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F e d e r a l T ro o p s I n Ac t i o n, P ru s s i a n s R e e l i n g


From Our Correspondent Herb Sharpton,
At Britannian Field HQ, Ghent, Belgium

The Herald received an exclusive report yesterday from our intrepid correspondent, Mr Herb Sharpton, of a military engagement between Federal troops in action against Imperial Prussian troops in Southern Holland. Sharpton was right there on the front lines alongside Lieutenant McDonagh and the brave men of the Fightin 15th Federal Infantry Regiment, as they stormed an enemy rearguard position. Although only serving as military observers attached to the Britannian 2nd Regiment, Queens Surrey Fusiliers, Lieutenant McDonagh and his men found themselves on the front lines as Admiral LF Barclays offensive rolled onto Prussian soil. The bold Lieutenant volunteered his men for a key mission north of Sluis. The Fightin 15th were as determined as any good Americans should be to hit back at the Kaisers men for their dastardly and unprovoked attack on the Florida coastline last month. Leading from the front, Lieutenant McDonagh and his men reached the Dorpstraat bridge into the south of Retranchment early on May 12th. Their mission was to clear out a farm occupied by Prussian Imperial troops thought to be from the XII Oldenburg Regiment of the Reichswehr. Present among our forces was the celebrated inventor Dr Scattergun Sam Orlington.

The Federated States win the initiative roll Command Test, the American Lieutenant activates and Takes Command of the 1st Federal Infantry Section with their Observer. They perform a Walk Move and then spend a Command Point to make a Long Range Attack with their carbines and machine-gun, however Hard Cover protects the Prussians Grenadiers successfully and only 1 falls as a casualty. Artillery Observation Officer Fielding added to the attack, calling in support from the Fightin 15ths mortars some distance behind us. The barrage struck the building, causing considerable damage, but relatively little loss to the enemy. The Forward Observer makes an additional Attack on the 1st Prussian Grenadier Section causing a second casualty.

First Turn
The Prussians had no time to react as Lieutenant McDonagh called for the advance and the men of 4th Platoon, 1st Section surged forwards. Under the watchful eyes of Big Bear McGees volunteer scouts true patriots one and all Lieutenant McDonagh and his men hot-footed it across the main bridge towards the Maerten Farm. As they made their move, they sprayed the Prussians crouching in the buildings with carbine and machine-gun fire, although only one enemy soldier was seen to fall from the stream of bullets.



Although brought under heavy fire from the Oldenburg infantry occupying the buildings, the quick-witted Lieutenant picked his moment to have his section duck down, saving all but one brave soul from the Prussian storm of weapon fire.

The second Prussian Grenadier Section activates and makes a Ranged Attack against the 2nd Federal Infantry Section, causing one casualty.

Undaunted as only true sons of the Federacy can be, Sergeant Coogan and his men crossed the bridge to meet the Prussians head on, gaining the cover of the Geert farmhouse. However, at this point, attached Forward Observation Officer Rogers informed Lieutenant McDonagh by wireless that he could see smoke plumes coming from further down the road beyond the Maertens farmhouse. Big Bear McGee also observed that his scouts could see somethin damn big an smoky in the same area.

The Prussian Lieutenant then activates and Takes Command of the 1st Grenadier Section, returning fire at the Federal Infantry, the American Lieutenant uses a Command Ability to have the F.I. Section Go to Ground, however 1 FSA Infantryman is still removed as a casualty. Protecting McDonaghs flank, Big Bears scouts almost scored an early success, claiming to have nailed a Prussian weapons specialist in a second Prussian section occupying the neighbouring Geert farmhouse yard. However, the man was seen to retain his feet and duck back behind cover although one other Prussian was seen to fall the figure of what looked to be a medic could be seen tending the enemy wounded.

The Second American F.I. Section activates and makes a Run Move action across the plank bridge and into the cover of the second farmhouse. Oberst Hahl then activates with the Teutonic Order Armsmen near the Prussian Game Board Edge and they make a Run Move up the lane towards the larger farmhouse and the 1st Federal Infantry Section. Across the field with 2nd Section went the bold Doctor Orlington, foregoing the immense firepower of his famous Snub Gatlings in favour of gaining a new position across the stream before the Geert farm to make best use of them. Doc. Orlington activates and makes a Run Move across the plank bridge to join 2nd F.I. Section.

Second Turn
The Buffalo Hunters use the Expert Hunter Game Card to try and pick off the Prussian Specialist with a Vierling in the 2nd Grenadier Section. Although the Attack rolls sufficient successes to bring him down, the Prussian Empire player reacts with the Lucky Blighter Game Card to save him. The remaining Attacks from the other Hunters do manage to kill a Grenadier, a second casualty being prevented by the presence of a Prussian Army Medic. Observation officer Fielding, alongside Lieutenant McDonagh and your intrepid correspondent, remarked that it was the Devils luck. Call the Prussians what you like, but they are tough and dont give up a fight easily. The enemy section returned fire at Sergeant Coogans F.Is of 4th Platoon, 2nd Section as they approached a smaller bridge to the north of Lieutenant McDonaghs position. Most fell short, but one brave soul gave his life for our great republic as he mounted the bridge. Lieutenant McDonaghs attempt to order his section forward was cut short by a cry of warning from one of 1st Sections soldiers. Suddenly, the big an smoky objects seen by Big Bears scouts came into full view. Your correspondent can confirm that he has seen firsthand the Armsmen of the villainous Teutonic Order, reports of whom were rumoured from the battlefields of Puerto Rico. An enemy senior officer could be seen waving them on with what appeared a strange mechanical appendage. The clumsy metal giants opened fire with heavy machine guns upon Lieutenant McDonagh and his bold men, but their aim was poor, typical of the over-eager Prussians, but the sheer weight of fire was intimidating nonetheless. Sadly, Private Hardy, the sharp-eyed F.I who had warned us, was struck down may he rest in peace.



Nonetheless, the Prussians carried through their attack, striking Coogans bold men hard the terrible Vierling support weapons are a truly terrifying weapon. Another Private fell in the line of duty protecting Sergeant Coogan with his own body truly an act worthy of the highest honour. Incredibly, Coogan and his Section managed to weather the storm and hold their ground the Prussians once again over-eager and neglecting to aim sufficiently well.

This Turn the Prussians win initiative. Oberst Hahl and the Teutonic Armsmen activate and make a Walk Move, firing their machine guns at Long Range, however with the Hot Lead Game Card they do enough to pick off one F.I. infantryman. Lieutenant McDonagh coolly assessed the situation. Disregarding the lumbering hulks, he pressed 1st Sections attack on Maertens farm. Leaping over fences and debris the magnificent men of 1st Section savaged the Prussian infantry crouched within with carbine and machine-gun fire. It was such fury as I have never seen. Observation Officer Fielding drew his revolver and joined in the point-blank assault and the Lieutenant himself picked off the last enemy soldier standing, taking him cleanly through a broken window without breaking a sweat.

The 2nd Grenadier Section activates and surges forward. The Tesla Storm Game Card is played, costing double Command Points as they only have a Sergeant nearby - leaving the Prussian Command Point pool heavily depleted. In response, the Americans play the Hows That? Game Card to negate the Tesla Storm. The Prussian fire is still effective and 2 American casualties are caused. But the Prussians had reckoned without Scattergun Sam. Saved from the enemy fury by good luck alone, the celebrated scion of the Orlington Company stepped up to avenge his fallen comrades. His Snub Gatlings blazing, he set about the dismayed Prussians. Such was the fury of his attack, your correspondent is convinced that the Doctor was employing the ferociously effective shells of his own devising, of which so much as been made by the Orlington company. I saw more than one enemy soldier fall and even the indomitable Prussians flinched in the face of this stream of lead.

The American Lieutenant and the 1st F.I section activate, using the Frontier Forefathers Game Card to negate the Movement Penalty for crossing the fence. The Americans move up to the farmhouse and make an Effective Range Attack, after an impressive display of dice rolling the 1st Grenadier Section is literally wiped out. However, at the Geert farm, the enemy sought to prove that they too, were quality, and Sergeant Coogan and his valiant 2nd Section were in for a tough time. With rhythmic Teutonic chanting and the barely-contained aggression typical of the Emperors fighting men, the Oldenburg infantry surged out of the Geert farmyard. The wise sergeant and his troops had ducked back, saving themselves the ferocity of the sparking Prussian bayonets, but the enemys obsession with harnessing electricity for sinister purposes knows no bounds. A nimbus of electrical energy played around their rifles as they drew up and levelled guns at Coogans men. But then, wonder of wonders, a great flash erupted, and the fierce brilliance dissipated. Surely Edison himself must have reached across the Atlantic to snuff out this fearsome perversion of such a great thing!

Doc Orlington activates with the 2nd F.I. Section and uses his unique Game Card Orlington Special Reserve. 2 Prussian Grenadiers fall to the ensuing Attack and the Prussians fail their Morale Check, gaining a Shaken Marker.



As Lieutenant McDonagh took stock of the rising battle on out left flank, disaster almost struck! From the shadows of the Maertens farmhouse came a cry of fury. The nearby outhouse door burst open and a towering Prussian officer charged straight into the midst of Lieutenant McDonaghs men. I was thrown aside from the melee but, as your correspondent and a true son of the Federacy, I held my place to bear witness. The valiant F.Is of 1st Section managed to intercept this bloodspattered berserker before he could strike down their commander, but his ferocity was a terrible thing to behold. Evidently an accomplished swordsman, he must have been given lunatic strength by the stress of his approaching doom. He skewered one man with his blade, and hack apart a second, seeming contemptuous of their efforts to hamstring him. But the rest of the section mobbed the deranged foe, holding him back in spite of the risk. Eventually, with an unseemly application of fists, blades and carbine butts, they laid him low.

Shocked by Doctor Orlingtons intervention, the enemy soldiers, stranded in the open, proved easy prey for Big Bears deadly marksmen. The last went running pell-mell for their lines and were soon lost to view.

Initiative returns to the Federated States, the Buffalo Hunters and Scouts activate first, targeting the shaken Prussian Grenadier Section, 1 further casualty is caused and another Shaken Marker is gained. When the Prussian Section attempts to activate later in the Turn, it fails its third Morale Check and is removed from the Board. However, for Lieutenant McDonagh and 1st Section, the danger was far from over, for the hulking Armsmen stood outside, machineguns trained. We ducked back at the Lieutenants shouted command, diving out through the back of the building from whence we had come as a furious storm of shells tore into the Maertens farm. To your correspondents astonishment, lightning played over the worn wood and brickwork as we dived out of the building, yet no Tesla weaponry had we seen thus far. But as we fell back, less one of number who had fallen to the storm, I as your correspondent tell you now that I set eyes upon none other than the infamous Hammer-Fist himself!

The Prussian Lieutenant in the larger farmhouse activates and declares a Charge against the American Lieutenant and the 1st F.I Section, and just reaches them. The Melee is resolved after the remaining Sections have activated. Aided by the Cold Steel Game Card the Lieutenant causes 2 American casualties (a string of 6s on 3 blue dice!) but he is then brought down by the Melee Attack from the FSA Lieutenant and his Section. Even as combat raged, I heard the wireless crackling. Big Bear was talking urgently over the airwaves his scouts were firing for all they were worth at the oncoming Prussian Armsmen, but without effect. The enemy senior officer himself remained too elusive for even their superlative shots, hiding behind his oversized charges. What had seemed comical at a distance was now very much more serious as the unit advanced. The battle hung in the balance. The Buffalo Hunters and Scouts activate, shooting at the Teutonic Knights, Hahl cant be targeted as there are other targets closer to the Hunters. No damage is caused to the Armsmen. Nervous times.

Third Turn
Caught up in the midst of a vicious fight, your correspondent was forced to rely on hearsay to construct the next period of the battle. Big Bear and his scouts, unable to send the elusive enemy officer to meet his maker, or scratch the hulking juggernauts of the Order, turned their attention to the over-eager and now shaken soldiers of the Oldenburger section holding Geert farm.



Fourth Turn

Your correspondent sense the tide of battle turning. But before Lieutenant McDonagh could pull all his forces together for a massed assault on the implacable Order men and their leader, the enemy officer, who we already assumed to be the infamous Colonel Hahl, removed all our doubts. A sparking corona surrounded him as he vaulted the fence next to him with greater agility than I thought possible of any man, and bore down upon the astonished Sergeant Coogan and the brave survivors of 2nd Section, ploughing into them before they could react. Your correspondent will not recount what we witnessed in those few terrible moments, for it is too fearsome for publication in a civilised newspaper. Suffice to say that the fate of the valiant Sergeant Coogan and his men will be etched forever in this observers memory. Amid our struggling, courageous troops the terrible Hammer-Fist for we knew now beyond any doubt that it was he, stood triumphant amid a scene of ruin, spark-wreathed metal arm raised above his head, as Sergeant Coogan lay senseless before him. Lieutenant McDonagh was even then filling his lungs, to give the order to Big Bear and his men to cut the bloodied enemy down. But before he could speak, the foes metal limb fell sharply.

Hahl and the Armsmen activate, opening fire upon American 1st F.I. Section the American player uses the Tactical Withdrawal Game Card to pull back away from the farmhouse, limiting the amount of targets available, 1 American casualty is caused The Lieutenant quickly pulled his men into line once more, falling back further across the bridge. Carbine and machine gun fire hammered at the trio of armoured giants. However, as mighty as these armoured men were, your correspondent personally witnessed one fall in a shower of sparks and flame as carbine, machine gun and mortar fire called in by the redoubtable Fielding they are indeed mortal after all! The frightened tales of their invincibility we received from Bermuda earlier this year can finally be laid to rest!

The Prussians win initiative; Oberst Hahl activates and declares a charge against 2nd F.I. Section and just catches them. With the Overload Game Card played, severe casualties are inflicted on the F.I.s during the Melee Phase later in the Turn. The American Lieutenant and 1st F.I Section activate and use the Hot Lead Game Card to take a Life Point of an Armsman, this is followed by a bombardment called in by the Forward Observer, bringing down the Teutonic Knight by sheer weight of fire. All the while, the valiant McDonagh called for 2nd Section and Doc Orlington to aid us. Sergeant Coogan and his men crossed the open ground with the courage of heroes to come to our aid on the far side of the stream, determined to test themselves against the might of the Teutonic Order. All tried their own luck at the hulking Order warriors valiant souls as they all were but sadly to no avail. With few Prussian models remaining, both the remnants of the 2nd F.I. Section and Doc Orlington activate, and move across the open ground.



Big Bears men struck at the hulking Teutonic Armsman, but even their superlative marksmanship was unable to make an impression upon the giant standing astride the bridge.

The American Lieutenant and the 1st F.I Section activate and make a close range Attack against the Armsman. 1 point of damage is caused, but no casualties. The enemy are soaking up the weapons fire. We saw Doctor Orlington on the far bank, standing before the spectre of Hahl. Lieutenant McDonagh ordered him back to join us your correspondent knew that the Doc would gladly have stood before even such a bloody-handed opponent without fear if need be, but his loss to our great cause would be incalculable. It was at this point that the admirable McDonagh made the decision to pull his troops back. Though they still outnumbered the enemy, their commander, wise even under such terrible duress, felt that too many more would die. With more reinforcements, in the form of more of the Fightin 15th, and the valiant Britannians whose offensive this was, on their way, and the enemy engaged in a general fall back along the whole front, the arrogant Hahl and his Order lapdogs would be doomed if they chose to stand. Though they held the bridge still, the day would be ours. The Buffalo Hunters activate but cannot target Hahl as he is engaged in melee combat, instead they aim their rifles at the remaining Armsman, which is sadly ineffective. Instantly, the Order mans machine gun rattled into action from the far end of the bridge. Your correspondent, well-accustomed by now to the methods used by our valiant troops, hurled himself to the ground before we realised that the fire was not directed at us. Big Bear and his men were swept by a burst of terrible firepower which laid low the brave Mr McGee himself. Stunned by the Orders attack, The Lieutenant and his men returned fire, spraying bullets and explosives at our implacable foes, but this time to no avail. This is the battle at Retranchement, as it was witnessed by your correspondent Herb Sharpton, and the Heralds valiant photographic engineers Dick Stanford and Charlie Hughes. I leave you with uplifting announcements the great Britannian offensive into the southern portions of the Prussian Netherlands proceeds apace, and the good citizens of our great nation who lost their lives to unbridled Prussian aggression in Florida, have in part been avenged. But the fight is not over, will not be until we are victorious beyond doubt. May providence smile upon our great Republic, and upon our valiant allies.