Thursday, August 1, 2013

Battle report - Army of Darkness vs. Lizardmen

My friend Nick and I are getting ready to head to Bayou Battles in Houston this weekend. He hasn't played a game since the Alamo last November, and I've rewritten my list since Quake City Rumble, so it's now competitive. It'll be interesting to see what happens...
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The Lists:
Slann, Level 4 life, Rumination, Mystery, Standard of Discipline, Dispel Scroll. [390]
Skink Priest, L2 Heavens, mounted on an Engine of the Gods, Ironcurse Icon, Talisman of Preservation. [440] Rolled Wind Blast and Chain Lightning.
Saurus Scar-Veteran, Light Armor, Shield, Crown of Command, Talisman of Protection. [149]
41 Saurus Warriors, full command. [481]
11 Skink Skirmishers, blowpipes. [77]
10 Skink Skirmishers, blowpipes. [70]
28 Temple Guard, full command, Banner of the Eternal Flame. Guardian has Biting Blade. [503]
2 Salamanders [150]
1 Salamander [75]
6 Chameleon Skinks [72]
3 Terradons [90]

against the Army of Darkness:
Ash, a Vampire Lord, L1 Vampire, mounted on a Coven Throne, with Quickblood, Red Fury, Heavy Armor, a Charmed Shield, an Ogre Blade, and a Talisman of Endurance. [611] Invocation of Nehek.
Evil Sheila, a Vampire, L2 Beasts, with Aura of Dark Majesty, Forbidden Lore, Heavy Armor, Shield, Talisman of Protection, Dragonhelm, and Sword of Swift Slaying. [246] Wildform and Savage Best.
The Wiseman, a Necromancer, L2 Death. [100] Caress, Doom and Darkness.
39 Skeleton Warriors with full command and the Screaming Banner. [250]
38 Skeleton Warriors with full command [220]
25 Zombies with a Musician [80]
25 Zombies [75]
3 Vargheists [138]
10 Black Knights with lances, barding, and full command [290]
Spirit Host [45]
The Necronomicon, a Mortis Engine [220]
The Windmill, home to a Terrorgheist [230].

The board had a bottleneck of two forests, but I wasn't particularly worried about them. I deployed (from left to right) with Vargheists in a corner, then both units of zombies, both units of skeletons with the Mortis in between them, the Terrorgheist behind the spirit host, and the black knights. Ash went behind everyone, sideways (to extend his march bubble). Sheila went in the skeletons with the screaming banner, and the necromancer went in the rightmost block of zombies.
He set up with terradons on my left, followed by the single salamander, the 10-man unit of skinks, the Saurus, the Engine with Temple Guard behind it, the other block of skinks, and the double unit of Salamanders. His chameleon skinks set up in the forest in the middle of the board.
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Deployment, as seen from my right flank. Ash is hidden behind the windmill, and the Vargheists are behind the large building.
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The deployment, from my side of the table.

I won the roll to go first, and elected to do so. The Black Knights declared a charge on the Chameleon Skinks, who fled. The forest turned out to be a venom thicket, and two of the chameleons died to the nasty gribblies living inside. The Knights got a 5" failed charge move out of it. The Vargheists flew 20" ahead, and landed out of the Terradons' front arc. The rest of the army moved forward, except the Terrorgheist, who was skeptical about blowpipes. Ash also moved laterally, to get the zombies into Invocation range.
The magic phase was 8 dice to 6. I failed Invocation on three dice, and he dispelled a 5-dice Caress on his Slann. There was no shooting or combat.
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The bottom of turn 1: The Lizardmen advanced. The Terradons also flew 20", and set up out of line of sight of the Vargheists. The Skink Skirmishers entered the Venom Thicket, which apparently had a taste for skinks today and ate two more of them. Burning Alignment from the Stegadon did not go far enough to get the Spirit Host, and the Slann had 6 dice to work with, against my 5 to dispel. He threw four dice at Throne of Vines, and I used all 5 to dispel it. He then threw four at Awakening on the Spirit Host. It went off, and killed the miniature ashes. First points to Nick! The twin salamanders breathed, but one overshot and the other only slew a single Black Knight. The other salamander's breath went short, and only killed a single zombie. The skink Skirmishers picked off a pair of zombies with blowdarts.
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At the top of turn two, I had a number of charges, as seen below:
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The Vargheists and the zombies both charged the lone salamander, and got in. The unaccompanied skeletons charged the Saurus, and failed, rolling a dismal 2 and 1, to shamble forward two inches (Marching to be a screen would have been a better option, as we'll see in a minute...)
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On the other half of the board, Sheila and her zombies charged the Stegadon and made it in, and the Black Knights charged the Salamanders. The remainder of my army moved up, with the Terrorgheist landing in the venom thicket (which wasn't hungry), and the two chariots moving up alongside each other, just behind the skeletons.
In the magic phase, I got 4 dice against Nick's 3. I threw all four at the Savage Beast on my vampiress, knowing I needed high strength to bring down the Stegadon. I rolled a 10, for a 12. Nicks' three dice only totaled a 7, and he failed the dispel by 1. Sheila was now S8 with 7 attacks, which would be important in a bit...
The Terrorgheist screamed at the Skink Skirmishers, and rolled an 11. Even with the Slann right next to them, 7 of the little guys died. The last two refused to panic.
In combat, the lone salamander killed a Zombie, while the Vargheists did a wound to him, and slew two handlers. Since he was in the forest (an Abyssal wood), he didn't care, and stuck around. The pair of salamanders whiffed, while the Black Knights did four wounds to the Salamanders, and killing blowed a handler. The horses brought down another handler, and the Salamanders fled and were run down.
Sheila threw all her attacks on the Stegadon, and six of them hit. Five wounded, and the great beast was brought down. The skeletons managed to put a single wound on the Skink Priest, but he fled and was able to escape from the 2" pursuit, popping out behind the Temple Guard.
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A Salamander holds his own, against all odds, in turn 2.

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The Black Knights make short work of these two fire-breathers.

The board, as it looked at the start of the bottom of turn 2:
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The Saurus, Skink Skirmishers, and Temple Guard all declared charges on Sheila and her Vampires. The Temple Guard failed the charge, but the other two were in automatically, and suddenly a huge Skeleton force found itself engaged on both flanks, with a unit I'd hoped to tarpit on one of them. At least she had Savage Beast, right? The Chameleon Skinks marched around to aim at the now-exposed Terrorgheist, while the Skink Priest rallied and stayed where he was. The other unit of skinks moved to support the Salamander next turn. The Terradons continued skirting behind my units, setting up for a rear charge on pretty much whatever they wanted.
In the magic phase, he got 8 dice to my four. He threw four dice at Throne, and my dispel attempt failed. Oh, no. He then popped Shield of Thorns and Flesh to Stone on the Saurus. The Shield went off and killed three skeletons. This did not bode well...
In shooting, the chameleons all whiffed, apparently unable to see the large flying screaming monstrosity for the windmill it was perched on.
In combat, the Vargheists finished off the lone salamander, and reformed to face the unengaged skinks. The zombies did a 180 and glared at the Terradons. Even with Savage Beast, Sheila was unable to kill a T8 Saurus, and the Saurus/skink combination won combat by 15 and crumbled the unit down to 8 models.
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The aftermath of a massacre

At the top of turn 3, the Mortis Engine fired up, and did exactly enough wounds to the 2-man unit of Skink Skirmishers to kill it (it also wounded itself). The skeletons were no longer engaged on both flanks. Now that the combat seemed less dangerous, the other skeleton block, Ash, and the Mortis Engine all charged the Saurus in the flank. The unaccompanied zombies charged the Terradons and made it, while the Vargheists charged the Skinks, losing 5 wounds to the accursed poisoned blowpipes. The Terrorgheist leapt over everything (taking a wound from the Venom Thicket as he did so), and lands on the flank of the Temple Guard, staring straight at the poor unaccompanied Skink Priest. The Black Knights reform to try to get back into the game.
I needed a big magic phase here. I needed to recast Savage Beast, boosting it if I could to make Ash S10 as well; I needed to get a Wildform off to try to save some skeletons; I needed to get Doom and Darkness on the Slann so that the Screaming Banner and Sheila's Aura of Dark Majesty would have a chance; I needed to get rid of the Thorns, and taking a shot at Caress on the Slann would have been nice as well. Instead, I got three dice. Well, at least I dispelled Shield of Thorns.
The Terrorgheist screamed at the Skink Priest, rolled a 9, and did 4 wounds to the priest. His ward save prevented two of them, but the two that got through were enough. I forgot the Mortis Engine had a scream, so it did nothing to help soften up the Saurus.
In combat, the Zombies and Terradons slap-fought each other, but with three ranks, a charge, and a flank, the zombies won combat and the Terradons fled - right to 1" away from the board edge. The zombies failed to even come close to catching them.
The Vargheists killed 7 skinks, and the skinks caused a single wound back, but they broke before the last Vargheist and were run down.
Ash barked a challenge, and the Scar-Vet hid like a coward. Ash then brought down two of the T8 Saurus, and the other units managed to bring down 3 more. The Saurus whiffed on the smaller frontage of the Skeletons and only brought down 3. The Vamps won combat by 3, but with a Crown of Command hiding in the back, the Saurus didn't care.

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The Saurus to the front could only go after one model, and she's not very friendly...

In the bottom of turn 3, the Temple Guard charged the skeletons. The Chameleons moved for positioning, but it was apparent we were about to run out of time, so they didn't bother shooting the Black Knights (they could not have done enough wounds to destroy them). The Terradons rallied, so their points were safe.
In the magic phase, Nick got 5 dice to my 4. I threw him off his game by throwing two dice and successfully dispelling his Throne. He responded by putting it right back up with 3 dice. With three dice left (plus his free ones) he got Flesh to Stone off on three dice, but I got double-sixes and stopped his Shield of Thorns.
In combat, Sheila whiffed on the temple guard. The Temple Guard threw all their attacks on the skeletons, and wiped the unit out. The Saurus then slew Sheila, meaning the Temple Guard (even after their overrun) were out of the combat. The loss of that flank, BSB, and 3 ranks would be a huge factor in the endgame...
Ash killed a few Saurus, the Saurus whiffed the skeletons, but did another wound to the Mortis Engine, and the 4d6 random attacks from the two chariots brought down some more Saurus. In the end, the Vampires won combat by two, and the Saurus held their ground to end the game. Had Sheila survived and the Temple Guard contributed their +5 static res, the Vampire Lord would have crumbled, the Mortis would have crumbled and exploded, and the game would have ended much differently! It's funny when you're glad your own model died.

The Lizardmen killed 541 points, while the Vampires brought down 812 - good enough for a 271 point win. We shook hands, and the beer flowed!

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