Sunday, 17 August 2014

BOYL 2014 The Siege of Avalone - the Assault!

And they're off!

Gobbo's pour over the walls into the teeth of massed Elf archery.

A suicide squad of Berserkers moves up to stem the green tide as the Narnian host takes to the skies, bearing aloft rocks and boulders to be dropped on the hated foe.

Clash of the Titans! The woods come alive as Treeman and Giant collide!

And yet still more mighty confrontations rend the very air asunder! The seemingly unstoppable Greater Daemon is confronted by a Life Elemental but who will prevail?

More Giants pile in, in an attempt to break the Treeman swarm!

Orc Big 'Uns waver as yet another Treeman crashes through the undergrowth and assaults them - obviously enraged at the number of its brethen that died to make their Siege tower.

Mortar and Cannon fire begins to rain down from the city walls. The Orc Stonethrowers hurl their response back but the walls are just too thick.

Even time itself slows down as huge energies are released in the battle between life and death! We played this combat through to the end out of the normal turn sequence and despite lasting a valiant four rounds or so, the Life Elemental was dispatched - but not before it had seriously weakened the Daemon!
A Mighty Giant falters and is pushed back, falling into the tower and revealing the Evil army's secret weapon - unfortunately it turned out that Treemen were immune to gratuitous genitalia...

More Flyers sally forth for the forces of good.

Suddenly the leering grins were wiped off the Chaos Knights' faces as the prospect of slaughtering Human levies was dashed by the surprise appearance of yet another Treeman!

The Gobbo's continue to weather the hail of Elven arrows, supported by a Wyvern Rider.

Things look dicey for the Evil advance as a huge celestial hand threatens one of their Siege towers. Actually I think this shot was intended to illustrate the growing traffic jam due to Stupid Trolls and Goblinoid troops suffering from Animosity.
A doughty Zoat Wizard advances and launches a barrage of fireballs at one of the approaching Siege towers - luckily the strength 3 hits aren't enough to set it on fire.

Noble knights and the Narnian host ready themselves for the oncoming horde.

An Evil general looks proudly on as the horde plods on!

Almost there! My Giant can barely contain his excitement at the prospect of riding his cart down the hill!

Cannon in front of them and Elven archers every bloody where else - not to mention Berserkers getting in the way!

With a huge (and rather incongruous!) Whoopeee, the Giant races down the hill side in his cart! He ploughs straight through the hedge and does considerable damage to the hapless Elf archers hiding behind it.

Ominous noises issue forth from the Ass Cannon and nervous looks are exchanged by the nearby troops...

Somewhat dissatisfied by its lot in life the Bound Daemon goes berserk and "eats" two of its crew - not sure they ended up going down the right orifice though...

In the background Wyvern clashes with Dragon while the crew of the Leadbelcher frantically draw a bead on the approaching Treeman fresh from Giant killing and looking for a new target.

The Chaos Knights struggle on against their Treeman while War Tortoise Ajax plods on.

The Wyvern charges, thankfully taking the pressure off the now much reduced Gobbo Sticka's. The Elves hold firm but grit their teeth in the face of a terrifying foe.

Whilst the walls refused to tumble before the hail of missiles sent forth by the Orcish artillery, there were plenty of casualties as boulders deviated from target!

And Skaven infiltrators appeared in the city streets!

With the opening of the tunnel larger reinforcements soon arrived to be met with fierce determination by an alliance of Slann and Halflings.

Mayhem reigns both inside and out the city walls!
Kaboooommm! The Gobbo's give the oncoming Treeman all four barrels but the monster, although wounded, keeps on coming.

The Giant pursues and squishes the surviving Elves, unaware of the reception committee awaiting him.

Despite their berserk rage, the Norsemen find themselves hard pressed by the Gobbos and their number is slowly whittled down.
The bitter combat between Wyvern and Dragon rages on but it seems the nobler species is gaining the upper hand.

Furiously the Treeman wades through the hail of cannon balls and attacks the hated Goblinoids before him. The Gobbo's don't stand a chance and leg it!

Over on the left the Elf archers are pushed back and forced to rout by the Wyvern rider.

And another Giant comes to the rescue of the routing Big 'Uns - i think by then we had worked out that the thump with club attack was pretty good at killing Treemen! 

The Wyvern is mortally wounded...

... but its rider is thrown clear and fights to avenge the loss of his beloved pet.

Hmmm which ones do I jump on next...?

A portly gentleman by the name of Friar tuck steps forth from the lowly ranks of peasant levies, hitches up his robes and calls forth a Mighty Wind from his arse. This fells one of the Giants and stops the advance down the centre dead. Thank goodness War Tortoise Ajax was there - the beady eyed Goblin Gunners were able to take aim and take the wind out of the Friars sails by filling him full of holes!

In a scene not dissimilar to the King Kong's emotive demise, the Giant succumbs to mass Cannon and Bolt Thrower fire - and all he wanted to do was go back up the hill for another ride on his little cart.

The Narnian Air Force finally reach their targets and drop their payload of rocks on the Orc artillery. One Rock Lobber is disabled and an unlucky Chaos Warrior takes a boulder to the head.

The Treemen begin to fall as the thump with cluib trend spreads among the Giants!

Driven to a savage rage by the death of old Snaggles, Grognod Wyrmfrend sees off the Red Dragon!

Charge! The tattered remnants of the Gobbo Sticka's routs the cannon crew - looks like the first line of defenses is beginning to crumble!

I'd like to say that Kev was looking proudly on as his Goblinoid minions marched on but I think hew was too busy chatting with Harry!

Not content with disrupting the Orc artillery, Hedwig takes a swipe at the victorious Gobbo's on his way back to the crags.

Yet another Giant/Treeman showdown!

Giants are an easily led lot - not only was thumping with clubs all the rage, but all the cool kids were also riding carts down hills.

The advance continues with the cessation of the wind blast.

Things look bad for the Treeman in the homestead...

Next to run the gauntlet was a Chaos Lord and his faithful Hydra, "Mr Snappy".

Not one to muck about when there's the serious business of fighting to be getting on with, Ugezod barks orders at his Mothercrushers to get the tower in line - the walls were almost within reach!

More and more Chaotics surge forward.

The way seems clear through the centre - only a thin line of Knights and Animal handlers seems to stand in the way.

The peasants brace themselves for impact.
Meanwhile, back in the city, the Skaven advance seems to have stalled. Unexpected Halfling resistance and a Wind Blast spell conspire to block the tunnel entrance and the the units now queued up to get through.

Cringer and Panthor aren't helping matters either!
Nice to see Tony Yates again - always a pleasure!

What's that coming over the hill?
Pics like this still make me smile!

Finally one of the mortars overheats and explodes - not surprising really after the hail of  artillery fire that had been raining down.

Beneath them the Gobbos are sucked into a combat with the Elf Spearmen and the Zoat wizard.
Ruglud's Armoured Orcs pause to use their tower as a handy shooting platform - well I had to use their crossbows at some point!

Reeling back in horror, the peasants are shocked at the ferocity of the Hob Hound charge.

Nearly dere boyz - time to dish it out to dem 'Umies, up close and personal like....
A view from above.

Another Giant scatters the Elven Animal Handlers, while the chap in Tartan prepares to headbutt the oncoming Pegasus out of the sky! 

The Gobbo's continue their struggle while Ruglud gets bored of shooting and charges the Elf in the flank. Carrion Crawlers begin slithering up the walls!

The Evil army pushes on down the centre.

Despite their hatred for Chaos, the flagellants are non match for the Hydra.

Charge - The Mother Crushers take the walls!

There's a few more 'Umies to crump yet though...

The Giant that had been locked in combat with the Treeman earlier had been driven off by a fly-by attack from a Griffin Rider. Luckily this unit of Trolls managed to follow up and finish the job - thus was the last Treeman finally felled!
Loud was the rejoicing of Team Evil!

More trouble from the Allied Flyers - this time their target was the Orc artillery although these plucky Trolls did their best to defend it.

The Mother Crushers pour out onto the Ramparts and continue to push back the Crossbowmen attempting to defend them.

The boot is on the other foot as the Elves find themselve surrounded by Gobbos, Armoured Orcs and the Orc Wyvern Rider - now minus his Wyvern because of massed crossbow fire.

Golgfag's Ogres enter the fray as War Tortoise Ajax continues its inexorable march to the city gates.

The Greater Daemon finally approaches the walls. In its weakened state after the battle with the Life Elemental it decides upon a reckless course of action. Summoning all its eldritch powers, the creature charges at the walls intent on blowing them asunder by releasing the pent up energies barely contained within its mighty frame...

But it is all for naught as a lone figure steps forth on the battlements. The brave Wizard shouts out his incantation and the Daemon is cast back, howling into the aether, its energies spent.

In game terms we gambled on a dice roll to see whether the Daemon could cause a breach or be destroyed in the effort - the Dice Gods did not smile on us!
And so concluded the Saturday's gaming - or at least as far as I can remember! It certainly was an epic day of gaming.

Although the set up may have had its flaws and the evil army had too far to march. Although there were occasional disagreements over rules and much flicking through rule books was needed at times. Although there wasn't much in the way of game balance and the attackers didn't really stand much of a chance of getting into the city none of that really mattered - at least not to me!

I had an absolute whale of a time.

I got to send my Giant down a hill in a cart and run over a unit of Elf archers - a rule I have wanted to play since first reading the Giant section in the 3rd ed. rule book.
War Tortoise Ajax didn't really get anywhere but his Goblin gunners actually hit something. And not jist anything - they got the advance going again by taking out Friar Tuck and his over active digestive system!.
Giants headbutted Pegasus out of the sky.
An Orc hero forced a Dragon to run away after it ate his Wyvern.
My Leadbelcher got to fire their gun at neat point blank rage at a charging Treeman (not stand and fire by the way!)
We managed to get a Greater Daemon on the table without it ruining the game.
And then there was the sheer spectacle of the thing.
And the banter between the ten or more players stood round the table.
And the many bottles of Magners.
And the big stupid grins on everyone's faces involved!
And just the utter joy of pushing round a large part of your collection and seeing what the dice had in store for them.

Would I play another game like this one - Hell Yes!

Would I make any changes - well with hind sight we probably should have stuck with Erny's well thought out scenarios which would have structured the whole thing a bit more. The game on Friday worked really well with limited objectives. I think the mixture of getting carried away and putting everything on the table on Saturday morning, along with concerns that we weren't going to have time to get the assault in on Sunday, meant that the scenarios went out of the window! As it was the bad guys probably started too far away from the walls but as you've see, we certainly didn't have a dull time getting there!

Independent GMing has been mentioned too and that certainly would have helped, however finding a selfless soul who was willing to miss out on playing in the game was always going to be tricky. I certainly didn't want to miss that opportunity! However, I was really happy at how we managed to GM by consensus and apart from a few instances of being a stickler for the rules we did ok. There was loads of rules made up on the spot, dice rolls to decide tricky situations and folks giving way to allow the sensible outcome to happen which was great. To be honest with that number of people around the table I was hugely pleasantly surprised at how well it went.

And it's not over yet! Although I had to leave the game to go and play Epic on the Sunday (oh the hardship!) I did manage to get in a fair few photos. The final post on the Siege of Avalone will be an epilogue I think, to wrap up the story of this momentous conflict.


  1. Amazing, This is the game I've been wanting to play for thirty years. Wish I'd been thee. Thanks for sharing the photos!! I'll be poring over them for days!

    1. Sounds like you were maybe inspired by the same amazing pictures in both the 3rd ed. Rule Book and Warhammer Siege - it was great fun recreating and perhaps even surpassing them?!

      You'd have been most welcome round our table but it might have been a struggle to fit you in!

  2. What a game...
    Thanks for posting the pictures for us.

    1. My pleasure - certainly was quite an experience!

  3. Ahhh and wow! All I can say. And, Yeah!!!!

    1. I had a similar problem when I started trying to write up this game - Luckily I found some other words to get the story across!

  4. It makes a lot more sense now that you've explained what was going on! It was a spectacle, every time I popped over there was more to see and more madness to gawp at. Looking forward to the next instalment.

    1. I think that was the problem as to why spectators couldn't make out any discernible progress - bit like the difference between watching plants grow in real time and in time lapse footage - too slow to notice much change in a day.

      Glad I could draw some semblance of narrative order out of the chaos!

  5. I don't know what you do... But you take the best photographs of miniatures during games I have ever seen! (:

    1. Most kind of you to say - there's a bit of jiggery-pokery with Picasa - cropping and adding a couple of effects. My new camera helps with making sure most of them are in focus!

  6. For the record the demon was heroically dispelled by my wizard.

    Great write up Thantsants.

    1. Right you are - missed that particular detail. I'll go back and edit accordingly!

  7. Epic doesn't even begin to describe this. It's almost too much. Almost.

    1. Packing it all away was definitely too much!

      Would this help? ; )

  8. How do you play the tortoise?

    1. Counted him as a Mammoth under WFB 3rd ed. but decreased his move to 4" and didn't give him double move for charging. Gave him a saving throw of +4 as well I think. The Goblin cannon were just counted as arquebus and all the Gobbo's counted as being in ard cover thanks to the howdah.

  9. sounds about right, i would have gone for normal charge as despite common myth real tortoises can move fairly quickly over short distances if they have to.