Saturday, 17 March 2012

Battle Report: The Shadow of Koles Lorr - Turn 3


Turn 3.

In the programme tonight:

The Orcs stop taking animosity tests!
Dwarves charge!
The Gamesmaster implements a house rule!

At the end of Turn 2, the situation was as follows:

The orcs, now mostly within 12" of an enemy (any one will do), are no longer obliged to test for animosity, and surge forward decisively. Neither fanatic dies, but both oblige the dwarves by moving away from the dwarf line.

And Ruger charges.

In 3rd edition, slayers are subject to Frenzy. A warrior can't just Frenzy, he needs to work up to it. This is represented by taking a Cool test. If you fail the Cool test, you enter a frenzy and benefit from the effects.

So let's be clear. Ruger is cool. I mean, he's so laid back, he's practically horizontal. Even the death of his four compatriots hasn't ruffled his feathers. Definitely a movie action hero sort of character - always under control. Only bad guys lose their tempers in Hollywood.

Basically, he failed to fail the test, which means he doesn't benefit suffer from all the awful effects of frenzy - never routs, +1 to hit, +1 to wound and +1 to armour save. Awful. Sure glad I missed those effects.

I guess he just wanted to do it the hard way.

The goblin fanatics surprised me, by not dying, and by not killing anything. Thanks, chaps!


Goblins, rocks, dwarves, tower, dwarves, wall, orcs. Goblins, rocks, dwarves, tower, wall, orcs. Abudabi's feeble mind strained to process the information coming in. Round and round and round he went, his giant iron ball the only clear object in his vision. 

It felt like he had been spinning for ages. He could barely remember his instructions and spent every last wrangled effort of his brain trying not to trip. Tripping was death, and death would not honour the Profit. 

The Profit. That thought surfaced in his drug addled brain slowly, but it stuck. Goblins, rocks, dwarves, tower, dwarves, wall, orcs, Profit! 

What was it that Bahg-Dahd had said about The Profit? He remembered it was important. Orc, wall, tower. Why? Why was that important? Rocks, dwarves, tower. This was really hard. Don't trip! Not good for The Profit!

A fleeting vision floated before his eyes. He remembered! He remembered when he had been recruited. Bahg-Dahd had found him at college. He had been hanging out with the other Day Three's, arguing about the political oppression the goblins experienced at the hands of the orcs and other races. Wall, dwarf, goblin, wall. Abudabi stumbled slightly and felt himself veering away to what he suspected was his left. Heart pounding, he clung desperately to the chain of the iron ball - the only anchor in the swirling world he now occupied. Goblins, rocks, dwarves, very surprised dwarf - that was close! - tower, dwarves. 

Bahg-Dahd had explained how unique Abudabi was. The other Year Three's would just graduate to be low end grunts, losers like the rest of the goblins. But he - Abudabi - had potential. Abudabi was disenchanted with college anyway, and found easy companionship with Bahg-Dahd. He was so much more understanding. So much more cutting edge. So much more revolutionary. Bahg-Dahd agreed with Abudabi that the goblins could be a free race. That they could throw off the yoke of oppression. They could rule the world, if just given the chance. If they took the chance...

Tower, dwarves, orcs. Then, one day, Bahg-Dahd made a suggestion. 

"Wait. Wait, wait, wait! Wot's that last bit you said?" Abudabi asked.

"About der vergins?" Bahg-Dad grinned.

"Yer - about der vergins. You reckon' you gets seventy two vergins?" Abudabi frowned. He'd gone on to complete all four days of college and had graduated with honours, but he just didn't seem to have enough fingers to work out how many seventy two really was. 

Orcs, goblins, rocks, dwarves.

Bahg-Dahd nodded. "Yer - great, innit?"

Abudabi raised an eyebrow. "An' dey're all girls?"

"Er, sure. Yeah. All girls. If dat's wot you want?"

Abudabi was fairly sure that was what he wanted, yes. He was also a 'vergin', so he couldn't be absolutely sure, but better safe than sorry, eh?

"An' all I gots to do, is eat dat, and carry dat?"

"Um. Wrong way round. You carry der ball and eat der mushroom, yeah."

Dwarves, tower, dwarves, WALL! Every muscle in Abudabi's legs strained to haul his spinning mass away from the approaching wall. Not now! Mustn't. Fail. The. Profit!

Thinking about The Profit drew Abudabi away from reality again, back to a different conversation with Bahg-Dahd.

"So who is Der Profit?"

"S'not a who - its a wot," Bahg-Dahd replied. 

Abudabi giggled. "Hee hee, you said snot!"

Both goblins cackled in glee. Abudabi reached forward and popped another little mushroom into his mouth. He and Bahg-Dahd had been popping 'shrooms all night. He'd never felt so free. 

"I ain't never seen any Profit, but its real important. War is Profit, dey say. And money. Money is Profit too!"

"An' Time is Money," Abudabi added. He'd learned that at college. 

"Yer, Time is Money. So War is Time, see? Dat's how you get paid divvydends!"

Both goblins paused to take in this deep universal truth, nodding to each other slowly. 

Abudabi had successfully hauled himself away from the wall, nearly leaving his feet in the monumental effort to avoid it. Dwarves, wall, orcs, goblins, rock. 

He remembered Bahg-Dahd going on to explain how, by swinging the ball in endless worship of The Profit, he would get his divvydend. Abudabi had no clear idea what a divvydend was, but it meant being paid, which was apparently crucial for the seventy two vergins. If The Profit favoured you, you became Profit-able, and might be able to attract even more vergins. More vergins than all the goblins in the tribe could count on their two hands. But you had to swing the ball. And swing and swing and swing. Only then would the vergins come. 

Abudabi was getting tired now. It felt like he'd been swinging for days, and he'd not seen a vergin or a divvydend or anything. All he saw was orcs, goblins, rocks, dwarves, tower, dwarves, wall, orcs.  

Must. Hang. On...


Shooting was typically pathetic, with both sides failing to astound. It could have been a different story, however. Let me explain:

Warmachines in Warhammer 3rd edition are Devastating. Note the upper case 'D'.

In an earlier turn, Blue scored a direct hit with his Man Mangler. The actual hit would have deleted the unit. Entirely. Likewise, this turn, my cannon (would have) rendered non-existent a vast swathe of orcs.

Dreamfish, being the conscientious Games Master that he is, decided in both cases to step in and moderate the state of affairs with some house rules. Dreamfish is exceptionally methodical and represents the true neutrality of his position excellently. He considered the problem from various different angles, discussed with us what we thought we should do, and then implemented his judgement. If, at this point, you're wondering what the hell a Games Master is, allow me to refer you to Zhu's superb article on the subject. Even the chaps over at Games Workshop still acknowledge the existence of this bizarre, mythical creature on page 427 in the large Warhammer 8 rule book.

Essentially, to give the chaps a chance, we've said that stone throwers will cause damage as they do now in the 8th edition - that is, the hit in the middle is at full strength, whilst everyone else under the template is at half strength. Also, in 3rd edition, cannons cause two hits per rank - we've moderated that to one hit per rank - again, much the same as later editions of Warhammer.

So, the warmachines have been downgraded a little, to allow some units to go and actually hit each other with axes. All for you, dear reader. All for you. At the end of this report (in 2018 at its current rate of progress), we'll list the of the house rules we've implemented.

For all the missile weapons on the table, only five lives are lost. Three orcs and two dwarves.

Combat! That is, good 'ol Ruger, that oh-so-cool armour wearing slayer who couldn't succumb to the fury of his goblin hating wrath enough to enter a frenzy, hands it out to the poor goblins, disappointing his family further by failing to fulfil his slayer oath yet again.


What Ruger need right now was anger. Righteous, furious anger with which to relentlessly hurl himself at his hated foe, bringing glory and honour to his name and family. All he needed was just a little anger. Was that too much to ask?

Simply put, he just couldn't get into the swing of the thing. Sure, he hated goblins as much as the next dwarf, but it was an inherited hatred. He didn't really feel it. He just, well, did it. Because everyone else had. That wasn't really hatred, was it? That was just being a bit narrow minded at the pub. Sure, he'd killed he goblin leader, but it was very matter-of-fact. It wasn't a bitter thing, or a revenge thing or anything like that. He'd just hit him because he was there. Truth be told, he didn't even hit him very hard. Maybe that was just a goblin thing, though. He had noted that the tended to fold in half when he dove his axe into them. 

Self-doubt had been plaguing Ruger for a while. Why was he such a bad slayer? What his family needed was some closure: a good name and a dead son. But, try as he might, he just couldn't get killed. Seven months on and was almost as if his family were trying to give him advice. 

"The problem you have, son, is that you're too analytical," his mother would say. 

"She's right, you know. Pick on bigger things. Don't just find one troll in the woods. You need to get a pack of them when they're in heat!" Uncle Minspiy said. 

In fact, the only thing that Ruger had been able to get angry about was the fact that he couldn't track down a pack of trolls in heat. He had no idea what trolls in heat looked like, or where they could be found. Uncle Minspiy was less specific about that point. Ruger wasn't an expert, but he was fairly sure that packs of female trolls didn't go out behind the temple and try to blag a smoke from passers-by on Friday nights. 

And now, here he was, fighting some goblins, comfortable in the knowledge that they were most likely not going to kill him, just because hordes of their predecessors had failed to do so. That should have made him angry, but ... nothing. 

Then, suddenly: anger! He had accidentally killed another goblin. He had been trying to let one of the others get a flank on him, but whilst swinging at one on the other side he'd bloody knocked the flanker's head off. Oh, the frustration!

This is why he was never going to get killed - he was just too clumsy...


The reserves phase was about redressing the lines. Well, the Dwarf lines. The Orcs only have one objective - move forward. The dwarves, outnumbered as they were, were preparing a flank charge on Larlog's Lashers. Unfortunately, Sklif's Shootas moved closer, despite the threat of the fanatic, causing the dwarves of the Coohrs Light to reconsider their position. In the end, they turned to face.

The situation at the end of the turn:

In Turn 4: Combat is joined. Well, more combat...


Battle Navigation

Turn 3



  1. Hmmm... turn 4 is looking like it might be fairly bloody. I'm hoping those goblin fanatics finally manage to spin into something.

    Good stuff... once again I'm perched on the edge of my seat waiting for the next episode!

    1. My mates used to get in a right huff about frenzy. Thing is if you have good stats and frenzy chances are you have a good Cl as well. I always thought it made sense even from a gaming point of view, frenzy costs the same on a human as a chaos warrior, basic humans go into frenzy more readily but the warrior benefits much more when it comes off. Humans are a good middle ground between OK Stats and low enough Cl.

  2. Well, Mr Gobbler, Turn 4 is, as they say in some parts of the world, a real doozy.I trust the edge of your seat is suitably comfortable.

    @Erny: I suspect that we'll not be seeing the myriad of benefits frenzy offers this game. It does make sense, as you say, though. Only savages can be ...well, savages.

  3. This sir was Ubercool and awesomesauce and whatever other words the young folks are bandying about. Love it can't wait for turn four though I have to go back and re-read turns 1-2...err oops.

  4. Very exciting turn! Sometimes the "might have happened"'s are the most nail biting parts of a game.

    Looking forward to more!

  5. Simply brilliant. I do feel that the GM should step in to ensure Rudger doesn't die as that dwarf is a comedy genius.

    At the risk of sounding slightly sad (I'm not sure what's worse: commenting on the rules of an edition of a game I haven't played for the best part of 20 years, or that I can still remember the finer points) but you are remembering to deduct Ruger's CL modifier and not add it when testing for frenzy? At least this way the chance of a frenzied comedic legend is raised from highly improbable to merely unlikely.

    Can't wait for the next installment.

  6. Firstly, to all and sundry: apologies for neglecting these comments - a very poor show of manners, I can assure you! Still, better late than never, as they say.

    @Minitrol - don't worry, I had to go back and reread the stuff I'd produced. As a matter of interest, did you spot the continuity error?

    Also: awesomesauce? I've never heard that phrase - I'll consider it a challenge and see if I can use that in a sentence sometime this week.

    @MC Monkey-dew - They are indeed. Here's to more of them, hopefully!

    @Will - Can't say anything about young Ruger, as the game is still on the go, but we'll see what we can do...

    As for your 'sad' recollection - you are, indeed, correct. Ruger does get to deduct his cool bonus from his cool when testing for frenzy. I still fluffed the roll. My dice tend to favour the lower end of the spectrum? I don't kill lots of things, and I never pass my armour saves, but I never rout either. When I come across a game where ones are the best score, I'll be a world champion :)