Battle: Game 2 - Blood and Glory
First Turn: Yes
Opponent: Warriors of Chaos (Neil Williamson)
180 years after the death of Urlak Steelpick at the hands of Chaos Daemons a 2nd Dwarven expedition has entered the northern wastes attempting to succeed where Urlak's throng failed. This time the throng was larger and not an isolated expedition but part of a wider Dwarven effort to enter the lost holds of Norsca and retrieve heirlooms buried there for centuries. One such expedition, led by two thanes - Regar Agadkak the Bronze and his Battle Standard Bearer Zundrgur Stonefoot had entered the remnants of an Imperial outpost. On the march in the throng had passed the chaos preserved corpses of Dwarves from Karak Thorinkin. 180 years previously a few survivors of Urlak Steelpick's fateful expedition had made it south to spread news of their fall. Now nearly 2 centuries later another Dwarven expedition marched stoically past dead Dwarves left in alternating states of decay and preservation. Across the battlefields of the northern wastes Daemonic magic had preserved some dead, rotted others, and left some little more than piles of bones buried in rock and dirt. More horribly still, many of the preserved corpses showed signs of torture and foul Daemonic practices their bodies stacked out on the plains or nailed to trees. Foul magic keeping their bodies fresh as a warning against Dwarven folly.
Ignoring the warnings and fuelled by hatred for the forces of Chaos Regar Agadkak the Bronze and his army now faced another equally implacable foe. A force of Chaos Warriors and Marauders accompanied by several monstrous beasts and led by a huge Chaos Dragon. The Dragons twin heads alternately screamed at its forces to advance and kill the Dwarfs, while also spitting threats at the heavily armoured Dwarven warriors. Hating the enemy general with all the might of an Ancestral Grudge Regar Agadkak deployed his forces and gave the order for his missile troops and warmachines to open fire.
Gyrocopters ranged far ahead of the main Dwarven battleline seeking to goad the frenzied Chaos troops into charging. Warmachines frantically tried to find a line of sight to the monstrous Chaos Dragon, Chimera and Shaggoth that accompanied the Maruaders. But their efforts were blocked time and again, and those times that allowed shots to be taken proved ineffective.
The first of the advancing Gyrocopters fell back supported by Quarrellers on Regar's right flank. It was on this flank that the main Chaos effort would come. Seeking to take the initiative Regar Agadkak advanced forward with his Hammerer bodyguard charging a regiment of Chaos Forsaken.
Regar's charge aimed to bring him closer to the Chaos Dragon that led the evil army, but the fortunes of war took him too far. Dwarven Warriors to his rear realigned themselves to face the onslaught of the Chaos Chimera which now bore down on the weaker right flank. Quarreller and war machine fire continued to prove ineffective, unable to penetrate the tough hide of the Chaos Dragon or the Chimera.
Meanwhile the threat of a Chaos Hellcannon and the advance of Regar and his Hammerers had opened up a huge hole between the centre and left flanks of the Dwarven army. The Warriors on that flank faced with multiple foes had opted to attack first. Surging forward their advance ran into the unbreakable forms of several Chaos Spawn. These vile, twisted mutations of life attacked the Dwarven ranks in a frenzy, carving limbs from bodies and devouring Dwarves almost whole.
Seeing the danger to his rear Regar Agadkak reformed his Hammerers hoping to trap the Chaos Dragon between their strength and the Warriors protecting the war machines - assuming that the Dragon would continue its advance forward. Chaos magic began to cause casualties among the Dwarven ranks and now with the spawn holding up the right flank Dragon Ogres now advanced through the massive gap in the centre of the Dwarven line. Huge beasts, a horrible mockery of life, crashed into the rear of Regar's unit. Hammerers were crushed underfoot by the score, and dozens more took fearful wounds. But the Stubborn Dwarves held.
Trapped in combat and unable to advance to their aid Regar could only watch as the monsters of Chaos rampaged through his armies rear area. The Quarrellers were first to die followed quickly by the armies war machines.
Isolated the sole remaining regiment of Dwarven warriors in the rear had no choice but to charge into combat against a disc mounted Chaos Standard Bearer, a Shaggoth and a Chimera alone. If they could hold then Regar and his Hammerers would be able to come to their aid.
The battle between these forces was brutal but somehow the Warriors held on. Their sacrifice was in vain however. To their left the Chaos Dragon had now joined the Dragon Ogres in attacking Regar and his Hammerers; Regar's gamble had failed and the Dragon had turned to face him rather than continue its advance. Not wanting to have his troops face the Dragon Regar Agadkak the Bronze raised his Great Axe in challenge and stepped forward to meet it. Behind him his Hammerers cheered and then returned to the task of decimating the Dragon Ogres they faced.
But alas it was not to be. In the duel with the Dragon Regar Agadkak would be cut down before even beginning to swing his axe. From one of its two monstrous heads the great beast breathed a noxious vapour over Regar. Runes on his armour and on the Talisman around his neck glowed brightly as they fought the Chaos magic. But it did not work. The vitality and strength leaked out of Regar, his normally tough exterior seemed to melt before the eyes of his Dwarves and in a matter of seconds his body turned to dust leaving nothing but empty armour and his axe on the ground.
Zundrgur Stonefoot the Dwarven Battle Standard Bearer now issued his own challenge and swung his great axe at the Chaos Dragon drawing blood. Around him the Hammerers butchered the last of the Dragon Ogres, the final example falling dead with 4 axes buried in its chest. Enraged by the death of its troops and its small wound the Chaos Dragon reared its other head and breathed Chaos fire over Zundrgur. As the armour and flesh melted from this bones, the Dragons great weight smashed down on top of him killing him instantly. As Zundrgur died the Dwarven Battle Standard fell and the Warriors battling the other Chaos monsters to the rear finally broke, fled and were chased down. With all of the Chaos monsters now free to join the fight against the Hammerers their fate was sealed. The last Hammerer died, all of his limbs save that which clung to regiments banner cleaved from his body. But this banner like all the others also fell crushed beneath the Chaos Dragons weight.
Now hours after the battle was joined only one Dwarven unit remained, and following the death of the last Hammerer it too found itself locked in battle against the full might of the Chaos army. Seeking to make them pay as dearly as possible the remaining Dwarves fought on and on until only a handful and then just one - Runesmith Vonden Thunderbeard was left.
His lone defiance could not last though and like the rest of the army Vonden died cleaved and crushed into an unrecognisable mass. Once again the forces of chaos had triumphed and the 2nd Dwarven expedition into the wastes had suffered its first major defeat. Dissension now grew in the army only Grimnar knew what would happen next...
Tomorrow more battle reports from Runefang VII Day 1 and Day 2 (where things turned out much better)