Monday, 14 December 2020

Quelle saprise

 The 'Vauban's Wars' rulebook contains the following picture, apparently from a publication by Vauban himself. (My scanner won't work - no doubt a Windows 10 update problem - so photos only.)

It reminded me of something, but, as seems to happen increasingly frequently as I get older, I couldn't remember what. It has now come back to me: it's this from Chapter 6 of Duffy's 'Fire and Stone', which also appears to be from a publication by Vauban, but is slightly different.

Duffy also includes this illustration, which is more obviously a redrawn version.

On the printed page the figure standing guard in the trench is exactly 25mm tall, which is probably not coincidental; the book does after all contain some rudimentary rules for wargaming sieges. I think I shall try to make a model of, loosely, the sap shown in those plans.

No doubt you are all asking yourselves the same question as me: given that saps zigzag forwards towards the enemy, what does the man at the front do when he wants to turn the corner from zig to zag? Perhaps making a model will reveal all.


  1. He turns the Rolla-Gabion (available online from JML and all branches of Timothy White) slowly to the direction of the enceinte while Earth is dug up and thrown on to the exposed corner.

    That probably makes more sense in my head than it does in black and white.

  2. Just seen what you did with the title. Saprise.👏👏