Monday, 6 April 2015

Battle off Cape Dusk

 This Easter I went to the countryside and with my cousin we played the first battle of Mordheim in the high seas, using the naval rules of the general's compendium.

I led the imperial navy (marienburger) crew of the SMS Überrastung (HMS Surprise in reikspkiel/german) who were hunting the dreaded shadow elf pirates of Devrak the Almighty aboard the Von der Tann.

The background of the battle is that the elf pirates of the have been raiding the imperial slik trade with Cathay near the fortress of Dusk, causing an intolerable raise in the price of one of the favourite products of the imperial nobility. Thus, the emperor Karl Franz swiftly dispatches the frigate SMS Überrastung from the naval base of Manaansheim in Nordland to hunt or scare them off.

We used styroheim's Sartosa rules, giving knowledge over gunpowder weapons to both warbands, so the cheap pocket pistols from the sartosan equipment list were genorously bought. We also used Lustria: cities of gold weather rules, we rolled windy, adding 1d6" to sail movement as an additional home rule.
 The crews deployed all around the ships, enough men to man the wheel, sharpshooters in the fighting tops...

 ...and obviously gunners in the gun decks

 I got first turn and windward, so I turned to present the port cannons to the enemy, failing to hit his captain with them.
 The pirates sailed in a parallel heading to avoid falling into the wind and made some holes in the hull of the navy ship
 The imperial guns answered in kind, killing one sailor manning one of the starboard cannons
 The ships kept the distance, but the wind rolled unexpectedly behind the pirates
 Who used it to come to grips with the imperials.

 The pirate gunners gave a show of poor aim with two sucessive 1' to wound the hull, too much rum in their bellies that is!
 In pure Trafalgar style, one imperial marine (marksman) killed the pirate captain with a well placed shot from the crow's nest
 While the human gunners showed the elfs how to properly open holes in a hull 

 The pirates quickly corrected their aim and ravaged the gun deck 
 Killing one gunner with each shot and damaging a cannon

 Now with the wind astern, the imperials closed on their enemy's bow

 Opening even more holes in the waterline
 The elfs putted distance with the imperials and holed the hull without causing enough damage to sink it

 Still sailing with the wind behind, the SMS Überrastung moved astern of the Von der Tan, peppering the bow with canister and knocking down one elf, while the other cannon took off the last damage points of the pirate vessel
 The pirates rolled for sinking and... their ship had still three turns afloat, the elfs passed the Ld test to not to jump overboard. With no movement, and being dragged by the wind, they fortune looked bleak, as their cannon were unable to turn on the imperial vessel.
 Top view of the adrift Von der Tann
 In the imperial next (and last) turn, the Captain ordered a boarding action wich he personally led, while the cannons racked the lower gun deck with canister.

 Both cannons fired, but just one elf was taken out of action
The marines killed the knocked down elf, while the captain diverted the attention of the shadow wizard long enough for a third marine to kill him with a dagger in the back.

The elfs failed the rout test and jumped overboard leaving the ship in the hands of the Imperial Navy Hurrray!

In the campaign phase my cousin decided to pass and start anew with a fresh warband, I rolled and found three crates, one of wich was opened revealing luxury goods and  cathayan silks fot a total of 84 gold crowns -yep that's the silk route alright!- I also recieved useful information about the location of rich mercants from a sailor with loose lips wich will allow me to roll one extra dice discarding the lowest in the next exploration phase. With all the booty I bought five hand pistols for the marksmen and two daggers for the gunners, I had to replace one gunner wich had been killed and also had some spare crowns to hire an expert marksman.
The marines/marksmen got some advances wich befitted their status as boarding troops, +1 to strength and +1 attack no less!

So that's all, and remember me hearties: piracy never pays!
Ye be warned

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