I got into Warhammer miniature battles a bit later than the Golden age, more like the Silver - just when the prices were going through the roof but hadn't gotten there yet. Bretonians were my army of choice and I had many wonderful months/years painting my knights and archers as well as having them stand their ground and fight the forces of Chaos.
Long over now, I still remember the enjoyment of big armies clashing and set pieces - coupled with the sheer number of dice rolled. So I brought a bit of that back for this meeting but cut down on the dice. I gave the group the chance to set up a defense behind a wall - outfit it however they can with only their ingenuity to fuel it, and had them with 30 L1 commoners, 20 L2 commoners, and 10 L1 warriors at their fingertips to hold the gate. For multiple shots I rolled either 3 or 4 "attacks" into a single dice, but the party had a chance to do a clash of armies - even if it was only 60 vs 75.
From the sounds of it all, the party had a great time.
Write up follows:
We looked at our location that we had to defend – an opening 40’ wide flanked by two sets of two towers 30’ tall, and then a stone wall and parapet running in both directions. There is a smaller road that runs from the gates to the main road, 160’ away. The grasses are short (less than an inch) from constant cropping; the walls are 25’ tall. There is no actual gate. We are told that after 7 PM, we should get a number of wagons and carts after the Homesteads are cleared.
As for people, we had 10 actual militia men, 20 mustered militia men, and about 30 common volunteers. Bows we were not too great on, so we plundered the weapon stores at the Hall of Heroes and outfitted another 10 or so men with short bows and a small smattering of arrows. We also handed out whatever padded armors we had and then split the forces, setting half of them up on the left, and half on the right. We also positioned Tranis and Marcus on the forward towers with 5 of the best militia archers for just in case.
We then sent out word to the denizens of Tanner’s Way – for every armful of big rocks they bring, we are willing to pay a copper piece. Over 80 of them responded.
With rocks, foundation stones, and countless cobble stones from the road beds of Tanner’s Way, we bucket brigaded the stones to the parapet and got them ready. Barrels and buckets were filled with water and positioned all about the town.
Citizens from the Homesteads were filling in the town square and the place was filling up. Erd picked two families and sent them to his home/studio to stay in during the combat.
We then prepared two large bonfires and laced the spacing between them with bundled hay and thatch, using a few flasks of oil to stretch it out. The wagons came, along with a number of carts and 25 bales of hay. So we made three barriers before the gate after the fire line of spilled carts/wagons and hay – and then had a few members at the base with spears in case the goblins got that far.
Finally Avidius and some of the guys dug a few holes outside the wall and filled them with water – where the fighter would hide in them and wait for possible shaman or leader types to pass so he could take them quickly and from behind.
Just after night fall, Flimflam turned into an owl and winged north, looking for the goblin group. They were closing – and what was scary was a there was a floating gas bag with a platform below – and a shaman was riding on top (along with other bowmen). Flimflam suspected he was being noticed so he did a wingover and made some distance, swung around, spotted the rest of the goblins and their closing to the Homesteads, and then returned to the town.
He changed back and told us what he saw. The decision was that Tranis would be concentrating his fire at the floating gas bag (just aim above the line of fire in the sky) and do the best to take it down.
Finally it was after 9 and we heard the assault start on the Homestead as goblin voices were chanting. At our end, we watched the growing glows and glints as goblin forces gathered on the other side of the road. And then a 5 count of goblins came riding out, strafing the wall, mounted on huge goblin hyena-like dogs. Our guys were ready though and arrows flew from all directions, picking those off near the front, and then tossed rocks and cobbles rained down, hurting more, until only a three count of dogs managed to escape and only one lone goblin rider – just about all of them were wounded.
The goblins riled themselves up and then the floating gas bag made it appearance, carried towards the wall with an unnatural sustained gust of wind. Our guys in the tower shot at the balloon as it grew closer, Tranis leading the fusillade. We threw a torch to the oil soaked lines and lit the bon fires, igniting the last barrier. As the goblins grew closer we began shooting.
Three sets of 4 or 5 goblins each with a scaling ladder approached the walls and our guys there were ready. Arrows flew and tore through the goblins, and when they got close enough to set ladders, tossed stones and cobbles followed. A single archer was pegged by the goblin return fire and he fell off the wall to his death.
The scaling party was broken, one of them tried to run away but was slaughtered and then only goblins managed to escape the terrible defenders fire. The rest of the group could not mass strike the wall, hampered by the fires and the dumped over carts, hemmed in and then fired upon even more.
But the gas bag was growing closer and all our shots were hitting it, but not stopping it. Tranis pulled out a precious drilling stone biter arrow, nocked it in place, and let fly – tearing through the gas bag – and then passing though to rip out the other side! The bag shuddered and began to list, but it was still approaching the wall too fast. Flimflam called out to Demeter and summoned a giant eagle! 20’+ wing span and it struck the gas bag, ripping the hole larger. Goblins were falling off and the platform was tilting. So Tranis shot his last stone biter arrow – and again tore two massive (entrance and exit!)holes in the dirigible.
Now it was falling. The platform with the fire put tilted over and spread fire up the side of the dirigible as it was angling down to the wall. We had our troops run for their lives, racing across the parapet to get out of the path and to safety. Meanwhile, the falling gas bag demoralized the goblins outside the walls and they broke, pulling back to run away.
The gas bag smashed into the wall, sending fire everywhere and setting the roof of the stables ablaze. The shaman survived the fall and was ignoring the fire (protection? Resistance?) and we were going to draw him into combat when there was an outrushing of air from the center of town and a blast of screaming energy tore straight up, 1,000 feet into the sky to piece the clouds – a column of yellow swirling white fiery light.
And every active spell in visible range ended, turning to smoke and swirling towards town square. The shaman, no longer immune was burned alive and other spells, (blesses, charms, buffs, detections, everything) ended. We ordered the militia and musterable men here to hold the wall and bucket brigade water to put out the fire – telling them to stay back as we dropped to the ground and drew up to run to town square. Avidius who was outside the wall climbed out of his mud hole and ran to the wall to climb up and rejoin the party – but he would be a few minutes behind.
As for the group, we arrived at town square and stopped – the column of fire was fading away and we saw it end with a guttering light – leaving Mary – the blond woman with grey eyes standing there. She had the entirety of town square knocked out around here – over 200 citizens. She gave a look around and started to walk to West Gate.
We closed to 40 feet and called to her to stop. She ignored us at first and then stopped to look back. She was disturbing and unbothered by us, ignoring our calls to stop – she approached us with hands out and reaching. As the distance closed to 20 feet, we attacked. Arrows and weapons shot, spells followed.
But the spells (including a turning from Steiner but she broke it and crushed his holy symbol in return) were absorbed by her, and then hurled back at us. And anything magical that hit her was rendered inert – including Flimflam’s two dogs (their contact to him broken).
And after a solid minute of taking shots and blows and hits, fire raced from her feet up through her head – and removed every sign of damage she had taken. Fuck.
So we plowed though her again, and this time she enervated some spell power from Steiner, refashioned it into a swirling axe spell, and hurled it at Kilvin – hitting him and knocking the barbarian unconscious.
And then she healed her damage again.
We redoubled our efforts, hitting shooting, striking. Avidius finally arrived and added his own bow shots from a distance, hitting her again. Poison was tried this time as well, and she was hurt and hurting.
But she healed her damage full again!
From here Steiner decided that fire and oil would work next. So after dousing her with a flask of oil, our priest of Apollo took a lit torch and at a distance of 8’ away, hurled the torch at Mary. Critically striking her in the face. He flattened her nose, dislocated her jaw, knocked out a few teeth, and fire raced across her face and hair, running down the oil soaked runnels across her body. Screaming and yelling, we struck hard and fast – and this time did enough damage that Mary fell to the ground where she broke into a million pieces of sand and glass.
And in the distance to the southwest, a blast of fire shot and raced from cloud to ground. And we assumed it was Mahr. We guessed that he knew of the passing of his minion but we were just happy to have the battle over.
So here it was, after 10 PM, the goblin attack broken and the raids on the Homesteads in retreat, 200+ people knocked out and Mary dispatched. But the walls of Shakun held and held well.