The Army of the Electorate of Zichenau won its first victory today at the small town of Zollamtstadt. The road is now wide open into the Grand Duchy of Stollen! Stollen's small corps of observation, or rather what is left of it, has retreated north in the general direction of the capital Krankenstadt.
Above, you see a photo of the general troop dispositions as of 3PM on the afternoon of December 27, 1768. From left to right we see Zinnfiguren Farm, Zinnfiguren Kopse, Hasselblad Heights, Zollamtstadt, and Zollamt Bridge.
Troops pictured above in the background include (from left to right): Stollen's 4th (Trakehenen) Dragoons, the Von Laurenz Musketeers, Princess Waltraud's Battery of Artillery, and a company of the Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja's Own ) Grenadiers in support. In the foreground are (from left to right): Zichenau's Garde zu Pferd, a company of the Ermland Garde, the 7th Regiment of Artillery, and two more companies of Ermland Garde on the far right with a fourth held in reserve.
The action began slowly enough with the Stollenian general, General von Drosselmaier, under orders simply to prevent Zichenauer forces from actually crossing Zollamt Bridge before nightfall. No offensive action was advised. Above you see the Stollenian Jaeger zu Fuss inflicting light casualties on part of Zichenau's Ermaland Garde during turn #1.
Things soon picked up when Zichenau's Garde zu Pferd charged across the frozen Lesser Zwischen. They were engaged by a squadron of Stollen's 4th (Trakehnen) Dragoons, and both sides suffered some casualties. Above, you can see the cavalry melee in full swing.
Casualties soon began to mount for General von Drosselmaier's small force over the next couple of turns. Although they inflicted a fair amount of damage on General de Latte's army, things were worse for the Stollenians. Above, we can see General von Drosselmaier, his ADC Major von Schenker, and two officers pondering their next move in the face of mounting casualties.
Late in turn #4, the Stollenian center gave way when the Von Laurenz Musketeers accumulated 50% casualties at the hands of Zichenauer artillery and infantry. Here, you see the remnants of the regiment retiring from the field.
Things went from bad to worse when two companies of Zichenau's Ermland Garde charged across Zollamt Bridge unopposed early in turn #4. You can also observe the general situation across the battlefield. Zichenau's Garde zu Fuss has lost the cavalry melee and is in full flight back across the Lesser Zwischen, reduced by 50%. And midfield, Zichenau's artillery has inflicted heavy casualties on the Von Laurenz Musketeers. Stollen's Jaeger zu Fuss have withdrawn into Zollamtstadt itself at the far right while the Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja's Own) Grenadiers enter town from the north.
For a brief while, it looked like General von Drosselmaier might pull things out of the fire and save the day. Here, we see fierce resistance by Stollen's Jaeger zu Fuss before Zollamtstadt in the face of intense pressure from two companies of Zichenau's Ermland Garde, who are crossing the frozen Lesser Zwischen in perfect order. They are led by their colonel, the mercenary English officer Augustus von Finknottle -- at the head of his beloved newts.
Within Zollamtstadt itself, the fighting was bitter. The Leib Grenadiers entered town behind their Regimental Sergeant Major-- the renowned Oberfeldwebel Klatschen -- and quickly repulsed the first wave of Zichenauer infantry to cross Zollamt Bridge.
But more Zichenauers came in their wake! Stollen's Leib Grenadiers were able to hold them off for a while, but they sustained heavy casualties themselves, defending the winding streets of Zollamtstadt.
Not wishing to squander his small force in an admittedly minor action, General von Drosselmaier ordered his remaining forces to withdraw from Zollamtstadt and the surrounding area in turn #5. Above, you can see them effecting a reasonably orderly retreat, relieved, perhaps, for the chance to live and fight another day.
The Electorate of Zichenau now has a toehold of sorts in the Grand Duchy of Stollen. As dusk fell over the frozen northeastern European landscape, General de Latte sent word to his ruler, Princess Antonia, and then watched his surviving men file into Zollamtstadt.
And what of this Zichenauer victory? How might it affect relations between Stollen and Zichenau? Will de Latte be able to follow up his early victory and exploit the strategic opportunity presented to him? Or might General von Drosselmaier make a stand up the postroad to Kankenstadt? Will he make a counter attack, wresting victory from de Latte's smug hands? Stay tuned in the coming months to find out!