Thursday, 26 April 2012

Battle Report: The Shadow of Koles Lorr - Post Mortem

And so we've come to the end of the fight. It felt right to bring some closure to the thing by doing some post game analysis.

Blue’s review of the Battle of Koles Lorr

As the battle came to its ugly (from my POV) conclusion Gaj asked me to write up a brief review of my thoughts about the battle…about remote gaming in general…and whatever else I thought was pertinent for the general public to know about.  Of course that was about a month ago and I’m just now getting around to putting my thoughts in order.  So here goes….I’ll try not to ramble or digress too much.

Remote Gaming

Overall I think that Dreamfish and Gaj have worked out a very smooth system for playing a game as complicated as WFB remotely.  The use of the Dice log is genius….once I figured out some of its nuances’ anyway!  As Game Master DF did an amazing job of staying on top of the action and letting each of us know what we needed to roll…and why…and what would happen afterward.  The only flaw in this system is that you have wait for the combatants to “roll” the dice…which, in my case, was not always as promptly as one would hope….I can make a lot of excuses here but frankly they won’t change the fact that DF and Gaj were often waiting for me to hit up the Dice log and do my thing.  Thankfully they were quite patient with me….and as we neared the end of the game DF offered a logical solution…why not have the GM not only tell what needs rolling etc….but also do the dice rolling?  I think that “advancement” will make future games move along a lot faster.

The only other complaint I have about remote gaming is not being able to judge distances very effectively….I’m one of those guys that likes to get down to eye level with his troops and see the fear in the eyes of his enemies….thats quite hard from 2000+ miles away.  DF did an amazing job of supplying us with great photos and explanations but nothing can fully replace the 1st hand perspective.
So overall this was a very pleasant experience…again the dedication of an extremely knowledgeable (and patient) GM made all the difference.

Army Selection

This is one area where I felt at a distinct disadvantage to Gaj.  Dreamfish has a wonderful selection of extremely well painted figures…but in the case of the Orcs and Goblins there just weren’t enough figures for some of the units.  If I had had my way my blocks of infantry would have been at least 50% larger.  The fact that Gaj was able to field two blocks of infantry who were both larger and of better quality than anything I had did not bode well for my future.  But we had to make do with what was available….all in all I think I picked a fairly balanced and powerful force…and if the dice had been kinder they may have still prevailed.

The Battle of Koles Lorr

Let me just say right off the bat that I deployed my army poorly….I should have concentrated my best forces on the left flank and placed my weaker forces on the right to protect my stone thrower…but as they say hind sight is 20/20.  Gaj on the other hand was very clever in his placement…particularly of his cannon…and he is obviously a fan of concentrating his forces….the two big blocks of dwarf infantry were more than a match for any units I could throw against them…my only hope was that they would get softened up a bit by my stone thrower and Orc archers before combat was joined....And that I could use some of my smaller units to get onto the flanks of dwarf infantry blocks.  Sadly this did not turn out to be the case…plus my boar riders and wizard headed for the hills before the battle really got started....sigh....grumble grumble...

There were some brief glimpses of Greenskin greatness...mostly early in the game….the first (and only) hit with my stone thrower…the goblin archers skewering 4 slayers in one round…Kahn Narbis putting up a spirited fight with Sir Loyne, and….uh….well....I guess that’s all I can think of at the moment….it was pretty much a disaster other than those few moments.  The fact that my own fanatic inflicted so many casualties on my own troops just adds insult to injury.

House Rules

Overall I was happy with the house rules that were employed during the game…and the flexibility to modify things as we went along…one of the great strengths of 3rd edition IMO.  The only rule I wasn’t too fond of was the combat resolution system.  In their previous game DF and Gaj had decided that the difference in combat resolution scores should be used to modify the leadership test for the losing unit….as is the case in later versions of the Game.  This certainly made Hand to hand combat much more decisive…which to me is not a good thing.  Once of my favorite aspects of 3rd edition is the grinding nature of the combat.  In 3rd edition combat was not typically decided in a single turn…or even two turns…some combats could last for quite awhile.  I think this is more “realistic”…which is, I know, a stupid thing to say about a fantasy game…but in my vision of what combat would be like, I think that units would have a bit more staying power than this house rule imparts on them.  It’s a minor quibble…and probably had little actual effect on the outcome of this particular battle …but those are my feelings on the subject.  The other Rules changes…mostly dealing with war machine damage and combat sequence…were all right on the money…and were implemented with the consent of both Gaj and I.

In general I think the game was a great success and I would be happy to play again....assuming DF and Gaj would have me again.  I was really just along for the ride with these guys…Gaj’s amazing storytelling and DFs excellent table, figures, and GMing ability were the real motivating forces behind the success of this encounter.

That is all I can come up with at the moment…I may amend this document in the future as more thoughts bubble up over time.

Thanks to Gaj and DF for their patience and expertise in making this game a reality.

My own thoughts on the matter

I'd have liked to have a well structured, logical structure to my thoughts as presented by Blue above, appears that my brain just doesn't go that way. The first thing I want to pick up on is Blue's comment about the grinding nature of combat in 3rd ed - as in, no combat resolution modifiers for casualties.

I agree with him.

I suppose the problem we've discovered is that with each turn sometimes taking nearly a month to unfurl, we needed to find ways to make the fight a little faster. Certainly, in a 'personal' game, I'd absolutely stick with the 3rd ed set just the way it is.

Secondly, whilst we're all agreeing with everyone, I feel for Blue as the selection of models available for the Orcs was tricky to capitalise on. I was quite surprised when I saw the list Blue fielded, but, in all fairness, its hard to see how one could make it a more effective army without making it a boring army. What I did like about the limited supply, however (and this is for both of us), is that it made it much more tactical. Supply is a real problem on real battlefields. I'm sure battlefield commanders would love to have access to twelve apache helicopters to look after their forces, but are usually considered extremely lucky to even get a flyby from one. That's a bit how it was for us. (Five slayers? Really? You got what you got!)

It is well worth noting Blue's considerable bad luck throughout. He had some good decisions in there, completely undone by bad dice rolls, animosity, panic and general chaos with dice. As a long term Orc & Goblin player, I totally sympathise.

My final thoughts centre on the absolute devastation caused by warmachines. We had to quickly introduce some house rules to push the game past turn two - a six man stone thrower is lethal. Blue managed to score a direct hit with his man mangler, which basically deleted a unit. Had we allowed that to continue, the warmachines would have annihilated all and sundry in a primitive atomic war, leaving nothing but squashed blood splats all over the table. Definitely a warning for any prospective Games Masters - have a real think about large war machines!

So it falls to me to say:

Thank you.

Thank you Blue. Thank you Dreamfish. Thank you Readers. Thank you Google. You know...for....stuff. And Blogger. And the search thing. I've heard that's quite popular now.


Battle Navigation

Post Mortem


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Battle Report: The Shadow of Koles Lorr: Epilogue


Abudabi blinked.

He only did so once. Just before the pain hit, his brain issued one final instruction: never, ever, ever, do that again! You shut your damn eyes, or I’m off!

Such was the pain that he cried out, the sharp mountain air whisking his pathetic mewling away.

Sleep came.


Abudabi blinked.

Each time his eyes opened, pain seared through his whole head – surging and indiscriminate – such that it felt to him that there was enough pressure within his skull to pop his eyeballs out and shoot them a distance of twenty feet.

He covered his eyes with his hand. Here, too, was pain. His hands didn’t hurt like his head, but his gnarled fingers were stiff, and were very uncomfortable when extended.

Sleep came.


Abudabi blinked.

There was less pain now. His head still pounded, but the waves of pain were more consistent, more bearable. It was as if they were responding to a rhythm. Come to think of it – Abudabi realised that the ground was also gently vibrating.

Pound, pound, pound.

Abudabi rolled his head over to the left. The vast expanse of white he was previously aware of gave way to a border of blurry green. He realised he was on his back.

Pound, pound, pound.

He closed his eyes again, breathed in, and forced them open. Concentrating to the point that the pounding in his head became one long peal of agony, he forced his eyes to focus on the green bit.

Pound, pound, pound.

Grass! It was grass! Soft, soft, grass! He was so excited, he rolled over onto his stomach. He winced as his head chastised him: no sudden moves! Slowly, okay? Just do it slowly.

Pound, pound, pound.

The noise was getting louder. On his stomach, he stretched out his arms, feeling the cool, soft grass with his hands. The gentle moisture soothed his aching hands. He spread his fingers out, letting the delicate blades lick the bits in between them.

Pound, pound, pound.

Slowly, ever so slowly, Abudabi exhaled, releasing with that languid sigh all the pain and tension in his body. Briefly, a memory flashed past his eyes: The Profit! He’d undertaken a task for The Profit. What had he done, now?

Pound, pound, pound.

Another memory: He had fought for The Profit! Yes – in a previous life, he had waged war on the oppressors of goblin-kind. His holy weapon: a ball and chain, the likes of which no mortal goblin could bear. Only the chosen could wield such a weapon. And he had been chosen!

Pound, pound, pound.

Definitely louder, now. Abudabi’s eyes flashed with excitement. Somewhere, in the back of his head, there was pain, but that was draining away. It was a mortal pain, for mortal bodies.

Pound, pound, pound.

That was it! Now he understood! He was no longer mortal! He had fought for The Profit, and in glorious apotheosis, had slain the requisite number of oppressors, rising now to what must surely be his reward! He had died for The Profit, just as Bag-Dahd had said. Even now, his reward must surely be here.

Pound, pound, pound!

Vergins! Thousands of ‘em! That’s what the noise was! His own heart racing, matching the heavenly rhythm of his new environment, Abudabi leapt to his feet and ran.

Pound, pound! Pound!

The noise was everywhere. He was running, but which way to go? He turned to the left and ran towards a distant hill. Still, the pounding was behind him. In front of him. To his left. To his right. He changed direction again, squealing with delirious delight.

Pound! Pound! Pound!

“Come to daaaaaddy,” he yelled. He didn’t know why, it just… made sense. He changed direction again, hurtling towards a new object, slowly becoming visible in the mist. Was it his new house?

Pound! Pound! Pound!

“I’m here! I’m heeeere!” he screamed, so excited his heart felt like it would burst. He opened his arms, ready to embrace the vergins, surely just inside his house, waiting to smother him with their untasted love.

“Daaaaddy’s hoooooome!”



Hans and Ruger were leaning up against the barricade, watching the dwarf army march by, crunching feet synchronised to the hypnotic pounding of drums.

"So you're not going back with them?" Ruger asked. 

"Nah - that was my last bit of soldiering. Thought I'd walk home a free dwarf, to my own rhythm, so to speak. What about you?"

Ruger sighed. "Gotta go get my troll. Only reason I came was I thought there'd be trolls. Always trolls around orcs. So they must be nearby, I reckon."

"In the mountains?"

"Yep, that's what I'm planning-"

Their conversation was interrupted by a high pitched yammering from behind them. It was getting louder quickly. Both dwarves spun around, Hans bringing his crossbow to bear, whilst Ruger unhitched his axe. 

The screaming ended in a crushing squelch.

Hans blinked. “Did you just see what I just saw?”

Ruger raised an eyebrow. “Sure did. Screaming nutter ran straight into it.”


“Mmm. Very curious behaviour indeed.”

The two dwarves lowered their weapons and wandered over to the tower. 

“Nutter ran straight into it.”

Ruger looked down at the crumpled goblin, tentatively prodding it with his boot.

“Out cold."

"Is that the one that tore its way through their ranks?" Hans asked. He'd remembered the crazed fanatic - how could such a small creature have killed so many orcs?

"I dunno. They all look the same to me." Ruger hefted his axe. "Lets off it, then."

"Whoah - wait, just hang on. Seriously, that's the one that killed all the orcs."

Ruger peered down at the goblin. "If you say so. Did you want to kill it?"

"Well, I was kind of thinking we should leave it. You know - it sorta helped out a bit, didn't it?"

Ruger was silent. His eyes switched between Hans and the goblin. There was a long silence. Eventually, he asked: "You're not one of them vegetarians, are you?"

Hans grimaced. "No. What's that got to do with it?"

"Trying to see why you don't want to kill it. You're not barefoot and I can't see any you wearing any crystals, so I was guessing you're a vegetarian. Vegetarians don't kill anything. If you're not one of them no-good peaceniks, then what in the name of all creation is stopping us from killing it?"

Hans shuffled his feet. "Its just...not fair. He really helped us out. Besides, he'll probably get torn apart by wolves or something anyway. Its not honourable."

Ruger shook his head. "Fine. Whatever. Much better to be torn apart by wolves than have an honourable death with the axe."

The two stood in silence. 

"Okay, okay. You're right," Hans said, sighing heavily. "Let's kill it."

"Oh, now you want to kill it? I don't think we should, anymore. Its not honourable."

"What? You were just about to kill it!"

"Well I'm busy now. I don't have time to kill it. You kill it."

"Busy? Busy doing what? Kill it, already."

Ruger pulled out his pipe. "Busy preparing a smoke, that's what. I'm not killing it, and that's that!"

"Well, I'm not killing it either!"




And so it was, that as the dwarf army marched west over the plain of El-Skitchin, and as two dwarves parted company in disagreement, one headed north - the other south, the only thing left breathing in the shadow of Koles Lorr was a single goblin.

Abudabi, the goblin fanatic, survived. 


Sir Loyne grinned at the king. "Whaddaya reckon? Is it good, or is it good?"

King Pinne was struggling. Good was not a word he would use to describe where he found himself right now. Pain was, although it didn't quite go far enough. Agony, definitely. He might have gone with  something like 'the raging fires of hell' if he could but speak. 

"Water," he whispered, as tears streaked from his eyes. 

"Have some more, Ty, have some more! You've barely touched your plate!" Sir Loyne ladled another steaming spoonful of curry into his mouth, sealing the deal with a swig of beer. 

All around the room, dwarves cried in homage to Yasmar Nodrog. Most cried even more when they realised how much more homage was still present on their plates. 

Muz was in the same place. He, like most of the dwarves, had given up on the beer and was sticking steadfastly to water. Until that moment, he hadn't understood Yasmar Nodrog's unusual combination of godly duties: food and rage. But now, having tasted curry for the first and last time - if he had anything to do with it - he understood. The rage was in the food. Yasmar Nodrog demanded much of his followers, if this was the sort of thing he made them eat!


Sir Loyne and his son left early the next morning, taking the infernal curry powder with them. King Pinne had offered them a mule to haul the wagon, some guns with which to defend themselves, and 'anything the hell else they need to get out of here as quickly as possible'. He had still entertained the notion that he would recover from the curry burns, but his good humour had evaporated when he had been forced to attend to his ablutions in the middle of the night, and in so doing, he was forced to experience the pain a second time. Pain, where pain should not be. It made his piles seem like gentle sunlight on his bare skin by comparison.

When he had left, Sir Loyne had offered to bless the hold, but the King had been quick to say no. They had evidently been judged by Yasmar Nodrog and had been found wanting. No further blessings were necessary, thanks very much. 


"Do you think they liked it?" Sir Loyne asked, as the wagon gently plotted its way through the countryside. 

"They sure did, dad, they sure did," Tendhe replied. He knew better than to tell the truth. 

"They seemed awful keen to get us out of there this morning."

"I think they just wanted us to get on with Yasmar Nodrog's will. Been a bit of delay, with all the fighting and everything."

The wagon rolled on in silence for a while. 

"Could you pull up here? I need to... er... fertilise the countryside."

Tendhe smiled. He always enjoyed his father's little phrases. "I thought you went before we left?"

"I wanted to, but I couldn't. There was too much of a queue..."


Battle Navigation



Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Terror of the Lichemaster - 12 / 17 Figures

You may have detected that my focus has been a little off, lately. Erratic posting, spelling mistakes - that sort of thing. You might even know the reasons.

These reasons have led to other things slipping in real life too. One might say that life has been hard, of late.

So imagine my surprise when three squatters pitched up at my door, seeking accommodation:

Initially I expressed my reservations, but ultimately - I am a kind man. I let them stay. From left to right, they are Antonio Epstein, Willy and Hunk.

At first, I had no recollection of their purchase. In fact, I was convinced I had not parted with any money in this regard. I know this, because if I had been purchasing warhammer figures instead of other priority items for my progeny, Her Eminence The Grand Minister of the Interior would have beaten me with a stick.

But then some vestige of my previously vast powers of recollection returned. I had posted an appeal.

Reader - let me restore your faith in humanity. A kind, kind man, living in the distant land of Kent, came across my appeal and decided to invest in his (and the next ten generations of his offspring too, no doubt) karma by sending these chaps over to me.

For free.

So, Mr Ben (let me not reveal your full name, lest free-booters come a-knocking) - to you I say:

Thank you! 

Your generosity is evidence that there is still hope for our poor planet. I will keep an eye out for things that you may need - you have my word.

So, this is where we stand, now:

I did (before my line of credit was suspended) manage to sneak a purchase of Lorabeth from eBay, but I've neglected to take a picture of her, but that is the other figure I've acquired between the last TofLM post and this one.

Anyway, I've updated the Terror of the Lichemaster page with the latest close-ups (barring Lorabeth).

Which brings me back to this fine statement, authored by the divine hand:

For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Luke 11:10)

So, in that vein, it turns out that I'm looking for a bigger car:

And a house. You know - for a growing family:

And some form of recreation for the little one. I hear water sports are quite healthy for developing children:

So if you have any of these spare, let me know :)

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Battle Report: The Shadow of Koles Lorr - Turn 5

Turn 5.

This was where Turn 4 left us:

And what a turn it was.

The turn opened with Dreamfish playing an evil, evil trick on me! Here I am, thinking everything is under control, with the orcs haring off the table, squealing for their mothers, when on the board enters a Chaos Ally Contingent! A small Realms of Chaos force, led by a mighty Minotaur appeared on the right side of my line!

Talk about gobsmacked!

Actually, I'm kidding.

You are the victim of an April Fools day joke. A little bit of whimsy before we get into the actual events of Turn 5. No ally contingent arrived, things are exactly as we left them at the end of Turn 4!


Whilst we've been processing the events of Turn 5, I've been learning about writing. As in, reading web pages that advise one on how to write good prose*. I've learned about many things, including a little bit about pacing and tension. Tension is very, very important. Pacing lends itself to this. Drag on a little too long (as I'm doing now), and you might risk losing your reader. Spill the beans too quickly (as I'm not doing now) and you raise the expectations. 

A tricky line indeed. 

The thing that really defines whether or not Turn 5 is worth considering is whether or not the Orcs rallied. Turn 4 saw the whole army turn tail and run and if they continued to do so, quite frankly, there wouldn't be a Turn 5, would there?

So, did they rally?

In this case, I shall defer to the old adage: a picture is worth a thousand words.

These were the dwarves present at the end of Turn 5:

These were the Orcs present at the end of Turn 5:

But of course, there is still a story in between!

Of chief interest, really, was the continued antagonism of young Abudabi the Fanatic, who claimed a further four orcs, even as the rest of the army fled in dismay.

The shooting phase did not astound - as usual - although the dwarves finally landed a direct hit with their stone thrower. Unfortunately, much like the crossbow bolts that had been used throughout the battle, it appears that the ammunition was defective, as only one orc failed to survive.

The Man Mangler was unable to exact revenge, as it missed Murphy's Stout. What a difference it could have made!

Which left us with a dismally uninteresting reserves phase - the Dwarves capitalising on their positions and moving in for the curry powder!

Which really takes us to the end of Turn 5, and the end of the game!

Although we here at Warhammer for Adults don't advocate tournament thinking, victory points are still an extremely useful method for rubbing your opponents face in the dirt.

As you can see, I've graciously allowed Blue to keep 102 of his points, so that there wasn't any embarrassment, or anything :)

Now, dear reader, I am as sure as a poker player with five aces in my hand that my last statement has brought violent offence to your sensitive and peaceful soul! How the bile must rise in your throat at my unjust, kamra-inviting cruelty? How can I go about claiming my brilliance and decrying Blue's paltry effort in such a brazen fashion? Was I not there when Dreamfish 'adjusted' (see shooting in Turn 3) the outcome of the Man Mangler shot in Turn 2? The very shot that, how not Dreamfish intervened in all his wisdom, would have removed from existence the Coohrs Light Foote - the unit that  ultimately broke the Orc line?

And I hear you say: What now, Victorious Boast? Perhaps it really was a matter for the dice, and you were just a passenger in the palm of Lady Luck's hand! Was his general not in the right place to hold the line when it broke? The units that fled could hardly claim to have been poorly led? His mightiest champion was there with them when they broke? Surely that was nothing other than the machinations of Lady Luck's bitter cousin, Miss Fortune? Was there anything more he could have done to hold that line? So we say to you, wicked boast - enough of your banter - you were just bloody lucky! Had Dreamfish decided against you, do you believe that Blue would deride you on his blog, mocking your poor fortune?


And you're right, of course. Simply put, Blue started the game excellently, but we three (that is, Dreamfish, Blue and myself) elected to sacrifice his good fortune early in order to prolong the game and your experience of it with us, dear reader! How could I possibly boast, when Blue so graciously put you first, relinquishing his early lead so that you might witness bloodshed and mayhem in later turns (at his expense, unbeknownst to him). So I stand corrected, and you may soothe your ruffled feathers!

Anyway, To Blue in VT, I say simply:

Thankyou. Blue - you've been a stirling opponent, unfortunate in your final moments. One day, may it be that we can play in person.

And to Dreamfish I say simply:

Thankyou. Dreamfish - you've been a stirling gamesmaster. One day, may it be that we can play in person.

Of course, there will be one more post to come regarding the events at Koles Lorr. For one, you'll be aware that you are due an epilogue. Also, you'll want to see that summary of the house rules and modifications we made. Those are still to come. But the game, ladies and gentlemen, is complete.

Thanks for watching.

*So where is this bloody prose then? Well, nothing remarkable enough happened in Turn 5, so I elected to move straight onto the epilogue, which is well underway. 


Battle Navigation

Turn 5