The second and final fight for a strategic objective of the first round in our Bloodstone Marches Theater of War campaign was Saultydog's Circle trying to contain the outbreak of Dragonblight at the castle of the keys. Unfortunately for the druids they ran afoul of a group of Prorpger's trolls who, still bitter over the Circle's betrayal of Madrak Ironhide and unaware of the Circle's goal decided to take the opportunity to strike at the Blackclads.
This game was fought on a table bisected from left to right by a 4" stream of Blighted Shallow water. The blighted energies in this region had two effects: first living non-Legion models in the blighted water suffer -2 MAT, RAT, and STR. However we made a mistake and only played this as a -1 penalty. Second, all Tough rolls in this scenario only succeed on a roll of 6. The Circle's goal was to damn this river by collapsing six of the eight columns surrounding the river and using the rubble to stop it. The columns were positioned with four on each side of the river, each 1" from the river and 8" from the columns to its right and left or 10" from a table edge if there was no column to that side of it. The columns were ARM 18 structures that could take 20 damage points before being destroyed. This scenario used the Siege Attrition rules for the campaign, meaning if any columns were destroyed but Circle lost, the next time they attempted the scenario whatever columns had been destroyed in previous attempts would remain begin the game already destroyed.
Other than the river and columns, each player placed four terrain pieces but could only select obstructions, obstacles, and structures. We also allowed open pits to be used, feeling it felt in theme with the ruined castle. These terrain features had to be at least 6" away from the channel and 3" from each other. Both players primarily selected linear obstacles for their terrain pieces, resulting in a relatively open table with regards to LOS. Saultydog did place a couple pits on the Trollblood side to try to slow them down while Prorpger put a couple of structures over on the Circle side for the same reason. In addition we wound up using P3 paints for columns again. We really need to add some more variety of terrain pieces but time to make terrain always seems hard to find.
As I mentioned in the previous post about our campaign we were allowing proxies so both players took the opportunity to break out some new models and try them out. They fielded the following:
Circle Orboros (Saultydog)
- Balder the Stonecleaver
- Woldwatcher x2
- Blackclad Wayfarer (Proxied by Gorman)
- Druids of Orboros
- Reeves of Orboros x10 (Proxied by Bile Thralls)
- Shifting Stones x2
- Tharn Ravagers x6
- Farrow Bone Grinders x4 (Proxied by Satyxis)
- Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew
- Grissel Bloodsong
- Earthborn Dire Troll
- Troll Impaler
- Winter Troll
- Stone Scribe Chronicler (Proxied by a Fell Caller)
- Feralgeist (Proxied by an old Mage Knight figure on a 40mm base)
- Gudrun the Wanderer (Proxied by a Bokur)
- Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes x6
- Thumper Crew (Proxied by the Avatar of Menoth and 2 Kriel Warriors)
- Trollkin Champions
- Trollkin Long Riders x5 (2 Proxied by Exemplar Vengers)
Saultydog deployed most of his forces on the near flank of his deployment zone. The Ravagers were set up betweenthe nearest two columns so they could get to both on turn 1. The Reeves were deployed beside them near the center of the table, then Baulder and his Woldwarden. Finally the Druids were placed on his far flank.
Prorpger countered the Ravagers by putting his Champions, Krielstone Bearer, and Chronicler across the table for them. the Thumper was put at the center of the table and Grissel, the beasts, and the feralgeist congregated just past it. Finally the Long Riders were put on the far flank.
For Advance Deployment Saultydog placed his Woldwatchers front and center with access to a couple columns first turn. One unit of Shifting Stones was put on the far flank near the furthest column and the other was put centrally behind one of the structures. Prorpger deployed Gudrun up near the two central columns on his side of the table, intending to throw him away to slow the Circle down.
Saultydog's first order of business was to charge the Ravagers at the nearest two colums. He was able to get five of them up there, the other one having to run to bridge the gap between the units. The Ravagers were P+S 13 to the ARM 18 of the stones but managed to cause 10 and 11 damage to the two stones with their charges.
Circle then went to work on the third stone up on their side of the table, starting with an Earth Spike from the Woldwarden that had advanced into position and followed by some melee attacks from the nearest Woldwatcher to finish it off. The second Woldwatcher was riled for 2 to raise the total fury on the table to 6; Balder's max.
The Blackclad used the nearby Shifting Stone to teleport all the way out to the Cavalry's flank, then the stones shifted up around the building they had been concealed behind. Druids and Reeves both ran forward before Balder activated, moved forward, Earthspiked the third column up on the Troll side of the table for a few damage, then placed a forest in front of Gudrun to prevent the ogrun from charging. He could still walk across with Pathfinder but at least no LOS meant no charges on Baldur's Woldwatchers. Finally the Bone Grinders and Swamp Gobbers moved up as far as they could behind the druid.
The turn I forgot to take pictures came early this game.
All in all the first Trollblood turn was uneventful. The Champions, Krielstone, and Chronicler ran up the near flank while the Cavalry ran up the far flank. Grissel dumped all of her fury in the Krielstone and she and her beasts advanced and were riled. The Feralgeist ran forward to where Gudrun was before Gudrun walked across the river and attacked one of the Woldwatchers, doing a few points of damage. Finally the Thumper advanced and Prorpger ended his turn.
After Balder leeching Fury the Ravagers charge the stones again, shifting over at angles to try to get the charge die on their damage rolls. A couple do, but all told they're only able to do around 4 points to each column - not enough to destroy them. The Woldwarden stepped up and Earth Spiked the third column up on the Troll side of the table, boosting damage both on it and on the Feralgeist that was hiding behind it. The Feralgeist died and the column took five points of damage.
Meanwhile one of the Woldwatchers attacked Gudrun, "killing" him for the first time. Baldur stepped up and placed a forest in front of the Thumper, blocking it's LOS to he and his Woldwarden. Then he Feated and forgot to spend more of his Fury before ending his activation. The Reeves and Bone Grinders ran forward and the Swamp Gobbers advanced behind Balder. The Druids sent a Devouring at the far column on the troll side to try catch some of the Cavalry but only succeeded in scratching the column and not damaging the buffalo. The Wayfarer then used the Wilding on the trailing Long Rider (who would have frenzied on the unit leader) but the trollkin made his command check.
Baldur's feat really messed with the Trollblood advance, stopping them from getting to the heart of the Circle lines. Out on the far flank the Long Riders got the run order to try to slog through the blighted river. The front three made it across but the trailing two would start their next activation in the morass.
On the near flank the Champions, Krielstone, and Chronicler all edged around Balder's control area under the protection of the Krielstone's aura. The Chronicler recited his first passage and the Wintertroll shuffled nearby and put Freezer on the lead Champion to deter an attack.
In the center of the field, the Thumper shot at the lead Druid (who was out of range) and the scatter sent the shot off in the middle of nowhere. The Earthborn and Grissel advanced and the Impaler used his animus and threw a spear at the Woldwarden, doing a couple damage and slaming it back and inch and over the Swamp Gobber crewman, killing him.
After forgetting to dump more fury, Balder was thankful that Elemental Constructs don't frenzy - he pulled a couple fury off of the Woldwarden but left both Woldwatchers full. Once again the Ravagers started the turn, this time deciding to abandon the stone nearest Balder. Two Ravagers charged the second stone up on the Trollblood side of the table, three stayed back by the nearest column on the Circle side, and one ran into the middle of the river to keep both groups in formation. The three Ravagers on the near column got it down to 1 damage left but couldn't finish it, while the two that charged across the river put six points onto their column. Frustrated, Saultydog had his Reeves, his ranged troops, charge the near column and they finally finished it off for the Ravagers.
Balder activates and charges the nearest column, taking two attacks to kill it before putting up another forest in the middle of the river to slow the Champions down. The Bone Grinders move up in front of him and the remaining Swamp Gobber advances and puts a cloud down between the Thumper and Baldur.
Across the table the Wayfarer tried the Wilding again on the trailing Long Rider but failed. The Druids used the Devouring again on the far column that the Cavalry had moved next to but failed to hurt them. Finally the Shifting Stones that had been out on the far flank moved around the Cavalry to disrupt their movement on the following turn.
On the far side of the table, the Long Riders broke out of the Shifting Stones. One Long Rider was able to get a charge off on the Druid leader (killing him with his impact attack) and the others ran to spread out and engage the Druids and the Wayfarer.
On the near flank the Winter Troll advanced on the near Ravager and took a couple swings, but couldn't manage to hit the Tharn. The Champions advanced, trudging through the forest and the river, to occupy the space between the two nearest columns on their side of the table and threaten any model that got close enough to damage the columns. The Champion leader took a couple swings at the Ravager that had charged the nearby column, but couldn't manage to hit it, either. That's one dodgy Ravager. The Krielstone advanced and put up its protective aura again to help protect the Champions.
The Thumper advanced to its right and Grissel and the Earthborn advanced back to the Champion Flank. Grissel took a shot at the Woldwatcher for a couple damage and shed fury. The Impaler threw a spear at the near Woldwatcher, critting and slamming it back a couple inches but only doing four damage.
On the far flank of the table, the Druids use Elemental Blasts against the Long Riders in hopes of knocking them down. The Wayfarer teleported to the center of the Circle lines next to a Shifting Stone near Balder. The two Woldwatchers use their ranged weapons on another Long Rider, which makes its Tough roll to the first one but fails to the second and becomes a forest.
From the center of the table, the Bone Grinders increase the range of Baldur's spells so that the Woldwarden can throw an Earth Spikes spell at the third column up on the troll side of the table, doing a couple points of damage. Baldur follows suit to similar effect, then put a forest on the table between the Impaler and he and the Woldwarden. The Shifting Stones move up to surround Baldur and the Bone Grinders for teleporting purpose. The surviving Swamp Gobber puts down a small cloud touching the forest to block the Thumper's LOS as well.
The Ravagers get a charge order, with two going towards each of the nearest columns on the troll side of the table. The fifth charges a Champion to bridge the gap between the two groups, and a sixth gets to Grissel. The Ravagers on the stone only succeeds in doing minor damage to the two stones and they missed Grissel. Finally the Reeves get a run order and fill in the area between the Ravagers and Baldur, getting into position for next round.
The Winter Troll activated first and tried to kill the Tharn engaging it but couldn't finish it off. The Earthborn started off the turn by eating the Tharn that had attacked Grissel (boosting attack and damage). Grissel then casts Uproar on the lead Shifting Stone catching it, three Bone Grinders, and three Reeves in the AOE. A couple of boosts later and one of the Bone Grinders was the only survivor. Grissel then hustled over towards the Champions and Feated, catching their entire flank. The Chronicler reads the second passage for the Champions, who then start in on the Ravagers and wipe them off the table. The Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes move forward behind the Champions and activate the Protective Aura.
Across the table the Long Riders kill a couple more Druids and the Thumper advances forward. The Impaler throws a spear at a Woldwatcher, hitting for another four damage (but still not taking a system out) but not slamming it.
After everything had activated, the Trolls on the near flank Hoofed It forward through the river, engaging a couple Reeves. The Krielstone Bearer followed behind and the Troll turn was ended.
The Druids continue to engage the Long Riders, doing minimal damage. The Woldwatchers both turn to the nearest Long Rider and kill it a couple times but Prorpger kept making his Tough rolls. The Shifting Stones warp to keep the Cavalry pinned on the far flank away from the rest of the army.
In the center of the table, Saultydog decides the column thing isn't working and that he needs to try to kill Grissel. Seeing the Earthborn just in front of the pit, the Wold Warden went for a Slam. He easily hit, and rolled a 6 for distance. Unfortunately a little measuring revealed 1" would have put the Earthborn short of the pit and 6" put him just past, so the Dire Troll would survive. However it was 6" back and knocked down, effectively out of the game for a turn or two.
In order to help him get in to position to go for an assassination on the following turn, Baldur ran out into the middle of the river, keeping his focus to transfer. The Swamp Gobber advanced and put a cloud between the Impaler and the Woldwatcher to keep the Impaler from being able to free up the Troll Cavalry. The Wayfarer advanced and tried the Wilding on a Champion but the troll made his Command Check. Finally the Reeves advanced into the middle of the river and CRAed at the Champion Kithkar in an attempt to kill him, but he only did five points to the troll.
The Earthborn started the turn outside of Grissel's control area and she was unable to leech the two fury off of it but the beast passed its frenzy check. It then starts the turn by advancing back to the fight, unable to be forced to run because it was still outside Grissel's control area. With the Reeves lined up in front of them, the Champions advanced forward and chopped them down. Across the field the Long Riders fared worse with the Druids, struggling to get through their DEF. The Winter Troll advanced towards Baldur and tried to spray him but even boosting can't manage to hit.
The Impaler stayed put and boosted a spear toss at Baldur and managed to hit and crit, throwing him back 5" right in front of the Champions. Grissel decides to swing back behind the nearby column, dumping her fury then running around it. The Krielstone bearer and Stone Scribes run as well, getting in front of her to keep the Woldwarden back.
While the Druids continue to distract the Long Riders, the nearest Woldwatcher turns another Long Rider into a forest with a well-placed Elemental Strike. The Woldwarden turns on the Winter Troll and throws it at the column near all of the Champions, doing a few damage points to the Winter Troll and nothing to the column. The second Woldwatcher shoots the Winter Troll but still can't finish it off. The Wayfarer charges a Champion, hitting for two points of damage and Baldur stands up and spends a couple Fury to kill the Champion in front of him. With nowhere to go he sits on his remaining 4 fury. The Swamp Gobbers put a cloud down in front of the Impaler to end the Circle turn.
The final turn is quick and brutal - the Winter Troll and Earthborn kill the Woldwarden then the Champions activate and trudge forward, three of them engaging Baldur. With no Fury to transfer, they finish him off to end the game.
This game just didn't go Saultydog's way from the start. His Ravagers should have done a fair bit more damage to the stones than they did and as a result the Trollbloods were able to surge up to the river and block access to the rear stones before he could get to them. On top of that there were a couple of turns where he ended Baldur's activation before he wanted to and that threw off his fury management. That said, he did do a great job of neutering the Thumper and for the most part the Impaler with forests and cloud templates, especially considering how little LOS blocking terrain was on the table to begin with.
Prorpger played a slow beatstick army and came to the table to grind out as many VPs as he could for his war chest and he succeeded in doing so. Killing Balder bumped him up to 13 for the game, and considering I scored a single VP in my first game and Saultydog had 2 over 2 games, he all but guaranteed himself initiative for round 2.
- Trollbloods: +13 VPs (21 Total)
- Circle Orboros: +2 VPs (2 Total)
Result: Defense successful for Trollbloods, Circle Strategic Objective 1 incomplete.
Campaign Round 1 Wrap Up
The final battle of round one was a land grab between Prorpger's Trollbloods and my Legion of Everblight. We fought a game of Killing Fields for control of the mountainous region in the central Marches which ultimately ended with Legion gaining a new foothold as they press towards their Strategic Objectives.
Prorpger came out tops on the round and I followed behind in second. In addition to the VPs earned in my fights, I gained a bonus 5 VPs for retaining control of the Sacred Site deep within my territory. Saultydog had bad luck this round. His game with me was quick and over before there were really any casualties and when playing Prorpger he devoted his resources to the columns and only took out a couple solos so he didn't get many VPs this round.
War Chests and Attack Declarations
- Trollbloods: 21
- Attack vs. Legion for Strategic Objective 1
- Attack vs. Circle for the diamond-shaped territory just northeast of the strip Legion just took from him
- Legion of Everblight: 11
- Attack vs. Circle for Strategic Objective 2
- Circle Orboros: 2
Result: Defense successful for Trollbloods, Circle Strategic Objective 1 incomplete.