Saturday, February 1, 2014
The Battle for Neanderthal Valley
The breakdown for the battle was something like this: A force of 100 of Badaxe Jack's forces set up at the top of a hill directly south of the goblin fort in early morning, while the remaining forces set up on the reverse slope or behind the hill. The goblins, thanks to their bad eyesite during daylight hours, decide to all out attack the dwarves (thanks to their belief that their foe is outnumbered 5 to 1). The goblins file out, form up ranks, and attack. When the goblins hit the bottom of the hill (taking several rounds worth of arbalest shots), the dwarves ignite several dozen goblin candles, which aren't quite enough to drive the goblins berserk, but are enough to get them to attack when the rest of the dwarves swing around either side of the hill.
The goblin chief leads a pack of 50 warg riders around one side of the hill in an attempt to flank the dwarves, only to run into the dwarf flankers. The dwarf flankers consist of Murderface Jack (enhanced by a potion of super heroism and a bless spell), Murderface's Fan Club (consisting of 20 near-adult dwarves with the same stats as human berserkers enhanced by bless spell), 20 summoned dwarf berserkers (using a custom spell Badaxe set down on scrolls for a lower rank craft priest to cast enhanced by bless spell), and 20 mounted crossbow dwarves (enhanced by a bless spell).
As the bulk of the goblins (250 goblins) begin their run up the hill to attack the dwarven center they run into heavy volleys of arbalests. The goblins that reach the top of the hill encounter Badaxe Jack's personal guard heavy infantry (plate mail, two handed axes, hand axe), regular heavy infantry (chain mail, shield, spear, and hand axe), and large number of crossbow troops (chain mail, arbalest, and battle axe).
The goblin shaman leads a force trying to flank to the right (150 troops) running straight into a smaller pile of Badaxe Jack's heavy infantry (banded mail, shield, battle axe, hand axe), normal dwarven heavy infantry (chain mail, shield, spear, hand axe), small group of crossbow dwarves (chain mail, arbalest, battle axe), and Badaxe Jack himself.
The goblins don't quite outnumber the dwarves two to one, but they do have mild spell support from the squishy shaman and they have the warg rider cavalry. They're all light infantry, using spears, shields, and slings. Their major downside is they were lured into attacking in daylight, making their crappy attack throw even crappier. Also, the dwarf arbalest and crossbows have TONS more range than the slings they're armed with. On the other hand, the dwarves are all heavy infantry in heavy armor (except for the berserkers, but they don't count).
Now for those unfamiliar with the war machine rules, you take a wide variety of factors the book calls for (ranging from leader stats and level, to arms/armor of the troops, hit dice, training, magical abilities, and much more) then assigning a specified number based on the results, and adding them up for the base score. Then you add in variable numbers (like troop ratios, missile weapon ranges, attacking at a disadvantage, height differences, weather conditions, spying, and more) and decide if you're using tactics (in this case the dwarves are setting a trap and the goblins are rushing right into it). Add up all the points for either side, then roll a percentage die for each side and add it to their total. Then you compare totals, and consult the chart in the book.
The end numbers that I came up with is the goblins having a total of 170, while the dwarves end up with 420. The goblins suffer 100% casualties and cease to exist. The dwarves suffer 10% casualties and are not fatigued at all. In addition, according to one of the rules, because of a certain magic item Badaxe Jack makes use of (a staff of healing), he can recover ALL of his casualties after the battle. As the DM, I would probably declare that the casualties are from the berserker contingent (since they were fighting much bigger monsters than themselves, and they're the poorest armored). The casualties on Badaxe Jack's side amounts to 29 troops lost, split basically evenly between the summoned troops (15 dead, but summoned, so no worries) and Murderface's Fanclub (14 dead). There is a lower level cleric (Feeble Jack) whose job it would be to run around during the battle just tapping wounded with the staff of healing.
In the end, the party would get themselves together, ready to resist any goblins retreating out of the horrible smoke and dust cloud, only to see the bulk of Badaxe Jack's army march in triumph to the front gates of the (now former) goblin fort, while the rest are finishing off the wounded goblins and wargs.
Surprisingly, most of the the war machine converts fairly well into ACKS, which makes sense considering they're based off the same system. The only question would be the wounded troops. Basically, thanks to Feeble Jack, none of the wounded fanclub die immediately. Almost all the casualties are horribly wounded and require bed rest to recover, however they all suffer a wide variety of disfiguring scars. A few (4) are severely crippled (smashed arms, legs, and spine), another few (3) lose an arm, leg, hand, or lips (but, surprisingly no genitals), and half of them (7)receive disfigurements that make them ugly as sin, but looking more like badass berserkers should. Thanks to dicelog.com/dice to making a zillion dice rolls for those wounded MUCH easier. Once the wounded get back home, Badaxe Jack will probably spend a few days casting restore life and limb on the wounded to restore them (the ones who are severely crippled will accept, but some of the less wounded will like their badass scars).
Badaxe Jack issued explicit orders before the start of battle that nobody but him kills the goblin shaman, and that's exactly what happens. Badaxe is seen hacking the goblin shaman's head clean off and spitting down it's neck hole. The goblin chief isn't found after the battle.