Basileans Vs. Ogres
It’s fair to say this blog hasn’t worked out the way I’d planned. There just never seems to be enough time. After a period of reflection, also known as a pandemic lockdown, I’ve decided to give this blog another shot. I’ll be writing across a range of subjects, all tied together by the fantasy theme. In addition to reading, I enjoy writing and playing tabletop games. The last two tie up quite nicely with games providing material for writing (writing is way easier when you don’t have to invent a story). So without further ado I present my first post – the telling of a battle between the knights of Basilea and some ogres.
The battle is fought using Kings of War rules with 1,995 points aside and the scenario is Invade.
1 – Sha’leis – Priest with Shroud of the Saint
2 & 3 – Ja’y’ll and Sa’y’ll – 2 Ur Elohi
4 – Phoenix
5 – Ogre Palace Guard horde with Brew of Sharpness
6 – Ogre Palace Guard horde with Jesse’s Boots
7 – Paladin Knights regiment with Caterpillar Potion and Aegis Fragment
8 – Gur Panther regiment
9 – Paladin Defender regiment with Brew of Strength
10 – Spearmen horde
1 & 2 – 2 Ogre Battle Standard Bearers
3 – Kuzlo and Madfall
4 & 5 – 2 Siege Breaker hordes
6 & 7 – 2 Boomer hordes
8 – Warrior Chariot regiment with Caterpillar Potion
9 – Red Goblin Slasher
10 & 11 – 2 Red Goblin Scout troops
12 Red Goblin Rabble horde
Sha’leis stood between the ranks of Palace Guard and Spearmen. She clutched her hammer tightly as she read aloud from the pages of the Shining Road. Despite the darkening clouds overhead the light from the mighty Phoenix illuminated her pages. The mighty creature towered over her. An inferno wreathed its body and flowered from its feathers, but Sha’leis never felt more than a comforting glow no matter how close she stood.
The din of growls and drums from the other side of the plain focused her mind on the ogres and goblins that stood half hidden by the hill that also protected her own forces. A great beast with a giant crossbow strapped to its back let out a hungry, guttural roar which seemed to be the signal for the horde to advance.
On the left of the field, standing to the right of a pyramid Ja’y’ll, one of the Ur Elohi sent to guide and protect Sha’leis, looked across at the chariots slowly moving into position. He noticed movement, followed by the unmistakeable celestial ripple of magic. A goblin on a giant lizard had launched an attack on the Gur Panthers. He heard them roar in pain and confusion as they seemed to be grabbed and dragged forward, but the spell seemed to wear off before it could do any lasting damage. Angered by the impudence of the midget magician Ja’y’ll took to the skies. It wasn’t only him who hurried to the aid of the panthers. Seconds later both Ja’y’ll and his brother Sa’y’ll crashed into the goblin caster. Burning swords fell, bringing the diminutive magician’s tricks to an immediate end. Seeing the angels push forward drove the panthers to action. They charged into the chariots. Little damage was done. If the panthers had considered their action it was, at best, a selfless act intended to protect those who had protected them.
In the centre of the field Goblin Scouts crested the hill on either side of the Slasher. The Slasher loosed a bolt into the Paladin Defenders but it clattered harmlessly to ground somewhere behind their ranks. The response to the appearance of the goblins was immediate. The Paladin Knights and one of the Palace Guard hordes charged up the hill and smashed into the monster. Lances puncturing its thick skin and heavy ogre blades chopping at its legs, cutting it to the bone, making it shriek in pain. It bucked and thrashed trying to find a way to escape. Its goblin riders were thrown to the ground, and not much later the beast found its way out, stampeding from the battlefield desperately searching for some way to make the pain stop. The Slasher’s rout left a hole in the skirmish line which the Phoenix sought to exploit by launching a series of fireballs at the goblin Scouts. Shocked by the heat of the creature’s magic and disgusted, even by their own standards, by the sight and smell of two of their number being melted caused the troop facing down the Palace Guard to waiver.
On the left of the field the panthers ran from the charioteers, unable to resist the ferocity of the drivers’ blows or the lashes of their cruel whips. Sa’y’ll saw the remaining cats break and flew into the chariots, snuffing out any intentions they had of joining the main battle before they even had the chance to kindled in their minds . Ja’y’ll’s first instinct was to follow his brother, but he sensed his help would be needed in the centre. He turned to see a horde of Siege Breakers stomping up the hill and bludgeoned they’re way into the Paladin Knights. Scimiters and heavy shields swung into horses caving skulls, snapping necks and sending fully armoured riders flying. Ja’y’ll moved to intervene but he reached the fight too late. The knights had been destroyed.
Despite being too late for the Knights Ja’y’ll’s charge brought confusion to the ogres. Only moments before they had destroyed their enemy and expected a momentary lull in the fighting as they eyed their next target. The angel used the confusion to his advantage. He sliced through shield arms and hacked at flesh that rolled out between ill fitting armour plates, but on his advantage was quickly lost, and he drew back as the Siege Breakers started to regroup.
On the right side of the battlefield the Rabble ran towards the Spearmen stopping just short of the tips of their weapons. There seemed to be an audible sigh of relief from the men. It was sharply dismissed by the loud crack of hand cannons opening fire from the Boomers standing behind the goblins. The Spearmen braced expecting the worst. As the sound dissipated, turning into ringing in their ears, they started to mutter thanks to the Shining Ones under their breathe as the damage seemed to be minimal.
As the Spearmen surveyed the scene it quickly became apparent that the ogres’ shooting had been split. Whilst the Spearmen had largely been untouched, the Palace Guard on the hill had taken heavy casualties. A handful of guards stood waivered on the hill, surrounded by bleeding bodies slumped in broken armour.
Sha’leis surveyed the carnage the guns had wrought. Undaunted she put her faith in those that had led her to the hill. She raised her voice and begged the Shining Ones for aid. A familiar warmth coursed through her body. It channelled itself through her and into the broken Basilean ogres restoring flesh, bone and metal, restoring the horde to its full compliment.
The damage and subsequent healing of the guards on the hill spurred the other horde of Palace Guard and Spearmen into action. They charged together into the Rabble which disintegrated under their boots.
The Siege Breakers on the hill now separated with one horde charging into the Palace Guard in front of them with the goblin scouts. The other horde, that had been badly damaged by Ja’y’ll, decided to find an alternative target to the angry angel and ran towards the Paladin Defenders. The Defenders held their own against the weakened Siege Breakers striking back with cool, deliberate hammer blows that found their way between the gaps in their mighty shields and smashed what little resolve they had left. On the hill the Palace Guard faired less well, with many returning to the mud for the second time that day.
On the right the Boomers and their army standard bearer charged the spears and remaining Palace Guard. One horde of Boomers and their standard bearer traded blows with the Spearmen, neither side gaining any real advantage. Next to them, however, the Palace Guard quickly put the other Boomer horde to the sword. Swift punishment for their impudence.
In the sky the Phoenix wheeled gently before bearing down on the remaining scouts, fireballs driving them from the field.
Having waivered the chariots in the previous turn Sa’y’ll now raised his sword in silent triumph over their burning remains. He turned to see Ja’y’ll dodging the heavy blows of an ogre standard bearer, struggling to make his own connect.
The rest of the battlefield was starting to thin out now. The remaining Boomers had gained an upper hand against the spearmen sending them running from the field, whilst the Boomer’s standard bearer made a brave, but ultimately disastrous attempt to hold up the Palace Guard. Whilst a charge was prevented the Palace Guard trampled the banner bearer into the ground as they advanced on the real threat. In a move that echoed the bravery, or stupidity, of the ogre banner bearer the Phoenix descended to the battlefield and settled in front of the remaining Siege Breakers bathing them in fire.
The Boomers charged and hacked at the Palace Guard, but their moral was failing. Despite taking some damage the guard fought back, breaking the Boomers before turning to see the flames of the Phoenix extinguished. Clearing the way for the final show down.
Sensing the end drawing near Sha’leis once again channelled the Shining Ones to ensure the Palace Guard were best placed to stand against the final, inevitable charge of the Siege Breakers.
Sa’y’ll and Ja’y’ll had turned from the body of the broken banner bearer before it hit the ground. They heard the Siege Breakers smash into the Palace Guard. Dust and noise obscured the melee. The Ur Elohi held each other’s gaze for mere moments. There could be no waiting for this combat to be resolved. Ja’y’ll looked his brother up and down. His beautiful brother was wounded, the blood of ogre and angel slicked his armour, mixing with the desert dust. “Stay.” Ja’y’ll said before taking to the skies and barrelling into the rear of the Siege Breakers.
The dust settles
This was a close game. Had the Palace Guard horde not survived the Seige Breaker’s charge it would have been unlikely a win could have been salvaged even in if it had gone to a seventh turn.
Whilst a win is always welcome, it’s still worth picking out some learning points. Basileans are a new army to me and this was my first outing at 2,000 points. Retelling the battle, even in a narrative form highlighted a few things to bear in mind for the future:
Must improve my deployment – the Paladin Defenders blocked up the horde of Palace Guard with Brew of Sharpness in turn two limiting their charge options. Given the circumstances they probably ended up going the right way, but its nice to have choices! Also, putting the Spearman horde opposite the Boomers was not the best plan, I was lucky my opponent decided to split their fire in the second turn. Losing the spears too early would have opened up my right flank to those cannon toting maniacs. I should really have had an Ur Elohi hanging around on the right somewhere, or even better tried to the match the spears against the chariots, with the panthers and the Ur Elohi facing the Boomers.
Paladin Defenders probably aren’t the best fit for this army – one of the reasons I went for Basileans was because I wanted an excuse to use these models (more about them in a future blog). I love ’em, but I just don’t think they fit my play style. Yes, they’re sturdy and can hold objectives, but so can my Ogres, Spearmen and Ur Elohi, so I think its time to do a bit of soul searching…
Credit where its due
Yes, there was some stuff that wasn’t great, but there was a win though so that means more stuff went right than wrong! So, what went right?
Angels of the match – Ja’y’ll and Sa’y’ll worked together brilliantly. Between them they kept the chariots away from the main battle lines, killed Kuzlo, killed a standard bearer, assured the destruction of both hordes of Seige Breakers with flank and rear charges and ensured there was a scoring unit in the enemy half. Not too bad a showing.
The Phoenix – the Flaming Death Chicken, as its known locally, definitely needs a name. I think support pieces can be quite difficult to get to grips with, but I feel like I’m getting there with this one and had a better idea of when to use heal and when to use fireball. Still more to get to grips with though before I can claim to be a Flaming Death Chicken master though.
BTW – everything I write are my own opinions and interpretations, no matter how misguided or flat out wrong they may be. They definitely don’t reflect the views and opinions of anyone or anything else. Anything meaningful, useful or otherwise worthwhile is purely co-incidental.