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Warhammer Ironblaster

The blast of the mighty Ironblaster

The Ironblaster is an Ogre war-machine consisting of a giant cannon pulled by a Rhinox. The cobbled-together wagon that is used to mount the enormous gun barrel is also used to haul the vast quantities of gunpowder needed. Such is the weight of the vast contraption that the Rhinox which pulls it grunts and strains under the pressure and even the stone wheels that hold it up can only last for a few battles before cracking under the immense weight.[1a]

Ogres use few things that require maintenance, however the destructive force of an Ironblaster has persuaded many Tyrants to order a search for extra wheels or support-horns when the device breaks down, as it is prone to do on the many nomadic moves of the tribe. Between battles, it requires a virtual army of Gnoblars to maintain the war machine and its carriage, the little runts often needing to patch the rotting planks together or use gut-rope to bind the vast horns back into place so the cannon can once again swivel.[1a]

OverviewEdit

The origins of the Ironblaster are comparatively recent, and make for a popular tale around the campfires of the Ogre Kingdoms. The Ironskin Tribe, famous for their love of metal and the sheer number of cannon-toting madmen in their ranks, held a contest to see who could unleash the most destruction during the Great Gnoblar Purge of 2211 IC. Amongst their number was Bhograt Seven-Bellies, an Ogre possessed of much physical strength as well as sheer girth and an eye for an opportunity. He left the contest with a wild gleam in his eye, and began the long climb into the mountains, eventually reaching the tumbledown ruins that were once the majestic castles of the Skytitans. Bhograt remembered seeing something when, a few decades back (when he had a mere three bellies to his name), he had prowled the debris as a youth.[1a]

Searching through the rubble, Bhograt unearthed a massive bronze cylinder covered in elaborate friezes that depicted the War in the Sky, like unto a Leadbelcher gun or one of the thinling's cannons, but far larger. This was one of the castle-mounted guns the Skytitans used towards the end of their war against the Ogres all those years ago, and Bhograt believed it was high time such weapons were put back into use. Taming a nearby Rhinox with repeated blows of his club, Bhograt strapped the immense cannon to his new pet and sent it down the mountainside, sat astride the enormous bronze cylinder, content to let gravity do most of the work. Rather more quickly than he anticipated, Bhograt returned to his tribe covered in glory (and bruises) - the bronze cannon intact.[1a]

It did not take long for the tribe to catch on to what Bhograt had in mind. The tribe pooled all of its remaining black powder and, priming the giant cannon, loaded cannonball after cannonball into its cavernous maw until it was full to the brim. The enormous gun, which by now had been mounted on a ramshackle chassis and properly secured to the captive Rhinox, was taken to the main entrance of the Gnoblar tunnel-town and wedged into the passageway's mouth. Bhograt was given the honour of setting light to the fuse. Within one blinding, deafening second, the Gnoblar infestation was no more.[1a]

The shower of green limbs that erupted from dozens of hidden boltholes provided much amusement, and formed a deliciously smoky appetiser for the Ironskin Tribe before they headed back for a proper celebration. Pleased to get rid of the Gnoblars, even if it was only for a little while before new ones crept in, the Tyrant allowed Bhograt to sit beside him during the feast. Since that famous day, many Ogres from the Ironskin Tribe have climbed high into the mountains of the Ancient Giant Lands in order to secure more of the Skytitans' old artillery. It didn't take long for the Ironblaster to be seen and coveted by the other Tyrants of the Ogre Kingdoms. Now many tribes can boast of several Ironblasters, the great weapon wagons usually being crewed by the largest and richest Leadbelcher in each tribe.[1a]

WarfareEdit

When deployed in battle, the Ironblaster is hauled into a good shooting position before blasting out a fiery tongue of flame and a thunderous boom. The multiple cannon balls are able to tear apart a whole regiment in a maelstrom of noise and violence, especially should the Ironblaster get in close. The advantage of getting close is that, with the right encouragement of a few stiff prods, the Rhinox can strain enough to really get the Ironblaster wagon moving quickly. Something that large with so much momentum can really pack a wallop when it hits. If the sheer impact doesn't smash the foe, perhaps the Ogre's blows or the gouging horns of the Rhinox can finish the job.[1a]

When things go wrong for an Ironblaster, however, they really go very badly indeed. It can be safely said that Ogres do not make the canniest of artillerymen, overloading, underloading, touching flame to the sparkhole too soon, or just plain joyriding, too enthralled with the opportunity to ride in a pulled wagon and firing the largest cannon imaginable. Still, the giant cannons were forged to last, so even after the most horrific of accidents, it is never long before a new chassis is constructed, a new Leadbelcher found to crew the mighty gun and the cycle of violence begun anew.[1a]

MiniaturesEdit

  • 8th Edition.

SourcesEdit

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 50 - 51

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