Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Battle of Broken Barrow. Part One.

The introductory narrative is here.

The first photo shows a pretty clear view of Broken Barrow (you will have to imagine the fog, I need all the cotton wool I have because of the 5 month old). The graveyard hides the secret entrance to the home of Mausolus the Liche with it's extensive library and well appointed laboratory. In one of the graves there lies a rather impressive relic weapon (or so the Daemon-Lord Jeeyofiz would have us believe). Lord Savage and his warband enters from the near end of the path and must exit into the woods opposite to make progress on his journey to the proving grounds. Despite his temporary alliance with Mausolus, Lord Savage has his own set of victory conditions that leave plenty of room for cowardice and treachery on his part. The Orcs live in the next valley across and swarm in from the right of picture. Mausolus and his Undead deployed on the left of the picture.

"Come Vigareux! Grollo! Let us scatter the archers, then we will slip past the rear of the Orc army and be on our way..." ~ Lord Savage.

Mausolus' army consists of 90 skeletons with shields (divided into 4 roughly equal units), 20 zombies, 5 Undead cavalry and a bound Chimaera. The skeleton and zombie units have no standards or anything and though the skeleton models have spears these count as hand weapons.

The next photo shows the Orc horde of Toady Rob'imsum as it crests the ridge and pours into Mausolus' valley.

 "Wuns morr! Wuns morr! Inta da vally o deff!" ~ Warboss Rob'imsum. 
"Wos Morr gotta do wiv it? Fah Gooork!" ~ Boss Grobhurtz.


The early stages of Warhammer 3rd edition usually benefit from a bit of speeding up. The armies crawl towards each other at a fairly sedentary pace at the best of times so the last thing you want to do is throw too many obstacles in their path. We took a less is more approach to terrain for this 2000 point clash. We said the rocky outcrops offered no movement penalty and only left units unformed if they were charged while halfway across them. We allowed any unit to enter the graveyard in skirmish formation which we GM'd on the fly as appropriate. The trees were never an issue. We moved one model or one rank to show the position of units during our turn then moved up the rest in our opponent's movement phase to save time (must make some new movement trays!).

The armies begin to form battle lines and units face off against their targets. The Undead infantry had to manoeuvre around the graveyard while the cavalry wandered off to the left as a result of stupidity (they were outside of Mausolus' range). This was rectified in the first Undead magic phase as Mausolus boosted his control range to 24".

"Slaves! The enemy lies this way, you will serve me, I am your master!" ~ Mausolus the Liche.


Eventually the armies reach the road. Note that Thantsants' Orcs are still in a rather neat battle line! Yup, we forgot animosity. Again. I guess I owed him after the Battle of Plank Street. It just goes to show how easy it is to forget obvious stuff like that in the excitement of pushing your toys about.

The photo below gives you a squirrel's eye view of the impending carnage. Note the Grenadier Chimaera that has slammed into the Orc regiment just past the Hob-Hounds. That results in a failed fear test and a series of free hacks that sees the Chimaera eat at least 20 Orcs before they make it off the table.

"Nomnomnomnom!" ~ Chimaera.


Part two is available!

Thanks for stopping by!


12 comments:

  1. Nom, nom, nom indeed! Impressive performance by the Chimera - and it wasn't even slowed down with indigestion!

    Might have to run with your Tennyson reference when I get round to my part 2...

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    1. Even taking him as the lowest level possible his stats make him quite a beast. It certainly didn't help when your dice turned against you in those early exchanges!

      Feel free to pinch whatever you want!

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  2. Nice report and pictures guys, looking forward to read how it ends. IMO, not forgetting rules is the hardest part when playing WFB3.

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    1. Many thanks Dreamfish. You're absolutely right about with that analysis I think, there can be a lot to remember if you're tryign to do everything by the book. Playing this edition is about getting it as close as possible whilst concentrating on having fun I reckon!

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  3. It's looking great, can't wait for the rest :)

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    1. On it's way Suber! We are in the middle of a storm of preparation for the imminent Oldhammer Weekend at the moment so expect slight delays!

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    1. Many thanks Andrew, I'm beginning to develop a style now that's flavour-some without being too wordy. Glad you like it!

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  5. Did you buy any chance take a full army shot of each force? Good read though :)

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    1. Ummm. Nope. I will try and organise one of mine soon and pass your request on to Thantsants too though! Glad you're enjoying it so far.

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  6. Nice back and forth between the two blogs. Forgetting rules is my middle name. I think the green skins are particularly tough as they have so many things that could effect them each turn. My massive Waagh spent most of its time fighting with itself while my opponents empire troops blasted my formations with a cannon.

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  7. The story-telling aspect to war-gaming is my main motivation to take part in the hobby these days so having the opportunity to create double the narrative is fantastic. It's an idea I saw Private Weird and Mouse pull off with spectacular results and I'm thrilled to be able to do something similar.

    Forgetting rules is one of the many reasons to have a GM take that responsibility! It's not always possible and it shouldn't prevent a game taking place if you can't get one but it's something to aspire to definitely.

    Playing Orcs straight out of the 3rd edition book with no scenario conditions can be tough, borderline pointless against some armies. They benefit massively from the clever use of their Shaman's magic but even so it's wise not to rely on this, because then you are just like the opponent who relies on his cannon and the arms race that can occur in any edition of Warhammer becomes a bit unsatisfying for many I think it's fair to say! I would say try playing a sneaky Orc ambush with your opponents artillery limbered up and useless. Another week have him assault an Orc encampment that has lots of cover. Another idea would be to simply ignore animosity because you want a week off from it! Trade these ideas for some your mates want to try out and see how you get on.

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