Yet again the Dwarves of the Golden Boar have come across the Outlaws that have plagued them for some time now. Both Rori and Oswald feel it is time for a show of strength in order to revive the morale of their companies. Unfortunately they have met at dusk, during a torrential downpour. The mud is slippery, slowing movement (-1″) and long range archery is impossible (12″ max).
Between the two companies is a large rocky outcrop…. both move towards it, but the mostly unarmored Outlaws are much quicker than the heavily armored Dwarves. The Dwarves split into three groups, the two archers on each flank and the rest together in the center.
The Dwarves have the advantage on the rocky terrain as some of them are experienced Mountain Dwellers. Fancy Jack, having spent most of his life in the city of Minas Tirith, slips and falls whilst trying to climb the rocks. Only his pride is injured however. Unlike Thomas Little who catches an axe, thrown by the Dwarven champion Bili, in the shoulder. He falls to the ground, passing out from the pain.
The Outlaws seize the initiative and Oswald uses his sorcery to Transfix Rori. The thrown axes and arrows of the Dwarves fail to find their marks. The Outlaw archery having fared no better. The groups continue to converge, the Outlaws splitting into three groups as well.
Fancy Jack looses again and hits the heavily armored Hanar… catching him between two of his armor plates. Fate fails to save the Dwarf and he collapses in pain. Oswald fails to cast another spell. The other archers fail to hit. Winfred Thornbush manages to land a blow on Rori but fails to wound. Bili cuts down Bald Pete. Filibur Firebug manages to get some shackles on Snorri, practically paralyzing the Dwarf. Finnbar, a new addition to the company cuts down Braga Big Axe. Onar hits Victor the Lame but Fate saves the Outlaw sergeant. Snorri fates to break free from the shackles.
The Outlaws maintain the initiative but Oswald fails to Transfix Rori again. Rori cuts down Winfred Thornbush, then Einar Lightfingers, and then hits Oswald but Fate saves the Sorcerer. Bili hits Filibur Firebug but Fate saves the Outlaw. Norman Brewer, bottle in hand, cuts down Finnbar! Victor beats Onar but fails to wound. Despite being surrounded Brimir kills Wulf Runemaker, who had only recently joined the Outlaw band.
The Dwarves seize the initiative. Bili charges towards Filibur, dropping him with a thrown axe then moves to help Rori, who drops Oswald. Brimir cuts down the Carn Dum Hillman Korg. Brimir also hits Edgar Dogwood but Fate saves the Ruffian Adventurer. Victor however manages to cut down Onar! Snorri seeing this breaks free from his shackles in a fiery rage.
The Outlaws retake the initiative but they are Broken. Dolf and Fancy Jack flee. One Eye shoots and misses (and misses with a reroll!) then catches an axe in the leg thrown by Rori. Brimir cuts down Edgar. This is too much for the Outlaws and victory goes to the Dwarves!
The Dwarf casualties all manage full recoveries.
The Outlaws are not so fortunate. Wulf Runemaker is dead… and Oswald is Lost in Battle! The Dwarves have captured the Sorcerer and the Outlaws will need to perform a Daring Rescue to recover him.
Four of the Outlaws leveled, five of the Dwarves. Onar the Dwarf leveled twice and failed to be recognized both times! That made him level six without having once been recognized. We are using the Johnathan Baker inspired house rule to give level 6 unrecognized warriors the Sworn Protector special ability at 1 point value increase. He will lose this if he becomes a hero.
The Outlaws were underdogs in this game with three rerolls and 3 Bonus Influence. With our house rule on warriors leveling and being recognized but unable to advance to a better profile getting D3 Influence, that added 6 more influence! The Outlaws decided to hire a wandering mercenary, Stengar the Sellsword, to help rescue Oswald.
To help balance the Outlaw company stats, we have a house rule saying they can keep a mercenary on retainer for 1 influence instead of the normal 2. We got this idea from the OSBGL… I really enjoy watching their videos.
We are still trying to decide if the Outlaws should be allowed 50% bows instead of 33%. My wife and I keep forgetting to use the special attacks including the shackles we gave the Outlaws. Having Snorri get paralyzed was demoralizing. Granted the Outlaws need to win the duel, and the Raven, additional attacks and fight value of the Dwarves makes winning difficult. But it is easier to shackle the heavily armored Dwarves than wound them. And once shackled they are easier to kill. We created to shackle rule by mixing the manacles in the BC equipment List and the special ability the Ruffians have against Hobbits. We made it that Ruffians but not Wildman recruits have shackles. Ruffians also get +1 Fight if they outnumber their opponent in a duel… but that does not help them much against Fight 4 Dwarves. Wildmen, being for our fluff Carn Dum descendent Hillmen, have Hatred Dunedain rather than Hatred Rohan.
For Dwarven reinforcements even with my Rallying Horn I had to spend 5 Influence to get a Khazad Guard (which I had already painted). I had rolled a Dwarf Ranger with bow and I am at my bow limit already. Rather than drop down to Warrior with choice of weapon or spend 1 more point for Ranger with choice of weapon I went with 2 points hoping to get my Vault Warden team…. but was satisfied with the Khazad Guard, Gundin (Strength 4, heavy Dwarven armor and Bodyguard special ability) that I rolled.
My wife set up the table terrain… but did not push hard enough to get to the top of the center rocky outcrop. This really helped my Dwarves keep from being swarmed. My wife said it was my first thrown axe that made her hesitate and that cost her the high ground. Axes are not dependable for kills but sometimes a weapon can help you win without killing.
Our next battle will be one I do not think I can win…. because I just do not know how to prevent Oswald from escaping! But we will see if I come up with something…. Dwarves do not quit!