Monday, September 24, 2012

The King's Sword

Nothing living now dwelt in the once great stronghold of the ogres. Morbius had taken up residence in one of the high towers where he could work in relative peace, and was busy laying out maps and scrolls with the help of his scribe-wraiths. The ogres had certainly not built this place, it was too well constructed. It reeked more of dwarven origin. Morbius imagined if this were true, there was probably more of the castle below ground than above.

As he mused over the extent of his new lodgings he became aware of a presence moving up the tower. Ah, news from Altdorf, how splendid. The old liche took a seat near the window and waited for the messenger to arrive.

He did not have to wait long, as a cold wind blew several ragged strips of cloth into the room. These whirled together into the outline of a man, and as they settled into the shape of frayed robes a hand snaked out of a newly-formed sleeve to pull back a hood that just moments before had been empty cloth. Thomas Von Carstein gazed out at the liche, a humourless smile opening his gore-flecked lips to reveal red teeth. "A fine victory Morbius, my congratulations. No loss, this nest of ogres, their blood is as flavoursome as porridge." 

Thomas was in grand form, Morbius noted, which meant he has recently killed a great many people. "I take it your own undertaking went as well, Thomas? It must have, as you are here to deliver the news yourself."

"Tut now, old fellow. As if your little spies haven't told you all already. We destroyed them utterly, in their own house. I myself killed their leader with that fine weapon you were so good as to gift me. He stood alone before the gates as his men howled and screamed about him. We tore the life from them without ever landing a blow. How glorious to destroy the slaves of the Dark Gods without even giving them the dignity of a warrior's death!" Thomas could not help but laugh as uproariously as only a killer fresh from the slaughter can. His joy at the death he had inflicted was infectious, and even Morbius allowed himself a slight chuckle.

"It was not a total victory, for all that. He was not the one, was he?" Morbius stood and drifted over to a large oak table by the window, a map of the islands inscribed on a large scroll laid upon it.

Thomas sighed as he let the mirth pass. "No, he was mighty, but not their lord. I knew this once he turned to flee. Better he had stood his ground, at least his Gods would applaud that, if they truly care at all. He did, however, bear this." Thomas drew a cloth-wreathed weapon from his robes. He carefully laid it on the map and drew back the rags.

Morbius raised an eyebrow. "Ah, now that's a weapon fit for a king. Or fit to kill one. Well won Thomas, this must have left a mark or two eh? What of Pieter? Did he hold to the agreement?" 

Thomas smiled once more. "He did, though it was not to his taste. The Druchii now hold Altdorf. They were most pleased when our troops drew away once the battle was done and the spoils taken. Surprised perhaps, but pleased."

Morbius looked out from the tower at the activity below. Undead ogres lifted great beams into place as his scribes directed them. Hammers rose and fell with tireless regularity and the great engines took shape amidst the bustle far below. Not long now, Morbius considered. Not long at all.

Map - Year 5, Turn 5 Sieges

The siege of Blood and Bone
report from the gm of the day, young John.

Warriors of chaos (approximate list)
  • 13 marauders with the mark of Khorne, 1 exalted hero with a flail.
  • No siege equipment.
  • 3 leadbelchers
  • 3 leadbelchers
  • 3 orges
  • 9 orges w/ironfist and champ and sb
  • 10 gnobblars
  • siege equipment: hell gate
Vampire Counts
  • tomb banshee
  • 21 crypt ghouls with champion
  • Varghulf
  • 4 Crypt horrors
  • Master necromancer with book of arkhan
  • 21 zombies with standard & musician
  • Siege equipment:  2 battering rams, clubs for the crypt horrors

We ate a LOT of bacon that day.
After a bit of a late start (plenty of chit-chat, coffee and bacon, the proper way to kick off hostilities) we got under way just after noon i think. Paul's fortress looked impressive even without painting. The objective were placed, 2 to the front one to the right hand side. The pre-siege phase was pretty unimportant, with just 9 zombies biting it form 2 rounds of leadbelcher fire. 

Turn one saw Dave's battering ram come up just short on the main gate section. The ghouls and the horrors both made their charges, to one of the front objectives and to the one on right hand side respectively. The zombies choose to stand and the varghulf fly into the keep, behind the main gate. The magic phase saw Dave miscast and lose a wound on his necromancer while bringing back the 9 zombies lost earlier, earning his troops the nickname "unflushable" on account of their sh*t never goes away. The horrors chose to attack the walls with the clubs and succeeded in breaching them, taking no damage from the marauders defend that section. The ghouls were also successfully in drive out the orges  defending the first objective, helped by Bruce failing a fear check and a break test. The orges in the next wall section also failed their panic test and took off too. With the damaged sustained from the shout attacks of the banshee as well, it was a bad turn for the orges. The defenders first turn was not great with a counter-attack to retake the first objective failing and only one zombie casualty inflicted in the shooting phase.

Castle needs a lick of paint.

The second turn saw the Vamps turn the screw. The horrors wiped out the marauders on the wall section with taking any wounds. The varghulf charged and defeated a unit of ogres and the banshee killed 9 gnoblars with its howl. In the defender's turn the marauders bested the horrors but loss a lot in doing so. The ogres charged the ghouls and died horribly as a result. The lead belchers continued to target the zombie with little luck. The third turn witnessed the fall of the second front objective and the banshee turning her attentions to the marauders. The zombies and the necromancer moved towards the right and targeted the chaos faction with a nasty curse of years that they never shook off, thanks to twice rolling three power dice in the next magic phases. Wilting under this, it took only two more turns for the horrors to take the final objective. 

Warriors of chaos: wiped out to a man.
Ogres: everything bar 3 leadbelchers
Vampire Counts: 4 ghouls and 16 zombies

The tale of this battle was one of appalling leadership tests by Bruce and a lack of magic defense by the defender. It was a nice test game to see how the rules played. All told the game was wrapped up in under three hours, including set up. On to siege number two.

The Siege of Altdorf
or: The Altdorf Screw Job

Vampire Counts
  • 8 Crypt Horrors with champion
  • Vampire Lord all tooled up
  • Necromancer with dispel scroll and ruby ring
  • Regular Vampire, all tooled up too
  • Tomb Banshee
  • 38 ghouls with champion
  • Terrorgheist
  • 24 Skellies with full command and magic banner
  • Siege equipment: 3 battering rams and clubs
Dark Elves
  • Dreadlord, all tooled up (King.)
  • Hydra
  • 24 Executioners
  • Hag
Warriors of Chaos
Not sure on this one tbh.
  • Warshrine
  • ? chosen w/ mark of tz
  • ? warriors w/ mark of tz
  • Chaos wizard
  • Chaos lord (King?)

There is some confusion over whether Paul's king was involved in this battle. I allowed the chaos lord the use of an heirloom, but it did nothing so it no harm if the king was not there. (edit, the chaos king was not in fact at the battle!)

This battle was over before it began. Vic talked Bruce into letting him defend all three of the objectives, and talked Bruce into charging out through the gates to attack a battering ram with his general/king and the warriors. With Dave only having to worry about attacking Bruce, while Vic looked on disinterestedly. Vic troops never even moved. With his general also having a howl attack, along with two -1 ld modifiers, the warriors and chosen succumbed to a bad case of tintinitis. In turn 4 Vic revealed his true intention. Bruce took it well, though I doubt Paul will take it the same way.

Warriors of Chaos: wiped out
Vampire Counts: 8 crypt horrors, 1 necromancer, 14 skellies.
Dark elves: Untouched, minus one soul.

Honestly, I do not think the results would have changed much with Paul there. Sure he would not have trusted Vic to the extent that Bruce did, even after the warnings. Vic's treachery is like the matrix. You can't be told about it, you must experience it for yourself. But with Vic switching sides it was 2,500pts verses 1,200pts. Anyway, the most important thing is we got the campaign moving again, and the hate flowing too. Next year is going to be fun.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Misplaced Trust

The Siege of Altdorf

"No, not this one!", The elf king slid the blade and inch out of the scabbard with his left, shaking his finger on the right, the ghoul stepped back, looked confused for a second then went to another body and lifted it letting it flop ceremonialness into the cart. "where was I" mused the Dark Elf, "ah yes, stabbing me in the back, that was it wasn't it?", he exhaled and allowed himself a wry smile. "The thing is" he said patting the dead king on the chest, toying with the broken chain there, "we invented treachery".  The elf had spent the last half hour talking to the dead king much to the amusement of his men who were still guarding the gates and watching as the undead picked the battlefield clean. Say one thing for the undead, they were methodical.

The battle had gone better than expected, no casualties, in fact he had hardly gotten his blade dirty in the whole time. "The Dark elves fought bravely to the last chaos warrior!", he laughed and patted the dead king on the forehead, then cleaned some of the blood from his battered face. "Such a handsome face, what a waste.. what a waste", he sighed, rose, brushing dirt from his knees and walked back to his men, the ghoul appeared again, watched the elf recede and hastily signalled the cart towards the body of the chaos king

Today had gone better than expected, he and the last of his men had spent the last weeks preparing for the arrival of the undead with the savages.  A time of rest and repair.  Just what did the chaos king think, that he a dark elf would forget the treachery of his savages? pah! he expected more of them, if these were the inhabitants of a new age, then that age would last a very short while.

The undead were no fools, they knew taking Altdorf would be practically impossible with the large force there and were happy to accept his offer when he made it. The undead spy had made a poor show of not understanding the offer but it was quickly relayed to his handlers who accepted it without (literally he thought) biting his arm off.  To their credit they had followed they're side of the battle plan to the letter, he didn't trust them one bit and had expected to fall prey to them once they got into the castle but, they had been true to their word and the agreement drawn up and signed by both parties in secret some weeks before had held.

Breathing space, for now, he had breathing space and that was the best he could ask for. The undead if thing continued as they had would win this war and it was never a bad thing to be on the winning side.

Thus ended the life of the Chaos King, Rugged, Handsome, but no less dead for all that