"Tôrg-Baraz of Doom"
A Panzerfäuste Scenario by Ben Honey
The Deathless Kapitán Gor'kaya Polyn has found the fabled Lava Stones of Power and is trying to perform a ceremony to unlock their power, known as Rama Sighn Da Stones. Fortunately young lieutenant Pipsy Pipworthy has stumbled upon this plot, and aims to grab the stones for Branzhûm. Will the Halfelin reinforcements arrive in time to help, or will the Deathless gain the power to conquer Tôrg-Baraz?
Below the occupied Troglodyte city of Tôrg-Baraz lie many forgotten caverns, created by unremembered dwarves as they mined for precious stones, interesting lumps of glowing metal and of course Gold, without which what is a dwarf? Obviously these miners came across many strange and remarkable bits of rock, which they would carve and keep, being the hoarders they are, and among these were the Lava Stones that gave their owners power over the rocks and metal around them (or so the fragments of ancient Dwarfish tablets seem to suggest, hard though it was to read all the words of these bits of melted stone, so you just had to squint and guess at a few words).
Anyway, if someone were to stumble across a forgotten cavern while tunnelling into a mountain, discover these old stone fragments, manage to decipher(ish) their text using an old dwarf Zombi, start a mining operation with obedient Zombi miners, find some glowing stones, and then create a circle of power, they could then perform the ceremony and untold power would be theirs. Simple really, no problem, nothing to worry about, don't need to think about the fused metal and bone that keeps being dug up!
It's not as if a plucky Orc hero, off duty and looking for companionship would press the chest of the wrong statue, fall down a dark passageway full of scary-looking but mostly harmless bugs, hear some horrible echo's, discover a mine full of Zombi and Likho, get into a fight with a Troll Zombi, and then survive thanks to a nearby rock crusher (he won't be getting resurrected any time soon), and then locate a cavern with some very frightened-looking dwarves at one end and chanting going on at the other. I mean, the odds of that happening are about million to one, and how often does that happen?
Set up the playing area to represent the interior of the Forgotten Cavern of the Lava Stones, in a nice skirmish-sized 4 foot by 4 foot area. There should be a ring of power located near the centre of one edge of the cavern, which will be on the 'beach' of a lake of lava, which covers that edge of the cavern. The three Rusalka should be set up in a rough circle in the ring of power. Kapitán Gor'kaya Polyn and five deathless Zombi should be set up around the outside of the ring. The edge to the of the ring contains the Mine entrance (A doorway roughly 15cm across), and the edge to the right of the ring should have the cavern exit. Both entrance and edges could be represented by pillars or other markers to show this.
The rest of the cavern should have scenery scattered around it to represent stalagmites, ruins, military supplies and any other old bits of rubble that can be used as obstacles to slow down the Zombi.
Lt. Wrengell with two Likho aides and the other five Zombi should then be set up in the middle of last remaining edge (so opposite the lava lake), initially observing proceedings from a safe distance. Lieutenant Pipworthy and the dwarf ex-prisoners enter by the mine entrance.
For this Panzerfäuste adventure I used the excellent Heroic Maps The Altar of Tenoch. It’s a print and play product available on Wargame Vault. It can be printed out or used in your favourite virtual tabletop software. Simply print/use it at double the size and add a few connecting corridors or even some randomised tunnel entrances on any dead ends to make it more dynamic).
The start and the end
This skirmish will probably have two parts, - before and after (if it happens) the ceremony of Rama-Sighn-Da-Stones is completed.
Until the ceremony is completed the skirmish should proceed as normal, with both sides trying to fulfil their listed victory conditions. Should the Rusalka successfully complete the ceremony, the victory conditions for all players immediately change.
The Ceremony of Rama-Sighn-Da-Stones
The aim of the Rusalka is to complete the ceremony, whereby they believe they will be able to use the Lava stones to gain ancient power which would give them power over all the underground and its materials (living or otherwise), so that they can conquer first Tôrg-Baraz and all their enemies within, then on to the rest of the land etc etc. However, they may not have read their sources correctly, and using the stones will have unexpected (though possibly useful) consequences for all concerned.
Each round after the first the Rusalka will attempt to complete three parts of the ceremony in order to finish it and (they assume) activate the three Lava stones they possess to give them untold power. Each round, roll 2D6 and add/deduct the following modifiers from the total:
+6 for attempting to complete the ceremony
-1 for each Rusalka attempting the ceremony that round
-1 for each stone the Rusalka possess when the attempt is made
If the total rolled is 8 or less then the Rusalka complete that part of the ceremony and gain a marker. Once they have three markers, the ceremony is completed and the Lava stones light up. If all the Rusalka are killed before this happens then the ceremony cannot be completed (only they have the ability to attempt the ceremony) for the rest of the battle.
If a Rusalka is engaged in close combat or has been wounded that round or the round before by combat fire, they are unable to participate in the ceremony that round.
A character may grab a lava stone of power by either successfully attacking a character who has one in combat or by moving into contact with a stone marker dropped by a character who was carrying it but is either dead or unconscious.
The Lava stones are in fact eggs, and once they light up, will call their parent, who will appear the turn after the ceremony has been completed, appearing at the edge of the lava lake nearest the ring of power. It will act as its own section.
While the Lava monster will not move out of the lava, it has tentacles that each round will either grab a free Lava stone or attack the nearest two models to the lava lake, and if there is more than one choice, then one who has a lava stone, or randomly otherwise.
It is possible to throw a Lava stone (treat as if it is a rock), and if a Lava stone is nearer to the lava lake than a tentacle victim, then the tentacle will drop a victim to pick up the stone or pick up the stone instead of attacking that turn (dragging it 2d6 toward the lava lake as before).
The Lava Monster can be driven off by having its wounds reduced to 2 or less, which can be done by shooting at it, with each time it would lose GUTS, it loses a wound instead (with a instant death result replaced with a loss of 4 wounds)
The Rusalka can try to gain control of the Lava Monster as long as they have at least one Lava stone between the three of them. It is a GUTS roll of a Rusalka, with +4 modifier of difficulty and -1 for each extra Rusalka that is helping. If successful, the lava monster will not attack randomly, but will attack twice each round according to the choice of the deathless player, though the lava monster can still be driven off, which will break the control. Also, if all the Rusalka are killed, or none of the Rusalka is carrying a Lava stone, then the Lava Monster becomes uncontrolled again.
Close Combat Modifier +3
If the tentacle attack is successful, the victim is pulled 2d6 towards the lava lake (carrying the stone with it if it has one), and then another 2d6 each round there after. Once the victim is in the lava it is dead. The victim can struggle (initiate close combat), and if the tentacle has its GUTS reduced to 5 by close or fire combat, the victim is released and can then make a move action. Next round a fresh tentacle will be available to attack.
Once the Lava monster has killed 10 characters or claimed two stones, it will disappear if not driven off before or under Rusalka control.
Privates Biskuit, Pikalily, Kase, Hund, Katze, Polizist, Rauber, Lebkuchen and Banane.
Surviving members of two Ausdenkerkorps sections, in various states of experience and health, they are all considered to be Normal Dwarf Regulars with a starting GUTS of 8, as they have seen what has happened to the other members of their units and have a very health desire to not stay and join their fate, but instead to follow this strange Lt Pipsy who has just cut their bonds and told them to follow him. They have no starting weapons, having only just been freed with only their clothes upon them. Lt Pipsy acts as a section leader for them.
Lt Boggins ‘Pipsy’ Pipworthy
Son of the mighty Viscount Pipworthy, Boggins ‘Pipsy’ Pipworthy is a young and heroic Orc destined for great things. Handsome, rich, dashing, loyal to his king and utterly stupid, he is in many ways the perfect soldier. His section has been assigned to support the Troglodyte forces as they resist the Dwarven Forces at Tôrg-Baraz, which has become a series of exciting encounters and then boring rest periods. During a rest period, his colleague and old school friend Yampy suggested it would be a jolly good wizz to go and explore the tunnels between their barracks and the local Troglodyte village, where they might become better acquainted with some of the local lasses without the local MP’s spoiling their fun. When Yampy decided it would be a lark to practice his chat up lines on some ancient statues and then found a hidden door, this turned into a very unexpected adventure involving sword fights, perilous chases over rickety stone bridges, and frantic escapes from giant bugs, which has gone him here. He is determined to rescue the poor dwarves (theirs would be a fate worse then death, and they could also give him some good itel afterwards), stop the ceremony and get out of there with one of those interesting stones.
Pipsy is an Experienced Orc Regular, giving him a starting GUTS value of 9. He acts as a Section leader for the dwarf prisoners he is with. Unfortunately he is not armed with anything other than a charming smile, having just lost his pistol in a rock crusher.
Lt Fuggleston ‘Yampy’ Yampington
An old school chum of Pipworthy, ‘Yampy’ enlisted at the same time as, and has risen through the ranks with, his good friend. A boyhood spent bunking over walls and escaping from scrapes after yet another jolly prank or tuck-shop raid made them natural fits for the commandos. Yampy is enjoying being a commando, despite the constant presence of the MP’s getting in the way of another lark, and he’s glad this lark is going so well.
Yampy is also an Experienced Orc Regular and has a starting GUTS value of 9. He is armed with a pistol and a swagger stick (+1 in Close Combat). He is currently leading a section of Halfelins back to the site of the hidden mine, though his habit of running off, hiding and then jumping out on the Halfelins is slowing things down a bit.
Weapons for Pipsy and the dwarves. Each round, Pipsy and the dwarves may search for weapon as one of their two actions. They may carry two items at a time. If they do so, then roll a D6 and see what they find:
1 - Rifle (one bullet remaining)
2 - a big mining tool, which counts as a close combat weapon
3-4 - a small mining tool, which counts as bayonet in combat
5-6 - a rock, which can either be thrown, or used in close combat as a small weapon
Fire Type 2D6 Mod. Short range E. range L. Range
Rifle SS -1 20 40 60
Pistol SS -1 5 10 20
Rock SS -1 5 10 20
Sergeant-Chef Chaka Took
Took is currently serving as an officer in the Les Troupes Coloniales Halfelins, attached to the Gnomish forces in Tôrg-Baraz. It has been quite a boring time as there has not been any opportunity to scout out any of the more remote ancient ruins where rumour says there are untouched Dwarvish tombs (and what Dwarf wouldn’t go off to the after-life without some gold to hand). So he jumped at this chance to go off to ‘rescue’ an Orc officer and some precious stones.
Busted down to Sergent-Chef for the second time in his career after another series of unfortunate misunderstandings, this time about a roasted tarantgo and some expensive silver bracelets, Chaka does like to think of himself as a lovable rogue whilst his comrades think of him as a world-class kleptomaniac. He is an experienced Halfelin Regular, the leader of his section, with a starting GUTS of 9 and is armed with a pistol.
Sergent Mpinkulu ‘Brandybuck’ Gwazi
Sgt.Gwazi, known as ‘Brandybuck’ for his new party trick of drinking a barrel of cognac and then eating an entire male antelope, is a hunter extraordinaire. A most effective scout and skirmisher for Les Troupes Coloniales, he is now following the directions of Lt. Yampington, a jovial fellow, but who is beginning to get on his wick though. Gwazi is an experienced Halfelin Regular with a starting GUTS of 8. He is armed with a rifle with attached bayonet.
Chasseurs Ulwazi, Musa, Kosan, Geza, Dabuka, Bongani, Chipo and Fozaki
Tough and dangerous, these Halfelins know there may be treasure ahead and are prepared to kill anyone and everyone to get at them. They are all Normal Halfelin Regulars with starting GUTS of 7 armed with rifles with attached bayonets.
The Halfelins (with Yampy) will appear at the start of round 6 or the next round after the Lava monster appears.
Kapitán Gor'kaya Polyn
A trusted Daemonic fellow, this Khort has come across some ancient dwarfic writings mentioning Lava stones and immense power, so has used his command status to research this further for the Deathless cause, creating a mine under Tôrg-Baraz to find the stones using the various Zombi under his command as ideal labour, since they will toil without break until worn down. Three stones have already been found at this location, and the Rusalka under his command have been ordered to commence the Ceremony of Rama-Sighn-Da-Stones, which will gain him (and obviously his superiors) new found power so that they can claim this mountain and all within it as his own.
He is a normal regular Khort, with a starting GUTS of 9, armed with a sword.
The Rusalka – Anfisa, Galina and Vasilisa,
These three witches have been entrusted with three Lava stones and ordered to complete the ceremony of Rama-Sighn-Da-Stones, which they will do though there is some misgiving about the translation and pronunciation of some of the words, as the old dwarf Zombie they used as a translator didn’t have full working use of its tongue and teeth anymore.
They are normal Rusalka with a starting GUTS of 7, armed with knives
Lt. Davios Wrengell
Davios followed the Lead of Prince Koschei as the war against the mountain trolls was going very badly for the Dark elves, and they needed something new, and if successful the Tsar would endorse it. When the Tsar turned against them, Davios started to rethink his position, and when things got really bad and the Daemons appeared, Davios got very worried, but was unable to escape, so is now doing what he can to survive, live and look for options as they come along. His engineering and military knowledge is of great use to the current Deathless leadership, so he has his life so far.
Davios is an experienced regular Dark Elf, but due to his mental state, his starting GUTS is 6, and he is armed with a sword and pistol.
Corporals Smekh and Plakat
Smekh and Plakat are aides to Lt. Wrengell, currently supporting his work in the mine, as well as reporting on his progress and behaviour to their superiors.
They are normal regular Likho with a starting GUTS of 7, armed with Rifle.
Privates Aleksis, Suskov, Ivanov, Dekayvri, Surgei, Trofim, Fyodor, Edwurt, Yuckov and Pastitovich.
They are Dark elf Zombi, and having worked in the mine they have a starting GUTS of 6, and are armed with whatever they have in hand, which counts as a rifle butt in close combat.
Zombi Special Rules
In this scenario, while Kapitán Gor'kaya Polyn or Lt. Wrengell are alive, the deathless player can choose what direction and how fast each Zombi can move upto their maximum (see below). Otherwise each Zombi must move their maximum distance towards the nearest enemy figure.
Whether either officer is alive or not, if a Zombie is within 2cm of an enemy figure it will automatically attack them in close combat.
Movement is done without a GUTS roll, and is equal to 2cm+(2xcurrent GUTS)cm, so initially 14cm, slowing as their GUTS goes down. If a Zombi kills an enemy model, or are within 2cm of enemy model who died that round or last, they will take no action as they tear the body apart.
Other deathless models may fire into a close combat that Zombi are in, with an equal chance of hitting a Zombi or a enemy model, as Zombie are considered expendable.
Optional: The round after a Zombi is killed, roll a D6, on 1,2 or 3, a new Zombi (GUTS 6) can enter the cavern from the Zombi oversight outlet method (Z.O.O.M.) door, located on the cavern edge just behind Lt. Wrengell’s starting position. As with all Z.O.O.M. doors, this is one-way, so while a model can enter the cavern via this door, they cannot leave the cavern via this door, and must use either the mine entrance or the cavern exit.
There are two separate sets of victory conditions, depending entirely on what happens with regards to the Deathless and their ceremony.
If the ceremony is not completed:
The Orcs will score a decisive victory if at least 2 stones are removed from the table via the cavern exit and at least half of the section containing Pipsy and the dwarves escape.
The Deathless score a small victory if at least two stones are removed via the mine entrance and at least half of the section containing Pipsy and the dwarves are killed.
If one side can eliminate all other (non-Zombi) models from the table but is left with just one man alive this also counts as a win.
Once the Ceremony has been completed:
* The Orcs score a big victory if they can drive off/stop the Deathless from controlling the Lava monster.
* The Deathless score a big victory if they can gain control of the Lava monster, and still have at least 1 stone as well as the monster under control by end of game.
* Any side scores a small victory if they are able to remove at least one stone from the table as above (can be combined with a big victory condition to be a decisive victory).
* At least one Lava stone still needs to be on the table to keep the Lava monster under their control.
*Alternately if one side can evacuate the table whilst ensuring no other side does so, they score a lesser victory (Zombi don’t count for this). This may be easier. They can then blow up the exit to the cavern and worry about what happens next.
* If both (all) sides flee the table this counts as a draw, but where’s the fun in that?
Alternative Playing Options
Assume Player is Orc and Dwarves.
Zombi - Move at maximum movement toward nearest enemy models, or attack in close combat if near enough
Rusalka – attempt to perform ceremony or control Lava monster, unless don’t have any stones, in which case move towards stones and engage in close combat if help by an enemy model.
Likho, Khort, - move toward enemy at walk movement, and either engage in fire combat once within optimum range, or in close combat otherwise.
Davios – move last of his section, and at walk speed towards enemy, and only engage in fire combat once at long range, though must always be behind other deathless models, and will move away from enemy and towards the mine entrance if enemy less than 15cm away, or if Lava monster appears.
Playing with Halfelins
* the Deathless player has ten additional Zombi, five extra with Rusalka and five extra with Lt. Davios.
* The Halfelins appear on round 1.
* Yampy appears with the Halfelins, but is controlled by the Orc player.
* Yampy and Pipsy cannot fire at the Halfelins, but may attack a Halfelin carrying a Lava stone in close combat to take it off them (a successful GUTS roll takes off only -1 GUTS, and no kill), or spend an action to shout at a Halfelin model within 10cm to free a dwarf prisoner it is in base contact with (which can then act as normal for its next activation).
* While Lt Pipsy is alive, the Halfelins may not fire at the Dwarves.
* The Halfelins may not attack Yampy or Lt Pipsy while the other one is alive.
* The dwarves may not attack the Halfelins while Lt Pipsy is alive.
* The Halfelins may attack a dwarf in close combat, and if they succeed, will do only -2 GUTS (rather then -4 GUTS or Kill), and either take a Lava stone off the dwarf or make them a prisoner (so dwarf cannot attack, loses any weapons they held, and only move at half movement towards the door the Halfelins came in) while a Halfelin is in base contact. If a Halfelin is not in base contact, then the dwarf can move and attack as normal.
Halfelin Victory Conditions
The Halfelins will score a decisive victory if at least 2 stones are removed from the table via the cavern exit and at least half of the section escape.
If the Halfelin can eliminate all other (non-Zombi) models from the table but is left with just one man alive this also counts as a win.
Once the Ceremony has been completed:
* The Halfelins score a big victory if they can drive off/stop the Deathless from controlling the Lava monster (score more wounds then the Orc player).
*Any side scores a small victory if they are able to remove at least one stone from the table as above (can be combined with a big victory condition to be a decisive victory).
* If Orcs (and dwarves) and Halfelins can evacuate the table (via the cavern exit) whilst ensuring none of the Deathless does so, they score a lesser victory (Zombi don’t count for this). The Halfelins can boast they did the work and can then blow up the exit to the cavern and worry about what happens next.
* If both (all) sides flee the table this counts as a draw, but where’s the fun in that?
(Please note that all racial rules, movement, and GUTS stats given do not replace any given in a Panzerfauste rulebook, and so are not official)
Crawl Walk Run
Khort 4cm 16cm 24cm
Likho 6cm 18cm 26cm
Rusalka 5cm 16cm 24cm
Dark Elf 6cm 18cm 26cm
Zombi 2cm 2+(GUTSx2)cm -
Orc 4cm 16cm 24cm
Dwarf 3cm 14cm 20cm
Halfelin 3cm 12cm 24cm
Some ideas for models, though you probably have your own ideas!
Lt Pipsy – An Orc commando model or an Orc futbowel player, available from Hysterical games.
Yampy – An Orc commando model, from HG
Dwarven Prisoners – Dwarf futbowel players, or Dwarf infantry models, from HG
Rusalka, Khort and Likho – The Deathless command section from HG
Lt Davios – A Dark Elf model once available, a Dark Elf Zombi model from HG that has been modified, a human Russian soldier wearing long coat and hat (to cover ears), or an Elf model from one of the following packs from Alternative Armies Flintloque range - 51006 7th Command of the Garde or 51032 1er Sappeurs de Ligne
Halfelins – models available from Macrocosm, or alternatively, you can use a section of ten Troglodyte infantry, available from HG.
An Orcs in the Webbe Original! This scenario was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe and was first published on the 13th December 2016 as part of it's 2016 Advent Calendar.
Following the theme of Indiana Jones this adventure serves as a prequel to Luke Passingham's 2013 adventure, "Raiders of the Lost Casket" taking the characters and backgrounds Luke created into an earlier adventure.