A chilling wind blew across the realms; a mysterious force known as the Ferocious Squall descended, shrouding the land in an impenetrable fog. The frigid zephyr presented a unique challenge that would test the mettle of even the most seasoned explorers - they must contend with the blinding squalls belched straight from Andtor’s icey lungs. The continent was hostile, and those who failed to adapt would perish.
Only the most cunning and resilient leaders would emerge triumphant. Armies clashed and their fate hung in the balance.
After taking repeated thaumaturgic compass readings and comparing them to some captured maps, Kaptain Mogrum and Krashhart agreed on their next course. They made a bearing north-east and two ships of the Ironfang Fleet set out on the cruise from their port-stronghold, Da Toof. They intended to capture a convergence of ley lines that ran through the ruins of an ancient temple, on a nearby island.
They expected to meet resistance there, so they discussed what each crew should do at the first sign of enemy action, and decided to bring along Overboard, the shipwreck Rogue Idol.
Assisted by Old Mudgob, Krashhart led the Swordfyshes, in three divisions: port watch (with red bandanas, or red feathers in their broad-brimmed hats), starboard watch (with blue) and the harpooners.
Kaptain Mogrum led the Cleavermaws, accompanied by Lost Uzzog.
Soon after they made landfall the pirates rushed to take control of three key nexus-points along the most powerful ley line that crossed the island.
Despite the perilously reduced visibility caused by the freezing storm they soon encountered a Soulblight Gravelord and her minions lurching and shambling out of the fog, just as the squall dissipated enough to improve visibility. As they had planned Old Mudgob immediately manifested a Great Green Hand of Gork and transported Kaptain Mogrum deep into enemy territory, behind their line-of-battle.
As he was set-down the Kaptain blasted the Vampiress Lord in the back, with a searing green beam of pure Waaagh! power - instantly incinerated her. Her ashes scattered in the wind.
Buoyed-up by this entertaining outcome, the harpooners advanced aggressively to intercept the Blood Knights, then charged them, to keep them away from the nexus.
The starboard watch wanted to charge the Blood Knights too but, much to their annoyance, they got tangled up in the undergrowth.
Overboard strode forward to meet a Deadwalkers advance, carelessly leaving only a narrow path through the ruins for the port watch to join him in the fight.
The Cleavermaws hurried to take a defensive position behind a large rock, while Uzzog harvested the geomantic magic.
The deadwalkers ineffectually clawed at Overboard, who hardly seemed to notice.
The harpooners took down two Blood Knights...
But when the Blood Knights killed two of the harpooners in reply, they were able to rejuvenate their own casualties who returned from "completely dead" to undead, and the harpooners were steadily ground down. The starboard watch moved up to retain control the nexus.
Overboard and the starboard watch Brutes slaughtered dozens and dozens of zombies and dire wolves. Some of them got back up again though, and for a while it looked like the fight might never end.
The port watch braced themselves for the Blood Knight charge, but they were ready to avenge their fallen crewmates.
Most of the deadwalkers eventually fell under the onslaught of Overboard's attacks.
It had been isolated from the ground battle by the smothering maelstrom, but with the storm abating a zombie dragon landed. A titanic duel ensued, as Overboard the Rogue Idol turned to meet it; he and the zombie dragon tore into each other.
It was a terrifying sight but the pirates cheered as Overboard weathered its attacks and wore it down steadily. When Old Mudgob blasted the dragon with ectoplasmic puke, Overboard smashed it to component bones.
But the starboard watch did not have a chance to celebrate as the Blood Knights galloped in moments later.
The wolf-form vampire lieutenant and a pair of zombie ogors moved to attack Mogrum. The Kaptain blasted one of the ogors to ash as they closed in, and then the vampire at point-blank range.
The weird old pirate nearly killed his second vampire of the day but something went wrong and the magic backfired. He was wracked with pain as the Waaagh! energy grounded through him. But through the green lightning that enveloped him he could see that the wolf-vampire was now too far away from the action to help his minions.
The Cleavermaws found themselves surrounded, with deadwalker zombies and deathrattle skeletons everywhere they turned.
Lost Uzzog released the spirits of Ghurish were-boars from the collection of scrimshawed tusks in his pack and the empowered Cleavermaws joyfully smashed Dead'Unz left and right. They had a fantastic time!
Blood Knights had trampled through all three mobs of Brutes but it had taken much longer than the knights had expected.
When Lost Uzzog and the Cleavermaws heard the Rogue Idol catastrophically disassembling behind them, they thought the tide must have finally turned against them. But even though they were the last orruks standing they destroyed all of the deathrattlers, and the grave guard who had been summoned to fill the gap left by the zombies they cut down earlier.
They held the ley line nexus and victory belonged to the pirates!
The points limit for the EWG AoS campaign increased to 1500 for the second round (new campaign rounds start on the last Thursday of each month). I found 1500 points noticeably harder to manage than 1000. Partly because it was only my second game of AoS3, but also due to having to track the numerous buffs and bonuses from different sources. I had a growing awareness that I was forgetting lots of little things along the way (like a +1 to hit here, or a +1 charge move there), even with my counters and cards to remind me. Despite that it was still a very very enjoyable game - lots of hard choices and wildly swingy dice rolls!
This next chapter of this grand campaign unfolds in the heart of a chilling storm... but when Lee rolled the first check he got a 6, so it abated after just one battle round of obscured vision, so it didn't make a great deal of impact on our game.
At the start of the battle, the battlefield is affected by a squall. Until the squall dissipates, units more than 12" apart are not visible to each other. In addition, until the squall dissipates, models cannot fly. At the start of each battle round after the first, after determining which player will take the first turn, if the squall has not dissipated, the player taking the second turn rolls a dice and adds the number of the current battle round to the score. On a 7+, the squall dissipates.
By the end of Round 3 I had accrued 34 Waaagh! Points and almost run out of the pirate themed metal coins I use to track them (even with a few extras added to the 24 I bought for the job). I knew I wouldn't be using the 24-Point "Powers of the Waaagh!" ability, so once I had completed the Orruk Warclans Battle Tactic "Wait for it Lads!" I stopped counting.
Both Lee and I consistently completed all of our chosen Battle Tactics, so the final score was decided on objectives and Grand Strategies. I didn't have any Battleline troops left to score my chosen Grand Strat, and I had no idea what Lee's entailed so I couldn't even try to stop it! Luckily for me my early-game dominance of the objectives gave me a strong enough VP lead to win, despite Lee making a valiant effort to claw back.
We ran out of time after 4 battle rounds but we both agreed to call it at that point. With the victory points at 17:14 I had scored a major victory. We also discussed what might have been if we'd had time to play the fifth round: if things had gone entirely to plan the Soulblight Gravelords could have gained a draw on VP (which would mean a Minor Victory due to Grand Strats, since we were also drawn on Battle Tactics). But if they were unlucky they might not even get a VP draw.
The Ironfang Fleet
Allegiance: Big Waaagh!
- Mortal Realm: Ghur
- Grand Strategy: Waaagh!
- Triumphs: Bloodthirsty
Leaders - The Quarter Deck
Lord Krashhart (120)
- Command Trait: Heroic Stature
- Artefact: Amulet of Destiny (Universal Artefact)
Old Mudgob (90)
Orruk Weirdnob Shaman - ANDTORIAN LOCUS
- Lore of the Weird: Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork
Kaptain Mogrum (170)
Wurrgog Prophet - ANDTORIAN LOCUS
- Lore of the Savage Beast: Gorkamorka's War Cry
Lost Uzzog (80)
Wardokk - ANDTORIAN LOCUS
- Lore of the Savage Beast: Power of the Were-boar
Battleline - The Crew
The Swordfyshes (harpooners) (140)
5 x Orruk Brutes
- Jagged Gore-hackas
- 1x Gore Choppas
The Swordfyshes (port watch) (140)
5 x Orruk Brutes
- Pair of Brute Choppas
- 1x Gore Choppas
The Swordfyshes (starboard watch) (140)
5 x Orruk Brutes
- Pair of Brute Choppas
- 1x Gore Choppas
Da Baron and the Cleavermaws (140)
10 x Savage Orruk Morboys
Total: 1470 / 1500
Reinforced Units: 0 / 2
Allies: 0 / 200