GAMING NEWS: "Storming The Beaches of Norse-mandy"
The boring news is that my job has been keeping me very busy... it's been hard to post the last few days. The good news is that Nils and I have been having a good time playing 28mm Warhammer Fantasy Battles (WHFB). The following two linked short stories are his narrative masterpieces of our very enjoyable game. I hope that you enjoy them as well.
"Storming the Beaches of Norse-mandy - The Omens!"By: Warlord Nils Fahrvegnugen the Raging Rylehmeister.As the Godi cast the runes on the deck of the largest longship, Torvald Isulfson eagerly looked on. The longship lay just off the shore of the jungle land that would make them all rich. They were so far south, the Winds of Chaos were hardly a breeze here, so Torvald was hoping for any good omen to encourage his army.Torvald still cursed those traitorous Norsca back at Skeggi. He'd assumed his force would have been welcomed by their distant cousins, but the greedy whelps refused to allow his ships to land. They felt the owned the whole jungle. Well, he'd show them and plunder the jungle's gold right out from under their noses. So, instead of making an easy landing where there should have been welcoming wenches and ale, his army was having to make a mad dash up the beach and into the jungle. His army was used to fighting like that, but Torvald at least had enough sense to realize that a beach landing on a unknown continent would be tougher than the normal fleecing they gave Imperial sheep.
An Ungor-Viking Hird is caught by a mass of skeletons at the rocky passes!
He'd decided to land his army on the only shallow beach near Skeggi in the gentle moonlight. The fact that there were skeletal totems all along the beach made no difference to him. It kind of made it look a little like home. Some peasant's illegitimate son was always sticking a cow or wolf's skull on a stick back in Norsca. Once the army was landed and had defensively drawn out to contest any possible enemies, he'd land the supplies in a small inlet nearby that would have been too hard to defend otherwise. Torvald would ensure the supplies were landed, while one of his sub-chieftains, Valgard Stonecleaver, would lead the army.
Returning his attention to the runes, the Godi's divination said that much that was hidden would be revealed. The army cheered, believing that meant they would find piles of gold and other treasures. But, as Torvald let the blood of the final sacrificial victim flow into the ocean in thanks for a safe journey, he realized this Godi's readings had always been particularly vague and decided to send him along with Stonecleaver to share in whatever vague fate he had foreseen.
"Storming the Beaches of Norse-mandy - The Battle!"
By: Warlord Nils Fahrvegnugen the Raging Rylehmeister.They hit the surf running. The longships beached just long enough to disgorge the army and then oarsmen pulled them back into the ocean. The terrain got progressively thick as they pushed in from the shore: first the open beach, then a bunch of undergrowth culminating in light jungle and finally dense, thick jungle of the nearly impenetrable type. Luckily, although thick it was very much like the forests of the crew's native Norsca, so the army would have no problem maneuvering through that morass. But, unlike the forests of Norsca, the heat and humidity were so oppressive that it felt like they had to swim through the air (Game result: Excessive Humidity: -1" movement to Bestigors ). On the other hand, the surprise landings seemed to have worked since he could see vaguely human shapes still trying to form ranks (Game result: Monkey Run: Norse got +1 to the die roll for determining who goes first).Stonecleaver had positioned himself in the center, leading the unit of Valkyrie (Bestigors) that had the gods had blessed them with. To the right was one of the large Hirds, followed by a small Hird, the Norse Dwarf Mountain Goat Cavalry who were drunk once again (Centigors), and finally a small unit of wolves (chaos hounds). To the left were Musta Krakish, the Werewolf Lord, and his giant Werekin (minotaurs), the other large Hird, and the other unit of Dwarf cavalry.Stonecleaver prayed to the gods that the solitary longship that left the fleet would have successfully landed the small ambush force further up the beach. He was worried though. Even if the ambushing force showed up, the army's orders were to penetrate as far into the jungle as possible. So once behind the enemy, the ambushers might feel it better to hang back in the dense jungle and not actually come out to reinforce the rest of the Norscans.
Beastmen-Viking ambushers close in on the undead battleline... from behind!
Even though he still couldn't completely make out the enemies, he could see they had finally formed up into four blocks, pretty much equally aligned on his center. The army surged forward with the surf, eager to meet whatever the vile jungle spat out at them. The Werekin got tangled up in the undergrowth and ended up being out of position for most of the battle (I misread the rules and initially thought you could march move through difficult terrain). But, three of the four ambush groups, one small Hird and both units of wolves, successfully navigated the dense jungle and came out behind the enemy. The fourth could be seen wandering up behind the Norscans' own lines.
As the two armies approached each other, Stonecleaver finally realized what they were fighting: skeletons! And four HUGE blocks of skeletons, most of them twice the size of his largest Hirds. Some of the skeletons looked to have been Norscans from Skeggi at one point, based on the tatters of clothes hanging from their bleached bones. The idea of being denied a place Valhalla and instead being forced to fight in this cursed jungle for all eternity froze Valgard and his army in their tracks.
The outer flanking forces were able to continue to maneuver forward, but the Valkyries and both large Hirds stopped dead. Valgard tried to get his warriors to charge, but they stayed put and were surprised by a sudden uncharacteristic burst of speed from the skeletons (Maksim thought the skeletons' charge move was only 4" until someone wandered by and told him it was 8". He then promptly charged me when I thought I'd have another turn to try to charge.). Two of the skeletal blocks rushed forward to crash into the lead Hirds while a third contacted the Dwarves in a bloody meeting along the right flank. All of the Norscans were sent running. Fortunately the skeletons lining up against Stonecleaver and the Valkyries didn't quite reach the Norscans, so they had a moment's reprieve.
And even more fortunately, the Valkyries and the giant werewolves were able to hold the Norscan line while all others around them fled. But, the Dwarves took a unit of wolves with them. Stonecleaver knew this was a crucial moment, so he had the Valkyries call out to the fleeing warriors, reminding them of the prize of Valhalla, and all the fleeing units miraculously rallied, except for a Hird of wolves who fled into the jungle (...not any magic ability, just narrative of almost all the units rallying).
Seeing the danger of being caught standing, Valgard led the Valkyries into the mass of skeletons in front of them. Meanwhile the Godi finally found his land legs and stepped up to help out. Suddenly a flock of otherworldly crows appeared from his fingers and pecked the remaining juicy morsels off of a number of skeletons (I had completely forgotten about the shaman and hadn't even rolled his spell, but got 9 deaths out of 2d6 possible for first shot, and a later shot inflicted eight more "deaths" on the undead unit... before they cut him down.). Unfortunately, the giant werewolves were still fumbling through the undergrowth, and the ambushing wolves were unable to overcome their fear to charge the skeletons in the rear, so the Valkyries went in unsupported.
Valgard valiantly held his own, accepting single combat against the whirling blades of the Blood Dragon Wight Lord, and the Valkyries for the first time inflicted more casualties than the hordes of skeletons, but as to be expected, the weight of the huge block of skeletons overwhelmed the Valkyries and they fled. They received a temporary reprieve since skeletons were unmoved by their victory. But then skeletons were rallied by dark powers and with another burst of speed (a charge), contacted the fleeing Valkyries and destroyed them before they had a chance to rally, tragically cutting down Stonecleaver.
The undead bands slay the Beastmen-Viking leadership!
And drive off the remaining mundanes...
He realized that it was the skeletons in the dark jungle that were "much hidden" in the Godi's readings and they had definitely now been revealed. As the life left Valgard's eyes, he sent one final prayer to the gods, pleading not to be reanimated and thus denied Valhalla. Another block of skeletons caught the Godi out in the open and he went down too. A shudder when through the now leaderless Norscan army. The loss of their leaders sent it into a fury and it charged almost as a whole. The Dwarf cavalry on the left flank charged a block of skeletons and almost completely wiped out their entire first and second ranks. Stunned by this sudden turn of events, the Blood Dragon Thrall did little in return and the Dwarves won their first battle.
Another round of combat saw similar results and finally as the giant werewolves charging their flank, the skeletons fell to pieces along with the undead General, who was believed to have been slain... or was he... or it. While the battle was not fully complete, a strange call floated throughout the jungle (the game store was closing), so the skeletons melted back into the jungle and the shaken and much bloodied Norscans claimed the gruesome battle as a victory. And the beaches near Skeggi faded calmly back into the twilight as Norscan torches moved on.
To see the battle report from this game (...and more photos), please see this link:
To read another short story from a game in this campaign, please see this link:
To see photos of the 28mm Vampire Counts army being built, please see this link:
Mazel Tov again, Nils!