An Old Campaign #1


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Post Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:47 pm

Re: An Old Campaign #1

Might as well slap the next installment here so you can see the arabyans (kind of) in action.

Battle of the Eastern Swamps

Bertrand was glad to be out. His head had been spinning all day listen to the interminable bickering of the Committee of War members in the Merchants’ Assembly. He was no politician, and yet somehow he’d volunteered to be the Committee’s secretary! How that happened even he couldn’t say.

Then came the opportunity to lead his force to battle, and in his eagerness to get out of the Hall, again he found he had volunteered to do something that in retrospect, with a clear head, seemed mad. It was now his job to lead the army of House van de Kuypers, bolstered with part of the Emir’s newly arrived army, into the Eastern Swamps to fight the League of Free Traders.

Whether the League were fools, false friends, cowards, victims of fate, enemies or traitors he could not say (and he suspected that none of the Committee, though they claimed otherwise, knew). A vote had been taken and Bertrand voted for the attack. That was his undoing, that moment, because as the fellow who voiced the deciding vote the Committee then looked to him to see it through.

The decision, as far as Bertrand could make out, was to launch one attack to show the League, whatever their true intentions, that Marienburg cannot be bullied, even when caught up in a war! Von Wallenstien was furious (Bertrand couldn’t look him in the face) but others on the Committee seemed pleased with themselves. Bertand’s only hope now was to do well in the battle. To lose would add insult to injury.

So here he was leading his amalgamated army of Arabyans, Tileans, Estalians, Averlanders and Marienburger seamen into the swamp! Into a vast, soggy, stinking, flie-ridden bog, strewn with dead things and now soon contain more rotting corpses. And of course, he couldn’t even take true command of the force, for the emir ordered his general Jamal ad Duala to lead the force in battle. Bertrand was secretly glad: ‘Let the arab take the blame when we almost certainly fail in this gods-forsaken place’.

Where would the fight take place? Surely not in the swamp? No, of course not. There was a little hamlet up ahead, on a slightly raised area of ground, two very modest hills, and the general was leading the army towards it. An inn, a large house and a small temple by the looks of it.

And oh, there was irony to add to Bertrand’s misery – it was a temple to Sigmar. Great! The League and the Marienburgers were about to do battle over possession of a Sigmarite temple in a steaming swamp.

The field of battle:

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General Jamal divided the force into two wings, the left to consist of Marienburgers and northerner mercenaries, the right to consist of his arabs. The general obviously felt safer with his own troops near him – or was there some other motive? The Tilean Duellists however, wandered over to the far right, behind the Arabyan camels (Heavy Cavalry). Bertrand suddenly worried that perhaps the murderous Tileans were planning to assassinate the general – after all, Tileans were never truly to be trusted!

This was just part of Bertrand’s paranoia before the battle. Besides the enemy was now coming into view and that put all such distractions from Bertrand’s mind. He’d thought that there might be dwarfs amongst them, a folk he feared to have to face in battle. But no, this was a human force, of Empire troopers and Dogs of War. In fact there were some famous flags a-flying amongst the enemy lines. Braganza’s Besiegers! Ricco’s Republican Guard! (Was that why the Tilean Duellists had gone over to that flank – where they planning to turncoat and join their countrymen?)

Besides these, there were huge regiments of Pike and Halberds, two cannons, some Greatswords lurking in the trees – their presence revealed by the huge army banner they flew.

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Before Bertrand felt like he had got his bearings, the battle began. The allied artillery opened with s couple of deadly shots, slaying 4 halberdiers and 4 pikemen. But it was hard to tell that the huge bodies of men had been damaged. The handgunners near Bertrand occupied the house nearby – a good idea thought Bertrand. On the right the Arabyan general advanced with his camels, the Tileans moving behind. But the rest of his army, attempting to move into better firing positions, got tangled up, and his main foot regiments couldn’t back up their general. (Was this typical of mercenary half-heartedness in battle? Was this ‘confusion’ merely a chance to put off joining in battle?)

The enemy responded by advancing two detachments on their right towards the Marienburg cannon (trying to protect the halberdiers?). In the centre their handgunners occupied the hill (from were they would do considerable damage), while the light horse (pistoliers) galloped from the left towards the centre.

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The enemy cannons and missile troops had little effect, though Bertrand and his free company backed off when Braganza’s bolts slew 4 of them. And their wizard brought the Arabyan general to a halt with a wall of fire. Ouch! (You’d think desert men and camels would be used to the heat?)

The Averland Red Guard Halberdiers (now veterans in this war) advanced over the hill with their detachment in support, while the Ogre Ironguts made a desperate dash towards the League’s handgunners on the other hill. Could they make it before being slaughtered by double ranked volley fire?

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The enemy responded by charging their huge regiment of pike into the Halberdiers, whose detachment countercharged with precision.

Bertrand laughed when he saw this: “Do they honestly think pike can help them?” he thought. He’d become somewhat cynical about the effectiveness of mercenary pike! And his judgement proved sound. The Leagues’ pike couldn’t harm the Averlanders, (Note: even with 16 attacks) and as a result they broke and fled!

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Meanwhile the Arabyan camels were taking casualties from the wall of fire, then when they finally dispelled it, took more casualties from a Fiery Blast. The wizard with the enemy general, the army standard bearer and the greatswords in the woods was proving very harmful to the ‘cause’. So Jamal’s hand was forced – if he stood he would die. If he backed off he would die. He charged, with only half his camel regiment left!

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The Ogre Ironguts’ challenge was to prove too much for them. Having lost three warriors to handgun fire, they then lost the combat on the brow of the hill, another died and the last fled the field (a strange feeling of déjà vu suffusing him).

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He would not rally – after all there was only him left – and he left the field choking back tears. (He didn’t want to human warriors to see him cry!) Of course, Jamal’s attempt was just as foolish as the Ogres – attacking a large regiment of greatswords, bolstered by three commanders, with only four camel riders and himself. He broke and fled too!

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The enemy general, armed like a true sea faring pirate with a brace of pistols, killed another camel rider as they fled. Now, under quarter strength, the Arabyan general couldn’t rally either! The greatswords, happy with their position in the woods, had restrained their pursuit. The wizard with them, laughing maniacally, killed eight arab spearmen with another fire spell, and sent them running too!

The Marienburger handgunners finally mounted the hill and started to fire at the enemy handgunners, backed up by the Arabyan crossbowmen and handgunners to their right. Yet it would take two lots of firing by all three units to shift them!

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Now the real battle was joined. The Averlanders had run down the enemy pike and destroyed them by charging them as they fled. The enemy’s light horse had also fled, right off the field! Now the halberdiers charged into their enemy equivalents. Bertrand’s free company and the Averland detachment joined in, to make one big combat between a brade of League companies and three Marienburg bodies. Mayhem!

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Of course, outnumbered, ranks negated, attacked in the rear, the League’s position was weak. They broke and fled, cut down by their pursuers. But it did leave the Averlanders in a very unenviable position – right in front of a cannon! Grapeshot tore down half of them. They fled, losing the two captured enemy banners they had (only moments before) been so proud of.

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The battle was drawing to a close. The arabs, who had suspiciously avoided the fight for the whole battle, except for their impetuous general who had to charge or die, started to fall back. The enemy would not reach them. The crossbows released one last hail of shot into the woods and slew a good half of the greatswords, including the wizard (in a lucky distribution of two shots roll!). The Black Guard swordsmen now chose to advance to the now abandoned hill where the handgunners had been, cheering and shouting as if they meant business.

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Bertrand on the flank could hardly believe it. The enemy was withdrawing. It was a enough to claim they had won the day, though it did not feel much like victory.

A fly landed ion his nose. A fat, black, filthy swamp fly. Bertand swatted it and burst it and blood ran down his face.

A young wit beside him laughed: “You been bloodied in battle again, captain?”

Bertrand grinned, then wondered whether the inn still had any ale left in it.

Note: I would like to thank my good friend Ant for providing me with an enemy which fitted the bill perfectly. (And his good wife for cooking a proper Sunday dinner!) He has dwarfs too, so I didn’t know in advance what I was getting. I’d simply said the League was dwarfs and Empire and DoW and left him to come up with a 2,500 pointer. The army he came up with certainly looked terrifying with its huge regiments. This was a hard but extremely enjoyable battle. Of course, as usual, I thought I had lost until the points were reckoned up. Ever the pessimist it seems!

Also Ant, sorry about really messed failing to get good focused shots of your army. These truly were the only usable pictures, and some of these are fuzzy!
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Post Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:01 am

Re: An Old Campaign #1

Meanwhile, back in the city itself ...

Goods Received.
(A Tale of Salty Sea Dogs.)


“Aye, we have papers!” said the master. “Like I said it’s all legitimate. House van de Kuypers’ factor in Magritta hired our ship to bring this stuff here.”

Gobril looked at the huge man in front of him. To be honest, most men looked huge to the gnome, but this ship’s master had real presence. No doubt he was rarely questioned by his crew. “I should like, master, to see them.”

The captain pulled out several folded papers from a pocket. The gnome closed his book of lading and glanced over at the ship’s bosun before taking the proffered papers. The bosun was definitely nervous. Did he fear his master? Or the House’s half-ogre harbour guard, Fobrat? Or just being in Marienburg at this dangerous time? Or was it something else?

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The papers were fine, exactly as they should be. Gobril knew the factor’s hand, and had accepted shipments just like this before. Admittedly, that particular agent usually employed one of the House’s ships, or a certain little carrack from Magritta whose master was almost invariably inebriated on hot liquors but whose crew laughed it off and got on with things.

These fellows, however, Gobril had never met. And their ship, a caravel named the Swiftsail, had to his knowledge never been to Marienburg ever before. It must be the war, he thought. For a start, there was limited profit in lading such a small ship as this – but if it’s all that could be found, what with all the fighting, then needs must!

“I don’t like your accent!” said Gamwick, the House’s halfling cook, quite unexpectedly.

Gobril had not wanted the halfling here today, but he’d come to inspect the salted hams brought in yesterday and hanging in the dockside store-house. And Gobril had certainly not wanted Gamwick to bring his wife. Now the halfling was apparently trying to annoy this foreign captain!

“And why’s that, my little friend?” inquired the ship’s master.

“Sounds like Altdorf to me. Sounds like a landlubber Sigmarite.”

“Ah, now,” answered the master, “you’ve nothing to fear from me little one. I may talk funny but I don’t do funny business – if you see what I mean.” Looking back at Gobril, he declared, “Enough! The papers are good. We’re leaving this cargo, and you’re paying for our carriage. We’ll take most of the money in kind – we need powder to make it safely back to Magritta. And we need it quick, because we’re going in one hour. The bosun here will see to the unloading and take the money and powder. I shall take a drink while it is done.”

“Drink!” growled Fobrat suddenly, causing everyone but the ship’s master to flinch.

Laughing, the master stamped over to the nearest alehouse.



An hour later, the remainder of the cargo had been unladed and now sat upon the dock. It was such a rush that Gobril had only time to inspect the contents of the first three crates and one of the sacks. Fine linen damasks and Bretonnian salt. The master was back, and briefly examined the three large budge barrels of best powder. It was all a little caravel like his could take, but it was worth 70% of their pay. The rest had been paid in gold. All the necessary tickets had been written out, and the requisite marks applied by all the necessary parties.

Fobrat banged his huge mace on the ground, splintering some of the dock’s timbers in doing so. It got everyone’s attention. “We to look at all cargoes. See everything. This how it done.”

The master grinned. “Well, aye, you must. We have to go, however, or we shall be stuck here waiting for the next tide. Complain to your factor if he’s got anything wrong.”

The master was resting his left hand upon the pistol tucked in his belt. He winked at Gobril.

“Let’s not keep the man, Fobrat. He’s done good service I am sure, and besides if he crosses us he’ll never get business in this city again – and what ship’s master can afford such folly!”

The master and his bosun turned and stepped onto their ship. Gamswick was fiddling with one of the sacks, right at the bottom of the pile. Fobrat was quietly grunting, obviously disturbed. The ship’s crew use two oars to push off from the dock, and then several started rowing, while others hoisted the sail to catch the breeze. The wind favoured their exit from the harbour as well as the tide.

“Ho! Gobril, look here!” shouted Gamwick. “This isn’t salt.”

Gobril ran to see what the Halfling meant. Sand was pouring from the torn seam of the sack as Gamwick pulled it further open.

“Who that?” came the sudden booming voice of the half ogre.

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The group turned to look out to the ship and saw immediately there was indeed someone on deck who had not shown himself earlier. The newcomer’s armour, covering his whole body apart from his head, gleamed in the sun. His shock of white hair and long, straggly beard competed with the shining armour for brightness.

“By the gods, that’s no sailor!” cried Gobril. “That’s a Sigmarite, for certain, one of them fighting priests, don’t you think?”

“I don’t know,” said Gamwick.

“Fobrat, does he have any marking upon his breastplate?” Gobril asked the half-ogre. The brute’s eyes had proven as nimble as a hawk’s in the past.

Everyone looked. While Fobrat scrutinised the armoured man, Gamwick piped up. “See that one at the back with the crossbow? He’s pointing that at you, Gobril, don’t you think? That just isn’t friendly at all!”

“Star with two tails,” Fobrat finally answered.

“Damn them! Manaan curse them, and us for being fools!” cried the gnome in anguish. “We gave them powder, and gold!”

“And they gave us sand,” said Gamwick, the note of mockery quite audible to Gobril, if not to Fobrat.

Within moments Fobrat was ringing the bell, and folk began rushing around hither and thither.

“Fire at them! No, wait, you’ll hit the other ships!” someone cried unhelpfully.

Gobril ducked through the manic crowd and ran to the alehouse the master had just been in. “Sigmarites,” he shouted, wheezing at the effort of the run. “Sigmarite robbers, in a boat, out there. Enemies, tricksters …”

Chairs and tables started to tumble and scrape, and it was all the gnome could do to leap out of the way as umpteen sailors, some perhaps a little worse for drink, bounded out of the place and hurtled towards the nearest boat, a tiny sloop moored only 30 yards from where the Swiftsail had been.

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Veteran sailors all, they knew full well what was needed in such a pursuit – knowledge of the waters, good seamanship and well tended handguns. Like most Marienburg sailors they had all three, for the master of this particular little sloop kept a good store of handguns for just such situations as these. It just so happened this was a boat made for chasing.

Out ahead, the Sigmarite vessel was under full sail, but playing it safe and going out into the Manaansport Sea by the safest, most oft used and deepest route. The priest of Sigmar had moved abaft to peer back and watch the pursuers. All the men aboard were armed with pistols and cutlasses, and tried to give the impression that they meant to use them. What they didn’t understand was that the Marinburgers were not going to give them a chance.

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The little sloop, a fast, light, clean boat, stiff in the water, sailing well on a bowline as it was much more weatherly than the caravel, seemed at first to be making in the wrong direction – but only to a landlubber’s eyes. She sailed close hauled to the wind and at speed, gaining distance, then tacked about and came at the enemy from windward, all the time making use of little known channels that only the best of Marienburg’s native pilots would dare to risk.

This manoeuvring got them close, but not too close. Just as they appeared to be heading straight for enemy’s stern quarter, as if to grapple her and board…

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… the skilled crewman at the tiller suddenly changed tack and swung the sloop to leeward. At that moment, five handguns opened fire, each loaded with double shot and swan shot, and each aimed at a different enemy, for these fellows knew how not to waste shot by targeting whichever foe seemed to be in the same position as they were in the line of the ship. The foremost man shot the enemy standing in the eyes, the rearmost sailor sent his cloud of lead spinning at the priest now standing on the prey’s poop deck.

Five Sigmarites fell, leaving only three or four left. The little sloop now tacked once more and came swinging towards the Swiftsail’s bow, so close that the two vessels scraped noisily against each other. Now four pistols came into play, as the ships both lurched and juddered, felling two more Sigmarites.

It was enough. Within an hour, both vessels were safely back at the dock. Two minutes after that, the crew were back in their alehouse.

Gamswick gestured helpfully at the pile of corpses the Fobrat had dragged from the caravel. “Better note them in your book, Gobril, in the good’s received column!”
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Post Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:48 pm

Re: An Old Campaign #1

Raiders

Warboss Gorescar the Perturbed thought long and hard. Well, long and hard for him, which is about the time it takes for a goblin to die if its leg is severed. Not long at all really.

He was thinking that he must do more than simply meet the enemy army in the field. That’s what they would be expecting, and yes, that’s what they would get. But he wanted to give them even more trouble than that. Think ‘tacticals’ as he put it eruditely to his current Big Bosses – clever like the humans, but nastier. That’s where these Mary Anne Burgers let themselves down. They did a lot of thinking, some fighting, then kept stopping to talk to the enemy, nattering away about treaties and agreements. Parlays they called it. Endless parlays. It was about time someone did some proper fighting!

Well, that’s what the Greenskins were here to do. And Gorescar meant to do better than all of them. Which is why he was doing all this thinking. He wanted the other Warbosses to know he fought three battles for every one of theirs, and played war tricks to boot.

He had already sent out his wolf riders to scout, but even warbosses whose heads had been bashed into new shapes did that. He’d got his cleverest goblins to fashion up a new kind of rock lobber, using clay pots filled with that black powder the sea orcs used in their iron guns, and wrapped with smouldering, oil spattered rags. The gobos had demonstrated for him, and he was impressed with the massive flash of fire and smoke the pot made when it smashed into the ground and shattered . Admittedly, he wasn’t so impressed when one of the pots exploded prematurely and destroyed the war machine, but the goblins had promised to build him one that was, “Bigger, better, with ‘bangier’ pots”. Gorescar decided to give them one more chance.

Now he had a new idea. He decided he would fight the next battle with his meanest lads, of which he had plenty. Which left him with his ‘arrer boys’ and the gobos spare. So he would send them on a raid, to see if they could steal some of the enemy’s supplies. The clever part was that they would march, banging drums and stuff, so that they might also confuse the enemy about where the orc armies where. They wouldn’t creep around like thieves, but make the noise of an army on the move. This way even if they couldn’t find anyone to rob then they would have at least made the enemy divide their strength or become distracted or expose a flank.

Clever!

Gorescar shouted to his standard bearer to follow him, and leapt onto the back of his pet wyvern, Spikey.

The standard bearer, Bollag, wasn’t worried about keeping up, even with a wyvern. You see, Spikey was a wyvern, no one denied that, but it wasn’t fully grown. It was to a full-grown wyvern what a goblin was to an orc. It was still impressive, moreso than even the angriest boar, but not exactly what usually came to mind when someone said the word ‘wyvern’.

It didn’t help either that Spikey’s wings had been so badly mangled at birth (when its mother tried to eat it) that a goblin slave had cut them off. Gorescar, who'd always been an imaginative orc, cut off the slave’s arms so he would know what it felt like. The lack of wings meant that Bollag could keep up, just.

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The three of them, Gorescar, Spikey and Bollag, bolted through the wilderness to find the arrer boyz camp. Once there, Gorescar wasted no time. While Spikey roared (well, squeeled) he yelled for all the gits to form up. They rushed to obey the Warboss’s command, especially the goblins, many of whom had a certain armless goblin friend who regularly encouraged them, by his presence alone, to reconsider any notions of tardiness or rebellion.

Soon the two regiments were standing in their ranks and files, standards and musicians to the fore, awaiting to hear what their Warboss had to say. Falch, best friend of the goblin boss Mugglehid, nudged said boss.

“Here we go, eh? This is it, int it? He’s gonna speak, int he. To us. An’ that means fighting, you bet. Which means dying … Mugglehid, you listening? … dying I said, and I’d say it again but three times would be unlucky. You marks my words. You gotta start thinkin’ ‘bout standin’ at the back more often. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again. Don’t feel shy, I’ll be there with ya mate!”

Meanwhile in the orcen regiment, the conversation was less lengthy. An old veteran, Hookey, jabbed his mate Crookstab in the ribs with the less sharp end of a crossbow bolt and said, “Gotcha!”

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“Listen up all of youz,” began Gorescar. “An’ listen well. I got orders fer all of ya! An’ all of ya are gonna obey. Get going, get out there…” (he helpfully pointed off towards the hills.) “… an’ find them humans in blues an’ whites. You find their wagons, you find their mules, you find their asses …” (giggles from the goblins) “… you find ‘em an’ take ‘em an’ bring ‘em back here. I want their stuff, you bring it to me. An’ ya can let ‘em know you’z there, let ‘em hear yer drums. You lads are an army now.”

The orcs obediently cheered, most of them enthusiastically. The goblins tried their best, but the attempt was somewhat ruined by an audible smattering of sobbing amongst them. Right at the back of the orcen regiment, Hookey prodded Crookstab a second time.

“What we cheerin’ for?”

“Dunno, couldn’t hear,” answered Crookstab. “Does it matter?”

“Naah! Just finkin’. Reckon I‘ll go get all me arrer’s from the hut. Reckon if we’re cheering then we’re off to a fight.”

Two hours later the column of bow armed warriors - all green, some large, some small – were picking their way through the very same hills that Gorescar had pointed at during his rousing speech. The orcs led the way, the goblins struggling to keep up in the rear.

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Falch and Mugglehid, leaders of the goblin regiment, made their own way alongside the marching regiment, keeping an eye out for trouble and what not (as they put it to their soldiers).

“I is not so sure we can stand at the back, y’know? What’ll the lads think?” asked Mugglehid.

Falch was quick to answer, “They’s be thinkin’ they wanna be there too!”

“See, that’s why I is boss and you is a useless git. They’d be thinkin’ that alright, and then they’d be doing it, and we’d all be goin’ backwards, and then the enemies won’t be getting stuck all over wiv our arrers, and then the enemies would be on us, at us, chopping us into little bits, and we’s all getting dead and me and you at the back is just dying a little bit later than the rest.”

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“’Av it your way then, Mugglehid, my friend,” yielded Falch as gracefully as he could. “We’s bein’ at the front again. But don’t you go getting all angry and mean wiv me if a bullet ball is killing yer!”


………………………………………………………

Lucius Waldmor, watch captain of Middenheim, stood at the threshold of his tent. He’d ordered the caravan to camp in the hills just off the Marienburg to Altdorf road.

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He’d set sentinels all around the camp, including on the slopes above it, but the cunning part was moving away from the road. The chances are the enemy would be looking to raid supply convoys moving along that road, not here in the hills to the south. He wished he could move through the hills too, not just camp in them, but the huge wagons simply could not make headway along the paths. No, for his journeying, it would have to be the highways and not the byways. At least his men could sleep that little more safely, however, due to his cunning.

To be honest Waldmor was less than happy with this particular command. In his opinion he had too few men. They were all regulars, professional soldiers, but a file of handgunners and a file of halberdiers was not what he considered sufficient to guard a caravan of this size and this close to the front. His sergeant, Clophart, a black haired fellow from the southern Empire with what must be Tilean or Estalian blood in him, agreed. The two of them had made a fine sport of complaining about it, though never within earshot of the men. Waldmor, initially suspicious of the southerner, was warming to the fellow. He still did not know why Clophart had come north, what he had escaped from, but the way in which the southerner sported an Estalian style of helmet and a Tilean cloak (even if blue and white) proved he did not feel he had to hide his origins. In the end, Waldmor decided Clophart was simply a professional soldier, happy to serve his adopted city loyally as long as he was paid.

As the sentinels tried their best to keep their eyes open after a days marching, the column of greenskins drew closer. They had slowed, for their scouts had come running back to report the camp’s presence. Mugglehid suggested that they form a line, so that anyone they met would face more ‘arrers’, and the orcen boss (a dopey old greenskin nicknamed ‘LoudFart’ by the goblins) had agreed.

Falch had volunteered to go ahead and get a better look, while the rest of the lads moved slowly up. After an hour of ‘Sshh!’, ‘Hush’ and ‘Wisht!’ Hookey and Crookstab were starting to get on the other orcs’ nerves, mainly because their guffaws and laughs in between the shushes were much louder than any noise the others were making. Then Flach came back.

“Hold it!” he announced cockily, “Hold up and listen up! They’re just through them trees, an’ if ya know what’s good fer yer, yer won’t be rushin’ in like daft gits.”

Loudfart, made suddenly nervous by the expectation, did exactly what he was famous for. “Ssshh!” came Hookey and Crookstab’s quick response.

Mugglehid, tryin’ not to laugh, and hoping by his words to distract LoudFart’s attention from the mass of goblins trying frantically to suppress laughter, spoke up, “How many, Falch?”

“Only a handful standing about, the rest is kippin’ in tents. But there’s four big wagons filled with stuff.”

“We’ll ‘av those for starters!” said Mugglehid. “Loud … erm, Boss Daggle, make the line longer. We’ll creep up, and give ‘em what for!”

Loudfart scratched his head, nodding his ascent and so not having to move his hand. “Do what he says,” he shouted in a whispery way. Then louder, “Do it now!”

The greenskins obliged and started to move forwards through the last of the trees.

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When they eventually emerged from the trees, their line had broken up a little bit, mostly on the goblins’ side, and that because Falch kept finding excuses to slow down. Mugglehid was getting annoyed, but for a goblin that wasn’t much different from his normal mood.

Out they came, arrows notched, and within moments starting raining death down upon the sentinels and the camp.

Some of the sentinels had half a dozen red and black fletched arrows in them before their bodies hit the ground. The greenskins were starting to enjoy themselves.

Lucius Waldmor, upon seeing the first of the arrows in the air, began to shout, “Alarm! Everyone get ….”

But his voice suddenly was cut off. Quite literally, in fact, as an arrow tore through his neck! Clophart, stood in shock for a moment, transfixed by the bloody sight of Waldmor tumbling forwards. Then an arrow clanged into helmet, slid off its curves and spun off into Waldmor’s tent.

He turned to see the long lines of Greenskins standing upon the hillsides, while the body of a sentinel half slid, half rolled down the slope before them.

“To hell with Middenheim” he muttered, before fleeing as fast as his legs could carry him away from the camp.

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Arrows fell like rain, and within what was only a few moments, there was not a man left standing in the camp. Hookey and Crookstab, old hands at everything to do with war, had known what would happen as soon as they spied the camp. There were far more bows than necessary for this job, which gave them all the excuse to slink off to the right of the greenskin line and make their own way down the hill.

As soon as they heard Boss Daggle’s shout of “Stop” the two of them rushed straight towards the camp. They were the first in, jogging together through two of the huge wagons.

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“Look at all this stuff!” yelled Hookey.

“Forget lookin’, mate,” said Crookstab. “Let’s get robbing!”

Before any other greenskins had made it into the camp, the two old orcs were already sitting on the highest-heaped wagon, pouring strong ale down their throats whilst gorging on two cured hams.

“Get lost!” shouted Hookey at the first goblins who approached, waving his crossbow with one hand. “This one’s ours. Find yer own!”
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Post Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:17 am

Re: An Old Campaign #1

A peek at the Merchant's Assembly 'Committee if War'

Here you can see Marienburg's 'finest' arguing over the map. I am sure you other nations have interesting 'discussions' over tactics - ours are so much so it seems certain fellows like to point out things with their unsheathed swords! It really is not the fashionable way. I know they only want to adopt a military manner and appearance, but what about health and safety? Still I can't complain, Bertrand nearly took that fellow in the corner's nose off!

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Bertrand le Bourreur is there in red - he seems to get in a lot of these reports. (Zelig?) It could be Lord Meingeld that we can see from behind, though if it is he's suddenly changed his entire wardrobe. The Duchess is there in her delightful dining gown - she's adopted the classical style in honour of Myrmida, the Tilean goddess of War. And what better style, my Lady, in such an age? Ah, the Lady has such style, such grace, Bertrand has trouble taking his eyes off her. (Maybe he really should stop swinging his sword around behind him?)

The other two fellows I'm not too sure about. They could be Von Wallenstein and/or Mogsam van Der Macht? Or merely some ship captains come to receive secret orders.
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Post Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:27 am

Re: An Old Campaign #1

Green Dusk
Battle Report

Lieutenant General Matthias Widmer, commander of the ‘Glorious’ Second Army of the City State of Middenheim, formed to supplement the standing army for this war and made up of old veterans and young recruits, was ready for battle. Not that he had commanded such a force before (in reality my opponent was a DE player trying the Empire out), but he was confident in his men. Soon the foolish Marienburgers would understand what idiocy it was to argue with the great power that is Middenheim.

His force was a good mixture of the standard elements, ready for anything (or so he thought): Large regiments of swordsmen and halberdiers, with detachments of missile and melee troops; two companies of knights, another of Pistoliers, as well as Huntsmen scouts, two cannons and two battle wizards.

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To show his loyalty to the City of the White Wolf, even the general’s crockery was decorated with suitable heraldry. (i.e. We used my special Middenheim plate for the snacks!)

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Windmer was approaching the ruins of a hamlet. There were many such places to the east of Marienburg, what with the whole area having been fought over for weeks by Middenhiemer, Marienburger, League and Orcen forces. Every building, even the small temple, was burnt out and collapsed. Is this what Marienburg itself would look like at the conclusion of this grand conflict?

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The general, however, was in for a surprise. His scouts came running back to report an enemy force, and they were not what he expected. They were Greenskins, a veritable army, and they were deploying for battle. They had more than fifty goblin and orc archers and as many orcen warriors in two huge regiments. They had three war chariots, one carrying a brute of an orc. Two spear chuckers were already deployed, and two mobs of wolf riders and boar riders were manoeuvring into place.

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A cautious commander, Widmer had his Handgunner detachments move ahead of his main bodies of foot to act as missile screens. Less cautiously, however, he joined one of the two bodies of knights and ordered both front and centre, hoping that with one sudden blow they could swing the battle their way right from the start.

The orcs were led by Chief Gabbgit, a mean old Black Orc warrior who had not really intended to fight that day. In fact, in a way, he still didn’t intend to do so. He had got it into his head that this was merely an advance force of Middenheimers and that a bigger force lay behind. Thus he was determined to win this battle, if possible, without committing his two main regiments of orcs (one of which was Big ‘Uns). He would brush this particular enemy aside with riders and chariots and bows.

(NB: This is just about the ‘luckiest’ I’ve ever been in a game. Being a Marienburger I was playing the orcs, and nothing – and I do mean nothing - went wrong. All failed animosity tests apart from one simply moved me forward. This twice allowed bows to fire who had been previously out of range, and twice brought units into charge range who probably wouldn’t have been able to charge otherwise. Today it felt really good being Green!)

The battle opened with the wolfriders darting through a gap to attempt to silence one of the enemy cannons. Meanwhile the boar riders and a chariot took advantage of the cover provided by the ruins to move up on the same flank.

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The rest of the army simply shifted back a bit. Chief Gabbgit wanted to see what would happen next before he committed anything else. The two main orc regiments stood side by side, ready to offer each other support if anything got through.

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And something was coming. Throwing aside his usual caution, General Widmer personally led the two bodies of Middenheim’s finest forwards, while the pistoliers galloped behind their rear to attenpt to defend their flank. The bodies of foot, apparently, were forgotten about, and shuffled around nervously, watching their noble masters advancing ahead of them.

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The huntsmen and handgunners tried to panic the wolf riders who were approaching to threaten the cannon, but felled only two. They were not going to stop. The cannons failed to dent the enemy (one misfiring). Gabbgit yelled at his orcen warriors to stand and not to move forwards, for he had noticed that the boar chariots might get a charge in on the advancing knights. His orcs were more frustrated at this than nervous, but followed their terrifying leader’s orders nevertheless.

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Then suddenly the cannon crew were charged by the wolf riders while one chariot ploughed into the knights. Two knights died from the terrible impact alone (I rolled a 6, which was how things were going to be for me throughout this battle), and although the knights won the combat, the chariot stood its ground.

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The wolves slew enough of the cannon crew to break them, including the wizard with them. When the crew fled, the wolfriders cut them all down and slammed into the Handgunner detachment behind. Gabbgit, to be honest, couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

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The Middenheimers started to move to try to counter the greenskin threats: the wizard attempted the beast cowers to slow down the hateful chariots, the Huntsmen, still cowering amongst the ruins attempted to shoot the Boar riders, while the surviving cannon killed one orc arrer boy! Things were not going well. The knights did send the chariot fleeing, but they couldn’t catch it in pursuit. Now a second chariot smashed into the same poor body of knights. This chariot would prove better than the first, locking the surviving knights in a drawn out struggle for several subsequent turns.

On the Greenskin right flank, the boar riders now began to emerge from the ruins ready to charge whoever they could in the flank. Trundling behind came a boar chariot, fully intending to support whatever the orcs before them did.

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The wolf-riders easily dispatched the handgunners, and now found themselves in combat with the Swordsmen, thus now contacting the kind of enemy they hadn’t a chance of defeating. In the centre, the Middenheim General, terrified of falling victim like the other knights to a devastating chariot charge, launched his own charge at the fleeing chariot.

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They couldn’t reach it, however, and found themselves somewhat exposed right in front of the two huge regiments of orcen foot!

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Meanwhile, the wolf riders had broken and fled (no surprise) but the Swordsmen couldn’t reach them to destroy them and found themselves facing a charge from the Board riders off to their side. It was all they could do to turn and face the enemy so as to not receive the blow in their own flank.

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When the Empire wizard then miscast the worst that could happen was to occur. Instead of his own spell harming the enemy, a greenskin spell was brought into being, the Foot of Gork, slaying one of the General’s own knights. The Pistoliers charged the goblins fully expecting to send them running, but the weight of numbers was against the young gentlemen, and the goblins stood their ground.

Now even Gabbgit knew he must use his orcs, what with the knights and the enemy general faltering in front of him, but when he charged, General Wildmer fled! It seemed that fate was going to force Gabbgit to stick to his original intention of keeping his orc warriors out of the fight!

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The orcen arrer boys now slaughtered the handgunner detachment trying to shield the advancing halberdiers, while the spear chucker crews couldn’t work out what to shoot at. General Wildmer, now that he was out of harm’s reach, rallied his knights (what few remained), and turned around d t see that the goblins and the chariot were still holding their ground against the pistoliers and the other knights. How could he salvage victory from this debacle?

Then, hearing strange squeals and battle cries, he glanced to his left. The Boar Riders had finally plunged into the swordsmen. The brave soldiers stood their ground, though they were badly mauled.

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Their defiant spirit was not to last as the last chariot now came around and hurtled into their flank. His sent them fleeing, and all were hacked down, trodden underfoot or tossed into the air by the vicious boars’ tusks. Astoundingly the goblin archers fought on against the pistoliers, both side slowly being whittled down but neither yielding to the foe. (Even though I forgot their rank bonus until they no longer had one!)

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Desperate to retain his reputation, General Wildmer now led one last defiant advance towards the enemy. As he arrived, he realised he was about to be charged by fifty orcs and a chariot, at the same time.

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Choosing flight once again, it was his last choice. The chariot tore him and his last knights down.

Off to the very left of the orc’s lines, the boars now ran into the cannon, slaughtering the crew. And although the Halberdiers finally got to grips with the arrer boyz, chasing tem off the field, the reformed only to see the battle already lost and nothing they could do.

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The huntsmen, who had lurked amongst the ruins throughout the whole battle, now slinked away from the field.

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And as darkness fell on this late summer’s evening, the last surviving two pistoliers finally lost heart and fled, galloping off the field as fast as they had come on, although now they were utterly alone!

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Gabbgit couldn’t believe it. He’d won, he’d massacred the foe, and not one orcen warrior had even had to raise their choppa! With a loud cry, he commanded his whole army to ready themselves for the march.

“Now,” he thought, “let’s go and find a proper army to fight!”
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Post Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:25 am

Re: An Old Campaign #1

Well sir. Best bat reps I've ever read. And that's coming from a 40k partisan.
I have just enjoyed reading these very much and check back frequently to see if you've updated.
Hope you have a lot more to show us.

Good God man, you even have a themed snack platter.

Really well done.
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Post Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:34 pm

Re: An Old Campaign #1

Thanks Orjetax for your comment. It has right cheered me up!

This thread is only the first internet Campaign (2008) I was involved in. Probably also the simplest one. I have done MANY more since then, with ludicrous numbers of photo Bat Reps wound in. It is my intention to do a thread for each of them, approximately one post per day. It will take some time.

Now to do the last bit for the Crisis in Marienburg ...
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Post Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:51 pm

Re: An Old Campaign #1

The following was a joke piece to reflect the fears of a certain allied player ...

Uryen's Dream

Uryens tried to get some sleep. He knew it would be fitful, what with the world of worries pressing upon him. The fact he tossed and turned for over an hour, hearing the words spoken by the mad woman in the council, did not bode well for his need for rest.

Then he finally fell asleep. Before long, he was dreaming.

He was walking down a street in the Palace District, and had just reached the central crossroads. He'd been here many times before, but this time something was wrong.

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He couldn't put his finger on it, so instead he unsheathed his sword. He felt very alone - where was the crowd of Marienburg citizens that should throng such a place as this in the middle of the day? He looked up at the sky - it was noon. Bright, blue, clear, but not reassuring.

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Then he looked down again, for there was a noise which sent a shiver down his spine. Squeeling, hissing, growling, squeeking. And it came from all around! When he turned to look down the street, he couldn't believe his eyes. Spinning around on the spot to look every which way, his lack of belief only grew. They were upon all four streets!

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A great mass of foul ratmen, all garbed for war, moving towards him, their evil intent writ plain (and permanent) upon their features. Chittering, sniggering, snarling.

Uryens felt his legs weaken, his grip upon his sword slip, as fear assaulted his entire frame.

They were everywhere, and they were coming for him!

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He screamed! And in that moment, woke up.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And this was the last piece from the campaign ...

Fighting in the Streets!

Bertrand le Bourrer, Captain General of House van de Kuypers, knew that it was all hands to the pump now. To defend the city every able bodied man would have to fight, and every weapon must be brought to bear upon the enemy. So, after asking permission of the House, he ordered that every piece of artillery, no matter how old, how big or how small, upon the ‘Vengeful’ (van de Kuypers’ badly damaged flagship) be removed. She was being repaired and prepared for the fight at sea, but her ordinance was needed now in the very streets of the city. He intended to 'borrow' it a while.

Bertrand sent the house’s Quartermaster General to look over the Vengeful. Here he is upon the fo’c’sle looking at a rotten and cannon blasted part of the gunwhale...

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Meanwhile the ship’s old captain, Balthazar Gruber, standing upon the poop deck, waxed lyrical of old battles to his first mate, and made a vow that the Vengeful would sail again to far distant lands – once this war was over.

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Before long the quay beside before the ship looked like an arsenal, for the great old warship carried demiculverins and murdering pieces, minions and falconets, and even two culverins! Somewhat short of ‘manpower’ the House had to resort to greenskin mercenaries – and here they can be seen standing guard behind old captain Gruber.

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(Notice off to the right, guarding the house’s precious fortified dock-side storehouses stand a little company of Nipponese warriors, rumoured to be the most skilful of all men with swords, able to match prowess and speed with a blade even with High Elves.)

Before the day was out the artillery pieces had been emplaced at every bridge to the Palace Quarter, and each and every one was loaded with deadly chain shot, double head and burrel. The Middenheimers were in for a surprise or two.

They came just after dusk, swarming through the streets, and heading for the bridges.

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Upon the small and ancient bridge on the eastern part of the island, next to the Gull and Trident, sat two of the Vengeful’s guns, behind a hastily constructed barrier of Kislevian logs.

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Oh yes, the Middenhiemers were in for a surprise! The Red Guard Halberdiers behind grinned and joked, for once the guns had unleashed a deadly cloud of iron, the crews had been commanded to fall back and let the halberdiers take their place. What a surprise it would be for the deafened, half blind survivors of the blast to find that as they stumbled across their mutilated, fallen comrades and emerged from the smoke the barricade would be now defended by mass ranks of sharp steel.

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May Marienburg prosper! The gods save Emperor Philip.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This piece was posted just before the campaign ended. As you can probably guess things were not going well for my faction. The city defences had been breached by several forces, and we were reduced to fighting in the streets over each little island ward (thus my last piece). We didn't win the campaign, though I can't recall our placing. One of the things I love about these campaigns is that they are 100% as enjoyable if your faction is losing rather than winning. This experience in 2008 set me off down a new path, which pleasantly resulted in a lot of 'campaign awards' and 'medals'. Right now I am doing this sort of thing myself, running my own campaign with my friends, with bat reps and fluff pieces, painting loads of new stuff.

Surprisingly the 'Crisis in Marienburg' forum still exists on the net (so many other campaign sites have vanished) and can (at the time of writing) be found at http://www.marienburgcampaign.com/forum/index.php
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Post Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:10 pm

Re: An Old Campaign #1

Great reports.

I love your painting style, while maybe not the best close-up I think they look great on the battlefield, like a comic or something.

I must ask, what edition do you play, the regiments seem large enough for 8:th edition. & if the latest edition, what armylist do you use for the Marienburgers?

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Post Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:46 am

Re: An Old Campaign #1

Love these reports! At the same time I hate them as my painting schedule is getting out of whack! I'm currently painting my skaven but I'm going to start on my Dogs of War pay chest and an old citadel cart, for no other reason than to look good in a batrep! I'm also badly tempted to make a human mercenary force on the strength of this thread. :roll: Keep it up goddamit!
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