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The Rock in The Badlands – Eleonore’s First Letter

05/29/2012 Leave a comment

Excerpt from the records of the Dukedom of Parravon. Correspondence dated c1550 (2528 Imperial) to Sir Redemond of Parravon, from Eleonore (a damsel of The Lady, attached to the court of Sir Redemond).

 

 

My Noble Lord,

 

I write to you with heavy heart, for events have not been kind to your kin. We entered the Badlands ahead of schedule and accordingly made camp at the foot of the Dragonback Mountains. From there I took a small detachment of knights and men and proceeded towards the area highlighted in The Lady Madeline’s prophecy. We were however not the first to arrive in this benighted realm.

 

On the third day we encountered a small force of undead ransacking a small settlement. I took advice from your nephew, Sir Eldred, who claimed that these creatures posed no threat to those whose cause was just and carried The Lady’s blessing. How wrong we were. Unbeknownst to us they were lead by a Wraith of considerable power, no matter what casualties we inflicted by blade or by arrow, his magics continued to swell the enemy’s ranks. We were overcome and, to my everlasting shame, had no choice but to leave the field.

 

If only this was all I had to report. That night we made camp about half a league from the site of battle. While I slumbered a vision of The Lady came to me, imploring me to return to the village to make amends for my failure. Had only I known what was awaiting me there I would have fallen on my sword and spared you and the Kingdom further shame.

 

We returned at first light and found the village deserted, of the undead we encountered the day before, nothing remained bar the stench of evil and decay. As we were making preparations to advance towards our objective I fell to the ground as a wave of pure malevolence swept through the aether.

 

As I was returned to my mount I saw creatures of pure evil coalescing on the village boundary. Quickly we formed a battle line to meet this dire threat however once again we were cruelly outmatched. The daemons outmanoeuvred our forces with merciless ease and we had no choice but to retreat. As we were disengaging I saw in the distance that a unit of bowmen had been cut off by the vile creatures. I am proud to report that they sold their lives dearly, taking many of these aberrations with them on their final journey.

 

We marched at speed back to our camp to resupply and two days later we again set out to our objective. This time I decided to guide our forces through a forested area farther south to our original fateful route and, for a time, the fates were kind to us. On the fifth day our outriders reported a small force of armed men who were also heading, albeit on a different trajectory, to our destination. After hearing the scouts’ description of their livery, Sir Hugues (who as you no doubt recall has spent must time with our Imperial neighbours) concluded that they were most likely members of the Averland State Army.

 

While I was sorely tempted to parlay with the Imperial troops, as our armies drew closer I senses a disquieting presence emanating from within their ranks. This person or thing within their army was shielding himself from me, I could not ascertain his intentions and with the deepest regret I ordered our forces to make ready for battle.

 

To my dying day I will never forget the ferocity of what followed. Battle was joined in earnest with both sides trading missiles of arrow and shot while our respective warriors manoeuvred for position. Our Knights struck first and inflicted a terrible toll on the servants of Karl Franz all the while our bowmen mercilessly cut down all that their arrows could find.

 

The men of Averland did not stand idly by met our charge with a steely resolve one cannot help but admire. We were evenly matched; all it would take would be one singular moment or individual to break this bloody deadlock. 

 

It was at this point that a unit of spearmen appeared led by formidable warrior, evidently the man in command of the army. Our Knights and I charged this unit and each side inflicted terrible casualties, all of a sudden your nephew was thrown from his horse by this captain and before I could draw breath I was fighting him for my very life.

 

With one stroke of his sword he broke my blade and as he prepared to strike again I made myself ready to meet The Lady. However death did not find me today, he turned his blade at the last moment and instead delivered a blow to my head with the side of his blade and I fell into darkness.

 

I woke in the Imperial camp to find my wounds dressed and my body unsullied. At my bedside was the warrior who bested me who introduced himself as Captain Helmut Gerstein. He told me that he and his men had respected our code of honour and those Knights who survived the battle had been treated for their wounds and were residing in the tent next to mine.

 

Captain Gerstein told me that he and his men were here at the behest of a mage called Emmanuel Gant who is travelling with them, I am certain that this Gant is the source of the presence I sensed just before the bloodbath. The Captain proceeded to tell me that once I felt strong enough he would escort our survivors back to our camp under a flag of truce, seeing true honour in his heart I accepted.

 

Three days later, as good as his word, we were taken back to our camp. It pains me to tell you that of the knights that I left with only Sir Hugues of Quenelles, Sir Jacques or Lyonesse, Sir Aldebald of Montfort and Sir Hrodbert of Carcassonne survive.

 

Upon the return to our camp I received news that your son has encountered difficulty on his journey to meet us. Sir Aymeric reports that upon entering the Forest of Loren they encountered a sizeable force of Beastmen intent on pillaging the realm. Honour bound to assist he dispatched your younger son, Sir Ectorde, with your standard, thirty brave knights and as many men as could be spared to continue the journey to meet us. Once the Beastmen are vanquished, Sir Aymeric and the rest of his force will complete their journey.

 

I pray to The Lady that they are not too late

 

 

I am your humble servant,

 

Eleonore

 

 


 

 

 

 


Parravon Expeditionary Force Men-At-Arms

05/28/2012 Leave a comment

The first round of The Rock in The Badlands was played at the weekend, more or that in a later post.  Anyway, while I hadn’t got the whole army ready in time I had at least managed to get some of my peasant scum ready.

I chose to keep the colours fairly simple by sticking to colours available in the middle ages, mainly dark green and brown for the clothes with red and yellow used for the Lord’s livery.  Thus far I’m really happy with how these are turning out, hopefully I’ll have more for you next week.

Charging in WHFB

05/09/2012 Leave a comment

Since I consider myself to be a Warhammer Fantasy Battle Rookie (my 4th edition days are long behind me!), I’m always on the lookout for decent articles which can help my gaming improve.

The random charge rules have been, to me, somewhat confusing since it makes my brain’s Tactical Cortex (located just beside the Shiny Appreciation Synapse and the Beer Lobe) run away and cry. This article from Bell of Lost Souls however has helped me get my head around it and not before time!

Gaming on a Budget 2: The Return!

05/07/2012 Leave a comment

At the start of this year I introduced my Hobby Tin idea to the world and by way of follow up I’d like to talk briefly about another way that I (and lets face it, most of you) also can maintain our Shiny Addiction during these hard times.

I am, of course, talking about the second hand market.

Like many gamers, I’m a bit of a hoarder.  My parents’ attic is full of shoe boxes and bin bags containing the plethora of tat that I left with them when I moved out almost fourteen years ago.  About two years ago I started going through this for models with a view to keeping what I actually needed for my current armies (as well as the extremely sentimental ones) but also to select those I thought I could sell on.  To date I’ve made about £400 pounds, mainly through eBay but also the occasional sale to friends or friends of friends.

As with the Hobby Tin, this money is reinvested into my current armies but increasingly I’ve been trawling eBay for good bargains to help my Bretonnian army get off the ground.  Last week this bore significant fruit as on Friday these lovely things arrived in the post:

These were all unpainted and on-sprue, all from different sellers and together they cost only £22 which is only just more than the current Knights of The Realm set costs new from GW.  While you can get better deals if you’re happy to buy assembled or non-pro painted minis this approach should allow me to get at least the core of my army up to strength as cheaply and conveniently as possible.

Now all I have to worry about is getting them painted in time for the campaign start in three weeks time!

The Rock in The Badlands – My Army’s Background

04/24/2012 1 comment

When the southern sky falls one thousand summers hence,
A new star must rise,
Else the land of his fathers be dark evermore.

Seventh Prophecy of Madeline of Parravon, Prophetess of The Lady, 550 (1528 Imperial Calendar)

Only a fool ignores the words of The Lady and Sir Redemond of Parravon was certainly no fool. Nevertheless, when word reached him that rocks of pure warpstone were raining down on the Badlands he was far north of Bretonnia fighting in the king’s grand army, desperately trying to repel a massive Chaos warhost from entering the civilised lands of man.

Redemond consulted with Duke Cassyon, Lord of Parravon and Mathilde, the Prophetess to the Court of The Realm. All agreed that while the prophecy was surely coming to pass, their duty was to the whole of Bretonnia, the fate of Parravon would be determined by someone else.

The three debated long into the night but by first light a decision had been made; Aymeric, the eldest son of Redemond would take whomever could be spared from the army and start on the long journey south to the Badlands. Time however was against them and even if Aymeric left that morning the journey south would take many weeks, fortunately Mathilde had a solution.

Accompanying Mathilde was Eleonore, a young damsel barely seventeen summers old. Nevertheless, Mathilde sensed the will of The Lady working through this girl and instructed her to race immediately for Parravon; there she must assemble what forces she can from the remaining nobility and peasantry then head into the Badlands and hold off this threat until Aymeric’s forces can arrive.

And so it begins…

04/19/2012 Leave a comment

The postman woke me at silly o’clock to deliver a package I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.

Behold! The start of my Bretonnian Army!

20120419-131623.jpg

I know you should start by painting your core troops but sometimes it’s really satisfying to dive straight in and paint a character or two that catches your imagination. Hopefully they’ll be ready for next week’s Miniature Monday.

The Rock in The Badlands – Background & Rules

04/19/2012 Leave a comment

In the year 2528 (by the Imperial Calender), a meteor of pure warpstone crashes to ground in the Badlands. The fight begins to claim it.

Army selection:


Players will put forward a 500pt list, selecting a minimum of 1 hero, maximum of two. These characters should have a brief background as this, and their actions on the field will determine how they develop, special rules and benefits. The remainder of your 500pts will be spent on core troops only. Do not worry – more points will be available to spend quite soon on those lovely specials, however your initial force will represent a quickly mustered expedition. Feel free to throw in any unit names or fluff you like, as you’re going to have these troops with you for a while! No magic items at the outset, you will fight for/discover these later on. Optional extras for units will be at GM discretion (as will oh so much!), however a quick rule of thumb – army book allows a unit upgrade to spears for 1 point per model? Fine, they’re your points. Army book allows you to upgrade all of your weapons to do magic, flaming, poisoned attacks? Sod off, not happening. Unit champions as per army book are fine, feel free to name them even, but no extra heroes at this stage.


Army Progression:


The section that I’m sure will be of most interest. Your army will advance in a number of ways. The most straight forward of which is that at moments in the campaign new points will be allocated across the board, eg. End of turn summary announces that points cap has gone from 500 to 700 pts. Every army would then be able to spend up to 200pts extra before the next round. There may be guidelines as to what they can be spent upon, but they are yours to flesh out your force, or save up for that ‘essential’ unit further down the line.
We then have unit development. You will see that under some circumstances there are tables to roll on at the end of battles, influenced by your victories and defeats. Units will collect traits in this way as your campaign develops. Over and above this there will be GM allocated effects driven by what has happened on the field (Battle Reports are Important). One unit keeps running away? Perhaps they will become used to it and suffer a leadership reduction, then again perhaps your council/emperor/war chief will dispatch an experienced champion to stiffen their resolve…
Characters then. First off don’t feel limited by your initial character choice, it will not restrict your access to things later on. To give you an example from the undead: I may decide to field a wight king as my general at the initial 500 pts level. At some point an announcement is made that 150pts are now available to upgrade heroes to lords. Tragically, wight king has no upgrade, so I would instead be able to upgrade to a vampire lord statline and attributes, while holding onto bonuses already accrued. He’s still a wight, just a very hard wight! However, choice having been made, I can’t switch him to the necromancer lord statline for the next battle. So that is development to Lord etc. Characters will also develop according to their actions (Battle Reports are Fucking Important). This will take the form of special rules, some from the book and some not, and stat increases. For an example here, take the Empire Warrior Priest who keeps surviving despite the loss of every until he fights in – he develops the special “Screw him – he’ll be fine!” rule (-1 to rally core troops, gains 5+ ward save). That’s a big one for some exceptional circumstances, but play your characters as you want them to be: do they lead from the front, or orchestrate from back? Always seeking out the enemy’s champions, or laying waste to hordes of lesser men? Characters will grow with their actions (I mentioned Battle Returns, yeah?).
Finally, Rare units and Magic Items. These will not be available to spend points on (at least until the later stages), but will be acquired through taking certain territories, fighting special scenarios and as top end rewards.

The Rules

Turn Structure

  1. GM emails out to anyone who has a choice of actions
  2. Your council will dispatch your orders/sanction of your actions for that turn
  3. 2 battles will be fought. One for territory and all bonuses that come with it. The second will be two armies meeting in the field in a scrap for warpstone tokens.
  4. Any end of battle rolls (see post game tables below) to be made in the presence of your opponent.
  5. Battle Returns emailed to GM, 1 per person. Brief summary of what happened, your best unit, your opponents best unit, and points of interest.
  6. End of turn email will be sent out by GM. Overview of what has happened, any rewards and upgrades, any changes to army values.
  7. Back to the beginning.

Post Game:

Once your battle has been fought, you’ll need to do a few things. None of your usual troops are lost in a battle. Restore any units that have taken casualties to starting strength, as reinforcements are sent to you by your Council. If a unit is wiped out in the field, remove any special rules, good or bad, that they have acquired, and restore to staring strength (these units are assumed gone and replaced by a new unit of fresh troops – so you may want to consider pulling out units with favourable rules during a battle if the fight is going against you) Next, make rolls for units that have seen interesting action (do this, at least, with opponent present to witness):

Roll a D6 for any unit that has run from the field (unit has actually left the table-top while fleeing). On a 3-6 nothing happens. On a 1 or 2 please roll a further 2xd6 and check the results on the table below:

  1. Scared Witless – Only half the troops can be rallied back to the cause. Unit half strength for next battle.
  2. Gun Shy – Unit must pass a leadership test in order to charge an enemy for the next battle.
  3. Shattered Nerves – Entire unit is -1 to leadership (characters are affect by this whilst attached to unit) permanently.
  4. Cowardly Tremors – Unit is still shaking with nerves after their defeat -1 to initiative for next battle.
  5. Disgraced Champion – Unit champion loses extra attack until unit wins a round of combat.
  6. Lapdogs – Unit unable to move at all for next battle (may defend itself) unless within 10” of an allied hero.
  7. Lost Honour – Unit subject to frenzy for next battle.
  8. Dutch Courage – Unit got drunk in order to fight. Subject to stupidity, however is steadfast (both for next battle only).
  9. Death Pact – Unit’s shame is so great they have vowed to fight and die – GM will specify exact rules for unit.
  10. -12(stupid auto format…) Unit gains permanent hatred against race that forced them to route


Roll a D6 for any unit that has won all combats this battle. This does not have to be every combat round, but it will have been the unit still standing after each encounter with an enemy unit. On a 1-4 nothing happens. On a 5 or 6 please roll a further 2xd6 and check the results on the table below:

  1. Overconfidence – Unit must charge at first target in range in next battle
  2. Post Victory Whorefest! – Unit now has a personal disease (shouldn’t double dip the same strumpet lads!) +1 ld, -1 movement permanently.
  3. Faith Against Adversity – Unit may re roll failed fear tests, permanently, until they fail one.
  4. Loot – gain an extra warpstone token.
  5. Skilled – Permanent +1 to ws or bs
  6. Get it Together Lads! – Unit may re roll failed Rally results.
  7. Veteran Unit – Does not panic if core units fleeing within range.
  8. -10 GM specified upgrade.
    11-12 GM specified special rule added.

Award the victor 5 warpstone tokens, or 2 each in the case of a (rare) draw. Finally, each player completes a Battle Report, and emails to the GM. It would be preferred if this was done separately to allow individual feelings about the fight to surface.

Battle Report (it’s not complicated):

What happened in the battle?

A brief or lengthy description of what occurred during the fight, depending on how creative you are feeling. At very least cover deployment, shape of the battle, key moments, how magic went, what impressed and what embarrassed.

Your best unit?

Unit of the battle, in your own eyes. No science here, nor totalling of victory points – merely your choice.

Your opponents best unit?

As above, who or what was the thorn in your side?

The Night Faire:

Racking up warpstone tokens is your goal, at the end of the campaign they might make the difference between success and failure. However, there will be times when a little expense is worth the long term gain, and you may wish to spend before taking on a tricky opponent. For such circumstances, you may wish to visit The Night Faire.

A collection of caravans travelling the Badlands – crewed by goblins, suspect merchants and strange hooded figures. The Night Faire is your best source of oddities, magical weapons, potions, cures and no small amount of glittering junk. Be ware: the quality of items purchased from the fair is such that they will only last you one battle.

Luckstone (1 Token) – One use. Allows the wearer to re-roll a failed armour save.

Dragonbane Gem (1 token) – One battle. Wearer gains a 2+ ward save against flaming attacks.

Seed of Rebirth (2 tokens) – One battle. Bearer has 6+ Regeneration.

Ruby ring of Ruin (3 tokens) – One use. Bound spell (power level 3) Contains fireball spell.

Potion of Speed (1 token) – One use. +3 to initiative for one round.

Potion of toughness (3 tokens) – One use. +3 to toughness for one round.

Potion of strength (3 tokens) – One use. +3 to strength for one round.

Dispell scroll (2 tokens) – One use.

Scroll of shielding (1 token) – One use. Works like a dispel scroll except you gain a 4+ save to all models effected by the spell

Power scroll (2 tokens) – One use. When used ANY double causes irresistible force (and a miscast)

Gleaming pennant (1 token) – One battle. Re roll first failed leadership.

Charmed shield (1 token) – One battle. First hit suffered discounted on a 2+

Sword of striking (3 tokens) – One battle. +1 to “to hit” rolls.

Shrieking blade (2 tokens) – One battle. Causes fear.

All rules and background © Bede Pratt and Sam Whiteley

The Rock in The Badlands

04/18/2012 Leave a comment

Next month I’m taking part in a Warhammer narrative campaign set in the Badlands of the Old World where a shower of warpstone has recently rained down.  Later on I’ll be posting the rules that my friends have developed for this event and as time goes on I’ll provide progress updates as no doubt my Bretonnian army destroys all those who come in their way…

I’m really looking forward to this, it’s been a  very long time since I’ve done anything like this 🙂

A Sad Sign of The Times

02/02/2012 5 comments

This evening me and a couple of friends travelled over the Forth to Kirkcaldy to pay our first and, most likely, last visit to Kingdom of Adventure.  If you click on the link you’ll see why.

If not this image below sums it up, look at the sign in the window.

The sad fact is that in this economy it’s harder than ever for independent hobby stores to stay afloat.  These guys tried really hard for a long, long time to keep their business going but despite it’s evident popularity there just wasn’t enough local support to keep it running.

We can point fingers all we like  but I think it is a genuine tragedy that so many local sources for our hobby community are rapidly disappearing.

I must say I felt somewhat bad picking over the dying embers of this business.  Yes, I found a couple of bargains (the Warhammer Fantasy Battle rulebook and a Chaos Predator cost me £55) but in truth I could have made a similar saving online.  Having seen too many friends businesses fail lately I went to easy their financial burden in whatever little way I could.

I guess the moral of this tale is fairly simple; if you are lucky enough to have a local gaming hub like this please support it.

If not, they may not be around much longer.

Indecisions, indecisions: To Warhammer or not to Warhammer

01/17/2012 8 comments

Ever since the 8th edition of WHFB came out eighteen months ago I’ve been toying with the notion of starting an army.

Regardless of the fact I really don’t have time to devote to yet another hobby project, my resistance is being steadily eroded by the increasing numbers of phenomenal models released and the coercion gentle persuasion of my gaming buddies. The question is, if I am to collect an army (and I’d like to stress that this is still if), which army should I collect?

Since I already have one ‘good’ and two ‘evil’ 40K armies I think on balance I’d like to collect a good race. I’ve already had (and sold) a High Elf army when I played the game in the mid-nineties my plan is to steer clear of them, this means so far as I can see my choices consist of The Empire, Bretonians, Dwarves and Wood Elves.

So what do I do?

The Empire

There’s already at least one fellow I regularly play against who is building an army and while I – kind of – like the background I don’t feel any great connection here.

Dwarves

See above.

Wood Elves

Getting better, I like the models and their tactics seem like fun, plus no one I know plays them however there’s something about them that I can’t put my finger on. I think it’s because I used to collect High Elves and I’m currently building a Dark Eldar force and on some level I’m elved-out for the time being. So I guess that leaves me with…

Bretonians

Now this is more like it! The background’s fun and I do like the models. Plus I hear that there’s a good chance a new army book might be released later this year. My only concern is that I don’t think my painting skills are as yet good enough to do justice to the many different Knight liveries I have to paint.

In truth, I’m still very much at sea. While I’m leaning towards our Gallic friends, I know that I could still easily be swayed by another argument or really cool model. Screw it, maybe I should just play Orcs?

Anyway, advice would be greatly appreciated.