Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Bridge at Zahn

The cocks were crowing, the birds were singing in every tree.  The regulars were trooping the colors following role-call nearby while the Latverian town militia was either still eating breakfast or was trying to clean up the rusted old town cannon.

In the distance towards Litharus a trail of dust materialized into a loose mob of Cossacks cantering towards the bridge.

The town militia quickly formed up to block the bridge and take up firing positions in flanking buildings  Being a border town, the militia of Zahn was a cut above your typical town militia.  The Cossacks fanned out, screening the masses of formed infantry and artillery was now clearly seen advancing?  Neither side fired a shot.  If there is to be war again, will it start here?

Suddenly shots ring out and fire is returned in earnest.  The troops from Litharus begin to form line of battle as still more pour on table.

Many saddles are emptied before the Cossacks adjust their position and the regulars begin to cut swaths through their respective ranks.

Volleys echo as the town militia and regulars fire forward.  The Babruysk Pandours fire from the safety of the flank onto the Latverian line.

Taras Shevenko is not pleased with the losses among his men.  "Cut down for now reason or chance for profit!"  These superb scouts may be missed in the future but for now General Orlov is pleased that they have kept is regulars from taking too much damage.

Finally the Cossacks are allowed to move away from screening the line, the decision helped by one squadron routing away. 

On their first test the Latverian regulars rout back, away from the river.  This leaves just to local town militia and their antiquated cannon to contest the river bridge.  There can be only one outcome now.  Even the arrival of two squadrons of hussars that had been scouting the river in either direction can do little without infantry support.

Although the Jonava Musketeers will rout, it only serves to unmask the fresh battalion behind it, which gets the drop on the militia.  An opening volley delivered at short range eliminates all the men formed up in the streets.  The men in buildings seek to parley as the defiant gunner push their cannon into the river.  Just as well, had they ever rolled double sixes when firing it would have exploded.

After the battle, with the bridge securely in control of General Orlov's men, the grim task of counting the fallen began.  The town militia was disarmed and allowed to return to their homes on parole, though they will be watched.  For each of the fallen a d6 is thrown.  1-3 they are allowed to rejoin the ranks.  4-5 they are severely wounded and out of the campaign or prisoners if they fail to hold the field.  Some of these will die of their wounds sadly.  On a 6 there is nothing to do except as in the words of Max the Magnificent, "go through their pockets for loose change."

Is this a raid, an invasion or a tragic mistake?  Check the newspapers for more news.


  1. Foul betrayal! Once again our perfidious Litharusian neighbors show their true colors. Baron Von Dhum shan't stand for this! The clarion call to battle shall soon be answered. The men of Latveria will stand with steel in their hearts and the dead of Zahn will be AVENGED!

  2. Whatever it might really be doesn't matter much . . . it is definitely a "casus belli" and I am confident that there will be much more combat ere all is calm again.

    -- Jeff

  3. Litharus, we are told had a proper reason for the incursion.
    Prince de Charade,
    Gallian Ministère des Affaires étrangères