Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Operation Hydra Day 10

by Alex Benson

Force A- Adm. Helena's Force arrives at their planned landing beach around mid day. Adm. Helena sends the war galleys of 9th and 10th Reg. of 3rd and 14th Fleets. The galleys row in and offload their compliment of marines. They land without incident as there is no opposition. Recon shows no Minrothad forces nearby. Adm. Helena orders the real landing to begin. By dusk, all three Cohorts have been offloaded from their transports. The only problem experienced in the offloading deals with the landing of the siege weapons of 27th Cohort (assault). Despite this, the troops are able to make adequate defence works before night falls. Force A will keep with the current strategy of drawing the Thadder forces to them to engage. Force A will remain in the landing area for several days in hopes of casing such an engagement. The Force's land commander, Gen. Xerathas, will send out long range scout the following morning.

Force B- At first light, Minrothad forces engage the Thyatians. #1 HG Master Anrod Miller leads 3rd Reg/1stHG and 3rdReg/3rd HG against the Thyatian lines. He knows of the odds against him. He hopes to harass the Thyatians in a surprise attack. He will then pull his forces back. He has spotted a weak spot in the Thyatian lines and will have 3rd Reg/1stHG charge this area, opening a gap and the lines. The cavalry will proceed into the interior of the Thyatian camp and inflict as much damage as possible. The mounted infantry of 3rdReg/3rdHG will dismount and hold this gap to insure the cavalry can make a withdrawal.

The attack goes as planned. The med. cav. breaches the line and enters the Thyatian camp. The mounted infantry dismount and hold the breach. Hearing reports of siege weapons in side the camp, Miller decides to assault these. This is a foolhardy move since they have no means to effectively destroy the weapons. There is also the fact that the Thyatians have mobilised and are wearing down the mounted infantry holding the gap open.

After unsuccessfully assaulting the siege weapons twice, Miller realises the foolishness of the move. He sounds the retreat. The remnants of 3rdReg/1stHG ride back to the gap only to find it has been closed. The 3rdReg/3rdHG is no more as the numerically superior Thyatians outflanked then enveloped them. Within a few minutes the med cav suffers the same fate of their comrades. To their credit, the Thadders fight on to the last man, being spurred on by the cries of Miller who had fallen, mortally wounded. The ironic thing is that half of the camp is not aware of any fight until after it is over. Gen. di Cicero uses the attack as a motivator to his troops to be alert. The General then assigns the troops responsible for defending the breached area to collect and bury the Minrothad dead. From the dead Thadders additional silver weapons (mainly daggers) are collected to contribute to keeping the werebeasts away.

Force C- Gen. Nikkos makes some final troop adjustments before beginning his attack on Malfton. 4th Cohort is placed in Company levels along the what I presume to be the northern lines of Malfton (map of Malfton has no compass. I assume up to be north). 28th Cohort takes a position west of Malfton after travelling upriver and crossing the Quickhand. The Marines of 6th Fleet will take on the eastern portion of Malfton, centring attention on what Nikkos calls the Prosperity Hill suburb. Gen. Trassis (28thCohort) likes this plan. However, she suggests something that Nikkos hadn't contemplated. She suggests that several of the ballista be removed from the transports and placed with 4th and 28th Cohorts to bombard Malfton from the land instead of just from the river (galleys). Nikkos likes the idea and orders it done. Adm. Tiberius voices his concerns of losing the initiative and providing the Hin another day to prepare themselves. However, he sees the logic in the move. This takes the remainder of the day as the ballista must be offloaded and brought around Malfton to be set up. As such, the assault is put off till the following day. In an attempt to keep the Hin on their toes, the Thyatians periodically bombard the town and its defence works with regular and fire tipped projectiles. The damage is minor to the interior. The defence works do sustain damage despite the Hin acting quickly to extinguish the flames. [Note- In at least two messages I have referred to 4th Cohort as 6th Cohort. My mistake. Got the Cohort mixed up with the Fleet.]

Force D- The Thyatian troops on Fire Island continue loading up captured goods and materials from the pirate town. The demolition of Cove Harbour begins. Several blocks of the town that have been thoroughly looted are put to the torch and/or torn down.

The 1st Privateer Fleet strikes at the Thyatian vessels at the mouth of the Reedy River. Their first pass takes the Thyatians by surprise though the actual damage inflicted is minimal. The pirates manage to make three more passes before the Thyatians can form up to engage the pirates. As the Thyatians set a course to engage the pirates, the Privateers hoist all their canvas and sail away toward Gapton Harbour on North Island. Several Thyatian vessels are damaged. The sailing ship Gommaria later sinks from the damage inflicted upon her hull. Despite the efforts of her crew, the Thyatian vessel slides beneath the waves. The crew transfers over to one of the ships captured from the pirates and makes her ready for sail. They do take the time to rechristen the ship, the Gommaria's Revenge.

After this incident, the Thyatian commander decides it is time to depart. He steps up the loading of loot and slaves onto the ships, not to mention the destruction of Cove Harbour. He makes plans to leave the following morning. He relays this change of plans to Adm. Helena. The Supreme Commander of Hydra tells him to bring his forces to Open Island to supplement the forces there. Explaining his Force's load of loot and slaves, he gets Adm. Helena's permission to send the loot ships, wounded, and slaves back to Thyatis. Adm. Helena agrees citing that all of the spoils should have been with the "booty convoy". Adm. Helena still insists that troops be sent to Open Island. She tells Gen. Delgrado to appoint a new Force commander. Delgrado chooses Capt. Merrik. Merrik is promoted to admiral and assigned the task of allotting ships to act as escort for both the troops to Malfton and assign ships to escort the loot, slaves, and wounded back to Thyatis. Merrik and Delgrado spend the rest of the day planning this.

In Harbortown, the residents are anxious at hearing no news from the troops sent to meet the Thyatians. Scouts are sent to investigate. From afar, the scouts take note of the Thyatians. They also note the number of Minrothad dead being buried. The scouts realise the situation and make fast to Harbortown to report the defeat. This is a morale killer for the people of Harbortown.

At hearing of the defeat, Warheart Cleaver realises the Thyatian strategy of drawing the defenders away from the city to meet them on a more favourable terrain of an open landscape. Warheart sends out an order that no longer will any HG force oppose the Thyatians in the field. The only exception will be if the attack is ordered from Gapton. From that moment on, the defence of the Guilds' cities will be handled from the walls.

Warheart Cleaver is still assembling his forces at Gapton, North Island. He hopes to have all available forces by the following day. After hearing of the attack staged by 1st Privateer Fleet, the dwarf is enraged. He reminds his subordinates that such actions only aid the Thyatians strategy of breaking down the Home Guard Forces. As he puts it, the Privateers were lucky this time.

The Thadder Forces at Blackrock, 6thSquad/2ndFleet, 4th and 6th Squads/1st Fleet, and 1st Reg/3rdHG, report their departure to Gapton. Warheart Cleaver tells them to proceed to Open Island instead of Alfeisle Island. They will use the Thyatian tactics themselves by landing down the coast. Marching onward, they should be able to catch the Thyatians in a vice. Warheart sends a message to Malfton informing them that help is on the way. He tells the Hin to hang on and be prepared to assist the relief force.

Warheart contacts Oran Meditor. He asks the Ruling Guildmaster to join him in Gapton. The dwarf says he has two Fleet Squads off the coast of Fortress Island that can afford him safe transport. Oran declines. He says he will remain in Minrothad City. This reassures the dwarf of Oran's faith in him. Still, he keeps the two squadrons off Fortress Island just in case. Oran, however, sees the offer as a sign that the Minrothad defences are failing.

The Hin defenders of Malfton are a rag tag bunch. They spend the day watching the massing Thyatians moving into position. They stand at the wooden palisades awaiting the assault. They are puzzled by the attack that does not come. A few report seeing siege machines being moved and erected. By nightfall, attacks do come. These are volleys of missiles (crossbow and siege weapon). Some are blunt, others incendiary. The volleys strike at Malfton. The Hin are hard pressed to extinguish the blazes. Priority is given to fires inside the town. As such, the walls do receive some damage. The message from the Mercenary Guild causes a morale boost among the Hin. They put aside their fears, doubts, and inexperience to try to hold off the Thyatians until help arrives.