Saturday, May 23, 2020

In the shadow of the bald mountains..

To the Honourable Gentlemen of Horseguards
Your Lordships

Following our defeat of the dreadful horde of the Spider God, I advanced my forces slowly through the jungles of Guayabo. So traumatised were many of our men at the horrors they had faced that I determined to adopt more caution than I might otherwise have done, such was my concern for their state and the need to have them ready to confront any and all dangers that may lay ahead.

We pushed ahead through the jungles and found ourselves facing a mountain barrier peculiarly bare of all plant life of any shape or form, bald as a coot some might say. We navigated a pass through the mountain barrier, and as we descended from this bare mountain a sight of even greater terror confronted us.

Laying at our feet was a land of fire, a land across which the stench of sulphur barely disguised such malodorous waftings as made a man gag at every breath. Fire and molten rock belched from the ground and ran as a river across the landscape. Arrayed there across this desolate landscape were creatures yet more hideous than the spider horde that we had so recently confronted, protecting a piece of machinery guaranteed to put ice in a mans veins. For there we saw seemingly dead creatures feeding human heads into a roaring furnace, the purpose of which we could only guess.

Caruthers faces the Undead

The great steam powered behemoth supports Caruthers' line

The Undead army arrayed ready and waiting ... the Undead camp, the 'Furnace of tormented souls', in the foreground

The Undead advance past rivers of lava

Zombie beasts and humans

A giant bone dragon behemoth

The British artillery opens fire on a unit of undead dog beasts

A 2 and a 6 signal the demise of the beasts

Caruthers' Airboat attacks a unit of skeleton archers on the right flank of the Unded

The arcbers are recoiled back

The lines clash

The airboat of recoiled by shooting, and the steam robot is recoiled

However one of the two units of 'Grim Reapers' (blades) is destroyed by the British lancers
I found myself confronted by a most hideous opponent, a group of zombies the like of which one only ever reads of from the imagination  of Mary Shelly or Brahm Stoker. They came at us, moaning as they shambled forward.

Caruthers attacked by a zombie horde, first withstanding a magic attack from the Undead necromancer

The British artillery keeps up its fire on the remaining unit of beatss
 At tis sage, it was as if the very terror of the mind and the heart had froZen my troops iN place, so reluctant were they to atTack the enemy. (Both armies were plagued by a series of 1s as PIP dice)

The beasts attack the artillery battery, riding ti down and tearing the crew limb from limb. They are however prevented from attacking Caruthers as they are pinned in place by a unit of shooters.

The tussle continues

A nit of British Yeomanry (Riders) move across to support the shooters against the beasts

Caruthers withstands yet more magic attacks, but destroys the second of the two zombie hordes

Freed form any immediate threat, Caruthers comes across to support a unit of his infantry (blades) who have been battling it out against he Undead Hero general. The riders and shooters have meanwhile manoeuvred to attack the beasts (top of the photo)

The beasts are destroyed

The battle against the Unbdead Hero general is finished with a 1 vs 6 die toll

Magic has driven the steam robot back, but it's too late.. victory goes to Caruthers
And so it was, Gentlemen, that having fought and. brought down ambling human zombies, and withstood terrifying magic attacks, the Undead foe disappeared form in front of us, seemingly collapsing in a shower of dust and fragments before our very eyes.

As we advanced across the now almost empty landscape so we approached the enemy camp. Our worst fears, our very nightmares, came to life as we realised that this evil place had indeed been one of torment as human heads had been fed into a furnace, as if to condemn their souls to eternal torment.

We shall carry to our own graves the memory and the terror of these sights laid plain before our eyes at the feet of those bare mountains.

I remain, Sirs, your most obedient servant
Major General Sir Chelmswood Reginald Augustus Piers Caruthers

This was the fifth solo battle I played (using the HotT .. Hordes of the Things - rules) chronicling Caruthers' campaign to take the land of Guayabo for the British Empire. The armies were each of 24 army points, created in 20mm.

The armies were as composed as follows:

British VSF force:
1 x Blade General (Caruthers)
2 x blade
2 x shooters
1 x knight
1 x Rider
1 x artillery
1 x airboat
1 x behemoth

Undead army:
1 x Hero General
1 x magician
1 x behemoth
2 x hordes
2 x blades
1 x shooter
2 x beasts

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Gods play with their subjects as ....

To the Honourable Gentlemen of Horseguards
Your Lordships

I write to you from the scene of a most cataclysmic encounter against beasts so horrendous that they leave the blood curdled. With several days to pause and recover, we once more resumed our advance as we attempt to claim the land of Guayabo for the glory of Her Majesty.

I insisted that our Hero Lieutenant Winstanley rest and recover more fully, and so he say back with our camp while the remainder of my forces advanced once more against the creeping horror that stood barring our way. With landing operations complete I was able to deploy the full force of Her majesty's steam powered robots, along with a regiment of Her majesty's glorious lancers.

The spider horror barrs Caruthers' way

The steam powered robots in the front line, with the valiant doctor and his wondrous magical machine once more ready to take the field in support

The Lancers (Knights) supported by shooters and riders

The Spider hordes, the God waiting in th background

Once more the same eerie sounds rose from the spiders, yet again (we assumed) seeking to bring the power of the Gods down to fight for them. We pushed forward despite the terror that rose in our hearts, freezing the very blood in our veins.

The forces advance towards each other

The Doctor aims his first salvo of magic at the hero general of the Spiders 
And the hero general is ensorcelled...

The lines clash

Fierce fighting ensues between behemoths

Gaps start to appear in the spider lines

The Shooters are repelled by the spider hordes

The behemoths break through, crushing all before them. The spider behemoth is also destroyed

One of the two shooters us destroyed, but a last horde base dies, and the spider hordes flee the field

With the core of the spider hordes destroyed our glorious forces were able to resume their advance, albeit a little more cautiously. We were wary of what further horrors this strange seemingly blighted land might hold.

It would seem that even for the spiders, their Gods play with them as children with their toys, spurning those on whom they had previously shown favour. Hence ours was the victory.

I remain, Sirs, your most obedient servant
Major General Sir Chelmswood Reginald Augustus Piers Caruthers

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Creatures most hideous

To the Honourable Gentlemen of Horseguards
Your Lordships

It is with heavy heart that I write this report to you from my own camp bed, recovering as I am yet again from a most deleterious confrontation with beasts most foul. You will no doubt see from the deterioration in the quality of my penmanship that I am much aggrieved by our most recent battles.

Having recovered from our meeting with the tribespeople and their ferocious beasts, the subject of my last dispatch, in which we drove these fierce peoples from the field despite their rough treatment of me and my loyal bodyguard, we proceeded to continue our advance inland. Four days we advanced, in jungles through which our progress was measured in yards per hour. The men's consumption of water far outpaced the ability of our supply caravans, and by jove those poor fellows dropped like flies from heat exhaustion.

On the fifth day, we decamped once more and had only been on the trails for less than an hour when we came across a plain on which were deployed beasts so terrifying that it took all of our efforts to steady our most steadfast of men. There before us lay arrayed creatures so hideous that even our worst nightmares might never have prepared us for what we were about to face.

Caruthers' forces advance from the right, the spider hordes are deployed on the left 
Indeed there were creatures so monstrous, half woman, half spider, spiders of such size as to dwarf the very man himself, and scuttling hordes of spiders that made the very skin crawl. And from the entire host arose a noise the like of which we had never heard before.
The Spider 'host', their God seen off table awaiting the right 'call' to summon him

Caruthers' forces, with the enhances aerial forces arrayed on his right.

Immediately the purpose of the strange noise became apparent, as a God like man appeared, of such size as to spread tremors through the very earth with its every step.

The Spiders' God (Spiderman) appears, as the first PIP die roll is a 6
Caruthers advances his line, with a 1 as the first PIP die roll

Spiderman swoops across to the rear of the British line

I ordered Lord Chelting and his supporting flyers to attack, and he flew straight into the hordes of small spiders.

The flyers hit the Spider hordes

Crash Bash.. but the hordes all hold

Spiderman hits Caruthers in the rear.. 

Damned bad form, old man., attacking a chap from behind.... eh wot?

Caruthers is recoiled from the God's attack

Having held off this damnable God fellow, my blessed hero nephew Lieutenant Winstanley came to the rescue and threw himself, yes threw himself,  at the God.

Winstanley (a Hero) hits the God

The behemoth, and the Spider hero general ,advance

The flyers realise that hitting the hordes was not the best idea.. they are bogged down in the mire of the hordes

The God hits back at Winstanley

The remainders of the two lines clash, on the British left

At this point I threw myself at this God Chappie too, to aid Winstanley in his valiant fight.

The flyers now overflew the hordes, in order to break off and get to the real action

The God bounces back both Winstanley and Caruthers

A most dreadful tussle develops between the hideous spider woman and their Hero general, and the British mounted Riders

Before my very eyes, the God threw himself at Winstanley..

And I watched Winstanley fall before the onslaught.

Winstanley the hero is beaten by the God, and with insufficient room to recoil, the stand is eliminated
 It was with desperation and hope in my heart that I watched as the God overran Winstanley and his gallant crew.. I could but hope that I might distract the God for long enough that my dear nephew might be able to drag himself clear. A unit of our sharpshooters advanced to try to keep the God occupied.

The battle with the riders, and one unit of blades  on the British left flank continues

The British flyers manage a massive wheel in order to try to get back to support Caruthers, but do not have sufficient move to get beyond the hordes. They find themselves trapped in the control zones of the spider hordes

With aerial help so near and yet so far, Caruthers is attacked by the Spider Hero General

The God eliminates the shooters, and more importantly is now free to turn attention to the main battle

Caruthers fights off the Hero general

I now found myself fighting off both the massive spider hero general, and the God... by Gad Sirs, this was dire indeed.

But the God joins the fight

At this point in time I once again found myself beaten most severely, and it was only by the sacrifice of my own loyal Guards that I was able to escape, all of us with much personal injury.

Caruthers' stand is eliminated, and so the battle is lost 
At this point in time my troops executed a most commendable and orderly fighting advance back to our starting positions. We were able to rescue poor Winstanley, albeit in a most aggrieved condition, while I myself sustained considerable injury once more.

I regret to inform your Lordships that several of the units of men that we deployed came to a most unpleasant end, under circumstances not at all advantageous to our glorious British forces.

We expect to resume the advance once more in the near future.
I remain, Sirs, your most obedient servant
Major General Sir Chelmswood Reginald Augustus Piers Caruthers

In the shadow of the bald mountains..

To the Honourable Gentlemen of Horseguards Your Lordships Following our defeat of the dreadful horde of the Spider God, I advanced my f...