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My friend and I headed up to the local shop the other day, 'The Adventurer's Guild' in Harrisburg PA, and played a pretty good game of fantasy. The shop's actually got a private gaming room, which we reserved and spent most of the time playing two notable battles. This is the first of them, and represents a 1,000pt clash of my High Elves against my friend's newly completed Vampire Counts. We've been playing eachother for a long time, and know what to expect in a game. So here it goes:
1,000pts. High Elves
Lvl 1 Mage w/ Staff of Sorcery (high magic/ Curse of Arrow Attraction)
Lvl 1 Mage w/ Annulian Crystal (lore of beasts w/ Oxen Stands)
21 Lothern Seaguard w/ warbanner
6 Dragon Princes w/ the Lion Standard
5 Ellyrion Reavers w/ musician
1 Repeater Bolt Thrower
1,000pts Vampire Counts
1 Flying Vampire w/ Heavy Armor, 2 Handweapons, Flying
10 Grave Guard
The table was set with a hill in each corner. Across the center was a line of terrain. One foot in from the western edge (my left) was a tall building, 3 inches in from that was a large copse of trees. Just outside the treeline was a small house. There was another copse of trees roughly a foot away from the small house, leaving a gap in the center of the table. There was about 1.5 feet of empty space between this final wood and the eastern/right edge of the board.
I deployed my army in a line, 6in in from the back edge of the table. My SeaGuard formed up with the High Magic mage. They were deployed in two ranks of 11 to maximize shooting before reforming to 7x3. The Ellyrions covered the SGs left flank, and the RBT was assembled on their right, guarding the clearing and the open right edge of the board, but placing the trees directly infront of it to slow down attackers. The Dragon Princes stayed slightly behind the machine, ready to charge anything operating on the right flank, or use the RBT as bait and lure the Vampire into a position to charge it.
The vampires deployed with the zombies front and center, to shield the Grave Guard directly behind them. The skeletons formed up on the flanks, and the Corpse Card was center-rear. The Vampire stood in the middle of the army. The ghouls took up a position behind the skeletons on the right, prepared [I later learned] to move around the skeletons to a position inside the army to guard the flanks of the GG.
Saorir looked surveyed his lines, ensuring that everything was in place. The Seagaurd had formed up protectively around him, and he felt a small twinge of anxiety as he heard the subtle clinking of their armor and weapons around him. He had no such protection, and yet he was front and center of the regiment. He reigned in his fear however, knowing that the greater terror of the ranks of shambling undead lay before him. The tiny imperial homestead infront of him was shrouded with mists, but his keen eye could make out the forms of the undead army. They were too far away for anything to attack but the bolt thrower, who’s volley of shots turned the front rank of zombies to dust.
The shots did not stop their creeping advance, and the phalanx of bone and rotting flesh came on slowly. There were sudden eddies in the winds of magic, casters calling upon their dark arts to reanimate their fallen warriors. Saorir and his ally Coryn calmed the disruptions with ease.
(the Undead advance, and the elves remain in place, firing the RBT at the zombies, killing 5. The elves have the first turn)
All around Saorir, the SeaGaurd began moving forward. As they unslung their bows, the dragon princes galloped past, vanishing into the thicket of woods directly ahead of the bolt thrower. Saorir attempted to cast Curse of Arrow Attraction on the band of zombies, but the jostling and the commanding shouts of the seaguard prevented him from preparing it. He was relieved to see that the guard were excellent shots, and as another half dozen zombies fell dully to the grass, Saorir breathed a sigh of relief. The bolt thrower took on the air of a careful artist, firing a volley between the packed ranks of zombies and skeletons, and hitting the ghouls in the second rank. Four of the disgusting cannibals fell to the ground, red-fletched shafts protruding from their bodies.
Once again, the precise volleys of shots did little to slow the horde, they moved along slowly, despite the heavy losses to missile fire- their general must not have been alongside them. The zombies shuffled forward through the narrow yard of the house, and as the skeletons behind them angled inwards to move around the house, Saorir realized that there was an opportunity to save his elven comrades. As the seaguard stood and retrieved their spears, he knew that he would have to act as soon as possible to make it work. The vampire burst into sight, making a swift flight behind the tower. Saorir was puzzled by this, was the vampire trying to avoid the battle? His attentions were once against drawn to the meddling Necromancers, who were once again thwarted in their attempts to reanimate their fallen.
(the Seagaurd advance, as do the Dragon Princes. Shots from the LSGs hit and slay 6 zombies, leaving the unit at 9. The RBT fires and kills 4 of the Ghouls. The vampire hides behind the large building, and the rest of his army advances)
Saorir urged the Seagaurd into movement. They rushed to fill the space between the building and the trees, creating a defensive line that would prove difficult to overwhelm. The Ellyrian Reavers advanced, moving to position themselves to charge through the only small gap between the ranks of spears, and the tiny house. The crew of the bolt thrower was left without a target, their deadly machine pointed at the backs of their Sea Guard comrades. The two crewmen quickly lifted the lightweight machine and repositioned it a few paces to the right. Saorir was frustrated that his magic was so ineffective, this time the Necromancers barely managed to halt his spell. The bolt thrower crew reassembled their weapon as the Sea Guard caught their breath after the brisk march.
The reeking corpses of the enemy lurched forward, their rusted weapons looking more and more formidable every minute. They were being pressed into the small yard however, and it was reassuring to know that their numbers would not be brought to bear fully. A unit of skeletons moved forward however, and attempted to block the path out of the woods. The vampire was even more confusing, remaining behind the wood. There was a powerful draw on the winds of magic however, and Saorir felt a spell suddenly form and dissipate, a failed casting by the vampire, attempting to raise spirits ahead of his army.
(the SGs march to cover the ground between the house and the woods, catching the undead in a funnel that they can’t maneuver out of. To complete the block, the Dragon Princes move into the trees, blocking anything from moving in, and scaring anything that moves too close. The vampire army advances, single mindedly. The +2 to my dispel attempts is keeping them from bulking their numbers)
The seagaurd prepared their bows once again, while the Ellyrian reavers changed their formation to ensure that they would fit through the gap. The Dragon Princes waited, looking to see if the skeletons would attempt to press into the wood, or if a flank charge would be possible against the GraveGaurd following behind the zombies. The seaguard loosed their arrows and killed four of the skeletons maneuvering around the building. The Bolt Thrower fired a volley and caught three of the grave guard, punching the heavy armored undead from their feet.
The zombie unit was unceasing, their rotting feet carrying them along towards their doom on the spears of the Guard. The rest of their army vied for position behind them, prepared to drag themselves unthinkingly through the scattered remnants of their fallen comrades. The skeletons by the wood waited patiently, standing silent and unmoving. The ghouls moved in to cover the Grave Guard’s flanks, hoping to deter the Dragon Princes from charging out of their tree line. Once more the vampire tried to raise spirits, and failed. The Necromancers spells were turned away by the elven mages.
(the SGs kill 4 skeletons. I knew that the zombies were no match for my SGs, and that as long as they were in the front, they tied up the entire remaining portion of the army, so it was becoming more important to thin down the other units behind them. The VC army could only advance into my withering shooting- their magic was incapable of breaching my defenses, and their general was too far away to let the Zombies march into combat)
The Sea Guard prepared to fire another volley of shots into the skeletons, and were suddenly surprised by the sounds of breaking sticks and snorting horses. The Dragon Princes burst from the wood ahead of them and smashed into the injured unit of Ghouls. The Bolt Thrower fired another volley into the Grave Guard, killing just 1 of the elite warriors. The SeaGaurd fired a lethal volley into the skeletons and slew 6 of the skeletons by the building- a great success compared to the ailing Bolt Thrower.
In combat, the razor sharp lances of the Dragon Princes, and the silver-shod hooves of the steeds slew the reeking ghouls to a man. The strength of the charge carried the knights through the line and put them just behind the horror that was the corpse cart.
Saorir watched the zombies suddenly raise their weapons and move hastily towards the line of his Sea Guard. Caught off guard, his unit panicked and only managed to lower their spears. Saorir could feel their fear in the wind of magic, it also registered around him, shifting eyes and white knuckles against the dark wood of the spears. Luckily the zombies were too far away, and resumed their shuffling pace. The elves made wry jokes about their would-be assailants, dissipating the fear that had gripped their hearts. The laughter did not stop the rest of the undead though, as they advanced into the yard. Most terrifying was the charge of the Vampire.
The beast soared over the top of the tower and made to assault the Ellyrians. They fled, prepared to leave the beast open to the ravages of the bolt thrower, and their counter charge. The creature diverted itself however, and ran them down. Behind him, Saorir could hear the clash of blades, cries of the men and the blood-chilling screams of the horses as the vampire tore through them with it’s deadly claws. He cautioned his men not to look behind them to survey the carnage. He could hear the warriors around him whispering about the power of such a monstrosity, and the folly of coming to face the very champion of Death.
Worse yet, the necromancers successfully raised two of their Grave Guard servants.
(The seagaurd fire on the skeletons yet again, bringing the unit to half strength. The Bolt Thrower kills 1 grave guard. The zombies fail a charge against the Sea Guard, who also fail their fear test and cannot therefore stand and shoot. The Dragon Princes massacre the Ghouls however and overrun to a position behind the lines. The vampire declares a charge against the Reavers, who elect to flee. The vampire runs them down however, and is now behind the Elven line. The Necromancers raised the GG unit, refusing to let the most expensive unit in the game drop below half)
Saorir watched the seaguard around him fire another volley into the skeletons. Far away, the Dragon Princes wheeled behind the Undead army. Saorir realized that if the Vampire did not attack the bolt thrower, Saorir and the Guard would be alone against his wrath.
The zombies were in range now, and with a warcry of creaking flesh and screeching rats, the unit lurched towards the seagaurd. The vampire bellowed his own battle cry and raced into the back rank of the unit. The guard shot down the zombies, and turned to face the vampire’s fury.
Spells burst overhead, turned away by the elven mages. The great bell atop the corpse cart tolled, giving the vampire the strength he needed to make an attack, but it was silenced with hasty words from Saorir’s own lips. Nonetheless the Vampire’s deadly assault was only momentarily stalled by one of the spears or blades presented, scoring a wound against his form. The warriors around him cleared the way, and his enraged swings fell only one of the brave elves.
The Saorir watched the vampire looming over the wounded elf. The beast suddenly looked up at him with it’s blood red eyes. As Saorir watched, the eyes grew steadily dull, and the vampire’s body grew thin and unstable. Suddenly the beast turned to a ball of vapor and streaked past, fleeing away and leaving his minions to their fates.
(The seagaurd shoot more skeletons, keeping them below half strength. The vampire and zombies charge the Sea Guard, from the front and rear. The elves stick it out, and shoot several of the zombies and kill the rest. They also score a wound on the vampire. The vampire kills only one of the elves in return. Combat resolution proved to be enough to wound the score the final wound against the vampire, and slew him)
As the vampire flew past, the necromancers quickly turned and fled along behind him, leaving their warriors to crumble. The gaurds moved to help their wounded comrade, and Saorir loosed one of his prize hawks to return a message to his superiors. One of those Necromancers had looked like a darkelf, and the grave guard wore ancient suits of elven armor. It seemed that somewhere, Saorir’s dark kin had made a pact with these undead creatures. He had narrowly driven off this force, and they would be returning with more strength soon. He would need reinforcements.
(The result of the battle was a marginal victory, with a unit of skeletons below half strength, a unit of zombies dead, the general dead, and a unit of ghouls slain as well, all for the price of one unit of Ellyrian Reavers)
Very nice story here. Not much combat going on, just a lot of shooting, but you describe it well.
One minor rules quibble though. I don't think you can fail a fear test against a unit that is out of charge range. You should have still been able to stand and shoot.
I am right 94% of the time, why worry about the other 3%.
I am surprised it only came out as a minor victory, the HE seemed to be very dominant. But without any really devastating combats I guess not much damage was done to either side.
It's true- there weren't any devastating, bone-crunching combats, and alot of my games tend to go that way. I'm sorry that all I could do was describe a 6-turn shooting gallery, but that's what it was.
I play conservatively, and i HATE losing even a single model to my enemy. I could have pressed forward and struck into his horde with my cavalry, but my army was tiny compared to his, and it was more important for me to hold a steady line and kill off as many units as I could without losing my own men. So while yes, I did dominate in EVERY phase of the game, the one phase where he had me was the metagame: he had more foes to throw at me than i could hope the overcome.
That actually gave the battle a very close feel for me though, because I knew that if my fragile line of Seagaurd was forced to take even a single step out of that yard, or if they were destroyed, the game was over in an instant.
Thanks all for the support- i'll try to keep writing down reports of memorable battles. Special thanks to Allonaire for the Rep.
In my opinion i think HE are the most versatile, best looking than all the other armies...
I have been playing HE for years and with a lot of different people and have one question. The +2 to dispel that he describes gives +1 per mage does this indeed stack? In 4 years of playing them and playing with loads of people this never came up we have only added one even with the new rule book we have never added more than +1 total regardless of the number of mages. Would someone mind clarifying this for me? Thanks Guys
It comes from the staff of sorcery on one of his mages.
+1 for being High elf, +1 for staff of sorcery.
I wish it was +1 per mage then High Elves really would have awesome magical defence.
Like they need even more magical defence . try playing WE those guys could really use some.