Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Solo Scharnhorst Day 2

The courier from General Kroll finds Kurvi-Tasch with relatively little trouble, and clatters into the courtyard of the courthouse where  the bewhiskered Marshall has made his headquarters. 

  “A French Corps southwest of Niederheim?  Szplug!  So where is the Corsican, eh?”  He strokes his luxuriant moustache.  He turns to his Chief of Staff.  “How much of the Korps is already on the march?"

“The Avant Gard and Grenzers marched out before dawn, Excellency.  Your orders are to be in Kallseck by noon.  It will take at least an hour to turn them around."

“Szplug! " exclaims the Marshall and drums his fingers on the table in thought.

What sort of man is K-T?  I roll a d6 and get a 3, so that suggests a fairly even of the road temperament, neither rash nor cautions.  I decide that K-T has four basic decisions: 

1) order Groll to attack and keep his own 1 Korps marching south
2) Order Groll to keep an eye on the French and keep 1 Korps marching south
3) Turn 1 Korps E and march to support Groll
4) Keep 1 Korps where it is and scout for the French, while ordering Groll to scout - more information is needed.
Given his temperament, I award each option a 25% chance of likelihood.  

Meanwhile, the French courier from General Moisan has also had little trouble finding Napoleon’s HQ.   Uncharacteristically, the French are still in bivouac, due to uncertainty in orders about the order of march (I roll a 15% on 1d100 to determine the French readiness.  Napoleon is still eating his breakfast and frowns as he wipes his lips with a starched napkin.  “Stopped in his tracks by a handful of Uhlans?  I expected more of Moisan. “  He stares at the map hastily placed before him.

 With his Guard in Karlseck, Belisle’s II Corps just to the south, and Lafreniere’s V Corps still struggling through the mountains at F5, he knows he is not as concentrated as he would like.   His options:

1) Remain in the Karlseck area as planned, and allow Lafreniere to move north to Hagenbesen and take his promised rest in that village after it’s arduous march.
2) Move the Guard W to Kaltenbach in D5 and bring Belisle up beside him in Karleseck, while allowing Lafreniere forest in Hangenbesen as promised.
3) March W with the Guard and Belisle, giving Lafreniere orders to come up to Karlseck and guard the road south.

Options 1 and 2 seem the most likely, so I award each a 40% chance of happening, but I give option 3 a 20% chance, just in case Napoleon has an attack of intuition.

Here’s what happens.  For K-T, I roll a 97%, meaning that he sits tight and scouts.  For Napoleon, I roll a 70%, meaning option 2. The only thing that might work in K-T’s favour is that one of his divisions, the Avant-Garde and Grenz, will move one square south and will make contact with the French at Karlseck.

Here’s the situation at midmorning of Day 2.   Col 5 is the division which Marshal K-T couldn’t stop, consisting of an Avant-Garde brigade, two veteran Grenz brigades.   They roll a 03 on a scout of Karlseck, and get a very clear picture of the French in Karlseck.  It is still taking a while for Napoleon to give his troops new directions, so Col C (the Guard) have not moved W to Kaltenbach yet.  Lafreniere’s Corps (Col E) has marched out of the mountains into E5 but since they took bad roads and had trouble with their supply columns, they are planning on spending the day in Hagenbesen to recover stragglers and forage.  Meanwhile, Moisan (Col A) has shifted E and Noel (Col B) has moved N to take Moisan’s place.

Moisan’s cavalry (Col B) roll very well at scouting, and identify Sachsen’s cavalry division in Col 4, whereas the Austrian horse are overpowered.  All they know is that whereas they had infantry to their front late yesterday, now they have French cavalry, hussars stiffened by dragoons, to their front.   Von Lunenburg’s Korps (Col 3) learns that there is no French presence to their front in D1, while Groll’s troops in Col 2 are not able to determine where exactly Moisan (Col A) is.  The French horse screening Moisan are earning their pay today.

By late noon, Kurvi-Tasch knows from some breathless Grenzers that Karlseck is held by elite French infantry, maybe even the Guard.  Where they are, Napoleon must be.  Meanwhile. Napoleon has shifted W to Kaltenbach and Belisle has marched into Karlseck.  Napoleon has learned that some Austrian light infantry are in front of Kaltenbach, but knows little more.   Couriers from Moisan won’t reach Napoleon till mid afternoon to report that the Austrians to the W are still in place.

Now K-T decides to act.  He orders the Grenz to remain in front of Karsleck and watch the French.  He orders his powerful Korps to march W to D5 and S to C5.  His troops are on the road by early afternoon, but it will take them the rest of the day to move into place.   Before he marches, he sends a courier to Groll with orders to shift his three Columns one square E, even if they have to march into the night.  

I suspect that there will be a battle tomorrow.


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