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Author Topic: Tilean Campaign, IC2401  (Read 50910 times)

Offline Artobans Ghost

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #375 on: June 25, 2018, 11:32:33 PM »
Wow! What a set up. I remember reading all the seige rules in 6th and 8th and wanting to do a form of seige warfare. I even had seige toweres  and a covered battering ram. Not sure where they ended up. I’m going to put my money on the Morr army. It’s a sound strategy and they have the chaff to get thru it I think except for those wraiths and knights. They will be a most unpleasant surprise. Still not going downstairs to face the troops but getting revved again. Great board as well. I like the cloth on the field. That has hivin me some ideas as I need to do something with the dull as dishwater board I have.
Waiting anxiously for the next instalment.
Mathi Alfblut Feb 4,2017
Simple, You gut the bastard with your sword, the viking way.
Questions?

Mathi Alfblut Dec 9,2017
Get a binge of Yule ale, roasted boar and some proper axes and we will ALL be happy again!

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #376 on: June 26, 2018, 08:41:43 PM »
Here it is, oh ghostly one ...
....................................
The Assault on Viadaza
Summer IC2403


Part Two

As the huge siege tower trundled on, the cultists to its left marched more speedily, soon catching up with it.



In the centre of the field the generalis praepositus wasted no time in ordering his own regiment of cultists on, towards the gate and mob of stinking undead guards. As they moved their bell rang out, its sombre tone part and parcel of the practices they employed to bring on a furiously frenzied state of being.



The city guard in the centre of the line stayed put for now, but on the right the large crowd of Urbimans advanced, with their lord riding up behind them.



The crew on the cannone luminoso chose the regiment of skeletons to be their first target …



… hoping to scorch right through the foe to bring down a whole file. By turning two geared, iron wheels, they rotated the screw-like shaft running the engine’s length, finely adjusting the distances dividing the giant lenses better to suit the range of their intended flash. Then the engineer opened the shutter of a leaden lantern containing the eerily glowing gem responsible for initiating the process. The loosed light projected out to reflect via two concave mirrors onto the first of the several linearly-placed lenses. The glass of each lens was fashioned from a potent combination of molten, fine, white sand and pounded warpstone, subsequently ground precisely into shape to ensure the light penetrating through each of them was not only concentrated but incrementally fed by the winds of magic, transforming from a ray of bright, hot light laced with raw magic into a beam of such heat as could turn a man to ash at a distance of hundreds of yards, and of such potent magical power as could instantly dissolve even the otherworldly forms of ethereal creatures.

A light now appeared in the rear-most, largest lens - that which the maestro da Leoni had called the ‘bonaventure lens’ - tinged blood red but piercingly bright at its core.



The engine began to shake, its component parts clattering so much that the draught horses, selected specifically for their docility and ability to withstand the sounds of battle, began to buck and strain at their harnesses. The engineer, clutching the rattling railing which hemmed his platform, felt his stomach knot as he realised that this was going to be a more massive blast than any they had achieved in Remas during their practises. His rim of white hair suddenly stood on end, and he could hear a fizzing sort of sound accompanied by the distinctive smell of singed wool which presumably was coming from his own robes.

There was a sound akin to a giant intake of breath, and then a searing bolt was loosed through and from the machine which stretched right over to the skeletons, tearing apart an entire file of five into tiny fragments of scorched bone and dust. This was followed immediately by a loud cracking sound as the mizzen-lens (being the second last last) broke in two. All hint of the light instantly vanished, and for a moment the engine’s crew felt the breath sucked from their lungs.

[(Note: Luminark rules – an irresistibly cast bolt from a bound item breaks said item and makes it unusable for the rest of the game!)

Once they had recovered, and quite literally regained their breath, the engineer scrutinised the cracked lens. His shoulders slumped as he realised that what had just happened would be the engine’s only contribution to the battle. He caught himself just in time before taking Morr’s name in vain and began a prayer of cleansing to wash away any taint of his sinful intention.

The cannons, however, had much more luck. The first sent a ball right through the zombies, spattering five of them, then continued straight into the city’s gate, shattering the wood so badly that the hole thus made was sufficient even for men to enter (if a little uncomfortably). The second sent a shot smashing into the wall upon which the duchess herself was stood, shaking it somewhat. The three companies of crossbows took down several handfuls of zombies, skeletons and ghouls.

Upon the southernmost tower, Lord Adolfo scowled at the approaching siege tower. It had been fashioned somewhat simply of large planks, its only decorations being a huge painted cloth upon the front and a flag atop. Both these sported variations of the same design, an emblem Adolfo had seen previously in both life and undeath. It was one of the more popular symbols of Morr, consisting of an hourglass containing the sands of time, flanked by two raven wings.



It was not trepidation he felt, nor anger, and certainly not fear, but rather impatience. He yearned to tear apart whoever lurked within the tower, to rend them limb from limb and bathe in their blood. And he wanted to do it now!

As the skeletons to the north of the city advanced, and the zombies shuffled a little forwards, the vampires and necromancer on the walls conjured what magic they could (Game note: magic dice 10:9 due to several dispel pool boosting artefacts in the Holiest Army) to resurrect several of the fallen zombies and skeletons. The duchess herself focused her hocus pocus on the Urbimans, conjuring Curse of Years upon them to kill nine immediately.



Carradalio’s followers, itching to fight after many weeks of self-scourging, now thought it was the time to charge, but the siege tower failed to reach the walls, and the cultists failed to reach either the zombies or the skeletons. The exertions of their rapid march had obviously had an effect upon them, yet their failure did not diminish their desire to attack one jot. The army’s priests prayed to Morr to lift the curse upon the Urbimans …



… which the god of death graciously granted, but otherwise the holy men could effect little else. Both cannons further shook the wall upon which the duchess stood (Game Note: now up to +3 on all future rolls on the damage chart) which at last made her wonder whether she ought to remain there, risking the ignominious fate of becoming buried in rubble.

The other vampire lord, Adolfo, was also (in his own way) in a thoughtful mood. So keen was his passion to slay the occupants of the approaching tower that he failed even register the large body of cultists advancing beside the tower, heading for the currently unguarded wall behind the tower.



Once again crossbow bolts were loosed by the dozen, this time with arrows from the horse soldiers too, but these volleys caused only a peppering of casualties, insufficient in number for the vampires or necromancer to even notice.

The spirit hosts, being the bound souls of Viadaza’s most ancient warriors, now issued through the stone of the northern walls. Their ethereal forms seemed woven of shadows, the upper reaches of which were (impossibly) imbued with a greenish glow.



The vampires employed a cursed book to wither the dedicants accompanying Carradalio and his admonitor, Brother Vincenzo, though to look at them you would barely have noticed the difference such was their fury and fervour for the fight.



Necromantic magic summoned a body of zombies to threaten the flank of the Urbimans …



.. then the vampires returned their attentions upon the weakened flagellants in the centre to lay low five of them with the Gaze of Nagash. Of course, none of this dampened the violent enthusiasm of the advancing army

End of turn 2
To continue asap.


« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 04:31:35 PM by Padre »
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Offline Artobans Ghost

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #377 on: June 26, 2018, 10:58:54 PM »
Quote: End of turn 2
           To continue asap.

Aaarrrgghh! (Referring to above)

Brilliant! Now I’m not so sure. Cracked lenses, failed charges. Necromantic cursed books! All this tension. At least those canons are rocking.
Great work Padre!
Mathi Alfblut Feb 4,2017
Simple, You gut the bastard with your sword, the viking way.
Questions?

Mathi Alfblut Dec 9,2017
Get a binge of Yule ale, roasted boar and some proper axes and we will ALL be happy again!

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #378 on: June 28, 2018, 04:40:44 PM »
No plan ever survives contact with the enemy, Artoban, a lessen which is further emphasised in turn 3 ...

...

Now the Holiest of armies launched several charges. In such close proximity to the foe, the dedicant crossbow could not restrain themselves and so charged into the newly raised zombies despite the entreaties of their shepherd to restrain themselves.



Despite their small size their flagellations caused the death of four of their own number, and such was the fury this self-mutilation instilled that they tore down eight of the zombies with the further loss of only one more of their own. The remaining zombies all collapsed as the magic re-vivifying their rotting frames petered out.

(Note: As GM creating the Disciplinati di Morr house rules – modified Empire flagellant rules - I had forgotten to remove ‘The End is Nigh’ rule from their unit listing, which of course makes more sense with a missile unit. Who would create such a small sized missile unit if they were subject to that rule? It will probably be removed before the next conflict)

Gripped by a similar lust for battle, Father Carradalio and Brother Vincenzo jointly led their own regiment into the swollen mass of zombies before the gate.



Carradalio personally cut down two of them, while his warriors slaughtered another thirteen.  The still moving zombies reeled from the blow, unable to inflict any harm back, and fifteen more of them collapsed as they also succumbed to the effects of diminishing magic.

(Note: The Undead player realised at the end of the game that he should have put out only 30 of the zombies, but because the models were all magnetized to the movement base and he usually fielded 60 he accidentally fielded twice the size he should have. If that mistake had not occurred, the cultists would have destroyed the unit totally in this turn. There’s always a few mistakes creep in to battles, although they are mostly mine!)

On the left of the attackers’ line, the siege tower at last reached the tower and lowered its drawbridge, allowing the halberd-wielding cultists to pour forwards. Four of their own number perished to their frenzied flagellations, but the god Morr filled the rest with an overwhelming bloodlust as a consequence. They now cared not a jot for their own defence, only that they could rain blows down upon the foe.



But the vampire Lord Adolfo was waiting for them, and they now discovered just what such a creature was capable of.



Eight of the cultists died from his attentions (Game note: Strigoi ghoul king with Sword of Bloodshed and vampiric Red Fury). The ghouls on the tower with Adolfo butchered three more of the cultists, while eight of their own number died. The Disciplinati di Morr dedicants had failed to take the wall-tower, losing both the initial impetus of their attack and also their frenzied mania. They would not break and run, determined as they were to die to a man in Morr’s service. That did not mean that they would win, only that if they lost none would be left alive.

One of the dedicants climbing the ladders to reach the fighting platform, whilst corpse after corpse tumbled down from the mayhem above, glanced over to the regiment making for the neighbouring wall. In a sickening moment of clarity it occurred to him that unless the others ascended the wall almost immediately, attacking whatever was defending the tower immediately, then his own regiment would perish to a man before they even got into the fight. Not that he was afraid of death, for he was blessed by Morr, just that he realised that if the others were too late, then whatever was killing his own comrades so quickly would simply turn on them to do the same. And then neither wall nor tower would be taken. For a moment he felt a pang of despair, but he brushed the feeling away with an angry shout and continued his climb.

While these fights broiled, the priests managed to dispel the withering curse affecting the Urbimans. One cannon again shook the wall violently (yet it still did not fall) but the other failed even to shoot, and the hail of crossbow bolts shot up at the walls did little more than clatter and clunk against the stones.

The skeletons to the north of the walls chose not to wait for the enemy and hurled themselves into the horde of Urbimans before them.



The ancient, undead warriors brought down three of the dedicants, merely matching the harm the dedicants own scourging had caused to themselves. Such was their frenzy that the Urbimans failed to notice and cut down a dozen skeletons.

Near the now open gate Father Carradalio’s sword continued its bloody work, hewing apart another pair of zombies. These two truly dead corpses were joined by eighteen more. Only four of the dedicants perished, three by their own flails! The last half dozen zombies fell as all vestiges of the magic animating them vanished. The way to the gate was clear.



The Necromancer upon the tower now read from his book, conjuring a curse which sapped the strength of the dedicants upon the siege-tower, so that some even struggled to ascend the ladders. This did not help their fight. Three died from their own flagellations, eight more from Adolfo’s attentions and a further two perished at the hands of the ghouls. What few were left fought on (Note: Unbreakable) but more of them were coming to the realisation that the regiment approaching the wall with ladders was not going to make it in time to save their complete obliteration, and that this would probably mean that regiment would be destroyed in turn.

The Duchess Maria finally decided to quit the unstable wall and join her Black Knights in the yard below.



She commanded them to move forwards a little towards the gate, for she intended to charge whatever came through it.

End Turn 3
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Offline Dihenydd

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #379 on: June 28, 2018, 05:14:02 PM »
This is fantastic.  However, I can't help but remember an old WD article stating that to bring Empire armies to an Undead Castle is like Necromancers ordering take out.
Blah

Offline Artobans Ghost

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #380 on: June 29, 2018, 10:40:27 AM »
Unfortunately I have fallen in love with the flaggellant models and the scratch townspeople regiments. They are dying in droves and they haven’t even met the cavalry or ethereal ones. I can feel the hopelessness of those climbing the tower.
Mathi Alfblut Feb 4,2017
Simple, You gut the bastard with your sword, the viking way.
Questions?

Mathi Alfblut Dec 9,2017
Get a binge of Yule ale, roasted boar and some proper axes and we will ALL be happy again!

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #381 on: June 29, 2018, 09:25:47 PM »
@ Artobahn: I had to paint all those models. Watching so many die was a horrible experience! Would I ever use the models again? Thanks again for your comments.

.........

Final Part of the The Assault on Viadaza

Just as Father Carradalio was about to order his regiment to charge through the broken gate, Brother Vincenzo shouted, “No, Father! They are waiting in strength.” He had seen the undead horse soldiers massed within and knew that if any who entered there would likely be cut down to a man.

Father Carradalio nodded, then pointed at the wall by the gate, commanding, “Ladders. Up!” at which the dedicants rushed to place the ladders and begin their climb.



What resulted was short, but bloody, work, even though neither the priests’ prayers nor Brother Vincenzo’s holy, burning water harmed the foe. Four dedicants collapsed from their own self-punishment, and another four were slain by the ghouls upon the parapet, but Carradalio beheaded two of the foe, Vincenzo another and the dedicants smashed five skulls. The few ghouls left scuttled away and with a leap Carradalio and the first of his dedicants were on the wall.


Note: See Appendix below for actual ‘in game’ version of this moment!

The climb was considerably easier for the cultists at the southern wall. As they clambered over …



… they did not yet know that the vampire Lord Adolfo and his ghouls had already defeated the dedicants on the siege tower. All forty were either dead or maimed so badly they could no longer fight (many wounded by their own hands).

Outside the walls the crossbow carrying cultists charged into the flank of the much diminished regiment of skeletons …



… and between them and the Urbimans they cut every last one down. The crossbowmen, realising that the spirit hosts were behind them, moved over the bony remnants to put a better distance between them and a foe they could not hope to harm, while the Urbimans reformed themselves as they realised they could become the spirit hosts’ chosen target.



Behind the Urbimans, the torch-wielding dedicants of the praepositus generalis’ bodyguard manoeuvred as best they could, frustrated in their efforts, knowing that their blessed, burning torches could easily dispatch the spirits if only they could get to them.

(Game note: Home rule - Blessed Torch Flames. Flaming, close combat attacks. Cause Fear in war-beasts, cavalry & chariots. Affect Flammable (p.69 BRB) & Regeneration (p.74 BRB) abilities. Able to wound ethereal creatures.)

While one cannon was being made ready again after its earlier misfire, the other cannon sent a shot that brought down the parapet of the wall where until moments before the duchess had been standing. Four of the grave guard became buried in the rubble, and three more succumbed to the crossbow bolts and light horsemen’s arrows which found their marks much more easily now that there was no wall in the way. The rest of the guards simply stood as they were, entirely bereft of any trepidation concerning whether the wall was about to collapse fully.

At the very moment the leading dedicants upon the captured, southern wall turned towards the door into the tower, it burst open with such force as to rip it off its hinges, and Lord Adolfo, filled with a furious rage, leaped out to tear into them.



He was followed by his ghouls and the fight that ensued was even bloodier than the previous. Adolfo alone killed eleven cultists, while the ghouls cut down another nine. What with another cultist perishing from his own self scourging, it all added up to twenty dead cultists, while only seven of the ghouls had been killed.  Of course, the dedicants of the Disciplinati di Morr fought on, more and more clambering over the parapet to die almost instantly, even though none now harboured any hope that they might survive.

Father Carradalio, however, and what few warriors were left to his regiment, were doing better, losing only five of their number whilst killing nearly twice as many ghouls. Such was the weakening of the necromantic forces binding the ghouls, that the necromancer with them now succumbed to true death, along with the one or two ghouls remaining.

Just before entering the round tower beside him, Carradalio looked down into the city and his eyes locked with his greatest enemy, the vampire duchess herself.



She was sitting side-saddle upon her red-barded steed, looking deceptively delicate in her posture, but there was nothing but pure evil in her eyes. Carradalio smiled, such was his joy at leading his holy warriors into battle, knowing that Morr was by his side. The duchess snarled and watched through narrowed eyes as the priest stepped through the door out of her sight. He had but three warriors left with him, and his admonitor Brother Vincenzo, yet he still had confidence that victory would be his. Captain Vogel’s elite palace guard were approaching the gate with the Urbiman priest amongst them. The cannons were still booming and every undead warrior outside the city had been killed.

What he did not know, until he got to the top of the tower, was that Adolfo had now slain the entire second regiment of dedicants attacking the southern wall. With a little help from his ghouls (and the enemy themselves) he had obliterated 70 dedicants. All the while he had been reanimating his fallen soldiers so that when he left the wall and hurtled down the street immediately behind, heading towards the duchess, he still had ten ghouls with him.



The spirit hosts passed back through the city walls, intending to attack whatever force attempted to climb the northern wall even as it did so. The duchess now decided that her black knights could surely deal with whatever came through the gate on their own, so she leaped from her mount and made her way into the round tower immediately north of the gate, with a mind to fight her way through whomsoever got in her way and kill the laughing priest. Before she could reach the wall on the southern side of the gate, however, Captain Vogel and the palace guard employed the same ladders Carradalio and the cultists had used to ascend the wall also.



Meanwhile Father Carradalio had reached the round tower’s top …



… and peered over to spy Adolfo loping down the street below. (Game Note: Magic pools 7:4) Feeling Morr’s wrath flow through him, he cast Morr’s Curse upon the vampire (-1S, -1T, -1Ld) followed by Morr’s Glare (on 6,6,6,5!!!), which stung so badly that Adolfo stumbled and almost fell (He had lost 2 of 3 wounds!)

The battered wall occupied by grave guard had been hit several more times and was now on the verge of complete collapse – a man leaning up on it might cause it to topple. Several more skeletons had been killed by crossbow bolts, and the rest of the Holiest Army’s regiments had moved closer to the walls. The Urbimans and a company of crossbowmen were ready to attempt charges to capture more of the walls.

The Duchess Maria had sensed her servant’s anguish at the stinging power of the enemy’s prayers, and it suddenly dawned on her that if she and Adolfo attacked the walls and the tower they could almost certainly cut down all opposition and most likely even the two priests of Morr, but there was a small but real chance she could fail. Adolfo had been weakened and if only one Morrite survived that might be sufficient to finish him. She knew not what other tricks these priests had up their sleeves.

The wall behind her was about to collapse, and Morrites were closing in to capture several other sections. She had sent most of her army’s fighting strength away with Biagino, and this guard force she had kept here in Viadaza had proved too weak (if only just) to defend against these cultists. The enemy’s dead were piled high, yet still they came on in frenzied fury - fearing neither death nor undeath, and they fought to the last. If but one remained he would run at her, not away.

Maria loved her undeath, so much she wanted it to last forever. This would not happen if she took needless risks. She made her decision quickly and gave the command immediately.

“Leave!”

All her servants heard her, for they were beholden to her will, and could sense her very thoughts. The Black Knights galloped down the high street from the Eastgate …



… while Adolfo led his ghouls down another parallel street – in fact, it was the very same street he had fled down the previous year when the Arch-Lector of Remas had attacked Viadaza. The irony was lost on him.



The rest of her army, the duchess included, slipped away through interconnected cellars and attics, crossing vestibules and arches, down passages and alleyways, towards the waterfront where boats awaited them.

Once again, the undead had yielded Viadaza to a Reman led army. But the duchess was far from defeated, merely inconvenienced. She would raise more servants wheresoever she went and destroy this foe in her own good time.

Their losses in this battle would be much, much harder to replace.

Game Over. End of turn 6 (Turn 7 conceded)

Game notes:

Victory
The Duchess’s player, Daz, had already lost a PC (the vampire Duke of Miragliano) much earlier in the campaign, and he went through several seasons of difficulties and struggles to gain control of the realm and its armies for his new character, the duchess. He was not willing to take the risk, and decided to do the cool-headed, strategic thing and get away alive. Well … undead, anyway! I told him I thought the duchess or Adolfo would most likely kill Father Carradalio (another player’s PC, although that player lives so far away he has volunteer susbtiture players commanding his army on the field) if they went for it. But he knew there was a chance the duchess might perish, or Adolfo, and that even if they didn’t, then by the victory conditions he could still lose the battle, which could mean much greater ignominy (maybe even capture, which would of course mean death!) That’s why Daz decided in turn 6b to ‘get out of there!’

Dispel dice
The Luminark channelled an extra dispel die, as did the magical finger bone carried by the Urbiman priest, which meant, along with just one 6 rolled by the three priests, on several turns the Holiest Army had +3 dispel dice!

Casualties
As the Holiest Army had won their casualty recovery was as good as the rules allow. 1/3 of all destroyed units’ models are recovered, and half of any models lost to units remaining on the field. After applying the recovery rules, they went from 170 flagellant cultists to 109. If they had lost, they would have been almost obliterated. As it is they can still field a good fighting force, perhaps organising the cultists into two 40 strong hordes and a couple of smaller companies (the torch wielding bodyguard and a crossbow company?) They still have the Luminark, or ‘cannone luminosa’, and I reckon I can allow them to have a spare lens tucked away in the baggage for repairs. They have cannons, and mercenaries, and light horse. Father Carradalio still has an army. I’ll have to remove ‘The End is Nigh’ rule from the companies of crossbow and bodyguard because, basically, it is a SILLY rule for such small units.

Strange photographs
The picture of Carradalio on the wall was posed after the battle, and actually shows (for artistic effect – forgive me!) more men than he really had. He was in truth down to three cultists and Vincenzo. Here’s the original ‘in game’ photograph showing the moment Carradalio climbed onto the wall …



I had already added the sky and begun editing out the models’ bases but then two things occurred to me …

1. I didn’t like how out of focus the pic was. I don’t really have time to check the quality whilst refereeing the game and had forgotten to take several pics (my usual technique for important moments).

2. How the heck did the standard bearer locked into a pillory manage to climb a ladder and get over the wall? Frenzy sure makes men do some crazy things, but surely not the impossible?



Now, I have painting to do for the next battle – new figures and scenery and modifying old figures. I have two players arranged, just need a third for an NPC force. Game in two weeks! I also have my GM duties re: the aftermath of this battle, and other unfolding events. Good job I love this hobby!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 09:28:41 PM by Padre »
Photobucket has graciously resurrected my pictures, so my collected works thread is suddenly working again - see http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=38528.0. To see my slowly growing website go to https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Offline Artobans Ghost

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #382 on: June 30, 2018, 07:44:36 AM »
That was fantastic. Your ability to tell a story is great. Victory for Morr! Just like RL, every achievement is bittersweet. To me, the way the necromancers pragmatically called it quits seems perfectly in character for someone with their gifts.
Thanks for sharing.  I still have not returned to the workshop but I think a good narrative game will bring me round somewhat. The above is exactly the strength of this hobby and you certainly put the effort in 😺
Mathi Alfblut Feb 4,2017
Simple, You gut the bastard with your sword, the viking way.
Questions?

Mathi Alfblut Dec 9,2017
Get a binge of Yule ale, roasted boar and some proper axes and we will ALL be happy again!

Offline cagicus

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #383 on: July 01, 2018, 09:33:34 AM »
Excellent.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 09:36:11 AM by cagicus »

Offline Von Kurst

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #384 on: July 01, 2018, 05:30:39 PM »
Excellent  :::cheers::: :::cheers::: :::cheers:::
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Offline Xathrodox86

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #385 on: July 10, 2018, 01:01:26 PM »
Check out my wargaming blog "It always rains in Nuln". Reviews, rants and a robust dose of wargaming and RPG fun guaranteed. ;)

http://italwaysrainsinnuln.blogspot.com/

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Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #386 on: July 23, 2018, 09:07:18 PM »
The Battle For Campogrotta

Prequel: Brass on the Iron Road

It had been half an hour since the army came to a halt. The days of marching were long, but not too tiring, as the road coursed (in the main) downhill, and although ancient, being dwarf-built it was in good repair. Yet none of this meant a quick pace. You might presume that the dwarves were to blame, and you would be right. But it was not their short legs that caused the delay. It was the engines of war they were hauling. More accurately, it was one engine in particular - the massive ‘Cannon Imperial’ named Granite Breaker.

Being summer it was still light even this late in the day, and just like the last nine evenings the entire army was now stretched out along the road side for the best part of a mile, preparing to camp for the night. Apart from the mounted Brabanzon mercenaries, the order of the companies never changed. Some nights the riders lit their fires at the head of the army, other nights elsewhere, presumably camping on some convenient height nearby from which they could keep an eye out for torch lights and such like. But every other body kept its allotted place in the line. The dwarven flying engine, which could hardly be called a ‘company’, also rested in a different place each night - wherever its pilot thought safely solid enough to re-acquaint it with the ground. The road would be the obvious choice, but then the sleeping engine would block the way should an alarm be sounded.

Most of the army’s baggage was at the rear of the column. The heavily-laden wagons had spent each hour of travel discovering, with rattling clunks, every bit of damage done by Granite Breaker’s passage. Now they were very quiet, lined up in an orderly fashion typical of dwarfs. The horses and oxen had been unlimbered and led away to rest somewhere amongst the trees.

It was by the wagons that Glammerscale Hamgorn the dwarven wizard had met his equally unlikely counterpart from the company of Brabanzon mercenaries marching with the army of Karak Borgo, the red-haired, ‘fallen’ damsel Perrette L’Amy. Immediately upon laying eyes on him she had smiled, as if they were old friends, and approached him confidently. She wore a long dress of red wool, full sleeved but unadorned with lace or embroidery, hoist up a little to reveal an inner petticoat of purple. Her long, bright hair was loose and wild, and she had in her hand a part-extended fan, which she clutched to her side. Glammerscale assumed it must be some fashionable affectation amongst Bretonnian ladies, although from what he had heard she was no lady.



“A fellow magician!” she said. “It’s good to know I’m not the only one here. I’d heard of you, Master Glammerscale, but couldn’t decide whether to believe what I’d been told.”

“I am indeed a rarity,” he said. “Perhaps now that there are two of us my kin will finally accept me for what I am?”

Perrette’s smile grew wider. “I hope they have not been cruel. I too am something of an outcast, although my problem is that my current companions are often a little too willing to accept me.”

Glammerscale pondered this for a moment. Perrette had not travelled to Tilea with Baron Garoy, but in the company of the Brabanzon mercenaries. He had heard them talk of her two evening’s ago. They did not call her witch or wizard, instead sorceress. Nor did they call her a lady, and as their drinking went on they used much more base terms. The young paladin Baron Garov refused to mention her at all. From the way he winced, it appeared he was even reluctant to hear her name merely mentioned.

“The way of magic is not an easy path,” Glammerscale said diplomatically.

Perrette’s smile seemed more genuine. “And some of us find ways to make it even more difficult for ourselves.”

“No, my lady,” he said. “I would not say we sought the difficulties. They came through no fault of our own. I was born a dwarf, and you were born a peasant.”

“Ah, but was I born such, Master Glammerscale? Or did I ruin my reputation and besmirch my noble blood through dishonour and misdeeds?”

“I meant no insult by what I said,” stuttered Glammerscale. “I merely presumed that …well …”

“Worry not, good master dwarf. Had I been born a lady I would happily have cast aside such a tedious life, such an imprisonment. So, whether you are right or wrong, it does not offend me.”



Glammerscale noted she had not actually said whether she was a noblewoman or peasant born. Perhaps such mystery could only improve her reputation as a spell-weaver? To know too much about a person can make them appear mundane, and that does not do for a practitioner of the magical arts.

“What think you of this army?” Perrette asked. “Is it sufficient to the task ahead?”

“It is no easy thing,” said Glammerscale, “to oust an army of brutes from a well-fortified city. Still, I believe we have the tools required.”

“Are we two of those tools?” asked Perrette, a twinkle in her eye.

It was Glammerscale’s turn to smile. “I would say, my lady, that were we allowed, we could add a better edge to those tools. The walls of Campogrotta will need some considerable chipping to breach. Anyone who can distract the foe whilst the work is done will be welcome.”

“You say ‘Were we allowed’, master dwarf. Why so? Are we not invited to this dance?”

“You might well need your dancing shoes, but I am afraid it is unlikely I shall attend. King Jaldeog has other things in mind for me, and all his thanes are in agreement.”

Perrette frowned. “I did not know this. Whither are you bound?”

“I shall not be far away. I am to be sent to watch for any relief that might approach. It seems my eyes, despite my need for these glasses, are considered more valuable than any magic I might conjure.”



Glammerscale doubted his explanation had convinced the damsel, as anyone who knew anything about dwarfs knew of their distrust of wizards. He would be ordered off with the scouts, yes, but the real reason was superstition. The thanes and their warriors did not want him bringing bad luck to the army on the day of battle. As Thane Narhak had put it, his  presence upon the field of battle would be disruptive to the cause.

Perrette watched him for a moment. Then her smile returned. “There is no dishonour in that, for the art of war requires such watchfulness.”

“I did not think those you travelled with cared much for honour,” said Glammerscale.

“The Brabanzon! Oh, they care not a jot for it,” she said with a chuckle. “They came with one thing in mind. Well, lots of things in truth, and most of them shiny in some way or another. And such is their desire for plunder that they will fight as well as any knight seeking renown.”

“What does Baron Garoy make of them?”

“He acts as if he is lord over them, though all know he is not. I saw him only half an hour ago inspecting the brigand archers in the van.”



“Lord or not, does he not command them in the field?” asked Glammerscale. “That was the agreement.”

“Oh, they play their part well enough. The archers I saw had already put up their huts and lit their fires before he arrived, yet still they formed into a body before him.



He made a comment or two to the sergeants there, to which they mumbled some sort of answer. I’m sure each and every Brabanzon once served some knight or another. They understand what is expected of them.



“By their agreed contract they are to obey his orders in battle, and by Bretonnian custom they are required to bow to him. But they are mercenaries, and as such consider their contract more binding than custom.”

“He is not their paymaster,” said Glammerscale.

“He is not,” agreed Perrette. “He who pays is the true authority. Until the payment is completed.”

“Or perhaps another party offers better payment?”

Perrette laughed. “Normally so, but here and now, in these mountains, who else is there to pay them?”

“Well, they do expect more, by way of plunder. They told me so themselves.”

“Aye,” said the damsel. “And as I said, that expectation will ensure they fight. Not as well as dwarfs, I’m sure.”

Glammerscale decided he liked this woman. He enjoyed her honesty, and the fact that when she did flatter she made it so obviously a game.

“And what do you think of the baron?” he asked.

“Would you have me slander a knight?”

“The truth would serve me better now, whether good or ill.”

“He had his companion with him when I saw him this eve, a standard-bearer carrying his emblem. The tête de cerf blanc … the white stag’s head … upon red and white. He has the standard with him always.”



“The white stag,” mused Glammerscale, “that can never be captured.”

“The forever chase! You know the stories!” said Perrette, surprised.

“I have read Berthelot’s tales. Book learning is like breathing to me,” said Glammerscale. He was hardly ever without a book about his person. He now knew that Perrette had to be of noble birth, for how could a peasant know of such things? “A strange emblem for a paladin pursuing the rule of Ravola, for then his chase does end.”
 
“Are we to presume the baron chose wisely?” asked the damsel.

“The baron is young, as are all his companions.”

“And wisdom comes with age?”

“To some degree,” laughed Glammerscale. “I wonder what the baron thinks of the Brabanzon?”

“You are kind not to ask what he thinks of me,” she said. “He cannot be happy with the army he has been given. But it is what it is, and beggars can’t be choosers. As long as they prove useful to his ambitions he will tolerate them. I think he has some diplomacy in him, for he feigned not to notice the brigand archers who declined to assemble before him, instead remaining by the fire to drink.”



“Perhaps the cooking of supper required their attentions?”

“You have some diplomacy in you too, Master Glammerscale. And I thought dwarfs were plain-spoken to a fault.”

Glammerscale laughed again. “I have many faults, ask any dwarf. Being a wizard overshadows all the rest, so most are barely noticed.”



Perette fell silent and studied him for a moment or two, which made him a little uncomfortable.

“I sense an etheric heat about you,” he said, partly to alleviate the discomfort, but moreso out of curiosity. “Will you be conjuring fire in the assault?”

“Aye, I like to play with fire. We’ll come to know the smell of burning ogre before the fight is over. I can't imagine it'll be pleasant.”

“I should think the brimstone stench of the powder will overwhelm all other smells. The scouts have said that every stretch of wall and every tower teems with cannon muzzles, and Granite Breaker will burn tons of the stuff.”

“I shall take great care to throw my fires at the foe, and not to allow even a spark to stray amongst our engines,” Perrette declared. “In truth, having seen the great gun I wonder whether anything I will do will even be noticed by any upon either side!”

“She is indeed a beast!” said Glammerscale with a grin. “Her roar will surely be louder than that of any dragon, and her hunger for powder will make that which feeds an entire battery of ordinary guns seem like a mere appetiser.”

Perrette seemed confused. “You have never seen the gun fire?”

“No. She is very ancient. So old I think there are barely any even amongst dwarfs who have seen her give fire. Do not let her age make you doubt her efficaciousness, however. Cannons are simple constructions, and it is the quality of the cast that counts. She was made of the best brass, by the best gunsmiths, and will be fed a diet of gourmet powder. She is inscribed with powerful, protective runes. I doubt their will be much left of Campogrotta when she finally gets so hot as to risk shivering.”

He had had a chance to inspect the cannon imperial closely two evenings ago, in the company of no less than the army’s general, Narhak, Thane of Dravaz. She had been heavily guarded, as were the wagons of budge barrels that would provide her sustenance. The thane had waxed lyrical about her, telling of a great uncle who swore he had seen her take the top of a mountain off.



She was cast in the form of a dragon and mounted on a carriage so heavy that it alone, if rolled down a hill against a castle wall, could possibly bring it down. The brass had long since tarnished to make her blueish in hue. None had thought to polish her, however, for in the old stories of her destructions she had been blue and proud of it, and no-one wanted to offend her.

She required a regiment of draught animals to haul her, several of which were still nearby as she rested, being the last to have been unhitched.



The animals were needed fore and aft of her on the road, in differing proportions according to the chief engineer’s judgement. When going down hill more were needed behind than in front. When the animals were changed, she was held in place by huge wedges, the four of which needed a wagon to themselves. Most of her powder was carried with that of the other guns, but at least one wagon was usually nearby too.



Thane Narhak had said a powder wagon was kept close to reassure her. Considering he had just claimed she had once beheaded a mountain, Glammerscale had the measure of the thane's flights of fancy. After half an hour in her close company, the wizard had decided that his absence from the battle would be of very little consequence with the likes of her blasting at the foe. A field gun was to an ogre as a handgun was to a dwarf, but Granite Breaker was to an ogre as a sledge hammer was to a mouse.



Her Imperial Majesty was not going to Campogrotta to knock down ogres, however. She had to bring down the walls.  Glammerscale had seen those walls himself, and to his knowledge only the mighty walls of Remas were bigger. He had passed the city in the evening, far enough away to avoid being spotted. The gate had ragged banners atop, bearing an image of red mountains - presumably one of Razger’s emblems and not that of the Wizard Lord Niccolo.



It had been under a darkening sky, which combined with Glammerscale’s purblind eyes, meant that although he could make out what must be brutes patrolling the battlements …



… he had not discerned what exactly were the weapons they were carrying. It was Thane Narhak  who had told him what the scouts had seen – cannon barrels carried like handguns.. Not  that there was a smattering of such weapons, but that every ogre upon the walls had one.



Glammerscale did not doubt Granite Breaker would fell Campogrotta’s fortifications. It would take time, however, and he wondered what the serried ranks of cannon barrels might do to those who assaulted the walls or clambered over the rubble during that delay.

“I am sure you are right, master dwarf” said Perrette. “The gun will prove our greatest friend. And I am glad you will be watching the road, for it would be a sad thing indeed for Razger Boulderguts to disturb her while she is so busy.”
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Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #387 on: July 23, 2018, 09:50:00 PM »
 :icon_cool:
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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #388 on: July 25, 2018, 12:18:23 PM »
Excellent writing skills. Nice set up for the battle. Looking forward to seeing the gun at work 😺
Mathi Alfblut Feb 4,2017
Simple, You gut the bastard with your sword, the viking way.
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Get a binge of Yule ale, roasted boar and some proper axes and we will ALL be happy again!

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #389 on: July 25, 2018, 12:34:22 PM »
Excellent writing skills. Nice set up for the battle. Looking forward to seeing the gun at work 😺

Oh yeah, me too. Ka-boom! :icon_twisted:
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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #390 on: August 03, 2018, 09:02:25 AM »
The Assault on Campogrotta
The Battle


The brute defenders upon the city walls had watched for the two hours it took to drag the mighty cannon Granite Breaker into position. They themselves had guns, cannon-barrels no less, which they wielded the way a man might a handgun, but they knew that the enemy was too far away for their shots to have any real effect. So they bided their time, unafraid, for why would brutes fear the antics of the little folk?

The attackers - the dwarfs of Karak Borgo, the paladin Baron Garoy and the Bretonnian Brabanzon mercenary company - had arranged their lines before Granite Breaker was hauled up, ready in full force to thwart any attempted sally from the walls to capture or disable her.

The dwarfs themselves stood closest to the great gun, forming the assaulting army’s left wing. Thane Narhak, their commander (Game note: A lord level character), and the army standard bearer led the warriors. To his right were the Longbeards commanded by Thane Thakolim and accompanied by the Runesmith Rakrik Bronzeborn, then next in line were the Trollslayers. On Narhak’s right were the Thunderers, forming the far flank of the army, each of them itching to moved up to within range of the walls.



The other missile troops stood behind the main regiments, as their weapons could shoot much further than the Thunderers’ handguns. A regiment of Quarrellers scrutinised the walls from the rear of the Trollslayers, and behind them was a pair of bolt throwers and another of gunpowder pieces. Granite Breaker rested directly behind Thane Narhak and his warriors, who were bracing themselves for the passage of some very large round-shots over their heads. The flying machine fluttered around the army’s flank, its pilot looking beyond the walls to take the measure of the city’s towers – if he was to fly over the walls and into the streets he would need to give the towers a wide berth, otherwise his machine’s spinning wings would shatter.

On the army’s right were the Brabanzon. Captain Lodar ‘the Wolf’ and his ensign Jean de la Salle led the company’s largest regiment, the spearmen, nearest to the centre of the line, and out to their right were the two large bodies of archers and the smaller company of veteran men-at-arms. Their small gun, which they called 'the Piece', like unto a flea compared to the dwarfs’ cannon imperial, had been placed directly in front of the trebuchet all the better to perform its usual role as a guard for the larger engine.



Baron Garoy and his brightly liveried retinue of young knights rode on the far right of the line, to a man wondering what their role in such a fight could be. It seemed to them, despite their hopes, that the enemy had no intention of leaving the walls to sally forth, a reluctance which mirrored their own stubborn reluctance to dismount to fight on foot and climb the ladders.

Considering the fact that Razger Boulderguts had marched the fighting army of Campogrotta out upon his grand raid, the garrison soldiers on the walls were surprisingly numerous, as was the number of leadbelchers amongst them. The southern-most tower was packed with the cannon wielding brutes, as was the next tower to the north, while the wall in between them was guarded by a small body of Ironguts (the latter being part of the city’s standing force).



The gate was held by a large company of ogres and a slaughtermaster, while several Maneaters (being the city’s chief ‘constables’) occupied the tower by its side, each sporting a brace of handguns which they could tote like pistols.



The long, northerly stretch of the city’s eastern wall was manned by an even larger company of a dozen ogres, and further half a dozen leadbelchers.



The garrison commander, a Slaughtermaster known as Lord Wurgrut (although the title was an affectation and the rest was only part of the name he professed) had climbed to the very top of the tallest tower in the city’s eastern ward from where he could survey not only the full extent of the eastern walls but also the enemy in its entirety.



As the dwarfs employed the crane to heft a weighty roundshot to Granite Breaker’s muzzle, where they could then tip it in, the Slaughtermaster Wurgrut looked down on the leadbelchers in the corner tower …



… and the Ironguts on the wall adjacent.



He decided that they were not best placed to serve in the defence of the city. The wall was where the enemy might gain ingress, which was why the Ironguts where there, but the leadbelchers could hold it just as well, and would have just as good a view of the enemy from the wall as from their tower. So he bellowed orders down, sending the Ironguts along the street behind the wall as a reserve ready to defend wherever any pressure might be felt, while the cannon wielders on the tower were to shift themselves over to the wall.

Now at last satisfied with the disposition of the forces at his command, he thought he might start the fight with a bang. Pausing a moment to recall the strange words of the necessary incantation, then allowing the winds of magic to infuse his bulky frame with potency, he called upon a comet to crash from the heavens. For the briefest of moments he gave himself up to elation, for he could see the comet’s bulk in his mind’s eye. Then, as if he had awakened suddenly from a dream, the comet was gone, snatched from reality the very moment it began to manifest by the dwarfen Runemaster, who employed a talisman to break the power of the spell.

Just as Wurgrut began scouring the enemy lines to spy out who might have been responsible for the thwarting of his spell, the enemy began to move. They advanced almost as one, although out on the right the Bretonnian mercenaries struggled to match the naturally slower pace of the dwarfs and came on a little faster.



The ‘fallen’ damsel Perrette l’Amy attempted to throw a flurry of fireballs at the walls ...



... but the enemy’s second in command, a Slaughtermaster like their general, managed to sap the winds she was employing and her efforts came to nought. The ogre magician could do nothing to prevent the firing of the cannons, however, and all three muzzles were sighted upon the long, northern wall.



The trebuchet crew, whose first shot had merely bounced from the wall, could only look on with envy as all three roundshots smashed into the stone to leave visible cracks and dents. The wall’s defenders, the largest company of bulls in the garrison, peered uncertainly over the crenulations or picked at the cracks that extended up even as far as the parapet and, deciding they would rather defend the fallen ruins than become buried within them, they backed off the wall to take up position behind it.



They were not the only ones scrutinising the damage. Baron Garoy, riding his mighty destrier and clad in his heavy battle armour, his shield bearing the image of a white stag’s head and his helm bearing antlers in his livery of gules and argent, had lifted his visor to get a better look. What he saw gave him hope that he and his knightly retinue might be contributing to the fight a lot sooner than he had thought.



The dwarfen crossbows launched a packet of bolts to sting the Maneaters in the tower by the gate, while the Brabanzo longbowmen’s arrows merely clattered and rattled on the wall being vacated by the bulls. The dwarfen thunderers could contribute nothing to this sharp-tipped hailstorm, however, for they were too busy moving forwards just to get into range of the walls.

   

End of turn one.
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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #391 on: August 03, 2018, 01:01:16 PM »
More stuff from Padre. This is going to be a good Friday. :mrgreen:
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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #392 on: August 05, 2018, 11:06:52 PM »
(Start of Turn 2)

Watching from his high vantage point, Lord Wurgrut saw the dwarfen thunderers were preparing to fire a salvo at the walls, and so summoned an ice shard blizzard to assail them. His second-in-command, following Wurgrut’s lead, also attempted to inflict them with a curse called braingobbler, but he failed to contort the winds of magic sufficiently. Meanwhile, having spied the damsel Perrette, her red dress and hair marking her out very clearly amongst the dirty yellow and green liveried Brabanzon spearmen, the Maneaters in the tower near the gate decided to snipe at her. At first both she and the men around her wondered what the zipping sound was, until one bullet pinged very loudly off the rounded helm of the soldiers and then another cut a gash through her arm. She stumbled, but the man next to her caught her before she fell. Thanking him, she laughed. When he looked at her in puzzlement, she pointed to his surcoat and apologised for the spotted stain of her own blood. He then grinned, and said, “Do not worry yourself, madame, for my clothes are used to being bloodied and the stain on your own dress can barely be seen.”

Moments later a roaring wave of thunderous flashes ran along the wall top as the leadbelchers gave fire. Seven dwarfen thunderers fell, as well as a Brabanzon spearman. The dwarfs barely flinched, however, instead gritting their teeth and continuing to prepare their pieces.

The rest of the assaulting army continued their advance, with the flying machine zipping over their heads, its pilot considering where exactly he could drop his grenade.



After saying ‘Excuse me’ to the fellow who had helped her to remain on her feet, Perrette held forth her hand to present her ruby ring to the walls, and with a brief word of command conjured a ball of fire to burst against the parapet holding her attackers. Not satisfied with merely singing them, she immediately summoned another fireball to follow and this time one of the leadbelchers fell screaming from the tower, his large flask of powder exploding even before he hit the ground. The men with her gave a cheer, to which she, despite the pain from her wound, replied with a curtsy!

As the sound of the cheer died, it was replaced by another, and although the choir behind the sound was rather smaller, they were no less elated. The Brabanzon’s trebuchet had landed a stone on the damaged wall, and in so doing pierced the first hole to go right through it. Its crew whooped their delight, then shouted across to the dwarfs to get a move on and ‘finish the job off’. Granite Breaker was not quite ready to fire, and so one of the smaller pieces obliged. The ball hit just below where the stone had pierced and for a moment it looked like all it had achieved was to create a second hole, but then a bulge appeared in the stone between the holes, and,  moments later – and without need of further ironshot – the wall came tumbling down.



The collapsing masonry poured out fore and aft of the wall, burying two of the bulls behind. There was no time to dig them out. If they weren’t already dead they would soon be. (Game Note: The reason the player had moved the ogres off the wall as it had showed signs of becoming weakened was that according to the modified 6th Ed WFB siege rules higher strength wounds are inflicted received by a unit on a collapsing wall than by a unit standing next[ to the collapse. Nevertheless, we did not expect 2 ogres to perish from the 2D6 str 3 hits they now received.)

Unsurprisingly a great cheer went up along the line at the sight of the breached defences. Granite Breakers’ chief gunner gave these events a little thought and came to the conclusion that the wall had fallen so quickly due mostly to his own gun’s contribution, but that his shot had been aimed slightly out and failed to deliver maximum force, which is why the other machines’ efforts had been required for completion of the task. This did not satisfy him at all. The cannon imperial had already been shifted to aim at another wall – thus the delay in its second firing – so now, using a two-handed mallet, he knocked out one of the four large iron wedges at the breech to lift its muzzle a little and thus alter the flight of the next path. He had measured everything previously with his sight and level, involving much effort in the placing of the instruments on top of the behemoth and the application of considerable mathematical expertise. Now, however, having gained the practical experience of witnessing a shot in action, he had a better feel for the work. Besides, his dissatisfaction had turned into impatience, and he wanted to prove the cannon imperial’s true worth.

Clambering up the steps he grabbed the pike-length linstock and reached it forwards …



… then with considerable trepidation, lowered the burning end of the match-cord towards the line of crushed powder leading to the touch-hole. Just like the previous time, there was a delay as the powder flashed and the burn thrust its way down through the deep hole to the massive charge packed in the belly of the beast. This gave the engineer just time enough to spin about and descend two of the steps before the mighty boom. He hit the ground almost exactly as before, but did not attempt to climb to his feet immediately, instead turned his head to get a quick look at the walls before the smoke of the blast obscured the view.

A second wall as down …



… felled with one blast.

Now he was satisfied.

(Game Note: The siege cannon rules were lifted from our standard Tilean campaign army list, being itself a version of the Treachery and Greed Mercenary Companies army list with added elements from the later Empire of Wolves list. Neither myself nor my players had written these lists, although I had added some extra elements, like Morrite Priests and such like, to adapt it to our game world. The siege cannon is listed as 160 pts, 72” range 2D6 Str 10 wounds, 5 crew which cannot be moved – other than turned 90 degrees or less – after initial placement. It all seemed neatly to fit the model I had obtained and painted for the dwarfs.)

The cheering renewed before even having died away, now growing even louder than before. The third cannon chipped at the tower, and although the bolt throwers could not perfect their aim against such a concealed foe, the crossbow dwarfs killed one of the Maneaters.

What had seemed an almost impossible challenge to the attackers was now beginning to look like a distinct possibility - they could win this battle.



The assaulting army was drawing near, and the defences were breached in not one but two places.

End of Turn 2.
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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #393 on: August 06, 2018, 12:21:11 AM »
Wow, and what an assault it is! :icon_cool: :::cheers:::
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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #394 on: August 06, 2018, 09:40:05 PM »
Third part of the Assault on Campogrotta – Turns 3 and 4

The Ironguts now raced up towards the breaches while a second body of ogres reformed behind the ruins of the wall they had once occupied. The two Slaughtermasters, despite knowing they needed their magic to bite, failed to conjure anything that could harm, or even simply slow down, the foe.

(Game Note: Cast:Dispel dice = 6:6. The Brabanzon spearmen passed their panic text due to a successful casting of Braingobbler)

The Maneaters, having spotted who was responsible for their mate’s demise, blasted everything they had at the maiden Perrette, but such was their fury that it ruined their aim! The three companies of leadbelchers spread their efforts more widely, killing three Brabanzon spearmen, two dwarven thunderers and damaging the flying machine.

None of this was sufficient to dishearten the assaulting army, and so on it came.



Damaged, but still able to fly, the dwarven flying machine now crossed over the walls, dropping its bomb as it passed to bloody the bulls below. Turning abruptly, it came to a halt atop one of the city’s inner towers, where the pilot leaned and twisted all ways to assess the damage received.

 

Perrette had just as little luck as the Slaughtermasters with her own attempts to summon up magical harm, her concentration being jarred both by her wound and the cacophony of noise, what with cannons booming and walls collapsing close by.

While Baron Garoy took the chance to break away from the line and make better speed towards the breaches …



… the attacking army shot everything it had at the walls. Granite Breaker caused the tower by the gate to collapse partially, while one of the smaller cannons wounded the slaughtermaster upon it, as well as one of the Maneaters with him, bringing down the parapet to boot. This sudden removal of the stone hiding the maneaters gave several others an unexpected opportunity, and although the bolt throwers both missed, the dwarven crossbows killed another of the veteran brutes. The third cannon could only shake the tower once more, while the trebuchet landed a stone upon the bulls nearby, bloodying one of them. The crew of the Brabanzon’s little piece joined their fellows’ efforts, yet only managed to bury their shot into the ground before the walls.

The largest of the bull regiments now argued whether they should sally out or not, in the end simply standing their ground out of an inability to decide. Behind them Wurgrut was not so hesitant and tore down the towers stairs to run out onto the street.



The enemy were getting so close to the walls that he had decided he needed to be where he could get to grips with them. While he ran he conjured chain lightning, killing a trollslayer but failing to reach any other units. From the street he threw a magical blizzard of ice shards up at the flying machine, once again damaging it.

While one company of leadbelchers now brought down two of the knights riding with the young baron, the other two companies both aimed at the dwarven thunderers, killing nine of them. The remaining pair made a sorry sight indeed, but they did not run.



Perhaps because there was so much in front to distract them, the ogres entirely failed to notice they had left the northern wall open to the enemy’s possession, and so it was that the Brabanzon brigands, a company of skirmishing archers, threw up some ladders and occupied it.



(Game Note: Embarrassingly the ogre player, Jamie, had failed to take account of the wall to the side, and until now had not thought it was accessible to attack!)

While they did so Baron Garoy led a charge across the rubble into the leadbelchers …



… and the trollslayers charged into the bulls.



The mounted knights struck hard at the brutes, killing one and wounding another seriously, which disheartened to foe so much that they turned to flee away. They did not get far before lance points thrust deep into their backs to kill the rest of them. Such was their urge to have at the foe, however, that two knights fell in the act of simply crossing the rubble, their steeds’ legs broken.

The trollslayers fought not one jot less bravely than the Bretonnian chivalry and took down two of the ogres as well as wounding a third. Moments later, however, they were all dead, beaten to a pulp or crushed under foot by foes standing more than thrice their height!

While these vicious struggles were fought, Perrette poured out every fire spell she could muster, burning the bulls at the gate but failing to kill any of them. Between them the dwarven Quarrellers and one of the bolt throwers killed the last of the Maneaters, leaving the Slaughtermaster alone. For a moment he glared at the foe with hatred, then realised he had to decide quickly what to do now. He was not quick enough, however, for the Brabanzon’s two wrs machines hit the already badly damaged tower, shaking it visibly, then, as one of the smaller dwarfen cannons misfired, the other punched so hard that at last the tower fell.

 

The Slaughtermaster came tumbling down with it, somehow staying above the rubble to avoid any real injury, while one of the trollslayers fightingnearby was killed, just before a bull could do it! Close by, Granite breaker punched a visible hole in the wall by the gate, but as yet nothing big enough to assault through.

Campogrotta’s defences were being torn to pieces!

End of turn 4

Game note: Siege games are 7 turns long, and as mentioned in the previous campaign battle report, victory conditions are all about how many sections of the defences are held by each side at the end of turn 7. As GM I had, at the start of the game, agreed with the players that as well as the wall, tower and gate sections I had identified and numbered at the start of the game, I would count one or more units roaming freely inside of the city as one controlled section, and in the event of a draw, if an assaulting unit had passed over a section which remained unoccupied by any defenders I would also count that as a controlled section. All this meant, despite appearances, that victory was still ‘very much up for grabs’.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 09:43:48 PM by Padre »
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Offline Artobans Ghost

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #395 on: August 07, 2018, 06:15:01 AM »
I finally found the time to catch up on the last three entries. The fire alarm mysteriously went off and finally had to be disabled. One of the cats was pacing non stop so out the door it went and I had just finished earlier in the day binging on Netflix ‘paranormal survivors’ so the alarm and the bloody cat were enough to ruin my sleep at 2:00 am. Not to put this fortunate time to waste, I decided it was time to get caught up while I also was able to fend off my ‘paranormal intruder’ who likes to set off alarms and worry cats. Not a worthy afterlife ambition at all I would say.

Fantastic battle Padre. Granite breaker is living up to its rep. I love these seige battles. I think I’m sufficiently distracted enough to go back to bed. I think I have a battle plan in my head now for my leap back into the fray. Looking forward to the next 3 rounds. Go dwarfs!
Mathi Alfblut Feb 4,2017
Simple, You gut the bastard with your sword, the viking way.
Questions?

Mathi Alfblut Dec 9,2017
Get a binge of Yule ale, roasted boar and some proper axes and we will ALL be happy again!

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #396 on: August 08, 2018, 10:12:12 PM »
Thanks Artoban. It was an epic effort to put this one together, but I still want to do another as soon as possible! Got my GM duties first for the 'end of season' phase.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fourth and Final Part of the Assault on Campogrotta – Turns 5 - 7

While the Ironguts moved down the street in pursuit of the Bretonnian knights and Wurgrut’s lieutenant moved to occupy one of the city’s inner towers …



… Wurgrut himself went to join the bulls defending the breach nearest to the gate.



Neither slaughtermaster could conjure anything from the winds of magic to trouble the enemy, but a hail of lead-belcher shot finally destroyed the dwarven flying machine, which tumbled down into the street with a crunch.

The brigand archers hurried from the northern wall to occupy the corner tower, thus allowing the Brabanzon’s veteran men at arms to clamber onto the wall using the same ladders …



… while Baron Garoy ordered his knights to turn about and prepare to receive the inevitable charge from the Ironguts hurtling along the street behind.

The damsel Perrette summoned another burning orb to throw at the enemy, slaying two of the bulls massed behind the fallen stones, just as the small Brabanzon gun felled a third. Moments later a huge round-shot from Granite Breaker caused the wall by the gate to collapse, killing another pair of ogres in the fall. The brutes’ dying cries, the foul stench of burning flesh and the sight of bent limbs reaching from the rubble only made the rest of the bulls angrier, more determined to stand their ground. 

From the tower’s vantage point, Wurgrut’s lieutenant looked down on the battered bulls below.


 
He sensed their frustration at simply standing to receive shot after shot, both magical and mundane, being ingloriously whittled away. So he shouted: “Go on then, go!”

This was all it took for the bulls to yield to their inbred desire for a fight, and they scrambled over the rubble to charge into the Brabanzon spearmen.



The fight was quick and nasty. Lodar somehow avoided facing the bulls’ champion, and instead cut deep into the flesh of two other bulls while the spearmen’s sergeant dodged the champion’s powerful blows. Despite her injury, Perrette spun with an elegance learned from a dancing master in her youth to avoid another huge club. Had it hit, it would have crushed her entire body to a pulp. Six spearmen died, half of them perishing from the mere impact of the hulking foes, while only two ogres were slain. The Brabanzon had the weight of numbers, however, and pressed on aggressively, presenting a wall of sharp, jabbing spear tips before them. When the remaining two bulls realised their mistake, they foolishly attempted to return to the defences. They never reached them, and the Brabanzon stepped over their corpses to come right up to the rubble.



Wurgrut summoned magical lightning to fry three of the brigand archers in the northern corner tower, then the arching lines of burning light shifted their fury to the men at arms approaching below, killing another four. Up on the still-standing walls and tower the leadbelchers were re-loading and firing as fast as they could, killing several of the Dwarven Longbeards and Warriors drawing ever closer to the breaches.

Just as the knights had managed to re-order themselves, the Ironguts came smashing into them …



… to begin a bout of hacking and slashing from both sides. Thick skin, metal armour and the protective blessing the knights had prayed for before the battle, all conjoined together to prolong the fight. Here and now Baron Garoy was learning what a real fight was like, and it was a lesson he embraced with open (mailed) arms!



The men at arms upon the nearby wall now attacked the Ironguts’ flank, some striking down from the wall itself, and although they lost two of their number in so doing, their intervention shifted the odds significantly. When one Irongut was cut down, his blood spattering all around, the remaining pair staggered backwards, looking for a way to escape. Baron Garoy laughed as he and his knights spurred their horses on to follow fast, thrusting their lance tips through the enemies’ grey flesh and riding right over the ruins back outside the city!

The most northerly quarter of the city was now overrun, but the ogre garrison was not yet beat. Wurgrut moved into the ruined tower by the similarly ruined gate while the leadbelchers above moved to re-position themselves all the better for the fight yet to come. Wurgrut conjured a powerful blast of wind to blow the men at arms from the wall in the north, but so agitated had he become he lost his hold on the winds of magic and allowed them to dissipate before he could spin them into a new spell. Somewhat dazed, he now watched the dwarven warriors approaching hesitantly (Game Note: Failed charge), while the Longbeards began climbing, in a similarly cautious manner, over the rubble to his left.



Behind him, the Brabanzon spearmen had already entered the city and were making their way along the street running parallel to the wall.



A stone from the trebuchet landed amidst the remains of the last regiment of bulls, killing another of their number, while the rest of the allies’ artillery merely chipped grey stone and bloodied grey flesh here and there. Granite Breaker’s huge ball ploughed deep into the earth, whilst the score of quarrels that clattered all around Wurgrut merely nicked and pricked at his grizzled flesh.

……………………………………………………….

Game Note: This was the end of turn 7, thus the end of the game. According to the siege game rules, based on the relative numbers of wall and tower sections controlled by each side, the result was a draw! Neither a minor victory or victory. This meant that the next campaign turn – which will be turn 1 of the next season, Autumn IC 2403 - the besiegers would still be attacking, and the defenders would still be defending.

Of course, if I just stopped the story at this point it would be a VERY odd ending, as the attackers look very much to have the upper hand. If they simply carried on as they were already doing victory would almost certainly be theirs. But ‘rules is rules’, and my players are playing competitively, which in turn drives the campaign’s story. Both sides knew the victory conditions and had been playing to achieve them. And so I was now left with the need to write an at least vaguely convincing story ending which explained the fact that the attackers had failed to take the city, thus prolonging the siege.

Here is that story ending.


……………………………………………………….

The brigand archers peered over the parapet of the tower they had captured …



… watching as their Brabanzon comrades made their way down the street below. They could see also that the dwarven Longbeards were clambering across the tumbled-ruins of the wall.



Immediately below them the young baron led his knights back over the ruins a third time to re-enter the city, their mounts bucking and rearing at being forced yet again to traverse such precariously difficult ground.



One by one, however, the brigands realised something had changed – the artillery had fallen silent. They turned to look across the field before the walls and could see the guns were still were they had been, with full complements of crewmen. They were not being troubled by attackers. They had ceased firing for some other reason. Perhaps, suggested one of the brigands, they don’t want to harm the soldiers now entering the city? Or, said another, maybe they have run out of powder?

The truth was that the cannon imperial’s chief gunner had commanded a cessation in firing. There had been something about the sound of the last shot and the gun’s bucking, shaking movement in so doing, that concerned him. Something was not quite right, which foreboded ill.



The ancient gun had done good service, and no doubt if she were to continue in like manner, she could take down the last of the city’s eastern defences. But he had not liked what he had seen and heard, and a torrent of thoughts were now tumbling through his mind. He was not at all a superstitious fellow, so his concerns all had a very practical bent: Had the tarnishing of the barrel over the years somehow weakened it - either its bronze fabric or the runic wards protecting it? Was the powder they were using too potent compared to the ancient powder Granite Breaker barrel’s was forged to withstand? Had the journey down the road weakened the carriage dangerously so that the next shot would bring ruin to both the great gun and those who tended her?

He would not risk it, and so had signalled a stop with a crossed sweep of his arms.

Inside the city Perrette and the men she was with suddenly came to a halt.



Before them was a sight that sapped every ounce of will they had to advance any further, and they could clearly see the dwarven Longbeards who had been climbing over the rubble ahead were of a like mind. The last few of the ogre bulls up ahead had fallen back from the wall, moving a little way down a street leading away from the wall. In so doing they had revealed the brutes further on, each and every one clutching a cannon barrel, standing ready to fire.



To approach any closer, down such a narrow, stone street, would surely mean certain death. Men and dwarves halted, while the enemy watched and waited. One Longbeard scrabbled back to see why the artillery had ceased its efforts, while the Brabanzon spearmen shouted up to the brigands behind to ask what had happened. Within moments, both men and dwarves realised that there would be no further barrage to blast the walls and towers beside this monstrous battery of barrels.

Perrette studied the enemy through narrowed eyes, knowing she had no more magic in her. Her rage had been transformed into fear, and the loss of blood from her wound was beginning to make her feel faint. The soldier by her side dropped his spear to take a hold of her instead. Up ahead one of the brutes was smiling cruelly. With one hand raised he crooked a finger to beckon them on, while in his mouth he held a smouldering match dangling over his piece’s pan.

“In the morrow,” came a cry from the dwarfs, who began to back away. This was all the Brabanzon needed to make up their mind, and they too left, scrambling as fast as they could over the fallen masonry and between the ragged edges of the torn walls. Before long all the other attackers had left the walls, towers and streets also, to return to the siege lines.

There was to be a lull in the assault, at least until the guns were ready to recommence their brutal barrage. Not one man nor dwarf thought they had lost the battle, for soon, victory would surely be theirs. The city could not escape and its garrison was without a doubt mortally wounded. But it would be a victory without needless slaughter amongst their own. They needed their strength if they were to take the other Campogrottan settlements, to recapture the realm of Ravola for Baron Garoy, and if needs be, to face whatever army Boulderguts brought back with him from his plundering of Tilea. Besides, as the Brabanzon declared by their fires that night, “What use is plunder to a dead man?”

They knew had the right tools for the job. They simply had to wait until the time was right too.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 11:50:03 PM by Padre »
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Offline Artobans Ghost

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #397 on: August 08, 2018, 11:41:06 PM »
Great after dinner read. Simply fantastic. You really make your characters and army’s feel alive and possessed of soul. That ending was a great and realistic way to explain the the result. You could feel the the instinct to avoid a foolish death when the dwarf cried out. Very pragmatic. Look forward to your  next installment.
Mathi Alfblut Feb 4,2017
Simple, You gut the bastard with your sword, the viking way.
Questions?

Mathi Alfblut Dec 9,2017
Get a binge of Yule ale, roasted boar and some proper axes and we will ALL be happy again!

Offline Padre

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #398 on: August 08, 2018, 11:57:25 PM »
Thanks Artobahn. Just had to correct a bit when I realised a leadbelcher was gesturing with one hand while holding a matchcord in the other, leaving no hands left to hold his cannon barrel! Oops! I have now stuffed the matchcord into his mouth to dangle down from there!
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 03:37:36 PM by Padre »
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Offline Xathrodox86

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Re: Tilean Campaign, IC2401
« Reply #399 on: August 09, 2018, 01:24:02 PM »
Great after dinner read. Simply fantastic. You really make your characters and army’s feel alive and possessed of soul. That ending was a great and realistic way to explain the the result. You could feel the the instinct to avoid a foolish death when the dwarf cried out. Very pragmatic. Look forward to your  next installment.

Yeah, Padre's posts seriously read like a great, military fiction. :::cheers:::
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