sunnuntai 25. lokakuuta 2015

Hunt for Brokksson Heirlooms

Here comes the third part of my Dwarves' storyline in the form of yet another narrative battle report!

This here scenario was an interesting one, I faintly recall reading something like it in a WH40K scenario collection or similar. 
After deploying our armies we placed six Objective Markers on the field. Each of the Objectives was a 20mm round base with a number between 1-6 painted on the bottom side.
We scrambled the Objectives before placing them so that nobody knew where each number was. Then we rolled a dice to see what was the number of the Objective being hunted. It turned out to be number 2.
After that it's all simple. Any non-cavalry unit that touches an Objective can flip it over and reveal its number. The side that controls Objective #2 (determined by the earlier dice roll) at the end of the 6th Battle Round is declared victorious.

Here's the map:
[One of the Objectives is behind the rock on the right]

Now on to the story!


Thane Brom Alaricsson took a long swig from his mug of ale. The liquid was already cold but it burned his throat comfortably as it made its way down towards his deep belly. Swiping the brown foam off his glorious beard, Brom placed the mug back on its hook in the side of a baggage wagon.
"Alright, lads! Time to move out!" he declared, causing the convoy to burst back into life with the Dwarves getting up and putting away food and drink to return to their duties.
Faster and more disciplined than any Human soldiers could ever manage, the Dwarves were ready to resume travelling.

Thane Alaricsson and his convoy had been delivering supplies to the main body of the Iron Company when they received a message that the Splitstone Mines had been raided days ago. The letter also mentioned the loss of Runepriest Largs Brokksson and his heirloom weapons, a Runestaff and a Forgehammer, while demanding all nearby Dwarf forces to seek revenge for this fresh grudge.
Luckily Borm's convoy had been but half a day's trip from the Mines as it was supposed to be their next resting place and checkpoint. After finding nothing remarkable amid the ruins of the Mines, the Dwarves had followed the greenskin tracks that led away from the scene.

Now they had found a plain where the greenskins had camped only some days ago. Scouts reported that the site was littered with broken and abandoned gear, mostly items looted from the Dwarf corpses at Splitstones. Before the scouts started searching the place, however, they spotted something in the distance.
The greenskins were returning, led by Azgar Swiftgit and his Wolf Riders. A whole warband of orcs marching across the hills, clearly headed for the old greenskin camp.

Leaving their carts, wagons and pack mules in the nearby forest guarded by a few sentries, the main bulk of the convoy was led by Alaricsson to confront the savages.
As the greenskin warband arrayed itself on the hills on the other side of the campsite, Brom realized something.
"They're back for somethin' they left behind! Search the ruins for anythin' valuable! Search for Brokksson Heirlooms!" he bellowed, waving his runic axe towards the heaps of abandoned loot that spotted the old camp.

Surrounded by his Warriors and Thunderers, Thane Alaricsson meant to rush into the middle of the camp to start searching. On the right flank the Grudge Thrower's crew was unpacking their warmachine from its wagon and assembling it under the stern gaze of the convoy's Engineer. 
Unbeknownst to Azgar Swiftgit and his warband, the Dwarves had also sent their unit of Miners to the forests to flank the enemy...

Finally getting their warmachine together the crew started reloading it. While the others were winching the catapult, Engineer Barik Rukhfind worked something on the ammunition rocks with hammer and chisel. It was a grudge. With robust runes there was a single word hammered into the surface of the rocks: "Urk", meaning the larger kind of greenskins.

It was clear that the enemy knew exactly what they were after. Purposefully the Black Orcs surged forward to reach the nearest pile of loot under the nearby rock, shouting insults at the Duardin as well as each other.

Azgar had also been clever enough to bring some ranged support for his warband. A ballista, or "Spear Chukka" as the Goblins called it, had been carried to the site. Giving the exhausted Gobbos no time to repose, the Orc Bully slashed his whip and commanded the assembly of the weapon. Terrified Goblins hurried to obey.

Engineer Barik had finished carving the rocks and one was finally loaded into the catapult. Releasing a lever, the crew sent the gurdge rock arcing through the skies towards the Black Orcs. As the rock neared its target, the runes on its surface started to glow brighter and brighter. When the rock finally hit the ground amid the group of orcs it exploded, sending sharp pieces of glowing stone in every direction.
More than half of the towering orcs were sent flying to the ground, never to rise again.

The Duardin marched forth, eager to meet the foe head-on and search the camp. Warriors on the left flank reached a pile of plunder and scattered it, finding nothing useful or valuable in the process. Instead they found a heap of Goblin dung and a merry array of mushrooms growing atop it.

Azgar Swiftgit signaled his warband to advance, screaming commands none of the Dwarves could comprehend. Orcs Boyz waved their weapons in celebration of the upcoming conflict while the Wolf Riders could barely keep their bloodthirsty wolves at bay.

Another grudge rock came down from the skies to land on the remaining Black Orcs, taking them to the ground in an ear-splitting explosion. The right flank was now clear and the pile of loot behind the rock remained untouched.

Greenskins matched the Dwarves by bringing their own warmachine to bear. A spear-sized bolt whistled past the Wolf Riders to skewer a handful of Thunderers along its length.

At the same time Thane Alaricsson had found cover behind the rock in the middle of the camp while his Warriors rushed into the ruins of an old farmhouse to search it.

Unfortunately before the Duardin Warriors could search any of the loot lying on the floor, the Wolf Riders stormed in with their spears lowered. A furious struggle was to follow as the two sides fought for control of the mossed ruin.

With a full third of their number nailed together by the giant bolt from the Goblin warmachine, some of the remaining Thunderers decided to return to the convoy to help guarding it.

Despite the ferocity of the Goblins' charge and the skills of the Dwarves the fight in the ruins remained unresolved. Heavy axes and hammers brought low many a Goblin, but each such favor was returned by the rusted spears and bloody fangs. Neither side gave up on their objective, instead both redoubled their efforts to hack the other apart to claim the ruin for themselves.

The last of the Thunderers ran to an old crumbled staircase, finding a sack of loot beneath it. Alas, the contains turned out to be nothing more than a collection of bleached Snotling bones, probably used as toothpicks by their larger brethren.

Having wiped out the Black Orcs roaming on the right flank, the Grudge Thrower and its crew turned their attention to the Orc Boyz that swarmed the distant hill. After all, the crew still had rocks with the word "Urk" left among their ammunition. A glowing rock once again flew across the vault of the sky, cutting down a swathe of orcs in an explosion of shattered stone as it landed.

In the ruins of the farmhouse the Wolf Riders were finally getting the upper hand paw. Surrounding the Duardin, the wolves picked the stunty warriors from the line one after another by darting in and out, biting off arms and legs with gaping jaws. Soon there were only the leader of the Dwarf group and his standard bearer left, fighting the enemy back-to-back.

Thane Brom Alaricsson ran around the stone in the middle of the camp to catch the Goblin leader by surprise. Emerging from behind the giant rock, Brom swung his runic axe in a savage upward cut. Startled by this sudden new threat, Azgar Swiftgit was not fast enough to react. The gleaming edge of the exquisite gromril axe cleaved at the Goblin's head through the shabby iron helmet, mutilating an eye and severing an ear.
Azgar fell from the saddle. Rolling on the ground, unconscious, he left a trail of blood on the grass. Before Alaricsson could follow the Goblin Boss to end its misery, the white wolf  jumped on him and wrapped its slavering jaws around his weapon arm. Battering the wolf's bronze helmet with the edge of his shield, the Thane sought to free himself from the beast's grasp.

The Orc Boyz that hadn't died in the Duardin artillery barrage or ran away immediately after it searched a pile of items at the foot of the hill. Nothing of value was discovered, except for a broken orc axe.
"Oi Rotgut, look! Dis looks a lot like me first choppa... ye fink dem gobbos could've stolen it from me hut when me was fightin' the 'umies the other week?" one of the orcs asked the one next to him.
"Nah, if dat was yer first choppa I would've killed ye for possashuun of such a pretty choppa like dat de moment we mets," was the answer, and the search continued.

Half the camp had been searched already with no success on either side. The Brokksson Heirlooms still remained hidden. Both the greenskins and the Dwarves had suffered horrible losses already, with no end for this battle in sight unless someone would soon find the Heirlooms among all the loot littered about.
Despite the current stalemate situation Thane Brom Alaricsson was not concerned: after all, the Dwarves still had their flanking force lurking somewhere nearby, waiting for the perfect time to strike.

When Brom finally managed to push the giant wolf from top of him and was about to get up, he saw that Azgar had recovered from the previous blow already. Half his face a red ruin with blood flooding all over his clothing, the Goblin Boss picked up his sword from the ground.
"Ye ruined me bestest boss hat, you hairy stunty. Now gimme dat shiny metal hat of yers..." the Goblin cackled, wiping the bloody side of his face with a green hand. "Oh, and ye will also gimme dem eyes of yers too, for I seem to has lost one o' mine!"

Thane Alaricsson managed to get up just in time to catch the first slash of Azgar's Git-Cutta with his shield. The second slash came from an unexpected angle instead, finding a gap in the gromril armour of the Dwarf's armpit. The rusty goblin blade cut deep, but not deep enough to slow an experienced warrior like Brom Alaricsson. Lifting his runic axe, the Thane fell upon his adversary with renewed vigor.

After a long and draining fight the last of the Duardin Warriors fell to the ferocity of the wolves and their Goblin riders. Due to their beasts starting to feast upon the corpses of the fallen, the Goblins were unable to search the nearby ruins for valuables.

The steady trade of blows between Azgar and Brom ended up with the Dwarf's runic axe burying itself deep into the side of the Goblin. With a shriek of pain Azgar Swiftgit fell on his knees, his Git-Cutta clattering to the ground. Coming to the rescue of its beloved rider, Azgar's white wolf leaped in once again, picking up the half-dead Goblin and tossing him across the saddle before running off into the distant hills.

Having now defeated his opponent in single combat, Thane Alaricsson walked up to the rock to search the heap of plunder within. No signs of Brokksson Heirlooms to be found there either, but an angry snotling burst forth from the pile, sinking its needle-like teeth into Brom's finger. One axe-swing later the nuisance was gone.

The Orc Boyz had just finished searching the hillside cache when yet another grudge rock fell upon them, slaying all but one confused orc. This sole survivor decided to make a run for it as he was all alone in the field now; the Wolf Riders didn't count as they were nothing but filthy Goblins.

Vengeful for their fallen Warrior brothers-in-arms the Thunderers unleashed a volley of shots, decimating the group of Wolf Riders in a storm of lead as their mounts were gnawing at the corpses on the ground.

The greenskin force was now greatly depleted, with nothing but a single Rider and a faraway warmachine left on the plain. The casualties of the Duardin would also be piled high after the battle, but the current situation seemed to favor them. The Dwarves haven't even called in their flankers yet!

There were two places in the camp that haven't been searched yet: the ruined farmhouse and the huge rock on the right flank. One of them contained the revered Brokksson Heirlooms, but would there be enough time to search them both in the middle of a battle?

The last Wolf Rider charged the Thunderers head-on, screaming "waaagh!" at the top of its lungs. Calmly the Duardin received the charge, stepped aside and battered the little greenskin and its mount to death with the butts of their handguns. Thus only the Goblin warmachine remained on the field to disturb the search.

From the treeline on the right flank, a group of Duardin marched forth. Holding their pickaxe-standard high, the Miners had finally arrived on the field to join the search. First of all they descended upon the cache under the huge rock, finding a large pile of looted weapons...

Would the Brokksson Runestaff and Forgehammer be found among those tools of war?

The answer turned out to be less to the Dwarves's liking. There were lots of different weapons to be found: axes, hammers, swords, spears, guns and even a few pickaxes, but nothing related to the late Runepriest. After collecting the pickaxes for later use, the Miners signaled the rest of the Duardin that the Heirlooms were yet to be found!

Now knowing that the ruined farmhouse was the last possible place for the Brokksson Heirlooms to lay hidden, Thane Alaricsson burst into a run from behind the cover of the rock. As soon as the running Dwarf came into view, the Spear Chukka was aimed at him.

Soon a huge spear-like bolt split the air, seeking to halt the Thane's advance into the ruins. The missile hit home but fortunately the only thing damaged was Brom's fur-lined cloak which the bolt ripped from his shoulders and nailed to the ground.
Relieved to be still alive and kicking, the Thane sprinted the rest of the way to the farmhouse. Scattered all over the overgrown floor was loot of all kinds, both valuable and worthless. 
In the darkest corner of the ruin, however, was bundle of dirty cloth resting against the crumbling wall. Brom Alaricsson picked up the bundle and tore away the rags to reveal a pair of Runespriest's tools: a Runestaff and a Forgehammer.

Lifting the Brokksson Heirlooms high up in the air, Brom rejoiced.
"Look 'ere lads! We've found the family heirlooms of House Brokksson! The grudge is settled!"
Soon the old greenskin camp rang to the sound of Dwarven cheers and shouts as the convoy was brought in along with its ale-wagon, while in the distance rang the faint cracks of a whip as the Orc Bully was goading the Goblins and their warmachine back to the hills.

After a night of celebratory drinking and feasting, the Duardin convoy resumed its trek towards the Iron Company's main encampment. Along with their wagons of supplies they delivered something invaluable to the Dwarves of the main army: the news of a settled grudge.


As nice game as ever, the victor was decided on the last roll of the last Battle Round as my Thane, having survived the Spear Chukka, made a Run-roll of 3" and reached the last Objective Marker just before the game's end. I always like to say that the best matches are the ones that are decided on the final rolls and decisions of the very last rounds. This was proved to be true once again!

My next post shall be on my painting progress, I'll see about more Narrative Battle Reports after that.

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