Friday, 5 August 2011

Tanya awra!

What follows is an account of the defeat of a proud Elven Noble, Huor Arcamenel, at the hands of an evil Tomb King known only as Galbraith the Interred. The following events happened in the Tancred Castle region in the fair land of Bretonnia. Artwork from the vicious battle was commissioned by the Elven High council and produced by the famous Elven painter, Digi Tal'Ixus Can-on:

We left Ulthuan some 10 days past:

As part of an ancient alliance our mission was to reinforce Bretonnia after reports that hordes of evil were pillaging the land. Orc and Goblin fanatics from the south, Raiders from the north, even the ground beneath the fine city of Marienburg was erupting with Skaven filth. The situation was perilous. What worried our Elven elders more were the prophecies offering foresight that the Tomb Kings would rise from their sleep in Landrel Barrow; and under the leadership of Galbraith the Interred strike at the weakened Bretonnian nation. Immediate word was sent to Lord Kieron of Couronne offering our assistance. Concern was expressed for the safety of the Baron of Tancred Castle. Renowned Bretonnian cartographers quickly produced a map the threatened region and we set sail for the sea of claws.

Our fine Clippers made light work of the often cruel waves of the sea of claws and I sent a small detachment to land on the shores of the Tancred region and march quickly to the castle to reinforce the Baron. This would offer us an excellent striking position against the Tomb King incursion brewing at Landrel Barrow. However, when I along with my elite Silver Helm, Sword Master and Sea Guard warriors arrived at the castle the Tomb Kings were already advancing:

Before our very eyes were:
Level 4 hierophant with a dispel scroll, the earthing rod and a 4+ ward save,
Level 2 Liche priest with the law of light,
Tomb Prince on foot,
28 skeletons,
3 chariots,
13 archers,
a Hierotitan,
and an exquisite looking casket.

We felt outnumbered only having landed:
A level 2 mounted mage (with the law of shadows),
13 Silver Helms,
28 Sea-Guard,
12 sword masters,
1 lion chariot,
and myself as a Battle Standard Barer.

The battle started in earnest. The legions of Undead moved slowly towards the castle with their faster regiments moving to stall our reinforcement. We quickly discovered that the winds of magic favoured the deadly Tomb King Hierophant and Liche priests. The Tomb way off on the horizon was particularly deadly, harming our Chariot and Sword Masters before even a single blow was struck. Only the sterling work of Findaráto Telrúnya our mage contained further devastation to our ranks. 

We couldn't hold back. We had to use our speed advantage. Our sword Masters marched quickly to reinforce Tancred Castle.

Having only just landed on the shores our Helms and Chariot rode out first. However, this meant we blocked line of sight for the Sea-guard. I ordered the Chariot to circle around Tancred Castle in hope of hitting the Tomb King Flank. I led the helms into charging position to the chariots and away from the Sea Guard allowing them to shoot all their mighty arrows at the Tomb King archers.

The winds of magic were blowing against us though and our Mage failed to hex any of the incoming enemy.

A large unit of Skeleton warriors repositioned to face our weakened lion chariot. We witnessed a Bone Giant titan move further forward towards our Helms. Again the winds of magic blessed the Tomb Kings and more undead appeared in the sand cloud blown around the battle field. This was true evil we had not been privy to before. A barrage of arrows from the Skeleton archers and chariots was released towards Tancred. I can only assume they were long dead elves as even I could not match their shooting ability. The Sword Master unit lost many in the attack and fled the castle along with the Baron of Tancred.

I retaliated. My chariot had lost positioning to flank the Tomb Kings and instead slammed into the Skeletons doing enough wounds to break the spell binding these undead. Skeletons crumbled as the Lions roared. The Helms I led could not reach the incoming chariots but this allowed time for my sea-guard to whittle them down with some accurate shooting. Again the winds of magic deceived us. With the Baron of Tancred safely running towards the shore and our waiting clippers the remaining sword masters rallied to fight on.

The remaining Tomb King chariots charged the Helms.  Our mage contained the winds of magic but again from the very ground rose another chariot. But this was not enough to fight off our aggression and we smote them all to dust. We repositioned to face an incoming bone giant. Meanwhile I heard the screams for our chariot crew as they were butchered. Worse was to come as behind the sea guard the ground started to rumble and 3 Necro Knights emerged. The sea guard conch blew and the whole unit turned to face this new enemy.

I led the charge of the Helms into the Bone Giant. Finally the winds of magic changed direction and our Mage augmented us for battle. Our mind were razor sharp and we cut down the giant easily. We reformed to face the archers who with their blessed arrows were preventing us from capturing and keeping the castle.

The Skeleton warriors entered the Tancred castle. Our worst fears were coming true. We were going to lose control of this region. Outside though the battle was going our way, a charge from the Necro Knights was of no concern to our Sea Guards. Their martial prowess dominated and reduced the Kinghts

We tried to limit the Tomb King magic but were out maneuvered by the Liche Priest and so reformed to charge down the Tomb and Hierophant  that was bringing death and devastation to our remaining force. Unfortunately while moving towards them, Findaráto Telrúnya miscast Mindrazor on the sword masters which sent him and 4 of my fellow Helms into the void! I didn't let this sway our resolve and I edged closer to the Tomb. The Sword masters continued to fight for the castle while the Sea Guard moved on to help.

However, one final magical volley from the tomb whittled down the number of sea guard and sword masters.  With the sea guard being the only unit capable of storming the castle they pushed forward while I destroyed the Tomb (although as we split the Tomb lid further death followed). They fought bravely, with captain Beren Alcarin taking on the Undead Prince and persevering. The remaining guards reducing the undead significantly (to 3 models!!!!):

But alas it was all in vein. We probably could of won out but I blame the pressure of knowing that the remaining Liche Priests could summon more undead to rise from the very earth and the fact that my Helms were exhausted meant we fell back to reform:

We had lost the battle (by 3 models!) but not the war! We will be back Galbraith!

So what did I learn from the game:

1) The Tomb Kings could out-shoot and out-magic me... so I couldn't hold back like I did against the Warriors of Chaos. I had to ride into combat quickly. It seemed to pay off. Had this
been a normal battle (not the watch-tower scenario) I absolutely devastated the Tomb King army on the ground and would have won. Although I'm sure Craig's tactics may of changed to some extent.

2) I also discovered why the Tomb King horde could out-magic me. When planning the army I thought that I was only allowed <25% cost in Heroes & Lords not <25% in heroes and <25% in Lords. Knowing this I can afford a more powerful archmage... maybe even make him un-killable (be afraid Lee)

3) Don't waste time trying to run down a single character unit with a large unit. They can out-maneuver me!

4) Craig always wins... he must be cheating.

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