At the climax of Chapter 2 [soon to be written up!], the magical barrier holding wild magic out of Ostermark was shattered by the devious machinations of The Scholar. Magical winds flooded the province, bringing with them the chill of the north. The Dark Hills were plunged into a winter deeper and more persistent than they had seen in centuries, and the armies battling for the future of mankind found themselves struggling to adapt to the sudden change in climate, even as they called more reinforcements to their aid.
What will happen next? Will the Imperial armies put their differences aside and find a common cause? Will the undead legions topple the realm of man and take power for themselves? Will the Scholar finally find the release he seeks?
Watch this space!
Chapter 3 Special Rule: Winter Warfare!
All games this month will take place across a winter-themed battlefield. As such, before each game, roll a dice immediately after choosing your scenario and apply the relevant rules!:
1: Crisp and Clear
2-3: Winter’s Chill
5: Ominous Rumblings
6: On Thin Ice
1: Crisp and Clear
It’s cold, and there might be a thin covering of snow or frost on the battlefield, but this will have no effect on the battle to come.
2-3: Winter’s Chill
Snow dusts the trees; iciclces hang from gutters and fences; swords freeze in scabbards and warriors’ breath hangs in the air like mist. Unless generals have prepared their men for the cold, they could succumb to the elements.
Roll a D6 for each Infantry and Cavalry unit at the start of the game, after deployment. (Characters are unaffected by this.) On a roll of 1, D6 models in the unit must pass a Toughness test or be removed as casualties with no saves of any type allowed.
Snow is falling in great quantities, and the wind is howling. Visibility is reduced to almost nothing, and the opposing forces are upon each other almost before they have seen their foe. It’s madness to fight on under such conditions, but there’s too much at stake to simply flee the battlefield – and more to the point, no one’s quite sure which way leads home…
At the start of the game, each force may extend its deployment zone D6” towards the enemy army. Roll just before deploying each army.
All ranged attacks (including magic missiles, but not other types of spell) have their ranges reduced by 25%. Furthermore, instead of the normal -1 to hit at long range, units suffer a -1 to hit at short range and a -2 to hit at long range. If a ranged attack does not roll to hit normally (war machines, etc.), roll a D6 before firing; on a 1, you may not fire.
The range of the Inspiring Presence rule, as well as Battle Standard Bearers, is reduced by 6”. However, all models on the battlefield have the Cold Blooded rule (they roll 3D6 for Leadership tests, and discard the highest); it’s not that they aren’t scared of the enemy, it’s that they’re more scared of abandoning their brethren and becoming hopelessly lost!
Flying models can swoop or glide D6+4” rather than 10”; roll each time they move. Flying marches double this value. When charging, work out the movement value first, then roll for the additional charge range.
On Thin Ice
As the cold sets in, rivers turn to ice and crossings form where once there were raging torrents. Armies might use this to their advantage, but should be wary; should the ice give way beneath them, the swords of their enemies will be the least of their worries.
This battle takes place on a frozen river or lake. “Ground-level” (i.e. non-elevated) terrain is considered to be the icy surface of the water, while hills represent the shoreline, and can be counted as normal open terrain. No terrain can be placed on the ice except for hills and forests (which are counted as small wooded islands). In the case of the Watchtower scenario, the building in question will need to be on an island – use a gaming hill or something similar.
Ice counts as open terrain in all regards, with the following exceptions:
- In several situations, models can break through the ice. If this happens, the model must fail an armour save or be removed as a casualty, regardless of wounds or ward saves. Models without armour aren’t immune to this; roll a dice for them, and if a six is scored, roll again. On a 4-6, they are considered to have passed their save, and are removed. War machines, chariots and similar models (which would reasonably not be able to “leap aside” when the ice breaks up) are automatically removed.
- If a unit that is at least partially on the ice fails a Panic test, they risk breaking through. Test for every model that is on the ice. Surviving models then fall back as normal.
- Flying monsters risk breaking through whenever they land on the ice, and must test immediately.
- Monsters, monstrous infantry, chariots and units with a majority save of 4+ or better risk breaking through the ice if they march or charge. If they do so, measure how far they move, then roll 2D6. If the total is less than the total distance they moved, all models in the unit must test to see if they break through.
- Monsters that break through the ice are not removed immediately; instead, they suffer D3 wounds with no saves of any kind allowed, and a coin-sized counter is placed where they broke through. In the monster’s next movement phase, roll a D6; if the roll is higher than its remaining Wounds, the monster is removed as a casualty. Otherwise, the monster smashes up through the ice! The counter is moved 2D6” in a random direction (on a “hit”, it does not move) and the owning player places the monster so that its base is completely covering the counter, facing in any direction. It must be placed so that its base is not within 1” of any enemy models; if this is not possible, all models in the enemy unit test to see if they break through the ice, and any survivors move the minimum distance so they are not within 1” of the monster. The monster may not move this turn, but may otherwise act normally.
- Immediately after making a Stomp or Thunderstomp attack, monsters and monstrous infantry must test to see if they break through the ice. However, units targeted by one of these attacks are also at a higher risk; if a unit is hit by a Stomp, then after the attack is resolved, D6 models (chosen by the owning player) must test to see if they break through. This becomes 2D6 models for a Thunderstomp.
- Instead of bouncing as normal, cannonballs will break through the ice! Place the large round template at the place where the cannonball hits the ice; all models touched by the template must test to see if they break through the ice. If the cannonball lands directly on a model, that model takes a hit as normal, then the large round template is placed.
- For all other war machines that use a template, any model hit must test to see if it breaks through, in addition to being hit as normal.
6: Ominous Rumblings
The battle takes place at the foot of a snow-covered mountain. As the two armies meet, the tramp of armoured boots and the clash of sword on shield causes an avalanche further up the slopes! Suddenly, the enemy isn’t the only thing to be worrying about…
At the start of each game turn from 2 onwards, roll a dice. Subtract 1 from the result if at least one cannon, mortar, stone thrower or other similar (loud!) war machine was fired last turn. If the score is lower than the turn number, the avalanche hits the battlefield in the form of a wall of snow!
The wall of snow runs parallel to the short table edges (the ones where the armies didn’t deploy; in some scenarios, this could be the long table edges instead) and runs the whole width of the table. Its progress across the board is marked with a “snow marker” – this could be as simple as a coin, or as awesome as a fully modelled 4-foot-long ‘snow ruler’. This moves on from a randomly determined short table edge.
At the start of each game turn (including the one when it arrives), the snow marker moves 3D6” across the board. If a double is rolled, you should roll one less dice in future turns. If a triple is rolled, the avalanche peters out, and the marker won’t move again.
Any unit that the wall of snow moves into or through takes a S4 hit on every model in the unit. If the snow moved 2D6” this turn this is S3, and if it moved 1D6” this is S1. Monsters, war machines and chariots take D3 hits at the relevant Strength. If a unit fails a panic test because of this, it will flee in the direction the avalanche is travelling.
As soon as a unit takes hits from the avalanche, place a “Buried” marker next to it. A buried unit rolls a D6 at the start of its movement phase; on a 1-4, the unit can do nothing this turn. On a 5-6, the unit frees itself, and the buried marker is removed. It cannot move this turn but may otherwise act normally.
Units with a “buried” marker cannot move; if they fail a panic test or are otherwise caused to flee, they are wiped out instead. They can shoot and cast spells as normal, but can only target units within 12”. Buried models reduce their WS, BS and I to 1.
Unengaged, unburied models in the path of the wall of snow (i.e. it hasn’t already moved past them) and within 12” of it at the start of their movement phase must take a Panic test – if they fail, they will flee directly away from the avalanche.