand duke, Philip II Desperaux, which has seen the most dramatic military reforms. The infantry have been formed into mixed-arms (pike and shot) regiments of foote, the aristocratic cuirassier squadron has been mechanised in the latest steam-powered armoured carriages and a new airborne dirigible squadron has been developed to provide air support.
Unfortunately, the strengthening of the army in recent years has led to discontented stirrings among the dispossessed serf-rats of the duchy. This is especially clear in the wilds of the East March where a mysterious religious figure known only as the Ayatollah of Gorgonzola is thought to be gathering a zealous following in opposition to ducal rule.

The Grand Army of Cheddar
Sedgemoor’s Mechanised Cuirassiers (The Black Caps)
1x Behemoth @4AP
Erasmusen’s Dragoons (The Greens)
1x Riders @2AP
Duchess of Cheddar’s Own Regiment of Foote (The Buffs)
1x Spear @2AP
2x Shooter @2AP
van Squeek’s Regiment of Foote (The Squeeky Whites)
1x Spear @2AP
2x Shooter @2AP
Bodmin’s Gun Battery (Bodmin’s Browns)
1x Artillery @3AP
Ducal Dirigible Squadron (The Blews)
1x Airboat @3AP
Cheddar Hall Harem Guards (The Pinkies)


  1. Those are nicely done. Who makes them?

  2. Absolutely wonderful, the whole back story and names had me chuckling throughout. I suppose on with the disgruntled serf rats army now?

  3. The bulk of the rats - the 17th century looking ones - are 10mm scale League of Ratsburg figures from Pendraken. The mechanised cuirassiers are riding in a lightly converted Pendraken Dwarf armoured-car. The balloon is built up from a number of bits and pieces and Cheddar Hall is scrtach-built from thin sheets of mdf.

    I might enter them into the Pendraken painting competition - any win will give me enough credit to build up most of the forces of the Ayatollah of Gorgonzola.... maybe he'll have some mercenary Swiss guards (blades)....

  4. He lives! Very nice work Nick. The stronghold turned out beautifully, I love the airship...heck they're all great.