Battle Report (8th) - Empire Vs Vamps (promise WEs soon!)

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Battle Report (8th) - Empire Vs Vamps (promise WEs soon!)

Postby LadyLoec » 30 Jul 2017, 21:09

Empire vs Vampire Counts (3000pts): The Watchtower

Apologies for the long absence - we are finally settled in our new home, and our gaming room is finally complete!

Dragon.jpg
Games room mural
Dragon.jpg (6.03 KiB) Viewed 33 times


We were so eager to get in and use it that we unfortunately didn't write up our first game yesterday, but I remembered to take notes for this one - sadly no Wood Elves, but I promise the Asrai will have an outing soon.

As well as being our second game in our new home, this is also my second game with my new Empire army, which is themed around the Knights of the Twin-tailed Orb - a fanatically religious order who believe Sigmar has become one with the comet and looks down from the skies, searching the Empire for those who may be worthy to join him in the heavens. I may scrap the Steam Tank and Cannon for something more thematic in time.

Note: There were quite a lot of proxy models used this game while we both tried out some new configurations. The main ones were the Spirit Hosts proxied as Crypt Horrors, the Arachnarok as the second Terrorgheist, and Spearmen and Halberdiers filling out the Militia, Flagellants and Archers while I play around with unit sizes.

Terrain
Terrain.jpg
Terrain

5 pieces, all scattered quite far to the board edge. 2 hills (Anvil of Vaul and a Scree Slope), a normal Building, Walls, and an Encampment of Destruction (with a normal building, walls and a Tower of Blood)

Armies
Vampires:
Vampire Lord Level 1 (Lore of Shadow)
Master Necromancer Level 4 on Corpse Cart
Level 1 Necromancer (Lore of Death)
Wight King BSB
30 Crypt Ghouls
50 Skeletons
40 Grave Guard with Great Weapons
2 Terrorgheists
6 Crypt Horrors
36 Zombies
10 Dire Wolves

Empire:
Grand Master
Wizard Lord Level 4 (Lore of Heavens) on Celestial Hurricaneum
2 Warrior Priests (1 on foot and 1 mounted)
Battle Wizard Level 1 (Lore of Shadow)
BSB on Pegasus
Witch Hunter
40 Miltia
40 Flagellants
18 Inner Circle Knights
20 Greatswords
10 Halberdiers (detachment to Greatswords)
10 Archers (detachment to Greatswords)
Steam Tank
Great Cannon

I won't list all the magic items, the important ones for this battle are:
• Rod of Damnation on Master Necro (bound spell, gives a unit +1A)
• Mace of Helstrum on the Witch Hunter (1 attack, S10 D3 wounds)
• Dawnstone and Enchanted Shield combo on mounted Warrior Priest
• The Vampire Lord is a standard "blender lord" - 7 attacks, WS9, ASF etc, but has to issue/accept challenges.

Pre-Game: Spells
Master Necromancer: Invocation of Nehek, Van Hel's Danse Macabre, Gaze of Nagash, Staff of Damnation
Necromancer: Spirit Leech
Vampire Lord: Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma

Wizard Lord: Iceshard Blizzard, Harmonic Convergence, Curse of the Midnight Wind, Comet of Cassandora.
Battle Wizard: Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma, Shem's Burning Gaze (Ring of Volans)

Pre-Game: Deployment:
Vampires win the roll-off, but no units small enough to deploy in the tower.
Deployment (diagram).jpg
Deployment Diagram

Deployment.JPG
Deployment Photo

For characters deployed in units, the Wight King and Vampire Lord are both in the Grave Guard. Scroll jockey Necromancer is in the Zombies. I have a Warrior Priest and the Grand Master in the Knight unit, the other Warrior Priest is in the Greatswords, the Battle Wizard is in the Militia and the Witch Hunter is in the Archers.

Pre-Game: Other
The Witch Hunter declares Terrorgheist 1 as the heretic.
Vampires choose not to vanguard the Dire Wolves as the scenario rules give Empire the first turn.

Empire Turn 1
Steam Tank: I generate 4 Steam Points, but roll a misfire. On the mishap chart I get "Dangerous Overpressure" so the Steam Tank takes 2 wounds but gains 2 additional Steam Points for a total of 6.

Movement: No Charges. Everything saunters up at a measured pace - I need to get those flagellants into the watchtower before he gets there. The BSB on pegasus (known in our house as Captasus) moves over towards the left flank so that he can support the combat units while threatening the Dire Wolves if they go after the cannon. The Steam Tank moves up 6".

Magic: Winds roll up 6+2. I get an additional die from the Hurricaneum and he channels one, so it's 9 to 7. I cast Miasma on the Grave Guard to reduce their movement, which he lets off. I use the lore attribute to swap my mage with the Warrior Priest in the Greatsword unit so I can get line of sight for Shem's. He dispels Shem's and Iceshard Blizzard on Terrorgheist 1. I try a cheeky 1 dice Harmonic Convergence on the Archers but fail.

Shooting: Archers kill 1 Grave Guard. Steam Cannon fires at Terrorgheist 2 (through the Crypt Horrors) but he saves it on regeneration. The Great Cannon also fires at the Crypt Horrors hoping for a bounce through, but falls short and fails to wound the 2 Horrors it hit.

No Combat

Vampires Turn 1
Movement: Everything shambles up except the Crypt Horrors, who cautiously stay back fearing a charge from the Knights.

Magic: Winds 5+3. Vampire counts channel twice, so it's 7 to 3. He casts Miasma on the Greatswords for -1 movement. I dispel Van Hel's. He uses the Staff of Damnation to give the Grave Guard +1 attack, and gets off a one dice Invocation, which activates the Corpse Cart's ability, giving everything within 6" ASF.

No Shooting (Terrorgheists both too far out) or Combat.

Empire Turn 2
Steam Tank: I attempt to generate 3 Steam Points, but roll a 10 on the artillery dice so mishap again, losing the 3 Steam Points I generated.

Movement: I declare a charge from the Knights into the flank of the Grave Guard, which elicits a stream of curse words as he hadn't noticed I could see them around the building. It's a short distance, so I make it with ease. I also charge the Greatswords into the Skeletons. Everything else moves up, except Captasus, who finds a gap next to the watchtower where he can still see any Dire Wolf shenanigans near my cannon, but is still in range for "Hold the Line!". Unfortunately, I remember at this point that chariots can't march, and my Hurricaneum can't quite move up far enough to provide the +1 to hit bonus to the Knight combat.

Magic: Winds 5+2 - no channels on either side, but +1 from the Hurricaneum makes it 8 to 5. I go for Curse of the Midnight Wind on 2 dice, needing a 6 but roll a 1 and a 2, breaking concentration for my heavens mage. I cast Miasma on the Skeletons for -2WS, but forget to teleport my mage out and Warrior Priest in (which was the whole reason I cast it. D'oh!). I then go for 2 prayers from the Warrior Priest in the Knight unit, but both are dispelled.

Shooting: The Steam Tank has no Steam Points, so can't fire this turn, and the Archers fail to wound Terrorgheist 1. The Great Cannon fires at Terrorgheist 2, but again this is regenerated.

Combat: Greatswords didn't do overly well (killing 5 Skeletons I think) but only took one casualty, so a minor win kills a few from combat resolution. The Knight combat goes ok, but the Grave Guard unit is huge and has a lot of active buffs, so not a decisive enough victory to kill a lot from combat resolution. The key thing from this battle is the challenge - the Vampire Lord has to issue a challenge, and I accept with my mounted Warrior Priest, who has a 1+ rerollable armour save. Neither do any damage to one another, but this ties up the combat Vampire and stops it from mullering my unit.

Vampires Turn 2
Movement: Crypt Horrors charge the flank of the Knights. Crypt Ghouls charge the flank of the Greatswords. Terrorgheist 1 charges the Archers with the Witch Hunter. Stand and shoot fails to wound.

Magic: Winds 4+2. No channels. I dispel Invocation, fail to dispel the Staff of Damnation, and he gets a further casting of Van Hel's.

Shooting: Terrorgheist 1 screams in combat and kills 3 Archers. Terrorgheist 2 is still out of range.

Combat: The Archers and Witch Hunter do 4 wounds to the Terrorgheist, taking it down to 2. The Terrorgheist fluffs it's attacks, killing only 1 Archer and 1 more with Thunderstomp, so it crumbles from combat resolution. The Greatswords lose combat but don't break because they are stubborn. The Knight combat continues - The Warrior Priest keeps the Vampire tied up. I lose maybe 2 knights, but again no decisive combat result.

Empire Turn 3
Steam Tank: Amazingly, I misfire AGAIN, this time getting the result that I cannot move with it this turn. I can still fire, but the Terrorgheist is too far away from the Steam Gun, and I can't pivot to use the Steam Cannon.

Movement: Captasus charges the Dire Wolves. The Halberdiers pivot so they can counter charge the Crypt Ghouls in the flank next turn. The Flagellants make it into the building.

Magic: Winds 6+3, Vampires channel 2 and I get +1 from the Hurricaneum, so it's 10 to 8. The heavens mage rolls double 1's on Iceshard Blizzard, breaking his concentration again. Vampires dispel Soulfire from the Warrior Priest in combat. I then break concentration on my other mage trying to 2-dice Miasma (1&2). The Vampires can then dispel Hammer of Sigmar (re-rolls to wound on the Knight unit) with ease. At this point, I can't decide whether my mages or my Steam Tank are more of an embarrassment to the Empire.

Shooting: The Great Cannon finally gets through the regen on Terrorgheist 2, doing 5 wounds.

Combat: The Greatswords lose combat but still hold. The Knights also lose this turn, but the Grand Master makes them Stubborn and they stay put. Captasus kills most of the dogs - 2 left after combat res.

Vampires Turn 3
Movement: Corpse Cart moves up to give the Master Necromancer better line of sight. Terrorgheist 2 moves right up in front of the cannon.

Magic: Winds 6+3. I channel 1, so it's 10 to 7. He 6 dices Invocation, but doesn't miscast. I let this through. I dispel Curse of Years on the Flagellants.

Shooting: Terrorgheist rolls low for the scream and doesn't cause any wounds to the cannon.

Combat: Captasus finishes off the Dire Wolves. The Knight unit loses combat but passes it's stubborn check. By this point I think there are maybe 8 Knights left plus the two characters (still no wounds to either side in the challenge). The Greatsword unit finally breaks and is run down - the Crypt Ghouls hit the small Halberdier unit - because of the order of combat, we resolve this in his turn, and they blast through them (killing 7 and running into the Militia).

Empire Turn 4
Steam Tank: Rolls an 8 on the Artillery dice, and because it only has 8 wounds left it mishaps again. It loses the 3 Steam Points I had generated, and again is an expensive paperweight this turn.

Movement: Captasus moves to support the central battle. The Archers move to get line of sight to the Corpse Cart.

Magic: Winds 4+1. I channel 1, and the Hurricaneum adds 1, so it's 7 to 4. He dispels Iceshard Blizzard and Hammer of Sigmar on the Crypt Ghouls with some jammy rolling, and uses his scroll on Curse of the Midnight Wind on the Crypt Ghouls.

Shooting: Archers fail to wound the Corpse Cart. Cannon grapeshot fails to wound the Terrorgheist.

Combat: 10 Crypt Ghouls die and 17 Militia. The Militia run but aren't caught, leading the Ghouls off away from the watchtower. The relative stalemate continues with the Knight combat.

Vampires Turn 4
Movement: He charges the Skeletons into the watchtower with the Flagellant unit. Terrorgheist charges the Great Cannon. The Crypt Ghouls run the Militia off the table.

Magic: 4+4. I channel 1, so it's 8 to 5. I dispel Van Hel's with everything. He casts Invocation, and fails to cast the bound spell in the Staff of Damnation. Then he casts Curse of Years on the Flagellants, which I wasn't expecting - I mistakenly thought it was a direct damage spell (so couldn't be cast into combat) but turns out it's a hex. This kills 6 or 7 I think.

Shooting: Terrorgheist scream kills the cannon.

Combat: Flagellants kill 2 of their own for rerolls to hit and wound. They mince 15 Skeletons, only losing 1 in return. We weren't sure on the rules here and whether the Skeletons would then crumble or not as they were pushed back from the building, so as we figured it wasn't decisive to the outcome of the game, we let them live. Relative stalemate continued with the Knights.

Empire Turn 5
Steam Tank: Given my poor track record, I play it safe and opt for 1 Steam Point, but I STILL roll a 10 and mishap. Outcome is that I can't use the engine, and again as I can't pivot the weapons are useless.

Movement: Captasus joins the Knight combat to try and add some combat res. Archers move closer to the Corpse Cart.

Magic: Winds 6+5. Plus one for the Hurricaneum makes it 12 to 6. I decide to have a little fun this phase and cast the Hurricaneum's bound spell - he lets this go, partly because of his dice deficit and partly to see what it does. I place the template on the Zombies but it scatters off onto the Skeleton unit. I roll the Raging Tornado result, which spins them to face in a random direction, pointing them away from the tower. I use Iceshard Blizzard to finish off the Terrorgheist (well, the lore attribute anyway). He dispels Curse of the Midnight Wind on the Grave Guard. I fail to cast a prayer with the Warrior Priest, and because I have 3 dice left, I cast Comet, placing the marker in the gap between the Grave Guard, Zombies and Corpse Cart.

Shooting: Archers and Witch Hunter fail to wound the Corpse Cart.

Combat: The Warrior Priest finally takes a wound from the Vampire, but other than that the combat remains relatively uneventful. I win combat with Captasus' help, but still not by enough.

Vampires Turn 5
Movement: Skeletons charge the Archers and Witch Hunter - they flee, but are caught.

Magic: Winds 5+2, but more importantly, the Comet arrives! It hits all the Vampires units nearby, plus Captasus. Captasus is lucky and only takes one wound. The Master Necromancer and Corpse Cart are removed as a casualty. It also takes out 7 Zombies and 6 Grave Guard, leaving only a handful (6 I think). Because he now only has 2 level 1's, I dispel everything, but forget about Curse of Years, which kills all but 14 Flagellants.

No Shooting.

Combat: The Vampire finally kills the Warrior Priest (best 113 points ever spent). Combat resolutions leaves only the Vampire and Wight King standing.

Empire Turn 6
We roll a 6 on the die to determine the end of the game. Empire hold the watchtower.

Final Thoughts:
This was a decisive victory, but it was also an almighty slogfest. The Knights were doling out next to no damage, whilst the ever-resurrected Grave Guard were just bouncing off the Knights' armour (and couldn't attack in numbers for a long while, as the Knights were in their flank). I was incredibly unlucky with the Steam Tank - I didn't roll anything less than an 8 on the artillery dice when generating Steam Points all game - and I also had some awful magic phases, balanced out by a very well timed Comet arrival at the end. The MVP was definitely the Warrior Priest, who kept the Vampire's focus off of the rank and file for the whole game, but I was also pleasantly surprised by the Witch Hunter.

Hope you enjoyed the report - Will try and get a Wood Elf report up next weekend!
LadyLoec
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Re: Battle Report (8th) - Empire Vs Vamps (promise WEs soon!

Postby LiveWaaaaagh » 08 Aug 2017, 14:23

Great report - thanks for sharing! Bad luck wit the steam tank!

And btw: that mural looks great!
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