July 9, 2010

WHFB Battle Report - High Elves vs. Dwarfs 1500pts x2

Bloody revenge & the price of a Princes arrogance
The conclusion of the 1st campaign of the ancient fued between High Elf and Dwarf

The war against the Dwarfs was going badly. Starving and with more wounded than fit soldiers among their ranks the surviving members of the High Elven army had returned to their winter quarters on the edge of the Black Gulf. At its head Lord Hethronus his armour scarred and his face bloody marched through the gates of the encampment to see the armies General Prince Rantheon waiting arrogantly in courtyard.

Harsh words were spoken that morning as the battered remants of the army ambushed by Dwarven forces several days past [read battle report] staggered through the gates, most collapsing where they stood. Of the mighty army that Prince Rantheon had abandoned to avoid the winter snows few remained. But the Prince was unaware of the what had transpired on that march. The army had given its loyalty to Lord Hethronus and Rantheon would soon pay the price for his arrogance...

...on the long march home Lord Hethronus had managed to rally and regroup his forces. The Dwarfs filled with the taste of victory had put yet more blocking forces in his troops way. But this time they would not enjoy the same success.

On a field some 2 days march from the Elves encampment two Dwarven armies lay in wait for Hethronus's survivors. Approaching a small human settlement the Elves met the first of these forces, its infantry drawn up in close formation between a small human settlement and a small wood. With the majority of the citizen levies dead Hethronus's army was small but powerful its ranks almost entirely made up of the Elite of Ulthuan - Swordmasters, Phoenix Guard, White Lions and Dragon Princes.

The two armies line up against each-other.
The Elves more alert gain the advantage and the first move

Ordering his army forward Hethronus took his place among the Swordmasters of Hoeth and aimed his infantry straight at the Dwarfs main strength. The White Lions pealed off to the left flank their aim to stubbornly block the march of the Ironbreakers whose armoured might had emerged from behind the woods at the Elves approach. Behind the infantry Hethronus trump card was ready - Dragon Princes their regiments newly bolstered by the magical banner of Ellyrion, they would soon make the Dwarfs regret anchoring their battleline against the trees.

As the Elven infantry marched forward Dwarven missile troops and warmachines took a terrible toll on the White Lions. The dreaded tearing sound made by the firing sound an Organ Gun unmistakable. Its shells ripped through Lion Cloaks with ease as around Hethronus numerous Swordmasters fell to Dwarven quarrels.

The battlelines meet. This time the Ironbreakers armour failed to save them, while the weaker Elves armour saved them time and time again. Swordmasters cut down half of the infantry in front of them in that 1st charge but remained outnumbered. On the right the PG were unable to force the Quarrellers from the buildings, a failure that would eventually cost them.

But fueled by anger now, anger at their Prince, and at the Dwarves for the number of slain Elves left to rot in the snows behind them the infantry with Hethronus charged without caring through the Dwarven missile fire. Swordmasters crashed into Dwarven Warriors cleaving their way through multiple ranks as dozens of Dwarfs died. Dragon Princes charged freely through the wood crushing a small unit of naked Dwarven Slayers beneath their horses hooves before running into the Dwarven Organ Gun. On the left the White Lions their ranks drastically reduced attacked the more numerous Ironbreakers and soon their great axes cleaved through Gromil like paper.

The battle turns - the Swordmasters & Phoenix Guard break, as do the Ironbreakers. But there are very few Dwarfs left alive at this point and they can only ran and hide from the Dragon Princes behind them.

The melee become a mass of confusion Dwarf and Elf hacking at eachother in bloody fury. On the left the White Lions cut down Ironbreaker after Ironbreaker and then cut down the survivors as they broke and ran. But the battle did not go all the Elves way. In the centre the brutal charge of the Swordmasters had faltered. The Dwarven infantry were more numerous than Hethronus realised. Despite almost destroying the Longbeards he faced Hethronus and his Swordmasters were broken and fled. With them went the Phoenix Guard their martial abilities proving no match for concentrated Dwarven firepower - Hethronus ordered the retreat.

Behind him he left a field full of bodies. Both forces had been effectively wiped out with only a few units recognisable in any ranked formation. The rest were scattered to the four winds or lying wounded and dying among the snows.

But this was not the first time the forces of Ulthuan had suffered like this. Regrouping they marched on their ranks rebuilding as they went as stragglers returned. Once again the unbreakable and undefeated Dragon Princes of Caledor saved the army preventing any Dwarven pursuit.

Map of the 2nd battle showing the overall movement of the Elven army.
Only the PG stayed out to the right where they killed off the Warriors before being killed by the Longbeards.

Now 1 day from their encampment the 2nd Dwarven force was encountered. This time there would be no retreat. Charging all of his troops at the Dwarven right flank - that blocked the road to safety - the Elven forces killed literally every Dwarf on the field of battle that day. Dwarven artillery, normally so reliable, failed warmachine after warmachine blowing itself up or being left abandoned as their crews ran. Massed ranks of Elves surrounded and killed every Dwarf they found until none remained to bar their march home...

...But the Prince learned of none of these events. Instead the Princes hatred and contempt of Lord Hethronus was spilled forth in full view of the shocked ranks of Elven troops. Scorn was poured on the survivors, their bravery questioned, their honor revoked by the arrogance of a Prince who had left them to rot in the winter snows to die while he warmed himself in front of his fire.

Unwilling the survivors were to listen to such words, none more so than Lord Hethronus who had rallied the survivors and led them home. Drawing his sword his mind full of rage he slew the Prince in full view of what was now 'his' army. Around him the survivors fell on the Princes closest supporters slaying all those who would not submit, the surviving mages collaring his Dragon Kisath allowing White Lions to end its life. No Royal Dragon would ever submit to a new master so it too had to die.

And so the Elves first winter in the Old World ended in victory and a new beginning. There would be no going back to Ulthuan for the army now. Their complicity in the death of the Prince had sealed their fates and only the complete defeat of the Dwarves would remove their guilt, and prevent their execution. The war then would continue....

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