One re-read of the Warhammer FRP rules later, here’s the conclusion to my first combat narrative:
Motivated by her hatred of the greenskins, Theda quickened her pace as she ran on towards the combat, uttering a prayer to Sigmar beseeching his aid in what would certainly be a tough test of her skills.
Meanwhile, as Theda approached, the goblin that had come crashing through the undergrowth to join the fight launched himself at the embattled human. It seemed destined to impale him but just as the goblin thrust forward, the warrior stepped to one side in what was obviously a well-practised move and deflected most of the force of the attack so that he took only a glancing blow to his wrist.
The warrior looked down at the shallow and seemed to shrug it off. At that moment the goblins outflanking him both stabbed forward with their spears and, with nowhere to go now, the man grunted as took three quick blows to his abdomen. Fortunately none pierced his chainmail jerkin, but he’d carry the bruises for a few days if he did live past the next few minutes.
Rushing forward, Theda screamed an invocation to Sigmar and lifted her hammer. Her eyes suddenly lit up with a golden light, and the air behind her seemed to shimmer. She launched herself at the orc closing in on the warrior, putting herself between them. As she did so, the man eyed the nearest goblin and swung his great sword in a wide arc, opening a deep wound in the creature’s thigh.
Seeing the Sigmar initiate in it’s path the orc charged at Theda, slashing repeatedly with it’s huge, axe-like weapon. The ferocity of the repeated blows was unlike anything she’d encountered in training in the temple, and Theda suffered a number of brutal gashes to her body as the attack overwhelmed her defences. Striking back she swung her hammer down and and caught the orc with a hefty blow to the shoulder. His scraps of armour helped him little and he stumbled backwards. Looking Theda in the eye he regained his footing and renewed his onslaught. This time his axe batted away her shield and, quickly striking again, struck her a massive blow to the head. With her world falling about her, the initiate fell to the ground. Looking up, dazed and defenceless, she saw the orc standing over her about to deliver the killing blow. Then just as it was delivered she felt a terrifying, cold blackness closing in…
Theda awoke with start. She was still in her room in the tavern, and the first grey light of dawn was showing through the room’s one small skylight. The nightmare she’d just gone through was like nothing else she’d ever experienced. It could only be a vision, a warning from Sigmar. She had no need to consult with any servant of Morr to confirm that. The lesson was clearly never to underestimate an enemy, and to use cunning as well as brute strength before rushing to dispatch His enemies. Still shaking, Theda rose from the straw mattress and started to strap her equipment on.
Okay, I know what you’re probably thinking. A bit of a cop-out, and I’d have to agree. However, I didn’t want to kill Theda off in her first encounter and it was really a quickly put-together test of my understanding of the rules, more than a carefully constructed adventure.
The combat work-through played well, and was relatively straightforward from a rules perspective. I’m now confident I have a basic understanding of Warhammer RFP combat. Clearly I’d badly underestimated the strength of the opposition I’d created though, particularly the orc. For two newly-created adventurers this was a big ask. Also, Theda played the encounter poorly. She really wasn’t protected enough to go head to head with an uninjured orc, and she paid the price. Better to support the other character against the goblins first. Hans Drechsler by the way, my other character in this scenario, managed rather better although the drip, drip effect of the goblin attacks was eating into his resistance too.
An interesting start to Warhammer RFP 3rd Edition though. And it wasn’t only Theda who learnt a few lessons!