All That Glitters, Part 10

The Grand Palace, Inner Quarter, The City of Amon

“What say you, then?” asked the Prince Sadrin al Marwan as soon as the wizard Zadra returned to his presence. “Are the man’s claims true?”

Zadra nodded. “He appears to be not only truthful but correct in his findings.”

“How is it that no-one else has discovered what he has found?”

The wizard smiled, “Oh, they have, your highness. There is every indication that the great Sultan of Lashiek once learned of its existence, not more than a score of years ago, and that he went so far as to send a fleet secretly to find it by the sea route and upriver. No ships returned, and not one man. The whole affair was considered an embarrassment, and so the Sultan declared that the fleet was nothing more than a slaving expedition destined for the coast south of the Gulf of Medes, which was lost in a terrible storm. The Sultan seems also to have had the records of the city destroyed, or hidden, for he jealously wanted no one else to learn of it and perhaps profit by what he could not obtain.”

“But not all records concerning it were destroyed, eh?” suggested the prince.

“You are wise as ever, your highness. Our scholar found works that mentioned the city that even the Sultan did not know of. He also studied all that he could find concerning the Dwarven realm of Karak Zorn, and indeed has evidence that in years gone by it conducted trade with the southern desert tribes. Once and only once, a sheikh was permitted to take a great train of camels and mules south along the dwarfen road, and lucky for us he wrote of his journey. From his words, and those of slavers who have made efforts to learn of the tribes and geography of the eastern jungles closest to the mountains, our scholar has ascertained his route, and from the written words of one very ancient traveller, he has cleverly discovered the location of the golden city in relation to this route.”

“You believe him them?” asked the prince. “You would stake your life on it?”

Zadra grinned, for between the prince and he this was no threat but an old joke. Then he looked more serious. “I believe him, my prince. I cannot say that the route is passable, nor that the dangers upon the way are surmountable. But I believe that the city is there where he claims.”

Prince Sadrin laughed. “Let me worry about how we might get there. If it exists upon this world, then it can be reached. Consider this, how could a city be made that could not be reached by those who made it? We can cut through jungle vines or burn down forests. We can make rafts for swamps and boats for rivers. And we can fight as only the warriors of Amon can fight against all that would stand in our way.”

For the next hour the wizard Zadra had little to do, for the prince busied himself with ordering his commanders and clerks to prepare the army and supplies that would be needed.
……………………………………………………………………………………………

Battle of the Southern Valley

Before the Fight

Note: See army lists and scenario rules below

Prince Sadrin’s Army of Amon had been marching now for just over three weeks. Consisting mostly of desert-raised warriors, with the rest being the hardened veteran soldiers of the standing army. They had covered a considerable distance and had already moved from the rocky deserts into the slightly greener foothills of the World’s Edge Mountains. Each day the column would inevitably become more stretched out then when it set off at dawn, but the Prince compensated by making sure that the crucial baggage train, carrying the victuals of the army without which it could not possibly be expected to fight, was not at the rear and that the regiments behind it were ordered not to move ahead of it. Nor were the artillery pieces allowed to tarry at the rear. This way the slowest elements of the column – heavily laden camels and slaves, and horse teams lugging huge guns – could not become completely stranded and thus much more vulnerable to raiders.

Nevertheless, whatever orders were given regarding positions in the column, the events of a day’s march and the varying nature of the troops did mean that during daylight hours the army’s formation could alter. Not that the Prince worried about this, for why concern oneself with things that were impossible to change? Always pragmatic, he simply made sure that he himself rode with his lance armed camel cavalry in the rearguard, thus ensuring he could not miss any troubles that the units in front suffered. Behind him there was only the elephant and the recently raised handgunners, the latter armed in a fashion that made them perfect for signalling (loudly) if any threat presented from the rear.

There had been reports of wolf-riding goblins for the last four days, and although some scaremongers built such sightings up into tales of armies lying in wait in the hills, most of the warriors of Amon thought they were merely members of the scattered and weak bands of marauders who preyed on caravans throughout the region but would surely not be strong enough to attempt an attack upon an army such as theirs. That said, there was still a distinct air of caution as the army marched, and several small companies of light horse had been ordered to act as outriders, to scour the land upon all sides of the column and race back with reports of any potential danger.

The column was approaching a wide valley, where the going would surely be easier for a little while. What the Prince did not know was that he would be fighting a full-scale battle within the hour. The hills upon either side where rocky in places, and patches of soggy mire sat between some of them, but the ground along the middle of the valley was dry enough – whatever river had carved the valley out (if that’s what it was) was long gone. Little water reached the desert from these hills.

DeployZonesTerrain

Unusually, the limbered mortar led the column, it’s crew having set off with the swordsmen first that morning. Perhaps they had thought that this way, as the army overtook them later, they would still be somewhere in the middle of the coloumn by the end of the day? The Palace Guard spear regiment and its crossbow detachment came next, followed by the large body of slave archers. Both cannons were being hauled together behind those archers, followed by the only unit of light horse remaining with the column and not out attempting to scout. A third large foot regiment, the Desert Spears, marched next, ahead of the baggage, then came Gamouzo’s skirmishing tribal warriors.

AmonBattle2

Behind all of this, yet even to enter the valley, rode Prince Sadrin and his camel cavalry, followed by the war elephant and the handgunners. The mortar was crewed by city soldiers, men who had recently returned from Marienburg with the Prince, having acquired their artillery piece from that northern realm.

AmonBattle3

The slave archers in the centre of the column might be thought to be poor soldiers – but not so. Each knew that if they did good service upon this campaign then they would be granted full freedom, and even a chance then to enlist in the Prince’s standing army. In the meantime, they had the same rations as all the other foot soldiers, and they knew that their native skill in archery was sufficient to see them through a battle.

AmonBattle4

The two cannons were mighty pieces indeed, both also from the northern old world, one with a bronze barrel and the other cast iron. Desert warriors formed the crew of these, having been hastily trained in the art of gunnery before this expedition by the master gunner from one of Amon’s warships.

AmonBattle5

The baggage train was large, not just because the army was large too, but also because of the long distance the Prince intended to travel. Even so, Prince Sadrin knew full well that his men would have to forage and plunder once they reached the jungles. This did not over-concern him, however, because he knew the lush jungle to be fruitful as well as abundant in flesh, fish and fowl. The wizard Zadra, travelling with Gamouzo looked down upon the baggage in front of him and took its measure. Not that he cared what it was carrying now, rather it was what it could carry back from the city of gold than interested him.

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………….
Prince Sadrin’s Army of Amon
(An Empire Army roster – 7th ed. WFB rules – plus some Dogs of War elements)

Characters
General: Prince Sadrin al Marwan
Camel (as warhorse), Sword of Justice, Dawn Armor, Holy Relic
Captain: Agha Qilij ad-Din an-Nasawa (Standard Bearer)
Heavy Armour; Battle Standard = Griffon Standard
Battle Wizard: Zadra ibn Borhasa
Level 2; Rod of Power; Sigil of Sigmar
Battle Wizard: Mukri al-Hajib
Level 2; Talisman of Protection, The Silver Horn

State Troops
25 Spears of the Desert (full command) with 10 [Det] Crossbowmen
25 Spears of the Middle Palace (full command) with 10 [Det] Crossbowmen
25 Royal Guard Swordsmen (full command)
10 Handgunners with musician & marksman

Militia Troops
20 Northern Tribe Archers with marksman

Auxiliaries (as DoW ‘Vespero’s Vendetta’ Special Choice):
10 Tribal Warriors

Cavalry, both as rare choices
10 Camel Cavalry (as DoW Heavy Cavalry): (full command), War Banner
10 Desert Riders (as DoW Light Cavalry): (full command)

War Engines
2 Great Cannons & 1 Mortar

Subtotal = 2462 points

Plus (this is not army list legal like all of the above, but is a ‘flufftastic’ necessity)
War Elephant as Stegadon, without giant bow)

Total = 2697 points
…………………………………………………………………………….

The enemy: Bonemawler’s Greenskin Nomads (2041 pts)

Warboss BoneMawler (General) on Wyvern
Porko’s Pigstikka, Enchanted Shield, Horn of Urgok
Big Boss Erbad (Army Standard Bearer) in Orc Boar Chariot
Gork’s Waaagh! Banner
Big Boss Dufdig in Orc Boar Chariot
Ulags Akk’rit Axe, Nibbla’s ‘Itty Ring
Big Boss Clubcra in Orc Boar Chariot
Shaga’s Screamin’ Sword

7 Goblin Wolf Riders (full command) with Bows
6 Goblin Wolf Riders (full command) with Bows
7 Goblin Wolf Riders (full command) with Spears & Shields

9 Boar Boyz Mob (full command) with Nogg’s Banner of Butchery
8 Boar Boyz Mob (full command)

2 Goblin Wolf Chariots

Baggage
……………………………………………………………………………

Scenario rules for Nomadic Greenskins attack on the arab column

The Arabs have 2739 pts compared with the Greenskins 2041 pts, so there is an approx. 700 point advantage to the Arabs. For fairness a scenario is needed. Well, the Greenskins are raiders and robbers by ‘profession’ thus I’ve come up with …

Scenario: “Get them supplies!”

Duration 6 turns

Terrain: Hills, a valley

Deployment
Arabs deploy as a column (see rules below) perpendicular to enemy. Can put 1/2 to 2/3 of units onto table, remainder count as off table (i.e. to one side). Remainder deploy second turn, arriving on the near half of whichever table side the column rules (below) dictate. Characters deploy at same time as baggage though some can stay off field if they are with the units that arrive on turn 2.

Arabyan Column rules

* Artillery are limbered and take one turn to unlimber and deploy. If remain limbered then move like a chariot but at only 4” movement rate (slightly faster than normal), with no charges (obviously).
* Baggage has to be deployed on the table, either in the middle or at the rear of the column (baggage is never at the front of an advancing army). Thus if baggage is at the front of the part of the column on the table, then the unplaced units are off the table-edge at the column’s front; if the baggage is in the middle or at the rear of the part of the column on the field, then the unplaced units are off table to either side, player deciding at the point he puts the baggage down.
* The arab column deploys in their deployment zone, straight across or diagonal, and must look like an army on the march along a route, the units being arranged in a single file line (not the men, the units.)

Victory Points
Looting
Any individual Greenskin unit that (a) contacts the arabs’ baggage and (b) has any members alive (even fleeing) at the end of the game gets 150 VP. They are carrying loot! If the arabs destroy the greenskins’ baggage, they gain 100 VP. The greenskins’ current loot is rubbish.
Greenskin flight
Greenskin units that flee or move off the table do not count towards the arabs’ VP total. They are in their own realm and can easily escape to reform somewhere else. They always intended to rob then flee so they are doing what they expected to do.
Arab Victory Points
As normal (apart from not gaining VP from enemy who moved off the table for any reason or are fleeing at the end of the game). They need to kill as many greenskins as possible so that they are not harassed during the rest of their journey through this realm.

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