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"The Battle of Jee'ait Bay" Topic


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1,345 hits since 30 Apr 2009
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Inquisitor Thaken30 Apr 2009 2:02 p.m. PST

An emissary of the great and mighty Zethistani Empire arrived in the nomad camp of the people of the Tribe of Rethvar one cool summer day, and the hunters and warriors left off their hunting and warring to hear him. The nobleman was resplendent in his tiger skin robes, and came bearing many and great riches for the tribes… and grave tidings as well.

It seemed that the empire had discovered that a fleet of Xhari pirates was bound for the Imperial city of Jee'ait, there to slay and plunder. The empire had mustered what ships it could in the port, but they had few warriors to man them. Would the tribes consent to serve? If so -and here the ambassador's slaves threw open the chests of gleaming gold- all this and ten times more would go to the tribe.

It did not take the chieftain long to consider. Yes. They would send 500 warriors to serve the empire.

The young prince Grob of Rethvar, youngest of the chief's sons, along with his Giantkin bodyguard and the tribe's shaman's apprentice, and the renegade wizard Hurvin (whom many said had the blood of the djinni in his veins) would travel with him. It would be the prince's first command in battle.

It was of a cold morning five days later, along with the warriors of three other of the nomad tribes, that the men of Rethvar boarded the great imperial ships in Jee'ait harbor, and sailed to meet the larger pirate fleet.

But the imperials and their mercenaries had sorcerous help as well, and counted greatly on two monstrous sharks called up by the sorcerers of the Black Empire, that would attack the pirate vessels, and sow fear and confusion among their crews, as the fleet speared its way in.

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The terrible fins of the sharks sailed forward in advance of the fleet, as the pirates spread out on the horizon, hoping to use their superior numbers to engulf the imperials. But the Empire's admiral was a crafty fellow, who knew well the fury of his Northman mercenaries, and how they would fare against the Xhari. He kept a tight formation and lanced straight through. If the Xhari would waste their time surrounding him, let them do so. The mighty megalodons, summoned from the depths of the Hell Seas would harrass their flanks, while the berserkers of the northlands would put the outnumbered Xhari center to the sword.

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The battle soon became a confused melee, as most battles do, on land or sea, despite the best efforts of generals and admirals to control them. Fire drops were thrown at long range, to be followed by arrows, and then by ram and sword as the war galleys closed upon each other.

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Though the Empire fared well at first, their shark "allies" were taken out a bit too quickly by the poisoned arrows of the Xhari, and the battle became a close one, as, even though the pirates' center had collapsed, they flanks of the enemy closed their pincers all too quickly.


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It was here that the young prince Grob of Rethvar won reknown. His ship afire, his crew shot up around him, with none but he and his wizard remaining alive, he nonetheless managed to steer his ship straight into one of the enemy's largest war galleys for a devastating ram.

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He and Hurvin then jumped ship and swam like madmen, with a few arrows flying around them, though most of the Xhari pirates upon that vessel had long since dropped their bows in despair and now jumped into the ocean, or ran upon the decks like madmen, and screamed like the damned.

With that, the remainder of the pirate fleet sailed away, now more worried about their lives than gold and slaves.

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But, alas for our heroes, a day that should have been one of feasting and celebration became one of mourning instead. as at that moment, a strange dark cloud rose over the Empire, and blew a great storm toward the remaining vessels of the fleet, which were scattered, with their barbarian warriors aboard.

Grob and his companions awoke -they knew not how much later- on a strange rocky shore, and prepared, as best they could, to find their way back home.

***

This battle was the first adventure in a roleplaying game, and was played using the Swords and Wizardry (C) Mythmere Games mass combat rules, modified slightly for a naval fight.

The minis and terrain were very simple, and, I think, show how an inexpensive set up can still result in a nice looking battle. The galleys were pieces from the Conquest of the Empire game (c) Eagle Games painted simply and dipped. The "summoned megalodons" were simply toy sharks, already painted, that I picked up at a local dollar store. The "fire drops" (the local word for Greek fire) were, of course, simply red gaming stones.

Undead Sock Puppet30 Apr 2009 6:41 p.m. PST

I like that. Nice, simple minis, but elegantly painted.

I also like the story line. Sounds like it will be a fun campaign, and, if I was Grob, I'd be itching to get back at those turn-coat imperial wizards. Coincidence my Bleeped text

One Day Without Boo Boo01 May 2009 5:28 a.m. PST

Small battle and basic layout, but looks good. Me? I'm more of a blacken-the-board-with-minis style of guy, and would definitely have had some giant crabs and kraken or whatever out there too, but this looks nice.

Chgowiz01 May 2009 6:26 a.m. PST

Any chance you'd share your naval battle rules/adjustments to the mass combat rules in Swords & Wizardry?

Inquisitor Thaken01 May 2009 1:55 p.m. PST

They are very simple adjustments, but here they are.

__________________

Mass Combat Addition

Naval Combat
All standard mass combat rules apply for naval battles, with the following modifications:

Ships: These count as infantry units, being unable to change direction and move in the same turn. They fight as units too, with merchant ships carrying twenty warriors and warships carrying forty. Both ship types moving 12". Ships enter melee when in base contact, otherwise they can only shoot bows, catapults or other missile weapons or spells at each other. If desired, half of the victorious crew is dispatched as a prize crew to take the enemy vessel, which then joins its fleet.

Ram: If a ship is able to line itself up so that it can strike another ship with its prow in the side (at between 45 and 90 degrees to the center line, prow to stern, of the target ship), it can ram, assuming the ship is equipped with a ram. A rammed ship must make an immediate morale check (+1 bonus for warships being rammed, -1 penalty for any ship being rammed by a warship). If it breaks, it sinks next turn (after one turn of ordinary combat). If not, the ships are locked together until one crew overpowers the other. If two ships are locked in melee, a ship which fails an ordinary morale check surrenders, and is captured (as above).

Corvus: A warship will generally have a corvus. This is a spiked plank that can be slammed down into the enemy deck, allowing troops to board easily and preventing the enemy ship from escaping. Any ship that is equipped with a corvus can declare that this device has been used on the enemy. The two are then locked in melee, as per a successful ram (above).

Sea Monsters: These count as cavalry units, and can freely move and change direction in each turn. Sea monsters can swim surfaced or submerged (replace a submerged sea monster with an oval of black cardboard, showing its shadow and general location). A sea monster must declare its surfaced or submerged status at the beginning of its movement phase. It does not cost movement to surface or submerge. Submerged sea monsters can only attack or be attacked by other submerged sea monsters. Surfaced sea monsters can attack or be attacked by other surfaced sea monsters or ships. If a ship rams a sea monster, it causes 2d8 damage if a merchant ship, or 2d12 if a warship. Sea monsters do not ram, but attack only the ship's crew. Whether a spell cast from a ship can affect a submerged sea monster is dependent on the game master's interpretation of the spell.

Wind and Current: To keep things simple, assume that naval combat is by oared galleys, which, historically, always lowered their sails before battle. Thus, these factors don't need to intrude. Alternatively, if the wind or current is very strong, you could say that a ship gets a half movement penalty if it sails (at even a slight angle) against the wind or current, but no bonus from running before the wind or current.

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