Battle Royal 2000 Points
So in an effort to have a three player game of Warhammer which in my circle happens more often than you would think, I came across the Battle Royal scenario. A quick recap if you have never played the scenario. Players all agree on a points total, roll off on terrain, place a control point for each army, and then the dreaded roll off for who gets stuck in the middle. We also had a late addition to our three player game. Represented were the following armies; Vampire Counts, Empire, High Elves, and our late addition Ogres. The Ogre player was the only player who thought it might be a good idea to be in the middle and lucky for him and even luckier for us he won that (or lost that) roll. Also different than a normal match, each army sets up entirely before the next one begins its set up.
So the Ogres are in the middle – Empire on the left here – Vampire Counts on the right – and high elves in the back. We had a really cool board thanks to some great terrain. The stars represent the control points on the board. You get points for any non-fleeing unit that is closest to the point at the end of turn 6, and a point for any army general you take out.
So each army gets to move before the magic phase based on placement order. That meant Ogres got first pick – the Ogres made a powerful charge into the High Elves spearmen with the Mornfang Heavy Cav. The other Ogre units moved in the remaining moves phase and lined up to face what was perceived as the biggest threats. The only other charge was the Reiksguard Knights flying into the Ogres and Skrag. Below you see the first inkling of the fate of the Morfang Cav as the Sword Masters crash into the flank and really get ready to tear these boys a new one. The only other movement of note is the Vampire’s Heinrich Kemmler and unit duck into the watch tower for some added protection. The rest of the undead unit stumble forward. Magic in Battle Royale is different too. One set of dice are thrown, and each army gets the total as casting dice, and the higher of the two as dispel dice. You then each roll for channelling individually. Each round allowed the Ogres to start and continued in placement order. The phase ends when everyone is out of casting dice, or if each player passes. We anticipated that Magic was always going to be a tough round for all the armies, well all the armies except Teclis. It’s very hard to try and cast with three other people holding dispel dice and each army had a level four caster in rank. The Ogres choose pass at first to see what everyone casts counting on casting when the turn comes around. High Elves cast Okkam’s Mindrazor on spearmen, the ogres used all four dispel dice to try and dispel, but were unsuccessful... Empire army gets off two bonuses; plus two toughness (lore of life) stat, and reroll wounds on Knights. Ogres cast +1 strength and regeneration. I didn’t write down what the Vampire Counts did and as I played them it wasn’t very exciting. In the Shooting phase we saw 3 wounds on the Ogres Stonehorn from the empire cannon; I think the High Elves shot the Black Coach causing a few wounds. Close Combat round one is crazy; High Elves destroy Ogres Morfang Cav with Okkam’s Mindrazor, with only 7 wounds from the impact hits, it’s not all that surprising. Here’s the surprise the Empire Knights smash into the Ogres core group with Skrag and win combat by one point the Ogres roll to stay... and fail the roll by one! At this point the Ogre general is really wishing he had that BSB he was thinking about. But he doesn’t and the Ogres break and the Knights run them down. The Empire army is ahead early in the game with a point generated for killing the Ogre general. Ouch! To further frustrate the Ogres the stone horn is too close and must also roll for panic and he fails as well fleeing toward the table edge.
Morfang.jpgSkrags last stand.jpg
For movement in turn two the Ogres drop two Gorgers in behind the High Elves Phoenix Guard looking for a little revenge. The Giant crashes into the black coach hoping to take it out before it takes off. The Yetti’s charge into the Arch Lector, and the Stone Horn rallies and the Empire moves up again. Also I think the Steam tank was moved into contact against the High Elves Phoenix Guard. Oh the High Elves had reformed the Sword Masters after the Morfang slaughter; they moved slowly towards the tower. So back into another brutal magic phase. Heinrich Kemmler drops an irresistible 25+ wind of death towards the elves and sees it destroy 25% from each core unit. It was great. The miscast saw the Vampire general lose his dice from some magical feedback. Both Vampire casters were ok after the hit. Empire roll plus two toughness stat, and reroll wounds again. Teclis answers Heinrich Kemmlers assault in a big way dropping a Pit of shades on the Grave Guard and Corpse Cart. Teclis has another irresistible cast and so the vampires see 11 Grave Guard dragged back to the underworld. The Corpse Cart also fails the initiative test and vanishes from play. Teclis uses his power to switch groups from the phoenix guard to the sword masters group. Shooting sees Empire shoot at Coven Throne and miss I think – or was this the turn he shot at Teclis and misfired? The High Elves shoot the Black Coach and cause a wound or some such nonsense. Close combat is nothing like turn one. That said the after the Giant crashed into the Black Coach it made short work of the cairn wraith and coach. The Giant reforms and faces the backside of the Grave Guard. The Empire Steam Tank and Phoenix Guard end up not doing much the Phoenix Guard reform to face the Gorgers.
The rest of the Empire army rush in to support the general. That said this general has so much armour it was never really in trouble. The Grave Guard never came back after that nasty Pit of Shades and this here is the end of them crushed between the giant and Iron Guts. BUT wait... in a great turn of events (flash forward) the Giant rolls the stomp and bawl. Combat ends and the Grave Guard lose a couple more troops from combat resolution. As you can see I keep just missing a charge with the Coven Throne with some bad movement decisions on my part. Oh well. So all armies are back on the move the Elvin Sword Masters charge the tower. The Ogres Stone Horn charges into the Empire Knights. The Vampire counts charge fifty Skeletons into the side of the Stone Horn. Also the Gorgers crash into the Phoenix Guard to help the Steam Tank take out the unit. Casting is good times again. Teclis another irresistible cast with a Pit of Shades on the Empire troops; we see eight sons of the Empire dragged into the pit. The Empire tries to buff its units and the undead general decides at this point to stop these buffs to hold up the Empire while it starts to deal with three separate combats. Oh this was the turn the Empire shoot at Teclis and misfired... BOO! Close combat is lots of fun – the High Elves take out 30 Skeletons from the tower units protecting Heinrich Kemmler after combat resolution. Kemmler time to abandon that tower! The Combat with the Stone Horn sees the Skeletons take out the Stone Horn! The Skeletons reform to face off against the Knights.... they’re done.
Movement sees Kemmler leave his unit hoping to flee from the tower, he sends the eight remaining Skeletons to block any hope of counter charge in front of the Sword Masters. The Coven Throne charges into the Giant. The High Elves rush towards the middle of the board looking to hold some more control points. The Empire sees three units move into to support the general who is trading blows with the yeti. Magic is still beyond brutal at this point. High Elves drop another Pit of Shades on the vampire’s general as he leaves his unit to try and fly away from combat. Kemmler lost his ward save roll and the High Elves take a much needed point. Empire rolls and gets some more toughness, and the undead get to reroll hits. Close combat sees the Coven throne take down the Giant, and the Grave Guard get a few wounds on the iron guts but don’t make it out of this round. The Skeletons lose very few troops to the knights in a shocking turn of events and thankfully the knights most likely will not be charging anyone for the remainder of the game. The Sword Masters destroy the eight skeletons and move on towards the Empires line and the closest control point.
What happened to turn five? Well to be totally honest my cousin who came from out of town decided it was well past his bed time in the early morning and he had to clean up and drive home so we rushed his parts of combat thru. So I’m not a 100% sure what all happened I’ll try and use the pictures to remember how everything panned out. On a side note I could tell when I said we should play just a 2000 point game everyone was a little sad it wasn’t bigger. New scenario’s sometimes slow things down this battle royal took, including setup and take down five to six hours!
Just to wrap things up on the Ogres and Vampire Counts; as I alluded to earlier things went from bad to worse for both these armies. In turn 5-6 neither one ever really had a chance of coming back and doing anything. At best the undead could have cast some raise dead on a control point. Since I’m daft I never thought of that. Oh well. The Skeletons versus the Knights locked up. The Coven Throne didn’t win combat against the Iron Guts till turn six so had no change of helping anywhere. On another side note that model is really cool and possibly more powerful and useful than a dragon… something to play test. To be a stinker I raised some Skeletons in front of the Empire Troop detachment close to the one building. I think some spell destroyed them along with an Empire charge. So in the end the Ogres were destroyed completely; the Vampire Counts had a very wounded Coven Throne, and a bunker of core Skeletons left. Now back to the real game: Turn five for the High Elves and Empire was a lot of positioning. Both armies were trying to block or get to the only control point the High Elves had a chance of getting. I think both generals were well back of any main fighting and so it came down to a mad dash for point control. The Empire already had two units on either side of the point the High Elves only hope was to push the unit out of the way and score that last point. So turn five and six was all about getting to that unit. The High Elven Sword Masters Charge into the Empire bus and do some very serious damage, but in the end the Empire (well to be honest we did this wrong, he was still steadfast) roll three dice to (at the time we thought he needed insane courage) stay and hold. So the Empire general rolls the dice and gets two ones! Empire stay and after all that we had ourselves a draw; both armies having took out one general and both sitting on two control points.
It was a great game and was bigger in scope than any other game I’ve played in. I really hope we get to run that scenario again.
Thanks for reading
I had more pictures but ran out of room