Sunday, 21 September 2014

Lord Sechnaill's Crusade: The Undead Menace

Lord Sechnaill is back in the saddle!  Took some time away from the Bretonnians to give the Ogre Kingdoms a whirl in a couple of tournaments (ok, so I really just wanted to run triple Giants at an event), and now I'm back amongst our noble ranks with another battle report.

Sincerest apologies, I didn't get any photos again.  Next week, I'll have to have a great big marker reminding me to take more damned photos.

Lord Sechnaill was reclined in the hall of his vassal, sipping on a fine red when the messenger burst imperiously through the door.  "My Lords!  We are under attack!" the messenger cried in a panic.  After calming the man down, Lord Sechnaill started to piece the tale together.  The Undead had been seen to be gathering, two great forces of Undead infantry, backed up by vicious Black Knights.  They were lead by a trio of Vampires and had been hacking down peasants as they marched, raising them up to form their own zombie forces.  With some more questions and some crude drawings it was also determined that these were the very knights who had defected to the undead forces so recently...

"Gather the men, and the peasants.  We ride out at once to crush this menace."

Today's battle was a Meeting Engagement using End Times armies down at my FLGS.  My army was the swedish comped Bretonnian army that I have been field testing for an upcoming teams tournament (Discussion of which is over here).  My opponent for the day was Todd, one of the local lads who had been borrowing my Bretonnians for a while and finally got his Vampire Counts (sorry, I meant Undead Legions) army ready.  His army was roughly:

Vampire Lord - General, L4 Vampires, Red Fury, ASF, Fear Incarnate (3d6 take highest 2 for fear tests, reroll successful tests), Sword of Anti Heroes
Vampire Lord - L4 Death, Red Fury, ASF, Nightmare Steed, Lance, Shield
Vampire Hero - L2 Vampires, Ogre Blade

(These numbers are approximates)
50 Skeletons (full command) (deployed with General)
40 Zombies
40 Crypt Ghouls (Deployed with Vampire Hero)

12 Black Knights, Full Command (Deployed with Vampire Lord on Nightmare)
Screaming Skull Catapult


Deployment was pretty straight forwards, he won the roll off and deployed everything except for his Screaming Skull and the Zombies (both having been rolled to be in reserve).  His forces were deployed right on the battle line so as to be in my face as early as possible.  For my own deployment, my Pegasus Knights were delayed scouting, and the Damsel was tardy in turning up.  Opting to be a little more defensive, I held my knight units back to be just out of the enemy charge distance, but put the Grail Reliquae into position to threaten the Black Knights.

Choosing the more valorous option, my Knights took knee and prayed while the vile betrayers made their move.  All vampires advanced on the Bretonnian forces, though none managed to complete a successful charge, the Screaming Skull was wheeled onto the field of battle, but the zombies remained conspicuously absent.  Magic this phase was as brutal as could be expected, as a Purple Sun ripped through the Grail Reliquae, into the Knights of the realm and stopped short of hitting the errants.  5 of the peasants fell to the vicious orb while 2 Knights also found their way into its path.  The battle line held, however, and a unit of Zombies was brought onto the field to deflect the smaller Knights of the Realm lance away from the General's Skeleton unit.

With magic over with, and the catapult still being assembled, the Knights took the initiative.  Knights of the Realm evaded the Zombie blockers and crashed straight into the unit of Skeletons housing the Vampire General.  Meanwhile Lord Sechnaill led his own Knights of the Realm lance directly into the face of the enemy, crashing into the Crypt Ghouls alongside the Knights Errant.  The Damsel decided to grace the field with her presence in time to see the Grail Reliquae charge in a display of frothing fervour as they set upon the Black Knights.  Wyssans Wildform went onto the Grail Reliquae, buying them a little extra survivability while Pann's Impenetrable Pelt pops off on the General.  The Pegasus Knights flew onto the battle to take up a position behind the Black Knights, and the Green Knight came on to harass the Catapult.  The Trebuchets, not having anything else to target, took out the majority of the summoned Zombies, although one of the trebuchets failed to fire when they realised they hadn't loaded a rock.  Combat went about as well as could be expected, the Knights did a fair amount of damage to the units all around, but the hits were largely absorbed and the impetous lost.  The Crypt Ghouls suffered the heaviest casualties, the Black Knights took no casualties and managed to wipe out 4 Battle Pilgrims for their trouble.

The next few turns largely blurred together, the Vampires held against the Knightly assault, but not being able to do any damage to the Knights of the Realm character wall.  The smaller KOTR unit was gradually whittled away by the blender vamp up front (skeletons accomplished nothing) and eventually broke and ran around the end of turn 3, losing their banner but managing to escape assault to later rally and lend their leadership to the Trebuchet teams.  With the Damsel's support, the 3 characters were eventually able to bring down the Crypt Ghoul unit (landing a HKB on the Vampire Hero) before getting rear charged by the Black Knights, who were also met by the unexpectedly mobile Character Wall.  The following turn saw Pann's Pelt go off on all characters, hardening the flesh of the Questing Paladin, BSB and General and making them more rugged, however Soulblight had been unleashed, which dragged at their fighting spirit and made their movements sluggish and weak.  The next few turns were spent with this unit embroiled in combat until the Knights Errant managed to finish off the Black Knights with a flank charge, but not before Lord Sechaill brought his sword down on the traitor Knight with a mighty swing, cleaving the Vampire in twain and hacking clean into his horse.  Cleaning the blood and gore from his blade, he swung his lance around to face the remaining traitor and her skeleton brood.

The Pegasus Knights had a fairly horrible game this time around, their charge into the rear of the Black Knights didn't go as planned, with them missing all of their attacks and the Black Knights landing a Killing Blow on the Reliquae, as well as killing all the bearers.  They broke, ran and then ran off the board.  A very short and rather uneventful showing for the normally amazing Pegasii.

While the Green Knight zipped around harrassing things and killing the Screaming Skull Catapult, the twin Trebuchets could finally fire at something, and unleashed 2 volleys of rocks into the Skeleton unit, wiping them out to just 10 models, before they were charged by Lord Sechnaill and the Green Knight.  A couple of fortuitous casts by the Vampire Lord bolstered his numbers back up, however they were of no use when the Knights Errant returned to the fray.  Unfortunately, hubris was to be Lord Sechnaill's undoing for in bringing so many of his fellow Knights into battle with the Vampire, he had fed the blade that he wielded and felt the wrath unleashed upon himself as he was slain in quick succession by the eight (8) tremendously overpowering attacks that quickly fell upon his head.  With the BSB having been defeated by the Black Knights, things had started to look somewhat grim, the Vampire managing to stomp out the remaining Knights of the Realm from Lord Sechnaill's unit until all that remained was the sole Questing Paladin.  It was at this point that the Knights Errant and the Green Knight arrived to bring their might to bear against the Skeletons, finally putting an end to the Vampires fell magic.

And yet, while all of this raged on, a force of Zombies slinked quietly onto the field of battle, to observe and report.  A couple of half hearted rocks were launched from the Trebuchets, but they were out of range.


The Questing Knight surveyed the blood soaked battlefield and knew that he had done the lady's work this day.  A would be knight and his conspirators, fallen from her graces, had been put to their eternal rest and would bother his lands no more.  His service with Lord Sechnaill had been fruitful, and as promised he had not been left idle, the Lord's forces being on the move and taking aggressive action against the growing threats from both the Chaos Wastes and from the undead.  His Lord wounded in battle, but saved by the grace of the lady, the unnamed Questing Knight shouldered his Great Sword and lead his mount back to their encampment.  He'll never get the stink of peasant zombie out of her mane.

Result: Victory!  After all the carnage, I wound up ahead by almost 1100 points, the vampires having been soundly crushed and their blight removed from the lands.

Thanks again for reading my battle report, this will wind up cross-posted on my blog, but I will always endeavour to post them to this thread as well.  Hope you've enjoyed and I'm more than happy to take any questions or feedback you might have.

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