Introduction

On Saturday my friends and I had a nice day of non-stop Warhammer gaming where we played two matches. Each matches was a two versus two team game, with randomly assigned teams.

Everybody brought 1500 points and we played with the 8th Edition rules, with the slight change, that spells may only use a maximum of five power dice.

The Bleak Legion 02-darkElves

  • Supreme Sorceress, Dark Steed, Lvl 4, Dark Magic, Ring of Hotek, Dispel Scroll
  • Master, Dark Pegasus, Heavy Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Lance, Shield, Cloak of Twilight
  • Master, Cold One, BSB, Halberd, Heavy Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Dawnstone, Ironcurse Icon
  • 10x Dark Riders, Repeater Crossbows, Shields
  • 5x Dark Riders, Repeater Crossbows, Shields
  • 11x Darkshards, Shields, Musician
  • 7x Cold One Knights, Full Command, Banner of Swiftness
  • Reaper Bolt Thrower
  • Reaper Bolt Thrower

We agreed on lists of medium strength. I put the Pegasusmaster as a really strong option in, but left out any rare choice, did refrain from Lore of Metal as a strong choice versus two of three possible opponents and did not consider the Cauldron of Blood or Witch Elves. Instead I fielded my knights.

Vampire Counts (EM)01-vampireCounts

  • Master Necromancer, Level 4, Lore of Vampires
  • Wight King, BSB, Shroud
  • Necromancer, Level 1, Lore of the Undead
  • 5x Dire Wolves
  • 5x Dire Wolves
  • 30x Crypt Ghouls, Champion
  • Corpse Cart, Balefire
  • 6x Crypt Horrors
  • 5x Hexwraiths
  • Black Coach

EM opted for a magic heavy hero setup, with his ghouls as the hero bunker and main combat unit. Three units with vanguard gave him mobility and the Black Coach can be truly devastating if left unchecked for too long.

Dwarves (SS)04-dwarves

  • High King, +1 Wound
  • Runesmith
  • Engineer
  • BSB
  • 20x Greybeards, Full Command
  • 10x Forgeguard
  • 10x Musketeers
  • Dwarven Cannon
  • Organ Gun
  • Gyrocopter

SS put on the ranged list, as expected from a Dwarf. Two war machines and two ranged units provided plenty of shooting, while the Copter was there for harrassment and his potentially game chaning flame template attack. The Greybeards acted as the mainstay and bunker for the heroes.

Warriors of Chaos (UK)03-warriorsOfChaos

  • Exalted Hero, Helm of Many Eyes, Halberd, Mark of Nurgle
  • Exalted Hero, BSB, Mark of Nurgle
  • Chaos Sorceror, Level 2, Mark of Nurgle, Lore of Nurgle, Familiar, Dispel Scroll
  • Chaos Chariot, Mark of Nurgle
  • 18x Chaos Warriors, Full Command, Banner of Swiftness, Mark of Nurgle, Shields
  • 5x Chaos Warhounds
  • Hellcannon
  • Gorebeast Chariot, Mark of Nurgle

UK brought the deadliest combat heroes albeit not on Lord level. His main combat block of Nurgle warriors should give him the upper hand in any close combat. His flanks could be secured by the durable chariots and in the back the Doombringer can thin the enemy ranks.

Teams, Battlefield, Magic and Deployment

We assigned the teams by drawing cards. The Vampires and Warriors allied themselves, to fight the Dwarf/Elf alliance.

06-battlefield

During the setup, Vampires and Warriors tried their best to give themselves a large amount of cover and placed three hills on the centre line. SS and I placed some hills for war machines in the deployment zones and finished with a swamp on the open ground between those.

My roll for spells was bad, as I didn’t have a double and neither Word of Pain nor the Black Horror. I decided on Power of Darkness, Doombolt, Bladewind and Chillwind.

The Nurgle Sorceror had the familiar and therefore three spells. He got Stream of Corruption, Curse of the Leper and Rancid Visitations.

Vampires rolled Invocation of Nehek, Danse Macabre, Hellish Vigour and Gaze of Nagash as spells for the Master Necromancer. Additionally the Necromancer got the spell to summon heroes with the Lore of the Undead.

With +1 to start my team started.07-setup1 08-setup2

Turn 1 – Dwarves and Elves

Movement: We mainly advanced in the centre, seeking cover behind the central hill and setting up the fly-overs with Pegasus and Copter. The Supreme Sorceress moved into range for her Doombolt. Dark Riders stayed just out of fly-over range from the Hexwraiths.

Magic: 1+1, they channel two times. Not a good start for magic. I try Doombolt with two dice, but fail to roll the necessary seven (4+1).

Shooting:

  • Darkshards shoot on Black Coach: No wounds.
  • Organ Cannon on Dire Wolves: Three wounds.
  • Dwarven Cannon on Chaos Warriors: Hits and penetrates three ranks but then fails to wound the Hellcannon.
  • Dark Riders on Dire Wolves: Two wounds. Wiped out.
  • Reaper Bolt Throwers multishot the Chaos Warriors and deal two wounds.
  • The other Dwarves cannot shoot due to missing targets.
  • Being out of any BSB or general range, the War Hounds panic and flee from the table.

Close Combat: None. 09-dd11 10-dd12

Turn 1 – Chaos & Undead

Movement: Basically the whole army advanced, but at a leisurely pace, not using their full movement, except for the chaff and Chariots.

Magic: 6+3, no channels. Danse Macabre (6+4+2) is dispelled by using a scroll. Stream of Corruption (5+4+4) is let through and kills only one Dark Rider, thanks to the Magic Resistance of Ring of Hotek. The summon spell is then dispelled with six dice.

Shooting: The Hellcannon aims at the Dwarves, scores a hit and kills ten.

Close Combat: None.11-wv11 12-wv12

Turn 2 – Dwarves & Elves

Movement: Instead of charging the Black Coach, the Cold One Knights retreated, a huge mistake as the chances were very good to break it on impact. The Dark Riders moved around bringing themselves out of threat range and ready to shoot on stuff. The Dwarven Flamers moved into shooting position, while the Dwarven main block also retreated a bit. Pegasus and Copter moved into good positions for a next turn charge/bombing run.

Magic: 5+2, we channel two times, they one time. Chillwind (6+1) on Hexwraiths is let through and kills them completely. Having nothing to do really I hesitate to cast anything, but then try Bladewind on Dire Wolves and directly suffer a miscast. The Wolves suffer two casualties and I am lucky to roll nine for the miscast only getting one wound on the Supreme Sorceress.

Shooting:

  • Dark Riders on Dire Wolves: No wounds.
  • Gunners on Chaos Warriors: No wounds.
  • Flamers on Chaos Warriors: Two wounds.
  • Organ Cannon on Chaos Warriors: One wound.
  • Darkshards on Black Coach: No wounds.
  • Reaper Bolt Thrower on Chaos Warriors: No wounds.
  • Reaper Bolt Thrower on Dire Wolves: Two wounds.
  • Dwarven Cannon on Black Coach: Wounded, but saved.

An abysmal shooting phase ends our turn. Not only did the coach save, but the Organ Cannon made a very low amount of shots and I didn’t manage to kill the Dire Wolves completely.

Close Combat: None.13-dd21 14-dd22

Turn 2 – Chaos & Undead

Movement: Time for the first charges of the game. The Black Coach wants to reach the Cold One Knights, needs a high roll, but fails with 4+2+2. The lone Dire Wolf attacks the Reaper Bolt Thrower and manages to connect (6+5+5). But then disaster struck: The Chaos Warriors failed their stupidity test two times in a row and stumbled forward a few inches because of the general’s helmet.

The Undead again move very slowly. The Gorebeast Chariot is faster and climbs the hill.

Magic: 5+1, we channel once. The Black Coach gets one power up. The summoning spell (4 dice) is dispelled with (4+4+2+3+3+1). Then the Vampires manage to pull of a gamble: Vanhel’s Danse Macabre is successful with one die, giving the Undead the opportunity to climb the hill. Nagash’s Gaze is also successful with one die and scores one wound on the Dark Riders.

Shooting: The Cannon aims badly and the shot lands far off.

Close Combat: Despite good chances the crew of the bolt thrower does not manage to kill the wolf, but at least doesn’t break.15-wv21 16-wv22

Turn 3 – Dwarves & Elves

Movement: Now also the Elves wanted to be in close combat. Again I failed to see the good chance to attack the Black Coach with the Cold One Knights, but the Master on Pegasus charged the Corpse Cart, needing a nine and manages to do so.

The Gyrocopter moves itself into position for its deadly flame attack on the Crypt Ghouls. The Cold One Knights place themselves for a flank charge and outside of the Black Coaches line of sight, the Darkshards fully advance to cut off the potential movement of the chariot. The other troops mainly stayed back opting to get some good shots.

Magic: 4+1, no channel. Magic remained a close thing, with close winds. Bladewind on Crypt Ghouls (4+2) is dispelled with four dice. Here the +5 bonus really comes in handy. The Doombolt (4+2+2) on the Chaos Warriors catches a dispel scroll.

Shooting:

  • The Gyrocopter hits 25, but kills only five Crypt Ghouls
  • Musketeers on Chaos Warriors: No wounds.
  • Iron Dragons on Chaos Warriors: No wounds.
  • Organ Cannon on Chaos Warriors: Two wounds.
  • Dark Riders on Crypt Ghouls: No wounds.
  • Dwarven Cannon on Gorebeast Chariot: Hits, wounds, but only one.
  • Reaper Bolt Thrower on Chaos Warriors: One wound.

Close Combat: The crew finally kills the last wolf. The Pegmaster does two wounds but both are saved on regeneration. Luckily the Pegasus itself also does a wound which isn’t saved. Returning attacks do not do anything and the Cart loses another wound via combat result.17-dd31 18-dd32

Turn 3 – Chaos & Vampires

Movement: The Gorebeast Chariot (5+3+2) successfully charges the Iron Dragons. The Crypt Horrors try to charge the Dark Riders but fail (2+2). The Black Coach attacks the Darkshards within movement value, needs to move through forest but does not take damage due to dangerous terrain.

The Chaos Warriors only advance slightly and get the Cold Ones into their fronts again. The Crypt Ghouls do not advance.

Magic: 3+3, no channel. Nehek (4+2) is dispelled (4+4+1). The Chaos Warriors get a toughness boost of +1 (6+5). The Corpse Dance with one die fails.

Shooting: Once again the cannons aims on the Supreme Sorceress but fails to hit.

Close Combat: The Black Coach nearly annihilates the Darkshards, but the couragous remaining few stand on double ones. The Gorebeast Chariot does enoug wounds to break the Iron Dragons and overruns them. The Pegasusmaster outright destroys the Corpse Cart and reforms.19-wv31 20-wv32

Turn 4 – Dwarves & Elves

Movement: The Pegmaster fails the march test and moves to the back of the Chaos Warriors, but because I have to also keep the distance to the Gyrocopter I fail to measure the distance to the Hellcannon and actually get too close. The Gyrocopter moves over the Ghouls and makes a bombing run. The Cold One Knights made a horrible mistake by moving just sidewards out of the Chaos Warriors line of sight, completely ignoring the fact, that the Black Coach will annihilate the Darkshards and turn to them the following turn. The  The rest holds back, as we want to leverage the additional round of shooting before engaging the Chaos Warriors.

Something goes wrong during the bombing run and the Gyrocopter suffers one wound.

Magic: 5+4, they channel once. The Supreme Sorceress casts a Doombolt on the Chaos Warriors (6+6+6+1). The Doombolt kills three and the Lore Attribute amazingly manages to kill two more. The Miscast results in a small explosion which deals one damage to the Sorceress and kills one Dark Rider. With the additional loss of Power Dice the Magic phase is over.

Shooting:

  • Gyrocopter on Crypt Ghouls: 13 wounds.
  • Dwarven Musketeers on Chaos Warriors: 2 wounds.
  • Bolt Thrower on Chaos Warriors: No wounds.
  • Bolt Thrower on Gorebeast Chariot: No wounds.
  • Organ Cannon on Chaos Warriors: One wound.
  • Dwarven Cannon on Chaos Chariot: Annihilates the Chariot.

Close Combat: The Darkshards get annihilated and the Black Coach reforms for a rear charge on the Cold One Knights.

Turn 4 – Chaos & Vampires

Movement: The Black Coach successfully charges the Cold One Knights. The Hellcannon charges the Pegmaster, but he flees to safety, the Cannon re-directs into the Copter, but it also flees. The Undead advance slowly (may have had a failed charge as well). The Gorebeast Chariot turns around to face the Dwarves.

Magic: 3+3, no channels. The Toughness boost of the Chaos Warriors is dispelled with a Dispel Scroll. The Danse Macabre with two dice is dispelled with three. Nehek with one dice is successful and replenishes ten Crypt Ghouls.

Shooting: None

Close Combat: The Black Coach annihilates all but two of the Dread Knights. They flee one inch farther than the Coach. A challenge between the Dwarven King and the Chaos General takes place. Meanwhile the Chaos Warriors wreak havoc with thr Dwarves, but they hold.

Turns 5 & 6

My notes get more and more blurry so I summarize:

  • The Black Coach pursuits the Cold One Knights and annihilates them together with the Hellcannon. In the last turn the Coach is killed by the Dwarven Cannon.
  • The Hellcannon first charges the Pegmaster and Copter causing them to flee. Then charges the Cold One Knights into the flank and overruns.
  • The Crypt Ghouls suffer huge casualties but can restore themselves twice with Invocation of Nehek. Alas the fail to reach any combat.
  • The Crypt Horrors fail two long range charges and also never see any action.
  • The Gorebeast Chariot turns after the overrun from the annihilated Dwarves, then charges the Dark Riders which try to re-direct it and then gets charged and annihilated by the Pegmaster.
  • The Chaos Warriors fight the Dwarves for many turns. The King holds the challenge and in the end the Chaos Warriors break after a combined flank and rear charge from Musketeers and Pegmaster.
  • Magic is of no great consequence. Two boosted Doombolts get dispelled, one by scroll, one by an enourmous roll of 31. The Undead heal themselves but are denied the Danse Macabre which would have brought themselves into range.
  • The Bolt Throwers fail to wound the Gorebeast Chariot with five shots straight. The Cannon destroys the Chaos Chariot and the Black Coach. The Organ Gun fails to do many wounds.

21-wv41 22-wv42 23-wv5 24-dd6

Conclusion

Once again an exiting game with many close calls, plenty of errors and a lot of things to discuss. I already mentioned my blunder with the Cold One Knights, who should have charged the Black Coach. Otherwise we managed to deny them the far flank by moving the Dark Riders away stranding the Chaos Chariot and leaving the Undead out of contention for a long time.

I think the Chaos Warriors and Vampires should have formed a closer battle line and advanced faster, although this is always hard versus the Dwarven shooting, but in my mind they didn’t have any alternative.

The Dice Gods

Our shooting began very weak, but the Dwarven Cannon alone managed two lucky shots in the end and killed 300 points of units. The Hellcannon on the other side had only one good shot.

Magic was very insignificant. On our side I rolled really bad for spells and basically had only the Doombolt as a dangerous spell. On the other side the Undead were not close enough to the action (partially caused by my charge on the Corpse Cart with the Pegmaster). So their otherwise scary Nehek and Danse Macabre spells were not that dangerous.

In close combat the Chaos Warriors rolled below average, so the Dwarves were able to hold for a long time.

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