This is the second installment of the Bandits and Villains mini-campaign. The loyalists have the lead after winning the previous game, and push forward into bandit territory.
The battle takes place at a small village near the freshly established border. Colonel Furfante's men believe they could ambush the bandits, but are sadly mistaken: the enemy rallied their forces and somehow acquired a galloper gun, too.
In the Stinking Goat Inn at the outskirts of the village, a Count's daughter is held captive by the bandits. They have also met with Luigi Trattore, the famous pirate and one of his sidekicks, plus the villagers really, really hate the redcoats... all is set for a good skirmish.
Victory point conditions:
Loyalists: set fire to at least three houses (1), reach the damsel in distress and secure her (1)
Bandits: kill Colonel Furfante (1), prevent the recapture of the lady (1)
The loyalists deploy in strict order and immediately set out to burn some houses down. This is a punitive action, as Ricco Furfante knows the inhabitants hid some outlaws a while back.
The bandits await in silence, guns ready, cannon loaded behind a pair of gabions.
A wild shot from the owner of the house prevents the first dragoon to light his torch before he throws it.
The cannon fires, but the aim is wild and it does no other damage than causing a lot of noise. The two bandits manning it work as fast as they can to load it. (Note the skull die marking their progress.)
The dragoon's horse is hit, and then a second, well-aimed shot hits him in the thigh: the jury rules out of action.
One outlaw has spent the previous few minutes stalking the Colonel. Marsilio Trocco, their chosen leader, has given an order to kill the loyalist commander at any cost. Well, the bandit pays the price as his shot misses, and Furfante rushes and skewers him with his rapier.
This time, one of the surviving two dragoons lands his torch on a roof, but the fire is slow to catch on. At least the horseman is in cover from most of the enemy fire.
The villager runs forward to the hedge, but this time his shot misses. The second dragoon charges him, but he has no time to draw his pistol, and his lunge misses the man.
Luigi Trattore leaps into action, emptying his two blunderbusses at the Colonel. The hedge takes most of it, all Furfante hears is some clinking sounds on his breastplate.
The dragoon finally manages to draw a pistol and shoots the poor homeowner in the head.
The infantry, led by a faithful sergeant, proceeds with caution.
The pirate's flintlock aims true, and a second dragoon is shot before he could set the closest house on fire.
The other one's horse falls over as a bullet whizzes past, and one of the rearguard blackguards (see what I did there) shoots at them point blank... missing both horse and rider. The bandit lieutenant joins in, and this time the rider is slain.
A most ineffective volley fire is ordered to prove that the infantry is there, and they are not just idle spectators.
The Colonel bashes Trattore down... will he have enough time to land a killing blow?
No! The pirate is up on his feet in a second, and he has also had time to load the two guns. The Colonel survives both shots with a scratch.
The cannon's second shot blows the sergeant off his feet with a near miss.
One of the bandit swordsmen rushes in, daring the enemy fire, and shoots the sergeant before he could react. The infantrymen panic and fall back, just the effect he desired.
Now's the time to strike the cornered Furfante down, but his breastplate still holds out.
All bandits surge to the scene, while the loyalist infantry is still confused and puts up little resistance.
Their point blank shooting misses plenty of good targets, until, finally, one of them wounds a bandit.
In return, the pirate marksman takes out one loyalist shooter.
The Colonel is still cornered, and he suffers a gruesome death as four bandits keep shooting at him from a few feet away, and help doesn't arrive. When he is finally slain, the remaining loyalists give up and flee the scene.
Final result: Bandits 2VP, Loyalists 0 (1 in total). The bandits have taken the lead and will dictate the next scenario.
The Loyalists lose 1 morale point, and still have the lead at a score of 7-5.
I've also decided that Furfante's death will have a further effect on the large scale military campaign, as he was the leader of one of the two loyalist strongholds Calvacasa's main army now approaches.