It's been a very long time, and I was very excited to get a chance to play Fantasy again...my first gaming love...and with my still unpainted Vampire army that I've been painting for about 5 years now!
My 8th edition Vampire army just built on the things that I had a lot of from 7th, though I don't get to use most of my Ghouls anymore...the price increase, while probably appropriate, hurt me. :( My army now includes:
Master Necromancer - Level 4, Black Periapt, Talisman of Preservation (Lore of Vampires)
Vampire - BSB, Heavy Armor, Enchanted Shield, Sword of Might, Book of Arkhan, Red Fury
Vampire - Heavy Armor, Shield, Staff of Damnation, Dark Acolyte
40 Ghouls - Ghast
5 Dire Wolves
5 Dire Wolves
21 Zombies - Musician, Standard
21 Zombies - Musician, Standard
29 Grave Guard - Great Weapons, Champion, Musician, Standard - Banner of the Barrows
Corpse Cart - Unholy Lodestone
Mortis Engine - Blasphemous Tome
My opponent was running Beastmen, with hordes and hordes of big mean goatmen!
2 Level 2 Wizards
40ish Gors with Banner of +1 Str
3 units of 5 Warhounds
40ish Bestigors with the Banner of Discipline
and a Ghorgon
The Beastlord went with the Bestigors, the Wizards each went in a Gor unit, and the BSB went with the +1 Str unit.
I don't have details on what equipment or chaos powers the characters had, only thing I remember was one scroll in there.
Our first battle was the triangley deployment where some units start in "reserve". I had my Dark Acolyte and a Zombie unit in Reserve. Since they walk on any turn, it's not a very big deal at all. He had a Sorceror and the non-banner Gors in reserve.
I won the roll, chose my side, and deployed first. I put the Graveguard and Ghouls side by side right in the middle, with the BSB in the Ghouls and the Wraith in the Grave Guard. The Necromancer went in a Zombie unit right behind them, along with the Cart and the Mortis Engine. The flanks were covered by dogs and spirit hosts. Very symettrical and boring! The Hexwraiths went on my right.
He matched my central deployment, with the Bestigors across from the Guard, the Strong Gors squaring off with the Ghouls...Razorgors and Dogs went on his flanks, while Minotaurs supported the Bestigors and the Ghorgon was wide out on my right flank.
First turn I moved forward as far as I could, no shooting, and rolled a 1 and a 2 for Winds, so no Magic either!
His chaff charged my chaff, including some stuff going in to Spirit Hosts. The Gors and Bestigors tried long charges on the GG and Ghouls, but failed. My Wolves died, and he wrapped around my flanks a bit with his chaff, as well as the Weak Gors that came in from Reserve alongside the Ghorgon. Scary flank action!
|Lined up for the charge!|
|Spirit Host to the rescue!|
I followed my battle plan...walk straight ahead and charge! The Guard in to the Bestigors, the Ghouls in to the Gors. Both of those units were given Regen from the Mortis Engine, and made their charges pretty easily. This was my first WFB game since 6th edition 40k came out, and it occurred to me that charges in Fantasy are much farther than those in 40k...I wonder why?
I used 4 dice to try to get a big Danse to move up the support stuff, primarily the Cart, closer to the fight. I really needed the ASF from the Cart up! He recognized the danger, and used his scroll. I threw dice around on other spells he had to stop, and saved one die for Danse from the Book, and got it off on the Cart, getting it moved up to give ASF support to both Guard and Ghouls.
The Ghouls didn't do bad, we ground each other up pretty good...I killed a dozen or so (the Red Fury BSB killing 6 herself!), while he did about the same to me. I lost combat by a bit, but that's ok, I lose a few and keep grinding away!
The Guard, however, did great. I didn't have particularly good dice, but the damage they put out, especially going at Initiative against someone with ASL is powerful! I won that combat by a lot, he needed Insane Courage, but the Bestigors weren't that insane, and they broke and were caught. This was really fortuitous for me. Going in to the fight I expected to get about the same results as the Ghouls, then take the Minos on my flank and get rolled...but I was able to overrun and get away from the big angry cows!
|Grave Guard are victorious!|
On the right flank, I was able to squish the Hexwraiths in to a tight spot, maintaining 1" (a rule that I have a horrible habit of unintentionally ruthlessly violating!) but blocking the charge of the Weak Gors and Ghorgon on my Ghoul's flank!
Things didn't look great for him, but he did have a good chance at getting in to the Necromancer with the Minotaurs...so he did! Magic did nothing constructive for him, the Hexwraiths were able to withstand the charge, almost dieing to Crumble but holding the Flank for the Ghouls...the Minotaurs put a wound on the Necromancer...the 4+ Ward was worth it there!...and the Ghouls went to work on the Strong Gors, beating them and chasing them down. At this point he had lost all his Characters, and my Ghouls and Guard were poised to wipe out the rest of his unsupported army. I suggested we rack them up and go again, and he happily agreed!
|Minotaurs try to eat the Necromancer!|
This battle was the normal Pitched Battle, and we began alternating deployment. I had one more deploy than he did, so we ended up pretty much how we both wanted. I had a zombie unit across from his Strong Gors, the Guard across from his Bestigors, and Ghouls against his Weak Gors. I put the Wraith across from the Minos (in the Ghouls, actually) with the intent of jumping out to tie up those guys...maybe even taking away their Frenzy with Ethereal Cheese!
|His turn 1...that forest tried to eat me, by the way!|
This game was if anything more brutal than the first. I held up the whole right side of the board (Strong Gors, 2 Razorgors, and Hounds) with Hexwraiths, a Spirit Host, and a Zombie unit. The other Spirit Host and Wraith kept the Ghorgon and Minotaurs from engaging my army until it was too late. And the Guard this time took the charge from the Bestigor, but with ASF and Staff of Damnation up it was even more brutal; the Weak Gors tried to get in to the Guard's flank, but got hung up on a Spirit Host and took the Ghouls in the flank, and as expected they were beaten badly and fled and were caught.
|Hexwraiths and Wolves jockey around with Razorgors and Hounds!|
|After my first turn's movement...|
|The battle-lines form...the Mortis Engine kept falling over!|
|The Spirit Host holds up the Gors and the Ghouls drool at the chance to hit that flank!|
So, two solid wins for the Vampires. I glossed over the second game, primarily because I can't remember the details...I need to get back in the habit of taking better notes!
The more I thought about this, the more I'm of the opinion that this was really just a horrible matchup for him. He had no good way to shut down my magic, therefore not only were my troops made unassailable by his, I could win thru attrition anyway. At one point in the second game I had a zombie unit of almost 60 models. The other had been steadily losing almost 10 models a turn fighting and losing to two razorgors, but ended the game bigger than when it started! Moreover, he had no ranged ability to deal with my support stuff, notably the Mortis Engine which compounded the magic disparity with the +2 to cast rolls, and in the second game was able to do good damage to Minotaurs late-game (though it was pretty much over at that point anyway)...turn 5 and that thing starts to get mean!
Everything in my list was able to do exactly what I'd wanted it to do. I'm hoping to get more games in soon against some different builds or armies to learn what the hard counters are and how to deal with them!
I'm way out of practice with Fantasy...it was great to get to play again and now I'm itching for more! Thanks for the game, Alaric Ironaxe...wtf is your name, anyway?! :)