tiistai 8. joulukuuta 2015

Battle for Grot's Crossing


Here comes my 7th Narrative Battle Report, featuring the Dwarves of the Iron Company against the greenskins of Waaagh Urgokh!

The scenario was designed to be fast-paced and intense, with a river flowing across the table and a bridge in the middle.

The Attackers (Dwarves) had to push through the Goblin defenses across the river, as the side that had a larger percentage of their army's Wounds on the Defender's side of the river at the end of Battle Round 6 claimed victory.
In addition to the bridge, there was an alternative crossing point along the river. A Dangerous Ford, which caused any model that moved across it to roll a D6. On a roll of 4+ the model was caught in the current and washed downstream, taking no further part in the game.

The Attacker deployed at least 12" away from the bridge, while the Defender could deploy anywhere in his own side. The Attacker went first.

Let us delve into the narrative, shall we?


It was hot. The sun had been baking the Dwarf column since the moment it had risen into the cloudless sky. The fact that his vanguard force had been marching non-stop for the past day and night didn't help Thane Thorlek Durragsson at all.
Their mission was to spearhead the Iron Company offensive that had been launched to drive the greenskins from the region, eliminating enemy outposts and patrols that they came across. Now there was a fast-flowing river ahead, halting the Duardin advance.

Durragsson's vanguard had found an old bridge beside a shallow ford, a perfect place to get an army across quickly. The only downside was that the place was guarded by a Goblin warband!

Not wanting to waste any more time, Thane Thorlek arranged his vanguard to a battle formation.
"Aaight, lads! The Iron Company needs to get o'er this here river fast, to continue the offensive and push deeper into the greenskin territory before the enemy even knows we're comin'. Ready yer axes, we're going swiftly across that bridge like a brisk mountain wind!", the Thane bellowed.
Handguns were loaded, crossbows winded and weapons drawn. The battle for Grot's Crossing was about to begin.

In the Goblin lair on the other side of the river a dark figure was whirling near the treeline of a forest. Bits of timber and the occasional dismembered squirrel flew in the air as Gorlag Stuntiedoom vented his rage, laying about him with his twin choppas.
After his victory over the Dwarves in the Battle of the Hollow Hill, the huge orc's luck had turned. His warband had been assigned nothing but useless patrols and other filthy errands worthy of a Gobbo. On top of that, some Goblin Boss had taken away his warband by defeating him in single combat while claiming his favourite big choppa as a trophy!
Left without followers and being forced to kill a by-passing orc boy to acquire new weapons, Stuntiedoom was then sent to guard some remote river crossing with a bunch of lackwit Goblins.

Hearing his new green minions giggling maniacally while poking at something smaller than themselves (propably another squirrel) instead of their duties made Gorlag even more frustrated. Hacking apart a few more tree trunks, he was interrupted by one of the Goblins.

"Err, boss... We's seein' sumfin across da river. Might be stunties for da look of dem...", the hooded Gobbo managed, covering behind its crossed sword and bow.
"Wut?! Stunties 'ere?!! Show me where, NOW!!!" Stuntiedoom roared, swinging his choppas so that the Goblin had to duck if it didn't wish to get decapitated.
"T-t-there boss, r-right across dat river uvver dere..." the git stammered, pointing a green finger towards the Duardin that were arranging on the hills behind the bridge.

"Get da gits ready, Itchy, we's gonna bash sum 'eads... hew hew hew," Gorlag chuckled and Itchy the Archer hurried to obey.

As soon as the Goblin assistant's delivered command reached the others, the greenskin camp burst to life. Spears and shields were snatched from the piles they were stored in and campfires were extinguished by dipping a Snotling in the river and throwing it into the fire. Soon a spearmob poured out from the forest to take up defensive positions at the bridge, crooked spears and ramshackle shields forming a primitive fighting formation.

Itchy arranged his Archers along the riverbank with kicks and curses, ready to pepper the enemy with bowfire. Before any of the Goblins managed to get an arrow out of their quiver, however, the field rang to the sound of a handgun volley. Puffs of blood erupted along the river, reddening the water as Itchy's Archers were blown apart, leaving only Itchy alive.

Soon after came a rain of missiles from the Quarrellers on the eastern hill, pouring down upon the spearmob guarding the bridge. Small moon-decorated shields were raised, catching the bolts before they could reach the Goblins.

Under this heavy covering fire the first regiment of warriors, the Finlar's Finest, raised their shields to create a tortoise formation, protecting them from enemy missiles. The Dwarves stomped forward determinedly behind their shields, sacrificing speed for safety.
Thane Durragsson walked beside is warriors, ready to lead the charge on the bridge.

"Oi, look at dat big shiny boss hat!", one of the Spear Chukka's crew pointed to its college.
"Oh yus! Dat's one biggest stuntie glow hat I's ever seen," the other admired, turning the warmachine to face the Thane.
A large spear-like bolt was loaded into the thrower, winched back and released. The Goblin crew held their breath as the bolt traveled in the air, arcing towards Durragsson. Unfortunately the bolt merely scratched a pauldron in a cloud of parks, resulting in angered shouts and hisses from the Spear Chukka's crew but no real harm to the lucky Thane.

Boiling with anger for the loss of his Archers, Itchy nocked an arrow to his shortbow and took aim.
"I's gonna take down dat big hat stunty boss..." the Gobbo mused, releasing his bow with a twang.
The puny arrow couldn't even make it across the river, splashing into the current instead.

Laughing at the failure of the Spear Chukka, the Doom Diver crew let fly their own missile: a Goblin with a pair of wings strapped on its back!
Passing above Gorlag Stuntiedoom who was making his way to the carnage, the little Goblin Diver flew across the river in one great swoop. Taking aim at the Dwarf Warriors that were approaching the ford, the Goblin narrowed its beady eyes.
Just before its gaze got locked on to the target, the Diver saw something far more interesting instead... A big mushroom growing in the side of the western hill!
Oh how big it was, and tall, a real king of the mushrooms, the Goblin thought, directing his course towards the hill.
With one last swoop the hungry Diver crashed into the side of the hill, holding its mouth wide open and died happily holding in its cracked teeth the biggest mushroom of them all.

Having suffered no casualties thus far, Thorlek's vanguard pushed the advantage. The Finlar's Finest were making their way slowly towards the bridge, while Hadrin's Hewers approached the ford with intents to cross it.
The combined firepower of Thunderers and Quarrellers scythed down Goblins at the bridge, punching holes in the crooked spearwall as bullets and bolts took their toll.

Itchy tried again to return fire, this time getting his arrow fly over the river... only to see it miss the Thane by several feet. Irritated screams of an angry Gobbo rang along the riverbanks.
Never minding the lone Goblin archer, Thane Thorlek waved his men forth on to the bridge. 

The Spear Chukka was more lucky, however, sending a giant bolt straight into Hadrin's Hewers to impale several Dwarves along the length of the missile. Hadrin's warriors seemed oblivious to their losses, running towards the foaming ford with grim determination.

Soon Duardin warriors were pouring across the river to the greenskin side, Hadrin's Hewers at the ford and Finlar's Finest on the bridge. Goblin resistance seemed weak with the many casualties the Dwarves had inflicted upon them.
Watching the stunties cross his river so effortlessly made Gorlag angry, but he had enough wits about him to remain hidden behind a large rock until the most opportune moment...

The Thunderers gave no respite to the defenders of Grot's Crossing, descending from their hill to get off better shots from the riverbank. Itchy the Archer was the first to feel the effects of this maneuver as a volley of shots ripped the puny Goblin apart, his broken body falling into the river with a splash.

The Goblins'  ordeals were not even nearly over, as yet another volley of bolts pattered on the bridge taking a few unwary Goblins to meet their makers. Once more the spearmob tightened its ranks, resolving not to give way to the avalanche of beards that was soon about to sweep over them.

At the ford something disastrous happened. While crossing the dangerous slippery ford, nearly half of Hadrin's Hewers were caught in the strong current and washed downstream! Shouts for help filled the air as warriors swirled in the river before vanishing beneath the surface, pulled under by the weight of their famous dwarf-forged armour.

Suddenly the situation seemed a little brighter for the greenskins. With a great portion of their enemy's strength wiped off by the natural barrier, it would be much easier to blunt the assault altogether. Or would it...?

Thane Durragsson rammed into the Goblin Spearwall swinging his runic axe, followed by the Finlar's Finest. With mighty sweeps of his weapon the Thane cleared way for the Duardin, cleaving apart shields and Grots alike. Although the whole spearmob was soon reduced to a bloody pile of mutilated Goblin corpses, the standard bearer still endured.
With only a single Goblin blocking their advance, Finlar's Finest would surely reach the opposite riverbank soon.
Parrying each incoming axe and hammer with his rusty sword, the Goblin decided to hold the enemy on the bridge as long as it could, playing time for the greeskin warmachines to reduce the enemy's numbers.

Now it was the Dwarves' turn to take a few casualties. With the Duardin advance having great troubles at both the bridge and the ford, Goblin warmachines let fly their deadly payloads. A few spear-like bolts whistling past were enough for some of the Hewers to make a run for it, scrambling out of the ford to find some safety on solid ground.

The next Doom Diver Goblin to soar across the skies found its target instead of mushrooms, crashing down onto the Thunderers and taking a couple of Dwarves with him into the dirt!

Dozens of Duardin axes bearing down upon it, the standard bearing Goblin succumbed to the blows that beat it to the ground. With nothing blocking their way, Durragsson and the Finlar's Finest surged forth onto the enemy ground!

At the ford Hadrin's Hewers lost a couple of warriors more to the treacherous river before gaining a foothold on the opposite bank. Having nothing to fire at, the Thunderers started towards the ford to get to the other side and reinforce the greatly reduced numbers of the Hewers, while the Quarrellers stood their ground on the eastern hill, following the events unfold.
Letting out a bellow of rage, Gorlag Stuntiedoom finally emerged from behind the large rock, charging towards the Finlar's Finest with his choppas swinging in the air. Thane Thorlek felt ancestral hatred building up in his heart and ran to meet the towering orc in single combat!

The two warlords ran straight into each other, Gorlag whirling his choppas with wild abandon. Ducking the orc's crude weapons, Thorlek punched his adversary in the belly with the tip of his axe. Thus interrupting Gorlag's attack, the Thane sent an upwards blow at the orc's head, cleaving away the helm and a part of a green chin.
As if nothing had happened, Stuntiedoom kicked his opponent's runic weapon aside and headbutted the Thane right in between the eyes. Staggered by the hit, Durragsson never saw the twin choppas coming before one of them buried itself in his flank. Although his exquisite armour absorbed most of the blow, he felt a couple of his ribs break, such was the strength of the orc boss.
The Thane's return blow was unforgiving, his runic axe carving away a large chunk of Gorlag's thigh, cutting to the bone.

As the two leaders hacked away at each other, the Goblin warmachines managed to kill a lone Hadrin's Hewer by nailing him into the ground with a giant bolt. Doom Divers were diverted by a strong wind (or delicious mushrooms) so that none of them hit the Finlar's Finest, who had formed a testudo at the end of the bridge.
Heralded by hungry howls and enthusiastic Goblin screams, more greenskins arrived from the nearby forest...

It was a group of Wolf Riders! While returning from their foraging with saddle bags full of mushrooms and squirrels, the Riders had heard the sounds of the battle back at their camp. Racing back to the river crossing, they discovered their fellow greenskins under heavy pressure of the Dwarven assault and immediately launched a furious charge at the Finlar's Finest.

Durragsson and Stuntiedoom were still trading blows in the middle of the battle, neither one managing to get the upper hand.
All of a sudden a giant bolt whistled past Gorlag's head, striking deep into the chest of the Thane. He was dead before he hit the ground.
As Thorlek Durragsson lay before him, impaled by a spear, Stuntiedoom could control his all-consuming rage no longer. The gits had stolen his kill!
Letting out a mighty roar of "WAAAGH!!!" the orc boss turned about and started towards Hadrin's Hewers with his deeply cut leg flooding blood as he went.

Like a thunderbolt Gorlag struck into the unprepared Hewers, slaughtering them in a swirl of bloody choppas. The first one to fall was the musician, cut in twain, while the standard bearer got his head split by a sideward blow. Last one to fall was Hadrin himself, his Hewers already laying dead at his feet. Before he departed to feast with his ancestors, however, the brave Dwarf smashed his hammer into the ugly scarred face of Gorlag Stuntiedoom, cracking teeth and possibly causing some serious brain damage.
Left with no opponents to hack at anymore, Gorlag kept roaring and bashing the dead bodies on the ground, such was his wrath.

The Wolf Riders slammed into the Dwarven shield formation, breaking it apart with the momentum of their charge and cutting down bearded warriors with their lowered spears. Finlar's Finest were not so easily overcome, though, and they quickly spread out to surround the enemy cavalry and strike back. The tactic seemed to work rather well, with several Goblins being torn down from their mounts and mercilessly bludgeoned to death.

Although the greenskins had received some lucky reinforcements from the foraging party, the situation seemed dire. Many Dwarves had crossed the river and more were on their way, ready to wrench the control of Grot's Crossing away from Stuntiedoom's green hands. The Wolf Riders had perhaps postponed the inevitable, but would they be enough to stem the tide of Duardin altogether?

The foaming ford caused even more trouble to Durragsson's vanguard as the Thunderers were crossing the river. Everyone but the unit leader was washed downstream on the river's furious waters, effectively robbing the Dwarves of their remaining gunpowder firearms.

Gorlag Stuntiedoom paused his corpse-bashing long enough to make eye contact with the Thunderer leader. That brief gaze from those charcoal eyes was enough to unsettle the Dwarf, sending him running to the forests for safety!

Meanwhile the Finlar's Finest were locked in furious combat with the wolves and their riders. Slavering jaws bit off arms and ripped throats, while the Duardin warriors were tightening their grip on the enemy and dragging down yet another Goblin rider to be butchered at ground level. It seemed that after the momentum of the charge had dissipated the Wolf Riders would soon be overcome.

Seeing the destruction of both Hadrin's Hewers and the Thunderers, the Quarrellers finally decided to join the fray. Running down the eastern hill, they hoped to reach the bridge in time to lend support to Finlar's Finest in their final push onto the greenskin side of the river.

Feeling no empathy for their kin in the swirling melee, the Spear Chukka's crew carelessly aimed and fired their war engine into the mass of bodies, skewering one of the Finest and miraculously not hitting anything friendly!

At last the combat at the foot of the bridge came into a conclusion, with the Wolf Riders laying slain on the bloody ground and Finlar's Finest gathering up to reform their shield formation.

Having killed or scared away anything killable at the ford, Gorlag Stuntiedoom limped towards the bridge.
"I's... gonna... rip... yer... 'eadz... off!" he panted, dragging his badly wounded leg behind him.
For a moment the Quarrellers considered loosing a volley of bolts at the orc warboss, but thought the better of it and kept running to reach the bridge in time to reinforce the warriors on the other side.

Before Finlar's Finest could regroup into a proper formation, the Goblin warmachines poured missiles upon the hapless Dwarves.
A Doom Diver Goblin crushed a warrior as it descended from the skies, while a giant spear impaled a few more as the Spear Chukka let fly its ammunition. So shocking was this bombardment that a couple of the Finest abandoned their duties and vanished into the woods.

Forming a shieldwall and bracing against any further warmachine fire, the warriors began marching towards the enemy artillery, seeking to cut them down.
The Quarrellers were already on the bridge when they came to a sudden halt, the Dwarves in the back crashing against those before them. Noticing that Stuntiedoom had managed to limp his way in between them and Finlar's Finest, the Quarrellers resolved not to push any further. They had seen the boundless violence this creature could unleash and were not tempted to go and try it by themselves.

So it was that the assault of Durragsson's vanguard withered before accomplishing its mission. With their leader and over half of their number slain, the Duardin sounded a retreat.
As the Goblin warmachines had run out of ammunition and Gorlag Stuntiedoom was wounded severely to the leg, the greenskins did not give chase.

The Quarrellers and the remaining Finlar's Finest retreated back across the bridge, to take news to the approaching Iron Company that Grot's Crossing was not to be used in navigating this natural barrier. In the days to come the Company's advance would be greatly slowed down as they needed to find a new crossing point along the river, thus giving time for a warning to reach the greenskin main force.

Soon Waaagh Urgokh would march, ready to face the Dwarven mercenaries head-on in a full scale engagement...


Yet another close game!
Should I have rolled the 4+ needed on a D6 to give the Quarrellers enough running speed to reach the other side, I would've been that much closer to victory!
Alas, it was not to be, as I rolled a 3 and on top of that the Finlar's Finest failed their 5" charge at the enemy artillery by rolling a 4 on 2D6...

The ford didn't favor me either, swallowing up my Hadrin's Hewers and a whole unit of Thunderers! All in all the game was an enjoyable close-call, and I really liked the terrain in this match. The decision whether to use the dangerous ford in getting my troops to the other side faster was not an easy one, yet I chose (and then rolled) horribly, suffering horrendous losses.
I also should've brought the Quarrellers up earlier to support the assault across the bridge, but instead I kept them in the back sitting on a hill for Grimnir-knows-what reason. Could be I just forgot about them for a round or two...

Anyway, next up some painting posts (yes, I've actually touched the brush again) followed by a very unique Narrative Battle Report scenario. Then we're getting close to our first larger battle in the Dwarves&Greenskins -storyline.

Until next time!

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