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    • At last, and the wait had seemed as long as it was terrible, the drums began to beat and the horns were sounded. The armies of Pavona and Remas were ready to act. Knowing that they had been caught off-guard by the ogres sudden lurch forwards, and thus failed to deliver the barrage of shot they had fervently hoped for, they did not hold back now. Captain Ettore led the largest of the Pavonan halberdiers’ regiment in a charge against the maneaters, mainly because he was unwilling to be the recipient of their inevitable charge. Three of his soldiers died from the Maneaters’ massive pistols, followed by nine more when they made contact, all to very little observable effect against the thick-skinned brutes. But they had stopped the ogres’ advance and then they somehow held their ground to fight on. On the far right the Visconte Carjaval and his mounted men at arms smashed into the ironguts before them …  … killing two and wounding another. Not one knight had perished in the assault. The brutes turned and fled, while the visconte ordered his men to restrain their pursuit and reform to face the main body of the foe. The Reman dwarfs, garbed in iron and steel from head to toe, marched in very fine order out from the battle line, wheeling a little to face the foe’s main regiments in the centre. This allowed the Cathayan’s behind them to march up and fill the gap so created. The Pavonan huntsmen moved boldly over the rocky hill towards the lines of still-smoking leadbelchers … … while on the other side of the hill young Lord Silvano led his last surviving Sharlian Riders (elven mercenaries) in a charge against the gnoblar trappers. The young lord was bloodied by one of the vicious traps the greenskins lobbed onto the ground before them. Half the gnoblars died in this assault, and the other half fled in panic only to be cut down by the riders pursuing them. Silvano’s pursuit took him and his riders right into the two monstrously large mournfang cavalry who were lumbering up that flank. As the Pavonan halberdiers struggled to hold their viciously strong and battle hardened opponents …   … the Morrite priest began their prayers in earnest, first cursing the flesh of one of the leadbelcher companies on the enemy’s right, then employing an amulet of coal to kill one of them. An iron round-shot plunged deep into the flesh of the rhinox carrying the ironblaster, and yet the beast still lived! Another round-shot felled one of Mangler’s bulls, but the third cannon and the Helstorm were unable to fire, most likely due to a combination of fear and overhaste on the part of crewmen.  Two thunderous volleys from the Pavonan handgunners brought down a brace of leadbelchers, while the Cathayan crossbow wounded another. On the other flank of the army, the Reman crossbow also felled a leadbelcher and sent the rest of them running! Thus it was that using less than half the pieces that they had arrived on the field with they had managed to kill four ogres, wound several others, and even send some running. Captain General Duke Scaringella cursed angrily, furious that they had been unready to let loose with the full complement of artillery sooner.  (Game Note: What a first turn it could have been if all the artillery had fired, followed by a second turn with the same, as well as 54 crossbow and 32 handgunners!) Next, turn 2 …
    • The Battle Begins The first to move were the gnoblars on the far flank, scurrying up behind the hill, barely noticed by either ogres or men. What caught the Pavonan soldiery’s eyes was the lonely advance of the Hunter and his two beasts to the left of the centre. He strode boldly as they loped proudly, neither he nor they appearing even slightly concerned at the profusion of barrels, both big and small, in front of them. Perhaps refusing to be out-done by the hunter, the little company of maneaters also chose to close on the foe, leaving the rest of Razger’s battle line behind. (Game Note: The Tilean players had failed to get their desperately needed and much prayed for first turn. Even as an impartial GM I voiced my concern that this could be the beginning of the end despite being only the beginning of the beginning!) Moments later, the rest of the brute army marched on, the three main bodies of ogres outpacing the lumbering, war-machine bearing beasts between them, while the smaller body of bulls on their left began to angle away a little, as if to follow the maneaters. Mangler’s Butcher, Scabgash, marching front and centre of the largest body of bulls, now unleashed a powerful curse at the crew of the cannon before him, killing every one of them instantly, magically crushing their bones from the inside! (Game Note: 9 hits killed the cannon) As the report of this rippled through the regiment directly on the cannon’s right side, the despairing words met the same report coming from the other side, for the huge ironblaster had fired a roundshot more than twice as heavy as those employed by the Tileans’ pieces, over Razger’s head and right into another cannon, tearing it to pieces. It lay unrecognisable afterwards, with no sign of the crewmen who had been tending it only a moment before. (Game Note: Insult to injury – the artillery heavy army, carefully selected to fight these ogres, had not only failed to get the first turn, but had already lost nearly half its cannons!) The Pavonans could barely believe what had happened. Men and horses had put themselves through hell to haul those guns from Pavona, with several many perishing along the way from accidents or exhaustion. And yet here, before they had even fired once in anger, two had been destroyed. Still, this gloomy thought was soon lost, for the somewhat distracting sight of the advancing brute army dislodged it from most men’s minds! The two bodies of leadbelchers came up on the right, their flank (unnecessarily) secured by the gnoblars, and also fired, but this time to no noticeable effect, apart from the terrifying thunderous roar, flash and smoke they caused.  Even now, with the ogres closing fast, the vast allied army seemed unready. Every man who could see the foe (and the army was so big there were many who had yet even to glimpse them) craved to see at least some ogres brought down before contact was made. Surely with this many artillery pieces, handguns, crossbows and even rockets, the enemy would at least be bloodied before the inevitable mayhem began? There was even confusion at the rear of the battle line, where the manifold roar of the enemy’s guns had several men arguing whether or not it was their own guns or the foe’s they had heard. One fellow even pushed a comrade to the ground for the insane suggestion that their own guns had yet to fire! All Duke Guidobaldo could do was give the command “Steady!” He himself was behind his band of Astianan Swordsmen – the brigand scum who had flocked to serve the victor’s army even as their city was being plundered by his Pavonan troops. He noted with a little satisfaction that the two cannons in front of him were just about to shoot. The arch-lector was also behind an artillery piece. His own words were more numerous and quieter, taking the form of a prayer, which he made in preparation for the prayers to come. They would not be so quiet, or at least their effect would not be, for they would invite the great god Morr to vent his wrath upon the enemy. (Next, the allies first turn…)
    • They are only giving points to plastic models. No metal or finecast. No monsters, so Beastclaw out.    Firebellies might have actually got a run out in this format.    House rules could allow any hero or unit. Just divide by 5
    • Looks like a Grot Shaman, an IJ hero or a BS hero. Not even Greenskinz or Moonclan - what's the thinking there, really?
    • I also knocked out the bolt thrower this morning. My small Lothern Sea Guard army is now finished.