Tuesday 13 March 2012

The Barrow Part 3 (the first turn).

Turn 1

So finally the first turn:

Lord Micka raised a hand to quiet his necromantic servant. “I hear them child, some five of their scouts, more will follow, we must to arms.” With that Lord Micka drew his hands up a gesture to accompany the forceful implementation of his will. In that instant across the country that was due to become a battlefield a multitude of dead warriors rose as one from their work and formed organised ranks in more efficient in death than ever in life.
The first turn, general advance on both sides.
Bald Rick turned stumbling as he ran to his own unit of Zombies, raised by his own hand these unfortunate cadavers, dead not even a year were the master necromancers newest exercise in honing his power. With his own drawn visage he felt lost among their ranks and the threat of Elven arrows felt less. Just to be sure Bald Rick reached out to eldritch powers and reanimated some recently killed villagers he had left lying close at hand. He had planned on studying some of their internal workings tonight but he felt this way they would serve him better in his current need. Besides tonight he would have elven corpses to dissect if all went well.
Even as his servant swelled his own ranks with the freshly dead Lord Micka took the opportunity to reach out to those buried for centuries on this oft fought over piece of land. Skeleton warriors joined his unit as he commanded the whole army to advance, as the Elven scouts ran forward to take up position. By the time the main eleven hosts arrived Lord Mika had already taken position of the field and with it the initiative. His horsemen galloped forward towards a forest, their ethereal mounts would have no issues moving as swiftly under the bows of the towering pines as on the level grassland of the Vale. Lord Mika intended them to sweep round and take the Elven flank.  To his far left his siege machines launched the screaming animated sculls of long dead traitors in a high arc to fall with deadly force amongst a pack of Elven hounds.
As Kats archers retreat the illusionary hero keeps the deathriders in check.
Forcing his main force forward accompanied as ever by the instability decreasing  Georgiou’s Physician cart (known simply as Geo Phys), Lord Mika cast further spells to strengthen the ties of his own unit to the material world. The main Elven host moved forward and to Lord Mikas annoyance a collection of buildings appeared on the battle field to block the view of his catapults, he’d have to move the cursed things.

 In game terms a general advance from both sides really narrowed the gap between the opposing armies, borrowed from 4th edition  was the march move instead of reserve move, a big time saver for little in game difference. Woodelf missile fire was almost nonexistent, stupid woodelves, and the screaming scull catapults showed how deadly they are with only good leadership preventing the beginnings of a rout. Magic resulted in some buffs for the undead units, extra troops and help with instability, whilst the woodelves benefited from two illusions.

Actually its probably worth a short aside to discuss instability and illusion. Instability is the downside for undead in 3rd ed, they get to cause fear and ignore psychology but must roll for instability when they get pushed back. The results range from wipe out, to minor debuff, to extra attacks, rolling high is good and the plague cart and certain spells add to this roll or even help you ignore it. Illusion is fun and really deserves a GM and pre-game casting, the Illusionary hero in the woods near Kat and her archers is a real hero for all the undead know and is set up to hold back the undead riders by his presence alone. For a gamer regularly using illusions a whole world of bluff and double bluff opens up. Another use for illusion is just to plonk a building in someone's line of sight to stop missile fire as happened here, inelegant but it works. In a depature from the rules raising zombies instead of skeletons was allowed though numbers raise stayed the same.

Probably the best tactical move was the rapid advance of the skeletal horsement towards the archers in the wood, without the range to shoot in the wood and not wanting to get charged the archers withdrew, several turns of no shooting ensued. Worth noting that who goes first after a scouting turn was incorrectly remembered and the undead not only stole a march with the infamous Chambers whole force as advanced force ploy but also nabbed first turn.

Use your Illusion.

Tuesday 6 March 2012

The Barrow, Part 2 initial setup.

1.       6 Death riders with light armour, shields lances and a banner. Lead by Victora Mbrus a level 10 hero.
2.       Bald Rick a level 15 necromancer leading a unit of 25 Zombies, 5 freshly raised.
3.       The lonely Barrow.
4.       Lord Mika Ston, a level 20 Vampire leading 22 skeleton warriors, 2 freshly raised. A level 10 hero is also in the unit.
5.       A plague cart known as Geo Phys .
6.       Philard Ding a level 10 hero with light armour and two hand weapons leads a unit of 20 warriors.
7.       The Fern River and The Barrow ford.
8.       15 Grim reapers lead by a level 10 hero, Henri Champion with light armour and scythe.
9.       2 Screaming Skull catapults accompanied by level 5 hero light armour.
10.   Kat leading her 14 archers with instrument and standard. Kat a lvel 10 hero is equipped with a long bow and hell shaft arrows .
11.   An illusionary Hero.
12.   9 wood riders armed with bows lead by Lord Bi Lloddie armed with Mithril armour, a mighty strike blade and a long bow.
13.   Xispa a level 10 hero with light armour scribed with protective runes and a spear. He leads 20 warrior kinbands with light armour, shield, spear, instrument and standard.
14.   The watchers, 6 glade guard scouts.
15.   Sim O’Nking a level 15 wizard.
16.   10 Guard archers.
17.   A mighty Treeman.
18.   12 Warhounds with 2 handlers.
19.   Micheal Astrachan a level 10 wizard.
20.   10 war dancers.
21.   16 archers, standard and instrument.

The forces as they stand at first turn, after the scouting turn but before any moves have been made.