I am playing a narrative campaign with a few Dwarf players (friends) . This is a brief description of the third battle.
In the campaign two Dwarf armies have travelled to Khardon Island to reclaim an ancient Book of Grudges lost by their forefathers in wars long forgotten. The armies have landed two different places on the island and are slowly moving across the map to find out where the Undead forces are located.
The campaign is described here (always available from the top menu too): Khardon Island
March 27: The Dark Ritual
After their succesful defeat of the forces of the demon necromancer Bhürzhüm at the bridge of despair, King Belegar pushed onwards into the centre of the island. It did not take long before his scouts reported that strange ruins where seen on the horizon. The king decided that further scouting reports were necessary and eventually they found out that an old temple was lodged on a vast hill at outside a ruined town. It was obvious from the strange lights in the sky that something was going on.
Further investigations revealed that Bhürzhüm was now attempting to perform a mystical dark ritual to spell a curse upon the Dwarfs on Khardon Island. This had to be stopped! The king knew what to do.
All the dwarf generals were gathered in king belagors planning chambers, where the sightings of the odd light on the hill were discussed. There were many great ideas among the generals, but suddenly king belagor came to a decision. ” I have made my decision ” I will send in the best we have that know off such strange things. And almost as if summoned by these words rune lord kraag the grim walken in. Some of the younger dwarfs completely forgot there manners and was standing wide eyed and with open mouth. They had never laied eys to such a great hero before. Kragg will lead a force to take hold on these ruins and stop what ever is going on in there. Kragg will be given full command of what ever troops he will seem fit to take. Dismissed!!!!
Kragg was humming a little tune while he was looking down on the troops that belagor had assembled, and he was quite impressed, belagor had managed to muster a great army and there was even rumers that the adventure of belagors army had attracted the attention of some of the greatest dwarf heroes. If it was true Gotrek and felix would be joining the army within the next few weeks.
Meanwhile in a ruined temple near by:
We played the following special scenario:
The Dwarfs had to stop the demon from performing the ritual. The ritual would take 4 full turns tocomplete. If the Dwarfs managed to get boots on the ground (touching the demon), the ritual was stopped. The demon is ethereal and cannot be hit with shooting (he is just an objective and not part of the game).
Since the Dwarfs were at a disadvantage with the Undead starting on the objective so to speak, they had 2000 points, while the Undead had only 1500 points.
THE CURSE OF THE PHARAOHS: We furthermore made the rule that if the ritual was succesful the Dwarfs would suffer a curse in following campaign games (until they found a way to lift it). The curse was simply that after deployment all units have to roll 1d6 – on a 1 it loses 1d3 W of models (regiments) or 1 W of models (warmachines crew). Single wound entries are exempt.
Deployment: First of the Dwarfs rolled for their scout report – on a 1 or 2 it was good, and the Undead would deploy first. On 3-4 it was mediocre and the players would take turns deploying one unit at a time. On a 5-6 the scout report was faulty and the Dwarfs would deploy first.
The Dwarf deployment zone was 12″ in from either small table edge. The Undead deployment zone was anywhere on the central hill.
The Dwarfs scout report was good so the Undead deployed first. This posed a bit of a problem as it was impossible to say what needed to be where. I tried to spread things out so that I would stand a chance no matter what direction the Dwarfs were coming from. The Magic cards were OK and Khalhima got Vanhel’s, Raise The Dead, and Dark mist, while Rolf Rotschädel got Gaze of Nagash and Summon Skeletons. I just love Gaze of Nagash. It is my favourite.
The Dwarfs decided to go all in on one small edge. This was probably rather clever as it effectively stranded quite a bit of my army. Of course the Mummies were among the stranded. In all my games of Warhammer I have never managed to use Mummies for anything. Irrespective of their movement allowance!
Next the Dwarfs won the roll to start… I was really starting to feel it now. I think the Dwarfs have been playing weak all along… now look at them go! They moved up the hill immediately and the thunderers had a round of shooting like no other, removing 5 skeleton bowmen in one swoop.
Being stood on a hill my bowmen could retaliate with all ranks. They had the Asp Bow wielding Mummy too, which meant they always hit on 5+. This way I managed to kill 1 slayer……..
Turn 2 saw the Dwarfs charging in with massive amounts of Slayers and Iron Breakers in support. I had been silly enough to move my Master Priest Khalhima into the bowmen regiment to “support” it. I had failed to appreciate the utter waste of close combat space that he presented… in fact I have no idea what compelled him to join the fighting ranks. 3 wounds and T4 will get you killed real fast. Especially when you can’t fight either.
The Dwarf Rune Lord Kraag promptly challenged Khalhima to a stand up straight fight. This concept was so alien to the Undead Priest that he promptly refused and sent forth a Mummy Champion insted. Fight? What do you mean? Me? You must be joking!
After a quick inspection Kraag had identified the vital pin holding the entire Mummy Champion together. He removed it and the Mummy unravelled before his eyes. In fact it fell apart AND there was 3 wounds overkill in combat resolution. Ouch! I should have just ignored that challenge.
The other skeleton regiment was doing a bit better. Another challenge was of course issued there too, but the Deamon slayers (yikes!) failed to hit anything and to my amazement my Mummy Champion got to strike back… but misunderstoo the game thinking it was a dance off and copied the Slayer’s moves in failing to hit anything.
To my amazement the gods of magic were on my side in this game and I managed to knock off both a Raise the Dead to reinvigorate the bowmen with 9! skeletons and smash a bit of Hammerers with Gaze of Nagash during turn 2. However… that turned out to be more or less all I was going to do. The Rune Lord had a rune staff with a couple of dispels in it that were quite effective.
Another stallion moment was when my Skull Catapult hit down hard on the Iron Breakers. It killed 6 of the blighters. It has quite a good track record killing Iron Breakers… in fact I have hardly hit anything else with it. In this game, it never hit anything else either.
The Skeleton regiments started failing in holding their own. I kept refusing challenges with my Undead Master Priest, which meant he couldn’t cast spells. He also couldn’t leave the unit as long as it was in combat…. aaaargh!
Eventually it all boiled down to a single magic phase in my turn 3. My Skeleton Regiments were now both gone… and everything else as also more or less gone. Byt some incredible luck Khallihma was now the lone figure left holding the Slayers. If I could summon a screen of Skeletons between the Slayers and the objective I was home safe and the ritual would be performed.
I would have to get through the Rune Lord with his one remaining charge in the staff. BUT! I had an ace up my sleeve – I had drawn the Total power card. With a grin on my leering skull I cast the Raise The Dead card on the table. The Dwarf Rune Lord instantly tried to dispel, but then I showed him the TOTAL POWER cards. MUAHAHHA!
…..aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand then I rolled 3 on the dice. That was almost heartbreaking. As there were no more Skeleton regiments I couldn’t add 3 to any of those… and Khalhima was alone and not a regiment… so couldn’t add anything to him either. The Horsemen were gone too.. and you are not allowed to form a new unit if you roll below 5. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!
Essentially this stastical unlikehood was my undoing. The Slayers now had a free charge at Bhürzhüm and Khalhima was killed in the next close combat face. What is even worse is that Bhürzhüm was not only interrupted, but it was in fact a Deamon Slayer doing it… So we ruled that Bhürzhüm would be banished to the Realm of Chaos after this battle.
After the battle had ended the Dwarfs found a hidden crypt under the Temple and decided to pursue this further. This will form the basis of a Warhammer Skirmish game that we will fight using the Mordheim rules. What adventures will await in the murky depths of the UNDEAD CRYPT.
At the large scale, after a brief council Belegar and his general decided to continue towards the west of the island. They starting humming an old Dwarf hymn, as they prepared to head out. Their deep manly voices rang to the ancient words:
Go west – life is peaceful there
Go west – in the open air
Go west – where the skies are blue
Go west – this is what we’re gonna do
Go west – this is what we’re gonna do, go west)
Somewhere over the hills the galloping hooves of Rolf Rotschädels Undead steed could be heard. He would surely make those pesky little Dwrafs pay!!!