Monday, January 31, 2011

Warhammer 40,000 Battle Report: Fortress Antorktica - Part 2

The Setup
This battle was the second part of a planned 3-part mini-campaign between my Tyranids of Hive Fleet Maturin, and some Orks who have taken over an entire continent on an Imperial world. You can read the battle report from the first game in the campaign here.

This second battle would represent the Tyranid forces staging a preemptive attack on some Ork mobile reinforcements to prevent them from counter-attacking at the point of the main Tyranid attack. If the Tyranids could delay the Ork counter-attack, their breakthrough of the main Ork defenses would stand a much grater chance of success.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Borodino: The Moscova by F. G. Hourtoulle

BORODINO: THE MOSCOVA: The Battle for the Redoubts is a useful reference for painting figures for Napoleon's 1812 campaign in Russia, but the other information in it is less useful, and it spends very little time describing the battle of Borodino itself. It definitely would not be good as a general introduction to the battle or the uniforms of the participants.

The book includes many uniform plates which cover every division that took part in the Battle of Borodino from both sides. These are excellent and very detailed, though not exhaustive. I can't speak to the accuracy of them, since if I knew everything about the uniforms already I wouldn't need the book, would I? They would definitely be most useful to someone who already knew the basics about the uniforms involved, however. As I mentioned, the book wouldn't be a good introduction to the uniforms, as it doesn't really cover the basics. There are many examples of Russian infantry uniforms from various divisions, but they don't all have captions, and there isn't an explanation of why one might differ from another. Does the uniform differ because he is an NCO? Because he is in a different company or a different regiment? Most of the captions mention the rank of someone, and if they are a grenadier or a drummer or what have you, but without any explanation of how this is reflected in the uniform. So if you already know the basics like that, this is a great reference.

Speaking of which, I have found this website to be an incredible reference for everything about Napoleonic armies. You can easily find the general information about Russian uniforms on that site, and a lot of details as well.

Also included are pictures and explanations about the flags carried by Russian regiments. The number and types of flags carried is explained by the author, and there are pictures of his best guess of the flags carried by each regiment at the battle (as he admits he is not certain about many of them). This also adds to the value of the book as a reference when putting together miniature armies.

The book also contains a huge number of portraits of many of the main players and other high ranking officers. This may or may not be valuable when putting together an army, but it is interesting to put a face to the names. There are also various paintings of the battle reproduced in the book, so it contains plenty of things to look at in terms of reference information and just general inspiration.

The main drawback to the book is the text. As I said, the pictures are great, but the text leaves something to be desired. First of all, the translation from French was just terrible. Some parts are almost unreadable because they are confusing or contradictory, and much of it is just badly worded. But even if the text was well translated, there isn't much of interest in much of it aside from the lists of units.

The description of the Battle of Borodino takes up 15 pages, and is very mechanical. It's mostly just a chronological description of when various formations of men moved and to where, without much real context to it. It's not very evocative, and it doesn't provide much inspiration. The 15 pages does include 6 maps showing the position of forces, many nice paintings, plus a few drawings of how the redoubts were laid out. These are all nice, but four of the 15 pages are just paintings and have no text on them at all, and most of the pages have something besides text, so that probably gives you some idea how basic the description of the battle is.

In addition, the author seems to be very biased in his views and what information he presents. It seems to me like the only purpose of the text is to convince the reader that the French army was hugely outnumbered and at a great disadvantage, yet managed to win a great an unmitigated victory at Borodino, killing 5 times the number of enemy as they lost themselves. Napoleon only waited around in Moscow afterward because he had the decency to give Alexander the chance to capitulate, which of course any upstanding gentleman would have been obliged to do after such a devastating defeat.

At any rate, the bulk of the text of the book is just a listing of the forces involved, which is more useful from a gaming perspective. Here, too, there is a bit of bias as the French forces are described with much more detail, though this may have been due to availability of sources of information. Naturally the author takes every opportunity to conclude that Russian formations included more men than usually attributed, and the French of course had far fewer.

For the Russians, it does break the army down to list each corp, it's divisions, and the regiments in each division. The number of men is only listed at the corp level, which may or may not be enough for gaming purposes. For the French forces the number of men goes down to the divisional level at least, and most of them down to the number of men present in each regiment. On the French side, it also lists what seems like every officer in the entire French army, down to those on each general's staff and leading every division, in excruciating detail. If you've always wanted to know where, when, and how some random aide-de-camp of some random general met his end, or what decorations he received during his military career, now you'll know. Really, I'm not exaggerating. It really does list what must be hundreds of French officers along with about a sentence to summarize their career before and after the battle, and their fate.

If you click the link to the book on Amazon, you can view a sample of the first few pages of the book. This will give you an idea of how the Russian forces are described, (with portraits of many officers in the margins) in addition to a page explaining the Russian flags. Amazon doesn't show a sample page showing the uniform plates int he book, or the level of detail shown for the French forces, but they are quite good. Here are some sample pictures from the book.

Borodino: The Moscova by F. G. Hourtoulle
Borodino: The Moscova by F. G. Hourtoulle
Borodino: The Moscova by F. G. Hourtoulle
Borodino: The Moscova by F. G. Hourtoulle

In summary, the book is a great reference with plenty of uniform plates, portraits, and organizational details, especially for the French forces, though it does assume some knowledge of the basics of the uniforms. So as a uniform reference, it is quite good, though it doesn't clearly lay out everything you'd ever need to know. If you want an introduction to or narrative description of the Battle of Borodino, or the larger campaign in Russia, you aren't going to get it from the few pages of coverage in this book.

The book can be ordered at a significant discount from Amazon.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Grismeire Valley Campaign Turn 3 – High Elves 1st Army Attacking Vampire Counts 3rd Army

The commander of the High Elf Expeditionary Force himself, Prince Finduleas Tethelion of Caledor with his loyal Star Dragon, took his personal entourage to attack the Vampire Counts army defending the bridge southeast of Soude. The Vampire Counts force, led by Count Tepes, would have to hold the bridge at all costs against this determined attack being personally led by the Elven leader. Count Tepes’s only goal would be to fend off the attack by maintaining control of more of the territory on his side of the bridge than the enemy, so that they would be forced to retreat back across the river. The Elves would have to destroy the undead army to gain a foothold on the far side of the bridge. Being one of the few nearby bridges that would allow access to the Vampire Counts base camp, it was an extremely important objective for both sides.

Count Tepes set up his forces in a tight group in a swampy area on the far side of the bridge near some old ruins. He hoped the swampy terrain would bog down the elves so he could counter-attack and finish them off. Lord Tepes was with his Wight King battle standard bearer in a unit of Grave Guard, prepared to reinforce the line wherever the strongest enemy attack came. From their left to right were a unit of skeleton spearmen, a unit of Grave Guard with great weapons led by a vampire, another unit of skeleton spearmen, and a large unit of ghouls led by a vampire.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

The Elves deployed in a long battle line, with Prince Tethelion on his imposing Star Dragon to their far left. Fearing being surrounded by the undead, he went with a strange tactic of using many very small units spread out on a very large front. He brought to battle three units of 15 spearmen each, and four units each of 5 swordmasters. He would try to use these many small units to surround the enemy. He also had a hard-hitting unit of seven dragon princes.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

At the start of the battle, Prince Tethelion moved his entire army straight forward, though they were diverted somewhat by the swampy pools. His two mages, wishing to avoid any actual fighting, left their units and waded into one of the pools to hide themselves. Count Tepes formed his units into a semi-circle to avoid being flanked by the many units trying to surround him. His own unit of Grave Guard he positioned on his left flank to take the charge of the dragon princes.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report
Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

Prince Tethelion then took to the air and landed on the far right flank of the undead army to breathe fire on the unit of ghouls, which had little effect. The dragon princes saw the mighty Count Tepes at the head of his Grave Guard and decided they didn't want to fight him. The rest of the Elven army formed up into a thin, but continuous battle line that arced around the Vampire Counts force.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report
Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

Most of his units were not close enough to charge the enemy, but Count Tepes could feel the noose tightening around his compacted army and had to do something. He had the two units at the center of his line, the Grave Guard with great weapons and a unit of skeleton spearmen, charge the enemy units they could reach. They each would face a unit of High Elf spearmen. It was a huge risk breaking up his battle line like that and leaving a huge hole in it's center, but he couldn't wait around to be surrounded by the enemy. The unit of ghouls on his far right flank turned to face Prince Tethelion so that he wouldn't be able to charge their flank.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

Several of the skeleton spearmen were cut down by the swift elves before they could even attack. Still, seeing the large mass of skeletons bearing down on them caused the cowardly elves to instantly flee as soon as they made contact. The skeletons pursued, but the terrified elves ran so fast there was no chance of catching them. The Grave Guard did even better. They took no casualties while causing the frightened elves to flee and cutting them all down as they fled. One of the Elf mages lost his nerve seeing two units break and run, and he fled as well.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

The mage and the Elf spearman unit both rallied immediately once they were out of danger. The two manges continued to be ineffective, however. They spent most of the battle trying to drain magic to prevent the vampires from being able to revive their fallen soldiers, but the vampires usually got the better of them and dispelled their efforts. The vampires in turn did manage to summon some ghouls and rejuvenate some losses, but not much else.

With their line broken, the Elves tried to rearrange themselves better, with one unit of swordmasters turning to face the pursuing unit of skeleton spearmen. The unit of High Elf spearmen on their far left continued to move around the enemy's right flank. Prince Tethelion went off on his own, swooping down behind Count Tepes's unit of grave guard and breathing fire on them.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report
Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

Count Tepes and his bodyguard were no surrounded by the most powerful high elf units, the dragon princes on one side and Prince Tethelion on his mighty dragon on another. But unlike the overly-cautious elves, perhaps due to their general being off on his own, the Vampire Counts army would not sit idle. One of the other vampires led her skeleton spearmen in a charge against the swordmasters to her front. The other skeleton spearmen, hopelessly out of position and far from any of their vampire leaders, had no choice but to continue advancing and charge the High Elf spearmen again. The Grave Guard with Great Weapons turned around, now in an advantageous position in the enemy's rear. The ghouls again turned to face Prince Tethelion, this time in preparation of having to charge in to help rescue their general. Count Tepes and his Grave Guard could do nothing but steady themselves for the onslaught to come.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

With the help of the vampiress leading them, the skeleton spearmen in the middle defeated the swordmasters, who fled right into the deadly great weapons of the Grave Guard behind them. The nearby unit of swordmasters panicked and ran at the sight of their comrades being slaughtered. The other unit of skeleton spearmen again didn't manage to kill a single Elf in their charge, and being defeated and so far from any of the vampires that controled them, they started to fall apart.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

The broken swordmasters fled a little farther, fumbling through some underbrush. The High Elf spearmen in the back killed several more skeleton spearmen. The rest of the High Elf army just repositioned itself and watched in anticipation as the their lord on his star dragon and a unit of 7 dragon princes charged Count Tepes and his bodyguard at the same time. Prince Tethelion and his dragon focused all of their attacks on the vampire general, Count Tepes. It was, however, a far from impressive showing by Prince Tethelion, who cause no wounds. The dragon's attacks were fierce, but the magical army Count Tepes wore stopped some of them. The dragon did manage to cause some grievous wounds but Count Tepes quickly regenerated from them due to the powerful magic of the Drakenhof Banner carried by his loyal Wight King army standard bearer. With all of their fury, they only managed to cause Count Tepes a single wound. Unfortunately, while he was distracted attempting to ward off their blows, the dragon princes, clearly with no sense of honor, attacked him from the side. One of their lances pierced through his side into his heart, ending the fight for count Tepes. Meanwhile, the dragon prince champion was cut down in a challege by the army standard bearer. The High Elves had caused few wounds, and had lost the combat by a slim margin, but having just slain the enemy general their spirits were high and they didn't even consider fleeing.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report
Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

Despite the loss of their general, the undead army held together remarkably well in his absence of the rest of the battle, a testament to the discipline and undying will of their master. The unit of ghouls led by a vampire wasn't yet close enough to charge in to aid the Wight King against the Elven Prince and dragon princes, so they advanced. The vampire did what he could to help by using his necromantic magic to revive some of the fallen grave guard. The other unit of grave guard turned to face the disordered swordmasters, and the unit of skeleton spearmen in the middle turned to face yet another unit of swordmasters.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

The unit of skeleton spearmen fighting the High Elf spearmen finally succumbed to the weakening of the magic holding them together and was finished off. In the main combat, the dragon killed a few grave guard, and the grave guard in turn killed a couple more of the dragon princes. To the High Elves, it seemed hopeless as they continued to cut down the enemy and they would just rise back up to fight again. It was too much for the dragon princes, who broke and ran, leaving their general on his down. The Grave Guard unit turned to face the prince.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

The broken unit of High Elf swordmasters finally rallies and moved into position next to the few remaining allies nearby. The dragon princes rallied and turned to watch the their Prince do battle with the Grave Guard. The other unit of swordmasters turned to face the skeleton spearmen threatening them. The High Elf army seemed unsure of what to do. In the combat, the Grave Guard champion issued a challenge to the Prince. Stepping in front of the rest of the unit, the champion was prepared to be cut down to protect the others. Incredibly, there was no need. The Prince and Star Dragon combined were unable to cut down the champion, as the powerful magic of their Drakenhof Banner regenerated the little damage they caused. The champion was, however, unable to harm the prince as he was difficult to reach way up there on his dragon. However, by doing no wounds and being very outnumber and surrounded, the Prince lost the combat by a huge margin. (He lost by 6, so needed to pass a leadership test on 4 or less). He stood resolute, however, refusing to retreat, refusing to accept that he could ever be defeated.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

Feeling certain that Prince Tethelion would eventually lose his nerve and flee, the ghouls and skeleton spearmen positioned themselves behind to intercept the fleeing general. The other unit of Grave Guard would have charged a unit of swordmasters, but with their general dead the magic holding them together finally started to fade, and several of them crumbled to the ground. The few left were too important to risk in combat, so they held.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

In the combat, this was the undead's last chance to cause Prince Tethelion to flee before the dragon princes could charge back into combat and the opportunity would likely be lost for good. The Prince and his dragon did better this time, cutting down the champion. But by now, surrounded and outnumbered and not seeming to be making any progress, Tethelion lost hope. He fled in dismay, and his dragon landed on the unit of ghouls, the confusion causing it to go into a hysterical panic and fly away, leaving the battle for good.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

The Elves tried one last counter-attack to defeat the enemy. The three remaining units of swordmasters all thought about charging the enemy, two against the Grave Guard with great weapons, and one against the unit of skeleton spearmen. All three units units, however, were overcome with fear and couldn't bring themselves to do it. The Dragon Princes didn't even consider a charge, and just stood where they were, watching incredulously as their general flew away on his dragon with no particular destination.

Warhammer Fantasy High Elves vs Vampire Counts battle report

At the end, the only area of the battlefield that was held uncontested was the quarter held by the Wight King and Grave Guard, but it was enough. The Vampire Counts army was in control of the battlefield, and the Elves were completely leaderless. The Elves were forced to flee back across the Grismeire river in a panic, hoping to find wherever their general had fled to. It was a solid victory for the army of Count Tepes. It might take some time, but the regenerating magic of the Drakenhof Banner would return him to fighting strength eventually.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Supply Raid Black Powder scenario

This is a scenario I wrote for a recent game of Black Powder. There are some things in the scenario specific to the Black Powder rules, but I tried to keep it generic enough to be easily used with other rules. We use centimeters instead of inches for Black Powder, so all the measurements in the scenario are in cm.

Supply Raid
Side A is on the march, and with them is a column of their supplies. Side B has set up an ambush in order to capture or destroy the supplies.

Painted InkBiz 1:200 scale Napoleonic French Infantry

I finished painting up my sample batch of the InkBiz 1:200 scale Napoleonic French infantry figures. You can read my previous review of the figures here. There isn't much to add to the review except that the details, like straps and turnbacks, stand out enough to be easy to paint.

Before I show the pictures, I should make it clear that I am by no means any sort of expert on Napoleonic French uniforms. In fact, I don't know much about them at all. So I'm not sure if I got these right. So if you do know something about Napoleonic French uniforms, please leave a comment and let me know what I got wrong on these. I did read somewhere that the color of the pom pom on the shako was different for each company, and I think the first company is supposed to be green. So I painted one base of the figures with green pom poms, and left the rest of the figures unbased with unpainted pom poms.

So here are the based figures. Twelve of them on a 3/4" square base, representing a single company. So a battalion would include six bases this size, each containing a single company of twelve figures in three ranks of four.

InkBiz 1:200 French Infantry painted
InkBiz 1:200 French Infantry painted
InkBiz 1:200 French Infantry painted
InkBiz 1:200 French Infantry painted

And here are a few more of the painted figures still on the painting stick. Since I haven't settled on basing, I have left most of the pom poms unpainted and haven't based most of them. I wanted to do at least one base, though, to show the great figure density that can be achieved.

InkBiz 1:200 French Infantry painted
InkBiz 1:200 French Infantry painted

And here is the base of Napoleonic French next to a base of GHQ American Civil War Confederate infantry figures. They aren't actually that different in size, but the InkBiz figures have a bit of a base built into them that makes them sit higher.

InkBiz 1:200 French Infantry painted comparison GHQ N-scale civil war
InkBiz 1:200 French Infantry painted comparison GHQ N-scale civil war

Comments on the painting style or accuracy are always welcome. I think they turned out pretty well, and painted up quickly since I was just going for a decent effect when viewing them on the gaming table. An entire army of them would certainly look great.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Grismeire Valley Campaign Turn 3 – High Elves Blue Army Attacking Beastman 1st Army at St. Mer-Eglise

The morning sun was just clearing the mountains to the east, its rays bringing a comforting warmth to the mists lingering from the night’s chill. Birds chirped in the trees, and the usual scuttle of the forests creatures was just beginning for the day as if nothing was amiss. Within the tree-shrouded vales were arranged, row upon row, nearly countless tents of the finest materials and the most brilliant white. Amongst the tents tall and elegant figures moved with a grace and swiftness that clearly marked them as members of the elder race; the blue and white panoply of their heraldry clearly marking them as High Elves of Ulthuan. In the forest of Chalons, an army made their camp. In one particular vale there were three tents, somewhat larger than the rest. It is to one of these tents a rider races, his cloak and tunic tugged by the wind as his mount carried him nearly faster than the eye could register.

“My lord, a herald from Calandras’ expedition requests an audience.” Declared one of the guards outside the tent’s entrance as the sounds of horses’ hooves and the jangling of its harness broke the reverie of the tent’s occupant.

“Show him in, Ilthalas. Show him in.” replies the tent’s lone occupant. He is an elf, to be sure. His frame is slight, moreso than those of his countrymen, and he is tall though age seems to be stooping him ever so slightly. His fine robes bear many runes and mystic writing and he carries a tall white staff, clearly identifying him as a mage of the High Elves.

Into the tent steps a clearly excited elf wearing light armor of shining mithril. He is dressed for war but lightly so. Removing his tall helmet and tucking it into the crook of his arm, he drops to one knee and bows low to the elder mage.

“Lord Folariath, arch mage of The White Tower, my master Calandras sends his greetings and bids me deliver news of his campaign to the north.” The herald says, his excitement making the words come out rapid and breathlessly.

“At ease, my friend. Be at ease. You are excited and unless my eyes deceive me you do not appear as though the campaign has met some doom. Your tunic and armor show no more than the dust one would expect on a rider from the Grismerie River Valley. Tell me, what news do you have of Calandras’ little expedition?” Folariath said, his fatherly tone helping to soothe the nerves of the herald.

“My lord, as you know, Calandras led a force to the north where Prince Tethelion of Caledor has been engaged in a campaign with the Bretons to defeat the foul Vampire and Chaos Beast hordes invading from the mountains to the North. My lord, Calandras came upon a sizeable contingent of the Beasts undoubtedly marching to engage Prince Tethelion’s forces, and engaged the Beasts in battle just this past afternoon.”

“Truly? Our purpose in these lands is to discover the lost history of our people, not to wage war. I’ve no doubt that Prince Laethelas will not begrudge Calandras for engaging an enemy but as I’m sure you are aware, every single life lost on these shores is precious. Pray deliver the rest of your report, and it best be good.” Folariath said to the herald, a slight hint of anger evident in his voice and the crackling of energy in the cool morning air.

“My lord total losses for the battle were five Sea Guard of Lothern, one Chariot of Chrace, and thirteen of the Sword Masters that campaigned with us. I am also very sad to say that Gaelith, noble son of Galen and bearer of the army standard, was slain by the foul Beastlord that commanded the enemy hordes. The Beasts, however, were slaughtered almost to the last foul creature. Indeed my lord only four of the creatures were left breathing to flee the field. Calandras was able to massacre the enemy and liberate the small Breton village, though the Beasts had already defiled it extensively.”

“Hmmmm. The loss of thirteen Sword Masters is a strong blow, but if indeed the Beasts were so thoroughly routed perhaps it may have been worth their sacrifice. If I am to make a report to Prince Laethelas I will have what details you are privy to.”

“Yes, my lord. When we arrived upon the field of battle, the Beasts had already defiled the village and arrayed themselves for battle. Their lord and a large unit of Bestigors held the center along with two large units of Gors. To the left of their line was a chariot, some hounds, and some Ungor scouts whilst to the right of their line were some Razorgor beasts, and another chariot. Calandras and Feluvian, his apprentice, could detect the presence of two magic users amongst the Beasts though it was not immediately plain to us where they were. On the final approach of our line, ghastly Harpies attacked upon our flanks. Our own lines were held at the center by Gaelith and the Sword Masters, flanked by Calandras and Feluvian each leading a unit of Sea Guard. The Chariot held our wide right flank, whilst the two bolt throwers were held to the rear of our lines in a support role.” The herald, recounting the order of battle, seemed to calm himself as he settled into the doldrums of the battle’s beginning maneuvers.

“Our forces held the initiative and struck first. Feluvian cast a spell from the Lore of Life which caused all manner of flora and fauna to erupt from the ground below the Gor unit with their battle standard. The dwellers below that unit decimated the beasts, virtually wiping it out and consuming the foul standard as well. Alas, the winds of magic overwhelmed Feluvian’s untrained mind and he burnt out… unable to harness magic for the remainder of the battle. On our left, a bolt thrower fired a salvo at the harpies and killed all but two and forcing them to retreat a ways. On the right, the bolt thrower fired at the main body of the Beasts’ line, and the two units of Sea Guard supplemented this with their own volley of arrows. The white shafts found their marks and the two blocks of Gors were further whittled by the accurate fire.”

“The Beasts attempted to close with our line but it seemed as if the loss of their center unit was too much. Really, all they managed to do was set themselves up for our attacks. One of their foul magic users cast some spell on his own troops, but the winds of magic were still raging from Feluvian’s miscast and the beast mage exploded, decimating his own unit. On our right, the Chariot engaged and wiped out the pack of hounds. The second bolt thrower fired at the Harpies but did not do significant damage. The Sea Guard and Sword masters moved forward to bait the Beasts and were rewarded with the foolish creatures charging. The outcome was obvious. One unit was wiped out. The other was decimated and fled. The Sword Masters had attempted to charge the Bestigors but were likely befuddled by the magical fury and thus were in turn charged themselves. They quite quickly inflicted heavy casualties and caused the Beasts to flee. On our left, the Sea Guard found themselves engaged by the beast Chariot and one of the Razorgors. The combat continued to be won by the consummate skill of the Lothern regulars. On the right, the Lion Chariot engaged and broke another Razorgor, but was in turn charged by the second beast chariot and their scouts, the Ungors. At the rear, our bolt thrower crews valiantly held off the two flocks of harpies but were caught up in the excitement and attempted to give chase upon the fleeing creatures. In the center, the Beastlord upon his chariot and the second beast mage charged the Sword Masters with reckless abandon and inflicted several casualties. Up until this point, our losses had been minimal. The Beasts’ lord was a force to be reckoned with and began to sell his life dearly. Feluvian’s Sea Guard charged the Beastlord in the flank but due to some foul magic items, he was just too hard to wound and continued to slay the Sword Masters.”

“Calandras began to fear total loss of the Sword Masters and started to position himself for a charge into the fray whilst at the same time Feluvian had an epiphany and ceased focusing on the Beastlord, instead focusing on the creature’s chariot and the Razorgor pulling it. The combat quickly turned; the Beastlord was defeated and run down by the Sword Masters. On our right, the Chracian Chariot had been bogged down by the Beast Chariot and Ungors. They were able to defeat the chariot, but at great cost. The bolt thrower on our right was then able to kill the chariot and more Ungors. As the battle wound down, we had slain all but three Bestigors, one Ungor, and possibly a heavily wounded Razorgor.” The herald let out a long breath of relief, having recounted the battle. Now, however, he began to wonder how the powerful mage lord would take the news.

“I see. Well, it would appear that Calandras’ tactics were sound though it would also seem the Beasts’ lack of fury played an equal part in their defeat. Indeed, the loss of the Sword Masters comes as a strong blow but one must weigh the fact that Calandras may have broken the Beasts’ back in that region. Perhaps it is fortuitous, then, and Prince Tethelion will benefit from this victory. I shall report to Prince Laethelas immediately. You have done well, herald. Now, you must return with all alacrity to Calandras and warn him that the Vampires are also about. Calandras must make ready, for I foresee another battle in his future and the Vampires will not be so easily bested. Go now, time is precious!” Folariath rushed the herald out and signaled his men to provide a fresh horse.

A victory had been won, albeit at a heavy price. Another battle, one more ominous than the skirmish that had just taken place, was looming like a dark cloud on the horizon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Painted Renegade Imperial Guard Officers

There isn't much to say about these. I've painted up a couple of officers for the renegade Imperial Guard Warhammer 40,000 army I'm working on.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Grismeire Valley Campaign Turn 3

At this point in the campaign, the Ogres, who had not yet fought a battle, were switched with another High Elf player. So the two "3" flag markers would now represent the High Elf Blue and High Elf Purple armies. This player would not have a Lord level character for the campaign.

With their Beastman allies having suffered great losses, the Vampire Counts staged a bit of a counter-attack. They urged the Beastman 1st army, led by their Beastlord, to move back up to St. Mer-Eglise to re-join the war. The Vampire Counts 1st Army pursued and attacked the retreating Bretonnian 2nd Army and massacred the remnants. Only a few remaining Grail Knights fled to escape the slaughter, but Byron Manfred was seriously injured in the battle.

The Vampire Counts 3rd Army moved into defensive positions controlling the bridge near Soude to prevent any possible advance towards their fortress. Their leader, The Master, moved into the 2nd Army and led them South out of Poussenc to attack the Elf 2nd Army. With the overpowering necromantic magic of The Master aiding them, the Vampire Counts Army massacred the High Elves, destroying them completely.

The Bretonnians and High Elves had just suffered their first real setbacks of the campaign, and responded swiftly with a massive offensive. The Bretonnian 1st Army simply moved a little east towards Chateaux D'If, remaining in reserve. The High Elf Blue Army maneuvered around the Vampire Counts 1st Army to attack the Beastman 1st Army in the village of St. Mer-Eglise.

The High Elf 1st Army, led by Lord Tethelion of Caledor riding his mighty Dragon, moved North to attack the Vampire Counts 3rd Army defending the bridge near Soude. And, in one of the great feats of stragic meaneuvering in the history of the Old World, the High Elf Purple Army swung around to the South, crossed the bridge at Nice, and turned back North to spring a surprise attack on the Vampire Counts 2nd Army.

Even though Count Tepes was struck down by the might High Elf Dragon, his honor guard and the remnants of his army managed to hold off the Elf attack at the bridge and defeat them solidly. The High Elves fled in disarray after their fleeing commander, Prince Tethelion of Caledor, and his dragon.

The High Elf Blue army slaughtered the final remaining Beastman army, killing their leader and retaking the devastated Bretonnian village of St. Mer-Eglise.

The High Elf Purple army marched swiftly, all the way from Chateaux D'If, across the Grismeire river, through Nice, and finally North along the river to attack the Vampire Counts 2nd army. The High Elves spread out along a wide front, hoping to trap the Vampire Counts army against the river, but that would be their undoing. The Vampire Lord directed his army from the safety of a haunted house, protected by Grave Guard. The sent the bulk of his army against the left flank of the Elves. His most powerful unit, Grave Guard with great weapons, led by his army standard bearing Wight King with the Drakenhof banner, fought off nearly the entire High Elf left flank when it destroyed two chariots, and cause a large unit of Sea Guard containing the Elf general to flee.

The Vampire Counts then attempted to swing their forces to form a new line against the remaining High Elf right flank. As they did so, they suffered huge casualties from the magical onslaught of three mages added to the massive firepower of sea guard, bowmen, and bolt throwers. However, the ranged attacks were not enough to defeat the Vampire Counts, who could use their necromancy to replace some of the casualties. Once the Vampire Counts army had finally gotten all of their forces into a new battle line facing the remaining High Elves, it was clear that victory was impossible for the Elves. With their general already gone, the rest of the army retreated. Their army was too depleted to continue on it's own, and would join up with the High Elf Blue army to replace some of their casualties.

The Vampire Counts armies had weathered the enemy attacks. They could continue to send their forces out to search for the powerful artifact they came for, though the enemy still had several armies in the area to oppose them.