Saturday, 2 April 2016

The Resolve of Humans: KoW Narrative Battle Report

The wind moaned through the tops of the trees and brought with it a breeze that slide through the trunks and swirled the snow on the ground. A figure stood next to a large shape at the top of a slope that looked down on a mountain glade. Off in the distance past the naturally formed glade was an another clearing in the forest, this one man made and home to a large human army. The camp was as obvious an infected wound on pale skin and the glow from campfires painted the nearby trees in an orange light. The lone figure let out a slight sigh as he observed the camp and wondered about the humans huddled around those fires. Why were they so eager to reject their natural roots and try to banish the cold? Was not it natural for the high places of this world to be cold, and was that not doubly true in times of winter? True there were few even among his own people who go bare skin in these conditions but even the most fragile among them would not seek to burn wood and branch just to fend off nature, and if there were those among them who could not survive them they died for this was way things worked in nature, the endless cycle of life, death and rebirth. But no, humans rejected all this and did all they could to survive and this thought caused the figure to turn his antlered head and spit onto the ground. At this movement the large shape raised its wedge shaped head looked the figure.

“It is nothing old friend” said the figure in a slightly deep, musical voice. “I was merely thinking on the nature of humans and those thoughts left a sour taste in my mouth”.

At this the head seemed to dip slightly in a gesture of agreement and the antlered figure gave a light laugh and said. “Come, we must discuss with the others how tomorrows battle will be fought”. With that the figure grasped hold of a jutting protrusion just behind the shape’s head and vaulted onto its neck, the shape then stretched out in full to reveal its full draconic form. With a roar the dragon leapt from the ledge glided down through the glade and over the human camp. As the sound of panicked voices rose to meet it the dragon beat its wings once, twice and was soon far past the camp and turned back the way it had come, flying in the direction of its own lines. 

Spellweaver Uldreiyn Carzana stood on a small hill near the Wood Elf camp and looked at the figure standing across from him. The Green Lady, for that was the only name she had ever given him, stood with her back to him with arms clasped at the small of her back and her gaze looking out over the camp towards the mountain glade where the battle would be fought on the morrow.  She was average height for a elf, and average in a lot of other ways as well except for the small antlers that emerged from her raven black hair on the sides of her head. If it weren’t for those then she could have been mistaken for any elf, but those antlers not only marked her out from the crowd they also her symbol of what she was. For the Green Lady was the envoy of nature itself, she was personified nature of the Wood Elves, their twin halves given flesh with one being elven and the other being of the wild.  He was startled out of his reive when she said.

“He is coming”

At once a large dark shaped passed over the hill to be followed a moment later by a slight tremor through the hill and then footsteps. Striding onto the hill and into their sight came the figure of Taegen Wynwarin, his long black hair falling in a disorganized mess down his bare back. He came to stand before the two of them and withdrew the antlered great helm from his head, holding it under his left arm as he addressed them.

“They are there, resting. I could see their camp from well across the glade and make out their sentries just back inside their treeline”

“Humans” sorted Uldreiyn in disgust “Clumsy, brutish and obvious. Tomorrow we will defeat them”

“Arrogance is the general’s bane Spellweaver” Said the Green Lady “Though they may be lesser to us in many ways they still pose a threat. If not, then how else did they come to occupy so much of the land and press on our boarders?”

“Breeding my lady” he replied “And those damm dwarves teaching them the secrets of forging”

She tilted her head slightly at this, gave a faint smile and replied “Perhaps”. Then turning back to Taegen she asked.

“Did you see Waystones?”

“I did” He replied “And for all their failings no doubt the humans have seen them as well. There will be a battle, neither side will allow the other to make off with those fragments without one”

He unsheathed his knife and squatted down. “We will favour the left flank and the central hill” He drew a quick sketch of hill and its surroundings in the snow. “Uldreiyn you will be in command of the forces near the hill, My Lady you will command our Eternal Guard units”. At their nods he went on.

“I will command the Hunt from the top of the hill. I will only commit myself, Ohan and the Hunt when battle is joined and the Human’s attention is focused on our units. The Hunt’s appearance will shatter their resolve and terrify any human units who see them in fight. After that we will have them”

He stood and brushed away his sketch with his boot. “I agree with you both”. At their quizzical looks he carried on “The humans are inferior to the Asrai in many ways but we must not underestimate them. We will win this battle but I would prefer that as many of our kin live through it as possible” At their nods he donned his helmet, the metal a perfect fit to his head and face.“Rest well, we march at first light”

At this he strode back to the waiting form of the dragon and vaulted up behind its head. Once he was seated the dragon took to the air and soon both dragon and rider were lost to the night. As he turned to go the Green Lady spoke.

“Their Resolve Spellweaver, of all the things you may doubt them on never question their resolve". As he walked down the hill he replied.

“How can they have resolve when they are dead, my Lady”

Friday, 1 April 2016

Why Narrative Battle Reports Matter and the Golden D6

For a while now the only type of battle reports i have been willing to write have been Narrative Battle Reports as i found i liked the story telling potential of battle reports far more than reporting on what happened in the game from a rules point of view. Also it gives me a excuses to create stories in settings that i have come to cherish.

Although GW may think they are done with i still have many tales to tell of battles and wars in the WHFB World
Another reason why i do Narrative battle reports over standard battle reports is that there is a trend online to brush aside the lore and settings of war games in favour of pure rules analysis, when was time you saw lore mentioned in a codex/army review? This issues is addressed in a far more elegant and detailed post on the blog "The Good, the Bad and the Insulting and i recommend anyone reading this post to go and give it read. By writing narrative battle reports i hope to rekindle interesting in the lore and settings of the wargames we play, because lets face it its the settings and lore that makes the factions and armies we like and don't like.

At current count i have published 10 narrative battle reports:

Cowardly Elves: Warhammer Fantasy
The Forrest Must be Fed: Warhammer Fantasy 
A Pyrrhic Victory: Warhammer Fantasy 
Let Xenos Kill Xenos: Warhammer 40k
Feet First: Firestorm Planetfall
Operation Blindstrike Part 1: Firestorm Armada
Operation Blindstrike Part 2: Firestorm Planetfall 
For Dramos: Firestorm Armada
A Lesson in Soldiering: Firestorm Planetfall
The Hunt Begins: Warhammer 40k

And i have plans for many more ranging across a variety of different settings and scales.  In addition to this i am now also writing Narrative Battle reports for the Online Hobby Magazine The Golden D6. My relationship with this magazine and its editor started when "The Forrest Must Be Fed" was republished in issue one. If anyone is interested in checking out issue one or any subsequent issue you can follow the link in the side bar or this one.

I do have more narrative battle reports in the works so if you have enjoyed the ones i have produced so far then you are in luck. Until next time.