Sunday, 28 October 2012

Spring - 992 Battle of the Steppes

Here is my first battle of the campaign.  Apologies for the lack of story but wanted it more mechanical as this is my first game of RRTK so my mistakes can be spotted and I can correct them next time.
The armies consisted of the following units
Mangu –Blue & White (based on historical Mongol army)
S – skirmish cavalry
C- cavalry
L- lancers attached is the General Aluminium Khan
MU – magic user
Stygustan – Yellow & White (based on historical Egyptian army)
LC – light chariots
Ar – archers
I – infantry
A – axemen attached is the General Warththestep
MU- magic users


Due to the large number of Mangu skirmishing cavalry, they outscouted the Stygustans 26 - 10 and this would force them to place 6 units for every 3 of the Mangu. As the Stygustan were invading Mangu, they would move first. The table top would be mostly open. The Mangu would use the Double Envelopment tactic, while the Stygustans would employ the encircle flank tactic and setup was determined by these tactics.

Turn 1 - Stygustan

The chariots wheel right, ready to attack the flank next turn, while the archers move slowly up the centre.

Turn 1 - Mangu

The skirmish cavalry move up on both flanks and prepare to fire at the archers and light chariots while the lancers and cavalry move up the centre. Not-tu Nite (the magic user) reveals herself and prepares to cast Fog of War. She targets her lover and general Aluminium Khan but is unsuccessful as she feels a headache coming on. Luckily for Khan, he has asprin on hand and is able to keep her in the battle for a little while longer. Unfortunately she uses up 5 out of her 10 magic points.

Turn 2 – Stygustan

Wartchthestep surveyed the battlefield and feels claustrophobic. The chariots activate and either fire at the skirmishing cavalry or move into position to fire at C1. The shots result in 1 hit on S9 and 2 hits on S8. Their reactions are to return fire hitting Light chariot 1 for 1 hit and then causing it to retire taking another hit. Unfortunately it contacts I1 and takes another hit. LC3 fares even worse - it takes 1 hit from return fire and in an appalling show of courage it routs from the battle. The infantry block containing Wartchthestep remains stationary to 'reinforce' any holes that appear. He then commands his sorcerers to assist and they then prepare to cast blast at S5 and S3. Not-tu Nite detects the spell but is unable to prevent it from being cast. S5 takes 1 hit but is unable to return fire as it is does not LOS to the sorcerers. S3 retires away from them but as this then causes them to retire through S, S routs and S3 continues on. The archers move forward slightly while Ar1, 2 and 8 halt due to the chariot. Ar5 shoots at S6 causing 1 hit for no hits in return but they do retire and then take 1 hit.

Turn 2 – Mangu

Aluminium Khan smiled to himself. His skirmish units had performed admirably. They had bottlenecked the Stygustans and had caused confusion within their battle lines. His skirmishers on his right repositioned themselves to attack the archers. C1 is ordered to charge LC2 and causes it to retire and take a hit as a result LC2 contacted LC and took another hit. Not-tu Nite had to wash her hair and as a result was unable to cast any magic this turn. S8 shot at LC and caused it to retire taking 1 hit and then a second as it contacted Ar2. The final movement of the turn was S3 & S5 moved into position to fire next turn.

Turn 3 – Stygustan

Wartchthestep looked around and saw that his front battle line was splintering apart and as a result he could not bring to bear his massed fire power. LC2 shot at C1 causing 1 hit and C1 then proceeded to advance 1/2 move and charged LC2. LC2 then proceeded to retire, taking 1 hit, take another hit as it contacted LC and then was pursued by C1 (having just discovered the rule) and routed. LC then fired on S8 causing 1 hit and forcing it to retire. Warcththestep prodded his sorcerers in to casting a spell but they were unsuccessful in summoning a hero.
LC1 could not shoot as S5 was out of arc and Ar8 blocked the shot on S3. Ar8 couldn't move as LC stopped it moving forward, it couldn't wheel without hitting Ar1 and as it had halted due to friendly troops in the road it couldn't turn to face S3 (assuming that I have done this correctly). Ar3 & 4 continued to move forward while Ar6 shot at S6 and Ar5 shot at S7. Both S6 and S7 retired taking another hit each.

Turn 3 – Mangu

Khan still felt positively about how the battle was proceeding but his skirmishers were starting to be worn down. S1, S2 & S3 fired at Ar5 and caused 3 hits and routed from the battle. Not-tu Nite managed to cast despair on to Ar4 dropping their rep by 1 and then Khan gave the order to charge with both his lancers and the attending cavalry unit. Ar4 stood and shot causing a hit on the lancers and an arrow lodged in the helm of Khan, just narrowly missing the eye slit and bouncing harmlessly off. With lances raised and sabres rattling the cavalry cause 4 hits on Ar4 while Ar4 managed to hit C for 1 point.

Turn 4 – Stygustan

Things were looking grim for the Stygustan army and Wartchthestep knew it. The turned opened up with LC1 shooting at S3 hitting once S3 then returned fire also for 1 hit routing LC1. LC4 wheeled left. LC wheeled to get in to firing arc on S9. Ar1 not wanting to suffer the same fate, expanded out from behind Ar2. Wartchthestep wheeled to the left and advanced as fast as he could. Ar6 fired upon C generating 1 hit causing C to charge and routing Ar6.

Turn 4 - Mangu

S1, S2 & S4 reformed. Khan, his lancers and C1 formed up the line with C. S9 fired at LC hitting once and causing it to retire taking another hit and then a third hit as they retired in to Ar9.

Turn 5 – Stygustan

'Curse those skirmishers to the lowest level of Hell!' spat Wartchthestep. The battle had been lost and now it was time to withdraw from the field. The invasion of Mangu had faltered but by conserving the army as much as possible, there would be at least a next time.
Now it was time to determine the major pursuit and casualty recovery. In the end 4 archers were not recovered.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Spring 992 - The Battle of Thelwell's End

Thelwell's End was a place of little interest to the casual voyeur of scenery. It had nothing but low rolling steppes as far as the eye could see, which was a long way because these plains had been scoured clear of all tall vegetation by years of wind. It was perfect cavalry country, and Hardecg Legbiter intended to make best possible use of it. The Northern Tropilium army had been caught napping and was now trying to form up as Hardecg ordered her left wing to move around the flank of the Tropilium army.
 Her right wing, including herself would hold for now, awaiting the inevitable onslaught of the Tropilium clibanarii, although that seemed slow in coming. They were remarkably reluctant to charge.
 As her left wing dealt with the enemy skirmishers, Hardecg's confidence grew.
 She called out orders and her wing advanced on the Tropilium cavalry, who were still reluctant to charge. With wild yells and howls her girls raced forward, ribbons streaming out from the ponies' manes and tails.
 A hail of arrows and javelins soon cleared the clibanarii out of the way. The Tropilium general had detached a couple of forlorn hopes to slow her down, but her girls were in position now to harass the main body of the Tropilium army.
 Her left flank surrounded the forlorn hope there as the main body of the Tropilium army broke the square formation it had adopted. Unfortunately the forlorn hope on her right flank seemed to be made of sterner stuff. She last saw it pursing two cohorts of her ponygirls as they routed from the field rather than face the Legionaries' steel.
 Seeing that she needed to do something drastic, Hardecg ordered her bodyguard to charge the flank of the nearest Tropilium legionary unit. She was sure that the unit would break and run and that she could roll up the flank of the Tropilium troops before disaster struck. Too late. The unit held, her own bodyguard was repulsed with heavy losses, and it all went downhill from there. Soon her bodyguard was fleeing from the field, and only a few of the ponygirls remained to harass the enemy.
Hykar was lost. Northern Tropilium was victorious. However, the Brazier of Durmun was also lost. No one knew who took it or where it will resurface.

Hmm, so, totally flat terrain to suit the cavalry. I easily stripped Steve's cavalry and skirmishers away, but his infantry were a tougher proposition. I could not charge them and he had them in a square formation that provided mutual support to front and back, leaving only a narrow flank to harass. The real problem came with my formation. My troops needed a second rank to max out the bonuses for reaction checks. Unfortunately, this also meant that any time the front rank had to retire, the second rank routed for being interpenetrated by a retiring unit. I lost a large chunk of my army to this mechanism. Once my troops started taking casualties I had to move them into single lines, which further weakened them, but at least I was able to not lose completely fresh units. Breaking up the Tropilium infantry proved very difficult because my troops decided that they did not like being faced by enemy units that could threaten them. They did not like being charged either. Having only a WR of 2 seriously hampered my efforts to keep my troops together too. Still, it was a good game and I shall now repurpose the Hykar army either as Valkae cavalry or perhaps as Mangu. I like the idea of the Mangu army because it has a larger core of heavy cavalry as well as the Rep5 elite light cavalry. They should perform much better than the Hykar did.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Spring 992 - Fields of Blood

"General Pereira, there's a Captain..."
"Pereira! Are you going to sit on your duff all day?!"
General Pereira grinned when he heard the gruff voice of Alfred Badenhorst, commander of the mercenary Black Company. Extending his hand Pereira strode towards the giant of a man. "I heard you had been hired by the Prince."
"And a damn smart move on his part if I say so myself", Badenhorst replied. "What's your plan?"

Pereira explained the overall plan to the mercenary Captain and the role the Black Company was to play in the upcoming battle.

"Aglaron, eh? I owe that Elf fop some payback," Badenhorst said with a snarl. "I'll keep that fool on a pin while you finish off those gloomy pointy eared pompous..."

"Still hate Elves?" Pereira interjected.
"With a passion!"

Terrain was rolled for three times with each result being more congested with woods and rough terrain. Good for the Elves, bad for the mounted army of Mirish. After surveying the third battlefield the choice was a tough one. Pass on the battle and lose morale or fight in close terrain.

The Elves set up in a Static Defense deep in the woods. One line of missile troops to the front with melee troops to the read. The swifter Disciples, barbaric Elves would hold the flanks, the heavier armored Brethren the center and Aglaron, the Dark Elf Hero in the center of the front rank.

Pereira set up at the edge of the woods, his infantry and elephants to the right and center with the Black Company to the left. The pikes of the Black Company would be useless in the woods as would the second line of heavy and extra heavy cavalry. Attacking through the woods would be tough going for the Mirish army, perhaps fatal.

Except Pereira had a plan.

At the outset the whole Mirish army turned to the left and marched towards the left side, towards the clear, cavalry friendly area of the battlefield. This put the Elves on the horns of a dilemma. The Elf General realized that the Mirish army was maneuvering to form on his right. The Mirish plan would be to attack the right side of the Elves, overwhelming one end while the other could not help.

The Elf General gave the order to wheel towards the right.

As the Mirish army reached the clear area they wheeled towards the Elves who now had reached close to the clearing but still in the woods. On Pereira's command the right and center of the first line moved into the woods to engage the Elves. Fired on by archers and threatened by the advance of the elephants the Elves charged forward. It was a mismatch as the heavier armored Elves broke the Mirish line. In victory they pursued out of the woods and into a hailstorm of archery and Blast spells from the Mirish magicians.

The Mirish magicians repeatedly cast Blast spells at the undisciplined Disciples. This caused them to charge towards the casters who were with the Black Company. Arquebusier fire first halted then broke the impetuous Elves.  By the time the Elf army had formed on the right edge of the clearing both sides had lost 1/3rd of their army.

After a short lull in the battle both sides had reformed across from each other. The Elves at the edge of the woods and the Mirish army in the clearing. Pereira sent his skirmishers out to harass the Elves in hopes of goading the Disciples into leaving the woods. And they did routing off a skirmisher unit. Out of control they pursued forward into a hail of archery fire from the Clibinarii who then rode the lightly armored Elves down.

This left the Elves in the center alone. I decided that they could stay where they were and wait for the Mirish forces to attempt to draw them out again or they could unleash their Hero. It wasn't a difficult choice.

Aglaron led the charge followed by the Black Brethren and Brethren. The Elf line hit the Black Company and Mirish cavalry. The Mirish casters fired more Blast spells until only Shazam remained, the rest carried off, exhausted.
The Black Company arquebusiers fired into the Hero as he charged home. Inspired by Captain  Badenhorst and his pike men to the rear in support the shooters held.
The Mirish Clibinarii fired their bows and met the charge. Although they inflicted casualties they were forced to retire, one unit routing away.

Soon the Hero and his entourage had routed off the arquebusiers and the last caster. But Badenhorst and his pike stopped his advance.
The retiring Clibinarii units returned to threaten the Elf General and his Black Brethren who had pursued away from the battle line. They charged and archery fire rained down on the Elves. Melee was again joined but the horsemen could not break the Elves and were forced to retire a second time.

The crisis in the battle had been reached. At the head of his Cataphacts, which he had held in reserve for just such a moment, Pereira wheeled and charged into the weakened Elf right flank, routing off the last Brethren unit and slamming into the Elf Hero. Taking heavy casualties, the Hero unit held off the pikes and forced Pereira to retire away with casualties.

As Pereira charged into Aglaron the second unit of Cataphacts wheeled and charged the Elf General to the rear. The constant casualties from continuous fighting combined with the charge from the rear was too much to bear. The Black Brethren broke and fled the field, the Elf General swept away in the confusion.

As the Elf army fled Aglaron prepared for the final charge. It never came.
Instead Pereira ordered his men to fire at the Hero and only melee if charged. As the sun set Aglaron retired from the field, the Black Company allowing him to do so.

Casualties on both sides had been high with the Mirish army having only five units left to pursue. This resulted in the loss of 1 Disciple unit and 1 Hunters. 

Spring 992 - The Battle of Roundwood Down

To Brother Father Cedric
Harbottle Preceptory

My dearest Cedders,

Congratulations upon your change of title. Is that a promotion or just a recognition of your manly attributes? Your Brethren and Treyine ways truly are a mystery to me. I am sorry that I have been unable to reach you at your preceptory yet. It appears that I and my bodyguard have been conscripted into the Treyine army. It is all dashed awkward, although the latest outing was rather jolly. Lord de la Warre seemed to be rather too hungover in this battle and it led to all sorts of complications. Initially he deployed the army too far back, leading to an awkward moment or two, especially when that jolly rascal Hogash came racing over from the Naz-Goth lines to challenge Sir Alaric to a duel.
The Orcs advance while the Treyine troops lurk behind their stakes
It was all frightfully dashing with Sir Alaric fighting by the Comte de Queensberry's rules, but the Orcish hoodlum was really rather too much for the old chap, who succumbed to a boot in the vitals and a knife in the eye. Poor fellow. He was really jolly decent for a man. Of course, that led to some of the girls getting a bit carried away and galloping around in circles instead of dealing with the Orcish oik.

Hogash lays into Sir Geoffrey's men
And kills Sir Alaric before seeing off all the others in the area
Hogash really was quite remarkable. He routed Sir Geoffrey Chambers and his entire White Company but he got carried away a tad chasing after them. I think there was something about making them wear pink, frilly knickers or some such. When he turned around and returned to the fray, I had gathered my girls together once more and we quickly showed him what's what.
Barbax and the girls prepare to show Hogash what's what.
While this was going on, Lord de la Warre had apparently ordered the advance, while the rest of the Orcish army had occupied Roundwoods.

The Treyine troops were quick to take the fight to the enemy and soon had shot their arrows and were engaged in melee. If I recall correctly the shouting and screaming made it sound like a tremendous lark. It's a shame we were engaged in taking prisoners and tidying up our side of the battlefield. That reminds me. Hogash says he would love to meet you. I think he is adapting to life in our camp now and I am fairly sure that Lord de la Warre is not aware of him in our tents. Of course, I doubt he would recognise him now anyway. We don't let Hogash too near anything sharp just in case he hurts himself.

So, Cedders, the battle went on, the archers soon tired of the melee and slid back through the lines of the billmen, who took up the fight and all ended well for us.
The last of the Orcs surrender
The Orcs were driven back and all is well. I believe that our march will carry us near Harbottle. I may not be able to leave the army permanently just yet, but I shall certainly try to slip over to you and introduce you to my daughter. She is really looking forward to meeting you and I cannot wait to try Griselda's famous floury baps. Everything you have told me about them makes me look forward to them.


I played this one poorly as the Treyine (and rolled poorly with regard to Sir Alaric) but managed to pull it back from the edge by virtue of having more disposable troops than Steve did as the Orcs. I let the archers soak up hits from the Orcs while weakening them and then threw the billmen into the melee. This turned out to be a good choice that led to the destruction of the Orcs. Job done. Treyine lost its hero permanently. The Orcs lost a stand of archers and their hero, who left after the battle.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Spring 992 - Campaign Update

Spring is here, and with it young warriors' minds turn to conquest and avenging the wrongs of last year. This Spring sees the enforced peace between Tropilium and Treyine at an end. Likewise, Hykar and Mirish are no longer involved in an enforced peace.

The Abyss is now a player nation using the custom undead army list on the New Armies Page.

Magic-User Availability

Mangu recruits 1 L1 Magic-User.
Mirish recruits 1 L1 Magic-User.
Stygustan recruits 2 L1 Magic-Users and 1 L2 Magic-User.
Tropilium recruits 1 L1 Magic-User.
Valkae recruits 2 L1 Magic-Users and 1 L2 Magic-User.

Hero Availability
Bal-a-Tor recruits a hero.
Gorath recruits a hero.
Valkae recruits a hero.

Mercenary Availability
Capalan League recruits a unit of Brethren.
Mirish recruits the Black Company.
Treyine recruits a unit of Eskelin Knights.
Tropilium recruits a unit of Hykar Cavalry.

Going to War
Altengard invades the Capalan League.
Mirish invades Gorath.
Treyine invades Naz-Goth.
Stygustan invades Mangu.
Northern Tropilium invades Hykar.
Tereken invades Mirholme.

The situation at the start of Spring:

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Winter 991 - Campaign Update

The Current SituationTreyine conquered Seniira and has now focused its attention on Naz-Goth. Mirish has annexed Lothgolin and looks set to deal with Gorath next. Altengard has avenged its defeat by the Capalan League. The Dwarves of Bal-a-Tor have annexed their Drum neighbours and Drum is no more.

Character Death Checks
Harold I of Tereken has died while on the toilet. The soiled spear found near his body indicates foul play! His son has claimed the throne.

Vittorio the Victorious has succumbed to wounds taken in battle. Altengard has been accused of using poisoned weapons.

Two wizards in the Tropilium army have succumbed to attacks of the vapours and are no more.

National Morale
All nations that were at war are still actively preparing to continue the wars

Magical Items
The Brethren control The Drums of Doom but have not passed them on to anyone else.
The Fiddle of Calling has been found in Zog-Rot by Treyine.
The Harlapane of Heroes has been found by Altengard.

The Brazier of Durman is controlled by Hykar.

Holy Relics
Treyine controls The Spear of St Lindorf. 
The Book of the Hungry Moon has been lost but will return in Spring 993.
Mirish controls The Crystal Light of Yakub.
The current state of the world:

New Armies
No new armies are joining the campaign this winter.

Autumn 991 - The Battle of DunDunDoomb

The Black Moon Dwarven kingdom of Bal-a-Tor was sick of the sanctimonious preaching of their Red Sun neighbours, the Dwarven Kingdom of Drum, so they did what any other Dwarven nation would do: they invaded them. The plains of DunDunDoomb on the border of Drum were flat with a few small hills and both armies deployed in the open ground. The Drummers had their soldiers on the left and in the centre with their crossbowdwarves on the right. The Bal-a-Tories had their soldiers on the right with the Servants of Null to their left and their crossbowdwarves on the far left.
The battle began with the whole Drum army advancing while the Bal-a-Tories detached their crossbowdwarves to skirmish on the left.
While the rest of the Bal-a-Tor army advanced at a steady pace the Servants of Null charged forward, just failing to make contact with the Drum army, which quickly charged into contact with them. The Bal-a-Tory crossbowdwarves were dispatched swiftly by the Drum crossbowdwarves.
Then the two main battle lines clashed. The Drummers took heavier casualties but their superior discipline held, while the Bal-a-Tories had their line broken up by retreating troops. The Servants of Null managed to drive off one of the Drum crossbowdwarf units.
As the Drum crossbowdwarves advanced behind the enemy line, the battle heated up. The Drummers were taking heavy casualties but it was the Bal-a-Tories whose discipline was not holding and several units were driven back or routed.
Then the Bal-a-Tory general was driven off and several of his units went with him. Only the Servants of Null and an isolated soldier unit remained. Victory looked assured for Drum.
Unfortunately it was not to be. The isolated Drum unit was fresh and on the flank of the remains of the Drum line. It charged and rolled up the line, routing the Drum general in the process. The remainder of the Drum army decided that enough was enough and fled as fast as their little stumpy legs could carry them.
Victory went to the Bal-a-Tor army. It had taken very heavy casualties but it held the field and was able to march on the capital of Drum immediately. The nation of Drum was no more.