We find ourselves back in the mist shrouded land of Albion with the Orcish and Undead battle lines poised ready to fall on one another.
The story so far from Warlord Paul's point of view -
The Tribal warriors of the Paylah Lifficks watched on impassively as a large proportion of the once proud Tyum Teem Tribe streamed past them, shouting and screaming as they went.
"Wut ur dey runnin fer - s'only sum funny lookin' goat with a lion's hed stuck on it..."
One of the Tyum Teem Orcs overheard this particular slur on their martial prowess,
"That's no ordenarrry goat wiv a lion hed on it! Dat's the mostest cruel, foul and bad-tempered goat weev ever set eyes on!"
Others joined in the chorus as they swept by,
"Yer - it'll do youze up a treat mate!"
"... Narsty, big pointy teef!"
The Savages and spear-armed Orcs pressed on to the right of the graveyard - a lone regiment of Skeletons blocking their way. However, a few wary glances were directed at the Undead cavalry edging around their right flank and the Chimera now rampaging through the routers to their rear.
Rob'imsun and the Giant veered to the left to threaten the Skeleton units skulking by the farside of the graveyard, just in case they should expose their flank.
Over on the far left the archers loosed a constant barrage of arrows at the Skeleton units advancing jerkily towards them. Surprisingly accurate archery saw the ranks of undead steadily whittled down. Maliss Grobhurtz further confounded the Undead's approach by conjuring up a Wind Blast spell against the skeletons facing them.
In the centre the Big 'Uns charged their opposing Skeleton unit, managing to put their unease about their supernatural foe behind them - for now...
Alas they failed to make the charge count and fell back before the superior numbers of the enemy. With the Undead snapping at their heels, the cream of the Tyum Teem were unmanned to a man and fled the battle!
The Giant, Mick Vast'Un was to fare little better...
Mick toyed absent mindedly with the bone that ran rather decoratively, or so he thought, through his nose. It was all he had to remind him of his dear old Mam these days - at least he and his brothers had eaten well that day. To say the Giant had a slight superstitious bent and various psychological problems would have been an understatement...
The object of his contemplation (beyond his nose that is) was the group of small humanoids advancing in a strange, jerky fashion. Mick wasn't so sure about these strange figures,
"Littul man fings made out of bones... bones.
Ma is all bones now. Maybe she's angry we ate her all up. Maybe Ma is little man fings made of bones - we sure crunched 'er up gud...
No Ma, we nevver ment it. Honest! We's woz just a bit peckish an' all..."
With a great cry Mick swiped madly at the skeletons but the swing went wild, crushing only one of them. The great brute stumbled backwards trying to fend off the oncoming horde with outstretched arms, caught in the throes of his strange reverse-Oedipal complict, before turning tail and fleeing with an anguished cry of "Muvveerrrrr!"
Having sated itself on Orc flesh the Chimera turned and licked its bloodied chops as a bigger quarry began lumbering blindly towards it.
"Roight den me Laddo's! Let's be 'aving a bit 'o fire in ye bellies! Let's 'ear ya - Oi've got a brand new spiky, flint axe and I'll give it you in da 'ed! Oi've got a brand new spiky, flint axe and I'll give it you in da 'ed! Oi've got a brand new spiky, flint axe and I'll give it you in da 'ed..."
Having taken the edge off the Undead assault with a couple of Zones of Sanctuary spells, Fillhar Dring, leader and shaman of the Paylah Lifficks exhorted the spear-armed Orcs of the Tyum Teem to join his boys in a good old frenzy. This was to be the saving grace for a rather flaky looking right flank!
The two Orc units duly got stuck in and had a right good scrum with the skellies facing them - safely immune from all those pesky fear tests I was doing a fine job of failing!
Things were not so good in the centre...
Rob'imsun paused momentarily, or at least as much as one could do when seated on a frothing Warboar with hordes of Undead seemingly pouring in from all sides. Something wasn't quite right.
Is it me... Nope I'm in da fick of it where there's good crumping to be 'ad.
Is dose ded fings up to any nasty lowdown tricks? Nah, dey's jus trampin' about - got less brains than my lads, hur, hur.
Then it struck the Orc General that it was mighty quiet, other than the rattle of re-animated bones and the dull jingle of ancient and rusted battle gear.
"Oi lads - where's youze goin' ya yeller bellied Curs! Get back 'ere an' bash sum bleedin' skullz afore I knock sum o' your sorry 'eds togevver!"
But alas it was to no avail. The Big' Uns had already departed and the large mob of armoured Orcs - the best equipped and nastiest set of boys in the tribe had hightailed it back up the hill, rather than charge the Deadites swarming across the valley!
"Bugger dis den!" Roared the furious Rob'imsun, as he swung his manic steed around and launched it at the rear of the Skeleton unit that had crested the ridge his once glorious army had deployed along.
Of course on catching up with the Skeletons, Rob'imsun promptly failed to cause many casualties and was soon rather ignominiously fleeing himself.
Further down the line Maliss wiped the sweat from his brow, or he would have done if he had a spare hand from maintaining the Windblast spell that had just saved him from being charged by a rather nasty looking Dark Elf on a funny looking horse. The skeletons of course still languished at the bottom of the valley futilely marching into the gale they couldn't overcome.
Meanwhile the archers indulged in a rather dangerous game of poke the Ogre over the edge of the crag they occupied. Thanks to their long Dwarf Ticklers and the rocky outcrops they cowered behind, the Orcs managed to fight the Ogres to a standstill for a few turns.
Over by the graveyard the Paylah Lifficks and Frenzied Spears were doing a stirling job of de-constructing their reanimated foes. With the assistance of Fillhar Dring's Zone of Sanctuary, the other Undead units threatening their flanks had either been kept away or weakened by instability. Not that the Orcs would have cared as they were lost in that happy place Orcs go to when they are doing what they do best - frenzied slaughter!
A desperate flank charge by the unstable Undead Cavalry was easily shrugged off and the remaining Horsemen reduced to incorporeal shadows.
Seeing the danger, more skeletons give chase...
... and in true Benny Hill fashion, the newly rallied Armoured Orcs join in too!
The archers finally lose their game of Poke the Ogre and flee - the pervy Slanneshi brutes only just managing to stop themselves from following them off table. Lord Savage can be seen gnashing his teeth at the cackling Orc Shaman - still blocked by the Wind Blast spell!
The Battle for the Barrow reaches new heights - beset on all sides, frenzy keeps the Savages and Spears in the fight with an ever decreasing number (apart from when instability majicks a few back!) of skeletons in front of them.
|What foul and cruel beast is this that besets me so and chews upon my 'Arris?|
His newly adopted regiment continues to make mincemeat(?) of the skeletons in front of them.
Lord Savage and his sinister retinue take the opportunity to begin sneaking past to the rear of the Orc lines, while his Dark Elf Crossbows continue to try and bring Rob'imsun down.
In amongst this Toady Rob'imsun once more sits astride his mount and contemplates life. For a long time.
Now den, let me see iv I've got dis strait. Dere's not much point crumpin' up dem dedites - cos dere alredy ded. Not cos I'm scared ov 'em - no, no, no. Nuffink scares me.
But den again, dey move aroun' an all dat - looks like dey follow orders. Not so different to my boys perraps? Anyway, wot iz life afterall apart from a condishun wot distingwishis organik stuff wot moves and inorganik stuff wot dusn't.
When push comes to shove wot duz it all meen? Wun can live meeningfully in an uncondishunnal commitmunt to summat finite, while devoatin' dat meeningful life to sed uncondishunnal commitmunt and nevermind the vulnerbility inherunt to doing jus' that.
Bluddy 'Ell, I meen - wot's even the point of askin' wot's da meening o' life?! The stuff like stuff 'appening and folks you wont to bash up have meening as parts of da hole, but as for a meening for life sepurrated from all dat stuff - well it can't be discurned...
Ah, bugger dis - dem pointy eared gits is annoyin' me with dere littul peashooters - CHARGE!!!"
Newly freed from the eldritch winds that assailed them, the indefatigible Undead wheel to block the Armoured Orcs path to the graveyard.
Seeing the beast that ate all their mates, the Orc Spears overcome there fear and terror and charge the Chimera. Now otherwise occupied, the Chimera turns its attention away from the bedraggled Savage Orc Shaman and prepares for its 4th course...
I have to say it was a really fun game and actually quite a nail-biter too. Although we forgot animosity again(!), I had more than enough on my plate with fear tests left, right and centre. It wasn't much of a surprise to see a large proportion of my rather basic (in terms of characters and special troop types) Orc army running for the hills. I'm just glad a few came back to fight a little later on and that my usual atrocious dice rolling finally evened itself out.
The real stars of the show for me were the Orc Shamans - the less said about my navel gazing General the better! I must admit feeling the slightest twinge of guilt when I chose such spells as Cause Frenzy and Zone of Sanctuary as I knew their pschology negating, frenzy inducing and anti-Undead properties would come in handy. In my defence I had offered to roll up spells randomly!
Anyhow I hope I didn't overuse certain spells and I must say without them the Undead wouldn't have had much to get their teeth into - mind you we did both agree that frenzy is a real force to be reckoned with and definitely the bane of the Undead who are rather weak once you take the fear factor away. As it turned out though the game saw a real, tense see-sawing of the balance of power - early Undead success in the Centre and Right flanks was slowly countered as the Orcs rallied and became frenzied. Who knows what might have happened if we'd got a few more turns in...
So the overall result (apart from two very happy gamers) was a draw - The relic of untold power was left safely underground, the Orc Shamans and General escaped death and Lord Savage sidled off to greater things in the fight against Khorne in the Realm of Chaos battle at the Oldhammer weekend.
If only I had just plowed my Giant into that graveyard...
Talking of the Oldhammer weekend - post coming up soon.
As soon as I can stop grinning like an idiot every time I think about how good it was!