Fourth Game – Saturday Evening
Benny (Illuminati) – Sylvania Vampire Counts

After a little mix-up, I was paired against Benny with his Sylvania army. Again, I had very limited experience with the Summer of Chaos army lists, so it would be the first time I played against them.
Benny is a veteran with a good-looking army and he had a great enthusiasm for the game and his army in particular. We both played at a quick, pleasant pace, so it was a very nice way to end the tournament.
His army consisted of (he was nice enough to tell me everything after the battle, although not all items had impact on the game)

- Vamp. Lord with MR1, Aura of Majesty, Dispel Scroll and Talisman of Protection. Book of Arkhan, Great weapon
- Count with MR1, +1 combat res., Black Periapt, Dispel Scroll and Wolf Lord, Great Weapon
- Thrall with MR1, Something that gave –1 to my casting rolls, Heavy armor (plate?) and Great weapon
- Thrall with Battle Standard, Sword of might, 1+ save
- Wight Lord with Sword of Kings
- 2 big skeleton and a big zombie regiment, with halberds, light armor and shields.
- 2 Black coaches, 2 x 3 fell bats, 2 x 1 bat swarm
- 3 Spirit host, 2 banshees
- 3 x 5 wolves – one of them could scout
- 4 Grave Markers (2 + 1 per Lord)

His army is extensively converted from Empire solders. He told me that some of the models contained bits from more than 3 different type of regiments – Empire, Vampire Counts and some Khemri bits as well. I thought his army looked great, and he had a Steam Tank as a Black Coach. His fell bats were empire soldiers with bat wings on flying stands – I like that touch.

Before deployment, he rolled spells for his wizards:
Lord – Invocation, Hellish Vigour, Gaze of Nagash
Count – Invocation, Gaze of Nagash.
He told me that this was the 4th game in a row where he didn’t have Van Hells – ouch (although I (correctly) guessed that he would have the Book of Arkhan) - I may be rusty, but I'm not THAT rusty.

The Scenario was ‘Dried up magic’ – which worked as follows:
Every magic phase, it was worked out who had most dice (dispel or power). Whoever had less could choose to add D3 dice to his own pool or subtract D3 from the opponents. Incantations counted as the appropriate number of Power dice, so he chose to add D3 dispel dice in each of my magic phases and I chose to subtract D3 power dice from his pool every magic phase.

Highlights

I won the attacker-defender roll-off and chose to go first.
He placed his markers in the centre of the battlefield and rolled ‘HIT’ on all his markers except one that scattered a bit. This meant that my left side looked most attractive, as I could place my catapults a bit away from his markers. I deployed my infantry in the center and my chariots and 8-strong horseman on my left flank. I deployed nothing on my right flank, but kept my 16 strong horsemen ready to countercharge on that flank.
He deployed diagonally across me, so at first I thought we would never see combat. He did, however place 2 of his infantry units in the center, cut off from the rest of his army by a wood and placed his count, thrall and BSB in one of those units. So my battle plan almost wrote itself – advance quickly on that flank and try to destroy those two regiments including characters to gain such a magical superiority that I could deal with the rest of his army.
So with that, my army surged forward – It was paramount that I got my Tomb King into contact with his characters, as he could probably kill one per turn – preferably starting with the Count.
I moved forward and tried to magically move further – and succeeded in getting my Skeleton Warriors with the King and my Tomb Guard forward at a respectable 8”, whereas my 16 horsemen tried to look threatening alongside a tomb scorpion on my right. The chariot and horsemen had their movement spells countered, but they still rumbled forward. The Bone Giant flanked the Tomb Guard, for a heavy hitting tag team.
In the shooting phase I halved his Skeleton regiment with a direct hit (that was actually aimed at the Spirit host behind them), and the other killed a spirit host and put 3 wounds on the other – now that’s the ticket.
In his first turn, he actually advanced a bit with the two regiments I was going for (one zombie, 20 strong, one skeleton, now only 10 strong) and put all his characters in the zombie regiment. In his magic phase I rolled a ‘3’ meaning he only had 4 powerdice along his 4 markers, 2 of which were not really relevant.
He raised some Crossbow-skeletons on the farthest markers, and I dispelled his spells – but the marker close to the decimated skeleton unit tried to raise skeletons – rolling 2 dice, I rolled ‘3’ and failed to dispel the power lvl 4 spell – he raised 11 skeletons, making my efforts worthless.
I moved further forward, but got bogged down in his turn two – The tomb guards had taken care of a banshee, a Scorpion had taken care of a Bat Swarm, but a Banshee charged the Bone Giant and held it up for 2 full turns (he had the BSB close) before my 8-strong charged it in the flank and crumbled it in 1 turn – before that, they had charged 3 bats and destroyed those two. But the biggest setback was a Black Coach managing to hit the flank of the Skeletons – disaster! It caused 4 wounds. I had to use my 16 strong horseman unit to charge it’s flank, and thereby present their flank to what I thought was 3 fell bats, but what really was 2 fell bats (I had shot one on a SSC scatter) and a Bat Swarm – the swarm charged and held up my unit until the last Skeleton regiment with the Vampire Lord and Wight Lord could flankcharge them and crumble them in 1 turn.
After that, they overran into my 25 Skeletons – the TK had left the regiment and they only just killed my skellies at the end of turn 6.
My tomb king managed to finish the flank-charging coach with his Flail of Skulls and I got the other one with a direct hit from a SSC.

However, the delays meant that he was able to raise so many zombies and skeletons that my efforts at getting to his characters failed, and I was forced to go for all his smaller stuff, while trying to hold down his summoning.
This meant that my TK joined my little archer unit where the two Liches were hiding – and they first engaged some fellbats, which gave me quite a scare – the King only killed 1 (he only caused 1 wound on 3+/2+ with 4 attacks) and the bat put 2 wounds on my Hierophant! To be honest, I forgot the Vambraces, and I failed both ward saves (again). Then they overran into some zombies and were finally flank-charged by the same batswarm that had flank-charged the skeleton horsemen – it didn’t wound the hierophant though (I certainly held my breath through that attack phase) and next my King moved in and took care of business.
I did get one zombie regiment in a spectacular fashion though – they were 40 strong and had initially been 4 wide and 10 ranks deep, but had turned to face my chariots and tomb prince. So I managed to charge them in the front with the 4 chariots, while getting the Bone Giant in their flank – I won by 16 or so, but there were still some left! They quickly died the last round though.
In the very last turn of the game he charged his 3 annoying characters – Count, BSB and Thrall into my Bone Giant and only managed 3 wounds. The return blow killed the BSB and the combat was a draw – so I had gotten 150 VP’s and he got nothing – not even half for the giant!

Result
19-11 win for me. I got VP’s for all his small stuff and some of the raised regiments, and he got the big horseman unit as well as the 25 skeletons that got some loving from the Vampire Lord with her retinue.
I wouldn’t have minded getting my king into flail-contact with her though – seeing as she only had a 6+ ward save to protect her.

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