“Ambush in the Hills, Part 2”… A Dwarven Battle Report

Rori and the Company of the Golden Boar continued to follow Fingaerion’s Elves North, lagging slightly behind them but doggedly trying to overtake them. Brimir, the scout of the group, led them to what appeared to be a recent campsite of the Elves. It looked like some blood had been spilled but there were no bodies in evidence.

With the sun setting and a thick mist settling in Rori decided to make use of the same campsite for themselves. There were a great many Warg tracks but likely the Elves had driven them off. Suddenly the howl of a Warg interrupted the usual bickering and grumbling of the Dwarves. It was followed by a blood chilling chorus of Warg voices in reply, and they sounded like they were close….

“Ready yer axes lads!”, roars Rori. Out of the mist speed several large Wargs. Brimir and Onar draw and loose but in the rush they both miss. Finnbar manages to drop one Warg with a thrown axe.

The Wargs continue to close. Brimir manages to deftly hit one Warg with a well placed arrow and it collapses. Other Dwarves are drawn into melee. Hanar cuts down two Wargs with his axe. But Bili gets savaged by another Warg, only with a mighty effort does fate keep him on his feet.

Some of the Wargs appear afraid of the campfire but not the Warg chieftain. Rori throws and axe at the chieftain but fails to wound it. Both Bili and Rori charge the beast but it viciously tears into them with claws and fangs. Both of the Dwarven heroes are quickly incapacitated. At almost the same time both Snorri and Onar cut down a Warg each.

The fighting continues as Wargs keep trying to get the Dwarves without having to get too close to the fire. Brimir cuts down two Wargs. Hanar cuts down one. But Finnbar is mauled by a Warg and falls. The Warg chieftain bites Snorri but fate saves the Dwarf adventurer.

The Wargs sieze the initiative from the Dwarves for the first time. Despite this Snorri kills another Warg. The chieftain bites both Onar and Brimir. With a mighty effort fate saves Brimir but not Onar, and the hapless Dwarf collapses to the ground.

The fighting rages on. Gundin kills a Warg. Hanar hits the Warg chieftain twice, wounding the beast but it remains on its feet. Brimir is bitten by another Warg and falls. The Dwarves are broken but not defeated!

The courage of the Dwarves holds strong. Snorri kills another Warg.But the chieftain uses a mighty effort to win the fight against Gundin (2 might!) and the Dwarf falls.

Snorri kills yet another Warg but the chieftain incapacitates Hanar. Another Warg leaps into the air and snatches Oren the Raven, injuring the bird.

Snorri is attacked by the chieftain and two Wargs…. Snorri wins the fight and slays the chieftain! The Wargs are broken but the battle is not over yet (rolled a 3!).

Two Wargs flee. Two remain but are too afraid to approach the campfire. One Warg charges Snorri and he kills it.

Finally the remaining Wargs flee, only Snorri remains on his feet. Neither a victory nor a defeat but the Dwarves continue on….

As Snorri begins checking on the wounded he is relieved to find almost all of them should recover…. except for one. Rori is not breathing. The leader of the Golden Boar is dead. Snorri hangs his head, grief welling up in his heart. Then suddenly Rori gasps and sits up. It would seem his reputation for being rather hardy is well earned.

A very different game from what the Elves had, although in some ways it was the same.

Every member was wounded except for Snorri… even the Raven. All made full recoveries except for Hanar, who received “wounds of a hero” and 2 Influence points.

And of course Rori.

I had left Rori for last and was feeling quite confident given how well the rolls had been going. When I did roll one die stayed in the tray, one spilled out and went under the couch. I glimpsed the 1 on the die in the tray as I recovered the other with a sense of trepidation. My wife was stunned when I rolled a second 1. Rori was dead. It did not seem possible. My wife was feeling terrible about it. I was thinking that I should have rolled both dice rather than just the one but that would have been taking advantage of the situation.

Then I remembered his special lieutenant skill. We have allowed each lieutenant to take a special faction skill from the Johnathan Baker house rules. My wife for example has Foresight of the Eldar. I took Hardy for Rori. I almost chose the other skill that makes it harder to be trapped but my wife convinced me Hardy was more useful. She was right! It is quite a thing to consider continuing your company after your leader is killed.

After how well things went for my wife I was over confident. It was the Warg chieftain’s High fight value that was my undoing. I was also irked that I had overlooked the scenario win condition that I must not be broken…. so when I thought Snorri had won the game it was a bitter pill to just draw and therefore miss out on the reward table.

I am more worried about the Cave Drake in the final scenario now.

Atleast Brimir leveled and got poisoned weapons…. which I thought odd for a good character, I guess as a scout he puts Wood Wose poison on his arrows?

Hanar also leveled and he got +1 Fight, bringing him up to Fight 5.

Gundin leveled and has become a hero in the making, choosing the Path of the Warrior and getting Deadly Strength (Burly, no -1 duel roll with 2 handed weapons).

Finnbar also leveled and was recognized for promotion but he is already an Iron Guard so as per our house rules he got D3 Influnce instead…. bringing our total influence to 5.

I am not sure when we will get to our next game. My wife needs to paint her promoted Galadhrim Knight and armored horse. Once that is done, unless we use a proxy, it will be the Dwarves and Elves in a competition to slay the most Wargs in a co-operative scenario.

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6 Comments

  1. It was interesting to see how the dwarves fared against the Wargs and Rori’s injury roll was quite dramatic as well! A scenario where two sides have to kill the most of a third faction seems like a really cool and fun idea. I can’t remember ever seeing anything like that in MESBG though I have seen some fun-looking Fallout scenarios with that kind of setup. If you do indeed take a little gaming break, I hope you enjoy hobbying in the meantime. I’m looking forward to the next couple of battle reports. They should be exciting 🙂

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  2. The scenario is one of the standard ones in the Battle Companies book. I have heard people playing the scenario and substituting all kinds of things for the Wargs to keep things fresh.

    Right now the plan is try to do every scenario in the Battle Companies book atleast once then look to other sources, such as the Johnathan Baker house rules for the four Battle Companies campaigns we intend to do. Then we will start doing MESBG scenarios with our Battle Companies as part of the MESBG armies. At some point I am thinking of adding scenarios created from other game sources.

    And at some point I want to start playing Core Space! So many gaming desires, so little time.

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  3. How are you keeping track of everything? Using the character sheet from Battle Companies or a custom one?
    I’m always on the lookout for different scenarios, will be interested in what you find.

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  4. I used a standard notebook to act as a sort of logbook of each scenario. Some progression notes are kept there but I am not as organized or disciplined in this as I should be. The bulk of the data is managed on the standard Battle Companies sheets. It is far from perfect, especially given we use a house rule experience system rather than the vanilla experience system.

    One of the sources for additional scenarios will be a copy of Mantic‘s skirmish game, Vanguard. I picked up a copy very chea…. er inexpensive.

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      1. I did look into that previously, it looks like it would help with the headache of administrative paperwork but I was not sure how effective it would be given our broad application of house rules.

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