Abelard von Gesgnet turned to the figure on the horse next to him - the youngest son of the Elector of Wissenland.
"Cold, dank and wet" he murmured to the young man "just like your mum's..."
"My Lord!" interjected a nearby functionary "over there" the frantic man pointed.
The mist was beginning to lift and the Empire soldiers could just make out shapes forming over to the left of their positions. Lithe figures hefting large weapons and a chariot pulled by large cats.
"There's the dress wearers" von Gesegnet spat "now where are the snail munchers?"
Both human generals knew that the Elven host posed the greatest threat, but could they work together or would old enmities prevail...
And so, once more to the Ilko Gaming Hut for fine wine, convivial company and the small matter of a game of Warhammer.
Once General Ballroom had had a go at reading the T&T rules a few times in a variety of voices, Stephen took charge and we rolled for deployment. I (as is traditional in T&T games) found myself in the centre position - vulnerable to attack from both sides. As a result I deployed quite far back whilst the other two armies pushed forward more aggressively. We then each placed and scattered an objective, one of the mystical magic items to be found on this part of the island.
I went first and, terrified by the advancing elite elves stayed put, declared the Elves my enemy in every phase and did my best to magic and shoot them. However a well played card by General Ballroom commanding the Elves meant I actually had to shoot the Bretonnians, killing a couple of knights, but leaving the elves unscathed.
The Bretonnians meanwhile sneaked toward my right flank and seized another objective (their own Silver Mirror) before dropping a large rock on the heads of the White Lions, taking a rank or more away.
In my next phase I tweaked my deployment slightly to better meet the onrushing elves and prepared to unleash a storm of artillery. In the magic phase the bright wizard as in the previous game rolled a miscast, but with less dramatic results, simply ending the magic phase. I rolled for the cannon three times, re-rolling each as the dice ended up cocked, before finally getting a misfire at the fourth attempt. The mortar then misfired as well. The early morning mist had clearly dampened the powder (it happens to all of us). The handgunners managed to kill a pair of Ellyrian reavers, but they passed their panic test with ease.
Much to my relief the Bretonnians, happy with their magical prize abandoned their advance on my flank and headed toward the elves in the centre. Misfiring and inaccuracy meant the trebuchets took no toll on the elves and a magical miscast put paid to much threat from the Life sorceress.
The elves once more decide to pick on my poor harmless Empire force and declared charges along the line.
Fortunately only the reavers were able to make contact, with both White Lions and Chariot falling short (though nicely lined up for a Bretonnian charge I thought...)
Some foppish shooting took out a few of the militia, but they held firm.
In the combat phase the proud hangunners finally broke and fled and the cannon was wiped out with the Elven horsemen overrunning into the flank of the militia. Bugger.
The knights duly smashed the chariot to kindling but were unable to ride on into the Swordmasters.
In my turn I threw caution to the wind and charged into the White Lions, throwing down a card to give both knights and horses +1 strength. My wizard fled the spear unit to the safety of the woods but made no magical impression. With my cannon and handgunners dead and my mortar still our of action we turned to fighting. Astonishingly the militia held against the horsemen and were able to reform to face them. Things went even better in the centre where the knights wiped out the White Lions to an elf and reformed to face the rest of the elf line.
The elven spearmen, enraged by the deaths of the White Lions, launched themselves at the Knights whilst the reavers manoeuvred for a shot a the spearmen. General Ballroom tried to cast magic to get his Swordmasters out of the Bretonnian sandwich, but I dispelled it. Shooting was limited so we went again to combat, where Abelard was able to inflict two wounds on Torvindal, the Elf General and Ikea shelving unit, and the knights dispatched a bunch of spear elves. Unfortunately the militia were unable to repeat their feat of the previous round and were run down, with the reavers hitting the flank of the spear block.
With time drawing on we entered the final turn of the game.
One more I went first. The fire wizard, discovering he was in a Blood Forest and realising he was facing a wizard with access to awakening in the woods wisely headed over to stand near the cannon, from whence he incinerated a pair of Elyrian reavers. With most of my units engaged I fired the mortar at the surrounded Swordmasters, and wasn't exactly heartbroken when it scattered onto a unit of Bretonnian knights, killing one. Both combats ground on and I was able to "flatpack" Torvindal with my general's hammer, but still the spearelves held. The perfidious Betonnians used a card to take away the ranks of my spearmen, but fortunately they were able to hold, though not reform.
The final elf turn saw only fighting with almost all their units engaged. The reavers were unable to stand against the spearmen and fled the field, gifting me the magical Cloak of Ulric and my knights finally broke and ran down the spearmen.
And so to the final round of the game. The Betonnians duly sandwiched the remaining Swordmasters and then softened them up further with a little magic. However in the shooting phase their fire was turned on me. I was able to sabotage the first trebuchet, but the second landed a huge lump of rock on my spearmen unit, causing them to panic and flee, dropping the Cloak of Ulric as they ran. Curses!
The final round of combat saw the Swordmasters cut down, and with that the battle drew to a close.
That was a hugely enjoyable game. Triumph and Tragedy is great fun,even if it does take a long time to play.
I was lucky most turns with the order the cards fell in, so I ended up doing more charging than being charged.
Stephen and I ganged on General Ballroom a bit, but then he does have a pretty powerful force.
It turned out that I was the overall winner of the game, so I've gained a Sacred Grove. Stephen took a road from General Ballroom. The Betonnians captured both their own Silver Mirror and the High Elf Moranion's Wayshard so they'll be able to use them in future games, although the Cloak of Ulric remains lost and soiled on the field of battle.
The plan is for me to return to the Gaming Hut next week to take on the High Elves solo. Ulp!