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4,000 pt Bat Rep (Illustrated) vs. Demons & Vampires

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Some background:

Upon the borders of the distant realm of Araby a threat was looming. A Lord of Change had ensared the minds of two vampires - no mean feat, considering that particular magical feat is something vampires are meant to be the masters of. In doing so the monstrous demon had doubled the size of the army he commanded, and began his advance upon the Arabyan city of Amon. He intended to make it his before the next full moon.

Atop the highest tower of the double walled city, the Sultan of Amon took no comfort from the sight of the surrounding fortifications. He had not the men to hold even a portion of it, for (lulled into a sense of security by the words of his soothsayers and wise-men) he had sent the bulk of his army upon a fool’s errand to the south. Yet he had one last hope, his alliance with the men of the north. They had benefited massively from his favourable trading with them, in gems, gold, silk and spices. Would they show their gratitude and send him the aid he had requested?

Baron Von Aldwort was leading a force the like of which he personally had never seen take to the field before. All around him, from horizon to horizon, stretched the sand. It was like the great mudflats near Marienburg he had seen as a child, though without the wetness, without the sea, without one tiny drop of water. His army was mostly that which he brought with him to this realm of sand, bolstered by a regiment of arabyan swordsmen and its two detachments of crossbowmen. It was clear that the captains sent to advise the Sultan had trained these men well, for the black clad arabyans marched as well as the Baron’s own blue and white garbed swordsmen, and drilled in exactly the same manner.

The field of battle:

The wide expanse of sand was finally broken up by some ruins and rocks, as well as a couple of dunes. At some point more recently this land must have seemed welcoming to some desert folk, for there was a tiny, abandoned hamlet too. The lack of a well or oasis was a clue as to why the place was now deserted, though the proximity of the walking dead and their demon masters might also have had some influence of the decision to leave.

The two armies arrayed themselves in their battle lines very early in the day, after a night of terrifying nightmares and disturbed sleep for the Baron’s men. The host of hell mustered into a very neat line: from their right to their left they had two regiments of Bloodletters, a regiment of Daemonettes (all three led by heroes), then a regiment of Grave Guard, a growing body of skeletons, a shambling mass of zombies and finally a horde of ghouls. Two vampires led the skeletons and Grave Guard personally, while behind the undead lurked a company of Cairn Wraiths (with a Banshee). Standing impetuously to the fore was a ferocious Varghulf, and off to the very left of the line (rather appropriately), was the overwhelmingly sinister presence of the Lord of Change.

The Baron had sent some huntsmen ahead, brave fellows, who had got themselves to the right of the enemy force, hidden by a dune. Their orders were to slow the enemy wing down by whatever means they could. From left to right the Baron’s army consisted of: Pistoliers and a Free Company Regt (this last acting as a form of artillery guard); the artillery – two cannons and a helblaster; four ogre bulls, with detachments of handgunners and swordsmen fore and aft of them, these belonging to a regiment of halberds next in line led by the army standard bearer; Ricco’s pikemen, a huge body of men; the arabyan swordsmen, with their two crossbow detachments out in front of both them and Ricco’s; three leadbelchers, with the Baron and his bodyguard of (inner circle) nobles behind them; a swordsmen regiment with the Wizard Lord attached; a detachment of handgunners; three low level wizards fumbling with as many scrolls as they could carry; and finally, two more bodies of knights, one inner circle, both with magical standards.

The battle begins (with cheers aplenty from the brave men of the empire!):

The evil alliance advanced, cautiously (i.e. not as far as they could have done, which the baron thought very odd considering the number of artillery pieces and lesser missile weapons his force wielded). Then came their magic, that which the Baron had feared most. But it fizzled and popped weakly hither and thither, and the four mortal wizards checked what little strength it could manifest. A strangely quiet start to the battle.

Upon the Empire right all regiments were ordered to hold fast – the baron intended to make as much use of his complete missile superiority as he could. But the wizards, surprised by the fact that they could wield their magic offensively (all had opted to prepare Lore of Fire spells), sent 4 fireballs and a fiery blast hurtling at the huge Lord of Change (just in range of all of them). Even more to the wizards’ surprise, the great demon seemed like a magnet to the full fury of their assault. And (many 6’s to wound later) he succumbed and died. The battle had barely begin and they enemy was without it’s demon Lord.

In the centre and out the left, the artillery and crossbows let loose. While most concentrated on the advancing demon regiments - who the men knew could not resurrect themselves like the hateful undead - killing one or two, one cannon fired boldly at the Varghulf. Yet again, the men of the Empire were dumbfounded by their own success. The Varghulf suffered a direct his and was torn apart.

The baron watched him utter astonishment these opening stages of the battle. Could it be true? It seemed as if the battle was won before even one weapon had to be reloaded!

But the enemy were still advancing. The foe, each and every one of them, cared not a jot for who lived and died. Half of them were already dead and harboured hardly a thought in their rotting heads. The other half weren’t even from this world so why would they worry about what happened in it. All were free of such concerns. All they wanted to do was kill the enemy.

The undead regiments picked up their pace now, and came on.

The Cairn Wraiths moved up behind them, while the necromantic vampires prepared themselves to summon and re-summon their warriors, knowing that many would fall to the enemy’s missiles.

To be completed

PS: So far this all looks too good for the Empire to be true, I know. At this stage in the game I was starting to think I wouldn’t write up the report ‘cos it was all so ‘easy’ and you would all think it was fake!. Believe me, it won’t feel easy by the end. Quite the opposite. Complacency is never the way to go fighting undead and demons (and two expert players). Those of you who have fought the new undead and the newer demons probably know this by now.

* The undead and demon figures are not mine, but belong to two friends (D and J). They are very good WFB players indeed, and even after the casualties in turn one giving me 1000 VP there and then, neither looked particularly worried. They know their armies well, and they knew I had never faced demons and so was in for a surprise.

Part two:

The enemy’s magic continued to fail to impress, with the Vampire Lord miscasting and losing his ability to Wind of Undeath. All the rest of the force could do was advance, while the Baron’s right wing wondered why they had formed up in an attempt to trap the Varghulf and Lord of Chaos who now lay dead.

The artillery opened fire again, with the Helblaster Volley Gun now in range of the deamonettes. It killed 4 but blew itself up in doing so! Crossbow bolts and handgun shots felled another 6. Meanwhile the Huntsmen had moved over the hill to slow down the advance of the rightmost Bloodletters, while the pistoliers galloped up to flank them. Between them they felled 6 of the demons.

On the Empire right wing several units moved forward to attempt to engage the enemy, leadbelchers and knights wanting to deliver their powerful blows against the foe. The wizards began to move so that they might manage soon to pour fireballs down onto the Cairn Wraiths, before those particularly fearful undead could tear into a mortal unit.

On the enemy’s left, the Vampires managed to summon some extra ghouls, but the Empire wizards dispel scrolls frustrated their other attempts at magic. (I think we subsequently forgot to reduce the Vampire Lord’s magic dice by one!) But then came the Empire Knights’ chance, and they charged simultaneously into the ghouls and the zombies - naively unaware that the enemy could not ask for better, for their own units were capable off holding the knights like glue, allowing the other more deadly undead to manoeuvre.

The wizards let loose with their magic and took down 4 of the Cairn Wraiths. They took satisfaction in this, for the failed to understand fully how the enemy could simply summon the fiends back onto the field. The Pisoliers and Huntsmen took down another 6 Khornate demons, while the handguns and crossbows did what they could to the other main regiments, especially the Grave Guard.

The Baron was heard to laugh at this point, because here he was deep into the battle and not one of his men had fallen to the enemy. The only casualties were the dead crew of the Helblaster.

But things were about to go horribly wrong for the Empire’s soldiers. For a start, two of the lesser wizards had attached themselves to a crossbow detachment, instinctively seeking protection from non-existent enemy missiles while they targetted the wraiths. Their action turned the detachment into a unit that could cause panic – something which would have the direst of consequences.

Only one Daemonette survived to get within charge range of the Empire line, and charge it did – not at the handgunners afore it, but at the Crossbowmen with the wizards in the unit. (I forgot in my panic to counterfire – oops!)

Meanwhile the Wraiths hurled themselves at the Leadbelchers, who could (of course) do nothing back to the ethereal creatures.

The Bloodletters charged down the Huntsmen (who bravely knew they were sacrificing themselves in order to misdirect the enemy.) The second Bloodletters regiment failed it’s charge towards the Empire’s main line, and ground to a halt before the cannons. This was to allow the Free Company, Pistoliers and Ogre Bulls to begin to close in on the demons from all three sides, unhindered by the presence of any other enemies.

The last Ogre Leadbelcher somehow held against the Wraiths and the Banshee, while the main regiment of knights soon defeated and destroyed the ghouls.

It was now that the Empire’s luck failed them. The Daemonette defeated the Crossbow unit and broke them (even with the Army banner behind them). What the Empire soldiers could not have known was that the Herald of Slaanesh who had earlier crept away from the unit to avoid being shot, was carrying an Icon of Despair. All the Empire soldiers in the centre of the battle line felt the malignant will-power sapping influence of this powerful magical artefact. And the effect was truly awful. The Crossbowmen fled, taking the two petty wizards with them. They were not only broken but destroyed in the flight. The panic caused by this deed meant that the Handgunner detachment and the other crossbow detachment fled too, as well as Ricco’s Pike regiment (29 strong), and right off the field. (Thus one deamonette, aided by cunning magic and Empire ignorance, gained nigh upon 1000 VP in one fell swoop!)

Off upon the far side of the field, the Bloodletters inevitably defeated the Huntsmen and ran them down.

As the last Leadbelcher died at the hands of the wraiths, the Wizard Lord managed to cast Wall of Fire on the Grave Guard. They cared not, and next turn would charge right through it receiving hits galore, yet still fighting effectively. The lone deamonette, who had run into the full regiment of Halberdiers, managed somehow to hold them without crumbling.

Upon the hill, the Wraiths now knew what they must do, and prepared to charge down onto the side of the knights locked in combat with a shambling mess of zombies, before the advancing swordsmen regiment could reach them.

When they did do so, the knights’ armour proved too much for them, and the knights were able to turn to face them in the second round of combat.

At the same time, the regiment of knights which now contained both the Baron and the mounted Captain managed to charge past their comrades and in to the regiment of skeletons behind – which now contained two Vampires with the Herald of Slaanesh drawn into the combat (being right at the skeletons’ side).

Even the cream of the Empire’s nobility could not quite take on such foes, so when they were defeated in combat by the outnumbering foe, they fled, and even though mounted on horses, were ran down. The skeletons then found themselves fighting the knights behind (who had finally defeated the Banshee and Wraiths). Those knights would soon be joined by the third and last regiment of knights, so that the combat would not be reolved by the end of the battle.

Off towards the centre, the halberdiers fled from the lone daemonette (!) but did manage to rally themselves before they left the field.

This left only one other major action being fought – the simultaneous charge of Pistoliers, Orges and Free Company into the Bloodletters far on the left of the Empire's line.

This went well, for one round. The Bloodletters lost, and lost more to instability. But then they chose to focus their attacks, and in so doing won the combat resolution, broke the Empire men and sent all running in three directions. They decided to run down and destroy the ogres; while a lone Pistolier failed to rally (his unit had been too badly mauled) and the free company ran off terrified.

The battle thus ground to a halt. And both armies, severely mauled, retired from the field.

Result = 2776 to 2654, a draw (favouring the Demons and undead).

I thus yield to the awesomeness of demons. But the next time I will jot be so ignorant of their abilities. I feel a gun line coming on!

Thane Godri GoblinSlayer:
  That's awesome how that one herald of Slaanesh did that. 

Von Kurst:
I prefer the word sad to awesome.

Thanks Padre for the excellent report.


I read the whole thing, good stuff.

What size table were you playing on cos everything seems really crammed in there!?

Seems like you suffered a little from the curse of trying to stay so far away from the enemy that when fear strikes half the units run straight off the board. It's a difficult balance, I guess, between trying to get in as much shooting as possible whilst not being too close to the table edge.

Great first turn though, just goes to show that Empire can actually hold their own against two armies that seem to be widely considered too good.



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