Monday, January 4, 2021

First Blacklands war - Siege of Scutari

This will be a brief posting, just a reminder that, for the last week of October, the Black Mountains Army has been besieging the city of Scutari, in Northern Abiloni, near the Adriatic Sea coast. I needed some very simple rules for the siege, which had to include the possibility of surrender, but also the chance of the garrison attempting a sortie, or the besiegers attempting a storm.  

The besiegers do not greatly outnumber the garrison; so a coup de main seems unlikely. What I have decided is that, failing a relief - unlikely for quite a while - each week I would roll a D6 die. On a '6', something will happen.  A second roll goes something like this:

  1. Garrison surrenders
  2. Garrison attempts a sortie
  3. Starvation and pestilence in the City! Garrison loses 1-3 SP (determined by die roll)
  4. Pestilence in the camp! Besiegers lose 1-3 SP (determined by die roll)
  5. Besiegers attempt a coup de main.
  6. Betrayal! A traitor leaves open a gate to allow besiegers in.  Besiegers attempt a storm, with 1-3 SP inside the city walls.
If anything happens that leads to a fight, the table will look like this...

Now, the forces involved in this siege comprise:

Black Mountains Army:
  • Command, General Zrnov and staff (average) = 6SP
  • 2nd Infantry (trained) = 4SP
  • 3rd Infantry (trained) = 3SP (This unit upgraded from 'green').
  • 4th Infantry (green) = 4SP
  • 1st Artillery Regiment = 2SP
  • Transport column = 1SP

    6 Units, Median 3*.
    20SP, exhaustion point -7SP
Turcowaz Garrison
  • Command, (average) = 6SP
  • 2 Infantry units (green) @ 4SP = 8SP
  • 1 Garrison Artillery = 2SP

    4 Units, Median 2*
    16SP, exhaustion point -6SP

* Note: The numbers of units being so small, each may be split up into stands of 1 or 2 SPs, as hinted by the diagram map.  This will alter the unit and activation counts, with no adjustment to SP or exhaustion point. So, if, apart from the command element, all units are split up into 1SP stands, then:

Turcowaz have 1 command, 8 infantry, 2 artillery - 11 units, median 6.

Black Mountains have 1 command, 11 infantry, 2 artillery and 1 transport - 15 units, median 8. 

However, one or either army might choose to retain some units with 2SP.

I have to admit, that apart from dicing for events in the first week - a '2', so nothing happened - I haven't play tested any assaults. I'll leave the excitement for when it turns up!

To be continued:  Week 5 - the beginning of November.


  1. That's a nice part of the campaign to have ticking away in the background!

    1. Thanks, Maudlin Jack -
      Having created the garrisons, I created the sieges. Had to do something with it!

  2. AHGCs War and Peace had quite a nice system for sieges. I'd be inclined to avoid the "surrender on a 1" but instead have them surrender when they reach their exhaustion point, as various events reduce their SPs

    1. Hi Martin -
      I was looking into that the SP reduction thing, but the garrison already being so small (and the besiegers too), I thought that might go too far. Another possibility was a bombardment, and rolling, say, 1 die per day of the week, hitting on a '6'. I might yet do that!

      The surrender when EP reached had certainly crossed my mind. The surrender on a '1' I am so far inclined to keep - the sort of instance in which a poltroon or ninny city commandant surrenders more or less at the first summons. But I wanted a very low probability for that occurrence.

      At any rate, I didn't want this to be a 'campaign within a campaign', exactly, but rather a more or less background situation of unpredictable duration. The Black Mountains Army has fought its battle in the open field, and is too weak to do much more!

      Archduke Piccolo

  3. Just enough to be a nice complimentary part of the campaign.

    If any modifiers are needed, they could be based on either how far away the relief is, or rather the confidence of the besieged, which would in part tie in to the probability of relief.

    1. Hi Norm -
      I agree. The way things are looking at the moment, relief from outside is looking unlikely for some time to come. On the other hand, the besieging force is barely strong enough to maintain a proper blockade!

      My early thoughts on this aspect of the campaign were along the lines of Martin Rapier's suggestion, but I felt it had to cut both ways. Given the Principality's small army, an attrition-based system seemed perhaps a trifle 'unfair' (Damn - I'm starting to have third thoughts). So I went for an 'events' based system, with the 'events' very occasional.

      I'm just winging it really. If it don't work, I'll try something else.
      Archduke Piccolo