Sunday, 25 September 2011

Battle Report: It's fun to slay at the Wyemm Seeyay - Final Turn

It is the end. Victory has been claimed.

This was the situation at the end of Turn 6:

Given that almost all of the forces on the table were engaged, there wasn't much movement. Torin charges Ellendee with the gyrocopter:

The combat phase we've all been waiting for. Interestingly, none of the regular combat troops managed to wound each other. It was all down to the combat between Ellendee and Torin and the ongoing challenge between Gaymar and Morgrim:


Danak could feel his muscles burning. And if his muscles hurt, he knew the chaps in the unit would also be taking strain - exhaustion showed in their faces and in their fighting. The dwarves were tired too, and it seemed to Danak that both sides realised that the end was near. He certainly wanted to survive the day, and, it seemed, so did the dwarves. Both sides still struck at each other, but by some unofficial agreement, both sides simply decided to make lots of noise by striking each others weapons. 

Gotta look busy, the glances of understanding foes said to each other. No one has to die, just gotta look busy. After all, it's all about them anyway. 


Gaymar was oblivious to the pretenses of the other fighters. His legs ached where the dwarf had struck him and tears streamed freely down his cheeks to mix with the drying blood of his burning, broken nose. Whereas before he felt the excitement of battle, now he felt the desperation.

What was the most frustrating was that the dwarf didn't appear to be flagging under his wound. It was all Gaymar could do to stay out of reach of the dwarf's blade, but the blasted dwarf didn't appear to have broken a sweat. 


Morgrim knew he would be sore tomorrow. The elf had been lucky, and Morgrim would be paying the price for weeks to come. It never crossed his mind that he could die today - even as he parried and dodged, he simply assumed that he would struggle to pick up his nephews or play baze ball for a while. Besides, it was evident that the elf couldn't see straight, judging by some of his wild swings. But, he had to admit, he was having trouble hitting the bloody twit back. He watched in frustration as the little shit bounced this way and that, constantly avoiding the ministrations of Mogrim's great sword. 

It felt to Morgrim that he might have to think outside the box a little here. Clearly the elf wasn't prepared to stand still and fight like a dwarf, so he'd need to pin the irritating little runt down. He took a lazy swing at the elf, designed more to clear some personal space than to actually do any damage. The elf dived to the left and rolled over, stopping just next to an old tree stump, barely sticking out of the ground.


Gaymar came to his feet quickly. He knew he couldn't stay down at all - the great sword the dwarf was casually throwing about would easily split him in two. He was just in time too - the dwarf was coming at him in a reckless charge, with his sword high above his head. Time slowed to a standstill for Gaymar as he watched as the blade came down, knowing even as it sliced through the air, that he would easily side step the blow. It was times like this when he realised why the dwarves were so jealous of the elves - they were just so ... clumsy. 

Intent on showing off, Gaymar didn't even move his feet first. As the blade came down, he first twisted his shoulder out of the way, then arced his back, forcing his hips to follow. It was like watching a ripple pass through his body, as his body almost curved around the descending sword. His thighs and then his knees swayed sensuously, neatly avoiding the gleaming metal. In his final display of elegance, Gaymar flicked his feet out of the way, spun in the air, and promptly tripped over the tree stump.


Mogrim had never hit anything quite so hard as he hit that tree stump. His wrists, elbows, shoulders and jowls shook with the massive shock of a mighty swing stopped by what felt like a block of granite. Even his teeth ached as they rattled with the vibration of the impact. With an impact like that, he either cut the bloody elf clean in two, or he'd completely missed the sod. Realising that his eyes were clenched shut, he blinked rapidly as he shook his head. 


He'd missed completely. But, the elf was on the floor, so this was his chance. He tried to heft the sword up high.


The thing was stuck in the wood. He looked desperately at the elf, who still seemed a little dazed. 

Come. On. You. Bastard! 

Mogrim swore at the sword, but it would not budge. 

"Screw it," he said. 


Gaymar lay on his back, looking up at the sky. He had no idea how he had avoided dying just then, but he had, so that was okay. He wanted to give up. Just lie on the grass and call it a day. But he knew, as he lay there, that the psychotic dwarf was mere feet away, just outside his peripheral vision, probably even now swinging that sword down at him. 

The thought of having his head split in two galvanized him into action. He rolled over onto his belly, away from the damned tree stump and crawled onto his hands and knees. He had no idea where his sword was. 

He located the dwarf. Seemingly, the stupid creature had managed to get his sword stuck firmly in the tree stump he had just tripped over. 

So it screwed both of us, he thought. That's better than nothing. Where the hell is my sword?

Just then, he heard the dwarf exclaim violently. Gaymar was stunned to see the dwarf running straight at him, having abandoned the sword to the tree. 

Shit! He's unarmed! Where's my blasted - Gaymar's eyes found his sword. Aha! There it is!


Morgrim watched as the elf lunged for the sword.  He grinned and shook his head. 



Danak watched as Gaymar hurled himself at his sword. It surprised him that the dwarven commander hadn't even bothered with the sword, and just kept moving towards Gaymar. 

In all fairness, Danak hadn't expected the dwarf to just grab Gaymar as he did. On reflection, Danak realised that the dwarf knew he didn't need the sword. No, it appeared the dwarf had no intention of using a blade to do his dirty work. 

Both the dwarves and the elves watched as Morgrim jogged calmly over to where Gaymar was heading, reached out both his hands and grabbed the elf. 

For the second time that day, the elves watched as their commander was dragged to his knees by his ears. 

The spectating dwarves and elves collectively winced and gasped as they watched Morgrim move his head back, and with all his might, drove the eighty eight carat sapphire adorning his helmet deep into the already broken bridge of Gaymar's nose. 

The crunch was sickening. 

Watching the dwarven commander drop Gaymar's limp body, the Household Guard held their hands up in surrender. 


So, in the end, Morgrim won through. Gaymar just didn't have dice rolls he needed to punch through - failing to wound Morgrim at the last hurdle. Morgrim only scored one hit in return, but it was enough.


Ellendee wasn't sure how she survived the steam attack. She new she had been badly burned, and seemed to have trouble seeing from one eye. But, as the boiling steam had burned her physically, so it had ignited her hatred for the dwarf and his machine. 

Far from the confusion she had experienced trying to cast the fireball, she easily recited the words and made her arcane gestures with elegance and aplomb. 

Ellendee watched with satisfaction as her fireball engulfed the dwarven flying machine. She felt the warmth of the explosion enraging her own burnt skin, but her joy at the successful spell quashed the immediate discomfort.

"Done and done," she said, dusting off her hands.

But the machine was not done. Even as the thought crossed her mind that she hadn't seen anything drop to the ground, the flying monstrosity punched through the smoke and flames, completely intact. 

Ellendee's eyes widened and her jaw dropped in horror. The cold fingers of terror gripped her inside as she realised her position - she had her back up against the rock face, and as she looked left and right, she realised that she had nowhere to go. 

Her prior magical efforts had left her drained of energy, and the burns from the steam screamed blue murder as she moved, but she had no choice - she would have to take the machine down before its next attack run.


Torin was becoming concerned about his water levels. He could feel the machine's lift become sluggish and good Guild discipline would suggest that he should not fire the steam cannon again, lest he jeopardise the massive investment the Guild had put into this gyrocopter. 

The water level had concerned him more than the incoming fireball. 

He was used to the gyrocopter now and he found it easy to manouevre the big machine. His primary concern was not to be hit with the fireball himself, so he had tipped the nose forwards, and released a little torque so that the gyrocopter twisted to the left. The fireball didn't hit him (which is what he wanted) but it did hit the boiler. Fortunately, the boiler was of good quality, and, designed as it was for heat, the explosion simply washed off its side. 

Waves of fire rolled over him, but he didn't feel anything especially uncomfortable, given the amount of leather padding he was wearing. One doesn't straddle a steam pipe and rest one's back against a boiler without a little padding. 

He grinned as he saw the expression on the witches face when he materialised from the smoke.

"That's right, lady," he said under his breath. He patted the framework of the gyrocopter. "I'm still here..."

Still, here or not, he was presented with a problem: if he wasn't going to shoot at her, what was he going to do? He had thought about tossing a grenade down there, but he felt he was too close and again, could put the gyrocopter in danger with the blowback from the rock face. 

That's when it occurred to him. She's trapped, isn't she?

"Right," he said to himself, and pressed the stick forwards. 


Ellendee was already chanting the same words she had spent the afternoon mouthing. She drew signs in the air and made ready to loose another spell, desperate to save her life. 

But as she started making the sigil to target the flying machine, she realised that the pilot was driving it straight towards her! Her words faltered as she watched the gyrocopter bank into the curve of the rockface. Too late, she realised what was happening. She ducked low, but it was not enough. Evidently the pilot was used to dealing with short targets. 


Torin reached out and grabbed a fistful of the witch's hair. He jerked the stick back, causing the gyrocopter to lurch away from the hill, lifting himself and the elven wench high into the air. She flailed at him, howling like a banshee, but he held on resolutely. 

Later that day, he would reflect on how she had been the architect of her own fate. When she had stabbed his arm with her hair pin, what was it that she expected he would do?

Of course, he had let go. And, nimble as elves were rumoured to be, a twenty foot drop is a twenty foot drop. He never did see how she landed, but as he turned the machine around, he spied her crumpled form at the base of the hill. 

"Just so you know, that's not how I wanted it," he said quietly. 


Gayestin's keen eyes caught the wizard's fall. He wasn't sure how things were going on that side of the hill, but that seemed like a sure sign that it wasn't going well. 
"Hey guys! Guys!" he shouted. "Let's beat it!"

As one, the wardancers flipped backwards and darted towards the forest. 


Borri watched them run into the distance. He was relieved to realise that he was not the only dwarf resting his hands on his knees, puffing. 

Modern dancing! He snorted. It would never catch on.


And so, in the end, Ellendee also fell in battle. She also managed to score a hit on the dwarf pilot, but the lucky fellow passed his armour save. It wasn't hard for him to overcome Ellendee.

This, then, was the situation at the end of the game:

In the next post, I'll wrap everything up with an epilogue, a discussion of the game, an explanation of anything that looks like it needs explaining and some before and after shots of the two armies.


Battle Navigation

Turn 7

Monday, 19 September 2011

Battle Report: It's fun to slay at the Wyemm Seeyay - Turn 6

She cast a spell! No, really, she did! Come and see!

Ahem. Anyway, this is how turn 6 started:

Both Dreamfish and I thought that turn 6 would be 'the one', so I thought I would commit the elves to the fight - you know, a big bang and all that. So, everyone charged:

 The Wardancers finally made contact:

Morgrim challenged Gaymar to single combat. Gaymar had no choice but to accept, because he bravely charged by himself.


Morgrim gripped his sword in both hands. Finally - the elves were coming. He had positioned himself in the centre of his Firehammers to face the elven archers when he heard a maniacal ululating screech emanate from somewhere on his left. Craning his neck, he spied a wild, lone elf hurtling towards his unit at high speed. 

It was only when the elf was much closer did Morgrim recognise the fool as the one who had led the column down into the valley. So, he thought. This must be their leader

"Step aside, boys," he said. "Looks like our host is coming to greet us personally." He pushed his way out of formation and positioned himself in front of the rapidly approaching elf.


Danak Royd also watched Gaymar's meteoric approach to the dwarven line. I suppose we have to save him, he thought. No one else left to do it, now.

He took a deep breath. 



There are many ways to approach single combat. Of course, gentler races, such as the elves, approach combat with finesse - moving quietly and on light feet, caution lining their attentive faces. Hardier races, such as the dwarves, rely on their unflinching discipline and sublime confidence. 

Witnesses to the battle might later claim that the dwarves had indeed evidenced their confident discipline, as all dwarves do. But no-one would claim that Gaymar's approach was at all cautious or well considered. As soon as he was close enough, he leaped into the air. For a brief moment, his profile formed an almost perfect 'c' - his feet nearly touched the tip of his sword as he arced through the air, belt buckle first. 


Morgrim had been in the army for a while now. He had seen many things, including the sort of indulgent arrogance that no doubt led to the elf leaping at him as he did now. But, that arrogance had never materialised in such a fashion. He had never faced an airborne elf moving at terminal velocity. 


Gaymar felt the sword hit home. A thrill unlike any he had ever experienced flooded his entire body with excitement and adrenaline. It didn't feel planned, but he knew it was all him, baby. He had seen the dwarf raise his sword above him in order to deflect the elf. But Gaymar had expected that. He didn't know how - he simply knew that the dwarf would do just that. 

He switched his grip on the blade in one swift motion. Now, dagger-like, the blade pointed downwards. As he sailed over the dwarf, he thrust down. The dwarf's defense was against a hack, not a thrust, so it was almost too easy to force the blade into the dwarf's shoulder. 

The next thing he knew, he had broken his nose. 


Morgrim swore as the elf stabbed him. The little shit had been lucky. He had managed to force his blade directly into Mogrim's shoulder, right where the back plate and breast plate met. 

Enraged, Morgrim swing his two handed sword with all his might. In his youth, he had been a prolific Baze Ball player. Baze Ball was an ancient pastime the dwarves indulged in, where one dwarf would lob a rock (called a Baze) at the other, who would attempt to hit it with a club before his head was smashed. All of that muscle memory came to the fore as his powerful arms drove the blade forwards in a sweeping arc. Sparks flew as the blade crunched into the metal greaves protecting the elf's shins.

The impact was enough to stop the forward flight of the lower half of the elf. The upper half, however, had no such impediment, so it continued on it's original trajectory. Morgrim looked up and saw the elf flip head over heels twice before slamming face first into the ground.


Danak Royd expressed such a look of amazement at the sight of his lord somersaulting in the air that the dwarf he faced cast a brief look over his shoulder. It wasn't planned, but Danak took the opportunity none the less, and walloped the foolish dwarf just behind the ear with the pommel of his sword. The little fellow crumpled.


Gaymar rolled onto his back, moaning and clutching his face. There was blood everywhere. He felt no pain, but he knew for certain that his nose shouldn't be so ... flexible. He groped around for his sword before realising that the bloody thing was still sticking out of the dwarf like a banner pole. Animal instinct took over as he moved to a crouch and leaped at the dwarf again. 


Morgrim was a pragmatic dwarf. The wound hurt, but he wasn't dead or dying. And as long as the blade was in his shoulder, it wasn't in the hands of the sodding elf, so he had made no effort to remove it. Firming his grip on his own sword, he watched as the elf got onto all fours. Morgrim enjoyed the brief look of despair on the face of the elf as he registered the location of his sword. But, even though Mogrim was expecting it, the little bastard was just too fast. He elf hurled himself at the sword, again moving to leap over Morgrim. He narrowly missed the elf in an overhead chop which would have cleaved the idiot in two. He spun to face the elf. As he did so, he saw the blood running down his breast plate. Morgrim ran a hand over his shoulder and grimaced at his opponent. 

The elf had his sword back. 


Hargen Darce drove his hammer deep into the midriff of one of the archers. Dopey knob, he thought, as the elf folded in front of him. The dwarves had given ground, stepping back to consolidate their formation. Evidently, the elves considered this a victory and had pursued into a hardened, reorganised dwarven line. But, as this elf - who was now on his hands and knees coughing up blood - had just discovered, the dwarves were not about to give up. Tactical redeployment, kids. That's all it was - tactical redeployment.


The combat phase was the first place we came across some issues. As you know, we've found it easier to run the report if we process each other's equivalent phases one after the other, as opposed to the whole IGO UGO mechanism so common to Warhammer. This led to the interesting situation where two combat phases would follow directly on from each other - one for the elves and then one for the dwarves (both sides still fight in each, though). So, we were able to see the elves win (I know, can you believe it?) both combat events in the first combat phase, and then see them grind to a halt in the second.

Morgrim and Gaymar each manged to knock a wound off each other in the first round, and both failed to hurt each other in the second!

The first combat phase:

Combat in Warhammer 3rd edition does have some subtle but powerful differences compared to the later incarnations. In later editions, if an attackers WS is equal to the defenders WS, then traditionally the attacker must roll 4 or more on a d6. In WFB3, a 5 is required. Also, later editions of Warhammer only really allow for a scale between 3 and 5 on a d6, so if the attacker has WS10 and the defender WS1, the attacker must still roll 3 or higher. In WFB3, the scale is bigger, running between 2 and 6+. 6+ in this case means that a 6 followed by another number is required to score a hit.

All of this told heavily in combat, meaning that most of the time, very few hits were actually scored. So, ultimately, not many casualties occurred.

The second combat phase:

The second and more interesting debate we had was about number of attacks and base to base contact. In later versions of Warhammer, the notion of diagonal base to base combat is accepted as the norm:

...but, is the same true in Warhammer 3? From what we could see, no. This was especially interesting, because this led us to investigate the rules, in which it claims that attackers can only attack forwards unless they have gore or stomp or tail attacks. That then led us into the question about models with multiple attacks - how many figures can they actually kill? On face value, this looked like a good natural limiter to some of the more powerful (I'm looking at you, chaos) armies that have many models with multiple attacks.  Assuming the above is true - it then suggests that you can only kill as many models as you are in base to base with...which takes us full circle to the beginning of the argument - is diagonal contact base to base contact...

The reserves phase was pretty subdued, with almost every unit on the table in combat:

Having completed a few rounds of combat, the exhausted units assume new formations, ready for the next round.

And...last but certainly not least - Ellendee finally cast a spell! With 2 magic points remaining, she successfully launched a fireball at the gyrocopter, scoring 3 hits.

No wounds, though, but we gotta crawl before we can walk, right?

So...given that Gaymar and Morgrim are locked in mortal combat...we thought it made sense to move on to turn 7!

Will Ellendee finally eliminate the gyrocopter? Will the Arrowheads reach their destination? Can Gaymar eliminate Morgrim?


Battle Navigation

Turn 6

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Battle Report: It's fun to slay at the Wyemm Seeyay - Turn 5

Turn 5 starts like this:

Plenty of movement in the movement phases. The elves manage to execute a planned charge, even as the chariot rumbles off the field.

The Wardancers could have charged the Steelaxes this turn, but if they had done so, they would have opened themselves up to a flank charge from the Arrowheads. Based on that, they decided to move to the flank of the Steelaxes, allowing them to control the charge in the following turn and use the Steelaxes as cover form the Arrowheads.

Spar finally gets to grips with the stone thrower. 

Some dwarves sneak past the abandoned war machine:

Again, the dwarves out-shoot the elves:


Gaymar was having the time of his life. He had loved reading the adventure books his uncles had given him and his mind had been filled with stories of heroes of old dealing out justice and retribution to all the enemies of the elves. And now he was there. In the action! Even when that infernal flying machine had scorched him from above, he realised just how alive he really felt. And...the steam had left his jerkin tattered, his muscles exposed and gleaming, and his hair wet and wild. He looked like a hero. He looked epic

He tossed his hair. 

It was only in so doing that he came to witness the demise of the Chippin Dale Regiment of Foote, behind him. Where before ten brave elves had followed him unquestionably into battle, there now only stood three bedraggled warriors and a string of broken, moaning casualties spread out behind them. 

Gaymar knew how fate worked. It happened like this in all the stories he read. Entire regiments were decimated by dragons and sorcerers, leaving only the toughest fighters and their brave commanders. In this case, he reasoned that he must be the brave commander, although he did note with irritation that Jorj Miy Kael was still alive. Maybe that's so he can leap in front of an arrow or something and save my life, Gaymar thought. 

Anyway, he knew fate. And fate was telling him he would win the fight with the Chippin Dales. He knew at that point he needed to join with them and lead them in a dazzling display of bravery and cheek - he must lead them directly against the approaching dwarves. 

Hair tossing complete, he turned to face them and was about to shout to them when he saw them completely engulfed in torrent of boiling hot water and steam. Even as far as he was, he felt the violent heat of steam cannon. 

Brilliant, he thought, as he savoured the feeling of his hair whipping in the wind. I'm totally epic!

He waited for the steam to dissipate, expecting to see the vehicle of his victory standing firm and cheering for him. What he saw was three screaming elves rolling around on the floor. Jorj Miy Kael had gone from a suitable lieutenant to the worst hair disaster this side of the Forest of Loren. 

Gaymar looked up at the approaching gyrocopter. He looked across at Morgrim and his approaching Firehammers. Evidently, Fate had an even better outcome for him. Evidently, he didn't need the Chippin Dales. Evidently, Fate had chosen him to single handedly slay the dwarves. 

He gripped the pommel of his sword and in one fluid movement, hoisted the blade high above his head. He hoped the others were watching, so that his moment of greatness would be remembered for ever. It was only when the sword was above his head that he heard the traditional schwing of the blade being drawn from the scabbard. 

Hang on, his subconscious said. The schwing normally comes before the blade goes overhead. Doesn't it? 

Yes, his subconscious replied to itself. Schwing, then up. Not up, then schwing. Definitely not that way around.

Gaymar's keen eyes spotted an object descending in the distance. His heart dropped. Oh no. Oh no, no, no, no. She would never let him live this one down. 

"Ellendee!" he shouted. "ELLENDEE!" He waved his arms furiously. 

He winced. Too late.


The elves finally eliminate the devastating Earthquaker:

Spar is a bound spirit host. Storm of Magic (for Warhammer 8th edition) is the first time since 3rd edition that GW have even contemplated this sort of thing - another bit of evidence indicating the true source of inspiration for WFB8.

In Warhammer 3rd edition, hosts (being Spirit, Monstrous or Chaotic) can be bound into service if there is a wizard to do so. Although the full points cost is payed for the host, the wizard also needs to spend magic points in order to bind the host. In this case, I could only afford to spend 5 points in the binding. That means that once Spar has finished this engagement (as he did at the end of the combat phase), he will simply 'blip' out of existence.

Had I had a more powerful wizard with more magic points, I would have been able to use more of them to use a stronger binding with the spectre. Or...had I known that Ellendee would be completely incapable of casting spells, I would have used the rest of her magic points for a stronger binding...

In the reserves phase, both sides prepare for the 'end-game'. Warhammer 3rd edition doesn't have a turn limit like the later editions, but in this case, it really appears that turn 6 is the one that will decide the outcome.


Ellendee was embarrassed. She should have been able to manage the damned flying machine and she had messed her spells up twice now. She was glad her tutors were nowhere near to watch her crumble like this. Granted, it was her first battlefield experience, and she didn't really know many dangerous spells, but she was sure she could do better than this.

Checking to make sure no one was looking, she quickly drew a small book from her robes. This was her spell book. She had been desperately hoping she could do the thing from memory, but fireball was a difficult spell. She quickly paged through, flipping to the 'F' section. 

Ah. Here we are.

Seeing it on paper brought it all back to her. She slapped her forehead. Of course! How could she be so stupid? 

She looked up at the gyrocopter. Her eyes narrowed as she chanted in the language of the wytch. Her hands weaved this way and that, drawing impossible signs on an unseen page. She contracted with nature and the elements and allowed their combined grace to flow through her veins. It's coming, she thought. It's coming. 

At the moment when she thought she could hold it no longer, she launched a fireball. 

At exactly the same time, the steel tip of the bejeweled scabbard of Gaymar the Foccer descended from the heavens and bounced off her head. 


Her eyes rolled up as she fell backwards. 

This event left three things floating in the air: a scabbard, a spellbook, and a fireball. 

The scabbard, having bounced directly up, dropped down again onto Ellendee's stomach. Her eyes jerked open as she grunted in surprise. This gave her just enough time to see the spellbook, travelling upwards, meet the fireball, travelling downwards. A properly cast fireball will explode on impact, but it came as no consolation to Ellendee that her's was a properly cast fireball. It exploded exactly as it ought to.

She watched in horror as her spellbook disintegrated in a rain of ash and cinder. She grabbed the object lying across her stomach and, still lying on her back, brought it into her field of vision to identify. 

I. Am. Going. To. Kill. Him. She rolled onto her stomach and slowly regarded her cousin. The simpering idiot was waving at her. I am absolutely going to castrate that retard, if it's the last thing I ever do on this earth...


One of the most disappointing elements of this game (for me) has been the complete absence of magic. Although the story suggests the fault lies with Gaymar, in rules terms, the silly cow failed her intelligence test for the third time in a row. She needs to roll 10 or less on 2d6. Three times she's duffed that now! She has now consumed 3 magic points in her attempts, and only has 2 magic points left. Surely, surely, surely, she'll be able to get a spell off in turn 6?!?

I was really hoping to demonstrate how simple the magic phase really is and what a game might look like without the uncontrolled, top-heavy magic of Warhammer 8th edition.


The dwarves and the elves prepare to engage:

This is the situation at the end of turn 5:

Will Gaymar survive the impending contact with the dwarves? Will Gaymar survive his next encounter with his cousin? Will Gaymar survive his next encounter with his father? Join us next time, for turn 6!


Battle Navigation

Turn 5

Friday, 2 September 2011

Battle Report: It's fun to slay at the Wyemm Seeyay - Turn 4

Things appear to be looking up for the elves.

Nah. I'm lying. I just said that to make you read the rest of the report.

This was the situation at the start of Turn 4:

Combat was finally reached as the uncontrolled chariot slammed into the Steelaxes. Other movement involved lots of posturing and preparing for Turn 5 combat.

Spar bears down on the hateful stone thrower:


Arek smiled as he watched another perfectly placed rock crunch into the distant elves. Make no mistake: he liked hitting elves with an axe as much as the next dwarf, but to him, this was the way warfare should be conducted. It was elegant, it was civilised, and there wasn't much chance at all of one having his beer knocked over.

He reached down and rewarded his brilliant shot with a deep draught from his metal mug. What was this one again? He looked over at the barrel forming part of Earthquaker's defences. Wudbeiser Extra Lite. He wasn't that keen on these new modern 'lite' beers that the army had started issuing. Ever since that flame cannon thing back in '55, clan leaders and other namby-pamby civilians had gotten all upset about accidents relating to drunkenness. The chaps involved had only had about seven or eight pints anyway. It was evidently a problem with the city-hall curtains that they had burst into flame like that. Besides, if you insisted on putting curtains everywhere like that, you were asking for problems. And now the whole bloody army had to drink bloody Wudbeiser Extra Freakin' Lite. Sugar free, caffeine free, flavour free and just about bloody alcohol free too. 

Arek sighed. Anyway. He noticed that the crew were all looking over the barrier at something. 

"She's not going to load herself, you know," he said.

No one appeared to have heard him. He cleared his throat and tried again. 

Still nothing. What the hell are they looking at? He was loathe to get up. He had struggled to find a comfortable place to sit and relax whilst he had waged war against the elves. Now the bloody crew decide to look at something interesting...

He stood up groaning and wandered up to the barrier. He focused in the direction the rest of the dwarves were staring. 

Bearing down on them at top speed was a lone elven horseman. Arek squinted at him. There was definitely something odd about him. Besides the fact that he was charging towards a fortified dwarven position, that is.

He continued to stare at the horseman, shading his eyes with his hand. It was almost as if he could see ... through the elf. He looked down and swilled the contents of his mug around, trying to see if he could see anything unusual in the beer. No. He looked at the spectre again. 

Hmmm, he thought. I can definitely see through him. Arek looked down at the beer again, impressed. 

That's some good shit in there.


Again, the Lornalim equipped elite archers embarrassed the entirety of the wood elf people by collectively slaying two dwarves. I presume this lot of wood elves are vegetarian, because they must be dreadful hunters.

The dwarves dished out the pain, with the Arrowheads killing three wardancers and the Earthquaker scoring a third direct hit!

Torin fires the steam cannon at Ellendee, but his bitterness towards Gaymar pushes through unconsciously as he mistakenly hits the elven general instead. Gaymar, seemingly used to hot, steamy situations, survives the attack unscathed.

The elves face down their hated foe. Not the Firehammers, but the bloody stone thrower in the background:

Combat! Hooray for combat! I rolled spectacularly for the chariot impact hits, causing three, but dismally when it came to wound. In spite of my best efforts, however, the horses still managed to kill a dwarf. The dwarves make short work of the chariot, however, and easily chase it off:

The Steelaxes face their frenzied, feral, four legged fate:


Shortbredin Caek sat on the floor, arms wrapped around his knees, rocking back and forth. He was not responding to anyone. Borri and the other dwarves looked on in sympathy as he whimpered quietly. 

"Poor bastard," Borri said, looking at Shortbredin's helmet, which he was holding in his hand. He looked at the indentations the horses teeth had left in it. That had been one angry horse, all right. "He's shell-shocked."

Borri had seen it before. Even veteran dwarves, having seen battle hundreds of times, would have cracked under the strain of what Shortbredin had experienced. The horror was still fresh in his own mind. 

They had all been expecting the chariot hit. Being dwarves, they trusted their training and the strength of their shields. Chariots had no fear for them - it was textbook case - raise a shield wall when facing a chariot. Simple. In the textbook example, however, the horses would falter and turn at the last minute. In this case, however, the blasted creatures had just slammed into the shields - it was all the dwarves could do to not be toppled. 

Even as he thought about it, he had to acknowledge: the boys had done well. Everyone held their ground. They had seen the horses off. He'd even given one a thorough wallop on it's rump. But still, it wasn't enough to save poor Shortbredin. 

Once the horses realised they could not force their way through the dwarves, they had broken and scattered to the left, dragging the infernal chariot with them. It was then that Shortbredin had met his fate. As one of the brutes ran down the line, it had bitten down firmly on Shortbredin's helmet. The helmet had held - it was sturdy dwarf workmanship, so no worries there. But the poor dwarf had buckled his helmet strap under his chin - how was he to know? So when the horse had grabbed him, the poor bugger was lifted from his feet and shaken hither and thither by the enraged horse. By his head.

"Aaaaarrr! Geddidoff! Geddidoff! Geddidoff!"

They had watched helplessly as Shortbredin cried for help. It was hard to tell whether it was his or the horse's spittle that was flung left and right. It was like watching a terrier savage a rag doll. Even Borri had been mesmerized by the flailing dwarf.  Fortunately, Borri's presence of mind had returned just then. He had stepped forwards, giving the horse another almighty thrashing with the back of his axe. Panicked, the stupid beast had dropped the thoroughly shaken Shortbredin and the hateful creatures had fled into the distance.

A simple question dragged Borri back to the present.

"What do we do with him, boss?"

"There's nothing much we can do, Chippin Dippe. Not after what he's been through. Just have to leave him there and come back for him when he's in a stable condition."

Shortbredin moaned pitifully.

"I don't think we should mention stables anywhere near him, Sir," Chippin whispered.


The reserves phase was rewarding, given that the dwarves couldn't make any reserves. This was mainly down to Spar Gettyand Sors. Being a spectre (and a spectacularly terrifying one at that) he causes fear in a 12" radius. Units cannot make a reserve move when in a fear effect, so Spar managed to stifle their flexibility.

Again, this is another subtle, but effective difference between the simplified march as it appears in the later editions of Warhammer, and the reserve move in 3rd edition. Units cannot reserve move if they are within 4" of an enemy, or in some other cases, like the fear. This means that units cannot actually march past each other, because the 'balance' of the march occurs in the reserves phase. March blocking takes on a whole new meaning in Warhammer 3.

I want to write about the magic phase. I really do. I want to write about fire raining from the heavens and lightning bolts shooting forth from glowing eyes. Of course, those events require the actual casting of spells, something that is proving to be a problem for Ellendee. The dopey mare failed her intelligence test again!

This is the situation at the end of turn 4:

Will Spar save the archers from Earthquaker? Can the Household Guard face Morgrim and his Firehammers? Will Ellendee ever cast a spell? You'll have to wait for turn 5 to find out!


Battle Navigation

Turn 4