[KoW] 15mm Vanguard Campaign - War of the Sorrows pt. 2

We finally got to kick of our Ice & Iron campaign for Vanguard. Its set in the Sorrows between the battered remnants of Imperial Dwarfs under the rule of King Golloch and an Abyssal Dwarf outpost. The prelude of the campaign can be found here [KoW] 15mm Kings of War - War of the Sorrows pt. 1

Following the huge battle on in the first part, the Abyssal Dwarfs sent out scouting parties in the Sorrows to locate the remains of the Imperial Dwarfs. Trying to decide their numbers and if they were about to mount a bigger invasion towards Tragazahk. Since both sides more or less depleted their combat abilities the following clashes are set between battered desperate forces high in the desolate terrain with low supplies.
Here are our entire Campaign forces of 300 gc, which we use to draw or skirmish forces from.


We decided to use all the rules from Ice & Iron regarding food, weather etc. And made the following modifications to the Post Engagement Sequence:

  • Advancing in Rank (page 142), roll 1D8
    1-4 Gain a Core Stat Upgrade
    5-8 Gain a new Special Rule

  • Resupply (page 149), roll 1D8 to see what “Rare or Unique” item is available.
    1- 5 Rare item
    6-8 Unique item

Our first clash was a Breakthrough Mission (page 24 Ice & Iron) between two forces, non familiar with the hostile environment. For this battle we used 100 gc forces from the Campaign Warbands.


The map consists of a long diagonal area, the two corners are blocked of by hostile fauna. You better not stray from the path…

The objective for both forces is the get of the other table edge as soon as possible. The longer it goes the less VP is scored by each trooper.

An Imperial Dwarf scout had already taken position among the trees and fired a hail of bolts against our advancing troops. Reacting by instinct the slaves were sent forward to take him out…


The ratmen slaves were very disappointing, though quick and agile the lacked both the durability and punch in combat that our trustworthy greenskined slaves have. Ours Black Souls had no other option than to expose themselves and take care of the threat before our beloved leader was put in harms way.


The Imperial Dwarves proved alot tougher than expected and the combat was soon joined by all both war bands could muster. The bearded half naked Imperial Dwarf leader(?!) was fearsome in combat, screaming both orders and profanities at his own troops.
The morale of the Imperial Dwarfs proved alot higher than expected and they simply wouldn’t break like the weaker Free Dwarfs of the Halpi Mountains had done. Even though being mortal wounded they kept fighting, and it took its tool on our Black Souls which started to hesitate. Maybe we should have brought the Infernox to handle these scum…

Our Black Souls fell one by one and within minutes Vorh’gar the Cruel was the only hatted dwarf standing, with deep cuts across his armour. Even though he considered himself being the mightiest warrior east of the Abyss, it was no use dying here today… Vorh’gar spent his last power making a fighting withdrawal, until he could vanish back to the camp of the rest of the war band. Every scouting force would have to be equipped with some heavy firepower to take out that half naked beast of a Dwarf.


Before the end of the battle two Imperial Dwarves managed to break through our lines, while no Abyssal Dwarf forces remained… And the campaign started with a minor loss for the Abyssal Dwarfs.

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Very enjoyable read, would love to play through a campaign like this one day :clap:t2:

A shame it ended like that, from an Abyssal point of view anyway :grin:, but I’m sure we’ll take the next one Tjub!

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Very nice write up. Great that you could get in a game in this environment. May the Abyssal Dwarves triumph in the next round an wreak vengance upon their foes!

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Thanks, jupp lets hope so. There were some pretty crazy dice roll involved in this game. :stuck_out_tongue: But to be honest the Abyssal Dwarfs won pretty much every game in our last campaign so its only fair.

Oh, just find a good gaming partner you can trust to follow through. My regular 15mm opponent is my old flatmate, we pretty much used to always have an ongoing campaign in our living room for several years. Our approach these days is to play when we feel like it, sometimes 2-3 games a month and sometimes no game for a few months when we are busy. But the campaign is always “on” with no pressure. :slight_smile:

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After the initial clashes both sides pull back to camp for regrouping. The following days our scouts reports of a clan of local tribesmen they located among the mountains. Initially no effort is taken gathering these up for the slavecamps, as our main priority is to locate the remaining Imperial Dwarfs. That is until the tribesmen, under interrogation, reveal tales of hidden cave systems and ancient tunnels under the mountains. Embarrassingly the captive didn’t survive long enough to reveal the exact location of the tunnels, but among his screams he mentioned a sacred place with stone tablets revealing details of the caves…
This will have to be investigated as soon as possible, even though the weather seems to be turning to the worse with a heavy fog.

Our second mission for the campaign is “Snowblind” p17 of Ice & Iron. Both forces are lost on the mountains in bad weather and stumble into each other while looking for the Stone Tablets. The first two rounds start with severely reduced Line OF Sight, slowly getting better.

Both Warbands choose their forces of 150 gc from the Campaign Forces.

The setup for the battles proves challenging with intermingled forces and reduced LOS. At the end of Turn 2 we randomly reveal the exact location of the Stone Tablets.


Our forces to the south provided the hammer while the northern force would have to act as an anvil. Both of the Imperial Dwarf forces are rather offensive with one lead by a Berzerkers Lord and the other containing a Stone Golem. Our battleplan is to quickly strike and avoiding getting caught between both forces.


Being the Commander of the Dwarves our Hammer quickly fell on the western force of Imperial Dwarfs containing the Berzerkers Lord. While the Imperial Dwarf unwisely split the force going after both ours.


Heavy combat ensued but for now it seems like our Anvil will hold, our Hammer struck hard against the Berzerkers Lord and quickly took out his support. But even though being cut down several times the Berzerkers just wouldn’t give up, retaliating in a frenzy of blood, axe and beard. And he managed to hold out long enough for the Stone Golem to catch up with our Hammer. The Berzerkers had bought the time needed for the Imperial Dwarfs and our Hammer was stuck.
At the same time shouts came from the northern clash that the Stone Tablets had been located there…


Our Anvil had to go on the offensive, trying to avoid the Dwarven reinforcements from the east and shifting the remaining Dwarves battling for the Stone Tablets. Combined efforts by our Black Soul infantry and Barzh the Immortal blasting the Dwarves with several heavy Fire Balls turned the battle into our favor…
Support was needed to the north parts of our Hammer redirected to support the battle there. Leaving our brave Commander Azorth and a Black Soul battling the Stone Golem for time.

Realizing that the Dwarven forces could not hold against the Abyssal Dwarfs they seized the last window of opportunity to grab the Stone Tablets and run. Despite beeing blasted by both our Decimator and Barzh the Dwarf ran, though badly wounded and in panic he held on to the Tablets.

With both forces taking the heavy casualties it was worst for the Imperial Dwarfs, our slaves and infantry could easily be replaced, and the Dwarven moral were broken. By now it was just a matter of time fore the last Dwarves would run…
Beeing Stubborn the Dwarf carrying the Tablets hesitated, at last chance, to leave his beaten comrades behind and was set ablaze by Barzh.


As the heavy fog came rolling back again a cry of pain rang out from the south as Azorth fell to the Stone Golems heavy blows…

Barzh almost reached the Tablets before visibility was reduced to zero again, and the battle was over… and ended in a Draw.

The battle proved to strike a heavy blow on our forces which resulted in both the death of Azorth, who fell the very last that happened during the battle, and our Decimator. The Imperial Dwarfs managed to survive rather unscratched, this proves to be a harder adventure than expected as the beeings of the Abyss looks the other way…

Despite the Stone Table were lost Barzh the Immortal located an old shrine of arcane power while navigating back to our camp and brought back relics and new knowledge gaining the status of Arcanist.
Our force will have to spend a few days at camp while a new command structure is set up, rivaling Barzh and Khram our Immortal Guard.

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With the loss of Lord Azorth our forces were dealt a heavy blow. Both Barzh our ambitious sorcerer and Khram the Immortal Guard were equal in rank to succeed. Barzh obviously being the more political of them went for the long game and stepped back for now…
With our forces weakened Khram set up a defensive position over hazardous canyon, hoping to tempt the Imperial Dwarf forces to strike and blunt their attack. As anticipated the Berzerk leader of the Imperial Dwarfs didn’t hesitate and ordered a charge at first chance.

Our 3rd clash were Canyon Patrol (p18 I&I), both forces chose 200pts war bands out of their Campaign Forces.

The Abyssal Dwarf defenders lead by Khram and supported by Barzh.

The Imperial Dwarfs lead by a duo of Berserks smelled blood and went headlong into the trap.

The mission set the Imperial Dwarfs to attack and break through to get to the green area and secondary cause casualties on the important characters, while the Abyssal Dwarf main objective is to stop the attackers at all cost.

While our force tried to man the defensive positions ordered by Khram, the Imperial Dwarfs charged over the cracked canyon while supported by two veteran scouts who seemed to have prepared safe routes for the attackers during the night. The scouts marksmen scouts showered our forces in projectiles as they ran for cover. Obviously the slaves were sent forwards to test the range and accuracy of their weapons.

After the first round of movement, there are several tempting charges but with out proper supported they will be dangerous. The Imperial Dwarfs had the initiative going into round two.

While beeing in range himself the Berzerkers Lord lacked proper support from his troops and held his ground initially. On our right flank the mounted Berzerker charged headlong into our Infernox, but he failed to damage the brute and instead got pulped when the golem retaliated.
Khram sent forward the slaves trying to tie up the Imperial Dwarfs and force them into bad positions, but much to his dismay the useless rodents proved to weak to make any real difference and were quickly disposed.

Seen his “brother” taken out with an axe to the back while on the ground proved too much for the Berzerkers Lord. He left his support behind and charged the Infernox in a furious attack, which left the golem severely damaged. Though having charged the Abyssal Dwarf line alone the Berzerker Lord couldn’t withstand the retaliation and soon joined his “brother”…

The Imperial Dwarf scouts pounded our forces on the left flank but we managed to keep our hats down and make good use of the terrain. The only casualties caused were on the slaves…

For the 3rd round the battle looked just as Khram had envisioned it, the Commander of the Imperial Dwarfs taken out as well as the mounted Berzerker. Left was just to two scouts, which could be problem enough on their own given the chance, and the support troops. The Imperial Dwarfs didn’t have much options other than to press the attack and pray for a miracle or retreat…

Kram thought to himself if they were just stubborn or foolish as the Dwarven “CHARGE!” order was called out… Our forces braced for impact and readied themselves for the retaliation.
The Dwarves Scouts managed to take out our Infernox with ranged attacks, while the Iron Guards attack knocked down one of our Blacksouls.

Khram grinned to himself as he saw the bloodied bodies of the Dwarven Levys who didn’t make their charge, and single handedly took out the Dwarven Iron Guard…
This proved too much for the Dwarven Scouts who didn’t share the lust for death with the Berzerkers and they retreated back towards the mountain.

In hindsight this seemed as a pretty tough senario for the attacker, even though a more synchronized attack might have had better luck. But with the defender only having to focus on defending and killing the attacker all the initiative and pressure seemed to be on the attacker. Or was it Khrams superior strategy?

This turned out to be our first Victory in the Campaign this far, and luckily we didn’t suffer any casualties in the aftermatch. The Campaign Force received reinforcements by a Blacksoul, a Decimator and a Slave Orc.
With the fresh troops Khram plans to move on the attack and a raid the Dwarf camp, with the hasty retreat of the Dwarves our trackers had an easy task following them back…

With the recent victory for our forces Khram wanted to strike while we had a chance for the initiative. He eagerly pushed for an attack at the Dwarf Camp, and with one hard blow destroying their ability to keep fighting in these hard conditions. Initiative and a swift victory would look good to Overking Zerkziz thought Khram. Barzh our sorceror knew better though, this was not goblin rabble or other lower creatures we were fighting. A Dwarf always keep his camp well defended. Though now were not the time to speak, Barzh time would come, soon…

Our 4th Vanguard fight was a “Burn the Stores” mission. With their recent victory the Abyssal Dwarfs had a chance to strike back at the Imperial Dwarf camp. Both sides used 200gc to assemble their force from their Campaign Rosters.
We wanted to give the impression of a ruined area with some older Abyssal Dwarf buildings now used as Stores for the invaders. Though in hindsight it was not the most optimal layout for the mission…


The left building is the Abyssal Dwarf main objective which contains most of the food etc for the Imperial Dwarfs, the right building is their quarters/pub which contains most of the Dwarf force.


After entering the area and preparing for the attack, we were surprised to find that Khram had chose to attack. The area was pretty well defended with lots of obstacles and defensive positions for the defenders. Our best, and only, chance to succeed was to strike fast and hard. Our left flank rushed for the main objective trying to overman them and set the stores on fire. While our main force ran headlong into the Dwarf camp just trying to tie up as much of their forces as possible.


While our attack struck hard, we didn’t strike hard enough and the drunk Dwarf Berzerker Lord lept from a barrel of ale and counter attacked.


Our attack fizzled out as soon as it charged… The Dwarf Berzerker Lord swiftly and singlehandedly took it out, while a large group of Dwarfs ran from the quarters eager to intercept our main attack. Both Freddie the Stone Priest and a Dwarf sharpshooter took up positions and tore into our flank with fire and lead.


Even though the attack was over as soon as it had started Khram refused to accept failure and pressed on… The Abyssal Dwarf attackers were cut down almost to the last man, only Khram remained standing at the end and managed to retreat.

Our forces took heavy losses yet again and we lost two of our Black Soul Warriors. Only time will tell if our forces are able to hold, we are running low on both food, men and slaves. And worst of all it seems suffering under incompetent leadership… There is only one reward for failure.