Qinon and Elias stood at a table displaying a miniature model of an outpost. They were in one of the several rooms in Qinon's manor that had, because of the dwarven invasion, been converted into tactical centers. With them was Ronohgr Kentar, the captain of the Larpang Militia.
Of course, the three of them were arguing. Elias was happy to be at the meeting - after all, it meant he would have some influence on the way the Outlaws fought the war, or at least the way in which the city of Larpang defended itself - but he quickly got tired of the discussion once he realized that it was going in circles. Now, he was leaning against the hard brick wall, wondering where in the world the builders of this manor had gotten black stones, and why they would ever use them in a brick wall.
"We need to find a way to eliminate the dwarven forces that surround this outpost," Qinon was saying. "Icebone Outpost is the only thing that keeps the dwarves from sneaking siege machinery right up to Larpang's southern wall via the river and the only outpost we have left watching the southern tundra."
"We have no means of eliminating the dwarves around the outpost," Kentar answered. "The dwarves are on two sides. If we focus on one side, the other can use it as a distraction. There are only 18 militiamen and 12 archers inside. Even getting as few as six or seven soldiers inside the base without us noticing could cut that force in half."
Qinon pointed into the air next to the table. "This is where the river is. If we can get a ship down there, we can hit the dwarves in the back. Then other forces can come from the other side, and just like that, we have both dwarf companies sandwiched, just like they have the outpost sandwiched right now."
"If we do that, they'll just storm the outpost. 18 soldiers and 12 archers can't possibly hold out long against a two-front offensive, especially when they are already starving."
"But they've held out so far, haven't they? Besides, the dwarves can't storm the outpost while being attacked from behind and fended off from the front."
Elias cleared his throat to get the two men's attention. They turned to him. "We can spare a ship, but we can't spare any foot soldiers, or the northern wall of Larpang will be breached while we free Icebone Outpost," Elias pointed out.
"Yes we can," Qinon said, but Kentar was already shaking his head.
"We don't have any foot soldiers to spare," Kentar said.
Elias went on. "Think about this. There are 18 soldiers and 12 archers in this outpost. They are trapped and starving. Overall, there are only fifty soldiers left in the Larpang Militia and forty archers. If we loose these troops, we loose more than a quarter of our forces. We can't focus on keeping this outpost. No matter how important it is, defending our walls is more important. We can't afford launch a counterattack. So we have to launch a rescue mission."
Qinon almost slapped the table. "No. If we loose Icebone Outpost, there will be siege machines attacking our southern wall in no time. What good will the extra troops do us then?"
"We can afford to dispatch a ship onto the river," Elias said. "So any siege machines that the dwarves try to move by water will have to get past that ship before they reach our walls."
"But the ship will be surrounded by dwarves on two sides," Kentar said.
"The ship is mobile," Elias answered. "Whenever it's being threatened, it can move up or downstream, and the dwarves will have to plan their attack anew."
"If they send a war ship upstream and our ship has to flee, they could ambush it."
"Then if they send a war ship upstream, we have no choice but to sink it."
That ended the arguments. They kept discussing, but now they were discussing the details of the mission, rather than what the mission should be. Elias felt proud to have come up with a better strategy than Qinon, but as they left the room, Qinon grabbed his shoulder. "Don't act smug yet," he hissed. "And don't ever think that you've done well until the plan succeeds." Elias sighed inwardly. Of course Qinon had to say something to show that he was still in charge. But Elias didn't say anything, because Qinon was, in fact, still in charge, and any kind of respite would only make him angrier.
Elias turned to leave, but Qinon held onto his shoulder. "And I suggest you get some more archery practice. Because from now on, your training will get a lot, lot harder."
Was Qinon really doing this just because Elias had come up with tactics that were superior to Qinon's own? Elias thought about this as he walked through the hallways, then out the front door of Qinon's manor and into the biting cold of the streets of Larpang. Perhaps Qinon had another special task planned. Or he was worried that Elias wouldn't make it through the dwarven invasion. Whatever it was, it could not be a good thing...
The model of Icebone Outpost. To make the Outpost, I placed two binocular pieces diagonally onto a 2x2 plate. It isn't a very sturdy connection, but it does look cool.
The floor. Essentially the same as the floor Halhi used in Rescue, just with 2x2 round tiles instead of 1x1 round tiles and plates. I'd had the walls built since November, but nothing else, and I knew that I'd have to take everything apart before moving to my new house, but I still wanted to photograph this scene, so the floor was a last-minute addition. As a result, it's somewhat plain.
The brick wall! I really, really like this technique. It has more realistically shaped bricks than the common brick wall technique that most people use, but it also has some deep gaps, so there are upsides as well as downsides. It's also insanely piece intensive, and the color possibilities are more limited. Still, I managed to pick up lots of 1x2 plates with bar in a Lego store after I built this, so I definitely plan on making some larger structures with this technique in the future.
Other side of the wall, with the door.
How the whole thing works. As you can see, the wall is sideways, and has lots of 1x1 plates with horizontal clips. You put 1x2 tiles (or 1x2 grille plates, they have the same effect) onto 1x2 plates with bar, and attach those to the clips. I've since figured out that you can, instead of 1x2 plates with bar, also use 1x2 plates with 2 vertical clips and connect several of those to a longer bar for a sturdier and more regular wall.
And the obligatory photo with black background.
Plus another figless.
I built the walls in November and the floor in January, but didn't have time to post the vignette until now. I'll be building some larger buildings in the same style soon now that my Lego area in my new house is all set up. As for the story... Yes, I know, just more character building. But now that I'm done moving, I'll be picking up the plot soon, I promise. Plus, Captain Kentar might still be important later, so at least I didn't completely waste your time if you read the story. :P
A job! As other say, black isin't the best.... But still amazing! Also, for the map with Teh castle on it- I recomend not using some non-SNOT 1x1 bricks- I would have just set the dwarves forces on snottiness, would have used less peices and looked better. Anyhow, keep up the great work!