Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Summer 996 - The Battle of the Gloaming Woods

"My son, you must lead the army today," announced Omnipohtent from his bed, "I fear that I have consumed a surfeit of nectarines and cannot depart the palace for a day or two."

"Yes, my father," replied Siccituem, "I shall lead the army to victory against Altengard. They shall be as wheat before the scythe, as chaff in the wind, as the desert tent before the khamsin ..."

Siccituem continued in this vein for a further ten minutes, while his father groaned, not entirely from the internal discomfort he felt. When Siccituem had finally wound down again, Omnipohtent spoke once more.

"One other thing, my son. You must take these nectarines from my presence, for I fear that I shall be tempted to eat a further surfeit if they remain here. Send these ones and the crates in the kitchen to our friend General Pereira in Mirish. He will appreciate them."


The battlefield was covered in wooded areas. I rolled hilly terrain and then promptly rolled nothing but woods as terrain types. This is the most heavily wooded terrain we have ever generated for a RrtK battle.

Stygustan deployed with their chariots on the right (represented by Hykari light cavalry). Their infantry were in the centre with a line of archers in front of the melee troops. The general was deployed with the axemen and the wizards were among the archers directly in front of the general.

Altengard deployed with light cavalry on their right, facing the Stygustani chariots and skirmish infantry on the left. The melee troops and arquebusiers were deployed in the centre and their second line contained the cavalry and the hero.

Altengard moved immediately to flank Stygustan. In reply Stygustan moved the light chariots to counter the light cavalry and drove them off. The wizards began by blasting the skirmish infantry, causing casualties but the Altengardian Skirmishers' morale held this time.

As the armies closed and the chariots became scattered, the Stygustani wizards summoned a minor demon to break up the Altengardian advance. They could not take the chance that the knights and the hero advancing on their right flank would get around it and roll up the line. The demon frothed and roared and was quickly out of control, but it forced the knights back and crushed them against the woods.

Meanwhile the Altengardian skirmishers were causing trouble of the left flank. They refused to die or run away as they traded shots with the Treyine lackeys there. Eventually it was too much for the Treyine archers and they ran.

The Altengardian centre then began its advance, only to fall to Blast spells and long range archery that kept driving them back.

The hero sounded the Horn of Naz-Goth and Stygustani men fell like flies, but their morale held.

The Altengardian hero survived the initial onslaught by the demon which died after wreaking more havoc among the knights. He worked his way around behind Stygustani lines, where he attempted to take the Stygustanis from the rear but was thwarted by a unit of warriors whose spears drove him back. Eventually he prevailed but his followers were exhausted. Even though he drove off two more units of archers, it was too little too late. He was driven back into the woods by the Stygustani axemen and routed.

With the loss of the hero and the Horn, much of the Altengardian army routed. Only some knights, the general and a unit of infantry remained.

Seeing how effective the demon had been, the wizards summoned another. It took care of the infantry. The knights were destroyed by being caught between a single remaining chariot unit and the infantry.

Only the Altengardian general remained. He rode down the scattered chariot units, destroyed the demon and wiped out a unit of archers. He and his men battered the Stygustani axemen, but it was all too little too late. His men were exhausted and left the field. They were chased by the few exhausted remnants of the Stygustani army.

This was a pyrrhic victory for Stygustan.

Seigfreid Von Basher burst through the door.

“What is the matter, my darling?” asked Helga his wife.

“I’ve lost the horn” cried Seigfreid. “I’m sure it’s just because you are under stress, what with the battle and such, dear. If not we can get a poultice from the local wise woman, like we did before. She said it could happen again as you get older,” She replied. “No you don’t understand,” He blurted out. “Of course I do, dear. Now you sit down while I pour you a beer. I could pretend to be a goat herder again. You like that,” She said with a wry smile.

“No, the Horn of Naz-Goth. I’ve lost the Horn of Naz-Goth. It was on my saddle when I made a backwards advance through the woods. Then when I stopped my horse several miles later it wasn’t there. I went back and searched, but it’s gone. What can I tell the king? In fact is the king still alive? My life, it’s in tatters,” Seigfreid cried.
 
Stygustan won but lost 1 Level 1 Magic User to an OD result in melee.
Altengard lost and lost 1 archer permanently.
The hero routed and lost the Horn of Naz Goth along the way. It will return in Spring 998 at a random location. 
Both nations passed 2 dice on the National Morale test, so the war will continue.

This is the first battle we have fought where magic has been a serious component of the game. Successfully summoning two minor demons and casting a whole series of Blast spells really helped the Stygustani cause. Even with that, the game could have gone either way at the end. All it needed was a poor test roll by the Stygustani general for his unit to rout off the table and probably take the rest of the army with him.

4 comments:

  1. Interesting, sounds like a real slug fest. I have found the Demon to be very helpful, especially since they have such a low WR and are therefore not so maneuverable. Having wizards to interfere becomes a must. I look forward to the next battle.

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    1. Yes, the wizards are very expensive but they worked well in this game. It really was a slug fest too. Stygustan had four units left at the end, two of which were due to fail the next test they had to take regardless, because they had too many hits and the other two units were worn down. Altengard's general was fairly fresh, having survived several melees without hits, but he had to retire through an enemy unit. Basically, numbers told because I was able to surround him.

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  2. "Hmmm, nectarines," said General Pereira. Sniffing one he continued," From Stygustan as well! Brilliant."

    As he watched Kiana the Witch grab a cat and storm back into her tent he thought," Maybe I should send Omnipohtent a crate of Wizards in thanks."

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    1. Would General Pereira put airholes in the crate?

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