Snaga and his orcs bullied their way through the forest. The elves had to be near, and they would not escape the wrath that was due them. Snaga swore the oath to see the remnants of their cowardly company slain and their heads put on pikes.
The others gave Snaga a wide berth. Since the night time encounter with the dark master, and the battle with the elven battle company, the orc had undergone significant changes. Once small, he now appeared larger. Not hulking, but larger in presence.
His skin had darkened and cracks appeared like dried mud. Snaga’s eyes were the most disturbing of all. Filled with an ethereal light, they were empty pools of hate that terrified even the stoutest of his orc warriors.
The forest darkened around them and soon they realized that they were lost. Snaga said not a word. He kept along the ancient path, letting the fates guide him to his destination. He had heard of Mirkwood, full of elven sorcery and witchcraft that was built to confuse and befuddle those that went in.
Forward. Forward was the only way.
Webbing became visible. A little at first, like wisps of silk, but getting heavier and heavier as they progressed further in. Large shapes, cocooned in webs, hung from the tree limbs.
Snaga’s orcs were clearly nervous. Fear began creeping into their bellies. The scent of it was thick.
Lister, the warg riding orc scout, padded up next to Snaga as they walked.
“There are enemies about great Snaga.” The cowardly scout said, avoiding eye contact. “Spiders and other fell creatures. We can sense them watching.”
Snaga regarded his scout for a moment as they walked before speaking. His voice was darker, deeper, and full of the dark master’s authority.
“If they are foolish enough to attack, we will claim their forest kingdom for our own.” Snaga said with bravado.
A screeching sound was heard off beyond the thick trees. Scuttling shapes could be seen in the canopy of leaves above.
“And foolish they seem to be.” the orc barbarian Grumshaz muttered, taking a swig of brownish liquid from his skin before hefting his large military pick in two great hands.
Scenario: Mirkwood Forest
The game lasts 9 turns. Snaga’s orcs must last until the end of the game, or the game ends when their force drops to 25% of its size, meaning if three models remain the orcs lose.
The orcs would face four respawning mirkwood spiders which would randomly spawn in up to six different forest locations on the table.
Spiders dont’ care about terrain and climb over intervening terrain with ease, so trying to bottleneck them would be a challenge. The key would be to try to keep the spiders engaged with either a swarm of orc attacks, or find a way to keep them one on one so only one orc could drop as spiders have two attacks each and could drop two warriors a turn each with good rolls.
Three of the four spiders spawned in the same area to the left of the image above, while one spawned to the right.
Turns 1 – 3
Snaga had his main force back to the cliff to defend it, while Lister on his warg broke off the flank to keep himself safe and look for opportunities to charge a flank as needed (provided he could pass a Courage 2 terror check… )
Snaga wanted to minimize contact as long as possible. The two orc archers climbed the tree behind them to get better vantage. Blish, the orc assassin, managed to land a poisoned arrow into the eye of one of the spiders coming in.
However… the spiders did not care about the tree and one climbed up and over it, taking Blish out while leaving Tasty to remain in the tree.
Still, going into the middle of the battle with only losing a single orc was doing pretty well!
The spider along the right side of the picture (shown as the bottom above) attacked the cliff edge twice but couldn’t get through the orc defenses stationed there, even taking a wound for its troubles!
The spiders managed to whittle down a few orcs, but by turn 6 there were still 8 models standing. Snaga kept himself and two others nearby, hoping his Terror would keep the remaining spiders at bay, while the three on the cliff were succeeding at holding that down.
With three spiders moving in, Iggy Yellow Mug charged forward at one of the spiders. It was a reckless move but one that would hopefully buy Snaga and his warriors time. The other spiders had to charge him as well since he was the closest enemy, and then Iggy did something that was amazing… he shielded and with his two attack dice won a duel against six duel dice coming back at him… surviving an additional turn and keeping the attacks off of Snaga’s main group.
Iggy’s sacrifice would be remembered, for he rolled a ‘6’ on promotion later on, becoming an orc hero…
The spiders were dying, but more were spawning. Fortunately for Snaga they were spawning in the same areas. The cliff wall was eventually lost, and Lister couldn’t manage to pass a single courage check to charge a spider, preferring to keep himself and his warg safe.
The final turn approached and the spiders had to drop two orcs to feast on their rancid flesh and win the scenario.
One orc fell…. then the cliff side battle was won in favor of Snaga. It came down to Mr. Snaga and the last spider. The spider won the duel… but failed to wound the terrifying orc leader.
With that, elven hunters moved into the area and began dispatching the spiders. Snaga, realizing that he was best off not seen at all, took his injured company and slunk off into the shadows where they were able to rest and recoup.
Snaga’s finest hour and first victory in the campaign… and what a turning point it could be!
5 influence gained
Rolled a special which turns out to be a Black Numenereon (with influence bump to add 1 to the roll)
Almost all of the orcs leveled as they were all on the cusp.
Meetles, Tanakash, Yoz, and Iggy Yellow Mug all rolled “6” on their promotion roll, making them heroes.
Eskir the Oiled was promoted to a Morranon Orc.
Gorn the Black was recruited into the warband as a black numenereon warrior.
Grumshaz the barbarian hero bumped his fight value to 4.
Bilsh the orc assassin received Steady Aim.
Now that Snaga and his warriors are out of Mirkwood… vengeance will be dealt.