Game 2: Battle of the Pass. Ode to the killer musos
So Ryan only has himself to blame for rolling battle of the pass vs my first ever run with Empire using this list:
Grand Templar Master: Runefang, charmed shield, luckstone, potion of foolishness
lvl4: light, scroll
BSB: bsteed, FPA, sh, SOMight
Warrior Priest: HA, GW
39 Halberds: FC
10 Inner Circle Knights: FC
3 DemiGriffs: (lance)
10 Reiksknights: FC
So 4 artillery pieces, 2 blocks of knights and...(somewhat controversially) no steel standard. Most looking forward to seeing how the hellblasters kill stuff and of course the awesomeness of the Runefang-SOOOO EXCITING that it can now be carried by someone who can actually fight.
So VC knights on my right flank being the big concern especially as there was a forest covering their approach. Double varghulf on 1 flank is an exciting chance to see how good knights actually are...
Due to having pretty much zero drops I get to go first. My movement consists of the ICKnights swift reforming into a line at base of hill to block the wolves and the demi griffs angling to catch the wolves if they survive the magic/shooting phase and try a sneaky run at my artillery. Ryan casually mentioned that he thought he was playing vs Empire not dwarfs...I pointed out that I hadnt deployed on my table edge, so yes, he was playing an empire army :P
Magic was an epic magic missile fest. Killing the 2 units of wolves on my right. Shooting didnt do much. The cannons opened up with a misfire (6) and a varghulf regening a hit.
Vamps began their turn my moving the left wolves up into the ruin with the varghulfs in tow. Ryan instantly regretted deploying the spirit hosts away from the general as they shuffled forward 6 inch.
The knights moved up using the forest for cover.
In the magic phase the ghouls used the book to move closer (but not the full 8 inch as that would have given my Reiks a fantastic flank charge...). The black knights vanhels'ed into the forest.
So no pic of my turn. Basically my Riek knights rolled triple 1 for a charge on the ghouls....IF if had the steel standard I still would have failed the charge with my hypothetical re-roll-so points well saved if you ask me! The halberds stumbled forward to line up with the knights. Magic phase was a dud. Shooting phase was more exciting. BOTH hellblasters rolled 1 misfire. 1 re-roll = another misfire, the other a few more shots. Basically hitting on 6's (long range, forest, bs3) I killed 3 black knights. The cannons then joined in and killed another 4. xbows bounced off (in fact they scored zero kills all game :( ).
Vamps: With 3 units to choose from the Black knight bus decides to choose the hard one and charges the hellblaster. On left flank the wolves moved up to force overrun into double varghulf.
In the magic phase the vamp decides to IF whatever it cast and get most of the black knights back...and then roll a cheesy IF result.
In the combat the hellblaster dies and the bus over runs into the awaiting engineer.
GAME ON. now in the pics the expertly drawn in line is the 24 inch line-ie my deployment zone. Please note that in the following pic my halberds have CROSSED that line.....crazy I know, and proof once again that I am not a closet Dwarf player. So the halberds and Riek knights charge into the ghoul horde. Not sure if aligned right, but had BSB and GTM in the combat and 9 halberds...think that works out. Either way we were both happy with it and I forgot to attack with supporting knights and the BSB only killed 3 ghouls in total so didn't swing it massively in my favour or anything. Demigriffs flank the black knights.
On the left flank I combo charged the wolves to get my awesome on-killing enough to crumble them. Instead of the overrun I passed leadership test and refomed into traditional formation of 5 wide.
Magic phase....I roll up 12 dice with a juicy combat that is in desperate need of buffing. Throw 4 dice at a DISTRACT s6 shems burning gaze on the blood knights....and fail to cast. Instead the warriorpriest takes over and casts re-roll to wound (5++ being dispelled). Shooting...well the hellblaster is my new best friend. Misfire AGAIN...though this time the re-roll = 26 shots....and a wiped out unit of blood knights...Like a boss. In the combat I do epically well Runefang kills a Vamp in a challenge. The other dies to spiky s4 halberds. The halberds to their bit killing heaps, I have my 2nd bullsh*t armour save moment of the day when the warrior priest passes 4/4 5+ armour saves. My halberds took a beating due to vanhels but my re-roll to wound won me the day. Ghouls crumble down to a manageable amount. In the demi griff combat I win by 1 (and engineer lives!)
Vamps: double varghulf charge on ICknights. That combat is good for me as I do enough wounds to the wounded varghulf that I kill it with Crumble. Magic phase Resulted in most of the black knights coming back again and the ghouls getting some new friends...That I ruthlessly kill again thanks to re-roll to wound. Sadly the Warrior Priest dies this time round. Demi Griffs win combat again (by passing heaps of armour saves).
Not much moving. In Magic phase I cast ws10, i10 on the Demi griffs and then IF ASF, +1 attack on the halberds and avoid the pit. The demigriffs decide to fail armour saves though and run off board with the speed of light... I do a wound on the vargulf due to Cres (he kills 1. I have standard and muso ftw). The halberds finish off the ghouls and everyone reforms to look like this:
Vamps: the vampire then does this:
And promptly IF's raise dead to create zombies to his left suspiciously where my dead pile was (threatening the hellblaster). And then casts the healing spell for good measure (creating more zombies). Spirit hosts ALMOST make it to combat. In the combat the halberds are killed down to Valten who valently flees away! the blood knights rolling a triple 1 to pursue.
My knights charge into the zombies (as were now in the front arc of the bloodknights). Magic does nothing to the knights. In the shooting I unleash the hellblaster that finishes off the knights (ANOTHER misfire re-rolling to a misfire...), a cannon explodes trying to kill vamp and the other one gets warded. Xbows bounce off harmlessly. INVINCIBLE VAMPIRE. In combat I kill enough zombies to crumble them and I do another muso wound.
Vamp turn: A SPIRIT HOST MAKES IT TO COMBAT with a cannon (holds) and the hellblaster (fails ld10 re-rolling and dies). Varghulf finally dies-reform to face the flank of spirit host in combat with cannon. Vamp goes and hides, but casts the vortex down the knights killing 4.
Vortex dissipates. ICKnights vs Spirit host vs cannon = Static Cres FTW. Other one gets runefanged.
Vampire then last turn charges GTM for a fun showdown...heals himself to full wounds and wins the challenge (stupid ward), but doesnt kill my GTM.
RUNEFANG'ED GTM ROCKS!!!!!!!
Barely left my deployment zone -the Empire way and a comfortable win in a mission that was always going to be an uphill battle for the vampire list that relies on getting the knights on a flank.
I was happy with the 2 knight blocks. For a bit I thought the 2 hellblasters was over kill, but now typing it up I really see the benefit. Was also tempted to drop ICknights for another block of halberds/detachments but vs the varghulfs a block of halberds would have been mince meat. I never had to use the Reik knight stubborn + BSB cold blooded, but that is a good thing. As usual my cannons were a waste of space and are mainly there to scare people (though killing 4 black knights was very, very useful).
Demigriffs were solid holding vs an angry vamp lord, so good first run out for them.
Thinking about how to handle the wider "meta", I think the GTM needs the dragonbane gem, and the BSB could do with the Other Trickster's shard. With these I can rush into flaming units, K'tai's, and warded up annoying stuff and grind them down. I also want to fit the standard of discipline on the Rieks to make them very, very hard to shift. Back to the number crunching I guess.
A fun game with my wall of Iron, bullets and magic missiles holding out against the undead masses. Now to get my knights looking good...possibly get some new models and all the new stuff painted!