Bloodbath at Orc's Drift

Blood Bath at Orc’s Drift

Blood Bath at Orc’s Drift is for many Oldhammerers the classic Warhammer Fantasy Battle campaign. Let’s find out what all the fuss is about.

Blood  Bath at Orc’s Drift Contents

Blood Bath at Orc's Drift Box backKing F’yar – Orc chieftan of the North – plans a swift campaign of devastation upon his enemies of old. Elves, dwarfs and men of the colonial state of Ramalia unite to stop him – but is it already too late? Find out with Orc’s Drift, a specially designed WARHAMMER scenario pack featuring four separate battles with complete battle maps and dispositions, cardboard armies, a full set of command sheets for the combatants, a selection of attractive card buildings and a comprehensive victory points schedule for each side. A major WARHAMMER campaign in one package!

Blood Bath at Orc's Drift box frontThat’s from the box back cover. I will go over in more detail what’s inside the box:

  • Scenario Book: this is the core part of the product. It details the background to the campaign plus the 4 battles and also explains the Victory Points for the campaign.
  • Command Sheets: each force in each battle gets its own command sheet detailing the forces available and also the objective for that force. In some cases these will conflict with the objectives of other forces on the same side. The assumption is that these battles are played with a GM, with a number of players available to command each force. There are options provided depending on how many players you have.
  • Card Buildings: there’s 6 sheets of these and they provide all the buildings detailed on the battle maps. You just need to come up wit the other scenery. Each battle is based around an attack on a settlement so these buildings are very useful indeed.
  • Cardboard armies: you don’t even need to buy the miniatures as there are enough square cut out pieces to field all the units in flat card. Imagine GW doing that nowadays?!
  • Poster Map: Not really essential for the campaign, but provides an overview of why the first three locations are important and how the last one, Orc’s Drift is the key to the kingdom.
  • Badge! Shouldn’t all wargames campaigns come with their own badge. This one can be awarded to the winner of the campaign. It states on it “I bathed in blood at Orc’s Drift”

What’s Great about Blood  Bath at Orc’s Drift

So there you have what’s inside, but what makes Orc’s Drift so special. I can only comment from a personal perspective, but this is what appealed and still appeals to me most about Blood Bath:

Artwork by Gary Chalk

The amazing cover artwork plus the internal artwork makes Orc’s Drift a real thing of Oldhammer beauty. Here’s a few examples from inside the campaign booklet and one of the command sheets:

Dwarf with an Axe from Command Sheet
Dwarf decapitating an orc with axe from a Command Sheet
Druid Snart
Druid Snart
Orc skewering elf with a spear
Orc skewering an elf with a spear
Orc bursting through floorboads
Orc bursting through floorboards

Plus Maps and buildings by Dave Andrews, and John Blanche no less chips in on the cardboard figures. Here’s the map for Scenario 4, Orc’s Drift:

scenario map orc's drift

Narrative Scenarios

The campaign text was written by Ian Page, Gary Chalk and Joe Dever. The three writers provided some really fun linked narrative scenarios. Here’s a flavour of what the set-up is for each one:

Scenario 1: Kachas Pass

A force of Wood Elves garrison the small stockade at the Pass against any invaders. They are attacked by the Vile Rune Orcs. The Elves must defend, while the Orcs must destroy the stockade. Added to the mix is a Half-Orc spy who the Elves currently have under guard. He tries to escape and can cause havoc amongst the Elves. Also (spoiler alert) the Elf commander believes that there is patrol due to return that will provide him with some reinforcements – however, that patrol has already been wiped out!

Scenario 2: Ashak Rise

The Dwarf prospectors at Ashak Rise are anxious to protect their hard own gold. They can win the scenario by collecting their gold and carrying it from the battlefield. Meanwhile the Severed Hand Orcs are quite keen on stealing the Dwarfs gold as well!

Scenario 3: Linden Way

A local militia unit defend the frontier trading post of Linden Way from the Kwae Karr Orcs. Unbeknown to either side the ruins on the edge of town are the home of a Mad Hermit. The Hermit is actually a Level 2 Illusionist who suffers from a random Psychology condition each turn!

Scenario 4: Orc’s Drift

In the concluding scenario what remains of the three Orc tribes join King F’yar and his personal guard in the attack on Orc’s Drift. Orc’s Drift is a small supply base in the rear of the main army of Ramalia. It’s also the last guarded settlement stopping the Orc invasion launching an attack on the capital city of Palesandre.

Orc’s Drift is defended by a unit of Elf archers and Dwarf engineers. The engineers have built some defences and can continue building these during the game if they want to.

But there is a problem. Some wounded soldiers from the army are at Orc’s Drift being looked after by the Druid Snart – a pacifist Druid and drunk! He realises that the only hope of saving his patients is by stealing one of the wagons forming a barricade to help them escape!

Everything Included

You don’t really need to get anything else – well you need the rules of course and some dice, and basic terrain, but the campaign supplement provides all the special terrain and cardboard armies that you need to play.

Fun

Blood Bath at Orc’s Drift is full of puns and allusions to British pop culture from the 1980s and before. The obvious allusion is the Zulu film and the Battle of Rourke’s Drift – the set-up of the final battle is actually fairly similar to what happens in the Zulu film, including some of the funny NPCs that are included – such as the walking wounded.

Badge!

Yes you even get a badge! Would you like to win the honour of bathing in blood at Orc’s Drift?

Blood Bath at Orc's Drift Badge

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