Friday, April 23, 2010

Fortentaf Diaries 3

...from the campaign journal of Garis Weiner, engineer for Wrath of Erickheim.

We had just finished loading the Wrath onto the barges when riders appeared and met with the general. Soon as you know it, we were unloading the barges and headed back towards Tilman's Ferry. Sure enough, the place were being overrun by those furry skaven, and they had one of them abomination with them. Those creatures are damn scary I tell you. Oh, along the way, the general managed to recruit the giant, 'Ol Bold to fight for us. Of course, we had to part 3 heads of cows and a wagonful of good mead.

The general took charge of the left field and left the right field to the mage Marius, where the Wrath was deployed, along with the pistolkorps and Edgewaters militia. The center was held by Fort Fosburg's detachment of artillery and handgunners, as well as the crossbowmen. A company of mercenary knights were on hand too. The Braeme's archers took up position near the giant on the left.

The verminous tide came upon us in their multitudes, the abomination making its way towards the general and his knights. The dreaded plague furnace craked its rotting wheels towards the center while two large blocks of clanrats scurrying on the right, facing off with the Wrath and the pistolkorps.

Their magic was desultory, with the priest hurting himself from a miscast. Their shooting was a bit better with a volley from the jezzails killing a mortar crew. Fortunately for us, the lightning cannon overshot.

I put all steam into the Wrath's advance and we almost came to grips with the clanrats. Unholy magicks protected the priest from the well-aimed shots of the marksmen and the crossbowmen reduced the number of jezzail teams. "Ol Bold hid himself behind some trees, in the hope of catching the abomination by suprise. The suprise was on the giant, when the abomination slithered and smothered him in its many limbs.

Gravely wounded, the giant heaved his huge club and brought it down onto the monstrosity, splitting the putrid flesh. The wounds were too great for the beast and its previous injury from Jaeryd's fireball denied its body to heal itself. With a massive crash, the thing lay still.

Emboldened by their numbers, the clanrats marched closer to our lines, undeterred by the tank's terrifying presence. Another block of rats, this one led by one of their magic user, fled at the sight of Wrath, no doubt aided by Marius's dreaded Doom and darkness spell. These fleeing rats were easy meat for the pistoliers who scattered them.

The general led the charge against a unit of Rat Ogres and ran them down but 'Ol Bold was pulled down by a pack of giant rats. In the center, a second cannonball connected with the furnace, and with a mighty crash, the whole contraption came falling down. The priest emerged unscathed. Sporadic shooting by the handgunners and outriders picked off several more monks from the huge block coming towards our lines.

After failing to hit anything since the start of the battle, the mortar crew suddenly outshined themselves with an accurate round on a block of 30 clanrats. half of the rats were blown to pieces and the rest simply fled away from the battlefield. This freed up our right flank and we began to drive towards the center with the Wrath aiming for the skaven general's unit of stormvermins.

Having pulled down the giant, the giant rats continued their rampage and slaughtered the crossbowmen as they tried to flee from combat. The Wrath steamed towards the stormvermins and scalded them in hot steam. Unnerved, they ran but was eventually caught and most of them were grounded down. the nearby remnants of the jezzail team fled at the sight of the approaching tank

The remaining monks had swept into a band of flagellants and proceeded to wipe them out, but not before the prophet of doom managed to strike down the already injured priest. The plague monks swept into the nearby handgunners and again, their unholy rot prevailed. The cannon crew were next in line and it was then that the cannon failed them as the powder fizzled. Even as the remaining monks crested the mound where the cannon used to be, they did not have time to savor their victory as Jaeryd and Marius cut them all down with magical energy.

Oh, yes. I almost forgot. Early in the battle, the company of hired knights managed to destroy the warp-lightning cannon but they in turn were lost when they fled from the stormvermins and ran into the pack of giant rats. Goes to show you can't really rely on these showy knights-for-hire.

Now, after policing the field, we're on our way north again. I dread what we will face there.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fortentaf Diaries 2

...from the campaign journal of Arthur Hellas, of the Falcon Dragoons.

Several days back we had received Brother Kholmar's replacement. It was Brother Barik. The general arrived with the mage MArius and several other new detachments, including a contingent from Fort Forsburg, that included the steam tank, Wrath of Erickheim.

No sooner had the general arrived, we set out on the march to punish the Dark elves, for their complicity in the death of Brother Kholmar. Words reached us via the ogres, who had engaged the elves and we hasten to their last reported sighting. True enough, the evil ones were set up with 3 of their accursed bolt throwers on a hill and a regiment of cold one knights harrying up the flank. In the center, a large mass of corsair stood still, as if daring us to come to them.
Brother BArik immediately split our forces, with him leading an attack on the right and the mage Jaeryd leading the attack from the left.

The mortar battery had just finished setting up before they came under a withering hail of bolts. The first volley didn't take out the battery but the follow up volley surely did. The heavy volume of fire also took their toll on the archers, who were unnerved by the ferocity of the bolts in cutting them down. The hellish rate of fire also took their toll on my band of pistoliers. It killed Jarv and Talfer, and gravely injured Ormer. I had my revenge for sure, when i charge them crews with Farney at my side, wiping them out. Cutting them down was sweet, but it won't bring back the guys.

I heard from the Wardens how Master Marius's spell of Doom and Darkness harried the cold one knights, prompting them to flee the battlefield. They also told me of how the Edgewater militia broke ranks and fled from the charging corsairs. He also told me how an assassin leapt from the corsair's ranks as the knights charge hit its flank. He was aiming for Brother Barik, yet Sigmar's blessings was with the priest. The envenomed blade failed to pierce his armor and he, in return, managed to wound the assassin.

The heavy horses charge broke the corsairs and they were cut down as they tried to flee. The enemy general's whereabout is still unknown. Back in camp, I could see the engineers affecting repairs on Wrath of Erickheim suffered during the fight. All in all, we got off pretty lightly with few casualties. The huntsmen regrouped and rejoined the fray while the unnerved militia now has latrine duties.

The men's pent up anger over Brother Kholmar's death was spent, but we are determine to honor him by fulfilling his original mission. By Sigmar's will, we shall prevail.

Note: This is the second battle fought in Fortentaf by the Erickheimers. What challenges will the future bring?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fortentaf Diaries

...from the campaign journals of Bregan Harker of the Outriders squadrons...

It was the 12th day in our march towards Fortentaf when the scouts returned with news of another force converging on the road we were traveling. Brother Kholmar immediately despatched a small band of troops to gather more useful information.
As we neared the other force, we became aware of a multitude of heraldic colors and emblems emblazoned on their banners-Bretonians! Though not evil as some other creatures, the men of Bretonia are too far from home to be up to nothing good. Brother Kholmar sensed this too, yet his duty as emissary to the Baron required him to inquire of the knights' intent.
Escorted by his band of Border Knights, the monk rode up to the Bretonian commander. What transpired in the meeting is not known to me, but many whispered that the knights were feverish with thoughts of the warpstone and seemed obsessed with its claimation.
Barely had the monk returned that trumpets from the Bretonian side brayed their charge, pursuing Brother Kholmar. We roused and met them in a small clearing not far from camp...

From the letters of Battle Wizard Jaeryd Firemane to Baron of Erickheim...

My Lord,
Tis my sad duty to inform your lordship of the demise of your brave champion, Kholmar at the hands of Bretonians here in Fortentaf. We encountered the Bretonians on the road to Fortentaf and they attacked first, eager to spill our blood and restrain our search of the warpstone. Brother Kholmar wisely placed us in clever positions and we were able to harass the knights all the time.
In their eagerness to come to grips, they abandoned their pitifully wretched peasants behind and these were easily dispatched by the pistoliers detachment and myself. Using a band of free-swords, Kholmar managed to trick a group of knights into leaving behind their support. He hid himself behind a hill and caught the seperated group in the flanks. Alas, fate took a twist and a Paladin himself revealed himself in the group of knight. Although outnumbered, the remaining knights held their ground, no doubt bolstered by the courage of the paladin.
Trapped in combat, Brother Kholmar and his Border Knights could not react to the flanking charge delivered by another unit of knights. this proved their downfall as the melee swept them away and in the confusion, your champion was pulled down and slain. Too late to prevent their murder, the pistoliers and myself could only exact retribution.
The jubilant errant knights hoops of joy turned to screams of pain as a hail of lead pierced their mail and send several tumbling off their saddles. Unnerved, the cowards fled the field and scattered into the woods. The regrouped knights of the realm tried to escape the same fate yet the wind of magic was strong that day. Sigmar smiled on us and my bolts of fiery death claimed several more. Surely they have had enough, as even their general was weak enough to quit the fields of honor.
As you have often said, tis the crows that are the true winners after a battle. We scavenged what we could and buried our dead, as well as the enemy. For Brother Kholmar, we built a funeral pyre for him. His ashes we shall throw to the winds, so his spirit may protect the unwary, even as we continue on our mission.
Lest your lordship decree otherwise, the mantle of command lies with me now. Master Throngrave has shown me the visions and I too sense the danger in the winds of magic. Fear not My Lord, your command will be done. Tomorrow we will strike camp and move on. I entrust this letter and Brother Kholmar's hammer to your Lordship's side.
May Erickheim prosper under the blessings of Sigmar.

Note: Both entries are part of the ongoing warhammer fantasy battles campaign taking place at Legio Malaysia.