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Sunday, 18 January 2009

The Empire vs Orcs and Goblins 2000 pts

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report summary:-

"But their defiant spirit wasn’t to last, as the last chariot now came around and hurtled into their flank. This sent them fleeing, and all were hacked down, trodden underfoot or tossed into the air by the vicious boars’ tusks." (a narrative report of rare high quality)
source : OrcPadre 17-Jan-2009

Orcs and Goblins vs The Empire - narrative report

Green Dusk

Lieutenant General Matthias Widmer, commander of the ‘Glorious’ Second Army of the City State of Middenheim, formed form old veterans and young recruits to supplement the standing army in this time of war, was ready for battle. Not that he had commanded such a force before (in reality my opponent was a DE player trying Empire out for only the third time), but he was confident in his men. Soon the foolish Marienburgers would understand what idiocy it was to argue with the great power that is Middenheim!

His force was a good mixture of the standard elements, ready for anything (or so he thought): large regiments of sword and halberdiers, with detachments of missile and melee troops; two companies of knights, another of Pistoliers, as well as Huntsmen scouts, two cannons and two battle wizards.

To show his loyalty to the City of the White Wolf, even the general’s crockery was decorated with suitable heraldry. (i.e. We used my special Middenheim plate for our snacks!)

Widmer was approaching the ruins of a hamlet. There were many such places to the east of Marienburg, what with the whole area having been fought over for weeks by Middenhiem, Marienburg, League and Orcen forces. Here every building, even the small temple, was burnt out and collapsed. Is this what Marienburg itself would look like at the conclusion of this grand conflict?

The general, however, was in for a surprise. His scouts came running back to report an enemy force ahead, but they were not what Widmer expected – it was Greenskins, a veritable army, and they were deploying for battle. They had more than fifty goblin and orc archers and as many orcen warriors in two huge regiments. They had three war chariots, one carrying a brute of an orc (hero). Two spear chuckers were already deployed, and bodies of wolf riders and boar riders were manoeuvring into place.

A cautious commander, Widmer had his handgunner detachments move ahead of his main bodies of foot to act as missile screens. Less cautiously, however, he joined one of the two bodies of knights and ordered both of them front and centre, hoping that with one sudden blow they could swing the battle their way right from the start.

The orcs were led by Chief Gabbgit, a mean old Black Orc warrior who had not really intended to fight that day. In fact, in a way, he still didn’t intend to do so. He had got it into his head that this was merely an advance force of Middenheimers and that a bigger force lay behind. Thus he was determined to win this battle, if possible, without committing his two main regiments of orcs (one of which was Big ‘Uns). He would brush this particular enemy aside with riders and chariots and bows, and save his proper fighting lads for the fight that would ensue afterwards.

(NB: I have to admit that this was just about the ‘luckiest’ I’ve ever been in a game. Being a Marienburger I was playing the orcs, and nothing – and I do mean nothing - went wrong. All failed animosity tests apart from one simply moved me forward, and to my advantage. This twice allowed bows to fire without penalty who had been previously out of range, and twice brought units into charge range who probably wouldn’t have been able to charge otherwise. Today it felt really good being Green!)

The battle opened with the wolfriders darting through a gap to attempt to silence one of the enemy cannons. Meanwhhile the boar riders and a chariot took advantage of the cover provided by the ruins to move up on the same flank.

The rest of the army simply shifted back a bit. Chief Gabbgit wanted to see what would happen next before he committed anyone else. The two main orc regiments stood side by side, ready to offer each other support if anything got through.

And something was coming. Throwing aside his usual caution, General Widmer personally led the two bodies of Middenheim’s finest forwards, while the pistoliers galloped behind their rear to attempt to defend their flank. The bodies of foot, apparently, were forgotten about, and shuffled around nervously, watching their noble betters advancing ahead of them.

The huntsmen and handgunners tried to panic the wolf riders who were approaching to threaten the cannon, but felled only two. They were not going to stop. The cannons failed to dent the enemy (one misfiring). Gabbgit yelled at his orcen warriors to stand and not to move forwards, for he had noticed that the boar chariots might get a charge in on the advancing knights. His orcs were more frustrated at this than nervous, but followed their terrifying leader’s orders nevertheless.

Then suddenly the cannon crew were charged by the wolf riders while one chariot ploughed into the knights. Two knights dead from the terrible impact alone (I rolled a 6, for 7 impact hits - which was how things were going to be for me throughout this battle), and although the knights won the combat, the chariot stood its ground.

The wolves slew enough of the cannon crew to break them, including wounding the wizard with them. When the crew fled, the wolfriders cut them all down and slammed into the Handgunner detachment behind. Gabbgit, to be honest, couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

The Middenheimers started to move to try to counter the greenskin threats: the wizard attempted the beast cowers to slow down the hateful chariots, the Huntsmen, still cowering amongst the ruins attempted to shoot the Boar riders, while the surviving cannon killed one orc arrer boy! Things were not going well for Middenheim. The knights did send the chariot fleeing, but they couldn’t catch it in pursuit. Now a second chariot smashed into the same poor body of knights. This chariot would prove better than the first, locking the surviving knights in a drawn out struggle for several subsequent turns.

On the Greenskin right flank, the board riders now began to emerge from the ruins ready to charge whoever they could in the flank. Trundling behind came a boar chariot, fully intending to support whatever the orcs in front did.

The wolf-riders easily dispatched the handgunners, and found themselves in combat with the Swordsmen, thus now contacting the kind of enemy they hadn’t a chance of defeating. In the centre, the Middenheim General, terrified of falling victim like the other knights to a devastating chariot charge, launched his own charge at the fleeing chariot.

He couldn’t reach it, however, and he and his knights found themselves somewhat exposed right in front of the two huge regiments of orcen foot!

Meanwhile, the wolf riders had broken and fled (no surprise there) but the Swordsmen couldn’t reach them to destroy them and found themselves facing a charge from the boar riders off to their side. It was all they could do to turn and face the enemy so as to not receive the blow in their flank.

When the Empire wizard then miscast the worst that could happen was to occur. Instead of his own spell harming the enemy, a greenskin spell was brought into being, the Foot of Gork, which killed one of the General’s unit knights! The Pistoliers charged the goblins fully expecting to send them running, but the weight of numbers was against the young gentlemen, and the goblins actually stood their ground.

Now even Gabbgit knew he must use his orcs, what with the knights and the enemy general faltering in front of him, but when he charged, General Widmer fled! It seemed that fate was going to force Gabbgit to stick to his original intention of keeping his orc warriors out of the fight!

The orcen arrer boys slaughtered the handgunner detachment trying to shield the advancing halberdiers, while the spear chucker crews couldn’t work out what to shoot at. General Widmer, now that he was out of harm’s reach, rallied his knights (what few remained), and turned around to see that the goblins and the chariot were still holding their ground against the pistoliers and the other knights. How could he salvage victory from this debacle?

Then, hearing strange squeals and battle cries, he glanced to his left. The Boar Riders had finally plunged into the swordsmen. The brave soldiers stood their ground, even though they were badly mauled.

But their defiant spirit wasn’t to last, as the last chariot now came around and hurtled into their flank. This sent them fleeing, and all were hacked down, trodden underfoot or tossed into the air by the vicious boars’ tusks.

Astoundingly the goblin archers fought on against the pistoliers, both side slowly being whittled down but neither yielding to the foe. (Even though I forgot their rank bonus until they no longer had one!)

Desperate to retain his reputation, General Widmer how led one last defiant advance towards the enemy. As he arrived, he realised he was about to be charged by fifty orcs and a chariot, simultaneously.

His choice to flee once again was his last ever decision. The chariot tore him and his last knights down, killing all.

Off to the very left of the orc’s lines, the boars now ran into the cannon, slaughtering the crew. And although the Halberdiers finally got to grips with the arrer boyz, chasing them off the field, they reformed only to see the battle already lost and nothing they could do.

The huntsmen, who had lurked amongst the ruins throughout the whole battle, now slinked away from the field.

And as darkness fell on this late summer’s evening, the last surviving two pistoliers finally lost heart and fled, galloping off the field as fast as they had come on, although now they were utterly alone!

Gabbgit couldn’t believe it. He’d won, he’d massacred the foe, and not one orcen warrior had even had to raise their choppa! With a loud cry, he commanded his whole army to ready themselves for the march.

“Now,” he thought, “let’s go and find a proper army to fight!”

[what an awesome battle report ! Ed.]

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