Friday, August 18, 2017

Schnellenbach Campaign Movements Part I

I based this campaign on one of the campaign ideas in the "Dawns and Departures" supplement to Sharp Practice.  However, I tried to added more character with mixed results, mostly due to player reactions.  The original game called for the Allies to blow the bridge and defeat the French, based on the idea of blowing up the bridge when a portion of the French force had crossed.  I added the Drumpff and FitzJames characters and figured that the addition of Drumpff would make the Allies job much harder and so modified the victory conditions accordingly.

Another issue with the rules as written is the treatment of rivers.  In the rules, these can be crossed anywhere with a chance of delay.  This didn't work with a bridge blowing scenario - if the river isn't a problem why do we care about the bridge?  So I treated the thin rivers on the map as likely crossable in most places and the thicker rivers as more formidable obstacles.  These required a bridge for an army to cross but I hinted that they might be crossable by light forces (i.e. without baggage, wagons, guns etc) at other places.

Early movements were pretty basic.

The French started at the Abbey where FitzJames linked up with the Marbot family, French nobles who he was to escort to a shrine in the woods on the French side of the Schnellenbach.  The Allies started on the road and moved west (north is to the right on the map) into the woods.  Both sides sent out cavalry scouts (light arrows) and exploring officers (horsemen figures ) on recon.  Both side received reinforcements, mostly because I had new figures that hadn't been selected in their Support options and I wanted to get these on table.  Meanwhile a convoy of allied wounded appeared on the French bank of the Schnellenbach in the woods.  These moved to the bridge on the Schnellenbach where they were spotted by the Allies' exploring officer.
 Off map, Curt decided that the scenario didn't suit his tastes and tried to rewrite it into something better for him.  First  Campbell, informed Drumpff that he will not condone any shenanigans by him or his men with local civilians or other members of the force.   "For this mission he is my subordinate and the expectation is that he will observe the chain of command and master his men."

Trumpf replied that  he “won’t take orders from a sheep rustler in a skirt from the most god forsaken province of the Hanoverian empire.  If I were in charge I’d rebuild Hadrian’s Wall and make the Scots pay for it.  This is my plan and I’m the one telling you what to do Campbell.  You be careful or I’ll have my connections transfer you to some hellish American backwater that will make the Highlands seem like paradise.”

Campbell was probably the higher ranked officer, but we're talking different branches of two different armies.  Plus Drumpff had a lot of social power and was on the permanent establishment.  On the other side Campbell was in a unit raised for the duration of the war and which was seen as an bunch of irregular infantry best suited to sheep rustling and raiding.  Campbell also had zero social clout in England let alone Germany and the Scots were considered wild savages on the fringes of civilization at this point in history.

 Now life got interesting.  On  the map we see the French move south and the Allies make a double move west up to the bridge.  The cavalry scouts find each other but avoid contact.  Meanwhile the exploring officers are able to slip through the cavalry screens.  The Allies scout finds the French main body while the French scout finds a potential crossing point north of the bridge.

Off map, Campbell will remind Drumpff "that his only orders are to escort Drumpff and his engineering party to and from the bridge - nothing more.  Campbell's orders state nothing of Drumpff commanding the column."  Actually they din't say anything about Campbell being in charge either...

Campbell then slapped him in front of the men, calling him "a pox-ridden whoreson whose only talent was being able to escape his mother's all-too-accommodating legs."   Campbell will then demand satisfaction the next morning at dawn unless Drumpff gives him an apology and withdraws any pretence of commanding the force. If Drumpff accepts the duel, Campbell will ask Phillipson to be his Second. If Drumpff refuses, Campbell will add coward to Drumpff's list of character traits.

Drumpff replied that it's his plan, his work to blow the bridge and your just there to escort him.

When you slap him he says "I could have you hanged for that Campbell, and have your family shipped to the wilds of America.  Now get your barbarian countrymen up to that bridge before I change my mind."   With that he gave the pontooniers instructions and rode off towards the bridge at top speed leaving the highlanders to march in his dust.

I decided that there was no way he was fighting a duel as he considered Campbell way to far below his social standing.  There'll be no loss of honour because society agrees that Campbell is a hairy barbarian and because Drumpff has no honour to start with.


  1. Well, I tried tried my best to call him out. You have to give Drumpff a bit of credit for being far more thick-skinned than his distant progeny...

    1. You gave it a very good try, but I figured he'd got his descendant's cockroach ability to survive any social misstep.