From the quill of Bifurgachaffe Stoutdrunkson of the mines of IPA scratches into this digital format for your delectation and critism…
We join our intrepid band a short while after their last outing… Martin the Slayer shouldered his way past the ButtButtoutsonn twins (who were busy jumping up and down on the near flat body of a dead troll) and launched a tirade of abuse at Randulph the Grey Wizard “I thought you said this city was deserted? For a deserted city that’s an awful lot of goblins! How did your magic not detect them sooner?”.
Randulf looked nervous for a second, then ,gathering his thoughts, he drew himself up and declared “forsooth and, er, hear me… the portents did not…erm, thingy… reveal the locality of the goblinoids. I cannot forsee everything!”. Before Martin could respond Heinrich the Witch Hunter (known as Heinrich the Cross-eyed to anyone who had seen him shoot) yelled back to the group from where he was busy looting the building where the Night Goblins leader, A Shaman, had been dispatched by a particularly angry ButtButtoutsonn. “He’s gone! That little goblin with the mushroom fetish, the glowing eyes and the strange Mexican* accent has gone”
*Mexican accents being a universally understood conundrum in fantasy lands…
On hearing this the twins (who, let’s face it, are psychotically unhinged even for dwarf slayers) raged all over the house, smashing their way through walls in the search for their prey. Failing to find it they calmed slightly, until they saw a trail of fresh blood leading from the ruins; Gori ButtButtoutsonn dropped to all fours and tasted the blood, “hmm…yep…Goblin…Side of Mushrooms” Gori’s pupils dilated as the overly psychoactive blood hit his brain “maybe we should, like, invent crisps. Or something” he slurred. “SOD THAT! AFTER THE WEE GOBLINNY THING!!” Screamed his brother Blodi (who had momentarily developed a Scottish* accent). Gori shook the visions from in front of his eyes and both brothers charged of deeper into the half ruined city.
*Scottish accents being even more universally understood in fantasy lands than Mexican accents
“Crap” muttered Martin, “Best we get after them, a glorious death’s no use if no one is around to point and clap”. Martin, Heinrich and Randulf broke into a jog, keeping the ButtButtoutsonns in sight but not getting too close as, you know, they don’t wear trousers and its not a pretty sight.
Gak son of Gak, Dwarven engineer looked up from his slight recalibration of the aiming mechanism on the Sacred cannon of Gak, saw the others had run off and shouted to his sons (who were both called Gak son of Gak son of Gak, helpful, no?) “Boys! Get up! They’ve all buggered off adventurin’ and such again! Help me drag this bloody cannon. Come on, keep up!”
….And this brings us to our game ladies and gentlemen of the internet, Dwalin and myself enjoyed playing a silly and heroic game of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, that we decided to extend into a campaign; the story of a small band of heroes taking a cannon from one side of the world (right now an ambiguous one, the Old World being dead and all we haven’t decided whether this game of AoS takes place in a legacy fashion or if it’s set in this new realm of sparkly Sigmarites… we’ll decided as we play no doubt) to the other.
This was the second battle: in the centre of the board is a near death, unconscious, Night Goblin Shaman. The aim for both players is to grab him and drag him off their side of the board. Simple. On my side, three Dwarf Slayers, an Empire Grey Wizard, a Witch hunter and a Dwarf Cannon. On Dwalins side lots and lots of Night goblins, including; spears, Squigs, Fanatics and netters. Oh yeah and in a random turn a band of hungry Trolls and Ogres will turn up looking to eat some tasty adventurers… Why? Because those are the models we wanted to use… (Something AoS intrinsically let’s us do- Dwalin)
Setup, this is what we did:
We didn’t really measure out deployment zones or stuff like that cos its boring and we wanted to get on with the hitting! (plus this is about the narrative so, you know, our deployment choices make more sense than a one size fits all battle set-up- Dwalin)
One more thing – Carrying the shaman can be done by anyone but it halves their movement. He’s heavy for a Goblin.
Night Goblin turn one – Desperate to rescue their beleaguered leader the Night goblins surge forward
Hero turn one – Apparently desperate to recapture the Shaman the heroes wander forward…yeah, I forgot to run
Hero Turn 2 – Clearly not in any rush our heroes continue to amble forward. More impressive is the first cannon shot of the game. Gak (Senior) has clearly adjusted the sighting mechanisms because he makes a perfect sniper shot through the window of a derelict building, decimating half a unit of night goblins. Four more of the little buggers then run screaming from the battlefield, leaving one strangely brave goblin to face the heroes.
Night goblin turn 2 – Fearing further cannon blast all four units of Night Goblins panic and release their Fanatics. Suddenly the board is full of six whirlwinds of mushroom soaked death, one of which promptly wraps his ball and chain around his own neck and dies and horrible squishy death.
Night goblin turn 3 – The goblins continue their slow surge towards their glorious leader, nearly there! All the fanatics spin forward towards the worried looking heroes, all failing their charges and not really going that far in the end… except the one which smacks straight into a wall, bringing half a ton of brickwork down on his head, another fanatic dead, four to go. (FOR FUCK SAKE!- Dwalin)
Hero turn 3 – Gathering the might of the winds of magic about him Randulf takes aim at the nearest unit of shifty goblins and roaring a spell of shooty death… promptly rolls a four on 2D6 and fails his spell, this is swiftly followed by Heinrich missing with both pistol shots. Well, at least they’re living up to their back stories.
The dwarfs fare better, Martin beating down a Fanatic and one of the ButtButtoutsonns cleaving another apart in a spray of gore, while his brother apparently couldn’t be arsed and failed an easy charge. Engineer Gak was clearly slightly drunk on the success of his last shot and only managed to cause one wound on a unit of Squigs.
Night Goblin turn 4 – A unit of spears swarms up the side of the ruin in which their leader lies bleeding, shouts of triumph leap from their throats as they haul him up onto their shoulders and prepare to depart. Things are looking up for the gobos(could I actually win a game of Warhammer?- Dwalin), what could possibly go wrong?
With little or no fear for their own safety a selection of Fanatics and gunpowder stained Squigs charge the ButtButtoutsonns and…completely miss them with all of their attacks. The squigs are thoroughly spanked and the two survivors fail their bravery test, but surely that’s ok? When Squigs run away they go wild and cause horrendous damage to the nearest enemy (In this case a naturist ginger Dwarf) except of course if both of them fail their Go Wild rolls, double one no less. Dwalin cries for a bit and gets another beer….
Heroes turn 4 – Randulf proves his Wizardly worth and forgets to cast a spell. Heinrich takes careful aim at the unit of Goblins who have just lofted their Shaman, unleashing both barrels of his beautifully crafted Baroque pistols, missing both times, naturally. For some reason Randulf and Heinrich decide its a good idea to charge headlong into combat with the Shaman encumbered Night Goblins, not usually a great idea for magic users and a Witch Hunter who cannot hit the broad side of a barn. Luckily for the pair they are given covering fire by Gaks cannon and, with their few hits they manage to completely rout the Goblins, wiping the unit from the face of… wherever the hell this battle’s taking place. The dwarves continue to cleave their way through the goblins and lots more of the cowardly bastards run away…
Night Goblin turn 5 – Things were looking bad for the small green ones, most of them either dead or having fled the field of battle. But then six large shambling figures arrive just at the edge of Martins field of vision (a roll of four plus brought them on; we made our own rules for fun times- Dwalin). The Trolls and Ogres had arrived and they were looking hungry! Before he could throw caution to the wind and charge screaming obscenities into the monsters Grumpy Martin the Slayer was set upon by four Squigs and one of the two remaining Fanatics. Even a stoic Dwarf like Martin could not defend against so many random gnashing fangs and giant balls of iron being whirled around on a chain, taking a blow to the head Martin fell to the ground, unmoving. (FINALLY!-Dwalin)
Hero turn 5 – Continuing his streak of hot explosive death Gak blows up two shambling Ogres and continuing his streak of missing everything he aims at Heinrich misses with his pistols. Gori ButtButtoutsonn manages to dispatch the last of the Squigs he’s fighting but this time instead of retreating in an orderly fashion the last Squig in the unit goes Wild and jumps all over him with big clawed feet, taking Gori out of the battle.
Night Goblins turn 6 – Seeing Randulf making a run for it with a particularly tasty Goblin Shaman over his shoulder the monsters break into a lumbering run after him
Hero Turn 6 – Randulf, having scooped up the recumbent body of the Shaman, prepares to flee the battlefield with the prize, pausing only to fry the last surviving Fanatic with a bolt of death. The Witch Hunter and the Blodi ButButtoutsonn charged into the Ogres, the Witch Hunter clearly under some illusion he knew what he was doing after helping(!) to eradicate the puny night goblins now taking on the hulking Ogres and the Slayer psychotically charging in because he is…well, a psychopath with a deathwish. This death wish was granted, an Ogre picking him up and throwing him twelve yards into a solid wall.
Gak continued his way to winning man of the match and shot at the Trolls, killing one and wounding another.
Hero Turn 7 – Randulf continues to run towards his side of the board, puffing and panting under the weight of the Shaman. Gak aims the cannon and shoots the last remaining troll full in the face with a cannon ball, killing it verrrry dead. Gak jumping up and down in delight and nearly falling out a nearby window. Spurred on by the thought of being charged and eaten by an Ogre the Witch Hunter actually managed to hit and wound it with a pistol shot, unfortunately…
Night Goblin turn 7 – … the Ogre then wanders over to him and shouts so loudly in his face that Heinrich faints. The Ogre sees the running Wizard and decides that moving prey is much more interesting, lumbering off after the staggering Wizard.
Hero turn 8 – At this point only Gak, his crew, his cannon and the rapidly
retreating Randulf are left standing for the Heroes. Sensing victory and caring not a jot for his companions Randulf continues to flee…
Night Goblin turn 8 – At this point the last surviving Ogre continues to chase down his rapidly retreating lunch
Night Goblin turn 9 – The ogre is closing…
Hero turn 9 – “This should do it! One final push and I’ve escaped” thinks Randulf “Or, I
could not quite make it, just to drag the drama out. Damn”
Night Goblin turn 10 – The ogre sees his prey falter, one last push and he can eat. Dwalin needed a double six to charge and inevitably kill and eat Randulf. But its not to be the Ogre trips slightly and fails to catch the fleeing Wizard
Hero turn 10 – Turning slightly Randulf sees the ogre stumble and taking advantage of another’s misfortune as only a Grey Wizard can he fired off a bolt of doom into the already wounded Ogre, incinerating it and then walking calmly off to interrogate the Shaman at his leisure. Confident his fellow Heroes would be fine and meet him later after they had picked themselves up and dusted themselves down.
Martins head hurt, allot, that damn fanatic. He wandered unsteadily back it the camp where the Gak family was busy polishing the Sacred cannon and that damn foolish wizard was sat gloomily by a small fire. “Nice to see you survived magic boy” he muttered as he slumped down by the fire “I’ll have you know it was a tactical retreat. I had retrieved the Shaman having bested those hoards of green skinned scum virtually single handedly and, realising you and your slayer brothers would be fine, retreated to a safe distance to begin the interrogation. Once the Shaman awakes of course… Stop looking at me like that! Where are the others?”. At this Gori ButtButtoutsonn appeared, dragging his unconscious and snoring brother by the foot, followed closely by a sheepish looking Heinrich.”Did we win?” asked the witch hunter. “Of course we won!” exclaimed Gori, “Gori always wins, unless he looses, but if that happens he completes his life quest and restores glory to the ButtButtoutsonn clan!”. “why are you referring to yourself in the third person?” asked Randulf mildly. Gori just starred at him, foaming slightly at the mouth.
Gak son of Gak wandered over to the group, “are we moving on yet?” he asked to the assembled heroes, “We have to get to the other side of this damn goblin infested city and get this cannon to the battlefield”. Ah yes… the quest, thought Martin, he and the ButtButtoutsons had sworn a solemn oath to assist the obsessive engineer in his quest get the cannon to this mythical battlefield to do what ever it was going to do there… to be honest the details were quite dim in his mind, there had been a certain amount of beer drunk during the evening the oaths were struck. Still, it seemed like a good route to a glorious death… On the plus side when that goblin Shaman woke up it was going to be fun ‘persuading’ it to talk.
There you have it folks: The Heroes triumph again, but only just. AoS is still a shit ton of fun when you play it like this but we did find a few things a bit annoying. Most notable the way Fanatics now work. Gone are the day of Fanatics randomly careening around the board hitting everyone in sight, friend or foe, and generally causing hilarious amounts of carnage. These days it only the distance they move which is random, the direction being controlled by the owning player. There is a small chance for random death; if they roll a double for their move they die. This happened a surprisingly large amount to Dwalin this game (‘Cos I clearly can’t fucking roll dice…. grrrrr- Dwalin) …So what are we going to do about this? Change the rules. We want random Fanatics and Random fanatics we shall have. Time to dust off those scatter dice.