That was the name of the game this Saturday, as a Northern Alliance force returning from a raid found itself entirely surrounded by units of the Pragmatic Coalition. Would the commanders of North Polenburg and Stansbach-Anwatsch realize their plight and withdraw in time, or would they be completely cut off by the disparate Coalition forces converging on them from every direction?
The answer, it turns out, was no--though North Polenburg's Queen Jennifer Regiment managed to retreat in good order as did a good part of the heavy cavalry, the Hawks Regiment was badly damaged and the Stansbach-Anwatsch 2nd Regiment was
The Northern command, not apprised of the approach of other Coalition detachments, had originally planned to make a stand against the main pursuing body at a point where the river was only guarded by a single, easily defensible bridge. Imagine their surprise, then, when the first enemy soldiers to appear were the Wachovian Hussars, on what had been their left flank, where the light cavalry immediately rode down a gun that had been left out beyond its infantry support.
Initial dispositions of the Northern Alliance
Wachovian hussars capture a gun
The offending hussars were quickly engaged and destroyed by the Stansbach-Anwatsch dragoons, as the Northern left flank redeployed to face a possible new threat from this direction. But the next Pragmatic force to arrive was the main body on the other side of the river--led by mixed heavy cavalry and with two regiments of infantry following behind.
The main Coalition force enters
Cavalry melee on the Northern left
Meanwhile, on the right flank, the Northern commander began to extend his lines to fire at the Pragmatic troops across the river only to find that more Coalition forces were approaching from that direction as well--more Wachovians, this time infantry, who fixed bayonets and charged into the unsuspecting North Polenburgers. Two squadrons of heavy cavalry rode to the rescue, but met fierce resistance and were ultimately driven back by the thin orange line. In attempting to retreat, the North Polenburg cavalry was scythed down by Pragmatic guns across the river.
North Polenburg's 33rd Dragoons charge the Wachovian line
A mixed force of light cavalry was sent to block the Wachovian's advance, but before they could get there they were surprised by a Coalition attack from the rear--a force of cavalry coming up the road directly behind the Northern Alliance's main position. In several turns of fierce fighting, the Onkel-Heinrich Lancers and the newly formed 25th "Tannenbaum" Hussars were nearly destroyed, and only saved by the return of the Stansbach-Anwatsch dragoons, who fell upon the victorious Pragmatics as the latter were rallying.
Hussars vs. hussars, and dragoons vs. lancers
Action continues on the right
At this point, the Northern Alliance had realized their predicament, and began to pull back rather than be flanked on both sides--a new force of Schoeffen-Buschhagen infantry had appeared to their left. This sight encouraged the main Pragmatic army, which up to this point had been bottled up by the bridge. The Coalition pressed forward, first with cavalry and then with infantry, besting the retreating Stansbach-Anwatsch 2nd Infantry in a series of melees. As the remnants of the North Polenburg regiments retreated, the Stansbach-Anwatschers were caught and destroyed, leading the battle to be declared a victory for the Pragmatic Coalition.
First push across the river
"The enemy is behind us!" "No, the enemy is behind us!"
Pragmatic forces continue to cross the river
More Pragmatic troops can be seen in the distance.
Remnants of the Northern Alliance army
All in all, it was an interesting scenario. As one of the Pragmatic players, I think the Alliance had it tougher, not knowing the situation or the troops strengths. On the other hand, most of our detachments were fairly small, and the staggered manner in which they arrived meant that it was definitely possible to defeat them in detail--and indeed, the two cavalry forces, though they did a good deal of damage, were destroyed in the process. Then again, we had no issue with taking whatever losses were necessary, whereas the Alliance was told that they had to salvage at least 60% of their troops in order to win. Unfortunately, given the importance of the surprise factor, it would be difficult to run it again... at least with the same players.