the Battles for the Jewel of the Western Sea have begun

Post your AARs and Battle Reports here or link to any that you've seen around the web so we can all have a look!

Moderator: roybatty

Post Reply
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:57 pm

the Battles for the Jewel of the Western Sea have begun

Post by Yuma » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:16 pm

bad habits die slow they say.. and they seem to be right. thus we began another approach to bash some 28mm heads.
not a fullblown campaig yet, but we'll try the campaignstuff later i guess. our first battle was a bit bigger, around 12 models per side, including some nasty new skills and large monsters.

not sure yet where i should post rosters and how. let me know if you like a like here or another post in the warband section.

before i tell you the story of the bloody battle that took place in the calm village known as Port Fulcrum, i'll leave you with a piece of fluff i did (instead of getting those armylists ready one late night..)

... on board a imperial warship somewhere between the mainland and a small cluster of islands not too far from the coast ...

the captain lowered his telescope, a worried frown on his forehead he glanced towards the quickly darkening horizon.
as the thin black line of an island came into sight, he turned to the almost too-young midshipmen behind him.
"Oculus the Traveller was wrong gentlemen!" the captain adressed the men, tapping a heavy leatherbound tome with his gauntleted knuckles "these islands hold no stratecic importance whatsoever. too far from our western coast to serve any enemy, yet too close to be of any use as a stageing point for forays into the west."
he acknowledged the stunned expressions on his ensigns faces with a weary smirk.
"the great harbor they call the main settlement.. a rather magnanimous way to name this reeking den of darkness. but, ... it is a very valuable trading hub." the smirk growing more maleficent "think about that when the dying begins"
he let his steely gaze tear into the young men for a moment, noticing a few nosetips turn pale already.
"the great harbor is like an old whore, has parted her legs for any wouldbe master, be it norse, elf or worse. she was quite splendid in her younger years tho and her price for a night has always been high.. exuberant. a king's ransom in blood and souls."
he turned towards the cloud shrouded line of land in the distance, rubbed an itch under the leather eyepatch before turning to the cadetts again.
"and now she's old, ill and wearing too much powder in a vain try to hide the wrinkles and scars time has left. razorsharp reefs and treacherous shoals are the only jewelry she wears these days now."
the captain knocked the planks below him twice with the ornatly carved whalebone that replaced his left leg from the knee downwards.
"any of you, gentlemen, that foster an interest for the biological wonders of the western sea will have a great fieldday. in these murky waters you will find every foul beast that the abyss has spewn out since the dawn of time. if you notice vessels, enemy or our own, targeting hands at sea please refrain from wasting paper for your mandatory reports." "this unwritten rule is the only one followed by any and all of the great whores many suitors. we call it mercy quarrel out here, when we tout for a night in her lap."
the grizzled captain grined at the pale midshipmen, lowly chuckling into the shocked silence. then with a wide sweep of his brightly polished hookhand and a cocky smile, that just barely hid his broken teeth, he answerd them once more:
"welcome gentlemen, to the grand jewel of the western sea, a mistress of enslaveing beauty, the queen of all ports, the love of my live:" "Pearl Haven!"

the ensigns stood silent, awestruck, the barely audible thunder of rolling broadsides in the distance and eerily colored lightning crackling admidst low hanging clouds.

Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:57 pm

Re: the Battles for the Jewel of the Western Sea have begun

Post by Yuma » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:53 pm

the battle we played yesterday took us about 4 hours (i guess), mainly because i packed so much custom stuff into the models stats and we havent played for a while. there were prolly some mistakes ruleswise, but OC showed its awesomeness again, everything just came to our minds again without much searching through the book and stuff.

so, the scene of the conflict was a 3x3 foot table of harbor with lots of slippery passages and bottlenecks, a couple of ships and houses. my apologies for not having made pictures.
on the foremost jetties where located three shrines. the guardian shrine in the middle and off to either side two with our respective objectives, the resting places of the summoning stones, one for my elves and one for the ashen empires troops.
goal was to "secure" the relevant stone while hindering the opposition in achieving this.
any casualties and even spilled blood near the water added up on the "blood is calling" table.. it was evident, that something bad would happen when the threshold was reached. the victory conditions too would change a bit, when the dung hit the fan, but more on that later.

the forces where intentionaly large, around 340 points each, with possibly another 8 entities to handle if enough blood was spilled :D
my opponent had his mistress in command, the model with the highest renown (46ish), an assassin-like herotype, a subcommander for the ashmen troops, which included a bunch of swordsmen, and dervish and a bannerbearer. oh, and a giant wulven mercenary (classed as warbeast, somewhere inbetween a monster and a normal model).
on my side, the glorious elven marines, were two herostyle characters, a hefty archer lass and a contigent of sea dragon marines, including a signumbearer and a clarion-dude. oh, and two lightly armored, very agile and graceful skirmishers... you'll love them, when i tell you of their deeds...

and so, the scenario "rolling in the deep" begann..
the fight started fast. the ashmen pouring over a narrow bridge were met by elven marines and a bloody fight began, that should last for almost the whole game.
and we both would like to state for any newcomers: dont put your dudes in narrow places in one big blob..!
needless to say, the blood-o-meter was fed instantly, with blood dripping from the bridge, bodies falling off either side into the waters below. the ashmen made great use of the jumping rules and turned an early skirmish into fullblown carnage almost instantly.
meanwhile, some solitary figures moved towards the shrines, trying (and yet succeding) in not slipping and falling into the murky waters. the general action didnt change much for a couple of turns, but we had some great moments with jumping gaps, adjusting hazardrules on the fly (did i mention how great OC is for this?), epic melee combat with a huge cluster f..k around that bridge (which btw was the terrainfeature farthest away from the shrines/victoryconditions).
my elves did quite well there, takeing a lot of damage but also killing several of the ashmen. and as the brutal close combat came to and end, heralded by the death of about half a dozend fighters from both armies in one round (force back is so nasty, and no matter how uber your leader is, if a single die rolls a six, is still a lot of hurt..).

drawn to the scene by the generous amounts of blood and bodies in the water, the Maw-Beast of Port Fulcrum surfaced in the middle of the harbor, its tentacles creeping towards the tasty morsels of food still running around the waterside..
is was the time it got a bit hectic once more :)
(this npc monstrosity had high stats and up to 8 tentacles moving around, trying to grab people or just slapping them hard. it had a rough makro for its use, and didnt slow down the game much. we were very pleased in how smoothly it worked. oh, and the tentacles grabbed a model if it rolled a 6, it would then move towards the mainbody and if reaching it, the model would be eaten, no matter how much FOR it had left)

the combatants near the shrines had just started to bash eachother (force backing each other over edges and other cinematic stuff), when the beast arose. as the tentacles headed towards the nearest model not hunted by other tentacles, there were quite a few extra dangers between the magical stones and the shrine. in addition to the other warbands warriors.
at that point we both had burned through a whole lot of rerolls, and turnovers happend at spectacular moments a bit too often for my likes..
one of my skirmishers was hit hard by the wulven and thrown into the water, managed to get out, circle around the jetty, javelining the assassin, sending her into the water. climbed up to the shrine holding my stone, snatching the objective just before the tentacles emerged.. he dodged past the rageing wulven, jumped another gap and mere feet from the guardian shrine the poor elf was grabbed by a slimy tentacle and landed with the magical stone in the all-devouring maw of the monstrosity... nice.
the other skirmisher produced a series of hilarious fails as he tried to jump from ship to ship to help my hardpressed second hero.. failing his roll, his surefoot reroll, then more rerolls (actualy my last for the evening), and then failing again.. so many ones and snake eyes rolled *sob*
he met his doom a few yards closer to the shrine, when he was engaged by a tentacle. the leaderess of the ashmen cut tentacle and elf in half with one fell blow of her blade.. (note to myself: twohanded weapons are quite nasty).
around that time the hard pressed marines by the bridge managed to kill the last few swordsmen and their unit leader. the captain of the elves managing to breach the line with a well placed javelin, following up into the gap and massacering nearby enemies with his great axe (it was by the book, if something works like this, you'll love twohanded weapons all the more... also: you cant have enough javelins. ever.)
well.. at the conclusion of the absolutly bloody fight by the bridge, the captain lay dead with several of his men (force back again..) only 4 of the elves survived with one point of FOR each.
there were some warriors between the action at the waterfront and the bridge, but they just barely managed to hold of the tentacles harrassing them. slowly falling to the single die attacks one after the other. the elves from the bridge couldnt break through the writhing mass of tendrils either, and the lone archer (just for the record, it IS a female) wasnt able to stop the ashen assassin to grab the remaining stone and return it to the shrine. (we both agreed, that an overwatch like skill would be nice to have)

when the Maw-Beast emerged, a "cut scene" played with a mister miyagi like elder telling us, that if one of the stones is placed in the shrine, the white pearl serpent would awake and protect the port from any fiend of darkness treatening it. this altered the victory condition too, making it quite hard to win, if your stone was lost somehow...

the smile on my opponents face was broadening by the second, as nothing could stop him from winning.. even tho he lost everyone except the leader, the assassin and the wulven...
but it that moment of glory, a lone tentacle slung its rosey end around the ankle of the wulven.. pulling hard and grabbing the terrible warbeast, dragging it, howling and trashing, towards the ever-hungry maw, which devoured the wulven whole. :twisted:

i guess i dont need to say that we were once again very imperssed by how delightfull OC is to play. we had a great evening and much to laugh. so i hope you go and create some uber monsters as npc yourself and have some fun. OC can handle quite a lot of models on the table, which i was eager to test with this scenario.
i also used a lot of custom skills from this forum and a bunch of my own (most of the ashmen had a charge ability, which was just a javelin with a fancy name, a cleave like skill in the shape of a one use twohanded weapon and similar small tweaks). some of these werent used this time, others (like maneouvre) were, but despite being handy at the moment used, they didnt impact on the game as killer skills.

go out there and try stuff!

Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:57 pm

Re: the Battles for the Jewel of the Western Sea have begun

Post by Yuma » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:22 pm

sunday will see the second game in our Pearl Haven storyline.
i think we will see the victorious Nasir Empire pressing home its (current) advantage. it is not yet clear what the masters of the ashen crusade want on the islands, but after aquiring the magical stone from Port Fulcrum chances are high, that it has somthing to do with magic, probably the darker kind given their fondness for demonic entities.
as a couple of their warships have been seen heading towards Fennhirst, we should take a look on what Oculus the Traveler has written about this place, shall we..

"This Island has, remarkably, only two names, a sure sign that it hasent changed ownership as often as some of the other places in these troubled waters. the elven name translates to something like Cradle of Stars, though the name given to it by early human settlers is far more fitting, Fennhirst.
its is a damp, cold place dominated by dark forests and treacherous bogs and fenns. and despite the rough cliffs guarding most of its shore, the island itself is rather flat, missing the elevated center that most of its neighbours feature.
also, there are no known settlements, at least inhabited ones. on a particular clear day a few small ruins can be seen on the coast, ancient towers or what remains of them. but rumor speaks of bigger ruins in the depths of the lichened conifer forest, remnants of spacious constructions made from white marble.
the main reason for the lack of detailed knowledge about Fennhirst is its proprietor, the Lothlond Elves. they are a secretive lot and despite the fact, that they dont settle there either, not many a adventuring party has returned from this mysterious place.
what surely can be said though is, that there is abundant fauna on Fennhirst. strange and twisted creatures some claim, proud and mighty beasts say others. describtions vary wildly, but no trophies have made it off the island so far.

let these words be a warning to you, dear traveler. despite the occasional rumor about riches hidden in the ruins, there is nothing to be gained on Fennhirst except wet feet, a cold and most probably your demise."

also, i build some new beasties for the game:
the lion rider is just on the picture, because i gave it a new base... in all probability :mrgreen:

Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:57 pm

Re: the Battles for the Jewel of the Western Sea have begun

Post by Yuma » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:49 pm

i'm still chuckling..
i prepared a very simple adventure mode, where the Nasir player had to take decicions while heading deeper into the island of
Fennhirst. to achieve his mission, the Nasir had to locate the Starwell and charge to magical stone they.. liberated.. in the last scenario.
due to the strong narrative element of this scenario, the Ashen Crusade would battle a undead force with several strong necromancers, some fleshy constructs and a lot of raised dead, both zombies and skeletons. the Nasir player didnt know this and was believing that he will face some kind of elven resistance.
well there were a couple of elves and their animal helpers, but more as an npc force.

its a bit much to post the entire adventure mode text, but if peeps want to see, just comment, i'll find a way to share.

the necromancers and their toys (those i painted for the "Warband a month" tread somewher in the forum) came to the island to harness the power of the starwell for their evil plans, and were set to be on site already. they would be split into two forces, a bigger one by the Starwell and a smaller nearby guarding the ruins of a watchtower.

the advance of the Crusade started on the beach, where they made landfall, and the commander had the oppurtunity to gather some early clues.
(each chapter let the commander roll a dice to get some infos, a 1 being something along "everything is fine, nothing amiss here" up to 5&6 which let him spot something that would help him decide or which would eventualy alter some parameters of the final battle.)

at The Beachhead, the commander rolled a ... one.
so the Ashen began trampling into the forest unaware of the beings watching them.
after the ashen had marched through treacherous and difficult terrain they reached The Crater. on the edge of this huge landmark in the middle of the island, the second point of interest waited for them.
the commander spotted a large cluster of ruins towards the center of the ancient crater and a smaller set of ruined buildings sitting on the edge of the crater to the east. he had to make the decision if he split his forces or if not, to which ruin he'd go. also there was another D6-roll.
by rolling another 1, the nasir commander missed the first chance to learn about the opposition. he didnt split the warband and went straight for the center of the crater.

well.. that left the whole part of The White Tower chapter unused.
so he didnt encounter the advance force of the undead, didnt get the chance to find an antidote, didnt unlock the elven waywatcher (which would have helped him if the nerco was too strong) and more importantly didnt learn about the undead reinforcements and how to stop them helping in the final fight.
the southerners blindly trampled into the trap and were not even worried that there could be something to stop them here.

meanwhile the ashen force marched closer to the well, they knew there was something tinkering with the well already and just before they reached the ruins another point of interest waited for the commander, The Cradle of Stars.
the nasir commander finaly manges to roll something better (a one would have been sweet, as it would have him ambushed in the comming battle) but he rolled a .. 6.
and so he spotted two rather unkommon creatures watching his force from the trees, two gryphelines (from the picture above). this was not very informative in itself, but altered a few things in the comming battle. it also sort of unlocked the Master of the Cradle, a 60renown elven lord mounted on a, you guess it, lion.
sadly the master didnt make it to the fight, but he redirected the reinforcements from the white tower, so they didnt crash into the flank of the Ashen but had to enter the table through the undead deployment area.

and so the fight for the Starwell began... (and we did make some pictures this time)

Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:57 pm

Re: the Battles for the Jewel of the Western Sea have begun

Post by Yuma » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:37 am

the report is coming, just need to ready the pics first.
i'll tell some facts about it first while you wait :)

again we had bigger warbands, also due to the possibility that the forces got split between different locations, but mostly because i like it. the Ashen had 8 grunts (including a bannerman, unitleader and a swordmaster), a longhorn (monster type melee), the two commander figures (alyana and bloodchild) and a vestal (assassin like multipurpose fighter).
opposing them where the chief necromancer and one of his subcommanders, both heavy on spells and such. 9 zombies (15p fodder), two grotesques and frank the tank, those are strong melee fighters with some nasty skill combos.
on turn three, the reinforcements would arrive, sadly in the undead deploymentzone :) this force was lead by another spellslinger (with a more offensive role than the other subcommander) and brings a mix of skeleton warriors and a huge skeleton humanoid.

the Nasir have to stop the necromancer from completing his ritual by killing him.
the ritual would be completed in five stages, each of which would give a boost to the undead warband. the first makes it easier to buff the undead minions with spells. the second gives the minions the regenerate skill (1 action heals 1 For once per turn). the third would make the undead heal for free at the start of the turn and the last didnt do anything, but would allow the necro to win the game.
the necromancer had to roll against a rising difficulty to advance the ritual, more or less a mental attack against the well. to finish the ritual a similar roll would decide the success.
also, the necromancer had to stay on the boardsection the well was, or the ritual would reset to stage 0 again.
failed rolls would be dangerous if low numbers were rolled, and would inflict MND damage or even lower the rituals stage.

like so often in our games, we didnt use the breakpoints in favour of the scenario goals.

for the necromancers i wanted to try a couple of magic rules from this forum and i loaded them with different kinds of spells (open magic and those with the ingredients). that wasnt very satisfying, they cost a lot of renown but had rather little impact on the game. maybe i didnt use them to the full potential, but i felt it to be not smooth enough (if that makes any sense).
i also gave one necro a crossbow to use as a spell and poison (again from the forum). this was disapointing, as the model had low att and hit just once in the game (luckily the poison did kick in at least).
that later issue made us think about missile troops and their stats in general as we discussed after the game. we think about giving models two att-stats, one for shooting and one for melee, and try how this works. it seems a bit strange (to us) that a good archer is also a beast in close combat.

and we used the new terraintiles Draugster got two days before the game. they're from 3D Bases - Modular Terrain and are made of a stuff similar to silicon or something. they're flexible but not as soft that it impacts gameplay.
and i like the style a lot, the ruined monastery fitted the scenario quite well and offers interesting terrain for a skirmish game.

oh, and because we wanted to take pictures i was cheesy and brought the undead instead of the elves. i just wanted to be the guy with the painted minis once in my gameing career :D

Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:57 pm

Re: the Battles for the Jewel of the Western Sea have begun

Post by Yuma » Mon May 22, 2017 11:11 pm

almost forgott i had to complete the report :)

now with pics..
start setup: the Nasir came in one big blob onto the field on the center-left. only the Unmasked Vestal choose a more flanky approach to the starwell (the blue thingie on the right) .
due to the adventure mode, the forces ran into each other with neither side haveing a advantage.
the undead minions form a picketline in the center column, just Nicodemus, the master necromancer, was behind the line, tinkering with the ritual. scattering the shamblers proofed to be very uneffective, but it seemed like a fitting setup for the mindless guards.
there was a Grotesque on either flank, and Father shally and Frank bolstering the shambler in the center.

the Nasir decided to "go for it", pushing the big guys down the center and flanking with the Ashen Legion over the strong undead flank. i was still chuckling, as i knew i just had to hold them off for a couple of turns...

maybe i made the Nasir a bit too strong.. they tore through my shamblers like a hot knife through butter.
the zombies littering the ground are dead, just left there, for potential resurrections.. (there where a lot more casualties, than Father Shally could revive any time soon..)
okay, the shamblers are really bad troops, but i was a bit shocked how fast they perished nonetheless.
not sure, but at this point, there had been several turn-overs already.. the whole game was a slugfest of rolled ones and loss of initiative.. (mainly on my side because lots of one die rolls, but also on Draugsters side were several botches in critical moments)

edit: just realized, that i messed up pic size again... tbc tomorrow.
edit (2-10): finaly got the pics more or less right.. hated it. but for the long wait (and maybe shitty size now) i throw in a pic of our fine special FX...
the Vestal unleashing her "Wail of the Unmasked"-power on a unsuspecting Shambler.

Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:57 pm

Re: the Battles for the Jewel of the Western Sea have begun

Post by Yuma » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:03 pm

let me talk briefly about the plan (the one that went down on turn one as usual).
i wanted the undead warband to hit the Ashen Crusade hard and turn the battle into a desperate struggle to reach the nercomancer in time to stop him. as mentioned in the describtion of the adventure part of this szenario, there would have been a unlikely ally, when poop hit the fan. mostly, because i finaly wanted to try out the rules for mounted models i've come up with.

with most of the shamblers cut to pieces on turn one and mixed luck with my magic, the unclever use of later and a couple of bad die rolls in the worst moment, i had to adapt, because it wasnt coming along as tense and adventurous as i hoped it would.
i'm not sure if this guy makes it to the table anymore (the fate of most szenario-npc), i might as well share it here:
The Master of the Cradle, High Elf Lionrider Lord
Name: Mounted Elf Renown: 60
6 9/5 8 7/5 6
Weapons: twohanded weapon, halberd, 2 Throwing Axes. Wolf: Hand Weapon.
Skills: ram, resolute, evade, nimble, quick recovery, focussed blow, weaponmaster, sharp eyed, mounted warrior.
Weapon - Throwing Axe:
May be thrown as part of a move action, remove from roster and take a shoot action at any point in the move. Range 6".
Only causes additional hits on Solid Hits.
Mounted warrior:
this special model has secondary values in ATK and FOR representing the creature the warrior rides. ATK is voluntary, FOR mandatory.
If the mounted warrior is a "monster", behaviour tests only have to be made when the MND stat is 0.
If the primary FOR reaches 0, the whole model is removed as casualty. If just the secondary FOR is reduced to 0, treat the model as if MND is 0 (behaviour tests..) and lose the third action.
The model has the normal 2 actions representing the rider, he/she may not use these actions to attack with the secondary ATK value, except when exerting.
In addition, a mounted warrior model gets a third action, representing the mount. This action can be used for a move action or a attack action (if a secondary ATK stat was bought).
If the mounted warrior exerts, both the primary and secondary FOR looses 1 point EACH!
When attacking in melee combat, a mounted warrior always counts as in elevated position.
The secondary FOR stat can be reduced in two ways (apart from exerting). The owner may choose to distribute FOR-loss to both stats as desired. And if suffering damage from a force back, this must be deducted from the secondary FOR.

also he's way to beefy for my likes (do like to have a bunch of grunts over a single killer most of the time), but the mounted rule has to be tested somewhen.. theres plenty of mounted elves in the cabinet. we'll see..

but back to the battle.
i didnt adapt very well to the bashing for the first couple of turns. also Frank was getting very lonely in the midfield very quickly, so i played a delaying game.
(Frank and his creator strat to feel very lonely)

at least i had the upperhand in the information departement. on turn three, Magister Jonas would arrive with his ancient skeleton warriors and his pet.
meanwhile, one model started to awe me (and my opponent as well) and the comedy that happened on the left flank revived my fighting spirit. a lone Grotesque, its companion Shambler long gone (again), played dirty tricks on the Ashen legionaires.
well, those Grotesques are around 33 renown and have some custom skills which make them harder than i thought.
(back then, when his shambler buddies were still around and the world seemed perfect)

this one brave pile of shambling extremities killed two swordsmen, and held back (or rather lured away) two important models, the Ashen subcommander and the Ashen Bannerbearer. by the time my opponent figured out what the smelly golemthing was playing, we were allready into turn three... the golden host had arrived.

(Magister Jonas....)

(and his favorite Pet...thing)

while the reinforcements engaged the enemy quickly.. the Grothesque was still fighting the elite of the Legionaires :mrgreen:
how successful the skeletons were in their countercharge, we'll hear next time..

Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:57 pm

Re: the Battles for the Jewel of the Western Sea have begun

Post by Yuma » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:14 pm

in fact, i'm again so proud of the Grothesque, that i made a picture honoring its achivements, and i will bring a extra portion brains to its cell later, as a MVP award price.


that was a real last stand. as in "it still stood in the end with only superficial damage)
i think it should have its own name.. any suggestions?

Posts: 259
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 10:58 pm

Re: the Battles for the Jewel of the Western Sea have begun

Post by fransotto » Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:47 pm

Hello Yuma!

Thanks for the good report, it is so easy just read and enjoy that I forget to say thanks for the report :)

Notice that you are playing with the swordsmaster rules, what do you think about them?
Quote Yuma; probably not if you follow rules as written.

but i say, do it anyway ;)


Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:57 pm

Re: the Battles for the Jewel of the Western Sea have begun

Post by Yuma » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:58 pm

hey, glad to read you.
the game was a bit before the new book. a bit confusing maybe, but its just some of the ashen legionaires that have "swordy" names.

i'm currently upgrading some of the profiles with swordmasters stuff (and streamlining the magic as well). i'll post some thought as soon as we know more.
as aways, i took already parts of the new rules and hacked them for other stuff. Frank the Tank will get some nasty upgrades as well :)

Post Reply