The first year of my Two Hour Wargames fantasy campaign begins in the year 01.
Here's how the northeast quadrant looks at the outset:
My name is Marin Saturnia and things have not gone well for the Red Sun Dwarves.
The Saturnia clan returns to hunt for the trolls that nearly wiped out the last scouting force.
The glancing blow from the larger of the two trolls I fought last time had shattered a boulder at my side, knocking me out and covering me in rubble; at least this is the only explanation I can find for my survival.
We launch a new expedition into Orc territory, with anger in our hearts!
With us now is a gunner named Tonkin and the famous troll-slayer Rooni. It is said that Rooni once slew a troll with his bare hands, though he is carrying a slay-pick today.
I suggested to the Clan Chief that we recruit some archers from the elven Silver Horde, but was shouted down. I am now lower in status than before and my words carry no weight.
We return to the scene of the last battle, to begin again.
Entering the same terrain, we scout again. For a few turns, we move from sector to sector, seeking some trace of the orcs and trolls. Turn 4 generates another Possible Enemy Force (PEF) but at some distance.
No troll movement, but we get to test a PEF nearby. It is revealed to be the main body of orcs, equal in size. There are no trolls here, just two big orcs and 14 goblins!
We roll a Test of Will, and pass 4d. The orcs pass 1d. We also pass the charge test by 1d and rush toward the enemy, but our slow movement prevents us from closing to melee. Tonkin fires his enormous weapon and puts the orc leader Out Of Fight (OOF). This is bad news for the orcs. With their leader lost, 6 goblins break and rout, three more exercise discretion and flee the field with slightly less haste. This leaves one orc and five goblins.
We're active and Tonkin fires again and misses. Four dwarves on my right rush to attack. Two of them make contact with the orc but the combat results in one being pushed back, the other standing his ground.
No one moves.
Draw, another PEF appears.
No one moves.
Tonkin misses a goblin; the pair fighting the orc continues. The orc loses badly, becoming Obviously Dead (OD) from the fierce attack. The same happens to two more dwarves, each killing (OD) their goblin opponents.
The remaining 3 goblins flee the field!
We move, scouting through the woods. The PEF there was a false alarm and we continue on.
The next PEF turns out to be a troll and 4 orcs, 12" away in rough ground.
We test or will: we roll well, the troll rolls better. The troll group may charge us. They test to charge, and we roll very well. Even with "frenzy", the troll and its group stand where they are. Tonkin fires, misses again.
The initiative roll allows the troll group to act first. They test to charge us, succeed, but don't reach us due to rough ground.
Tonkin fires again, misses again.
Our orc-slayer test to charge the troll, takes a fast move and reaches the troll!
Four dwarves move into the rough ground, two stay behind to cover the gunner (though why they bothered is a fair question).
The slayer hits the troll hard, moving it to Hardiness 2 (0=dead). The troll rampages! (I use a scatter die to determine random direction of move during rampage). The troll stands his ground, so the melee will continue.
The troll is rampaging, its random move slams it straight into the slayer so combat continues. The orc-slayer's luck runs out and he goes down under the furious attack of the troll.
My brother on my right ties with his orc; the one I'm fighting is fierce and pushes me back. On my left, an orc beats my brother dwarf.
We're active now. The troll is standing alone (the slayer being dead now) and Tonkin fires!. He misses. Our leader ties in combat with his orc, but another dwarf kills his orc. This leaves the one facing me. I push it back, then kill it. Revenge is sweet!
The troll group moves, we stand. The troll rampages into the open. Our leader pushes back and forth with his orc, then is killed! We test our morale and all pass. (As a Star, I get to choose my reaction)
Again, the troll side goes first. The troll moves toward Tonkin the gunner. Orcs attack everywhere.
On our move, my brother attacks and gets a tie with his orc. I attack the last orc, also getting a tie.
Tonkin misses again. The two dwarves covering him move to attack the troll. They fight valiantly, but even outnumbering the troll, it's too much for them and they both go down.
A forced crisis test: Tonkin passes 1d but is all alone and routs away. I attack my orc, and fail miserably. I'm OOF. The last dwarf fails his crisis test and also routs.
The troll and two orcs survived; two dwarves rout away, the remainder are killed. I lose another Reputation point for using Cheat Death, putting me at Rep3. That's pretty bad, frankly, and I should probably retire Marin Saturnia.
Using the great rules from Two Hour Wargames called "Warrior Heroes: Armies and Adventures", I decided to try a short encounter.
I have some dwarf figures salvaged from an eBay purchase, so I made my party with them. I selected 6 axemen, rated at Combat Value (CV) of 2 each.
With WHAA, you are never sure where the enemy is or how strong he is. Since I play solo games, this is perfect for me.
The table is divided into nine sections and the terrain determined randomly. I finished this process with a number of rough hill sections, an impassible sector, and a bit of water I interpreted as being a mountain lake.
The dwarves entered on their scouting mission. The rules provided a couple of Possible Enemy Forces (PEF) that represent potential enemy units. We (as Hero I play one of the dwarves) had to investigate each of the PEFs.
We entered the table following a trail, but it faded to nothing in the rough ground. We were in sight and close enough to the first PEF to discover that it was nothing. It might have been an animal, a dust devil, or just a false sound. Empty.
We advanced into the rough ground and the second PEF moved toward us as well.
The second PEF was revealed to be the main body. The rules provide for random determination of enemy strength, so I went to the list and began rolling. We had a combined CV of 12 and the rules informed me that the force was slightly larger than mine. (haha, as you will see)
I first rolled a Troll! This wasn't too bad, a CV of 8. Then I rolled a mounted orc and a foot soldier. Not bad, a total of 12. Since I had to face a slightly larger force, I rolled again and got another troll! The CVs were now my 12 vs. the orc 20! It did not look good.
A test of wills as we could see each other. The orcs, with the benefit of the Troll's reputation, won and decided to charge us. Because of the rough ground, the orcs would need to Fast Move to reach us, and their test succeeded.
Four of us spread out into a fighting line to get room to swing our axes. Bravely, we faced the enemy in one-to-one combat.
Dwarf 1 and the orc on foot rolled a draw, continued combat.
The mounted orc pushed back Dwarf 2 two times, then got a draw on a bad roll.
I faced one of the trolls, but I got a good roll and won by 2. Normally, that would have put the opponent Out Of Fight (OOF), but since this was a troll, it got to test against its hardiness. It passed and was only startled by my attack.
The second troll, in a stunning roll (passed 4d vs. pass 0d) left my brother on my right Obviously Dead.
Both trolls attack me now that Dwarf 4 is down. I'm outnumbered and the trolls get extra dice for inducing terror. I am pushed back, then pushed back again. Each push back reduces my abilities, and on the next roll I lose by 4 dice! This puts me Obviously Dead as well, but WHAA allows the hero (me) to Cheat Death.
By some lucky turn of fate, I survived the terrible blows and was only unconscious.
The mounted orc, outnumbered now, is pushed back a bit before tying with his opponents. Dwarf 1 succeeds in killing his orc.
We're fairly battered and only the orcs move this turn. The mounted or is now fighting 3 dwarves and he's beaten (loses by 2d) and is Out Of Fight.
The trolls, believing they have killed me, each turn to a dwarf and melee. The first troll ties, but the second wins by 2d and our leader is OOF! This forces a check of morale, but only one dwarf (a weak-willed cousin) flees the field. The other two continue to fight.
The initiative roll is a tie, so I test the last PEF and learn it is a straggler unit, but the orc Big Bad is with them. I don't bother to roll him up as yet.
The dwarves get to go first. Dwarf 1 passes 2d but the troll passes 5d and the dwarf is Obviously Dead. The troll turns to help his brother troll. Dwarf 2, outnumbered now, loses by 2d and is OOF.
Not good. There are two orcs dead, two trolls left standing. The stragglers and their leader had not even entered the field. Of the dwarves, one escaped, 4 were killed, and I was forced to use my Star status to Cheat Death. When the dust settled, I staggered off the field and stumbled home to report. My Reputation is reduced by one for having had to use my Star status to survive.
Better luck next time!