Blood bath at Orc's Drift. Ashak Rise

“Ashak Rise is inhabited by a small group of Dwarf gold prospectors, renegades from the Dwarf army of the Grand League of Ramalia. They have been absent without leave from the army for some time now but have so far managed to keep their lucky strike a secret from the few travelers that pass along the road. Cautious in their greed, they maintain a constant watch at either end of the road that passes through the center of the rise, while the remainder of the force pan for gold at the river’s edge. At the beginning of play the Dwarfs store of gold is hidden under the floor boards of the cabin, and they will fight to the death to keep it.”

Borinn Fimbul is a dwarf chieftain Rep 5, AC 6, Hardiness 4, armed with a two handed axe. He could be deployed anywhere but I decided to put him in the cabin log guarding the gold. Snorinn Fimbul son of Borinn is Rep 4, AC 4, armed with sword and hand crossbow. The Dwarf clansmen are 11 warriors Rep 4, AC, 4 armed with hand weapons and hand crossbows, except four of them equipped with crossbows. Dwarfs objective is take the gold and run.

“At the orders of king F’yar, the Orcs and hounds of the Severed Hand are moving down from the Northland Wastes along the only available passes to meet the main army group at Orc’s Drift where the king is mustering his attack against the Grand League of Ramalia. Scouts have reported seeing smoke of a camp fire above the plateau and the Severed Hand commander prepares to flush out the inhabitants before proceeding down the mountain and on to Orc’s Drift.”

Hagar Sheol is the chieftain of the Severed Hand Orcs and has heard that the Dwarfs have a huge amount of gold hidden somewhere in the area. Hagar is a Star Rep 5, Hardiness 1, AC4, and armed with axe and shield.
Grashak Kra is the Houbhound Handler Rep 4, AC 2 and armed with a mace and bringing with him 10 ferocious hobhounds (war dogs). The Severed Hand Orcs are 20 warriors Rep 4, AC 2 with hand weapon and shield, plus 10 archers Rep 4, AC 2.

“Ashak Rise is a plateau couched in the mountain of the Northland Wastes. It is surrounded on all sides by sheer, impassable cliffs and is totally isolated. The only way in or out of the plateau is via the road to Kachas Pass and Kachas trail to the North West or the road to Linden Way to the East. Flowing from the North is the River Canis which can only be crossed by a stone bridge. The small log cabin stands roughly at the center of the rise atop a slight hill.”

Special rules

None of the Dwarfs are allowed to leave the table without their gold due to their effects of gold fever. There are six very large and heavy bags of gold and one creature can carry one at a time; the mules can carry up to two. The mules are stubborn and will refuse to move for a turn on a roll of 1 or 2 with a D6.
The orcs arrive and the Dwarf sentinel raises the alarm and runs towards the bridge. Now roll for activation normally.

Turn 1
Grashak Kra’s war dogs are within reach charge but halt in their place when they get close to the Dwarfs. The three Dwarfs down the bridge shoot with their crossbows and kill one, make fall back another one and force to charge to the third one who is killed in the melee. Then the same happens with the Orc warband; The Dwarfs shoot again and the first Orc dies. It seems that those few Dwarfs are enough to intimidate the whole Orc tribe! The ten Orc archers shoot to the group of Dwarfs behind the river and kill one of them.

The Dwarfs down the bridge shoot again and one orc falls down and the other charges. In the melee a Dwarf wins and pushes four consecutive times an Orc until he kills him. The Dwarfs at the other side of the bridge run to the bridge and to the cabin log to try to stop the Orcs at the bridge and run with the gold.
One Dwarf and one Orc die crossing arrows over the river. Borin starts to quickly load the gold bags on the mules but they are too heavy and can only do it one by one.

Turn 2
Orcs are confused for the quick response of the Dwarfs and their first casualties and do not move. Hagar tries furiously to make his boys charge but without any effect.

The Dwarfs regroup and close ranks at the bridge. Some of them shoot their crossbows but no one hit a thing. Borinn and another Dwarf load two more bags of gold on the mules.

Turn 3
Much to Hagar desperation, Orcs are still deciding what to do. Meanwhile the Dwarfs load two more bags of gold and finish taking defensive positions.

Turn 4
Hagar tells his boys about the Dwarf gold and they finally charge. The boys are too far to reach the Dwarfs at the bridge but not the war dogs. Luckily for the Dwarfs the bridge is so narrow that only three of them can fight at the same time. In the melee one war dog is slain. The archers kill the crossbowman Dwarf that had taken cover in the wood.

The Dwarfs kill another war dog and pick up the last bag of gold.

Turn 5
A brief pause in the fight and Orcs and Dwarfs in the bridge curse and spit at each other.

Turn 6
The aggressiveness of the Orcs overwhelms the Dwarfs who freeze in their places. Orcs charge in the bridge but Dwarfs momentarily resist and kill one Orc and one war dog. The third war dog first pushes a Dwarf and then kills it, breaching the Dwarf defensive line at the bridge. The arrer boys kill another Dwarf beyond the river.

Turn 7
The Dwarfs kill two more war dogs at the bridge. The Orc archers kill another crossbowman Dwarf but at the price of loosing two of them in the exchange. At the bridge Hagar Sheol charges with his boys killing the two remaining Dwarfs and freeing the way to the cabin log and to the gold. Snorinn has heroically fallen defending the bridge and he will be remembered in the book of the heroes. His father Borinn is sad but he comforts himself caressing the gold nuggets.

Turn 8
The last defender of the bridge dies at the hands of the Orc mob.

Turn 9
Orcs and war dogs run towards the cabin log but they stop again when get close the Dwarfs. The Dwarfs are leaving with the gold but one of the mules stubbornly refuses to move.

Turn 10
To the dismay of Hagar and Grashak the Orcs stop again to decide what to do. Looks like these "bright" guys once lose the initiative, do not know what to do next.

The Dwarfs and the mules keep running in a very "undwarfish" manner.

Turn 11
The rest of the war dogs move toward the last defending Dwarf but halt again; maybe because of the foul smell of the Dwarfs? The rest of the Orcs run by the road chasing the running Dwarfs and the gold.

The isolated Dwarf knows he is not going to make it and decides to die heroically. He then charges the two last war dogs and kills one of them.
The running Dwarfs cannot make the mules move, possibly because of their heavy load.

Turn 12
The war dog charges the Dwarf but nothing is decided. The rest of the Orcs run after the gold but again they stop on their heels when they see the Dwarfs so close.

The Dwarfs still won’t move. Their greediness will be their doom.

Turn 13
The doomed Dwarf kills another war dog and the first mule leaves the board and safely disappears into the landscape.

Turn 14
The Orc archers rush forward, shoot and manage to kill the last mule! The remaining war dog charges the Dwarf but cannot kill him.

Borinn Fimbul looks at the dead mule and then at the Orcs coming at him and with a grief, bigger than when his son died, finally decides to pick up one of the gold bags and run for his life, leaving the last bag with gold for those bloody green skins, Grimmir curses them!
The heroic Dwarf charges the last war dog and kills it! A pity there is nobody to witness his heroic deed and write a saga about him.

Turn 15
Hagar Sheol picks up the abandoned gold while looking in anger to those coward Dwarfs disappearing in the horizon. Well, as certain as he has accomplished his task of leaving no one alive in Ashak Rise, that he won’t either share this gold with nobody. Having thought that, he snarls an ugly smile and turning back to his boys he breaks laughing at what he is seeing: The rest of his boys are releasing their frustration on the surviving Dwarf. Pulp the stuntie! Graaaar!


The Dwarfs did the only thing they could possibly do and run with the money. The Orcs had a horrible luck and lose all their Test of Wills; which made me think about twisting it a little bit for the next time as I didn’t see it very realistic.

As it seems that numerical superiority gives confidence I thought about giving a +1D6 in the Test of Wills to the troops who doubles numerically his opponent, and +2D6 if triple them, and so on and so for. Thus, the Orcs wouldn’t have failed all their Tests of Wills against so few Dwarfes.

The Severed Hand Orcs lost 5 warriors, 3 archers and all the war dogs. The Dwarfs escaped with almost all the money, but Hagar in not going to tell that to F’yar.

Well, next battle will be Linden Way but as usual, first I need to paint about 30 militia men and some more terrain.


  1. Great stuff! I look forward to more blog entries.

  2. I see you put the mules next to the cottage. It does not seem clear to me from the scenario description that that is where they start, but it makes sense. Did you find that was balanced enough?

  3. @Stuart, I think it's balanced enough, but it also depends on which ruleset are you using with.
    In my game Dwarfs managed a decisive victory because of the horrible dice rolls of the orcs.

  4. Managed to play this last night. Started the mules next to the cottage, and that seemed to work well. I think I powered up the Fimbulls too much. The orcs got routed in the end, Snorrin Fimbul was killed, three dwarves escaped with the gold and the mules, and Borrin was left alone on the battlefield! Will play again, but the Fimbulls will need to be weaker. Dwarfs only had six crossbows, but that seemed to work.

  5. The Orcs routed but the Dwarfs suffered some casualties and didn't get all the gold, so I think it's a neutral result and if you play it again it could possibly go either way.

  6. One of the players has written up a very good account of the game at http://brightonandhoveroleplayers.blogspot.com/2011/07/return-to-orcs-drift.html?showComment=1310985536228#c6285496034970800818

  7. We had another go at this today, with Borrin and Snorrin slightly less powerful. Orcs won this time, killing all the dwarves and capturing the gold. But Hagar Sheol killed again, along with seven wolves and five orcs.

  8. I'm sure if you play again the same scenario as it was the last time, it could either win orcs or dwarfs.