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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.