The Battle of Penn Valley

After K’Tesh the Imperials retreated but were hotly pursued by 3 rat infantry columns, to give the shattered Imperial army time to get away a force lead by Marcus the Red made a stand in a small valley called ‘Penn’.


The Valley runs north to south with a small river in the centre and a small settlement on the east bank, small wooded areas dot the valley floor together with some rocky outcrops. A road follows the river in the centre of the valley and crosses it approx. 1/3 of the way up from the south with a small stone bridge. The river is swollen by some heavy rain further north and is only crossable at the bridge or two hidden fords, the locals, now long gone, are the only ones who know the position of the fords others will have to search, one ford is to the north of the bridge the other to the south. To search a unit must remain stationary next to the river, for each unit searching, on the first stationary turn the ford is found on a d6 roll of 1 add one to the die roll each successive turn until the ford is found or the search abandoned.


The Rats win by exiting a unit off the eastern edge of the table the Empire win if they can prevent the Rat win. The level of Rat victory would be determined by how many units exit the table.


Turn’s 1 to 4 saw the 3 rat columns move forward and units move up into position next to the river ready to search for a ford.

The Rat Guard Muskets and Imperial Crossbow on the south of the field traded shots with the Imperials coming of worse!

The Imperial artillery targeted the Ogres on the bridge and routed them; the Rat force in the south discovered a ford and prepared to cross!


Turns 4 to 7 saw the Rat’s discovering  the second ford and partially remove the barricade on the bridge and move a unit over the southern ford covered by the Guard Musketeers!


Turn 9 saw a unit of Men-at-Arms charge and halt the rat musketeers, while the Rat guard on the bridge cleared the last of the barricade but halted in disorder blocking the bridge.


Turns 10-13

Saw fierce hand to hand combat on both flanks with the Imperial Heavy Cav. Forcing the Rat Spear back across the river through the Rat Guard Musketeers disordering them but the cavalry had to withdraw to recover. The rats in the centre remained stalled while the empire forces have temporarily halted the rats in the north at the price of being left exhausted!


Turns 14-20

Although the Empire forces were in poor order and pulling back by turn 16 it was obvious that the Rats were in almost as bad shape and could not win by turn 20 so I declared the Empire the winners gaining desperately needed time for the Emperor to reorganise and re-arm!


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K’Tesh – The Aftermath

Following the Empire defeat at K’Tesh where a large part of the elite empire forces were destroyed, the Rats consolidated their position in the south, the Elves declared Elfhall independant and the Dwarves declared a ‘Dwarven Homeland’

The Empire is fragmented……

The Battle of K’Tesh

The following battle took place over 4 day’s with two of the day’s having very little game time but as the game position was saved in Skull Cleaver picking the game up each day was very easy.

The narrative is a tidied version of the notes I took as the game was played. A note on reinforcements, rather than leave the program to determine when and where they would arrive I decided that reinforcements would arrive at regular intervals at random points on each side of the field.

The gallery is at the end of the text, so you can skip to the bottom if you would rather just see the pix 😀

Battle starts at 07:00 each bound is 10 minutes game time.

Skamgut approaches from the east with his formation of Rat Spear.

Eric has deployed his guns west of the road behind a ploughed field with the cavalry to each side.


Eric’s cavalry manoeuvre wide to gain position while his guns pound the oncoming  rats.


A formation of Ratguard Musketeers enters the battlefield from the south lead by Skarsnik and the first battalion deploys into line.


A formation of Dwarves enters from the north west and marches down the road.


Eric’s Light Cavalry wheel and move off away from the Rat Muskets.

Eric’s Guns continue to pound the Rat spears


The Rat spear formation continues to advance as does the Rat Muskets.


The Dwarves double-timed it down the road to join Eric’s light cav..

Eric’s guns once again pound the Rat spears.


The Dwarves march off the field, there will be a reckoning!

Also leaving the field is one of the Rat Musket battalions


With the treachery of the Dwarves Eric’s position is not looking good, the Rats are moving forward and there is little he can do to stop them – other than order the guns to fire again, this time at one of the rat musket battalions



One battalion of Rats enters the field from the west almost behind Eric’s gun position.

From the north west The Emperor Xarl IV and a mixed formation including cannon enter the field.


The Rats continue to move forward as the Empire try to form a line of battle.

The a Rat battalion in the centre attempt to charge Eric’s Light cavalry who counter charge.

Eric’s guns once again strike out, this time at the Rat musket battalion forming to their front and inflict 20 losses.


The Imperial High Guard shoot at the rats advancing on the medium cavalry in the centre and inflict 33 losses


The Rat  spear battalion  and Eric’s light cavalry both charge home


The Rat Spear battalion on the extreme left of the rat line deserts!

Xarl receives information that the Elves will not be joining the battle!


In spite of everything the Rats continue to advance, The Spears on the Rat right once again attempt charge into Eric’s light cavalry but fail, on the Rat left the empire crossbows have formed a line and are attempting to entrench.

The empire artillery newly arrived are loading, the heavy cavalry are moving to support Eric’s cavalry as is the Imperial Household infantry that are moving down the road.

Eric’s light cavalry fire into the spear phalanx inflicting 13 losses, 11 more are inflicted by the High Guard.

The Medium cavalry fire into a Rat battalion inflicting 3 losses.

Eric’s cannon fire shrapnel into the Rat muskets, inflicting 11 losses.



Rat reinforcements fly in from the south – Vultures

The imperial Crossbow are still preparing their entrenchments

The Rat line attempts to charge Eric’s med cavalry, and fail.

The Rat spear battalion advances across the ploughed field without disorder.

The Rat muskets fire upon the imperial crossbow and inflict 30 casualties.

The another battalion of Rat muskets fire upon Eric’s guns and inflict 2 losses while taking 21 themselves.

The High guard once again target the (red) spear unit inflicting 34 losses on them while the medium cavalry inflict a further 4.

The imperial light cannon target the Rat unit crossing the field inflicting 21 losses.

The magician Zular fires a lightening bolt into the other Rat muskets inflicting 21 losses



The (green) Rat musket unit fall back.

The Rat artillery finally arrive.


The Empire forces hold their positions.

Eric’s guns and the newly arrived rat artillery exchange barrages, with the rats suffering 1 loss.


The rat (blue) muskets and the vultures target the crossbows inflicting 83 losses



The Ogres have arrived, they got so lost they have entered the field form the NE and the Knights of the Court move to intercept them.

The High Guard moved to harry the Rat Artillery while the Vultures moved to intercept the High Guard!


The rat grand battery opened fire on the Imperial light guns destroying 3 of them for the loss  of 1 rat gun.


The Rat muskets (blue) fired on the crossbow inflicting 37 losses.


The Vultures and High Guard Wheel and Turn in the skies above the battlefield only to both disappear into the distance.


Eric’s med cavalry charge the rats who rout and retreat the cavalry follow up only to be met by the shrapnel from the rat grand battery and are completely destroyed.


The rat muskets charge the crossbow who fight them off from behind their entrenchments forcing the rats back in disorder.



Skreechnor has finally arrived as has the empire general Osric the Stout.

The imperial heavy cavalry are hit in the flank by a lightning bolt and suffer 3 losses



The imperial light artillery rout from the field.

The imperial heavy cavalry charge the Ogres who stand their ground.

The Rat Muskets renew their fire fight with the imperial crossbow inflicting 20 losses on the crossbow while taking 26 in return

The Rat artillery switched targets and took out both the empire wizards together with 120 crossbowmen

Eric’s guns fired back taking out another 2 rat guns while the empire heavy cavalry where struck in the flank by a lightning bolt suffering a further 5 losses during their charge.

The Rat muskets (blue) fall back with fatigue to recover while the imperial crossbow fall back exhausted



The empire heavy cavalry are stopped in their tracks, the empire pike formation is hit in the flank by the rat artillery and severely shaken.



Two huge melee’s have developed one in the centre and on the rats left.

The imperial heavy cavalry fall back after taking heavy losses


News that the final group of empire reinforcements will be delayed has reached Xarl.

The imperial pike have finally broken and fled the field leaving Xarl with no option but to order a general retreat covered by Osric’s force and Eric’s remaining light cav.

Leaving the Rats in command of the field and victors after 21 bounds!!

The Pix!:-

K’Tesh – Prelude

Order of Battle

The Rats are split over 7 units to arrive randomly (or as I tweek) they number approx. 8430 rats and 14 guns with a total Skull Cleaver points value of 51575.

The Empire are split over 6 units again to arrive randomly, they number approx. 7900 men with some 16 pieces of artillery and a total Skull Cleaver points value of 56501.

Amazingly the two forces are quite close in terms of numbers and points.  The Rats have fewer artillery pieces but they are formed into a Grand Battery, the Empire have 3 seperate batteries. Each Rat base has between 100 and  200 Rats where the Empire range is 50 to 150, the Empire have a distinct advantage in cavalry as the Rats have none.

Generally the Rats are in better ‘shape’,  where as some of the Empire units have travelled a great distance to reach K’Tesh, also due to political considerations neither the Elf or the Dwarf contingents can be completely trusted nor will they co-operate with each other!!

The Empire have two ‘Elite’ contingents, The Emperor’s and Eric’s.

Starting positions:

Eric’s force is the first to arrive and has deployed on the west side of the battlefield behind a plowed field.

A force of Rats has entered the field from the west lead by Skamgut.

The rest of the armies will enter randomly, th Rats from the Southern half of the Field and the Empire from the North.

Empire Campaign Update

Following his defeat in the east Skreechnor skreechnor led his army back to Narrow Way only to find the force left behind in disarray following the failure to force the pass.

He quickly executed a few generals and sent a force to flank the pass causing the defenders to withdraw.

He set about reorganising his army and formed a new plan, scorched earth, he decided to move into the Empire’s farming heartland of Anolia an lay it waste. The army was split into four and set off along different paths with orders to burn everything and meet at a small settlement called K’tesh.


Meanwhile the Emperor xarl had returned from the Orc wars in the north and gave orders for the Imperial Household troops to march south, he also sent out riders to order all Empire forces to converge on the Imperial standard then he himself set off with the High Guard to rendezvous at a small hamlet called K’tesh.

The stage is set…batrep soon…


Empire Allies

The Elves are comming, well some of them!

Three bases each of Spear and Bow and two Bolt Throwers – The Elves of the Rising Sun.

Probably the last painting for the Empire Campiagn this year, have a few battles to fight and other painting & modeling projects to get on with 😀

Empire Reinforcements

Managed to get some time to paint over the last couple of weeks and got some sorely needed reinforcements done for the Empire:-

Above is The Emperor Xarl IV (the X is pronounced as in box), on the Mighty War Griffon ‘Tweety Pie’, in the old language meaning ‘Lord of the Skies’.

Above, the Emperors ‘High Guard’

Above, Imperial Crossbowmen.


Empire Campaign recap and update

Well after the last major battle at crossing the Rats needed to make a decision, push north or head for the east coast port of Abydos.

The decision was to split the army and leave what was in effect the army reserve to hold the north road while Skreechnor headed east with the main army.

The comander of the reservists tried to earn some kudos by moving north to the pass of Narrow Way where they were soundly stopped and repulsed by the small Empire garrison lead by Leon of the Eddas with his 300 sturdy dwarves!

Meanwhile Eric the Chain had set off in pursuit of the Rat army with his cavalry and as much horse artillery as he could muster.

So the table is set for a three army battle with the unsuspecting Rats in between the City defenders and the pursuing Eric!

The table is laid out below:-

The Forest in the forground, across the Causeway lies Longbridge leading to the city walls of Abydos

The Causeway, the city’s best defence for over half a millennium

“For the night was dark and throughout it from the city walls they heard a chittering and a skittering and lo, when the dawn broke they saw over Longbridge the foulness of Rattus Norvegicus” … Bevis the Quite, monk of Abydos

View from Abydos

The City Guard


The scene is set, a couple of tweeks to the Rat list and I’ll start the game about 17:00 local as its 31 degrees in the gamesroom at the moment and climbing 😀

The Campaign for the South Update #4

With Eric heading off towards Abydos in pursuit of the Rat army the local commander left at crossing received disturbing news, the remainder of the Rat army was preparing to move off and there was only one logical direction for their travel – north through Narrow Way! Realising that his current force could not stop the oncomming horde he sent word back to hasten and reinforcements that were on their way and sent an envoy to a local Dwarf clan, known to be fearsom warriors.

The Dwarf clan known as Leons received the envoy and assured him that they would send out their entire army, once their sacred Beer Festival was over, in another week. The envoy pleaded with their leaders until one named Edas pledged to leave immediatly with his personal guard!

That night down from the hills ready to defend Narrow Way came Leon Edas and his 300 warriors!

The stage is set for the next round of The Campaign for the South, I plan to fight this battle in about a week (I hope)

Campaign Update #2

The Campaign for the South update #2


In retreating from crossing some elements of The Imperial Army of the South came into contact with elements of the Rat army and faired poorly  so that the Imperial army was split and had to make it’s way to Lakedemo piecemeal. As a result The Imperial Army of the South has cease to exist as a fighting force. Eric, a few officers and a few hundred men arrived in Lakedemo to find preparations for war well under way under the command of Sebastian, Strategos of the Lakedemo Theme. Eric, surprisingly kept his head and was promised a post in the new force.

The Rat army finally assembled back at Crossing to reorganise and await the return of their general Skreechnor who had been away in the South West gathering allies for the next phase of the campaign.

The Campaign System:-

I have continued to run the campaign on the old map to ‘run out’ this phase of the campaign, the skirmishes mentioned above did take place and were managed entirely by the campaign system, the results left the Rats even more exhausted and the Empire force in tatters!


Acting as GM I decided that now was the point to shift to the ‘other’ map and generate new ‘reorganised’ armies, with both sides set to add allies/more units the next confrontation should be interesting but first, I need to do some painting! 😀