Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby Rebel » 31 Aug 2018, 13:00

@OSM and TGM

While Faramir Dai Ren was busy with this orc king Ma Han up west, the fellowship of the bamboo sticks had their own troubles in the south, dealing with the denizens of Fangorn Forest.

Patrol Force: A Bundle of Bamboo Sticks
Your force advances into the woods, the advance is slow due to your cautious movement, and due to a suspicious number of fallen trees that block the road. As your tired force makes camp for the night, a single arrow lands in the middle of the camp. It bears the message:
Invaders and servants of the corrupt officials!

This is your one and only warning. Turn back now. We will not let you enslave our families for your masters' greed.


Wounded troops: healing counter (8). 90% of the those injured (from the initial number of injured, rounding down) recover.

Mao Ma Kan
: Recover 1% Injury. Trains Troops.
Liu Jia: Study Riot (2)
Shang Bao: Recover 1% Injury (fully healed?). Study Ambush (2)


Mao Ma Kan reads the message of warning and smirks at one of the auxiliaries standing nearby.

"Hah..it seems my reputation precedes me. Enslaving people and their families is my specialty."

As the auxiliary raises an eyebrow, Mao Ma Kan winks at him with a smile.

"Err.hide the nets, shackles and whips. We must keep our intentions secret man!"

The subordinate shakes his head as MMK proceeds to find the other officers and get their input on what they made of the note and where to go from here.

A note in Mao Ma Kan's diary wrote:No matter where we go; the forest, the mountains, the villages or the sea, we evoke the strongest of emotions from the people. Hatred.
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Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby UnholyBlade » 31 Aug 2018, 20:04

UnholyBlade wrote:Dai Ren stands wearily, his sword pointed into the now soft red earth, his shoulders writhing as he breathes heavily. His body is awash of cuts over his arms and legs. Blood was staining his clothes and his armor, and each bead of sweat made the wounds sting like they were being branded onto him. Luckily, only the cut to his midsection seemed to be particularly debilitating. Each time he took a breath he could feel his midsection straining under the tension anew. This was going to be an injury he would need to take some time and some care to recover from. Such an injury was easily reopened, after all. He turned and surveyed his troops, and was dismayed.

Another round of fighting against better armed and better trained soldiers had led to this. His troops could've finished off Qin Yi's small force, possibly, but it was by their king's order the fighting had ceased. Now that the noise and exhilaration of battle had dissipated, the situation had been dawning on Dai Ren.

Such a small scouting force had decimated his soldiers, and the enemy had more troops than they could ever hope to fight off in such an open field. He knew he made the correct order for his troops to retreat, if it could be said there were even correct orders to be had in such a predicament, but with such a mobile force of cavalry at their heels they would never have gotten far. Perhaps his taunts had enticed the king to see a battle on equal footing, perhaps his earlier flair had been what made the king decide not to send his entire force to crush his bloodied band of peasants. Perhaps, but that was speculation for another time. Right now, Dai Ren had to continue his mission of getting his troops home and getting a report back to the administration.


"Gather up the wounded. Leave the dead. We must travel light before the Emperor's blessing leaves us." the young captain said stoically to his beleaguered troops. They needed direction now more than ever, lest they begin to break under the mental and physical stress of what they had endured thus far. Now was not the time for emotions to take over. As his unit begins to gather and organize a march eastward Dai Ren grabs a broken banner of Wan from a nearby corpse of and struggles onto his horse, wincing and groaning as he sits as erect as he can in his saddle at the rear of his column. He makes no efforts to yell across the vast distance of the plain at the insurgent king, instead trying to take in as many details about their formation and their numbers as he can.


ShadInquis wrote:Ma Han, still sitting that same spot, shouts to you.

Well, that was not bad at all. You may give me a glorious battle after all. Don't forget your your battle spoils, you have earned them. And here, a gift from me for the entertainement provided.

A single rider sets out from the the group with another riderless horse. Around 50 paces from your troops, he plants a spear into the ground and throws the riderless horse's reins over it. The rider then returns, leaving the horse behind.

You central plains people barely have any real horses. With this, you will have something more adequate. Now, off you go, and don't come back without a army worth my time.


You gain loot is a per previously established rules: killed soldiers (yours or enemy) give you damaged gear (regular horsemen have normal weapons, horse archers drop bows). You also gain 12 horses (8 injured, 4 healthy). And you gain a Liangzhou Horse (Lead +1 Mount)



At the rear of the column, Dai Ren watched as a lone rider deposited the horse on the field of battle. The king had spoken truthfully, the reputation of western bred horses were superior to anything he could expect to find in a city's stables. He wheeled his horse around slowly, pain gripping his arm and fingers as he pulled on the reins. His horse trotted up slowly to the other and they exchanged grunts and whinney's before Dai Ren could grab the rein and begin escorting the horse back to his formation. She was clearly of a different breed, her grayish hair and fur marking her out as readily as her braids.

Dai Ren was unsure if this was truly meant as a gift, or if it was meant as an insult, but he was happy to accept another valuable resource. As he returned to his unit, the dead had been left on the ground as ordered and the wounded had all been placed on as many horses as could be salvaged. Many of the horses would probably be brought to exhaustion given some of their wounds, but they needed to manage as much speed as they could. Wounded people were slow, but at least wounded horses moved faster.

As the Emperor's Aegis began clearing some distance, Dai Ren could not help but be watchful over his shoulder. At the end of the day, King or no King, the man was a barbarian leading barbarians. How much discipline could he hold over such troops? The possibility of a raid of revenge for bloodying their nose was well within the realm of possibility. He would have to double up on the night watch shifts for the time being, and hope by the grace of the Emperor his troops did not have to fight again in the coming days.
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Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby One Sun Mirror » 01 Sep 2018, 14:26

Rebel wrote:@OSM and TGM
While Faramir Dai Ren was busy with this orc king Ma Han up west, the fellowship of the bamboo sticks had their own troubles in the south, dealing with the denizens of Fangorn Forest.

...MMK proceeds to find the other officers and get their input on what they made of the note and where to go from here.

Liu Jia was giving out the last of the instructions to those around him for the final touches of the forested encampment when Mao Ma Kan approached him, an arrow and a ream of paper held aloft.

"Where was this found?" the farmer asked after Ma Kan had explained how it had come into his possession. "How long ago? Take me there, and send for the one who picked it up."

As the two companions travelled brusquely through their makeshift accommodation, Jia asked, "how far away do you suppose an archer might be to shoot an arrow into our camp? Amongst so many trees... Do you suppose we will be ambushed if we stay here? We could make preparations for that eventuality of course... this may well be a bluff. I will be interested to hear from our martial companion what he makes of the situation. I find it fascinating that they have bothered to "warn" us, showing that either they have some semblance of decency or that they are simply unable to strike at us right now. However we should not become complacent. They may well be scattered about the woods and be gathering together as we speak to deliver on their threat. Have you ever experienced such a thing as a caravan guard?"
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Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby Rebel » 02 Sep 2018, 17:04

Mao Ma Kan sends for the soldier who found it (( I guess shadinquis will have to answer for that)). He was thoughtful for a long moment before replying.

"The arrow was found in the middle of the camp from what I've been told. It appears to me that no matter what we do, the enemy knows about our movement while we know nothing of them. I would reckon they are pretty close, possibly within this forest or the ones next to us?"

It was difficult for Kan to give an exact location under the circumstances. The warning was quite interesting however.

"I have experienced bandit raids as a caravan guard. Usually they dont give a warning. If they intend to rob us they stay as hidden as possible until they attack. If they don't intend to rob us, they never reveal themselves. This situation is quite odd indeed."

He rubbed his chin looking around at the forests.

"We have been as cautious as possible and running scouts in every direction as we move forward slowly. I feel this should give us warning about ambushes and enemy plans to trap us. Perhaps they know the art of turning invisible? Or maybe they are being led by much smarter and capable leaders than what we have? I do not know what more we could do to detect them."

"We can set up watch for the night, putting men on the trees to keep an eye out. I wouldn't be surprised if they tried some mischief tonight."
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Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby ShadInquis » 02 Sep 2018, 17:48

The arrow landed in the middle of your camp. The approximate direction from which it came is "west" as far as anyone who saw it land can say.

Anything specific you want to ask the soldier?
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Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby thegrandmystic » 02 Sep 2018, 19:34

"Not as a caravan guard, no, but I have conducted scouting operations as part of a train of troops marching before through woods as thick as this. Given what we've seen with these trees, we might need to pay apt attention to what is going on behind us just as judiciously and cautiously as what might be before us lest our ability to regroup and retreat if needed be cut away from us," Bao noted to his comrades while he took to scanning the treeline for anything that stood out.

"Much like after our venture with the villages, I will arrange for watch this evening and see to it that the men know which shift they will be taking. Extra vigilance will be needed come nightfall."
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Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby One Sun Mirror » 03 Sep 2018, 11:57

@Rebel, tgm

"Our esteemed archer companion was a caravan guard," Liu Jia explained to Shang Bao as he announced his own arrival. He was glad to see the cavalry commander, inwardly relieved to see him return from the fore of the column. "Perhaps a different take to military affairs compared to the Imperial Army, I expect."

"Do you expect our path away from here might be cut off? Can we secure ourselves here? And do you think it is worth trying to parlay with those in the forests? Or know of a way we can bring them to speak? Their message does seem very ominous, although I cannot profess to know all the ins and outs of armed conflict just yet."

"Is there a good way we can ensure our path away from here if it is needed quickly? And should we look to clear the trees blocking our paths currently? Or leave them in place so as not to aggravate our message-shooting friends?"
ShadInquis wrote:The arrow landed in the middle of your camp. The approximate direction from which it came is "west" as far as anyone who saw it land can say.

Anything specific you want to ask the soldier?

"Was anything seen from the west? Or did the arrow simply fly from the darkness?" Jia inquired, though not expecting much.
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Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby ShadInquis » 03 Sep 2018, 13:29

One Sun Mirror wrote:"Was anything seen from the west? Or did the arrow simply fly from the darkness?" Jia inquired, though not expecting much.

The soldier looks confused.

I was just making dinner sir. What was I supposed to see?
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Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby Rebel » 03 Sep 2018, 15:17

@TGM &OSM

"Our advanced scouts reported that the trees ahead of them were brought down just as they were getting close. It is believed that once we move forward, the bandits might bring trees down ahead us and behind, effectively trapping us before springing an ambush. I believe that is what Master Shang Bao is getting at."

On the questions of their current position Kan shook his head.

"We are barely at the edge of the forest. I do not believe our way east has been blocked just yet and we should be able to leave to the east or north. Of course I cannot be sure of that. Things are strange in this place. But that would be the safest option."

"We should be secure here, for the time being."


He looked to the western forest thinking.

"The arrow came from the west, so I am guessing that's where they are at. If we move forward, we would face much worse odds. Even if we manage to fight off any traps, there would be heavy casualties."

"I have two ideas in mind, both military in nature, if you guys would hear them? Unless of course you want to try something diplomatic? Personally, I don't trust them any more than the villagers. They have shown how much they hate us. And they're bandits. Not the most trustworthy lot. But if you guys prefer to parlay, we can try."

"As for how we can bring them to speak, if they want to speak at all, that is easy."


He took off his bow and rolled a blank note around an arrow. Held it high towards the west as if aiming to shoot before taking the note off and handing it to Liu Jia and winking. He then gestured to the south.

"Of course there is the final option where we stick to the original plan and just head south and then back east. The safer option, with some chance of getting more information."
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Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby thegrandmystic » 04 Sep 2018, 22:28

"My initial belief is that we should continue southward as intended, sticking to the edge of these woods where possible. I am not sure that those that roam these woods are the kind of people that wish to parlay," Bao made it known with a shake of his head. "Unless there is compelling reason to venture into the woods in our current near-blind state when it comes to numbers and motives, the southern villages still need to be checked upon in the same way that the village cluster nearest the city did - given the distance from Wan, they might need our assistance even more than the prior villages and might provide some intelligence that we need to plan our future options on behalf of the city."
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Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby One Sun Mirror » 05 Sep 2018, 06:16

@ tgm, Rebel

Jia felt some relief inwardly that his companions did not wish to delve deeper into the forests than they had come. He did not fancy their chances forcing their way through a determined blockade, and Bao and Ma Kan's pertinent experience on the matter reassured him of this intuition.

"Then it is settled. We shall march south tomorrow, though I think a gradual and careful progress should be made while we are in the heavily wooded areas," the farmer said, echoing the sentiments his companions had already expressed.

"On the matter of parlay, I only meant I would prefer we not engage them directly at all. At least not on their terms, here in the forests. If they want to attempt to come to attack us, then so be it. But otherwise, I would hear directly from them beyond this message, or not at all. Let us pick a fight where your archers will serve us better. Perhaps we can be the ambushers in another case?"
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Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby Rebel » 05 Sep 2018, 12:19

@ TGM and OSM

"Yes. As much as I would like to engage them, it appears that avoiding them altogether would be the best course of action. I wonder if we can run an ambush successfully though? That was one of the plans I had in mind."

"So I suppose we move south on the morrow then?"


Mao Ma Kan wondered if following this strategy would achieve their objective of gathering intel on the enemy. But as things were, going deeper into the forests seemed a very bad choice if not outright suicidal.
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Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby One Sun Mirror » 05 Sep 2018, 12:57

@ Rebel, tgm

"I wonder if we might be able to fool those hiding amongst the trees by attempting to cut through the fallen trees in the north? Making a great deal of fuss over it, then simply leaving for the south at first light tomorrow. We do not need to be successful necessarily, just draw enough attention there as to gather their forces and set their ambushes in that direction. That should put them a good deal behind us when we do leave," Jia spoke conspiratorially to his comrades. "If you think we might be capable, we could even leave an ambush in our wake for them to stumble into if they do decide to pursue us."

"A second option might be to set up the campfires and slip away in the night. This is perhaps more dangerous though, as we do not know where these wood-wanders lurk beyond the western forests. But it might also be seen as us somewhat complying with their message. I see no reason they need to believe we have bested them at this stage."

"My last idea is a mix of the former two. Part of our camp withdraws from here a short distance, ready to strike back in ambush, attempting to draw the tree-dwellers into attacking our weakened force. Perhaps they may assume they have scared us off, given their threat," he gestured the message Ma Kan held. He then wondered aloud, "might we shoot them a message to guide their thoughts one way or another? Of course, there's no telling if they'll get it, but shooting a message off into the forest is perhaps my least risky suggestion thus far."

"How does one avoid an ambush in the Imperial Army, Bao?"
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Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby thegrandmystic » 05 Sep 2018, 22:52

"Vigilance, for one: that those at the front of a marching army can recognize and relay the possibility of an ambush based on the conditions ahead, be it fallen trees, a narrowed pass in the mountains, a singular bridge across a raging river with other nearby crossings destroyed or otherwise made too treacherous to cross, and so on. Being wary and suspicious that an ambush might even be possible is a first step," Bao started to explain in a slightly lower voice as he looked to his comrades and the trees around them.

"If you suspect an enemy is constantly watching, avoid routines: change the times and hours in which guards rotate taking shifts, mix up patrol routes now and again. As best as one can, keep a path of retreat or escape where and when possible and recognize opportunities to take cover, the same trees in the forest as used in ambush can also provide defense in the right situation. Have lookouts at all times, even where it may not seem warranted: as groups of soldiers take to their meal, at least some should watch and cover the others. These are at least some of the things we have been taught, but it is regular training of the troops in such concepts that will do the most good as these will all fail if not executed properly and troops are not conditioned to have it in mind," the officer added with an additional nod.
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Re: Simzhou Skirmish Roleplay

Postby One Sun Mirror » 08 Sep 2018, 00:30

@tgm, Rebel

The farmer listened and nodded at the suggestion of breaking up routine. It made sense enough to him. "Perhaps we shall simply follow your advice and make ourselves difficult to surprise. Send a few fellows to see what trees can be removed from the western side of the camp as a diversion. The goal is not to necessarily clear the paths, but to appear to be making an attempt. At dawn, we can slip away quickly to the south, and possibly east to remain on the peripheries of the forest. Unless either of you think you can reliably set up an ambush behind us, I don't think we need to entertain that idea at this stage. Perhaps something to consider further if we are followed. Prepare a contingent of troops to react instantly should there be an attack on the camp tonight. Change them twice to ensure everyone gets some kind of meaningful sleep, and as you say, stagger the changeovers. Would either of you like to oversee either of these tasks?"
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