Monday, 16 September 2013

Battle Report: The Bridge Over the River Chai - Turn 10

The final turn. In modern editions of Warhammer, one could have played twenty separate games of warhammer in the number of turns we've taken to complete one.

But what's the rush?

Lets think of this as a glass of Ladybank Single Malt, as opposed to a bottle of Budweiser. The right thing to do is to enjoy it slowly. No one will judge you here.

The turn starts like this
There are not many events to discuss in this turn. Of course, if you've been tracking the past nine turns, you might have noticed how all the heavy hitters seem to have conglomerated in the middle of the field. Perhaps we can make something of that?

Movement Phase

And so Rogaine does. Both he and his unusually aggressive shaman charge the two combatants. There are now seventy levels worth of characters in combat!

Actions
GM:

MB
Holds
Airbornegrove:

MI
Holds
F
Reformed
Thantsants:

W
Charged @ MI, moved 5"
R
Charged @ MB, moved 6.5"
GF
Routed off the table
K3C
Routed off the table
RLR
Routed off the table



***

Rogaine grabbed his boar's neck hairs in an upward wrench, causing the excitable, squealing beast to a halt. Forcing its head towards Wineghum, he commanded it to jog slowly to the shaman and his spider mount.

"Good to see yer still around, shaman," Rogaine growled.

Wineghum blinked. He opened his mouth to reply, but no words came.

"You still got the box?" the orc grunted, barely audible, his eyes never leaving the wild combat between the elf and the dwarf.

Wineghum nodded furiously.

"I SAID: HAVE YOU STILL GOT THE BOX, IDIOT?"

Wineghum jumped, his spider flinching with him. He's not looking at you, idiot. He can't see you nodding to save your life, now, can he! Say something!

"Er, Siryessir! I mean, Yessiryes! Sir! Yes! Sir! Totally didn't open it, Sir! It just -" Wineghum's brain finally caught up with his mouth. SHUT UP! He didn't ask if it was open, did he?

Wineghum gulped as Rogaine's eyes swept over him.

"Good. I've just got to go and sort them out." He waved at the two combatants. "Then I'm back to get that box, hear?"

The shaman nodded again, adding a quick yelp of affirmation when he realised Rogaine was looking at the combat again. "Box safe with me! Yes Sir! Don't you worry 'bout a thing!"

"Then stay here!"

***

Wineghum watched in morbid fascination as the orc barrelled into the frenzied fight before them.

Then slay her? Slay who? Is that really what he said, Wineghum wondered? He looked around. Who was 'her'? There were no women where Rogaine had just pointed. Just an enraged melee of lizards, dwarves and elves - and from where he was standing, it looked like they were all losing.

He must have meant the elf. Sometimes, they look a lot like girls, don't they?

Wineghum shook his head. His heart was still pounding from the sudden interrogation from Rogaine. He hadn't dared tell Rogaine he'd opened the box, let alone used the contents. The black look of undiluted murder on the orc general's face was enough to suggest that anyone who disobeyed any orders from this point onwards was going to be very, very sorry. He would have-his-job-explained-to-him-in-no-uncertain-terms.

And that was usually fatal.

Wineghum swallowed. Beads of sweat formed on his head. On the one hand, attacking the hateful elf and his crazy steed was almost certain death. And it was an elf, of all things!

On the other hand, disobeying Rogaine was almost certain death.

Talk about being stuck between a rock and, well, another rock. Landslides, really. Cliffs, come to think of it. Stuck between two sheer cliffs each with two landslides and a couple of rocks on top.

It was hard.

It wasn't fair. How was he supposed to protect the box for his lord when his lord ordered him into a no win situation? Stupid orc!

He prodded his spider with his axe.

"Let's go," he muttered, wincing. "Let's hope he's killed them all by the time we get there, eh?"

***
Rogaine's first target was clear: Master B'tor. His entire force appeared to have been decimated, he had been arrogant and patronising in his negotiation and frankly, he was just an all round git. Rogaine hated dwarves too, and this wasn't to suggest the dwarf would get off any lighter, but at least they were honourable and respectable.

There's something to be said for honour, both on and off the battlefield.

And from his perspective, Rogaine was about to say that something to the elf. In no uncertain terms.

*** 

Master B'tor clanged off another strike from the dwarf with a desperate swing of his sword. He was tired now and felt like he was losing to the dizziness. He gave a futile pull at the reigns, trying to pull the cold one out of the fight, but the damned creature savaged at the dwarf's armour as if it had never tasted blood - the problem was the blood it was tasting was its own.

He lashed out again, sparks flying as his blade connected with some armour, but that strike didn't stop the dwarf either. Too late, he realised the upward thrust of the dwarf, jabbing straight for his midriff.

But the pain never came. The massive, bloody head of the cold one knocked the sword aside as it tried in vain to get a grip on the dwarf.

The move was so sudden Master B'tor tumbled sideways from the beast in the opposite direction.

***

Morgrim had no idea what had just happened. He knew he'd been parried and he felt the blow on his arm. He was sure he was onto a winner with his upward thrust, but suddenly he was flying through the air. He grunted in frustration as he flew away from the elf, who, it seemed, was also airborne.

***

No! Ohno! Nonononono! This can't be happening! Wineghum's eyes bulged as he calculated the trajectory of the dwarf general.

It was going to hit him.

Up until then, things seemed fine in the savage spectacle of the elf and the dwarf (and the soon-to-be-added-orc). Rogaine seemed hell bent on the Master B'tor, which pleased Wineghum no end and caused him not to goad the spider quite as vigorously as would have been required for an all out charge.

May as well let the orc do his work, after all.

But then Master B'tors cold one stepped in. The bloody thing finally got a grip on the dwarf commander and started shaking him about like a starved dog with a rat. That action then led to the cold one losing grip on the commander, who was temporarily relieved of his obligations to the laws of gravity.

And that action led to the bone crunching introduction of Morgrim Ironbeard to Wineghum.

***

Master B'tor held his sword above him, waving it slowly in some vague defense against the sniffing head of the giant lizard.

"Sea Biscuit!" he grunted. "Bad boy! Look what you've gone and done."

He shook his head - he knew Sea Biscuit was too far gone to respond to any commands now. What a way to go. Eaten by your own cold one. What would the others say about him now? He closed his eyes and lay back.

What happened next was not the tearing asunder of his rib cage, though, but an eye popping crack and the grunt of both the cold one and...Rogaine? Master B'tor blinked up at the orc, who was recovering from what was evidently a head butt. A wild glance to his left revealed an equally surprised cold one, sitting on its haunches and shaking its head.

"Th-thanks," he stammered, lifting himself up onto an elbow.

"Don't mention it," Rogaine said as he calmly lopped Master B'tor's head off with a sweep of his scimitar.

***

This is ridiculous, thought Morgrim as he dived to the ground to avoid the clacking fangs of the giant spider. Why can't everyone else just bloody well fight on foot, like normal soldiers? Lizards, spiders, boars - I don't get paid enough for this shit!

He gained his feet behind the spider, only to be banged on the head with the stupid goblin's skull staff. He lashed out, slicing the staff in two, but narrowly missing the goblin's face, before barrelling into the spider, trying to knock it over.

Such a thing might have worked against the clumsier, more heavily set cold one, but a spider? Even giant spiders are nimble and sensitive. The spider darted to the side, spinning in the same move, mandibles raised to strike as Morgrim ran straight past.

***

It was all Wineghum could do to hang on. He saw the dwarf run by, sword raised. Slowly, he took in the new scene unfolding before him, and while doing so, he gently pulled the spider back. It scuttled backwards, mandibles still raised, but it seemed as relieved as Wineghum not to be getting involved in what was about to unfold.

***

 Morgrim stopped. What towered over him was a giant orc - one of the biggest he'd ever seen. Behind the orc, the cold one lizard savaged at what remained of the elf's carcass. The orc's boar ran squealing and grunting into the distance, released from service.

This was their commander.

The orc held his scimitar down, allowing elven blood to run down the blade.

"My name is Rogaine." it said quietly, speaking an old dwarf dialect.

"My name is Morgrim," he replied in the crude words of the orc race.

***

Rogaine grinned.

Finally! This was the promised fight. One-on-one - the real measure of martial skill. Sure, he liked running the common muck down as it ran screaming from him, but the opportunity to fight a real warrior? That was rare these days.

He felt his back stiffening around the rent the dwarf axe had left, the warmth of the blood now fading. Hot breath thrust from his nostrils, swirling the sweet smell of evening dew with sting of blood and steel.
His ears pounded with the rush of blood as his heart raced in anticipation.

He charged.

***

Morgrim could see his Firehammers reforming in the distance. They would not be close enough to help him now. He wiped a mix of sweat and blood from his brow, grateful for the brief respite of combat.

It would have to do. He fiddled with his shoulder straps, taking some time to readjust his armour ,which had been twisted and bent quite badly by the stupid lizard. It still wasn't comfortable, but it was better.

Morgrim sighed.

Here he comes...

***

Rogaine loved the fact that the dwarf was so much quicker than he looked. This was swordplay at its best - fast, furious and unrelenting. He loved the twisting, the near misses, the sheer exhilaration of knowing that his very life was on the brink.

Clang, swish, clatter, dodge.

He barked in triumph as slapped the dwarf's sword away from what was almost certain disembowelment. He grunted in delight when the dwarf twisted his sword away, forcing him to follow the blade away or risk losing grip.

Smart. Very smart.

Blink, dive, clank, woosh.

The two separated, panting.

***

Morgrim felt his wrists click as he fought to gain control of his two handed sword. If he survived this, he'd be in bed for a week, because his muscles were so sore from straining against the orc beast.

Swash, ding, clatter, duck.

Everything he tried, the orc seemed to be able to anticipate. Even things that should have worked - the orc tripped, but was lucky enough to slip whilst trying to stand again, leading to his fortunate avoidance of decapitation.

But the orc was also brutally tough - blows that Morgrim landed, albiet on armour, would have stopped a lesser orc and certainly caused some of the bigger ones to pause for thought - but that wasn't happening here. Perhaps he was just getting too old for this?

Zing, roll, clink, thrash.

The two separated, panting.

***

Wineghum shuffled nervously as the regiment from which the dwarf general had emerged formed up to watch the fight. Rogaine seemed to be holding his own, but the goblin wasn't about to take any chances. He was ready to run at the first sign of trouble...

***

Rogaine slapped Morgrim's blade away with his own, clearing the way between the two for what would have been an opportunistic head butt, but for the fact that the orc was nearly twice as tall as the dwarf. Too late, Rogaine realised his mistake as he staggered past the dwarf trying desperately to keep his balance. Morgrim, more from weariness than anything else, slammed his blade in a wide swing directly into the armoured chest of the orc - the blow nothing but ineffectual noise.

Rogaine did crumple over the blade, though, trapping Mogrim's sword as the orc dropped to his knees.

Morgrim blinked at his empty hands, before frantically searching his belt for his dagger.

Shing! Morgrim gripped and pulled at the dagger - just in time to receive the full force of Rogaine's even more opportunistic second headbutt - this time at just the perfect height.

Blood sprayed from both heads as the impact of bone on bone rang over the battlefield.

Rogaine dropped to all fours, catching himself from toppling over.

Morgrim's eyes rolled up into his head as he dropped backwards.

***

The Firehammers started forwards, ready to slaughter the orc, when, to a dwarf, they stopped - the giant orc had picked Morgrim up by his throat, rested his blade against his chest, and stared in challenge at the oncoming dwarves.

"I ain't like other orcs," the brute said slowly, surprising them with the quality of his dwarven dialect.

"Your leader has fought well, so he ain't gonna die here today."

"What will you do?" one of the dwarves called out.

Rogaine bent the head of the unconscious general over his open hand, shaking the dwarf roughly. Blood and spittle accompanied three teeth as they dropped into his bloody fingers.

He sorted the teeth with his thumb. Normal. Gold. Gold.

Rogaine gently laid Morgrim down on his back, placing the normal tooth on his chest. He stood and addressed the Firehammers, showing them the two golden teeth.

"I'll take these fer a trophy. My name is Rogaine, and I defeated Morgrim."

With that, he turned his back on the dwarves, sheathed his scimitar and strode from the field.

***

Combat Phase

And so it is done. Four warriors enter. Two warriors leave. A very fitting conclusion to the final combat phase.

What follows here is a more mechanical version of the events above. Of course, the above is to tell a story, whereas the below tells events as they happened. Of course, Rogaine never 'officially' dismounted and it is important that you know that both Morgrim and Rogaine scored a killing blow on Master B'tor. Dreamfish randomised which was the one that did him in, and it turned out to be Rogaine.
Actions

MI vs MB, MB vs R, MI vs W
Round 1

Modifiers
MI
follow-up
MB
none
R
charged
W
charged
Attacks
A1 I9
Parried
A2 I8
Morgrim <- MB
A3 I7
Morgrim <- MB
A4 I6
Morgrim <- MB
A1 I5
MB <- Rogaine
A1 I5
MB <- Rogaine's mount
A2 I4
MB <- Rogaine
A2 I4
MB <- Rogaine's mount
A1 I4
Morgrim -> MB
A3 I3
MB <- Rogaine
A1 I3
Morgrim <- Wineghum
A2 I3
Morgrim -> MB
A4 I2
MB <- Rogaine (1W)
A1 I1
Morgrim <- Spider
A2 I1
Morgrim <- Spider
Results
MI
+1 (follow-up) = 1
R, W
+1 (charged) +1 (wounds) = 2
Round 2

Modifiers
MI
none
R
follow-up
W
follow-up
Attacks
A1 I5
Morgrim <- Rogaine (2W)
Results
R, W
+1 (charged) +2 (wounds) = 3



10 comments:

  1. Great batrep. I really love the way you tell it.

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  2. Hurray! The final turn has been written. Great story Gaj, I really like it. An orc with honour, who would have guessed. I'm glad Mogrim got out alive, might want to use him in another battle you see.

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    Replies
    1. It wouldn't have been right to bump 'ol Morgrim off. That said - the next time...

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  3. Fantastic work Gaj, a fine retelling of a legendary battle that was well worth all the time and effort you out in. Thanks for doing this!

    When's the next one? ;)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks very much. There is still an epilogue to follow before we call the thing complete, but this turn was definitely the sticking point!

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  4. Ah a fitting end and Rogaine is surely an enduring character!

    I'll add my thanks for your excellent work in bringing this game to life.

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    Replies
    1. Cheers, Mr T - and well played in the end!

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  5. I've updated Rogaine's speech to match his earler style - bit of a continuity error there.

    also, speaking of errors - didn't spot the enchanted blade description in the picture :)

    Oh well. We all know the truth - Morgrim was headbutted.

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  6. Great report, I got swept right into the action even though this is the first one I've read.

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    Replies
    1. Cheers, Mr Sean - sorry I missed your comment! I'm glad you enjoyed the turn. If you're interested in the other reports, take a look at the top left of the site - those are the links to other reports that I know about, including the others that we've done here. May I recommend 'It's Fun to Slay at the Wyemm Seeyay'? It is our first and best!

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