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3000 pt Skaven vs Demons Bat Rep (illustrated)

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Hope no-one minds that this doesn't involve Empire troops, but I thought possibly you'd find it informative and enlightening (who am I kidding?).

Thagskee’s Folly

Warlord Grigibbet felt confident that morning. Never had he led so great a force to battle, and considering until now he had been victorious in every fight, how could he lose this time? One thing and one thing alone worried him – the Grey Seer Sharblik. If Grigibbet trusted Sharblik, then he would be glad to have him in his force, after all the Grey Seer had powerful arcane magics at his command. But the old Warlord was wise enough to know never to trust a Skaven, especially a powerful one. The Grey Seer surely was not where he was in life because he always treated fairly with others!

Grigibbet’s Night Runner forlorn hope, his ‘ratons perdus’ as his southern cousin would say, returned to describe to him the land just ahead. They said the enemy were close now and that spot would be the field of battle. They told of a couple of ruined buildings, the tumbledown remains of an ancient dwarfen settlement, that would afford some concealment in the middle of the field, as would a little copse of trees to the right. Rocky ground and hills stretched through the centre and left.

There was even space enough for Grigibbet to array his men as he had already envisaged. He sent his skirmishers to the right, with the Rat Ogres moving furthest out in an attempt to outflank the (surely) smaller foe. The Jezzails took possession of a hill from which they could view almost the entire field. Two little gangs of Night Runners moved up behind one of the ruins with a swarm of tiny rats ahead of them, while the Globadiers moves directly towards the ruins, intending to occupy them as soon as possible.

The centre and left of Grigibbet’s line was to be his concentration of strength. He wanted his crazy, fearless Monks to bolster the resolve and fighting power of his three Clan Rat regiments, and so interspersed the monk regiments with the warriors' red, yellow and grey regiments. The Grey Seer moved up alongside the yellow regiment, with his two warplock engineers close by to add weight to his magical assaults. The clan’s army standard bearer took his usual position in the rear ranks of the grey regiment, his brood cousin at the front. Four packs of giant rats were whipped forwards on the left, with the Warp Lightning Cannon inching forwards behind them, and a huge block of slaves forming the very left of the line. Grigibbet led the red regiment (his trusted guards), with the monks upon either side. He felt safe enough.

Before long the enemy came into view: an army of fiendish demons led by a monstrous Lord of Change. The Skaven horde is one squeeled and squeeked their alarm at the sight, but then most remembered the size of their own force and the moment of alarm passed.

Upon the enemy's right was a Herald of Khorne, mounted upon a Juggernaut, and leading a pair of similarly mounted Bloodcrushers. Their black banner seemed to swallow the light from the air around it, making it something darker than merely black. Next in line were four large regiments of demons, almost equal numbers of deamonettes and Bloodletters, each one led by a Herald of Slaanesh or Khorne according to their nature. Behind them strode the be-winged demon lord of this force, terrifyingly strange to behold and with magical forces crackling in the air around it. Upon the far left ran two Fiends of Slaanesh, making an awful sound somewhere between a hoot and a howl, mopre frightening than any roar or growl!

The demons had gained the initiative, for their force not only appeared but advanced some way towards the massed ranks of clan Thagskee’s warriors before the Skaven could do much more than shout 'steady'. The mighty Bloodcrushers shook the ground as they thundered forwards, the nimble Daemonettes nimbly dancing to keep up with the huge, brass mounts.

In the centre, moving perhaps just a little slower, came the Bloodletters, with their Lord of Change landing to look between the two regiments, inscrutably scrutinising the furry army massed afore him. The Thagskee ratling gunners began winding their machines to prepare for the unleashing of their warpstone bullets. They were chuckling to themselves as usual.

On the far left of the demonic line the Fiends boldly advanced between the ruins and the slightly less fleet Daemonettes to threaten the skirmishers clustered between the other ruined building and the Jezzail encrusted hill.

Suddenly the demon’s magic was unleashed, and it had sharp force, but Grey Seer Sharblik proved capable of dulling it. Only one spell pierced his protective shield and warped the minds of one of the gangs of Gutter Runners to induce stupidity. This would make them foolish enough to shamble forwards moments later, which was not what Grigibbet had planned. Even so, the rat swarms and Rat Ogres moved more intelligently and placed themselves where they thought they might best distract and slow the entire left wing of the demon army.

None in the Skaven army was yet able to deliver a charge, so the whole line re-jigged a little so that they might deliver the charges exactly as they wanted when the time came. Sharblik found himself unable to wield the spells he had prepared for one of the Warplock Engineers fumbled his own attempt to cast warp lightning and in the crucial moment drained away all the magical energies available! It seemed the bad luck was contagious, for the one Ratling gun in range killed but one Bloodletter while the entire company of nine Jezzail teams failed even to wound the Fiends. When the Warp Lightning Cannon got a direct hit at full strength (10) against the Herald of Khorne it seemed the luck might change, but the demon’s magical protection dissipated all the power of the lightning bolt and the creature was not even singed!

At the back of the red regiment, the clanrat Tregglesquaw turned to his old (and taller) friend Vertagg and said,

“You see, Vertag, yes? You see enemies fall to bullets and bombs? You see lightning cook them as they stand, yes?”

“I see nothing. Perhaps shooting is at something else?”

Both skaven turned to look nervously at the rear, thinking there might be another enemy force approaching from behind.

“No, no, Vert, nothing there! So why they not shooting at the devils?”

Vertag squinted and pondered. Neither helped, for he couldn’t work out why the enemy appeared unharmed. Suddenly, being still slightly unnerved, he jumped, because Tregglesquaw shouted out,

“Maybe enemy not there? Yes? Trick with glass and smoke? Bullets hit nothing, nothing there to hit?”

Vertag squinted again. He didn’t need to ponder Tregglesquaw’s theory. Being a foot taller than his stunted friend, he could see the enemy where very much there, and getting rapidly closer!

(What our two little friends could not know was that my dice rolling was very poor that round, whereas my opponent 'J's was rather good. Will things stay that way?)

Now came the first clash as the Bloodcrushers thundered into the Giant Rats – luckily Grigibbet was close enough to embolden his warriors, even such petty ones, and the block braced itself for the impact and did not flee in fear.

The Fiends of Slaanesh hurled themselves into the stupid Night Runners, who had time only to draw their blades and not to sling pellets at the foe. The Skaven, still addled by the effects of the spell, seemed stunned by events, and stared dumbly up as the monsters tore them to pieces.

The rest of the demon army advanced even closer to the serried ranks of Skaven, while the great Lord of Change flipped through the air deceptively delicately to land upon the hill nearest the centre of the field.

Somehow Sharblik the Grey Seer once again fended off the enemy’s attempts at magical harm, but there was no such fending off of their attacks. The Night Runners broke and fled, being cut down viciously. The sight of this brutal slaughter right before them sent the other gang of Night Runners hurtling away in flight also (though they would rally to return before the end). The Blood Crushers stamped, gouged and stabbed to slay nine giant rats, but the Pack Masters somehow summoned both the courage to fight on (snake eyes) and the skill  to trick the rats to do so too.

Now the moment came for the Skaven to do what they could. Five charges were unleashed. The huge mob of slaves found the courage to throw themselves insanely into the flank of the Bloodcrushers – so that they faced the Herald of Khorne himself.

Warlord Grigibbet’s own red regiment joined the monks in a double charge against the Daemonettes.

While at the very same moment the grey regiment (made fearless by the army standard in their ranks) and the other monk regiment crashed into a regiment of Bloodletters. As they did so, the yellow regiment moved right up to the other Bloodletters in an attempt to stop those demons from hitting the grey regiment in the flank, while their ratling team prepared to shoot a volley down the gap into the same Bloodletters.

The Globadiers leapt into the ruins and readied their poisoned wind globes. Moments later the Grey Seer Sharblik forspoke a spell over the yellow regiment to drive them into a fearless frenzy – this way they would be better able to withstand the shock of a charge from the Bloodletters before them. On the far right of the Skaven lines the swarms moved to block the Deamonettes, thus forcing them to waste their move charging next turn, while the Rat Ogres attempted to move up to flank the same regiment of Deamonettes. Sharblick skitterleaped from the front rank of the grey regiment to right behind the Bloodletters – this made him safer and put him in a better spot to throw magical harm about the field.

From here on in, however, things turned from bad to worse for the Skaven clan Thagskee. The Jezzails managed to fell one of the pair of Fiends, but thus left the other who would fall on them later and chase them off the field. The ratling team slew only two Bloodletters, while 9 lobbed globes harmed only one. The warpfire thrower belched at the Blood Crushers, hitting two, but both were protected by their magical blessing. When the Warp Lightning cannon sent another full strength vlast straight into the Herald of Khorne leading the Blood Crushers they couldn’t believe their luck – it’s not very often the cannon behaves so wonderfully well! The Herald of Khorne couldn’t believe his luck either, for once again his magic protected him and he was entirely unharmed.

(By now ward saves had saved this guy three times from almost certain death – 2D6 and D3 wounds!)

The two main combats proved inconclusive – no-one broke and ran and all remained locked in the fight. Grigibbet died, however, in the middle of the fight, and in the desperate melee even his own warriors failed to notice! A small handful of pink-skinned Deamonettes succumbed to dissipation but plenty were left to fight on. On the Skaven left, however, the Blood Crushers broke and trampled the Giant Rats and sent 38 slaves squeeling off the field in flight.

Now the central Bloodletters regiment charged the yellow regiment of clan rats, breaking them and running them down. In the process both Warplock Engineers fled never to rally, and a Ratling Gun team also legged it. The deamonettes slaughtered the swarms and stood their ground, slowed only momentarily by the effort. The Lord of Change flew right to the far right of his lines to prepare for a charge into the flank of the Monks fighting the Bloodletters, while the Blood Crushers reformed to threaten a charge into the rear of the red regiment and the monks by their side.

Devilish magic killed the warpfire team and addled the brains of the Jezzails so that they became stupid. The rest of the fights wore on, no side gaining the advantage, although the fact that there were plenty of demons left meant that it was only now a matter of time before the Skaven broke and ran.

When the Engineers failed to rally, Sharblik wondered if he too should flee, but chose instead to try one last bout of magic – killing seven Bloodletters with a Plague spell. When the spell subsequently backfired, however, it killed six Globadiers and sent the last of them scurrying away from the field.

The last ratling gun killed eight more Bloodletters, leaving only two with the Herald alive! The Rat Ogres were running after failing in their charge against the Deamonettes, while elsewhere the combats dragged on.

Now the Lord of Change braced himself for a charge, as did the Blood Crushers – the former flexing his wings, the latter pawing great clumps of turf up. Even the three remaining Bloodletters laughed as they prepared to throw themselves onto the ratling gun smoking in front of them.

At this point even Sharblik could see that the fight was well and truly lost, although he had but a meagre experience of battle. He fled, and all the skaven who could joined him.

(Battle conceded at start of turn 4 – the earliest I have ever had to do so!!!!!!)

Demons are horrible to face!  Maybe you should have hung back a little more.  Also I think you may have needed more throwaway units to divert some of the blocks until your magic and shooting could prosper. 

Wow that's one not-so-pretty deamon army.

I don't like the models to start with so I won't talk about those, but even so you can do a little effort to paint them. I mean, everything seems to be painted in one colour - bloodletters red (with black weapons, okay granted), deamonettes blue, fiends purple...).

Yeah they're tough. I think your skaven force needs more throwaway units to march forward and distract the heavy hitters, so you have more time to shoot them.

My friend is still in the process of painting his demon army - he even did a little more painting for this game so that at least undercoats wouldn't be showing and bases wouldn't be too bad. I wouldn't judge his army until it is finished.

I usually only photo report fully painted battles, but I actually like his demons even as they are - they seem other worldly, as if made of stuff other than 'matter', and thus the weird monochrome.

As for Atchman and Cisse's comments re: throwaway units and shooting/magic. I agree. But I did have throwaway units (including two gutter runners and swarms etc, and I did throw them away) but I used them all to one flank hoping thus to slow down and misdirect 1/3 of the enemy. I didn't realise just how tough the other 2/3 would be. The shooting, if I had rolled averages, would have been good - I was getting multiple Str 10 direct WarpLightning Cannon hits on the hero on the Juggernaut, but I could not for the life of me harm him.

I think even if I had managed to squeeze another shooting phase in I would still have lost badly.

Magic wasn't too helpful either, miscasts and such.

Overall I'd say an unlucky game, but I thought that it still made for a moderately good battle report read. I get the feeling a lot of games against VC, Demons and WC go along these lines!

Well I perhaps over-reacted. As I said I don't particularly like the deamon models.  :wink:


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