Control of the vital road junction of Dreibrücken is a critical step in a successful advance by Bravantois forces against the Landgaviate of Stutz-Berkatz.
Today, the armies of the Duke of Bravant, under the command of the duke himself advised by Marshall MacDuff attempted to seize the bridges. They were opposed by the combined field forces of the Landgave and the Archduke of Drakenburg.
In passing, we note that the Fenwickers do not consider themselves to be mercenaries, preferring instead to think of their lord as a nobleman with a fixed loyalty to profit.
Soon thereafter, the Drakenburg horse on the extreme allied right met the second Branvatois cavalry brigade on the Branvantois left.
A decision fulfilled by the charge of the Stutz-Berkatz horse in the centre, leaving Marshall MacDuff struggling to rescue his shattered regiments.
But the tramp of marching feet was soon heard, as the cavalry preliminaries were concluded and the main bodies of infantry began to enter on both sides. The Bravantois cavalry had been driven from the field; the Stutz-Berkatz cavalry had suffered in the engagement and fell back in the centre effectively spent. The Drakenburg cavalry, victorious but exhausted, deployed to threaten the Bravantois left.
The Branvatois try a strong two-brigade push in the centre, but it all goes horribly wrong. First, in a surprise success so rapid it is almost missed the Berkatz "double-blue" freikorps send a Branvois brigade packing with losses; only a second attack drives it back. Then the much-vaunted guarde refused to advance. This unit is amazingly consistent in its behavior. Marshall MacDuff attests that they have failed him in every engagement in which he has employed them,and believes they should be rated as a militia regiment for spoiled noblemen's distaff offspring.
Meanwhile, the Stutz-Berkatz first brigade arrived on the left bank, and secured the left bank of all the bridges.
With the centre brigades broken or compromised, night falling, and a frech Drakenburg force advancing, Marshall MacDuff realized that he could neither secure both banks of any bridge, nor even force a draw, and so elected to withdraw from the field. With their cavalry blown and one enemy brigade untouched, the Allies elected not to push the pursuit.
The game was played using Ross's (MacDuff's) Hearts of Tin rules, the latest version of which can be found from his Battlegame of the Month blog. In the past we have translated inched to centimeters since Ross's rules were originally designed with 20-40mm figures in mind. Today we used inches straight up; so foot was moving 9" in line and horse 18"; guns reached out 36". These are bloody rules, since battalion level morale results are simply rolled into losses. Fast movement, long ranges and bloody combat makes a fast decisive game with a short cycle from decision to combat to result. This was not a small game - something like 20 or so units on each side - and came to a sold conclusion in 12 turns over about 4 hours (leaving out the coffee and lunch breaks).
And the Brantois Guarde really is that consistent.
All figures are Pendraken.