Rori decided that the day would be their last in the outskirts of Annuminas. Their searching of the ruins had failed to turn up any more Barrow Wights or treasure. In fact Rori had the souring feeling that they had delayed too long. Perhaps he has been over confident that their knowledge of hidden paths in the Blue Mountains would allow the Dwarves to find the lair of the Cave Drake before either the Elves or the strange Men and Orcs following them.
The weather looked to be fair and the sun up soon, so Rori set his company to searching the last few ruins when they were surprised to see the Outlaws from Old Oak in the distance. They must be here to steal the treasure from the Dwarves!
The Dwarves move quickly, having the initiative. They secure the South East ruins. The Outlaws the seize first the North East ruins and then the North West ruins…. but they are surprised when a terrible apparition rises from the ruin, a Barrow Wight!
Five of the Outlaw archers loose at the Wight, which has failed to paralyze William Wipperwill and then rushed into melee with him, but four of them miss both William and the Wight. One Outlaw strikes the Wight but fails to injure it. William manages to defend himself.
The Wight tries to cast its spell but fails again. It charges towards William but when the Outlaw archers loose again Fancy Jack hits William in the leg, causing to fall to the ground screaming in agony.
The Wight casts its spell again, this time paralyzing Braga Big Axe. Oswald tries to transfix the Wight but fails to cast. The Outlaw archers loose again but only manage to hit Braga, who somehow survives the two arrows that hit him. The Orc, Wigduf moves up to support the paralyzed Braga with his spear, hitting the Wight but failing to wound it.
Both the Wight and Oswald fail to cast their spells. The Wight charges the helpless Brags but Oswald charges the Wight, striking it a mighty blow. It appears to be finally injured and Filibur “Firebug” takes courage from this. He uses his torch to hit the Wight and sets it alight! It bursts into flames, screams then disappears!
The Dwarves have not been idle whilst the Outlaws were distracted by the Wight. Omar has taken up a defensive position, securing the South East ruins. Brimir has secured the South West ruins. The rest of the Dwarves head to the central ruins, currently held by some of the Outlaws.
Brimir looses an arrow and hits Oswald but fate saves the Sorcerer. Bili cuts down both Bald Pete and Korg. Snorri cuts down One-Eye.
More Outlaws rush into the melee, which becomes a maelstrom of flashing blades. In the crush, Snorri gets trapped. Fancy Jack strikes Snorri a mighty blow (with one of the three underdog rerolls) and incapacitates him! Rori shouts in rage and cuts down Oswald, while Bili cuts down Victor.
The Outlaws are Broken! The Dwarves seize the initiative and Einar Lightfingers flees. Rori charges at Wigduf, throws an axe and Drops the Orc. Rori then changes direction and charges Filibur, cutting down the fire loving Outlaw with a single blow. Hanar cuts down two of the Outlaws thanks to inspiration from the Raven, Oren.
The melee continues back and forth. Rori drops Braga. The Dwarves and Outlaws push each other back in turn. Axes are thrown but fail to find their marks (three 1’s rolled in a row!) Bili cuts Edgar but fate saves the Outlaw. Rori finally drops Fancy Jack.
Still the fight continues. The fury of the fighting keeps the Outlaws from fleeing. Rori throws again, hitting Dolf but fate saves the Hillman. Bili drops Edgar. And finally Hanar cuts down Dolf… it is over for the Outlaws. Victory to the Dwarves!
The Dwarves finish their search of the ruins and still find only trinkets of marginal value. Snorri, the only Dwarven casualty of the fighting seems Blessed by the Valar, making a full recovery and getting +1 Fate. Rori and Hanar leveled, giving Rori +1 Attack and Hanar +1 Defense. For reinforcements the Dwarves got an Iron Guard… I have one made, just need to paint it up.
The Outlaws were underdogs with three rerolls. My wife quite enjoyed the reroll mechanic…. but we both forgot about it when she accidentally shot William. When she remembered she was quite frustrated with that. We set special dice aside to remember the rerolls but even with that trick they are easy to forget.
The Outlaws did well in their injury recovery rolling. All got full recovery except for three non-heroes that will miss the next fight. Their strength is made up though by three new recruits. Two more Ruffians and a Hillman.
We have been debating giving the Outlaws a 50% bow limit to help them out a bit more. But soon they will be at full strength and spending influence on creatures, equipment and most likely a mercenary. For equipment I am thinking poison arrows at the very least.
Also, inspired by the Johnathan Baker house rules we are thinking of giving bonus xp to an underdog company that actually wins.
This scenario was always going to be tough for me given my low model count but the next one plays to my strengths… the aptly named “Show of Strength”, where the company leader who gets the most kills wins the scenario. With the help of Dwarven steel and inspiration from our Raven, Oren, I am feeling rather confident….
I took the time to make some minor improvements to some of my Dwarves. Inspired by Robert Adams’ Horseclans series, I decided to use the color of the Boars on the heroes’ helmets to reflect rank. Gold for the lieutenant, silver for sergeant and bronze for heroes in the making. I added a greenstuff beard to Hanar to look more Dwarf and less short, Human barbarian. And I finished Oren the Raven.
My wife and I are not keen on how flying creatures work in BC and SBG. Having to land every turn means they long distance hop rather than fly. We are debating some house rules on that because it just makes no sense for Oren to keep landing just outside a big melee rather than circling overhead.
Speaking of the Horseclans my mother recently sent a belated birthday package for me, including some Horseclans books. I am currently rereading the series. I loved them as a teen but I think I ignored a lot of the books and just focused on the armor and fighting. There are several problematic elements of the story and characterizations that reflect values out of step with contemporary views. Some of the passages and views expressed make me down right uncomfortable. But I do like the attention to detail on the armor, tactics, strategy and politics. The mix of fantasy and post apoc sci-fi is neat too. I would like to wargame the Horseclans world but one, I do not need another distraction from Middle Earth and two, my wife is not a fan of the Horseclans world at all. Quite the opposite. A shame really as I would like to try to make some appropriately aged ruins and kit bashing minis to match his description of Freefighters, Confederation troopers, Kindred and Witchmen Broomtowners.
I used to love this image of Bili “the Axe” Morghun as a teen. Now, after years of research, gaming and historical re-enacting I know how problematic this image is. Still… it looks cool…