Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Aschenbach's army (shown in blue) was initially based in the capital of Flussburg, but an agressive advance was the most likely to be rewarding. Full of enthusiasm after Neukatzberg, Gerdt von Krumper was in no mood for sitting around. He took his full army east, intending to threaten a Luftberg advance on the capital as well as his river crossing supply source.
Elector Ulrich von Luftberg had an answer, however. Clearly, his defeat at Neukatzberg had had a salutary effect and the previous months had not been idled away with operas, gambling and reading scandalous French novels. He moved his main army north off the main approach to Flussburg, and settled into defensive positions around the small village of Vogelhof. At the same time, a detatchment of all the light cavalry under General Van Der Dijk was sent racing westwards to cut the supply route from Krumper's depot at Lauch. Unfolding with such speed that he wasn't able to respond, Krumper suddenly finds himself isolated and with serious problems.
The damnable raiding isn't helping either. No Aschenbach forage party is safe, with every farmhouse stuffed full of Croats, and every shrub concealing a squadron of Hussars. Already, forces have been melting away. Compounding the misery, even Aschenbach's slender resources for irregular warfare have been raiding away on their opponents. Before they'd even met in battle, each army had lost the equivalent of two or three regiments' worth of strength points. While the larger Luftberg army simply disbanded it's less senior regiments (IR's 10 & 11 have simply been drained for manpower and sent home to recruit for next year), Aschenbach has simply spread the pain and reduced it's infantry and cavalry regiments by a point each.
Sitting in his tent, it's clear to von Krumper that this can't go on. The longer the campaign drags by, the worse it will get - a battle is needed, and quickly, to turn things around. Scouts indicate that the Luftberg army has been preparing itself at Vogelhof, but the potential gains outweigh the risks. If the Luftberg army is defeated, it can be pushed back to it's bridgehead over the Rhine and a comprehensive victory can be claimed by Aschenbach.
The subordinate commanders are eagerly anticipating their orders of march, and surely won't be disappointed. Time to get that Cuirass polished up...