Sunday, 12 January 2014

Battle of Finuval Plain: Turn 2 - Darkness Rising

This is a continuation of the account of the Battle of Finuval Plain. If you missed the previous turn, you can find it here. If you want to go to the Finuval Plain main page, click here.

High Elves Turn 2
High Elves Turn 2. The flashes are the Comet coming down. To see a larger version, right-click and select "Open Link in New Tab"
A chorus of silver trumpets and effeminate battle cries rang out across the battlefield as all along the line, the High Elves charged into combat. On the left flank, the Elves rushed to respond to the moves of the enemy. A pair of Tiranoc Chariots wheeled about to crash into the rear of the Fiends flanking the Swordmasters, however only one of them made it as the other ploughed into a tree on the way and was smashed to kindling. With a piercing cry, the Griffon swept down and into the flank of the Fiends. The Fiends were surrounded, but fought with a frenzy of slashing talons and tails. Half of them were cut down by the combined efforts of the Swordmasters, Chariot and Griffon, but the remainder spun and effortlessly crushed the delicate Chariot. They would not go easily.
2 Chariots charged, but only 1 made it. Hundreds of years of practice was still not enough for the other crewmen to learn not to drive into trees.
Of course, the other chariot didn't last long anyway...
In a display of disdain for the High Elves, the Daemon Prince of Slaanesh had landed well ahead of his own lines and was rewarded for his arrogance when a Frostheart Phoenix, a Prince on a Star Dragon, and a pair of Tiranoc Chariots swept in to assault him all at once. With a silent, mocking gesture, the daemon challenged the Prince to single combat, leaving the rest to sit and watch. The Prince and Dragon lashed out causing a couple of serious wounds, however the Prince fared worse and was cut from his saddle. The mighty Star Dragon bellowed its defiance and fought on in the duel, however the impetus of the charge was now lost and the Daemon Prince was not without allies...
The Daemon Prince successfully gets the High Elves' attention
Then he whacks the rider off the Dragon in a challenge. Just to show he can.
The large squadron of Eagles flew forward and spread out in a screen behind the doomed Ellyrian Reavers, however no sooner had they done that than the Keeper of Secrets and Corsairs had slaughtered the remaining Reavers and the Corsairs had allowed their seemingly unstoppable momentum to carry them through into the waiting Eagles.
The Eagles spread out to form some sort of screeny thing. Or maybe they just all wanted a good view of what was going to happen to the Reavers.
Predictably, the Reavers lost. Remarkably, some lived long enough to flee. Then died.
And then the Eagles were in combat as well. Presumably that was their plan.
Teclis had helped bolster the engaged Swordmasters with a boosted Hand of Glory, however when the Loremaster attempted to cast Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma on N'kari, the daemon dispelled it with a cryptic gesture of its taloned hand. It would tolerate no impediment to its closing with the High Elves.

Again the Bolt Throwers behind the lines unleashed a volley, as did the Archers massed around the hill. These were all directed toward the approaching form of N'kari, and they were rewarded for their efforts with a few significant wounds, causing the daemon to shriek out with equal parts pain, pleasure and displeasure (causing some confusion amongst observers).

Toward the centre, the trio of Nobles riding Eagles attempted to charge the regiment of Darkshard Crossbowmen in front of them, however they got tangled in their own haughtiness and spun in a circle instead. For their troubles, one of them was wounded twice when the Crossbowmen responded with a volley of barbed bolts.

Seeing the plight of the fearless Eagles, the Prince directed his Star Dragon to swoop in alongside them and offer assistance. Unfortunately the aid he could offer was limited when the champion of the Cold One Knights cried out a challenge and the Prince was forced to focus on dispatching him rather than crushing the rest of the regiment. Meanwhile the other Cold One Knights continued to take a toll on the Eagles, keeping them on the back foot/claw. Nearby, a pair of Lion Chariots raced past and scythed into the ranks of Dreadspears behind the Cold One Knights, but the Dark Elves remained steadfastly in place and tried to hold them at bay.
The Lion Chariots bite off more than they can chew. Well, it will certainly take them a while anyway. And their jaws will be really tired. Meanwhile the Dragons turns up to rescue the Eagles, then wastes a turn killing the Dark Elf champion. Stupid challenges.
As Alarielle led her White Lion escort further onto the field, she called forth the power of Throne of Vines. The soil around her feet erupted as she advanced, wild green tendrils shooting forth and coiling around her. The vines glowed with an inner energy, bolstering the potency of the Everqueen's spells. She also sent forth more regenerative power, further healing Tyrion's earlier wounds.

To the right, the Phoenix Guard advanced whilst many of the High Elves turned their attention to the terrifying wall of Hydras emerging from the forest. Lion Chariots crashed into the beast on the end, tearing two of its heads from its body as it prepared to strike. The wounds hardly slowed it however, and it smashed one of the chariots to pieces in return. A Frostheart Phoenix swept in alongside and descended upon the nearest Hydra, tearing a pair of great gouges in its side, although in exchange it received a nasty bite.
Frostheart Phoenix vs Hydra. No clear winner. 2 Lion Chariots can't kill one either, apparently.
The Dark Riders in front of the Caledor lines were predictably swept aside by the Tiranoc Chariots and Dragon Princes, however only the Chariots carried on into the Hydras behind. The knights found their path obstructed and instead halted their charge and reformed their line, adopting a deeper formation in a congested battle line.
Dark Rider Roadkill. The Chariots carried on into a Hydra.
The Dragon Princes paused to enjoy a moment of dressage and alter their formation instead.
Another Hydra was felled when it found itself charged in the side by more Dragon Princes, their lances impaling it in a dozen places. They continued their assault without breaking stride, slamming into another beast immediately behind the first.
How to turn a Hydra into a sieve. Or something else with a lot of holes in it. 
A keening whistle grew rapidly louder until the Comet of Cassandora plummeted to earth in the Dark Elf lines. Witch Elves were thrown into the air like rag dolls, whilst an entire rank of the Executioners was consumed in the blast. The Manticore was felled by flying shards of burning rock, although the rider managed to struggle free from its spasming form. The Dragon was also pummelled half to death by a combination of comet fragments and arcing lightning as the Heavens magic did its work.
This is about where the Comet landed. That guy used to be somebody. He used to have a Manticore, and travelled in style. Now nobody seems to care who he used to be. Life as a Dark Elf is hard...
Across the right flank a handful of Corsairs were felled by Sea Guard and Bolt Throwers, and one of the Hydras took a significant hit from an Eagle Claw bolt. The Doomfire Warlocks attracted attention, and a regiment of Dragon Princes and the Prince on the Sun Dragon both set forth to engage them. Unfortunately there was insufficient room for them both to reach the foe, and the Dragon rider ended up charging in alone. The Prince distracted himself by hurling flowery abuse at his oafish kinsmen, and was consequently too busy to do any damage to the Warlocks in combat. Wounded as it was, the Dragon was quickly felled by the Dark Elves with their mysteriously potent daggers, and the Prince found himself alone and on foot as the enemy closed round.
The Sun Dragon goes in alone after the Dragon Princes fail their Spacial Awareness Test and realise they won't fit at the same time.
I'll go you!
"Uh-oh. Where did my ride go? I don't even have a base anymore!" The punishment for failure is severe around here...
The glorious display by the Caledorian Princes continued as the Star Dragon on the far right flank took flight and scared off a flock of Harpies before changing course and descending upon the nearest Cold One Chariot. In an embarrassing performance, the Dragon and rider failed to strike the fatal blow against the Chariot, and the Prince sustained grievous wounds in return. The Dragon's charge ground to a halt, stranded in the middle of the enemy lines.
RAWR!! Oh wait, you're a Chariot. Oh in that case, you can totally fight as well as me. When I charge. It's only a Star Dragon, after all.
The struggle was beginning in earnest, and not everything was going according to plan...

Dark Elves Turn 2
Dark Elves Turn 2. To see a larger version, right-click and select "Open Link in New Tab"
On the Dark Elf and Chaos right flank, N'kari was ready to make his move. The Daemon Prince nearby had strayed too close to the enemy lines and was paying for his arrogance, but he was serving a purpose – the High Elf Prince was dead and his Dragon was distracted. Now all N'kari had to do was capitalise on the distraction.

With a roar of challenge, the massive Greater Daemon raised his sword and charged toward the unengaged Frostheart Phoenix. The glorified canary saw him coming and gave a mighty squawk, before turning rapidly and heading for the safety of its own lines. In light of this dazzling display of courage, N'kari altered his course and crashed into the large regiment of Swordmasters, who were still busy protecting their precious Loremaster from the predations of the Fiends. He was joined in his assault by the other Keeper of Secrets, whilst a flock of Harpies dropped into the High Elves' flank alongside the remaining Fiends.
N'kari arrives at the party and brings a few of his mates.
Seeing the approaching Greater Daemons, the High Elf Noble in the regiment stepped across and bravely issued a challenge, looking to buy the Loremaster more time to properly respond to the threat. N'kari allowed his companion to accept the challenge in order to better focus upon the ranks of feebly armoured Elves. N'kari scythed into the Swordmasters, killing almost a dozen of them with his initial charge. The Noble fared no better against the other Keeper of Secrets and was torn to pieces before he could land a blow. Things did not go all their way, however. The Swordmasters struck back and managed to land a couple of telling blows on N'kari, whilst those on the flank turned and cut apart the Fiends in a blur of shining blades and spraying blood. Nearly half of the newly arrived Harpies also fell, and things were not looking quite so one-sided as N'kari had hoped. The High Elves held their ground, and his own wounds were beginning to worry him. His grip on the mortal realm was once more becoming tenuous.
The Frostheart Phoenix beats a hasty retreat after N'kari looked menacingly at it first
Bit of a mess with all the combats going on
Behind him, the beleaguered Daemon Prince was no longer fighting alone. Dark Elf Dreadspears charged into the Phoenix, whilst a regiment of Cold Ones Knights shook off its earlier stupor and crashed into the Tiranoc Chariots, lances lowered. One of the Chariots collapsed under the onslaught, and the other tried futilely to turn and flee. It was caught mid-turn and torn apart. The Phoenix proved a tougher prospect for the Dreadspears, however their numbers were telling and it too was dragged down as it tried to escape the fight.
The Phoenix finds itself fighting a great many Dreadspears
The supporting act for the Daemon Prince is suddenly the only act in town
But that's OK. Because they have totally got this, right? The Dragon isn't that big...
The Star Dragon was less easily driven off, however. Continuing its duel with the Daemon Prince, the mighty Dragon shrugged off the Daemon's desperate attacks and seized him with both taloned forelimbs before biting down with its foot-long teeth and devouring him from the waist up. If the Dragon noticed the loss of its allies, it seemed unconcerned and instead roared in defiance as the Cold One Knights carried on into it whilst the Dreadspears wheeled about into its flank.

As the Eagles prepared to meet the onrushing Corsairs, their plight became even more serious as the Daemonettes rushed in alongside the Dark Elves. Wickedly serrated blades and razor-sharp talons took a terrible toll upon the Eagles, and despite killing several Corsairs and a few Daemonettes, the enemy simply rolled straight through them. The Daemonettes' course carried them up behind the Keeper of Secrets as it fought the Swordmasters, whilst the Corsairs finally tired in their headlong rush and failed to reach another regiment of waiting Swordmasters.
This is going to hurt...
The Eagles' suffering is over. Not too many animals were harmed in the making of this battle report. Honest.
The carnage on the flank was not quite over, however. The Reaper Bolt Throwers deep on the right flank were supported by shots from another battery in the centre of the line, and between them they were able to bring down the Star Dragon that had been carrying the Archmage into the fray before he perished from their previous volley. Impaled by multiple black-fletched bolts, the Dragon collapsed with a wheeze and a groan.

Atop his mighty Dragon in the centre, Malekith put his armoured boots up, steepled his fingers, and practiced his evil laugh. There was no need for him to become involved yet. His minions had matters under control, so all he had to do was drift about behind his lines and remind his underlings who was in charge. Besides, the monstrous size of Sulekh gave the Witch King a great view of the battlefield, and it would have been a pity to waste it by getting his hands dirty. Not when there was finger-steepling and sinister laughing practice to be done.

The struggle between the Eagles, Dragon and Cold One Knights continued. The Knights brought down the final Eagle as it fought to its last breath, and with the enemy champion dealt with, the Prince and his Star Dragon were finally able to focus on the rest of the Dark Elves. The Dragon tore 4 of them from their saddles, but the remaining few refused to break and fought on in the face of seemingly certain doom.
More things wait patiently for the Star Dragon to hurry up and finish the job
The battle between the Dreadspears and Lion Chariots also continued, with neither side making substantial headway. The claws of the Lions and great axes of the Asur tore into the Druchii, but they fought back with a bristling rank of spears and their weight of numbers meant they were not about to flee.

Regiments of Black Guard and Dreadspears charged side-by-side into the closer unit of Phoenix Guard. As they closed, a robed Assassin emerged amongst their ranks and leapt at the Noble leading the High Elves. In a blur of blades the two struck each other mortal blows simultaneously, and both fell silently as those around them fought on. The Dark Elves had weight of numbers and the momentum of the charge on their side, but Asuryan's blessing lay heavily upon the Phoenix Guard and they fought their assailants to a standstill.
The Phoenix Guard hold firm in the face of the Dark Elf assault
The Noble and Assassin have at each other, and die simultaneously
By their side, the Frostheart Phoenix and Hydra continued to do battle, but neither could gain a clear advantage. Likewise the remaining Lion Chariot continued to struggle with another Hydra, with neither party getting the upper hand. The onrushing Tiranoc Chariots crashed into yet another Hydra and cut it apart on the charge, but they were in turn charged by another Hydra, whilst a third rammed into their flank. One Chariot was torn to pieces and the other was sorely wounded, but the determined crew fought on, surrounded by a seemingly endless number of hissing heads.
The Hydras strike back, enveloping what's left of the Tiranoc Chariots
As the Dragon Princes behind the Tiranoc Chariots pulled up and reformed, a dark shadow descended upon them as one of the Black Dragons of the Druchii swept in. Realising his comrades were not yet prepared, the unit champion bravely shouted a challenge as the Dragon landed and then set about desperately defending himself. His efforts were nearly successful as he shrugged off the efforts of the Dark Elf Dreadlord before finally succumbing to the final blow from the Dragon. By this point the regiment had regained their composure and tried to drive the beast away, but it would not be so easily repulsed and looked hungrily at the rest of the knights.
Oooow!! The Dragon Princes find themselves slightly counter-charged. Just a little.
If the Dragon Princes had fared well against the Dragon, the other regiment nearby were not so fortunate. As they slaughtered their second Hydra, they found themselves flanked by an enormous tide of Witch Elves and a small regiment of Dreadspears, amongst whom an Assassin soon appeared. Of the 15 brave High Elves who received the charge, only 2 survived that brutal onslaught. One was the unit's banner bearer, who fought to the death in a futile attempt to protect the regiment's standard. The other survivor more prudently turned to run, but was caught anyway, dragged from his saddle and impaled upon numerous poisonous blades. The Dreadspears continued their forward rush into the front of the Silver Helms nearby, but the Witch Elves found their advance blocked by the nearby Dragon.
The Dragon Princes gone, the Spearmen and their Assassins head into the Silver Helms and Hamish's BSB for the flank. It'll be fine, I'm sure...
What's the worst that could happen? Killing Blow has never hurt anyone before, right?
The regiment of Corsairs on the Dark Elf left flank made for the remaining unengaged Dragon Prince unit, however depleted as they were from enemy shooting, they wheeled their steed about and fled rather than holding to face the charge. Their flight carried them beyond the ranks of friendly infantry, where they regrouped and glanced nervously about to see if anyone had noticed their flagrant cowardice.
The brave Dragon Princes hide behind the skirts of the Sea Guard and Phoenix Guard. The scary blur in the background is the Corsairs that apparently had their number
The Dark Riders that had disappeared around the end of the cliffs returned and lined up in front of the small White Lion regiment on the flank. Shots from their repeater crossbows filled the air and felled several of the High Elves. Meanwhile the Bolt Throwers on the hill ignored the distraction of the fleeing Harpies as they departed the field nearby and instead managed to knock the Dragon Mage from his saddle and wound his mount.

The Manticore on the hill caught side of the Flamespyre Phoenix lurking hard on the flank and rushed toward it with a roar. It attacked ferociously and with no regard for its own safety, however the magical protection of the Phoenix was proof against most of its efforts and both beasts suffered only minor wounds and the fight continued.
The Beastmaster will tell you he decided to charge the Phoenix, but I don't think that's how Manticores work. He rushed over to bat enthusiastically but largely ineffectively at it. Probably singed his paws on the fiery feathers too. No wonder he's so grumpy. Fortunately the Phoenix isn't very dangerous anyway.
The inept Prince on his fool Star Dragon was less fortunate. Having failed to kill the first Cold One Chariot, its companion now rushed down the hill and into the combat. The Prince was felled, and although the Dragon finally disposed of the first Chariot, it stumbled and fell trying to escape the second one and was slain. The Prince who was now fighting the Warlocks on foot fared little better, and although he killed one of his opponents, he was cut down in return. 

With the Prince so easily dealt with, the Warlocks also found time to gather the winds of magic about them and send forth the power of Soulblight. Such was its potency that roughly half of the High Elves on the field felt their strength and endurance weakened, although power such as this is not without its price and the spell claimed one of the Warlocks as he lost his concentration for a moment. In all, the fighting was taking a terrible toll upon the Caledorian contingent, but their flank was not yet lost.
Bit of a traffic jam over there.
The second wave sits and waits
The Dark Elves before the Comet struck
Along the line during the turn
So many big monsters kicking about. Somebody should kill some of them. Make a bit of elbow/wing room.
A view out over the centre. 
The High Elf left/Dark Elf right flank at the end of the turn
The centre at the end of Turn 2
Just another happy snap.
The Witch King's forces were starting to gain the ascendancy...

End of Turn 2
High Elves: 2519 VPs
Dark Elves: 3776 VPs


  1. Terrific stuff!! It's great to see something on this scale, and all those lovely dragons!! There are a lot of stuff here I'd like a chance to look closer at- cant wait to see the next instalment

  2. EDIT: I missed including the boosted Soulblight, but then it sounded like the guys largely forgot about it during the game as well, so it seems appropriate.

  3. Great stuff Hoodling! As HE player i hope for a victory on that side.
    All those eagles gone, what a waste..... A pity.
    You a fortunate you have a group who can put so much elves on the table. WHFB is great on the LARGE scale.
    Big fan!

  4. It's so nice to occasionally spot a chaos warrior unit I painted, Makes me feel like I contributed something.