A Panzerfäuste Scenario by Luke Passingham
After the failure of his Mecha Crab in Du-Nomin the infamous Hauptmann Entwickler - pride of the Ausdenkerkorps - has been temporarily withdrawn from frontline efforts in order to work on his latest device, a machine that will render Dwarven forces invisible. His device didn't work quite as expected and not only opened a portal to a strange otherworldly place but attracted the attention of the creature that lives there...
After the failure of his Mecha Crab in Dûn-Nomin (See last years Entwickler Tale here on OITW. Craig, Editor.) and the accompanying disgrace that followed, the infamous and villainous Hauptmann Entwickler has been temporarily withdrawn from frontline efforts in order to both allow things to blow over with his superiors and to work on his latest device. Posted to a remote Ausdenkerkorps forest research base, he immediately gave up his assigned objective (invent a new type of grenade paperweight) to work on a sonic weapon only to then give that up to work on a device he calls the ‘Kopfuber Maschine’ – a vast machine, powered by steam, clockwork and a small team of schnauzer dogs on a treadmill, which he claims would allow him to render troops invisible by passing through a large and ominous looking doorway, becoming visible again once more if they return through said door. It is his hope that by installing one of these machines in the Dwarven capaital and another in secret behind enemy lines, Dwarven troops would be able to march unseen past enemy forces and so launch a series of surprise attacks against both the Gnomes and the Orcs, bring the war to a swift conclusion. The wrinkle in the plan came when Entwickler discovered his machine was not that he was rendering his troops invisible, but rather opening a doorway into another, parallel dimension to his own – one that was already occupied by a dangerous and extremely hungry creature that almost immediately began eating everyone who passed through. Worse, once aware of the existence of another dimension the creature proved capable of moving between them itself, hunting prey and pulling them back to its own dimension to devour them.
Horrified of what he has done, Entwickler mobilises a crack squad of Dwarven Rangers to enter the other dimension and kill the monster. Coincidentally (and extremely inconveniently) the Orcs, who have been tracking Entwickler since the destruction at Schloss Geheimnis, choose this moment to attack and destroy his latest creation. As battle is joined across two dimensions, will Entwickler survive his toughest and most unfeasible battle yet?
This skirmish is played across two different dimensions: the world of Panzerfauste, and the ‘Back to Front’, a mysterious alternate dimension that parallels it. To make things manageable all events in both dimensions will be played across the same tabletop map, but players will need to keep track of what models are where (I suggest using a small marker, like a blob of blu-tack, on the models base) as models in one dimension cannot interact with those in the other (as per special rules below).
The tabletop should be set up to represent the exterior of Entwickler’s lab, with one table edge being the lab itself and the other the edge of the forest. The Orcish player may place as many trees and other small fauna obstacles on the forest table edge as you have available (more scenery here will assist the commando team). On the lab side have the Dwarven player place the same number of small walls and crates to give his reinforcements some cover as they enter play. In the centre of the table you need a large device to represent the Kopfuber Maschine (if you can get anything that looks the Sonic Weapon from the utterly dire yet strangely compelling 1986 Biggles movie this would be ideal), large enough for the entire Dwarf starting unit to hide behind if needs be, with some smaller bits of cover dotted around it on both sides.
For initial setup the Dwarves may begin anywhere in line with, or behind the Kopfuber Maschine. The Orcs start on the forest table edge. Place the rangers in one corner of the table (Dwarf side) bases touching each other (they’ve huddled together as they’ve transferred across) and the kids in the opposite corner (orc side). Finally place the monster on the machine itself, right in the centre.
The following models begin play in the back-to-front: the Monster, the rangers and the pesky meddling kids.
The strange alternate dimension discovered by the Dwarven research is yet to be officially named (the Dwarven Naming corps has been debating naming it for the Kaiser, Entwickler himself, or some kind of exciting sausage product) but the junior members of staff involved in the project have long since dubbed it ‘the back to front’. It appears to be a dimension that totally mirrors that of the Panzerfauste world, except everything in it is really really manky, and there aren’t any people (orcs, Dwarves – anything). The reason for this lack of living beings is something of great concern to the Ausdenkerkorps, and Entwickler himself is somewhat nervous that there could be some kind of giant mind flayer or gorgon or something there that could have conceivably scoffed its way through the entire world. The monster, whilst having a bit of a penchant for eating people, doesn’t seem big enough to conceivably done this...
Whilst a model is in the Back to Front the following rules apply:
• They may only communicate with models not in the Back to Front by means of Christmas lights (NB: no Christmas lights in this scenario).
• They may not physically interact with, attack, be attacked by or otherwise influence models not in the Back to Front in ANY WAY. Models in different dimensions may move through each other as though they were not there, but may not end a move if they would be covering any part of another model. The only exception to this rule is the monster (see special rules below). Terrain exists in both dimensions and so must be treated as normal.
• They may not cross between dimensions unless by means of the dimension door or unless taken there by the Monster or ‘Elven’ (see their special rules again).
Rage Against The Machine
The Kopfuber Maschine is a relatively fragile device, but Entwickler has taken the precaution of welding some iron plates to it in case of this very eventuality. It is treated as Light Armour vehicle (Panzerfäuste 1st Edition, p.30) with a Guts Value of 8. Once the machine is destroyed it should be left on the table as it may still provide cover during the fighting.
Unleash The Demogorgon
The Monster is a large, extra-dimensional predator that Entwickler and his team have stumbled upon unwisely activating the dimension machine. As with all creatures that dwell between dimensions it is terrifying, tentacle-y, somewhat non-Euclidian and extremely hungry.
Each round the Monster will move towards the nearest model at Full Speed (normal movement rules apply) and if it gets within 4cm of them may seize hold of them with its tentacles, drawing them into base to base to base contact. If that model is already in the same dimension it then attacks using its dreadful maw. If the model is in a different dimension it will draw it through the thin membrane that separates the two realities before attacking. Switch the model to the other dimension.
Stats-wise the Monster is a treated as a Medium vehicle (Panzerfäuste 1st Edition, p.30) with 11 Guts but can make Close Combat attacks with +4 against Infantry.
Pesky Meddling Kids
Unbeknownst to Entwickler a group of local pesky meddling kids have also crossed into the Back to Front. They are investigating a mysterious mystery and as such are uninterested in the battle. Their forces are detailed in the forces section below, but they are in effect an independent force who should be moved at the end of the Orcish players turn: players should alternate control over the kids (their movement and actions will generally involve no choice, aside from Elven who has another option available to her). Pesky meddling kids obey the following rules:
• They are all in the back-to-front, and so must use the rules above.
• As they are armed only with flashlights, rubbish slingshots and the like and so may not attack the rangers or any other model within their dimension bar the monster. The rangers etc may attack them if they wish – it won’t help in the slightest but callous or frustrated players may get a kick out of shooting them.
• Pesky Meddling kids are uninterested in the battle whilst they are on the trail of the monster, and so always move towards it. However, because they are checking the ground for clues, squabbling amongst themselves and generally being incompetent that may only move at a walking pace of 6cm.
• If any of the kids get within 10cm of the monster they will immediately attack it as per their profiles.
• If any of the kids are within 15cm of a player-controlled model fighting the monster that model receives a -2 Guts penalty to any Guts checks. It’s amazing how ineffective trained soldiers become in the presence of these little berks.
• If the monster is removed from play they will make their own way back to the real world (in effect you can remove them from play also, unless you would prefer to move them back to the real map and take pot shots at them whilst they exit the table)
Bonus ending! If the pesky meddling kids rather than any of the Orc or Dwarf forces defeat the monster they may unmask it to see who was behind this all along! Roll 1D6 and consult the table below. Rikes!
Dramtic Denouement Table
1 – 2 Why, its old Mr. Hausmeister the research base janitor! He was scaring everyone away because he had some buried treasure under the shower block!
3 – 4 Hey, it’s Mr. Geschäftsmann, the owner of the real estate company! He probably figured if he scared everybody off he could buy the land the base is on and use it to build a Bierkeller instead!
5 -6 Wow, it’s… hang on… that’s no mask… oh no!! The Monster really is what it appeared to be – a massive slavering interdimensional monster. Remove D4 random kids as casualties and restore the Monster to half of its starting GUTS, then resume play as normal. This effect can happen multiple times if you have enough kids.
Optional Rule: Throw The Switch
This optional rule harkens back to an earlier version of this scenario that got abandoned for being too silly, but is included here because it’s Christmas. It will quickly reduce the game to a random mess with almost everyone being killed so use it at your peril.
If desperate, Entwickler or any of his science team may re-activate the Kopfuber Maschine by randomly hitting all the buttons to see what happens. There’s a chance this may destroy the machine entirely, but its just possible that something may emerge that will stall the Orc commando team for long enough for the rangers to do their job. Activating the machine takes a full action as the model doing so needs to pull as many switches and hammer as many buttons as possible in a fugue of sheer panic. If this happens, roll 1D6:
1. The machine goes into overdrive, emitting loud klaxon noises and bursts of superheated steam whilst various lights flash on and off wildly. At the start of the Dwarven players next turn it explodes, resolve as a Burst attack but with a range of 30cm centred on the machine against every model regardless of what dimension they are in. Remove it from the table and if needs be, continue the game.
2. The machine grinds and shudders and then falls silent. Something essential within it has stopped working and within a few minutes the interior workings will have fused into a superheated molten mess. It now counts as destroyed.
3 – 4. Nothing happens this round.
5 – 6. Space and time themselves bend and twist as something emerges from the machine. Roll again and check on the Interdimensional Visitor table below. All interdimensional visitors act at the end of the Dwarf turn and should take a random move (they are disorientated after coming through the portal) and then attack the nearest model, and will fight to the death.
Interdimensional Visitor Table
1. The portal disgorges approximately 300 kittens. This has no game effect, but aren’t they sweet? Yes they are.
2. Four small, pepperpot-shaped things roll out of the machine and begin firing at all and sundry whilst shrieking hysterically in an unknown tongue. The pepperpot things are treated as Heavy vehicles (Panzerfäuste 1st Edition, p.30) despite their small size and their strange weapons count heavy weapons. They may only move 14cm per round as their wheels are poorly designed for crossing the muddy earth of the lab yard.
3. A single gigantic lizard, large as a house and walking on two powerful hind legs, emerges from the portal and promptly begins charging around the table eating everything in sight. The giant lizard is treated as a Soft Shell vehicle (Panzerfäuste 1st Edition, p.30). It has no ranged weapon, but its powerful bite attack gets +4 in all close combat checks.
4. A shambling figure emerges from the portal, its twisted frame wrapped in bandages and shrouded in red robes. In its first turn the creature should move as normal but does not attack: instead at the end of its action it transforms into a new form, that of an overly muscular grey-skinned monstrosity that begins shrieking and flying about the battlefield, destroying all and sundry with blasts of flesh-withering energy from its clawed hands. The ever-living thing has a starting Guts value of 11. It moves by flying 26cm per turn and may not be targeted by hand to hand attacks. It’s dark sorcerous energy blasts counts as firing a Madhatter Machine (Panzerfäuste 1st Edition, p.33).
5. A single strange figure emerges from the portal, hideous to behold with a vast proboscis and a full, luxuriant mane. It does not attack, but instead wanders the battlefield bellowing about a ‘Copacabana’ – surely some place of eldritch horror. This has the effect of sickening all models within 18cm of it, subjecting them to an attack equal to that of The Evil Eye (Panzerfäuste 1st Edition, p.34), make a Guts check as normal. The terrible figure has a starting Guts value of 8.
6. The battlefield falls quiet as from the portal lurches a creature more horrible than ever before seen. A huge humanoid figure, large as a troll, but created entirely from juicy, delicious sausages. Vast bangers, thick as a gnome, form his arms, each ending in rings of grasping sausage fingers whilst malevolent black-pudding eyes glare down across the battlefield with cold, cruel intelligence. It can only be the horror that is… Wursty Wassett.
Wursty Wassett is treated as a regular Veteran Ogre with a starting Guts of 11 and although he possesses no ranged weapon his hammy grasp surely spells doom to any who should fall within it. However he also proves irresistible to the small dogs that power the Kopfuber Maschine and they immediately begin running after him, tearing small chunks from his legs. Each round Wursty Wassett should suffer -1 Guts as he begins to fall apart from this canine assault: upon reaching 2 Guts his legs collapse and he falls to the earth where he is quickly devoured despite his great strength. Once Wursty Wassett appears the Kopfuber Maschine may no longer be used for the duration of the battle (it may still be destroyed by the Orcs, as if Entwickler can round up the small dogs it could be made serviceable once more).
As ever nobody’s fool, the devious Hauptmann Entwickler has equipped himself well for this mission despite not expecting frontline combat, as he has a sneaking suspicion that something terrible might happen so has brought his Panzerknacker. The Panzerknacker is an experimental high velocity rifle that fires rocket propelled bullets that increase in speed the further they travel. The stats are as per the normal Dwarf rifle but with a +1 Guts modifier at short range, +2 at medium range and +3 at Long Range. Entwickler is wearing his new Unverwunderbar Rustung suit of his own invention under his greatcoat that provides him with a Guts modifier of +4 when being fired upon. The downside of wearing this and his coat is that despite being out in the fresh air Entwickler is extremely hot and sweaty: this sticky, smelly distraction means that he suffers a -1 penalty to all ranged attacks he makes as he keeps having to mop his brow with his beard.
In addition to these Entwickler is also kitted out with a number of devices of his own invention to ensure his survival. This include inferno soap, inflatable octopus lures (explosive variants), bear proof earmufflers, some jolly tinsel grenades (these in case of an impromptu Christmas party) and of course his infamous helmet dwelling night vision frog. None of these have any game effect whatsoever. Entwickler is an Experienced Dwarf Regular and as the leader of his section has a starting Guts value of 10. He is also carrying a pistol.
Entwickler's Research Team
The five junior members of the Ausdenkerkorps attached to the base that have not yet been blown up, set alight or eaten by a giant frog (don’t ask about this) have accompanied Entwickler to view the experiment and take notes. They have minimal battlefield training but the terrors they have endured over the past few months have toughened them up and an Orc attack is far from the worst thing they have faced. They are Green Dwarf Regulars with a starting Guts of 6 but due to their jaded natures they cannot be affected by Supression and gain +1 Guts in Close Combat. They are armed with Dwarven Pistols.
These noble Dwarves have been assigned to the Ausdenkerkorps under Entwickler’s direct command. Since arriving at his secret lab they have witnessed terrible things that no Dwarf should ever see, plus their commander keeps banging on about frogs. The events of today are merely the latest in a long line of odd happenings, but the chance to finally get stuck into some Orcs will be cheering them immensely.
At the start of the game Entwickler has a bodyguard of 3 grenadiers. Once the alarm is tripped and the battle starts reinforcements will begin pouring out of the base… or at least they would, had the Orcs not bombed the barracks minutes earlier. Instead 2 fresh grenadiers will arrive at the Dwarf table edge each and every round. The grenadiers are 50% chance of either Normal Dwarf Elite or Normal Dwarf Regular and armed as per miniature type.
An elite squad of Fallschirmjager dispatched into the back to front to eliminate the monster. They only have one rule: everyone fights, no one quits. If you don’t do your job, they’ll shoot you themselves. HURGH!
The Rangers are highly trained and as such never rout when they reach 2 Guts. They can only be removed by taking a Kill result (or disintegrated, transported, melted, destroyed as per the Madhatter Machine results).
Hix is the leader of the rangers. A Dwarven Veteran, he has led missions against all manner of horrible creatures to from Beholders to Plasmatrons, Xenomorphs to Xorn, and he doesn’t leave his people behind. Hix is a Veteran Dwarf Elite with a starting Guts of 11 armed with an SMG and a Pistol.
Private Vazkez, Hudvon, Weirzbowski
These are the toughest the Rangers have to offer. They are all Experienced Dwarf Regular with a starting Guts of 9 and armed with Rifles.
Mr. Berk is not part of the ranger unit but instead part of the Ausdenkerkorps (finance division). He has accompanied the ranger team strictly as an observer, although he has been harassing Entwickler about the costs of his current experiments and Entwickler is secretly hoping something horrible will befall him on the other side. In turn Berk is hoping that he can get one up on Entwickler by stealing the results of the experiment and presenting them as his own, thus earning himself a hefty promotion. Mr. Berk spends the main part of the game pretending to be an OK guy but is secretly gathering samples and information. However if the monster is slain he immediately passes into the control of the Orc player. Berk’s objective at this point is to escape the back to front – something he can do by moving into contact with the Kopfuber Maschine – at which point he passes back to the ‘real’ world and immediately disables the machine. His objective is then to leave the table by the forest edge. If Berk escapes in this manner the Dwarves lose the scenario regardless of any other result. Note that Berk’s status does not impact the Orcish win conditions in any way.
Berk is treated as Green Dwarf Partisan with a starting Guts of 7 and is armed with a Pistol (which is hidden about his person if using one of the excellent Dwarven Techniks from the Zinn Mann set).
Due to an administrative mix-up, the Orcish commando team has been assigned no less than three officers, all at the rank of Captain , and no NCOs at all. This has had the effect of not only ensuring nothing really gets done with regards food, transport and so on but also that the three Orcs, unable to decide who is in command, have been striving to outdo one another at every opportunity and so prove to top brass back home that they are the top banana responsible for the mission’s success. Because of their competitive rivalry, whenever one of the three Captain models is activated by the Orc player he must ensure that it ends its movement closer to any enemy model than any other surviving Captains (this can be by a couple of millimetres if needs be – the Orcs are being that petty) and if this is not possible must make his maximum possible move towards an enemy. If two of the Captains are removed as casualties this rule can be ignored as dead man’s hobnails has now ensured that proper pecking order has been established. If an Orc Captain is moved to the back to front he may ignore this rule unless a second Captain is also moved to the back to front in which case the whole mess must start all over again.
Captain ‘Skar’ Retz
Captain Retz is a troubled Orc. Years ago, whilst convalescing from a terrible velocipede accident, he was visited by a strange old fellow calling himself Mr. Onz. Mr. Onz told Captain Retz that he was ‘in-der-structable’ and these words have haunted Retz to this very day – despite years of research he has never been able to discover what a Structable is, nor why he might be ‘in’ it, but it sounds jolly awful. To make matters worse Captain Retz has suffered almost a dozen near fatal accidents, many of them leaving him with terrible scars (hence his nickname), although luckily, he has always managed to escape death. Nevertheless, Retz awakens every night, drenched in sweat, the voice of Mr. Onz ringing in his ears.
Captain Retz is an Experienced Regular Orc with a starting Guts of 9. Because of his charmed nature he is never removed from play via a Kill result (or disintegrated, transported, melted, destroyed as per the Madhatter Machine results). He loses Guts as normal and leaves play if this falls bellow 2. He is armed with a Pistol and a Cricket Bat (counts as Sword).
The oldest of the three Captains assigned to the mission, the grey bearded Captain Burdzay is a veteran of many conflicts both on land and sea. He is best known for his actions at the defence of the port at Jungs, where having run out of ammunition he instructed his men to load the catch of the day into the cannons and fire them at the enemy positions. The sudden piscine onslaught routed the shocked Dwarves and the Captain’s ‘fish flingers’ passed into legend.
Captain Burdzay is Experienced Regular Orc with a starting Guts of 9. As he is of advanced age he may never run. However he has brought along a weapon from his youth – the waffler. This awfully versatile weapon, resembling a cross between a tennis racket, a cricket bat and a huge ball and chain counts as a Sword but can be used from a distance of 6cm.
Captain Amaaargh! Wrecker
Captain Amaaargh! is not the smartest of Captains, but by dint of his upstanding nature, bravery and total devotion to his country he has risen swiftly through the ranks from junior NCO to full Captain in short order. Another mitigating factor in his ascent is his tendency to go absolutely berserk at the drop of the hat, especially if someone should mock his actual hat – a strange garment he has made himself out the mangled remains of his loyal pet seagull, Gory – and smash up everything in sight (this appalling garment, a mess of old guts, webbed feet and feathers smeared all over a standard issue peaked cap, looks and smells terrible but sensible Orcs know not to disparage ‘old Gory’ within earshot of Wrecker).
Captain Amaaargh! is Experienced Regular Orc with a starting Guts of 9. He is armed with a Pistol. He also carries a shield he has fashioned himself that affords him Light Cover. Captain Amaaargh! may also throw his shield at an enemy if he wishes – it counts as a Single Shot (SS) attack if done so but then is lost for the rest of the battle.
The remainder of the squad is made up of ten Orc commandos. They are fed up their Captains and their constant one-upmanship but having no NCO they have nobody to grumbnle about and instead have to just get on with it. They are Normal Elite Orcs, equipped by model type, each with a starting Guts of 10.
Pesky Meddling Kids Forces
All the kids are weak juvenile Dwarves, (but feel free to represent them with any models you have). For simplicities sake they all count as Green Militia Dwarves for game purposes with starting Guts values of 4 with the exception of Elven who has a starting Guts of 8.
The kids are a gang of friends who team up to go on adventures, be it solving spooky mysteries or discovering the long-lost treasure of rubbish pirates. Have they bitten off more than they can chew this time around? Hopefully their new friend Elven can help them. Zowie!
Max is the de facto leader of the kids and as such embodies many un-childlike virtues by being brave, smart, loyal and resourceful which could well get him killed. Max is armed with a supply of large skittles, which count as a Pistol in ranged combat and give +1 in close combat (he is a dab hand at throwing them). Maxy counts as the section leader for the kids.
Boris, usually just called Bruder, is Max’s big brother and is a bit of a bully and a blowhard – he likes to berate the other smaller kids if (when) they mess up. He is armed with his cool bandana, which does nothing but makes him look cool. In combat Bruder uses his martial arts moves, which counts as unarmed combat.
An annoying, big headed boy who talks incessantly. Yap is also a part time vampire-hunter, so as well as his slingshot he has brought along several small stakes and some strings of garlic. The garlic is no use against the monster but the stakes can be fired from the slingshot – they count as a Pistol for game purposes.
A bright and inventive child with a knack for engineering, Brains is fixated upon his hero, Kapitan Entwickler, and has therefore brought a number of devices of his own invention on the adventure. These include sneaky shoes, rocket pants, a boxing glove on a sort of extendable arm and a large bad tempered toad that he has affixed to his cap in an attempt to help him see in the dark. This does not work, as per all his other stuff, although in close combat the boxing glove may be used as an improvised hand weapon granting +1 vs Infantry.
For some reason there’s always a fat kid in these groups and here Chubs is it. Chubs is armed only with his packed lunch, which includes a gigantic sandwich that counts as an improvised close combat weapon (+1 vs Infantry, it’s a mighty sandwich). If Chubs takes any damage, or any of the other kids are killed, he eats the sandwich to comfort himself and counts as unarmed for remainder of the scenario.
So named because she looks a bit elf-y and the only girl in the gang, Max befriended Elven when he found her wandering the woods and brought her to live secretly in his parents turnip cellar. She is very quiet and the rest of the gang consider her to be a bit weird: unbeknownst to them she has also come from the alternate dimension, and is their best hope of defeating the monster.
Elven may use her other-dimensional powers against the monster, attempting to essentially ‘unmake’ it. In combat this counts as a Single Shot (Anti Armour). Elven will not use her powers on another living being and can only attack the monster in this way.
Elven is also the only other model, other than the monster, that can facilitate movement between the two dimensions. The player controlling Elven may choose to do this instead of any actions (move or attack) or her turn: this allows Elven to switch any model she is in base contact with (including herself) regardless of whatever dimension they are in, from the back to front or vice versa. By this method she can potentially bring more troops through to attack the monster, or may even drag it through to the ‘real’ world for everyone else to attack it.
Victory conditions for this scenario are as follows:
The Dwarves win if they are able to eliminate all Orcish forces AND Berk does not escape with the monster remains.
The Orcs win if they can destroy the Kopfuber Maschine and eliminate Entiwickler. Whichever side defeats the monster gets a ‘bonus’ as they have saved everyone. If the kids kill the monster everyone laughs and then it’s huge sandwiches all round..
However - BOTH sides lose if the monster is not killed – such a horror cannot be allowed to roam unchecked.
An Orcs in the Webbe Original! This scenario was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe and was first published on the 20th December 2017 as part of its 2017 Advent Calendar.
Entwickler was created by Luke back in 2011 during that years Advent Calendar, his debut in "Shellfire & Damnation" was such a success that he has gone on to feature in any more adventures and was even brought into canon by Hysterical Games when they re-launched Wessex Games' Panzerfäuste back in 2015 he was turned into a miniature, shown below in full painted glory. You can buy Entwickler (as well as a whole host of other fantastic things on Hysterical Games' online store, just click here or on their logo below to go and have a looksie.
Miniature painted and based by Rob Alderman