18 February 2014

The Grand Coward of Khorne

Tony Ackland, the chaos artist
"Are you right-sure? The stunted night-face is in this man-stone-cave?" Dankpelt simply growled and the albino slunk away. Rain dripped from the end of his snout as he pulled the stolen cloak tighter around him, maintaining his disguise. They had been led here to put an end to a dwarven champion of Khorne, but the half-height had already been captured by the herd-leader of the man-things. So they had killed (and eaten!) the guards and, wrapping themselves in their cloaks, taken their place near the gate. 

The waiting was starting to cause trouble, though, and there might be a challenge soon if he wasn't able to give them a victory. Dankpelt sighed fretfully, knowing it had to be soon if he was going to keep this small warband together long enough to raise true havoc for Tzeentch.

The screaming from inside the fort put an end to such thoughts. Finally! He threw aside his cloak and bellowed for his herd to follow. On, on for glory, on for Tzeentch, on for Dankpelt Goretusk!

The courtyard was rapidly emptying of man-things and Dankpelt saw that his was not the only herd there. The stench of Khorne was flowing outwards from the group in the middle of the cobbled space. A group of female-cultists of a weak man-god were tearing at their robes, snout and horn and fur and claws revealed at last! Dankpelt heard the bellowed challenge of his warband, shouting his name. His herd in truth; now for the blooding. And there, praise be to the Changing One, was Night-face! All his foes placed before him, and they were ready to lock horn-tooth-claw.

A head-sized ball of pink flame flashed past him towards the foe, scorching the fur of one and causing it to yelp like a pup. Battle was joined....

So, on to game 2 of Saturday's gaming. This time I was pitted against Malc's khornate warband; five ordinary beastmen led by a level 10 Chaos Dwarf with Pitch Black skin, chaos armour and a mahoosive double-handed axe. I was down to a beastman champion leading, two more beastmen (one with the fireball-shooting banner) and the undead remains of my previous human champion, Bruchvir, still carrying his daemonblade.

We rolled 66 for the scenario, meaning I had to kill the champion and Malc had to get him to escape... from a castle where my band were disguised as guards and his were disguised as nuns. Yes, really. Hairy nuns - makes me wonder about those GW boys back in the 80s!

The game
(I'm afraid my notes weren't as detailed this time)

To start with, Malc had to go and collect his champion, so for the first couple of turns I pelted him with fireballs from Dankpelt's standard, killing one beastman, and managing to cast Tzeentch's Firestorm once from Bruchvir's sword. Still, at least the numbers were now even: four against four, and I had pink horrors spawning in the middle of the table. Things looked good!

After a bit of humming and hawing about whether to try and get one more magic round in, I charged in and (thanks to the +1s from a banner and charging) pushed the seekers after carnage back towards the pink horrors, who also charged them from the rear.

Now, this was the bit with which I am totally happy with how we played it (antipixi's call as GM), but I'm sure there must be a rule for. My beastmen were fighting Malc's face-to-face, the horrors charged them from the rear and Malc's then panicked, apparently having to rout through the unit they were already fighting. Which is what we did with suitable numbers of free hacks taking place. With the small numbers involved that seemed reasonable, but there must be a rule for what to do. Anyone able to point me to the right bit in the rulebook?

Anyway, the Grand Coward of Khorne kept on routing and, despite suffering a wound each on the surviving beastmen and dwarf himself, they managed to keep on running to get off the table. A victory to Khorne.

Post game

We rolled for casualties. Malc's three were: two full recoveries, one light head wound. I rolled 99 for my casualty. Dead. Again! Out of four casualty rolls I made, three of them hit the 10% chance of total death...

The extent of his victory (from running away) gave Malc 10VP so he rolled on the appropriate chart and his dwarf now has Iron Hard Skin. Dankpelt is up to the astonishing total of.... three VPs, so I need seven more to get a gift from my patron.

Dankpelt swore violently and shouted at his herd to stop. There was no point in chasing Night-face the Grand Coward of Khorne any further, but at least there was no doubt he was the herd-leader for now. They had fought well for him and there was still at least half a guard's body to roast back at the cave they had slept in last night. Perhaps the smell would have drawn a couple of wanderers who would join his herd? He would need more followers to make sure of success in future. Bruchvir's silent, shuffling shell was always there as a reminder of what failure could bring.


  1. I think there's a rule stating that if a unit routs, but is unable to do so i.e. from an enemy blocking their escape, then they were automatically cut down.

    I'd have to have a flick through the old tome to reconfirm my suspicion, but I have a feeling I've read that before?

    1. I thought this may be the case too, but can't find it in the rules. It seemed a bit unfair to Malc on his first ever game of WH to be cut down on the whim of my memory (which based on the mistakes that we have found in how we played, is less than reliable!).

    2. That was my gut feeling, but didn't know if that was from WFB or another ruleset. Anyway, it made for a more amusing outcome....and it won't stop me using that to goad Malc in future games if we do find out that was the proper ruling!

  2. My post-game injury rolls for Mordheim (which I played regularly over a decade ago) were notoriously atrocious and I was forced to retire at least two warbands within a mere four games because of the abnormally high mortality rate, so I feel your pain! Great write-up and would it be rude to ask for some pictures (no matter how crude) next time?

    1. I took some of the starting set up for game 1. (These can be seen on my blog's less narrative review of the day.) I intended to take more, but got caught up in the game and completely forgot. Next time, I promise.

    2. Cheers Gareth - yes, mea culpa, I forgot my camera. That's why I snuck a couple of Tony Ackland's illustrations in to break up the wall of text.

      Photos. Next time. I promise!

  3. Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it. It was so satisfying to actually get a game played, even better to manage two in one day!

      Welcome aboard, by the way :)

  4. Yep sounds like a great game - those victory points gained by fleeing must have been bittersweet for a champion of Khorne!

    1. It was a great game. I felt I was getting the hang of the rules again (I'd only any real experience with 4th Ed, but the fundamentals, if not the flavour, richness and subtleties are pretty similar).

      I shall mock Night-face the Coward for evermore - well, until I can wring the scrawny little bugger's neck!

    2. "Night-face the Goat-faced Coward" is more appropriate after he got his second reward of the day. (Thankfully he failed to gain any extra followers.)

      + You'll have to have big hands to get them around his Khornate Collar!

  5. leave the dwarf alone, he wanted to fight and kill you all but unfortunately could not see anything due to the nuns dresses blowing in his face, he has just trying to get to clean air but ended up leaving the arena of battle by mistake...he not a clever dwarf.

    with his new skin and collar the dwarf will not be leaving so easily next time.....

  6. Orlygg posted a helpful Refence doc written by Dreamfish (http://realmofchaos80s.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/warhammer-third-edition-reference-by.html). It sounds as though the fleeing troops would flow around impassable objects (I'm guessing an enemy counts). This would probably mean both troops would easily catch up and get their extra hacks in.

    My 2 cents.

    1. Funny you should mention that piece by Dreamfish, daveb, that's exactly what I turned to when I couldn't find anything about it in the rulebook. It does seem odd to me that such a likely situation is not explicitly catered for - routing as a result of being charged in the rear when engaged to the front must happen fairly often when a flank is collapsed, surely?