So this week I took a completely different direction to last week... I went with a horde of Empire soldiers. One of the things I like about my army, it's very adaptable.
So here we go. I had a unit of 30 spearmen with a detachment of 9 free company fighters (ranked 3x3 - negates rank bonus and small enough to manouver more easily for counter charge) and a detachment of 10 archers. I had 2 30 man swordsmen units with the same set up. In support of each unit I had a 5 man squad of knights, positioned to do charges to the falnk of the enemy the turn after they charge me. And I had a unit of 30 flagellents, with a core unit of 10 free company fighters to screen them. Of the screening units, most were detachments so wouldn't cause panic if they ran (which they would) and the only unit that could cause panic would be safely in front of the flagellents... the world is ending, why should they give a shit if some privateers leg it.
In character choices I had the indomitable Karl Franz, the regular feature of a VHS armed warrior priest (well, Arch Lector this time) to protect Karl from anything that could feasibly hurt him, the equally regualr feature of rank bonus doubling griffen standard. I also had a hero on pegasus with Aldreds casket of sorcery (try to zip around and steal some spells) and a couple of level 2 wizards with a couple of scrolls and the rod of power, try to boost my dispell power a little.
The army I was facing? Warriors of chaos. Now this was a tricky prospect. The first questions that were asked of me were "how many steam tanks did you bring, how many cannons did you bring," and when i explained it was mostly infantry, "how many of those handgunners that take 2 of his save did you bring." The answer to all of the above was none...
Chris moved most of his army towards me, as you might expect. I was more careful in my movement phase. I sent my pegasus captain to try to draw some spells of his tzeentch sorcerer (tried twice, failed both times, then died in combat - not the best test of this idea.) I moved the core unit of free company fighters into a tempting position in front of the marauder horsemen. These were definitely a sacrificial unit. I positioned my flagellents to take advantage the marauders should they take the bait. I then positioned the rest of my stuff as best I could to limit the sight lines of his annoying mages, and to give his general and knights an interesting dilemma in which unit to charge.
Chris took the bait with the marauders. They beat up a couple of fighters and the combat resolution sent them running. Chris pursued and wiped them out. But he ran stright into my knights. More importantly, his flank was in front of my flagellents. My swordsmen took some serious casualties against Chris knights, but held. In my turn though, my knights counter charge didn't do all that much. The swordsmen took even more horrific casualties, and the combat res sent both units running. Chris chased down the swordsmen while the knights went their own way. The flagellents butchered the marauder horsemen and ran on. They were in time to support my swordsmen, who hadn't been quite so effective against the chaos knights (especially given my pegasus didn't have the unit str to negate the rank bonus... I hadn't realised that when I charged in) His marauders tehn charged the flank, and managed to cause massive casualties. The captain was torn from his mount. The pegasus made a whinnying growl, and proceeded to kick the living shit out of the guy that dealt the fateful blow.
The swordsmen and pegasus fled, and the swordsmen were cut down. This left me without a magic phase. Chris knights cantered round to a better postion, while my knights started a long noble tradition and kept running despite Karl Franz yelling at them. Oh well, so long as the common troopers listen to him, his reign isn't threatened yet. Snorting scorn for the fleeing knights, Karl had his own battle to fight against some warriors. A challenge was issued. The Arch Lector asked if he might take up this one in the name of Sigmar. The Emporer gave him the floor, he was happy to beat the chaos warriors by the score, and had no need for personal duels to prove his glory. Chris lost the combat and fled a mere 3 inches. The priest was screaming blood and blue murder to move the men in pursuit, but the resolve imparted by the griffen banner made the unit hold firm. Luckily this was not to matter... In the Empire turn the unit charged, merely intending to send them scurrying further away, but a dreadful flee roll meant the unit were run down and butchered. The knights charged a unit of warriors, but sadly blocked off the support they'd expected from the free company fighters. Always consider the order you declare your charges in. They subsequently lost the combat and fled. Meanwhile on the right the flagellents sent another warrior unit running (one that despite several attempts, had had quite enough for one night.) The overrunning marauders charged teh flagellents, and thus started a very inept battle, as half naked loons with flails tried to throttle half naked loons with flails, neither side having the energy to lift them any higher for a more destructive attack. This one continued till the end of the game.
The chaos general, seeing the battle slipping from his grasp, spied Karl Franz. He'd settle this once and for all. Charging in, he yelled out a challenge to Karl. Karl was too busy knocking chaos knights to the ground and caving their skulls in. The arch lector however, was looking for another scalp. The chaos general felt a little fuzzy, as a small amulet round the arch lectors neck glowed. The arch lector resoundingly beat the chaos general in combat, to the extent that the general felt somewhat lucky to be alive. The staggering combat resolution was too much. They ran.
At this point a rather interesting rule for warhammer crops up. A fleeing unit has to flee if charged. Thus it was that a lowly 80 point detachment of archers chased the general of the chaos army and his elite knights off the field of battle.
With the noose closing in the last chaos warrior band turned and faced their tormentors. The slugfest on the far side between the end of the world lunatics society and it's northern division continued apace.
Karl and his unit charged, and a detachment flanked. The lector, despite besting some serious champions today, couldn't defeat the lowly unit champion that was hastily shoved forward by his comrades as he approached. The comabt resolution didn't matter to this stubborn unit. but they rolled an 11 anyway. The battle standard bearer allowed a reroll.... another 11. They fled, and given how far they'd pushed my fleeing knights off the table, a flee of 6 was enough for them to leave the field of battle. It was irrelevent, it was turn 6 anyway.
I totted up the points at Chris request. I'd lost about 1500 points. He'd have got a bonus 100 for capturing a std. Given I'd wiped out everything but his 150? point marauder unit, and I;d captured 2 or 3 standards, one of which was his battle standard, and killed his general, and owned 2 table quarters... I was over 3000 in victory points. I think we can score this one a massacre :o)
Chris cast his marauder horsemen away needlessly, but then I errored similarly when I didn't consider the unit strength of my pegasus. It would have been far better for me to keep him flitting behind the enemy lines trying to steal spells. But you play and learn. Other than that we were both very unlucky on our Ld tests, Chris slightly more so. When it comes to pursuit rolls it's all down to your opinion... I had knights running frustratingly long distances, off the board or at least out of the fight. Chris had the opposite problem - squads that would sort of jog away from the enemy and get slaughtered. It must be all that heavy armour they wear.
All in all an interesting game. This army is again weak in magic, but the use of the screening units early on helped protect my big units from teh kind of spells that relish big units... It will be interesting to try this against another opponent. But who knows what list I'll come up with next week. I still reckon my cavalry army could do better with one or two tweaks...
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