Sunday, April 18, 2010
Still Loving Combat
Something bad has happened; the end of the third round showed a group of men, at the bottom of the map, rushing towards the south wall with ladders. This image shows those men largely obliterated, some of them shown in white to indicate they are stunned and unable to do anything. A fireball exploded in the middle of them, and so much for that assault.
The elves in the bottom left still waiting for the rush of hobgoblins from the SW Gate. The mastodon (Pony) and the 7th level ranger, Fayln, mounted upon her hippogriff are managing to hold off the mass of goblins centering in on them, plus one cavewight (much like an ogre) and a yellow figure marked 'Prince.' This last is a drow elf (I don't play night/day rules for drow).
The interesting part of the battle is what is going on at the N Gate ... where all hell is breaking loose. The cavalry which hit the goblins in round 3 are pulling out now (the leader, marked Neema, is a 5th level paladin). Meanwhile, hobgoblins that were on the wall have leaped to the ground (it is a wooden wall, 12' high); and goblins are still streaming from the main gate - although the druid, shown as Pikel, has warped wood to force the gate to remain open, so that when the goblins are killed the gate can be entered freely. Over the next ten rounds, he will wonder about this strategy ... but there was no way to warp the gates shut, for once he was close enough to warp them, they were already open. Meanwhile, the cavewights have dropped off the wall and are attempting to flank the party on the party's left.
At the SE Gate, the dire wolves are playing havoc with the zero levels ... this is just the beginnings of that combat.
Now, there were some technical errors when it came to saving files at this point; accidentally saving over files or failing to save at all. So this next round is technically halfway through round 6 - so the party has gone twice since the last map, but the enemy has only gone once. Thus the enemy are about to move:
The remnants of the ladder carriers, led by the 9th level lord of the forces aiding the party, and his 7th level cleric henchman, now rush towards the elves to help them against the hobgoblins. If the reader will notice, midway up the map on the left is a figure, Penn, who is a 6th level illusionist, also moving to help the elves ... so things are not as dark there as they may seem.
Midway between the elves and the mess at the N Gate, the glaivers who have been hurrying all this time have finally reached the hole left behind by the mastodon. Fayln and Pony continue to fight the good fight. Some of the cavalry have gotten bogged down fighting hobgoblins in front of the wall ... three pass through the glaivers as they rush forward. The rest of the cavalry have reformed and are now rounding outside the walls, looking for their next charge.
At the N Gate, the 1st level mage (Falcon) has managed to sleep two cavewights and two others, relieving some of the pressure ... the line grows longer, as the remaining enemy continue their attempt to outflank the good guys. This is the sort of thing, I think that would be very difficult to portray using most mass combat rules.
Note the single figure, Ivan, to the left of the combat at the north gate. This is a 6th level thief, who has managed to successfully hide in shadows (no need to move silently) and is going quite unnoticed. He's about to do something stupid. Please take note the group of slingers who were upon the wall, who have now leapt off and are hurrying to provide support for the enemy ...
As it happens, at the SE Gate, that party is doing quite well with the dire wolves. In addition, the party's 8th level mage (transformed with a candle of invocation into 10th level), Garalzapan, has let go a fireball at the E Tower - and eliminated everyone there except for one lone goblin (who happens to be 7th level, and now quite weakened). As such, the mage is no longer invisible.
This next map is the end of the 8th Round, so there have been 2 and a half rounds passed since the last map:
Starting as ever with the bottom left, a group of slingers has dropped off the south wall and have been harrassing the blue-colored humans fighting with the elves. However, they have managed to kill a goodly number of hobgoblins (the Lord breaking his arm in the process). This has resulted in a few more hobgoblins, all they could spare, rushing forward from the wall - and even if this doesn't wipe out the elves, it will prove to keep this group busy for awhile.
Some evil has befallen the Ranger; she failed a save vs. Hold person, and is now struck immobile. Her hippogriff, 'Hathor', defends her body, but a hobgoblin champion (7th level) has moved in for the kill. Meanwhile, Pony has been reduced to 2/3rds of its hit points, beset by two cavewights, and although the glaivers are pushing through the wall they are finding themselves beaten down by the Prince, who is attacking twice a round now.
As well, note a yellow figure to the right and lower down from Hathor, marked 'Queen' ... this is the frightful figure in this keep, another drow elf of indeterminate level.
This brings us to Ivan, who has chosen to approach the tower, and to climb it, intending to slaughter the hobgoblin crossbowmen inside. Crazy.
The line at the N Gate has gotten longer, and finally the hobgoblins and goblins are successfully working around the line of glaivers. Much of the force of the party is dependent upon the bard (Lyrial), whose playing through this has given +1 to hit and damage for the party, and -1 to hit and damage for the goblins, hobgoblins and cavewights ... but that is starting to slip.
Now, while it appears that the cavalry is running away, in fact they are simply slowing and wheeling - this is the first part of the turn. At the speed they were going they could not turn more than 60 degrees a round ... but now the front has slowed to a crawl, and it readying itself. Note the three cavalry from before who freed themselves in the 6th round have been struggling to catch up with the main body.
And finally, the dire wolves are mostly gone. The mage is moving forward so that he will be in range to caste pass wall, which will open up the interior of the fort to the party`s attack (particularly the zombie`s under the control of the party`s sixth level dwarven cleric, Widda).
Very well, one more round, and then I am spent: this is the end of the 9th round:
Inside the fort, on the west wall, the glaivers are still being chewed up by the Prince, while the ranger Fayln is getting very nervous. It doesn`t look like the glaivers are going to reach her in time, does it? Note that the Queen has paused, and hasn't moved from her place. Heh, heh, heh.
The slaughter continues unabated at the N Gate, on and on ... with no seeming end to goblins rushing out to be ground down. But steadily, the party is winning on the right flank, and losing badly on their left. It looks now like things are sliding out of control ... ah, but look to the right! Neema and the cavalry have turned around, and are now about to ride right at that group of slingers moving down the hill to support the enemy's right flank against the party's left.
And lastly, the SE group is mopping up the dire wolves and starting to move towards the wall. Next to the mage, Garalzapan, it reads: "Throwing Pass Wall 1 round cast" ... very soon there will be an opening for the zombies to force their way through ...