Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Battle of Vanhaldenschlosse: Part 3

This is a continuation of the Battle of Vanhaldenschlosse report. You can find the previous part hereor go back to the main page here.

Empire Turn 3

Empire Turn 3
Volkmar decides to get his hands dirty.

Volkmar the Grim watched with concern as the battle unfolded around him. His left flank was strong, but his right flank was now under siege. For now however, he had to attend to his centre, which was uncertain. Taking matters into his own hands, he sounded the Horn of Sigismund and charged his War Altar into the Grave Guard as they sought to pursue the panicked Swordsmen nearby. Encouraged by this brave display and the bold battle cry of the horn, a regiment of Crossbowmen drew their blades and charged into the Grave Guard regiment’s flank. Realising they were being the rescued, the Swordsmen regained their composure and rallied behind their charging allies.
A War Altar does impact hits like any other chariot, but its prowess beyond that is... so-so
The Bat Swarms succeed in getting in the way of the Greatswords.
On the left flank, the Greatswords continued to carve a swathe through the undead formations. A swarm of bats hovered between them and a regiment of Skeletons that was advancing toward the struggle between the Reiksguard and the remaining Black Knights. Ignoring their growing weariness and the dangers of the frozen lake beneath their feet, the Greatswords charged into the bats and hacked them down with great swings of their swords.
No more Bat Swarms. Who is next?
Having caught word of the undead reinforcements on the far flank, the legions of Knights Panther had been attempting to force a path across the field. Seeing the Helblaster Volley Guns beset by a pack of Fell Bats, they altered their course slightly and crushed the beasts, barely slowing on their way through.
Far more Knights Panther perished to the dangerous footing of the frozen lake than anything else as they wiped aside the Fell Bats (but not before they killed the remaining crewman on the Volley Gun).
Our work here is finished: the Knights Panther push on across the lines.
The Grave Guard and Ghouls finished off the last of the howling Flagellants and re-gathered their formations, looking for fresh targets. Volkmar might have been concerned by the renewed threat, but he was a little busy struggling to repel the smaller Grave Guard regiment he was fighting. Though the impact of the charge had depleted the enemy somewhat, the undead were relentless. Already he had two nasty wounds from the villains, and would doubtless have already perished if not for his vantage point on the War Altar, which made it difficult for the Grave Guard to strike the killing blows at which they were so adept. In the flank, the Crossbowmen were also struggling; few of them fell to the enemy, but they were likewise unable to bring down many of their tough opponents.
About half of the Grave Guard died to impact hits and attacks, or collapsed due to losing the combat. But first they did their best to kill Volkmar. If he hadn't been mounted up high on a chariot, he would have been killing blowed like all those Knights before him. As it was, he survived on a single wound...
Looking about, the Steam Tank driver realized that the Griffon that had rescued him was now itself in need of rescue as the Black Coach pursued it. Dropping back below his hatch, he hastily hauled about on the Steam Tank’s controls, but the cumbersome machine protested at this careless treatment and misfired, hissing steam and losing so much of its power that it could not catch the enemy Coach.

The rider of the Griffon had only just regained control of his mount and wheeled it about to find the Black Coach bearing down upon him. He raised his blade in challenge and prepared for the impact to come when his tormentor suddenly exploded in a shower of splintered wood and bone. Looking about, he saw the crew of one of the Great Cannons cheering and congratulating each other. He allowed himself a small sigh of relief and patted the feathered neck of his wounded Griffon. That Cannon shot had likely just saved them both.

Behind the main undead line, one of the Corpse Carts was also smashed apart by the fire from the Great Cannons. The might of the Empire artillery was taking its toll on the enemy.
The Griffon could not charge; it started the turn facing the wrong way. The Demigryphs had no such issues.
The Empire right flank was now scrambling to respond to the legions of enemies that marched onto the field. The Demigyphs took the aggressive approach, and charged into a through a pack of Dire Wolves before crashing into the ranks of Grave Guard that waited behind. The Steam Tank turned and ploughed into the flank of one of the huge mobs of Ghouls, crushing many and pinning holding up their advance.
Greetings, fellow doggies. Om nom nom.
Having dealt with the Dire Wolves, the Demigryphs overrun and are now well and truly in the midst of the enemy lines.
What nonsense is this? Instead of flinging themselves headlong into the enemy like all good doom-seekers should, the Flagellants spread wide, lock arms and chant, "Hell no, we won't go!"
A chanting wall of Flagellants spread wide in front of the Vampire Lord and his minions, seeking to block their path and buy time for their comrades with their lives. Some were positively gleeful about the prospect, arguing over whose demise would be the more gruesome and doom-ful.
It looks funny, but it was a tactically sound plan to buy time for the other troops.
Greatswords arrive in the flank of the Vargheists, who at this point really wish they had done a better job of breaking through the White Wolves.
Greatswords wheeled about and charged the Vargheists in the flank in an effort to rescue the White Wolf Knights, or at least to benefit from their sacrifice. The beasts lashed out in all directions, slashing and tearing savagely at their assailants. In return, the Empire forces fought with grim determination, striking brutal blows with their two-handed weapons. The assault was too great for the Vargheists and their numbers dwindled rapidly until only one of their number remained, hissing its defiance.
The ensuing carnage saw half a dozen Knights, a few Greatswords, and almost all of the Vargheists fall. Importantly though, 1 Vargheist remained to hold the Greatswords facing the wrong direction.
The Empire left flank. Not being pushed quite so hard as the right. Note that the Steam Tank still really hasn't moved. So many misfires.
Excitement lies yonder, my fellow Knights. Pity we appear to have drowned almost our entire back rank in the lake...

Vampire Counts Turn 3

Vampire Counts Turn 3
The Great Wall of Flagellants gets sandwiched from either end.
The undead continued their aggressive push across the field as Vlad’s reinforcements tried to fight their way past those Empire forces screening their advance. The Vampire Lord led the charge against the insolent Flagellants, striking at one end of their line whilst the Zombie Dragon of Count Altschul descended upon the other. The toll upon the suicidal humans was terrible, but still they resisted long enough to buy time for their allies, preventing the undead from simply sweeping onto the field.
Lord Altschul is a traditional Vampire with traditional tastes. He almost certainly wears a monocle under that helmet.
...And then there were 2. Just enough to be really annoying.
A pack of Wraiths had arrived beside the Steam Tank that was so rudely holding up one of the Ghoul hordes, and they now attacked the machine, their ethereal talons reaching straight through its normally impenetrable and grasping for the living flesh within. The clawing failed to reach the engineer driving the machine, who was now huddled up against the far wall, shrieking and sobbing as death reached ever closer. They did manage to reach other important components of the tank and start tearing at them, which alarmed the driver even more as the Tank began hissing and wobbling in a worrying fashion.
The Undead send help to deal with the Demigryphs
As the Grave Guard braced to receive the charge from the Demigryphs, assistance was already on its way in the form of a regiment of Black Knights and a Black Coach that counter-charged into the enemy’s flank. As well-positioned as they were, there was little the undead could do to counter the sheer brutality of the Demigryphs, which leapt into the Grave Guard and savaged their formation. Several Demigryph Knights perished to the lances of the Black Knights and the blades of the Grave Guard, but the damaged they sustained was immense. The undead regiments recoiled slightly under the assault, and the Black Coach collapsed altogether as the magic binding it together unraveled.
It seems like a lot of the Demigryphs died, but I believe a Terrorgheist might have been singing too them whilst the combat was going on, and contributed to the damage. They certainly had the upper hand from a combat resolution perspective.
The Griffon gets its reward for landing immediately in front of the Grave Guard.
Nearby, a foolish Griffon had descended to block the path of another regiment of Grave Guard. They duly charged it in an attempt to force their way path, but the efforts were hindered as the Grave Guard champion was obliged to challenge the Griffon rider in order to protect the still-crippled Ghoul King hiding in their ranks. The champion was quickly vanquished, however the distraction was enough to prevent the regiment from bringing sufficient force to bear to be rid of their enemy, and their progress ground to a halt as the Griffon held its position.
Count Luthor Von Carstein turns up and immediately starts knocking models off the unit filler in the Greatswords. Take that, presentation!
A Terrorgheist decides to try to eat all the White Wolves whilst the Luthor and his Ghouls handle the Greatswords
The last of the Vargheists perished under the continued assault from the Empire regiments, however it had bought enough time for the rest of the undead lines to catch up, and a Terrorgheist charged into the White Wolves whilst the Greatswords found themselves flanked by a horde of Ghouls led by another Vampire, Count Luthor von Carstein. The Terrorgheist tore into the White Wolves, leaving only a single Knight in the saddle. Perhaps a dozen of the Greatswords fell to the attentions of the Vampire and his ghoulish followers, however the regiment’s discipline held and the survivors quickly regrouped to face their attackers before they were completely overwhelmed.
Luthor finishes off the unit filler he knocked over earlier, but it doesn't stop the stubborn Greatswords from reforming to face the new threat.
The Terrorgheist did well for himself. Just one White Wolf left.
The struggle near the forest was finally resolved when a renewed push by the Halberdiers seemingly caught the Black Knights off-guard and felled several of them. The remainder recoiled in the face of this sudden reversal of fortune before the magic sustaining them collapsed and they crumbled to the ground.
The Black Knights suddenly fall apart when the Halberdiers work out how to roll, and this leaves them free to reform to face the Terrorgheist.
Ghouls to the face!
In the centre of the field, the Ghouls raced forward and charged the Handgunners, who held their ground and fired but could do little to slow the attack. The Ghouls pounced upon the hapless soldiers as they struggled to drop their guns and draw their swords in time to protect themselves. Many of them died, and it wasn’t long before those still standing were making a hasty retreat. The Ghouls were slow to react and failed to catch them as they fled.
Run away, protect your faces!
The Grave Guard regiment that had survived the Flagellant assault also looked for a new target and found it in the Reiksguard Knights, not far away. Unfortunately their progress was far slower than expected due to the thick carpet of snow and dead Flagellants, and they staggered to a halt without reaching their intended targets.
This was poor rolling on Pete's part. I think the Grave Guard needed to roll a 5 on 2D6 for the charge, and rolled a 4. They would have done a real number on the Reiksguard, and now they were stranded.
The smaller Grave Guard regiment continued its efforts to finish off the wounded Grand Theogonist, however the blessing of Sigmar (or perhaps just luck) was with him, and his light armour shrugged off blow after blow. Meanwhile the Crossbowmen continued to flail impotently at the flank of the Grave Guard, and only their sheer weight of numbers ensured that they maintained the upper hand in the struggle.
So Volkmar was almost dead coming into this round of combat, and took 3 more wounds. Somehow, improbably, I passed all 3 armour saves needing 6s. Sigmar's blessings, for certain.
The Skeletons arrive to try to rescue what is left of the Black Knights. The Grave Guard should have been helping too, of course.
A regiment of Skeletons pushed through the trees and into the Reiksguard in an effort to save the Black Knights, however their arrival was in vain as the last of the Knights perished under the continued assault from the Empire Knights. Having failed in their rescue mission, the Skeletons instead set about hammering away at the thick armour of the Reiksguard with their ancient, pitted weapons in the hope of gradually wearing them down.
Finally, the Zombies do something right!
The large mob on Zombies on the undead right flank managed to increase their speed from a shamble to a rapid shuffle, and lurched into another regiment of Empire Knights that had carelessly exposed its flank to them. They managed to drag two of the Knights from their saddles, however remarkably their victims not only held their ground, but managed to reform to face the assault.
What is this? I believe the Knights lost badly enough to be testing on leadership 4. Not only did they hold, but they managed to reform. Bogus rolling, Tim!
The spooky Wraiths charge through the forest, intent on beating up on the Swordsmen who had little hope of hurting them in return.
Hard on the right flank, the small group of Wraiths that had been lurking behind the trees suddenly made their presence felt as they glided forward and attacked the regiment of Empire Swordsmen. Swallowing their fear, the soldiers held their ground and did their best to fend off their ethereal opponents, knowing that they could do nothing at all to strike back.
Unfortunately the spooky Wraiths were unimpressive in their efforts and were now stuck right in front of a Griffon with magical attacks.
Meanwhile, in the corner of the field that nobody really cared about, the Knights were steadily working their way through the Zombies, who couldn't manage to penetrate their armour in return.
How the Empire right/Vampire left looked at the end of turn 3.

You can find the final part of the report here.

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