It's time to pit fantasy tabletop gaming's most famous and best universes against each other in the first match between the good guys of both the Old World and Immoren who only want to survive in a world filled with desert barbarians, undead abominations, and cults. They both use guns to great effectiveness but still enjoy a good blade as well with leaders that wield an iconic or infamous weapon, spellcasting heroes, and even a unique monstrous beast bonded to one of those two although the similarities end there. Will the superior maneuverability and heavier guns of the Empire of Man enable them to slay the United Kriels of the Trollbloods or will their variety of magic and dangerous warbeasts give them victory?
The Empire, the nation composed of several human states that has mastered the art of making black-powder weapons and uses them with a powerful army to crush their foes!
The Trollbloods, various Trollkin kriels all fighting to survive against their foes with the aid of their powerful full-blood brethren and their various traditional or modernized units!
Who is Deadliest?
The Empire (Warhammer Fantasy)
"If we die, we will die wielding our swords, for there is no better death for a warrior. We will sit at Sigmar's banquet like the heroes of old and our names will be remembered in the songs of our people until the end of time!"-Karl Franz
Currently Emperor Karl Franz has managed a successful rule by playing all of the Empire's greatest powers against each other yet even with a great leader and still-powerful states, there's a general uneasiness for the populace.
Bio:The Empire was formed for a simple goal by Sigmar out of several tribes, to defeat the Greenskins who threatened to overrun the Dwarfs and then the humans, before becoming a unified series of lands that still had much freedom except for going against the Enperor. When Sigmar left those lands, the Elector Counts earned their title by promoting one of their own to the Empire's highest position before going through a period of mostly failed conquest and several terrible Emperors from the greatest losers of that past period.
It was afterwards that the Empire had a new foe to rally against in the Skaven who still killed two Emperors, three Counts claimed the position at the same time and the Greenskins dealt devastating blows, and Mordheim became a City of the Damned lost to the ratmen and daemons. The Vampire Counts proved to be fittingly dangerous foes before the Hordes of Chaos invaded the Empire and it took the leadership of Emperor Magnus the Pious with the aid of the High Elves to triumph against them but it was the human leader who slayed their Everchosen.
Emperor Karl FranzThe Emperor of his people has Ghal Maraz which is a magical warhammer that can easily penetrate armor and has a spike on the back, the Silver Seal which protects him against both physical attacks and magic, and black gromril armor over his body and a helmet which can protect against any blade that isn't as strong as it.
He is a great fighter who was trained by Ludwig Schwarzhelm who's skill is legendary and has personally slain a Forest Goblin Shaman on an Arachnorok Spider with a Runefang while dismounted, killed a Chaos Champion with a single swing of his warhammer, and fought a giant on his griffin Deathclaw. In times of great need, he could perhaps pray to Sigmar like he did at Black Fire Pass to gain the strength to ignore pain and slay an overwhelming foe while Sigmar's appearance replaces his, a sight that can terrify the enemies of the Barbarian King.
Deathclaw is a Griffin that has been raised from birth by the Emperor armored with a spiked metal headpiece and breastplate who serves as his loyal mount who protected him when he couldn't defend himself at the Battle of Blood Keep and slayed any adversary that approached for three hours. His sharp claws are powerful weapons while his beak is the most formidable, severing limbs and are as powerful as an Empire Greatsword, and his wings enable him to fly above the battlefield where his eyes can see movement miles away. He is naturally an intelligent attacker who can get past an enemy's defense and avoid getting hit while his screeches can terrorize any foe but the hardiest souls although he can get injured badly enough by a giant that he needs to rest to recuperate.
Supreme Patriarch Balthasar GeltThe Supreme Patriarch of the Empire has the Staff of Volans to make it easier for him to cast magic, a simple arming sword for self-defense, the Cloak of Molten Metal which makes hallucinations of him to confuse his opponents, the Amulet of Sea Gold which has protective energies that get stronger against dark magic, and an Alkahest vial which can dissolve anything.
Outside of the Lore of Metal, his skill in alchemy is able to turn lead into gold and enable him to figure out new ways to make black powder and he was able to beat Thyrus Gormann, a Bright Order Fire mage, to attain his great position along with being able to stealthily transmute a treasury on a mission from the Emperor. He actually serves as Karl Franz's guide to magic and the wind of Chamon gives him the ability to change materials as previously stated to ruin his enemy's equipment and protect his own troops by making their tools superior.
His spells include Final Transmutation which turns his foe's skin to gold so they become lifeless statues, Gehenna's Golden Hounds which summons two giant dogs after blowing on a whistle to kill his selected target, and Glittering Robe which summons a bright scale cloak to defend his allies from attacks.
He also has Plague of Rust which causes an opponent's armor to deteriorate to nothingness, Searing Doom which sends burning pieces of silver in a spray from his fingers as a projectile, and Transmutation of Lead which makes his opponent's weapons twice as heavy so they're more difficult to use effectively. As there's a lot more spells that he can use and I really don't want to explain each one, here's a full list of them but there is always the chance of him miscasting and hurting himself although his Staff makes that less likely-
Empire SwordsmenThese basic melee infantrymen use arming swords and heater shields along with wearing half-plate armor of a steel chestplate with no back, helmets, and thigh armor which makes them a considerably difficult foe to deal with without considering that they are expert fencers who are extremely skilled with their blades. They are known to be able to strike an opponent's weak spots while defending their own with the shield and have a flexible, loose formation that enables them to do quite well in a conflict against similar close-combat oriented foes. This is complimented even more by the Empire having the greatest fencing schools of any human faction which enables them to be better at swordsmanship than similar Bretonnian and Estalian units along with being able to take on more difficult foes if need be.
Empire HandgunnersThese ranged state troops carry arming swords for backup melee weapons but the handgun is their preferred weapon which can fire lead balls that can travel fast and get past armor while wearing steel chestplates with no back themselves for protection. While the handgun is a bit of a pain thanks to the possibility of misfires unlike a bow and taking more time to reload, there is no denying that it's more powerful and that these troops are fully committed to using these weapons. That does mean that they have to carry explosive black powder with them but they can slay even the toughest regiments from a distance with enough time and support from better melee fighters.
Empire GreatswordsThese elite bodyguard infantry have a Zweihander that's a massive sword with the capability to chop an armored Knight in half and they have great armor as well as wearing full plate armour made by Dwarves and that only exposes the head and hands. They can be deployed in groups as soldiers that can turn the tide of a conflict along with being tasked to defend the Empire's greatest leaders and strongholds along with their training that takes years makes them a truly formidable foe. Their oath to never retreat is usually kept as well which means that they shall fight until they or the enemy are completely dead and their impressive arsenal ensures that few warriors can overcome them in a melee confrontantion.
Empire KnightsThese heavy shock cavalry troops are one of the Empire's greatest warriors with their full plate armor made by Dwarves that doesn't have any noticeable openings, a lance for charge attacks and dismounting enemy cavalry, and a sword for backup melee weapons. Their training is equally formidable as many are veteran Pistoliers and go through learning the martial values of their order with the Brotherhood of Sigmar's Blood having an even more difficult process before they can fight for them on a steel barded warhorse. They can cause significant damage to an enemy line and even their squires and sergeants who often are not nobles are still exceptionally skilled with their weapons which makes every man in the unit an extremely capable combatant.
Empire PistoliersThese light cavalry units are used mostly for reconnaissance and harassing the enemy with their brace of pistols which can still cause some damage and an arming sword if the enemy is able to close the distance. They only wear half-plate armor that includes a steel chestplate, leg armor except the fot, and helmet and they ride horses that are lightly armored at best but they have likely been trained by the Pistalkorps' Outriders who are veterans of their units although some are just a noble and his friends. Their greatest weapon is perhaps their extraordinary courage and foolishness that enables them to ride into the most dangerous part of the fighting to get shots off although this glory-seeking could have negative consequences.
Empire HalberdiersThese common line-infantry are equipped with a halberd that can hack through manmade armor or a monster's hide and wear either a steel chestplate or the half-plate armor that the Swordsmen use for some decent protection. Karl Franz personally believes that these are one of his nation's best infantry units through their sheer potential at stopping some of the most dangerous foes and they are used to using the halberd's strikes to leave little room for a foe to attack. They can hold their own against a more numerous or powerful foes if they have a position to hold or can personally act as the most important part of a strike against an enemy of their people.
Great CannonThis main artillery piece fires giant iron balls that can decimate infantry ranks or decapitate a dragon or grapeshot for hitting multiple targets with shrapnel while the crew carry arming swords for personal protection. They will usually be placed somewhere that they will have a clear view of the battlefield and be deployed there by draught ponies but they can't be moved to a different location which means that they rely heavily on their placement to be effective. It's been known to not work properly and even blow up but that's still not enough to downgrade their powerful shots that can annihilate targets from a distance which makes it a common sight in the Imperial army.
Steam TankThe greatest war machine of the Empire is this giant contraption that can destroy almost anything in its path with either the steam-powered hull cannon that is weaker than the Great Cannon and the steam gun turret that fires hot steam at close distances that negates armor. It can run over almost anything with its steel covered body that can only be easily punctured by cannon shots as lesser projectiles bounce off and it is powered by a pressurized boiler that could rupture. Luckily the Senior Engineer in charge of it is good at preventing that and they carry a repeater pistol that can be used to fend off an enemy charge but these have never been recreated since their creator died so they are in limited supply.
The Trollbloods (Hordes)
"Should we fail, what awaits us is nothing less than extinction. We stand united or we fall. Embrace any weapon, any strategy, any desperate hope to preserve kith and kriel. Before we can enjoy peace we must endure war."-Madrak Ironhide
After Hoarluk Doomshaper saved him from a Circle Orboros plot, the two separated from the chieftain's main force to pursue different methods of aiding the kriels and hopefully getting rid of the cursed axe Rathrok, at least the Mountain Kings are finally aiding the Trollbloods but the weapon remains.
Bio:The Trollbloods are all Dhunia's children but the Trollkin and Pygmies are the only ones with an actual society while Trolls and their Dire brethren live in the wilderness or serve as warbeasts, the Mountain Kings were buried in mountains as they were uncontrollable until recently. The Trollkin were a part of the Molgur horde but still had a deep attachment to their family and all who lived in their village or any neighboring communities which continues into the present although that didn't save them from being forced to move into the wilderness after the hordes' defeat by the Menites.
Those trolls that weren't killed off by mankind found some safety from the Trollkin in exchange for helping them in labor and battle but some Trollkin decided to live alongside humans in cities instead or in far-away and desolate lands. It wasn't until Madrak Ironhide brought the various Kriels together after invaders like Cryx forces and the Skorne attacked their homes that the various forces started working alongside each other but they aren't united solely under him.
All Warlocks are able to make a friendly warbeast take the damage from an attack if they are not frenzied but if it's too much for them to take, the rest goes to them still. They can force warbeasts to do special abilities like heal, weapon lock another warbeast, throw equally large or smaller foes, allow extra attacks, and run or charge along with being able to use their Animus if they have enough Fury.
They can heal themselves or their warbeasts with Fury, rally their regular troops, and take fury from their warbeasts if they need it for spells or other abilities and discard it if they don't. Warbeasts are solely controlled by Warlocks which makes them never run away from combat but they can lose control and the beasts simply go into a frenzy where they attack anything within reach or if nothing is close enough, they charge the enemy and attack without using abilities.
They can turn their life force into Fury a point at a time but they can't transfer it, see through their eyes, and can take the Fury from a slain Warbeast along with being able to upkeep certain spells which continues their effects but only one can be on a single unit at a time although it takes a single Fury point for each upkept spell. Each Warlock has a set amount of Fury they can have and if they die, there's nothing keeping them from running away but Rök who was a Dire Troll bonded to Borka who was another Trollkin Warlock came to his aid and carried him to safety after he was badly wounded.
In addition, Madrak and Hoarluk have never had their trolls go berserk but it's mentioned that even regular ones eat Trollkin bodies on the battlefield against orders with hunger being repeatedly brought up as a risk factor for Trollblood Warbeasts and they have difficulty controlling the Mountain Kings, in particular Ironhide but both can have several Warbeasts at a time. For a mostly complete list of rules regarding what Warlocks and their warbeasts can do in general, here's two links-
Madrak Ironhide, World EnderThe chieftain of his people has Rathrok which is a cursed axe that has a large serrated blade that can go through steel plate or chop through a Warpwolf's head and most of it's chest, top and back spikes, and can be thrown at targets and bounce to a nearby one before returning to his hand along with being able to hurt beings that can only be affected by magic and potentially disable a Warlock's transfer ability against a wound along with having metal armor over his body consisting of a chestplate and limb armor.
He fought off a Legion of Everblight assault against a village with the help of his Trolls, his Feat: Desperate Hour can make allies in his control area get another chance to damage foes with an extra attack but not combined ones, and Rathrok prevents attacks from hitting him at the cost of killing a Trollkin troop but it's not guaranteed as a Warpwolf was able to attack him although he let it keep hitting him to aid Hoarluk's ritual.
His Elite Cadre of Kriel Warriors have slightly increased melee damage and morale along with their weapons being able to knock back foes and Rathrok's Awakening enables him to move a bit more, attack again, make it more likely for him to hit again or hurt an opponent worse with a maximum of three blood points gained by killing living enemies with the weapon. Rathrok does cause him to see visions of past battles in the middle of combat that can be distracting, the Scroll of Grimmr vision just makes him bloodthirsty afterwards and immune to pain until a battle is over, and makes him dizzy along with the ability of it killing his kin to protect him making him go into self-exile.
His Spells include Killing Ground which costs 2 Fury and affects any units in his control area, enabling them to charge or slam across rough terrain or obstacles without any drawbacks and warbeasts can charge or slam foes without being forced.
Stone Fall costs 3 Fury, can be upkept, and has range comparable to his thrown axe, it's an attack that hits an area half its total range and has the potential to give foes a Concussion which makes them skip an entire activation.
Warpath which is his last spell costs 2 Fury, can be upkept, and affects any unit in his control area, enabling a warbeast to move quite a bit once per turn if a friendly troop kills an enemy. He can have 5 Fury at any time.
Elite Cadre affects all his Kriel Warriors and is not a personal guard.
Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of DhuniaThe Shaman of the Gnarls has Willbreaker which is a wooden staff with runic stones on it that has as much reach as a spear and can enable him to control an enemy warbeast for one charge after damaging them but he has no armor, instead relying on being tough enough to survive four rifle shots with one hitting his lung and hyper regeneration which can heal his severed hand in seconds or heal broken bones.
He has enough strength to destroy a bronze helmet and human skull with his previous wooden staff, was durable enough to survive a punch from Mulg, and has some knowledge of how warbeasts are bound to warlocks to give him some influence over other beasts along with being a good speaker to get his people into the mood for fighting.
His Calming Effect makes it so that allied Dire Trolls in his control area will never harm their allies even when frenzied, Goad enables him to force a Dire Troll to move a bit after killing a foe, and his Feat:Scroll of Grimmr increases allied warbeasts', his own, and Madrak's speed to satisfy their bloodlust by reading a parchment out loud.
In addition he can use his magical power to ignite human's muscles with pain by pointing a finger at them and telling them to suffer or make them die screaming by grabbing their hand which makes their body twitch as they collapse or look through the eyes of Dire Trolls by sending his mind to them.
His Spells include Agitation which costs 3 Fury and puts a Fury point on every enemy warbeast in his control area and Mayhem which costs 3 Fury and enables allied warbeasts in his control area to charge, slam, or trample without forcing it for a turn and considerably increases their speed when doing those actions.
Mob Mentality costs 2 Fury, has slightly more range than Stone Fall, can be upkept, and makes it so that if his chosen enemy is hit, a single friendly troop can move a bit closer to the target and Primal Shock costs 2 Fury, has equal range to Stone Fall, can be upkept, and enables him to use a magical attack that comes from a chosen warbeast to hit them with damage equivalent to the warbeast's regular strength.
Sunder Spirit which is his last spell costs 2 Fury, has equivalent range to Mob Mentality, can be upkept, and hits a enemy warbeast with almost as much power as a great axe and causes them to lose their Animus so that he can use it instead and he can have 7 Fury at any time.
Mulg the Ancient is a Dire Troll who has bonded with the Shaman after a ceremony and has a rune club made of wood, metal, and stone pieces that can potentially slam foes away from him and a big meaty fist for grabbing prey to eat with his mouth. He is particularly formidable as even others of his kind will leave their kills to him or march with him to conflict, he has enough strength to overpower an old Ironclad and destroy or throw supply wagons, and parts of his body are like stone along with being willing to eat something that his nearby allies killed if he can move to it and he can regenerate multiple rifle shots possibly without eating or the same way as other trolls but can't run during the same turn if it's forced. His Animus is Primal Stupor which costs 2 Fury, he can have 5, and makes it more likely for opposing warbeasts to frenzy which will prevent them from doing anything useful along with Runebreaker Scars being capable of disabling Animuses from slightly more range and he has a desire to protect the Warlock, being able to hear his call from far away, along with being able to hit foes an additional time per turn in his control area if he previously landed a blow against the target.
Kriel WarriorsThese melee wilderness kriel fighters are equipped with various hand weapons like war hammers, axes, and swords and a wooden buckler shield with a metal boss while metal armor varies in placement but includes spiked shoulder pieces, spiked gauntlets, spiked knee pieces, and helmets. They are the strongest of the young of their villages and trained by a War Shaman to believe in their healing factors and how to act in battle with the pureblood trolls which is to stay out of reach when they want a meal to heal. The War Shaman that leads them can cast one of the Prayers of Dunia each turn, Potency increases his fellow warrior's strength while Quick Strike enables them to attack twice in combat while Swift Foot makes them faster, or rally them and this formidable formation of hunters can all strike the same target if they're within range.
Numbers:400 (Split halfway between Madrak and Hoarluk)
Trollkin ScattergunnersThese ranged wilderness kriel soldiers carry scatterguns which fire various metal objects at close distances to absolutely shred through foes, especially if they're in a formation, with an axe blade on it for melee combat and wear various metal armor like the Warriors which includes a chest plate. These troops get close to the enemy to unleash horrific damage with every shot that does take a lot of blasting powder due to the fact their guns were originally small cannons but they can still wield them effectively while switching to melee combat if they need to. The Boomer that leads them cam order a Slaughterfest that enables his troops to charge an enemy or run with charge attacks causing massive damage due to a Scattergun shot but that is their only ability besides rallying them if they flee.
Numbers:200 (All Madrak's)
Trollkin ChampionsThese powerful veteran infantry wield dual hand weapons consisting of axes, spiked mallets, or war hammers for twice the melee damage potential and wear various metal armor like their fellows but are usually more well-protected with enclosed helmets being an option. They are about as physically formidable in strength and size as ogrun with the ability to gain increased defense while next to their battle brothers, easier to hit another target that his fellows have hit, and they will never leave a conflict except by dying. The Kithkar that leads them is likely a former chieftain and the very sight of the most powerful and experienced Trollkin gives hope to others of their kind and they have decided to die in the middle of combat but not before killing as many foes as possible.
Numbers:60 (Split between Madrak with 40 and Hoarluk with 20)
Trollkin Long RidersThese resolute cavalry units wield cavalry axes perfect for charging attacks and that are longer than infantry versions with a back spike with metal armor that includes a chestplate and limb protection with some spikes along with a hide shield with a metal boss and the occasional enclosed helmet. They ride bison with spiked metal headpieces and metal lower leg armor which have enough power to break enemy lines or make a Titan, a heavy warbeast, fall over from the impact of their charge while the riders are able to stay in the saddle until they can't any more. The Kithkar who leads them can give the Bull Rush order to make them run or slam a target with their mount that can send them flying into another unit before a follow-up cavalry axe attack and are hard to knock down along with never running from combat.
Numbers:36 (All Madrak's)
Troll ImpalerThese light warbeasts wield battle spears of wood and iron which can be thrown with enough force to send targets flying back or be used in melee combat and they wear little armor with the forearms getting the most protection with metal and leather. They can regenerate with a warlock forcing the process although they can't run in the same turn in that case or by eating while a Whelp could be made from a removed limb to be consumed while having high pain tolerance and are smart enough to work in groups with this kind having more coordination than other fullblood Troll units. Their Animus is Far Strike which enables them to increase an ally's ranged attack range and they regularly test their skills by trying to hit targets such as rabbits and usually have meat on them to give them fuel to heal if wounded.
Far Strike costs 2 Fury and they can have 3 Fury at any point.
Numbers:3 (All Madrak's)
Troll Whelps are a common side-effect of injuring a Troll but not Trollkin, essentially whatever is cut off turns into a miniaturized version of the original creature that can help out by annoying nearby foes or being a meal that can start regeneration or alleviate overabundant Fury.
Krielstone Bearer and Stone ScribesThis combination of foot soldiers includes a Trollkin carrying a heavy rune-covered rock and the scribes accompanying then as protection and to record events for future krielstones although both wield battle axes and armor is limited to metal gut protectors and thick wrist gauntlets. The Krielstone serves as a Fury Vault which enables it to have as much Fury in it for future use as current troops in the unit and can activate a Protective Aura to boost friendly units' defenses within a short radius which can be boosted with each Fury point it has. The Scribes will willingly throw themselves in front of attackers and take hits for the Bearer as a Self Sacrifice and the whole group will never run from combat along with the Bearers being stronger than most other Trollkin.
Numbers:4 Krielstones with Bearers and 24 Stone Scribes (All Madrak's)
Dire Troll MaulerThese heavy warbeasts are 18 feet tall and utilize their big meaty fists with long nails and sharp teeth as formidable natural weapons with enough power to pick up a warpwolf in a single hand which is another heavy warbeast, tear metal, destroy a Gargantuan Woldwrath's leg, and completely decimate bodies. They can regenerate with a warlock forcing the process although they can't run in the same turn in that case or by eating like their smaller brethren and are mostly just savage fighters who cause horrible damage up-close although they possibly have a language and will still listen to a warlock's orders. Their Animus Rage makes a Trollblood unit have increased strength to butcher their foes with and these creatures inspired fear in ancient humans although they lack any form of ranged attack besides throwing foes but they can survive magical lightning strikes being passed to them and a Cygnaran cannon shot if they are healed by a Warlock.
Rage takes 2 Fury and they can have 5 Fury at any point.
Numbers:2 (All Hoarluk's)
Troll Whelps are a common side-effect of injuring a Troll but not Trollkin, essentially whatever is cut off turns into a miniaturized version of the original creature that can help out by annoying nearby foes or being a meal that can start regeneration or alleviate overabundant Fury.
Mountain KingThese gargantuan warbeasts are forty-fifty feet tall and have two big meaty fists, which are equal to a Dire Troll's body in size, that can knock rows of infantry aside and lift up a Woldwrath before ripping it apart to eat it along with a deathly roar that can split granite, crack the stone bodies of Orboros' Wolds, and knock the roof off an armored train car. It's common for them to eat smaller foes in combat and most of their body is covered in stone with the flesh being able to take automatic turret fire along with regularly creating Whelps from their flesh that can be annoying for foes or a quick meal and are naturally terrifying to see on the battlefield. Their Animus Amuck which can make an allied Warbeast's special attack even more damaging for a turn but they are, as mentioned before, difficult to control and are as likely to stomp a Trollkin to paste as the enemy if they're not kept in check but when their hunger is unleashed, they can send armies into retreat in sufficient numbers.
Amuck takes 1 Fury and has decent range while they can have 5 Fury at any point.
Troll Whelps are a common side-effect of injuring a Troll but not Trollkin, essentially whatever is cut off turns into a miniaturized version of the original creature that can help out by annoying nearby foes or being a meal that can start regeneration or alleviate overabundant Fury.
Leadership:Karl Franz is a great leader for many reasons, his willingness to take out enemy leaders personally with elite support, his great speaking skills for motivating troops, and his status as the main ruler of the Empire, but Balthasar Gelt is primarily a mage which limits him to benefitting the troops through his magic although he will follow the Emperor's commands.
Madrak Ironhide and Hoarluk Doomshaper are both influential leaders in their own right, the former is the "head" of the Trollbloods military who still has loyal warriors despite going into exile and the latter is easily capable of getting the more aggressive Trollkin ready to fight which means that both can serve as battlefield commanders while sending out their warbeasts.
Experience:The Empire has fought many other factions throughout the Old World including the barbarian hordes of Chaos and Greenskins to the equally monstrous Skaven and Ogres along with the rival kingdoms of Brettonia.
The Trollbloods have fought many other factions throughout Immoren including the more fantastical Circle Orboros and Legion of Everblight to the steampunk Iron Kingdoms of Cygnar and Khador along with the Skorne who are a mix of the two themes.
General Physicality:The Empire is made up of purely humans so they don'the have anything really going for them in physicality but with their various advanced and magical weaponry, that's not a crippling issue for them and something they can work around.
Trollbloods are superhuman in strength and durability, lifting heavy objects of solid stone isn't an uncommon sight and they literally introduced the rule of Tough which reflects how they can regenerate minor injuries over a couple hours and even regrow limbs and organs in months.
Tactics:The Empire has specialized units that all aid them in winning battles by either providing a necessary barrier to cut down the enemy in melee, decimating them with their advanced technology, and even the rapid support of mounted units. Their powerful formations can serve equally well in defense and offense and they regularly train along with serving as law enforcement to keep their skills sharp for any threat.
The Trollbloods generally appear to be good at defense and offense, being able to charge up a mountainside and successfully counter ambushes along with being skilled in unconventional combat themselves or holding positions. It's extremely difficult to beat them for good as their entire force is filled with units that can take quite some punishment, the Warbeasts can all heal, and the Krielstone can basically be a mobile magical shield.
Voting ends on November 5th. Votes need edges or two paragraphs and decent grammar to count. The Empire is taken from before the End Times and the Trollbloods are taken after Hordes Gargantuans to a generic grassland and forest with hills and rivers that will complement both forces in this random encounter.
"Where are the latest reinforcements our Lord Hippoman requested?" Grand Admiral Trench had been a part of many military operations and he had to admit that his chosen User to follow had an infrastructure for building arms and the power to make entire armies or supercharge lesser warriors but his own creations had a bad habit of being completely terrible at their jobs, case in point with the idiots running the shipments.
"他媽的! Those fools! The great An Bambang told them exactly who to grab from the tabletop universes!" The ancient User Warrior had once been a general in the civil war against Princess Mikotsu's undead swarms and Lime's demons who was rumored to have allied with Olson's mercenaries on top of the Red Party starting a revolution in their slums but his absolutely embarrassing performance against War Face in the Siege of Elgb-Capital had nearly lost them the battle if it weren't for Seperatist droid and Goblin Horde reinforcements.
"Yes, I'm certain you did. What exactly did they do then?" Trench clicked his teeth in annoyance and An felt even more pressure on him, it wasn't bad enough that he had failed Hippoman once, now one of his chief commanders was staring him down and looking for any opportunity to put him in an even worse job than import management.
"Our Lord asked for the Greenskins and Skorne, Orks if DFederal hadn't secures them, but it would appear my underlings got the Empire and Trollbloods instead who see themselves as self-righteous and therefore wouldn't have worked for him." Bambang was sweating in his armor and the broken air-conditioning in his office didn't help which made him extremely worried as to what his guest's next words would be.
"That's not the first attempt that has failed but considering we had to dump the undead armies in the Banished Region, we shouldn't take any more chances. Now, where exactly did you send them to?" The Grand Admiral had to admit the Blazers made for a terrible work force but with how understaffed the factories were, the User couldn't necessarily take people from that critical sector.
"You remember that fantasy world our Lord made a while back? The majority of armies were taken back to stasis by DFederal and the Northeastern Continent made a nice dumping point for those armies or so they thought except they wound up sending them back further than their medieval times." An said that even as he knew it would likely be the thing to finally throw him onto the front lines personally or worse, manual labor in the war factories.
"What time?" Trench's eyes narrowed at the Chinese User Warrior who gulped before finishing his report.
"The Bryzion times." Bambang muttered, hoping that the new commander wouldn't hear.
"Well, that is troublesome. Lord Hippoman still has plans for that world, at least you kept track of that. Keep a tighter lease on your workers, I will relay this information to him and he will send someone to deal with the situation." The Grand Admiral walked our of the office and tapped his cane on the brick street as he left, honestly, he didn't truly see the need to test any more User Armies in combat if they already were designed for it and able to be adapted as needed but they certainly were of higher quality than most of the older generation so it was probably for the best that the latest mishap was dealt with swiftly.
Northeastern Continent, 300 A.U.
"For Sigmar and the Emperor!" The Empire's proud armies had always been up against nightmarish threats that had tried to end the time of mankind in favor of their own twisted rule, Greenskins, Chaos, Vampire Counts, and Skaven among others, which had prepared them well for the first battle they were fighting after being taken one day from a personal inspection by Karl Franz to this new land. The Soultakers were just another threat to another imperial force's lands and they clearly weren't too kind to others, their variety of knives mixed in with other serrated blades and monstrous creatures like trolls with claws like a griffin made that obvious, but while they were tough to kill, they were being slowly but surely crushed by the State Troops. The Swordsmen cut through several lower-ranking Cultists and avoided or parried most of the return strikes, the Knights ran into the Mutilators and brought the beasts down with lances, and the familiar sound of gunfire filled the air as Handgunners, Pistoliers, Great Cannons, and Siege Tanks all wore down their foe's numbers more and more with each barrage.
The Emperor Karl Franz himself targeted some of the more beastly opponents as Deathclaw flew through the air, searching for the enemy leader and found a very likely candidate in a man dressed in ramshackle armor and ritualistic headgear tearing the hearts out of villagers and sending their carcasses with long talons and fangs at the Empire's forces in a murderous rage. "Your dark magic ends this day!" The Griffin tore through his powerfully built Soultaker guard and what Restless the foe sent at his rider as the Emperor readied Ghal Maraz for the killing blow as a screaming soul was sent at him as a projectile, it bounced off his black gromril and Silver Seal as the Warlord stared in disbelief before his head was turned into a fountain of blood. The rest of the Soultakers shrieked and fled as they definitively lost the battle, the Empire picking them off with blackpowder shots where they could and Balthasar Gelt's Searing Doom even went through a couple of the barbarians, leaving the humans to finally take the break that they had been meaning to after marching through the woods.
"Did we pass inspection, Emperor?" One of the Swordsmen asked in a slightly humorous manner, this was not what any of them thought would be happening but it still helped to look on the bright side that this was a good experience opportunity.
"With all honors. This has been a difficult time for all of us but I am certain that we will all make it back to our homes safe if we keep working together." Franz's men cheered him on as he shouted to the forces, he certainly fulfilled his role of a battlefield leader through motivation alone but Gelt had to inform him of something he figured out recently.
"Emperor, I would like to give some information that could be helpful." The Supreme Patriarch held one of the more sinister knives in his free hand before dropping it to land blade-first in the ground and held the Staff of Volans in his other hand.
"Wasn't that used by those dark sorcerers, Balthasar?" The Emperor was a bit shocked that the wizard would take so little caution with an object so obviously cursed but he had faith that Gelt had found something of true value in this confusing campaign.
"This land is known as the Northeastern Continent, currently ruled by the Bryzion Empire, and under assault by various rivals and barbarians like these Soultakers."
"You figured all that out through a single blade?"
"Breach The Unknown is a useful spell for a foreign land and a knife that takes souls is a wealth of information. Currently it would appear that we are in the countryside of this empire's territory which is one of the central parts. What is our next move, Emperor?"
Karl waited a moment before answering to smash the Soultaker dagger to bits with Ghal Maraz and then sat down next to Deathclaw. "The same as we have been, Balthasar, we set up camp for the night until we can trek again tomorrow."
The Bryzions were not completely unaware that something very strange was going on in their territories, even taking into account that Soultaker sightings were on the rise and that was the least of their problems with irritating Carnegean politicians and arrogant kami warlords breathing down their necks. The Empire would not fall yet to internal or external threats although the reports of new blue-skinned monsters with red hair and unfamiliar weapons was particularly shocking, in fact, the generals considered leaving it to the province that likely spawned the problem to deal with it. Granted they did lose a vassal to chimpanzees that way but no Bryzion was particularly happy with the thought of chasing down another problem except they didn't truly have a choice in the matter as a garrison was stationed in a town that was currently being raided.
Horse-drawn Double Ballistas pelted the Trollbloods army and Madrak Ironhide was even more annoyed at this detour for supplies than he normally would be, particularly because the full-blood trolls were already hungry and he didn't need a hail of massive bolts adding to that problem. The Bryzion Phalanx slowly marched at them, throwing javelins as they approached and wielding a variety of short and long swords with shields and heavy armor, they would be a formidable threat in melee combat but the Warchief's own ranged units tore through their protection with ease. A Trollkin Scattergunner's shot and Troll Impaler's spear proved equally lethal against the primitive humans and even in melee, the Kriel Warriors and Champions wound up getting the better of their physically weaker foes and landed fatal blows as the Dire Troll Mauler and Troll King just smashed them to pieces.
Soon the formation was routing and with the Krielstone Bearers' support, the Ballistas were causing far less casualties than they would have otherwise and were currently being advanced on when Madrak heard the cries of horses riding towards them and more Bryzion support arriving. The Cataphracts had arrived and their lances were prepared to ram into the Trollbloods attackers but they were caught off-guard by the other cavalry unit, the Long Riders, who slammed several humans and horses into a broken mess from the ferocious impact of Trollkin and bison even through their heavy armor. The imperials swapped to maces after a couple opportune lance stabs but those fared even worse against the cavalry axes which either hacked through joints or punched through the armor with the back spikes, a trumpeter and banner carrier attempted to rally them but that soon failed as they were slain.
Rathrok went right through the trumpeter's helmet after Madrak threw it and Hoarluk Doomshaper used Primal Shock through Mulg which resulted in the banner carrier being split in half, as that wasn't enough carnage, the man who was clearly their general waving an ornate sword got stomped by the Gargantuan warbeast. The Bryzion garrison finally crumbled and even the Ballista crews were hurrying to flee while whipping their horses to go faster from the United Kriels force which had now decided to celebrate their victory by breaking into the town's storehouse to get much-needed food. The warbeasts began to pillage the town's reserves first and completely emptied the stockpile on their own, luckily the Trollbloods heard the sounds of cattle and other livestock in the distance which showed that this was a farming community that would serve them well before moving again.
"Did we truly have to aggravate the humans here?" Ironhide asked his Shaman compatriot who merely looked very pleased with the entire battle despite the fact they took some casualties in the process and were doing well with farms.
"When was the last time we found a farm, Madrak? A day ago? If you wish to take your chances with our brethren, that's your decision but I most certainly would not advise it for the Mountain King." The Gargantuan slowly walked into the middle of a field with arms full of food that it had snatched, a feast of meat, cheese, and other things that possibly weren't even edible, it's hunger and fury were palpable in the Warchief's mind.
"You have a point but I surely hope this was not just to fulfill your grudges, we don't even know if this is Immoren anymore so there's no point in making new enemies." It was true that they probably didn't enjoy Madrak and his Kriels tearing through every livestock that they could find but he couldn't shake the feeling that this would be a regrettable decision down the line.
"Oh, I am certain that diplomacy would have went well. If anything, these humans are even more primitive than the ones we have gotten a merciful escape from. I quite enjoy being the more advanced people for once." Doomshaper was himself a bit concerned about the situation, his own thoughts were focused on how they wound up finding the Troll Kings and then suddenly finding themselves in the middle of an entirely different wilderness and perhaps those humans had far more soldiers to bring to battle.
"Never mind, we now have our main problem dealt with and additional sources of meat to utilize, our armies can keep going a bit farther after this victory."
"Indeed, let us hope that means a day before the next feeding at least for these humans' sake. There is one potential blessing to this detour, have you had any visions from Rathrok?"
"No, Doomshaper, but I would not count on that continuing for long..."
Ironhide started walking with Hoarluk and the now satiated Mulg after he picked up a couple Bryson corpses for feasting, a move the other full-blood trolls were making to fill their stomachs, to find some food for themselves. "We already have enough trouble without your constant doubt, what happened to your hope for the future, Ironhide?"
"This is certainly going to be interesting."
"I'm sure it will be, Brian, maybe I can get eaten by a giant lizard again or you can get shanked by a Nazi-wait, that died with his original holdings. At least I can finally get some work that isn't playing fetch with my dumbass pack."
"You're certainly pleasant, just let me do the talking Scrappy before we both catch a Pilum to the face." Jungle Jim and Scrappy-Doo hadn't been heard from much in Hippoman Land, mainly because despite their supposedly important role, they were just glorified janitors who picked up after the more nasty transportation incidents rather than directly helping the war effort.
"I'm just glad I don't have to hear trombones in a Continental Stadium." Right now, the human zombie hunter and genetically augmented dog were busy trying to figure out where two fantasy armies that the infamously sharp-headed Bambang managed to get sent to an area that Hippoman actually wanted intact and had currently kept it from any of the other factions.
"How do you know it wouldn't just be Montezuma's Revenge?" Brian Curliss and the buff hound were both extremely comfortable with killing hordes of monsters that used to be human but they also realized that their 'ruler' didn't entirely trust them, rightfully so as neither were homicidal psychopaths or too young to know better.
"Are you kidding me, Brian? Do you even know our boss?! He always goes for what amuses him rather than what's logical."
"I get you but we've finally arrived." The two stepped out of the teleporter device to approach the capital of the Bryzion Empire, taking care to flash their badges engraved with a pygmy hippo's face, the sentries immediately lowering their weapons after seeing the symbol of their patron deity and the city gate opened for them. It was pretty much what Jim and Scrappy had expected, a more fortified version of a typical Roman territory but the temple was particularly funny to them as they glanced to see the hippo-masked man again but with the undead princess and Hater demon standing next to him on a throne. The banners that flew down had a horse's head and square shield emblazoned on them while the people clearly spoke a mixture of modern English and some form of Latin, all of them wore robes except for the vigilant military forces that waited for them at the end of a bridge. "Halt, warrior priest and...familiar?"
"The only thing that's going to be familiar to you is what your god will do to you for blocking a divine mission." Scrappy growled.
"As my companion said, Pygocentrus has sent us." Lightning struck the ground as Jim finished speaking, driving the soldiers into a frenzied panic to clear a path as their deity showed his ire on a clear day, only a fool would stay put in the face of such power.
The large stone doors of the fortress opened up and revealed a very thin man scowling at the visitors from a throne, his pointy crown showed that he was the current Bryzion Emperor and clearly he didn't take too kindly to any interruption in the middle of his scroll-reading. "What do you want? I've already set the temple budget to a generous amount."
"It's not what we want, it's what Pygocentrus wants."
"Do I look like an imbecile? I know why you're here, just not what you want."
"Have you happened to see any odd armies in your lands? Ones that weren't there a couple days ago?" Brian cut straight to the point as the dog kept his mouth shut during the exchange, the chainmail hooded guardians just stood motionless with their foreign halberds as the emperor thought over what his unwanted guests had said, mainly the actual time frame as there were many oddities in his lands. "There is one force that fits your question, a race of blue-skinned troglodytes has been raiding our villages and they clearly know some sorcery to keep their even uglier brethren under their control along with those horrendous blasters. Even the Isle of Thunder doesn't produce such efficient guns."
"Yeah, that sounds like one of them. No humans with a similar look to your forces but slightly less armor and lots of 'blasters'?" "One of them has a griffin if that jogs your memory."
"You should keep a tighter lease on your beast, even the generous Lepmalion has his limits. Of course I have not, they would be potentially worthy vassals if they showed themselves."
"Thanks for your help, Emperor."
"Yeah, you'd be kissing Franz's armored boot by now." Scrappy-Doo muttered under his breath as he walked away with Jungle Jim to find someplace secluded so they could call in the teleporter again to deliver some reinforcements for what was likely going to be a messy recovery.
The Empire had been stuck inside the forest for a long time and the Pistoliers had been getting plenty of use as scouting units which led to their mounts being tired out when they actually had a chance to battle which offended their egos as they wanted to prove themselves in combat, not just see more trees. This day seemed to be just as uneventful as many others, not even a random barbarian tribe or wild beast pack to come across, until the cavalry troops heard the sounds of a deer crying out in pain and they all decided to investigate to see if it was a human hunter or something worse. Unfortunately what they found was a giant blue brute picking up it's kill with the battle spear it tossed into it's prey before noticing the Pistoliers and yelling something at them before throwing another projectile at them which the humans only barely avoided with their horses panicking.
"By Sigmar, it's a troll!"
"At least it looks better than most."
"Less jesting, more shooting so we don't get a spear in our heads!"
The five Pistoliers quit talking to unload a barrage of pistol fire on the Troll Impaler who roared in pain as the bullets went into it's flesh but it kept on hurling battle spears at them in a desperate attempt to hit the evasive humans who were wounding it significantly. However it's salvation arrived as more Trollblood troops rushed out from the trees and bushes, Kriel Warriors sent the Empire cavalry reinforcements retreating away from their unit although the guns tore into them just as easily and the two in the back of the group fighting the warbeast were charged. The remaining three Pistoliers took one last volley at the Impaler but one got too daring and the human made his mount gallop right up to the Troll before firing which resulted in one shot hitting the brute's shoulder and the horse taking a battle spear to the chest which made it neigh in pain before collapsing.
The Pistolier was immediately stabbed by the Impaler afterwards and even though his steel breastplate saved him once, the Troll nearly decapitated the human with a stab to the neck afterwards as his comrades watched in horror and the monster began to eat his body, they pushed their mounts to hurry back to camp so they could inform the Emperor of this evil. They weren't the only group of Pistoliers however as a group of five was serving Balthasar Gelt in finding a way out of the forest and they succeeded as they found a grassland full of greenery with hills and a river flowing through it which made the Empire soldiers celebrate. That wouldn't last for long as a group of Trollkin on bison charged at them but luckily for the ranged cavalry, a small unit of Knights of the Brotherhood of Sigmar's Blood intercepting them, the lances knocked two of the Long Riders off but the cavalry axes achieved the same task.
A mount on both sides was slain by a lance puncturing a bison's neck and a cavalry axe cleaving a horse's head to result in three dismounted cavalry troops clashing as their mounted comrades continued their duel, the Knights switched to swords on the ground as the Riders pulled out their shields to back up their main weapons. The Empire humans quickly began losing to the Trollbloods Trollkin's superior strength and the added protection of the shield but their plate armor kept them from being killed easily and while one was eventually bludgeoned to death before being decapitated, his fellow soldier ran his blade through one of the brute's mouths and out the top of his head. The remaining mounted Knights and Long Riders kept on trading blows as they passed by but one of the Brotherhood charged his foe head-on and wound up paying dearly for it as the bison utterly demolished his horse's neck and head before sending him flying with it's broken body before he got trampled into the ground with it's carcass.
One of the dismounted Knights managed to cut through a Rider's cavalry axe before he was bashed repeatedly with the shield until he lost consciousness but he was avenged by his fellow soldier who cut deeply into the Trollkin's neck with his sword although the last enemy made him pay for it. The human was relentlessly beaten with the axe all around his armored body but even as the life left him, his mounted comrades were turning the tide as the lances kept knocking off more Trollbloods cavalry off their bison then their axes could do against the horse-using cavalry. The Kithkar had enough of this stalemate and ordered a bull rush which went disastrously as while two Brotherhood Knights were hit by the might if the bison again, the majority simply maneuvered around them and delivered a series of dismounting blows that killed some Long Riders outright from lances to the neck.
Even those who had survived were quickly cut down with swords and even as the Riders managed to break most of the lances with their cavalry axes, it was clear that they were losing, at least before an absolutely massive savage giant charged at the Knights and tore apart two men at once. The Dire Troll Mauler roared in fury as Hoarluk Doomshaper urged it to slaughter the Empire humans who quickly decided against continuing the combat as the heavy warbeast shrugged off lances and swords while ripping through plate armor in a single blow but it kept pursuing them until they had fully reentered the forest once more. The Mauler was left with no other tasks except to feast upon the fallen Brotherhood Knights and horses as the Shaman decided not to have it pursue, after all, the Trollbloods were still not truly unified against this new force of enemies and they appeared to be a greater challenge than the previous imperials.
"Emperor, there are trolls in these woods!" The Pistoliers from the first group shouted as they finally regrouped with the main force and were clearly still in a panic from the previous ambushe against them.
"How many?" Karl Franz asked in a calm tone even though he had armed himself with Ghal Maraz and was mounting Deathclaw which made it clear what his actions would be.
"An entire army of them! Little ones the size of Greenskins and big ones that just look like oversized versions of those beasts!" The Supreme Patriarch's Pistoliers delivered the news as they returned and their mage leader hung back to hear what else would be said.
"You've seen them too? By the comet, Lukas, we have a barbarian plague even away from home!"
"It was in the outside of the forest, they were waiting for us in a grassland."
"They ambushed us inside the forest."
"Very well then, I will go with my men to confront the monsters inside the forest first and then we will break out of these accursed woods for good!" The Pistoliers' grim news was completely negated by the Emperor's proclamation which made the Empire forces start preparing for the new battle that would give them a true challenge. "Gelt, get the Great Cannons set up as best as you can before the conflict begins. You can take a small escort force if you need it."
"Very well, my Emperor, I shall see to it." Balthasar responded without hesitation, he had far too little opportunities to use his Lore of Metal to help before but now he had a feeling that he would be needed for this victory.
Madrak Ironhide stood in front of a green grass-filled field where his fellow Trollkin and their bisons had fallen along with numerous bloodstains on the flora but he was not merely contemplating the losses, he was trying to figure out how to beat the humans that had attacked them.
"Doomshaper, did you notice anything other than their cavalry units?" The warchief grinly asked his approaching Warlock companion who stood next to him as he clutched Rathrok in one hand.
"No, Ironhide. I hardly believe them worthy of concern however, they will be crushed like everyone else who harms our people." Hoarluk was entirely unaffected by the losses, he had seen many of his brethren die before and they had killed plenty of humans with these cowards not even daring to stand against his Mauler.
"So far we have not seen anything like Cygnar or the other Iron Kingdoms but-"
"What is the point in worrying? Trust in the might of our full-blood brothers, we have always been 'inferior' in weapons to our foes but it is our powerful allies that make us truly formidable and you have a King that can destroy a Colossal."
"Are we returning to the forest?" The War Shaman asked as his Kriel Warriors waited patiently, he did not particularly like waiting when a battle had not been won and more of his subordinates could fall.
"Yes, set up an ambush while the main force prepares for direct combat. Only stay in the fight as long as you can without taking major casualties."
"For kith and kriel!" Madrak shouted as the combined Trollbloods army began moving back inside the wilderness and towards what would be another bloody battle, hopefully a victory that didn't cost too many lives.
"Dhunia's wrath upon them!" Hoarluk yelled as his Gnarls followers answered him, it would be a wonderful day to repay some of the grudges that all Trolls had with mankind and he would greatly enjoy this challenge.
Fifty Kriel Warriors and Scattergunners along with twenty Champions went through the darker parts of the forest underneath trees and through bushes to reach a Cannon setting up with a small defensive formation before their leaders nodded at each other and charged. The Empire Handgunners could barely raise their trademark weapons and get a remarkably ineffective volley off before the Swordsmen had to hold the line and were slammed into by the bulkier Trollkin or torn apart with cannon shots before the tide turned. A man in a gold mask and a red cloak held up his staff before all of the Trollbloods ambush force felt their weapons drag down for a moment before they adjusted, still that cost quite a couple of them their heads and other mortal wounds before the next spell hit them.
What little armor most of the Trollkin had just decayed on their bodies and then the Empire defense line got a scale cloak around them that took some of their best hits before a spray of silver was launched into their line from Balthasar Gelt's fingers which made a Champion fall over with a shredded brain. To add onto those problems, Pistoliers rode towards the back of their force and fired pistols repeatedly down their ranks which didn't help their losing situation as the assault group got pushed back against this barrage of ranged firepower of magical and blackpowder varieties. The Warriors and Scattergunners started routing as even with their incredible endurance, most of the ambush force was dead and the Champions were the only Trollbloods troops to stay behind and keep fighting until they were eventually hacked and shot to pieces by the human garrison.
Karl Franz flew by branches on the back of Deathclaw, the griffin kept on a respectable pace over the Empire's army that had Swordsmen, Halberdiers, and Knights of the Brotherhood of Sigmar's Blood in front, Greatswords guarding the Handgunners and Steam Tank, and the Pistoliers were scouting ahead for the Trollbloods force. They didn't have to travel far as Long Riders charged out of the brush and got pistol fire for their troubles as they tried to run down the smaller cavalry group with no luck, the Kriel Warriors and Scattergunners that made up the bulk of the force yelled as they marched forwards with Troll Impalers, Champions, and Krielstone Bearers in the middle of them. A horrible roar startled some of the horses and made the men brace for impact as a Dire Troll Mauler rushed the human troops, only for a massive boom to go off and the warbeast was nearly shot in half at the waist by a Great Cannon shot but it began healing almost immediately, at least before the Emperor's mount personally came for it.
Deathclaw's shriek made some of the Trollbloods troops stop mid-advance but the Mauler simply roared again as talons tore open it's chest and arms while the beak snapped but didn't land any hits out of fear of the gaping jaws of the warbeast who began to overpower him by grabbing hold of the griffin in it's big meaty fists. However the nails could do little more than scratch the skin before Ghal Maraz slammed into the Dire Troll's head and caused it to bust in a couple inches, the heavy beast worked itself into a frenzy too late as Karl methodically pummeled it's head to a mangled mess. Franz noticed another Mauler getting called off on the opposite side of his men and urged Deathclaw to fly back up just in time as the projectile volleys were launched, giant battle spears smashed into Empire troop chestplates and broke bones if they didn't hit flesh while the bullets and lead balls seemed to hurt the opposing force much less than before.
Another Cannon shot had punched through ten Trollbloods troops but they were practically eating Handgun fire for the most part and the Tank hull cannon only made an Impaler grimace as it nearly took off it's arm before that wound began healing as the enemy leader revealed himself. Madrak Ironhide chanted and his fellow Trollkin began greatly increasing their speed as they charged the human lines before stones started falling on them, many an Imperial state troop found his head crushed inside his helmet or just stumbling around with a concussion afterwards. Fortunately the Pistoliers made a return trip and started firing into the back of the Impalers who growled in pain but the Long Riders caught up to them and forced them to flee although two got caught and we're quickly hacked apart or broken despite their swords but the Cannons opened fire again as well.
One of the lead balls knocked an Impaler's head off and the other smashed through several enemies of the Empire including several Stone Scribes who attempted to save a Krielstone although it and the Bearer were still utterly annihilated by the projectile, this caused the Trollbloods to erupt into rage. The sound of trees breaking nearby and the beginning melee where Halberdiers held back Warriors and Champions while Knights smashed through the infantry in a counter-charge with lances and Scattergunner fire shredded through humans, Deathclaw suddenly shrieked in agitation and attempted to fling Karl off. Some of the Empire troops noticed an albino Trollkin in a hood and carrying a wooden staff with glowing stones on it hiding among the trees before mayhem began as the other Mauler and Mulg the Ancient slammed into the sides of their force which only increased the lossed.
Madrak Ironhide glanced back over to the Mountain King's view and saw the gargantuan warbeast finally reaching one of the Great Cannons which it emitted a deathly roar at that caused it to explode as it fired, taking most of the crew with it before it stomped several garrison infantrymen to paste. It reached down and grabbed several Empire survivors before swallowing them whole and sent others flying with a backhand as they ran in terror, swords and bullets only angered it even more and made it's hunger flare up slightly while it rampage through the support force. Satisfied that one of the main threats to the Trollbloods was dealt with albeit gruesomely, the Warchief focused on the main battle and threw Rathrok through a Knight's chest before it came back and he hacked the cursed axe into many humans before he was hit with a tackle. Ironhide focused one of his Impalers on Deathclaw who was trying to pin him and hurl a battle spear at the Griffin, only for Karl Franz to bash the projectile to bits with Ghal Maraz right before it hit them but the Trollkin had used the opportunity to get back up.
The Desperate Hour began for Madrak and the Trollbloods who started not just overwhelming the Empire melee troops with power but speed as well, he took great advantage of the Feat to hack into Deathclaw enough with Rathrok to force it to recoil in pain before moving onto Karl. While he managed to get past an attempted block with the warhammer, the black gromril held his axe back enough that the Emperor only suffered a chest wound and the World Ender was caught with a bash straight to the chest followed by the griffin slashing him open with its talons that he was forced to transfer to the Troll. The Impaler roared in pain as it's entire upper body was torn open and a massive hole showed up on it's chest before it toppled over, Ironhide realized that had been enough to kill it and he was deeply regretting personally leading the charge against the enemy leader as Franz prepared to continue the assault.
"You need aid, Madrak? It would appear you should leave the bigger warbeasts to me!" Hoarluk Doomshaper yelled boastfully but his appearance greatly relieved Madrak, especially as Mulg the Ancient personally slammed into Deathclaw and knocked Karl off in the process as his friend pulled out a familiar scroll.
The memories of human-induced agony on one of the greatest Trollkin heroes flooded World Ender's mind as Hoarluk kept reading the Scroll of Grimmr as his remaining Mauler tore into the Empire soldiers and the King began lumbering towards the melee with surprising speed. Ironhide let out a war cry as he charged the Emperor who masterfully kept up with his blows even in a berserk rage although it was clear the human was on the defensive and he only got a chance as the rampaging Warlock went for a powerful cleave that he swung Ghal Maraz for his head. Surprisingly the warhammer hit a Kriel Warrior's skull that was pushed into the path by a Halberdier before his arm was cut into by Rathrok and he cried out in pain before he barely blocked a potentially lethal hit to his previous wound and was losing the power struggle afterwards.
The Empire's formation was a mess from the Trollbloods assault, several men had been brutally killed by the Trollbloods in melee combat already and while the Halberdiers and Greatswords had superior reach, it didn't help much as the Trollkin would simply move in as they yanked their weapons out of the carcass. A Champion charged a Greatsword with dual axes that got cut in half by the signature weapon before getting decapitated and the human kept hacking into his superhuman foes until he fell beneath a barrage of spiked mallet strikes that eventually smashed his face in. The Handgunners and Steam Tank desperately tried to gain some ground from the Gargantuan warbeast getting closer but the Dire Troll was in the middle of the infantry, ignoring bullets and swords while tearing them to bits as the monster opened it's mouth to roar, right as a Cannon went off.
The Mountain King roared to the heavens as a massive lead ball embedded itself in it's eye and made it snatch up men from both sides without any hesitation before devouring them, the Rage of Dhunia forced the Mauler to slam into the Tank without anymore delays, trying to score a serious blow to the Empire. The other Trollbloods warbeast was dangerously close to completely frenzying and Madrak was no help at the moment so Doomshaper had to try calming it, right before a bright flash of light hurt his eyes and told him that the Warlocks weren't the only spell casters here. Balthasar Gelt summoned a whistle and blew on it which caused two monstrous dogs to charge Hoarluk who had the Mauler intercept and grab one by the neck before smashing it completely to gears as the other one leapt for it's controller, it wouldn't escape the Dire Troll either.
Deathclaw shrieked in pain as Mulg slammed his rune club on the griffin and smashed him with a big meaty fist, the mount's beak and talons didn't do much besides aggravate the warbeast into more of a frenzy but Karl couldn't help his friend at the moment. Madrak was still coming at him with Rathrok like a Khornate berserker and it was getting especially difficult to keep blocking the seemingly endless hacks even with Ghal Maraz yet he felt like his foe was slowing down and he suddenly hesitated against the Emperor which gave him an opportunity. The vertigo ended as soon as the World Ender's skull was bashed in or at least it would have been him if a Scattergunner hadn't charged Franz and paid with his life, he was getting tired of having a perfect chance for a strike and then his foe evaded it somehow.
"Hold the line, men! We've dealt with far worse than these barbarians! Slay them all for threatening our people!" Karl shouted and heard his troops utter a weary response but a proud yell nonetheless before he swore he heard Ironhide mutter something under his breath in response to his words. "Perhaps Doomshaper is right that all humans are the same..."
The Kriel Warriors tried breaking through the Empire Swordsmen and Halberdiers to aid Madrak but the Greatswords stepped in just as they were crossing through and cut many down to protect Karl while Knights of the Brotherhood of Sigmar's Blood and Long Riders continued their previous battle on the outskirts of the melee while occasionally charging at an exposed flank of their foes. The Emperor and World Ender stared at each other from a couple feet away with determined faces before Rathrok was hurled and Ghal Maraz smashed it aside only for a group of rocks to fall on the wielder's head, his black gromril and Silver Seal minimizing the damage but he was still disoriented. Ironhide took the opportunity to aim for Franz's neck as he was vulnerable but he was shocked when the pointed back end of the warhammer punched into his chest and he was forced to transfer the damage as it punched through his heart, his choice would prove to be a terrible mistake.
The Mountain King roared in anger as it's somewhat healed eye was joined by a deep chest wound, not enough to be fatal like for the Impaler, but enough to make it frenzy through the middle of the melee where the Empire was desperately trying to prevent any more Trollbloods line breaks. Trollkin and humans were completely crushed to gore underneath the Gargantuan as it completely consumed others and charged right into Deathclaw and Mulg's fight, the Griffin mount took advantage of the shock of the moment to glide away while the Dire Troll got kicked deeper into the forest. The Steam Tank and Great Cannon fired into the warbeast's body to keep it charging away from the fight where it would resort to eating trees and boulders to heal it's wounds while the force it was a part of was left in a decimated formation from the carnage it unleashed on them.
The Empire was hurting less than the Trollbloods and took the advantage, pushing the Trollkin back in melee and whittling down their troops even more through ranged firepower, as Karl and Madrak kept clashing with the warhammer and cursed axe before allies came to both leaders' side. Deathclaw shrieked as he pounced on a squad of Warriors, the elite cadre couldn't do much against the Griffin who tore them apart with beak and claws as their shields were broken and weapons knocked aside, as the Emperor and World Ender moved in for the final blows. Ironhide used all of his strength to overpower Franz and push Ghal Maraz out of the way for another chest hack that made the human yell in pain before the Trollkin heard him whispering something while stumbling backwards and barely hanging onto his weapon.
"Sigmar, protect us..."
Madrak was blinded by light and saw Karl was replaced with a man who looked like a less muscular Tharn to him as he had no idea who Sigmar the Barbarian King was but he was still unsettled by him and called down stones once more that didn't even make his foe stumble as he swung forwards to deal another wound. "Unberogens!" Sigmar shouted as Ghal Maraz's golden shine was nearly enough to take World Ender's vision again but he held Rathrok up to block, only for it to get smacked out of his hands and he called it back but it was too late to protect himself from the blow to his chest that he sent to the Impaler. The Troll's chest was completely caved in and it fell over with another battle spear ready to throw, the Trollbloods having lost their last true ranged unit and now without any good ways to stop the barrage of lead being sent at them, before Ironhide's head was smashed.
Madrak Ironhide was shocked as his upper face was completely caved in and he collapsed with one eye hanging out as Rathrok fell next to him, Sigmar took one hit at it before his foe got back up for one last attack that would prove to be another error. This time the warhammer bashed the World Ender's cranium open from the top and he didn't have the fury to save himself again by healing, the Trollkin Warchief dropped to his knees before the human god and fell face-first to the forest floor with his brains leaking out. The Trollbloods were utterly devastated by this loss and even as Karl Franz returned and fell onto his back, several units were fleeing in terror or committing to last stands although the other Warlock was merely focusing on retrieving the remaining warbeasts with a grimace.
"Dhunia's Wrath is upon your entire species!" Hoarluk Doomshaper proclaimed to Balthasar Gelt who simply prepared another spell as the Mauler broke his other Hound in half, the two simply stayed back for their duel as it would be a test of magic, not physical skill, like the other conflict. "Wind of Chamon!"
The Dire Troll rushed forwards with murderous intent from Hoarluk's magical urging but he didn't expect Balthasar to confidently stay still while raising the Staff of Volans, the heavy warbeast roared in fury as it's body was engulfed in gold from the feet up. The Rage of Dhunia stared speechless as the Mauler was turned into an inanimate statue as it chomped at the air and tried to grasp the Supreme Patriarch in it's big meaty fists who simply looked at the Trollkin Shaman afterwards before raising his Staff again. Doomshaper opted to delay Gelt as he saw Mulg the Ancient trying to finish off Deathclaw but the Griffin proved too nimble for an easy mortal wound and so he made the human wizard's muscles feel agonizing pain before calling upon his ally's power to hit his foe.
Balthasar cast the Crucible spell once more and avoided the power of Primal Shock to send a gold gauntlet at Hoarluk who simply smacked it away with Willbreaker before urging any nearby warbeasts to charge which didn't alarm the human until he felt the ground shaking even more. The Mountain King was on a complete rampage against the Empire's army and the Supreme Patriarch had to question what his Cannon crew were doing while he saw Deathclaw being sent flying from the Rage of Dhunia urging him on which made the Trollkin smirk as he saw the beating the enemy mount was taking. Doomshaper saw Gelt cast another spell but didn't realize it was for Aiban's gift to blades that resulted in some Trollbloods soldiers yelling in pain as swords and halberds cut easily through their armor before the human tried to spray the Trollkin with silver and rushing him after he took the hit.
Hoarluk was more annoyed at the damage than hurt as his body rapidly healed even the magical wound but he wasn't prepared for Balthasar coming at him with his sword, forcing the two spellcasters into a physical confrontation as another Great Cannon shot ringed in the distance. The Rage of Dhunia gritted his teeth as he blocked the Supreme Patriarch's blows with Willbreaker as he realized the Gargantuan warbeast was now frenzying and he couldn't stop it in the middle of a melee, he had a feeling it had something to do with Madrak's lack of control but it didn't matter now. Doomshaper saw the Ancient's vision be blocked by a massive blue leg and got even angrier that his personal protector was taken away from the fighting which made him reach for Gelt's arm to kill him with his magic but he only grasped air as he suddenly realized that his foe didn't appear to be just in one place.
The Cloak of Molten Metal did its job perfectly as Balthasar took the opportunity to hurl his Alkahest vial at Hoarluk who smacked it with his hand as his staff was preoccupied keeping the blade away from him, a horrible mistake as his entire arm started getting eaten away. The Supreme Patriarch was surprised that the Rage of Dhunia could still fight back but he quickly had the advantage with two arms to press his attack and he stabbed the Trollkin in the heart who grunted in response and headbutted his mask to force him to back up. Doomshaper finally got the moment he needed to actually swing Willbreaker in an offensive strike and his might knocked the arming sword out of Gelt's hands before going for his head, again only reaching a hallucination, although he finally managed to score a hit to his side as he tried to escape.
Hoarluk was satisfied as he heard bones breaking and saw Balthasar be knocked to the ground by his blow, the human shouldn't have challenged the Trollkin to a melee battle, but he wasn't done yet, he would pummel the wizard's head until his skull gave way for the setbacks and pain he caused. The Rage of Dhunia yelled in anger as once more the Supreme Patriarch raised his staff and teleporter away in a flash, sending a cloud of dirt up to irritate his eyes even more, at least he had likely forced that human to tend to his wounds so he could finally focus on his warbeasts. However even Doomshaper was concerned that Gelt's vial wound was taking so long to heal yet it was trying to regenerate although that would be the least of his worries as he heard Trollbloods forces shouting in a panic and in fury even though the King had left long ago.
Hoarluk saw Ironhide coming at an odd-looking man for the Empire's force with Rathrok before Ghal Maraz pushed it aside and busted his skull open, he felt dread run through his being as he slowly realized the truth after watching his body lie motionless for several moments. The World Ender had died and now it was up to the Rage of Dhunia to exact vengeance, the Warchief had been a good friend to him and he knew his mate and many of the other Warlocks would be devastated to learn that he had been slain by a human no less, even if it was ironic, it still hurt. Doomshaper focused on using his rage to fuel him as he grimaced and moved deeper into the forest where his remaining Gnarls troops were likely waiting and at least he knew the last two warbeasts were there, he made a mental oath that he would not rest until both of those human leaders and all of their soldiers were killed for Madrak's kith and kriel.
Deathclaw looked worried as he helped Karl Franz get on his back again and Balthasar Gelt leaned on the Staff of Volans as he walked over, a fitting image for the Empire's forces that had suffered numerous casualties in the massive battle that had just occurred. The entire left Great Cannon garrison was wiped out and the main force had taken serious damage to the melee units that left only about a quarter to half still able to fight but the right garrison had endured their assault without too much damage and the ranged units were only really damaged in Handgunner numbers while the Steam Tank kept rolling with a couple concerning dents. The Greatswords got back to guarding the two human leaders against any further Trollbloods attacks while the Pistoliers rided through the woods to figure out where the remnants of the opposing army had went after the final slaughter at the end as they went into a berserk rage or retreated.
"We fought honorably today but I am concerned about how we will be able to make it back to our lands with this much loss. Their leader gave me quite the troubling injuries and Deathclaw doesn't appear to be doing well either." The Emperor reflected on the current situation as he looked at his weakened army, feeling anger for how little faces he saw among them, before glancing at the Madrak Ironhide's body, scavengers were already flying above his open cranium and the other corpses.
"I regret to inform you that my injuries are far more minor. We certainly cannot let those barbarians run free. Limited in number as they are now, they still pose a considerable threat." The Supreme Patriarch simply focused on the task at hand to preserve the rest of the force, they had all had seen what fearsome powers and monsters the Trollbloods had at their disposal and it would stand to reason that they would harbor grudges of their own.
"You are correct, Balthasar, but if they are not nearby, we shouldn't march all the way across this forest to find them. I doubt my men can take another heated battle and more rough travel. You shouldn't push yourself either with how you're clutching your side." Franz was more concerned with the present than the future at the moment, most of the survivors were either injured or winded from the intense combat they had endured which made pursuit a very unfavorable option to him in their current situation although he was worried of an attack if they tried to rest again.
"I understand, my Emperor, we shall see what the scouts will report." Gelt replied just as the Pistoliers rode back up, reduced to five men from Kriel Warrior ambushes and lucky Troll Impaler throws, with the new information that would choose their leadership's next orders. "The trolls are gathering strength in the clearing outside the forest! There appears to be about a hundred men with two beasts and the remaining enemy spellcaster!"
"It would appear you get your wish, Balthasar. By Sigmar, anyone who can still fight, follow me to total victory against these monstrous fiends!" The Supreme Patriarch simply nodded and walked as Deathclaw took to the skies once again, a couple lines of the Empire force's men following him to their next battle to ensure their safe return home and the protection of their people against the foreign evil in these lands.
"I know many of you are grieving Madrak's death as much as I am, even those of you who are not respected him as a fellow warrior, but now is not the time for sorrow, we must march upon the humans and kill them all! Send a message to their rulers that the spirit of the kriels cannot be diminished whether through tragedy or casualties! For Madrak, let Dhunia's wrath be upon them!" Hoarluk Doomshaper spoke to a gathered crowd of Kriel Warriors, two of the Krielstone Bearer groups, and various assorted fragments of other troops, the Champions had unfortunately all went down fighting the enemy and the Warlock didn't have the time to call them back before chasing down the warbeasts, if they would have even listened.
"For Madrak! For Dhunia!" The crowd erupted into shouts as they repeated Dhunia's Rage's last words, Mulg the Ancient and the Mountain King roared in response, feeling hungrier than ever and urging him to start the march to their ambush point as he angrily noticed a group of horsemen riding away.
"No mercy, they will show none to us! Take three of them with you if you must fall! I will aid you to the best of my ability so let us show the might of the kriels!" Doomshaper kept motivating his ragged force after discouraging them from pursuing the cavalry, they didn't have the speed or time to focus on catching them although he had a handful give chase to keep them from reporting their location, a massive hill that concealed even Mulg although the Gargantuan warbeast had to move close by.
The King simply sat and waited as it's stomach growled, ripping up grass every now and then as Hoarluk made it stay there, he couldn't risk another rampage so he focused more on it than anything else in the tense moments of waiting for their enemies to approach. The Ancient gripped his rune club with a low growl as the Warriors readied their hand weapons and shields, the Bearers were ready to protect them again as soon as the ambush began, and a couple Scattergunners checked their firearms as the Long Riders returned from their previous mission. Doomshaper gritted his teeth as they heard the sound of the Empire's approach and the shouts as they saw the Mountain warbeast, releasing it finally to plow into the front of the enemy army as the Trollkin would come in on the sides to envelop the humans and make them pay.
"This thing again?! Focused fire!" The Empire Handgunners heeded their unit leader's orders and set up firing lines as the Steam Tank started shooting at the charging Mountain King again, Karl Franz and Deathclaw flew right at the warbeast as Balthasar Gelt took out Gehenna's whistle once more with the foot soldiers bracing for impact.
The Emperor and Griffin avoided the deadly roar of the King as lead balls of various sizes slammed into it's body, angering it even more before Ghal Maraz and talons attacked it's face, cracking bones and leaving deep cuts as it snapped it's jaws and raised it's big meaty fists to attempt to grab them. The clockwork hounds snapping at the Gargantuan warbeast's feet were quickly stomped to scrap and there were yells of alarm as more of the Trollbloods force came out of hiding to rush the Empire's army, leading to another brutal clash of arms as their leader fought the giant. Deathclaw's talons scraped off pieces of the Mountain warbeast's flesh that fell to the ground and transformed into miniature Troll Whelps that immediately decided to rush into the army skirmish and make the humans' day worse by crawling over them and pulling at their clothes and flesh, one even bit a Halberdier on the neck who yelled in pain.
However the previous losses were showing as injured Trollkin tried to push through the Empire lines and wound up being slain instead as Mulg the Ancient charged in to turn the tide and slammed several men out of the way with a couple impacting the Tank at lethal force. The Supreme Patriarch was about to transmutate another Dire Troll when he had to dissappear in another flash to avoid a magic projectile resembling a giant blue fist and noticed that Hoarluk Doomshaper glared at him with one smaller arm where he had been previously hit. In the meantime, Franz and the King were battling were battling in the sky with the Steam cannon being his only support and Deathclaw weaved past it's desperate attempts to grav or bite them as they kept on hammering and mauling it's face before it finally got lucky.
The Gargantuan yanked Karl off the Griffin's back and held it in it's big meaty fist before moving to eat his upper body, the black gromril would certainly be tested against those teeth, but his mount screeched and moved in to thrust his beak right into the previously damaged eye. The resulting roar made Deathclaw fall through the air but it opened up an opportunity for the Tank as the Senior Engineer fired his repeating pistol into an attempted Kriel Warrior boarder's face and the steam gun seared several others as the cannon fired at the open wound. The Great Cannon shot wound hadn't been fully repaired and the smaller lead ball punched through the Mountain warbeast's eye and into it's brain, making it spasm in shock and pain as it dropped the Emperor and started falling backwards which made the Rage of Dhunia curse in rage.
As the ground shaked from the Mountain King toppling over onto it's back, the Griffin forced it's broken body to glide to Franz as he fell and catch him on the saddle before crashing to the ground as a familiar shape towered above the two with a rune club in hand. Mulg smashed Deathclaw as he lunged to protect his master, the Griffin crying out in pain as the Dire Troll kept pummeling him, breaking his back with a swing before finally gripping his head in one hand and slamming it down to the ground, leaving a crimson stain. Doomshaper nodded in approval as he once more overpowered Gelt, the human wizard deciding to force the Trollkin to not use spells once more as their troops clashed, even so the Empire would be without any leadership soon and he was more than capable of leading the Trollbloods to victory.
What Hoarluk didn't expect was a vial that he remembered too well being pulled out of Balthasar's Cloak of Molten Metal and being hurled at him from numerous angles on the ground from his knocked over foe, he missed the Alkahest with Willbreaker and it splashed across his face as the Ancient raised his club over Karl. The Emperor yelled defiantly as he forced himself to stand and face the warbeast that killed his mount but Mulg the Ancient soon began roaring in agony without Ghal Maraz even touching him, his entire head began to melt away with the skin going first and then the skull rolling to the floor to dissolve. The Rage of Dhunia was incredibly furious that he had to sacrifice his companion to save himself and he raised his staff to crack open the Supreme Patriarch's head as a warhammer split it in half, Karl moving to attack him next but he got pushed back by the warlock's superior strength.
It was at this moment that the final remnants of the Trollbloods force fled for the last time, having had enough of being decapitated with swords, cut down by halberds, and withered by handguns which left Doomshaper in the unfortunate position of having two Empire heroes near death but with their troops rushing him. "Suffer and die, you miserable humans!" Some of the tide coming for the Rage of Dhunia was weakened by his pointing finger, several men simply collapsed from the pain, but many more got close enough to strike and without a weapon, there wasn't much he could do besides take two with him as he grabbed their hands and made them perish screaming and twitching. Franz and Gelt watched with relief as Hoarluk Doomshaper yelled curses and insults as Swordsmen and Halberdiers hacked into his body and eventually even he fell silent as his healing couldn't bring him back from being completely dismembered by the angry mob of human soldiers as some moved to help them back to their feet.
"We have lost much this day but the Empire's fighting spirit has been proven once more to be able to protect our lands and people! May Sigmar accept you all into his banquet for your honor and skill in battle this day!" The Empire cheered as their Emperor raised their morale even as he stood up unsteadily, Balthasar Gelt simply stayed at his side and held the Staff of Volans tightly to support himself, and the Steam Tank's Senior Engineer saluted as the Trollbloods forces were scavenged upon.
The sun was going down when Jungle Jim and Scrappy-Doo came upon the battlefield and the Empire soldiers intercepted them before the human shouted at them the only thing that could get them to pause for a moment. "Do you want to go back home?"
"Why would we not? This accursed land is almost as bad as the Chaos Wastes!" A Swordsman shouted over the crowd to give the duo their answer and the veteran simply pressed an earpiece before they all vanished from Hippoman's manufactured world and back to the Old World.
"That was easy when we actually found them but you are most definitely picking that giant blue piece of crap up." The dog pointed out the carcass of the Mountain King with crows and worms already eating away at it and there were many other bodies in just this field, a sizable chunk of the Trollbloods force was just lying dead.
"Come the fuck on, I'm starting to think he only has us do these jobs when a fight broke out." Jim muttered angrily as Scrappy grinned, it was about to be another long night as they waited for the clean-up crew to arrive and guard the place against any would-be native scavengers.
The Empire's main contribution to victory was a more balanced assortment of troops that could fulfill many roles and had more ranged options while the Trollbloods were absolutely devastating in close combat, that was difficult against the hail of lead. Karl Franz and Deathclaw managed to pack enough personal fighting prowess to match Madrak Ironhide's variety of support capabilities while Balthasar Gelt's absolutely massive assortment of spells for supporting his allies and hurting their enemies outclassed Hoarluk Doomshaper's primarily warbeast-focused magic and Mulg the Ancient was not an undefeatable challenge. While not all of the Trollbloods warbeasts might rampage, the Mountain King having the likeliest chance of doing so was a serious problem and the Empire's Great Cannon and Steam Tank proved to be serious line breakers for the Empire, enabling them to cause decimation at a distance.