Friday, 28 August 2009

Autumn 987 - Bloody Meadows

Brother Cedric had caught up with the object of his quest. He knew exactly where the Spear of Lindorf was and he knew who had it. Unfortunately, it was surrounded by thousands of Treyine soldiers. Sneaking into the Treyine camp was not really Brother Cedric's forte, so he needed another way to get to the Spear. The means was all around him. The battered Ekran army had rallied and was ready to try stopping the Treyine army once more. The soldiers in the army looked half-defeated already, but that did not stop them lining up ready to sell their homeland's soil dearly. Brother Cedric had a place as a captain in their midst. The Ekran general had been grateful to see even Cedric's small band willing to support his own forces. Half of the Treyine archers had set up stakes in front of their positions. The other half had refused the Treyine right flank. The Spear was with the Treyine general in the centre of their line. On the Ekran left flank, the mercenary captain Alfred Badenhorst had deployed his Black Company opposite the White Company of Sir Geoffrey Chambers. Both commanders were ready to settle an old score. Sir Geoffrey was particularly keen after the rout of his knights in the last battle. Trumpets blew and drums rolled as the advance was ordered.

Brother Cedric had rolled a result of find the object of his quest but he had to fight a battle before going to the raid scenario. Rather than do this in WHAA, we chose to combine the two campaigns and fight the battle in WH because there was going to be a WH battle anyway and we knew the object of the quest would be at that battle. Brother Cedric's task was to get to the stand carrying the Spear and rout them. If he did that then the next scenario, regardless of the outcome of the WH battle would be a raid on the routers' camp to recover the Spear.

The Treyine army had rolled low enough to be the defender in this battle, even though they were invading. Terrain was set up with two light woods on each flank. I worked out Brother Cedrics stats under WH and he was then fielded as a hero stand. Steve does not have a suitable 6mm version so we used the actual Brother Cedric figure. I think that gives him his proper heroic status!

Click the pictures for larger versions

As the Ekran army advanced, the witch Callifraxia made her presence known. The ground opened up under the Ekran right flank and all of the troops to Brother Cedric's right were swallowed up by a yawning Abyss, never to be seen again. The flower of Ekran chivalry was lost. More importantly, the Ekran general was lost. Brother Cedric rallied quickly and took charge. Even though the troops were shaken, Brother Cedric managed to stop them fleeing the field. He reformed the lines and marched on.

A level 3 wizard with an Abyss spell is a hugely powerful weapon in this game. In this instance, the spell destroyed three stands of knights and one of crossbows. I had not realised that one of those stands was the general. The conversation then went something like this.
"Right, Steve, do you want to make the remaining knight your general, since you had not told me which was your general? No? Ok, then you had better roll a die to see if your general survives. He will survive on anything but a 6. Ok? What did you get? A 6? Oh dear. Right, the general is lost forever."
We also decided that since Brother Cedric is a Star as well as a hero that he could take charge of the army so it would not be so limited by like of leadership. That's the heroic thing to do after all. WH does not actually have Stars, but it felt right porting over some of their attributes from WHAA.

As the remnant of the Ekran army advanced, Sir Geoffrey Chambers' hot-headedness took over again and he charged Alfred Badenhorst's pikemen, only to be repulsed. Badenhorst hooted insults at Sir Geoffrey as his knights withdrew from the pike block, leaving several of their number lying wounded and dying on the floor. Meanwhile, the Treyine archers on the right flank started firing, initially with little effect. On the left flank, the archers advanced from behind their stakes, wheeling to fire into the flank of the Ekran army.

Sir Geoffrey, smarting from the insults hurled at him charged again, only for his knights to be cut down around him. The remaining knights fled the field ignominiously defeated. Honour was restored, however, when Sir Geoffrey's archers opened up on Badenhorst's pikes, wounding many and causing Badenhorst to flee the field too. Honours were about even now. The archers fired once more, driving off the Ekran peasant infantry, and then the Ekran knights charged. A bloody and drawn out melee ensued as they were engaged by the Treyine infantry and men-at-arms. Meanwhile, the archers on the left flank had moved into range and began shooting. Brother Cedric's small band were soon wounded and it did not take long for Cedric himself to be grievously wounded. Seeing their leader fall, the small band of brothers retreated from the field with his body, leaving only the knights and Badenhorst's arquebusiers standing. They called for parley and were permitted to leave the field as the Treyine army once more drove all before it. Their casualties had been light and they could afford to be magnanimous in victory.

"Steve, the archers have scored a hit on Brother Cedric. He only becomes a casualty if you roll a 6. What's that? A 6?"
"Right, Steve, you need to roll for the severity of the wound. 1 or 2 is good. What did you get? Another 6? Right that means Cedric is dead."
But wait, can Cedric really be dead? Well, no, not really. He is a Star. As I mentioned earlier, we were porting over some rules from WHAA for this game. Because Brother Cedric is a star, he cannot be killed by anyone with a lesser Rep than him. CV in WH is basically the same as Rep, and the archers have a lower CV than Brother Cedric, so, even though the result called for a dead result, it became an out of the fight result instead. Brother Cedric is badly wounded, but not dead yet and he will forfeit his next Social Advancement roll instead.

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