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Grey Seer with dispel scroll and 4+ ward
Warlock with doom rocket
Warlock with nothing
Battle Standard Bearer
Priest on furnace + 36 Monks
59 slaves + musician
59 slaves + musician
45 clanrats with FC, spears and shields + ratling gun
Hell Pit Abomination
Warp Lightning Cannon
High Elves + Wood Elves
Lord with lance and 5+ ward on a Moon Dragon
Level 2 mage on barded steed
5 Dragon Princes
Surprisingly, the elves had absolutely no shooting. They normally take several bolt throwers and tons of archers, which do quite a lot of damage, so I thought this match would be a fairly easy one to win.
I deployed the cannon on a hill at the back. The western flank was guarded by my Doomwheel as that's where he deployed his Dragon. The Dragon Princes were also deployed to the west. The Abomination was the opposite side of the board. We both arrayed a pretty standard battle-line. I managed to get the monks opposite the swordmasters. The Seer was in the clanrats and positioned so that everyone who needed it could benefit from his Ld. The BSB hid at the rear of the army.
High Elf 1:
The dragon and Dragon Princes took the Western flank, while the rest of the army marched straight forwards. The mage cast Flames of the Phoenix which was dispelled, but Fury of Khaine slew 6 slaves and he augented the Swordmasters with the impenetrable Shield of Saphery.
The Abomination crashed through the forest, which turned out to be non-mystical. The Wheel pivoted and trundled towards the dragon, ending up in a perfect position, while the rest of the battleline remained motionless in anticipation of the forthcoming barrage of sorcerous artillery. However, the winds of magic blew feebly and with 4 PD vs 4 DD, no spells got through. The Grey Seer chose not to use his warpstone tokens just yet.
With a terrified shriek, one of the warlocks blasted the infernal Doom Rocket towards the large unit of spear-elves, and the blast clipped the front of them, killing 16, to a cacophony of chittering cheers. The ratling gun attempted to contribute to the carnage but rolled snake-eyes on the first two dice. Fortunately it did not explode.
Finally, the heavy artillery exploded into action, only for the cannon’s corrosive blast of energy to dissipate into nothing at the feet of the Treeman, and the Doomwheel rolled S2 for its lightning blasts, failing to do any damage to the dragon. Disastrous deployment on the part of the High Elves went infuriatingly unpunished due to this calamitous roll.
High Elves 2:
The dryads skipped speedily away from the clutches of the Abomination. With a snarl the Prince spurred his mount onwards and crashed into the Doomwheel, causing 3 wounds and suffering none in return. The Wheel high-tailed it in the opposite direction, and was fortunate to escape complete destruction. Emboldened by the victory, and seeing the chance for an easy kill, the mage blasted the lone warlock with his magical missile. Deviously, the Seer chose to conserve his energy and watched his brother consumed by overwhelming energy. Little did the mage know the warlock was only a decoy. He also attempted the Phoenix spell but this was now nullified with ease by the cackling Seer.
The plague monks advanced, frothing and wailing. The Wheel rallied, and was thus unable to shoot this turn, and the Seer quickly slipped out of his unit and took refuge behind the battle line, wary of a charge next turn which could spell his demise. This time, the winds of magic blew strongly and the plague priest launched a gout of noxious warp-energy towards the swordmasters. This only succeeded in killing two. The Seer thrust a wrinkled paw towards the spearmen and summoned a vortex of verminous flame in their midst. However, his Scorch spell was misjudged and he cast it with IR. He slew 8 spear-elves, but the resultant S10 blast left the ratling gun and two plague monks no more than ominous stains on the battlefield. He himself escaped unscathed due to his powerful 4+ ward.
The plague monks swung their great censer ferociously and the vapours billowed towards the swordmasters, killing another two. In what would prove to be a display of characteristic incompetence, the cannon misfired, but rolled a 6 on the chart so suffered no lasting effects.
High Elf 3:
The dryads inexplicably changed direction and ran into the forest, behind the Abomination. The dragon charged the wheel once more. The Wheel was smashed to pieces and the dragon overran, but fell short of the main Skaven lines. The rag-tag remains on the spear-elves (barely two ranks) launched themselves into the slaves guarding the Western flank. They proved more than a match for the weakly rats, though, and butchered 12 with ease, suffering 3 losses in return. The slaves were stubborn and held fast, but the smirking Seer could not envision the elves putting up much more of a fight. His ill-founded confidence was only reinforced when he witnessed the swordmasters foolishly charging head-on into the plague monks, supported by a flank charge from the mighty treeman. Before even a single blow was struck, 5 of the shimmering warriors collapsed in agony, slain by the deadly fumes. Although the combined forces of the High and Wood Elves hacked fifteen monks to pieces, the monks took notice, and hit back with unimaginable fury. Chanting their obscene ritual under the foul gaze of their Plague Banner, their onslaught slew 14 swordmasters, and the deadly censer crushed the remaining 2. Stubborn to the last, the treeman did not flee, though perhaps his oaken heart registered at least some small sense of fear for the first time in centuries.
The mage, dismayed at the carnage all around him, cast his Phoenix spell for the third time, and this time it went off successfully, slaying 12 of the Seer’s finest clanrats.
The smouldering remnants of the clanrats hurled themselves at the treeman, but could do nothing to penetrate his unyielding frame. The Seer caught sight of the unprotected elven mage and shot a bolt of Warp Lightning towards him. When this was dispelled, he clapped his hands and disappeared in a puff of choking fumes, reappearing further down the battleline and away from the mage’s inevitable retaliation.
The cannon fired in desperation at the nearby dragon, and scored a hit, but when resolving its strength a misfire was rolled, meaning the shot had no effect whatsoever. Also on the western flank, the spear-elves pierced through another 7 slaves, and suffered no casualties. With the Dragon Princes lining up for a flank charge, this flank looked in jeopardy. Further east, the treeman ripped 6 monks to shreds, and suffered 1 wound from a direct hit from the massive plague censer itself. Neither side seemed able to gain the upper hand.
In the forest on the eastern flank, the Hell Pit Abomination made use of its ‘random movement’ rule to pivot completely around and crash into the dryads which were now behind it. Taken aback, they managed to wound it twice, but it trampled 6 of them under its titanic weight and as they turned to flee it ripped the survivors to shreds. It scuttled out of the forest and towards the hulking tree-thing-thing.
High Elf 4:
The prince and his majestic dragon smashed into the rear of the clanrats, eager to aid the surrounded treeman. Master and reptile loomed over the cowering rats, but even as they readied to strike they saw the rats turn to ash in front of their eyes. In his desperation to save himself and avoid the attention of the High Elf mage, the Grey Seer had forgotten to dispel Flames of the Phoenix, which now hit every clanrat in the unit at S4, killing 21. The dragon ate several more and the survivors fled in horror only to be crushed beneath the flailing tail of the unstoppable beast. The Dragon Princes let out a distinctly un-elvish roar and levelled their lances towards the slaves. They killed 12, and the spear-elves another 5, bringing the spear-elves tally alone to 24 in 3 rounds of combat. There were not enough slaves left to remain steadfast against the spear-elves, who despite suffering another casualty still had two ranks left. This meant that regardless of the nearby presence of the Grey Seer, they needed Insane Courage to prevent them from fleeing... which they failed to roll. They were automatically destroyed.
The plague monks failed to wound the treeman, and their grip on the censer slipped, causing it to crash down and kill 2 of their own. After the treeman stabbed and strangled another seven with his iron-hard branches, there were only 3 left. All of a sudden the skaven battle line seemed to have wilted under the sustained assault of the elves.
The Abomination scuttled at break-neck speed towards the treeman. The untouched unit of slaves on the eastern flank reformed to face the stern-faced Dragon Princes.
The Seer was becoming frantic as he saw his army melt before his eyes. He knew drastic measures were required. The winds of magic were on his side and he first cast scorch, killing 5 spear-elves. His warp lightning, again targeted at the mage, was dispelled, but he still had three warpstone tokens to use as well as six power-dice, and he planned to summon the power of the Horned Rat against the remainder of the spear-elves, before skitterleaping to safety. However, it was not to be, and he failed to cast his wonder-spell, meaning he was also left drained of energy and unable to teleport. He was sure he’d be safe, however, as the Princes were a good 15 inches or so away and if they dared to charge him, he could simply scurry to safety.
The cannon fired again at the dragon but once more a misfire was rolled when determining the strength. The treeman killed the plague priest and two of his cohort, leaving just one monk left. The furnace wounded the treeman again, leaving him with 4 wounds remaining.
High Elf 5:
The dragon flew next to the cannon, too close for it to feasibly be in danger from its blast. The Dragon Princes did indeed declare a charge against the Grey Seer. They rolled 11, which would bring them easily into contact with him. He leapt out of the way but tripped on the charred remains of one of the clanrats who had been slain by the Flames of the Phoenix. (rolled snake-eyes). Shocked and spluttering, he was impaled on the lance of an imperious elf. With his final breath he cursed the game mechanics which did not allow his invisible force-field ward save to protect him just because he was fleeing.
The Princes continued their charge into the slaves and looked set to prove just how useless slaves really are without the support of their masters. They slew 9, and though the slaves managed an impressive 6 wounds against them, they couldn’t find a chink in their 2+ armour. Losing combat massively, the slaves were steadfast but only on Ld 5, and promptly fled and were automatically destroyed. When they fled they had 7 full ranks left after the first, and ended up dealing D3+7 S3 hits to everyone within 6 inches. As is often the way, this proved far more devastating than it should have – it slew the nearby Skaven battle-standard bearer, and caused 2 wounds to the Plague Furnace. Predictably, it still didn’t kill any of the Dragon Princes.
The spear-elves, alive and kicking (well, jabbing) despite such heavy casualties early on, failed a charge against the cannon. The mage cast a spell with IR and suffered a S10 hit – he had done so earlier in the battle too and this robbed him of his last wound.
The Furnace wounded the treeman again, enraging him – he wounded the Furnace three times, leaving it on the verge of collapse with one wound left, and stomped the last remaining monk to a pulp.
The Abomination careered into the treeman and slaughtered it with ease, overrunning towards the endangered-looking cannon. The cannon seemed to have just one chance left to prove it wasn’t totally useless. It fired at the Dragon Princes, actually scoring a S6 hit, but it rolled a ‘1’ to wound. In 5 rounds of unmolested shooting it had done absolutely nothing, not even having the decency to self-destruct.
High Elf 6:
The Dragon swooped down upon the cannon and smashed it apart as if it were nothing more than an unpainted metal toy. The Dragon Princes, still at full strength, charged the Furnace, but forgot about the deadly fumes (which allow not armour saves). Three of them fell before blows were struck. The remaining two were enough, however, to run it into the ground.
It was unclear what the best course of action would be. Only the Abomination was left, and it had a choice of three targets – two near-guaranteed kills (the spear-elves and the Dragon Princes) and one prize trophy (the Prince on his accursed dragon). The spirit of the Horned Rat whispered into the pallid, cavernous ear-lobes of the hellish beast. In order to have even a remote chance of saving (or drawing) the day, only the death of the High Elf Lord and his pet would suffice. The monster plunged its many fangs into the glistening reptilian hide and scored two wounds, suffering two in return. Because the Abomination had charged into the rear, it won combat by 2, and the Prince fled in terror – only to be caught and consumed by the thrashing fiend!
With only two Dragon Princes left and around 5 men out of a 40-man unit of spear-elves, the High Elves nevertheless scored a victory of several hundred points as the Skaven were awarded precisely zero points for either of these expensive units, and also lost their BSB (the elves didn’t take one).
The warp lightning cannon was unremittingly hopeless, and despite the Abomination killing around 4 times what it cost, once the battle-line began to fold all seemed lost. I believe the loss can actually be attributed to one decision – failure to move the Grey Seer to well outside the Prince’s charge range (followed by failure to skitterleap him away). If he had not been killed, the Slaves would have been Ld 10 and almost certainly not have fled from the Dragon Princes – consequently, the Furnace would have survived, and the Skaven may well have scored a solid victory (the Seer and Furnace combined cost 594 points).
Chalk up another loss for the Skaven! Next time, I’m bringing 3 cannons – that way I might get off at least a couple of decent shots.