HOTT Battle 1: Head Shot…

This is a battle report from the old Warbard – Corey

Dwarven warleader Reorax Thanak (the Witchkiller) surveyed his troops and the situation. The initial movement into this territory had gone well – only isolated patrols of humans, easily swept aside. His matchless Dwarven engineers had constructed a solidly stockaded field camp, and his troops had moved in for the night.

Now he had received word that a human force had moved out to meet him. His force formed up in front of their camp in the gloom of dawn, and prepared to begin the combat that would restore this land to its rightful Dwarven overlords.

Beyond the ranks of solid axedwarves and the bulk of the boltthrower to the left, the massive ‘Khadan’ floated, proud achievement of the runecarvers and mastersmiths of Thordan. The airboat was unique and powerful, and if Reorax’s plan worked, it could prove the key to winning this battle.

Dwarven Order of Battle: 6xBlades (Axedwarves), 1x Hero General (Reorax Witchkiller), 1x Shooter (Crossbowdwarves), 1x Artillery (Bolt Shooter), 1x Airboat (the Khadan) = 24pts. Dwarves were defending.

Signal lamps flickered from the Khadan, keeping Reorax informed of the enemy’s movements on the far side of the river. “Human troops in column….Foot leading…Horse following…Witch and guns spotted…” That last caused Reorax to grin. Killing human witches – they called them wizards – was something of a hobby for him. Another staff to mount on his wall, and another silly looking robe to carpet his floor with…

Terrain: Mostly open. A few small hills between the Dwarven camp and line and the river, which had a bridge. All human units started on the far side of the river, which crossed most of the board.

Human Order of Battle: 3x Knights, 1x Knight General, 4x Blades (Regular Swordsmen), 1x Wizard (the ‘witch’), 1x artillery (primitive bombard)= 23pts.

The Khadan eased forward, sails catching the wind and liftrunes flaring in the early morning light. As it approached the Human column crossing the bridge, the swordsmen in the lead moved left, clearing the way for the column of knights behind them to cross, the banners of the commander floating in the van. The airboat swung down on the human general’s group, weapons swinging to bear. Far behind, the main Dwarven line of axedwarves and crossbowdwarves started forward.

The Humans were severely cramped in their initial deployment. The Ketan River was not fordable, the bridge being the only way across. The Knights and Swordsmen were in column, the infantry leading the way. The gun and wizard were on the banks of the river to one side to defend the bridge.

The human general survived the Khadan’s initial attack, so the captain of the vessel swung in line for another run. The human witch let loose a blast of raw power, but the Khadan’s runes of protection dissipated the blast into a harmless – albeit spectacular – flare of light before the vessel was even struck.

This attack run proved successful – with the bridge behind him jammed with his own knights, the human commander fell before the deadly hail of the Khadan’s weaponry. Leaderless, the human army streamed back over the bridge and away, harried on their way by the Khadan.

In Hordes, armies which have their general killed automatically rout, costing them the battle. This is what happened to the humans in this battle.

Reorax and the Dwarven line hadn’t even closed to within bowshot of any enemy units, and the sun was not even properly risen! Reorax’s disappointment at not getting another human witch was balanced by the sheer exultation of such an easy victory. All honour to the Khadan’s crew and builders!

Now they could advance into human-occupied territory, and finish the job of establishing proper Dwarven leadership over lands that were rightfully theirs.

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