Moments of Inertia by Rachel Crawford

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A Fool's Trove in Ulfenkarn

A one-day Warcry campaign.

Back in January I had a few friends over to play “A Fool’s Trove in Ulfenkarn”, a short 4-player narrative campaign for Warcry that was originally published on Warhammer Community back in 2021 and subsequently republished in the Tome of Champions 2021, in which warbands of treasure-seekers explore the Cursed City of Ulfenkarn in search of plunder. Each player plays each other player once and then the campaign culminates in a 4-way Triumph and Treachery battle over the ultimate prize.

I brought a Dark Aelves warband assembled using the new-ish Darkling Covens rules:

  • Black Ark Fleetmaster
  • Assassin
  • Sorceress
  • Drakespawn Knight
  • Black Guard
  • 2 Bleakswords
  • Darkshard
  • 2 Black Ark Corsairs (with Crossbows and Blades)

In the dead of night, in a secluded bay on the Isle of Szargorond, a corsair wolfship weighs anchor. A tenebrous fellowhip disembarks – aelves of the Darkling Covens, from far abroad, here to acquire powerful artifacts of mysterious importance…

Alex brought an Order of Azyr themed warband consisting of fighters from two Warhammer Underworlds teams - Xandire’s Truthseekers and Hexbane’s Hunters. Steve brought his Chaos Legionnaires and Kara brought her Unmade (plus Doombull ally).

I have a lot of terrain for Warcry, including some nice ruins and graveyard pieces, so was able to put together two very respectable battlefields.

The intent was to represent the streets of Ulfenkarn…

… a down-on-its-luck city in the Realm of Death. Of course there would be ruins and mausoleums on every corner!

In game 1, I faced off against Alex’s Order of Azyr. Our objective was to score points by standing on top of things.

Black Ark Corsairs take pot-shots from up above while witch hunters prowl the street below.

Ultimately my aelves won the day, and my Sorceress got to kill a Stormcast who got in range of her Vitriolic Spray – a quad ability that can do massive damage and halves the target’s Toughness – after which she easily finished them off with a poke or two from her staff.

The campaign adds a unique twist called Nightfall: after a random number of turns, it gets dark (preventing attacks and abilities targeting enemies more than 6” away) and neutral undead start showing up. In the final game Nightfall happens on battle round two, and we ended up with a absolute fuckload of bats and rats on the battlefield.

In the aftermath sequence, fighters who were taken out of action have a 1-in-3 chance of permanently dying. With no ability to reinforce your warband, this adds a real sense of peril to the proceedings – although in Alex’s case some unlucky injury rolls meant he entered the final match with a shell of his original warband.

In game 2 I was up against Kara’s Unmade and their Doombull companion.

Our objective was to get as many of our fighters off one board edge while preventing as many of the enemy’s fighters getting off another board edge. I can’t quite remember how this game went down, but I think through some combination of Elf Nonsense I managed to make it a draw, despite being unable to deal with the Doombull and the Awakened One while still playing the objective. I mostly just ran away.

Meawhile, Chaos Legionnaires face off against the Order of Azyr.

At this point we decided we didn’t have time for the 3rd game and skipped straight to game 4: the big showdown.

In this game Kara, having the highest “progress” score accrued in the previous matches, got the biggest starting advantage. She very nearly won quickly due to some lucky reinforcement rolls and rolls to determine which of the 3 objectives was actually the real one – but unfortunately for her the rest of us wouldn’t let her have her cake and eat it.

Consequently the game turned into a horrible endless brawl over the objective, that may have gone on forever had we not called it quits after battle round 6.

The new Darkling Covens rules are fun and I’d like to play them more. Sure, you are fielding a bunch of squishy aelves, but you have some fun tricks up your sleeve.

All-in-all, it was a great day of wargaming and the perfect way to begin the year. I would play A Fool’s Trove in Ulfenkarn, or a campaign like it, again, probably making a few tweaks here and there to fix things that felt unfair or which slowed things down.

Thanks for reading!

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