First Edition Warhammer Battle


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Post Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:59 pm

Re: First Edition Warhammer Battle

Battle, Part Two

(Turn 3)
Most of the King’s army continued their advance, except for the two regiments caught up in the mystic mist with the wizard who halted at Raccaltracc’s command. “Hold fast I pray thee,” he cried, “I shall clear this momentarily.” Thus he began the preparations necessary for the spell he intended to cast.

The bowmen still outside of the mist saw no reason not to shoot, which they did – though to no effect. The longbowmen let loose much more impressive volleys (every man in the regiment on the hill able to shoot) yet between them killed only one goblin.

Then came the wizard’s magical command, summoning a windblast to disperse the magical mist completely. (Note: Eddie the GM decided a magical wind should indeed blow away a magical mist.)

On the other side of the battlefield the goblins continued to act in a typically unhelpful manner, with the wolf riding hero leading his little unit in a brave attack on the rear of the other wolf rider unit. Presumably he did not like them taking the lead and intended to show them what happens when they get in his way.

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As a result yet another goblin died to a goblin’s blade! A somewhat more glorious charge occurred on the evil army’s far right flank, as the skeleton riders hurled their mass of bones and rusted armour into the blue liveried spearmen on the hill.

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Somehow the spearmen found the courage to stand in the face of this onslaught, even calmly deciding that they would not countercharge as the peak of the hill was a good place to be in a fight.

(Note: The spearmen passed their Terror test with a roll modified with +2 due to their Leadership factor of 4. Skeletons cause Terror when they initially charge or countercharge men. But now another rules conundrum became apparent. Things that cause Terror also cause Fear – in fact so much so that the Fear test is taken with a -1 DM. But if you pass your Terror test on 8+ it says you are ‘uneffected’ (the writer meant unaffected, but this was printed before spell-checking programs). If you are unaffected by Terror then surely the Fear thing doesn’t happen? BUT if you are affected by Terror you run away (either dropping everything as you do so, routing or until you are 2 foot away). So, if you are affected by Terror, Fear tests don’t come into play ‘cos you’re already running - which means the Terror causes Fear rule makes no sense.

We thought perhaps the Terror causes Fear rule was meant to apply when Fear causers push the enemy back, as then the 'afeared' are automatically routed, but as that happens automatically without any die roll then the -1 modifier was still redundant. Once more, the rules left us foundering.

Worse still, the rules say that when you fight an enemy you fear then you suffer a -2 DM to hit. But if you fail a Fear test, you run, or don’t charge in the first place, thus you're not fighting anyway, and otherwise you’re ‘ok’, which makes one doubt the -2 doesn’t apply.

Aaargh!! In all honesty, I think our 2012 mindset was getting in the way –I don’t recall an issue with these tests back in 1984, yet here and now, with experience of 2nd to 8th ed rules, suddenly it all seemed unclear. We were looking for clarification that perhaps would not have occurred to us in the GM-guided games of 1984. ‘Eddie’ simply said he would adjudicate as per individual situations. I do vaguely recall undead being perceived in the mid 80s as very, very hard to beat.
)

The spearmen, their shafts wedged against the ground by their right foot, received the charge as a solid block, killing two of the bony riders. But then the skeleton hero (Note: who was the only one of the four that rolled great stats on the skeleton hero chart – 6 stat lines possible, from truly awful to truly awesome) set about the men with his rusted blade and killed three of them. Thus the men’s courage failed and they broke and fled, pursued by the skeleton riders who failed to inflict more harm on them.

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(Note: Combat resolution is based on number of casualties alone, no other factors. You auto flee when Fear causers push you back. Pursuers gain two free blows, one as the enemy breaks, another as they catch up with them. But the riders failed to kill anyone anyway.)

Luckily, what with the King, Baron and the Wizard Raccaltracc being close by (Note: giving morale test modifiers to units within 15”) the other units on that wing of the King’s army did not falter at the sight of the spearmen’s flight, but rather steeled themselves for what they themselves might face.

Once more the King’s army advanced, for the most part cautiously, towards the foe. The woollen clad archers slew two of the armoured skeleton warriors ahead of them, while the two Longbow units combined their efforts to kill two more of the armoured goblins in the centre. Raccaltracc now threw a fireball at the skeleton hero leading the armoured skeletons but failed to fell the ancient warrior, merely burning some mould off his bones. Another spearmen fell to the skeleton horsemen on their heels, after which the undead riders managed to halt their pursuit (Note: Must then spend their next first movement phase reforming their ranks and files, being able to move in the second mvmt phase.)

The goblins’ general animosity towards their own kind was now becoming rife: the plate armoured goblins squabbling amongst themselves (D6 fighting each other!) while the large foot regiment supposedly advancing to protect the army’s left flank now turned about and charged the squabbling wolf-riders in the rear. Three units were thus engaged in fighting not the enemy but each other!

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The skeleton archers now felled a mounted man at arms in the Baron’s personal guard, while the Baron’s spearmen continued their flight away from the field of battle.

Still wary of the forces directly defending the tower …

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… the right of the King’s army advanced once again in a cautious manner.

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But out on the far right, keen not to lose the opportunity presented to them, the Baron’s other regiment of riders charged into the rear of the squabbling goblins:

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Huzzah! Yet their well executed charge somehow failed to hit home (May have been something to do with Uryens rolling his own dice – he still hasn’t mastered rolling even close to average never mind anything good. One day, I presume, he will cross the fulcrum balancing his life's worth of good and bad luck and thus do marvelously well with his rolls from that point on.) and the goblins not only turned to face them but killed one of the riders! This came as a shock and the riders were pushed back. The goblins took the opportunity to expand their frontage to eight.

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Elsewhere, the King’s men rejigged their lines and formations to ready themselves for the fight in the centre of the field. (Note: 2nd movement phase is after combat.)

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The wizard Raccaltracc, meanwhile, had ridden to join the white archers nearby, just after they had felled another armoured skeleton. He cast the magical Aura of Steadfastness on them so that they would not fall foul of the fear that had afflicted the blue spearmen.

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Those blue spearmen were still fleeing – they would, if they did not halt soon, leave the field of battle altogether.

As the goblin wolf riders continued their idiotic melee, killing another three of their number, the mounted riders managed to hold their own against the goblins this time (This was a draw, so the ‘push back counter’ – as the players came to call it – was reset to zero) The skeleton riders moved closer to the left flank of the archers with Raccaltracc, while the skeleton archers felled a lone green spearman.

Master Hobollig, watching all with interest from his window, and noting the reluctance of most of the foe to close with his warriors, laughed, then calmly cast a wind-blast spell at Baron Clarynn and his riders, which from the way in which they had pushed to the fore seemed to be the only unit that seemed particularly keen to engage in a fight.

End of Turn 5
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Post Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:09 pm

Re: First Edition Warhammer Battle

Battle - Final Installment

Turn 6

Having cast the spell ‘Aura of Steadfastness’ on the white-clad archers (actually done at the end of the good guys’ turn 5), the wizard Raccaltracc and the archers wheeled cautiously to their left and let loose a volley at the terrifying skeleton riders mounting the hill beside them. They felled one rider, undoing the magic binding it together, and so sent a scree of bones and ancient armour sliding down the slope. (No missile die modifier for moving and shooting!) Seeing that the loss of one of their number was not going to stop the undead riders, the wizard Raccaltracc summoned up a windblast to prevent their continued advance. The archers cheered at this, suddenly feeling a lot better about their predicament.

Upon the other side of the now windy hill, however, the blue-liveried spearmen were in much worse spirits as they finally left the field of battle altogether. The strange breeze did carry the sound of cheering to them, but it was transformed by their own dark fear into an awful sound. They would not come back.

In the centre of the battlefield the King’s army once again advanced cautiously, moving into positions from which they could launch their charges - that is, should they ever find the courage to do so!

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One regiment of spearmen, the men of the King’s Watch, moved more boldly than the rest and thus found themselves somewhat isolated ahead of the main line, heading towards skeleton archers and armoured warriors.

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Having noticed the advance of these spearmen, a sight which gave him no small feeling of pride, King Rathard looked instead to his right and saw that he had three regiments of foot poised to attack two of goblins …

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… though it annoyed him that the whole battle line was not shifted to the left, for as it was he and his knights were facing a regiment of red cloaked, great-weapon wielding skeletons rather than being able to make a dash for the tower. It also worried him that his wizardly servant Raccaltracc was busied in the rear, when he really ought to be up at the front looking for a way to reach the Tower of Baal himself. After all, it was Raccaltracc who carried the necessary magical potion to destroy the stone within.

Behind the farm the wolf-riding goblins continued their bloody struggle, their champion being wounded as another rider was killed. The plate-armoured goblins in front of the farm also found themselves uncontrollably angry with the spear unit next to them (who had killed several of their number in an earlier struggle) and charged into them – in their hatred they were utterly heedless of the multitude of enemies closing in on them. Perhaps ironically, it was one of their own number who was to die in the ensuing melee.

At least Grom was still thinking about the foe and his orders, so he moved his little guard into the Tower of Baal to set about preparing its defence, should such prove necessary. This pleased Master Hobollig, as did the fact that the goblin regiment on the far left of the field stubbornly held their ground against the mounted men at arms (Another draw). No horsemen were going to outflank his force. Not yet, at least.

Amazed to see that the goblins were fighting each other, the light spearmen decided this was surely the moment for their strike and charged the plate-wearing regiment of goblins before them …

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… while the longbowmen off to the side rushed into the farmyard intending (if possible) to use it as a petty fortress from which to shoot at the of from relative safety. Already several of the men at the fore were eyeing up the barn to their left, and wondering how easy it might be to tear through the slate roof.

The King’s Watch spearmen closed that little bit more, having been ordered to draw the foe away from the tower if possible, and bravely trying to do just that. Elsewhere on the field it seemed all the goblins’ internal squabbling had got their blood up, for they now fought ferociously. The regiment tangled with the Baron’s flanking riders brought one of the men own, and in so doing actually pushed the horsemen back! (Note: 2” push back and lapping two goblins around each flank.)

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The plate-armoured goblins fared well too, their blades working better against the foe than they had against other goblins. They also pushed the light spearmen back.

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The goblin spear warriors by their right reformed to ready themselves to receive a charge from the massive regiment of green and red liveried Baron’s spearmen, keeping themselves neatly aligned with the skeleton regiment further to the right.

Raccaltracc, although beginning to worry concerning his reserves of magical power, once more wind-blasted the skeleton riders, but this time the enchanted wind interfered with the archers’ arrows and they failed to hit a thing.

At the rear of the field, Faddgit (the goblin hero riding a wolf) now decided enough was enough, left the two last wolf-riders hacking away at each other and rode off alone towards the Tower of Baal. He was beginning to wonder if he would get ever be paid by Master Hobollig considering his two companies of wolf riders had done nothing more useful than kill each other! Meanwhile, the spear goblins, now that the other goblins were busy fighting the foe, decided to put their squabbles as side and advanced a little towards the foe, maintaining their alignment with the red-cloaked skeletons.

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Now either thrusting all around or slashing furiously with their swords, the Baron’s riders behind the barn began slaying goblins, killing enough to unnerve the greenskins and so push them back. (Back 2” and goblins lose their lapped round guys back to the main body.) In the centre of the battlefield, however, it was the light spearmen who were losing ground, pushed further back by the plate-armoured goblins. (One more push-back and they would rout.)

Only slightly annoyed at the crashing sounds and cursing coming from Grom’s guard in the room below him, Hobollig saw what Raccaltracc was doing and decided two could play that game. Once again he summoned his own windblast and once again he halted the Baron and his riders in their tracks. But he could only stop one regiment, and so it was that King Rathard was able to lead his knights in a charge at the skeleton warriors (No bonus to the Terror test due to Rathard’s low LD stat, but they passed anyway) while the Green Spear regiment hurled themselves into the goblins.

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The ensuing fights went in the men’s favour, the knights killing four skeletons, their warhorses trampling another two. The skeletons fell back a little, pushed by the sheer force of the impact. They were not alone, as the goblin spearmen at their side were also pushed back. Perhaps emboldened by the sight of their comrades’ attacks, the light spearmen now found the courage to fight on, and refused to budge back further. (Note: Draw, resetting the ‘push-back’ counter.)

Out on the left, however, something unexpected occurred: the large regiment of King’s Watch spearmen, at last truly seeing the horrible nature of the foe close up, lost all their courage. To a man they dropped their spears and shields and fled from the battlefield as fast as their legs could carry them. (Note: Failed Terror test when within 6” of skeleton archers, the result they rolled = drop everything and run away. Quite a fail!)

While the white class archers shifted their aim from the wind-blasted skeleton riders to Golgfag’s ogres, wounding one, the longbowmen in the farm, occupied the barn and (as the GM agreed was possible) they began smashing the roof open from inside in preparation for shooting again. Raccaltracc, however, now thought it best to conserve what magical reserves he had left, for he would need to cast spells once he entered the tower. Thus the wind whipping at the undead riders began to ebb away.

(Note: It was now the bad guys’ 8th turn, and yet again Damo rolled ok for Instability. That’s eight passes in a row, and all the time Uryens was kinda relying on at least one fail causing upset in the enemy’s lines. Eddie reckoned Damo rolled dice like Tommy played the pinball machine – ‘played by sense of smell’ … or something. Also, notice also the pertinent film references here, for Tommy had been around for 9 years by 1984? This is a properly authentic re-enactment.)

The last surviving goblin wolf rider now decided to attempt to leap the high gate of the courtyard and attack the longbowmen inside. Unsurprisingly this ambitious intention failed and he ended up in agony below the gate, the wolf having thrown him and ragged him with its teeth for such a stupid action. (Note: The GM decided that Simon could try this, succeeding on a roll of 12 on a 2D6. If he failed he would receive a strength 3 hit. He did fail. He died. Once again Simon had deftly played a daft teenager to a tee. (That sentence was fun to type!))

As the brave goblins at the rear once more held their ground against he mounted men-at-arms (another of many no-score draws), and the plate-armoured goblins did the same against the light spear, the spear goblins were pushed back by the green spearmen and so were the red-cloaked skeletons by King Rathard and his noblemen.

Important Note: It was just this moment, almost 9 turns into the game, that something dawned on all us re-enactors at the table – a very embarrassing ‘slip’. We had been playing 8th ed. style casualty removal – i.e. 2nd rankers step forwards so that the front rank always gets all its attacks. Of course this is not how it was in first edition. Nor, and this is the embarrassing part, did it do so in editions 2 through 7. In other words I had played the old way for about 25 years and here in this game I forgot entirely how it was done. Oops! When we considered what had gone on so far, however, we decided the results hadn’t been too out of kilter with what they should have been. It was possible that the good guys (with better Initiatives) could have pushed back or routed a goblin regiment back a little bit sooner, but not likely enough to make us want to start the game again.

Finally released from the wind, the mounted skeleton champion and his two companions now came charging down the hill into the white archers. Two bowmen fell to the champion’s deadly blade, while one skeleton rider was slain, but because of the steadfast spell still affecting them, the archers refused to run. (Note: Without the spell they would have routed, as you always run when defeated by a fear causing foe!)

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Laughing maniacally, and beginning to feel that the battle had become nothing but a game in which to pass the time until darkness fell and the enemy would surely flee in terror, Master Hobollig continued directing his windblast at Baron Clarynn and his riders so that they still could not approach the tower.

Turn 9, Last turn of daylight. After that, only two turns of twilight and then … the long, dark night.

King Rathard’s forces where now either unable or unwilling to move, being in combat with the foe or ensconced just where they wanted to be with their bows. Nine longbowmen could see out of the smashed roof and so began taking pot-shots at the Ogres. Although their aim was off, a better-aimed volley from the other longbowmen on the central hill did fell an ogre.

Even now, after a long and hard fight, the Baron’s riders behind the farm could not push back the goblins (yet another scoreless draw), but in the centre of the field, the fight was going more King Rathard’s way. The light spearmen finally routed the plate-armoured goblins, and so chased after them (their two free blows getting them no kills!) …

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… then the King and his knights also routed the skeletons chasing as they fled alongside one of the Tower of Baal’s outbuildings.

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(Note: We could find no rule anywhere that said skeletons do not rout after 3 push backs like most troops. Goblins last only 2 turns, Elves and dwarfs longer. But nothing about undead, so we assumed they do exactly what 'average' troops do. Immune to psychology wasn't yet invented. I wish I could remember if we had played them as immune in practice. It might simply have seemed self evident to us at the time.)

The green spear regiment was not so fortunate, however, and was pushed back yet again by the goblins. So too were the white archers facing the undead rider and champion, but as Raccaltracc was still with them, his Aura of Steadfastness protected them from fear. Not that the wizard intended to stay with them any longer, for he cose now to cast his flight spell, which lifted him and his horse (‘Why not the horse’, said Eddie when Uryens asked) towards the centre of the field.

(Note: No rule about having to stay with a unit if they are in combat, though the wizard was not actually in base to base contact, which made it seem ok to us 2012ers. Very flexible these old rules, eh?)

As soon as the wizard landed, the lone goblin wolf rider champion charged him, though whether it was the wolf who made the decision to do so or the rider no-one could say. (Here you can see the wolf rider doing one of those old Oliver Hardy style glances at the camera as if to say “What?”)

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The Baron’s riders at the rear were beginning to tire now, both they and their horses feeling the onset of darkness, and they were finally pushed back again by the goblins. The green clad spearmen managed to hold their ground and not be pushed back again …

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… while the white archers also, even with the magical aura lifted from them, somehow found the courage to fight on some more.

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Baron Clarynn, his regiment’s ranks thinned by the enemy’s archery, and still held by the windblast, could only watch as a large regiment of armoured skeletons approached him.

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King Rathard now knew the battle was surely lost: Raccaltrac was trading blows with a wolf-rider and the Baron was blocked, leaving only him and his knights free to try to take the Tower; but Golgfag and his Ogres stood menacingly before Baal, and inside were Grom’s guard.

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(Actually Grom had popped out for a pee just at that moment – you can see him by the side door.)

But the final nail in the coffin, the straw that broke the camel’s back, the last straw, etc and what not, was that darkness was now falling, and what little illumination the twilight offered would soon be snuffed out entirely. There simply was not enough time to get into the tower now (Note: only with two turns of Twilight left), even if the monstrous guards could be overcome.

With an exasperated cry, King Rathard turned to his noblemen. Remembering the words from an enjoyable book he had read recently he shouted:

“Gentlemen, the day is lost. This is not our time. To stay here would be folly. Disperse, I command you, and order the retreat of my army. Save all you can, and save yourselves. For you have done me proud this day, and I will never forget …

But his knights had already gone. And within moments, everyone was running.

“Oh,” said the King.

Game conceded at end of turn 9, with only two turns of Twilight left. Everyone assumed that Baal would become bonkers at night if master Hobollig was still in possession.

…………….

Game over.

A ‘smashing’ foray into the world of Warhammer past. Thanks go out to Uryens, Damo and Simon. They all played their parts so well I could almost swear they never grew up. I might do this again. Perhaps in another 28 years time? Or ... there was talk of reenacting later editions too. I skipped 4th and 5th editions (didn't like them and carried on with 3rd) so it would have to be 2nd or 3rd edition next. It'll be some time though, as I am embarking on a new Warhammer project just now. In fact, must get back to painting!
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Post Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:41 pm

Re: First Edition Warhammer Battle

Bravo that man - that brought back lots of memories. My dad was a mechanic so he used to bring me home loads of those old lead weights from tyres and I would turn them into orcs, elves & dwarves. Ah the good old days when we weren't concerned about sculpt qualities and parents saw nothing wrong with a young boy, gas cylinders, fire, molten metal and toxic fumes.

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Post Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:49 pm

Re: First Edition Warhammer Battle

juste formidable !

We want more !! :)
Thanks for reading my broken english :D
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Post Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:11 am

Re: First Edition Warhammer Battle

Wow again - that was brilliant. I can't profess to remember First ed. at all as it was some time before my time so its been really interesting to see how it all started.

Looking forward to seeing your next foray into 2nd or 3rd ed.

Padre wrote:When is Vapnartak?

And ... long question coming up ... am I right in assuming the word 'Wapentak' written all over my 17th century Yorkshire maps is a variant spelling of the same word? (Originally bashing weapons and shields together as part of a meeting, became the subdivisions of the three Ridings of Yorkshire, equivalent of the 'hundreds' in the south)?

No idea why I am asking now, here. Stream of consciousness I suppose.


Vapnartak is on Sunday 3rd February. I've always thought it a strange name but never looked into it.

Must be something along the lines of what you suggest - found this article from the Press

http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/archive/1999 ... ing_words/

Recon in Pudsey isn't bad either, although obviously much smaller - thats on Saturday 1st December.
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Post Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:09 pm

Re: First Edition Warhammer Battle

I would definitely be up for Vapnartak :)
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Post Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:15 pm

Re: First Edition Warhammer Battle

Cool! :)

Bruno - could we have a Wargames Show board to continue the discussion there please?
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Post Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:20 pm

Re: First Edition Warhammer Battle

Thantsants wrote:Cool! :)

Bruno - could we have a Wargames Show board to continue the discussion there please?


Done ;)
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Buy new miniatures with an oldschool feel on http://vialudibunda.com
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Post Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:31 pm

Re: First Edition Warhammer Battle

Thankyou kindly. :D
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Post Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:56 pm

Re: First Edition Warhammer Battle

great stuff!
thanks for taking the time to do this!
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