Hello and welcome to another installment of Wednesday Night Wargamers!
Today I’ll be trying something a little different and more creative… I’m going to attempt to report on a Mordheim battle as if it were a story (through the eyes of my war band).
Before we get into the fun stuff though, I’ll give you a basic rundown of the scenario.
My Clan Pestilens Skaven were up against an Undead War band consisting of a vampire, necromancer, a couple of dregs and a whole lot of ghouls.
The scenario had my war band trying to bust through my opponent’s (Viv’s) line and reach the other side of the board. Viv had to stop me.
My war band had yet to level and gain new abilities whereas Viv’s vampire had a level up which increased his Toughness to 5, making him quite scary. This means that almost nothing in my war band could hurt him on anything less than rolls of 6.
My plan? Try and break through or flee before too many of my team are struck down. I wasn’t going to try taking them on in a fair fight… and why would I? I was playing as rats after all.
Without further ado, I present:
Demensum Morbo: Rise of the Pestifriends
Chapter 1 – From little things, big things grow.
“Quick-quick!” commanded the priest.
The war band scurried through the dark and dingy alleyways of Mordheim at a considerable pace. The rat-things didn’t want to be out after dark and the sun was setting quickly, almost as if it was racing against the Skaven war band.
Prophet Puralenticus, penultimate in the pack, sniffed the air as he ran. His eyes widened when he caught a faint whiff of… something un-natural. He reduced his speed to that of a jog, then to a walk, then halted.
The monk who was following behind ran past him, looked back to see the sorcerer stationary then turned back to face the front and screeched.
The priest who was leading the troupe skidded to a stop and turned to see the rest of his congregation follow suit.
“Why do you stop?! We have no time!” questioned High Priest Ransik with a tone of both annoyance and fear.
All heads turned to Puralenticus.
“Dead-things are near. We approach their location.”
The monks, next in the hierarchy beneath the prophet, turned to Ransik “What do we do?”
The priest furrowed his brow in contemplation for a moment as he examined the sky and the path before them. His tail twitched backwards and forwards, obviously nervous. His next decision could mean the deaths of his flock. This he could not allow.
The streets would have been silent were it not for the cold wind whistling between cracks in doors and holes through broken windows.
The cold, green streets of Mordheim
Waiting patiently for their leaders command, the group of 13 stood almost statue-like, their twitching tails breaking the illusion.
The priests’ raspy, phlegm coated voice broke the silence.
“The Lord of Filth cannot speak-speak to the dead-things. Our words will not work. We must-must avoid!”
The other rat-men could now catch the stench of rotting meat waft past their nostrils. Clawed hands reached towards their weapons; monks to their clubs, initiates to their daggers and novices to their slings.
Puralenticus muttered a few words under his breath and lowered himself to pat a giant rat which had yet to leave his side since being spawned. The rat, Bubo, grew with life at the prophets touch, the spell he’d cast giving it greater intelligence and power beyond a normal animal of its kind. Two other giant rats sidled up to the prophet, seeking his attention and grace… Puralenticus’ eyes remained on Bubo, his familiar.
“Ready?!” Ransik asked rhetorically. “If we near death-death, use plan B”.
The priest turned to face the unknown ahead of them and began to move slowly. Almost as one, the war band followed.
It wasn’t long until the sounds of activity filled the air. Tearing of cloth, wood being splintered, and iron clanging the cobblestone ground.
The keen senses of the rats identified the dead moving nearby. It sounded as if they were searching for something.
Silent commands were given by the priest, gesturing up to the burned buildings either side of him. The war band was now split in three.
The left flank made up of novices and initiates took the high ground, hoping to get a clear view of the undead.
The right flank saw the prophet peel off with his giant rats in tow and one initiate following closely on his tail. The initiates were inexperienced in the ways of combat… they would learn much from this encounter.
The priest walked the path which the group had been previously following, a plague monk either side of him, eyes darting every which way in anticipation of an ambush.
The tension was thick.
The three groups silently stalked forward, the sound of the undead getting louder with each step.
It wasn’t until the rat men were only a couple of buildings away did the enemy pounce, as if the rats had broken an invisible threshold.
Immediately, the prophet scampered up to the second story of a hollowed out building and looked through the window to determine exactly what they were up against. Waves of ghouls were waiting behind a makeshift barrier of broken furniture, their necromancer not far behind with his bodyguard of dregs.
On the other side by the initiates, two rats clambered up a wooden outlook and whirled their slings above their heads, waiting for an opportunity to strike. The enemy could be heard but not seen. They might be dumb, but they weren’t stupid. They wouldn’t take the bait and go investigate the whereabouts of the undead.
Meanwhile the musk of fear filled the alley way. A vampire had made itself known and he was hungry.
With uncanny speed, the vampire headed towards the prophet, looking to make the first real kill for the night. In reply, Puralenticus cast Gnawdoom, a spell which conjures a tide of smaller rats to engulf the victim. The vampire however, would not be stalled by such tricks. Its unearthly body shrugged off any potential damage the spell could have caused.
With that failure, Puralenticus fled at full pace, commanding his rats to stall the undead beast.
The ghouls closed in. There were too many of them to evade or speed through. Retreat was the only answer.
Furious at being denied the meal he craved, the vampire turned about face and launched himself at the next viable living creature. The priest.
Calm and confident, the vampire launched himself from the second story onto a monk, knocking him down.
The priest stepped up to the plate. He must lead by example.
Screeching as loud as he could and swinging the poisoned censer above his head, he ploughed into the vampire. A thick, dirty green smoke from the censer filled the immediate area. A toxic gas which would have felled any living creature not accustomed to it. The priest was not fighting a living creature though.
Unimpeded by the fog, the Vampire traded blows with the priest. Neither was able to bring the other down.
Undead shambled around the corner of the building, a target for the initiates whose rocks missed their marks.
The priest was hard-pressed and surrounded, the odds of success diminishing with each passing second.
“We cannot beat them. We-we cannot avoid them!” the downed monk chittered.
He was right.
The priest, never one to let ego get in the way of survival, let out a piercing shriek which carried for a mile.
Plan B was now in effect.
Each rat-man in the war band clenched their paws, scrunched up their face and strained. A dark brown gas emerged from each of the Skaven, billowing and expanding with each audible heave. So thick it was, the senses of the undead were obscured. Both sight, smell and sound were obstructed and if the undead could taste, they wouldn’t eat for a week.
Plan B was unique to this group of Skaven, practiced at each service held by Ransik. As this plan allowed the rat-men to retreat with their lives more often than you’d suspect, they would continue to practice this unique art of escape.
Once the clouds dissipated, there was no sign of the Skaven. The vampire was not amused.
The priest, not safe from harm, muttered to himself at this humiliation.
“That dead-thing will know pain. Yes-yes. I have many-many lessons to teach the unholy. The dead-thing will know pain.”
The priest rubbed his clawed hands together as he attempted to laugh, a gurgled cough taking its place.
A lesson had been learned. Now a lesson will be taught.
End of Chapter 1.
So, there you have it. What did you think? If you liked that and want me to continue the adventures of Clan Pestifriends in Mordheim via story, I’d be more than happy to oblige. If you’d rather not read that format, say so and I’ll switch back. Either way, let me know in the comments below.
Hopefully I can get another game in before PAX hits Melbourne.
Until then folks, enjoy whatever you’re doing and remember: Mathammer doesn’t work.