All That Glitters, Part 11

Battle of the Southern Valley, Part One (Turn 1)

Suddenly a force of greenskin raiders, much larger than any had thought could possibly muster under one leader in such a barren and sparsely populated place, being almost a full Waagh!, came thundering over the hills upon the other side of the valley – threatening the left flank of almost the entire column.

On the greenskins’ far right flank was a huge and monstrous creature, a wyvern, upon which the leader of the raiding force was mounted, Warboss BoneMawler. By his left side was the first of three wolf-rider companies, and then came his three lieutenants (or Big Bosses as the greenskins liked to call them): Dufdig, Erbad and Clubcra. All three were mounted in huge boar chariots which made a sound like thunder as the trundled along. Two companies of boar riders came next in the line, the second being the biggest, meanest orcs in the army. These Big Uns were preceded by the second of the wolfrider companies, and flanked to their left by two wolf-drawn chariots, much lighter than the Big Bosses’ boar chariots. Last (and indeed least) came the third company of wolf-riders, out on the army’s far-left flank.

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They took the army of Amon entirely by surprise. Without doubt, they must have overwhelmed and destroyed any scouts who had come close to them, for no report of their approach had been brought to the prince. They had probably chosen the spot very carefully, knowing the land well for it was theirs to know, and thus it was they had managed to get so close and appear ‘out of the blue’ (quite literally) on the horizon of the valley side. Yet some of their surprise was lost by the need to descend down the hill and into the valley, and the arabyans used that time well.

(Game note: the arabyans got first turn, and so could manoeuvre their column into better positions before the Ggeenskins were on them!)

The soldiers of Amon now sounded drum and trumpet, not in alarm but in order to transmit all the necessary signals to wheel, reform and create some sort of semblance of a battle line to meet the enemy. Gamouzo brought his warriors down from the hill towards the baggage train, hoping to provide some defence for the vital supplies. The train itself reformed and slunk back into the dip between two hills, trying to present as small a front as possible to the advancing greenskins. The Desert Spears and their crossbow detachment turned to face the foe, one reforming, the other wheeling so as to bring their numbers to bear. Within the spearmen’s ranks stood the second arab wizard, Mukri al-Hajib, as well as the Agha Qilij ad-Din an-Nasawa, who was the army standard bearer.

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The two cannons in the centre hurriedly unlimbered and prepared themselves to fire …

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… while the skirmishing archers turned to move towards the enemy, but not so far that they could not employ their bows also. The palace spearmen ended up in front of their detachment of crossbows, due to their haste to get to the foe. Off even further out than them, the swordsmen wheeled about and the mortar also unlimbered like the other artillery pieces.

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The light horse, being the fastest, most flexible troops in the line, moved right out towards the enemy, hoping that by doing so they could intercept and somehow slow the foe’s advance. The rest of the army watched in a spirit of awe as these brave riders galloped out far ahead ready to make their lonely stand just to buy the rest of the army time.

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The riders were quick off the mark, and loosed a volley of arrows as they rode, causing the first casualties of the day – two goblin wolf-riders. On many occasions this would have been enough to send such cowardly warriors scarpering off in flight, but these goblins thought differently. Perhaps they had spotted the rich prize and that emboldened them to stay a little bit longer even in a place where their comrades had just died? Apart from these two deaths, the arabyans with their magic and shooting could do no further harm to the greenskins in this early stage of the battle.

Apart from the goblin wolf-riders on the far right, none of other greenskins fell to squabbling just yet and all made their way forwards. BoneMawler cursed to himself, however, for he knew that there were more arab soldiers off to the right and he had intended to use the squabbling wolf-riders as a distraction to slow them down. Nevertheless, he himself landed his wyvern in the far right – if the goblins could not counter the enemy’s inevitable flanking move, then he and his monstrous mount would have to try.

The wolf, boar and chariot mounted warriors moved up, each unit starting to wheel so that they aimed straight at the baggage. Every greenskin present wanted that loot. Indeed, they could think of little else!

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The greenskins could do nothing with arrows or magic (they had no shamans with them, just a few enchanted baubles), but this did not worry them. With looting in sight, and being creatures of low cunning, their greedy intentions filled their minds almost entirely.

 

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