Warhammer Fantasy Battle 6ed game: Wood Elves vs Vampire Counts 1250pts
Report: Jakub Polkowski; Story: Jakub Polkowski
Art: Katarzyna Borek-Polkowska
They were standing in silence around the stone monolith engraved with runes in the long-forgotten language. Each one of them watching the other two. Looking for weaknesses or anything that could be used later as leverage. Their souls have been damned many decades ago. Their bodies were old, cracked and twisted. But their spirits fueled by rage, vicious and never-ending hunger for knowledge were truly powerful.
Each one of them wished the other two were dead. Real dead. They were threat one to another. But here they were - summoned to this curse or holy place by someone much more powerful than they were. They had to obey. There was no other way. Now they were waiting for the moons to align and spill their energy over this land. The runes began to glow.
Firstly with a dim dark red light like coals from the dying furnace. With every second the light was brighter and it pulsed just like the heart.
Faster and faster.
Suddenly the light died and the darkness embraced everything. This caught them all by surprise. They felt uneasy and exposed. Feelings thought to be long forgotten.
With the last grasps of strong will, they remained still.
Then something made of pure evil closed to them. They were unable to see it but they felt it with every inch of their bodies.
This sensation of terror was like a signature to them. They dropped to their knees. Trembling.
— You haven't changed much, my neophytes. Weak and childish as always. - the voice didn't belong to one person. It changed with every syllable from male, female to a child. The only thing that was constant was the malicious tone, that implied the threat that its owner personified.
— Soon I will be able to walk again among You and finish what I have started. To do that I need You. You will travel to Athel Loren and find one very specific item stolen by the Asrai from me.
— What is it, my Master? - asked Balthazar with croaked voice. His body was struck with invisible energy and flew like a rag doll for a few meters. It hit the ground with the sound of cracking branches.
— Have I allowed You to speak slave? - asked the voice.
The necromancer split the blood with a few broken teeth from his mouth.
— No sire. It will never happen again. Forgive me. - the necromancer lifted his shattered body from the ground and staggered to his previous spot around the menhir when he dropped to his knees again. He was almost sure that the other two were smiling.
— You will look for the goblet. A very special one. The Goblet of Loza and you will bring it to me! - When the last word was spoken the presence disappeared. The moonlight was again flooding and they could see each other again.
This battle was a training game for both of us before the tournament that I have organised in 2018 - Akcja Chwacka Eskalacja vol.1. As it sometimes happens in life - none of us actually played at it. Bartek due to family issues, and I due to the fact that there was an odd number of players and it was easier for me as an organiser not to play and concentrate on the running the event.
My army is very similar to the ones I used to in many previous battles.
From the hero section, I took a 1st level Spellsinger – Alethir – with 2 scrolls, who as always will be my army general.
Karodras, an Alter noble with a double-handed sword, shield, light armour and Stone of the Crystal Mere and Helm of the Hunt.
Have I ever fought a single battle without Dongaer – the Army Battle Standard bearer with a Hail of Doom Arrow. Of course not!
From the core section, I took a unit of the Glade Guard with a musician and 2 units of Dryads.
The special section was filled with 2 units of Wardancers (7 with musician and 5).
In rare section, there were no surprises – the Treeman as always. The only difference is that I used a freshly painted model of Durthu.
My strategy is easy. There would be no shooting, except for the Banshee, which does not affect the Immune to Psychology units - so almost everything in my army. I am faster and more killy then most of the Vampire units. So the one thing that is dangerous for me is magic. Therefore, I need to kill the magic casters as soon as possible and then destroy enemy units one by one. Preferably from the flanks.
After a too-long break, I was finally able to fight a battle against Kuba. I knew that Wood Elves under his command will be a tough pill to swallow.
So my Vampire Counts army had to prepare for a tough fight!
This time I wanted to field an infantry based army supported with a lot of magic. To do so as hero choices I took three 2nd level Necromancers.
One with Lore of Death and Power Familiar, the other two with Necromancy. One of them carries Dispel Scroll and Spell Familiar, other Dispel Scroll and Book of Arkhan.
It gives me a hefty 9 power dice each turn and a bound spell. That's a really solid amount of magic against most of the armies.
From the core section, I took 10 Zombies, 15 Skeletons with full command group and light armours, 2 units od Ghouls and 5 Dire Wolves.
From the special section, I decided to take 20 Grave Guards with shields, full command group and the War Banner.
From rare section, I opted for a Banshee.
The strategy was to blast the Elves with magic as they would approach me, and then kill the survivors with my infantry.
Which is always easier to say than do :)
Mission: Pitched battle
Alethir: Tree singing (Lore of Loren)
Kasper: Dark Hand of Death, Wind of Death (Lore of Death)
Melchior: Invocation of Nehek, Hellish Vigour (Necomancy)
Balthazar: Invocation of Nehek, Hellish Vigour, Gaze of Nagash (Necomancy)
Wood Elves won the roll-off for the side selection. Vampire Counts won the roll for deploying the first unit and the Wood Elves were forced to deploy first. Roll-off for the first turn was won by the Wood Elves.
Wood Elves turn 1
The Wood Elves were deployed too wide. The Asrai forces moved forward with all the units, trying to encircle the army of the dead.
In the magic phase, Alethir tried to cast Tree singing on Ghouls occupying the Forrest. With only 2 power dices vs 5 dispell dices, the chances for success were minimal... but it was an irresistible force! 4 Ghouls were killed but they managed to pass their panic check.
No one could shot, so this was the end of turn 1 for the Elves.
Vampire Counts turn 1
There were no charges. The only units that have moved were the Ghouls. The unit on the left flank moved forward and the second one on the right flank left the forest.
The Winds of Magic blew strong. First, the Wind of Death was cast against the Dryads. It was a success but Alethir used one of his dispel scrolls.
Kasper used his second spell Dark Hand of Death, which was cast at the Wardancers. 3 dices were used, and three "6" were rolled. But with only one hit, a single Wardancer was consumed by dark energies.
It was time for Balthazar to cast the Gaze of Nagash, which also targeted the Wardancers. The roll was "8" and with a help of additional dice from Magic Resistance, the spell was easily dispelled.
With no shooting to be done, the turn was over.
Wood Elves turn 2
There was no time to waste. The Necromancers were stopped for this turn, but their magic dominance would soon take a heavy toll on Asrai forces.
All units moved closer to the Skeletons and Grave Guard.
In shooting phase Dongaer used Hail of Doom Arrows. He targeted the Grave Guard. Nine arrows flew into the air but only one of the heavily armoured skeletons was destroyed.
Vampire Counts turn 2
Seeing that Asrai would be able to charge next turn Kasper and Melchior decided to join the Zombie unit, which was led by the Balthazar.
There were no other moves.
In the magic phase, Melchior was able to summon 11 additional skeletons to the unit standing next to the Grave Guard.
Kasper tried to cast Wind of Death at the Dryads but was countered by Alethir. Balthazar also targetted the Dryads with Gaze of Nagash but failed to cast this spell.
Balthazar was annoyed. Since he had laid his hand over the Goblet he was unable to concentrate.
His mind was flooding with visions of the past at random moments. And those damned forest creatures attacked them.
He got furious when once again his mind was overtaken by the magic bond to the artefact, exactly when he was up to finish incantation that would blast those pesky creatures. Instead, he exposed himself and he was sure that the other two necromancers had noticed his weakness.
Wood Elves turn 3
The Treeman, Dryads and Karodras have charged the Grave Guard.
Wardancers moved closer to the Skeleton unit and the second unit of Dryads moved into the forest to protect the Alter Noble.
The smaller unit of Wardancers with Dongaer were just behind the fighting units.
The Glade Guard changed formation and moved closer.
Without magic and a shooting phase, we moved straight into the combat.
The Treeman swung wide with his arm and slew 3 Grave Guards. But it was just the beginning of a slaughter. Karodras managed to kill 4 and the Dryads added 2 more to the tally. In return, the surviving champion managed to kill one Dryad.
Due to combat resolution, 6 more Undead elite collapsed, leaving only 4 of them standing.
Vampire Counts turn 3
The skeletons charged the Treeman.
The zombie unit with 3 Necromancers backed away from the fighting units. The Banshee moved behind the Skeleton unit. The Ghouls near the forest moved away from the Dryads and the second unit encircled the Wardancers.
Wolves turned and moved to the centre just behind the Skull Rock.
This magic phase could be crucial for the result of the game.
It began with Kasper cast Wind of Death with an Irresistible Force at the Dryads in the forest. 10 bolts struck the unit and 5 of the Forrest Spirits died.
Melchior cast the Hellish Vigour at the Grave Guard, but it was dispelled.
Balthazar tried to cast the same spell but failed. His next attempt was much better - released Gaze of Nagash turned into ash 5 of the Wardancers leaving only the musician.
Banshee screamed at the Karodras but the effect of her cry was not sufficient to cause any harm.
The skeletons attacked the Treeman, but as it was easy to predict - they did no damage to the great forest spirit.
Then it was Dryads turn to fight. Surprisingly, they managed to kill only single Wight. The Undead champion fought back decapitating one Dryad.
The Treeman roared and smashed remaining Grave Guards. It meant that the Karodras had no one to attack. As a result, Wood Elves lost the combat by 2. The Alter Noble fled 9 inches due to fear&outnumber and the Dryads failed the break test even though nearby Army Battle Standard bearer and run away 11 inches.
Next two rolls for the Treeman were crucial. The ancient construct easily passed the test in the first attempt.
Wood Elves turn 4
The Wardancers on the left flank charged the Ghouls, which decided to flee.
The Dryads occupying the forest charged the second unit of Ghouls who decided to hold.
Karodras rallied but the Dryads continued to flee.
Once again there was nothing to do in the magic phase.
7 of the Glade Guardians were in range to the Zombies but after the salvo only 1 Zombie crumbled.
Durthu was surrounded. All his allies had fled leaving him to fight another battle for Athel Loren alone. Swords, maces and axes hit his thick bark countless times but none could harm him.
They were holding his legs and trying to constrain him. Swarming him like insects.
The ancient Treeman roared and twisted his torso with arms spread wide. He crushed dozens of the undead warriors but still, more had come.
In close combat, the Treeman smashed 4 more skeletons. Even though he lost the combat but again passed the break test.
Dryads butchered the Ghouls and overrun out the battlefield edge.
Vampire Counts turn 4
There were no charge declarations.
The Ghouls failed their rally check and fled from the battlefield.
Kasper opened the magic phase with Dark Hand of Death aiming at the Wardancers. The result of the roll was 11 but it was dispelled. Then he failed to cast Wind of Death.
Next Balthazar cast the Gaze of Nagash and caused 4 wounds, 2 of which was saved due to Wardancers magical tattoos.
Once again In close combat, the Treeman crushed 4 skeletons and passed the break test.
Wood Elves turn 5
The Alter noble and Wardancers charged into the Skeletons.
Dongaer run with the Wardancers. He was a stranger to them, to the ways how they lived and fought. But after the yeas, he had spent with the troupe they, at last, accepted him.
He had adjusted.
They were to join the fight with the skeletons that had overwhelmed the Ancient. They started to swirl, performing their dance of death. Each twist and swing of the sword bought destruction to the enemies of the Forest.
Dongaer wailed and joined the combat with his sword in one hand and the totem in the second.
The Dryads rallied. The other unit of forest spirits marched toward the Zombies. The Glade Guard moved closed to the centre of the battlefield.
Again - there was no magic.
In the shooting phase, Glade Guard managed to shoot 4 Zombies.
In close combat, the Skeleton champion challenged Karodras, who hacked him into pieces causing 5 wounds. Then the Wardancers swirled with their swords putting down 6 more of the Undead warriors.
The Treeman was the last to attack. His mighty arms crushed 3 more of the skeleton warriors. The carnage was total, and the rest of the unit simply collapsed due to the combat resolution.
Both units of the Wardancers overrun but not far enough to catch the Zombies.
Vampire Counts turn 5
The Wolves charged the single Wardancer.
The Necromancers run away as far as they could from the Asrai. The Zombies moved to intercept closing units. The Banshee moved to be able to scream at the Alter Noble.
Kasper cast Dark Hand of Death at the Dryads but with 1 hit it failed to wound. His attempt to cast Wind of Death was countered by the Alethir.
Balthazar tried to cast Gaze of Nagash but failed.
Banshee screamed at the Alter Noble, but her voice had no effect on the Shapeshifter.
The Wolves managed to tear into pieces a single Wardancer and overrun into the next unit.
This was a moment when due to time limitations we had to end our game.
How would it end if we had one more turn?
I guess we will never know :)
The forest was anxious. Groans and sobbing of the dying for the second time were filling the air.
Between those misery beings the Asrai were moving fast delivering the mercy of final rest.
Crouching Karodras was looking over the battlefield from the distance. Alone. Even though they have managed to repel the Undead his soul was unease. He couldn't forget that the Necromancers managed to flee. "What they have been doing here?". "What they were looking for?". Those questions were filling his thoughts.
Karodras scented the air and stiffened while Alethir approached him.
— You fought well, Shapeshifter. The Athel Loren is grateful for our assistance.
Karodras hasn't reacted to this. He wasn’t interested in meaningless flattery.
The Spellsinger stood tall right to him.
— The Goblet of Loza. - said the spellsinger.
Karodras turned his head sharply. Now he had his attention. He was waiting in silence. Alethir was looking at some point in the distance.
— They took it. It was an ancient artefact that our kin took over centuries ago, before the Exodus. Its origin comes directly from the Nekehara. Its true power was a mystery for us but I know that it was hidden here, deep in the forest for a good reason. That I am sure.
The Shapeshifter snarled and stood up. He checked if his sword can be taken out of his scabbard smoothly and run into the forest sniffing.
Balthazar’s face was bleeding from a dozen cuts. "Dammned branches," he thought while running. His body was old and not used to the psychical effort. The pathetic remains of his muscles burned like liquid iron and he was gasping for the air. He stumbled on the tree root that was covered with damp moss. He hit the ground hard, with a loud groan.
His prize, the thing that they all came here for, fall out of his rags and rolled under the bush with talon-like thorns.
Balthazar cursed once again and tried to recover the artefact. He grabbed and drawn it while thorns were cutting deep into his arms. Suddenly he lost control over his body. He fell into the ground once more, but this time he had no idea what had happened. He tried to lift his body but he had no control over his arms. Then he saw the tip of the rusty blade pointing out of his ribcage. His mouth was filled with blood. He rolled to the side. The last thing he saw was Melchior reaching for the Goblet.
— W-wh-y... - Balthazar splattered.
— I will take it. And learn its true power. Only I am capable of mastering it. Now die, you old fool.
Balthazar closed his eyes to find out the nature of true death.
Wood Elves 17(1112) : 3(181) Vampire Counts
Well, this was a very strange battle. My plan to eliminate Necromancers was not successful. Even though they were all “alive” until the end of the game I have still won.
My biggest concern before the battle - the magic phase wasn't so bad after all - mostly due to Bartek's bad luck. After all - at the end of the game I had still one scroll left...
Bartek idea to refuse flank was very good - I have deployed too wide and as a result part of my army didn't have any impact on the game. On the other hand, Bartek played too defensive in my opinion. His Dire Wolves and Ghouls should be used in a more offensive manner. This could buy him at least one more turn of magic.
All in all - I am quite happy with my army selection and how the game turned out. I only wish we could play the last turn...
Unit of the game:
The game was owned by the Treeman. I have no doubts about it - he almost alone held the centre of the battleline against 2 big units of the Undead warriors. When the enemy has no war machines it is very difficult to stop this beast. Especially if there is a Battle Standard Bearer nearby...
Easier said than done. The better one wins!
Thank's for a really good fight!
I tried very hard and did what I could but this time it was not enough.
Despite the fact of having really good spells against the Wood Elves I didn't manage to use them to the best effect due to the bad luck with dice.
Maybe If I killed a couple of Driads more, before they charged in the Grave Guards they last for a moment longer. This situation was a game-breaker for me. On the other hand, I should have sacrificed the Wolves and the Ghouls to buy me more time to blast Asrai with spells.
This battle gave me a lot of feedback on future games with my Vampire Counts. The roster wasn't bad, but it needs some tweaking to become better.
I hope to play against Kuba's Wood Elves soon again! :)
Undead of the game:
As the unit of the match, I must choose my 3 Necromancers. They managed to kill enemy units and survived the battle saving me a lot of points.