Author Topic: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)  (Read 22494 times)

damo_b

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #135 on: April 16, 2018, 11:42:19 AM »
impressive as always Padre, just looking forward to some actual campaign games this year.
just been informed that my new troops are on the way.
just got to paint them  ;D

padre

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #136 on: April 16, 2018, 09:13:01 PM »
On the games' front ... tell me about it. I'm painting like crazy, so excited at the prospect of battles. I'm attempting to paint virtually everything NPC that might be needed. I want to see halflings in action, and zombie cultists, and an entire flagellant army, and new Bretonnians, and more.

I now have all but one set of orders in (and the missing ones have been discussed so the player just has to make a couple of choices) and things do seem to be going in the right direction for battles.

That shop in Pontefract is great for big games, but there's the game shop in Hudds as well, and my cellar for the mid to small ones.

padre

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #137 on: May 05, 2018, 06:18:02 PM »
Ooomph, has RL been busy or what? Still, managed to finish the next story and will now move onto proper GM duties.
...

The End of Spring, IC2403

8. Glammerscale and the Brabanzon


The wizard-dwarf Glammerscale had found his time in Karak Borgo irksome. Rather than complain, however, he had taken to announcing, in as breezy a tone as he could muster: “A change is as good as a break”.  Eventually, one of the mountain realm’s denizens summoned enough momentary curiosity to ask what he meant by this, to which he replied, “The difficulties here are, at least, different from those I had grown accustomed to.”

His questioner’s interest was, however, as fleeting as it was reluctant, and no further enquiry was forthcoming. Glammerscale allowed himself to enjoy the irony, for exactly such unfriendliness was part and parcel of the difficulties he alluded to.

As a dwarf living amongst the men of Tilea, he had faced suspicion and awkwardness on a daily basis. Indeed, as an inhabitant of Pavona, such attitudes had escalated into hatred, then outright hostility, until he and all the dwarfs dwelling there had been forced into exile. After that time, he had moved hither and thither across the peninsula, visiting several dwarfs he believed might help, first to Ridraffa, then to Remas, then to Urbimo. In every place there had been the same old, underlying wariness whenever a man encounters a dwarf. And then here, after the long and hazardous journey to the dwarfen realm of Karak Borgo, he found a new suspicion, no less strong.

As men were untrusting of dwarfs, dwarfs were untrusting of wizards. He had always known this, but on arrival in Karak Borgo he had learned just how deep such feelings could run, especially when the wizard in question was also a dwarf! He had believed his chosen profession a rarity amongst his kind, but it turned out to be entirely unknown. Upon declaring his occupation, he had been met with either with raucous laughter or visible disgust – at least until word got around. After that, few agreed to meet him at all!

Luckily, he had not travelled alone, but was accompanied by several other Pavonan exiles, including Gallibrag Honourbeard and his servant Norgrug. They, at least, knew him from old, were accustomed to his company and even counted him as a friend. His cousin Goldshin - a Tilean dwarf with whom the mountain dwellers had done very profitable business - had remained in Ridraffa, yet had sufficient repute in Karak Borgo to ensure Glammerscale had not been sent away. That repute, plus the presence of the wealthier exiles like Honourbeard, had gained the exiles an audience with the king and even an invitation to stay. Since then, the exiles had become willingly embroiled in King Jaldeog’s plans to re-open his trade routes into Tilea by defeating the brute army of Campogrotta. Having lived among men, their experience was recognised, their counsels heeded, their presence more obviously welcome. They themselves were playing a long game (something dwarfs have time to do) for once they had contributed in the restoration of Karak Borgo’s fortunes, they hoped for reciprocal assistance in restoring their own.

They had gone further than simply offering knowledgeable advice, for it was through them and their connections that the Estalian contingent of the Compagnia del Sole had been successively (and speedily) hired. Furthermore, it was their own monies that had been used to pay the advance payment to hire the Brabanzon mercenaries accompanying Baron Garoy into Tilea. Which was why Glammerscale, Honourbeard and Norgrug, along with several other exiles, now found themselves discussing contractual details with the northerner mercenaries upon the track that ran along the western slopes of the Vaults to join Karak Borgo’s Iron Road.

Glammerscale wore his green hat, leather travelling coat and peculiar red-tinged eye-glasses, and clutched his slightly crooked staff. Standing beside him was Gallibrag Honourbeard, having transformed from his former, urbane self into the very image of a wilderness ranger, with red, hooded cloak, heavy boots and a blue coat belted upon the outside. He leaned on an axe as tall as himself.



Honourbeard’s servant, Norbrug, had also adopted a novel fashion since his days as a clerk in Pavona. Now he considered himself first and foremost his master’s guard, and thus attired himself in chainmail and a helm. His axe was shorter than his master’s, somewhat proportionate to their respective heights. Glammerscale, although intrigued to know if his two companions had themselves noticed this fact, had successfully stopped himself pointing it out on several occasions.

The meeting took place at an abandoned mine-shaft – one of the many, diminutive, exploratory kind found throughout these hills, left to crumble if nothing of worth was discovered. The Brabanzon leader, Lodar ‘the Wolf’ de Sevole, had his lieutenants with him, whilst behind them a column of the company’s spearmen filed past at a jog. Lodar’s chancellor, who originally arranged the contract with the dwarfs, had called the band ‘Tard Venus’, which apparently meant they were considered brigands now that some war or other in the north had ended. He claimed they would be overjoyed to become soldiers (‘valets’ was the word he used) again, but one look told Glammerscale they were presently unhappy, which he now realised was most likely why they had called for this little rendezvous.



The mercenaries were liveried in dark green and a muted yellow, wearing layers of armour a considered a little archaic by the men of Tilea. To dwarfs, who often wore armour of styles unchanged over centuries, it simply looked human. In truth, what with their faces almost hidden by their coifs, Glammerscale could barely tell the mercenaries apart. After brief introductions, the first to speak was Lodar, and he went straight to the point.

“We have heard you have employed other mercenaries for this venture. This was not made known when our contract was agreed, despite my chancellor’s questions regarding such matters. Who are these others? Under what terms to they serve?”



“Captain Lodar, I fail to see why this could be of any concern to you,” said Glammerscale. “Do you not want to be part of an army that will be victorious in battle? Such an outcome is much more likely if our strength is equal to the task.””

“Ha,” scoffed Lodar. “Victory is good. Spoils are better. We were promised the plunder of Campogrotta.”

“You were promised your fair share of the plunder,” said Glammerscale.

“Which we were led to believe meant sharing with the dwarfen army of Karak Borgo and the baron, not with however many other mercenaries you have also taken into your service.”

Another Brabanzon, clutching a large leather jack from which he had just taken a very hearty swig, interjected,

“Do you take us for fools? Do you think we Brabanzon will allow anyone to treat us with disrespect? To break promises made to us?”

There followed a moment of silence, which Glammerscale deliberately allowed so as not to appear in any way concerned with the mercenaries’ implied threat. The Brabanzon simply watched, neither speaking further nor moving.



Eventually, Glammerscale gestured to Gallibrag’s servant.

“I think perhaps you are under a misapprehension. Master Norgrug here will explain the particulars, that you might better comprehend the due fairness of our transaction.”

“You will have exactly what was agreed, to the letter,” said Norgrug. After decades as a clerk he had studied the contract closely and understood all the details. “You knew full well there were other forces involved in this war, not merely our dwarven warriors and Baron Garoy’s men-at-arms, and you were promised one third of the plunder. Which is what you will receive.”

“How so?” demanded Lodar. “For even if it is only one other mercenary company that makes four parties to the agreement!”



“You are correct,” said Norgrug.

“Three does not go into four!” said Lodar.

“Aah,” said Glammerscale, as if he had just had an insight. “Are you perhaps presuming each party has been contracted under the same terms?”

The cart had now trundled past, its draught horse, a rugged and stout pony, making good speed – enough to keep pace with the jogging spearmen.



Lodar looked askance at the dwarfs, his brow furrowed, then asked,

“Which party has been deprived of its share?”

Glammerscale smiled and looked over the top of his eyeglasses at the Brabanzon leader.

“Consider the parties involved, Captain” he suggested. “I believe that with a further moment’s thought you will deduce which it must be.”

It was the Brabanzon with the leather jack who answered, apparently speaking his thoughts as he put them together.



“The mercenaries, whoever they are, will want their pay and a share of the prize, this goes without saying. You dwarfs love your gold so much that you would never yield an opportunity to amass more of it, especially when you want to recover your already considerable outlay. So … it must be the baron. Yes?”

“You have it!” declared Glammerscale. “I see the ale has not deprived you of one jot of your wits.”

The comment seemed lost on the Brabanzon, but such a stumble in the conversation could not stop Glammerscale in his tracks.

“The Baron Garoy,” the wizard explained, “being of such noble blood, deemed it would disparage the stock from which he came to contract for a portion of plunder. He would never stoop so low. He has come to Tilea upon a chivalrous quest, to liberate the realm of Ravola. A hero such as he cares nothing for what happens to the wealth of Campogrotta.”

“Ha,” laughed Lodar. “The baron might proclaim such a thing, but how will he repair Ravola without the gold to pay for it?”



“How indeed?” agreed Glammerscale. “Still, provided he possesses some proficiency in war, then he should serve our purposes perfectly. Whether or not he struggles during the subsequent peace is of little present concern.”

“Puh!” mocked the Brabanzon with the jack. “He rides like a boy at his first joust, and his battle experience comes from playing merelles.”

“Surely you exaggerate, sir, for comic effect” said Glammerscale. “Yet if true, then hopefully his keenness and the men who ride with him will make up for any inexperience.”

Lodar laughed. “Let the baron and his petite noblesse canter where they like when we lay siege to the city. It is we foot-soldiers who will have to dig the works and mount the guard. It is our arrows that will reach the monstrous foe in the towers, and our engines that will topple the parapets. And when the time is ripe, it is we who will climb the ladders and storm the gates. If Garoy joins us then he will be simply one among the many, and worth half of anyone of the rest. I know not whether these other mercenaries you have hired are capable of such things, but I know we are. We expect to be appropriately rewarded afterwards, as you promised.”



“Have no fear regarding that concern,” promised Norgrug. “I myself will ensure your accounts are settled exactly as agreed, and all will be done openly and fairly.”

“I would have it no other way,” added Glammerscale. “For such transparency will ensure no bitterness, no contention amongst those who have fought so bravely. The fighting will be done with, and all will be peace and prosperity, aye?”
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 06:25:55 PM by padre »

padre

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #138 on: May 17, 2018, 08:37:35 PM »
A Letter from Antonio Mugello to my most noble Lord Lucca Vescucci of Verezzo

I pray to all the gods that you, my lord, are well and that the realm of Verezzo remains untouched by the brute hands that have so ravaged the city states to the north and north-east.

As I promised in my previous missive, I remained for a while in the proximity of Ridraffa in order to confirm the ogres had indeed crossed the River Riatti and marched northwards. Baring the unlikely decision to retrace their steps, it seemed to me that they were now homeward bound, and indeed that which I have learned since confirms this belief. If my estimation and understanding concerning this prove wrong, I beg that you forgive me. Rather than bide my time unnecessarily in such quiet ruins, I honestly believed that I would serve you better by learning what I could of the disturbances in Remas and the situation to the north.

Upon arrival in Remas I found all in turmoil, the realm having become divided. The Reman army was encamped at Frascoti, under the command of the arch-lector Bernado Ugolini, while the city itself remained in the hands of Father Carradalio’s fanatical Disciplinati di Morr. The Pavonan army sat between the two, as Duke Guidobaldo apparently busied himself with attempting to promote peace between the antagonistic factions. Yet neither the high church nor the low, if I might describe them thus, showed any sign of yielding, which sowed great fear amongst the Reman people, and many talked of civil war as if it were not only inevitable but had already begun. If indeed the Reman army does besiege the city (Remans within and Remans without), then it would likely be a long, drawn out business. On the one hand, the city walls are strong and the army weakened by its long fight against the undead and the ogres, while on the other hand the defenders are religious fanatics, not soldiers, and the army might be well supplied by Frascoti to the south.

Such is the madness of Remas, embroiled in a misery entirely of its own making as all the while its enemies grow stronger. The ogres may well have begun their homeward journey, battered and bruised by umpteen battles, but they are laden with plunder, grown fat from feeding upon man-flesh, and have left all behind them in ruin. I fear that now the vampires will follow in the Razger’s wake, eyeing such devastated places with their own intent, for what to us appears barren and burned, is as a feast laid out for them. We see only a wasted land, but they see rich pickings. They need no crops nor cattle, no water nor wine - they feed instead upon rotten remains, turning the very corpses into warriors for their armies. Who will prevent them from summoning legions from the graveyards and necropolises?

I chose not to linger in the daily-changing chaos and instead to travel further to the small city of Urbimo, the most northern bastion of the living along the western coast. Remas’ troubles are sad, and I prayed hard for the holy city’s redemption, but it is not Remas that threatens Verezzo, rather it is the enemy that has fuelled their madness - an enemy made more dangerous by the Remans’ spiralling weakness. The Morrite church is as divided as Remas, indeed it is the very cause of the citizens’ division. Morr's priests, the best placed to defend Tilea against the vampires, have by their own failings become worse than useless, squabbling murderously among themselves instead of preparing for the oncoming onslaught. How many will survive to stand against the undead?

I wished to learn what I could of the threat of the vampires, and where better than a place so close to their hellish domain? There I discovered the desperate depths to which men can sink when terrified, for the madness that grips Remas has also tainted this neighbouring realms. I had thought the recent bloody coup in Remas, when the Disciplinati seized the city from within, was bad, but the Urbimans have been driven to take even more terrible measures in pursuit of Morr’s holy protection. For years they had petitioned and begged Remas for military aid, yet none was forthcoming. They felt safe only for the few weeks when the Compagnia del Sole were lodged in their city. Once all the mercenaries had finally made the crossing from Estalia, however, they left to fulfil their contract for the dwarfs of Karak Borgo (being to assist in the war against the wizard-lord Nicolo of Campogrotta and his brutes – which may well be why Razger finally turned back). Since then, the Urbimans’ fear has swelled beyond sanity, for they know that the undead could come upon any night. And in that one night all will surely die, after which an even more terrible nightmare will unfold as they themselves become the vampires’ rotting, puppet-slaves.

Consequently, they too have cultivated a new religious fervour, beyond even the flagellating extremes of the Reman Disciplinati. They have dedicated themselves body and soul to Morr’s service and begun cleansing Urbimo of all they consider corrupted, and even some they believe are merely corruptible. They have turned against every practitioner of the magical arts, including the pettiest of conjurers - hedge wizards, alchemists, wise women, even tumblers and masters of legerdemain. All such who failed to flee have been put to death. The very day I arrived I witnessed the burning of a maid accused of nothing more than casting a cantrip meant to soothe a poorly child in her care, a deed twisted by the people’s fears into a wicked curse.

Thus it was I found myself amongst the gathered crowd, upon what would otherwise have been called a pleasant summer’s day, by an apple orchard in an othertime’s peaceful place, watching with horror as the deed was done.



Morrite priests officiated, turning suspicions and accusations into conviction and sentence, while cultists chanted their pain-prayers and jangled their chains. Although neither judge nor jury were present, the Barone Pietro Cybo attended with a handful of retainers, and along with his executioner lent a degree of lawful authority to the proceedings. He was somewhat transformed from the man I had met upon several occasions previously, clad in armour atop his horse, his expression stern as he waved aloft a Morrite catechism. Beside him his brother Carlo and several gentlemen looked on inscrutably, having perhaps grown accustomed to such horrors?



On all the other occasions I have met with him, twice in Remas and twice before here, the Barone has been a man of scholarly patience and shrewd wit. I know, my lord, that you and he have corresponded concerning matters political and philosophical, for he himself told me so, with evident satisfaction. And yet this time he seemed not even to see me, despite looking directly at me several times. As you ordered me always to write honestly concerning what I witnessed, then I will say that despite his past friendship with you, in truth he seemed no less gripped by frenzy than the wildest of the populace, and although he did not go so far as to lash his own flesh as the dedicants do, his wide-eyes and fixed expression belied a state of mind no less frantic with fear and hate.

The charge was read by a confessor, imbued with such disgust as to make the wench’s action sound like infanticide, or worse, like she had been party to necromantic machinations intended to transform the child into a very devil.



Beside the priest, and throughout his cruel speech, a hooded acolyte pointed at the poor wench, as if to drill the accusations deep into her soul. In Urbimo, any and all magic, any prayer, either thought or spoken (unless to Morr Supreme) has become an abhorrence. Every such deed is supposed to be the first step on the slippy slope to damnation, cutting a chink into the bulwark of Morr’s most holy blessing, exposing our mortal souls to the first caress of the vampires.

As the crime was detailed, exhaustively, a Morrite monk interjected with encouragements and lessons for the crowd, raising his hands now and then to call on Morr’s blessing and protection. His words, even his merest glance, elicited a flurry of Morrite gestures from those gathered.



And none amongst the watchers spoke, neither to cry out shame on her or shame on those accusing her. There were no jeers nor any tears. Never before have I seen a crowd behave in such a way at a public execution.

All the while, in between her sobs, the poor wench tied to the post prayed aloud as best she could to Morr, begging his forgiveness and pleading that Urbimo would not suffer because of her error. So great a fear grips this realm that she did not seek forgiveness for herself, nor plead to be admitted to his garden despite her crime, but instead she prayed for Urbimo. The executioner, a giant of a man bearing an axe the like of which I have only before seen carried by ogres, watched her intently, his bearded face twisted into a monstrous grimace, though whether this was because he considered her the most despicable of creatures, or whether he recognised the true horror of her situation, I know not.



Behind her stood two more prisoners, due to receive the attentions of the executioner’s axe after they had witnessed the maid’s horrible death. I learned later that they had thrice arrived late to work upon the city’s defences, a crime transformed by the people’s heightened fears from mere misdemeanour to detestable felony. They were guarded by a soldier, who alone in the crowd seemed unable to look upon the spectacle. Instead he hung his head to stare at the ground before him, clutching his helm by his side.



The soldier was liveried in the colours of the Compagnia del Sole, and I have seen more of the same in Urbimo. Not all the Compagnia del Sole went east – perhaps a kindness on the part of their commander so that the city would not be left entirely unprotected?

I write all this, my noble lord, that you may know the truth concerning these realms. It seems to me that Remas cannot be expected to defeat the vampires. The Remans tried once already, to great loss, and their city is now locked in suicidal civil war. Now the same self-destruction, the same self-loathing, that wracks Remas has spread to Urbimo.

I have heard that armies are gathering in the south to face Razger’s brutes, yet it seems likely he has turned away. Will those same armies be prepared instead to face the vampires now that Remas is proved wanting? Is there an alliance between the vampires and brutes? Where will the unliving Duchess Maria strike? Is the Compagnia del Sole, having so unexpectedly marched east, part of some grand plan? I cannot know these things, nor would my guesses be of much value.

I end by asking, most noble lord, that you send instructions concerning what you would have me do, and whither you would send me.

Your loyal and humble servant, Antonio Mugello.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 09:03:27 AM by padre »

padre

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #139 on: June 19, 2018, 04:02:28 PM »
Prequel to the Second Assault Upon Viadaza

Excerpt from: “The Holiest of Armies, A History of the Disciplinati di Morr”


As spring came to a close in the year 2403 it seemed inevitable that bloody, civil war would engulf the state of Remas, despite the threats presented by both Razger’s brutes and the foul armies of the vampire duchess. Two factions, very different in nature, vied to wrest complete control of the realm from each other. Father Carradalio now ruled the city and eastern district of Palomtrina with an iron rod. The noble houses were powerless, the overlord held hostage, the streets, and indeed the very houses, patrolled and policed by his fanatical dedicants. But he did not rule the entire realm, for the Arch-Lector Bernado and the veteran army of Remas held the south-western district of Frascoti. Duke Guidobaldi of Pavona, his own realm brutally ravaged by the double army of ogres that had so recently threatened Remas, busied himself with brokering a peace between the Reman factions, while his son’s grievous wounds were tended by the city’s finest (surviving) doctors. His efforts seemed to be of no avail, however, for eventually the Reman army left its fortified camp and marched aggressively upon the city, intending that their erstwhile allies the Pavonans would join them in their enterprise.

Rumours were rife. Were one to give equal countenance to all that was said, it seemed each and every party intended to harm each and every other, and that not one, single honest agreement had been made. Every lord and priest plotted assassinations and treachery, so that each in return was the target of the same, and that the factions were divided even within themselves – what with Reman soldiers being secret Morrite dedicants and some of the Disciplinati inwardly yearning for the return of the church-proper and secular authority. Although the Reman army now advanced against the city, its walls manned by Disciplinati defenders, some said both sides had secretly agreed to turn upon the Pavonans, while others claimed the Pavonans had sided with both factions, leaving their true intentions a mystery but treacherous either way. The truth will never be known, for even those who plotted could not be certain of others’ minds, and perhaps had not even decided what they themselves would really do when push came to the shove. The outcome balanced upon a knife's edge, and everyone had a well-honed knife to hand.

Yet out of all this suspicion and turmoil, just as everything seemed to come to a head, an agreement was reached, as unexpected as it was sudden. The Praepositus Generalis of the Disciplinati di Morr, Father Carradalio, accepted the terms offered by the Arch-Lector Bernado, and both sides despite suspicions and distrust, remained true to their promises. War was averted. While Duke Guidobaldo and his ragged army of Pavonans slinked away, perhaps simply to remove themselves from any repercussions arising from the exposure of their duplicity, the two ‘most holy’ Morrite clergy in Tilea - one the radical, fanatical leader of the low church, the other the official, noble ruler of the high church – embraced each other.

Father Carradalio knelt before the holy pontiff, humbly confessed his sins and professed obedience to the Church of Morr. In return he was not only granted forgiveness but praised for his steadfast obedience to Morr’s revealed will and given command of the now officially recognised Disciplinati di Morr brotherhood. The arch-lector had personally witnessed what such dedicants were capable of in battle - how they alone could be relied upon to stand and fight to a man even in the face of all the terrors the vampires’ armies possessed - so he now commanded them to march forthwith from the city to seek battle with the foe.

Perhaps Father Carradalio knew full well that to attempt to hold the city against the Reman army, the anointed father of the church and the will of the majority of citizens, would prove disastrous? Why would he allow such turmoil to distract him when all he ever wanted was to serve the great god Morr in the war against the undead, and all he had ever done was in pursuit of that goal? (This included the cruelties a truly hard-heart required.) As for the arch-lector, a man experienced in politics, who had himself faced the undead in battle, perhaps he too saw the folly of engaging in a war that would weaken both the army under his command and the very fanatics best suited to fight against the true and terrible enemy? They both knew this was a time for war, but not civil war. Their common enemy threatened a fate much worse than that they presented to each other, a threat so great it made any disagreements between them seem trivial, despite having caused such turmoil and suffering.

No time was wasted, the Disciplinati di Morr being ever ready for any action or order, driven by their fanatical desire to prove themselves (with every thought and action) the perfect servants of Morr, the agents of his righteous vengeance and anger, his very weapons. Of course, the arch-lector and the citizens were keen to see them go, for no city could endure their fervent scrutiny for long, nor could it thrive whilst subject to their attentions. Within half a week the ‘Holiest of Armies’ departed and began its march to Urbimo. There they met with an order of Morrite dedicants of almost exactly like minds, who they happily incorporated into the army, thus swelling to an even greater strength. They parted Urbimo only two days later, such was their keenness to face the foe. Besides, Father Carradalio knew full well that to tarry even a little while could bring disaster to such an army, its warriors filled to the brim with a lust for battle, barely able to contain a frenzied fury which made them wont to scourge their own flesh to the very bone.

They aimed to cross the River Trantino to the south of Viadaza, for they had not the patience to go by way of the bridge at Scorcio. Father Carradalio led the army, his admonitor Brother Vincenzo by his side. He refused any mount or carriage, and would have only the scouts ahead of him, being too fearless to demand his bodyguard stay ever-close, but too wise to forego the necessity of scouts to a marching army. Besides, the army itself was his bodyguard. Should any enemy have approached they would have found themselves overwhelmed by a great swarm of dedicants ecstatically happy to martyr themselves in the defence of such an instrument of Holy Morr as he.



Morr himself visited Carradalio’s dreams to reveal the enemy’s whereabouts. Carradalio thus announced to his lieutenants that two cities now contained the enemy’s armies, and that they would take Viadaza first for it had so long threatened Urbimo and was port through which the vampires could channel reinforcements elsewhere. Besides, he declared, the men to the south should and could face the other army, while he and the Disciplinati would strike at the vampires’ very hearts: Adolfo’s city of Viadaza, Maria’s city of Ebino and the foul origin of their current corruption, Miragliano.

Carradalio marched with sword drawn, not just leading the column, but also the prayers they chanted and the hymns they sang.



The prayers maintained the army’s fervour, lending them a strength which belied the meagre rations of the past days and weeks, for the words had sufficient power in them to stir the winds of magic. The hymns lifted the dedicants’ spirits too, just as any marching song might do in any army. These encouragements were bolstered further by the prayers being offered by the many priests and monks accompanying the army. Each body of dedicants had spiritual guides, either rectors assigned to them by Father Carradalio, or the shepherd’s marshals who had first guided them in their dedication to Morr, or both.



Furthermore, there was barely a hill of significance they passed that did not have a knot of priests upon it, channelling the encouraging will of Morr to wash down upon his warriors.



Marching immediately behind the Praepositus Generalis were a company of Reman citizen-dedicants. These were the men who had seized the city upon Father Carradalio’s command, tearing through the streets to slay any hired bravi or nobleman’s servant who stood in their way. Wholly obedient, they questioned no order, not even in their own hearts or minds, for they believed that their god spoke through Carradalio, that his words were divine in origin. Their robes still carried the blood stains from that struggle, as well as that of their own blood, born of the scars of their flagellations.



Behind them marched the dedicants of Pontremola, who had been even more brutal than their Reman counterparts in purging their own villages. Indeed, they had gone too far, for in their fury many innocents had died, and so their self-proclaimed prophet had been executed and they had been admonished. Yet these events had served to strengthened their resolve to serve Morr in body and soul, and they were imbued with not one iota’s less fervour than the rest of the army.



Next came Carradalio’s torch-bearing bodyguard, always ensuring that half their number carried flames, that they might be ready in but a moment to light the other torches. There was magic woven into the flames, so that they shone with a light both natural and other-worldly, capable of burning even creatures of the ether.



Then came the tolling bell upon its carriage. This was brother to that which had been lost on the field at Ebino, and it sang with almost exactly the same sombre tone. Sacred texts adorned its mount, bearing the words that its accompanying guards quietly chanted over and over.



Behind the bell marched more Reman dedicants, made up of those foreigners who had travelled from all over the Old World to live in the holy city. They carried enormous, heavy, and viciously barbed flails of iron, capable of killing a man merely by falling upon him, which they swung in hard-learned and painfully practiced motions. A much greater number had left Remas, and still more fell daily as a consequence of the slightest miss-step or a moment’s bad timing, yet still they continued for such was their dedication to martyrdom that they no longer cared for anything but their holy, wild and deadly cavortings. It was such as these who convinced Carradalio of the need to reach the foe as quickly as possible. To linger even a day too long could critically sap his army’s strength. As he famously said to the arch-lector during his public profession of his sins, in explanation of the Disciplinati’s hasty and violent seizure of the city: “The fuse has been lit, and we needs must place the charge before it bursts.” To which the arch-lector had graciously agreed it would be a terrible waste to be hoist by one’s own petard.



Next in the column trundled maestro Angelo da Leoni’s engine of war, his ‘Cannone Luminoso’ with its impressive array of giant lenses. By now it had become common knowledge in the city that this machine had been abandoned by the maestro when he instead had chosen to work on his steam engine for the Arch-Lector Calictus II, yet it was also known that the lenses had since been proven effective enough to melt several men, and that da Leoni had declared with confidence that the piercing light it emitted would burn the undead even more readily than the living. Father Carradalio hoped it would wash its rays against Vaidaza’s parapets, scorching the foul flesh of whatever stood there, but although he had prayed for guidance upon how best to employ such an engine, Morr ignored his requests.



Then came the most recent recruits to the holy army – the dedicants of Urbimo. They, like the Pontremolans, had gone to great and terrible lengths to cleanse their settlement of sin. In fact, they had gone much further, for they had not just run violently through the streets in a riot of religiously inspired hatred, fighting any opposition, but had calmly gathered up all those they considered guilty of even the most minor of crimes, including those merely suspected of such (even on the flimsiest of evidence), and put them to death. This they did to be certain of an effective purging, even if it was at the cost of the death of many innocents, even members of their own family. They had executed them publicly, one after the other, and in the grisliest of ways, by burnings and quarterings, or combinations thereof. They believed the suffering not only cleansed the guilty victims’ souls but ensured Morr would pour his righteous blessing upon the whole of Urbimo, especially the dedicants who proved themselves so thoroughly committed that they could punish even their own neighbours and family. Amongst their number were grey-robed monks from the Morrite monastery Sacra di San Antamo on the rocky promontory to the north-west of Urbimo. The rest, being the bulk of their number, were still garbed in their peasant clothes, albeit favouring the Morrite hues of grey and red.



Marching behind the Urbiman dedicants was a substantial number of soldiers. Barone Pietro of Urbimo had brought his household guard of light horsemen with him, as well as the single small company of Compagnia del Sole crossbowmen left behind as a token act of mercy when the all the rest of the mercenaries marched away leaving the Urbimans unprotected in this time of need. Some of his horsemen rode with the barone, but most were acting as outriders and scouts, with the aforementioned blessing of Father Carradalio. Of course, many more of the barone’s subjects were part of the holy army, but he recognised that as Morrite dedicants any authority he had over them was little more than nominal. They had been willingly absorbed into the Disciplinati di Morr and were now Carradalios to command. Not that the barone cared over much, for he too shared enough fear to make him almost as much a Morrite cultist as them.

And there was the standing guard of the city of Remas, known as the Palace Guard, consisting almost entirely of mercenaries from the northern Empire, commanded by Captain Vogel. Their presence was something of an act of penance, for Vogel had not only failed to lift a finger to halt the Disciplinati’s uprising and seizure of the city but was known to have secretly agreed with Carradalio not to interfere beyond ensuring the personal safety of the highest clergymen. In return he had been promised the reward of becoming commander of the city’s entire regular forces, and a doubling in the size of his company, along with a proportionate increase in his pay. The arch-lector had decided he could hardly forgive Father Carradalio his sins and not Captain Vogel, nor did he want to dismiss and disperse a body of soldiers such as the guard in a time of war. So they too were forgiven and ordered to accompany the holy army upon the march to face the Vampire Duchess’s armies.

Their main company, men-at-arms carrying either halberds or great-swords, marched immediately behind the compagnia’s crossbowmen …



… whilst at their rear came their own crossbow as well as the army’s artillery – Vogel’s brace of cannons. Captain Vogel had voiced his little confidence in the maestro’s war-machine, resurrected as it was from the scrap-heap, hoping instead his own pets, his ‘pocket pistols’ as he was wont to call them, would do what was required to punch a real hole in the enemy’s defences.

This was the army that marched to Viadaza to face the vampire duchess herself.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 06:02:09 PM by padre »

padre

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #140 on: June 19, 2018, 04:04:17 PM »
Bugger ... the screen settings on the forum really do mess up some of my pictures. Certain characters, mentioned in the text, disappear off the screen to the right. Does this mean more work for me trying to differently size pictures for different forums?

damo_b

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #141 on: June 20, 2018, 08:43:10 PM »
amazing as alway Padre, just awaiting the battle report with baited breath. it never reads the way it happened.

padre

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #142 on: June 21, 2018, 12:24:00 PM »
... awaiting the battle report ... it never reads the way it happened.

It's an interesting phenomenon, which I think results from several contributing and conflating factors. First, the individual author has his own perspective. I was GMing and taking photos and watching events unfold etc, not playing like you. Then there is the fact that I subsequently work from scribbled notes and fragmented memory (more the former than the latter), and then there's the fact that as I am writing a story I sometimes have an 'angle' in that story, and always have the need to make it readable. Nevertheless, I strive to get as close to the truth as I can. And I do. (Which, when you think about my exact claim, doesn't say much!!)

Working on the photo's now .. bleeming elbows, dice, papers and cups to be edited out! And why are the best angled ones always out of focus?

padre

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #143 on: June 25, 2018, 08:18:27 PM »
The Assault on Viadaza
Summer IC2403


Part One: Deployment and Vanguard Moves

Once more Viadaza was to be the site of bloody conflict.

In Autumn 2401 the dead had risen to tear their way through the streets until there were none alive in the entire city (http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=46787.msg882824#msg882824). In Summer 2402 Arch-Lector Calictus II’s grand army had broken through the walls to retake the city from the living dead, forcing the vampire Lord Adolfo to flee (http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=46787.msg959923#msg959923) . In the Spring of 2403 the city yet again fell to the undead, this time almost without a fight, and although plenty of blood was shed, belonging to many of the foolish souls remaining in the city, this time a number were spared so that they might serve the cruel church of Nagash through their enforced, tormented prayers.

Now, in the summer of 2403, an army the like of which had never before been seen in Tilea approached to wrest Viadaza from the undead again. The ‘Holiest Army’ they called themselves, consisting almost entirely of religious fanatics, the flagellating dedicants of the Disciplinatic di Morr.

The city’s walls had been repaired since the Summer of 2402. Corpses were burned in huge heaps in the streets in an attempt to ensure they could never be resurrected to serve the vampires again, while the damage to the walls inflicted during the assault …



… had been repaired, and the earthwork bastion, studded with stormpoles, which sat before the gate …



… had, in a spirit of optimism, been cleared away to give easier access so that the city could recover and even thrive once more through trade. Thus it was that the Holiest Army of Morr faced an unbroken wall, studded with towers, with an expanse of open ground, bereft of trees, cottages or cover of any kind.



Not that they needed to conceal themselves as they approached, for the enemy had no artillery to employ against them, nor handguns or even bows. The duchess’ second-in-command, the bestial vampire Lord Adolfo, his magically re-vivified blood tainted by an orcen tinge, watched the approaching army from the southern-most tower, his ghouls occupying the walls and towers around him. This was the same stretch of wall he had attempted to defend during the last assault. Perhaps he had chosen to put himself there deliberately, to test himself and prove he was capable of doing that which he failed to do previously?



The other walls and towers were held by the vampire duchess’s graveguard, while a large horde of fly-ridden zombies staggered before the gate, and a regiment of skeletal warriors marched outside the northern wall. Inside the city were a body of black knights and a spirit host, both of which were capable of moving through the stone walls to attack the foe.



(Note: See appendix below for a diagram of the wall sections and a brief discussion of the siege/assault rules.)

The Holiest Army had built a great wooden siege tower, in the old style, presuming the enemy was unlikely to have cannon or any kind of war engines to hurl missiles at it. A large body of cultists pushed this towards the tower upon which Lord Adolfo waited, while another regiment of cultists advanced upon the very left flank.



Upon the other side of the tower, towards the centre of the Disciplinati’s line, marched a company of mercenaries with crossbows, then a large regiment of cultists containing both the Praepositus Generalis Father Carradalio and his admonitor, Brother Vincenzo. The soldiers of the Remas city guard occupied the right of the centre, consisting of crossbows, two cannons and a regiment of men-at-arms, the latter containing the disgraced condottieri Captain Vogel and the Urbiman priest of Morr. Beyond these, upon the right flank, was da Leoni’s ‘Cannone Luminoso’, then Carradalio’s bodyguard, then the horde of Urbiman cultists. Upon the extreme right was a company of cultist crossbowmen, behind which trotted Barone Pietro Cybo and his guard of light horsemen (at first unsure as to what their role could be in an assault such as this, but then nervously aware that they might well be fighting that day when they saw the enemy outside the walls).

Behind the army was the baggage train, with yet more lesser clergy and cultists to guard it. Carradalio was very keen to ensure this was kept safe, for if he was to lead his army deep into the enemy’s territory, to strike a blow into the very heart of their realm, then he would need his well-stocked baggage train intact.



Of course, he knew that the casualties his fanatical followers would accrue would be significant, even in victory, and so each subsequent battle would be fought with rapidly decreasing numbers. But those soldiers he had would always need meat and drink. Indeed, the inevitable dwindling of his army’s strength would lend itself to the supplies in the baggage train proving sufficient for his campaign, bolstered (as with all armies) by whatever they could take along the way.

A stench wafted from the city, coming as no surprise to the attacking force, which was made all the more sickly by the still-rotting walking corpses posted directly in front of the gate.



Father Carradalio’s plan was simple. He intended to utilise the fanaticism of his troops - their fearless determination to fight to the very last man - to obtain a foothold upon at least two points along the city’s stone circumvallation, from which to fan out along the parapets, subsequently fighting without the disadvantage of being upon ladders. On the right he intended the dedicants pushing the siege tower …



… to assault the corner tower at the same moment the leftmost regiment …



… climbed over the southern wall. That way the ghouls (and Lord Adolfo) would be attacked from two sides, and the casualties caused could be so swiftly delivered that necromantic magic would be unable to resurrect their losses sufficiently quickly.

Whilst that attack was delivered, the cannons …



… would concentrate first upon the gate and then upon a wall, hopefully creating two access points which could be employed if the walls proved too difficult an obstacle, while the massed regiments of cultists …



… and Reman guardsmen would seek to enter at whichever point seemed most amenable to a speedy attack (after dealing with the massed zombies between them and the wall). On the far right of the line, the Urbiman peasant cultists …



…  were ordered to attack the skeletons threatening the army’s flank and then support the other troops as best they could. The army’s significant number of crossbowmen were to concentrate their shooting at the defenders on the walls (able to aim over the heads of the massed troops advancing in front of them) in the hope that even if the casualties they caused were re-raised, the magic efforts required to do so would diminish the number of spells hurled from the walls at the advancing army. In support of the crossbowmen, the war engine was to target anything of significance its crew could spot upon the walls or aim to pierce the multiple ranks of either of the undead regiments outside the walls.



The vampire duchess had plans of her own. Besides manning the walls (Note: see appendix for GM-ruled dispersal of defenders on the walls) she had boldly placed two regiments outside the walls - the skeletons and zombies - and to support them she had cunningly concealed two ethereal companies - her spirit hosts and black riders - behind the nearby walls so that they could sally out upon her command.



Her own mount awaited her near the knights, held by a skeletal servant, in case she herself decided to sally out with them! To lend necromantic support to nearly all her troops, she had placed herself at the northern end of the walls, Lord Adolfo at the southern end, and her necromancer …



… in a tower between the two of them.

For some time the attackers waited impatiently, as the tower was pushed steadily towards the walls (Note: As per 6th Ed WFB siege rules, a 2D6 ‘vanguard’ style move) ..



… until suddenly there was a blare of horns and thunderous roll of drumming, and the army as a whole began to advance.

Battle to follow.



Appendix

A very brief summary of the assault battle rules:

I based the rules on the 6th ed WFB siege appendix, modified for 8th and with some of the 8th ed building assault rules added in to make the end result more compatible with 8th ed.

An assault game lasts 7 not 6 turns, and the aim is to control more wall or tower sections at the end of turn 7 than the opponent. There are lose, draw, minor victory and major victory results, themselves with campaign consequences, and themselves a modified version of our usual campaign rules regarding casualties etc.

I GM’d the sections to consist of the following…



The defender is allowed to split large regiments (30+) into two equal halves, then each half regiment or entire small regiment can occupy up to two neighbouring sections, again splitting in half to do so. Thus 40 ghouls could split then split again to occupy four adjacent sections with 10 ghouls on each. This seems fair enough, even though a break from normal practice ‘in the field’ because at the end of the day the companies on the walls are simply ordered to stand there and fight whatever comes at them.

I never specified on the day, but if a player had raised the question I would have had to say, that little sub-companies of regiments divided this way cannot move away from their adjacent sub-companies, and so cannot start behaving as a truly independent company, unless a character was with them in which case I would have allowed it. The other companies, without characters, would have stayed on the wall they deployed on originally. Characters can move from section to adjacent section, thus moving from sub-company to sub-company one turn at a time.

Walls (but not towers) can be attacked with ladders – with die modifiers much favouring the defenders (eg. defenders +1 to hit, attackers at -1; attackers can only use hand weapons), and extra rules such as that the defenders count as being within the effect of an army standard and can re-roll break tests. More figures fight than in 6th ed – up to 9 attackers per section, up to 12 defenders (provided they have the numbers left to do so). It should be hard to take a castle wall!

Cannons pound the walls using the rules exactly as presented in 6th ed WFB. Once collapsed then walls simply become rocky ground, with the defenders counting as being behind a hard obstacle.

Siege towers are like 6th ed, but with more figures fighting as a modified version of building assault rules from 8th ed.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 09:10:16 AM by padre »

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #144 on: June 26, 2018, 08:37:10 PM »
The Assault on Viadaza
Summer IC2403


Part Two

As the huge siege tower trundled on, the cultists to its left marched more speedily, soon catching up with it.



In the centre of the field the generalis praepositus wasted no time in ordering his own regiment of cultists on, towards the gate and mob of stinking undead guards. As they moved their bell rang out, its sombre tone part and parcel of the practices they employed to bring on a furiously frenzied state of being.



The city guard in the centre of the line stayed put for now, but on the right the large crowd of Urbimans advanced, with their lord riding up behind them.



The crew on the cannone luminoso chose the regiment of skeletons to be their first target …



… hoping to scorch right through the foe to bring down a whole file. By turning two geared, iron wheels, they rotated the screw-like shaft running the engine’s length, finely adjusting the distances dividing the giant lenses better to suit the range of their intended flash. Then the engineer opened the shutter of a leaden lantern containing the eerily glowing gem responsible for initiating the process. The loosed light projected out to reflect via two concave mirrors onto the first of the several linearly-placed lenses. The glass of each lens was fashioned from a potent combination of molten, fine, white sand and pounded warpstone, subsequently ground precisely into shape to ensure the light penetrating through each of them was not only concentrated but incrementally fed by the winds of magic, transforming from a ray of bright, hot light laced with raw magic into a beam of such heat as could turn a man to ash at a distance of hundreds of yards, and of such potent magical power as could instantly dissolve even the otherworldly forms of ethereal creatures.

A light now appeared in the rear-most, largest lens - that which the maestro da Leoni had called the ‘bonaventure lens’ - tinged blood red but piercingly bright at its core.



The engine began to shake, its component parts clattering so much that the draught horses, selected specifically for their docility and ability to withstand the sounds of battle, began to buck and strain at their harnesses. The engineer, clutching the rattling railing which hemmed his platform, felt his stomach knot as he realised that this was going to be a more massive blast than any they had achieved in Remas during their practises. His rim of white hair suddenly stood on end, and he could hear a fizzing sort of sound accompanied by the distinctive smell of singed wool which presumably was coming from his own robes.

There was a sound akin to a giant intake of breath, and then a searing bolt was loosed through and from the machine which stretched right over to the skeletons, tearing apart an entire file of five into tiny fragments of scorched bone and dust. This was followed immediately by a loud cracking sound as the mizzen-lens (being the second last last) broke in two. All hint of the light instantly vanished, and for a moment the engine’s crew felt the breath sucked from their lungs.

[(Note: Luminark rules – an irresistibly cast bolt from a bound item breaks said item and makes it unusable for the rest of the game!)

Once they had recovered, and quite literally regained their breath, the engineer scrutinised the cracked lens. His shoulders slumped as he realised that what had just happened would be the engine’s only contribution to the battle. He caught himself just in time before taking Morr’s name in vain and began a prayer of cleansing to wash away any taint of his sinful intention.

The cannons, however, had much more luck. The first sent a ball right through the zombies, spattering five of them, then continued straight into the city’s gate, shattering the wood so badly that the hole thus made was sufficient even for men to enter (if a little uncomfortably). The second sent a shot smashing into the wall upon which the duchess herself was stood, shaking it somewhat. The three companies of crossbows took down several handfuls of zombies, skeletons and ghouls.

Upon the southernmost tower, Lord Adolfo scowled at the approaching siege tower. It had been fashioned somewhat simply of large planks, its only decorations being a huge painted cloth upon the front and a flag atop. Both these sported variations of the same design, an emblem Adolfo had seen previously in both life and undeath. It was one of the more popular symbols of Morr, consisting of an hourglass containing the sands of time, flanked by two raven wings.



It was not trepidation he felt, nor anger, and certainly not fear, but rather impatience. He yearned to tear apart whoever lurked within the tower, to rend them limb from limb and bathe in their blood. And he wanted to do it now!

As the skeletons to the north of the city advanced, and the zombies shuffled a little forwards, the vampires and necromancer on the walls conjured what magic they could (Game note: magic dice 10:9 due to several dispel pool boosting artefacts in the Holiest Army) to resurrect several of the fallen zombies and skeletons. The duchess herself focused her hocus pocus on the Urbimans, conjuring Curse of Years upon them to kill nine immediately.



Carradalio’s followers, itching to fight after many weeks of self-scourging, now thought it was the time to charge, but the siege tower failed to reach the walls, and the cultists failed to reach either the zombies or the skeletons. The exertions of their rapid march had obviously had an effect upon them, yet their failure did not diminish their desire to attack one jot. The army’s priests prayed to Morr to lift the curse upon the Urbimans …



… which the god of death graciously granted, but otherwise the holy men could effect little else. Both cannons further shook the wall upon which the duchess stood (Game Note: now up to +3 on all future rolls on the damage chart) which at last made her wonder whether she ought to remain there, risking the ignominious fate of becoming buried in rubble.

The other vampire lord, Adolfo, was also (in his own way) in a thoughtful mood. So keen was his passion to slay the occupants of the approaching tower that he failed even register the large body of cultists advancing beside the tower, heading for the currently unguarded wall behind the tower.



Once again crossbow bolts were loosed by the dozen, this time with arrows from the horse soldiers too, but these volleys caused only a peppering of casualties, insufficient in number for the vampires or necromancer to even notice.

The spirit hosts, being the bound souls of Viadaza’s most ancient warriors, now issued through the stone of the northern walls. Their ethereal forms seemed woven of shadows, the upper reaches of which were (impossibly) imbued with a greenish glow.



The vampires employed a cursed book to wither the dedicants accompanying Carradalio and his admonitor, Brother Vincenzo, though to look at them you would barely have noticed the difference such was their fury and fervour for the fight.



Necromantic magic summoned a body of zombies to threaten the flank of the Urbimans …



.. then the vampires returned their attentions upon the weakened flagellants in the centre to lay low five of them with the Gaze of Nagash. Of course, none of this dampened the violent enthusiasm of the advancing army

End of turn 2
To continue asap.


« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 04:32:25 PM by padre »

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #145 on: June 28, 2018, 04:41:50 PM »
Now the Holiest of armies launched several charges. In such close proximity to the foe, the dedicant crossbow could not restrain themselves and so charged into the newly raised zombies despite the entreaties of their shepherd to restrain themselves.



Despite their small size their flagellations caused the death of four of their own number, and such was the fury this self-mutilation instilled that they tore down eight of the zombies with the further loss of only one more of their own. The remaining zombies all collapsed as the magic re-vivifying their rotting frames petered out.

(Note: As GM creating the Disciplinati di Morr house rules – modified Empire flagellant rules - I had forgotten to remove ‘The End is Nigh’ rule from their unit listing, which of course makes more sense with a missile unit. Who would create such a small sized missile unit if they were subject to that rule? It will probably be removed before the next conflict)

Gripped by a similar lust for battle, Father Carradalio and Brother Vincenzo jointly led their own regiment into the swollen mass of zombies before the gate.



Carradalio personally cut down two of them, while his warriors slaughtered another thirteen.  The still moving zombies reeled from the blow, unable to inflict any harm back, and fifteen more of them collapsed as they also succumbed to the effects of diminishing magic.

(Note: The Undead player realised at the end of the game that he should have put out only 30 of the zombies, but because the models were all magnetized to the movement base and he usually fielded 60 he accidentally fielded twice the size he should have. If that mistake had not occurred, the cultists would have destroyed the unit totally in this turn. There’s always a few mistakes creep in to battles, although they are mostly mine!)

On the left of the attackers’ line, the siege tower at last reached the tower and lowered its drawbridge, allowing the halberd-wielding cultists to pour forwards. Four of their own number perished to their frenzied flagellations, but the god Morr filled the rest with an overwhelming bloodlust as a consequence. They now cared not a jot for their own defence, only that they could rain blows down upon the foe.



But the vampire Lord Adolfo was waiting for them, and they now discovered just what such a creature was capable of.



Eight of the cultists died from his attentions (Game note: Strigoi ghoul king with Sword of Bloodshed and vampiric Red Fury). The ghouls on the tower with Adolfo butchered three more of the cultists, while eight of their own number died. The Disciplinati di Morr dedicants had failed to take the wall-tower, losing both the initial impetus of their attack and also their frenzied mania. They would not break and run, determined as they were to die to a man in Morr’s service. That did not mean that they would win, only that if they lost none would be left alive.

One of the dedicants climbing the ladders to reach the fighting platform, whilst corpse after corpse tumbled down from the mayhem above, glanced over to the regiment making for the neighbouring wall. In a sickening moment of clarity it occurred to him that unless the others ascended the wall almost immediately, attacking whatever was defending the tower immediately, then his own regiment would perish to a man before they even got into the fight. Not that he was afraid of death, for he was blessed by Morr, just that he realised that if the others were too late, then whatever was killing his own comrades so quickly would simply turn on them to do the same. And then neither wall nor tower would be taken. For a moment he felt a pang of despair, but he brushed the feeling away with an angry shout and continued his climb.

While these fights broiled, the priests managed to dispel the withering curse affecting the Urbimans. One cannon again shook the wall violently (yet it still did not fall) but the other failed even to shoot, and the hail of crossbow bolts shot up at the walls did little more than clatter and clunk against the stones.

The skeletons to the north of the walls chose not to wait for the enemy and hurled themselves into the horde of Urbimans before them.



The ancient, undead warriors brought down three of the dedicants, merely matching the harm the dedicants own scourging had caused to themselves. Such was their frenzy that the Urbimans failed to notice and cut down a dozen skeletons.

Near the now open gate Father Carradalio’s sword continued its bloody work, hewing apart another pair of zombies. These two truly dead corpses were joined by eighteen more. Only four of the dedicants perished, three by their own flails! The last half dozen zombies fell as all vestiges of the magic animating them vanished. The way to the gate was clear.



The Necromancer upon the tower now read from his book, conjuring a curse which sapped the strength of the dedicants upon the siege-tower, so that some even struggled to ascend the ladders. This did not help their fight. Three died from their own flagellations, eight more from Adolfo’s attentions and a further two perished at the hands of the ghouls. What few were left fought on (Note: Unbreakable) but more of them were coming to the realisation that the regiment approaching the wall with ladders was not going to make it in time to save their complete obliteration, and that this would probably mean that regiment would be destroyed in turn.

The Duchess Maria finally decided to quit the unstable wall and join her Black Knights in the yard below.



She commanded them to move forwards a little towards the gate, for she intended to charge whatever came through it.

End Turn 3

padre

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #146 on: June 29, 2018, 09:35:17 PM »
Final Part of the The Assault on Viadaza

Just as Father Carradalio was about to order his regiment to charge through the broken gate, Brother Vincenzo shouted, “No, Father! They are waiting in strength.” He had seen the undead horse soldiers massed within and knew that if any who entered there would likely be cut down to a man.

Father Carradalio nodded, then pointed at the wall by the gate, commanding, “Ladders. Up!” at which the dedicants rushed to place the ladders and begin their climb.



What resulted was short, but bloody, work, even though neither the priests’ prayers nor Brother Vincenzo’s holy, burning water harmed the foe. Four dedicants collapsed from their own self-punishment, and another four were slain by the ghouls upon the parapet, but Carradalio beheaded two of the foe, Vincenzo another and the dedicants smashed five skulls. The few ghouls left scuttled away and with a leap Carradalio and the first of his dedicants were on the wall.


Note: See Appendix below for actual ‘in game’ version of this moment!

The climb was considerably easier for the cultists at the southern wall. As they clambered over …



… they did not yet know that the vampire Lord Adolfo and his ghouls had already defeated the dedicants on the siege tower. All forty were either dead or maimed so badly they could no longer fight (many wounded by their own hands).

Outside the walls the crossbow carrying cultists charged into the flank of the much diminished regiment of skeletons …



… and between them and the Urbimans they cut every last one down. The crossbowmen, realising that the spirit hosts were behind them, moved over the bony remnants to put a better distance between them and a foe they could not hope to harm, while the Urbimans reformed themselves as they realised they could become the spirit hosts’ chosen target.



Behind the Urbimans, the torch-wielding dedicants of the praepositus generalis’ bodyguard manoeuvred as best they could, frustrated in their efforts, knowing that their blessed, burning torches could easily dispatch the spirits if only they could get to them.

(Game note: Home rule - Blessed Torch Flames. Flaming, close combat attacks. Cause Fear in war-beasts, cavalry & chariots. Affect Flammable (p.69 BRB) & Regeneration (p.74 BRB) abilities. Able to wound ethereal creatures.)

While one cannon was being made ready again after its earlier misfire, the other cannon sent a shot that brought down the parapet of the wall where until moments before the duchess had been standing. Four of the grave guard became buried in the rubble, and three more succumbed to the crossbow bolts and light horsemen’s arrows which found their marks much more easily now that there was no wall in the way. The rest of the guards simply stood as they were, entirely bereft of any trepidation concerning whether the wall was about to collapse fully.

At the very moment the leading dedicants upon the captured, southern wall turned towards the door into the tower, it burst open with such force as to rip it off its hinges, and Lord Adolfo, filled with a furious rage, leaped out to tear into them.



He was followed by his ghouls and the fight that ensued was even bloodier than the previous. Adolfo alone killed eleven cultists, while the ghouls cut down another nine. What with another cultist perishing from his own self scourging, it all added up to twenty dead cultists, while only seven of the ghouls had been killed.  Of course, the dedicants of the Disciplinati di Morr fought on, more and more clambering over the parapet to die almost instantly, even though none now harboured any hope that they might survive.

Father Carradalio, however, and what few warriors were left to his regiment, were doing better, losing only five of their number whilst killing nearly twice as many ghouls. Such was the weakening of the necromantic forces binding the ghouls, that the necromancer with them now succumbed to true death, along with the one or two ghouls remaining.

Just before entering the round tower beside him, Carradalio looked down into the city and his eyes locked with his greatest enemy, the vampire duchess herself.



She was sitting side-saddle upon her red-barded steed, looking deceptively delicate in her posture, but there was nothing but pure evil in her eyes. Carradalio smiled, such was his joy at leading his holy warriors into battle, knowing that Morr was by his side. The duchess snarled and watched through narrowed eyes as the priest stepped through the door out of her sight. He had but three warriors left with him, and his admonitor Brother Vincenzo, yet he still had confidence that victory would be his. Captain Vogel’s elite palace guard were approaching the gate with the Urbiman priest amongst them. The cannons were still booming and every undead warrior outside the city had been killed.

What he did not know, until he got to the top of the tower, was that Adolfo had now slain the entire second regiment of dedicants attacking the southern wall. With a little help from his ghouls (and the enemy themselves) he had obliterated 70 dedicants. All the while he had been reanimating his fallen soldiers so that when he left the wall and hurtled down the street immediately behind, heading towards the duchess, he still had ten ghouls with him.



The spirit hosts passed back through the city walls, intending to attack whatever force attempted to climb the northern wall even as it did so. The duchess now decided that her black knights could surely deal with whatever came through the gate on their own, so she leaped from her mount and made her way into the round tower immediately north of the gate, with a mind to fight her way through whomsoever got in her way and kill the laughing priest. Before she could reach the wall on the southern side of the gate, however, Captain Vogel and the palace guard employed the same ladders Carradalio and the cultists had used to ascend the wall also.



Meanwhile Father Carradalio had reached the round tower’s top …



… and peered over to spy Adolfo loping down the street below. (Game Note: Magic pools 7:4) Feeling Morr’s wrath flow through him, he cast Morr’s Curse upon the vampire (-1S, -1T, -1Ld) followed by Morr’s Glare (on 6,6,6,5!!!), which stung so badly that Adolfo stumbled and almost fell (He had lost 2 of 3 wounds!)

The battered wall occupied by grave guard had been hit several more times and was now on the verge of complete collapse – a man leaning up on it might cause it to topple. Several more skeletons had been killed by crossbow bolts, and the rest of the Holiest Army’s regiments had moved closer to the walls. The Urbimans and a company of crossbowmen were ready to attempt charges to capture more of the walls.

The Duchess Maria had sensed her servant’s anguish at the stinging power of the enemy’s prayers, and it suddenly dawned on her that if she and Adolfo attacked the walls and the tower they could almost certainly cut down all opposition and most likely even the two priests of Morr, but there was a small but real chance she could fail. Adolfo had been weakened and if only one Morrite survived that might be sufficient to finish him. She knew not what other tricks these priests had up their sleeves.

The wall behind her was about to collapse, and Morrites were closing in to capture several other sections. She had sent most of her army’s fighting strength away with Biagino, and this guard force she had kept here in Viadaza had proved too weak (if only just) to defend against these cultists. The enemy’s dead were piled high, yet still they came on in frenzied fury - fearing neither death nor undeath, and they fought to the last. If but one remained he would run at her, not away.

Maria loved her undeath, so much she wanted it to last forever. This would not happen if she took needless risks. She made her decision quickly and gave the command immediately.

“Leave!”

All her servants heard her, for they were beholden to her will, and could sense her very thoughts. The Black Knights galloped down the high street from the Eastgate …



… while Adolfo led his ghouls down another parallel street – in fact, it was the very same street he had fled down the previous year when the Arch-Lector of Remas had attacked Viadaza. The irony was lost on him.



The rest of her army, the duchess included, slipped away through interconnected cellars and attics, crossing vestibules and arches, down passages and alleyways, towards the waterfront where boats awaited them.

Once again, the undead had yielded Viadaza to a Reman led army. But the duchess was far from defeated, merely inconvenienced. She would raise more servants wheresoever she went and destroy this foe in her own good time.

Their losses in this battle would be much, much harder to replace.

Game Over. End of turn 6 (Turn 7 conceded)

Game notes:

Victory
The Duchess’s player, Daz, had already lost a PC (the vampire Duke of Miragliano) much earlier in the campaign, and he went through several seasons of difficulties and struggles to gain control of the realm and its armies for his new character, the duchess. He was not willing to take the risk, and decided to do the cool-headed, strategic thing and get away alive. Well … undead, anyway! I told him I thought the duchess or Adolfo would most likely kill Father Carradalio (another player’s PC, although that player lives so far away he has volunteer susbtiture players commanding his army on the field) if they went for it. But he knew there was a chance the duchess might perish, or Adolfo, and that even if they didn’t, then by the victory conditions he could still lose the battle, which could mean much greater ignominy (maybe even capture, which would of course mean death!) That’s why Daz decided in turn 6b to ‘get out of there!’

Dispel dice
The Luminark channelled an extra dispel die, as did the magical finger bone carried by the Urbiman priest, which meant, along with just one 6 rolled by the three priests, on several turns the Holiest Army had +3 dispel dice!

Casualties
As the Holiest Army had won their casualty recovery was as good as the rules allow. 1/3 of all destroyed units’ models are recovered, and half of any models lost to units remaining on the field. After applying the recovery rules, they went from 170 flagellant cultists to 109. If they had lost, they would have been almost obliterated. As it is they can still field a good fighting force, perhaps organising the cultists into two 40 strong hordes and a couple of smaller companies (the torch wielding bodyguard and a crossbow company?) They still have the Luminark, or ‘cannone luminosa’, and I reckon I can allow them to have a spare lens tucked away in the baggage for repairs. They have cannons, and mercenaries, and light horse. Father Carradalio still has an army. I’ll have to remove ‘The End is Nigh’ rule from the companies of crossbow and bodyguard because, basically, it is a SILLY rule for such small units.

Strange photographs
The picture of Carradalio on the wall was posed after the battle, and actually shows (for artistic effect – forgive me!) more men than he really had. He was in truth down to three cultists and Vincenzo. Here’s the original ‘in game’ photograph showing the moment Carradalio climbed onto the wall …



I had already added the sky and begun editing out the models’ bases but then two things occurred to me …

1. I didn’t like how out of focus the pic was. I don’t really have time to check the quality whilst refereeing the game and had forgotten to take several pics (my usual technique for important moments).

2. How the heck did the standard bearer locked into a pillory manage to climb a ladder and get over the wall? Frenzy sure makes men do some crazy things, but surely not the impossible?



Now, I have painting to do for the next battle – new figures and scenery and modifying old figures. I have two players arranged, just need a third for an NPC force. Game in two weeks! I also have my GM duties re: the aftermath of this battle, and other unfolding events. Good job I love this hobby!

damo_b

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #147 on: July 02, 2018, 12:20:53 PM »
great report as always.
i even remember some of the points mentioned.
you do need to remove the end is nigh from the crossbow men but otherwise an interesting army to play.
damian

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #148 on: July 22, 2018, 10:28:23 PM »
The Battle For Campogrotta

Prequel: Brass on the Iron Road

It had been half an hour since the army came to a halt. The days of marching were long, but not too tiring, as the road coursed (in the main) downhill, and although ancient, being dwarf-built it was in good repair. Yet none of this meant a quick pace. You might presume that the dwarves were to blame, and you would be right. But it was not their short legs that caused the delay. It was the engines of war they were hauling. More accurately, it was one engine in particular - the massive ‘Cannon Imperial’ named Granite Breaker.

Being summer it was still light even this late in the day, and just like the last nine evenings the entire army was now stretched out along the road side for the best part of a mile, preparing to camp for the night. Apart from the mounted Brabanzon mercenaries, the order of the companies never changed. Some nights the riders lit their fires at the head of the army, other nights elsewhere, presumably camping on some convenient height nearby from which they could keep an eye out for torch lights and such like. But every other body kept its allotted place in the line. The dwarven flying engine, which could hardly be called a ‘company’, also rested in a different place each night - wherever its pilot thought safely solid enough to re-acquaint it with the ground. The road would be the obvious choice, but then the sleeping engine would block the way should an alarm be sounded.

Most of the army’s baggage was at the rear of the column. The heavily-laden wagons had spent each hour of travel discovering, with rattling clunks, every bit of damage done by Granite Breaker’s passage. Now they were very quiet, lined up in an orderly fashion typical of dwarfs. The horses and oxen had been unlimbered and led away to rest somewhere amongst the trees.

It was by the wagons that Glammerscale Hamgorn the dwarven wizard had met his equally unlikely counterpart from the company of Brabanzon mercenaries marching with the army of Karak Borgo, the red-haired, ‘fallen’ damsel Perrette L’Amy. Immediately upon laying eyes on him she had smiled, as if they were old friends, and approached him confidently. She wore a long dress of red wool, full sleeved but unadorned with lace or embroidery, hoist up a little to reveal an inner petticoat of purple. Her long, bright hair was loose and wild, and she had in her hand a part-extended fan, which she clutched to her side. Glammerscale assumed it must be some fashionable affectation amongst Bretonnian ladies, although from what he had heard she was no lady.



“A fellow magician!” she said. “It’s good to know I’m not the only one here. I’d heard of you, Master Glammerscale, but couldn’t decide whether to believe what I’d been told.”

“I am indeed a rarity,” he said. “Perhaps now that there are two of us my kin will finally accept me for what I am?”

Perrette’s smile grew wider. “I hope they have not been cruel. I too am something of an outcast, although my problem is that my current companions are often a little too willing to accept me.”

Glammerscale pondered this for a moment. Perrette had not travelled to Tilea with Baron Garoy, but in the company of the Brabanzon mercenaries. He had heard them talk of her two evening’s ago. They did not call her witch or wizard, instead sorceress. Nor did they call her a lady, and as their drinking went on they used much more base terms. The young paladin Baron Garov refused to mention her at all. From the way he winced, it appeared he was even reluctant to hear her name merely mentioned.

“The way of magic is not an easy path,” Glammerscale said diplomatically.

Perrette’s smile seemed more genuine. “And some of us find ways to make it even more difficult for ourselves.”

“No, my lady,” he said. “I would not say we sought the difficulties. They came through no fault of our own. I was born a dwarf, and you were born a peasant.”

“Ah, but was I born such, Master Glammerscale? Or did I ruin my reputation and besmirch my noble blood through dishonour and misdeeds?”

“I meant no insult by what I said,” stuttered Glammerscale. “I merely presumed that …well …”

“Worry not, good master dwarf. Had I been born a lady I would happily have cast aside such a tedious life, such an imprisonment. So, whether you are right or wrong, it does not offend me.”



Glammerscale noted she had not actually said whether she was a noblewoman or peasant born. Perhaps such mystery could only improve her reputation as a spell-weaver? To know too much about a person can make them appear mundane, and that does not do for a practitioner of the magical arts.

“What think you of this army?” Perrette asked. “Is it sufficient to the task ahead?”

“It is no easy thing,” said Glammerscale, “to oust an army of brutes from a well-fortified city. Still, I believe we have the tools required.”

“Are we two of those tools?” asked Perrette, a twinkle in her eye.

It was Glammerscale’s turn to smile. “I would say, my lady, that were we allowed, we could add a better edge to those tools. The walls of Campogrotta will need some considerable chipping to breach. Anyone who can distract the foe whilst the work is done will be welcome.”

“You say ‘Were we allowed’, master dwarf. Why so? Are we not invited to this dance?”

“You might well need your dancing shoes, but I am afraid it is unlikely I shall attend. King Jaldeog has other things in mind for me, and all his thanes are in agreement.”

Perrette frowned. “I did not know this. Whither are you bound?”

“I shall not be far away. I am to be sent to watch for any relief that might approach. It seems my eyes, despite my need for these glasses, are considered more valuable than any magic I might conjure.”



Glammerscale doubted his explanation had convinced the damsel, as anyone who knew anything about dwarfs knew of their distrust of wizards. He would be ordered off with the scouts, yes, but the real reason was superstition. The thanes and their warriors did not want him bringing bad luck to the army on the day of battle. As Thane Narhak had put it, his  presence upon the field of battle would be disruptive to the cause.

Perrette watched him for a moment. Then her smile returned. “There is no dishonour in that, for the art of war requires such watchfulness.”

“I did not think those you travelled with cared much for honour,” said Glammerscale.

“The Brabanzon! Oh, they care not a jot for it,” she said with a chuckle. “They came with one thing in mind. Well, lots of things in truth, and most of them shiny in some way or another. And such is their desire for plunder that they will fight as well as any knight seeking renown.”

“What does Baron Garoy make of them?”

“He acts as if he is lord over them, though all know he is not. I saw him only half an hour ago inspecting the brigand archers in the van.”



“Lord or not, does he not command them in the field?” asked Glammerscale. “That was the agreement.”

“Oh, they play their part well enough. The archers I saw had already put up their huts and lit their fires before he arrived, yet still they formed into a body before him.



He made a comment or two to the sergeants there, to which they mumbled some sort of answer. I’m sure each and every Brabanzon once served some knight or another. They understand what is expected of them.



“By their agreed contract they are to obey his orders in battle, and by Bretonnian custom they are required to bow to him. But they are mercenaries, and as such consider their contract more binding than custom.”

“He is not their paymaster,” said Glammerscale.

“He is not,” agreed Perrette. “He who pays is the true authority. Until the payment is completed.”

“Or perhaps another party offers better payment?”

Perrette laughed. “Normally so, but here and now, in these mountains, who else is there to pay them?”

“Well, they do expect more, by way of plunder. They told me so themselves.”

“Aye,” said the damsel. “And as I said, that expectation will ensure they fight. Not as well as dwarfs, I’m sure.”

Glammerscale decided he liked this woman. He enjoyed her honesty, and the fact that when she did flatter she made it so obviously a game.

“And what do you think of the baron?” he asked.

“Would you have me slander a knight?”

“The truth would serve me better now, whether good or ill.”

“He had his companion with him when I saw him this eve, a standard-bearer carrying his emblem. The tête de cerf blanc … the white stag’s head … upon red and white. He has the standard with him always.”



“The white stag,” mused Glammerscale, “that can never be captured.”

“The forever chase! You know the stories!” said Perrette, surprised.

“I have read Berthelot’s tales. Book learning is like breathing to me,” said Glammerscale. He was hardly ever without a book about his person. He now knew that Perrette had to be of noble birth, for how could a peasant know of such things? “A strange emblem for a paladin pursuing the rule of Ravola, for then his chase does end.”
 
“Are we to presume the baron chose wisely?” asked the damsel.

“The baron is young, as are all his companions.”

“And wisdom comes with age?”

“To some degree,” laughed Glammerscale. “I wonder what the baron thinks of the Brabanzon?”

“You are kind not to ask what he thinks of me,” she said. “He cannot be happy with the army he has been given. But it is what it is, and beggars can’t be choosers. As long as they prove useful to his ambitions he will tolerate them. I think he has some diplomacy in him, for he feigned not to notice the brigand archers who declined to assemble before him, instead remaining by the fire to drink.”



“Perhaps the cooking of supper required their attentions?”

“You have some diplomacy in you too, Master Glammerscale. And I thought dwarfs were plain-spoken to a fault.”

Glammerscale laughed again. “I have many faults, ask any dwarf. Being a wizard overshadows all the rest, so most are barely noticed.”



Perette fell silent and studied him for a moment or two, which made him a little uncomfortable.

“I sense an etheric heat about you,” he said, partly to alleviate the discomfort, but moreso out of curiosity. “Will you be conjuring fire in the assault?”

“Aye, I like to play with fire. We’ll come to know the smell of burning ogre before the fight is over. I can't imagine it'll be pleasant.”

“I should think the brimstone stench of the powder will overwhelm all other smells. The scouts have said that every stretch of wall and every tower teems with cannon muzzles, and Granite Breaker will burn tons of the stuff.”

“I shall take great care to throw my fires at the foe, and not to allow even a spark to stray amongst our engines,” Perrette declared. “In truth, having seen the great gun I wonder whether anything I will do will even be noticed by any upon either side!”

“She is indeed a beast!” said Glammerscale with a grin. “Her roar will surely be louder than that of any dragon, and her hunger for powder will make that which feeds an entire battery of ordinary guns seem like a mere appetiser.”

Perrette seemed confused. “You have never seen the gun fire?”

“No. She is very ancient. So old I think there are barely any even amongst dwarfs who have seen her give fire. Do not let her age make you doubt her efficaciousness, however. Cannons are simple constructions, and it is the quality of the cast that counts. She was made of the best brass, by the best gunsmiths, and will be fed a diet of gourmet powder. She is inscribed with powerful, protective runes. I doubt their will be much left of Campogrotta when she finally gets so hot as to risk shivering.”

He had had a chance to inspect the cannon imperial closely two evenings ago, in the company of no less than the army’s general, Narhak, Thane of Dravaz. She had been heavily guarded, as were the wagons of budge barrels that would provide her sustenance. The thane had waxed lyrical about her, telling of a great uncle who swore he had seen her take the top of a mountain off.



She was cast in the form of a dragon and mounted on a carriage so heavy that it alone, if rolled down a hill against a castle wall, could possibly bring it down. The brass had long since tarnished to make her blueish in hue. None had thought to polish her, however, for in the old stories of her destructions she had been blue and proud of it, and no-one wanted to offend her.

She required a regiment of draught animals to haul her, several of which were still nearby as she rested, being the last to have been unhitched.



The animals were needed fore and aft of her on the road, in differing proportions according to the chief engineer’s judgement. When going down hill more were needed behind than in front. When the animals were changed, she was held in place by huge wedges, the four of which needed a wagon to themselves. Most of her powder was carried with that of the other guns, but at least one wagon was usually nearby too.



Thane Narhak had said a powder wagon was kept close to reassure her. Considering he had just claimed she had once beheaded a mountain, Glammerscale had the measure of the thane's flights of fancy. After half an hour in her close company, the wizard had decided that his absence from the battle would be of very little consequence with the likes of her blasting at the foe. A field gun was to an ogre as a handgun was to a dwarf, but Granite Breaker was to an ogre as a sledge hammer was to a mouse.



Her Imperial Majesty was not going to Campogrotta to knock down ogres, however. She had to bring down the walls.  Glammerscale had seen those walls himself, and to his knowledge only the mighty walls of Remas were bigger. He had passed the city in the evening, far enough away to avoid being spotted. The gate had ragged banners atop, bearing an image of red mountains - presumably one of Razger’s emblems and not that of the Wizard Lord Niccolo.



It had been under a darkening sky, which combined with Glammerscale’s purblind eyes, meant that although he could make out what must be brutes patrolling the battlements …



… he had not discerned what exactly were the weapons they were carrying. It was Thane Narhak  who had told him what the scouts had seen – cannon barrels carried like handguns.. Not  that there was a smattering of such weapons, but that every ogre upon the walls had one.



Glammerscale did not doubt Granite Breaker would fell Campogrotta’s fortifications. It would take time, however, and he wondered what the serried ranks of cannon barrels might do to those who assaulted the walls or clambered over the rubble during that delay.

“I am sure you are right, master dwarf” said Perrette. “The gun will prove our greatest friend. And I am glad you will be watching the road, for it would be a sad thing indeed for Razger Boulderguts to disturb her while she is so busy.”
« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 09:06:48 PM by padre »

padre

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Re: A Tilean Campaign (Warhammer Fantasy Battle)
« Reply #149 on: August 03, 2018, 08:34:59 AM »
The Assault on Campogrotta
The Battle


The brute defenders upon the city walls had watched for the two hours it took to drag the mighty cannon Granite Breaker into position. They themselves had guns, cannon-barrels no less, which they wielded the way a man might a handgun, but they knew that the enemy was too far away for their shots to have any real effect. So they bided their time, unafraid, for why would brutes fear the antics of the little folk?

The attackers - the dwarfs of Karak Borgo, the paladin Baron Garoy and the Bretonnian Brabanzon mercenary company - had arranged their lines before Granite Breaker was hauled up, ready in full force to thwart any attempted sally from the walls to capture or disable her.

The dwarfs themselves stood closest to the great gun, forming the assaulting army’s left wing. Thane Narhak, their commander (Game note: A lord level character), and the army standard bearer led the warriors. To his right were the Longbeards commanded by Thane Thakolim and accompanied by the Runesmith Rakrik Bronzeborn, then next in line were the Trollslayers. On Narhak’s right were the Thunderers, forming the far flank of the army, each of them itching to moved up to within range of the walls.



The other missile troops stood behind the main regiments, as their weapons could shoot much further than the Thunderers’ handguns. A regiment of Quarrellers scrutinised the walls from the rear of the Trollslayers, and behind them was a pair of bolt throwers and another of gunpowder pieces. Granite Breaker rested directly behind Thane Narhak and his warriors, who were bracing themselves for the passage of some very large round-shots over their heads. The flying machine fluttered around the army’s flank, its pilot looking beyond the walls to take the measure of the city’s towers – if he was to fly over the walls and into the streets he would need to give the towers a wide berth, otherwise his machine’s spinning wings would shatter.

On the army’s right were the Brabanzon. Captain Lodar ‘the Wolf’ and his ensign Jean de la Salle led the company’s largest regiment, the spearmen, nearest to the centre of the line, and out to their right were the two large bodies of archers and the smaller company of veteran men-at-arms. Their small gun, which they called 'the Piece', like unto a flea compared to the dwarfs’ cannon imperial, had been placed directly in front of the trebuchet all the better to perform its usual role as a guard for the larger engine.



Baron Garoy and his brightly liveried retinue of young knights rode on the far right of the line, to a man wondering what their role in such a fight could be. It seemed to them, despite their hopes, that the enemy had no intention of leaving the walls to sally forth, a reluctance which mirrored their own stubborn reluctance to dismount to fight on foot and climb the ladders.

Considering the fact that Razger Boulderguts had marched the fighting army of Campogrotta out upon his grand raid, the garrison soldiers on the walls were surprisingly numerous, as was the number of leadbelchers amongst them. The southern-most tower was packed with the cannon wielding brutes, as was the next tower to the north, while the wall in between them was guarded by a small body of Ironguts (the latter being part of the city’s standing force).



The gate was held by a large company of ogres and a slaughtermaster, while several Maneaters (being the city’s chief ‘constables’) occupied the tower by its side, each sporting a brace of handguns which they could tote like pistols.



The long, northerly stretch of the city’s eastern wall was manned by an even larger company of a dozen ogres, and further half a dozen leadbelchers.



The garrison commander, a Slaughtermaster known as Lord Wurgrut (although the title was an affectation and the rest was only part of the name he professed) had climbed to the very top of the tallest tower in the city’s eastern ward from where he could survey not only the full extent of the eastern walls but also the enemy in its entirety.



As the dwarfs employed the crane to heft a weighty roundshot to Granite Breaker’s muzzle, where they could then tip it in, the Slaughtermaster Wurgrut looked down on the leadbelchers in the corner tower …



… and the Ironguts on the wall adjacent.



He decided that they were not best placed to serve in the defence of the city. The wall was where the enemy might gain ingress, which was why the Ironguts where there, but the leadbelchers could hold it just as well, and would have just as good a view of the enemy from the wall as from their tower. So he bellowed orders down, sending the Ironguts along the street behind the wall as a reserve ready to defend wherever any pressure might be felt, while the cannon wielders on the tower were to shift themselves over to the wall.

Now at last satisfied with the disposition of the forces at his command, he thought he might start the fight with a bang. Pausing a moment to recall the strange words of the necessary incantation, then allowing the winds of magic to infuse his bulky frame with potency, he called upon a comet to crash from the heavens. For the briefest of moments he gave himself up to elation, for he could see the comet’s bulk in his mind’s eye. Then, as if he had awakened suddenly from a dream, the comet was gone, snatched from reality the very moment it began to manifest by the dwarfen Runemaster, who employed a talisman to break the power of the spell.

Just as Wurgrut began scouring the enemy lines to spy out who might have been responsible for the thwarting of his spell, the enemy began to move. They advanced almost as one, although out on the right the Bretonnian mercenaries struggled to match the naturally slower pace of the dwarfs and came on a little faster.



The ‘fallen’ damsel Perrette l’Amy attempted to throw a flurry of fireballs at the walls ...



... but the enemy’s second in command, a Slaughtermaster like their general, managed to sap the winds she was employing and her efforts came to nought. The ogre magician could do nothing to prevent the firing of the cannons, however, and all three muzzles were sighted upon the long, northern wall.



The trebuchet crew, whose first shot had merely bounced from the wall, could only look on with envy as all three roundshots smashed into the stone to leave visible cracks and dents. The wall’s defenders, the largest company of bulls in the garrison, peered uncertainly over the crenulations or picked at the cracks that extended up even as far as the parapet and, deciding they would rather defend the fallen ruins than become buried within them, they backed off the wall to take up position behind it.



They were not the only ones scrutinising the damage. Baron Garoy, riding his mighty destrier and clad in his heavy battle armour, his shield bearing the image of a white stag’s head and his helm bearing antlers in his livery of gules and argent, had lifted his visor to get a better look. What he saw gave him hope that he and his knightly retinue might be contributing to the fight a lot sooner than he had thought.



The dwarfen crossbows launched a packet of bolts to sting the Maneaters in the tower by the gate, while the Brabanzo longbowmen’s arrows merely clattered and rattled on the wall being vacated by the bulls. The dwarfen thunderers could contribute nothing to this sharp-tipped hailstorm, however, for they were too busy moving forwards just to get into range of the walls.

   

End of turn one.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 09:00:32 AM by padre »