Ahem. Anyway, this is how turn 6 started:
Both Dreamfish and I thought that turn 6 would be 'the one', so I thought I would commit the elves to the fight - you know, a big bang and all that. So, everyone charged:
The Wardancers finally made contact:
Morgrim challenged Gaymar to single combat. Gaymar had no choice but to accept, because he bravely charged by himself.
Morgrim gripped his sword in both hands. Finally - the elves were coming. He had positioned himself in the centre of his Firehammers to face the elven archers when he heard a maniacal ululating screech emanate from somewhere on his left. Craning his neck, he spied a wild, lone elf hurtling towards his unit at high speed.
It was only when the elf was much closer did Morgrim recognise the fool as the one who had led the column down into the valley. So, he thought. This must be their leader.
"Step aside, boys," he said. "Looks like our host is coming to greet us personally." He pushed his way out of formation and positioned himself in front of the rapidly approaching elf.
Danak Royd also watched Gaymar's meteoric approach to the dwarven line. I suppose we have to save him, he thought. No one else left to do it, now.
He took a deep breath.
There are many ways to approach single combat. Of course, gentler races, such as the elves, approach combat with finesse - moving quietly and on light feet, caution lining their attentive faces. Hardier races, such as the dwarves, rely on their unflinching discipline and sublime confidence.
Witnesses to the battle might later claim that the dwarves had indeed evidenced their confident discipline, as all dwarves do. But no-one would claim that Gaymar's approach was at all cautious or well considered. As soon as he was close enough, he leaped into the air. For a brief moment, his profile formed an almost perfect 'c' - his feet nearly touched the tip of his sword as he arced through the air, belt buckle first.
Morgrim had been in the army for a while now. He had seen many things, including the sort of indulgent arrogance that no doubt led to the elf leaping at him as he did now. But, that arrogance had never materialised in such a fashion. He had never faced an airborne elf moving at terminal velocity.
Gaymar felt the sword hit home. A thrill unlike any he had ever experienced flooded his entire body with excitement and adrenaline. It didn't feel planned, but he knew it was all him, baby. He had seen the dwarf raise his sword above him in order to deflect the elf. But Gaymar had expected that. He didn't know how - he simply knew that the dwarf would do just that.
He switched his grip on the blade in one swift motion. Now, dagger-like, the blade pointed downwards. As he sailed over the dwarf, he thrust down. The dwarf's defense was against a hack, not a thrust, so it was almost too easy to force the blade into the dwarf's shoulder.
The next thing he knew, he had broken his nose.
Morgrim swore as the elf stabbed him. The little shit had been lucky. He had managed to force his blade directly into Mogrim's shoulder, right where the back plate and breast plate met.
Enraged, Morgrim swing his two handed sword with all his might. In his youth, he had been a prolific Baze Ball player. Baze Ball was an ancient pastime the dwarves indulged in, where one dwarf would lob a rock (called a Baze) at the other, who would attempt to hit it with a club before his head was smashed. All of that muscle memory came to the fore as his powerful arms drove the blade forwards in a sweeping arc. Sparks flew as the blade crunched into the metal greaves protecting the elf's shins.
The impact was enough to stop the forward flight of the lower half of the elf. The upper half, however, had no such impediment, so it continued on it's original trajectory. Morgrim looked up and saw the elf flip head over heels twice before slamming face first into the ground.
Danak Royd expressed such a look of amazement at the sight of his lord somersaulting in the air that the dwarf he faced cast a brief look over his shoulder. It wasn't planned, but Danak took the opportunity none the less, and walloped the foolish dwarf just behind the ear with the pommel of his sword. The little fellow crumpled.
Gaymar rolled onto his back, moaning and clutching his face. There was blood everywhere. He felt no pain, but he knew for certain that his nose shouldn't be so ... flexible. He groped around for his sword before realising that the bloody thing was still sticking out of the dwarf like a banner pole. Animal instinct took over as he moved to a crouch and leaped at the dwarf again.
Morgrim was a pragmatic dwarf. The wound hurt, but he wasn't dead or dying. And as long as the blade was in his shoulder, it wasn't in the hands of the sodding elf, so he had made no effort to remove it. Firming his grip on his own sword, he watched as the elf got onto all fours. Morgrim enjoyed the brief look of despair on the face of the elf as he registered the location of his sword. But, even though Mogrim was expecting it, the little bastard was just too fast. He elf hurled himself at the sword, again moving to leap over Morgrim. He narrowly missed the elf in an overhead chop which would have cleaved the idiot in two. He spun to face the elf. As he did so, he saw the blood running down his breast plate. Morgrim ran a hand over his shoulder and grimaced at his opponent.
The elf had his sword back.
Hargen Darce drove his hammer deep into the midriff of one of the archers. Dopey knob, he thought, as the elf folded in front of him. The dwarves had given ground, stepping back to consolidate their formation. Evidently, the elves considered this a victory and had pursued into a hardened, reorganised dwarven line. But, as this elf - who was now on his hands and knees coughing up blood - had just discovered, the dwarves were not about to give up. Tactical redeployment, kids. That's all it was - tactical redeployment.
The combat phase was the first place we came across some issues. As you know, we've found it easier to run the report if we process each other's equivalent phases one after the other, as opposed to the whole IGO UGO mechanism so common to Warhammer. This led to the interesting situation where two combat phases would follow directly on from each other - one for the elves and then one for the dwarves (both sides still fight in each, though). So, we were able to see the elves win (I know, can you believe it?) both combat events in the first combat phase, and then see them grind to a halt in the second.
Morgrim and Gaymar each manged to knock a wound off each other in the first round, and both failed to hurt each other in the second!
The first combat phase:
Combat in Warhammer 3rd edition does have some subtle but powerful differences compared to the later incarnations. In later editions, if an attackers WS is equal to the defenders WS, then traditionally the attacker must roll 4 or more on a d6. In WFB3, a 5 is required. Also, later editions of Warhammer only really allow for a scale between 3 and 5 on a d6, so if the attacker has WS10 and the defender WS1, the attacker must still roll 3 or higher. In WFB3, the scale is bigger, running between 2 and 6+. 6+ in this case means that a 6 followed by another number is required to score a hit.
All of this told heavily in combat, meaning that most of the time, very few hits were actually scored. So, ultimately, not many casualties occurred.
The second combat phase:
The second and more interesting debate we had was about number of attacks and base to base contact. In later versions of Warhammer, the notion of diagonal base to base combat is accepted as the norm:
...but, is the same true in Warhammer 3? From what we could see, no. This was especially interesting, because this led us to investigate the rules, in which it claims that attackers can only attack forwards unless they have gore or stomp or tail attacks. That then led us into the question about models with multiple attacks - how many figures can they actually kill? On face value, this looked like a good natural limiter to some of the more powerful (I'm looking at you, chaos) armies that have many models with multiple attacks. Assuming the above is true - it then suggests that you can only kill as many models as you are in base to base with...which takes us full circle to the beginning of the argument - is diagonal contact base to base contact...
The reserves phase was pretty subdued, with almost every unit on the table in combat:
Having completed a few rounds of combat, the exhausted units assume new formations, ready for the next round.
And...last but certainly not least - Ellendee finally cast a spell! With 2 magic points remaining, she successfully launched a fireball at the gyrocopter, scoring 3 hits.
No wounds, though, but we gotta crawl before we can walk, right?
So...given that Gaymar and Morgrim are locked in mortal combat...we thought it made sense to move on to turn 7!
Will Ellendee finally eliminate the gyrocopter? Will the Arrowheads reach their destination? Can Gaymar eliminate Morgrim?