LWGA Battle Report

Todd Bell's Blood Dragon Counts (3-2-1)

vs

Dave Helm's Dark Elves (0-4-2)

3/30/2003


The Dark Emissary stroked a strange looking blue lizard that lay draped across his shoulders.  A slender looking figure dressed in ornate elven plate armor stood next to the wizard.  A large great sword was strapped to his back, and on his feet were the spurs of a cold one knight. 

The figure next to the Dark Emissary was Dar Ali', a noble of the house Vendar.  House Vendar was a minor House in the land of Chill, and the matron mother, Slu-Tess,  had sent Ali' and the house troops to claim an important artifact near the shores of the Empire.  The Dark Elves had not done so well in their plundering, and their forces were in full retreat back to the great arks that would take them back home and away from the war that waged across the continent.

It was on that fateful retreat back that a Dark Emissary had whispered into the ears of the noble, coercing him to fight one more battle for a stash of ancient magical treasures located in a tomb guarded by some simple undead guardians.

The real story was that the Emissary was using the naive noble to get rid of a powerful vampiress who was coming into some real power.  The Baroness Karza was an ancient threat to the Emissary, and until she had been taken care of, the dark wizard would not be able to have free access to the magical powers that crossed the area.

The noble's army marched for a couple of days to the west.  The Dark Emissary had assured the dark elf that the resistance around the tomb would be minimal at best. 

With such a quick and easy victory at hand, Dar Ali' knew that he had to bring something home to Slu-Tess and so he prepared his men for one more battle...


The Dark Elves

  

Dave has had some very bad luck this year with his Dark Elves.  Granted, this is his first ever league with the Dark Elves and he is still new to their list.  He is coming into this game at 0-4-2 and looking for his first unassisted win with the Dark Elves.  He is hoping to have his list finished and go to the Chicago Grand Tournament in May.  Here were Dave's words before the game:

I have brought an Assassin, Noble, and a Dark Emissary.  I plan on using the assassin to try and get him into close combat with the vampire count and try and kill it to get the army to crumble.

The noble is just there for more fighting power and for leadership checks that the Cold One Knights will have to make on their stupidity. 

The Dark Emissary is going to be used to lay down some devastating spells and maybe use the Coil of the Serpent on the vampire.  Also the Dark Emissary can kill the stinkin banshee.

The Cold One Knights, all ten of them, are going to go right down the middle with two units of thirty corsairs on each side.  The noble will go in one corsair unit, while the assassin will go in the other.

One unit of corsairs will have the war banner as well.  If he sets up to the front line I am going to try and run the two units of Dark Riders to the rear of the unit that the corsairs and cold ones are fighting.  Or perhaps to the flank...

The reapers are there for fire support to wither down some of the other badass units...

As you will see, Dave deviated from plan a bit.  First off, his noble was put in the cold ones and his deployment saw them deep on one flank.


The Blood Dragon Vampire Counts

  

Todd is looking to go to the playoffs this year before he exits out of the Louisville area and hits up Hawaii where he will be stationed as a new Army Captain serving in the psychology field. 

Todd was wary of Dave's love of magic, and so made sure to keep the Black Arts in mind when designing his list.  He also knew that he would be influenced by Chris Nye's cheesy ways and prepared himself for the cock-blocking that was sure to come.  (Damn that Captain Asskicker, spreading such vicious lies about me!!!  He's just jealous that Cheese-Os is better then the empire... ~Nazi Overfiend Chris)  In the photo above he is showing his love for the Portent inhabitants. 


Setup

The above is the setup of the battlefield.  It took place on an 8x4 table.  For the most part the right side of the table was left alone in terms of deployment. 

Dave chose to deploy on the side of the table that he did.  Here you can see the two Dark Riders and Cold One Knights on the left flank with a unit of Corsairs next to the forest.  This is an example of a refused flank.  In the forest we have a Dark Emissary and two Reaper Bolt throwers.  Finally, all alone on the right was an unfortunate unit of Corsairs... Dave chose this unit as the unit to hold his assassin and it would hopefully lure that vampire lord over where she could meet the tasty steel of a killing blow equipped assassin.

The middle of the field held a ruin of a brewery.  Over on the right side you can see two small stands of trees and two homesteads.  On the far right is the edge of a marsh.  Todd reacted to the refused flank by stacking his cavalry elements to meet Dave's.  Pound for pound, the undead definitely had the advantage.  On the right side of the unit, Todd put the rest of his infantry... and there was a lot of infantry to put down!  The vampire general marched on the right flank with her skeletons.

A lot of people like to put their vampire counts/lords with their bad combat units.  Todd likes to put his vampire count/lords with units of skeletons and zombies.  Why?  Well now instead of just the real hard black knight unit with the vampire, you have a real hard black knight unit and a skeleton unit with a vampire in it.  Two real threats. 

With this deployment, Dave would need to punch through the left flank and wheel toward the center and take on the infantry elements.  With little shooting, he would depend on some fancy maneuvering to get the job done.

Todd was just going to do what any good VC player does... march forward, engage in combat, and hope that fear takes care of the rest!

Magically speaking, both armies only had one wizard each.  This would be a game decided on positioning and timing...


Dark Elf Turn 1

Dave won the roll off to go first and took the first turn.  The noble enabled the Cold Ones to pass their stupidity check on a 9 and they marched forward the full 14" to stand in front of the ruins.  The Dark Riders moved forward 7" a piece and stood angled off to the side of the cold ones.  Interesting tactic as the battle line was a bit staggered.  The infantry regiments marched forward 10" toward the center of the battlefield, daring the undead forward. 

Magic

There was no magic from Dave's Dark Elves as the Dark Emissary was out of range for any of his spells...

Shooting

The two RBTs in the woods opened fire on the ghouls screening the Baroness' unit... but luck was not with Dave as out of 12 shots only one of the foul ghouls dropped dead, leaving 9.

Vampire Counts Turn 1

The undead were only happy to oblige the advancing and frail dark elves.  The left flank was of concern to Todd, as he knew the power of a Cold One charge.  Also, those Dark Riders could be a menace behind his lines.  He ordered both of his units of Dire Wolves back a bit and his Black Knights did a Right Face and moved to the center of the battle field with their remaining move.  The zombies near the ruins shambled foward, moaning for sweet dark elf brains.

On the right part of the ruin, the Baroness and her infantry units all marched forward near the center of the battle field.  That lone unit of corsairs looked very tasty.  There was no denying that a combined charge by the full might of those dead warriors would easily crush the dark elf corsairs.  The ghouls continued to screen their mistress...

Magic

Calling forth the Dark Arts, the Baroness summoned forth 11 rotten husks, which crawled out of the ground near the forest hiding the RBTs.  Dave tried to stop this summoning but failed to do so on a double 1 on 4 dice... (Todd had rolled a 15 on 4 dice).  The eleven zombies covered in grave dirt prepared for future turns from which they could gorge themselves on warmachine crew brains...


Dark Elf Turn 2

The noble was once again able to stem the stupidity of the cold ones, and he moved his unit forward to within inches of the black knights flank (remember they had done a right face and were facing the right of the battle field).  Todd was starting to sweat a bit...

The Dark Riders, however, did not move to block the dire wolves from charging!  They were within charge arc of the cold ones flank, and the Dark Riders should have moved forward to block this!  Instead they moved up a little bit but were still far away and in essence the Cold Ones were now hanging out in the middle of a hostile environment with their elven asses hanging out in the breeze... elves do not operate without supporting themselves.

The Corsairs also didn't help the Dark Elf cause much as they did not move at all... giving the zombies near the left part of the ruin no other viable target BUT the cold ones!  The other corsair unit in the center of the table turned to face the wall of undead heading their way (again with no support... they were by themselves and the undead were well represented...)

The emissary left the woods and was standing in the front, watching...

Magic

The Emissary turned to face the new unit of 11 zombies and unleashed a bolt of dark light which shattered three of the undead corpses... leaving eight.

None of his other spells were in range...

Shooting

The RBT on the right knew that the zombies approaching it were going to end it's existence quickly, so they fired upon the ghouls far away and managed to do no damage.  The second RBT fired a single bolt at the zombies near the cold ones, but another one was rolled and the bolt sailed wide...

VC Turn 2

Both units of Dire Wolves charged into the Cold One Knights' flank.  The Black Knights, who were facing the right of the field, turned to face the Cold Ones now that they were tied up in combat.  The zombies also turned to face the OTHER flank of the cold ones, as there was no immediate threat in the vicinity. 

The zombies near the woods shambled forward and blocked the line of sight of the right RBT.  The ghouls moved out of the way of their mistress and the three infantry units moved into a staggered formation, with the zombies leading.  Soon, the right side of the battle line would collide with the only unit the Dark Elves had on the right... and things would not look pretty when the Baroness got into combat...

Magic

The Baroness cast a suped up raise the dead spell, rolling double 6s to raise 18 more zombies... turning the 8 zombies near the RBTs into a full fledged unit of 26!

HTH

The wolves bit into the cold one knights hard, hitting 5 times and wounding 4!  The knights failed three of their four 3+ armor saves and three of the knights went down.  The noble swung his great sword down and split one of the wolves in half.  The cold ones lost that battle badly, but stayed on a 6.


Dark Elves Turn 3

With the Cold Ones flanked by Dire Wolves, and with the unholy Black Knights preparing to charge them in the flank, the Dark Riders rolled into action.  Dark Riders B charged into the flanks of the Dire Wolves, while Dark Rider A moved behind the left most wolf unit. 

The Cold Ones, unfortunately, failed a stupidity check and could only fight with half their number (in this case... one cold one could fight). 

Over on the right, the corsair unit charged into the middle of the enemy by nailing the Grave Guard in a brave, yet foolish charge.  The Emissary  moved closer to the ruins where he could get more of his spells off.  Finally, the last corsair unit moved forward to give support to the cold ones.  Had they done this last turn, they would have been able to charge this turn and prevent the zombies from getting off their flank charge which we all know was coming...

Magic

The Dark Emissary tried the Black Bolt of Light at the zombies on the Corsairs left flank, but failed to summon the power.  He then tried to cast Betrayal in Death on the Grave Guard, but the Baroness read from a dispel scroll and ended that crap.

Shooting

The RBT on the right fired at the only target they could... the 26 zombies in front of them.  A single bolt was fired, and sadly missed yet again.  The left RBT fired at the left unit of zombies near the cold ones, and the bolt dropped 4 of the zombies!

HTH

The Dark Riders charge was worth a lot this turn, the horses churned 3 of the wolves into powder, and three of the dark riders skewered another 3!  (Leaving a single wolf left in that unit). 

The noble slashed out with his great weapon and killed another wolf, and the knight behind him fighting on the flank was also able to drop another wolf.  Having lost combat by a lot, the dire wolves were not able to do any damage back and the rest crumbled into dust.  This saved the Cold Ones from having to make panic checks from the zombies who were prepared to charge into combat.

Over on the right... Dave forgot where the vampire count was and popped his assassin out too soon at the Grave Guard.  The assassin challenged the Grave Guard champion, and impaled both blades in the undead creature's skull.  The corsairs blew into the grave guard, hitting 7 times (Dave forgot he had 2 hand weapons and thus forgot to roll the OTHER 6 attacks...) but then rolled 5 1s out of 7 dice on the wound roll... the Corsairs did no damage. 

The Grave Guard slashed out and killed two of the corsairs.  The War Banner saved Dave's bacon, as the result was a draw... however he was going to be flanked by ghouls and zombies next turn.  Things did not look good...

VC Turn 3

The undead launched their attack... the zombies in front of the RBT charged and the crew fled voluntarily, sticking the zombies in the woods.  The Black Knights and the Zombies charged into the cold ones, and once more the cold ones were deprived of the charge and had to take another ...

The Zombies and the Ghouls charged into the corsairs fighting the Grave Guard.  The corsairs failed their panic check from the Ghouls charge (having had to take 2 panic checks and 2 fear checks they had to fail something) and fled!  The ghouls caught the corsairs fleeing and began feasting on the fallen corpses, while what was rest of the unit was scattered into the winds.  The Baroness had safely secured the right flank...

Magic

The Baroness let loose another devastating spell, getting off Curse of the Years on the Corsairs.  Thirty corsairs stood, and Todd was only able to roll a single 6 on 30 dice.... still the corsairs would be hurting next turn unless Dave forsake some power dice to dispel...

HTH

The Wight lord charged into the cold ones and challenged the noble.  Swords twirled and the Noble deftly deflected several of the Wight Lord's attacks.  However, the noble slipped a bit and the Sword of the Kings punched straight through the Dark Elf's fragile chest, killing him instantly (the Sword of Kings gives wights killing blow on a 5+, and Todd had rolled a 5 to wound).  With the dark elf general dead, it was only a matter of time...

The Black Knights cut down two more of the Cold Ones, leaving just 5 standing.  The Cold Ones could muster no offense and turned and fled after being beaten badly.  However, the Black Knights could not catch the fleeing Cold Ones and were an inch behind... the zombies pursued as well and clipped into the Corsairs on the pursuit.


Dark Elf Turn 4

With the loss of the only combat unit on the right defeated, and with the cold ones in ruins... Dave had little hope of salvaging the game.  His only hope lay in killing the Baroness with the Dark Emissary now...

The Cold Ones managed to rally but the Black Knights were right behind them.  The RBT crew, however, failed to rally and fled the table. 

The Dark Riders who had destroyed the wolves moved forward and turned to face the rear of the zombie unit who had over ran into the Corsairs.

Magic

The Emissary cast the Bolt of Darkness onto the Grave Guard and dropped 2 of the 24.  He then tried to cast the most devastating Coils of the Serpent onto the Baroness!  Dave rolled a 15!  Todd rolled a 15!  The Baroness was safe for now...

Shooting

The RBT remaining fired a log at the Grave Guard but rolled another sweet 1 and missed again...

HTH

The Corsairs in combat with the zombies fought (and again forgot their extra attacks), but crapped out again on the dice as only one zombie fell after a flurry of ones.  The zombies lost combat and three more fell to the ground, leaving 20 standing.

VC 4

The Black Knights again charged the Cold Ones, hoping to finish them off for the last time.  The ghouls got out of the Baroness' way and claimed a table quarter.  The zombies and grave guard rounded the ruins and were now into the left side of the battle line, with only two units of Dark Riders and a unit of Corsairs (who were tied in combat with zombies)... it really did not look good for the Dark Elves.

Magic

Dave had forgotten to dispel curse, and 10 more corsairs died as they aged rapidly, dropping to the ground as sucked out aged shells... 19 corsairs remained.  Dave dispelled the spell afterward...

HTH

The Black Knights champion and the Cold Ones champion fought but did not damage each other at all.  The Black Knights, however, killed 2 of the 5 knights with their lances.  Again the Cold One knights were not able to mount an offense, and again they were driven away, fleeing another 16" to the Black Knights 15".  They were now near the table edge and only three remained...

Over near the ruin, the Corsairs cut down another zombie and the zombies cut down another corsair. 


Dark Elf Turn 5

The Dark Elves were folding.  They finally began coordinating over on the left, but it was too little too late.  The Cold Ones managed to rally near the table edge again but with only three there was no way they could survive one last charge by the strong Black Knight unit.  The Dark Rider units both charged into the zombies, who were fighting the corsairs.  The Dark Emissary climbed into the ruins where he had a better vantage of the battle field...

Magic

The Dark Bolt was again flung into the Grave Guard, killing three more of the undead guardians.  Coils was then cast at the vampire, but the Dark Emissary miscast, ending his magic phase.  Dave was getting frustrated... muttering about playing 40k and his tyranids...

Shooting

The RBT fired it's single bolt at the grave guard, shattering two more of their number. 

HTH

The Dark Rider units accounted for a total of 8 zombie kills, and the corsairs remembered they had more attacks and hit 13 of 15, killing 7 more.  The remaining zombies crumbled to CR and the Dark Elves had won a minor skirmish. 

VC 5

The Grave Guard and zombie unit marched around the ruins, preparing to take on the last vestments of Dark Elf resistance. 

The Black Knights lowered their lances and again charged the three Cold One Knights...

The Baroness charged out of her unit at the Dark Emissary, but the wily wizard fled safely.  The zombies in the woods shambled further and prepared to charge the next turn into the last RBT...

Magic

Curse was cast again on the Corsairs, dropping 2 more out of the 19 standing.  Dave was starting to hate that spell...

HTH

The Wight Lord came in and beheaded the musician of the Cold Ones with the Sword of Kings and another of the Black Knights punctured the chest plate of a knight with his lance, leaving the champion who could do no damage to the 10 black knights.  He turned and fled off the table with the black knights in tow, never to be heard from again...


Dark Elf Turn 6

The only chance the Dark Elves had at this point was if the Emissary could get the Coils off on the Baroness.  If he could do that, enough of the undead army might crumble to give the elves a draw.

The Emissary rallied on an 8.  The Corsairs turned to face the oncoming Grave Guard and Zombies.

Magic

The Dark Emissary tried to fire the Dark Bolt off against the Grave Guard, hoping for half points... he hit for 2 hits and rolled another pair of snake eyes to do no damage.

With four dice left, the Emissary opted to NOT cast the Coils, and instead dispelled the Curse of the Years...

Shooting

The RBT fired off at the Grave Guard with a single bolt but again another 1 was rolled.  When it rains it pours.

VC Turn 6

The Zombies in the woods charged the last RBT.  The crew fought bravely enough, slaying two of the zombies with their two attacks.  However, ranks and outnumbering took their toll and they fled in horror.

The Grave Guard hit the corsairs by the ruins.  The Baroness sprinted through the ruins and climbed over the Emissary.  She saw her foe in her reach and planned on teaching him a lesson in magic...

Magic

The Baroness harnessed all her will into Gaze of Nagash, hoping to erase the Dark Emissary with bolts of pure death.  The Emissary countered by rolling double 6 on the dispel.. and lived to fight another day...

HTH

The Tomb Guard and Corsairs fought to a bloody draw, each killing 2 of the other.  The Tomb Guard had 15 and the Corsairs had 14.  The War Banner again saved the Corsair's bacon...

It was all over... the treasure the Dark Emissary wished to steal had been kept safe by the undead and the Baroness still lived.  The Dark Elves had been broken and what was left of their army made their way to their arks where they would flee home and take on the Witch King's wrath after a failed campaign...


Score

Vampire Counts:  1,664   Dark Elves:  309

Post Thoughts

Dave's Dark Elf army has come a long way from when he first started out (see the High Elf battle on this sight which was his first league game and one of his first real games played one on one).  His composition was not bad... the problems the Dark Elves had was that they moved into combat too quickly and out of position.  Where the Dark Elves needed to hit on their terms, they were charged most of the game.

Second, Dave risked a lot with the assassin.  It is a gamble to use an assassin, but when you reveal him at the wrong time by charging the wrong target you no longer even have the gamble... you have nothing.

Todd played very well and has become a very deadly vampire count player.  His army composition was very good, having a good mix of different units.  A couple people have told both Todd and myself that the undead simply cannot do well with a composition score.  We have proved them wrong.  The vampire counts do not need 4 units of Black Knights to win.  Todd showed that in this report that their infantry, when supported well, can break anything through sheer fear alone!

Hope you enjoyed this report!  Post any comments to TechPriest@lwga.org