Friday, 14 November 2014

Orksodus: Savage Orcs vs Warriors of Chaos


Bonekrunk Stonesplitter wiped his axe on the cloak of the dead captain. The humans had fought hard for these heaps of rock, but he couldn't understand why. The stonework may have been impressively big, like an enormous hut, but it was too square, too enclosed, the walls too flat and featureless. It didn't even have any idols carved onto them. His lads could put that right, but there was no time: the Shaman wanted them on the move.

Wurrzag Ud Ura Zahubu had found his Waaagh! less than a month ago. The Shaman had told them it was the will of Gork (or possibly Mork) that they take him north, out of the Badlands and into the lands beyond. These were soft lands, full of tilled fields and stone houses. The 'Bored Princes' they were called. But the enemies they met hadn't seemed like princes, or bored. Just terrified and squishy.

Bonekrunk wandered among his celebrating lads. Some were still ripping trinkets from their defeated enemies, a few had started a chariot race, others were harvesting bones for decoration and flinging the offcut flesh to the Dusty, their pet river troll. He found Wurrzag in the centre of the excitement, crossed-legged, a hum of green energy about him.

Bonekrunk cleared his throat nosily. Two flares of yellow-green appeared from behind the eye sockets of Wurrzag's mask, and the Shaman turned to him.

"Anuvver army comin'" he warned.

"Good," snorted Bonekrunk. "More krumpin' for us."

"Ain't like dese 'umans. Dey is ironshod," Wurrzag intoned in a distant voice. "Dey are stronger, 'arder, and wiv mighty creatures fighting fer them."

Bonekrunk spat. "Don't matter much. Krumpin' is krumpin'. No-one is 'arder dan my ladz."

To the north, the clouds of dust sifted apart to reveal an army. By the tributary of a poisonous-looking river, massed ranks of armoured warriors had gathered, surrounded by metal chariots, a deformed giant and what appeared to be a flying kayak.

"Don't let dem get past dis boundary," said Wurrzag. "Dey shall not pass. Dat is da will of Gork."

The freshly cleaned stone axe scraped against his bone club, and Bonekrunk was ready to fight. "Ere we go," he said with determination.

"Or possibly Mork," the shaman added.

It's Time to Play the Music!
It's Time to Light the Lights!
It's Time to Meet Some Muppets

'Cos it's


It's a hello from Stylus, who will be tripping the light fantastic of normal text.

Whilst I, Kraken, will thunder ominously in bold trebuchet as we narrate the next step of Phlothos's epic journey through the Border Princes. Tonight - a badland full of bad orcs!


Savage Orcs

  • Bonekrunk Stonesplitter - Savage Orc Warboss, Shield. Sword of Striking. Glittering Scales.
  • Wurrzag, Da Great Green Prophet - Savage Orc Great Shaman, Baleful Mask, Bonewood Staff, Squiggly Beast.
    • Hand of Gork, 'Eadbutt, 'Ere We Go!, Foot of Gork
  • Noggchoppa - Savage Orc Battle Standard Bearer. Great Weapon. Banner of Eternal Flame.
  • Rokhamma - Savage Orc Big Boss. Shield, Sword of Swift Slaying.
  • Da Bone 'Eadz - 28 x Savage Orc Big 'Uns. Additional hand weapons. Command Group, Big Stabba.
  • Da Brave 'Arts - 24 x Savage Orcs. Additional hand weapons. Command Group, Big Stabba.
  • Da 'Awk Eyes - 20 x Savage Orc Arrer Boyz. Bows. Command Group.
  • Da Streaky Wheelz - 1 x Boar Chariot. Extra crew.
  • Da Dry Gulcha - 1 x River Troll

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

Not a terribly complicated army. I was basing it on the idea of Wurrzag leading a migration of Savage Orcs northwards, and so that's what I went with: three big combat blocks of greenies.

The Big 'Uns were led by a full Warboss, who I was hoping could hold his own in combat, plus a BSB with a flaming banner, just in case any of those nasty regeneration spells got through.

The second unit of combat boys was to act as a backup to the first, and led by their own Big Boss, should be capable of some damage. The arrer boys could bunker Wurrzag, who I was hoping to keep out of combat so he could toss his spells around.

All that was left after that was a Chariot and a sole River Troll, because I need to paint up some chaff.

My boast was Hold Out, largely because I didn't have the mobility for Breakthrough or Reconnoitre, and I was expecting a bloody grinding battle, so sparing my general, or scalping his, seemed too risky.

Warriors of Chaos

Morag, Sorcerer Lord - Level 4 Lore of Nurgle, Mark of Nurgle, Acid Blood, Dispel Scroll, Hideous Visage
Miasma of PestilenceFleshy AbundanceCurse of the LeperRancid Visitations
Phlothos Orgmeier, Exalted Hero - Filth Mace, Mark of Nurgle, Palanquin, Nurgle's Rot, Soul Feeder
Ebony Boler, Exalted Battle Standard Bearer - Standard of Discipline, Scaled Skin

The Sick and the Bled, 18 Chaos Warriors - Mark of Nurgle, Shields and Full Command This Time
The Lost, a Chaos Chariot
The Damned, another Chaos Chariot
The Lurgitania, an unmarked Warshrine
Big Wurm, a Nurgle-marked Chaos Giant


A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

In direct contrast to Stylus, I very much felt like killing a general. Savage Orcs may hit hard, but they aren't quite as durable as Chaos. Weathering whatever missile storm the orcs could attempt was a pretty likely prospect, so all I'd need to do was get to the appropriate orc bus, buy a ticket, get on, kill the driver and hop off at the next stop. So Assassinate it was!

The Warshrine could hover along behind and boost the warriors. The giant and chariots would keep together and either support the warriors when they charged, or set up flanks and see off flankers. 

Against Orcs, I was hoping to use the Nurgle Lore spells much more defensively given their higher toughness. But that's the lovely thing about it, it's very versatile that way. I did roll a pair of Fleshy Abundances, so I swapped one for the Miasma spell. I hadn't tried it yet, and I thought it might be handy. 

Terrain and Deployment

After Kraken had picked his table end, I knew I wanted to be in the tower. My plan was for Wurrzag to occupy it (and thus avoid any animosity tests) and start lobbing out spells (I managed to roll all the ones I wanted) with the arrer boys offering a bodyguard and some paltry bowfire.

My guess was that Kraken would deploy east of the river, so placed my two combat blocks to converge there. If we deployed west, or split his units, I was hoping to use the chariot and troll to mess up enough of his advance to get into combat. 

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

I frequently deploy with a denied flank Quiet you fool! You'll give away your tactics! 

The plan was to gently head forward in a tight pack and use the river to discourage anybody thinking of hitting my sides. If the orcs were too far off, I felt I could count on us swinging to face each other in the middle, in which case I'd try to pivot round the hill in the middle. Otherwise I'd just close and hope for the charges. 

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

As it turned out, the orcs were going to be shacking up in the ruined farmstead, more or less in the other corner. Which was lucky, because that's what I actually had a plan for...

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 1

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

I shouldn't be so footsore, Phlothos thought. 

Yes, they'd been trekking through the winding canyons of the badlands for nearly a week, living off their rotten supplies and poisoning the streams as they went. But it wasn't as though he actually did that walking himself. 

Instead, some offshoot of the corruption in his lungs had meandered into his feet. Now, when he coughed, his entire left leg convulsed agonisingly. It made him more irritable than usual. 

"There's a farmstead ahead," Morag told him.

Visions of a wide feather bed and some casks of homebrewed cider loomed in his mind, a little ease for his suppurating bones. 

"It's full of orcs," she went on. 

"We march," Phlothos shouted to his army. "Whatever thuggish brute despoiled those poor farmers, I shall not sleep until I've avenged their loss. They should have been ours!"

The chaos warriors drew up into clanking ranks and trod heavily towards the smouldering farm. The charioteers unsheathed their halberds, the shrinemaster called out a prayer for the wretched. Big Wurm threw up heavily into the stream. 

Morag summoned a great tide of fresh sores for the warriors, heartening them and toughening them at once, as well as gifting the giant with an abundance of Nurgle. The monster's guts were still full of elfshot, he'd not been quite the same since they'd fished him out of the river.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

Savage Orcs - Turn 1

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

Bonekrunk gnashed his tusks in frustration. The ironshod army was on the extreme left of the ruined farmstead, which meant his lads couldn't just charge forward into them. He knew he shouldn't have left Noggchoppa in charge of what he called 'da ployment'.

"Git dis battle line shifted!" he barked. The green tide obeyed, too afraid of their warboss to argue amongst themselves. Rokhamma's lads swung around and began marching around the farm, Bonekrunk's Big 'Uns simply turned on the spot. The boar chariot raced on ahead, eager to get the fighting started, while the river troll loped patiently alongside them, obedient under the eye of its master.

Meanwhile, Wurrzag and the Arrer Boys piled into the farm's only remaining building, whooping something about 'better akk'ricy'.

A crackle of green light flared up from inside the tower and, as if to prove the gods were on their side, an enormous green foot appeared above one of the ironshod's chariots. The lads cheered, but it proved a disappointment as the foot stamped once, barely knocking off a hubcab, then wandered off.

A greater crackle of green energy then nearly blew the roof off the tower. Bonekrunk startled, wondering if their shaman had already been claimed by Mork, but the boss of the Arrer Boys, Grunt, leaned out of a window and gave the thumbs-up. "Wurrzag's all right," he reported. "He's just ... 'aving a lie-down."

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

To distract themselves from their shaman's disarray, the Arrer Boys poken their bows out of every loophole in the tower and took aim at the giant. He made an easy enough target, but proved a tough one to hurt, and only one arrow found its mark.

Bonekrunk pawed at the ground, restless. If the gods were going to help them, they'd better hurry up about it.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 2

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

Big Wurm stood atop the small hill that the nearby stream trickled out of and hooted a challenge at the orcs. Faeces trickled out of his sodden pants, ordure mixed with a little blood from the crude orc arrows that peppered his hide. 

"Steady does it, fellows!" Phlothos boomed. The chaos line advanced in grim order, flies and stink hanging over it in a dirty pall. The chariots on his left drew up on the rear slope of the hill, ready to leap forward on his command. 

Again, Morag drew on the plagues she knew. Her mastery increased daily, Phlothos felt. Her ministerings kept his illness in check, just enough that he'd last to see his solemn duty done without slighting the gift his master had given him. The dwarves would rue what they'd done. They weren't the only ones who could hold a grudge. 

Soothing poxes ran across his skin, soldering his sloughing flesh with new growths.  His fellow warriors sighed with appreciation as the curse soothed their chafes and blisters temporarily. 

But Morag's next incantation was ruined by an impossibly loud bellow of orcish from the farm's watchtower. 

"OI!" it thundered, ruining her concentration. The wizened crone tutted and hissed under her rags. It seemed the orcs had one of their primitive wizards with them, one who could almost match Morag for power. 

"Interesting," Phlothos mused. 

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

Savage Orcs - Turn 2

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

The boar chariot raced so far ahead of them, Bonekrunk wondered at first if the cowardly gits hadn't decided to leg it from the battle. But then the driver applied the brake and the contraption wheeled around, ready to threaten the Giant. All the same, chariots concerned him. He didn't trust such modern notions as the 'wheel'.

Rokhamma kept his boys moving towards them, and Bonekrunk shoved the Big 'Uns back a few paces, trying to form a line with them. The troll was staying out in front, where hopefully he would slow down the ironshods.

More green sparks appeared in the tower, but put-putting feebly, like a flatulent squig. "Wot is going on up there?" Bonekrunk demanded. "'Ee's just getting 'is bearings," shouted down Grunt. "Says he lost his finking for a bit."

Another volley of arrows flew out from the tower, more accurate than the first. But the crude shafts failed to pierce the giant's mangled flesh.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

"Shuffling back, shooting arrers..." muttered Noggchoppa, "Wot are we - da pointy ears?"

Bonekrunk had to admit, as he punched Noggchoppa in the jaw for his insolence, he had a point.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 3

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

The orcs were getting closer. But not close enough. Not yet. 

Phlothos had fought their kind before in his time. All the townsfolk of Underkaraz had. Taking your turn with the militia and fending off the local greenskins was part and parcel of the prospecters' lives. He knew they were, well, limited in their approach to warfare. Not without cunning, of course. But impatient, too eager for the fray. 

He lifted his mace in a signal. As one, the warband slowed to a crawl, then halted in a tidy formation. Big Wurm howled, then squatted as his riven bowels betrayed him again. Phlothos smiled. Oh, to be up on that hill, with that fragrance perfuming the air! 

His chair lurched as the diminutive demon bearers hit a rut in the dirt. The jolt sent fresh shivers through his chest. And something else, too. 

There was a chariot, or at least a kind of well-spiked cart, kicking up a cloud of dust on the left flank. 

"Cha... hackarge ackarge ack ack," Phlothos managed, his order entirely drowned in a great wave of splintery coughs. No matter, even if his own charioteers didn't get the order now the orc contraption would be dealt with in time. 

"There, there," Morag said, clambering up the side of the rocking palanquin to lay a hand on his sweltering brow. Her skin was black and hard, the nails pitted and dish-shaped. As she ministered to his ailment, he knew she missed valuable chances to curse their enemies. There was no other option, however. Without his commands, his troops would likely lose patience and charge before it was time. 

They had to hold. 

Savage Orcs - Turn 3

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

Bonekrunk's patience was nearly at an end. The lads wouldn't hold fast forever, and those ironshods were being too slow about getting to grips. With a wave of his club, he send the troll forwards until the slimy creature had lumbered directly in front of the warriors.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

More groans from the farm told Bonekrunk that their Shaman was still struggling to summon his mystical powers. Bonekrunk started to wonder if he'd found the real Great Green Prophet, or just an imposter with a fancy mask.

It didn't matter. The troll was parked in front of the ironshods. They'd have to take that bait, he thought, congratulating himself on such low cunning. And then he'd unleash the Waaagh! on them. The ironshods would have to charge them. Have to.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 4

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

Nothing moved down the chaos line. 

Ranks of rank warriors stood still, their fever sweat musking the air with an almost visible stain. Clouds of burnt offerings hung in the dead air above the warshrine like blood in water. The chariots shifted and twisted on the flank, keeping the boar-drawn orc cart in their sights but patiently waiting for the moment to strike. 

"Bless them, my lovely nurse. Show them what they miss," Phlothos told Morag. 

Squinting, the old hag sighted down her stave. Of course it was hard for her to do otherwise, her head was so misshapen. With a snap of her misaligned jaw, she sent a spatter of thick yellow pus into the air. 

It hung there for a moment, then crashed down into the largest and most feral-looking pack of orcs. 

You could see, even from this distance, the change in the hue of their hides. Boils and blemishes spread like patchwork. Before they could shake it off, Morag swept her staff up to the heavens, then down. 

A rain of rancid bile gathered from nowhere and sprayed the orcs. Phlothos watched with glee, forgetting his throbbing foot, as the orcs puked and wailed. A few even collapsed, drowning in filthy mucus. 

The rain was shortlived, however, and it didn't seem to have done more than get the orcs riled. But how many of them would live out the week? 

Savage Orcs - Turn 4

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

"Dey still ain't moving boss," said Noggchoppa. "And now da lads is feeling a bit icky-poo."

"Right! Dat does it!" snapped Bonekrunk. "Attack! Everyone attack! Waaagh!"

First to obey his command, the river troll leapt the short distance into the ironshod ranks. The chariot was next to follow, splashing through the filthy waters and crunching into the side of the Giant.

But the big blocks weren't so nimble. All that shuffling around had caused too great a distance to open up between the two sides, and both mobs of savage orcs puffed to a halt, a long way from combat.

"Uh... woz that supposed to 'happen?" asked Noggchoppa.

Before Bonekrunk could answer, a great green scaled hand appeared from nowhere and closed around his mob. Gork himself was going to carry them to safety. Then suddenly, as quick as it had appeared, the hand dissipated. Wurrzag had let that enemy wizard get the better of him again.

"Is that the best you got?" Bonekrunk bellowed at the tower.

"Sorry!" replied Grunt, and a volley of arrows sailed out of the tower, landing all around the second ironshod chariot until one of them struck a horse. "Dat better?"

Bonekrunk growled with anger and turned back to the conflict. Dripping with poisonous ooze, the boar chariot drove hard into the giant's flank, spikes and tusks ripping deep into its flesh. With a roar, the monster headbutted the war machine, stunning the rest of the crew so much they dropped their spears.

The troll was giving a good account of itself, vomiting away for all it was worth. But as he saw them closer, the ironshods looked like they were used to a bit of vomit, and their numbers pressed against the dumb river troll until it turned and fled. The ironshods followed, ran it down, but fell short of Bonekrunk's own mob. He had to admit, they looked a lot bigger than he was expecting.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 5

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

Now! Now the moment was ripe! Ripe and past ripe, a fruit ready to burst underfoot!

As the troll turned and fled, Phlothos gave the command. In a long, rusted line, his men swept forward. Their patience was being rewarded, now they could vent their lust for battle. The very earth seemed to groan under their vile tread as they ran.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

From the vantage point atop his throne, Phlothos clearly saw the orc chariot explode. The chaos machine, heavier and more skillfully driven, rammed through it broadside as it crested the hill. Then it sped straight over the wreckage, gathering momentum down the slope, and sped straight into the advancing pack of savages. Deprived of his kill, Big Wurm screamed in fury. 

Just before the two lines clashed, Morag's skirts billowed with a colossal surge of yellow-green gas. The eye-watering miasma spread swiftly through their ranks with a vast, ripping noise, like a machine shredding wet leather. 

The Shrinemaster yelled a final benediction, and Phlothos almost clapped as he felt it bolter his rotten heart. Then they were into the fight. 

Amidst the ululating greenskins, Phlothos spied their leader. "Face me!" he commanded. "Waarg!" shouted the orc, then scowled as a lesser brute shoved a pair of savages out of its way and bounded towards Phlothos. 

Not the orc he was looking for, but it would have to do. Using his less swollen foot, Phlothos kicked off his other boot. The air felt cool on the torn skin.

Crunch! The second chariot now smashed into the orcs. They were so focussed on the incoming warriors, whooping and clashing their chunky weapons in some tribal dance , they never saw it coming. A handful were crushed under its chassis, still more spitted by the drivers. 

Around him, the orcs choked and gagged on the clouds of foulness. Easy targets for his men, although he saw the chariot smashed apart by a near-blind orc wielding some kind of double-handed bannerpole as a club. Here and there, the sheer enthusiasm of the orcs was enough to bring down a warrior or two. 

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

As the orc champion clutched the edge of his throne, ready to pull itself up, Phlothos rammed his naked, reeking foot into its face. 

A toe probably broke off in there, he thought, not that he'd felt such extremities for months. But it certainly put the orc off his stride. It let go of the throne with an anguished howl and dropped out of sight before Phlothos could swing his mace round. He felt his bearers surge forward over the tumbled orc, gibbering and cackling to themselves. 

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

And then suddenly the orcs were gone. A few pitiful, disease-wracked specimens crawled for safety. But it was pointless. His warriors eased their headlong charge and executed the survivors with clinical efficiency. 

Savage Orcs - Turn 5

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

Wurrzag ud ura Zahubu, Da Great Green Prophet, removed his baleful mask and rubbed his eyes. He couldn't believe what he had just seen: the mighty Bonekrunk Stonesplitter and his closest cronies had just turned and run from the ruinous ones.

"Wot's 'appened to da boss, boss?" asked Grunt nervously.

Wurrzag replaced his mask and tried to think of something mystical to say. "Da weak will be cut from da strong. It is da will of Gork."

There was certainly some strength in that enemy wizard, he thought. Every spell he had attempted to cast had been shut down or slipped from his mind. He tried once more: summoning a boost for the remaining mob of savage orcs, but to no avail. As a parting shot, he tried to turn the wizard into a squig, but that wasn't happening either.

He looked out from the window to see that Rokhamma's lads needed no help against the chariot. Finally unleashed against an enemy, the frenzied orcs shrugged off the impetuous of the war machine and hacked it half to pieces, causing it to rout. The orcs chased after, perhaps unwisely, as it placed them directly beneath the giant.

"Uh, wot do we do about dem?" Grunt pointed out of another window. A few bare strides away, the bloated mass of warriors and wizards were preparing to storm this very building.

Wurrzag swallowed heavily. "Put a chair against da door. Dat is also da will of Gork."

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 6

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

"Up there! He's up there," Morag hissed, her gnarled digits indicating the watchtower. Phlothos knew she meant the shaman who'd been stymying her spells.

"Well, my nurse, shall we go and give him his medicine?" he asked. 

Twitching and sputtering was his answer. He assumed it meant yes, and gave the nod to the warriors. They knew the drill. A hardened selection of veterans dashed up, flanked the door and waited for him to begin the assault.

As the nurglings shuffled his bulk forward, Phlothos watched as Big Wurm chased down the hill. He knew the maddened monster wasn't so much trying to kill the orcs as kill the chariot that spoilt his earlier fight. A mind that small just couldn't prioritise events, he supposed. As the chariot careened back past the giant, it tried to skid to a halt and turn, but the orcs caught up to it first.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

Even as Wurm clubbed one high into the air with incredible ease, the others were surrounding the monster, chopping and ululating. Phlothos wondered if the giant would live. Something exploded. 

There were shards of bone sticking out all across his left side like shrapnel. Boler's banner was gone, a ragged tatter sailing through the silent air. The watchtower's doorway was twice as wide as it should have been, and the front of the building was dripping with deep brown blood. Armour plates were driven inches deep into the stone. 

Clutching the arm of the throne, Phlothos looked desperately for an explanation.

Morag was gone. Where she had been a moment ago were a trio of smouldering craters, some kind of yellow-grey ichor bubbling in their depths. 

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

The orc shaman! It had to be! Surely Morag was too skilled to foul her own magics up so badly? 

Head ringing, Phlothos howled for veneance. The doorway was too thin to get the palanquin in, but there were already orcs spilling out of both it and the nearest windows. He tried to shout a challenge at the largest one, but couldn't really hear what he was saying. 

The orc seemed to get the message, though, leaping towards him energetically. Whipping his mace round in a long arc that trailed virulent gunge, Phlothos dispatched it. The mace rang like a cracked bell as it drank the orc's life. 

Although some of his front rank was missing, the rest of his men drove the orcs out with ease. He tried to order them into the tower, content to remain behind and try and work out where Morag was, but they refused. One of the champions shouted something to him, an explanation, but he couldn't hear anything. The northman pointed, and Phlothos looked. 

Big Wurm was down, a bleeding mound on the field, and a raging pack of orcs was running full tilt towards their flank.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

Savage Orcs - Turn 6

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

"Right lads, dat's enough exercise!" Wurrzag puffed and the arrer boys gathered around him. The archers formed two straggly lines, the better to watch Rokhamma's savage orcs, who had started to argue amongst themselves and then decided to take out their frustrations on the depleted warriors.

Inspired by such a show of green violence, Wurrzag raised his arms to the skies and felt himself imbued with a might blast of Waaagh! power. A little last in the proceedings perhaps, and not so very useful: his attempt to boost the fighting orcs was stopped, his Foot of Gork missed the chariot and wandered off. A final blast from his baleful mask seared away one more horse, but the battered contraption was still infuriatingly intact.

The arrer boys loosed their final volley at the chariot, which once again missed entirely or bounced off the impenetrable hide.

Wurrzag turned his eyes away and looked to where he might find more competent orcs. Sure enough, the mob's big stabba had already impaled two of the ironshods, with Rokhamma himself hacking up another. But then the fat champion on the litter of bogeys pushed his way to the battle line and smashed down the mob's boss. His enormous bulk prevented the rest of the orcs from attacking, and they could only hurl insults to the remaining warriors.

Battered, stunned and on the verge of flight, the surviving ironshods nonetheless weathered the orcs' fury, and turned to face them.

If only Bonekrunk had shown that kind of grit, Wurrzag thought with resignation. There was no stopping the ruinous ones from breaking through now. He would gather the remaining orcs together and they would have to find him a new route north. His destiny was waiting for him, but he would leave this sorry warband to root around in the Badlands.

"Off we go lads," he said. "No more kumpin' today."

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Warriors of Chaos and Savage Orcs.

Result - 12:8 to Warriors of Chaos (1206 vs 968 in old money)


"Oh Morag," Phlothos wept, on his hands and knees at the side of the craters. 

The orcs were gone, running scared back to the barren wastelands beyond the burnt-out farm. Chaos Warriors were employed in hanging the wounded up on makeshift gibbets round the farmyard, healing them so they'd make a longer-lasting deterrent. 

"Why? Why were you taken from me? Our time together was so short, and you were so beautiful." 

A long-faced nurgling offered him a scrap of flayed orchide, and he blew his nose gratefully into it. The leather dissolved almost immediately, and the nurgling lapped the gooey remainder out of his hand. 

"I shall not forget you, my nurse!" he swore, levering himself up to standing with the haft of his mace. "I shall carve your name on the faces of the dwarves!" 

He collapsed back to his knees heavily, coughing. His foot was so badly damaged now, toeless after its connection with the orc, that he couldn't really stand on it. Even with his bearers, it was hopeless. 

"Hopeless!" he sighed, and let himself collapse forward, rolling into the nearest crater and settling into the ichor at the bottom. He wouldn't live to see his revenge. Even if his bearers could get him to Karaz-a-Karak, his lungs wouldn't. "I'll die first," he told himself. 

"You'll die when I let you," a voice answered him. 

A shadow blocked out the sun. Flies swirled round it like a cape. The stave it clutched was a deformed spine, kinked in the middle and bulbous with rot. 

"Morag?" Phlothos whispered. And a claw stretched down to bear him up. 


A win? I don't have anything else to say. I need to go and lie down until the shock wears off.

Wurrzag's Gummage

Waaagh! did it all go wrong? Another defeat for my 'Miss Congeniality' Savage Orcs - proof that you don't need to win battles to be my favourite army.

Let's start with Wurrzag - a big disappointment (a damp squig?), especially as I built my theme around him and sacrificed my usual Great Shaman-Shrunken Head combo (not to mention a dispel scroll). Of the six magic phases, half of them were unusable (two very low winds, and one unlucky loss of concentration) and other half did nothing. I was even trying to be cannier with my use of magic (rather than six-dicing boosted Foot of Gork, as I usually would), but nothing proved effective.

Also, as I am always reminded when I bring this army out, I need to paint more units. I keep trying chaff tactics with units that aren't really chaff (though the troll and chariot did their very best) - some goblin cavalry, artillery or just cheaper troops (goblin archers would have been just as ineffective as arrer boys) would start to round out this limited, but undeniably themed, army.

Finally, my tactics. Up to a certain point, I think I was doing okay. But then I lost my nerve and charged with everything. It was a staring contest and I blinked first - I could see that the turns were slipping away and my ranged stuff had not made a dent. And unlike Chaos Warriors, I couldn't rely on a sixth turn glory charge to mop up everything.

The chariot charge was okay - I'd sacrifice that for three wounds on the giant. The regular savage orcs was okay, since their failure didn't really compromise them. The big 'uns was a daft move - it looked like they would have been pulped even if they had made it in.

And the troll was unnecessary: if he'd stayed put, he would not have blocked the big 'uns charge attempt. And if their charge failed (which it was going to), he still would have acted as a decent roadblock for the enemy - overrun by the Warriors, but the counter-charge would be happening in my turn (where I might then have had two units to bring against their one).

I was unlucky that the Warriors didn't flee from my flank charge at the very end (saved on exactly 5 Ld), but Kraken was unlucky (calamitously so) to be in that position in the first place. If I had run down the Warriors, it would have been a most undeserving draw.

Also, that Palanquin of Nurgle is pretty handy in an infantry block - once it's in a challenge, it stymies a lot of enemy attacks (apart from lending endurance to the champion riding it). Starting to regret giving it to Kraken now...

So congratulations to Kraken on breaking his chaotic duck (I trust a Chaotic Duck will be the next conversion piece) - that was a good game.

Okay, the shock's worn off. A well-played and very enjoyable game! Losing most of my characters to a miscast was bad luck, especially on a mere four dice, but actually made it tenser and closer. If I hadn't made a lucky break test (on five!) in the last round, that would have been a nice save for the orcs. 

I was right about Miasma, that with Mark of Nurgle was well worth it. The fistfuls of dice a pack of savage orcs brings in couldn't really connect, and toughness plus armour did for the rest. It's a very good combo.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that: Miasma was devastating. Even with all the frenzied, high-strength attacks, I was barely able to land a blow. When a Nurgle Giant is the easiest opponent in close-combat, you know you've got problems.

 I don't think it would have been so much of a problem for Wood Elves, with their better WS and re-rolls. Conversely, the toughness spells that so troubled my Asrai were far less scary for the savages. Quite a toolbox Papa Nurgle has there.

Next Time - Battle of the 'Bands!

1 comment:

  1. A few extra notes on rules queries we wondered about:

    - Does Miasma still work after the Sorcerer Lord has been killed?
    (Yes it does. 'Remains in play' spells die with the caster, but time-limited spells - 'Until next magic phase' etc - still go on, like Celine Dion's heart)

    - Do multiple wound weapons (i.e. Filth Mace) count for Overkill in a challenge with a single-wound champion? (yes they do, capped at 5. I must have been thinking of challenge rules in previous editions: back then, I'm sure the wound only multiplied if there was something left to damage - so a single-wound model only ever took one wound).

    So it looks like we called both of those right. Just putting them here for when I forget next time.