Battle royale

Posted by  | Sunday, February 6, 2011  at 7:52 PM  

"Last Orders!" hollered the flea-bitten old harpy behind the bar. The Dancing Pirate in the Craftsmarket, so called for the crude sign hung above the door with an image of a sailor with an eye patch twisting at the end of a hangman's rope.

I've always said that I'll write a battle report and so far I never have. This weekend just gone I invited my group of gaming buddies to come around for a good old fashioned tavern brawl! A couple of the guys have never played Mordheim or Warhammer before. The premise was to play 'Last Orders!' This is one of the core scenarios in Border Town Burning. Each player was allocated a thirsty gang consisting of 4x Heroes from their respective warband.

This report reveals the identity of the first two new warbands I have been developing and playtesting for the Mutiny in Marienburg campaign. In addition, we used a couple of our favourites from Border Town Burning, one from the Mordheim rulebook and one from the Mordheim Annual. The sides were not particularly even as you will see but the contestants decided to play for fun, notably without the inclusion of magic users. Only two of the gangs would have been eligible to bring a spell caster. Apparently witches and sorcerers are not big drinkers anyway.

WARBAND: Battle Monks of Cathay (225 gold crowns)
HEROES: 1x Emissary (60 gold crowns) 3x Dragon Monks (55 gold crowns)
CHANCES OF WINNING: Poor - Stu has never played a Games Workshop game before in his life! Stu plays Magic the Gathering and occasionally other card games & board games. After we explained the combat rules to Stu for the umpteenth time he is ready to be baptised in fire with the Monks.

PLAYER TWO: Chris 'Frogprince' Kneller
WARBAND: Skaven Clan Eshin (160 gold crowns)
HEROES: 1x Assassin Adept (60 gold crowns) 2x Black Skaven (40 gold crowns) 1x Night Runner (20 gold crowns)
CHANCES OF WINNING: Excellent - Chris is odds on favourite to win. He avidly plays every Games Workshop game except LotR including all Specialist Games. The Frogprince won the Nemesis Crown campaign I ran at GW Poole using Dwarf Rangers. Skaven is his primarily played warband, although he is handicapped in this scenario by not having the superior numbers he is accustomed to.

PLAYER THREE: Antony Bowker
WARBAND: Dwarf Treasure Hunters (235 gold crowns)
HEROES: 1x Dwarf Noble (85 gold crowns) 1 Dwarf Engineer (50 gold crowns) 2x Dwarf Troll Slayers (50 gold crowns)
CHANCES OF WINNING: Slim - Ant has also never played Mordheim or Warhammer. He is relying on his competitive edge as a Magic the Gathering player, his experience in playing a bit of Blood Bowl, and his like-minded attitude to quaff ale with Dwarfs.

PLAYER FOUR: Michelle Steele
WARBAND: Strigany River Gypsies (160 gold crowns)
HEROES: 1x Domnu (65 gold crowns) 1x Tinker (45 gold crowns) 2x Truants (25 gold crowns)
CHANCES OF WINNING: Fair - This is Shel's first outing with her new river pirates. Their water-caravan anchored out on the wharf, she is looking to take advantage of the wrestling skills of her musclebound caravan master. The Domnu is a prize-fighter, like Cathayan Monks he is not penalised for fighting unarmed. Her remaining Heroes are weak. Truants are youngbloods and the benefits of a Tinker are no use in a bar fight!

WARBAND: Maneaters (280 gold crowns)
HEROES: 1x Captain (145 gold crowns) 3x Youngbloods (45 gold crowns)
CHANCES OF WINNING: Good - He played his first Mordheim campaign using the Battle Monks and won it! Phil was once UK number 1 ranked player for Magic the Gathering. Diplomatically pointing out that Dwarfs and Skaven are much better than their hire costs suggest, Phil has been allowed to take a full compliment of Ogre Youngbloods.

PLAYER SIX: Stu 'Werekin' Cresswell
WARBAND: Sea Elf Rangers (220 gold crowns)
HEROES: 1x Wayfinder (70 gold crowns) 1x Feast-Master (90 gold crowns) 2x Sentinels (30 gold crowns)
CHANCES OF WINNING: Very Good - Stu is playtesting a new elf troupe that he hopes will be accepted as being both balanced and a fitting tribute to the original elf warband. It remains to be seen whether the Werekin will be competitive without the aid of his beloved Norse warband! His hopes are resting on the Feast-Master, best described as a Wardancer who can't dance very well yet.

Clockwise from left: Stu Webb, Frogprince, Antony, Michelle, Phil, Werekin (out of shot)

The Cathayans must have been on washing up duty as they charged out from the kitchen confines behind the bar, where (surprise, surprise) the Dwarfs Treasure Hunters were all quaffing ale! The Dragon Monks must have spilled a Dwarfs pint because a bloody bout of fisticuffs ensued. The River Gypsies divided their attack between the scrapping Dwarfs and Monks, with the Domnu fancying his chances against the Ogre Captain. With 2 Attacks base being increased to 3 by fighting unarmed, the barrel-chested Strigany leader managed to inflict a wound on the hulking Ogre leader. The return blow knocked the Domnu off his feet, through the wall and out of action.

The yellow-bellied agents of Clan Eshin spent the best part of the battle skulking in the restroom, as befits their craven nature. The cowardly vermin eventually vacated the lavatory to join the skirmish (under threat of being discovered by elf radar). By now four of the other gangs had been depleted in numbers. As the rats got stuck in it became evident that the Ogre warband was the only gang with 4 surviving members. No mean feat considering that the Captain has 3 Wounds and even Youngbloods carry 2 Wounds. The Ogres had been tactically deployed on the lower stairs with their Captain shielding his younger squishier brethren.

Meanwhile there were Elves leaping heroically from table to table. Describing these movement plays as being 'real elf tactics' Stu eventually saw both Sentinels nose-dive to the pub floor, face-planting themselves conveniently before the Ogres. It was at this point that the Werekin needed to reveal the new elven youngbloods are only Toughness 2, while resolving the D3 Strength 1 hits! By the time Stu realised his agile Elves could of scaled the banisters and charged the Ogre calves from the rear it was too late as they were already bloodied and bruised. The Wayfinder was out of action and the rest were knocked down.

There were a number of random happenings during the course of the game. Many rounds of combat had been fought by the time the first event occurred. This sparked a flurry of further 1's to be rolled. Here were all the special events;

1. Emissary from Cathay found Ornamental Weapon and passed Strength test!
2. Strigany Truant paid the Renegade to knife Dwarf Noble. Dwarf hit but not wounded!
3. Feast-Master was approached by a Buxom Barmaid. Being as Immune to Psychology meant he was immune to her charms!
4. Dwarf Noble paid the Renegade to knife the Ogre Captain. Ogre was hit and wounded!
5. Dragon Monk found Ornamental Weapon and passed Strength test!
6. Strigany Truant drank Liquid Courage becoming drowsy! (-1 Initiative)

Surprisingly the Ogres were the first patrons to leave the tavern in a battered state when the Feast-Master dealt the final blow to their twice-wounded Captain (pictured below). The feral Elf followed up the assault by polishing off the last remaining Ogre Youngblood. The Elves accomplishment was short-lived. A Dragon Monk felled the last Sentinel. In turn, the Battle Monks were the next warband to be eliminated from the contest as a measly Truant from the Strigany camp decked the last of the Monks proving that Cathayans can't hold their liquor!

The last three warriors standing were a Black Skaven, a Truant, and the Noble. The dying sequence of events in the brawl were as follows. The Dwarf charged and stunned the Skaven, already locked in combat with the Truant. This left the Truant in the dilemma of whether to stamp on the injured rat or charge the Noble. In the heat of battle the Strigany felt obliged to kick the Skaven while it was down. As a consequence the Dwarf charged in and boxed the youths ears taking him out of action.

Victory to the Dwarfs and to Antony in his first game of Mordheim!


Anonymous said...

Skaven enter the fight late after a Dancing Pirate Steak and Ale Pie takes effect, leaving then with a bad case of the S***s, and the Skaven stuck in the loo when the brawl starts. Improvising a weapon consisting of a turd on a rope they come out fighting!

frogprince said...

I would hardly call 1 turn "the best part of the battle skulking in the restroom"!

it was in keeping with the fluff!

StyrofoamKing said...

*drools at the mention of new warbands*

The Strigany sound awesome! I don't mean to spoil the surprise, but are the Sea Elves based on the Lothern, or the oooold school Sea Elves of 1st Edition?

Werekin said...

Tricky question.

We will get to that as the campaign unfolds... If you come across any facts concerning the Uranai then rest assured they are being referenced in the development of this elf warband.

The new 'gangs' will rock.

Anonymous said...

can youo give us more detail about the gaming board are you using? Any special rules? I like it! It's smaller than my Mordheim board and more portable :)

Thank you :)

Werekin said...

The gaming board for the tavern fight is the one from an old White Dwarf issue, where there was a game called 'Brewhouse Bash'. We used this for the 'Last Orders!' scenario in the Nemesis Crown supplement for Mordheim and later in an improved version for the Border Town Burning supplement.

There should be a copy of the board templates supplied with the Border Town Burning downloadable PDF. Upon printing a copy of the templates we recommend resizing them so that your squares are 1"x1" because the originals are too small otherwise.

The elves used in the scenario is a Sea Elf Rangers warband. They are not Lothern Sea Guard because that is strictly a military army list from the Warhammer game. Instead, the forthcoming warband list being developed can be used to represent a crew of elf sailors, with options to include a scouting troupe of adventurers &/or a constabulary combating crime in and around the port-city. The warband could be from Lothern, Marienburg or wherever the player wanted them to be!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your answer; I'm gonna search for it :)


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