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  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Ironically, the bad link (18 april 2012) also pointed to a page with Wolfe :D

  • Dragon

    Noooooo Wolfe! Don’t do it!

  • MiniPlane

    Far be it from me to correct a superior officer, but that does not look like the safest way to handle a firearm…

    • Me-me

      Not every military has a rigorous standard for its men. Sometimes they have to work with what they’ve got.

      • Afrodiseum

        As Tom Lehrer once said, the military has taken the democratic ideal to its ultimate conclusion in that not only do they not discriminate based on race, color or creed, but also ability.

        • Sanjay Merchant

          So Wolfe is there because he finds it “broadening”?

          • Afrodiseum

            He seems the type. :)

      • KWill

        The idea that the Prussian military wasn’t rigorous or obsessed with standards should be a bigger challenge to the willing suspension of disbelief than the accuracy of smoothbore muskets =P

        • Me-me

          Alternate history (not to mention magic) still trumps that though.

          • KWill

            This is kinda on the level of the British hating tea in terms of alternate history.

            • The army is not different, this guy is just a not-great sergeant. Let the story play out and questions (that aren’t gun-related) will be answered.

              • KWill

                Sorry if it came across differently, but I intended that as a jab at the attempts to explain minor quibbles (to the point of suggesting the Prussians weren’t obsessed with discipline) when just rolling with it suffices.

                • Sorry, didn’t mean that to look as harsh as it did, I’d had a bad week and was being too snippy. I apologise!

                  The second part of that was meant to be more of a public service announcement than directed at you in particular, and the first part was clarification.

        • Rolan7

          I’m having trouble believing they made someone that cold blooded an officer!
          … Is what Wolfe is thinking. I’m not surprised, myself.

          • Bill Soo

            Not cold blooded…..impulsive and arrogant. More hot blooded than anything…

            • Sapphire altera

              But that’s not how Wolfe would see it. Wolfe, like Twoflower, is definitely a rose-tinted glasses sort of fellow :P

    • svartalf

      He’s an officer, yes. Superior, he is not.

    • ShakeJake

      I’d be more worried about the angry mob that ensues, as due to this being a scouting outing they only have three dudes. they might escape, but woe betide the one whom gets caught.

  • Cooper

    I feel as though Loewe’s people aren’t actually rebels.

  • Afrodiseum

    A trained military man? Shooting people? That’s crazy talk!

  • BillSoo

    I think we are about to find out why we first meet Wolfe living on the road, touring Europe and busking for a living.

    • svartalf

      Along with meeting Mal.

  • Andy_in_Germany

    He’s trying to hit her at that distance with a smootbore musket? He’ll be lucky.

    • David Argall

      I can’t testify to the actual accuracy of such a weapon, but claims of high accuracy have been made [many of them in bars after several rounds…] and in the story, we have our boy at the firing range scoring an impressive grouping. So we are supposed to believe this is a reasonable shot for him, barring the last second turning to the side.
      Now it seems unlikely he is going to succeed in killing her, but what other ways might the plot go? Will the soldiers be jumped by guards at this inconvenient moment? Will he refuse to shoot, which leaves him fleeing the military, and joining his future partner? Neither idea seems good, but…

      • Me-me

        To reiterate: We have already seen these guns get this accuracy, in this storyline. Real world parallels already don’t apply.

        • David Argall

          Well, they do, and it can seriously jar when “errors” come to our attention, but our author has “said”, “I know/don’t care that Muskets are not accurate/dragons don’t exist. Deal with it.” And we routinely deal with it by pretending the false is true. But this is a dangerous solution as there will always be some of us who will fail at the needed mental gymnastics, so any author must consider how much energy to devote to avoiding such weaknesses. [I was in contact with one who complained of having to spend several days to find the location of a 1600 brothel. Having read the resulting book, I tend to think she overworried about the point, but the text was superior because the character was able to give directions just like he had been there, and to use a false address would have been quite distracting, even if only for a few experts on the period.]
          Now speaking as a layman who may well have never even seen this particular rifle, I would say/guess that this is a reasonable shot. Granted such weapons were widely criticized as badly inaccurate, they were also used in hunting or other cases where you wanted a fair amount of accuracy and we should likely say the criticism was like pointing to the only B on an A report card. The soldiers are close enough to understand words which were spoken probably only a little loudly. Sounds like he’s close enough to hit.
          Now kill is much more doubtful. Of course mortal wounds were fairly common, and finding a wounded person is a lot easier than finding an unwounded, but if the goal is to kill, I have my doubts the sarge is acting wisely.

          • Yes, you can have impossible things in your story but not improbable things. So you can have Gladstone on his death bed haunted by Parnell’s ghost, but you can’t have Gladstone wearing his hat in the drawing room and when presented to Queen Victoria, slapping her on the back and offering her a cigar.

            So probably a difficult shot for a mundane musket. Fortunately in this case Private Wolfe, as the best shot in the platoon, has been given a special sniper’s musket imbuded with malice and musket balls imbued with blood lust so he should have no problem blowing the fascist lady’s head off.

            • Hans Rancke

              In 1830 rifles have been around for at least three generations. I have no idea when the Prussian Army adopted them, but there is nothing implausible about rifles showing up in an alternate reality. And for all I know it could be perfectly historical.

              • CaptEndo

                The German Principalities in fact fielded special Jaeger Battalions of riflemen. The rifles they carried were heavy caliber muzzle loading flintlocks of relatively short barrels that were loaded with bore sized lead balls and no patching. Conventional rifles and muskets used slightly smaller than bore sized bullets and used patches to make them tight. Thus the Jaegers had to hammer their bullets down the bore with mallets and iron ramrods. This mechanically fit the balls to the rifling, and made the most out of the propellant charge. This gave them very good accuracy to 200 or more yards, at the price of a very slow rate of fire. A significant portion of the troops hired out to King George and sent to put down the American Rebellion ( or War of Independence from our point of view) were Jaeger Battalions. A lot of those men decided to stay in America.

          • Me-me

            For all we know, in this world, more accurate rifles were developed early due to the course of a war altered by the appearance of spirits. Or something. This is not our world! Why would the guns be the _same_ at all?

            • David Argall

              But it is our world, except for those things we want to have different. Thus we would have identical rifles, unless we think magic would change them, and then we want to change just to the degree we think the magic would change them, and we normally want to make these changes highly visible to the audience. What we don’t want to do is make random changes just because we don’t know how things should be. The result is simple error, and a flaw to the story that is not removed by saying “it’s magic”. But we want to identify with this world, and every difference makes that harder. If someone is wearing a green uniform instead of the red the “real” character would have, we want something in the story like someone remarking that he hated that magic made green the preferred color [for X reason] because he looked much better in red. Just having the guy wear green jars, hopefully not to seriously, nor too many, but it still jars.

    • MoeLane

      This isn’t my area of study, but I *think* that looks a lot like a Prussian Jager rifled musket. This is… around the time that they were transitioning over from smoothbores? I know that the various German petty-kingdoms had specialty riflemen groups.

      • KWill

        Thing is the Jäger were organized separately by this time and those are musketeer uniforms.

        • Honestly? I copied both uniform and gun wholesale from a colour plate in a history book. Except the hat, which was.. kinda bad-looking.

          • Dose toy soldiers gonna haf to gets proper hats iv dey gon get any respect from uz Jägerkin.

            P.S. Glad your cat came back.

            • Curious George

              Where’s your grammar go?

              • Oh, dey gots rid ov all dose tings in de seventies und med effeyvun go to comprehensives.

                • Corsenna

                  Psst, you’re crossing the streams.

                  and it’s awesome. :)

                • Me-me

                  It’s neater when you think about how most Jägers probably /took part/ in their version of all the wars happening in this period. They’re that old (older, most of them), and from approximately(?) that region.

  • Green_Ghost_namedBob

    Okay I’m going point some more stuff out because the rifle doesn’t look right, how I know this is because I’ve loaded and fired a few on a firing range. For one the stock covers the bottom of the barrel except the last three inches or so, it is held together by three brass bands. Second is that there is a ramrod that runs just inside the stock. And lastly the flint is viced on the hammer with a cotton cloth folded around it. When cocked it hovers an inch away from the steel striker. The striker is part of a cover you close over the powder pan to trap the black powder. The proper way to load it is you open the cover then take out a paper cartridge, open it with your teeth and pore a small amount of the powder on the pan. Close then pore the rest of the cartridge down the muzzle, ramrod making sure it reaches the breach. Now I did post earlier and I posted too soon talking about hammer being on the wrong side and I admit that but I will argue that this is all you will need to know about flintlocks so this is the last time I will nitpick.

    • Rolan7

      I truly don’t understand why this sort of thing bothers people, just suspend disbelief! At least this is an alternate-history fantasy setting, there are plenty of possible explanations for the gun technology and appearance… if it’s even important, which I feel like it isn’t.

      They look cool, and the fantasy hero can make the shot. Should he? That’s the important part!

      I do respect gun geeks just like other geeks, though. Knowledge is good, and realism can be good in fiction, but aesthetics and narrative must come first.

      • ShadeTail
      • Green_Ghost_namedBob

        Actually I was hoping to end any more discussion, getting all the
        science of it cleared up so no one felt they needed to talk about the
        gun. As for appearance it just doesn’t look like an operable gun so I try to give some detail to it, I don’t know what the artist has in mind drawing the gun the way she did but I am curios because last time she drew a pistol she got the details right.
        Now aren’t you a little bit curios why there isn’t a ramrod?

  • CyberSkull

    The cheek of them!

  • Nightsbridge

    This where we learn where Jack got his scar.

  • Nonesuch

    Well, the sergeant is firmly established as a villain in our eyes.

    And I think I can safely guess why Wolfe isn’t in the army or his homeland anymore. ^^

    • ShadeTail

      Personally, I can give the sergeant the benefit of the doubt. He’s a soldier with a mandate, and is probably quite loyal to his country. I’m not going to fault him for doing his duty.

      Now, when it comes to *HOW* he does his duty, that’s another matter. We’ll have to wait and see if he’s (legally) in the right here.

  • McFrugal

    Military men generally aren’t asked to shoot unarmed people who aren’t even in uniform, especially when not in a combat mission.

    • SteelRaven

      Generally no but it’s safe to say it happened.

    • KWill

      Nowadays in many parts of the world, maybe. But this is 1830s Prussia. Assuming no alternate history hiccups, in 18 years time there will be a rather massive crackdown on civilians by the Prussian military.

  • reynard61

    “Shooting people? In the army?!”

    And here I thought it was all about the beer, babes and free college…

  • RobinGoodfellow

    What is the copper band at the mouth of the rifle supposed to be? In the last panel, at that angle, I keep thinking its a cork or something – and THAT can’t be right!

  • Graham Garrett

    Loving every single bit of the story so far! But hating the superiority officer. In the best way possible, of course.

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