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The Battle for the Grand Hotel

Amanita was in good spirits as she led the Sisterhood on a foraging mission. Mutantchester had been good to them, providing them with ample supplies, and plentiful combat experience. They’d developed into a force to be reckoned with, and they’d done it without losing a single person.

1The last trader that they had done business with, Ammon Dix, had been a font of knowledge about the ruined city, pointing them in the direction of this old building as an area where loot might be found. The women advanced cautiously, however – there was no telling who else he’d pointed this way. As they approached from the South-East, they could just make out the sign – faded and worn – above the doors that identified it as the Grand Hotel. With its broken windows, rotting woodwork, faded and peeling paint, and the foliage that was slowly overtaking it, it didn’t look so grand anymore.

It quickly became clear that Dix had been shooting his mouth off to other gangs about the supposed riches to be found here. To the North of the Sisterhood, familiar enemies could be seen advancing towards the ruined hotel, and at last they were able to put a name to them – the Coastal Train Crew. Dix had claimed that he didn’t known where the name came from, and Amanita hadn’t cared enough to push him on the issue. The last time the two groups had crossed paths, the Sisterhood had sent them running with their tails between their legs, and she didn’t expect anything different this time.

Also approaching the old hotel, this time from the West, was a third gang. They looked vaguely familiar, but Amanita wasn’t sure whether she’d seen them before. From Dix’s description, though, this could only be the Moon Demon Company. They didn’t look particularly i2mpressive, but she knew that looks could be deceptive. Still, with the exception of one man with a sniper rifle, none of them looked like they were carrying anything heavier than a hand cannon. They’d need to be careful of the sniper, for sure, but the rest of them didn’t exactly inspire fear.

As she quickly devised a plan of action, Amanita’s only real concern was that the Sisterhood was further from the hotel than either of the other two gangs. If they weren’t quick, they’d find the ruins picked clean, with nothing to show for the day’s efforts. Sending Kahlan and Alice to secure the hotel, Harley and Joker were tasked with searching the ruins nearest to them, then taking up positions with good fields of view and providing covering fire. Amanita and Nomi headed West to search the buildings there and to try to delay the gang approaching from that direction.

Unsurprisingly, it was Joker that drew the first blood. With uncanny accuracy, she knocked out one of the Coastal Train Crew at the extreme range of her sniper rifle. They raced up a medic who was able to revive the downed man, only for Joker to take down the medic with another well-placed shot. Things were already looking tough for them, and with Harley advancing to Joker’s left, they were forced onto the defensive.

To the West, Amanita and Nomi had reached the buildings without incident, and a quick search revealed a small amount of loot in each building. Unfortunately, the Moon Demons had established a well dug-in blocking position in the ruins further West,  supported by their sniper. With a lot of open ground to cover, it was clear that the two women were not going to be able to advance any further.

In the centre, Kahlan made full use of her scout training, racing towards the hotel, but Amanita’s fears had been well founded. Both opposing gangs had reached the building first, and Kahlan was forced to engage the leader of the Coastal Train on the steps of the hotel. Fortunately, a quick burst from her SMG pistol knocked him out, but there was no time to stand around out in the open and finish him off. The cover of the hotel offered no safety, however, and she found herself caught between two members of the Moon Demons. One of them tried to rush her, but he was quickly disabused of the notion that a mere woman would be an easy kill. Instead, it was he that was left bleeding on the floor, whilst Kahlan engaged his companion.4

Outside the hotel, a fierce battle was raging in the courtyard to the North East. Here, the leader of the Moon Demon Company was engaged with two men from the Coastal Train Crew, supported by fire from an overlooking window. One of the two was knocked out by fire from the window, whilst the Moon Demon leader bludgeoned the other with his club. With over two thirds of their gang down, the surviving members of the Coastal Train Crew withdrew to regroup with all of the wounded they could carry.

By this time, Kahlan had knocked out the Moon Demons inside the hotel, leaving them to Alice, who was following behind, to finish off. She had leaped out of a hotel window into the courtyard, hoping to kill the Moon Demon leader and gather up the loot that had been dropped there. Before she could kill him, though, Joker opened fire from an elevated firing position on the flank, taking him down with a single long-distance shot to the head. The Moon Demon medic, who had been moving up in support, realised that the situation was lost. Stopping only to gather up some loot, they withdrew.

Meanwhile, the Coastal Train Crew had regrouped. Their medic had revived, and had managed to revive some of their other wounded. Having gathered up all the reamining loot, and realising that the risks of continuing the fight outweighed any remaining potential benefits, the Sisterhood pulled back. It had been a good fight, and they’d found some good quality items. It looked like they’d be paying Ammon Dix another visit.

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Brothers And Sisters – Across the Dead Earth AAR

Brothers and Sisters

The Sisterhood had been scavenging among the crumbling ruins of Mutantchester for weeks now, and although there had been a few good hauls of loot, the pickings had been slim of late. When they had spotted what looked like intact buildings, however, the odds of finding something of value seemed favourable. They advanced cautiously, with Alice and Harley flanking left, Joker taking up an overwatch position in the centre, and Amanita, Nomi, and Kahlan advancing to the right.

Amanita peered round the corner of the large building and hurriedly ducked back out of sight, her heart pounding. What the hell was Joel doing here? The last time she had seen him he’d been a hundred miles south of here, and leading his ‘Brotherhood of Steel’ towards the south coast. He’d tried recruiting her, until she’d realised that he only wanted her as a bed-warmer. It had taken the pointy end of her knife to disabuse him of the notion, and they’d parted ways with angry words and more than a few drops of blood spilled. She’d met up with Nomi a few days later, and the Sisterhood had been born of that meeting.

Quickly assessing the situation, Amanita decided that her original plan was still good. Alice would clear the building on the left, with the newly recruited Harley in support and Joker providing cover. Nomi would search the smaller buildings to the right, whilst she and Kahlan searched the largest building. She felt a tightness in her chest at the idea of sending Nomi off alone, particularly since she was the gang’s medic, but everyone was needed elsewhere. Much as Amanita hated being separated from her lover, Kahlan was too green to be sent off alone, especially since this building was likely to be hotly contested.

Joker was the first to engage the enemy, but despite squeezing off several well-aimed shots at figures advancing on the left, she was unable to bring them down. Amanita herself stormed into the largest building just in time to see an enemy gang member fleeing it and joining two other gang members on the right flank. She began to fear that the Sisterhood had arrived too late, and that they would find the area picked clean. Even worse, she feared that Nomi would find herself isolated and overwhelmed. Her first instinct was to rush to Nomi’s defence, but she knew that she had to secure the ground floor of this building while Kahlan searched the floors above. Nomi would have to take care of herself for now, even though the thought of losing her made Amanita’s stomach clench in fear.

On the left flank, Alice also arrived just in time to see the enemy making off with whatever loot he had found. However, unlike Amanita, she was close enough to run him down. That was where her good fortune ran out, however, as he was able to knock the rapier out of her hand with a lucky blow. Undeterred, she engaged him in unarmed combat, but his greater size and strength enabled him to evade her blows, and before she knew it he had gained enough separation to bring his pistol to bear. His first shot went wide, but the second slammed into her shoulder, knocking her to the ground. Just as things were looking desperate, however, Harley arrived in support, taking down the enemy gang member with a shot from her assault rifle. When another gang member moved up to rescue his comrade, Joker was finally able to land a telling shot, and he crumpled down behind the remnants of a brick wall.

Meanwhile, on the right flank, Nomi had raced into the first building, firing from the cover of the doorway in an attempt to hold off the enemy. Their advance had been relentless, however, and she had been forced to take shelter from their return fire deeper in the building. Alone and in danger of being surrounded, it was essential that she find a defensible position, and when an enemy gang member entered the rear of the building and headed up the stairs, she knew she had to act. If they secured the high ground, she would be as good as dead. Racing to the foot of the stairs, Nomi fired a burst from her SMG, hitting the enemy in the back, and pitching them forwards onto the landing. Running up the stairs, she quickly dispatched the stricken enemy, and took up a defensive position covering the stairs. Although the two surviving gang members gathered just out of sight, neither of them seemed keen to try rushing her.

Amanita had laid down a withering fire on the right flank, and although she hadn’t been able to stop the enemy advance, she had at least bought Nomi a little time. She was forced to turn her attention elsewhere, however, when Joel appeared just a few metres from the building she was in. Although he was taking cover behind a brick wall, her elevated position gave her an almost clear shot. She unleashed three short bursts from her SMG, and had the pleasure of watching him spin around and fall to the ground as the bullets ripped into him. Although she couldn’t see where he had fallen, she was tempted – so very tempted – to go out and finish him off. She had to think of the Sisterhood, though; there were still enemies out there, and she had to look after her people. She took comfort in the thought that at least he would have another set of scars to remember her by.

As night fell, the surviving enemy gang members pulled back, covering their fallen comrades. Realising that there was nothing more to be gained here – at least not without considerable risk – Amanita gave the order for the Sisterhood to withdraw. Thanks to Joel and his ‘Brotherhood’, they had found less in the buildings than they had hoped for, but what they had found would tide them over for a little while. Nomi patched up Alice’s shoulder, and the six women prepared to extend their search deeper into the ruined city.

Deeper Into Mutantchester – Across the Dead Earth AAR

After their last fight, weeks ago, Amanita had hoped that the Sisterhood could leave this cursed place. But pickings had been slim since then, forcing them deeper into the crumbling city. Nervously, she scanned the ruins ahead, certain that she had seen movement, but whatever she had seen was gone now. Even so, she decided to be cautious. Rather than spreading out to search for supplies, she split the gang into two pairs, Nomi advancing with her, whilst Alice and Joker took up a flanking position to the left. Amanita had wanted to send Nomi with Joker to keep her out of harm’s way, but the younger woman had merely snorted at the suggestion, refusing to be separated from her lover.

As they advanced, it quickly became apparent that they had stumbled into a hornet’s nest. Hostile gang members appeared to the front, left, and right, far outnumbering the fledgling Sisterhood. Fortunately, Joker proved devastatingly accurate with her sniper rifle, killing one man,wounding another, and forcing the enemy on the left flank to retreat. Recklessly, Alice pursued, finishing off the wounded man, killing another, and wounding a fourth.

As Amanita and Nomi advanced towards the large three-storey building ahead, they took heavy fire from several gang members on their right flank. The two groups traded shots, but no-one was able to get a clear target. Reaching the cover of their objective, Amanita prepared to hold the ground floor, whilst Nomi searched the other floors for supplies. With the advantage of height, Amanita finally understood that what they were facing was not a single massive gang, but two or three smaller gangs, all fighting over the same supplies that the Sisterhood had come for. Making good use of her elevated position, she was able to lay down a withering fire, killing a sniper to her right and wound two other gang members.

With their numbers badly depleted, the other gangs withdrew with the few supplies they had gathered, leaving the Sisterhood in control of the area. They had been forced to fight hard against multiple gangs, but miraculously had come away with only a few minor scratches. Perhaps if the other gangs hadn’t been too preoccupied fighting each other to concentrate on the Sisterhood, things might have been very different.

Most importantly, though, the four women had found a large cache of supplies – enough to last a good long while, and with plenty to spare for trade. Maybe now her plans for the Sisterhood could be realised. They could finally get some medical supplies for Nomi, and could spare some time away from scavenging to train and to recruit new members.

A D&D Campaign … A Gods Last Son

Clerics of the Silver FlameA Burning Quest For Knowledge – The Story of Isildur the Hermit
As Isildur woke again from his nightmares, he sipped on the cool water beside his makeshift bed. For the past few years, he had hidden himself away in the hills of Durin, now known as the local hermit of the shire, not far from whence he suffered his terrible burns at the hands of the bandits of the Red Skulls.

Recalling that fateful night, Isildur (a cleric of the Silver Flame) had been working on the scriptures like many other days before, when a sheering fireball burst into the room, engulfing the others who sat near the doorway, trapping his only escape. As many ran about panicking, Isildur surrounded himself with the few buckets of water and doused himself in them, throwing a wet cloak over himself in protection against the flames as they tore across the room.

Trying to force his way through the door into the corridor of the great monastery, now completely engulfed in fire, his plans to escape where futile. His cloak caught fire, burning his face and body badly … he sank to his knees and began praying as death grew ever darker around him.

Calling out to the holy spirits of the Silver Flame to protect him, he passed out with all the heavy smoke and pain from his burns; and as he slide into that terrible void, he could feel the Silver Flame engulf him, protecting him from the worst of the fire … his prayers had been answered!

As the locals shifted through the burnt remains of the monastery, they came across Isildur, still protected by the Silver Flame. They took him away and cared for him, healing his wounds as best they could and giving him strength once more to stand, but the scars suffered in the fire had disfigured him badly and he ran away to the hills,  finding a disused cave where he healed himself and prayed daily to the Silver Flame for saving his life.

Too this day, he still wondered why the noble spirits of the Silver Flames had saved him … had they a plan to use this lowly cleric?

post-apoc

The Sisterhood is Born – Across the Dead Earth AAR

Amanita stared into the flames of the crackling fire. The plants that grew here on the outskirts of Mutantchester burned with a sickly green flame; she didn’t know why, and wasn’t sure she wanted to. Life was hard enough without worrying about things you couldn’t change. She hadn’t wanted to lead her gang this close to the crumbling ruins, but competition for resources was fierce, and a new gang like the Sisterhood just couldn’t compete against the larger, more established gangs. Eventually, hunger had forced them into the ill-omened place.

At first it had looked like being a straightforward scavenger hunt. They’d raced forward, managing to find enough supplies to keep them fed for at least a couple of weeks, but then Amanita had seen something that looked promising in the big ruin and gone to investigate, and Nomi had followed – they had been inseparable since they met three years ago. Alice had flanked right, and Joker had taken up an overwatch position on the left. When she had started taking fire, Amanita couldn’t even see where it was coming from. Before she and Nomi had been able to find cover she had suffered several minor flesh wounds, and it was only sheer good luck that had saved her from worse.

Skirting the side of the same building, Alice had nearly run headlong into the opposing gang before she realised how heavily outnumbered she was. Fortunately she managed to grab what she’d come for and pull back before they could mount an effective attack. Amanita and Nomi had finally made it to a covered firing position, but their return fire was ineffectual.Joker, however, had taken down one of the enemy gang members, catching them in the open with her sniper rifle.

At that point, things were looking good, and Amanita was confident of seeing off the other gang, but when Joker was knocked out by a lucky shot, the balance tilted against them. They’d already done pretty well out of the day’s scavenging, and it wasn’t worth risking what they’d already got for an unknown gain. Deciding that discretion was the better part of valour, Amanita gave the order to retreat, picking up Joker as she pulled back.

It had been a close run thing, and Amanita had picked up several minor wounds trying to scavenge enough to feed the Sisterhood. Nomi had done a good job of patching her up, though, and she smiled fondly down at the younger woman’s head where it rested in her lap, gently stroking her face. She’d done equally well bandaging Joker’s rather more serious wound, as well. Maybe when they met up with the trader tomorrow they should pick up some decent medical supplies – a combat medic was always good to have in a gang, and Nomi certainly seemed to have what it took.

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Warhammer 40K – The Enemy of My Enemy AAR

The Enemy of My Enemy

Nemesor Sanderis studied the reconnaissance data his scouts had provided.  The arrival of these Chaos Marines at the same time he launched his own assault on this world was fortuitous indeed, forcing the defenders to fight on multiple fronts.  But they must not be allowed to delude themselves into believing themselves his allies (as if he would ever ally himself with such flawed and corrupted creatures).  This world belonged to Sanderis, and if the Chaos Marines harbored any fantasy of sharing in its riches, then they must be disabused.

Sanderis spent a few seconds assessing the thousands of possible courses of action, searching for the optimum strategy.  First, the enemy must be kept off-balance, never knowing who their enemy was or where they would strike next.  Second, they must be guided to where he wanted them, herded like the cattle they were.  Looking at the holographic display, Sanderis quickly identified three pressure points; a series of strikes at these points would force the enemy to move at his direction, like dams altering the flow of a river.  The attacks must be small enough to avoid detection, and there must be no survivors; nothing to reveal too soon the guiding hand behind events.

The irony of the enemies soubriquet did not escape Sanderis’ notice.  Iron Warriors, they called themselves, but iron is brittle; sufficient force applied at the right point could break it like a dry twig, just as these Iron Warriors would break before his invincible Necrons. Let them see what real metal could do.  With a satisfied nod, he issued the interstitial command that would unleash his forces.

 Hallows Rift

Watching from Hyperspace, the 5 Deathmarks observed their target – a patrol of 5 Khorne Berserkers and 5 Chaos Marines – approaching the killing ground.  Choosing the Khorne Berserkers as their prey, the Deathmarks rejoined the 7 Warriors that were supporting them and settled in to wait.

Turn 1

The ambush was triggered by a salvo of long-range fire from the Deathmarks’  synaptic disruptors, killing 3 of the Berserkers before they were even aware of the Necrons’ presence.  The warriors leant their gauss fire targetting the Chaos Marines, but the Marines’ armour was equal to the challenge, and only one of them fell.  Realising their predicament, the surviving Chaos forces surged forward, but were unable to bring their full might to bear, killing only 1 Deathmark with their return fire.

 Turn 2

As their enemies advanced, the Necrons held their ground, the Deathmarks killing the last 2 Berserkers and 1 of the Chaos Marines, whilst the Warriors fire was more wayward, killing only 1 Marine.  With their ranks decimated, the 2 remaining Chaos Marines resigned themselves to dying in the sevice of the Blood God; 1 of them managed to charge in against a Deathmark, whilst the other supported him with bolter fire.  Unfortunately, they were unable to overcome the living metal that formed the Necrons’ carapace.

 Turn 3

The 3 unengaged Deathmarks silenced the bolter of the unengaged Chaos Marine, whilst the Warriors charged in against the lone survivor, swarming over him and tearing him to pieces.  Silence reigned over the killing field.

 Plains of Vordor

As the second patrol of Berserkers and Chaos Marines advanced across open plains, Sanderis knew that surprise was impossible.  Instead he opted for speed and armour, sending a Ghost Ark against them with a detatchment of 6 Warriors mounted in it.

 Turn 1

Knowing that the only real threat to the Ghost Ark came from the Chaos Marine with the meltagun, the Necrons elected to concentrate their fire on this individual.  The open design of the Ark meaning that the Warriors could fire freely without dismounting.  Unfortunately, they were unable to penetrate his power armour, and the Chaos forces advanced, planning to engage the Ark with krak grenades.

 Turn 2

As the Chaos forces advanced, the Ghost Ark fell back, seeking to keep the meltagun out of range, but this precaution proved unnecessary as he fell under their withering volleys.  The remaining Chaos forces, realising that they could not damage the Ghost Ark as long as its quantum shielding was intact, fell back in disarray, but were unable to outrun the skimmer.  One by one they fell, the green discharge of the Necrons’ gauss rifles playing over their shattered forms.

 Pestilence Post

With both Chaos patrols eliminated, all that remained for Sanderis’ plan to succeed was the destruction of a small outpost, guarded by 7 Plague Marines.  Against these, he intended to throw 4 Wraiths.  With their whip coils and particle casters, he was sure that they would be more than a match for these foul mutants.

 Turn 1

The Wraiths swept down on the outpost without warning, catching the Plague Marines completely off-guard.  1 fell to their particle casters, whilst 3 of the Wraiths were able to charge home, killing another 2 Marines in close combat.  The response of the remaining Plague Marines was disjointed, 2 of them electing to shoot, whilst the other 2 charged into close combat.  Unfortunately, their whip coils and ability to phase in and out of this reality made the Wraiths all but invincible; whilst one of them was damaged, another marine fell to their razor-sharp claws.

 Turn 2

The 2 unengaged Wraiths fired their particle casters at the unengaged Marines, but when the shots bounced harmlessly off the enemies power armour, they charged home.  With all 4 Wraiths and the 4 surviving Plague Marines locked in combat, it was only a matter of time before the Necrons prevailed; soon, 3 of the Marines had fallen.

 Turn 3

With only 1 Plague Marine remaining, the 4 Wraiths piled in, tearing him to shreds.  By the time they swept apart, what was left was unrecognisable as ever having been human.

 Aftermath

Nemesor Sanderis looked on as the Chaos forces swarmed aimlessly about; was there ever a species more aptly named?  Unable to determine who the enemy was or where they had struck from, they had no way to respond.  Little by little they shifted their forces as he had predicted – spreading out here, concentrating there – soon it would be time for the hammer blow.

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Warhammer 40K After Action Report – 01 Vengeance is Mine

Vengeance is Mine Sayeth the Nemesor

Nemesor Sanderis watched the dust cloud raised by the approaching Imperial forces with disdain. These humans were like lizards sunning themselves on the ruins of a great civilization, thinking “what a great basking spot someone has made for me”.  But possession of a thing stolen does not confer ownership – even after a million years or more – and the rightful owners of this world had come home.  These Space Marines thought that they were here in search of vengeance against the Necrons; they did not understand that they were not the teachers here, they were the lesson.  And this lesson would be taught in blood.

Turn 1

As the Space Marines swept forward in the centre, attempting to drive the enemy before them, and scout snipers moved into position in the ruins on their right flank, a drop pod fell to earth on their left flank, disgorging a Dreadnought which scoured the ruins that formed the first objective with its heavy flamers. And yet the Necron warriors defending the objective held firm, soaking up huge volumes of firepower; Even as the stunned Marines looked on, self-repair systems went to work, and piles of smoldering wreckage began to piece themselves back together.

Having endured the opening barrage, the Necrons laid down a withering fire of their own as the Immortals advanced in support of the warriors.  The massed gauss weapons of the warriors, Immortals and Doomsday Ark played over the nearest Dreadnought, severing connections, overloading circuits and seizing joints. With a terrible grinding screech, the mighty behemoth ground to a halt.  Meanwhile, the Doomsday Ark’s cannon wreaked havoc on the advancing forces in the centre, killing several tactical marines and rocking the second Dreadnought. But not for nothing are these walkers feared, and it shrugged off the effects of the blast, forging forward once more.

Turn 2

The assault marines, lead by their Chaplain, continued to push forward against the Necron warriors, supported by the remaining Dreadnought and Razorback, whilst the remnants of the tactical squad attempted to silence the devastating Doomsday Ark.  On the left flank the scouts, now in firing position, began to pick off the advancing Immortals.  But the fickle gods of fate were not with the Marines this day – fire from the tactical squad bounced harmlessly off the Doomsday Ark, and the warriors continued to endure, the assault marines unable to engage them in close combat despite their jump packs.

As the Marines struggled forward, Nemesor Sanderis delivered the coup de grace, his Doom Scythe and Deathmarks both arriving from reserve to lay down a devastating barrage.  Both units targeted the Marine assault squad, whom the Deathmarks had been stalking from their Hyperspace oubliette, tearing into them (with the help of the surviving warriors), killing their Chaplain, and forcing them to fall back. Meanwhile, the Doomsday ark finally found its range against the remaining Dreadnought, and it erupted in a huge explosion.  The Immortals continued to advance, targeting the drop pod, but whilst they damaged it, they were unable to silence its storm bolter.

Turn 3

With their advance in tatters, the remaining Marines resolved to sell their lives dearly, concentrating their fire on the Deathmarks, with the assault squad charging in.  But the Deathmarks proved equal to the challenge, and whilst their numbers were slightly diminished, it was the Marines who got the worst of the combat.  Meanwhile, the scouts continued to thin the ranks of the still-advancing Immortals.

With the threat from the assault Marines all but finished the Necron Doom Scythe swept across the battlefield, using its devastating firepower to finish off the tactical squad and knocking out the main armament of the Razorback.  The warriors contributed their firepower to finish off the stricken vehicle.  Meanwhile, the Doomsday Ark was uncharacteristically inaccurate, missing the scouts with its cannon, whilst its gauss weapons, together with those of the Immortals, were again unable to finish off the drop pod.  In close combat, the Deathmarks killed all but one of the assault Marines for no loss, thus effectively ending the battle.

Turn 4

Alone and unsupported, the scouts decided that discretion was the better part off valor, retreating off-table, whilst the final assault Marine fell and the drop pod was finally overwhelmed.

As the dust settled, Nemesor Sanderis looked out across the wreckage of the Space Marine force and saw that it was good.  The mighty Necron Empire had returned to claim its birthright, and the long road back to greatness had begun.  Here endeth the lesson.

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Warhammer Fantasy Campaign – Turn 2

Respite

Tillean Swiftblade was kicking himself after the fiasco at the aqueduct site. He should have crushed those pesky goblins, and he knew it. Instead, his inexperience had cost the lives of good elven warriors, with more still captured by the greenskins. In spite of his best efforts, he had been unable to locate the site of their camp and free the prisoners.

Fortunately the goblins hadn’t stayed around after wrecking the aqueduct, and the builders were able to rebuild it. However, they had needed to clear the rubble of their first attempt before starting again, and the resulting delay had led to a drought that saw some of the people of Ellisor die of thirst, whilst others starved after the resulting poor harvest.

If Tillean had been unable to locate the goblin camp, the goblins had also shown no interest in causing more trouble for the Elves. They had melted away into the wilderness, leaving just a handful of rotting corpses to show that they had ever been there, and none of his patrols had found anything amiss.

The Last Stand?

Wulfrik von Gottring was nervous as he led the garrison of Drakkenburg out. After the last fiasco, he needed a success to restore his troops’ faith in him, otherwise no-one would want to follow him into battle. At first everything was quiet, and he began to think that this patrol would be uneventful, but as his knights crested the ridge of a row of hills, he saw the greenskin army before him. He felt a sense of dread as he saw the forces facing him – they outnumbered his small garrison by nearly four to one, but he crushed the feeling, and began to deploy his men.

Gorbad wuz delighted ta see da hoomies before ‘im; dey was so squishy, ‘e wuz sure ‘is boyz’d make short work of ‘em again. Der boyz raced forward, expectin’ ta eat well on roasted hoomie tonight, but nuffink went da way it should!

Wulfrik had learned his lesson well, and instead of trying to chase down the swift Goblin cavalry, he left them for his handgunners to deal with, leading his knights against the greenskin archers. Surprisingly, his initial charge failed to break them; despite suffering heavy casualties, the goblin infantry displayed tremendous courage, and with the initial momentum of the knights’ charge spent, the close combat degenerated into a slugging match. Fortunately, their heavy armour protected his men from most of the Goblins’ blows, and Wulkrik’s own prowess was enough to tip the balance in their favour. As the archers finally turned to flee, they were quickly ridden down.

In the meantime, the Drakkenburg Fusiliers had decimated the Goblin wolf riders, and as they attempted to avoid the barrage, they ran between the Phalanx and the remainder of the advancing Goblin infantry. The Phalanx charged – not with any expectation of actually catching them, but simply to drive them back. As expected, the skirmishing wolf riders fled before the Empire infantry, but their flight caused a chain reaction, which saw all of the remaining Goblin infantry flee with them.

In order to hurry the flight along, Wulfrik led his knights to charge the wolf riders, but to his amazement, the Goblin cavalry – their wolves already tired from running – were unable to escape, and were ridden down by the Empire horsemen. With their leader dead, the surviving greenskins melted away. Wulfrik had redeemed himself, and his men cheered at the resounding victory.

Gorbad Gutrippa lay on the damp earth, a hoomie lance broken off in ‘is chest. ‘E didn’t understand what went wrong. Hoomies wuz squishy, ‘e should ‘ave won! As his vision faded, he wondered who would lead da boyz now. Not Horgrin, surely? Dat thievin’ sneak’d never find ‘em a good fight.

An Unexpected Bounty

Brondi Belgarsson was riding high. Not literally, obviously, no self-respecting Dwarf let their feet get far from good, solid earth. But everything was going well at Kag Maldur, and as he peered through the foliage at what appeared to be a Goblin camp, he knew things were only going to get better. As he crept back out of sight, he knew his hatred of these damned greenskin scum would soon be slaked with blood.

Horgrin Da Stomper wuz celebratin’. Wiv dat cheat Gorbad outta da way, he’d finally been recognised as da true leader of da boyz. Now dey’d see what a REAL Boss could do. As ‘is boyz started to fall around ‘im, it took a while for ‘im ta realize wut wuz ‘appenin’.

Brondi had planned the attack to perfection, Halbar’s Marksmen opening fire on the wolf riders, whilst Rogi’s Gunmen engaged the spider riders. Brondi himself led Thorbak’s Clanners in a straight charge against the encampment. It was a risky strategy – if the greenskins reacted quickly, the Warrior band could find themselves cut off and surrounded – but he gambled that it would take them time to organise and counterattack.

Everything went exactly according to plan. The spider riders were decimated by the Thunderers, and whilst the sole survivor managed to outflank them, he could be safely ignored whilst they switched their fire to other targets. The Quarellers forced the wolf riders to flee and followed this up by charging and routing a unit of archers. Meanwhile, Brondi and the Clanners had smashed through both the second unit of archers and the spearmen supporting them. The battle was over in short order, with only minimal losses among the Dwarves.

On capturing the encampment, Brondi discovered an enclosure containing several Elves and Humans, likely captives from previous battles. All of them had been treated harshly, and were seriously wounded. Negotiations were quickly opened to ransom them back to their respective settlements.

Brondi used the gold from the ransoms to raise a second unit of Warriors, and as the garrison grew in size, he realised that he would need a second in command. Having fought with Thorbak Flameaxe for several years, and knowing of his friend’s prowess, he was the obvious choice. Galel would have to take over the leadership of the Clanners.

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Warhammer Fantasy Campaign – Turn 1

The Return

Tillean Swiftblade looked out over the wilderness as the builders continued their work. He had leaped at the chance to lead this expedition back to the Old World, dreaming of glory and renown, but so far all that had been found was hardship. Without this aqueduct, the water shortage in the newly founded village of Ellisor would continue to be a problem. His musings were interrupted, however, by movement in the distance.

Gorbad Guttrippa wus beginning ta fink that there was no good fightin’ ta be ‘ad in dis land. Maybe he would have ta take ‘is band into da land of da ‘stunties’, but ta have any chance there he would need to join a bigger warband, an’ he didn’t like taking orders. He hadn’t fought and cheated his way ta da top of dis band for nuffink! Just as he wus about ta lead ‘is wolf boyz in a new direction, he spied da glint of da sun off metal. Maybe dis day wouldn’t be a complete waste after all.

Tillean prepared his forces for the greenskin attack, his blood racing. In spite of all of his studies, he had never actually seen combat, and his inexperience showed in his tactics. Whilst one unit of Lothern Sea Guard were drawn up close enough to support (and be supported by) his Silver Helm bodyguard, the other was deployed far to the left, alone and isolated. It was there that the goblins struck, and the 1st Ellisor Militia found itself massively outnumbered. Tillean himself wasted precious time trying to chase down the goblin wolf and spider cavalry, but they were simply too nimble. In the end it was the 2nd Militia which saw off both goblin cavalry units. Realising his mistake, Tillean led the Silver Helms to relieve the beleaguered 1st Militia, but he arrived too late to prevent them from being overwhelmed. Although the heavy Elven cavalry smashed through the remaining unit of archers, the now unengaged goblin spearmen counterattacked as the Silver Helms were reforming. Caught at the standstill and unable to use their lances, even their heavy armour was unable to protect them, and they were quickly overrun. Tillean himself was knocked out by a ferocious blow to his helmet.

With most of their forces smashed, and their leader fallen, the remaining unit of Sea Guard retreated, leaving the goblins free to smash the unfinished aqueduct. When Tillean regained consciousness, he found that his noble steed had carried him to safety, but the taste of defeat was like ashes in his mouth.

Expanding the Frontier

As the youngest of six brothers, Wulfrik von Gottling had been forced to make his own way in the world. Whilst his eldest brother would inherit the family estate, and the second and third eldest might hope for some misfortune to clear their path (or at the least be bought off to prevent their plotting such a misfortune), it would take a catastrophe of massive proportions to clear Wulfrik’s path to inheritance. So when the Emperor was looking for volunteers to expand the Empire’s borders, the young noble had stepped forward. Although young and inexperienced, he had been well tutored, and this was a chance to establish his own estate. The settlement of Drakkenburg was quickly established, and for a while all was quiet. But a few weeks after the establishment, whilst leading a patrol, a thick fog descended on the woodlands through which they were marching. The units of the garrison soon became separated, and the first Wulfrik knew that anything was wrong was when a unit of Goblin wolf riders appeared out of the murk, their arrows clattering off his Knights’s armour.

Gorbad Guttrippa couldn’t believe ‘is luck! Da flattenin’ of da pointy-ears had been fun, an’ ‘ad earned him enough new followers ta make up ‘is losses. And now dere wus a bunch o’ squishy hoomies ta fight! Gork & Mork must be smilin’ on ‘im. OK, so most of da boyz wus lost in da fog, but a fight’s a fight.

Somehow, Wulfrik’s tutors had made battle seem much cleaner and more clear-cut than this confusing scramble. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get his knights in a position to charge these pesky wolf and spider riders! In the distance he could hear that the battle wasn’t going well, and as the fog began to lift he glimpsed the 1st Drakkenburg Phalanx. They had obviously charged forward against the enemy unsupported, and whilst they had routed a unit of archers, they were now cut off and surrounded. As he watched, they were charged on two flanks by archers and spearmen, and he watched as they fell under the mass of greenskins. Meanwhile, the wolf and spider cavalry, having run rings around his knights, now smashed into the rear of the 1st Drakkenburg Fusiliers, shattering them, and riding down the fleeing survivors.

With his infantry gone, there was nothing left for Wulfrik to do but abandon the field. Over the next few days, several wounded infantry drifted back into Drakkenburg, but nearly half of them had been killed or captured

Reclaiming the Mine

Although young by Dwarf standards, Brondi Belgarsson had already proven himself leading a band of Warriors before rising from the ranks. So when it was decided to reclaim the Gromril mine at Kag Maldur, he was a natural choice to lead it. He marched out at the head of his old unit, Thorbak’s Clanners, and was joined by Rogi’s Gunmen and Halbar’s Marsmen. Fortunately, the Orcs who had overrun the mine had long since left, and though they left it in ruins, the rebuilding was quickly begun. Whilst his builders worked to make it habitable once more, Brondi patrolled the surrounding area, and it was on one of these excursions that his forces became enveloped in a thick mountain fog. A veteran of many such patrols, Brondi knew how easily his forces could become separated, and so he identified a good defensive position and settled down to wait out the fog. Thus it was that when a swarm of Goblins appears out of the murk, the Dwaves were ready for them.

Flush from ‘is previous victories, Gorbad Gutrippa wasn’t worried when da fog rolled in. After all, if sumfink was hidin’ in it, ‘is boyz wus more dan a match fur it. Or so ‘e thought. ‘E ‘adn’t figured on a bunch o’ stunties, though, and dere ‘eavy armour made dem almost un-stompable. Dat wus just cheatin’…

Brondi reacted switly to the oncoming horde, leading his Warriors to smash a unit of greenskin archers, whilst the Quarellers – led by his old friend Halbar – laid down such a deadly hail of fire that a second unit fled in terror. The Thunderers were not so lucky; forced to redeploy to deal with the flanking Goblin cavalry, the were overrun by charging wolf riders. The spider riders that attempted to flank them, however, were met by a devastating fire from Halbar’s Marksmen. Not one of them survived. When Brondi and the Clanners hammered their way through the Goblin spearmen, and the wolf riders found themselves alone and facing the wrath of the Dwarves, the cowardly greenskins quickly fled

The Wandering Witch Hunter

Markus Altmann had spent the last year wandering the towns and villages of Wissenland; the place had been awash with witches, mutants, and other heretics when he first arrived, but after many months of purification, he was confident that it was as cleansed as it would ever be. When the news reached him of the disaster that had befallen the garrison of Drakkenburg, he was certain that witchcraft was to blame, and set out at once to root out this evil.

The road to Drakkenburg was hard, with many hazards for the unwary. The mountain pass through to the Border Princes in particular proved difficult, with numerous orc and goblin patrols to be avoided. By the time he arrived, Markus was decidedly travel-worn, but ready and eager to be about his business.

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Dreadball League

Dreadball is a futuristic, sci fi, sports game that is extremely fast, fun and tactical. It is a favourite game of club and regularly played, so much so the club is looking to run a Dreadball league in the near future.

Dreadball is very easy to pick up and play, games are relatively fast and can be played in less than an hour. The game uses a board/pitch with marking for movement and scoring. Play never resets as a titanium ball zooms around the pitch at 200 mph! Players can throw, pass, steal and of course slam opponents to gain the upper hand in each match.

Watch this space for more info on the up and coming Dreadball league.