Sunday, 5 December 2010

Impasse at Ortar Pass - Turn 2!

Other commitments have kept me away from the game this week unfortuately  but I've finally got Turn 2 played (in between turning pages in the rule book to look things up!)

Orc Turn 2

Dravid Coppafeel, mighty Orc shaman, tamer of demons and bringer of fiery doom, felt that troll herding was somewhat beneath him and promptly scuttled off to join the archers. Besides he didn't want to be tied up and getting his hands dirty with stunty blood when the inevitable combat ensued. From his new vantage point he intended to rain down misery and calamity on those who stood in his way...

 The poor old troll, however, felt a little at a loss at this new situation and a bit unwanted too! Without Coppafeel's incessant ranting the dimwitted brute reverted to type and ambled off vaguely in the direction of the dwarf lines, a hazy memory of good things to eat in that direction lingering at the dog-eared corners of its mind. That is until its meandering path came to an abrupt halt as the troll found itself mired in Breward's bog! The dwarf crossbowmen slapped each other's back and began loading their crossbows with many a merry song about perforated trolls...

Meanwhile the orc forces on the far right had a bit of a dilemma - Avva Badded found himself in the awkward position of carrying on alone nearer to the wood that had hidden such a deadly ambush or launching himself into close combat against a terror only slightly less for being in plain sight. Should he survive a round against the Zoat he always had that great spell - hammerhand - up his sleeve - that would bring the big reptile down a peg or two. 

Similarly, Ruglud's armoured orcs had a decision to make too - turn and assist Longface's boys or hold the line in the centre and give the dwarfs a bit of softening up with their crossbows. Gudruk had never liked Longface much anyway and he was just ordering his lads to fire at will, when Fingral Crackscratcha bellowed at him.

"Get movin' yer yeller dogs - 'dem stunties want crumpin'!"

Gudruk tried to shrug his shoulders - tricky in his ill-fitting armour plate - crumping dwarfs was as good as if not better than sticking them from afar, and he waved his column on. Fingral and his bodyguard brought their snorting mounts alongside the regiment to keep a closer eye on things. 

Back over on the left Dead-eye wasn't pleased with his archers - there wern't enough of the enemy lying still, full of black flighted arrows and there weren't likely to be more if this wind kept up. Punching, kicking and swearing, Dead-eye slowly and painfully coaxed his orcs into a wedge - hopefully the increased volume of fire might mean that the sorry bunch might hit something once the gale had subsided!

Longface and his warriors were still hard pressed by their elven opponents but the orcs desperately fought on. A wildcat fell as it leapt forward - a rusty blade between its noble ribs.

Longface himself challenged the Treeman who loomed over him. Both his attacks hit home but his face became longer still as his cruel mattock barely dented the behemoth's trunk-like side! A deep creaking rumble emanated from Atkrinson and his mighty limbs once more crashed down - Longface lay crushed along with two more orcs.

Reptillicus, unconcerned at the shaman's charge on his flank also laid about him with vigour, giving Badded a bad head and causing more terminal damage to another Orc warrior. The wildcats were not so successful as their claws were turned by the Orcs' tough hides and ragged mail. Whether from stupidity or sheer bloody-mindedness, the few surviving greenskins again refused to rout, stepping back over their fallen comrades to gain what respite they could. 

As Badded had been wounded in combat his concentration was a little too impaired for him to cast any magic. Coppafeel, on the other hand, whether moved by remorse for the plight he had left the troll in (unlikely !) or vindictiveness for his Dwarven foes (a safe bet!) sent forth foul vapours to beset the crossbowmen crouched behind their barricade. The dwarfs, not so long ago happy in their preparations to make a pin cushion out of the troll in front of them, now choked and gasped as the disgusting cloud enveloped them!

Alliance Turn 2

The Dwarf crossbows quickly (relatively speaking) scrambled over their protective wall to get away from the noxious fumes. Not knowing how long the cloud would last they didn't want their view of the battlefield obscured when there were hated greenskins to be shot at! That troll still needed seeing to as well...

Moving down the road the sappers dragged their equiment to a likely looking spot to begin preparing some makeshift defences - should they be needed.

Back at the defensive Alliance line the Dwarf Clansmen could hold themselves no more - their hatred for the Orcs and all they were responsible for overwhelmed them and on they charged, paying no heed to the gap they had opened up! Not to be outdone the Norse berserkers whipped themselves into a frenzy and roared into combat with Fingral Crackscratcha himself. They were shortly followed by the impetuous Elven wardancers on the left who charged Ruglud's Orcs with a view to wrapping round them to surround and slaughter the vile creatures. Sighing despondently, Hans Stickler - captain of the militia, signalled his men to wheel to the right and cover the gaping hole left in their defensive line. This kind of irresponsible and ill-disciplined carry on was not in his Manual of Approved Tactics and General Battlefield Deportment!

The Elf forces continued to advance through the woods. Gaining a good vantage pont of the field, the Gladeguard paused at the wood's edge on the look out for suitable targets. Ready to add her sorcerous powers to their bows, Paldaniel also moved to the edge of the treeline. Behind them the Elf General, Mellthathar Althathar and the Beast Masters formed up - unwilling to give away their position should more Orc reinforcements arrive.

The only Alliance shootists that had a target in front of them were the Bergjaeger - holding their noses at the stink of the nearby gas cloud. The fumes must have affected their aim as only one Orc archer fell at their volley.

The bloodbath on the far left of the line rumbled on but fatigue must have begun to bite the fighters on both sides. The Zoat strook a blow at Badded but failed to make it tell - the Orc Shaman's response was equally ineffective. Teeth flashed and claws and orc blades lashed out - but neither Orc nor Wildcat could find a weak point in each others defences. Yet amongst this weary and desperate fighting Atkrinson the Treeman alone did not tire. His remorseless attacks left three more Orcs in bloody ruin and at this their resolve failed them. The few pitiful survivors streamed away from the carnage, back to the cold refuge of the mountains. Avva Badded, alarmed at the prospect of facing such a foe alone also turned tail and fled! 

Such was the Orcs' haste and their attackers weariness that they escaped the blows aimed at their retreating backs. Rowan Atkrinson, the age old hate of all things Goblinoid rising in him like Springtide sap, lumbered forwards intent on annihilating every last tree-burner. As his quarry fled the table Atkrinson followed, despite the cries and pleas of his Elven allies! Dismayed at the departure of such a strong friend the Elven Beastmaster and Reptillicus steadied themselves and scanned the horizon for the next threat... 

As the Dwarf Clansmen crashed into their hated foe the clash of axe and halberd rang out. Despite the shock of their charge only one heavily armoured Orc fell. Morgri Grimbrow, their leader, issued a dour challenge to Gudruk - a challenge he didn't hesitate to take up. Their two great blades met and the struggle sallied back and forth. Gudruk's blows could not find a chink in the Mithril of Morgri's armour and his narrow beady eyes widened as a series of runes began to glow along the Dwarf's greatsword. With a mighty strike Morgri sent Gudruk reeling, bloodied but unbowed.

 The Wardancers began to sway and gyrate, their swords singing as they tapped them against their shields in a hypnotic rhythm. Yet their attempts to transfix their enemy did not succedd - the orcs, beset on all sides had only one thing on their mind - fighting! Closing the distance the lithe figures of the Elves danced among the Orcish ranks. The fine Elven steel found many a target yet the Orcs' armour, battered and rusted as it was, served them well.

Gnashing their teeth, bearing their chests, howling, cursing, chewing their shields and generally carrying on like utter lunatics (which of course they were) the Norse Berserkers unleashed their pent up rage on Fingral and his faithful bodyguard. As the hapless Big'un was pulled from his boar and pulverised, Olaf Timandahaf, the Ulfwerenar (wolfkin shapechanger!) champion and "leader" of this bunch of deranged drunkards issued a slurred challenge to Fingral. This was closely followed by a wild assualt by the wolfman. Despite repeatedly bludgeoning his opponent Timandahaf's attacks were easily repelled by Fingral's spell shield. It was old  Crackscratcha's  turn to get mad now as the bloodrage seeped into him from his magical Frenzied Blade. As well as getting mad Crackscratcha got even as the Wolfman's final howl was cut short by his jagged blade!

The combat was a close run thing - the Wardancers and Norsemen hadn't caused enough casualties to win their combats and by rights should have been pushed back. Yet the Dwarf Clansmen anchored the line and through the wounds they had inflicted and their deep ranks forced the Orcs slowly back. 

Keeping a wary eye on the chaos of the battle the sappers continued down the road as part of their reserve move - ready to begin their work.

The trio of wizards looked on for ways to aid their armies progress. Gaspar the Wise concentrated hard as he maintained the terrible wind against the Orc archers. Breward the Druid, meanwhile, uncorked a bottle of his finest Barley wine (medicinal purposes only of course!) and set about resting to restore his magical power reserves should they be needed to heal the wounded in the next few dark hours of the battle. Tutting loudly and muttering disapprovingly at such insobriety Pennan Tellur drew a shining sword from his scabbard. Levitating it before him he whispered softly to it and sent it speeding across the battlefield to its quarry - the foul Orc shaman, Dravid Coppafeel!

The Orc attack looks like it has faltered - will Ruglud and his boys stand firm? Will Atkrinson return? And what could the faint sound of marching feet coming from the crags signify?

All will be revealed when I get round to playing Turn 3!

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