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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.

  3. #3
    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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  6. #6
    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.

  7. #7
    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.

  9. #9
    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.

  10. #10
    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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  11. #11
    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.

  12. #12
    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.

  16. #16
    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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