April 24, 2012

Battle Report - High Elves vs. Vampire Counts 2400pts

"Hýril Pelanhoan was afraid an unusual feeling for an Ulthuan Archmage especially one of the few who dared to immerse themselves in the almost forbidden Lore of Death.  But afraid he was.  His command had spent weeks scouring the countryside of the High Elven province on the coast of the human lands known as Bretonnia, scouring them for signs of a deadly plague that was sweeping entire villages before it.  Weeks of searching, empty houses, ruined temples, burned forests and blood, blood everywhere but never any corpses.  The humans had spun stories of hordes of the living dead, nightmarish creatures from their childrens storybooks supposedly responsible for the carnage.  He had not believed them at first, but now? Now before him was a horde unlike any he had seen before.  The very ground seemed to ripple in their presence as though the earth was attempting to flee from their sight.  Even his resolute bodyguard of White Lions had fallen silent.  The human stories were true - the undead did live, Vampires had come to Elven lands and now Hýril knew why no corpses had been found, at least not until now.  Arrayed in front the Elven army spread across the width of the mountain pass they were marching through was a writhing mass of putrifying flesh, vague ethereal demonic shapes, huge fell bats, Ghouls attired in the skins of their half eaten victims and a horde of the risen dead.  Zombies - Human, Dwarf, Ogre and Elven limbs broken, flesh rotting, skulls cleaved but animated enough for Hýril to recognise among their the Elven settlers he had come to protect.  Towering above them all a Giant engine of a like Hýril had never before seen, and leading them a Winged creature - a Ghoul King - whose red eyes promised nought but death. Hýril was afraid and as he gave the order to deploy, his mind remained fixated on those eyes...."

Deployment - High Elves in Blue/Vampires in Red
Up against Glen's Vampire Counts on Sunday - having once collected them I was very interested to see how the new book played.  As previously noted I did get tabled but how I got there should, hopefully still make interesting reading.  We rolled for Battle of the Pass with me taking the 1st turn.  Map consisted of 3 large areas of impassable terrain and a couple of enchanted forests neither of which was especially nasty.  Glen's army was themed around the screaming units in the VC list Banshees and the like and consisted of:

Strigoi Ghoul King
w. Sword of Strife, Other Tricksters Shard, Dragonbane Gem. Red Fury, Aura of Dark Majesty
Master Necromancer, level 4
w. Heavy Armour, shield, Dispel Scroll, Dragonhelm, Seed of Rebirth, Aura of Dark Majesty

3 x Tomb Banshees
25 x Zombies
25 x Zombies
5 x Dire Wolves
38 x Crypt Ghouls
6 x Crypt Horrors
3 units of 2 x Fell Bats
2 Fell Bats
2 Fell Bats
Mortis Engine with Tome
3 Cairn Wraiths inc Banshee

Deployment wise I choose to anchor my strongest unit, the White Lions, on the impassable terrain with the Spears and a unit of Swordmasters to their left.  Plan was to stay there and have the Vampires come to me.  With my shooting on the right flank, supported by 1 unit of Swordmasters Glen would have choose.  Either go for the weaker units and run the risk of my stronger ones coming in on the flank or go for the stronger ones head on, leaving the Archers to fire away and their supporting Swordmasters free to get their flanks.  He choose to go for the bigger units, relying first off on the Banshees to clear the way knowing that I only had the White Lions (with Amulet of Light added for this game) and the Mages magic able to hurt them - although I finally remembered that you can defeat them on CR regardless of whether you have magical attacks or not.
High Elf Turn 1
 Eagles rush forward in my usual tacticless tactic - I am really going to have to stop doing this as all it succeeds in doing is getting them killed.  Will hang them back from now on.  Reavers moved up to take on the Dogs and hopefully get around behind the VC and into the Mortis Engine.  Archers fired away at the Mortis Engine trying to kill it off quick - but over the course of about 3 rounds of shooting some 60+ shots only scored 1 wound on it (although this would prove important later).  While I did try to weaken the Engine with the Lore of Death, and take further wounds off it, Glen was careful with his dispelling and was able to negate my magic very well.

Vampires - Turn 1
The Eagles as expected are wiped out as the Banshees, Cairn Wraiths and Crypt Horrors do all the damage.  The Direwolves charge the Reavers who refuse to hit any of them - damn Elven animal lovers - and the two units get bogged down in a couple of rounds of combat.

High Elves - Turn 2
Here I decide to pull back.  While the VC is within charge range its only just and by advancing I have actually thrown my original plan out the window although it is clear which way Glens army is now moving.  The Archers continue to shoot away achieving bugger all and the Reavers absolutely refuse to harm the cute little Wolves that are busy tearing them to shreds.
Vampires - Turn 2
High Elves - Turn 3
OK - stuff it, bugger the plan lets throw some dice - CHARGE!!! In we go, the White Lions straight for the Crypt Horrors and the Spears with the BSB for the Ghouls, Strigoi King and Vampire.  A unit of Archers also decide that they want to get their hands dirty and they charge a Banshee - why not? 

Vampires - Turn 3
Run away quick they're too ugly to look at
Oh bugger - things have not gone well at all.  The Strigoi King and Vampire have 2+ WS vs. Flaming attacks making them pretty much invulnerable to my Spears and the BSB.  I can't get any magic off to buff up the Spears or weaken the Ghouls and the Spears - in the turn they charge - get slaughtered and flee running away like frightened little girls. Glen then raises the corpses of the dead Elves to bolster his already quite large units of Zombies, and then charges the fleeing Spearmen multiple times causing them to run away even further.  The White Lions meanwhile have been hacked to bits by the Cyrpt Horrors losing about half their strength and killing only a single horror in return.  The only victory comes with the Archers killing the Banshee.  The left hand Swordmasters are now charged by the Vampire & Strigoi King's unit, the Cairn Wraiths, a Banshee and some Fell Bats - while they slaughter the Bats they can't last very long especially with all that screaming (honestly it should be like a breath weapon once per game *sigh*) and they in turn add their corpses to the Zombie horde.

High Elves - Turn 4
"Hýril Pelanhoan stood amongst the bodies of his fallen bodyguard watching in abject terror as the Crypt Horrors hacked, slashed and chewed their way through his beloved White Lions, watched as the Red Eyed Strigoi King tore the throat out of his forces Battle Standard Bearer and devoured it whole.  Watched as the corpses of scores of dead Elves were reanimated and shambled off to join the ranks of the Strigoi Kings Zombie horde.  Watched as first the Citizen Levy Spears died, then the Swordmasters who were to protect them.  Seeing no hope, feeling nothing but despair Hýril Pelanhoan called on what little magic he had left.  Words of power filled his mind, and for the first time in the battle remained unsullied by the dark arts of the Vampire army, and before him a Giant Vortex of Death began to form. Raising his arms Hýril increased the size of the vortex and aimed it at the Crypt Horrors to his front, watched as it grew, as it moved toward them and then....
...screamed as the vortex rippled, the words of power slipping from his mind as a bolt of immense pain shot through his skull and then watched as the Vortex turned, reversed its course and then nothing.....:

My left flank is dead, the White Lions can't kill the Crypt Horrors who keep regenerating or getting raised back up. So throwing caution to the wind I go for the Purple Sun of Xerxes.  It works, but then misfires and rebounds back on my Archmage and the White Lions.  A Cyrpt Horror is killed but so are half of the remaining White Lions and my Archmage.  The remaining unit of Swordmasters who had just charged the Crypt Horrors only just avoid getting Purpled as well (ironic considering my Elves are Purple).  Meanwhile the rest of my army is falling apart.

Vampire Counts - Turn 4
Glen goes in for the kill, although not with the Zombies who basically shambled around the entire game.  He charges the Spears with the Vampire, Strigoi King, Cairn Wraiths and Banshees wiping them out in the first round of combat.  The Mortis Engine also charges the Swordmasters joining the Cyrpt Horrors in combat.  Here at least I gain a small victory.  The Swordmasters manage to kill a couple of Cyrpt Horrors and then in the next round put all of their remaining attacks into the Mortis Engine.  They do 3 wounds, taking it down to 1 (after it lost one to the Archers at the start of the game).  Adding up the CR for the round - its a draw - 3 wounds to me, and 3 to Glen, he has killed 3 of the 4 remaining Swordmasters.  But!?!?  The remaining Swordmaster is a Musician who survives due to the absence of a Champion and Std Bearer in the unit.  Without a Musician of his own Glen loses the combat by one and with a mighty blast of his horn the Swordmaster literally blows the Mortis Engine away - or rather it crumbles.  Next round though he gets splattered by the remaining Horrors.

Vampires - Turn 5
By Turn 5 I have 5 yes 5 Archers left - its somewhat poetic - screaming and magic have killed most of them, although they did get to see the sole surviving Direwolf get Purpled which was nice.  But then the Cyrpt Horrors charge in and they too get wiped out.

Holy Crap!!! I got tabled - in 5 Turns - nasty!!! But a hell of a lot of fun, almost enough to make we wish I hadn't sold off my Vampire Count army (especially with the new rules regarding the raising of Black Knights), almost but not quite.


Wryth said...

Awesome write up John including the narrative.

Thanks for coming down for the game, you're welcome any time.

John M said...

Cheers mate thoroughly enjoyed - you've got a great set up there. Ill def come back down again

John M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.