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Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat is a real-time tactical computer game published by Games Workshop in conjunction with Mindscape released in 1995. It features medieval warfare and fantasy battles between military units at the squad and company/squadron level.
In Shadow of the Horned Rat players take control of Commander Morgan Bernhardt as he leads his mercenary army called "the Grudgebringers", named after his magical flame sword, the Grudgebringer. The storyline focuses on the mercenary general's quest to stop a Skaven plot led by Grey Seer Thanquol and his pawn, the possessed Orc warboss Urgat Rip-Eye. The player must defeat a variety of foes in pitched battles using traditional fantasy battle methods such as shooting and close combat as well as magic. The finances of the mercenary army are handled by Paymaster Dietrich. The player is frequently given a choice of missions to accept, giving multiple paths through the game, some of which result in different mercenary units being available to the player. Losses incurred in previous battles remained, and combined with the steeply increasing difficulties of battles the game grew very difficult relatively quickly. The unit losses were offset by the reinforcements that could be bought in most towns between missions. These reinforcements were bought with gold gained from combat, but the gold gained from combat was generally less than the replacement value of the lost troops. Only when the game was played with great skill did these reinforcements cover all the losses. Units gained experience and became better through use, but this in turn increased the cost of replacement. Another issue was that a fallen soldier could also be merely wounded, which would leave them out of the action for the next battle, after which they'd be healed for free. While this reduced the strain on the player's resources, it could result in the player having plenty of gold, but being unable to reinforce their army sufficiently to stand a chance in the next mission. Bernardt and his army defeated Thanquol in a plot to use ancient Elven stones to destroy the lands of men.
Here is a list of mercenary groups and others involved in the storyline. They become involved either because of a plot event or because they are hired by Morgan for a fee to join his mercenary band.
So named after their captain's powerful sword Grudgebringer, these mercenaries have enjoyed a properous first year of operation, commanding an unsullied respect on their home turf in the Imperial probvince of the Reikland. The Grudgebringers have since marched to the troubled Border Princes where they hope to join a major campaign to prove themselves worthy of greater fortunes. The Grudgebringers are composed primarily of both cavalry, led by Bernhardt, and heavy infantry led by Lieutenant Schepke.
- Commander Morgan Bernhardt
- Paymaster Dietrich
- Lieutenant Schepke
- Mercenary Crossbows: These mercenaries, all expert crossbowmen, have a disreputable past. They originally formed part of a small bandit army working in the forests of Talabecland. After a crackdown which was aided by elite Imperial forces they fled south to evade capture. Currently residing in the Border Princes town of Wissenheim, and still on the Empire's wanted list, they seek anonymity by joining a legitimate mercenary army.
- Vannheim's 75th: Siegfried Vannheim is a well renowned mercenary captain and has worked all through the Old World and beyond during his years leading the '75th. Reputably a staunch disiplinarian, Vannheim is followed by his cavalry troops with faithful loyalty and a respect for his veteran experience in the trade.
- Black Avengers: Ramon Black formed the Avengers after a Skaven raiding party burned their homes and killed their families during an attack on their town of Wissenheim. They are sworn to hunt down and kill Skaven wherever they can find them. Made up from little more than untrained peasants, his band display a gritty determination deserving of any mercenary army.
- Ceridan Elven Ranger: After many years in the Black Mountains Ceridan, a lone Elf Ranger has learned of valuable information which has fallen by chance into Skaven possession. Troubled by recent Skaven efforts to capture him he changed his identity and now seeks assistance on a quest handed down through generations of his family.
- Dwarf Crossbowmen: Gromdal Orcbane's crossbow regiment provide excellent support for any unit in the field. Dwarfs are not physically suited to using ordinary bows, so they use powerful crossbows instead. Although these are ranged weapsons, this unit is still effective in close combat as they eagerly bash away with the weapon's fearsome studded metqal butt.
- Allor Amber Wizard: Amber is the magic of wild places and bestial minds, of dark forests and untamed places. Consequently Allor despises the suernatural properties of warpstone and uses his powers to destroy it wherever he finds it.
- 1st Dwarf Iron Breakers and 2nd Dwarf Iron Breakers: Iron Breakers from the Dwarven Zhufbar stronghold.
- Dwarf Envoy: Engrol Goldtongue is the official Dwarf Envoy from the fortress of Zhufbar to the Empire. His skills in diplomacy are unnaturally proficient for a Dwarf and he has resolved many quarrels with the Empire in his career which spans over two centureis. His bodyguard of fierce Warriors are completely loyal and will protect him in battle to the last.
- Carroburg Greatswords: This Reikland regiment traces its history back to the Siege of Corroburg in 1885. In their valiant defence of the town from the Count of Middenland, their white uniforms were stained read with blood as they continued the fight despite the many wounds inflicted upon them. From that day the regiment has worn dark red uniforms.
- Dwarf hammerers:
- Dwarf Warriors:
- Keeler's Longbows: Johann Keeler's longbows have gained a reputation throughout Averland as skilled archers, competing in many provincial tournaments. They also hold field experience from previous mercenary campaigns.
- Nuln halberdiers: The eight son of Valmir von Raukov the elector count of Ostland, Boris left his homeland for Nuln seeking glory and distinction as an officer in the forces of the Empire. No doubt assisted by his noble bloodline, his youthful enthusiasm has secured him a position of command over this regiment of Halberdiers.
Captain Boris Von Raukov
- Imperial Great Cannon Crew: Top of his marksmanship class at the Nuln Atillery College for a record three years running, Wolfgang 'Sureshot' Swartzkopf instills a winning confidene in the rest of his crew. After proving himself in the field he had a short stint as a lecturer in ballistics before being offered service with the mighty Great Cannon regiment.
Wolfgang 'Sureshot' Swartzkopf
- Luther Flamestrike Bright Wizard: Stubborn and egotistical, Luther Flamestrike also has a fiery temper to complement his abilities. He was exiled from the Bright College in Nuln after an argument with a colleague caused a firestorm which destroyed a tavern and set the surrounding buildings ablaze. Luther is a competent wizard but prone to instability.
- Marius Ubersbrom Celestial Wizard: Since leaving the Celestial College twelve years ago Marius has dwelt in the remote peaks of the Grey Mountains. From this vantage point he has devoted his life to the divination of the stars. Divining a great calamilty that would befall the Empire should the Grudgebringers fail in their task, he convinces Morgan to allow him to join his army.
- Reiksguard Knights:
- Wood Elves:
Gnarl Fist Treeman:
- Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat