Red crashed through the ransacked rooms of the tower with reckless abandon. He desperately tried to cover every angle with his drawn pistols, as he barrelled through the rooms towards the Wyrd stone hoard. Each ragged breath a struggle in self control. How were the cultist still alive? How could they still be advancing? Our barrarge of fire should have dropped an army, let alone 13, red robed, cultist!
Breath! Red rebuked himself..... BREATH! But he could feel the panic rising. 'The sun will rise soon' he reassured himself 'you just have to hold the tower until the dawn!'
He could feel his pounding heart slowly coming under control. 'We just have to defend the Wyrd stone find until Sol casts his gaze upon the earth. Thats just moments away'.
"Stand fast you dog" he rebuked himself again "STAND FAST!"
|"THESE COLOURS DON'T RUN!"|
On the parapit above he could hear the muffled warcrys of Archie, Spook and Jeffery as they drew their weapons to make a last effort to hold the walkway! One desperate last stand to buy more time!
Suddenly a loud thud could be heard as something jumped down from the walkway onto the tower, its weight causing the tower to shake and the ceiling plaster to crack. The sound of its landing resounding through the tower.
Then the screams began! High pitched and terrified and protracted! The screams of men being ripped apart!
Red desperately wiped the sweat streaming down his face from his stinging eyes and glanced at the exit of the tower, then down to the wealth of Wyrdstone at this feet, indecision fixing him to the spot. Once again the tide of panic rose within him, threatening to wash away all pride and resolution within him. The screams above terminated abruptly!
Red wrenched his eyes away from the pools of blood quickly forming around the cracks of the ceiling plaster above, back towards the door and then down at the riches at his feet. "The sun is coming he desperately repeated to himself......... The sun is coming!"
Once again his eyes shot towards the safety of the exit of the tower....... "The sun approaches" he whispered like a terrified child ....... 'But so is DEATH!' a small terriffied voice within him whispered back!
This Saturday "the shed of Lead" witnessed absolute carnage between Lano's possessed and my Reikland mercenaries.
The battle for the East gate house would prove to be a knife edged bloodbath from the beginning. The stuff of legends!
We roll 'Defend the find' and being the smaller warband I am housed in the central tower, defending the wyrd stone horde housed within.
Six turns duration, the most standing figures within 6" at the end wins!
No quarter will be asked or given!
I set up as shown below with my marksmen and various pistol armed Heroes holding the higher ground....
In the tower below the rest of my Warband prepare to hold the entrance to the tower at all cost.
|"None shall pass!"|
Lano sets up on the Eastern table edge. Nearest to the opposite tower with the connecting walk way.
Lano's warband eye my forces with murderous intenions before they are unleashed upon my valiant few!
First turn sees Lano and I exchange missle fire with one loss to each side.
The rest of Lano's forces rush through the opposite tower to make the most of the cover and to force the walk way.
I see a chance to rush out my heroes holding the ground floor and mob the arches taking pot shots at my forces holed up in the tower parapit. If nothing else I hope to flush out Lano's arches or draw off some of the forces storming the walk way.
Against all my expectations Lano decides to storm the narrow walk way in force. I had hoped my blunderbuss armed Leader would cause Lano to send his forces across piece meal, allowing me to pick them off in managable lumps and in the long run causing Lano more losses. Of course Lano sees right through this and goes all in. Fortune favours the brave!
I decide to move my ground forces closer to the walk way rather them charge the Cultist archers. The hope is Lano will get caught up in the red mist decending on the table and I can coax him into risking some of the Cultist into diving charges off the walkway. I hope the fact that the majority of his forces are low iniative will escape him! Failing that I will simply charge any of Lano's cultist that get knocked off the walkway in the carnage to follow.
Because of this I target the cultist archers with my Markmen instead.
Lano also siphons off two of his forces from the walkway to threaten my forces on the ground.
With NINE cultist on the walkway Eric steps forward and fires his Blunderbuss into the approaching mass of bad intentions!
It's a strength 3 auto hit on everything in an inch wide straight line!
|I said KABOOOOMMMMM!!!!!!!!|
Eric peers through the smoke to see three of the cultist have failed their iniative test and fallen to the ground.
Not the result I was hoping for!
Only the heavilly armed cultist is taken out of action due to the force of his fall!
I bottle charging the possessed and hope to pick him off with crossbow fire while it is knocked down and go all in on the cultist that have come to bail out the Chaos archers.
On the walk way Eric and Arnold steel themselves and prepare to hold back the surviving tide of Chaos storming across the walkway.
My markmen fail to kill the fallen possessed and I am forced to charge in Willy and Hal (the new henchman) to contain it while I finish off the rest of the chaos forces on the ground.
In true Ninja style Shinobi Joe finally charges in and dispatches the crippled pirate cultist!
All around figures are falling and the body count continues to skyrocket!
I pass my first rout check (JUST!!). Lano pulls some trick with an unholy relic to auto pass his first check!
With the demise of the Chaos Pirate, Cairo and Shinobi Joe target the Cultist Leader! In the back ground Hans and Willy take a kicking from the possessed cultist!
On the bridge Arnold falls to the second possesed and Eric attempts to hold the bridge as the marksmen attempt to take a toll with their missle fire!
Eric falls to the onslaught. Lano passes another rout check!
It's turn six. I bolt Red into the tower to secure a wyrdstone shard and use my markmen to hold the door!
If they can just stay standing I will win by virtue of having the most figures standing within 6" of the tower.
It's been two years and Lano is the only regular of the Mini Empire I have NEVER beaten! This one stands on an absolute knifes edge!
Lano charges the Marksmen and pulls them limb from limb. Then I fail my Rout check in spectacular fashion and bolt for the table edge IN MY LAST TURN!!!!!!
Lano takes the win the carnage on both sides is epic (see below!!!!)
Yep thats 10 casualties from a starting band of thirteen!
I do no better with nine casualties from a starting band of twelve!!!!
The shell shocked survivors of the carnage sat numbly around the tavern table, bearly touching the food and drink before them. All that is except Red who slouched red eyed in the corner, refusing to make eye contact with the others, desperately trying to drown his shame with grog!
No one could blame him for his actions but the truth was with the pulling down of Eric the others had looked to Red for leadership. None of them could fully comprehend the horror he had witnessed while locked in the tower as his brothers in arms were ripped limb from limb above. But the spectacle of Red fleeing from the tower with wild abandon had been the final straw that broke the back of their resolve!
They had snuck back at sunrise to search for survivors. The remains of 'Bob' were found first. Thankfully it looked like the Chaos hound had got to her before she could be abused by the cultist. They just hoped she was already dead when the beast had started to feast on her! They could not find 'Crazy Bob' anywhere. None dared say the words out loud but they all feared the worst when they had spotted the drag marks leading away from where Bob had landed after his fall from the tower.
They had waded through the remains of the two marksmen where they had made their last stand on the roof of the central tower. The carnage resembled some kind of abominable jigsaw puzzle. Their remains the plaything of a madman! They had collected up all the bits they could find but the truth was apart from the heads they struggled to identify which body parts belonged to whom. Even then there seemed to be a LOT of bits missing!
On the way out they had found the mangled remains of the newly hired Henchman. In embarrassment they had tried to remember the man's name, but no one had a clue. His body was an impossible combination of injuries. The fact that he was still breathing gave some sense of the resolution that was in the man. His potential never realised. Red had simply walked up and put the man out of his misery with a point blank pistol shot through the brain. They had left him where he laid. None of them feeling any connection with the man to warrent the toil of carrying him back to the tavern.
So many loses. Nine deaths in eleven missions and Crazy Bob still missing! How was this possible!
Suddenly the tavern doors burst open and Crazy Bob had collapsed into their midst!
"They just let me go!" he said. "They simply congratulated me on the blackness of my soul and set me free!" he weeped. "They said they would set me free to commit more atrocities for their Gods to feed on" he whispered, "They have a message for you Eric!" "You know who you really are! They said you know what you owe! My life for a favour. You WILL be called to account!"
"ENOUGH!!" Eric screamed slamming his mace into the table. WE WILL RULE THIS GOD FORSAKEN, SHIT HOLE, OR BURN IT TO THE GROUND IN OUR WAKE!!!!!
"NO more will we be the pawns of others! NO more truces, NO more favours, NO PEACE! We will rule this empire of dirt or turn this hell hole into our funeral pyre!!!!"