Sunday, October 23, 2016

Orcs vs Humans vs Elves & Dwarves, Magic Treasure Hunt

Once again we journey to the Darkened Wood, where our ongoing campaign pits many factions against each other for control of this enchanted region.  All games are played with the Savage Worlds Showdown system, which has proven remarkably adaptable as a universal skirmish mechanic.

In our last game, the human rebels seeking to overthrow the likewise human king of the lands bordering the Darkened Wood ambushed the king's brother, the king's head tax collector, hoping to secure royal blood for a royal ransom.  The gambit failed when the tax collector fell victim to a stray shot (parallel to a modern African mercenary game also played with the Savage Worlds Showdown sytsem, likewise seeking to kidnap a VIP, I played on the same terrain) and the result was a bloody mess.  The leader of the tax collector's bodyguard, Captain Trent, barely escaped with his life.

Now, Captain Trent seeks to redeem himself.  The Darkened Wood seems to attract strange stones that fall from the sky, and a large one just did so, breaking into several pieces as it impacted.  The stones are useful to magicians, tend to glow green, cause hair loss and burns/lesions on the skin, and are highly prized.  The king directed Captain Trent to get as many of the meteor fragments as possible, with hopes of attracting a mage-for-hire to the king's retinue.

But Captain Trent faces opposition.  A group of Orcs, and an opposing coalition warband of Elves and Dwarves, also want the valuable stones.  Looks like we'll have a contest for the precious magic treasure!

Overhead view of the table.  Captain Trent and the humans at bottom left, Orcs at bottom right, and Elves/Dwarves at top right.

The Orc line, a few in the center protecting the shaman, Goblins at far end to serve as a meat shield from Human arrows.

Human forces under Captain Trent.  Archers, swordsmen, and warriors with spears.

The Elf/Dwarf coalition.  The Elven archers on the far end intend to go the hill in the background and command as much of the field as possible with their arrows.

First turn, Humans moving out toward the Goblin line.
The Elven archers move to the hilltop as planned.
The Orc horde pushes forward, as a lucky arrow wounds the Orc chieftain.
The Orc shaman moves to a hilltop for a vantage point from which to cast his dastardly magic.
The Orc shaman's spell is right on target, dropping a blast of energy on the advancing Elf/Dwarf unit and wounding or shaking all of its members, including the Dwarven mage and Elven chieftain.
Arrows rain down on the Orc shaman's group, but his bodyguard serves its purpose and soaks up the damage.
Mid-way through turn 2, view from behind the Human units, which are advancing on all sides.
Sustained arrow fire has depleted the Orc shaman's bodyguard; no one else to soak up the deadly Elven archers' volleys.

Turn 3 starts, and the Orc and Elven chieftains meet in the field in between their respective lines.  The Orc chieftain lays low his Elven counterpart.
Close-up of the Elven leader's fall.
View from the Human left flank.  The humans have yet to engage in any combat save a few arrows fired at the Goblin line.
The Dwarves advance toward the Orc chieftain, hoping to avenge the death of the Elven leader.

Turn 4:  The Orc shaman dishes out another magical blast that wrecks the Dwarven unit, with minis knocked over in the far right of this view.
The Orc and Dwarf mages exchange blasts at each other.  The Orc mage gets lucky and avoids getting blasted here.
A line of Human archers keep the Goblins at bay with a flurry of arrows, inflicting some casualties.
The Orc warriors advance across the field to confront the remaining Elven and Dwarven fighters.

Turn 5:  The Orcs and the remaining Elves and Dwarves collide in a vicious scrum in the middle of the battlefield.
The Orc shaman falls to an arrow fired by the Elven archer in the middle of the field in front of the hilltop where the Orc had been perched for the game up to this point.
As the Orc and Elf/Dwarf warbands clash in the background, the Humans are successfully carrying off the glowing green rocks without any opposition.  The screen of Human archers, front right in the picture, keeps both Goblins and Elves at bay.
Goblins have successfully retrieved a magic rock and are moving out of the woods with it as their Orc brethren clash in the background with the Elves and Dwarves.
The Goblins carrying the magic rock out manage to avenge the Orc shaman's death by cutting down the Elf that shot him down.  The bodies continue to pile up in the big clash in the background.
The Human archers even bested their Elven counterparts, who had rained death on the Orcs all game long!  By this point, the Humans had moved all but one of the meteor fragments to the board's edge.
The game's parting shot:  while the Humans were busy grabbing all of the magical rocks, the Elf/Dwarf coalition and the Orcs inflicted horrible casualties on each other.  The Orc chieftain barely escaped with his life.

This game proved a clear Human victory.  They ran off with four out of five magical rocks and suffered no casualties.  The Orcs grabbed one rock, the Elf/Dwarf coalition none, and both of those factions took heavy casualties.  Perhaps this windfall will allow the Human king to hire a mage and match the other factions in the campaign with some magic of his own.

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