"After a short few weeks of rest we were returned to the line, with a few new recruits to bring us up to strength. Steinbjarnison and his dog were never recalled to their unit - someone lost the paperwork I suppose - and so they remained with us. The new boys were good, but some of them were young; Skapsson couldn't have been more than fifty. There was a rumour that we to be sent for training as airmobile infantry, but that never happened. Instead we got a couple of trips in obsolescent dirigibles, which qualified us as airportable. Poor Ingi Svæinsson leaned against an improperly secured hatch on one of these flights, fell out, and never recovered from his injuries.
"We were sent forward to garrison a new-built firebase, thrown up half-way between two of the outlying forts to the west of Dunhold. [Between Rutter's Fort and Fort Resolution, where the allies held on to the west of the Nura.] I think the high command had discovered that the enemy were infiltrating between the forts; even one or two of the enemy getting through can cause havoc in undefended areas. You know the sort of things they do.
"The firebase was called Ragnhild after someone's wife or mother or sister. When we arrived at first I thought it had been destroyed by artillery fire, but it turned out that 'firebase' was a bit of an overstatement. It was just a series of breastworks, sangars and barricades thrown up by engineers and added to by the garrison. The garrison was also sadly depleted, which is why I suppose they threw us - light infantry, with short ranged weapons, and half of us new - in.
"Within a couple of days we were settled in, and discovering that food and ammunition were in short supply, as the country round about was not safe for unescorted convoys and instead packages were dropped by airship. However they had to wait until the wind was in the right direction, cut the engines, and drift low over our position before shoving crates on parachutes out the hatches. As you can imagine there weren't many supply drops.
The perimeter of the firebase had been divided into six sectors, and corporal Torkelson had been put in charge of one sector. We had a corner to defend, and had only our ready ammunition on us. There was extra ammunition in a rockcrete building in the interior of the firebase which also served as our quarters and command post, but it was guarded by sergeant Thangbrandson, a fearsome whitebearded veteran. He could barely walk due to old wounds on his legs but he managed to eke out our tiny amounts of food and ammunition to an extraordinary degree. Some of us were more afraid of him than of the enemy.
"Most nights some of the enemy tried to creep up on our sentries, and that's when Steinbjarnison's dog was very useful, barking and howling when they came close. Not long after she was also invaluable carrying ammunition in little panniers he'd made for her, but that's another story.
"Before we'd been there a week the enemy made a serious attack. I was on guard with a couple of others. There was no preliminary bombardment, but I saw movement on the edge of the woods. There were always a few goblins skulking about there, but suddenly there seemed to be hundreds of them. This time there were officers with them, and as the officers went by the goblins they passed scampered out into the open with apparent enthusiasm. They obviously meant business this time, so I shouted for corporal Torkelson and ducked down behind my barricade."
From an interview with Sigfast Galtisson, recorded in his old age.
Section Leader Torkel Torkelson
Quality 3+ Combat 2
Leader, Pistol, Short Move, Steadfast. 64 points.
Koll Egilsson, Hjor Ingisson, Sigfast Galtisson
Quality 3+ Combat 2
SMG, Short Move, Steadfast. 38 points.
Quality 3+ Combat 2
Pistol, Short Move, Steadfast. 34 points.
Quality 3+ Combat 2
Pistols: Twin, Short Move, Steadfast. 48 points.
Ulvar Steinbjarnison & Trixie
Quality 3+ Combat 3
HTH Specialist, Pistol, Steadfast, Superior Senses, Medium Move. 60 points.
1 x NCO @ 64; 3 x SMG @ 38; 1 x Pistol @ 34; 1 x Twin Pistols @ 48; 1 x dog team @ 60 = 320
1 x Officer
Quality 4+ Combat 2
Leader SMG @54
1 x NCO
NCO SMG @44
23 x Infantry
Quality 5+ Combat 1
Gregarious Assault Rifle @ 19
Once again Torkel Torkelson's indomitable 2nd Section finds itself in action against a Goblin sortie inside the Disputed Zone. Following their steady defence of the airship field at Shortside the previous day 2nd Section assumed that their recall to Divisional HQ at Baranduin would be in the nature of some rest and recuperation. Instead, being one of the Dwarf Airportable (Dirigible) units, they were sent to Firebase Ragnhild to defend it against a possible Goblin incursion.
There has been some disquiet in Dwarf military circles in recent weeks over what is regarded as the misuse of elite dwarf attack units which have been thrown in willy-nilly to shore up a distinctly shaky front line in the Disputed Zone. Dwarf GHQ have acknowledged the criticism but have pointed out that the recent increase in attrition amongst Dwarf units have forced the use of the stronger and more mobile sections being basically used as fire brigades to prevent deeper penetrations into the shrinking defence perimeter.
The Goblins, present in platoon strength, divided themselves up into three attacking squads : -
Squad 1 (led by Platoon Leader Ufthak);
Squad 2 (led by Platoon Sgt. Gruszch);
and a larger Squad 3 allowed to roam freely in the hope that it could take advantage of any defensive lapses.
With only three dwarves visible in the rifle pits Platoon Leader Ufthak called for concentrated fire on the defences and Dwarf Trooper Egilsson was immediately downed. This encouraged Squads 2 and 3 to advance closer to the rifle pit but 3rd Squad's advance was halted by return fire from the dwarvish defenders which hit Goblin Pte. Oyzek gruesomely causing his ammo pack to 'cook off' and throw the rest of his squad into retreat and confusion.
Platoon Leader Ufthak then ordered another volley which gruesomely shredded Dwarf Trooper Elvarson causing the defenders to take a morale test (which most of them passed). Meanwhile, in returning fire, Dwarf Trooper Skapsson ran out of ammunition for one of his pistols and while Trixie the faithful ammo dog was hastening towards his position he was shot and killed by a third Goblin volley.
The Goblin squads, sensing victory, advanced joyously and loudly up towards the defensive ramparts. This sense of impending victory was shattered by the defending dwarves popping up from their rifle pits, firing off either bursts or semi automatic fire that swept the ranks of the Goblins causing several 'gruesomes' and engendering predictable retreats amongst the mediocre squad members - some of whom fled the battlefield entirely.
In a last desperate attempt to storm the positions, Platoon Leader Ufthak led a charge forward only for his squad to be stopped in its tracks by another hail of gunfire which led to yet another 'gruesome' and 1st Squad to flee the action led by Ufthak. This failed attack resulted in the few remaining Goblins under Sgt Gruszch moving off to the safety of the woods leaving ten of their number stretched out on the ground and six of their comrades having fled completely.
A detachment of the dwarf 33rd Infantry Regiment clashes with a goblin patrol:
Dwarves & goblins vie to recover an important piece of technology:
Halfling snipers of the 3rd Bywater Sharpshooters encounter a goblin patrol:
The 3rd Bywater Sharpshooters escort a picked sniper to assassinate an enemy staff officer:
A desperate defence of an outpost:
The 3rd Bywater Sharpshooters search for a downed dwarf aeronaut:
A dwarf engineer has to examine an abandoned enemy wonder-weapon:
The goblins deploy armoured vehicles, much to their enemies' dismay:
A dwarf squad attacks an enemy aerodrome:
The enemy make a determined attack on the defences around Dunhold:
An elite sniper makes his kill and must escape his target's guards.
A daring raid by the dwarves on enemy supply lines.
The enemy employ a new strategy, attempting to infiltrate raiders through porous areas of the front:
Halfling deserters are hunted down by their comrades:
The enemy deploy new and fearsome infantry recruited from the ethnic minorities of Dunholm: