Author Topic: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones  (Read 5014 times)

Offline Horned Owl

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[Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« on: October 04, 2011, 11:42:57 AM »
At the perimeter of the camp, hooked spears had been leaned against each other to form neat tripods, from which hung spiked helmets, water gourds and hobnailed leather sandals. The warbands´ colours hung limply from the banner poles. The soldiers had rigged up sheets of canvas to keep away the desert sun, and those not on guard were lazing in the shade or listlessly mending pieces of equipment. The pickets called out feigned insults whenever they passed each other, and were answered in kind, while their off-duty comrades commented on the catcalls´ ingenuity or lack thereof. Life was good in the Tenth Invincible company, in between campaigns.

At the edge of the camp, a crowd of burly Orc swordsmen and wiry Goblin lancers were particularly engrossed in a game of cards played between two Orcs and three Goblins. Between the players, a half-naked Orc camp-girl lay stretched out lasciviously and threw biting remarks into the round. On her tawny belly, the bets had collected – coins of every denomination: square silver crescents and bronze lion´s-heads from the Blackblood Empire, cogwheel-shaped Firstborn coins, their crenellated edges worn with use, Elven lith-stones and triangular Dwarven steel pieces, etched with what looked like feral claw-marks. There were even a few copper figurines on a string, depicting fat mother-goddesses with bulging breasts and bellies: barter tokens from the far Wildlands where (rumour had it) the untamed Sons of Kronos roamed. The Tenth had seen quite its share of campaigning, and here was the evidence – plunder from all the lands of Chronopia, and the tall tales that went with it.

The Goblin just dealing the cards was sporting a crisscross of scars on his skinny torso, and a broad belt of red leather studded with bronze victory badges – awards for battle valor that looked utterly out of place on such a slight fellow. Seeing the questioning gaze of the Orc across from him, he smiled affably.

"Guess you´re wondering what I got those for, eh?", he asked. The Orc grunted non-committally, but several heads had already turned with interest, and anyway, the Goblin continued unaffected. "Yes, there´s quite a tale behind those badges! Those scars, too –", he puffed out his scrawny chest importantly, "– I got both when we struck the first blow at the Horned Ones. I was with the Second then –"

"Are you going to deal, or what?"

The Goblin put on a nonchalant air and briefly shuffled the stack again. He started to deal the cards out, all the while continuing the banter. "– Ah, yes, where was I? I was with the Second, then – a good company, one of the best in the entire Satrap´s host, as of course you all know –", he waved his hand at the shouts of derision, "and deployed as I was, in the vanguard with ten myrmadons and threescore archers – I was just a lowly spearman then. Well, my warband was put in the best place to see some action. You might say we was in the position of honour." There were wry smiles from the Orcs, who knew full well that the first rank´s purpose was to catch the enemy arrows so that the better troops behind them might live, but the Goblins pretended not to notice and, in fact, had put on important faces and were nodding sagely. The girl grinned and lazily stroked one Orc´s thigh with her foot, causing the coins to jingle and the swordsman´s smile to widen.

"So there we were. We was not scouting, mind you, not nosing around, we were there to deal the Dwarves a mighty blow with our myrmadons and spears. – Raise you by two crescents! – So in our hearts there was no fear, even as a terrible cloud of dust rose on the horizon. That was the sign of our enemies´ approach, and a huge host it was, yes, that approached us –"

"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Cirith

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Re: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2011, 12:40:48 PM »
Ah... can we trust the word of a Goblin... I guess we put trust aside and just enjoy the tale.

Looking forward to another report.
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Offline Horned Owl

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Re: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 01:50:38 PM »
"We were strung out in a thin line, only nine Myrmadons and a catapult, the spearmen forward, and the archers somewhat behind. Arrayed against us, the Dwarven host was easily double our number – if not more –, all the footsoldiers clad in heavy armour, and ranks over ranks of great horned warbeasts, towering over even the largest Myrmadon. We could see the desert sun glinting off their weapons: they had huge spears and swords. But there was nothing but honour and courage in our hearts: none of us felt afraid –"


The sky was the colour of dull silver, and the desert gleamed in the rays of the setting sun like burnished copper. From a brazier on the back of the Myrmadon catapult, a thin line of smoke rose. Goblin spearmen, clad in bronze armour, had closed their ranks. Behind them in a staggered pattern, the archers had taken position to fire through the gaps in the line. On the right flank, the war Myrmadons were poised, the left was taken by the swordmasters.

In comparison, the Dwarves had less than half the number of warbeasts. Two Horned Raiders, scouts for the main host, took the flank opposite the swordmasters. In the center, four shaggy War Totems with great curved horns were arrayed, towering over the few blocks of Legion and spearmen. Each bore a large ballista on its back. Seeing that they were severely outnumbered, the Dwarves grunted and spat on the ground. Their grip tightened on spears and bastard swords as they scanned the massive line of huge Myrmadons.

This grim resolve did nothing to reassure the Goblins, who despite their greater numbers, knew that the Dwarves were tenacious opponents. The swordmasters held themselves straight, affecting an air of negligent disdain, but a nervous rustle arose from the rank and file who shuffled their feet nervously. Leaders barked at their troops, and the fidgeting subsided gradually.

Between the two hosts lay broken ground: short, spiny wire-bushes and bizarre rock formations jutted out of the valley´s bowl. The remnants of an ancient wall ran the length of the valley but had collapsed in places. Those gaps would probably see fierce fighting as troops bunched up in the breaches.   


The Dwarven Host

4 War Totems

2 Totem Warriors

2 Horned Raiders

4 Horned Ones Spearmen warbands
(of 6 spearmen + 1 leader each)

2 Horned Legion warbands
(of 6 swordsmen, 1 standard bearer and 1 leader each)


The Invincibles

9 Goblin Myrmadons

1 Myrmadon Catapult *

4 Goblin Spearmen warbands
(of 10 spearmen + 1 leader each)

4 Goblin Archer warbands
(of 8 archers + 1 leader each)

2 Goblin Swordmaster warbands
(of 5 swordmasters + 1 leader each)


The Myrmadon Catapult is a "house rule" unit. It consists of a large trebuchet fixed between two teamed myrmadons.

2 Myrmadons:
CC 12 -- MW 10 -- PW 0 -- LD 10 -- AC 2 -- W 4 -- ST 5 -- MV 4 -- A 24 -- DEF 0 -- S 3

1 Goblin Controller:
CC 0 -- MW 0 -- PW 0 -- LD 12 -- AC 1 -- W 1 -- ST 0 -- MV 0 -- A 17 -- DEF 0 -- S 0

2 Goblin Crewmen:
CC 0 -- MW 12 -- PW 0 -- LD 11 -- AC 2 -- W 1 -- ST 0 -- MV 0 -- A17 -- DEF 0 -- S 0

Points Cost: 180


The Myrmadon Catapult is immune to Panic and Fear.

The Myrmadon Catapult moves and acts as a single unit. To move, both Myrmadons must expend one action simultaneously, but each Myrmadon may attack separately.

The Myrmadon Catapult has a Trample attack, Dam 14.

Both Myrmadons may attack in CC to their front facing with their tusks, Dam 12, Strength is added.

If one Myrmadon is killed, the Myrmadon Catapult may not move for the rest of the game.


The crew may do nothing but fire the catapult to the front facing:

Catapult
Missile Weapon
CR 18 -- MX 30 -- RM -3 -- DAM *

The Catapult lobs a Fire Bomb (as per the Alchemist "spell" from Land of the Two Rivers)

If both crewmen are killed, the catapult may not fire.

If fired from a moving Myrmadon, the Catapult has a -4 penalty to hit.


The Myrmadon Catapult may go out of control if one of the Myrmadons is wounded. The rules for losing and regaining control are the same as for the Goblin Myrmadon.


When attacking the Myrmadon Catapult, roll to see who is hit:
1-13 Myrmadon
14-18 Crewman
19-20 Controller 



« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 12:33:13 PM by Horned Owl »
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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Re: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2011, 09:13:33 AM »
Incidentally, we were using the "Monstrous Death" rules from Leviathan (ah, the nostalgia!) for the Myrmadons and War Totems. Basically, if a Size 3 model is slain, you roll whether it collapses where it stands, whether it staggers or keels over to the right or left. Whatever is touched by the base takes a Dam 14 hit if it does not dive for cover.
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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Re: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 12:12:08 PM »


"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Cirith

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Re: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 02:43:34 AM »
Monstrous Death is a good rule to play with. Looking forward to battle report. Pics are alway a nice touch.


Do you draw them on paper then scan them?
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Offline Manic _Miner

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Re: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2011, 08:40:29 AM »
 Another good story and it looks like it will be a good battle too.

 Nice pictures.

Offline Horned Owl

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Re: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2011, 12:29:30 PM »
Good battle? Good battle? Miriam practically wiped the floor with my troops. Apart from that one act of conspicuous bravery... but read on.  :'(

And yes, I drew them on paper and scanned them.
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline joshuaslater

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Re: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2011, 09:08:21 AM »
This is great stuff as always.  More please.   :D
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Offline Manic _Miner

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Re: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2011, 01:48:18 AM »
 Waiting to findout what happend to the forces in this story.Dont keep us waiting too long  :'(.

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Re: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2011, 07:34:07 AM »
"– and we rushed forward to meet them before they reached the wall. You see, if they had blocked the breaches before we could reach them, then they would have had the advantage. Being better armoured, I mean. But the Dwarves – curse their stunted bones! – they had great crossbows on the backs of their warbeasts, and they sent over a veritable storm of darts. I saw the front rank going down, comrades falling right and left. But we did not lose courage, always going forward –"

More than one skeptic eyebrow was lifted at this, but the Orc, just scooping his winnings off the girls´ belly into his purse, was in a good mood. He stifled his comrades´ remarks with a meaningful glance and gestured for the Goblin to continue.

"– and then our archers were in range. We loosed wave after wave of arrows at the breaches, where they massed thickest. Our Myrmadon archers had their own trouble to sort out –"



Just as it looked as if the Goblins could gain the breaches in the wall before the Dwarves did, the incessant hail from the War Totems´ repeating crossbows took its toll. Two warbands in the front rank turned tail and ran toward the side (avoiding the comrades behind them who hissed and threatened to shoot down the cowards), blocking the archers´ field of fire. In the meantime, the Dwarves had already massed their Legion at the breaches. (To those new to Chronopia: in confined areas, small elite forces can hold off and defeat an appalling number of lesser troops; and while Legion are hardly the cream of the crop of a Dwarven host, anything can justifiably feel elite if its opponent is the lowly Goblin Spearman.)

When the line of sight was clear again, the Goblins loosed a great cloud of arrows from their shortbows. The sheer number of feathered shafts coming their way and blocking out the sunlight gave the Horned Ones pause, but against Dwarven armour the effect was rather pitiful. The arrows pinged off Legion helmets, thudded into solid iron shields, pattered off the thick fur of the warbeasts like twigs in a gale. Only two Dwarves died. There was a howl of derision from the Horned Ones, who went as far as to drop their shields and make obscene gestures toward their enemies.

Behind the Legion, the Horned Raiders had gallopped towards the center, ready to strengthen the line wherever they might be needed. The riders unslung their bladed flails and checked the straps of their helmets one last time. Some waiting archers loosed at them just as they rounded a pillar of sandstone, but most arrows went wide. Only one found its mark – but it merely struck sparks off the ram-beast´s iron nose-guard. It shook its head irritably, as if swatting away a bothersome fly.

In the meanwhile, a bolt from the repeater crossbows had impaled one Myrmadon´s mahout. Enraged, the warbeast charged the nearest bull. The two beasts crashed into each other, pushing and goring with their tusks, while the Goblins on their backs held on for dear life. One wounded Myrmadon broke ahead of the line, eager to vent its rage on the Dwarves who had caused it pain.

Then the catapult opened up at the nearest breach. A black sphere rose in a graceful arc and came down just short of the Dwarven line. It burst into alchemical fire, effectively sealing the breach unless anyone cared to try walking through the blaze.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 07:37:21 AM by Horned Owl »
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Manic _Miner

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Re: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2011, 08:41:37 AM »
 Keeps getting better all the time.Sounds like it was a great game.

Offline Horned Owl

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Re: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2011, 07:36:51 PM »
Oh yes, it was magnificent! Even though we were using only counters, there is something about seeing nine Myrmadons and four War Totems marching on the respective enemy.


"The cursed Dwarves held the breaches against us. Then our Myrmadons struck their line. It was a majestic sight. I saw Dwarves being tossed high in the air by the tusks of the leading beasts. But the Dwarves, they had long spears ready, and once the first momentum was spent, our riders ran into a solid fence of lance-points –", the Goblin was now warming up to the tale, and enthusiastically demonstrating the movements with his hands, "– and the huge Dwarven beasts moved ever closer towards our left flank, where I stood, all the while loosing at us with those awful crossbows, killing and killing and killing.

Our archers cleared the breaches, and what remained of us spearmen reached the wall. I found myself face to face with a Dwarf mounted on some foul horned beast, but I took him on squarely and pulled him down with my spear – gutted his mount too, for good measure – you know how it goes when you´re getting stuck in."



The first rank of Horned Spearmen at the largest breach was trampled into the dust by the Myrmadons´ terrible onslaught. They stood shoulder to shoulder, so thick that they could not dive for cover when the monstrous juggernaughts tread them underfoot. Arrows from the war howdahs pinged off their armour, and the spearmen stabbed and slashed at them. An entire warband was crushed. But then the impetus of the attack faltered when the Myrmadons began to hinder each other in the press. And the second and third warbands spread out, avoiding the braced spears of the riders, stabbing again and again while keeping their distance. The first Myrmadon fell, another was severely wounded. Then one Horned Spearman charged in, yanked aside the spear aimed at his face and butted his horned helmet against the Myrmadon´s knee. Something gave with a crack. With a groan, more of surprise than of pain, the beast lost balance and keeled over. The Dwarf placed one foot on its bronze-scaled flank and stabbed a struggling spearman whose foot had caught in the howdah´s strap. One Myrmadon rolled its eyes wildly, enraged by the smell of blood and the painful bolt buried in its neck, and rubbed itself violently against the wall to dislodge the Goblins on its back.

The crossbows from the backs of the Totems also held a bloody harvest among the riders. They fell from the Myrmadons´ flanks like chaff. Ponderously, the great horned beasts moved towards the flank, threatening the Goblin advance on that side of the battlefield.

Meanwhile, the first Goblin spearmen had reached the wall and struck at the Legion. They stabbed from a distance, killing two Dwarves. Two more Legion fell to the archers´ volleys, arrows whistling and skipping on the stones all around.

Then the two Horned Raiders charged through the gap into the cloud of arrows and the teeth of the spearmen. The first one rammed his opponent to the ground, but when he readied for the killing blow, his flail somehow got tangled in his ram-beast´s horns. The irritated beast shook its head and bucked, blocking the rider´s comrade from coming to his aid. More Goblin archers loosed, the arrows passing dangerously close to their comrades, and killed the ram-beast. Then the spearmen closed in and pulled the Dwarf off his dead mount. He went down under the thicket of blades.

The Catapult again strummed like a deep bass instrument as it lobbed its alchemical bomb at the War Totems. It did not hit its intended target point, but struck one of the beasts anyway, setting its fur alight. It bellowed with pain and rage, but did not lessen its stride as the Dwarven crew quickly set to work and scraped the phosphorous substance off the Totem´s hide with their axes.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 07:48:25 PM by Horned Owl »
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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Re: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2011, 02:04:52 AM »
"Then the flower of martial valour, our magnificent swordmasters entered the fray. They led a gallant charge at those huge Dwarven war-beasts. The Myrmadons on the other flank, by now, were in complete disarray. The war-herd was cooped up in the narrow space at the wall, and there seemed no end to the Dwarves. Whenever we slew one, two more ran up to fill the gap. And you all know that the Dwarven warrior is a tough and unrelenting opponent." There was much sober nodding from the warriors, who all had faced Dwarves in combat before, and not exactly relished the opportunity. "It was an honour to measure oneself against such worthy foes! Now, the next rider charged at me, and even wounded me – here´s the scars to prove it, by the Gods! This one, on the left, I got it from his flail, and two broken ribs from his beast as it threw itself at me. But I finished that one, too –"


On the right, the Myrmadons went berserk. All semblance of control was gone. One ploughed into the Dwarves, throwing iron-armoured warriors left and right, while two locked tusks with each other, grinding and pushing in a display of terrible strength. Spearmen stabbed and stabbed again, bringing down two more. Several beasts were knocked to the ground when Dwarves rammed their reinforced helmets against their legs. One Horned Spearman, with ape-like strength, grabbed the great bronze shield that covered one Myrmadon´s snout, pulling himself up and butting the mahout in the face. The Goblin´s spiked helmet was sent flying. Before he could right himself, his beast had shaken off the valiant Dwarf and gored him with its tusks. His armour crumpled like parchment, and he coughed up blood, then he was tossed aside like a broken puppet.

(Note: The Horned Ones´ ram attack knocks the opponent down if it defeats his armour. We judged that if the Myrmadon was hit, the entire model was knocked down – it and all aboard had to expend an action to right themselves. If a crewmember was hit, only that member was knocked down and had to spend an action individually. A successful ram attack did not cause a wound and therefore did not enrage a Myrmadon – we figured that it would probably be too puzzled anyway to go berserk if bowled over by a Dwarf.
Miriam was all for disallowing a Size 1 model´s ram attacks to knock down a Myrmadon at all, but there was nothing in the rules that said otherwise, and I reasoned that a Dwarf could conceivably knock out the legs from under the creature.)


On the left, one warband of Goblin archers ran up to the leading Totems in an uncharacteristic show of courage. The deadly repeating crossbows dropped some, but then the rest were among the beasts, futilely slashing with their short knives at the thick, matted fur. Then the Goblin swordmasters drew their Kalkarna and charged in. Blackblood steel flashed and was answered with the enraged bellows of wounded beasts.

The Goblin spearman who had been bashed to the ground by the first Raider´s onslaught shakily regained his feet, only to be ridden down again by the next. As the Goblin sprawled in the dust, the rider swung his bladed flail in great figure eights, but missed each time as the terrified spearman wrapped his skinny arms around his head, rolled aside and curled up into a fetal position. When the Dwarf looked up with bloodshot eyes, he saw three spears protruding from his belly. His mount collapsed, and the flail slipped from his nerveless hands.

The Legion had shouldered their way past the Goblin spearmen. Like animals, they dropped to all fours and broke into a loping run. The archers, seeing them coming, loosed at them in desperation – one volley, and a second, but the arrows did nothing to stop the relentless charge.

The Catapult sent a flaming missile at the rearmost Totem but missed, fusing the sand some eight paces behind it in a roiling ball of alchemical fire. The Dwarves aboard the war-beast watched its trajectory impassively – then they shrugged, grunted, and proceeded to send some more bolts into the throng of Myrmadons.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 02:29:45 AM by Horned Owl »
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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Re: [Battle report] Beasts of War - Blackblood vs. Horned Ones
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2011, 06:35:45 AM »
"I must have been quite a sight, covered in the blood of those ugly beasts. Anyway, those were the small ones, only about the size of a Kutara. But those great horned warbeasts that were coming gallopping down our left flank, they gave even the gallant swordmasters pause. Each was the size of a house, with a terrifying iron mask, all studded with rivets. And each was bristling with warriors. I do not blame the swordmasters when they finally fell back. You know, they had given as well as they got, as they say, but they were forced to retreat in good order. As I said, I cannot feel it in me to blame them. Except that they left us in the ditch.

By that time, reinforcements were on their way. But the Dwarven Legion was behind our lines and mincing our archers, and we spearmen were severely depleted – as we had borne the brunt of the fighting. There´s many fine comrades who weren´t returning to celebrate with me." There was mock sadness in his voice. The listeners did not express pity, and some even snickered. Glory always went to the survivor, and the less there were, the more reward was there to go around. The other races were often appalled by the typical Blackbloods´ lack of compassion, even for their own kind: every Blackblood´s loyalty was first and foremost to himself and his ambition.

"The Myrmadons were little help. Their handlers had let them get away from them, and they were trampling and bull-fighting all over the line. And anyway, the Dwarves with their spears had done bloody work. Now it looked like it was up to us to save the day."



Finally, the leaders of the fleeing warbands of spearmen had bludgeoned some sort of order back into their Goblins, who turned around, somewhat shame-faced, and took a deep breath. The sun was already close to the horizon, and they knew they could not reach the battle lines before the setting sun would put an end to the day´s fighting. Still, they started double-pacing back towards the fray, in the hopes of distracting some of the enemies from their beleaguered comrades.

The left flank was a storm of flashing blades. A Goblin swordmaster leaped on the back of a raging beast. The two crewmen drew their swords, but he ducked under the first clumsy thrust, moved in close and executed a quick series of slashes. The Dwarves fell dead. His fellows cheered and redoubled their efforts. But the beasts´ hide proved tough for the slender Kalkarna blades to pierce, and with horns, teeth and blades, the Totems and their riders ground the desperate Swordmasters down.

Then a War Totem went down when a Goblin cut its hamstrings with a backhanded stroke. Bleeding from several red gashes, its legs gave out. With a terrible groaning noise, it toppled, crushing three swordmasters as it fell to the side. This was the last straw for the Goblin elite. Both warbands turned tail and ran for their lives, the surviving Dwarven crewmen shooting stragglers down at their leisure with the crossbows. The remaining four spearmen in the middle, who had moved up to support the swordmasters, suddenly felt horribly alone.

The Horned Legion chasing the archers weathered another two volleys – with their backs to a large spire, the archers had no line of retreat and chose to stand their ground and shoot. A Dwarf fell over, his helmet pierced by a red-fletched shaft. But this did not stop his battle-brothers, who fell upon the archers with a vengeance. Broadswords rose and fell in bloody arcs as the warriors crashed into the line like an avalanche. Dismayed, those who could threw away their weapons and ran.

The Myrmadons on the right had finally lost all semblance of formation. Their riders – those that were left – could only hang on as the raging bulls ran this way and that. The Dwarves methodically singled out those that had strayed from the war-herd in their blind rage, surrounding them with a thicket of spears and broadswords, cutting, slashing and thrusting. Two more Myrmadons died.

The Catapult sent another missile out, which shattered against a large sandstone needle. Within seconds, the rock formation was a giant torch, throwing the hulking shapes of the Dwarven Totems into sharp relief in the failing sun.
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."