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Author Topic: Battle report; Empire vs Vampire Counts  (Read 1091 times)

Offline Demonslayer

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Battle report; Empire vs Vampire Counts
« on: April 29, 2015, 01:58:55 PM »
Another 500 pts game I played a few days ago, against Vampire Counts this time.

For ease of reading;
- My force consisted of Pistoliers (P), Swordmen (S) with a detachment of halberdiers (H), a Great Cannon (GC) and Crossbowmen (C). My only hero choice was a captain (C2), leading the swordmen.
- The Undead force was made up of two units of Dire Wolves (DW), two units of zombies (Z), a unit of skeletons (S) and a unit of Crypt Horrors (CH). They were led by a lone Necromancer (N).

Also, the topic's title is a little misleading, seeing as there were no actual vampires in the opposing army, just a single necromancer :P.

Anyway, enjoy!


*****

Trembling, Hans planted his crossbow's stirrup on a seemingly dry patch of grass and loaded the weapon. He fidgeted with the bolts stuck in his quiver for a moment, trying not to think too hard about the horrors approaching ahead. 'How do I manage to get myself into these messes?' he muttered, the question not directed at anyone in particular. Finally he got one of the bolts free, placed it on the grooved tiller and drew back the bowstring.

It dawned on him that in some way, it was his own fault. After all, he had accepted the Emperor's shilling of his own free will, hadn't he? Of course, the prospect of joining the Wolfsbach seventh Kompanie had seemed a lot more appealing after five or six mugs of ale than it did right now. Raising his crossbow to eye level, he wished he'd just kicked the recruiting agent out the tavern. If he'd done that he'd still be drinking back in Wolfsbach, rather than be out here, throwing his life away because men earning better pay told him to.

At the captain's barked order Hans loosed the shot, sending a steel-tipped bolt into the skull of one of the unliving skeletons up ahead. His fellow crossbowmen did the same thing, and a half-hearted cheer went up as the monsters fell. Hans felt his chest swell with courage now that he knew these things could be felled as readily as a living opponent.

Then Hans felt the blood drain from his face. A cold shiver ran down his back as he watched the skeleton he had killed stir again. Too horrified to speak, it was up to one of the other soldiers to cry out loud what the rest of the company was thinking.

'Ulric's balls, they get back up again?'

*****

Frederick von Asten spurred his steed to greater speed, clutching the reins in one hand and one of his pistols in the other. There had been no way to approach Feldschlosse unseen- the old ruins were surrounded by sparse trees, not dense enough to conceal an army. Their only hope was for the rank-and-file to create a diversion while he and his fellow pistoliers made their way through what cover the forest provided. With any luck their quarry would be too distracted with the main battle to notice the small team of impromptu assassins headed his way.

Von Asten frowned as he pondered his role. Officially, they were not supposed to be assassins. Assassins killed people, and that was not their mandate here. Their target was to be caught and brought back to Wolfenbach. Apparently the man was the younger brother of some pompous noble the burgomeister was looking to stay on the good side of. A baron, if von Asten remembered correctly, one looking for a burgomeister to enter a very lucrative contract on fishing trade with him. Killing the baron's brother, the burgomeister reasoned, would probably hurt his chances of securing that contract.

His destrier suddenly reared, almost throwing him to the ground with a frightful whinny. Quick reflexes and an iron grip on the reins were all that kept Frederick from falling into the dirt, but getting the stallion under control again was another matter. From the corner of his eyes Frederick noticed the others having the same problem, and wondered what had frightened the horses so.

He did not have long to think. Dark shapes burst from the bushes, growling and snapping rotten jaws at the flanks and throats of the horses. Frederick's heart skipped a beat at the sight of the six black wolves attacking his unit.

Before Frederick could get a single shot off he felt a sharp pain in his ankle. One of the wolves had closed its broken teeth around the limb, biting through the leather and into the flesh. Tearing wildly, the beast managed to pull him down. The horse wasted no time in running off, leaving Frederick to fend for himself. Despite his pain he leveled the pistol he still held at the beast, and pulled the trigger. The distict sharp crack of blackpowder igniting echoed through the forest, but the bullet did not slow the beast.

Instead, Frederick saw the wolf's glowing eyes fixing his. Then the beast pounced him. He felt the wolf's weight on him, the stench of decay filling his nostrils as he fought not to gag. Desperately he tried to reach for his other pistol, but his arm was pinned under the wolf. The undead monster looked down at him for a moment, then its teeth closed around his neck. Frederick had only moments to scream before the undead beast began tearing his throat out.

*****

Ludwig dutifully pushed the rammer down the cannon's bore, pushing the blackpowder as far into the breech as possible. Anton stood close by, gripping a cannonball with both hands, waiting to play his part in the loading procedure. His reaction when Ludwig pulled out the rammer was immediate, lifting the heavy steel ball and pushing it into the bore as far as he could. Stopping only to wipe the sweat from his brow while Ludwig drove home the ball to the breech, he quickly picked up the lit botefeux in anticipation of Bernard's orders.

Bernard, meanwhile, had the physically least challenging task to perform- watch the approach of the enemy and, when the time was right, give the order to fire. He was no less important a member of the team, however. After all it was his job to aim the artillery, guess the distance to the enemy, and judge the right time to fire. As his colleagues worked he could not help but smile a little. Operating the cannon was an exact science, and the team was required to perform their task wordlessly. The men operating a cannon either protected their hearing by filling their ears with wax, after all, or lost it entirely. A complex system of hand gestures was needed for the team to function.

Fortunately, as Ludwig retracted the rammer from the cannon's neck a second time, the hard part was done. There was but one command left to give, at which Anton would hold the botefeux to the fuse. His eyes fixed on the enemy before him, Bernard dropped his raised arm.

White smoke filled his vision, and his head rang from the blast despite the wax in his ears. Coughing loudly Bernard stepped from the cloud of white smoke, looking at what the shot had achieved. The cannonball had bowled through the skeletons, and had even managed to tear down one of the larger ghouls behind them. Smiling he turned back to his colleagues, seeing Ludwig was already cleaning the bore with the sponge while Anton cleared the touch hole with the primer. Smiling, Bernard looked at the undead horde again, picking the spot where the next shot would fall.


End of Vampire Counts turn one. That's a lot of flankers.


More zombies and skeletons rose as the battle continued, and Hans was determined to put hem all down again. Not out of a sense of honour or duty, but because he knew what would happen should the monsters reach their line. Unfortunately, the undead were rising up almost as quickly as he and the crossbowmen could put them down.

Then a rapid succession of drums could be heard, and the Kompanie's swordmen surged forward, captain Fressner at their head. Hans sighed with relief. The captain's men quickly interposed themselves between the crossbowmen and the undead, buying them time to shoot down the remaining skeletons.

Then he heard something growling from behind the rock beside which he stood. Forcing himself to glance back, Hans saw six black wolves coming into view, their burning red eyes fixed on him...

*****

Gunther didn't know where the dead-looking wolves had come from. One moment he and the other halberdiers were just minding their own business, following Fressner's swordmen, then suddenly a pistolier and two unridden horses had burst from the sparse forest. Not a moment after, a number of black wolves followed, rushing at the pistolier and dragging him down. It took the pack only a few seconds to stop the man's awful screaming.

'Looks like the damn prettyboy Vons ran into a spot of trouble', Gunther remarked evenly. Sighing, he unshouldered his halberd, the heavy weight of cold steel feeling familiar in his hands. 'Right, boys, looks like it's up to us to clean up their mess. Put the puppies down, and I'm calling dibs on the dead Von's pistol, got it?'

The other halberdiers grinned sheepishly, readying their weapons. Then they broke into a run, screaming like madmen at the undead wolves ahead. The pack broke up as they heard the oncoming soldiers, growling menacingly. Then they too broke into a run, and within moments wolves and soldiers slammed into each other, jaws snapping at exposed necks and polearms splitting skulls. Amid it all stood Gunther, laughing as he drove the tip of his halberd in an oncoming wolf's chest.

*****

Bernard saw the black wolves before the crossbowmen did. He knew the soldiers wouldn't be able to turn around in time. Muttering a curse under his breath, he made his way to the cannon. He pointed forcibly at the wolves, making sure Anton and Bernard were aware of the threat before pushing both arms out at them, spreading his fingers at the last moment. He looked at his colleagues in turn, both nodding their understanding at him. Then he began turning the cannon while Anton and Ludwig took up a barrel, straining to pour its contents down the cannon's bore.

Bernard realized that procedure dictated his colleagues should wait until the cannon was turned before loading it. But sticking to procedure would see the crossbowmen dead, so rushing the loading process was a risk they would have to take. When the cannon was fully turned to face the wolves, Anton already stood by with the botefaux.

There was no need to give the order this time. As soon as Bernard pushed clear from the cannon, Anton put lit the short fuse. A loud explosion accompanied the grapeshot fired at the wolves, scything down the undead beasts before they could pounce on their prey.

As the smoke cleared, Bernard frowned at the horde of undead still approaching. While his colleagues and the crossbowmen cheered, he saw that the lack of ranged support had allowed the undead to advance unhindered. And the giant ghoul they had shot down before rose again, evil magics knitting its flesh and bone.

Then it was up again, following the undead horde with hunger in its eyes.



End of Empire turn 2. No more flankers, whew!


Gunther got back up, admiring the pistol he'd picked up from the pistolier's corpse. No shot or powder, but he'd get at least a few good meals from selling the weapon back in Wolfsbach.

'Well done, boys, those puppies won't be getting back up.' He snickered at his own joke, not caring if his fellow halberdiers had heard him. Then looked up from his prize, and his face darkened. 'Ah crap.'

A large horde of zombies, outnumbering his halberdiers almost three to one, was approaching fast. Gunther looked back at Fressner's swordmen, but realized that they were too far away to count on support. They'd isolated themselves from the main battle, something the undead were only too happy to take advantage of.

'Always dark over Drakenhof way,' he cursed. 'Fine. Form up, boys. If those bastards want to make a meal of us, they're gonna have to earn it.'

*****

Even in the center of the melee, captain Fressner was happy. These undead were hardly a challenge, but this was a battle nonetheless, and there was nothing like a good battle to make him feel alive. Except maybe Wolfsbach's whorehouse, and even visits that establishment got repetitive after a while.

He and his men hacked and cut at the undead, suffering only a few cuts and bruises in return. His sword darted left and right, severing heads and cutting tendon. With each masterfully executed swing of his sword he laughed, knowing the example he set would determine how hard his swordmen would fight.

The undead to his unit's fore were quickly dispatched, and in the distance Fressner could already discern the form of the necromancer he was to apprehend. Spitting a vile curse at the degenerate, Fressner told himself to be patient. This undead horde would be exhausted soon enough.

Then something big roared beside him, and Fressner had scant moments to prepare for the crypt ghoul barreling down on him.


End of Vampire Counts turn 4.


Hans saw the crypt ghoul barreling down on the captain, cursing that he had not been able to bring the monster down in time. At first it had seemed that Fressner's path to the necromancer had been clear, but now the crypt ghoul's charge changed things. It bought the necromancer time to raise new minions, and the battle would begin anew.

Swallowing hard, Hans turned to the other crossbowmen. He knew he'd regret the decision, if he could even persuade his colleagues to go along with his plan. Nonetheless he raised his voice, shouting over the din of battle to rally the men.

'The captain is in trouble!' he called out, 'and its up to us to help him! Who is with me?'

For a moment the men were silent, and part of Hans hoped they'd tell him to shut up and hold position like they were supposed to. But then he saw them nodding, holstering their crossbows and drawing short swords. Then the men burst into a charge and Hans followed, wondering for the second time how he got himself into these kinds of messes.

*****

Gunther's booming laugh echoed over the field as he looked around, corpses of the undead everywhere. 'Good job, boys, good job!' He spitefully brought down his halberd on a twitching corpse, severing the head of a zombie who'd already lost both arms and a leg. Looking around, the halberdier saw Fressner fighting the big ghoul.

'You know,' he started, rubbing his chin, 'we've been doing pretty well against those puppies and these corpses. How 'bout we go see how that big thing holds up?' He laughed again, breaking into a jog. 'Who knows? If we kill it, there might be a reward in it for us!'

That got the other halberdiers' attention. Breaking into a charge, the men screamed profanities at the crypt ghoul, eager to be the one to kill it.

*****

'You're a big one,' Fressner mumbled at the oncoming crypt ghoul, making a little flourish with his sword. The unthinking monster did not reply, but instead raised a clawed hand before bringing it down on the captain. The beast's nails were thick with filth, and Fressner realized that a single scratch from the monster would cause a fatal infection.

Fressner quickly raised his shield, catching the beast's downward strike and forcing its arm to the side. Grinning, Fressner swiped his sword horizontally. For all the girth of the ghoul's arm, its flesh was still just dry meat, its muscles old and its bones brittle. Fressner's strike cut through all three.

The beast had little time to roar in defiance, for Fressner was already on it. The first thrust pierced the creature's leg, bringing it to its knees. The second slashed across its abdomen, spilling forth all manner of rotting intestines. The last slash severed the beast's head, and its unearthly shrieks finally stopped.

Fressner saw the crossbowmen run past him, towards the place where the necromancer had been hiding. He followed them, and heard the man's cries of outrage before he even reached them.


End of Empire turn 4. It's a wrap!


Hans and the other crossbowmen held the kneeling necromancer, their weapons trained on him. They had been instructed to capture him alive, and as obedient soldiers of the Empire, they had no choice but to comply.

The necromancer cackled madly at them. 'You think you've won? Go on then,' he hissed, 'take me into custody. Brother dearest will see to it I get free again.' He coughed up a gobbet of black slime, which he spat at Fressner's feet. 'Loves me too much to see me dead, loves his career too much to have a brother in the asylum.'

Hans saw Fressner stare down at the criminal before him, and knew the captain was torn between following orders and putting the necromancer down. Doing one would invite the burgomancer's wrath, doing the other condemned innocent villagers. He knew the necromancer was speaking the truth.

Sighing, Hans resolved to make the decision before Fressner could.

The necromancer sputtered for a moment, staring incredulously at his chest from which a steel-tipped bolt protruded. He looked up at Fressner in his final moment, then slumped down into the mud.

Fressner looked at the felled necromancer for a moment, then gave Hans a stern look. Finally he sight, his eyes softening somewhat. 'He was dead when we got here, understood?'

Hans grinned. 'Just a stray bolt, sir. Nothing we could do about it.'

*****
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Offline Anubis

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Re: Battle report; Empire vs Vampire Counts
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2015, 04:53:30 PM »
Nice battle report, other then the pistoliers it sounds like the battle was in your favor.

Best,
Anubis

Offline Ondjage

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Re: Battle report; Empire vs Vampire Counts
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2015, 11:00:58 PM »
Nice read!
Another subpar post by Ondjage.

Offline stareso

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Re: Battle report; Empire vs Vampire Counts
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2015, 09:39:34 PM »
Very nicely written! I like this style of reports best, thanks for the effort  :happy: