Thursday, 18 November 2010

Keeping the Wolf from the door...

Thought I might while away the evening with a little game to see what the old second edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle rules are like. Also gave me a good excuse to use my recently finshed Golgfag's Ogres.

For a scenario I thought a night raid would work well for the ogres - their objective - live captives of course! I had a bit of a think about additional rules to simulate the dark but in the end the table I was playing on proved small enough for them not to have a great effect on the game.

So the scene is set - the small hamlet of Herdwick lies huddled in the foothills of the Varg mountains. Reports of similar settlements that lie further along the lonely mountain pass being ransacked in the long winter nights have begun to filter down with terrified survivors, and talk of giant men from the North has spurred the commander of the local commander to install a garrison.

The villagers sleep uneasily as the local soldiery set a guard, wondering what the night will bring...

Turn 1

Golgfag narrowed his beady eyes as they swept over the flickering lights in the village below. Supplies were getting low and his belly was rumbling. At a grunted command his raiding party shambled down the slopes and into the small wood that bordered the settlement.

Although moving through the trees as stealthily as they could, there was a loud crash as two of the lumbering brutes misjudged their step and collided. The element of surprise had gone - the two guards the garrison had posted began to peer nervously into the dark...

After a hurried and whispered conference they came to an agreement - the halberdier would investigate while the crossbowman retired to the Inn to alert the rest of the men. A decision the young halberdier soon regretted when he spotted two giant figures lurking by the boundary wall!

 Turn 2

The lead ogres reacted quickly for their size. One trooper leapt over the wall and began to make his way round the back of the buildings whilst the lead ogre charged the hapless guardsman. The struggle was short and brutal as a huge serrated blade cut the soldier's cry for help short. Moments later three more shadowy figures lumbered up to the outskirts of the settlement.

Back at the Inn the crossbowman roused the rest of the garrison. They poured out into the street, hastily setting helmets on straight and gripping their weapons tightly. Carden Schafer, captain of the militia, leads the way, calling to his men to take heart.

Awoken by the commotion, the innkeeper and his assorted hangers-on also step out into the night to see what all the fuss is about.

Turn 3
The militia didn't have long to prepeare themselves as almost immediately the ogre that had slaughtered their lookout fell upon them with a savage cry! Yet, dazzled as he was by the lights of the village, his vicious blade didn't find its mark on either Schafer or the soldier at his side. In response Schafer lashed back but his greatsword glanced harmlessly off the hulk's armoured side. The militia man next to him, surprised at the ferocity of the attack fumbled his attack.

Golgfag and the rest of his band moved up, itching for a slice of the action. All except for the trooper who continued his flanking move round the back of the village, nostrils flaring in anticipation of the fresh meat slumbering nearby.

The guttural snarls of the invaders and desperate shouts of their protectors now woke the store-keepr and his wife, who both rushed out to see what was happening. Wishing they hadn't, they made for the small crowd who were peering nervously into the dark by the Inn.

Preparing to sell their lives dearly the rest of the soldiers formed up behind their leader and joined the fray. This time Schafer and his brother-in-arms landed two blows on the monster. Their heavy, double-handed weapons biting deep to inflict two wounds on their enormous opponent. The hunter now feeling like the hunted waivered, but an ominous rumble from Golgfag steadied him - the soldiers in front of him were definitelythe lesser of two evils!

Seeing an open shot, the two crossbowmen let loose at the ogre trooper bringing up the rear. Both men hit their target but elation turned to horror as the bolts failed to penetrate.

Turn 4
Stung by the crossbowmen's fire, the ogre trooper roared and slammed into the first target he came to - the throng of men pressing against his comrade. The two ogres rained down crushing blows. killing one man and wounding Schafer. The halberdiers again taken aback at the savagery of their enemy failed to make a telling blow but Schafer, undeterred, laid about him with all his might. The first ogre fell under great sweep of his blade, the second bellowed in pain as it left a deep gash down its side.

Golgfag took his opportunity to get what he came for while the soldiers were busy in the melee. Loping forward he easily caught up with the fleeing storekeeper, netting both him and his wife, as the ogre trooper finished his flanking move and stepped out, blockingtheir escape. At this the crowd from the Inn took fright and turned and ran, waking the baker from his slumbers in the neighbouring house. Also spotting this new threat, the two crossbowmen turned and fired - this time scoring a single hit which found a weak point, wounding the beast!

Back at the stables Schafer redoubled his efforts and wounded the ogre in front of him again. Judging this to be a good time to perhaps lend a hand or run, the stable owner and his dwarf emerged...

Turn 5
Ordering the trooper to pursue the fleeing humans, Golgfag turned and began to drag his prize back through the village. Hardly needing to be told the trooper charged down the road and netted the innkeeper. Similarly Golgfag's standard bearer ensnared the tasty looking dwarf who had just appeared in front of him.  

Things weren't going too well for the trooper engaged in combat with the militia. Beginning to tire from his exertions the ogre managed to crush another soldier with his huge spiked mace. This gave Schafer his chance and he lunged forward, driving his sword up and into the ogre's ribcage - wounding him mortally.

Free now of the melee, the soldiers split up in an attempt to rescue the villagers struggling against their vile captors. Schafer and a trusted man charged Golgfag himself, whilst the two remaing halberdiers launched themselves against the ogre standard bearer. At the far end of the village the Inn crowd pause - the capture of the Innkeeper was too much. Yet fear gripped his daughter and the barmaid and they fled. For his elderly father there was only one course of action - amazingly he turned and ran at his son's brutal captor! As father defended son, the old man found a strength he never knew he had. Raining down blows with his stick the ogre fell back his face bloodied and wounded! Having under-estimated his pathetic foe, the ogre misjudged his attacks and the old man readied himself for another round...


Such luck was not with Schafer. His valiant attack on Golgfag was to be his last. The ogre Warlord, dropping his netted victims, easily fended off the soldiers' attacks before crushing them both with his cruelly spiked bludgeon. The remaining militia fared little better - slashing vainly at the standard bearer they were lucky to just evade his counter attacks, let alone strike a killing blow. Seeing the inevitable end to this bloody night the stable owner hurriedly cut his dwarf from the ogre's net, making ready for their escape.

Turn 6
Leaving his prey struggling in their net, Golgfag turned on the crossbowmen. As he charged the nearest one the soldier brought his weapon up and fired. The bolt hit Golgfag squarely in the chest but the crossbowmen barely had time to see it bounce harmlessly away before he met the same fate as his captain. 

The Innkeeper's father's luck had run out too. tired of the bleating old man waving his stick around, the ogre crushed him with a single blow of his huge mace.  The standard bearer too finds his mark, dashing one of his opponents to the ground, while the other halberdier's attack again glances off his thick hide.

The writing is on the wall for the surviving villagers and they turn and flee into the night. Somehow standing firm amidst the carnage and panic, the last remaining crossbowmen fires again at Golgfag as he advances inexorably closer. The last thing he was to see was the brute again shrugging the shot off - that and his last remaining comrade falling in combat with the standard bearer.

With all the militia dead or dying Golgfag gathered the remaining members of his raiding party. After sifting out the best bits from the bodies, they gathered up their hard won prizes and stalked off back into the night...

All in all a fun little game - the rules seem pretty straight forward and quick - at least with this skirmish sized game.


  1. A well written report! Not having played Warhammer, I was under the impression that it is meant only for big battles with ranks of troops. Are there special skirmish rules?

  2. Cheers Andrew - no special skirmish rules but I did tweak them a little - think it states that rank and file should be organised into units of at least 5 or 10 - so I just ignored that bit!

    Resolving combats was dead simple too - the side causing the most wounds win, so I used this in situations where the ogres had received the odd wound from multiple opponents and there was a deadlock. The losers then get pushed back and are easier to beat in the next turn's combat round.

    If on the other hand you only have 1 wound and you lose it then that also resolves the combat - permanently!

  3. Well, the report was excellent. I keep meaning to do more of a narrative style skirmish write-up using Song of Blades and Heroes. Whenever I paint enough models for a game I move on to a totally different project before playing anything.

  4. Yeah I reckon ypu have to make time for it - I "should" have been painting up Orcs for Orc's Drift but felt I'd spent that much time on the ogres they deserved a little outing!

  5. Oh, great battle report.
    I have specially enjoyed the time when the Innkeeper's father's attack to the ogre with no hope to survive.
    I want to create a blog in this way but inspired in Rogue Trader games.

  6. I'm with you there - Rogue Trader is what brought me back to the hobby after a long gap - must find the time for a game involving my Rogue Trader's retinue and Genestealer Cult at some point...

  7. That was a great read, thanks for the link.