Sunday, 28 April 2013

Near Run Thing

The victory celebration in the Mirish camp was in full swing. The Mangu had been defeated and sent running home and the wine flowed liberally. Inside his tent Pereira was finishing his debriefing. 

"Be sure to give the elephant handlers and skirmishers extra wine," he began"And send this pouch of gold to the Sorcerers."

"Hassan wishes to..." Pereira cut off the lackey. "Tell him not to worry, fate is a fickle mistress and here's to a speedy recovery"

As the tent cleared out Pereira was alone with his thoughts. They had been very lucky, things could have easily went the other way.

Having played many games of Rally Round the King with and against the Mangu I forgot how devastating their archery is. This is due to two reasons. 

The first is they are Rep 5, this means they will stick around longer and usually out-shoot their opponents getting in the last shot. This also allows them to function in smaller groups of 2 instead of 3 without worrying about failing morale.

The second is they are elite shooters and get a +1 when shooting. This meant the flanking force of 4 skirmishers were at a 8 when they fired at the Mirish horsemen, the major arm of that army.They kill a lot of people. They took out two of my sorcerers and the hero before he even came into contact!

The Crystal of Yakub more than paid for its 2 Recruiting Rolls, allowing for the skirmishers to have rasied morale as they needed it to exchange fire with the Mangu horsemen. Finally the sorcerers were effective. Both in attack and in counteracting the Mangu spells. I realized that to be effective the would have to concentrate on one or two units and they did well hammering the Mangu Leader unit.

A very close game that could easily have been a Mangu victory. As usual the major Pursuit yielded light casualties as the Mangu are so  fast.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Autumn 993 - The Battle of Twin Gorge Plain

"Sire, the messenger has arrived from Valkae. He reports a great victory for our forces once more."
"A great victory, Lord Cavill? Against Valkae? Hardly. I expect they might try to put a fight up, but they should not have had a chance against our overwhelming numbers and training."
"Yes, Sire, but surely any victory is great if the casualties are low, and ours were particularly low."
"Aye, Lord Cavill, I'll grant you that. Now send the messenger in and get him to make his report."
The Valkae army advanced quickly towards our centre. They saw that their only chance was to demoralise us by killing our general, Lord De La Warre. (Valkae on the left of the picture. Treyine deployed with stakes in front of the archers and melee troops behind them. A reserve of archers and the cavalry may be seen peeking into the far right of the picture).

As the Valkae melee troops approached, they were met with a rain of arrows that caused casualties all along their line. The marines were driven back by this fire, but the Sword Maidens and Warriors were driven into a frenzy and charged.

Weakened by the storm of arrows, the Valkae marines tried to close once more with the archers but were driven back again after an exchange of shots. Meanwhile the Warriors had taken too many casualties and ran, leaving their general and the Sword Maidens to fight on alone. The archers who faced them had suffered few casualties and were inflicting many more than they received.

The Valkae skirmishers had tried closing with the Treyine flank archers, but were driven back by fire. Then the Sword Maidens routed, taking their general with them. That was too much for the rest of the Valkae army, who all ran. Our cavalry ran down the Marines and the Warriors but the skirmishers and the Sword Maidens escaped. Well, those that survived did.
 "Sire, I am pleased to report that the surviving members of the Valkae government have capitulated and we now control the southern ports of their island."

I played this game solo because Steve was not able to pop round yesterday and because I thought it would have been a bit too one-sided to be really fun. The terrain consisted of two gullies on the bottom edge of the game board with a wood between them. The rest of the table was flat and featureless. The Valkae army rolled Penetrate Centre for their tactics. This meant that they had to try to bull through in the centre while their skirmishers on the left flank prevented encirclement there. Treyine rolled a Static Defence with archers in front of melee troops and a reserve deployed behind the main line. The entire Treyine line had stakes deployed in front of it to blunt enemy charges. I did not have space in the deployment area for all of Treyine's archers, so I deployed a line of archers in front of the cavalry reserve too. As expected, the archers weakened the enemy before they made contact. Normally I would expect the archers to get cut to bits, leaving the melee troops behind them to finish off the enemy, but in this case, the Valkae army's low armour class meant that the archers were able to finish the job.

One thing that struck me about the solo system is that the options for tactics only give the Treyine army a 1 in 3 chance of using their most effective tactic, and the one that I have used in almost every battle we have played. It will be interesting to see what tactics they roll up and how they fare when other players in the campaign must fight them and do so using the solo system.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Autumn 993 - Campaign Update

Summer was quiet and ended with a whimper as The Capalan League finally capitulated to both Tereken and Altengard. The invincible Altengard army crushed the Capalan army and captured their general. Can nothing stop Altengard?

With the Summer harvest out of the way, other nations have decided to take to the field for one last chance at territorial gain before the Winter sets in. Treyine has boarded its ships and headed for the last remaining Valkae province. The Orcs of Naz-Goth have taken up arms against the Necromancer of The Abyss and the hairy horsemen of Mangu have entered Mirish intent upon crushing the Mirish, seeing them driven before them and hearing the lamentation of their women.

Although Valkae is still at war with Altengard and technically on the offensive, the Valkae war council has chosen to defend against Treyine this season and not to split their army.
The situation in Autumn 993