View Full Version : Tales from Stirland

Lord Solar Plexus
23-10-2011, 09:36
The summer of 2114 had been hot. So hot in fact that even the elders of the peoples earning a modest living from the thin soil of the Shadow Vale could not remember such heat, although some regular patrons of the Howling Rat - Grundbogens main and only tavern, such as it was with its walls echoing some faint memories of white paint - stipulated that this lack of remembrance might have something to do with them being elders. In any case, there had been hints for some time. Hints, most notably, from further east, where lay the lands that honest people did not visit. Lands primarily made up of dense and dark woods, the air heavy with rot and decay, and devoid of the game hunted in other regions of the Vale. A few trappers who had ventured thus far (and as such could certainly not be called honest folks) had not returned. Others did return, only to speak nothing but gibberish, their instinct having led them back to civilization, or what passed for that in this kind of His Most Glorious Majesty's Empire. And then there were some who looked like hunters having passed through this or that village weeks before but almost certainly did not look the part when what remained of them returned - little more than gaunt frames, bones showing in places, the flesh rotted and their walk but a shuffle...

And there had been ample hints of something awry below as well. Luckily, the dead remained where they had been interred, yet something was going on. With all of these hints and rumours abounding, the Graf had decided it was time to prepare. For what, neither he nor his advisers could say precisely. Nevertheless, the Graf being a cautious man, he strengthened local defences, called more men into the Household Milita and put the garrisons on alert. For good measure, he send riders to the capital with all available records neatly collected and the scrolls bound tight with leather straps.

Okay, we're about to start the League of 2011/12 (the Rhein-Erft-League). All games will be 2,500 points, fixed and open lists except for magic items which remain secret until you meet your opponent. Needless to say I'm going to play my Stirlanders:

TGM (General Hauff) w/ Lance & Shield, Other Trickster's Shard, Shroud of Magnus
L4 w/ Light, Rod

WP w/ AoMI
WP w/ BWH, HA, shield
Captain, BSB, FP, ench. shield
Captasus, FP, shield, Sword of Battle

39 Halberdiers, FC
30 Swordsmen, standard, muso
9 Knights w/ Lances, standard, muso, BotEF

2 Mortars
2 Cannon
28 Greatswords, standard, muso

Steam Tank

My first opponent will be Vampire Count Chris:

General & L3, Barded skeleton horse, Lore of Vampires (435)
BSB, HA, shield, barded skeleton horse (245)
L1, Lore of Vampires (200)

38 Ghouls (312)
15 Ghouls (128)
24 Skellies, Standard (200)

35 GG, standard, muso (410)

10 Knights, standard, muso (365)

Black Coach

Lord Solar Plexus
23-10-2011, 09:38
Right, on to Game 1 against Chris' Vampire Counts. Chris is a long-time regular Fantasy player, great painter and a great sport and also owns a WE and a Bretonnian army. If there are any discrepancies between the descriptions and the pics, it's all to blame on me as I'm still getting to grips with Battle Chronicler.

Scenario: Dawn Attack (Random Setup)

Small Hill in the north-west corner, Tavern in the centre, house some inches east of it, small boulders (impassable) in the south-west corner, ruin in the south-east corner, no magic terrain.

VC (North) deploy in a central cluster, GG on (my) left on the hill, big Ghoul unit with Knights, General & BSB as well as small Ghouls with L1 behind, the Skellies and then the Black Coach.

Empire (South) deploys from left to right: Greatswords, Knights, Stank, Mortar x2 on the board edge, L4 and Captasus with Halberdiers in front, Swordsmen, and both Cannon on the far right.


Turn 1 – Vampires
Everything moves up. The Coach takes cover behind the central building. The graveguard Vanhel further forward, which I don't dispel. The Coach sucks a PD and that's it.


Turn 1 – Empire
My Stank safely generates 4 SP and charges the GG that have been so considerate to come over. :icon_biggrin: Greatswords move up, Knights wheel and move up, Halberdiers shuffle, Swordsmen shuffle, Captasus flies 20“ towards the Skellies. Magic sees me killing 2 Ghouls) and the Coach is at +4. Mortars kill some Ghouls and GG. My cannon cannot see the Coach but they get perfect flank shots off on the Knights. They only kill four and a few GG though. Then the Vampire fails his Lo,S! but I only do one wound – a game changing dice roll! The Stank kills 11 GG, 7 more crumble, and he suffers a wound in return. A good start.


Turn 2 – Vampires
Big Ghouls move up 8“, Black Knights align beside GG, Skellies move up. The L1 creates 10 new Grave Guard with a roll of 21:18 but they can't wound the Stank.

Turn 2 – Empire
Greatswords fail a 10“ charge on the Black Knights and move up 2“. My knights charge the big Ghouls block. The Halberdiers reform toward the Black Knights for a long-range flank charge later on or damage control should the GS run. They should be looking west in bus formation...The Captasus stupidly frontal charges the Skellies, kills one and flees but isn't caught. The Stank kills 4 GG (and some Ghouls with its steam cannon) and suffers one wound in return (now at 8). My knights, TGM and WP kill 9 Ghouls, more crumble.

In magic I get off Bironas on the Greatswords waiting to receive the Black Knights.


Turn 3 – Vampires
The Skellies can't reach the fleeing Captasus with a low roll and he flees a little further. The Coach moves to the centre of my army, now fully loaded – my only magic weapon is a Sword of Battle, and it flees. Hmm. Elsewhere, my Greatswords kill the enemy BSB and 4 knights, lose lots more but they hold. Their WP is in a challenge with the Knight champion which will continue for some time. The Stank keeps slugging it out with the Grave Guard for another wound (now at 7). The Knights kill more Ghouls and it's enough to make the rest crumble. They reform towards the Black Coach because while a charge from it will hurt, front seems better than rear.


Turn 3 – Empire
The Captasus doesn't rally but is still on the board. My Swordsmen are too far away to charge the Skellies - the picture doesm't show this adequately. My Cannon are by now useless since everyting is hidden, in combat or hidden by combats. They both grapeshoot the Skellies but only kill a whopping two. I'm not sure why my knights don't charge the Coach now, either my notes are spotty or I didn't want to fight an ethereal coach with no bonus but charge and standard...in any case, my Halbs reform again to flank charge it should it run into the knights, and the WP makes the Knights unbreakable. The Black Knights slaughter more Greatswords (they hold) and that's about it. A mortar shot kills 11 Skellies (accidentally shown in pic of my turn 4). It's not shown in the pic but a mortar kills 11 Skellies.


Turn 4 – VC
The darned Coach flies over my Halberdiers and threatens my L4. Well, better than losing the Knights to its hatred, killing blowing impact and GW hits. The Captasus flees AGAIN far enough not to be caught by the Skellies but not far enough to run off the board. The Stank takes another wound (he keeps killing a few GG each turn which are duly raised back) and the last Greatsword is killed – but the WP in the challenge still holds. Magic sees only 4 PD (again as well) but the Vampire manages three raisings of Grave Guard.


Turn 4 – Empire
My Knights cannot do much, so they just turn around again, hoping to kill something later. My Halberdiers are by now somewhat befuddled, as their targets fly away and so reform again. 2 Black Knights die from Soulfire. The Black Knight champion cannot kill my WP, and vice versa, and I hold. The Stank is now at 4 remaining wounds. My Swordsmen charge the depleted Skellies and kill everyone but one (including crumble). One mortar explodes while the other I think deviates. The cannon have no targets, as the Skeletons are in combat with my Swordsmen and block LoS to all other viable targets...an ethereal Black Coach and a unit of 8 Ghouls, that is. My L 4 moves out of the Coach's charge arc.


Turn 5 – VC
No charges. He gets 6 PD and raises some Knights and Grave Guard. He still cannot kill the WP – who holds again. The Stank saves two wounds. The Black Coach turns to face my Knights. Swordsmen kill the last Skeleton and reform towards the centre.


Turn 5 – Empire
The Halberdiers move back 2“ so that they're not caught between the Coach and the (extremely killy) Black Knights, with the Swordsmen move alongside but slightly back. The Captasus, having rallied, moves up as well. The WP finally dies due to a killing blow and the Black Knights reform towards the Stank/Grave Guard combat. The Stank is now at three wounds. I do get off Birona's on the knights, hoping they might perhaps make it into the Ghouls later....and a Soulfire which is dispelled. Their WP, being the only one able to charge (the unit as a whole could wheel far enough), does so and tries to kill the L1 but is challenged by the Ghoul champ. Now the Knights could have charged the Graveguards' flank but it was highly doubtful that they could have killed enough to make a difference, as the unit was pretty much at starting strength again. The combination of attacks and Soulfire gets the Ghoul unit down to three.


Turn 6 – VC
The Coach charges my knights, the Black Knights charge the Tank. The Coach gets the full 7 impact hits, all of which wound, and I fail 5 saves, flee and outrun it. The Vampire general, 8 Knights and 14 Grave Guard get another couple of wounds in – and the Stank dies with the very last failed save!!! Chris also revives more Ghouls in the combat with my mounted WP but that all matters little at this point, as he cannot kill my WP and the Stanks' points are the last he's going to get this game.


Turn 6 – Empire
My knights and TGM rally. Charges aren't, magic and shooting isn't. The only points I have a slight chance to claim are the Ghouls, but alas my WP's attacks and a failed Soulfire aren't enough, so here ends the game!

I killed:

38 Ghouls
24 Skeletons + standard

for a total of 880 points

He killed

28 Greatswords + standard
Warrior Priest on foot
Knightly standard
Steam Tank

for something like 838 poins...a draw! Phew, what a game! It could tip this way or that every turn...has my Greatswords not held the flank for so long, the Black Knights could have masscred me. Had the Captasus not fled exactly far enough to escape but still be able to rally...had he not managed to raise more Ghouls when I had his unit down to three models...and of course there was random deployment. You try to make the best of it but it meant I couldn't hit the Coach with my cannon when it was still corporeal.

Of course it didn't help that my Halberdiers never made contact. Their static CR and a flank or rear could have broken the Coach relatively easily I think. The long-drawn out combats between the STank vs GG and the Greatswords vs Black Knights as well as terrain meant I couldn't do much about it. Magic was almost always low. I had 11 PD once, to cast a nonsensical Bironas on the Knights (which btw left my Mage a Level 1), and a dispelled Soulfire, and he had one good turn to raise stuff but other than that, we nearly always rolled 4's and 5's and then the Coach sucked up a few.

In any case, I believe this game does demonstrate that Knights are still useful. Those Black Knights with the Vampire did get stuck but against a stubborn unit that they killed to the last man, and I had some lucky Ld rolls. My Knights in return killed his unit of Ghouls - I seriously doubt that light infantry such as State Troops could have done this any better.

23-10-2011, 14:50
Nice report!

23-10-2011, 17:24
Yeah, and that foot warrior priest is a Hero of the day standing in that challange so long.

Lord Solar Plexus
23-10-2011, 18:21
Precisely! Although he had about the same stats as that BK champion. I didn't challenge when they charged (lance bonus), and I was rather lucky it took so long to get a killing blow but yes, even my opponent was fascinated with that heroic stand.

25-10-2011, 01:00
Hmm heroes should be heroic. Ghouls, have a bad match up against knights, Lances negate their T and knights giggle at poison. I didn't think that the VC could kill your ST. Great game. Is there any closing fluff? That WP deserves a mention.

Lord Solar Plexus
13-11-2011, 09:47
Pater Delbrück woke up with a start. The grim encounter between the elements of his 4th Guards Regiment and the grisly Vampire riders held him in its clutches even now, three weeks after the engagement. The Guards had taken a beating and their contingent present at the Steinhütte battle had been wiped out to a man. He was lucky to have been treated with all haste by the Sisters of Verena who accompanied their train, although his missing left ear and the three stumps of fingers on his left hand still made him feel uneasy at times. The new allies he believed he had aquired however made him feel even worse. Then again, dire times required drastic measures, or so he justified what he had done. At least the Graf's son knew, so it was semi-official.

A knock on the door. "Come in!", he commanded, wiping sleep from his eyes. The nondescript figure that entered his room did not offer a greeting. "Is it done?", Delbrück asked. "As you commanded, Pater.", the man replied. "Good. The stablemaster is informed. He'll have what is needed ready. Depart on the morrow."

This battle wasn't part of the league games but fought at the store. I didn't have time to take notes, so it is much more sketchy than the first, for which I apologize. The armies consisted of 2k Empire (me) + 2k Ogres vs. 4k of Dark Elves. We played the Surprise Attack scenario with random deployment and some quirky store rules thrown in - only one Lord each, only three heroes and some more. There went my L4, my 2nd Warrior Priest and the Engineer.

Lists and deployment

Top left to bottom right, clockwise:
Hydra, 35 Crossbows in tower, Cold Ones w/ BSB, Chariot, Hydra, Hydra, Chariot, Hydra, 35 Crossbows, Dark Riders, Dragon Lord w/ reverse ward. No mage.

Outriders, 40 Halberdiers, two units of Ogres w/ L2, Mortar, Cannon, Ogres, Ogre Monster, cannon, 8 Knights w/ TGM and Priest, 35 Swords w/ BSB, Rockets, 29 Greatswords w/ L1, Leadbelchers.

Dark Riders and Outriders vanguard, the latter killing two Cold Ones turn 1. Everything moves up, hampered by terrain - there was another house on the hill plateau that we had to move around somehow. Cannon 1 does one wound to the Lord and the Dragon respectively. Cannon 2 and Rockets misfire and cannot shoot for two turns. Mortar explodes. Leadbelchers don't hit or wound the Dragon or Lord saves. Magic sees us with 10 dice but everything but a single fireball wound fails or is dispelled.

Moving my Knights up like this seems like a mistake and probably was one but I didn't have much choice. I didn't want to move through the woods, I wanted to charge a Hydra as they carried the BotEF, and possibly overun into a second.

Elves move up cautiously. The Dragon Lord flank charges my Knights, the Dark Riders front charge them. I save all wounds from the Lord and Dragon. The Riders manage two wounds, and I roll two 1's. The horses manage two wounds, and I roll another pair of 1's. I kill lots of Dark Riders but lose by 1, roll a 10, forget my BSB reroll and am run down. Two Greatswords and an Outrider die to crossbow fire.

We jockey for positions, still trying to navigate some terrain pieces. The swords fail a 6" charge on the Dark Riders and lose a guy to S&S. The Greatswords reform to better fit somewhere. Outriders move out of charge arc and kill another two Knights (the champ does with his pistols that is).
The only operable cannon hits a Hydra and I roll a 1 on the number of wounds. Leadbelchers fail to hit and wound.

The Dark Elves move up a little. I don't remember the exact position of that Dragon, it looks as if it could have charged but it didn't. Crossbows kill the Outriders. In retrospect, I should have used them as a somewhat expensive bait for his Knights, put them right in front of him and dare him to get countercharged by two units of Ogres and perhaps flanked by my Halbs - I must keep that in mind.

Lord Solar Plexus
13-11-2011, 10:21
Turn 3, Empire & Ogres
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w73/LordSolarPlexus/Game_2_Terrain_Turn_3_Empire__Ogres.jpgHalbs move up, Ogres move up. One unit fails a 10" charge on the chariot, the Greatswords fail their 10" charge on the Crossbows and lose two to S&S. The Swordsmen make their 6" charge with a double 1. In combat, the Hydra wipes out that Ogre Monster (the one which makes enemies ASL) for one wound in return while I kill all Dark Riders. I reform to meet the other Hydra.

Magic sees us with 10:6 dice for the third time in a row and everything is dispelled.

Shooting I think takes a wound off one Hydra and another three off the Dragon.

Turn 3 DE
Charges everywhere! The Cold Ones charge the large Ogre unit and win by 23, killing and overrunning everyone, and into the Halberdiers. Chariots and Hydra easily kill the small Ogre unit. The Dragonlord kills a cannon, another Hydra kills and overruns my Swordsmen (I failed both Ld 8 steadfast tests), overrunning into the Greatswords, which he kills as well (the last three ran away).

From this point on, it was a massacre, and I'll spare you (okay, primarily me) any more sad drawings. The Cold Ones defeated the Halberdiers by 22 (they broke), reformed and killed the last Ogre combat unit on the last turn. This Ogre unit actually managed to charge a Hydra, draw the combat and run it down but that was about all our forces were good for this day. The Dragonlord killed my remaining artillery with ease while everything else just popped out chilled drinks and opera glasses.

Final thoughts

Well, if I've ever seen a tabling, this was it. Don't get me wrong, I hate to ascribe a loss to the dice but I don't remember any game of Fantasy or 40k or BFG or any other system in which I had such an abysmal luck: Two mahes vs none, with solid rolls plus two dice that I stored in the DE magic phase in my rod of power and we got two regenerations and one fireball through. On the last turn, I even rolled a 1 for the rod. Four S3 wounds on my Knights followed by four 1's. Not a single successful charge over 6". Cannon rolling 1's to wound or 1's on the number of wounds. Leadbelchers getting I think two or three hits over three turns. At one point I had a beautiful flank shot at his knights. I targeted the spot 7" of the closest Knight, got a 6, followed by a 2 and proceeded to kill one. D'uh!

Four Hydras and a Dragon are of course a handful for just two cannon. I still believe that neither the list nor the tactics cost us the game. This game shows that an alliance is always at a disadvantage versus a single player just because miscommunication, unspoken expectations, or nonexistant communications lead to mistakes. My teammate wasn't that well versed in the game but I believe either one of us would have deployed very differently had he been in command of all 4,000 points. We also didn't talk enough before the game. I had brought a 2,500 point list and had to downsize it on the fly, and was under the impression that he would include an L4, although to be honest, I wouldn't have fielded one in my General's stead in any case. Oh well!

Delbrück was furious. The encounter had cost them dearly and he had spurned his horse during his flight so much that the poor beast collapsed a few miles before he reached the Neudorf Garrison. The Graf's son and his retinue had been scattered to Morr knew what inhospitable places. At least there weren't any Ogres left to claim the promised gold but that was small consolation. Despite the general poverty of this region, the various Lords, abbeys and orders had plenty to spare when necessity called. He would have to write to the Graf and reorganize a credible defense of the land if the rumours of wandering dead with the marks of rat teeth were to be believed...

Lord Solar Plexus
13-11-2011, 10:46
Here's an update on the other league games:

Skaven vs Empire

This is a decent Skaven list (aren't they all?) and led by a very competent veteran gamer. It contains a Grey Seer on a Bell, BSB, HPA, DW, 2 Warlocks, a Plague Priest, 100 Slaves w/ Spears, 2x 85 Slaves, 31 Clanrats w/ Stormbanner, 2x 5 Ratswarms, 5 PCB, 5 Gutter Runners, and a cannon.

The Empire player is last year's league winner, and held the title in 2009 and 2008 as well. He fields an AL, L4 Light, Captasus, BSB, L2 Light, 30 Flaggies, 40 Halberdiers + 15 Halbs detachment, 10 Crossbows, 10 Handgunners, GC, Mortar, 6 Outriders, DP, 5 Flaggies, Rocket Battery, STank. Not bad choices as such but a little light in terms of combat troops if you ask me, and most severely disadvantaged against someone with 270 models in Slaves alone, not to mention the darned Stormbanner.

As expected, the Skaven won this one handsomely (2473:896).

Vampire Counts vs Empire

I haven't played against these guys before. This Empire player usually plays Dwarfs but sports a very interesting list this season: TGM, mounted BSB, 2 mounted L2's with Life, 13 lance Knights, 6 lance knights, 10 GW knights, 10 KotIC w/ lances, 6 + 5 Outriders, 2 x 5 Pistoliers, STank. NO warmachines, friends!

The Vampire player is my next opponent. He's got an L3, L1, Necromancer, 2x 27 GG (one with GW), 40 Ghouls, 39 Ghouls, 5 Bats, Varghulf.

Outcome: 3:0 for His Majesty's Most Glorious Mounted Imperial Forces (1600:450). Perhaps GG aren't that frightening against Knights after all...