After Action Reporting – The Courage of a Knight, part two

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jpankako
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:05 pm

After Action Reporting – The Courage of a Knight, part two

Post by jpankako » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:08 am

After a good nights rest at the encampment, my troops are preparing themselves for the next battle. Let's see what is in store for us!

Ritual of the Orcs – opposition is getting tougher
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My assistant has not exposed the full map for viewing so the next assignment arrow points out of my view. I pull down the map and find out that Emperor Karl has decided to let me hit the troll encampment at the border of the Marquisate. On the way over, I notice orcs around a ritual site that looks concerning. Hesitant to divert from my given mission but aware that my troops desperately need more experience, I decide to take a detour to check the situation. Julius strongly objects my decision but based on his past behavior, I’m not really impacted by his remarks. With little fortune, he may just accidentally walk at a stray arrow…
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Was this a mistake? The muscular orcs seem a bit more willing to battle than the cowardly goblins I met before, and I’m definitely not that keen on placing my troops in line of those archers. I place my units so that I can charge for the bridge, but make certain that my weaker units stay away from the orc archers’ line of fire.
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Turn one, my initiative. I start off by weakening both units standing on this shore with my archers’ arrows. I then charge ahead with the horseman, hitting the first infantry on left side. Marcus deals with the single orc archer whilst other units regroup between the horseman and my archers, getting support from the latter and facing directly to the opposing orcs. Turn one completed.
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Kaos responds. Orcs break up their ritual and rush to defense, but manage to do very little harm during their first turn. This is my opening to build a bridgehead, and I need to plan carefully to make it strong from the very beginning – one single unit would not last long in company of these beasts.
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I activate a special skill and hit the archer on the other side of the river with Marcus, since there is a strong likelihood that the orc will cave in, letting Marcus move forward and leave space for the others to follow. The plan succeeds and I use the opening to move my horseman across the bridge, hit the orc guarding the encampment, and let the Man-At-Arms to follow. My archers and infantry units move closer, keeping a tight formation. End of turn two.
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Turn three. I take some hits from the approaching archers and orc priests, but nothing that my units’ recovery skills couldn’t handle. However, as my turn starts I notice that it wasn’t such a good idea to let the orc archer pass the river unharmed. At land, his defense stats are a tough match to my light infantry units. Taking this guy down will require both archers, likely also both infantry units, inflict heavy injuries… …and there’s two more units about to cross over.

I start off with the archer closest to the enemy and follow this by hitting the orc archer with one infantry unit. Just like I predicted: this will require more ammo – I can’t let this monster run loose in my backyard. I use my remaining arrows and finish the orc with my second infantry unit. Now I still need to figure out what to do with the remaining two…
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I decide to break my offense on the encampment and focus on the ranged units crossing the riverbank. This will leave my back exposed, but I’ll have to worry about that later. Marcus makes a U-turn and hits the first priest from the backside. Perfect hit, and he moves into the vacated hex. My recently recruited Man-At-Arms joins the effort and hits the orc archer crossing the river, who runs away, demoralized and badly injured. Panicking, it runs straight to my infantry unit, who easily lets it out of its misery.
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My horseman is left alone at the encampment to deal with two orcs. Hitting the infantry unit would result in less casualties, but that would not help me in reaching my objectives. I hit the encampment orc from side, forcing the supporting infantry unit to move away from its protective position if it is to attack my horseman. I suffer bad injuries in process, but manage to hold my ground. End of turn three.
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Kaos returns fire. Orc supporting the encampment moves and hits my horseman, who starts to be seriously low on health. Both the priest and the orc archer consider their odds better with the lightly armored infantry units and attack them, inflicting minor damage.
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My turn. I see two turned orc backs in the battlefield which leads me to grin – this is the final turning point of this battle. I fire off arrows to the priest and the archer standing in the middle of the stream. Weakened archer is then attacked by my infantrymen while the priest backs off in search for cover.
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My objective with Marcus was just to get through the thorn bushes, but now he gets to kill the priest as well. My back is exposed to the orc guarding the ritual site, but I expect him to hold put and protect his position. Now the other front.
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My infantry unit uses the opportunity and hits the orc in the back. Man-At-Arms follows and delivers a strong blow at the orc. My horseman moves into forest for additional protection and uses his recovery skill just in case the weakened orc would go berserk…
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…but the orc puts all his efforts in holding the fort – so in the beginning of turn five my horseman attacks and kills the defender, moves in, and the encampment is ours!!
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Other units make their way to the ritual site. Marcus gets there first and with a help of special skill, delivers the first blow. End of turn five.
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The orc uses its recovery skill but it only delays the inevitable. Archers move into position and fire away, infantry unit next to the orc finishes the battle – and Marcus moves in to secure another epic victory.
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Back at the HQ
Based on Julius’s reaction, I was expecting someone to meet me at the HQ with shackles to escort me to the court for misusing Emperors troops. Not the case. Apparently winning big awards you with some freedom of movement. I upgrade my units, but unfortunately the experience is not sufficient for the Man-At-Arms to upgrade to the next level. For some reason, I think that I will sorely miss some melee muscle when faced with an army of trolls…
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The Hills of trolls – using terrain to my advantage
The briefing I get for this next battle makes me thoughtful. Trolls have innate capacity to regenerate, which means that they need to be individually targeted and finished off as quickly as possible. Left alone, their wounds heal quickly and their health regains original levels. The briefing suggests that I attack them first rather than try to defend my position. Solid advise, but should be complemented with a wise use of terrain. Humans are at their best on plains, while trolls strive on mountainous terrain. Without dwarfs to face them, I must first see if I can lure them out to match me in the open ground.

Following my strategy, I place my units as low as possible on the grid, fast units down at the bottom, making it easiest to move forward quickly, ensuring that I always keep a slice of open ground between myself and the hills.
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Time to go. Julius is still with me – disappointingly – offering his best advice. Marcus steps in and supports my idea in trying to avoid the hills. I move forward, as far from the trolls as possible, and hold off to see their reaction. Trolls have no true ranged units and will thus need to move closer to get into attack position.
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The troll horde rushes down the hill but fortunately can’t quite reach me. One infantry unit is hit, but not critically. When my turn starts, I need however to decide how can I best eliminate as many enemies as possible: if I was faced with any other race, just weakening them sufficiently would be good enough – but not with trolls. The two trolls carrying axes are most strongest, so I’ll save those to my strongest units. Archers seem to be quite effective so I’ll move them into range, trying at the same time to ensure that I don’t leave any gaps in my attack line that would allow the trolls to break into my back.
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Turn two draws to close with moderate success. I managed to eliminate only one troll, but hopefully weaken several others so that even with the regenerating capability, they won’t recover fully before counterattack. I use recovery skill wherever necessary and hand the turn over to trolls.
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My light units are hurt, but still manage – barely – to survive the onslaught. I’m likely saved by the fact that the two strongest trolls are demoralized and can’t join the attack… This is my opportunity, so I use the mobility of my light units, redeploy archers into better protected positions and use my cavalry to hit remaining trolls in the back. At the end of turn three, the battle is all but over with just two trolls remaining in the open ground.
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Turn four. The one remaining troll capable of attacking hits my horseman – the other faces Marcus in hope to better withstand the coming attack. I finish the units with my Man-At-Arms, cavalry, and archers, take possession of the imperial village and start making headway to the two entrenched trolls. How an earth am I going to get these regenerating, heavily armored units to budge?
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At first, the task seems insurmountable. I rush my units into position around the two camps and divide them so that I can hit both trolls with an archer and an armored unit. I avoid using weaker troops in the first rounds, since based on battle predictions they would mainly end up hurting themselves. After four rounds of relentless pounding I start seeing the trolls' defenses give in – but my own troops are getting dangerously low on health as well. I push for final closure, switching healthier units in place of worn ones, use up all remaining special skills and finally on round ten I make heavy progress.
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At the very last minute, both trolls sigh their last cries and I conquer the strongholds. This was a very tight call – and if I end up facing trolls again, I need to be better prepared.
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Recovering at the HQ
Returning to the Encampment, I find that Emperor Karl has decided to assign a full army – 12 units – under my leadership. Great news, but he had made this decision earlier, I would have been able to prepare these troops for battle by training them. Still, I don’t consider this as a big issue, since I have already quite seasoned veterans in my army. I inspect the candidates and decide straight off to drop the infantry units, archers, clerics, and cavalry – too weak at this stage of the campaign to be brought in as fresh units, even though I’d love to welcome a good healer or a ranged unit. I finally decide to go with two Men-At-Arms, a Feudal Knight, and a War Machine. The three first should be able to withstand at least some enemy hits and the War Machine has good enough of a range to be useful from longer distance, where it needs to stay in order to keep alive. With all preparations now done, I let my troops start preparing the camp and withdraw to my tent for well earned nights rest.

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