Sunday, August 17, 2014

(Gnome Wars) #1 Battle of Veliki Leptir

July 29, 1914 GC (Gnome Calendar)  Veliki Leptir, Surfia

In response to the assassination of Crown Prince Otto Von Buckvitz by a Surfian miner's pick, and the relative indifference of the Surfian government to their demands, the Principality of Oesteria declared war on its smaller neighbor.  Prepared for a strictly punitive campaign, the Oesterian military crossed the border into Surfia with its first mission:  Capture/kill the local wizard, Milo, crush the resistance, and come back home for a drink.  

Things would not be so easy.

Oesterian Army
Objectives, in order of preference: (1) Capture the Wizard Milo  (2) Steal the Purple Butterfly Artifact (3) Kill the Wizard Milo
Deployment:  one unit sets up a anywhere along the tree line.  Each turn roll for reinforcement.  On turn 1 a 6 on 1d6 would deploy no more than one unit.  Each subsequent turn the chance to deploy would be reduced by one, but no lower than 3+ and no more than one unit a turn.

3 Oesertian Infantry Units, only one medic in the primary unit.

The Wizard Milo, with the Purple Butterfly artifact, and a personal cannon
The Surfian Army
Objective:  (1) Save the wizard, Milo (2) Drive off the attackers.
Deployment:  The Surfian leadership was expecting an attack on the area and was well-prepared to handle it.    The Wizard and the artifact would start the game by his barn.  A unit of Surfian Militia was patrolling the area and would enter down the road by the cottage.  Three additional units of would be deployed following the same rules as the Oesterrians.

Wizard, Milo (no animals)
1 unit , Sufrian Militia
2 units, Surfian Infantry
1 units, Sufrian Lynch mob (treat all units as hand-to-hand troops with d6 in melee). 

Veliki Leptir, from a shaky hand in an observation balloon
From the historical perspective, the Oesterrians came to Surfian wholly unprepared, while the Surfians came loaded to bear. 

The battle began with the lone German unit rushing to the defenses at the crossroads.  The Surfian militia followed suit and no shots were fired until the second turn.  No reinforcements were rolled on either turn.

Turn 3:  The Surfian Lynch Mob emerged on the far end of the table from the Germans.  Their mission:  save the wizard at all costs.  One of the Surfian Infantry units also emerged from other far corner. 

The villagers come to aid the wizard!
The rifle exhanges were particularly brutal at such a close range, but the medics on each side performed admirably.  Still, the lone Oesterrian unit kept looking over their shoulder, praying for reinforcements that never seemed to come. 

Turn 4:  The Oesterrians tried to seize and day and their melee troops charged the dual line of Surfian Militia.  Despite killing the invaders to the man, the Surfians took heavily casualties as well and were forced to fall back to the second stone wall. 
The Surf Militia repells the assault and tries to regroup
Those eyes staring back for help caught the Oesterrians awares of the charging Lynch Mob!
Moments before the villagers violent end
Turn 5:  Finally, reinforcements for the Oesterrians!  Later military investigators determined that the other two Oesterrian infantry units had just arrived from a forced march and did not receive orders to advance.  Their officers assumed an assault at dawn would be more productive than one at dusk.  When word of the lone unit finally reached the camp, a recon team was dispatched to confirm the report.  They reached the treeline, fired some successful shots the surprised militia, and sunk back into the forest. 

The Surfians got their final reinforcement and the Lynch Mob charged the battered Germans.  Despite being outnumbered, the better disciplined Germans slew all of the villagers and the Oesterrian captain decided withdrawal was a better course of action. 

To fight the first battles of the Great Gnome War, the little known Oester-Surfian Campaign, I decided to fiddle around the Four Enemies campaign generator on TMP.  While it's much better suited for Fantasy/Medieval/Ancients, the maps are generic enough to tweak for some early 20th Century style warfare.  Plus my daughter Maja set up most of the terrain, including the Purple Butterfly artifact objective.   The variables of the campaign were set pretty high, so I wasn't too surprised when the defenders (Surfia) got more than 15% more troops than the attackers!  Add the horrible reinforcement rolls and the campaign has the Oesterrians realing back to the border, and the Surfians on a surprise offensive.

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