The General Archive > The Battleground

Illustrated Battle Report from Marienburg Campaign


Thought that those of you who aren't involved in the Marienburg campaign might like to see this. I am happier with is than my other reports in terms of the story, but the photographs are not as good. I was NOT drinking, but it seems my wobbly hand ruined some of what would have been the best shots.

Battle of the Eastern Swamps, 2500 game, Faction List vs. Empire/Dogs amalgamation list

Bertrand was glad to be out of there. His head had been spinning all day listening to the interminable bickering of the Committee of War members in the Merchants’ Assembly. He was no politician, and yet somehow he’d volunteered to be the Committee’s secretary! How that happened even he couldn’t say.

Then came the opportunity to lead his force to battle, and in his eagerness to get out of the Hall, again he found he had volunteered to do something that in retrospect, with a clear head, seemed utterly mad: It was now his job to lead the army of House van de Kuypers (bolstered with part of the Emir’s force) into the Eastern Swamps to fight the League of Free Traders.

Whether the League were enemies, potential allies, false friends, cowards, victims of fate, or tricksters he could not say (and he suspected that none of the Committee knew, even though they claimed otherwise). A vote had been demanded and Bertrand voted for an attack. That was his undoing, that very moment, because as the one who voiced the deciding vote, the Committee now expected him to see it through. Was this punishment?

The decision, as far as Bertrand could make out, was to launch one attack to show the League, whatever their true intentions, that Marienburg cannot be bullied, even when caught up in a war! Von Wallenstien was furious (Bertrand couldn’t look him in the face) but others on the Committee seemed pleased with themselves. Bertand’s only hope now was to do well in the battle. To lose would add insult to injury.

So here he was with an amalgamated army of Arabyans, Tileans, Estalians, Averlanders and Marienburger seamen into the swamp! Into a soggy, stinking, flie-ridden bog, strewn with dead things and now soon contain more rotting corpses. And Bertrand couldn’t even take true command of the force, for the young emir, Marienburg's latest visiting ally, had ordered that as he was to provide half the forces he had brought to the city for this expedition, then his General Jamal ad Duala must lead the force in battle.

Bertrand was secretly glad: Let the arab take the blame when we almost certainly fail in this gods-forsaken place.

Where would the fight take place? Surely not in the swamp? No, of course not. There was a little hamlet up ahead, on a slightly raised area of ground, with two very modest hills. The General was leading the army towards it. There was an inn, a large house and a small temple by the looks of it.

And oh, there was irony to add to Bertrand’s misery – it was a temple to Sigmar. Great! The League and the Marienburgers were about to do battle over possession of a temple to Sigmar, in a steaming swamp.

The field of battle:

Note: A non-playing friend set the scenery for us. We both suspect she was trying to make things difficult for us. Maybe she just wanted the table to look nice? She wouldn't say either way!

General Jamal divided the force into two wings, the left to consist of Marienburgers and northern mercenaries, the right to consist of his arabs. Jamal obviously felt safer with his own troops near him – or was there some other motive? The Tilean Duellists however, wandered over to the far right, behind the Arabyan camels (Heavy Cavalry). Bertrand suddenly worried that perhaps the murderous Tileans were planning to assassinate the general – after all, Tileans were never truly to be trusted!

This was just part of Bertrand’s usual paranoia before a battle. Besides the enemy was now coming into view and that put all such distractions from Bertrand’s mind. He’d thought that there might be dwarfs amongst them, a folk he feared to have to face in battle. But no, this was a human force, of Empire troopers and Dogs of War. In fact there were some famous flags a-flying amongst the enemy lines. Braganza’s Besiegers! Ricco’s Republican Guard! (Was that why the Tilean Duellists had gone over to that flank – where they planning to turncoat and join their countrymen?)

Besides these, there were huge regiments of Pike and Halberds, two cannons, and some Greatswords lurking in the trees – their presence revealed by the huge army banner they flew.

Before Bertrand felt like he had got his bearings, the battle began. The allied artillery opened with a couple of deadly shots, slaying 4 Halberdiers and 4 Pike. But no-one could tell the huge bodies of men had been damaged. The Handgunners near Bertrand occupied the two storey house nearby – a good idea thought Bertrand. On the right the Arabyan general advanced with his Camels, the Tileans moving behind. But the rest of his army, attempting to move into better firing positions, got tangled up, and his main Foot regiments couldn’t back up their general. (Was this typical of mercenary half-heartedness in battle? Was this ‘confusion’ merely a chance to put off joining in battle?)

The enemy responded by advancing two detachments on their right towards the Marienburg cannon (trying to protect the Halberdiers?). In the centre their handgunners occupied the hill, from were they would do considerable damage, while the light horse (pistoliers) galloped from the left towards the centre.

The enemy cannons and missile troops had little effect, though Bertrand and his Free Company backed off when Braganza’s bolts slew 4 of them. And their wizard brought the Arabyan general to a halt with a wall of fire. Ouch! (You’d think desert men and camels would be used to the heat?)

The Averland Red Guard Halberdiers (now veterans in this war) advanced over the hill with their detachment in support, while the Ogre Ironguts made a desperate dash towards the League’s Handgunners on the other hill. Could they make it before being slaughtered by double ranked volley fire?

The enemy responded by charging their huge regiment of pike into the Halberdiers, whose detachment countercharged with precision.

Bertrand laughed when he saw this: “Do they honestly think Pike will help them?” he thought. He’d become somewhat cynical about the effectiveness of mercenary Pike! And his judgement proved sound. The League's Pike couldn’t harm the Averlanders, even with 16 attacks, and as a result they broke and fled!

Meanwhile the Arabyan Camels were taking casualties from the wall of fire, then when they finally dispelled it, took more casualties from a Fiery Blast. The wizard with the enemy general, the army standard bearer and the Greatswords in the woods was proving very harmful to the ‘cause’. Jamal’s hand was forced. I he stood he would die. If he backed off he would die. so he charged, with only half his camel regiment left.

The Ogre Ironguts’ challenge was to prove too much for them. Having lost 3 to handgun fire, they then lost the combat on the brow of the hill, another died and the last fled the field. For some reason, he had a strange feeling of déjŕ vu as he fled!

He couldn’t rally, for there was not enough left of his original 5 strong unit. He left the field sobbing. (He didn’t want to human warriors to see him cry!) Of course, Jamal’s attempt was just as foolish as the Ogres – attacking three characters in a body of Greatswords with only 4 Heavy Cavalry and himself. He broke and fled too!

The enemy general, armed like a true sea faring pirate with a brace of pistols, killed another camel as they fled. Now, under quarter strength, the Arabyan General couldn’t rally either! The Greatswords, happy with their position in the woods, had restrained their pursuit. The wizard with them, laughing maniacally, killed 8 arab spearmen with another fire spell, and sent them running too!

The Marienburger handgunners finally mounted the hill and started to fire at the enemy handgunners, backed up by the Arabyan crossbowmen and handgunners to their right. Yet it would take two lots of firing by all three units to shift them!

Now the real battle was joined. The Averlanders had run down the enemy pike and destroyed them by charging them as they fled. The enemy’s light horse had also fled, right off the field! Now the halberdiers charged into their enemy equivalents. Bertrand’s Free Company and the Averland detachment joined in, to make one big combat between 2 League bodies and 3 Marienburg bodies. Mayhem!

Of course, outnumbered, ranks negated, attacked in the rear, the League’s position was weak. They broke and fled, and were cut down by their pursuers. But it did leave the Averlanders in a very unenviable position – right in front of a cannon! Grapeshot and handgun bullets tore down half of them! They fled, thus losing the two captured enemy banners they had moments before been so proud of.

The battle was drawing to a close. The arabs, who had suspiciously avoided the fight for the whole battle, except for their impetuous general who had to charge or die, started to fall back. The enemy would not reach them. Their crossbows released one last hail of shot into the woods and slew a good half of the Greatswords, including the wizard (in a lucky distribution roll for the two successful shots!). The black guard swordsmen now chose to advance to the now abandoned hill where the handgunners had been, to cheer and shout and look like they had meant business.

Bertrand on the flank could hardly believe it. The enemy was withdrawing. It was a (minor) victory, enough to win the day.

A fly landed on his nose. A fat, black, filthy swamp fly. Bertand swatted it, burst it and blood ran down his face.

A young wit beside him laughed: “You’ve been bloodied in battle again, captain. Eh?”

Bertrand grinned. Then he wondered whether the inn still had any ale left in it. You can guess where he went next. Battles are thirsty work!

Thanks for posting this battle report Padre - it looks like you had a blast .

Nice story that captures the feel of a fast moving hard fought battle and really nice pictures of two well painted , themed armies - inspiring and frustrating ( Im a sloooooooow painteer !  :biggriin:)  .

You mention other reports - I for one would like to see them and hope you get round to post them .

Thanks Kreigspiel

For a very fictionalised story of an actual battle (though the pictures were all posed long after the actual game) see

For two other battle reports from the Marienburg site, see

I've done a stupid amount of silly little scenes and such for the campaign, but the links here take you to the meatiest reports!

Thank you man, I really enjoyed that. And the linkage, well that's where I'm going next :).


[0] Message Index

Go to full version