Thursday, 31 May 2018

The Battle of St Ronays Stump

Well, just as i was building some momentum life went and got all together too busy by half!. Still, i will not be deterred and the saga of the war of the four kings (that never actually happened) shall be told!. But to be fair i have a brief respite over the bank holiday before life goes back on the wonk for a while....ho hum. But, a respite it is and as there is a war on i will not be held back!, on with the next game!! (note the bank hols came and went with only the intro for this post written, it would be almost a week before minis saw felt!)........


1st, the recent movements:

Points of interest:
- The Fossestershire 1st lead by Earl Cobbleholme himself (no less n'all that!) move with some determination to re-enforce the fossestershire 3rd who are moving with impunity toward the Crivenshire 2nd. The Fossestershire forces are all advancing on Crivenshire with violent intent.

-The forces of Crivenshire are also mobilized in order to counter this threat and prevent a full scale invasion.

-The 2nd army of Offenhammeshire are moving towards the border that meets with the two warring counties, their intention or orders so far unknown.

-Burkenshire remain unmoved, it is the wet season after all!.

-The earl of Fossestershire has sent messengers towards the Fossestershire 3rd to hold their position as he is on his way to help steamroller the Crivenshire 2nd.....will the message arrive in time?....

.....Errr, nope!, after the trap at Phlemm valley failed the leader of the Fossestershire 3rd, Sir Physs, knew his forces position would be discovered in short order, robbing him of any momentum his advance had given. To this end he ordered an aggressive advance to give 'a reet good bloody 'idin' to the opposing Crivenshire force and ordered scouts to range far ahead of his column to ensure the way was clear. His hope was to move with as much speed as he could to deny the local forces the right to choose the site of their meeting.
 For his part the commander of the Crivenshire 2nd army, Lord Choppah of Ralligh was delighted to have the report of Sir Crowesfell from Phlemm valley. Not only would he have the honor of facing the invading army in the field before anyone else, he also now knew the position of the enemy and with a little more information from his patrols he also had a good idea of the size of the invading force. His army was larger than the Fossestershire force and the enemy were exposed, he knew the area and decided to take the battle to them to show the silly northerners the folly of their silly little uprising. To this end he split his forces into two, he personally led the bulk of his force to the west of Gibblet to Habituals Ridge, an area where he knew his forces would have the chance to take up an imperious defensive position from which to oppose the oncoming northerners. His other forces he placed under the command of sir Abblidge-Carniguie and sent east of Habituals Ridge to await an opportunity to outflank the Fossestershire army when it made contact with Lord Rallighs force bringing the advantage of numbers to bare and giving the Crivenshire army the element of surprise.
  This plan would have been great if the Fossestershire 3rds scouting forces did not have the famed sir Bacckersfordde and his great snow eagle Keith Montgomary as its commander. Sir Bacckersfordde flew many times over the Crivenshire position, reporting on the movements of their troops and the splitting of forces. Armed with this knowledge Sir Physs ordered a force to sit out of reach of the defenders at Habituals Ridge but to make sure the enemy knew they were there. He then sent Sir Bacckersfordde with a large force to meet the oncoming flanking force, reasoning that if he could 'smash the bunch of flankers in their blimmin pampered faces by eck as like' he would break the back of the Crivenshire 2nd and gain his own opportunity to outflank the remaining forces at Habituals Ridge.
  The Crivenshire flanking force of sir Abblidge-Carniguie and the Fossestershire troops of Sir Bacckersfordde met at an area known as St Ronays Stump (the name given to a large knotted old tree trunk said to be the site of many miracles performed by St Ronay in the 11th century, most notable of which was turning wine, 5 fish, 2 loaves and 4 bushels of herbs as well as some nice seasonal greens into a lovely cod mornay with a parsley and white wine sauce on a bed of steamed greens, served on oddly shaped plates in portions presented in wankey little piles with drizzles of sauce around them. It was noted the plates while tasty were too small for any of his disciples (who had walked for several days barefoot over rough ground to have an audience with the saint) to actually feel in anyway 'full' causing a small scuffle over the remaining fish heads, stems and bits of loaf. The site is a haven for pilgrims with highly developed pallettes and far too much time on their hands). 
The battle is wrongly regarded as the first true battle of the war of the four kings by historians who wish to justify their bursaries by having somthing to argue about. They are, of course, just being knobheads.

Not many reports of the battle remain but as ever the Wronghammer plastic miniature fictional re-enactment society have recreated it using the pieces of information we do have to give us some inkling of what happened on that fateful day, so a big thank you to them for their efforts which have been used to create the report below:


The field of battle, some areas of interest are shown above in the squares:

A) St Ronays stump itself, site of many slightly pretentious food based miracles.
B) The ruins of the small chapel build on the site after the passing of the sainted Ronay. Later turned into Olde Albilandes first ordained gastropub known as 'The Fish and Fisticuffs' after the famous miracle mornay.
C) The holy wood of Ronay, so called as many a traveler would throw up his holy gormet burger or lasagne along with his godly 7 pints of Roanys best or other guest ale (Bridgets Apron, olde brownes migraineanator and Badgers famous fuzzy dangler being some noted classics) into its blessed hallows.

 The battle
  On the day of battle the northern forces of sir Bacckersfordde arrived before the Crivenshire flanking force and put out into a battle line to await them. The scouts of sir Abblidge-Carniguies force crested the ridge, and upon seeing the unexpected army barring the way returned to report back (and change their breeches). Sir Abblidge-Carniguies prepared for battle!.

 the Wronghammer plastic miniature fictional re-enactment society line up to show what is regarded to be the positions of both forces at the start of the battle.

The Crivenshire left made up of a company of Crivenshire rangers with their bespoke smocks and bendy javelins. Lead by a section of the  brave knights of the Crivenshire 2nd lead by Sir Abblidge-Carniguies himself. Ahead of them are some of the mounted ranger division.

To the right of St Ronays stump holding the Crivenshire center are a proud block of crivenshire pike supported by bowmen arrayed to their flanks. The formation is lead by sir Whitterforde of Gibblet.

The left was held by a rabble of serfs from the surrounding villages eager to 'do thy bitte' in the defense of their homelands, ensuring they did so were a reserve contingent of light horse, driving them on.

(all Crivenshire troops are on blue bases with white trim).

Against them stood:
Two stout blocks of Fossestershires finest warriors supported by bows, lead by the ever dynamic and forward looking (read annoyingly positive) sir Bacckersfordde and his great snow eagle Keith Montgomary.

Guarding the right was the combined forces of the Knights of the Fossestershire 3rd and some light horse lead by the brooding sir Crankerton-Smithe, eager to assert himself after the defeat at Phlemm Valley. These were supported by a large group of northern irregulars conscripted from the settlements on the Fossestershire border.

(the Fossestershire forces have white bases with grey trim).##


The first action saw the Crivenshire horse move out to launch an attack on the infantry before them.
The rangers make a dash for the ruined church/boozer, a good place to pepper the enemy with pointy sticks!.

 sir Bacckersfordde notes this action and states 'crikey, the enemy Rangers have taken up an good position to pepper us with pointy sticks!. Come Keith Montgomary, we shall show them what for!' With that he swooped into the ruins.....
Wiping out the rangers before they could get a volley away!.
In the center the Fossestershire foot advance into bow range of the pike, a missile duel would go on for several turns with no side giving way.

Over on the other flank the Crivenshire serfs take ground, only to stare down the barrel of the enemy horse!.
 The horse promptly slam into them!. The one sided contest sees the villagers thrown back but they grimly reform before the enemy!.

The mounted rangers attempt a 'ride by', loosing their arrows at the Fossestershire foot, only to be mowed down by the combined firepower of the northern units!.

'Look yonder, Keith Montgomary' Chimed sir Bacckersfordde, 'The enemy leader and his silly knights!, let us end this battle forthwith!'. He plunged into the cream of the enemy!.

And is driven back by the Crivenshire nobility!.

 The Fossestershire horse charge once more into the defiant serfs, clearly annoyed with the filthy commoners refusal to make way for their betters!.

This time it becomes too much for the plucky small folk who turn and run!. Their success is short lived as the reserve Crivenshire light horse take the opportunity to charge them, however sir Crankerton-Smithe is equal to the threat and orders his well trained men to counter charge!.

With predictable results!, left and right the Crivenshire horse bounce off the armoured Fossestershire cavalry!.
Seeing the battle turn away from them sir Whitterforde of Gibblet orders the pike forward!

 Which allows  sir Bacckersfordde and his great snow eagle Keith Montgomary to fly behind them!.
As the Crivenshire knights watch the eagle fly behind the Crivenshire line they are attacked by a block of northern infantry, taken by surprise Sir Abblidge-Carniguie is unable to order a counter charge!.
 And they are driven back with heavy losses by the well drilled warriors!.

On the other flank the Fossestershire knights and horse charge home again, wiping out the hapless Crivenshire light cavalry!.

As sir Whitterforde of Gibblet surveys the battlefield it dawns on him that his pike are surrounded!.
 He orders his troops to back up to the holy stump to avoid being outflanked and prepares for a last stand!.
 The inevitable charge hits home and despite dishing out damage to the enemy the numbers prove too much and the pikemen break!.

The scene at the end of the battlefield and a convincing win for the forces of Fossestershire!. With the Crivenshire plan is in tatters, what will become of the defenders of Habituals Ridge?.

  Well that was fun!. I played this one using my own mass battle rules i am testing (working title Blood, Guts and something, something, something). I love the scale of the battle and it keeps the flow of battle pretty well. My main sticking point at the moment is the basing! (as ever!). The one man represents one man idea is fun and kind of gets over the abstraction multi based games give (not really my thing if i'm honest) but this is somewhat knackered by the fact that although the game itself took about two hours to play it took an hour to pack everything away afterwards!!. Something to give thought to going forward (it may be multi basing for ease of sanity!). Anyway i hope you enjoyed the report.....
......'till next time!..... 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Skirmish at Phlemm Valley

  After all the build up its time to launch this continuingworldbuildingcampaigntypething!:

The situation that has led up to this situation can be read, well i would do a list but if you read the last 6 posts (but take out the 'Hassles of Hoff' as a semi-related piece) you should be up to speed.

The war of four kings is well known to have been officially started by Osewrenne Cobbenhamme, the 19th Earl of Fossestershire ordering troops south into Crivenshire to contest the interim rulership of Olde Albilande after the whole royal line was wiped out in a single night by a poisoned pudding instigating the need to implement wazzcockes law, which decrees the election of a new king from the serving Earls. (whew, long sentence!).

Two of the four counties have called their forces to march against each other as both their ruling Earls have laid claim to the right to rule until the election of the new king can be decided (Royal Crivenshire in the south and Fossestershire in the north). Another of the counties (Offenhammeshire to the south west) has secretly called its troops to arms but is keeping its plans under wraps. Who knows whats happening in the other shire ( Burkenshire, to the east). The campaign map shows the current situation:

Click to make it far, far clearer!.

Each flag shows an army called by the shire. Fossestershires 3rd army has marched from the border town of Phucenmere, over the border to Crivenshire at the Earls Request, only to be intercepted by the much larger Crivenshire 2nd. Stopping short of contact with the enemy just west of Gibblet, Sir Physs, Commander of the Fossestershire 3rd has sent out scouts to access the situation. Reports of frequent border patrols personally lead by a minor knight of the shire to harry and discourage any forward movement has caused him to halt his advance. Physs' plan was to intercept a patrol and massacre it, not only to clear passage for an advanced force to gain ground undetected but to land a initial moral blow to the enemy. To this end he has ordered a mounted force to slip south to cut off any retreat a patrol may make and to attack them with a second force from the north. This way he reasoned the patrol would be trapped by the split forces and wiped out. However his plan relied on trapping a mobile enemy. Thus, he chose the high ridged Valley of Phlemm as the stage for his rouse.

He chose able commanders to lead his split forces. Sir Crankerton-smithe, veteran of the forth Lamavic uprising lead a mounted force south of the valley ready to cut back north. The young sir Mallalllall would command the infantry that would attack the patrol and herd them towards the cavalry attack. 
  His plan however would not be as clean as he had hoped, a rain storm took hold a day before the attack upsetting the arrival of the horse, There was also a surprise in store when the Crivenshire force was discovered!.

   Fearing an attack the Commander of the Royal Crivenshire 2nd army, Lord Chopah of Ralligh commanded the patrols be doubled and constant contact in the field be maintained between the parties to ensure threats could be reacted to quickly. Thus the patrols of sir Crowesfell and sir Finnagree the Clenched met in the Phlemm valley to compare notes when sir Mallalllallls force attacked!.

The Game

  For this game i'm using Ospreys Lion Rampant as for Medieval skirmishes its pretty great. I set some victory conditions: The Crivenshire patrols had to get an unbattered unit off of the table at either end of the valley floor to send word of the attack to the 2nd army. Fossestershire had 5 turns to ensure no Crivenshire forces got away to raise the alarm thus would win if the patrol failed to get any troops out.
 The game begins with both Crivenshire patrols in the center of the valley, on the first turn Sir Mallallalls infantry may move on to the northern edge of the valley by passing a move activation. From turn two onwards the force of Sir Crankerton-smithe can move on to the southern valley edge in the same way.

On the first turn sir Mallallalls troops move first.

The forces:

 The Crivenshire patrols are identical, being made up of two units of mounted sarjeants with bows, a knight leads one of the units. (the Crivenshire forces have blue and white bases)

 Sir Mallallalls infantry force is made up of two units of foot yeomen with mixed weapons (spear and bow), one is lead by Sir Mallallall.

 The Fossestershire horse contingent consists of Sir Crankerton-smithe leading a unit of Mounted Men at Arms and two units of Mounted Sarjeants. (all Fossestershire forces have white bases with Grey trim).

The Valley of Phlemm, pre-bother. (taken from the north)

The Crivenshire patrols of  sir Crowesfell (left) and sir Finnagree the Clenched (right) meet.

 Sir Mallallall and his troops burst into the valley.
 Sir Mallallall enjoys pointing with his sword
one unit is sent to sneak round the trees!.

 Surprised, the highly trained patrols spring into action!
Sir Finnagree sends a unit onto the high ground to draw a bead on the sneaky foot!.
 With sir Crowesfells unit bearing down sir Mallallall orders arrows to fly!.
 To the south of the Valley sir Crankerton-smithe leads his lancers onto the field!.
The noose tightens!

 In the north end the foot by the trees are charged and forced to fall back.
 Sir Crowesfell orders his troops into the hail of arrows!.
The brave charge forces Sir Mallallalls foot back and leaves them battered!
 A brave unit from sir sir Finnagrees patrol counter-charge the lancers of  sir Crankerton-smithe in an attempt to hold them off.
sir Finnagree the Clenched leads his troops up the valley to head off the galloping Fossestershire sarjeants, if they can just buy Sir Crowesfell more time!.

 Elsewhere sir Mallallall tries to rally his troops when  Sir Crowesfell leads another charge home against his troops!.
 Forcing them to bolt for home!.
Sir Mallallalls other foot Yoemen unit are also sent running!.

 Down the valley sir Finnagree the Clenched's patrol sell their lives dearly to buy time for Crowesfells escape!.
 The lancers steamroller the sarjeants that dare to impede them. Crankerton-smithe hollers a challenge across the valley to the cowardly dog sir Crowesfell.
Who honors the sacrifice of his troops by heading home to raise the alarm to the Crivenshire 2nd! 'Fossestershire have attacked, the war has begun!'

 Well its started, where it will end i do not know but it looks like i may have a game or two to get on and play!. Right i best get Burkenshires forces based up!....

.....'till next time.....