To celebrate the launch of Warlords of Erehwon, we’ve got a special battle report for you! On the outskirts of the halfling Moot, a foul necromancer is bent of shattering their rural idyll.
Yara the Zamorian spat into the grass. He was stood atop a low rise, overlooking the halfling hamlet of Greenburrow. It was early morning, and a few halflings could be seen pottering around the three large turf mounds that constituted their homes.
Children frolicked among the chickens, pursued by a cavalcade of unruly sheepdogs and overbearing mothers. Out in the fields, the men of Greenburrow were busy bringing in the winter harvest, stacking great sheaves of grain ready to be deposited in their underground storehouses.
On the hilltop, Yara glared at the rural paradise spreading out before him. Such simple folk, unaware of the dangers that lurked beyond their borders. It would be a pleasure to tear it all down…
The Battle of Greenburrow!
Warlorders Tobias and Josh have both been itching to try out our brand new fantasy game – Warlords of Erehwon. They both managed to clear some time out of their busy schedule to sit down and play a quick game.
As both our players are busy people (someone’s got to write those newsletters), they settled on 500 points aside for their game, with Josh choosing the Undead Hoste and Tobias picking the Halfling Warband.
They picked the Pillage the Village scenario from the core book, focusing on a villainous necromancer’s attempt to put a peaceful halfling community to the sword.
The scenario objectives are three buildings in the defender’s deployment zone. These can be burned down or looted – once at least two of these have been destroyed, the attackers win.
Josh: With three halfling dwellings to burn down, and a whole village standing in my way, I picked a force that would be able to quickly engage any defenders and punch straight through to the objectives.
I’ve given my Necromancer the Fiery Balls spell, allowing me to light up the buildings from 20″ away! I’ve also paid extra points to make sure my Skeleton Riders and Guards have the Spectral Undead rule, allowing them to ignore all obstacles and difficult terrain when they’re moving.
My game plan is to launch a three-pronged attack – the Riders and Guards on one flank, the Necromancer and one unit of Warriors down the middle and the final unit of Warriors on the right.
Tobias: I’ve got to keep those skeletons as far away from the village as possible. This means thinning them out at range and blocking their advance with a mound of halfling corpses. I’ve tried to keep my list fairly versatile as I don’t know what tricks Josh has up his sleeve.
I’ve given a couple of units Dead Eye Shot which allows them to re-roll one missed shot per attack. Combined with the rapid fire (2x attacks on a fire order) of our slings, we can lay down a hail of accurate fire on the advancing skellies.
The plan is to use the terrain to my advantage, channelling the undead into kill zones and cutting them down to size with well-aimed rocks.
Old Nedd Maggot tucked his gnarled thumbs into his braces, whistling a jaunty tune as he sauntered across the green. It was a fine autumn morning – birds singing in the trees, halfling songs drifting from the fields as his kin brought in the harvest.
A flash of movement caught his gimlet eye, yanking his attention away from the rural bliss before him. A skeletal figure burst from the treeline, marching in perfect step with his emaciated comrades.
Nedd’s fat fingers fumbled for the warhorn on his belt, blowing for all his might. Across the small community of Greenburrow, halflings dropped their tools and unwound their slings. They weren’t going down without a fight!
Tobias: I’ve tried to use the terrain to my advantage and get my plucky halflings into positions where they can stop Josh’s attack before it can get started. The Urchins are placed to dominate the centre of the battlefield, tying up anything that tries to push that central objective.
My two big units are anchoring the flanks, while the Chief Sheriff surveys the battlefield from the top of the central objective.
Josh: I only need to get two of the three buildings to win the game – with that in mind, I’m going to focus on the flanks and try and avoid the giant blob of urchins in the centre of the battlefield. I’ve got a fast moving left flank – as my spectral guards and riders can ignore all the obstacles, while my mass of skeleton infantry grinds through the right.
Failing that, I’ll charge my necromancer down the middle and lob some fireballs about!
“Those urchin swarms were much tougher than I expected!”
Tobias: What a start to the game! The left flank is holding firm – volleys of sling stones from Nedd and Maggot’s Marauders have put some pins on the spectral riders, while my urchins gnaw on some ghostly ankles, cutting that unit down to size. Dead Eye Shot is really paying for itself, allowing the Chief Sheriff to re-roll his missed shot and banish one of the skeleton riders.
Dead Eye Shot: These troops are expert marksmen, gifted by nature or possessed of skills honed by extensive training, they are uncannily accurate when it comes to shooting or throwing their favourite weapon.
When a unit with the dead-eye shot rule shoots it is allowed to re-roll one missed attack each time the unit shoots. Only one shot can be re-rolled regardless of the number of models shooting or the number of shots taken.
I’m setting up to block Josh’s right hook with my militia – hopefully they can hold the skeletons off long enough while I wrap up things on the left.
Josh: Sprinting gives fast-moving models a huge advantage, and when combined with the spectral undead rule, my riders and guards were able to leap across the table, instantly putting pressure on Tobias’ flank and pulling his army towards the attack.
A unit that has been given a run order can make a sprint instead of a normal run. This is a special action – an all-out, hell for leather, go like the clappers run or gallop.
A sprint is a triple move – 15″ for a normal unit, 24″ in the case of Josh’s skeleton riders. Sprinting units run the risk of taking a pin from being exhausted, but high agility units should be able to pass this test without any problems.
We’ve taken a battering from the slingers, and those urchin swarms were much tougher than I expected, but hopefully that’s opened things up so I can work my warriors around on the right and start pillaging the village!
The ghostly wraiths of the Elephant Guard moved noiselessly across the grassland, leaving a trail of desiccated, lifeless vegetation in their wake. Wrapped in the rusted remnants of their armour, notched blades gripped in spectral fingers, they drifted towards the hamlet.
Suddenly, a barrage of stones peppered the five spectres. A horde of unwashed children burst from the hedgerows, accompanied by a cavalcade of yapping dogs and assorted farm animals.
Having spent several centuries on the battlefield, the leader of the Elephant Guard shrugged his spectral shoulders and led the charge. These grimy wastrels posed no threat to him…
“Things are going a bit pear-shaped in the centre!”
Tobias: Things are going a bit pear-shaped in the centre! Moving my urchins away to menace the skeleton warriors backfired, allowing the spectral riders to swoop across the open ground and annihilate Old Nudd and his bodyguards, taking a single casualty in return!
On the right, it turns out that Halflings are not a match for Skeleton Warriors, their low resistance combined with the -1 imposed by the spears made it very hard to make saves. As discretion is the better part of valour, I’m retreating to lick my wounds, while the urchin swarms hopefully buy me some time in the centre.
Spears have a Strike Value of 1, which reduces an opponent’s resistance by 1. Even without the penalty, Halfling militiamen have a resistance of 4. Reduced to 3, the liklihood of saving a hit becomes very low.
Josh: Not a bad turn, all things considered. Fiendishly good dice rolls have kept me in the game by the skin of my teeth. Sniping Tobias’ chief sheriff was a stroke of luck, especially since I’ve got a single rider to potentially snap up an objective next turn.
Josh was particularly lucky with a break test – as a result of taking a casualty in the combat with Chief Sheriff Maggot. With multiple pins on the Riders, reducing their courage to 3, he needed to roll pretty low to prevent the unit from breaking and evapourating into mist!
Losing the Skeleton Guards means I’ll have to shift my focus over to the right flank. Hopefully, my warriors can mop up the militia while the other unit finishes off the urchins, clearing the way to the right and centre objectives.
Old Nedd Maggot threw a wild parry, turning the rusty spear aside at the last possible second. Beside him, one of his stout bodyguards was knocked flying by a spectral hoof, blood streaming from a vicious stab wound in his chest.
The riders had appeared out of nowhere, their ghostly forms streaming through walls and hedges without hindrance.
Ducking another notched spear point, Nedd lashed out at one of the riders, his elf-blade connecting with a spectral flank, banishing the spirit instantaneously. Before he could celebrate his triumph, the halfling chief sheriff felt a searing pain in his back…
“Those urchins put up one hell of a fight!”
Tobias: With my urchins succumbing to the prodding spears of the living dead, I’ve hit my break value. This could be the last turn of the game! With my units falling thick and fast, I made an effort to conserve my resources and pull back towards my objectives, hoping to whittle down the remaining skeletons with ranged attacks.
Thankfully Josh’s right-most skeleton unit failed its order test and remained stationary, allowing my militia to escape successfully.
Josh’s fireballs tied up my sheriffs as I wanted the opportunity to try and put the fire out (unsuccessfully as it turned out).
Josh: Those urchins put up one hell of a fight! Thankfully my spear-armed skeletons were able to overcome their high resistance and do enough damage to take out both bases. Sneaking my ethereal rider into the halfling dwelling allowed me to loot one objective.
My necromancer managed to get into range and unleash a salvo of fireballs at the left building. Having avoided a grisly death from a miscast, he causes 3 hits and sets the building alight – causing a grand total of 13 points of damage, with the potential of 2d6 additional damage every turn.
At the end of turn 3, things were looking pretty grim for Tobias. One objective looted, the other blazing merrily and half his force trampled beneath skeletal feet. An unlucky roll on his break test brought the game to an abrupt conclusion, technically a draw as only one building had been successfully looted or destroyed.
Tobias: What a game! Turns out halflings aren’t as stout as I thought. Those SV1 spears are a real killer against low resistance units. Given the chance to do things again, I’d swap my sheriffs and militia around, as their slings would have been better served whittling down the skeletons.
Josh: It’s a real shame that we didn’t get to play that last turn – that building would have burned to the ground and I’d have taken the win. I’ve really enjoyed getting to grips with the Erehwon and my army of restless undead.
I’ll definitely be making more space for spectral undead units in my next list. Being able to cross difficult terrain and obstacles without penalty allows you to turn the game on its head for your opponent!
Been inspired by Josh and Tobias’ exploits? Grab the Warlords of Erehwon Quick-Start Bundle, giving you everything you need to start your warband of Orcs or Skeletons!