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All righty. It's been too long since my last battle report. My O&G friend and I have embarked on a great campaign game based off of a past, low-point game. From there, we'll progress through various border skirmishes until it explodes into a full-on war, eventually building up to the final confrontation: A 6000 POINT CLASH.
Anyway, let's get on with it. I went for a more prose-esque approach to it, so expect more story, less mechanics. Let me know what you all think, thanks.
"And that's when we figgered the orc was mad. There weren't much t'do with the tower anyway." the dwarf runner panted even as he quenched his thirst with a long swallow of Grimholdt's artisan brew: Redstone Stout. He was referring to the loss of a border shanty. Barely the remnants of an man-built tower, the Grimholdt dwarfs had intended to rebuild it in their image; stronger, better, more dwarf. As they held it though, a small band of orc raiders and goblin spider riders had come upon them.
The contingent of warriors: ten thunderers, ten warriors, and ten of the venerable longbeards led by the brave Bronnir met the greenskins with all the fury that their myths speak of. The rickety chariot dragged by what would sooner be a warm meal than a reliable mount met its demise while charging straight through the winding river around the tower. The spider riders were batted away by the warriors' steel and the orc boyz were quickly overrun by the experience longbeards. It was a flawless victory...or so it seemed. What the dwarfs didn't account for was the mad dash into the tower the orc boss made, twin axes in hand. The thunderers who had rained lead ball after bullet into foul greenskin hide were woefully unprepared for the assault. Unable to fend off the large orc's assault, they held as long as possible, but soon abandoned the works of men for their own lives. It was a phyrric victory for the orcs, but there he was dancing a victory stomp at the top of the human-built ruin, only five thunderers laid slain. The dwarves vowed their oathes and left to bring the fight to the orcs another day.
Listening to the story, King Gonzer sat in his large stone throne, the piles of not yet half his treasure trove stacked behind it, a testament to his family name and success. He'd never led the dwarfs under Mt. Grimspire astray. Through the pipe-weed smoke that had gathered in the room, he gruffed a cough. "Therin, you did well to tell me this. Better still Bronnir was wise to pull back as he did. No sense in losing dwarf souls to a blighted ruin. Nevertheless lives were lost," a long pause seemed to make the smoke even thicker, "To greenskins no less."
Therin winced, "Tis a damned shame. Their names've been carved upon the Hall o' Rested Souls and the misdeeds done t'them've been writ in the grudge book by Bronnir's hand." the battle still fresh in his mind, he could hear the orc boss' gargling battle cry, "Their bullets struck true with each shot."
"It's expected of our gunners." King Gonzer's low, proud laugh echoed along the stone walls of his throne chamber, "But we can't allow a single orc to believe we cannot unseat him. We can't allow them to sing songs of our loss, however small it might be. By Grimnir's might we can't soon let a greenskin win the day. Go to Bronnir Ironbones, he'll carry our banner. Get, as well, Huric Steelhewer. He'll lead our miners underneath these orcs. Have Drantz organize some of his engineers to bring Big Borrus. We'll see just how well orc engineering holds up to a Grimholdt grudge." his rumbling laugh, like thunder, sent Therin off from the chamber.
The orcs would pay...
The Dwarf Raid
BOOM!! Big Borrus' roar cracked across the air. Marching in time to the clang-tang of their axes and hammers on their broad-rimmed shields, the thirty-six strong warriors hummed the Grimholdt battle hymn as they approached the field. Bronnir stood clad in his father's armor, the shining gromril glinting in the high sunlight. The crimson banner of the dwarfs of Mt. Grimspire was held tightly in his calloused hands.
There were no orcs out along the horizon. A field littered with only two sparse forests and a meager fence. Child's play. Only the skittering goblins, forcibly so it seemed, stumbled from the tall, orcish towers to man the crudely-built spear chukkas. For a moment there was no sound after the resounding cannon blast. Though as the moment waned, a loud, growling battle-cry echoed from each of the three large towers, the loudest obviously coming from the tallest monstrosity in the middle. A rickety skeleton of wood was the frame for more than a dozen heavy pieces of metal, stone, and bone no doubt pilfered from the Waaugh's enemies before. Fashioned to look like leering orc skulls, the windows and doors were gaping mouths to frighten the weak-willed.
A stout dwarf, clad in the brightest of gromril began to pace in front of the dwarf warriors. He carried high the flag of Grimholdt even weighed down in the glittering armor of his ancestors. From his open-faced helm he spoke loudly to his warriors, a grating and gravely voice from behind a bushy beard of gray, "Boys. Not a month ago we lost a tower we had yet to claim from an orc we did not know. To it we lost five of our best riflemen," Bronnir spoke loud above the battle hymn so that the small band of warriors could hear him, "and for that they've earned a thousand deaths at our hand!" to the statement, the chanting was stalled for a rousing yell that overpowered even the loud orc bellowing. "Let's show these filthy greenskin just what it means to rile a dwarf!"
The chanting began again in earnest. Each warrior knew their duty and none cherished their life over the orders and glory of their home and king. It is that dwarfen tenacity that held strong even as the goblin spear chukkas launched from their defenses and nailed the few poor dwarfs in the way to the ground. "Forward brothers!" Bronnir shouted even as the names of the fallen warriors were remember by each soul still with a beating dwarf heart.
As Bronnir's unit marched forward, he caught sight just behind the building right-most in the orc encampment. At this far distance, there was no mistaking the ramming clang of a mining drill. One of the engineering marvels of the dwarfs, the rotating, steam-powered drill could bite through a steam-tank, let alone the fragile dirt the orcs stood on. Behind the chipping picks and the whirring drill, Huric's cadre of miners poured from the broken underground tunnels Grimholdt's ancestors had dug centuries before. Another dwarf wail of pain punctuated the arrival of another goblin ballista bolt. Seriously wounded, but not dead, the dwarf cursed and grumbled as he was passed by his brethren on their way to the fight.
"Oi, we're here boys. And exactly where I said we'd be, eh?" Huric 'Powderkeg' Steelhewer bellered to his comrades as they emerged into the sunlight. Huric was a brawny dwarf with tightened muscles from his mining career. Blowing out the candle that hung delicately from his helmet he laughed a bit from behind his soot-blackened beard. Some rumored that his beard was a blazing red, but none could tell from all the dynamite blasting he'd done over the years. Others said the explosions and tunnels had done away with a bit of his mind as well. None, though, could ever deny his leadership abilities. "Well...give or take a few dozen feet." he corrected himself. The raucous miners behind him all laughed as they hefted the heavy two-handed mining picks in their hands. "Get yerselves out of the ground," Huric called to the dwarfs who had yet to line up, "We've got orc skull to crack!"
"They'z sum stunties 'round back!" the miners heard from the building some thirty feet high, "How'd they get derr so fast?" another growly orc yelled, "I dunno but shoot 'em anyway!" for as fierce as orcs could be in combat they weren't exactly tacticians. The miners prepared themselves for the hail of arrows from the building, the arrows plinking against their heavy armor; three miners crying out in pain. It was the cloud from the middle building that caught them off guard. A blanket of death laid across the miners, fortunately only wounding another two. "Boys, their arrows are made of elf twine. We'll make it through yet. You boys," Steelhewer pointed to his five wounded miners, "Get yerselves back down that hole and get ready to cover us coming back." at his orders, the five miners, unwilling to leave the battle that had just started, relented to their general and moved back underground.
The sound of the cannon's roar brought a smile to each dwarf's face even as the leaden ball bounced across the field, bounding through the mud and dirt to land square under one of the central support beams of the right-most tower. The splintering wood was made only louder by the orc roaring pausing as they tried to decide how stable their footing was, "Good shot lads, let's try to bring it to the ground now." the lead engineer shouted as the other two began to reload Borrus.
Finally within charging distance, Bronnir raised the waving banner and axe up high, "Charge 'em boys!" his shout rallied the warriors to haul forward into the goblin chukka even as Huric's own cry across the battle: "Give 'em hell, Lads!" led his miners in on the orc-held building. The warriors made short work of the few weasly goblins that worked the winches of the poorly-built bolt thrower, spinning their unit to face the other goblin contraption.
Off in the distance, Bronnir could see their cannon's next round pierce straight through its same target's jury-rigged frame. The tower was leaning on its last legs and the orcs knew it too; made apparent by their hasty retreat from the unreliable shack. "Shields up!" Bronnir shouted as he saw the orcs take aim and fire over their own bolt thrower. Thankfully, though, orc arrows aren't made of tougher stuff than dwarf steel. Even with the combined arrows of the middle building, the dwarf shields held strong.
"Pile in boys, there's plenty for everyone!" 'Powderkeg' cried as they charged into the ramshackle shanty, his axe held ready alongside the miners' pickaxes and whirring power drill. While three miners fell to the large, unwieldy weapons of the orcs, the dwarfs hit back with their own brand of fury and slew eight of the greenskins in return. While victorious, the orcs fought for their spit of civilization and held the door.
The strong unit of dwarf warriors shouted their war cries as they fell upon the remaining goblin bolt thrower, the combat lasting barely longer than the time it took to get up to the warmachine. It was Bronnir's axe that won the day, slaying the three goblin crew members before the rest of his brothers had a chance to whet their blades on greenskin blood. With the last of the machines destroyed, it seemed the orc mob that had fled from the rickety building was all that was left outside of a tower.
And just barely in time. Not after the orcs had fled more than twenty feet from the tribal-decorated tower, the last cannonball screamed through the structure, ripping any solidity in the thing from its skeletal frame. A pile of dust was all that could be seen after the loud crunching of building parts had ceased.
"These greenskin bastards aren't gonna beat us, Boys! Show 'em dwarf steel!" Huric shouted raucously, leading the wild charge of miners against the building again. The battered orc unit fought with as much savagery as they could muster, but in the end no amount of tough skin and orc rage could withstand the onslaught of the miners. All were slain by dwarf hands, only a couple miners falling in the assault. Huric hiked himself quickly up the mix-n-match staircase over the piles of bloodied orc bodies, looking out a window. "Let's see if Bronnir needs our help." he said back to the remaining eight miners of his group. Many dwarfs had lost their lives. And they would be remembered.
In the distance could be seen Bronnier and his boys, under the heavy fire of the dozens of arrow shafts shot from orc bows. No worry was to be had, though, as the rain of arrows made a melodic drumming noise on the metallic surface of shield and armor with nary a dwarf wounded. "This is it." Bronnir started, "Let's knock these orcs back to their sodding caves!"
Bronnir knew that he and his boys were sitting right down the open lane of their cannon crew if they aimed at the fortified tower, but they weren't quite close enough to ensure combat with the orc archers roving the field. He ordered the swift advance of dwarven boots forward towards the orc archers, knowing that retaliation was imminent. As they stepped closer, the orc champion of the archers lifted his bow high and shouted with a mighty roar. The orcs were coming.
Meanwhile in the tower with Steelhewer, the miners could only sit and watch, their brothers too far for them to assist. "All right. Now if the cannon boys can break up that eyesore down the middle, the orcs'll run like babies." the miners behind him guffawing at the thought of orcs crying for their mommies. As they watched the fireworks, another rocking BOOM from across the field heralded another cannonball that screamed through the base of the tower, rocking the entire thing back and forth, but amazingly the tower stood. What was more amazing was the parade of orcs that spilled from the windows and doors of the building as the warboss, an ugly, hulking brute who commanded the largest of the orc archer groups. As the orcs assembled to bring the fight to the miners, the lumbering leader raised an axe as fierce and chaotic as its wielder and began to rouse the orcs into a great frenzy.
Bronnir and his warriors braced themselves, shields held forward at the ready and axes cocked to receive the charge. The orcs brandished their massive weapons high in the air, wild with abandon as they charged headlong into the dwarf mass. Combat was swift and deadly, the orc flailing managing to slay three dwarves. Only three with thanks to dwarven craftsmanship. In return, the warriors remembered well the tales of woe and hatred against the greenskins and swung their axes and hammers with the fury of their ancestors, slaying six orcs. The orc gusto had been successfully beaten from the green wretches and it was the discipline of the dwarfs that won the day. With the fluttering banner of both the warrior unit and the mountain hold of Grimholdt, the dwarfs of Mt. Grimspire could not lose with their brothers behind them. With a mighty war cry, Bronnir raised his banner and ran headlong into the group of orcs. The dwarfs at his command, inspired by his bold charge, heaved themselves behind him, slaying and trampling every enemy in front of them. As the smoke cleared, only dwarf feet set upon the ground. Their axes and hammers were all slicked by orc blood and their smiles from their crimson-caked beards proved the satisfaction dwarfs had in overcoming their most hated of enemies.
In the aftermath of the slaughter, Bronnir rallied his men around and moved them towards the building, now empty of orcs. If they could keep the buildings up, they could be salvaged for what little material the greenskins may have pilfered from trade caravans in these parts. Perhaps there'd even be a spot of coin in the wreckage. As he thought about it, the sound of Big Borrus' barrel roared again, the cannonball tearing straight through the building again...with no effect! The building seemed no worse for wear other than it had another hole in it.
"Oi! You said that was where the support beam was." one of the engineers shouted loudly at the dwarf who was manning the cannon's aim. "That's exactly where it should be...at least that's where I'd put it." the other dwarf said confused as he adjusted his ocular to confirm that the building was indeed still on its feet.
It wasn't the orc archers, it wasn't that they had set their sights on Huric and their building, it wasn't even that the orcs outnumbered them 4 to 1. It was that brute. That hulking mound of orc brawn that threatened to kill, pummel, and eat any dwarf that came against him with just a look. That's what turned the dwarf general back toward their retreat tunnel. He wasn't scared....certainly not. He just wasn't about to let his boys get slaughtered by the walking warmachine when there was plenty of good stout at home to be had. "Boys we have this. No sense in letting our beds cool longer than needed." his voice was strained. He wanted to see the fight through and he knew that at a word, his mining boys'd fight to the end. But there was a time to fight smart and a time to retreat smart. This time was the second. Begrudgingly, the miners and their general filed out from the building, each dwarf pulling a fallen brother behind them. It'd be a long carry through the tunnels.
As they filed from the building, a curious thing could be heard over the air. Were the orcs...fighting with each other? In the heat of battle, at the precipice of defeat, even as their built walls crumble around them...were they actually arguing. "Them stunties ain't in the building n'more! We ought to---" an orc began complaining even as a sickening crack of bone echoed on the wind. A horrifyingly loud voice yelled in response, "You lot're gon' do exactly like I says. An' I says we keep the building."
Suddenly Huric was glad he had chosen to fall back.
Bronnir was just out of reach of the building to get his boys in there and the only thing to fight was arguing in between towers. His warriors were running out of fight and as he looked around at the devastation he and his brothers had wrought, he couldn't deny that they'd done a good job. "All right boys. Borrus' crew has got this building. Let's get ourselves home." Despite the fact greenskins were still about, the dwarf warriors didn't question Bronnir once, preparing to fall back home. As they turned around, the sound of the cannon shot once more and...failed to bring the building down again! Yet another massive hole dotted the wrecked building but it stood. Orcish insanity had won out...
"Valaya keep me!" the engineer loading the cannon barrel shouted as he threw his ramrod to the ground, "What in the gods did they use to stick that building together?" his red face showed through his dark brown beard like a boiling lava flow in a mountain.
"Spit and shit?" one of the other engineers joked, though he had to admit that not being able to bring down the building did cause a certain shame in him.
"It looks like Ironbones is bringing the boys back." the dwarf with the oculars said, adjusting them again to look for Huric. And it seems our miners are back underground. Let's pack 'er up. We'll need to forge more shells next time." he said looking at the empty ground their meager ammo pile had sat. This wasn't more than a minor offensive...he hadn't expected to use more than 6 or 7 shots.
With the infighting done, the hulking warboss threw the severed head of the orc that had opposed him into the mob behind him. He'd have this tower even if the stunties leave. It wasn't difficult to set what little claim they could into the building yet untouched by cannon fire. The dwarfs had done their damage, set right the wrongs at the border shanty...and had made a grave enemy...
This has only just begun.