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Saturday, 31 January 2009

Dwarfs vs The Empire 2000 points

warhammer fantasy campaign report :-

"Conrad had started to think that the artillery could win the battle for him on their own! "
(superb reporting, good terrain and great painting)

source : marienburgcampaign.comcredit : Conrad Gelburtz (Padre)31-Jan-2009

Having received his first orders from Avermarshall Konig von Kuttenbach of Averland, Conrad Gelburtz gathered up his force from the taverns and inns of Suiddock and led them out of the city early in the morning despite their aching heads. Breakfast was ale and bread, taken in the few rests on the march.

They were heading towards the village of Melik, just north of Westen Kasteel, where there was intelligence of a Sigmarite allied mercenary Dwarfen army moving towards the city itself. The mercenaries were led by a young Lord whose name was unknown to Conrad, but he cared little, for he was confident the fellow would be dead by nightfall.

Ahead lay the battlefield and the village. The latter was empty, as the villagers had heard the blaring of horns and beating of drums and knew full well what was about to happen. They had been expecting trouble what with Westen Kasteel's occupation by the invading Sigmarite armies, and had already been raided twice. All had now fled towards Klessen to hide and await the outcome. The road stretched north-south from one side of the battlefield to the other, with an area of fenland to the west and the village to the east.

Conrad commanded the Tilean Pike regiment, and ordered the Averland Halberdiers to stay on his left flank. Both these regiments moved south across the open fields to the west of the road. The two Handgunner companies were to form the wings of this main body, with one leading the way down the road ahead of Bertrand and the Free Company.

Spotting the hill about the same time as he saw the dwarfen vanguard, Conrad ordered both his cannons to deploy there. Meanwhile he sent his skirmishers through the town – they would spring any traps and then come round on the left flank to support the main attack. The Ogres were instructed to trail behind the two main regiments, ready to deploy on their right flank when there was space.

The dwarfs had brought a lot of firepower – 20 Handgunners, a cannon, 20 Quarrellers and two Bolt Throwers. Conrad cursed himself for not bringing more handgunners (he’d left several companies to guard his fleet). The Dwarfs deployed their strength opposite Conrad’s strong centre, with a regiment of Warriors backed up by a regiment of Hammerers. A company of the dreaded Slayers blocked the road, while the missile troops formed four bodies in a long line, with the war machines spread along it too.

As the Duellists made their cautious way through the village, with the Estalians lagging behind, the cannons both opened fire. Incredibly one of them scored a direct hit on the dwarfen cannon with it’s first shot, destroying it and ensuring that the two main regiments would not have to face the horror of advancing direct towards it’s muzzle.

The army moved forwards as one, with Handgunners and Detachments acting bravely as screens for the main regiments. Conrad had promised the survivors of those companies that received the first enemy shot a double share of the plunder and loot, and with dwarfen handguns and pistols for the taking they were keen.

The Duellists emerged from the village to report that it seemed empty. Old Gisbech, still amongst them, now decided he would enter the house next to him and make his way to the upper storey – from the safety of a window he intended to rain forked lightning down on the foe.

Meanwhile the dwarfs opened fire, though some had moved instead. Their first dose of missiles slew some of the Handgunners on the road and nearly wiped out a detachment. The bolt throwers achieved nothing.

In return the Marienburgers reloaded and fired once more. The two cannons chose to play into the Hammerers and luck smiled on them a second time – in fact they couldn’t believe it. They scored a direct hit on the dwarfen general, and his old warrior guard were too slow to pull him away. The very heart of the dwarfen force, it’s commander, lay dead – and not a sword had yet been drawn!

Notice the hole in the Hammerers?

As the main regiments drew ever closer – both sides, it has to be admitted, moving cautiously, both trying to cover their flanks, both perhaps at heart afraid of the enemies’ firepower – the dwarfs let fly another withering volley. This time they took down an Irongut and more Handgunners. But yet again their bolt throwers merely ploughed their missiles into the soggy ground!

The two skirmishing companies now moved forwards, thought the Estalians still preferred the concealment of the houses and moved parallel to the Duellists but staying with the lane in the village.

Old Gisbech slew three of the Slayers with his magic, and enjoyed the cheer that went up from the boys in the street below – they always loved his firework displays. If only the presence of all those dwarfs wasn’t clouding his thoughts. The cannons thought to join in the fun once again, but this time could only wing the Hammerers. By now the Handgunners on the right flank, in the fen below the hill upon which the artillery stood, had taken shelter among the reeds and bogwort and begun firing out of it at the dwarfen crossbows upon the other side.

Yet again, however, the fighting regiments hesitated, as if both sides were uncertain yet if they had inflicted enough damage on the enemy with their firepower. Conrad had started to think that the artillery could win the battle for him on their own!

When the dwarfs third bout of missile fire was unleashed, Conrad started to realise he needed to get his lads stuck in. Another two Ironguts fell to bolt throwers and crossbows, leaving the lone survivor to break and run in panic!

Now that their protective shield of detachments had been shattered, the halberdiers started to fall to crossbow bolts – and their desperate cry to advance was heard by Conrad and understood. The two armies were now beginning to draw very close …

With a cheer, the Free Company and the Duellists both charged simultaneously into the Slayers – surely their numbers and skill would outmatch the legendary bravery of the crazy dwarfs? While they threw themselves into the battle, the Estalians finally emerged from the village, only to cower behind a stone wall when they saw the Thunderers waiting there on the right flank of the enemy!

As one cannon lobbed a ball into the midst of the dwarfen warriors, the other – its barrel growing hot and it’s crew nervous – misfired. Meanwhile on the road Bertrand was slain and fell in the first moment of the fight, and two more warriors fell from each side. But numbers won out, and the fight went on – favouring Conrad’s brave sailors.

The dwarfs now seemed hesitant, and both their Warriors and their Hammerers started falling backwards – they didn’t want to receive the enemies charge, but yearned somehow to deliver one themselves. Their prayers would not be answered! Meanwhile their Thunderers, Quarrellers and Bolt Throwers started tearing great ragged holes in Conrad’s two main regiments.

Enough was enough, Conrad ordered the charge. Both regiments just made it to the foe and combat was joined.

While they began their fight, the Slayers and Free Company tore into each other, but both sides stood their ground. The Ogre, thinking of his double share and how he would lose it if he fled, decided that he ought to stay after all. He turned around and was soon off to join the Handgunners in the fen were he felt he might be able to sit out the rest of the battle in safety!

The Estalians, suddenly terrified they might be shot at, decided to try their luck against the dwarfen Thunderers. They ran in, taking casualties in the counter-fire, and then conducted themselves as Conrad had seen on many occasions before – they broke and fled. But the left flank was still looking good for the Marienburgers as their Free Company Slew the Dragon Slayer and his last Slayer. In the centre, the Pike got caught up in a bloody, drawn out brawl with the Hammerers while the Halberdiers broke the Dwarfen warriors almost immediately, ran them down and crashed into the Quarrellers behind.

Then, and Conrad cursed for he should have seen it coming, the surviving Quarellers on the left flank of the dwarfs charged into the side of his Pike.

Moments before, on the Marienburgers’ left, the Thunderers fired into the Duellists who were trying to order themselves after the fight against the Slayers. The sudden loss of four comrades struck them hard, and they ran. Realising moment’s later that there was safety in the village, they turned to follow the Estalians in flight down the little lane to the east.

The Free Company tried to reach the same Thunderers before they suffered a similar fate, but their charge failed. Dreading the thought of the Bolt Thrower to their immediate right ripping them in two, they found spirit enough to cheer as a cannon ball bounced up and into the machine, creating a veritable cloud of splinters!

They now stood, bemused (and tired) and wondered it they'd done enough to satisfy their commander.

By now the dwarfs knew the game was up. Even though Conrad himself was wounded, the Pike had held their own against the Hammerers and although they almost broke twice, Conrad’s bravery was just enough to keep them battling.

It was growing dark, and the battle was clearly won. The surviving dwarfs fled the field, Conrad happy to let them fall back unmolested. Victor he might be, but his men were not fit to push on and prolong this fight. And besides, he could hear the thunderous sound of artillery to the south firing at and from the great castle. His men were not ready to join the fray there, yet, at least not now immediately after a battle.

Conrad ordered his army to return to the city. There he would repair and recruit. He needed more soldiers.

SOLID VICTORY for the Marienburg Alliance, in the Westen Kasteel area.

May the gods save Emperor Philip! May Marienburg prosper!


Padre said...

In case you don't know, Conrad Gelburtz was the name of my first (short lived) general in the Marienburg campaign. I am normally known as ...


Sigmar said...

Thanks Padre, duly noted and "credit" amended.


Jason said...

What is nice about this report is the different angles the pictures were taken at. The "birds eye view" is nice for deployment but the "in the action shots" pulled me into the report better. Thanks for this report, they are my favorites. Too bad for the stunties. I am not sure why you leave your general in LOS to a cannon?

Sigmar said...

I agree Jason, the phot angles make the reports a lot more attractive and inspire you to read on. Padre's reports really are great.

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