Saturday, February 21, 2009

Battle of Bodge Hill

I thought I’d try out my house rules for Savage Worlds Characters in mass battles using Hordes of the Things (Hordes of the SAVAGE things).


A large war party of Orcs from Garrlac has skirted the fortress of Harra-Dûr by marching through the swamps of Gorrl. They have been raiding the eastern areas of Dwarvia and Nordland until a force of Norvsk and Dwarves could be raised to chase them down and brought them to battle at Bodge Hill.


The Orc war party had been brought to battle at Bodge Hill, North East of Sykl. The Orcs are the attackers, the “Good Guys” are the defenders, and otherwise it’s just a standard HOTT game… (with the addition of some Savage Worlds characters accompanying some of the stands).



1x Warband General (Orcs under War Chief Urgur-blargg)
2x Behemoth (one Giant, one batch of Trolls)
1x Artillery (Orc catapult)
3x Beasts (Wolves)
5x Hordes (Goblins)

Good Guys

1x Blade General (Dwarves under General Hardeg Grimbeard)
3x Blade (Dwarf Warriors)
1x Shooters (Dwarf Handgunners)
1x Artillery (Dwarf Cannons)
2x Blade (Norvsk Warriors)
1x Light Infantry* (Local Halfling Militia)
1x Magician (Randalf the White)
1x Lurkers (Norvsk Skirmishers laying in ambush)

*the Light Infantry are a house rule suggested by David Kuijt on the Fanaticus Forum (HERE). They’re similar to Warband, but not as impetuous and seemed like a better match for Halfling militis, so I thought I’d give them a try. Here’s how they work:

Based like Wb
Moves 300p (like Wb)
No BGo effect (like Wb)
+3 vs. all (like Wb)
QK by Kn in the open (like Wb)
NOT QK by Behemoth (unlike Wb)
Doesn't QK anything (unlike Wb)
NOT impetuous (unlike Wb)
No rear support (unlike Wb)

The Savage Worlds Characters

Brijit Dannerwood – Halfling Theif (Amanda’s Character)
Ag d10, Sm d6, Sp d6, St d8, Vg d6,
Pace 6, Parry 9, Toughness 4 (5)
Skills: Fighting d10, Shooting d10, Notice d10, Stealth d12, Streetwise d12, Boating d4, Knowledge: Plants d4, Persuasion d4, healing d4, Climbing d6, Lockpicking d8
Edges: Luck, Connections, Quick, Theif, Dodge, Block, Acrobat
Hindrances: Minor Pacifist, Small, Doommonger
Gear: Clothes, Lock Picks, 2x dagger (Str+d4), back pack, spare clothes, bedroll, Short Sword (Str+d6+2, +2 Fighting), Bow (Rng 12/24/48, ROF 1, Dmg 2d6)

Elessar Luinwe – Elf Mage (Darrin’s Character)
Ag d6, Sm d12, Sp d6, St d4, Vg d6,
Pace 6, Parry 6, Toughness 5
Skills: Spellcasting d10, Fighting d8, Notice d8, Stealth d6, boating d6, Knowledge Arcana d4, Survival d4, healing d4
Edges: Arcane Background: Magic, Agile, Low Light vision, More Power Points
Hindrances: All Thumbs, Loyal, Ugly
Powers: bolt, detect/Conceal Arcana, Light
Gear: Staff, dagger


Darrin decided the terrain I had set out before he arrived was acceptable, I picked a favoured side (closest to me!) and got it. Darrin set up, then I did and by that time Amanda had joined us.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The baddies lined up over the hill. From left to right; two Horde, Behemoth (trolls), Warband General, Behemoth (Giant), Artillery, Three Hordes, Three Beasts.

The goodies make their stand near a border fortress. From left to right: Halfling Light infantry (accompanied by Brijit Dannerwood), Two Dwarf Blade, Dwarf Blade General, behind the General is Randalf the White (accompanied by Elessar Luinwe)

GRRARRRRrrrrr…! Off they went. The first two turns the Allied Goodies rolled one PIP, which got them off to a slow start. They did want to go forward a bit because the Dwarf blade at the right of their line were in woods and didn’t want to get caught there when the wolves came a-hunting.

The orc and goblin hordes crest the hill in the middle of the battlefield as the wolves descend on the allied right flank.

Brijit and the Halfling militia, still waitng at the edge of the woods found themselves being attacked on two sides by packs of vicious wolves. For a moment it seemed they were in dire straights. Amanda rolled Brijit’s Battle Skill (shooting – d10) and got two raises – her heroism inspired the rest of the local halfling militia and gave them a +1 tactical factor…

…which was just enough to double the wolves roll and destroy them! The dwarf unit also repelled the wolf packs that fell on them…

The next turn the wolves fell on the line again as the orc hordes approached. I was clever and worked out the Beast versus Light Infantry first and forced them to recoil – this put them in the path of where the Dwarf blade unit I was also attacking would recoil to if I beat them…

…it paid off because I did force those dwarves back and they broke and scattered in confusion as they fell back from the onslaught of the wolves! GRRAAAAARRRrrrrr!!

Darrin and Amanda plot their strategy to annihilate the orcy menace with only two PIPs…

On their next turn the allies deployed their ambushing Lurkers!

…and wiped out the wolves…

As the line of orcsie-gobbliny hordes were about to fall on them, the allied commanders discovered that loud noises from their cannons scare off behemoths!! GAH!!! Lesson learned on BOTH sides…!?

Also having to leave artillery behind kind of breaks up your line…

The battleline on both sides got a bit broken up as different units got pushed back.

The Norvsk Blades quickly returned to the fight and slayed the trolls and scattered a horde of goblins.

Meanwhile on the other end of the line the remaining pack of wolves were surrounded and wiped out.

Just as the remaining Behemoth got back in range another volley from the dwarf artillery scared him nearly right off the table!?

Goblin horedes fell on the right of the allied line just to keep them busy while War Chief Urgur-blargg tried to reform the line and bring more reinforcements forward.

The hordes were quicly swept away and the allied line surged forward. The remaining horde and the Orc Warband of the War Chief rallied to the artillery in an attempt to keep it from being overrun.

It was of little use. The personal guards of General Hardeg Grimbeard stormed up the hill and overran the orc artillery and that was the end of the battle…

Darrin, happy his character survived.

A jubilant Amanda.

Just couldn’t get those hordes back in line in time to help out.



Dwarves and allies
1x Dwarf Blade

3x Beasts
1x Behemoth
1x Artillery
(Three hordes were lost in the course of the game but all had returned to the table before the end of the game).

I think I might lose the Orc artillery. It didn’t prove to be all that useful and just took up space in the line, leaving a gap when the foot all closed to fight. I think I’d rather have another regular fighting stand plus a horde. Also I’m not sure two behemoths is really all that great – another two wrabnds might work out better – giving me a slight numerical advantage over most armies – which is where the hordes might come in handy – flanking!!

As for the House Rules for Savage worlds Characters being involved in the battle. I was worried they might really unbalence things, but as it was both only affected the outcome once in the entire battle – adding a single +1 tactial factor.

In Amanda’s case it cause the death of a stand of beasts. Darrin’s elf didn’t really help RAndalf the White very much at all…

If they had been “in command” of the units they were accompanying they might have helped out a bit more. Since both their “Battle Skills” were quite good (d10 and d12) they quite often got one raise on their rolls, which, if they were commanding, would have resulted in a +1 tactical factor bonus – and once during the game they would have each added +2… not sure that would have made a HUGE difference. But enough that they could have felt they made SOME contribution to the outcome of the battle.

I think the rules work fine and I’ll probably include some more battles in their campaign.

Oh and I like the Light Infantry!


  1. Excellent battle report! Looks like a lot of fun. Your HoTT battle reports are making me think I should take another look at the HoTT rules one of these days (I bought a copy a couple of years ago when I was growing dis-satisfied with GW's WH and looking for other rules - since then I've been mostly doing Seven Years War era stuff - but I'll probably come back to the fantasy stuff one of these days).
    Couple of quick question - how long do your HoTT battles take to play? And what size is your table/playing area?

  2. This battle was played on a 3'x3' surface - the suggested size for two 24AP (Army Points) forces opposing each other. You could play on 4'x4' if you wanted a longer game and/or more room to maneuver.

    Our first game was almost 3 hours - I was looking up and explaining a lot of stuff. This game was under 2 hours - but I was taking a lot of notes and pictures and we were trying the new house rules - so every time a stand that one of the characters was attached to was involved there was a whole separate procedure to determine if they lived or affected the unit's combat.

    Big Battles take a bit longer.

    When I played DBA regularly we played games in under an hour.