Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Star Wars: Imperial Army Infantry Platoon Pt 2: 3rd Squad and Command Section

Reinforcements for my Imperial Infantry platoon for Star Wars Miniature Battles.  Another Squad of ten troopers with mixed weapons and an officer with a Death Star Droid and three Bodyguards.
This squad is mostly armed with heavy laser pistols just because that's what I had left. 
The platoon leader is the General Veers figure.  He didn't come out very well, but you can't win 'em all.  Or I can't, anyway.
I am pretty pleased with how his death star droid came out,  however.  The droid serves as translator and platoon medic.

...he also keeps tabs on the platoon leader for his Imperial masters.
So that's the platoon so far.  I think it looks okay.  I'm debating whether to add a fourth squad and a heavy weapons section, or to just call it good and move onto other projects.  It's not as if I'm short on other projects or anything...

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Summer of Hate Part 4 of 4 ( Rounds 7-9)

Round 7:
Alarmed at the prospect of losing the army's booze supply, Ol' Piet and his baggage wagon jogged away from Bungole Bushwhacka  in the direction of the bridge, while The Hermit on the Mount and the Dwarf crossbows rushed in the opposite direction, hoping to save the baggage from Bungole and Oogie's goblins.  As he ran, the Hermit cast cure light injury on himself, and felt the last agonies of his wounds fall away.  Near the monastery, the Helblitzen stepped over the body of their fallen leader and charged into the Orc crossbows.  The Goblin regiments which had been beaten at the monastery were too tattered and demoralized to rally, and streamed off to the east, past Flo's field kitchen.  Flo and her girls jogged out to meet them, dugs flapping about their knees, hoping to catch some weak or wounded ones for 'da pot', but the gobbos evaded their grasp and kept running for the river, where the relative safety of their rafts awaited them.  The fanatic spun menacingly toward the bolt thrower, gurgling and squealing to itself as it went.  Bungole Bushwhacka and Oogie Spazzjabber's goblins pursued the Dwarf baggage train, Bungole driving his boar into the midst of the baggage bearers and killing one of them with a stroke of his long knife.

With so many dead and dying on both sides, it had seemed, for a moment, that the battle might wind down and sputter out, but all along the line, savage fighting broke out afresh.  The Orc bolt thrower crew eyed the goblin fanatic nervously but stuck to their task.  At last a target had appeared, and they weren't about to let it go.  The launched their bolt into the flank of the halberdiers.  The long, terrible shaft lanced through the ranks of the men at arms, killing three of them.  The stone thrower boss once more launched his deadly load toward the middle of the fight between the Razorbacks and the Psycho Squad, hoping to hit the Dwarven contingent commander, who was laying down Orcs with his great sword.  For once he was bang on target.  He hit the Dwarf commander, but he hit a lot of other people, too.  Three Dwarves were killed outright, including the commander of the Razorbacks, and the Dwarf commander was wounded once.  Unfortunately, stones also plummeted into Scarffgagg Sorehead, who was himself wounded twice.  The stone thrower boss winced and began to reload in great haste.  Now that he'd hit Scarffgagg, he supposed he'd better finish him off, or he'd pay for it after the battle. 

Near the monastery, the orc crossbows launched their quarrels into the oncoming ranks of the helblitzen, dropping one of the halberdiers, but lost two of their own as the halberdiers' charge hit home. In the shoving match that followed, the crossbow boys were pushed back across the north-south road.  In the fight between the Red Dragons and the arrer boys, one orc was brought down and speared, but his mates dug their heels in and refused to give ground. 

The sanguine struggle between the Scarffgagg Sorehead's boys and the Razorbacks claimed two more orcs and two more dwarves slain.  Scarffgagg, badly wounded and with only his standard bearer still alive and fighting with him, was borne backwards by the dwarves and shoved into the ranks of the snotlings, who now became embroiled in the fight as well.

Round 8:
Having finished off Scarffgagg and his lot, the dwarves wade into the snotlings.  For reasons best known to themselves, the snotlings choose to fight back mainly with rude gestures, and fare poorly as a result
Morning had passed and the sun hung high and hot over the blood field beside the hamlet of Muffburg.  The little meadow was choked with the dead and dying, yet galvanized by their shared hatred, the two sides continued to hack and claw at one another.  Leaping over the wall of the monastery, the last two monks raced toward the flank of the Orc crossbow boys, who were being pushed back further and further by the helblitzen.  A crossbow boy and a halberdier fell in the tussle, but the orcs, though pushed back, fought doggedly on.  Beside them, the arrer boys and the Red Dragons remained locked, but the Dwarves seemed finally to be getting the best of their foes.  One dwarf and no less than four orcs fell, and the arrer boys were driven back yet again.  Nearby, Scarffgagg Sorehead and his standard bearer were finally overcome, the Dwarf Commander laid the Orc Chief low with one last terrible stroke from his two handed sword.  Characteristically, Scarffgagg refused to go down without a fight.  One of his meat cleavers spitefully found its way through the Dwarf Lord's mithril armor, wounding him again. It was not enough to take the gallant Dwarf down.  As Scarffgagg's standard went down beneath the press, the Dwarves pushed on into the mass of the snotlings, carving through the tiny creatures as though they were hacking down thistles.  The lame weapons of the snots rang and snapped uselessly off the Dwarves' armor, but incredibly, they decided to keep on fighting. 
The surviving monks rush to help the halberdiers finish off the crossbow boys

Nothing seemed to be going right for the Orcs.  The bolt thrower crew tried to get another shot off at the halberdiers but, distracted by the specter of the Goblin fanatic who was spinning around behind them, dangerously close, they lost their concentration and missed their shot.  The stone thrower crew took aim once more at the mass of orcs, snotlings and dwarves near the bridge, but the boss was too busy sampling some tidbit he'd just removed from his nostril to judge the distance properly.  His shot fell short.
Bad Bloody Frumpkin's lads rally on the very edge of the battlefield.  Dammit, I need to get myself some backdrops!

Near the baggage cart, Bungole Bushwhacka cut down another baggage handler but, determined to defend their precious booze, Old Pete and his surviving minions refused to rout.  Oogie Spazzjabber and his lads tried to charge into the fray around the wagons, but got hung up in the trees around the monastery wall and couldn't quite make it into contact.  The crossbows and the Hermit on the Mount continued to jog toward the spirits-laden wagon, the Hermit casting Strenghth of Combat upon himself as he ran. 
At the other end of the meadow, the last two goblin archers fled off the field while Bad Bloody Frumpkins' eight remaining goblins rallied for some reason, turned about, formed up and got ready to head back to the fight.
A climactic clash appears to be brewing around the coveted booze wagon...

Round 9:

The monks charged home against the crossbow boys.  In the fierce scrap that followed, two orcs and a halberdier were slain.  The Red Dragons' shield wall jostled the arrer boys back once more, their hedge of spear-points bringing down another three orcs in the process
The Dwarf contingent commander stepped into the place of the Razorbacks' fallen lord.  Shouting to the weary but still bloodthirsty dwarves to follow him, he waded into the snotlings, carving great, bloody swaths through the green throng with his great sword.  Somehow it finally dawned on the snots that they were badly outmatched.  Their tiny brains were suddenly flooded with terror and they turned to run with the dwarves in hot pursuit.





Close by, the worst fears of the bolt thrower
crew regarding the fanatic were confirmed
when the wretched creature suddenly changed course and caromed straight through them, killing them both and leaving the bolt thrower standing suddenly unmanned and forlorn.  The demented, blood-stained goblin swept on, heedless, and plunged into the waters of the nearby stream.  The hood of his black cloak was last seen bobbing upon the dark water, carried downstream, under the bridge and off the battlefield.  Their attention absorbed entirely by this appalling sight, the stone thrower crew missed their shot yet again.  Bad Bloody Frumpkin and his few remaining gobbos began marching back toward the fight.  No one could say quite why, as there was nothing that they could do now which could possibly make a difference to their lost cause.  Flo and her girls were already packing up their field kitchen and preparing to depart in great haste, as they could now clearly see which way the wind was blowing.

The Dwarf crossbows shot two of Oogie Spazzjabbers' gobbos stone dead as they charged home against the dwarf baggage train.  The goblins hacked desperately at the dwarf farriers but their blades and clubs found no mark.  The Hermit on the Mount rushed into battle with Bungole Bushwhacka but found himself wounded twice for his trouble as the tough old orc scout fought back like a wildcat.  For a moment, things looked grim for the army's beer supply. 

But by now, anybody could see that the battle was as good as over.  Snarling, Bungole seized the reins of his mount and turned the stubborn beast about.  Hoisting one last middle finger over his shoulder, he disappeared into the trees near the road.  Oogie Spazzjabber and the remains of his gang followed him, and the exhausted dwarves were content to let them go.
 
The healing potion had been just enough to keep him alive.  In all the commotion, he'd been able to drag himself away through the piles of the dead.  As he approached the edge of the battlefield, the sounds of strife fading behind him, Flo and her girls had spotted him and come running, knives and cleavers gleaming.  He'd lifted a claw at them and made it crackle and glow with a purplish black light that promised most unhealthy things.  Flo and her lot had gone sulkily back to their pot.  He kept crawling.  Curse it!  It should have been so easy.  He had expected some humies...but stunties?  Where had they come from?  If only he'd known, he would have done things differently.  He stopped for a moment among the twisted roots of a great tree, wishing he'd had another healing potion.  Or some booze, at least.  If only he'd known...he might have deployed his stikkas and big shooty machines in a line in front of his Orc mobs...that would have forced the pinkies to come to him...they would have gotten chewed up by arrers and crossbows and big rocks and fanatics long before they reached his line, then the Orcs could have finished them...but it didn't happen that way.  They had gotten jammed up in that little field, no room to spread out and get round 'em.  War machines had got stuck in the back...couldn't see...
He noticed a skull laying near him.  It was a very old skull, a root tendril growing through an eye socket.  He supposed it was a sign, and forced himself to move on.  The fanatics!  They should have put paid to a good number of pinkies, but no!  Right out of the gate, they'd gone almost no distance at all, and as soon as they'd lost their bearings, they'd gone the wrong way and carved a gory swathe straight through the ranks of their own friends, curse them!  What a disaster! 
He came out of the woods.  Now he could see the familiar and welcome shapes of the rafts lying on the reedy riverbank.  Some goblins and snotlings started when they saw him.  "'Ere, you lot!"  he croaked, get one a dem rafts ready!  We're leavin'.  I done killed all da humies.  Dere ain't none left.  Let's go!"  The little creatures dutifully hauled their master onto a raft and grunted, gurgled and sweated as they poled the rickety craft out onto dark waters of the great river.  They didn't even ask what had happened to everybody else, or where all the loot was.  Rufuss Drakk lay exhausted on the edge of the raft, one bloody, stinking foot trailing in the water.  What could ya do when so many things went wrong all at once?  Well, he thought, gazing at the afternoon sky, there'd be another day...  A day when his luck would be in.

***
The little column of carts and wagons filled with the women and children of Muffburg hurried on down the west road, headed for the safety of The Refnsburg.  In the late afternoon, they met the Margrave of the Sudmark coming the other way with ten knights, one hundred retainers, and some of the sherriff's men.  The Margrave sent the little caravan on toward the Refnsburg with two knights and twenty foot as an escort, and hurried on to Muffburg.  Near evening, as the innumerable frogs and crickets began to raise their voices above the fragrances of the summer woods and meadows, he arrived at the scene of battle.
A pyre had been built for the bodies of the greenskin scum, and a few dwarves were setting it alight.  The tounges of red fire shone out bright in the slowly gathering dusk.  Near the Monastery the Margrave found two monks trying to pull down and expand the wall which enclosed their little habitation.  The were trying to make room inside for the graves of the men who had died helping to defend it.  Amoung these were Erich von Nashorn and Johann von Treuehardt.  The Margrave had known both men well.  He thought of von Nashorn's eldest son, little more than a boy, he'd soon find himself thrust headfirst into unforgiving manhood.  Yet the father had left the son a proud mantle to wear.
The monks had offered to bury the fallen dwarves at the monastery as well, but the Dwarves had politely declined.  The Dwarves would be returned to their home, and laid to rest beside their fathers in ancestral vaults that lay deep within the roots of the Thunder Mount.  Already the Dwarves were hewing down boughs and binding them together to make carts and travois with which to bear their martyrs home.  The Margrave thought of the four heros, two Dwarven, two Human, that had died side by side... the poet's old line rose in his mind..."A noble fellowship of death."  Now who had written that?
Men and Dwarves seemed busy enough in their grieving and in their labors that no-one seemed very interested in talking to him, so taking a few men with him, and leaving the others to help, he rode down to the river.  The great water rode low in his channel, as was his wont this time of year.  Near the water's edge, some of von Treuhardt's men had gathered a pile of fresh hewn stakes and another pile of something else.  Riding nearer, he saw what it was...the heads of all the greenskins killed on the field at Muffburg.  The men, some with tears of loss and hatred still in their eyes, began driving stakes into the high, mossy bank, and fastening the sightless, thoughtless housings of their dead enemies atop them, a ferocious warning to any who might think to return this way.
The Margrave did not disturb them.  He turned in the saddle to look east.  High above the darkening bed of trees and the smooth brown shadow of the great rivers' waters the sky was purpling, and a few silver stars were beginning to shine out.  The wind from the east was hot and sere, carrying nothing of the moisture of the river.  Though the wind blew the wrong way, he could smell a little the smoke of the great pyre beginning to burn behind him.  It was the longest day of the year.  Soon, another summer would begin to fade.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Summer of Hate Part 3 of 4 (Rounds 5 & 6)

Round 5: 
Alas, Von Nashorn, we knew ye well.
At the very edge of the battlefield, Erich von Nashorn's senses returned to him.  His family had conquered and settled and fought to hold the Black River country.  His father and uncle and brother and several cousins had died fighting to keep it. His men had all died fighting for it.  He might survive this battle if he continued to flee, but his family's honor would be wrecked beyond repair.  He had sons, after all.  They would live after him.  Best to set for them an example they could live by.  He pulled hard on his horses' reins and brought the beast about to face Bungole Bushwhacka.  Bungole's green lips slithered back over his yellow fangs in something that resembled a grin.  "Come on, Gobbies!"  he shouted over his shoulder to Oogie Spazzjabber's gang.  "Tinned Humie for breakfast!  Spazzjabber's horde swept in to von Nashorn's front as Bushwhacka drove his boar against the knight's flank.  In the ensuing struggle, von Nashorn was wounded, but fought valiantly on, killing two goblins.
Add captio
So far, the goblin fanatics had hurt not a single man nor dwarf, but they had killed many, many Orcs and goblins.  They were not finished, yet.  The remaining fanatic, having already slaughtered about a dozen of his friends, changed course inexplicably and came careering back into the rear of Narchukk Toungcutter's arrer boys, jellying two of them.

Near the monastery wall, the last remaining crewman of the flame cannon stoked his pot-bellied charge furiously...she would be ready to fire next round!  Near the bank of the creek, the dwarf crossbows loosed once more at the Orc chariot...and slew the last boar!  The chariot was now essentially a hunk of terrain occupied by a single Orc!  The commanders of the Orc light artillery saw the chariot feathered with bolts and knocked out.  The commander of the bolt thrower swore a bright blue streak.  Nary a dwarf was in his field of vision.  There was nothing he could do.  On the other side of the river, the commander of the stone thrower was in a similar, but still substantially different, situation.  He couldn't clearly see any allies either, but there was something he could do!  He made a wild guess at the position of the dwarf crossbows and loosed his load of rocks in their general direction.  Hey...couldn't hurt, right?
It could, actually.  The shot deviated wildly and landed smack in the midst of Scarffgagg Sorehead's Psycho Squad, killing five boys outright.  "Err...whoops!"  the stone thrower commander smirked sheepishly.  Oy, you lot!  Try an do better next time, eh?"

Near the bridge, Anbjorn Anvilpate, the Dwarven contingent commander, roared and rushed into the flank of Scarffgagg Sorehead's Psycho Squad, cutting down one frothing Orc with a sweep of his mighty greatsword.  Scarffgagg Sorehead and his lads fought with their usual berserk fanaticism, but somehow, something was wrong.  Two more orcs went down, one under the blade of the Razorbacks' leader.  Scarffgagg brought a dwarf down with a crushing stroke from his meat cleaver, but...but darn it, it was all supposed to be way easier than this!  Nobody had said anything about Stunties being here...and they were fighting like devils!  It didn't help that the Orc's artillery was killing them almost as fast as the dwarves.  This game wasn't so fun anymore.  Slowly, Scarffgagg's boys were pushed back.  Blood madness gripped the dwarves and they stepped forward over the dead and dying orcs, taking down three more orc boys with sturdy sword-thrusts from behind their shield-wall.  Despite their fearsome reputation as berserk, blood crazed nutbags, the Psycho squad was borne steadily backward...

Elsewhere, the allies did not have it so easy.  On the other side of the monastery, Johann von Treuehardt thought he saw his chance.  "Come on, boys! He shouted.  Let's give 'em the Prince's steel!"  His helblitzen surged forward, bearing down on Rufuss Drakk and the remnants of the stikkas.  One halberdier speared a stikka, and another wounded Rufus' skeleton champion!  Johann von Treuhardt went straight for Rufuss Drakk.  But he had underestimated the strength and guile of the old Orc.  Rufuss dodged von Treuhardt's blows and struck back, wounding the gallant old hero with his fearsome enchanted wound sword!!  Blood streaming from the rents in his armor, Von Treuhardt called upon the power of his magical mace of mighty striking, smashing back at the orc shaman and wounding him!  But the power of the orc shaman's magic sword was too much for him.  At last, wounded with many wounds, von Treuhardt sank, dying, upon the trampled earth.

Nearby, the Red Dragons were just as keen to get to grips with the enemy.  "Let's go, lads, bellowed Borri Basherson, brandishing his mace at Narchakk Toungecutter's Orcs. With a terrible shout, the Dwarf spearmen rose up and charged, coming together with Narchukk's arrer boys with a terrific crash.  Narchukk's boys dropped their bows, drew their swords and raised their shields just in time to receive the Dwarves' charge.  Borri Basherson went straight for Narchukk Tounge Cutter, wielding his mace with terrific strokes.  Though the Orc was nearly twice the dwarf's height, he seemed not his adversary's equal in battle.  Borri landed a punishing blow on Narchukk's thigh, wounding him badly.  The wound awoke the Orc chief's fury and he struck back, wounding the dwarf chieftain in return.  There was no knowing how this fight might end.

At the monastery wall, the brothers fought on against Bad Bloody Frumpkin's Goblins.  Two goblins and two monks fell in the desperate melee..  Though now hopelessly outnumbered, and with goblins leaping the wall to lap round them, the last surviving monks stood back to back and refused to give ground.

On the hillock near the river, The Hermit of the Mount cast cure light injury on himself, healing some of the burns inflicted on him by Rufuss Drakk's fireballs...

Round 6:
The armies were now locked.  Masses of men and dwarves and goblins shoved and shouted and endeavored most earnestly to beat each others' brains out.   From his vantage point on his knoll, the Hermit of the Mount could see Erich von Nashorn being overborn by  a flood of green skinned scum.  The Dwarf baggage train could see the grim sight too, and were scurrying away toward the creek as fast as ever they could.  The Hermit shouted down to the crossbow dwarves, who had no obvious targets now that the orc chariot was out of action. "Hurry, you dwarves!  Wheel to the left!  The  enemy is about to get round behind us!  Looking about, the arbalestiers identified the threat and turned to face toward the west, preparing to march behind the army and meet the flanking attack head on.  The hermit left his mound, too, racing to head off the disaster.


Nearly all the brothers had fallen.  To his right, brother Smyte saw Brother Felix go down, overcome by a half-dozen goblins.  The hateful green things were leaping over the walls everywhere, now.  There were not enough brethren left to hold them off.  Brother Smyte flailed away at the goblins with his mace, trying to keep them back, but they were coming over everywhere.  He saw brother Heng go down, then brother Byrne.  A swarm of hideous green faces, twisted with hatred, swam before his eyes.  It happened so quick.  He felt something go up under his ribs, and suddenly it was hard to breathe.  Well, he thought, he could have done worse.  As bad as things had turned out, it wasn't like Frog Hollow.  With his own eyes, he had seen the women and the little ones loaded in wagons and on horses hand mules, hurrying down the south road.  However things turned out here, at least they had bought them time.  They would soon meet the Prinz von Refn's men coming the other way.  They would be safe.  He felt something hit hard against his face and realized it was the ground.  He had fallen.  Goblins were racing by him on all sides.  He tried to pull himself up, but soon had to admit that the task was beyond him.  Well, he had saved the little ones. That was something.  The Great Lord couldn't find fault with that.  For a moment, he heard a little voice laughing, deep inside himself.  He felt pain.  He felt fear.  He suddenly felt a great loneliness.  To comfort himself, he imagined himself with the Great Lord.  And soon enough, it was so.
Near the monastery wall the dwarf flame cannon crewman saw to his delight that his weapon was at last ready to fire.  He looked about for a target.  To his right was a jumble of human warriors and orcs, to his front a few scattered orc and goblin archers.  To his left...to his left...he saw goblins leaping over the walls of the monastery, surrounding and cutting down the very last of the brave monks who still held out.  The dwarf's beard bristled with a magnificent hatred and a diabolical ecstasy as he aimed the cannon square into the mass of goblins and fired....

Right at the moment of victory, Bad Bloody Frumkin's gobbos were caught up in a maelstrom of napthic horror that engulfed and devoured eleven of their number and sent the few survivors sprinting back toward their rafts on the  Black River.  Brother Pyre and brother Brand, last survivors of their order, stood astonished amoung the piles of dead, staring in wonder at the sooty, capering figure behind the flame cannon.
"Oy-Yoi-Oy!" shouted the dwarf gunner.  "Cook 'em up, cook 'em up, cook 'em up-up-up-up-up!"
"Saved by a psychopath, murmured Brother Brand.  Praise the Great Lord!"

Near the riverbank, Anbjorn Anvilpate and the razorbacks continued to drive back Scarffgagg Sorehead's Psycho Squad, killing two Orcs while losing none of their own. Wading into his enemies, stepping over the slain, laughing crazily as he do so, Anbjorn Anvilpate cut down two more orcs by himself.  Though he hadn't realized it yet, Scarffgagg's mob had by now been very nearly annihilated.

Near the center of the battlefield, the Dwarven Red Dragons and Narchukk Toungecutter's boys continued their battle.  Amoung the lower ranks, the fighting was inconclusive, but Borri and Narchukk, driven almost to frenzy by mutual hatred and the pain of their wounds, grappled, beat, kicked and clawed at each other until both fell to the ground and stopped moving.  Their warriors pushed in, trying to save their captains, but it was too late.  Both chieftains died fighting.
Almost crazed with grief at the death of their beloved lord, the fallen von Treuehardt's men at arms drove home their attack against Rufuss Drakk and the battered remnants of Orcs and goblins nearby him.  One man cut down a stikka with his halberd; amazingly, the three survivors of the once twenty strong stikka unit refused to flee!  Another man tried to bring down the skeletal champion, but failed.  Near the center of the melee, a young trooper, wild with hatred and despair, stepped forward and drove his halberd up under Rufuss Drakk's cloak.  Rufuss fell into the crushed grass not far from the body of von Treuehardt.  Men closed in, kicking, stamping, stabbing with their polearms, and soon the old orc was finished, or so it seemed.  As they pushed forward, the men at arms drove the stikkas before them, and the undead champion Rufuss had summoned faded into the morning air as instability took its toll.  As the fight continued, another stikka fell to a vicious downward cut from a halberd.  That was it.  The two surviving stikkas turned tale and headed for the Black River as fast as their knobby green legs could carry them.
Erich von Nashorn knew it was over.  Goblins swarmed about him, grabbing for his horses's reins, stabbing upward with their crooked swords.  His horse brained one goblin with her hooves...he cut through another with his broadsword...and then the horse was going down, and he was going down with her.  He knew he would never get up.

The goblin fanatic went spinning off a good distance to the north  and nobody was sorry to see him go.  Bad Bloody Frumpkin and what was left of his mob headed in more or less the same direction, quite uninterested in rallying.  Over on the riverbank, the orc stone thrower boss tried for speculative fire again.  After all, could his luck stay bad forever? The law of averages must surely be on his side by now.  He aimed at about the spot he figured the Red Dragons to be and ordered his boys to loose.  A rain of rocks came down on the orc chariot, pounding it and its crew and draft animals into splinters and meat.  The Orc boss scratched his head.  "I've gotta be doin' somefin' wrong here, he thought.  I knew I wasn't cut out fer dis war machine stuff.  Shoulda stayed a boar boy."  The bolt thrower crew pushed their machine as far as they could to the right, hoping to get a shot at the fallen von Treuehardt's halberdiers next round.

Feeling quite exhilarated by the act of killing von Nashorn and his men, Bungole Bushwhacka went galloping up to the manor gate, fairly salivating at the thought of all the sweet loot that must be inside.  Tacked to the heavy oaken door was a small hand written note.  Bunghole seized it and glared at it. "Out of Play" it said.  "Gragghhh!  Bunghole roared, crumpling the note and flinging it in the grass.  'At's typical, innit?  I... suddenly he caught the scent of something...something...wonderful!
"Oy!  he roared at Oogie Spazzjabber and his gobbos.  "Ey gobbies!  I smell booze, lads!  Over dere!"  He gestured.  Pointy heads turned in the direction of the promised libations.  Then, without a word, command or signal, the goblins were scrambling over the rocks and tree-roots, heading straight for ol' Piet's beer wagon.
Continued next week!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Summer of Hate Part 2 of 4 (Rounds 2-4)

Round Two:

The Orcs and Goblins came on over the fragrant fields of summer, eagerly closing to within striking distance of their enemies.  Dwarves and men stood resolutely in their battle-line, waiting for the Greenskins to come to them.  On Rufus' left, his Orc mobs began closing up to the east-west road, while the chariot clattered over the stone bridge and turned to face the dwarves opposite them, ready to charge next turn. His artillery, finding themselves still hopelessly masked, yanked and shoved their heavy charges forward over the grass, hoping to find targets next turn, and all the while cursing the narrowness of the battlefield.
Meanwhile the Goblins on the left closed to within charge range of the monastery walls...
 ...and the Gobbos on the forest road likewise advanced and re-formed for the charge next turn...


...while from the ranks of the stikkas there suddenly emerged three drooling figures wielding great steel flails, who began moving toward the allied lines, albeit much...much...more slowly than the Goblins would have liked.
A flurry of missile fire now erupted from both sides as each army tried to whittle down the other before the great clash.  On the forest road, Von Nashorn's men launched their bolts into the ranks of Oogie Spazzjabber's boys, but only one Gobbo was perforated.  On the army's opposite flank, the Dwarf crossbows loosed their bolts at the oncoming chariot.  Their fire was cooly delivered and most effective. 
 A bolt feathered itself in the neck of the driver, causing him to pitch out of the chariot and go under the wheels.  The chariot commander cursed and seized the reins, but the deadly rain of quarrels had so discombobulated him that he dragged hard on the reins rather than cracking them, causing the boars to dig their hooves into the ground and nearly throwing the commander out of the chariot.  And there he sat, frantically urging his boars to get moving again and quite unable to do anything useful, while the grinning Dwarves re-loaded their instruments of death.  Ach!  Curse the luck!
Shot from the dwarf flame cannon roasts 9 goblins
Meanwhile near the monastery wall, the Dwarves had been waiting for the moment when they could finally put their new flame cannon to the test.  Aiming at the most obvious target, the Goblin archers directly to their front, they rubbed their hands with glee and touched off their weapon.  A great spurt of smoke shot out the cannon's mouth, and a horrible gout of liquid flame fell directly onto the stikkas.  9 Stikkas went down, including the unit commander.  Shrieks of terror and despair rose from the stikkas who remained, but the close proximity of the army standard amazingly kept the survivors in the battle.

The Goblinoid counter-fire was depressingly ineffective.  The war engines had moved, and so were of no use.  The stikkas aimed their puny bows at the crew of the flame cannon in vengeful fury, but they only managed to hit one dwarf, and the little arrow bounced off his tough hide.  Narchakk and a few of his lads were able to get a shot in at the Red Dragons, but once more their wretched archery claimed no lives.
The armies' wizards all had better luck.  Over in the trees near the manor, the Gobbo shaman cast Leg Breaking against the warrior monks, sending one of the brotherhood to the ground with a shattered femur, while Rufus summoned forth a fearsome undead hero from the bottom most deeps of hell.  The hermit on the mount meanwhile levelled his staff at the  stalled orc chariot and belabored it with 2 cruel forks of blue-white lightning.  The lighting killed one of the boars and struck the chariot commander as well but the poor fellow survived somehow.
The state of things at the end of Round 2:  Things are starting to look lousy from the Goblinoid point of view.  The chariot is all but neutralized, the stikkas are decimated and the fanatics traveled very little distance at all in their initial movement turn, meaning they are now as much a danger to their friends as to their enemies.  It's still early, though, and things may change yet.

Round 3:
But things didn't change.  Not initially, anyway.  The Razorbacks were mightily tempted to attack the temporarily disabled chariot, but with the Goblin fanatics swinging menacingly toward them,the defenders of Muffburg gritted their teeth and chose to sit tight when their turn came to move.  They needn't have worried.  One fanatic swept into the wall of the monastery and killed himself outright.  Another inched an absurdly short distance toward the allies.  The last caromed crazily back through his own ranks, ploughing through the stikkas, Orc crossbows, and Bad Bloody Frumpkin's gobbos.  The Goblinoid missile troops saw the little fiend coming and dove for cover, losing only one trooper for each unit, but Bad Bloody Frumpkin's boys were not so lucky; four of their number being cut down by their own fanatic.

Rufus Drakk spat green gobbets of Phlegm through his yellow fangs and cursed wildly.  He hadn't expected the humies to  be prepared and waiting for him- he certainly hadn't anticipated their being supported by the cursed Stunties.  Blast it!  He'd have to do something about that cannon!  He spurred up toward the front of the Orc host, bellowing incantations as he went. His standard bearer and shambling undead champion followed him.

Undoubtedly partly inspired by their desire to get away from this flailing, blood spattered maniac, Frumpkin's boys and the Goblin wizard charged the monastery wall.  The stikkas and Orc crossbow boys advanced, flanked on their left by Rufus Drakk and his entourage.  Cursing the now all but useless chariot, Scarffgagg Sorehead bellowed at Narchukk Toungecutter to push his boys further right and the two Orc regiments tried to advance and align for a charge next turn.
On the forest trail, Oogie Spazzjabber's gobbos rushed von Nashorn's men-at-arms, supported on their left by Bungole Bushwhacka, spurring his boar to the assault.

Sporadic shooting added to the chaos.  The Dwarf crossbows loosed once more at the Orc chariot, but the result of their efforts was no more than some damage to the driver's reins.  The flame cannon was busy building up pressure and couldn't shoot, and the crossbowmen on the forest trail were dropping their crossbows and reaching for their swords as the Goblin charge slammed home.
Over nearer the river, the stikkas shot again at the Dwarf cannon and whooped for joy when one of their arrows dropped a dwarf crewman.  Narchukk's boys tried to shoot again and -of course- hit nothing.  On the east bank of the little creek, the stone thrower crew were sick of doing nothing.  They couldn't get a clear line of sight on the hated stunties, but they could certainly throw some rocks o'er yonder and see if they could kill somebody.  No harm in that, right? Using the crude methods they had learned concerning speculative fire, they launched a load of stones in the direction of the Dwarves and, amazingly, got a direct hit on the Razorbacks, putting five of the gallant Dwarves out of the fight...the best showing anybody on the Greenskin side had made yet!

On the western side of the battlefield the two armies were now locked in close combat.  On the forest trail, von Nashorn's armbrustschutzen drew their short swords and prepared to meet Oogie Spazzjabber's gobbos.  At first, the men a arms seemed to be doing well, as they cut down two of the foul green skinned creatures immediately.  But soon one crossbowman had fallen to the attentions of Oogie's standard bearer.  Oogie killed a second man himself.  Bungole Bushwhacka plunged in and cut down a third man with his sword, then his boar tusked a fourth and trampled him.  von Nashorn's men nearly panicked but despite their cruel losses, they stood and fought on.
Over at the monastery a vicious but unequal struggle broke out along the monastery's wall.  The monks killed two gobbos as they tried to vault over the wall, but Bad Bloody Frumpkin dropped two of the holy men himself.  Still the monks held grimly, determined to fight to the last man.
As the Hermit on the mount saw Rufuss emerge from the ranks of his boys, he lowered his staff and loosed two more lightning bolts at him.  The old Orc shaman shrugged off the attack and pitched two fireballs at the flame cannon, killing another Dwarf.
Situation at the end of Round 3: The Orcs have somehow managed to re-form a decent line with which to launch an assault on the allied line at the start of their next turn.  The allied left is weakening but still holding-for now.  The Dwarf cannon has only one crewman left, which means it will require another two turns to re-pressurize, so it is nearly useless.

Round 4:

With a shout, Erich von Nashorn plunged into the battle on the crossroads.  Everywhere else, the allied line continued to hold steady.
The goblin fanatic who had cut a swathe of devastation through his own army's ranks went spinning and squealing off into the woodline.  Here he embedded himself in a tree trunk, where he could never be a menace to his own people again.  Not to worry, though, because his mate who had been bouncing around in the no man's land between the two armies turned and followed almost exactly the same path his buddy had carved out n the previous round.  He killed several stikkas.  He killed an Orc crossbow boy.  He killed his army's standard bearer.  And he wounded his own army's commander, Rufuss Drakk.  Ah.  Well.  No biggie, right?
Scarffgagg Sorehead's Psycho Squad finally charge home against the Razorbacks
Over near the river, the dwarf crossbows shot up the chariot again, disabling it for anther round.  Across the meadow, the Orc bolt thrower crew, who had failed their animosity check, decided to help by shooting the chariot as well.  However, they did nothing to it that the Dwarves had not already done.
The long suffering stikkas had tried to run away, but Rufuss had kept them in the fight.  Now they shot again at the Dwarf flame cannon.  They hit grass.  The hit shrubs, they hit walls and dirt.  They did not hit any Dwarves.  At the same time, Narchakk's boys were still trying to shoot some Red Dragons.  They fared just about as well.  Encouraged by their previous success with speculative fire, the stone thrower crew tried again, but their shot buried itself harmlessly in the turf well to the rear of their intended target.

A furious fight now erupted near the riverbank, where Scarffgagg Sorehead's Psycho Squad was attempting to overwhelm the Razorbacks.  Despite a tremendous amount of flailing and hacking, the only casualty was a single Dwarf warrior.  His brethren stubbornly held their position, refusing to give ground.

Over at the crossroads, similar casualties were suffered, yet the result was very different.  The three heros involved in the scrap failed to claim any victims, but a lucky goblin managed to bring down one of von Nashorn's men. Battered, outnumbered, borne backwad for the second time, von Nashorn's men finally broke and ran.  Bungole and the goblins sprang after them, and their thirsty blades drank deep.  When it was over, all ten of von Nashorn's men were dead along the forest trail, and von Nashorn himself was headed for the edge of the battlefield with Bungole Bushwhacka nipping at his horse's hooves.

At the monastery, one of Bad Bloody Frumpkin's boys caught hold of a monk's sleeve...within  moments the unfortunate monk was dragged over the wall away from his fellows and slain.  The goblin wizard had lept the monastery wall and attempted to turn the monks' flank, but was despatched by a stroke from a brother's ceremonial knife.  Half the monks were dead,  but the survivors would fight on.

The duel between the armies' sorcerers continued.  Again, forked lighting leapt from the staff of the hermit on the mount and again the tough old Orc shrugged off the attack.  This time, however, Rufuss struck back.  The fates were strong with him, and the fireballs he flung at the hermit struck and wounded the Dwarf sorcerer twice!
The field at the end of turn 4.  With von Nashorn's  men all dead, von Nashorn himself in flight, half the monks out of action and the flame cannon nearly neutralized, the allied left is in danger of total collapse...still the allied main body remains intact...things could still go either way!