Friday, 27 May 2016

A Short Dwarven History - III

Our holds are attacked!

Drums! Drums in the deep! We cannot get out! Etc!
As soon as I march High King Thorgrim towards his interesting quest, a small army of goblins burrows under the mountains to the south and attacks the Pillars. The home garrison is slightly larger than the foe's army, but they have two things that we don't. 

Cavalry in the form of wolf rider archers. And a goblin wizard. 

And they're coming this way.

Pah! I scoff into my drinking horn. See that yellow and red bar in the middle of the screenshot above? That's the balance of power. More yellow than red means it's in my favour. They're just goblins, after all. 

A line of dwarven warriors faces the foe, screened to the left by concealed miners (this time right on hand so there's no chance of having to sprint). The wolf riders crash accidentally into these troops as they attempt to flank the main force, and one unit of miners rush past to attack the shaman, who's all by himself. 

All by himself with five hundred goblins, to be fair, but who counts them? Even the game's tooltips point out that they're expendable.

You know me, you know this is all going to go wrong. 

The shaman proves remarkably tough in combat. Decieved by the tabletop, I have underestimated how capable heroes are. Yes, he loses to the miner unit, but he loses so slowly and does so much damage on the way that he ties up and batters both the first and second unit sent to deal with him. Even when he breaks, he just legs it faster than I can catch him. 

Stop buffing yourselves!

The whole time, he's casting Sneaky Stabbin on the two units of goblin warriors, whilst their supporting archers hammer away at my footsloggers. The wolf riders perish almost immediately, the goblin spears take a lot longer. And by the time they're finished, my troops are weary, slow and unable to catch the two unscathed goblin archer units, who keep whittling until the dwarves finally flee. 

Grudge! says the book as I watch the goblins plunder the hold before heading back south with my cash. High King Thorgrim turns back, follows the army of Morglum back to their nest in Karag Dron, kills them all and reclaims the hold. 

While he's doing that, a familiar face turns up at Deephall Clough and recaptures it almost effortlessly.

Gnashrak's back.

The Bloody Spearz warboss hasn't wasted his time up north, he's come back with a decent sized stack. Thorgrim trudges grimly back to deal with him and does so, but takes a bit of a beating in the process, as Gnashrak's been recruiting Big 'Uns for his lineup. I haven't managed to upgrade my barracks yet, thanks to Morglum's depredations, so my army is still a solid selection of core units. We win, but I lose a lot of men as well as getting the High King fairly badly hurt. 

Straight after that, an even more familiar face pops up. 

Grimgor? That's not so good.

During this time, I've raised a second army and filled it to a goodly size with dwarves. If I link 
banners, Thorgrim and Thane Durak Throttlebeard outnumber the black orc and his troops. But I can't get them to link in time, and in fact Thorgrim takes a pasting from the much larger enemy army, getting forced off but at least surviving and taking a decent toll on the enemy. His Hammerers are wiped out by the Immortulz, and Grimgor himself takes on about four units of warriors plus the High King and beats them all. I can see him causing me problems in the future.

Grimgor immediately marches on the Pillars again, and is met by Throttlebeard and the garrison troops, with the pitiful remains of Thorgrim's army - Thorgrim himself and four Dwarf warriors. Not four units, take note, just four actual warriors. Told you I took a pasting.

A battle royale ensues. 

Yeah, the balance of power is in his favour. But we've seen how accurate that can be already...

We fight amidst the dusty pines again. Grimgor hangs back, knowing I have to come to him. I rumble forwards with a hefty lineup of grudge throwers, that take on a lone Doom Diver in an artillery battle in the opening phases. We win this comfortably, then beat his left flank to pieces before the quarrelers start moving into place. 

As soon as they do, the orcs rush us in their hundreds. 

The High King intercepts Grimgor. You can see how tough he is from his deployment. There's a huge hole, nearly two units wide, in the centre of the orc line with Grimgor in the middle, almost like the AI is sticking to the fluff and keeping all the delicate orcs away from their psychotic leader. The High King, already wounded, goes down, but at least wounds Grimgor enough for Durak to finish him off. 

The orc melee troops all die or run, and I'm left with an increasingly familiar problem - archers. 

By the time the dwarven death marathon is over, there are five units left on the field. I've chased down and killed all but two units of arrer boyz. But all I've got left is two units of Quarrellers with no ammo and the badly wounded Durak, and they're scattered to three of the four corners of the field. 

Go get 'em, tiger. 

Durak manages to take out one unit alone, but the other drives him away, his nerve breaking. These boyz are cheered enough by their victory that they close with one of the quarrellers before I can bring the two together, and bash the badly-depleted crossbow units one after the other. 

Luckily, by this time Durak has returned to the battle, so he leaps in for one final go. 

A Heroic Leap, too.

The orcs Ld wavers badly. I can see it dip, it's represented by a little grey bar under their banner (red is their health). Both of Durak's bars are tiny dribbles, he's at breaking point too. 

He breaks. 

In one fell swoop, we've lost both our fighting armies, a third of our current holdings, the valiant Durak Throttlebeard and (temporarily) the High King (big name heroes come back after a while). 

At least I'm safe in the knowledge that it's unlikely to get any worse. 

Tomorrow - It all gets much much worse

No comments:

Post a Comment