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kurisawa
27-10-2010, 02:52
The Battle of Ravenscrag

She didn’t dare to look back. Dashing past spider-infested hedges and whipping, lashing branches, Safina the Treesinger sprinted for her life through the darkening woods.

The howls of her pursuers tore through the dusk. Giant wolves growled as they followed her scent, and dozens of black-garbed sadists hacked their way through the brush behind her.

Safina came to the place in the woods; the glade that disguised the hidden Way. Gripping her gnarled wooden staff and focusing her efforts on the glimmering jade crystal mounted at its top, she whispered the words of the ancient tongue; the tongue of the forest spirits. A cool wind shivered through the branches, and on it a voiceless reply.

Pass, treefriend, and warn our kin.



* * *

8th Edition battle report: Wood Elves vs Orcs and Goblins, 1500 points.

The Kindred of the Wild Heaths
Safina (treesinger); level 2, Glamourweave talisman, Ranu’s Heartstone.
Sarathai (noble); spear, shield, light amour, great eagle, Hail of Doom, Helm of the Hunt.
10 Glade Guards; musician.
10 Glade Guards; musician.
15 Glade Guards; musician, standard.
6 Wild Riders; full command.
6 Treekin.
5 Wardancers; musician, firstdancer.

The Mad Mooneez.
Grrbad (black orc bigboss); great axe, Drogs Armour.
Oddnog (orc shaman); level 2, Knobbly Staff.
Gitsneek (night goblin bigboss); BSB, light armour, Sword o Hackin.
39 Night goblins; spears, full command, 2 fanatics.
20 Night goblins; shortbows, full command, 2 fanatics.
10 Wolf Riders; spears, shields, full command.
6 Snotling swarms.
19 Black orcs; additional hand weapons, banner and musician.
1 Rocklobba.
1 Giant.

Terrain:
O&G end centre; hill.
Middle left, towards O&G end; swamp.
Middle left, towards WE end; forest.
Middle right; forest.
Middle far right; crag (impassable).
WE end, rightish; hill.

WE deployment, from left to right:
Far left, Wardancers & Sarathai on eagle.
Inside left, 10 GG.
Centre-left, Treekin.
Centre-right, 15 GG & Safina.
Inside right, 10 GG.
Far right, Wild Riders.

O&G deployment from left to right (looking from my end):
Far left, Wolf Riders.
Inside left, Giant.
Centre-left, 39 Night Goblins & Gitsneek.
Centre-right, 19 Black Orcs & Grrbad.
At rear on hill, Rocklobba.
Inside right, 20 Night Goblin bowmen.
Far right, 6 Snotling swarms.


* * *

kurisawa
27-10-2010, 02:52
“We cannot fight them and hope to live.”

The deep pounding of the drums thundered across the Wild Heaths before they saw them. The autumn sun was setting, staining the sky a startling blood red. Raven’s Crag, that lonely spire of jagged rock, cast a long shadow, its dark fingers stretching across the plains of heather and gorse, when the first silhouettes gathered on the far side of the moor.

Sceolan the Warrior Elder repeated his grim assessment, “We cannot fight them and hope to live.”

Rank after rank scrabbled into view behind those in front: Hunched, hook-nosed, chittering goblins swathed in their stinking black robes and hoods. A forest of crude but lethal spears sprang up above the gathered hordes of needle-toothed goblins, and the greenskin army continued to assemble. The drums pounded and their horns screeched a discordant challenge.

“I hate to admit it, but I think the old man might be right,” Roywan the Wild Bear, Firstdancer of the Angry Spirit Warriors, commented before taking a swig from his flask of cider. “You might want to think about retreating and calling your father in Loren for aid this time.”

“No!” declared Sarathai the Red Hawk, saddled nearby upon the majestic great eagle, Anra, and clutching her garlanded spear. “No greenskin shall cross the Wild Heaths under my watch!”

“I agree with our leader,” came the sarcastic timbre of Kyarlu’s voice. Sarathai, Sceolan and Roywan turned to see the young nobleman of Equos trotting towards them at the head of his honour guard of Wild Riders. Sarathai scowled. Kyarlu the Raven never agreed with her, and never considered her to be his leader. His black eyes locked with hers as he tossed his wolf-fur cloak nonchalantly over one shoulder to reveal the rippling raven tattoo across his bare chest.

“If the orcs succeed here tonight, it will be on your watch,” he sneered.

Anra squawked and flapped his mighty wings as he sensed Sarathai’s anger gather. “Do you come here to aid them?” she asked.

“Of course not,” he snorted. “I represent the Equos, the true lords of the Heaths, and we will fight as hard as any of your vagabonds.”

“My Lady,” Sceolan quickly interjected, “the time has come. What would you have us do?”

He gestured to the regiments of green-cloaked elven glade guards that stood to attention at the wood’s edge, facing with silent challenge the greenskin horde, which appeared still to be gathering size.

“We fight!” Sarathai said, looking deeper into the woods, as if searching for something.

Roywan gave a whoop, and dashed away to join his wardancers on the left flank. Not to be outdone, Kyarlu, too, shouted a battle cry and led his men as they geed their steeds out towards the opposite flank.

Anra lifted with thunderous flaps of his wings, then swooped low across the heaths towards the left flank, Sarathai clinging to his back. There she saw the feral, war-painted wardancers, and scarlet-haired Roywan, salute her.

“What do you think brings them out of their stinking caves this time?” Roywan called across to her.

“To capture, to enslave, to torture,” she replied, grimacing.

Roywan shrugged, “The usual, then.”

“No, not this time,” said a voice, quietly, but laced with an ancient power. Safina emerged from the deepwoods.

“Sister!” Sarathai greeted her. “I am glad to see you, though it be in this dark time.”

Safina nodded acknowledgement, “There is a shaman amongst them: A wise one. He wants Loren, and all the magic within. We must stop them.”

“Do the old ones waken?” asked Sarathai. Safina nodded, “They do.”

“Then there is hope.”


Turn 1:

“Oh look, they have a giant,” commented Roywan without enthusiasm. The massive creature stomped across the heaths, staggering as if drunk, his ponderous footsteps echoing in the twilight. No doubt the goblins had fed him some toxic cocktail of fungus to boost his already natural viciousness.

“That’s our mark,” Sarathai called down to Roywan, as Anra continued to flap higher into the now almost black sky. Roywan and his men darted into a thicket of nearby woods and took positions ready to leap out at the monster when it came too close.

But as Sarathai gained altitude upon the back of her trusted companion, a new and unexpected sight came to her.

“Wolf riders!” she exclaimed, though her words were lost on the rushing wind. The goblins and their slavering horse-sized canine mounts were bounding down the left flank towards the wood elf lines.

Sarathai switched her gaze to the carefully marshaled lines of glade guard archers and could see Sceolan issuing commands. Despite the gathering gloom, no wood elf eye-sight could be tricked by the shadows of the dusk. The regiment of archers nearest the left flank let fly a deadly volley of arrows at the approaching outriders. And their aim was true; a number of goblins were struck from their mounts by the zipping missiles and hurled onto the coarse heather to bleed their spiteful lives away.

On the far side of the battlefield, at the right flank beneath the ominous silhouette of Ravenscrag, Kyarlu led his men as they raced forwards on their elegant steeds.

“We’ll show that runaway usurper how the Equos deal with these greenskin scum!” he shouted.

They rounded a copse of thickset trees and yet another goblin mob came into view, these toting shortbows and black-fletched arrows.

The hornblower of the Wild Riders called the charge and their horses broke into a gallop, the riders leveling their spears. But the distance was great, and as the elven riders closed with the chattering and screeching goblins, something launched itself from amongst their ranks.

Swinging a wrecking ball of iron thrice its own weight, the black-cloaked, mushroom-crazed goblin hurtled into the galloping riders. It struck with a meaty crunch, breaking the legs of one of the horses and hurling its rider into a crumpled heap. The charge collapsed into disarray as the alarmed steeds halted and whinnied.

The final grasping tendrils of crimson sunlight faded away beyond Ravenscrag to the west, and the greenskin drums and horns fell silent. Several heartbeats passed. Then with a nerve-jangling, screeching roar, the goblin horde began its charge.

Safina appeared beside Sceolan in the central regiment of Lord Ythil’s own glade guards, her longbow already nocked ready to add to the volley of her kinsmen. He acknowledged her with a nod, then scrutinised the onrushing enemy mobs.

“There!” he called to his archers. “The black-skinned orcs; concentrate your fire! Bring them down!”

Arrows hissed like vipers across the heathlands, thudding into flesh and shields, cutting down greenskins, but nothing could deter their mad rush.

Meanwhile, to the left flank, the remainder of the wolf riders faced a choice. Their red gleaming eyes had spotted the wardancers hiding in the woods to their right, but the archers ahead were yet nocking fresh arrows to cut them down from afar.

Fearing the woods, as any sensible goblin with experience fighting the elven denizens of the forest realm should, the chieftain of the wolf rider tribe screeched at his boys to charge at the archers instead. Yet even the long stride of their blood-hungry wolves was not quick enough, and another volley of deadly arrows ripped through their number as their charge floundered.

At the right flank, Kyarlu’s bewildered riders recovered from the shock of the goblin fanatic that had smashed through their charge. Only now another surprise beset them. Like a living carpet of spikes and claws, a mob of insane squigs and snotlings threw themselves at the horsemen. With the little greenskins and their dagger-fanged monsters crawling all over them, biting and stabbing murderously with every vicious weapon they had, the Wild Riders were forced to halt their intended glorious advance to fight off the stunted creatures.

As night blanketed the sky, bright green lightning gathered and flickered above the heads of the onrushing greenskins. Safina closed her eyes, sensing the power of the enemy wizard building. From amongst their shadowy ranks, a fork of pure greenskin shamanic energy reached up towards the circling silhouette of Anra the great eagle.

Safina gasped, grasping her staff with all her might and channeling her own powers to intercept the bolt. The magical energies clashed overhead, lighting up the battlefield in a strobe effect, and the greenskin magic was thwarted.

Swaying and leaning upon her staff for support, Safina exchanged a meaningful glance with Sceolan. She said, “He is powerful, and the winds wax strong.”

kurisawa
27-10-2010, 02:53
Turn 2.

The chieftain of the goblin wolf riders snarled at his boys as they struggled to control their slavering mounts. Dead or dying goblins and wolves twitched where they lay, pierced by arrows on the coarse turf. If he could not believe that his glorious riders had failed their charge before the elven arrows, he was set for one more disappointment. Yelling a blood-curdling battle cry, Roywan’s wardancers erupted from the nearby wood’s edge and flung themselves somersaulting into combat with the wolf riders.

Meanwhile, nearby, the giant plodded onwards, a great uprooted and de-branched birch trunk like an improvised battering ram in his massive hands. Sarathai whispered a prayer as she unsheathed a strange arrow of gnarled and knotted wychwood, looking down upon the battlefield. Anra the great eagle glided for a moment to give her a stable platform, and she pulled her longbow taut. With a cry she unleashed the arrow, and in the darkness it exploded into a storm of golden-glowing magical shards.

The hail of doom engulfed the giant, who howled as his thick flesh was pierced in half a dozen places by the magical missile. Sarathai watched as the golden cloud dissipated, and groaned as she saw the giant still walked, though limping and wounded with one eye fountaining blood. He was badly injured, but not yet dead.

At the centre, Sceolan and the glade guards continued pouring their volleys of arrows at the screeching, onrushing greenskins. Though their missiles were accurate, there were just so many of the enemy.

Then something large moved in the woods behind the elven archers. All eyes turned for a moment, alarmed. In the darkness, strange shapes strode forth and showed themselves at the wood’s edge. The elves all bent to one knee, and Safina hailed the newcomers.

“Neibeech, Willowbeam, Oakenthu, Everbirch, Yewborn, and Silverash; My Lords, you are most welcome!”

“Grummm! Goblins! Nasty, biting, chopping, stinking goblins!” muttered one of the treekin, his voice a long drawn growl like a harsh, moaning wind. “We come treefriends! And we kill!”

Their long legs like the trunks of ancient trees, the treekin continued to stride, past the bowing elves, and onwards to intercept the invaders.

At the sight of these ancient forest spirits emerging into the night, the greenskin charge paused. Grrbad, the brutal chieftain of the black orcs, gestured at the treekin and yelled across to the nervously chittering night goblins.

“You deal with that; we’ll get the pointy-ears!”

“Wha…?” screeched Gitsneek, the bigboss of the goblins, glancing between the black orcs and the treekin. But Grrbad’s orders would tolerate no argument. Perhaps fearing retribution from their dark-skinned allies even more than the mysterious forest spirits, the goblins steeled themselves and continued their advance.

Fuelled with the Fury of Kurnous, the enraged Wild Riders hacked and stabbed at the enveloping mass of squigs and snotlings. Though they cleared a path of blood through the small horde, another two riders fell. Even as he spied the mob of bow-toting goblins sidling around their flank ready to charge, Kyarlu shouted to his remaining men to hold firm. He was not about to flee and give his rival the satisfaction.

Across the northern side of the heathlands, a rickety contraption atop a hill was a buzz of activity. “Ready!” squeaked a black-robed goblin, as a rabid squig was finally herded into the throwing cup of their lobba: A delightfully destructive contraption they had liberated from its former dwarfen owners. The leader of the small mob of goblins smacked the firing lever and the bad-tempered missile was launched screeching through the night.

Sarathai swayed at the last moment as something round and heavy screamed past her head. She glanced back to see the thing – was it one of their cave squigs? – splat into the heath behind her. She switched her gaze back towards the rear of the enemy horde, her elven eyes questing. There, she spotted the catapult and its skulking crew. Her eyes narrowed and she bent low upon Anra’s back, whispering a request to her majestic mount.

Beneath her, Roywan and his wardancers cartwheeled and leapt, dealing death with their lightning fast blades. Neither the last of the goblin riders nor their howling wolves could reply to the whirlwind of blades, and with a feral shriek of triumph, Roywan gutted the last of them with his twin swords. He shook off the black goblin blood from his sword, took a swig from his flask, then looked across the heaths. He witnessed a furious, injured giant lurching towards them.

Sarathai braced herself against the howling wind as Anra dived straight for the goblin war machine, her spear ready to draw blood, when a strange crackling sensation filled the air around her.

Amongst the elven glade guards, Safina cried out as once again bright green lightning flickered in the heavens. “I cannot hold it!” she exclaimed breathlessly.

Above the battlefield, Sarathai and Anra were suddenly engulfed by sizzling shamanic magic. The green lightning scorched Sarathai across her shoulder, and Anra’s tail feathers burned in the wind.

On the ground, Safina peered into the night sky anxiously. She saw that her sister had survived the orc shaman’s attack, but only just. Then her attention was seized as the mob of brutal, snorting black orcs lumbered directly towards her and her glade guard kinsmen.

Turn 3.

“Grummm, drummm! Nasty goblins will die!” roared the treekin as they pounded towards the huge mob of night goblins. The stunted, cloaked creatures chattered nervously, but did not run. Instead, more of the mushroom-fuelled fanatics were launched from their ranks at the ancient forest spirits. One of these spun away, shrieking wildly before strangling himself spectacularly. The other crashed into the treekin, rebounding between the trunk-like legs and smashing bits of wood-like flesh. The treekin roared their fury into the night sky.

On the left flank, Roywan re-corked his flask of cider and took a deep breath. “Here we go again!” he shouted to his men, and together they dashed, shrieking, towards the bleeding, swaying giant.

In the centre, Sceolan shouted encouragement to the glade guards. Not only one of them felt the urge to turn and flee into the safety of the woods, but the presence of the Warrior Elder kept them calm as they unleashed yet more volleys into the onrushing black orcs. At such close range, the missiles punched through the thick plates of armour to pierce tough orcish hides. And finally, there seemed to be fewer of the greenskins than had started their mad dash across the plains.

Meanwhile, her wits gathered and her anger burning with fresh hatred, Sarathai thrust with her spear just as Anra the great eagle arrested his renewed dive above the heads of the cowering crew of the goblin catapult. She spitted one of the vile creatures through his belly, lifting him clean off his feet before his dead carcass slid clear of her spear. Anra grasped another with his fearsome talons, cutting the goblin to bloody ribbons before dropping the limp body to crash upon its hateful contraption.

Roywan ducked beneath the battering swings of the giant’s massive club, and thrust back with one of his twin swords. It sank into the monster’s thigh. Around him, the wardancers somersaulted and shrieked. So many blows they landed upon the huge monster, but none could pierce its thick hide. Roywan growled with frustration, then saw his opening. Using his blade sunk into its thigh as leverage, he vaulted up the giant’s flank and landed upon its shoulder. Just as it turned its ugly head to face him, he rammed his sword into its last good eye. Roywan was forced to leap far to avoid the thunderous roar of pain from the monster. Now fighting blind, its battering ram of a weapon cleaved wildly through the air, and even the lightning reflexes of two wardancers could not save them from being smashed in the chests and battered away into the heaths.

Safina and the glade guards tensed as Sceolan shouted the order for their final volley. The black orcs were but twenty paces from them now; she could see their gleaming, evil red eyes, and yet also sense the shaman was nearby. The final volley was unleashed, and yet more of the beasts fell, but their leader – a gruesome, scarred brute of an orc – growled at his boys and they ignored the casualties to complete their dash over the final yards.

Galvanised perhaps by their larger, dark-skinned allies nearby, the goblins, too, charged at the fearsome treekin.

And so the centre of the battlefield erupted into murderous melee. The treekin stamped and lashed out with their gnarled limbs, breaking goblin bodies with every strike and hurling limp black rags into the night sky. Their fury was truly fearsome to witness, yet the plucky goblins fought back, stepping up to replace their fallen comrades and stabbing viciously with their spears and blades, seeking weak points in the forest spirits’ bark-like hides.

Nearby, the glade guards produced silver, leaf-like short swords from beneath cloaks to confront the hulking black orcs. The elves stabbed with skill and grace, but the tough hides of the black-skinned brutes seemed impervious to every blow. In return, the orcs smashed down the elves with crude yet effective clubs and spiked maces, those behind adding their weight and attacks to the furious scrap.

Safina found herself confronted by the massive, scarred chieftain that led the greenskins. His red eyes gleamed wickedly as he twirled his heavy great-axe menacingly. Before he struck, Safina dashed inside his swing and scored a cut across his belly. The black orc simply bellowed with laughter. Foregoing his axe, he scooped up the slender treesinger in bulging arms. Legs kicking helplessly as she was lifted from the ground, Safina found herself locked in a deadly embrace. The orc continued laughing as he slowly squeezed the life from her lungs.

“Grrbad, stop,” uttered a harsh voice. Both Safina and the orc glanced sideways to the source. The old shaman, as scarred and pitted as the black orc, gazed intently at her.

“She will be our plaything in the torture dungeons,” the shaman’s face split into a hideous gap-toothed grin. Grrbad nodded acknowledgement, then headbutted Safina right in the forehead. She fell limp instantly, and he tossed her unconscious body behind him so that his boys at the rear could carry her away.

“Safina, no!” yelled Sceolan, and he pounced towards the great black orc. Yet more of the orcish brutes barred his way with thick armour and tough hides. Sceolan glanced around and saw that his archers were beaten. There were but a few left standing, and the fight for their lives would be short. Sceolan had to make a choice, he knew, glancing towards where the chieftain had crushed Safina so cruelly. Retribution would have to wait. With a shout, he ordered the glade guards to retreat, and this they thankfully did, disappearing with a swirl of cloaks back into the trees.

Meanwhile, away to the right, Kyarlu roared his frustration as he cleaved yet more of the squigs and snotlings on his blade. He knew these stunted beasts were keeping him from the real fight and it burned him deeply to think that Sarathai could hold this disgrace against him. Finally, the horses stamped on the last of the vicious enemy. And yet, another goblin horn sounded the charge and the Wild Riders wearily turned and gathered their last reserves to face the oncoming enemy. The bow-armed cretins had decided to face them up close after all.

Their strength failing, yet another rider was felled by the screeching, hook-nosed goblins. Finally, Kyarlu found himself and but one other of his men alone.

“Sire,” the elven hornblower called desperately to him, “let us not die here for naked pride. We will have another chance!”

Kyarlu snarled at the rider, but deep down knew there was sense in the words. Reluctantly, cursing, he turned his steed and dashed away, his kinsman close behind.

Turn 4.

The centre of their line smashed apart by the black orcs, the remaining regiments of glade guards turned and searched for enemy victims upon which to visit grim revenge. On the right flank, beneath the solitary peak of Ravenscrag, two horsemen sprinted in the dark.

“Halt!” Kyarlu shouted at his kinsman. “We will not leave this battle unfinished.”

They turned their steeds and saw thankfully that they had well outpaced the chasing night goblins. Indeed, the black-cloaked creatures were now suffering as elven glade guards unleashed deadly arrows to thin their ranks.

In the centre of the heaths, the conflict raged on between the treekin and the goblins. The huge tree spirits cleaved great bloody swathes of destruction through the ranks of greenskins, but somehow they fought on, shrieking insanely and stabbing back with their spears, gathering around their red moon banner.

Nearby, the grunting black orcs chased down any last staggering wounded elven archers that they could reach before the rest disappeared into the darkness beneath the trees.

To the left flank, the wardancers leapt with renewed energy at the staggering giant; revenge for their fallen kinsmen now fueling their attacks. And finally, one of them managed to spin beneath the great battering-ram weapon of the monster and then leap upwards to plant her dagger in its throat. Gurgling its last breath, bleeding from dozens of wounds and its eyes, the giant crashed to the turf.

Unaware of the rest of the battle, Sarathai continued to fight with the last goblins manning the catapult. Her spear beheaded another of them, and then Anra clasped the machine in his talons. His great wings flapped, and he carried the contraption a tree’s height into the air before releasing it to smash into a dozen splinters upon the hard ground of the hilltop below.

The warmachine dealt with, Sarathai peered across the battlefield, her elven eyes piercing the veil of the dark night. Suddenly she was blinded as yet more streaks of magical lightning erupted from the heavens. This time she saw the faraway regiment of glade guards on the right flank engulfed by the green fire of shamanic magic. Almost half their number fell, burning with unnatural wounds.

Anra squawked a question and Sarathai considered her reply. “The battle lies in the balance,” she said. “I cannot see my sister.”

kurisawa
27-10-2010, 02:54
Turn 5:

“Hail the Red Hawk!” Roywan called up to Sarathai as she swooped low across the heaths. She spotted the hill-like fallen corpse of the giant.

“The Angry Spirit warriors strike again,” she replied. “That is quite a scalp!”

Roywan grinned at the compliment, but he knew that even though they had secured the left flank, the battle was far from over. Sarathai and Anra swooping overhead, he led the remainder of his wardancers sprinting for the tumultuous battle between the forest spirits and the hordes of goblins.

The treekin tirelessly continued their rampage, stamping on goblins, smashing goblins, hurling goblins away into the night. And finally, pulpy flesh bleeding sap from countless wounds, the ancient forest spirits found themselves victorious. Oakenthu, the leafy leader of the treekin, howled his triumph to the cloud-blanketed night sky, his voice a groaning hurricane.

Meanwhile, not so far away, the scarred old shaman, Oddnog, scampered across the heaths. Separating from the black orcs just before they made their charge had seemed like a good idea at the time, particularly as it had given him chance to unleash Gork’s lightning at the unsuspecting elven archers. But now they were no longer unsuspecting.

Elves hunted him across the heather and gorse, their bows nocked. Spying the shaman, they let fly their missiles even while at full sprint, and their accuracy was not diminished. Oddnog growled as his animal-skin cloaks were pierced by multiple arrows. When the glade guards reached the spot where the old orc had fallen, they were perplexed to find only the filthy garments he had been wearing a moment before. There was no sign of the shaman.

There was no time to consider this further as more arrows hissed in the shadows. These were not elven missiles, though. The glade guards leapt into cover with swirls of their cloaks as a new mob of goblin bowmen tried their luck from fifty paces away.

And as the night passed into the longest hour, a great deep roar issued from the southern end of the battlefield. Grrbad and his black orcs had returned from their routing of the glade guards, only to find the heaths littered with countless bodies of night goblins. The chieftain of the greenskin army searched for an enemy to take out his rage upon. And his red-eyed gaze rested upon the treekin.

Turn 6:

“Now we come to the decisive moment,” Sarathai told herself as Anra angled his broad wings and they dived down towards the black orcs.

The treekin answered the challenge of the brutes with their own howl and also charged. Even the wardancers scampered to join the last fight; the fight that would decide the battle.

Kyarlu watched the events unfold. There were more goblins streaming down the right flank, past the Ravenscrag, but they would have to wait for now. Kyarlu would have Drycha scratch his eyes out before he allowed Sarathai to claim all the glory for this battle. His fellow rider knew his intent without being given the order. They galloped towards the black orcs, and the strong, bold notes of the Wild Riders’ horn heralded the coming combat.

Vicious melee erupted between the old enemies. The treekin were now faced by bigger, stronger foes, and these were armoured with thick plates of crudely beaten iron. The forest spirits’ mighty blows were answered with pounding strikes from the black orcs’ axes and clubs.

Black orcs at the sides and rear of the greenskin mob turned to face Sarathai and the wardancers. Sarathai stabbed one in the face with her spear, her shoulder wound screaming with pain from the earlier magical attack as the impact juddered up her arm. Roywan surged inside a clumsy swing and raked his blade across the throat of another. But even as their fellows fell, more of the brutes swarmed back at the desperate elves, chopping and swinging wildly to taste elven flesh.

The orcs and the defenders of Loren fought on, heedless of their dying friends, their aching bodies burning with fatigue yet fuelled by bitter hatred. Then Kyarlu and his Wild Rider stormed amongst the greenskins, their screaming steeds kicking out and their lethal spears ramming through armoured chests.

Assaulted on all sides, their numbers previously thinned by scores of elven arrows, the orcs found themselves reduced to the final few standing. Grrbad squinted around the battlefield. He feared nothing, least of all death, but at the last, the result of this conflict was now clear.

Fearless and brutal he may have been, but Grrbad was no fool. With an angry grunt, he ordered the last of his boys to retreat. With triumphant elven cheers and the victorious fanfare of their horns filling his ears, Grrbad vowed to come back here one day and show the pointy-ears who was boss.

And as the first bright, golden rays of dawn began to creep across the moors from the east, the night goblins that had won the right flank witnessed the retreat of the black orcs. The cave-dwelling goblins hated the sunlight in any case, and needed littler further encouragement to abandon the field of battle for another day.


* * *

Sarathai tried not to notice as the bodies of the fallen elves were gathered. Sceolan looked down at the gorse, and beyond him a great pyre of goblin and orc bodies burned. The warm glow of victory had soon faded, in contrast to the brightening, crisp autumn day.

From their high perches on the crag, the ravens welcomed the morning with their harsh, mocking caws.

The injured, limping treekin lurched towards the two elves, Oakenthu reverently bearing a slender shape in his arms. Sarathai jolted when she saw that it was her sister.

“She lives, treefriend,” said the ancient forest spirit, “but she will need time to recover, as do we. The forest will heal all, in time.”

Sarathai’s heart quailed as she gazed at the bruised and battered body of Safina. Sceolan shifted where he stood, and perhaps he said something, though Sarathai did not catch it. She glanced sideways and saw Roywan also limp towards them, his normally laughing face drawn and sad.

“We won, didn’t we?” she snapped at them, unrepentant. They offered only silence as their answer.

kurisawa
27-10-2010, 04:00
Now then, the review.

As you may have noted, both sides agreed to not use lords (and in particular, no lord wizards) in this game. This was for a couple of reasons: Firstly, we don’t actually have the new rulebook yet (mine is still on its way in the post), so we didn’t have access to the new lores. Also, we have put together the rules as we know them, so some discrepancies may have come up which we were unaware of. This game then was a kind of test, focusing mainly on how the troops now move and fight. We did roll for the forests, one causing fear and the other poisoned.

My first comment is that the encouragement towards blocks of troops, and for me, deploying in two ranks for my archers, did make for a nice looking set up. For the first time I felt like I was using a “proper” army, having been forced to drop all those skirmishing scouts and waywatchers.

And it was a win! Huzzah! The Wild Heaths remain free of greenskin occupation, this time. Let us look now at how things went.

Firstly, random charge is harder than it looks to get the hang of. My first ever charge in 8th edition, with the Wild Riders… failed! Thinking in terms of maximum charge range is bound to lead to disappointment, and even banking on an “average” 7 can bring nasty surprises half the time. I couldn’t believe they fluffed their first ever charge, even on 3D6. They even got a fanatic in the face for their trouble, and it allowed my opponent to get the jump on my riders with his snotling swarms.

But my opponents guffaws soon turned to shocked silence when the exact same thing happened to his vanguard-moving wolf riders on the opposite flank. Heh. Lightning can strike twice. That would have been a routine charge in 7th, but it allowed me to get my wardancers in on the flank. We were both a lot more careful with charges after that.

And what about those wardancers, eh? I knew they had been badly nerfed by the new rules, but I think I have found a niche for their skills. With their crazy high I, and attacking from woods (which although scary proved no problem for the immune wardancers), they can still be used for attacking previously damaged or injured enemy units of small numbers, where hopefully their high number of attacks can fell them before they strike back. The giant was a bit of a risk to take on, but again it was already badly wounded, and after two rounds of lots of strike-first attacks, they took it down.

It will be interesting to see if the wardancers can find viable targets in other games, but for now I intend to stick with them.

The Wild Riders were not so effective, but that’s ok, I’ll stick with them and see how I can use them in future games.

I quite liked my noblewoman on her eagle. She did what she has always done, hitting hard with the hail of doom enemy priority targets, taking out the rocklobba, and then pitching in on the final crucial melee. The +1 save and wound is actually pretty good, so long as the enemy shooting and magic keeps missing her.

But the treekin were clearly the game winners, and will prove to be the vital unit for me from now on, I think. Those goblins were crazy though! It was like fighting undead, for they just would not flee despite massive casualties every round (even without the battle banner, testing on the nearby black orc’s Ld with steadfast meant they kept on fighting until the last one of them was smashed into goblin goo).

Magic remains not fully tested. After my orc opponent had cast his two spells, which I dispelled half the time, there were quite a few wasted power dice in this game. I hardly even tried casting after a few non-effective treesinging attempts, as I wanted to keep my singer around for dispel duties. In time, we’ll see how much the new system impacts on the game. He is already eyeing up a great shaman for 2k games.

In the end, the battle turned out to be a bitter, bloody affair, almost down to the last man, and that was good. I will say that things happen a lot faster; his advance was like a stampede, and it was a case of deploy your men and set them off. Even if I had tried march-blocking, with the new rules it probably wouldn’t have slowed him down much.

However, so far, we kind of like 8th edition.

K.

harthag12
27-10-2010, 13:43
Good report, I really like the written fluff & how the battle fared. I was rooting for the Orcs however it's good to see someone use Wood Elves effectively after all the negative press given them on here, especially the wardancers as the models are just to awesome not to use.

Malorian
27-10-2010, 13:57
Great fluff and welcome to 8th :)

zork rumpscratcha
27-10-2010, 14:34
beautifully written. Akira Kurisawa would be proud of the brilliant storytelling. Do you think in the future you'll combine those glade guard units. I think they might be a force to be reckoned with if they were a block because they would deny steadfast?
I'm an orc player so I was sad to see the O&G get stuffed but glad that wood elves could pull out a win.
also, those magic items are from last edition of the orc book fyi

theorox
27-10-2010, 14:39
Your opponent is using the 6th edition Orc & Gobbo Armybook. Is this intended? :confused:

Theo

Golden Lion
27-10-2010, 15:31
Hi mate, thanks for the really cool report, loved the fluff-approach. Nice armies too!

Feefait
27-10-2010, 21:01
Very nice. I tend to do a lot of skimming when it comes to fluff reports, looking for numbers and victors, but I read this one through. It was a great read during a 2.5 hour class... lol Really entertaining. I'm glad to see WE get a win. i started them half heartedly towards the end of 7th but was derailed when my Skaven, Lizardmen and Beastmen all got new books. I haven't fully given up on them, but I wonder how they will compete. Keep the reports coming!

kurisawa
27-10-2010, 23:12
Good report, I really like the written fluff & how the battle fared. I was rooting for the Orcs however it's good to see someone use Wood Elves effectively after all the negative press given them on here, especially the wardancers as the models are just to awesome not to use.

Cheers Harthag, thanks for reading and replying. The orcs got plenty of killing done, which is their happiest past-time afterall. :)

K.

Boss_Salvage
28-10-2010, 03:38
I agree with Feefait, I rarely read narrative reports or tend to skim through - but not this time! Wonderful stuff, I found myself quite drawn in with Sarathai and her sis, as well as having fun figuring out what was happening in game where in the story. Will be looking for the next one :D

- Salvage

Awilla the Hun
31-10-2010, 23:17
This is good stuff! Keep it up! Although I have, of course, been instructed by the People's Commissariat of Woodland Security to inform you that the wood elves are entire obsolete in this age of Revolutionary Warfare, we shall still be watching their tactics with interest...

kurisawa
01-11-2010, 23:41
Great fluff and welcome to 8th :)

Cheers Mal :). I like the look of your ogres, too. THAT would be a cool army to face.

K.

Lord of Nonsensical Crap
02-11-2010, 00:23
Let me add as well that this is one of the best batreps I have ever read. Its rare to see a batrep that effectively translates raw dice results into an engaging story, and this one does just that. I hope to read more reports from you in the future.:)

kurisawa
03-11-2010, 23:08
beautifully written. Akira Kurisawa would be proud of the brilliant storytelling. Do you think in the future you'll combine those glade guard units. I think they might be a force to be reckoned with if they were a block because they would deny steadfast?
I'm an orc player so I was sad to see the O&G get stuffed but glad that wood elves could pull out a win.
also, those magic items are from last edition of the orc book fyi

That's a very nice compliment, thank you. :)

Combining the GG keeps getting suggested, but I still think that they'll lose any serious combat they get into, so it's better to spread the victory points around as well as the shooting.

(And yes, this is why getting the group to try 8th ed was so hard; we like the older O&G book and they are as stubborn as old longbeards - "If it aint broke, don't change it!" :rolleyes:)

K.

kurisawa
04-11-2010, 23:13
Hi mate, thanks for the really cool report, loved the fluff-approach. Nice armies too!

Thanks for looking in and taking the time to comment. Our group tends to avoid the most obvious power lists, equalising things on the battlefield to the extent that that is possible, then let skill and dice decide things, rather than which race we selected.

K.

kurisawa
05-11-2010, 23:15
Very nice. I tend to do a lot of skimming when it comes to fluff reports, looking for numbers and victors, but I read this one through. It was a great read during a 2.5 hour class... lol Really entertaining.

Ah, Feefait, that is manna from heaven for a budding writer such as I. If a piece can grab and hold a reader, it is the holy grail of success. So, thanks very much! :)


I'm glad to see WE get a win. i started them half heartedly towards the end of 7th but was derailed when my Skaven, Lizardmen and Beastmen all got new books. I haven't fully given up on them, but I wonder how they will compete. Keep the reports coming!

Many units look to have become much weaker, and these unfortunately are my favourites - wardancers, wild riders, scouts. However, it's not all about winning, and we Asrai are a hardy, practical bunch who look to the weapons we can use rather than complaining... ;)

Thanks again for reading and replying.

K.

SevenSins
06-11-2010, 17:05
very nice narrative report, and congratulations on the victory :)

kurisawa
10-11-2010, 02:25
I agree with Feefait, I rarely read narrative reports or tend to skim through - but not this time! Wonderful stuff, I found myself quite drawn in with Sarathai and her sis, as well as having fun figuring out what was happening in game where in the story. Will be looking for the next one :D

- Salvage

Cheers, Boss! :)

Yeh, that is the fun part to write, too, figuring out what dice-powered events on the table mean in story terms. I always find failed charges hard to describe - wha, they just stop? :confused:

Sarathai and Safina will return again soon!

K.

kurisawa
17-11-2010, 02:11
This is good stuff! Keep it up! Although I have, of course, been instructed by the People's Commissariat of Woodland Security to inform you that the wood elves are entire obsolete in this age of Revolutionary Warfare, we shall still be watching their tactics with interest...

You know, when I look at my wood elf army now, I feel it is actually back to the classic style of 3rd ed (when % were used too - and a WE army had to take 30%-60% archers!). Proper regiments in blocks.

It's kinda weird, but I'm getting used to it again. I do feel it messes up the wardancers somewhat, but they are such important characters that I can't bear to drop them. :cries:

Thanks very much for taking the time to read and reply. :)

K.