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maandag 26 maart 2012

Game Night! 26-3

Hello and welcome to a new Game Night! It´s been a busy time for me with not much going on gaming wise except whatever needs doing for the campaign. We´ve just moved into turn 3 for our Blood in the Badlands Campaign, but I thought I´d share with you the Batrep I did for the battle I played vs Jerroii last turn. Check after the break for the details! (and purdy pictures)

Battle report Blood in the Badlands Vampire Counts v Warriors of Chaos

Jerroii vs Thalenchar

Caratacus the Savage vs Thalenchar Moonsoul

Here is the report from the battle I played for Spring turn 2 in our campaign.  As you can see, it was VC vs WoC and let me tell you, it was good fun. I´m always somewhat worried when I have to play Jerroii, since he´s a good player any day, but especially with Vampire Counts since that´s his usual army. Also, having lost an Army Banner after fighting in turn 1, I was really hoping I wouldn´t lose another banner this turn!

For this battle report I thought I´d try something new. I decided to see how Battle Chronicler works and made some slides to show you what happened during the battle. I have to tell you, I had a great time making the slides, but I did realize it might be better if I make notes during the battle so I don´t forget what happened when. See, I distinctly remember the battle taking 6 turns, but when I was making the slides with BC, the game was just about over by turn 5. So somewhere along the line I probably merged 2 turns! Ah well, the outcome was still the same :)

Here are the armies:

Vampire Counts

Caratacus the savage, Strigoi ghoul king, Lore of vampires, Terrorgheist
        Red fury,  Dragonbane gem,  Potion of strength,  Aura of dark majesty, Bequile                     600
Necromancer, lvl 2, Lore of Vampires                                                                                                 100
Necromancer, lvl2, Lore of Vampires, dispel scroll                                                                           125

46 Ghouls,  Ghast                                                                                                                      470
20 Zombies, stb                                                                                                                            65
20 Zombies, stb                                                                                                                            65
5 Dire wolves                                                                                                                                   40
5 Direwolves                                                                                                                                   40
5 Hex wraiths                                                                                                                              150
5 Hex wraiths                                                                                                                              150
3 Vargheist                                                                                                                                                                     138
Corpse Cart, Balefire                                                                                                                   105
5 Crypt Horrors, Champ                                                                                                              200
Mortis engine   Blasphemous Tome                                                                                          240
4 Blood Knights st,b banner of swiftness                                                                                 210
Warriors of Chaos (and Skaven allies)
Lord Thalenchar, Chaos Lord, Manticore, Mark of Tzeentch
                Rending Sword, Armour of Morrslieb, Necrotic Phylactery, Book of Secrets <Fire>,
                Shield, Diabolic Splendour.                                                                                                       565

Sorcerer <Death>, Dispel Scroll, Shrieking Blade, Charmed Shield                                                          125
Sorcerer <Death> Hex Scroll                                                                                                                 135

Battle Standard Bearer, Mark of Tzeentch, Whip of Subversion, Enchanted Shield, Talisman of Protection, Stream of Corruption                                                                                                       210

18 Warriors, Mark of Tzeentch, shield, full command                                                                     338
18 Warriors, Mark of Nurgle, Halberd, full command, Banner of Eternal Flame                         368
10 Knights, full command                                                                                                                      450
Spawn  (Sumner Everglow)                                                                                                                               55

Skaven Warlock Engineer, Musket                                                                                                                30
10 Skaven Stormvermin, standard bearer, Ratling Gun                                                                              135
5 Jezzails                                                                                                                                                               100
Warp Lightning Cannon                                                                                                                                 90

Lord Thalenchar is my overall general in the campaign so he was the first unit I chose. He’s a bit pricey, sure, and being mounted on a Manticore means I’ll have to be careful where I put him in combat. I didn’t really have to worry about dodging cannonballs in this battle, so that was one fewer thing to keep track off.

Next, I needed a cunning plan to deal with Caratacus the Ghoul King. Looking at the book (this would be my first battle vs the new VC), a Ghoul King looked like he could bring the pain. Sure, being mounted on a Terrorgheist, he’ll suffer from many of the same drawbacks as my lord on Manticore, but he can still be a pain to deal with in the hands of a skilled player (which Jerroii definitely is). So, being a true follower of Tzeentch, I needed a trick. After thinking on it I remember a conversation I’d had a couple of months back talking (with Jerroii of all people! Irony abound) about a tactic some people use to deal with scary, powerful, single models that also have variable magic levels. Things like Great Unclean Ones and Vampire Lords. These creatures usually start off with a low magic level and can purchase more if needed. Sometimes there aren’t enough points to upgrade these levels, or it’s just not feasible to do so, leaving these monster caster with a low magic level.
I so need these!
Now, having a low magic level isn’t a weakness per se (there’s lots of lvl 2 wizards around right?) but that does leave them open to an often overlooked item in the BRB: Sivejir’s Hex Scroll! This little Arcane Item is a bit pricey at 50 pts, but can be devastating when used in the right situation. For those unfamiliar with the scroll, it is used when an opponent hast just successfully cast a spell. The wizard then has to roll a D6 and roll equal or under his magic level. If he fails this roll, he is turned into a frog, with all characteristics reduced to 1 (except wounds). This will last until your opponent can roll a 4+ as the start of each of his subsequent magic phases.
So, imagine using this on a lvl 1 Strigoi.
Next, imagine casting Spirit Leech on the froggy Strigoi.
See where I’m going with this?

<Now that I’ve explained this, I fully expect all my future opponents to be gentlemen and NOT use this vs. me in the future. Feel free to use it vs. each other though!>

So, to pull this trick off, I took two level 1 death sorcerers. I took two because then I’d have two Spirit Leech’s to cast and it let me get a Dispel Scroll as well (which I always take). And to show I didn’t just take those wizards just to combat my (irrational?) fear of the Ghoul King, spirit leech can work wonders vs. Necromancers as well. Or Terrorgheists, for that matter.

The next part of my list wasn’t specifically geared toward battling Undead. I took a BSB and a unit of Tzeentchian warriors. Next up is my new favourite Watchtower holder unit, the warriors of Nurgle with a halberd. With the flaming banner they can also go hunt regenerating beasties (in which case the BSB will join this unit.

Next, as a throwback to my old (10+ years ago) chaos warriors army, I took a nice block of knights and a spawn. I used to have at least 2 spawn in all my lists and I still like their randomness (even though I don’t often take them anymore). Still, I figured if I could dump the spawn in a block of Zombies they’d both be locked in combat for a long while. Not bad for 55 pts.

Lastly, I decided to make use of the fact I control Fester Spike on our map, which allows me to use Skaven allies in all my banners. I knew Jerroii enjoys using units of Hexwraiths in his VC and I needed something to deal with terrorgheists and other large nasty’s. So I enlisted to help of Clan Skyre and took a 400 pts Skaven force to complement my own army. Having used Skaven for our last Fantasy campaign, I was by no means counting on the warp lighting cannon in particular to do anything even remotely useful, but he’d give Jerroii something to worry about at least.

We rolled for the scenario and got a meeting engagement. With two armies geared towards combat this was good for both of us, and it allowed me to deploy my war machines (ie, my skaven) way back to keep them safe.

Jerroii deployed first, choosing to deploy close to the centre line, with his flanks covered by either his Hexwraiths or his Vargheists.
I deployed in a more of a traditional line, further back than I’d usually do. I needed a turn or two to get my tricks to work (Hex Scroll & Spirit Leech) and give my Skaven a bit of time to shoot some of the ethereal stuff. Thas was the plan anyway.

This is what it looked like after Vanguard Moves.

Jerroii’s Turn 1. The Dire Wolves moved up to block my Chaos Knights in the center. The Vargheists flew (with their backs to me, obviously) and redeployed nearer the middle of the board. His right flank moved forward, with the Forest on that flank turning out to be a Wildwood. The rest of his army moved forward as fast as their undead legs would carry them.


My Knights charged the Dire Wolves, killed them and made a combat reform to face the hexwraiths. Their magical attacks would be the surest way to deal with the hexwraiths should my Skaven fail to kill them (and who could doubt that?).
Having forgotten to roll for the Wildwood last movement phase, we rolled for it now, which saw the Terrorgheist take one wound.
In the magic phase I managed spirit leech the terrorgheist to death, which made me smile. Sure this still left the Ghoul King, but he was still a fair way off.
True to form, the warp lightning cannon blew up on its attempt. The ratling gun and the jezzails did slightly better, killing 1 and 2 hexwraiths respectively.
And that ended my first turn.

Jerroi’s turn started with him declaring charges with his Hexwraiths on my skaven units. My jezzails and my ratling gun both chose the only honourably Skaven option and ran, while my Stormvermin uncharacteristically decided to hold. Brave fools. In the process of declaring charges on my skaven units, Hexwraith unit 2 moved into the swamp, which saw him lose two of his remaining three models. The Vhargheists dropped behind my warriors of Tzeentch, ready to charge next turn.
Caratacus ran from the lethal forest and joined the Ghouls.
In the magic phase Jerroii cast Vanhel’s Dance Macabre on the lone hexwraith in an attempt to move it out of the swamp. I graciously allowed him to cast this before pulling out my hex scroll (although I did do a mental evil chuckle).
One tense dice roll later and POOF! there was a frog-shaped Ghoul King in the corner of the ghoul unit. Woohoo!
In the combat phase the stormvermin lost the combat but passed their break test. Brave souls! (Why can’t I ever have Stormvermin like that when I play skaven?)

In my turn I declared a charge of my knights into the Dire Wolves that were protecting the Hexwraiths. Feeling brave and courageous (some might say arrogant and naïve) I charged my Lord into the Crypt Horrors to see those beasts off. My Spawn happily continued his little trot back and forth behind the swamps, taunting the Blood Knights to come charge him.
This magic phase would be an important one, since I needed to get Spirit Leech off. I only had one Spirit Leech since my other Death wizard had gotten Soulblight. So I needed enough dice to go for irresistible force. I got enough and rolled the 6 dice and got a double 6! With me having a Ld of 8 and the Ghoul King reduced to Ld 1, I needed to roll a 2 to do enough wounds to kill it. I don’t remember the exact roll, but I rolled high enough and Jerroii failed his saves and the undead General was dead!
The undead General was dead! (pro tip 1 when fighting VC: kill the general, even with the new rules.)
The miscast (magical feedback) saw me do a wound to the other death wizard, but nothing else. I’ll take that trade anyday!
Crumbling was brutal. The lone Hexwraith, the Corpse Cart died, the Mortis Engine died, half the Crypt Horrors and half the Zombies.  This battle was rapidly turning in my favour.
In the combat phase I killed the dire wolves and the remaining hexwraiths as I pursued and flanked them with the knights.
Also, the Crypt Horrors did enough wounds on the Manticore to kill it and to make my lose combat by 1! Almost unsurprisingly I failed my break test (I was out of BSB range now that my Manticore was dead, darn smaller base size), ran a whopping 4 inches and was caught.
So, both our generals dead. Good stuff.

<I’m not sure why my knights and Stormvermin are moving in this picture :p >
In his turn Jerroii tried to make the most of it. He still had a huge block of Ghouls and his Vargheists ready to charge my warriors in the rear. He repositioned his army as best he could, sending his blood knights to outflank me.  The Crypt Horrors failed a charge on my Nurgle Warriors.
The Vargheists did a fair bit of damage, but my warriors held and reformed to face the flying vermin.

In my turn my spawn proved its worth by moving just enough to block the Blood Knights completely. They’d either have to move into the swamp (which is no fun with blood knights on the best of days, let alone with the Spring seasonal rule in effect for this game), stay put and waste a turn, or charge my spawn and overrun towards the corner of the board. Gotta love the frenzy rule!
My Warriors of Nurgle charged the Crypt Horrors and made short work of the couple that remained. They then overran, just clipping the Zombies (and necromancer) in the unit behind the crypt horrors.
My knights moves slightly to keep a wary eye on the Ghouls.
My Warriors of Tzeentch finished off the Vargheists and turned to face north again.

And this is when I stopped making pretty pictures. Nothing too exciting happened, apart from Jerroii finally managing to cast a spell that worked out positively for him (wind of death on my Warriors of Nurgle, who were not amused). The Blood Knights spend the rest of the game trying to get down off the hill (which had an impassable cliff on the left side) and didn’t do anything meaningful for the rest of the game.
My knights and remaining nurgle warriors decimated the Ghouls, but didn’t quite wipe them out when the game ended.

To be fair, the end result was never much in doubt after Caratacus died and Jerroii completely stunk up his crumble rolls. Stuff of legend, right there. Into the Annals of the order of the Moon it goes: “Remember that time when we Frog-Scrolled that Ghoul King, killed it and his army crumbled so spectacularly? Good times.”

Of course, this being a campaign game, we had some dice rolls to make after the game was over. Most importantly, we needed to see if Jerroii would lose his banner completely. He didn’t, but was driven back a square and thus couldn’t claim a new tile this turn.

Next up were the injury rolls for our generals. Jerroii rolled first and got a 2, Captured! Huzzah, I captured the Ghoul King! (as an aside, this was the second of Jerroii’s Generals that had been captured this Campaign. And we’re only in the second turn!)

Then it was my turn. I rolled the dice and it came up a… 2! No! also Captured! Drats… So, instead of simply swapping generals (which I would have liked to do, obviously), we decided to play a special scenario to try and free our generals. We have no idea which scenario we’ll play, but we do know we’ll play it this Thursday! Any suggestions are welcome!

Finally, we rolled some unimpressive rolls on the Spoils of War and Ignominious Defeat tables. I rolled Elite army (which means I can spend 75% of my points on Special choices and 50% on Rare choices next time I use this army) and Jerroii rolled Under Strength. His unit of Blood Knight would only have 2 models next battle!

All in all, I was glad to win this battle and I am very glad my frog trick worked. Of course, now I’ve kinda pissed off Jerroii and I’m sure that trick will never work vs. him again! A challenging grudge match is looming!