Thursday, 30 April 2009

Winter 986 - Campaign Progress

The situation during Winter 986:


Aftermath of the Autumn Turn
The Autumn turn saw the Brethren conquering one of the Goblin provinces. Then they retired to their winter quarters. No battles take place in Winter in Talomir.

As a result of losing a province, the National Morale of the Goblins is affected. It was 1. Normally the leader's War Rating is added to National Morale to see if they have the will to continue the war, but their leader died in the battle so they do not get this. With modifiers for losing the battle and losing a province, the Goblins are reduced to a National Morale of -1. They cannot pass any dice on the National Morale test so the nation's morale collapses and they suffer a further -2 penalty. Their National Morale is now -3 and they sue for peace with the Brethren and the Border Kingdoms. With the Brethren leading them, the Border Kingdoms have a National Morale of 5 (including the leader's War Rating) so the peace will last for eight years. The Brethren will also receive one recruitment roll per year from the Goblins, so expect to see Goblins in the Brethren army over the next few years! The Brethren are also now the Goblins' "Hated Enemy".

The Winter Turn
All non-core stands in each army are lost. New recruitment rolls will be made in the Spring.

No leaders die over the winter and the Goblins have chosen a new leader, Graash the Unflinching (WR 2). No heroes have been found, but Treyine has chosen to recruit a wizard. Callifraxia Glories-in-the-Sun (Level 3) will join their army. Callifraxia is a Valkae Amazon, who has chosen to settle in Treyine and study other schools of magic. (Now all I have to do is paint her!)

No artefacts or magic items have been found within the campaign area this Winter either, but The Spear of Saint Lindorf (a holy relic) is still in Treyine.

Autumn 986 - The Battle of the Two Hills

The Brethren had advanced steadily into Zog-Rot and had met little resistance along the way. There was certainly no sign of the Goblin Khan that they had expected to find. However, Zog-Rot was a hilly land and riddled with caves. While many Goblins lived above ground and tended the fields, others lived underground in great cave complexes.

"Technically speaking, of course," thought Brother Gloriosus, "it was the Goblins' slaves that tended the fields. Goblins were just not that good at agriculture. Gobbos don't garden."

When he saw the fields ahead of him with the wheat waiting to be harvested, Brother Gloriosus knew that they were approaching a large settlement and that they would probably be in for a fight. The land looked about right for the goblins; a couple of hills and some woods bordering the area. Yes, this would be the site of the battle. This was confirmed when he saw a detachment of Goblin Wolf-Riders wheeling their mounts away from the crest of a hill ahead of him. His own scouts were soon reporting the presence of a large Goblin force ahead of them. Both armies were aware of each other and the Goblins appeared to have deployed in his path. Time to show them why that was not wise.



The Goblins deployed with their centre on a hill are in the foreground. On their left flank is a unit of Wolf Riders (Skirmish mounted) and on their right are the Goblin Archers (Skirmishers). The main body consists of one stand of Black Moon Goblins (Big hard melee troops by goblin standards) and the rest are ordinary Goblins (slightly weedier melee troops). The Brethren Knights are deployed behind the Brother Sergeants at the top of the picture. On the right of the picture is a unit of peasant archers (poor quality missile troops). The crossbows and heavy spearmen are deployed on the left side of the picture just in front of the woods.
(Click the pictures for larger images)

Brother Gloriosus deployed his troops quickly in battle formation. His cavalry were in the centre and his infantry were deployed on the edge of the woods on his right flank. Time to advance on the enemy. His knights took the vanguard with the sergeants following in echelon on his left flank. As they approached the Goblin line on the hill, they noticed Goblin archers deploying in the woods on their left. No time to worry about that though. Brother Gloriosus ordered the charge and his knights smashed home into the Goblin line.



The melee was brief and the Goblins were quickly driven back. Their general's standard fell at the first charge and their general's bleeding body was quickly carried from the field. Although driven back, the Goblin warriors still held their nerve, unlike the Goblin skirmishers, all of whom routed from the field at the first sign of trouble.

Whenever a unit with the general in takes hits, you must roll to see if the general is a casualty. I rolled a 6, he was a potential casualty as a result of this, he made his armour save but I then rolled a 5 on the wound severity table, so the Goblin general was grievously wounded and would die shortly after the battle. Take a Leader Lost test into account and about one third of my army evaporated without even getting into the fight!

The Goblin warriors continued to fight an casualties piled up on both sides. Unfortunately, the Goblins were outgunned and outnumbered now. Brother Gloriosus pressed his advantage and directed his sergeants onto the flank of the Goblin line as his own unit charged another unit of goblins. The knights burst through the goblins and then into and through another rank of goblins behind them. The sergeants rolled up the line from the flank and it was all over bar looting the corpses.



Brother Miles Gloriosus surveyed the battlefield. He was pleased because his troops had all held their nerve. He would be in line for a promotion if he could keep this up.

Notes: The Goblins suffered horribly because their general died in the first melee. This completely reduced their ability to fight back, and the loss of their skirmishers did not help either. With the general and the skirmishers present, the sergeants would have had a harder time getting onto the Goblin flank, and the Wolf Riders might have been able to get onto the flank or rear of the enemy infantry and harass them so that they could not join the main battle until much later. The whole game took about an hour and a half, with time out during that for gossiping and discussion of other projects as we usually do. Wargaming for us is a social activity, so our games tend to progress fairly slowly. I can't wait for the next one, though. Warrior Heroes is a most excellent system, even if the rulebook is not as well organised as it might be. It is not currently available from TwoHourWargames, but Ed has indicated he may get around to reworking it and issuing a free copy in similar fashion to Chain Reaction 3.0, which is also well worth checking out.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

August 986- The Guards at Bad Pfefferzneets

The boat did not last the journey around the coast and Ragnar’s group soon had to travel on foot. Without the boat to ferry them away, the group decided that raiding would be a tricky proposition. Therefore they decided to venture further east and fight the goblins. Stopping on the way, they thought that it might be a good idea to have a wee drinkie at the nearest town. There was a tricky moment when the gate guards decided that this group might match the descriptions of the group that attacked Bad Reinigung. However, Ragnar quickly adopted his most innocent expression and talked his way out of the situation. As a result, his followers found new respect for him.

This was a city encounter 'inside' Altengard with the local authorities. Ragnar had to Talk the Talk, and he did so very successfully, resulting in an increase in his Social Standing. There was no combat.

N.B. In WHAA each nation has three locations: On The Border, Inside, and The Heart. To move through a nation you move to the border, then inside it, then to its heart. Once at its heart, you must move inside it before you can reach the border.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

July 986 The Raid on Bad Reinigung

On the border of Altengard
Ragnar and his comrades disembarked from their leaky ship in a small cove a short distance from the smoke trails that indicated a village nearby. They advanced through the woods to the edge of the village, which was guarded by a small contingent of the local army amounting to about six soldiers and mercenaries. “This should be easy,” thought Ragnar. With a half-strangled yell he ordered the charge and his troops raced for the village, their thoughts filled with the prospect of loot and pillage.

The fight was going well until they entered the chantry. The two Lendsmen had run away when Ragnar charged at them. Ragnar himself had killed one of the infantry, while Gunnvora and Olaf dealth with another. Barak and Grim had checked the hovels out and found nothing. Ulf had checked the tavern. That left the chantry. Ragnar led the charge into the chantry with Hildigunn at his side. Hildigunn’s opponent was quite skilled and fended her off but she pressed her attack just the same. Then Ragnar’s opponent caught him a blow on the chin with the hilt of his sword. Ragnar fell like a poll-axed cow. Olaf bravely took to his heels, while Ulf and Gunnvora made a tactical withdrawal. Hildigunn was not keen on fighting on but she could not break away from the melee. Hearing the shouts and seeing their comrades fleeing, Barak and Grim chose to investigate. They saw Hilidigunn in trouble and charged into the fray. Very soon the enemy soldier lay dead on the floor, pierced by their spears. The three friends then tended to Ragnar who soon came round. They searched the village before firing it, but found little treasure. So much for their expectations of easy wealth. Upon returning to their boat, there was a council of the friends. Olaf had disappeared and they decided that they could not afford to wait for a coward. Jumping into the leaky tub, they put to sea and continued to sail around Altengard. Next time they would strike it rich for sure.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Autumn 986 - WAR!

Following the peaceful summer months, autumn brings leaves turning to orange and brown as they start to fall from the trees. The harvest is being gathered as everyone prepares for the winter. Still, the political machinations never stop.

Magic Items
The locations of the following magic items are known:
Spear of Lindorf - Treyine
Crystal Light of Yaqub - Demeskeen (non-campaign nation)
Book of the Hungry Moon - Naz-Goth (non-campaign nation)

Armies
Each has a fixed core and rolls for additional units based on how many provinces it controls and its technology level. The current status of the armies is as follows.

Border Kingdoms/Brethren
2 Brother Knights
2 Brother Sergeants
3 Heavy Spearmen
2 Peasant Foot
2 Crossbows
1 Peasant Archer

Ekra
3 Knights
4 Infantry
2 Crossbows
2 Mercenary Arquebusiers
1 Peasant Archers

Treyine
1 Foot Knight
2 Retinue Foot
9 Longbowmen
1 Mercenary Handgunners

Zog-Rot
3 Archers
7 Goblins
1 Black Moon Goblins
1 Wolf Riders

WAR!
The Border Kingdoms have declared war on the Goblins. With the agitation of the Brother Superior, Border Kingdoms Lords have been convinced to invade Zog-Rot in a bid to quash rumours of a Goblin khan. This pre-emptive strike to destroy the putative Goblin khan is a demonstration of the power of the Brethren and their allies in the Border Kingdoms. Can the Goblins hold off the Brethren army until winter or will the Brethren begin their new crusade with the conquest of part of Zog-Rot?



The battle for this turn will be fought once Steve has finished painting his Brethren.

The Brethren

The Brethren are a military order of knights in the service of the Red Sun. They are vehemently opposed to all proponents of the Black Moon. Currently the Brethren control the Border Kingdoms by virtue of acting as governors to the children of the Border Lords. Many of the Lords died suddenly in a wave of assassinations that have not yet been solved. No one knows who ordered the assassinations or why. Without legitimate heirs of suitable age, the Brethren were asked to take the regency until such time as the Lords' children achieve their majority. The Brethren often undertake this sort of role in north-western Talomir because they are a (in theory) non-political organisation, although it is usually on a smaller scale. They tend to profit well from this and are wealthier in their own right than many small countries. They also have large land-holdings in the Border Kingdoms, a relict from the days when their crusade against the Goblins tore this kingdom from the wilderness and created it. With such large holdings here, it is in their interests to maintain a stable environment.


The Brethren Army is now ready to face the goblins in battle next week.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Use Your Loaf - June 986

Prologue
Brother Cedric had returned to Harbottle, on the border of the Border Kingdoms. Griselda was recovering from her ordeal with the goblins and meetings at the preceptory had returned to normal with the requisite complement of doughnuts. Then one day a villager came racing into the village with dreadful tidings.

The Lord of the Manor, Lord Beauvriere, was away at the capital, and it would appear that Lord Alain de Sucre was riding in the direction of the village. With most of the village guards away, things looked desperate. Lord de Sucre coveted the apple orchards around Harbottle, which were famed for their cider apples and had long sought to tax the village, despite the fact that he had no legal right to the revenues. However, in this instance it would appear that Lord de Sucre had heard of Griselda's ordeal. He had loudly announced that he would seize her and take her back to his castle, where she could bake sweet confections for him and his cronies.

And so it begins
Brother Cedric had been kicking his heels for a fortnight now, since returning from the Goblin Lands. Now, when there was fighting to be done, the Lodge Master, the Righteous Brother Manfred D’Homme, had decided he could stay and guard the Lodge. They all knew how good he was at fighting goblins, so why had he been left here to play nursemaid?

After the second service of the morning, Brother Cedric left the Lodge to the Saviour’s Glowing Ring and crossed the village towards the bakers. There Griselda would be getting her buns out for the gathering crowd. Since saving her he could always be guaranteed a little something special round the back. Already his mouth was watering at the prospect. Just then little Burt, the cobbler’s youngest, came rushing into the village.

“They’re coming! They’re coming!”

Griselda's father turned to Brother Cedric. Panic was writ large upon his face and the fear in his eyes should have melted even the blackest of hearts. However, it was well known that Lord de Sucre had no heart, not even a black one.

"Brother Cedric," he shouted, "Brother Cedric, please save my daughter."

With that everyone in the village except the Brethren disappeared from sight. A tumbleweed rolled across the main street and a distant harmonica began to play.

“Spread out men and cover the entrances to the village”, said Brother Cedric. “And, Brother Leelov, stop playing that infernal instrument!”



They didn’t have long to wait as the enemy approached from behind the Bakery. It was their dastardly neighbour's men trying to take them from behind by surprise. The Brethren rushed to meet them, Brother Wilfhelm charged towards the horsemen causing one to panic and flee from the village. In a moment the battle was on. The enemy slingers seemed to have been sold a dud load of pebbles. They might have been better using rock buns. Wilfhelm’s other opponents quickly rounded upon him and he soon slumped to the ground. Brothers Cedric and Leelov rushed to his aid, while Brothers Konrad, Siegfried and Klaus attacked a second group.



Konrad soon fell to a savage blow. The tide then began to turn and just as the Brethren were gaining the upper hand, reinforcements arrived in the shape of the sneaking Lord himself. Brother Leelov soon succumbed to a brutal assault.



As Brother Cedric charged another mounted knight. Brothers Seigfried and Klaus used their loaf. They rushed into the Bakery to protect Griselda. They could defend better from behind the Bakery's doors. Herman the Spearman headed into the Lodge to the Saviour’s Glowing Ring. Alain and his men pressed the bakery door hard only to be beaten back. Herman put up a brave fight , but eventually he was knocked to the ground senseless.



Meanwhile Brother Cedric pushed the knight back and eventually pulled him from his horse and killed him. The Brothers in the bakery killed one of Alain’s knights and he fled from the scene, only to return with more men. By now all three Brethren were in the bakery fighting to protect Griselda’s dough. They soon dispatched Alain’s men and the cowardly cur slunk off to lick his wounds.

Conclusion
“Oh, thank you, boys, " gushed Griselda, "I kneaded a hero and you all rose to the occasion. It's no wonder that our Bakery flour-ishes in this village. I certainly doughnut expect you to ask for a reward but you have saved my life several times now. We are poor people so I cannot make a proper dough-nation to the Lodge, although there is muffin I would like to do more than that. Still, at yeast there is one thing I can do for you. Line up in an orderly fashion because I have something special for you. Ok now, one at a time, please.”

With that she got her special baps out.

Terrain from the WorldWorksGames Villageworks set.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Mirholme

In the far north, where the black rock stands guard over the raging sea, lies the icy land of Mirholme. This is a land of petty kings that is rarely united. Kings have tried to extend their rule over the whole country, but the topography is against them. Mirholme is a land of high mountains, broad forests and deep fjords. It is a spectacular place and yet deadly. The greatest of the kings of Mirholme at the moment is Gunnar Broadaxe. Gunnar's influence is felt far and wide across the land and it is said that he has sworn to lay the whole country under his heel. Gunnar is tall, fair of hair and has piercing blue eyes. He is said to be even-handed, just and generous. The same cannot be said of his wicked uncle, Olaf Squinteye, who constantly opposes Gunnar in everything. Olaf feels slighted because he did not inherit his brother's crown, so now he seeks to take it from Gunnar.

As well as the kings that rule each valley, Mirholme is home to the dreaded sea-kings. The sea-kings are notorious pirates. They rule no land but claim anything they can on the sea. Their raids on other countries, and even on their own people, are without mercy. They are brutal, hard men. Helgi Snake-eye is one such man. He commands a fleet of twenty ships. Each man is sworn to serve Helgi until death and beyond. The men in Helgi's fleet live by a strict warrior code that recognises their allegiance to Helgi and no other. They are sworn never to marry, never to back down from a fight and always to follow through on any boast or promise they make.

Mirholme breeds strong, powerful people. It's rulers gain their place by right of might, but their wealth is not much more than that of their people. Yet these hardy people scratch a living from the icy fjords and poor fields. They supplement their living by reiving during the summer months. Mirholmen raiders are feared in every land that has a sea coast. Alternatively, they trade far and wide, for Mirholmen sailors are the finest in the world, and their ships are renowned for their sea-worthiness. The sight of a Mirholmen sail is cause for much trepidation until the intent of the Mirholmen sailors is known. Many do not wait to find out either.

I don't have a 6mm Mirholmen army yet but I hope to get one soon, and pictures will follow as soon as I do.