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Thread: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

  1. #1
    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    A friend of mine, Edward Dunferline, and I started playing some coop MP battles in Attila, giving the AI some advantage to make it more challanging and inventing all kinds of different scenarios. That turned out to be a lot of fun and soon we came up with the idea to link up our scenarios in a kind of campaign. We were playing Franks vs. Romans and if we won, we could go on to conquer the next city but if we loose, we had to fall back and defend the previous one.

    Then we thought it could be cool to track our progress on a campaign map. And this map could be posted up at a forum for other players to watch - and to join in if they want.

    So here we go. Below is the first map of what we could call a Multiplayer Battle Campaign.


    We play as the Franks, with a capital at Flevum in the North. A harsh winter has driven us to cross the river Rhine and start a settlement in the fertile land near Colonia Agrippina. While the governor of the proince has given us permission to settle there, the local commander wants to drive us off and take the good land for himself. He soon finds a cheap excuse to attack our camp.

    So in the first battle we now have to defend our encampment against a roman army. As Edward and I are only young and low ranking Frankish nobles, we only have tier 1 units at our disposal, whereas the Romans can use all that is available to them. Let's see if we can hold the camp or get pushed back across the Rhine.

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    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    The battle was fought and our tier 1 lvl 0 units held up pretty well.
    The Roman commander, full of arrogance, only brought a medium sized army of high level legionaries to the battle. He had not reckoned that every woodcutter, every shepherd and every farmer boy would pick up arms to defend the new and fertile land that had been promised to them by Rome. So what we lacked in experience and equippment, we made up in numbers and eventually we were the ones left standing.



    We went after their fleeing army and eventually tracked them down in a nearby village, where we defeated them in a second battle. Full of joy we returned to our camp. Now we would be left in peace and could finally start the preparations for the harvest, which we will have to bring in during the coming autumn. Or so we thought....



    But the local commander has escaped the battle and is now telling tall stories of the "Frankish threat". The province governor of Belgica is a wise and just statesman. He knows of the hardships our people suffer in Frisia and understands our need for good and fertile land. But he too cannot ignore the fact, that we have now defeated a Roman army. So he gives the local commander permission to assemble a new army and go on a punitive mission.

    This time we cannot fight under the cover of our settlement's defences. The fields are rich with crops and we cannot allow the Romans to destroy them. If we don't want to starve in the winter, we have to go out and defeat them in the open. And so the next fight will be a field battle on a cold and foggy autumn day.
    Last edited by Nigel; 09-19-2018 at 18:48.

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    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    This time, the battle was much harder. The commander had learned from his previous mistakes and fielded a much stronger army (translation: the AI is too dump to choose a good army and I had to choose it for him ).


    It was an eery feeling to stand on the hill and wait for the enemy without beeing able to see further than a few meters. Finally they emerged from the fog and sent in their melee troops first. We managed to defeat them in a brutal clash and thought that we had already won.

    But they had still a considerable amount or ranged units, archers and skirmishers, who had reserved most of their ammunition. We knew that we had to get a move on, or else we would be shot like sitting ducks. But for our men, tired from the melee, this was easier said then done - the AI troops were kiting really well. In the end we manage to send them fleeing, but not without getting to the brink of defeat ourselves. It was a pyrric victory that we brought home.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Returning to the camp, we saw that a great Frankish warchief had arrived from Frisia. As he learned of the situation, he summoned us before him and sad: "I want that vile Roman commander brought before me. Edward and Nigel, take what men you can still find and hunt him down. Whoever brings me his head, or brings him alive, shall be rewarded well."

    We found only a handful units each, but the defeated Romans had even fewer men. When we finally found them, there was no question that we would win this battle. Instead the question was: "Who will be the first to reach their general? And who will be the one to bring him down?". The race was on.

    And it was a hunt through fog and forest. My men were the first to spot him, but they could not take him alone. Edward's troops reached him just in time, as mine began to falter. And in the end it were Edward's men who struck him down and tied him up (I actually had to look at the replay to find that out - video proof was good, even in those days).



    The warchief was very pleased about his new prisoner. "You have done well, Edward, and deserve your reward. From now on I shall grant you the right to maintain a unit of retainers. You can choose a tier 2 unit, which will remain with you in the future battles for as long as you can keep the unit alive."
    Last edited by Nigel; 08-16-2018 at 21:01.

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    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    The pyrric victory that we had won this autumn was not without consequences.
    Yes, we had protected our settlement and the crops in the fields. But the high number of killed or wounded men after our battle meant, that we did not have enough hands to bring in all the harvest before the winter set in.

    Now we have enough food to survive, but only barely. And in the nearby village of Colonia Agrippina (Cologne) the store houses are full and overflowing. We asked them to share, but they refused. So we are now preparing to take, what they do not want to give.

    Colonia Agrippina is a colony village founded by Germanic foederati soldiers, who once served under the fameous Roman general Marcus Agrippa (hence the name). Their citizens have taken up much of the Roman way of life, but retained some of their original culture and also adopted some customs from the Gauls. The unfortified village is mainly defended by foederati spearmen and a few legionaries.

    Edward and I discussed our strategy. We decided to move in under the cover of the night.
    Last edited by Nigel; 09-19-2018 at 21:48.

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    Ja mata, TosaInu Moderator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    Nigel, thank you for this AAR!

    Keep em coming - and please post more screenshots!
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

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    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    Glad you are enjoying the stories.
    I really like writing them. And I will see if I can post more screenshots.


    We made the attack on Colonia Agrippina - and I must say, we had our first defeat in this campaign. But don't worry. We may be bruised and battered, but we are still standing. I am off for the weekend now, but the report is going to come.

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    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    Here is our adventure in the winter 395.
    You will remember, that our warchief had granted Edward the right to choose a unit of tier 2 retainers. Well, Edward decided that, rather than more foot soldiers, he would rather have horses for himself and his body guard. So he now led his men into battle on a proud war horse, while I was still maching on foot



    The battle for Colnia Agrippina started off pretty good. We decided to attack a corner of the village from two different sides. So we could crush their defenders between us. First, Edward's catapult started bombarding their tower. And seeing it burn was a truely heart warming sight.



    Then we moved in on the village from two sides. Their cavalry was beaten quickly, but their foederati put up quite a resistance and it took us longer than expected to get into the streets. All the while their archers were peppering us with arrow volleys.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Opening moves.


    We go all in.


    Their archers give us a hard time.


    Assault on the keep.



    And that prooved to be our downfall in the end. Our un-armored tier 1 units were taking heavy lossed. I had cept some men back as reserve, but they had moved too close and were getting shot before they even entered the fighting.

    Edward made a heroic attempt to get at the archers - him and his guard beeing the only cav unit we had. But they were too many, and before he could reach them, an arrow pierced his leg and killed his horse under him.




    We still managed to attack the keep. But when we finally got in, we were too few and too exhausted. All we could do was a frantic push to try to reach and kill their leaders. The last thing I remember was madly swinging my sword at some legionaries. Then something hard hit my helmet and heavy hands pulled me out of the fight before hearing and vision abandoned me.




    When I came to, I saw Edward discussing the battle with our warchief. Edward had a good relationship with the leader ever since he brought the Roman commander as prisoner. He generously glossed over the fact, that I had let my men get too close to the Roman archers and gave a good account of our bravery.

    "We know the Romans are coming for us", said the warchief. "We have taken may losses, but so have they. I want you, Edward and Nigel, to gather whatever men you can still find and go out to ambush them. It will be tricky to pull that off. But if you manage to beat them back before they can reach our camp, I shall reward you both with the right of a tier 2 unit as retainers."
    Last edited by Nigel; 09-24-2018 at 20:47.

  8. #8
    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    I am putting the second battle in a separate post for better readability.
    If this is considered double posting, let me know and I will merge them.


    We marched out again, finding a good spot for an ambush (Ambush battles in the game only seem to work for 1v1, so we simulated an ambush with a field battle on a foresty map, fighting 14 Roman units with 7 Fankish units each). We found a perfect ambush spot, hiding in a forest just below the crest of a hill.




    The Romans moved carefully. They had one cavalry unit which they send out to scout. We were hiding in the forest and the Roman cav came dangerously close to our achers. I moved the one spear unit, that I had, closer - but slowly to remain hidden.



    But we were lucky. The horsemen did not see us and moved away to seach elsewhere.

    We remained in hiding until the enemy started to move up the hill. Shortly before they reached the top, we sprung our trap and attacked. Downhill we struck on an enemy who was already tired from the uphill march.



    But their superior armor made for a tough fight. You can see that, while our axemen on the right flank were doing well, my freemen on the left flank were no match for the foederati and soon started to waver. But Edward managed to get 2 units of axemen on the Roman general on the right.

    And when he fell, the Roman front collapsed - not a moment too soon.



    We immediately chased after them, knowing that we could not afford to let them re-group. Suddenly their cav unit appeared, returning from their scouting. They hit upon our archers, causing some casulties. But when they say our melee troops, they turned their horses and fled.



    Now we are back in our tents. We failed to capture Colonia. But after the successful ambush, no Roman soldier will show his face near our camp for the rest of the winter. Food is scarce, but we are getting by. And we are making plans for the coming spring.

    Shall we make another attempt to take Colonia Agrippina?
    Or shall we move futher inland towards Durocortorum or Augusta Treverorum?
    Last edited by Nigel; 08-27-2018 at 18:31.

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    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    After a short discussion Edward and I decided to make another attempt at taking Colonia Aggrippina. This time we knew the city and this time we made better preparation.

    With the blessing of our warchief we both selected a unit or tier 2 retainers. I chose a unit of Noble Swordsmen. Edward, this time, opted for a group of Germanic Archers. In addition to that, he collected the last remaining horses from our camp, which had not been eaten during the winter, and equipped two units of simple cavalry.
    The rest was made up of various tier 1 units, including two catapults.

    And this time, we were patient enough and really waited for night to fall. Unfortunately, I did not manage to save the replay. So I only have a few screenshots which I took during the battle. But you will see, they speak for themselves.

    We attacked againg across the vulnerable corner, that we had seen last time. But this time we took out both of the towers on our side and kept up the bombardment until our catapults ran empty. I had also send a unit of archers, backed up by spears, to snipe at the defenders blocking the entrence.



    But the Roman troops were too well armored and my men could not do much damage with thier hunting bows. Eventually we had to get the swords and axes out and move the melee troops in. Edward maneuvered our cav units well and prevented their archers to get into position. This way we reached the keep with a great part of our army still intact.

    There was a fair amount of resistance as we entered the keep. At one point Edward and I found ourselves fighting back to back in the middle of the melee.



    But now we were too strong for the defenders and soon Colonia Agrippina was ours.


    What a feast.
    There were storehouses full of food. There were seeds to sow the fields this spring, and lifestock of all kinds. There were weapons and building materials and pretty houses for shelter (ok, some of them had been burned down by our catapult fire). There was plenty of stuff to make for a good life for our families this year.

    But our warchief summoned us for one more mission.
    "Some Romans have escaped from the city and they have taken the siege equippment with them. A medium sized army are trying to rescure 4 scorpions. Take some horses from the stables - there should be enough for 4 units for each of you - and capture those scorpions. Their army is probably too strong for you to defeat, but if you can take those scorpions and run back here, I will consider it a success. And if you can also take out their general, even better."

    ... to be continued (need some sleep now) ...
    Last edited by Nigel; 08-29-2018 at 22:29.

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    Ja mata, TosaInu Moderator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    Getting better! Make sure you resize the screenshots properly and try to add some more cinematic shots, really helps.

    Maybe you can make this on the front page?
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

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    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    Thanks for the compliments
    And good point about resizing the images. I am offline now until the end of next week. But when I get back, I will have a go at it.

    That, and telling the story of how our "scorpion hunt" turned out.

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    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    Here is how our mission to capture the 4 scorpions went:

    We searched for them for two days an nights. On the second night we found them. They had set up camp in a small wood on a hill, kind of lost their way and unsure where to turn to. When they saw us approaching they immediately took up a defensive formation.



    We split up and tried to encircle them. But they moved attentively and kept their weapons pointed towards us. Not an easy prey, since their spearmen outnumbered our horsemen heavily (720:320).

    I decided to act as bait and moved back and forth close to their front. This eventually created the opening we hoped for and Edward could ride in and take the first scorpion. We repeated this cat and mouse game a few times - I was taking heavy lossed from their skirmishers. But one by one we took all of their 4 scorpions.



    So we had completed our mission - and lost half of our men. But as we were just discussing the best route to retreat, Edward saw the chance to capture their general, too. "Let's go for him", he shouted and we both spurred our horses. My men got through to him, but his foederati came to his aid quickly and I had to let go to save my men's lives.




    But now we had smelled blood. We kept going and eventually I got the chance to take out their leader and send his bodyguard running.



    We felt totally thrilled by this, but by now we had also taken heavy losses from their spears and javelins. Nevertheless we decided to fight on and try to achieve a full victory. With the greater speed and mobility of our horses we thought that we had an advantage over their greater numbers.

    And indeed - after their last pilum had been thrown things really turned on our favor. We circled them like wolves circle a herd of bulls and with good teamwork we managed to isolate their units one by one. This was we could defeat their spear units even with our tier 1 cavalry and eventually we brought home a full victory.


    Our warchief was extremely pleased, when he learned the news.
    "Edward and Nigel, you have truely shown that you can handle the cavalry. Henceforth you shall be known as Horse Masters of the Franks. Go and choose some good steeds from my stables for yourselves and your bodyguards. You shall always ride into battle on horseback from now on."

    But now let us look at the map.



    We have taken Colonia Agrippina and abandoned our camp for the better shelter of this settlement. The siege engines we captured will help us fortify it and we should be safe from Roman attack for some time. Time to look for the next conquest.

    Augusta Treverorum (Trier) is walled in and well defended. Durocortorum (Reims) is a much easier target. But there is a Roman road leading to it, which could be guarded. If we want to take the village by surprise, we may have to defeat the patrolling Roman cohorts first.
    Last edited by Nigel; 09-10-2018 at 21:40.

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    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    The decision has been made.
    We are going to move on Durocortorum.


    But if we want to take the city by surprise, we first have to eliminate the Roman guard that is patrolling the road to the city.
    Our spies have brought us information on their strength and location.




    They are a 5k army, and we will attack them with 3k armies, each. So with 6k in total we should certainly defeat them.
    But our mission is more than that.

    We have to make sure that none of them can make it back to the city to raise the alarm. To this end, we must not let more than 10% of the troops esape from the battle. And to achieve this, we will have to hold some of our units back, to avoid that the battle ends too early and that the enemy routs before we have taken out enough of their men. It will be tricky and risky to get that balance right.


    If we achieve our mission, Durocortorum will be unprepared and we will "only" face a small Roman advantage in the assault of the city.

    But if we fail, they will be expecting us and have additional defensice siege eqippment ready to greet us. In that case, taking Durocortorum will be a much harder task.
    Last edited by Nigel; 09-19-2018 at 21:57.

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    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    The army set off on the road to Durodocorum and we chose some troops to go ahead as vanguard to find and eliminate the Roman patrol. The site that our spies had made out offered great terrain for an ambush: a small hill next to the road with some forests.

    We decided to hide in the woods and use my archers as bait to lure them into a position between our armies. with some luck they would march past my men without noticing them.


    Bravely the archers stood and awaited the Romans.


    We had one moment of fear when the Romans sent out their cavalry to scout along the right flank. If they spotted my men too early, our plan would be foiled.


    But all went well. The scouting cav returned to the army and the Romans moved out through the forest and up the hill - their archers in loose formation, the melee troops in tight formation closely behind them.


    Finally they did see my hidden units - but not until they were very close and more or less our plan had worked out. Now Edwards men broke out of their hiding and his swordmen rushed in.

    He kept his spearmen in reserve and I started circeling my horsemen around the left flank.


    His swordmen closed the line with my archers and it looked as if our circling maneuver would work out perfectly.


    But we had cheered too soon. The Romans were not just going to wait for us to close the ring. They attacked Edwards men and managed to tear our frontline apart.


    On the left, they brought 3 units against one of his and although they had spears against swords, their sheer number was overwhelming. On the right they brought their cav and 2 swords against 2 of Edwards swordmen and in the centre the Roman general fought against a single sword unit.


    My cav charged in to support the left.


    But all in all it was not looking too good for Edwards troops at this point.


    On the right Edward's spearmen were running towards the battle, but they were still soo far away. The left wing was lost.


    Edwards horses got behind the Roman archers. And my troops finally completed their flanking maneuver on the right wing.


    While my swordmen came to support Edward's, my axemen engaged the second unit of Roman swords and I myself managed to circle around them. A perfect position for a flanking charge.



    This started to turn things in our favour. While the second Roman sword unit was now quickly loosing, our own swordsmen held up pretty well against the Roman cav. They were my own personal retainers - well trained and well equipped Noble Swordsmen; standing their ground against the Roman Equites.


    Finally Edward's spearmen arrived and forced their cavalry to fall back.


    The right wing now beeing in our control, the Romans tried to re-group their forces on the left wing.


    And indeed they had some success there initially.


    Remeber that a good part of our army was tied up with trying to ensure that no Roman routers got away. But finally we managed to bring enough men from the right wing over to the left. My Noble Swordmen retainers led the charge.


    Their general fought bravely. But when he saw that we were in control of the field, he tried to get away. Edward's spearmen, however, intercepted him and brought him down.



    After this, the battle was over quickly.
    We had won the battle, but had we succeeded in our mission? It was a tense moment waiting for the results screen....

    .... and a little shock when we saw how close we had come to failing our mission. 86 out of 880 Roman soldiers had managed to escape: 9.7%.

    But we made it. Those few survivors will scatter into the surroundings and will not be able to reach Durodorum in time to warn them of our apporach. The town will be unprepared and will not have all of their siege engines ready when we come.
    Last edited by Nigel; 09-15-2018 at 20:30.

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    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    After eliminating the Roman patrol, we urged the main army forward to attack Dorocortorum quickly, before the news reached them. I knew Edgar likes to attack under the cover of night, but we had no time to wait for nightfall if we wanted to press our advantage. We attacked on the same day.

    Thanks to the element of surprise, the Romans did not have their catapults ready to use. Had we failed our previous mission, they would have had 4 catapults to counter the 2 that we brought to the battle.

    But now we had the range advantage. We lined up in position and made our plan.



    It looked like a good plan: our catapults would take out their two towers first (blue circles) then we would have two possible routes of attack open for us.




    I had positioned my archers first, then my axemen to attack, then my spears as backing force. We fired the first volley and all looked good. Suddenly Edward shouted: "they are making a sortie, and a massive one. Their whole army is coming out to attack us"

    And indeed it seemed the Romans had decided, having nothing to return our fire, they would not just let us shoot them like sitting ducks. The came and came, a massive moving army.









    Their cav was the first to reach our catapults.



    Edward and I scramled like mad to re-arrange our armies. I quickly pulled my archers back and rushed my spearmen from the third to the first row. They arrived just in time to beat back the charge and secure the catapult.




    The engineers of the more exposed catapult on the left wing were not so lucky.
    That engine was taken out completely within seconds.



    But now our spearmen braced themselves, as the Roman army formed up ourside the city and started to press against our lines.




    I had managed to move some of my archers to the left, to fire into the flank of the attacking cohorts. But their armoured soldiers were pretty unimpressed by this and pushed hard against our front.


    With horror I watched as the spear levies on my left were loosing against the Roman cavalry.



    On the right wing, Edwards spearmen were doing a much better job.





    Edwards men were holding well. But the Romans put real pressure on the left, where my spears were defending the catapults. And they were gaining the upper hand.



    Suddenly, me and my bodyguards were feeling pretty lonely.



    This was not looking good. Why are my swordmen taking so long to reinfoce us???



    It ended as it had to - my trusty steed, Pommers, would ride back to the camp without me.



    But finally my noble swordmen arrived to plug the gap, pull me back to safety and restore the morale of my men.






    While all this happened, Edward had sent a unit of cavalry out to bypass the Roman army and sneak into the unprotected city.



    They made their way to the city center, throwing torches into the wooden buildings as they went.






    And now it was the Roman front that was beginning to waver. The axemen flanking on the left wing brought them under pressure. But most of the cohorts still held their own.



    Suddenly, however, the bells began to ring from the church. And when we all looked up, we saw the banner of the Franks flying over the townsquare.



    This finally broke the defender's morale and brought us the victory.





    Many men had done brave deeds today. But special praise goes Edgars spear unit in this picture.


    We found them after the battle standing firmly in the position they were commanded to hold right from the start. The spearmen had not moved back by an inch. And the women had stood in the line as firmly as the men. This could be the day where the legend of the shield maiden was born.
    Last edited by Nigel; 09-19-2018 at 18:43.

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    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    And so, in the Summer of 396, Durocortorum was ours.



    Now the fortified town of Agrippina Treverorum was the only city in the province of Belgica, that remained under Roman control. But as we were making plans to secure and expand our lands, travellers brought us some news from the Romans.

    The governor of the province, Flavus Agrippa, had been removed from office for letting the situation get out of hand. Rome had appointed a new governor and was sending a legion to strengthen his position and regain control. This legion would take a while to arrive. But in the meantime, Flavus Agrippa and his family had been put under arrest.

    They were now held captive in a camp outside of Treverorum and would soon be deported to Rome, where most likely the arena would be their fate. Our warchief was not feeling good about this. Flavus had been the one to allow us to cross the Rhine and set up camp in his province in the first place. He had understood our hardships and wanted to help, but it had been the greed and arrogance of his local commander, which had turned it all into a mess.


    Our warchief, Lord Clovis, summoned us to his room. "I want you to take some riders as well as some archers and skirmishers, break into that camp and free Flavus. He will not leave his family behind, so make sure you also take his wife and his daughter with you. You dont have to defeat the garrison, they are probably too strong. Just get a unit of horsemen close to the tent where they are held, wait a few seconds to let them mount up and get out again."

    "Oh, and if you have to set fire to the camp to secure your escape - then so be it."
    Last edited by Nigel; 09-19-2018 at 21:08.

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  17. #17
    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    When we saw the camp before us, we knew this was going to be tough.



    The Romans had enough men to guard every gate with a cohort of spearmen and back them up with archers where needed. They also had one units of catapults, giving them the ranged advantage. We knew the prisoners would be held in one of the big tents in the centre.

    We hid our horsemen in the forests around the camp, ready to rush through whichever gate would present an opening. Then we advanced our archers. But the spearmen at the gate were unimpressed by our taunts - their shields offered them enough protection to bear our rain of arrows.



    So we started targeting their palisades with burning arrows. It was autumn, and the wood was hard and moist. But eventually one of the towers started to burn and then fire spread. This finally brought them out of their defence.

    They moved out to attack my archers. This left the gates sufficiently open to rush our horsemen in.






    But there were still so many of them in the camp. One by one our goups of horsemen reached the centre, searched the tents and were brought down by the guards.



    Finally it was Edward himself, who found them. Governor Flavius jumped on a riderless horse and pulled his wife into the saddle behind him. His daughter nimbly slipped into the saddle behind Edward, who - seeing that all were mounted up - gave the command to flee. His small group made for the gate in full galopp.



    But the Romans were close on his heels. At the gate he actually had to drop the flag in a last ditch effort to get away. He heared the Roman victory cries behind him, but with 14 of his bodyguard he had made it through the gate and brought his charge to safety.






    The next day we assembled with the other Frankish nobles in front of Lord Clovis' tent (I had managed to sneak out of the burning camp somehow, after my whole army was defeated). Our warchief had a long chat with governor Flavius. Now he came out of the tent to talk to us.

    The nobles were not happy - least of all Erdward and myself. "That was such a costly adventure. So many men lost. And for what? To capture one Roman enemy. One man, whom the Romans did not even want to have themselves. Was that worth it?"

    Our warchief replied calmly: "A powerful enemy, who changes side, can be very valuable".
    There were nods among the nobles. No one could denie that this was true. Governor Flavius is a respected man in Treverorum. Many citizens and parts of the garrison are still loyal to him. With him on our side we should quickly restore public order, after we capture the city. Even the attack itself could be easier and less costly if some of the defenders can be persuaded to change sides, or at least stay out of the fighting.

    Our new guest also had knowledge about the Roman troop movements.



    Rome is sending a large army to defend her provinces in Gaul. But winter is coming and they have to camp near Verona, before they can cross the alps next spring. Meanwhile the Roman fleet in the British Channnel is bringing food supplies from Britannia to Rotomagus. Britannia has rich and fertile land, while the fields in the North of Gaul and Germania are meagre. And the big army will need food supplies, so Rotomagus is stocking up before they arrive.

    We know the day when the supply fleet is expected to reach Rotomagus. Ships can be brought from Flevum to be manned by our soldiers. Soon it was agreed that our next adventure should be a sea battle.
    Last edited by Nigel; 10-18-2018 at 20:45.

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  18. #18
    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    After a long time afk I am now back on land to report on our sea battle adventures.

    We set sail in ships and boats, which our Frankish lord had purchased or borrowed from our Germanic friends, the Alans and the Allemans (translation: I had messed up at the set-up screen and forgot to change our faction to Franks). I had a fleet of melee ships and bow ships and brought 2 ramming boats as well, just to try them out. Edward had a similar set up.



    We had spread out in a broad formation, while the Roman fleet was keeping close together.



    They had 4 catapult ships, and those proved to be really deadly. One of Edward's ships was set ablaze before we came even close to engage.



    We had chosen our wide formation on purpose.
    Edward attacked them head on, while my archers and ramming boats sailed past them to turn into their flank.





    That part of the strategy worked pretty well. Although Edward's ships were struggeling in the boarding actions, my first ramming ship could drive her atttack home. The enemy ship sank within seconds.





    The part that did not work so well was, that we had underestimated the power of the catapults.
    When I looked up after my ramming maneuver, several of Edward's ships were burning and while I was still triumphing over the sinking enemy, I heard the message that his flagship was going down.



    My second ramming boat suffered no better fate. She was set ablaze before she even reached the battle and went down before she had the chance to do anyting at all.




    Finally my melee ships closed in and now the gruelling hand to hadn fighting started.
    The high boarded Roman ships proved superior in boarding actions.



    But as they where tied up in engagement they fell pray to our ramming ships and this kept the battle on even footing. At least somewhat - I was shocked when I suddenly heard Edward say: "I am out, this was my last ship".

    It was then that I decided to turn my last remaining ramming boat to systematically take out the catapult ships. This finally turned the battle. The Roman flagship put up an amazing fight, holding out against 3 of my melee boats for a long time. But finally they too struck their colours and surrendered. We had won a pyrric victory at sea.

    Last edited by Nigel; 10-18-2018 at 21:10.

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    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    Pyrric victory or not, we had won. And we had captured the Roman food supplies along with several of their ships as prizes to build up our fleet. Most importantly we had found several barrels of "Greek Fire" the special oil they use to make those deadly catapults. From this day on, we would be able to equipp our own ships with these weapons, and I am sure that Edward will not build a fleet without having several of them on board.

    The remnants of the Roman fleet was fleeing back to the British coast. Encouraged by our victory, we decided to follow them and chase them down. They still had a chest of silver coins for the soldiers pay with them. If we could capture that on top of the food supplies, we would be coming home as heroes.

    When we caught up with them, we saw that several of their ships had already landed and disembarked. The silver chest was on land, together with 6 units. They only had 3 ships still off the shore. We had 15 ships - this would be an easy victory.
    Their catapults, of course, started firing at us immediately.



    But this time, we fired back.




    Even as we started the sea battle, Edward had sent 2 melee ships to land on the shore to scout the coast.



    Their fleet did not stand a chance and we only needed a few of our ships to sink them and kept our main force in reserve. While the sea battle was going on, Edward's swordmen at the shore discovered their land units.



    Quickly we prepared for landing. Our "fighting fleet" landed close to the enemy to support the two sword units on land, while our "reserve" landed further away to get on the shore as quickly as possible. That was perhaps not the best strategy.



    The Romans only had 1 single cavalry unit. But they took out Edward's sword units and the landing attack force one by one.



    Soon we realized that the battle would hinge on the reserve force.
    And the Romans now positioned to greet them, facing 6 of our units with 5 of theirs.



    Their cavalry attacked again. Head on agianst Edward and his body guard.



    But this time, they were met with a flurry of fying francisca axes. And soon they were routing from the field.



    But their elite spearmen, the Cornuti Seniores, prooved a hard challange.



    Although they were fighting a loosing battle against 3 of my sword units, they held ...
    ... and held
    ... and held.

    Until the Roman Palatina Guard came to their aid.



    This turned the fight agianst us. One of my sword units fell back, the other two struggled on but not with much hope. Eventually Edward and his remaining body guards rushed in to support them.



    This was brave and heroic. But in the violent clash, he was knocked unconscious and his last remaining body guards carried him back to the safety of our ships.



    In the end, my men managed to kill the Roman general and routed his guards, but at what a high cost.
    We now only had 5 exhausted units standing against their 4 relatively fresh ones.



    And our archers had spent all their arrows, while the 2 Roman crossbow units still had most of their ammunition left. They were not stupid and instead of risking another melee engagement, they just started shooting us to pieces.

    To cut a long story short, the battle was lost. We ran back to the ships to bring whoever was still alife to safety. Instead of sailing home as heroes, we were coming home with the shame of defeat.

    Now I was standing at the stern of my flagship. Edward leaned next to me with a bandaged head and drowned the pain with an amphora of wine. For about one hour we stared gloomily out over the grey water. As I was just thinking what pathetic landludders we were, Edward turned to me and said: "You know, Nigel. I think we should re-build the fleet and do another naval assault. This one was painful, but I have the feeling we are just learning how to handle the ships. We do not have the silver to bring home from this trip, but we have gained a lot of experience to show for us".

    I looked at him, wondering if it was the wine or the blow on the head that had gotten to him. But as my eyes turned back to the horizon, I found that the back of my mind was already going through the the coastal cities on our map, pondering which one could be a worthwhile target.
    Last edited by Nigel; 10-30-2018 at 21:47.

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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    It was winter now and a channel crossing to Britannia would be very dangerous. So we decided to sail along the coast and attack Rotomagus.




    To avoid another disasterous landing, we split up and Edward landed some miles away from the city and made his approach on land, while my men remained in the ships to attack the harbour from the sea.

    Edward had a mix of swordmen and spearmen and a few archers. He also had 2 catapult ships which had kept sailing with me. I had mostly axemen and two archer units on my ships (and 1 ramming boat, just in case). Edward's men had build 3 siege towers to scale the walls.



    We formed our battle plan. The catapult ships would fire first and try to take out as many defences as possble. Then Edward's land units would advance and as soon as they reached the walls, my fleet would land in the port. The ships would attack in two waves; in case the first attempt failed, I would still have some forces left.

    And so it began.



    The catapults were not too accurate when it came to target land structures from a ship. Only now and then they would get a hit in.



    But yes, in this picture it is not only the tree that is burning :razz:


    When the catapults had expended their ammo, Edward moved his siege towers in. They were taking heavy hits from the defender's catapults.



    But eventually, the first tower made it to the wall.




    This was the sign for my fleet to move into the enemy's port. Edwards catapult ships joined the attack to support me.





    I had seen that they had cavalry units waiting for us. So I sent the archers first, without landing them, to shoot at the horsemen from the boat in the hope to drive them away from the coast. But they were not too impressed and took only few losses.

    So I sounded the signal to land the ships.



    This time, it worked perfectly. We managed to land 4 ships almost simultaneously. Edward's catapult men attacked the waiting horsemen with courage. The knew they had no chance to win, but would give my melee units time to get ashore and deal with the spearmen.



    But it was tough going. The spear cohorts, although loosing, were not overthrown quickly. And the Roman cav pressed in on my flank after they had dispatched Edward's crew.



    When the archers came ashore, they were in the perfect position to fire into the enemy cavalry. But alas, they had spent all their arrows shooting from the ship and were not much use now. It was then that I decided to put it all on one card and move the second wave in.

    While all this happened, Edward's men were fighting on the wall.



    The swordmen on the first tower were beaten back by the defenders. But when his second tower docked, his fighters hit down on the Roman crossbow men. The gate was only 60% damaged, so there was no easy way in. He had to go over the wall with all his men.

    But eventually he was able to bring his third tower to the wall and started to gain the upper hand.




    Back at the harbour, my reserve fleet had finally arrived. And not too soon. The Roman cav was putting a lot of pressure on me and getting me into a dire situation.




    My brave Franks landed their dragon boat right behind them.



    Melee infantry is usually not a great help against elite cavalry.
    But these guys were Franks; they had their francisca axes.



    And the Roman horsemen made easy targets. They suffered huge losses in a few seconds. When my men joined the melee fighting, they were able to stabilize the situation.


    At this point Edward's troops had captured the gatehouse. Knowing that I needed help, Edward rushed in, leading the only cavarly unit we had.



    They spurred their horses and raced across from the gate to the harbour.




    Seldom was a general as glad to meet his colleague on the battle field as I was at this moment.




    After this, the battle was decided. We were in control of a wall section and the harbour. The Romans made one more attepmt to re-take the wall, but we had already regrouped our men inside the city and moved towards the centre. And before the remaining Roman troops could do much, the city surrendered.


    Last edited by Nigel; 11-01-2018 at 22:49.

  21. #21
    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    Rotomagus was ours now.
    As we took over and started to gather information, we learned that a Roman fleet was on its way here. They were bringing supplies of food and weapons, to replace the fleet which we had captured in the autumn season. At this point they must be unaware of the fact that we now held the city.

    It was a splendid opportunity. We could either re-stock our fleet and sail out to meet them in a sea battle (lots of good naval equippment had fallen into our hands) or we could stay in the city and surprise them when they came. Edward and I discussed the options and decided to fortify the city and wait for them here.

    Rotomagus had taken quite some damage when we captured it (escalation level 2). The towers were gone and although we had not breached a wall during our attack, one section had collapsed after the fighting, weakened by a stray catapult shot.

    But the inner defence ring was still in good condition. So we set up our defence there.




    I was accompanied by my tier 2 retainers, the noble swordsmen. Other than that, our army was made up of tier 1 units.
    I had placed emphasis on melee units, Edward had mainly archers and cavalry.


    Edward positioned his archers at the harbour to set the ships alight with flaming arrows as they approached. It was a spooky sight to watch the fleet emerge from the fog.

    Not more than a faint shadow at first...


    ... then a distant danger ...


    ... then a tangible threat.


    Edward's archers let loose.


    But the ships came in too fast. Before the burning arrows could do any significant damage, they had reached the shore.


    And the archers did the only sensible thing. They ran back to the keep.



    Now we charged our cavalry in to attack the Romans as they came to the shore. But the Romans had executed their landing maneuver with perfect precision, landing 6 or more ships simultaneously. Our 6 mounted warbands managed to rout only 2 of their sword units before they themselved were beaten. Only 2 of Edwards cav made it back to the keep.

    The Romans were taking control of the harbour. And half their army had not even come ashore yet.



    But the inner city's defence was strong. A barricade and two lines of spearmen in shield wall persuaded them that a direct assault of the harbout gate would not be a good idea.



    They decided to go for one of the side gates, where I only had 1 unit of spear levies.

    Fortunately, Edward had managed to bring all his archers to the safety of the keep. They were showering the Romans with arrows as they made their way to that gate.



    Still, the Romans bore down with 6 units on the spearmen. My warband and noble swordsmen rushed in and attaked their flanks.

    Their general managed to break through with his elite units.


    So I signalled my own guards and we rode in to plug the gap.


    And yes, we managed to push them back and kill their general.


    Things were truning in our favour now.


    Unfortunately, one of Edward's remaining cavs had gone too faar out from the keep in their pursuit of the Romans. They hit upon their second attack wave and were beaten badly.


    Again the Romans attacked the side gate. And again they managed to break through.


    But again we managed to beat them back once more.


    Edward's archers had by now spent all their arrows. Bravely they pulled out their knives and threw themselves into the melee fighting at the gate.


    Edward himself was not lazy either. He now rode out through the harbour gate and charged the Roman archers, wo at that time also had not much ammunition left.



    Then the second Roman general fell at the side gate and the battle was over.


    (There are now 2 Roman general helmets, which are decorating the door posts of that gate)

    It was a great victory. We had captured Rotomagus and held it against a superior Roman fleet, which had sailed right into our trap. A huge amount of supplies was now ours: food, weapons, building materials and medicines - yes, just the kind of medicines we needed to heal our pride after the failed landing attempt in Britannia. We could ride back to our liege with our heads held high.
    Last edited by Nigel; 11-01-2018 at 23:23.

  22. #22
    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    Just as we were making ready to return to Colonia, a rider came in with a message from Lord Clovis. He had already heard of our victories and was very pleased. But he wanted us to press our advantage home and teach those Romans a lesson. We were to ride south to Turonum (Tours) and raid that village.



    The governor of Turonum had supported the Roman fleet with soldiers and weapons. As a result, the garrison was weak now and should not be able to put up too much resistance. To set an example, we were to put the village to the torch and burn it to the ground. The Romans would learn to take us seriously.

    For this mission Edward chose an army mainly of catapults and archers. I left the catapults to him and took spear- and axemen to protect his war machines. But my army, too, had more archers than usual to help setting the buildings on fire.

    When we reached Turonum, a thick snow started to fall. This would not help our mission, but we felt in a position of strenght and Edwards catapults opened fire (literally). Soon the first buildings started to burn.



    This looked like easy game, but we were somewhat surprised when we saw the Romans abandon the settlement and march out in full force. Obviously the garrison had no intention to sit inside the village and get roasted alife.

    The fighting was fierce and my spearmen took the main charge of the advancing legionaries. Without melee units, there was not much that Edward could do to help. But his archers were shooting at them from the flank and that gave some advantage. In the end we managed to beat them back to the village.


    With the garrison defeated, we continued to set buildings on fire.



    But the falling snow prevented the fire to spread. Soon we realized we would not be able to achieve much with the catapults and flaming arrows alone. We had to go in.

    The Romans put up some resistance in the streets. But their forces were too weak now.
    When we reached the town centre and set the church on fire, the village surrendered.



    Turonum was now at our mercy. Half of the village was burned down, but half of the buildings were still standing. And the citizens had laid down their weapons.

    What were we to do now?
    It is one thing to burn a village and kill an enemy in the heat of battle. But murdering an opponent in cold blood, when he is on the ground, was not the way of the Franks.

    We took the able bodied men prisoner and left the women, children, elderly and wounded in the houses, with enough food to make it through the remaining weeks of the winter. Then we set off to Colonia where Lord Clovis was now residing. Surely he would be pleased with our victories and the prisoners we were bringing. But had we actually achieved the aim of this last mission? The only way to find out would be to go and speak to him.
    Last edited by Nigel; 11-04-2018 at 23:17.

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    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    The march from Turonum to Colonia Agrippina was slow with the prisoners in tow. When we reached the city, the snow had melted and spring was starting. Lord Clovis was in a splendid mood when we presented ourselves to him.

    After hearing our report he said: "You have done very well to conquer Rotomagus and to capture the Roman ships and all those supplies. I will decide about Turonum later. This evening you shall be guests at my dinner table."

    So we dined with our liege, together with various other Frankish noblemen. The former Roman governor Flavius, whom we had rescued from ending his life in the Circus Maximus, was also now a regular guest at his table. The elder statesmen and our young warchief seemed to be getting on well and were spending a lot of time discussing the things that leaders talk about; how to conduct a war, how to organize a city, what makes a just ruler etc. The governor's daughter was also joining the dinner - at the lower end of the table, togher with her mother and the other women. Lord Clovis ignored her, as was befitting his high status and position.
    Well, for a brief moment I thought, perhaps not quite as much as was befitting his high status and position. But surely I was mistaken and it was none of my business, anyway. Edward and I were so happy to sit among the higher Frankish noblemen, talk of our adventures and feel respected and wellcome.

    The next day we were given a more formal audience.
    "Edward and Nigel, you have proven yourselves to be worthy leaders of our armies. As a reward you shall be given the right to recruit and maintain two more units of retainers. Together with the one retainer unit you already have, this will increase the total size of your personal retinue to 3 units.



    You can choose them from the ranks of our seasoned and well trained (tier 2) warriors. Choose wisely, as these men will accompany you in many battles in the years to come."

    After this he motioned us to turn our attention to the map.



    "We have taken many cities along the coast. But as a result our territory is now very stretched out. I would quite like to keep Turonum. But it may be difficult to hold. Also, now that it is spring again, the big army coming from Rome has crossed the alps and reached Octodurum. We should take this into consideration. What are your suggestions?"

  24. #24
    Travelling Knight Content Manager Nigel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiplayer Battle Campaign

    After a short discussion, Edward and I suggested to try to hold Turonum. There was a forest nearby, where the Romans were gathering wood for building materials. Driving them away and taking over the material would allow us to rebuild the half-burned village and fortify it.

    "Very well", Lord Clovis said. "It is a risky endevor, but you may try".

    We chose our new retainers carefully. I picked a unit of axe heerbann and Frankish lancers. Edward added a unit of noble swordmen and Germanic spearmen to his Germanic archers.



    The remainder of our 5k armies was made up with varous tier 1 units.

    The Romans were protecting the forest with two 6k armies. But they were all lower units, basically armed locals. They outnumbered us by 1000 men. But we felt confident that our better troops would bring us the victory.

    Well, to cut a long story short, our proud new warriors would learn a tough lesson.
    It looked good in the beginning and we routed the first units that we met. But then their spearmen, slingers, skirmishers and young swordmen were just too many (and my lancer cavalry was not very useful in the forest). I even ordered my body guards to dismount and we joined the hand to hand fighting on foot. But I was the first general to go down.

    Edward fought on bravely, but in the end all he could do was an organized retreat.



    We had to return with a failed mission. There is strength in numbers. And while elite units can give an advantage, they aren't super-heroes. We learned that the hard way.

    Now spring was drawing to a close and we were discussing our options.

    Should we try to defend the unfortified village?
    Or should we give up Turonum and focus our strength on taking Augusta Treverorum instead?
    Last edited by Nigel; 11-12-2018 at 23:26.

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