The AttackAuthor: Marc Farrimond © 1998
The battle over the men sat resting and tending to the wounded. The losses had been heavy but the Firstborn had been triumphant. For hours that day the men had fought like wild animals against the Blackbloods. They had fought and died, but they had proven a better match for the enemy and by the end of the afternoon all but a few of the Blackbloods had been defeated or routed from the field. But the Firstborn had paid a heavy price. Carnos the Chronomancer was gravely wounded and wasn’t expected to make it to another sunrise. Ortorus the leader of the force had been slain during the conflict, his Greatsword piercing the black heart of Barthas the Blackblood leader as the two fought a tense bloody battle that lasted for over an hour. The mortally wounded Barthas raised his Falchion with his last ounce of strength and Ortorus felt the cold steel slide under his breastplate and the warmth as his blood ran across his stomach. The morale of the Blackbloods had been broken with the defeat of Barthas and soon the battle was over as the Orcs retreated to tend to their wounded. Now out of the four hundred warriors who had fought under Ortorus less than thirty men survived, all battle weary and worse for wear. Kaldan the last surviving Greatswordsman and younger brother of Ortorus had taken charge of the remaining force and as night drew around them the temperature began to drop rapidly. Kaldan had gave the order for the men to camp and tend to themselves as the nights in the desert could be as cruel as the days, with the heat of the day turning into a coldness akin to the grave!
"What use is an army that is full of fatigue!"
Kaldan spoke out loud to one of the young mace men who was holding his helmet now filled with water in his hands. Kaldan cleaned the wound on the dying Chronomancer as best he could, but the heat and the damn sand was getting to the man and Kaldan prayed to the One King that Carnos would survive, as the journey across the shifting sands would be almost impossible without the special insight which he could provide. Carnos lay on a makeshift bed, his tired broken body a mere shell of its former self, he tried to speak to the man comforting him but an unintelligent gargle was all that he could make. Kaldan cursed the Blackbloods for the high price he and his men had paid. The supply lines for the Firstborn had been attacked by the Orcs for many weeks now and it was deemed that the problem should be stemmed at the root and thus an assault on the Blackblood encampment was the only choice.
The large man wiped the brow of the Chronomancer and sighed with a heavy heart. His brother slain, his friend dying, his men on verge of despair, and many leagues from home, perhaps tomorrow they would make for the coast and try to rejoin their comrades at arms. But for now they must take care of the wounded and rest. Carnos coughed and a small trail of blood began to trickle down from his mouth. He fought hard to sit upright. Kaldan cradled his dying friend in his arms.
"Rest easy old friend. Conserve your energy." Kaldan spoke with a gentleness that belied his large frame and a single tear rolled down his check and splashed like morning dew on his friend’s forehead. Carnos coughed again, only this time dark, foul smelling liquid came from his mouth.
"They come.... We must prepare ourselves...." Carnos wheezed the words out in pain and the effort became too much for him and he passed out. At the far end of the camp came a scream that caused Kaldan to jump startled. He lowered his friend and picking up his Greatsword ran off in the direction of the sound, closely followed by the men remaining in his warband.
A strange almost unearthly sound was coming from the twilight shadows, almost melodic in its tones, like water cascading from a waterfall onto rocks below. Kaldan and his men approached cautiously with weapons at the ready, behind them the rest of the camp acting as one, stood ready for battle. From the darkness, eyes regarded Kaldan and his men with an intelligence that they would never comprehend, and as the men searched the sand dunes for the source of the sound the creature acted on an unheard order and launched itself into the air and landed on the back of one of the swordsman, its lethal razor sharp claws ripped through armour and flesh alike sending showers of blood onto the desert floor.
Kaldan span around with his weapon at the ready, just in time to see the strange dark skinned creature ripping at the remain of his fallen comrade at arms, like a hungry dog with a bone. It was sleek and built for killing. The poor mans blood and guts covered its snout like muzzle, its sharp bone coloured teeth tarnished with a red gleam. Kaldan launched himself at the creature, bringing his Greatsworddown in a high arc catching it along its spine. The creature wore ornate armour that glinted with a bronze tinge in the half-light and the blow slid between the lattice of plates that ran down the length of its back, serving its spine with an audible crack. The creatures let out a high pitched squeal and a dark ichor ran from its body and mingled with the blood of the dead man on the desert floor.
"Too arms! Too arms!" Kaldan yelled to his men and the darkness was pierced by dozens of tiny reptilian eyes that sparkled like stars. Seconds later all hell broke loose.
From their hideaway high up above the Firstborn camp the two Goblin Pathfinders sat silently watching as the Stygian launched into a fury and set about the few surviving Firstborn. The small creatures turned and without a sound left their spectators view of the battle and returned a few moments later to the Blackblood camp. Narbok the newly appointed leader of the surviving Blackblood force was standing, hands on hips in a heated discussion with his advisor when the Pathfinders came into the camp. After hearing the story that the Goblins had to relate, Narbok let out a long loud laugh.
"Today we will silence the Firstblood fools and teach them that the Blackbloods are not a force to be trifled with. Call the troops to arms, the Firstborn must not leave the area alive, and if we can send some of the unholy lizard creatures to meet their doom all the better." A large broad smile crossed his face as he proudly hefted the Falchion that had belonged to his leader Barthas. There would be blood spilled once more and this time vengeance would be his....
The Attack - Scenario rules"The Attack" is a Chronopia scenario that will work best with 3 players, but can be played with 2 players if needed. The objectives and victory conditions are set out below and describe the terms a player needs to win. One player will be in control of Kaldan’s Firstborn force, one player will control the Stygian and the third player will be in control of Narbok’s remaining Blackbloods. Unlike normal Chronopia scenarios, "The Attack" changes the format slightly to account for a few things. The battle takes place a few hours after the Firstborn and Blackbloods have retired to see to their wounded.
Firstborn Maceman Leader + The Firstborn player may take Carnos the Chronomancer as a character. Carnos is dying and to represent this fact, the Firstborn player must make a LD check each turn to see if Carnos is fit enough to be used. If the test is passed it is taken that the heroic warrior has summoned the will to try and fight against the enemy. Use the modified profile for Carnos below. If the player wishes to take a Chronomancer, then it must be Carnos. Carnos is represented by a normal Chronomancer miniature available from all good games stores.
+ The Firstborn player has 900 points to spend on troops as he sees fit.
Orc Swordsmen Leader + The Blackblood player has 800 points to spend on troops as he sees fit.
+ It will take the Blackblood player 4 turns to get onto the battlefield. Once they will arrive at the start of turn 4 and then will be deployed as per diagram 1.
+ The Blackblood player must try to defeat the Firstborn player and all Firstborn troops are to be treated as the primary target.
Stygian Spearmen Warrior + The Stygian player has 1500 points to spend on Stygian troops as he sees fit.
+ Night is about to fall upon the desert and as such the temperature is dropping rapidly. To take this into account the Stygian player treats all the Stygian under his command as if they were fighting in a cold climate and the -1 to their MV stat applies, also cold based attacks will be increased by 4 as per the rules for the Cold Blooded ability. If by turn 7 the Stygian haven’t won the battle, they will be forced to retire as they will become to cold to attack due to the loss of heat as night draws in.
DeploymentPlayers must deploy their troops as per diagram 1 and should set up no more than 6 inches from the edge of the table.
Victory Conditions+ The Firstborn player wins the battle if they have more than 400 points of troops left on the table at the end of turn 7. They can also win if they are the only surviving troops left before that time.
+ The Blackblood player wins if all the Firstborn troops are killed and if there is more than 400 points of Blackbloods left on the table at the end of turn 7.
+ The Stygian player wins if they destroy all the troops or both Firstborn and Blackblood have less than 400 points left alive on the table at the end of turn 7.
Optional RulesIf need be ‘The Attack’ can be played with two players instead of three. When playing with just two players, one will take control of the Stygian as per the normal scenario and the other player will play either the Firstborn or the Blackbloods, but is allowed to 1300 points of which half will arrive from deployment point c (as per Blackbloods) at the beginning of turn 4.
Alternately you can always use the Stygian as an independently controlled force, with players moving and using actions alternately. One turn the Firstborn player will move all the Stygian and use up all movement and actions, next turn the Blackblood player will take control as mentioned above. In order to maintain a sense of fairness if this option is chosen, both players when controlling the Stygian must move them to attack the nearest enemy unit or individual. The Stygian are not allowed to hide or use any action to wait and must advance to the nearest enemy unit if at all possible.
- A LD check must be passed each time you wish to activate Carnos due the wounds he sustained during the earlier battle.
- Carnos starts the battle with one less wound than is normal. This is already modified in the profile for Carnos.
- If Carnos fumbles at all during the battle he is deemed to have passed out and a LD check must be made to revive him the next turn at -2 to his LD score.
Carnos is armed with a Power Staff
Designer notesI first started writing this scenario while I was working briefly at Targets Studio up in Edinburgh Scotland. Being in an environment that is full of both games and gamers often sparks the imagination and one morning while I was waiting for the terrain I was building to dry (you can see it in the Land of Two Rivers supplement for Chronopia and shown in the larger Stygian picture above.) I set about creating something that I hoped would go into Chronicles magazine, and may still yet do so. The great thing about Chronopia and Warzone is that a multi player game is a very simple affair to run and not like other systems such as 40K or Fantasy Battle where you are stuck with limited options when it comes down to movement, combat and magic. The feel of the Stygian and the totally alien way that they think makes them an excellent force to fight against, and its very easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and throw your troops headlong at the reptilian horrors, but a word of warning, Stygian are one of the fastest troops in Chronopia and if you don´t think your actions through you may wind up with them bearing down on you too fast for you to react.
Since I wrote this scenario I have played Chronopia many, many times and I have played the scenario at least five times with varied results, but in most cases it was closely fought with the Stygian advancing in waves like the Aliens from the movie of the same name. The outcome was never the same twice and all three races won on different occasions with the Blackbloods coming out on top and the Stygian coming out bottom. . The feel of the Stygian and the totally alien way that they think makes them an excellent force to fight against, and its very easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and throw your troops headlong at the reptilian horrors, but a word of warning, Stygian are one of the fastest troops in Chronopia and if you don´t think your actions through you may wind up with them bearing down on you too fast for you to react.
The character Carnos did well in every battle he fought in and I have since added him as a recurring character to my own Firstborn warband. This is the first of many adventures and scenarios that we are planning to bring you over the coming months. At the moment myself and a few of the other crazy people who write for Gamers Web are planning a 24-hour charity marathon in which we aim to play some of the largest games ever, including a huge Warzone and Chronopia scenario with hundreds of miniatures and a Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy Battle with well over 50,000 points on the battlefield.
If all goes well we will bring you a full report of the events and photographs of the battles. If you are interested in taking part and live in England please let me know, or if you would like to help out in any way again, please mail me. As always comments on this scenario and anything else on Gamers Web are more than welcome.
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