Khardon Island, Game 5


I am playing a narrative campaign with a few Dwarf players (friends) and so far we have had two battles. This is a brief description of the 2nd battle. The campaign is described here (always available from the top menu too): Khardon Island

Another sunday game of Warhammer Renaissance in our campaign has been played. This time it was against the forces of King Gorrin and Arngrim the Mad in the northern part of the map. This Dwarf army is controlled by Jonas.

The Dwarfs had arrived at a place of ancient mysticism. 3 grotesque pillars of elemental evil had long ago been erected and were emanating a field of dark magic. Something had to be done about it, and the Dwarfs decided to go head strong and take the pillars. The forces of Cantu Cordula had fled to this place of unholiness after the defeat in game one. Now the count was ready to defend it with all his might. His trusty lietenant Erlic von Bachmann was by his side, as well as the re-assembled King of The Dead on his mighty Zombie Dragon Vera.

The Scenario

The scenario we played was a home brew scenario:

Deployment: Deployment zones are 12” from either long edge. Roll a die to pick deployment zone. Then roll to see who deploys first (+1 to the roll of the loser to pick zone). Then roll to see who starts (+1 to the one who deployed first).

Objective: Three magical pillars are placed on the centre line – 1 in the middle of the table and the next two 12” on either side of the centre one still on the long centre line. Before the game starts, but after deployment, the two objectives not in the centre, are moved in a random direction by rolling a scatter die + artillery die. A hit indicates that it stays in place, a misfire means you roll again and double the distance. At the start of each turn all three objectives are moved 1 artillery die in a random direction. If they come into contact with terrain or units they pass all the way through to the other side and the unit counts as being in contact. If they exit the table they bound back in a random direction 2 artillery dice distance into the table. To hold the objective a unit of 5 or more models must move in base contact. The objectives are immaterial and do not obstruct line of sight and may be moved through as they do not impair movement.

We picked forces of 2000 points and could choose army composition freely. Jonas went for a Herohammer army and I went for the 50% troops. Mainly because I haven’t really got around to building my black coach yet… We are of course both limited by the figures we have painted.

After my disappointment with the Wights in my last game, where they simply fell apart immediately I thought I would try them in a small unit and with the Ghost Rider banner, allowing them to pass through woods and so on. Additionally, I went for the Zombie Dragon again, but this time with a Wight Hero on it. I thought perhaps it could be a good alpha strike supporting… all the rest! Magic item wise, I had bought the Skull Staff and The Ring of Corrin. With a little luck I would be able to take out some sort of expensive Runic Weapon.

The Game

The objectives were scattered, and both went towards the Undead. The Dwarfs took the first turn and started moving about and firing all their guns and arrows at once. Remember when it was a thing that Skeletons were harder to hit with arrows? *Rose-tint engaged* Anyway, the flame cannon hit smack on the Skeleton Warriors with Cantu Cordula and killed 16 in one fell swoop. The Organ Gun fired 4 times for good on the Skeleton Horsemen resulting in the unanimation of five horsemen.

The lines quickly started joining but the Undead had the upper hand with the objectives moving towards them. The Spirit Host planted itself right betweeen the Iron Breakers and whatever they could ever imagine charging. Effectively setting them up for a charge by the Wight Knights through the woods and a Skeleton Warrior regiment. A lot of ifs and buts in that plan, but still it might work.

I had chosen the spells: Vanhel’s, Summoning Skeletons and Gaze of Nagash for my Master Necromancer, Rolf Rotschädel. It quickly turned out that the Dwarfs were packing quite a few anti-magic banners and whatever else. I realised that going for the power 1 summoning spell was a mistake. I should have taken the power 2 allowing 2d6 Skeletons to be summoned. This way I could have kept summoning small units to take objectives, making it really hard for the Dwarfs.

The aerial division in this game was rather unevenly efficient. The Gyrocopter landed behind the enemy lines. A welplaced Vanhel’s and a charge saw the remaining Horsemen ram into the Gyrocopter. We weren’t really sure about how it was allowed to charge react… in the end it took the charge and the rules state that it crashes if it loses. So it crashed.

The giant bats weren’t much better off. They charged down on the Flame Cannon crew, but they were assisted by a Dwarf Hero. And despite their 8 attacks they failed to make any impact and were chased off and wiped out.

The Zombie Dragon fared somewhat better. At least initially. It landed right next to the Iron Breakers and killed 11 of the with it’s breath attack. Amazingly, the Dwarf Runelord failed to wound the rider with his staff with Rune of Flight and nothing else tried to kill the monster, so the next turn it was able to charge the Iron Breakers. The monster is allowed to breathe its pestilent cloud of breath even when in close combat, and annihilated several more and a few slayers. The combat was quickly over. The Dragon took off again, to avoid further attempt at it’s unlife.

Ultimately the Zombie Dragon met its fate because I was too cocky and charged the Dwarf King with it. I was sure that Van Horstman’s Speculum in combination with the Dragon would see him done. Despite its horrible WS 4 I managed to hit 5 times and cause 4 wounds. But alas, the pesky Dwarf had a 4+ ward save! And managed to save everything that came at him. In the second phase of the combat he chopped down the rider and the dragon flew off. I completely forgot about the Wight Hero having a Wight-Blade, but it could not have killed him dead anyway.

The Slayers soon found their way towards the Zombies, which resulted in a game-long pillow fight, as neither side seemed to be capable of doing much about the other.

Rolf Rotschädel heroically managed to escape the Napalm Death from the Flame Cannon by seeking refuge in the Realm of Chaos. He returned in the very same turn on a roll of 5, much to my enjoyment.

The Runelords in Warhammer Renaissance have the ability to use the special Magic cards in the Winds of Magic deck. This makes them much more versatile and interesting than the somewhat dull ones in the original game. However, this is decidedly unDwarf like conduct, and I can only think less of Dwarfs who resort to taking away spells like Gaze of Nagash instead of taking it like a Dwarf.

In turn 4 or so the game came to a point of no return, when the Dwarf Warriors were charged by both regiments of Skeleton Warriors, led by Cantu Cordula and Erlic von Bachmann. For once, it actually felt like I had stacked things up in the right way and performed a really good attack. I had the numbers, the ranks and TWO vampires. The fight ended 8-11 in the favour of the Undead. When looking at that result now, it actually seems a lot closer than what feels comfortable.

This brings me to a pet peeve of mine: I really love the Undead, but I feel that unless I bring Vampires I do not stand a chance. The Skeletons die very easily, and the other characters won’t make a scratch in most regiments. I don’t mind Vampires per se, but I feel that some sort of build with a Wight… but the Vampire Hero is 130 pts and the Wight Lord is 120 pts and has inferior stats at every position. I don’t get it. If you have an idea for a fun but powerful non-Vampire character build, let me know in the comments!

After the big fight was over it became a game of moving around to secure objectives taking out the remaining small opposition. I was lucky and managed to summon 5 skeletons on an objective which effectively secured me the win. I managed to strip the Runelord of his magic stick using the Ring of Corrin. *Big heart*

We got to a really awkward combat towards the very end… my regiment pursued the Runelord and caught him, but then it went into two other regiments already fighting. We couldn’t figure out whether it was then joining that fight or would move through it like as if it had hit friendly troops. In this end we did the last. Hindsight is 20/20 and I think it would have made more sense that they got into the fight.

Conclusion

The game ended 2481-918 in favour of the Undead. As the objetive accoutned for 1000 VP it was effectively what decided the game. And it was closer than I liked. But good and fun entertainment. The Dwarfs in WR can really put up a fight.

Critiquing my own tactical prowess is somewhat of regular feature in my battle reports. And this one will not be different. I really can’t figure out how to use cavalry. I mean. I know that their movement makes for ideal flankers and so on.. but in the Undead army, they can’t march more than 12” from the big G. So essentially they aren’t must faster than the ghouls. And ghouls seem much more durable, and have two attacks. Ah well. Back to the drawing board. In the Tomb Kings book they’re fast cavalry.. which makes even less sense to me as they still can’t do squat outside range. I guess with a flying general he could start on one side and then move to the other, with different units being within 12” at each end.

Then there’s the Dwarf characters. I just couldn’t get through. But I haven’t spent a lot of energy on magic items in my army, so maybe that’s where I need to go.

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