Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Blood on the Field - Mirish and Lothgolin

Where was the magic? 

Good question. As Mirish was able to move 50% faster into action the Elves had one good shot at using a spell. On their turn they rolled to cast, scored a result of Blast, but as the opposing General was out of sight they had to settle on one of the opposing cavalry as a target. Rolling to cast they scored the same number of successes so were subject to Magic Intervention and the Mirish Casters canceled out the spell. Next turn they were routed off with the Elf soldier unit.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Summer 991 - Campaign Update

Spring has seen more changes in the geopolitical structure of Talomir. As a result of these changes I have decided to add all the non-human lands to our game. This gives the Orcs a chance to expand without falling foul of the military juggernaut that is Treyine. It also provides some other options for Mirish to attack. The only nations on the map below that are not part of our campaign yet are Valkae, Stygustan and Mangu. We may have to use proxies for these new forces, but I suspect that certain nectarine-munching imperialistic types among our number may ensure that we do not have enough time to even paint the relevant armies before these nations are annihilated.
Overview of Talomir, Summer 991

With the spring campaigning season over, the Orcs have annexed the last of the Goblin lands. The Goblins are no more except as slaves and dinner of the Orcs. The Hykar army was able to defeat the dragon and drive it from their lands. They now control the Brazier of Durmun. Mirish has chased the Elves of Lothgolin from their lands and now seeks to crush the Elves completely. The Elves were beaten, but their will to fight remains undiminished.
The invasion route

Treyine has retaliated successfully against Treyine incursions onto their soil. They have annexed the eastern Seniiran province and are now marching on the capital.
The last days of Seniira?
Altengard has turned its attention to Capalan and cut it off from the Sea of Strife with a well-placed surgical strike. They are now moving to invade northern Capalan in a move that will see Mirholme and Tereken cut off from all land routes to the rest of Talomir.
Altengard imperialistic ambitions made manifest

Artefacts and Magic Items
The Book of the Hungry Moon was lost in the Orcish invasion of Zog-Rot. Soothsayers report that it will return in eight seasons, but they are unsure where.
The Fiddle of Calling is still thought to be in Zog-Rot, but the Orcish invaders have not found it. It is rumoured that the Goblin hero Wabash the Cannonball is hiding in the mountains with it until he can raise an army and free his people.
The Brazier of Durmun was recovered from the dragon by Hykar.

Spring 991 - The Battle of Dragon Downs

Umbellifera Cruciferox was a patient dragon, as dragons understood these things, but the noise of the neighbours was too much tonight. She was trying to digest her latest meal and rest on her treasure horde. Outside the cave, a group of human horsewomen were making enough noise to wake the entire country.

"Darn these Johnny-come-lately races," she thought to herself. She was a very proper dragon and not given much to uncouth language, so this was a clear demonstration of how irked she was. It was time to remonstrate with the humans. Perhaps they would leave her in peace if she could only talk with them.
"Some of us are trying to sleep in here, you noisy humans!"
As soon as she emerged onto the hill top, the humans swarmed forwards on their ponies, ribbons blowing in the air and tried to surround her.
Pesky humans everywhere
Clearly she needed to speak to the leader of the humans. Presumably that was the one with the most ribbons on her pony that had stayed well away from the cave. So much for courage, eh.
The human leader clearly does not wish to discuss the matter
As she approached the human leader, the leader tried to attack her. That was just downright unfriendly, so Umbellifera ate some of her companions. The human leader ran away. Umbellifera tried to approach the leader, but to no avail. Most of the humans had formed a square, while their leader ran away. Oh well, time to try to talk to them instead. As she did so, they shot arrows at her. That hurt!
The humans tried to surround her and shoot her
Annoyed, Umbellifera breathed fire at the humans and scattered them
The human arrows were really starting to hurt now. Every time she tried to pin some of the humans down they melted away on their ponies and reformed around her again in a slightly different formation. She was picking them off slowly, but her wounds were starting to hurt a lot.
Surrounded and outnumbered
Eventually it was all just too much for Umbellifera. The humans had hurt her badly and she could not retreat to her cave so she took to wing and flew off in search of a quieter place to nest.

Hardecg Legbiter congratulated her troops on their victory over the fearsome dragon that had been terrifying the area. It was hurt badly and had been driven off. Better yet, the coffers of the nation had been enhanced by the dragon's treasure and her troops reported that they had found an ancient artefact among the loot.
"Great leader, here is the artefact. Is it not a glorious thing?"
Hardecg looked at it puzzled, "How am I meant to wear that? It looks proper uncomfortable."
Now it was the scout's turn to look puzzled, "Wear it, my leader? No you are meant to burn things in it."
"But I thought you said it was the Brassiere of Durmun," replied Hardecg disappointedly.

This was a great game. We both thought the dragon would have an easy time of it, but that proved not to be the case. Steve kept his light cavalry together so that they could not be easily routed piecemeal. This also meant that they did not rout when the dragon attacked his general and the general routed. The dragon was able to fly off the table and back on, picking at the Hykari ponygirls but Steve's use of circular and square formations gave him the best opportunity for reaction fire, bringing more shots to bear and pinning the dragon in place due to reactions. This wore the dragon down until it could no longer pass a reaction test and routed.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Treyine vs Seniira 2, Spring 991

"A pox on that thrice damned Nequam!" Lord De La Warre roared as his fist pounded the camp table. " He has led us to this gods forsaken land, but it will not save him. I will not delay the inevitable slaughter that he has brought down upon his men."

Alerio Nequam had fallen back farther into the hill country of Seniira, hoping to use the terrain to his advantage. The men had already had a taste of the sting of Treyine's archers and did not relish a repeat.

The two armies could sense each other but could not see the battle lines fully arrayed. Lord De La Warre raised the Spear of St. Lindorf and began the march cautiously, trying to hold formation through the woods.

{What follows is a video slide show of the battle. I wanted to try a new method of presentation. It worked okay but you will need to pause it to read some of the text. I had a hard time getting through this battle because of all the interruptions from my kids, what I had planned for an afternoon turned into several days. I also realized several turns in that I couldn't have Cavalry in the woods. Upon that discovery I stopped some units from entering and others were forced to move out of woods.}

So a resounding victory for Treyine. Can anyone withstand their might?

Friday, 20 July 2012

Spring 991 - Mirish and Lothgolin - Conclusion

Pereira slid his knife under the skin, tore off a piece and began to eat.
"Excellent this fruit, " he said. "What is it called again?
"A nectarine sir," replied the soldier. A horseman galloped up to the small group of men.
"The Elves are on the march, sir", the messenger blurted.
"Towards us or from us? Towards us? Good." Pereira wiped is hands on his thigh. "Come gentlemen, let's put an end to this exercise"

Since RRtK was released under the title Warrior Kings in 1998 I have played literally hundreds of battles and tens of campaigns. I chose to make the Mirish General an Eskelin Mercenary just to reflect that. I knew, unless the Elves could get woods, that the battle would be a forgone conclusion. As it was I refused battle twice before (page, 30) and was lucky to get this terrain, even though it was pretty good from the Elf point of view.
Having played so many battles I knew that the Elves had no answer for the skirmishers and even if they didn't shoot very well, they would still score some hits. If given the chance always try and maneuver skirmishers to a flank and never exchange with real missile troops.
And cavalry, regardless of how heavy they are is best used at the end of the game against a weakened enemy even if this means, as in this case, that your infantry gets destroyed. Why? In real life if infantry could stand their ground they would beat cavalry every time. That's why cavalry that does not rout infantry after a round of melee are forced to retire with a hit. But if you catch infantry that waiver or do not stand united you can run them down, as in real life. 
Infantry passing 1d6 on the Being Charged Test will rout if charged by mounted.

Hope this battle has helped to explain the rules and good tactics a bit better

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Spring 991 - The Battle of Dat Look Like A Hill

Da Moon

All da noos what is fit to scrawl


In a feat not seen since the days of Nurg the Slowhand and Arg the Screamin’ Axe, our boys has gone out and dun us proud.
The two battle lines form up
Lining up against the massive army of invading goblins, our few brave lads looked firm with their 3 dinners on my shirt, war costume, sponsored by Umtroll. At the shout from King Pagash the Great Wind, the fearless bunch moved up in 11-0-0 formation at the sneaky goblins.

The goblins headed towards our brave lads and the two met on top of Dat Look Like A Hill. While our archers caught their archers on Dat Anuvva Hill. Our archers soon showed them what shooting is about and they ran off, like the little girlies they is.
The two battle lines meet

The damage after the first round of combat
And then we took reaction tests.
And then we fought another round of combat
The goblins then tried sneaking some wolf riders round the back, but out fearsome hero, Hogash, raced round the back to chase ‘em off. Funny that was the only time Pagash looked worried all day.
The End
The two armies put up a right good fight with toing and froing all along the line, but the lads betta training showed and class will out. Soon the goblins were running off the field carrying the fallen figure of their leader with them. Several of the dire wolf lads and the buggies got carried away and chased them back to their burrows. The screaming continued long into the night, as we celebrated our glorious victory in true orcish style. Goblin taste yum.

Like a sleeping giant we is now awake and are going to go on and bring orcish rule to the world.

Poor Goblins. Their lower Rep really told in this battle. They actually did more damage early on but soon started to suffer. It's a shame the skirmishers all routed from the first volley fired at them. Had they stayed on the field, they might have made a difference. Ah well, pity the poor Goblin nation which is no more. The Goblins are now Orcish slaves. Time to write a mixed Goblin and Orc army list so the Orcs can use the Goblins as cannon fodder.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Spring 991 - Mirish and Lothgolin - Part One

Editor's Note: Follow the link to a free Rally Round the King Player's Aid. It's a great cheat sheet to help you get your battles going.

Here's a link to what transpired before the battle

I want to thank Ruarigh for allowing me to take over Mirish as a player in the continuing campaign.   I also wanted to post detailed battle reports to help players to and enjoy the game as well as clarify rules as they come up. So enough of the chatter, on to the game!
The newly appoint Mirish General Pereira sat on his horse and surveyed the field. He had deployed his forces in three bodies 1200 yards from the Lothgolin line.

Across the field the Elf army, greatly outnumbered, was drawn up in a classic defensive posture.

The General nodded to the Holy Man. With great flourish he unwrapped a long pole. Atop it sat the Crystal Light of Yakub, shining in all it's glory in the mid day sun! A roar of enthusiasm went up as the Holy Relic was revealed.
The Crsytal of Yakub is one of three Holy Relics (page 64). The relics are usually kept safe in the capital province of the possessor but if they are removed from the province they must be "revealed". Doing this immediately gives all affected units a +1 when checking Reaction. The Crystal does  not affect the Jurgen and Goblin units. 

The main body activates and moves forward. The front line, skirmishers, move at full speed towards the Elf battle line while the rest of the body moves deliberately at 1/2 the speed of the slowest unit. The Elven army waits bracing for contact.

 On the following turn Pereira activates his body of cataphracts and moves at half speed behind the main infantry. The infantry continue their movement forward at the slow pace. The clibinarii, heavy cavalry, activate and trot forward.
With a rush all the skirmish units move forward to overwhelm the right flank of the Elves.

 Light cavalry can move very fast (16"). In addition, skirmish units can move in any direction they want, including turns, and end facing how they want (page 33). As they did not start in charge reach of a facing enemy (page 32) they could move as desired. The two units move around and behind the Elf right while the three skirmish infantry follow. Note how they are all in one body as they are still in base to base contact. This allows them to act together but more importantly provide support when taking Reaction Tests.Tactically speaking, always place your lower Rep units on the ends of the line and never in the middle.

The soldier unit in the second line of the Elf army about faces to defend from the light horse. This triggers a Threat Test and the skirmishers fire, which causes a test and a charge, that results in the skirmishers firing and retiring. Both units have suffered a loss.

Here's a rules clarification. The soldier unit started inside 4" of the enemy but was not facing them so was not a threat. As soon as it turned to face it became a threat and this triggered the test.  This is an example when the spirit of the rule was followed as opposed to the letter of the rule. I play when in doubt, default to reality, or what makes the most sense.

 As the Elves activate I roll to see if the Elf Casters can act. A random roll places them with the Marine unit at the end of the line. A roll on the NPC Cast Table (page 48) allows them to cast. Another roll and they will cast a Steel Wind spell. With a success they hit the Jurgen archers and cause them to rout. Note that they scored high enough on their cast attempt that my Casters could not intervene. My magic strategy was to hold my Casters in reserve in hopes of intervening when the Elves cast.

 As Mirish activates they move from right to left. Pereira was placed on the extreme right for a reason. His body activates first and he contacts the main body infantry and they now become one body (page 34). As one body I can now stop the main infantry from moving any farther. They are just outside of bow range.
The clibinarii now  move forward and contact the main body, join it, but also must stop (page 35).
I realize that I misspelled "whole" in the picture above. Undaunted I carry on.

Skirmish fire picks up with three units firing on one target. The 3d6 are added together and 2 casualties are inflicted. As the number of hits scored on a target cannot exceed the number of units firing it's good to look for these types of mismatches where more than one missile casualty can be inflicted.
As the fire intensifies the soldier to the rear wheels to drive off the skirmisher. This results in a Threat test, fire, charge, and fire and retire. Both units gain casualties.The support of another unit as well as the +1 from revealing the Holy Relic allows the skirmishers to fire then retire.

 The Elves activate again and the Casters go to work. This time the spell, determined at random (page 48) is Healing Hands. If successful it will recover some of the loses taken by the Marine unit. It fails horribly and the Level 1 Caster is dragged to safety, all of his Magic Points having been used (page 45).

 The Elf Marine unit has been between a rock and a hard place. It was under fire from three skirmish units and could not return fire. The closeness of the Mirish main battle line effectively preventing it from turning to face the skirmishers (page 32). If they did turn to face they would be charged in the flank and most likely routed.

Now's a good time for natural break in the Bat Rep and some insight as to how best to play solo games. The Elves are in a Static Defense but are in a tough spot. The main body enemy is out of bow range and appear to be content with letting their skirmishers chew up the Elves (1). By the rules the Elves would stay in place and take it but I prefer to do what makes sense for the non-player side as if I was playing it when circumstances dictate.
So what is the Elf King to do?

Watch for Part 2 later this week.

(1) To see an historical battle demonstrating the problems that skirmishers can cause heavy troops if unabated follow the link

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Spring 991 - Campaign Progress

After a hard winter, the nations of Talomir are more than ever seeking to dominate their neighbours and ensure their own survival.

Altengard has chosen to invade the Capalan League from the forest near the coastal town of Gartenmeerstadt. This is rumoured to be a preemptive strike, because the hawks are increasingly vocal in the high council of Capalan.

Mirish has rallied its army and seeks to dislodge the Elves of Lothgolin from their foothold in Mirish territory.

The Orcs of Naz-Goth see easy pickings in their Goblinoid brethren to the west and have invaded Zog-Rot.

The Treyine army is on the march once more. Edward, King of Treyine, has vowed to leave no two stones standing on each other in Seniira until reparations are made for the damage done during last year's Seniiran invasion of Treyine.

The Hykari ponygirls have a real problem too. A large dragon is laying waste to their nation. They must defeat it or suffer.

The armies have been recruited and can be found on the Campaign Armies page.

The battles of Spring 991