The story so far
In a far-off kingdom, there lived a noble Duke by the name of Leon de Fauxelle, of the Barony of Fauxelle. One day, the Duke didst hear the call to join the Third Bretonnian Crusade, with the holy purpose of purging the Dark Lands of the heathen Ogres, Goblins, and Chaos Dwarfs.
The Duke gathered his bravest knights and set out upon the crusade, filled with courage and determination. But alas, the journey was beset by danger at every turn, and many of the Duke’s comrades didst fall victim to the Ogre hordes that roamed the lands. The Duke, however, didst prove himself a valiant leader, and didst manage to retreat with the majority of his forces intact.
Upon their return journey (Game 1), the Duke and his men didst encounter a band of Ogres who had been trailing them, intent on preying upon the stragglers. A fierce battle didst ensue, and though many of the Duke’s brave soldiers were taken captive, he didst emerge victorious and fled northward.
As he journeyed, the Duke didst come upon Le Duc de Hazzard, who, like himself, was making his way back over the mountains. De Hazzard had with him his trusted retinue of knights, as well as a giant by the name of Remis. The two Dukes didst decide to join forces, and didst set out for the Ogre camp where their captured comrades were being held.
Leon de Fauxelle and Duke de Hazzard have joined forces after narrowly avoiding capture by Ogres in the first game. The two have discovered the location of the Ogre lair, where numerous prisoners are being held. Both de Fauxelle and de Hazzard wish to return to their respective kingdoms, but their sense of duty and bravery prevent them from abandoning the prisoners and leaving the Ogres unchallenged.
The Ogre camp is outside an old deserted Dwarf mine. The prisoners are kept in the mine shafts.
The scenario we played was straight out of the Warhammer Renaissance rulebook (in fact you can often use the basic scenarioes to model your story). The Ogres objective was “Take the field” while the Crusaders had to “Raid the camp”. It was an uphill struggle for the Ogres no doubt, but that kind of fit the story.
The Ogres had deployed in an angled formation and were patiently waiting for the crusaders to walk into their trap. Meanwhile, the crusaders had to spread out their troops. The Crusaders knew from the start that the terrain was going to work against them, with their need for units supporting each other. The Ogres on the other hand had the luxury of two single units that could pack a punch on their own.
In Warhammer Renaissance there is no magic in turn 1, which greatly speeds it up too. Also, between these two armies there was little but movement going on. The Crusader bowmen tried firing, but did not cause any wounds. The Cyclops aimed a rock at the de Hazzard knights and hit home, gravely wounding 4 of the Knights.
With the smell of fresh meat on the horizon, the Ogres abandoned their plan of staying back in a trap and smashed forward.
The Crusaders put forward a unit of Peasants as bait and alligned their other units to force the trap. In Warhammer Renaissance a unit of Peasants do not cause morale checks for Knights or units lead by Knights characters. The giant and the Ribalds with spears would still have to test, but on the generals leadership, if it came to it.
The Ogres took the bait and decimated the Peasants, who fled back 10″ going past the regiment of Ribalds with spears. The cyclops threw another rock, but this time it was off its mark.
After mowing through the Peasants the Ogres continued straight into the Knights de Hazzard. This was of course all part of the Crusader plan and would align the main Ogre regiment for a flank attack by the Giant and the Ribalds with swords, while the Ribalds with Spears could join in the front.
It was a gamble by the Crusaders. Their units were frail and would not be able to last more than one combat round. Especially the Knights de Hazzard that had already taken a beating by the Cyclops throwing rocks at them.
The Ribalds with spears failed their fear test and could not join the fight, which further increased the uncertainty. The commander mulled his decisions, but when he saw that the Ogre Warlord shifted through the regiment towards Remis, the Giant, he knew what had to happen. He called out a challenge to the enormous creature, but the Ogre Warlord didn’t answer! The coward!
Instead another big blob of meat carrying a huge banner came through the ranks. Leon de Fauxelle, bent on one knee and prayed. Then he swiftly rose to his feet and chopped the head off the Ogre winning the duel easily. Through a combination of wargear he ended up causing no less than 5 wounds. That is 2 wounds in overkill for the combat resolution.
Then there was the situation with the Ogre Warlord. Remis the Giant, didn’t think much of him and simply headbuttet him a good one. In Warhammer a Giant can opt to headbutt instead of attacking normally, and cause a S7 hit on a target model. If the model is wounded it is knocked unconscious and can’t do anything (and is hit automatically) until next combat phase. And sure enough, Remis knocked the Ogre Warlord out like he had a glass jaw. This completely turned the outcome in favour of the Crusaders.
The Ogres with double handed weapons and the Knight de Hazzard also with double handed weapons exchanged blows at the end, but then the Ogres were down -5 to the LD test.
The Ogres fled an amazing 12” and neither Remis, the Ribalds nor the Knights could catch them. We ruled at this point that the Ogre Warlord was carried away with his comrades, instead of just dying outright (which probably is the correct ruling). We did this because otherwise the battle was just over more or less.
Using his magical powers the Shaman moved the Cyclops on the Grey Wings of Magic and dropped him right behind the Peasant unit.
The Ogres started their turn by failing to rally the big mob of Ogres. They ran another 10″ towards the table edge. The Shaman and his unit started scrambling along towards the Chasseurs de Mort and the other Peasant unit.
The Cyclops charged and jumped up and down on the Peasant unit causing it do flee off the table. The Cyclops pursued but only rolled a 4″ which was not enough to take him into the unit of Chasseurs.
In the Magic Phase the Ogre Shaman moved himself over behind the Ribalds with Bows.
The Crusaders kept on pursuing the Ogre Warlord regiment. Remis the Giant failed a charge – the Ogres were just out of reach. The Chasseurs de Mort used their fast cavalry status to go around the rocks and set another trap for the Ogre Warlord in case he should fail another leadership test. The Bowmen turned to face the Ogre Shaman, so at least they would not get reared.
The fourth Ogre turn was a complete disaster. The Warlord retinue failed their leadership again and ran straight into the Chasseurs, where their story ended. This in turn caused the other Ogre regiment to flee, which in turn caused the Cyclops to flee… and…
…somehow! The Bowmen managed to beat the Ogre Shaman in combat by 1 wound, causing a break test which he promptly failed. Effectively by turn 4, the whole Ogre army was running away.
It was a grand spectacle! Leon de Fauxelle and Le Duc de Hazzard were mightily pleased with themselves as the Ogres ran off. Now they would have to enter the mines and look for the prisoners.
It was a good game – the Ogres were tipped to lose, but it didn’t matter as much unlikely dice rolling made it great fun. I am pretty sure the 10 model Ogre regiments are good, but also unwieldy. I would probably go for 9 in three ranks in a square block instead.
So this game we tried out some restrictions: We were only allowed to use magic items and banners from the armybook and no spells of greater power than 1. I don’t think these restrictions worked out as intended… for instance the power 1 spell Grey Wings, is still a teleport with enormous range.
In our meta, at least, teleport spells are simply too good to be unlimited and cheap. Teleport spells that work on the opposing army are even worse… I simply don’t think that is good fun. You can argue that in Warhammer Renaissance it is extremely easy to put a lid on magic. And I agree – you have a lot of possibilities for dispel and so on. But for our gaming, I think we a less “all or nothing” kind of game play. So, instead of spells being hard to cast, but game changing if succesful, I’d rather have spells that are easier to cast, but less powerful. At the very least I would like to try that out for size.
On that note, I am seriously considering writing a “low fantasy” rules appendix if you want your games to be more low level and like the 3rd ed. Warhammer perhaps. I really like the core mechanics of Warhammer Renaissance, but sometimes I prefer less magic (sometimes it is great fun too). A revised list of items and spells probably, where ranges are limited a lot more, meaning that wizards have to stick their necks out. I imagine something landing between Warhammer Historical and Warhammer Fantasy. But let us see if I ever get there.