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!