Friday, 11 April 2014

The Battle of Baron Hasbor's Folly.

Heavy, rain-sodden, clouds scudded overhead and the wind was picking up as Lavender McDade and her two henchmen clattered on the door to the Casey Farm compound. Lavender hated to be away from the security of her stronghold at the gold mine but her men had failed to enslave these pathetic Gnomes once so she had no choice but to take charge. Baron Hasbor had grown more than a little unpredictable since his predecessor's unfortunate 'accident' and he must be given no cause to complain at the size of the gold shipments! Just as the Gnome's curses and imprecations were starting to annoy her and she had begun to consider which of her cruel spells she would use first, Lavender spied movement from the corner of her eye. Three burly mercenaries were approaching boldly up the path, all slashed sleeves and feathers with not a care in the world. 'Perhaps with any luck', she thought, 'they are looking for an employer who pays gold for breaking the spirit of a few Gnomes'.

It turned out that Miss McDade was quite correct, the burly thugs did indeed seek an employer that offered them gold in exchange for breaking things. They and several others of their ilk had been drawn to these borderlands in the wake of the Baron Coleco's untimely death as rumour had it that there would be plenty of glory and loot for canny young fellows with a quick blade, such as they.

The fight at the Casey Farm would eventually attract the attention of some marauding Marsh Goblins and a Skaven death squad who entered the employ of Lavender and thereby the Baron Hasbor, as well as a Dwarf stealth insertion team sent to offer assistance to any fair folk who might come under attack in these unpredictable times that joined the Gnomes.

Casey Farm, under attack.

Though the Dwarfs and Gnome put up a mighty struggle, felling the thugs and badly wounding Cabbage Jack one of Lavender's henchmen, The skirmish ended with the capture of Colonel Casey and all his sons thanks to the timely intervention of the Skaven. Before they were killed in return, the thugs had exceeded their brief after smashing down the door and struck Ma Casey a fatal blow, her loss and their subsequent enslavement were bitter blows for the Gnomes to bear.

Later that week, the situation had deteriorated badly for the simple folk of the border barony. A stream of refugees was pouring south towards the Moot and the hope of safety from marauders and brigands. Baron Hasbor was desperate to give a show of strength and demonstrate he was in charge to stop his newly won population haemmorhaging away but instead of defeating the bandits he simply hired as many as he could to his cause and sent them against the refugees with orders to turn them back. Needless to say the operation swiftly became a massacre with rampant looting and pillaging the least of the people's problems.

The column of misery, Gnomes, Men and Dwarfs all suffering together.

Nevertheless, leaders began to emerge from the chaos. A doughty Dwarf Trollslayer held back Chief Zog Sekswackz and his tribe of Marsh Goblins almost single handed, though he suffered grievous wounds in the process. A brave poacher, Robin, overcame his nerves to slay a bird-headed sorcerer of Chaos from the warband of Darv the Wrathful earning him the title 'Brave Sir Robin' from his comrades. Members of the Dwarf stealth team (who cannot be named for their own safety) managed to engineer the escape of many refugees that would otherwise have been slaughtered by the troops of Throt the Unclean, an infamous Skaven warlord.

Once it was clear that there was to be no escape from Baron Hasbor's madness and his villainous army, those with good in their hearts and a sturdy sword-arm banded together for one last effort to survive in the face of destruction. The fair Esmerelda, princess of the Wood Elves, emerged from her arboreal home to unite the survivors and offer hope. Colonel Casey and his sons escaped their chains to lead a band of their folk in battle. The Trollslayer recovered just enough to go forth and seek an honourable doom. Brave Sir Robin took command of the menfolk and inspired a valiant flame in their breast.

The Good Alliance stands firm and prepares to hold the line!

From the north the enemy came, first Chief Zog and his Marsh Goblin tribe, this time accompanied by a monstrous War-Tortoise under the command of his brother-in-law Kilgore Turtlewackz. Then, Darv the Wrathful, he who had garnered much glory and a something of a reputation for merciless butchery. Skulking in the rear was the army of Throt the Unclean, who had somehow managed to convince the mentally deteriorating Baron Hasbor to hold the Skaven in 'reserve'. The Baron himself led the throng, mounted on his mutant Dragonhorse and guarded by his personal household troops.

The Baron gives the order to advance, unaware his troops are disloyal scum.

The battle that followed was a legend in the making. The treacherous Throt wasted no time in attacking his erstwhile employer from behind, slaying the Baron as well as Beau Weasel and Cabbage Jack. The fate of Lavender is unclear, certainly the Skaven hoped to eliminate her as well but rumours of her escape refuse to die. The Baron's Ogre bodyguards, Lump and Klug, were both slain in battle by the Good Alliance while his household Beastmen regiment declared their new loyalty to Throt. Colonel Casey gave his life fighting the mighty War-Tortoise and buying time for the Good right flank to triumph against Darv the Wrathful's warband. A unit of rag-tag knights that had served formerly under the Baron Coleco had come out of hiding to join the fray and despite the discovery of a traitor in their ranks mid-battle they recovered to crush the Chaos Knights of Darv the Wrathful, contributing to his defeat.

Though many brave souls had given their lives to oppose Baron Hasbor the battle went better than many in the Good Alliance had dared hope. Many Elves had died including the beautiful Esmerelda, even Woody the Treeman had perished. Though Colonel Casey was dead, his sons lived on to continue the fight for freedom. Though the Marsh Goblins had broken a pike phalanx the collapse of Darv's warband and Throt's treachery had left the evil army in no position to capitalise on any local success.

The situation now in the borderlands is fragile. Skaven agents have moved fast and claimed the Baron's keep. Bandits and brigands still have free reign over a lawless land. The good folk still cry out for liberty, though they have their lives at the very least as a result of this day.

'So, we have a deal then?'

The hooded sorceress narrowed her eyes as she asked the question.

'You have a gold mine all to yourself? Nobody else knows where it is now there is no Baron?' Came questions in reply.

'Nobody.' The sorceress replied firmly. 'Just little old me'. She continued, her tone playful now.

'Then we have a deal. My troops are yours to command.'

Lavender smiled, temporarily satisfied. Revenge was going to be so very sweet, and so very cold.

Thanks to all those who made the tremendous effort to take part, it was great gaming with you! There are many small tales that have gone untold, like the curious, wide-eyed daemon who escaped his binding and roamed the land for a short time before dying at the hands of the power-hungry Skaven or the fearless Zoat that fought in the downfall of Darv the Wrathful, or Darv himself and his brutally efficient murder of a Dwarf vanguard in the refugee column scenario. You just had to be there to get it all!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Sounds like it was an epic day, glad the good guys won and that it sounds like it the Skaven who held the power in the final battle.

    Just goes to show, Skavenses are bestest!

    1. They are certainly the sneakiest and most back-stabbiest! The good guys did much better than anticipated given what had gone before in the build-up but there is still much evil to cleanse from the land (sequel).

    2. To a Skaven such as myself that's a massive compliment!

  2. Really sweet report!
    Too bad there's no more pictures.

    Wasn't one of the gamers Curtis (Ramshackle Games)? I am pretty sure I've seen one of the photos on Frothers... :)

    - Demi -

    1. Glad you liked it! There are loads more pics but the photographer is on holiday in the Lakes and uncontactable, as soon as he re-emerges I will post them up with some tag lines. I did indeed game with Curtis Fell of Ramshackle fame.

  3. The world (both real and wargamers') is indeed a village :D

    Great mission statement btw - recently I've discovered there are more people around the hobby-globe similar age thinking similar way.
    It's such a relief to know there are others.

    - Demi -

    1. Cheers Demi, I needed some principles because wargaming is far too important to be left to chance!

  4. Well, thanks a lot, it is very nice to come back home late and find such a nice story to read with a drink.
    I like how games take life when we let them the chance to. It looks like it's exactly what happened here and you have put those in words with talent (as usual).

    1. My pleasure, glad you enjoyed our little tale! The gamers were a pleasure to GM and they all did very well in moulding their part of the narrative.

  5. Oops - sorry! Probably promised to email the pics before I vanished into the depths of Cumbria. Will see what I can do tomorrow...

    Great report too - Glad that War Tortoise Ajax actually got to eat something this time!

    1. Ajax was a legend and the conqueror of the mighty Colonel Casey. Don't interrupt this weekend to send the pics, next week is fine.