Battle of Flatstone
It was an unusually warm day in mid-March with the sun gleaming off the thousand polished helms of the recently-arrived Knights of Markinghamshire. Dugald Axeworthy surveying the Army of the Reaches smiled. His scouts had assured him that his army, with the combined strength of the good races of men, dwarves, and elves, was the most powerful force in the Reaches. The smile faded, as the dwarven general's thoughts turned to his foe. Orcs and goblins and men could be broken, spirits destroyed. The undead fought on without emotion without fear without mercy. Many would die before the banner of good could be raised over Teufeldorf. A cry from above brought the general back to the present. High overhead the giant eagles circled, the time for action had arrived.
Leaving Dwarrowdelf in mid-March 834, the Army of Reaches moves west out of the Shadowyarn Mountain along the Lesser Farthing Road. In early April, two units of knights from Rivershaw Castle join the army, bringing it to its full complement. In late April, the army reaches the Flatstone Plain a rocky area several weeks east of the town of Grey Heath. It is here that the Lesser Farthing Road passes between two small woods swinging north to skirt a large low hill. An excellent defensive position favored by General Axeworthy. Scouts report that an undead army led by the tomb king Shallowgrave are less than a week away. It is here that the first battle of the campaign season will take place.
In this scenario, the Army of the Reaches has the advantage of being the defender in a superior position. Shallowgrave's army will deploy first within 20cm of the western edge of the map. The Army of the Reaches will deploy second within 40 cm of the eastern edge of the map. The Army of the Reaches may deploy in the forests and on or behind the large hill.
The Army of the Reaches will move first.
The forests are impassable to cavalry and monsters. Infantry units can move through the forest at normal rates, but they suffer a -1 command penalty. Archers can fire out from within the edges of the forest. The hills do not affect movement, but they do affect line of sight. In addition, infantry units on the top of a hill are considered "defended" with respect to combat. Rocky ledges are impassable parts of the hill, and they block line of sight even from the top of the hill. The lake is impassable, and it does not affect line of sight.
This will be a battle to the death with no special victory conditions. Breakpoints for both armies is 13. Surviving units on both sides will be available for further military action during the campaign year.
War Plan for the Army of the Reaches
Objectives and Movements
The Eastern Reaches are won, although the orcs hold the territory north of the River White and the southern boundaries are held by forces of Sandal. In the Western Reaches, we hold only the Pass of Merchants and Rivershaw Castle. Teufeldorf and the surrounding countryside are held by Grim and his armies of Undead. Our objective for this season is to retake the City of Teufeldorf. This will give us three strongholds (Teufeldorf, Dwarrowdelf, and Dragonsford) from which to base campaigns to drive the orcs, undead, and Sandalese out of the Reaches.
The main field army will wait in Dwarrowdelf for knightly reinforcements to arrive from Markinghamshire. We expect the grail knights to arrive around March 15. Immediately thereafter, the field army will move down the Pass of Merchants. Two units of knights will join us from Rivershaw Castle, and the army will march along the Lesser Farthing Road towards Grey Heath.
Our intelligence tells us that Grim is attempting to set up a base camp along the Lesser Farthing Road near the Shadowyarn Mountains. Our aggressive movements will allow us to intercept and ambush the Undead Hoards about two weeks march east of Grey Heath the first week of May. This should disrupt any attempts to establish a base camp. Advance scouts have been sent forward to determine a favorable position for the Army of the Reaches to await the arrival of Grim's forces.
Garrisons will be maintained throughout the Eastern Reaches and at Dwarrowdelf. Particular attention will be paid to Rivershaw Castle which intelligence tells us will be seiged by orcs towards the end of July. We know that the orcs are expecting major support from Grim's skeletons. It is our hope that a preemptive victory east of Grey Heath will cut the support that the orcs are expecting. There is some risk in this plan, but the field army must continue on towards the city of Teufeldorf, our ulimate goal.
Victory east of Grey Heath will break the back of the Undead army for the campaign year 885, allowing the Army of the Reaches to reach Teufeldorf in early July. An early arrival will allow a safe retreat to Dwarrowdelf in case we are unable to seige the city. However, our scouts report that the forces of the Army of the Reaches are overwhelming. Victory will be ours.
Elven scouts have reported strange barracks-like structure erected on the battlefields of Greyheath and Azgarde. Thick black smoke pours from chimneys at either end of the structures. All attempts to enter have failed because of extraordinary numbers of skeleton warriors in the vicinity.
In addition, several coded messages have been intercepted. The first headed north to the Orc Nation. The second south towards Sandal. It is surmised that the messages are enemy troop movement orders. In order to be of any use, they must be deciphered before orders are given to the Army of the Reaches. On the outside of each is the following verse-riddle:
A monument - men all agree -
I am in all sincerity,
Half cat, half hindrance made.
If head and tail removed should be,
Then most of all you strengthen me;
Replace my head, the stand you see
On which my tail is laid.
The northern bound cipher reads:
The southern bound cipher reads:
Scouts from north of the River White report that orc and goblin troops are scattered along the well-travelled roads that cross the Plains of the Beast. A larger force of black orcs are located in the northern Ashen Forest, although they do not appear to be mobilizing. The Orcs of the Bloody Claw have set up significant defensive structures at the Pass of Lar.
No significant reports have returned from scouts sent south towards the Sand of Time.
Reports from the Western Reaches are sparse. A large number of orc and goblin troops are moving generally south towards the River White from the Orc Nation, although there has been no apparent order to their movements. Grim's army stands guard outside of Teufeldorf, although they appear to be ready to march. Only one report from the southern parts of the Western Reaches has returned. Approximately 400 Sandal knights and their retinue have been seen heading northward just east of Eagle Mountain.
Coded Message to Orcs: Expecting bulk of troops to attack south at Pass of Merchants. Hold Pass of Lar at all costs. Send all available reinforcements to siege Rivershaw Castle in early August. Four brigades of skeletons to assist.
Coded Message to Sandal: Expecting bulk of troops to attack north at Pass of Merchants. Send one brigade each to Greyheath and Azgarde to join skeletons guarding Crypt Masters. Additional reinforcments should be sent to base camp where Pass of Merchants enters Shadowyarn Mountains. Shallowgrave leads camp expected in early June.
War Plan for Grim's Hordes
Our victories at the Wilderland River, Azgarde, and Greyheath have provided many minions for our glorious fight against the sun dwellers. By the estimates of the Crypt Masters who have toiled long throughout the high season creating new legions of the Undead, the forces at your disposal include over 9000 infantry, 5000 bowmen, and 7000 cavalry. In total, 10 brigades of destruction. Our army counts 21 monsters including the dragon mount of the liche priest Barindurik. Nine liche priests command the brigades including the victorious Barindurik, Malik, Dundindur, and Shallowgrave.
The Eastern Reaches are lost, although the orcs hold the territory north of the River White and the southern boundaries are guarded well by forces of Sandal. This leaves only the Pass of Merchants and Rivershaw Castle open for the sun dwellers. Our objective for this season is overtake Rivershaw Castle and establish a base camp where the Lesser Farthing Road passes into the Shadowyarn Mountains. This will rid the Western Reaches of the sun dwellers and position our forces well for attacks on Dwarrowdelf during 886. Small reinforcements will be stationed at Greyheath and Azgarde to protect the Crypt Masters.
The entirety of the army will move along the Lesser Farthing Road from Teufeldorf. At each Greyheath and Azgarde, one brigade will be left behind. The remainder of the army will arrive at the new base camp in early June. Once established, four brigades will be stationed there while four others move north to siege Rivershaw Castle arriving in early August. Reinforcements from the orcs are expected at Rivershaw Castle. Reinforcements from Sandal are expected at the base camp.