Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Meanwhile, Somewhere Between the Empire & Athel Loren.....

After finally getting my dragon finished, I decided I needed to take him for a test drive. My enemy of the evening was Vinny with his ever willing Undead, as Donal was also present with his Empire army we decided to play 1500 points Wood Elves, 1500 points Empire vs 3000 points of Undead.

The Armies

Wood Elves
Lords
Glade Lord : Gilgamish the Enduring

  • Armour of Fortune, Obsidian Amulet, Asrai Longbow, Asrai Spear, Forest Dragon (who is called Minty), Light Armor, Shield, Swiftshiver Shards
Core
Glade Riders Musician, Standard Bearer
5x Glade Riders, Hagbane Tips
Glade Riders ,Musician, Standard Bearer
10x Glade Riders, Starfire Shafts
Rare
7x Waywatchers
Special
3x Warhawk Riders
 6x Wild Riders, Champion, Standard Bearer, Banner of Eternal Flame
 5x Wild Riders, Champion,
The Empire Contingent
Lords
Arch Lector ,Additional Hand Weapon,  Armour of Meteoric Iron Battle Wizard Lord ,Lore of Light, Wizard Level 4, Talisman of Endurance. Heroes
Battle Wizard , Lore of Shadow, Wizard Level 2 Captain of the Empire Additional Hand Weapon, Battle Standard Bearer, Full Plate Armour, Shield , Dawnstone, Dragonhelm. Master Engineer
Core
10x Archers 40x Halberdiers Champion,Musician, Standard Bearer
 10 xSpearmen
Rare
Helblaster Volley Gun
Special 3 x Demigryph Knights, Lance, Musician Great Cannon 

Mannfred Von Carstein's Evil Incorporated

Unless I get a copy of Vinny's list before I post this, there will be a certain amount of supposition, not admissable in court but evidence nonetheless.

 Mannfred Von Carstein riding little Magnus the ethereal mega beast type thing.

Vampire Hero with semi blender capabilities and a little bit of magic.

Wight King

From a lazy glance at the picture of Vinny's set up the rest of his army consisted of:
 Terrorgheist, Varghulfs, skeletons with a Mortis Engine hiding behind them, more skeletons (armed with spears)  with Mannfred cowering behind them, even more skeletons to their derriere - grave guard, zombies, Crypt Ghouls with some Crypt Horrors trying to look inconspicuous in the rear.


Pre Game Dice rolling

Vinny won the table edge (the main tactical consdieration is being the opposite side of the table to the kettle as this ensures you won't be on tea duty. Spells rolled were for the Light Mage : Net of Amintok, Banishment, Birona's Timewarp and Shem's Burning Gaze. The Shadow wizard got Enfeebling Foe and Okkam's Mindrazor. Mannfred's spells were Invocation, Raise Dead, Gaze of Nagash and Vanhel's. Mannfred's understudy got Spirit Leech.

Some Tactic Thoughts

As the main purpose of this game was to give my dragon a run out, my 1500 points was made up of him and whatever else I could fit in there troopwise, I went with as much mobility as I could with fluff in mind. I figured that my elven force had travelled over to help out the Empire with a little undead problem they were having. My second, even more fluffy tactical idea was if the game goes tits up and the Empire troops get mullered I can dodge about saving the invaluable elven troops whilst leaving the inconsequential humans to their fate. So it seems I'm even thinking like an elf! I gave all magical responsibilities to Donal as a wizard would only slow me down, man. Donal brought the artillery and magic with some cheap troops with it. I wasn't really sure what he was going to bring but it fell in with my plan as the Empire troops presented a nice big target so I could work the flanks while he held up the rest. So I rolled for my Arrow of Kurnous (failed to wound) and the game started.

set up

Undead set up

The forces of good(ish) set up

Turn One

I vangarded the Wild Riders on the far right of the table and the Warhawks to the far left. Vinny got the first turn (normally I whinge about this but with hardly any shooting on the table - I didn't mind so much). The majority of the undead army was clumped around Mannfred. Everything advanced forward except for the Terrorgheist, it hid behind the big hill in the picture below. The magic phase was fairly kind 7 dice. Vanhels was cast, then Mannfred cast Gaze of Nagash on my general. I calculated that with MR2 and various wards and armour I'd be safe, and I was! Vinny rolled poorly so I didn't even have to tell him I had a 2+ ward save vs magic and Minty had a 5+. He then raised 6 skeletons, directly in front of the Demigriffs.

undead movement turn 1
The fanfare's blared and it was our turn. There were a lot of charges. The Wild Riders on my left charged into the Varghulfs, The dragon rider charged the skeleton unit to the right of them. The Demigriffs had to charge the annoying skeleton unit parked a few inches from them and the other unit of Wild Riders got a flank charge on the leading zombie unit at the top of the picture above. There was a 10 dice magic phase whereby the Spirit Host got vapourised by Shem's Burning Gaze and Shield of Faith was mumbled over the halberdiers. I had a strange shooting phase where I only threw 3 dice (the warhawks) and the Empire army threw lots more. Lets hope nothing goes wrong!

gigantic clusterfuck

Vinny is about to learn that you should kill wild riders first 
The Hellblaster killed 11 skeletons and then it was time for the big gun. The cannon took careful aim at Mannfred and then misfired! Proceeded to roll a 2 on the black powder misfire chart an became an ex-cannon. Then came close combat. My Wild Riders caused 15 wounds on the  Varghulfs and lost two of their own. Pop went the Varghulfs and the Wild Riders overran into the side of the Dragon/skeleton combat. This combat was brutal as well destroying the undead unit and allowing my dragon to overrun into the Mortis Engine behind. Over on the other flank my other Wild rider unit shanks the zombies repeatedly until only 5 remain after combat resolution. Appallingly the reform on snake eyes!
when a cannon misfires don't roll this on the black powder misfire chart

Lovely plumage

Wild zombie slayers

Turn Two

Vinny charges his skeleton unit into the Demigriffs and his other skeleton unit charges the spearmen valiantly staying on their side of the river. The Grave Guard charge the archers containing the Light Wizard - they sensibly leg it. The rather poisonous Ghouls charge into the flank of my Wild Riders. The Terrorgheist now flaps into view presumably it didn't like the idea of cannon kisses. The magic phase was a bad one for Vinny, firstly Mannfred fails to cast Vanhels, then the Vampire fails to cast Spirit Leech. End of magic phase. Both the Terrorgheist and the Mortis Engine try some synchronised screaming at the Dragon Lord causing no damage! In combat Vinny's piss poor rolling continues and the Wild Riders win the combat despite being flanked by a unit with 3 ranks. Unsurprisingly the Dragon with attached Elf lord smash the Mortis Engine which promptly explodes. It does 2d6 hits with the strength of the game turn so luckily I got it before it could start mashing up my weedy elves. Despite the feeble Strength of 2 I still lost 2 wounds off my Warhawks and 2 Wild Riders. 5 skeletons also rebit the dirt as did a Grave Guard. I reformed my general so he was pointing at Mannfred. The Demigriffs destroyed the impudent skeletons and the fight over the river was a draw.

Some stuff happening

the brave men of the empire hide behind the river

Dragon voiced by Tim Curry
Everyone ignores the Terrorgheist
The Alliance's turn was again filled with charges. Minty with a couple of Wild Riders charged Mannfred whilst the Demigriffs charged the flank of the Grave Guard. Both of my Glade rider units arrived ( they really seem to be getting the hang of  appearing early in the game). The fleeing archers with a rather embarrassed wizard lord rallied now that they were the right side of the undead with a healthy 40 strong unit between them. A 6 + 2 magic phase saw nothing successfully cast. The shooting phase was forgettable too except for a few wounds shot off the the Terrorgheist by Glade Riders. In combat the zombie unit and Wild rider units were destroyed leaving the victorious Ghouls. The scrap in the river ground on. The battle of the generals was very nearly over in one round.  The Vampire makes way in the Grave Guard unit causing two wounds on the Demigriffs allowing them to reform. The Dragon and Elf combo took a few wounds off Mannfred and only the sensible act of directing all his attacks on the Wild Riders saved that particular Von Carstein. After combat resolution Mannfred was down to one Scrofuletic wound!

meanwhile not far away

Turn Three

Vinny advanced his Ghouls and Crypt Horrors towards the frantically waving Von Carstein.The Terrorgheist flew towards my Glade Riders, ready to inflict eardrum bursting death upon them. Vinny cast Vanhel's due to Donal listening to me, getting a wound back on himself. Invocation brought some more bad guys back. Then it was shooting, the Terrorgheist inflicted minimal damage due to his low number of wounds and my high leadership. In the close combat phase the Demigriffs were destroyed by the enthusiastic Vampire and his mates. The scrap between the spearmen and skeleton spearmen was reaching its end phase with models being removed by the 1's and 2's. Then came the important bit, Minty and Gilgamish kill Manfred and his skull infested horse thing. I reformed to face the oncoming Ghouls.

Trailer shot
The halberdiers who had up till now been standing around smoking pipes and extolling the virtues of the local strumpets decided to do something, that something was to charge the now very small spear armed skeletons that their detachment had been having so much trouble with. In a moment of weakness I charged both the warhawks and Minty into the front of the Ghouls. My Glade Rider units moved out of the charge arc of Mr Terry Ghiste whilst ensuring he was in their sights. In the magic phase Donal pulled off a sweet move by reducing the strength of the Grave Guard with Enfeebling Foe then casting Net of Amyntoc on them. In the shooting phase 6 Grave Guard got Hellblasted to death and the Glade Riders killed the Terrorgheist. The only thing that didn't go to plan was the Dragon/Warhawk destroy the Ghouls play, the dice were bad and I didn't cause enough damage to crumble them. Drat and double drat!

Turn Four

Vinny force was in a bad waybut there was still the matter of undead pride so the Crypt Horrors charged the Warhawks. The Grave Guard were in a bad way, if they attempt to engage the Glade Riders they certainly would run away, that is if they managed to pass their now dodgy strength test, or suffer 2d6 hits. So in the end they stayed where they were. Vinny also failed to dispel Enfeebling Foe too. In combat the dragon woke up a bit and the Ghoul unit was destroyed. Unfortunately it was a turn late so the Warhawks were stuck in combat with the Crypt Horrors. 
in our game turn I moved the now unengaged dragon to face the rear of the Grave Guard (no way was he going to be brave and fight the Crypt Horrors), the Glade Riders got closer to the Grave Guard but not in their charge arcs. Then it was magic. The 10 remaining Grave Guard were destroyed by a combination of Shem's Burning Gaze and Banishment leaving a now very exposed Vampire standing about 11" away from the Hellblaster Volley Gun. To be honest I've never been that enthralled with the Master Engineer rules thinking that attaching himself to artillery may not be all that. I take it back, the absolute shitstorm of bullets/pellets/whatever was enough to kill the Vampire twice or possibly three times over. I was so impressed by the display that I made a mental note to snipe him the first time I come across one in a game when my elves are opposing Empire. The halberdiers and Spearmen destroyed the skeletons in the river (at last). The final action of this turn was the Crypt Horrors kicking the living piss out of the Warhawks routing them and outrunning them like any self respecting shambling undead monster should.

DRAGON HUGS
We called the game at the end of turn four as the Crypt Horrors was all that was left of the undead and there was a largely untouched Empire force with quite a bit of Wood Elfery there as well.

Conclusion

I rather enjoyed having a big killy dragon swooping around doing horrible things to the enemy, but once again the Wild Riders put in a solid shift. I think Vinny's piss poor magic phase in turn two was a killer for him as undead rely on recycling the dead and when it really counted the winds of magic blew a big fat raspberry at Mannfred (much to my delight). Other mitigating factors are the Empire allies were a great help, they provided a big target to attack so I could attack the flanks. The Terrorgheist not coming into view until the 2nd turn was also a help - presumably he didn't want it cannoned off the table first turn. To be honest when it all goes well and luck evades your opponent in the same game there are few tactical lessons to learn. Probably the only thing I did wrong was charging the Ghouls with the hawks and dragon. I should have been more conservative and flitted around annoying them with arrows, but then, where's the fun in that? Have Dragon will use it.

Thanks for reading!
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