Turn 2: Undead
Bloodshed continued at pace, with no less than three well placed charges. The rest of the Undead line carried on forward, with the Chaos warriors taking the bridge and the Plague Bearers fording the river.
|The Halberdiers encounter... resistance|
|How it started.|
|How it's going...|
|Tuvith and the boys pass their |
|Danni and Livvissspot join the skeleton advance|
The battle between the halberdiers and, well, the entire undead right flank was close.
In fact, there was only one point of combat resolution in it.
As all good undead generals know, if a unit loses combat to a fear causing enemy that outnumbers it ... then it routs automatically. Captain Prangle put in an epic performance, (re)killing four undead as he hacked and slashed about him. The halberdiers, inspired, put on similarly inspired performances.
But not before Scuttlebotch had torn a gaping hole in the flank of the men of Averridge. His kills, together with Lord Helke's, were just enough to unseat the heroic men, who, realising they were outclassed by their disturbing and supernatural foes, broke and fled, heading for the road to Shoodthorpe, only to be caught and cut down by the zombies!
Lord Helke refused to pursue, choosing to hold his position and regroup to reform the Undead line. Scuttlebotch had no such compunction, giving in easily to the urge to hound and slaughter the terrified men.
|How it ended...|
One of the key differences between the 3rd edition and the 4th is the to-hit chart - in 3rd edition, it is rich with variety and full of subtle shifts, allowing charging, height, weapon selection and the broad variance in weapons skills to make a real difference. In 4th edition, it is as subtle as a brick going through a window. Unless some special rule is in play, the best you'll ever get to hit is 3+, which means you can end up in situations like this:
|This is probably a good dice throw. For some other game. |
...where the Manticore spectacularly missed the easiest meal of its day. Of course, we're all about narrative here, so imagine, if you will, that scene from The Hobbit, where the dwarfs have escaped the elves and are bobbing down the river in that crazy scene where the orcs chase them down the river and there is shooting and bouncing and chopping and splashing and elves and dwarfs and greenskins and waterfalls. As you know, no dwarfs were harmed in the production of that scene.
Now, imagine the same thing, but without elves, the river, waterfalls, orcs, goblins or barrels. Then, throw in a forest and a manticore with a mummy on top, and, well, you can begin to make sense of what happened.
Through spectacular courage, redoubtable fortitude and phenomenal good luck, the dwarfs draw with the Mihartiskaphut and his manticore.
Turn 2: Dwarfs
The Longbeards were first to see the rout of the Averridge Constabulary as they crested hill and took the high ground. The Household Guard moved up to keep the dwarf line integral, whilst the right flank continued to fire at the Plague Bearers, who were at this point quite literally up the creek without a paddle, proverbial or real.
|With only one human left on the board, the advance truly is a dwarven advance|
|Bugman's Rangers tear the plague bearers apart with their crossbows!|
|Matt had produced some pretty shocking saving throws for these chaps|
In this time of open-mindedness, justice and equality, it pains me to stereotype halflings. I've already mentioned The Hobbit, so I accept they are full of heroic verve and spirit, and vanquish all manner of foe with their quick wit and wicked good fortune.
But, that accounts for only four of them. The others of that species seem, dare I say... less? Not up to the job? Clearly, the hobbits in The Hobbit had not seen a cannot before, and, it seems, neither had the crew of Big Jessie:
|Don't you hate it when people hae fancy dice and you can't tell if its a one or a six?|
That is a six, by the way.
So nothing exploded.
No one died.
It was more embarrassing than that. Presumably someone forgot to put a ball in, for instance. Or they'd only put in a pipe's worth of powder. Or they were brewing a pot of tea and forgot to shoot it.
|Now that the manticore had warmed up...|
Mihartiskaphut was able to galvanise the manticore into action, causing the thing to obliterate all four of Tuvith's dwarfs in a splatterfest that covered the trees. Tuvith fought valiantly, but panicked as he realised even his years of experience could not protect him.
|Mihartiskaphut finds himself in a target rich environment|
Sadly, the manticore pounced on him as he fled, its instincts guiding it to a point just behind the centre of the dwarf line.
|Fortunately, both the Longbeards and the Hammerers have long since developed the ability to ignore anything younger than them, so they hardly noticed the manticore...|
|The dwarf line.|
Astute readers will have by now formed the question: "but what about the magic phase?"
We did have them, yes.
Both were dismally ineffective.
Anyway, join us next time to see if the dwarfs can recover from the loss of the Averridge Constabulary!