Friday, 15 August 2014

Not Enough Killing in Your Pursuits?

Here's a little tip that goes a long way.
When you win a battle and have a major pursuit, that's the best time to deal your opponent a devastating blow. Here's how we do it:
According to the rules for Major Pursuit. The loser places his units from right to left in a single line on the table.

Next the pursuer places one of his non-routed units opposite one of the losing units. He starts with the loser worth the lowest points and goes to the one worth the most points. Now here's where you can raise the stakes.

The winner can start his pursuit with slower winning units, saving his faster (LC) units for more expensive losing units.

Example -
The loser has 2AC 2 skirmishers, 1 AC 4 infantry  and 1 AC  6 Knights lined up for pursuit.
The winner has 1 AC 2 Skirmish cavalry, 1 AC 2 skirmisher and 2 AC 4 infantry to pursue.
He decides to pursue the first 2 skirmishers with his 2 AC 4 infantry and uses his AC 2 skirmish on the losing infantry and the AC cavalry on the knight. The last two winners now move faster than the last two losers.

 If the losers pass 1d6 on the Casualty Recovery Table (page 43) they are destroyed.
So to make it easy to remember. Place your slowest moving winners first on the low point losers and keep your higher moving winners for the more expensive losers.

Now, back to our wars!

Rise of the New Caster

"With the death of Kharpett the Magical, we have an opening for Lead Caster," Pereira said to the three novices of the Black Arts. "Who wants the job and tell me why?"

"Uh, I think Lahrii, is qualified," said Mo the So-So.
Startled, Lahrii stammered in reply. "No, no, no. It is clear that Kur-lee is the most worthy."
Kur-lee stared at the two Casters and said," I am  not worthy. It is Mo the So-So. He deserves it...uh, is most deserving."

Pereria looked at the three and took a deep breath. Rubbing his chin he said " You three take counsel and come up with an answer. I need to know after we finishing burying Kharpett. I'll be back in an hour!"

As Pereria left he heard the three Casters in council.

"One, two, three, go! Rock beat scissors, scissors beats paper, paper beats rock.  Again!

After much divination it was decided that Mo the So-So would be the Lead Caster.

Spring 997 - Campaign Progress

The winter was peaceful as they usually are in Talomir, although the spate of nectarine-related deaths has still not been resolved. It is feared that the killer will strike again, so sales of nectarines have been banned and the nectarine orchards of Stygustan placed under armed guard. This has caused much unrest in Talomir including the emergence of an army of Beastmen in the former territories of the Red Sun Dwarves.

Mercenaries, heroes and magic users are in short supply this year.
Treyine recruits a unit of Wind Maidens.
The famed White Company was wiped out last Autumn but it has now been rebuilt as good as new. Altengard recruits the new White Company.
Stygustan recruited one Level 2 Wizard and 2 Level 1 Apprentices.

Magic Items and Artefacts
The Book of the Hungry Moon resurfaces in the former lands of Naz-Goth, thus winding up in Mirish hands.

Ongoing Wars
Brethren invade Treyine
Mirish invades Treyine
Stygustan invades Altengard

New Wars
Mangu invades Mirish in protest at General Pereira's continued access to nectarines.
Tereken invades Treyine because it seems like a good bandwagon to jump on.
Beastmen invade Mirish.

Mirish will fight the Beastmen, to crush them, drive them before the Mirish army and hear the bleating of the Beastwomen, before they can establish a hoof-hold.
Treyine chooses to try to defeat the treacherous Brethren before they gain more of a foothold.
Stygustan will fight Altengard

Mangu gains a Mirish province without a fight.
Tereken gains a Treyine province without a fight.
Treyine was not invaded by Mirish this season. Therefore it will invade Mirish next season, assuming that it survives that long.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Winter 996 - Campaign Progress

The Autumn saw Treyine take more catastrophic losses, but the stout Treyine yeomen remain largely undaunted. Altengard both gained and lost territory. The remaining nations at war successfully gained territories. Spring will see further depredations against Treyine.

In other news, a surprising rash of nectarine-related deaths have caused world leaders to consider an embargo on nectarine imports from Stygustan. Discussions are ongoing.

Talomir in Winter 996
Leader deaths
Omnipohtent has died of a surfeit of nectarines and has been succeeded by his son Siccituem (WR 2).
A junior magus (Level 1 Magic User) was found dead with a nectarine pit stuck in his throat. The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Kahrpett the Magical (Level 1 Magic User) has died after being crushed by a crate of nectarines. There were no witnesses.

National Morale
Treyine surrenders to Altengard. Morale falters in the war against Mirish (-1 NM) and in the war against the Brethren (-1 NM).

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Slaugther on the Plains

"You've been around for a long time, haven't you?", Pereira asked the trembling Caster." Kahrpett, isn't it?"
"The Magical," the trembling man replied.
"The Magical, sir," he continued. "Kahrpett the Magical."
"Well, Kahrpett the Magical, your time has come," the General said suppressing a laugh. "I will let the other Casters know they are to take orders from you...and you will take orders only from me. Is that clear?" Pereira slid the knife along the nectarine and wasn't smiling."I don't want any confusion on your part."
"Yes sir," he replied."Only from you. Got it."
Pereira smiled, walked over to the Caster, and put his arm around his shoulders. "Good, good. I look forward to working with you. Now go, enjoy our victory."
Kahrpett bowed and with a flourish left the tent.
"*&#$% Wizards," Pereira said to on one in particular.

Well, that was interesting. I forgot about firing blast spells at Missile troops that can fire back. Rolling that "6" was bad luck, but hey, she knew the job was dangerous when she took it. 
Looking at the battle Treyine's only hope was to take out Pereira. Came close too.
The slaughter was great in pursuit. With the much faster cavalry all surviving to pursue passing 1d6 resulted in the unit being lost.

The butcher's bill:
1 Foot Knights
2 Infantry
2 Archers
1 White Company Knights
1 White Company Archers

Autumn 996 - Campaign Update

The Summer campaigning season saw Treyine take a kicking. Its mercenaries have left Treyine employ and set themselves up in northerly province of Treyine that was once the capital of Zog-Rot. The new army is led by Brother Schwester of the Brethren who hopes to form a new nation dedicated to the principles of the Red Sun. Mirish and Tropilium both took provinces from Treyine.

Tropilium is now at peace with Treyine because it has no access to Treyine territories.

Altengard was defeated by Stygustan and lost its easternmost province.

The Horn of Naz-Goth was lost and will not return for more than half a year.

Going to War:
Altengard invades Treyine
Brethren invade Treyine
Mirish invades Treyine
Stygustan invades Altengard

Altengard chooses to attack Treyine rather than defend against Stygustan, because it holds out little hope of defeating Stygustan this season. When the army is rebuilt on the other hand ...

Treyine chooses to defend against Mirish and leave the other nations alone. Its army is small and stands little chance against any of its invaders but it must make an effort.

Here's how Talomir looks now:

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.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Pride Before a Fall

"He's a devil, you know," the Brother said matter of factually.
"Who?" the commander of the White Company asked.
"General Pereira," the Brother Knight Commander replied.
Sir Geoffrey smiled. "Was he a devil when he was a Brother Knight?"
"That is a story for another time," said the Commander. "Look alive, we move out."
Across the field Pereira rode up to the unit of mounted men. 
"Hero," he asked. "Is the plan clear?"
The Hero shook his head. "Yes. I and my men would prefer to fight on horseback, but I understand."
As Hero and his men dismounted the elephants lumbered forward.
"Any questions, before I go?" Pereria asked.
"Only one," the Hero said with a smile."Do these beast always smell so bad?"
As Pereira turned and rode back to the cataphracts, Kiana the Witch, smiled and bowed slightly. I hope she's ready, he thought.

The terrain favored the Treyine Army. This was the third time rolling for terrain as the previous two were no good for a cavalry army like Mirish. For a "C" type army like Treyine it was perfect with a hill to shoot from and secure flanks of rocky terrain and woods. The only approach was down the center third of the battlefield and directly towards the hill.

Maybe Pereria is a devil as luck was with him The 1d6 die roll had the Treyine Army using the Encircle the Flank Battle Tactics. This meant the center would roll forward and engage Mirish with bow fire as the knights smashed into the Mirish left flank. 

Except, I know the strength and weaknesses of the Brethren. When approached by a melee unit starting outside of 4" and moving into 4" the Enemy Threat test is taken. Pass 2d6 - Mounted will charge. And they did, right into the elephants and Hero. The elephants wreck havoc with cavalry and the Hero AC of 8 can absorb lots of casualties. Which meant the knights would retire as they couldn't rout the Hero and elephant. The Crystal Light of Yakub increased the Mirish morale by 1 and the Spear of St. lindorf did the same for Treyine. 

Once they fell back the Mirish Casters fired Blast spells on individual units. Without any enemy Casters to intervene they only had to score the same number of successes as the target, and they always were rolling more d6. This played havoc with the White Company Knights.

With the cavalry gone, the Treyine infantry didn't stand much of a chance against the numerous and fast moving Mirish cavalry. Better to cut the losses instead of having a major defeat.

Treyine losses were 4 Rep 4 archers, 1 Arquebusiers, and 1 N Tropilium Archers.  With 10 faster moving pursuers it wasn't hard to score casualties. As the lowest point units suffer the most, the Brethren Knights and White Company were spared.

If Treyine would have rolled better tactics things would have been different.