|Pic courtesy of Foundry - I was too busy forgetting to document my Orc's Drift games!|
And the reason for this prolonged feeling of euphoria...
We had a superb venue bedecked with artwork and miniature cases full of 80's splendour. Our extremely generous hosts, the Ansells, made us feel very welcome and even provided us with an evening meal on the Saturday night!
We finally got to meet each other, put faces to names and further cement friendships made over the marvellous medium of the interwebz.
We got to play a lot of Oldhammer.
We got to look at a lot of Oldhammer.
We went out and got pissed together.
We played a lot of Oldhammer hungover.
We all went home determined to make this kind of thing happen again - both in the local groups that have sprung up and, as I'm sure will no doubt happen again, another national (does that sound too grand?!) event next year.
My contribution was to run the Orc's Drift campaign that has been my raison d'etre for some time on this blog. Firstly can I apologise to any prospective Bloodbather's who didn't get a game because I was busy gassing! We had a bit of a slow start on the Saturday - both because I was busy chewing the fat, but also because I suspect quite a few chaps had been drawn to the excellent Realms of Chaos game run by Orlygg.
Anyhow we got the first three scenarios played over the two days - I think folk were flagging a bit thanks to the after effects of Saturday night and overdosing on gaming with actual real life opponents by Sunday afternoon to face the final battle at Orc's Drift - that and there were still quite few games going on by then and we didn't have the optimum 6 players and GM to do it justice. Keep your eyes peeled though as we're planning on fighting this last scenario out at the first YOBBOS meeting, currently scheduled for the 3rd November I think.
The Battle for Kachas Pass
Thanks to Hetz for stepping up to plate and taking command of the Vile Rune Tribe - their objective - to destroy the Wood Elf garrison and kill the Half Orc spy Silas Meel, who has potentially damaging intelligence on Fangor Gripe, the Vile Rune Chieftain.
The sneaky Orcs use the woods for cover as some of the Elves (possibly unwisely!) leave the protection of the stockade to get a better angle of fire.
A few Orcs are picked off by surprisingly ineffective Elf archery (my usual dice rolling woes!).
The lead elements of the Vile Rune Tribe charge the stockade wall!
The rest of the tribe follow...
Guthrum Mane, the Rock Giant and Erdolas Thringal, the disgraced Wood elf Captain square off.
Guthrum succumbs to alcoholism and is pushed back - tripping over and narrowly missing squashing the Orcs fighting next to him! He presented a rather soft target for Erdolas to finish off in a most unheroic way in the next turn.
I seem to remember proceedings stopping for a great chat about the good old days (most of the pre-3rd edition days being before my time!) with Tony and Alec. Tony has a fantastic blog by the way which is well worth checking out. Thanks Alec for coming back and taking control of the sneaky Half Orc spy - a slightly limited brief as his objective was to flee the table and he was by then being pursued by two Wood elf archers!
Meanwhile the Orcs had reduced the defenders to a handful and pushed the desperate Elves into the centre of the compound - the rules state that the Elves are immune to rout tests whilst in the stockade.
Outside, the Elf flanking force let loose with some more woeful shooting...
Silas Meel uses the terrain to his advantage as his pursuers split to try and draw a bead on the slippery spy.
The Elf flanking force charge the Orcs in the side, realising too late that in 2nd edition this doesn't cause a panic test!
However, Erdolas does kill Fangor Gripe as they duke it out.
As the Elves in the stockade refuse to rout, their attackers wrap around in an effort to finish off the last stubborn defender.
Predictably the Elves lose the combat and rout in the face of overwhelming odds.
One of the Elves gets a flesh wound on Silas Meel - unfortunately the arrow ended up sticking out of his arm rather than his leg and the Half Orc makes it off the table!
The last defender is slain...
Erdolas finally gets his Death wish - the last Elf alive in the stockade!
Although the Elves were nearly wiped out completely this was a bruising encounter for the Vile Rune Tribe. Both their chieftain, Fangor Gripe and Guthrum Mane, the Giant lay dead, as did a fair number of Orc warriors.
In terms of victory points this was actually an Elf (phyrric) victory! The Vile Rune Tribe will be delayed because of this setback and should arrive at Orc's Drift in Turn 10 of the final game.
Encounter at Ashak Rise
This game was played quite late on on the Saturday - Grumdril had managed to extricate himself from the Relams of Chaos and took control of the Gold mad Dwarf deserters of Ashak Rise and I was back having had to shift the car to the hotel car park. Gaj and Warlord Paul also joined in as the Severed Hand Tribe and King F'yar and his F'yar Guard respectively.
This is potentially a very tough scenario for the Orcs to win with minimal casualties. The Dwarves have two very strong heroes and the regular troops far outclass your average Orc. Added to that, the Dwarves start off with control of the bridge over the fast flowing River Canis - a natural and easily defended choke point.
However, I had made a roll earlier in the day to determine which scenario King F'yar would turn up in - he can normally choose any one of the initial three scenarios as well as the battle at Orc's Drift. Lo and behold he appeared at Ashak Rise, totally destroying the Dwarves' tactical advantage!
What follows is a heroic effort on Grumdril's part to hold the entire Vile Rune Tribe off whilst dodging a flying Wyvern and trying to get the gold off the table as fast as his Dwarves' little legs could carry them.
Borin and Snorrin get their priorities right and look to load up the mules with as much gold to scarper with, while their fellow deserters face off against the oncoming horde!
F'yar crosses the river with eases as the Hobhounds approach the defenders on the bridge.
Accurate crossbow fire whittles down the pack a little...
King F'yar steers his Wyvern towards the distant figures of the Dwarves fleeing with their gold.
The hounds are stopped in their tracks by the Dwarves on the bridge. The F'yar guard weigh up the chances of their crossing the river safely - I ruled that they would have to roll under their strength to withstand the current or else drown in the cold waters!
Borrin and Snorrin prepare to leave with fully laden mules. Another deserter brings up the third mule.
Four of the F'yar Guard make it over - one isn't so lucky and is swept away!
King F'yar closes in.
The hounds manage to push back the Dwarves in what was to become a real see-saw of a combat!
The F'yar Guard shake the water from their britches and advance.
A rather one-sided duel breaks out between the Orc archers and the Dwarf Crossbowmne. Still, the Orcs get a lucky shot in here and there, despite the Dwarves' well protected position.
F'yar swoops and kills off Borrin and Snorrin - the poor heroes struggled to land a blow in response as fliers count as having WS10 in 2nd ed!
I think Grumdril had to go somewhere around this point - hope you enjoyed it mate!
After that I took control of the Dwarves.
The F'yar Guard gain control of the road, bypassing the stubborn Dwarf defenders on the bridge.
Poor old Gaj had seen his hounds routed and now had his main unit of Orc warriors held up by these two plucky fighter!
King F'yar searches for more Wyvern food. The Dwarves look suspiciously like filler in an Orc sandwich here...
The Orc archers form into a Conga line... erm I mean single file and snake past the melee that grinds on on the bridge.
The hounds rally and charge the last defender in the side. I think Hagar Sheol, Chieftain of the Severed Hand Tribe, landed the final killing blow, clearing the way for the Orcs to continue their advance on Orc's Drift, collecting the abandoned Dwarf gold on the way of course!
The Severed Hand and King F'yar win a resounding victory here (mostly thanks to all the victory points they earned for picking up most of the Dwarf gold) and apart from the Hobhounds didn't suffer horrendous casualties. They are due to arrive at Orc's Drift by Turn 4.
Massacre at Linden Way
A somewhat fragile Thantsants and Warlord Paul settled down on Sunday morning to play out the Linden Way scenario - an ill-prepared human Militia attempt to stop the advance of the Kwae Karr Orcs, while the terrified villagers flee and the schizophrenic Illusionist, Barrachus protects what he thinks is his gleaming palace of delights.
The Orc archers crest the ridge of the hill and look down on the ruins that Barrachus mistakenly sees as his beautiful palace.
The main column of warriors advance on the village as the militia form into one unit and bar their path.
A second unit of Kwae Karrs attempt to flank the human militia.
Bagrash, the Kwae Karr shaman unleashes deadly fireballs at the Guard tower that houses the five militia archers.
... and it crashes to the ground as a burning wreck, killing all its occupants!
The villagers flee and Bagrash, determined that none should escape, magically flies to cut off their advance. His cunning plan is foiled by a well placed Mystical mist cast by Barrachus! All the villagers manage to escape!
The archers attempt to put a stop to Barrachus' meddling with their archery - the walls of the ruins protect him however.
Frustrated at their lack of success, the archers charge him!
Meanwhile back in the village, the militia is steadily ground down, their pikes being the only thing stopping them being wiped out completely. However, with the arrival of the second unit of Orcs, they are forced to flee.
Barrachus flees too, but rallies and assumes a terrifying and ghostly appearance!
Thanks Gaj for the loan of the Ghoulie!
The militia rally and turn to face their tormentors!
The archers prepare to fire again on Barrachus but he is too quick for them!
Suffering from hatred (you have to roll each turn to see what psychology he suffers from due to his schizophrenia!), Barrachus charges the main Kwae Karr column!
Luckily they pass their Terror test and fight him off. Rather than engaging in close combat, Barrachus chooses to flee so as not to destroy his ghostly illusion.
My recollection of how Barrachus ended is hazy - I think he again suffered from hatred or was forced to charge again. This time he was slaughtered by the steadfast Orcs!
So the game ended with the fairly predictable result of a massacre at the hands of the Kwae Karr. I think they lost only a small handful of warriors to the human militia. It was a most entertaining game thanks to Barrachus and his madness, the magical duel between him and Bagrash and the cat and mouse with the villagers!
The Kwae Karr wina convincing victory and enter the fray at Orc's Drift on turn 5.
Finally, and much belated - here are the Golden Gobbo entries. I'd agreed to take receipt of Blue in VT's entry (all the way from the US) and FimmMcCool's entry from the dark Southern Wastes of Bristol - a heavy responsibility indeed!
Anyhow I just about remembered to bring them with me, however we found ourselves up against the might of Nico's superbly crisp and bright style in the form of his amazing Ork Gargant - congratulations Nico on a well-deserved win.
Congrats to Fimm and Blue to - it was a privilege to look after and see your entries in the flesh!
|Slammbo - by me! Must take a better shot!|
|Fimm's mad Chaos Warrior/Demon riding Chaos Goblin! Fantastic vivid colours and a clever conversion from a Squig Rider.|
|Nico's masterful Gargant - so crisp and clean while still being nice and Orky.|
|Blue's beautifully understated and naturalistic Glam - lovely skin tones and shading. Definitely picked up a few tips just seeing his brilliant painting style in the flesh.|