"A Plague on Both Your Houses"
A Flintloque Scenario by Luke Passingham
As the memories of long dead Elven lovers re-emerge in the stiched together shambling corpses of two Zombie abominations the Vampyre Lords who created them battle for control of the creatures after the meticulously planned trap concocted by one fo them has gone somewhat awry...
Within the frozen and inhospitable gloom that is the Witchlands, where the Dark Czar rules supreme, dwell any number of terrible creatures, both living and dead, that should best be avoided by any of sane temperament. Worst of these are the dread vampyres, upon two of whom this tale is focused: the rival nosferatu lords, Monteghoulov and Splatuletski.
For centuries the two have held a great enmity for each other, each seeking to best his rival in any number of small yet humiliating fashions, from setting the other’s zombies minions alight to packing his rival’s coffin with stinging snow-bees to having the other’s decaying fortress and all within it “accidently” consumed by a lurking horror from beyond time and space. In this particular phase of their rivalry they have each set upon a single goal: to create a monstrous new type of golem of fused dead flesh, something capable of rending a zombie or ghoul into chunks with a single mighty swipe that could finally tip the balance in their seemingly-endless war and prove their superiority over the other. To this end they each have summoned up a mighty plague and stricken the nearby towns to ensure a bountiful supply of fresh corpses for their experiments.
Recently their necromantic dabblings have seen success, and Monteghulov has summoned his old enemy to a Christmas party in order to show off his newest creation, having hidden it within a large cake with the intention to have it jump out and rip off Splatuletski’s stupid fat face. Splatuletski himself however has guessed this and is bringing his own recently-completed monster, along with a special surprise that should ensure Monteghulov’s party goes with rather more of a bang than intended.
However there is a dramatic, tragic and possibly romantic twist to this tale of double-dealing and small scale genocide: the monsters of Monteghoulov and Splatuletski, whilst formed of a number of stitched-together body parts from the hapless and unfortunate victims of their plagues, have by total coincidence (and certainly not in a contrived manner) included the heads and hearts of a pair of Ferach Elves who, in life, were secret lovers, each hailing from a rival warring (and now completely extinct) family. Romeoski and Julietta were their names, and their love has lived on even through death, for in the moment at which both vampire lords were about to spring their fiendish plots upon the other the two monsters caught sight of one another, let out terrible groans of recognition and escaped through the castle wall hand in hand, crushing any minions who got in their way beneath their mighty feet.
It is as they say: if a midnight chase through a zombie bear-infested forest pursued by vampyres be the food of love… game on.
The battlefield should be setup as follows:The battlefield is a 4’ x 4’ area represents the dread haunted Carpathian Forest. It can be assumed that the entire battlefield is lightly wooded and covered in thick snow, neither of which impedes movement at the start of the game (see below). Players should add scenery as they see fit to represent thicker wooded areas, undulating ground or large stones jutting from the earth.
Alternately you can use the Heroic Battlemaps: Winter Forest / Winter Encounters maps available from Wargames Vault. Check them out!
Romeoski and Julietta begin the game in the centre of the table. Monteghoulov and Splatuletski may deploy their forces on opposite table edges in the bottom right hand corner of the map, facing each other.
The bear begins 64cms away from the lovers, roughly equidistant between them and the vampire forces if possible.
Star-Crossed Lovers (of Braaaaiiins!)
The remains of Romeoski and Julietta still hold the spark of true love for one another within their rotten skulls, and now reunited beyond death they wish nothing more than to spend eternity together, away from their warring masters.
Romeoski and Julietta act after the second players turn and immediately following the bear (see below). They must always remain in base to base contact with each other if possible (hand in festering hand) and if they begin their round so then they will move at half speed towards the table edge that is both nearest to them and furthest from any other model in play. If one of them has been captured and the other lover remains alive then it will move at full speed towards the captured model. Romeoski and Julietta will attack any model other than each other that they come into contact with. If one of the lovers is killed or leaves the table a prisoner and the other remains un-captured it will spend the next turn weeping piteously, during which it may not attack or move. The next turn it will tear its own heart from its breast, killing itself instantly (and causing both players to lose the game).
Although technically zombies (albeit big ones) the lovers are in actuality huge shambling abominations made up of multiple corpses, jagged spikes and strange necromantic gizmos. This means that statswise they are treated as Rotten Ogre Zombies for movement but Fresh Ogre Zombies for all other stats.
Luckily for the vampires, both Romeoski and Julietta have been equipped with heavy iron collars festooned with rings, to better enable them to be led about. Any model approaching within 10cm may take a special action to throw a hook through one of these rings and commence dragging them away. A single model may drag a resisting abomination at half speed in any direction whilst two together may drag it at full speed, all the while ignoring its moans and dodging its swiping fists.
Romeoski and Julietta can escape from any table edge, however the vampires must remove prisoners from their own table edge for them to count as captured for the purposes of calculating victory.
Because this skirmish is a dramatic one, during the initiative phase both players should roll 2D6 and consult the following random event table. Unless otherwise referenced any effect lasts for a full turn, until the next initiative phase.
2 – Nothing will come of nothing – Nothing happens this turn.
3 – If you prick us do we not bleed? – All models in play take 1 less damage from attacks until the start of the next round.
4 – I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at – No figures may add their Steady Rating during Steady Checks this turn.
5 – Out of the jaws of death – The rolling player may immediately return one model previously removed as a casualty into play. This model must be placed within 15cm of another friendly model, and can activate as normal this round.
6 – Is this a dagger I see before me? – All models armed with melee weapons that win in melee gain 1 extra Impact damage this round.
7 – The smallest worm will turn, being trodden upon – No zombie Cossacks may be activated until the start of the next round.
8 – I bear a charmed life – The rolling player may nominate a single model on the table (this does not have to be a model under their control). That model cannot be harmed (i.e. it does not receive any Hits or Wounds) until the beginning of their next turn.
9 – The better part of valour is discretion – No figures are affected by Steady Checks this turn.
10 – Though this be madness, there is yet method in it – During each players turn this round they may each activate a single model on the opposing side. It may move and attack as though it were under their control. (Note that the figure my already have an activation token and doesn’t gain one from this controlled activation)
11 – Nature teaches beasts to know their friends – The bear does not move or attack this round.
12 – True nobility is exempt from fear – All mortal characters can activate this turn regardless of any Shaken Tokens or Hits without having to roll (Activation Phase, cases 1 & 2). Undead do not suffer from Brainn Freeze regardless of distance to their Liche.
Winter of Discontent
The Foul Weather rules from Grapeshotte (p.21) should be used in this scenario. At the start of each turn roll on the following table:
Also you need to keep track of how many snowing and blizzard results there are. Add 1 to the running total for each Snowing and 2 for each Blizzard. This determine conditions underfoot. The playing area starts as clear terrain but when the weather total reaches 5 it is considered Difficult Terrain and when it reaches 10 it is considered Bogging. Each Windy result reduces the current total to half.
Exit, Pursued By A Bear
The Carpathian Forest is home to a number of dreadful creatures, among them the terrible zombie bears (or Zom-bears), gigantic monstrosities who roam the haunted woodlands and snowy tundra in search of picnic baskets and hapless ghouls to devour. The evening’s commotion has brought one of these beasts sniffling around, and it is drawn to the scent of dead flesh in anticipation of a feast.
The bear moves immediately following each of the second players turns, before the monster lovers. It will move at Charge speed (depending on conditions underfoot, see above) towards the nearest model and once in base to base contact will attack and attempt to devour them. If the bear devours (kills) a model it heals 1 wound and seeks a new target the following turn. Because of its starting position players would be wise to eliminate or otherwise distract the bear as soon as possible to avoid it attacking the lovers.
If the bear is slain another will enter from a random table edge after the lovers have next moved, and will commence its hunt after the second players turn as above. Is there no end to this bear menace?
The bear uses the statistics from Matthew Hartley’s Wilde Thinges article:
Melee Modifier +6
Optional Rule: Shakespearean Twists
Players who are interested in a more random and longer game may wish to employ the optional Shakespearean Twist table below. This should be rolled upon whenever a named character from either side is killed.
1 – 3: TRAGEDY! The characters death is upon them. Falling to their knees they have time for a final speech – be it a lengthy soliloquy or a simple ‘”O! I am slain” before expiring. Remove them from play as a casualty as normal.
4 – 5: COMEDY! The character is revealed to be their twin brother or sister, cunningly disguised! The ruse is revealed to much surprise, stunning all combatants and allowing the character to immediately regain half lost wounds (rounding up) and make a full move action for free as they leap aside. Players should rename the character in question as they see fit.
6: HISTORY! The characters story has been suitably dramatized and embellished by the writer of this tale to frame them as much more of a hero than perhaps they really were. They are restored to full health and gain a random skill and a random flaw as their true destiny is revealed.
Note that NPC characters (Romeoski, Julietta, the bear) should not roll on this table.
Both players should agree to use this rule as it will seriously unbalance the game, although the possibility of a character being revealed as an epic hero and then his own twin sister may be too much to pass up. Players may also wish to limit each character to one roll on this table per game, although in my opinion it’s funnier if you don’, especially if it results in a character switching gender multiple times and becoming all but unkillable.
Monteghoulov is a sinister vampyre. Long has he dwelt in the Witchlands, oppressing his serfs, raising the dead and hating on his bitter rival Splatuletski, who he considers to be a little more than an apish beast-eating oxhead and a shag haired villain to boot. The cause of their enmity is long forgotten but is connected to biting thumbs in some way. After the failure of his cake-themed abomination trap he is in a fouler mood than usual and will seize any opportunity to exact his revenge on Splatuletski this very night.
Monteghoulov is Veteran Regular Vampyre. For the hunt he has equipped himself with a standard pistol and his ancestral sword – as he has also not had time to change from his Christmas party clothing (worn as part of the ruse to trick Splatuletski) he is also equipped with a warm yet extremely ugly festive jumper which as the effect of negating any Foul Weather conditions for him, and a pair of fake antlers (no game effect, but they do make him look ridiculous). Monteghoulov may use Vampyre Blood Magicke as per Death in the Snow special rules.
Henryski IV Parts I And II
Henryski IV is a large golem constructed by Monteghulov – the fourth to bear this name, his predecessors having been destroyed in various Splatuletski plots. This particular Henryski was recently bisected at the waist by a giant spring-loaded swinging blade that agents of Splatuletski has concealed in Monteghoulov’s opera cape closet, and has been the subject of hasty repairs.
Henryski IV is an Experienced Regular Golem. However his improperly-sealed wound means he can split himself into two during the battle: Heneryski will split into two if he takes (a lot of damage on one round), or alternately the Monteghoulov player may choose to have Henryski split apart at the beginning of any of his turns: if this happens replace him with two separate models or counters, one representing his torso and arms (Henryski part I) and one his legs (Henryski part II). When split apart both parts of Henryski are treated as Average Regular Golems as well as the following:
Henryski IV Part I may only move by knuckling himself across the ground like a horrible chimp – this makes his maximum move Slow March (he may also only attack at waist height or below, but this has no game effect).
Henryski IV Part 2 may move as normal but may only make kick attacks. Because he cannot see where he is kicking, this results in a -2 penalty in melee.
A once mighty warrior from a far off land where it always rains and the haggis roams free, Banquov, when alive, was betrayed by his one-time best friend and murdered. After a few centuries scaring the living with his ominous gory locks he drifted to the Witchlands where he fell under the power of the nefarious Monteghoulov.
Banquov is Expereinced Cavalry Wraith armed with a lance. He is a master of the ancient and deadly style of fighting from his strange homeland known as the “headbutt” and having his head no longer attached to his shoulders has simply made him all the more lethal with it. Banquov’s Ghost may throw his spectral head at any opponent within 24cm – this counts as a Standard Pistol ranged attack.
Festive Zombie Cossacks
Monteghulov has festooned his zombies with party hats and other cheerful Christmas accoutrements in an effort to lure his enemy into a false sense of security. Whilst this has no in-game effect it does make them look a lot jollier.
There are 8 festive zombie Cossacks, all are Savant Zombies and armed with Standard Muskets and sharpened candy canes (which grant them +2 in melee).
Splatuletski is a dreadful vampyre. He has ruled over his small corner of the Witchlands for centuries, initially amusing himself with typical vampyre things like not drinking wine and killing everyone in sight, until he fell out with his once friend and now great enemy Monteghoulov, who he now considers to be a little more than a loathly sodden-witted ticklebrain as well as a viperous fat-kidneyed dullard, and that’s on his best day. He has also forgotten the cause of their enmity, but believes is connected to a misunderstanding over a pound of flesh. He easily saw through Monteghoulov’s party trap and had been congratulating himself on his cleverness all evening, and the rebellion and escape of his abomination has left him bitter and badly shaken. If he can revenge himself on Monteghoulov in a more direct manner this night then he surely will.
Splatuletski is Veteran Regular Vampyre. He is armed with a standard pistol and his ancestral sword as well as a large box, wrapped in bright paper and bound up with cheerful ribbons. Splatuletski planned to give this to Monteghoulov at the height of the party and has stuffed it with rotten fruit, angry wasps as well as a considerable volume of gunpowder, hoping to both explode and comprehensively humiliate Monteghoulov at the same time. Splatuletski may throw the box as a normal ranged attack – it counts as a single use Elf Fyre Grenade although it has a range of just 10cm as it is not very aerodynamic and Splatuletski is not very good at throwing. Splatuletski may use Vampyre Blood Magicke as per Death in the Snow special rules.
The remains of a once-great king who descended into madness, King Learski now dwells on as a lich in the service of Splatuletski. Before he died his eyes were put out and now his empty sockets and grinning visage is the last thing many unfortunates have ever seen.
King Learski is a Liche armed with a standard pistol and a sword. In life Learski was blinded and relied upon his fool to guide him and generally out up with his insane ramblings – in death his loyal fool, Festy (so named because of the way he smells) has remained by his side. Festy Regular Rotten Zombie and must remain in base to base contact with King Learski at all times. He may not attack, unless it be by his rapier sharp wit (this does no damage) but if he is slain then King Learski gains the Liche skill Eye Blast as well as the Liche trait Lichalichious.
Easily the most ancient of all the revenants who serve Splatuletski – indeed, he is older even that the Vampyre lord himself – the origins of Julius have been lost to memory, but it is believed he was once some kind of wise noble or great leader who was betrayed and murdered by some kind of brute. He is now an almost mindless creature, totally in thrall to his master, who the locals have nicknamed ‘the squeezer’ for his gruesome habit of seizing unfortunates in his massive arms and squashing them to bits, a process he calls ‘rendering’.
Squeezer is a Regular Fresh Ogre Zombie and is equipped with a halberd. In combat he prefers to make a bear hug attack, crushing his enemies to a slippery, gory pulp in his massive overdeveloped arms. If he wins a melee attack add an additional 1D5 Impact to the Steady check.
Gunpowder-Filled Non-Festive Zombie Cossacks
Splatuletski has not dressed up his zombies like his foolish rival: instead he has secretly packed the chest cavity of each with gunpowder and stapled a rudimentary Christmas cracker into each of their hands. When pulled the ‘snap’ within each cracker should ignite the gunpowder and cause the zombies to explode, doubtless blowing that clown Monteghulov to bits.
The game effect of this is that, should a non-festive zombie be killed by gunfire, he has a 50% chance of exploding. An exploding zombie counts as an Elf Fyre Grenade. Alternately Splatuletski may order any of his zombies to pull their own crackers, which automatically causes them to detonate as above.
There are 8 non-festive zombie Cossacks, all are Savant Zombies and armed with Standard muskets.
Victory conditions for this scenario are as follows:
Monteghoulov or Splatuletski have the same victory conditions, in that both may win the scenario by achieving any two of the following four conditions:
• Romeoski or Julietta captured and removed from the table.
• Enemy general slain whilst own general remains alive (or as alive as they get)
• Enemy forces are wiped out completely
• Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill should come (unlikely, unless you are using your own rules)
However if Romeoski and Julietta flee the board then the game is a draw, and if they are slain (usually by the bear) then both sides lose.
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself for a fool. I hope you enjoy this foolishness!
This article was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe and was first published on the 20th December 2015 as part of it's 2015 Advent Calendar.