Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Bridge at Petit Montagnac - September 25, 1745 - scenario notes

Another ImagiNations scenario in preparation for Friday gaming at Chez Vidal. This scenario is derived from C.S. Grant's Tabletop Teaser "Key Point", originally published in the April 1980 edition of Military Modelling.

The Bridge at Petit Montagnac - September 25, 1745

Following his loss at Lugio in August, Le Marquis de Fromage withdrew his battered force south to the Cabrera River, the border between Gourmandie and Libagioni. Expecting immediate pursuit, le Marquis left a small holding force at the three bridges in the village of Petit Montagnac, while he hurried to the capital to bring more troops to the frontier. Unbeknownst to him, his haste was unnecessary. Il Prinicipe Giuseppe Martellato, commander of the Libagioni army, had relied heavily on KaiserReich troops for his victory at Lugio. Following that action, representatives of KronPrinz Friedrich Wilhelm had arrived at Martellato’s field camp, demanding the return of the loaned troops. Many weeks went by as Il Principe negotiated terms with the KaiserReich ambassadors to maintain their troops with the Libagioni army. It was good fortune for Gourmandie, as most of the army was on the western frontier, carefully observing the political unrest in St Julien. The garrison at Petit Montagnac was thus lulled and forgotten for a time. No new orders had arrived from le Marquis and the garrison commander, Georges leRoque, Comte de Boursin, was determined to fulfil his orders to defend the river crossings.

The river, which flows from the east to west, is spanned by three low stone bridges. These bridges have low walls but do not provide cover from fire. The buildings of Petit Montagnac are stone structures. Apart from the bridges, the river is possibly fordable in places. 

Le Grand-Duché de Gourmandie (defenders)

The force is dispositioned as shown on the map.

Ducato di Libagioni (attackers) 

One regiment of light cavalry comprises the Advance Guard, three turns ahead of the main force. The main force is still to arrive on the table.

Opening Scenario
Boursin’s orders for the garrison, now four weeks old, are to hold the crossing points until further orders are received. He has no instructions to destroy the bridges nor does he have the means to do so even if he wished. The lull in the campaign has caused Boursin to make no attempt to prepare the area against attack or indeed to take up a more warlike posture. Unknown to Boursin, a messenger has been despatched from le Marquis and as dawn breaks, both messenger and an enemy column approach Petit Montagnac from opposite directions.

Attacker Objectives
Martellato intends to seize the crossings during the remainder of the day so that overnight he can concentrate the entire Libagioni army south of the Cabrera.

Defender Objectives
The Gourmandie garrison will act on its old orders until the messenger arrives. 

Game Preliminaries
With the defending Gourmandie force in position at dawn, the Libagioni commander throws one d6, which will determine the Libagioni turn in which his main force appears to the north-west, as indicated on the map.

As dawn breaks and the morning begins, messenger and advance guard will probably appear within a few turns of one another. By the time the Libagioni forces approach the vital crossings, the Gourmandie forces will be busying themselves, belatedly strengthening their defences. Victory will be decided at last light (turn 24). If Martellato with his Libagioni forces has command of and access by at least one bridge from one side of the river to the other, such that reinforcements may cross to the south bank by night, regardless of the state of the other bridges, then he has won the game, achieving his objective. If these conditions are not met, then Gourmandie has prevailed. With such aims and determining factors, there can be no draw. A long day of action stretches out ahead…who will hold the vital crossings at day’s end?

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