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Author Topic: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)  (Read 13926 times)

Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (More added on 2nd December)
« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2009, 11:10:50 PM »
Bertold van Haagen did not pretend to understand fully the politics of this ancient land, nor even the intricate hierarchy of the local nobility, but he had every confidence that the men who had approached him were honest. They seemed entirely satisfied as to what had happened to their master, having already removed his body to be interred with whatever Cathayan rituals were deemed appropriate, as well as taking the bodies of the two assassins. Bertold had no idea why they might want the murderers’ corpses, but instead of worrying about it he simply added it to the growing list of things he did not know about Cathayans and Cathay.

The men before him were Ho Quon Sung’s soldiers, led by a Junzhu (Colonel) called Nai Yong Fuo. They were veterans of the the war in the south, having fought for the last two years in Tung Sheng against the Green Fang Waagh. Ho Quon’s family apparently had some connection with the governor General Han-Shizhong, their own lands being dotted on both sides of the border between Zhong-Sheng and Tung-Sheng. Thus it was that Ho Quon had raised these men and commanded them in the old general’s army. But Han-Shizhong was gone, his army scattered, and Ho Quon’s now half-strength Jun had returned to his own estate near the new VMC Factory.

Now that Ho Quon was also dead, it fell to Nai Yong to lead them. Bertold was surpirsed to learn that Ho Quon’s family had washed their hands of the soldiers for some unknown (unknowable?) reason. Thus more than five hundred men now found themselves with no noble master to serve, nor general to command them. Yet there was fight left in them, and a stubborn loyalty to their Junzhu.

Nai Yong was a fierce looking man, with large drooping moustaches. Unlike the Middenheim and Marienburg officers of the VMC he was garbed as his men were, his shield and armour identical to theirs. Yet there was no mistaking his authority - his posture, the fire in his eyes, and the respectful deference of the men about him all made it very plain.



He had arrived with a small company of guards, a hornblower and a standard bearer. The latter bore no standard though, merely a brass crowned staff. Bertold had looked twice when he saw it, wondering what sort of soldiers marched under no colours. Then it occurred to him that masterless men might do, or at least those who had just lost their commander.

It was an immediate sign that the Cathayan warriors would be amenable to enlisting in the VMC’s service. Ho Quon must already have made up his mind, perhaps even ordered it, before he left to visit the factory that fateful evening. Nai Yong gave the impression that he was here merely to formally agree to that which was already decided. Still, Bertold knew he must play this carefully. He must not offend, for he wanted these men to fight well in the Company’s service, and the VMC needed them. He did not want reluctant soldiers going through the motions whilst waiting for a chance to desert.

Bertold met them outside the Factory’s southern gate, with several of his own military officers in tow. The Baron General von Klaase was away in Hai Han, negotiating the hire of several regiments of Tilean Dogs of War, so it fell to Bertold to represent the VMC, even though he was more merchant than soldier, and he wore his sword as a matter of fashion and not as a tool of his trade.  The armoured men around him, however, compensated for his civilian appearance: the young captain of the Pistoliers (an accomplished linguister who had learned to speak fluent Cathayan), the white-haired Warrior Priest Hambolt, and two Foot Captains.



The greeting was short and formal, and before Bertold expected the Junzhu had already offered him his sword. Trying not to show his nervousness, Bertold took the blade boldly, spun it around then offered it back to Nai Yong, all according to the muttered instructions the young Pistolier captain was giving him. The Cathayan returned the blade to its scabbard, then turned to face his men and barked several words. Each then struck the haft of his dagger axe against his brass-rimmed shield three times, and shouted a response in unison.

When Nai Yong spun back around to face the VMC men, Bertold grinned, then changed his mind and summoned a more serious look to his face. With a curt bow, the Junzhu began to march his little company away back towards the Jun’s camp.



Bertold watched them leave. As the four soldiers marched behind their officer …



… he began to wonder what a strange army would soon be taking to the field: the last of the Middenhiemers, ragged now after two years campaigning; a regiment of forgotten Cathayans; grizzled, swaggering Tileans; and not least the beast of war, the elephant of Ind housed in one of the half completed warehouses, whose blaring cry could be heard even now throughout the camp.

Silently, for he would never voice such words within earshot of the officers by his silently, he prayed that the Baron General might have better luck with this new force than he had so far had in this war.

Note: 'fraid I went to report more before I based the new figures. Impatience is a sin!
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 (More added on 2nd December)
« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2009, 03:47:24 AM »
Nice new addition, as always!  One small edit though:

It's "Ghost Fang Waagh", not "Green Fang Waagh".  I know our territories are green, but the name's not!  :happy:
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 Von Kurst

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Re: Joshua's Journey (More added on 2nd December)
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2009, 01:38:34 AM »
Green Fang iz wot ye gitz whens ye eats one o' dem duppy Spikes!

An' dey bain't none o' dem hummie 'vetran' er 'sirvibors' o' da scraps tween da Horsy gitz an da Waaagh cept doze gitz wot runz fastest an firstest!

Ye tells great tales,
Have a pint on me mate!
“Why is the rum always gone?” -Captain Jack Sparrow
"It is, it is a glorious thing To be a Pirate King."
 -Gilbert, Sir W(illiam) S(chwenck)

Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (More added on 2nd December)
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2009, 02:58:26 PM »
Thanks Timbor and Von Kurst - you two warm the cockles of me heart, you do, with your encouragin' words.

Here's the next installment ....

The Umigan's Second Battle

Grandmaster Erdwin Gotling was under no illusion regarding the importance of the task that lay ahead. The enemy he now faced, led by a very fiend of hell, had already annihilated one VMC army. Neither the Company nor the Order of the Dragon Shield could afford to lose another, nor could these servants of the Anointed be allowed to penetrate any further into the heartlands of Cathay.

So it was that he rode at the head of the army, Van Reikert’s words still ringing in his mind. The fate of this entire theatre could be decided by how his army fought today, for if these barbarians broke through, then a whole horde of monstrous foes could penetrate behind the lines - perhaps fatally dividing the forces of the ODS?

The battlefield was to be a barren area of packed hills, with scattered areas of swampy ground and scrubby clumps of short, wiry trees. It was not the field Erdwin would choose for his army, for with his multitude of artillery and handguns he would have liked better fields of fire. At least he had three bodies of veteran knights with which to hit the foe. Yet even this concerned him, for his heavily armoured nobility might find themselves outmanoeuvred by the nimble, nomadic horse marauders.



Upon the first indication that the enemy was close Grandmaster Erdwin signalled his army to deploy. This they did in a well-practised manner. He concentrated his knights upon the right, with the Helstorm upon a hill close by and the Helblaster towards the centre of the line (there to defend his Foot’s flank). Only one regiment of Handgunners moved amongst the Knights, making its way to the heights in the desire to shoot over the nobility’s heads at the foe.



The VMC left consisted mostly of foot soldiers, centred on a very large regiment of Halberdiers and its two detachments. A second regiment of Handgunners defended the far flank, while a large unit of Outriders gave the wing a mobile element to its firepower.



The Umigans concentrated their strength upon one side of the field, a tactic that had proved most successful against Baron-General Ernst von Klaase. Their Tzeenchian Demon Prince Argalloriad could smell the foe, and to his unearthly nostrils they seemed no different than the previous army his warriors had so easily driven from the field. Thus it was he saw no reason to alter his plan of attack. The line consisted of interspersed bodies of armoured Horse and light Horse, as well as Hounds. Behind came the Ogres intended to veer off and form flank guards if necessary, and right at the back were Argalloriad and his priest Er-Eratut, both of whom could fly whither they chose.



The battle began (surprisingly) with an advance by the VMC. The main body of foot came on so that the detachment of Handgunners crested the central hill, while the Bowmen and Outriders advanced beyond them. The flank guard of Handgunners, realising they faced no enemy at all, began to make their way towards the centre.



On the VMC right the two outermost regiments of Knights moved cautiously towards the foe …



… whilst various protective spells were cast by the two wizards. Then came the turn of the artillery to contribute, though their efforts were to prove disastrous.



The moment the hempen slow-match was touched to the fuse, the (as yet untried) Helstorm exploded and killed all its crew. Luckily the thunderous boom of its destruction came a moment after Braganza’s Besiegers on the central hill had loosed their quarrels and so did not affect their aim. They slew every one of the Hounds in the pack before them. Such bloody annihilation might have unnerved other armies, but the Umigans had seen a thing or two in the last year and were past caring about blood, guts and the baying of mortally wounded dogs.

Now the Umigans made their own approach towards the enemy. On their right the Ogres and a body of Axe Throwers began to wheel towards the enemy’s Foot, intending (somehow) to protect the flank of their own horse warriors.



The rest of the army moved cautiously, hoping that if they judged the advance correctly then they would be delivering the charges. All attempts at magic fizzled to nought, and the Demon Prince simply watched over the tribe’s advance and waited for an opportunity to strike.



But the Umigans had not experience enough of the caparisoned knights to know exactly what they were capable of - the last army they faced had fielded only one such body. So it was to their surprise they who received the first charge of the battle as the Grand Master led his own regiment thundering into the Black Horse. Argalloriad watched in disbelief, realising he himself was in danger from the knights if the Black Horse broke in the face of the metal clad foe.



(Game Note: It seems my guessing of distances is getting worse - I was sure those guys weren’t within 14” but the dreaded tape measure proved me wrong. It’s not easy trying to get somewhere between 16 and 14 inches from the enemy you know!)

Seven of the Black Horse fell to the enemy’s steel tipped lances and the survivors fled away in shock. Luckily for Argalloriad the Grand Master’s knights pursued and found themselves in combat with the Wolf Pelt Horse. Just before the VMC nobles hit, the Spirit of the Forge was cast upon that same unit killing five of them. Thus it was that with one rank less than they had a moment before the Wolf Pelts found themselves entangled, and with the exalted Champion stuck out on the wrong flank! The fight had not started well at all for the Umigans.



The entire left wing of the VMC force advanced, apart from the Outriders who now prepared their pieces for firing. The volley they let loose, a veritable swarm of leaden balls, tore the Axe Throwers unit apart, killing every man and horse. This did not panic those around, but when the pair of Ogres nearby lost a warrior to the mercenary Crossbowmen on the hill, their nerve did not hold out and they fled away.

The surviving Axe Throwers determined to lend what aid they could to the Wolf Pelt Horse and charged into the left flank of the Grandmaster’s regiment. There the fight fell to a stalemate, but the Grandmaster’s men were somewhat stubborn and refused to be broken by the foe.



The Red Horse thought to strike now too, but their own charge against the enemy’s knights failed (Game Note: 1/3 inch short! Gaah!) The Black Horse and Ogres rallied, while Argalloriad and Er-Eratut flew to the rear of the Dark Knights by the hill.



The Hounds were urged on towards the Golden Knights and the Helblaster, their role now to distract the enemy while the Green Horse moved forwards.



What they achieved, however, was quite different. The Golden Knights charged them, ran them down as they fled and then hit the Green Horse! Once again the Umigans, even though mounted on faster horses, had failed to deliver the charge. Somehow, even thought three of their number fell to this onslaught, the Green Horse stood their ground.



While the VMC wizard and the Handgunners fled in terror from the Demon Lord behind them, the Dark Knights were made of sterner stuff and charged the Red Horse. In a cool decision based not on pride but common sense, the Red Horse fled away. Perhaps the VMC line could be broken up and so dealt with piecemeal?

Upon the VMC left the Outriders formed a column, as if on the march, and headed towards a hill in the centre. The various bodies of foot nearby also wheeled their line in the same direction. Braganza’s Besiegers found their next shot less effective as they underestimated the range and their bolts all fell short. But bloody work indeed was being done by the Grandmaster’s Knights: Erdwin slaughtered four of the Axe Throwers. This was enough to unnerve all the Umigans in that fight, and all fled, including the Exalted Champion. They were cut down as soon as they turned their backs. Now only the three surviving Black Horse, their standard gone, faced the VMC’s elite Knights and their commander!



(Game Note: Only now remembered that all spells should have been cast at +1 - the old Tzeenchian mark. Oops!)

The Red Horse rallied and prepared themselves, realising that they would probably be charged by the very same knights they had just tried to avoid. Nearby the Ogres formed themselves ready to receive that charge, while out on the Umigan’s right the ragged remnants of the Black Horse moved so that the Knights could not charge them so soon.

The Green Horse proved incapable of holding any longer against the heavily armoured and broke and fled, allowing the Golden Knights to run them down then smash into the recently readied Ogres lines!



The Outriders now positioned themselves upon the ridge of the central hill. Behind them the VMC foot soldiers kept up their wheel to advance as a well-drilled line.



The Dark Knights finally achieved their goal of charging the Red Horse, but although they took three down, the Red Horse decided this time to prolong the fight as best they could. Behind them, the Ogres wiped out the Golden Knights and then pursued the last survivors. This pursuit brought them into the fight against the dark Knights, where they joined on either flank of the Red Horse.



Perhaps, if this body of Knights could be defeated, then the Umigans would be in the ascendant? Perhaps the Demon Prince could terrify the foot sufficiently to scare them off the field? ( Game Note : If I’d had the sense to do this - which my opponent said after the game he would have done)

But no, the Umigan’s luck had well and truly run out. For the Demon Prince had flown with his Sorceror companion over the far left of the Umigan line in an attempt to harry the Grandmaster and his stubborn Knights. They, however, ignored him and now charged into the flank of the main body of Ogres in support of their hard-pressed Dark Knights.



Needless to say, with a Grandmaster and elite Knights crashing into their flank, every man and horse encased in thick plate armour, the Umigan Ogres and last main body of Horse could not withstand the shock. The chaotic warriors fled and every one was ridden down and trampled. The Knights thus found themselves, like the hammer to the anvil, facing their own left flank!



As the Empire wizards employed the last of their dispel scrolls to prevent more magical harm spilling from the mighty Demon Lord, the entire army now turned to face the hill where Argalloriad and Er-Eratut had just landed.



Glaring down at the army of men, Argalloriad attempted to consider his options. Three knights cowered before him, but behind them was a wall of deadly gunpowder weapons.



In the end it was not careful deliberation and examination of his options that decided his actions, but pure rage and anger. The Flickering Fire of Tzeench poured down from the hill slaying two of the Grandmaster’s knights, closely followed by the opening of an Infernal Gateway that swallowed four more. Only the Grandmaster remained, his magical armour having saved his neck. (Game Note: He passed all three 4+ wards.)



(End of Turn 6, thank goodness! See the pic below and work out what would have happened had there been another turn. Mind you, I don’t think I would have put Argalloriad in that position on turn 5!)

With one more glance at the foe, Argalloriad decided he had had enough.



With a horrendous cry, he launched himself up into the air and spiralled away, closely followed by Er-Eratut.

Grandmaster Erdwin had done it! His noble Knights were badly mauled, but he was victorious and still had an army on the field.

(Result = A massacre to the Empire)
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 (New Battle added 10th December)
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2009, 08:14:42 AM »
Nice to see the empire doing well!

The charges from the bodies of  knigghts were probably what did the chaos marauders in, although perhaps mainly because that way they held the inititiative in the battle. The chaos army just didn't have time to prepare a second line to counter-charge.
cisse

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Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle added 10th December)
« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2009, 11:15:59 AM »
The Baron’s Fifth Battle

First Part: Hobgoblin’s Choice

HobLord Kergit rode at the head of the column upon his wingless, runt wyvern - the sort of creature an orcen warlord would scoff at but which was satisfyingly more ferocious than anything else in his army (apart from the giant Dobber). Behind him marched several cohorts from the mighty warhost of the Hobgogla Khan had, massed bodies of armoured goblins flanked by wolf riders. It was an army the size of which he had never commanded before, and although it was of course dwarfed by the full strength the Khan could muster, he was chuffed to have wrested command of it from his predecessor Firdig the Fat.


They were headed deep into the land of Cathay, each and every goblin soldier thinking of the loot and plunder they would take. Yet these thoughts, which might have distracted the more usual kind of goblins as they squabbled over how they might share the as yet un-won prize, did not in any way hinder this army, for the soldiers of the Hobgobla Khan were well drilled and marched in good order.

Trundling along by Kergit’s side were his Wolf Chariots, their axles evidently in need of grease if the squeeling sound was anything to go by. Running immediately behind him, having to jump frequently to avoid the runt Wyvern’s droppings (it had eaten an unripe snotling the evening before and the subsequent intestinal gurgulations had resulted in a tough of the flux) were Kergit’s advisers, the shamans. He did not care too much for their advice, but every one of the Hobgobla Khan’s armies was well stocked with the babbling magic users and their presence on the field of battle could prove very helpful (on a good day).


Ergit’s army was made up mainly of foot-sloggers, regimented cohorts of uniformed soldiers. Each bore the characteristic shields of the Hobgoblin Khanate’s soldiers, decorated with gurning, monstrous faces, red tongues hanging from gaping maws. Some were armed with spears or scimitars, others with globe tipped maces.


By the side of the column came two bodies of wolf riders. In ancient times such warriors might have constituted the whole of a nomadic goblin army, but under the rule of the Hobgobla Khan, massed regiments of foot had come to outnumber such wolf-riders in nearly all the armies he deployed.

The most veteran unit was at the core of the column, a large body of spearmen led by a band of warriors who had served in many a battle. Behind them came another massed regiment of foot, these being a little smaller in size and made of recent conscripts, armed a little more haphazardly than the ‘regulars’ with weapons they had scrounged from the enemy dead, even some gunpowder weapons!


Near the rear of the column, just ahead of the human slave archers, came the largest regiment in the host - a massive body of goblin archers. Their rain of arrows, though not the most impressive in terms of range, could momentarily blacken the sky before studding the ground with a little forest of branchless saplings.


At the head of this cohort marched Thydig Bowlegged, clutching his favourite gutting blade and leering in a manner that outdid just about every other greenskin in the army. Beside him, his head weighed down by the oversized chainmail hood he always wore, was Big ‘Ed Chiggo.

“So, just to mek sure I’z got this right and proper in me ‘ed,” Chiggo was saying, “we is gonna be shootin’ but not ‘avin’ to get stuck in?”

“I’z told you twelvety times, I’z lookin’ out fer all your lads, an’ I’z be mekin’ sure we’z not gettin’ too close to the other side.”

“Close enuff ter shoot tho’, yeah?”

“Close enuff for dat, but no closer!”

Their enlightening conversation, pretty much a repeat of what Chiggo had asked several times already that morning, was suddenly ended by the rasping blast of Tiny Porgle’s bagpipes. This took everyone by surprise, but within moments the entire front seven ranks were burping, farting and blowing raspberries in accompaniment as they usually did.

Last of all came the war machines and Dobber the Giant - his job to pull the large Doom Diver along on its sledge - as well as the ragtag collection of baggage and camp followers.

Such was the mighty host (if numbers were anything to go by, a least) that approached the newly remodelled army of the VMC. Perhaps if Baron-General von Klaase had known soon enough, he would have ordered a retreat? After several defeats and the almost total destruction of his beloved Middenheimers, all around him could see he was a shaken man, if not a broken one.

He was about to face his last test.

More to follow.

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

Hobgoblin Army for A4 Campaign, 2377 points

Warboss on runt, wingless Wyvern (as Gigantic Spider) -
Porko's Pigstikka, Spiteful Shield, Warboss Umm's Best Big Boss's 'At

Shaman, Level 2 - Staff of Sorcery, Talisman of Protection
Shaman, Level 2  - Power Stone, Dispel Scroll
Shaman, Level 2  - Horn of Urgok

Goblins, 30, Full Command  - Spear, Light, Shield
Goblins, 30, Full Command  - Spear, Light, Shield
Goblins, 30, Full Command  - Hand, Light, Shield
Goblins, 25, Full Command  - Hand, Light, Shield

Goblins, 50, Full Command  - Short Bow, Light
Slave Archers (as Goblins), 22, Full Command - Short Bow, Light

Wolf Riders, 10, Full Command  - Spear, Light, Shield
Wolf Riders, 10, Musician  - Bow, Light
3 Goblin Wolf Chariots

Giant

2 Goblin Spear Chukkas
Goblin Doom Diver

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

Second Part: All for One

The morning seemed unusually still, as if a hush had infected the land and all who dwelt within it. Captain Albrecht was glad of the quiet and decided to enjoy it, especially as he knew it would not last. The orders had already been given – the army was to march at midday. There was just this one last task, being the reason its departure was delayed so long after the dawn.
 
Baron-General von Klaase was riding ahead of the captain, several ensigns and drummers separating the two men. Even from this far back Albrecht could see the commander was agitated. This was the ‘new’ von Klaase, a changed man born of bloody battles, defeats and flights, bearing very little resemblance to he who had first set foot in this far away land. This was a man who tugged and twisted at his beard, stared with glazed eyes as his officers reported to him, and screamed in the night as if devils were tormenting him.

Several officers had privately commented on their commander’s disposition, but none had the audacity to address the matter with him. The VMC’s factor, Bertold van Haagen, and its military commander, Anthoniozoon van Reikert (also commander of the ODS’ military forces) had not made an issue out of von Klaase’s state of mind. Indeed, the very fact that they had found a way to rebuild the fighting strength of his army proved that they expected him to continue his command. So it was not for men like Albrecht to raise a fuss.

The rebuilding of the army involved some unexpected developments. There was the obvious hiring of Tilean Mercenaries - Hai Han was swarming with the swaggering fellows. And now there was the recruitment of Cathayans. Up until now the Cathayans had fought in their armies, each soldier a servant of his governor first and the Imperial Army second. They had even shared battlefields with the ODS troops. Here, however, were soldiers who would serve under the direct command of an ODS general, and not a mere handful but no less than five thousand men under the command of the Junzhu Nai Yong Fuo. Of these, one jing (1000 men) was sent to reinforce the Expeditionary Army of Middenheim.

And these were the men that the party rode to meet with this still morning. The jing had arrived sometime after dark. Having rested, they were now to formally swear loyalty to the Baron-General. Once this was done the army, united, could march.

The captain could see that von Klaase had reached the clearing where the Cathayans were camped, and blinked in surprise at what he saw - the flag of the VMC was carried by their ensign, and fluttered at the front of the massed ranks of halbediers. He had known these men were to serve the VMC, but until he saw this flag, the reality had not sunk in. He never thought he would see the day that the proud soldiers of the Emperor so willingly entered the service of foriegners that they would carry its colours and not their own!
 

For the next quarter of an hour Albrecht could not really hear what was said, though the drums and horns were loud enough. Flags were furled and unfurled, then paraded about. Swords were passed back and forth and hands were held aloft in the swearing of oaths. Finally the Baron-General spurred his destrier on and rode along the front of the Cathayan troops, his head turned to look at them. Captain Albrecht wondered if the General was wearing his vacant expression, and if so, whether the Cathayans would notice.

The whole party rode by, and this gave Albrecht a chance to get a good look at the Cathayans.


They looked to be very well drilled, generously equipped with armour and arms, strong, healthy and (most important of all) they looked to be keen, even fierce. The captain’s mood changed from curiosity to confidence. Maybe the Baron General’s fortunes in battle would change now? With men such as these, and sturdy Tilean mercenaries hardened to the rigours of war, surely the army had regained its fighting strength? Perhaps it was now a better army than it had been before?
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 rufus sparkfire

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle added 10th December)
« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2009, 12:07:47 PM »
Who'd have thought warring states Chinese would be such a good match to renaissance-y Empire? It's only a difference of two thousand-ish years...

I love these reports.
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Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle added 10th December)
« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2009, 09:57:17 PM »
Part Three: The Clash of Many Arms

The field of battle lay between two small ranges of hills, an expanse of barren, flat ground with little other than the occasional scattering of boulders to decorate it. Both armies would have hills to deploy on if they so wished, as well as little to stop their advance but the enemy.


HobLord Kergit arrayed his force into one long line, with only the war machines and one cohort of goblins in the rear. His right flank would consist of his archers, backed up by the goblin cohort back from the line, just in case the foe survived the arrow storm and broke through. In his centre he placed his three main cohorts, with chariots upon either flank (to draw the enemy’s attention away from the massed foot soldiers). The war machines would hurl their bolts and crazed goblins from the heights behind, while the left flank would consist of the giant Dobber and both bodies of wolf riders. That was where Kergit rode too, entirely happy to have a giant guarding his unit’s inner flank.

Baron-General von Klaase also ordered a long line of battle, so that the full strength of his own missile troops could be brought to bear, both crossbows and handguns. He ordered his Pistoliers out to the right to see if they could deal with the wolf-riders loping up on that flank, while he sent his knights to the far left - perhaps he thought them invulnerable to the enemy’s arrows due to their casing of steel?


His regiments of Foot he arrayed in support of the missile troops, ready to surge forwards right across the line to intercept any survivors that got close. His four artillery pieces were placed upon the heights to the rear. Looking at the nature of the foe, he was glad they had brought the mortar and the Helstorm. The enemy was the sort of foe that the machines surely could not miss - huge numbers of troops - which was the sort of foe that had to whittled down before they made contact.

Just as the VMC men had manoeuvred into place, they saw the enemy had already begun the advance. Every unit (but for one squabbling cohort of goblins) came on, a sight that tested the mettle of every VMC soldier.


The giant skirted a pile of rocks and just about kept up with the Wolf-Riders and HobLord Kergit. Behind a chariot trundled on as best it could, the crew knowing that as soon as a gap should appear, they would goad their wolves to charge through it and smash into the foe.


The chariots in the centre came on much more visibly, for they did not have the benefit of any goblins to screen their advance. Momentarily, the crews wondered at the real reason for their central placement. Could it be that they were to provide the enemy with targets to keep them occupied? But this concern did not linger in their minds, rather they saw the foe ahead and turned to thinking about how their wolves and scythes might tear great hunks from the foe. Several started sniggering at that thought.

The goblin and slave archers moved up knowing they would have to be a lot closer to the enemy if their short bow arrows were to find their mark. The slaves might have moved a little more reluctantly were it not for the body of goblins behind them. As it was, if they fell back then they had no doubt they would be set upon by those goblins, so they might as well keep going and see if they could survive.


On the heights behind the VMC line, all four artillery pieces were loaded and ready. Joshua stood by the third Helstorm he had crewed in this war, now a veteran and a hero of the VMC cause. He didn’t look any different, to be honest, but those around him no longer mocked him and indeed went so far as to listen to what he had to say. At the moment he was silent, for he could not take his eyes of the green horde closing in on him and his comrades.


Next part to follow
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Offline Derek Contyre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2009, 09:23:43 AM »
GAAAAAAAH!

cant wait for the rest of your bat rep  :icon_mrgreen: :icon_mrgreen:
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Offline cisse

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2009, 11:10:24 AM »
GAAAAAAAH!

cant wait for the rest of your bat rep  :icon_mrgreen: :icon_mrgreen:
Seconded!

That first shooting phase will be important - can the VMC panic some goblin units with their mortar and helstorm, kill the giant or some chariots, panic some wolf riders? Come on Padre, don't keep us waiting too long!  :wink:
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 11:18:56 AM by cisse »
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Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #35 on: December 15, 2009, 08:37:20 PM »
I try me best, you know! But tonight a baby who won't go to sleep is kinda gettin' in the way! Still, here's the next bit ...

Part 4

Magical attacks began to burst from the Hobgoblin’s lines, but their harmful intent was dulled by the Empire’s defences and a sudden, unexpected lessening of the winds of magic. Only one crossbowman died to this initial wave of magical energy, but ironically the Horn of Ugruk found magical strength enough to harm its wielder. The Doom Diver’s first shot was aimed at the Pikemen. It missed, and instead flattened three more crossbowmen. Both Spear Chukkas sent their bolts into the earth instead of the enemy.

If this was all the Hobgoblins could muster in the way of missile and magic then perhaps the VMC men should have felt more confident? As it was, most assumed that the enemy had not even tried to inflict harm yet, but was more intent on closing the distance between the armies before unleashing the full strength of their fury.

The Pistoliers, having survived one little shower of sort bow arrows decided not to linger and await more - they charged straight ahead to crash into the Wolf Riders on the far flank. The goblins’ countershot proved just as ineffectual as their previous volley and the Pistoliers hit them at full strength.


Three Goblins were cut down by the young men’s blades and pistol butts, while only one Pistolier was wounded in response. The goblins, being no different from most of their kin when it came to courage, turned and fled. The Pistoliers, surprised by the enemy’s sudden departure spurred their mounts a little too late and failed to catch them.

As the Pikemen shifted over to cover the gap left in the line by the fallen Crossbowmen, Baron General von Klaase rode to join the Cathayans. Perhaps the Imperial soldiers thought this an odd action by the foreign general, but if they did they did not show it. What was really going through von Klaase’s mind no-one will ever know.


After an even weaker counterblast of magic came the turn of the VMC’s engines to sow destruction in the massed ranks of goblins swarming before them. Both cannons failed to judge the bounce of their balls and missed their targets, but not so the mortar. Its grenado tore seven goblins apart, leaving the central cohort of goblins shaken. But the Helstorm really showed what it could do, its rockets tearing a hole fifteen goblins in size in the spear cohort that had been squabbling behind the lines- half their strength destroyed in one blast! The remaining goblins fled away from the horror, none of them even knowing what exactly had just hurt them!
 

Three of the Wolfriders with Kergit tumbled from their saddles as the Cathayan Crossbow detachments let loose their quarrels, but these particular goblins were made of sterner stuff than the rest - perhaps simply because of the awe inspiring presence of Kergit on his runt Wyvern - and did not flee.

The goblin archers also stood their ground in the face of casualties, but their stance was more to do with the fact that due to the size of their regiment most failed even to notice that any harm had been done to them by the Handgunners’ noisy blast. Near the centre of the line, the Tilean Crossbowmen hoped to stop at least one of the brace of Wolf Chariots about to charge them (then perhaps the other with a countershot) but their volley proved less impressive than their Cathayan counterparts and they barely managed to scratch their target.

So with two enemy units in flight (Wolf-Riders and Speargoblins) and another badly mauled, it might be thought that the VMC had the upper hand. But they had signally failed to stop the enemy units that were close enough to charge - and this was to prove costly.

The lone chariot out on the Hobgoblins’ left now smashed into the Pistoliers, watched by the Wolf-riders who were rallying only yards away.



Four Pistoliers were cut down by the combination of scythed wheels and bloodthirsty goblin crew. Unable to land any blows themselves the last three fled away, luckily moving faster than the rusty chariot could pursue.

Off to the right of this bloody little melee Kergit led his Wolf-Riders into one of the Cathayan Crossbow detachments, even though another pair of goblins fell from the countershot. Dobber the giant bravely sauntered up in front of the massed halberdiers just as he had been signalled to do by the Warboss Kergit. He was to provide protection for Kergit’s flank, for with him in the way there would be no charge from the Halberdiers at the Wolf-Riders.


The Wolfriders’ charge, what with a monstrous lizard and its ferocious Warboss rider in their midst, proved too much for the thin line of Cathayans. Kergot and his mob killed every one of the men before them, then stood their ground in the hope that they might turn next into the Halberdiers’ flank.

The two chariots in the centre also found their mark, even though every crossbowman once again shot at the already wounded one. Yes they damaged it, but not enough to stop it hitting them ….


The consequences were messy as nine men were felled as well as the wizard standing with them. When the Tileans fled they were ridden down brutally and the chariots, who had positioned themselves to do exactly this, overran into both the mortar and one of the cannons on the hills.


It seemed very unlikely that the VMC’s artillery would prove quite as deadly when they next opened fire!

Perhaps foolishly, in light to what had just happened to an entire regiment of Tilean Dogs of War, the crews did what they could and jumped in front of their machines to attempt to defend themselves.



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Offline Perambulator

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #36 on: December 15, 2009, 09:00:28 PM »
Talk about a cliff hanger! Padre, you have a very nice way of presenting the action. Nicely done, as always.  :::cheers:::
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Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #37 on: December 16, 2009, 05:00:00 PM »
Part 5

In the centre of the field the lesser of the four cohorts of foot goblins was stuck behind he squabbling slaves, but the two cohorts by their left confidently continued their advance now that the crossbowmen had been driven away. The massive band of archers stayed where they were, and readied their bows to let loose a volley at the Knights. Not all could see the foe, but enough little arrows were sent knifing through the air to fell one of the VMC noblemen. Big ‘Ed, in the front rank next to Thydig, shouted, “Ha!” to get everyone’s attention. Once it was got he declared: “That were my arrer did that.” No-one argued, for they were all too busy readying themselves for another shot - the Knights were still coming on. A Spear Chukka bolt also struck the Knights, but was little more than a glancing blow (Note: I rolled 1 to wound.)

The Hobgoblin’s magical incantations began to grow in strength, and ‘Brain Bursta’ now killed six Cathayan Halberdiers.  Just before the chariots broke the crossbowmen he was with and rode him down the VMC’s wizard managed to read his scroll to prevent any further harm. The last word of the dispelling rhyme was also the last word he would ever speak!

With HobLord Kergit to his side, a giant looming over him to the front, and the slaughter of an entire detachment right next to them, Baron General von Klaase was pleased to see the brave Cathayans’ morale held out.


Emboldened by their courage, he ordered the regiment to charge the giant, which they promptly did. The remaining Crossbow detachment joined in this attack, and Dobber found himself surrounded by little men stabbing and slashing at him. They hurt him, drawing blood from both his legs, and in his frustration he decided to yell and bawl at them. This was unnerving indeed for the Cathayans, but they did not let it scare them away.

While the Cathayans were so busied, the Tilean Pikemen marched directly towards the nearest goblin cohort, hoping that their serried lines of spear tips would make up for the goblins numerical superiority.


Off on the far left wing of the VMC battle line, the Knights now thundered into the goblins, their armour deflecting every one of the arrows the goblins sent their way (Note: 21 countershots did 2 wounds, both saved!)


The knights and their warhorses, however, only brought down two of the goblins, and as a consequence the Hobgobla Khan’s soldiers somehow held their ground.

Behind the knights the Estalian Handgunner detachments and the Swordsmen began to wheel towards the centre of the field, knowing that it was very likely that some chariots would come rolling down the hill towards them once the artillery were destroyed.


Joshua and his fellow Helstorm crewmen were under no illusions - this was probably the last volley of rockets they would manage to release. They wanted this to count, and their prayers were answered - for when the bout of explosive missiles hit the ground they tore fourteen goblin warriors apart in the cohort stuck behind the slave archers. The last functioning cannon tried its best too, but only managed to clip the central spear goblin cohort, killing no more than two. While they fired, the two chariots turned their comrades on the other two machines into mincemeat.

The third goblin chariot also made itself useful a few moments later, crashing hard in to the last three Pistoliers (who had only just rallied) and killing them to a man. Kergot would have liked to have done the same, but because the Cathayan Halberdiers had moved forwards to charge the giant, he and his Wolf Riders could not turn sharp enough to reach them. Instead they simply reformed on the enemy’s flank and watched as the surviving two dozen sword goblins charged into the end of the Cathayan detachment’s line.


The resultant fight was messy, but in the end it was the size and the giant and the numbers of goblins that won out - the Cathayans were hard pressed and weakening. Yet, once again, they somehow found the courage to fight on. (Note: The Battle Standard Bearer - see the blue and white - was with them, and they passed the Break test re-roll.)

The wolf chariot that had overrun from the first cannon had hit the crew of the second …


… and once again the poor crewmen could not hope to survive. They too joined their comrades in the afterlife.

Joshus could only look in horror as the two chariots were now headed towards the Helstorm. He was wise enough to know that  this time he really could not expect his luck to hold out. In a flash of clarity, he knew his end was nigh!


The hobgoblin shamans now unleashed more of their spells, one of them beckoning the god Mork to focus his wrath on the VMC Standard Bearer (“Mork Wants Ya!”) But somehow the VMC Captain shrugged off the potent incantation and fought on unharmed (rolled 12 on dispel dice to stop a 12!) The Pikemen were not so lucky, and another three were killed by two Brain Bursta spells cast in tandem by the other Shamans. As they reeled from this, one of the Spear Chukkas felled another three of them. Slowly but surely they were being whittled away.

In a very unexpected turn of events on the far right of the Hobgoblin line, the Knights defeated the massive regiments of goblin archers, their steel blades killing two goblins whilst a horse’s hoof knocked the life out of another. But Thydig Bowlegged was not yet ready to run, and certainly not to have these knights ride him down and trample him into the dirt. He scowled at his warriors and they too chose to fight on! (Note: rolled a 4 to stand!
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Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2009, 11:06:34 PM »
Part Six

Bravely the Pikemen now took their chance and charged the Spear carrying goblins before them. Only three goblins went down to the twenty pike tips thrust at them, but this was all that was needed to put the greenskins to flight. The Pikemen could not catch them.

One the far left of the VMC line the Handgunners attempted to fell one of the chariots but could not harm it, while Josh and his mates managed to let loose one final volley of rockets. These missed their intended target and instead killed the entire crew of one of the Spear Chukka’s upon the other side of the valley.

Von Klaase and the Cathayan’s fought on, and their courage was rewarded. The newly commissioned army Standard Bearer killed the (much bloodied) giant with a thrust of his blade and caused the monstrous man to fall backwards onto the goblins behind - killing five of them. Without Dobber’s mighty assistance, the goblins now found themselves outmatched by the Cathayans and turned to flee. Neither the Halberdiers or the Crossbowmen could pursue as fast as the desperate goblins could run!


The fight between the knights and the goblin archers continued, with neither side able to defeat the other - numbers seemed to be making up for a lack of just about anything else in the goblins’ favour!


Just as von Klaase was beginning to believe that the battle was swinging his way, Kergot and his wolf riders smashed into the Cathayan regiment’s rear! The Middenheim Expeditionary Army Standard Bearer suddenly screamed as Mork’s spirit clutched at him and squeezed the life out of him.


While the front rank reeled in horror at this turn of events, nearly the entire rear rank (bar one) of the Cathayans fell to this attack, and although the last survivor of that rank slew a goblin in return, the Cathayan’s courage was finally and fully sapped. They ran, carrying the Baron General with them, and everyone of them was cut down in flight. Baron General von Klaase was dead!

This was not the only brutal charge being delivered. One chariot hurled itself at the crew of the Helstorm, the other at the Estalian Handgunner detachment at the foot of the hill.


The first chariot’s impact killed Joshua’s crewmates, then a viciously curved blade of black steel took Joshua’s head from his shoulders. For the briefest moment he could still see as the world spun around and around. His last thought was a simple one, an expression of his surprise: “What?”

The other chariot could not be stopped by the counterblast of bullets and when it hit the Estalians it tore them apart, breaking them completely. Overunning it went even further, but could not quite reach the other Handgun Detachment. They levelled their handguns and prepared to find out if their own shots would prove luckier.

(Note: See how I cunningly 'MS Painted' the dice out of this shot. BTW, the little white dice in the previous picture show wounds left, the green dice show standards captured.)

A Shaman’s ‘Brain Bursta’ spell now felled another eight of the Tilean Pikemen, who in desperation (perhaps) responded by charging against another goblin cohort, chasing them off between the two little hills sporting the goblin artillery. They could not catch them.


Now the Swordsmen regiment and their Warrior Priest leader joined in the fight against the massive body of gobbling archers …


… and it was obvious the little fellers could not hold out any longer. At last, though it cost the life of another noble Knight, enough goblins were killed to send the rest fleeing from the field. Many more died as a consequence. The surviving three knights and the Swordsmen now found themselves facing no fighting foes at all.


While the Handgunners did manage to bring down the chariot before it hit them, and Kergit and his mob of Wolf Riders butchered the last Cathayans (the Crossbowmen) on the field, the Pikemen could only wonder what fate might befall them now that they were surrounded.

The last Estalian detachment’s good cheer did not last, for they were hit by the chariot coming up behind the first. Some died straight away, others ran a few yards before being cut down mercilessly. The goblins between the hills rallied to the sound of their musician’s horn, and turned to look at the Pikemen who had scared them so.


The Tileans were well and truly surrounded. Another Shamanic spell killed four more of the Dogs of War, although the second Shaman’s attempt at the same spell (miscast) killed three goblins by his side rather than the enemy! The deadly magic was followed by arrows and a massive spear. Enough was enough - the pike turned tail and ran. Right towards the grinning Kergit on his runt wyvern. (Note: Less than 25% original strength - these guys were not going to rally.)


The light was fading, and although there was time enough for more mayhem, the surviving VMC soldiers had not the heart. Before the enemy could reach them, they moved hastily away, praying they could escape through the approaching darkness.


-----------------------------------------------------------------
Result: Victory to the Hobgoblins - game conceded on Turn 5b.

As it stood the Goblins were 1115 VP up (in a 2377 goblin versus 2420 Empire contest) with no real need to concede any more VP as they could move away to avoid any Empire charges. Three Shamans, two war machines and a lot of goblin bows were still available for turn 6.

I wrote up both army lists, then did a full breakdown for my mate ‘J’, allowing him to choose which he wanted to play. It’s the only way when using two of your own armies. Thus (bizarrely) I was responsible for killing von Klaase and Joshua! Oh dear!
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Offline Perambulator

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2009, 03:12:29 AM »
Wow. What an end to that journey! Bit of a let-down really, for Joshua I mean. Well written, but who are you going to focus on now? This isn't Joshua's story any more.
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Offline Derek Contyre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2009, 10:31:52 AM »
I dont think he will focus on him anymore. . . unless he models up a headless one  :icon_frown:
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Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2009, 10:36:55 AM »
Yeah, it's weird. Because I let the actual events of the games decide the story suring the battles then there's a limit to what I can do re: the big direction of the story. I reckoned Joshua had 'died' often enough (and had lucky escapes) and I couldn't really do it again. So that's the way the cookie crumbles, or the head rolls, as it were.
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Offline Perambulator

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2009, 02:51:17 PM »
I reckoned Joshua had 'died' often enough (and had lucky escapes) and I couldn't really do it again.
Sure you could! It happens in literature all the time - you're a proverbial God - you can make whatever you want to happen a reality! I dunno - you could say Sigmar came by bring him back to life and said he needs him to play a small part in a key battle in the future that could end up deciding the direction of the war and just not tell him what the moment will be. In essence keeping him alive throughout the campaign, but that wouldn't necessarily be a good thing for Joshua because he's still a runt and people would think that he survived those battles because he ran away or that crews that he were on were doomed to die or they might think he's a good luck charm or a mixture of everything. Come on Padre! You can do it!
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Offline wissenlander

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #43 on: December 18, 2009, 07:04:13 PM »
Excellent as always.  What turn did this battle take place in for the campaign?
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Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #44 on: December 18, 2009, 11:29:08 PM »
I think I reported it as a win in turn 10, and wrote it as fluff over turn 11 and this turn (12). It looks like it will be my last battle in the campaign.

I wish these campaigns lasted longer! But, at the same time, if they did I think RL would suffer, as in getting RL things done!!!
« Last Edit: December 19, 2009, 07:14:41 AM by Padre »
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Offline wissenlander

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #45 on: December 19, 2009, 03:00:22 PM »
I think the campaign would suffer, too.  Unless you have enough rabid folks it just sort of dies off.  Our participation over the last couple of turns has been lacking, unfortunately.  I'm sure Christmas coming up had a big part in that.
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Offline Derek Contyre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #46 on: December 19, 2009, 09:08:36 PM »
Yeah I've noticed that, I havn't had time to do much of anything lately  :Ohmy:
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Offline Padre

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2009, 09:09:59 AM »
VMC Trading Factory, Zhong Sheng Coast

The fortifications were almost complete. What had until now been a curtain wall of timber had been transformed into a parapeted wall of stone. Of course the factory’s trading activities had continued regardless, with large stockpiles of goods filling the warehouses and still more being brought in. The little bay upon which it was sited had become a port of some capacity, with a small fleet of ships moored there and a steady stream of pinnaces and boats being rowed to and fro from the shore.

(Game Note: 10 Resources were spent on fortifying the Factory last turn. Winning the Factory project as a competition prize means I got my own campaign Resources revenue!)

Here is a view of eastern side of the Factory where the last section of wooden wall is being rebuilt in stone. You should be able to see the new walls on the right and then a section of the inner crude stone work before the dressed stone facing is built over it.



Overseeing the work is a gnome master builder, one Hillgrim the (very) Bald. He has apparently spent the last few months almost constantly awake, which has led many to speculate whether gnomes need sleep at all. Others reckon this lack of sleep is why his beard and hair have fallen out.

Every work party is briefed by him before they commence upon their labours, every section inspected on a daily basis. Here you can see him giving orders to a motley band of labourers, both man and dwarf, before they begin their day’s labour upon the final part of the wall.



The Factory is now garrisoned by Cathayans as well as Westerners. The last companies of the Blue and White Expeditionary of Middenheim, who fought hard and long for the VMC (part of the ODS), now guard the Factories gates and walls, while Cathayan soldiers escort caravans and merchants in and out.

Here a Cathayan dagger-axe man leads several heavily laden mules and asses towards the newly completed Eastern Gate.



On the wall, another gnome, Hillgrim’s second cousin twice removed on his step-brother’s side of the clan, is having a word with a young labourer. Five words to be precise: “Where are your trousers, lad?”



The VMC was finally making its mark on the land. And, better still, the first large shipment of goods was being sent away back to the shareholders in Marienburg. More would surely follow.

(Note: In this the final turn, the 7 Resources (left overs plus the ones from the end of turn 11) are being sent on the ships back home. Surely worth a guilder or two. Huzzah!)
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Offline rufus sparkfire

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Re: Joshua's Journey (New Battle begun 14th December)
« Reply #48 on: December 21, 2009, 10:54:38 AM »
Nice mule train!
Hey, I could still beat up a woman!
If I wanted to.