keskiviikko 20. tammikuuta 2016

Sea Battle of Diamond Bay

Here we go, this blog's 8th Narrative Battle Report!

I promised you a unique scenario, and that's exactly what we had here. A sea battle!
Well, it might not be THAT unique now that I think of it, but it's not like you see many AoS sea battle reports out there.

So, here's our deployment:

The gaming surface was a sea, as well as three boats that were connected to each other by boarding planks.
In this scenario, two Duardin assault ships ambush an Orc supply vessel. The game lasts for 6 Battle Rounds or until one side gets wiped out. At the end of the game, the side with the most models aboard the Orc ship is declared victorious. Simple, isn't it?

It certainly was too simple for us, so we added a nice little extra rule: each turn models starting their movement phase on a boarding plank had a chance to slip and fall to their doom! We rolled a dice for each such model, and a roll of 1 took the model off the table. This did not affect models with the Hero keyword, though.

Let us carry on to the narrative!


The waters of Diamond Bay shimmered brightly in the sunlight, making it easy for Captain Garin Baragorsson to deduce the origin of the name. The two small ships under his command had been ordered here by the Iron Company to intercept greenskin supply vessels while the company itself advanced in the mainland, yet there had been no signs of any seaborne traffic in the past few days. Anchored side by side, the Dwarven ships swayed slowly in place, housing their crews that were either fishing on the gunwale or snoozing below-deck.
A lazy breeze swept over Garin as he stood at the prow of his ship, the wind rippling through his magnificent beard but carrying with it an urgent message. There was something disgusting, yet still so familiar, in the breeze. Garin frowned, trying to decide the meaning of the scent. It was...

Orc dung.

"All Dwarves on deck! Prepare for imminent boarding maneuver!" Captain Baragorsson bellowed at the top of his lungs, resulting in exploding action from the crewmen of his two vessels as they cast aside whatever they were doing to take up their wargear. He eyed the horizon, empty and calm as of yet, as his second-in-command emerged by his side.

"We under attack, my lord?" Yadri asked urgently, his axe unslung and ready for a fight.
"No, but I think the supply vessel we've been waitin' for has finally arrived," Garin replied, sniffing the air again.
"According to the stench it's an hour's sail, they're comin' straight at us."
"Perfect, sire. I'll prepare my warriors for boarding," Yadri stated before bowing and vanishing below the deck.
Captain Baragorsson grabbed his runic warhammer and unhooked it from his belt. Lifting his shield from the gunwale shield rack and laying his horned helm upon his grey curls, the Dwarf noble was ready for war.

Soon the Duardin flotilla sighted the Orc ship. Rowing with all the strength of their race, the stunted warriors closed in with astonishing speed. As soon as the Orc captain realized it had sailed straight into a trap, it ordered the supply barge's greenskin crew to take up battle positions.
Coming from behind the enemy ship, the Dwarves split up and threw out their boarding planks, locking them firmly in place.

Enraged by this daring assault on his big boat and its cargo of fungus beer and scrap metal, Captin' Croll Rustaxe waved his sea-worn weapon in the air.
"Dem stunties are boordin' us! Take up yer choppas and chop 'em good!" Croll roared, dissatisfied by the speed with which his crew clambered up from the bowels of the ship. With all the haste they could manage, the Orcs flocked to the deck, ready to defend their precious cargo against the attackers. Especially the Captin's bodyguard, a group of nasty-looking Black Orcs, were more than happy to come across a little scrap on an otherwise boring sea trek!

Ignoring all the hassle on the enemy vessel, Captain Garin made one last check to see if his warriors were ready. They were.
Letting out a wordless warcry and gesturing with his hammer, Baragorsson led his kin in a thundering charge over the boarding plank.

On the larger of the Dwarf ships a boarding crew was already in full action. A heavily armoured wave of Ironbreakers swarmed the enemy stern, starting to form a shieldwall to secure a foothold on the greenskin barge before they could react.

To support the Ironbreakers' charge, a line of Thunderers opened fire over their ship's gunwale, pouring a rain of lead into the Black Orcs. No casualties were inflicted, though, as the combination of heavy Orc armour and the sturdy wooden frame of the ship absorbed the volley.

Following their captain the Dwarf Warriors charged headlong into the midst of the foe, engaging the Orc Boyz on the deck in a bloody swirl of close-quarters combat. The ferocity of the Duardin attack took the greenskins by surprise, and many fell to the bite of dwarf-forged steel, while the crude choppas of the Orcs found no weak joint in the enemy's armour.

Captain Baragorsson slammed in to the towering form of Captin' Croll, but instead of unbalancing his opponent the Dwarf noble managed to unbalance himself. The Orc was immovable!
Unimpressed by the challenge his adversary had offered thus far, Croll Rustaxe brought down his heavy fist on the Dwarf's helm, cracking a horn and laying his opponent low on the deck.

Before the Thunderers had a chance to fire another volley, a howling mob of Orcs rampaged across the boarding planks to assault their ship. A few hastily fired shots took down some of the boarders, but the inevitable fight saw casualties inflicted on both sides. Crudely crafted choppas rose and fell, carving a bloody path through the Dwarven vessel, while carefully placed blows from gun-butts sent roaring greenskins overboard into the sea.

The Ironbreakers at the stern of the enemy barge hadn't finished forming up their shieldwall as the Black Orcs descended upon them. Laying about them with huge axes and spiked maces, the greenskin elite managed to crack three gromril armours and send their broken wearers into the depths of the sea, while all they suffered in the process themselves was a few flesh wounds.

As the battle raged across the decks of the ships, the two Captains were still locked in a duel. Never letting his opponent rise back up from the deck, Croll swung his rusted axe downwards, crushing through shield, armour, flesh, bone, all.
After the initial puff of blood had settled, Captin' Rustaxe kicked his adversary's corpse into the sea.
"You's got no permishun to bleed on me deck, stuntie!"  Croll roared after the body and turned to take in the situation on his big boat.

The Orcs were pressed hard. The Dwarf Warriors cut down Boyz one by one while advancing on the blood-slick deck, although now the greenskin resistance had begun to toughen: several Duardin Warriors laid among the slain bodies of their foes, their chainmails pierced by blows from heavy choppas.
Despite the casualties the Orcs fought on tirelessly, determined not to let their fungus beer and scrap metal fall into Dwarven hands!

In the Dwarven assault vessel the Thunderers were being decimated. Shots were fired point-blank and gun-butts whirled in the air, and many greenskins fell, but the ferocity of the Orcs far outweighed the skills of the Duardin. Soon only a weary knot of Thunderers stood back to back in the corner, surrounded by the enemy and their slain kin. There would be no mercy begged nor given.

The Ironbreakers finally locked their shields into a wall, starting to advance in unison while cutting down the foe. The Black Orcs grudgingly gave ground, feet by bloody feet, but despite all their rage and heavy weaponry were unable to land a single blow past the shields of the Dwarves. Many of the greenskin elite fell to the rhythmic beat of axes and hammers, while a shout of triumph rose from the lips of the Ironbreakers.

On the greenskin barge the Dwarf Warriors finished off the remaining Orcs on the deck, but before they could move to the stern to help the Ironbreakers they were set upon by howling Captin' Croll waving his rusted axe!
Gathering their courage, the Warriors formed up and surrounded the Orc Boss, ready to avenge their own Captain's demise.

They had no chance against the might of Rustaxe. Croll's weapon swung in wide red arcs, decapitating and dismembering multiple enemies with each stroke. Soon Dwarven corpses littered the deck, with many more sinking to the bottom of the sea as bleeding carcasses.
"WAAAAAAAGH!" Captin' let out his battle-lust into the skies, cherishing the bloodshed he had just committed.
"No stuntie's gonna take me big boss boat!"

The situation seemed dire for the Duardin. Of all their numbers from the combined crews of the two ships only a handful remained. A single Thunderer was fighting for his life against an Orc Boy, while the Ironbreakers still had their hands full with the last of the Black Orcs. To top it off, the captain of the greenskins was still alive and unscathed, having sent Captain Baragorsson to play with the fish along with his Warriors. No clear victor had yet emerged, but it was clear that whoever won would do so at a terrible cost...

Among the bodies of slain Orcs and Dwarves on the bloodied deck of the larger assault vessel, the leader of the Thunderers battled the remaining Orc.
Dodging a swing from the choppa, the Dwarf fired one of his dual pistols at the foe. Taking the shot into his squig-hide shield, the Orc pressed the attack, swinging left and right with its weapon to deny the Thunderer of any chance of reloading the gun.

At the stern of the greenskin barge the Ironbreakers were advancing, pushing the Orcs back towards the centre of the ship. The hulking Black Orcs noticed a gap in the Duardin shieldwall and struck for it, separating a shield arm from one careless warrior with a chop of a heavy axe.

Enraged by the loss of yet another of their number the Ironbreakers broke formation, swarming the Black Orcs and beating them to a bloody pulp with their hammers. It was then that Captin' Croll stormed across the ship, crushing into the Dwarves with the power of a rolling boulder! Seeking a revenge for their fallen captain and kin, the Ironbreakers surrounded the Orc Boss in order to drag him down and take the ship for themselves.

In the assault vessel the duel between a Dwarf and an Orc came to a gory conclusion. Firing his last remaining pistol shot only to have it sink into the foe's shield, the Thunderer had used up all his cards. Lunging at the Orc using his pistols as makeshift clubs, the Dwarf ran face-first into the Boy's descending choppa.

Despite all his might and fury, Croll Rustaxe couldn't break the enemy armour. His blows glanced off shields and pauldrons, while the Ironbreakers surronded him and battered from all sides with vengeful strikes. A hammer dislodged his kneecap and an axe cut deep into his flank, but all this only served to make the Captin' angrier...

Having emptied the enemy assault ship and lost his mob in the process, the lonely Orc Boy started back to the supply barge. The Captin' was fighting six foes at once, so the Orc headed towards the closest boarding plank and hurried to the stern of the barge to lend a hand.
All around the ships the sea was crimson and filled with floating bodies, while many more were on their way to the bottom, dragged by the weight of armour.

There was no help needed, though. Angrier than ever for the wounds he had suffered, the Rustaxe laid about him with wild abandon! A caved-in head, a severed arm, a decapitation... There was no end to the carnage he wrought. Soon all but the Ironbeard laid prone on the deck, dead or dying from the berserk fury of the Orc captain.
"You made a biggy mistake comin' to me ship, stuntie..." Croll growled, pointing a green finger at the last Dwarf.
"Yeah, beat it!" the Orc Boy joined in.
The Ironbeard's answer was a hammerblow at the Orc Boy's face, cracking it open in an explosion of gore.

"WAAAAAAGH!" Croll roared as the quickly closed in, swinging his axe at the impudent Dwarf. The Ironbreaker's corpse flew against the ship's gunwale before falling limply on the red deck. The last of the boarders had been slain.

Standing alone on a corpse-strewn deck, Captin' Croll considered his options. He now possessed three ships in total but had no crew left to sail them. He had no idea where he was or how long it would take to arrive at the horde's campsite... and he knew he was already late.
Letting out a frustrated growl, he dropped his rusted axe on the deck and started tying the vessels together with a length of rope. He would please the Big Bossy Warboss by delivering him three ships instead of one, along with a cargo of fungus beer, scrap metal and the latest addition: fresh meat.


That was an intense game!
Action-packed from start to finish, this scenario went straight into business. A close call as always, but I truly lament my ill luck with the Dwarf Lord's attack rolls. Absolutely none hit the mark! That Orc Boss managed to kill him off and took not even a scratch in return!
I believe my Lord's poor combat was the thing that lost the game for me. Had the enemy hero not been able to ravage through my ranks at full Wounds I'm sure I would've had a better chance. After all, he single-handedly slaughtered my remaining Ironbreakers and Warriors who could have won me the match.

Alas, it was not to be, but the game was still fun and thrilling to play! The scenario seemed quite well balanced although heroes are very powerful in such small games and the loss of yours early on will mostly decide your fate, unless you're blessed by the dice gods (which veeery few people seem to be).

Next I'll show you my brand new army that I forged together in secrecy during the past three months. Until then!

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