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Author Topic: A Tilean Campaign  (Read 51318 times)

Offline Padrissimus

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 439
    • Big Small Worlds
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #570 on: July 29, 2021, 07:20:24 AM »
Why didn't the Skaven advance in two waves, one to secure (and fortify) the bridgehead (as a first battle), followed by another with the mortar?

That is a much harder question to answer than you might think.

Put very simply, the engine is almost impossible to use, with actual & potential problems and difficulties however it is employed.

Put another way, ask the player. (Gibby, wanna join in?)

Have you read the rules and/or the previous stories featuring the engine? How it cannot be allowed to stop due to the poisonous aura pouring from it? How the army cannot march in its wake? (Although this not applicable in your suggestion.) And just how unstable it is? Yes it could possibly kill an army &/or a city, but boy it is difficult to use. It has to be close enough to the target to reach (nearly close enough means only a 50/50 chance even if it doesn't misfire), while anything on the tabletop when it fires risks being obliterated if it blows up.

The enemy is active too, capable of playing slippery tricks too.

BUT for ease, I will focus on your specific tactic without getting drawn into all sorts of alternatives. Here are some answers ...

1. If the skaven army moved to secure the bridge then that could mean a full on pitched battle. But the whole point of the engine is to destroy an enemy without committing the skaven army to battle. Battle means risking great losses.

The enemy forces in Campogrotta were not much smaller (points wise) than the skaven army, which the scouts had reported to Urlak. There were more than 2000 pts of Compagnia del Sole, about 1000 pts of Karak Borgo dwarfs, as well as Perette and her riders. This is why Urlak (David) ordered the distraction at Buldio - although whether it was sensible to divide the enemy army when the whole point was to have it all in one place to destroy with the 'uber-weapon' is debatable. And we did debate it, but too late to change his plans!

Also, if the engine was trailing behind while the skaven were attacking &/or fortifying the bridge, then any enemy scout units on this side of the river (or another force sent out specifically) might ambush it and scupper it. So a guard force would have to accompany it, weakening the army that advanced ahead.

2. Due to the fact that a misfire can (as it did in the actual game) kill almost every model on the table, if the skaven army was successful in capturing and fortifying the bridge, it would then have to move away before the engine arrived, otherwise it would be too close when it attempted to fire. When the army moved away the enemy army, or any portion of it, could then cross the bridge to thwart the engine. By then the enemy would have had time to learn of the engine and plan accordingly. All surprise would have been lost.

Bizarrely, there were many many far worse outcomes than what actually happened, including losing a main battle while failing to employ the engine to attempting, or employing the engine and it misfiring and destroying the skaven army or a substantial part of it in the process. It could even have destroyed the enemy city but not the enemy army!

Like I said, the engine is almost impossible to use - which balances its incredible power.

So, just a matter of ensuring that the whole enemy army stays in one place and remains entirely ignorant of the engine's approach or the skaven army, while the noisy, poisonous engine gets close enough without mishap and without risking the death of too many guards!

If the skaven get another such engine, then all the above will apply, plus the fact that everyone now knows what they can do, which could work in their favour (by way of the fear factor if they make threats) or could work against them as the forewarned enemy puts great thought and effort into stopping the engine.



My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Offline WuZhuiQiu

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1118
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #571 on: July 31, 2021, 05:04:32 AM »
Thank you for your reply. I am not sure that it would have been quite so impractical. For example, what is there to stop the engine from circling or weaving, admittedly at some risk of toppling, to slow down its overall forward movement? And fortifying a bridgehead could enable it to be held with a smaller force, no?

I must admit that I was thinking of it as a siege engine, yet the strategic context was not that of a siege, with two almost equal field armies, one a possibly insufficient besieging force and the other having perhaps little incentive to shut themselves in as a garrison.

Anyway, the story was suspenseful and the outcome rather Skaven-ish!

Offline Padrissimus

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    • Big Small Worlds
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #572 on: July 31, 2021, 10:44:14 AM »
It's ... complicated. Very. Lots of ifs and buts and maybes. BTW, it did circle the city of Ravola for many days as seen in a previous story. It had to while the army looted the city and readied itself for the march.

...

Part 19 of Tilea's Troubles is complete - a video story/battle report of orcs 'n gobs vs orc's 'n gobs!

Scarback's Greenskin Corsairs face the might of Khurnag's Waagh! Well, they face whichever parts of the Waagh! can be bothered to turn up. Organisation is not exactly goblinoids'' forte.

https://youtu.be/GCoTgToilt0

Here's a selection of some of the pics ...










Offline Gibby

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2199
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #573 on: August 01, 2021, 10:24:08 AM »
Padrissimus has covered a lot of the reasons things went the way they did. What's not too clear from the outside of the campaign is the sheer amount of fog of war involved in every decision. You almost never have perfect intel - Padre is a masterful and fair GM and everything is fairly plotted on various maps, notebooks (heck, I think he must be writing quick notes on his kids' foreheads in a pinch sometimes to keep track of all this!). What this means is that alongside the strategic implications of every decision, you also have a lot of doubts about what you know, what the enemy know, and where everyone will be. There are ways to help with all this, but you have limited resources and time to do so (limited scouts, agents, emissaries etc). You can't even always trust what your minions report to you (especially as the Skaven!).

It's amazing!

In the end I had a plan to do a lot of damage, but the main plan was the make a demonstration of the weapon (ideally right into a major city).

Anyway, I'm delighted with how this ended up. The story that came out of it was brilliant, and it's just by the chance of the dice that Perette got away once again! Ultimately, I lost some disposable units, the enemy lost a reasonable chunk of troops (not as many as I would've liked, but Padre did mention we suddenly realised my distraction plan had a huge flaw in it), and there's now a toxic wasteland that'll get the attention of everyone in the realm. I can't wait to see the fallout from all this.

Who'd have thought that Clan Skryre would sell me a dodgy machine?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2021, 10:25:53 AM by Gibby »

Offline WuZhuiQiu

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1118
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #574 on: August 05, 2021, 01:01:17 AM »
The campaign as the players experience it sounds even more amazing than what can be shared through Padrissimus's already amazing posts here!

Offline Padrissimus

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    • Big Small Worlds
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #575 on: August 15, 2021, 06:06:02 PM »
Part 20 of Tilea's Troubles is completed ... see https://youtu.be/uBezVITEfrE

It is the prologue to an exciting battle report, which will follow soon. (After I do another 'present day' story, and some GMing, and some painting!)

Some of the pics ...






Offline Padrissimus

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    • Big Small Worlds
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #576 on: August 23, 2021, 10:06:22 PM »
Tilea’s Troubles Part 21 is up! It is the battle report, the longest yet, describing the Viadazan peasant crusaders’ stand against the vampire Duke Alessandro Sforta of Miragliano at the bridge of Pontremola.

See it here …
https://youtu.be/SIf_f27Fw1g

Some pictures from the report …






Offline dadlamassu

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1246
    • http://www.morvalearth.co.uk
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #577 on: August 24, 2021, 11:27:07 AM »
I really enjoyed your tale.  Stirring stuff.
'He could have lived a risk-free, moneyed life, but he preferred to whittle away his fortune on warfare.'
-- Xenophon, The Anabasis

Offline Padrissimus

  • Scientist
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    • Big Small Worlds
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #578 on: September 01, 2021, 10:24:07 PM »
Thanks muchly dadlamassu.

Tilea's Troubles, Part 22 is 'up'. The Viadazan Terror!

After the crusaders' great victory, Biagino learns some very bad news!

See https://youtu.be/YiOR-gGsbfo



Offline Grumpy Gnome

  • Scatterbrained Genius
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    • The Grumpy Gnome
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #579 on: September 02, 2021, 05:38:37 PM »
Amazing work as always mate! Great narrative.
Home of the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/

Offline swiftnick

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  • Posts: 1150
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #580 on: September 02, 2021, 07:03:32 PM »
Wow! An epic battle indeed.
An interesting aftermath too.

Offline Padrissimus

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    • Big Small Worlds
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #581 on: September 02, 2021, 07:13:28 PM »
The undead campaign player had planned the aftermath. He didn't know his character the vampire Duke would die in the battle at Pontremola though!!

You have probably worked it out by now, from the clues I put in (there for my other players too) but the duchess Maria never escaped Ebino. She was captured by the vampire Duke, turned into a vampire, then commanded to go to Viadaza, masquerading as human, and ensure the fall of the city. Thus her strange companions on arrival , and her behaviour during the meeting with Biagino, as well as lord Adolfo's strange behaviour (he was beguiled by Maria, and became a vampire himself). The biggest clues were Biagino's dreams, sent by Morr to warn him.

The undead player's cunning plan had worked despite his character dying!

Offline WuZhuiQiu

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1118
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #582 on: September 06, 2021, 01:40:15 AM »
Are these episodes reworked versions of campaign turns from long ago, or are they about recent campaign turns? What happened in the siege of that undead area in the swamp?

Offline Padrissimus

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    • Big Small Worlds
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #583 on: September 06, 2021, 07:13:16 AM »
I mentioned a while back, and apologised too, for the confusion. The videos are stories from the start of the campaign years ago, while the text stories are from the present day. The text stories will be turned into videos eventually (years from now ... There's a lot of catching up to do.) I am working both ends of the campaign!

As I make the videos, I am taking the opportunity to rework the text so it reads better, as well as re-do the pictures and add new pictures too! It's a lot of work, but fun!

The swamp siege is ongoing. The campaign moves slowly! I have 45 swamp zombies yet to paint for the battle.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2021, 07:15:34 AM by Padrissimus »

Offline Padrissimus

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    • Big Small Worlds
Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #584 on: September 12, 2021, 06:28:27 PM »
Here is Part 23 of Tilea's Troubles. This time it IS a prologue to a battle report and not an epilogue confused (by me) for a prologue like the last one. I promise to be more careful in future - I think late-night hobbying was to blame!

See https://youtu.be/izxQbI3KkJo


 

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