Monday, February 22, 2016

Planning ahead

The current military situation of the rebellion on the Count's map. With the capture of Civita Maria, everything north of the river belongs to Calvacasa. The small garrison the rebels passed by to advance on the city had left and moved south towards the nearest stronghold across the river. The Count knows that the next logical step in the campaign is the capture of Forte Prada in the southern swamps with its extended series of fortifications and control of river trade.

On the west, the hundred or so bandits are still playing cat-and-mice with Colonel Furfante. However, the deputy commander of the southern (Forte Vecchia) garrison has enough common sense to turn the fleeing northerners around and herd them back to the closest bridge on the same route they came from. Two provincial companies from the southern villages are directed to the second bridge, and simultaneously (with some encouragement delivered by a carrier pigeon) the Forte Prada garrison marches north across the swamp to delay the rebels' crossing to loyalist-held territory.

The rebels have a large enough force to attempt multiple crossings at the same time, while concentrating on one bridge would result in the loyalists having more leeway to pull out or reinforce. The San Filippo ford to the west is too narrow and would slow the advance. The count has no reliable intelligence, so he supposes a roughly evenly distributed enemy force across the three bridges. Therefore the best choice in his opinion is to attack at the two furthest available crossings, thus forcing the defenders of the third (middle) one to choose which to reinforce. The attackers of the other bridge would then succeed more easily.

A company of Varangian mercenaries arrived at Calvacasa. Word is spreading about the conflict and both sides expect more, seasoned groups to join in. The count ordered the Varangians to watch the San Filippo ford, and then divided the rebel army in two columns.
The Calvacasa militia, dressed in new white coats, the Civita Maria regulars, one militia company and one Varangian battalion, along with the artillery, attack on the west near Gallo.
The two cavalry squadrons, the second Civita Maria militia and the second Varangian battalion attack through the swamp north of Forte Prada.

What is not seen on the map, and would give the Count much discomfort if he knew about it, is a contingent of a thousand regulars of the central army, with a large artillery train, amassing in the south...

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