Nah. I'm lying. I just said that to make you read the rest of the report.
This was the situation at the start of Turn 4:
Combat was finally reached as the uncontrolled chariot slammed into the Steelaxes. Other movement involved lots of posturing and preparing for Turn 5 combat.
Spar bears down on the hateful stone thrower:
Arek smiled as he watched another perfectly placed rock crunch into the distant elves. Make no mistake: he liked hitting elves with an axe as much as the next dwarf, but to him, this was the way warfare should be conducted. It was elegant, it was civilised, and there wasn't much chance at all of one having his beer knocked over.
He reached down and rewarded his brilliant shot with a deep draught from his metal mug. What was this one again? He looked over at the barrel forming part of Earthquaker's defences. Wudbeiser Extra Lite. He wasn't that keen on these new modern 'lite' beers that the army had started issuing. Ever since that flame cannon thing back in '55, clan leaders and other namby-pamby civilians had gotten all upset about accidents relating to drunkenness. The chaps involved had only had about seven or eight pints anyway. It was evidently a problem with the city-hall curtains that they had burst into flame like that. Besides, if you insisted on putting curtains everywhere like that, you were asking for problems. And now the whole bloody army had to drink bloody Wudbeiser Extra Freakin' Lite. Sugar free, caffeine free, flavour free and just about bloody alcohol free too.
Arek sighed. Anyway. He noticed that the crew were all looking over the barrier at something.
"She's not going to load herself, you know," he said.
No one appeared to have heard him. He cleared his throat and tried again.
Still nothing. What the hell are they looking at? He was loathe to get up. He had struggled to find a comfortable place to sit and relax whilst he had waged war against the elves. Now the bloody crew decide to look at something interesting...
He stood up groaning and wandered up to the barrier. He focused in the direction the rest of the dwarves were staring.
Bearing down on them at top speed was a lone elven horseman. Arek squinted at him. There was definitely something odd about him. Besides the fact that he was charging towards a fortified dwarven position, that is.
He continued to stare at the horseman, shading his eyes with his hand. It was almost as if he could see ... through the elf. He looked down and swilled the contents of his mug around, trying to see if he could see anything unusual in the beer. No. He looked at the spectre again.
Hmmm, he thought. I can definitely see through him. Arek looked down at the beer again, impressed.
That's some good shit in there.
Again, the Lornalim equipped elite archers embarrassed the entirety of the wood elf people by collectively slaying two dwarves. I presume this lot of wood elves are vegetarian, because they must be dreadful hunters.
The dwarves dished out the pain, with the Arrowheads killing three wardancers and the Earthquaker scoring a third direct hit!
Torin fires the steam cannon at Ellendee, but his bitterness towards Gaymar pushes through unconsciously as he mistakenly hits the elven general instead. Gaymar, seemingly used to hot, steamy situations, survives the attack unscathed.
The elves face down their hated foe. Not the Firehammers, but the bloody stone thrower in the background:
Combat! Hooray for combat! I rolled spectacularly for the chariot impact hits, causing three, but dismally when it came to wound. In spite of my best efforts, however, the horses still managed to kill a dwarf. The dwarves make short work of the chariot, however, and easily chase it off:
The Steelaxes face their frenzied, feral, four legged fate:
Shortbredin Caek sat on the floor, arms wrapped around his knees, rocking back and forth. He was not responding to anyone. Borri and the other dwarves looked on in sympathy as he whimpered quietly.
"Poor bastard," Borri said, looking at Shortbredin's helmet, which he was holding in his hand. He looked at the indentations the horses teeth had left in it. That had been one angry horse, all right. "He's shell-shocked."
Borri had seen it before. Even veteran dwarves, having seen battle hundreds of times, would have cracked under the strain of what Shortbredin had experienced. The horror was still fresh in his own mind.
They had all been expecting the chariot hit. Being dwarves, they trusted their training and the strength of their shields. Chariots had no fear for them - it was textbook case - raise a shield wall when facing a chariot. Simple. In the textbook example, however, the horses would falter and turn at the last minute. In this case, however, the blasted creatures had just slammed into the shields - it was all the dwarves could do to not be toppled.
Even as he thought about it, he had to acknowledge: the boys had done well. Everyone held their ground. They had seen the horses off. He'd even given one a thorough wallop on it's rump. But still, it wasn't enough to save poor Shortbredin.
Once the horses realised they could not force their way through the dwarves, they had broken and scattered to the left, dragging the infernal chariot with them. It was then that Shortbredin had met his fate. As one of the brutes ran down the line, it had bitten down firmly on Shortbredin's helmet. The helmet had held - it was sturdy dwarf workmanship, so no worries there. But the poor dwarf had buckled his helmet strap under his chin - how was he to know? So when the horse had grabbed him, the poor bugger was lifted from his feet and shaken hither and thither by the enraged horse. By his head.
"Aaaaarrr! Geddidoff! Geddidoff! Geddidoff!"
They had watched helplessly as Shortbredin cried for help. It was hard to tell whether it was his or the horse's spittle that was flung left and right. It was like watching a terrier savage a rag doll. Even Borri had been mesmerized by the flailing dwarf. Fortunately, Borri's presence of mind had returned just then. He had stepped forwards, giving the horse another almighty thrashing with the back of his axe. Panicked, the stupid beast had dropped the thoroughly shaken Shortbredin and the hateful creatures had fled into the distance.
A simple question dragged Borri back to the present.
"What do we do with him, boss?"
"There's nothing much we can do, Chippin Dippe. Not after what he's been through. Just have to leave him there and come back for him when he's in a stable condition."
Shortbredin moaned pitifully.
"I don't think we should mention stables anywhere near him, Sir," Chippin whispered.
The reserves phase was rewarding, given that the dwarves couldn't make any reserves. This was mainly down to Spar Gettyand Sors. Being a spectre (and a spectacularly terrifying one at that) he causes fear in a 12" radius. Units cannot make a reserve move when in a fear effect, so Spar managed to stifle their flexibility.
Again, this is another subtle, but effective difference between the simplified march as it appears in the later editions of Warhammer, and the reserve move in 3rd edition. Units cannot reserve move if they are within 4" of an enemy, or in some other cases, like the fear. This means that units cannot actually march past each other, because the 'balance' of the march occurs in the reserves phase. March blocking takes on a whole new meaning in Warhammer 3.
I want to write about the magic phase. I really do. I want to write about fire raining from the heavens and lightning bolts shooting forth from glowing eyes. Of course, those events require the actual casting of spells, something that is proving to be a problem for Ellendee. The dopey mare failed her intelligence test again!
This is the situation at the end of turn 4:
Will Spar save the archers from Earthquaker? Can the Household Guard face Morgrim and his Firehammers? Will Ellendee ever cast a spell? You'll have to wait for turn 5 to find out!