by Jonathan Green

Beneath the festering hole of Putrid Pit there lies a rich vein of warpstone. During the fourth century of the second civil war of the under-empire, this warpstone was mined by Skavenslaves of Clan Skryre, under the command of Warlock Klawmunkast. The Warlock had great need of the magical rock for his bizarre engineering experiments, using it to power the incredible machines constructed, under his supervision, by his minions.

Morbus Sanguis of Clan Pestilens, however, also desired to be in control of the warpstone mine. A favoured agent of the Arch-Plaguelord, the Plague Lord and his monks had developed a deadly new strain of plague, known as the Yellow Death. Warpstone dust was an essential element used in the creation of the disease, and Morbus needed as much as he could get his paws on if the Yellow Death was to ravage the races of the up-worlders. The Plague Priest saw a ready supply of the rock right under his feet at Putrid Pit, if only he could seize it from the grasp of Klawmunkast.

So, gathering his devotees of corruption about him, Morbus Sanguis marched his ratmen into the tunnels of Clan Skryre. But the Warlock was ready for him. Klawmunkast’s spies had warned him of Morbus' intentions, giving the Warlock just enough time to complete his latest and greatest invention - the Rat Tank! This monstrous, warpstone-driven machine had never before been tested in battle but as Klawmunkast himself declared, “Now is as good a time as any! Yes, yes!”

The two sides met within a vast cavern beneath Putrid Pit, Klawmunkast's mighty war machine rumbling over the fissured rock floor as Morbus' Plague Monks chanted the doom of all followers of Clan Skryre. To the chittering of a thousand rat-voices, the battle began.

The battle takes place within a vast cavern deep beneath the Grey Mountains. As a result, only certain areas of the table edges are accessible for moving troops onto or off the battlefield. To represent this, arrange terrain around the table edge to represent the walls of the cavern (you could use rocky outcrops, piles of books or even masking tape). Leave three tunnel openings on each side of the board as shown in the deployment diagram on the right.

Because the cavern is directly above the warpstone mine workings, there are a number of extra, random hazards present in the cave. To represent this, a unique Random Terrain generator has been specially created for this scenario. Use this as explained on page 218 of the Warhammer rulebook.

Resolve who fights first and how many turns the battle lasts for as explained in the Warhammer Battle Book. At the end of the battle, work out how many victory points each side has (page 198 of the Warhammer Rulebook).

Skaven Allies

In the battle for the warpstone mine each side may include Skaven from another clan among their number. However, the allied members of the greater clans have chosen not to fight against others of their own clan in this battle, preferring to save their strength to face the victor. Klawmunkast's and Morbus Sanguis' armies may only employ Skaven from either Clan Eshin or Clan Moulder. Which side takes which allies can be decided by the roll of a dice or through mutual agreement.

The Klawmunkast's Warplocks

Klawmunkast's army consists of 2,000 points chosen from the Clan Skyre army list in the Warhammer Armies: Skaven book in the usual way but with the following restrictions:

Klawmunkast is a Warlock Master and must be the army's General.
• The Warplocks may not include any Skaven of Clan Pestilens.
• The Warplocks may include Skaven of either Clan Eshin or Clan Moulder, but not both (as explained above). No other allies are allowed.

The Plague Priest's Purgers

The army of Morbus Sanguis consists of 2,000 points chosen from the Clan Pestilens army list in the Warhammer Armies: Skaven book in the usual way but with the following restrictions.

Morbus Sanguis is a Plague Lord and must be the army's General.
• The Purgers may not include Skaven of Clan Skryre.
• The Purgers may include Skaven of either Clan Eshin or Clan Moulder, but not both (as explained above). No other allies are allowed.

Putrid Pit Terrain Generator - Roll 2D6 to determine each item

2 UNDERGROUND STREAM OR RIVER - The stream or river must enter and leave at a table edge. It may have a single crossing place, such as a bridge or ford if you wish.

3 MINE-HEAD - This is the access to a vertical shaft leading into the warpstone mine beneath. It is 2" across and any model that is small enough to fit into it that attempts to move over the hole will fall down into the mine and be removed from the battle.

4 FUNGUS PATCH - Gigantic mushrooms, the size of small trees, grow in dense patches in the darkness of Putrid Pit. They count as very difficult terrain, just as dense woods do.

5-6 ROCKFALL - Boulders that have fallen from the roof of the cavern litter the battlefield. They count as difficult terrain.

7 STALAGMITES - Tall rock formations reach up from the cavern floor in a number of places. They count as impassable terrain. Any suitable piece of rocky scenery or stone pillars from your collection can be used for stalagmites.

8 GAS POCKET - Occasionally gas is released from underground as the Skavenslaves dig further into the rocks beneath Putrid Pit. This then collects in pockets in caves and tunnels. Any model moving through a gas pocket must reduce its Movement by -1. Shooting both into and out of the gas pocket also has a -1 to hit penalty. Gas pockets could be denoted using card templates or balls of cotton wool painted green.

9 SUBTERRANEAN VEGETATION - The heat and humid atmosphere in the cavern, along with the warpstone pollutants pumped out from the mine, have created the correct conditions for all manner of bizarre plantlife to take root. These areas of vegetation count as difficult terrain like a normal wood.

10 POLLUTED WATERCOURSE - The watercourse must enter and leave at a table edge. This river has been polluted by by-products of the mining process, making it impassable to all infantry. It may have a single crossing place, in the form of a bridge, if you wish. Any infantry model coming into contact with the stream is immediately killed by the toxic waters.

11-12 WARPSTONE DEPOSIT - Even in this cavern there are a number of small warpstone deposits. If a Wizard moves over a patch of ground that contains a Warpstone Deposit, then the wizard automatically gains 1 Warpstone Token. Each wizard in the battle can only pick up a single Warpstone Token from each Warpstone Deposit that is on the board.

With the table ready and the battle lines drawn, its time to view the two main protagonists in this insurrection. See below their shadowy motivations...