Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Plain of Crows Part 4: The Battle Turns 4-6

 As Private Weird's army positions itself for the climactic clash, I have to take a save for my bolt thrower crewman who was wounded by the skirmishers in P.W.'s shooting phase...His heavy armor saves him as I roll a 6, the only roll which could have saved him!

The table at the end of P.W.'s 4th turn....See Private Weird take his 4th turn here!

 Borrin Basherson and his Red Dragons swung up along the Thunder Mountain left, skirting the treeline, making for the hated enemy archers.  Borrin heard another cry as yet another of the King's axes went down under enemy arrows and swore he'd get even with those bowmen just as soon as he could get his hands on them.  As the Red Dragons came up almost abreast of the King's axes, Borrin suddenly got a broader view of the enemy front--and saw a sight which made him doubt his senses for a moment.  Directly in front of Lord Thorrir's Axemen a naked Dwarf was bellowing almost incoherently at the head of his troops, apparently daring Lord Thorrir to come on...

 View from behind Lord Asgard's lines as the two army close in on each other...

 In the front ranks of the King's Axes, Captain Floi Haybeard stared at the naked, hairy Dwarf bellowing his defiance and shouted to Lord Thorirr, "My Lord!  Isn't there some sort of religious taboo against killing crazy people? Aren't those who slay the mad cursed?"

"We'll find out!" snarled Thorrir, stomping furiously forward.  Lord Asgard's challenge bothered him more than he liked to admit.  But he wasn't about to risk the lives of his lads and the safety of his King's realm for mere pride.  Asgard had brought more warriors...well, Thorrir had brought better gear...his Dragon shield and fine mithril armor were heirlooms of his proud house.  His great hammer he had made himself with long tedious labor and at great expense.  Old Hamm himself had laid the final enchantments on it...his wife had sealed the magic into the weapon with a kiss...
 But Asgard's taunt humiliated, goaded him, infuriated him, soured his battle joy....curdled it into black hatred.  "Put your pants on, Unifier!"  Thorrir roared. "I'm coming to kill you!"

 Movement Phase:

Ol' Hamm and the Skull Poppers advance 2 inches forward, then wheel backward one inch, pivoting on the front left model.  The Red Dragons advance straight forward 3 inches, narrowly skirting the woods on their left.  The King's Axes charge.  It's close, but they connect with Lord Asgard's company with 1/8 of an inch or so to spare....on my table, at least...what do you see for it, it the same distance on your table, or do my guys come up short in B.C.?


Crossbow bolts began to fall all around them.  From his position sheltered behind Jenni Troll Spitter, Snorri Hawkeye could see the enemy skirmishers shooting at them from the trees.  He realized suddenly, in a calm, quiet sort of way, that he and his boys would die here today.  Their weapon was not designed to be effective against troops in dispersed formation, but against densely packed troops and big monsters.  Yes, he thought.  Those crossbow rats will kill us, but we'll do our best to help out the other boys before we die...Bolts stuck in the wood of the venerable old bolt thrower. One rang off Snorri's armor, sending him staggering just as he yelled "Loose, boys!  Loose!"  The bolt flew low and true, slicing through the ranks of the dwindling enemy company to their front, sending blood and severed chain-mail links flying...

Ok. I'm having that feeling again.  That blend of glee, guilt and oppression that comes with having just rolled remarkably well...but with no-one here but me to confirm how the dice came up.  Anyway, here's what happened.
Having just rolled a 6 for Snorri's armor save, I shoot my bolt thrower at the 10 strong company of Dwarves to my front, and roll a 6.  Hit.  Rolling to wound, I roll a 6 again.  Rolling to wound the Dwarf in the second rank, my bolt now at the reduced strength of 4, I roll a 5.  My last roll, at strength 3, I roll a fail on that one.  Still, two more of Asgard's brave followers down.

Close Combat:

The King's Axes broke into a loping run, quickening swiftly into a charge.  They did not cheer or sing or shout as they closed with the enemy.  All their efforts were focused on picking out their opposite numbers in the enemy ranks...sizing him up in those final few seconds before the ranks crashed together...what were his strengths?  What were his weaknesses?  What were his weapons and gear?  How to take advantage and win? These thoughts and these alone occupied the minds of the Thunder Mountain Dwarves as they closed in on their enemies...When at last they unleashed their blows against the foe, then they would shout.  When the battle was over, whether won or lost...when it was time to bundle up their dead and bear them home to their pale and weeping wives, then they would sing...  

Ok, P.W.  Did you have thoughts on how you wanted to run the hand to hand combat?  I think our generals are supposed to work out their attacks simultaneously, since they have the same initiative, then my lvl 15 hero should go, then your troopers, and my troopers last, because they have the initiative penalty for 2-handed weapons...also I can't remember...did you have another hero in that unit?

With a shout and a crash Lord Thorrir and Lord Asgard's companies at last came together.  Lord Thorrir, boiling at the image of Lord Asgard taunting him in the buff, finally lost his Thunder Mountain composure and huurled his great thunder hammer directly at Asgard's head.  Some cool inner voice warned him that this was probably a dumb mistake, as he would be unlikely to recover his hammer for the remainder of the duel, but Thorrir had gone quite round the bend by now, and could not restrain his arm.  The hammer crashed directly into Asgard's skull, and there was a flash like lightning as the fearsome weapon did it's work...Meanwhile, Floi Haybeard was busy, too,cutting down an Asgardian Imperialist with his terrible great sword, Icicle.

 In the ferocious meelee, Lord Thorrir scores a wound on Asgard, which is doubled by the magic of his hammer...Floi also gets a wound on a Dwarf, which needs to be saved at -1, I think.
Lord Asgard's unit is Pushed back 2" and Lord Thorrir's unit follows up.  One of Thorrir's troopers laps around Asgard's right flank.


Borrin's Red Dragons move straight forward 2", at which point they are brought to a halt by having come within 4" of Lord Asgard's Dwarves.  No more reserve moves for them.

Old Hamm Hanson could see that he was in a tight spot.  The SkullPoppers were tough fighters, but they now had three Asgardian companies closing in on  them to their front and right.  "Hold, fast boys!"  Shouted Hamm, beginning to gather the power of his magic within and around him...a sharp breeze suddenly cut across the plain of crows, stirring the beards of dwarves on both sides.  Suddenly, Old Hamm seemed to swell, to grow in stature and in breadth...His eyes flashed a bright electric blue as he inhaled deeply...and seemed to keep on inhaling, sucking what seemed like half the sky into his lungs...finally, his body huge and round as a boulder, his cheeks puffed out like cannon balls, Old Hamm let go his breath in a tremendous gust of wind that scattered crows, stripped leaves from the trees,and knocked Dwarves off their feet...

Old Hamm casts GUST OF WIND at the 10-strong regiment of Asgardian Dwarves...

Tune in next week for another thrilling episode...

Turn 5:

Thrill to Private Weird's 5th Turn here! 


Their minds full of Red Murder after the loss of their three brothers to the Imperialist archers, The Red Dragons, hungry for vengeance, finally advanced to within charge range of their hated enemies.

The Red Dragons move 3" straight toward the crossbow/bow Dwarfs.  There is no other movement.

His subordinates bleeding and maybe dying all around him, Snorri Hawkeye struggled to load and fire Jenni Trollspitter for one last shot...In one last act of bitter defiance, he raised his fist in the air and thrust his thumb toward the uncaring sky.  The Imperialist Dwarves who saw Snorri in these, his last moments were never sure what he meant.  In some Dwarven communities the 'thumbs up' sign is taken to mean, "All ok!" or "good job!"  Of course, there are other Dwarven communities in which the gesture is meant to graphically and offensively depict a certain obscene act...
Snorri tries to load Jenni Trollspitter for another shot, but as he's by himself, he'll have to wait until next turn to actually shoot(If he lives that long, which seems unlikely at this point.)


Lord Thorirr Maul punches at "Stupid Lord Asgard-the-Cheater-Who-Says He-Won't-Fight-With-His-Axe-Then-Picks-It-Up-Again". (As Asgard will always be known in the Maull Clan)

 Lord Thorrir rolls 2 3's, 1 5 and 1 6.  He gets 1 hit, but fails to wound Lord Asgard when he subsequently rolls a 3 to wound.  Boo.

Humiliated by his excruciatingly poor performance on the previous turn, Captain Floi Haybeard singles out Asgard's standard bearer for special treatment.  Hoping to do something cool which will make everybody forget how lame his last turn was, he rolls poorly again(!) but still manages to get 1 wound on the standard bearer with his 2-handed sword.......your turn, P.W....

...In the storm and fury of the close-quarters struggle, Lord Thorrir and King Asgard traded blow for blow, mailed fist against axe.  Most of King Asgard's blows rang and rattled off Lord Thorrir's magnificent mirthril armor, but one particularly cruel and well-aimed stroke fell hard off Thorrir's helm, driving fragments of steel into the scalp above Thorrir's eye, nearly stunning him for just a moment.  Thorrir tried to get Asgard within range of his mighty fist but the wily Dwarf King circled continually back out of his reach.   Beside Thorrir, Captain Floi Haybeard lunged forward at the Asgardian Dwarves, swinging wildly with his great sword and...tripped over a root and face-planted in the dirt at the foot of Asgard's standard.  (Floi rolled to 3 dice to attack and rolled an impressive 3 1's.)  Yelling and cheering and cackling with glee, the Asgardian Dwarves closed in around Floi, determined to pin him to the ground with their swords...but Floi's standard bearer seized his captain by the collar of his armor with his free hand and hauled him to his feet, undoubtedly saving the Captain's life.  Here and there, a Dwarf staggered, wounded out of the fight, or went down under the press of the shield-wall or the blow of an axe, but in truth, the two sides were well matched, and few Dwarves became casualties.  Still, the weight of Thorrir's attack drove Asgard back, moment by moment.
Again, Thorrir tried to land a blow on Asgard and failed and again Asgard's strokes rang off Thorrir's armor.  Dirt in his eyes and beard, livid with fury at his humiliation and berserk with the lust to redeem himself, Floi Haybeard drove at Asgard's standard bearer, and with a terrible blow, nearly sheared the unfortunate Dwarf in two.  Pressing forward, his Axe-Dwarves clustering close around him, Floi seized the standard and held it high, bellowing in his triumph.  A flurry of fighting, brain blasting in it's savage intensity broke out as the Asgardians attempted to recapture their standard, but the sons of the Thunder Mount just barely beat them back, and in the desperate struggle, the Asgardians were pushed back yet again....

Magic Phase:

Old Hamm keeps on emptying his lungs at the Asgardian Dwarves closing in around him on three sides...hoping to hold them off just a little longer...He has now spent 5 of his 10 magic points.

Reserve Phase:  There is no reserve movement.

The table at the end of my round:

By my count, Lord Asgard's unit should have 13 figures alive and fighting, and Lord Thorrir's should have 16.  Lord Asgard's rear rank should by now be about 12" from his table edge.  Let me know if that squares with what you have...

...And I pass the dice to you...

See Private Weird's final turn here!

Turn 6:

The blood was now running steadily into Lord Thorrir's eyes, and he was starting to curse himself over throwing his hammer at Crazy King Asgard...he readied himself to throw another punch through the haze of his own blood...and then...and then?  And then...Lord Asgard cupped a hand to one ear, as if listening intently..."Wait!  he shouted...I hear something!  Someone needs me!  The Dwarves of clan Prince August need our help!  Wherever Dwarves need help, there we must go!!!  Come on, lads!  Let's hoof it! "  And the whole regiment about-faced and began to flee off the Plain of Crows...
Lord Thorrir and his Dwarves stood staring in amazement and confusion.  Some of the King's Axes lunged forward, eager to cut at the backs of the retreating Imperialists.  
"No! Let Asgard run home like a whipped puppy, if he wants!"  said Lord Thorrir loudly enough, he hoped, for Lord Asgard to hear...

On the extreme flanks of the army, the order was not heard.  Furious at seeing his quarry escape, Borrin Basherson dashed toward the withdrawing Imperialist crossbow Dwarves, drew a pistol from under his beard, and fired at their retreating backs...but they were already too far out of range.  (he rolled a 2).  Borrin threw his pistol in the dirt and spat.

On the opposite flank, Old Snorri Hawkeye, his crew lying bleeding all around him, was in no mood to just let the Imperialists off the hook so easily.  He wheeled Jenni troll Slayer about to face the accursed skirmishers who had dropped his friends and loosed...  The skirmishers were hard to hit in their loose formation, and Jenni Troll Slayer's bolt stuck uselessly in the ground amoung the fleeing Dwarves.  (Snorri rolled a 3).

To Snorri's left, Old Hamm, seeing stars from having been hurling his halitosis at the Asgardians for so long, watched in amazement as the 3 regiments which had been closing in on him turned and legged it for parts unknown.  The Skull Poppers gazed at each other in astonishment...
"They're giving up!"  soomebody said.
"Ol' Hamm scared 'em off!"  somebody else shouted...then there was a wild cheer and the Skull Poppers were hoisting Old Hamm on their shoulders and carrying him about in triumph.

Lord Thorrir leant on his Thuner Hammer and gazed about the field.  There were wounds to bind, he thought, and dead to be wrapped up and carried home.  But the madmen had been driven off, and they could return now, those who had lived, to the Thunder Mount in triumph.  A little thunder muttered above the sunset and a drizzle of rain began to darken the dust. 

Soon they would be marching home...



  1. Hi Mouse,

    Here we go! Yes, if Lord Thorrir's unit charge reaches on your table then it will reach on mine too. Time for some serious action now! For resolving the Close Combat, how about we meet later tonight in real time? I have my weekly Warhammer game tonight, but I will be finished by after 11:00pm. And I'll meet you here on your site. If this doesn't work out for you, don't worry, I'll just roll for Asgard (who I'm afraid will still be weaponless and armourless)(and hey Mouse, I hope Asgard's crazy challenge was okay, it just seemed totally in character for him and a nice narrative continuation of the riff you had started in your Turn 2 about your Gleaming Shield and Spatting and such. Plus it made me laugh. It still makes me chuckle as I type this.) Anyway, if you can't make it, I'll roll for Asgard after 11:00, and then we'll just go back and forth to resolve the combat whenever we can, and then you can finish your turn and I'll post my next turn in a couple of days. Thanks again for this great game, Mouse!!

    1. Hey, Friend! 2nite is 'date night' with the Mrs. so my being able to show up here at 11 just depends on how long we are out, etc...I might be here at 11 and I might not...and yes, Asgard's challenge is probably going to be an emotionally crippling experience for poor Lord Thorirr...he may never be the same after a life and death fight with a naked Dwarf King...would anyone?

  2. Hey Mouse, I hope you had/or are having a wonderful date night. Lucky guy! I was about to do my roll when I checked the modifiers and noticed that poor weaponless Asgard will be rolling at a minus 2 modifier (7+), so I was going to play it as needing 6's and then 4's to hit. I hope that is okay. Now to roll...4 dice...and no 6's, so that is a moot point. Oh Asgard. Well, here's counting on psychological damage to save him now...

    1. Well, as it happens Lord Thorrir is only going to get 1 attack this round. He is so furious and humiliated at Asgard's not fighting "properly" as he would say, that he is going to lose his steely composure and throw his Thunder Hammer at Asgard's face. Whether he hits or not, he will have to wait until the end of the fight to pick it up again, and fight with his fist in the meantime....he rolls a...drat, no dice to hand...(I'm not in the war room)...I'll use Thansant's dice server...

    2. Guess what I rolled? F**king 6. Even when I'm trying to do badly in this game, I can't. Roll to wound...f**cking 6!!!!!!!!!!! Now I know you think I'm cheating. This game has gotten into the realm of the absurd. It's a magic hammer of wounding, so that's two wounds on Asgard instead of one.

    3. Ye-oww!! And an "Ow!" from Asgard. Hey, hey Mouse, that's just the way the dice go. Please don't try and "to do badly", just simply put the D20's away and start rolling D6's!!

  3. Hey, I'm here...
    ...Is Asgard really going to fight naked? I don't know how Lord Thorrir is going to handle that. I haven't broken it to him yet...

    1. I'm afraid so. I doubt Asgard is the type to go back on his word. Hopefully Thorrir will handle it by running away screaming and taking his army away with him...

  4. ...hrm. Well, it should be Floi Haybeard's there another hero in Asgard's regiment or is Floi just going to be beating up on lower-enlisted types?

  5. Of course there are nothing but heroes in Asgard's regiment! Every one of them. But alas, in terms of gaming stats they are just regular guys...

    I'm running off to work right now. But I'll be back to roll for my regular guys later tonight.

  6. Of course. How remiss of me to refer to your gallant crusaders as anything less than heroes. Floi Haybeard killed one of them though, I think. Floi has a total strength of 5, including his 2handed weapon bonus...he got one wound on your guys...

  7. Yikes, how did it get to be so late? Well, so, Oi!, looks like Floi takes out one of my 'heroes'. That leaves two of my guys attacking back, hacking away at your regular warriors. I roll two 4's. Which makes me smile until I remember that I need 5's! So hey Mouse, I think I'm gonna start using the D20's now. Or at least D10's!

    1. I have two guys that can fight this turn, and they hit...nothing. Ok that about does it I think. I'll finish writing it up tonight, hopefully. Talk to ya soon!

  8. Hi Mouse,

    The rest of your turn looks great. Especially Old Hamm's GUST OF WIND! I'll put up my turn by Wednesday night/Thursday morning, all being well. And Mouse, I like your new look to your site as well. And you know of course that I am One of The People Who Totally Dig Your Stuff, I just have this wierd uncomfortable feeling about the whole Follower Thing. I am a loyal reader and an enthusiastic supporter, and a very regular visitor of all the sites/blogs that I enjoy, I am just not a "Follower". The same goes for my site. That is why there is no Follow button. I think this has bothered and upset a number of people, but that was not my intention at all. Anyway, just wanted to share that.

    And Rogue Trader! I have Pirates and Orks too, so if you want, that can be a whole new fun adventure! See you on the Plain of Crows soon.

    1. Do what you feel, you rebel, you!

      I found a way to be a follower on your blogs anyway, so your feeble efforts to maintain your privacy have proved futile.

      Anyway, just to let you know where I'm at with Rogue Trader project: My entire Rogue Trader collection consists of about 25 Space Orks with a Warbuggy, 12 or 13 Imperial Guardsmen, about 15 imperial bureaucrat/enforcer types, 4 Space Marines, and 9 Space Pirates. I've got another pirate and my pirate Captain coming in the mail, and I'm bidding on some old-school Eldar Buccaneers... I do have about 30 of the old school harlequins as well...I consider them sorta 'late' Rogue Trader and I wanted to focus on really 'early' Rogue Trader, but we could probably build a really fun game around them...I've been collecting a lot of the weirdest, bug-eyed alien type figures I can find to play the role of hostile space fauna and that has absorbed a lot of my mini budget recently. Anyway...that's not a lot to work with, but I'd be very happy with doing a micro-scale plot-driven game or mini-campaign over the net, if you're interested. I think that what I really need to do is to finally do that epic "Here's what I wanna do with my Rogue Trader Campaign" blog post that I've been thinking about...sorta get it all sorted out in my head...

  9. Hey Mouse, I'm just about to take my turn and I was just checking out your battlefield and noticed that the Grenadier Spear unit on your table doesn't seem anywhere as angled as on my table. Over here my Spears have a line of sight for a flank charge on Lord Thorirr's Company. And I think they are about to declare such a thing! Ah, the Fog of War. "...and it was as if they emerged from the fog..."

    1. Mouse, I've been staring at my table and at the pictures I just took and I think I'm going to take a GM decision on that flank charge. Also a GM moment because the Spear unit has a Clear LOS on Old Hamm's unit, and he was responsible for the death of the Spear Unit's great kin, Grendir Bagotrix. The GM will be a D6 roll. 1-3 they charge Old Hamm's unit, 4-6 they charge the flank of Lord Thorrir's...I roll a 1.

    2. Hi Mouse,

      I just posted my Combat and also my Reserves move.

  10. Hey, Hey, Mouse,

    I'm loving our game but I'm feeling the need to free up the pre-slotta dwarves and that table. I'm also tripping on an image of a sudden Mass Chaos Attack on our battlefield!?! What would happen if a large Chaos force suddenly appeared? Buzzgobb's beautiful horde from one side, and my Chaos maniacs from the other? Would our poor dwarves stop fighting each other and band together to battle the Chaos Freaks? Anyway, just a thought. Let me know. The sounds in my basement are freaking me out right now!

    1. Hey! Sorry I've been lagging on Plain of Crows lately. I do feel guilty about it...Been so damn busy last couple of weeks and was out of town for work all weekend. Also, I need to fix up the lighting situation in the war room. Once I get that dealt with, games should roll along a lot faster. Right now it can be a struggle to get enough lights up into the attic and set up in such a way that I can get some decent photos of my turn, and that has been slowing things down. If possible, I'd prefer we make an effort to try to avoid setting a precedent of not finishing projects we've started...I'm planning to hit Plain of Crows hard starting tomorrow morning. I'll get caught up by tomorrow night and hopefully we can get a couple of rounds in before this weekend when I think I will be busy again! (arrgh)
      When do you need to get your table cleared off by?

      Dwarf alliance against the chaos horde theme sounds great! I have a big regiment of Beastmen and a Dwarf artillery regiment sitting on my painting table staring at me expectantly. I'm hoping to plunge into them starting Mondayish...

  11. Hi Mouse,

    Don't worry. I do not need to clear my table at all. It was only Asgard's reinforcements bugging me to put them together with their comrades. And yes! all projects must most joyfully be played to their conclusion.

    Looking forward to seeing your Beastmen...but more Dwarven Bolt Throwers!!

  12. Hi Mouse,

    I just posted the combat results from my last turn (Asgard's unit lost the combat by 2 and was pushed back 2 inches again) and added two more pictures showing that part of the battlefield.

    As for this current combat, Asgard says, "Worthy Foe, you will be remembered in our halls with respect." And he raises his battle-axe and...rolls 1,1,5,6. He hits twice. Now to wound...5 and a 6 again! Two wounds.

    Now the standard bearer, he counts as being like the rest of the regular warriors in the unit, so light armour and a shield. Minus 1 for your two-handed sword and he rolls...5. Another 5! But unfortunately it is not enough. He's down. (Hey Mouse, nice call on attacking the standard bearer, I forgot about this in 3rd. It's just plain nasty! Are you going to try and capture it now? It would be a fun thing to illustrate one more cool thing about 3rd to those who are not so familiar with the rules.

    So that leaves three of my warriors coming back at you. (Three thanks to your lapper.) I roll a 3, 4, and a 2. Allright, lads. Over to you, Mouse.

  13. ok...

    Crap! Lord Thorrir rolls a 5 and a stupid 1 for his armor saves...1 wound on Thorrir.

    Yes, Floi is exercising his option to grab the standard. Now, I believe, we have to fight another round of combat to simulate your guys getting mad and trying to grab it back. But first, we have to finish this round...before my guys go...the 4 you rolled against my troopers should hit, so you need to roll to wound...unless I'm confused about something, which is entirely possible.

  14. Hey...that's odd. You DO need a 5 to hit. Strange. Oh, well. My troopers guys get 1 hit between 'em, but roll a 1 to wound, so...nothin...

  15. So...we each got one wound on the other, and we have an equal bonus for additional ranks. I get one extra point for having pushed you back and followed up last turn, so if I read the rules right, I just barely win this round and Thorrir pushes Asgard back again. Floi grabs the standard, and now we have to fight another round. Lord Thorrir rolls: so badly that I don't even want to talk about it. Floi chops away at Asgard's troopers, rolling...badly. wow. you may get your flag back, P.W. Your turn...

  16. Oh Yeah! Just grabbed a dice cube and am looking forward to this...Four of my Warriors, Mighty Warriors, Champions, Heros! fight back...I roll...a 5,2,2,3. Guys! To Wound...2! You know Mouse, maybe we should get a dicelog for future games? Only in the hopes of possible better dice rolls!

  17. ok, well...just rolled for my troops and total failure there, no wounds on either side? Pretty lame...pretty lame. Ok...I'll write up the rest of this round today and then pass the dice to you, friend.

  18. Hey, Hey Mouse,

    I finished my turn 6 and my side of the game a couple of days ago. I thought that Turn 6 would be a good ending point since most games end on a Turn 6. And my dwarves heard a call for help from an allied Hold. It seemed to make narrative sense...Anyway, it was super playing this game with you and if you want sometime let's play more...

    Happy New Year!