In the tower in the centre of the field shapes could be seen, leaning from the windows, gesticulating frantically. The wind changed and faint cries reached the Empire lines
"Help, for Sigmar's sake help us. There's bloody loads of them and we've run out of beer!"
Von Gesegnet stirred in his saddle. The army looked to him for leadership. The great man blinked,surveyed the army with bleary eys, unleashed a might belch, then once more slumped in the saddle. The snoring recommenced.
"Oh for the love of Sigmar!" muttered the Preceptor of the knights,"Let's get on with it. Forward men!"
This week I returned to the spiritual home of the Sherwood Hucknall and Ilkeston Team, the Ilko Gaming Hut. Spurred on by the christening of Stephen's Palais des Jeux, General Ballroom is apparently trying for a sponsorship deal to rename it the Tesco Chablis Gaming Arena, however negotiations are proving protracted.
After an initial "can I borrow" phase, in which I raided General Ballroom's extensive collection for the models that remain unpainted since the last game, we set to work in sorting the actual game out. The good General B took up his usual gaming side of the table before we went through the formality of rolling for sides and then staying exactly where we were.
This time we would be playing the Watchtower scenario. Fortunately I was to start the game holding the tower. This I thought was probably my only shot at victory as I didn't fancy trying to shift Swordmasters or White Lions from inside its walls. To be frank, I didn't much fancy my chances of holding the tower against either of those units either but inside seemed a safer place to start. So in went the brave lads of the Bloody Wolf pub.
I filled the hill behind the tower with artillery and guns, dropped the knights on my left and put the spearmen ready to challenge the tower on my right. Pistoliers (their part played by GB's Outriders) and the Kislevites formed a light cavalry right flank. My hope was to push forward with the spearmen and get them into the tower in place of the Militia, figuring it would take the elves quite a while to chew through 40 spearmen.
General Ballroom deployed lots and lots of very hard looking elves. Mostly on a hill. His allies were some Dwarfs! Dwarfs, allied with Elves? Whoever heard the like? I made "chin stroking" gestures as GB claimed that it was "the End Times" and that "Lions were laying down with Llamas" or something.
However the rest of the elf line remained static, General Ballroom announcing his intention to "soften me up a bit" Which didn't really come to pass, although the Dwarfs gave me a bit of a scare by killing several knights and forcing a panic test, which I passed by the skin of my teeth.
In my turn the knights hid behind a building, the spearmen advanced and the Kislevites decided to see if they could do better than the pistoliers (how do you think that ends, readers?)
The elves, scared of a mighty fireball used all their dispel dice, so I was able to boost the mortar with Flaming Sword of Rhuin, to good effect when I landed a shell atop the Swordmasters, killing several and causing them to run away! The cannon drew a bead on the chariot, hit it and scored a mighty single wound.
The elf wizard summoned a might tempest and battered twelve spearmen. They promptly ran away. In the shooting phase the Kislevites went the same way as the pistoliers, to no-one's great surprise. The mercenary Dwarfs skewered a pair of handgunners and the bolt thrower killed two of the warmachine crew.
In return I moved the knights out of the charge arc of the sneaky chariot and rallied my spearmen. The mortar missed it's chosen target, the handgunners failed to kill any white lions and the cannon splintered the bolt thrower.
In my turn the knights threw caution to the wind and charged the Swordmasters. The spearmen failed to rally so there was no magic. The mortar managed to kill a single shadow warrior, handgunners versus White Lions again proved unsatisfactory but the cannon drew a bed on the chariot and smashed it to kindling. In the fighting my general slew three Swordmasters, before the rest of the unit butchered the remaining knights. The generals horse kicked another Swordmaster do death, but it was to no avail, the general turned tail, fled three inches and was run down.
Turn four, at the end of which the game might end! General Ballroom decided that softening up had gone on long enough and the White Lions charged the tower. The Reavers considered charging my spearmen before realising they were going to flee the board in any case and charging the cannon instead. The Swordmasters charged the handgunners, whose stand and fire proved as ineffective as their regular fire. The fights went as expected as my cannon and handgunners were all cut down.
Over in the tower the White Lions killed nine militia leaving only nine left alive. In return three White Lions perished. Fortunately steadfastness kept the militia alive.
In my turn the mortar died and the spearmen left the board.
The game didn't end.
Turn five saw the tower surrounded and the White Lions charge again. The ensuing slaughter saw seven more militia bite the dust, with two Lions killed in return. Nervously I took the test for the two remaining militia and they held defiant, waving their pub sign at the elves!
I did nothing (as I had nothing left) in my turn.
Then I picked up the dice and rolled and it came up a five - the game was over and I held the tower!
A mighty, unlikely, heroic and undeserved victory was mine!
As my prize I gained another Town, so I can pick another character for my army. I'm thinking a BSB may well be the order of the day...
A truly momentous slaughter was inflicted by the elves, but a bit of luck secured me the game. On reflection General Ballroom agreed he had been to cautious. Had I been him I'd have charged the tower on turn one and then parked one of those elite units in the tower.
It was, as always, a splendid game with a splendid host.