Tales of the Fool's Hold

Have you heard of the Fool’s Hold? I’ll be recounting some of their battles here.

If you haven’t heard of them you can read about who The Fool’s are here .
The short of it is that they mine fool’s gold. Which is considered embarrassing for dwarfs, by those who think The Fools thought it was gold when they set out to start their hold. Which has led to The Fools being taken less seriously than they deserve.
Those who are better informed know that fool’s gold contains sulphur, which The Fools use to make gunpowder.
This gunpowder is traded with Golloch’s Empire in return for arms and protection.

I do battle reports for games that I play on Universal Battle (it’s easier to get pictures and record things), which are all PBEM currently due to schedule. You can have a look at the actual models here though.
I have a set of battle reports that I took as formative for my backstory here and The Fool’s Hold has had the honour of battling @Swordmaster’s Outcasts.

The basic list is as follows, it varies slightly sometimes, but I take the core for any point level:

The Fool’s Hold[1995 / 1995]
~ List Valid ~

Dwarfs [1995]

Ironclad (Infantry) Regiment (20) [125] - Throwing Mastiff [15]
Ironclad (Infantry) Regiment (20) [125] - Throwing Mastiff [15]
Ironclad (Infantry) Regiment (20) [125] - Throwing Mastiff [15]
Shieldbreakers (Infantry) Regiment (20) [125]
Rangers* (Infantry) Regiment (20) [185] - Fire Oil [5]
Rangers* (Infantry) Regiment (20) [185]
Sharpshooters (Heavy Infantry) Troop (10) [100]
Sharpshooters (Heavy Infantry) Troop (10) [100]
Sharpshooters (Heavy Infantry) Troop (10) [100]
Berserker Brock Riders (Cavalry) Troop (5) [125]
Berserker Brock Riders (Cavalry) Troop (5) [125]
Steel Behemoth (Monster (Chariot)) 1 [245]
Dwarf Army Standard Bearer (Hero (Infantry)) 1 [65] - Talisman of Silence [15]
Berserker Lord (Hero (Cavalry)) 1 [145] - Brock Mount [30]
[Mendeleev] Flame Priest (Hero (Infantry)) 1 [120] - Fireball (10) [15] - Inspiring Talisman [20] - Bane Chant (2) [20]

I usually play 2300 points though, for which I add a regiment of brock riders and an organ gun.

The list is influenced by the lore I wrote (mentioned above) and a core design idea.

From the lore: The Fool’s Hold is a frontier hold which is supplied by Golloch’s Empire, but only so well.
In list terms this means it’s an Imperial Dwarf list, but I forgo the “fancy stuff”.
The Fools don’t have the resources for ironguard or Golloch’s fury and are definitely too far from things for Faber Ironheart to come by. There is an old trusty steel behemoth that Mimir and her warsmiths keep running somehow and a steel juggernaut suit that doesn’t get used much.
What is in steady supply though: gunpowder, long rifles (easiest to transport to the frontier), rangers and beserkers looking for glory (I like them on brocks).
The core design idea is value and versatility. Dwarfs get good value De for being slow and I like rangers.
This means I go for the cheaper option when given a choice (i.e. ironclad rather than ironguard and a plain steel behemoth rather than Golloch’s Fury) and take units that can shoot and fight when I can.

The core of list is three regiments of ironclad that throw dogs and are backed up by support units that punish whatever manages to beak though; a “beta strike” centre.
Rangers and brock riders are there to project threat and apply pressure (really my only hope in Loot).
Finally, I add in as much piercing (2) shooting as I can because I need the damage output.

What I ended up with is an army with a good number of drops and a surprising amount of Ra 4+ shooting.
No big hammer units (lots of hammers on the models though!), but a lot of small threats that do well if I can coordinate them.


I love the lore behind all this!

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Matt Gee’s Nighstalkers.
Scenario: Loot
2300 points

Norgrunn had warned them and the day had come, the seeds of fear left by the Twilight Kin had festered into a nightstalker host.
Mimir said they were after something and whatever it is can’t be good, so Mendeleev set out to see how flammable nighstalkers are.

Nightstalkers [2300 / 2300]
Scarecrows (Infantry) Horde (40) [125]
Scarecrows (Infantry) Horde (40) [125]
Blood Worms (Infantry) Horde (40) [200]
Reapers (Infantry) Regiment (20) [190]
Phantoms* (Heavy Infantry) Troop (10) [105]
Butchers (Large Infantry) Horde (6) [205]
Planar Apparition (Monster) 1 [165] - Heal (7) [0] - Mind Fog (2) [0]
Planar Apparition (Monster) 1 [165] - Heal (7) [0] - Mind Fog (2) [0]
Mind-screech (Monster) 1 [150]- Lightning Bolt (6) [0] - Mind Fog (6) [0] - Wind Blast (6) [0]
Shadow-hulk (Titan) 1 [225]
Horror (Hero (Infantry)) 1 [105] - Aura (Vicious (Melee) - Infantry only) [30] - Conjurer’s Staff [10] - Bane Chant (2) [0]
Esenyshra, the Wailing Shadow [1] (Hero (Infantry)) 1 [160] - Enthral (7) [0]
Butcher Fleshripper (Hero (Large Infantry)) 1 [110]
Void Lurker (Hero (Titan)) 1 [270]

Stealthy isn’t good for dwarfs, but almost all my shooting in Ra 4+ and mastiffs don’t care.
With generally low De and no inspiring when being shot at, shooting is often better against nighstalkers than people seem to expect. Shooting something with stealthy and in cover is usually a waste though.
The main worry are the fast and flying units; Esenyshra and the void lurker can cause all sorts of trouble.
A major concern for me when playing Loot with dwarfs is units that grabbing loot turn one and covering their retreat before I can respond adequately. Dwarfs are not good at chasing things down.
The flying units and the support monsters are both good for doing just that.
Scarecrows can potentially soak up a lot of my chip damage, which is a problem.
The reapers and butchers can do some damage, I should be able to target one and shoot it down and then keep the other occupied. I’m not sure if the bloodworms are a threat, 30 attacks backed up with bane chant is scary though.

Fool’s Hold [2300 / 2300]
Ironclad (Infantry) Regiment (20) [125] - Throwing Mastiff [15]
Ironclad (Infantry) Regiment (20) [125] - Throwing Mastiff [15]
Ironclad (Infantry) Regiment (20) [125] - Throwing Mastiff [15]
Shieldbreakers (Infantry) Regiment (20) [125]
Rangers* (Infantry) Regiment (20) [185]
Rangers* (Infantry) Regiment (20) [185]
Sharpshooters (Heavy Infantry) Troop (10) [100]
Sharpshooters (Heavy Infantry) Troop (10) [100]
Sharpshooters (Heavy Infantry) Troop (10) [100]
Berserker Brock Riders (Cavalry) Troop (5) [125]
Berserker Brock Riders (Cavalry) Troop (5) [125]
Berserker Brock Riders (Cavalry) Regiment (10) [195]
Ironbelcher Organ Gun (War Engine) 1 [90]
Steel Behemoth (Monster (Chariot)) 1 [245]
Dwarf Army Standard Bearer (Hero (Infantry)) 1 [80] - Diadem of Dragonkind [30]
Berserker Lord (Hero (Cavalry)) 1 [150] - Brock Mount [30] - Gnome-Glass Shield [10]
[Mendeleev] Flame Priest (Hero (Infantry)) 1 [120] - Inspiring Talisman [20] - Fireball (10) [0] - Bane Chant (2) [20]

As above, but note the diadem of dragonkind on my standard bearer.
This has been standard for me at 2300 for some time, but I have been considering Talisman of Silence (mind fog) and extra artefacts on other units lately.


It is important to note here that we did a blind deployment.
Part of why I take rangers and brocks is so that I can threaten loot counters turn 1, like I’m doing here.
The brock riders can charge anything that grabs the loot on the left (dwarf right flank) turn one and the rangers scout onto the hill to do similar on the right (dwarf left flank).
The middle token potentially has a lot of guns aimed at it on turn 1, but will be what we’ll be fighting over in the main.

Nighstalkers chose sides and took cover.
Flyers on the right threaten to claim that loot if unopposed.
A solid centre and most of the threat on the left, meaning my brock riders are in for a rough game.

Turn 1

The battle starts with some advancing and then crackle of lightning, but the left brock troop is not impressed.
The planar apparitions try to confuse sharpshooters and the organ gun crew with mindfog.
They succeed in making an organ gun crewman drop some powder in the pond.


Dwarfs step forward and are ordered to target fire into the phantoms at the edge of the woods.
The troop of phantoms are stealthy and in cover, but with De4+ and Ne -/12, it’s worth a shot.

The left unit of rangers does so well that no one else feels the need to contribute, as if they know a double 6 for nerve is on it’s way.

Turn 2

With it’s chaff gone the void lurker does not fancy taking on all those rangers and concedes the right loot.
Esenyshra starts causing problems, but is a little too reckless…

As the organ crew try to find dry gunpowder the rightmost sharpshooter troop are overcome by a sudden and intense feeling of greed.


The rangers start monster hunting while the wavered sharpshooters pass their headstrong and go for the loot token on the right (as they can’t shoot anyway).
The brock regiment has a charge on Esenyshra and puts a swift stop to her nonsense.
The right brock troop does something similar to Esenyshra. :sweat_smile:

Something that surprises my opponents often is that if I target a unit with 3 throwing mastiffs and 3 or 4 units that do 1-3 damage, I have good odds to rout a De 5+ unit with 18 nerve in one go.
Not quite if the unit is stealthy, but the butchers still wavered.

Turn 3

Scarecrows charge up to hold up the centre as the titans move up.
The butcher flesh ripper does similar to the brock regiment.
The brock troops are impressed by lightning and realise that they can be charged by vicious reapers, both go the way of Esenyshra.


Here is a tricky decision: I can gang up on the scarecrows flanks and get hem out of the way so that I can go contest the centre loot token, but that will leave two regiments of ironclad badly exposed even if I do rout the scarecrows (dead if i don’t).
I’m playing dwarfs though, so I play it safe and defensive. Will this cost me? Find out below…

The remaining brocks try to get rid of the flesh ripper but roll 4 for nerve! That will certainly cost me.
The sharpshooters grab some loot and everything that see them finishes off the butchers.

The (not great) healing from the planar apparitions means that the organ gun is free to get the attention of the void lurker with a loud bang.

Turn 4

The flesh ripper cracks the brock lord’s gnome glass shield so that the reapers can tear him to shreds and overrun into the brock regiment and do more mean things. This is what berserkers come to the frontier for, right?

The nighstalker line charges in and the ironclad hold (as they usually do).
The organ gun continues to have a bad day though.

Importantly, a planar apparition grabs the centre loot.


The Fools need to get the scarecrows out of the way so that we can attack the planar with the loot.
Should be easy, but the scarecrows smell a whiff of fear and hang on despite 5 damage on them.

I’m not sure what to do with the shieldbreakers, so I turn them to face the approaching reapers.
This is not focusing on the objective. I do get a few shots off on the planar carrying the loot though.

The rangers close catch the void lurker and close in on the shadow-hulk.

Turn 5

The bloodworms and scarecrows swarm the ironclad formations and they are forced to withdraw, but the ironclad facing the shadow-hulk remain resolute.

The nightstalkers effectively win the game. the left loot is claimed and the centre loot is carried away into the woods.
The planar apparition no has cover, stealthy, regeneration and healing. The odds of shooting it down for a draw are slim. It’s back to 0 damage to boot.


I try though.
The standard bearer is out of range of the planar, so fireballs the scarecrows and removes them.
That frees up the steel behemoth to shoot at the planar along with the rangers.
The shooting doesn’t get it.

The steel behemoth purposefully gives a flank charge to the blood worms, it can take a hindered flank charge, but does not want them in front of it. It’s easy to be brave from the top of a mechanical monster.
The rangers (with bane chant) and sharpshooters gang up on the void lurker and waver it.

Turn 6

The steel behemoth gets wavered and the planar apparitions slips further away.
In the dwarf turn the rangers fighting the void lurker back up and try to shoot the planar with loot, and waver it!

Turn 7

The wavered planar apparition passes it’s loot to the mindscreetch ensuring a nightstalker vistory.

The shieldbreakers finally contribute by finishing off the flesh ripper, but only after the reapers overrun the steel behemoth.

Mendeleev is not sure what the nightstalkers were after. The thing The Fools got from them looks like a rusty dagger, apparently pulled from the back of a skeleton in a shallow grave.
Whatever the nightstalkers achieved will cost The Fool’s Hold, but not today.
First he had the unenviable task of telling Mimir that she had to retrieve and rebuild a steel behemoth.


Thanks for the report! And shout-out to that Reaper regiment, delivering repeated haymakers across that side of the table.

Your Dwarf list is pretty rad, with a frankly bonkers number of drops for the faction :clap:

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Glad you liked it.
Those reapers were terrifying.

17 drops of dwarfs is great fun.
Edit: it’s also 132 models of dwarfs. Which is always cool to see on the table, even with mediocre/tabletop painting .
I even had more drops than goblins once (they went monster heavy).

Makes clocks a problem if I’m rusty though, it’s a lot of units that have shooting or combat most turns.