Well, I managed to get a game in with the Undead! I played a small 1500 point game at the local GW store (Bristol) Thursday night, so I thought I'd give a brief write-up on the whole affair.
I got a game against Alex- it was his first game of 8th Ed, so I chose a fairly basic army-partly to give him a better game, and partly to see how the Vampire Count Core stood up to being put through their paces. He was using a Bretonnian army, which was interesting since it was my first time against the Knights in this edition, so all I had to go on was a bit of theory.
First off, the army lists:
Vampire Counts (1500 points)
Master Necromancer- Level 4
Wight King- Shield
Vampire- Level 2
Vampire- Level 2
24 Skeletons- Full Command
24 Skeletons- Full Command
28 Skeletons- Full Command
10 Dire Wolves
2 Spirit Host
Bretonnians (1500 points)
Lord- Grail Vow, Heartwood Lance, Royal Pegasus, Gromril Great Helm, Shield, Virtue of the Joust
Paladin Battle Standard- Shield
Paladin- Virtue of Empathy, Crown of Command, Shield
Damsel- Level 2, barded Warhorse
8 Knights of the Realm- Full Command, Twilight Banner
8 Knights of the Realm- Full Command, Banner of Chalons
25 Men at Arms- Full Command, Spear
20 Peasant Bowmen- Defensive Stakes
To be fair, I was quite surprised by Alex's army- it struck me as being fairly well crafted, each character and unit built for a specific role. He also knew a fair amount Vampire Counts, and knew most of the rules- the only thing we spoke about at the start of the game was the unstable rule, which he wanted to clarify so that he was clear on the implications (which I can fully understand!)
We played a bog standard Pitched Battle, rather than get too complicated for a first game, and he Prayed so automatically went first.
So that was the Deployment (thanks Battle Chronicler! :) ). I will note that there was a hill in each of our corners, so the artillery and bowmen on the Bretonnian side had line of sight. I planned to bait the knights on the right with the dogs, get the Zombies into the tower and tie up the centre with Skellies. Also, the Spirit Host had a personal mission to tie up those Bowmen for as long as possible!
Turn 1 saw us position ourselves. The Bretonnians were a bit cautious- which I give them full credit for! Every time I've seen an early charge from Bret's, it's ended badly. I'd forgotten that the dogs couldn't charge after a Vanguard move (doh!) so they stood looking at a lance of Knights, waiting for the inevitable... Oh yes, and the Peasants became T5, my Necromancer wiped out half his unit with S6 hits and the Mortis Engine lost a wound on a double 1... not the greatest start!
Turn 2 was a little better- the dogs died (obviously), but the peasants were in combat with my big Skelly block, and the Spirit Host was within inches of getting to those archers. My magic phase basically consisted of raising my generals unit back and repairing the damage he'd done last turn! Also, the Bretonnian Lord went on a solo-raid for the Vampire in my left-flank Skellies- he charged in, got all his dice and re-rolls ready, I accepted the challenge.... and then he failed his Fear! test :) Net result- 1 wound on the vamp (from the Pegasus, of all things) and the Lord himself was on 1 wound- and still locked in combat, without any re-rolls, and a lower Initiative. At this point I was confident! The Peasants were a tougher prospect, thanks to a Stubborn Paladin in their midst!
Turn 3 and it's starting to look good for the Vamps. Andy began to second-guess himself, and by the end of the turn his General and his Peasants were fleeing, and neither of his Knight unit were in combat. It should be said that the Trebuchet had been plumb on 2 turns now, and my skelly blocks were struggling to keep their strength up as a result- but at least the Spirit Host was stuck into the Archers! I was set to lose 1 wound a turn, unless I could inflict some damage, so I was happy to leave those guys tied up for a while and forget about them. So, end of turn 3, it's looking OK for the Sylvanian Family :)
Yeah, then my Necromancer burst! (well, got sucked into the Realm of Chaos). this was made slightly worse by the fact that it was on a 2 die cast of Invocation- so in his attempt to re-build his unit he wiped out his army!
It doesn't really come off in this pic, but the big Skelly unit (SW3) now consists of 3 guys and a Wight, SW1 came through unscathed, the Zombies were now 9 rather than 20, the Spirit Host popped (12 on the test!) and the victorious General slaying unit was without it's Vampire, so they wouldn't last long! Andy put the nail in the coffin charging the Mortis Engine, and taking its last wound. That was the end Turn 4, Turn 5 looked like this:
And it was going so well..... :)
In fairness I had a good time playing Alex- it was a pleasant surprise to play someone new to the hobby who has done the research, and it made the game more enjoyable as a result. He's now a bit more confident about facing Vampires, and that's the first time I have both 1) used a Necromancer as my General and 2) had my General die early. lessons to take away?
- If I'm not using Mannfredd, be less aggressive with the General
- I need to practise using Infantry formations unsupported by Cavalry
- Skellies with a Mortis Engine are incredibly durable!
- Vanguard units can't charge on turn 1!
By the way- there are no photos, since Alex's army was unpainted- I've got no problem with playing unpainted armies (even in a Tourney I don't really mind it, some people just aren't into painting) but equally, I don't feel right about putting them on the blog- although it would be easier than wrestling with battle Chronicler for 2 hours!
In other news, the Vamps for the July game are almost painted, so I'm well ahead of schedule, which is nice! I'm thinking I'll move on to Marines for the next batch-painting project, and I've also got a few plans to enter the 40K doubles next year, so that will be my modelling project for the next while (display board, armies etc)
Comments, as always, are welcome...