On the morning of the seventh turn since the Barbarian hordes from the South had crossed the border and attacked, Gwegor the Gweat assembled his council of war.
"Well? The enemy are at the gates of Gobwin Bump. They have many very powerful stacks. They have several very powerful warlords. You have lost my stacks, and my summer house at Gobwins' Hollow. Now they come for my palace. What do you intend to do about it?"
Chief Warlord Lazkar raised his eyebrow.
"My Lord, there are still some options open to us. We have thick walls, and many stacks of our own. Our Commanders are not as powerful as those of the enemy, but they are willing and loyal. The battle is not yet over.
Gwegor thumped his hand on the table.
"What use are thick walls when the enemy have those Dwarf Gunners? Our walls will fall in a turn, and then thier cwoakamancers will harvest our bones to add to their armies. Why should I not simply make terms now? Or flee to our strongholds in the north?"
Lazkar shook his head.
"They will not parlay with us. They want us cwoaked, and they want to animate our corpses. They will not deal. And fleeing will only delay the inevitable. We must stand, and we must fight."
Commander Rizka shook his head.
"We must fight, yes. My Lord; Chief; look again at the Scout reports. Look once more at the information from our Lookamancer. There is an opportunity here, if we are bold enough to take it. See - the western flank is wide open. There is a clear path to Gobwins' Hollow - only a turn's ride for my Spidew Cavalry. We cut behind them, sieze the Hollow, and deny them their spawn point."
Gwegor leaned over the maps.
"The Alliance is not strong in Gobwin Hollow?"
"They have two stacks! Two stacks! Each of only one unit! And one of the units is a mouse!"
Lazkar tapped the map with a dirty claw.
"Gobwin Hollow has walls. Quite thick. You will need to be good to get over them, even against some weak stacks. And that Worghog is not defenceless. It will take some doing. And to what end? The Alliance will simply recapture the Hollow in the next turn."
"If we can hold it, even for a few turns, it will increase divisions and tensions in the Alliance. They may yet break apart. I have consulted with the math-a-mancer. Taking the hollow will be risky. But it can be done."
The third Commander in the room, a level two named Buzket, agreed.
"Not only can it be done, it must be done. Better to be cwoaked attacking than in defence."
Gwegor turned to his Chief.
"What are you thinking, Lazkar?"
Lazkar stood to attention.
"You have expressed your dissatisfaction with my command so far. Perhaps it is time for Rizkar to take my place."
Gwegor growled and slapped the table again.
"I cannot afford to waste the resources to name a new Chief. You will serve, advise, and carry out my orders. What do you advise?"
Lazkar turned to the map.
"I advise against Rizka's plan. It is too risky, and gains us very little. I propose that I lead the Dwagon stack, here, and attack the Dwarf Gunners. We will inflict heavy casualties, and reduce their capacity to damage our walls. We will not be able to annihilate them, and we cannot use the rest of our stacks to allow a second assault on those Gunners. Those Archers, that Dwigible, those Critters - each would slaughter anything we sent against them. We attack the siege, and then wait for reinforcements from the Tool."
Buzket scowled, but is was Rizka who spoke.
"My Lord, that would be foolhardy. We would risk losing our King Dwagon, and our Chief Warlord, and our most powerful stack. No, sacrificing the Dwagons will avail us little, and will eliminate any chance of escape. And the enemy will simply pop more Siege in the Hollow, and still take our Capital."
Lazkar opened his mouth to reply, but Gwegor held up a hand to stop him.
"The Tool advises that he is not in a position to send more forces. His armies are busy elsewhere. The Dwagons we have are the only ones he will send. And the C Elfs will not come to our aid. They hate us far too much for that. We must win this battle for ourselves, or be destroyed. What is your advice, Rizka?"
Rizka cast a careful glance at her Chief, then returned to the Ruler.
"Take the open path to the West. Take the Hollow. Hold it. Hold it for all we are worth. If Lazkar leads the Cavalry, his special abilities will increase the chance of success. And you, my Lord, should leave the City with the Dwagon stack, and go north. Buzket and I will stay here, and hold the Capital."
Gwegor turned to Buzket.
"Attack. Attack them now. With everything. Stack the Twolls, and charge."
Gwegor nodded, and sat quietly for a long moment.
"Very well. Here are your orders."