Author Topic: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (Season One complete, lots of screenies)  (Read 19690 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2015, 07:32:58 AM »
Bright and early, after breakfast, Pfeil assembled the men -- and made something happen.



First, Pfeil called up both archery squads from their defensive positions behind the camp, and peppered the goblin looters the scouts reported in Harsefield.

Then, “You’re up!” Captain Pfeil gestured to the peasants. “Go up and scout a little farther! Don’t attack unless I say!”

Reed and his ex-farmers trotted up to the village.



Within the ring of the outer homes, Reed could see looters scuttling around. “Nothing else nearby,” he sent back to the captain.

His farmers planted themselves, so to speak, outside the little village, confidently shuffling around as if to attack -- meanwhile Pfeil’s scouts ran out of the woods on the left, back around the other side of town.

[Gamenote: flanking doesn’t give tactical bonuses in this game, just like most Panzer General variations, unfortunately, but it often still pays to flank. We’ll see why in a minute.]

Brim’s militia took the fight to the looters inside the city, driving them out with only man wounded in the fight.
 


Finally, Captain Pfeil himself entered Harsefield, and immediately charged out to run down the fleeing goblins -- their bodies scattering like trash!
 


Cowering villagers still hiding in their basements, hoping the goblins would think that all had fled with the mayor, had heard the fighting and then the goblin’s departure; so they came out as Pfeil had trotted through the city, and cheered him in their charge.



That night, they gladly paid him and his company a reward for their timely rescue.

“Huh,” Reed thought as he drank some welcome mead, stoutly left over from the last year’s honey harvest. “That seemed... um...”

“Political?” burped Brim, who chuckled. “I told you, he knows what he’s doing. But notice, he did it in such a way as to keep us all as safe as possible -- for now. While he could. That won’t last, but you and your farmers didn’t have to assault a guarded town. We’ll try to let you pick off weakened squads, when you can. But don’t be fooled,” he sighed. “You’ll bleed and die in order to learn how to fight and live. Good night and good rest!” he laughed, and walked off to talk to other troops. Was he maybe a little too glad? -- or just glad that, today, his own men didn’t have to bleed very much to win the...?

“The scouts are fighting goblins!” someone yelled, rushing into the bonfire light. Other scouts, near where they would be picketing for the evening anyway, grabbed their throwing spears and ran to help. Out of the trees to the south the goblins had come; and back they went a few minutes later.

One man wounded.

One man dead.

“Th’ looters got the worst of it,” the scouting sergeant reported. “But I wouldn’t want to follow those devils back under the trees at night.”

[Gamenote: there aren’t day/night cycles, which is too bad as that would add another tactical element. But sometimes the story lends itself that way.]

“The first,” Pfeil nodded. “He won’t be the last. But honor him, lads, for he was the first to give his life. May his spirit cheer us on in life, and lead us on in death.”

The next morning, scouts reported the goblins still lingered nearby in the woods; but advances during the night suggested that Meklinburg, the largest town nearby, properly walled and posted with wooden boards and archery towers, lay undefended but also yet untaken -- although an orc mob even now was running up the road, cutting off the town from the company’s help.

“Strange,” Pfeil said as he pulled on his gauntlets and readied for a much harder day of fighting. “I can’t account for why they would come take this town but miss a larger one undefended...”

“Maybe I can, sir,” a sergeant suggested. “This boy over here says just as the goblins arrived, a local man of... questionable reputation, was seen running off toward the ruined chapel carrying something. The goblins have fiends they call hexers: they could have sensed something here, and so sent out a far-advanced raiding party to try to catch it before the main wing arrived.”

“Would I be right in guessing the goblins last night now stand between us and the chapel? Of course they do. So, let’s see.”

“I know you want to deal with those goblins while also protectin’ both the towns,” Pint the scouting sergeant said. “Let us scuttle on up the road and into Meklinburg: we may be the only ones who can get there today anyway, and we’re the only ones who can slip in around the goblins and orcs both. If the orcs attack the city, well, we’ll be there to defend. If they come after you, too bad for them, you can deal with the goblins today, the orcs tomorrow.”

“I’m sorry to put you so far out front in danger,” said Pfeil, “but I think you’re right. I’m starting to worry we won’t be able to break the back of the overall raid in only a week, and I just don’t think the company is strong enough yet to safely deal with both the goblins and the orcs at once. Go to it.”

After the scouts departed, the 1st Bowman squad was able to drive the goblins, who after all had not recovered from sallying the previous night, back toward Meklinburg though still in the woods. The 2nd Bowman squad came up to create a careful defensive root and started peppering the orcs.



That didn’t work so well, but one dead orc was better than nothing. [Gamenote: and repeated attacks can mess with a squad’s morale even if they don’t take much damage. The game doesn’t overtly track morale, unfortunately, but it’s clearly a factor.]

“Reed!” barked Pfeil. “Take your men up near Meklin, and fork those goblins out of the woods!”

So he did.
 


Afterward, he had to throw up. He didn’t think he had even killed a goblin himself. It still was the single most frightening thing he had ever done in his life. These weren’t quail in a cote, the necks of which he always felt bad about wringing anyway. These creatures could speak. Wear clothes, in a way. They looked out of the woods with intelligent eyes. Eyes that he stabbed if he could, with tines on his forks. His lines quickly broke up into separate random scuffles. But, despite their advantage in defensive cover, the goblins couldn’t resist his superior numbers. They scurried and ran, almost without even fighting -- out of the forest and down into a swampy tidal estuary nearby.

He didn’t lose a single man. Not even wounded.

They cheered. Their first real fight. He cheered as loudly as any.

He still threw up. Too many nerves. He wasn’t the only one, though others were somewhat more discreet; but he was glad no other sergeant was around to see --

“You couldn’t possibly be Captain Pfeil,” a hard, dry voice declared behind him.

Reed leapt, and wiped, and turned around.

“Ah... no, no, I’m only -- “
 


“A sergeant, yes, I inferred that.” The white-haired blade-faced man wore dark clerical robes, fit for traveling, discreetly at night if necessary. “You’re late. You were supposed to be here a week ago.”

“...we were? We departed from Sylent, so far as I know, as soon as the Council -- “

“I wasn’t really talking to you, sergeant. Now, I met your fellow sergeant, earlier this morning, when his squad ran into our city, letting us know the orcs were on the way, and that we might be soon surrounded by goblins, too, on the other side. I was injured by them on the road last night, so,” he grimaced, “I couldn’t come lend some help this morning. I want you to know,” he softened his tone, “I’m grateful for your aid. So are the people here. It isn’t your fault you’re late, I know.”

“...um, thank you, Father... um...”

“I am a brother of the Holy Inquisition of the Sword.” He meant the Sword of Marcus. “Once I have managed to heal enough, you’ll see what I mean,” and he gave what actually seemed like a ghost of a wink! “But until then I cannot fight. What I still can do is preach; and I have damn well preached a group of these farmers out here to help you, since after all if you can do it, they should be able and willing TO DEFEND THEIR HOMES AS WELL OR DO I HAVE TO COME BACK IN THERE,” he turned around toward the town, “AND PREACH AT YOU AGAIN!?”

“No sir,” bleated a group of peasants as they scurried outside to take up position nearby.

“They started your job,” the priest pointed to Reed and his men. “Now finish it. And give thanks to heaven and Marcus above, and also to these men, that your very first enemy hides in that swamp where they cannot defend worth anything.

“Slay them all.”

They did. And cheered afterward. And threw up, when they thought the Father wasn’t looking.

[Gamenote: swamps really ought to provide some defense, but unlike some games I could mention with orcs and Panzer General mechanics but won’t, cough, this game doesn’t have multiple kinds of defensive concepts like cover. So it has no excuse when its swamps provide anti-defense because that’s all one number here. I SAID COUGH! ;) Anyway, I guess the designers figured too many other kinds of terrain gave defensive bonuses already, so here are some swamps, they don’t.]

“Enough of that,” the Father said. “I’m going to sleep until the next orcs arrive. Don’t wake me, unless you think you might die if you don’t. Or, unless Captain Pfeil arrives. Good job,” he muttered and squinted in appraisal. “One of your wounded men seems to have died while you were celebrating.” That sent them dashing around in a panic. Sadly, it was true. “I’ll pray for his soul. And for yours. Heaven knows you’ll need it.” And then he stalked back through the gate of the wooden town walls.

Soon afterward, Pfeil arrived. But he was busy running the hell over the orc mob on his steed, literally slapping the orcs for dozens of yards at a time.
 


[Gamenote: I wasn’t quite fast enough, and/or too amused, to snap a screenshot of him smatting orcs into the camera after they had the poor sense to surround him shortly after that shot. Sorry. :) ]



With the orcs trying to run away, Brim’s militia caught them and systematically sliced them down. The day ended with a total victory after all, and only one more man wounded than had started the day after the goblin ambush.

As the squad sergeants gathered together later that evening to compare stories, Captain Pfeil brought a meal to the resting Inquisitor, though Brim reported this hadn’t dampened his irritation at goblins running loose like wolves harassing his flock while politicians pondered how to benefit from the misery and death they were causing!

“They say he crawled in through the gates last night, covered in blood. Not all of it his,” murmured Brim in something like awe. “He shouldn’t be able to drag himself across a floor, much less stalk around getting people ready to fight this morning. He’s torn up bad, under those robes. I think he may have fought two or three mobs by himself. Wonder how they made out...?”

The third day began with a startling announcement.

“You shall all go on toward Keilerstein without me.” Pfeil was suiting up. “Brim will be in command. You can see the town of Feldhof in the distance, there; it stands in front of the bridge across a river down to the bay.”

“There,” said the Inquisitor, “is a reason it is burning. And why I cannot come with you. Yet. Because you were all too -- “

“Stop. You know it wasn’t their fault,” warned the Captain. “I won’t have you demoralizing them over what they couldn’t help. That gets men killed, trying to do stupid things.”

“Pardon me, sir,” said Brim, “but I’m not quite awake yet this morning and I may have nodded off. Sometime before the part where you explained why you wouldn’t come with us...?”

“The chapel to the west, and Markenburg to the east -- “

“-- also all in ruins,” muttered the priest.

“ -- need to be searched and cleared. So I’ll be doing that.”

“And taking what squads along?”

“None. What I am going to do isn’t as important as what you’ll be doing, so I want that pressure brought on any foes you find ahead. Until I return.”

“Right. And you were explaining this before, or after, saying something about how guilt can prod a man into getting killed while doing stupid things?”

“It wasn’t my fault either, that we’re late. This is a practical use of our time, to do what needs to be done as efficiently as possible. Also, the rest of you need training, and lots of it. I’m the only person here who can flatten a mob of orcs.”

“Currently,” added the Father.

“Currently,” Pfeil agreed with some amusement. “Let’s try to improve that the rest of the week, shall we?”

So saying, he rode off back around the forest toward the chapel.

“Right. You heard him,” Brim clapped his hands. “We’ll have to spend a day gathering up our squads from where they camped last night anyway, bring them up to the outpost here. You farmers who came out to help, you know this land, I guess. We’ll put you up the farthest, with archery support, and you send back a report on what you can scout about Feldof. No, not our scouts: I want you rested and bandaged up. Whichever one of you farmers can prove to be worth the promotion, I’ll add you to fill out the slot in the scouts.” Chivvying everyone into place took most of the day. The farmers reported an orc mob still looting Feldhof.



“Guess Father Divine left some for us to work on after all!” was what Brim had to say about that.

Then that work ran out of Feldhof to crush the local farmers.
 


Several farmers died, but they fought back bitterly and with showers of arrows slicing back into the orcs in support.

“Well, you’ve managed to bloody yourselves a lot more than my squad of farmers!” declared Brim, while he was eyeing which rookie to choose for adding to the scouts. “You there. You survived. That blood yours or theirs? Know how to throw a spear? Good. Come along back to town. The rest of you, do what you can to make the wounded comfortable. We’ll get them tomorrow. I promise.”

[Gamenote: the game doesn’t actually let me move individual soldiers from squad to squad; that’s just me explaining where the scout reinforcement I bought that day came from. As usual in PGish games, however, doing so proportionately reduces the experience gained by the squad as a whole so far. Unlike many Panzer General games, I don’t think elite reinforcements are possible, ones that don’t dilute the xp total with newbieness -- unless the game automatically does that between missions perhaps. Also, while it may have been a tad stupid for the orc mob to run out, that isn’t necessarily a fault with the AI. It might have been a plot trigger, to help balance the mission or just because that seems in character; and the computer probably couldn’t “see” anything other than the farmers on its turn, so it tried a recon-in-force with its nearest group of heavy infantry. This is exactly why it’s best to check first for archery support -- that’s the only reason why the losses were about tied.]

« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 08:17:19 PM by JasonPratt »
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.


Offline JasonPratt

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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2015, 07:43:58 AM »
Sending his archers on first to leapfrog ahead, and to harass the orc mob, whittle away its numbers and morale, Brim engineered an encirclement leaving nowhere for the orcs to run. Pint thought his scouts might give the final blow, but a final orc was left alive and Reed’s farmer squad advanced to put it down. Despite being heavily outnumbered, the orc still managed to wound one of Reed’s men.

“Rather worse than fighting goblins, eh?” Brim said when receiving the report. “And that’s just a runty orc. One. Be glad we didn’t leave you two!

“They didn’t leave anyone here alive in Feldhof, by the way.”

Reed was staring at the ruin of the town.

“Look around, boy. This is what you signed up for as well. Saint Marcus help them...” Brim bit his lip. “I never get used to this part. Cleanin’ up after... after we get here too late...”

“Sergeant, I signed up to help stop this. And to punish those who do this. We all did. Well, that and the pay is better in a month than in a year,” Reed tried to lighten the mood.
 


 


“Looks like we’re too late to help Keilerstein, too,” Brim grunted as he made sure his militia were staking out defensive positions on their side of the bridge. “I guess it isn’t burnin’ because it’s stone.”
 


“Those goblins look a sight tougher than the trash we’ve fought so far. I wonder if they’ll be fool enough to...”

The goblins weren’t fool enough to try to take the bridge. Instead they sent up some archers to flank the bridge and shoot at the already-depleted second group of farmers, the local lads, who had just finished marching up beside the ruined town. Before they could run away, another five men died. Oddly, the more organized goblins marched back up road out of sight.

“Marcus blind ‘em!” Brim swore. “They’re tryin’ to goad us into crossing! I’d bet a boot there’s a mob in that fort already, too, just waiting for us to try!”

Overnight that estimate seemed confirmed enough, based on the sounds and lights that drifted across the river from over its walls.

“Wish we could join the party,” Reed told Pint as they settled their squads in for the night.

“Honestly, I wish we could.”

“...wait, you’re serious?!”

“They’re people, too, like us. We scouts see a lot more of them than most of humans do. They live hard, miserable lives...”

“We aren’t -- I am not like them!”

“Not yet, no. Give it a few weeks at least. Assuming you survive.”

“...do the other sergeants... does the Captain know you...?”

“What? Do they know I’ve killed more orcs and goblins, than you’ve wiped your ass this year? Yep. I assure you they do. Don’t get your panties all in a twist. Keep your eyes open and learn something. Or else you’ll go dead inside. That’ll get your squad killed. Understand? I’m trying to help you survive. Bah, go on to sleep.”

The next morning the sergeants met to assess the situation.

“Still no sign of Pfeil,” Pint reported, uneasily.

“Whatever has happened to him, his overall plan was sound,” insisted Sciff, one of the archery sergeants. “We need to keep the pressure on these creatures, till they break altogether and flee the area.”

“Or until we kill them all,” said Fitch, the other archery sergeant.

“That may not be possible; probably isn’t,” Brim declared. “We had better accept some sneaks will make it out, no matter what, and alert any larger force that pushed them here.”

“So, again, we’re back to moving fast, hitting them like lightning,” Sciff insisted. “If we want to have time to safely move around the region, picking up farmers and merchants and consolidating them somewhere safe, we’d better get this done in only, let’s say four more days,” he judged.

“I’m new at ‘this’,” said Reed. “But ‘this’ does not look promising.”
 


No one could disagree. “They’re blocking us from crossing the bridge altogether,” he continued, “leaving whoever is on the bridge exposed to counterattack; and they’re using archers to do the blocking, so they can shoot whoever approaches the bridge. Right? Or is the situation better than that?”

“Well, it isn’t worse,” chuckled Fitch.

“They can’t stop us from getting across today,” said Pint.
 


“But once we’ve snuck across the bridge, even if we don’t attack eventually they’ll find us. And every uru on the other side will be trying to murder us. We’ll need archers on the bridge, at the least.”

“But we’ll be exposed to anyone coming up on your left or right!” Fitch shook his head. “We really need three across the river to protect us!”

“Or maybe we support you from the town?” Sciff suggested. “Not enough,” answered Fitch. “Not while defending on that bridge. Defending down in the creek itself wouldn’t be any worse!”

“Are there any other options?” Reed tried to defuse a fruitless argument beginning.

“We could try sneaking across the river tomorrow, southwest of Feldhoff,” Pint tried, after a moment’s thought. “We would be out of both their archery range and out of sight. That would give us an extra day to whittle down the goblin archers’ numbers with our own bowmen. Archery duel. The main downside, is that we don’t know who may see us coming, and also they’ll get to shoot back. If we go today, we can be across before they’ll have any more chance to spack us.”

“That however depends on whether we can make the goblins retreat with two archery volleys, and your javelins,” Brim observed. “If not, you’re going to be screwed: they’ll keep anyone else from crossing the bridge to support you, and any bowmen we put on the bridge to lend defense will end up badly exposed -- not only to their countershot, but also to whatever might run up if they leave the area. Like the orcs in the castle.”

“We can be more sure about moving them if you give us a day to duel with them,” Fitch also observed; but...

“Wait, it doesn’t matter,” Reed interrupted, scribbling a map on the ground. “Based on how we’re currently camped around Feldhof, we couldn’t put enough squads across the river today to protect the bridge in any case!”

“That--! Huh. The rookie’s right. Hadn’t noticed that yet,” Brim said. “So: we go across the river tomorrow. On your way, don’t get shot, Pint! -- and let us know if the situation is worse than we think.”

Pint took his men southwest, and later reported back that they had spotted where the goblin spear-squad retreated to, in woods beyond Keilerstein. “There’s another two whole villages back up north along the spit,” Brim grimly said, “and I bet they’re full of orcs or goblins, too, by now. Only way to help the villagers captured there, however -- or to avenge their deaths -- is to crush the ones at the castle as soon as possible!”

The human bowmen were ready to do their part! Flanking the smoldering remains of Feldhof -- “For Feldhof!” they cried as they shot -- they so thoroughly rained down steel on the goblin archers that the survivors ran down into the nearby bay to get away!

“We’ll get them! Come on lads, finish those bloody thieves!” shouted Reed.
 


They cowering goblins didn’t stand a chance.
 


“Well done, boys! Gave ‘em the fork! That was an excellent opportunity strike,” Brim said when he came, shortly afterward to check on Reed’s squad after their move. “You did maximum damage and kept your losses minimal. Good for experience: we’ll train you up to something better yet!”

[Gamenote: actually, units level up independently of whether they’re upgraded to different types. In theory I could have level 5 peasants by the end of the game; they even have some special ability picks unique to peasants if I do that! I’m not that desperate for a challenge, though. {wry g}]

“My squad will rest up in the town today,” Brim continued. “We’ll be at full strength for crossing tomorrow -- and if any of those cretins are fool enough to come up to the river to block our path, under the archer umbrella...!” But they weren’t, although the goblin spears did leave the forest to scout ahead a little since their archers couldn’t report back anymore.

Day 6 of the campaign. “I hate to say it, but I think we’ll have to put archers on the river and the bridge to hit that castle before we storm it. And no,” grumped Brim, “we haven’t heard from the Captain. And before you start,” he interrupted complaints from the bow-sergeants, “Pint and me’ll take our people across in such a way so as to protect you. I’ve been looking at the way the river runs, and I am entirely sure we can keep you blocked off with only two squads across in front of the castle. Reed was wrong. Right in principle, boy, and it’s better to be wrong about something like this!”

[Gamenote: I hadn’t checked the hexes entirely correctly myself, when I thought I saw a reason to choose between both plans. Oh well.]

“My squad’s had a rest, and we’ve got the best defense, so we’ll take point,” Brim reassured them. “That way we’re the only ones who might get hit by everything out there!”

“Gonna be screwed if they held back some archers behind that castle,” Fitch pointed out.

“True, but I’ll take that gamble. I think they already did move up their supporting archers to hassle us at the river.”

The crossing went as planned: with both the bowmen squads shooting impotently from the creek! Pint’s skirmishers killed an orc or maybe two inside the town, but otherwise they reported no good effects.
 


Reed and his peasants waited in Feldhof as the enemy creatures retorted. But only the goblin robbers came over to play; the orcs lounged around inside the rural castle, deciding they didn’t want to catch a bunch of arrows and javelins in their faces!
 


“Those orcs are just too hard to hit behind those walls,” Sciff complained that night as the sergeants crept around to plan their action on the morrow. “I don’t think you’re going to get them out tomorrow, Brim.”

“Dammit. Well, the spears are only distraction. Though a tough one. We’ve got to keep the pressure on that castle, or we won’t be able to root those orcs out on the next day either,” said Brim. “Pint, throw your points and then you and I will get out of the way to let the archers up out of the creekbanks where they have some chance to do a little damage. Reed, that new peasant squad rested now? Okay, you move ‘em up and camp yourselves on the creek tomorrow night. We’ll keep you safe -- “

“Those orcs will run out and destroy one of the archery squads!” Reed worried.

“Let ‘em try,” said Sciff. “One of us will shoot in defense; the other will show those orcs how strong our arms are!”

And so that day, more sieging on the countryside castle occurred, weakening the orcs again.
 


In return, first the goblins then the orcs attempted to destroy Sciff’s bowmen. Many were wounded, though only few slain, and Sciff was forced to withdraw away from the gateroad, although in good order not a rout at least. The goblins ran away much farther.

The final push began the following day. Pint’s skirmishers threw their javelins over the walls; the bowmen, even Sciff’s wounded crew, volleyed as much as they could. The orcs, however, though only a mob, had learned to make shields from the rubble, and even how to swat some missiles away before they struck!

[Gamenote: I actually had given the orcs enough experience in being attacked, that they leveled up! -- and one of their semi-random skill picks was “archery protection”. Which the computer chose. Thus making my job here much harder.]

Brim’s men stormed the fort -- but although they slew some foe, they just couldn’t root them out.

Reed swallowed as he saw how the battle was going. “It’s up to us... we’re all that’s really left... Fitch, move aside!”

“Into the estuary?!”

“We’ll protect you!! This is what you wanted,” he told his fellow farmers. “To help farmers like us, who all they want to do is live in peace without these... things, stealing what they’ve worked for years to gather, and murdering families! Burning and looting, without remorse or any notion of good beyond what feels good to them at the moment!

“Maybe they have tougher skins than us, and maybe they’re stronger than us, but go for their eyes and let’s see how much tougher they are!

“For the families of Feldhof and of Keilerstein! DRIVE THEM OUT!”

And so they rose up from the riverbank.

And so they pushed into the countryside castle, through secret passages in the worker-buildings outside -- let in by a few surviving families.

And so they fought, inside the castle and out, cheered on by their fellows in Captain Pfeil’s company.
 


And so some of them died, or fell, wounded and bleeding in pain.

They just couldn’t kill the orcs who had stolen the castle.

...BUT THEY COULD DRIVE THEM OUT!
 


“The farmers have taken the castle!” marveled Brim. “Don’t let their sacrifices be for nothing!”

“I WON’T!”...

...announced Captain Pfeil, riding up at last on his steed, covered in blood, carrying bags of gold...

...and brandishing a sword that glowed like fire.

“All your fellows behind us are dead!” he roared to the gaping orcs, still stunned from how and who had defeated them. “Choose, now, who you will join! -- them or your tribes in the waste!”

“As for myself,” shouted the Inquisitor as he strode across the Feldhof bridge, “I choose that you join the dead!”

The orcs chose otherwise.

So did the goblins who had taken the pitiful villages north of Keilerstein, scurrying away across the bays to the west that night when no one could stop them.
 


“How fitting,” the Father nodded in approval as he entered the country castle. “This was built for you, to protect you and people like you. I’m glad you took it back. I’ll help with the healing, here. As soon as someone gets me some food.” And then he collapsed on the stones, unconscious.

Later, as the soldiers buried their dead, considered recruits, and tended their wounds, feasted by the survivors of the region, Father Divine told Captain Pfeil, “I get the feeling this wasn’t a normal goblin raid. This one was... different. It moved much faster. We ought to have been able to hold another week until you came.”

“The uru were more directed you mean?”

“Based on what happened, yes. Or more inspired to keep their focus on what they were doing. I never saw or heard of any leaders here.

“I have, however,” Divine sipped his drink, “had a premonition. Not one in visions or words,” he forestalled the captain’s coming question. “Just a feeling in my spirit.”

“Some might snort at that. But I have friends in the wizard’s academy, so I don’t snort at much,” Pfeil thinly grinned.

“King Victor, unfortunately, does not believe in premonitions.”

“Well... to be fair, I do prefer to rely on facts myself, Reverend Father.”

The Inquisitor nodded. “Of course, I understand. For now, I only can pray for this land, that evil will pass it by.

“And pray in quite another way if evil comes again.”

“Something happening?” Reed asked Brim as they ate some feasting meat together, watching the leaders talking lowly over drinks in a corner.

“Something happening,” Brim agreed. “Be ready.”
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 08:30:17 PM by JasonPratt »
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2015, 08:59:55 AM »
632 Spring -- Nine Stones


“Right,” said Captain Pfeil, as the company settled up around Hatdorf. “This past winter, the settlers in this area were crushed or routed out by a goblin army, mixed with armored orcs, and led by a giant red orc who carried a sword made of stone.”



“We don’t know if that giant is in the area now. We do know the region is crawling with orcs and goblins. Probably tougher than what we faced behind the fortline edge in Derenhalle.

“I’m going to be honest. This will be hard as nails. Just down the road is the fort of Noinstein, and its fishing rivertown. Then the bridge across the river will likely be held by the enemy. After that, the farming vale of Vainin -- not too bad but surrounded by forest on either side. Then Fort Streidorf: meant to protect the settlers from an invasion from the south. It failed, badly, but might be better manned now by the enemy. At least they won’t have had time yet to upgrade its wooden pallisade walls.

“Once we take that, we should be done. The goblins didn’t have fortifications themselves, so they’ll be basing out of Streidorf -- and camping out in the country.

“This was not the goblin’s land, men. They weren’t doing anything with it, other than stabbing each other. Decent, hardworking people came in, and made it into something -- something worth blood in stealing and looting, so that is what those vermin did.

“We’re the cats, and now we’re going to drive out the rats.

“Oh, and one more thing. Where is our newest militia sergeant? Step forward, Reed. No, don’t kneel, for heaven’s sake, my head’s not that big yet!” Friendly laughter from the troops. “I’m giving you command of our newest archery squad as well. They were only farmer-hunters a couple of months ago, so they’ll need all the help they can get. So will you, since, let’s face it, spears are not pitchforks, are they?” More laughter. Pfeil tapped the young man on the shoulders with that sword which looked in sunlight like it was burning.

And then handed him the sword. To gasps, not to laughter.

“This isn’t a reward,” Pfeil clarified. “Every other sergeant here did more, though you did your part very well; and every other sergeant here would put that sword to better use in killing the foe.

“I am giving you this, to help you. Because you will need the help. Understand?” Reed nodded, unable to speak. “I will probably take it away again, once you have grown a little, and someone else more inexperienced needs it more than you. Now, let’s muster to camps. Tomorrow begins a very busy couple of weeks. By report, that Stonesword took this area in two weeks, when it was barely defended in winter. Let’s do the same, but better: ten days, men!”
 


“Too many peasants,” muttered Brim. “Present company excluded, no offense.”

“I guess the thought is that they’ll help by marching into areas we’ve already cleared,” Reed replied. “...they. I just said ‘they’...”

“Not a peasant anymore, hm?” Pint clapped him on the back in passing. “Can I have your sword when you’re dead?”

“Actually, I’m thinking I ought to give it to Sciff! His archers got mauled in front of Keilerstein. But hey, you’ve got a second scouting squad yourself!”

“Meh, we’ll see how good they are. They’ve got a lot to learn.”

“So do those peasants who volunteered to help take back their land,” Reed pointed out. “That’s only fair, you know. And, if they survive, those who do will be able to train to be better. We need more experts like you and Brim. Not that any of us will be able to catch up to you! You’ll be scaring monsters out of the cities by yourselves by then!”

“Pint could do that now, just by breathing on themOOF!” grunted Fitch as he passed by.

And so they lined up in readiness to recover the stones of the land.

Pint and his scouts ran up first to check if goblin archers were supporting the Noinstein fort. They weren’t, somewhat amazingly, and so the javelineers hurled heavy spears up over the walls.
 


“Goblin looters down in Hanmoor,” Pint signaled back. “No other enemies yet this side of the river.”

“Good, we marched too quickly for them to react,” said Pfeil, and sent the bowmen forward next to further soften the targets for assault.

“I’m goin’ to guess that means the red guy might not be here after all,” Brim added, waiting nearby to run back to his spearmen with orders. “He sounded like he might be someone who’d keep out pickets for early warning.”

“Better for us, then. We could use more seasoning, before we deal with anything too... problematic,” said the Captain. “Reed, you and Brim move on to the goblins. Don’t go in, unless you see a clear advantage yet. Noinstein,” he sighed, looking down the road. “How little remains of its rugged beauty...” And so saying he charged his mount down the road and threw the orc mob out of the fort! Some of them physically even!



Pint’s men still had enough breath remaining for the day, to march his own men into the fort to reclaim it.

“I thought Noinstein would be made of, y’know, stone,” Reed said to Brim that evening as the veteran visited the camp of the rookie militia squad nearby.

“I think it was named for a ford across the river when settlers arrived. The fishertown grew up soon afterward. And now it’s ruined, too. But I’m not so awesome that I can go running in there by myself, even though it isn’t even a wooden fort, and even with fourteen other men behind me! Not yet. Tomorrow maybe,” he winked.

[Gamenote: Due to the snow the last time I was on this map, and of course the name, I expected the fort to be stone, and it kind of looked like stone when I got there, so I didn't correct the description in the horde mission. I did go back and reload a save from there, however, just to verify the fort hadn't changed to wood between missions!]

The orc mob bravely tried to plant itself on the road to the bridge, to hamper crossing while warning might be sent. But the following day, Pint’s scouts drove them off the road -- and into the pitchforks and simple glaives of one of the new peasant squads, returning with vengeance to claim their homes again!

The goblins in Hanmoor amazingly held throughout the second day! With four completely unwounded even! After every archery squad, a volley of javelins, two completely different fights with Brim and Reed’s militia, and even a charge by Pfeil.

“That’s... how can goblin looters be that strong? Stronger than an orc mob??” Reed shook his head. “Stronger than Captain Pfeil!? -- and all of us put together??!”

“They were trained like us. Like organized spearmen. Armor and weapons, too,” Brim shrugged. “And in good defensive cover. See why I didn’t want to go in myself, yesterday?

“Look at it this way: we could do that, too. For a day. Maybe. Feel better?”

“No.”

“Me neither.”

[Gamenote: spearmen can be godly, thanks to their specially high defense, and especially on defense. The game allows me to check the stats of any enemy unit I can see, although I don’t usually do so. Those goblin spearmen? STILL LEVEL ZERO! No uplevel bonuses, no special skills. This is why I decided for my orc-side playthrough to avoid buying heavy infantry per se: I’ll upgrade the ones I’m given as we go, because they can be awesome, too, in their own way. But survival lasts longer, tautologically. This is also why I tend to take defensive skills first, then movement skills. Damage skills, not so much.]

The Captain had planned for one of the peasant squads to finish off the goblin spears the following morning after a final bit of softening from an archery volley; but Sciff’s bowmen accidentally eliminated them all, so the peasants marched into the ruins of Hanmoor unopposed.



“All the work these people did, over the years,” Reed sighed, “smashed by looters who didn’t even want to live here instead. They even tore down the bridge, cutting off their own retreat... You say they’re people, too, Pint? How could people do this?!”

“I didn’t say they always acted like people. People sometimes don’t,” the scout sergeant said. “Captain! -- I know you were badly injured in the fighting yesterday; men on horses, no matter how strong, really shouldn’t be -- “

“-- charging into towns to fight, yes, I know, thank you sergeant. You think I should rest here today, and catch up with the company tomorrow.”

“You’ll fight better for it, sir; your horse will, anyway. Take pity on the poor creature!” Brim added with a chuckle as they gathered in the smoldering ruins to decide just how to advance.

“I don’t think the goblins know we’re coming yet,” Pint continued. “Our long-range scouts don’t think that anything’s waiting across the river, yet. Let us go secure it, see what we find in Radegast.”

A couple of hours later, his second advancing squad reported back from the copse of trees near Radegast: nothing except more goblin looters too lazy to even burn the town for fun. No backups yet. Pint’s first squad harassed them hard, but the company as a whole wasn’t able to cross the river yet.

The goblins were driven out of Radegast the following day, and the 2nd scouts were able to recover the town. Captain Pike was worried that their time to strike in surprise was slipping away, and ordered Pint to take his first scout squad farther on down the road toward Fort Streidorf to see what kind of defenses waited there. “If we can cut them off, any garrisons holding Vainen, and Neindorf back to the north, will retreat to the west of their own accord.”

So Pint went on -- and nearly ran into a waiting band of goblin robbers!
 


Pint thought they wouldn’t be able to give much better than they got, under the circumstances, so settled back to try to fend off attacks.

[Gamenote: Goblin robbers are skirmishers like my scouts, so they’d be fighting almost at parity, even though the 1st scouts just leveled up last turn. In hindsight, I wish I had taken +2 defense in woods as their skill! -- but extra defenses in limited areas aren’t as useful over the long run as a lesser general defense, which wasn’t offered as an opportunity, so I took a +1 to skirmish attacks instead. Anyway, I’m just about guaranteed to be hit at least twice, maybe three times already, and once by archers I won’t be able to hit back against; so I chose not to make it worse with four damages by attacking the goblin skirms and having to bear their counterhit: better to defend against two or three damage with a full squad than to defend against three or four damage with a wounded squad less able to fight.]

The undersergeant of the 2nd scouting squad reported that night that the goblins hadn’t been able to read some secret papers they found which told of a crude ballista which enterprising carpenters had been building in case of a goblin raid -- but which they hadn’t finished in time, last winter. It had been hidden nearby in the forest near the river, and Captain Pfeil detailed some men in the trailing support of peasants behind the company to recover and prepare it for operation.
 


Goblins cowering in the field nearby, screamed and ran for cover in the rustling grain farther away, after the operators pushed the creaking thing to the edge of the trees and shattered a tree-sized spear among them!

As expected, Pint and his 1st squad spent a grueling rest of the day being harried by slingers (who then retreated themselves), pelted by goblin arrows, and at last mobbed by fifteen well-armored and armed orc stabbers! -- who with worthless discipline charged out of the fort itself to get in on the fighting among the trees!
 


A man or two died, and others were wounded. The end result however, was that Pint and the remaining six were able to pack up the wounded after repelling the heavy infantry, and slip around them completely -- back into the fort itself!
 


[Gamenote: every unit has its uses, but pound for pound skirmishers are arguably the best right out of the gate and just keep getting better. Only one other unit might technically be better overall, and we haven’t yet unlocked it in the missions. Or rather we have, in the orc campaign, but we haven’t done anything with it yet. Here the point is that light infantry get better than usual defense bonuses in colorful terrain like woods (and rough and hills), and unlike archers they get to throw an initial javelin volley to help repel attacks before their melee, which they don’t utterly suck at either.

In the original Fantasy General game, archers would do that, too, but here for archers it’s a picked skill option: which only works if the archer hasn’t attacked! Like most PGish games, every unit ought to attack as much as possible, so taking that pick is ludicrous, but its lack tends to hamper the archers as a class overall, even though they get other bonus abilities lacked by skirmishers so eh; possibly it was removed because archers were generally buffed for this game compared to FantGen. One result of this by the way is that my javs could attack the goblin archers now and score free hits, which is insanity, and in FantGen would have been suicidal.

The other decisive point, is that skirmishers start off with the free ability of segmented movement, which not only allows them to ignore zones of control, but also allows them to move partially and then move again, as often as they have movement points left, even if they have used their attack meanwhile. This ability is hugely useful, and most other classes have the option to pick it as a skill eventually, but it means that my skirms were already able to march around the orc stabbers and get into the fort; my 2nd scout squad was able to take Radegast last turn on the same principle after already having moved and attacked: they still had one move left.]

The jubilant ballista operators got busy pushing their newfound toy down the road around Radegast that day, as other company members maneuvered around them toward Streidorf; but took the opportunity during a rest to wind up another log and blast it completely over the town down into the field where the goblin survivors were cowering, some of them having recovered during the night.

[Gamenote: in Fantasy General, the artillery class was just about useless for the scale of the maps compared to their abilities, unlike the arty in Panzer General itself. Fantasy Wars and Elven Legacy turn that around and make arty a terrifying offensive weapon. I love FW/EL arty SO MUCH YOU GUYS!!  :smitten: :smitten: However, due to the way the game draws missiles, it rarely makes for good screensnaps.  :'( They look great in the game, but trying to get a good snap is nearly impossible.]

First to Pint’s rescue was his other scouting squad, taking up a position in the woods nearby the fort from which to pick off the heavy uru infantry like knocking over pins with bowling balls. The orcs, in panic, broke and fled.

Next came up some archers, who thinned the goblin skirmishers a little but couldn’t accomplish much. The road between clumps of forest was just too narrow to bring all the company’s force to bear at once, so Pint would have to hold on once again for the night, though this time in the fort.

Captain Pfeil meanwhile, restlessly stamping his steed at the back of the company’s line, told Brim to let the troops go on ahead with Reed and march off northward with him to see if together they could free Neindorf and then Vainen.

“The campaign here has been basically won already after all: we took back Streidorf Fort, the rest is mopping up. Reed could use the experience. We’ll take some peasants along as well. It’ll be fun!” he grinned. “You go first, see if we need to worry about any archers behind that milling village.”
 


“...wha?” was all Reed could say when he got the courier message; but then he kept on reading. “Don’t worry, Pint is still in command. Just help him survive and clean out the area. Careful, though: he’s still in a spot of trouble! Don’t let him down!”

Not long afterward, Sciff’s bowman squad was almost completely murdered by goblin spears and archers advancing onward from Vainen, and by surviving archers from Streidorf circling around through the woods to ambush them from the south!

[Gamenote: this is a case where the AI used the 3-hex visual scouting of its skirmisher unit to pick the single squad that could get the most strength hammered onto it, and from a daring angle: sending out the only defenders of Vainen, who after all weren’t sitting on a victory point anyway, to attack that squad from the copse. Kudos to the programmers: in a tough situation, they set up the AI well enough to see and exploit a weak point which nearly cost me a squad altogether! Not only that, then it took its surviving scouts and dang well cut off my archery’s squad’s ability to stage a gainful retreat into Vainen! That was some straight-up chess level maneuvering.]

Faced with this near disaster, Reed did the only thing that made any sense, even though he felt ashamed for doing so: he promptly sent a courier out to find the Captain and Brim, inform them of the enemy’s dispositions, and request support in dealing with the cluster in the copse.

[Gamenote: meanwhile, I had used Pfeil and Brim to knock some looters out of Neindorf, or Niendorf -- the game spells its German townnames somewhat phonetically, probably because the programmers are Czech or Russian or Polish or anyway Slavic. However, the squad survived and neither one could claim the town for gold, so during the AI’s turn it rested and got back all its wounded. So yeah, whatever. I can’t shoot enemies to death with a few dozen gold pieces, the archers need saving.]
 

« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 08:43:35 PM by JasonPratt »
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2015, 09:13:44 AM »
Pfeil promptly raced back behind the enemy archers into the fields of Vainen, securing them to launch a furious charge into the goblins which threw them all over creation! Broken by his wrath they fled into another part of the copse -- within reach of the 2nd peasant squad, now coming up from far behind after fording the river from Hanmoor.

 


They quickly slew that enemy not leaving even a nose poking out of the underbrush!

“We have to give Sciff a way to retreat! -- and pray for Pint to last another day...” pondered Reed. He signaled the nearby bowman squads to soften up the stolid goblin spears in the nearby woods, and called for the scouts to work their way back around to hit the goblins from behind with javelin points.

The harried goblins ran out of the woods into the road, cleverly avoiding Reed’s own militia preparing to strike.

“Damn,” he fumed, having wasted a march and now having no enemies. Part of the way for Sciff to retreat had been cleared, at least. “Artillery ballista: blast those final goblin skirmishers! Aim over the woods, here!” he sent by courier.

Sciff and his one unwounded archer, praying for help from heaven, cheered as a mighty pole arc’d over the copse and shattered into the goblin slingers preparing to murder the men!

 


Sciff instantly started dragging his wounded men toward Vainen proper -- but there were too many, and he was too few. Concealing them as best he could, he started for the town...

...and saw in the distance, coming down from the north, a squad of armored men on horseback!

“Please help us,” Sciff begged. “My men must be recovered!” The proud horsemen took the rest of the day to save the wounded archers, ensconsing them safely into Vainen village, and then mounting up to guard it from the ravening orcs nearby.

“You look like men who could use some steady pay!” Captain Pfeil called out to the landless knights, hung in tattered armor. “I pay well. Join us tomorrow, and let us finish this matter!”

 


“But watch out,” he warned, “my forward scouts sent back word of a bunch of bloody orcs nearby, reasonably armored and armed.”

Indeed, as the seventh day dawned, those orcs had bound up their wounded again and were ready to do some damage.

So Pfeil rode out alone and scattered the bodies from Streidorf all the way up the nearby mountains’ foothills!

 


Along the way however, he saw signs of more goblin looters filtering into the area from the west, over those mountains and hiding in the woods and rough nearby.

Reed was doing his best meanwhile to manage his archers and peasant squads to marshal the final destruction of the goblin spears from Vainen. It took all he had, but finally it was done, and he marched out of the copse east of Vainen onto the road with his militia again, sending the ballista on up to just outside the wooden fort. There, on information provided by Pfeil, it destroyed the final remains of the orc stabbers, too, so that they wouldn’t recover and return again. Brim, feeling left out, decided to abandon Neindorf and marched to Vainen proper where Sciff was busy binding up and recruiting more archers to fill out his squad again. The scattered, terrorized survivors trickling back into the area from the woods, were glad to offer a few more bowmen to help!

“So you got rid of those goblins at Niendorf?” Sciff asked as he watched the new recruits take their oaths and get some gear.

“Not really. They’ll be back, once they grow some backbone. But no one was left alive for them to hurt. And once they realize Streidorf has fallen, they’ll be leaving the area soon anyway.”

Pint, meanwhile, having finally given his own battered squad a rest, brought some papers to Father Divine, still recovering from his near-fatal wounds and finally arriving on a stretcher to the fort. The Inquisitor studied the notes as well as he could...

...and blanched.

“Captain! Send for the Captain!”

“What now,” Pfeil muttered a few minutes later, having ridden into the fort on seeing a signal from its walls. “Father? You seem -- “

“This is not the uru fort! Not the governing fort, supplying them reinforcements and other support!”

“What. Father, there’s nothing else nearby.”

“There wasn’t. Now there is: a goblin town, south of here, nearer to the Waste. Originally ignored, except as a place to pick up garbage the fort didn’t want.

“Now a fort itself. Ghoshzar.”

“...okay,” Pfeil sighed. “I have some new heavy horsemen. They can ride down to the south a little and see. Courier,” he called, and quickly scribbled a note on paper provided by the boy. “Get this to Braun, sergeant of the horsemen north of here, guarding Vainen. Get moving, I want him on the road today. Those men are silly enough they may try to go after the goblins in the woods and kill their own horses in the attempt. Better to let those goblins come out to us, if they’re fool enough to do so.”

[Gamenote: low-level cavalry tend to be “impetuous” which means they’ll immediately attack whatever they move next to, or pick a target at random out of a set if more than one are nearby. This can be bad, so it’s a good idea not to move such undisciplined cavalry near to anything you don’t want attacked. Sometimes that means making guesses ahead of the fact about what counts as a good target or not. Even the worst goblin looters, in forests or in rough? -- not a good target.]

Unfortunately, by the time the knights arrived beyond Streidorf, the day was too late to see any farther than Pint had already scouted. The ragbag stone castle did loom in the distance however.

 


That night, Pint’s second scouts, in the woods near Streidorf, shrugged off an archery volley from goblins that Reed had forgotten about! -- but Braun reported the goblins running out of the woods toward dawn, trying to reach Ghoshzar. The newly arriving looters from the west did some damage to Sciff’s recuperating bowmen back in Vainen as well.

“I’m inclined to go up with Braun and just kick those doors down,” growled Captain Pfeil. But, “One moment, Captain,” the Inquisitor demanded. “Sergeant Pint has been telling me of a strangely smoking ring of burnt trees, out toward the goblin’s castle. I feel a power lingering there. Take me with you, and let us see what we can recover, if possible. We still have a few more days to keep your schedule. Perhaps send Braun to a cave southwest of here: papers indicate that raiders used it in the past; they might still be there, and helpful treasure as well.”

“I have a better idea,” Pint interrupted. “Father,” he added with a bit more respect and reverence. “Let my second squad go check out that ring; they can make it there today. That area’s forest, and Captain Pfeil will be vulnerable -- he’s running a little ragged already! Better, sir,” he turned to Pfeil, “for you to go up and reduce those archers a little. By which I mean a lot. Scout out the area for us, forceful recon, y’know. Like you like to do,” he grinned.

“As for us, sure, let whatsisname, Braun, ride over and scout those caves, and if he sees they’re not obviously infested, I’ll march my crew over. We’ll be back before you know it!”

“That makes sense,” Pfeil agreed. “Father Divine can go with your second squad; he’ll be in charge, while they’re away. I’ll send up reinforcements in either direction as I can. Reed’s bringing up the rearguard.”

So saying they went their separate ways.

Captain Pfeil did scout Ghoshzar, ruining many archers as they tried to scamper across the plains to safety. By his keen and experienced eyes, he could tell orc stabbers waited in the castle on defense. Perhaps they’d be drawn out in attempting to kill the leader? An undamaged squad of goblin shooters waited also in the small patch of woods behind the castle. Pfeil, already winded along with his horse, wondered if he had been deadly foolish to run out so far ahead of his support...


 


Father Divine was hustled by Pint’s second scouting squad to the ring of burnt trees.

 


There, a silent Sylent mage awaited -- dead on living grass with trees still smouldering all around. A sword driven into his heart. Apparently after he died, out of fear he might return after all!

“May heaven bless his soul,” the Father murmured, not unkindly but somewhat by rote, as he carefully prodded the body of the man. “He must have been out here studying the area, searching for hidden secrets of nature, when he stumbled upon the fallen settlements -- and then was trapped, unable to escape to sound any warning. A lonely way to die, but clearly he died with honor! Heaven stood with him, indeed, at the end...” he mused.

“Father, we have to go! Now!” The undersergeant pointed at goblin slingers weaving through the trees.

The Inquisitor growled, “...not yet, I’m not ready yet. I thought I might be ready, but... ah, I thought I sensed something. Take this bauble, sergeant! Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you; rather, you’ll be able to see your enemies coming from farther away, I expect!

“And as for retreating.” Divine ground his teeth. “I may not be ready to fight yet. But I reckon that you’ll be better in this forest than they. Do your duty: smite the foe! I shall empower your spears with holy justice! Strike for the memory of this wise and valiant man!!”

 


The soldiers cheered, and hurled their javelin-spears; and cheered again, despite a couple of casualties: for there the goblins ran in fear, slain to the final three by a natural miracle!

“Poison,” explained Divine. “I prepared your spears before we left this morning. Our enemy uses all possible means to win. You should, too. Don’t let an enemy rise again to hurt the ones you are risking your lives to protect.”

“AND YOU DIDN’T TELL US?! WE COULD HAVE SCRATCHED OURSELVES AND -- !”

“And nothing; I am not fool enough to go out with a bunch of sharp points, coated in poison, and not bring a fast-acting antidote. Pft, children these days. When you have lived and fought as long as I have, son, you’ll understand that severity can be kindness in the end. Justice comes in all flavors. Even poison.”

“...you can teach us to make this, right?”

“Am I wearing a sign announcing myself an imbecile?! Of course I can! I didn’t give you that speech for sake of general principle only...”

[Gamenote: this squad had leveled up a couple of turns ago, but hadn’t been in a fight since then. I had forgotten to pick a skill, so before this fight I saw that poison was one of the possibilities. My reader may have already noticed how annoying it is for an enemy squad to recover its strength and come back a turn or two later. This stops that, though of course it doesn’t stop purchased reinforcements, so it’s less useful near towns. But then again, as in most Panzer Generalish games, reinforcements are hard to buy when the enemy is in besieging contact with someone near a city. Resting, in this game -- recovering useful wounded troops for free -- is just as difficult, which is why I didn’t bother resting Pint’s main squad for several turns, preferring to do some damage from inside the fort instead.]

Braun’s ronin cavalry performed their scouting admirably, declaring the cave to be empty, which was technically true as Pint soon discovered after marching there himself from the fort. That is, it was technically true that the cave was empty of enemies; rather it was full of gold, 300 pieces worth!

And the enemies, out hunting in the mountains, arrived soon afterward: a clan of outcast berserker orcs, too maddened by hexers to safely live among even uru kin!

With help from the ballista crew, positioning themselves to begin bombarding the goblin castle soon, as well as from Pint and his javelineers -- and Sciff’s tattered bowmen, moving on up after foiling a goblin spoiling attack that night -- the mads were reduced to only a handful, once Braun had charged uphill and run them over once or twice! Reed, managing the rearguard of Vainen (with a little oversight from Brim nearby), sent along his own delegated archery squad to help drive back the surviving madorcs into the mountains for a while. Fitch’s archery squad, unable to move up toward the castle effectively, elected to stay behind and help the peasant squads keep Vainen safe from further goblin looting.

As the ninth day dawned, the key task was to reduce and push back the goblin archers supporting the orcs in Ghoshzar, so that on the final day the orcs might possibly be driven out, if not defeated outright.

At the same time, all three squads were brought up to help begin the initial decimation of all the orc defenders inside the castle.

Brim, back north of Vainen, insisted Fitch’s bowmen move up as well. “We’re tough, but there’s no way we can be there in time to help. We’ll just keep Vainen intact, and practice skewering goblins here. Help us get tougher, yeah?” he grinned. Fitch ordered his men to loft a volley at the goblin looters from Neindorf who, rather than retake that little town, had tried to support their uru kin in retaking Vainen. “A few less goblins to practice on,” he saluted with a matching grin, and then marched on to Streidorf fort, readying for the final assault on the morrow.

The siege on Ghoshzar itself began with Father Divine suggesting the 2nd scouts should creep around behind the goblin castle and drive out the main bow-threat from there. It didn’t exactly work, but at least there were fewer goblins now.

 


Few enough that the 3rd peasant squad decided that they would just ignore the threat of the orcs in the castle, and go up there and fork those goblins away! -- which they did!

 


“Rest up Captain Derrick!” the shouted as they passed him on the way. “This is our land, and this is our fight, too!”

“Madmen...” breathed Pfeil, in stunned admiration.

“They’ve got the right idea!” Reed declared. “Come on men, let’s go up there and see if we can draw the enemy out! Archers, get rid of as many orcs as you can!” he ordered to his archery squad along the way -- themselves only recently farmers and hunters, they knew what Reed and the more inexperienced peasant squad were feeling.

“I certainly won’t let them have all the fun, sniping targets!” Sciff added from nearby, and his tattered men agreed, volleying arrows as well into the castle.

Soon, up came the ballista, pushed along the road by other recently-drafted farmers, bringing the hope of Radegast to drive the orcs away. “DEATHREED!” they shouted, and launched a log over the walls to rumble around inside smashing orcs.

 


Brim valiantly defended Vainen from not only one but two more attacks from looters -- breaking them both!

 


“Oh no, you don’t get to run away, you had your chance!” Brim shouted -- and led the remaining peasants nearby to rend the goblins under the trees.

On that final day of this campaign, the final volleys began.

 


With Pint’s skirmishers and the Deathreed ballista joining in, the orcs inside couldn’t take the punishment any more, and ran out broken, irrationally trying to flee the steel of justice from above.

Pint’s other squad then took the castle, and that in effect was the end. Only mopping up remained, as various squads took turns driving away the broken uru company.

Reed’s militia were systematically slicing apart some goblin slingers outside the castle, when Pint sent word from inside, asking if Reed would like to burn it down to the ground.

“Thanks!” the young sergeant sent in reply. “I’ll be there, soon!”

Ten minutes later, Reed took his men into the gate of Ghoshzar.

“Not so different, are they, after all?” said Pint.

Waiting with his skirmishers. And torches.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 08:58:55 PM by JasonPratt »
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2015, 08:28:51 PM »
Spring 632 -- Catching Up (Interlude)

“For those of who who’ve joined us late,” Captain Derrick Pfeil explained, gesturing to a map he had drawn on a wall an hour ago, after the oddly sigiled stone had almost crashed to the ground in fire though not exactly, near the center of Streidorf Fort, “this is why we’re here.”

 


[Gamenote: obviously a more detailed map than I’m thinking he drew on a wall an hour ago...]

“We’re a mercenary company hired by Sylent, an independent city-state, where wizards from all over the world happen to also have their chief research academy. Thus the little tower, see? This city and its allied towns nearby are home to a guild of merchants who run the city very, very profitably. As you can see, the city borders three other countries, including Derenhalle where we technically are, down here. These other countries naturally want the freakish prosperity levels of the city. But they don’t want to annoy my friends, the wizards in their tower.

“Last summer, the bickering dukes of Mirrinalia -- where I hail from, by the way -- and King Stephan of the ancient nation of holy Leranse, inexplicably started making noises about shaving off parts of Sylent’s territories which once belonged to them: inexplicable because, annoying wizards is always a bad idea, even if they've sworn not to use their power to fight. But then again, we thought making noises was probably all they would be able to do without actually going to war with Sylent. See how far they can push, and then just don’t push any farther.

“Sylent didn’t want to lose those hinterland towns, so they hired about twenty mercenary companies and garrisoned us in the area, to go out and protect from encroachment.

“But then nothing happened. So the merchants started thinking they were paying us for ‘nothing’, instead of paying us to help ensure ‘nothing’ happened.

“And then something happened. Goblins and orcs started agitating here, in the settlement areas out beyond the Derenhalle fort wall of King Victor. I don’t have to tell any of you what happened next.

“But anyway, Victor sent out all the troops he could normally muster to beef up the forts, and would have hired on mercenaries except Sylent had already picked up all the worthwhile companies.

“So, Sylent hired us out, in a subcontract, to sail up here and push the uru back out of the area.

“As I expected, Sylent went ahead and did the same with all their other mercenary companies, down the line. Probably they were hoping that this would bring King Victor explicitly in on their side, rather than keeping aloof.

“As I also expected, the most unified other nation bordering Sylent, Leranse, decided to go ahead and start taking villages from Sylent, after the mercs departed.

“Somewhat un-expectedly, they didn’t stop there, and I’m told by my friend, Master Bennock who sent that coded rock to me across the sky with a message inside, they’re expected to siege the city soon.

“So. We’re under contract, and they pay our bills, so they’ve called us back to protect Sylent. Tomorrow we’re going to pack up and march to where we originally disembarked. More coastal ships will be sent to return us to Sylent -- or rather, to offload us north of the city, here I expect,” he pointed on a map, somewhat Leranse-ward, “in order to strike at the siege’s supply line. It’ll take us a couple of weeks, maybe three, and Bennock will update the situation to me as we go.

“Yes, I see your hands. Yes, before you ask, that means we’re giving away what we gained here. No, I’m not any happier about it than you are. Yes, that means the men who died in fighting here, died for nothing. I won’t lie, or try to sugarcoat it. We’ll have to send out messengers and get the civilians to pack up again and march out while we can protect them.

“Father Divine will stay here -- or not here, but rather back at the north end of the fortline -- to help support defenses against a further uru surge. Sylent isn’t his fight, and this is his home. The three squads of peasants we’ve picked up, during our months here, will stay with him and train. I’ll take along some men of you who have already worked your way up into being better skilled, but the Reverend Father will help call up some men to fill your gaps: you’ll have three full squads, with men of some experiences, in whatever he decides is best to make of you. That isn’t much, I know, but King Victor will have sent his regular forces by now to reinforce the fort-wall. So don’t despair, and be glad you won’t be going with us! You’ve learned to defend your homes better. Put it to good use.

“All right, that’s enough for tonight. Pack tightly, we march for the coast tomorrow. Training for my company’s squads will continue on the way.”

« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 09:12:09 PM by JasonPratt »
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2015, 08:31:43 PM »
EXTENDED GAMENOTE DIGRESSION
-----------------------------------------

This set of gamenotes was so extensive I made it a separate entry after the interlude. If you want to go on with the story, some of it will be included a different way there, and you can just scroll down to "Sylent's Lambs".

As usual for Panzer Generalish games, each map of the campaign allows only a maximum number to be deployed, and sometimes (like now) that maximum number is less than the maximum number you can hold in your company or (at larger scales of course) your corps.

This leads me into a digression of this digression. Why did I bother to buy three pasty little peasant squads on my previous mission? -- so I could put them through a relatively easy early mission, protected by lots of stronger troops, to pick up some experience. Why would I want to do that? As insurance. I can upgrade peasants directly to any non-cavalry (and non-arty) human troop (and even to light skirmish cav). If I lose a unit, later, I can either buy a fresh replacement at full price, or I can upgrade one of my little peasant squads at a reduced price and they’ll already be near first level: they’ll have a better chance of surviving long enough to be useful, and at a cheaper cost!

So, in story terms I’m leaving the three peasant squads ‘behind’; but I did buy them myself, so they really are part of my core, not just extras for a mission which will vanish on the next. Come to think of it, I don’t recall if Fantasy War has such temporary units. So far every unit I’ve been assigned before a mission, or earned as a bonus during or after the mission, through the halfway point of the game later, has been counted as a core unit. Many Panzer Generalish games often have non-core units in some campaigns to help you out, but you can’t take them with you afterward so they end up sucking up some of the battle experience. Not here (so far).

Meanwhile! -- I can only field 12 squads and/or heroes for this mission and one of them is waiting on the field already as a gift to my core unit list, so I can only bring 11 of my 14.

That brings up the question of upgrades before this mission, which unlocks a whopping nine unit types! Ballistas, unfortunately, cannot upgrade to catapults, which is too bad because catapults are a little better overall. Still, not going to look a gift artillery (from last mission, for liberating Radegast village) in the mouth! Neither do I have room for another arty right now, unfortunately, unless I sell off some peasants -- which I might eventually, to free up room and earn back a little gold, but it wouldn’t do me any good this time as I don’t have room enough to put that many squads on the field anyway.

Scouts can’t upgrade yet, nor my landless knights, but my militia and my bowmen can.

For bowmen I have two options: yeoman archers and crossbowmen. Crossbows have significantly better armor, and armor piercing shot attacks; but are slightly weaker at missile damage otherwise. Yeomen have special defensive and archery bonuses in the woods and in hills -- but personally I’ll prefer the crossbowmen since their increased defense counts all the time, whether in woods or hills or not, and I’m a lot more likely to run into armored units henceforth than I am to be shooting into or out of woods. (In fact I don’t clearly recall how such bonuses work for distance shooters: does being in woods grant them bonuses which shooting at targets outside the woods? -- or bonuses when their targets are in the woods, even if the yeomen aren’t? Doesn’t matter: armor piercing negates armor anywhere!)

The militia upgrade choice is much harder. Spearmen don’t start with special abilities and will always be a bit weaker than other options on attack and defense, but they’re fast moving at 4 hexes standard per turn; and this is a Panzer General game which means speed helps hugely on winning most quickly for the biggest reward. Also, speed helps maneuver around to attack rear units, and helps a little getting through difficult terrain.

Halberdiers have better defense but no better basic attacks; but they start with the ability to negate cav charges -- cavs get a free special attack when initiating a fight -- and they also start with armor piercing. Also, unlike some other games these armored super-spearmen aren’t slower than average.

Swordsmen have just as good basic defense as halberdiers, and the best attack power of the three options (both 12); and aren’t slower than average; and their special starting ability is city fighting, which gives them bonuses attacking into or defending from city hexes. As with most PGish games, city-type hexes are almost always where the victory locations, extra missions, and extra gold along the way are; so this skill is vastly more important than an equivalent skill at fighting in hills and/or forests.

For longterm success, I’m inclined to go with these; but I happen to know this mission will feature a lot of fights against cav. I did earn a free halberd squad anyway for gold-timing the previous mission, and I’ll be bringing it along in any case. So I upgrade one militia to swordsmen for city-fighting later, and one militia to halberds to deal with extra cavalry now and also because they have somewhat better defense so should not only be at less risk of being wiped out but also should keep its attack strength better AND also keep its earned experience better: fewer deaths in the squad means fewer replacements to dilute the xp gains.

Anyway, thus my remarks in-story about building a new squad from specially expert troops in other squads!

Last but not least, the air-hunter category opens up this mission; and my gifted unit waiting on-map will be a Tamed Eagle. This can upgrade to a bombing unit later, or to a better air hunter, but unlike the orc campaign I don’t get a bomber first. These are equivalent to “fighters” or “fighter-bombers” in Panzer General: great at fighting in the air, not bad against ground targets. They have good scouting and great speed, and are invulnerable to all ground units except for magicians who can attack with spells, and (more commonly) missile troops -- but not arty units. Archery units can shoot defensively for allies being attacked from the air, too; so it’s important, although generally impossible, to keep air units out of range of ground shooters. Fortunately, since that’s generally impossible, there is an important level-up skill I can take early which will help with that enormously. We’ll get to that later.

As with most Panzer Generaly games, air units can occupy the same hexes as ground units, just at a different vertical level; and they completely ignore terrain factors since it would be ridiculous for roads and mountains and forests and swamps and rivers ect. to affect them.

Normally I like to keep as many air units as any other units in my core -- I favor a balanced core as much as possible. Fortunately, unlike Fantasy General this game won’t penalize me for building a more limited group-type. Unfortunately, I’m already at, or rather way past, my core limit, and I need to pay for upgrades, so I’m going to be hampered in adding more air units for a while.

Okay, enough shop talk, on with the story.
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2015, 08:41:08 PM »
632 Late Spring -- Sylent's Lambs


“...this isn’t what I signed up for,” Reed mumbled to Brim as the sergeants mustered their troops the following morning for the march.

“You mean,” Pint said as he passed by, “you didn’t sign up to be killing other people?”

“Exactl--!” Reed stopped as he saw the look in Pint’s eyes. “Look, regardless of what you think about the... the ‘uru’...” the former farmer stumbled over the term, “even I know perfectly well my fellow humans are people. And now I’ve got to go stick them in the eyes and puncture their lungs??”

“Could be worse,” Pint shrugged. “You could have signed up thinking all you’d do was politically guard Sylent. At least you knew there’d be goblin fighting when Pfeil put out his call.”

“Could be worse,” Brim continued. “You could be slicing open their guts with swords and amputating their various extremities. Seriously, you could soon be doing that. I’ve heard the Captain means to make us into swordsmen soon, for better assaulting cities. That’s what usually wins campaigns, after all.”

“So does staying alive. And soon we’ll be fighting horses,” Fitch observed as he joined the group. “Personally I’d rather have a good spearwall to be shooting behind.”

“Look,” said Sciff as he passed by, “...what are we talking about?” The others brought him up to speed. “Oh. Dang, son, just ask the Captain to let you stay here with Father Divine and guard the people from orcs! Wow, that was easy. You people talk too much,” he grumbled and moved along.

“Or,” said Father Divine, “man up and go save your home!”

Everyone jumped a little as the lanky white-haired Inquisitor loomed behind them.

“You. Boy,” he pointed. “You come from one of the villages near Sylent, from what I’ve heard.” Reed nodded, too unnerved to speak -- and too ashamed, for he could already see where the priest was going. “Currently, enemies are invading them, and ruining their lives. You joined to help protect your fellow farmers from that, yes? Thank you.” And the Reverend Father bowed. “I truly appreciate what you and your fellow men have done to help us. Even if, by leaving here, the settlement is lost again. But I understand: you have your own home to help. I would come to repay your kindness if I could.”

“Sir,” Reed bowed in return. “I just... it’s just that... it isn’t the same.”

“It is, although you may not see it yet. But you’ll be fighting professional soldiers who knew they risked being wounded or even killed by you when they joined,” the cleric quirked a smile. “Right now, however, they’re fighting your fellow farmers who just want to be left alone to build their lives as well as they can. King Stephan has, in effect, become an orc chief by his actions, and he is dragging his own people down into that mire.

“Go stop him. Your people need you.”

So, Reed went.

And so, several weeks later, he gratefully disembarked again from the coastal trading ships, into the surf of the borderland east of Sylent.

In the intervening weeks, the archers had all upgraded to crossbowmen, adding new levels of armor as well to their brigadine plated leather, and training in the quite different methods of shooting effectively with these triggered weapons.

[Gamenote: in some games, crossbows are correctly portrayed as having a much flatter ballistic arc, without the fine control afforded by bows, meaning they cannot safely shoot over nearby allies; but in this system they shoot just like bows. Ditto for the ballistas and ‘spear hurlers’, come to think of it! The bowmen had already gained a level and I picked a defensive kit for each of them, so these crossbowmen have brigadine armor which otherwise I’m not sure would have been offered!]

Reed’s squad had been similarly upfitted to fight against the expected armored horsemen, being given better halberd-quality spears and requisite armor and training.

Captain Pfeil had even given Reed an officer’s commission to lieutenant, for his skill in managing the rearguard during the previous campaign! -- he was allowed to keep his Burning Sword, and his second squad of halberdiers was given a peculiar relic by Father Divine before leaving Derenhalle: a battered helmet blessed by having been worn by a zealous evangelist in centuries long past, who had taken the faith of St. Marcus into the pagan lands around. The Father said that this would add a little special protection to the troops; though Reed suspected they’d simply fight harder to keep the relic protected. [Gamenote: +1 defense]

“Well,” Brim roared in amazement, “you’ve become quite a little captain in your own right, haven’t you! Two squads of halberds, a bodkin squad for missile support, and the ‘Deathreed’! That isn’t much less than the Captain himself brought to Derenhalle you know!”

“I know, I know,” Reed wilted. “I didn’t ask for this, you know.”

“You’re a veteran now, boy, as much as any of us,” the older sergeant reassured him. “Okay, not so much as some of us. But moreso than some of the sergeants we picked up along the way!”

“Do you still call Captain Derrick ‘boy’?” Reed asked with a touch of a grin.

“No, but he’s our commanding officer. Despite your rank, you’re not! And we do give him sass on occasion. It’s important that officers remember the life of their army depends on their sergeants.”

“May I have your permission, sergeant, to finish gathering my troops?” the captain dryly asked as he walked out of the surf nearby with his steed.

An hour or so later he brought his commanders together along with the fighting men at the little village nearby. Suspicious and frightened fishermen and farming families watched them from windows and out in the fields so that they could flee on a moment.

 


“Naturally,” he said, “Leranse doesn’t have enough manpower to secure its own borders, bring up a siege to Sylent and seize its bordertowns, and also guard every landing beach of coast behind their lines. So we’re exploiting that.

“From here, we’re going to move up in two largely separate groups, into land previously acceded to Sylant. So we’ll have two thrusts, with two quite different objectives.

“Sergeant Brim: you get to be a lieutenant today, yourself! You’ve been training your swordsmen to strike against forts and cities; now you get to practice what you’ve taught and what they’ve learned.

“The enemy is staging out of D’Quazir Castle. I want you to take Sciff and Fitch, and Reed’s ballista, and Braun’s cavalry, and Pint’s second scouting squad, and capture that castle. Free the roundabout country from invaders, too.”

“...that sounds like a tall order, Captain.”

“It is. This whole operation is a tall order, but every soldier here will receive double pay for the time.”

 


“Reed and Pint, and their squads, will join me in the main thrust, once we liberate Manot, up the coastal road, which I doubt will give us any more problem than here: it only has a watchtower not even a wall!

“We’ll be a smaller detachment, but your company Brim will be the feint. An important feint, which is why it will work as a feint! -- but our main goal is to find and sack the supply wagons for the siege farther down the coast. That will draw the knights back to break the siege.”

“And then what??” Pint snorted.

“Before they arrive, we’ll have to find the general for Leranse’s invasion and put him down. They may break the siege once they learn their rear is so threatened anyway, so we’ll have to move fast to get this done before they can return! Twelve days, I judge, that’s all. If we haven’t dominated their supply line and removed their rear-leadership by then, we’ll probably have to retreat. But if we can do it, the shock of our victory will cause them to fall apart and regroup if not surrender outright.

“Step off lively, then, and let’s go to work and earn our pay.”

As expected, Manot turned out to be undefended -- except for a trained eagle flapping languidly above it in the sky!

Upon seeing the approaching column, flying Sylentian colors of blue and silver, the eagle carefully flew over and dropped a notepebble onto the ground nearby.

“Quarrels down,” the captain ordered Reed’s crossbow squad. “That eagle is flying Sylentian colors, too!” The note confirmed this, and suggested from Master Brennock that the captain investigate a holy shrine along the probable path of the supply wagons. The eagle took up position guarding the Sylentian flags below; its handler, with signaling streamers, soon appeared in Manot.

[Gamenote: the ‘handlers’ are a fiction I’ve added for the sake of explaining how orders are given to the flying animals, but they aren’t in the game itself.]

“Look out in the distance,” pointed Captain Pfeil. “You can see the wizard tower over Sylent, if you squint just right!”

 


“I know, sir; I’ve lived in sight of the tower all my life.”

“True, but that was for the benefit of men from Derenhalle. But what about you? -- did you live near here?”

“Not here, but I’ve visited my aunt and uncle before in... in Valence... heaven save them, is that Valence burning!? It is! It must be!”

“I’m sorry, Reed. If so, Brim and Braun will soon put that to right, and establish a line of advance for taking the fight back to the castle just over the border into Leranse.”

“...if my uncle and aunt are dead, that cannot be put to right.”

“No, Reed. Not by us. But we’ll make sure those looters are punished for what they’ve done.

“Now, let’s go uproot the larger looters threatening the city.”

“The very first regiment wagons are just ahead, sir, down the road,” reported Pint.

“How far?” the Captain asked, and Pint made a sketch based on preliminary report. “Eh. Too far to reach around the back of them today, in case they have archery support. I’ll ride up and take a look. From a safe distance, I promise.”

Soon he confirmed: not only were militia waiting in the wagon ring, but bowmen camped in support upon a hill beyond the camp -- and scouts were hiding in a small copse of trees nearby to shower any attacker with javelins, too!

Pfeil’s raiding detachment moved up for more safely striking at the camp on the morrow -- but the enemy oddly signaled, and the scouts ran out of the woods, down the road, toward Valence!

“Brim must be making a lot of trouble there. What can you see from the hill?” the captain asked that evening as the commanders conferred for the following day.

“Braun has camped in Valence, and retaken it. That’s odd, why would cavalry be used for attacking the village?”

“What are the other dispositions? Ah...,” Derrick said as he checked a map that Reed had scribbed. “I see, Brim probably took the opportunity to weaken the defenders with missiles, while setting up his front of advance toward the castle; then assaulted the village and forced a retreat, whereupon the horses took the town and maybe destroyed the retreating squad out in the open, see?”

 


“Okay, that makes sense. And the scouts went up to harass the cav.”

“Or possibly the ballista crew! No need for us to help them, though; let’s move on.”

Day two started with a morning ambush by Pint, out of the copse the enemy scouts had formerly occupied, panicking the Larentian bowmen and driving them off their hill.

 


The eagle picked off the broken archers, providing some scouting information, too.

 


“We should cross the river here, instead of trying to take those next wagon supplies beyond that bridge! Unfortunately, those militia are going to slow us down considerably today,” the Captain expected.

Pint partially disagreed: “I don’t think we can defeat them today; and the terrain on this side of the river is such that we will need days to move our part of the company across -- after we get these wagons! It would be safe, but not expedient. I think that we would be better off allowing our full missileers to pound the other side of the river and drive open spots for us to cross in attack.”

“I don’t like it but you’re probably right. That being the case, Reed, go help the push toward the castle for now, so that we can free up aid in crossing the river later,” Derrick ordered.

“I can do both: finish off however many scouts escape your charge, and still be ready to help push those militia out tomorrow with my other halberdiers.”

And that’s what they did.

 

 


“What about the Deathreed, would you say?” asked the Captain with a testing twinkle in his eye. “Soften the militia in the wagons?”

“...eh, no. There are enemy archers on the hill, more dangerous and more exposed. I’d guess the ballista should thin them out instead?” Reed tentatively suggested.

“Good suggestion. I approve.”

 


Seeing the flow of the battle changing, Brim sent the 2nd scouting squad to finish dealing with those archers -- mowing them down like grass under hail.

 


The crossbowmen and cavalry made short work of the remaining enemy scouts, after Brim’s scouts, and Brim himself with his swordsmen, took the forest and hills behind them to cut off most of their likely retreats. The path to the castle lay open now!

Except for the squads besieging it.

“What?” Derrick pulled at his ear when hearing this report in the evening. “That doesn’t make sense. Troops flying Larentian flags are accosting a castle that flies the flag of Leranse -- which ought to be supporting the drive toward Sylent??”

“Not only that, but the besiegers won! -- for now. Militia marched into the castle, according to our scouts; and a bunch of foolish cavalry, and even more foolish peasants, decided to attack my swordsmen in the forest! Not many survived.”

 

 


“Sciff and Fitch’s crossbow support helped a lot, to be honest,” Brim gladly acknowledged. “So the enemy sent some bowmen out to shoot over the hill and nick a few of Fitch’s. We’ll get them tomorrow.”

“Hm. Well, we’re only two days into this operation, and we were going to neutralize that castle anyway. Let’s see what happens,” Derrick optimistically said.

The following day, Brim and Braun and the second scouting squad, with some help from Captain Pfeil, mopped up the former siegers of Castle D’Quazir; and the scouts moved round to the forest in its rear, to keep them from deploying any extra troops outside and to see if they could figure out what exactly was going on.

They didn’t have long to wait: messages tied to rocks were thrown from window-slits toward the woods.

 


Later that afternoon, the militia inside, apparently deciding to try to make a run for it, charged out against Braun’s cavalry. The fight was surprisingly even-sided, since the cavalry couldn’t charge and the militia all had spears.

Meanwhile, the missileers, including the ballista and Pint’s main scouting squad, pummeled the militia in the ad hoc wagon fort. Reed’s halberds pushed them out with two more attacks, finally seizing the siegers’ supplies.

 


“Well, that took long enough,” a brightly tasseled woman with several stunning scars complained as she trotted over into the camp and began to wave various streamers and flags in the sky.

“With minimal casualties on our part, so that we can fight again more easily. Against some decent spearmen in a defensive... what are you doing?” Reed brusquely asked. “Who are you again?”

The trained eagle promptly flew over and slaughtered the final militia in the field where they had fled.

 


“Oh. Never mind. Um... good job?”

“You’ll thank me later,” the trainer said. “Or, more likely you won’t. So never mind, indeed.”

“Okay, well, just to be clear, tomorrow we’re going to start the same thing again, to soften up those troops on the other side of the river. So try to restrain your boredom,” Reed rolled his eyes and walked away.

Day 4 began with Brim and Braun, along with support from the second scouts, eliminating the looting militia.
 


The scouts took an hour to secure the castle, in the process, and found inside a wounded Baron D’Quazir.

His story soon came out: forced by King Stephan to act as a staging area for the invasion, the duke didn’t actually want to hurt his neighbors with whom he had developed friendly trade over decades. When news of Captain Pfeil’s flanking assault reached him, he publicly rejected and denounced Stephan’s plans, thus acting as a sacrificial distraction while Lerantian troops tried to quell him in his castle. The militia who had taken his castle at last, didn’t understand Pfeil only intended this wing to be a feint, and in the confusion of Pfeil’s speedy advance hadn’t been able to properly report to the invasion’s general across the river at his headquarters, much less receive instructions to stay and hold the castle as a continuing threat until reinforcements could be essayed to rescue them. Or perhaps they didn’t believe the general would even try!

“At any rate, the filthy looters ran for it, and good riddance,” the old man growled. “I know mercenaries prefer to be thanked in gold instead of words; but, sadly, the thieves already ransacked us and sent it on ahead by courier.

“Let me give you instead my youngest and only surviving son, William D’Quazir, who has been training to command a squad of knights. He will serve your captain faithfully, and bring swift vengeance on Stephan for his betrayal of Sylant! They will be ready to operate tomorrow; we didn’t have time to kit them up sufficiently to help defend our castle before. Also, if you would take this chain mail to our fellow knights who helped to rescue our castle?”

[Gamenote: Braun’s landless knights also leveled up, and I chose chain main for +1 defense. But Bill’s knights are feudal, and so are already a full grade better though still level 0.]

« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 09:27:24 PM by JasonPratt »
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2015, 08:51:30 PM »
After settling matters, Brim decided to remain behind near the castle for a while to rest and perhaps recruit slain swordsman replacements. Braun and the scouts moved up to get a better idea what waited at the second supply wagon-circle across the river.

A lot.

 


Pfeil came forward onto a hill nearby the river, out of archery range, to oversee the situation. “I want those bowmen pounded,” he said; “the ones not next to the camp, I mean. Maybe we can get them to flee into the river.”

That didn’t work, but the archers did take casualties.

As Reed coordinated in (what amounted to) the rearguard, to send halberds and archers over in shifting the focus of the front around, to bring even more pressure on those bowmen in the morrow, Pint sidled up.

“So Reed, I was thinkin’... Didn’t the Captain say Master Brannock was talkin’ about investigatin’ a shrine across the river?”

“True, but we cannot get there for another few days. Unless...?”

“My squad is already prepared to cross the river. We can be safely on the other side today, and tomorrow at the shrine.”

“Without support?! Wait, wait, hold on... um, you, the trainer, I’m sorry I haven’t gotten your name yet,” Reed called her over.

“Call me Torn, lieutenant.”

“...really??”

“Yes, really. Sir.”

“...right. Can you direct your eagle to scout for us over here,” Reed showed on a map, “without him being endangered, of course. An archery squad could be... is he a he or a she?”

“Yes, he is. And yes, I can.” She squinted at him a little. “Most officers don’t think ahead for trying to protect their eagles from harm, if they can. Um, thank you?” she quirked him a grin.

“You’re welcome. How will the eagle be able to tell us what he sees?”

“Various swoops and dives, like a code. I’ll have a lenstube for keeping an eye on him.”

“Fine. You both get going, then.”

The report came back later that afternoon, while Reed was giving his halberdmen a rest for their wounds: cavalry at the altar.

The Deathreed continued its mangling of the further enemy bowmen the following day, driving them down to the river-bridge after all, where William began his service to Captain Pfeil by clearing them from the path of advance.

 


With the path cleared, Braun and the second scouting squad crossed the bridge and wrecked the other enemy archers. Pint, having learned of what was waiting at the altar, agreed with Reed’s signals as the lieutenant marched up to a hill on the river, and came back to start skirmishing on the spearmen inside the wagon circle. Pfeil’s crossbows shot them, too, though mostly the peasants who had been helping block an advance across the bridge, breaking their ranks and driving them back. Now only the spearmen were stopping an advance, “but they’re better quality troops than the ones who slowed us down from taking this wagon train,” Reed explained to Torn. “If you think you can bring your eagle back to pick off any survivors, great, but otherwise -- “

“I know, be careful with him.”

 


“Pint could be in serious trouble,” Reed worried. “He’s saying there are peasants in the fields, near the third wagon-ring, who can see him; and they don’t look like farmers, they look like they’ve joined the invaders! They’ll pass that information along, and Pint saw a ton of other troops nearby, all of whom could mess him up extensively. They might even push him into the river and kill his squad completely, if they do it right.” He bit his lip, unable to help his peer.

 


 


Pfeil, resting from his wounds on the hill, signaled the second scouts to move up to the wagon-circle, in order to provide a screen for the second halberd squad and Sciff’s crossbowmen to ford the riverbanks in relative safety.

 


Nervously, Reed watched no less than three squads come up to flank Pint’s scouts... but none of them could muster the courage to tackle Pint’s team and take javelins to the face in a defensive barrage!

Who did attack, surprisingly, was a squad of militia who had looted and secured the tiny village of Lussac upriver! -- they ran out to stab at William’s knights.

 


This amazing act of mostly-futile bravery put to shame those guarding the final regimental supplies; but Reed, when he heard about it, wasn’t inclined to complain.

[Gamenote: that was probably the best move the computer could have made with that one militia squad, other than pulling it back to help slow down an advance on the final objective later. As for surrounding my scouts, the computer’s main mistake was not letting its cavalry run my scouts down out of the gate: its peasants and militia ended up blocking a charge. But, maybe it couldn’t have moved the cavalry far enough to attack -- though I doubt it. More likely it was simply setting up for a more decisive blow next turn.]

Neither was Captain Pfeil. “Reed, I want you to keep the pressure up until Brim returns to take command. William, let’s get rid of these militia and then come with me!” Derrick led his new cavalry squad to liberate Lussac and then to disappear upriver.

When Reed received the captain’s message by courier, he knew what to do.

“We root out the defenders, and give Pint a better place to make a stand. Torn, is your eagle up to scattering those final archers?” He was.

Then came the artillery and crossbow barrage onto the supply wagons. Still the spearmen held.

“Javelins to the rear!” Reed signaled. Another few spearmen fell, but they refused to budge. The second scouting squad moved out of the way for Reed’s second halberdiers to get up off the riverbanks and into the fight on dry land.

 


“Those spearmen are amazing,” Torn breathed. “Do they have no fear at all?”

“Probably hard training, and lots of it,” Reed marveled. “All we have left is Pint, and I’m not sure he’ll be able to do it.”

But he did: the spearmen finally retreated under the blows, though still not broken, down to the bridge, carrying their wounded with them. Pint’s crew ran into the wagon circle, and prepared to receive attack.

“How can we give them more support?!” Torn demanded.

Reed shook his head. “If we march down into the river and finish off the militia, I could pull more crossbows up to the bridge: they’d be protected, and would give a defensive volley, but we’d be vulnerable to slaughter by at least one squad... Okay, wait.” He looked around from his vantage point on the hill. “Several squads still have enough strength to march, so let’s...” He sent orders for his crossbow squad to move back, and then took his halberds to the same hill overlooking the bridge, from which they ran down to finish off the spearmen -- who bravely rose up to meet them on the riverbank!

 


“I couldn’t figure out a way to give Pint more support today, but now at least the path is clear for tomorrow, without having to worry about any allies being stuck on that river.”

The enemy knights made the mistake of attacking the second scouting squad instead, the ones outside the wagons -- but who were supported by Sciff’s crossbows, and by Torn’s eagle!

[Gamenote: unfortunately I couldn’t get the camera around in time to catch that amazing fight.]

On the seventh day, a week after the start of the campaign, several of Pfeil’s company rested while others helped clear the way onto the final wagons.










Day eight presented a special problem. “We have got to get around to the side of those archers and flank them hard enough to push them away from that ballista behind the final wagons,” Reed explained to Torn. Otherwise that ballista might easily wreck an incoming squad or two; and scouts say spearmen are waiting in that camp -- and you saw how hard it was to get them out!”

“Don’t forget the cavalry guarding the altar,” added Torn.

Reed acknowledged, “argh, yes, thanks I had in fact forgotten them. I feel reasonably sure your eagle can help us tear the ballista apart, but -- “

“-- the archers would shoot in defense. And then in attacking.”

“The ballista, too. Your eagle is precious, and I don’t want to lose it.”

“Okay, but maybe we’re looking at this the wrong way around,” she suggested. “What if we shoot it first with the... Deathreed?” she couldn’t help but snicker.

“I didn’t name it that, ‘Torn’,” he riposted. “We might kill it outright, but if we didn’t there would be trouble.”

“I can go up t’ the other side of the fields, and have a quarrel with it, lieutenant,” Sciff volunteered. “Can’t promise I’ll put it completely out of commission, but I’ll be out of range of archery returning a volley, and you’re guaranteed to destroy it with whatever you send over next!”

“And my scouts can do a serious number on those archers!” Pint promised. “Just don’t let that ballista whack us!”

In fact, the ballista broke and retreated after Sciff’s volley. This created more problems.

“So? Now we can spack those archers!” the ballista crew declared.

 


Whereupon the shattered archers also ran away.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 09:43:42 PM by JasonPratt »
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2015, 09:00:49 PM »
“This is worst success I’ve ever seen,” Reed sighed.

“Aw, listen to you, you sound like an old campaigner,” Pint laughed. “Yes, yes, I know: they’ll reinforce, patch up their wounded, and then come back for more. But if they do that, they won’t be able to attack us today, so we’re free and clear to work on those spearmen. I’ll take our spears and go up and soften them up and scout around, okay?”

So they did, along with Fitch’s crossbowmen.

“Those spearmen’s hearts must be forged from solid steel,” Reed folded his arms and sighed. “We’ll have to fork them out, I guess.” So he led his halberds up and did that.

 


“That was a mess,” Pint muttered as he moved up to take the final regimental supply cache. “They actually got over into my squad, trying to divide your line!”

“Holy Saint Marcus, look out, here come more knights!” called the exhausted undersergeant for the second scouting squad. “They look like they mean business!” Everyone readied for the tidal wave of armor and death: as the scouts said, these were clearly very experienced and well-armed cavalry...








...until ice froze them in place, and a meteor from heaven blasted them to blazing little pieces.

“...I hope whoever did that’s on our side,” Reed said.

“Good day, fellow Sylentians!” a booming voice announced. “I hope you don’t mind if my apprentices and I spared you from a battle with another detachment of knights? My students need the practice, not being warriors by training.” A cheerful man with a flamboyant red and blue cape, receding salt-and-pepper hair, and a wizard’s staff led two green-clad sorcerers into the camp from nearby trees.

“Oh, well, I suppose if you needed the practice we wouldn’t complain,” Reed nonchalantly answered. “I’m Lieutenant Reed, serving under Captain Pfeil and, well, I suppose Lieutenant Brim now, though he hasn’t caught back up to us yet.”

“Brannock.” The fellows shook hands, as the squads tried to relax. “And where is Derrick?”

“One moment, please. Torn,” Reed turned to address the gaping woman, “I know your eagle could easily finish off any of the three broken squads nearby, and we might wish at least one more is gone tomorrow. But Pint says a full bowman squad is waiting behind Marsalles. I don’t want your eagle to be a target. We can deal with them tomorrow.”

“The ballista could still attack. It isn’t any weaker, just with a broken crew,” she pointed out.

“They’ll have a harder time attacking, by the same token.”

“You still could lose some men, if the enemy tries to attack.”

Reed inhaled. “I know. Whatever choice I make, people could die. Don’t tell anyone I said so, but your eagle cannot be as easily replaced as a few of the troops,” he whispered. “Okay? Just have him rest today, and be in top shape tomorrow.

“Master Brannock,” Reed returned attention to the wizard. “Sorry, I wanted to make sure someone didn’t rush off and get killed. I don’t know where Captain Pfeil is. He... um... he has a habit of going off more-or-less by himself, and reappearing later. As far as I can tell he’s working his way around the nearby lake to the north, in order to get back in front of us for our final attack on the enemy headquarters.”

“That sounds exactly like Derrick Pfeil! Well, let’s eat from the enemy supplies tonight, and... one moment please,” he muttered as he threw an explosive ball of fire to blast the final spearmen into atoms, “...plan how to finish this off in the next few days!”
 


“We’ll be glad to share our lunch, and listen to any recommendations you might have,” Reed offered.

“Good! My first recommendation is to prepare to receive an assault; I let my presence be known and something of my intentions, and then ran away back here once I could see you’d soon be taking the final supplies,” Master Brennock said as he munched on a mutton sandwich. “The enemy cavalry should be arriving... oh, good here they are!”

More panic ensued, but only a squad of landless knights rushed forward to try attacking one of Pint’s scouting squads in a field. That was a mistake; the scouts ambushed them and destroyed them down to the last man and horse, with help from defensive crossbows and their own javelin counterattack.

 


[Gamenote: probably that hex was just outside the computer’s line of sight, and so the horsemen rode into the hex and got utterly ambushed. In Panzer General games, advancing into a hex you don’t have eyes on is a suicidal idea, and Fantasy Wars is no exception. Great luck for me!]

“As you can see, I’ve saved you a couple of days’ work,” the wizard nodded and resumed his meal, while his disciples reverently watched nearby.

“YOU BROUGHT THEM ALL HERE!?”

“Yes, yes, you only need to kill the Larentian general. Your scouts will be able to tell me where he is; I fireball his ass; maybe the ballista whacks him, too; the eagle swoops in for the end, all done. Derrick might even have a clear shot at him now from the rear, if he’s advancing from that direction! I suppose we ought to let him take a try, first,” mused the wizard.

“Wait, hold on,” said Pint. “Didn’t we want to check the altar for any relics before the cavalry can find it first and flee?”

“Right. Your second squad can’t make it, so we’ll send them into the woods to soften the general up a bit. Go see if you can drive the cavalry off the altar, Pint,” Reed instructed. And that’s what happened. “Signal Braun! I think he can ride in and do the work there!” Reed continued on having heard of that success.

“No good, lieutenant, even we can’t get there today!” Braun sent back by courier.

“Oh, argh. That means we’ll have to weather an attack today in order to be able to pick it up tomorrow,” Reed sulked. “Well, it can’t be helped.”

[Gamenote: there is really no reason why if I won today I shouldn’t have the relic, but there we are. An annoying side effect of the game rules.]

So that day they spent in carefully skinning off enemy squads in front and around Mazarelles.
 





Soon only the general and his royal knights remained as any kind of threat -- but still, they were a serious threat!

 


The general, having seen the wizard move up to lend defensive fire support, did the only wise thing he could do aside from retreating and saving his troops to fight another day: he sent the peasants who had supported his invasion in a sacrificial run against the wizard, drawing a crossbow volley...

...and then mobbed the wizard with royal knights.

 


Leaving his body to gasp on the grass, alone, his students run down and speared.

This outrage wouldn’t save the general’s life.

“General!” shouted Derrick Pfeil, as he rode up in the rear. “Your days of pillaging Sylant are over! Here, do you remember Baron D’Quazir?! The man who turned his back on looting the innocent!? HIS SON REMEMBERS YOU!!

 


“For the sake of the Captain’s teacher!” Reed shouted to his halberdiers, “and for my aunt and uncle, and for all the families harried and burned by this looter who chose the path of the orc! Be done with him!”

 


“The so-called Invincible General is dead!” cried Brim, as he marched up at last from the road behind. “Many of these men have families in this area! Let as few of his troops escape the wrath of justice as you can!”

Most of the knights, in truth, escaped; though not so many peasants, or the royal knights themselves.

“Ah, Master Brennock, you old fool!” Pfeil rushed across the field from his flanking position and found his fallen teacher.

“...when will you ever start calling me Alfred?” the mage crustily coughed.

“When you’re dead, maybe. You certainly tried hard enough, and you... dammit, man, you’ve gotten your apprentices killed. And you’ve used magic to attack other people!”

“...you’re welcome. Patch me up, please. More quickly, there’s a good boy...”

“You pur-blind fool! You know what this will mean!”

“Sylent is safe, and we’ll sign a peace with King Stephan, and my favorite pupil lives to fight another day.”

“It means the Inquisition will be hammering at the gates of the tower!!”

“It means my fellow wizards will diplomatically throw me to the wolves. If the wolves can find me. Fair enough trade, we all understand. The Inquisitors will understand, too: they have an important task, to keep us balanced so that we don’t {cough} ruin the world... I don’t blame them, they’re doing what has to be done. They’ll make an example of me. If they catch me. ...counting on you, Derrick.” And the magus drifted away. And started snoring.

“I hate that we had to spend money to reinforce, and then we didn’t get here in time,” groused Brim, “to lend any help! How revolting. Speaking of disgusting, how did you fare, boy, fighting fellow humans?”

“...I didn’t like it. But it had to be done.”

“He did fine,” Pint assured his peer. “And look, thanks to his management, we were able to pick up this helpful... um... blue, cold thing!”

But Reed wasn’t listening as the other commanders compared their campaign notes, and welcomed William D’Quazir to their ranks.

He was staring back to the east. Where the smoldering remains of Valence still lay. Too late to be saved.

“Y’know,” said Torn as she strode up and sat down nearby to eat from her plate, “you actually met me, way down that road, in Valence. You didn’t pay attention at the time. Understandable, under the circumstances. Shall we try that again?

“I’m Torra,” she said. And held out a hand, to shake.

“..wait, uh, no, we met in Manot...?”

“Didn’t meet there either,” she winked. “But I once lived near Valence. Many years ago.

“A little shepherdess, guarding her lambs from eagles. And from wolves...”
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 09:44:51 PM by JasonPratt »
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2015, 05:08:29 PM »
632 Late Spring -- The Monkeys' Paws

“And they did what?” Ugraum growled.

“According to the news passed down along the Waste,” said Ash-hoon the orcan hexer, “a monkey force uprooted the Snake clan goblins you left behind there, half a season ago. But then departed again, leaving the contested area this side of the forts -- “

“That is what I meant. They left,” pondered the great red orc. “The monkeys must be fighting among themselves. That is the only explanation.”

“Have we learned enough to take advantage of that, my general?”

“Yes, Axenose. I think our people have.

“They still haven’t learned enough. But they will.

“Gather the horde. We march for Irand. While the seams in our enemy’s armor leave him soft to stab.”

 


“Are you afraid to fight the monkeys, when they are at their strength?” Ash-shoon grated.

“Great Ugraum is never afraid!” the little goblin hexer Sho-doon insisted, but --

“I see an opportunity to do more damage than otherwise I might,” Ugraum answered. “I fight for victory, and for the best effect of a victory. You needn’t join our victory, if that insults you.”

The grim hexer-orc smiled. “I am not insulted at all. Just curious.”

“Don’t get too curious, First Hexer. Leave us now to prepare.”

“...leave you to prepare, what?”

“Whatever you need to do, in order to fight with us. Oh -- did you mean to be curious about what we will prepare?”

“...I will go my way,” the painted orc said, and departed.

“Why insult the first hexer, Great Ugraum?”

“He does not respect respect, which he sees as weakness. And he has come to take the horde. He is admittedly strong, in his way. We can use him. But be careful around him, Sho-doon. If he sees you as a rival, he may kill you. I would be fatally annoyed, if that happened.

“Now. We have a problem. Our people don’t understand yet how important supplies are in a war. They are learning, but not quickly enough to bring all the force we could want, under my command. Most of the horde I will send out all along the fortress line of the monkeys, to learn and grow stronger, if they survive. But we can only bring fifteen with us. And we have seventeen. Two must go elsewhere.

“We must break through at Irand, the southern area of the fort-line, from which we can help the other portions of the horde break through. So Besegar must come; as should you, Sho-doon, my friend. Ash-hoon, too, for his strength and because I can’t trust him in command of other forces. But how shall I choose among the others? Advise me, friends.”

“We have more goblins than orcs,” said Sho-doon. “We could leave the two orc squads to fight elsewhere.”

“We could,” Ugraum agreed.

“The goblin way, is to hit fast without being hit,” Axenose added. “Thus we live longer for victory, and control the terms of the battle.”

“Are you therefore also advising that we send the orcs away? Only have a goblin army, with some orc commanders?”

“...no, Ugraum. It pains me to admit it, but... the pans. They are not fast enough. Nor, to be honest, are the pansies. But they can be trained instead to ride the hyenas. With time.”

“We have some time on the march into position. We will lose some of the advantages of the pansies if we do that. You could teach them to move invisibly instead, and to terrorize our foes,” suggested Ugraum.

“Yes. But they will still be able to fight in woods. Better than other cavalry anyway. They wouldn’t be able to take advantage of rough land or hills anymore. But they would move fast and be hit without being hit. The perfect goblin strategy!”

“So, do you say we ought to replace our orcs as well as your pans with hyena pansies?”

“That is a thought, Great Ugraum,” Sho-doon nodded. “But if we did, what message would be sending about the importance of cooperation among all uru?”

“Let our words not be a fog,” said Axenose. “Let the orcs also train to ride the bulls! They will not be able to hit without being hit, but they will be fast and harsh on our enemies -- and so strong that they can move around with impunity into place!”

[Gamenote: they don’t get segmented movement, which includes that ability, too; but they can still ignore zones of control that would normally stop allied moves near enemies.]

“Then bring our other distance fighters. The stone thrower and the spear hurler; our archers... though they are somewhat slow,” Sho-doon pondered. “But they hit strongly, without being hit, and farther than our skirmisher cavalry will.”

Ugraum tapped his fingers on a mug. “The only element you are missing from your strategy,” he said, “is this: we must take monkey cities to succeed. I could train our orcs to do that, almost immediately. Perhaps they would learn it later, or maybe not, who knows? I do however also like the idea of greater speed.” He and Besegar had been testing each other in races recently.

Then he stood. “I have decided. We shall strike like panthers running down our prey, on the plains and in the woods. If our archers cannot keep up, well, we will send them elsewhere to fight and invest in more panthers.

“We shall be a panzer corpz.”

“Except on hyenas and bulls,” snickered the old little goblin. “No, I love it! Really! I just... the image was amusing!”

“Let us be amused, then,” the great red orc graciously said, patting the quaking elder.

“And let our enemies learn the price of fear.”

« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 09:45:32 PM by JasonPratt »
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2015, 05:22:25 PM »
In the end, with a little finagling, they decided the wild trolls could be brought along as well, though the trolls were no faster than average. But possibly they could learn. To them was given the orb of cold for fording rivers; Ugraum brought his eye of seeing as usual. In their previous campaign, Axenose had at some cost found a shard of night that had fallen from the sky long ago; this he gave to the 3rd panzer goblins as gratitude for teaching the pansies how to fight on hyenas as soon as possible: broken into smaller pieces it granted all that squad invisibility! Axenose wanted to keep his bloody berserker battle-axe which had given him his name, but Ugraum insisted he give it, personally, to one of the panzer orc squads. This new unity helped earn respect among uru kin in the corpz. In return, Axenose was allowed to bring the horn of fury in case his squad had to directly fight their enemy in melee.

With his newly trained Panther Corpz, Ugraum arrived at the southern settlement area and explained his strategy:

“Besegar and I, along with Sho-doon, Ash-hoon, the goblin archers, the war trolls, and our artillery, will start here, at the goblin village of Nilgazar. A pitiful trashheap -- for as usual the soft monkeys rely on our little makers to dispose of their garbage for free. An insolence we shall make them regret.”

 


“Besegar and I have speed as well as power; but we will take the slower troops directly toward the gates of Irand in the mountains.”

 


“I sense apeish witchery along the way,” Sho-doon cautioned. “Not in our way, but off to the side. I see... fury of a monkey female! She raises pain, pain, she burns!” The little goblin shook his head. “That... that happened long ago. Or not so long ago. The witch’s fury sleeps there. Look, O Great Ugraum, for a black, scorched circle where nothing grows. We might find something the soft apes feared and forsook!”

Ugraum nodded, and looked to where his little wizened ally pointed, on the map. “That will be hard to investigate while still keeping up the thrust of our advance. But Besegar and I can do it.”

 


“Axenose shall lead my panther squads, our fastest troops, including the zeppelina, to strike at a cleft in the mountains to the south. You can expect them to be guarding it somehow,” Ugraum warned, “but they never built fortifications there. “Pass through into their heartlands, sow ruin among them, but attend to messages from Ash-shoon and Sho-doon and lend us aid at the gates when we arrive. Weaken them by drawing them back if you can.”

“They shall feel riven as though by lightning made of panthers!” Axenose promised. So bowing he made his way to the designated area to begin, far from any goblin hovel but near to a small monkey settlement.

 


A small monkey settlement being visited by militia, according to the zeppelina’s observers. Bad luck, Axenose thought.

Worse luck soon revealed itself: the region was simply swarming with expert bowhunters. Some were set on a hill between two rivers, impossible to easily strike! -- probably meant to be on watch against a military thrust.

 


“The monkeymen were wise after all,” Axenose mumbled. “They didn’t build a castle here: this whole region of land is like their castle!

“Keep back!” he waved at the zeppelina, which could easily be destroyed.

“Noble Axenose,” a goblin sergeant said. “Remember our hyenas do not fight so well in forests yet. Certainly the bulls will not.”

“We have no choice but to continue. Look to our allies the orcs; we shall soften up the enemy so far as we can, and let our fellow panzers run them down!”

 
 




The 3rd Panzer Goblins took the brunt of the counterattack, but also broke the surviving enemy militia. The local commander in the village, of Tonndorf if Axenose understood their declarations right, pulled the spears back to recuperate them later, but in doing so he had to shuffle his troops around so that the archers now were vulnerable to direct attack. And the peasants in the village had meanwhile attempted a strike from the forest onto the bull riding orcs -- with predictably disastrous results for the farmers.

“Not the best start,” Axenose admitted to his sergeants that night. “But perhaps the best result we could have gotten, in this situation. Tomorrow is another day.”

 


“First, we shall javelin the archers in the town. Their peers in the woods will shoot in defense, but they are not so good as who we’re attacking, who will not be able to shoot in their defense, later.”

 


“Good, good. Now, my orcan ally! Ride in there and wipe those archers into streaks in the dust! Goblins, ride on across the bridge; but don’t let those horsemen in the camp see you near the pass -- stay outside their scouting range, and feed us more information.”

 


“3rd Panzer goblins: take the village and keep those broken losers from rallying afterward!”

[Gamenote: I can’t actually keep them from rallying, but since all the hurt humans are near the town, I can keep them from properly reinforcing or even properly resting by my presence there. Or they can try attacking me in their weakened state.]

Through a clever management of the agility of the hyenas, Axenose decimated, broke, and drove away the remaining less-experienced bowmen, and used the other panzer orcs to plow the remaining militia down in the woods outside of town.


 
 
 






The weakened hyenas he pulled back, worried that the garrison on the hill between the rivers would advance to shoot them down. “In fact,” he confided to his jubilant sergeants that night, “I hope they do advance: for all they can do is advance into a river! Then we can butcher them at leisure. Until then, we should use our speed to stay away from their range, and otherwise ignore them. Keep pressing onward. Where is our zeppelin?... ah, far away. I wish I hadn’t waved it off; it could be finishing some of these other monkeys in the woods. Oh well, Ugraum will find some good use for it, no doubt, before sending it back to us.”

 


The following day, Axenose ordered the final sanitzation of Tonndorf, realizing that they would need to regather some strength in safety before attempting the harsh fight before the mountain pass. This almost succeeded, but some bowmen still escaped despite some goblins riskily camping on a river to try to javelin them.

[Gamenote: fortunately, there is not one AI commander like myself for different portions of the field, but several in various regions. Otherwise my hyenas in the river would be screwed, because those horse yeomen would run up and slaughter them like sheep! But they’re outside the detection radius for the cavalry camp, so they’ll be safe.]

Oddly, coded signals from the zeppelina, still supporting Ugraum, indicated many of the cavalry at the camp had ridden away, probably to counter-attack Ugraum’s advance.

 


“Curious,” Axenose mused. “Finish hunting the archers in the wilderness,” he ordered the increasingly winded 2nd panzer goblins. “If they recuperate, we may find them stabbing us from behind in a difficult moment.” But the squad still couldn’t finish off the hardy archers that day.
 


“The unwounded panzer orcs and I shall overrun the farmers left in the horse-rider’s supply camp. Signal the zeppelina! -- it is time to rejoin our wing. The others, rest and recuperate and join us tomorrow; but don’t get near those guardians on the hill between the rivers! -- unless they are fool enough to come down to shoot at us.”

 
 
 







This worked reasonably well, although Axenose noticed some scouts guarding the pass who might cause them trouble, soon. And if all the horsemen returned at once? -- that might be inconvenient. A few tattered monkey spearmen and armored archers with strange horizontal weapons... perhaps they had learned the advantages of shooting goblin-style...? waited in and near the woods outside the camp; the largest group, a couple of lines of militia, were easily gored to death by the orcan bull riders.

Much to his surprise, more wounded monkeys came stumbling out of the woods; and riders who had previously rounded the corner of the road did return -- but broken and routed, dragging their wounded behind them!

 



“Shall we join the fight yonder, commander?” the sergeant of the first squad of bull riders asked. “Doubtless we could add greatly to the attack on the castle walls.”

“Doubtless. But Ugraum presumes there is artillery near the walls, or something of that sort, in the land behind the mountains. We should get back there as soon as possible and see. Great Ugraum, the trolls, and Besegar your mighty kin, are clearly beating the apes just like a barrel full of monkeys!” Axenose laughed. “Let us do our part. For example, I think you will have some trouble dealing with those scouts yonder on the ridge. So I will send our goblin bomber to help you first.”

 


“Now, if you can drive them off the ridge, we will be over it and done. Let the softskins have their camp here back if they want it; we have looted it already.”

 


“Easier done than said!” the orc sergeant boasted.

“Indeed! Then let us whistle up our panzers, as I clear the final monkey scouts away.”

 


“Stay out of the range of those yeoman archers!” Axenose warned, guiding the squads into relatively safe locations: the enemy still could cause them trouble after all. “Tomorrow we will descend down into the rich and beating heart!”

 


Minor monkey cavalry did try to assault the panzer orcs in the hills near the pass, but the bull riders broke their charge quite nicely.
 


The following morning, as goblin panzers rushed down the pass, the first panzer orc squad avenged itself thoroughly on the impertinent monkey horsemen.

 
 





Axenose and the panzer goblins meanwhile drove off the doughty militia defending the small milling town, although between one thing and another none of the squads were quite able to take the village that day. The wounded panzer orcs would likely rest there soon, however.
 
 




Axenose realized then, that in taking time to forge a horde worth throwing at the mountain forts, Ugraum had given these heartless creatures time to harden up with reinforcements -- indeed, Ugraum had practically told them they were coming, with his adventures last winter north on the fort-line!

And yet, what would have been the alternative? He had been only Itchynose, a goblin not even brave enough to stand, with his family, in the path of one lone orc on the way to teach his people how to defend themselves and take what they wanted to have.

Though he had been brave enough to stand forth alone, from concealment, to banty with that orc.

And now... well, here he was. A commander of orcs and goblins, in his own right, tasked with a crucial wing of attack, in breaking the softskin defenses.

A task, the first stage of which he had completed now, bringing his half of the corpz, the panthers, into the chicken coop -- or mostly so.

 


Still, this had taken very much longer than he had thought it would -- half the time allotted, six of twelve days. He wouldn’t be able to dig around in the monkey’s heart, so the softskins would escape with much of the loot: but only if he could get to the fortress in time to sever the monkey’s paws and shock them into fleeing.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 09:47:06 PM by JasonPratt »
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2015, 05:31:09 PM »
With the first panzer orcs having taken the milling village, and settling in for a well-deserved rest, and the second panzer orcs on the way around the hills, the panzer goblins charged on into the rear of the fort: where they discovered a horrifying surprise.

 


Two rock throwers and a spear hurler; protected by an archery squad between them; and flying above them, two trained eagles, ready to make short work of any survivors of the holocaust the artillery (and the archers) would unleash. Nor could the bomber be feasibly brought to help: Axenose counted no less than six units in sight which would wreck that precious vehicle.

They themselves would probably be savaged, when they attacked.

Nothing for it, although his scouting panzer goblin squad would at least be invisible carrying the night shards. Unless one of the things in the fort could see the invisible -- which wasn’t impossible.

“We shall get as close as we can,” he told his fellow panzer goblins, “without being seen as well. The eagles have a limited distance, just like anything else. But don’t get too close to the mountains! Someone on the other side may have sent a spy or two to a peak.”

[Gamenote: I’m pretty sure in this game mountains don’t block line of sight, although they should since they do block movement. I can’t tell for sure since Ugraum can see very far with his eye-thingy, and the troops on the other side are already ‘spotted’. So I’m trying to avoid being seen by them, and having eagles attack me, or worse the artillery! I’ve turned on the grid in the following screenie to give an idea not only where my forces are in relation to the back of the fort, but also to show how far away I’m trying to stay from various things.]

 


As they were doing that, amazingly one of the catapults ran forward! Possibly out of range for any subsequent counter-attacks! -- though also out of danger from an ambush in the rear.

The following morning, the “Night Shards” were able, thanks to the vacant spear hurler, to mess with several guarding archers, fending off an eagle on defense -- thus exhausting that creature for later -- and running carefully away out of sight of anyone, probably. Where they discovered, much to their surprise, that a whole fortress lay unguarded behind some rivers!

 


 


They might even be able to take that fortress the following day, without any fight at all!

Meanwhile, although the second panzer orcs could not arrive in time to fight that day, Axenose and the other panzer goblins worked on the first of the stone throwers. They weren’t quite able to kill it, but the forced it out of its revetments at least! -- which the second panzers promptly took, chuckling to themselves that maybe this meant they wouldn’t be attacked in favor of easier targets nearby!
 


In fact, they were attacked by the other stone-thrower -- which they easily shrugged off!

Day 9. The Nightshards, who had also acquired a furry boss to negate the usual goblin laziness, crossed the river and entered the pleasant suburb of the empty fort; preventing any enemy from entering now as well.

Axenose wasn’t best pleased: had they gone around the longer way, they might have taken both areas! [Gamenote: and I forgot to save before doing this half of the fight so I couldn’t go back and try to correct my mistake, argh.] Typical goblin laziness after all. “They’d rather ford a river than go around the easier, more effective but longer way,” he grumbled. The panzer goblins did spend the day marveling at the quaint and prosperous village, though, especially the steam-driven tractor for tilling the strips of river-field nearby.

 


And looting, of course. They weren’t idiots!

Later, Axenose wished they had stayed in the area to fight and then to take the unguarded island fort: not one artillery piece was slain, despite their best efforts, even by the second bull-riding squad! But one had retreated down to where the Nightshards had been waiting. [Gamenote: yep, I forgot one of the key Panzer General wisdoms. Unless I need to move in order to best attack something, wait until the local fighting is done and THEN move! Just in case something moves nearby, in a rout or retreat, so that I can at least have the opportunity to whack it.]

 


With nothing safer to do, the rested bomber decided to start blowing apart the twin towns of Stein Mill and Milbeck.

 



This wasn’t entirely without danger, but the goblins correctly guessed that archers would be waiting at the mill, having heard about the attack on the fortress by now; and so from high altitude rowed over and started dropping ammunition by surprise! Nor were they likely to be much hurt in retaliation, since they not only had installed a metal lining around their hull but also had overcome their natural fear of heights to fly much higher than any archers could easily shoot. [Gamenote: although the graphics don’t indicate this.]

Then, however: a near disaster!

The catapult crews, realizing they couldn’t repair their machines and likely would lose them the following day in any case, agreed among themselves to work hard to remove one panzer squad! Between them they started pounding the second bull riders; then two squads of peasants joined in.

 


By the time they were done, only one bull, and its rider were left alive.

Axenose could only blame himself; if he had insisted the Nightshards remain in place, one of those catapults would have been destroyed, and the panzer orcs would not only have not lost so many experienced soldiers, but would have taken down more of the enemy, too.

As it was, he could only give thanks -- though on reflection, he didn’t know to whom. Perhaps to the foolish fortress commander for not sending an eagle over to finish off the squad.

[Gamenote: the computer is usually good about exploiting situations like this, as evidenced by how it exploited this situation to get that far! Why it didn’t send one eagle, I have no idea. Nothing it knew of back there could possibly hurt it, other than the one lone orc who wouldn’t be able to do much by himself in riposte. Unlike some Panzer General games, this one doesn’t track relative initiatives, other than in the sense of some weapons and abilities granting a first strike. Incidentally, I had forgotten that in Fantasy Wars, ballistas could not shoot fliers; which makes sense of course (except I seem to clearly remember they could -- maybe a skill they could pick? -- or was that changed for the sequel Elven Legacy? -- but it nearly got me in trouble over the mountains.]

Well, enough of that.

“Burn them down!” Axenose howled. And so the machines of the monkeys fell, at last.

But not before a justice struck from the sky! -- a sharpened log cleared the gate of the fort, shattering among the enemy archers; followed closely by a great, tumbling rock. Their bodies flew so high, the eagles snapped up pieces by reflex in the air! Or one of the eagles did; the other had been squawking and flapping around and suddenly flew away to the west a little.

 


And then a meteor made of ice punched it down from the sky. It didn’t rise again.

“Ugraum and our allies, orc and goblin and troll alive, are doing their part!” Axenose declared. “Let us do ours! Swordsmen guard the final part of the fort! We hit, without being hit: I want them pelted twice with javelins before the day is done; and then another three times tomorrow, as necessary!”

Peasant squads bravely tried to murder the first panzer orcs, but they had not been nearly exterminated by missile-fire already, and were waiting on a hill. Both peasant squads fled in failure.

 



And on the eleventh day of the Irand campaign, the fortress fell.

“The Axe falls upon you!” cried the panzer goblins as, in turn, they each ran up and javelined the final sword-defenders of the fort: heavily armed and armored, and trained to excel at city-fighting, still they progressively whittled away.

After bombardment by log and stone again, the swordsmen couldn’t help but retreat -- where the 2nd Panzer Orcs found them still not broken and ready to fight. But Mighty Ugraum himself came up into the southern side of the pass-fort, cutting off any further retreat, and smote them down at last with his sword of stone.

With that, Axenose rode up over the fallen bodies of the dead. “Greetings, general!” he bowed to his great commander from on the other side of the small, square, central keep.

“Welcome, to Derenhalle!”

 



“Tonight we feast! Tomorrow we shall blow into these soft and supple lands like a scouring hurricane!” Ugraum shouted. “And then we will see what there is to learn.”

But that night, as tales were told by either side of heroic deeds and close calls, and mockery thrown at the monkeys, Ugraum took Axenose aside and said:

“Be wary of Ash-shoon.”

“I already was,” the little goblin agreed, sipping his drink -- never again would he willingly drink himself into laziness, and he kept a sharp eye upon his panzers to see that they didn’t do so either. “But why more specifically now?”

“In the fighting, before our friend Sho-doon fell and was so badly hurt that he could not continue, I saw Ash-hoon giving orders to minor orc servants who carry our supplies. He never told me what those orders were, but he seemed to be sending them out to search.

“And whatever they sought, they seemed to find.

 
 





“And Ash-hoon hasn’t told me of this. We told him of the armor Besegar found when he fought the apey witch: the Red Plate of Azurnash, the last warrior of the Siirta people, exterminated by the elves, who sought his refuge among the dwarves and continued his war thereby. For him they made that armor, in gratitude.”

“Besegar will wear it well, and needs it!” chortled Axenose. “He doesn’t think much of his own defense sometimes!”

“He is better at that than he seems; much of his bluster is an act, disguising a keen mind,” Ugraum murmured, like a pondering earthquake. “But he is honest. I think.

“Ash-hoon, however... Besegar told me he didn’t find a softskinned female there, old or young either way, apish or elven.

“He found a hexer.

“And not a goblin hexer. An orcish one.”

“...and then... was Ash-hoon supposed to be taking his turn to help defend Sho-doon, when he was struck down?”

“He was. I don’t know if he did or not.

“But... we may not be able to trust Sho-doon either, after this.”

“I would think he would be jealously competitive with Ash-hoon. Orcs learning hexer secrets -- that’s bad for goblins,” the goblin commander said.

“But now,” Ugraum added,

“ -- Ash-hoon is caring for Sho-doon.”
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 09:48:23 PM by JasonPratt »
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline Martok

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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2015, 02:02:26 PM »
"Dun-dun-DUNN!!!"  :D 
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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2015, 04:36:54 PM »
632 Early Summer -- Into The Woods

“This is,” Reed gagged again, “already a disaster.”

“You know perfectly well you’d do better watching out on the seaward side of the ship,” Brim reminded him.

“We’ve got to get to shore!” snarled the lieutenant. Or maybe the captain. Exact ranks remained somewhat fluid in Major Pfeil’s regiment of companies. “I can see it, right over there, and I can’t get to it! At least I want to see why we can’t go there yet.”

Many more ships stood out to sea from the coast of Derenhalle, than last time Reed had visited -- only about a season ago? The leaves and the blooms had just started. He had never killed anything larger than quail before. Never killed a living soul. Or whatever the orcs and goblins were.

“We can’t go there because goblin war machines would sink our ships. Just like we couldn’t land back in Harsefield again, or at those little villages north of Keilerstein.”

 


“I know that. But then why bother sailing farther down the coast at all? Presumably if the goblin re-surge took that land so firmly, it would have taken this settlement area, too, closer to the Waste.”

 


“Presumably, the Captain expects this area to clear, soon, unlike the other areas. Presumably, that’s because we left some allies behind who already sent word back by the eagle which was sent to scout -- or by other means. Master Brannock is here after all.”

“Presumably, you’re talking about Father Divine.”

“Presumably, yes.”

“He didn’t impress me much when we were here last. So I’m not presuming he’s the reason.”

“Oh, really? You seemed mighty impressed back then to me! -- though then, back then you weren’t much more than a farmer boy with his pitchfork,” Brim joshed him. “A couple o’ months of experience just does wonders for evaluating what a man can do, eh?”

Two days later, with the captain of this particular ship muttering ominously about a vicious storm to arrive later in the week, lookouts spotted a definite change in the goblin archers infesting Meerheim.

They were running the hell away. Those who had survived.

“Bring the ship in closer,” barked the captain, reading the commodore’s flags going up to give orders to all the ships.

“But the catapult, cap’n...!” one of the crew complained.

“Will have other things to worry about. I hope.”

 


“Our allies can’t be very strong,” Captain Brim told the ship’s captain. “Now that they’ve broken cover and acted, we’ll need to move in quickly to support them!”

“Only if that catapult gets out of Meerheim docks...”

 


“...oh. Okay,” the ship-captain agreed, “that might not be a problem. But still, they haven’t secured the docks today, I’ll have to wait till tomorrow.”

“ -- I, uh, I’m not too overly worried about the company there for a day, I guess,” Brim allowed. “You saw who broke down that catapult by himself, right?” he muttered to Reed. “Still not impressed?”

“Holy God on high,” Reed breathed.
 

















“What are they saying? You can read lips!” Torn insisted to Pint.

“Uh... the Inquisitor is actually the High Priest of the Sword... his first name was Dexter, still is I guess... he doesn’t like titles... the wizard’s name is Alfred, did we know that already?... he was known as the Red Raven...”

“The High Priest himself was out shepherding common folk in the back end of nowhere,” Reed marveled.

“I remember he also talked about how he had a premonition something bad was coming. He probably thought he ought to work out here,” Brim suggested.

“He told me ‘good job’! I remember! The High Priest of the Sword told me good job!”

“Strictly speaking,” Brim began to answer Reed, “I remember him telling that, in sarcasm, to a different peasant squad -- “

But Torn couldn’t hold her giggles in any longer:

“The High Priest of the Sword’s name is Dexter!

“That is so... I can just see him as a boy, sitting in a room squinting at his bibles, little Dexter!” She was having a hard time now standing up while laughing.

The other commanders just looked at her.

“Oh come on,” Sciff said as he arrived, having caught the end of that. “That’s got to be a little funny.”

“I’m reasonably sure he imagined that catapult calling him ‘Dexter’, too, before he murdered it off the face of the earth,” Reed opined.

“...ah. Well, yes. Um.” Torn regained her composure. Mostly. “Red Raven. That’s a great nickname. For a war wizard. Too.” She was starting to snicker again. “I’m serious. I promise, I’m not kidding.”

Then her laughter faded, as she watched Reed watching the Reverend Father standing alone on the path, watching for signs of trouble. Guarding the people, alone.

Reed was standing much like him, she noticed.

“So... what’s your first --?”

“Reed, actually,” he answered. “And before you ask, my family name is Cane.

“Which, yes, is also rather amusing, I admit,” he smiled back in her direction.

The various commanders gathered together that night, as offloading continued, to prepare for the campaign. Dexter Divine, High Priest of the Sword of the Inquisition, led the meeting with Pfeil’s approval, since he knew the area and the situation best.

“There are still significant numbers of goblins infesting the woods, just outside of Meerheim,” he began. “Watching what we’re doing no doubt; possibly readying a spoiling attack before they run away. They are not to be taken lightly; several yeoman traveling with me are dead, others are wounded. They shall be quickly slain, as we go.”

“Because we’re all equal in the eye of God, eh Father?” Pint commented.

“As a matter of fact, I don’t regard you any more highly than I do a goblin, sergeant whatever-your-name-is. And in case you misunderstand,” the Father added as he strode slowly across the room to the squinting Pint, who almost imperceptibly leaned backward, “I don’t mean that as an insult. So when I say we must and shall destroy them all, I could just as easily say the same about you, for example, if you were causing trouble. If they run away, I won’t complain. But they started this fight, and I am going to end it. Any more questions before I continue?”

“...nope, actually agree with you. I think.” Pint didn't even add he ranked as lieutenant now.

“Good. Maybe we’ll get along. I like rangers. Except when they’re looting and killing my flock.” The Father whirled and walked back to the map, his black cape swirling around his shining gold-enshrined sword.

[Gamenote: you may read Dexter’s dialogue in Alan Rickman’s voice. :D Or Jason Isaac’s. Either one would work.]

“The strategic situation is simple enough,” he continued, as Brennock rolled his eyes a little and Pfeil diplomatically hid a smile behind a hand. “This region is far more fortified than the area where I met your company before, despite or rather because of being farther to the west, closer to more of the Waste. Nevertheless, the whole area has been captured by the uru. We will have to retake the forts, all of which are minor or moderate castles. Two roads lead south from here, around a lake with an island chapel, which by the way I recommend searching and which can only be reached through a swampy spit of land on the road with the woods. That’s the right hand fork. The left hand fork,” he pointed, “has significantly more open farm and grazing land, and also more castles. Both roads end at the largest township in the region, Castle Talshorn and its surrounding support villages, Talsdorf and Fanwe, the latter of which was named for the daughter of the former commander of Talshorn, for whose name I am not inclined to spare the horde who slew her and her family and have taken that little village named after her, do I make myself abundantly clear?

Reed thought maybe he should nod, so he did. He was relieved to see nervous nods from other minor officers in the room.

“Thank you very much, Reverend Father,” the Captain said. “That was highly helpful, and came as I know at the cost of several lives of your team.”

“And at the cost of many more lives of the people who had come here to cultivate the land,” the priest added. “Also, at the cost of many uru lives. We have not been altogether in hiding while we watched our lands being overrun.” Reed thought about observing that these weren’t exactly his lands along with them; but then realized the Father simply identified with the people to that degree: he personally shared their catastrophes.

The main difference being, that he could strike back with some effect.

And now with a regiment, too.

“The division of labor is clear,” Captain Pfeil went on. “Or mostly clear. Those who work well in the woods, take the right road. Those who work well on the plains, or against cities, take the left. We’ll do what we can to fill out the yeoman archers again, Father; then they can catch up. We’ll leave a substantial force behind to secure the port and the ships, so including Father Divine’s small company we’ll only take 14 squads or so.”

[Gamenote: actually much less, because there are several individual heroes now on the human team including the eagle!]

“All three ranger squads, led by Lieutenant Pint, and eventually the yeoman archers, you’ll go right under Captain-Father Divine. None of us captains will work well in the woods,” Reed noticed that Derrick still thought of himself as a captain, “but I expect he’ll want to get to that ruined chapel if he can. Torn will go with us, but her trained eagle will start off over your wing of the advance and help keep us posted on what’s going on. Reed, your second halberdier squad could use a lot more experience. Follow that side of the fight.

“Most of the cavalry will ride with me down the left road, along with Master Brannock. And the Deathreed, and Captain Brim, for assaults. Not you, Braun; you stay here and lead the rearguard, with Fitch and most of the crossbowmen, and also the peasant squads. Reed’s first halberd squad will stay here, too, but I’ll be taking Brim and his city-slicing swordsmen!”

[Gamenote: honestly I’m not at all comfortable leaving behind so many of my archers, but the game is forcing me to bring the yeomans -- who are weaker generally than the crossbows, and far less experienced, and I’ll have to spend money on them out of the gate to bring them back up to snuff, but at least they’ll be decent in the woods -- and the new third ranger squad. And my previous archers have got a lot of experience which several other squads need salting on. I’m not stupid enough to take no crossbows: but I’ll take Sciff, whom I chose to give the Slayer skill the last time his squad leveled up, thus who’s great against individual units like monsters and heroes.]

« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 09:49:49 PM by JasonPratt »
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: PanzOrc Corpz Generals (a Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, lots of screenshots)
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2015, 04:42:39 PM »
!!OUT OF CHARACTER PAUSE!!

I’m going to pause a few minutes here to praise the design team for working hard to make the mission maps more-or-less contiguous with each other. Not always, but often.

(If you want to get on with the story, just scroll down to the next post.)

One of the delights of this series is to send the camera around the detailed map areas marveling at little details in corners that no troop would ever plausibly reach. The details are not in the least important, they’re perfectly natural and in that sense meaningless -- except that someone artistically thought to add a little swamp in that corner of the small lake over there, and so forth.

This delight, as I’ve occasionally tried to show, extends past the operational map borders into the areas around the mission map. Roads and terrain features go off into the distance, perhaps the terrain changes, other cities and villages whether orc or human (or both) can be seen.

And not always, but often, those aren’t only artistic doodling to help with the immersion. Fantasy Wars (and Elven Legacy after it) doesn’t only reuse maps for other campaign mission -- although when they do, the designers try to add some salient differences, like how Ghozhar is a little scrappy goblin village when Ugraum arrives to sack the settlements up to Nointsein in winter; and then when Derrick arrives, the art has radically changed to spring and Noinstein is a wreck and its suburb on the river is burning and the bridge across the ford has been thrown down and Vainen is wrecked -- and the wooden fort on the frontier is still okay, but Ghozhar has become a little castle in its own right!

But that’s when the same map is used. Often the game will set missions in map areas that could be seen off in the distance, off-map in prior missions. The most obvious example so far was Derrick’s fight to raise the siege of Sylent, with the city and the wizard tower looming off over there. You can expect that portion of the map to be part of a mission or two eventually!

There are less obvious examples, though, and this mission is one of them. In the first human mission, the troops land, march south and west a little, then back up north to the burning village of Feldhof with the local minor fort of Keilerstein across a small river from a lake into a bay leading out to the sea.

Here’s an overview of that final part of the mission area, as a reminder:

 


And here’s a reverse angle shot of Keilerstein with burning Feldhoff in the background, and off in the distance to the left you can see the church where the first artifact was found, and the first wooden fort that had to be recaptured, and so forth.

 


And then, if you look back at the overview shot of the area, you can see a couple more little villages on a spit of coastal land behind Keilerstein. Those were part of the mission area, and technically the player could go on up and take them, though I didn’t preferring to get the gold reward for mission quickness. Still, I sent the camera up there and took a snapshot, looking out beyond, a little north of northeast. Here’s that shot again.

 


Now, none of that is on the current mission map.

But it’s beside it.

I can’t send the camera far over the border to take snaps; and the map designers didn’t always double-check continuity fully, as you’ll see in a moment comparing the next shot with the previous one. But a lot of it is still there.

Here are those two villages again, same perspective, looking basically the same direction.

 


Due to how the camera zoom works, and being over the mission border, I can’t get down in the weeds and also at the same time far enough back to duplicate the shot exactly; and obviously the map designer thought the new mission area ought to look more interesting, so made some pretty big changes. (And obviously the skybox is different.) But those are the same two villages. Off in the distance you can see the ship that represents the fleet waiting to offload Derrick's troops for this mission -- previously that ship was somewhere else on the other map.

Want more proof? Let me turn the camera around...

 



There’s Keilerstein, and poor Feldhof still burning across the river from the lake into the bay, and the swamps where peasants slew a lot of goblin raiders. The bridge between Feldhof and Keilerstein is gone (either as an inadvertent omission or as part of the story of the goblin raids in the area, hard to say). Off in the distance behind the forest is the chapel where Derrick found the burning sword to give to Reed. A ruined town visited by Derrick offscreen while I was following Reed around on the campaign can be seen off to the far right in the distance -- the road from the wooden for leads to it -- though it isn’t a ruin on this map (though again an accidental difference or due to being rebuilt in-story, hard to say). The wooden fort of Mecklinburg, where a heavily wounded Father Divine joined the cast, can be clearly seen a little right of the middle distance. Harsefield, the first village liberated in the first human mission, can just barely be seen down the road in the distance from Mecklinburg, although it seems larger than in Mission 1. Also, it seems to be burning, which is certainly in-story!

That is some admirable attention to detail, right there!

If you’re wondering whether this mission map joins up with another mission map elsewhere... no, as far as I can tell it doesn’t. The other areas south and west don’t look as filled out, so I doubt there are supposed to be (or previously were) story missions there.

But still. This is one more subtle reason why I love this version of Panzer General. Aside from, you know, panzer orcs. :D

Back to the story.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 09:50:33 PM by JasonPratt »
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.