Expertly written Warhammer Fantasy Battle story report with great pictures !(BatPadre certainly knows how to put together a superb fantasy battle report. I find his style, suplemented with his uniquely painted miniatures, conjures up really evocative battlefield imagery which makes me yearn to deploy for battle !)
|source : battlereporter.freeforums.org||credit : BatPadre||04-Nov-2009|
The Empire Army listThe Pirates of Tabriz Fleet Vanguard Force
(Legal Composition) Empire Roster, 1999 Pts
LORD: Admiral Bartholomeus Pasterkamp
General; Pistol; Sword of Power; Jade Amulet
HERO: Captain Wilfred Mostert
Pistol; Sword of Battle; Talisman of Protection
HERO: Captain Bartolomeo del Portes
Hand Weapon; Sword of Striking; The White Cloak
HERO: Engineer/Captain Claudio Sagrada
Hand Weapon; Repeater Pistol
CORE: Pasterkamp's Crew - 25 Free Company, FC, Extra Hand Weapon
CORE: Mostert's Crew Crew - 25 Free Company, FC, Extra Hand Weapon
CORE: Zazarri Marwan's Regiment - 25 Swordsmen, FC + Det of 10 Crossbow
CORE: 10 Pasterkamp's Handgunners
CORE: 10 Mostert's Handgunners
CORE: 10 Bartolomeo's Handgunners
SPECIAL: Artillery - 3 Great Cannons & 1 Mortar
RARE: Hookhand's Slayers (as DoW Long Drong’s) - 21 Slayer Pirates + Thodrin
RARE: 10 Bartolomeo's Duellists (as DoW Duellists); Musician; Champion
The Vampire Counts Army listGaldabash's Zombie Pirates
Old White Dwarf Luthor Harkon Zombie Pirates Roster, 1877 pts
LORD: Grand Admiral Galdabash (as Luthor Harkon)
HERO: Vampire Fleet Captain - Brace of Pistols; Moonshine
HERO: Vampire Fleet Captain - Brace of Pistols; Bloody Norah!
HERO: Vampire Fleet Captain - Battle Standard; Dead Man’s Chest
CORE: 25 Zombie Pirates Deck Hands Mob; Mus
CORE: 25 Zombie Pirates Deck Hands Mob; Mus; Standard
CORE: 25 Zombie Pirates Deck Hands Mob; Mus; Standard
CORE: 10 Zombie Pirates Gunnery Mob
CORE: 2 Bloated Corpses
CORE: 14 Scurvy Dogs
SPECIAL: 5 Animated Hulks (undead ogres)
SPECIAL: 2 Carronades (small cannons)
RARE & SPECIAL: Queen Bess (250 points!)
•The Tabrizian Pirates are to try to disable/destroy the Queen Bess (a giant cannon) so that the fleet can pass by the river mouth.
•The undead pirates want to stop them, so that they can deny access to the river (Galdabash has forces up river searching for a certain mythical city).
The Zombies have some defences - sharpened stakes called Stormpoles and some palisades, and so have slightly less points. There is also the fact that the 250 pt Queen Bess might easily blow up if fired (it requires two artillery dice to be rolled and is thus twice as likely as a normal cannon to blow up) and as that would be default win for the Tabrizians it could only be fired in desperation. Thus 250 points are tied up with a practically unuseable gun, which again balances the fact that the Zombies have terrain much favouring them.
The battle to last 7 turns (like the old 6th edition siege scenario).
First part of the Battle of the Dunes - A Fearful Day
Nigh upon twenty packed boats of various sizes made their way towards the shore, the smaller ones riding the choppy waters and almost tossing their occupants overboard as they got close. Only the Arabyan Swordsmen wore armour and they were in one of the larger boats, so none were in too much danger. Besides, considering what faced them, high waves were the least of their concerns.
As the force splashed and waded through the surf the umpteen handgunners amongst them tried to keep their pieces high above the water. Being salty sea dogs of some considerable experience all had of course waxed their pans for protection and several were carrying glass jars with coils of matchcord inside so that it too would remain dry. Once upon the dry sand, while the handgunners poked the wax out of their pans, broke open the jars and fiddled with flints and steels to light their matches, the captains and mates immediately began ordering everyone into fighting bodies ready to advance up and over the scattered dunes. Ahead was the rising ground where, just before the thick tangle of the jungle, rose the fortified hill upon which the ghastly undead had placed their ‘Queen Bess’. Unexpectedly, the huge cannon was still aimed at the river, and stayed so while the undead mustered their own companies on the slopes in a grisly parody of the Tabrizian pirates’ deployment.
It occurred to many of the living seamen that if the great gun hadn’t shifted position then it might not be used against them in this battle. Perhaps Galdabash was more keen to ensure no boats used the battle as a diversion so that they might attempt to slip by? Though it was another, less tactical thought that was in the forefront of many a Tabrizian’s mind - it was entirely possible that amongst the undead foe stood some of their old accomplices and crewmates. This sent a shudder through all those who thought it, followed by a second shudder when the wondered whether by nightfall they too might join the undead ranks.
The field of battle was horribly empty of any form of cover. Between the dunes and the foot of the hill there stretched an open space, flanked on the right by the river mouth. On the expansive lower slopes of the hill were two thin lines of sharpened stakes, with a dangerously inviting gap in the middle that must surely have been left so that some form of counterattack could be launched. Unless, perhaps, Galdabash’s unliving slaves had simply not yet had time to complete their defences?
As the main battle line arrayed itself, the Estalian Captain Bartolomeo del Portes led his skirmishing company of Duellists up on the far right flank, across the rough ground along the bank of the river mouth. He had it in mind to steal the glory and sneak up to the Queen Bess while the rest of the army entertained the foe with their deaths. To his left Claudio Sagrada, acting as Engineer, emplaced a brace of cannons upon a dune, so that he could lend skilled help to whichever one took his fancy. Below him, towards the centre of the Tabrizian line, was the reluctant Captain Wilfred Mostert and his crew, standing sullenly while Mostert tried to look as if he was in a fighting mood that day.
The real centre of the Tabrizian line was made up of the three companies of Handgunners, provided by each of the captains present, as well as the fleet’s admiral Captain Bartholomeus Pasterkamp and his crew and the Slayer Dwarfs of Thodrin Hookhand. All in all, it was a solid enough looking centre. Out to the left was a mortar, occupying the same dune as an Arabyan detachment of crossbowmen. Beyond them marched the Black-clad Arabyan swordsmen, and finally out on the very left, a single cannon (the crew of which were fervently praying that they would seem insignificant to the foe and thus not draw their attention).
Grand Admiral Galdabash himself was present at the hill-fort, having returned from the interior partly to ensure his river mouth defences were still intact and partly upon some dark business that only he knew. Now that the Tabrizian fleet had arrived he was glad he was present, so that he could command his forces to fight rather more intelligently than they otherwise would. His shattered mind, however, was still unstable, and he knew that there might (as ever) be extended periods of the fight in which he barely knew what was happening himself. Not that he cared, being so filled with rage and hatred that any other thoughts faded into insignificance.
While his mind was in balance, he acted quickly and ordered his force for battle. His Handgunners he emplaced in the stockade at the hill’s summit, there to provide something in the way of gunfire but more importantly to act as a last defence should anything get close to the stockade and Queen Bess. A little further down the slope he placed his two small cannons, or ‘carronades’, where they might fire over the heads of the rest of his force arrayed even lower downhill. Then came his battle line, including three massed bodies of regimented zombies behind the storm-poles, with two bloated corpses shambling in their rear. His three captains were amongst them, though a pair of them shared command of one of the regiments (one carrying the army battle standard) thus leaving the rightmost regiment of undead pirates without an officer of any kind. He himself stood to the left of the centre, leading his company of massive zombified Ogres; while out on the far left moved his large pack of Scurvy Dogs, ready to be unleashed upon his command to move at speed against the foe.
The crews of the two carronades stood like statues, what remnants were left of their minds being entirely empty. Only the firing of their pieces could snap them out of their catatonic state, for then they would reload just as they had done in life so many times, going through the sequence of motions with barely any need for thought.
In the massed ranks and file of Zombies, however, there was a species of thought. Each individual could hardly be said to have had much ‘on their mind’ but as a body somehow they became more than the sum of their parts, from which was born a brooding anger ready to spur them on to hack, slash and kill for their master.
Galdabash himself glanced to his left, and raised his huge curved blade in the air ready to signal his dogs. The two cannons paired upon the enemy’s right had caught his eye, and he now knew exactly what he wanted his dogs to do.
Claudio Sagrada, meanwhile, had no idea just how fast those dogs could run. If he had known he would surely not have stood there quite as pleased with himself, idly imagining that the two cannons he commanded were like a pair of monstrous pistols that he could wield as if he were a giant. He even had a smile on his face as he entertained himself with his musings! That smile was not going to last.
Captain Bart, admiral of the fleet and commander of the landing force, stood with his own crewmen. His first mate Lisbeth Boone, one of a number of very tough women amongst the fighting pirates of Tabriz, stood to one side of him pointing out which enemy regiment she reckoned was the strongest; while one of the ship’s younkers, the youngest of the foremast men, blew rather annoyingly upon a horn to the other side. The captain’s standard was carried by an old hand in the front rank, with ostrich feathers added to denote that his was the first company, the general’s regiment, for that was what he effectively was now that he had landed and led an army upon dry land.
Suddenly there was an eerie sound, a sort of growling or gurgling, that lolled across the field from the direction of the foe. It sent a chill down the spine of every living man arrayed there, a chill turned into a shiver by the sight of movement from the foe. Galdabash’s magically animated force of walking corpses had as one began their advance. The fastest of all the undead were the Scurvy Dogs who fair-leapt across the field in a very good mockery of living hounds. It was obvious they would reach Claudio Sagrada’s dune-top battery, and that only Wilfred Mostert’s company were close enough to attempt to get in their way. Mostert himself desperately glanced about to see if there was anything else he could do, or anyone who might be able to step in and do what was needed instead of him. When he saw that the hideous form of the vampire Lord Galdabash himself, leading his fearful undead Ogres was heading in his direction too, it suddenly did not seem such a bad thing that he and his men might have to fight the snarling dogs. They had to be an easier opponent than the towering monsters and a vampire infamous throughout the southern hemisphere.
Upon the hill, the three large bodies of zombies also moved forwards, shambling through the protective screen of sharpened stakes towards the cowering foe in the distance. Not one of them cared what bullets or balls might plough through their ranks, nor even if a grenado from the foe’s ‘murdering piece’ would tear them apart. Maybe when you cannot even recall your own name it is hard to care about what happens to you?
Although the zombie rank and file might not have been thinking about enemy’s shot, the firing of their own artillery pieces - the two carronades on the slope above the regiments of zombies - had a rather mixed effect. While one tore through Captain Thodrin’s Slayer Dwarfs to kill three of them in one moment, the other blew itself up. Apparently gun maintenance in Galdabash’s rotting army was not a priority. The gun in question scattered rusty shards of iron from its barrel for many yards around the smoking remains of its now smoking, worm eaten carriage.
Captain Mostert had no real choice, for he could not stand and watch while the cannons were destroyed – not when the battle in many ways depended on the effectiveness of those same cannons. With this in mind he and his men charged at the festering dogs, just managing to intercept them at the foot of the dune.
As Mostert reluctantly led the desperate charge, the rest of the army made its opening moves. On the far left flank the Arabyan Swordsmen marched around the stony ground before them, while in the centre Thodrin’s dwarfs took a more direct route towards the hill. Captain del Portes and his own men, experts in swordplay all, picked their way along the bank of the river slipping on the wet stones.
Four booming blasts burst over the battlefield as the pirates three light cannons (Note: as DoW or Dwarf cannons) and mortar opened fire. A dramatic moment indeed, ruined only by the fact that not one of them hit their targets – doing little more than scattering dirt up into the air. Sadly, the handgunners (aiming like the cannons at the hulking undead ogres) failed also to do any damage. The result was that Galdabash failed even to notice that the enemy had just targeted his unit. His attention, like the gunners’ aim, was elsewhere.
Mostert and his lads did not do so badly against the scurvy dogs, hacking enough of them down to weaken the very magic binding them together in undeath and so another two, otherwise untouched by sword or axe, succumbed to the forces of nature and became simply dead once more. Mostert even started to think perhaps this day would not be so bad after all. He was wrong, about as wrong as a man could get, because the very moment he began to enjoy the hack and slash, Galdabash decided he and his ogres would smash into Mostert’s flank.
Annoyingly for Galdabash, due to the sheer size of the monstrous zombies he was leading, he found himself stranded out beyond the combat. Still, he reckoned he would have plenty of opportunity to kill before the day was out. Out in the centre of the field his three regiments of Zombies seemed to share his enthusiasm to get to grips with the foe, and they raced downhill. (Game Note: we forgot in turn two that none of these zombies could march, as per the rules of undeath, but by turn three when we realised it was too late to go back. Ah well, honest mistake!)
Of course poor Mostert and his crew did not stand a chance against the vicious and powerful foes in their flank. As they began to fall in droves those still alive thought better of waiting their turn. Within moments the entire regiment, Mostert amongst them, turned and fled pell mell towards the river. This was an unfortunate choice of direction for they poured through Bartolomeo’s Duellists, who where so overwhelmed by the sense of panic that they joined them in flight. Galdabash himself, however, ran forwards in pursuit and suddenly encountered one of Claudio’s cannons. The Tilean and his gunners, watching the streaming flight of men at the bottom of the dune and then faced with the horrendous visage of the Vampire Lord bearing down upon them, also chose to take to their heels – along with Claudio! No-one knows why, but the second crew chose instead to stand and fight. Perhaps they saw the first of the Duellists and Mostert’s crew splashing into the waters of the tidal river mouth and decided they would rather perish to Galdabash’s blade than drown slowly?
Thus it was that the Tabrizian right flank was utterly destroyed and dispersed. The sight of it would surely be thought to make all the rest despair, but instead it made them desperate to achieve what they came here for before the Vampire could turn his attention upon them. The entire line surged forwards as fast as they could march, aiming for the hill where Queen Bess sat. The zombies where in their way, but the pirates thought ‘damn them’ (ironic when one considers the zombies were indeed damned) and rushed on regardless. They outnumbered the foe in regiments and companies, and so thought that even if some Tabrizians were stopped by the foe, the others might still break through.
As the Tabrizian seamen began their desperate dash, their mortar launched another grenado aiming for the huge cannon in the hill-top stockade. The crew hoped that by knocking out said beast early they could hastily leave this forsaken beach and return to the safety of the fleet. This time their aim was good, and although the grenado failed to harm the Queen Bess it did tear apart four of her five crew. Another shot like that and Galdabash could find himself without servants able to crew it (though there were still three zombies on the little carronade who might have skill enough left over from their past life to load and fire her). The last ‘surviving’ zombie gunner did not even flinch, instead merely leaning down to pick up the smouldering matchcord clutched in a dismembered hand at his feet. The Queen Bess was still loaded, and the only thought he had in the fragment of a mind left to him was to fire her when his master willed it.
The Zombie regiments in the centre were now close enough to launch their charges and all three of them did just that. The effect was overwhelming for the Tabrizian forces, for the undead just had weight of numbers on their side and the mere sight of them shambling onwards (and so close) frightened two of the pirate regiments so much that they first stumbled and then ran away. Captain Bart’s crew and his handgunners both streamed off towards the surf, leaving Thodrin’s dwarfs and Mostert’s handgunners in the centre, the Arabyan swordsmen to the left and the Estalian handgunners bravely attempting to make a stand on the right flank fighting off a regiment of undead that outnumbered them more than two to one.
A moment later the two foulest, most noisome undead creatures upon the field of battle, walking corpses bloated almost to the point of bursting by foetid gases and held in one piece only by rotting shrouds, moved up to stand right on front of the swordsmen and the dwarfs. Although the living pirates were wholly aware of the awful stench given off by these horrors, they had no idea just how dangerous it could be to stab at them and thus release the rest of the stinking vapours contained within.
Out on the undead left flank, having seen off both cannon crews, Captains Sagrada and del Portes, the pirates and the duellists, Grand Admiral Galdabash now succumbed to one of his fits, his mind becoming so confused that it was all he could do to stagger forwards. His hulking zombified ogres simply matched his step, entirely unaware that their master had lost his wits. Behind him the zombies fighting the Estalian handgunners inflicted terrible losses, their fleet captain alone lashing with a magically imbued cat o’nine tails to lay five Tabrizians low. Such a mauling, delivered by such a frightening enemy, was too much for the seamen who ran screaming away, chasing after those who had already fled. The zombies poured after them, dragging several screaming to the ground, and approaching very close to the already fleeing band of Captain Bart and his crew.
Having not much choice in the matter, what with the bloated corpses standing immediately in their path, the Arabyan swordsmen and Dwarfen slayers both charged.
Maybe their spirit of defiance was contagious, for somehow Captain Bart rallied his men and turned them to face the zombies now to his right. Or was it that he had glimpsed Galdabash disappearing over the dune away from the battle, and so thought perhaps he and his men could destroy the cannon and live after all?
The pirates’ mortar and cannon between them failed to harm anyone, and the handgunners made more noise than real hindrance for the enemy, but the Arabyan crossbowmen at least felled one of the last carronade’s crewmen. In the more up close and personal fights, the two bloated corpses had no chance at all against the massed ranks of those facing them and they were quickly slain, the resulting explosive cloud of caustic vapours fatally choking two swordsmen and a dwarf. Yet the swordsmen, a little more nimble on their feet than the dwarfs, turned this minor loss into good fortune, and leapt over the steaming remains of the walking corpse to begin their run for the hill top. Between them and their objective, the Queen Bess, there stood a single carronade, then a palisade defended by zombies with handguns, so that unless something came over from the far side of the field to catch them in time, they realised they had every chance of reaching and spiking the Queen Bess.
When one of the zombie regiments chose to charge at Pasterkamp’s handgunners the mate leading them ordered them to flee. Not so Captain Bart Pasterkamp’s main regiment, however, for although they had only just rallied, they made a nervous stand against the charge that came against them.
Now that they were locked in combat they could not see that Galdabash had come out of his stupor and had turned his regimented hulks around to begin a march back to the battle, nor that nearby the Scurvy Dogs had extricated themselves from the stony ground on the river bank. Instead of bolting off towards the nearest foe, the dogs began a long dash across the foot of the hill to see if they could intercept the black swordsmen making for the great gun.
The Zombie handgunners stationed on the hill tried their own kind of resistance and fired a volley at the swordsmen, bringing down two - a success that might have surprised them if they had been capable of conscious thought.
Captain Bart Pasterkamp’s belated attempt to stand against the foe proved rather short-lived. He himself was wounded by the vicious magical whip wielded by the vampire fleet captain, while elsewhere in the fighting ranks very little harm was done: the men too frightened to get quite close enough to deliver fatal blows; the zombies too slow witted to get past the fighting seamens’ parries. But with their captain bleeding and the very denizens of hell crowding forwards the Tabrizians could not hold on to their courage and once more turned tail and fled (Game note: Undead US outnumbered theirs by 1, after a loss by 1!) into the sea. The recently elected admiral of the Tabrizian fleet now found himself splashing and scrabbling about, along with his panicked men, trying desperately to climb into one of the boats and push away from this land of death. His wig floated away with a wave, and though for the tiniest moment he almost turned to retrieve it, he remembered he had a spare in his sea chest and decided it would be foolish to risk one’s life for vanity. One wig would have to do (for the rest of this campaign at least).
Off to the side his handgunners were also in the surf, scrambling over one beached boat in an attempt to find one a little further out that would put them to sea a lot quicker than if they had to haul it out.
The Dwarf Slayers had a rather different attitude to the fight compared to their human allies. They simply did not see the foe as something to fear, but as something to be killed, a challenge to be overcome so that they could boast of it and drink to victory afterwards as they always did. Having waded through the sticky mess that was the remains of the walking corpse, they had overrun into the flank of the central regiment of zombies and now began the bloody business of slaughter they had landed on this shore to do. Of the zombies’ two captains only one could fight, but against the torrent of blows that the pistol festooned slayers could rain upon them, the zombies did not really stand much of a chance. Six zombies fell to bullet and blade, then ten more collapsed simply because the magic binding them in unlife weakened as the dwarfs pushed on into them.
The Arabyan Crossbowmen had not the courage to charge the Zombies crossing in front of them, and so allowed the enemy to approach dangerously close to the mortar. The Agha’s Sworsdmen, however, proved less timorous than their detachment of crossbowmen, and continued their advance on the hilltop in the face of a cannon muzzle and its undead crew.
Perhaps a little unnerved by what was surely about to happen, the mortar crew failed to hit the Queen Bess a second time, and instead landed their grenado on the tower upon the other side of the stockade.
Thodrin and his Dwarf Slayers could not believe how simple it was to hack the Grand Admiral Galdabash’s servants down, and before they had really begun to break a sweat the last of the zombies before them succumbed to their blades and pistols, as well as the ever weakening magic holding them together in undeath. Just as the dwarfs were thinking how easy the fighting was, the brave crew of the mortar found themselves facing a threat that they could surely not withstand - the three of them, one a boy armed with only a bucket and another a crippled man with a crutch in his left hand, were now charged by an entire regiment of shambling zombies. Other much larger bodies of men had fled from just such a foe, and yet here these three found the courage to stand and fight! (I could not tell you why.)
The rest of Gladabash’s forces attempted to close with the few enemies remaining on the field of battle: the hulks made their way towards the centre of the field; the dogs continued their rush to reach the Arabyan swordsmen (though their pace had now slackened somewhat because Gladabash had moved away from them and his power to urge them on had diminished due to the distance). The Vampire Lord had in fact moved away from his undead Ogres to make his own way across the field, so filled with rage he no longer sought the safety of numbers and desired only to close with the enemy quickly and personally, to sate the bloodlust that all his kind shared.
The carronade upon the hill fired directly into the swordsmen advancing straight towards it and brought two down, but the zombie handgunners behind and above them failed in their own attempts so dramatically that one of the misfiring handguns felled the zombie carrying it.
Two of the mortar crew were torn apart by the zombies, and the last (the boy who due to his short stature had been overlooked by the dim witted unliving seamen) fled screaming away from them to drown in the sea. This left only one artillery piece on the field - the cannon on the Tabrizians’ far left, whose crew gave thanks to Manaan that they had been spared so far and now offered the promise of sacrifices and prayers if he would continue his protection.
The Arabyan Swordsmen, unwilling to receive another carronade shot, now launched their charge at the little gun and its crew, even though their attack took them uphill and over quite a distance and thus might prove a dangerously long run. Their luck held, however, and they reached the little artillery piece before it could be reloaded.
The two zombies crewing it unsurprisingly proved little challenge for the corsairs’ deadly scimitars and they soon leapt over their now dead (rather than undead!) corpses to begin their dash for the hilltop. Once again whatever desert gods they looked to for good fortune smiled upon them and they managed to get right up to the stockade and charge into the zombie handgunners defending it.
Thodrin’s Dwarfs turned to face the hulking ogres shambling near them, and one or two looked up to watch the flight of the last cannon’s ball as it curled through air towards the Queen Bess. The crew’s prayers had been very well received, apparently, for Manaan himself must surely have carried the ball to its target. It scored a direct hit on the great cannon and damaged it badly. (Game note: 2 wounds out of 5, the ball being D3 wounds light cannon ball.) The Arabyan crossbow and last unit of handgunners hoped to make their own contribution count also and shot every quarrel they had loaded into the Scurvy Dogs (Game note: being lower down all their ranks could shoot). It appeared that Manaan was too busy with the cannon ball for not one bullet or bolt pierced a single dog. Nothing could stop the dogs from reaching the swordsmen now.
Galdabash and one of his regiments of zombies now chased away the last of the Tabizian handgunners (which was all they could reach), while the Scurvy Dogs hurtled up the hill to do what they had been trying to do for some time now - attack the Swordsmen.
The ensuing fight was bloody, scimitar against tooth, claw and musket butt, yet neither side could gain the advantage and the struggle went on. If they could not defeat the undead soon, the swordsmen feared that the daylight would fail and no doubt bring all sorts of new terrors to the field. Such fear was not helped by the fact that they were already tiring, nor the way they were terribly isolated up there on the summit.
Down below Thodrin attempted to lead his Dwarfs in a charge against the Ogres, perhaps thinking he might at least keep their attention away from the hill, but his little legs proved too … well … little, and the charge failed to reach the foe before it petered out. All he could do was begin to re-order his warriors ready to try again!
The cannon misfired, but the crew boldly set about reloading with the intent of shooting one last time before fleeing for the safety of the fleet. On the hilltop the fight went on: dogs rolling down the hill as they were hacked apart and zombies falling where they stood when the curved Arabyan blades cut deep enough. Yet the Arabyans were dismayed to find that the foe’s lack of fear, nor care for their own (un)lives, meant that they fought on regardless and relentless.
It was beginning to look like the Tabrizians would not get to the Queen Bess, and that many men had died and were yet to die pointlessly that day. But then came the cannon’s last ball, an iron roundshot following exactly the same path as the previously successful one, and thus striking the Queen Bess square on. The huge but ancient and rusty warmachine could not withstand such a blow, so that it was shattered by the impact - it’s very barrel cracking open as the carriage collapsed. After countless years of service, both for the living and the undead, her majesty had finally died. Her last surviving crewman simply stood as he had before, yet to realise that his ward was destroyed. Strangely, he was joined in his lack of motion by the three Tabrizian crewmen on the dune, though their gormless stance was due not to ignorance but rather genuine surprise at what they had done.
It was almost a full minute before they snapped out of the shock induced by their success, then the gunner turned to his two matrosses and said simply, “That’ll do for today, eh?” They nodded in response, and leaving their own piece on the dune they slid hastily down the sand and bolted for the nearest boat.
They were not the only ones to make this decision. Thodrin’s dwarfs saw no use in fighting on when the Queen Bess was destroyed and they too made dash for the beach. Theirs was a more orderly affair than the other Tabrizians around them, almost as if daring the foe to try to follow them. The Arabyan Swordsmen on the hill also knew that to linger was not only dangerous but utterly futile, and they began their own pell mell run all the way to the surf, dropping shields and casting off helmets that they might run that little bit quicker
Not one undead pirate pursued them, for their master did not will them to do so. He cared not which man or dwarf escaped this beach, for his mind was filled with another concern: If the Queen Bess was destroyed, how could he prevent the Tabrizian fleet from ascending the river? His own ships had mostly been destroyed in a recent storm, though this had not troubled him particularly - a mere distraction while his servants searched for the city of gold. His boats and wherries had been safe upriver during the storm, but were now much farther upriver searching. So he had nothing here at the river mouth to prevent the Tabrizians' ascent of the river. What now?
A shimmer of heat haze obscured his blue-skinned body, yet every man, orc and dwarf aboard the Tabrizian ships somehow knew he was there and that his attention was upon them. The fury in his glare, the intensity of his anger not only stirred up the haze about him but poured out across the water to wash up against the ships - a palpable force of wicked intent which sent a chill up every spine. And the thought that crossed every one of their minds? Grand Admiral Galdabash had not finished with them yet.
(This was an approx. 2000 point Empire versus old WD Luthor Harkon list. If you noticed that the zombie player did not use the Queen Bess then I ought to explain - he thought if he did it would blow up and thus gift victory automatically to the Tabrizian player!)