I managed to get down to another games night, and played with the Vampires again against Alex's Bretonnians (for the last bout, see this post). Alex used the same army which defeated me so soundly in the last game, while I tweaked the Vampires into a new list, concentrating less on Core and ignoring the Level 4 Necromancer (who did so appallingly that he's binned for at least a few years!) Here's what I took:
Vampire- Level 2, Heavy Armour, Book of Arkhan, General.
Vampire- Level 2, Heavy Armour
24 Skeletons- Full Command
24 Skeletons- Full Command
10 Dire Wolves
10 Black Knights- Barding, Lance, Full Command, Banner of the Barrows
1496 points, all restrictions met. It's a smaller army than the last one, but has punchier units and relies less on Magic to get the job done- The plan at time of writing was to put the Infantry in the centre with the Varghulf, 1 flank of light cavalry and beasts, 1 flank of heavy cavalry, hopefully prompting people to go after the Black Knights (who can take some pretty horrendous damage) and allowing the Vargheists, Hexwraiths and Dire Wolves to surprise them on the other side.
Unfortunately, Battle Chronicler is playing me up tonight- just spent 2 hours to not get a usable image, so descriptions ahoy!
The table was fairly dense- in the centre was a tower, on my left flank was a wood and another set of buildings, on my right flank some dense terrain and another tower. I used the tower as my anchor, putting the Vargheists, Hexwraiths and Dire Wolves over on my right as my "rapid" flank, the Black Knights on my left and the Skelly's and Varghulf in the middle. Alex had, on my left flank, Archers, Militia, 1 Knight and the Trebuchet. On my right was the second Knight block and his Pegasus General.
The Bretonnians prayed to their momma, so I got 1st turn, I manoeuvred around to bait the left flank and created a solid wall using the tower as the centre- 1 Skelly block either side. My spells were desultory at best, although a new unit of Zombies did pop up, much to Alex's surprise. He moved his left flank up to meet me, charged the new Zombies and appropriately butchered them, and left his Lord hiding behind the tower...
So in turn 2 I charged him with the Vargheists. Yes, this turn saw a lot happen- My Skelly's and General charged the Knight unit on the left, the Vargheists charged his General, the Hexwraiths and Dire Wolves multi-charged the Knights on my right, and my General miscast whilst using VanHells', reducing her magic level to 0. This raised an interesting rules query- the statement for this miscast is that the Caster can no longer attempt any kind of spell if reduced to level 0- so can you use Bound items? We weren't sure so said no, effectively taking extra movement out of my battle-plan.
The combats didn't go either way really- my General fluffed her combat (not the most promising start!) so relied on the Skelly's for Combat Resolution, the dogs meant that I lost the combat on the right and the Hexwraiths started crumbling, but the Vargheists reduced the Bretonnian General to 1 wound for nothing in return. In Alex's turn it was more of the same, except that the bloody Trebuchet scored a direct hit on the Varghulf, wiping it out in 1 shot! Honestly, why do Bretonnia have artillery again....?
Turn 3, and the Black Knights got charged by the peasants, the Hexwraiths crumbled- and the Breton Lord was eaten by Vargheists, who flew over to rescue my General, won that combat as well and ran saw off the Knight block with the Battle Standard! I didn't catch them, but boy was this different to the last game! I also got the Skelly's on the right flank (remember them?) to charge the Knights who had survived the Hexwraith/puppy onslaught, and raise a small Zombie unit next to the Archers. Honestly, I just wanted to hold them up for a while while I dealt with the rest of the army- my Generals unit was at half strength with no magical support, the Wights were bogged down against Peasants and that Trebuchet was still shooting.... Luckily, I managed to kill 4 of the chivalrous little blighters, won the combat and saw them off! At the same time, the Black Knights finally chewed through enough Peasants that they weren't Steadfast any more, but weren't quick enough to catch them.
Then in Alex's turn he dropped a direct hit from the Stone Thrower on my General, killing her, forcing crumble tests... at least I passed most of them this time. He'd passed all of his rally tests, bowfire killed off the Vargheists- both of out forces were battered and bruised. as a trade off, his wizards were kind enough to lose a wound a piece to miscasts, killing one and reducing the other to 1 wound.
So Turn 4. Both generals dead. Magic mostly eliminated.
My Black Knights were free- they finally charged home against Bretonnian Knights. The right flank I anchored with another fresh Zombie unit, redirecting the Knights away from my new General. The Zombies charged home against the Archers. the Peasants fled off the board. My Skelly's (what remained of them) went in to help out the Zombies. Predictably, the Black Knights won their combat convincingly (Alex needed snake eyes for the Break Test,) broke the unit turned to survey the battlefield. The Trebuchet crew, who were in range to witness this, ran away lest they suffer the same fate. The Archers- :) Alex lost combat by 1, failed his test, fled- and was and killed- by the 1 remaining Zombie. Who wasn't even there at the start of the game.
|...but Chivalry is in a critical condition.|
There was a turn 5, but not much happened, Alex called it, so between us that's 1 all. Again, a great game which was decided around turn 3 and consolidated in turn 4. I am, in all honestly, far happier with this army than most of the others I've fielded. It seems that Vampires in this book are less reliant on Magic, and more reliant on making sure that the "hitty" units get in at the right time, in the right place. The more I play with them, the more this seems to be the case, and it's very different to my experience in previous editions where magic was the key to victory. This has definitely given me much to ponder (and tweaked my future purchases!)
Anyway, that's all for the battle. I'm enjoying these Veteran nights in the Bristol GW- a good group of guys, and once again all 3 systems were being played- Raph drew with his Goblins, and some Dark Eldar murdered a Guard army nearby (not too sure how that happened!) A good nights gaming :)
Comments, as always, are welcome.