Saber and Musket: The Foebadyn Campaign***Muskets flash, sabers swing,Shining cannon's piercing ringHorses charge through fallow field,Fight those bastards 'til they yield.Midnight mare and blood red roan,Fight to keep this land your ownSound the horn and call the cry,"How many of them can we make die"!--Popular Legitimist camp song Circa the Aerthyian Civil WarA 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.
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
>>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.
>>5063151Supporting >>5063164There 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 redoubtsFire 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>>5063367Writing>>5063166Thanks! 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 assaultHopefully our skirmishers on the flanks will contribute to the shock and confusion.
>>5064228>Short Intense shelling followed by infantry assaultCan we send the Calvary to go around or have them scout the hills and places an army can hide?
>>5064227We use rifled guns and have cartridge ammunition?>>5064228>Short Intense shelling followed by infantry assaultThis 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 assaultWe're going to have some moniker like "The Butcher" by the time this campaign is over.
>>5065026If we were woman would that change to "The Butch"?
>>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_ballYes. Paper cartridges, not modern brass shell casings. Since there is no Claude-Étienne Minié 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.htmBoth 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 assaultWriting
>>5065720What 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
>>5065723You have scouts already deployed in the surrounding area to warn of any enemy approaches
>>5065765Damnit 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 gentlemanI 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
>>5065769You 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 determinationWriting>>5066053>I first read this as Sylas wiping his bum before answering the summonslmao. 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 uphillArriving 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 sentryI mean, they are bushwackers afterall.
>>5069532>>Send a lone scout to bushwhack the sentry
>>5069532>Send a lone scout to bushwhack the sentryIf we had any sneaking skills we ought to do it ourselves.
>>5069532>Send a lone scout to bushwhack the sentryHave 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 sentryBut 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 sentryWriting
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 1d10I need 3 rolls.
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>5070607Poor lad
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>5070607>Mfw dice in a previously dice-less game.
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>5070607
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>5070667Maybe 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
>>5070917Yes, this is the first time we've actually played as a rank-and-file soldier in this campaign, dice rolls make sense to account for the much greater role of chance in these sorts of situations as opposed to the strategic and tactical decisions we've been making so far.
>>5070669See>>5070917>>5071254This is correct. Having a scout make a clean kill is objectively the best choice here, but it's also not a guarantee of success. There is an element of chance to it. I won't do this for command decisions.7, 7, 2 >Writing
Your blade meets the startled youth's neck with enough force to knock him onto his ass. His rifle falls from his hands as his blood wells out from the gash, spurting across his already red uniform.Yanking the machet free, you fall on him, chopping again and again, his fingers and hands coming apart as he tries to ward off the blows, eventually he stops struggling and lies still. You wipe your blade on his trousers and stand up, staring down at the kill. Whatever divine spark lived within this boy is gone now.You slide your blade into its leather sheath and whistle. The regiment moves up like ghosts from fog. The new commander passes, very carefully not looking at the body just as you don't look at him. Dekker slaps your back and hands you your rifle. "Nice work.""It's done."
You are Major Sylas Bellmonte, and you feel sick to your stomach. The grisly sight of that butchered teenager didn't help things, but more than that, you're nervous. Your regiment has begun to wheel, turning to come down the valley side toward the unsuspecting enemy and battle is coming.An impossibly long peal of thunder splits the pleasant, cloudless morning. You and the rest of the regiment freeze, looking up at the blue sky, transfixed.The shriek and howl of ordinance passing overhead disrupts the illusion of supernatural thunder. Shells begin to explode ahead. The bombardment has begun."On the double, men!" you call out. "We don't want to be late!"The regiment picks up speed, trotting and crashing through the undergrowth. There's no sense being quiet now, you need to be quick. Within minutes the shelling tapers off to nothing. The attack will be starting now.You emerge from the edge of the woods and come face to face with the broken landscape of the valley floor. You're looking down the length of the enemy entrenchments. You see burgundy-clad soldiers scrambling to get to firing positions to meet the wave of white and grey approaching from your left. Chartist gun batteries wheel into position and start their deadly work the same as you must begin yours.Just ahead, up a short slope is an enemy redoubt, a fortification of earth and wood intended to make direct attack too costly. This one has been hammered by shellfire and part of it smolders. None of the defenders within have any idea you are right on top of them."Attack by company!" you say, directing your men. "Use the bayonet, use your blades, let's clear this position and move on to the next!" The more redoubts and earthworks you can clear, the more lives you will save.
The Banshees rush up the hill as a deadly mob, weapons at the ready before dropping into trenches and climbing over parapets with alarming speed. You follow behind, pistol clenched tightly in your right hand. You're determined not to let Lieutenant Dekker get too far ahead of you.Gun fire splits the air, men scream in panic and pain. "Traitors! Traitors in the redoubt!" Someone- a Chartist- screams. You follow Dekker over a dirt parapet and into a fighting position. The floor is lined with wood planks and a battery of smoothbores peers out over the open ground. The crew here look startled.You level your revolver at the first one you see and start squeezing the trigger.He raises his hands instantly, dropping the ramrod he held.The rest of the battery crew does the same, dropping weapons. "We give! Godsake you got us!" All across the redoubt men are surrendering. These are young men, many of them likely fresh draftees from Foebaddyn and the surrounding farms, militia and the like. There's no fight in them.There's also dozens of them, maybe nearly a hundred manning this redoubt and the surrounding defenses. To accept this surrender will mean detaching a guard, a sizable one given that you only have four companies at your disposal. It will take time to round the prisoners up effectively, time that could be used advancing on the next position.Your finger is already tight on the trigger. One shot will turn a surrender into a massacre.>Accept the surrender, round up the prisoners in this area and detach a guard to watch them before moving on>Kill them all as quick as you can and attack the next redoubt>Write in
>>5071916>Kill them all as quick as you can and attack the next redoubt
>>5071916>>Accept the surrender, round up the prisoners in this area and detach a guard to watch them before moving on
>>5071916>Accept the surrender, round up the prisoners in this area and detach a guard to watch them before moving onWe'll lose some momentum but we've still caught them on the flank, it'll be fine.For real though, rounding of POWs after or even during an assault is pretty normal and standard practice. Modern armies have SOPs specifically for this with rally points and assigned people per squad to ziptie and coral prisoners and everything. This era's procedures may not be as sophisticated but it shouldn't be a long hassle that we have to give a long detailed five-paragraph order out to our men just to detail how they should deal with these guys, they should know what to do with a quick order.They'll take a lot of men to initially tie up without them making a break for a weapon or running over, but once they are trussed up they'll only need a few men with gun and blade in hand to be able to cut down any initial runners or resisters, the rest should sit back down unless it is a coordinated effort, and even then trussed up men cannot fight armed foes with truly ludicrous numbers and luck.Our assault will probably slow but not terribly.
>>5071935without truly ludicrous numbers*
What if we order them to strip nude and march through the woods and head home or far away from battle, if we see them return we will kill them.
>>5071916>Accept the surrender, round up the prisoners in this area and detach a guard to watch them before moving on
>>5071916>>Accept the surrender, round up the prisoners in this area and detach a guard to watch them before moving onThese are our countrymen afterall.Can we turn the guns on the chartists? They haven't spiked them I'm assuming?
>>5071916>>Kill them all as quick as you can and attack the next redoubt
>>5071916>Accept the surrender, round up the prisoners in this area and detach a guard to watch them before moving onIf word gets out we are slaughtering prisoners then this war will never end. It's already one gun battery down.And if any of ours are looking to tie this problem up quick without prisoners staying alive then tell them every man we kill here is another 7 we will have to kill in Foebadyn once word gets out.
>>5071916>>Kill them all as quick as you can and attack the next redoubtAsking for us to stall.
>>5071916>Accept the surrender, round up the prisoners in this area and detach a guard to watch them before moving onCertain "rules" of war still apply.
>Kill them all as quick as you can and attack the next redoubt>>5071923>>5071994>>5072343>Accept the surrender, round up the prisoners in this area and detach a guard to watch them before moving on>>5071927>>5071935>>5071963>>5071992>>5072001>>5072062>>5072410>>5072431Writing
You release your claw grip on the trigger and gesture with the barrel. "Against that wall. Drop those things, move!"Dekker gives you a sidelong glance, rifle still leveled at them. "Sir, don't you think we oughta-""Detach a detail from your company, Lieutenant Dekker," you say. "Round these men up into a concentrated area and keep watch until we can get them back to our lines. Once they've been secured we'll resume our advance.""Sir," Dekker says, "We ain't playin a game out here. This is for keeps.""I'm aware, Lieutenant. "But these men are Aerthyians like you and I. We have certain immutable rules in warfare. This is one of them. If we start with what you're suggesting then this war will see the country burned to ashes before anyone wins."Dekker isn't pleased but he nods. "Sir."Once he's gone you let out a shaky breath. You'd nearly given in to fear and rage. This was a war, and war may be hell, but that didn't mean you had to be hellish in return. The attack would stall for long enough to take stock of the prisoners here before you proceed on."Banshees, with me!" You wave your saber overhead. "Let's turn these guns on the enemy!"
You are General Winfield Belmonte, commander of the Army of the Antary and you're wondering if your son Sylas is safe. He's somewhere in the melee ahead of you, but you can't let your thoughts dwell on it. Sylas isn't the only man on that field you feel responsibility for.Your siege guns had done the heavy lifting, cracking open many of the enemy redoubts and suppressing others. Now infantry were storming the trenches, slaughtering, capturing, or driving out the defenders row by row. It was bloody work for both sides. Within an hour you could make out a steady stream of retreating Chartists fleeing for the perceived safety of the forts.This operation wasn't elegant in the way you'd been trained to be elegant on the field of battle. There were no sweeping flank marches, no gallant cavalry charges, just a bloody slog straight into the enemy's teeth. Even your regimental flanking attack had lacked the punch you'd hoped for. There was no climatic envelopment of the enemy which meant there would likely be yet more fighting, this time centered on the forts and maybe the town beyond."General Belmonte, sir!" A courier arrives breathlessly. His uniform indicates he's one of your cavalrymen, part of Moers' corps which is strung out in the farmland around your army screening for enemy flank attacks. "Message from the rear.""Go on."He swallows dryly and takes a moment to recall the details of the message. "Chartist cavalry are tearing up the rail lines to our rear, sir. At least a couple regiments are riding roughshod across our lines."Rail lines weren't impossible to repair, but it took time and manpower. So long as the rail line was under threat, any shipments of supplies along it would be vulnerable, most especially heavy shells for your siege guns. "Where is General Moers?" you ask."He's spread thin, sir, but he's requesting permission to gather in strength and sweep the enemy out of that area. He proposes leaving a brigade of cavalry to act as pickets while the rest clear the enemy raiders."Moers has the soul of a cavalryman, bold as always. A mass cavalry action would be valuable if the enemy began acting more boldly, raiding passing trains and the line. Of course, you already have a small stockpile of shells. You might simply let the enemy have their way with the rail lines and hope that your stockpile is enough to handle both forts and force the enemy to surrender.Otherwise, there is also the Crown Prince who came with a force of Royal Hussars who could be dispatched to deal with this while leaving Moers to screen your army.>Send Moers to clear the enemy>Send the Crown Prince to clear the enemy>Let the Chartists do as they please, we'll take our chances with the stockpile we have>Write in
>>5072846>Send the Crown Prince to clear the enemy
>>5072846>>Send the Crown Prince to clear the enemy
>>5072846>>Send the Crown Prince to clear the enemyA good lesson for him. Logistics is paramount to any military operation.
>>5072846>>Send the Crown Prince to clear the enemyGotta question QM, do you know what the result of each decision will be before hand? Or do you think of it afterwards. Must be a lot of planning if it's the latter.
>>5072846>>Send Moers to clear the enemyI feel that we chasing after raiders would be better suited to Moers, the crown prince and his flashy hussars could well be baited into an ambush with their bravado.
>>5072899I have a solid idea of the outcome of every choice before it's decided, good or bad. Write ins and things can tweak this, but I generally know what will happen once voting is done.
>>5072846>>Send the Crown Prince to clear the enemyInb4 the Crown Prince gets captured
>Send the Crown Prince to clear the enemyWriting
"I think Prince Donavyn would appreciate a chance for action," you say. "And a deeper understanding of the importance of logistics."The courier looks at you curiously, as if wondering if he should repeat this as part of the message. Best that he didn't."Tell the Crown Prince and his hussars that this task calls for their skills. The division will move west and secure the rail lines from Chartist raiders. That and no more. Understood?"The courier resists a smile and salutes you. "Understood sir."You watch him ride off at a canter. The tempo of things is increasing. The critical moment is coming like a crescendo in a concert. Once the final pockets of resistance ahead are cleared out you can move your guns up to the heights and begin shelling the forts. Imposing as they are, they won't be able to withstand concentrated shelling. They will fall, and when they do, the city will as well.It's only a matter of time now.***You are Crown Prince Donavyn, rightful heir to the throne of Aerthys, first son of the True King, Chartist Usurpers be damned, and you are finally free of the yoke placed around your neck by Lord Belmonte. You trot at the head of a column of your Royal Hussars along a scenic valley road. The wind is in your hair, your spurs jingle, your saber rattles in its scabbard, and all is exactly as it should be. You hardly even notice the tight press of pistol-armed body guards surrounding your horse.Belmonte isn't particularly bad, you ponder. He's a talented officer, beloved by the men, just perhaps a little too melancholic for your tastes. He lacks the sort of drive you would have expected a man of his caliber to possess. Worse still, you can't help but note that he doesn't seem terribly invested in the fate of your family. Certainly he's a soldier in your cause, but he feels rather detached from it. You hope that won't become a problem at some future date.A splash of red by the roadside makes you slow your horse.A dead Chartists cavalryman lays beside his stricken horse, victim of some earlier skirmish. The sight of the dead doesn't trouble you, such is the price of war, or in this case, profit. One less dead traitor to trouble you.You pull back on the reigns so your horse stops, your body guards do likewise."Trouble, highness?" One asks.You gesture to the dead man. "This is the enemy?" you sneer.The dead Usurper wears homespun trousers and carries a shotgun in place of a carbine. Instead of a proper saber there is a sickle at his side."This is what's given us such grief?" You chuckle and shake your head. "This war will be over soon, gentlemen. Mark my words, and we'll be the first to make it so."
A commotion ahead draws your attention. You hear a smattering of rifle fire before you see a courier galloping back toward you. You don't wait, spurring your horse to a gallop to meet him. "Enemy ahead, Highness!""Numbers?'"A regiment at least! They've thrown back our videttes, they're moving in force on the rail line." The courier rattles this off without a breath."Calm yourself," you say. "A fight isn't something to be feared.""Highness, Captain Erenmore fears that there is more than scattered raiders in this valley."Erenmore was the man you'd put ahead of your column, operating widely dispersed cavalry videttes to flush out and locate the enemy."On what evidence?""Tracks, signs of a camp. He thinks there's a proper cavalry formation out here sir."The news brings a smile to your face. At last."Map!" you snap gloved fingers and an aide unrolls a map nearby. You'd been schooled by the best tutors in military science the nation had to offer before the war, you knew how to read terrain and what was suitable ground for a cavalry engagement and which wasn't fitting. "There. This pasturage. If an enemy body gathers, this is where they will do it."The pasturage was large, several interconnected fields surrounded by thing wood lines and bisected with a narrow dirt road. The enemy would be watching most approaches, but with speed or deceptive maneuvering you could catch them unaware.Your division is made of two brigades of two regiments each, their numbers mostly intact despite some light skirmishing throughout the days before. Such a body of elite horsemen would be murder for any sickly Chartist force.You lock eyes with the courier. "Ride to Captain Erenmore and have him break contact. Pull back and away, don't let the enemy get an indication of our numbers or disposition.""Sir!" The courier salutes and gallops away.If your hunch was correct, the enemy cavalry would be mustering in the pasturage ahead, screened by dismounted pickets, likely what Erenmore was facing now. >We'll circle around their skirmishers and sweep the field at a gallop with sabers>We'll deploy a regiment on foot to draw their attention while the main body splits in two and seeks to strike both their flanks>We'll feint an attack on the field and then draw them back into waiting ambush with dismounted cavalry
>>5076110>>We'll deploy a regiment on foot to draw their attention while the main body splits in two and seeks to strike both their flanks
>>5076110>We'll deploy a regiment on foot to draw their attention while the main body splits in two and seeks to strike both their flanks
>>5076110>>We'll circle around their skirmishers and sweep the field at a gallop with sabersLess moving parts, the less that can go wrong.
>>5076110>>We'll feint an attack on the field and then draw them back into waiting ambush with dismounted cavalry
>>5076110>>We'll circle around their skirmishers and sweep the field at a gallop with sabers
>>5076110>We'll deploy a regiment on foot to draw their attention while the main body splits in two and seeks to strike both their flanksWe'll fix them in place before moving in and destroying them.
>We'll deploy a regiment on foot to draw their attention while the main body splits in two and seeks to strike both their flanks>>5076128>>5076138>>5076186>>5076209>>5076507Writing
A gesture calls up one of your many waiting staff officers. "Take a regiment, I don't care which, and have them dismount and advance into these woods. They are to engage the enemy and keep their attention. Fix them, understand?""Yes, Highness!" He salutes you and rides off.You summon another and relay your plan to split the division in half, one brigade per flank roughly. Once orders are relayed you turn to the captain of your personal guard."I'll attend to the left flank personally," you say."Is that wise, Highness?" his face betrays nothing, but you can smell his fear from here. "Your orders will be more difficult to relay from that position."You laugh. "Let's be honest with ourselves, Captain, it's not my orders you're concerned about. The Hussars know how to handle themselves. Come. You have a job to do and so do I. You protect and I lead.""Yes, Highness," he says ruefully.
You ride left along a rutted cowtrail as the sound of musket fire intensifies from your dismounted advance. It may be your imagination, but the air here in this valley seems crisper than it did before, more potent somehow. You stand on the precipice of greatness. What had begun as a dull chore, protecting a rail line, now held the promise of true clash of arms!You find the brigade command staff ahead. You get the usual dead-eyed stares that you've come to expect from professional officers who resent the meddling of what they see as an amateur. "Gentlemen!" you stand on your stirrups and draw your saber. You point it behind you, toward the gunfire. "The battle is joined! Our brave brothers in arms have fixed the enemy in place. Now let us smash them!"The speech draws a few hurrahs and after a couple commands, the attack is mounted, the brigade fanning out into a line as the ground opened up. Spurring your horse, you work your way toward the center front of the line, over the protestations of your guards.The mass advance of cavalry full resplendent in their glory is a rush without compare! This is the sort of thing that hasn't been seen since the wars against Casmia in your father and grandfather's time, now you too ride upon the field of glory.Ahead the musket fire sounds far more intense than a mere skirmish you were expecting. Thick drifts of smoke waft up from the woodline. No time to worry about it, there is a line of trees long a creek barring your path. Beyond that is the pasturage the enemy cavalry are no doubt in.Your line slows as the horses and riders skillfully navigate the steep banks and brush. Your own mount splashes through the clear water and struggles up the far slope to emerge into the open where you see the Chartists gathering.You pause, but only for a moment. The cavalry are in fact here and it greater number than you ever expected, easily a full division, maybe more. Despite the great range, they seem just as surprised to see you as you are to see them.A more prudent commander might order his men to dismount and use the cover of the creek bed to harass these cavalry troopers in the open. You are not a prudent commander. You are Prince Donavyn, Heir to Aerthys.You wave your saber in a flashing circle overhead, a single command passes your lips. "Charge!"The hussars around you spur their horses with gallant cries, sabers aloft as they race toward the enemy. You outrun your bodyguard in your headlong attack against the Usurpers.***Roll 1d10I need 3 rolls.
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>5077180
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>5077180
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>5077180