Saturday, August 19, 2017

Schnellenbach Campaign Movements Pt II

When Campbell trudges into the Inn at the Schnellenbach, he finds that Drumpff has made good use of his fine horse and preceded him by several hours.  Drumpff took the best room at the Inn and the company of a couple of local working girls.  He has left instructions (and a lot of gold) with the Innkeeper that his is not to be disturbed unless "the Inn is on fire and the gunpowder is likely to blow".  Fred the Innkeeper has had a lean war and Drumpff has lots of coin so he was not likely to give up this potential goldmine.  Dr.  Schubert noted that there were worse ways for him to interact with the locals and suggested Campbell let him be.

Fred also has a note from Drumpff.

Great day laddie!  I had a look at the bridge and it’s a well-made structure but I can rig it to come down.  Best case is that I have it ready for noon tomorrow but end the day is more likely.  Please keep those Froggies off my back until sundown tomorrow then we can play out the great scheme on the day after.

Over in the French camp things were progressing more sedately.  FitzJames had become quite smitten with Mlle Marbot, but it looked to be a long siege.  First parallels had been dug and probing attacks made of the revetments.  However the defence showed their mettle through accurate counter battery fire and the occasional sortie.   
Situation at the end of the first day.

Situation at midday on the second day of the campaign
In the French camp, it was decided that they would use their pontoons as canoes and trip and ferry some light troops across the Schnellenbach.  The  exploring officer "Pathfinder" Fremont would lead the force off road, hopefully reducing the likelihood of delay.  The allies kept their cavalry close at hand and sent their exploring officer ("Pathfinder" Freiburg) off to keep an eye on the French.  Freiburg had a swing and a miss, so the French had much better intel from their cavalry scouts.  Meanwhile he had his highlanders grumbling as they assembled barricades at the bridge and Drumpff had his pontooniers had at work getting the bridge ready to blow.  Drumpff reports Campbell this is one heck of a solidly made bridge I can tell you that for sure!   But don’t you worry laddie we’ll get her ready to blow by the end of the day.

Campbell had also worked on getting friendly with Drumpff's hard worked pontooniers with a plan in mind once the bridge was set to go....

Situation at the end of the second day.  Fremont was winning the battle of the pathfinders having first found a crossing point and then guided the French force to it without delay - consistently rolling Vegas.  In fact his rolls were so good I ruled that the French could get their two groups of light infantry across the river by nightfall.  Meanwhile the Allies Freiburg had another swing and a miss looking for the French although cavalry patrols (not marked on the map because I initially missed Curt's instructions for this - my bad!) found Frenchmen on both banks of the Schnellenbach.

At the bridge, Drumpff had worked hard but the bridge was not quite set to go - the job was legitimately much tougher that he originally indicated .  Campbell had also worked hard getting into the pontooniers' good books and building more barricades.

So for the morning of July 23rd, we had the following situation.

  • Work on rigging the bridge to blow was almost finished but not quite.
  • Campbell had built barricades on the east (Allied) bank of the river.
  • The French were moving to attack the bridge with most of their force on the west (French) bank but some light infantry on the east (Allied) bank.

So we ended up with an assault on a defended bridge with equal numbers, a situation I was hoping to avoid.  Curt felt that letting the French get across the river was a bit gamey, but so be it.   I couldn't see the French having a chance in hell without the flanking force.  Plus the campaign balance was dependent on Drumpff causing problems, but that balance went as I had to take Drumpff out of the mix to keep him alive to blow the bridge!  I figure if players game the scenario then the scenario gets to game the players  back.


  1. Good man Peter, I'm following this with interest as I've been reading the campaign supplement recently.

    1. Thanks Conrad. I should have the battle report up in a day or so. There's good stuff in the campaign book, but as is fen the case you may wan to tweak or enhance some bits.