Tuesday, 27 May 2014

End Times? Face of the Demon Finale

Part One
The battle now centered around the Demon as the Black Moon Incarnate units had been routed off or weakened, rendering them useless. But the Demon was a different story.

The Demon charged and forced 2 Clibinarii mounted units to retire as the horses wanted nothing to do with the Demon.

The Demon was a Fanatic so didn't take Reaction Tests. He would have to be given 8 hits to be eliminated.
Mounted units that melee infantry  and do not rout them, will retire and take 1 hit. This was added to any casualties the Demon gave out so each cavalry unit was good for only one or two charges.

Breaking through the first line of cavalry the Demon attacked the two Cataphract units. Pereira commanded one but there was no stopping the Demon as it dealt out casualties and drove off the cavalry.

The Demon caught and routed off one of the units as it tried to retire, Pereira being lucky enough to get further away. The Demon attacked again and the Cataphract unit retired, Pereira not being hit.

The retiring Mirish cavalry regrouped, fired missiles and charged the Demon from all directions, losing at least one casualty in every fight and retire.

 Eventually the Demon was worn down to only 2 hits left.

 Luckily, there's that luck word again,  all of the cavalry had bows and could fire at the Demon, occasionally causing a hit but only if two or more units could fire. AC 8 is a very tough target.

The second group of cavalry applied the 7th hit, then retired for good. Pereira dismounted realizing that the horses would not stand versus the Demon. He had to fight and hope to score a hit on the Demon. In any case another retire would be a disaster. Pereira readied his unit to charge in the final attack on the Demon.

It never happened. 
Shazaam the Great activated first and let loose a Blast spell, giving the 8th and final hit. With a scream the Demon departed Talomir.
I had a great strategy but staying mounted was a total mistake on my part. 
If the BMI units had better morale, even Rep 4, the battle would have gone differently. 
As it was, the turning point was when the Horde unit caught Shazaam and the casters in melee and rolled a "1". Both routed but as Shazaam's Rep was higher it remained on the field. Half of the hits scored on the Demon came from four Blast spells.
I realize that magic can work pretty well when attacking only one unit. In any case, the Demon is gone and sure to return. Hopefully somewhere else!
Never fought against a Major Demon before and must say they are tough and it takes a series of lucky events to align to defeat it. If I never fight one again, I'm good with it!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Face of the Demon - Black Moon Incarnate vs. Mirish

"Have you ever faced a Demon, General Pereira?" asked one of his guardsmen.
"No, never have." he replied. Looking forward he could see the Horde and his skirmishers coming into contact. "But I think that's about to change."

The Set Up
The Black Moon forces were the attacker as they had invaded Mirish but as Mirish had moved to attack them I gave the terrain advantage to the Black Moon. Rolling up the terrain gave a valley of clear terrain 12" wide with woods and hills on either side. Not cavalry terrain at all.

Rolling for their tactics, the Black Moon decided to Penetrate the Center. After set up, their army had a front line of Rep 3 Horde units backed by Orcs, a Rep 7 Major Demon (the Leader) and a Rep 4 Minor Demon. The set up required flank forces to be deployed to hold back and prevent any attempted flank attacks on the main body so archers, gargoyles, wolf riders and winged men were placed on the flanks.

After the last Mirish units were placed, the battle began. Pereira had a plan but there were flaws in it that would be revealed as the battle progressed.

As the Black Moon army was lacking in missile fire and had very low morale on the whole, the Mirish plan was to send its skirmishers forward  to shoot at the Horde as they advanced. Much reliance was placed on Shazaam the Glorious. Siphoning off recruiting rolls from the army to the Black Arts, Shazaam was in charge of six Mages with LOTS of magic. Pereira had been specific. Blast spells at the Horde then at the Major Demon. The archers fired and the first Blast spell tore into the Horde.

 As the battle started the flank guards of the Black Moon army went to the attack. As it became obvious that Mirish would not try a cavalry sweep the winged men and Gargoyles on the flanks attacked the skirmishers, driving them off. But they suffered as well as Shazaam fired a Blast spell at them sending them backwards.

 Pereira had expected the Horde to run after the archery fire and Blast spells but the second line of support had forced them to continue on. By now the Minor Demon had advanced towards the elephants and levies that were holding the Mirish left flank.

 Again magic was fired but the Horde continued on. Wavering, they charged. The skirmishers fled and one Horde unit contacted Shazzaam and the other Mages! A Mage in melee was not a good thing.

 Luckily the Horde had been so decimated by the fire on the way up that they melted under the fire of the Mirish cavalry and even Shazaam was lucky enough to win the melee, routing off the weakened Horde opponent.

 Now the second line of Black Moon troops were coming into the battle. The Mirish elephants charged the Minor Demon but the levies refused to go. Combat was fought and both sides held their ground.

 The main Black Moon battle line charged forward taking fire from the Mirish cavalry. Only the Black Moon Orc and Major Demon continued into contact, the lower Rep forces halting in place or routing off.

The cavalry routed off the Orc but the flaw in Pereira's plan became apparent. The Major Demon was a fanatic and the only way to defeat it would be to give it's AC 8 a$$ 7 hits. 
Even worse, the horses didn't like the Demon. When the melee was over and both sides passed 2d6, the cavalry was forced to retire and take a hit as they had not routed the infantry enemy. It would have been better to dismount and hold the Demon in place. Instead, the cavalry would be limited to hit and run attacks, taking damage every turn.
The cavalry fell back and the Demon continued on in pursuit, cutting down a unit before going straight towards the Mirish Cataphracts, commanded by Pereira!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Autumn 995 - The Battle of Lettum Pass

The Altengard general's aide cursed as the map blew from his hands and across the fields ahead of them. The dusty road they had been following stretched on into the distance through a pass between two hills.
"Zum teufel," he muttered, then more assertively, "Never mind, my Lord, we don't really need the map. All roads lead to Tropilium, as they say, so we should be fine."
The general gave him a withering look and ordered the army to continue to advance down the straight Tropilium road. As they entered the pass between the hills, a scout came racing back and skidded his horse to a halt in front of the command group.
"My Lord, the Tropilium army awaits us ahead. They are about half our number but there appear to be a couple of badly dressed men in point hats with them. Could be wizards."

"Form the troops up. I shall lead our knights on the left flank with Sir Dietrich. Skirmishers on the right. Just harass them and pin them down while we do the heavy work. Infantry in the centre. Pin them down so we can hit them in the flank."
The Tropilium army, meanwhile, had deployed with its medium cavalry on the left and its light cavalry on the right. The imperial general's tactic seemed to be to pin the flanks and drive through in the centre.

As the armies clashed, the Tropilum light cavalry was easily driven off and the wizards with it. The Tropilum medium cavalry drove off the enemy light cavalry and wore out the foot skirmishers but was to exhausted in the end to contribute to the fight. The melee in the middle was a meatgrinder. The Tropilium troops gave as good as they got and might have carried the day had they not been outnumbered 2:1, but it was a war of attrition and they were soon worn out.

The fateful moment came when the imperial general was cut down and then slaughtered (2 hits on the unit. I rolled 2 sixes and had to dice twice on the Leader at Risk table. First result was Out of the Fight. Second result was Dead). A spear through his leg took him down and a peasant with a knife finished him off. At this point the rest of the Tropilium army fled, but the Altengard army was too exhausted to follow up properly. Only the Auxiliary Archers were caught in the pursuit, but this was enough to destroy Tropilium morale completely. The empire gave an unconditional surrender to Altengard. Alas for Tropilium. Its imperial glory has faded and may soon be no more, but at least it will have peace for a short while as a new Emperor is chosen.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Autumn 995 - Campaign Update

The summer saw The Abyss be almost destroyed. Stygustan lost control of its artefact to Mangu and Altengard has made inroads into the Tropilium Empire. Tropilium teeters on the edge of a great fall and may soon only be known from its works of art. The Black Moon Incarnate continues to make progress, bringing despair to all. The End Times are clearly upon Talomir. With the gathering of the harvest, the nations of Talomir once more vie for supremacy.
Talomir at the start of Autumn, showing only those parts where battles will occur
Going to War
Altengard invades Tropilium
Black Moon Incarnate invades Mirish
Mirish invades The Abyss
Northern Tropilium invades Stygustan

With The Abyss all but destroyed, Mirish chooses to focus on the demonic army within its borders.

Altengard versus Tropilium
Black Moon incarnate versus Mirish
Northern Tropilium versus Stygustan

Magic Items
The Spear of St Lindorf has been recovered by Preceptor Cedric of Harbottle and is now in the hands of the Brethren. As long as it remains in the hands of the Brethren then it may be carried by Brethren mercenaries in the employ of one of the nations of Talomir. Instead of hiding it, the Red Sun has decreed that the mercenaries employed by Treyine should carry it until they fall. This means that a Brethren unit in the Treyine army must carry it in battle. If that unit routs then the Spear may be lost.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Icy Finger of Death - Altengard vs. Tropilium

"What of the Hero?" the General asked.
"We failed," came the reply. 
"Then we have one more chance. Bring me the Wizard..."
There's more to this story. Here's what happened the night before.

Three hours later the Army of Tropilium awaits on one-tree hill for the Altengard attack. As the Altengard forces close the ground, it becomes a race. Hero versus Wizard.

The plan was to cast the Icy Finger of Death spell on the Hero when he came within 12" range. The War Horn would be sounded when he was within 12" of the Tropilium Army. I figures you had to be active and could nothing except sound the horn. This gave the Wizards a chance. The NP Caster Table came up attack spell so they tried...and failed.

The Hero blew the horn next turn and the Wizards cast again, this time with good results, the Hero going Out of the Fight.

The Tropilium Legionaries were awesome on contact with modifiers for Elite Training and Close Combat Weapons. They were lucky and rolled a 1 and 2 for morale so stayed. But the next turn it went south with their low Morale (3) and the -1 for the war horn, when added to the casualties taken, being too much to overcome.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Summer 995 - Across the River Toshka

Wow, a full month since the last report!? Shame on me. Let's get cracking.

Aside from taking way to long to get to grips with this battle on both ends,  it was a titanic struggle. I believe it was the longest game of RRtK that I've played to date. It lasted 11 turns. This was one that seemed winnable by either side, right up until the end.

I hope it reads okay, I must admit that what took me so long was trying to figure out how the pictures and my notes fit together as a story. In the heat of battle my photo log was the first casualty.

As a side note, there was actually a lot of magic being cast but it ended up not having that much effect in game terms. The massed bow fire of Stygustan is still deadly, but the archers require not being hit themselves, as they are very brittle.

Hope you enjoyed it and it looks like we'll be having Mangu vs. Stygustan II very soon.