Captain Percy smiled as he looked up at the black, starlit, night 'no moon' he thought. 'The Rebels would be unaware of his approach. They would die like the sleeping dogs they were'. Off to his starboard he could just make out the ghostly silhouette of the Galahad the other ship in his lethal strike force. Aboard his Majesty's war ship the Percival, his command, Captain Percy slid like a wraith across the dark waters of Cumberland Harbor. Off some distance on the port side, the Cumberland Lighthouse made the only light upon the sea. 'A Thousand yards to range' Percy thought. "Steady as she goes Williams" he said. "Aye Sir" said Williams the trusted, one eyed, helmsman. The Captain could see the torchlights on the walls of the harbor now. The sound of the crashing waves grew ever stronger. 'Five Hundred yards' Percy gauged. "Its time" he said. "Bring her to starboard Williams, signal the Galahad to do likewise." The young signal boy scurried off to the edge of the stern and flashed his lantern. "Let us give all of our bowmen a chance to avenge our departed brothers and the lost 14th Division" Captain Percy said.
The two ships executed the maneuver flawlessly. The crossbowmen lined the two vessels from stem to stern. The archers lit their arrows and waited for the order to fire. Captain Percy drew his sword from its scabbard and raised it into the air. 'Steady' he thought 'steeeeaaady', Suddenly, Cumberland Harbor opened up in a fireball of smoke and flame. Splashes erupted all around the Percival. The Galahad lit up the pitch black. The ship shrieked like a dying witch and lurched drunkenly to port, directly into the Percival's path. "Hard a Port Williams" Percy shouted "Now, Now!" Williams spun the wheel with all of his might. The Percival danced to the left on a wave crest as the Galahad narrowly crossed in front of her bows. Captain Percy could see her fully now. Half her stern was shot away and she was burning amidships. The Galahads helm was obviously destroyed; she sailed off, helpless, into the dark to die of her wounds.
"Bring us to bear Williams" the Captain bellowed, "hard a starboard she goes!" Again Williams's powerful forearms spun the wheel for all there worth. Off to his port side Captain Percy saw another flash come from the harbor. Then the whole world went white. The port side railing vanished. The young signal boy and his lantern became one glorious pyre and took flight like a mythical phoenix. William's magnificent forearms still spun the wheel while his headless body slumped over. With it's own lifeless momentum it spun in a sickening whirligig and crashed to the deck. Captain Percy felt himself lifted up into the cool night air. He felt a searing hot pain in both his legs as he crashed head first into the starboard side railing. The deck of his beloved Percival was a shambles. The ship was dead in the water. It was then that he noticed both his legs were gone below the knee. He laid back. He could hear the sound of others moaning or crying for their wives and mothers. 'A lucky salvo' he thought. Most of his crew had been killed or injured but the Percival? She would live. Yes, he was sure of that. He could still feel her strength beneath his dying body. The pain wasn't all that bad, really. He thanked God that his legs were too shattered to feel much. He was cold now and what was this sudden terrible thirst? Captain Percy heard the sound of small boats approaching. 'It must be the Rebels coming from the harbor' he thought. 'They would be on board soon'. As he began to lose consciousness Percy hoped the Rebels would spare the survivors of his crew. He hoped that one day the Civil War would end but most of all he hoped that the rebels would give him a drink of water. 'Not that much of a request when you stop to think about it' he thought 'especially from a dying man'.
Captain Percy smiled as he looked up at the black, starlit night. At that moment everything became abundantly clear and Captain Edward Percy realized there was nothing more for him to do here. He got up off the deck of his beloved Percival. 'It was up to the King now' Percy thought 'He would have to avenge the departed brothers and the lost 14th Division'. Percy hoped the King would, for as he walked out across the water into that beautiful starlit night; Edward Percy became one of them.
'So it was true' you thought. As much as you wished your eyes were lying to you, the mast of the Percival could clearly be seen nestled in Cumberland Harbor. The Galahad was nowhere in sight but with Captain Percy's Flagship captured, the chances were slim she had survived. The Kings attempted night attack from the sea had been a dismal failure. The Cumberland Downs and its all-important harbor were still in the hands of the rebels. It had been you and your loyal 7th that had defeated the 88th Division at Manathma. It had been your leadership that had pushed the rebels back across the All Saints River and it now rested upon you and your loyal 7th to recapture the harbor and preserve the entire war effort in the Southwest.
You turned your gaze from the harbor to the King's orders in your gauntlet. To you, it looked like a maidens market list. Fortunately there were a couple of options available to you for the beginning of your assault. You could cross the All Saints River using the large stone bridge known as the Wilcox Bridge. This would allow you to avoid the Rebel's fortified wooden bridge further upstream and you could quickly move your division across the much wider Wilcox Bridge to the far bank of the All Saints. However, your loyal 7th would immediately come under withering fire from the elaborate palisaded trench and foxhole system set up by the Rebels on the Cumberland Downs. Once these defenses had been breached you could attempt to secure the vital offshore oilrigs. Most important of all, you needed to recapture the harbor... and the Percival. You make your decision. 'Why waste time marching upstream?' you think, 'the 7th will cross at the Wilcox'.
The sun is directly above when you reach the Wilcox Bridge. "Captains" you shout. "Yes my Lord" comes the replies. "Move out" you order. "All units, For..." KA-CHOOM! The Wilcox Bridge explodes. The entire division is thrown off its feet. The two pikemen on point, closest to the bridge scream in agony and collapse like rag dolls to the ground. The dust settles. The Wilcox Bridge is now in the All Saints River. In the distance you see two rebel engineers running as fast as they can for the safety of Cumberland Harbor. Your mind grasps what has just happened. 'They blew the bridge' you think 'the rebel dogs blew their own harbors bridge'! With the leadership skills you are now becoming famous for, you quickly calm and reorganize your shaken troops. "Right lads" you say, "it appears it has been decided for us." You and your Loyal 7th Division begin the upstream march.
Authors Notes- The Cumberland Downs was designed as an attacking siege only. It will not play as a defensive siege. The recommended level of difficulty is normal for experienced players and easy for beginners but the map will function at any level you choose. The King's orders have been posted on the launch page. The text has a rather bizarre appearance in the editor. This is due to the fact that it has been scripted to appear a certain way on the launch page. The first major objective you come up against is the Rebel's bridge. Since this objective confronts you so early in the game, you are given the option of simply destroying it. A fjord further upstream of the bridge grants permanent access across the All Saints River. Watch that you do not destroy the bridges towers while your men are on them or they will become trapped. The terrain inside the oilrigs gates has been modified to grant permanent access as well. If you are hard pressed when you reach them, feel free to destroy rather than capture this objective.
Cumberland Harbor is another matter. Due to its vital importance to the King's war effort, it must be captured. If you damage it too heavily during your assault, access to the Cumberland Lighthouse (Keep) can be lost. Although a victory can still be obtained, the manner of it shall be in bad form and thus deemed dishonorable. Lastly The Cumberland Downs has no enemy Lord. You must eliminate every last rebel including engineers to obtain the victory notice.
The Cumberland Downs is Chapter 4 in the Saga Of the Seventh.
The Story thus Far...
Ambush At Manathma
The Cumberland Downs
The Battle At Andolin
The Vierville Draws - (coming soon)
Also Related - 'The Interlude' Battle Of the Solomon Sea.
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What can I say! This is a truly superb map. The design is superb, the balance is perfect, it is very creative indeed, and the story and instructions are both inventive and clear.
Congratulations! If you haven't played this, you should. Now.
It is really really fun to play and took me several goes to complete. Nothing in this map is there accidentally. Such thought has gone into it - it almost becomes a game of chess. I do not know how you have created some of the objects on the map - but well done!
You are defenantly the best writer on the site. your instructions are always long, detailed and well punctuated. The bridge was very creative and good to look at although so was your castle. Nothing really bad about this map but the terrain was rather plain. i would have liked to see a few big rocks and a few more trees but apart from that it was really good. You are a very creative designer and that is the best bridge i've seen so top marks for creativity. The overall map design was great although a bit plain in some areas. To sum up this map, well worth playing, a fun, addictive and attractive stage. Keep up the great work,