An Epic

The Battle of King's Field

This is an example of the Farland Mass Combat system.

The Situation

7th of Nelt, 8170 F.R. (9 P.L.)

Dragonspur City has suffered. It was long oppressed by the Lord of Lust and his ill-conceived policies, but it was freed 9 years ago. Unfortunately, this freedom, far from relieving the misery of the populace, has brought strife. In 8165, the city barely defeated the armies of The Winged One, the son of the Lord of Lust, in the Battle of the Dragonspur. Now, in the year 8170, a new threat looms over the city: the Lord of Envy, ruler of Orland, is attempting to retake the Dragonspur on behalf of his Captain, the Lord of Anger (perhaps Envy also has selfish motives.) To this end, he has sent one of his best generals, Angus Neebrok, to attack the forces of the city. Neebrok fights under the banner of the Lord of Envy, which is Vert, the chief engrailed sable, a decrescent argent.

Neebrok attacks in two waves. He sends Captain Richard Darellor to feel out the forces of the city. However, Darellor and his small army are defeated in the Battle of Spurditch, fought in the fields to the north of the city. This defeat is only possible after the two factions of the Spurite army, the Standing Battalion and the Spur Elites, are reunited (the locations of the former camps of these two factions are represented by the numbers 1 and 2 on the above map, respectively).

It seems, though, that Neebrok has held most of his forces in reserve. Learning of Darellor's defeat, Neebrok approaches the city from the South East with a force of 2500 Orcish infantry (who also double as archers) and 500 Orlandish Cavalry. He encamps on King's Hill approximately two miles away from The Borough, where the Spurite army has dug in. They are fighting under the ancient arms of Kelerak, which is Or, the claw of a forest dragon proper upon a throne vert. After all the recent fighting, the Spurite forces consist of a meager 1250 men (300 cavalry, 300 archers, and the rest infantry). The Spurites are counting on reinforcements from Green City consisting of 1000 infantry and 500 cavalry. The whereabouts of these reinforcements are unknown. Moreover, the General has a secret weapon: five shadow mastiffs, whose howls and attacks trouble the Spurite forces and shake their already damaged morale.

The battle is recorded to have proceeded as follows (italics represents meta-game information):

Phase One

The Orcish forces begin the fight, under cover of night, by attempting to attack with a force of 500 Orcish commandos. These elite troops attempt to cross the field unobserved and enter the camp of the sleeping Spurites; the Spurites are warned and are able to send out infantry and archers to meet this attack. The orcs, not expecting heavy resistance, flee after a token skirmish. There is little loss of life to either side, although the orcs suffer more casualties. The Spurite forces kill the wounded orcs; after all, they feel that that is the fate they can expect if they are wounded or captured.

500 Orcish Commandos
Battle Modifier:+5 (BAB +1 to +3, leader's CHR 17-18, special unit, leader has Charismatic Leadership feat. The General attempted an ambush here to gain a bonus to his combat roll but failed in the opposed Knowledge (War) skill check and thus received no further bonus.)

650 Spurite Infantry, 300 archers
Battle Modifier:+5 (BAB +1 to +3, leader's CHR 14-16, bad lighting, archers versus no archers, special tactics)

Modified D20 Rolls
Spurites: 13

Orcs lose 15% (75 orcs) and retreat to their fortifications.
Spurite casualty roll:12
Spurites take 20% of the percentage of Orcish casualties (or 3%, which is 29 men) and hold the field.

Click here for a key to all of the tactical maps of the Battle of King's Field.

Phase Two

8th of Nelt, 8170 F.R. (9 P.L.)

The next day, General Neebrok chooses to attack, even though his orcs hate the sunlight. It is not, however, a very bright day. Moreover, it is tactically more important to keep the Spurites from resting and to strike before any possible reinforcements arrive. Thus, he orders a charge of infantry and cavalry. The Orcish infantry stop in mid-charge to loose flights of arrows, but their bow range is inferior to that of the Spurite archers, so they charge the Spurite infantry, hoping to get in amongst them to avoid the deadly longbow arrows of the enemy. Simultaneously, armored enemy Orlandish Cavalry charge the length of the field and meet the Dragonspur cavalry in a thunderous clash of arms. The initial attack is with lances, but fighting between the cavalry soon turns to sword and mace.

The archers of Dragonspur split into two battalions, lending support to both the infantry and cavalry. The Spurite cavalry manage to rebuff the attack of the enemy horsemen, causing them to retreat back down the field with loss of life. The infantry, however, are not so lucky. They are overwhelmed by the Orcish charge and begin to suffer losses. Some orcs manage to break through the line of foot soldiers to engage the archers. The cavalry moves to assist but is once again faced with an enemy cavalry charge, which they again rebuff. They are then forced back, though, as they find that they have no infantry support. Worse, the shadow hounds seem to tear through the soldiers of Dragonspur, leaving havoc in their wake. All three units of the Spurites are forced back behind their fortifications, where the existing defenses allow them to rebuff the Orcish attack with difficulty. The Orcs hold the field but withdraw to the Eastern side, although they do not return to their fortifications. They discover, however, that during the combat some heroes of Dragonspur managed to slay the shadow mastiffs.

Cavalry Skirmish

500 Orlandish Cavalrymen
Battlemodifier: +8 (50' move, AC 16, +1 to +3 BAB, leader's CHR 17-18, +1 cavalry, +1 CHR ldrshp feat)

300 Spurite Cavalrymen, 150 Archers
Battlemodifier: +7 (50' move, +1 to +3 BAB, leader's CHR 14-16, +1 cavalry, +1 archers, +1 Tactics [archers free to fire on cavalry unmolested])

Modified d20 rolls
Orlandish Cavalry:10
Spurite Cavalry:17 (lucky roll!)

25% of the Orlandish cavalry (150 men) are wounded or killed and they are forced to withdraw. The wounded are taken prisoner.
Spurite casualty roll:8 Spurites take 40% of the enemy's casualty percentage (total of 10% or 45 men, 30 cavalry and 15 archers) and temporarily hold the field.

Infantry Skirmish

2425 Orcish Infantry
Battlemodifier:+9 (+1 to +3 BAB, leader's CHR 17-18, CHR ldrshp feat, 3:1 ratio, shadow hounds, sunlight)

631 Spurite infantry, 140 archers
Battlemodifier: +5 (+1 to +3 BAB, leader's CHR 14-16, magic [spellcasters supporting] detached archer battalion)

Modified d20 rolls

30% of the Spurites are disabled and killed (231 men, 176 infantry and 55 archers) and they are forced behind their entrenchments.
Orcish casualty roll: 7
Orcs take 40% of loser's casualty percentage (12% or 291 orcs) and hold the field.

Phase Three

The Orcs are preparing to press their advantage when their spies inform them that a large group of reinforcements are less than a day's march to the north. General Neebrok decides to retreat behind his own fortifications to weather this new attack. He is confident that victory is still at hand.

The Spurites also learn of the approach of the Green City army. They send word to the army as to tactics, then, with renewed morale they advance on the enemy camp. The cavalry are forced to dismount, as they must cross a ditch and scale an earthen wall.

When they arrive, the Green City troops are ordered to split and attack the Orcish army from the North and North East, while the defenders attack from the West. As night falls, the battle begins. The battle hangs in the balance, with much losses on both sides, when suddenly there is word from a scout. The dwarves of the Glitterjewel clan have arrived and are advancing rapidly from the South! They fight under the ancient arms of the Dwarfhold Khallin, from whence their clan hailed in olden days. The arms are Azure, the chief embattled blanc, a hammer over an anvil, both proper. The dwarves had to go through the huge Dragonspur city and cross the great bridge of Keler, which is the only fording point of the Liferock river within 60 miles; thus they are arriving at the battle late. Yet the 300 dwarves are clad in frightening dragon masks and bear great war-axes and shields. In tight formation, the dwarves throw down the orcs' southern fortifications, their armor turning aside nearly all blows. The humans attack with renewed vigor. Caught between this pronged attack, the Orcish army is crushed. A scant 430 or so break through the lines and flee East. Rejoicing, the human and dwarves count their dead. There are many losses, but the city is safe-- for now. Unfortunately, General Neebrok has escaped.

2134 Orcish Infantry
Battlemodifier:+4 (+1 to +3 BAB, leader's CHR 17-18, Charismatic Leadership feat)

2210 Spurite and Green City infantry, 200 archers, 300 dwarves
Battlemodifier: +6 (+1 to +3 BAB, leader's CHR 14-17, detached archer battalion, night, tired, dwarves disciplined with masterwork equipment, high armor class, and special unit versus fortifications)

Modified d20 rolls
Orcs:7 (an unlucky roll!)
Spurites and allies:24 (another lucky roll!)

80 % of the Orcs are disabled and killed (1707 orcs) and they are routed.
Spurite casualty roll: 9
Spurites take 30% of loser's casualty percentage (24% or 599 men and 51 dwarves) and are victorious.