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File: Foebadyn Campaign1.png (455 KB, 939x907)
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Saber and Musket: The Foebadyn Campaign

***

Muskets flash, sabers swing,
Shining cannon's piercing ring
Horses charge through fallow field,
Fight those bastards 'til they yield.
Midnight mare and blood red roan,
Fight to keep this land your own
Sound the horn and call the cry,
"How many of them can we make die"!

--Popular Legitimist camp song Circa the Aerthyian Civil War

A gunpowder era war game.

http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=saber+and+musket
>>
The High King of Aerthys is dead, and many more have died because of it.

You are General Winfield Belmonte, commander of the Army of the Antary and you look across the green valleys outside the city of Foebaddyn with a frown. There is a nip of cold in the early morning air. All around you your army deploys across dewy fields and sections of green woods. Where once pastures had been framed by split rail fences they were now open, the rails broken up as firewood for the army. Barns across the area were devoid of food, looted by the withdrawing Chartists and scoured clean by your own foraging parties.

The locals of this area are firmly within the Chartist camp. They look on your army with derision, hate, and fear. To them, it is you who is the invader. Young men are scarce, it is mostly children, women, and the elderly who glare out of their doorways at you.

It's hard to imagine how your nation will ever recover from this devastating blow to once again become whole. So much hate had built and built, fear, distrust and division were rampant. There was a cold and calculating part of your mind which had hoped this sanguinary struggle might change that. So far enough mutual blood had been spilt to fill a river and it wasn't enough, neither side would yet yield.

Perhaps today, perhaps this morning that would change.

God knew that your boys had suffered enough for it. From the early scuffle at Shedford Downs it had fought in an escalating series of conflicts. Bare Bluff, where you'd seen regiments swept away like dry leaves by close-range canister fire. Petyr's Mill, where you'd traded General Branch, your most trusted field commander, for a Lordship and a victory. Clearhallow, where you'd heard the anguished crying of wounded men echo through the valleys. Cedar Mountain, where in smoke-wreathed evergreens men had fought blindly with bayonet and rifle butt.
>>
And now, Heiland Creek, the final resting place for three thousand of your men. Another fifteen thousand were left scarred, some of them permanently disabled. Heaps of severed limbs formed outside of the surgeon's tent as he worked through the night amputating shattered limbs to stave off inevitable death from gangrene. Including the missing and captured, you'd lost over one fifth of your total fighting force. It would be a devastating loss had it not also secured the destruction of the enemy army and the death of their celebrated commander. This sort of tragic toll was called "Victory".

You'd held a council of war the night after the fighting ended to determine how next to proceed. The mood was muted, but the decision clear: the attack must be pressed while the enemy was weak. You had been forced by the reality of the situation to take days to rest, rearm and re-organize your force.
>>
Van Rosser's corps was all but annihilated. There simply wasn't enough left to put together a reasonable fighting force. Against his strenuous objections, you'd broken off his most able units and parceled them to your other battered corps, and left Van Rosser and his survivors to see to the multitude of enemy prisoners and captured wagons. Your son, Sylas, now commanded one of Van Rosser's old regiments though you tried not to think about it.

With your remaining three corps and your cavalry, you'd rallied up and advanced on the city of Foebaddyn and its defending forts.

Where previously an enemy army opposed you, now there was nothing but scattered cavalry and skirmishers to harass and slow you. Your envelopment of of the enemy flank had overrun their baggage train and all but anihilated their army. Most of the enemy had surrendered and only loose groups of men slipped free to flee back to their lines. That wasn't to say the enemy was defenseless.

Unable to oppose you on the field of battle they'd elected to hide behind fixed fortifications. Two, large, stonework and masonry citadels guarded the main approach to the city of Foebaddyn, your objective. These would be easy enough to reduce with your siege guns, the problem was instead the earthworks and redoubts.

You look through a pair of field glasses at some now. Green pastures were cut through with angry red-brown lines, trenches, rifle pits, embankments, ditches, palisades, abatises. These defenses dot the hills and keep your heavy guns out of range of the main forts. However, if all goes according to plan you won't have to deal with them.

You don't need to wait long, a lone rider carrying a white flag of truce gallops from the enemy lines toward you. His white uniform is stained a ruddy brown from road dust, but he's still unmistakably a Legitimist, one of yours. You wait the painful minutes for him to reach you, your heart sinking at his grim expression. He horse stops beside yours.

"Major, report," you say.

He shakes his head. "No surrender, sir. The enemy won't hear of it. They intend to fight."

You want to swear but you don't, it wouldn't do any good. The egos of men will lead to yet more deaths. Unless the enemy know something you don't.
>>
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Your army is not the only Legitimist Army in these parts, a second army- the Army of Southmark- operates much further south, ideally keeping the enemy engaged and distracted for you to take this town unopposed. As it happened, you'd engaged and defeated what you think was the main enemy body. Was there another group of enemy marching to relieve Foebaddyn? You'd heard no rumors from the soldiers you'd captured, but it was conceivable that they just didn't know.

In either case, whether there is an enemy relief force or merely battered pickets returning here, they are likely to be closely followed by General Collins, the commander of the Army of Southmark. Assuming his men have fared better than yours, you could make use of fresh troops. Taking the redoubts would be easier with them, though it will likely be some days before they arrive.

You don't have enough men to encircle the city effectively, so starving them out through siege isn't feasible. You might leave a small force to fix the enemy defenders here while you march a large chunk of your army through snaking backwoods valley roads to attempt to take the city from behind, bypassing the forts entirely, but the risks of such a plan failing are multitude. Not the least of which is the enemy recognizing the flank march and simply redeploying the bulk of their defenses.

Lastly, you could try a direct assault. Before you can take the city, you need to reduce the forts, and to reduce the forts you need to take the redoubts, and that will require a main infantry attack. The enemy forces are well sited, their flanks anchored on steep valley walls. Though you outnumber them you'll face a difficult fight clearing them out of those earthworks.


>We'll consider options for an attack on the redoubts
>We'll dig in and wait for General Collins to arrive with reinforcements
>We'll leave a diversionary force and attempt to march around their flank to find a weak spot.
>Write in
>>
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>>5063151
>Send our more woods worthy units through the forests to flank the fortifications while pounding the shit out of the enemy earthworks with our heavy artillery.
>>
>>5063164
+1. Always enjoy this one, QM, BEEN great so far.
>>
>>5063164
support
>>
>>5063164
+support
>>
>>5063151
Supporting >>5063164

There are a few things to consider. I don't think we should flank the city because we'd be abandoning our position on the railway that brings our supplies. However, hypothetically there is some merit to it, if they are forced to abandon their forts and redoubts to mount a hasty defence of the city from the north or south then we could crush them, after all they don't have enough men for a proper field army anymore, so they either forfeit the city or face us in the field, WE determine the engagement now, not them.

Still, I think just going through the redoubts and forts is overall less risky despite the toll it will take on us.

Part of the reason I think this is because there are a couple of things that could happen from a operational or narrative perspective. Here's some quotes that may be relevant.

>Once across the river, you can turn southeast and move into the valley and toward Foebadyn. I'll leave the specifics to you of course, but you'll have some options on how you approach the city. The terrain there is hilly, an easy place to conceal an army. Your cavalry will be of the utmost importance.
> "Major Belmonte hasn't written," Sylas says stiffly. "I'm told the army is already on the march, seeking to turn the usurpers back from Dukensk."
>Carlisle neatly folds the slip and puts it in his breast pocket. "The other forces then I think can be sent west. The governor of Dukensk is calling for fresh troops to handle a Chartist incursion."

>The combat around the city of Dukensk has raged across the open plains of the north for quite some time, with the Legitimist forces often coming out worse for wear. Your son Llewelyn has written often about the stinging defeats the army there has suffered. Time and again they find themselves outfought, outgunned, and outmaneuvered.

>"If their luck keeps up we'll lose Dukensk before year end," you say bitterly. The loss of such a major logistical hub could undo all your efforts up north.

Hypothetically there could be some forces hiding in the hills and forests around us, waiting for us to either make an overly aggressive move before moving in to flank us or waiting for reinforcements in order to reorganize into a fighting-fit force capable of once again engaging us, some forces did escape our previous battle.

Alternatively there could've been forces dispatched to shadow Collins or to outright do battle with him, it is possible that Collins could've been delayed or destroyed, though I find the latter to be unlikely, but anyways there could be enemy forces returning from battle fresh off a victory, so we should be wary of enemies returning from the south.

A farther flung possibility that I consider unlikely is that Dukensk to our north and west(?) could've fallen and an army could be heading our way, but I consider this to be extremely unlikely, more likely is that if it does fall it will be the site of our next campaign.
>>
>>5063151
>>We'll consider options for an attack on the redoubts

Fire on them with our siege guns first, only send our men in once the defending soldiers are broken. Even though they're entrenched they won't be able to endure heavy fire forever.
>>
>>5063151
>>We'll dig in and wait for General Collins to arrive with reinforcements
>>
>>5063164
>>5063166
>>5063204
>>5063267
>>5063367


Writing

>>5063166
Thanks! Good to be back
>>
The valley sides are too steep for major movement. No division, or even brigade, could cross that ground and any attempt would certainly be detected by the pickets the enemy surely has on the high ground. That isn't to say that a regiment of light infantry well-versed in bushwhacking wouldn't be able to do it. A small flanking force would help to sow confusion in the enemy lines, possibly leading them to believe that a larger force had somehow gotten around them. The real challenge would be dealing with the redoubts and trenches.

The fortified redoubts dotting the high ground represent keystones in the enemy's defense but they aren't alone. A network of trenches connects everything and isolated rifle pits sit further up to break up any massed attacks and provide early warning. When coupled with the obstacles the Chartists had built, it would be damned hard to cross.

You have siege guns a plenty to shell the enemy with, these earthen redoubts would pose little challenge for them, but the problem is ammunition.

You wheel your horse back and trot along the road toward your main baggage train where scores of wagons are assembled. Team drivers and porters are in the process of unloading bags of cornmeal, flour, and oats as well as cartons of tinned meat, barrels of salt pork, fresh uniforms, bandages, ammunition, everything an active army needs. You know all too well how voracious an appetite a force in the field has. You'd burnt through nearly all of your allocated ammunition at Heiland Creek and had only managed to spring forward on this fresh offensive because of the liberated supplies you'd taken from the Chartist baggage. It was fortunate that both sides of this civil war still use the same rifles and cartridges.
>>
Soon enough you reach the heavy siege guns. Crews are unlimbering pieces and wheeling them into position. Men with picks and shovels preparing positions for them to fire from. These guns each have a limited amount of shells stockpiled, and bringing in more will be time consuming, even with the captured railroad line. Maintaining a constant, heavy barrage simply isn't possible. You'd intended to save the bulk of these shells for reducing the two stone forts but you may be able to use them now to break the line.

A short but intense bombardment followed by a heavy infantry assault might shock the enemy sufficiently that your infantry can overrun the trenches and redoubts. Your soldiers will have to carry the brunt of the fighting but speed and shock may carry them through.

You might also simply being saturation shelling of the enemy lines. A slow, long term bombardment to break their resolve over several days, It will be time consuming but would be sustainable. After several days of relatively light shelling the enemy might be willing to surrender, otherwise you could launch your infantry offensive.

Most dramatically, you could throw prudence to the wind and simply unleash your entire arsenal on this line, leaving nothing for the forts. If the enemy lines crack you may have a chance to quickly take the forts by infantry assault before they can be properly manned. Otherwise you could then dig in and wait the next few days for your supply lines to replenish ammunition for the final push.


>Short Intense shelling followed by infantry assault
>Long, slow barrage to try to wear them down
>Expend all ammunition to destroy the redoubts and then mount an infantry assault on the forts.
>Write in
>>
>>5064228
>>Short Intense shelling followed by infantry assault
>>
>>5064228
>Short Intense shelling followed by infantry assault
>>
>>5064228
>>Short Intense shelling followed by infantry assault

Hopefully our skirmishers on the flanks will contribute to the shock and confusion.
>>
>>5064228
>Short Intense shelling followed by infantry assault
Can we send the Calvary to go around or have them scout the hills and places an army can hide?
>>
>>5064227
We use rifled guns and have cartridge ammunition?

>>5064228

>Short Intense shelling followed by infantry assault

This ain't WW1, they don't have machine guns, probably don't have siege guns to form a counter-battery, and a short intense barrage should both reduce the enemy defences and force them to keep their heads down, which should allow us to get right on top of them, particularly if we advance closely behind our own barrage. Funnily enough, once someone is close, trenches work against the defender, it is easier to shoot down into a trench and you have a advantage in melee fighting down with bayonet and musket, saber and pistol in hand.

A long barrage could allow us to take a bloodless victory but it is a straight up "you either get total victory or lose out on the advantage of a sudden intense barrage to give your assault the advantage", though we'd still get the benefit of reducing their obstacles and some inflicted casualties.

As for the final prompt, I'd rather not risk it, better save some ammo for the forts.
>>
>>5064228
>>Short Intense shelling followed by infantry assault
>>
>>5064228
>Short Intense shelling followed by infantry assault
We're going to have some moniker like "The Butcher" by the time this campaign is over.
>>
>>5065026
If we were woman would that change to "The Butch"?
>>
>>5065079
No?
>>
>>5064581
>Can we send the Calvary to go around or have them scout the hills and places an army can hide?
You could, but it's a long way around and will leave your army cavalry-less or leave the detatchment you send very isolated.

>>5064675
>We use rifled guns and have cartridge ammunition?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini%C3%A9_ball

Yes. Paper cartridges, not modern brass shell casings. Since there is no Claude-√Čtienne Mini√© in this universe I don't feel right calling them Minie balls, but that's what they are.

>>5065026
>We're going to have some moniker like "The Butcher" by the time this campaign is over.
It's funny how much General Belmonte parallels Robert E Lee both intentionally and accidentally.

https://www.historynet.com/the-butchers-bill.htm

Both in his public persona as an honorable gentleman but in his very real tendency to commit to deadly and aggressive assaults.

>Short Intense shelling followed by infantry assault
Writing
>>
>>5065720
What if we only sent 20 men in pairs to scout?
>>
"Take a message for me, lieutenant," you say, signaling a nearby aide. You dictate a rough sketch of your bombardment plan to your chief of artillery. If you can lay a heavy barrage on the enemy your main body should be able to close to close range and turn those trenches into their graves. The key will be moving your men over, around, and through the obstacles strewing the ground between here and there. Effective command and control requires your men to be neatly drawn up or else an army becomes an armed rabble and an armed rabble generally won't advance into fire left to their own devices.

You have the aide read your orders back to you to ensure he's taken them down properly before sending him on his way. Satisfied, you continue your ride back through the camp, seeking your chief of staff. The mood is subdued. Nearly everyone here has lost comrades in the fighting at Heiland Creek, many of them friends, others blood relatives. Fathers, sons, brothers, cousins, uncles, neighbors, left to lie in fallow fields. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but you'd gladly make such sacrifices again if it will end the fighting sooner.

There's no music in the camp this time, fiddles and fifes are silent while men cook a truncated breakfast for themselves. You've seen this army through hell and out the other side, but you may be about to send them in again.

You take sight of Major Carlisle standing outside your headquarters tent, holding an envelope and looking shaken. You manage to dismount and approach on foot before he notices you.

"General," he blurts, saluting.

"Major, I'd like you to take word to General Maddocks personally, I'd like two regiments of his finest light infantry. Bushwhackers, men with tracking and hunting experience. I have a special assignment for them."

"Y-yes sir." He looks distracted.

"Something the matter, Major?"

He looks at the envelope in his hands and you follow his gaze. He hesitates a moment and in that brief second, your heart seems to stop. He extends the letter to you. "Telegram from the Army of the North, sir. General Brennan."

You take the envelope with an unsteady hand. There's few reasons Brennan would telegram you directly. "Thank you, Major," you say with a calmness you don't feel. "See to my orders."

"General, I-"

"With haste, please."

Carlisle's jaw snaps closed and he salutes then marches off.

You take the letter into your tent before opening it.
>>

General Belmonte,

I am saddened to inform you that your son, Major Llewellyn Bellmonte, has been wounded in action. He has been struck twice by Chartist musketry, once in the thigh and once below the elbow. He was unsaddled leading a saber charge on an enemy flank. His gallantry and courage led his regiment to run down at withdrawing Chartist infantry assault and I have made recommendation that he receive proper honors for this act.

I had Major Bellmonte attended by my personal surgeon and he believes his prognosis is good to save his leg. Llewellyn has been sent from Dukensk by train back to your family estate for rest and recuperation. I have made arrangements that he will be seen to and I have sent ahead to his wife.

As you will no doubt soon see in the papers, there has been a great and terrible engagement fought here outside the gates of the city. The enemy has been repulsed with heavy loss of life. The commitment of Vance's division that prevented the enemy from turning our flank. I hope that is some consolation to you.

Dearest regards and deepest sympathies,
Brennan.


You fold the letter up and lay it on the nightstand beside your cot. They may save Llewellyn's leg, but you note that Brennan makes no mention of his arm. Your eldest son will likely now be yet another invalid among the battalions of amputees that are rapidly filling the country. You know you should be grateful he is alive at all but . . . all you feel is sorrow. Sorrow, and fear for your youngest son, Sylas, now a regimental commander. You can only pray that one of your children will escape this war unscathed.

***

You are Major Sylas Bellmonte, and you feel very out of place. The uniform you wear, like the uniforms of all the officers of your army, was custom tailored for you. Your sisters had made it for you, stitching each seam and embroidering your cuffs and collar with your rank insignia, though it still shows you as a captain. It's a little looser on you now than it once was, a result of the weight you'd lost on campaign. It was dirtier, rougher, but no less stylish. You'd taken great care to cultivate an air of 'dash' to emulate your older brother's natural swagger as a cavalryman.

Now however, you stand out like a sheep among goats.

The men of your regiment wear road-beaten, dusty, homespun clothes. Wide brimmed cloth hats. Rather than your own neatly trimmed facial hair, they have beards to a man which they either wear long, bushy, or patchy if they're young. They chew tobacco, swear, tell dirty jokes, and have little regard for regulations, hardly even able to form a straight line at roll call.
>>
And yet, they are one of the most elite units in the Army of the Antary. The 12th Debyn Vyre. Occasionally called "Jenner's Regiment" though Jenner had to relinquish command when they amputated his hand at the wrist- casualty of a Chartist musket ball which shattered the bones in his hand. More commonly, they are known as the Banshees, masters of loose-order skirmish tactics. In addition to the long, thin bayonet scabbards that hang from their belts they also carry the stout, thick-bladed machets that they used for clearing undergrowth in their swampy homeland.

You adjust the antique sword and scabbard on your own belt- a gift from Jenner which had been passed down to him from the regiment's original commander before his death. You feel more like an imposter than ever, a boy playing at being a man. These men have lived the reality of war while you only dreamed at it.

The regiment has been re-ordered into four companies after the losses sustained at Aerrol. Many of the regiment's officers were killed our wounded in that engagement so your company commanders are all fresh save for one, Lieutenant Dekker. The regiment had missed most of the fighting at Heiland Creek, being left in Aerrol to oversee Chartist POWs. They arrived in time to see action in the final hours on the final day, late enough to avoid the decimation that claimed most of Van Rosser's corps.

"Major Bellmonte, orders, sir!" The courier takes you by surprise but you hide it as well as you can, rising from the stump you sat on to take the sheaf of paper. You read over the scrawled note, a message from General Maddocks. Your regiment has been detailed a special assignment as part of the coming attack. A sneak attack through the woods on the flank in order to unseat the enemy.

You read the order again, and then a third time as your heart races. Your first command and your first combat just days later. This is what you had wanted, but now you find yourself wondering just how bad you want it. You'll need to brief your company commanders and the men, men you hardly know. There's no time for socializing. How will you try to come across?


>You are an aristocrat and they are your men. You don't need to be on the same level as them for them to take your orders. Remain aloof and professional.
>It would be best to try to integrate with them. Ditch your fancy uniform and portray yourself as a man of the earth at heart.
>You don't have anything in common with them save a hatred of the enemy. Show them your resolve and impress them with your determination.
>Write in
>>
>>5065723
You have scouts already deployed in the surrounding area to warn of any enemy approaches
>>
>>5065765
Damnit son, we urged prudence, not heroics! Still, you did good.

Is Vance the leader of the detachment we separated from our own command to assist Dukensk?
>>
>>5065769
>You don't have anything in common with them save a hatred of the enemy. Show them your resolve and impress them with your determination.

We aren't a commoners and shouldn't try and fake who we are, our father managed to be popular where we were from despite his wealth and status, we should do the same. That being said, it probably wouldn't pay to be stiff, so lets focus them on the enemy and our common hatred of them.
>>
Ah, Vance was under Van Rosser. It's good that we took the middle road with that earlier choice, just enough to repulse the enemy and still left us enough to get through Heiland Creek.
>>
>>5065769
>>You don't have anything in common with them save a hatred of the enemy. Show them your resolve and impress them with your determination.
>>
>>5065769
>>You are an aristocrat and they are your men. You don't need to be on the same level as them for them to take your orders. Remain aloof and professional.

Our father is a lord and the general of this army. We should act like it.
>>
>>5065720
>Both in his public persona as an honorable gentleman

I predict we'll lose that image once the papers say we killed General Winnower.
>>
>>5065769
>You don't have anything in common with them save a hatred of the enemy. Show them your resolve and impress them with your determination.

We do not lead from behind, this uniform will earn it's mud.

Part of me is interested in making Sylas play the kid out of his depth role tho.

Depending on how well this goes we could try pulling the diversionary attack on the forts and side step them once we have the operational room to maneuver past the trenches. At the least we'll be able to see what lies beyond.
>>
>>5065769
>You don't have anything in common with them save a hatred of the enemy. Show them your resolve and impress them with your determination.

>rising from the stump you sat on to take the sheaf of paper.
I first read this as Sylas wiping his bum before answering the summons. After all, he had been thinking deep thoughts during a momentary reprieve.
>>
>>5065769
>>You don't have anything in common with them save a hatred of the enemy. Show them your resolve and impress them with your determination.
>>
>>5065769
>>You don't have anything in common with them save a hatred of the enemy. Show them your resolve and impress them with your determination
>>
>>5065769
You don't have anything in common with them save a hatred of the enemy. Show them your resolve and impress them with your determination.
>>
Time go away from me today, sorry guys. I'll post tomorrow
>>
>You don't have anything in common with them save a hatred of the enemy. Show them your resolve and impress them with your determination

Writing

>>5066053
>I first read this as Sylas wiping his bum before answering the summons
lmao. No such luck I'm afraid!

>>5065787
>Is Vance the leader of the detachment we separated from our own command to assist Dukensk?
Correct, he is off in the north right now.
>>
You send a young private around to fetch the men, mustering them up into loose bunches centered on company officers. Everyone is dirty, everyone is tired, and all of their eyes are on you. They lean on rifles as you speak.

"We've been given orders, men," you say, trying to sound confident. You don't dwell on the fact that many of them here are near as old as your father. "A daring sweep across the enemy flank, across the valley wall and down from the hills, like Banshees."

No reaction.

You hesitate before speaking. "The truth is men, we aren't as acquainted as I would like. I know you only by reputation, and I doubt any of you know me. You are neighbors and family, you are a tight bunch, that much is clear. I can't say that we share any bond beyond a mutual hatred of the enemy. The usurpers encamped around Foebaddyn are afraid, and rightfully so! They've dug themselves in like ticks and we're going to root them out. Burn them, blast them, stab them, and shoot them." You drive a fist into a hand. "I won't be content to breathe the same air as the usurpers. In that, we feel the same." You nod appreciatively toward the men.

They mostly stare blankly back. A few shuffle about. There is no rousing cheer or applause, but it was foolish to think there would be.

"Officers, see to your men, we march in ten minutes." You turn away before you can show too much embarrassment.

The next minutes are a blur as you load your revolver, cap by cap, and ensure your saber is buckled on carefully. You don't expect you'll need it, but you never know.

The regiment marches out in loose order, a thin spread line, more a chain of wedge-shaped companies led by their officers into the woodline. No effort is made to maintain order as you begin the ascent of the steep, wooded slope.

By coincidence, you end up walking near Lieutenant Dekker and his company. Dekker is a young man, relatively speaking, though probably a few years your senior. WIth dark, unkempt hair and a wild look in his eyes, he makes you uncomfortable to be around. It's rumored that he was a smuggler before the war but through accident or design, ended up a volunteer in the infantry.

"Rousing speech, my lord," he says with a cocky grin.

All around is the soft crackle of dead leaves and snap of branches as the mean move through with as much stealth as can be managed.

"I'm no lord, lieutenant. That's my father's title, not mine."

Dekker grins wider. "Oh, beg to differ, sir. I suppose that to me- or any of us- you might as well be a lord."

You don't answer, keeping your eyes ahead, your mind on climbing the slope.

"I must say, reckon you won't win many hearts that way, sir."
>>
You can't help but reply. "Which way?"

"The old blood and guts method. I reckon that takes you real far at tea parties and the like, but most of these boys'd rather get home alive. Rather than be tin soldiers for a prince."

You don't fail to recognize the barb at you. Dekker- you've been told- is a skilled and brave fighter, but tact isn't a trait of his. "I'm more concerned with winning the war."

"I can see that, sir."

You give Dekker a hard look but he busies himself hacking clear through a tangle of briars with his machet. "If I wanted us all to get home safe, I'd disband the regiment," you say. "We'd all just call the whole thing off, but I don't think that will get us very far, do you?"

"Depends on how well you can hide."

"Speaking as myself? Not very well. The fastest way home, for me, you, or any of us-" you point ahead. "Is that way. Through the enemy and into Foebaddyn."

Dekker shrugs and carries on. "Not me you have to win over, sir. I'm here with you aint I?"

You don't know how to respond to that and simply follow along. As you climb, the path ahead seems to only get steeper, the valley walls more sharp, soon becoming less a hill and more a cliff face. Along this treacherous ground the banshees creep forward, now moving parallel to the main valley.

After several minutes, the regiment suddenly halts, men dropping to their haunches and holding still. You follow their example.

"What's the delay?" you hiss the question to Dekker who shrugs.

A moment later a scout trots back, ducking through the undergrowth to find you. "Enemy sentry ahead, sir."

"You're sure?" you ask.

He nods.

A sentry could be trouble. It wasn't enough to stop you, but if he got a warning shot off or called out it could warn the enemy of your advance. Circling around him would mean climbing further up the valley wall and moving on even steeper ground which would be difficult and slow. You would likely arrive after the main attack was underway.

A lone man would be easy to overwhelm, and if you gave an order to shoulder arms, you might be able to kill or capture him just with the weight of a charge. If the sentry did manage to fire, a single rifle shot could be dismissed as an accident or an enterprising hunter. Bowling through his position would be quick, but potentially messy.

You might also send forward a lone man, the best scout in the regiment to sneak up on the sentry and do him in with a few stabs of a dagger. Dangerous, but if it pays off it would be a clean way through to the enemy lines.

>Circle around and march further uphill
>Charge through with weight of numbers
>Send a lone scout to bushwhack the sentry
>Write in
>>
>>5069532
>Circle around and march further uphill

Arriving after the main attack has begun could be advantageous, after all a single regiment even on the flanks can't do much on its own.

There could also be more than one sentry, just because we only see one doesn't mean there aren't more hiding or just around the corner, for that reason I'd prefer to go in with numbers rather than the lone scout if we did choose to attack rather than bypass.
>>
>>5069532
>>Send a lone scout to bushwhack the sentry

I mean, they are bushwackers afterall.
>>
>>5069532
>>Send a lone scout to bushwhack the sentry
>>
>>5069532
>Send a lone scout to bushwhack the sentry
If we had any sneaking skills we ought to do it ourselves.
>>
>>5069532
>Send a lone scout to bushwhack the sentry
Have Dekker nominate a man to send forward, he'd know far better than us who would be good enough to get at this sentry without being detected.
>>
>>5069532
>>Send a lone scout to bushwhack the sentry
>>
>>5069532
>Send a lone scout to bushwhack the sentry
>>
>>5069532
>Send a lone scout to bushwhack the sentry
>>
>>5069532
>Send a lone scout to bushwhack the sentry
But send a second man from the opposite way. Or at least provide cover if there are more of them.
>>
>Send a lone scout to bushwhack the sentry

Writing
>>
You chew your lip in thought. You'd rather not delay. These men are meant to be stealth specialists after all. You decide to hold them to it.

"Dekker?"

"Sir?" Dekker looks over at you, his smirk replaced with deadly seriousness.

"Who's your best scout? A bushwhacker."

"Aelfric, sir."

"Send him up to take care of this."

***

You are Aelfric Redden, thirty years old, a trapper by trade. You used to travel the length of the bayou in your skiff, wading through the mangrove swamps and camping in the shade of cypress trees. Your business was skin. Gator skins. It made for fine leather and earned you a pretty penny.

Now you are a soldier, have been for years. You've seen the horrors of war and participated in some of them. You've seen how men come apart under machet blows and you've stared death in the eyes without blinking.

You reach the center of the line where Dekker and the new regimental commander are.

"Aelfric, got a job for you," Dekker says

"Sentry?" you ask.


"Do him in. Quiet."

You nod and hand the lieutenant your rifle and cartridge box. You won't need them, it'll slow you down. You'd left your canteen and bedroll already with the quartermaster before the march so all you have left is your thick-bladed machet. You're not one for sentimentality, you want to get this done.

Slinking through the undergrowth you move up serpent-like, taking a round about course toward the sentry. Straight lines aint natural. Aint no straight lines in nature and it's a good way to get yourself shot.

You're a tough bastard but you're not immune to fear. Your heart beats like a startled bird in a cage, your machet is cold in your hand. Each step you take is slow, measured, smooth.

There he is. You spot the sentry. Young kid, too small for the crimson overcoat he wears. He clutches a rifle and peers into the woods, glancing side to side occasionally. He'd put a bullet between your eyes if you give him half a chance, but you're going to get too close for him to do that. He's already a dead man. The question is if you can get him done before he calls out or takes a shot.

You creep closer, circling around through a shallow gulley and approaching him from the side, blade in hand.

Your muscles are coiled, tense, and once you're close, you strike.

***

Roll 1d10

I need 3 rolls.
>>
Rolled 7 (1d10)

>>5070607

Poor lad
>>
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67 KB
67 KB PNG
Rolled 7 (1d10)

>>5070607

>Mfw dice in a previously dice-less game.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d10)

>>5070607
>>
Rolled 5 (1d10)

>>5070667
Maybe if we rolled a crit, we coulda knocked him out and taken him alive.
>>
I doubt we'll be rolling for the actual battles, probably just for these uncertain moments that hinge on these less determinate actions.
>>
>TK has been secretly rolling for battles behind our backs the entire time





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