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The General Archive => The Battleground => Topic started by: Padre on August 12, 2010, 05:01:22 PM

Title: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 12, 2010, 05:01:22 PM
My T&G stuff (so far) collected up in one. BTW - the turns haven't started yet! What is happening to me?

Background
Gabriele Condlumar, General Villeteschi & the Compagnia del Sole

The Myrmidian Quarter in Trantio

In this part of Trantio the church of Myrmidia has temporal as well as spiritual power, for the entire district is owned and ruled by churchmen. They collect taxes and tithes (utilising a very complicated system riddled with combinations, exceptions and other factors that requires a staff of scriptors and lawyers to interpret, monitor and untangle) and provide what public services there are - mostly military costs and a small handful of charitable institutions (a hospital and a workhouse). The grandest fortified palace of this district is that of the High Priest Gabriele Condlumar, the supreme authority over the church of Myrmidia in Trantio.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CondlumarPalace-1.jpg)

High Battle Priest of the Church of Myrmidia Gabriele Condlumar  (Wizard Lord)

To the outside world Condlumar presents a dignified demeanour, but in truth he can be a hot-head as he is filled with great hatred towards the Trantio's enemies or the church of Myrmidia. Such enemies might even include any nobles and officers of his own city state who he considers traitors or fools. He is descended from a line of High Priests who have grown in secular power, able to field small armies of their own and with estates sufficient to pay for mercenaries when necessary. He is a learned man, and a patron of the arts as well as scholars. He also looks to the care of the poor, seeing the defence of his realm and its people as the religious duty of the powerful, able and rich towards those in their care.

Grey bearded and quite advanced in age, he is nevertheless a fairly vigorous man, with a health bolstered by driving ambition. Whilst in Trantio he wears the decorated robes of a High Priest of Myrmidia to go about his ceremonial duties, but whenever he takes to the field (and as a priest of Myrmidia he is expected to) he rides a barded horse and carries a mace as have many a priest of Myrmidia in the past. The padded jerkin he wears for campaigns does not interfere with his magical conjurations, though nor does it provide much physical protection, apart from inclement weather. He has in his possession a finger bone of Castriccio della Scara, an ancient Tilean hero who according to legend faced an army of shimmering, magical demons and personally struck down fifty before perishing himself. This can provide added protection in the form of increasing his ability to dispel the enemy’s magic. He hopes (soon) to retrieve the rest of della Scara’s corpse and inter it in the temple to provide what he believes will be a holy blessing for Trantio.

Condlumar is the power and money behind General Villeteschi’s Compagnia del Sole, with authority over it. The general is happy to serve the High Priest, for he sees himself as a soldier first and a Tilean second, and the two mesh together very well when serving a representative of the holy church of Myrmidia. Condlumar’s estate and church revenues, as well as the income generated by successful campaigns, have so far provided sufficient funds to keep Villeteschi satisfied. More than this, Condlumar believes he has skill in intrigue and espionage, bringing other tools to the table when it comes to war. By covert means he has secretly hired an army of greenskin raiders (Guldag’s Waagh!) and by subtle enticements he has added a level of control over them that is rarely achieved, working through a powerful and cunning goblin lieutenant of the warlord Guldag. Condlumar intends to employ this greenskin force to soften up foes before the Compagnia attacks, as well as to disrupt enemy supplies, to harry or distract their forces, as well as to sow despair into the hearts of his enemy’s subjects.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CommandersPose.jpg)

Condottiere Lord General Giovanni Villeteschi   (Lord)

A Tilean by birth (from Pavona), of minor noble family stock (with brothers and cousins in the church of Myrmidia), Villeteschi  has served as a soldier throughout his life and risen assuredly through the ranks. He has such a frightening reputation for stern discipline, and ferocious bravery that few dare to contradict him - his soldiers would obey no-one else, and his past masters have occasionally been somewhat afraid to command him. He now commands the Mercenary army known as the Compagnia del Sole. For many years he was merely a captain, but he has proven himself in battle as a leader of men and when a commander was needed he was the natural successor.

The Compagnia del Sole’s emblem is a white baton topped with the rays of the rising sun, an old symbol of Myrmidia.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Flag.jpg)

(Notes: Myrmidia is more commonly represented by a golden eagle or a spear, and in fact the baton and golden sun in the Compagnia’s emblem is a version of the same imagery - the white command baton being the badge of a field marshal rather a soldier’s spear and the golden rays being the sun’s light over the field of battle rather than the spreading wings of a giant eagle. The baton is an old Reman badge of office, showing the right of a commander with an authority that none could challenge.)

For four months now Villeteschi and his legion have served the High Priest Condlumar, preparing themselves for the likelihood of war. Much recruiting and training has been done, but the core of the army is still made up of the veteran condottieri of Myrmidia’s Legion: pike, crossbow, light horsemen, heavy cavalry and a large company of longbow archers. Added to this strength, recruited by Condlumar and placed under Villeteschi’s command, are Estalian handgunners and Arabyan light horse, as well as the high priest’s own retinue soldiers: several regiment of Men at Arms and a chapter of the Myrmidian Order of the Knights of the Blazing Sun (known as the ‘Dogs of War’).

Villeteschi carries a magical blade that has been in his family for some time (with occasional losses in battle and subsequent retrievals by various means). It imbues him with bloodthirsty ferocity in battle. His shield was been gifted by Condlumar for this campaign, and carries the protective blessing of Myrmidia. He often fights on foot, in the front rank of his pikemen, but occasionally (as he used to do often) joins a knightly unit. Coincidentally he has been made an honourable member of the Order of the Blazing Sun and as such would be welcomed in their ranks should he so wish.

Captain Frederico Matallesta
Second in command of the Compagnia del Sole

A loyal friend to Villeteschi, Frederico has a reputation as a stern warrior in battle. He once ordered the murder of every citizen in a town that stubbornly refused to surrender and had thus (in his opinion) put the company to far too much trouble in the taking of the place. The order wasn’t completely carried out (some women, aged folk and children were spared by the more decent soldiers) but the order is remembered with fear. As such few places have subsequently thought to deny his offer of surrender if their situation is in any way tenuous.

Condotta Captain Niccolò Forteguerra   
Compagnia del Sole army standard bearer

A young soldier of very good repute, who spurns gambling and womanising and seems to embody the ideals of a godly soldier: a truly disciplined warrior of Myrmidia. His skill in teaching battlefield drill is renowned, and he has played an important role in improving the discipline of the Compagnia in the field.

Brother-Captain Francesco Adentalo
Commands the ‘Dogs of War’ chapter of Knights of the Blazing Sun (Templars of Myrmidia)

Francesco has only just become the brother-captain, after the previous commander finally succumbed to the gangrenous wounds suffered in as minor skirmish several weeks ago when brigands foolishly raided lands under the chapter’s protection. Being the most veteran warrior in the chapter, Francesco was chosen for his years of service rather than any particular command qualities, yet since he took command the knights have found his steadfast nature to be inspirational.

Captain Giacomo Pigitliano
Commander of High Priest Condlumar’s retinue of Men at Arms 

Well known throughout Trantio for his easygoing nature. His soldiers love him as a commander - he drinks and carouses amongst them with flair. His fleur-de-lys helmet crest and large warhammer make him instantly recognisable. He is often seen at Condlumar’s side during public events, perhaps as much a bodyguard as an officer.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 12, 2010, 05:02:10 PM
The Army Parades

As much as to prove the army’s fighting strength to their employer, Condlumar, as to impress the populace, the Compagnia del Sole and attached units parade through the Trantio Myrmidian Quarter. Here they pass the Hall of Heroes where Condlumar and several officers have gathered. [Author’s note - I stupidly took these parade photos before re-basing many figures to make them all match.]

First to ride by, taking pride of place in the parade, are the ‘Dogs of War’ chapter of the Myrmidian  Knights of the Blazing Sun …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/EliteKnights.jpg)

Several sport the dog-skins of their chapter and some (in the spirit of common cause) have recently added the same shield emblem of Myrmidia as the Compagnia del sole.

These are followed by the recently recruited heavy cavalry from the wild lands of the Border Princes - the sons of newly settled feudal lords, or even nobles who have been forced out of their lands by overwhelming enemy forces…

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/BorderPrincesKnights.jpg)

Such mercenary knights are a way of life in the Border Princes and Tilea. They might have the trappings and appearance of Bretonnians, but they don’t have the ‘nobility’ (i.e. closed minded attitude).

Behind these two units of heavy horse ride a very different kind of horse soldiers - light horse archers from the realm of Araby. These have served in Tilea for several years now, and in fact include a good number of Tileans who have adopted the dress of their southern comrades in a spirit of community!

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/BorderHorseShortBow.jpg)

Next march the solid core of the Compagnia, the massive cohort of pikemen, with the Myrmidian sun-crested baton banner at their head. These are veterans of many a campaign, even though they are made of a hotch potch of many different units mustered together, including the battered fragments of units mauled in battle. What should have broken these men, however, has made them harder. They are keen for war, and glory, and especially loot!

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Pike.jpg)

Behind march a body of men who are not actually a part of the Compagnia, even though they are joined with them to form this army - Condlumar’s halberd wielding, full plate armoured Men at Arms, bearing the flag of the Myrmidian quarter (a weird amalgamation of several older designs from past conflicts).

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MenAtArms.jpg)

A large company of mounted crossbowmen follow the men at arms, each man bearing the Compagnia’s badge emblazoned on the rear of their surcoat.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/BorderHorseXbow.jpg)

And finally the massive horde of Longbowmen, scoundrels all, march at the rear - outcasts from Bretonnian lands. Some peasants turned brigands turned mercenaries (is there any difference between the latter two?). Others the survivors of old crusades into southern lands, abandoned in Tilea by their knightly masters when there was insufficient room in the boats home!

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Archers.jpg)

Watching the parade are even more soldiers, having marched down from their garrison duties on the walls and towers. Here you see the two companies of pavaise carrying crossbowmen, though here they have not yet painted the Compagnia’s symbols on their pavaises (the pots of paint are currently sitting in their barracks awaiting use this very night).

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/XbowCompanies.jpg)

And also watching is a body of Estalian handgunners, hard men indeed considering how much Tileans seem to hate their kind. Still, they are willing to put up with a bit of verbal abuse for a regular wage - and as garrison soldiers they have indeed been receiving pay on a satisfyingly weekly basis.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/EstalianHandgunners.jpg)
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 12, 2010, 05:02:51 PM
A meeting of minds

“And your own lodgings, General, they are to your satisfaction?”

“Yes, your grace,” answered Villeteschi, beginning to warm to this priest if only for the fact that he did not waste words, going about the matter at hand in a very business like manner. This was something the general had always respected in a man.

“Then we should discuss immediately the matters of supplies, patrols and sentinels,” said Condlumar. “As well as how your men should conduct themselves.”

The two men began their work, and the more Condlumar spoke the more Villeteschi’s insight was confirmed. The priest conducted the conversation as if military matters were an exact science in which set procedures ought to be followed and specific issues addressed in order of regulated priority. The parchments, vellums and tomes on the high priest’s table added to the proof. Then again, what should one expect from a priest of Myrmidia? Maybe, thought the general, not all clergymen were as corrupt and venal, wealthy and lazy as he had previously believed?

The Myrmidian quarter of Tranti had not exactly been peaceful for some time. Gangs of brigosi had long ruled the streets, wild youths with blades who spent their time in acts of rivalry and petty vengeance, caught up in perpetual shouted arguments and bloody brawls, and very willing to engage in theft from citizens when opportunities presented. Condlumar had long yearned to put a stop to their activities, but his own men at arms had had more important things to do - his fortified palace to guard, his family and fief to protect, their feudal duties in the service of the Prince of Trantio. Now, however, the time of the brigosi seemed to have truly passed, for there was a new armed presence in and around the quarter, of a strength and skill that the brigosi could not hope to contend with - the Compagnia del Sole.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompagniaWoodcut.jpg)

Condottiere Lord General Giovanni Villeteschi was entirely happy to quarter his men in the inns, taverns and domestic houses of the quarter. He thought they deserved a chance to recuperate and gather their strength in more civilised lodgings than the earthen huts and canvass tents they had so often found themselves camped in. His men were just as bloodthirsty as the brigosi, if not moreso, but they were disciplined, and much less liable to fight amongst themselves. Also, while they were paid and fed, they were happy to wait for the opportunity to take legitimate loot arose, and chose not to risk the wrath of the provost. They were quite willing, however, to put the brawling mob in its place, to quieten drunken louts and to show bragging youths what real martial skills are.

And so a new rule now held the streets and alleys of the Myrmidian Quarter under its sway, a martial law. Some brigosi even accepted the change and enlisted for the Compagnia or the Myrmidian Church’s men at arms, but most just seemed to slink away. Some folk immediately began to wonder whether the brigosi were just lying low and would burst forth again as soon as the Compagnia left.

Once the matter of fact concerns such as garrison duties, fodder for horses, supplies of shot and powder, etc, were out of the way, Condlumar paused. Better a pause, thought Villeteschi, than a stream of babbling niceties. Something about the priest’s demeanour, however, revealed he was concerned about something. Finally he spoke.

“General, there is the matter of the nature of rest of the Legion. I know you have none amongst your own ranks, and so they are not lodged within the Myrmidian Quarter, but the lands around swarm with them: the crusading Sigmarites Count Bolle and Rawlon Falken, Novskian Kislevites - I have even heard rumours of Ogres with little greenskin masters, a strangle little lord called Vine has come to my attention! Can such as these really be trusted? Will they not be the cause of more ruin than an invading army, never mind youthful brigosi? Speak plain in your answer.”

In light of the rumours he had heard of Myrmidian church dealings with greenskin forces, as well as tales of the Trantian Red Warden and his subterranean undead army, this outburst came as a surprise to general Villeteschi. Nevertheless he shook his head and set about reassuring the priest.

“Do not trouble yourself, your grace, for the Compagnia del Sole has served with these allies for many months now. They don’t merely fight well enough - they fight well. General Voyovnik is a brave warrior, and an honourable one. And Lord Falken is keen for battle against all wickedness. He might be a stern Sigmarite, but I am sure he does not see wickedness in the other lawful gods, or those that worship them. Even Sigmar himself, when a mortal man, was a follower of the gods.”

Condlumar smiled for the first time in Villeteschi’s presence. “I am reassured, general, by your knowledge of these warriors. All Myrmidians know that there is a place in war for every kind of warrior, each have their uses, their own specialty. I am sure that if they perform well in the field of battle, then they will come to be respected by friend and foe alike.”

Ah, thought Villeteschi, then there might well be some truth to the rumours. He made sure not to smile at the revelation.

"Now, general, let us discuss the matter of Castriccio’s bones and how we might obtain them..."
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 12, 2010, 05:04:50 PM
The inn of Biscione

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Biscione2.jpg)
Out on the street before the inn we see some drunken youths staggering to their feet as a captain addresses a sergeant and two soldiers of Condlumar’s men at arms.

Inside the inn

Captain Frederico Matallesta’s tongue was loosening as a consequence of the quantity of wine he had imbibed. Niccolò was surprised to discover that he was a talkative drunk, even a storyteller. This was not a behaviour one who had only ever met Matallesta sober would expect of him. The stories he now told, however, were neither fairy tales nor bawdy tales but replete with the brutality of war.

Now he drank a very deep draught of the sweet red, wiped his hand across his bearded chin and grinned. “Let me tell you another story,” he announced. “It’s a lesson, this one, about how folk treat soldiers when they are given a chance.”

Captain Niccolò Forteguerra, the Compagnia's army standard bearer, fixed his gaze on Matallesta and prepared himself for another blood and guts tale of brutality.

“There was once a soldier, a Condottieri of renown. He was a good commander and a successful one. He could outwit a foe that outnumbered him two to one, and could lose a battle to win a war if needs be. But mostly he just won them, and his men loved him for it, as one might expect, for they had wealth enough to satisfy even the greediest amongst them. He was the best Condottieri of his time, maybe of all time. Like all Condottieri, however, he fought often not for himself but for a paymaster…”

Niccolo raised his hand to signal his need to speak. “What was the name of this Condottieri? Surely I know of him?”

“Oh yes, young captain, the fellow is well known. I’d say revered. But you shall hear the story before I speak his name. This Condottieri is contracted by a rich town to defend them against rapacious and bloodthirsty foreigners, and he does so without delay. So all the citizens of the town, the best amongst them anyway that thought themselves of gentle birth or wealthy enough to wield a say in affairs, they gets together and decides that they must reward this man. There’s only one problem - every reward that they can think of, even the gift of the Lordship of their town, seems entirely insufficient thanks for the work done by the Condottieri. They cannot thank him enough. They cannot pay him enough. So what do they do? They say let us kill him, inter his remains in our most splendid temple and worship him as our patron saint. Thus we will have his spiritual protection for ages to come, and shall not have to embarrass ourselves by paying him too little. And this is what they did!”

Niccolò frowned, then saw that Matallesta was waiting for his opinion on the tale. “Aye, that’s a lesson, I’ll grant you. Don’t trust the natives, they have funny ways. But who was the Condottieri?”

“He was the hero Castriccio della Scara."

The young captain looked surprised, so Matallesta went on: "I know most will tell you his death was caused by wounds received in battle. But this is the truth - those wounds came from the surgeons sent by the townsfolk to dress what was nothing more than a cut and a scrape. Surgeons made into assassins.”

“Sad story, that,” said Niccolò. “Yet I see you have a purpose, for it’s Castriccio’s bones that our patron Condlumar wishes us to retrieve, to gain holy protection for Trantio. Are you saying that there is no power in the bones? That we will be upon a fool’s errand risking battle for a holy relic of no worth? That Castriccio’s spirit is a vengeful one and not a protective one?”

Matallesta laughed. “Of that, young captain, I have no doubt. Vengeful indeed, and restless in death - though not quite as much as The Duke of Mordini or the Red Warden..."

Several patrons nearby fell quiet and turned to stare at the pair. Matallesta grinned and shouted at them, "They're only soldiers like us. Difference is they happen to be on the other side of the divide. They fall as quickly as any foe when a blade is thrust through them."

The watchers looked away again, returning to their own conversations. Matallesta also went back to the topic at hand. "But lad, you've missed my point entirely. Think on it. A fine young soldier such as yourself, brave and fearless, might make a better spiritual guardian for Trantio than a bitter old saint like Castriccio.”

Niccolo shook his head as Matallesta continued. “All I’m saying is watch your back, even in victory. You don't know what the people might do. The folk of Trantio might not kill us and make us saints, but they could decide upon some other way to avoid payment.” He stared into the empty goblet before him, ending with a mutter. “That’s all I’m saying.”
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 12, 2010, 05:06:04 PM
The Hunt (Conversations with Generals)

The huntsmen left the city of Trantio just before dawn, the iron-bound gates closing swiftly behind them. The keeper was in a hurry as by law the gates should never be opened until full daylight, but his Grace the High Priest Condlumar had paid him well to make an exception this morning.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/HuntParty1.jpg)

Of course Condlumar was not attired in his ecclesiastical robes. As was appropriate for a hunt he wore an arming doublet. He also carried a shield (a tradition of the Myrmidian priests), a battle mace, and rode upon a barded steed emblazoned with the Myrmidian badge of the Compagnia del Sole. As was appropriate for a man of his office, his personal standard-bearer rode by his side encased in full plate armour (a knight of the Dogs of War chapter of the Blazing Sun Order), while for more practical reasons his squire followed carrying Condlumar’s hunting bow upon his shoulder. The next rider was the high priests official bodyguard, a champion of the Dogs of War chapter, his sword drawn (being the custom when exiting a gate and emerging onto the road beyond).

Perhaps one might consider this unusual company for a hunting party?  Yet behind the riders came a band of hunstmen, armed with bows and crossbows. Here surely was certain proof of the company’s business? There two riders at the back, however, one might not expect upon such an expedition - being two mercenary battle wizards of some experience, as white haired as the high priest, and nobly mounted.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/HuntParty2.jpg)

This particular ‘hunt’ would last the full length of the day, for Condlumar was to circumnavigate the the city at some distance from its walls. In truth, despite appearances, he was not looking for prey. Quite the opposite, in fact - one might say he was looking for predators. He intended to visit several mercenary camps and speak with a number of generals of the Vermillion Legion. The huntsmen were there to keep an eye out for trouble, the standard bearer to reveal his identity to his fellow warriors.

The first camp they visited was that of Count Bolle’s company. Bolle was a mercenary general from the north who apparently clung to the Old Faith - perhaps this was the reason he was now so far from home? He had camped his army by a village and its manor, both of which also housed soldiers if the banners flying hither and thither were anything to go by. The first works the party encountered was a guarded gateway of stone-fashioned bastions mounting impressive pieces of artillery. There a captain and a drummer came striding out to meet with them …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/HuntParty3.jpg)

Condlumar spoke: “Good day to thee, fellow soldiers of the Legion. Your lord general and I must speak. If you would take me to him I would be thankful.”

The two men took him to the manor house, and there he was well received and spoke in confidence with Count Bolle for nigh upon an hour. As far as the soldiers nearby could see, the two men embraced like brothers in arms and parted as friends.

(For more on Count Bolle's army, see http://treacheryandgreed.com/forum/index.php?topic=84.0)

The Legion’s Sigmarites of note - General Casper and Rawlon Falken - were camped a little further afield, perhaps too far for a day’s hunt. Or perhaps Lord Condlumar had no need to speak with them?

Nevertheless they did apparently still have much distance to cover and began a three hour ride of a kind which made Condlumar’s men wonder whether he really knew where he was going. The trek involved meandering through the hilly region to the north of the city, with Condlumar stopping several times to scan the horizon. Finally, he raised his hand to halt the rest of the company, and as they turned to see what he had noticed a band of riders appeared. Each one wore an upright wing of feathers that emitted an eerie sound as they galloped in a somewhat circling manner down the slope towards the hunting party.

Once they were within hailng distance, Condlumar shouted, his voice eager and lively as if there was no time to waste.

“Well met, friends from the far north. I am Condlumar of Trantio. Take me to Lord Vovovnik. I wish to speak with him.”

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/HuntParty4.jpg)

(For more on Kossar's army, see http://treacheryandgreed.com/forum/index.php?topic=58.0)

The next stop on this eventful ride was to the west of the city, just as the sky was growing dark. It was of a kind that the High Priest’s companions could not have foreseen. Condlumar halted suddenly, took a horn that until now none had noticed hanging beneath his barding, and gave vent to a strange flurry of notes. Suddenly the trees nearby shook as three huge, grey monstrous men appeared, the foremost of which clutched a banner mounting a giant beast’s skull. The huntsmen flinched then hurriedly prepared their bows, while the two knights closed their visors and drew their swords. But Condlumar did not move, nor did he look at the ogres. It was this that made his companions reconsider the situation, which was when they noticed the ogres seemed to be in a daze, two of the three were even drooling, as if simple or addled by some potent drink.

Then just as unexpectedly someone else emerged from the trees: a goblin, very small of stature, wearing an oversized, horned helmet. Several other similar creatures came close behind him.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/HuntParty6.jpg)

These two surprises seemed small in comparison to what happened next. His Grace, Lord Condlumar, bowed his head to the little greenskin and spoke, “Well met, servant of Vine. I would speak with thy master, for I am upon the Legion’s business.”

Only the two knights were permitted to go with the high priest, and all three on foot, as for half of an hour they went about the secret business of meeting with perhaps the most unusual servant of the Legion. Both knights were sworn to secrecy concerning what they had seen, though they had not actually heard what words passed between their lord and the unexpected master of an ogre army. Being honourable men the knights would no doubt hold their tongues - though both realised now why the other members of the party were not allowed to come along. Who could trust commoners to remain silent?

(For Lord Vine's army see http://treacheryandgreed.com/forum/index.php?topic=80.0)

There were to be even more surprises on the way home for the hunting party (if not for Condlumar). Big surprises indeed!


Upon a cloudless night they returned, Mannslieb’s glow lighting the way. Having ridden almost all the way around the city (if at some distance) they were now approaching its southern districts, drawing close to the ancient necropolis which formed the entrance to the city’s underground crypts. Most would fear to tread there upon even a moonlit night, yet Condlumar seemed heedless of the danger and rode much closer to the ruined cluster of mausoleums and tombs than was necessary. There was a perfectly good route a little further eastwards, upon the far side of a hill that would hide the shadowy ruins from fearful eyes.

Slowly it dawned on the Huntsmen that Condlumar’s choice of path was not due to carelessness or even fearlessness - he was deliberately approaching the necropolis gateway to the crypts!

Once the crumbling masonry hove into full view, the entire party halted. Apart, that is, from Condlumar, who rode on alone. Movement was first heard then seen amongst the ruins, as dreadful banners were raised by long dead arms and the shambling, armoured forms of undead soldiers began to emerge into the suddenly awful moonlight.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/HuntParty7.jpg)

Condlumar halted. “I, Condlumar, priestly servant to Myrmidia, greet thee Night Warden, general of the restless army of Trantio's night. I humbly ask that I might speak with thee, for there is war brewing and I have need of your advice.”

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/HuntParty8.jpg)

The huntsmen heard no reply, for it was delivered in a croaking whisper that seemed to come from inside Condlumar’s own head: “Come forward. Sspeak your wordsss.”

With his back to the hunting party, Condlumar knew that none would have seen how his eyes widened and the colour drained from his face. After a deep breath to steady himself, he began to dismount, unable to take his eyes from the blackness of the Night Warden’s eyeless sockets.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 12, 2010, 05:07:12 PM
His Royal Highness Piero Condlumar, the Prince of Trantio

Piero was trying not to fidget, but the golden crown sat uncomfortably upon his head, and one of the jewels, set too low for practicality, dug sharply into his skin. He had not slept a wink the previous night, his mind racing with the prospect of today’s coronation. Yet now the long ceremony was over and the still his nerves had not left him. He knew why - he was still yet to meet his father, the High Priest of Myrmida, for the necessary church’s blessing to complete his transformation into a royal prince.

His father: the real power in Trantio, not just Myrmidia’s representative in this realm; the employer of the Compagnia del Sole and thus de facto military ruler; chairman of the council of the Myrmidian Legion, and thus in league with an array of warriors either foreign, monstrous, dangerous or a combination of all three; a wizard of might who could conjure death in a hundred ways with mere spoken words and a gesture of his hands. His father - the man who had got the crown for him.

For Piero was a mere nipoti, whose office was a gift given him by his father, and who was now expected to play his part correctly, or suffer he knew not what consequences.

The Hall of Heroes sported the Prince of Trantio’s giant Royal Standard - a huge, decorated ‘T’ with the Myrmidian sun buried in its midst and a Royal Crown at its head. Piero had arrived with his polearm wielding palace guardsmen, his wife (and first cousin) Giulia, the mayor, his abbreviator and his younger brother Pilocomini. His father, as ever, had a military escort, his own men at arms, and an officer and standard bearer from the Compagnia.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Prince2.jpg)

It was the custom that Piero speak first. He had already begun reciting the words once, as soon as his father hove into view, but had stopped when he realised he ought to wait until the High Priest was close enough to hear him.

He started over. “High Priest of Myrmidia, protector of Trantio, well met! I, Piero Condlumar, hereby humbly ask for your blessing that I may … that I may …”

Take on the mantle of Prince of Trantio, boy,” his father said. “Speak loud, speak clear, and for the gods' sake, remember your words!”

“Yes father,” said Perio, then cleared his throat. “That I may take the Prince’s mantle in Trantio.”

Gabriele Condlumar laughed. “Close enough, son! Now my part, eh? Provided you serve the state of Trantio, its nobility and people, bettering their lot and protecting what they have, by military skill and politicial cunning, I give you my blessing.”

“I will, father,” he said, his voice somehow revealing a sense of ‘If you help me’ too.

In his right hand Piero clutched the sceptre and in his left the orb. An ermine lined cloak fell to the ground from his neck. Every part of him looked to be a prince Except that is for his face. There, an almost childish expression could be found, his head bowed just a little before his father as his eyes looked pleadingly at him. Just the way a prince ought not to look.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Prince1.jpg)

The high priest seemed not to notice. “Now, let’s feast in the hall, and I can tell you everything you need to do. I’m glad you brought your abbreviator, for it is best he write it down - lest you forget.”

Thus begins the glorious rule of the new Prince of Trantio.

‘The gods save our prince!’
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 17, 2010, 10:36:46 PM
The day after the hunt

There was to be little rest for the High Priest Gabriele Condlumar, for had as yet only met a handful of the Legion’s many commanders. He knew full well he must speak soon with more of them, before the marching and fighting began, for then it he would have his duty of command over the Compagnia del Sole and could not go chasing off all the time after other companies to have words with their generals.

So once again in the morning he left his fortified palace, this time accompanied by the captain of his men at arms, Giacomo Pigitliano, and made his way beyond the city gates. He was on foot, however, this time, for he had not far to go. In the faint light of dawn he arrived at the supposedly abandoned ruins of the southern quarter. The wall no longer encompassed these ruins, and although many of the hovels had been cleared away so as to provide a killing field in front of the city defences, there were still some tumble-down dwellings a little distance away.

In truth the ruins were no longer empty - temporary roofs had been constructed, and huts and tents squatted inside the shells of broken barns and crumbling cottages. Here was quartered Fredrick Guderain’s brigand army from the vaults. No banners or artillery were visible, but Condlumar knew they were here somewhere. In fact, apart from a few faces belonging to what appeared to be vagabonds and outcasts, peering from door-less portals and shutterless windows, there was little sign of life at all, never mind an army.

Then suddenly they appeared: a motley band of armed men, women and even halflings, some on foot, others on wiry riding horses of the sort that scouts might use. Within a moment they swarmed boldly out of the camp, over the tumbled walls, and headed towards the high priest. Captain Pigitliano began to draw his blade, but Condlumar signalled with his hand instructing his bodyguard to sheath it once more.

“Do not worry, good captain, for this raggedy band are soldiers of our Legion too. Do not be fooled by their attire, nor their apparent indiscipline. They fight well, and bravely, excelling in the sort of place that our rank and file soldiers struggle even to march through.”

“My Lord,” said the captain, merely to show his understanding.

“Look there,” said the priest, “at their head. That is Guderain himself.”

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/NextDay1.jpg)

A black-cloaked man led the advance, his face obscured by a peaked hat of leather. He wore a smile of an almost mocking nature, as if he could not know fear. Closest to him were two unusual companions. The first was a bloated fellow with a head tightly encased in a leather hood, carrying that simplest of weapon, a club, though this one made more deadly by the addition of a nail. The second was a halfling, shoeless like so many of his kind, and waving a little sword around as if about his exercises.

“The little warrior on the general’s right,” said Condlumar quietly to his man so that none in the advancing party could hear, “is one Heinz von Keppling. Beware his crossbow, for they say he has the eye of a young hawk and the aim of a sober elf.”

The strange army halted close…

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/NextDay2.jpg)

… and the priest now spoke much more loudly.

“Fredrick, friend. I come to speak.”

The cloaked man laughed. “About time. You spent all of yesterday gossiping with northerners, goblins and even the dead. About time you shared your news with me.”

Condlumar looked slyly at the brigand general. “It seems you are rather well informed of my movements! I have a feeling you might already know what I have come to say.”

...

Once the two men had spoken for night upon half an hour, Condlumar rushed back to his palace. There he demanded his horse be saddled and his men prepare for another ride. Well before noon he was on his way again, and this time he rode much, much faster than the previous day, and stuck to the old trade road to the west. By nightfall, having stopped only twice and having left three riders behind with horses too tired to go further, the Trantian churchman and his party reached a small coastal village, where wooden docks had recently been constructed.

Several ships were moored there, and soldiers and sailors (as ever in this land in this time) milled all over, about their duties. These men were not brigands like Guderain’s company, but many did have the look of sea-pirates about them. After questioning a guard, Condlumar rode along the dock towards one of the largest ships. There, by a pile of crates and other supplies, were three armoured men sported plumes in the colours of Marienburg (white, orange and blue). They looked almost out of place amongst the sea dogs, yet at the same time they were armed in a very modern manner with pistols as well as swords, which was one habit they shared with the seamen.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/NextDay3.jpg)

Condlumar doffed his cap, something the knight by his side was surprised to see, considering a high priest would normally show little deference to any other man. Perhaps it was merely respect being shown, or maybe it was because he knew this man would serve other gods and so see his priestly office of little consequence?

“General Novogord Vivendi Van Aalst,” said Condlumar. “I see you have almost disembarked fully. You waste no time, and I intend not to keep you too long from your business. But we must talk.”

The Marienburger glanced to his right, then answered. “I see the bordellaux has been brought ashore. Come, your Grace, I shall have my men broach a barrel and we will drink of the best as we speak.”
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 20, 2010, 07:02:54 AM
The Compagnia del Sol's first battle

Part One - Armies and deployment

The High Priest Condlumar had given his first battle orders, sending the Compagnia del Sole to attack a force of Sea Elves who had encroached upon his realm in an obviously threatening manner. The Condottiere General Giovanni Villeteschi led his men personally, which was what they all expected, and although he mustered a strong fighting force, he did leave enough soldiers behind to continue garrison duties.
 
Villeteschi took some of his best officers with him, including his right hand man, the Condotta Captain Frederico Matallesta, and the Compagnia’s standard-bearer Captain Niccolò Forteguerra. The latter was given orders to stay by the general’s side throughout the battle, for that way the soldiers would know where there general was at all times. The bulk of his force was made up of a massive cohort of pikemen and two large companies of crossbowmen, as well as the huge body of recently recruited longbowmen the general had yet to commit to battle. The Compagnia’s regiment of sturdy dwarven mercenaries added to the fighting power of the force, while its artillery train comprised of three mortars, a great cannon and a ribaudequin.
 
This was not all, however, for there were soldiers in this force other than the Compagnia’s mercenaries. The famously obstinate Captain Francesco Adentalo commanded a company of the ‘Dogs of War’ chapter of the Myrmidian Knights of Blazing Sun. These well-born gentlemen loyally served the High Priest Condlumar. A regiment of the city’s Men at Arms, well equipped professional soldiers who formed the small standing army, marched out too. These were to be commanded by Captain Matallesta in an attempt to ensure that they did exactly what Villeteschi desired (the captain had the uncanny knack of knowing just what his commander intended).
 
COMPAGNIA DEL SOL Mercenary Company List (T&G) 3482 pts
 
Characters = 844 pts
(I mistakenly thought that in 8th ed. it was 25% for characters, not for Lords & Heroes separately!)
Core = 1678 pts
Special = 595 pts
Rare = 365 pts
 
Lords

Condottiere General Giovanni Villeteschi  199 pts
Full plate, Sword of Bloodshed, Sacred Shield of Myrmidia. Command Skill = Tactician
 
Heroes
Condotta Captain Francesco Adentalo  132 pts
Warhorse, barding, lance, shield, Armour of Mystic Refraction. Skill = Hopelessly stubborn
Condotta Captain Frederico Matallesta  128 pts
Full plate, shield, Obsidian Amulet. Skill = Contempt
Condotta Captain Niccolò Forteguerra (Army Standard Bearer)  130 pts
Battle Standard, Cuirass of Perfect Safety. Skill =  Precision drill
Battle Wizard Level 2       130 pts
School = Alchemy. Robe of Cathayan Silk & Dispell Scroll
Battle Wizard Level 2 125 pts
School = Sorcery. Graf Martin’s Finger-bone (loaned by Condlumar) & Ruby Ring of Ruin Total
 
Core
48 Tilean Condotta Pikemen 419 pts
Light armour, pike. Full command. Banner of Respite
Two companies of 18 Tilean Condotta Crossbowmen  369 pts
Light armor, crossbow, pavaises. Full command. Pavaise.
40 Condotta Marksmen (Bretonnian Longbows)  345 pts
Light armour, long-bow, full command
35 Men-at-arms  340 pts
Full plate, shield, halberd. Full command.
12 Tilean Border Horsemen 205pts
Warhorse, light crossbow, full command

Special
Great Cannon with one additional crewman 105 pts
Three Mortars  each with one additional crewman   240 pts
25 Dwarf Mercenaries    250 pts                                                       
Heavy armour, shield full command
 
Rare
10 Knights of the Blazing Sun   (‘Dogs of War’ chapter)  305 pts
Full plate, warhorse, shield, lance, barding. Full command
Ribaudequin (organ gun)  60 pts
 
The Field of Battle
(Game Note: We used the BRB terrain rules, replacing all results if necessary with a ‘Tilean’ equivalent. We decided woods would only be ‘mysterious’ on a roll of 5 or 6, and neither wood was. Also we decided woods blocked LoS - it just seemed sensible. Not sure it we'll continue assuming to in future games.)
 
The Sea Elves had made a camp for themselves in the form of a neatly crafted wooden stockade with a guard tower giving a good view of the land around. Nearby were the ruins of an ancient chapel and the abandoned hovel of a hermit who claimed to be a descendant of the chapel’s ancient priests and thus the rightful owner of the ruins.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepATerrain.jpg)
 
Two copses of trees flanked the field of battle, and beyond the Compagnia del Sol’s right flank was an area of enclosed fields and vineyards - but Villeteschi had no intention of losing troops in them.
 
Deployment
 
The Sea Elves drew up in three main bodies of Lothern Seaguard, each one uniformed in robes of a different hue (white, green and blue). The only mounted elf amongst their ranks was the army standard bearer, whilst the rest of the army’s leaders were on foot in the front ranks of the Seaguard - two princes, an archmage and a mage.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA2.jpg)
 
Bolt throwers flanked the army, two in the camp and three upon the other side of the field, while a lone company of Swordmasters were concealed behind the trees near the camp. Two little bands of Shadow warriors slunk through the trees behind the chapel ruins, their arrows already nocked and ready to be loosed.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA1.jpg)
 
As Villeteschi surveyed them he noted that the three main bodies were arrayed ready for combat, and yet they had carried bows upon their backs, which they were already removing and stringing as if they had decided to use them after all. (Game Note, BurtX admitted he had deployed mistakenly in a combat formation, and was intending to reform them so that they could shoot - and receive mortar grenadoes - better!).

The condottiere general sent his mounted crossbows off to the far left to ensure that nothing crept unhindered around to threaten that flank of his force. He placed his ribaudequin there too to give a further surprise to any elves that tried that particular manoeuvre. His two battle wizards were ordered to stand with the pavise-protected crossbowmen, a company of which would flank his main force. On the left of his real fighting line were his dwarven mercenaries, a body of warriors he believed he could trust to protect the side of his massive pike unit.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA3.jpg)
 
Both Villeteschi and Forteguerra (carrying the army standard) took their place with the huge pike regiment, and immediately to their right stood Condlumar’s men at arms with Captain Matallesta commanding them. The noble Captain Adentalo and his chapter of brother-knights stood next in line.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA4.jpg)
 
Behind this solid centre the three mortars sat ready to lob their murderous missiles over onto the massed ranks of the enemy. The second company of crossbows stood to the right of the centre (another battle wizard amongst them) and finally out on the far right was a veritable horde of Longbowmen.
 
(Game note: I used my general’s ‘tactician’ skill to swap the crossbow and knights so that the knights wouldn’t have to gallop across the crossbowmen’s line of fire. I also changed the facing of the crossbowmen in the hoping that they wouldn’t have to move to gain a good number of targets.)
 
Thus were the two armies arrayed for battle, the Sea Elves brightly clothed in silken cloaks and fine damask surcoats, the Mercenaries in colourful linens and wools, slashed and patterned in many different ways.

Battle to follow
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: cisse on August 20, 2010, 09:08:40 AM
Looks very beautiful, both armies are painted very well! Looking forward to the report.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 20, 2010, 05:23:16 PM
Villeteschi now stood at the front of his regiment, peering across the field as the Elves began swiftly re-ordering their lines.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA5.jpg)

Meanwhile his light horse crossbowmen edged back behind the cover of the hovels crumbling walls in an attempt to avoid harm from the elven scouts’ bows.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA8.jpg)
 
The three large regiments of Sea Guard were indeed reforming their ranks and files, hoping thus to minimise the destruction that the mortar battery’s murderous grenadoes would do against them. (Game Note: ‘J’ was annoyed that he had deployed in such a manner, and now struggled to change the frontage the three due to the 1” between regiments rule!)
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA6.jpg)
 
The white regiment did manage to change its frontage drastically, but the two others were too busy shifting over to allow this to sort themselves similarly. Being very disciplined soldiers, however, all were still ready to shoot their arrows upon the command. (Game Note: if they had been in range - bows, not longbows!) As the main battle line performed its drill manoeuvres, the shadow warriors on the right flank all moved to hide in the woods as the Swordmasters advanced to hide behind the same woods.
 
The elven mages now set about the business of conjuring magical harm on the foe (dice = 9:6) but a mercenary wizard’s dispel scroll prevented their Piercing Bolt while their Fireball failed to manifest in the physical world. The elves’ more worldly weapons, however, proved a little more effective, with four Knights of the Blazing Sun falling to the hail of Bolts hurled from either flank of the elven force. The brother knights refused to panic however, but instead steeled themselves for as quick an advance as they could manage. Every other arrow launched, including an array of magical arrows shot by the elven commanders and mages, failed to harm the foe. Villeteschi thought himself lucky, and thanked Myrmidia that the Sea Guard had not advanced to within range.
 
So it was that the knights made their desperate dash …
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA9.jpg)
 
… whilst the three regiments of foot soldiers marched forwards almost in line (dwarf legs are a little shorter than a man’s!). The crossbow horsemen reformed themselves into two ranks to improve any volley they might loose. The Mercenary wizards’ magic proved as ineffective as the elves had just been (dice = 5:4), though the fact that the elves had an mysterious means to leech magical energy from the mercenaries had something to do with it.
 
Suddenly every warrior on the field of battle was almost deafened by the roar of the mercenary artillery barrage. One mortar, no doubt ill-maintained on the march here, tore itself to pieces, while another killed fourteen of the Sea Guard, while the third was a little off target and killed only four. The cannon targeted a bolt thrower very accurately but somehow failed entirely to harm it. The two elven crew were momentarily stunned by the passage of the large iron round-shot right between them. Although three more Sea Guard died from crossbow quarrels, their line still looked intact and threatening.

This is not to say that the elves were not worried about the power of the Compagnia del Sole’s artillery. Their army standard bearer left the green regiment to take a position to the rear of the line. On the right flank the elven shadow warriors now made their move, one unit heading into the ancient ruined temple, the other creeping up to its side. The Swordmasters made a more bold move, heading straight through the woods and out the other side (though halting just short of where the ribaudequin might aim at them).
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA10.jpg)
 
Now the elven mages’ real power was revealed (dice 7:5) as Flames of the Phoenix was cast irresistibly on the Compagnia’s pike regiment, slaying twenty two of them. Powerful indeed, so much so that some of the magical forces got away from the archmage and killed eight elves standing next to him! The Bolt Throwers killed every knight, including Francesco their captain, while a hail of arrows and bolts, magical or mundane, killed three men at arms and ten more pikemen.
 
Thirty two pikemen had fallen!
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA11.jpg)
 
This was a terrible blow to the Compagnia del Sole. Yet these men were veterans of several conflicts and made of stern stuff. The Pike reformed themselves to increase their fighting depth, while by their side the men at arms kept their guard and the dwarfs wheeled to face the advancing Swordmasters better.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA12.jpg)
 
Unwilling to malinger in cover any longer, the crossbow horsemen galloped around the hovel and prepared to let loose their quarrels.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA13.jpg)
 
Once again, faced with the magical mastery of the elves, the mercenary wizards could achieve nothing of consequence with their spells (dice = 10:7) But it was with missile fire that the mercenaries were hoping to further weaken the foe. Two shadow warriors in each little company fell to the ribaudequin blast and the mounted crossbows, but they would not flee. The crossbowmen on the left felled only one Swordmaster (their armour proving very effective) but the other crossbowmen and the massive archer horde managed to kill five blue Sea Guard between them. All this faded in comparison compared to the next mortar blast, which slew six green clothed elves and fourteen of the white regiment. The elven fighting line was looking much thinner, yet not one elf fled - nor showed any sign of discomfort, even though they were each and every one now spattered with the blood of their fallen comrades.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA14.jpg)
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: cisse on August 20, 2010, 10:31:27 PM
Wow. Bloody already, and the lines even haven't made contact yet.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 21, 2010, 06:18:40 AM
Yeah, this was my second 8th ed game and the artillery and magic were proving a whole new kettle of fish. So to speak. Bloody is the word for it.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: damo_b on August 21, 2010, 09:46:37 PM
great as always. glad to see some of your artillery is keeping up the trend. ::heretic::
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 21, 2010, 10:01:36 PM
To an elf, the army from across the great sea decided to charge before receiving any more punishment from the enemy’s black powder. The two tiny companies of shadow warriors tried to reach the ribaudequin - one failing to close the gap, the other being blown to pieces by a countershot. The Compagnia’s left flank was looking decidedly bare of enemies …
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA15.jpg)
 
The Swordmasters smashed into the dwarfs, while the green and blue sea guard, led by two Princes and a mage, charged the other two mercenary fighting foot regiments.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA16.jpg)
 
Behind this onslaught the mounted army standard bearer joined the white sea guard and ordered that they reform themselves into a better fighting formation, thus to await whatever enemy might break through the warriors ahead. The mages themselves looked to helping the warriors now battling the mercenaries (dice 6:4), gifting the green sea guard with the shield of Saphery and the green guard with the Flaming Sword of Rhuin.
 
As spear, pike, halberd and axe clashed, the bolt throwers looked for new targets and sent a flurry of deadly missiles ate the crossbow regiments sheltering behind pavaises, killing nine in total. Yet even when a magical bolt from the Archmage slew another two, the men of the Compagnia del Sole, however, refused to run away.  The combats proved bloody as well - General Villeteschi himself was wounded and four pikemen fell as four of the enemy also were slain. The outnumbered elves fought on. Four men at arms died also, and five elves. When the men at arms’ champion was brutally slain in a challenge, his severed head bounced over the distraught men behind, the fight began to look like it was going the elves’ way - the men at arms perhaps beginning to falter. The dwarves fared much worse than the men, losing ten warriors and their champion to the dizzying sword skills of the foe whilst only bringing down three elves in return. Being dwarves, however, and still having fresh warriors in the rear rank to fight, then stood their ground.
 
The horse crossbow now began to ride between the ruined temple and the woods in an attempt to get to the enemy’s flanks, while one brave wizard  broke from the ranks of the crossbowmen on the right and ran forwards hoping cast a hurtful spell on the Elven prince. He failed, although the other wizard did slay the last three shadow warriors with a fireball. Crossbow bolts and mortar grenadoes brought down eight more of the white sea guard, while twenty nine longbow arrows failed to put a halt to one of the bolt throwers deadly work.
 
The dwarves did not have a chance against the superior fighting skills of the Swordmasters. Eight more dwarves died and the last few fled away (the elves standing and letting them go). (Game Note: I warn all players out there who, like me before this game, did not understand - 19 dwarfs died taking only 3 swordmasters down with them. Do not mess with these guys in close combat!)
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA17.jpg)
 
General Villeteschi and Captain Niccolò, along with the few remaining pikemen, continued the fight against the green Seaguard. Villeteschi’s magically imbued flurry of seven attacks failed to kill even one elf, and the good captain could not outfight the elven mage, though the men did slay one. Three pikemen fell and the fight went on. To the right of this struggle Captain Frederico Matellesta had fallen to the elf prince’s blows. Six men at arms suffered the same fate losing but three of their own. Somehow the men at arms stood their ground.
 
 Villeteschi and his pikemen had no idea how lucky they were, for the Swordmasters were unable as yet to launch a charge on them (Note: out of charge arc - very lucky for me!) and so went after the fleeing elves, failing to catch them. Flames of the Phoenix now killed two men at arms but at a terrible cost to the elven mage - uncontrollable extra magical energy coalesced around his head and left him unable to think, never mind cast magic.
 
Two Bolt throwers hurt enough of the crossbowmen on the right to force them to flee, while another two killed a battle wizard putting two giant bolts right through him! Villeteschi failed to notice this, for he and his pikemen finally put the green Seaguard to flight, having slain four of them and their mage.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA18.jpg)
 
The leaderless men at arms could not do so well, killing four elves at a cost of six of their own number, but their the elves stood and the fight went on.
 
The Tilean mercenary light horsemen now made a foolhardy move (Don’t know why I did it, but sometimes you just go with the flow!) and galloped around the woods to form a line before the enemy camp - staring a pair of bolt throwers in the face and hurriedly preparing their bows, cursing that the elves were hiding behind a wooden barricade.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA19.jpg)
 
General Villeteschi now led his army standard bearer and his pike in a desperate charge against the white Seaguard. The fight was swift and deadly, with all three remaining pikemen cut down, the elven Mage injured and Villeteschi himself hurt in single combat with the Elven standard bearer. (Game note, only gaining 2 hits out of 7A!) The condottierri stood their ground.

The elven Swordmasters found themselves the attention of the Compagnia’s wizards. One used every bit of magic he could summon from the etheric winds to cast Burning Head at them - killing five. When the ribaudequin  tore another three to pieces, the last two noble elven warriors could not take any more and fled away. The mortars managed to destroy a bolt thrower, but neither the archer horde nor the crossbowmen could hurt the others. (Game Note: Didn’t realise that you must destroy a unit to get any points for them in 8th ed. Otherwise would have finished the Swordmasters. But neither did my opponent, otherwise he would have aimed at my fleeing dwarfs and crossbowmen.)
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 22, 2010, 07:28:55 PM
The Men at Arms were once again outfought by the impossibly skilful elven Lords, and this time they fled from the two Princes when five more of their number fell. The two Lords were too proud to pursue. Looking around they saw enemies they considered much more worthy of their attention, and so charged into Captain Niccolò’s flank. Villeteschi and his battle standard bearer now realised they were very likely to die, and both hoped for a ‘good’ death, the sort fit for heroes.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA20.jpg)
 
The brace of bolt throwers in the camp now killed three of the crossbow riders and sent them fleeing away.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA21.jpg)
 
Elsewhere archers died to other bolts, but much more importantly, Captain Niccolò was slain by the elven lords (Note: not overkilled). General Villeteschi was so disheartened by this that he stumbled backwards, distraught to see his young comrade in arms fall. The elven Lords ran after him and knocked him senseless to the ground. (Note: killed in flight, not overkilled).
 
The crossbow riders now rallied right in front of the two impetuous Lords, who found themselves also staring down the barrel of the ribaudequin, as well as facing seventeen crossbow foot soldiers!
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA22.jpg)
 
When the ribaudequin fired, however, the Lord’s magical protection proved very effective. They only slightly injured one of the Lords. The cannon sent a ball into the other Lord, but he was magically warded and somehow batted it aside! The crossbowmen stuck one bolt into the already injured lord - yet still he lived! The last two Swordmasters proved less invulnerable than their masters and died to a man when the recently rallied crossbowmen on the other side of the field shot at them. Finally, even though twenty six arrows rained down from the horde of archers (Note: after 29 + 29 shots already!) they could not destroy the elven bolt-thrower before them.
 
The crossbow riders fled away from the white Seaguard, running into the ruined temple to escape (with one being thrown from his horse in the proecess) …
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA23.jpg)
 
… while the two elven Lords nearby ran to hide in the trees, both doubting their luck would hold against another massive volley of bolts and bullets!
 
Three giant bolts failed to quieten the ribaudequin, and another missed the cannon. Finally the archer horde let loose its last desperate volley on the bolt thrower ….
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA24.jpg)
 
… and this time put an end to its bloody operations. (Note: 5 wounds, at last)
 
The ribaudequin blasted again and this time tore an elven Lord to pieces. The elven Lord general, however, even though crossbows, mortars and canon balls were all sent his way, somehow survived. (Note: He failed his ward against the cannon - yippee! Then I rolled a 1 for D6 wounds!)
 
(End of turn 6)
 
As the Elven Lord disappeared into the trees, the battle came to an end. The white Seaguard hastily made their way to the camp to defend its gate, but few other elves had survived. The Compagnia del Sole, on the other hand, and on the other side of the blood soaked field, still had a large battery of artillery, lots of crossbowmen, and several dwarves and men at arms to rally.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatRepA25.jpg)
 
Result
We both thought the elves had won, until we tottied up the VP using the 8th ed rules that is. Elves 1793 VP, Mercenaries 1972. Victory to the Compagnia del Sole by 179 VP!
 
General Villeteschi was rescued from the field, as well as his standard bearer. Miraculously both were still breathing, though badly wounded. The Compagnia quickly reformed into a marching column and carried its commanders ‘home’ to Trantio.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 23, 2010, 10:09:23 PM
A New Livery
(Several weeks before the events of turn one

1. Material

Lady Adalina could not make up her mind - stripes or checks? Which would do? The colours she knew she liked, and both cloths sported the same combination, but the choice of pattern was what perplexed her.

“Well, I do like them both.”

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/TileanConvoya.jpg)

The rotund merchant Master Biaggio, sweat dripping from the end of his nose and a stubborn smile fixed to his face, was trying not to fidget. He felt he was close to a sale, and after all the effort he had put in was desperate not to lose it now. He had been holding both samples of
fine linen before him for nigh upon a quarter of an hour - long enough for the pain in his arms to have transformed into an absence of feeling, while a new pain coursed through his back up to his neck and threatened soon to topple him.

“They are both most excellent ch .. ch ..choices, I have to say, my lady. Both would adorn your c … castle magnificently, whether it be table cloths, hangings, curtains or b … b … bed covers, and just as importantly they are both the height of fashion in Luccinni and Remas.”

The Lady, who still gave no sign that Master Biaggio might rest, squinted once more and stroked her fingers for the umpteenth time upon both cloths. As a member of the merchant class it would be most impolite for Biaggio to make any move without her permission. Mercopio, he prayed to his god, make this woman decide.

“No,” Lady Adalina said suddenly. “It is impossible to decide …”

Biaggio could not help himself - a groan began to issue from between his lips.

“… so,” she continued, “I shall have both. Checks shall adorn one wing, while stripes shall rule in the other.”

The merchant (cunningly, he thought) now transformed his groan into a satisfied sigh. “Aaah, my lady, you have of course settled upon the wisest course of action. Of course I would need to know what quantities you require, and there is the base concern of the price …”

Lady Adalina silenced him with a dismissive wave of her hand. “Speak to my steward, he will make all arrangements with you. Now go, and leave me the samples.”

“As you wish, my lady, “ said Master Biaggio, handing over the cloths with a flourish and a bow, then turning to leave. While Adalina held the cloths aloft in the sunlight streaming through the windows so that she might bask in their pleasant patterns, the merchant was already calculating what price he could get for them, and what profit would be made once all necessaries such as transport and such like was accounted for.


2. Materiel

Once more Capitano Duilio found himself having to push his helmet back on his forehead so that he could rub his eyes. Whatever was loaded onto the wagon immediately in front of him was dusty – perhaps unthreshed grain or some such thing - and every time the wagon bounced over a pothole a cloud of particles descended upon him and his men. This time there was a big, itchy lump of the stuff in his left eye. He raised his hand to halt his men …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/TileanConvoy2.jpg)

… and took a moment to demand a flask of water that he might pour onto his face.

The convoy he commanded was carrying all sorts of cargos, from basic commodities such as grain to military supplies such as black powder; from casks of fine wine to bales of fine cloth. He had been travelling with it all the way from the port of Ebino, and until yesterday had ridden upon his horse. When he overheard his men grumbling about the hard pace he set for their foot-slogging the previous night, however, he decided he would show them that he could do it. He had always thought of himself as a man of action, an officer who led by example.
Yet now, with granules scratching at the inside of his eyelids and his skin red raw where his armour had scraped all day, he wondered whether he really ought to have stayed on his horse.

At least he had not heard his men complaining. His standard bearer, Sergente Ezio, marched proud and tall by his side, while four of his best halberdiers marched immediately behind. More little companies of his men were interspersed along the convoy, so that in all he had
thirty soldiers with him.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/TileanConvoy1.jpg)

They were travelling through the hilly region to the west of his lord’s domain, where the road cut through a small forest and provided a little shade. Perhaps it was this relief from the shining sun that had improved his mens’ mood? Or maybe it was the thought that by
nightfall they would be home?

3. Plunder

Entirely unbeknownst to the Tilean soldiers, wagoneers and coachmen, they were being watched - beady, red eyes peered down from a hilltop obscured by the trees. These eyes belonged to creatures with green tinged flesh which improved their concealment - a band of hill goblins.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/TileanConvoy3.jpg)

Having struck deeper inland than ever before, these particular greenskins were part of Guldaar Bestbasha’s army of raiders whose main body was still much closer to the sea from which they had come. Having landed upon a relatively uninhabited stretch of the Tilean coast littered with ancient, ruined settlements from a time even the men who dwelt in Tilea had almost forgotten, the Waagh Guldaar was hungry. So Guldar had sent this band of goblins, watched over by an orcen scout called Burntogg, to raid for supplies and, in the orcen warlord’s own words: “Bring ‘em back real quick or I’ll serve you lot up for supper instead.”

On the crest of the hill was the hill goblin’s big boss, Derkid the Sneakster, with his trusted warriors about him. Unusual amongst goblins for his tuft of black hair, Derkid had always assumed that it was his talent to be different in other ways too, and it was this belief that had led him to acquire the repeating pistol he now had in his hand. He had yet to try it out in anger (for to be honest he was entirely unsure whether he had wound it up right) but it nevertheless
proved a marvellously effective instrument for encouraging disobedient goblins to do as he wished.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/TileanConvoy4.jpg)

“Der’s a lot of wagons, but how many mens is guardin’ ‘em?” he asked out loud, without really expecting an answer. Still, it was worth a try. “Can any of you scummin’ pus bags see?”

“Aww, Sneaks, ya just put me off me countin’!” moaned the axe-wielding Radget. “An’ I nearly ‘ad it - I was up to six.”

Derkid hefted his axe and glanced at the shiny barrels of his pistol, proud of the lack of rust, thought for a moment and then announced, “It don’t matter how many, as long as there’s more of us. Besides, they’z not knowin’ we’re here, an’ I reckon they’ll be spooked good
an’ proper when we hit ‘em. I reckon’ they’ll all be runnin’ before they can count us.”

He knew full well, what with the limited view of the column afforded by the trees that he could not trust any number Radget came up with. So his mind was made up. Just one last thing to do, he thought, and that was get the nod from Burntogg. He turned to look down the rear
side of the hill and catch the orc’s attention. Burntogg was standing beside the pirate goblin Boat-Boss Kaggly Moldwip …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/TileanConvoy5.jpg)

… which meant he already knew about the column (because Kaggly had been up on the crest with Derkid moments before). When Derkid gestured, chopping with his axe in the direction of the Tileans, Burntogg grinned and raised his choppa. He brought it down in a manner obviously meant as a signal, even as he began to lope up the hill himself. Before he had taken two full steps, Derkid’s hill goblins were already streaming silently down the other side
towards the edge of the trees.

Down in the woods today, Capitano Duilio was certainly in for a big surprise!

4. Division

“All of ya,” screamed Warlord Guldar Bestbasher, “an’ I do mean all of ya, hold yer wagglin’ tongues.”

Silence descended quickly and satisfactorily, as goblins and orcs gave their leader their undivided attention.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/TileanConvoy7.jpg)

“I gets to decide how we’re sharin’ up da loot. I don’t care wevver it’s da fairest way, but I’ll tell ya’all it’s da safest way - ‘cos if any of yer thinks yer’s not doin’ things da way I wants ‘em, den dat’s gonna be yer lastest thought ever. Gettit?”

The silence continued. Several of the goblins nearest to Guldar wondered if there was a way to be more silent than they were already being, but couldn’t think of any.

“Now listen close an’ listen good. For a start Derkid gets a share, ‘cos him an’ his lads did the findin’.”

Derkid stepped forward, with whispers of “Go on, Sneaks!” from the goblins nearest to him. Guldar grinned at him, bearing his massive, broken, tusk-like teeth in the process. Unnerved by the visage before him, the goblin hid his fear well: “What’s I getting’ den, great lord of us all?” he asked.

“You can have a wagon and as much of the food as you can put in it. An’ choose something shiney fer yerself as well.”

Derkid nodded, then scuttled off to do exactly that, while Guldar glared at the many who remained.

“As for the rest of you, what were you arguin’ about when I got here?”

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/TileanConvoy6.jpg)

No-one dared speak at first, then finally Burntogg piped up. “Dey was discussin’ how to share up da fancies in da first wagon?”

“Fancies?” said Guldar. “What fancies?”

“Cloth, lots of it, prettified up with lines and criss-crossings.”

Guldar was surprised. He’d known his lads fighting over all sorts before, but never over pretty cloth. “Let’s see it,” he demanded, a touch of confusion in his voice.

The boys led him to the wagon in question and showed him its cargo: bales of cloth in two different designs, though both blue and grey in colour. Having tested it by trying to tear it, and finding it of good quality (he actually had to expend a little effort to rip it) Guldar made his mind up.

“Dis stuff is too good fer little uns. Dey can have any other cloths found. Dis is for da orcs. Give da stripes to Haggjie’s lads and the criss-crosses to Big Boss CrackJaw’s Big Uns.” The vicious grin reappeared. “We is gonna ‘ave uniforms, fancy ones like Tilean soldiers, so I can see who is gettin’ up to what, and so you can all do me proud, eh lads?”

And so began the chaotic process of tugging and pulling that greenskins call sharing out.

By the next day, the two biggest regiments of orcs were already sporting the make-shift shirts, kilts and breeches they had hastily sewn up using bone needles and twine. Guldag inspected them just after noon, and was pleased with what he saw.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/TileanConvoy8.jpg)

“Very pretty, lads,” he laughed, “Now we ‘av colours to call our own. ‘An I reckon blue is suiting every one of yer!”
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: rufus sparkfire on August 24, 2010, 04:09:13 PM
Orcs stealing cushions! Excellent.

I look forward to playing you.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 24, 2010, 04:37:26 PM
Glad you like it - I had to come up with something to explain why my orcs were dressed in what looked like tablecloths!

Now I'm back from my travels, I will be in touch ASAP re: possible dates for a battle. I have loads of stuff to organise (after being away) but should still have plenty of time available for a game. PM me to tell me whether you're a weekend only player (as in work commitments). Oh, and mention your height in your PM. It's kind of important. Uryens and especially DamoB will understand!
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: rufus sparkfire on August 25, 2010, 12:05:15 AM
Great. I'll PM you.


Oh, and mention your height in your PM. It's kind of important. Uryens and especially DamoB will understand!

Uh oh - you have one of those buzz-saw traps from Indiana Jones, don't you!
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 26, 2010, 05:57:29 PM
Lovely Loot

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/OrcBaggage1.jpg)

“Ow much longer do we ‘ave to pull this lump of a wagon?” came Hafdi’s complaint for the fourth time, though this time with an added twist, “’Cos me back ain’t gonna hold out another mile. Maybe we oughta stop?”

Toggler didn’t bother looking at Hafdi, for he had grown tired of two things in the last hour - the first was the physical effort of lugging the wagon in question, the second was the orc’s nigh on incessant complaining. He didn’t look, but he did answer.

“Oh, I see how it is. You’ve got a gammy back, and yer feeling tired. That’s a shame, ain’t it, ‘cos I reckon it means we is gonna have to leave all this loverly loot ‘ere an’ get off back to the camp without it. Still, what’s an evenin’ glugging on the red stuff and countin’ up all the shinies we gets for our share compared to having a bit of a poorly back? No competition there - I’d much rather get told off for leaving the wagon and spend the evenin’ drinking stinking puddle water and being clouted by every bad tempered orc in the camp than have you a bothered a tad by yer achin’ bones. Better yet, Guldag could ‘ave us both hacked into likkle pieces and served to the boars for their supper. Aye, yer not wrong, better that than you suffer a twinge or two above yer nether regions…”

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/OrcBaggage2.jpg)

His rant was cut short by a squeaky scream issuing from behind them. “Keep movin’! Go faster! Wheeeeee!”

Toggler acted all surprised by this outburst from the drunken Snotling Doodo, who was riding on the wagon due to the fact he couldn’t even reach the pole.

“Now would you hear that, Hafdi?” said the goblin. “It seems Doodo don’t share mine and your enthusiasm for getting beaten to a pulp fer disobeyin’ orders. Seems he’s castin’ his vote against our joint opinion. Now there’s an unexpected turn!”

Hafdi was frowning, an expression he adopted whenever he was trying to follow what Toggler was saying. This is not to say he pulled the expression often, because normally he did not bother listening too close. But this time he was listening.

“You reckon dat dey is all gonna beats us up if we leaves it behind?” he asked.

“Oh, you heard that bit,” said Toggler. “Yeah, that’s what I think and that’s what they’d do. Beat us good and proper. Might be a good cure for your aching back, ‘cos I reckon you’ll stop noticing the back-ache what with all the new pains up and down yer body.”

“All I was asking was how long….”

Toggler shouted his response before Hafdi had completed the question: “As long as it takes, you hear, ‘cos if we don’t do as we is told then we is in so much bovver dat it will be well and truly over for all three of us.”

The words came too fast for Hafdi, so the exact meaning was lost. It did not matter, however, because Toggler’s raised voice was meaning enough.

“We pulls da wagon, den.”

Toggler gritted his (remaining) teeth, and wonder how long it would be before Hafdi forgot the entire conversation and began asking all over again.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 29, 2010, 08:01:20 PM
How Guldar Fared against the True Might of Ogres
Battle Report - 3,500 Ogres versus Greenskin Raiders. This was the game I played during the July Yorkshire W-E ‘Minibash’, which Rufus, Uryens (Mighted Sturmbrow), Fr1day and DamoB attended. Must do that again, guys – it was great.
 
The mighty orc warlord Guldar Bestbasha had gathered all the strength he could find. This did not mean he had every goblin and orc who (supposedly) now served him, for his raiders had a habit of scattering far and wide in their foraging and looting, and so it took a lot of time to round them all up. There was no more time, so this lot would have to do. He reckoned it was enough.
 
3559 Greenskin Raiders list
 
Orc Warboss - Giant Boar, Hvy Armour, Intimidator, Sharp Choppas, Bartock’s Heaviest Armour, Da Def Blow Cleava  = 309
Orc Great Shaman Lvl 3  = 180
Two Goblin Shamans, both Lvl 2  = 180
( Note: I misunderstood 8th ed composition  rules and thought it was 25% for all characters, thus my pathetic showing of characters.)
CORE
50 Orcs with additional choppa, plus full command = 370
30 Orc Arrer Boyz with full command = 300
10 Orcs with xbows plus musician & champion = 100
50 Common Goblins with short bows plus full command = 195
30 Common Goblins (Hand, Light Armour) plus full command = 110
25 Hill Goblins with goblin pikes and full command = 170
25 Hill Goblins with additional hand weapons and full command = 170
16 Boar Boyz with full command = 308
10 Goblin Wolf Riders with Short Bows & Musician = 135
SPECIAL
9 Ogres, light armour, extra hand, Rangers’ Standard (Strider), full command = 412
2 Spear Chukkas = 70
3 Boar Chariots = 240 (Think I left one in the box! Can’t see it in the pictures!)
4 Leadbelchers with Bellower = 225
RARE
1 Hill Goblin Cannon = 85
 
Happy to be advised by his somewhat ad-hoc council of war (something that many a greenskin warlord would consider a sign of weakness) Guldar decided to make a bold move and advance into the barren land before him. His scouts had informed him that an army of Ogres was marching through it, and Derkid the Sneakster had seen Rhinox’s amongst them. Everyone knew, the wily goblin had announced, that Rhinox furs were worth a fortune - the sort of thing the Tileans of Trantio would pay vast sums of gold for. That was enough for Guldar, for it would mean pay on top of pay. Besides, he wanted to see what his massive mob could do. He had Ogres of his own amongst the rank and file of his army, and they did not seem so bad to him. Why then should he be afraid of any Ogres?
 
The field of battle was to be just to the north of a little dusty settlement, entirely abandoned by whatever Tileans had dwelt there. The dry earth had been heaped into several mound-like hills, and a large patch of rocks rivalled some ancient ruins to the west. A desolate enough place, but one which would provide a good camp should the greenskins prove victorious.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBashTerrain.jpg)
 
Guldar began bawling his orders, bullying his boys into shape. The wolf-riders were sent out onto the far right flank where they were supposed to keep an eye out for any trickery. Some of his own goblins had said that there were little greenskins with the foe, and everyone knew that such goblins must be tricky ones, for they would surely have been eaten already if they were not.
 
The rest of his forces he arrayed in one huge vanguard of fighting regiments, with goblins in reserve and his massive regiment of orc archers on one of the hills behind to give them a good view of the filed over the main line’s heads. His artillery he mounted on a hill on the left, so that they too could join in the archers’ fun. He himself would lead the Boar Riders, mounted on his giant boar, while his shamans were sent to join various bow regiments where they might have plenty of time to rain Gork and Mork’s magical anger on the enemy.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash2.jpg)
 
His main strength, the horde of boyz and the ogres, he commanded to march side by side, and although he was tempted to add to their punching power with his Boars, he instead decided that he and his riders would form a hammer head swinging at the enemy’s flank.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash3.jpg)
 
The best of his missile troops, those with the sort of bolts and bullets that could penetrate deep into the ogre’s leathery flesh, he sent to the right: orcen crossbows and ogre leadbelchers. Derkid the Sneakster was behind these with his bodyguard. Some might think this was an act of cowardice, but Derkid had said he would thus be ready to strike at any foe that somehow broke through the line. Always a sneaky one, thought the warlord, he was quietly glad the cunning goblin served him.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash4.jpg)
 
The enemy force proved to be a large one. Three regiments of bulls and ironguts flanked the main, terrifying, focus of their power – three huge, shaggy-haired monstrosities with horns longer than an orc is tall. These were the famous and feared Bull Rhinoxes. Looking at them, Guldar almost wondered whether he had bitten off more than he could chew. But it was too late to back away now for the fight was well and truly on, and the cautious thought was lost amongst the overwhelming surge of battle lust that gripped him.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash1.jpg)
 
Two less vicious monsters were shuffling up on the enemy’s left – a pair of scraplaunchers – while the main line also included a pair of hunters. Altogether a tough proposition for Guldar’s horde. Yet, maybe, if the crossbows and machines played their parts well enough, and the sky could be made to rain arrows from the goblin and orc bows, and if Gork and Mork smiled upon his enterprise, just maybe the odds would have been evened a bit by the time the forces closed upon each other.
 
Maybe.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 30, 2010, 10:26:10 AM
Suddenly the Ogres began to move forwards at a pace, their ironguts and bulls very neatly keeping in line with the bull rhinox’s, and amongst this line came a Tyrant, a Slaughtermaster, a Bruiser carrying the army standard and a butcher.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash5.jpg)
 
One of the hunters made his way onto a flat topped building, while the other stayed behind the ruined temple. A wave of Ogrish magic emanated outward, but it dissipated without doing much harm at all. The scrap launchers on the far left proved chaotic in their ways, for one failed to fire at all while the other ran right into its side, killing itself and wounding the first. At least the gnoblars creeping up on the rear managed to wound a chariot, as did the hunter with his spear.
 
 
The other regiment of bulls marched as best they could down the little alley formed by two of the buildings and began to wheel out of the end, watched by the hunter on the roof by their side.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash9.jpg)
 
Surprisingly it was one of the regiments of goblins, the pike armed bunch, that allowed bloodlust to send them out of the line towards the foe. As they had thus got in the way of the Boar Riders, they decided it would be best if they carried on with their impetuous advance and so charged the ironguts before them!
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash6.jpg)
 
Behind the line the wolf riders, who were also suddenly keen to join the fray (animosity turned them around!) also launched a charge – at the gnoblars annoying the chariot from behind.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash8.jpg)
 
Guldar led his boars forwards, hoping to launch a deadly charge at the bulls emerging from the settlement, while the chariot tried to get around the rear of the riders so that it too could find a foe to face.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash11.jpg)
 
On the right, the Leadbelchers moved as far as they could, but the orcen crossbows (with the orc shaman amongst them) were too busy squabbling about what they should do next to keep apace.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash7.jpg)
 
The greenskins’ magic proved less than impressive, as they only managed to cast ‘Gork’ll fix it’ on the ironguts. If that was bad, then the hoped for arrow storm proved equally so. The cannon, crewed by incompetents, misfired, while 33 short bows and 23 bows joined the bolt throwers to only wound the Rhinox’s slightly (a measly 3 wounds caused in total)
 
The pike goblins failed even to fell one ogre (though two iron tips did at least draw blood) …
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash10.jpg)
 
…but the ironguts unleashed a hellish torrent of blows and stomps to squash or smash eleven goblins. Aghast at the destruction so easily done to them, the goblins fled. No-one expected them to do anything else. So much for their unusual impetuosity.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash12.jpg)
 
The goblin wolf riders did not shed much blood when they charged into the pesky gnoblars behind the lines, but they broke them nevertheless and ran them down with red-spattered glee. As they did so, on the far side of the field, two ravenous monsters also with blood on their mind, came loping onto the field. The gorgers had arrived!
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash13.jpg)
 
Yet it was not towards the massed ranks that these hungry creatures turned their attention – instead the scattering of goblins crewing the machines on the hill caught their eye! If the goblins in question had been paying attention they might have been afraid, but they were too busy trying to work out what had gone wrong with the cannon – one of them even peering down the barrel.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash16.jpg)
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: rufus sparkfire on August 31, 2010, 12:46:54 AM
Excellent report so far!


Quote from: Padre
…but the ironguts unleashed a hellish torrent of blows and stomps to squash or smash eleven goblins

What, even with -2 to hit them thanks to the phalanx rule?
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 31, 2010, 07:00:23 AM
Ahh, you may have something there. Although we have used the phalanx rule in our more recent games, I have a feeling we may have forgotten here. The goblins did charge the Ogres, so no impacts, and one less rank. Haven't got the rules here, but doesn't the phalanx rule only apply when Ogres do the charging. Also isn't there an issue re: the goblins 'failing' animosity in the turn, well, 'failing' in the sense that they rolled a 6 and moved forwards?

If none of these things apply, then put the mistake down to the fact that we were both struggling to apply the new rules for the first time, and I was somewhat by the other games going on. Erm, yeah, I like that last excuse: it was the other games distracting me - so you yourself are to blame Rufus. You and your fancy friends playing with you fancy armies all fancy down the other end of the room. If it weren't for you darn kids we'd have got everything right on our table!
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on August 31, 2010, 07:16:15 AM
Now came the moment where everything began to go wrong for Guldar’s army. He had relied on him and his boar riders delivering a charge, and given no thought to the fact that the Ogres might charge him before he was ready. (Game Note: I really hadn’t got my head around the new charging rules in this my first 8th ed game.) It was not even the bulls he had been heading for, but the ironguts, with a butcher amongst them and an army standard bearer.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash15.jpg)
 
Oomph! This hurt, and badly: ten boars were brought down by a combination of the impact, the great weapons and a mash of stomping feet! Guldar did wound the Bruiser, but his boys failed even to notice his small personal success. They broke and ran, taking Guldar with them. The ironguts pursued and smashed into the chariot behind, while Guldar and his few surviving riders escaped.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash17.jpg)
 
Perhaps even more dramatically (in fact, what am I saying – definitely more dramatically) the Rhinox Riders now thundered into the horde of orc boys and the centre of Guldar’s line. The bulls attempted to join this charge but they could not keep pace and were left behind. Still, they were not needed. The beasts’ impact alone killed eight orcs, their horns and riders’ weapons hacked another ten to death, and their stomping feet killed six more. The orcs did manage to inflict enough hurt to finish one of the Rhinox’s off, but at such a cost. Two dozen of Guldar’s best were dead. (But, thankfully, still steadfast.)
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash18.jpg)
 
The Bulls bursting from the alley tried to reach the fleeing goblins and failed, sending them running right through the massive body of bow-armed gobos, while what little magic and missiles the ogres could bring to bear made no noticeable impact on the greenskin force. Not that it was necessary, for their mighty charges were effective enough.
 
The raiders were not quite ready to give up the fight yet, and so it was that the ogre mercenaries launched their own charge into the Rhinoxes’ flank in an effort to save the orcs and maybe the day!
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash19.jpg)
 
Their impact alone managed to bring down one of the Rhinoxes, and although the last one (its fighting ability hindered by a greenskin magical curse, Gork’ll fix it) managed to kill three orcs, the end result was that the Rhinox turned and fled away, to be killed in the pursuit by the orcs. The Ogres stood their ground and reformed, expecting a charge from the foe any moment.
 
The chariot on the right was not so lucky for it failed to reach the bulls in the centre …
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash21.jpg)
 
 … but Guldar did at least rally his boar riders and reformed them to face the gorgers.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash20.jpg)
 
The ironguts easily destroyed the chariot they had caught by surprise, and ran on to hit the bolt thrower crew. Thirty seven short bows now managed only one wound against the bulls emerging from the alley, while four leadbelchers wounded both themselves and the Bulls with the enemy Tyrant. They were not wrong – the Tyrant led his bodyguard right into them …
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash22.jpg)
 
… and bloody mayhem ensued. Many a mercenary ogre dies, and yet, emboldened for some unknown reason, they stood up to the punishment and fought on (I scored snake eyes on the break test!).
 
The bulls who had emerged from the settlement now charged the remnants of the orc boyz, who decided that surviving the battle was a better option than being butchered right there and then – and so fled voluntarily away. The sight of this did more than unnerve the goblin horde nearby – it sent them running too!
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash24.jpg)
 
When the scrap launcher charged the or boar chariot on the right and destroyed it, the leadbelchers decided they too had seen enough of this battle and ran away.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash23.jpg)
 
Leadblechers, orcs, goblins – a large portion of Guldar’s army was now in flight, and to be honest had no intention of rallying and returning to the fray. (Game Note: This was the end of turn three and although the other mini-bashers had played full games, we had run out of time. I blame my enemy general for dithering about with the dice …
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash14.jpg)
 
Only joking, that’s my boy visiting to see what we were up to. The truth is we were delayed by trying to apply 8th ed rules for the first time ever.
)
 
The gorgers now began clawing and stomping at the boar riders and Guldar, but found themselves equally matched. (But being unbreakable, the gorgers weren’t going anywhere)
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/MiniBash25.jpg)
 
End of Game Time ran out at the end of turn 3! I concede a win to the Ogres
(Thanks again Burtx, or ‘J’ as I sometimes call him, for a great game, and tricking your ladyfriend into painting ogres the night before!!.)

Story continued:

Guldar now saw his chance, and considering the rest of his army was in flight (and still surprisingly intact) he took it. Ordering his riders to ‘Get stuck in!’ he treacherously and suddenly broke away from the fight and galloped hard away, leaving his dumbfounded guards to their fate.
 
It was without doubt a defeat for Guldar’s forces, but much of his army was still alive, and he knew he could rally them to him a few miles away and still have command of a sizeable force – especially considering he had reinforcements scattered all around that had not come to this particular field of battle.
 
Leagues away and a day or so later, the ‘power behind Guldar’s throne’, his employer and cunningly guiding hand, the high priest Gabriele Condlumar was pleased to hear the news of the battle. The mighty heart of the Ogre force had been destroyed, the three huge Rhinoxes. Now, it seemed to him, he could risk employing his other forces against these Ogres.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: rufus sparkfire on August 31, 2010, 11:12:13 AM
I didn't realise you only managed three turns! Still, Uryens, FR1DAY and I only had five turns. Too much time looking up rules.



Also isn't there an issue re: the goblins 'failing' animosity in the turn, well, 'failing' in the sense that they rolled a 6 and moved forwards?

Yes, there is. I forgot about that. It means they can't use their pikes at all that turn.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Uryens de Crux on August 31, 2010, 11:45:20 AM
and thats when I remembered which edition we were playing  :icon_redface:

Got a couple more games of 8th in now, still forgetting loads of rules and I still hate TLOS.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 03, 2010, 02:33:20 PM
Battle for the Bones of della Scara
(Bat Rep, 2000 pts, Watchtower scenario, Compagnia del Sole vs Ogres)

For the background to this battle, please see http://treacheryandgreed.com/forum/index.php?topic=48.msg385#msg385 where it states the following ...

Quote
[High Priest Gabriele Condlumar] has in his possession a finger bone of Castriccio della Scara, an ancient Tilean hero who according to legend faced an army of shimmering, magical demons and personally struck down fifty before perishing himself. This can provide added protection in the form of increasing his ability to dispel the enemy’s magic. He hopes (soon) to retrieve the rest of della Scara’s corpse and inter it in the temple to provide what he believes will be a holy blessing for Trantio.

For an interesting tavern story on the theme of Condottieri patron saints please see
http://treacheryandgreed.com/forum/index.php?topic=48.msg1647#msg1647

I hope the admins are also faithful followers of Myrmidia. If so, and if Condlumar gets the bones, maybe it will add some magical protection to the city of Trantio?

Now, at last, the battle begins:

Part One

High Priest Gabriele Condlumar’s plan had worked so far. He knew the enemy Ogres could reach the tower of Serminara in the eastern Trantine Hills before his own force, and he knew they were too strong for him to fight. So he sent Guldar at them, with instructions to the goblin Derkid to make sure the warlord saw it through. Although the ‘mighty’ orc warlord had been driven from the field, he had at least mauled the ogre’s army. Crucially, the huge, lumbering Rhinoxes had been cut down.

(Note: See - http://treacheryandgreed.com/forum/index.php?topic=48.msg10490#msg10490 - for the battle report. Killing the Rhinoxes was not actually an objective of the previous 3,500 point game - which I lost - but fluff wise it links that game with this one, and makes me feel like I achieved something in that game!!)

So now, even with the Ogres occupying the area around the resting place of the saint Castriccio della Scara’s bones, Condlumar knew he had every chance of snatching them for himself.

No, he mentally corrected himself, not for me - for Trantio. I do this for Trantio. After all, that was what his announcement to the gathered noble Lords and merchants of the city had claimed: I, Gabriele Condlumar, do give this promise to all of you - that I will personally lead a force to bring della Scara’s saintly relics to the city, that he may watch over us and guard us. He served Myrmidia better than all the generals of his time, and he must know that we too honour her greatly. This is why I will lead the force, for as High Priest to Myrmidia I have no doubt that his benevolent spirit will take no offence at my removing of his physical remains.

In truth even these words were a bending of the truth. Condlumar had never intended to lead the force, but with General Giovanni Villeteschi badly wounded, as well as several more of the Compagnia del Sole’s officers, the high priest now realised he would have to lead the force personally simply to ensure that the job was done. And a part of him was elated to be in the field again - he was a priest of Myrmidia, with a love of war that had engulfed his youth. This was a chance to revisit that life.

The force he led was not massive, for he had not time enough to assemble anything more. Nor was it made for speed - with no mounted soldiers amongst them. But this lack of horse was deliberate. He wanted a force that could hold its ground against the Ogres while he and his servants took the remains, and that sort of job was best done by large regiments of solid foot soldiers. He took two such bodies - his own men at arms and one of the Compagnia’s renowned pike regiments. The latter would have the Compagnia’s standard bearer Niccolò Forteguerra with them. He had recovered from his wounds remarkably quickly, and would inspire the mercenaries to fight calmly and bravely.

Army List: Merc’ Co’ at 1995 pts

CHARACTERS
High Battle Priest Gabriele Condlumar. Lvl 3 Wizard Lord  - 230 pts
School of magic = Theurgy. Graf Martin’s Finger-bone; Confounding Wand
Captain Giacomo Pigitliano - 101 pts
Full plate, Sword of Battle, Enchanted Shield. Defense in depth
Condotta Captain Niccolò Forteguerra, Army Standard Bearer  - 130 pts
Battle Standard; Cuirass of Perfect Safety. Precision drill
Battle Wizard (Level 2)  - 140 pts
School of Magic = Alchemy. Robe of Cathayan Silk. Dispell Scroll
CORE
Tilean Condotta Pikemen  - 340 pts
35. Heavy armour, pike. Full command. Banner of Respite
2 companies of Tilean Condotta Crossbowmen   - 374 pts
2 x 18. Light armor, crossbow, pavaises. Full command.
Men-at-arms    - 340 pts
35. Full plate, shield, halberd. Full command.
SPECIAL
2 Great Cannons   - 200 pts
Dwarf Sea Rangers   - 140 pts
10. Brace of pistols.


Deployment:
With only one hill overlooking the tower-home of the saintly relics, then that was the obvious place to site his cannons. No mortars this time, however, for Condlumar wanted the sort of pieces that could punch fatal holes through Ogre flesh and bone, not splinters of grenadoes that might draw a speck of blood here and there from the thick skinned giant-men.

His two foot regiments he stood side by side, flanked on their right by a pavaise carrying crossbow company and on their left by some Dwarven sea rangers. The second crossbow company formed up in the rear, ready to step up at take the place of the fighting foot when they advanced.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB1.jpg)

His plan was simple (which he always believed was best). He would attack the tower with one regiment of foot soldiers, while the other guarded one flank, and the two crossbow companies and the artillery sent withering volleys to protect the other flank. The sea rangers were there just to buy time if there proved to be any surprises from the left.

The Ogres had already occupied the tower with a band of Ironguts. The rest of their force were arrayed behind, the Tyrant and his army standard bearing bruiser leading a body of bulls on the right, a butcher commanding another bunch in the centre, and five (no less!) veteran and battle hardened Maneaters moved up through the field on the left.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB2.jpg)

Condlumar was under no illusions, and knew full well that their ‘battle hardened’ nature, on top of their entirely natural strength and brutality, made such mercenary ogres a very dangerous foe indeed. He thanked Myrmidia that his artillery and crossbows might play at them.

One might suppose that Condlumar would march with his own men at arms, but not so - he stood in the front rank of the Compagnia’s pikes by Forteguerra’s side. If his own men would protect him out of loyalty and duty, these men would fight equally hard to do so out of their want of pay. His hired servant, the wizard Leone de Montlu, was ordered to stand with the crossbows and do what he could to aid their efforts to fell the foe before contact was made.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB3.jpg)

Knowing he must gain and keep the initiative, Condlumar ordered his men at arms to attack the building immediately, which they did. (Note: In the Watchtower scenario, the player not garrisoning the tower gets to go first.) While they assaulted the building, he marched the pike up to their side, sticking to his plan to protect their left flank. The dwarf mercenaries jogged along side too, while the crossbowmen behind moved to join the others and add extra power to the killing field.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB4.jpg)

A fireball felled a Bull, as did the crossbowmen; then another fell to a cannon ball. The bulls in the enemy’s centre were thus halved in strength. A good start for the men and mercenaries of Trantio. But then the momentum was suddenly stalled as the men at arms were mauled badly enough to force them to fall back from the tower.

Now on came the Ogres:

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB5.jpg)

The badly battered bulls now thought to charge the men at arms’ flank, but failed to reach because the Trantian soldiers fled (none of them were willing to receive an Ogre charge in their side!). The men at arms’ flight took them right through the crossbowmen, but the mercenary’s refused to be shaken by the rather sensible (if hasty) withdrawal of the Trantians.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB6.jpg)

The maneaters at the bulls side moved over the outer fence of the field and continued their steady advance, while the bulls on the other side of the field, with the bruiser, chose to occupy the building near the tower, but the Tyrant joined his ironguts in the tower itself. The ogres’ magic proved generally ineffective, though the Trickster’s shard did wound the wizard Leone. Four crossbowmen fell (some to the ogres’ magic, some to the maneaters’ handgun blasts).
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 04, 2010, 06:34:58 AM
Battle for della Scara's Bones, part two

As the pikemen turned to prepare for the fight, the men at arms rallied behind the crossbow. They would not leave their master to fight without them. (Note: I should, I think, have charged the dwarfs
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB7.jpg)
 
The two crossbow companies now sent a volley each at the advancing Maneaters and managed to kill one. The cannons, however, now chose to send their shot into the tower itself to see if they might shake up the Ironguts a little. (Note: Here we both discovered how vulnerable to multi-wound artillery Ogres are when inside a building!) Although the Tyrants magical armour saved him, three ironguts and their champion all died! Only the Tyrant was left alive. (Note: The picture above saying their were 6 Ironguts is wrong - there must have been 4, but hard to recall when they are not on view in the photo!)
 
No surprise, then, that the Bulls and the Tyrant now all left their buildings. They had thought that being inside would be safe, they now saw that the buildings were a place of carnage if cannon balls tore through them. Suddenly the Ogres were beginning to feel hard pressed - the Trantian’s artillery was proving very effective. They now used magic to attempt to balance the whole situation, killing a dwarf with a fireball …
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB8.jpg)
 
… then five more using bonecruncher. He did not let his men see, but Condlumar was please by this - he had hoped the little band of dwarfs would provide a good distraction.
 
Niccolò Forteguerra now ordered the Pike to reform, his precise drill instructions and previous training proving fruitful, for the regiment managed to do as well as advance to close the gap between the now abandoned buildings.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB9.jpg)
 
The could have charged the Tyrant but doing so would have exposed their flank to the Bulls and the Bruiser and they knew full well that such carelessness would ruin the effectiveness of their phalanx and thus prove their ruin. Bringing their pikes down they presented a very dangerous proposition for the Ogres, for their flanks were now completely guarded by the buildings, while the serried rows of razor sharp tips were able to deliver horribly bloody consequences to any monstrous foot soldiers foolish enough to hurl themselves into them.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB10.jpg)
 
Condlumar could not hide it this time - he was laughing. Perhaps it sounded a touch maniacal to the men around him, but he cared not. This was battle! This was war as he remembered it! These foolish ogres had no chance against his tactical cunning and the soldiers of Mymidia who served him. His confidence spurred him to concentrate his magical efforts a little better - he used Shem’s Burning Gaze to kill another ogre bull and wound the Butcher, while he settled Pha’s Protection reassuringly on the wizard Leone and the unit of crossbows. Crossbow quarrels now spat out to bloody the butcher and slay yet another bull. Then a cannon ball finished the Butcher off, leaving one lone bull in the centre of the field, reeling from the severity of the enemy’s magic and missiles.
 
The ogres were at a loss as to what to do, and the tyrant now joined the surviving regiment of bulls and his Bruiser with the army standard as they all ran to shelter in the timbered house near the tower. The Maneaters were not so hesitant - they had seen such as this, and much worse, before. They charged the crossbow …
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB11.jpg)
 
… receiving only one quarrel sting on the way in. Their work was quick and brutal, and within moments (with the loss of only one of their own number) the entire regiment of crossbowmen were cut to pieces and ground into the dirt. They growled and snarled like beasts as they went about their work, then calmly reformed so that they might take on the cannons next - even though they were now staring the guns’ muzzles right in the face!
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB12.jpg)
 
Condlumar could not fail to see this was his chance - he ordered his men to abandon their pikes and occupy the tower. Niccolo and Giacomo too. (Note: We knew that according to T&G rules pike could not occupy buildings, but thought it perfectly fair that if they threw their weapons down they could do so. After all, these men are not idiots, and do have hand weapons too. Both players were happy with the thought that the pikes were not - at least in the game world - glued to the soldiers’ hands! We would not allow them to take them up again in the battle)
 
Meanwhile Condlumar’s men at arms advanced once more close to the foe and now the high priest chose to join them.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB13.jpg)
 
The surviving crossbow regiment reformed so that it might be ready to shoot upon the maneaters. Condlumar was busy, however, conjuring injury right there and then, Shem’s Burning Gaze killing two of the bulls cowering in the building (where they thought the cannons could not see them because of the Tower), and Banishment felling one more and wounding another. The bruiser and tyrant somehow survived this stinging blast without a scratch. Even they were not surer how they had done so.
 
Condlumar’s laughing had doubled in intensity. He felt like a god of war, his men unbeatable, his magic unstoppable. Then it all went wrong, for his concentration slipped even as the Banishment spell came into being, and he miscast. Broiling magical energy flamed through him and outwards, burning six of his own loyal guards and injuring the high priest himself.
 
He stopped laughing.
 
The cannons boomed, but killed only one of the Maneaters closing in on them. Thus it was that the well-travelled and battle scarred veterans of between 5 and 12 wars now charged the helpless cannon crewmen. (I think you can guess the result, considering what was done to the crossbowmen!)
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB14.jpg)
 
The last surviving bull, a champion, from the unit the Butcher had commanded until his death, now charged the Tower. Giacomo bravely challenged him, barring the doorway. Both warriors suffered injury, but the ogre could not force his way in and was pushed back.
 
The bruiser now led bulls out of the house, for he did not want to receive any more magical harm, and the tyrant rejoined them. When Condlumar saw this, he reckoned his Men at Arms could deal with them on their own, and so he ran into the Tower and began organising the soldiers inside to search for della Scara’s bones. The men at arms hefted their halberds, advanced to the spot previously occupied by the pikemen, and prepared for what was sure to come.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CompBatB15.jpg)
 
The crossbows felled another maneater, while Condlumar’s hastily cast banishment again wounded the bulls. Winding as quickly as they could (and being veterans they were indeed fast) they loosed another volley as the maneaters began a charge down the hill towards them. Another maneater tumbled to the ground and last found his steps faltering as he realised he could not reach the foe. A stream of cursing followed in his own tongue - mostly one word repeated over and over.
 
The Tyrant now led his bulls and bruiser at the men at arms, slaying the champion and eight more Trantians, with the loss of only one bull. But the men at arms did not think themselves beaten, and stood their ground defiantly. The lone champion bull upon the other side of the tower again took his chances against Giacomo. The result? Let’s just say that Giacomo is now known in Trantio as the ‘ogre killer’.
 
It was now that a delighted shriek was heard from the crypt beneath the tower. Condlumar had found his bones!
 
Game over, end of turn 5.
 
Game Note: We always knew we couldn’t hope to finish all the turns, and simply agreed it would end when the club closed. So the club closed and I got’s me bones! Not sure how the ogres could have gained a victory even with a couple more turns. The maneater was gonna get another volley and another countershot. And Giacomo and Forteguerra could maybe hold the door against whatever the Ogres sent in, probably, perhaps. Magic and cannons could continue to hurt the ogres too.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Geekmeister on September 04, 2010, 07:22:23 AM
Wow, great work with all the background and stuff. I particuarly like the heraldry you've designed and applied to your regiments.

(the Vermillion Legion better be getting extra gold for all this work...  :wink:)
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 05, 2010, 08:09:26 PM
The Temple of the Bones

Work had begun even before Condlumar and the Compagnia del Sole returned from battle. The High Priest had promised to retrieve the bones of Castriccio Della Scara, and the nobles and merchants of the city believed he would. He had to, for without such spiritual protection, some holy luck, Trantio was surely very soon to be surrounded by unstoppable foes. The Golden Company were approaching from the south, even now close to Pavona; and the soldiers of the Cerulean League had already swarmed into Commercio and Ebino. Every denizen of Trantio felt hard pressed, gloomy. Every night was restless.

Little did the people know but even His Grace Gabriele Condlumar suffered disturbed nights. The words in Viscount Armand De La Croix’s letter circled his mind constantly, and in dreams they stabbed into him with their terrifying announcement:

Quote
“No surrender, no hope of rescue, our allies will rain hellfire from the skies about your homes and we will march into Trantio, where I will skewer that pathetic pig son of yours on Le Teuer and burn your temple to the ground. You were a fool to bait me, I never forget stupid old goats like you, and know that my wrath, and that of the Golden Company, will fall upon you like wolves on sheep.”

It was these nightmares that drove his desire for the bones, and that encouraged him to lead the force sent to retrieve them himself. Furthermore, it came as a kind of relief to many that as a consequence some work had to be begun: the holy relics of Saint Castriccio must be house appropriately in a temple of worthy proportions and satisfactory richness.

Here, only one day after High Priest Condlumar’s departure to capture the bones, we see the labourers busy upon the scaffolding, amongst the already growing foundations of the temple. It is evening and yet they labour on, for this is a holy task, and meant for the city’s defence, for the safety of the people within, great and small.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Temple1.jpg)

Several foundation stones had been removed from ancient castles, legendary places where defiant defenders had withstood a hundred sieges. Such stones would surely provide a firm foundation in more ways than one.

But you can probably see something has caught the workers’ eyes. They have all turned from their labours and now gaze at an approaching crowd. What they saw was odd. At first it did not occur to all of them what was unusual about the approaching band. Many were armed - not at all surprising in this time of war. They sported clothes of many different colours - entirely normal for the populace of Trantio, for such had long been the fashion.

Then even the slowest witted and the most tired amongst the workmen realised what it was - they were all women!

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Temple2.jpg)

At the fore was a priestess of Myrmidia, garbed in Vermillion robes (unlike the green which Condlumar most often wore). She came foreward as if marching. The women were on the whole young, lithe and strong of limb. They bore blades, some having already drawn them as if they meant to fight now. But that was not their purpose - they had drawn their swords in readiness for an oath.

It was the priestess in red who spoke, addressing them in a loud and clear voice which the labourers listened to also:

“Women of Trantio, warriors and acolytes of Myrmidia, look now at this. Here before you lies the beginnings of a holy temple, in which the ancient remains of Saint Castriccio will soon lie. You all know how this saint served Myrmidia. You know how he fought cleverly, and bravely, against monstrous foes. The tales are many, and they are true. But I have another tale to tell of Castriccio Della Scara. He was once tasked with the defence of a town, and such was his discipline that when the enemy proved to be vastly superior in numbers, he did not flee, nor surrender, but calmly continued his efforts to prepare the defences. At night, however, he was wise enough to pray to Myrmidia, and in those prayers he asked for guidance. And the goddess answered him, for he was blessed, and she spoke these words:

‘Castriccio, you must look to the faithful to aid you in this fight.’

But the general did not understand, and he tumbled through his dream unable to find solid purchase. Then he asked,

‘Holy mother, heavenly generalissima, I know not who you mean. Every man able to bear arms in the town serves me. Who else can I turn to?’

The goddess did not answer him with words, but appeared before him. She was beautiful, and fierce. Her eyes flashed with fire, and in her right hand she carried a blade so bright that it seemed to burn the general. Then she tore away her breast plate, and revealed unto Castriccio her bosom. The general looked (and looked) and then understood. The goddess smiled, and after some more of the dream passed (!), Castriccio awoke with a start.

He knew what he must do. By the end of that day, every woman able to carry a spear and shield, able to thrust with a blade, was made a soldier. A regiment the like of which had not been seen since the days before ancient Remas ruled the known world. All the faithful in the town now stood side-by-side, armed and armoured, and ready to fight.”


The priestess paused, sweeping her head to look at the gathered throng. Then she turned and raised her hand. When she spoke, her words came in short bursts, and each time were followed by the crowd repeating the words in unison:

“We the faithful followers of Myrmidia…” - “We the faithful followers of Myrmidia…”

“Do hereby swear to the goddess …”  - “Do hereby swear to the goddess …”

“That we shall fight to the last in the defence of Trantio…”


Etc etc.

Thus that evening the fighting faithful women of Trantio came into being.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 07, 2010, 09:17:55 PM
Guldar’s Revenge?
1500 Illustrated Battle Report, Battle for the Pass Scenario
(Ogres vs. T&G GreenSkin Raiders)

A man might not believe it, but in truth Guldar had forgotten his defeat against the Ogres only two days later. He fled from the field, his army running after him, and only halted when he met with more of his warriors about three miles away. These he ordered to form a line, while he ‘collected’ those who had survived the defeat and the flight. This was done by nightfall, and the Ogres never came on. They must have been after something, or someone, else.

The next day he moved away, and the next he was already looking for where to fight next. As far as his bosses were concerned, he had dismissed the whole affair as “’aving a go!” and now he was ready to ‘Get ‘em properly”.

Two weeks later his employer sent gold and orders. The gold was an advance payment and Guldar intended to get he rest. Leaving several of his regiments to guard his camp (part of his orders), he moved a select force towards a valley in the hills to the south.

1500 Greenskin Raiders list

CHARACTERS
Orc Warboss Guldar (Intimidator, Sharp Choppas), Giant Boar, Bartuck’s Heaviest Armour, Ogre Blade, shield = 308
Orc Big Boss, with Battle Standard
Banner of Mork, Light Armour = 107
Goblin Shaman
Lvl 2, Toof Amulet  = 115
CORE
Orc Boyz 30 with additional choppa plus full command  = 235
Bolter Boyz 10 Orcs with xbows plus musician & champion = 110
Hill Goblin Pikes 25 with goblin pikes and full command    = 170
Orc Boar Boyz 13 with full command    = 254
Goblin Wolf Riders 10 with Short Bows & Musician (Fast Cavalry) = 135
SPECIAL
2 Spear Chukkas  = 70

He found more Ogres in the valley. What he didn’t know was that these were not the Ogres he had faced before, but another (smaller) band. Those he had previously fought were even now being defeated by Condlumar and the Compagnia del Sole. Still, this lot were an advancing foe, and as Derkid the Sneakster was quick to remind him, they were to be paid for any enemy force they kept away from Trantio.

Now Guldar liked pay and he really liked fighting, so you can probably guess what happened next. I’m here to tell you the details.

Guldar arrayed his force with his orcs in the centre - his mob of boys on the right, his own boar riders in the centre, and the orcs with crossbows on the left.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat1.jpg)

His spear chukkas he sent to set up on the heights to the left, with his Wolf riders ready nearby to attempt to distract any foe who attempted to attack the machines before they could spear enough Oge bellies.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat3.jpg)

His pike goblins he ordered off to the right, where they might sneak up through a gap between a rocky outcrop and some swampy ground, their flanks thus (at least initially) protected.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat4.jpg)

Guldar felt confident. He rode his giant boar and took his place on the right of his boar riders, next to Big Boss Crudly Hamfist who carried the army standard bearing the blazing eye-sun emblem Guldar had used for four weeks now. It seemed to please his employers, and he thought it noticeable enough.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat2.jpg)

The enemy Ogres had two regiments of bulls, one on each flank, and a body of ironguts in the centre. A scraplauncher stomped its way forwards on the far left flank, advancing over a hill behind the smaller of the two bull regiments.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat5.jpg)

Their general was a bruiser, and he led the rightmost bulls.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat6.jpg)

But they also had a Slaughtermaster with them, who marched with the ironguts.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat7.jpg)

Apart from this force of monstrous infantry, some sneaky little gnoblars had made their way to the rear of Guldar’s line, and were even now creeping up on their tippy-toes.

Battle is joined

It was the Ogres who came on first, every regiment advancing (though nor as far as they might - they were attempting to draw the Greenskins out).

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat8.jpg)

The gnoblar scouts were too busy bickering to move up and hinder the goblin pikes ahead of them, whilst the Slaughtermaster’s attempts at magic resulted in nothing noticeable. This was all well and good so far for Guldar and his lads. As his giant boar snarled, he himself was growling, and the disharmonious result was dramatic enough to quell all animosity in his army.

Guldar decided there was no point in waiting and led a charge directly at the ironguts and the butcher, but he had begun too soon and the charge petered out (Note: needed 16”, got 14”). The rest of his orcs now advanced to protect his flanks, while the wolf riders put themselves boldly in front of the bulls and Bruiser in an attempt to draw them away from the orcs.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat9.jpg)

The pike goblins burst out through the gap and suddenly found themselves propelled by the magical Hand of Gork to close in a charge against the bulls on the enemy’s left. Perhaps, armed with pikes, this was a fight they could win? The goblins could not conquer their fear, but were saved by the nature of the serried ranks of their pikes. The ogre champion tore the goblins’ boss apart violently and stomped another goblin to death for good measure. Three more goblins fell, but so did an ogre. The fight would go on, for the goblins had yet to realise just how outmatched they truly were.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat10.jpg)

The bow armed wolfriders brought down one ogre with their volley, while the orc crossbows injured another severely. The Spear Chukkas shot wildly, however, as they so often do.

Of course the bruiser facing the wolf-riders was not happy to charge such a petty foe, even though they had just felled one of his lads, but it had to be done. Meanwhile in the centre of the field the ironguts and bruiser now charged Guldar and his boars. What the orc warlord Guldar did next came surprisingly easy - he ordered his riders to flee! Having faced a similar charge in the last battle, he now recalled only too clearly its very violent consequences. Not again, he thought.He would not suffer such a blow again. Instead, by hook or by crook, he intended to do the charging form here on in. So, he fled away. To be honest, the ironguts barely noticed, and simply redirected their charge onto the orc boyz.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat11.jpg)

Part 2 to follow
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 08, 2010, 06:29:36 AM
Guldar's Revenge? (Part 2)

Now the pike goblins fighting against the three remaining were dismayed to find the scraplauncher coming at them too. (And before you ask, no, I don't know why 'J' insists on his scrappy wearing a sponge!)
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat12.jpg)
 
Such a turn of events should have overwhelmed them. But no, they fought on. Nine more goblins fell to cuts or were crushed beneath iron-shod feet. Yet even so they steadfastly stood their ground!
 
The Ogres’ attempts at magic proved very dangerous - to themselves. Both magic users injured themselves, then the butcher hurt himself over again trying to magically cure his injury! In the centre of the field, the ironguts smashed into the orc boyz and before long eight orcs were dead as well as the big boss Crudly Hamfist. The ogres were scratched a little here and there, but all in all, things were definitely going their way.
 
The wolf-riders facing the ogres’ leader, the bruiser, and his bulls, did not stand chance. Every one of them, all ten, were hacked to pieces. The ogres stepped over the remains and made their way to the bottom of the hill upon which the bolt throwers sat.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat13.jpg)
 
Guldar now screamed at his boar riding warriors to halt, which they obligingly did, twisting around and reforming in order to attempt to fulfil their master’s wishes - to charge the foe.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat15.jpg)
 
The crossbow orcs stuck two bolts deep into one of the bruiser’s bulls, but could not bring the monstrous warrior down. Perhaps due to nerves, the spear chukkas could not hit the approaching ogres - both bolts flew straight over the enemy’s heads even though they were right in front of them.
 
The goblin pikeman now felled an ogre, and wounded the slaughtermaster, but they could not win the fight. Finally they succumbed to fear and fled, the bulls and monstrous beast following them to trample them down and draw close to the fight in the centre of the pass.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat14.jpg)
 
There the boyz failed to hurt the foe, whilst losing seven more of their own. This broke their fighting spirit and they fled, the ogres failing to realise they were about to run and thus lost the momentum needed to catch them.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat16.jpg)
 
Guldar could not believe his eyes. He had taken a massive gamble to try to ensure he got his charge in, and now here again he was surely about to be charged! This time the Slaughtermaster and his ironguts charged the boyz, just to see them run, then redirected at Guldar and his lads. Guldar decided he could not order another flight, for he was certain his riders would not rally a second time - and besides, they would think him a coward for ever more. So he stood and received the full weight of the ironguts’ charge.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat17.jpg)
 
Guldar’s boar gored the Slaughtermaster, but apart from this wound, neither could hurt each other as they traded a flurry of mighty blows. The boar riders, however, hacked down two ogres with their choppas, with the Boars killing a third. Yet only one boar rider perished. The tables had been turned - the slaughtermaster and the last irongut now attempted to flee. They did not get far!
 
(Note: I really thought the boars would be torn apart, as in the first battle, by the ogres - but I suppose luck comes into it, and in the first battle there were two tyrants in the front line. This battle showed me that boar riders can do the business. I should have taken the ogres’ charge earlier!)
 
The bruiser and his bulls easily smashed a spear chukka to piece, grinding the crew into the ground, while the butcher tried to use Toothcracker but failed. (Note: I used 6DD to stop it, having allowed the wound retrieval spells.) The scraplauncher had a go at the fleeing orc boyz, and killed two - but it also killed a gnoblar nearby! Meanwhile the bruiser reformed his unit on the hill ready to charge back down into the battle proper.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat18.jpg)
 
Guldar now charged the two last bulls on the enemy’s left, only to see them flee away. While he was trying to get to the foe, the Gork’s Foot had the necessary reach – killing another bull in the bruiser’s regiment. As another looked on at the pulped remains of his comrade, a spear chukka bolt stuck through his arm badly wounding him. Because they had reformed, the crossbow armed orcs could not join in the missile fun, which upset them. It was to be their penultimate emotion.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat19.jpg)

Desperate to get back into the fight while he still had some bulls to lead, the bruiser charged the crossbow orcs who attempted to flee. Their final emotion was shock, just before they were all cut down. On the other side of the pass, the scraplauncher tried to charge the orc boyz but could not reach them.

Gork’s Foot obligingly stomped down again, badly injuring both the bruiser and another of his bulls. Just as before, the bruiser decided it was safer to be fighting than receiving magical harm, and so charged the orc boyz, with the scraplauncher managing to join the fun. Although the orcs wounded the scraplauncher, they lost the fight. The handful that fled were brutally dispatched by their pursuers.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat20.jpg)

(Game note: Now turn 5b) Guldar’s chance to utterly smash the foe was slipping away from him. He turned his unit and began to chase the bruiser and bulls as best he could, while the spear chukka once again skewered one of the bulls. The bruiser knew that he could not take a charge from Guldar’s retinue of riders, and found an unexpected fleetness in his thick legs to run away!

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/1500Bat21.jpg)

(Game note: Now turn 6b) At last the mighty warlord Guldar Bestbasha bellowed his command: “Charge!” But his boars were tired, they had run up and down the field several times now, and as a consequence their natural disposition towards aggressive action was somewhat sapped. They charged, yes, but they still could not reach the bruiser and his last bull speeding away in leaps and bounds.

Game Over, end of turn 6. Surprisingly, due to the 8th ed. VP rules, it was 915 to 912. A draw. This was, of course, due to the fact that the bruiser and scrappy, although fleeing, do not count towards VP unless off the field. And the bulls unit hadn’t been completely destroyed.

So, with a writer’s liberty, here is the last part of this little story …

The boars’ momentum, what little there was, petered out. Guldar’s head drooped, and his warriors could see he was breathing heavily. Suddenly it lifted again, and he balwed louder than they had ever heard him bawl before (which was loud):

“They ain’t getting’ away!”

Slapping his giant boar on its rump he renewed the chase and headed back off up the pass, back the way he and his army had come. Ahead was a wounded bruiser and badly wounded bull, whilst with warlord Guldar Bestbasha and his monstrous boar were 11 riders. The Ogres, losing blood, could surely not keep their pace up. I’ll let you decide who would be coming out of the pass alive that evening. 
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 12, 2010, 08:45:42 AM
Trantio Overwhelmed
(Some of you may be able to guess my opponent by studying his army. It should look very familiar to a handful of you.)
 
The reports were coming in thick and fast: an army here, another there, scouts to the south, horse to the west, marching columns in the north. At first Condlumar had thought that it must be confused reports concerning only one or two enemy forces, but the scouts, outriders and sentries were describing a variety of colours, a wide array of troop types, and in locations scattered all around for many miles. It soon dawned on the high priest that the foe was approaching in vast numbers, surrounding the city with a vast number of soldiers.

Deep down he knew the end had come, but he was not ready to admit it, even to himself, so he gave his orders. The warboss Guldar was too far away to reach in time, but the Compagnia del Sole was based in the Myrmidian quarter, their commander General Giovanni Villeteschi was recovered from his wounds, and they could march out immediately. Which is what he ordered them to do.
 
They did not get far. In the hills three miles south-west of the city, as they marched through the ancient ruins of a long empty town, an enemy force was spotted. General Villeteschi immediately began giving his orders for deployment, casting his eyes over the ground before him, whilst attempting to see what the enemy was doing.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-1.jpg)
 
A large ruined temple from the time when Remas ruled the whole of Trantio sat between him and the enemy …
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-2.jpg)
 
… but other than that there was a relatively empty stretch of land stretching before him. His own lines had a line of hills immediately behind and one or two abandoned and tumble down hovels, whilst his right flank would be anchored to a stone tower and a garden of Morr on the right.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-3.jpg)
 
The enemy also had a line of hills in their rear, hills that were already being occupied by soldiers – presumably, Villeteschi thought, war machine crewmen busy about positioning their deadly weapons. The largest hill, right behind the enemy’s centre, had a ruined shrine upon it nowhere near as fancy as the ancient temple, no doubt built during the rather more squalid times that immediately followed the fall of Remas.
 
The Compagnia del Sole
3000 pts T&G Merc Companies list
 
Lord  Condottiere Lord General Giovanni Villeteschi = 199 pts
Full plate, Sword of Bloodshed (BRB), Sacred Shield of Myrmidia (T&G)
Tactician; Personal retinue (T&G skill)
Wizard Lord Battle Priest Urdoc the Manifolded  (Level 4) =  240 pts
School of magic = Shamanism. Warhorse, Sceptre of Stability, Talisman of Endurance.
Condotta Captain Giacomo Pigitliano = 106 pts
Full plate armor, Sword (warhammer) of Battle (BRB), Enchanted Shield (BRB).
Defense in depth (T&G skill)
Condotta Captain Niccolò Forteguerra (Army Standard Bearer)  = 150 pts
Battle Standard, Cuirass of Perfect Safety (T&G), Sword of Might 
Precision drill (T&G skill)
Battle Wizard (Level 2) = 140 pts
School of Magic = Alchemy, Robe of Cathayan Silk (T&G), Dispel Scroll - (+25)
 
Core (1600 pts)
49 Tilean Condotta Pikemen  = 476 pts
Heavy armour, pike. Full command. Banner of Respite (T&G)
2 x 18 Condotta Crossbowmen = 374 pts
Light armor, crossbow, pavaises. Full command.
35 Men-at arms  =  340 pts
Full plate, shield, halberd. Full command.
12 Tilean Border Horsemen  =  205 pts
Warhorse, light crossbow, full command
35 Condotta Soldiers (The Middenland Outcasts) = 205 pts
Light armour, halberd, full command. Magic banner - Gleaming Pendant: (+5).
 
Special
2 Great Cannons =  210 pts
Both have one additional crewmen
2 Mortars = 160 pts
Both have one additional crewmen
Dwarf Sea Rangers  = 140 pts
Brace of pistols.

Rare
Ribaudequin (organ gun)  = 60 pts
 
Enemy army list to follow.

Deployment
 
Both crossbow companies were sent to the right to stand side by side, and both wizards dismounted to join them behind their reassuring pavaises (‘R’ handily pointed out that mounting them made them juicy targets and more vulnerable. It seems I had wasted some points on the mounts! BTW: You can just make out their horses behind the line.) The centre would be formed by the three huge fighting regiments, the men at arms and the halberdiers fighting in ranks of 5 hoping that with enough depth they might stand solid against the foe. The two captains and the general took their places one in each front rank.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-5.jpg)
 
The Compagnia’s standard, bearing its Myrmidian baton and sun symbol, was held proudly aloft by Niccolo, while the same symbol had been painted onto the crossbowmen’s pavaises. Many a soldier sported the same symbol upon his surcoat or jerkin, and each and every one of them was proud of their allegiance.

Both mortars sat behind the line (a now tried and tested method for the Compagnia del Sole), while the ribaudequin guarded the flank. Out on the left flank a battery of cannons was placed on the hill, with the dwarven sea rangers down below them as a guard and the Tilean Light Horse Crossbowmen off to the right.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-4.jpg)
 
(Also noticeable in the above photograph are the enemy’s halfling scouts, armed with slings and ready to cause considerable annoyance to the Compagnia’s brave soldiers. Still, who can call themselves a true halfling without also being annoying?)

Villeteschi did not know which power the foe served. They were mercenaries alright, and in fact from some of their colours he reckoned he knew some of them, had once even served by their side. But whether they were from the Golden Company or the Cerulean League he had no idea. It was rumoured both were about to attack Trantio, and it was no mere rumour that both were enemies. Yet, he thought, it was of little importance now who exactly they were employed by – they had come to fight and a fight they would have.
 
The enemy adopted a similar centre formation to the Compagnia, with three large fighting regiments (men at arms, pikemen and dwarfs), flanked on the left by a war wagon and a large body of arquebusiers.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-6.jpg)
 
Behind were three mortars, two mounted on the heights. Their general, a wild-haired squid-tattooed warrior with a golden shield, who looked like some legendary barbarian chief form Sigmar’s time, led the dwarfs. He looking like an ancient, many of them actually being ancient! The army standard flew at the head of the pikemen, a bright yellow field bearing a monstrous squid - probably the personal standard of the general. Behind the men at arms a wizard lurked, magical power sizzling at his fingertips as he cackled maniacally at the thought of what he intended to release.

On the enemy’s right a cannon was being prepared to engage the enemy battery ahead of it, while the freakish form of a cockatrice carrying a halfling captain was squatting behind the temple ruins, flexing its bat like wings to emit a horrible cracking sound as joints clicked and clocked in and out of place. The monstrous ogres behind this creature looked almost normal in comparison!
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-7.jpg)

On the enemy’s left a piece of horse artillery made its way forwards, its crew already scanning the Compagnia’s lines for opportunities to wreak destruction.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-8.jpg)

Now both armies were arrayed for battle, and a moment of eerie calm settled over the field as the armies looked across at each other. They did not know that the temple ruins had witnessed five such battles over the centuries. None of them knew that half the corpses in Morr’s garden were mercenary soldiers, and that more still lay deep underfoot in mass graves. They knew none of these things and yet death was much on their minds.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-9.jpg)

This was the last moment of quiet many of them would ever experience.

Battle to follow.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: rufus sparkfire on September 13, 2010, 11:32:26 AM
What nice armies!


Also:

Quote
Battle Wizard (Level 2) = 140 pts
School of Magic = Alchemy, Robe of Cathayan Silk (T&G), Dispel Scroll - (+25)

Two arcane items! Not allowed.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 13, 2010, 11:39:39 AM
Oops. That's what comes from relying on Army Builder for years, then trying to build a list without it, cutting and pasting and dropping the calculator, etc.

(edit) Still, of you take into consideration that I gave my other wizard a sceptre of stability which I then (as I always do) forgot to use to add a DD versus one of your deadly spells, it kind balances out in retrospect. In fact I don't know why I pay points for wizardy things 'cos apart from scrolls I forget nearly every battle to use most of them. Too busy scribbling pencil notes and photographing, I suppose!
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: rufus sparkfire on September 13, 2010, 12:06:12 PM
That's nothing - I realised later that one of my key spells actually did nothing at all! I'd have had the same result if I'd never cast it.

I won't say what that was until you've written the report though. Let's see if anyone can work it out!


I had these spells, by the way: doom and darkness, highlander 2: the withering, pit of shades, occam's punrazor.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 14, 2010, 08:11:36 AM
Part Two

The enemy army list (NB: I like to call them the ‘Squiddly Diddly’ army)
(Thanks Rufus for forwarding this to me.)

Lords 
General, Condottiere = 228
Sorcerous squid tattoos, shield of Myrmidia, privateer's sabre, potion of excessive speed, pistol, Tactician, defence in depth
Sorceress Lord  Lvl 4 = 230
Cathayan Panda Pelt
Halfling Warlord  = 153     
Cockatrice, spear, shield, heavy armour, screaming skull

Heroes
Condotta Captain  = 104     
Battle standard, great weapon, curiass of perfect safety               

Core
30 Men-at-arms command, full plate, halberds, S4, banner of Ulric = 385
30 Condotta Soldiers command, heavy armor, pike = 295
24 Condotta Marksmen command, arquebus, heavy armor = 265
35 Dwarf Mercenaries command, hvy armor, great wpns, banner of Ranald  = 400
       (Condottiere's retinue)

Special   
10 Halfling Rangers slings = 110
6 Ogre Mercenaries command, heavy armor, great weapons = 271
Horse Artillery  = 90
Great Cannon = 100
3 Mortars = 225
War wagon  = 140

Total = 2996 points

Turn One

As both armies were finally satisfied that their lines were ready for battle, the Compagnia’s light horsemen moved forwards towards the little enemy scouts, hoping thus to prevent the mischief such fellows were prone to causing if allowed free reign.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-12.jpg)

As they did so, the enemy now began to march forwards, maintaining a well-drilled and neat front to their central line (the dwarfs having magical help to keep up with the general). The war wagon trundled on the left of the three main blocks, the gunners inside already hefting their handguns over the gunnels. The arquebusiers had already returned their scouring sticks, and were now testing their match as the last action before giving fire. Several of them squinted into the sun at the crossbowmen on the hill before them, one or two even smiling at the thought that the foe might presume a pavaise could protect them from the mighty bullets about to be unleashed.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-10.jpg)

On the left the horse artillery galloped onwards, whilst on the right the ogres moved around the edge of the ruined temple, unable to take their eyes off the sight of the squawking cockatrice lolloping along on the far right to come to a momentary halt behind the hill.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-11.jpg)

The enemy wizard now let loose his first spell. Perhaps his manic excitement had unbalanced him slightly, for although the (irresistible) withering spell successfully weakened every man in the massive Compagnia pike block, it also drained away all the rest of his magical reserves for that moment, whilst a shard struck at a man at arms and killed him.

A very loud and sudden blast was heard across the entire field - the arquebusiers had fired. Seven crossbowmen tumbled to the ground, half rolling down the hill before them whilst their comrades scrabbled to keep the pavaises in place. Urdoc the Manifolded  was somewhat startled by this turn of events, but was then pleased to see the grizzled veterans around him did not flinch, nor show any sign of panic, but simply went back to winding their crossbows in preparation.
 
On the Compagnia’s left the enemy halflings now loosed pellet after pellet in a well aimed flurry of shots at the mounted crossbow. To the riders’ shock, five of them fell wounded or dead. They had not expected such punishment from half-men, yet now knew not to under-estimate them (despite appearances)
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-13.jpg)

Now came the enemy’s first volley of war machine fire, and it was to sting! One of the Compagnia’s brace of cannons was smashed to pieces by a cannon ball (Game note: I now know that it is only my local friends and I who have always assumed a cannonball can’t bounce up a hill. Throughout 6th, 7th and in the few 8th games we’ve played, we simply thought unless a ball went over the crest of a hill it would bury itself in the earthen slope. ‘R’ pointed out it doesn’t actually say that in the BRB!)

More damage was to come. The magically weakened pikemen (T2) suffered a direct hit from a mortar grenadoe (49 under the template!) and 19 of them were killed there and then. Then another shell landed on them, slaying another 7, and killing 6 of the men at arms too. Once again, artillery had wreaked horrible destruction on the Compagnia’s brave soldiers!
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-14.jpg)

All they could do was advance as best they could. To stand still would be to invite utter disaster. The mounted crossbowmen moved (quite eagerly) away from the halflings and instead rode to where they might shoot at the cockatrice. It was obvious the beast intended to threaten the last remaining cannon, and they were intent on stopping him.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-15.jpg)

It turned out he was made of tough stuff (ward save) for they only nicked his flesh and he seemed barely to notice their efforts! While they began to worry about the ogres they had allowed to flank them, the Compagnia’s wizards set about conjuring their magical spells (6:6, meaning my channelled dice and extra dice were lost). A glittering robe of magical protection now settled on the crossbowmen on the hill, while a spear of amber hue skewered one of the dwarfs. But then the magic ground to a halt (30 stopping a Final Transformation of 23), leaving the wizards grumbling.
 
Eighteen crossbowmen now managed to kill but one dwarf with their quarrels, whilst the surviving few on the hill brought down 3 enemy pikemen; 7 more pike and 3 dwarfs also fell to the one mortar blast which landed (almost) on target. The Ribaudequin killed 3 men at arms, while the pistol, toting dwarfs only killed 4 halflings. The seafaring dwarfs’ grumbled outdid that of the wizards, but then again, dwarfs have a knack for such.


Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 14, 2010, 08:12:49 AM
Part 3

Turn 2

The soldiers of the Compagnia’s central three regiments now braced themselves, for it was obvious to such veterans that the enemy was about to charge.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-16.jpg)

The cockatrice on the far right of the enemy lines now flew over the lower slopes of the hill in a failed attempt to reach the cannon on the next hill, while the ogres chased off the light horse crossbowmen right the way through the dwarfs.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-17.jpg)

But all this seemed petty compared to the clash in  the centre of the field. The pikemen failed to reach the foe, but the massive regiment of dwarfs and the full plate armoured men at arms crashed solidly into the regiments before them.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-18.jpg)

The wizard conjured Occam’s Mind Razor onto the men at arms, infusing them with great strength (str 9). Meanwhile the arquebusiers calmly reformed into a fighting formation and thus became a fighting reserve behind the left flank of the enemy’s lines.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-19.jpg)

From the war wagon the handgunners loosed another volley over the heads of the dwarfs (don’t laugh!), slaying 3 pikemen. On one side of the field the halfling scouts killed two of the sea dwarfs before them, and on the other side two crossbowmen fell to the horse artillery’s first shot, adding to the harm (3 dead) that a mortar did on the same unit. The cannon misfired, one mortar grenadoe hit its target (a mortar) and failed to wound, while another went astray and hurt no-one.

Now the real, killing began. The squid tattoed general led his dwarfs in the melee and between them they killed 9 halberdiers, receiving no harm at all themselves. Somehow the halberdiers found the courage to fight on (I rolled snake eyes!) The Niccolo and his men at arms killed four of the enemy men at arms, but then discovered the enemy to be a frenzied opponent (Banner of Ulric, T&G). Luckily many of the enemy’s torrent of frantic blows failed to bite and only 5 of the Compagnia’s men fell. Like the halberdiers, the men at arms also stood their ground.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-20.jpg)

Somehow the Compagnia had withstood the initial impact, but was it really likely that they could continue the fight? General Villeteschi ordered the pike to reform so that they might better receive the enemy’s charge (if it came), while the wizards failed to summon any effective magic at all. Luckily the Compagnia’s shooting was not so unnoticeable. A cannon ball caused some minor damage to the war wagon, followed by some further damage from the crossbowmen (all of them), but it was still serviceable, still dangerous. 11 enemy pike fell to a grenadoe blast, but the second mortar misfired. The halflings were now reduced to only two in number by the dwarfs - the pair of survivors standing bemused as if they could not take in what had happened to their fellows.

The fleeing crossbow horse reformed in the hope that the cockatrice would fail to reach the cannon a second time and land in front of their bows.

But in the centre the battle was already turning against General Villeteschi’s Compagnia. The fight between the two men at arms regiments went bloodily on (3 and 6 casualties) but the halberdiers could not withstand the continued battering they were taking. Captain Pigitliano and his men did kill 3 dwarfs, but at the terrible cost of 7 of their own lives. This time they broke and fled (surprisingly I did not roll snake eyes this time) and were mercilessly, gleefully even, cut down.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-21.jpg)


Turn 3

The cockatrice now employed its ungainly wings to leap over the crossbow and attack the cannon, killing it instantly with its death gaze (He stared the cannon to death - cannons being unable to take I tests.)

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-22.jpg)

The dwarfs simultaneously charged the mortar before them, easily slaying the crew …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-23.jpg)

… while the rest of the enemy reformed its lines to better face what Compagnia soldiers were still in the fight. The war wagon simply turned a little, the pike fell back a few steps, and the ogres gave up worrying about the flank and began to make their way towards the centre of the field. Once again the men at arms were given the magical aid of Mindrazor (str 9).

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-24.jpg)

One mortar misfired, the other two killed ten crossbowmen between them. The horse artillery failed to shoot while the war-wagon handgunners slew 2 pikemen. But once again it was in the melee that the real killing was being done. The Compagnia’s men at arms hurt not a single enemy soldier, but 8 of their own now died. When they fled, with Niccolo amongst them, they were all cut down.

The crew of the ribaudequin thought about it for a moment …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-25.jpg)

.. then loosed a shot into the flank of the enemy men at arms, killing two. The mortar tore three arquebusiers apart, while the dwarfs felled the cockatrice with a deadly volley of pistol shots. Five enemy pike also fell to the crossbowmen. The winds of magic, once again, proved too weak to allow any effective spells.

So it was that General Vitelleschi found himself and his remaining pikemen out beyond the tattered remnants of his line, with a war wagon on his right, three mortars wondering whether to chance a shot, and a vicious bunch of ogres about to hit him in the side.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-27.jpg)

The Ogres hunched over, flexing their considerable muscles in readiness to launch themselves at the pikemen’s unprotected flank.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-26.jpg)

[Game note: It was the end of turn 3. You can probably guess what happened next, yes? Well, you will have to, for I conceded the game thinking that there was no way out of this one. One might think the pikes had a chance, perhaps being steadfast on Villeteschi’s Ld - but the Ogres had 3 strength 5 impact, 19 attacks (str 6) and 3 stomps. I would not have more ranks than the foe at the end of all that!)

Thus it was that General Giovanni Villeteschi was defeated. His few remaining troops left the field as best (and as quickly as they could), though many were taken prisoner. The wizards ran to their horses and galloped off to find the high priest Gabriele Condlumar. Little did they know that even at that moment the high priest of Myrmidia was fleeing through the gates of Trantio with captain Frederico Mallatesta and the last remaining soldiers of the Compagnia del Sole, being driven out of his own home. Nor did they know that as they dug their spurs deep into the flank of their mounts, Prince Piero of Trantio was being boiled alive by oil at another city gate.

The enemy general, a strangely attired war leader (being shirtless, shoeless and in short yellow breeches, armed with a viciously curved blade) watched the last of the Compagnia fleeing, and listened to the screams of the pikemen behind him falling victim to his ogres. He grinned, showing the gaps in his teeth that scurvy had gifted him.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat3-28.jpg)

Result: Victory to Rufus and the Squiddly Diddlies.
               
OOC: The moral of this game = don’t fight the inventor of an army list with both sides using that list whilst also having very little grasp of 8th ed BRB and being in an easily distracted mood due to having a new foe to fight!

Various minor niggles came to me afterwards, but on reflection none at all would have changed the game. I forgot to employ the Halberdiers’ magical banner to re-roll their first failed Ld test. BUT they had an army standard re-roll and there’s no re-roll of re-roll, so it was not possible anyway. I forgot to put additional crew-members on my artillery as I often do, but it would have made not one tiny difference to any part of the battle if I had. I forgot to use my Sceptre of Stability to add D6 to a dispel attempt, but I also had an illegal extra dispel scroll that I did use, so assume the scroll’s effect was the sceptre’s. Etc.

Congratulations, Rufus, on your victory. Next time my Greenskin Raiders will grind you into the dirt, you squiddly diddler!
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: rufus sparkfire on September 14, 2010, 10:06:17 AM
Thanks Padre! It was an excellent game. Even if your gaming room was out to get me.


I made some mistakes too. I forgot that the potion my general had also should have given him an extra attack. Not that he needed it. And I forgot that Occam's Mindrazor was completely unnecessary, since the men-at-arms were S5 armour-piercing already. Being S8 or 9 made no difference. So the only useful spell I cast was the withering, since it caused more casualties in combination with the mortar.

Also, my new pikemen unit has still never made it into combat!


Quote
The enemy general, a strangely attired war leader (being shirtless, shoeless and in short yellow breeches, armed with a viciously curved blade)

Hey, that's the only way to fight!
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 16, 2010, 01:27:45 PM
The Flight from Trantio

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/FleeTrantio1.jpg)

The Compagnia del Sole had left before noon, fighting their way through a lightly defended gap in the enemy’s lines, pushing on towards Pavona. Many amongst them were confused.

“It seems to me that we have a fighting army here!” exclaimed Rino. “That’s what makes me wonder. Look at us all! So why ain’t we fighting?”

Rino’s friend sergeant Modesto was only half listening, being very distracted by the sight of a large mosquito sitting on the shoulder of the soldier on front of him. It was an odd sight, for it should be buzzing about and biting folk - nmot sitting lazily upon a shoulder as if hitching a ride. His answer was only half heard by himself: “That’s right, we ain’t fighting.”

Rino rolled his eyes, then reached out to prod his friend’s cheek. “Listen, I’m asking you. Why aren’t we fighting?”

The mosquito was flexing its mouthparts, as if saying grace before its meal. Modesto smiled at the thought, but this time made more effort to answer properly.

“We can’t fight. We’re an army, yes, but the enemy still outnumber us three, maybe four, to one. And they’re not squabbling goblins or Bretonnian peasants, they’re mercenaries like us. Not easy to take on at such odds.”

“So the plan,” said Rino slowly, “is to run away?”

“That’s it,” said Modesto, then suddenly added, “Ouch!” as he watched the mosquito finally take its bite.

Rino obviously hadn’t noticed the mosquito. “Ouch is right! This means no pay, for the money was coming from Trantio, and we’re no longer there, and …”

“Company, stand!” came Modesto’s interrupting shout, as the man in front slapped at his neck and stumbled to one side. “Back in line, fool!” ordered the sergeant, then without waiting to see if the man did as he was told, he added: “Prepare to march, march on!”

A moment later Modesto glanced at his friend. “If we ain’t paid then there’ll be loot, mark me. The general may be dead, but Matallesta knows what he is doing. Besides, that churchman is with us, the high priest - maybe he has money to pay us?”

“I won’t miss the silver, provided there’s a warm chamber, close curtains and a pretty wench awaiting in Pavona,” said Rino. “I don’t relish the though of lodging ‘sub filiolus’ on the cold hard earth.”

Sergeant Modesta did not answer. Why disappoint his friend? A soldier ought to have happy thoughts on a long march - there was little else to sustain him.

Here you can see Modesta and Rino’s company of men at arms marching in line:
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/FleeTrantio3.jpg)

The baggage train was huge, to say the least, though somewhat oddly (to the soldiers, at least) several of the wagons were empty. A motley collection of ne-er do wells, old soldiers, and citizens of Trantio tended the mules and asses, or simply ambled amongst them, while the Compagnia’s soldiers marched in rank and file on the flank.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/FleeTrantio4.jpg)

Gabriele Condlumar was at the front of the line - though this was no flamboyant gesture, no calculated posture, nor any sort of demonstration. He was there because the Compagnia was under his employ still and they were following him. His mind was filled with worries and fears, his face fixed into a scowl. His bodyguard from the Dogs of War Chapter, and his personal standard bearer, rode by him, but they knew not to speak.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/FleeTrantio2.jpg)

His city was lost. His son was dead. And General Villeteschi was lost in battle. Saint Castriccio had failed him, and perhaps, even Myrmidia had abandoned him.

Yet he would never utter such thoughts aloud. This was all a test, and he would not fail. The soldiers must not see him downhearted, nor even distracted. So he brushed the sad thoughts from his mind (no easy thing) and set about considering his next move.

This would take some time.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 18, 2010, 10:18:01 PM
The Glorious Return to Trantio

La Strada di Eroi, before the Hall of Heroes

“But there are traitors amongst them, father,” hissed Pilocomini just loud enough for his father to hear. He did not know whether to look right or left, for the crowd was on both sides, so he flicked his head back and forth between the two.

Gabriele Condlumar did not answer immediately, but continued smiling, hoping his expression radiated the sort of confidence possessed by a truly blessed servant of Myrmidia.

“Do not worry yourself, Pilo, it is all in hand,” came the high priest’s belated reply. “Oh, and steady yourself, stop swishing your noddle back and forth. You are a hero. Yes. Try not to look as foolish as your brother.”

“Yes father,” said Pilocomini, and set his eyes on the hall up ahead with its awaiting dignitaries.

“And son, do you really need a goblet of wine just now? Couldn’t you abstain just long enough to walk through the city?”

“Sorry, father.”

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Return5.jpg)

The two of them, with the brave Nicollo Forteguerra, standard bearer of the Compagnia del Sole striding behind them, were close to the hall now, passing by the ruined end of the ancient aqueduct  that used to bring water from the hills to the Myrmidian Quarter of Trantio. The crowd stood quietly on both sides of the street, kept a satisfactory distance away by a Condlumar’s men at arms. The High Priest had dismissed the idea of a military parade into the city, a grand entrance. Instead he had decided the people would watch him (and his last surviving son) walk calmly into their rightful home, as if there was nothing unusual about the act.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Return1.jpg)

He wanted the citizens to see him, the blessed son of Myrmidia, and not marching soldiers. He wanted them to know he had returned, not just the Legion. He wanted them to see him and him alone, walking through his quarter, and thus to know the full extent of their foolish error.

As if they could deny him his own? As if they could kill his son and throw him from what was rightfully his? They would learn soon enough what their disloyalty would cost them.

Even now his lesser priests, now garbed in the robes of Inquisitors (for so they had become) were moving through the city, questioning, interrogating, occasionally bribing, and slowly but surely ferreting out the spies, the agent provocateurs, and those who aided the foe in the recent occupation by the Cerulean League’s soldiers.

One such priest now strode between the soldiers from the crowd and pointed at a cowering Halfling amongst the gathered onlookers.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Return4.jpg)

The hooded man spoke: “Here, your grace, here is one who knew the man who murdered your son. He has spoken of it, laughed at Prince Piero’s death, and drunk healths to his friend’s memory.”

Condlumar barely broke his stride, merely gesturing with his hand that the little man be brought. The priest gave the command and two men at arms grabbed at the terrified Halfling, yanked him from his feet and carried him away through the crowd with the priest leading the way.

“Mark my words, son, everyone who had a hand, a finger, even a fingernail, in the death of my son, all those who in any way aided his murderer or shirked their duty and allowed the deed to happen, will suffer.”

“I know, father,” said Pilocomini, supping at his goblet by sheer force of habit. Then, with a little more animation to his voice he began, “Father, there’s something I want to ask you …”

“Hush now, Pilo,” interrupted Condlumar, “we’re nearly there.”

Before them were a group of dignitaries. The mayor and his abbreviator (who had fled with the Compagnia del Sole and had now returned to take up their old offices), as well as the High Priest’s military steward who had been sent ahead to array the streets with guards and take control of the Hall of Heroes.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Return3.jpg)

Behind them were Condlumar’s strangest servants, his household of gnomes – secretaries, scriptors, advisors. They had rushed to the Hall or Heroes after an equally hurried visit to Condlumar’s palace. The High Priest could see they were clutching a variety of tomes as they fidgeted in their usual manner – it seemed they had found the books they had so worried about during the short exile.

Gabriele Condlumar looked upon the blue-clad, savant servants and pondered. They were obviously happy in their own way to have recovered whatever obscure tomes and texts had concerned them, and no doubt now believed they would return to their old scholarly life. But, thought Condlumar, could they? He was only too aware that he had yet to decide whether staying in Trantio was the right and proper thing to do. He had learned the hard way that in war staying put was not necessarily the best strategy. Far from it.

His thoughts were suddenly disturbed by his son’s voice.

“That thing I wanted to ask you, father … well, it’s important.”

Condlumar turned to look at his son. Piero ventured a weak smile, then looked serious again and said exactly what Condlumar thought he was going to say.

“When do I get to be prince?”
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 24, 2010, 01:48:53 PM
The Battle of Hesitation
Ogres versus Ogres (2000 pts)

(NB: I wrote this from perspective of the other player’s character. I was playing against ‘J’, who plays Grugg in the Vermillion Legion in the T&G campaign going on right now in a forum near you. I'm in the Legion too which might seem odd in terms of gaming - two allies fighting. But hey, it’s hard enough to find an opponent at all! And I tried my best to win. The result - he got a game to report and I got a bat rep to write. Cool!)

Grugg knew what he had to do. The orders could not really have been simpler: march in the direction he was ordered and smash through anything that got in his way. This had made him happy, until his gnoblars came running back with news of what lay ahead. At first little sense could be got from his little greenskin scouts, for they seemed to be saying that Grugg’s mob would be fighting themselves. It turned out, after couple of cracked skulls forced the babbling goblins to slow down and think about what they were saying, they meant there were Ogres up ahead.

Enemy ogres! It never occurred to Grugg he would be fighting his own kind. It niggled at him, an uncomfortable, half-formed conception that if ogres fought ogres here in this land then maybe they would all just kill each other, cancel each other out. Sure, he had fought many an ogre back ‘home’, but these would be mercenaries just like him and his boys. The muddled gnoblars may actually have been on to something - it felt like he was about to fight his own reflection! And smashing a looking glass brought years of bad luck, or so a clever human had once told him.

Grugg’s Force:

Tyrant (General ) @ 317 pts
Hvy armour; Luck-Gnob’; Glittering Scales, Wyrdstone necklace, Other Trickster’s, Ogre Blade
Bruiser (Battle Standard Bearer) @ 239 pts
Hvy armour; Rampager’s standard, brace handguns
Butcher @ 180 pts - Potion of toughness, Siege Breaker

7 Bulls @ 295 pts - full command
7 Ironguts @ 411 pts - full command; Great Weapon; Cannibal Totem

3 Yhetees @ 195

4 Maneaters @ 360 pts - Brace of Handguns x4;

The enemy:

Tyrant (General ) 306 pts
Hvy Armour; Luck-Gnob’; Tenderiser, Opal Amulet, Fistful of Laurels, Wallcrusher
Bruiser (Battle Standard Bearer) 210 pts
Light; Luck-Gnoblar; Talisman of Endurance, Deathcheater
Butcher @ 135 pts - Potion of Foolhardiness
Butcher @ 155 pts - Halfling Cookbook

8 Bulls @ 370 pts - full command; Ironfist
5 Ironguts @ 315 pts - full command; Great Weapon; Cannibal Totem
40 Gnoblar Fighters @ 82 pts - Groinbiter

4 Leadbelchers @ 240 pts - Bellower; Thunderfist

2 Maneaters @ 180 pts - Brace of Handguns x1; Cathayan Longsword x1


The Approach

Grugg pointed the way for his Yhetees and off they went heading towards a large rock that would conceal their presence from the foe.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-4.jpg)

Meanwhile Grugg ordered the rest of his force into a battle line - a wall of tough, grey flesh, viciously barbed with a wide array of spikes and weapons. He led his ironguts (who else would he command?) while his butcher Addrab led the bulls. The army’s bruiser, Fagglin Ironjaw, carried the golden battle standard that was the pride of the army and marched on the far right flank with the maneaters.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-3.jpg)

Suddenly the enemy appeared and Grugg’s uncomfortable feeling was magnified. Although their banners were different and they had gnoblars in rank and file amongst them (something Grugg had always thought a waste of effort), he could see their bulls, their maneaters, their ironguts. They were indeed a force very much like his.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-1.jpg)

And he spotted his counterpart too - very obviously a Tryant - marching at the head of a large company of bulls, wielding a large and much bloodied great weapon and garbed in layers and layers of steel. For the first time Grugg’s thoughts shifted from concern as he couldn’t help but think: ‘That’d make a fine suit of armour for me!”
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-2.jpg)

Getting Closer

The enemy had momentum on their side, for they were already marching forwards, wheeling to their left a little to approach obliquely. (Maybe this was because they knew the yhetee pack was hiding behind the rock, and were frightened to let the monsters see them?)

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-5.jpg)

Yet there was something about the way they moved that caught Grugg’s attention. They were slowing down, as if they were afraid to hurry and maybe give his boys the chance to deliver a charge on fresh legs. Yes - they were slowing to a halt, and just beyond where Grugg’s lads could reach. They may have had the initiative a moment before, but now they has lost it.

The enemy’s butchers made themselves busy, and one self-inflicted wound later they had failed a few spells but cast Bullgorger on the maneaters.

Grugg could not help himself - the enemy’s caution was infectious. He signalled with his hand to order the yhetees to step back a little for he did not want them blundering around the rocks to get charged by the maneaters. He stayed pretty much where he was in the centre, but his butcher Addrab led the bulls a little forwards before he too halted and wondered just what they were supposed to do next. How to make sure they got the charge in?

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-6.jpg)

Grugg’s maneaters, however, were entirely above such fears and considerations, and besides they wanted to see what the enemy had to offer! So they marched boldly to the top of the hill before them ands surveyed the field. There they eyed suspiciously the four approaching leadbelchers. Addrab now began to weave some magic (magic = 3:3, so 6 casting dice), while the enemy butchers allowed him to do so - both Toothcracker and Bonecruncher manifested but the latter harmed no-one. (Note: I stupidly forgot that saving dispel dice was pointless as ‘J’ would use his last to remove my existing spells - which he did!).

The enemy was still hesitating, shuffling about as if unsure how they might successfully advance without opening themselves up to a deadly counter-attack (Note: I was bumbling, forgetting that charging is not longer everything in WFB, usually just +1 combat resolution, though impact hits would be lost).

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-7.jpg)

The leadbelchers moved further towards the left and fired their cannons at Grugg’s maneater on the hill. Four huge blasts spread smoke and fire dramatically about, but only one man eater was hit, and that only a scratch. Two of the leadbelchers had misfired, killing one of the ogres! (Note: 4 shots: rolling 2, 2, misfire & misfire - come on, you can’t plan for that sort of failure!)

This fiasco was immediately followed by the Maneaters hurling themselves down the hill to crash hard into the Leadbelchers …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-8.jpg)

The consequences were inevitable - the enemy leadbelchers perished swiftly (Note: 4 impact hits alone killed two of them, one already being at one wound!) and the maneaters went calmly about reforming, looking as if to all intents and purposes they had yet to do any fighting in this battle! Of course they turned to threaten the enemy’s left flank.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-11.jpg)

The butcher Addrab tried a trick or two, but his magic failed him - Trollguts and Toothcracker were dispelled while Braingobbler failed to panic the gnoblars (for they were close to the reassuring bulk of their general). On the far left of Grugg’s line the yhetees now moved around the rock…

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-10.jpg)

… thus presenting a threat on both sides of the enemy line. Grugg’s army was forming itself into the head of a bull, the maneaters and yhetees being the horns. The rest of Grugg’s line knew that they need not chance a charge yet, for events were beginning to favour them. Both units simply edge backwards, grinning and the thought that if the enemy came on, then they would be ready to smash into them just as the foes’ began to tire.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-9.jpg)

Belatedly the foe (i.e. me!) realised that if they did not get stuck in soon then all chance of victory would be denied them. They were about to be attacked on both flanks!

Part two to follow
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 24, 2010, 01:50:04 PM
...right now:


Part two

So it was that the enemy suddenly surged forwards, hoping to get to grips with Grugg’s centre before they became any more vulnerable. The gnoblar horde turned to face the maneaters (maybe they could hold them for a while?), while on the other flank the enemy’s two maneaters turned to face the yhetees just as the bruiser left them to move up to support the centre.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-12.jpg)

There was grim determination write on every ogre’s face as they knew they would now have to receive Grugg’s charge. They began to brace themselves, holding their three standards aloft and swearing that they would defend them or die.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-13.jpg)

Grugg’s maneaters were annoyed for they had not come here to slaughter gnoblars! They wanted to get to grips with a more challenging foe. But if that’s what they were going to do, then they would just have to wade through a sea of greenskins!

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-14.jpg)

The enemy’s magic was of limited effect. Grugg’s own regiment suffered very slightly from Bonecruncher - so minor a hurt that even the ogre that was stung barely noticed, such was the rising surge of bloodlust in him!

Now came the moment upon which the battle would turn. Grugg was ready, his warriors were ready …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-15.jpg)

… The time to charge had come, and every single warrior in Grugg’s army did so. The bulls and ironguts hit the enemy’s centre, while the maneaters smashed into the gnoblars.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-16.jpg)

The vicious yhetees had no intention to miss out on the fun and so they too launched themselves into the brace of maneaters ahead of them.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-17.jpg)

No less than forty spinning missiles, each sharpened to a razor’s edge, came flying from the gnoblars at the maneaters, yet barely no harm resulted - bar one maneater who now had a sharpened chunk of steel lodged in his forehead, which he would not notice until that night when he raised his hand to scratch at his throbbing forehead.
Of course when the maneaters hit they tore through the little goblins with ease. More than fifteen gnoblars were felled, but the little ‘uns failed to notice (steadfast) and through ignorance of their true peril fought on.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-18.jpg)

The yhetees and maneaters proved an equal match (for now) and set about a drawn out quarrel. Addrab and the bulls took on the enemy’s ironguts and battle standard bearer. The result was bloody mayhem, and although the ironguts got the upper hand, Grugg’s bulls had numbers ion their side and fought on.

Meanwhile the real clash came between the two ogre tyrants. Blades, luck gnoblars, Trickster’s shards and brute strength were all employed, the result being Grugg was wounded, but the enemy tyrant remained unharmed.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-19.jpg)

But Grugg’s ironguts had more luck than their master, killing an ogre simply through the force of impact, then hacking down two more (their Cannibal Totem certainly helping them here). One little luck gnoblar fled away from the carnage …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-20.jpg)

… then the enemy tyrant and his bulls attempted to follow (Note: I needed snake eyes to stand, and the re-roll did not help). Grugg and his lads hacked them all gleefully down, only to find a lone butcher facing them

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-23.jpg)

(Game Note: End of turn 3, time up. I (the enemy) concede, Grugg thus wins.)

From here on in it was easy. The meaneaters continued to smash their way through through the ever dwindling bunch of gnoblars …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-21.jpg)

… while Grugg’s boys set about tearing the butcher apart …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-22.jpg)

… and the last two yhetees finished off the maneater.

 (http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Bat5-24.jpg)

Grugg’s roar as the last of the foe fell was a thing to be heard. And heard it was, for about two miles around!
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 24, 2010, 01:52:24 PM
A 'Perfect War'

The evening of Condlumar’s return to his palace in the Myrmidian Quarter of Trantio should have been one of busy activity: discussions with his generals, delivering orders to his own officers (civil and military), hearing the inevitable petitions, directing the new Inquisition, looking over inventories, and so on. Not only were the army of the Cerulean League was still close by the city preparing to attack once again, but there was also the matter of the duel between the Cerulean heretic follower of chaos Duke Erik, and the Vermillion loyal servant of Sigmar Heironymous Lothair. And although much more mundane in comparison, there were letters to write, proclamations to dictate and priests from his order to instruct. It was indeed a lot to be getting on with.

But the High Priest ordered he should not be disturbed, and all the subsequent hustle and bustle took place without his involvement. He decided he would have to trust his servants and officers this one night, and receive reports in the morrow.

He had something else he must do: pray. For he had been filled with doubts concerning his actions, and anguish about his choices. His own first son had been killed when he fled the city, and then the city itself had (if temporarily) fallen. Such events did not bode well for the future. It seemed that he had been playing into the enemy’s hands, and somewhere along the way had lost the initiative. No matter what he achieved - how cleverly his spies operated, how subtly his orders were coded, how balanced and well thought out his stratagems - here he was still fighting in the same place against the same foe, and with ever dwindling resources. The Legion had been pushed out of Trantio by overwhelming numbers, only to push their way back in again. Was this to happen again and again, an constant toing and froing of fortunes?

Throughout all these recent events he had been considering whether the goddess approved of his actions. She was the deity of warfare in its strategic form, of the ordered battles of well-drilled soldiers, of the tactics that could defeat even a more numerous foe with cunning and discipline. And yet here he was ordering his soldiers to do little more than squabble interminably over the walls of Trantio. Stuck in one place, surrounded by foes, unable to manoeuvre freely, unable to assist in the Vermillion Legion’s greater war.

And then, this very evening, as he walked through the streets of Trantio from the Hall of heroes to his palace, a train of officials hurrying behind him, it came to him: This is no way to win a war.

He knew immediately it was the goddess’ inspiration that lodged this idea in his mind, for even as he thought it he found himself looking at (or being looked at by?) the golden statue of Myrmidia standing in the little square before his palace’s eastern gate.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Myrmidia1.jpg)

He had heard already (from a sergeant at arms) that the statue was untouched. It seemed that most Cerulean soldiers still honoured the lawful gods, even it there was doubt concerning some of their commanders. It would be sacrilege, and the height of foolishness, for a Tilean soldier even to touch a statue of blessed Myrmidia. Then again, perhaps they simply did not possess the city long enough to remove it, or left in too much haste - for they had not even removed his green and yellow livery shields hanging above the doors!

Fashioned of solid gold, melted from the church’s share of the plunder taken in some conflict of decades ago, the goddess was depicted with her famous spear in her right hand, attired in the ancient style of an amazonian warrior, with twisted and braided hair so long it fell unto her feet. Her left hand was raised as if she were signalling to a body of soldiers, about to order their attack with the slightest, lightest of gestures.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Myrmidia2.jpg)

Here now, looking at her with his own eyes, his mind began to race with thoughts. Entire chapters of the books he had studied began pouring their subjects into him, the lessons of his teachers from decades ago, as well as the war-honed advice of the legion’s generals all vied for his attention. So it was that he dismissed his servants and went alone to his chamber. Once alone, he stepped to the window and looked down upon the statue, and as the evening sky darkened to blackness, he let his mind race.

And after little more than an hour he finally understood. His loyalty to the city of Trantio, to his family, to the very stones of his palace, his temple, his quarter, all these things had been clouding his mind, flawing every strategy he devised, shutting out opportunities for victory. Now he understood, perceiving the situation with crystal clarity. He would, as a servant of Myrmidia and a loyal member of the Vermillion Legion, pursue the goal of conducting the ‘perfect’ war. He would plan and act always towards achieving ultimate victory. He would put all other considerations, such as family and home, aside - for they were the stuff of peacetime. He must live and breathe war. He must look upon the field of battle, exercise upon the march, rest in barrack rooms and pavilions, and pray each day for Myrmidia’s guidance.

From here on his temple would be wherever his goddess’s golden statue was placed. His palace would be wherever his army was quartered. His meat and drink would be a soldier’s diet. His companions would no longer be servants, family and citizens, but warriors.

He began by sleeping six hours, the exact amount of sleep that ancient military doctors considered best for soldiers. (He remembered this from his studies of the military saint Vegeteas, or was it Aoneos?) In the morning he awoke from a dream in which he had seen a vision of the statue. She was set upon a Carroccio, in the old fashion of his father’s time, bedecked with the flag of the Compagnia, and guarded by a company of handgunners. All about her the soldiers cheered, for they knew the goddess was watching over them

Within a moment he was shouting for his steward to bring his engineers. There was work to be done.

One week later, just before the Ceruleans launched their next massive assault, he marched away from Trantio with the Compagnia del Sole. This time he did not do so in response to the foe, nor even with a heavy heart. This time he was marching to fight the kind of war that would bring glory, honour and victory. He was no longer to be a mere castellan, spending every hour attempting to maintain his garrison. Now he was a marching general, taking the war the enemy. Now he was not just trying to be Myrmidia’s servant, he had truly become so, and he intended to serve her with all the skill and cunning she expected.


(OOC: First - I’m finally having revelations about the rules mechanics, thus the IC revelations above. Secondly - I’m working on my carrocio, thus Condlumar’s dream. Hee hee, they’re funny old things these campaigns. They take you places, eh?)
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on September 25, 2010, 04:59:17 PM
My Carroccio kit-bash!

I wanted a carrocio that had everything the T&G Merc’ Company army list demanded (i.e.) Battle Standard, minimum of 6 crew, religious trappings and the sort of firepower that might allow equivalent of 6 handgun shots per turn. I also wanted some height so that it had a good LoS.

Here it is completed (un-crewed):

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Carroccio3.jpg)

Notice that the standard is an extra fancy version of the Compagnia del Sole’s white rod and sun emblem (the simpler emblem used by the rest of the army is painted on some of the panels). Also the golden statue of Myrmidia from outside Condlumar’s palace stands at the front - I prefer this to an altar. Two torches illuminate the goddess.

Here the crew are in it (I already had these guys), including a priestess in her religious capacity (tending the statue with prayers):

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Carroccio4.jpg)

There are 6 handgunners in it, 4 on the top, 2 in the ‘cage’, as well as 3 swivel guns, plus several optional spots (the red posts) for mounting them.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Carroccio5.jpg)

Bizarrely, the flag swivels (thus I could re-position it for the photos). The next shot shows into the ‘cage’ which is an iron grilled area beneath the tower platform:

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Carroccio6.jpg)

Luckily two guys were just short enough to stand in there, and I love the three dimensional nature of having them tucked away inside, sticking their guns through the grate:

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Carroccio7.jpg)

I built it from a variety of old scenery left-overs (castle doors and windows), plus two horses I had spare, as well as plastic model shop tubes, and the wheels and yoke from the Black Coach model (which I have had unused for nearly 3 years now).

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Carroccio1.jpg)

The crossbow arm was cut with a scalpel to make the mount for the swivel guns - using the stirrup at the end of the crossbow to pass through the holes in the side of the guns.

The main body was built from lollipop sticks, with thin bits of plasticard stuck on top so that I could glue the gratings on. There was a LOT of chopping of plastic as most bits were the wrong size. Luckily the curving grate tops on the lower level match the wooden ones on the top level - because they were alternative components for the same holes in the castle scenery walls.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Carroccio2.jpg)

The only thing I bought were the swivels (model shop, model ship stuff), mainly ‘cos I couldn’t bring myself to break the ones I already have off their stands and leave my pirate army with three less!

Hope you like!
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on October 08, 2010, 11:11:34 AM
Gossip

The Compagnia del Sole, with High Priest Gabriele Condlumar now leading them personally (Villeteschie being dead), made their way southwards away from the city of Trantio. Few folk watched them leave because of Condlumar’s rather bizarre proclamation that anyone who was not a soldier should not look upon the paraded statue of the goddess. Inside closed doors there was much muttering, concerning not just why Condlumar thought he could take the golden goddess with him, but why he was leaving the city undefended again. Gossip ran rife: rumours that greenskins had been seen marching alongside the Vermillion Legion on the road southwards; complaints that the High Priest had brought Saint Castriccio’s bones to Trantio, dedicated a temple to him as the city’s new patron saint, yet now left the temple incomplete and virtually no garrison soldiers for the saint to inspire.

The general conclusion was that Condlumar had lost his wits. He was surely insane, driven to despair by the death of his son and the constant war against the unending armies of the Cerulean League. He had seemed so honourable, a sturdy and steadfast defender of the city, but now none could understand his decision to abandon them. Some said they had seen him laughing maniacally in the last few days, staggering about the grounds of his palace spouting nonsense concerning visions and revelations, concerning strategies and grand plans. Yet others claimed he had not been seen at all outside his chambers, or even that he lay sick in his bed quite unable to utter a word.

In truth he was well enough, and had indeed had a revelation.


Explanation

Captain Frederico Matallesta, second in command of the Compagnia del Sole, had been concerned about this latest turn of affairs. Having a mercenary company’s employer take personal command of the soldiers when their general died was not exactly the traditional way of doing things. The High Priest had explained most eruditely that if he had been giving instructions through General Villeteschi in the first place, then what he was doing now was not that much different: his orders were still being obeyed, but now they came straight from his mouth.

Yet Matallesta knew it was at the least odd, if not wrong. Surely he should have command now, and the employer should simply speak his will to him and then let him get on with commanding. To have this old man, this scholarly, magic wielding priest, busying himself hour after hours with the fine details of military command, whilst the Compagnia’s officers reported directly to him, was just not the right way of going about things. But the captain was powerless to do anything about it.

The general’s death, followed by a series of defeats and withdrawals, had hit the men hard. There had been desertions, defections, even the threat of mutinous riots (as if the men were nothing better than petty brigosi). Then came order, for the high priest had made his speeches and so stirred their passions. He praised them, their bravery, loyalty, and convinced them that the very spirit of Myrmidia was manifesting in them, working through them. And best of all, he told them that the rewards would surely come. “No war is easy”, he had said sombrely, with the rank and file straining to hear his suddenly quiet words. “No war is fought without setbacks and bloodshed. It is only fitting that we prove ourselves to be the better soldiers than the foe, and to do that we must fight harder, better, and with more discipline than the foe. We must press at the foe again and again, until finally their spirit breaks. Then we shall have victory, glorious and well deserved, and each of us shall no we are sons of Myrmidia.”

There had been more to the speech, and it had changed a little each time he addressed a new regiment, but every time it stirred the men and rekindled their desire to fight.

Now, however, the high priest had the officers to convince.

The Compagnia’s standard bearer, condotta Captain Niccolò Forteguerra, now battle scarred and hardened and nothing like the youthful Adonis he had once appeared, stood, teeth gritted, eyes glaring, as if he defied the high priest to convince him that leaving Trantio was right, and that a priest should act as general.

Meanwhile, Brother-Captain Lodovico Gioneste, the new commander the ‘Dogs of War’ chapter of Knights of the Blazing Sun, and Captain Giacomo Pigitliano (of Condlumar’s own Men at Arms), although less antagonistic in appearance, still gave the impression that they were less than pleased with the turn of affairs.

When he strolled into the tent, Condlumar seemed to fail to notice. He simply walked to the table and unrolled a map upon it, shifting two sheathed daggers so that it would not curl back into a roll.

“You are my officers,” he said abruptly. “I have no inspiring speeches for you, only the cold, hard truth. Which is this: Serve me well, make the men fight well, gain victory, and you shall be generously rewarded. If you cannot do this, leave now.”

No-one spoke, and no-one left.

“Good. Now gentlemen, to business ….”


Soldier’s banter

“It’s a long time since we celebrated victory, ain’t it?” asked Sesto during a lull in the conversation around the camp fire. Most of the other men there, those who were still awake anyway, just frowned, but Martino was willing to bite.

“What do you mean to say, Sesto? Are you suggesting we’re beaten?”

“No,” said Sesto defensively, momentarily stopping his hour long labour of polishing his sword blade. “I don’t mean that. I’m just saying I used to like the parades, the revels, the salvoes of artillery. That sort of thing.”

“Waste of powder,” muttered some half-awake soldier whose face could not be made out on the other side of the fire. Someone else snorted derisively.

Martino let out a laugh. “That’ll all come to us soon enough, all we need to is see things through. We’ve made an oath and now we’ll fight like true Tileans. No more squabbles back and forth between Pavona and Trantio, that’s what I reckon. Now the foot slogging begins, I admit, but we’re off to places far more important than Trantio, to fight for even richer patrons. The Compagnia’s going to do well out of this, mark my words.”

Sesto went back to polishing. “I was just saying.”

Another voice came across from beyond the fire. “Are we to share the pay with goblins, then?”

Again the snorting was heard.

Martino looked serious now. “That I cannot say. Let’s just be glad that they’re on our side, eh? And let’s hope they soften up the foe for us. I say worry about whether to pay them when the time comes.”

“And when the time comes,” came the voice again, “then let’s hope we can finish of our greenskin allies ourselves. Then we won’t have to worry about sharing.”


Note:

Three days later the Compagnia unexpectedly, found a way through the enemy lines at near Pavona, and to the soldiers’ general relief Condlumar ordered them to march on through it, towards the Renman Plains. At least they wouldn’t be fighting once more to take the city. Maybe their fortune would change after all?


Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on October 08, 2010, 11:12:58 AM
Upon the Reman Plains

Brother-Captain Lodovico Gioneste of the Dogs of War order of the Knights of the Blazing Sun knew why he had been chosen for this task, but that did not mean he relished it at all. He was the only officer amongst the Compagnia who had dealt with the undead before, having ‘liased’ with the Red Warden (as was) back when the city of Trantio had a Night Watch. Those meetings still gave him nightmares, yet apparently this made him the best candidate to speak once more with the undead. He had been happy when the Red Warden left and took his shambling army of corpses eastwards through the Pass. Yet now the nightmares were threatening to resume.

Thus it was that he knew full well the horror of dealings with the dead. What he did not know was what the ancient Legionaries of Lucius Valerius Maximus’ Fourht Legion would be like. The Night Watch included Tileans that had been alive when he was born, but this arm was truly old, hailing from centuries ago. He could not get rid of the idea that they would be virtually fossilised and that tiny stalactites must hang from their dusty and cracked ribs.

So it was that he approached the agreed location of the rendezvous with trepidation. He was to meet the ancient Reman’s emissary at the hilltop ruins of a temple in the western part of the Reman Plains, where an almost vanished road wended its way towards the city to the west. Riding at the head of his company of knights, the brother captain finally crested a hill to discover he could see across a wide valley. And there they were - soldiers of the Fourth Legion.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Lucius1.jpg)

Even at this distance, where it was not even clear to human eyes that the soldiers were fleshless, there was something very unnatural about them. They glinted in the sunlight, and not just from their armour, and they stood utterly motionless, as if statues. When Lodovico began his descent of the hill, however, there was suddenly motion amongst them - empty eye sockets lifting to look at him and his knights, swords drawn so that they were ready for use.

And every soldier was grinning.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Lucius2.jpg)

There were foot soldiers, three companies, in serried ranks and files, with ragged banners and the remnants of faded red cloth hanging in tatters here and there, and there were horsemen too, arrayed in a line on the modest heights in front of the temple ruins. Their mounts were just as undead as the riders, their postures just as strange - like the drummer, who held his sticks aloft in a manner that would very soon tire a living man’s arms. A more elaborate banner flew above the helmeted heads of the riders, fashioned from the purple of the ancient emperors. Perhaps these men had once acted as guardians of such a man?

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Lucius3.jpg)

But it was the nearest skeletal soldier that had Lodovico’s attention, for that was surely the man he was supposed to talk with. As he drew ever closer, the brother captain found himself wondering what this man’s name was, what his rank was, and whether enough of the living man was left to know these things himself. Maybe he was about to find out?

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Lucius4.jpg)

Primus pilus prior Titus Flavius Decimus waited at the head of his manipuli, the foremost of the three manipuli making up the sixth cohort of the Fourth Legion. His bronze breastplate bore a skull device (something he had not considered to be foreboding when he had lived) and his helmet was crested with an elaborate red fan of feathers sporting bronze rods. A red cloak fell from his shoulders to the ground, and in his right hand he held a baton - a sign that he was not only commander here, but sent as emissary.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Lucius5.jpg)

Upon Titus’ right was his signifer, personal standard bearer, a soldier whose winged helmet was almost as easily spotted as the banner he held aloft. Upon his left was one of his principales, a warrior who had wielded a giant mace torn from the hands of a metal-enclosed servant of chaos more than five hundred years ago and which he had not put down since!

Lodovico found it quite easy to slow his mount’s pace - the creature was so inclined to do so anyway. It occurred to him that his throat was dry, a thought followed swiftly by another worry - would he be able to speak?

Somewhere in the back of his mind, quite obscured by his present fears, there was the half formed realisation that if he was going to have difficulty speaking with a dry throat, then how exactly was this tongue-less, fleshless, lipless warrior before him going to proceed.

(Note: This meeting was to lead to Condlumar's invitation to the 'Council of Remas' peace talks)
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on October 08, 2010, 11:13:41 AM
What Have I Unleashed?

Condlumar had been unsure at first whether he ought to do what his officers advised. It was not just the natural caution of a commander leading an army through hostile territory, nor the fears of a ruler driven from his city, but also the very sensible concern not to tarnish his reputation amongst his Tilean soldiers. In the end he had been convinced, young Niccolo telling him he had to see it to understand.

You see, there had been reports that Guldar’s army was growing in strength for two weeks now. The greenskins were still happily in Condlumar’s employ for they did not care who occupied Trantio, only whether there was good fighting and good looting - two commodities that were currently in no short supply. Apparently, so said the reports, greenskins had flocked to Guldar’s banner throughout the march. They came from all directions - deserters, stragglers and the tattered remnants of defeated forces. They had come from several enemy armies, as well as from opportunistic coastal raiders whose numbers had been on the increase since so many had been driven from their settlements in the Badlands by first the conquering dwarves of the Golden Company, and then by the armies of the Tyrian League.

Now the officers of the Compagnia del Sole were worried. The greenskins’ numbers had swelled massively, and there was genuine concern that Guldar’s mercenaries might suddenly declare that very dangerous and very green state of affairs - a full-blown Waagh! If that was to happen, then there would be no commanding them, not even through the manipulative and cunning medium of Derkid the Trickster. Waaghs were not only unpredictable but entirely uncontrollable.

Condlumar decided thus that he would have see for himself, even if such an open meeting with greenksins might be seen as unworthy of a soldier-priest such as himself. If the reports were true then he would have to do something about it, and fast.

He headed east with a small guard of riders, knights and squires from the Dogs of War chapter of the Myrmidian order of the Blazing Sun, their long banner sporting white dog faces. Within an hour he knew he was close. Goblins (no doubt scouts and foragers) scuttled about hither and thither, and the wind bore the stench that always followed an army of greenskins. Then they came into view, and Condlumar instantly allowed his horse to do exactly what it wanted to do - step no further forwards.

The high priests eyes widened ….

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CondlumarViewsGuldarsOrcs1.jpg)

…and then came the words which his companions all heard: “Blessed Myrmidia, forgive me, but what have I unleashed?”

Guldar’s army marched in column, and there was no doubting it was mighty. At the heart were umpteen regiments of fighting orcs, led by huge bodies of boar riders (including some giant boars bearing black orcs). Upon either side were orcen archers by the hundred, and even more goblins. Swarms of wolf riders trotted nimbly onwards, whilst trundling chariots sent dust up behind them as them churned up the dry earth beneath their wheels.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CondlumarViewsGuldarsOrcs2.jpg)

At their head was a lone standard bearer carrying a banner bearing an eye-sun device, a favourite of orcs for millennia, as well as sea orc scouts armed with black powder weapons.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CondlumarViewsGuldarsOrcs3.jpg)

And at the core of the army were the regimented orc warriors, their chanting echoing throughout the valley, words unknown to Condlumar that drowned out all other sounds. 

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/CondlumarViewsGuldarsOrcs4.jpg)

And what was before him was only the army's vanguard, for Condlumar knew full well that Ogres served Guldar, as well as foul trolls. He had even seen clear evidence that at least one giant marched with this army. 

Once recovered from the initial shock, Condlumar took a deep breath and - obliged my his own Myrmidian creed to do so - began counting and analysing. How many regiments, of what strength? How well equipped were they? Did those goblins have firearms too? How many of the chariots were pulled by boars, how many were the weaker variety that used wolves? Did this army look hungry? Disciplined? Proud? Belligerent? And where was Guldar?

Before he had completed his task, however, he already knew what he must do. Guldar must be sent into battle, and soon. Only bloody conflict could weaken this force, and best that the foe feel its full strength and mighty wrath. Yes, they would be sent this very day against the enemy, and by morning, come victory or defeat, the chance that Guldar’s army become a fully fledged Waagh must surely be lessened. These greenskins were like unto a hungry lion. Best that they feed on the enemy and not on their handler. And when they have eaten, they will be sated, at least for a while.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on October 08, 2010, 11:15:15 AM
Much Needed Supplies
(700 pts T&G Merc Co vs. 1000 pts Orcs ‘n Gobs scenario battle)

Prologue

This was the third day of their march and all were happy that no trouble had been met so far. The captain, a sturdy dwarf named Orrenguard, had expected trouble, but would be glad to be proved wrong. Still, he reckoned he had sufficient strength to fend of all but an army.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/ConvoyA1.jpg)

At the front of his column were the buccaneers, a bunch of wild fellows who seemed to be as fearless as dwarfs, but he could see that it was merely an affectation.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/ConvoyA2.jpg)

Then came his own company of mercenaries. He was proud of these dwarfs, for they had never yet let him down, and he chose to ride by their side nearly all through the march so far.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/ConvoyA3.jpg)

Off to the left flank rode a company of arabyan light horse. Originally tasked with the job of keeping an eye out for trouble, Orrenguard had changed his mind on the second day, deciding that they might actually draw attention to the convoy, so he ordered them to ride with the wagons. The reaguard, marching right behind the wagons, took the form of some Estalian handgunners. They seemed professional enough, though no Tileans Orrenguard had met had a good word to say about such men.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/ConvoyA4.jpg)

Convoy Guard  (708 pts)

Dwarf Captain 102 pts
Hand wpn, gromril, war pony, Crossbow, Shield. Helm of Success 
12 Tilean Buccaneers 113 pts
Hand wpn, pistols. Skirmishers.
12 Arabyan Border Horsemen 161 pts
Hand wpn, warhorse, bow, full command. Fast cavalry.
14 Estalian Condotta Handgunners 122 pts
Hand wpn, light armor, handgun, champion.
20 Dwarf Mercenaries 210 pts
Hand wpn, heavy armour, shield, full command

Scenario:
Simple: Three wagons, one point each. Whoever possesses (usual possession rules) the most at the end wins. As the merc’ player has all three at the start, he has only 700 pts, whereas the attacker has 1000. 6 turns limit.


Trouble Arrives

Captain Orrenguard should have known that it was too good to be true. Of course there was going to be trouble! There always was. And this was trouble of the kind that particularly annoyed him - damnable greenskins.

It was a raiding party, highly mobile. Three wolf-drawn chariots, two companies of ten goblin wolf riders, another much more threatening bunch of ten orc boar riders and three strinking, slimy trolls.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Convoy3.jpg)

The veteran dwarf captain heard them before he saw them (there was little cunning in such creatures - had they had an ounce of that quality they could have got a lot closer to his column). Mind you, his pony seemed to sense them before even he heard them - becoming somewhat contrary moments before.

So Orrenguard gave his orders for a defensive deployment, hoping to use the copses of trees nearby to his advantage - let the enemy bring chariots through there, he prayed. The buccaneers were sent to guard the left flank, while Orrenguard stood with his dwarfs in fighting formation and the handgunners by his side. The wagons he hid behind the trees, putting the arabyan horsemen nearby with orders to go for anything that looked to be getting through.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Convoy1.jpg)

Perhaps unusually every dwarf in Orrenguard’s personal regiment had a standard upon his back, a custom that had come from the far-east. Several of his mercenaries hailed from the far-flung land of Nippon and their unusual suggestion was happily taken up by Orrenguard and the rest of the company - if only to mark them out from other regiments. It had become something they were proud of.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Convoy2.jpg)


Part 2: The Fight

The Greenskins wasted no time but came on apace - which was fast indeed. The trolls did their best to keep up.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Convoy4.jpg)

Both packs of wolf-riders were looking to get around the woods and attack the Compagnia soldiers in the flank, but the orcs and one of the chariots just came straight on. The orcs had a species of confidence unknown to the goblins, and the goblin crew of the chariot were close enough to their orcen big boss too feel somewhat ‘obliged’ to do as he would wish.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Convoy5.jpg)

The other wolf chariot held back, happy to see what might happen before racing into the fray.

Orrenguard shouted his and his dwarfs and men moved accordingly. The regiment of dwarfs turned and moved a little to one side, closer to the wagons - in the hope that they might get in the way of the orc boar riders aiming to burst through the handgunners. The arabyan light horse moved off to face the approaching wolves, while the buccaneers moved into the trees and cocked their pistols.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Convoy6.jpg)

A rolling burst of gunfire from a dozen handgunners and nine pistol-men brought down only one boar rider, while a dozen arabyan arrows finished only one wolf rider. Orrenguard’s soldiers were not, it seemed, going to have it easy when the foe came on!

And the enemy did indeed come on. Only the rearmost wolf riders (armed with bows) began squabbling as greenskins are so often inclined to do. The wolf riders at the front charged into the arabyan horsemen (losing one goblin warrior to the countershot), and the orc boar riders and wolf chariot smashed hard into the handgunners. 

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Convoy7.jpg)

The chariot on the far right of the greenskin line charged headlong into the buccaneers in the wood (I did tell the lad what this could do to the chariot, but he reckoned the odds were low enough). The pirates did inflict some damage on the wolf-drawn chariot, then the journey into the trees finished the thing off altogether, smashing it to pieces.

Nine handgunners fell to the awful impact, thrusting spears and goring tusks of the enemy riders, the last three fleeing. This brought the orcs and the chariot into the dwarfs behind.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Convoy8.jpg)

The Compagnia centre was being badly mauled, but on the right flank events were  favouring them - the arabyan horse managed to defeat, drive off and then ride down the goblins, and at the loss of only one desert rider. The goblin chariot nearby did not like the look of all this, and fled away in panic.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Convoy9.jpg)

Flush with success, the arabyans swung to charge the other goblin riders. This time the fight was a more even affair, but the sight of the arabyan standard bearer bravely holding it aloft whilst issuing curses in his strange native tongue made the goblins decide that this fight was not for them - they too turned and fled, this time getting away.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Convoy11.jpg)

The buccaneers now ran as best they could from the trees back towards the wagons, hoping their to secure the vital supplies against any foe that got through.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Convoy10.jpg)

Their efforts were to prove insufficient, however, for the wolf chariot slew three dwarfs from its impact alone, then the greenskins’ boars and spears fatally pierced five more. Orrenguard did what he could (which was quite a lot) for he smote the orc big boss, their commander. Even so, the dwarfs felt hard pressed and beaten by this assault, and they turned and fled, being hacked down and trampled in the process.

The arabyan horse were too far away to help, and the buccaneers knew full well that if a rank and file regiment of armoured dwarfs could not withstand the boar riders, then they truly had no chance.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Convoy12.jpg)

(Midway through turn 3 time stopped play - I had to do a lot of rules explaining to the beginner. He learned quick, for victory was obviously his.)

The supplies were lost and the buccaneers knew it. Keeping their pistols loaded in case of a surprise along the way, they ran off leaving the greenskins hooting and jeering as they tore the baggage wagons apart to see what they had won. The arabyan horse managed to meet up with them about half a mile away, and the two companies made for a sorry sight indeed when they finally reached the camp that evening.

Victory to the greenskins.

Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on October 08, 2010, 11:19:46 AM
A Time for Talk?

The horses must once have been magnificent beasts, 15 hands high and attired most nobly with glorious headdresses of red feathers and silvered rods. They still trotted nimbly along, lifting their legs in the exaggerated manner of horses trained for the parade, occasionally tossing their heads as if an impetuous liveliness coursed through them. Which of course it did not, for they were dead.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/ToTheTalks1.jpg)

Or, more accurately, undead. They pulled a chariot just as ancient as themselves, crewed by warriors not one year younger. The chariot was lumbering, fashioned it appeared from plates of silvered metal, and so heavy that it must surely have only ever been intended for ceremonial. Perhaps once a conquering hero rode in it at the head of a returning army, greeted by the thronging crowds of ancient Remas in its time of worldly supremacy?

Now it carried two officers from Lucius Valerius Maximus’ Fourth Legion, sent out from the city to meet with the High Priest of Myrmidia Gabriele Condlumar, and to escort him almost royally into the city for the talks of the ‘Council of Remas’. Condlumar rode immediately behind as they passed by the ruins of long crumbled temples, which seemed to stretch for leagues around the city as it was now.

His guards were with him, his guardian knights of the Myrmidian Dogs of War chapter, and they showed no fear of the undead escort. Nor did he, for he had other things on his mind - a crowd of thoughts that had been assailing him for days. And foremost amongst them - soon he was to meet his enemies.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/ToTheTalks2.jpg)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The chariot led them through some of the darker streets of the great city of Remas, until Condlumar found himself travelling down a long, grey street of at least a hundred doors, most guarded by flanking statues (or at least the crumbling remains of such). Yet there were no windows amongst the doors, only high balconies. He had forgotten this - how in Remas one can turn a corner and suddenly find oneself seemingly transported into a new city, built in a style entirely different from any other part of Remas

It was not the unusual architecture, however, that drew his real attention, but rather the street’s other occupants. Here before him were some of the Cerulean League’s soldiers, and he now learned that it was not just he who employed greenskins. Lurking there, as if little more than common street thugs like the Brigosi of Condlumar’s beloved Trantio, was a band of hobgoblins. As he passed they leered at him and his party, giving nothing that might pass as any sort of salute.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/ToTheTalks4.jpg)

What he did not know was that he had just passed a general, no less, commander of an entire army of such creatures, and a warrior who would also be attending the night’s meeting - none other than the Ethnarches of the Reman Empire, Gurgit Trollpuncha.


Inside His Imperial Highness Nikephorus III Monomachus's palace, several Ceruleans had gathered and were already plotting. None seemed particularly concerned about the undead guards within the chamber, perhaps because said guards stood so still that they seemed to have no spark of un-life within them. Besides they were becoming a common sight, stationed all over the palace and city, attired in garments and armour somewhat similar to that worn by the Despot’s own men at arms. They were the soldiers of the Fourth Legion, ancient warriors under the command of Lucius Valerius Maximus.
   
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/ToTheTalks3.jpg)

The Despot himself (here seen upon the left with one of his palace guards, the guard is attired in the ceremonial uniform of ancient Remas) was perusing documents, letters and scrolls, muttering to himself as he compared and considered the texts and how they might inform his chairmanship of the council.

Count Isaac von Siegfriedshof of Istrien, Master of Ebino stood close by (OOC: Mathi, late 16th C attire will have to stand in for early 17th C), watching the Despot’s every (if limited) move, judging his demeanour and patiently awaiting his next words. This was not easy, for by his side (far right) was the Templar Grand Master the Lord Silic, currently engaged in what appeared to be some form of  shadow boxing, waving hammer and pistol about as if some invisible assailant were upon him, or he had a sudden need to exercise his arms.

Such odd behaviour was to prove Lord Silic’s undoing, for suddenly he let out a gasp and clutched at his arm painfully. “Damn all the devils in this world but I have just pulled a muscle.”

The master of Ebino was not surprised, and said so.

Lord Silic did not respond to the comment, but merely said abruptly: “I shall have to be excused. This pain is unbearable. I will attend later if my doctors agree to it. Decov, the standard bearer for my Order of the Black Writ, shall attend in my stead. He will make my excuses.”

Then, to the Despot and Count Isaac’s surprise, he turned without further explanation and left the room, slamming the door behind him. They could hear him, however, in the corridor outside, shouting:

“Decov, come hither. I need you to write a letter to this effect, ‘To all those in attendance, I wish to beg your pardon for not being able to travel to Remas at this time. Certain matters require my attention….” His words trailed off as he strode further away from the council chamber.



Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on October 08, 2010, 11:21:12 AM
Warlord Guldar Bestbasha fights the Golden Company
3000 pts T&G Greenskin Raiders (me) vs. T&G Merc’ Co’ (Vekram de Crux)

General Vekram de Crux was masterless. His company had been in the employ of the famous Mighted Sturmbrow, employed to guard the town of Red Rock. They had given loyal service, fought bravely, and their employer had been the best they had ever had. Vekram came close to considering the noble dwarf a true lord, rather than a mere paymaster. But then Sturmbrow had been cruelly cut down in an act of treachery and in that moment Vekram became (once more) a masterless mercenary.

But it did not feel like that. He felt that he owed the dead dwarven lord his continued loyalty. And so it was he had marched his company westwards. There was work to be done, and not unprofitable work. He kept to himself exactly what he intended, not even his own officers knew - but they did not question him, for he was as respected by them as Sturmbrow had been by him.

Some time later the mercenary company found themselves facing a new enemy. An army of greenskins, yet one employed and directed by human masters and not like those their old master had fought when clearing the Badlands.

Rough outline list of the ‘Red Rock’ Mercenaries
Lord General Vekram de Crux
2 Condotta Captains (Johannes Tierman & Konrad von Aver)
Wizard Lord (Sophia le Rein) & Lesser Wizard (Pholtus)
10 Heavy Knights
7 Heavy Knights
35 Pikemen
25 Men at Arms
10 Pistoliers
10 Mounted Handgunners
30 longbowmen
18 Crossbow with pavaises
2 cannons
1 mortar
1 ribaudequin


Guldar Bestbasha had been given his orders and this time there was no doubting he would be sent into a fight - for he was to form the vanguard of Condlumar’s forces. As Derkid was quick to point out there could be no better place, for he who met with the foe first got to plunder them first: he who marched into enemy settlements first got to take the best that the settlement had to offer. In fact, he could take it all if he so wished.

But before the plundering could begin, the fighting had to be done.

GULDAR’S ARMY

LORDS
Orc Warboss (Guldar Bestbasha)
Giant Boar, Bartuck’s Heaviest Armour, Ogre Blade, Talisman of Endurance
‘Sharp Choppas’, shield = 293
Hill Goblin Warboss (Derkid the Sneakster)
‘irty Fightin’, Kaptin’s Cutlass = 120
Orc Great Shaman Lvl 3, Knowledge of Mork = 195
HEROES
Orc Big Boss with Battle Standard (Hard Gabbins)
Banner of Mork, ‘Waagh!’,  Light Armour = 122
Goblin Shaman Lvl 2, Toof Amulet  = 115
Goblin Shaman Lvl 2, Waagh Dance = 135
CORE
25 Orcs with additional choppa  plus full command  = 195
25 Orcs with additional choppa  plus full command  = 195
12 Orc Piratz = 108
10 Orcs with xbows plus musician & champion = 110
25 Hill Goblins with goblin pikes and full command = 170
25 Hill Goblins with additional hand weapons and full command = 170
13 Boar Boyz with full command = 254
30 Common Goblins with short bows + musician = 110
SPECIAL
2 Spear Chukkas extra crew= 80
3 Boar Chariots = 240
2 Goblin Rock Lobbers = 150
5 Orc Boar Boyz Big Uns (T&G: = special, @ 26 pts!) with command =  150
RARE
Hill Goblin Cannon = 85
 
(Edit: Forgot to include this originally)
The Field of Battle

The two armies had both been making their way towards the hill-top ruins of a long abandoned monastery when they had become aware of each other’s presence. Both assumed the other would begin aggressive manoeuvres immediately and so neither had a chance to re-position. The lines would be drawn up either side of the hill!

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-A-1.jpg)

(Note: IRL ‘Vekram’s’ missus did the scenery, as per usual at his place. Having been here before, neither of us was particularly surprised to find big lump of some sort smack bang in the middle of the field!)


Deployment

Vekram had a lot of horse soldiers, ranging from the expensively maintained heavy knights to the lighter pistoliers and mounted handgunners. Most of these (all but the pistoliers) he commanded to take position on the far right. There his pikemen would support them, hopefully marching up behind them as they thundered into the foe. Some artillery support was given on that flank by the ribaudequin, as well as the magical assistance of the lesser of his two wizards.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-1.jpg)

Vekram himself led his men at arms, an elite regiment of full plate armour wearing warriors armed with swords and shields. His massed longbowmen stood next in  line, and then the bulk of his artillery formed the left flank - cannons and mortar and crossbowmen. It was in front of these, initially screening them, that he sent his pistoliers, with orders to move forwards and harry the foe at the first opportunity. His wizard lord he suggested should find a place in the rear, ready to move wheresoever he thought best.

Guldar had a lot more soldiers at his disposal, but even he recognised the dubious quality of some of them. After all, could he really expect goblins to contribute anything of worth? At the most he decided they might provide a suitable distraction, to buy him and his boar riders and chariots time to smash the enemy in one flank and then ride down their line in slaughtering rampage. At least, that’s what he saw happening in his head.

So he sent the goblin archers and his small body of crossbow wielding orcs along with the spear chukkas to face whatever the enemy might deploy on his far right. He did not expect them to fight, but to sting, and get in the way of an advance. What he had not thought of was that the enemy would also place his artillery there too.

His main battle line consisted of foot regiments of orcs and goblins, the shamans and rock lobbers in the rear, with his three boar chariots and two bodies of boar riders on the left. The cannon he ordered out to the far left to make a lot of noise and discourage any flanking attack down that side.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-2.jpg)

Guldar had thirteen of his boar riders to accompany him and his giant ‘sanglier’, while a small but hard hitting body of big ‘uns rode alongside. Three huge, lumbering chariots were ordered to keep pace as best they could, and look for any opportunity to hit the foe, especially in the flank if they could do it.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-3.jpg)

But facing this fast moving wing was the enemy’s heavy horse, easily an equal match for the boar riders, if not even harder hitting. And the enemy’s pikes could prove ruinous to chariots or boars foolish enough to take them on frontally.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-4.jpg)

Guldar cursed and wondered whether it would have been better to have been on the other flank, but then decided he would rather face mounted knights than the blazing mouths of cannons and a deadly tipped rain of quarrels. On the opposite side of the battlefield, Vekram de Crux simply stared at the foe whilst praying to Sigmar that the god would bless his army in this fight against one of the Empire’s traditional foes.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-5.jpg)

Beforer he had finished his prayers, the light horse made their vanguard moves: the mounted handgunners moving into the woods before them …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-6.jpg)

… while the Pistoliers cocked their pistols and trotted almost carelessly towards the greenskin archers ahead of them.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-7.jpg)

To follow asap: The battle proper
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole (lots added on 8th October!)
Post by: Padre on October 09, 2010, 12:48:40 PM
(NB: Please see edited post above foe the field of battle/terrain. I forgot the picture before.)


The Battle, Part 1 (First one and a half turns!)

Noticing that some enemy riders had already entered the woods ahead, Hard Gabbins and his lads had a sudden urge to get to the foe, and rushed forwards to do so - thus making Guldar’s line somewhat ragged. (Note: An animosity move forwards, would have put them on top of the chariot, so we assumed - rightly? - that the unit should just move to the far side, as indeed they would if they were fleeing.)

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-8.jpg)

This impetuousness paid off, however, for the orcs were now within reach of the mounted handgunners and so charged them without further ado. Four of their number died to a hail of bullets bursting from the trees, but this was not enough to halt them. Guldar, on the other hand, was feeling more cautious, and indicated a slow advance to those around him. Eyeing the enemy’s heavy horsemen up ahead he had no wish to gift them the chance to deliver a thundering charge into his boar riders. No, he had other plans, and the time was not yet right.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-9.jpg)

The chariots on his right were crucial to those plans, and so he watched satisfyingly as they trundled up onto the brow of the hill and set themselves a little obliquely to the front of his own riders.

Guldar’s Shamans made a sorry show of their first attempts at conjuring harm on the foe, though what little they did was dramatic enough. Two knights were felled by the Foot of Gork, which made Guldar chuckle. His chuckle turned to a proper laugh when he watched a  ball from his goblin crewed cannon slay two more knights from the other (larger) company. The spear chukkas sent their bolts wildly off-target, as did the rock lobbers. But the crossbow orcs saw the pistoliers riding towards them …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-12.jpg)


… and sent a volley to bloodily unseat three of them. The young gentlemen’s subsequent flight meant their was greenskin laughter on the right side of Guldar’s line too.

The fight against the light horsemen in the woods was quick and bloody. Five of the riders perished but only two orcs fell.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-10.jpg)

The riders fled away and Hard Gabbins managed to stop his lads from pursuing. He had a good idea what Guldar intended and had no wish to ruin the battle plan by bursting through the woods to receive the enemy charges before all was in place.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-13.jpg)

In the centre of the field, while the first brush with the enemy was happening on the left, the three other large regiments of foot advanced to the hill. Luckily the monastery was in ruins and the pike goblins could begin to pick their way through them (Note: The T&G rule says pike cannot enter buildings. BTW, aren’t the new terrain rules weird for foot - they can basically go anywhere!)

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-11.jpg)

And so the first contacts of the day had been made, orc choppas against swords, and orc quarrels against horse flesh. As the two companies of light horse fled, Guldar wondered whether the enemy could be lured as he so wished.

The full situation on the field:
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-14.jpg)

Vekram de Crux was also thoughtful. It was no surprise that he two light horse companies would be rebuffed, but nevertheless there was still the problem of how to engage with such a numerous foe. The mercenary commander stood with his adventurers, swordsmen for hire as well as all sorts of characters on the edge of society having only their skill at arms to support themselves. Wild and reckless they may be, but they were tough, and fought with the sort of skill that only such experienced men could possess.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-14A.jpg)

His mind made up, Vekram signalled an advance. His pike, knowing that the enemies that faced them had every reason to be afraid of them, advanced boldly, while the heavy horse, already bloodied, moved much more cautiously on their flank.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-15.jpg)

The pistoliers rallied and reformed, but the badly mauled mounted handgunners continued their flight. The lesser wizard, Pholtus, flew into the woods to hide. From there he summoned what magic he could, along with Sophia still safely off behind the lines. (Magic 6:5 = 11CD:6DD, no channeling) The Throne of Vines and the Amber Spear both succeeded, and a couple of orcs died as a consequence. No other magic could break through the greenskin shamans’ attempts to dispel it.

The mercenaries’ shooting was a little more dramatic. Between them the crossbow, Longbow, cannons and mortar killed 4 goblins and two orcs. One cannon misfiring did not help. 

It was not that Guldar decided to try his luck and order what he had intended from the off. Raising his huge bladed spear …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-16.jpg)

… he signalled to one of the three boar chariots to charge. If it hit the foe, well and good (he thought) for that would both maul them and pin them for a moment, if it failed then they would be drawn forwards to deal with it, while he still had two companies of Boar Riders and two chariots to charge.

Hard Gabbins was too busy shouting at his lads to neaten their ranks and files to notice the chariot wheeling down the hill afore him …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-17.jpg)

… but he heard the crunch when it did (to many orcs’ surprise) hit the enemy knights.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-18.jpg)

This was a lot better than Guldar had expected. (Note: Double 6 rolled for the charge!)  He had thought he was sacrificing the chariot to draw the enemy on, and yet here it’s massive bulk and scythed wheels killed two knights in the impact alone. When the boars killed another and the orcen crew felled a fourth, the lone survivor turned and fled the field.

The chariot was not the only one to enter combat at that moment, both the pike goblins and the second regiment of orcs reached Vekram and his men at arms. They should have known from the sight of the mercenaries full plate armour, as well as the way they seemed keen to receive the charge cheering heartily as the orcs came on, that this particular foe was more than a match even for two greenskin regiments. Their banner of Restless Spite was partly the cause, but their hard earned confidence did the rest. Only the men at arms champion and one other fell to this joint attack, while six goblins and two orcs died. The pike goblins fled, but the orcs somehow found the courage to stand. (Note: Greenskin loss by 4 CR, but orcs - without a re-roll available, rolled snake eyes!).

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-20.jpg)

As they ran, Derkid’s bunch, dismayed by the sight, joined them in flight. (Typical goblins! But, you get what you pay for.)

The Greenskin’s magical efforts proved pathetic as nothing they attempted to conjure would manifest. The rock lobbers fared a little better, between them killing to of the rallied pistoliers, and one spear chukka caused some damage on a cannon. As the rocks crashed to the ground the victorious chariot restrained its pursuit and turned to threaten the other knights, ignoring the pike at its rear for they knew the mercenaries could not hope to wheel sufficiently the charge them.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-19.jpg)
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole (lots added on 8th October!)
Post by: Dosiere on October 10, 2010, 06:41:25 AM
Thank you for posting all these battle reports Padre, I have really enjoyed reading them!

 I must say, you seem to have a rather obscene amount of painted miniatures!  Where the heck do you store them all?
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole (lots added on 8th October!)
Post by: Eighty on October 10, 2010, 12:20:58 PM
while i had no idea what was happening half the time, i enjoyed the reports immensly

you sir are awesome
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole (lots added on 8th October!)
Post by: Padre on October 13, 2010, 07:01:51 PM
Thanks for the positive comments. Got some more written ...


Battle Part 2 - up to the end of turn 3

The chariot crew got their way. They did indeed threaten the knights, so much so that the armoured riders wheeled sharply around to charge them for the mercenaries did not want the very foe that had just smashed their comrades behind them! Nearby, Pholtus the wizard landed his carpet right in front of the pike, as if trying to tempt the enemy on. 

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-21.jpg)

For a moment Guldar thought he more than he could have wished for - the chance to charge the knight’s flank - but this was not to be, for the knights easily dispatched the chariot (now it’s deadly momentum had been removed) and then simply reformed to face the enemy once more.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-22.jpg)

Now Vekram’s wizards tried what magic they could (5:2, I channel 2 and toof amulet, so 7 casting cf. 8 dispel!), and although they could sense a very palpable resistance from the greenskin shamans, Bjuna got through and brought Hard Gabbins to the ground, lifeless. Guldar’s battle standard had fallen!

Five crossbow orcs and two pirate orcs fell to the mercenaries’ volleys, while a rock lobba was destroyed entirely by a cannon ball. Vekram himself was busy, for he and his men at arms took down four of the orcs on the hill and then cut them down in pursuit when the orcs attempted to flee. So it was that Vekram de Crux found himself cresting the hill with a clear view of the enemy behind. The two regiments of goblins were still fleeing away immediately below him, but also two little, green shamans turned to look at him, as did the crews of the brace of spear chukkas.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-23.jpg)

He realised that to stay there could ‘sting’ but at the same time he was reluctant to advance and commit his men to a part of the field where the real fight was not to occur. As he considered his options, Guldar gave a great cry of 'Waagh!', a signal to his men to get a move on and get stuck in.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-24.jpg)

For a moment nothing moved, then finally the advance began. What resulted, however, was not what Guldar had hoped for - his own boar riders merely shuffled a little way forwards while the orcs who had been with Hard Gabbins swung around the woods and annoyingly got in the way of one of the chariots. Guldar did not let this trouble him, and ordered the charge. This time the result did annoy him - neither he, his boars, the big ‘un boars or the chariot reached the foe. For the knights simply turned and fled away, denying the vicious orcs and boars the chance they had been  lusting for.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-25.jpg)

Was this some enemy trick? thought Guldar. Surely not, for if they were trying to draw him into a trap, then the wizard would not be right in the way of the pikemen preventing their charge. (What he did not know was that the foe did indeed have 'something up his sleeve'!)

Greenskin magic proved pathetic. Guldar’s crc shaman killed only one man at arms with Gork’s Warpath, then got stomped on himself and was left almost dead! No more magic could get through. The Sspear chukkas, however, did what magic could not do. Six men at arms fell to their two hits and Vekram suddenly found he no longer had to worry about where to advance - for he and his men were sent running away back down the far side of the hill.

Here you can see the men at arms running off between the ribaudequin and the longbowmen, while on the near side of the hill (the monastery scenery accidentally still removed to make space for the men) you can see the two rallied regiments of goblins …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-26.jpg)

… who had been - under Derkid’s instructions - attempting to set up a trap in which Derkid’s lads would hit the men at arms in their flank when they undoubtedly smashed their way through the raggedy pike block.

Now came the enemy pikemen’s trick. Just as Guldar thought they were prevented from charging by their foolish wizard, they used their commander’s skill at precision drill (T&G rule) to reform first …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-27.jpg)

… then launched a charge at Guldar and his rather surprised boar riders.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-28.jpg)

As battle was being joined there on the mercenaries’ right, Pholtus flew over the woods to the far side, while the knights rallied and reformed in the rear. Of course Vekram rallied his men at arms, for none of the veterans were exactly sure why they had run in the first place. Still, six men skewered and torn in two by huge bolts was a sight novel even to them, and had been a little unnerving.

The mercenary wizards’ magic fizzled, while the ribaudequin’s impressively loud blast unimpressively killed on pirate orc. Derkid’s goblins where now hit hard by a mortar grenado, with ten of his gobbos perishing as a consequence. And as their dying screams went up, the last of the pair of rock lobbers succumbed to another cannon ball and one of the spear chukkas was finished off by the crossbows. All in all a good round of missile fire from the mercenaries. 

But it was the hand-to- hand fight that was to make the real difference. One boar rider fell to the massed pike tips, and the condottieri captain was bloodied by Guldar, but the orcs and boars failed to harm anyone else in the block of pikemen and as a consequence, broke and ran! Luckily the pikemen could not catch them.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-29.jpg)

(Important note: After the game Vekram realised we had done this combat wrong. We gave the orcs and boars -2 WS due to the phalanx rule, thus their very bad showing in the combat BUT ‘phalanx’ only works when charged, not when charging. Oops! In the end, however, you will see how it did not affect the game too much, and how we also came up with a way of compensating for this error at the end of the game.)

Last part to follow when I have the time!
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Uryens de Crux on October 13, 2010, 07:05:19 PM
(OOC - I forgot loads of stuff for my army, like my Men at Arms had a ward save to warmachines amongst other stuff, I blame it on the uncontrollable sneezing I was experiencing)
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on October 16, 2010, 05:41:45 PM
You were ridiculously sick that day, I have to admit!

Final instalment

Of course the big 'uns and chariots now smashed into the pikemen’s flanks, while Guldar Bestbasha rallied his riders and reformed.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-30.jpg)

The two goblin shamans were joined by the pirate orcs and Derkid’s gobbos in turning their attention on the wizard Pholtus ….

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-31.jpg)

… but once again the greenskin magic fizzled and sputtered and failed to manifest in the material realm, and when the three pirates discharged their pistols they all missed the slippery little wizard. Elsewhere a pair of men at arms and a knight were killed by somewhat heavier artillery fire.

While the last big orc foot regiment tried to squeeze by the fight to threaten (or distract) the reformed knights, the chariots managed to fell only two pikemen upon impact. Five more pikemen fell to the attacks of big uns, boars and charioteers, yet only one big 'un was killed. These pikemen proved a steadfast bunch, their numbers and ranks giving them confidence, and they fought on.

The knights now decided they would not wait for the orcs and attempted to charge them. But their sturdy steeds must have been tired from all the activity so far and the lance-wielding nobles (even though their magical Rampagers’ standard should have spurred them on unnaturally) failed to reach their target.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-32.jpg)

Pholtus used his flying carpet to escape being surrounded by greenskins large and small, mundane and magical, and landed himself near the hill so that he could see the orc shaman and Guldar’s boars. Vekram now signalled his surviving pistoliers to join him and his men at arms in making a move to the right, where the pikemen and knights were fighting the real battle. This meant field on the mercenaries’ left become a battle between missile troops: arrows, quarrels, spears and balls flew back and forth. Indeed eight goblins fell to the crossbowmen’s volley, yet strangely the little green fellows chose to stand their ground even in the face of such punishment!

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-33.jpg)

A mortar grenade fell smack bang on top of Derkid’s bunch, tearing eight of them apart, but not harming the shaman also caught in the blast. These goblins, through some strange new species of courage, also chose to fight on. An orc also succumbed to the blast of the ribaudequin, though the crew were disappointed to see such a limited effect.

The mercenaries’ magical assault now hit hard - with an amber spear killing three orcs and Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma drastically affecting the fighting skills and perception of Guldar and his lads. (Note: Until now, I had not realised Throne of Vines was bolstering a bunch of spells, and so I had not been trying to dispel it - something which would have been a much better use of my poor casting dice rolls.)

Of course the pikemen’s fight continued, five more mercenaries dying to the swish of heavy bladed spears and choppas, with a few chipped splinters of wood torn from a chariot in return, then the big ‘uns champion was slain by captain Johannes Tierman, commanding the pikemen. Still the pikemen steadfastly stood their ground, even though they could see that Guldar was signalling his own large body of boar riders to charge the pikemen too (admittedly somewhat dizzily due to the effects of the spell) .

In they went, nevertheless, with Guldar’s monstrous boar at their head …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-34.jpg)

… and even though they were weakened by the spell, Guldar still managed to slay Johannes with his first flurry of earth shattering blows. Eight more pikemen perished at the (green) hands of their foes, while only two of the boar riders fell to the thrust of pikes. (The pikemen were still, amazingly, steadfast - but it wouldn’t help them - they rolled 11!) Such harm was too much for the mercenaries who had lost their captain so bloodily - at last they broke and ran. They were, of course, run down in a brutally efficient manner.

Just as Guldar was winning this fight, the orc foot soldiers charged headlong into the faltering knights, but they could do little to penetrate the layers of steel that garbed each man and horse. Seven orcs died…

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-35.jpg)

… which was just too much for even the battle hardened orcs to stomach. Even as Guldar and his battle wing of boars prepared behind to face the knights …

 (http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-36.jpg)

… the orcs broke and ran and the knights came crashing on to hit the foremost chariot.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-37.jpg)

This proved easy to defeat, being already damaged and virtually a stationary target for the steel-tipped lances. The knights thus now crashed into Guldar and his boars behind. This was indeed turning into the decisive melee of the battle, though events were moving on elsewhere (the goblin archers finally fled when another seven of their number succumbed to the mercenary crossbows).

As the knights hit home, the last pair of big 'uns and the last remaining boar chariot counter-charged simultaneously into them.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-38.jpg)

‘Bash ‘em Lads’ was successfully cast upon Guldar and his gang, while the last spear chukka tore through the ribaudequin’s body to damage the machine beyond (battlefield) repair.

The fight was hard indeed, even though the chariot's impact failed to have any affect on the foe. Striking first (blessed with a magical dexterity) Guldar struck down the knights’ champion, hewing his head dramatically from his shoulders to send a spray of blood into the air. (1 overkill.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-39.jpg)

Yet the rest of his lads simply could not pierce the knights’ polished steel cuirasses. Two boar riders fell as well as a charioteer, while three knights tumbled to the ground as their mounts were gored and killed by the boars and speared by a charioteer. Somehow the knights found the spirit to fight on. (Note: I forgot the boar riders had +1 strength to their choppas and Guldar’s ‘sharp choppas’ T&G rule would have put the enemy at another -1 to their armour save. If I had remembered, a few more knights would surely have died!)

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-40.jpg)

While the cannon destroyed the spear chukka, all the mercenaries other missile and magic caused not even a scratch upon the greenskins.

The fight between the knights and the boars went on, but although a pair of boar riders died, and the condotta captain Konrad von Aver was wounded by Guldar (his sacred shield of Myrmidia negating all three of the monstrous boar’s attacks), neither side could break the other.

Vekram stood watching, pain writ clearly upon his face. He was just too far away to intervene as his knights were being slowly (but surely) hacked down.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Battle7-41.jpg)

Game Over, end of turn 6 Result = 827VP : 837VP, a draw![/I]

BUT because of the mistaken use of 'phalanx' earlier, slowing down the orcs’ defeat of the pikemen, we realised that the fight against the knights should have begun a turn earlier, and thus - if I also remembered to apply 'sharp choppas' in that extra turn - the chances were that in a corrected version of the game the knights would certainly have perished by the end, along with their captain, while Vekram would have been no closer to reaching the foe. Thus my opponent conceded defeat and gave me victory! Hurray! And thank you, Vekram.)

Epilogue

As Guldar and his lads cut down the last of the knights, Vekram de Crux could see it would be insanity to fight on and so fell back to the little redoubt of longbows, cannons, mortar and crossbows on the far side of the field. From there the mercenaries slowly withdrew from the field - unhindered by the greenskins, for they were busy looting and celebrating and entirely unwilling to ride into the hail of missiles that would surely greet them if they pushed the mercenaries any further.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on October 16, 2010, 06:41:53 PM
IMPORTANT Note: In the four posts that follow several (large) sections were written by other players in the T&G campaign. They are thus not my work. I have inserted these as quotes. If the players in question do not want them here, please PM and I shall remove them, but I think most have already said, or indicated otherwise, that it is ok.

Inside a tent in the camp of the Compagnia del Sole

“Are you sure this is right? This is what is best?” asked Captain Niccolò Forteguerra

Captain Frederico Matallesta was not in the mood for elaborate explanations and long-winded justifications. As far as he was concerned the officers had agreed before, and now he was acting upon that agreement. This was not the time for them to change their mind.

“Yes,” he answered. “You agreed before, and I took you at your word. Condlumar is not a worthy employer, and he will lead us to ruin. This much is plain to see. Tell me now, will you go through with this?”

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Arrest7.jpg)

The younger captain did not show any sign of agreement. Instead he cast a questioning look at the other man there, sergeant Zacharie. When he said nothing, simply fixing him with his own stern stare, Niccolò spoke again. “I know what they say Condlumar has done. But there is no proof - other than his grief and his angry bursts.”

Frederico laughed. “Ha! You think I care what he is accused of? You have misunderstood. We must look to the Compagnia’s future, not the high priest’s. Every man amongst us wants for pay, yet this high priest would lead us on some foolish charge into oblivion. He would have us fight a foe we need not fight, for no pay, to be certainly overwhelmed. The Despot, however, will pay us. He would not throw us to the lions simply to satisfy his own grief. We all know we should not have let Condlumar take general Villeteschi’s place. It is not for this priestly employer to command us this way. Villeteschi would not have let him do so.”

“But …” began Niccolò.

“No,” interrupted Frederico. “No buts. Tell me now, are you with us?”

Niccolò bowed his head for a moment, then with conviction this time, said, “I am with you.”

“Good. Then listen carefully, this is the plan …”

Later that night

It was Niccolò’s job to draw Condlumar’s son away, as well as those other men who were so often at the high priest’s side. Thus it was that he approached Pilocomini even as the young gentleman’s father was talking with the captain of his men at arms a little distance away.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Arrest1.jpg)

It didn’t take much to lure them away. There was no need for cunning, or persuasive words, or even lies. All it took was the promise of wine and a little repast - which is what they would get - and the men came away easily. It never occurred to any of them to distrust the noble standard bearer.

With Condlumar himself, however, was a man who would prove much more difficult to deal with if he was not suitably distracted - Captain Giacomo Pigitliano.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Arrest2.jpg)

Frederico had considered this, and thus it was that the Brettonian sergeant Zacharie stood close by making a show of voicing some concern over the camp’s palisade defence.

“Any damned fool can see that this could be easily removed. The stakes are not set deep enough - this is nought but the illusion of defence.”

Then, as if only just noticing Frederico for the first time, the sergeant called him over. “Captain, you must tell these fools that this work is shoddy, that it must be redone. Look here …”

Frederico was already on his way over.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Arrest6.jpg)

With little reason to remain there, and no desire to become involved in the soldiers’ concern over fencing, Condlumar began his walk back to his own pavilion. Already the conspirators were moving in …

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Arrest3.jpg)

… led by the full plate armoured Alberino, Fredrico’s own personal guard and a man renowned for having faced many perils in battle.

The trick, you see, was how to subdue a battle priest such as Condlumar. He had proven that he was not afraid of a fight, for he had gone into battle with the Compagnia del Sole twice, removing the bones of Castriccio della Scara even while Ogres were being killed all around him. And he could wield cruel and terrible battle magics, something nearly all in the Compagnia had seen.

So to capture him would take cunning, skill and a lot of nerve. And Alberino, a man who believed that there was no substitute for a sharp blade, the prowess to use it well, and a suit of full plate. Men such as that were thought to quell the effects of magic, as if they had about them the same sort of aura that dwarfs were renowned for.

In the end, and though there was a moment that it all looked as if it might go badly, Condlumar proved more malleable than the soldiers had expected, more even than they could have hoped. It seemed to Frederico as if the old man had no fight left in him, and almost welcomed events. (Or perhaps no longer cared.) He had indeed noticed that a change had come Condlumar ever since the news of Lord Silic’s death had been brought to him. But even before that, there was something odd about his behaviour, foremost being the way the goddess and her church had gone from being his daily devotion to being almost forgotten.

Thus it was that Condlumar was led away by a route carefully planned beforehand, and guarded at all key points where witnesses might be encountered by soldiers loyal to Frederico.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Arrest4.jpg)

Condlumar was quiet. He knew what the soldiers where doing, and why - he had suspected it for some time now. He had no real wish to resist, for a part of him wanted to meet with his accusers face to face, and he looked forward to defending himself before the Despot. The god Solkan, whom the Despot had cited as having jurisdiction over this matter, was a god of vengeance. And this had without a doubt been a matter of vengeance. It would be good to get to grips with a doctrine that simple, with strictures as clear as: “Never allow a wrong to go unanswered”.

He knew he was not in the wrong, how carefully he had chosen his words when he discussed with the foe and the Despot, and that Solkan was surely with him. How else had his enemy been so easily dispatched. Vengeance was done.

And if the men he was about to meet were stubborn in their denial of these facts, he cared not. He had done what must be done. His son was avenged. Solkan was satisfied. Now there was no more for him to do. He was ready for the end. 

Before long the little group were out of the camp and approaching that part of the area patrolled by the undead Legionaries of Lucius Valerius Maximus. The sense that they were being watched came long before the proof of it. Then, as they came to the pre-arranged spot, suddenly Maximus’ soldiers appeared.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Arrest5.jpg)

Condlumar simply smiled. It would be a quiet walk, it seemed, to meet with the despot, and that suited him. Dead men were unlikely to trouble him with banter and questions. He would have the peace he needed to ponder his fate.

Before him a purple-cloaked skeleton carrying a vicious cleaver of a blade stepped forwards. Greaves hung loosely down from the man of bone’s knees, something which a living man might have found uncomfortable but would obviously not trouble this man. His helmet was of a strange and ancient design, bearing a spear like adornment. Somewhere in the back of his mind Condlumar realised that this was the ancient uniform of a centurion, the helmet having long since lost its decorative horse-tail.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Arrest8.jpg)

The centurion beckoned with his gauntleted finger, and Condlumar walked on. The officers of the Compagnia del Sole watched as their employer was taken away. All were glad they were not in his shoes.

Quote from: Inarticulate
The Skeleton saluted in the ancient Reman army way which can sometimes still be seen in certain military formations that can trace their lineage back that far.

The Skeletal officer however did break the unearthly silence that tended to permeate the area around the soldiers of Lucius Valerius Maximus's Legion. Condlumar noted, even through his miserly state, his mind ravaged by war, loss and treachery that the words were spoken in a magical fashion and not of the necromantic way of which the undead are normally re-animated.

Titus Flavius Turpio, Dominus, Pilus Prior of the Second Cohort of Legio IV Felix Invictus.

Condlumar nodded slowly, his lined face bore a half-smile.

Gabriele Condlumar, High Priest of the Goddess Myrmidia you are arrested for heresy and treason to the great god of law Solkan Invictus and the throne of the Reman Empire. You are taken into my custody in the name of the Megas Domestikos and await trial by Inquisition.

A squad of Legionaries silently trooped into a formation to the side and behind Condlumar, their ancient weapons ratting, the sound of armour on bone. They had no need to take hold of the old man physically, for Condlumar was led away towards the city, the dead of night enveloping the little party into total darkness, the moons curiously blocked from shining their lights down onto the scene where moments before they had illuminated the camp of the Compagnia del Sole.

To the officers watching, the Priest seemed to be swallowed up by the darkness.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Arrest9.jpg)

The Trial

They sent one guard to collect Condlumar from his cell, a man at arms of the College of Inquisitors garbed in the white robes traditional for the escort of a prisoner to a treason trial. The guard thus gave the appearance of purity, cleanliness - an agent of law and order, whereas the accused no-one was yet sure about.

Of course there was also the gaoler, a man who Condlumar had grown to hate over the last few days of his incarceration. This was a man who seemed never to cease his mumbling monologue concerning his woes and the corrupt ways of the world. The high priest had quickly grown tired of his mutterings, though as the fellow led him through the maze like tunnels of the dungeons beneath the Despot’s Palace, Condlumar gained an insight as to why the man was so aggrieved. He was obviously a prisoner too, as indicated by the ball and chain fastened to his wrist. This man must have been pardoned a punishment on the promise of serving as gaoler in the damp, dingy and disease-ridden dungeons. Maybe he had every right to complain?

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Trial1.jpg)

Finally, both Condlumar and the guard slowed by the fact that the gaoler (who would not yield the keys he had) came to the outer door of the dungeons. Of course he had no key for this door, and so stepped aside and let the guard do the honours. As the door opened sunlight streamed in, dazzling the priest, and sending the gaoler into an apoplexic fit of laughing.

Condlumar could not help but smile at the thought that the man who had done nothing but complain for days, suddenly, and just as he was about to leave him, found something to laugh about. When the gaoler, however, saw the smile he fell silent and scowled. His ugly face then disappeared as the guard closed the door and locked him back into his miserable domain.

Several stairways later and Condlumar finally reached the chamber in which the trial was to take place. There stood his judge and jury. The former would be Valerius Lucius Maximus, Megas Domestikos of Remas, acting in the Despot’s absence as Imperator. Being what he was, which no living man could ever forget for the merest moment when in his fearful presence, he was surrounded by servants and guards of a most horrific kind. Spearmen guarded the door of the chamber, whilst three torch bearers carried aloft the myrrh-scented torches that were always burned at such trials.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Trial3.jpg)

One nervous looking gnome attended as a secretary, having already begun scribbling in a leather bound tome, while the Pontifex Maximus and his College of Inquisitors stood off to one side, each one hooded so that their faces could not be seen, their reactions would be entirely unknown by witnesses and accused alike.

Within moments Condlumar was led to his place, and immediately the gnome’s squeaky voice began reading the indictment.

“Gabriele Condlumar, high priest of the church of Myrmidia and Trantian by birth, you are hereby accused of heresy against the great god of law Solkan Invictus and treason against the throne of the Reman Empire, for the ordering of the assassination of Prince Silic von Petrova, Count of Morea & Prince of Trantio.”

The little blue clad figure lifted his bespectacled face giving the impression that he was looking to see if Condlumar was still there, and then continued: “How do you plead?”

Condlumar spoke, his voice somewhat hoarse from his confinement in his subterranean cell.

“Not guilty.”

There was complete silence in the chamber.

Condlumar was standing behind the little form where prisoners of more humble birth and office would be expected to kneel, often three or four at a time whilst verdicts were quickly read out. Behind him there was a stone chair which revealed by its form and adornment just what means had been used in the past to extract confessional statements from the accused. No-one there would think to use such a thing upon a man such as Condlumar, a high priest and a wielder of magic who might (perhaps involuntarily) release harmful magics into the room if he were so tortured.
 
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Trial2.jpg)

Behind him stood two more of the College of Inquisitors men at arms. Although these were not garbed in white as was the knightly soldier assigned personally to Condlumar, they too had a very traditional role, for they were armed with the very blades that would be used to behead traitors. One bore a long sword, the weapon of used when a noble was to be beheaded. The other carried a large polearm with a heavy, curved blade - this being the instrument that would hack a commoner to pieces for just the same crime.

Next to speak was Valerius Lucius Maximus, and his authority-laden and terrifying voice seemed to suit the circumstances much better than the gnome’s high-pitched pronouncements.

“We have a long list of accusers, starting with the Despot Nikephorus III Monomachus himself. They all say you are guilty. You must explain yourself, high priest. You shall have what time you need. Prove your innocence.”

Condlumar now surprised the company, muttering something about needing a seat and then turning to climb the dais behind him and sit upon the manacle adorned, blood-stained stone chair. The members of the college wondered whether he did not care it was such a seat, or whether he was so distracted he had not even noticed.

For a moment he merely glanced around the chamber, as if studying for the first time who was in the chamber …

(A massive thank you to ‘MyrmidianMan’ for painting this image of Condlumar)

(http://i892.photobucket.com/albums/ac124/pandriev/Condlumar.jpg)
 
And then he began his speech.
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on October 16, 2010, 06:43:49 PM
The speech

Condlumar settled himself in the unusual chair, and a transformation came over him. It was as if he had been transported mentally to another place. As he spoke it became clear where that place was - for he sounded like a teacher at a tutorial lecturing to his initiates. It was also obvious he had extensively prepared for this moment.

“I am, and have been always, an honest man. Yet I am also a servant of Myrmidia, who teaches that cunning and misdirection are a vital part of war. It is very poor strategy indeed to show your hand to the foe, or the act so honestly before an enemy that they can take advantage of the fact to defeat you.

“Thus it is that I have been forced, over the last few months, to choose my words carefully, so that they are neither lies nor intelligence gifts to my foes. I shall explain….”

The high priest stopped abruptly, in fact so unexpectedly that a harrumph or two of surprise went up from the hooded jury. Then it became clear why he had halted.

“You there, master gnome, bring me the papers I have prepared.”

The little gnome grabbed at a pile of parchments and papers, and scurried across the court chamber to hand the bundle to Condlumar. There followed another moment as the high priest re-shuffled the sheets, stopping occasionally to send a disapproving glance at the gnome (presumably the blue clad servant was to blame for the papers’ disorder). Finally he spoke again:

“I shall begin with the first notification concerning the council of Remas:

Quote from: T&G admin
Announcement from the Council of Remas
By Order of the Leadership of the Cerulean league and the Vermillion Legion,
For the purpose of ensuring the best possible outcome of the forth-coming peace talks between the leadership of these two mercenary factions
There shall be a temporary cessation of hostilities for the duration of turn 11 between the Cerulean league and the Vermillion Legion

No Vermillion forces will attack locations controlled by the Cerulean league, and likewise the forces of the Cerulean League will refrain from attacking lands under Vermillion control until the conclusion of the Council of Remas.

Any breach of this order may result in the failure of the talks and the immediate dissolution of the Council.

“Thus I understood there was to be a cessation of hostilities. Well and good, I thought, though it was already too late for one man. For you see, and here again I have no intention of lying, I had already ordered the assassination of Lord Silic. A hostile act, yes, but one performed during a time of war, and so a legitimate time for hostile acts, and one ordered to put right (to a small degree) the wrongs done to me and my own by the Cerulean League.

“Before I go on with a consideration of what was said, let me pre-empt your questions. First I suppose you might ask how I can plead ‘not guilty’. That will become plain, but for now, keep in mind that the order was already given before notice of the council was made. Also you might ask Why Lord Silic? I would say the answer is obvious. My son, Prince Piero of Trantio, was murdered as we were forced from the city by the Cerulean forces. My city was taken from me. And Silic took my son's crown and set it upon his own head - revelling openly in what he had done. From that moment it was divinely clear to me that the League was my enemy, but Lord Silic my very particular foe.

“But I shall return to this matter. Now the wise words of his highness Nikephorus III Monomachus, delivered unto me before the meeting of the Council of Remas:

Quote from: admin playing the Despot
I shall re-iterate my guarantee of safe conduct. The priests of Remas have invoked the divine protection of Solkan the Avenger: any who violate the peace of Remas will suffer nothing less than total obliteration. Solkan is unforgiving and inflexible. Do not doubt his power. Nikephorus III Monomachus.

“At the time I considered these words carefully, and also my response. Solkan the Avenger had been invoked, and I saw immediately that this was a heavenly sign. I sought revenge for the evil done to me and my son. Solkan was the one god who would expect me to exact such revenge. He had spoken to me. And I saw too that I could answer truthfully, for the order for assassination was in the past, and I had no intention of ordering my armies (neither the Compagnia nor the other forces at my disposal) to attack the foe during the time of the council. Nor did I intend to harm any during their time a the conference. So I answered thusly:

Quote
‘There is no need for such threats in my case, for I have honour enough never to stoop so low. I am a true servant of the gods, and know full well what their displeasure feels like. Myrmidia has of late abandoned me, yet I stay loyal and pray daily for her blessing to be re-bestowed upon me.

Let the noble members of this grand council be undeterred by the lies spread by those who wish to see us fail before we even have chance to meet.

If I, who have lost my son and my city and the love of my god, can come to these talks to look for future peace and prosperity, then surely the rest of those invited can put aside fears created by the petty minded gossipers and spreaders of dissension.

Whenever leaders meet there will be talk of assassination and treachery, such is the nature of many (low) men. Our servants and subjects cannot all be as noble as us. Let us lead by example and show how men of honour can behave.’

“Consider the last part, which upon the surface may appear full of falsehoods. Not so, for once again I chose my words carefully. Low men do gossip - that is the truth. And men of honour behave honourably - thus my exaction of perfectly balanced revenge against the Cerulean usurper prince of Trantio for the death of my son.

“And so the council took place, and agreement was reached. When we were asked to voice our assent to the treaty, I chose my words even more carefully, yet at the same time was forced to risk revealing the deep truth behind the surface truth of my words. I answered: 

Quote
‘In so far as you are all honest men, who have never wronged me, I Gabriele Condlumar, High Priest of Myrmidia and chairman of the council of the Vermilion Legion, do hereby agree to the terms as presented.’

“Why did I speak so? Because in truth, and by right, my war against the occupiers of Trantio must continue, for by their very presence in my city, my palace, they had wronged me (never mind their alliance to my son’s murderers). I would not say that I would under no circumstances attack the Ceruleans, for that would be a lie. Thus my words.

Quote from: admin playing the Despot
‘Do not speak weasel words in a chamber sanctified by Solkan the Avenger, Priest!
If you agree to the terms, say so in clear and unambiguous language.’

“To this outburst I answered:

Quote
’I speak the plain and simple truth, uttering not one word I do not mean. I have yet to lie, and do not intend to. I say again, if you be honest men you can trust me. If you wish me to call you liars before I accept your terms, then the terms themselves would be ridiculous.

The gods can be capricious, but it is not for the Despot, a secular ruler, to decide when they are and when they are not. He would make himself ruler of the gods. I am a high priest of the church of Myrmidia, and a servant to the gods.

If you wish to tear down the treaty by claiming to misunderstand my words then it would be proof that you never intended to see the terms through. Are you so shifting as to say "Oh, you used words that expressed the need for our own honesty, that's annoying for we intended to lie. We take back what we offered." If so, then it is you who speak in 'weasel' terms.

In what way is it, or ever it shall be, appropriate to speak to a high priest in such a manner? And on a much more base level, in what way would you expect the father of a murdered son, and an exile from his own city to answer? You think I should say: "I do not care if you are honest, I still agree."

I stand by my words. You have my agreement in so far as you are honest men. If you say this is not good enough then you are declaring yourself liars.’

“I then looked with barely concealed disgust at those who had spoken against me. I could feel the fire burning within my eyes as I suppressed an anger that threatened to burst from me. Yet even here in these last words I risked revealing the truth openly. I spoke of my murdered son and my own exile. I could not help myself - speaking letting more of the truth spill from my lips that I intended!

“And so the council ended. And so Silic, the foul usurper died. An act of war against an enemy who gloated at those he had defeated by wearing a dead son’s crown. And so the charge of treason was brought against me.

“First the despot spoke of treason …

Quote from: admin playing the Despot
’The Cerulean League have brought serious charges against you: that you did commission the murder of Silic of the League.

I give you this chance to defend yourself against this allegation. Swear before Myrmidia and Solkan that you did not do this deed.’

… and so I answered:

Quote
‘Your Highness, Nikephorus III Monomachus

You must name my accusers, otherwise the indictment cannot be considered legal. I shall not be goaded into defending myself over such a base accusation if the accusers remain anonymous. Know this, your highness, these Ceruleans are enemies of our Legion, and would accuse you at the drop of a hat of some evil deed if they thought they could get away with it.

Do not let them lead you by the hand to disrupt the truce that we have. If I had commissioned Silic's death, then it would be a mere balancing of the foul deeds he has committed against me. Would you consider it nothing if your crown was robbed from you? Would you do nothing to right such a wrong?

I advise your majesty to find a way to dismiss these accusations, otherwise you will become a puppet in their hands, as they have tried to make me on many an occasion. There is a precarious peace just now, but it is only because it suits the Ceruleans for this moment in time. They would slit all our throats at the first opportunity if they thought it would benefit them in the slightest.

I have not the tiniest intention of considering my enemies in war, men who have merely made a truce with us, my judges. Such is a ridiculous proposition. Should I lay down arms on the field of battle and hand myself over to the foe because one of their men was killed in battle?

Consider what you ask before you make such demands of me. Consider the parties involved. And think not that Myrmidia, goddess of strategic war, would consider the death of an enemy general, howsoever brought about, a bad thing.

And in all this, I admit nothing. For I will not play their games.

Condlumar’

“Nevetheless, even in the face of this good advice,  the charge was brought against me through the agency of Lucius Valerius Maximus - the indictment you have all already heard: heresy and treason against the great god of law Solkan Invictus and the throne of the Reman Empire

I now handed myself to dear Lucius’ soldiers and came to my cell here in the palace. Then began a torrent of hateful letters from Ceruleans who wished to heap more dishonour upon themselves, by claiming a new wrong ought to be done on top of their first wrong. I had avenged my son’s murder, and part way avenged the theft of my home, and hear they still wanted to tip the scales of wickedness once more and heap further injuries against me.

“I cannot expect you to listen to all their words, for it would take up too much of your time. Van der Kuypers, Count von Siegfriedshof, Dob van Dwi all clamoured to hold an illegal show trial. I shall read only one excerpt:

Quote from: Matthi Afblut
‘I, Count Isaac von Siegfriedshof of Istrien, Master of Morale of the Cerulean League, demand that High priest Condlumar will be delivered alive and in chains to myself on pre-arranged spot … we, the League, holds the right to extract punishment and vengeance as we see fit!’

”They claimed jurisdiction where they did not have it. They would so usurp the Despot’s authority, just as they had usurped mine and my sons.  By reserving the right to execute me themselves (as they put it) they were patently asking to kill me, not put me on trial. When they could not have that, they clamoured to be tourists at my trial. This too was not allowed (rightly so).

“This trial is being held to see if I broke a holy oath, and thus acted treasonably. I am on trial for the breaking of an oath made in the name of Solkan and in the presence of the Despot for the ordering of the death of Silic. Now I could have claimed that I cannot be tried by this court for I am a High Priest of the Myrmidian church and can be tried only by my peers or by Myrmidia herself. The priests of other churches are not my peers. Secular rulers are not my peers. Nor are allies. But I chose to respect the court, and to allow the jurisdiction of the ancient realm of Remas. I am thus able to present my case and show it to be honourable in all aspects.

“In summary I would present these facts:

“First, you have heard my words. I did not harm anyone during the time of the council. That harm had already been done by the contract put on Lord Silic, before I even knew of the council. 

“As for the charge of Treason, then I would ask against whom? I am not the despot’s subject, but an ally. Nor did the Despot ever pay me or my army. And even if he had, treason is a crime committed by a subject against his lord, not an employee against his employer. I am certainly not a soldier or servant of the Ceruleans, rather their enemy. Would you have me pretend my mortal foes are my friends, and give them my neck to cut?

”As for the matter of the oath, I have no concerns here. Solkan has smiled upon me.

“I am an agent of Solkan the avenger. I have brought swift justice to the murderer of my son, the usurper of his throne, and the thief of my city.

“I did so with the wit and wisdom gifted me by blessed Myrmidia. She has guided my hand in this most political war. A war of words and proclamations. A war of assassinations and vengeance.

“I killed Sillic, and in doing so I did no wrong, nor spoke any falsehood. My enemies assassinated my son whilst playing sly diplomatic games. Thus I was forced to join them not in a war upon the field of bloody battle, but in a war of words, spies and assassins. They brought this upon themselves. I played them at their own game.

“Praise be to Solkan for his justice. Praise be to Myrmidia for her guidance!”

With this last outburst, Condlumar ended.

Several moments of complete silence ensued, as everyone waited to hear what the judge had to say. It was his right alone to speak now, and to thus guide the jurors in their decision.


Quote from: Spiney
From the far corner of the room, among the Reman officials observing the trial the Konostaulos spat on the floor and muttered to those nearest,

"Traitor! He produces the evidence that he himself tried to manipulate the Despot into making himself an enemy of the League!

Faithless cur, he calls the League an enemy of the Legion, when days earlier he had signed his own name to a treaty of truce!

Countless Cerulean soldiers from all manner of places have been slain by the troops under his command during the course of this war, each of them the son of a mother and father, and yet he reserves the right to throw the peace of Remas into turmoil for his own petty vengeance, this is not the act of a noble lord, nor a priest, but a bitter and twisted old man. Would he welcome the blades of a thousand Marienburg widows, whose husbands fell at the seige of Commercio I wonder..."
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: Padre on October 16, 2010, 06:46:07 PM
Quote from: Inarticulate
The Pontifex Maximus watched the Priest of Myrmidia intensely during his impassioned speech. The self righteous fool! he thought with a sneer. The Solkanite was a tall man and elderly, his balding head showing the liver spots of age. The robes of his office, blood red and midnight black hung on his bony frame in what one would assume would be unflattering, but the High Priest of Solkan seemed to wear them with the majesty they were designed to create. A lot of effort had gone into creating that effect, money too.

Around him, the hooded Inquisitors sat silently, awaiting their master's rebuttal. Picking his words carefully in his mind, the ageing priest made to stand up but was caught halfway when the Basileopator himself rose from his seat, his skeletal frame impossibly able to make him stand upright. Caught in the curious position of half standing, half seated, the Pontifex slowly lowered himself down, hoping that none of his subordinates had noticed.

Lucius Valerius Maximus, silent as the grave - the Pontifex chuckled at the analogy - leant forward to the bowl of water placed on the stone table before him. The Priest had been wondering what the upstart undead bastard had put that there for, and the reality dawned on him with cold dread.

The Basileopator dipped his skeletal fingers into the bowl, slowly, and with ceremony washing his brittle and yellowing hands with the pure water. Drying them with a towel offered by the Gnomeish scribe, he turned towards the Pontifex and bowed his head, perhaps to the assembled clergy, perhaps to the sacred icon of Solkan raised up on the wall behind them.

With that simple gesture, the skeletal lord marched towards the exit, the great lacquered wooden door opening for him with the slightest wave of his hand. His two skeletal legionaries, his Equities Singulares fell into step behind him, the door slamming shut after them, the sound reverberating around the trial room.

The Pontifex could now feel all eyes on him, particularly those of the accused, Condlumar. The Solkanite cleared his throat and stood.

"I see clearly that you have not lied, but instead steered a very careful diplomatic course in your words - even to the point of almost speaking plainly concerning your justified hatred of Prince Silic of Trantio. If lying is a sign of treason, then such a label cannot be put upon you.

I see also that you have sought only rightful vengeance for a terrible wrong done to you, and you did so by killing not your master, nor servant, nor ally but an personal and public enemy. And the death of enemies in a time of war is to expected.

It also occurs to me here and now that all can see the dignity of your office. You are a high priest, a noble of Trantio and father to a prince. People will not forget this now, for you have shown that you are not a man to be wronged. You will seek suitable justice against those who wrong you, and you will fight your enemies tooth and claw.

I believe Solkan, the Almighty God of Law, the Avenger, Invictus Himself, has indeed worked through you. You may have wronged your allies in the sense that you disagreed with their truce, but you have been truthful to yourself and to Solkan.

I can see little Evil in you, Priest of Myrmidia and I speak for this assembly when I say that all charges made against you before you entered this chamber shall be dropped forthwith."

Condlumar showed no emotion at these words, the merest hint of a smile playing across his lips.

The Pontifex smiled maliciously. "However, a more recent accusation has come to light. You dare to mention another god's name in the prescience of Solkan Invictus! You sully this courtroom with the belief that another god is the Avenger's equal! Solkan will not stand for such a disgrace!"

Condlumar's face turned to stone, not the smallest hint of a smile now.

"You shall be taken to a place of execution where your head shall be struck from your neck in the prescience of the most Powerful of Gods, this will be an example that the will of Solkan the Avenger cannot be broken.

Take him away."

As the guards moved to take the Priest's arms by his shoulders, the tiny, squeaky voice of the gnome spoke up over the mumbling of approval from the assembled Inquisitors.

"My Lords, I have been instructed to present this letter at this very moment!"

The Pontifex Maximus sent the small creature a withering look.

Impatiently, "Get on with it, Gnome"

"At once, my lord!"

Quote from: Nikephorus III Monomachus
Lucius Valerius Maximus,

Now, to the matter of the trial of Condulmar: my agents in Trantio have informed me that Prince Silic is not dead. He lives, though he is lost in un-waking sleep and has a long road to recovery. Thus the charges against Condulmar are inaccurate and must be amended.

Given this new information, and the clear mental instability of the man, I ask you to exercise clemency. Offer him retirement to a quiet estate in the Reman Plains if he will step down from military command and from his office as high priest. Please explain the reasons behind this decision to the court.


Nikephorus III Monomachus.

The Pontifex sat quietly in his seat, seething with rage. What did it matter that this letter was presented at this time? The execution could still take place! He waved at the men-at-arms to carry on.

As their mailed fists closed on the priests thin arms, the door crashed open, the sound causing many of the assembled Solkanites to flinch in astonishment.

The slow beat of hobnailed sandals marching perfectly in step marched uniformly into the chamber, the squad of undead Legionaries led by the Basileopator himself, his armour shining golden in the torchlight.

The Men-at-arms froze. Mighty men though they were, legends had been told of the undead, and thee Guardians of Remas were particularly feared, many still remembered their butchering off the few Cerulean soldiers stationed in the city during the reconquest.

Lucius Valerius Maximus turned his eyeless gaze onto the soldiers who released Condlumar immediately before running from the room, their duty to Solkan forgotten.

The Pontifex, though trembling with fear stood turned his voice on the undead General "How dare you! You desecrate a holy trial of Solkan!"

Lucius' voice seemed to cut through the Priest's mind like a saw, every syllable sending pain coursing down his spine.

You are the one who desecrates my God, Priest. Now begone to your temple.

He glared at the assembly of hooded Inquisitors, their fear plain to see.

All of you!

The room was filled with the sound of velvet slippers scurrying across the chamber.

Lucius turned to Condlumar.

It seems your revenge has not yet been served, Priest of Myrmidia. Though in the interests of the state it never can be, know only that your every breath is revenge enough on those who wish you dead.

He looked to the Gnome.

Let it be known, scribe that the word of the Despot is to be un-challenged, that he is the voice of Solkan on earth and any who disagree with this judgement are to have the full fury of Vengeance unleashed upon them.


Quote from: Silic
The city of Trantio was overlooked by a thin, high tower in the center of the city. White light pulsed through the huge windows of the tower, creating a lighthouse, a beacon in the recovering land of Tilea. Chanting could be heard day and night, reverberating into noble houses and backwater slums.

A small bed was situated in the highest room in the tower, drenched in sweat and blood. Encircled by six members of the order of White Magic, a body convulsed and heaved under the thin blanket. Each movement of the chant brought more spasms and clenching of teeth. As the mages swayed, the bed shook across the marble floor. The body shuddered and stretched itself in all four directions, and after 5 days of light and prayer, the body fell motionless.

For some time, the city of Trantio was silent. The city has recently been in a flurry of activity, preparing everything for the delegates of the Golden Company and the Tyrian Guild. They were to bring peace this the ravaged land. A Vermilion representative was notably not attending.

Slowly, the eyes of the depleted and starving body opened.

It was like waking up in the middle of your deepest sleep; the body was paralyzed, unable to muster the energy to move, and you can't help but be fearful at your helplessness. The White Mages looked down on their lord with a measure of both satisfaction and surprise. A mage closest to the head poured a thin clear liquid into the body's mouth. Instantly, the corpse shuddered and relaxed. As the eyes closed, the mouth opened.

"Who?" said the body quietly.

"Condlumar, my lord."

"We will not leave Tilea."

"Yes, my lord. Lord Silic von Petrova, Silic the Attuned, Grand Master of the Knights of the Black Writ, Master of Diplomacy for the Cerulean League, Count of Morea, Prince of Trantio, Silic the Resurrected."

Condlumar

The Basileopator’s undead Legionaries led Gabriele Condlumar away. He said nothing, his expression blank, his reaction unreadable (if the undead had had a mind to read it!). Another journey through the place corridors began. The route, however, contrary to Condlumar’s expectations, took him upwards not down towards an exit. He realised he was being taken to a room where he might be held in rather more comfortable surroundings than his old cell.

Inside his mind his thoughts were racing. The guards and priests of the palace had conjured powerful enchantments to ensure he could not employ magical spells whilst a prisoner. To do so would be suicide, for he would have not control over the magical forces he might summon. The more he tried to force the winds of magic, whilst held within the curse, the more uncontrollable they would become.

But it was not this that occupied his mind, it was his circumstances. He had been ordered to retire, to relinquish his title as high priest of Myrmidia. Yet what surprised him most is that he did not seem to care. It was as if, what with the revelations of the trial and aftermath, he had lost his will, his way. His son was still dead, his home still in enemy hands, and the man he had paid 2000 gold to have assassinated (OOC: along with 200 more afterwards as a 10% tip to the ‘old man of the mountain’ - I bet I was the only player to do that!! A 2200 assassination!) was not dead. There had been no revenge. And now he was powerless, penniless. His armies had left him (his officers had handed him over as a prisoner) and there were no friends or servants left.

Ironically the only creatures left in the world who would do anything for him now were these undead soldiers of bone, opening doors, even assisting him on the stairs. The dead were his only companions. A crack suddenly seemed to course through his mind. Should he have tried to bring his son back? Should he have resurrected Piero so that his bones would walk at his side?

The crack grew wider until large enough that the few sensible thoughts he had left began slipping through it and out into the void.

Then he found himself in a room, a heavy door with a little barred window closing behind him.

There was nothing he could do. He wracked his brains, and all he could remember was that he was supposed to live in the countryside, tending a garden and supping wine and water. Was that it? Was he to yield all power, all authority, all pride and become an invalid old crone?

No, that would not do.

Outside in the corridor the skeletal legionaries were striding away from the room down the almost pitch black corridor (what use had they for light?) when suddenly the last one turned back to look at the door.

There was light pouring out of the little grill in the door, bright piercing light, as if a huge window had been un-shuttered in the room beyond. But there was no window there.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Trial4.jpg)

Some tiny vestige of curiosity kept the undead soldier there, staring at the window with spirit eyes. Perhaps to such vision the light was even stronger that it would appear to living orbs? For the light was magical, an outpouring of enchanted energy.

Then, suddenly, the light grew violently bright, and burst through the door to wash down the corridor in a violent wave of almost physical power.

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i49/padrissimus/Trial5.jpg)

The legionary’s bones unknitted and he fell into a heap upon the stone floor. Those behind him did the same, as did about eighty more upon this level of the palace as the light leaked and spilled through the corridors and open doors.

An agonised cry was heard, but it came not from any skeleton. It burst from Condlumar’s throat in the moment of his death. The sound of true anguish and grief, the dying wail of a wholly defeated, utterly bereft man.

When finally an hour later the Despot’s living servants found the source of the disturbance, they discovered only a charred corpse, wisps of grey hair still attached to his blackened chin. 
Title: Re: Condlumar & the Compagnia del Sole
Post by: WallyTWest on October 22, 2010, 06:46:06 PM
 :Ohmy:

Um... what happened next? (Runs over to T&G)