Thursday, 25 April 2019

A Nation Sundered Part the Fourth; The secret of the shattered City

          Lord Edwin Dufflecoat pondered the wreckage before him. Clearly it had once been a house, possibly quite a grand one to judge from the stonework, but now it was a ruin , and like all the buildings in Minimostock it looked for all the world like it had been dropped from a great height . 
    "How in Sigmars name could a major port end up this far in to the desert, and in such a state as this?" he asked to nobody in particular, barely able to comprehend the scale of the destruction. 
   Still, pickings had been rich- even now his troops were going through the ruins searching for any thing of value , and behind him stood a row of carts laden with wealth of a city...or this part of it at least.
      Standing beside his horse stood his Court Wizard, Grand Alf, who surveyed the fallen city with the expertise of one practiced in the arcane arts. He held up a speculum and  peered through it.
          " I can't say what caused this, except that it was very powerful magic" he said, "And it came from that direction..." he gestured towards what had probably been the centre of the city. " There was a large open market place there wasn't there? If my calculations are correct that's where we'll find the cause for this"
"We should press on then, wouldn't want such power falling into the wrong hands..." replied Lord Edwin, trailing off as a horseman, one of the young Pistoliers who were deployed as pickets for the Expeditionary Force rode up and saluted.
"Sir..." he began but his report was cut short by the sound of distant cannonfire. 
"The Dwarves?" Said Lord Edwin , "Seems they have got there first...but who are they shooting at?"
"The Northmen...the tainted ones we think, sir" Replied the pistoler, "we followed their trail up that street. " 
Lord Edwin involuntarily shuddered at the thought of facing those abominations again , but it would never do to let them gain access to such sorcery! With a shout and a wave of his hand he ordered his troops to continue their advance through the rubble.

So all the players have now found and fought for possession of the secret city of Minimostock, but there can only be one! The two highest scoring players from Round 2 will now fight a battle to determine the overall winner.

This is how the scoreboard looks now:

Aidan (Empire)  with 8 points.
Territorys: 3 villages, silver mine, 2 forests (2+3), a town, a wizards tower, a lost valley (with trade route and temple) and the Alchemical Factory.

Rob (Dark Elves)  with 2 points.
Territorys: Lost Valley (road(100) and Village) Village, 2xTrade Route, 2x Forest (2) , silvermine

Dafydd (Undead) with 12 points.
Territorys: Road(40), Pass(70), Village, Ruins, 3 towns, sacred grove, trade route.

Chris (chaos)  with 22 points.
Territorys: Village, Pass(120), Sacred Grove, 2x Lost valley (village and town in both!) Gold Mine, Forest (3).

Dave (Dark Elves) with 12 points.
Territorys; Pass(120) Pass(130), road (50), sacred Grove, 2  Trade Routes, , Village, Forest (3)

Phil (Orcs)  with 11 points.
Territorys: Village, bridge(70), Silvermine, 2x goldmines, forest(2) and forest(3), Spy

Rick (undead) with 9 points
Territorys; Town, Trade Route, Lost Valley(treasure horde/trade route) Forest(2) wizards tower.

Alan (Dwarves) with 18 points
2 Villages, 2 ruins, wizards tower, town, Trade Route, Bridge (50), forest(3)

James (Bretonnia) with 6 points
Territorys; Lost Valley (2 villages) Treasure Horde, Forest (3), 2x Trade Routes, Forest (3).

And so it is that Alan and Chris have discovered the Secret of Minimostock and must now fight to take control of it!

They will play the following Meeting Engagement scenario:
Set up as per Meeting Engagement.  No Territory's are staked!
The only scenery to be used is ruins which may be placed all around the edge of the table but no further than 12" in from the edge . The middle of the board should be empty (this is the Minimostocks main market plaza) In the centre of the market place should be At a Distance Doorway Device (this could be a tellyporta, or a stone circle or any other suitable model)
Victory points are awarded as normal and whoever has a model closest to the At a Distance Doorway Device at the end of the game gets 5 points extra.

The Winner takes the At a Distance Doorway Device Territory.  This Territory allows its owner to open portals that he can move troops through, allowing him to pick his targets with impunity and launch surprise attacks with ease. There appears to be element of the Device missing- a small circular slot at its centre is empty, but the ancient and mysterious runes on the Device seem to suggest that should an appropriate Thing be inserted here the Device would become powerful enough to teleport much more than a few troops...possibly an entire city!

 This Territory has the Following Rules. The Owner may pick which territory his opponent stakes. However any player with the Device must stake it in every game where they own it.
The Device allows the owner to deploy any one unit at the start of the game as though it had the same special deployment rule as Wood Elf or Dark Elf scouts.
The Owner may also keep units in reserve (i.e he may choose not to deploy them) at the start of the game and then try and deploy them using the device. One unit per turn may be deployed in this way: At the start of the movement phase (i.e before charges are declared) the owner may pick a unit held in reserve and try and teleport it onto the battlefield. He picks the spot on the table where he wants it to appear and places the units leader there. He then rolls the Scatter and Misfire Dice together. If a hit is rolled the unit arrives where specified and is deployed in contact with their leader. If a number and arrow are rolled together the leader is moved in the specified direction that number of inches...the unit appears around their leader in this new location. If a misfire is rolled the unit is lost and the enemy gets the victory points for it!

Round 3- One Thing to Rule Them All; The Thing of Power.

As soon as rumour of the Nature of the At a Distance Doorway Device spread the Search for the Thing began. Clearly whatever this Thing is, it is small, circular, and extremely powerful. Whoever could gain control of the Thing and the Device would be almost unstoppable...but perhaps the Thing is still powerful in its own right. Obviously  you can't let that fall into the wrong hands, and must find it first!  Whoever wins the most Territories in Round 3 will find the Thing...

Saturday, 23 March 2019

The Doomlords Revenge!

One day, in the distant past (aka January 2019) I was reading Ye Olde Undead army book. Therein I discovered a tale of Woe from the heart of the Empire; the story of a depraved Necromancer and his cunning plan to destroy the Realms of Men and the battles that followed. I refer, of course, to the Revenge of the Doomlord Scenario. I was mesmerised. I had to play it. When I managed to get hold of a Doomlord of Middenhiem model for a mere £8 I had to had to play it!  All I needed was an opponent...

Dieter Helsnicht, The Doom Lord of Middenhiem!

Enter Rick. Rick is a natural commander of the Undead. This may be because he is one himself. A Commander of the Undead...not an actual Undead, obviously.  I pestered Rick to command the Undead in this Scenario, and he agreed to on the condition he was allowed to win.

I would of course command the Armies of the Empire! We decided to play the entire game using 4th edition WHFB rules- Nothing 5th edition at all, which was not something we'd tried before! Luckily I had the Battle Magic and Arcane Magic sets and the other necessary rulebooks to facilitate this. Probably would have helped if I'd read them first though. 

The Scenario is a simple one, with 3 Empire forces trying to converge on an Undead army, The undead army is a little smaller, but the Empire doesn't get all its strength until quite late in the day, with only a small force to hold back the tide. 

I had to pick 3 armies- a 1000 point force to defend the Village of Beekerhofen, a 1600 point relief force from Middenland, and a 400 point flying column of Kislevites.  My Empire army has been undergoing renovation this last year or so (and I've only a few more units waiting for attention) and I was keen to get as many of my figures on the table as possible! I eventually decided to do without wizards and warmachines (apart from a sole hellblaster!) because they took up points I preferred to spend on troops, especially in the force that was intended to defend the village, where I would need every man I could get behind those barricades! Therefore I was resolved, this battle would be won or lost by the courage of mortal men! 

Firstly, the Elector Count of Nordlands army, or whats left of it- Most of it has been crushed or routed by the Doom Lords carefully executed ambush by the Lake of Woes. The Count commands whats left- the few units that held together during the retreat fighting numerous rearguard actions against the pursuing Undead, and the militia and townsfolk of Beekerhofen, the village where he has been brought to bay.  A hint of hope amidst the despair- the legendary Moon Duke has appeared with his entourage, and a party of travelling Barbarians who were drinking the Village Pub dry have vowed to join the defence.
The Elector Count of Nordland , with whats left of a once mighty army.  10 halflings, 5 pistoliers,
12 greatswords, the Moon Duke and 10 halberdiers, 10 halberdiers from the Village Watch, 10 drunken barbarians
(counting as Flagellents!) a helblaster, and 16 miltia.
The Elector Count of Middenlands relief force , actually the vanguard of his Army marching north from Middenhiem would be a more impressive sight, with regiments of Regular Infantry in good order, and representatives of two knightly orders.  No heroes to lead them, but a Battle Standard to keep them in line..

The Elector Count of Middenlands force: 25 spearmen, and 25 halberdiers, 20 archers,
5 each of the knights panther and Knights of the white wolf, and 6 outriders.
 On the road to the East is a Kislevite patrol on its way home to Erengrad. After his defeat at the the Lake Of Woes the Elector count of Nordland sent a galloper after them to bring them back. This handful of horsemen represents my numerical advantage; let us hope they are not to late to the fray!
The Kislevite flying column: a Captain leading 5 horse archers, and
7 winged lancers.

 A Flurry of pistol shots sounded in the darkness followed by the hoof beats of tired horses urged to one more effort. A handful of weary men galloped out of the darkness and joined the Count as they rode towards the lights of Beekerhofen. Count Edwin looked about him at the tired faces; all that was left of his own Regiment, the Nordriek Horse, whose exertions these last two days had been devoted to protecting the mass of fleeing soldiery and civilians heading west.  They were few now, and he had asked much of them, as they had turned and charged their tormentors, driving them off, time and time again.  They had tried to do more- to cut their through to those regiments of his army that hadn't simply fled, but had died where they stood, surrounded and selling their lives dearly- but the task had been beyond them, and the Count could only watch as his army was all but destroyed.

Now at last , as they neared this outpost of civilization the pursuit had dwindled away and the Count dared to hope they might find some respite from the horrors behind them in the dark. . He had dispatched a galloper here to warn of what was coming, and as he and his men rode into the village centre he was greeted by the elderly Burgomaster in his nightclothes and chain of office.
          "My lord, Sigmar be praised, I had heard you had perished! I received your message, and done as best I could- the Militia and Watch and have been turned out, and we are preparing barricades and repairing walls as you you still intend to make a stand here? "
   The Count looked about him- he had been hoping more of his men would have rallied here, but only a few could be seen helping the villagers; most were still heading west, their terror overcoming their weariness. The Burgomaster sensed his disappointment .
          "I encouraged them to take the western road when they wouldn't stay- I thought it best we keep the road to Middenhiem clear so we spread rumours that it was already cut! We could not persuade them to stay and defend our homes..." the burgomaster trailed off with a shrug, perhaps understanding that what was left of the Army of Nordland would be reluctant to stand against the horrors they had already faced. "Rest a while Lord, there is food and ale in the hall, and we will see to your horses..."

         Unable to rest long the Count soon found himself going round the hastily erected barricades that supplemented the scattering of walls and hedges around the village, staring into the darkness beyond the firelight, and glumly wondering if his messengers had reach his cousin, the Count of Middenland . By now most of those who wanted to flee had already done so, and few now wanted to risk the western road without the safety of numbers. The night was mostly silent, except in the pub where even at this early hour a small party of travelling barbarians were quaffing and singing. They had mocked the more civilized Imperial soldiers as they fled past, bragged about their own invincibility, and how many enemies would fall before them. They had declared to the Count their intention to join the coming fight, and demonstrate their greater warrior prowess, before going back to their drink and song. They had refused to help prepare the defences, claiming it to be the work of lesser mortals. 
        A figure appeared beside him, in full armour and bearing a huge halberd. The Count looked him up and down, wandering who the newcomer was, his jaw dropping as he recognised the distinctive crescent moon on his helm.  The legendary Moon Duke himself! A figure from legend, and a hero of the Empire. With a chuckle at his astonished expression the Duke raised his visor, to reveal the face of the Burgomaster. 
      "You're...the Moon Duke? But...I thought you must have died years ago, if you existed at all. I recall well the stories I was told as a child..."
   "HA! Yes, That was me once...and again at need, though I feel the weight of the years upon me, but...LOOK!"  
    Turning to follow his outstretched arm the Count saw the light of dawn just beginning to break, revealing that an army had come to Beekerhofen, deployed across the eastern road, an army of the dead. The two men watched as it took up its positions, their own men gathering at the walls with despair in their hearts when the saw the dead before them. The Count shuddered as the growing light allowed him to recognise some of their banners...banners that a few days earlier had been his own.
     "Now that is interesting", said the Duke, surveying the arrayed host. 
     "Not quite the word I'd have chosen" replied Count Edwin quietly, but the Duke continued;
     "See how they refuse their southern flank?  They can't go further north because of the river, but they could encircle us to the south and attack from all sides if they so wished! Why would they not, with our meagre defences, but that they know something we do not?  A-Ha!  I have it! Take heart my Lord, for they fear swords at their backs; your message got through, the Men of Middenland are coming!"

The defenders of Beekerhofen take up their positions on the walls
covering the villages eastern side.

The Watch and the remnants of the Nordriek Horse are held back as a reserve 

The Doomlords Army is revealed by the dawn...

And on the road from Erengrad the Kislevites ride hard to the rescue!

The undead advance, and arcane magicks swell their ranks!

The defenders are outflanked by spectral horsemen and winged horrors!

The skeletal chariots are no use in the village, so move to cover the left flank. 

Desperate hand to hand fighting errupts all along the barricades, but the defenders
have the best of it-Count Edwin stands his ground against the Doomlord and the
Barbarians , Greatswords, and the Moon Dukes men cut down all the undead who come near.

The spectral horsemen are to much for the halflings who eventually give way.
In the nick of time help arrives as the Count of Middenhiems vanguard marches on to the field, the well ordered state infantry of Battenburgh and Middenland in the centre, and the cavalry on the flanks.

The Doomlord fells the Count of Nordland and runs amok in the village, chasing the Watch through the Streets,
The undead are replenished by his will and the numbers begin to tell against the defenders. The barbarians vault the walls to
take the Zombie horde in the flanks.

On the road from Erengrad the Kislevites clash with the undead rearguard...

The watch rally, but are facing a power they cannot match with mere courage.

The Middenlanders charge , clearing the undead chariots from the field, the white wolf knights crushing all before them with great sweeps of their hammers.

And then the Winged Hussars Arrive! But are they too late?
Skeletal infantry try and hold back the vengeful Middenlanders.
In the village death stalks the streets freely now, with only the Moon Dukes
men and a single barbarian to hold the walls. The Imperial and Keslivite Horse
seek to crush the undead between them, but a terrifying Wraith in their midst and the
nigh unstoppable Doomlord scatter the cavalrymen.
The Army of Middenland commands the field, but the Beekerhofen
all but belongs to the Doom Lord.
The Moon Duke and his remaining men resolutely hold their ground as the remaining kislevites
are driven from the field. despite their heroic efforts the Doom Lord is Victorious!  

    The Count of Middenland's Runefang carved through another undead creature , breaking the sorcery that animated it and wrecking its skeletal form, around him the Knights of the White Wolf fought with massive hammers against rusty blades and spears. Suddenly,  these minions of the Doom Lord gave way before them revealing the open fields and the village of Beekerhofen beyond. The streets were crammed with the walking dead, and in their midst a figure on a huge winged beast cackling manically, reveling in its moment of triumph. He thought he caught a glimpse amidst the horde of a moon-crowned helm that stil stood tall and proud, but dismissed it.  Surely nothing could still be alive amidst that carnage. The Count, not a man to give way to despair easily, realized they were out matched- the vile magics of their enemy had won the day, and even if he had the strength to keep up the attack it was clear there was nobody left in Beekerhofen that would be saved by the attempt. The rest of his army was still strung out on the road from Middehiem, and he knew now his best chance was to keep it as intact as possible for the battles ahead. As he started giving orders for the retreat he vowed that the Nordlanders would be avenged! 

The final score, if you're interested was actually pretty close. 20-17 to the undead.  And it all came down to a single LD test- In the last turn I declared a charge with the Knights Panther against a unit of undead in the Village- I didnt think they'd destroy them but I wanted to make the effort. Unfortunately they failed their fear test...and refused to charge...until Rick pointed out the Wraith in the unit, that it was actually a terror test, and the knights had run away! Arrgh!   We made a few mistakes with the 4th ed rules that might have made a difference to- with only one wizard on the field you're supposed to reduce the Winds of Magic to d6, rather than 2d6. but we missed this and this allowed the Doom Lord free reign to raise as many skeletons as he wanted, cursing anyone who got in his way, and using a his dark magic spell to flit about the battlefield at will picking on small units who couldn't stand before his manticore! This combined with the ability to cast spells in his opponents turn made him rather unstoppable!  I'm not sure a wizard of my own would have made a big difference especially early on when I could have only had a low level one anyway- I didnt get many dispel cards and couldn't roll a 5+ to save my life!. A dispel scroll or two might have been handy though. A movement spell was what I really needed- we were playing on a slightly too large a table, and the Middenlanders had a long way to go when they arrived!

Still, we've made a start to something interesting here; inspired by the old Gathering of Might and its subsequent campaign in White Dwarf I thought it might be fun to make this the first game in a little watch this space, because the Doom Lord of Middenhiem  hasn't had his  revenge yet! 

Saturday, 5 January 2019

A Nation Sundered part 3: The End of the Beginning, and the Beginning of the Middle...

      Lord Edwin Dufflecoat, commander of the Imperial Expeditionary Force, considered the contents of the compound- a scattering of barrels and crates, mostly already destroyed by looters, lay all around.  Here at last was the armoury of whoever had destroyed so many peaceful villages and claimed so many innocent lives. Hopefully here he would  find something that would lead him to those responsible so that they may face Imperial justice at last!
        He passed through the shattered gateway with pistol in hand. He couldn't help but feel uneasy in this temple to chemical death, this strange sensation that he on the brink of a terrible discovery that would shatter his worldview.  Maybe it was the tatty Imperial Banner that still fluttered over the gateway, maybe it was the Imperial Steam Tank parked under its tarpaulin in the corner of the compound...maybe it was just last nights curry come back to haunt him.
       Kneeling, he picked up a couple of shards of timber that had been victim of the looters axe, and held their matching edges together- the image of the Imperial Eagle was clear.  A few yards away a piece of paper fluttered in the breeze, revealing the legend "Product of Altdorf". He considered these signs for a moment, wondering what they might portend. A shout from his troops arrayed outside the compound broke his reverie , and he turned to see black armoured troops wearing black eyeliner under black banners advancing up the road towards the compound.  It must be true then, he thought, that the criminal always returns to the scene of the crime...

Clues have been followed, rumours investigated. The evidence has led two armies to a final confrontation that will mark the end of Round 1, and determine who wins the Special Territory- The Abandoned Chemical Weapons Factory.  Many armies have been bloodied in this Quest thus far, and all who were deserving received gifts from Father Christmas himself, as he made his deliveries to the Warhammer World, and in recognition of your efforts- Reinforcements have Arrived!

The Results, and Territories held at the end of Round 1 are as Follows:

Colin (orcs and goblins):-  nil points.
2 Trade Routes and a Village         
James (Bretonnia):   -  8 points
Lost Valley (2 Villages) , Village , Forest (3) 
Treasure Horde, Trade Route                                                           

Alan (Dwarves):   - 7 points
Forest(3) , Village, Town , Ruins,                                                       

Rick (undead):  - 3 points
Town, Lost Valley (Treasure Horde/Trade Route), Trade Route         

Phil (Orcs and goblins):  -7 points
Village ,Bridge(70),  Wizards Tower, Silver Mine                               

Dave (Dark Elves):   - 14 points
Lost Valley(village/town), Forest (3), Pass (120),                               
Pass (130), Sacred Grove, Trade Route.

Chris (Chaos): -4 points
Village, Sacred Grove, Pass(120)                                                         

Dafydd (undead)  -11 points
Road(40), pass(70), Village, Ruins, Town, Trade Route                   

Geoff (wood Elves)  -10 points
Town, Silver mine, Silver Mine, Pass (80), Temple, Bridge(80)       

Rob (Dark Elves)  -13 points
Lost Valley (road (100)/Village), Trade Route, Village,                     
Trade route, Forest (2), Silvermine, Forest(2) .

Aidan (Empire)   -18 points
3 Villages, Trade Route, Forest (2), Wizards Tower,                       
Silver Mine, Town, Lost Valley (Temple/Trade route)

Thus, Myself and David will fight for control of the Special Territory!
No Territories are staked for this game. The winner takes all.

This will be Pitched Battle, as per the battle book, except that in the exact centre of the battlefield a small compound containing crates, barrels etc .  Looters have broken open a lot of barrels and whilst most of the really harmful stuff has dissipated its still not pleasant to be in the vicinity for very long!  Any unit with in 6" of the compound at the end of its turn takes d6 S1 hits.

Victory points are awarded as normal , with 5 Extra Victory points going to whoever has figures within the Compound at the end of the game.

The Abandoned Alchemical Weapons Factory, Special Territory.
Whoever wins this Territory may search for any Alchemical Weapons that may have been overlooked by the Looters. There only a few items left, and any weapons used can't be replenished for the next battle, a Character in your army can carry any one item. Luckily most of the items are still labelled with how to use them! Roll 3 times on the Following Table:  Every time you win another game, you may roll on this table once more! Keep track of which items have been rolled- once you've had at least one of all 6 (whether you've used them or not) the territory is exhausted and must be abandoned.

1-Al-kahest  A set of  small vials of that may be thrown just like a throwing knife, with range 6". They hit with S3, and no Armour Save is allowed. 6 uses only.
2-Peter Pomegranate This Large glass globe can be thrown with a range of 6"- pick a point within LOS up to 6" away and roll the scatter dice +d6" to see where it lands! The globe releases a rather unpleasant gas! place the blast template on the landing point - any model touched by the template must take a T test with no save!  One use only
3-Embiggerence! This potion may be poured on any model in base contact including the model carrying it. It may be avoided if desired by a successful  I test (no armour save), otherwise the target model immediately doubles in size! (Any mount is instantly crushed..or runs away!) The models M, S, T, and W are all doubled (max10) , but the I is halved and the model is now a large target, causing fear, and Stupid! Unfortunately any magic items or weapons it was carrying are now useless to it.  One use only. May be used at the start of the turn.
4-Emlittlence! This potion may also be poured on any model in base contact including the model carrying it. It may be avoided if desired by a successful  I test (no armour save). The model (and any mount!) instantly shrinks to the size of a mouse!  Obviously the victim can't do much for the rest of the game except hide in the long grass and wait for it to wear off...  One use only. The victim isn't dead though, so no victory points are scored! May be used at the start of the turn.
5-Panacea Universalis This concoction may be used on any figure in base contact, or the bearer- it immediately restores 1 wound . 3 Uses only.  May be used at the start of the turn.
6- An unmarked bottle. Impossible to know what effect it has until you use it on a target model. Roll a D3- on a 1 its an Embiggerence! , 2: its a Emlittlence! , 3: its Panacea Universalis.

And so for everyone else, its on to Round 2! The Lost City of Minimostock!
A few weeks ago the city was not lost; it was a thriving Port on the Ayrisian Coast, with its harbour and merchants doing brisk trade. It had been firmly under the control of the King and had been instrumental in bringing in foreign support to his cause, and providing the wealth for continuing the war. Its loss has been felt keenly; where once was gleaming spires and tall towers was now naught but sandy beach...
      However there are now rumours of a wrecked ship found far inland, on the eastern edge of Ayris where the the arable land meets the edge of the desert. The crew all but dead, but a sole survivor claiming they had been approaching the west coast of Ayris at night , and could see the lights of the city on the horizon, and so the rumour goes, could still see those lights after the ship shattered on impact with the top of a hill...

The various players must now find the Lost City of Minimostock, uncover the foul sorceries that caused it to vanish, reverse them and claim the city's riches for themselves!

All event rules carry on as normal, the points listed above are reset to 0 for everyone.
 Army points limit has now increased to 1500 points (plus any additional points for territories)

Saturday, 27 October 2018

A Nation Sundered, part 2.

      The Lord Edwin Dufflecoat, commander of the Imperial Expeditionary Force, leaned on his pommel and gazed disdainfully around the deserted village. A handful of fresh corpses scattered around the sole street betrayed the fact that  until recently it had been a thriving community, but like a dozen more villages they had investigated, nobody lived here now. Even the vegetation was sickly and blackened. Half a dozen troopers were all that moved here, ensuring that such evidence as might still be found was undisturbed.
    Grand Meister Grym of the Amethyst order of  the Unpunctuated Otter dismounted his horse and strode to the centre of the village, his cloak swirling about him. He held his ceremonial Scythe aloft and brought the butt of it down on the dry earth in a gesture Lord Edwin considered to be far too dramatic. Dust and debris rose in a cloud and settled on the Wizard's outstretched hand. He peered closer, his lips moving soundlessly, his countenance that of unbreakable concentration. The air around him glowed and lensed, changing from hue to hue rapidly. Lord Edwin leaned forward, craning to see what the Grand Meister might discern, would he at last find evidence for the use of Alchemical weapons as had been rumoured? The Wizard was almost frozen, the tiny particles the focus of all his power and attention. After a moment that seemed to last an eternity the wizard threw the dust to the ground in frustration, and without a word stalked off to examine some nearby foliage. 
     Lord Edwin  sighed, and sank back in his saddle, disappointed at what appeared to be another wild goose chase. But something had to have happened here. A dozen villages don't become deserted without a reason. What power had been unleashed here, what devilry was at work?  His reverie was broken by a flurry of pistol shots from the edge of the village, and the pounding of hooves as the Troopers galloped towards him.
        "Sir! Look out, Sir!" cried the Lieutenant commanding the troop of Pistoliers, riding hard and aiming a pistol behind him. As the pistol fired, Lord Edwins gaze followed the bullets path, his heart skipping a beat as he saw the cause for the Pistoliers panic.
         At the end of the street the dead villagers were beginning to move...

Firstly, some new rules for the campaign!
Each time a player plays a game they get points- 1 for a loss, 2 for a draw, 3 for a win.
The top two ranking players on the 1st of December will play a match with no staked territories, and a special prize territory up for grabs; The Abandoned Alchemical Weapon Factory!

Players are to be reminded to keep track of their Veteran Bonus's and not to forget to roll on the Generals Victory Bonus Chart on page 152 of the Battlebook! 

There is also an events chart:
Whenever a roll on the Territory chart is required for a game between two or more players a roll of a double will trigger an Event! After the game the two players roll off and the loser rolls 2d6 on the Events chart:  Should any of the events result in a player having less than three territories then he must abandon them and roll three new ones as through he'd started the campaign afresh. 

2)  PLAGUE! A terrible plague has broken out among your territories. Victims are stricken with blue and yellow boils all across their body, develop an unquenchable thirst for soy sauce and finally breakout in a rendition of Chumbawumbas 'Tubthumping' sung at a volume that wrecks lungs and vocal chords, and can last for days until the victim finally succumbs. The Plague is invariably fatal, and extremely annoying.  Test with a d6 roll for all Towns and Villages under your control; a Village is destroyed on a 4+, a  Town reduced to a Village on a 6+. Pick one other territory you control which is also destroyed.

3)  PIRATES!  Since the war began Pirates have become more common in the Black Gulf, preying on shipping mostly but occasionally daring to land on Ayris's undefended coast...  Roll a d6 for each wizards tower you own, it is destroyed on a 4+. If you have no Wizards Tower roll for each Sacred Grove, Shrine or Temple- on a 6+ it is reduced to a Wizards Tower.

4)  BANDITS!  The kingdom of Ayris is almost lawless now, with armed bands with nothing to lose roaming and looting at will, and its impossible to maintain patrols on all your lines of supply...
Roll 1d6 for each Trade Route, Road, Bridge and Pass you own. You must abandon it on a 4+.

5) FIRE!  Somebody left the gas on, and now the whole towns aflame!  Quick peeps, bury your Cheese...
One random Town or Village is burnt down: retain the Teritory but gain no benefit from it and you can't stake it. After each subsequent game roll a D6 (add +1 if you win) - on a 6+ the settlement is rebuilt!

6) Mine Exhausted! If you dig up to much gold, eventually you'll run out of gold to dig up...
 Randomly select a Silver or Gold mine you own. Abandon it.

7) SCANDAL!  Your political opponents at home are making life difficult for you with spurious rumours that aren't in any way true! Fake news! Fake News! And that picture of you with a Badger is clearly photoshopped...unfortunately until you can gain some good publicity your funding has been cut and confidence in your abilities is at an all time low. Your General is at -1 LD, and can't earn or use Veteran or Victory bonus's. This lasts until you win a game.

8)  STORMS!  The weatherman didn't see this one coming, Storms and heavy rain turn your roads into swamps and wash away your bridges...lose the benefit of any Passes, Bridges or Roads in your next game, and you can't stake them either.

9) The Peasants are Revolting! One of your Towns (if no Towns then a Village) has risen against you, fed up with your emptying their graveyards/filling their graveyards/massive taxation/bizarre  demands for physical gratification (delete as appropriate) . They have had enough and now spend their days chanting slogans , building barricades and waving flags. The town now gives you no benefits, and can't be staked (nobody else wants that problem!) . If you lose a game the Rebellion spreads to another Town or Village you control. If you win a game you've managed to hang the rebel scum in one settlement. Once you've stamped out all rebellions it stops spreading.

10) Earthquake!  The native Earth Gods of Ayris are angry at the temples you've erected to false gods on their turf, and they intend to destroy the intruders! One Random Temple/Wizards Tower/Shrine/Sacred grove you own is destroyed. 

11) VOLCANO!  Ayris is littered with sleeping volcanoes...and one has just woken up. One Random Territory you own is destroyed, unless in your next game you appease the Volcano with a sacrifice! One character model (not a unit champion as they are not important enough, and not your General as you're not stupid enough to sacrifice yourself) that you can take as part of your army must have its points paid for as part of the army but then NOT be used in the game! Deploy as normal and then declare which of your deployed characters you are sacrificing! Roll 2d6 and multiply by 10. If the Score is lower than the Points cost of the Sacrificed Character the Volcano is appeased and the Territory saved!  

12)  CHAOS REIGNS! The Chaos Gods don't have quite as much power this far south, but the way Ayris is tearing itself to pieces amuses them greatly, and they're keen to join in the fun and games:  Randomly select one random Territory you own- It now does the opposite of what it is supposed to do! So for example, if you have a Trade route allowing you a magic item it no longer grants the magic item, AND it counters the effects of another territories effects as well, so if you had a second Trade Route the first Reversed Territory would cancel this out, and neither would gain you a Magic Item. Or if you had a Shrine the Reversed Trade Route would mean you no longer received the 50pt magic item from the Shrine but could still have the level 3 wizard. This Effect is permanent, and you can continue to stake the territory as well...whether you tell your opponents about it before or after they take it is up to you! 

The News

Battle has come to Ayris and  a flurry of battles have heralded the arrival of many combatants each faction seeking to establish a base of operations from which to conduct its campaign.  The Undead tasted first blood with a victory over the forces of Chaos, but found it tougher going against the less rash and more calculating Empire. The Dark Elves saw victory across the board with the Orcs and Chaos Warriors tasting their whips and chains.  

In other news A Giant Sea Creature has been sighted in the Black Gulf. It is hoped that this is targeting the Pirates that infest the Gulf rather than the Ships that are intended to resupply the campaigning armies. Also the City of Minimostok has vanished. Reward offered for its safe return.

Lord Edwin Dufflecoats Imperial Expeditionary Force prepares to meet the Undead! 

Dark Elves and Chaos Warriors deploy for battle!
A number of battlefields are reported as having Giant Hands pointing at them...

...but there is no truth in this at all. 

The forces of Chaos wastes its strength against the Nigh Unbreakable Elves

The Orcs discover why Air Superiority in this war will be vital... 

whilst the Undead learn why M3 is such a disadvantage
Stay tuned for more news from the front!

Saturday, 6 October 2018

A Nation Sundered, a 5th Ed. WHFB campaign

So, having piqued the groups interest in 5th ed WHFB I was reading through my various books and wandering what to do next when I happened upon the Campaign rules in the battlebook. I like these rules; they are simple but work well. A quick survey suggested there was some interest in a little campaign, and so I decided to run one!

The rules to be used would be pretty much as written.  Starting armies limited to 1000 points with increments for territories as normal. And thats it. The rest of the work has already been done, and is already in the 5th ed battle book! But I shall list the limitations for completeness:

Army size limit; 1000 points
Only one wizard, max level 1.
A General is compulsory but other characters are not allowed until the requisite territory is taken.
One magic item, up to 50 points in value.
1 warmachine
1 large monster
No allies.

Players are to tell the umpire (me) of the results of their battles, including who ended up with what territory and what objectives were or were not achieved. Also to keep track of their own veteran or elite status's of their units.

I decided some background was in order.

Somewhere between the Worlds Edge Mountains and the Black Gulf lies the small, unregarded kingdom of Ayris, a kingdom so overlooked that it was often missing from maps of the Old World altogether! This state of affairs might have continued had not a civil war broken out between the corrupt King Wossisname and his dissatisfied subjects. Whilst this was an almost entirely internal struggle, its impact was felt across the world. The kingdoms position on the edge of the gulf meant that trade in the area between Tilea, the Border princes, Araby, various of the more southerly dwarven strongholds and the Crusader Kingdoms was disrupted. This disruption threatened many of the more precarious states, and as many of these states were closely tied to the Great Powers of the world it wasn't long before the eyes of the world were turned on Ayris. 

The struggle between those loyal to the king, and the rebel scum had been violent and each had fought the other to a standstill. Exhausted, they both turned to foreign powers for aid. And so armies came from far and wide, some openly supporting one cause or another, others keeping their cards closer to their chest and pursuing their own private interests. Some were simply there to secure certain resources, Ayris being the source of a particularly potent 'Potion of Strength', and a producer of vast numbers of 'Dispel Scrolls' . And a few came sensing that in the chaos would be opportunity; for riches and glory, or to carve out their own kingdom. 

As the kingdom of Ayris tore itself apart, the vultures began to circle...

As the foreign powers representatives arrive they secure for themselves , by political wrangling or by force, a base of operations:

Myself, commanding an Empire army occupied a Village, a Forest(2) and a lost valley containing a Temple and a Trade Route.

Geoff, commanding the Wood Elves, controls two Towns and a bridge(80).

Rob, with dark elves, terrorizing a lost valley including a Road(50) and Village, a Trade Route and a wizards tower.

Chris, is Chaotic, and corrupts a Village, a Forest(1), and a Sacred Grove.

David, also Dark Elvish , is being unpleasant to a Village, a Trade Route, and a Pass(120).

Dafydd, is Undead, and now haunts a pair of villages, and a road (30).

Rick is also Undead and infests a Town, a Trade Route and a Mountain(1)

I will, shortly, be furnishing some, all or none of the players some sort of secret objective that they must try and achieve to further their own nefarious aims. Success or failure may result in great rewards, or penalties!

This could be interesting....

Monday, 1 October 2018


The other day more troops for my Empire army rolled of the production line; the first two regiments of Horse - Pistoliers and knights of the White Wolf , and some reinforcements for the infantry and artillery. The guns were brand new, the rest had been waiting for attention for quite a while, and included some of the first figures I bought for my Empire Army...some twenty -odd years ago!  There are still a few more units to paint- Knights of the Blazing Sun, Knights Panther, a Steam Tank, and a few more heroes, but it felt like a milestone of sorts had been reached, which could mean only three things: First, a celebratory cuppa. Secondly, some pics should be taken, and thirdly, the Empire must go to war!  A challenge was laid down, and Chris foolishly accepted !

Pistoliers and knights of the White Wolf- the Pistoliers Standard has to
set some kind of record for longest time taken over the simplest conversion:
the  pistol was cut to make way for the staff 20 years ago. The staff was added
last week!

The entire force arrayed
 So, to war!  We agreed to play a 2500 point game, with no special characters. Scenario selected on the night was Breakthrough, with me attacking, and we rolled 5 turns.

 I wanted to fit in as many of my painted units as possible, so I chose all of them , and then worked out what heroes I could have with my remaining points. I ended up with the following:

Captain-General von Drakmoor w/ Runefang, Armour of Fortune, pistol, barded warhorse.
Sergeant-at-arms Owen Grimace ;  Battle standard w/ Warbanner, heavy armour, pistol, barded warhorse
Hildegard, Archsorceress of the Menificent Order of the Umpth Wuncicle: wizard, level 3, warhorse.
Knights of the White Wolf ,5 inc Standard bearer w/ Standard of Shielding, Champion w/ Jade Amulet.
The Nordreik Horse; 9 Pistoliers, inc standard.
The Werberg Regt. of Foot: 25 halberdiers, inc standard, musician and champion
The Innleigh Guard: 15 halberdiers, inc standard, musician and champion
Freikorps,  16 inc musician (count as halberdiers)
The Soerheim Company of Archers, 21 inc standard.
The Froddasheim Greatswords, 12 inc standard, musician and champion.
Borther Stumptickles Company; 18 dwarf crossbows, inc standard and musician.
2 greatcannons
1 mortar
1 hellblaster

The Chaos Horde deploys whilst its commander contemplates his
'blurred hands' mutation.
 The Chaos Horde (all 37 of them !) consisted of
A lord of Slannesh on chariot  (the big palanquin thing)
a daemon prince
two units of 10 warriors
5 knights
10 horsemen

The chaos force was deployed across the road to Hargendorf, covering their brethren in the siege lines encircling that town. Von Drakmoor has been tasked with breaking through , and raising the siege!

The first turn was awfully dull. Von Drakmoor ordered a general advance, but none of the artillery found it's mark. The Chaos force retreated slightly. Magic played little part, but the Nordreik Horse caught some sort of pox that made it hard to walk !

Encouraged by the lack of inappropriate behaviour from the frottage squad the Imperial advance continued, the artillery finding the range and sending the marauder horse flying from the field. Archsorceress Hildegard spurred her horse forward and hurled a fireball at the chaos knights. To a cry of "I'm not wasting a dispel on a power 1 spell!" all but one of the regiment was immolated!

In retaliation a large pink daemon prince dropped from the sky in front of her, keen to avenge the fallen and find out what a Wuncicle was when it was at home; distracting the giant pervert with a well timed "look; behind you !" the Archsorceress rode safely away, and the Imperial line wavered, but held firm under their commanders eye !

That'll be Terror tests all round then?
 The great cannons roared, their shot tearing the Princely One asunder, but it was able to Escape! and staggered back on to the battlefield to general dismay!  The Chaos Lord rode in to the fray, scattering the Soerheim Archers, shrugging off  their attempts to slow it down!

chap with wings, five rounds rapid!
 The hedonistic headcase rode on in to the Innleigh Guard, but received a flank charge from the mighty Knights of the White Wolf. A spirited duel began between the knights champion, and the chaos lord. The rest of the Imperial troops turned his pimped up ride into firewood. Enraged by this vandalism he refused to flee!
The Pistoliers came under attack from the injured Daemon Prince ,but despite its only having one wound their pistols were unable to find their mark . With chaos halberdiers loitering with intent on the far side of the village the advance of the  Freikorps and Greatswords was suitably cautious.
Freikorps on a pub crawl  

  The Werberg Regt. charged the last chaos knight, hoping to break it and thus hasten their egress. Alas, even a single chaos knight was a match for an entire regiment of men, and they were soon outflanked, and destroyed.  Meanwhile, the Chaos Lord had felled the Knights champion , and turned his unwanted attention on Von Drakmoor, who whacked him mightily with his Runefang! The gods of chaos attempted to resurrect the chaos knights, but there some sort of administrative error and three the Nordreik Horse staggered back to their feet and returned to the fight, albeit briefly!

 Seeing the horrific fate of the Werbergers, Hildebrand spurred forward once more , incinerating the last chaos knight. Sporadic shooting accounted for a few more chaos warriors, the last Pistolier held his ground, and von Drakmoor tried to finish off his opponent but only managed to tickle him with his mighty weapon!   But the followers of Slaanesh had had enough; realizing a break through was inevitable, they fell back in good order to buy what time they could for the besiegers of Hargendorf.
I love the smell of burning chaos knights in the morning ...
smells wifes cooking.

And that was it. A 10-6 victory for The Empire ! Though Chris loudly proclaimed a moral victory (on the grounds that I'm immoral ) ...until he realised he hadn't paid for a retinue for the Daemon Prince and his army was technically illegal ...whoops.

So, after all that...time for a campaign I think.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

The Gathering Darkness

A recurring and much loved topic of discussion amongst the gang is that of  "Edition wars", the endless and near pointless back and forth over which version of Warhammer Fantasy Battle was the best ever.  It was during one such conversation that Rick declared he really liked "the one that had the lizards in it" and that we should play a big game of that edition.  Nevermind that none of us had played 5th edition for decades, and that it was never the quickest system ever to fight a battle to some kind of conclusion, we agreed a date and to bring every model we had within certain parameters. We ended up deciding on a Chaos V Undead bash, with a few allies.

Chris and I would ally our Chaos armies together. Mine was a bit on the small side so I decided to invite my Orcs of the Skullsmasha Legion to the party.  Rick and his sprog Ben would command the Undead. My own undead army was added , and allies came in the form of Skaven!

We decided to play everything more or less Wysiwyg, with only a few "counts as" for some of the more obscure stuff that hadn't existed in 5th edition. Some stuff was simply ported in "as is" from 4th and 6th editions, and this didn't appear to cause any problems!

Little attempt was made to make sure the sides were even, and both forces were simply plonked down. At a guess I'd estimate the forces to be around 10000 points but they were very different forces. Ricks undead were somewhat character heavy, almost as many Vampires in his army as we had any sort of characters!  I counted at least 4 special characters amongst the ranks, including both Von Carstein and Nagash, By contrast we had almost no heroes, and only a few big hitting monsters, but the quality of our infantry was somewhat higher overall.

We let the special characters keep their allocated magic items, and decided to randomly distribute the magic item cards from the 5th edition boxed set. I forget most of who got what, but my Orc Warlord on a Wyvern got the Blade of Ensorcelled Iron for a +1 to hit, the Boarboys got a Warbanner and the Hero leading my Marauders got the Blade of Leaping Bronze for +2 attacks.

Took a few pics, so I'll let them do the talking...

My Orc and Chaos combined armies.

Ricks Undead and Skaven

The Forces of Chaoticness...

The Undead forming up properly .

The battle lines arrayed!

The four biscuit-loving Champions of Order and Chaos put their game faces on...

And the ref blows the whistle, and their off! With just 6 hours of game time to go!

The massed undead lancers look for an opening on the flank whilst a vampire on
Zombie Dragon gets the drop on my Chaos Dragon!  The chaos dragon was badly
wounded, but managed to eat the Vampire, causing the Zombie Dragon to take to the skies.
Our Victory was short lived when the Vampire "escaped!" and returned to hunt down
and finish off the Chaos Dragon later in the game!

The Lancers on the Edge of Time get the better of the Skeleton Horsemen,
 the Giant heads to the Pub

The Slannesh Priest on his panaquin (counting as a chariot today)
gets bogged down by rats, who dismantle his chariot...

The Orc Warlord takes the fight to the plague monks!
The Chaos centre as the zombies approach, the thugs using their bows to
good effect, and nearly killing one...

The battle lines vie for the charge!

My orcs get fed up of waiting for the Chaos knights to get our of the way
and maneuver around them.
The giants pubcrawl is disturbed some annoying little twerps. So he jumps
up and down on them for a bit to teach them a lesson...

The winds of magic just arent blowing strong enough for Nagash,
who is struggling to Raise Dead fast enough to replenish the thinning ranks

Two units of mounted wights caused panic in the chaos lines , with unit after unit
routing, but the undead were too slow to capitalise on this, and the counter attack
defeated both attacks. 

The undead horde is reduced to a mob of unkillable vampires who roll nothing but ones...

The Giant spots more victims!

Well that was a lot of fun, with a convincing victory for the Forces of Chaos!  So what went wrong for Nagash and his minions?  Well, Rick, as the commander in chief of the undead forces was happy to take all the blame and dump it on his son Ben for rolling nothing but ones for the entire game, and doing all the actual dice rolling to boot! We fully expected the Vampire to take a heavy toll on our infantry as we had little capable of taking them in a unit v unit melee, but every time one stepped up to fight they promptly dropped their swords, fell over their own feet and were generally useless. Even Vlad took 4 rounds of combat to deal with someone he should have been able to kill with his little toe!  Apart from killing my Dragon (at the second attempt!) most of them barely landed a blow! Ricks other primary excuse was the pitiful winds of magic rolls. Before the Game I had suggested we make it a 4d6 roll, but Rick was concerned that might allow magic to dominate(!) too much, and eventually we compromised on 3d6+1 cards each turn. He did have a pretty low turn with a mere 5 cards rolled at a critical point of the game, but I thought we had plenty of magic to go around the rest of the time. I felt he was tending to try and power up single spells too much and would have been better with more less powerful spells to draw out the dispel cards. As it was my own Chaos Sorcerer pretty much had Nagash sewn up for the entire game, dispelling almost everything that came his way and planting a few good doses of Soul Drain on key units , which they were unable to recover from before a general melee ensued.

At the end of the game our mass of infantry was engaged with almost none of the skeletons, most of whom were already destroyed but were generally facing a scattering of vampires, wraiths and wights. We had been very luck with the Vampires poor showing thus far, and had only held our own by virtue of skeletons being really squishy! In a hypothetical next turn, with no more skeletons to hit, and with some decent rolls on the vampires and wraiths (being too tough or too ethereal for our infantry to hurt) the out come could have been rather different. 

Anyway that was great and I hope we can do it again soon!