Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Bretonnian Crusade Game 3 - Lord Sechnaill drives the Skaven from his lands

The Paladin pulled his cloak about himself as a chill ran through the draughty castle into the war room.  Lord Sechnaill points at a location to the south east of his lands "We push here, to drive the vermin from our lands and continue to build the glory of the lady".  Looking upon the indicated spot, it seems to be the remains of an old settlement, the peasants having been driven off some months past.  "So what do we fight?" enquired a Yeoman Warden, clearly honoured to be present for such a meeting "Orcs?  Ogres?" The Lord looks at him, considering for a moment whether he should answer.  "Rats.  We go to fight rats."

Today's battle was my third game as part of the Bretonnian Crusade, having taken time to run the Ogres for the recent Qld Northern Knights Joust 9.0 (Battle reports for these games should be forthcoming).  For this one, I took a fairly standard list (for me) for 2000 points:

(L) Lord (General, Virtue of Heroism, Gromril Great Helm, Shield, Sword of Striking, Potion of Foolhardiness)
(PB) Paladin (BSB, Charmed Shield, Dawn Stone, Sword of Might)

(P) Prophetess (L3 Heavens, Warhorse, Dispel Scroll, Crown of Command)
(D) Damsel (L2 Beasts, Warhorse, The Silver Mirror)

(KotR) 9 Knights of the Realm (FC, Standard of Discipline)
(KE) 11 Knights Errant (FC, Errantry Banner)

(PK) 3 Pegasus Knights (Muso)
(MY) 5 Mounted Yeomen (Muso, Shields)

(GK) 6 Grail Knights (FC, Gleaming Penant)
(T1) Trebuchet
(T2) Trebuchet.

In return, the opponent's list was more like

(LoB) Lord on Bonebreaker
(CB) Chieftain BSB
(WE1) Warlock Engineer (with Warp Condensor and Crack's Call)
(WE2) Warlock Engineer (Skitterleap and Doom Rocket)
(SV) 36 Storm Vermin (With (WT) Warpfire Thrower)
(S1) 40 Skaven Slaves
(S2) 40 Skaven Slaves
(G) 5 Jezzails
(WLC) Warp Lightning Cannon
(HPA) Hell Pit Abomination
(D) Doomwheel
(GR) 5 Gutter Runners
(RO) 2 Rat Ogres


The Bretonnian forces spread themselves across their deployment zone, Trebuchets taking the far wings, with one supported by Grail Knights while the Mounted Yeomen and Pegasus Knights advanced to better positions.  The Skaven concentrated their main combat forces to the middle, leaving one flank to their monsters and the other to fire support.  Gutter Runners scouted up alongside the Bretonnian Trebuchet.

Turn 1 - The Skaven Horde

The Warlord sounds the advance, and the Skaven horde make their move.  The Hellpit Abomination and Doom Wheel dance to their own tune and make for the Bretonnian Lines, while the Storm Vermin remain to protect their leader, reinforced by their Skavenslaves.

The Winds of Magic blew gently this phase, but the Skaven spell slingers manage to draw enough to cast off Crack's Call (failing to make the distance), and Skitterleap, though the latter slips through the Engineers mind like sand through his fingers.  Just to show up their arcane counterparts, the Skaven Shooting lights up, with the Warp Lightning Cannon taking 2 wounds off the Bretonnian General, as well as claiming the lives of 4 of his fellow knights, the rest thanking the lady for their continued safety.  The Doomwheel arcs up and hits the Hellpit before the crew realise what's happening and hurriedly move the vehicle away, lest they incur the abominations wrath.  Unfortunately this puts them up on a hill in clear sight of the Bretonnian Grail Knights.  Skaven Snipers take aim at the Pegasus Knights, but the noble steeds manage to dodge their deadly fire.

Turn 1 - Lord Sechnaill's Bretonnians

The horns sound and a mighty thundering of hooves is heard as the Bretonnian warhost makes their presence known.  The Grail Knights charge valiantly into the infernal contraption spewing lightning in its wake, the Knights of the Realm,  lead by Lord Sechnaill himself, charge into the Abomination and the Pegasus Knights bring the fight to the Skavenslaves after the Errants fail a long-bomb charge from midfield.

The winds of magic whip powerfully through the battlefield, however the Damsel only manages to get off Wyssans Wildform on the Knights of the Realm before burning herself with the magical energies.  The Prophetess fails to bring the forces of the Heavens to bear with Chain Lightning and the peasants take the opportunity to unload their deadly cargo.  A boulder from the the first Trebuchet lands amidst the Storm Vermin, taking down almost a dozen of their number while one of the crew gets fired from the second trebuchet, much to the fear of the operators.

In combat, the Grail Knights handily smite the Doomwheel, losing 2 of their number and chasing it from the battlefield.  Lord Sechnaill twice smites the Hellpit Abomination, landing a pair of Heroic Killing Blows as his sword cleaves through the beasts maw, barely pausing in their charge the Knights push on.  The PEgasus Knights manage to take out a number of the slaves, but they hold the flying horses, grinding down their momentum and forcing them to fight on the land.

Turn 2 - The Skaven Horde

The Skaven sound their own charges, as the Rat Ogres crash into the Mounted Yeomen, and the Gutter Runners take out the wounded Bretonnian Trebuchet.  Skavenslaves reform to face the threat of the Knights coming around the building and the Storm Vermin advance into a better position.

Magic blows firmly, with Crack's Call being successfully cast, but the Prophetess raising her Silver Mirror and the Engineer suffering a wound for his trouble.  Skitterleap is dispelled by the Prophetess when the attempt is made to cast it.  Shooting sees the Warp Lightning Cannon power up it's enormous cannon, and discharge in the wrong direction!  Fortunately nobody was hurt, but they really need to bolt that thing down!  The Engineer, his attempts to bounce out having been repeatedly foiled, unleashes his Doom Rocket upon the Knights Errant, plasting a Knight from the saddle.  Incensed, the Warpfire Thrower charges his weapon and unloads a flaming barrage into the Knights, killing 4 of them, but the Knights hold their ground, unwilling to disgrace themselves in the presence of an esteemed Prophetess.

Rat Ogres smash through the Yeomen, ripping them from their saddles and devouring their horses while they watched.  Skavenslaves continue to swarm over the Pegasus Knights, biting and gnawing but their teeth struggle to penetrate their hard armour.  In return, the Pegasus Knights manage to slay another 3 Slaves, but their numbers seem endless.  Meanwhile the Gutter Runners make short work of the Trebuchet's crew and continue on their merry way.

Turn 2 - Lord Sechnaill's Bretonnians

With the return of the Grail Knights, the Knights Errant finally find their stride and crash into the flank of the Skavenslaves.  The Knights of the Realm circle around to get a better vantage point and the winds of magic fail to accomplish anything of real value.  The Knights Errant manage to take down a number of Skavenslaves, however not enough to break them and they bring down a Pegasus Knight before they can be stopped.  The Field Trebuchet fires wild, causing no real harm.

Turn 3 - The Skaven Horde

The Skaven Warlord, surveying the carnage that his Slaves are unleashing decides to get in on the action and brings his elite StormVermin into the flank of the Knights Errant.  Unsupported by shooting or magic (the Warp Lightning Cannon busily unhorsing a Knight Errant), the Storm vermin manage to bring down 3 Knights at a cost of 4 slaves, breaking the Bretonnian assault, but not managing to chase down either unit.

Turn 3 - Lord Sechnaill's Bretonnians

The Grail Knights, eyes glowing in holy fury, eye the Rat Ogres approaching their peasants with untempered fury, running them down with all the might that they can muster, while the Knights of the Realm continue to approach the enemy and the Knights Errant and Pegasus Knights rally from their flight.

The Trebuchet crew, in thanks for the Grail Knights coming to their rescue, land a hunk of masonry right in the midst of the Storm Vermin, while the  Prophetess snaps off a Chain Lightning, killing a number of Storm Vermin, Slaves and sending the Jezzails running for safer grounds.

Turn 4 - The Skaven Horde

With the Bretonnian forces in disarray, but starting to reform the Warlord takes no chances, leading his own Storm Vermin and ordering the Slaves forwards they run the Pegasus Knights and Errants from the field, taking the Prophetess with them.  The Jezzails, seeing the dreaded Prophetess leaving the field of battle decide it's not so bad and cease their flight while the Gutter Runners manage to poison one of the Grail Knights to death.  Seeing his chance to be a hero, the Skaven manning the Warpfire Thrower turns his attention to the Knights of the Realm, unloading a deadly arc of flame through the gathered slaves managing to bring down one of the knights.  Unfortuantely, while basking in the glow of his work (which was a lot brighter than he'd anticipated), he noticed a lot of Slaves running, screaming into the night trying to put out the flames covering their furry bodies.  Though entertained by the spectacle, the crew of the Warp Lightning Cannon were blinded briefly, resulting in a dangerous miscalculation in the Warp Lightning field, detonating their cannon and scattering them to the 4 winds.

Skaven Wizards bring their magic to bear upon the surviving knights, though arcane words, long known and dutifully recited by the Damsel put a stop to Crack's Call.

Turn 4 - Lord Sechnaill's Bretonnians

Though their fellows had quit the field, and would pay for their cowardice later, the Bretonnian Knights advance on their foes.  The Peasants land another hunk of Masonry into the remaining Storm Vermin, while the Knights of the Realm line up a charge on the Jezzails.  The Grail Knights target the Gutter Runners, preparing for a frontal assault and the Damsel unleashes the Flock of Doom upon the Storm Vermin, though she harms no one.

Turn 5 - The Skaven Horde

The Skaven reposition themselves, not being able to catch the flying and mounted Knights quitting the battlefield, they turn their attention to the ones who are present, The Storm Vermin coming about with the Wizards to bring their attention to the Knights of the Realm, and the Gutter Runners evading the Grail Knights in the interest of getting the Trebuchet.

Jezzails fail to hit the Knights of the Realm with any of their shots, meanwhile the Engineer finally casts Skitterleap, getting himself clear of the unit, but never actually reappearing from the ensuing explosion, taking a Storm Vermin with him to Morr's Gates and skuffing the Warlord's boots.

Turn 5 - Lord Sechnaill's Bretonnians

With a blast from the musician's horn, the Knights of the Realm barrel into the Jezzails, crushing them beneath their hooves as the General cleaves one with a Heroic Killing Blow and the Paladin kills the rest.  Their work being done and their numbers decimated, the Bretonnians and Skaven withdraw from the field (with the exception of the Peasants manning the trebuchet.  They were ratfood.  And the realm rejoiced their sacrifice.).  Both sides having learnt valuable lessons, and Lord Sechnaill feeling that his lands have once again been cleansed of the Skaven threat (or at the least nothing a good rat catcher won't fix).

Result - DRAW
So all told, we had claimed roughly equivalent amounts of each others forces, being largely left with characters and a couple of expensive units.  Both armies quit the field, and vowed to fight again another day.

So this game was a definite case for keeping the lances together and going after the same target.  While protecting the Knights of the Realm by sending them around the back saved me a lot of points, they really should have been in the thick of things doing their smashing.  Losing 2 wounds on the General on turn 1 made me a little more cautious with them, and largely unwilling to go toe to toe against the Warlord (as if I didn't get HKB off and through his Ward Save I was out way too many points to come back from).  Probably should have held with the Peg Knights against the Skavenslaves and tried to tie them up again to give the prophetess a chance to escape.

A lot of mistakes were made on both sides, with the Skaven general blowing up his Warp Lightning Cannon, and nuking his Engineer needlessly (by that point he just wanted to get that spell off, as it had been blocked every turn).  Gutter Runners did what they do, but I can't help but think that the Grail Knights could have had a bigger impact if they hadn't gone for the Doom Wheel, given that it took them entirely out of the fight for < 100 points.

Once again, thank you very much for reading!  If you have any feedback or comments, I'm happy to read them here in the comments, or over at the Round Table where this will also be posted.  I know it's been 2 months since my last Battle Report (horrible, I know) I have a volley of them coming your way from that period, so there should be another one up by the end of the week!

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