St Gerda's Fest

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Games Day 2001


House Rules

The Background

The Festival of Saint Gerda is held every midsummer outside the town of Grunwaldsberghafen, on the anniversary of Saint Gerda's discovery of the ultimate fruit punch, a mix of the local Elven berries, Dwarfen beer and Human Rum. It is an excuse for the local communities meet and trade stories, goods and occasionally, misdirected blows (the punch works that way). Over the years the fair has grown from a local produce market to an internationally famous event, where Dwarfs from the mines at Grunwaldsberg present their finest artifacts to trade with the Elven woodsmiths of the Grunwald and the Humans Traders and Navigators of the Hafen.

This year however things are going to be a little different. The Warband of Griznak the Gormless has decided to get in on the action, in fact to get all of the action. They are planning to descend on the fair and grab everything they can, kick a few stunties about and generally have some fun. After that, they are planning a short sea cruise to the land of Albion, using the boats in the Hafen, which nobody will be wanting after all.
The trouble is that Orcs aren't big on planning or secrecy, so after a few early raids when the Orcs constantly kept saying see you at Gerdas, the humans, elves and dwarfs are expecting them. Instead of a bunch of gaudily clad party loving folk at the fair there are several thousand steel clad troops and a lot of guns.
The best laid plans of Dwarfs and Men, not to mention Elves, failed to take into account one factor though, the number of Greenskins interested in stuntie kicking. Instead of a normal warband or two, Griznak has found himself at the head of a large column of irate and impatient greenskins and villainous fellow travelers eager to get a few dwarf beers inside them and have a few laughs before the "Big Game". In reaction the "allied" forces have pulled back to protect their own communities and now await the onslaught of the green horde

Warmaster with 28mm figures?

Why Warmaster with 28mm figures? Well, because it's the best set of rules for a massive battle. Warhammer is a great set of rules, but simply bogs down above 5000 or so points a side. Warmaster also has a command structure and fluid movement that isn't present in Warhammer.
Conversion is simple, we use standard GW small movement trays (50x100, actually 54x107 external ) as stands. Just fill the stands with troops and form them into units, away you go. All Warmaster standard distances are doubled, (using inches makes the tables too small).
The only drawback is that Warhammer has many more troops types than are available in Warmaster, but this can be easily be remedied by creating Warmaster profiles that reflect their Warhammer equivalents. For this game we kept it simple only using one custom type, the orc boar chariots (chariots with Black Orc stats.) Everything else was either from the rulebook or from Warmaster magazine. We did use a few houserules.

The Forces

Elves: 3550 Dwarfs: 3150 Empire: 2450 Halflings: 300
Brettonians: 400      
Orcs: 9200 (starting)      

The Results

We recycled dead Orcs as planned throughout the game making their final point count very unsure, probably about 15,000, especially as we stopped recycling goblins and focused on the high point cost items such as cavalry, giants, ogres and trolls! Before the last 2 sessions it was decided to avoid the extra complexity of a siege by adding more Empire troops in the outworks. Dwarfs and Elves were added prior to the final session.

After the final session the orcs were clear winners, having little or no opposition standing anywhere.

The Action


The view from the Port of Grunwaldsberghafen towards the mountain of Grunwaldsberg and the Dwarf Mines.

Looking back towards the Port from the plain, showing the Giants and Siege Towers lined up ready to roll. Joel, Richard, Derek, John and Simon around the table.

Simon checks the ranges for the Empire artillery.

Cavalry waiting for action, you can almost see the steam rising from the horses.

Dereks dresses the lines of Empire and Mercenary infantry in the outworks

Orclord shows JP how far Trebuchets can reach.

An overhead shot showing the Empire ready to receive the attack and looking over towards the Dwarf mountains.

Joel tries to remember what he was asked to get!

John discusses the rules with Derek.

Looking along the Orc line of assault.

Hmmm, he's a big lad!

And his mate on the other side is even harder!

Simon runs the rules through with a new player. The Elves are waiting to enter the fray.

The Empire forces gathered in front of the Port Castle.

JP wonders what else he can slam into the Slayers (They dealt with that lot and a lot more.)

A shot from behind the Port showing the Orc horde rolling towards the walls

Major Matt discusses the setup for the final session on Day 2

Matt supervises the action in the outworks.

Elf and Orc Generals discuss their options.

Li moves up another unit.

The remnants of the Elves contemplate their fate.

The game was organized and sponsored by Richard Hale of The Stuff of Legends and James Humphries of The Virtual Alchemist Ltd. It could not have been run without the help of Simon Hale, Russell Lovell, Ben Bartunek, John Sharpe, Joel Cassell, Steve Bogemann, Derek Whitman, Jeff and Monica Hobbs, Matthew Tate, Steve Gibson, Rick Rutherford, Jack Mosquera, Seth Connelly, Nick, Outrider Matt and Outrider Jason. We'd also like to thank Rick Priestley, Jervis Johnson, Alan Merrett, Tony Cottrell, Ewan Little, Jeremy Vetock, Jason Buyaki, John Connor and Joe Krone of Games Workshop UK and US for their encouragement and material help.

The terrain was provided by James Humphries (Empire Castle and Port, Halfling Hamlet and ruined buildings) or by Richard and Simon Hale (Dwarf Mountain, Forge World, Flagship, Ainsty and Armorcast resin). Miniatures were painted by many people, but special thanks to Craig Grady (the Forge World giant), Gary Leitzel (Pistoliers, Desert Dogs and Brettonian Knights) Andrew Dunnam (many Elves), Carl Magle (many Dwarfs), Dale Hurst (the Ogre Boss and Albion Giants), Mark Donelson (New Orc Bosses & Wyvern), Tony Ordona (Older Wyverns), Mark Renye (Elf Attack chariot) and John Connor (Truthseeker, Luthor Hess and Empire Standard).

Finally the game wouldn't have been the same without the players, especially those who didn't want to quit: Fred, JP, Li and Evan.




2001 This page may not be copied without permission. Last modified: July 2nd 2001 by Orclord