Thursday, 23 June 2022

Animosity IV - The Bleeding Wilds, part 6 - The Message

In the southern Dragon-spine Mountains at the edge of the Prowling Forest there was a strange relic of another age, often called the Shadowfane. The Cleavermaws sat on deck and watched it for a while, as the sky-ship drifted slowly by with no sails set in alight breeze.

The ring-shaped stone metalith a hundred yards across floated serenely in the sky among the towering mountain peaks, low clouds drifted along the valleys below it and the ship. It emitted a low hum that could only be heard when they looked directly at it, but when they looked away it seemed to fall silent.

"Which it ain't a levitation - you can't be levitating of something that big." said Wrekka.

"I don't see why not. Its just a matter of making a self-detraining loop, an arcanus infinitus." said Crowsnest as he scratched his ear.

Wrekka scoffed. "That ain't no Endless Spell." he waved a dismissive hand at the Shadowfane, "It's a rock. A big rock what floats on its own, I grant you, but it ain't something what can be unbound."

"How do you know? Tried it have we?" said Crowsnest.

"Well, its still here ain't it?" said Wrekka "If it could have been unbound, it would have been already. No, this is one of them metaliths what float of their self." and he stormed off to another part of the ship.

"Ever one knows a metalith is just a rock what has been levitated." muttered Crowsnest to himself.

~ ⦽ ~

The Cleavermaws had found a small relic in the dusty foothills below the Shadowfane: The Ring of Storms. They were making a run for it back to the ship. The Xamolomax Coven tried to stop them, but the Thaumaturge could not divine which of the orruk pirates was carrying the relic.

Crowsnest and the Baron had scouted ahead, looking for a clear path through the dry land. They met the vanguard of the Coven beneath a rock arch.

Paralax Quiverbloom, the Kairic Adept, coordinated the handful of Arcanites to try to stop them warning the Kaptain.

When Sludga (who had the Ring of Storms on a string, hidden inside his shirt), Ropesend and Dogvane arrived they assessed the situation quickly, when Crowsnest saw them and shouted a warning:

"Have a care lads, which the Arcanites is dead-ahead and off to port!"

The Tzeenchists lurked behind the rocky hills...

... plotting an ambush.

Crowsnest threw himself at the nearest one and their swords clashed.

Ropesend, Wrekka and Dogvane barrelled into the ones trying to block Sludga's path.

The Baron fell, cut down by the great-axe wielding Tzaangor.

Kaptain Mogrum and his party fairly flew into the fight, shoving the Arcanites aside and holding them up so Sludga could escape with the Ring.

Lost Uzzog set about another Acolyte with his staff, raining down a series of heavy blows on the Arcanite's back and shoulders. Dogvane risked his life and got himself in the way of the Thaumaturge.

Sludga escaped! The rest of the pirates disengaged, falling back to the ship in good order.

~ ⦽ ~

This was a very different game - the combination of choosing who had the "message" and where they had to escape was great fun. If I had chosen someone in my Shield it would have been a MUCH shorter game!

As it was I won after two Battle Rounds. I really don't know if there was anything Viktor could have done to stop me, unless he was very lucky and killed Sludga before he reached the board edge. Neither of us used the Twist Ability at all - it was a fairly low-damage game, as it was all about movement and positioning.

Deployment: Vengeance
Victory: The Messenger
Twist: Rainstorm of Ghyran

~ ⦽ ~

The campaign starts on 29th June, so now is the perfect time to join!

Friday, 17 June 2022

Animosity IV - The Bleeding Wilds, part 5 - The Soulstone

"Look at them, they is doing it all wrong." said Crowsnest grumpily. "They aren't going to get good abjuration-yield results if they a carry on that way."

"Yeah." said Wrekka, "They haven't taken any of the proscribed steps for contramaledictum."

"They are definitely amateurs." said Dogvane, "Look at them - they haven't even drawn any kind of runes. Bunch of zoggin tyromancers!" he scoffed.

Crowsnest chuckled at this and Wrekka started laughing too.

"Will you stow that noise, ya jabbering lubbers!" growled Mogrum.

~ ⦽ ~

Kaptain Mogrum wanted to face the Ogroid Thaumaturge Xamolomax and his Arcanites a again, he was sure they would have some arcane treasures that he could steal and make good use of. So he had followed them and taken the ship back to Silverside; through the sheer wall of magical energy of the Bleed. They made landfall at midnight in the Poison Forest, west of the Sanctuary Arcane.

The Cleavermaws had (fairly) quietly approached a clearing near a Realmgate and spread out. The Realmgate was the only source of light on a moonless, dark night and it fizzed and spat occasionally - it seemed to be fracturing. Mogrum was somewhat on-edge that the crew would start debating that as well.

All the crew needed to do was wait until the three Arcanites who were chanting had finished extracting energies from a chained Soulstone and siphoned it into the ornately carved skulls they held, shank the Arcanites, grab the skulls, and then get out. 

Easy... or so they thought!

As soon as they saw the ritual was ending Mogrum, Dogvane and Wrekka stepped out of the shadows beneath the poisoned trees, and approached the Arcanites directly.

The Baron, Crowsnest and Lost Uzzog came up from the left. Ropesend and Sludga took the a wide route around a corpse of trees on the far left flank, to try and get behind the Arcanites.

Paralax Quiverbloom (the Kairic Adept), a Tzaangor and a Kairic Acolyte were all busy with the ritual behind the chained Soulstone and did not immediately notice the pirates.

But as soon as they did, they scattered! The Baron chased the Tzaangor.

Mogrum, Dogvane and Wrekka went after the Adept but the Thaumaturge pounded forward and intervened.

Ropesend and Sludga appeared at the back of the Arcanite lines and saw Lost Uzzog running to catch up with the Kaptain.

Crowsnest slammed into another Tzaangor - but it was not the one the Cleavermaws were after!

Dogvane got confused and smashed the wrong Arcanite's face in, allowing the Adept with the carved skull some respite!

The Tzaangor ritualist fled for his life!

The Baron dodged an axe then pummelled another Tzaangor to the ground and sent him sprawling across the cracked paving stones.

Kaptain Mogrum and Ak'glar Xamolomax traded blows. Sparks flew from the Kaptain's wurrgog-harpoon and Xamolomax's skull-topped staff when they clashed.

The Kaptain came off decidedly worse in the exchange. The Thaumaturge was overbearing him.

The Baron spotted the Tzaangor with the skull full of siphoned trying to sneak past behind him and gave chase.

Lost Uzzog caught up with Adept Quiverbloom and let loose a pulse of green Waaagh! energy from his totem-staff. Quiverbloom the Adept reeled under the unexpected force of the blast.

With an unexpected low backhanded-swing of his staff, Xamolomax swept Mogrum off his feet. The Kaptain landed hard on the stony ground, winded. He was getting really tired of this happening week after week!

Crowsnest, Ropesend and Sludga set about the Arcanites nearest to them. Crowsnest's attack was particularly ferocious. 

The Baron and Wrekka finally caught the Adept while he was stunned by Uzzog's magic and pinned him against a tree.

The Thaumaturge swatted Crowsnest as Ropesend impaled the Acolyte ritualist. The carved skull rolled across the flagstones and bumped into Ropesend's foot. The orruk scooped it up and called "Yaaaargh!" to the others to let them know.

Sludga sprinted after, and nearly caught, the troublesome Tzaangor!

But the Tzaangor escaped, choosing to risk a journey through the defective Realmgate rather than the wrath of the frustrated orruk pirates, or let the final carved skull fall into their hands!

The Baron punched Quiverbloom in the chest and the Adept crumpled. Wrekka grabbed the skull and the two of them looked round for the Tzaangor... But he was gone.

~ ⦽ ~

The Twist card made this a VERY different kind of game. A lot of our Abilities and about half of Viktor's attacks were really changed by the maximum area effect of 3". Things like Waaagh! suddenly only worked on a couple of orruks at most, shooting and ranged spells all stopped working. It was really interesting how a very simple thing like this Twist changed the dynamic of the whole game.

Viktor rolled with the punch though and played a very canny game by moving his 3 Dagger fighters constantly and quickly. He made me need to chase them all the time and kept them far apart from each other so I couldn't mob them all at once. I managed to get two of them but the third eluded me so he won the game.

Deployment: Decimation
Victory: Crush
Twist: Battle Dead of Night

~ ⦽ ~

The campaign starts on 29th June, so now is the perfect time to join!

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Animosity IV - The Bleeding Wilds, part 4 - The Prize

"Them again? Why do we keep meeting them?" hissed Kaptain Mogrum as he and his orruk pirate crew peered through the trees at the Arcanites searching the clearing ahead.

Lost Uzzog grinned sheepishly and shrugged - nodding at the thaumaturgic compass, as if that was to blame and the answer to everything.

On the northern edge of the Prowling Forest, where the trees were still widely-spaced and less aggressive, the Cleavermaws had set out to explore again, but once more they stumbled upon Ak'glar Xamolomax, a powerful Ogroid Thaumaturge, and his coven of Arcanites.

"So. Do you think he's got it then?" said Mogrum, turning to face the navigator. Uzzog looked even less comfortable than before.

"Yeah, it looks like it Kap'n. Whenever he moves the compass follows him like. So it is either him what has it, or he's a might more powerful wizard than I had thought of him before." or both, he added to himself.

"Oh, he will be powerful alright, and no mistake!" said Wrekka quietly to Ropesend. "He'll be like to transmute us all into soup if we're not right careful."

"Yaaargh!" said Ropesend.

"Transmute? He won't be transmuting anyone!" said Crowsnest, a little too loudly. "He will be conflagrating us for sh...." he went suddenly quite as he realised the Kaptain was looking right at him. He could tell, even behind the mask, that there was not a happy look on his face.

~ ⦽ ~

The Cleavermaws were scattered when they picked their moment to attack. They rushed forward and regrouped as they ran, forming up around the Kaptain.

Apart from the Baron, who had other ideas...

Uzzog focused his power through his staff and the tattoos on the pirates' skin squirmed and energised.

Mogrum marshalled control of the magic coursing through him - well, as much as he could at least.

Ak'glar Xamolomax knew instantly what was afoot.

As the orruk pirates gathered around the Kaptain...

... more Tzaangors and Acolytes appeared.

Ak'glar Xamolomax and the Baron locked eyes on one-another: The Baron charged!

A Tzaangor leapt at Mogrum.

The Kaptain punched it hard on the beak.

Crowsnest Dag enthusiastically followed the Baron, who landed a punishing blow on the Ogroid with his steel-gauntleted fist. 

But Crowsnest was then horrified to see the big orruk slammed against the ground by the brute strength of Xamolomax, augmented through sorcery, in his counter-assault. 

The air shimmered as Ak'glar Xamolomax deftly skipped up the side of the rocky hill, out of harm's way: Trickery and guile were his favourite weapons.

Wrekka and the Kaptain continued to battle the Arcanites.

And Sludga, Ropesend and Dogvane Murt arrived to help. But none of the Cleavermaws could come close to the Ogroid Thaumaturge, his magic was too quick and too subtle for them that day.

~ ⦽ ~

Deployment: Massacre
Victory: Steal The Prize
Twist: Battle Frenzy

Another warm-up game ahead of the campaign. I made a couple of mistakes, I wasted my Ability Dice and of hedged my bets about which model Viktor would pick to be holding the the prize in Turn 2. I should have guessed it would be the Ogroid! But Viktor easily won this in the third turn; there was just no way I could catch the Ogroid Thaumaturge, when he ran up the hill out of reach.

Another fun and satisfying game none-the-less!

~ ⦽ ~

The campaign starts on 29th June, so now is the perfect time to join!