Battle at the Gates of Ekrund
In an effort to bridge the gap between tabletop miniatures games and the realm of online gaming, John Shaffer of Games Workshop, U.S. built a scale model of one of the WAR in-game environments; the lofty and ancient Gates of Ekrund. Using raw materials, like insulation foam, plastic sheeting and foam core, John recreated the imposing structure with help from some in-game screenshots. Two weeks after a meeting with EA Mythic staff, the gates were finished, and it was only right that a heated battle between the Dwarfs and their rivals, the Orcs and Goblins be waged amongst the shadows of Ekrund’s walls.
Two of the EA Mythic staff, Adam Gershowitz and John Rudy were up to the task since they are veterans of the miniature gaming hobby that WAR is faithfully based upon. They made the trip up from Fairfax, VA to Glen Burnie, MD to play at a Games Workshop Battle Bunker, a place full of terrain boards and models with which to play tabletop war games. To find a Games Workshop store near you in the US, visit http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/storelocator/search.jsp
Then it came time for the two players to each choose their armies. To ensure that both sides were even, each model in an army has a point value based on their abilities in the game. With 2000 total points for each player to spend on their armies, there was a lot of variety and customization that could be achieved with their forces.
Adam chose a melee combat-ready army full of stalwart Dwarf infantry. To support his forces, he added the swift and useful Gyrocopter and two warmachines, a Bolt Thrower and the devastating, multi-barreled Organ Gun.
John’s greenskin horde consisted of large blocks of Orc and Goblin melee troops, supported by some Goblin Archers, two Stone Throwers and the ferocious might of a towering Giant. Night Goblin Fanatics are a key component of John’s battle plan. These ball and chain wielding nutters hide in their Goblin units, waiting to surge forward, laying low both friend and foe alike in their path of destruction. John also took three Goblin Shamans, whose magical abilities would undoubtedly prove useful in the battle to come.
Turn 1 Orcs and Goblins
The greenskins took the initiative and rushed their units forward, eager to close the distance with their hated enemies. The Giant moved to the center of the battlefield, bellowing a challenge to the Ironbreaker unit across from him. The Goblin Shamans released volleys of offensive magic, but much was resisted by the resilient Dwarfs, with only a single Bolt Thrower crewman falling beneath their sorcerous might. The two stone throwers missed their mark, but allowed their crew to better estimate their ranges to make more accurate shots in the later turns.
Turn 1 Dwarfs
The Dwarfs began the game with a cunning use of their Gyrocopter. The flying contraption moved up close enough to release the Night Goblin Fanatics from their units prematurely, and then the flying contraption bathed the greenskins with a gout of scalding vapor from its steam cannon. The Thunderer unit on the ramparts used the firepower from their finely crafted rifles to cause the Goblin archers to fall back in disarray. With The Orcs now in range, The Organ Gun opened fire with multiple barrels, killing 6 of the fearsome Black Orcs who were now closing in on the Dwarfen line.
Turn 2 Orcs and Goblins
With their hatred as their guide, the Goblin unit and their Shaman leader successfully rally themselves at the start of their turn, allowing the Shaman to use his abilities once more (because he is no longer frantically running away from gunfire). With gritted teeth, he released a sorcerous blast of magical power at the Dwarf Hammerers on the ramparts, killing three. The Giant closed the distance to the Dwarf Ironbreaker unit, ensuring a bloody melee in the coming turns. The rest of the greenskins continued their advance, getting dangerously close to the Dwarfen lines.
Turn 2 Dwarfs
Turn 3 Orcs and Goblins
Turn 3 Dwarfs
Turn 4 Orcs
Turn 4 Dwarfs
On the ramparts, the Dwarf Hammerer unit takes the opportunity to charge the unit of Orcs, who had overextended themselves and exposed the flank of their unit. Charging in against the side of the unit, the Hammerers make quick work of the beleaguered greenskins and send the survivors fleeing over the ramparts! Seeing victory in sight, The Dwarfs set themselves up for their next turn to perform a devastating, dual flank charge against the Warboss and his unit.
Turn 5 Orcs
Things looked grim for the Greenskins, and there was little sign of improvement. The Warboss and his unit fought ferociously, trying to break their opponents and get out of the unfolding trap that was now pressing in on all sides. Unfortunately, their casualties weren’t enough to shake the courage of the Dwarf unit they were engaged with, and the end seemed inevitable. In a last ditch effort, the Fanatics barreled through nearby units of Dwarf Warriors, taking a few down in spite.
Turn 5 Dwarfs
The time for the finishing stroke had come, and with a shout, both units crashed into the sides of the Warboss’s unit. The Dwarf Thane leading the Ironbreakers bellowed out a challenge and fought a bitter battle with the Warboss in single combat, while the battle raged around them. Both sides suffered heavy casualties, but it was the Dwarfen flank charges that broke the Orcs and sent them fleeing.
Turn 6 Orcs
Turn 6 Dwarfs
With pure hatred of the invaders in their hearts, The Dwarfs charged in to finish off the Warboss and his unit once and for all. Once again steel crashed together as the foes met in combat. The sheer weight of numbers of the Dwarfs carried them to win the combat, but the stubborn nature of the Greenskins once again came to the fore. By rolling double-ones on his Morale Check, John managed against all odds to keep his Warboss in the fight, and alive to exact his revenge!
And with that, our bloody battle had come to a close, with the Dwarfs securing a decisive victory. The garrison of Ekrund had defended the hall of their ancestors with honor, but with revenge boiling in their veins, the Orcs would assuredly be back to challenge the Dwarfs once again, but next time, with reinforcements!