Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Of Blood Knights and Comets

I was back to Jason's place for another bigger game of Warhammer.  4000 points each, with me fielding my Vampire Counts against his Dogs of War.  On an unnaturally sunny day the Undead hordes lined up against the might of the Border Princes

Jason's left was covered by artillery and a small unit of crossbowmen, next to them, a horde of Norse with flails and a mighty giant.

To my right to face them, was a swarm of bats, some dire wolves, a unit of Black Knights led by a Vampire and a Wight and a unit of Ghouls.  Just out of sight, a small unit of Grave Guard with the army general; another Vampire.

On Jason's right  a forest split his command.  On one side of it Beorn's Bearmen, to the other a horde of Dwarven crossbows were flanked by Leopold's Leopard company and Ricco's Republican guard.  Another cannon and a wizard or two finished the job.

For me it was another couple of Ghoul units, a large force of Blood Knights led by a vampire, a horde of 40 skeleton spears and lastly a Black Coach.

With battle joined I rushed to engage the living on my own terms, I tried to close the distance and get some big kicker spells off, but it didn't go too well.  In particular on his first turn, Jason sniped out the Black coach with a cannon and ended up scoring some 350 points of casualties on my side, for no loss in return.

The only things at this stage in my favour, were the composition and deployment of Jason's force.  His large units meant there was a lot of empty space on the battlefield, moreover, putting three of the units on the extreme flank meant I could delay them with a minimal force and concentrate on beating the rest in detail before they could engage.  I hastily amended my battle plans thus...

Jason, in my opinion, obliged me by charging his Bearmen into a wood to attack threatening Ghouls.  This allowed me to tie them up  for a turn to allow the Blood knights to inflict a devastating flank charge.

Elsewhere it wasn't all going so well,   Jason summoned repeated Comets of Cassandora to blast my centre.  Also my Black Knights being slaughtered for minimal reward, and the Dire wolves with them.  But the bats had engaged the artillery park, and after suffering heavy losses, the Norse Marauders were destroyed by the Grave Guard.  Jason sent his Giant into the fray, but it succumbed to the vile savagery of my Vampire lord...

And by this stage things were turning the Undead's way, despite losing out to gunfire and magic on every turn, I was beating Jason in combat everywhere.  In particular he was suffering from the Vampires and the Blood Knights.

One in particular.

Having destroyed Beorn, the Blood knights followed up into an idling wizard, who quickly fell.  Then they pursued onwards into the Dwarves.  The start of the turn looked like this:

And this was the end of it:

And very nearly the end of the game.  A Vampire with the lore of Death had used Purple Suns to keep the units of Pike at bay.  Whilst a final threat of a comet cleared the centre of the battlefield.  I summoned a few zombies to tie up Jason's remaining artillery and looked to disengage, hoping we'd done enough damage.

And as it turned out, we'd both done enough for a respectable draw, each with around 1800 points left. It's fair to reiterate that Jason's deployment let him down, as he admitted himself, once he'd deployed his Dwarves in the wrong place he felt obliged to support them.  Whereas I could ignore them.  However, in his favour, he out shot me and ruled the magic phase; so overall it was pretty close.

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