The tale of the Third Bretonnian Crusade is one of valour, determination, and faith. For long the Dark Lands had laid in great unrest in the land, and the primitive races had terrorized the realm and spread chaos and destruction. In the face of this threat, the rulers of Bretonnia called upon their bravest and most devout knights to embark on a holy quest to bring the light of civilization and religion to the savage lands.
Thus, the Third Bretonnian crusade was born. Led by a council of holy priests, the crusaders set out from their homeland, crossing the treacherous Worlds Edge Mountains and entering the dark and unknown realm beyond. The journey was made even more difficult by the unforgiving weather, as the crusaders braved fierce storms and bitter cold as they made their way through the mountains. But they were a determined and resilient group, driven by their faith and their sense of purpose.
Among the crusaders was Duke Leon de Fauxelle, a sub-commander known for his wisdom and strategic mind. He had his own motives for joining the crusade, seeing it as an opportunity to gain power and prestige in the eyes of his peers. He hoped to emerge from the mission as a hero, with the glory and honour of the crusade to bolster his reputation and give him an edge over the other dukes.
The crusaders were a diverse group, comprising of peasants, soldiers, and knights, all united in their faith and their desire to bring salvation to the heathen races. Despite the many challenges they faced, they pressed on, determined to reach their destination and bring enlightenment to the wild and chaotic lands beyond.
At last, after months of wandering and hardship, the crusaders reached the heart of The Dark Lands. It was here that they encountered the most savage and barbaric of the heathen races – the trolls, ogres, and other monstrous beings that dwelled in the shadows. The holy men of the crusade sought to spread the word of the divine and convert these creatures to the true faith, but their efforts were met with resistance and hostility.
Despite these setbacks, the crusaders persisted in their mission, determined to bring enlightenment and order to the wild and chaotic lands. Duke Leon de Fauxelle, always the strategic thinker, saw the challenges ahead and knew that it was time to make a difficult decision. He realized that the best course of action would be to retreat and regroup, rather than continue on a doomed mission. And so, he led his followers back through the Worlds Edge Mountains, hoping to emerge victorious and bring about a new age of peace and prosperity.
However, his true motives lay not in the success of the crusade, but in the opportunity, it presented to return to Bretonnia and conquer the lands of his rivals. With many dukes who participated in the crusade now deceased, Leon saw a chance to seize power and establish himself as the dominant force in the realm. He brought with him a mix of peasants and soldiers, while the knights and holy men continued their descent over the cliff edge, blinded by their own zeal and faith.
What Leon did not know was that a large group of Ogres had trailed his entourage and lived off the peasants and soldiers scattered along the way, who had given up on the journey. As he turned back, he must suddenly confronted the Ogres head-on. Would he be able to use his cunning and strategic mind to outmaneuver the beasts and emerge victorious, or would he succumb to their might and meet a bitter end? The following battle would tell.
We played a completely standard pitched battle. But instead of recording victory points we followed the acteurs on the battle field and played to their roles. The terrain reflected the rocky outcrops that are strewn across the foot hills of the World’s Edge Mountains leading to the Dark Lands.
The deployment was done in secret by writing the position of each unit on a map.
The Bretonnian crusade had reached its breaking point. Facing overwhelming odds and with their ranks decimated by the brutal ogres, the crusaders knew that their time was running out. Duke Leon de Fauxelle, ever the strategic thinker, knew that he had to act fast if he was to save his men and keep his dreams of victory alive.
The deployment of the ogres was a formidable sight, with their refused flank and block in the corner creating a formidable wall of flesh and steel. The Bretonnians knew that they would have to spread their forces across the field in order to stand a chance against these brutal beasts.
As the battle began, the Bretonnians took the first turn, with everything marching forward. The organ gun fired two cannonballs at the giant, but misfired, causing the crew to curse their luck. The ogres, on the other hand, simply stormed forward with all their might, their bellows and roars echoing across the battlefield.
In the second turn, the Bretonnian cavalry, led by Leon de Fauxelle, began to ride across the field, hoping to hit the main ogre regiment in the back. Meanwhile, the wizard Fistan used his magical abilities to pull a group of peasants in front of the ogres, hoping to stall their advance.
The ogres, seeing this as a challenge, charged the peasants with the giant in tow. The giant crushed most of the peasants with a single swing of his club, while the ogres devoured the rest. They then overran into the remaining Men-At-Arms, hoping to crush them as well.
The third turn saw the Bretonnian archers flee in terror as the giant approached, while the organ gun crew stood their ground and fired a point-blank shot at the beast. Despite their efforts, the cannonball missed its mark, only killing an ogre standing behind the giant.
Meanwhile, the regiment of Men-At-Arms with Fistan charged into the melee, hoping to turn the tide of battle in their favor.
The combat was fierce and bloody, with the Bretonnians fighting tooth and nail against the ogres.
Despite their bravery, the Bretonnians were no match for the ogres’ strength and ferocity. The giant jumped on a group of six peasants, crushing them underfoot, while the ogre leader, wearing a crown of command, proved to be a formidable foe. Despite their best efforts, the Bretonnians were unable to wound the beast, and their hero Loup de Garou was killed by a particularly vicious ogre.
With the odds stacked against them, the Bretonnians knew that their only hope was to retreat. Duke Leon de Fauxelle led his cavalry off the field, unscathed and ready to fight another day, while the remaining regiments fled, hoping to outrun the ogres and escape their grasp. But it was not to be, as the ogres ran them down and captured them, bringing an end to the Bretonnian crusade and leaving Duke Leon to ponder his next move.
As the dust settled and the bodies of the fallen were counted, it was clear that the Bretonnians had suffered a crushing defeat. The ogres had emerged victorious, their strength and ferocity unmatched on the battlefield. But Duke Leon de Fauxelle was not one to give up easily. He knew that he had a long and difficult road ahead of him, but he was determined to reclaim his honor and restore the glory of the Bretonnian crusade. And so, he gathered his remaining forces and set out once more, hoping to redeem himself and bring about a new age of peace and prosperity for his people.
Phew… that was a tough start to my “new” army. Actually the Bretonnian army is a Norman army I build around 2014. I never got around to paint the Saxons and the Vikings, so might as well use it here now.
Anyway – playing a lot of humans and having no knights, I knew it would be an uphill struggle. Also, I had expected the Ogres to bring their Crown of Command + Banner of Unyielding combo but I didn’t bring a “cancel item” although there are a few possible ones. My army was almost a Warhammer Historical army in a sense.
Magic played almost no part in this battle, as there were a lot of dispel in the deck. Yet, we both had Bridge of Shadows and even though we don’t use it strictly as intended (we don’t use it on enemy troops… just too much) that and Dance of Despair could have changed the battle many times.
In the end this spawned a discussion and we agreed that we both wanted a low fantasy vibe to our games in this story. I got inspired by the 3rd edition magic too, which seems somewhat less powerful (well, at least the stuff I have seen).
So for the next game we will take an extreme approach and limit the armies to using the magic items available in their own lists only. For magic we will make a deck of the college level 1 spells, and let all Wizards draw at random from that… We will see how it goes.