the Cravenlands escalation campaign

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    • these pics are amazing! now im starting to wonder how far away the Cravenlands are from Liechtenhof...
      (in case you're wondering, check @MASTERWIRED 's profile/signature)

      but i'll be honest: with the Dark Gods' power seeping through the Cravenlands, i think it's easy to jump to conclusions and blame shady cultists, or tricky witches, or aspiring warriors. and with all the case Wizard Feuerbach is trying to mount against Prelate Totenhammer, i wouldnt be surprised if some Flagellants would end up being wrongly accused of having attacked the imperial forces...

      the plot thickens. hopefully we'll hear some more news from the author of the story himself - and no, i dont mean Feuerbach, i mean the forum user who spent quite some hours crafting Feuerbach's story for your enjoyment. maybe the unnamed author will want to share some more background story... and who knows, maybe this time it wont take the form of a letter to an imperial officer!


    • (From the Diary of Maximilian Feuerbach, Pyromancer of the Imperial Military)
      (Written in a tremulous hand)


      I write this as the patrol prepares for battle...

      It has been only three days since the death of our beloved Marshal Richter, and I may have doomed our expedition already.

      The morale of the men was shaken to the core after the Marshal’s passing. Their respect for me as second in command did not equal the loyalty they had for their departed leader, but they followed orders all the same. However, if we were to be attacked outright by the same sinister forces that had poisoned Richter, I feared my own command abilities would not be enough to lead a grieving patrol to victory.

      An opportunity for aid presented itself when our scouts reported an Equitanian patrol passing through the region. It consisted of two handfuls of knights and some attendant bowmen led by a woman who appeared to be of noble birth. From this description I determined that they must be in the Cravenlands on some sort of quest. This gave me an idea.

      My plan hinged on appealing to the Equitanian chivalric drive. If their quest could stand a short delay, an alliance between our two small forces would bring them glory for helping us in a time of great need. This very morning I said as much to the noble woman leading the questing party. When their path towards the south had led them closest to our encampment, I rode out to meet them with the Electoral cavalry at my side. She broke away from the column with two knights in tow and reigned in close to us.

      I was hopeful as we made introductions and I made my request. Our combined strength would never conquer the Cravenlands, but it might keep the enemy from attacking while we continued to regroup.

      My hopes for temporary reinforcements were dashed however. The response of the lady to my request for aid was anything but chivalrous. Instead, she smirked and said she would rather claim the glory of defeating us in battle.

      I was utterly shocked, and for a moment, speechless. The lady could tell. She raised her chin haughtily and said they would be back at midday to destroy us. Then she wheeled her horse and I could hear her laughing as she rode back to the column with her knights at her heels.

      I had never expected this outcome from our parlay. Our forces were of relatively equal size and strength, what benefit could they gain from attacking us? Were Marshal Richter still here, he would have laughed, and then taken the surprise opponent apart on the battlefield just for the practice. But I was less confident. I worried that even a favorable outcome in this small battle could leave our patrol further crippled, and completely unable to sustain ourselves in the Cravenlands.

      We returned to camp to prepare for the attack. I hope the men will trust my orders...
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by RHworldbuilding ().

    • NARRATIVE BATREP V. ANTOHAMMER
      ES (RHWorldbuilding) v. KE (@Antohammer)
      Based on the game played in the Veil of the Ages Tabletop Simulator mod
      Twitch video of the livestream
      @piteglio ‘s screenshot album

      PRE-GAME SEQUENCE

      (ES Deployment)
      Knowing that the Equitanian General would have the benefit of their horses, and the option to arrange their troops after I had deployed my line, I chose the battlefield. I deployed place where I would have the benefit of the terrain. With a forest to the left to cover our handgunners, and a building to our right, around which the enemy knights were unlikely to maneuver. I placed our Electoral Cavalry next to the building, knowing they could get around it in the earliest stages of the battle. The Imperial Guard held the center of our line with open terrain in front of them to draw in the enemy’s knights. I took up a position behind the Guard, where I could observe the opponent’s movement and get to where I needed to be to make my spells count. A hill in the center of the battlefield obscured part of their line, but they would have to come around or over it before they could charge our line.


      (KE Deployment)
      When the lady and her troops approached us, they deployed with a unit of knights on either side of their line. The more heavily armored detachment (Knights of the Quest) was to my left, and to the far right the other group of knights, with ten bowmen in the center. The lady was on the front line, to my right of the bowmen, but behind the hill. I could not see her from my vantage point behind the Imperial guard, but my handgunners confirmed her position.



      As the enemy approached the field of battle in this disposition, they hesitated. In that brief moment I started barking orders to my troops. This would be my test.

      I did not want to eliminate the enemy force unless necessary. But if we could hold the center of the field against their onslaught, we could reduce their combat effectiveness enough to win the day.
      (Victory Conditions: The player with the most non-Character, non-Fleeing units within 6” of the center of the battlefield at the end of 4 turns, wins.)


      (ES Turn 1)
      The enemy was too far away for any of my troops to charge, and marching too far towards the enemy would allow their horses to bear down on us too quickly. Instead, looking at the field, I felt I could position our line in a way that would minimize their advantage in speed.

      I ordered the Light Infantry into the woods to protect them as they harried the enemy advance. The Electoral Cavalry I directed forward to the right of our line, hidden from the enemy bowmen by the hill, and protecting the flank from the enemy knights. I thought it was likely that the bunch of young looking knights on the enemy’s left flank could make a charge against our own Cavalry, but some risk was necessary
      (Knights Aspirant need a 9, rerollable due to the Impetuous special rule)

      I move up behind the Cavalry, shielding myself from the enemy bowfire behind the hill.



      (Magic - card #5 - 6 Dice v. 4)
      From my position, I can only reach the enemy with Corruption of Tin, to reduce their armor. I cast it on the young Knights that are threatening my Cavalry. I successfully cast it, and the Damsel on the other side is unable to stop my spell.
      (Knights Aspirant -1 Armor from Corruption of Tin)

      (Shooting)
      I shout to the Light Infantry to fire a volley into the unarmored enemy bowmen, knowing that the armor of the Knights that were also in range would likely be enough to protect them at long range. At this distance, the chance of hitting is slim, but our boys manage to pick off 2 Bowmen.




      (KE Turn 1)
      (Charges)
      As I had expected, the Aspirant Knights attempted to charge (Need 9 on the dice) against the Electoral Cavalry on our right flank. But, they are unable to channel their enthusiasm into a successful charge, and move forward only slightly
      (4” failed charge)



      (Movement)
      The Bowmen advance towards the hill, but are still in sight of our Imperial Guard. The larger unit of Knights to our left (Knights of the Quest) also march directly towards the Guard, clearly threatening a charge. My Handgunners relayed that the General of the opposing force moved up behind the hill. Out of sight of both myself and the Cavalry.



      (Magic - Card #6 - 7 Dice v. 4)
      From my position behind the hill, I could see the group of 6 Knights receiving some sort of magical augmentation from the hidden Damsel. I was ready to try to stop her next spell, but all I saw was a flash from the other side of the hill, and nothing else happened
      (KE casts Know Thine Enemy with 4 dice on the KotQuest, no dispel attempt. Cast Stone Skin with 3 dice, fail to meet casting value of 7)



      (Shooting)
      The bowmen on the other side launch a volley into the Imperial Guard. A couple of arrows hit their targets, and one of our men falls dead
      (1 dead Imperial Guard from 6+ strength 3 shooting).


      (ES Turn 2)
      In an attempt to disrupt the enemy’s impending charges, I signal to the Imperial Guard and the Electoral Cavalry to mount charges of their own. Both enemy units bear an Imperial charge without fleeing, commendable.

      Display Spoiler


      (IG need a 4 and succeed, E. Cav need an 8 and succeed)


      (Movement)
      The Handgunners can’t shoot because the only visible enemy units are engaged with our own troops. Instead, I order an advance out of the trees to cover more of the battlefield with their arc of fire.

      Myself, I moved further behind the cover of the hill. Cowardly, I admit. But I knew I would be of no use to the patrol if I found myself shot full of arrows, or worse, run over by a unit of Knights on horseback. I needed to see my troops, I didn’t need to see the enemy, or them to see me.



      (Magic - Card #4 - 4 Dice v. 2)
      The effect of my Corruption of Tin spell against the 5 Enemy Knights (Aspirant) fades. I cast it again, only this time on the 6 Knights (of the Quest) currently engaged with our Imperial Guard. I feel the power of the Damsel’s will fighting against my spell, but I am able to overpower it, and reduce the enemy’s armor.
      (2 dice Corruption of Tin successful, dispel attempt fails)

      With the power I have left, I try to cast a Scorching Salvo, but I am unable to muster the willpower at this time.
      (Fail to cast Scorching Salvo with 2 Dice)

      (No Shooting)

      (Combat)
      I can’t see the combat going on between our respective units of cavalry. From over the hill I hear the sounds of clashing units, but not the sounds of men being wounded. Hopefully this at least means our men are safe.
      (Knights Aspirant and Electoral Cavalry do 0 Wounds to each other, KoE knights lose by 1 for the charge, and break)
      I heard hoofbeats and what sounded like the cheering of our men, then a thunderous clash of steel, then cheers again. If I was not mistaken, the battle appeared to be going alright thus far.

      Display Spoiler


      (Electoral Cavalry pursue. Knights roll 4” for flee distance, Electoral Cav roll 6” and destroy the Knights Aspirants)


      Further confirmation of the battle going well was a string of curses coming from the Damsel on the other side of the hill. As I listened to all this, I could only watch as the Imperial Guard attempted to disrupt the coming charge of the 6 enemy Knights (of the Quest)

      In the initial impact the Imperial Guard were able to slay one of the opposing knights. In response the Knights kill 3 of our men with their bastard swords.

      Display Spoiler


      (Combat res is equal, and combat continues)


      (KE Turn 2)
      (Charges)
      The Archers charge into the ongoing combat with the Imperial Guard.

      Display Spoiler


      (need a 4 and succeed, charge in the front)


      (Movement)
      The Damsel emerges over the hill, glaring at me.



      (Magic - Card #5 - 6 Dice v. 4)
      From her perch on the hill, the lady cast a spell in the direction of her melee engaged Knights. I try to dispel it, but I fail. Seeing my failure, she casts another spell on the same Knights. Exhausted for the moment, I am unable to put up any resistance, but she fails the spell.
      (Damsel successfully casts Know Thine Enemy on the Knights of the Quest. Dispel attempt fails. Stone Skin cast on the KotQuest is failed)

      (Combat)
      The two engaged bowmen attack and fight valiantly, wounding a member of the Imperial Guard, but his Imperial armor saves his life. In response the Guardsman counters and kills the Peasant. The Guard engaged with the Knights wound 3 knights. One is clearly saved by his armor, while only the Blessing of the Lady Herself can explain how the other man continued to fight after what should have been a crushing blow simply glanced off his helmet.
      (1 Dead Bowman, 1 Dead Knight (1 armor saved, 1 Aegis 6+) 3 Dead IG. IG stick on a 6)



      (ES Turn 3)
      I decide not to fight the enemy General in close combat, in hopes that I could defeat her through a clash of Magic. I can hear the Electoral Cavalry returning to the battlefield and it sounds like they’re setting up to join the densest parts of the fighting. I signal the Handgunners to target the Damsel.

      (Magic - Card 4 - 5 Dice v. 4)
      I cast Corruption of Tin against the Knights with all my might! The Damsel is unable to deflect my will.

      The Handgunners let loose a volley against the Damsel, scoring two bloody wounds, but she remains standing.



      (Combat)
      In the ongoing combat, the Peasant Bowmen continue to attack the Imperial Guard to no effect. The Guard are able to kill one more Bowman and one more Knight. The remaining Knights slay one Guardsman. The Equitanians have taken the worse of the combat, but they stick around to continue thinning the numbers of our Imperial Guard.



      (KE Turn 3)
      Braver than I expected, the Damsel charges right into the flank of the Imperial Guard, who are already engaging two units in their front.



      (Magic - Card #3 - 5 Dice v. 2)
      The Damsel casts a spell on herself as she enters the combat. Then she casts a spell upon the Knights, and I am unable to stop her.

      (Combat)
      The brave Damsel and the Peasant bowmen are unable to do any damage to the Imperial Guard. But in a counter move, one of the Guardsmen was able to land a mortal blow against the nobly lady, felling her to the ground. The rest of the men are unable to kill anymore Knights. The enemy cavalry lands three murderous blows against our remaining infantry, two of these were saved by the impeccable construction of an Imperial shield, but one more Imperial Guard fell.


      (ES Turn 4)
      I can hear the shouts of the Electoral Cavalry as they charge, but they never come over the hill into the combat. The Handgunners move into the center of the battlefield to strengthen our position. I move onto the hill to survey the ongoing combat, ready to help with spells wherever needed.



      (Magic - Card 1 - 3 Dice v. 2)
      I cast Corruption of Tin on the Knights, my will so focused this time that nothing would stop me.
      (roll 13 on 3 dice, dispel is impossible)

      The Imperial Guard cut down another two Peasant Bowmen, but lose one more man in the process. The Bowmen break and flee from the combat. Leaving the battered unit of Knights still fighting the Imperial Guard.



      (KE Turn 4)
      The Fleeing Peasant Bowmen rally and turn back towards the battle, but they are too far away to affect the outcome, as the central combat must reach a conclusion soon.

      (Combat)
      The Imperial Guard are able to destroy one more of the enemy Knights, who cannot damage our heroes. The Knights finally flee from combat, leaving us bloodied, but masters of the field.




      Upon reflection after the battle, I still could think of no reason why the Equitanian Damsel should have chosen to attack us. All I could think was that the Cravenlands themselves had an ill effect on the souls of those who dwell here. The corruption seeps up from the ground, and begins to infect the mind upon the first step into this cursed place. We, as products of the Imperial military, imbued with Imperial discipline and fortitude, hold strong against it. But the weak minded obviously succumb to it in short order.

      The disdain the noble lady clearly showed for us during our brief meeting had no other logical source. And furthermore - as the battle had shown - they had very few advantages over us on the battlefield to have such hubris. Many of our Imperial Guard had sacrificed their lives, but the rest of us had survived. However tenuously, we still hold our outpost in the Cravenlands.

      And for the moment it appears I have proved my command abilities to the Patrol. Soundly defeating the passing Equitanians has left our remaining troops solidly unified. Yet, I still fear an attack from the more mysterious and local enemy that has taken our true leader away from us. I can only hope the patrol will continue to hold out against the sinister influence of this place.
      UNITS OF T9A COMPATIBLE PAPER MINIS - ONLY ON PATREON
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by RHworldbuilding ().

    • thank you Rob, for writing both the Wizard's story and the report of his battle with KE! i hope the others have enjoyed reading your Wizard's letter and diary as much as i did! i know the writing takes a lot of time. entertainment has a cost and should never be taken for granted, so... cheers from me!!

      and as you all have noticed, with the battle report we add yet another arrow to our Cravenlands campaign: there's background, there's painting, and now there is gaming too! we start with the simplified T9A ruleset (Essence of War) because we want this to be... well, you guessed it from the title: an escalation campaign. this means we start slow, with one character (Wizard), then one patrol (Handgunners-Electorals-Imperialguards), then we move on to larger advanced games... and we end up in Fantasy Battles territory.

      so now you see where this is all going: we are collecting stories and minis and batreps so we can create a new-player-friendly access path to T9A. and we will add more material too! this is only 1 of 4 story arcs, all centred around the imperial forces in the Cravenlands. and we will go beyong background/minis/batreps, to give new players a truly 360° experience. but we can only do this with your help, so...


      your turn!

      it's time for a group shot! while some of you finish painting up their imperial forces (Wizard, Handgunners, Electoral Cavalry, Imperial Guard), i would like to have a closer look at your Kingdom of Equitaine patrols, like the one in the screenshot above! give us a small-army picture of


      :KoE:
      1 foot damsel
      5x2 bowmen
      5x1 aspirants
      3x2 quests

      make it creative, make it beautiful, and make it inspiring!
      hopefully your pictures will be the starting point for new generals of Equitaine, so dont be shy. show us your beauties, and please do tag your forum friends, if you know they have beautiful minis to share. i'll start myself by poking @Ludaman and @Klexe and @Marcos24 - sorry for bothering you guys, but i know you have some incredibly beautiful minis on your shelves, so if you have five minutes to take a pic of the 22 miniatures listed above, im sure our readers will love it : )

      cheers,
      f


    • RHworldbuilding wrote:

      NARRATIVE BATREP V. ANTOHAMMER
      ES (RHWorldbuilding) v. KE (@Antohammer)
      Based on the game played in the Veil of the Ages Tabletop Simulator mod
      Twitch video of the livestream
      Nice one Rob! That was very cool :D It took me a little while to even realise during reading that narrative style that it was actually the same battle I had watched live on twitch at the time too! Definitely gives it a different feel like this. I reckon you could lean even further into that style at times too, glossing even more over the turn sequence and dice and such - but I understand you were also trying to make this make full "rules sense" as well :)

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      The post was edited 1 time, last by Remy77077 ().

    • Remy77077 wrote:

      RHworldbuilding wrote:

      NARRATIVE BATREP V. ANTOHAMMER
      ES (RHWorldbuilding) v. KE (@Antohammer)
      Based on the game played in the Veil of the Ages Tabletop Simulator mod
      Twitch video of the livestream
      Nice one Rob! That was very cool :D It took me a little while during reading that narrative style that it was actually the same battle I had watched live on twitch at the time too! Definitely gives it a different feel like this. I reckon you could lean even further into that style at times too, glossing even more over the turn sequence and dice and such - but I understand you were also trying to make this make full "rules sense" as well :)
      Thanks for that feedback, Remy! I was wondering just how far to take it. But it’s good to hear I don’t need to worry too much about game sequence and dice. It also helps having the actual video available for people to check. This might be a transitional step towards fully narrative reports! :D
      UNITS OF T9A COMPATIBLE PAPER MINIS - ONLY ON PATREON
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      SUPPORT ME FOR NEW DESIGNS EACH MONTH

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    • (L-3)


      UNDER THE RULE OF HEINRICH VON TOTENHAMMER.
      The Cravenlands have never been a rich and happy place; many in the Church of Sunna consider these lands to be cursed. Local creepy legends mirror local popular and probably misguided belief that it is here that Warin found his death after stabbing Sunna treacherously at the battle of Avras.

      Heinrich Von Totenhammer is a fanatic among the ranks of Sunna Church, a fervent believer who asked to be sent to the Cravenlands with his retinue of inquisitors precisely because "where the shadow is darker, Sunna's light must burn harder." The charisma of the Bishop drives all aspects of the population’s lives and is primarily responsible for the creation of a small army to defend the humans of the valley from threats both external and internal. Both seem to abound.

      In one year, Von Totenhammer and the inquisitors tortured and burned over a hundred alleged witches. In the Cravenlands a ruthless hunt has begun for the heretics of the Dark Gods, accused of having caused the recent great famine and the epidemic diseases probably caused by the prodigious rat infestation to be found here. The already bleak landscape is dotted with embers of pyres and breaking wheels proliferate. No man, woman, or child is safe from informers and inquisitors, anyone can be reported and taken to the Traitor's Tower and they often are.

      Moreover the plague continues leaving hundreds of riddled corpses piled up in the narrow alleys and cobbled squares of Dusktown.







      ...want more landmark descriptions? cmon, show us pictures of your KE patrols! i know you have them!! : D

      :KoE:
      1 foot damsel
      5x2 bowmen
      5x1 aspirants
      3x2 quests


    • Well, here I go:



      My camera isn't the newest one and I'm not the best photographer... But at least I could search for my old encampment :thumbsup: . I thought it'd be nice to have it here... Quite a lot of dust had piled over it, though. I'm not sure I got rid of all of it :whistling: .
    • love these patrols... looks like they're hailing from a mythical past... except Idum's, of course. that one is from the future. like a couple centuries later ; )

      i also wanted to let you know i have now collected the whole letter of Wizard Feuerbach (by RHWorldbuilding) in the one-stop-only reading place for the Cravenlands: Cravenlands - background

      you'll also find the prologue, as well as the map descriptions from our mysterious cartographer... who might this author be? but as people where i come from like to say, "speak of the sin, not of the sinner". so here goes...


    • (L-4)

      TOWER OF THE TRAITOR

      The Tower of the Traitor is an old Avrasian temple, now consecrated to Sunna’s faith. Today the tower is the Headquarters of Heinrich Von Totenhammer and the inquisitors who in effect reign over the area and do so mercilessly and with unshakeable faith. Criminals and alleged heretics are brought to the tower for interrogation and trial. Every day, bonfires are set up where those who have been found guilty of heresy and witchcraft are burned.

      Around the tower, refugees from the epidemic and also pilgrims to the Tower have set up a temporary small town of rudely fashioned tents that is growing day by day, the conditions therein are best described as basic. These inhabitants of these dwellings, if they can be called such, are shockingly deprived and many survive only thanks to almsgiving and mutual self-help derived from a feral necessity. Meanwhile, the suspicion is growing that heretics are hiding among these desperate poor who seek Sunna's mercy. Despite their common predicament it is increasingly frequent for informers to accuse their neighbours of being in league with the Dark Gods.

      I heard a dark legend from some strange, wiry pilgrims here in the Cravenlands about this tower. Although there is no mention of it in the sacred books, nor in any of the publications held in the prestigious universities of the Empire or Arcalea, I have no reason to omit what I have been told. In my experience many times even in the most deranged stories there is more than a seed of truth.

      This story or, perhaps, legend claims that Warin the Betrayer, after killing Sunna with the cursed sword, reached the Cravenlands via the ancient Forolus road of the Avrasian empire. Pursued by his remorse and his demons which seemed eager to tear his deicide’s soul to pieces, he was wracked by his internal torment. Captured while wandering through the Cravenlands debilitated and confused he was locked up in this tower for seven years without ever being able to see the sun and tortured by seven jailers every day of his imprisonment. In the darkness of his cramped cell the traitor was now weak, torn in body and soul, his tongue was cut out and his eyes destroyed. He was dying. With his heart at the last beat, Warin saw the Seven Doors of the Eternal Darkness open wide to receive him. He recognised that his place would have been forever at the bottom of that horrifying cesspit when seven angels each with seven black wings appeared before him. With seven chains made of pure terror they bound his heart and soul and carried him away, forever in the dark.

      Thus ends the tale told in these lands, the truth or otherwise can only be speculated upon.





      your turn!

      as every Imperial Engineer would tell you, let's stick to the facts. so many legends, so many tales, the stench of numerology and of explicit symbolism... nah, no one can know for sure who the traitor is ...but one thing is certain: the tower itself does exist. so go through your terrain box, get out that gorgeous tower you built and paint with much love, and give it a chance to shine!

      this time, differently from what we did with KE, we set a threshold. help us collect at least 5 pics of towers. and... yes, yes. if you plan on building a new one, especially for the Cravenlands story, it's ok. your blueprints will also count as a submission : )

      cheers,
      f