Saturday, 13 October 2012

Battle Report: Vampire Counts vs Empire

The second of this week's OffBoot matches. Same battlefield as before (minus the Wood Elves' extra wood), and if I'm more vague on the details, it's because it was getting late.


Battle Report - Vampire Counts vs Empire 1000 points
Deployment - the grass has gone all spooky, like.

Vampire Counts - General Kasfunatu

1 x Vampire General on Hellsteed (Lv 2 magic; Heavy Armour, Shield, Additional Hand Weapon; Summon Creatures, Dread Knight; Talisman of Protection, Book of Arkhan, Dragonhelm)
19 x Ghouls
(including Vampire Lieutenant (Lv 2 magic; Heavy Armour; Red FurySword of Striking, Talisman of Endurance, Enchanted Shield)
5 x Dire Wolves
5 x Dire Wolves
8 x Hexwraiths
 - 1000 points

Empire - General Stylus

28 x Spearmen (full command)
 - including Warrior Priest (Charmed Shield) and Battle Standard (Luckstone, Standard of Discipline)
14 x Halberdiers (detachment)
10 Free Company (detachment)
10 x Knights (full command)
5 x Pistoliers (musician)
1 x Wizard (Lv 2 Lore of Death, barded warhorse, Dispel Scroll)
 - 1000 points

Turn 1

Battle Report - Vampire Counts vs Empire 1000 points
Empire - Turn 1
Lots of vanguard moves: Pistoliers and Hexwraiths move closer to each other; both units of Dire Wolves move to take point.

Empire begin with the infantry advancing slowly off the hill, Wizard moving to the edge of the forest (within 12" of the Vampire general) and Knights cautiously repositioning to face the Hexwraiths.

The Pistoliers gallop forward and place themselves on the flank of the Hexwraiths. I was very careful to keep them out of charge arc, and Kasfunatu agreed they were out of sight. Are you sure? He was sure. Perfect.

The Wizard casts Fate of Bjuna on the Vampire general, but only rolls a five for 2D6 hits (which, after deducting toughness, is only one measly hit). One wound off the general, but just one roll higher and it could easily have been curtains for him.

The Pistoliers can't shoot the ethereal Hexwraiths, but it doesn't matter to me, because they're nicely positioned on the unit's flank.

(You're sure they're on the flank? Yes, he was sure.)

Battle Report - Vampire Counts vs Empire 1000 points
Vampire Counts - Turn 1
Vampire Counts begin their turn by reforming their Fast Cavalry Hexwraiths to face the Pistoliers (oh... that hadn't occurred to me). They pass through the Pistoliers, wiping them out to a man, then perform a complicated figure-of-eight manoeuvre (because they can - I think Kasfunatu was just rubbing it in at this point) and end up facing the Knights, pretty much where they started, just sans Pistoliers. Still, at least the Knights don't panic, so that's something.

The rest of the army moves forward but doesn't charge. There's a bit of shuffling in the magic phase, each Dire Wolf unit gets three more models, the Vampire recovers his wound and I use my Dispel Scroll to stop Curse of Years on the Spearmen.

Turn 2

Battle Report - Vampire Counts vs Empire 1000 points
Empire - Turn 2

The Knights may not have panicked, but they're not acting rationally - they declare a frontal charge against the Hexwraiths (that would be the ethereal, S5, ignores-armour Hexwraiths against my non-magic, low-toughness, high-armour Knights). Everyone else just edges forward, clearly demonstrating the faith they have in their general's plan.

I fail to cast any Warrior Priest spells in the magic phase. The Knights lose half their number in close combat as I begin to reconsider the wisdom of charging them in.

Battle Report - Vampire Counts vs Empire 1000 points
Vampire Counts - Turn 2
While the Ghouls and the Vampire General hold back, one of the Dire Wolf units charges the Wizard. She flees and the hounds overrun into the Free Company. On the other flank, the second Dire Wolf unit charge into the Halberdier detachment - neatly avoiding the 'supporting charge' rule by leaving the Regimental Unit of Spearmen alone.

However, the detachments are still affected by their parent unit's psychology, which means Hatred-based re-rolls all round. This was why I wanted to try detachments and it works pretty damn well: both units of Dire Wolves are completely wiped out, for the return of only a couple of casualties. The extra attacks of the Free Company, and the extra strength of the Halberdiers don't leave the Dire Wolves with enough models to return damage and the survivors dissipate from combat resolution.

Things are going less swimmingly on the left flank, as the Hexwraiths mop up the remaining Knights and reposition to sweep into the rear of my lines.

And then the tail breaks off my Wizard’s horse. Which didn't help matters.

Turn 3

Battle Report - Vampire Counts vs Empire 1000 points
Empire - Turn 3

The Spearmen and Halberdiers charge straight into the Ghouls, the Wizard rallies and the Free Company is left to hold the flank against the Hexwraiths (by which I mean: make them waste a turn or two destroying you).

Augmented by Warrior Priest's re-rolls to wound, the Empire units do plenty of damage to the Undead, mostly because the Vampire whiffs her Red Fury attacks and can't get any momentum going. About half the Ghouls are wiped out as they lose the combat.

Battle Report - Vampire Counts vs Empire 1000 points
Vampire Counts - Turn 3
In the Vampire Counts' turn, the Hexwraiths skip past the Free Company and elect to destroy the Wizard instead - which they manage with no trouble whatsoever. During a strong magic phase, both Vampires manage to resurrect almost all of the Ghoul losses before the fighting starts again.

Another sub-par performance from the in-combat Vampire means that the Spearmen and Halberdiers are able to chop down the Ghouls, leaving only five left after combat resolution has taken effect.

Turn 4

Battle Report - Vampire Counts vs Empire 1000 points
Empire - Turn 4
With two units engaged, the Free Company not able to do much, and all the Warrior Priest's spells countered (including the Flaming Attacks one that does S5 damage to Undead, much to my chagrin), we can continue the fighting.

The Vampire finally finds her swing, hacking down a half-dozen Spearmen with Red Fury. However the Empire troops get to fight before the few remaining Ghouls and wipe them all out, earning *just* enough combat resolution to take out the Vampire's two wounds. Victorious, the Empire troops reform to face the Hexwraiths.

Battle Report - Vampire Counts vs Empire 1000 points
Vampire Counts - Turn 4
The Hexwraiths march straight through the Spearmen, causing a couple of casualties but nothing serious to such a large unit. With no offensive spells and nothing to resurrect, the Vampire General just watches from atop his Hellsteed.

Turns 5-6

Battle Report - Vampire Counts vs Empire 1000 points
And again...
I will draw a veil over the last couple of turns as stalemate ensues: the Hexwraiths do not want to engage in combat, and instead spend their time swish-swooshing back and forth over the Spearmen, taking out a few at a time.

Battle Report - Vampire Counts vs Empire 1000 points
And again...
For their part, the Empire don't have the manoeuvrability to catch the undead cavalry, and so just keep reforming to face them, hoping enough of them will be left standing when the game ends (on the last pass they have to take a panic test but easily pass).

Sure enough, the result is a draw. 586 : 514 (in favour of the Vampire Counts)

1 comment:

  1. From my external point of view, that looks more like an Empire win, somehow, salvaged only by the lethally unkillable Hexwraith posse. Although worst knights ever.