Once again Rob and I return to the battlefields to play the third chapter of Balin's expedition to retake the Dwarf Hold of Moria. For a more in depth account of the previous battles PART1 and PART2 are worth a read, but right now we continue the tale...
Following on from last time, Balin has laid claim to the Kingdom of Moria, though the efforts have cost him dearly. Many Dwarfs have been slain to claim Balin his Kingship, at the hands of Goblins, Trolls and an absurd amount of luck on my part. Rob will no doubt call me out on this every time we play, but with some of the dice I've been chucking out, I'm due to get hit by traffic! That said, onto Game 3!
Balin had taken an excursion from the from Moria's depths to star out at the Mirrormere, like Durin before him. This proved folly on his part, based around the far side of the lake and having to brave a narrow stream to reach the gate, perfect for a Goblin ambush.
The Dwarf were caught off guard. Seeing the Goblins massing across the stream, Balin ordered his warriors back to the safety of East Gate, but it was going to be a slog.
With his force bogged down by the river crossing, Balin and Ori were forced to hold the beach head to allow their fellows to cross. This delay would cost them however. Smelling blood in the water (almost literally) The Goblin Shaman whipped his minions into a frenzy and ordered the charge. It would be a challenge to reach East Gate.
Despite stubborn temperament, the Dwarfs were undone by their heavy gear. The nimble goblins had caught the larger part of the Dwarf forces halfway across the river and had taken to drowning them in the shallows. The Goblins were not the only horrors to assail the Dwarfs. Once again the evil critters had brought along a Troll to truly re-establish themselves. The huge brute knocked Dwarf Warriors flying and began rampaging across the river, wading through water, blood and bodies with equal measure.
Balin and Ori held as best they could, but the Goblins were too many. Their comrades were being cut down by the shear savagery on display by the Goblins. Taking matters into his own hands, Balin saught to break the Goblins by slaying their master. Spying the Shaman through the swarm, Balin issued a challenge that the Shaman was too battle crazed to refuse.
The Goblin Shaman proved more of a challenge than Balin expected. The nimble creater survived on luck longer than thought possible, but Durin's Axe proved the better in the end. Too little too late however as Balin turned to hear the roar of the Troll. The beast was almost breathing down his neck!
Ori threw himself into the Troll, crying for Balin to flee. East Gate was within site, only a few Goblins stood between the Dwarfs and safety. Balin surveyed the battle as Ori stood against the Troll. It was a bleak setting. Dwarf dead were everywhere, but they were not on display for long as the Goblins began to swarm.
Ori's duel against the Troll saw the Dwarf beaten back towards East Gate. Balin was embroiled against the Goblins guarding the Gate. Looking back to see if Balin had made it to safety, Ori was caught by the Troll's backhand. Ori was sent flying across the battle leaving Balin alone and unaided against the horde.
This was it, the final push. Balin was inches away from safety, but the Troll and the Goblin horde were closing the noose. It looked like it was all over...
A Dwarfish battle-cry echoed across the scrum of Goblin thugs. Balin looked on in disbelief. Ori was alive! Charging the Goblin mob, the youg Dwarf sought the rejoin his Lord. If the two were to perish, then it would be fighting together. Balin, put everything he had into trying to save himself and his battle brother.
Both were so close to the gate now, but no matter how many goblins they fought back it seemed the tide never ceased. A surge of Goblin warriors rose up and obscured Ori from Balin. When the tide receded Ori was gone. Once more Balin Heard the bellow of the Troll and knew his Friend was dead....
Balin, Lord of Moria, fell soon after
"So... He is Dead Then.."
This was a brutal game for Rob. His dice not only abandoned him, I think they fled the country under an assumed name. At the end, I had lost SIX models, Rob was wiped off the board. Rob would be taking no additional Dwarfs to the next game, which is a pity, because he is going to get all the help he can get in the fourth and final chapter of Balin's Quest.