A Flintloque Scenario by Bob Minadeo
This time with particular apologies to J. R. R. Tolkien. I have appropriated and altered some of his finest prose and verse here.
It is an homage, not a rip-off.
The Northern Half-Orc's adventures continue in this years tale which sees Sharke leading the remainder of his company; Harpie, Louie Gallas and Heinrich Himli along the trail left by the mutineers as they fled Amon Kyaat with their diminutive captives.
You can read last years tale, "Sharke's Amun Kyat" right here on OITW by clicking on this link. Craig, Editor
And so, without further ado...
The Fellowship was broken and that was that. Qatar would have to make his own way to Mordoristan now. With Sentinel’s grace Gamgee Din would find him and look after him. B*st*rd.
Serjeants McChutney and Balifine had been unceremoniously carted off by Isenpore mutineers, despite Harpie’s best efforts to save them. Harpie couldn’t save them but Sharke, Captain Riekard Sharke of the Rifles, knew that he would…
“Right you b*st*rds. We’re hunting otters!”
And with that Sharke led what was left of his company. Serjeant Harpie, the huge Guinalean bog orc, Louie Gallas, the loyal Elf, and Heinrich Himli, the dwarven explorer along the trail left by the mutineers as they fled Amon Kyaat with their diminutive captives.
The four companions had been on the trail of the rebels for three days.
Here the trail was joined by unshod feet. Goblin feet.
There the trail was joined by booted feet. Curious. Whoever they were it was clear the sepoys had attracted allies in their flight.
The plateau abruptly ended. A riven path led to the plains below.
“The Stair of Rohanistan, that’s what they call it”, Sharke said.
“Rohanistan?”, Harpie said confused.
“Aye. Realm of the Bheria Sardar, the ‘Wolf Lords’. Major Giglamps told me about them before he…B*st*rd leaving us right in it...” he trailed off. Gathering his thoughts before he began again: “The goblins of this land are of the Rohziri tribe. They are proud and willful, but they are true-hearted, generous in thought and deed; bold and yet cruel; wise but unlearned, writing no books but singing many songs, after the manner of the children of Gob before the Dark Year.’
We cannot be sure of their friendship, nor, fortunately, their enmity. If we run into any of them keep schtumm and let me do the talking right?
The trail was much easier to follow now, a track of turn up grass across the green fields of the Rohziri.
Louie Gallas signaled a halt. “Capitaine Sharke! In the distance. Wolf riders heading this way!”
The companions took cover, warily watching the wolf riders ride closer.
Their wolves were of great stature, strong and muscularly limbed, their grey coats glistened and their tails wagged in the breeze. The goblins who rode them, in contrast to their mounts, were small and wiry, their green hair, such as it was, stuck out at all angles from their light helms, their faces were hawk-nosed and keen. In their claws were short wooden spears, painted shields were slung on their backs and each carried a selection of scimitars and dirks in his belts; while hanging from his saddle, a case held the short bow common to goblins of the grasslands worldwide.
The host had nearly loped passed when Sharke stood up and said in a loud voice:
“What news from the South, Raakib Rohziri?”
Suddenly the riders broke formation, and two rings of riders formed around the companions, one riding this way and the other that. Without a word of command, the riders faced inward and soon the companions faced a thicket of spears, while a few of the goblins had arrows ready nocked. A goblin, broader of chest than the rest, with a red and navy blue diagonally striped plume atop his helm approached even nearer.
“Who are you and what are doing in this land?” the rider asked in the perfect, if somewhat clipped, speech of an Albion Notable.
“I am Major Riekard Sharke of The Rifles, and I have come hunting brigands and mutineers.”
The rider visibly brightened at this answer and at length, spoke “I say that’s bally fine, what? We nearly took you for brigands, but now I know I am mistaken. ‘Eagle-Taker’. ‘Scourge of the Elves’. Word of your deeds reached me, even as I studied in your green and pleasant land. It is a fortuitous chance that brought our paths to intersect. We are riding in pursuit of a band of brigands from Isenpore, recently sighted by our scouts. ‘
‘Where are my manners? Never introduced meself. That will never do, never, eh? I am Bheria Shah, of the Rohziri, and it is in a dark time that you have come to our lands. That Governor General of Isenpore Wallah has the Badshah so befuddled that he don’t know friend from foe. Thinks the Governor Wallah has his best interests at heart even as he sends his brigands to raid our lands. Worse yet, D*mn his Eyes the Governor Wallah has the Badshah convinced that I may be disloyal because I studied at Oxforc. The cheek! So here I am, out here chasing bandits, rather than guarding the Badshah. Still, bit of luck that eh? Now I’ve met you.”
‘Sink me if it wouldn’t be an honour to ride with you Captain Sharke!” and with that he called to his goblins to bring forth four wolves. Unlike the riders’ grey mounts, these wolves were of a reddish hue.
“’Od’s Fish, I’d love to give you the loan of some of our fighting wolves, but you see they will not tolerate to being ridden by any but the goblin that raised ‘em from a pup. Bite you hand clean off as soon as look at you they will. Here are four of their more docile cousins. We call them Red Riding Wolves.” And with that he had his fellows hand over the reins to the four companions...
The spyglass collapsed with a satisfying click. Hang me, but that is the only thing satisfying about this situation, thought Lieutenant Ugluk. Seize the ‘alflings, and leg it to Isenpore. Sim-bl**dy-ple. Don’t worry about those d*mn*d undead b*ast*rds, those wild wolf riders, or Riekard Bl**dy Sharke.
Shepherding those axillaries from Moria was bad enough, but having Grishnakovich and his zombies for allies was near unbearable. Always interfering. Always intriguing. At least the pursuit seemed to have them cowed for now.
They had travelled through the night, the howls of the wolf riders sounding ever closer. At last they had come to a halt on a small rise, the only remotely defensible terrain in the vast swath of grassland they had force marched through.
For their part the wolf riders had closed the trap, surrounding the hill and keeping just out of musket shot. During the hours of darkness, they had made swift and silent forays against his sentries, these brief moments of action had left his troops sleepless, and dispirited, save for the zombies of course.
Zombies. Where was that blasted Grishnakovich? Sentinel’s Teeth! Where were the ‘alflings?!
Just then the horns sounded.
Through his spyglass Lt. Ugluk could see the wolf riders arrayed for an assault, a tall figure in Rifleorc green conferring with their chieftain…
Riekard Sharke (Section Leader): Official game stats for Sharke are available from Alternative Armies. However, to get you up and running if you do not have access to those stats just treat Sharke as a Legendary (if not Sharke than whom?) Elite Light Infantry Orc armed with an Exquisite Sword and a Bakur Rifle.
Harpie: As with Sharke, if you do not have the official stats handy, treat Harpie as a Veteran Elite Light Infantry Bog Orc armed with a Seven Barrel Volley Gun and a Knife.
Louie Gallas: Experienced Light Infantry Ferach Elf armed with a Ferach Elf Musket and Bayonet.
Heinrich Himli: Experienced Light Infantry Dwarf armed with a Standard Blunderbuss and Exquisite Axe.
Bheria Shah (Section Leader): Experienced Goblin Wolfrider and Wolf armed with Weefolk Bow and Spear. Wears mail hauberk and carries a shield.
11x Wolfriders: Average Goblin Wolfriders and Wolves armed with Bows* and Spears. Wear mail hauberks and carry shields.
See Scenario Special Rules for the troop type “Wolfrider”.
The Isenpore Mutineers and Friends
Lieutenant Ugluk (Section Leader): Experienced Light Infantry Orc armed with a Bessie Musket and Bayonet.
Corporal Le Pew: Average Light Infantry Ferach Elf armed with a Ferach Elf Musket and a Sword.
8x Mutineers: Average Irregular Othari armed with Standard Muskets and Bayonets.
6x Savage Goblins of Moria: Average Irregular Goblins armed with a variety of Swords, Axes, Clubs, Spears, and Bows*. Some wear mail hauberks, some have shields, some have neither, some have both.
6x Zombies of Mordoristan: Savant Zombies armed with Standard Carbines and Swords.
A note on this very mixed and large section:
Lt. Ugluk’s command ability is well overtaxed by the task at hand. The Moria goblins have just about lost the plot so far from their mountain home and in the presence of “bigguns” and “deaders”, stuck out in the open and surrounded by wolf riders. The Zombies, Savant though they are, are despondent, having been abandoned by their section leader, Grishnakovich, who has apparently made off with the prisoners following some agenda all his own. In addition to all of this Lt. Ugluk’s Otters suffered many losses at Amon Kyaat, and are looking a bit ragged about now. Command is a lonely burden…
Bows: The Goblins of the Gobla Kush use fairly rudimentary bows. These weapons have a good rate of fire but lack hitting power and frankly the number of arrows one can comfortably carry is a bit on the low side.
Stats: 0-15 cm, 60/3, 15-30 cm 40/2. Bows may fire once every turn (no need to reload) but any result of doubles means the bow has either broken or the archer has run out of arrows. The figure discards the bow and fights on with its secondary weapon. Bows cost 4 points.
Amour: Grants the wearer +1 to Steady vs. melee attacks only. Note that this differs from Qatar’s Mithril Hauberk, which, being an of an altogether more effective material and construction offers +3 to Steady vs. both fire and melee attacks. Armour costs 2 points.
Shields: The tough Giant Yak hide shields of the Gobla Kush region not only protect from the blows of melee weapons, they have even been known to deflect musket balls. Shields give the bearer +1 to Steady vs. all attacks. Shields cost 3 points.
Note that a figure with two or fewer arms, tentacles, or similar prehensile appendages, cannot use a bow and a shield at the same time. Although both could be carried the bow would have to be set aside before the shield could be used.
Scenario Map and Set up
This scenario plays out on a 4’ x 6’ surface (120cm x 180cm).
The table consists of rolling grass lands with a hill about 2’x1’ foot placed about 1’ from the top and bottom of the map and 3’ from the left table side. Just off the left side of the table is the mirky darkness of the Daarhi Darakht, thick forested country where the light hardly penetrates to the surface. No need to represent this on the table, it serves only as an objective for the mutineers.
The Lt. Ugluk’s troops set up first on the hill.
Then the Companions, Bheria Shah and two wolfriders set up at A. The remaining wolfriders are set up in three groups of three at points B, C, and D.
Scenario Objectives and Game Length
Lt. Ugluk and his troops seek only the perceived safety of the Daarhi Darakht. If Lt. Ugluk’s player gets more than half his figures off the left side of the table, he has achieved his objective.
Failing that Lt. Ugluk can still declare a win by having figures in play on top of the hill at the end of 12 turns.
If neither of those conditions can be met, the other side has won the game.
Scenario Special Rules
Wolfriders: A goblin and his wolf are not a cavalry model, they are a warrior team. A goblin raises his grey wolf from a pup and the wolf will allow no other to ride it. For his part the goblin will never fight on foot so long as his wolf lives.
In play the goblin and wolf must be activated together at a cost of two activations. That is to say that when it’s the wolfrider’s turn to activate figures he or she must spend both activations on a goblin and his wolf.
Once activated the goblin may fire OR attack in melee, either before or after the wolf has moved. The wolf may move up to its Double March rate, and/or conduct a melee attack.
A single figure in melee with a goblin and his wolf counts as outnumbered.
The goblin may fire his bow with a -10% penalty if the wolf has, or plans to move, and at any movement rate. If the wolf remains stationary there is no penalty to bow accuracy. The goblin may not fire his bow if adjacent to an enemy figure.
When fired at, any shot has a chance to hit either the goblin or his wolf. The goblin is hit on a roll of 1-4, and the wolf on a result of 5-10. If either is removed from play due to combat the other remains in play and is given a Shaken token.
Goblins that have lost their wolves and wolves that have lost their goblins continue in play, acting as individual figures following standard Flintloque rules.
As the fighting died down, and the Rohziri set about dispatching the wounded, it became clear to Sharke that Sjt.’s McChutney and Balifine were not among the fallen. Together Sharke and Himli were able to trace the halflings’ movements. It appeared Grishnakovich had tried to spirit them away in the night but was cut down by watchful Rohziri. The halflings then legged it into the Daarhi Darakht.
The search would wait for the morrow. Now was time to mourn the fallen.
The Rohziri gathered the fallen into heaps and the smoke from their funeral pyres drifted skywards.
As they toiled, Sharke recited;
Where now the wolf and the goblin? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the green hair flowing?
Where is the claw on the sitar, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall grain growing?
They have passed like mist on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the wolf dung burning?
Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?
"So spoke a forgotten poet long ago in Rohanistan, recalling how fierce and green was Shareef Jawaan, who rode down like a right b*st*rd out of the North," Sharke explained.
This article was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe and was first published on the 11th December 2017 as part of its 2017 Advent Calendar.