Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Brettonia Overrun By Daemons! Lady of the Lake Missing; Feared Slain! (a battle report)
(Guillermo and I have been playing his Brettonians vs. some aspect of my Chaos for several months now. Things went his way for the first several games, then things changed...the Daemon book came out! I wish I had done reports for all of them, but oh well...) Brettonia Overrun By Daemons! Lady of the Lake Missing; Feared Slain! Many months ago the Duke’s forces repelled a number of incursions by the mortal followers of Chaos. These were just the first waves of what has turned in to a major invasion by daemonic and mortals forces, which have run amok over the beautiful Brettonian countryside. The Duke and his sons were slain. The King is in hiding. The Lady herself mustered the Realm’s defenses, and while they repelled one assault by the Daemons, there has been no news for a fortnight of her or her army since they left to counter another Daemonic advance. Daemons have been sighted in all corners of our fair land, and all citizens are warned of the great danger to our way of life! With no word of the King or the Lady, it falls upon the local baronies and fiefdoms to look to their own defenses. Honor your vows to your local Knights, and defend your homes! The latest in a long series of battles between Chaos and Brettonia happened this weekend at my place. We played a 2500 point game (so we could have lots of fun toys! J ) on a relatively open battlefield. The terrain consisted of hills in the North-West and South-East corners (with the Daemons setting up on the South edge). There were forests on the middle-line flanks of the table, forcing the action towards the middle. There was a forest in the back middle of the Brettonian (North) side of the table, and a small marsh in the back middle of the Daemons. The Daemonic army was a mix of all but Nurgle’s forces: Led by a Herald of Tzeentch on a flying chariot with Master of Sorcery and Spell Breaker. A Khorne Herald on a Chariot held the Army Battle Standard, the Banner of Unholy Victory. Another Herald of Khorne on a Juggernaught was present, and Slaanesh sent one of his Heralds armed with a mighty Etherblade. Two units of 18 Horrors were present, alongside a unit of 16 Bloodletters with full command, and 15 Daemonettes with full command. 6 Flamers hopped alongside the army, while 6 Furies flew overhead. Two units of 5 Flesh Hounds ranged ahead of the army, seeking prey; and 2 Fiends of Slaanesh pranced about, their lithe limbs carrying them with unholy speed. Arrayed to defend her Realm and her People, the Fey Enchantress led a mighty host of noble knights. She road on her magnificent Unicorn alongside 5 Grail Knights, sworn to her defense. A high noble carried the army Battle Standard in another large unit of 8 Grail Knights. 6 Knights of the Realm rode to battle carrying their War Banner. Two units of 9 Knights Errant looked for the chance to prove their worth. Two of the Lady’s chosen Damsels road amongst the nights, protecting and guiding them. The peasantry turned out in large numbers to protect their homes: three units of 10 Bowmen were on the field, and two units of 15 Men at Arms stood ready to support their Nobles. The Lady had also seen to it that a might piece of field artillery, a Trebuchet, was on hand to help repel the Daemons. The Daemons deployed with fast light troops on their left: the Fiends, the Furies, and the Flamers set up to the west, with the forest to their front. Next came a unit of Horrors, lending magical support to this flank. To their right came the Bloodletters with the Khorne Herald amongst them. The Daemonic line was split by the marsh, but continued in a solid line beyond it…the Daemonettes formed the center, and to their right was the Battle Standard Bearer on his Chariot. To his right was a unit of Flesh Hounds, then another unit of Horrors, and the extreme right end of the line was held by the second unit of Hounds. The general on his flying chariot hovered behind the right-most Horrors. The Brettonians placed a unit of Knight Errants with a Damsel amongst them on their West flank, opposite the Fiends, Furies, and Flamers. Next to them, on a hill, was a unit of peasant bowmen behind defensive stakes, and Fat Bertha, the mighty Field Trebuchet. Next came the Lady herself and her supporting Grail Knights, a unit of men-at-arms, and the larger Grail Knight force with the other Damsel. Another unit of Peasants set up defensive stakes to hold the middle of the line. Next to them was the other Knights Errant. Then came more Men-at-Arms in support, and the unit of Knights of the Realm. On the east end of their line was a unit of peasant bowmen in loose skirmishing order. The Daemons surged in to action. The Fiends inched forward, taunting the Knight’s Errant. The Flamers marched in to the forest, while the furies followed them to the forest’s edge. The horrors moved forward to get the enemy in range of their foul magic, and the Bloodletters inched forward to support them. The Daemonettes were anxious to caress the enemy with their loving claws: they ran as fast as they could to the middle of the battlefield, but turning slightly to the east, facing the Knights Errant and Knights of the Realm. The Battle Standard Bearer’s Chariot and Flesh Hounds adjusted slightly. The east horrors moved to within magic range, while the east end of the line saw the Flesh Hounds leap forward, saliva dripping at the thought of gnawing on mortal flesh! The Fey Enchantress, scorning the power of Tzeentch’s magic, chose to not dispel the Flickering Fire cast by the Horrors at the archers on the hill, believing Tzeentch’s spell to not be able to reach. Alas for the peasants, the spell was in range, and 4 of them died. The rest, not wanting to meet the same fate, fled off the hill. The rest of the Daemonic magic was completely ineffective for the rest of the battle. The Knights Errant could not resist the urge to prove their worth, and charged at the Daemonettes. The large Grail Knight unit wanted to support their brothers, and charged the Daemonettes flank. The Knights Errant facing the Fiends were intimidated by their alluring appearance, so backed up to avoid their soft caresses. The Enchantress moved forward just a tweak to be ready to support her followers. The Men-at-Arms were urged forward by the Knights. The Lady’s magic was strong. Drinking from her Chalice, she called down a mighty Comet between the Bloodletters and the horrors. She then called upon the power of the wood to smite down three of the Furies. The Trebuchet’s crew set up their shot at the Bloodletters wrong, and instead managed to kill one of the Grail Knights engaged with the Daemonettes! The bowmen killed a Bloodletter and wounded a flesh hound on the east flank. The Knights were about to learn the power of Slaanesh’s forces. The Herald of Slaanesh cut down the noble carrying the Brettonian battle standard before any lances could be driven home. The rest of the Daemonettes managed to kill a Grail Knight and a Knight Errant. Then the lances struck, and the Daemonettes paid the price for their impetuous advance. 9 Daemonettes fell under the lances and hooves of the noble knights. But they were not deterred…the symbol of Slaanesh that they bore granted them assurance that they would be rewarded, and they stubbornly refused to give up the fight. The Daemonette’s advance had set up the flower of Brettonian nobility to take charges from the Bloodletters with the Herald of Khorne, while the Knights Errant were charged by the Khorne Chariot and the Flesh Hounds. The remaining furies flew over the trees to engage the crew of the Trebuchet. The other Flesh Hound pack charged at the skirmishing Bowmen. The Fiends inched forward a bit more, against taunting and jeering at the Knights Errant. The Flamers edged thru the woods, ready to fling Tzeentchian flames, but were unable to penetrate the combination of Brettonian armor and the protection of The Lady. The Horrors marched forward to get away from the incoming comet. The Daemonic charge on the Knights engaged with the Daemonettes was harsh. Many knights were slain outright, the rest fleeing. The Knights Errant were dragged down by the Flesh-hounds, while several of the Grail Knights escaped. The Furies and Trebuchet crew commenced a three turn display of lack of martial prowess…nobody would kill anyone, and nobody would flee. The skirmishing bowmen were annihilated by the Flesh Hounds. In the middle of the table, the pursuit of the Knights left the daemons in a horrible traffic jam, and the remaining Knights surged forward to take advantage. The Knights Errant that had been playing patty-cake with the Fiends charged the Flamers in the trees. The Lady and her Knights, along with halberd wielding Men-at-Arms, charged the flank of the Bloodletters. The Knights of the Realm charged the Horrors at the East end of the Daemonic line. The Peasants that had fled and rallied last turn moved back to the perch on the hill, but bereft of the protection of their stakes. The Grail Knights that had fled rallied and turned to face back in to the fray. Things did not go well for the Daemons. The Flamers were annihilated, and the Knights Errant continued their charge in to the flank of the West Horrors. The Men-at-Arms and Grail Knights killed many Bloodletters, and many more were lost to the warp…so many that the Knights were no longer in combat. The Knights of the Realm killed a handful of Horrors, but they maintained their hold on the mortal world. The third Daemon turn, and things were precariously balanced. The protections of the Lady had prevented Daemonic magic from having any affect, and the furious counter-charge of the Daemons had run it’s course, leaving them surrounded by vengeful knights filled with righteous fury! The General moved to east end of the Brettonian line, ready to throw the weight of his chariot where it was needed. The Flesh Hounds that had chased down the Bowmen returned to the battle, ready to fall upon the rear of the Knights. The Fiends charged the Bowmen on the hill, killing several and chasing the rest off the table. The Daemonettes, Flesh-Hounds, and Chariot tried to correct their traffic jam, with the Hounds setting up to receive the charge from the recently rallied Grail Knights, and the Chariot and Daemonettes moved to position to support them and the east Horrors fighting the Knights of the Realm. The Herald of Khorne in the remnants of the Bloodletter unit moved over to engage the men-at-arms. The protection granted him by the Juggernaut he rode protected him from harm, but he only managed to cut down a few peasants. More Bloodletters were lost to the Warp. The furies and Trebuchet crew continued to play cards together. The Knights Errant and Knights of the Realm continued to battle with Horrors, killing more of Tzeentch’s daemons and sending many back to the warp. The fate of their realm still hung in the balance as the Brettonians began their third turn. The Lady spurred the Unicorn and her Grail Knight escort back in to the Bloodletter unit, contacting again the flank of the Khorne Herald. The rallied Grail Knights charged the Flesh Hounds in front of them. The Khorne Herald let out a might challenge, and one of the Grail Knights was obliged to accept. The Grail Knight wounded the herald, but was slain thrice over for his trouble. Even with that display of martial prowess, the rest of the Bloodletters fled to the warp, leaving the herald alone. The Flesh Hounds stood their ground, losing several of their number but taking a Grail Knight with them. More Hounds were sent to the warp, but two remained locked in combat with the Grail Knights. Knights Errant and Knights of the Realm continued to grind the Horrors, but neither could overcome their foes. The fourth turn, and the Daemons saw the outcome Tzeentch had ordained. The Fiends came back to the battlefield, moving up to the hill recently vacated by their prey. The Battle Standard Bearer’s Chariot charged the Grail Knights flank. The Flesh Hounds on the right charged the rear of the unengaged Men-at-Arms. The Daemonettes charged the flank of the Knights of the Realm fighting the Horrors. The General charged his chariot in to the flank of the last Bowmen unit. The remaining two Flesh Hounds and Khorne’s chariot killed all but one Grail Knight, and forgoing his vows he fled. The Tzeentch Herald’s chariot smashed through half the Bowmen, the rest fleeing and being cut down by the pursuing screamers. The Furies were finally overcome by the Trebuchet’s crew, and those two remaining men quickly looked to reload their machine. The Men-at-Arms were completely overwhelmed by the ferocity of Khorne’s Hounds attacking their rear, and were cut down as they ran. The Daemonettes and Slaanesh Herald made short work of the Knights of the Realm, leaving 9 Horrors alive after holding the Knight’s charge. The Herald of Khorne again challenged, and killed another Grail Knight, but his services were no longer required in the mortal realm, and he returned to Khorne’s side. The Knights Errant continued to grind through the Horrors, but could not finish them off. Down to a handful of troops, the Brettonians looked to score a knock-out blow. The Lady and her Grail Knights charged the rear of the Daemonettes. The remaining Men-at-Arms turned to face the two-dog Hound unit. The fleeing Grail Knight rallied (rules oversight…less than 25% he should not have been able to rally). The Trebuchet once again fired, again the shot went wide and narrowly missed killing more Brettonains! The fury of the Grail Knights was insurmountable…three of the Daemonettes were slain, and the remaining, including the Herald, were sent back to the Warp. The Knights Errant beat up the Horrors some more, leaving only three! Daemon turn 5: The Fiends charged the flank of the Knights Errant, hoping to save the remaining Horrors. The full unit of Flesh Hounds was threatened by a charge from the Grail Knights, but instead repositioned so that they could not be charged, but they could not charge either. The General on his flying chariot charged the Trebuchet crew, scattering them and wrecking the machine. The Chariot of Khorne charged the remaining Grail Knight. The two-dog unit charged the 9-strong Men-at-Arms unit. The Flesh Hounds were worn out by their mortal exertions, and killed only a single peasant, the remaining cutting down one of Khorne’s beasts, while the pull of the Warp wounded the last. The Khorne Chariot destroyed the last Grail Knight. The Fiend’s wicked claws went to work, ripping apart horse and man, proving to the Knights Errant that they did not have what it takes to be true knights…they fled and were cut down to a man by the swift Fiends. Turn five for the Brettonians, and things were looking grim but not hopeless. The Lady and her retinue repositioned for one final charge, hoping to snatch victory from defeat. The Men-at-arms cut down the last Flesh-Hound. Final turn for the Daemons, and nothing was in position to charge the Lady…but the Daemons had one last ploy to achieve total victory. The Khorne Chariot turned around and parked himself right in front of the Lady’s Grail Knights, daring them to charge him. The Flesh Hound unit turned and positioned itself right behind the Lady… The General flew to a safe position, behind the Men-at-Arms. The last of the day’s light fell on the battlefield, as the Lady looked to take a prize from Khorne and claim victory on the field. She spurred her Unicorn towards Khorne’s chariot, and her Grail Knights went with her, racing ahead…and Khorne’s Herald met their charge with a challenge! One of the Knights was bound to uphold the challenge, he was unable to wound the chariot, but the Herald and his steed did three wounds to him…and with the power of Khorne’s might Banner of Unholy Victory the Lady’s Knights lost combat by 5! The Lady’s retinue broke, and she was swept along in their retreat….right in to the waiting mouths of the Flesh Hounds. So ended the Fey Enchantress. Her skull will have a high place on Khorne’s throne. A very fun fight! I thought I had things locked up solid after the first turn, with the Daemonette trap working perfectly…but the traffic jam caused by that prevented me from exploiting that early success. The next few turns were brutal for me, with the Brettonians making Armor and Ward saves like crazy, and me being out of position to counter any of his third turn thrusts. Losing the Flamers outright without them killing a soul was depressing. The Furies couldn’t handle the puny humans manning the Trebuchet. The Bloodletter and Deamonette forces with their respective Heralds were cut down with relative easy by the Grail Knights. While the Daemonette trap was an early-game stunner for the Brettonians, the real VIP award should go to the Horrors…both units of Horrors were able to take charges from Knights (one on the flank!) and hold for MANY turns until help could arrive. Magic was disappointing for both sides….we both had a ton of points invested in wizards (or Pink Wizard-like substance), but we both had so much anti-magic that there was little gained by either side. Until the end of turn 5, I felt things delicately balanced…but the final turn really cinched the deal…I don’t think the Brettonians foresaw the Chariot rider issuing the challenge preventing him from bringing the full brunt of his charge to bear. The Fey Enchantress and the Grail Knights with her were about 800 points (~700 for the unit, 100 for general). I had Tzeentch Chariot, Khorne Chariot, Flesh Hounds, Fiends and two half-horror units left…about 1000 points. If the Lady and her Knights had stayed alive, it’s a draw. That attempt at a glorious end gave the Daemons the Massacre! Blood, Skulls, and Fire! Great Game, Guillermo! I look forward to the next one! Cheers!