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Monday, 23 February 2009

Orcs and Goblins vs Bretonnians 2000 pts

warhammer fantasy battle story-based report :-

"The pegasii looked on with dismay as the Wyvern dismembered the proud Bretonnian ground-horses one-by-one..."

(nice maps - click to enlarge them - and an engaging writing style by the scribe)

source : giltwar.wordpress.comcredit : The Scribe23-Feb-2009

“Dey did WAT?!” Glarsnot Bloodcurdle’s voice roared with anger as the greenskin general learned of the slaughter at Glork’s Pond, sending several nearby snotlings diving for cover. “Da pinkskinz did WAT?” He brought his fist down heavily on the skull of one snotling who moved too slowly, underlining his fury. “Deyz gunna pay for DIS! Tell da boyz.. wez gunna go down deyr, and stomp dem shiny pinkies into da mud!”

Turning to his commanders, Bloodcurdle barked out a rapid series of orders. A small holding force would be kept here in the north, to keep the main Dwarven force bottled up in Karak Kadrin. The rest of the army would march south, cross the mountains at Mad Dog Pass, and crush the border princes. Accompanying him would be some of his most trusted warriors: Biggaboots Sticklifta, his standard bearer and veteran of many battles; Slarkfug Boarmuncher, whose bloodthirsty heroism had turned the tide of previous encounters; the Orc Shaman Blackfang Foestomper; and his Goblin Shaman colleague, Uddaguy Goboom. Last, but certainly not least, was the greatly feared the Black Orc warlord Savagewing Gutripper and his huge, terrifying Wyvern, Cuddles. The objective was simple: to destroy the murderous Clan of Calhew Spore-killer and their local Dwarven allies before their could rouse the Bretonnian border princes to another one of their genocidal campaigns.

* * *

Sir Tandeath beamed with pride as he heard from Sir Liam Calhew, the Baron’s brother and trusted vice-commander, of the honour that would be bestowed upon him in the forthcoming battle. The young Knight had been chosen to carry the legendary Calhew banner, painstakingly fashioned some seven hundred years ago by the Nuns of the Convent of Our Most Aquaeous Lady from the bloodied undergarments of Baron Stefan Calhew himself. What is more, he wouldn’t have to bear it on foot, or on horse, but astride a magnificent Royal Pegasus!

“Yes, Knights of Clan Calhew,” Sir Liam continued, “while your liege–my brother–continues his parleys among the border princes, he sends these first benefits of his diplomatic efforts: mighty winged steeds donated from the stables of our friend, Baron de Maisonneuve.”

Sir Perfluous spoke up: “What, no knights, and bowmen, and men-at arms?” “Err, no…” replied Sir Liam somewhat evasively, “but in addition to these magnificent beasts, we have also been sent these finely-tooled leather pegasus saddles by Baron d’Urfé.” Sir Tandeath settled himself in the saddle, happily–it certainly was fine! “And no yeomen, or warmachines, from our brave Bretonnian allies?” asked Sir N’Dippity. “Not exactly,” sighed Sir Liam, “but we are indeed fortunate to have this very handsome good-luck card, signed by several of the other barons, plus someone whose name looks like “Arghhhhh.”

“It matters not,” sneered Sir Tan Death, with a dismissive wave of his hand. “With our forces, and those of our Dwarven allies, we shall crush these green scum. Victory is certain!” Sir Liam and the other paladins grinned at the infectious enthusiasm of the impetuous young knight. After their last stunning victory, this much was clear: none of the foul greenskins could long withstand Bretonnian hooves, swords, and lances.

* * *

The combination of Dwarven shooters and Bretonnian cavalry made this a particularly daunting battle. In deploying, my intention was to hold back any assault in the centre until a strong force of Goblin Spider-riders on the left, together with my heroes (and especially Savagewing Gutripper and his fearsome Wyvern) could turn the enemy flank. Magic and artillery would be used to target the high-value and high-threat units, especially cavalry, pegasus knights, and war engines. My Goblins were well-endowed with fanatics, to deter the Bretonnian cavalry.


As the Bretonnians knelt in prayer, the Dwarves put their faith in a more tangible asset: gunpowder. The battle started with the roar of Dwarven cannon and the sound of shattered wood, as the first salvo of the battle killed several Orcs and destroyed the Orc chariot. The Quarrelers cheered at the sight, as Thane Keenblade led them into a commanding position on top of Rocky Rise.

Glarsnot Bloodcurdle cursed under his breath–he should have known better to have brought one of the wooden contraptions in a campaign against stunties. With a shout, he signaled the flanks to advance, while the centre held its position. The spiders scuttled forward, while overhead Gutripper and Cuddles moved into position behind the Hillock Woods, out of sight of the Dwarven artillery but visible to the Bretonnian Knights. The Orc Boyz edged forward too, despite their orders, such was their enthusiasm for battle.


Now blessed with the most noble and pure grace of the Lady, the Bretonnians moved forward to slaughter and kill. The Knights Errant and Paladins advanced on the western flank, while the Knights of the Realm crossed Rocky Rise in the east. The Thunderers poured lead into the approaching Snotlings, trimming their numbers significantly. More important, the Dwarven artillery pounded the Black Orcs, causing multiple casualties and narrowly missing Glarsnot Bloodcurdle himself. Clearly they had his range.

“We can’t stay ‘ere, ladz,” bellowed the Orcish General. “Letz go pound ‘em… WAAAAAAAGH!”

The cry was taken up by the entire Greenskin horde, as they rushed forward. To the east, Gutripper and Cuddles slammed head-first into the advancing Knights Errant, while the Darkvenom Spiders fell upon their left flank. Soon the air was filled by the frantic screams of men, and sounds of panicked horses. The Knights Errant were slaughtered.

In the centre, the main body of the Orc and Goblin army marched towards their enemies. While they blocked the sight-lines of some of the war engines, this was offset by a powerful Brain Bursta cast by shaman Uddaguy Goboom, which inflicted a half dozen causalities on the hapless peasant longbows.

On the east flank, the Silentdeath Spiders moved clear of the Quarrelers’ arc of fire to threaten their flank. The Night Goblin bows advanced into Spooky Woods just far enough to launch several fanatics at the oncoming Knights of the Realm (a few goblins having been left jutting clear of the woods for just this purpose). While none moved into contact, they soon formed a formidable barrier of fungus-induced whirling insanity between the Goblins and the Bretonnian cavalry.

* * *

The Goblin Doom Diva crew watched battle unfold—and watched too, as the other greenskin artillery failed to inflict significant damage on the enemy. Skulnug Thunkskull shook his head.. if you wanted damage done, you had to be prepared to take the damage. He put on his crash helmet, climbed into the oddly-constructed home-built apparatus, and signaled to the others. “OK, ladz… get da stretchy-thinger ready, and letz show ‘em wat a Diva can do…”

SPROINGGGG… with a crash and a mighty reverberation, the gobbo was hurled into the big blue sky.

* * *

Standing behind the peasants with the Calhew banner clutched in his mailed fist, Sir Tandeath remained confident of victory. Why, even now he could hear their cries of fear and terror growing! Soon they would be crushed, with their dead, wounded, children, and small pets thrown on huge flaming pyres to cleanse their land of their foul green presence. Truly, there was no beauty greater than the grace of Our Lady.

Beneath the Knight, Gwenovyr—his newly-acquired Royal Pegasus—trotted anxiously, her virgin white coat emblematic of the pure nobility of this latest War of Errantry. Sir Tandeath chuckled. Even the beast wanted to crush greenskin skulls.

* * *

Thunkskull cursed as he glided aloft over the battlefield.. he had aimed at the Dwarven artillery, but was clearly was off-course. There was, however, that odd fluttering flag there, behind the archers and somewhat removed from the enemy army. That looked like a good landing spot….

* * *

The Pegasus shifted position a little, as the goblin screams grew still louder. “Tis odd,” thought Sir Tandeath, “how the hills around here carry an echo..” Suddenly, Gwenovyr reared violently, dumping the unprepared Paladin onto the ground before trotting a few paces away. “By the cursed elbow of Saint Nutocks, what has gotten into you?” The angry knight glared at his erstwhile mount as he brushed the dirt and grass from his armour and banner. “It is almost as if…”

aaaaaiiiieeeEEEE…SPLAT! The thought went uncompleted. Thunkskull dove headlong into the Bretonnian battle standard-bearer, killing him instantly and ripping the Calhew banner to shreds. Across the field of battlefield, the Doom Diva crew cheered, and held high-pitched squeaky arguments over who got to fly next.


The deadly Dwarven cannon, having destroyed a chariot and gravely injured the Black Orcs, now turned their attentions to the Orc Boyz and Snotlings. The former took some casualties from cannonball, while in a single mighty crash the organ gun wiped out the latter. The Dwarven Quarrelers turned to face the Spiders on their flank, while the Knights of the Realm maneuvered to avoid the Gobbo fanatics now closing on their position.

The Paladins looked on with dismay as the Wyvern dismembered the proud Errantry Knights one-by-one, and the Forest Spiders crawled dragged off the few wounded survivors in silken tombs. “Tis a an awkward turn of events,” commented Sir Perfluous, “for verily yonder Knights have met a most unseemly fate.” Sir N’Dippity nodded grimly. “Forsooth, what you say is true. Yet I know, with the strength of right and our Lady’s blessing we can vanquish yonder winged beast.” With this, he brandished his glowing sword. His knightly companion did the same. The Wyvern would soon taste the bite of blessed Bretonnian steel.! With a cry of faith and honor, the two formidable knights spurred their royal pegasii and charged their foe. “Onwards! To Victory!”

* * *

The pegasii looked on with dismay as the Wyvern dismembered the proud Bretonnian ground-horses one-by-one, and the forest spiders dragged off those few mounts still alive to wrap them in silken tombs. For generations, the de Maisonneuve pegusii had been bred for their intelligence. For generations, they had fought foes large and small on the battlefield.

They felt their riders draw their swords. They heard their battle cries, and felt the knights’ sharp spurs in their flanks. The two magestic mounts took to their air, their white wings flapping powerfully and magnificently. Their riders’ cries encouraged them on: “No, dammit… the other way!” and “Towards the Wyvern, not away from it!”

There was a reason why the de Maisonneuve Royal Pegasus bloodline had flourished through all those generations. They weren’t stupid: that was one large, and very terrifying, Wyvern. Both fled the battlefield, taking their riders with them.

With this, Savagewing Gutripper laughed, and directed Cuddles towards the Bretonnian bowmen. As Cuddles glared menacingly, the Peasants fled in terror.

* * *

Even as the paladins were fleeing, Sir Liam Calhew was taking to the air on his own Royal Pegasus, the ancient Wyrm Lance held at the ready under his arm. For too long he had languished under the shadow of his elder brother and lord, Baron Mayhem Calhew. Today he would show such heroism that princesses would swoon, knights would bow, and bards would compose ballads of his exploits for years to come!

He guided his flying steed to the flank of the advancing orcs, pointed his magical lance, and spoke the command word. Almost instantly, a huge tongue of flame engulfed the greenskins. Oily smoke obscured the battlefield as guttural screams could be heard. When the thick smoke finally cleared, a smoldering mound of dead greenskins could be seen on the battlefield.

Well, not so much a mound as a small pile, perhaps. Or, still more accurately, a bump. The fearsome lance of flame had killed one rather elderly and overweight orcish warrior. The others seemed very much alive. Glarsnot Bloodcurdle quickly galloped up to join join his troops, and the Orc Boyz turned with a roar to face the Bretonnian general. The Blue Moonz gobbos also set up a cry–rather more high pitched and squeaky in tone–and advanced on Sir Liam, launching two fanatics in his direction. The first fell short. The second, however, slammed into his mount with a scream, and a whirlwind of horsefeathers. The Royal Pegasus expired, and the Bretonnian commander fell to the ground with a thump. His heroic foray had left him alone in the middle of the battlefield, his enemies closing in.

High up on Rocky Rise, the Silentdeath Spider-Riders looked out on to the battlefield, and saw the tide apparently turn in the greenskins’ favour. This was no time for squabbling, or for inaction.. this was a time for impetuosity! With a war cry and spears raised, the Forest Goblins slammed into the Quarrelers. Both sides fought tenaciously, with neither breaking.


With hordes of gobbos, Orcs, and whirling fanatics bearing down on his position, Sir Liam Calhew did what any brave Bretonnian knight would do: clutching his sword in his hand and his shield on his arm, he uttered an unquotable stream of curses, and ran like a fearful scullery maid for the cover of the woods. Knightly courage has its limits when faced with that many spears and choppas, and most especially when legendary general-slayer Glarsnot Bloodcurdle is among them.

Elsewhere, however, there were signs that the battle might tip back towards the Alliance. On Rocky Rise, Thane Keenblade and the Dwarven Quarrelers broke the Silentdeath Spider-Riders, who routed from the field. Just to the south, the Bretonnian Knights of charged the Night Goblin Bows, slaughtering them with lance and sword. The Organ Gun opened fire on the Doomskitter Spiders, wiping them out too, while the Thunderers and the two cannons fired with deadly effect on the Orc Boyz. Finally, the Peasant Longbow miraculously rallied, despite the flight of all their knightly commanders from the field.

In response, Blackfang Foestomper, the Orcish shaman, called upon Gork to inflict havoc and revenge among the spore-killers. Making up for past inaction, a giant green foot appeared on the battlefield, stomping in turn the Peasants, Knights, Quarrelers, and one of the organ gun crew. Thus encouraged, the Orc and Gobbo foot-sloggers continued their grim march towards the enemy lines, ignoring the hail of fire before them. The Yella Moonz reserves were also brought forward to add still more weight. Most important of all, Savagewing Gutripper led Cuddles and the Darkvenom Spiders into a flanking positions behind the rallied Peasants, while the Greyweb Spiders, together with the shaman and hero accompanying them, moved to their front. While the longbowmen did not again flee from terror, they were now surrounded on three sides.


Seeing the threat to their rear, the Dwarven Quarrelers and Bretonnian Knights turned and headed back to their lines. As they did so, the Dwarven gunnery sergeant looked with amazement at the Wyvern approaching the rear of his position. It was huge! What was more, the dumb beast and its Orcish rider had apparently forgotten that artillery could swivel before firing. Idiots! He quickly barked an order, and both cannons and the organ gun were quickly sighted on the approaching foe.

“Wait fer it… wait fer it… now, Organ Gun…. FIRE!” No sooner had the order been given than the contraption belched an enormous plume of flame and smoke. It did not, however, belch much else: the weapon had misfired.

The gunnery sergeant, while disappointed, was far from panicked. Not only was he a most stolid and stubborn Dwarf, but he also knew from experience how much damage ordinary cannon could unleash at such a short distance–and he had two of them. he gave the command: “Gunners, load grape!”

The well-trained Dwarven crews leapt to action, loading the ammunition into the muzzles of the huge bronze weapons.

“Steady… steady… FIRE!” The two cannon roared at the rapidly-approaching Wyvern at point-blank range. Cuddles, however, seemed oddly unaffected–indeed, much more irritated than wounded, and covered now in an odd purple slime.

The gunnery sergeant knew immediately what had happened.

“By my grandmother’s long grey beard, you IDIOTS!.. GrapeSHOT, dammit, grape SHOT!” he shouted angrily, as only an angry gunnery sergeant can. The crews immediately dropped the small fruit they had been carrying, and instead turned to the boxes of steel balls piled next to their weapons. It was too late, however. With a mighty roar, Savagewing Gutripper urged Cuddles forward, and the pair charged the Organ Gun crew. The Darkvenom Spider-Riders followed, charging a cannon crew. Finally, and after surving a hail of longbow arrows that devastated and nearly broke the Greyweb Spiders, Slarkfug Boarmuncher and Blackfang Foestomper broke ranks to charge the third remaining cannon. Within a few short minutes, all three Dwarven artillery had been destroyed.

(Yes, really: the cannon all missed.)

As all this was happening, the Gobbo artillery was enjoying much more success than the Dwarves had experienced. Both the Rock Lobba and Doom Diva scored costly hits on the Quarrelers on the hill, killing more than a quarter of the unit but failing to break them. For its part, the Spear Chukka dropped one of the Knights as they too came into sight atop Rocky Rise.


The destruction of the Dwarven artillery was too much for the Bretonnian Peasants who, in a rather understandable gesture of self preservation, began to retreat from the battle. The Thunderers were less able to do so: surrounded on three sides by greenskins, they had nowhere to go. Grimly they would pour volleys into the approaching Orc Boyz, until they were overcome in a final charge by no less than three greenskin units.

On Rocky Rise, what was left of the Knights of the Realm turned to face the enemy to their western flank. This heroic move would ultimately render them heavily armoured snacks for Cuddles the Wyvern, but won the precious time the Dwarven Quarrelers needed to retire.

The battle was over. As the greenskin troops looted the bodies for war trophies, Glarsnot Bloodcurdle gathered his commanders together to congratulated them—and to share several large vats of captured Dwarven ale.

* * *

Good, it was finally dark. Sir Liam Calhew–Bretonnian Knight, hero of the Battle of A Couple of Brigands, famed for his cavalry charge at the Battle of the Stolen Donkey Cart, noble scion of the Clan Calhew, younger brother of Baron Mayhem Calhew, descendant of the renowned Baron Stefan Calhew–shook the leaves and millipedes from his expensive armour, and crept to the edge of the woods. Looking carefully about, he made sure that no greenskin sentries were to be seen. He then slunk home, wondering what he was going to tell his brother about the now-missing Calhew army…


My last encounter with the Bretonnians had gone very badly. This time–despite the fact that they had swapped out weak Bretonian men-at-arms for excellent Dwarven artillery and shooters–I expected things to go worse. Why then the victory?

Part of it was, to be honest, good luck: the failed Paladin charge, the ineffective flame lance, an excellent Gork’s Warpath, and the incredible chance of an organ gun and two cannons all misfiring or missing a Wyvern at point-blank range. Had the latter not happened (my own stupid fault.. I had meant to place the Wyvern where it was shielded by the archers) my opponent might well have seized victory from the jaws of defeat.

Credit also has to go the Savagewing Gutripper and Cuddles, who almost single-handedly turned the Bretonnian west flank. However, while a Wyvern can work well against Bretonnians (with low-strength, low-morale bowman and difficult-to-aim war engines), I can’t see ever deploying them against a (high-morale, artillery and shooter-rich) fully Dwarven army. I’m not sure I would ever want to risk an army general mounted on one either–they are simply too exposed. Glarsnot Bloodcurdle will be sticking to his boar, thank you.

The Doom Diva did well–the first time I had used one (and yes, it is a homebuilt one). I love Spiders too. While slower than wolf-riders, their ability to skitter across blocking terrain is extremely valuable.

The key, I think, was placing almost all my fast hitting power on one flank: a Lord, a hero, a Shaman, a Wyvern, and two units of Spiders. The Bretonnian cavalry, on the other hand, was split between two flanks.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic narrative my friend.

I would like to have seen the respective army lists beforehand though.

Night Goblin/High Elf man said...

Same here with the army lists. Good strategy.

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