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Default (Old LP) King Arthur

December 29th, 2011, 08:28
As promised, I might just copy & pasta an old LP of mine. I'm quite fond of this game. King Arthur is developed by NeoCore and is pretty much a Total War in Fantasy setting. I like how they blend heroes RPG elements with text adventures. I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel to come along in 2012.

Have a read. Forgive me if there's some 'out of context sentences.' , invalid , out of place smileys or 'codex in jokes.' This is a simple copy & pasta job and some issues might've missed the minor editing.

Chapter 1: Sir Kay





Sir Kay leads a small force to suppress the rebels in Cornwall.



His forces consists of three footmen and one heavy footmen.



The heavy footmen possess above average armor and decent damage, but they move slower than light infantry. They are also penalized when fighting in rough terrains such as swamps, rivers and forests. They are extremely effective when fighting in Wedge Formation against light infantry in the open.



The footmen moves faster than their heavier counterparts, but cannot be relied upon to fight in the open ground. They are also incapable of forming the Wedge like the heavy footmen do. They're basically cheap, expendable units meant to hold off stronger forces in rough terrain.



Our first task is to engage the rebel army just outside Cornwall.



Before engagements, you are given a preview of the enemy forces compared to yours. You can also view the enemy hero's capabilities in full. You can also retreat if you don't like the odds, just be prepared to lose a whole unit or so.



We march forward as Sir Ector instructed and noticed three archer units across the river. Marching forward without cover or speed will get us killed.



There are better options, but at the moment we're stuck with Sir Kay's default spell, Fog of Avalon which has the effect of reducing ranged accuracy by 50%.



It also cuts down the archer firing range. Any forces advancing upon archers are recommended to stick to loose formation for a slight speed boost and ranged defense while losing melee performance.



There's nothing left to do but march forward. A hurried march consumes stamina more rapidly than a normal march. Under most circumstances I'd move faster than save the stamina. Units falling below 40% stamina will perform poorly in combat.



My standard engagement tactic is to switch formation just before the unit engage in melee. The light infantry can only deploy in closed formation while the heavy footmen can form the Wedge for very high attack bonus.



We sustained heavy casualty but successfully destroyed the 3 rebel archer units.



We marched onward, relieved that there are no archers on sight. However, we were ambushed when we moved closer.



Notice the icons above the enemies head? Forests can hide units and give a short duration ambush effect. Particularly deadly for archers first strikes. Thankfully, these are just light infantry. No match for our heavies.

An alternate counter to this ambush is usually to just switch to loose formation and retreat until their ambush effect wear off, however, circumstances on battlefield are usually more varied. Archers behind ambushes forces you to advance or die. Or cavalry ambushes cannot be outrun by footsoldiers…not to mention they can trample footmen with brutal efficiency!



For now, we let Sir Kay mow down the rebels with ease.





Post combat we are given hero/unit EXP breakdown and casualty report plus a sum of gold and food. Defeated heroes also has a chance to drop artifacts. The tutorial is nice enough to replenish our forces fully and give us additional forces to fight a second battle.



Looks like we have new unit types to cover:



Light cavalry is no fighter. They are the fastest unit in the game and their most common function is to get to strategic places quicker. They won't last long in melee or sustain ranged fire. They can still trample foot soldiers, however. If you can hide in a forest and charge down an archer unit, it will usually force the enemy to move it away or suffer heavy casualty.

This Light Cavalry unit is a special case. It's a level 5 units with an unlocked special ability 'Dodge' which increases ranged defense rating. It won't help much against the next unit, to be honest.



The basic archer name is deceptively simple, but one look at the ranged damage (450!) will immediately turn heads. Keep them alive behind a solid melee shield and they will mow down hundreds of foes with ease. If anyone reached archers at close range, don't hesitate to make them retreat.

Always keep them at loose formation unless you want to setup ambushes in forests. Close formations only lessens damage from cavalry charges and improve melee, but it makes you more vulnerable to ranged attacks. Keeping them in loose formation can make retreats much easier to execute, for example, it can outrun a Heavy Footmen in Wedge formation.

But enough talk, the second rebel army awaits!





I'm not sure what determines battleground choices, sometimes you don't have the option to do so when you are attacked. Each province basically has three alternate maps to fight in. Picking the right battleground depending your force composition CAN make some battles much easier.



A small area denoted by blue posts marks the radius limit of deployable area for your army. This allows you to place faster units near the edges to capture Victory points quicker. What are Victory Points? Well, let's look at the mini map.



White is where I start. Red is the enemy's army. They are visible in the mini-map. Before you cry 'map hack', forests can hide them or bad weather / spell effects may conceal units. They can see us as well!

Notice the shields dotting the map. That's the VP. Each VP has special properties. The map has a Mill on the SW. Stone Circle just slightly north of it. The red shield denotes a Dark Monastery. The two brown shields above it are Villages. Now, recall a classic called Sun Tzu Art of War where some places give stamina recovery and such, this works the same way in King Arthur, they are:
- Mill, gives 20% bonus on food upon victory
- Stone Circle, grants spell Fog of Avalon
- Dark Monastery, Spell cooldown cut down by 50%
- Village, units recover Stamina faster
- and many more!

But that's not all! Look at the Blue & Red bar.



They're not HP or Mana. The Blue bar is your army's Morale while the Red is enemy's. They can be decreased by: having less controlled VP or taking heavy losses. They can only be gained by: special knight skills or controlling more VPs. The lower your bar, the worse the army will perform as a whole. Lose the whole bar completely, and your army routs. No exceptions.

This is why control of VP is crucial if you want to prevent battles to become a fight of attrition. Lost units cost gold and food to replace, better to just control the battlefield and rout the enemy army while keeping 90% of your forces intact!

Get it? OK, now on to the battle.

I send the Light Cavalry to capture the Mill to the Southwest.



The archers will hide in the forest to ambush the enemy. I send one light infantry unit each to secure Dark Monastery, and both villages. Sir Kay will hold in Wedge formation to ambush oncoming infantry.



The enemy moves eastwards after securing the Stone Circle, leaving it unattended. A few of them have hidden themselves by moving through forests.

They emerged on the other side of the forest later…


Our forces are in no danger, they prepare to engage from the forest while the other two light footmen continue towards the villages.

Meanwhile, my Light Cavalry has finished capping the Southwestern Mill and is ordered to rush northwards to capture the Stone Circle.



Our archers opened fire.



Completely catching the rebel forces unaware.



Sir Kay emerges with his heavy unit Wedge to finish the job.



It's our turn to get ambushed. An archer unit and rebel footmen appeared from the forest. I quickly switched to loose formation and advanced towards their footmen. Hopefully, their archers will not attack to prevent friendly fire.



The first clash sent a rebel footman flying.



Our archers were not idle, their volleys wrecked their archer column till they're down to two. At the same time, our Light Cavalry has finished securing the unguarded Stone Circle. The rebel army morale plummets.



Moments later, our light footmen reported that the last village is secured. The Rebel Army surrendered immediately.



Sir Kay has crushed the Cornwall Rebellion!



With the Cornwall province secured, we can collect tax and food annually once more. Each province can be assigned to a knight as a liege lord.



Each province has different yields, beliefs and culture. Not every Knight will make a good lord. You can check their traits on the character screen. As you can see here, Sir Kay is:
-An Arrogant Briton, penalizing non-Briton culture loyalty by -3
-Ferocious, increases military by 30%, military governs how fast you can recruit army in that province.
-And Stern, 25% more tax income collected.

Each Knight can rule up to 3 provinces. So keep those good provinces under a good ruler to keep the gold coming and don't appoint corrupt officials!

Our army can no longer move this season and we rested, satisfied with our victory.

The next season brings a new challenge and opportunity.



Two choices:

Help King Mark


Effect: We gain +1 Paragon & King Mark will join us.



Effect : +8000 Gold, an Artifact and +1 Tyrant
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December 29th, 2011, 10:06
Hey - looks good - I think I give this game a try.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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December 29th, 2011, 10:26
Funny thing is, I bought it on last year Steam Xmas sale for 6 dollars or so. I must've milked around 100+ hours from it. It was the final nail on the coffin for Heroes series IMO. I didn't want to play anymore heroes after King Arthur made the right blend.
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December 29th, 2011, 10:31
The collection costs 16 Euro at Steam until 2 Jan. 2012:

King Arthur - The Role-playing Wargame,
King Arthur: Knights and Vassals DLC,
King Arthur: Legendary Artifacts DLC,
King Arthur: The Saxons,
King Arthur: The Druids,
King Arthur: Fallen Champions

I buy it.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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December 29th, 2011, 11:03
Great game and LP. The only wargame other than Warhammer: Mark of Chaos that I replay regularly.

I'm looking forward to seeing what they bring to the table for King Arthur 2.

Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
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December 29th, 2011, 11:04
Excellent choice. My initial purchase of KA includes the first three DLC as well up to Saxons.

I got Fallen Champion as a gift from a friend but didn't enjoy the rail-roaded campaign much. I'll try to explain why I like the original 'somewhat free flowing' aspect of the KA campaign on next update tonight.

Overall here's my memory of the DLC

Knight & Vassals: Hmm 2 free heroes
Legendary Artifacts: Some quests that earns you set armor. Expect hard battles.
Saxons: A different sandbox campaign mode with a diplomacy aspect of sort. Not too bad, not too great. Consider saving your Christian replay as Saxons.
The Druids: This is the Old Faith aka Druidic campaign. I didn't get it - but i heard you can get a dragon unit.
Fallen Champions: A very strange railroaded campaign ala Starcraft with text adventures in between. I didnt enjoy it overall. But maybe I'm being too harsh or burned out.

I'll post a review of KA 2 if it's out, cause it's a must-get for me.
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December 30th, 2011, 00:54
King Mark isn't bad, really. his skill set may not seem solid early game, but imagine having a cavalry unit that can charge, trample around 10-20% of the unit's strength, while protected from the first 15 attacks by his Seraph and then instantly burn 10 nearest enemies with Dragon Strike. Even a Light Cavalry under him can perform respectably against most melee infantry unit due to the spike damage he can unload. Later on you can even add immunity to ranged attack to his repertoire of skills to make that blind charge into archer columns less painful.

Mini Update : Seasons



Our army attempted to march towards King Mark's army to attack during the autumn season. However, the army is forced to stop when winter arrives. The snow starts to fall and the weather is too cold to mount any meaningful military campaign.



Spring - Summer - Autumn - Winter is the flow of season per year. Movement points of army is increased by 1.5x during the summer. It is always a good idea to garrison armies in cities during autumn to reinforce units, since during winter they cannot move at all.

Also, winter season is the only time you get your taxes collected. So we have to make sure our gold reserves are sufficient to maintain our army.



The most important thing about winter besides Xmas, it's the only time of the year to assign level-up bonuses. Strange isn't it? This is why it's a good idea to attack after winters if you want to spend those skill up points for the next battle. However, autumn strikes are the best since enemies have a hard time counter-attacking effectively. They only have autumn to respond to your attack, survive that attack, then you could've replaced your losses during the winter and significantly leveled up from previous victories.

So let's assign the points now, shall we?



Heroes have 5 statistics, a few of them are entirely non combat:
-Leadership: Reduces army upkeep
-Reign: Increases income from ruled provinces
-Adventuring: Increase EXP received from quests and army movement points.
-Fight: Increases unit HP & damage output, also directly translates to hero attack power.
-Magic: Increase Mana points reserve

His first ability point goes into Adventuring. I want his army to move further per season, preferably stop at 10 to get a massive 50% boost to Quest EXP & Army Movement.

Sir Kay is a Warlord class. His skills revolves around effective leadership of his army which translate to support buffs to units instead of direct damage.

The second skill tab is the General skill:


Each hero has a unique general skill tab. Which makes it highly attractive to pick those good heroes and groom them.

A few skills of note for Sir Kay:

Class Skills: (From Left to Right)
-Famous Leader: 10% passive increase to all unit Stamina
-Liege:Increase income in all ruled provinces
-Masterful Strategy: Reduction of casualty by 10%
-Masterful Tactics:Increase Armor and Damage for units in a certain radius.

These skills unlock a further two directly beneath them.

For Sir Kay's general skills we have:
Cloud of Arrows: For a short moment, each archer will shoot 2 additional arrows per shot.
Healing: Heals all injured units in a unit. This does not resurrect dead ones, mind you.
Magic resistance: Grants magic resistances to a certain radius.

The other three are really unremarkable passives, one increases rate of unit XP gains, other grants 50% increase to morale and loot from victories, the last one is free research points per season.

Since we only have one point, I choose Masterful Tactics to increase his units damage and armor. At high level we can increase the radius to cover almost 6 nearby units!

Now I've got an hour to get ready for work. Cya!
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December 30th, 2011, 01:37
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Great game and LP.
Seconded. I'm usually not a fan of strategy games, but I liked King Arthur a lot (especially because it reminded me of King of Dragon Pass with all those awesome text quests).

Will keep reading the next updates
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December 30th, 2011, 06:54
Chapter 2: King Mark's Last Stand



As agreed, Sir Kay's army marches towards King Mark's stronghold.

I picked the Saltwind Plateau for the Plains and Forests.





There really isn't much room to maneuver, the forests aren't thick enough to ambush. And King Mark is already deploying his light cavalry to capture the two northern Victory Points. So I followed suit by capturing the southern points myself and setup the archer columns at the thin forests.



There's not even enough forests to stage an ambush. Sir Kay activates his Masterful Tactic and charges forward with his unit.



King Mark replied with a Dragon Strike. Scores of men fells and Sir Kay was grievously wounded.



Dragon Strike is a deadly spell capable of damaging up to 12 closest soldiers in melee.



Our heroes has a mini-duel amidst the chaos.



Sir Kay has fallen! King Mark invokes the spirit of the Seraph, protecting his unit from the first 15 attacks from enemies! And just for the hell of it, he invokes another Dragon Strike.



By then I was blinded with rage and sent my Light cavalry to charge his unit down instead of capping the last two victory points.



This isn't an effective strategy when he's already surrounded by 200 soldiers all clawing to reach him. Only 20 are actively participating, the rest are just waiting for their turn like a Jacky Chan movie villain.

But we prevailed anyway.



Sir Kay needs time to recover from his wounds. Depending on your luck, maybe it'll take one or two seasons. Wounded Knights cannot lead their army in battle.



King Idres forces lets us have the whole province to ourselves.



Not complaining, Sir Kay shall rule over this province.



Ah, winter. Sir Kay adds Cloud of Arrows to skill set.

The Codex vote shall determine where we shall advance next.





The crossed swords indicate a province in conflict. That's where King Idris is facing his nearest rival. We can profit if we strike now. But who shall we assault next? Look out for the next update!

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December 30th, 2011, 09:01
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Great game and LP. The only wargame other than Warhammer: Mark of Chaos that I replay regularly.
I remember trying the demo back when the original game was released, but it didn't really grab me. After seeing this thread, I'm tempted to give it another try.
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December 30th, 2011, 09:12
Great game. I need to get back to it one of these days (Must have put it aside around the 20 hour mark. I think due to a new RPG coming out at the time). Last memory from it was my armies being decimated by a smallish sidhe force (I was really asking for it going deep in an enchanted forest unprepared), good stuff…
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December 31st, 2011, 09:07
Chapter 3: Quests & Conquests

Our army prepares to march against Somerset in aid of King Idres. But before that, a quest beckons…



We shouldn't let this one wait, it could be important.





This man has suffered enough, we should get those arrogant monks to aid him. I shall attempt to negotiate with the abbot.



The arrogance of these so-called men of God offends me! If you defy the will of King Arthur, I will burn this place to the ground!





We welcome Sir Gareth into the Knights of the Round Table.



He is a Sage, a Knight specialized in magical arts. If the Warlord is the paper that binds the army together and support it with strategies, the Sage is the Scissor capable of cutting down enemy forces rapidly with deadly magic. His offensive capability however, is severely limited by his Mana pool. Mana does not regenerate, yet there are skills that allows one to regain mana or artifacts with special properties.

Currently he has spell Dragon Eye, an army-wide spell that allows our soldiers' vision to pierce even the foulest weathers.

The mighty Dragon's Breath when cast upon enemy units grants a 25% chance to instantly set ablaze and kill each soldier in that unit. From 400 metres away.

The Pool of Shadows is a pool of dark ichor conjured upon the ground, rapidly draining life from any living beings walking past. At low level it does not perform that well. But at the third level, it will brutally slaughter a unit within seconds!

Unfortunately, Sir Gareth is a terrible liege lord:
-Proud Briton grants +3 loyalty to all Briton provinces.
-His corrupted nature reduces trade income by 50%
-Braveheart enables him to earn 25% more experience points from battles. This allows him to rapidly max out his spell repertoire and deliver death in battles.

The current war between Somerset and King Idris's army looks to be a stalemate. Somerset is very lightly defended. As the Codex has agreed, we will capitalize and ally ourself with King Idris.



Oh, also new units we recruited over the winter:


The Spearmen is a highly improved light infantry type. They are capable of withstanding Cavalry charges and possess Armor Piercing capability which reduces defense of attacking enemies. They are also capable of forming the Wedge Formation.


The Axeman is a first tier upgrade to the basic footmen. It's got more HP and slightly higher attack but is still incapable of forming any other formation beyond Closed and Loose.

Sir Aglaral's army never really stood a chance. Sir Gareth practices some spells and enjoys good EXP from direct kills. The best way to utilize the Sage is to attach him to a very fast unit like the Cavalry to zip around, wrecking important units like the archers.

Dragon's Breath


Pool of Shadows


This is just a warm up.


The second battle in the neighboring province is slightly more challenging. Sir Peredur is aided with a second Knight. But both are melee specialists…


The unit clad in red are Sentinels. Cheap, good light infantry of the Rightful Kings. A much better alternative to the footmen.But the lack of archer numbers will make this battle so much easier. Keeping in mind that engaging two melee hero units is a costly affair, Sir Kay is turned into an archer leader.

A lot of people argued that heroes should wade in the melee and wreak havoc. But in the case of Warlords like Sir Kay where his specialty lies in support spell, it is more beneficial to pump his support spells and stick close to the main damage dealer of the army: the archers. At maximum level, Masterful Tactics grants buffs that can encompass 6 units at once for 2 whole minutes!

Here's what the battlefield looks like.


Northwest is a Guard Tower, granting a spell in its vicinity. To the 6 o clock is an Enchanted Spring cutting costs of spells cast near the area. The middle VP is a Sidhe Tower, the most valuable resource in the map, granting an offensive spell. Two villages lay to the eastern-most position. While a nearby Mill to the north provides 20% more food to the victor of this battle.

My plan:
Forget the northwest VP. We can win this straight slugfest. Sir Gareth will capture the Enchanted Springs. While the archers hide in the forest and infantry secure the Sidhe Tower.



The opposing army will be forced to march in open ground whereby our archers will pelt their archer units till dead once they are in range.

An enemy cavalry strayed too close and died within seconds after I triggered Masterful Tactics and Cloud of Arrows.


No you don't survive arrows by running faster at them. So that's one Cavalry unit down.



We start to rain arrows at their archers. Sir Gareth arrives and set several infantry ablaze with Dragon's Breath. While the Sidhe Tower, Crystal Shard spell is triggered at the enemy archer unit at the same time.



Ouch. That looks painful. With no way to fire back, we can now pelt their forces with impunity as they made their slow way through the forest. It was made easier with their two heroes leading a heavy infantry unit. Our archers easily fired several volleys before falling back a little bit to maintain the distance.



Their nightmares did not even end after emerging from the forest. With no cover to be had, our archers put them out of their misery.



We've taken three knights prisoner.


We can torture them for the whereabouts and exact composition of their kingdom's army. But they might die as a result. Tyrant Knights enjoys this, but Rightful ones loses loyalty to their King. A good King can choose to release them for a +1 loyalty bonus to all the Rightful Knights, but be prepared to face them again in battle.



Guess we whipped him too hard. Let's try again, shall we?



Much better. One last army to attack then! With the information complete, we can now remove the fog of war from the enemy hero's kingdom provinces. Making it easier to hunt down their last force.



They are reinforcing themselves and will take 3 turns to complete. When completed they will have 96 light infantry and almost 200 archers. We cannot let this pass.



Attacking an army amidst their reinforcing process will force them to deploy only a partial force they managed to recruit so far. But those archers are still a pain in the ass. How do we minimize casualty against mass archers?

Easy.
First, employ the terrain advantage. Keep your archers hidden in the forests for first strike and ambush bonus.

Second, invoke Fog of Avalon or any foul weather spells to cut down archery range by almost half.

Then with Dragon's Eye, you remove the weather penalty for your army as their archers cannot counter-fire.

Finally, profit.


Victory is achieved.


And that's two provinces secured! Easy right? Hardly. The game barely gives you any breathing space after this because…



Yeah, Andhaira and Andhairi, which one is better and why? Inane quests like this exist. But it basically gives different reward and alignment shift. I accept the Codex vile nature and will rush to the aid of Sir Balin. HOWEVER…

We have another quest to visit.


I shall have a word with the elders…

I heard that a druid lives around here. What do you know about him?

Tell me about that recent battle.

I don't need help to find a whole band of warriors.

Sonuvabitch. OK, fine. I shall pay your price. Ungrateful bastards.

Spent enough time and money trying to find you. In the name of the King, I order you to join my army!

It's time to return to the village and ask them about the Northern Army.


Fuck you. I won't pay you anything. Speak or my soldiers will loosen your tongue.


Do NOT for one second believe this deranged accounts of 'easy to kill' armies.



We head straight to the druid.



When asked for the Horn of Avalon the druid demands that Sir Kay promises there will be no Christian rule in these lands. He wanted the Old Faith influence to remain untouched.

We could tell him yes…or no out of Christian principle….or no because we have swords and he carries a stick.

I cannot make such promises. Hand over the Horn or else…


Seems the Old Faith is capable of teleportation magics…we have no choice. We have to wait till dawn at the lake.



For every choice…a consequence…




Giants. Wargs. And Sidhe troopers. We're going to have to dig deep. Not to mention the fog cutting our archers' range by half.



Sir Gareth marches onward to scout out the enemy location. They weren't visible at the start.




The giants resisted his Dragon's Breath. I decided to save his mana for Dragon's Eye. It's the only chance to drop the two Giant units before they pummel us to oblivion. Further complicating the matters are ultra-fast Wargs the AI loves to use to flank archers.



I'm hoping that this medium patch of forests will force uneven arrival time for their army. And no, you cannot outrun giants while on foot. So under no circumstances should you let the giants even get within 10 metre of archers.



As soon as the Giants came into normal range, I activated Dragon's Eye, Masterful Tactics and Cloud of Arrows to focus fire. The first one thankfully dropped quickly. But the second one is accompanied with wargs…we need to lock them down.



A unit of spearmen and light footmen engages the wargs and giants while archers rained down on them. Friendly fire is ignored. We just have to accept the losses.



It held. The wargs are handily dispatched by the heavy infantry, while archers draw the heavy Sidhe troopers on a hit and run chase that is still effective.



It turned out okay. Although we lost both the spearmen and light footmen unit used to hold back the Giants and Wargs.



The Lady of the Lake restored Excalibur to its former glory.



This is when the real game begins…



We have two choices. Establish a stronghold by taking Virconium to the north…or London to the east? The City of Virconium is a stronghold of the Old Faith and may grant opportunities to ally with the Kingdoms of the Old Faith, antagonizing the Eastern Christian Kingdom in the process. London is the opposite, bordering the Saxons, we will have the opportunity to ally with Christian forces in their quest to spread their beliefs in the land and eventually clashing with the Old Faith kingdoms to the west.

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