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Warmaster Battle Report

By Steve Evans (Undead) & Dave Gee (Empire).

Army selection:

Steve: Now 1,000pts isn't a lot of points so I'm going to have to make some difficult decision. To start off with I need to get my compulsory choices sorted. For a 1,000pts I have to take 2 units of Skeleton Warriors, 2 units of Skeleton Bowmen and of course the Tomb King as my general, this set me back 260pts.

Now for one of my risky ideas, I would normal now take 2 Liche Priests but as I'd like to squeeze in a few of the more expensive units I'm only going to take 1. For the Undead this is a big gamble as they only have a 20cm command radius but I'm willing to take that risk in this game, lets hope I don't regret it.

Now for those expensive units, a unit of Chariots and a mighty Sphinx are my next two choices, these two come to a whopping 260pts for the pair….ouch. Next on my list are a couple of units I must take, a Skull Chucker and a unit of Carrion. The Skull Chucker in my opinion is one of the best artillery pieces in the game with its confusion on a 4 plus ability and I'll need the Carrion to take out those nasty Cannons Dave's bound to have.

So with that little lot coming to 760pts and giving me a grand total of 8 units it time to bulk out my force and get that unit total up. So in goes 2 more units of Skeleton Warriors and 3 units of Cavalry, this brings my unit total up to 13 which gives me a brake point of 7 as you always round up if you have a odd number.

Right, time for WAR.

Dave: The mandatory units of 2 x halberdiers, 2 x crossbowmen and a general took 325 of my 1000 points straight away. I always give the general the orb of majesty for that all-important failed command. I then chose another halberdier unit plus a unit of handgunners, with a view to making 2 solid brigades.

2 units of knights were to be the hammer to smash the enemy upon the anvil of the infantry. A unit of cannon to break up approaching battle lines and a unit of flagellants to act as a shield for the halberdiers (as they are not pushed back by shooting).

Another hero to help in the command phase and a wizard with the scroll of dispelling brought my total to 995. I gave the sword of fate to 1 of the knight units to round out the 1000 points. This gave me a break point of 5, not good but I could live with it.

Deployment:

Undead: I set up with my Cavalry, Chariots, Carrion and Sphinx on one flank with my Tomb King to command them. My Infantry I placed into two brigades and put them on the other flank near some ruins, I also placed the Skull Chucker here, and the Liche Priest was left to command this flank.

My plan being to sweep up one flank with my mobile stuff crushing all before me while the Infantry move into the ruins and hold there position. As long as I keep the Skull Chucker with the Infantry Dave will have to come after them to break me.

Empire: On my left flank was a hill and on the right flank a wood, both just outside the deployment zone. I brigaded the knights behind the hill, the cannon to the side of the hill. In the middle were the flagellants and 3 halberdier units in a brigade and on the right flank where the crossbowmen and handgunners.

Let slip the dogs of war!:

Steve won the dice off for first turn. With an amazing display of discipline only 1 infantry brigade failed to move. The skull chukka and an infantry brigade moved into the ruins on the undead right flank. The 2 brigades of cavalry and chariots moved forward to left flank and centre respectively. The sphinx moved to the middle of the battle line and the carrion took up position on the left flank. The hideous undead characters shambled into useful positions for the next round.

With little else to do the skull chukka chanced a shot at the flagellants and killed a stand! Hoorah would have been the shout, had the undead had lungs and vocal chords.

The brigade of crossbowmen and handgunners moved into the oasis (counts as a wood) on the right flank with the infantry brigade to their left. The knight brigade boldly advanced up behind the hill and the characters moved into useful positions for the next round.

A fusillade of cannon shots saw the sphinx blanch and stagger backwards. However, the diabolical construct was only momentarily discombobulated!

Turn 2 saw the undead line advance in the centre and left flank, with the previously static infantry brigade rampaging up the left middle of the table. The carrion swooped in and attacked the cannons, destroying them and falling back out of initiative charge arc. The liche priest used his dark magics to unman the flagellants with doom and despair. Fortunately the advancing undead lines had blocked the line of sight from the skull chukka.

The empire line held steady. The only action was a dual command to a unit of knights that swept across and thrashed the carrion.

Turn 3 began with the undead infantry brigade attacking the crossbowmen in the oasis. This brigade was fronted by skeleton archers, who were quickly dispatched by the plucky empire lads. Deciding it was folly to advance out of defended terrain, the empire lads stood their ground.

The cavalry and chariot brigade crashed into the empire brigade fronted by the weakened flagellants. It was a one sided battle and the undead advanced into the halberdiers behind, killed another unit and withdrew.

With the empire 2 units away from break point, drastic action was needed. The brigade in the oasis charges the 2 units of skeleton warriors on initiative and wipe them out but lose a unit themselves! However they fell back behind the undead cavalry, so a loss for the undead here will mean instant destruction, as they are unable to fall back.

A unit of knights and the surviving halberdiers charge the cavalry and chariot brigade on initiative and draw! They all shuffle backwards looking embarrassed.

The other unit of knights charges forward and attacks the second cavalry brigade. The empire hero joins them in a last ditch effort to save the day. With amazing attack and armour save roles the lone unit of knights kills 6 stands (2 units) of undead for the loss of only 1 stand. Huzzah!!

At the start of turn 4 it is apparent that whoever kills the next unit will win the game, as we are both 1 off of break point. With that the sphinx thunders forward, commanded by ungodly incantations, and attacks a unit of crossbowmen. The liche priest rushes up to assist his creation but to no avail. A drawn combat sees both units back off.

The empire knights charge the chariots and the wipe them out. The unit of knights with 1 stand missing charge a unit of skeleton archers. The general and hero go in to this combat and the wizard uses his spells to drive off the supporting stands. The skeleton archers are trampled to dust!

With that the tomb king and his pet liche priest skulk back to their crypts and the undead soldiers collapse to the ground. By Sigmar's sacred hammer, victory is ours!

Final scores were 485 to the empire versus 397.5 to the undead, a solid victory.

The Aftermath.

Steve: "Well that was a close one, it all came down to us both needing to destroy one unit to win, if only the Sphinx could have crushed those pesky Crossbowmen. As for my plan…….what plan I completely lost the plot and went rampaging off with one of my Infantry brigades and stupidly sent them into a combat they couldn't win. In the end this was what cost me the game, not so much that the brigade was wiped out but it gave Dave the chance to bring his units behind my advanced battle line. This caused a split in my army and left me not being able to command some of my units in the closing stages. Dave played a good game and managed to keep his forces together well, only committing them to the fray when it was in his advantage."

Dave: "By Sigmar's hammer, what a game! With the flagellants loosing a stand in the first turn and the early loss of the cannon I felt I was fighting a defensive battle from the outset. However, by attacking at the right moment plus the shear power of the empire knights lead to a swing in my favour later in the game. "