Friday, February 17, 2012

Hikz Pasha and the Battle of El Opie

The square had been marching through arid land for some days. One company of Askari on each face, a sprinkling of local tribesotters scouting out front, and the baggage and camp followers huddled in the center.


The scouts were convinced that the renegade halfling Mameluke Bettan Ahl Bey was not in the vicinity, but events would prove them wrong.


As the sun rose, and with it the stifling desert heat, the banners of the Halflingiah, as the renegades styled themselves could be seen in the distance. Soon the sound of hundred of hairy feet pounding the desert sands could be felt as tremor through one's feet. Hikz Pasha of course was mounted on his fine horse and only had the word of the Sultan's vizier, and Hikz' "aide", Tarbush Oyster Cracker, for this last bit of information.

Deployment


Initial Deployment
The game was played on a 4x6 foot table area littered with patches of scrub. The Ottermans, with four companies of musket armed Askari each of 16 rank and file, two officers, and a drummer, formed a square on one side of the table. Baggage and camp followers in the center and unit of 20 or so matchlock armed irregulars deployed forward along their line of march. It's been a rough journey for Hikz' otters and all are classed as Raw for this game.

The Halflingiah lined the opposite edge of the table from foreground to background in the photo above; Bilbo Ali and the followers of the Black Banner, the Green Banner of the Mameluke household troops, the White Banner of the Haddenogre tribeshalflings led by Osman Digit, each of these foot units consisted of a leader and 23 irregular followers armed with an assortment of melee weapons. Following on from the foot, Bettan Ah Bey watches on high from a convenient boulder, and his personal mounted following of 9 lance armed halflings mounted on Aegyptian hounds holds the far left of their line. All of the halflings are classed as Average Irregulars. Bettan Ah Bey is a magic user, a gift of the Author, blessed be his name.

Turn 1


The game got off to a slow start as some confusion prevented the Halflingiah from moving forward in concert while even more confusion prevented Hikz from accomplishing much at all!

Situation at the end of Turn 1

Turn 2

The fighting begins



The ball opened with the Household halfings charging home against the Otterman skirmishers. The skirmishers lost their nerve and fled! 

The Green Banner rout the skirmish screen
Hikz ordered the forward Askari company to open fire on the mass of fleeing Otterman and rushing halfing warriors alike, dropping one allied tribesotter, and three Halflingiah. The Green Banner were full of fury and their morale held.

Meanwhile, the mounted halflings made for the far side of the table preparatory for a rush at the square's far corner.

The Haddenogre and Hound Riders
As Bettan Ah Bey looked on, the Haddenogre advanced to support the Hound Riders in their assault on the square.  Forces were gathering, and not just the furry footed kind.
Bettan Ah Bey looks on
With a muttered "Ickity Ackity Oop Ah Ah!" the Bey called down a lightening bolt on the unbelievers!

Where one minute stood a platoon of Otterman troops, the next minute there were charred bodies and the smell of ozone and singed fur.
Surprisingly the Ottermen simply dressed their ranks and carried on with the job at hand...which was apparently standing around doing nothing because once again their goblin and ogre officers could not get the Askari to face left and form line.
Situation at the end of turn 3.
Turn 4


For the fourth turn running the Halflingiah won the initiative. The Green Banner promptly charged the front of the square.

Even directly under the leadership of Hikz, the troops were unsteady, failed to fire a volley into the charging mass, and died to an otter!
The frenzied halflings carried straight on and tore into the baggage and camp followers. Hikz was pulled from his horse and killed! The square was broken.

This was all too much for the left flank company, the one that had been fricasseed by the Author's Bolt, and they broke and ran, as did the camp followers (quite sensibly in their case I assure you).

Sensing victory, the Haddenogre promptly...stalled. Perhaps they were waiting in hopes of maximizing plunder and minimizing losses?
Situation at the end of turn 4
Turn Five


The Ottermen won the initiative for the first time this turn. Yet with four units routing and only two still game, it was a bit late in the day.

The rear facing company was overrun by fugitives yet each platoon managed to form independent rally squares and keep order.
No mean feat considering the chaos surrounding them I dare say. Their officers must have been justifiably proud of their otters.
The right face of the square, the only other company of Askari still in play, was unable to alter formation. Despite the haranguing and cursing of the goblin Captain, the troops remained in line facing out, ignoring the chaos and screams behind them.

Had the Green Banner not been so intent on plundering (as is the halfling way), the company would have been destroyed.


Back on the left face, the Hound Riders closed in for the kill.
Uttering their high pitched squeaky war cries they charged!

The Askari were as good as their training and kept tight in their square. The hounds thought better of running full tilt into a line of lowered bayonets and recoiled!
 Disaster was avoided and time purchased for the camp followers to make good their way off the table. In the meanwhile both platoons united, forming a company rally square.

Situation at the end of turn 5
Turn Six

The remnant of the Otterman force again won the initiative and put it to good use. The formerly static right face company formed a rally square and loosed a volley from two sides!

Bilbo Ali and five others fell! His followers quickly gathered up their fallen leader and escorted him from the field.

The Green Banner, roused from their revelry in mayhem, also retired, although not from the field.

At this point with more than half the Otfidels dead, and those that remained devoid of baggage, Betten Ah Bey called a halt to any further assaults. Why waste halfing blood when there is another way?

The two companies of Askari retreated from the field in square.

Situation at game's end
The Halfligiah followed to make sure the Ottermen could not stray from their square. Heat and thirst did the rest.

Summoned to surrender with full honors guaranteed by the Bey, the Otters lay down their arms.

Those who refused to join the Halflingiah were promptly slain, their bones left to bleach under the desert sun.

Notes:


What a corker! Action packed from first to last.

This was the third game played with "Company of Flintloques" in its current form. There was a slight change to melee this go round and that seemed to work nicely.

Halflings are a lot of fun in Flintloque. They are both dead hard and  yet only take a single wound compared to the two needed to bring down an Othari (otter) or three for an orc. In game terms this means that volleys loosed on them can be horrifically effective. Unfortunately for Hikz the quality, or lack thereof, of his force,  meant that only three volleys were fired which did for 9 halflings, 2 mules, and 1 of his own allies!

Bereft of missile weapons it is in hand to hand combat that the halfling excels. Hikz lost over 20 to 30 otters in melee as well, sadly, as himself.

 Now that the Halflingiah have some captured otter musketmen to bolster their forces, they will hopefully play as less of a one trick pony.

As mentioned elsewhere the magic system is a modified version of that in DarkeStorme. Never having played that game with Othari before I hadn't realized how very susceptible they are to magic. That is just as well however, as it fits my theme, of magyk still being a force in the Valon's wilder places.

Hope you enjoyed the game and as always, thanks for stopping by!

3 comments:

  1. A thing of beauty! A superb report, written with an exciting pace - no easy feat, I assure you. Well done!

    ReplyDelete