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So, in order to celebrate the completion of the remodeling of my basement, I had some friends over to stay the night and play a truly massive game of warhammer. As the title implies, we played WHFB for the better part of 2 days, only stopping occasionally to play Gears of War 2, go out to eat once, and sleep for a few hours. We all had a great time, and the game was extremely enjoyable.The rest of the report will be written as a narrative, as I cannot recall all of the details from such a long battle- especially when I spent much of the time deprived of sleep. However, I feel that the battle is best described as a narrative anyways, because we played it with a very “fluffy” feel to it, and even let some rules slide here and there to keep up the action. I will break the story into two sections, Day 1 and Day 2, and then break those into two sections. Day 1 will be ‘Noon’ and ‘Nightfall’ while Day 2 will have ‘Midnight’ and ‘Dawn’.Scenario: the Battle for Hannenberg
Overview: the farming town of Hannenberg is a staple of food production in the Borderprinces. As such, the small section of the valley has seen countless battles and changed hands several times, leading to the formation of numerous mass graves and burial plots. Now, a powerful army of vampires descends upon the town, in an attempt to steal it’s dead and form a legion on a scale that the world has not seen since the fall of Lahmia. A combined army of humans from the Empire and Brettonia have rallied at the town to drive the vampires away, so that they can ultimately destroy them.
Objective: The vampires are marching on the town center, particularly a small Inn, headquarters to the Human armies. If they can get a total of 50 models (raised zombies units do not count) within 3” of the Inn, they are assumed to be victorious. The humans must hold on for two nights, until the storm clouds pass and force the Vampires to retreat.
Deployment: The game was played on an 9’x 12’ section of floor, as though it were a table with short and long edges. The towncenter was located 2.5’ from the Human long edge, in the center. 2’ forward, and centered between the TC and the short edge, was a watchtower and small house. There are three gravesites, one in the bottom left corner, located 2’ from the long and short edges. There is another, located 3’ from the Watchtower, close to the center of the field. A third graveyard is located just outside of a small town, 3’ from the Vampire board edge, on the right side of the field.
The armies deploy on opposite long edges, 1’ in from edge. The brettonians may deploy their army on the left, short edge, but only 4.5’ from the human board edge (the friendly half). Humans may also deploy up to 1’ away from the tower or town center, just as vampires may deploy 1’ from the fallen town.
Rolling Assault- the Empire and Brettonian forces are marching into the town, the bulk of their armies are behind them. To represent this, they may constantly bring forces back onto the table, D3 turns after the unit is destroyed. They may begin in their deployment zones. The vampires may do the same, however, new units must return from captured Gravesites.
Gravesites and the Tower may be captured by having a US5 unit “flag it” during their turn. Once the site or tower is flagged, the unit may move away. If the site or towers fall to enemy hands, units cannot be deployed from them.
Night and Day- During the daylight hours, the armies of the vampires are weaker. The ranges for Necromancy Spells are halved, and units not led by Vampires are required to take Crumble tests. During the day, Human missileweapons are under the effects of ‘The Rain Lord’, due to the heavy thunderstorm covering the VC advance. At night, the Humans are fearful and blind. To represent this, they are at -1Ld, and must roll D6’s to determine the distance they can see to fire weapons or charge (we worked these distances out at home, but for now suffice to say that units often could not see out to their maximum range or charge-range without good dice rolls)
Killingfields- if a human regiment is destroyed or run down, place a ‘dead pile’ marker on the field with a tally of how many bodies were in the unit at the start of that close combat phase. These areas count as Gravesites for the vampires to return units of Zombies, Skeletons, or BlackKnights (if it was a cavalry unit), to a limit of the number of models slain. Alternatively, the Vampire player may add that number of models to a unit within 1’, with the successful casting of IoN.
Forces: the special rules may seem unfair at first, but realize that the Vampires are only the small beginning of a Horde, whereas the Humans have rallied a massive army in order to attack the Vampires before they become a true threat. The vampire force is 6K, against 9K of Humans.Day 1- NoonJohann peered out through the grimy window of the town’s tavern. Storm clouds were gathering to the south, mingling with the lazy black smoke that billowed up from the spot where the town of Calloun had stood until just before dawn. Now it was in the hands of Chatould and his mysterious ally Kael the Fey, rumored to be a fallen High Elf. The shadows in the valley deepened under the storm, and it was moving unnaturally fast. Soon the first drops of rain pattered against the tavern roof and trickled over the window.
A soaked and bloodied Pistolier in full armor burst into the tavern, “The Undead are on the move!” he cried.
The town bell clanged overhead as Johann and his crew raced for their guns just outside of town. The bell was muffled and distant, for the rain had become a torrential downpour within minutes. The crew next him was unable to fire their massive cannon as the powder was wetted inside the barrel. Johann’s gun went off without fail, the heavy leaden ball sending up a plume of dirt several hundred yard away. That was their range.
Their leader, an engineer of Nuln, rode up on his mechanical steed and drew out a long spyglass. He wiped the lense, peered through it for a while, and raised his saber. “At my order!” he shouted over the pelting rain. “FIRE AT WILL!”
The guns thundered up and down the line and Johann watched with confidence as they slammed into the undead ranks. He knew that there must have been untold carnage within the enemy. But the mindless hordes were not slowed, and continued plodding forward through the mud. As they fired another volley, he saw the full extent of the horde, and when their gun jammed on fouled powder, his hands shook while clearing the barrel.
Further down the valley he could see regiments of Brettonian Men at Arms marshalling outside the watchtower where they’d made camp. A few imperials were there, overeeing General Seitz’s orders. Outriders and Pistoliers mostly, waiting for the Knights to sally out from their tents. The undead moved to occupy the burial sites scattered within the valley, a contingent of them moving off to engage the men around the tower.
Knights rode by his position on clattering, plate-armored steeds, as brettonians attacked from their camp to the west. The garrison at the Tower could not be allowed to fall, and the master Engineer ordered that the guns fire at the double, to aid the beleagured Bretons.
In front of Johann’s guns, more men of the Empire were drawing up battle lines and preparing their own defenses. A greater distance away, the Knights riding for the tower were intercepted by a wave of shambling zombies. The men fought desperately to cut their way through to the objective, but the advantage of numbers was against them, and they were bogged down by the slavering cadavers.
A mortar beside him exploded in a great fireball, razor splinters of wood and metal disemboweling one of the crew and setting another man alight even in the heavy rain. The third man was nowhere to be found, and Johann shuddered to think of what his fate must have been. Finally the screams died down, but the surviving men around Johann were still on edge from their first scene of bloodshed in the day.
A swirling melee erupted briefly in a copse of trees, where a larger regiment of Imperial Huntsmen had been laying in ambush. The vampires had moved their force around the trees, sending a large mob of zombies into the brush to push the huntsmen out. Packs of grisly Hounds were sent in to break the fight, the huntsmen becoming the Hunted as the undead beasts pursued them through the trees and ran them down in the fields beyond.
More ammunition was brought forward from the van as the heavy batteries of cannon continued to fire. Below him, the brettonian archers were setting stakes and preparing vats of burning pitch for arrows. Johann hoped that the battle would not reach this far, but the Undead advance seemed unstoppable...
(we broke for dinner at this point, going out to a local diner for food and more smack talk. Thus far, the Vampire forces had taken only light casualties, taking the westernmost graveyard without a fight. The central gravesite had been contested by Imperial cavalry, but they were met with waves of summoned zombies, and eventually overwhelmed. A battle then broke out in the 3’ range between the Tower and graveyard. The humans were confident, as their forces had been defeating the waves of zombies sent from the graveyard)Day1- Nightfall
Alexadre growled as another wave of blue-shafted arrows clattered into the skeletons who shielded him from their sting. He bellowed the ancient curse which knit bone to bone and his minions rattled back their feet, their rusted armor and corroded weapons clanking as he marched across the churned earth for the second time. Zombies crawled all around him, spasming as he ceased refocused his mind to the regiments which still moved foward, milling together like decrepit lynch mobs. He ignored the pelting rain that soaked through his armor and matted his fine hair to his scalp. It was playing havoc with the imperial rifles arrayed along the stone fence that had become his battalion’s high-water mark. It seemed that every time he arrived there, a handful of Knight regiments would thunder down from the western wall of the valley, and crash into his men. Even now he could feel the ground begin to shake with their hooves.
With a mental effort, he forced a regiment of zombies ahead of him to charge into the handgunners on the wall. They fled as their detachments poured gunfire into the shambling creatures. Over half a dozen of the drooling minions fell to the ground, and the weakening rays of the sun felled the rest of the unit. Alexandre cursed and peered back at the pale orb, feeling it’s own hateful glare singe the flesh on his face. He plucked one of the crawling, screaming Brettonians from ground at his feet, revitalizing his skin in a welter of the unfortunate’s gore. The blood of the wounded was always so much fresher than that of the dead.
Knights suddenly burst through the gap created by the fleeing gunners at the fence. Alexandre bellowed with rage when he saw that they were targeting a regiment of his skeletons. Such warriors were irreplaceable, unlike the waves of zombies that he had been conjuring. The knights charge failed to destroy the regiment, and Alexandre partially refilled the ranks with black magic. The knights only served to exhaust his attacks, occasionally forcing him to leave his unit and retreat. At those times, Chatould and Christobel would ruefully shield him from the attentions of the enemy wizards and damsals. The last time, one of them had managed to nearly cook him in his own armor, and has had to drag his burnt and steaming body back into the graveyard to recuperate.
A regiment of knights was plunging through the zombies ahead of him even now, and he fled the cover of his Skeletons just in time. The heavily armored juggernauts slammed into the wall of bone, and Alexandre raced away before they could break through. Fresh units of skeletons had formed again atop the burial mound, and he rushed towards them. Lightning bolts and fires were turned aside as he ran alone across the muddy ground.
This time he raised zombies far to his left flank, and then used his unholy knowledge to speed their movement around towards the rear of the tower. He was tiring of frontal assaults. Magic, and the line of zombies and skeletons had defeated the knights, but he could not press them forwards from here. He trudged back towards the stone wall, raising more and more zombies to his left, even as he filled the ranks ahead of him.
The brettons at the foot of the tower realized his plot, but it was too late. Their Knights would not return in time to outrun the sea of zombies forming on the far side of the tower. The archers and gunners, and the small regiment of spears would have to finally face Alexadnre’s wrath, the hungry maws of his zombies, and the merciless butchery of his skeletons.
The two lines did not meet with a crash of armor and steel, but the wet thuds of swords into rotted flesh, and the screams of fearful and dying humans. The zombies forced their way over the walls, choking the regiments on the other side in a sea of decomposing bodies. As the humans fell lifeless to the dirt, Alexandre did not hesitate to revivify his former foes, and turn the empty shells of their bodies back against their friends.
He himself met in battle with the spearmen. In a selfless act to spare his men, the regiment’s sergeant challenged him to a duel. Alexandre accepted and cut the man down as though he were a mere child, while his skeletons fell upon the regiment with their rusted scimitars and axes. The spearmen wavered, looked to their defeated sergeant for inspiration, and fled in despair. Alexandre motioned his skeletons forward with a sweep of his blade, and he ran down the last of the spears in an orgy of feeding. Looking up from his meal, his saw two of his shambling zombies tear down the imperial flag from atop the tower, leaving the flag pole to stand like a splintered, naked bone in the welcomed moonlight.
(At the end of day one, we all headed off to bed. We all slept in sleeping bags close enough to see the models arrayed on the floor. I think every one of us fell asleep with plans for how to claim victory running through our minds, but we were all too tired for the excitement to keep us up. The Vampires had claimed the 3 gravesites, and finally defeated the forces at the tower by surrounding it with over 100 zombies. 1 Vampire hero lay dead, at the price of 3 Human heroes. A handful of cannon and mortars had misfired, but could not re-spawn until their entire battery had fallen (we were playing with the Legendary Battle rules). The human players had been confident at dinner, but were beginning to feel that perhaps this truly was an even match, even with the difference in points)
Day 2- Midnight
Johann returned to his gun after a brief rest by the caissons. He and his crew had hitched a ride on a powder wagon and climbed off into the wet grass. The valley below was shrouded in darkness. Occasionally a soldier or two would return from the battle, always wounded, sometimes helping a comrade along with them. The cannons had been firing for so long that they had worn ruts into the ground. Many had jammed or exploded, as the constant barrage was too much for the brass of their barrels. Johann strained his eyes to see through the darkness. Dots of torches lit the battle line below him, and fires burned where the men at the tower had finally given way. The brettonian forces who had remained along the western edge of the field raced back towards the lines, leaving their hopeless peasants behind to block the pursuit of the wolves and Black Knights who followed. Now the whole of the army was arranged infront of them, with more arriving from the rear. Johann wondered why the men were forming up in the streets of the town, rather than infront of his guns with the others. One of the veterans told him that it had something to do with the fact that a first line never held. A few guns roared, and every so often, flaming arrows would launch out from the brettonian archers, at targets that may have been real, but were likely only imagined.
Christobel sat atop her charger in the midst of the skeleton unit that she had joined with. Even in the darkness, her eyes could see the ranks of nervous humans arrayed ahead of her. Chatould walked up beside her. His armor was muddy and streaked with blood. His dragon had been greatly damaged by a cannonball, and he had ordered it to leave him and return to a safer location. Now he continued the battle from afoot.
“They are packed close- to prevent flanking charges” she said to him quietly. A solitary cannonball whistled overhead and splattered into the mud behind the army.
“They seek to slow us, by making our armies grind through them. They are hoping to outlast the night.”
A volley of arrows sailed overhead, and Christobel sensed the destruction of several skeletons. She turned and saw that another regiment had made it’s way up from the graveyard. They had been waiting for more of their army to fill out, and for Alexandre to bring up the regiments he had been using in the battle around the tower. Kael had demanded this ferverently. He had seen that they were already outnumbered, and did not wish to press an attack without a full army. He had been raising large units of Zombies and filling the ranks of his skeletons. He had taken moderate losses due to cavalry charges from the town.
“I am sounding the attack when Alexandre arrives, whether Kael feels confident or not” Chatould growled quietly.
“Of course Love,” Christobel replied calmly, “if we wait any longer, our forces will burn up in the dawn, or they will step a few feet ahead and shoot us to the ground”. To emphasize this, she ordered a handful of skeletons forward. A volley of rifle fire cut them down. She raised them back up almost without thinking.
The rain had stopped, and she could hear the feet of several warriors sloshing through the mud. Alexandre had arrived. As prisoners were mutilated across the undead battle line, a cacophony of screams sounded the attack.
Johann heard the screams and shivered. As he heard the rustle of rigored limbs and rusted wargear begin anew, he realized that they had been the signal for an attack. What kind of a heartless monster would give signals in such a way?
He was shaken from his thoughts by a volley of rifle fire. A red-hot line flashed, illuminating white smoke as the guns lashed out at the figures in the gloom. Several fell, but the shadow kept moving. A wave of skeletons stepped into the torchlight. It seemed as though it was a single regiment, there were no gaps. Another volley of fire thundered into the ranks of the undead, scything down even more, yet still not stopping them. Worse still- those who had fallen in the first volley were regaining their feet. The captain shouted for artillery, and Johann’s crew fired their cannon over the heads of their allies. The cannonballs carved furrows in the line, but nothing could halt these mindless undead. A mortar shell arced into the air, and fell disastrously amidst friendly lines, shrapnel tearing a gap in two regiments. One of them broke and fled past the guns, before being rallied by it’s sergeant and turned back towards the lines.
On the other flank of the army, another tidal wave of undead had emerged from the gloom- numberless zombies marched into the face of the brettonian section. Archers fired volley after volley but the zombies carried on, their ranks bristling with arrows which had had no effect on their decaying forms.
As the wave of Skeletons drew closer, Johann saw a heavily armored figure striding in their midst. The man seemed to turn his gaze directly to Johann, and the gunner felt as though his heart had frozen. He watched in TERROR as the Vampire drew out a longsword that shrieked with unearthly cries of pain. Regiments several yards away from him lost their nerve, and the imperial battle-line began to fall apart. Many regiments held fast though, enameled against the horror that the Vampire instilled. Another flash of rifle fire and cannon obscured the lines in smoke, but the skeletons burst through the clouds with unnatural speed, and the single regiment fell upon the entire flank of the Imperial line. Braying signaled the arrival of units of hounds on the extreme flanks, charging in and attacking the men even as they fought off the skeletons to their front.
The charge of the zombies was even more effective, sending several regiments of Brettons scrambling back towards the town in FEAR. The ringing of steel and the screaming of men echoed through the night as the two massive hordes engaged the wings of the Human lines.
Castille watched on with the same melancholy that he always exhibited in battle. He was sworn to his master’s side, and bonded by the ties of Undeath, but he had long since grown to despair of the butchering of humans. His station- he felt- was a regrettable one. But he held Chatould’s royal banner aloft, and signaled the advance of the vanguard of the legion. Regiments of Gravegaurd and cohorts of Black Knights surged forwards into the heart of the Human lines, engaging Flagellants, Greatswords, and a Grail Relique. Castille found himself face to face with a mob of screaming fanatics of the Imperium, proclaiming their own doom. From behind him, Christobel lent his Graveguard her incredible fighting prowess, and the banner carried by the skeleton beside him caught in an unnatural breeze that filled them all with hatred. Castille even caught the enchantment, and together, he and his greatsword armed cadre carved into the ranks of Flagellants.
On the opposite side of the main road, Kael’s personal bodyguard was doing the same thing against a unit of Greatswords who had been posted to the Brettonian lines. The regiment was broken in the first few seconds of combat, and fled back towards their allied. Kael’s man waved his banner aloft proudly, until a regiment of Grail Knights bore down upon him. The regiment around him dissolved, even the strong magics of the royal banner could not save them, and the vampire himself was skewered by a pair of lances. The knights continued forward, until they were headed off by a Varghulf and regiment of Black Knights, who cut the brave warriors down to the last. A trade off it seemed. And the bodies of fallen of both sides would only swell the ranks of the Undead.
The same tactic of mounted countercharge was repeated on a larger scale on the left flank. The entire brettonian line folded in the face of the zombie horde, either slain or simply panicked. Brettonian knights rode down into the zombies, and the mass charge of several regiments managed to anihilate the mass of living corpses. The charge carried onwards into the skeletons and zombies behind them, and Kael’s army suddenly ground to a halt. The work had been done however, for a gap had been created in the human’s first line of defense. Chatould’s army wheeled as quickly as they could and raced for the line. He left his thrall and the skeleton wave to occupy the enemy, knowing that cavalry might be coming soon to break them, but that until they got the rest of the legion through, he and Christobel could keep the numbers high.
As he and his Lady passed around the flank of the huge wall of skeletons, he met up with Castille, who had finally slain the last of the Flagellants. Chatould moved to join the man, feeling safer under the regenerative powers of the royal banner, and feeling his blood heated by the hatred instilled by the regiment’s standard. Christobel remained behind him, casting her magic into the regiments of undead, filling their ranks as the Humans strove to cut them down.
(a quarter of the night phase was taken up by the Vampire players waiting for their army to regroup. The night rules were playing havoc with the human shooting, who could only rarely fire. This meant that it was actually safe to sit about 1.5’ from the Human lines and wait for reinforcements from the graveyards and for the other regiments to catch up. The human players defense plan was to keep the original defense line, and send the fresh regiments into a second line at the town fence, and then to fill the side streets with units to tie up the attackers in chokepoints and slow them down. The vampires attacked with a large unit of skeletons and a terror-causing vampire, and a large regiment of zombies, with over 100 in each, to tie up and break the human flanks, while the rest of the army went up the middle, casualties this phase were high for the humans, the Vampires lost only 1 character and a unit of Grave Guard)Day 2- DawnJohann was completely separated from his crew and their gun. They had remained on the cannon, firing it into the waves of the undead that were not engaged against their allies and comrades, but when the flank folded and a large regiment of swordsmen fled through their gunline, he and many of his fellow artillerymen abandoned their guns and ran along with them, swept up in the route. A few brave souls had stayed behind, and Johann heard the sounds of the cannon shot finally change to grape, and then fall silent as the crews were overrun by the skeleton horde. Ahead of him, at the top of the small rise, Johann could see the Imperial and Bretton forces lined across the low walls of the town. Rifles and arrows bristled, all pointing menacingly towards him. A few of the spear regiments rallied at the sight of the guns, and turned around to hold of the skeletons for a while longer. Johann kept running though, he could see the undead horde racing behind him, their leaders instilling their will to make them faster. Much of the cavalry had already charged over the fences, and now any undead to make it through would be fighting spears and swordsmen over the fence. The gate was blocked by a large unit of the crazed Flagellants, with two units of brave mercenaries and militia positioned to hold them back. Ghostly figures glided past him, ignoring him in his flight. The handgunners fired into them, and archers fired into them, but the shots when straight through. The Wraiths collided with the regiments at the wall, and their unearthly chilling blades stole the life-force of all that they touched. The ghosts routed regiments before them, opening gaps in the line. One regiment held though, led by a brave captain who’s enchanted sword was able to banish the ghosts. The ghosts engaging his regiment vanished into the air, their disembodied shrieks the only reminder that they had been there. The ghosts continued left and right, striking units down from the fences until mages and wizards could finally banish them from the battlefield.
Johann leapt through one of the gaps, joining a regiment of riflemen in flight. They fled through the streets until they were halted by the Imperial commander and the army standard.
“Turn around you cowards! Can you not see that the sun is rising?! Take up arms against these beasts and hold for a while longer!” the grizzled general Seitz called out.
At the fences, regiments were holding off the ranks of undead, even though much of the army was panicking and retreating before the onslaught.
“Stand and fight! Stand and fight! Until Dawn!” the standard bearer was screaming. A sergeant came and handed Johann a rifle. It was smeared with blood.
“Get back to the fighting man, get in the ranks!” the sergeant kicked him and shoved him back into formation with the rest of the regiment. Johann tried to protest that he didn’t know anything about the rifle or rifle drill, but the sergeant ignored him. The regiment formed up in a sidestreet, overlooking the main street. Johann heard the clatter of artillery wheels on the cobbles, and saw two Helblaster Volley guns being rolled into position, one across the alley from him, and another on the steps in front of the Inn that was serving as headquarters. In the alley across the street, there was a regiment of Freecompany, serving as a detachment for the general’s regiment of Greatswordsmen.
Through the gunsmoke in the town, a regiment of cruel looking skeletons appeared, wearing ornate garb of tall, pointed helms and flowing robes of scale armor. They must have been elves in their past life. The vampire leading them must have been none other than Kael the Fey.
“FIRE” the sergeant screamed, and the men around Johann discharged a volley of shots into the regiment of skeletons. Johann realized that the gun had been handed to him without a shot in it. He hurried to reload it along with the rest of the men. Suddenly the General’s regiment went racing by, yelling a battlecry and charging for the once-elves. The battle met and the greatswords fought hard. Arcs of weapons and gore could be seen above the two regiments, and the screams of men and the bellowing roars of the vampires could be heard in the street. It seemed that General Seitz had challenged the vampire. The two generals traded blows faster than Johann could see, and suddenly Seitz lay in two pieces on the ground. But not without severely wounding the vampire. The vampire’s bodyguard also came through the fight very battered, but still drove off the Greatswords. They fled, and the Vampire and Graveguard ran them down.
The battered regiment of undead warriors stood in the street, and the vampire bellowed a challenge to all who could hear him. He was met with the rattling volley of fire from both Helblasters. The gun across the street however malfunctioned, discharging all of it’s rounds and exploding. Johann didn’t care- he cheered triumphantly to see that when the smoke cleared, the undead lay scattered in the road, and did not get back up. All around the battlefield, regiments of undead began to crumble. Imperial and Breton soldiers who had been barely holding out against the relentless waves of skeletons and zombies, began to shift the tides as the army crumbled before them.
For Johann, victory was brief. A fresh regiment of skeletons appeared, this time armored just as ornately, but not of Elven origin. These warriors were not crumbling, and two vampires stood at their head. A great banner flowed in the wind, a massive black dragon clutching an inverted sword, on a field of blue and red, proclaimed a fallen son of Coroune. Chatould had arrived- the true leader of the invasion. His personal champion, Castille, bore the banner, and around him- the skeletal veterans of a half dozen crusades prepared to carve their way to the headquarters. If they arrived, they would surely butcher everyone inside. The helblaster roared to life again, but the bullets had little effect against the regiment, powerful enchantments of the banners keeping them intact despite massive damage from the warmachine. Johann’s regiment added it’s weight to another volley, and although this time they felled more skeletons, they did not stop the regiment.
The sergeant ordered the rifles into the street, and Johann was caught in the elbows and riflebarrels and carried out into the road with them. He stood in the pile of bones from Kael’s fallen warriors. He could see the body of General Seitz laying in a pool of blood further down the road, and the mutilated bodies of the greatsword retinue. The army banner lay trampled in the gore that filled the streets. The dessicated bodies of the Helblaster crew lay like bloody rags in the alley. Most of the men around Johann were wounded, tired, exhausted, and utterly afraid. Behind Chatould stood 3 ranks of elite undead, all ready to kill. Behind that stood his bride, the cruel and twisted Lady Christobel, possessed of dark and sinister beauty, maintained by her diet on the young and the innocent. Behind her was the legion of Chatould, the Blood Prince, the Nightmare of Araby. Johann struggled to reload, he dropped the ball, and the ramrod slipped from his fingers.
“Fix bayonettes!” the sergeant cried. There was a rattling of gear, and soon every rifle save Johann’s was tipped with a foot of glinting steel. The regiment fired a volley, with the helblaster behind it adding to it. More skeletons crumpled, but so many rose back up. With a fearsome roar, Chatould charged. The militia still in the side alley countercharged, smashing into Chatould’s flank. It was not enough to save the hangunners. Johann was spattered with gore as the men around him were cut down by the greatweapons. The sergeant had both arms taken off by a swing, before Castille ran him to the ground with a long blade. Johann closed his eyes and tried to run, but he tripped backwards over something. Opening his eyes he saw pale skin and a bloodspattered face. An open mouth revealed 2 inch long fangs, wet with gore. He had tripped over Kael’s body. The regiments of militia gunners were both dead. A man crawled back towards him, out of the carnage, streaked with blood. Johann watched as Chatould decapitated the man with a flick of his wrist, and then bore down on Johann himself. He reached for his rifle, and pulled the trigger at the enormous vampire looming over him, but it was useless- he had failed to reload it. He was going to die.
But just then Chatould looked up. Following his gaze, Johann saw that the sun was rising over the tops of the mountains. With a hiss, Chatould retreated back through the ranks of his skeletons. Castille followed after him, and the two of them became clouds of vapor that flew through the air like streaks, back towards safety and shelter from the sun. Without the vampires, the undead army fell apart, skeletons clattered to the ground and zombies fell where they stood. Ghosts and wraiths scattered with the breeze. The stormclouds were gone, and although the valley below was ran with mud and churned earth, and was choked with broken bodies, the sky above was the most beautiful that Johann had ever seen.
The battle ended with Kael dead. Much of his army crumbled, and that left units open to flank Chatould’s forces and tie them up. This meant that he had fewer options for units to push into the Inn. Kael had killed the Empire general in a challenge however, and much of the road to the Inn was clear. The handgunners had formed as a last resort choke-point to keep Chatould’s regiment from Vanhelling its way to the doors and clearing the rest of the path.
In reality, the Johann character was a member of a cannon crew that was in the same spot the whole time. When the crew broke and ran, it fled off the table. I just kept the character of Johann alive for the sake of the narrative.
That was great. I like how you turned into into a story.
Great battlereport, cool story. Rep for you!
Do you have any foto's of the battle by the way?
Dont anger the dragon, he'll let it rain on you all day long. :P
I'm surprised anyone read the wall of text. I was trying to keep each chapter in separate posts, and then hyperlink to them so that people could pick up at individual chapters. But instead, I wound up with a wall of text.
Unfortunately, the battle didn't look nearly as good as it reads. Only about about a third of the Vampire army was painted. The Empire was painted to an extent, as they are my personal army, bolstered by a friend's collection. The Brettons though are still in naked gray plastic. We barely even took the time to build our Fortified Manor kits, let alone paint them. Each of us bought one, in order to generate tons and tons of terrain at a low price. When they're painted I'll try to get a digital camera and showcase each of them.
On a field this large, we were playing with books for hills, paint-tubes for trees, garden rocks, and blue tape for features, all on a bare wooden floor.
One day I'll have a true table, worthy of photogenic reports!
I found I could not stop reading until I was done. As a VC player I was anxious to see whether the vampires would prevail.
I'm sorry that I had to disappoint you Dragorakiba, we came SO close to winning. However, the game was rigged from the beginning to be difficult for us, because the VC are just a tad bit unfair. Especially at such extreme range, where we can spend several turns raising huge legions of men.
It was still a great battle and I enjoyed it. Also I would have no reason to complain because I have not won any of my battles either. All of mine have either been a loss or a tie because we could not finish. i am sure that the undead will triumph soon though.