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Thread: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

  1. #61

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    This is quality stuff, and it doesn't get the recognition it deserves, unfortunately. Keep this up, the mongols are disgustingly powerful by the looks of things.

  2. #62

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    Niels has run out of time to repay the loans he took and King Haflidhi orders the treasury to make good on the loans. However this makes necessary Niels banishment so undue favoritism is not shown. Prince Haldor will do what he can to help rehabilitate Niels as he was a loyal man until his money problems.

    Niels manages to convince Prince Haldor to allow him to lead a battle against a Mongol army which is in Novgorod territory.

    There is a late spring snowstorm when Niels meets the Mongol army east of Smolensk.

    Niels orders the Norwegian cavalry to advance to a ridge overlooking the Mongol position on a slightly lower ridge while the Norwegian infantry advances directly forward towards the Mongol lines.

    Mongol horse archers advance and let loose on the Norwegian cavalry which is in the process of forming for a charge- Prince Haldor over-rides Niels orders and sends the cavalry racing for the Mongol lines before the cavalry is fully formed.

    The opposing forces meet in a huge melee while snow swirls around making visibility difficult and lessening the power of the Mongol bows.

    The Mongol Turhagut cavalry enter the melee and the battle begins to swing into the Mongols favor...

    Prince Haldor retreats his bodyguard out of the melee and charges the Mongol artillery which has scored a few hits on the still advancing Norwegian infantry. A company of veteran Feudal Knights from the wars in Britain accompany Prince Haldor but press on through the artillery crews and circle for a charge on the Mongol cavalry force engaged in the melee- their charge kills the Mongol captain and shakes the morale of some of the Mongols who have now lost 2 battles in a row to Norway.

    Having scattered most of the artillery engineers Prince Haldor orders a charge back into the large melee occupying most of the Norwegian and Mongol cavalry- the target is the rear of the Turhagut company.

    Niels had been keeping pace with the advancing Norwegian infantry but when some Svenner cavalry and then Feudal Knights begin to break and flee the battle he advances to attempt to rally the remaining cavalry as any rout now would be a disaster. His advance combined with the death of the Mongol captain and the arrival of the Norwegian infantry leads several Mongol companies to break in the midst of a battle for the first time in Prince Haldor's experience.

    Most of the Svenner cavalry have been killed but they accomplished their most important objective- holding the Mongol cavalry until the Norwegian infantry arrived.

    A company of King's Hirdsmen are the first Norwegian infantry to engage the Mongols and the speed of the Mongol cavalry movements create mass confusion in the battle as elements of different infantry companies are scattered across the field.

    Suddenly without much lessening in intensity the snowstorm vanishes away to the south east and visibility returns to the battlefield though a bitingly cold wind continues to blow. The last remaining companies of Mongol cavalry are hunted down though with the snow now gone the Mongol bows take a heavy toll on the pursing infantry. Prince Haldor leads what remnants of Norwegian cavalry he has to land the final blows. Niels chases down fleeing Mongols in search of loot...

    The battle is won but the Norwegian light cavalry pay a high price- even the Feudal Knight companies will have to be rehabilitated after this battle- a battle in which nearly everything was in Norway's favor except for lack of archers but the Mongols still caused a high amount of casualties.

    Prince Haldor is eager to see the newly arrived English Longbowmen in action against the Mongols but such a battle is yet years away as distances in the steppes are vast and King Haflidhi's most recent missive indicates that shoring up the Norwegian supply situation and ensuring enemies nearer Novgorod are dealt with first are the current priorities.

    Norwegian infantry can deal with the Mongol cavalry if they can close to melee before taking huge losses from the Mongol bows but it is not an ideal situation as without perfect terrain or numerous cavalry it is difficult to get the Mongol to remain still.

    Niels offers the Mongols a chance to ransom their prisoners but they refuse- Niels orders the prisoners searched one final time for loot and then executed.

    Niels is more loyal to King Haflidhi and the Haakonsson line than any other general but his problems with money prevent his rehabilitation. King Haflidhi is sorely vexed as he had plans to promote Niels to War Councilor and assume a more important leadership position.

    Meanwhile spies in Novgorod report that Gunnar Haakonsson has begun speaking critically of the elder Haakonsson brothers who are King and Heir... he is dismissed from his post as governor and ordered to await further instructions. These orders are disguised as a hunting trip away from the city.

    King Haflidhi is disturbed to hear reports of a French diplomatic mission outside Aarhus that has approached the city 3 times in the past few seasons and turned away each time. He wonders if his French allies remain reliable... Luckily the Norwegian navy is dominant and should prevent most French landings but Aarhus itself may be vulnerable to attack. The garrison is ordered strengthened and new defenses built.

    The last of the veteran soldiers from the British campaign are arriving near Novgorod but there is a lack of reliable generals to lead them. Several princes have come of age recently but all seem to have loyalty issues. The lack of a clear line of succession might play a role as Prince Haldor has 3 grown sons while King Haflidhi has 4 sons too young to rule on their own. The issue of who the next Heir will be looms as both King Haflidhi and Prince Haldor are growing old and near the end of their ability to take the field and personally lead battles.

    The only generals that King Haflidhi feels are loyal enough to trust with leadership of large armies have been given War Councilor duties and are busy recruiting and organizing defenses around the realm. The issue of the next Heir most be addressed, and soon.

    The most pressing issue looming however is how to make use of having a Norwegian Pope. Already the new Pope has changed the balance of power in Europe with Venetian territories rapidly falling before Papal armies led personally by the Pope.

    The matter requires careful consideration. Correspondence with the Pope has indicated he is favorable to calling for a new Crusade but where can King Haflidhi aim the Crusade and when should he call it? With so many young princes just come of age- any Crusade tax might well prove devastating to their financial position but the list of targets the Pope has approved is quite limited. Only calling a Crusade to Baghdad might more directly benefit Norway as currently it fights the Mongols nearly alone and it appears some of Norway's allies and neighbors might be growing restive. King Haflidhi is not too old to consider leading a Crusade but Baghdad is quite far and devoting the necessary forces to the Crusade to ensure some hope of victory would tax Norway's forces fighting the Mongols in the north.

    A decision will have to be made soon...

    Last edited by Ichon; January 22, 2011 at 10:42 PM.

  3. #63

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vasterion View Post
    This is quality stuff, and it doesn't get the recognition it deserves, unfortunately. Keep this up, the mongols are disgustingly powerful by the looks of things.
    Thanks- well hopefully more recognition will come in time but I probably need to go through and edit a bit more to clean up spelling errors and weird sentences. Also I've completely lost track of the chapters. The problem is I usually do this late at night when I have time and my tiredness comes through in some strange descriptions. I'm actually a couple battles behind in the AAR from where I am in the game and I hope to catch up over this weekend.

    The Mongols are powerful but spread out. I'm much more worried about France and Hungary and thus why those are my allies. The Papal stats could prove to be a problem too but luckily Norwegian Cardinals are 8 strong and the next few Popes are likely to be Norwegian.

  4. #64
    Radzeer's Avatar Rogue Bodemloze
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    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    Great update and campaign overall - and you have an interesting backstory as well.

  5. #65

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    King Haflidhi has left Christoffer Hvass in charge of a small army laying siege to Polotsk while he heads north to take command of freshly landed reinforcements from Britain. The Lithuanians had hid an army somewhere during the battles with the Teutonic Order and attack Hvass- that army along with the garrison inside Polotsk are too much for Hvass and he wisely retreats.

    Unfortunately for Hvass he had been unable to gather plentiful supplies before rushing to join King Haflidhi earlier and the plentiful forage supposed to exist has not materialized.

    BGR Info-
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Some weird error here- under BGR supplies have different levels and amounts- Hvass had 25% supplies and there existed 6/8s foraging so he should have had enough even with a large army for 2-3 turns but his army began starving immediately and couldn't risk giving battle against overwhelming odds. Noticed this happens occasionally when generals change command during a siege.

    After Hvass retreated when the Lithuanians offered battle the Teutonic Order takes advantage and lays siege to Polotsk leaving the 2nd Lithuanian army outside the siege lines. Hvass is eager for glory and loot and leads his army to battle despite morale issues amongst his men.

    The battle opens with Hvass occupying a ridge and the Lithuanians on a ridge across a small valley. Hvass orders his Pecheneg horsemen to circle though the trees behind the Lithuanians.

    The Lithuanians move out from their position when the Pecheneg horse archers begin firing but the position of the Lithuanian Grand Duke is lost amidst the trees.

    The Grand Duke emerges from the treeline and scatters the militia crossbowmen who didn't quite have enough time to turn and run behind the line of spearmen.

    Hvass orders the the cavalry to charge while he moves to deal with the Grand Duke personally. The Pechenegs remain on the ridge and work on silencing the Lithuanians artillery engines.

    With the help of a company of Svenner cavalry and a single javelin volley by Prussian auxillaries the Lithuanian Grand Duke is slain by Hvass.

    Casualties rise higher than expected when the Lithuanian artillery engineers manage to score a direct hit on a company of spearmen and set them to flight and two companies of Lithuannian Halberd militia prove too much to handle for the Norwegian light cavalry companies.

    However with the Grand Duke slain and the Pecheneg cavalry companies charging down from the ridge behind them the Lithuanian morale finally breaks.

    Hvass learns a lesson about keeping the light cavalry away from Halberd militias and keeping an eye on the opposing enemy commander whose charge could have been much more dangerous than it turned out to be only by luck and the his own quick intervention.

    The Lithuanians refuse to pay ransom and the prisoners are turned over to the nearby Teutons who offer conversion or death.

    Hvass has won a victory and gained some money from selling off captured loot but his army is in a sorry state and may soon begin deserting if the supply situation is not fixed.

    Luckily Ragnvald Haakonsson accompanied his father King Haflidhi to this campaign and is judged old enough to bear some responsibilities. King Haflidhi transfers many of his advisers over to his son and leaves him in command of a veteran army. King Haflidhi also leaves his resupply train with Ragnvald so that his son doesn't get into the same situation Hvass did and then Haflidhi quickly returns south to take command of Hvass's army and ensure the supply situation is dealt with.

    King Haflidhi takes command and fines Hvass for leading an attack without him but privately he is happy to find at least 1 able and relatively trustworthy noble among the current generation of miserable and disloyal princes. However for the time being Hvass must be shown to be out of favor with the Crown and punished so this behaviour is not encouraged in the future.

    Several young princes have come of age recently and been sent to Aarhus to study at the university there. Ulfhedin Horby is the latest and while he is moderately loyal he is likely to soon be infected by Prince Haldor's eldest sons criticism of the Crown.

    Of the 5 recent princes to gain their majority only 2 are deemed trustworthy by King Haflidhi. Luckily his eldest son is one of those. The rest of the princes might find their loyalty tested in the future as the Crown is likely to want to keep close supervision over them and King Haflidhi dispatches orders for all young nobles to come to the front- the war against the Mongols will need the full participation of the nobility. In reality the war with the Mongols only needs a couple commanders to be prosecuted well but removing potentially troublesome and wealthy young nobles from the center of power to a war zone might teach them something or at the worst allow them to be kept away from the levers of power near the Capitol.

    The Council of Nobles awards the Crown a gift of treasury funds to fund the war but it is merely a political ploy to delay the imposition of scutage taxes which King Haflidhi has lately been threatening.

    Prince Haldor has dispatched Niels north to wait just outside of Novgorod until his banishment is lifted and meanwhile moves west to join the siege against Polotsk. However when messengers inform him that King Haflidhi has called a field council a few miles to the north of Polotsk he moves his army there.

    King Haflidhi gathers his son Ragnvald, his brother Prince Haldor, and Hvass into a council- the discussion centers around the two most important issues facing the Crown. The decision of who shall be named next in line of succession and whether or not to use the connections Norway has to the Papacy for a Crusade on the Mongols.

    Prince Haldor agrees that his eldest son Magnus is likely to bring the Kingdom of Norway to ruin if he inherits and Ragnvald is less likely to be contested as Heir anyway.

    Prince Haldor inwardly seethes with ambition but 2 of his 3 sons have publicly criticized him and he bears a hard grudge against them for that. Haldor is the elder son of old King Magnus but accepted a position as War Councilor and appointment commanding the fortress of Turku to curry favor with King Burislev and his preoccupation with converting the heathens while Haflidhi was not given a War Council appointment and even disobeyed War Council orders several times but gained glory in Britain nonetheless and subsequently was appointed Heir over Haldor by the regent King Sighvat.

    However Haldor knows his family line is 2nd in the realm only to his brothers and could easily inherit the Crown in the future. His sons are wastrels and wouldn't be able to make use of gaining the Crown anyway so he is content to maintain the status quo and does not press his claims to King Haflidhi even in private and publicly remains loudly loyal.

    Following this council King Haflidhi sends a missive to the Pope asking for Baghdad to be the target of a Crusade. Several Catholic armies from the last Crusade against Gaza are reported to be still searching for glory and riches in Syria and are likely to quickly join the Crusade. Meanwhile King Haflidhi is already a legend and adding a successful Crusade to his list of accomplishments may make him the greatest King in Norway's history. He is old but may have enough time left to reach Baghdad. The journey will be hard but his advisers estimate that traveling south and taking ship on the Black Sea and then traveling through Turkish lands with whom Norway is currently neutral should allow King Haflidhi to arrive at the walls of Baghdad in 5 seasons of travel without having to fight a battle on the way. King Haflidhi has ensured the succession of his eldest son and found 1 loyal man in Hvass to support him and a further man in Niels when pardoned.

    Haflidhi's final orders for Ragnvald are to pardon Niels and end his banishment if word arrives that Haflidhi has failed in his Crusade. This will give Ragnvald 2 strong nobles personally tied to him. The current group of War Councilors are loyal to the Haakonsson line and with Prince Haldor's public displays of loyalty will likely support Ragnvald as Heir.

    King Haflidhi is not sure of his chances of success on this Crusade and does not want to deprive Norway of its best men so takes only a few veteran Scots with him leaving most of the veterans of the campaign in Britain with his son and Prince Haldor to use in the north.

    The Teutonic Order's siege of Polotsk has failed but with the death of their Grand Duke in battle with Christoffer Hvass and the death of the Grand Duke's heir in the Teutons siege assault the Lithuanian nobility is dead and Polotsk lays ripe for capture by Norway.

    The Teutonic Order has earned a stay of execution from King Haflidhi for taking the battle to Lithuania finally but the Norwegian nobility is not so forgiving. In addition they covet the lands the Teutons now possess and believe that having a Norwegian Pope in Rome and King Haflidhi on Crusade that an attack on the Teutonic Order will go unpunished. They begin to put this plan in motion by ordering the death of a Teutonic Councilor.

    King Haflidhi departs with his army for Baghdad leaving Prince Ragnvald under Prince Haldor in the chain of command but Prince Haldor is quite old and unlikely to live to see his young brother even reach Baghdad let alone successful storm the city. King Haflidhi has taken the supply train with him and leaves the capture of Polotsk to Prince Haldor while Ragnvald returns to Novgorod to obtain supplies.

    All Catholic nations presently join the Crusade though it remains to be seen how effective they will actually be in prosecuting it. A large Teutonic army full of veteran companies is seen to depart and this sets certain avaricious nobles to further scheming on how to best gain title to the Teutons lands in the Baltic. Prince Ragnvald is yet to be brought into their confidence but that is only the first step in their plans- ensnaring a young naive Prince appears to them the easiest step actually.

    Last edited by Ichon; January 25, 2011 at 01:39 PM.

  6. #66

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    In the year 1327 the ancient Roman city of Constantinople falls to the Turks. King Haflidhi hears the news as he journeys on Crusade towards Baghdad and the Mongols who are also the Turks enemy and wonders if he is only going to make things easier for the Turks, likely to be his grandchildren's enemy.

    King Haflidhi and his Crusader army arrives outside Caffa. The Mongols have captured the city from Genoa but there remains a large population of Catholics and even a few Orthodox. King Haflidhi had planned to board ship bypassing the city but as the season is almost over and capturing the city might well be a wise move to restock supplies before departing into lands unknown. The Mongols have only a tiny garrison and a Christian city on the frontline with the Mongols might benefit Norway- especially if it ends up in the hands on Norway's allies.

    Prince Haldor has a coughing fit and falls off his horse to never rise again. His body is placed in ice and taken to Oslo to be placed in the Haakonsson tomb in a place of honor. Prince Ragnvald is taking his time restocking supplies as he has to also restock the supply train for a future campaign deeper into Russia. The Novgorod Principalities take advantage of the recent collapse of Lithuania and move to add Polotsk back into their domain. Novgorod had been a bitter enemy of Norway in the past but has abided by a truce for several decades. King Haflidhi's last orders regarding further expansion had been to prepare to push the Mongols out of Russia and carefully watch the Teutonic Order.

    Prince Ragnvald departs Novgorod for Reval to be closer to the Teutonic Order capitol at Riga and takes command of veterans from the British campaigns and awaits developments while continuing to arrange logistics and evaluate the reports he is hearing of Teutonic Order encroachments onto Norwegian lands. Most of these stories are simply fabrications by Norwegian nobles looking for excuses to gain Teutonic territories but some of the recent Teutonic Order movements have been suspicious with armies lingering outside Hrodna and Reval.

    King Haflidhi captures Caffa in a leisurely battle and decides to rely on supplies captured in the sack and continue on his way to Baghdad without further delay.

    The sack partially replenishes Haflidhi's supplies- all indications are that the amount of supplies should suffice for 4 seasons of travel in foreign lands with some foraging.

    King Haflidhi arranges for ships to cross the Black Sea and lands on the Anatolian north coast in a relatively uninhabited area. Moving cautiously south King Haflidhi does not encounter any Turk armies as he arrives nearly to the border with the Mongol domains.

    Haflidhi has sent instructions to diplomats near Vilnius to negotiate with his ally France... the negotiations prove successful and France agrees to trade Vilnius and surrounding lands to Norway in exchange for all title to Caffa. This will give France access to rich trade routes and hopefully encourage Norway's ally to war further against the Mongols or at least not consider Norway a target.

    With this deal Norway is 2nd only to France in Europe and passes Hungary in power. The Mongols remain supreme but increasingly contested.

    Aragon submits to French demands and becomes a vassal state- a condition they have visited and departed from in the past.

    Venice goes to war with the Moors over disputes on trade rights granted and increasing Moorish naval expeditions further east away from their traditional domains.

    Norway with one of its own sons on the Papal Seat continues to make inroads into the College of Cardinals- nearly dominating the assemblage.

    Norway is finally regaining solid financial footing with the arrival of younger merchants to the posts their older relatives had abandoned due to old age while the recent coming of age of many noble sons had temporarily drained the treasury.

    Haakon Hylgaard had been given War Councilor duties at Inverness and has been recruiting and organizing longbowmen for Norway the past few years. Norway's Admirals had earlier convinced Prince Haldor that their fleets can protect Britain and Hylgaard was instructed to depart Inverness several seasons past. Hylgaard is reputed to be a brilliant strategist though as yet untested aside from a few rebels. He will be a valuable addition to the wars around the Baltic.

    King Haflidhi is amazed at the eagerness his men display to reach Baghdad and his journey south is amazingly swift compared to recent campaigns. Privately Haflidhi despises Catholics and the Pope having been raised on stories of his grandfather who was pagan and the sagas tell of frequent Papal interference in Norway's wars with Denmark. Haflidhi himself was nearly excommunicated due to his conquests in Ireland and England. Not wanting to upset the morale of his men however- Haflidhi keeps private counsel though he cannot bring himself to pray at the morning masses arranged by the more zealous of his men he does speak publicly of the glory of the coming battle.

    Few would guess after the devout King Burislev, and outwardly pious King Sighvat who died of plague while on Crusade only a few years in the past that the current King of Norway has begun praying to the pagan gods of his forefathers.

    Christoffer Hvass had a brief meeting with Prince Ragnvald who passed on a Privy Seal that had formerly been in Prince Haldor's possession. With this sign of trust Hvass loyalty firms somewhat towards his sovereign.

    Teutonic Order armies patrol outside of Vilnius leading Hvass to prepare the defenses... he doesn't wish to betray the trust of Prince Ragnvald and losing his first command to a surprise attack would not be good for his career or future health.

    King Haflidhi has underestimated supply usage yet again and soon after completing the siege engines for an assault on the walls of Baghdad he is forced to put his men on starvation rations. They must win this battle or perish.

    Gustav Stenkilsson has been an able governor and while not totally above suspicion, he has been loyal to the crown. His patience and loyalty are tested by the 5 princes currently attending University in Aarhus. Not a single one of these young brats respect their position in the culture, their elders, or the Crown. His messages to Prince Ragnvald advise that none of these Princes should be trusted- especially Magnus, Haldor's eldest son who did not even wear mourning clothing when notified of his fathers death and neglected the short trip to Oslo for his father's funeral. Instead taking a trip to his father's estates in Bergen eager to assume title.

    France has gotten itself into trouble with the Church over its recent campaigns against Poland and Castile and its King is excommunicated. King Haflidhi does not receive this news as none of the nearby Crusader armies has secure lines of communication to their homelands. Prince Ragnvald is too inexperienced a statesman to understand how to turn this to Norway's advantage for the time being.

    King Haflidhi orders the assault on Baghdad to commence.

    The former eagerness of the Norwegian Crusaders has given away to weariness after being away from home and in foreign lands for nearly 3 years- the starvation rations and obviousness of Haflidhi's decline into old age have caused some to question Haflidhi's leadership. The desperate nature of the situation and the fact that Haflidhi is known to have lost only a single battle in his long career should hopefully prove enough.

    The battle opens with Haflidhi concentrating the majority of his forces along one wall and sending a small force to storm the gates from another direction as a diversion.

    Misfortune strikes when the Mongols manage to set alight the ram ensuring King Haflidhi's cavalry won't play a role in the initial stages of the assault.

    King Haflidhi advances with his bodyguard to the very base of the walls and removes his helmet to encourage his men and show them there is little danger... the occasional arrow felling a member of his bodyguard notwithstanding.

    The toll of the journey and starvation leads a company of militia spearmen to rout when they see Mongol cavalry riding along the base of the inner walls despite vastly outnumbering a Mongol archer company holding that section of the walls.

    The Mongol infantry on the walls signals some Mongol cavalry of King Haflidhi's tempting presence and the Mongols open the gates to engage in melee with King Haflidhi.

    Meanwhile the gate away from the main assault has been breached and a single company of Merchant cavalry charge through they city only to be met in force by several companies of Mongol horse archers whose arrows completely decimate and finally eliminate the hapless Merchant cavalry which does not even manage to engage in melee with the Mongol cavalry.

    However this maneuver puts the Mongols directly under the walls which have finally been claimed by the Norwegians and Norse archers and militia crossbowmen take a toll on the Mongol cavalry which swiftly flees the scene but whose own arrows seek out and find many Norwegians despite the swiftness of the engagement.

    A company of Scottish Highlanders fighting under the Norwegian banner in Baghdad against the Mongols finds the situation overwhelming and routes. The company rallies near the shattered gate and ventures inside the walls only to be met by a fierce charge which leads the survivors to abandon the battle.

    King Haflidhi intended to slowly move his forces into the city and off the walls giving them time to rest and forage food from the dead Mongols and houses near the gates but those intentions are thrown away under constant Mongol attacks by light cavalry and horse archers.

    Haflidhi orders the Alan cavalry whose services he had purchased prior to the siege of Caffa forward... their charge shakes the Mongols who had not expected to encounter these fierce riders in the Norwegian ranks. The fight soon devolves into a hotly contested melee in the streets of Baghdad as more Mongols move to join the fight.

    Scottish Border Horse cavalry circle through the streets and their charge kills the Mongol commander and they continue up the the Mongol siege engines which are crewed by Jin engineers coerced into service by the Mongol Khan. These engineers fight bravely for all that but are soon slain or captured.

    A company of Mongol horse archers on the edge of the central square engage the Scots and at first it seems the Scots have the advantage until only 3 Mongols are left but then the Mongol captain slays 13 Scot horsemen in a row and the remaining Scots find their morale has slipped away...

    The chaos caused by the Mongol commanders death is soon resolved and Turhagut cavalry and infantry advance to contest with Norway for control over the siege engines.

    The crossbow militia panic when they see the glittering masks of the Turhaguts and childhood bedtime stories apparently brought to life. Many of the crossbow militia run right into the ranks of the advancing Turhaguts in their confusion and are slain.

    Successive waves of Mongols eventually rout the Huskarl Axemen and the mercenary Alan medium cavalry. Regular Huskarl heavy infantry is brought forward to stem the tide the the few Feudal Knights still on their feet are ordered to rest while a company of spear militia is sent to aid the Huskarls.

    Finally only a large company of Turhagut heavy cavalry hold the central square... the Norwegians advance to the edge of the square and the Mongols race to give battle.

    The encounter is exceptionally bloody with no quarter given. The Turhagut cavalry successfully rout several Norwegian companies but the Feudal Knights have rested enough to at least recover their breath and along with the 2nd spearman militia company whose shame over their earlier rout give them the courage fight again hold the Turhaguts while Norse archers launch continual volleys of arrows and a company of Alan Dzhurina horse archers circle into the square behind the Turhaguts and launch arrows at short range into the rear of the Mongols.

    King Haflidhi is forced to throw everything in reserve back into the fight and to blow his warhorn constantly in effort to prevent further routs. Finally the Dzurhina charge the Turhaguts and in a surge of vicious individual brawls the last Mongols are slain.

    It is a close battle but it is Victory! The Crusade is accomplished and King Haflidhi knows he will pass into legend. His men wonder what will come next- the loot in Baghdad is not much different that what they found in Caffa but they are hundreds of miles further from friendly lands.

    Prince Ragnvald continues to read dispatches and gather supplies in Reval. Impatient Norwegian lords organize the recently arrived armies from England into an invasion army aimed at Riga but hold off on an invasion hoping to convince Prince Ragnvald of the necessity.

    Christoffer Hvass is ensnared in these grasping Norwegian lords schemes and convinced to abandon his post in order to make it a more tempting target for the Teutons as it seems obvious an attack is coming.

    Novgorod sets about instituting its rule over Polotsk while Hylgaard sails towards Reval with a large army of light and heavy cavalry.

    What a difference a successful Crusade makes. King Haflidhi feels years younger and his men and the rest of the world gain respect for this legend from the north.

    With the capture of Baghdad Norway gains even more power and respect amongst the nations of the world.

    Spy reports to Prince Ragnvald indicate large Mongol garrisons in the nearest Russian cities but Prince Ragnvald determines that with the newly arrived men and supplies he can advance and attack the Mongols in their captured Russian cities.

    King Haflidhi dispatches spies and out from Baghdad as he thinks over what course of action to take next. Several options tumble through his thoughts...

    -prepare his final instructions and enjoy the delights of Baghdad until he wearies and goes to join the gods in hard won glory,

    -lead his remaining men on an undeclared Crusade against nearby Mongol forces,

    -attempt to journey overland and board the Norwegian fleets which have been aiding the Crusader States in containing the Fatimids ever since King Sighvat died of plague on his way to Gaza during the last Crusade and from there look for targets to capture on the journey home.

    -return by whence the journey had come after negotiating with nearby Hungarian armies for possessions in Europe in exchange for Baghdad which would give the Hungarians a strong base against the Mongols and Turks whom they war with. The Hungarians have 4 former Crusading armies in Syria and vicinities... such a force might well prove very troublesome to surrounding Muslim kingdoms and a good distraction for Norway's ally Hungary.

    Last edited by Ichon; January 27, 2011 at 02:53 PM.

  7. #67
    cisse's Avatar Civis
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    Mar 2009
    Antwerp, Belgium

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    Very nice! Keep it up, I really enjoy those reports. Perhaps I'll try BGR as well...

    Trading Baghdad to the Hungarians seems the way to go, but then again perhaps Hungary is already too preoccupied with fighting the Turks (since they're already in Byzantium).

  8. #68

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    King Haflidhi is officially recognized as the King of all Scandinavia on the successful completion of the Crusade. A reality finally given sanction with the Pope's blessing. Prince Ragnvald decides to chronicle the members of the current Norwegian Royal family and their strengths and weaknesses.

    The Pope has become known as the Merciless in his application of northern vigor to the pursuit of the Church's disagreement with Venice.

    There are four primary branches of the current Royal Family. First the line of King Haakon carried through to Magnus and down to his grandson Haflidhi.

    The regent King Burislev and his adopted son King Sighvat down to the Haakon Hylgaard now on his way to Reval.

    Knud Beleson old King Haakon's cousin has had his line die out.

    Wilhelm Karolinger is represented by Haakon of Skolhamarr currently attending University in Aarhus but soon to be on his way to Russia and the war against the Mongols.

    Prince Haldor has 4 children with a strong claim on the Crown as he is Haflidhi's elder brother and his eldest son Magnus desires the throne and could be trouble if not closely watched. Haldor's other children all suffer from a lack of loyalty to the Crown but might be reconciled with King Haflidhi's passing.

    The current members of the Royal family...

    The Turks have the strongest military in the known world followed by the Moors and France in a virtual tie. Hungary is in 4th place with Norway and the Mongols currently tied in 5th place.

    Norway has only 2 wars going and seemingly strong Allies in France and Hungary though the fact neither share a border with Norway helps significantly.

    Only the Mongols and the Kievan Rus are brave enough to fight Norway at the moment but without adequate leadership as King Haflidhi is in Baghdad, scheming nobles are making war with the Teutonic Order and their allies Poland more and more likely.

    AAR Plans-

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The goals were to complete short campaign(done) and capture all Baltic ports(Stettin, Thorn, Riga, Pskov left) which will also soon be done.

    Added goals of driving Mongols out of Moscow and consolidating position in eastern Baltic and Northern Russia which will require either extermination or vassalization of Novgorod and Kiev. So probably about 25 more turns. If France or Hungary declare war I might continue further but so far the plan to minimize borders and share enemies has worked. The Turks are likely to face the next Crusade though Norway might not use its FL to participate- sending another, less loyal general instead.
    Last edited by Ichon; January 27, 2011 at 04:47 PM.

  9. #69

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    King Haflidhi decides to remind the Mongols of how he gained, "the Conqueror" as part of his name. Haflidhi will open a 2nd front against the Mongols and hopefully continue to gain favor with the Church by supporting the Crusader States and Christendom. Haflidhi doesn't care for the church and would prefer Christianity never have come to Norway but he has seen the fervor of some of his men and knows that the political reality requires him to make use of the church as much as possible in repayment for all the troubles and interference it causes. Becoming identified as a champion of the Church will make it easier for Norway to engage in wars of expansion against its Catholic enemies closer to home.

    Gunnar Haakonsson despite being untrustworthy is a general of the royal line and can be used to fight some battles- perhaps he will gain loyalty when he realizes the alternative. As he puts down a rebellion it might be his own rebellion easily put down. Gunnar asks Niels to participate as despite Niels banishment the two have become friends united by political disfavor.

    The battle is made much easier with the help of some English longbowmen serving far from home- they outrange the Pecheneg horse archers fighting with the rebels and cause mass casualties before the battle goes to melee.

    Gunnar returns to his hunting lodge outside of Novgorod and Niels goes back to the wilderness waiting for his banishment to end.

    The schemes and plots of some of the Norwegian nobility come to fruition- some nobles had wanted Magnus Haakonsson to lead but Magnus despite being nearly insane with ambition knows that to openly defy King Haflidhi in such a way would mean the end of his life and possibly of his brothers as well. King Haflidhi simply has too many supporters gained both from his exploits in Britain and from the religious folk who see King Haflidhi's completion of the Crusade as a sign of God's favor on this side of the Haakonsson line. Magnus craves power but must come to it more craftily then open defiance and he is experienced enough to know that one of his most prized assets is the Haakonsson family name. To go against the most recent champion of that family would be the downfall of any man in Norway. However- Haflidhi cannot live forever and when its only Prince Ragnvald... the people might easily come to see the older and wise Magnus as a better potential King.

    For now it is left to a minor captain lead an army to capture Riga and lay claim to the surrounding lands- to be later partitioned out to many of the nobles who instigated the attack in the first place.

    Spies sent in well ahead of time open the gates and the weak garrison is easily surprised.

    It cannot really even be termed a battle...the citizens of Riga have been groaning under heavy taxes imposed by the Teutonic Order to support their ambitions and while not quite welcoming the Norwegians with open arms- neither to they resist.

    The news reaches Prince Ragnvald just after he has departed Reval with a full supply train and army of veterans intending to march on the Mongols. Deciding to do the best he can with the situation and having been aware of dubious Teutonic intentions and knowing the King Haflidhi had only narrowly decided not to take control of the Order's expansion goals directly due to the past Grand Master sending his armies to battle the Lithuanians- Prince Ragnvald departs the fleet and advances on Pskov. Meanwhile sending his own spies into the Citadel. The gamble pays off and the spies manage to open the gates. The Teutonic garrison inside is relatively small but has many knights and crossbowmen on the walls.

    Ragnvald orders a cautious advance to the edge of his longbowmen's range- they fire over the walls into the courtyard and from the exclamations of surprise and pain the Teutons have not seen English longbows in action before.

    When the spies send the signal that the way is clear Ragnvald orders his men inside at a run... unfortunately the spies did not notice that a unit of Teutonic crossbowmen were climbing the towers near the gate and on the approach of the Norwegians some of these men managed to tip a cauldron of burning oil onto the Norwegian passing through the gates...

    The Norwegian infantry quickly races up to gain control of the tower but not before 2 more cauldrons of oil are dropped onto Norwegians still coming through the gate. More Teutonic soldiers appear on the walls on both sides of the gatehouse. Most of the Teutonic Knights have retreated to the inner courtyard however- a company of Livonian crossbowmen setup a deadly ran of bolts on the Norwegians crowded into the courtyard beneath them causing unanticipated casualties until Norwegian missiles can answer in turn and finally a Norwegian infantry units climbs the towers and engages the Livonians.

    The Pecheneg and Mounted crossbowmen are sent racing to the inner square as the Norwegian spies manage to open the inner gates as well- a company of Ritterbruders races back to reclaim the square.

    They suffer many casualties before their captain finally orders a charge out of the central square and into the nearby courtyard from where the Pechenegs have been firing volleys of arrows at short range-

    the charge manages to catch one company of Pechenegs off guard but before the Ritterbruders have a chance to press the attack a company of Feudal Knights arrives and finishes off the remaining Ritterbruders.

    Longbowmen who have climbed atop the walls and Pechenegs who pass through the inner courtyard and through the gates beyond combine to greatly weaken the bodyguard of the Teutonic commander who is then killed in a charge by Prince Ragnvald's own bodyguard.

    Teutons still fighting on the walls finally give up when they realize the central keep has been captured and attempt to flee...

    Pskov is captured and Novgorod gains an important guarantee of nearby reinforcements but the battle is more costly than Prince Ragnvald had intended. However it was the final fortress that the Teutonic Order controlled and now Norway can dictate peace on its own terms.

    The casualty list is examined and proper notifications and payment to the families of the fallen sent out.

    Spies head towards Polotsk- Prince Ragnvald decides that with Pskov secure the entire north should belong to Norway and that the Republic of Novgorod will remain a danger as long as it exists. However a sizeable army of Teutons blocks the road to Polotsk.

    With the recent victories both on Crusade and in the north, Norway is the pre-eminent power in Europe.

    The influx of captured valuables leads to higher prices throughout the Kingdom however.

    The following season Haakon Hylgaard who had followed Ragnvald south with his own army strikes out early taking advantage of unseasonably warm weather and finds the Teutons still near their winter encampment.

    The battle opens with the Teutons occupying a wooded hill a bit off the road to Polotsk. Hylgaard had traveled with his father on campaigns and displays the first of many lessons he learned from his father. He orders the army to match away from the Teutons and when they remain put the Norwegians do left face and climb the same hill the Teutons occupy from the far side.

    A company of Pechenegs is sent forward to scout and is ambushed by a company of Teutonic Handgunners- the Pechenegs pull back as fast as they can but a company of Teutonic Mounted crossbowmen follow... Svenner cavalry race down the hill to engage them.

    Hylgaard orders those Svenner companies to circle around the Teutons right flank while the whole army is ordered to advance 150 yards so that the longbowmen have the range on the now exposed Teutonic Handgunners.

    The longbowmen loose a few volleys but the branches of the trees block many of the arrows and the few that penetrate the canopy fail to make much impression on the Teutonic Handgunners through their armor.

    The Svenner cavalry emerge from the trees at the bottom of a hill to see the Teutonic commander across a sloping meadow above them.

    The company of Pecheneg horse archers had been used as scouts again to attempt to draw out any Teuton ambushes and determine if all the Teutons presently accounted for represented the true size of their army. They arrive at the edge of the same meadow as the Svenner and above the Teutonic general-

    they let fly with several volleys before the Teutons spy where they are shooting from and charge- the charge is too late to avoid the Svenner who on watching the Teuton general's bodyguard mill around when first hit with arrows take advantage of their distraction for their own charge.

    Receiving the all clear signal from the Pechenegs that there are no further ambushes laying in wait Hylgaard and his Feudal Knights accompanied by Svenner cavalry round the left flank of the Teuton lines and charge...

    That charge is the signal for the rest of the Norwegian army to advance straight onto the Teutons front.

    The Svenner's rapid charge catches the Teutonic general's bodyguard by complete surprise and only the general himself manages to escape...

    But only to be brought down by a Pecheneg arrow through his neck.

    The charge of Svenner cavalry onto the right part of the Teutons line fails to dislodge the Teutonic infantry there and decides to retreat before casualties rise higher.

    Hylgaard and his Feudal Knights have fared better and caused the Teutons to break formation. Wheeling his men around and signaling for the Knights to do the same Hylgaard forms up for a 2nd charge.

    Without direction from their general who lays dead- the Teutons begin to collapse with Hylgaard's charge...

    The Svenner who had just minutes ago turned away from the Teutonic infantry now charge a 2nd time and this time rout them.

    The battle is a nearly total victory for Hylgaard at small cost.

    The dead are few and though the battle is unlikely to be remembered long Haakon Hylgaard gains the respect of his men.

    The Teutons coffers are too low due to their unwise expansionary plans and they are unable to pay ransom for their captured men.

    Spies have again been busy and when Ragnvald advances to Polotsk he finds the gates have swung open for him...

    The Novgorod garrison is small but composed of some of the best Novgorod has to offer.

    The attack begins immediately though Ragnvald sends cavalry forces to enter by every gate the spies have opened.

    The first fight is not long in coming...

    Nor the second...

    Prince Ragnvald and his men make short work of the skirmish horse archers they find in the streets. A field battle would have been better for these units as in the narrow streets they have scarce time to fire there bows before the Norwegians are upon them and there is nowhere to run.

    The Pecheneg company has gotten ahead of itself and when reaching the central square races across to lend a hand to Prince Ragnvald- the Novgorod commander rounds the corner of the street he was on and runs straight into the Pechenegs.

    The Mounted crossbowmen entering via another gate are able to get some free shots on a retreating company of Novgorod Home Guard as they move towards the battle developing in the central square.

    The Novgorod commander and a company of Berdiche axemen are engaged in a fierce melee with the Norwegian cavalry which has entered the square but repeated charges by Prince Ragnvald and his bodyguard ensure the Norwegian emerge triumphant.

    The Novgorodian commander still manages to slay many before he is brought down.

    The Novgorodian Home Guard company manages to reach the square just ahead of the advancing Norwegian infantry.

    However they still arrived too late to save their commander and cannot move fast enough to catch the nimble cavalry firing missiles constantly who are free to move about the square whenever the Novgorods attempt to fight. The Home Guards elect the best formation they know to defend against cavalry...

    It affords them some protection- enough to encourage them to chase a company of Svenner cavalry who were merely observing the situation but not nearly enough to save them.

    The battle is won though not without cost after the vicious fight in the central square.

    The city is sacked to stock up Ragnvald's supply train before the next part of the campaign begins.

    The Teutonic Order is offered Hrodna in exchange for a small tribute. Perhaps their quick defeat will teach them to listen when next Norway asks a small favor. Meanwhile let the Poles deal with their constant scheming.

    Prince Ragnval's men approve of their new commander and are eager for more battles. Their victories so far have been relatively bloodless but how long can that continue?

    Haakon Hylgaard had followed Prince Ragnvald south and now moves his army to guard the approach to Polotsk from the Novgorod armies near Smolensk.

    Meanwhile Christoffer Hvass had left Hrodna with its full garrison when he received word that the Teutonic Order would be granted the city and he now advances to offer his army as reinforcements to Prince Ragnvald's campaign.

    Last edited by Ichon; January 30, 2011 at 02:49 AM.

  10. #70

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    King Haflidhi had led his men far from home on Crusade and been victorious. Now he leads them again to a fight far from home when he assaults some nameless Mongol Citadel guarding the path into Persia...

  11. #71

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    King Haflidhi had led his men far from home on Crusade and been victorious. Now he leads them again to a fight far from home when he assaults some nameless Mongol Citadel guarding the path into Persia...

    The Mongol garrison may be small but consists entirely of a general and his bodyguard and Turhagut heavy cavalry.

    King Haflidhi's men easily gain access past the first wall as the Mongols retreat to the inner keep.

    A unit of crossbow militia was attempting to move a ram forward and not to breach the gate to the inner keep but merely block the exit so that the Mongol heavy cavalry couldn't storm out so readily- when that operation is nearly accomplish the a company of Mongol Turhaguts decides that the crossbowmen are an easy target. They are right but the rest of the Norwegians aren't so easy... and surround the exit fighting the Turhaguts in a long and fierce fight while Norse archers bring ladders and climb up to the ramparts of the keep to launch arrows into the Mongols below.

    King Haflidhi is forced to intervene with his bodyguard to hold the Turhaguts in the gateway. His bodyguard makes sure to place the aged King as far from the fighting as possible.

    The Norse archers provoke the rest of the Turhaguts inside to try and storm out of the gates- the few Norwegian reserves are committed and the battle is do or die for both sides now.

    A company of Pechenegs attempt to follow a brief Mongol retreat into the keep but the Mongols reform very quickly and engage the Pechenegs costing them heavily before they can flee into the wider space of the open courtyard.

    King Haflidhi leads the final charge...

    The battle is won but the Norwegian are down to less than 1/4th of the strength that came south on Crusade.

    King Haflidhi was forced to throw everything into defeating the final surge by the Mongols and casualties are high.

    The Citadel is sacked lining King Haflidhi's purse and bring needed supplies to his army.

    King Haflidhi negotiates with the Hungarians for mutual military access in the north in exchange for giving the Hungarians a base of power in the east. Hopefully this will open a sustained front in the war against the Mongols and encourage the Hungarians to fight the Turks more strongly.

    An embassy from Portugal arrives to present a bride for Prince Ragnvald but is turned down- however other negotiations are successful.

    The Pope dies and a new Pope is elected- Norway's candidate wins the election handily.

  12. #72

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    Near Polotsk Christoffer Hvass is working to fully occupy the region and fights a small battle against a Novgorod army.

    The battle is easily won and Hvass gains some further experience and is now on his way to being an effective and loyal general for Norway.

    The armies that Novgorod has retained in the north explain why the Mongols did not finish them off.

  13. #73

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    Prince Ragnvald considers the estimates his spies have brought of the Novgorodian armies guarding Smolensk. He requests Haakon Hylgaard to turn over most of his army to Ragnvald's command and enter the battle as a reinforcement while a large part of the Norwegian infantry is turned over to a relatively unproven captain. The Novgorodians have 13 heavy cavalry companies and 5 horse archers along with many Dzurhina heavy infantry and Bardiche axemen. The coming battle is likely to be tough for both sides no matter the outcome...

    The battle opens with Prince Ragnvald drawn up on a hill with infantry reinforcements coming up from behind.

    Pecheneg and Mounted Crossbowmen are sent to the right flank forward of the main battle line- their presence occupying a ridge above the advancing Novgorod main force draws 2 companies of Druzhina heavy cavalry and some of the Novgorod horse archers.

    On the other side of the Norwegian line 3 companies of Druzhina heavy cavalry circle around the stakes protecting the majority of Norwegian infantry from a frontal charge...

    A company of Svenner cavalry and a company of Huskarl cavalry attempt to meet the Druzhina charge on the left flank of the line and succeed in halting the charge momentarily but are swiftly cut down... a company of Men at Arms infantry rush to engage the Druzhina but a company of heavy Boyars avoid the stakes and hit the Men at Arms just as they engage the Druzhina.

    The Novgorod commander and his bodyguard charge on the Norwegian right flank and Prince Ragnvald commits his heavy cavalry and his own bodyguard to taking down the Novgorod heavy cavalry on that flank. Svenner light cavalry are sent chasing after the horse archers.

    The Pecheneg and Mounted Crossbowmen are strong all across the battlefield as the confusion of the battle leads the unit to lose total cohesion. Luckily the Norwegian heavy cavalry have charged and given them time to regroup.

    The Feudal Knights have meanwhile cleared the right flank of Druzhina heavy cavalry and now reform to charge the remaining horse archers and help Prince Ragnvald who is engaged with the Novgorod commander. Hylgaard has momentarily retreated as his bodyguard was caught between the Novgorod commander and a company of heavy Bardiche infantry. Down the line the Novgorod infantry pas through the stakes and attack the waiting Norwegians.

    The Norwegian infantry reinforcements finally finish their climb up the hill and charge into the battle just in time.

    The situation on the Norwegian left flank grows dire as 4 companies of Novgorod heavy cavalry eliminate most of the Svenner and Huskarl cavalry quickly and then charge a company of Longbowmen. The reserve of Huskarl axemen in the center of the line charge into the fray to hold the line just when the company of Longbowmen who have lost half their number rout. Prince Ragnvald hears the cries of the men on the left flank change tone and races back to manage the situation.

    The final company of Heavy Boyars had charged to help out their commander under attack from Hylgaard and 2 companies of Feudal Knights but are unable to make it through the press of infantry locked in mortal combat. When the reformed Pechenegs and Mounted crossbowmen race by intending to launch arrows into the rear of the Novgorod infantry the Boyars turn to pursue them.

    Svenner cavalry sent chasing Novgorodian horse archers have finally caught and killed them but must quickly leave the scene as a Novgorod company of Druzhina heavy infantry approach.

    Prince Ragnvald rallies the Longbowmen and other wavering infantry and charges into the battle on the left flank where the weight of heavy cavalry are slowing driving back the Norwegian infantry.

    Hylgaard has reformed his bodyguard and when he spots the Novgorod commander surrounded by Norwegian infantry leads the charge and finally slays the Novgorod general who has escaped death countless times. The Feudal Knights pursing the commander had been hampered by the same press of infantry combat that sent the Heavy Boyars charging after the Pecheneg cavalry and they rounded the mass of infantry and went to aid the Pechnegs who were severely overmatched.

    With the charge of Prince Ragnvald and the return to the fray of some Svenner cavalry who had eliminated the horse archers the situation on the left flank is stabilized and the infantry can finally draw heavy breaths as collapse of the line is averted.

    The last of the Novgorod heavy cavalry in the first army is slain when they attempt to engage some Feudal foot knights who had turned to assist the Men at Arms who had suffered from a charge earlier.

    Hylgaard and the Feudal knights race down the Novgorod left flank routing every unit when there is no commander left to lead a rally and the Novgorod heavy cavalry is all killed or chased from the field.

    The Pechenegs and Mounted crossbow race ahead of the rest of the army to screen them as they mop up the Novgorod remnants. The 2nd Novgorod army is approaching... a duel of arrows ensues which badly weaken 1 company of Pechnegs who bear the brunt of the attack by 2 companies of Novgorod horse archers.

    The Norwegians inflict as much damage as they receive though the engagement ends in a draw when the heavy cavalry in the 2nd Novgorod army approaches.

    Prince Ragnvald signals frantically to the captain commanding the reinforcing infantry to hold at the hill and await the Novgorodians... however the captain and many of his men feel victory is assured and charge down the hill...

    The advancing Heavy Boyars eagerly take advantage of the unprotected infantry and charge directly for them... the charge completely eliminates a company of veteran Huskarls and inflicts heavy losses on 2 other infantry companies before Prince Ragnvald can organize his own cavalry into a counter- charge. Meanwhile he order the rest of his army forward to support the beleaguered infantry.

    When the Norwegian counter-charge arrives it is devastating but more Norwegians have lost their lives in the interim.

    The general in command of the 2nd Novgorod army is slain instantly in the counter-charge and soon the rest of the heavy cavalry is routed.

    The battle is a victory but Ragnvald feels relief rather than elation. The near collapse of the left flank and then the incompetence of the captain in charge of the Norwegian infantry leads to heavy losses and 2 armies of Norwegian veterans are badly mauled. The campaign against Novgorod can continue when the reinforcements under Hvass arrive but for now pressing towards the Mongols and Moscow appears to be out of the question.

    The battle casualty lists are long... the battle rivals some fought by Ragnvald's father King Haflidhi in the conquest of England. The Novgorod heavy cavalry makes its impact felt. The only consolation is that the main strength of the Novgorod was probably defeated in the battle and Smolensk and important region is now in Norwegian hands. Novgorod still has numerous armies in the field some with plentiful heavy cavalry but nothing approaching the concentrations just defeated.

    The infantry reinforcements ensured victory in the battle but Prince Ragnvald might have been victorious even with them and suffered with fewer losses had he left those men in reserve and held the hill. The captain in charge was slain in the battle so there is no one to blame but Ragnvald himself.

    The treasury of Novgorod has collapsed with the loss of their principal city and the war against the Mongols. They are unable to pay the offered ransom.

    Smolensk is sacked and construction of a church to convert the Orthodox heathens and the numerous pagans in the area is begun immediately. Prince Ragnvald organizes the survivors of the battle into a single army and sends Hylgaard back towards Polotsk to take command of the garrison that Hvass had marched out of Hrodna.

    Yet more battles beckon and King Haflidhi is laying siege to a Mongol city in the south bolstered by mercenary heavy cavalry and even a company of strange beasts that some of the more literate clergy recognize from Latin manuscripts as animals the Romans were familiar with called "elephants."
    Last edited by Ichon; January 30, 2011 at 03:57 PM.

  14. #74

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    King Haflidhi has laid siege to Isfahan and easily wins the battle with his mercenary troops.

    The city is sacked and offers up a decent amount of loot despite the damage done by the Mongol occupation.

    English Longbowmen have been sent east with regularity... nearly 20 companies will have participated in the wars there when these reinforcements arrive.

    In 1335 King Haflidhi dies at age 81 of pneumonia he caught during the siege of Isfahan. A single company of Urban militia recruited in Baghdad before title was given to Hungary had earlier been sent north to probe the Mongols strength and is laying siege to Kermanshah and its tiny Mongol garrison.

    The coronation of Prince Ragnvald goes smoothly though he cannot take time away from the campaign against the Novgorodians to return to Olso. Prince Ragnvald appoints Haakon Hylgaard as his Heir to rule as regent either until an heir of Ragnvald's line comes of age or another Haakonsson proves his right to rule.

    Hylgaard as the son of regent King Sighvat who was the most respected Norwegian ruler in the past several generations aside from King Haflidhi also gives legitimacy to Ragnvald's reign and seems to be continuing his father's legacy and perhaps even has the chance to surpass it.

    King Haflidhi had began a campaign of subversion and spies against Norway's enemies and was not averse to assassination at times. Most of the men employed in this trade die early in their career but Norway has begun employing so many such men that one was bound to become a master assassin.

    King Haflidhi's men are now leaderless... some advocate securing Isfahan and creating their own fief while many just wish to return home. The Persian mercenaries are happy to stay with the Norwegians as long as the Mongols are their enemies. Finally a decision is reached and Isfahan is handed over to the Turks in exchange for safe passage for those who wish to try to make it home.

    Prince Haakon leads a part of his army out to attack a column of Novgorodians just north of Smolensk.

    The battle field gives the height to Novgorod so Hylgaard orders his men to move to the right and slowly climb the same ridge the Novgorod army is occupying. A small village will partially shield their approach from the Novgorod cavalry and archers. He does send his single company of Mounted Crossbowmen to the Novgorod left flank.

    The Mounted Crossbowmen climb the ridge and loose a volley on a company of Senior Rus Militia but are forced to retreat by a company of archers who outrange them.

    Hylgaard circles behind the village to meet up with the Mounted Crossbows as the Novgorodian Crossbow militia moves off the ridge to approach the Lithuanian crossbowmen deployed on the outskirts of the small village. The Norwegian infantry wait behind the Latvians in case they are needed while the company of Feudal Knights follow Hylgaard around the village.

    The Novgorod Senior Rus cavalry charges Hylgaard after losing nearly half their number to the Mounted Crossbowmen.

    The militia cavalry are easily dealt with but then the Novgorod general charges catching Hylgaard before he can fully turn his men to face the charge.

    Hylgaard manages to retreat and reform while the Novgorod general briefly chases after the Mounted Crossbowmen.

    After Hylgaard reforms he charges and meets the Novgorod general head on- the Mounted Crossbowmen put away their bows and charge the rear of the general's bodyguard.

    Hylgaard's bodyguard falls rapidly and he orders a tactical retreat while the Novgorod general's men are forced to turn and fight the Mounted crossbowmen.

    The Feudal Knights have meanwhile come to help Hylgaard and finish off the few Rus cavalry left and then disperse a small company of Homeguards who are attempting to charge Hylgaard rear.

    Hylgaard charges some of the enemy archers as he retreats from the Novgorod general and successfully disperses the majority of them then turns and again charges the general who has only a few men left once the Feudal Knights began to engage allowing the Mounted Crossbowmen to fall back and resume firing on the Novgorod infantry who have moved off the ridge advancing slightly toward the Norwegian infantry.

    The Novgorod general is slain and Hylgaard and the Feudal Knights charge simultaneously leading to the majority of the Novgorod infantry routing. The rest of the Novgorod archers and the majority of their crossbows had already been killed by the Latvian crossbow men who had the advantage of height and better equipment.

    Losses are minimal and Hylgaard gains regard with his men and adds to his reputation as a cunning commander.

    The Latvian crossbowmen and Mounted crossbowmen are the heroes of the battle.

    A lone assassin moving south to complete a mission is nearly caught by widely dispersed Novgorod patrols and returns to inform King Ragnvald of their presence. The King leads out a force deemed just enough to win the battle leaving the majority of his forces as a garrison in Smolensk.

    Ragnvald finds himself able to occupy a tall hill while the Novgorodian forces must advance across a plain and then climb the hill.

    Ragnvald charges the first company of Rus to reach the crest of the hill while Longbowmen kill nearly 1/3 of the enemy before they even manage to get that far.

    The rest of the Novgorod reinforcements draw into range to launch flaming missiles from Mangonels and rockets from a mercenary company costing the Norwegians some casualties from a few glancing hits.

    Ragnvald rushes down the hill and across the valley to end the rocket fire while the Longbowmen grow careless and leave the protection of their defenses and are exposed to a charge by Rus militia cavalry. Luckily between the Pechenegs and Mounted crossbowmen the Rus cavalry unit is greatly weakened by the time it makes contact with the longbowmen and despite causing casualties with its charge when the longbowmen fight back and the Mounted crossbowmen form for a charge the Rus rout...

    Novgorod Home Guard and Halberd companies finally reach the top of the hill and a single company of dismounted Feudal Knights moves forward to protect the longbowmen while down in the valley Ragnvald has clear access to the artillery crews.

    Between the dismounted knights and Pecheneg and Mounted crossbow fire the Novgorod Home Guards are greatly weakened allowing King Ragnvald to return up the hill and rout them with a single charge... Ragnvald carries the charge into the Halberd militia next...

    The rest of the battle is simple moping up scattered Novgorodians. Ragnvald wins acclaim and betters his reputation as a commander with the victory.

    The longbowmen and Pecheneg archers prove their worth in the battle.

    Novgorod actually pays ransom for the survivors of this battle.

    Watch towers near Novgorod the city spot a nearby army and Gustav Haakonsson is recalled from his hunting retreat outside the city to lead the battle. He asks Niels to join him for the battle as well.

    The Novgorod army is nearly all cavalry with 5 companies of heavy cavalry and several missile cavalry units with 3 companies of heavy infantry and some militia to round out the army.

    Gustav Haakonsson forms up his mostly infantry and light cavalry army on a slight rise with the infantry protected by prepared stake obstacles.

    Two companies of Druzhina cavalry charge towards Gustav but are drawn off by attacks by 2 companies of Prussian auxilary cavalry.

    Game Info-
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Was really annoyed this battle... here had taken the Prussians off skirmish mode and fire at will to run them away from the battle and then back up the hill where turned back on both- should have just turned back on fire at will.

    As soon as the Prussians entered skirmish mode they stopped, and then turned downhill right into the charging Druzhina!

    Nearly wiping the unit out before I could turn off skirmish mode and move them away...

    Which is why I use skirmish mode as little as possible seen this sort of thing happen so many times and sometimes exploited it against AI units. Just to micro a battle effectively its really handy since I don't like to use pause alot- in this battle with so many other enemy cavalry companies wanted to set skirmish on and not worry about them once they were down to a single volley of javelins.

    Gustav and Niels engage another Druzhina cavalry while 2 are away chasing the Prussian auxillaries but are forced to turn and regroup when a fresh Druzhina company approaches and the Druzhina which had caught 1 of the Prussian companies charges back into the main battle...

    The charging Druzhina bypass Gunnar and slam into a company of Urban militia who are able to turn and meet the charge in time. Gustav charges the Druzhina in the flank and that company is quickly dispersed.

    The final company of Druzhina tries to rush to aid in the battle and tries to catch Gunnar in the flank and is partially successful but also loses about 1/3 of its numbers on stakes hidden in the snow and then a company of Huskarl axemen charge in and cut the survivors down while Gustav and the remaining cavalry race out to deal with a remnant company of Druzhina which had rallied and the Novgorod missile cavalry which had formed into cantabarian circles downhill from the Norse and Longbow archers who had been firing steadily the entire battle.

    The battle is won but it is not a resounding success and following on the heels of 2 great victories by Ragnvald and Hylgaard to the south Gustav's victory is barely acknowledge outside of Novgorod. Gustav was never very loyal to begin with and listened closely to his older brother Magnus talk of different rulers and now he feels personally slighted by this turn of events and feels King Ragnvald personally set him up so his victory appeared pale in comparison. His former questionable loyalty gives way to rage and he begins preparations for his brother Magnus's arrival to the front...

    Longbowmen get the majority of the kills in the battle. Whole the spear militia and a company of Huskarls exposed to missile fire sustain the majority of the losses.

    Novgorod refuses ransom and the prisoners are executed.

    Last edited by Ichon; February 01, 2011 at 02:15 AM.

  15. #75

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    King Haflidhi may be dead but his men march on to fulfill his final orders- capturing another Mongol city. The siege is brief and casualties are light.

    The Norwegian captain who has assumed command allows his men to take a vote- only the Kwarezmians want to fight on, most of the Norwegians desire to return to the north. There is no way to secure transport from the present location but the Turks remain friendly and Byzantine help is secured by the handing over the keys to the gates of Kermanshah to them. The Kwarezmians are disbanded as are the Norwegians- each man responsible for making his own way home purchased with captured loot and the hopefully friendly Turks and Byzantines.

    Spies watching the nearest Mongol cities in the north report that the Kievan Rus appear to be on the offensive though little action has resulted yet.

    Christoffer Hvass is attacked whilst moving south to assist Prince Hylgaard in a siege of Kiev. Despite being outnumbered and out classed by several Novgorodian heavy cavalry companies Hvass gives battle.

    He positions himself on an obvious place on the road while posting half his men hidden in the trees on a rise to the right of the road. The rest of his men he posts in the open confident the Novgorods did not mark exactly how many companies he had when they chanced upon him.

    The Novgorodians advance more cautiously than expected and a unit of light missile cavalry triggers most of the ambush. The Men at Arms must race away from the advancing Novgorod heavy infantry while the majority of the Pecheneg cavalry open fire.

    The Men at Arms turn and charge a pursing company of mercenaries hired by Novgorod. Likely made up of renegades and banished Norsemen.

    Hvass attempts to engage a company of Druzhina cavalry but the odds aren't in his favor especially with the Novgorodian heavy infantry closing in and he beats a hasty retreat.

    In his haste to make the cover of the trees Hvass nearly runs straight into a company of Heavy Boyars which had given up trying to chase down the Pecheneg archers after taking heavy losses.

    A stray arrow catches the Novgorod commander somewhere in the battle and his death goes unmarked by most but the coordination of the Novgorodian forces suffer and the Men at Arms charge a Rus militia unit in the confusion and Hvass rides them down from behind even as he is pursued by Novgorod cavalry leading to the Rus militias quick demise while Hvass is able to escape the pursuing cavalry with the help of the Men at Arms.

    Pecheneg cavalry have drawn off a 2nd Heavy Boyar company and through patient teamwork wear it down...

    The majority of the Novgorodian heavy cavalry is dealt with but mercenary crossbowmen hired by Novgorod make life difficult for the Pechenegs if they stray too close which in the chaos of the battle and with 2 companies of enemy crossbowmen- ends up happening frequently. The Novgorod light missile cavalry also take a steady toll. However some of the Pechenegs are able to start to focus their arrow fire on the Novgorodian heavy infantry...

    Hvass and the Men at Arms charge several Novgordian companies and with the help of a company of Pechenegs who joins in the charges successfully rout them all. The single company of Mounted Crossbow men get ahead of themselves and charge a company of mercenary Pavise crossbowmen and while they deal out heavy casualties most are slain and the few survivors flee.

    A company of Novgorod Home Guard catch Hvass and his men as they mop up the last infantry company aside from the Home Guards...

    Hvass does not want any more unnecessary casualties and orders the Pechenegs to use all their arrows before organizing a final charge.

    The battle is a notable victory though many Pecheneg tribesmen give their lives their arrows account for around 400 of the enemy.

    King Ragnvald perhaps in an example of arrogance or just confidence takes on a rebel army with just his bodyguard.

    The battle is won though 2 companies of Pecheneg cavalry in the rebel army cause more casualties than Ragnvald wanted.

    King Ragnvald's sister- the Princess Dyrhildr had arrived in Ruthenia along with many of the latest university graduates- she had separated from the young men and encountered a Kievan Rus detachment far from home. Learning that the favorite bastard nephew of the the Rus ruler is among the troops she seizes the opportunity to broker a deal which she is sure her brother the King will accept. Kievan Rus to become a vassal and ally of Norway. The deal is made... King Ragnvald does want peace as fast as possible so that his southern flank is secure and he can then depart Smolensk for the long march to Moscow as he has received adequate reinforcements to take the war to the Mongols.

    The young nobles recently arrived from Aarhus are told to join the King on the road to Moscow while Dyrhildr is dispatched towards Mensk to attempt a bargain with Poland. Stettin and Thorn to Norway in exchange for...? Perhaps if Prince Hylgaard captures Kiev soon it will prove an adequate prize for the Poles. The alternative is always war which Poland squeezed between Norway and its allies, France and Hungary has scarce hope of winning.

    Meanwhile Prince Hylgaard must figure out how to crack the defenses of Kiev and defeat its substantial garrison. Christoffer Hvass may be of some assistance and a small force of Novgorodians outside the city may work as a lure to the garrison inside...

    Last edited by Ichon; February 02, 2011 at 02:47 AM.

  16. #76

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    Prince Haakon Hylgaard is joined by Christoffer Hvass outside the walls of Kiev- spies have entered the city and send word they are prepared to open the gates if the Prince sends the signal but Hylgaard has learned from previous scouting and spy reports that the Novgorodians have plentiful heavy infantry and missile units that would make a siege assault very costly. Even a field battle could be dangerous- with Hvass's help however the chance for victory fighting outside the walls is much higher than going it alone with only the men presently under Hylgaard's command.

    Hylgaard attacks a Novgorod army outside the walls of Kiev and the Kynaz Gudimir the last surviving Novgorodian noble of any importance joins the battle with the entire garrison of Kiev.

    The Norwegian army forms up on a small rise nearer the smaller force it attacked to initiate the battle. Latvian crossbowmen are deployed forward with cavalry and infantry arranged to face expected attacks and guard the flanks.

    Pecheneg and Mounted crossbow cavalry are sent forward to scout and harass the smaller Novgorodian army. Novgorod missile cavalry and crossbowmen cause some casualties among the Mounted crossbow cavalry who stray too close but with their observation that this smaller Novgorod force has no cavalry aside from a single light missile company Hylgaard orders all his melee cavalry to attack quickly before the 2nd Novgorod army under the Kynaz arrives.

    The Novgorod infantry whither away under the combined charges...

    While the Norwegian cavalry mop up the infantry remnants of the smaller Novgorod army the Pecheneg and Mounted crossbow cavalry scout the approaching main Novgorodian army loosing a few arrows only at tempting targets that venture too close. This force is one to be reckoned with. The Kynaz and his bodyguard, 3 medium cavalry Rus militias, a single heavy cavalry company of Druzinha, 5 companies of Novgorod Home Guard, and numerous Senior Rus militia infantry and even some Ruthenian archers and mercenary Pavise crossbowmen.

    A company of Prussian auxillaries is sent by Hylgaard to assist the other light cavalry. The Novgorod Kynaz sends 2 companies of cavalry out to chase away the harassing
    Norwegian cavalry and the Prussian auxillaries block their charge while the Pechenegs flank and the Mounted crossbows send a few volleys into approaching infantry- the Rus cavalry soon turn away and rejoin the main body after suffering heavy casualties while the Prussians lost only 16 men.

    Prince Hylgaard reforms his lines to face this larger army with Latvians out in front though not as far this time. He uses himself as bait hoping to draw out the Novgorod cavalry but they refuse to approach ahead of their infantry. 2 companies of Prussian axemen are set in front of the main body of the Norwegians and assume shieldwall formation hoping to blunt any charges by cavalry or infantry to give the Latvians a few extra volleys and time for Hylgaard to direct the deployment of the heavy Norwegian infantry more precisely.

    The Norse archers have finally routed the single Novgorod light cavalry which was the only survivor of the smaller Novgorodian army in a missile duel and return to a position in the center of the Norwegian army. Prince Hylgaard orders a quick charge along with a company of Merchant militia when the Kynaz sends a company of archers and another of Pavise crossbowmen to duel with the Latvians. The rest of the Norwegian cavalry holds position as the Novgorod cavalry is concentrated on the right wing of the approaching army dangerously close to Hylgaard and his bodyguard when their charge slams into the archers...

    As soon as Hylgaard notices the Novgorod cavalry begin to move forward he blows the signal for return to the main body- by the time his cavalry can disengage the Novgorodians are almost upon them!

    The Kynaz leads the charge with his own bodyguard and aims for a company of Latvian crossbowmen who are reloading when Hylgaard and his men rush past in a tactical withdrawl from the pursuing Novgorodian cavalry.

    The Prussian axemen are positioned perfectly however and stop the Kynaz in his tracks and take very little casualties...

    The Pechenegs have managed to draw off 1 of the Novgorod cavalry companies but the Druzhina chase down the Merchant militia with a company of Rus cavalry following just behind- Hylgaard and a company of Feudal Knights flank and charge both companies.

    The majority of the Novgorodian cavalry caught on the flank fall quickly and Hylgaard decides to leave the remainder to the Feudal knights and Merchant cavalry while he aims directly for the Kynaz- however the Novgorodian infantry have arrived and engaged the Norwegian line and the press of combat disrupts Hylgaard's charge. The Rus cavalry which had spent some time chasing the Pechenegs in turn attempts to charge Hylgaard but runs into the same problem. Hylgaard had moments before the charge ordered the half strength company of Men at Arms to move to the Norwegian right flank and advance against the Novgorodians opposite who had no cavalry to protect them.

    The Men at Arms charge the 2nd company of archers while Latvian crossbowmen range wider to get a better angle for their volleys into the Novgorodian infantries left flank.

    The battle rages on with pockets of violence everywhere. The Men at Arms have disengaged from the archers they charged earlier as Halberd militia approach. A company of Prussian cavalry who have exhausted their missiles charges the same archers from another direction as they flee the Men at Arms.

    Hylgaard and Hvass have both been busy trying to finish off the Novgorod cavalry but between avoiding advancing Novgorod heavy infantry and trying to maneuver for a chance at the Kynaz that task has not been completed. The remaining Druzhina cavalry is caught in a sustained melee with the Feudal knights while the Merchant cavalry chase down fleeing Pavise crossbowmen.

    The last company of Rus cavalry charge the Feudal knights just as they have nearly finished of the Druzinha and the Kynaz and his bodyguard join in. Hylgaard had been tracking the Kynaz and not aims his bodyguard in a charge straight at him...

    The Kynaz is intercepted by Hylgaard but the fight is brief with the Kynaz turning away and Hylgaard doing the same when a company of Halberd militia approach to help the Kynaz. The Feudal knights reform after slaying the last Druzhina cavalry...

    The Kynaz turns and charges the Feudal knights before they are fully regrouped and Hylgaard launches himself after the Kynaz.

    The Men at Arms have charged a company of Novgorod Home Guards 3 times and are slowly wearing them down but sooo slowly and its but a single company of 5 such in the battle.

    Hylgaard and the Feudal knights slay the Kynaz's entire bodyguard but even with the help of the Merchant cavalry they still sustain heavy losses. Hylgaard leaves the knights to pursue the Kynaz while he turns and rallies his men who are growing shaken by the ferocity of the Novgorod infantries attack.

    The Pecheneg cavalry has exhausted its entire arrow supply and now watches for a chance to engage in melee.

    The company of Mounted crossbowmen have been taking their time firing volleys into the rear ranks of the Novgorod infantry and when the Kynaz tries to flee past they launch a volley after him- multiple bolts land and knock the Kynaz from his horse, as he lays dying he hears the sound of his army voicing despair...

    The Men at Arms charge a company of Halberds and Home Guard which had engaged the Norse archers and Latvian crossbowmen nearly instantly routing them as they know their cause is faltering or might be entirely lost with the last in the line for the Novgorod crown now dead.

    The Novgorod cavalry had first been eliminated- then the Kynaz slain, finally the Novgorodian morale wavers and with charges by all the remaining Norwegian cavalry the entire Novgorod army begins to rout.

    The battle is a Heroic victory ending the Novgorod threat to Norway permanently while also being a great feat of arms in itself. Hylgaard has defeated twice his number of men and slain a King.

    Prince Hylgaard basks in the approval of his entire army for a few minutes but soon begins describing to them the greatness of their own deeds that day. Few leave the field not believing they are heroes and gods amongst warriors and that this battle will long be celebrated in Norwegian history.

    The casualty lists are full but not too long compared to how many Rus were slain.

    The families of the captured prisoners offer ransom but Hylgaard does not want to face renewed fighting within the walls of Kiev against veterans soldiers eager for retribution and decides to make an example to discourage defiance. The prisoners are all executed.

    With the Kynaz dead but the gates of the town closed against the Norwegians the citizens of Kiev attempt to rule themselves and refuse to acknowledge Norwegian sovereignty. Hylgaard has no choice but to lay siege. He sends Hvass north toward Smolensk and Prince Ragnvald to pick up a supply train and exchange tired men for fresh reinforcements. There are spies within Kiev that still stand ready to open the gates but Hylgaard decides to wait and see what the Hungarians and Poles on Norway's borders do in reaction to the end of Novgorod.

    A Norwegian diplomatic mission in the Levant encounters a Papal mission and a friendship treaty and formal alliance is offered- the Pope's legate declines an open borders policy but agrees to an official alliance of which details will be ironed out in the following weeks.

    Game Info-
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    One of the most fun battles this campaign due to the diversity of units in both armies. It was not particularly hard battle but some worrying moments when my infantry lines started to buckle under the attack of all those Home Guards.
    Last edited by Ichon; April 04, 2011 at 01:02 AM.

  17. #77
    Radzeer's Avatar Rogue Bodemloze
    Moderator Emeritus Content Emeritus Administrator Emeritus

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    Awesome battles! I also liked the Middle East adventure a lot.

  18. #78

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    First off- sorry for the long break. I tend to get bored in these longer campaigns at some point and I finally installed ETW and NTW after owning them almost 6 months or more. Fun for awhile but eventually MTW2 and mods seem better. Will wrap this AAR up over the next couple of weeks.

  19. #79

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    The Teutonic Order has benefited twice now from Norwegian generosity but both times betrayed the Kingdom. Spies report that the Teutons have managed to amass significant forces- apparently the Grand Master called for men to join the Crusade but has not disbanded the resulting companies of knights when the Crusade was successfully ended by Norway.

    Meanwhile to the south Prince Haakon has received reinforcements from Hvass and now assaults Kiev.

    The battle is furious but short with relatively few casualties among the Norwegians.

    Kiev is offered to the troops as a reward for a difficult campaign and to remind the former Rus citizens of the price of defiance.

    On the other side of Europe, French aggression in Spain leads to excommunication. This result might have important future implications for the Norwegian/French alliance.

    King Ragnvald has been gathering forces for an assault on Moscow while Catholic priest proselytize in the countryside. The problematic younger nobles with questionable loyalty had been sent to conduct a siege to starve a nearby Mongol garrison and King Ragnvald recalls them when he deems the time is right to force the Mongols in Moscow to surrender.

    The assault goes forward and the Norwegians capture the walls but not without a hard fight on one section of wall.

    Further down the wall longbowmen climbed to the top of their ladders and then halted and took aim at the defending Mongols who were unable to respond effectively.

    With the walls captured Norwegian cavalry stormed into the streets only to be met head on by fierce resistance from the Mongols.

    King Ragnvald leads some of the best heavy cavalry Norway can field and eventually their weight pushes the Mongols back in step by step bloody battle.

    The Norwegians finally reach the city center and eliminate the final group of Turhagut cavalry and infantry.

    The battle is won but the peace will require King Ragnvald's presence in this remote corner of the world for at least 3 seasons to ensure Norwegian control of a region devastated by the Mongols and having fully abandoned Christianity.

    Prince Magnus dies during the battle having fought bravely from the front. King Ragnvald suspects Magnus had grown impatient of waiting and hoped to inspire support by setting a brave example as a warrior before setting his friends upon the King in the aftermath of the battle. He lost his gamble to Mongol stubborness. His funeral pyre over the heaped slain Mongols becomes legend.

    The death is convenient for King Ragnvald and the greater realm. Future civil war becomes less likely as Magnus was the ring leader of the younger nobility who questioned the current political order. Their conspiracies will likely move much slower and with less support now.

    Last edited by Ichon; April 04, 2011 at 01:48 AM.

  20. #80

    Default Re: Heimskringla- A tale of Norway's rise (SS6.3 BGR/VH-VH)

    Prince Haakon moves quickly north from Kiev taking few men, only some fast moving cavalry. Approaching Vilnius, Haakon is informed by scouts that the Teutonic Councillor Jobst thought to be the instigator of the recent war is not far away and commands a decent sized army. The War Council has marked this man for assassination already but if Prince Haakon slays him in fair battle it would be better. The Teutonic Order has assembled a fair sized force but divided it into 2 armies. Prince Haakon has a chance if he strikes now, mercenaries companies had followed the Teutons into the area thinking a battle could mean employment and Prince Haakon does not disappoint. 3 companies of mercenary knights are hired and Pechnegs from Vilnius arrive to reinforce the Prince.

    The battle opens with the Teutons occupying the top of a ridge across a small valley from Prince Haakon's forces while Teuton reinforcements were some distance away. Haakon ordered the Mounted Crossbowmen and Pecheneg cavalry forward as quickly as possible while the Prince took a position in full view of the Teutons while instructing some of the heavy cavalry to remain hidden to encourage the larger army of Teutons to attack before their reinforcements arrived.

    Pecheneg cavalries move to the wings and when the Teutons begin to advance down the slope and move to attack the Norwegians those Pechenegs move to the slopes behind the Teutonic knights. Arrows and bolts from the Norwegians begin to fall and slay many Teutonic knights and soldiers... the Teutons maintain their slow advance in formation despite the hail of missiles.

    The Teutonic commander rushes toward Prince Haakon but most of his bodyguard falls dead from arrows and when Prince Haakon meets his charge the Teutonic commander is slain while most of his heavy cavalry is killed before even reaching the top of the ridge. Prince Haakon leads the charge into the Teutonic infantry which break and run when the hidden Norwegian cavalry show themselves and charge down the slope.

    The second Teutonic army is smaller but is cavalry heavy and has 2 companies of Mounted Crossbow who arrive to the ridge the closer Teutonic army had first occupied and fire down onto the Pechenegs in the valley below who are moping up routing infantry and these bolts cause heavy casualties to a company of mercenary Frankish knights. A company of Ritterburders manages to catch one of the Pecheneg companies slightly off guard and slays 10 before turning and charging across the battlefield...

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    This battle led to crash 4 times in a row... each time lost about 15-25% of my army but completely crushed the Teutons- finally I auto-resolved it. This led to Councillor Jobst escaping however...

    The battle is won and the mercenaries are dismissed.

    Somehow Councillor Jobst survives the battle and retreats with the remnant of his forces. The War Council considers that good enough.

    Prince Haakon moves closer to Vilnius and receives more reinforcements. Bringing his companies to full strength and dispatching the leftovers to rest and raise enough men to being themselves back to full strength.

    Spies near Hrodna report that a large garrison and a field army composed almost entirely of Crusader knights hold position within range of a forced march. The Teutons have sent a 3rd force northwest towards Konigsburg giving Prince Haakon the chance to capture Hrodna if he moves fast.

    The odds are daunting as the Teutons muster over 20 companies of cavalry. 13 companies of Crusader knights, 1 half strength company of Ritterbruders, 1 company of Halbruders, 1 Mounted Crossbows, the Teutonic Grandmaster and his bodyguard, then finally 5 companies of medium Merchant cavalry plus assorted infantries including 2 1/4 companies of Handgunners.

    Prince Haakon regrets dismissing the heavy cavalry mercenaries the previous season but their expense was simply too much to keep idle when there is not a battle imminent. There are more mercenaries available but they are nearly all infantry, however some excellent heavy infantry might actually be ideal if Prince Haakon chooses to make an attempt to capture Hrodna.

    The odds don't recommend giving battle and Prince Haakon's advisers insist Haakon should wait for King Ragnvald who is reportedly on his way from Moscow but still a seasons distance away at the minimum. Prince Haakon can muster only 3 heavy cavalry against at least 15 enemy heavy and 6 light cavalry. Prince Haakon does receive 2 fresh companies of Mounted Crossbowmen and has 4 full strength companies of Pechenegs.

    Prince Haakon decides that he will attempt to capture Hrodna and gain glory to match previous warriors the sagas speak of such as Haflidhi the Conqueror.

    Prince Haakon leads 15 companies against 32 Teutonic companies.

    The battle commences with all the Norwegian light missile cavalry deployed forwards toward the expected Teutonic positions... however apparently the Teutonic garrison departed Hrodna during the night and has circled to the rear of the Norwegian lines!

    Prince Haakon immediately gives orders for the infantry to shift position as quickly as possible to meet the Teutonic garrison army while ordering the light cavalry to hold off the approaching Teutonic massed heavy cavalry as long as possible- he looks into the eyes of the messenger and repeats that the entire battle rests on the Pechenegs and Mounted Crossbowmen not only holding the Teutonic heavy cavalry off as long as possible but killing many, then Haakon slowly salutes the messenger and asks that the messenger travel quickly to each unit and request the names of the men present so the sagas can accurately describe their bravery.

    After the messenger rides away Haakon surveys his bodyguard who have now ridden with him to many battles and by their expressions he knows they also don't expect to ever see many of the light cavalrymen again. Cautioning himself to remain focused else the battle is surely lost even though the outcome looks grim presently Prince Haakon gives final orders to the infantry captains and then rides to the crest of the hill behind the infantry and instructs his banner to be waved towards the light cavalry even now entering into arrow range of the 2nd Teutonic army.

    Prussian spearmen have run forward as quickly as possible to engage the Merchant cavalry before they can line up for a proper charge and the clangor of the battle begins.

    The messenger had ridden to the right of the line first and then circled to the left to bring the Haakon's message and request to the light cavalrymen. The situation on the right flank had appeared absolutely dire but by the time the messenger arrives at the left flank it appears the Teutons are mostly ignoring the harassing light cavalry and advancing towards Prince Haakon's position.

    The single company of Mounted Crossbowmen that the Teutons brought to the battle is causing some damage but withering away under the combined fire of several companies.

    The Teutonic Merchant cavalry races to round the small front that only 2 companies of Prussian spearmen present and Prince Haakon recognizes that in this battle he must commit himself early and that there won't be much of a reserve. Haakon charges the Merchant cavalry attempting to round the Prussian spearmens flank.

    The rest of the Norwegian heavy cavalry follow... all 2 companies. The melee is fierce and soon totally confused with Prince Haakon first charging and then retreating up the hill behind the first line of Teutonic Merchant cavalry while the Teutonic infantry of the garrison army closes in.

    Prince Haakon's final orders to the heavy infantry captains were to wait as long as possible before committing and try to engage high priority targets if possible.

    Meanwhile the messenger Prince Haakon earlier dispatched manages to convince a Mounted Crossbowmen captain that something has to be done to stop the advance of the Teutonic heavy cavalry- the normal skirmish tactics are not working. The Mounted Crossbow captain leads his company in a charge into the rear of a Teutonic company... the melee attracts the attention of nearby Teutons and the heavy cavalry finally begins to turn away from the battle ahead and focus on the light cavalry...

    The Teutonic Grandmaster had followed Prince Haakon to the top of the ridge and attempted to engage him directly but Haakon blew his horn and pointed with his lance toward the Grandmaster, the nearest heavy infantry captain scream out orders and his men charged forward to hold the Grandmaster's bodyguard in place while Haakon raced back down the hill and engaged the mass of Teutonic infantry which had coalesced and was beginning to move toward the thinning line of Prussian spearmen.

    A company of Frankish mercenaries had already taken heavy losses fighting the Teuton Merchant cavalry and now races to stop a company of Ritterbruders from the 2nd army which had raced ahead of its fellows and arrived at the battle nearly unnoticed.

    Prince Haakon does not notice this development until breaking away from the infantry he had charged... blowing his horn in a frenzy Haakon directs the next charge into the Ritterbruders who had been steadily hewing down the Frankish mercenaries. The only other heavy cavalry company of Men at Arms had attempted a charge moments earlier to little effect and breaks away just in time to make room for Prince Haakon's charge and charges into some Teutonic infantry again before turning as Haakon breaks away and charging the Ritterbruders a 2nd time.

    The Norwegians are being slowly pushed back and whittled down by the overwhelming numbers of Teutons but the mercenary heavy infantry has killed the entire Grandmaster's bodyguard... Prince Haakon and the Men at Arms charge to and fro attacking as many companies of Teutonic infantry as they can and then racing away before the Teutons can bring their greater numbers to bear. These charges keep the Teuton infantry in disarray and prevent it from engaging the much smaller Norwegian mercenary infantry.

    A great cry rises from the Teutonic garrison army... the Grandmaster of the Order has fallen- the Teutonic banner flutters limply in the stagnant summer air and thuds into the ground.

    Prince Haakon charges up the hill into the rear of the main body of Teutonic infantry while the Men at Arms charge the flank.

    The light cavalry have been engaged in desperate maneuvers trying to avoid the charging Crusader knights and other Teuton cavalry companies and have not always been successful but have given greater losses than they have received and most importantly kept the majority of the heavy cavalry from advancing.

    However when the Teutons hear a great cry from their men and turn just in time to see the Order's banner fall the heavy cavalry break off and charge towards the hill where Prince Haakon's banner is still flying.

    In the chaos of the battle and the reprieve temporarily granted with the death of the Grandmaster a company of Teutonic Merchant cavalry has circled around behind the Norwegian lines and now smashes into a company of mercenary crossbowmen at the top of the ridge.

    Further down the slope the Teutonic infantry from the 2nd army had advanced within range of the Handgunners and the slow booms and smoke of gunpowder weapons fills the still summer air.

    Prince Haakon and the remaining Men at Arms had been pursuing routed Teutons of the garrison army in haste but there were so many that running them down took too long in such a battle as this- however the majority did not escape the field and won't be reforming.

    The pursuit took Prince Haakon some distance away from the main battle and the Teutonic heavy cavalry which had aimed themselves at Prince Haakon's banner from across the field finally catch up... and find the Prince unprepared as his bodyguard turn to try and meet the charge.

    The mass of Teutonic heavy cavalry had turned to charge across the field but a few companies have halted and turned back to keep the Norwegian light cavalry from pursuit. The light cavalry are scattered all over the field and take precious minutes regrouping and dealing with those Teuton companies.

    Prince Haakon had managed to escape the flanking charge of the Halbbruders at the cost of over half his remaining bodyguard. The Teutons chase him back to the heavy infantry who have now engaged the infantry of the 2nd Teuton army.

    The Men at Arms had seen the mercenary crossbowmen at the top of the hill in trouble and raced back to help, with the assistance of a remnant company of Prussian spearmen who had been trying to catch their breath the Merchant cavalry is crushed just in time for the Men at Arms to turn and meet the charge of the Teutonic Crusader knights who have finally arrived after being held up by the Norwegian light cavalry for so long...

    Barely fighting off the attacking Crusader knights Prince Haakon blows his warhorn to try and rally the wavering infantry who are tired and know there are enemy cavalry to their rear with Handgunners and fresh Teutonic infantry to their front.

    The last Halbbruders charge Prince Haakon hoping to slay him and win the battle but Haakon with the help of the remaining Men at Arms instead slay the Halbbruder captain who commanded the 2nd Teutonic army.

    This time the Teutons resolve barely wavers with the death of their commander and Prince Haakon is forced to retreat beneath a 2nd wave of attacking Crusader knights... the remaining Men at Arms fall protecting his escape. Seeing Prince Haakon run from apparently strong Teutonic pursuit the mercenary infantry that Haakon had hired finally breaks. They have sold their lives dearly and nearly accomplished the impossible but their time has run out.

    The difference is small... if the mercenaries had continued fighting for just a minute more the first of the light cavalry which had regrouped and ran their lathered horses back across the field would have arrived and broken into small groups to surround and charge the now leaderless Teutons.

    Prince Haakon himself is saved by their arrival and 2 companies of Pecheneg's arrows find the Crusader knights chasing Haakon and end their miserable lives.

    Finally just as the Pecheneg arrow quivers are exhausted the final company of Teutonic Handgunners die nearly to the man before the handful of men remaining try to make a run for it. None make it.

    Prince Haakon steps down off his horse which can barely stand and observes the scene- dead and wounded men litter the ground as far as he can see. The cries and screams of battle have given way to a steady murmur punctuated by the occasional pleas of the wounded. Pecheneg tribemen move about with knives cutting the throats of wounded Teutons who have little chance of recovery and possible ransom and searching for loot.

    The battle was bloody- the worst Prince Haakon has ever fought in or heard of except for the first clash with the invading Mongols and some of the early battles in the invasion of England.

    Prince Haakon is relieved to hear some of the Men at Arms have survived though most were too wounded to have been aware of the battle after they fell and have little experience to pass on.

    The mercenaries who fought so well for Norway are few but rich once they are well enough to receive their pay. Prince Haakon keeps them on in service for another season to give them time to heal and as a reward despite the burden on the treasury.

    Prince Haakon also keeps in mind the news spies have brought that the Teutons who managed to escape the battle made it back to Hrodna where the gates are locked against the Norwegians. There are no relief armies anywhere near and a large Teutonic army is still within march. For these reasons too Prince Haakon keeps the mercenaries under contract.

    To the north King Ragnvald has been racing from Moscow for a full year and is still some distance away but he rides with the best mercenaries he could find and sends words ahead that he is accompanied by a large mercenary army of nomadic horse archers.

    The Polish have been sending armies rather close to Vilnius and otherwise acting suspiciously. The Poles have not canceled their alliance with the Teutons and King Ragnvald has hurried back from the east due to concern over a new war brewing.

    Last edited by Ichon; April 13, 2011 at 11:27 PM.

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