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Author Topic: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)  (Read 49037 times)

Offline Toro_Blanco

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #325 on: April 23, 2009, 05:35:48 AM »
Arathos sighed as he entered his command tent, Thomas and his men under guard just outside.  All of the Seven were there, save Maialen (who was tending to Schwarzbaum and the injured Stefan), and he looked to the map rolled out on the table after dismissing the salutes.  "Well, we've taken Moslac, and if we break through these reinforcements, we'll have a clear line to Vidovdan.  Also, from what I've learned so far, the Grand Army of Solland, which I was not aware existed, has moved to lay siege to Mortensholm.  That means that the greater part of the Black Company is going to be preoccupied at the moment, so we shouldn't have to worry about a relief force any time soon if that 'Grand Army' is half as large as the huntsmen tell us."  He pondered, considering his next move.  Suddenly, his eyes lit up.  "We've got the river right here, and Marheim isn't that far down south of us.  We'll send a messenger by ferry, he can move swiftly with the current."
     "What's the purpose in that, General?" Feldon seemed a bit confused, yet intrigued, by this line of imagination.  "A messenger for whom?"
     "For Rheinhardt.  He's still in Marheim, with a sizable chunk of our army; not enough to be a major threat to the entire Black Company, but we've got a large portion tied up here in Moslac, and another big piece under siege in Mortensholm.  They can't possibly have that many men left to garrison the city itself."  He grabbed the first piece of vellum he could lay hands on, and started furiously preparing a missive.  "We'll send word for Rheinhardt to march on Domzale itself; he's got infantry, handgunners, a unit of heavy cavalry and the lion's share of our artillery!  He'll be able to really put them in a bind!"
     "Sir," Eathelyn stepped forward, "this does not seem wise.  With so many of our forces on these two fronts, we could be vulnerable."
     "That's right, we could..." Arathos mused as he anxiously fanned the ink dry, getting a bit of sealing wax and his signet ready.  "That is, unless we somehow find ourselves in command of an additional army that can fight in Moslac while a portion of our men here retreat to Schwarzbaum to respond to any crisis that presents itself.  Fortunately, we have hired just such an army, and more are on the way.  We'll pay them to take Vidovdan for us, and bolster our numbers here while Otto takes a few men with him back to Schwarzbaum so our eastern borders are safe from predation."  There was no immediate answer in the tent, but the countenances of his peers suggested they were growing to like this idea.
     "Do you really believe Rheinhardt will succeed in taking Domzale, General?" Feldon asked.
     "He doesn't have to, he just needs to keep them occupied and put the fear of our wrath into Don Matthias, wherever he is."  Arathos sealed the message and left the tent to have it sent by courier with all possible haste south.  Arathos took no chances, and the courier was taken by ferry and given an escort of a dozen armed guards, who were under instructions never to let him wander alone for any reasons, even the call of nature (and to stay away from woods, even for the call of nature).  These huntsmen seemed to leap from the trees, and he would not let them bring down this messenger if he could prevent it.  On his way back, he sent a message for Donixote to join him as soon as possible to interrogate the prisoner, discuss pay, and divvy the current spoils.  It also asked him to cease any hostility against the town proper for the moment; they had won the town and it was considered Dawnstrider land now, so pillaging and plunder were not acceptable.  As he arrived at the entrance to his tent, he nodded to Thomas and held open the flap to the command tent.  "Herr Vitec, if you would be so kind as to join us, we have some questions that need answering."
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 05:37:52 AM by Toro_Blanco »
The first school of thought is that the ragged-assed Stirlanders, not having two coppers to rub together, nicked it when an elven envoy was passing through the area and had hopped off it to take a pee behind a tree

Offline Uryens de Crux

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #326 on: April 23, 2009, 10:30:03 AM »
Mortenholm, Border Princes, Srping IC2524

There were desperately few defenders left in mortensholm, and the town itself was a ruin that would take years to rebuild. The people were hungry, scared and devestated by the losses they had suffered.

Uryens de Crux trembled with barely controlled anger as he paced up and down the remains of the main square.

"He calls himself a king and yet does this to people, not since the seiges of Praag and Middenheim have I seen such barbarity perpetrated on human beings, to simply rain slaughter on the townsfolk, to what end? To none, none I tell you!

Heads on stakes? Are they beasts, madmen or both? The Black Company they call themselves, well that is most appropriate, black by name and black by deed!"

His assembled officers murmered in agreement.

"Send out scouts and riders, they cannot be far, find them. Search for the Graf too, he must be on his way back. Between us we can find and encircle this man who would be king, then we shall show him the way war is waged upon tyrants.

In the mean time, begin the rebuilding of the defences, and the burying of the dead of this town, send to our baggage for the priests of Shallya and of Morr, they have much work to do"
We go to gain a little patch of ground that hath in it no profit but the name.
The Free Company of Solland

The Barony of Wusterburg

Offline Inarticulate

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #327 on: April 23, 2009, 02:11:52 PM »
The Dawnstrider Camp, Moslac, Border Princes IC 2524

Thomas heard his name mentioned, nodding to his men seated near the wagon he followed the guard to Arathos' tent. It was a simple design, just canvas with the Dawnstrider emblem embroided on the side. Thomas straightened his tunic and stepped through the threshold.
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Offline Toro_Blanco

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #328 on: April 24, 2009, 05:48:16 AM »
The other members of the Seven stood around the table (save Erberk, he was far too important), nodding once to Thomas as he entered.  Arathos moved to join them, a pair of guards at the entrance making sure Thomas did not try to flee; he seemed like an honorable man, but so did Ladislaus before he tried his ill-advised escape attempt.  "Herr Vitec, and if there is a more proper title to be used to address you, pray tell me now so we can continue this respectfully, we have some questions about a man your men are harboring.  You see, this all started when a group of Estalians came through some villages bordering my towns the other day, and put a few of the smaller hamlets to the sword.  The men responsible were executed, but their commanding officer came by a few days later.  He apologized for the incident and made no attempt to justify or defend their actions; he agreed justice had been served.  A group of huntsmen, who had helped bring the murderers to justice, apparently assumed these new Estalians were just as guilty as the last ones, and took it upon themselves to heap bloody vengeance upon them without provocation.  The new Estalians then attacked a number of my men, believing the huntsmen were in my employ, in retaliation.  We managed to end this peacefully, and explain the truth to the Estalians.  They tracked the assassin, and his followers, to one of your towns.  This one, to be precise.  So, you can understand why they are angry: they want the man who killed one of their beloved leaders for no reason at all, a man who approved of the justice we brought to his wayward scouts and was killed anyway.  I ask you: do you know who this assassin is, or where he may be found?"
The first school of thought is that the ragged-assed Stirlanders, not having two coppers to rub together, nicked it when an elven envoy was passing through the area and had hopped off it to take a pee behind a tree

Offline Inarticulate

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #329 on: April 24, 2009, 11:55:18 AM »
Thomas nodded to what Arathos had to say, understanding him. "Herr Vitec will do fine. Well this all started when a villager was being pursued by a large band of these Estalians and their dark skinned servants. They encroached upon the land of the King of Karoly in sufficient numbers to alarm our borders. We fired a warning shot with one our cannon, a universal sign in the Border Princes, yet they kept coming and built a fortified camp at the edge of the camp. My forces garrisoned in the town were insufficient to fight a pitched battle so there was a standoff. The villager told me they were in the employ of the Dawnstriders and several of your Knights rode with them, which means to me the Dawnstriders are mobilising against the Kingdom. I called for reinforcements and they arrived once you captured me and my men, they are now camped the other side of the river."
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Offline Padre

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #330 on: April 24, 2009, 01:44:52 PM »
Hey! Inarticulate. I'm not sure I got the description of the Black Company's banners exactly right, but I reckon it must be in the ball park.

You wrote: "The flag of the Kingdom of Karoly, Sable with gules bars and the Don's personal heraldry of a raven in black and white ermine". What follows is my best guess.

Here are the two pike regiments sporting the banners that'll appear in my next Bat Rep re: Matthias vs Graf Edric ...

« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 04:06:22 PM by Padre »
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Offline Inarticulate

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #331 on: April 24, 2009, 01:48:49 PM »
My friend, they look absolutely excellent!

I think the commitment you (and everyone else) are putting into the campaign is making it a winner.

Bravo! :eusa_clap:
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Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #332 on: April 24, 2009, 11:46:22 PM »
Awesome! :icon_biggrin: :icon_cool: :eusa_clap: :::cheers:::
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

Offline Uryens de Crux

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #333 on: April 25, 2009, 12:08:58 AM »
oooh lovely lumps for cannon to aim at ;)
We go to gain a little patch of ground that hath in it no profit but the name.
The Free Company of Solland

The Barony of Wusterburg

Offline Padre

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #334 on: April 26, 2009, 08:01:08 AM »
Note: This battle took place several weeks ago - before the current date.

Against the Odds for Mortensholm
(2000 pts Empire vs. 3000 pts Dogs of War)

They were close now. The sound of the Black Companies’ artillery pounding at the castle walls had been their marching beat for nigh upon two hours, and now they could even smell the sulphurous smoke emitted by those same hellish machines. There was no man amongst them who was not filled with rage at the thought of what was being done to their home, a feeling so strong it was hardly tempered by the fact that they knew the Black Company could muster a force much, much larger than anything Graf Edric could put upon the field.

The Graf knew the full truth of it. His scouts had returned with their assessment of the enemy’s strength, and it was easily twice his own. Even if the Don left several regiments behind to watch the castle and thus guard against any sallies, his men would still significantly outnumber the Graf’s forces. Edric cursed the fact that his army was without artillery, but it had, after all, been intended for a winter campaign clearing the Yetzin valley of greenskins, and not for a pitched battle with the army of a powerful Border Prince (one who had begun to call himself King).

Thus Graf Edric’s mind was cluttered with concerns as he watched his army deploy for the final advance. Of course, he knew what the field of battle would be like, for it was his very own garden – the land outside his town of Mortensholm. The scouts had told him how it had changed since he was last there: how there was now an all but abandoned circumvallation of bastions and siege-works extending around to the south and east, from the river to the cliff; how the town itself lay in ruins, battered and burned by murdering engines, with the Graf’s army settled like carrion amongst the rubble; and how the very mortars responsible for the destruction now sat quiet and abandoned, their awful work done.



The Graf would approach from the east, the only real option, and had ordered his army in such a way as to give the enemy as little time as possible to react. He could not hope for complete surprise, for the town commanded a view down the valley, but he might squeeze some tiny advantage from a rapid advance, forcing the enemy to deploy hurriedly and perhaps thus haphazardly.

His own Horse were all deployed upon the right flank, with the Light Horse and Pistoliers furthest out, then Captain Vincent and himself each leading one of the two companies of Knights. The Free Company followed the Knights, with instructions to march up to fill the gap when the noblemen advanced.



The centre of the line had the massed Foot soldiers – two regiments (one of Swordsmen, one of Halberdiers) with their detachments of Handgunners and Swordsmen. Amongst them lurked the two wizards. Upon the far left moved the Skirmishing Archers, the best that Edric had available to manoeuvre upon that flank, considering he had massed all his Horse upon the right.

In Mortensholm horns were blaring and drums beating, sounding the ‘Alarum’. Soldiers scrabbled through the streets to muster upon the field outside. Pikes were dragged along cobbles as their bearers stumbled and pushed, hooves threw up sparks as horsemen forced their way through the mass of Foot. Several light cannon were already moving into place, having previously been left upon the town’s siege-works as too small to take up room on the new line facing the castle, where the larger pieces were emplaced.

Somehow, from what at first sight appeared to be chaos and confusion, the line was ordered. It was all Don Matthias could do to match the enemy’s deployment – anything fancier would have led to muddlement. It was a neat and simple order, easily delivered, and easily understood. And his men, nearly all professionals of years’ experience, carried it out with efficiency.

His own skirmishers, Estalian Duellists, came up on the far right, thus facing Edric’s Archers. The Don’s only wizard on the field, the Marienbuger Jan Van Junge, was amongst them, having just returned from a pleasant walk to the south of the town, where there was no smoke of brimstone nor squabbling dogs (both the human and the animal kind.)

The core of the Black Company’s Foot, two regiments of Pike and the Tilean Paymaster Carlo Atobello and his Bodyguard took the centre-right, angling to face the enemy Foot. Three artillery pieces were emplaced centre and left, with the Horse also facing their equivalents on the opposing side.



The two companies of Heavy Lancers were led by Don Matthias (Game note: as ‘Borgio the Besieger’) and his Mercenary Captain Rudolph Litzen (Game note: as Mercenary General ). The Light Horse arrayed themselves on the Don’s right flank, while the Norsemen marched behind being the last to reach the field. Two regiments of Crossbow did the best they could to order themselves on the left flank, both hoping that when the Horse advanced they might find a target or two for their quarrels.

Battle to follow ….
« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 09:45:52 PM by Padre »
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Offline Padre

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #335 on: April 26, 2009, 10:09:30 AM »
Part Two

Hoping to keep what little initiative he had obtained, Graf Edric began issuing commands. Perhaps if he could bring his Horse to bear effectively, then the enemy’s cannons would lose the chance to rain destruction upon his army? All the Horse upon the right moved up cautiously, positioning themselves in the hope that they would be the ones delivering charges upon the foe, and not receiving them. The Pistoliers sought temporary shelter behind a pair of ruins, and prepared to make their dash through the gap ahead of them. The Light Cavalry, mercenaries, matched the Pistoliers’ caution and also moved tentatively forwards. Both knew there was a sizeable body of Crossbowmen upon the other side, as well as some Heavy Lancers.



Upon the far left flank the skirmishers also jogged forwards. They had a mind to shoot into the flank of the enemy pikemen, if they could position themselves satisfactorily. The massed Foot, however, merely edged forwards, with the Free Company joining their line. They intended that the Handgunners would have as much chance as possible to play bullets against the enemy.



Now began the Black Company’s advance. The Graf’s cautious mood, it seemed, was infectious, for the Don’s own Foot regiments also moved somewhat cautiously, for as they advanced they did not cover the full distance they might.



Pike tips glinted and the huge banners of the young Kingdom of Caroly fluttered in the breeze as ‘Instancibile’ and ‘Resplendente’ moved up to keep the line with the Carlo Atobello and his Bodyguard on their left.



Upon the left of the Don’s line, he and his own Bodyguard nudged their mounts forwards, while Rudolph and the other Heavy Lancers wheeled so that they might better face the centre of the field, and so the Crossbow behind them had a view of the two ruins where the enemy’s Light Horse were hiding.



The Norsemen moved up to the side of the central brace of cannons while the Duellists and Jan Van Junge the Wizard moved to conceal themselves in the trees. Suddenly all three cannons let loose, each felling a knight so that poor Edric was left with only two companions. Captain Vincent winced at the sight of what had been done to his Lord’s guard, but tried to conceal hit concern from his own knights.

“Steady, gentlemen,” was all he managed to say, but his own men barely heard them, for all were thinking that the enemy certainly knew how to work their artillery. Would these men be similarly blown to pieces in the next few minutes?

Crossbow bolts lifted two pistoliers out of the saddles and threw their lifeless bodies to the ground. Their champion decided that he could hesitate not a moment longer, and began to issue the order to advance. At the same moment Edric knew he could not linger, and led a desperate charge at the Rudolph leading the ‘Caricare’ Lancers. Two Knights quickly fell in the ensuing melee, one from each side, leaving Edric and his Standard Bearer barely holding their own and facing a flank charge from the Don himself.



The two wizards managed to cast a little magic, steadying the hands of the handgunners with the Portent of Far, but young Therese then miscast for the second time and burned herself in the process. Nevertheless the successful spell proved its worth as two of Don Matthias’ own Lancer Bodyguard fell to the bullets. Two pikemen also died from bullets and arrows, while the Pistoliers moved right up to the Crossbowmen and fired a fusillade of shots at them, slaying four. But the Don’s men proved willing, and refused to be panicked by the loss. Laboriously they reloaded their crossbows and made ready to give as they had received.

Don Matthias, barely noticing that two of his men had fallen so close to him, spurred his Lancers on and into the side of the Graf. Because Edric was caught up in a personal fight with Rudolph, however, all that The Don could do was cut down the last of Edric’s own Bodyguard.



The Light Horse slammed into the Handgunners with Therese, knowing that they could surely drive the petty unit off. This they did, and although they failed to reach the fleeing foe to finish them off, they made sure that Therese fell to their spear tips before she could turn tail.



Once more the massed Foot moved on, and again they were careful to maintain their line, and thus sacrificed some movement to do so. The central Crossbow regiment, who had yet to contribute to the fight, reformed into two ranks – they knew that soon they would have targets and wanted to be ready. Their fellows to the left were fully occupied, however, and now brought down four of the Pistoliers. Somehow the surviving pair, perhaps too dazed to react, stood their ground!

The three cannons were not so effective with their second shot. Perhaps one had been allowed to rust a little lying in the siege-works, for it now blew itself to pieces and tore its crew apart. The next overshot the enemy, but the last ripped through a knight and three Free Company.

Graf Edric was suddenly gripped with fear (little did he know its supernatural origins – the magical artefacts carried by Don Matthias) and unthinkingly he fled from his foes. Both the Black Company’s Lancers and their leaders, however, restrained themselves from pursuing. They were wise enough to see that to do so would put themselves right in front of the enemy and risk flank charges.

“No,” thought Don Matthias, “let him run.”

He would win this battle, and he would do so with tactical cunning and precision. His men laughed and jeered at the fleeing enemy Lord, but none broke ranks and followed him.




Turn 3 to come soon ….
« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 06:11:24 PM by Padre »
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Offline Inarticulate

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #336 on: April 26, 2009, 11:20:27 AM »
Padre, I think you've grown tired of hearing this:

But damn you are amazing!

Been looking forward to this battle!

If you want specific names for characters in the Don's army:

Jan Van Junge - Marienburger wizard.
Carlo Atobello - Tilean Paymaster - close friend of the Don.
Rudolph Litzen - Young (and impetuous) captain, Native nobleman of the Borders.
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Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #337 on: April 26, 2009, 11:39:47 AM »
More great stuff from a master! :::cheers::: :::cheers:::
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

Offline Inarticulate

  • Posts: 1553
Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #338 on: April 26, 2009, 11:43:37 AM »
By the way, what figures are you using for the pikes? Are those foundry?
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Offline Padre

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #339 on: April 26, 2009, 06:03:33 PM »
Thanks guys.

@ Inarticulate: Some are Foundry, others are old 100 Years Wars halberdiers converted to carry pikes, but I got them in the 1980s and I don't know what company they are. Some might even be really old GW, I think.

Will try to do part three ASAP. In the meantime, as I have messaged you, remember that this battle occurred in the past, several weeks ago. Please feel free to ignore it and get on with the current events of Uryens and the Ogres (etc) arriving at the end of the pass. Graf Edric's army are long gone by then, but Matthias is still there. (Does this give a clue as to who might win this 3000 vs 2000 point battle?)
Photobucket has now re-destroyed my pictures, so the first half of my collected works thread is no longer working again. To see my website version of the campaign thread, with fully functioning pictures, please go to https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Offline Padre

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #340 on: April 27, 2009, 07:43:28 PM »
Part 3

Perhaps more out of desperation than bravery, the surviving Pistoliers charged the large crossbow unit facing them. Meanwhile, Captain Vincent, horrified to see his noble Lord and master forced to flee from the foe, led his own Knights in a charge against Don Matthias and his Bodyguard. The Light Horse bravely attempted to support Vincent’s efforts by charging the other Black Company Lancers commanded by Rudolph Litzen.



Less dramatically, but no less dangerously for the men doing it, the Archers on the far left flank threw themselves at the Estalian Duellists in the trees, hoping at the least to slay the enemy wizard Van Junge.



Graf Edric, ashamed to be seen fleeing by his massed ranks of Foot soldiers, no matter that the cause had been impossible odds, halted his horse and turned to see what he could possibly do to regain his honour and assist his brave men. His two wizards had managed magically to imbue the Graf’s army with some little fortune as they both brought the second Sign of Amul to bear. Maybe a bit of good luck could turn the battle?

It seemed possible, for the Archers somehow broke the Duellists, who should have been very much their betters in combat. The Estalians, perhaps as they now knew the little copse of trees so well (having crept around for long enough within it), made their way more rapidly through it and thus outran the Mortensholm men. The wizard Van Junge ran with them, beginning to wonder whether he really ought to have sought out safety with a larger regiment rather than this band of desperadoes.



The Light Horse, though receiving some casualties, held their own against the Lancers, but Captain Vincent found that even the magical fortune summoned by the allied wizards could not help him. He and his own unit were broken and cut down by the Don and his Bodyguard, who crashed into the flank of the now (surely?) doomed Light Horse. The Pistoliers also failed to inflict a forceful blow, and were sent running off by the Crossbow.

As the Duellists failed to rally themselves and stumbled onwards in confused flight, and as the Black Company’s Light Horse charged a second time at the surviving Handgunners they had failed to wipe out in the first charge (and then yet again failed to finish them off), the massed Foot marched slowly forwards. Their movement was made more cautious by the unsettling proximity of enemy archers to their rear.



The Norsemen, wondering whether they would get to strike a blow at the enemy in this battle, now began a much more rapid march forwards. Graf Edric spotted them close by, and considered whether the best he could now do was to support his Foot soldiers.



When the two remaining artillery pieces fired again, they only managed to bring down four enemy halberdiers. The Crossbowmen on the right killed the two panicked Pistoliers galloping away from them, while the other Crossbowmen unchivalrously wounded Graf Edric, though he was so caught up in a world of concerns that he barely noticed the wound. Unsurprisingly, the Don, Rudolph and the Lancers easily dispatched every Light Horseman before them, and hurriedly set about re-ordering themselves for their next attack.

The Free Company of Mortensholm, happy that the Handgunners had held the enemy’s Light Horse long enough, now charged into the rear of those same Horse. Sheer weight of numbers prevailed, and after dragging a handful of riders from their mounts, they chased the rest of them off the field with a cheer. Their Lord, Graf Edric, moved to stand close by his Foot soldiers, and was trying to decide whether he ought to attempt to get them safely away, so that they might fight against better odds another day.

Out on the far left of Edric’s massed Foot, the Handgunners were busy – they had already poured several volleys into the advancing Pikemen, and their success was beginning to tell. For a moment the Black Company’s professional Pikemen faltered, as if they might turn tail and flee, but the Captain leading them refused either to flinch or falter, and they took encouragement from him to continue their bloody advance. As they did so, it was the turn of the regiment next to them to lose some men as the Archers in the rear sent a bout of arrows into their midst.

Now it seemed the real fight would soon begin. Both Don Matthias and his second in command urged their Lancers on, and the Norse picked up their pace. Even the Duellists chose to run no further, but instead turned to face the enemy Archers with murderous (if somewhat tardy) intent. Most ominously of all, the Black Company’s foot regiments now approached very close to the foe. If the rightmost Pike regiment could withstand one more volley, then all three regiments looked set to be in combat in mere moments.



The cannons sent another two blue and white garbed halberdiers to the afterlife, and as their torn bodies spun bloodily to the ground, spattering crimson blood in a wide arc, the Graf ordered the survivors to charge into the exactly similarly armed Paymaster’s Bodyguard before them. The nearby Mortensholm Swordsmen, however, stood and watched as the deadly, multiple lines of pike-tips advanced towards them. They knew that to charge such a foe would gain them no advantage, and their sergeant thought that he might buy the Graf a little time by holding his men back.

Edric beckoned the detachment of Swordsmen to move up beside him, in the hope that they might prove even a temporary match for the large body of Norsemen fast approaching.

The Handgunners and Archers once more shot at the dwindling Pike regiment on the far flank, but once more the Captain somehow encouraged them to keep their order. It occurred to him that soon there would be too little men left in his regiment to make any sort of difference to the fight, although perhaps their awful but real contribution had been to receive shot after shot that might otherwise have hurt the rest of the army.



In the huge, central melee the Paymaster and his bodyguard proved the better skilled at arms, yet the Graf’s men, desperate in their desire to drive off these invaders, stepped over their fallen comrades and fought on. Their bravery would prove of little use, however, as the Norse were now close enough to deliver their blow. Graf Edric could only look on helplessly as the frenzied northmen smashed into the flank of his halberdiers, his most veteran garrison soldiers. He knew that only the gods could help them now. A mere moment later, he turned to see that the Black Company’s Pikemen had finally come to blows with his swordsmen.

The horrible press had begun, the screams and cries building in an awful crescendo. Sword, pike, halberd and dagger slashed, swiped, cut and thrust. Mortensholm’s fate hung in bloody balance.



Last part to follow tomorrow evening…
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 05:52:24 PM by Padre »
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Offline Inarticulate

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #341 on: April 27, 2009, 09:34:41 PM »
 :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: woo!

My favourite report of yours so far!

Kill the Imperial dogs!
I for one welcome our new flying cat overlords.

Offline Padre

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #342 on: April 28, 2009, 06:30:25 PM »
Part Four (Final Part)

Surprisingly the Swordsmen found it much easier than they had feared to fend off the pikes with their swords and shields, and thus held their ground. Not so the Halberdiers, however, who now broke and fled and were butchered by the frenzied Norsemen. The men of the Sword detachment were dismayed to witness the routing and massacre of their parent regiment, and thus they too turned tail and ran.

All this meant that the Norsemen’s pursuit took them right into Graf Edric – nigh upon twenty crazed warriors facing but one nobleman upon his barded steed.



The last few of the Black Companies’ rightmost pike regiment charged at the Handgunners that had dealt such destruction upon them. The Handgunners chose to flee from this threat, but had waited a moment too long, and the Pikemen ran them down to scatter them completely. Their part in this battle was done.

The Free Company, seeing their Lord so hard pressed, but unable to get to him themselves, chose instead to reform and face the advancing enemy Lancers. They hoped that they might at the least keep these enemy knights away from their Lord, perhaps long enough for him to extricate himself from the Norsemen’s clutches.

A little magic and an arrow or two felled another handful of Pikemen, but still the Black Company veterans would not give in. Graf Edric slew the Champion leading the Norsemen, but could not hold his own against the mass of pushing men with their round shields, no matter what prayers he uttered. Once again, and this time for the last time in this battle, he turned from them and galloped away. Riding right past the badly mauled Pikemen, he headed off into the hills.



He could do no more, not this day. The battle was lost, his home conquered, his heart broken. He would ride for an hour, until finally he halted and fell from his horse in exhaustion.

When exhaustion turned inevitably into a troubled slumber, he dreamed of vengeance.

Unknown to him, however, the fight had actually gone on a little longer. The Duellists charged the Archers who had previously shamed them, and discovered that the Mortensholm men were indeed made of strong stuff. They could not break them, and were forced to begin a long and bloody melee.

In the centre of the field, Don Matthias and his Lancers thought nothing of the enemy before them (the Free Company), and charged them with no concept that they might prove troublesome.



This was a mistake.

The Don hacked down two of the Mortensholm irregulars, and although the Foot soldiers could do no harm back, once again their numbers proved crucial. With a cry of ‘Mortensholm’ they surged forwards and startled the Lancer’s mounts, and before the Don could regain mastery of the situation, he and his men were fleeing away from the Free Company!



Of course the Lancers behind stood ready to counter-charge the Free Company, and with such surprise and force as they could deliver, they knew that the Free Company could not withstand them.

Don Matthias might be ashamed of his panic and flight, but the battle was won nevertheless. He would remain master of the newly conquered Mortensholm, and without doubt the castle would soon fall to him.

But for how long?

Victory to the Black Company.

Game note: This was the end of turn 6. The Swordsmen and Archers and Free Company were all still upon the field and fighting, which surprised me considering the 3000 to 2000 pt advantage to the DoW. Maybe DoW are considerably underpowered compared to Empire? Interestingly, the only game event ‘fudged’ in the above account was Don Matthias’ flight. The Free Company actually outran him and thus killed him and his Lancers in the pursuit. Because, however, we all know the Don is alive and kicking these several weeks later, I was forced to do the story fudge and take the one ‘fake’ photo of the entire battle – the very last one of the FC chasing after the Don. We shall have to assume that although his Lancers were caught and mauled, the ‘brave’ Don galloped that little bit faster and thus saved his neck.

PS: Thank you J and T for playing the ‘bad guys’ and giving me the chance to write this report.
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Offline Uryens de Crux

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #343 on: April 28, 2009, 10:49:16 PM »
Bravo as ever Mr M.
We go to gain a little patch of ground that hath in it no profit but the name.
The Free Company of Solland

The Barony of Wusterburg

Offline Padre

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #344 on: April 29, 2009, 10:22:21 AM »
Outside Mortensholm, present day

Captain Joost did not know what to make of the man. Without doubt, the poor wretch had lost his wits, and was as bedraggled and filthy as any beggar, yet he did not have the look of a beggar. There was even something noble about the man.

The fellow’s ravings went on:

“All the gods, and all things that crawl upon the earth, be damned for blood spilled and blood poured and red rivers that scream. Know this, for I know it only too well, know this. Should not the sky darken when these things come to pass? Should summer become winter and yesterday become every day that is to come? What is mine is taken.”

It occurred to Joost that he now had a decision to make, and not an easy one. His master, the Baron de Crux, was a somewhat busy man, for any hour battle might be joined. There were armies of men and an army of Ogres to be commanded, and a Black Company of rogues to be found out and defeated. Here was a ruined town, pillaged of everything it might have offered, and a castle with a starving garrison, and all these hungry men and ogres to feed. And there was politicking to do, as well as the soldiers to command. All this so that Solland might be reborn, an act that many would see as rebellion.

So, yes, the Baron was a busy man. Considering this, should Joost trouble him with the finding of this madman? He might be refugee, or a deserter. He could be a cunning spy from the Black Company? Joost couldn’t know. But there it was again –something about this man that made Joost want to take him seriously, something that hinted at the man’s importance.

The ravings continued:

“A king, a king, is what he would call himself, but Usurper would be a better fit, Tyrant more apt, robber a more appropriate name. That black Don has ruined me and mine, and there is blood upon his hands that can never be washed away …”

Joost took a chance and interrupted the man, even though the scouts had said they could get no answer to their questions,

“Good sir, I am Joost (?), Captain of Horse to Baron Uryens de Crux, in the army of Solland reborn, and I would know who you are.”

The raving stopped, and the ragged man looked Joost in the eye. His shirt might be torn and grimy, but Joost could see it was of the finest linen. His boot (the one boot he wore) was that of a gentleman, or more accurately, of a Horse soldier such as himself.

Suddenly the man bowed curtly, as if to acknowledge Joost but in the manner in which a superior officer would do so. He then spoke,

“I am Graf Edric Steinkuhler the sixth, Lord of Mortensholm. But sir, you see me humbled, you see me brought low. There was a time not so long ago when this land was mine, a time when I led an army of brave men , but then came the Black army and their villainous Lord …”

Joost stopped listening for a moment, and instead turned to the scouts.

“Bring him, and make haste. My Lord Uryens must speak with this man.”
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Offline Inarticulate

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #345 on: April 29, 2009, 10:56:34 AM »
Excellent report Padre!

I'm amazed the pikemen were so ineffectual - Though Empire Swordsmen are quite good.
I've never used Norse before - do they work well with shields?

And shame on the don for running from that rabble!
I for one welcome our new flying cat overlords.

Offline Uryens de Crux

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #346 on: April 29, 2009, 11:22:07 AM »
Joost van Rooyen, of Marienburg, some time sailor, merchant, pirate and soldier of fortune (but no relation to the murderous dog of a similar name who was a former sailor, slave and pirate currently missing somewhere in the southlands who used to be found drinking in cellar tavern in Marienberg (well, your house))

As for Pike, many people will see them as overpowered but they are still just blokes, all those attacks still have to hit and they are still only St3

Pikes have rarely performed as I hope they might.
We go to gain a little patch of ground that hath in it no profit but the name.
The Free Company of Solland

The Barony of Wusterburg

Offline Inarticulate

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #347 on: April 29, 2009, 11:49:41 AM »
14 miles south of Mortensholm, Border Princes, IC 2524

Béla Kinizi, Lancer Sergeant stood his horse surveying the road north. He was a man in his early twenties, native to the Domzale, the son of a first generation merchant-turned-noble family. The armour he wore was new and expensive, fresh from the armourers of northern Tilea.

His grisly task was one he did not relish. The Don had ordered the rotting heads of the Graf's army to be placed on spikes along the road south. His men wore scarves around their faces - though this was not much protection from the disgusting smell and many of his Lancers were vomiting by the side of the road. Béla was not sure about this tactic of the Don's, it did not settle with the young lad well.

There were a lot of heads and the task took a few hours to finish, but finally, their job done, Béla rode to the front of the forest of rotting heads and planted a banner of the Black Company firmly in the ground - a firm signpost to anyone brave enough to venture south.

Generally I've had good fortune with pikes, they're usually a steadfast unit which most players are terrified of, they focus their battle plans around them.

I for one welcome our new flying cat overlords.

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #348 on: April 29, 2009, 09:09:20 PM »
Just North of Mentreda/Chateau-Herriot, Border Princes IC 2524

Prince Alain Herriot had positioned his forces on and around a low rise north of the village of Havertry.  The hamlet was one of several located around Chateau-Herriot, formerly called Mentreda.  Instead of keeping his men behind the walls of his large chateau, he had decided to ride out and protect his northerly most territory, when word had reached him of the Black Company’s lancers headed in their direction.

Now he sat upon his horse at the top of the hill with the Mentreda horsebowman named Mervin on one side, while his second in commmand, Sir Jacque de Monfourche, sat on the other.

"What the devil do we have here," said the Prince as he looked out over his army and towards the two columns of cavalry proceeding in his general direction, yet on opposite sides of the olive tree orchard that stretched out and down along the side of the road.

Mervin replied, "Your highness, those on the left are the lancers from the Black Company that I was mentioning to you yesterday, and it seems Hubert's horsebowmen are shadowing their movements along the way."

"Seems strange to me my lord, why would the Black Company only be sending these cavalry in the direction of your estate?   We have more than enough soldiers under your command to protect these lands from the likes of them", spoke Sir Monfourche.

"Well, perhaps the Don has made a miscalculation regarding Princess Beaucamp's response to their taking of Charleroi”, and then the Prince turned sharply to face Mervin.  “Looks like they’ve made faster progress towards us then what you expected, which means you’ll be making it back to your unit faster as well.  However, first I need you to ride out and see what these lancers want, and then return to me so that we can determine how to proceed from here.”

Mervin wasn’t thrilled with the idea of going by himself to meet with an entire column of potentially enemy cavalry, but arguing with the Prince wasn’t something he was interested in doing either, and so he replied, “Yes, your highness,” before riding off on his horse towards the column of Black Company lancers.

Then the Prince turned back towards Sir Monfourche, “ Ok Jacques, we will wait for an answer, but make sure your men are ready in case these lancers do some thing foolish.”

“I’ll alert the bowmen and men-at-arms, then prepare the main body of cavalry, and make sure the Mentreda militia stay off to one side,” replied Jacques.

“Good idea.  No need to place the rabble in a spot where our knights can do a better job.  Hopefully, if and when Mervin returns, then you and I can then determine how we’ll respond from there.”

 - - - - -

Hubert and the horsebowmen had kept their distance the entire time they had traveled south, staying on the flank of the Black Company lancers that had not deviated from their course on the main road between Mortensholm and Chateau-Herriot.  He was glad that the lancers had not attempted to drive he and his men off, for both units were made up of local Border Prince soldiers, and hadn't offended each other in years.  But now, as both columns of cavalry were nearing Prince Alain's men who had positioned themsleves for battle on and near a low rise north of Haverty, he became a little anxious as he watched his close friend and messenger, Mervin, riding away from Prince Herriot and towards the column of lancers on the road.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 09:31:40 PM by GamesPoet »
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

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Offline Inarticulate

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Re: Border Princes IC 2524 (Linked to the Solland Effort)
« Reply #349 on: April 29, 2009, 11:54:36 PM »
Luitpold held up his hand, ordering his Lancers to halt. A rider was moving towards him, he did not look like a Bretonnian Knight, more like the cavalry that had been shadowing him. Luitpold nodded to the Lancer next to him, his personal standard bearer who unfurled the banner. With a touch to his horse's flanks, the ex-imperial Knight walked his force forward to the scout, awaiting him to speak first.
I for one welcome our new flying cat overlords.