Author Topic: [Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures  (Read 6325 times)

Offline Horned Owl

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[Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures
« on: June 06, 2011, 09:48:20 AM »
Overhead, the sun blazed down on the marching column, tiny specks on the winding ribbon of the desert trail.

Captain of Hundred Majid´s throat was parched, his lips had drawn back from the gums with heat and lack of water. His teeth hurt. The lancer´s mail shirt felt hot and terribly heavy, and his tiger skin cloak – the pride and joy of the Satrap´s Invincibles – was matted with sweat. Dust had covered the dark brown skin of his face and cracked in places, giving the Orc the appearance of a desiccated sand mummy. He had tied a rag around his forehead to ward off the sun, and his spiked helmet dangled gracelessly from the saddle by its strap. Its irregular bumping on his shin was a constant nuisance to him and irritated his mount, but at the moment he felt too weak to do anything about it.

His Kutara brayed and moaned. Not well-tempered at the best of times, now it was half-mad with thirst, and the inborn contrariness of the creature made it resent the reins more than ever. Right now, it wanted nothing more than to lie down and die, and Majid had to use his whip and spurs mercilessly to keep it on its feet. Even so, it was hard to keep the stubborn creature moving.

By the Gods, he would live through this, Majid vowed and bared his canine teeth at the sun, at the mirage, at the rocky trail. He was not yet ready to accept his fate. His infantry was plodding along on the path, probably as ready as the Kutara to give up and die on the spot. As yet, they still were more afraid of their captain than they were of the miles ahead. They kept on marching, even though their pace was hardly more than a snail´s crawl and the marching order had disintegrated visibly. He had ordered the other riders to keep to the flanks, and to shoot anyone who straggled. That was probably more of a mercy than a punishment, he thought with grim irony. Better to die quickly on the shaft of an arrow than slowly of thirst. He wondered idly how many of the men felt the same.

The Invincibles had left the gates of Belshazzar in good order: Caravan guards, swordsmen, archers, Goblin skirmishers, and his own pride, the Kutara lancers, marching to relieve the siege on the Goblin outpost of Khanark. They had been clean and well turned out, their richly embroidered robes, golden tiger skin cloaks and bronzed armour flashing in the sun. The Blackbloods believed in facing death in their finest apparel. Another irony, but Majid could not smile. Now the fine robes were frayed and soaked with sweat, the shining armour caked with sand. They dragged their weapons behind them in a most undignified manner. All semblance of pride in the face of death had vanished. This was a different death, he mused, a slow one that sapped the strength and wits and dignity. And while he was a veteran and no stranger to the horrors of war, he found it hard to meet this other death with anything like equanimity.


They had found the first oasis less hospitable than expected. Devout raiders had torched the buildings and tossed the corpses of the defenders into the wells. The water was brackish and undrinkable. Majid had pushed his men onward, hoping to find water at the next oasis, only to find it similarly raided. Now the Invincibles were desperate. They would not be able to make it to the third oasis along the trail, which lay some thirty miles ahead. Their only hope, if the map was to believed, was an unclaimed waterhole along a spur trail, that might hold enough water for all of them. If it was unharmed.


The captain´s reverie was broken when his Kutara raised its head with sudden eagerness. He could see its nostrils flaring, and it strained powerfully against the reins. Majid pulled sharply and brought it around in a circle, to its loud protest. He narrowed his eyes, peering at the horizon through the mirage. He could make out the tops of palm trees. His knees went weak. Trees meant water! Sparkling, clear, fresh, cool, blissful water. He licked his dry lips.

"Invincibles!" he shouted, surprised at the soreness of his throat and the harsh croak of his voice. "Water ahead!" To emphasise the point, he unhooked the empty waterskin from his saddle-horn and held it aloft for all to see. "Water ahead!", he called again. He could hear the foot soldiers taking up the call. Hope worked wonders on their strength. They straightened visibly and picked up pace.

In that second, a steel-tipped crossbow quarrel sped from the treeline and pierced the waterskin. All around it started to rain gray-fletched death.


-------

Met with my friend Marius this weekend to have a battle: an encounter between Blackbloods and Vulture Clan Dwarves in the desert.

We picked up on Joshua´s idea of a water source in the middle of the terrain. This little lake was surrounded with about six inches of free space, around which grew a thicket of palm trees. To my right were some nice white-plastered flat-topped buildings, one with a fine onion dome. The rest of the table had some rock formations, solitary palms and low walls to take cover behind.

Marius left the scenario to me, and I decided that both sides were near exhaustion with thirst and eager to get a drink. Every unit would have 1 less action per model until at least one of its warriors had touched the lake. With the enemy able to fire from the edge of the thicket, the clear area surrounding the waterhole would quickly become a killing zone.

This left both of us two tactical options, each something of a cloven choice: hunker down in the thicket and try to deny the enemy the water, or throw some troops forward into the teeth of enemy fire to get that extra action. I loved that idea: both sides staring at the precious water but knowing that going forward means death.

To introduce an element of urgency, I decided that both sides would have to test for Heatstroke (as per the desert climate effect) each turn; individuals and warbands that had already drunk, or models with the Desert Warrior ability were immune.

Since mounted models, with their high speed, could easily tip the scales, they would have to be handicapped. The rider would have to make a Leadership test at a -2 penalty for each move action to see if he could get his stubborn mount to move. As soon as the model got within 10" of the lake, the opposite would happen – the rider would have to take a Leadership test at -2 for each action he wants to take or forfeit. Failure means the model moves its full movement allowance on the straightest possible course towards the lake. As soon as the mount smells water...

Since the Vultures had a significant disadvantage in speed, I asked Marius to extend his deployment zone halfway towards the lake and deploy his troops nearer the objective than mine. I also struck Trolls, Ogres and assault warriors deliberately from my army list, feeling that they would give me an unfair advantage. Marius´ selection of troops was also pretty limited and thus predictable, so I showed him half of my contingent before he made his choices.

--------

(To be continued after I get back from Berlin next week)
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Manic _Miner

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Re: [Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 11:06:37 AM »
 Nice story and I am looking forward to reading more.Hope you have some pictures to show too.

Offline joshuaslater

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Re: [Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2011, 12:26:52 PM »
I am eager to hear how this plays out!!!
May the Dark Lords of Lead-Free Pewter smile kindly upon you.

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Offline Horned Owl

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Re: [Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2011, 05:55:57 AM »
Er, yes. We took no photos, since the only camera I have is rather large and heavy. It boils down to the choice between lugging around some extra terrain or the camera. Sorry!
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

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Re: [Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2011, 07:37:45 AM »
THE VULTURE LEGION

Marius´ Vulture force represented part of a greater Legion that had been split from its main host by a sandstorm. The Keeper accompanying them had the Dwarves follow the Blood Totems, in the hope that their animal senses would lead them to water. When the Totems were getting restless, he knew that enemies were approaching, and arranged his forces in a defensive formation.

We ruled that the Totems would be subject to the same special rules as mounts, mainly for fun. As long as they were in command distance of the Keeper at the start of the turn, they would be able to use his Leadership and make tests. If they strayed out of distance, they wouldnt bother to check at all and instead head straight for the water.


Vulture Legion
4 Legion Gauntlets
1 Legion Gauntlet Leader
1 Legion Standard Bearer

Vulture Legion
4 Legion Gauntlets
1 Legion Gauntlet Leader
1 Legion Standard Bearer

Vulture Crossbowmen
4 Crossbowmen

Vulture Crossbowmen
4 Crossbowmen

Vulture Crossbowmen
4 Crossbowmen

Vulture Mallets
4 Mallet Warriors

Vulture Impaler

Vulture Keeper

Vulture Blood Totem

Vulture Blood Totem



This was mainly a defensive setup, playing on the strengths of the Vultures. Marius´ plan was to deny me the water and either wear me down with superior archery or turn my army into pincushions if they made it for the lake.


THE INVINCIBLES


My Blackblood army would represent the outriders of a larger force dispatched by Satrap Tabukhar. Much as I would have liked to include Swordsmen for their stronger armour, the Caravan Guards were the obvious choice for the vanguard, so I took two units of them. I also included three Kutaras, mainly for entertainment value. I looked forward to watching the riders trying to bring their recalcitrant mounts under control. I decided to have two of them double mounted, as I figured that the riders would each allow an exhausted comrade to ride with them in turn.

Captain of Hundred Majid (Kutara Lancer)

Double Mounted Kutara

Double Mounted Kutara

Orc Caravan Guard

6 Caravan Guards
1 Leader

Orc Caravan Guard

6 Caravan Guards
1 Leader

Goblin Spearmen
6 Spearmen
1 Leader

Goblin Spearmen
6 Spearmen
1 Leader

Orc Archers
6 Archers
1 Leader

Orc Archers
6 Archers
1 Leader

Goblin Archers
7 Archers
1 Leader


I knew that the area around the lake would become a killing ground for anyone who ventured near the water. To this tactical problem I gave the time-honoured answer that any Blackblood commander would give: Send in the Goblins!
Blackbloods play best on the offensive. You have to take the fight to the enemy and keep up the pressure. If you let him catch his breath and take the initiative at any point, you´re pucked. I didn´t plan on sitting still and letting Marius whittle me down with his crossbows. My plan was to bring my archers into place at the thicket´s edge, trade a few volleys with the Vultures across the lake and then make a concentrated stab for the water with my Caravan Guard and Kutara, the Goblins taking the position of honour in front. Once I had the advantage of being refreshed, I would roll up the Vultures from the flank.
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Manic _Miner

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Re: [Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2011, 02:36:25 PM »
 Sounding very good.The forces sound interesting too.I just have to play a game of this at some piont in my life  :'(.

Offline joshuaslater

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Re: [Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2011, 07:28:43 PM »
I had a Friday night fight tonight.  My Dirty Birds just whipped some Firstborn!!  A good combo to the Vulture Crossbows is a small Legion, and a small squad of Tunnel Fighters.  Between the thrown spears and the crossbows, I didn't need a Totem at all.  A good night for me, and the dice were hot.

May the Dark Lords of Lead-Free Pewter smile kindly upon you.

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Offline Horned Owl

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Re: [Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 09:40:35 AM »
The first five turns saw little action as the warriors of both sides strained for the oasis. Not surprisingly, both the Orc archers and the Vulture crossbows and Impaler took the center and plodded straight towards the water. Majid sent all the Goblins, Kutara and one warband of Caravan Guard toward my right, where the low buildings lay nestled in a gap in the palm trees. The Vulture totems and mallet warriors crawled painfully up to meet them. On my left flank, the remaining Caravan Guard entered the thicket towards the two Legion that held that flank.

The pace was terribly slow, and the long trek seemed interminable. The Kutara proved every bit as stubborn as their reputation, and the riders had trouble getting them to move. All around, warriors dropped to the ground with exhaustion, no longer able to keep pace with their comrades. Only the Caravan Guard, experts at desert survival, kept together and shuffled on. On the enemy side, several warriors of the Legion and one mallet warrior cooked in their armour and fell where they stood. The crossbowmen, knowing that they were vital to the Dwarf plan, gritted their teeth and refused to let their brothers down. Not one succumbed to the blazing sun.

The first to reach the forest edge (at long last) was the Impaler. The water lay tantalisingly close, but the dwarves did not move any further. They ignored their parched throats and scanned the treeline with sand-encrusted eyes. Waiting for the enemy that was sure to appear.

The first target to present itself was one of the double mounted Kutara. Half-crazed with thirst and smelling water, the beast gave a great leap over the weary Goblin archers that blocked its way. Its hooves threw up clouds of sand when it landed between the palm fronds at the edge of the thicket. As the riders tried in vain to keep it under control, the Impaler gave a loud twang, a five-foot quarrel thudded into the poor creature´s chest and emerged on the othe side, skewering the riders as well. The Kutara swayed drunkenly for a moment, then dropped to the ground dead – much to the dismay of the Orcs.

-----

On turn five, both the much-depleted archers and the Dwarf crossbows reached the edge of their thicket. The Impaler sang again, and an archer fell, pinned to a palm tree by a second quarrel.

-----

The sixth turn started with a thick rain of death as both sides opened up from the cover of the thicket. A hail of arrows slashed through the canopy of leaves, killing the Impaler crew and a crossbowman. The second hail went wide, thudding into the palm trees somewhere behind the Vultures. In return, the gray-fletched Vulture quarrels sped across the water, some finding their mark. Two orc archers died, but the rest proved to be elusive targets in the shifting shadows of the orchard.

-----

Turn seven. More Vultures went down under the merciless sun´s harsh gaze. The Legion on my left flank was in tatters, and finally, two crossbowmen gave in to exhaustion. One of the Blood Totems reared up and loped towards the water, disobeying its Keeper´s frantic commands. A hail of arrows pierced its flanks and nearly brought it down. Bloodied, it screeched defiance at the Blackbloods. The keeper, seeing the Goblin spearmen emerging from the thicket into the village, dropped his goading spear and started to change. His muscles strained and ground as he took on the monstrous shape of a third Totem.

On the left, the Caravan Guard finally got to stare the Legion in the eye. They discarded their desert cloaks and drew their scimitars in as menacing a manner as they could muster. The exhausted Dwarves, now down to three, followed suit.

The crossbows killed four archers with well-placed shots and lost two of their number to another hail of arrows. All stood their ground, refusing to give in to panic.

-----

On turn eight, Majid finally let go of his Kutara´s reins. The race was up! All three units of Goblins, the Caravan Guard and the remaining two Kutara emerged from the thicket and broke to the left, heading straight for the water as fast as their exhaustion allowed. They left behind two Goblins who had been overcome with thirst and fallen down. The mallets and Totems, who had expected a pitched battle between the huts, were completely taken unawares. The Keeper managed to pounce on an unfortunate Goblin spearman and rend him with his beak and talon, but he could not stop the desperate shuffle forward.

On the other side of the lake, the Caravan Guard threw the Legion a quick salute and broke to the right in a similar move.

The wounded Totem on the beach ran forward to intercept the Blackbloods, panting. All around, crossbow bolts sang as the crossbowmen dropped Goblins with every shot. The first warband of spearmen lost heart under this withering rain, but the rest had fixed their eyes firmly on the water. Only five steps now... four... three...

The archers, noticing the slack in the quarrels coming their way, kept up a steady barrage of arrows at the distracted crossbows. Several found their mark, but their arrows clanged and skipped off the fine Dwarven armour.

-----

Turn nine. Another Goblin dropped unconscious, within inches of the water. Then the Kutara and Caravan Guard reached the lake under the screen of the Goblins. Ignoring the bolts flying all around, the riders threw themselves from the saddle into the blissful water. Majid´s Kutara was wounded by a bolt, and the dismayed Goblin spearmen were struck down by the relentless Vulture crossbows. The remaining few archers loosed at the crossbowmen, and the Goblin archers joined in. Most arrows went wide, but a Goblin managed to drop a Vulture with a well-placed shot to the eye. The sole survivor of the warband broke down and fled into the shadows of the orchard.
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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Re: [Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2011, 10:12:16 AM »
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Manic _Miner

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Re: [Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2011, 10:18:46 AM »
 Nice battle report.Sounds like it was a good game.
 Love the pictures of the Vultures too.

Offline Horned Owl

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Re: [Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2011, 11:34:06 AM »
Turn ten. The Keeper broke from the trees in hot pursuit and, with a great leap, managed to catch up with the Caravan Guard. Spreading his pinions wide, he dropped on the back of the rearmost warrior with a sickening crunch. His second leap brought him into contact with the next Guard, throwing up sheets of sand into the warrior´s face with his wings – but as he brought down his beak, he slipped on the wet beach and sought in vain to right himself. Already he seemed to shrink as the feral energy started to leave his body. The archers loosed at him, narrowly missing their comrade, striking the shifting form with two arrows. The Keeper coughed up blood and tried in vain to stand. The Guards, refreshed, slit the throat of the wounded totem, ignoring the dying keeper, and readied themselves for the onslaught. Beside them, the Goblins reached the water and turned around, closing ranks in a serried line of spear-points.

The archer on the back of the Kutara ventured a shot as his comrade guided the mount towards the enemy, his arrow pinging off the Legion leader´s helmet. The rider pulled on the reins and came to a stop beside his captain, drawing his falchion and adjusting the spiked shield on his arm. The Kutara growled at the stench of sweaty Dwarves. Majid and the rider exchanged a mirthless grin, baring their canines. Finally, the Invincibles were where they belonged – within sword´s reach of their enemy. Already the captain could see the white in his enemies eyes, and his heart beat faster in anticipation.

On the other bank, the Caravan Guard reached the lake. The Blackblood warriors drank hastily, wary of the pursuing Legion. The desperate crossbows opened up on them, slaying three. Dark clouds of blood blossomed in the water where the Guardsmen fell.

-----

On turn eleven, an Orc archer was overcome by the heat. He dropped his bow and arrow and spawled on the ground, unconscious. Then, all Hell broke loose. The Caravan Guard on the left shore kissed their amulets and ran towards the Legion. Their enemies followed suit, and they met halfway. Blades flickered and flashed. The Orcs´ superior swordsmanship turned away their opponents´ swords, but their own slender blades were foiled by the Legion´s heavy armour. Both sides pushed and shoved with their crossed weapons, locked in a fierce struggle.

On the right flank, the Keeper finally reverted to his original form and died on the blood-wet sand with a curse on his bearded lips. Majid and his comrades spurred their mounts over his lifeless form and crashed into the last Totem, which hacked and slashed at them, missed, and was impaled on the captain´s lance. It screeched loudly and beat the air with its wings, trying to unseat the Orc, but Majid let go of the lance and drew his falchion, scoring a long line of blood across the Totem´s flank. As it hissed with pain and craned its leathery neck to bite at the captain with its bladed beak, his comrade came up and hacked at it, severing the neck with his second strike. The head dropped like a stone.

Meanwhile the archer seated behind him had sent two red-fletched shafts into the panting mallets. One embedded itself in the building´s plaster wall, but the other found its mark and dropped a warrior. His mallet hit the sand with a thud as he fell to his knees. The mallets surged forward and engaged the Caravan Guard. The leader tried to block the mallet aimed at his face, but the Dwarf beat aside his guard, grunted, and caved in the side of the Orc´s head with a backhanded swing. His battle-brother smashed his mallet into the double-mounted Kutara´s hindquarters. It moaned with pain, but righted itself, limping. The Caravan Guard fought back viciously. One Dwarf went down in a flurry of blades. Then the Legion were at their side and struck out at the Orcs. The Legion standard bearer punched the hilt of his bastard sword into a Caravan Guard´s throat. All around, his comrades were locked in vicious combat with the red-garbed Orcs. The line wavered but held as the Orcs refused to give ground before the onslaught.

Then the Guard had its turn. Giving their ululating battle-cry, they set upon the weary dwarves like a storm of blades. They crashed into the Dwarven line, slashing violently, punching holes in the front rank. The remaining Mallet doubled over, slashed by a scimitar. The Legion standard swayed and fell. Then the Goblin spearmen charged the side of the Legion, and another Dwarf was impaled on the double ranks of spears.

The crossbowmen changed targets again and struck down four Goblin archers. This proved too much for the remaining two who broke ranks and fled. The Orc archers fired back over the lake, but the Vultures´ armour turned away the hail of arrows.

-----

Turn twelve saw the bloodshed continue. On the left, the Caravan Guard, being refreshed, struck down the weary Legion, treading the proud Vulture standard into the blood-stained sand. As the foremost Orc raised his scimitar and yelled in triumph, a single crossbowman loosed at him and struck him in the eye. He went down with terrible finality. Suddenly reminded of their precarious position, the Guard panicked and turned to flee into the thicket.

On the right flank, the Goblins enfolded the remainder of the Vulture Legion and did their bloody work, stabbing again and again with their spears. The last survivor raised his sword and gauntlet in defiance before a red-clad Orc ran up and lopped his head off with his scimitar. From the treeline more quarrels came slashing down, striking two of the Goblins in the back. Now that their brothers were dead, the Vultures had a free field for shooting. The mounted archer sent an arrow speeding toward the crossbowmen, but between the irregular bumps of his mount limping toward the treeline and the cover afforded by the palm trees, the Vultures were too difficult to hit.

The small handful of archers, nearly spent with exhaustion and the sun, sent a few shafts across the lake. Most went wide, but then a burly archer stepped up and drew his bow deeply. The arrow struck a Vulture through the eye slits of his helmet, sticking out like a grotesque feather.

-----

The remaining crossbowmen´s situation was academic. The enemy was already starting to take cover in the thicket to both sides, and the Vultures were on the point of exhaustion. They could not hope to gain the water under the eye of the archers, nor to outrun the pursuing Blackbloods who were refreshed and flushed with victory. So they resigned themselves to their fate. They locked arms with each other in the ancient pledge of brotherhood, then drew their swords and prepared to meet their end with dignity.
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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Re: [Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2011, 12:06:44 PM »
Thanks for the comments! It was a fun game, even though the going was terribly slow for the first five turns or so. Twelve turns! The Game took all the afternoon and through the night well into the morning. The warriors dropping all around with Heatstroke, combined with the slow pace, created a sense of urgency. At one point on Turn 4, I thought both sides weren´t going to make it to the water at all.

So what went wrong for the Vultures? Marius freely admitted that he´d made a few tactical errors that I was able to exploit. The Impaler was, in hindsight, a wrong choice – covering the waterline, it was well within range of my archers and unable to use its superior range to its advantage. A Marksman would probably have served him better. His biggest mistake was on the flanks, where he misinterpreted my intent and prepared for a pitched battle. When I made a dash towards the waterline instead, his forces were already spread out in a defensive formation, unable to follow quickly, and his Keeper ballooned too early.

In a desperate attempt to stop me from reaching the water, he let his faster Totems dash forward, letting them become separated from their support. That enabled me to destroy them piecemeal. He should have held his forces back and met me in the thicket after his crossbows had a few more volleys at me. As it was, my troops were refreshed, stood in his way to the water, and his crossbowmen were unable to shoot at me since his own Dwarves were in the way.

I think the terrain worked in my favour: Throughout the game I had the advantage of knowing the ranges. Six inches from the treeline to the water, six inches across the lake, six inches to the next thicket. That enabled me to position my archers slightly to the side and use Hail of Arrows almost from the start. Retreating away and out of range would have cost Marius a full turn of shooting; shortening the range would have meant leaving the cover of the thicket – so he had to sit still and take it. Still, the death toll reaped by the crossbows was appalling. They minced one unit of Caravan Guard, mauled two units of Goblins and half the archers, and almost killed Majid. If he hadn´t followed me to the beach with his warriors, maybe the outcome would have been different.
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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Re: [Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2011, 12:20:19 PM »
@Joshua: I would love to hear a battle report on your Vultures. Especially if they deported themselves wel!
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

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Re: [Battle report] Thirst – Blackbloods vs. Vultures
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2011, 12:46:18 PM »
Captain of Hundred Majid looked out on the lake. Near the beach, the emerald of the water had taken on a blackish hue with spilled blood. Here and there, bodies and weapons still littered the sand. His wounded Kutara snorted and moaned petulantly, trying to scratch at the makeshift bandage. He slapped the reins, and it desisted sullenly.

The Caravan Guard´s new leader came up and saluted. "Trooper Khalim, sir! We rounded up the last of the Vultures." He held up three Dwarven heads by the hair. The Vulture feathers still stuck out from the topknots. "They died valiantly, sir. Didn´t ask for quarter."

Majid nodded curtly. "Have them placed on stakes at the waterline. As soon as the archers are refreshed, they are to assume covering positions on the northern approach. That applies to the Goblin runts as well. They ran away far too quickly for my taste. Tell them the shade of the palms is too good for cowards. They are to look sharp – there may be more of the feathered bastards coming. If Umar´s Kutara is fit to be ridden, tell him to take two waterskins and order him to the north. I need a scout."

The soldier bowed crisply and left. Majid moved his cramped shoulders under the sweaty mail shirt. His face was a rigid mask. He was so tired. It took all his strength to keep his back straight in front of his soldiers. What he would not give to lie down in the shade and rest. But he was the leader, he was an Invincible. This oasis was not safe yet.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 06:22:16 AM by Horned Owl »
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."