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Of men and metal
Alabard was a commander of an Altdorf artillery train, the largest one next to Nuln. Alabard had over 50 cannons 10 hell blasters and 15 mortars. Under his command 1000 men and 500 hand gunners, as well as huge amounts of equipment, yet no battle to fight. In fact all he had to do was take it to a rally point. However every cannon lost was another mile from a “real” assignment.
From his current position, mounted on his horse he could see for miles were it not for the dust being kicked up by his train. His train was on a rock face over looking a huge flatland. Out of the dust he could barely make out the forest only a few hundred yards away. Yet even over the groans of his men he could hear the shouts coming from the forest. It was getting louder quickly. Immediately he shouted to his men to aim their weapons east.
He herd the sounds of a hundred men positioning their weapons. He shouted orders to his commanders, although he didn’t know what he need to shoot at he knew they couldn’t possibly wait.
In the eerie silence afterwards Alabard shouted out “Who comes from the forest? Identify yourself now!” He gestured to his crews to prepare their weapons.
“You have 10 seconds before out guns open fire. 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1” with the he threw his arm forward and the mountain sounded a deafening loud explosion. Although he had no way of seeing it he knew it was a very good volley. The forest burned around their shells. At that moment Alabard realized how doomed he truly was. He looked out to see easily 10,000 men, rather orcs
He called his commanders to him. He gave them each their orders. However he did not know what he was to do. He could aim to kill as many orcs as possible or he could try to protect his weapons as long as possible. He decided their was no point in protecting the weapons if he is too overwhelmed to bring them out anyways, and once he understood this, over the shouts and “WAAAAs” of the orcs he shouted his final words to his men.
“Men of the empire we are out to simply protect these guns, well men there is no point in saving them if they simply fall into orc hands after we are all dead! Men we must stand, kill these foul beasts bring honor to your names and to those of your families. Your sons, and their sons and forever more shall know your names for we are heroes! My friends it is likely we all die here today, but when we do let the world know it was for Sigmar, for honor and for the great empire of men! Hold your ground, and in your own names DO NOT FAIL!”
His army cheered, he told his commanders to go to their own men and do their work. His cannons and mortars remained on the hill while his hand gunners moved to the edge of the cliff along with their hell blasters. His infantry core stood on the steep slope. The footsloggers placed anything they could to slow the orc advance placing spare spears and shields to construct a makeshift wall.
The cannons volleyed the hell blasters poured their pallets down on the orcs and the men chanted their war cries. Orcs fell in the hundreds yet they didn’t stop coming. The forest fires burned killing more of the vast horde but they burned out and the weapons silenced.
The first orcs crashed against the wall. Sections collapsed and orcs poured past. They were quickly surrounded and killed. As more orcs fell more sections fell with them. Again cannons blasted and mortar shells fell.
Out of the forest dozens of trolls came running at the empire lines. The hand gun pellets lodged in the trolls flesh causing them to fall along with their smaller counterparts.
With no signs of an end the orcs began to push past the wall. The halberdiers and spearmen impaled orcs as fast as they could yet were still being over whelmed. The men behind them threw any spare weapons they had into the green mass. However the orcs still kept coming.
From his vantage point from atop the mountain the empire battle engineers prepared their creations under the orders of their commanding officer. A bolt thrower shooting primitive fire bombs was killing orcs by the dozens. However for every successful hit, a machine fails causing engineers to run behind them and tinker. Above even the cannons Alabard gazed at the battlefield. He could see the end of the horde, but for every 5 orcs he could see only one of his own men. The line was failing too quickly. An hour ago he sent a messenger bird to his allies he didn’t know when they would find him but he knew he had to stop the orcs.
What could he do, once again he called his commanders to his side. However 3 of his infantry leaders didn’t come. After drawing a field of battle and discussing the best strategy he found a solution. He called his best engineers and inventory men to the discussion. After they all moved back over to their troops he sent 200 crews and soldiers to lay spare black power and anything else combustible he could find on the ground to just behind his line here the orcs would be forced to walk over it.
The engineers ran back over speaking of success. And with that he shouted to his men to pull back. They all made it back leaving only the already dead behind. Once almost all of the green mass was over the Explosives line. He gestured to his assistants for his long rifle. Personally he fired one shot. And with that thousands of orcs were sent flying. The remainders didn’t see enough of their warriors to keep going and retreated. The survivors were pelted in limbs of their allies, only causing them to run faster.
At that moment from the next level up 300 miniature arrows flew instantly killing half the remaining men. Goblins!
The goblins moved down fighting off the majority of the surviving men. Leaving only 4 alive, they were surrounded buy hundreds of goblins.
That was the 3 of us spoke Jonathon the senior battle engineer. From around the fire the search party completely amazed.
“We were the only ones of our army left alive boys me and these good men to my sides as well as one of my crewmen.”
“I don’t understand” said the leader of the party “how did you 3 survive?”
“Ahh. Well we were in a circle when my engineer noticed that the hell blaster next to him was loaded. He could kill maybe 10 more if he was lucky, what was there to loose? In a split second he dived for the cannon miraculously firing it before the goblins could stop him. But instead of killing 10, the goblin host leaping at him were all dead as well as the man. The weapons exploded on the second tube. A huge explosion rang out splinters flew and once again green skins were sent flying. Now I don’t know if it was thtat explosion, the bravery of that last man or the thousands of orcs slain but at that moment the goblins cence of honour melted awawy and each and every one of them ran down the mountain. In one last honour to his name I picked up that long rifle and slay one last goblin, with that we all felt completed. Sigmar truly smiled upon us for we had one, only a single weapon was destroyed. That glorious hell blaster that saved us all.”
As he had sayed at the peak of his life "My friends it is likely we all die here today, but when we do let the world know it was for Sigmar, for honor and for the great empire of men!" He did a great hero of the empire died and because of him the empire lives on. Every man who died that day from the lowest ranked recruit to Alabard himself died with a sence of sadisfaction, a sence of succss!
Ps : anything in this story that dosnt quite "fit" the fluff is my mistake sorry about any of those.
An interesting read, a slight improbably actions like marching then suddenly be read for combat. But that's nothing really, the only other thing is in fiction it is rarely a good choice to use number rather than words. I would go back and change them all to words.
Otherwise, tis quite good.