This was the situation at the end of turn 2:
The elven left flank continued to struggle with discipline problems...
The right flank pressed on, also moving under fire.
The dwarves, on the other hand, had a fantastic shooting phase, with all of their ranged assets scoring kills.
It was all Kimirye Kenin could do to hold onto the reigns. Rocky and Fido were especially feisty and unsettled. Buddy was harnessed on the outside left, but both Rocky and Fido had flanked Buster when the dwarves had shot him dead. Both horses kicked and whinnied, with Fido nearly taking Fern-Andoarlon Soh's head off when he scurried down to cut the dead horse from the chariot's harness.
"GO, GO, GO!" screamed Fern as he scrambled back onto the chariot. Two crossbow bolts thumped into the hand rail of the chariot where he had just been standing.
Kimirye needed no encouragement. With a mighty crack from his whip, he forced the horses into a canter, shaking his head as he did so. What would he tell Lord Vass Saleen?
The crew heard the whizzing of missiles as they cut through the air around them. Although the cold fingers of fear clutched at them, they were collectively thrilled to be in combat, testing their wit against the foe. Abject terror balanced pure exhilaration as they readied themselves for the charge. Kimirye cracked his whip a second time. Why weren't they moving?
It was then that Filli Paymassah shouted out. Dismay carried in his voice as the crew followed his pointed finger and saw that Buster had been dragged along behind them and was now stuck between a rock and a stubborn bush.
"What did you cut it loose with? A butterknife?" Kimirye shouted at Fern. A bolt sailed between their angry faces.
Kimirye pulled the chariot to a halt again.
Thock, thock, thock! Three bolts slammed into the chariot. Bolt shafts protruded everywhere - DeLorien would be spending a long time at the body shop at this rate. We have got to get moving, he thought.
He watched in frustration as Fern struggled with the thick leather. He hacked and hacked and it one point, it looked like he was flogging the dead horse, but to no avail.
"Let. Go. You. Bastard!" Fern grunted through clenched teeth.
Suddenly, inspiration dawned on Kimirye. He felt the adrenaline pulse through his veins, and it seemed as if he was moving faster than time. If the horses were pulling, perhaps they could help tear the leather straps that Fern was working at. He cracked the whip at the horses and actually opened a cut in Fido's rump. The horses strained with the chariot and he felt the carriage creak underneath him.
Of course, the huge advantage with adrenaline is that it really allows one to process events faster. Eyesight is clearer, hearing is crisp - for a short period in time, one really is super-elven.
The downside of that is one gets just enough time to determine the consequences of an action before it takes place.
As Kimirye struck the horses again, his eyes focused on a single bolt, which, to him, looked as if was lazily drifting through the air. Even as the slap of the whip formed a sound in his ears, he watched the bolt nick the leather strap about six inches from Fern's hand. In fascination, he watched the leather separate, the two ends almost waving good-bye to each other as they flapped in their new found freedom. His eyes widened as he realised that the horses were now pulling with all of their might - might bred into them through a breeding program a thousand years old, so that each horse had the strength of two. As the chariot started to lurch forwards, his gaze rolled over his hands and the hands of the others in the chariot. He wasn't holding the reigns. Filli wasn't holding the reigns. Jennon Butson, the fourth crew member, wasn't holding the reigns.
His body began to tumble. Hoping against hope, Kimirye looked back at Fern. No. He wasn't holding the reigns either.
"Oh shit," he grunted.
The sound of the leather snapping was like a gunshot. The Arrowheads watched as all three elves appeared to somersault out of the back of the chariot, as the enraged and maddened horses lunged for the Steelaxes. For a short time, the wheels of the chariot actually left the ground. None of the dwarves were that sure about horses to begin with, but the noise that the crazed animals made now was truly frightening - unlike anything any normal animal should make.
Beeffan Unyun nudged one of his colleagues. "Glad I'm not them," he said, nodding in the direction of the Steelaxes.
Borri gazed dispassionately over the rim of the shield-wall to see who had fired the gun.
"Oh, shit," he grunted.
Simply put, the chariot was annihilated. Unlike later editions of Warhammer, however, Chariots do not have wounds or a Toughness rating - they have a special damage chart instead. Dreamfish scored the highest damage on the chart, which reads as follows:
16+ A massive jolt throws the crew overboard. The over-exerted draft animals are now beyond control and run amok. The crew must make their basic saving throw. Survivors may be formed into a single unit.Dear reader, let me tell you - not one of the four crew made their saving throw.
There is some good news, however. When a chariot runs amok, it must charge the nearest unit within reach, otherwise it will move about randomly. Fortunately, the nearest unit in this case happens to be the Steelaxes, so at least the chariot will still be contributing in some bizarre, twisted way.
The elves, having taken a pounding, get serious and continue to advance in the reserves phase.
Spar was able to get close to the dwarven lines, where hopefully his fear effect will start making a difference for the elves...
This was the first magic phase where Ellendee would be able to contribute. Magic in Warhammer 3rd edition is dramatically different to the various attempts in the later editions. The key differences are as follows:
- The magic phase is the last phase of the turn
- Each wizard can only do one spell in the magic phase
- Wizards make use of magic points when casting spells
- If a wizard has less than 12 MP's, they need to pass an Intelligence test in order to cast a spell
Ellendee decided to use a magic point to launch a fireball at the gyrocopter. All she needed to do was pass an Intelligence test. I was pleased when I looked it up, because I saw that she had an Intelligence of 10. I can roll less than 10 on two dice, right? Right?
Ellendee looked up at the gyrocopter. She watched as her idiot brother had fired his bow at it, predictably with no useful outcome. Silly boy. With the down force the rotors were generating, what chance did he stand? No, the solution to the gyrocopter was not in the natural, but in the unnatural. The supernatural.
Just how would she do it? She new that dwarves had extremely firm resolve, so there was no use in trying to terrify the pilot away. She wasn't confident that she could summon enough wind to blow the infernal thing off course. No - it would have to be direct. A fireball it was, then.
How did that go, again?
She recited the words in her mind. They seemed simple, but a small doubt struck her. She remembered that she had to do something that she normally wouldn't do. She had to invert something, or something like that. There was an inversion in the spell - did she have to re-invert the inversion? Was that the thing? All spellcasters knew that two inversions made a subversion. Or was it a diversion? Maybe it wasn't a double inversion, but rather, reversion. That kind of made sense. If she inverted a reversion, wouldn't that be a re-reversion? Which was a conversion. No - there were no conversions in a fireball spell. She started again. You invert an inversion in order to create a conversion, which led to the reversion of the fireball subversion, thus creating an eversion. Which was exothermic. Which created a fireball. That's it!
Ellendee pronounced the wytching words with conviction, pointing her hand at the gyrocopter. Louder and louder she chanted, until she felt the power surge through her. She closed her eyes, reveling in the magical bliss. She felt the magical force writhe down her outstretched arm and the final, satisfying jolt of a fireball launching itself from her hand.
She opened her eyes expecting to see the gyrocopter bloom in a fiery haze. Her brow furrowed as she realised there was no fireball soaring towards it. Instead, about fifteen or so feet away, a large, fluffy marshmallow bounced on the grass and came rolling to a halt.
That wasn't there before, she thought.
Let's see: invert a reversion, which causes conversion. Conversion of the fireball subversion leads to eversion, which-
She slapped her palm to her forehead. Idiot! She forgot the ambiversion. You have to invert an ambiversion, because it must be introversion or extroversion. Idiot, idiot, idiot!
Spellcasting. It was all perversion, in the end.
The situation at the end of turn 3:
Surely turn 4 is the turn where the elves will