Tuesday, 29 October 2019

The Gob-Off: Chapter 1

In the wild, eastern fringes of the Border Princes, in the shadows of the World's Edge Mountains, something terrible stirred. Rumours spread of a nameless evil, ancient and malevolent. They spoke of the doom of the world...

But we're not here to talk about that. In far less ominous news, the Goblins were restless. The tribes were on the move, and their collision was certain to spark great rivalries of pettiness, spite and unwarranted ambition.

It began with an unfortunate farmer, who had been growing some rather interesting mushrooms in his fields...

The night goblin camp was haphazardly arranged, right across the trail. Well, "camp" was a strong term for it. Really they had all just collapsed in the shade under some nice big trees, desperate to hide from the daylight. They lay about in small clusters, moaning about their eyes and the burning hot sun, hidden though it was behind considerable layers of cloud.

The shaman of the tribe, Mush the Magnificent (the last two words were silent), sat on a rock at what had been the head of the column. He sighed, squinting up at where the sun might be, as though it could somehow tell him the time. This was the third time they had stopped, and he was starting to let his impatience show.

Nearby, his brother Room was still on his feet, although he had dumped most of his gear against another rock. He was huffing and snarling as he did his best to look intimidating. He flexed his scrawny goblin muscles yet again, encouraged by the small gasps and wails that came from others as they lay nearby. Room was intent on winning this show of power against this opponent that had the temerity to stand up to him. Unfortunately, this opponent was in fact his own reflection, showing dimly in the beaten metal shield he himself had recently discarded. Room apparently hadn't noticed he was competing with himself. Mush sighed again. Room was an imbecile.

Room's posturing was in fact partly Mush's fault. It was his idea to give his brother the Shrieking Blade he had found, and Room had immediately noticed the frightening aura he seemed to have around other members of the tribe. Even now, sheathed at his hip, its menacing presence could be felt by those who had collapsed nearby. He was far too dim to realise it was actually the blade that made the others scared of him, and it had done wonders for his self confidence. 

Of course, now Room was convinced that he ruled the tribe, and Mush had to work overtime to ensure that he didn't so something truly stupid like issuing orders. That was why he had also given him the honour of carrying the tribe's battle standard. The flapping banner was just enough distraction that Room would be in little danger of having any ideas of his own. 

With Room under control, Mush basically had the leadership of the tribe to himself. Which was great, if only he could get the sluggards moving again. This was meant to be a raiding party: they were on their way to steal the curious mushrooms that had been spotted growing in a farm nearby. But this raid was taking forever, and Room knew if they had heard about the mushrooms, others might have as well. They couldn't afford to be this slow.

He sighed yet again. He admitted to himself that for all that he was the brains of the operation, he had trouble whipping the troops into line. Room's aura of intimidation did have its uses.

"Room, we needz ta moov," he suggested to his brother. "Better show 'em who's boss eh?"

Room gave an unleaderlike squeal of excitement at this invitation to show his authority, and forgot for the moment about besting himself in a flex-off. Snatching up his banner, he began shouting at those nearby, who howled and scrambled to their feet, desperate to stay away from his inexplicably scary person.

Mush smirked as he watched his plans in action. With his level of cunning, nothing could stop them.


The goblin column marched quickly through the trees, the clatter of ramshackle armour and weaponry occasionally accompanied by a snarl from one of the wolves loping alongside. Anyone familiar with the chaos of a goblin advance would have been astonished by the discipline being displayed; these goblins almost behaved like proper, obedient soldiers. It was most unnatural.

At the head of the main column was their proud leader, Skuzzbutt. He sat atop his huge, hairy spider Fuzzbutt as it scuttled along the path. He did not steer; he did not need to. And he didn't know how. But that didn't matter, because he and Fuzzbutt were one, and they moved with one mind (most of the time). 

Skuzzbutt's troops were a model of goblin military prowess. He had spent many moons watching the humans and stunties at work, and he knew what could be a achieved with practice, equipment and the careful feeding of dissenters to a very large and always-hungry spider. He knew his army was unmatched among goblin-kind. 

And now they were on a mission to teach some manners to the uppity human farmer that lived in the foothills. The fool had recruited help from the nearby village and attacked Skuzzbutt's wolf riders as they were helping themselves to his sheep. Well, he would learn the error of his ways. And then the villagers would pay too. They had no idea who they were messing with, and their pitiful defences would offer little protection against Skuzzbutt's noble goblin legions. They would all pay, and Skuzzbutt's fame would grow, inviting more to join his cause. It was inevitable. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

The Gob-Off

An all-goblin campaign in Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition (with selected tweaks).

Chapter 1: The Fungus Farmer

Right, so Tim and I have been talking about doing an all-goblin campaign for a while, and we had the opportunity to set it all in motion on the weekend. I won't pretend it was really carefully planned, but the intent is to chain together a series of games with a narrative theme, so we can show the world who is the supreme goblin, and all that guff. We deliberately started with a very small game and not a lot of special toys, so show that these are petty, up-and-coming rivals rather than proper, established warbosses. We also capped magic items at 25 points.

Skuzzbutt's Goblin Legion

  • Skuzzbutt - Goblin Warboss on Gigantic Spider with Sword of Might, Gambler's Armour, Shield
  • Ballitch - Goblin Shaman (Level 1) with Itchy Nuisance
  • Razzie - Goblin Big Boss with Additional Hand Weapon
  • 20 Goblins with Light Armour, Shields, Full Command, 1 Nasty Skulker
  • 20 Goblins with Light Armour, Shields, Full Command, 1 Nasty Skulker
  • 10 Goblin Wolf Riders with Light Armour, Shields, Spears, Full Command
  • 5 Goblin Wolf Riders with Light Armour, Short Bows, Musician
  • 5 Goblin Wolf Riders with Light Armour, Short Bows, Musician
Behold, my mighty goblin legion. Honestly this was a "what does a goblin army look like with no big toys, artillery, or night goblins" type of effort. And yes, there is a naked hero in there. He filled up the points nicely... Also you can see how lowly my shaman is by the fact that he's represented by a basically naked war machine crewman. I really need a better painted common goblin shaman...

Mush and Room's Musty Horde
  • Mush - Night Goblin Shaman (Level 2) with Talisman of Protection, Itchy Nuisance, Sneaky Stabbing
  • Room - Night Goblin Big Boss with Battle Standard, Shrieking Blade, Light Armour, Shield
  • Max Club's Jabbas - 20 Night Goblins with Spears, Shields, Full Command, 1 Fanatic
  • Clasha's Stickas - 20 Night Goblins with Spears, Shields, Full Command, 1 Fanatic
  • Jabba's Stabbas - 22 Night Goblins with Shields, Full Command, Netters
  • Shifty's Arrers - 20 Night Goblins with Short Bows, Full Command
  • Mad Bounders - 10 Squig Hoppers

Tim is a brave man. He decided he would go all night goblins, and then decided to have twin heroes leading the army, before giving the BSB to the fighter so the shaman could be in charge. That gives his general a leadership of 5. That is heroic. Granted, he gets a re-roll. But my leadership of 8 (without a re-roll) was looking pretty good...

So there you have it. Can a few units of wolf riders negate the threat of a couple of fanatics? Let's find out.

We played on a 4x4' field given the tiny size of the armies. This battle was for control of the farm. Whoever held it at the end of the 6th turn would be the victor!