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Author Topic: Battle Reports - Stories of War - Pre-Campaign  (Read 1134 times)

Offline Jerok

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Battle Reports - Stories of War - Pre-Campaign
« on: May 23, 2007, 02:51:03 AM »
Good Evening Commanders.

General Helstrum has directed that all battle reports (of IC or OOC format) be placed within this thread of communication.

And so, report as you will on your preparatory battles in the regions.
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That's what she said

Offline Sircyn

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Re: Battle Reports - Stories of War - Pre-Campaign
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2007, 01:29:52 PM »
Well, you asked for it. This is a bit long winded so I apologise in advance, especially so seeing as it only depicts a measly 1000pts game. I think I will die if I try describing mega battles. I didn't notice anywhere that there was an agreed word limit for such things but please put me in my place if I have fouled up somewhere.

This is the first battle of my new Empire army and their general on their march towards the muster at Egondorf against a friends Beasts of Chaos. It was a standard pitched battle with a lot of dense terrain.

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Baron Reinhardt von Shadelandoese was almost happy to be back on the march. The past seven years he had spent revitalising his family lands in the Ostermark and  was now glad to be free of the bustle and paperwork required of an administrator at peace. His skills in taming the forests in Ostermark would be direly needed in the upcoming campaign and the opportunity to test the mettle of his reorganised military formations was one both he and his men would relish. The troops were as ready as they would ever be, having drilled and trained hard and fought against the Orcs and beasts of the forest at home. They were also well accustomed to the operations of cleansing forest to be fit for human cultivation and of holding onto such gains. Morale was high. They were on the march to Egondorf, where they would join the Imperial muster of General Helstrom. Reinhardt's skills would then be put to good use as after fortifying the town they would spread out onto the roads, clearing out the forests, resurfacing highways, buildings watchtowers and fortified positions. His men had the spirit of frontiersmen about them and they were prepared to strike down the foes of the Empire and open up the lands so that man could reap their bounty.

His troops numbered some five hundred men, hardened and efficient, armed with some of the best equipment the Empire could offer. They were marching south through the dark forests to the muster. As he rode at the head of his column Reinhardt couldn't help but think to himself these forest roads they were traveling were just the sort he was tasked to dealing with upon his arrival. He was completely suspicious of the darkening pine forests as night drew in. Much to the barons regret the column would have to sleep in the forest this night as there was no clearing for them to take advantage of. A thick fog began to descend and distant howls took the jaunty edge off the soldiers demeanour, they began to talk only in hushed whispers as they moved along, all listening to the sounds of the forest.

The Baron raised his hand and called the order to halt. They would set up camp here before the fog got any thicker. A double watch was set as the men bedded down for the night, huddled in tents or en masse around campfires, huddling close to keep themselves warm and dry. Soon all was quiet bar the crackle of fires and torches, the snoring of some of the men and the soft footfalls of the picket as they patrolled the exterior of the camp. The fog was at its most dense now, it was thick and cloying, almost suffocating in its claustrophobic embrace. It was barely visible two feet in front of a man, the amber glow of flame being the best compass around the camp.

The stillness of the night was shattered by a distant mournful howl. It echoed across the forest, stirring the men and unquieting the horses, their soft whinnies in reply sounding weak and frightened. Another howl, closer this time. Another and another. Soon the whole forest was filled with an array of howls, screeches and bestial braying. The men mustered and rushed into formation with startled cries and barked orders. The war machines were unlimbered and handguns unwrapped from their protective coverings, for what use they would be in the near complete black out. Suddenly in unison the foul calling stopped. Silence descended upon the forest, the soldiers of the empire compelled to silence by the abrupt end to the cacophony that awoke them.

Nothing happened. Nothing continued to happen. Reinhardt was baffled by this turn of events and his troops were unnerved. The beasts of the Ostermark forests had always erupted from the forests accompanied by a raucous battle cry. They waited. No such charge came. He had the men stand at readiness for a further hour in the dark silence, waiting for an attack that never came. At length he doubled the watch again and let the men go back to sleep, this time leaving the artillery unlimbered and ready. Dawn came and the fog had lifted enough to view a distance of 200 yards away. Campfires were rekindled and the men went about their breakfast, dark eyed and weary from the previous nights unsettling experience.

The stench of death filled the air. Men spat out their food in disgust and began to gaze around for the source of the foul aroma. The smell intensified and a few men emptied their stomaches out onto the road surface, vomiting away their meal and clutching their bellies with cramp. An unnatural green smog fell upon the column of troops, thick fronds of putrid air picking its way around the soldiers of the empire smothering them in an impenetrable unnatural blanket that obscured the vision and made men dizzy with nausea. The long column was divided into small groups by the smog of illness, as if it was guided by some intellect or even worse, possessed will of its own. Men rushed to into formation as horns sounded throughout the forest surrounding them.

It was a dread call to arms as with a guttural roar foul deviant Beastmen sprang up from the undergrowth at the forests edge and began a charge towards the humans. The crack of handgun fire was joined by the booming of cannon and rattle of Helblaster fire in response. Reinhardt choked in the foul acrid air as he surveyed all he could view. He had a mere battalion in sight, with a cannon and Helbaster on a nearby rise in the ground. He could only hope his officers could hold their ground without his leadership, the entire army was broken down into lonely pockets fighting their own battles against the denizens of the dark forest and the very air itself.

A line of foul beasts stormed towards the men through the combined fog and unholy smog towards the humans. A line of mutated slavering hounds were set loose by their trainers and raced towards the Imperial lines. Two hulking behemoths of mouldy flesh, slime and pus slithered and gibbered erratically forwards as masses of Beastmen rushed forwards. Missile fire slammed into the hounds of chaos as they were the first to near the battle line, a dozen were felled by crossbow bolts and lead slugs with yelps and pained squeals, the few surviving creatures panicked and fled back into the swirling mists. The cannon roared as it flung a second round shot towards the Nurgle spawns that slithered towards them. This second shot hit home with a loud wet slap as the disgusting innards of a tentacled creature were scattered across the field. The whole creature exploded in a shower of gore, drenching the nearby Beastmen goaders. There was no time for celebration as the first groups of beasts neared the screen of missile troops protecting the artillery and arrayed ranks of swordsmen.

The Gor and Ungor crashed into the thin lines of men before they could properly react, hacking and slashing with crude blades and hatchets or jabbing with small spears, the screams of dying men were soon replaced by triumphant roars as the first wave of beasts sped towards the main body of humans. It was at this moment the Helblaster volley gun burst into life, the thud-thud of repeated shot was discharged into the ranks of the Beastmen. They were mown down, creatures were pitched over, limbs and blood spraying across the rutted road, heads exploding and shields splintering under the deadly spray of fire. By the time the Volley Gun had rattled off its last shots the few dazed survivors limped and fled back as best they could, hoarse whimpers and squeals of the wounded things filled the air. The din of battles just out of sight indicated to Reinhardt that the rest of the column was engaged in bloody battle with other Beastmen ambushers, there was still nothing he could do but win his own fight, just as his other men would have to.

More horns sounded and from behind the imperial line beasts rushed out of the mists, howling a blood curdling cry. They caught a unit of outriders off guard,  the men turned their guns upon the creature much too late, the crack of handgun fire soon turned into sounds of wet slashing and terrified neighing from the dragoons mounts as they were hacked down and butchered. A second wave of beasts stormed out to the front of the imperial lines, the men from Ostermark were surrounded. The cannon crew were next to face the ambushing beasts, the muzzle primed and ready to fire, but it did not and the crew were hacked to pieces as they desperately tried to figure out what had jammed their weapon. All that remained was Reinhardt and a unit of swordsmen with a detachment of halberds, being closed in upon from two directions.

The Helbaster crew cranked the handle to fire at the Pestigor that made up the second wave of the frontal charge, a first few shots cracked out of the gun, then silence. With curses and a rush of movement the crew hurriedly tried to clear the jam in their war machine, to avoid a similar fate to their gunnery school companions across the field. The swordsmen were forced to take the full brunt of the Nurgle blessed Bestigor charge from the front, a mad dash of beasts with huge double handed weapons crashed into the human shield wall, there was a flurry of hacking, stabbing and death on both sides. None would budge and the meat grinder continued. It was then the beasts who had slaughtered the cannon crew slammed into the flank of the swordsmen, threatening to completely break the humans formation. Reinhardt turned his attention away from the fight against the Pestigor and swung his great weapon into the new arrivals, cleaving Ungor in two as the swordsmen stabbed down the larger Gor they were in contact with. With a combination of luck and skill the men of the empire had staved off this new threat admirably, the last few flanking beasts scattered as their wil to fight dissipated.

The meat grinder at the front of the unit continued just as bloodily but the failed flank attack from their comrades had shaken the elite Beastmen. With a mighty cheer the men of the empire pushed forwards into the press and the beasts morale broke, the small detachment of humans pursued the beasts but were outpaced. Reinhardt ordered the main body of his troops to hold their ground as a final threat remained. The second spawn of chaos slithered from the direction of the abortive Beastman flank attack and the Swordsman regiment turned to face this new threat. Flushed with courage and the smell of victory Reinhardt led his men in the charge against the monstrous creature. Men ducked and weaved as a multitude of fleshy tentacles and muscled limbs thrashed at the spawns assailants. Reinhardt couldn't force his way through the press of bodies to get into contact with the spawn as it began to kill his troops.

The last remnants of the Beastmen were rallied by their Wargor and began to advance upon the ten halberdiers that failed to run them down. Thud-Thud-thud. The Volley gun was firing again and the last few Beastmen charged headlong into the trail of fire, shot whipping up small whisps of dirt in the road as the rounds stitched their way across the ground and into the midriff of the Beastmen that were hurling themselves forwards. The firing got faster and faster and the bodies piled up, the last herd of beasts leaving a trail of its own casualties in its wake as they attempted one last forlorn charge. The Helblaster was getting hotter now, the firing continually kept gathering pace until there was a great deal of whirling and a cacophony of explosions followed by an almighty thump as the machine destroyed itself under its own centrifugal force.

Reinhardt lodged his sword into the shuddering body of the defeated spawn and rested his foot on the carcass. The last of their foes were dead or had fled. The air began to clear and almost as swiftly as it had arrived the green mist had dissipated. The Baron could see the vast majority of his army had held their own during the Chaos witchery that had split his force into tiny fragments. Reinhardt went about regaining control of his army and to set about the task of dealing with the dead. This was a telling forewarning of the hard fight humanity has before it in the ensuring months.