maanantai 16. marraskuuta 2015

Caravan Calamity!

Hi there everyone!

After a small break I'm back again with yet another unique Narrative Battle Report. This time the adventure saw my Dwarven caravan being ambushed by some vicious Night Goblins!

The scenario was one of the most exciting I've yet played in AoS: my Dwarves had four Supply Wagons in the middle of the board, surrounded by some thick terrain as shown in the picture above. I deployed first, my Nigh Goblin opponent second.
Each of the Supply Wagons had 8 Wounds (no saves) and Movement value equal to that of the closest unit. My objective was to protect the Wagons by holding the attackers back until the end of the game (6 Battle Rounds), while the Goblins tried to destroy as many Wagons as they could. The Victory Point score was calculated in the battle's end as follows:
-a Wagon with 5-8 Wounds left = +D3 points to the Dwarves
-a Wagon with 1-4 Wounds left = +1 point to the Goblins
-a Wagon destroyed (0 Wounds left) = +D3 points to the Goblins

The game started with the attackers going first automatically as the Goblin player triggered his ambush. Now let's see how it went down!


"Finally! I'z been waitin' long enough!" Urzy da Sneaky 'Un rejoiced as the Duardin caravan emerged from the nearby forest, slowly snaking its way around the hills that filled the landscape. He dragged himself on his belly down the small hill he had used for spotting the enemy. At last his ingeniously constructed ambush would be put to work.
It had taken a lot of time and patience to convince his troops into hiding. Some idiots in the sorry lot he called his warband just didn't understand the element of surprise. Luckily he had worked everything out just in time, and now all that careful planning and head-bashing was finally about to pay off.

Urzy got up at the foot of the hill, well out of Dwarven sight, and snatched his sword and shield from the ground. The enemy would soon be in position. With an evil grin on his ugly face, he waved his gnarled green hand to give his forces the signal to advance. Da Sneaky 'Un then vanished back into the shadow of the nearby hill to enjoy the show.

Thane Snaddri Roreksson was leading his caravan across the hilly lands with a light mind. Although warily eyeing every rock and patch of forest in his field of vision, Snaddri knew the worst part of their trek had already passed. Now that they were clear of that terrible dark forest, the rest of the way to the army's main encampment was easy going. News of the recent victory over the local greenskins and the recovery of ancestral weapons had spread throughout the land like wildfire, reaching Roreksson's caravan only two weeks after the mentioned battle.
With the greenskins now put back to order and reinforced patrols sweeping the land, the Iron Company could prepare for its upcoming grand offensive in relative peace. The sole purpose of this massive attack was to reclaim the lands lost to the growing greenskin horde and to drive the beasts back into the sea from which they had come with their invading fleet only months ago.
Snaddri's caravan was one of the many that delivered supplies to the main camp to bolster the preparations for the offensive. Weapons, food, tools, whetstones, oil, nails, gunpowder and (of course) ale were laden in the four wagons that were his responsibility.

Suddenly, there was a sound that the battle-hardened Thane could have recognized anywhere, any time.
The over-enthusiastic screams of a Goblin mob!

From behind the nearest forest, a cackling Goblin Shaman emerged with a band of screaming Night Goblins!

All around the Dwarven caravan Night Goblins ran into the open from their hiding places, a murderous gleam in their beady yellow eyes. As the trap was sprung two Goblin Fanatics were released from the edge of the forest, both of them swinging about them with enormous balls and chains!

Picking up speed and momentum, the Fanatics spinned their way to the closest wagon. With an echoing crash the wagon shook, loosing a wheel and a large portion of its wooden frame. Clattering to the ground were the weapons loaded into the wagon, falling out of the huge gap in the wagon's side.
Thane Roreksson was speechless. This sudden attack seemed to be far better planned than any Goblin should have managed! The Fanatics laying waste to one of his wagons didn't lie, though, the ambushers were all Night Goblins. Ancestral hate building up inside him, the Thane unslung his trusty battle hammer from his belt and shouted a command to his caravan guards to take up defensive positions.

With drilled precision the Dwarves guarding the caravan formed up defensive lines around their wagons, moving into positions that would allow them to counter any threats to their supplies. 
Thane Roreksson left the security of the caravan in the hands of his subordinates, deciding to teach these filthy greenskins a lesson or two by himself! Gesturing towards the spearmob of Night Goblins that ran from behind the nearby forest, Snaddri charged in waving his heirloom hammer.

Dwarf Warriors broke from their marching formation to protect the caravan from the Squig Hoppers that were closing in alarmingly fast. Without hesitation or concern for their own lives the Warriors charged the Squig Hoppers, their hearts bursting with anger for this insolent greenskin ambush!

At the head of the caravan the Thunderers of Karak Izor took careful aim and drew back the locks of their guns, while their leader Olaf swung out his twin pistols from their holsters.

All around the site of ambush the echoing bangs of handgun volleys could be heard as the caravan guards opened fire. On the right flank of the caravan the Thunderers of Clan Bronzebeard dispatched the wagon-wracking Fanatics with a few carefully aimed shots before they could cause any more havoc!

On the left flank Olaf's Thunderers filled the air with thick smoke and agonized screams as their volley scythed down the black-hooded ambushers with terrifying ease. Olaf spun his pistols around his trigger fingers before emptying the barrels into the mass of Goblins, adding to the fearsome tally the first volley had already taken on their enemies.

A mighty crash came up from the impact between the charging Warriors and the sped-up Squig Hoppers as the two units threw themselves into the fight. Axes and fang-filled mouths swinged about as shields cracked and mushroom-beasts were cut in twain. Although the squigs' powerful jaws could bite through shield, flesh and bone, the ferocity of the angered Dwarves proved equally destructive. Horrendous casualties were suffered on both sides but it seemed that the Warriors were getting the upper hand.

Snaddri Roreksson rammed into the mob of Goblins like a bearded thunderbolt, turning the first enemy's head into red jelly with a savage upward swing from his hammer. Appalled by the speed and vigour of the Thane, the Goblin spearwall broke back into an undisciplined mob. None of the greenskins could find a weak spot in the Dwarf's mail shirt with their crooked spears.

The Dwarves' quick reaction and drilled ambush-countering had done their job. Terrified Goblins fled the battle all around the caravan, with the Squig Hoppers running for their lives in the face of the Warriors' fury and some speargoblins deciding not to stay in the line being shot at any longer!

Having driven off the Squig Hoppers, the Warriors returned to their defensive positions at the caravan. Despite their losses and some sweat, they were still eager to receive whatever the vicious Goblins would throw at them next!

Olaf's Thunderers quickly reloaded and unloaded their guns again, felling Goblins as effortlessly as last time. One Goblin refused to succumb to the shots, though. Peeking from behind his battered and hole-filled shield, the single Goblin locked its eyes on the damaged wagon. "Oooh, shiny stuff!" it whispered to itself, admiring the gleaming steel weapons on the ground next to the wagon.

The Bronzebeard Thunderers turned their attention to the Urzy da Sneaky 'Un sneaking about behind the nearby patch of forest. As they drew back the locks and took aim, it seemed as though the Goblin was fading from sight, blending into the shadows. Despite this peculiar illusion, the Bronzebeards let off a volley. Most of the shots found nothing but empty air, but one made contact with Urzy as the puff of blood in the air undeniably proved.
An agonized shout of pain and rage escaped Da Sneaky 'Un's lips.

"Damn those Shammanz, I's gonna get dere heads after dis. 'You's gonna be all sneaky,' dey says! 'You's gonna be all mighty hard to hits,' dey says!", he cursed as the hole on his side began bleeding badly. 
The robe he'd received from his court of five Shamans, "Da Bloody Moons", was supposed to make him blend to the shadows, as fit for someone with such a sneaky name like his. Now that he was bleeding from a shot wound despite his all-sneaky robe, he was sure to bash some heads when he got back to his camp. Luckily he had one of the Bloody Moons with him so he could start the beating on the way to the camp already!

The Goblins surrounded Thane Snaddri, trying to get behind him to bring their overwhelming number to bear, but the Dwarf fought on resolutely. From behind his shield Roreksson could swing his hammer safely in wide arcs, keeping the greenskins at a comfortable distance.

Tossing a Mad Cap Mushroom in his fanged little mouth, the Bloody Moon Shaman started chewing enthusiastically. With every bite he could feel the magical properties of the mushroom feed his powers. Raising his staff towards the skies, the Shaman started to mumble words of power. Unfortunately a piece of mushroom had stuck under his tongue, causing him to mispronounce one of the words, and the spell fizzled.

So far the Dwarves were not too concerned about the safety of their caravan. Most of the attackers had been slain or driven off already, and their Thane was finishing up the rest of the Goblins rather quickly. Still, having been trained to always expect the worst, the Duardin did not slack in their duty. Keeping their positions tightly around the caravan, they eyed the hills and forests for any signs of new threats...

Talk of the Devil and he will appear! From behind the caravan a group of Squig Hoppers emerged and started towards the wagons, provoking their mounts to even greater speeds while shouting insults at the Dwarves!
On the left hill a forest of iron-tipped boughs appeared, carried by yet more screaming Night Goblins. The Warriors watched grimly as these new enemies entered the battle.
"Ooight lads, this 'ere day's going to be a long one!" the leader of the Warriors stated, spitting on the ground.
"Protect the ale wagon!"

With the arrival of these greenskin reinforcements, the Duardin were surrounded. Although battle fatigue had yet to take its toll on the caravan guards, things were suddenly starting to look very grim.

Chewing up yet another Mad Cap Mushroom, the Bloody Moon Shaman tried his spell anew. Powered by the potent magical energy from the mushroom he lifted his staff towards the skies again, this time resulting in a crack of thunder that echoed throughout the field. Preceded by a giant flash of green light in the sky, the clouds opened and a huge greenish-glowing bolt surged down upon the unfortunate caravan. 
Shaped like a large moon sickle with a grinning Goblin face, the green bolt struck the weapon wagon at the head of the caravan, exploding half of it into tiny bits of timber. From there the bolt leaped into the second wagon, containing food, and blew off one of the wheels. After visiting death upon Olaf's Thunderers the bolt finally ended up crashing into the side of the tool wagon, sending oil rags, hammers, pickaxes, nails and bits of rope flying in every possible direction.

Content with his accomplishment the Shaman smiled, reaching into his robe's hidden pockets for some more Mad Cap.

Encouraged by the impressive lightning show their Shaman had put up, the reinforcing spearmob advanced on the hill, eager to get their gnarled green hands on the caravan's supplies.

Before Dwarf Warriors could react, the Squig Hoppers did something awe-inspiring. Having provoked their mounts into over-excitement, the Squigs and their Hoppers launched up in the longest leap any mortal being could ever achieve, crashing into the tool wagon one after another like a furious volley of fanged cannonballs!

The third Mad Cap the Shaman ate was one too many in such a short time. Starting to hallucinate, the Bloody Moon waggled about in circles and mumbled some mumbo-jumbo that nobody could comprehend. To the Goblins this was nothing new, as in their eyes Shamans were always odd and incomprehensible.

The single Goblin that had survived the volleys of Olaf's Thunderers that wiped out his mob saw its chance and sprinted. With the newly emerged Goblins all around them, the Thunderers didn't pay attention to one Gobbo sprinting about. Lowering its spear on the run in the fashion of those fancy " 'Ooman kniggits" it had seen once in its pesky life, the little git lanced into the side of the wagon with all the strength it could muster.

All of the caravan's wagons had been damaged except for one. The Warriors did their best to shield the last unscathed wagon from harm as Goblins charged into the caravan all around them. This last wagon contained their most precious cargo: a dozen barrels of Bugman's XXXXXXXX, the best ale in the whole world!

Seeking revenge for his wound, Urzy da Sneaky 'Un charged his shooters. The Bronzebeard Thunderers tried to take aim and stop their attacker dead in his tracks, but Urzy faded from sight on the run, each time appearing a little closer before fading away again. Before anyone could take a sure shot, da Sneaky 'Un was already in their midst!
Confused and practically unarmed, the Thunderers hacked at the Goblin Boss with the buts of their guns, but to no avail. Blocking each enemy blow, Urzy then swung at the Dwarves with his sword, bellowing insults. Luckily the Dwarf-forged armour protected its wearers and the Thunderers surrounded the particularly brave Goblin to batter him down.

Having wedged its spear sturdily between two planks in the weapon wagon's side, the solo Goblin pushed at the shaft with burning fervor. Without even the basic knowledge of leverage or such, the little git toppled the broken wagon, spreading the remaining weapons on the ground. Climbing atop the ruin, the little Gobbo waved its spear and screamed out in triumph!

Hearing the clatter of steel as the weapon wagon fell over, Snaddri concluded that there was something alarming going on at the caravan. Hastening his bloody work, the Thane swung a wide side-ward arc with his warhammer, caving in heads and spreading brains across the green grass.

The Dwarf Thane's fury was too much for the Goblins to withstand, and many of them broke and ran with heavy hammerblows and cracking of skulls ringing in their ears.

The Bloody Moon Shaman still had his tongue numb from the earlier bad mushroom so he couldn't summon up the powers needed for another spell. Bashing his own head with his staff the Goblin magician tried to clear his thoughts and regain his senses, but nothing seemed to work.

Seeing their chance in the small gap between Olaf's Thunderers and the Dwarf Warriors, the recently arrived spearmob charged into one of the wagons! 
In the rear of the caravan the Squig Hoppers were laying waste to the tool wagon. Squigs ran amok, tearing out chunks of the wagon's wooden frame and wheels while the Goblins atop them pulled at the canvas that was meant to protect the tools from weather. Boxes of nails and piles of tools fell to the ground as the wagon shook and was about to collapse.

The spearmob charged the food wagon, tearing the protective canvas with their spears and pulling out baskets of bread, bundles of meat and barrels of salt. Some of the food was eaten immediately while the rest was stomped to the ground with malicious laughter.

Knowing that his caravan was now suffering badly, Thane Snaddri swung his hammer one final time, sending the broken bodies of his enemies sprawling to the ground. With a shout of rage he turned about and headed back to the caravan to save what he could!

The triumphant wagon-toppling Gobbo, having now honored himself with the self-proclaimed title of "the Toppler", charged into the food wagon as it saw all the fun his brethren were having while plundering it. Letting out a high-pitched shout of joy, the Doom of Wagons rammed its puny weapon in the side if the wagon, hoping to repeat its earlier feat.

The tool wagon finally succumbed to the destruction wrought upon it by the Squig Hoppers, spreading its content on the muddy trail. In an act of desperate redemption, the Warriors threw themselves into these Goblins and their mushroom-beasts, hoping to claim the lives of these savages for what they had done.

Olaf led his Thunderer into the closest spearmob with guns blazing, interrupting the plunder-happy Goblins and their feast of stolen goods. None would touch their food, especially not these dirty green sods! Hacking furiously with their gun-buts, the Thunderers managed to drive the Goblins away from the supplies, at least momentarily.

Letting out his fuming rage Urzy da Sneaky 'Un plunged his rusty sword into the chest of a Bronzebeard Thunderer. While pulling his weapon out from the corpse, however, he took a painful hit in the back of his head from a reinforced handle of a Dwarven gun!

Roreksson noticed the Bloody Moon Shaman trying to begin its foul conjurations once more and headed towards this magic-powered maniac. Pointing his hammer towards the Shaman, Snaddri bellowed out a challenge. All the Goblin did in response was reveal its fangs in a spiteful grin and continue the spell.

Angered by the blow in the head, Urzy flew into a killing-frenzy. Hacking and slashing and stabbing with his blade, Da Sneaky 'Un dispatched his quarries in a flurry of blows! Not even their superior armour could save the Thunderers from such volume of cuts and slashes.

In the rear of the caravan the Warriors hacked down the Squig Hoppers, exacting bloody revenge for the destroyed tool wagon! Their counter-attack was not completed without casualties, though, as Dwarves fell to the gaping maws of the Goblins' round mounts, the immense strength of their jaws grinding shields and bones apart with every bite.

The horror of war took its toll on both sides as the surviving Bronzebeard escaped the Goblin Boss hacking at his friends' corpses in blind rage. The remaining Squig Hoppers also thought the better of it and ran from the fight against the vengeful Warriors that reclaimed the possession of the ruined tool wagon.

Finishing his mushroom-powered mutterings the Shaman unleashed his spell once again. The skies cracked from thunder and split in a flash of green, delivering yet another crooked moon bolt upon the sorry caravan.

The bolt landed right on top of Snaddri Roreksson, who barely managed to jump to the side from under the grinning spectral moon. There was a green explosion as the bolt impacted on the ground, burning half of the Thane's face despite the protection of his visored helmet. From there the bolt jumped towards the food wagon, burning "the Toppler" to crisp on the way. The wagon shook and crashed to the ground as it lost its final wheel. Before finally dissipating the crooked moon bolt still claimed the lives of two spearmob Goblins that happened to be standing on top of the food wagon and charred the surface of the ale wagon behind it.

Having dealt with the Bronzebeard Thunderers, Urzy now turned his attention to the embattled food wagon. Letting out a blood-chilling shriek, Da Sneaky 'Un ran to the wagon and hacked at the supporting beam using the same rage he had slain the Thunderers with.

Not long could the wagon's frame withstand such an assault, and with a loud crash the wagon collapsed, covering the ground with flour, bread, meat and salt.

Realizing that Olaf's Thunderers where badly outnumbered, the Warriors clambered over the ruins of their caravan to lend aid to their friends.

Far behind the caravan, from the dark forest they had come only recently to walk straight into a Goblin ambush, something emerged...
It was a patrol of Iron Company Rangers! Immediately taking in the situation at the site of battle, the Rangers surged forward in an attempt to reach the beleaguered caravan.

Lifting their crossbows and letting fly a concentrated volley of bolts, the Rangers sought to affect the flow of the battle. The rain of bolts pattered down upon the spearmob, pin-cushioning the Goblins' unprotected backs!

Having survived the foul spell the Shaman had called down upon him, Snaddri sprinted towards the spellcaster to end his conjurings forever.

Confused by the casualties the Rangers had inflicted upon them and getting stuck between the charging Warriors and Olaf's stalwart Thunderers, the spearmob was easy prey. A brief moment of slaughter commenced, with all the Goblins being hacked down mercilessly by the tidal wave of furious beards! In their panicked death-throes the Goblins managed to take one of Olaf's gunners with them, piling upon the poor Thunderer before getting cut to pieces themselves.

Before the Bloody Moon Shaman could even lift his vicious sickle to block, Thane Roreksson had caved in his green head with one clean, fury-fueled swing of his ancestral warhammer!
The Shaman fell limply on the grassy ground, a pool of blood quickly forming around the mess that used to be his head. Looking with disgust at the decorated staff that lay next to the Shaman's body, Snaddri brought his hammer down on the foul artefact, crushing it into splinters.
"That should do the job," he muttered, spitting on the Shaman's broken tool before returning to his damaged caravan.

Urzy da Sneaky 'Un beheld all this from the top of the ruined food wagon with round eyes.
"Ooooh bugga..." he said faintly as every angered Dwarven face on the field turned their attention to him.

Hopping down from the wagon, Urzy ran for his life. Olaf and his Thunderers followed the Goblin to the edge of the caravan and took aim. Again, Urzy's form begun to blur as he blended with the shadows around him, making it difficult to take a sure shot. The Thunderers fired a volley nevertheless, and one gunner hit home.
Da Sneaky 'Un's shoulder exploded in a shower of blood as one of the shots found its mark. Fighting through the pain to retain his balance, the Goblin Boss continued his flight.

One more volley came from the Thunderers along with a hail of Rangers' bolts from the distance, but none of these missiles reached the Sneaky of Sneakiest anymore.

Although losing his entire warband and carrying horrible wounds himself, Urzy had effectively destroyed the Dwarven caravan and escaped with his life! What more could a Goblin ask for?

Letting his gaze sweep over the battered remains of his caravan, Thane Snaddri Roreksson's mind was filled with sorrow. No weapons, food nor tools from his caravan would ever reach the main camp.
Casualties were piled high, and the only solace was the fact that they had obliterated the entire ambushing Goblin warband, along with one Shaman.

As the survivors of the ambush gathered around their last wagon, Thane Roreksson spoke out.
"At least it's the wagon of Bugman's XXXXXXXX the green filth left for us despite destroying everything else. The other supplies will have to be left here, the ale wagon's damaged and can't support any extra weight. Gather up whatever you can carry and we'll be on our way, the Rangers will escort us back to the main camp."

The caravan guards started picking up weapons, sacks and barrels from the ground while Snaddri took off his blackened steel helmet. Combing his sweat-matted hair with his thick fingers, the Thane looked up into the skies.
"By Grimnir, I hope the offensive starts soon. The greenskins deserve to be driven to the deep seas!" he muttered to himself, touching the burned half of his face with a gloved hand.


A close game, like always!
The tide of battle swung back and forth, but in the end my Dwarves lost 5 to 3 in Victory Points!
I rolled 3 Points for the value of my remaining wagon, while my opponent rolled a 1 for the first destroyed wagon, a 1 for the second and.... a 3 for the last. Dammit!

Luckily I got to wipe out his warband and kill that annoying Shaman. That "Curse of the Bad Moon" spell was extremely nasty in the close confines of my caravan!

As the dust settled over the battlefield, I think both me and my opponent felt like winners, although it was the greenskins that were the victors by the rules of the scenario :)

Of the four Narrative Battle Report games we've played between us, I've won only a single one (the Hunt for Brokksson Heirlooms). The greenskins are truly dangerous foes!

From now on we'll begin to head towards some bigger games in this storyline, slowly but surely. The aim is to finally stage a huge battle between his Waaagh! Urgokh and my Iron Company!
It will still take a bunch of Narrative Battle Reports to get us there, but it is a promise :)

For those who feel interested in the other side of this narrative (in other words, the greenskin version) I present a link to a bunch of texts that'll tell you what Waaagh! Urgokh is all about and how our games have affected them:

'Till next time!

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