This time we chose to play the second scenario, Colonization, assault phase. Me being the attacker with 4.000 points of Marines and my opponent with 2.000 points of defending Orks. The Marines enter the board with orbital deployment whereas Orks with mobile deployment, being the Marines the first to move.
You can click on the pictures to see them bigger.
In the meantime, the Marines took advantageous positions to wait for the enemy which meant that the Orks wouldn't risk to deploy before suppressing first some Marine units with their artillery batteries ( they had 27 dice to hit!).
The Ork batteries failed their command rolls for several turns and in one occasion they hit both Marine Coyote Titans and left them without shields but unsuppressed, they didn't dare to try deployment in the end and so game turns were slowly passing.
In the end, Marines had a bike recce and a tactical squad casualties, and the Orks exactly the same. One more casualty was me who died from boredom. Next time Marines will be defenders and Orks if possible won't use mobile deployment.
It's near dawn when Helli comes out from the hut to attend the animals and hears something coming from the woods at the West. He hurries inside and wakes up the others. Einar and Thord come out with Helli to investigate that noise coming from the dark; Hrafnkel, Fafnir and Snorri are still inside gearing up.
I rolled for the three PEFs (Possible Enemy Force) location and scored three ones so they started together by the West side and through the woods. The first PEF came out but it resulted a false alarm.
Helli confesses Einar he's worried because before Winter he had some quarrel with his neighbour regarding the mule he's having at the back of the house. His fears come true when they see his neighbour and his men coming out from the woods, and bringing with him a Death Dealer means he hasn't come to a tea party!
The second PEF came out from the woods and it turned to be the main body of the enemy forces with the leader in it. The highest Rep in the group was the Death Dealer so he became the Big Bad and leader of the group. He is a nasty and very dangerous opponent as he is Rep 6, AC 2, Hardiness 5, Frenzy, Fanatic and armed with a 2 handed axe! The others are a veteran warrior Rep 5, AC 4, and 3 warriors and one archer, all Rep 4.
Without a word of warning the Death Dealer charges Einar who steps back towards the door of the house where the berserker cannot properly swing his axe, thus leveling things a bit. Thord manages to hold two charging warriors while Helli pushes back the veteran warrior. While they fight and contain the charge they do not stop shouting for backup.
Snorri comes out from the house, shoots and misses the enemy archer but the enemy doesn't and puts Snorri out of the battle! (Out of fight -OOF-). Hrafnkel also comes out and rounds the house, shooting and effectively killing one of the enemy warriors. Fafnir rushes in help of Helli and charges the veteran warrior but he manages to keep off both him and Helli. At the other side of the house Einar makes his best to hold the enraged Death Dealer whereas Thord falls OOF in front of two warriors. Einar then retreats into the house and comes out to the other side of it.
Hrafnkel takes the opportunity to shoot at the berserker and stick an arrow on his back, leaving him wounded. Einar rounds the house and charges the veteran warrior in help of Helli and Fafnir, and they three finally manage to kill him. Seeing how the veteran warrior is slain, another warrior drops his weapons and flee the fight.
Einar used his Star Free Will and chose to retreat in the Crisis Test, disengaging from the Death Dealer. Hrafnkel killed the Death Dealer but he used his Hardiness 5 and saved his life, leaving his Hardiness at 3. BTW, here I'm using the Star Power from CR 3.0 Sword play, instead of the test of Hardiness.
The Death Dealer charges again Einar who is pushed back twice, barely resisting his wild attacks. Another warrior charges Helli and the archer exchanges shots with Hrafnkel but both miss.
Now Fafnir charges the Death Dealer to help Einar, hitting and leaving him with another wound and stunned, but with a mighty roar he quickly recovers and keeps fighting.
The berserker is surviving to so many wounds due to his high starting Hardiness points. He started with Hardiness 5, then it was three and after Fafnir's strike is down to two as he rolled another six.
The berserker vengefully strikes back at Fafnir, stunning him on the ground and then striking him again on the ground and leaving him OOF. Einar wisely retreats once again, desperately seeking a way to either escape or kill the mad warrior. Helli finally falls OOF before one of the raiding warriors.
Heavy rain begins, slanting from the west. No missile fire in this direction, no bow fire at all.
The berserker was killed by the high penetration factor of a long bow at close range and then he failed his two rolls of Hardiness, so he was dead. I decided to use an accident chart borrowed from Battle troll by Howard Whitehouse and adapted by me to WHAA mechanics. Everytime there is a double in the activation I roll in the accident chart; this time rain happened. The accident chart can be seen at the THW yahoo group.
Hrafnkel picks up Thord first and then Snorri, and puts them on the mule and follow Einar with Fafnir off the board. The last PEF is getting close and they decide to put as much distance as possible between them. Regretfully they cannot carry Helli, who is abandoned to his luck.
The rest of the raiders, seeing their leader and many friends down, and the offender Helli on the ground, they content themselves with capping him, burning the house and go back home with their leader.
Einar's party left the board before the last PEF was resolved. I rolled for a possible persecution but scored a six, so there wasn't any and Einar could safely escape.
They kept walking through woods during all day to finally halt at the top of a mountain and settled up there the camp for the night. From there they can still see the smoke of Helli's house. Hrafnkel suggested to name the mule Helli and Fafnir barked a short laugh in response. A strange mood descended upon the party.
They all were heavily bruised and Hrafnkel even had to spend one of his healing potions on Fafnir, but in the end they all survived and the experience had hardened them.
Hrafnkel started to sing some trying verses about the encounter but whenever Einar closed his eyes he saw the screaming berserker covered in blood and maniacally wielding his axe towards him. Suddenly he thought Sagas were a phony and that being alive was a very good thing.
I rolled for recovery after the battle and all returned to normality thought Fafnir needed a healing potion. Then I rolled for Experience and none of them raised Rep but Fafnir and Einar gained one point of Hardiness being now Hardiness 1 and 2 respectively.
This first encounter was very tense as I was thinking all the time that my main character won't make it. I discovered myself several times thinking this cannot be, that my character was going to die in his first encounter.
Einar was very lucky with his dice rolling and could survive the berserker in melee, and miraculously Hrafnkel could slain him with his bow in the end, and thank God some warriors fled the battle while some others never entered. Moreover, at the end all the members of the party completely recovered, so nothing happened in the end except the lost of the poor Helli.
This is one of the things I love about THW games, that you never know how things are going to turn. It's just like watching a good film.
Do you want to know what will happen next? I do for sure.
Historical equivalent: Norsemen.
The land of Mirholme lies to the far north of the Known world. This is a harsh land of snow and ice with mountains of Frost and Dusk that reach unto the heavens themselves and march right down to the sea.
The humans that live here are powerfully built, with large, well muscled frames and long limbs. The Norse are a bloodthirsty people whose society is based entirely around war and fighting.
They make or produce very little in their inhospitable homeland and their attitude is to take whatever they need from the lands of others. Many a time their dreaded long ships have brought terror and destruction to the lands of men and the other races.
Alignment Twilight. Star Rep 4 warrior elite trained with no armour AC 2 and Hardiness 1. Equipped with broadsword I5 and medium spiked shield I3. Climb attribute as he’s always been climbing the high mountains of his country since child. CV 3.Social standing 6.
Party total CV: 9. Followers:
Einar boyhood’s best friend. Death dealer Rep 4 with no armour AC 2 and Hardiness 1. He's armed with a 2HW battle axe I6 (using it with penalty). Frenzy and Fanatic. He will follow Einar up to the end. CV 3.
Rep 4 Skald, cook, thieve and healer. Equipped with long bow I7/5 and dagger I4 and AC 2. He goes with the party to record Einar’s deeds in a Saga and also to see the world. Perhaps the most important person in the party. CV 1. He's carrying two potions of strengh 4.
Rep 4 grunt with bow I5. CV 1.
Rep 4 grunt with spear I5 and medium shield I2. CV 1.
Einar is the only male son of a minor noble and was foretold that the day he owned a weapon worthy of a king, he’d become king of his own.
Believing this to be truth, he imposed himself with the Quest of finding such weapon. Einar had heard from passing merchants that in the far East, close to the land of the Dead, there was a strange people called Dwarrs or something, who lived under the mountain, and that they were the best weapon master craft forgers of the known world. Thus, determined to go there and get his weapon and his throne, he gather his few possessions, farewell his father and kindred, and with some adventuring friends he set off to the civilized world in search of his destiny.
Spring (April) of 896, Ragnar’s Farm is in Svinadal, a long, wide valley with a shallow river and rocky hills on either side, somewhere inside the country of Mirholme. ER 4+1=5. There is where Einar has been living until now.
Einar’s party moves to the border of Mirholme and towards Altengard in March, and finds refuge in a hut of a lumberjack called Helli, settled among the vast woods of the region. Resting there they suffered at dawn a raid from a neighbour farm which has a feud with Helli concerning something about a stranded mule.
In Mirholme all feuds are blood ones and now that Winter snows is melting away, Helli’s neighbours are coming in full force to recover their mule, and in the process burn Helli’s hut (National sport in Mirholme!) and kill him. Einar is caught in the middle of this dispute and his barbarian code of honour makes him to help Helli in payment for his hospitality.
So Einar’s first encounter in this campaign is as defender of a Raid from locals. Will he survive to his first fight?