Monday, December 14, 2009

El Duque Azul meets the Damonic Forces of Dr. Carnivean!

A year ago the undead might of El Duque Azul met the Daemonic Forces of Dr. Carnivean in a 2500 point battle where nobody died!

Well, the undead didn't die, because they were already dead...and the Daemons didn't die, they were just disencorporealated (I made that word up!) and sent back to the warp. But lots of dice were rolled and models were removed...does that count?

This is an older battle, fought winter of 08/09 as part of the local club’s Pyramid League. I played Vampires defending my position on the pyramid vs. Daemons. .

The daemonic minions invaded my home for a 2500 point pyramid battle. We played on my dining room table in the “Three-Season Room” in near-freezing temperatures (note: Winter is not one of the three) with lots of "help" from my little ones...the price we pay to slaughter each other with dice!

The Blue Duke's army (in the vulgar tongue) was led by El Duque himself, and included the following:

Vampire Lord: magic level upgrade;
Powers: Dread Knight (Barded Nightmare, Heavy Armor, Shield, Lance); Summon Ghouls (+1 to cast Invocation on ghoul units; can increase ghoul units beyond their starting size); Dark Acolyte (extra magic level, making him 4th level);
Items: Crown of the Damned (4+ Ward Save, Stupidity); Book of Arkhan (Bound Spell Vanhel's Danse Macabre PL3); Helm of Commandment (When not in combat can give his WS to one friendly unit within 12")

Powers: Avatar of Death (Heavy Armour, Great Weapon); Infinite Hatred (Hatred with rerolls every round)Items: Talisman of Lycni (M9); Flayed Hauberk (2+ AS)

Powers: Dread Knight; Infinite Hatred
Items: Dispel Scroll; Black Periapt (Save one die from each magic phase to be used in subsequent magic phase)

Wight King: Battle Standard Bearer
Items: Gem of Blood (First time bearer takes a wound, roll a die: on a 1 the bearer takes an additional wound with no armour saves; on 2-6 the wound is instead taken by the model that caused it with no armour saves); Sword of Kings (Killing blow on 5+)

10 Ghouls with Ghast (champion)

21 Ghouls with Ghast

21 Ghouls with Ghast

5 Dire Wolves

5 Dire Wolves

1 Corpse Cart with Balefire

5 Felbats

19 Grave Guard with Full Command and War Banner (+1 to CR)

5 Black Knights with Standard Bearer with Royal Standard of Strigos (Unit hates all enemies)

The Black Coach


The Daemonic forces:

Keeper of Secrets: Level 4 Wizard; Tormentor Blade (Wounds caused heal the daemon!)


Herald of Tzeentch on Flying Chariot: Spell Breaker (dispel scroll)

Herald of Slaanesh: Level 1 Wizard; Many-armed monstrosity (+137 attacks)

15 Bloodletters with Full Command

20 Daemonettes with Full Command

10 Plaguebearers with Full Command

5 Seekers of Slaanesh

1 Fiend of Slaanesh

6 Flamers with Champion

I don't remember what spells the Daemons rolled. As I remember it, magic was not a significant part of the game, only spells that did something interesting will be noted. I think we managed magical parity, where we both had just the right amount of dispel to shut down the other. I know he had a spell that affected all the units within a random range of the caster, and the Tz Herald had Flickering Fire.

El Duque had Raise Dead, Danse Macabre, Winds of Undeath, and Summon Horde. Both Thralls rolled Raise Dead. I wasn't too pleased with this: I really wanted a magic missile to deal with the flamers, Winds is pretty worthless with the MR2 things on the table, and Summon isn’t a spell I think too highly of: I’d just miscast if I rolled that many dice anyway.

I set up terrain while the Daemons mustered his legions. I tried to keep things balanced so neither side would have advantage. There was a hill in each deploy in opposite corners, a forest on either side, one flank was complicated with some rocks, and a swamp was in the middle of one side. Jason chose the "top" (from the map's perspectives).

Deployments from Left to Right:

The Daemons set up the Herald of Tzeentch behind their hill, as well as the Fiend of Slaanesh. The Daemonettes, Bloodletters, and Plaguebearers formed a solid line between the hill and the forest. The Seekers deployed behind them, very centrally. The Keeper deployed behind the forest, and the Flamers set themselves up at the back edge of the forest out of sight.

I put my bats behind my forest. Between the forest and the swamp went some Wolves, behind them was the Varghulf. The Grave Guard and the two big ghoul units formed a line between the swamp and the hill, with the Black Coach on their right. Behind them was the Corpse Cart and the small ghoul unit escorting El Duque himself. The Black Knights set up on the hill looking down at the rocks, and beside them went the fast vampire with a pack of wolves.

Some Nurglings snuck on to the battlefield, dominating the left flank with their stinking pestilence.

I won roll for first turn, and chose to go first.

VC Turn One

The left wolves move up to threaten a flank move next turn. Intent was for them to be too far from the Nurglings to be charged. Varghulf moves to support and provide march for them. The Grave Guard and Ghoul line moves up obliquely, with their support moving behind them. The Black Knights march in to the rocks, while the Wolves and Nike Vamp run to threaten a flank.

Casting begins poorly, with the Dread Knight attempting Summon Ghouls, miscasting with two dice, allowing the Daemons to cast a free spell: I don't remember what it was, but I dispelled it. El Duque managed to add a few ghouls to the Dread Knight's unit.

Daemon Turn One

The left wolves turned out to be just within 8", allowing the nurglings to charge them. Keeper moves faster than fast to the right side of the table. The flamers advance out of the forest to engage the flanking forces. The other daemonic forces move forward, Plaguebearers taking the lead to take the brunt of the damage.

Magic of some kind killed 3 of the right Wolves.

Flamers toast 2 Black Knights (despite long range, moved, and rocks!).

Between wounds and crumble, the nurglings destroy the dogs, choose not to overrun.

Vampire Turn Two

El Duque is stupid! Not the way this is supposed to go at all!

Dread Knight's ghouls charge the impetuous Plaguebearers. Black Knights and Fast Vampire charge the Flamers: Stand and shoot kills the other three Knights. Graveguard and Varghulf shift right away from the nurglings. Black Coach moves in to position to be Vanhel's in to the Plaguebearer's flank (which was silly, because El Duque couldn't cast anything!). Wolves move to march-block & redirect the KoS. Bats move out to the flank to threaten flank/rear of the daemon's line.

Dread Knight summons some Zombies, intent being to keep the Bloodletters off his unit's flank. Nike Vamp restored a wolf to the unit playing with the Keeper.

Vamp killed a flamer, no wounds back. Ghouls and Dreadknight kill all but a handful of Plaguebearers.

Daemon Turn Two

The Daemonettes charge the summoned zombie's flank! The Seekers charge the Varghulf! Tz Chariot moves to support the Keeper and Flamers and get away from Bats. Keeper moves away from wolves, lining up to charge the vampire on foot. Nurglings shift up to threaten flank of the Grave Guard. Fiend turns and runs at the bats.

The Flamers kill the vampire (4 attacks, hitting on 5s, wounding on 3s, saving on 4s...sigh.) The Seekers do one wound to the Varghulf, but he eats them all. Ghouls and Dread Knight finish off the Plague Bearers. Daemonettes munch the zombies, overrun in to ghoul flank. (I think the Daemons should have resolved the 'nette fight first, allowing them to help the plaguebearers!)

Vampire Turn Three

Varghulf and Graveguard charge the 'nette's flank. Direwolves bite off more than they can chew, trying to block both the flamers and KOS from charging the Coach. Fellbats move to Daemon's rear, threatening everything.

Invocation restores some ghouls in the beatup unit.

Varghulf and Graveguard beat up the daemonettes, after crumble all that's left is the Herald with 1 wound. Varghulf overruns in to Bloodletters!

Daemon Turn Three

Flamers and Tz Herald charge Wolves. Keeper very sneakily uses his one wheel during his charge to get to the Coach. Nurglings charge the corpse cart.

The wolves die horribly. The Coach nearly survives, but doesn't. The Varghulf eats many Bloodletters, but is overcome and dies. The Nurglings and Cart do nothing to each other. Wight King challenges the Herald of Slaanesh. He takes one wound, tries to use gem of blood, rolls a 1, takes 2 wounds for his trouble. Does nothing in return. Luckily I have enough static CR to kill it on crumble!

Vampire Turn Four

Felbats charge the Fiend, not wanting have it assault El Duque's escort. Grave Guard and Ghouls charge the remaining Bloodletters and Skulltaker. The other ghoul unit moves to try to hold the right flank and protect El Duque.

Some Ghouls and Graveguard are restored.

Felbats start a long slow process of getting wittled down by the Fiend. Grave Guard and Ghouls kill many bloodletters, Skulltaker kills a champion in a challenge.

Daemon Turn Four

The Daemons are surveying the carnage, considering themselves in a strong position, they risk no unfortunate accidents. The Keeper backs up to support the remaining troops. The Tzeentch Herald backs away from the Ghouls, while the flamers move closer.

Flamers flame some ghouls.

The last of the Bloodletters die, Skulltaker kills another champion in a challenge, but doesn't crumble.

Vampire Turn Five

El Duque is getting desperate for points, so throws his ghoulish minions at the Flamers. Many are broiled by stand & shoot!

The Dread Knight summons some zombies to block the Keeper's expected charge. Some Ghouls and Graveguard are restored (restoring their Champions).

Skulltaker challenges guessed it...kills another champion. The Ghouls manage to only kill one flamer, and the four remaining cut down way too many ghouls!

Daemon Turn 5

Keeper charges the zombies.

The Fiend finish off the bats. Skulltaker kills another champion, and finally succumbs to crumble and dies. The Flamers kill off all the ghouls!! The keeper rolls horribly, killing only one zombie.

Vampire Turn 6

El Duque wants to kill the Keeper! A very foolish move, but I couldn't resist the opportunity: The Ghouls reform to clear the way; the Grave Guard move to the Keeper's flank; the Dread Knight leaves the ghouls and joins the wights.

El Duque gets off Danse Macabre on the Grave Guard, who charge the Keeper's Flank!

The Keeper issues a challenge. I should have refused, but accepted with the Dread Knight, who is ripped apart. The Keeper still lost Combat by 4, but didn't crumble. :(

Daemon Turn 6

The Flamers flame El Duque's escort, killing a handful.

The Keeper again challenges. This time I refuse, BSB goes to rear, some Grave Guard are cut down, KoS still loses by a fair number, and takes a wound to crumble! But...not enough for 1/2 points. :(

A bloody battle! Down to the wire! We added up the points:

El Duque Azul earned 1335....

The Daemons earned 1445...

a Draw!!!

A very fun battle! This is another example of how a battle report really helps me see my errors and what I could have done differently. I was completely overwhelmed by the speed of the Daemons, but could (should!) have maneuvered differently to prevent the complete loss of both my flanks. Had I done something a bit more sensible with the Coach on turn 2 he might have been something other than free points for the Daemons. I was also not impressed with how I handled the Black Knights. As it was, I fell in to a run-straight-ahead mindset and hoped Invocation would allow me to win wars of attrition…not very inspiring tactics! Regardless, it was a very entertaining game, and I learned a lot.

Hope you enjoyed this Warhammer Battle Report trip down memory lane!

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