Thursday, 25 March 2021

The Cleansing of the Rear Passage (Part 2)

This is the second part of the battle report Cleansing of the Rear Passage. You can find the first part here.

Orc and Goblin Turn 3

The Orc advance continues, except over on the far left where the arguments are just getting worse...

The River Trolls had held their ground against the odds, and now they were supported by their much larger friend. The Giant stepped around the corner into the main cavern, and into the ranks of Irondrakes who had been laying into the flank of the River Trolls. Perhaps he was confused by what he was seeing, as he stopped and bent down to carefully pick up a single Dwarf, who struggled violently until he was popped like a pimple by those massive fingers. Looking at the goo now all over his hand, the Giant then staggered around carelessly, crushing several more Irondrakes without ever realising what he was doing. The Trolls also continued to swat at the Dwarfs in front and beside them, and although they found the Queen too tough to handle, they also brought down a few Irondrakes for the loss of only one of their own number.

The Giant looked like he had completely wasted his arrival when he very carefully selected and squashed the choicest of the Irondrakes, but his Thunderstomp was rather more effective. The Trolls didn't achieve as much, but between them they won combat by 3. Unfortunately this was not enough to scare off any of the Dwarfs, who held their ground.

Over on the flank, the argument amongst the Big'Uns about the tapping noise erupted into gloating, threats and sounds of dismay. "I told you, dey iz in da walls!" a voice shouted. However vindicated that particular Orc might have felt, the fact remained that the regiment remained rooted to the spot as the Miners approached their flank.

Wuzzup hurries toward the flank to try to offer some form of magical assistance to the constantly squabbling Big'Uns. He managed to cast 'Ere We Go to ensure they would re-roll failed hits. Unfortunately the Miners would be doing that in the first turn too...
The remaining pack of Squig Hoppers threw themselves into the waiting ranks of Ironbreakers. The sound of massive teeth raking across and chewing gromril filled the cavern for a moment, before the elite Dwarfs began to press back with ruthless efficiency.
After the round of combat, one Ironbreaker had perished, but not a single Squig Hopper remained.
On the other flank, the Savage Orcs were steadily closing in...

Dwarf Turn 3

The shy, retiring Dwarfs charge everywhere they possibly can

The arrival of the foul trollish Giant had pushed Queen Bellicosa and the Irondrakes back, and they needed help if the centre was to hold. Of course, everything they were fighting seemed to be some flavour of Troll, so who could be better for the job than some Troll Slayers? The Irondrakes reformed after their round of combat to make some room, and help was on its way.
Cometh the hour, cometh the Slayer. To the rescue, and a glorious doom!
On the left, the Ironbreakers managed to clank along at a decent pace in order to charge the Trolls. This would give them a handy strength bonus that they would be lacking if they had to receive the charge instead.
The Longbeards had similar thoughts on the right, ignoring the protests of the Thunderers behind them that they were blocking a perfectly good shot.
Even the Slayers on the right wanted a piece of the action, but this was optimistic on their part. The Savage Orcs were further away than they wanted to believe, and they realised they would have to wait.
Behind the main Orc lines, the Miners had no such issues regarding range. Dwarfs are very dangerous over short distances. 2" definitely counts. Would the re-rolls from 'Ere We Go be enough to save the Big'Uns?
Hmm nope, not enough. Even magically motivated, the Big'Uns could only managed to bring down a couple of Miners, fighting sideways as they were. The Miners did much better, walloping seven Orcs with their pick axes. The Big'Uns still had the advantage in numbers, but it was not enough - they lost their nerve and ran - but not fast enough to escape the pursuing Dwarfs.
Further down the passage, the Ironbreakers traded blows with the Trolls. The charging Dwarfs did enough damage to kill a Troll despite their regenerative abilities, but the Trolls were only able to land a single telling blow past the broad shields of their assailants. The Trolls were being overwhelmed, and their line broke.
Unlike the Big'Uns, the Ironbreakers managed to outpace their pursuers. By this point Wuzzup was probably feeling quite alone...
On the other flank, the Savage Orcs unleashed a flurry off attacks on the charging Longbeards, bringing down a few of them. But the battering they took in return was something else entirely. For each Dwarf that fell, 3 Savage Orcs were cut down. Unsurprisingly, this was more than the Orcs could take, and they fled. But again, they managed to elude their pursuers.

In the centre of the battle, the Troll Slayers threw themselves enthusiastically at the River Trolls, whilst the Queen fought on stoically beside them. Many of their efforts were undone by the Trolls' regeneration, but one was still felled. The Trolls killed a few Slayers in return, but the Giant continued to bumble around ineptly, crushing only a couple of Irondrakes with club and claw. It was not enough to press the Dwarfs back, but the Trolls and Giant managed to hold their ground... Sort of. 

They didn't lose by much and passed their break test, but the Giant stumbled and fell - straight into the Trolls. One was crushed outright, and another had to regenerate the damage. So the Giant's tally for the turn - 2 Irondrakes, 3 wounds on the Trolls, and 1 on himself. Brilliant!

Orc and Goblin Turn 4

Time for the greenskins to regroup a bit.

Dork's army was in danger of falling apart at the seams. Regiments were fleeing on both sides of the field, and the centre was being choked up by an idiot Giant who clearly had no idea what was going on. The Orc Warboss resisted the urge to just facepalm and give up, instead bellowing encouragement and orders to his apparently inept forces.

Wuzzup glared at the fleeing Trolls until they recovered themselves and turned to face the pursuing Ironbreakers. Then he set his gaze upon the Miners, who were rapidly approaching. If he did not intervene, they would be sure to attack the Trolls in the rear, and the flank would be lost. Clearly, it was up to him. He sighed, and called upon the power of Gork's warty green foot once more.
The Foot of Gork appeared exactly as requested and with unerring accuracy, stamped the entire regiment of Miners into a mushy oblivion.
On the other flank, the Savage Orcs charged down the tunnel and into the waiting band of Slayers. The Dwarfs hacked down a few Orcs as they fell, but the struggle was brief and one-sided.
With the Slayers dealt with, the Savage Orcs swept on down the passage and toward the side of the main cavern.
With Dork shouting encouraging threats from nearby, the Giant staggered back to his feet and continued to flail uselessly at the Irondrakes.
Well not entirely uselessly, but there was still a single Irondrake left. At the same time, another Troll succumbed to the efforts of the Slayers and Queen Bellicosa. The Trolls were being pressed back...
... and of course the Giant promptly fell over again, this time directly on top of Dork and his entourage. The Warboss and the Battle Standard Bearer were saved by their loyal henchmen, but several Black Orcs were crushed beneath the Giant's falling bulk.
What is worse, the remaining River Troll now failed its break test - by 1. The 1 extra wound that was taken by the Giant due to him falling over again... What a champion.
Blissfully unaware of the ineptitude that was occurring elsewhere, the remnant of the Savage Orc unit rallied and tried not to think about what was about to happen to them.
The River Troll escaped, but the pursuing Dwarfs were now all piling into the flank of the Giant. Things were not looking good there...

Dwarf Turn 4

The flanks are collapsing, but can the centre hold out?
With the River Trolls finally out of the way, the Organ Gun was able to set its sights on the Black Orcs. Unfortunately it was very temperamental. If not for the Rune of Forging, it would probably have blown itself up. As it was, it might have killed 1 of Black Orcs. It received no assistance from the Quarrellers, who were reforming to face a new threat. 
The Thunderers also were turning as shouts warned of Savage Orcs appearing hard on the flank.
On the other flank, the Ironbreakers were not yet done with the Trolls. Clearly one thrashing was not enough. They would have to deal out more. However, the Trolls proved a much sterner test the second time around. Regeneration kept them all on their feet, and this time a few Ironbreakers perished to their return attacks. The Trolls held their position, and the Dwarfs had now lost their first round advantages...
If the Trolls fared better the second time around, the Savage Orcs never really had a chance. No more Frenzy, too few warriors... They were doomed. The Longbeards didn't have to break them - they wiped them out instead.
In the centre, the Giant fumbled his club yet again as the Slayers threw themselves at him with wild roars and axes galore. They hacked him down unceremoniously, only to have the dying brute trip and fall upon them as he had so many other units before them. The surviving Slayers were unconcerned by their losses and now leapt into the waiting Black Orcs. Queen Bellicosa and the surviving Irondrake stopped for a breather nearby.
The Savage Orcs are coming, but the Longbeards are now free to turn back and look to intercept them.

Orc and Goblin Turn 5

Things are thinning out a bit now.
On the right flank, the Savage Orcs spotted the waiting Thunderers and decided that a charge was the only logical course of action (they always think that). Their enthusiasm was not matched by their leg speed however, and they received a volley of fire as a reward for their lack of judgement.
The struggle between the Trolls and the Ironbreakers continued, however it was something of a stalemate as the damage mounted on both sides.
Gork's Foot made yet another appearance, this time daintily smearing the remaining Irondrake into the cavern floor. Bellicosa was made of sterner stuff however, and refused to be flattened like a pancake. Gork them slipped and nearly landed on Wuzzup with his follow-up efforts, before shuffling off embarrassed. More significantly, the spell had been cast irresistibly and the resulting miscast wiped the spell from Wuzzup's mind. Foot of Gork would be making no more appearances during this battle.
Bellicosa witnesses the fate of the Slayers alone, trying not to think about what happened to her friend.
Now, this is not surprising. What might be surprising is that Dork and his standard bearer Ruglub were both wounded in the exchange. The Giant Slayer roared a challenge as he charged, and Dork stepped forward to accept. He attacked in a flurry of blows far too quick for the eye to follow (or for him to fully control really), and the Giant Slayer was dealt a fatal wound. As he fell however, the deathblow from his great weapon cleaved into Dork's shoulder. Ruglub's fate was similar, taking a nasty wound as he smashed one of the other Slayers into the ground. The rest of the unit dealt with the remaining Dwarf, and with that the final Slayer on the field was gone.

Dwarf Turn 5

Not a lot left now...
With the Slayers gone, Queen Bellicosa was the only thing standing between the Orc Warlord's retinue and the Organ Gun and Quarrellers. She declined to charge, instead moving up to block their advance...
...which left the Organ Gun free to fire, and do basically nothing again. Seriously, it was a dismal machine. Not that the Black Orcs would have cared anyway. They care not for such trivial matters as bullets and dying.
The Thunderers and Quarrellers poured fire into the approaching Savage Orcs, reducing the regiment to just a couple of ranks as the Longbeards moved to intercept them.
Meanwhile the deadlock between the Ironbreakers and Trolls was broken when the Trolls' regeneration started to fail them. Half of them fell and the rest turned and ran, with what was left of the Ironbreakers in pursuit.

Orc and Goblin Turn 6

The closing stages - last chance for the greenskins
The Savage Orcs knew the Longbeards were coming, but there was nothing they could do about it. It was time to risk everything and charge the Thunderers. The Dwarfs stood their ground and fired as they charged, and by the time the Savage Orcs made combat, there was only a handful of them left.
The Black Orcs charged the annoying Dwarf Queen in front of them, and Dork shouldered his way across to face her as she bellowed a challenge.
The fleeing Trolls failed to rally (both units did), and Wuzzup sighed seeing that it would once again fall upon him to try to limit the damage. He could no longer remember how to call upon the Foot of Gork, so he worked with what he had left. Stepping right in front of the Ironbreakers, he filled himself with power and unleashed an irresistible 'Ere We Go. He glared wild-eyed at the Dwarfs as he deliberately lost control of the spell, and the resulting blast half-killed him and blew 2 of the Ironbreakers off their feet. It was a good effort, but it was not enough for them to panic.
The Savage Orcs fought pretty well, all things considered. The few of them at there left threw themselves on the Thunderers, who received the charge in disciplined ranks with their shields locked together. 4 of the Dwarfs fell to the flurry of attacks from the Orcs, even as they struck back and felled 4 of the enemy. The lone surviving Orc would have fought on, but the Dwarfs closed ranks as their musician blasted his horn, a sudden bout of clarity penetrated his frenzied mind. He realised he had left the oven on, and ran off to do something about it. The Thunderers ran him down. I guess the oven was left untended.
The epic duel between the 2 army generals was interesting. Bellicosa wielded a simple great weapon, but was well protected. Dork had a mighty weapon, but little protection (and no self control). Tim rolled a 5 for the Battleaxe of the Last Waaagh, meaning Dork was fighting with 9 Attacks at Strength 10. No big deal, he still had to hit on 4+... I think he landed 4 or 5 hits, which translated to 3 wounds after he rolled maybe a couple of 1s. Bellicosa's armour was no proof against such mighty blows, but she had a 5+ ward save, and managed to passed 2 of the 3 saves. She was wounded, but alive. Then she unleashed upon the hapless Black Orc, landing all 4 hits and wounds thanks to her great weapon, Hatred, and Dork's reduced Weapon Skill. Again, what armour he possessed was no help, and the already-wounded Warboss perished. Despite Bellicosa's convincing display in the challenge, the weight of the enemy regiment was too much for her to resist and she was forced to flee. Happily her little legs were more than a match for the hulking  Black Orcs pursuing her.

Dwarf Turn 6

The finale
The conflict was nearing its conclusion. Queen Bellicosa rallied, turning to face the Black Orcs that were breathing down her neck. Then she tried not to flinch as the cavern was filled with a roar from the Organ Gun and Thunderers, all aiming at the enemy right in front of her.
When the smoke cleared, there were only a handful of Black Orcs left, including their wounded army banner bearer. But again, Black Orcs are hard and don't care about things like that. If they noticed all their friends being obliterated, they gave no sign of it.

On the left, the final resistance was being offered by the exploding Shaman. Wuzzup put on a brave face as the Ironbreakers charged him, but the fight was over very quickly. Still, he had done his job - the Trolls were still on the field, even if they were on their way off it.

The battle was over.


Dwarfs: 1620 VPs

Orcs and Goblins: 769 VPs

A resounding victory for the Dwarfs of Karak Nong!


Well from my perspective, that went about as well as I could hope for. None of the Dwarf units really stuffed their lines, although the shooting had negligible impact. The Queen survived a stern test near the end, and even the Slayers felt like they did their part.

The caves have an interesting impact upon games of Warhammer. There are always puzzles around how to separate your troops, how long you can afford for them to be out of the action to reach a different opening, etc. They also often prevent multiple charges on the same target, and create obvious choke points.

The narrow engagement points make life harder for the Orcs. Without really thinking about it, but taking the more elite Dwarfs (many of whom are meant for tunnel fighting in the background), I had essentially condensed my army's fighting prowess into more compact elements that could easily be brought to bear. For the Orcs, no unit of infantry, even Big'Uns, is really a match for something like Ironbreakers in an even fight with narrow frontage. Army-wide hatred vs nothing in return is not really a level playing field.

Tim elected to field the Giant (because he saw the model and was excited to be using as much "Troll" as he could) at the expense of other options like Mangler Squigs (which would have been utterly terrifying in the caves, where it's hard to shoot them). By also avoiding other Goblin options like Squig Herds and Fanatics, he reduced a lot of the options that might have helped him go toe-to-toe in the tunnels. When you're left looking at Orcs, other than adding ranks to give them Steadfast (an issue when turning in tunnels), about all you can do it harden a single Orc unit is to start adding Big Bosses. And maybe the big prodder things for the Savage Orcs. I should paint some of those...

As it was, the demise of the Big'Uns so cheaply was unfortunate. They were the only 2 Animosity tests Tim failed all game, and they were on the same expensive unit, right next to a table edge. If they'd just been able to turn to face the Miners, they probably could have saved themselves. If they'd had 2 hand weapons they might have killed me even in the flank. I think Tim might have pulled his punches a little too much with some of the army selection choices.

The Giant was abysmal, and although this is a common problem in my own experience, the fact that it did more damage to his troops than mine was a commendable effort. That's the thing with Giants. It's like, "if he'd Yelled and Bawled or Jumped up and Down, you'd be in trouble". But he never does what you need, does he? Can't even stand up right. Jerk...

In the end it was not really an even match. The Dwarfs were fielded largely unrestricted, whilst the Orcs and Goblins declined to consider many of their more suitable options, for various reasons. It left the Orcs with an uphill battle that proved too much for them without some assistance from the dice. But it was fun, and it was good to be able to play games at the club again after so long away.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Great part 2.loved to Read It. Made It like I felt I was there. Thumbs up!

  2. Amazing game and commentary - a breath of fresh air to see fully painted s, great scenery and humour in the detailed write up - thankyou

  3. Fantastic report, I love to read these again ^_^ I hope we get to see more of Queen Bellicosa too, she's fantastic!

    1. I feel like she must turn up again, surely. She was very useful.

  4. Excellent game! And really good to read a thoroughly Warhammer result. Poor old Orks and Goblins, all those rolls to keep them useless were always flavourful and entertaining, but very much a mixed blessing!

  5. Excellent BatRep as always!

    What parts went into the giant Troll?

    1. Cheers!

      The giant troll is actually a 3D printed Troll Titan from Duncan Shadow. Believe it or not, I printed it at 60% size. Imagine what it would look like at 100%...

  6. Fantastic report it was a great read.

  7. Really entertaining fantasy batrep - classic stuff!

  8. As a pro Orc anti Dwarf guy i feel obligated to dislike this:)

  9. What an absolutely fantastic way to get back into battle reports.

    Great story, great miniatures, great terrain.

    Also, I'm definitely stealing the queen's name for my Tilean dwarf hold. Bellicosa/Bellicoso is too good a name to pass up.