Still, he ruminated, there might be a chance of some action as the Goblin tribes had been restive in the foothills since the melting of the snows and the mad Orcish Khan, Krull had relaunched his futile siege of the Great Wall and the Black Water was vital to the war effort as most of the Dwarven machines ran on it.
Flint, his second in command hurried over. "You'd better listen to this chief" he said, gesturing for the hunter who was acting as the Boar Companies scout to join them.
"There's humans approaching the facility", the leather clad hunter stated, "They look pretty shabby and I couldn't get too close but they looked like they were up to something so I figured I'd best get back to let you know, especially as they look like they have a Wight with them"
"Magic!" Grimli exclaimed and exchanged a worried look with Flint. "This could be serious so lets get to it and give our visitors a warm welcome!"
As the company moved closer to the Silo, Grimli let out a startled cry. "Marik!" Sure enough, lurking near the facility with a group of unsavoury characters was the Boar Companies sworn foe, Marik Goldhelm a thrice cursed sorcerer who had dogged the Companies steps for years.
"To Battle!" bellowed Grimli and the Boar Company rushed to meet their foe...
Last night I played out a skirmish between the Boar Company and the warband of Marik Goldhelm using the revised rules for Song of Blades and Heroes that I have been working on and must admit it was rather a lot of fun!
The objective was to seize and hold the Black Water storage silo and in the end it was touch and go between the two forces, literally to the last minute and the revised combat and shooting worked out rather well at speeding things up too!
Using his bats, Marik quickly took the silo and dispatched his swordsmen and archer to reinforce the position while he and his Wight moved forward to watch the approaching Dwarves. Grimli and two of the Boar Company on the other hand activated as a unit and made a rush at the silo ramp as fast as their stumpy legs could carry them, while the remainder of the Boar Company under the command of Flint moved to engage Marik himself.
The battle for the Silo
Activation swung back and forth wildly throughout the game and the Dwarves managed to reach the ramp before the minions of Marik reached it but their slow movement allowed them to be caught between the bats and minions resulting in a melee that lasted for several turns.
Bat V Dwarf!
One of the troopers hurtled up the ramp and took on the first bat while his companions held the ramp against the swordsmen and the archer who was lurking at the edge of the melee to try and get a shot at any Dwarf who he could draw a bead on.
The Melee Hots Up!
Some poor activation from the Dwarves saw Flint approach Marik and his pet Wight unsupported and to make matters worse, Marik cast a bolt of green witchfire which incinerated one of the troopers approaching the epic melee that broke out between Dwarf and Undead. Blows were traded and eventually the Wight was knocked over by a well aimed pickaxe to the face but Marik interfered before Flint could finish the skeletal horror by casting a second bolt into the melee, blasting Flint off his feet.
Smoldering somewhat and swearing profusely, Flint pulled himself to his feet and set about hacking at the dead thing at his feet but the ancient armour and magical toughness of the foe made sending it permanently to its grave a difficult prospect.
Things were also looking grim at the Silo as one of the Dwarves fell to the rusty blades of the Swordsmen. Seeing his trooper slain, Grimli bellowed an ancient warcry and thrust his sword into the belly of the giant bat and inspired by his leader, the Dwarven hunter launched a well aimed bolt into the skull of the swordsman who stood over the prone body of the trooper.
The fight was won though by the trooper on the silo who performed a gruesome kill on the remaining bat which saw the remaining swordsman and archer flee from the battlefield. With a last swing, Flint buried his pickaxe in the Wight's skull and its struggling ceased, the green glow in its empty sockets fading. Seeing the way things were going, Marik decided to call it a day and fled, cursing the Boar Company for once again upsetting his plans!
The battle was won, but at what cost. Two brave Boar Company companions slain and that fiend Marik had escaped again! "Next time we meet, I will make you pay for all the wrongs you've done to my people!"
I must admit that the game was loads of fun and as mentioned, it literally came down to the last turn where the Dwarves managed to get some good activations, slew their foes (gruesomely too!) and held the silo against all the odds which is just what you need in a good skirmish!
The epic duel between Flint and the Wight (who now needs a name!) was great fun but I had given the Wight the Slow ability which means that he can only perform one movement activation a turn which proved to be a nuisance as it would have potentially been a bit different if Marik and the Wight had made it further towards the silo before Flint buried his pickaxe in the creature's head. I think there will need to be a bit more tweaking of abilities and skills before the next game and hope to reinforce both sides with some more interesting troops to give them a bit more flexibility but I think I am heading in the right direction.
Eat Pickaxe dead thing!
Hopefully I will get some gubbins finished this week and hope to get some more updates along with a battle report posted this weekend!
All the best!