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Author Topic: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)  (Read 13927 times)

Offline Padre

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Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« on: October 23, 2009, 06:02:29 PM »
Prologue

The Great City State of Middenheim

For the three hours since dawn the barracks have been busy with preparations as the newly bolstered forces of the Graf of Middenheim mustered and marched to their allocated spots on the parade route. This is to be a morning the like of which the soldiers and knights have never before seen, for they are to honour a new flag: not the blue and white of Middenheim, nor the emblems of the White Wolf or the Fauschlag, nor indeed any device that has for centuries past adorned their ensigns, but instead the flag of a newly created company.

The Graf has long been keen to enrich himself and thus the city state of Middenheim, and known intends to do so in a thoroughly modern manner. He has become a major shareholder in the newly formed ‘Vereenigde Marienburg Compagnie’ (United Marienburg Company or VMC), a trading company with far ranging powers amalgamated from several Marienburg trading houses. Being of a somewhat different mindset to the masters of the Marienburg Houses, with little experience of such trading ventures, the Graf has taken a rather old fashioned, militaristic approach to the enterprise - something the Marienburgers have wholeheartedly encouraged him to do, especially House van Haagen who form the Graf’s main ally and partner in the enterprise.
     
And so the Graf is to supply a large contingent of land troops, a full army commanded by the Baron-General Ernst Von Klaase, clad in the distinctive blue and white livery of Middenheim. In arms his force is to be as modern as the Graf and his officers can make it. This is why an Honourable Company of Artillery has been created to provide the skill and manpower to crew the large artillery train purchased from the very same Marienburg Trading Houses the Graf is in business with. 
     
Overall command of the VMC’s first expedition will fall to Master Anthoniozoon (“Zoon”) van Riekert, master of the Vergulde Draek, whose forces fight under the blue(ish) and orange(ish) standard of the VMC. Baron-General Von Klaase is to  become a major general, commanding the substantial Middenheim contingent within the VMC Expeditionary force, as well as whatever other forces are put under his command. His orders are clear - to aid and assist the company’s commander in any possible, following all orders issued by said commander, with an eye for the success (and thus profit) of whatever enterprise the Company embarks upon.
     
Though no-one in Middenheim as yet knows where the hell the Company intends to send them, nor what alliances the company might form in pursuit of riches!

Thus is it that today the army is to reverence, honour and salute the Company colours. These will fly beside their own ensign upon the march and the field of battle. All are encouraged to treat it with the same respect and loyalty as they would their own - to guard it and to fight bravely beneath it, and in no way to tarnish the Graf’s reputation as a lord of might and dignity. The officers have been told that this enterprise will bring civilisation, order and prosperity to foreign lands, as well as increase the might, reputation and wealth of Middenheim. They have also (unlike the massed rank and file) been offered the incentive of a tiny share in the profits as well as their wages.

And so the flag of the VMC begins it’s journey through the city’s streets and squares.


Each time it passes a regiment a salute is given, and the men are encouraged to cheer and shout huzzahs.


Today the pursuit of wealth became an open ambition in Middenheim, a new goal to be added to the usual and ancient pursuits of honour, safety and the defeat of the wicked and tainted.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 07:53:09 PM by Padre »
To see some of my stuff with the pictures re-included go to http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/ and to see my slowly growing website/blog which will have a lot of stuff in eventually, see www.bigsmallworlds.com

Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2009, 06:03:56 PM »
A House in the District of Neumarkt in the Great City of Middenheim

Joshua’s father coughed to clear his throat, causing the family to fall silent and await his words. When they came they were delivered in his usual manner, for he was a man who enjoyed taking time over his pronouncements. “This enterprise, my lad, will be to my mind - and I am satisfactorily experienced in such matters to offer an informed, and if I might say, enlightened opinion … it’ll be the making of you. When you return you will be, without doubt, a changed fellow, grown up in the ways of the world and with stories enough to keep you going for the remainder of your life. Of course your reputation will have been established and I should think you will find quite satisfactory employment as a consequence.”

Joshua’s sister, Ethel, laughed so that everyone turned to look at her. “He looks ridiculous!” she declared. “He’s far too skinny to be a soldier. Even a petty goblin would look at him and see no threat, and a devilish beastman would think him nothing more than a sapling with linen rags hung upon it to dry in the sun."

“Well, I think you look the very epitome of a soldier,” said his mother, beaming and clasping her hands. “So you take no notice of your sister.” Then a look of concern flashed across her face. “Are your shoes hurting you Josh? They’re not too big, are they?”


Joshua fidgeted while he tried to decide who amongst them he should believe. His sister always mocked him, but what little wisdom he harboured in his oft-distracted noddle told him that she based her barbed comments and jests firmly upon truths. His mother, well, she was like all mothers and could only be expected to sing his praises even if there were nothing at all praiseworthy; nothing worth even a short rhyme. His father, however, had served in one and half campaigns (as he never tired of telling all the neighbours and extended family) and so ought really to have the understanding he claimed to have.
     
The trouble was that Joshua really did not feel at all like a soldier. For a start, his helmet was a little too large and it wobbled upon his head. His father explained it had once had leather straps and a clasp to hold it more securely but he had been forced to make use of them in the repair of a snapsack several years ago. Instead Joshua had a bit of hempen cord chafing away at his chin already and he’d barely moved yet! The breatsplate his father had attempted to fit upon him fell down over his shoulders and clattered upon the wooden floor. No matter how hard they tried to make it stay put it refused. Thus it was that Joshua wore only the belly plate (his father had forgotten the military term for it), which sat now slightly askew on top of his hips. His mother had sewed him a particoloured blue and white jerkin, so that he might be liveried as a true warrior of Middenheim, and his sister (surprisingly without complaint) had re-painted the same colours upon his helmet. She had wanted to add some designs of her own, a flowered wreath and such like with cherubs and stars, but Joshua had managed to convince her to leave it as it was.
     
The fingers of his left hand curled over the hilt of his father’s sword (the badge of a soldier his father had informed him). It had been his job to clean, polish and oil it, though his father had put an edge back on it for him using the little gash in the stone hearth where previously the kitchen knives had been sharpened. In his right hand he held as staff of wood intended to be a ramrod and to prove to his officers that he had some initiative about him: for he was to serve in the Honourable Trayne of Artillery as an apprentice matrosse to a master gunner.
     
“You’ll do, lad,” announced his father. “Now, make haste and be off, otherwise you will miss the parade. And make sure to follow every command to the best of your ability. Show yourself keen and mark my words you will rise in the ranks like a rocket.”
     
Ethel laughed again, “A rocket! You have it, father - that’s exactly what he looks like!”
     
This time Joshua did now wait to hear what other mocking comments might follow and instead spun around and ran through the door. Forgetting he had his ramrod in his hand it bashed into the frame and the shock of this knocked him off his feet. Rolling out into the street and being a lithe young fellow, he turned the fall into the clumsy impression of an acrobatic feat and brought himself back to his feet. To the sound of hysterical girlish laughing, and covered in mud, he took off down the street without a glance backwards.

Outside the Singing Moon, Burgen Bahn, in the Neumarkt

Joshua was late! The parade had already begun before he had found his master gunner. The streets were thronged with crowds, which did not make his passage easy, and several times he had to stop to lift his helmet from his eyes so that he could see. He did not intend to fall again and get any dirtier - after all, this was a parade and he really ought to look his best. Suddenly he heard the noise of the crowd swell in volume then turn into cheers, hoots and cries of “For the White Wolf’ and he realised that the army must be in sight of the spectators. All he could think to do was join the crowd lining the street and await the passage of the artillery company - then, if he was lucky, he could slip unnoticed into the parade to take up his allotted place and march as he had dreamt of doing all last night. He would of course be punished for his tardiness, that much was certain, but perhaps the punishment would come after the parade?
     
Pushing through the beggars and children and old folk at the rear of the crowd Joshua finally got himself a view of the street, just in time to see the passage of Baron-General Ernst Von Klaase.


He was surprised to see that the general sported a enamelled armour of a blood red hue, not the city’s blue and white, but then he remembered his father telling him that generals needed to stand out so that they could inspire their men with their presence. The general certainly stood out: gold decoration glinted all over his armour, and the sun lit up the bright white plume of feathers sprouting from his helm. Joshua had not seen the general during the parading of the colours before the army the week before, though he was certain the general must have been there somewhere. Then it struck him that had been a parade of the VMC flag for the army, not a procession of the army itself as was this particular occasion.
     
Beside the general rode the Graf’s champion, in lieu of the Graf himself. He was wearing, as was only proper, blue and white - sporting these colours upon his lance, tall plume and the heavy cloth barding of his ferocious looking destrier.


Standing upon his toes to see better, Joshua wondered if the Graf’s champion was coming on the expedition to Cathay. Surely he could not be, for his place was beside his master? Yet here he was in the vanguard of the army.
     
Once the general passed, Joshua leaned on his ramrod and began his wait. The artillery would no doubt be at the very rear of the column and so he had time on his hands. This did not seem so bad, however, because it gave him the chance to see the true nature of this army; these men who would tomorrow become his travelling and fighting companions for perhaps several years. He frowned. As each regiment came into view they looked like real soldiers, yet he stood there unnoticed by those around him in the crowd. Not one of them asked, “Shouldn’t you be in the parade?” or “Which is your regiment?” He would like to think that was because the mud had obscured his liveried jacket, but the truth was that it had not occurred to any of them that this awkward, gangly youth could possibly be part of the new expeditionary army.
   
He could hear his mother’s words: “… the very epitome of a soldier,” which was followed by his sister’s laugh. His helmet slid down again to obscure his vision, and for a moment or two he couldn’t summon the will to lift it and simply stood there jostled by the crowd, listening in the darkness to the ‘Huzzahs’ and the lively beating of the drums.
To see some of my stuff with the pictures re-included go to http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/ and to see my slowly growing website/blog which will have a lot of stuff in eventually, see www.bigsmallworlds.com

Offline cisse

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Re: Joshua's Journey
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2009, 09:40:54 PM »
A new series, Padre? Nice start!
cisse

No matter how fast you run, your ass will always be in front of me...

Offline wissenlander

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Re: Joshua's Journey
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2009, 10:18:35 PM »
It's his fluff for Animosity 4. :::cheers:::
Me and Wissenlander had babies!

not together.

finding photographic evidense that Wiss smiles is going to be hard...

Offline Inarticulate

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Re: Joshua's Journey
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2009, 11:22:13 PM »
I'm taking bets now on whether Joshua survives the campaign in Cathay.
I for one welcome our new flying cat overlords.

Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2009, 05:18:48 PM »
The Expeditionary Army of Middenheim

Captain Albrecht Gottrin stood at the head of his regiment, the First Halberdiers, with his loyal friend Sergeant Aldric Baas at his side. The Captain was wearing his new orange sash, as were all the officers of the Expeditionary Army - a sign of their allegiance to the Graf’s beloved (though at first very strange to them) VMC. Albrecht had upon his own initiative decided his ensign would carry the VMC flag and not the colours of Middenheim, for to his mind there was enough blue and white about his soldiers to signify their origins in the City of the White Wolf. Besides, the army standard bearer carried the VMC colours, and as the foremost regiment of foot in the army it seemed proper that his men should sport the same.



Note: This is my new unit of 25 Halberdiers, painted especially for this campaign.

The men were a mixture of seasoned veterans and young recruits, as well as a liberal scattering of experienced mercenaries. The latter would be unusual in a standard regiment of state troops, but in this unique army, raised for service in a grand trading venture, it seemed fitting that such men might be made use of. All in Captain Albrecht’s First were volunteers, however, with not one pressed man amongst them. Although that was not entirely true of the entire army, certainly every officers had chosen to join the enterprise (and were thus due a small share in the annual profits on top of their wages).



The mustered army was a grand sight, and each man had made every effort to ensure that his weapons were clean, well oiled and sharp, and all had drilled for weeks so that they might present an ordered array to the foe, marching in a most regular and disciplined manner. The three main foot regiments each had a detachment of hangunners, and the artillery trayne had a plentiful supply of all the necessities - match, linstocks, budge barrels of powder, stone and iron round shot, and every sort of wet mop, dry mop, ramrod, screw, etc, etc, required for the maintenance of the machines of war.



The heart of the army was fashioned from the massed regiments of foot-soldiers - a deliberate choice for few were convinced that horses would survive the long journey to Cathay, nor whether satisfactory replacement mounts could be found for the knights and pistoliers when they arrived. This rank and file of Foot would form the army’s main strength in the field - and a fine sight they were too. Baron General von Klaase expected to bolster his army with units fashioned from other elements of the VMC expedition, including perhaps free companies of hardy, stout seamen and perhaps Tilean Mercenaries such as pikemen and crossbowmen. For now, however, the army was most glorious in its uniform of blue and white.



Amongst the artillery crews stood a young recruit. Recently punished with extra duties and as a consequence exhausted, Joshua was leaning on his ramrod. Despite the jokes, for once he was glad of it. He had been assigned to work the Helstorm Rocket Battery and as such his ramrod was entirely unnecessary, a  fact that the other matrosses never tired of pointing out to him, yet the gunner (perhaps as an extended punishment for his tardiness at the parade?) had ordered he keep it with him at all times ‘just in case’. Joshua could only hope that this was how such men treated all such young and inexperienced recruits, and that they were not picking him out for unusual treatment.

To see some of my stuff with the pictures re-included go to http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/ and to see my slowly growing website/blog which will have a lot of stuff in eventually, see www.bigsmallworlds.com

Offline Inarticulate

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Re: Joshua's Journey
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2009, 05:37:53 PM »
Smashing army you have there Padre, a stout lot of chaps you have there.

Is the banner printed from the computer? If so, would you mind sending me the file? :engel:
I for one welcome our new flying cat overlords.

Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2009, 06:52:56 PM »
The Lands around Hai Han
A Report from a Battle in Turn One of the A4 campaign

The First Battalion of the Graf of Middenheim’s Expeditionary Army had been marching for two days, although Josh could discern little change in the rolling landscape surrounding them. What he had not realised was that the army had performed a wide, sweeping circumambulation of the great city from south to north. Those amongst the army blessed with the quickest wits, or even a modicum of common sense, were beginning to realise just how big this ancient Empire might well be, and how ordered the way of life was here - for nearly every farm and settlement was built in an identical manner. Or perhaps it was that the Northern Old Worlders could not discern the small differences between one house and another?

About mid-afternoon upon the second day of their march, the Pistolier outriders came galloping back to report that the foe they had been seeking was arrayed for battle just beyond the next ridge. It was an army of dwarfs, stout fellows all, who had approached Hai Han with the claim that they were here to serve the ODS, but had been discovered to be agents of the foe, intent on sabotage and mayhem. Perhaps they were in the employ of the Anointed? Or perhaps some Cathayn Lord who wished to see Hai Han brought down? It did not matter - they were enemies and must be driven away or better defeated.

Of course the dwarfs hailed from a region far distant to the Middenheimers’ homeland, and yet they were armed and armoured very similarly to dwarfen forces all over the Old World, so that they could have emerged from the Black Moutntains into the southern Empire, rather than from the vast expanses of Cathay.

Baron General Ernst von Klaase immediately began ordering the army’s deployment. His centre would consist of his massed regiments of Foot - two large Halberdier regiments and an equally large one of Swordsmen standing between them. Detachments of Handgunners would immediately flank this centre, with a Helblaster and a Helstorm Rocket Battery flanking them. This was all exactly as the soldiers had drilled, enabling them to move very quickly into position.



The Baron himself led a small body of knights out on the far right flank, with Captain Rolf in advance of him with the other knightly company. Behind these knights, out upon the furthest right flank, was the army’s single cannon, hurriedly sited on a hill to give a clear view of the whole field of battle.



The Pistoliers rode right over on the far left flank, ordered to harry the enemy as best they could and to slow their advance if possible. This they intended to do, willingly and impetuously as was their nature, by moving up ahead of the lines towards the dwarfen warriors’ flank and an organ gun.



The foe had no cavalry - dwarfs never did. As such their centre looked just as solid, if not moreso, than the Middenheimers’ - except that their warriors, being dwarfs, would without doubt be far more experienced in battle and much superior in weapon skills. Their Lord had obviously ordered a simple battle line, which began its advance immediately - perhaps he did not wanting to discover what the Northern Old Worlders’ bullets, balls and rockets would do to them given sufficient time? The dwarfs were flanked upon either side by a brace of organ guns, and their Lord took his place in the very centre of the five regiments that made up their fighting strength. 



Both bodies of knights made their way forwards, attempting to wheel so that they might charge into the enemy’s flank as soon as it appeared, but the organ opened up with a devastating blast that tore Captain Rolf’s men to pieces, leaving only the Captain alive. Dazed, but determined that the same fate should not befall the Baron and second unit of Knights behind him, he signalled back that they should advance while he himself attempted to hide them it from the organ gun’s crew view. Perhaps the Baron and his men would get their charge in before they too had to face the hail of deadly shot the organ gun could spew out?



Captain Rolf’s courage and cunning proved worthy qualities for the Baron did indeed manage to charge into the regiment of Longbeards on the Dwarfs’ left (Note: This was already turn 3, part 1!). Until now the Middenheim Foot had still not moved whilst the dwarfs had so far simply advanced forwards as fast as they could (which was not that fast at all), being keen to close the gap between them and their enemy. They were being peppered with artillery fire felling a handful of dwarfs here and there. These sturdy warriors failed even to notice.



As the Knights charged, the Pistoliers moved desperately forwards to place themselves between the enemy’s organ gun and their rightmost regiment of warriors. They had already failed to harm the deadly piece’s crew by discharging their pistols whilst out of range, and had been saved from almost certain doom only by the fact that the machine misfired when it attempted to return fire.



Whilst they steeled themselves to deliver a charge at the warriors’ rear, Baron General von Klaase was learning just how tough the massed ranks of dwarfs could be. Overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of sturdy warriors against them, and discovering that they could withstand the charge even of the heaviest knights in the known world, he and exactly the most noble start to the Baron’s campaign in Cathay!



The dwarfs came ever onwards at their steady pace, the Longbeards simply marching on towards the fleeing knights and the very mouth of the Helblaster, and they cared not (or were brave enough not to show it).



When the blast did come, it tore through them and felled many, yet they still persevered and charged into the Handgunner detachment next to the terrible artillery piece. Somehow the men managed to make a stand, though it was short-lived, and before long they too would flee as their commander and his noble comrades had done.



The Pistoliers were killed to a man as the organ gun upon the Dwarves’ other flank came to the bloody aid of its brother with a devastating blast of leaden hail. But just after they fell, the Empire’s regiments of Foot finally chose to close with the foe, and all three massive bodies smashed into the Dwarfen centre, whilst the Handgunners on the left managed to support their parent regiment with a flank charge.



Few amongst them had fought dwarves in battle before, and they were confident of their own skill in arms and the sheer weight of numbers, yet to their right the dwarves were showing just what they could do as they defeated the other company of Handgunners and cut them down to a man.



Still, there was hope for the Empire Foot, for the rightmost Dwarfen warriors did indeed succumb to the weight of force against them, and broke and fled away. The handgunners (to their surprise) could not reach them to chase them down, while the Halberdiers restrained themselves hoping to lend assistance to the Swordsmen on their immediate right by delivering another flank charge.

 

This proved unnecessary as the Swordsmen also broke the dwarfs before them, and like the Hundgunners found themselves unable to pursue them fast enough to finish them. It seemed that the Dwarfs of the east were somewhat more nimble on their feet than their western cousins!



Both regiments of dwarfs rallied and re-ordered their ranks and files, while the even more veteran and battle hardened Ironbreakers brought down their great weapons to smash through the light armour of the rightmost Halberdiers and crush their bones within. The men, entirely unready for such butchery, turned and ran, but were caught by the Longbeards who had moved up on their rear and so slaughtered. It was all the other halberdiers could do to turn and face the foe, each soldier thinking he must preparing himself for a similar fate.



The Baron General managed to rally his men and deliver another charge, this time at the Hammerers, but they too proved impossible to beat and once more he and his unit fled. As he galloped pell mell away poor Von Klaase wondered how his reputation might suffer as a consequence of such a bad show in two consecutive fights. He need not have worried, for all on that field could see that the Dwarfs were a tough and relentless foe, heavily armoured and magically protected. To be put to flight by such mighty warrior might be shameful, but it was not unexpected!

A final Dwarfen charge never came for the day had grown very long and the armies were tired (even the dwarfs from their long march). The Hammerers did manage to dispatch the crew of the Helblaster, who perished without knowing that the cannon crew and Helstorm crew were all themselves lying bloodied and burned from misfires only moments before. But this little fight was to be the last. As darkness fell (i.e. Turn 6 ended) the armies withdrew from each other.




Result: Solid Victory to the Dwarfs. (Reported as a land battle loss last turn.)

Game Note: I played this battle in the local GW store (thus using all GW figures) against a guy whose name I ignorantly forgot to ask! We agreed (at my suggestion) that it was a draw at the end. I genuinely believe it must be at the time. Ahh, sweet optimism! But when I went home and actually totted it all up I learned to my dismay it was actually a solid victory to him! I am very keen to see him again so that I can apologise for my shoddy ‘guesstimation’ on the day. I hope he doesn’t think I was a bad loser. I’m not, the battle was great fun - I am just not very good at quick mental maths!
To see some of my stuff with the pictures re-included go to http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/ and to see my slowly growing website/blog which will have a lot of stuff in eventually, see www.bigsmallworlds.com

Offline Gneisenau

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Re: Joshua's Journey
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2009, 07:19:54 PM »
I'm usually against monarchy, but you're no doubt the king of battle reports! :eusa_clap:

Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (Illustrated Bat Rep & MORE now added)
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2009, 11:10:57 AM »
Manaan’s Little Daughter  

Ever since arriving at the great Empire of Cathay the crew of Manaan’s Little Daughter had been aboard ship, apart from their brief foray onto dry land when unloading their cargo. The massive fleet gathered in the harbour had needed protecting from pirates, and the tiny sloop with its relatively clean lines was considered perfect for such a job - sleek, weatherly and stiff, armed with four small pieces of artillery, swivel guns that the sailors named ‘murderers’. Her crew were also relatively healthy, for they had avoided the yellow fever, scurvy and flux that had beset so many other ships. Some amongst her crew said that this was more than good fortune but the blessing of the great god of the sea. Others put it down to the fact they had managed to catch fresh fish with their nets often enough on the long journey that they rarely had to rely on hardtack and salt beef, and being a supply and reconnaissance boat they had not been forced to stick so close to the fleet that they caught every contagion spreading through it. All of which should have made them happy, were it not for the fact that they were thus considered fit enough to begin patrolling duties immediately, without need for shore leave of any kind.

Every crewman hailed from the city of Marienburg, all now serving the VMC, and thus the Order of the Dragon Shield. Her master Bram van Driel had chosen them carefully, even those he had had to accept from other ships during the journey had been vetted to his satisfaction. Now Bram had a crew who he could trust to work hard and fight bravely, and to follow his commands for they had learned to respect his abilities.

He stood near the prow, his red and white panache feathers fluttering in the wind as they hauled close to a bowline, busily tacking their way through what they hoped were deep waters  - though the Little Daughter had a shallow enough draft to risk close proximity to most shores. His mate, Sander Atema, stood amidships watching him, obviously awaiting his command. Bram grinned at his friend, knowing his large moustache would be fluttering as were his feathers, and knowing that Sander often joked with him about it.



Bram held his muskatoon at his hip - he was more nervous in these waters than he had been during the entire journey to this side of the world. Suddenly a cry did come, but it was not from the master, instead it came from the ship’s stern.

“Ship ahoy! Windward and closing, perhaps a league away.”

Everyone turned to look and to a man found themselves having to shield their eyes from the sun. This was why the ship had not been spotted, for it was coming from the east and it was early in the day, which meant the sun’s bright glow had concealed it. Also it was not a tall masted ship, but some sort of Cathayan vessel.

“What does she claim to be by her colours?” asked Bram.

“Can’t see any colours - don’t think she’s flying any,” came the answer.

Bram leaped across the deck, picking up his lunette d’approche and placing it to his eye, keeping it lower than the sun to avoid blinding himself.

“Manaan protect us,” he muttered. Then shouted, “Clear the deck, prepare for a fight. And bring the swivels to the rear stanchions!”

“What is she?” asked Sander by his side.

“She might be Cathayan-made but she’s crewed by Orcs. I think we’ve found ourselves some pirates!”




“Master, are we to fly colours?” shouted Sander.

“We are indeed! We’re no pirates, but a commissioned pirate hunter of the VMC. So raise the colours lads, and let those dogs know who it is they are fighting,” answered Bram.



Every hand aboard the Little Daughter was busy - the two boys dragging a basket of grenades to the deck, while Sander handed muskets and pistols to the crew. There was room enough for two swivels on the little poop deck, so two were mounted. Each contained case shot and a little sangranel for good measure. They might not hurt the enemy’s ship, but they could tear open green flesh easy enough. Bram was not happy that the foe had the weather gauge and so could control the fight in turns of conditions, but one thing he was certain of - he would not fire until they were very close, pistol shot range at the most, for to fire sooner would be the desperate and nervous act of terrified men, and the foe would know it. To fire sooner would only make the greenskins more confident of defeating their prey.



The trouble was, the greenskins had a bow chaser, and it was a 6 pounder by the looks of it. If that was loaded with chain, double head or bar shot then it could bring down the Little Daughter’s mast by the board, and then they would be a sitting duck. Bram put it from his mind - there was nothing he could do, nothing his men could do. They would just have to receive the shot and pray it did not sting too bad.

There was no need to employ the perspective glass any more. The Orcs were close enough to see withy the naked eye - even Bram’s slightly purblind eyes could make them out. He found himself staring down the muzzle of their piece.



Obviously the orcs knew not to waste their shot, for they were not yet firing. If they waited until pistol shot then they really could do some damage to the little sloop.

Bram’s mind was racing. He had an idea, but was not sure it would work. Still, his head was empty of any other possibilities so it was this or nothing.

“Lads,” he shouted, “Blow on yer coals and make ready to give fire as soon as I command. Aim right for the muzzle of that cannon. If you’ve got a musket, then ready yerself too - and stuff any extra ball or two down, and swan shot if you have it.”

This would take courage and careful timing. Bram wanted to fire the volley when there was a chance they might hit something, so he had to wait until the foe was close. But he could not afford to let the orcen piece fire first. All or nothing, he thought, and with a mental prayer to Manaan, he crawled onto the poop deck and popped his head over the gunwhale right in between both swivels.

Sander looked with disbelief - if the swivels both fired with Bram between their muzzles, then his ears would ring for days. He might damage his ears for good. Then it dawned on him what the master intended. He lifted his ‘fusil buccanier’ to his shoulder and opened the pan.

Holding his breath, Bram watched. The orcs were close now, but he watched only one of them - the one carrying the linstock. Then, suddenly, he saw the orc raise the linstock over the piece’s breach, bringing it down towards the touch-hole.

“Give fire!” he screamed louder than he had ever done, then lowered his head and clasped his hands hard upon his ears.

Two swivels and four muskets fired, the smoke momentarily obscuring their view, but the wind already whipping it away to leeward. The Little Daughter’s crew set about re-loading (as Sander ordered them), while the other two swivels were passed forwards to replace the two that were now emptied. Everyone was glad to have work to do, for all did not care to think about the shot that might be coming their way any moment.

Then the smoke cleared, just as Bram raised his pain-filled head above the gunwhale.

“Ha!” he cried, “Manaan be praised!”

The orcen ship was still there, exactly as before, the gun too - but there was no orc standing near it. Every foul greenskin pirate on the foredeck had been felled, and the linstock had never touched home.

Then Bram frowned - there were of course still some crew aboard, and now one was clambering up the to foredeck. He had no linstock, but carried a matchcord in his hand. His red eyes seemed to gleam, and Bram knew full well what he intended …

Turn 3, sea fluff report

As the smoke cleared a little more Bram could see something else in the orc’s hand. Yes, there was a matchcord - it’s tell-tale glow very evident - but it was attached to the serpentine of a handgun and not carried loose in the orc’s hand.



Perhaps Bram’s had been mistaken, and it was only fear that had him believe the orc intended to fire the cannon? Perhaps the orc merely thought to fire his musket? Greenskins were hardly known for common sense, and what cunning they had was brutal and vicious rather than quick witted. So maybe the thought that applying the matchcord to the cannon instead of his own firearm had not occurred to the orc?

“Manaan, let it be so,” prayed Bram. Then he turned and shouted loudly (it seemed quiet in his ringing ears, and he tried to compensate by bellowing as he never had before). “Olaf! Where are you? Olaf!”

There was no answer. Not one that Bram could hear anyway. Sander was suddenly there before him, hefting one of the swivels.

“No time,” said Bram. “Get Olaf here, ready to shoot now.” He gestured over his shoulder, “Kill that one before he works out he can fire the cannon!”

Suddenly Olaf was there too, and it occurred to Bram that the black haired Kislevite had probably answered with his usual, “Aye, master,” but that due to his somewhat shivered hearing Bram hadn’t heard him.

“You know what to do?” asked Bram.

Olaf gave a curt nod as he hopped up to the very stern of the ship, and peered towards the approaching ship. As he did so he cocked his firelock and began to swing it around.



In that moment, just as Olaf lifted the butt of his long barrelled musket to his shoulder, Bram and Sander were busy behind him. The master, having noticed the wind had changed ever so slightly,  had pointed to the port-side stanchion and Sander took this to mean place his swivel there. Seeing this, the sailor behind with the other loaded swivel did the same. Bram, meanwhile, grabbed a hold of the tiller and readied himself to pull with all his might.

As soon as Olaf’s shot rang out, Bram pulled hard and the Little Daughter began to turn to leeward.

“Through the eye,” said Olaf. “Even orcs don’t get up after that!”

Bram, who had heard nothing of Olaf’s calm analysis of the effects of his shot, screamed at the Kislevite to help him, and Olaf leaped down, grabbed the tiller, and also yanked hard.

The ship began to turn and as it did so the orcen ship’s flank was brought into view.

“Aim at her stern,” barked Bram, hoping no-one else’s ears were ringing like his. “Kill the rest of ‘em.”

By now every man who was armed with a piece was ready - they had loaded without ramming home with the scouring sticks, just as Bram had told them to do whenever speed was of the essence. When their second volley came, both swivels fired as one (though it was mere chance that they did so), preceded and followed by the several cracks of pistols and muskets. Once again a good number they found their mark. More orcs were thrown from their feet, two hurled right up and over the side, splashing into the sea.

“Now lads,” shouted Bram joyously. “We’re the chase and they’re the prey. Let’s capture her.”

He pushed the tiller now, to bring her back a little, and through skill honed over many a year at sea, he brought her prow round to scrape along the side of the orcen ship, laying the Little Daughter alongside side so that her crew could board the enemy amidships.

The taking of the orcen vessel was easy enough. Only four greenskins remained uninjured after the volleys, and their attempt at ferociousness had a certain desperation to it that gave the men of the Little Daughter confidence rather than engendering any sort of fear.

Olaf was the first man aboard, dropping his long barrelled musket and leaping over onto the enemy deck cutlass in hand as if he were doing nothing more than his day-to-day labous. Before his feet had even touched the ground he had already left a broad and bloody gash in the cheek of the one orc who lunged forward to meet him. Bram landed behind him and finished off the bleeding orc with a pistol bullet to its chest, spattering the deck and lower mainmast with blood and gore.

The rest of the fight is not worthy of recording, if one could even call it a fight. It was more like butchery, and only one of the Little Daughter’s crewmen was injured - Old Odoric received a cut to the back of his hand from a wounded orc who had played dead before suddenly lashing out. Sander’s boot had knocked the offending blade form the orc’s hand, then his pistol had pushed a bullet deep into his thick skull. The orc fell backwards dead, its face appearing to have three eyes - two of them closed, the third a ragged black hole in the middle of its forehead, wide open and smouldering!

The hard work done, and quickly at that, the men set about their right of pillage. Anything they found upon the enemy sailors under the value of five gold pieces they could keep - it was only the rest (cargo and real valuables) that had to be shared between all according the ship’s articles. But the seamen of the Little Daughter were to be disappointed, for the things an orc considers precious enough to carry upon its person are not often what men would think valuable  - bones, cords of teeth, mouldering ears and jagged bits of rusted iron. Only Olaf struck really lucky, finding a long and prettily decorated pistol of a strange but impressive design that must surely be dwarven in origin. Although it was most certainly worth a lot more than five crowns no-one argued with his taking of it for according to the articles the first man aboard a prize was due the best weapon found aboard her, and that was exactly what Olaf seemed to have found.

The noisome foulness below deck was a revelation, even to sailors who had travelled upon long journeys living above the open sewer that is several month old bilge water splashing about the ballast, while the bloody flux emptied every man’s bowels and the salt beef and pickled herring finally succumbed to worms and rot. The Orcen ship, however, went far beyond such horrors. She was buzzing with flies, as her slovenly crew had apparently been eating their flesh meat raw, and splashing blood everywhere. Not were they over keen on scrubbing the decks with brine and vinegar, for the blood was sticky and thick here, old and dry there. Cockroaches crawled so populous that there seemed to be another cockroach beneath every one. And the lice, perhaps made more vicious from sucking upon orcen blood, leapt high to land upon the scavenging men and sink veritable fangs into their flesh.

Within half of an hour Bram had had enough. He ordered his men to give up - there was nothing here they could use, only the cannon and a budge barrel of powder. The piece was thus taken, and Bram gave his orders.

“Burn her! Burn the orcs and their plague ship for they’re no better than sea rats and this filthy vessel is cursed.”

The Manaan’s Little Daughter sailed away as the smoke billowed from the prize. None aboard looked back to watch her burn. None cared when they heard the screams of a greenskin who must still have been alive, nor did they even notice the splash as the orc in question sought the relief of the sea water. Apart from Olaf. He had loaded his newly acquired pistol and now took aim at what should be a ridiculously exaggerated range at the frantic, flailing greenskin.

When he fired he was surprised to see the orc jolt that very moment, then cease all movement to float face down on the water.

No-one else had noticed what he had done, and none would believe him if he told them. Olaf grinned, then hefted the pistol to look at it.

“Little honey - you’re too good for orcs,” he whispered to the piece. “Let’s you and I have some fun together!”
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 02:01:01 PM by Padre »
To see some of my stuff with the pictures re-included go to http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/ and to see my slowly growing website/blog which will have a lot of stuff in eventually, see www.bigsmallworlds.com

Offline Inarticulate

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Re: Joshua's Journey
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2009, 02:36:13 PM »
I'm usually against monarchy, but you're no doubt the king of battle reports! :eusa_clap:

Padre, you should sig this. I command you!!!  :evil:

I for one welcome our new flying cat overlords.

Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (Illustrated Bat Rep & MORE now added)
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2009, 05:26:29 PM »
Ah now, Inarticulate, that would be vanity!

Here's the first part of the second Bat Rep:

Hard Fighting
The Expeditionary Army of Middenheim’s Second Battle

Once upon a time there was an insane Slann Mage Priest whose mind had been so ravaged by magic that he had succumbed to his passions (a great rarity amongst the Slann) and had allied himself with ruinous and wicked powers. His name was unimportant to him, and so it ought to be to us too.

The Slann Lord commanded a mighty army, each and every warrior so beholden to his will that none amongst them (apart from his two skink priests) had even noticed that they might no longer be serving the Lizardmen’s gods, nor defending their ancient realms, nor fighting the forces of chaos who threaten to bring ruin to the world. They had marched far from home, but thought nothing of this other than noticing the air was dry and the world a lot less green. They no longer performed their habitual rituals and rites to the gods, but assumed this must be due to the need to march fast. And the enemies they had faced in recent months were not the twisted servants of chaos, yet they knew full well that enemies came in many guises and so even this aroused no suspicion. Besides, if they knew they would have fought on - they were bred to serve their Lord and knew nothing else.

Now they marched to battle once more, their numbers greatly diminished in the battles they had fought, yet they were still a force to be reckoned with. The chittering of the skink scouts had revealed they were now very close to the foe, and those warriors in the foremost ranks could make out what would be the field of battle: to the right was rough ground, with a craggy mound and several scattered boulders; to the left ran the lower slopes of a row of hills, before which lay an abandoned hut by a little copse of trees; and directly ahead was the enemy’s camp, about which their army was now about to deploy.



Surrounded by his Temple Guard and their Scar Veteran, the Slann Lord began willing his army to divide into two horns. He flashed vivid thoughts into his two skink priests’ minds, and they then whistled and hooted to pass on his commands to the rank and file. The right horn consisted of the Slann himself, with his Stegadon and his Salamanders by his side. Urrlook the Skink Priest found refuge amongst some rocks, which on close inspection proved to be the ruins of some very ancient building.



To the left the Saurus Warriors advanced, while two bands of skinks scuttled along beside them, with more little skinks urging three viciously barbed Razordons to keep up. Tattbek the Priest hid himself amongst the skink skirmishers, knowing that any warm-blood would find it nigh on impossible to pick him out amongst the warriors.



From the other side of the field the sound of drums rattled, punctuated by the screamed and barked commands of sergeants and captains. Baron General Ernst von Klaase’s army, now an amalgamation of the survivors of the First Battalion as well as units from the Second, manoeuvred into position. Unlike the Lizards their line was unbroken. The Baron General commanded a body of knights just as he had in the previous battle, and once again he rode to the rear of the second knightly regiment, though this time the forward body was led by Sir Brandobert, a Warrior Priest of Ulric. Only a small regiment of handgunners lay further out to the left of them, while upon their other flank was a Helblaster and one of the Halberiers’ regiments’ detachment of handgunners.



The Empire right wing was where the regiments of Foot were mustered, followed by a rocket battery and a brace of cannons, defended by Pistoliers, Archers and a small Free Company of Marienburger Seamen. Joshua stood by the Helstorm and mused upon the rockets. It had been bothering him of late that each was designed to kill by exploding, but required that the crew lit their fuses to launch them. This seemed to him, what with the nine rockets mounted at any one time, to be somewhat more dangerous even than a cannon, and their overheated barrels shivered themselves to pieces on many an occasion. These concerns had happily swept aside all fears he had of dying upon an enemy’s blade, but they had replaced them with the insistent and nightmarish image of burning to death. Yet the veteran gunner who commanded the machine was at least two score years of age. And although the man obviously medicated against his own fears with strong liquors, the fact he had lived so long offered a glimmer of hope to Joshua.



The Baron General’s mind was also brimming with concerns, though it was his reputation he thought was most endangered upon this field, and the thought that he might die obtaining a victory was in truth more appealing than living in defeat. He raised his warhammer (a magical Hammer of Judgement) as a sign that his men should stand firm. He wanted to see the enemy begin their move so that he could give orders most appropriate for dealing with them.



The enemy had indeed begun their advance. Upon the company of Skinks with Tattbek the priest amongst them scurried into the woods, while the Saurus Warriors marched boldly forwards in the open. Out on the farthest left, the second band of skinks and the Razordon pack near them both moved to conceal themselves behind the hill.
 


On the right a similar manoeuvre was taking place - Salamanders and Stegadon moving behind the craggy rock so that few of the enemy could draw a line of sight to them, while the Temple Guard made a braver move heading obliquely towards the centre of the field.



Willibrord Toet, the Baron’s Wizard, found himself hard pressed to prevent the magic pouring towards the army. He nudged and quelled and misdirected what he could, yet still some got through so that seven of the left-most Handgunner detachment fell wailing to their deaths. As the few survivors broke and fled in panic, the wizard cursed and blamed himself for their loss.

Yet the Baron General had not really noticed for he was busy trying to work out how he and his nobility might take on a giant monster and fire breathing dragon pups, never mind the awfully powerful Slann mage and his cold-blooded and mighty guard. His decision was perhaps a strange one - he ordered Brandobert to take one regiment of Knights to attempt a flank charge on the Slann, while he and the other regiment would turn in the other direction and steel themselves to charge the monsters coming their way. Both units were, for now, shielded by the rock, but that was not a situation that was to last much longer.



Willibrord’s magic was entirely ineffectual, which made the death of five Saurus warriors and a skink seem impressive (even though it took two cannons and the Helstorm to do just this). Such minor annoyances were not going to slow the Lizards’ advance, however. The Skink Priest Tattbek chose this moment to leave his band of skirmishers and remain hidden in the woods, but they moved out to begin skirting around the hut. Upon the other side of the little building the other Skins were doing the same, while the Saurus warriors closer to the centre slowed their advance a little and the Razordons hurried up and over the hill right out on the flank.



The other pack of beasts, the Salamanders, moved just as quickly, rushing around the rock and turning to prepare themselves ready to belch fire.



The Slann Mage and his priests now intended to unleash another maelstrom of magic, but discovered that the knights they focused his initial spells on were protected against enchantments. When the Slann channelled a torrent of magical energy into cursing the knights with the Spirit of the Forge, somehow the warmbloods shrugged it off and suffered no harm at all (Game Note: spell cast on 18, 6D6 dispel rolled 19 - woo hoo!) Only Willibrord himself was to suffer as a consequence of this massive onslaught, being injured by the malignant power of the Blood Statuette of Spite.

Had anyone looked at the Slann Lord they would have seen no sign of disappointment upon his features. Then again, he hadn’t opened his left eye in three decades, and moved so slowly that a week could past in the act of yawning. Still, what vitality his body lacked was more the compensated by the raging whirlwind of (now quite insane) thoughts in his mind.



The massive bow mounted upon the back of the Stegadon slew three Halberdiers with with one bolt, but none of the skirmishing skinks or even the Razordons could quite reach, or quite harm, the foe. The Salamanders belched their burning fumes to kill one of the knights, while one of their number grew annoyed at the skinks prodding it and lashed its tail to kill three of them!

The Empire soldiers saw that the foe was beginning to approach close to them, and several were champing on the bit to charge at them.



The Pistoliers could hold back no longer and threw themselves at the skinks moving in the shadow of the hill, but they could not reach for the skinks fled away as fast as their clawed legs could carry them (quite fast indeed). A regiment of Halberdiers attempted the same with the skinks on the right of the little hut though they of course were left even further behind when the little lizardmen voluntarily fled away.



At least Joshua could let out a sigh of relief. The sight of all those blowpipe wielding jungle warriors approaching from two sides had somewhat disturbed him. They were gone now (for the moment) and he could busy himself once more with his work. While Hans lifted another rocket to place it in its housing, Joshua wound the brazier holding arms back and brushed away any sparks still lingering near the now empty housing. A minute later and another batch of rockets was released. There was the usual anticipation, then disappointment as Joshua watched all three explosions tear up nothing more than sods of earth and stones.



“Missed again!” he said.

“Do shut up boy,” said Hans. “Talk like that and the gods will make sure we miss.”

Joshua frowned, and wondered whether the gods were even remotely interested in him and his crewmates. Meanwhile ahead of him the second regiment of Halberdiers and the Swordsmen moved up to form an oblique line with the Halberdiers who had already attempted to charge - each now able to support the other.



It was now time for the Knights to make their move. The Baron-General led his company in a bold charge at the Salamanders attempting to outflank the army around the craggy rock, and at the same time Brandobert led his noble entourage up towards the Temple Guard and the insane Slann. The Baron’s company only just made it (slowed a little by the patch of difficult ground some of them had to cross) to the Salamanders, yet their lances struck hard slaying two of the beasts. The last surviving Salamander and the handlers fled away, but the Knights horses were too tired to catch them and so the fire-breathing monster escaped immediate death. Baron von Klaase now glanced to his right only to see the huge Stegadon approaching, its giant crossbow aimed right at his unit!

To see some of my stuff with the pictures re-included go to http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/ and to see my slowly growing website/blog which will have a lot of stuff in eventually, see www.bigsmallworlds.com

Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (Illustrated Bat Rep & MORE now added)
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2009, 05:28:20 PM »
Part Two:

The skirmishing bowmen now moved towards the woods concealing the Skink Priest but their arrows failed to find their mark. Over their heads a cannon ball flew, felling three more Saurus Warriors, but little other harm was done by the Empire’s missiles. Even the volley gun (rolling 18 on the artillery dice) failed to fell even one of the Temple Guard!

As well as the last Salamander, every one of the fleeing skinks now rallied, the ones on the flank of the army turning to threaten the Pistoliers with their blowpipes.



While the Stegadon moved up to flank the Baron and his Knights …



… the Saurus Warriors moved right up in front of the Halberdiers, apparently oblivious to the fact that they would surely be charged and overwhelmed as a consequence - for not only the Halberdiers but also the Swordsmen could reach them now.



And while the Temple Guard marched right up in front of the Knights …



… the trio of Razordons manoeuvred themselves to flank the Pistoliers. When they released their barbs, four of the young noblemen fell mortally wounded from their screaming mounts.

Now the Slann and his priests started to get into the stride of his magic, weaving multiple incantations from the winds of magic. Many were stopped, but forked lightning flickered over the halberdiers, cooking four of them to death; then Spirit of the Forge killed every one of the five knights accompanying the Baron-General! As he sat there upon his horse, shaken and confused, a massive bolt flew right over his head just missing him. Baron von Klaase barely registered it, for he could not believe that such noble men had travelled to the other side of the world only to be slain to a man by wicked magics. Somehow the loss conjured up a steely resolve in him, and even with a giant monster roaring close by, not one shiver coursed through his frame. Intent to finish what he had begun, he now charged the last Salamander on his own and chased it and the band of handlers from the field of battle entirely.

Now the Swordsmen and Halberdiers hurled into the isolated Saurus Warriors.



Although the Lizards managed somehow to slay three Halberdiers, they could not withstand the shock - they turned to flee and were cut down mercilessly by the heavy axe blades of the Halberdiers’ arms. The Swordsmen, fearing some tactical trick, held their position and looked around them for other threats. Off to the other side of the little dwelling, the surviving Pistoliers attempted once more to charge the Skinks, and this time they reached.



The young gentlemen cut down three of the foe while the Skinks found it impossible to harm them back, yet the Skinks’ cold blooded nature helped them stand firm in the face of this defeat. As this combat was being fought, the two cannons fired - the first aiming at the very threatening Razordons upon the hill before them. It merely scratched one of the Razordons, and felled a skink behind. The other took an ambitious shot at the Skink Priest lurking at the edge of the woods, but overshot (by an inch!) and merely killed one of the skins behind.

Upon the other side of the field, Brandobert and the knights charged headlong into the Temple Guard, hoping the shock of their attack might fell the front rank and push the elite Saurus Warriors back.



But only two of the Temple Guard succumbed to the power of the lances, and although the Knights’ plate armour saved them from harm, they were simply overwhelmed by the enemy’s numbers (defeated by fear causing outnumbering foe) and fled away. Luckily, what with an insane Slann in their midst, the Temple Warriors could not hope to catch them (flee 10”, pursue 2”) …



The Temple Guard now began their advance across the filed towards the Northern Old Worlders’ main regiments of Foot. Behind them, the Stegadon came thundering (it could move in no other manner) around the rock to where a regiment of Handgunners with a marksman and the Helblaster awaited it.



Once again Willibrord attempted to stop as much of the Lizardmen’s magic as possible, but once again several terrible spells burst through his defences. The Spirit of the Forge stung hard, slaughtering all the remaining knights and leaving the Priest Brandobert fleeing all on his own, his spirit wracked with confusion. With nearly every knight dead, two more ‘knights-to-be’ also fell, as the Skinks dragged two Pistoliers from their horses. The remaining two fled.

The last two Pistoliers did rally, just as desperation drive the Empire’s Archers to attempt to chase off the skinks before them, but when poisoned darts sent two of them to Morr’s realm, they lost heart and turned and fled instead.



The Helstorm launched a new batch of rockets, and successfully felled four Temple Guard, and one of the cannons fired a ball to kill another two. Willibrord, fearing for his life so close to the Razordons, tried to bring down Uranon’s Thunderbolt upon them but failed (stopped by 6 DD!). The Helblaster joined in the Empire soldiers’ attempt to rain harm on the enemy, but only lightly wounded the Stegadon and killing one of the crew.

Now the Temple Guard were right before the Halberdiers …



… and when they charged, the stout Empire soldiers were ordered by their sergeant to flee (a tactical necessity in his opinion). Luckily the Temple Guard were not fleet of foot enough to catch them, and the Empire soldiers escaped.



The Razordons moved to the hill before the cannons, a sight which struck fear into the hearts of the little Free Company standing guard at the foot of the hill. Somewhat less dramatically the Skinks closest to the centre of the field moved sneakily up on the flank of the First Halberdiers and the rear of the Sword. The Stegadon lumbered on, the very ground around it shaking as it picked up speed in its race to towards the centre of the field.



For a moment Joshua allowed himself to believe that things were beginning to go well. The Helstorm’s last barrage had hit home, and there was every reason to believe it might do so again. But suddenly the air around him rippled as malicious magic was directed upon him and his two crewmates. With horror, Joshua watched as his two friends were smeared with molten silver that seemed to coalesce out of the air itself, then both fell wailing to the ground to writhe in agony as the superheated metal burned them to the bone. Mercifully, their agonies were short lived, for the next moment both were dead.

Joshua stood for a moment, his mouth hanging open in disbelief. From somewhere inside, however, an urge for revenge bubbled up, and he turned, shaking, to clasp mat the lighting lever for the next batch of rockets.

Unknown to the Baron-General’s soldiers, a magical comet had formed high in the sky, and even now was plummeting towards the hill where the cannons were sited. It was large, and burning, and many men’s names were writ upon it.

Perhaps the Halberdiers somehow felt that the cause was lost, for they failed to rally. So too the Archers. Both regiments fled on without even a look behind. Only Brandobert the Priest thought twice of leaving the field, halting his horse at the camp, then turning to look upon the battle behind him, musing upon whether there was anything all he could do. His eyes glanced from left to right sweeping the field, and he realised with sadness there was nothing he could do.

One sight gave him a moment’s hope. The Helblaster fired a second time at the Stegadon, this time tearing great chunks of flesh from the monster. It staggered then fell, dead before it’s head hit the ground.



The Swordsmen charged boldly into the Temple Guard and stood their ground, having slain one and losing only three of their own number. The Temple Guard, however, proved unbreakable, and fought on.

Suddenly the entire sky blazed with a bright light, and a moment later, as peeling thunder follows the flash of lightning, there was a mighty crashing sound as the comet hit. Both cannons were destroyed, and Willibrord, the fleeing archers and the Free Company were all killed also. The booming sound distracted the last pair of Pistoliers for the briefest moment, an mistake that proved costly, for both were slain by the skinks before they could even look back. Perhaps it was the shaking ground that bucked the Helstorm so badly that some small component part became misaligned, for when Joshua pulled upon the handle at first nothing happened, and then with horror he saw that one of the rockets’ fuses was lit, even though none had left their mounting. He had time only to close his eyes as the blast tore the machine to pieces and knocked him off his feet. Blackness descended, and brought silence as a companion,.

Somehow the Swordsmen found the courage to fight on against the Temple Guard, buying enough time for the Baron-General to charge into their rear.



But no matter what was done to the Temple Guard, they could not be broken. (End of turn 6)

As the Halberdiers continued their flight, it was clear to the rest of the Empire soldiers that to fight on would be foolish. Disengaging from the foe where they could, they began to leave the field. The Slann’s magic had proved unstoppable, his Temple Guard unbreakable, and the Empire artillery unreliable. Unsurprisingly, the Baron-General ordered a general retreat. Perhaps he would fight this foe on another day.


It was not the drums beating the retreat that woke Joshua, but a sudden chittering nearby. He opened his eyes to see a shadow falling across him. He knew instantly the sounds he heard were not those of men, and for once he made a good decision - he closed his eyes.



Blackened with soot, his clothes still smouldering (a pain he had to ignore for now), he looked a sorry sight. Sorry enough that the Skinks did what he hoped they would do - they ignored him and continued their fleet footed dash right past the machine and what they believed were the three dead crew. 

Joshua waited a few minutes, then slowly and carefully, as the sky grew red, he began crawling away from the field, stopping and playing dead at the slightest hint of anyone nearby. By midnight he was on his feet and staggering off through the dark towards the lights he could see ahead. If his luck held out, it would be the remnants of the Baron’s army.


Notes: 2500 pt game, victory by 435 VP to Slann. Minor Victory to Slann. The Slann player is actually one of the Anointed - another faction in the campaiogn. He intends to use his new Dark Elves to fight his later battles. For now I was glad he used his old favourites the Lizards. His painting is amazing, and I love his almost completed Stegadon. Thank you ‘D’ for the game, even though (as usual) I got gubbed!
To see some of my stuff with the pictures re-included go to http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/ and to see my slowly growing website/blog which will have a lot of stuff in eventually, see www.bigsmallworlds.com

Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (Second Bat Rep now added, 10th Nov)
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2009, 09:37:20 PM »
Camp Tales

The VMC’s Expeditionary Army of Middenheim had moved somewhat reluctantly into Zhong-Sheng, due to the fact that such a move meant leaving the relative comfort of Hai-Han behind. No-one grumbled openly however, because the common soldiers would be punished for mutiny if they did and the officers knew their role was to put on a brave face.

The new camp was a sprawling affair, spread along a valley in a grassland region of low, rolling hills. At the western end of the camp there were several Cathayan dwelling houses, commandeered by Baron-General Ernst von Klaase and his officers and gentlemen - the former occupants having all been given compensation and escorted (for the time being) to a local village. The Baron’s headquarters was a pleasant wooden house situated upon a hill top, with a low wall running all around it. Two golden dragon effigies sat at the gateway of the  broad pathway leading up the hill to the yard, something the Baron had thought entirely appropriate for a general in the Order of the Dragon Shield.

The area of the camp before the Baron-General’s Headquarters


In the immediate vicinity of the headquarters were several other structures, including some houses of a very similar nature to the Baron’s house and a large wooden barn complex. Baron General von Klaase, wholly aware of the dangers of camp fever and the plague had ordered his army to spread out their settlement. This would allow air to circulate and avoid too many men drawing water from the same source, or being forced to live squalidly next to each others’ filth. This meant they had to walk some distance to find what or who they wanted within it, but after the many long months cooped up together aboard noisome ships no-one complained. Even the riders tasked with patrolling its wide perimeter were glad of the open spaces. A few were slightly unnerved by the treeless expanse of the land beyond the hills, being themselves more used to little patches of ground cut out of the Drakwald forest, yet they had to admit it was reassuring to know no enemy army could hope to surprise them by a stealthy approach.

Let’s have a closer look at the camp:




“Three more stakes and I reckon we’re done,” said Boris, stepping back to look at the little compound before him. Four horses were penned in by it at the moment, and more would no doubt be put there come nightfall.

“Oh,” said Erkit. “We’re done are we? As far as I can see it’s me who’s doin’ all the work here!”

“I told you, my back won’t allow me to do ought else but supervise. Besides, you’re doing such a good job.”

“High praise indeed, considering you wouldn’t know a palisade from a rampart, nor wattle from lathe. Still, I reckon I’ll get myself a better duty soon - somewhere I won’t have to listen to your drivel.”

“What?” asked Boris. “What duty?”

“A gunner’s mate, no less. And that comes with extra pay.”

Boris sniggered. “Fool. Why would you go volunteering for that?”

“Why not?”

“I’ll tell you. They gets good pay ‘cos they rarely survives to collect it. Why d’you think there are places going? Did you think the cannons were mating and having baby cannons? You’ll be replacing the dead, and then tomorrow the living will replace you in turn.”

Erkit considered this a moment, while reaching out blindly for the penultimate stake. “Ow!” he shouted, as a splinter slid deep into the flesh of his thumb, then started hopping about while attempting to grab a hold of the bit sticking out. “Ow, ow, ow! Look what made me do.”

Boris laughed. “I take it all back - they’ll be glad to have you in the artillery! Brave lad like you, and good with your hands. It’s just the place for you.”

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


Outside one of the tents in the artillery compound, Big Eberhard drank in a deep draught of smoke from his pipe, tipping the protective cap a little to let the air in. He was waiting for the matross Ubrecht to return from his call of nature and had grown a little fidgety. The relative quiet in this part of the camp was getting to him. He pulled up his belt so that his expansive belly hung down over it, exaggerated by the yellow cloth of his loose shirt, and absently watched a lad lugging a bucket down the roadway beside the tent.

As soon as Ubrecht reappeared around the corner of the tent, Eberhard spoke, “So, who did come back?”

Ubrecht frowned. “You still here?”

“Aye, don’t tell me you’re so purblind that you can’t see me?”

“No. I just thought you had business at the stores.”

“That I do, master Ubrecht,” said Eberhard. “So hurry up and tell me, who did come back?”

“That lad, the skinny one - Josh. He came back, though his eyebrows didn’t, nor did his eyelashes.”

“And who else?”

“Work it out. You think I’d start a list of survivors with a scrawny kid like him? He’s it. He’s the entire second battalion artillery crew. He came back.”

“Holy Sigmar preserve us,” whispered Eberhard.

“Aye, and let’s pray Myrmidia blesses us with some fellows who can learn fast. We’re going to need them.”

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



As a detachment of Halberdiers made their way along behind a sergeant and a captain, heading towards their posts for guard duty, they sang a verse from a song that they had last sung as the marched into Marienburg:

“For I was told by them that knows,
That marching’s good for feet and toes,
And sergeant says that he knows best,
Where to lay me down to rest.
But give me ale and give me meat,
And I won’t complain about my feet,
So give me wine and a warm, soft bed,
And I’ll not doubt what the sergeant said.”

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

Victuals are the soul of an army, money but its sinews. Without the latter an army fights indifferently, without the former not at all, but with both it fights well.’

After several ‘incidents’ with brigands, bandits and thieves, as well as desperately poor Cathayans who will try anything to put a little food in their bellies, it had been decided the army’s stores would be heavily guarded at all times of the day and night. And so here we see the ring of soldiers put around the stores….



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

The Army Standard of the VMC fluttered in the wind - a chilly current of air that carried with it the hint of an approaching storm. The bearer clasped it more tightly for to drop it would be an ill omen indeed. By his side the two guards had discovered they had no need to blow upon their matches to clear the ash and keep the hempen cord burning, for the wind was doing that job for them.



Inside, Baron-General Von Klaase was alone. He sat staring at the map before him, his hand nervously picking at the corner. A pile of letters and papers obscured a good portion of the map’s surface, but he cared not for he was not really taking in the details. His mind was elsewhere, his thoughts dancing from one memory to the next. All was war and battle inside his head: the positioning of artillery, the death of noble knights, flanking attacks and monstrous foes.

Without being conscious of it, he reached out and took a delicate hold of the little cup of Cathayan tea that had been poured for him by his now absent servant only a minute before. He sipped at it and a calmness descended upon him. Sitting back in his high-backed chair for a brief moment he forgot about the war. Absently, with no-one to hear his words, he said, “Nice cup of tea, that!”
To see some of my stuff with the pictures re-included go to http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/ and to see my slowly growing website/blog which will have a lot of stuff in eventually, see www.bigsmallworlds.com

Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (LOTS more added - 17th November)
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2009, 09:40:14 PM »
Baron Von Klaase’s Third Battle: 'Wicked Nobility'
(2000 pts Empire vs. Brettonians)

Even though the second scout reported the same as the first, Baron Von Klaase could still not believe his ears - both men had sworn the approaching foe were Brettonian. It made no sense. Why would noble knights from the far side of the world serve wicked powers here in Cathay? Could this be a trick? Or were the knights subjected by some glamour; enspelled by powerful magic that had stripped them of their true wits and honour?

The Baron had no time to consider the possibilities. The debate could come later. Right now he had an army to deploy against an enemy moving aggressively towards him; an enemy who had brutally killed his envoy.

The field of battle stretched out from a Cathayan noble’s estate, which was in form somewhat like a fortified inn in the Empire. It had amn outer wall marking the extent of  an inner coutyard, with a fortified tower reaching up from one corner.



The inhabitants were gone. It was possible they had fled, but Baron von Klaase had a suspicion the place had already been thoroughly looted by the enemy’s peasant soldiers, and if so, then the occupants might all have been butchered - man, woman and child. Surely no knight would or even could do such a thing? Once again the Baron had to dismiss the thoughts from the forefront of his mind, and return to the real priorities.

He looked to the field ahead …



... and saw scattered copses of trees and patches of stony ground, otherwise flat. The area before the Cathayan manor was relatively open, and this seemed to von Klaase to be where the fight would take place. He could put the manor to use, however, for it was a formidable presences, and he decided it would do to anchor one flank of his army. From this thought, he built his battle line:



He placed a brace of cannons right by the estate, angled towards the open expanse where he believed the battle would occur. Next in line he arrayed both Handgun detachments hoping that they could deliver sufficient volleys to weaken the enemy’s bodies of Knights so that when the charge came it would be insufficient to break his lines. Behind the detachments stood his three regiments of foot - Halberdiers, Swordsmen and Free Company, each at full fighting strength. They were flanked in turn by the Helbaster and then a regiment of Handgunners. Out on the farthest left, sheltered a little by the trees and rough ground, he placed himself and his Knights, whilst sending his Pistoliers forwards to prepare to flank the foe.

The enemy did not advance as the Baron expected they would (from what he knew of the Bretonnian chivalric art of war). There was very certainly something odd about these Brettonians. Their Knights, four bodies in all, were each and every one moving up behind a screen of peasants - as if driving their men at arms and bowmen into battle to do the fighting for them!



Three large regiments of men-at-arms came on apace, with Archers and Grail Reliquae upon their left, as well as Pegasi out on the farthest left flank. The Knights trotted slowly, reluctantly, up behind them (Game Note: The Bret’ player was ‘trying something new’ tactically!)

So on they came, the Knights cowering most un-nobly behind the men-at-arms, and moving much slower than they might. Nevertheless, they forced the Archers to move up as far and fast as they could, thus giving them no time to shower their arrows upon the Empire lines. The Archers upon the left, meanwhile, found that they themselves were out of range when they loosed their own missiles. The only nobles who really moved dramatically were the Pegasus Knights. They landed their flying steeds in the inner courtyard of the manor house, thus hiding themselves from the enemy’s sight not with men-at-arms, but Cathayan stones.



What surprised Baron von Klaase was the way in which the Knights had in effect blocked themselves off from delivering charges themselves. Yes, they were protected, but how exactly were they going to contact the foe and fight in their accustomed manner? Even those Knights on the far right flank could not hope to deliver a charge, not while they crept along behind the men-at-arms they had (presumably) brought from Araby.



And although it was no surprise that one of the magical damsels might look for shelter behind the men at arms, it was an odd sight to see the Paladin with the Brettonian army standard leading his own Knights carefully behind the same, as if he intended, even though caparisoned and surcoated in every colour known to heraldry, to ‘sneak’ up on the enemy!



No magic was forthcoming from the damsels this turn, for although one desired to cast the Wolf’s Hunt upon the Pegasus knights, she realised that they could not see their enemy and so could not charge them!

Baron von Klaase watched in continuing confusion as the enemy persisted in its graceless shuffle, and wondered at the sight of such fine destriers made to shamble sluggardly forwards. His hand was raised, motionless, and all knew he meant that no one should move. Instead it was time to let loose the first volley, a great weight of lead and iron blasting out through smoke rings and the sound of thunder. A moment passed as the smoke curled, and the men of the Empire saw that three knights had been laid low by cannon balls and five longbow wielding peasants had succumbed to bullets.

Baron von Klaase frowned. His guns would have to do better than that. Yet the enemy seemed to be doing everything it could to allow them much more time to play, so perhaps his men would have more opportunity?

The Pegasus Knights, unable to direct their flight at the foe, instead launched themselves over the wall and came to earth right by the two cannons.



As they touched down to earth, once again the Knights shouted their commands to the men-at-arms to move on. Once the peasants had advanced, the Knights moved up behind them. The only Knights who seemed unwilling to hide in such a manner were those upon the left. These now came around the corner of the estate and began a desperate advance towards the line of Handgunners, each noble a little unnerved to see the well drilled way the soldiers of the Empire loaded their handguns: calmly ramming each deadly, armour piercing bullet home with their scouring sticks, then hefting their pieces to prepare to give fire. The skirmishing bowmen now slowed their pace, for now they intended to shoot. When they loosed their arrows, only two Handgunners fell. Though only peasants, and hardly versed in the chivalric arts, they knew full well what this might mean for their noble masters.



The poor damsels could summon no magic that the enemy could not stop, and both felt the frustration of knowing that the winds of magic were against them, and that they could not help their brothers and husbands.

Now, finally, the Baron’s hand moved, and he gestured so that his men knew what he wanted of them. The Pistoliers galloped forwards upon the flank and made ready to fire upon the spear carrying men-at-arms. All they managed was noise and smoke, however, for not one desert peasant fell. Elsewhere, however, the Empire’s firepower showed its true colours (every shade of blood red apparently). Between them, the Helblaster and the regiment of Handgunners felled every one of the Knights Errant in the centre of the field, so that only the Paladin with his sable and argent battle standard was left, spattered with blood and trying his damnedest to control his mount.



The two Handgunner detachments also joined in this awful barrage, throwing three more knights from their saddles to crash upon the ground and lie with great holes ripped in their armour and their innards torn to shreds by the bouncing bullets that had torn into their midst.
Only three remained to deliver their charge.



The two cannon crews, knowing that the Pegasi intended to silence their guns, turned and fired grapeshot at the winged beasts. But only one was killed and so the matrosses and gunners found themselves fumbling for their rarely used swords and praying to Myrmidia that they might survive (they thought her much more likely to listen to the pleas of artillerymen than Ulric).

Their prayers were never completed, however, for on came the flying knights, hurtling into the crew of one machine (Game Note: Although the player wanted to angle this so that the second cannon might be caught in the overrun, we decided that because the front of the cannon faced to the left, and the wall would otherwise divide the Pegasi, that it was more proper to land them as seen in the picture).



As the Pegasi landed, the three surviving Knights galloping by the manor smashed into the detachment of Handgunners (whose countershot did nothing at all to harm them). (Game Note: Not sure about this - the knights came straight on and hit the Handgunners direct: could they have charged the middle of the unit and thus lined themselves to overrun onto the halberd behind? It was within their move rate, so ‘do-able’ in that sense. Admittedly, it wouldn’t have helped them ‘cos a +4 CR unit, with Priest character, would almost certainly have won the combat anyway and just killed the knights. But it was an option we weren’t sure the player had.)

In the centre of the field, the rest of the Brettonians now came on a little more boldly, though the kKights were still manoeuvring cautiously behind. The army standard bearing Paladin joined another body of Knights (of the Realm). The desert Spear turned to face the Pistoliers, not sure what to do about such a mobile foe.



The Knights Errant on the right were tempting the Empire Knights, though as the men-at-arms by their side moved a little further forwards, perhaps it should have been obvious that it would be them who were charged? The knights were probably thinking their peasants would hold and they could hit the enemy noblemen in the side.



The Paladin took his place in the centre front of the Knights Errant he had joined, and once again began a slow move forwards behind the skirmishing bowmen. To his side, the Grail Reliquae (once the men-at-arms serving a knight whose coat of arms was a shield of gules upon a background of orr, but who now led a scrawny nag in their midst pulling their master’s rotting bones on a wagon) were joined by a damsel.



The Pegasus easily tore the cannon crew apart and chose to overrun, while the the three Knights easily brought down the Handgunners and then found themselves having run right past the flank of the Middenheim Halberdiers in order to pursue the surviving enemy and make sure they could not reform.



Now the Empire were ready to charge. The Halberdiers went straight at the flank of the Pegasi, but of course the flyers simply fled away and were very quickly out of reach of the foot soldiers. The Baron General’s charge, in comparison, was not something the enemy could avoid. He led his knights at full tilt into the enemy’s own blue and white regiment of Halberdiers.



The slaughter was immense, and ten men-at-arms were hacked down. The Brettonian Peasants could not withstand such a shocking assault, and so broke and fled, which allowed Baron von Klaase and his gentlemen to follow on and charge into the Knights Errant behind (who had all just somehow survived a volley from the Pistoliers moving around their flank).



Meanwhile the Helblaster turned its awful multitude of muzzles to face the three knights now behind the Empire line …



… and a moment later all three were torn to pieces. The sound of “Huzzahs” was lost, however, in the blast of still more gunpowder weapons. The cannon brought another knight down, while handgun bullets killed men-at-arms hither and thither upon the field.

The skirmishing bowmen made their way towards the cannon, while behind them and the Reliquae the Knights of the Realm reformed to face the centre of the field - expecting any moment to see the Knights of Middenheim burst through the Knights Errant on the right flank.



The situation was getting desperate for the Brettonians now. Their red-garbed halberdiers (while there were some of them still alive) threw themselves in desperation at the Free Company…



… bt the enemy’s weight of numbers told, and with a few dead in the initial melee, it was the peasant Halberdiers who fled.



The Desert Spearmen failed in their attempt to chase off the Pistoliers, thus allowing the young men of the Empire to hurl themselves into the Knight Errants’ flank and thus come to the aid of their own Knights.



All was surely lost for the Brettonians and the Paladin knew it. Once again revealing this strange army to be not quite the epitome of Brettonian chivalry, he lifted his vizor and addressed the solemn men with him. “We’re leaving,” he declared abruptly. “Damn them. Damn their guns, and damn these serfs!”

With that, he turned and the Knights followed him. The surviving (but bloody) Pegasi had long gone (disappearing into the manor once again), half the Knights who had ridden onto the field were dead and another quarter were currently overwhelmed and surely about to perish.

The Peasants watched the retreating nobles for a moment, until it sunk into their thick heads what was happening. Once the thought had penetrated deep enough, they too, and to a man, turned and fled - though their flight did not look so fancy as the Knights with their pennants and heraldic devices. In jubilation, the Empire gunners let loose volley after volley, until they were no longer aiming at the foe but simply firing salutes in thanks for victory.

Result: A win for the Empire. Game conceded by the Brettonian player, half way through turn 4.

Notes: The Brettonian player admitted after the game that his experimental tactics (which he swore he had read about on forums) had failed. I had expected them too from the moment I saw his deployment. Believe me this was not an arrogant opinion, but a genuine one. For once I was right! Usually my tactical offerings prove worse than worthless!
To see some of my stuff with the pictures re-included go to http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/ and to see my slowly growing website/blog which will have a lot of stuff in eventually, see www.bigsmallworlds.com

Offline Derek Contyre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (LOTS more added - 17th November)
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2009, 11:36:57 AM »
Well done Padre, everytime I read one of your reports with joshua in it, it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside lol
(helps if my name is joshua too :happy:)
A man who builds his army around his fluff . . . respect . . .  :::cheers:::

Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (LOTS more added - 17th November)
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2009, 09:15:54 PM »
Baron von Klaase’s Fourth Battle: Day of Reckoning

Bhoodha, the ancient god of Ind, had once reigned supreme in the minds of the people in this part of Cathay. A god of peace and tranquillity, meditation and discipline, his teachings were indeed still taught to many a young and learned noble man, but his temples were no longer the site of worship and his statues rarely found in families’ private shrines. Yet, strangely, there remained a ‘stillness’ about his temples, even as they lay in ruins overgrown with clinging vines, their aged stones cracked and crumbling.



This particular ruined temple, surrounded for leagues around by uninhabited lands, would about have its peace shattered. War was coming to the ground above its long buried gardens, and soon blood would seep through the earth of ages to pool upon the subterranean tiles of its courtyards.

The Umigans were on their way.

For twelve years the Umigans had wondered the lands to the north of the Great Bastion, and they had been a noble and famed warrior people. Their word was their bond, their skill renowned, and their crafted goods were both beautiful and strong. All this had ended when each and every tribe member had dreamt the same dream one long, dark night - in which a mighty demon looked upon them with terrifying eyes and whispered powerful, magical words that wended deep into their minds to form stubborn roots. The dream they shared was as unto a seed, for it grew and burst up into their daily thoughts. Until one day it blossomed, and in that moment the Tzeenchian Demon Prince Argalloriad appeared before them. This time it was no dream.

That same day their old chief, who had lived for longer than any in the tribe could remember, disappeared. (Some believe he is inside Argalloriad, though none dare voice this thought.) Argalloriad smiled upon them cruelly, and they knew they must obey him or they would feel his wrath, and every warrior understood he would lead them to bloody and awful glory, to a new kind of fame.

Three months later and the Umigan warriors were south of the Great Bastion and approaching a ruined temple. There they knew an enemy from the other side of the world awaited them, yet none were afraid. Argalloriad swooped over them as they rode their mounts hard, having regimented themselves into four fighting companies, each one containing the members of a different extended family. By their side their loyal hunting hounds ran, panting loudly; and behind them, just able to keep pace, two companies of Ogres loped - monstrous warriors Argalloriad had summoned from the wastes to serve him. The Umigan’s last surviving priest, Er-Eratut, also kept up with them, though in his case it was not legs (neither his own or a mounts) nor even wings like Argalloriad’s that carried him. Instead he stood upon a strange black disc seemingly fashioned from darkness and yet with substance enough to hold him aloft. He had succumbed to chaos much more quickly than all the rest of the tribe, for although they were much the same outwardly as three months before, their transformation being slow, he had malformed painfully and very visibly. His cries of agony only ceased when a second mouth appeared in his belly, gaping permanently as if locked into a silent scream.

The Umigans rode fast, gathered into a compact host. Argalloriad had willed that they should hit the enemy in one flank.



Only one single company of Axe Throwers came on apart from the rest, commanded to make straight for the pair of machines of war the enemy had placed upon its left.



________________________________________________________________

Baron-General Ersnt von Klaase knew that here was an enemy the like of which he had little understanding. They were horse soldiers, but riding upon small beasts, and armed and armoured like Holy Sigmar’s ancient warriors had been at the birth of the Empire. More strangely their master was a creature fashioned not of mortal flesh, but birthed from the swirling other-worldly stuff of chaos. He had now brought nearly every man liveried in the colours of Middenheim he had left into one force, and he reckoned that each one was battle hardened by the hard slog they had faced until this day. They had food in their bellies, had not marched too far and their was powder enough to last all day and night. His army was ready.

Upon his left he massed his three regiments of Foot, state soldiers all, as well as his Handgunners and a brace of artillery pieces.



He himself took up position in the van on the right, with more artillery behind him and a large body of Free Company as a guard. The Pistoliers were once again off upon the extreme flank, closely followed by skirmishing Archers who picked their way through the ruins of an ancient temple.



Of course it was the marauding horsemen of the Umigan tribe who initiated the real battle, moving forwards though not as fast as they might. They were reluctant to allow the Baron’s Knights to charge them - being very keen that they should have the honour. Upon the Umigan left the large pack of Hounds ran towards the rear of the ruins hoping to prevent any enemy issuing from that spot to threaten the tribe’s flank. The two large bodies of Horse in their centre moved cautiously, with Ogres and the Demon Prince close by. A little company of Axe Throwers galloped quickly to take position right by the front of the ruins, intending to scupper any advance by the Knights by hitting them in the side.



The Green and Red Horse moved forwards in column, with more Ogres behind them…



…and far out to the right, the lone body of Axe Throwers spurred their horses hard to get as close as possible to the artillery.



Baron von Klaase watched these manoeuvres, surprised at the feeling of calm that came over him when one really should not expect to feel such a thing. Perhaps the ancient god smiling by his right had blessed him?



Then, as a knight standing by his side fell from the saddle, his life drained away by the flickering, magical fire of Tzeench lancing out from the enemy ranks to caress him, the Baron came suddenly to his senses and immediately ordered his knights to move back, though to turn and face the enemy as soon as they had done so.

The Archers advanced through the ruins, with Willibrord the wizard amongst them. By their side the Pistoliers hesitated, uncertain how they might safely emerge from the ruins to deliver a volley while the pack of Hounds waited to charge them.



Now the artillery began to play, great loud booms thundering from the Empire’s lines, yet every ball and rocket either fell short of the mark or flew too far forwards. This was a costly mistake. The Helblaster made up for it, however, by tearing through the Green Horse and slaying six Umigan warriors. This success was bolstered by the Handgunners, who between two companies brought down another three of the same green-cloaked horsemen. The three remaining warriors, to the Handgunners’ surprise, simply came on - as if they cared not a jot for what had just been done to them, nor that they would surely perish themselves any moment.

Von Klaase, his mood much altered, now flicked his eyes from enemy to enemy. There were so many, and they all seemed to be coming towards him! 



On the far left of the Empire lines, the five rapidly advancing Axe-Throwers hurtled into the crew of the cannon and killed two with ease. When the last crewman fled, the horse warriors reined back their instinct to ride him down so that they might be able all the sooner to charge at the Helblaster’s crew. Off over on the other side of the field the three last Green Horse attempted a desperate charge at the crew of the Helblaster that had felled so many of their kin, but the ground was too much for them to cover. The Demon Prince Argalloriad arced through the air to land deftly in the ruins behind the sneaking Archers, thus putting himself where he could see much of the enemy’s lines whilst having the protection of the stone ruins to help dissipate the effect of any fire against him. His servant the disc-riding Sorcerer flew a similar arc to the demonic lord, but cut it short to land on top of the ruins.



The small company of Axe-Throwers now rode around the ruins to take the place of the hounds ready to face the Pistoliers, while the Hounds themselves went chasing off towards the middle of the field. It turned out they were not needed there, for the Sorcerer hurled the flickering fire of Tzeench at the young gentlemen and when three died in screaming agony the rest fled in fear away from the field and away for good.

As all the rest of the Umigan horsemen moved up in readiness to deliver a charge next time, with the Ogres running behind as fast as their legs could carry them, their demonic Lord conjured up more of the flickering fire but it was batted down by the reading of a dispel scroll. Argalloriad cared not, to be truthful, for he was beginning to think that the enemy could not stand against the Umigans. Nevertheless his next magical attack fried another two of the Empire knights.



Somehow the archers in the ruins overcame the terror of having a demonic prince standing right by their side and simply crept on a little way through the ruins. At last von Klaase ordered his knights to charge at the three green-cloaked rides off to his left.

(This picture is just before the Knight’s charged)


On the far left of the Empire line the crew of the Helstorm, the red faced Joshua amongst them, chose not to attempt to move their engine away from the approaching marauder horse and instead attempted one last shot. This brave decision, however, proved fruitless, for their barrage of rockets missed their target landing just in front of the Ogres.


To see some of my stuff with the pictures re-included go to http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/ and to see my slowly growing website/blog which will have a lot of stuff in eventually, see www.bigsmallworlds.com

Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (LOTS more added - 17th November)
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2009, 09:16:58 PM »
Part 2

While the Swordsmen, led by the Warrior Priest, turned to face the oncoming Axe Throwers, the leftmost detachment of Handgunners wheeled to place themselves perpendicular to the rest of the Empire line, in an attempt to fashion a kind of death ground where the three bodies of Handgunners could send a crossfire of leaden bullets.



Now came a deadly combination of shot from the cannon and the Helblaster, the former slaying one Black Horse, the other truly pulverising the unit and killing a further eight. The remaining warrior picked up the standard and sat dazed upon his even more dazed horse while grievous, mortally wounded men and beasts moaned and thrashed about him…



 … then, when the Baron and his Knights killed the three last warriors of the Green Horse it was as if the Black Horseman’s wits were suddenly restored and he turned and fled.

Thus it was that two full companies of Umigan Horse had perished in the face of the enemy’s shot. Now the rest were ready to charge.



First the Axe Throwers on the left chased the archers from the ruins. Upon the other side of the ruins and Wolf-pelt Horse thundered into the crew of the cannon, hacking them down and then hurtling on into the regiment of Free Company men mustered behind.



Argalloriad flew over to attack the crew of the Helblaster …



… and their deaths were quick and bloody. He then allowed his fury to drive him on into the flank of the Handgunner regiment. Thus he joined the charge of the Red Horse who also smashed into the same Handgunners.



Between them, the Umigan warriors and their master felled seven of the Handgunners as well as their champion, and of course the hard-pressed survivors fled the awful fight as fast as their legs could carry them.

The six Ogres charged into the now revealed Knights …



… killing all three who were left and sending von Klaase himself fleeing away in fright. The Baron-General now really knew what fear was, as he could not order his thoughts but only ride, ride, ride, and away. Beside him, not far away at all, Argalloriad had just cut down the last of the fleeing Handgunners.



The four Axe Throwers were fighting their own personal battle out on the far flank of the field.



It was not difficult work, and now with two crewmen cut down, their bloodlust got the better of them and they threw themselves at the large body of swordsmen ready to meet them. (Game Note: I just thought ‘what the heck’ and let them dive in!)



Joshua was not amongst the two dead. This time he had saved himself by simply simply dropping beneath the machine itself, and crawling to hide under its very axle. He was experienced enough to know that to fight against such men was to die, and he was not yet ready to die. The Umigan’s did not even notice him cowering, or if they did they considered him an unworthy foe. They rode on and left him behind.

The Expeditionary Army of Middenheim was now badly mauled, yet three of its massed regiments of Foot remained still at full strength. Somehow the Baron-General found the courage to stop and turn to survey the battle, and as he did he saw his skirmishing bowmen do just the same. Both Halberdier regiments turned to face to the right, hefting the heavy bladed weapons and preparing themselves for the enemy’s inevitable assault.



Willibrord, amongst the rallied archers, saw the Baron-General up ahead and thought to help him magically by casting the spell ‘the Wolf Hunts’, and successfully slipped the incantation past the Tzeenchian’s defences and thus allowed von Klaase to launch a surprise charge into the Sorceror. Yet neither could wound each other. The Baron-General’s confidence had been shaken, yet he still had momentum and strength on his side. The Sorceror fled and the von Klaase set off in pursuit. Within moments everyone on the field had lost sight of both of them.

Out on the flank of the fight, farthest away from the temple to Bhoodha, the Swordsmen struck down two of the four Axe Throwers facing them, and saw the last pair run off. On the other side of the battle the Wolf-pelt Horse defeated the Free Company and pursued them to their death.

Now the final part of the battle began. The Red Horse charged the flank of the lead Halberdiers, while the Prince made his way to their other flank - not attacking them, but landing right beside them.



Somehow the Halberdiers managed to hold their ground, and fought on even when one of their number was slain.



Elsewhere the Umigan warriors moved as best they could to close upon the foe, with the three Ogres nearest to the temple heading towards the recently rallied Archers.
 


The Archers responded with a quick shower of arrows that brought down one of the brutish servants of chaos. But their courage was not mirrored by the large regiment of Halberdiers to the rear of the hard pressed regiment in the lead. These men took one look at the demonic form of the enemy Lord and lost all will to fight. They turned and ran, following in the wake of the Swordsmen who had charged the last pair of fleeing Axe Throwers to see them off the field.

At least the other Halberdiers put up a better show, slaughtering enough of the Red Horse to leave only one alive, then chasing him away and thus putting some distance between them and Argalloriad. Yet they now presented their flank to the large body of Ogres and the last of the Horse Regiments - the Wolf-pelt Horse. The Handgunner detachment who had (just) been involved in the fight also joined the Halberdiers in pursuit.



The two Ogres now charged into the Archers to begin a surprisingly drawn out fight, and the pack of Hounds did the same, loping off to engage the Baron von Klaase in a similarly extended struggle.



Argalloriad now came to land upon the Swordsmen detachment’s flank, and the Ogres and Wolf-pelts delivered a tremendous charge into the Halberdiers’ flank.



Six Halberdiers were killed in the initial punch, and the rest broke and fled. They were ridden down by the Horse Marauders, while the Ogres crashed into the flank of a doomed single file of Handgunners.



Just after the five Axe Throwers managed to wound the lone wizard Willibrod, skulking in the ruins, the Swordsmen chose to stand regardless of the denizen of Hell by their flank. The Ogres easily dispatched the Handgunners and now ran on to find themselves in front of the very last such body of men.



But the men of the far-off Empire now had no fight left in them. The Archers finally broke and fled from the two Ogres …



… whilst the other Ogres defeated then hacked down in pursuit the last of the Handgunners.

The Baron chose this moment to flee, praying that few enemy horsemen had even noticed he was still around. He rode hard and fast, throwing off what armour he could, and headed for the rest of the Order of the Dragon Shield’s armies.

Argalloriad roared his delight, a magical and threatening sound that somehow had colours laced into its form. The Umigans were triumphant, he had led them to a great victory. Now he would lead them further on.

Result: 1023 VP to Chaos Marauders. = Solid Victory.

Notes I played the Chaos army, because I gave the other player the choice, and he had lost (badly) with the same Chaos army last time he used it (against Wood Elves - there’s an old report of it in Warhammer Empire’s Imperial Office).
To see some of my stuff with the pictures re-included go to http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/ and to see my slowly growing website/blog which will have a lot of stuff in eventually, see www.bigsmallworlds.com

Offline Timbor

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Re: Joshua's Journey (4th Bat Rep added - 24th Nov)
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2009, 11:52:52 PM »
Another great job, Padre!  Always a pleasure to read.  :biggriin:

From what manufacturer do the Umigan horsemen come?  You mention that they are "smaller" than the empire horse, but it's hard to see the direct comparison from your pictures.

Tim
If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. - J.H.

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Offline Perambulator

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Re: Joshua's Journey (4th Bat Rep added - 24th Nov)
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2009, 07:07:52 AM »
 :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap:
Quote from: Johan Willhelm
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Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (4th Bat Rep added - 24th Nov)
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2009, 07:03:34 AM »
From what manufacturer do the Umigan horsemen come?

They're old 25mm historical Normans and (I think) First Crusaders converted with cloaks added and sometimes greenstuff armour and horns. The Company - I can never recall, but Uryens knows.
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Re: Joshua's Journey (4th Bat Rep added - 24th Nov)
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2009, 02:07:14 PM »

Let it be known that the Legally Chartered Company, the VMC (of Marienburg) has begun the building of a trading factory upon the coast of Zhong Sheng, south of Hai-Sheng and upon the bay that looks out upon the Sea of Tears. This Enterprise will bring wealth and prosperity to the citizens of Zhong Sheng by providing a healthy trade in tea, porcelain, silk and furs. For the better exchange of goods and wares, warehouses will be provided for the protection of the same, and all goods received and paid for will be checked and treated, weighed and packaged to prepare them for the long sea voyage. The Factory shall be under the governance of Master Bertold Van Haagen, VMC Factor, and full member of the High Council of the Order of the Dragon Shield.

Thus will the essentials of good trade be nourished and increased, as well as the well being of the Common Wealth.

For the Public Good, the VMC.


...

The Factory is under construction, and as it is being fashioned from seasoned timber bought a whole year previously by the VMC it has sprung up in a short space of time. The low, parapeted, earthen walls almost wholly enclose the area, and the Factor’s office and several other buildings have been completed. Three large warehouses already contain the first goods intended for shipment across the globe to the far side of the world.

Inside the factory there is constant bustle and activity. Huge wagons stand in long lines, having brought both trade goods and construction materials, and are now being unloaded. The factor’s agents labour every daylight hour to inventory all goods and materials received, while seamen from the VMC fleet busy themselves under the instruction of carpenters, coopers and military engineers to perform a bewildering array of tasks. Linguisters struggle, even after a more than a year in Cathay, to understand the myriad dialects of Cathayan merchants and artisans, as they barter and haggle for the best prices.


For its defence the Baron-General Ernst von Klaase has provided a regiment of Handgunners. These garrison troops have already begun patrolling the area around the factory as well as the walls themselves, while day and night the flag of the VMC flutters over head to remind them of the service they are upon.


Just entering the camp is a little party of seamen, armed with the long barreled muskets they favour. Such men form the guards for the caravans, mule and camel trains that carry the traded goods to the factory. Hardy fellows, they have been enjopying their year in Cathay (though not being on the front line might explain that).


In the main courtyard of the factory, Master Bertold van Haagen is meeting with a local Cathayan nobleman of some influence. The two men greet each other politely, and then after the brief exchange of a few words concerning the factory itself, they head into the Factor’s office where they begin important negotiations regarding the reinforcement of the depleted forces of the Expeditionary Army of Middenheim.

To see some of my stuff with the pictures re-included go to http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/ and to see my slowly growing website/blog which will have a lot of stuff in eventually, see www.bigsmallworlds.com

Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (4th Bat Rep added - 24th Nov)
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2009, 02:08:45 PM »
Factory Construction Site, Southern Zhong Sheng Coast
An hour past midnight.

Inside the factory the labours continued. By the light of large horn-windowed lanterns set upon tall poles, gangs of workers laboured in the sawpits and upon the scaffolding. Most of them being seamen they were used to working in watches, and so to working in the night. Few complained - quite the opposite, in fact, for the sound of their sea shanties and bawdy songs could be heard throughout the camp, each one accompanied by the rhythmical sawing, hammering or scraping of their work.

Outside the camp two men crept forwards, each one pleased that there was the sound of activity within. It meant any noise they made (which was very little indeed) was masked completely. Their progress was almost like a dance, so lithely did they step - the product of years of training not only in the martial arts but also in the art of stealth. When they reached the incomplete tower they had chosen as their entry point, they stopped a moment. They knew full well that there was a guard upon the top of the tower, but they were not afraid of being spotted, for they understood that his eyes were made somewhat blind to the darkness lay outside the factory - his night vision ruined by the light of the lantern and the burning of his slow match.



The tower lacked only one thing - shutters upon its windows. This was why they had chose this particular tower out of the many. It was an oversight, no doubt, and it made the two men’s entry a simply matter of timing (so that they would not be seen). No rope was required, nor tool of any kind. Admittedly their weapons had already been put to use, in the silent killing of an outer sentinel who had asked them in his coarse and tuneless foreign tongue “Who goes there?” He never got his answer. After a quick glance to ascertain there was no-one within the lower level of the tower, the two men crept in.

In the factory’s main courtyard Bertold van Haagen was about to escort his Cathayan guest to the best quarters he could offer. The two men had been deep in conversation the last three hours, and had come to the happy conclusion that cooperation would be mutually beneficial, and profitable to boot. The Cathayan, one Ho Quon Sung, had stopped to make a comment about the golden dragons guarding the factor’s door, and Bertold was only too happy to explain that they had been saved from desecration by the Anointed and brought here by the VMC’s Middenheim soldiers. Diplomatically, Beertold expressed his fervent wish that they might be replaced in their original location as soon as the wicked armies had been driven away. 



Upon the other side of the courtyard, standing guard over the counting house were two of the VMC’s mercenary soldiers, Estalian in origin, who watched the little party by the golden Dragons.

“You think those are gold, Juan?”

His friend gave a little snorting laugh. “Si. Of course they are, they were heavy enough.”

“I mean, are they solid gold?”

“You have greedy eyes, mi amigo,” said Juan in a mocking tone. “If only your purse was big enough to hold one, eh? Now, Pedro, hold your tongue, so the caballeros do not hear your greed spoken aloud.”



Only a dozen yards away, upon the other side of the Factor’s office, the two Nipponese assassins crept along the dark alleyway. Their soft shoes made no sound upon the hardened earth ground. Both had unsheathed their swords, the blades darkened by smoke so that they did not glint. They could hear the voices upon the other side of the building, though understood little of what was being said. Not only was their understanding of the foreigners’ language limited, but the cacophony of noise from around the camp obscured it. Little did they know that they were so close to their intended prey.



They had been paid generously, and would have more when they had succeeded in their task. Only two days previously a masked noble had told them that one Ho Quon Sung would be visiting the new factory. It was their mission to ensure he died there. This last was important - his death had to take place in the camp. They had not needed to ask why, for both were cunning enough to see immediately that his death was not the only intended outcome. It was plain that the foreigners’ reputation would be tarnished by the death of such a man in their camp, under their protection - an outcome that might even be more important than Ho Quon’s demise.

They cared not, for their purpose was to kill and be paid. More accurately, to kill well and be paid well.
To see some of my stuff with the pictures re-included go to http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/ and to see my slowly growing website/blog which will have a lot of stuff in eventually, see www.bigsmallworlds.com

Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (More added on 2nd December)
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2009, 06:14:36 PM »
Factory Construction Site, Southern Zhong Sheng Coast
Just over one hour past midnight.

As silent as cats, the two assassins moved slowly around the building into an area of stacked crates and chests. There they could see the two Estalian guards, and hear the voices a little more clearly. Everything fell into place - the guards’ posture, the authoritative tone of the voices, and the distinctive Cathayan lilt possessed by one of them. Ho Quon Sung, their target, was very close. 



Both recognised that to approach this way would be folly, for the guards were alert and armed with handguns. If they attempted to deal with them first, it would reveal their presence to Ho Quon Sung and perhaps give him a chance to escape; if they ignored the guards then the loud retort of gunfire they would certainly receive would at best warn the entire camp, at worst kill them both where they stood. No, they would have to return the way they came and go around the other side.


Joshua was out late, mooching around the camp for want of anything better to do. For weeks now he had had difficulty sleeping, what with the nightmares he had suffered, and the annoying itch from his several burn wounds. Uther had told him it was all in his head, and although Josh accepted that’s where his nightmares might well dwell, he knew the itch was real, and very definitely upon his flesh. So, once more, he found himself wandering around the camp waiting for sufficient tiredness to set in.

Then he saw something and stopped. Sinister shadows emerged on the ground up ahead, the dark advertisements of creeping men. Instinctively he stepped back into the shadow of the building next to him - some animal part of him understood that to stand where he was would mean being spotted by whoever it was approaching.

The shadows' owners appeared a moment later. They were not VMC men, nor Old Worlders. Clothed in dark swathes of fine cloth, their faces were enclosed almost entirely by tight-fitting hoods. The curve of their dark blades was vicious. Neither of them saw Joshua, for he had frozen in surprise and simple good fortune meant that the flickering specks of light dancing along the alley concealed his form rather than revealed it.

The two men moved by, just out of his reach (not that he could move to touch them) and made their way to the other end of the house. There they encountered a bunch of planks leaning up against the building, the unfinished work of some earlier labour, so they snuck beneath them and reached the far corner.



The first person the lead assassin saw when he peeked around the corner was Ho Quon Sung himself. The nobleman was addressing two foreigners, one of whom was concealed by a golden dragon effigy. It seemed to the assassin that the men were ending a conversation, and a moment later he was proved correct as the party began to move towards him. Silently spinning back to his companion he signalled with his free hand. The other responded instantly by flicking a sharp-pointed throwing star into his hand.



The next second passed very slowly for both assassins, but then suddenly Ho Quon Sung was visible and they went into action. The first leapt out with a swish of his blade, drawing the attention of all three men - startling every one of them so that they could not help but turn to look at the assassin. This is exactly what the he had intended, for with Ho Quon Sung now facing the corner of the building, his friend emerged and immediately sent the deadly disc of razor sharp steel flying towards their prey.

The assassin was well practised, the star as sharp as any razor. It lodged deep in Ho Quon’s throat and blood sprayed out as the nobleman crumpled forwards, a horrible gurgling sound issuing from the frothing wound.



Their job was done and neither had any intention of lingering. They knew their escape route, and even as the northerners advanced, the two handgun wielding guards running forwards from their posts, the two assassins began to back off - the first easily parrying the clumsy attack from the armoured foreigner who had been accompanying Ho Quon. They both began their turn, ready to spring away and lose themselves once again  in the shadows.

But Joshua was behind them.

Although later he would claim that he acted in the belief that the assassins were about to attack Master Bertold, in truth he saw they were stepping back and he was overcome with a desire that they should not get any closer to him. His ever-faithful companion, his stick, was of little use in a fight, especially against such warriors as these before in front of him. It was enough - the precariously placed timbers all tumbled away, sliding down the side of the building and landing in a heap right on top of the star-throwing assassin.



This unexpected event caught the other assassin’s attention - his mind raced in an attempt to work out what he might do in response. This hesitation, however, was to prove fatal, for Pedro had already hefted his piece to his shoulder. He did not hesitate, and leaned forwards as he pulled upon the trigger.



In a strange coincidence the bullet tore through the Nipponese assassin’s throat. Its momentum threw him heavily into the building at his side, where the bullet had already lodged. He died about a minute later, just after Ho Quon also perished.

There would be laughter about it later, but what happened next was almost the end of Joshua. Suddenly filled with a desperate anger, he leapt onto the pile of timbers intending to finish off the mangled man lying beneath. Everyone in the courtyard, however, had just been momentarily blinded by the flash of Pedro’s musket - so that when a third man appeared indistinctly before them, Juan presented his own musket with deadly intent.

“No, Juan, don’t!” shouted Joshua. “It’s me, Josh.” This cry saved his life, but not his dignity - for the distraction meant he lost his footing. He slipped, fell and ended up tangled in the timbers himself.

While the VMC captain ran his sword through the chest of the trapped assassin, Pedro pulled Josh to his feet.

The congratulations would come later. For now, Bertold van Haagen ordered his men to carry the assassins’ bodies inside. One look had told him that Ho Quon was dead, and his next thought was that he needed proof that it was neither he nor any man of the VMC that had done it. The two bodies should suffice.
To see some of my stuff with the pictures re-included go to http://forum.oldhammer.org.uk/ and to see my slowly growing website/blog which will have a lot of stuff in eventually, see www.bigsmallworlds.com

Offline cisse

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Re: Joshua's Journey (More added on 2nd December)
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2009, 08:01:43 AM »
Very nice reports Padre.

Also, well done Josh!  :wink:
cisse

No matter how fast you run, your ass will always be in front of me...