Vern and his Wonderous Journeys

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Battle of Slavers' Lair Castle

Two years.  It has been a long two years.  All this while Lord Draken is trapped within his fortress,under siege by the Imperial army.  Now, with the news that half of the Imperial army will be leaving to fight Beastmen, it is time to sally out and break the siege!!!

Pointing at the castle gate with his sword, the Druchii Lord roared, "Today is the day, come on my brethen, let us ride.  Open the gate!!!"

The rebels charge out, as part of the scenario rules the cavalry get a free movement.  This implied that if they get the first turn in the roll off (which they did), they can charge the imperials.


As the castle gate creak opened, the Imperial sentries immediately sounded the alarm.  Booooooo went the horns of war.  Soldiers off duty immediately got up and rushed for their weapons.  The Commander of the Camp, Emperor Basil too rushed out of his tent.  "This is great", he thought to himself, "the rebels has taken the bait!"  However Basil soon realised that other than his skirmishing infantry and cavalry, the cataphracts are the only shock troops at his disposal right now.  The medium cavalry will need more time to get ready while the ambushing loyalist druchii needed time to get here.  Basil could simply hope that reinforcements will arrived before the camp got completely overwhelmed.

The thin skirmish line is all that is available?

Naah, there's the cataphracts and some light cavalry.  Notice Basil is not in the units, he is hiding at the right hand corner of the map.

Turn 1

The Rebels got the first turn.  Cold one knights charge the javelin men who failed their fear test and flee.  The Dog of War Knights (let us call them knights from now on) charge the slingers who shoot and flee.  However no casualties are caused.  The light cavalry charge the archers who fled but were ran down.  The rest of the rebel army move forward except the crossbowmen who manned the castle (the chair).  Nothing is within range for shooting.

Imperial turn.  The Cataphracts charge the knights who fled far away, unfortunately they did not panic the corsairs.  The imperial light cavalry charge their rebel counterparts, kill 60 men losing 20 in return.  This being WAB ruleset, the light cavalry autobreak and fled with the loyalist in hot pursuit.  The Imperial javelin men rallied while the slingers fled off the table.  Cowards!

Turn 2

The harpies charge the javelin men who shot down 20 in a stand and shoot reaction.  The cold one knights charge the cataphracts.  With hatred and strength six on the charge and a druchii dreadlord heading them (readers may notice Draken was just a druchii master in earlier battles but I have promoted him since), the cataphracts jolly well pass many 5+ saves.  Meanwhile the rebel knights rallied (not in photo) while the corsairs move forward.

What were the rebel archers doing? Shooting of course, the imperial light cavalry are obliterated!!!

The cataphracts are totally outclassed by the cold one knights (and to tihnk that I forgotten the cold ones have 2A), the champion died in a challenge while another 100 cataphracts were absolutely murdered by the druchii knights.  The survivors fled off the table.  No one could fight these creatures!!!

In a strange case of fluke (or pure skill of the imperials), the harpies fail to kill anything and were destroyed by the javelinmen who ran down the survivors.

Imperial turn 2.  Haha, now the trap is sprung, reinforcements charrggggeeedddd.  To Basil's horror, only two units arrived, the spearmen who quickly proceed to charge the shades leaving 60 dead in a stand and shoot reaction, and the Byzantine medium cavalry to whom Basil quickly join for solace.  In the combat that follows, 80 spearmen were killed but 60 shades were taken down.  A lucky breaktest roll meant that the shades held.  Oh noes exclaimed the spearmen, we were using sword and shields and cannot change next turn!

Turn 3

During the rebel turn, the cold one knights reform and try to inch closer to the Byzantine medium cavalry.  The human knights place themselves behind the shades, ready to drive off the spears,  In the shooting phase, the crossbowmen shot the javelinmen, killing one-fifth of the unit.

In the combat phase, the spearmen did more damage to the shades and broke them.  However they fail to catch the latter.

Imperial turn 3.  The spearmen decided to be brave, sword and shield in hand, they charge the rebel human knights.  Meanwhile, the rest of the reinforcements are here.  The hydra, chariot and executioners were too far to do anything but the shades manage to climb up the castle wars and charge the crossbowmen (this is another campaign mechanic, if the shades came at turn 2 they will be unable to charge but appearing at turn 3 grants them a free charge)

The scene as the Imperial reinforcements arrive.

In the combat phase, the spears unexpectedly killed 20 knights at no loss.  The combat is a draw.

The shades manage to beat off the crossbowmen.  They outrun the defeated enemy and threw the survivors down the castle walls.

Turn 4

The cold one knights march as fast as possible to the Byzantines.  The rebels were reaching their break point soon (3 units left), they need to win the battle fast.  Meanwhile the corsairs position themselves.  In the combat phase, the knights unexpectedly lost 40 men, twice that of the spears and fled off the table.

In the Imperial turn, Basil wisely assign the hydra to block the way of the cold one knights.  The beast also spit fire at the elven knights, killing 20.  The rest of the imperials surrounded the corsairs and pepper the latter with crossbow and javelin shots.

Turn 5

The cold one knights charge the hydra, reducing it to a single wound while losing 60 of its members.  The monster broke and were run down close to the table edge.  At this point Lord Draken knows that all is lost, he has already lost his castle and his knights were too far to influence the battle at the center.  Leading his remaining knights, he left the field (from a fluff perspective of course.  In the game itself, the unit is far too awesome to be destroyed.  Nevertheless they were unable to make anymore contributions to the battle).

                                                         Imperial Turn 5 and Turn 6

In the imperial turn, all the units on the field save the javelinmen charged the corsairs.  Alas all the infantry failed charge leaving only the chariot and the medium cavlry.

The chariot, and the master riding it, racked up a lot of kills.  Although the cavalry did some damage, they lost five dozen of their troops too.  In the end, the corsairs broke but barely escape the pursuit.  At this point in time I decree that the rebels have not meet the break point yet even though techically they have...

Which doesn't matter, at turn 6, the corsairs rallied only to be charged again during the imperial turn.  The master was killed in a challenge by the loyalist master on chariot.  The entire corsair unit was killed save the last 20 warriors who were ran down.

This is it, the imperials have finally broken the rebellion and seize Slaver's Lair in addition.  Lord Draken may escape but he no longer has any resources to do a thing.

With the defeat of the rebellion, Chief of Staff Repanse De Lyonese can breathe a signof relief at last.  She can finally free up troops to other fronts.  Emperor Basil is temporarily assigned to garrison Slaver's Lair island with his surviving troops.  He was reinforced by those rebel forces who surrendered (the shades and human knights), as well as a numidian contingent and a blackguard contingent that were elsewhere on the island and never took part in the battle.  

Repanse's plan was to secure the island by hunting down Lord Draken and any other troublemakers while using the territory as a staging area to launch conquests overseas if required.  The island's resources was also quickly put to good use. A force of Norse cavalry and infantry were raised to fight in other fronts.

Meanwhile Lord Draken was never found.  It is likely that he escaped by boat.  Nevertheless with his home base conquered, it is unlikely that he will post a direct threat anymore,

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Lims march to war.

Hi all,

This is Repanse again.  Long time no see hor (a little Singlish here). I have just received a disturbing report today.  The Lims are going to war!  Vern has assigned a dark elf force to fight against the Beastmen army of Kenneth.  The reason for it is no more than a simply clash of arms for the sake of old times.  While it sounds cool, it lead to 2 complications.  First the unit of dark riders need to be as ready as possible, meaning as much painting must be done as we could.  2nd, to spice things up, Vern has ordered that the dark elf forces laying siege on Lord Drakon's fortress (it has been a two year siege now, we just can't find the resources to resolve it) to join him, meaning I have to either storm the fortress soon or leave the siege.  I must think of a way fast.


Within Lord Draken's castle, rumors float around that the druchii forces under the Lims will soon be recalled for another battle.  Perhaps it is time to charge out when the besieging army is weakened!!!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

My Pet Project - Converted Plastic Dark Elf Dark Riders

I have been talking about this from years, and I am finally doing it.  My pet project, plastic Druchii dark riders using wood elf parts.  Many may argue that this conversion is no longer necessary since the actual minis are available.  But after doing them (to a certain extent), I thnk the effort is worth it.  The slight cost savings aside, this unit has better horses as well as look more uniform.  The actual dark rider box set does not give you enough parts to give one a uniform look, you need to buy quite a lot to get the nice parts leaving you with remaining parts to do a warlock unit (which I hate).  I may get an actual unit of dark riders eventually, as pure light cavalry instead of this current medium cavalry look.  Let's see how.

 My original concept.  6th Ed Dark Elf Warriors torsos and heads plus the long pole arm meant for banners.  I have been very impressed by this long deadly weapon ever since I lay my eyes on them and always told myself that these can be used as cavalry weapons.  The shields are from Wargames Factory Numidians.  I have always been impressed with the shields and always wanted to use them on something.  Here's my chance.

First bunch of guys partly done.  Notice I gave some of them hooded Asrai heads (can't recall if they belong to Glade guard or glade riders).  This is to give the unit a slighly less regimental look (still look more disciplined than original models though).

The entire unit ranking up for the first time.  I was advised by my friends that I should add a cloak to each rider.  Good suggestion but it is very hard to implement.

The main issue is the quiver.  I manage to solve it by making them look like a scabbard for a large sword.  The spare sword grip is from Wargames factory Numidians.  I have quite a large number of spare swords for this use.

The unit is not done yet.  I am working on them reaaallll slowly.

Krieg Field Guns

I completed some Krieg field guns at the end of September.   I originally wanted to post about them as part of a large update but decide against it.  So here's the one pic showing both Thudd guns and Heavy Mortars.

I will mostly be using the Thudd Guns in my Baran forces as they are the only useful upgrade for static foot guard companies.  Their presence will allow my stationary squads to "do something" every turn, be it killing infantry or giving blast markers or wasting enemy time so all their formations have to be activated first.  I have not really thought about their use in my DKOK list, chances are that I will use them for large, or not competitive games as there are so many other useful support formations to use instead.

Anyway, here's the official fluff.

Thudd Gun or Quad Launchers
The Thudd gun (the one with many barrels)  is a light artillery piece that fires explosive shells.  It is used by the Siege regiments to provide close range supporting fire.  The Thudd gun shoots rapidly, its multiple barrels pumping in and out and each shell fires in succession.  This firing mechanism creates a distinctive "thud-thud-thud" noise, hence the common name of Thudd gun.  The Thudd gun is usually mounted on a small, wheeled chassis that is light enough in its construction for its crew to manhandle the Thudd gun over short distances.  Most siege infantry companies include a battery of Thudd guns, which are used to lay down a curtain of high explosive fire that is especially effective against enemy infantry and light vehicles.  The Thudd gun's high explosive shells are of limited use against armored targets, but sometimes shots may be lucky enough to strike a vulnerable position,

Heavy Mortar
The Heavy Mortar Cannon, or simply the Heavy Mortar, is a field artillery piece that is used by the Imperial Guard's siege companies. The weapon is a larger version of the standard mortar weapon used by most Imperial Guard forces. It is also the same weapon used on the Griffon self-propelled mortar tank. The weapon is classified as field artillery, which, unlike heavy artillery, is used close to the front lines in direct support of the infantry and vehicles that are already in combat rather than being fired from well behind the lines, usually in preparation for an assault. The Heavy Mortar's primary advantages include its wide range of ammunition types, a high rate of fire, and its great simplicity to construct and maintain. The weapon is light enough to be easily towed behind a Centaur utility vehicle, and can be set-up or torn down quickly and moved either to safety or to get closer to the enemy as the Imperial lines advance.
The Heavy Mortar is used to directly support the Imperial Guard's front-line forces by dropping powerful and accurate shells onto the enemy. The weapon has several different types of shells it can use, each with a different and specific purpose. The weapon is loaded one shell at a time, and can only fire one shell at a time, unlike the Imperial Quad Cannon, which fires four shells at a time, but the Heavy Mortar is preferred by most Imperial Guard siege units due to the diversity of its ammunition. The Heavy Mortar can be towed quickly across the battlefield by a Centaur or a Trojan. During combat the Centaur can provide cover to the gunner crew, and the Trojan can be seen travelling back and forth from the ammunition stockpile to keep the crew from running out of shells to fire. 

While Heavy Mortars were once used by many different Imperial Guard regiments, their use has declined in recent years because many Imperial officers feel that the weapon lacks both the heavier firepower and longer reach of true field artillery, limiting its use to box-barrages or tactical counter-battery fire. Heavy Mortars that must be towed into combat are now seen as too slow to keep up with advancing mechanised units and self-propelled artillery. Many have now been relegated to the Planetary Defence Forces and Imperial Guard siege regiments.
As one of the lightest types of artillery available to the Imperial Guard though, many still see it as an ideal compromise between mobility, firepower and ease of use. In this case they are an excellent close support weapons for engaging enemy infantry and light vehicles, freeing the heavier artillery for use against more appropriate targets. Its versatility also allows it to fulfill a variety of other roles, from launching illumination shells during night battles or laying down a smoke screen before an infantry attack.