The attack upon the desert town of Monoton by I Corps proved an abject failure, handily repulsed by the exiguous garrison (see previous posting).
The fortuitous addition of an artillery train to its strength was a boon to 5th Corps, about to face the onslaught of the powerful III Azurian Corps surging out from Haven. Even so the ratio of strength was 3 to 2 (I miscounted again, thinking III Corps had 2 cavalry, so Azuria -again - got the benefit of my inability to count beyond one or two). Having only one infantry division present, 5th Corps' losses were contained, but a cavalry unit also fell back westward into Heatherlawn. For their part, the Azurians lost their artillery - a serious diminution of their strength. It's invasion of Portston Moor a failure, III Corps remained in the Crystal Mountains.
Azuria mounted just one attack in the south, where three Ruberian Corps were concentrated. This was intended as a spoiling attack, in the hope of taking the pressure off the fortified town of Sixbourg.
The V Corps attack was spectacularly successful in that the opposing 2nd Corps was forced - minus one of its infantry divisions destroyed in the battle - to retreat into Marls Gate, deep in the Misty Forest. But the Ruberian defenders had fought stoutly enough to cause V Corps in turn to come pouring back out of the North Hemp, across Dread Moor and into Dragon Head. Despite this ignominious retreat, Azuria could count the North Hemp battle as a strategic victory: one half of the Ruberian pincers aimed at Sixbourg had been thrown back.
The initiative now passed to the Ruberians (Side B), who, like the Azurians at the beginning of this turn, rolled a 4 for allowed moves and attacks.
First off, 2nd Corps reoccupied North Hemp, from which they had recently been evicted. Meanwhile, 1st Corps launched its lone assault upon the Sixbourg. That the place was fortified put the odds somewhat in the defenders' favour, yet there remained a reasonable chance that even unaided the Ruberian attackers could take the place (e.g. a triple 6, or any combination of double-1, double-4, double-5 and double-6 would have taken the garrison out of the place. Mind you, with just the 5 dice available, that's a tall order.). Unfortunately, for the cost of one of its infantry divisions, the attack failed miserably.
The hasty retreat by III Corps meant that the 5th Corps' blow fell upon empty air. Nevertheless, they poured into the Haven, whilst 3rd Corps remained in Pembroke, menacing Cinqueville. There was precious little left of the once powerful III Corps - a single infantry division with its leader.
The losses in Horse (1 Division) and Foot (4 Divisions) had been equal, but Azuria had also lost two artillery trains. When it was learned what reinforcements they could expect, Ruberia was pleased to discover it could recover all its losses (rolling 4+2=6); but Azuria (rolling 5+1=6 also) was much less delighted. A net loss of 4 CU was not to be sneezed at.
I am a bit uneasy about the reinforcement rule, for reasons that emerged later in the war. But we'll visit this issue next time.
To be continued: The First Marnon War, Week (Turn) 2.