View Full Version : Tournament report: The Dead march on!

14-09-2006, 14:46
Another chance for my trusted Sylvanian Hordes to gather fame and glory (and more corpses) on the battle-field! Never one to shy away from a bit of bragging, I was sure my undefeated (7 wins, 4 drawn) Sylvanians could handle everything ... Ha! I dare you to face me!

... ahum, anyway

Vampire Count (2nd lvl mage)
- Great weapon
- Summon Bats, Eartbind
- Book of Arkhan

2 Vampire Thralls (they’re twins!)
- Great weapon, heavy armour, shield
- Summon Wolves, Wolf form

Wraith, mounted
- The Cursed Book

19 Sylvanian Militia (lead by Count)
- Full command

2x 19 Sylvanian Levy (lead by Thralls)
- Full command

3x 5 Dire Wolves
- One unit scouting

2x 5 Fell Bats

9 Drakenhof Templars (lead by Wraith)
- Full command
- The Drakenhof Banner

Battle 1: Sylvania v. Lizardmen

Lizardmen are always a challenging opponent I think. They don’t have any obvious weaknesses and are good at what they do … and they have a 2nd generation Slann Mage Priest. On the bright side, his magical supremacy comes at the cost of having a fairly small army … which gives me pretty much total board-control (and that’s something I like!).

Slann Mage Priest (2nd generation), BSB, Totem of Prophecy, Plaque of Tepok
Skink Priest, scroll
Saurus Scar Veteran (Mark of Tepok and Sotek), Jaguar Charm, great weapon

Unit Temple Guard
2 units Skinks (blowpipes)
Unit Saurus Cavalry
Unit Kroxigors
Unit Salamanders

Terrain didn’t play a big role in this battle: a lot of open terrain in the centre and a few other terrain pieces scattered around the edges. My opponent got pretty much an almost perfect selection of spells: 2x the second sign, 2x the comet, 3x magic missile … quite a painful selection. I got the Invocation (of course) and Gaze of Nagash.

The Lizardmen settled back … obviously waiting for me to come to them. I also deployed fairly standard: the main battle-line would advance toward the Lizardmen through the centre meanwhile using the Grave Markers to summon reinforcements. All my fast support units would move as fast as possible around the flanks, trying to disrupt and take out the enemy support units.

Turn 1:

The Lizardmen moved all there troops even more together. The Salamanders moved in front of his infantry and the Skinks moved into a wide skirmishing line screening his entire army … at least the Salamanders wouldn’t be spitting at me (yet). Only the Skink Priest turned out to be very brave and left the protection of the army to hide in a piece of terrain on the right flank. Perhaps he was just getting a better view for his magical powers, because only seconds later a large comet was heading towards the middle of my army. Several magic missiles slammed into the Sylvanian Militia guarding the Count, but casualties were manageable so far.

The comet didn’t arrive, but several zombies did notice a large shadow behind them … getting larger and larger. Braindead or not, they quickly decided that forward was the way to go and with a lot of pushing and shoving my entire army started running toward the enemy. Wolves and Bat Swarms popped-up behind the enemy to threaten the lonely Skink Priest and flank supportmoved in as well. Magic was a waste of time though … everything was either dispelled or scrolled.

Turn 2:

In response to my aggressive moves all around the flanks, my opponent quickly moved his Skinks and Salamanders around to provide them with targets … the bulk of his forces stayed where they were though, waiting for my undead hordes to arrive. His shooting proved to be largely ineffective against my flanking forces, but once again my Militia regiment was hit hard … very hard. After a barrage of Salamander spit and Slann magic, my Count came to the somewhat nervous conclusion that he had only 3 bodyguards left.

… still no comet, but that shadow was getting quite big by now.

Determined to put some serious pressure on those damned magic-loving Lizardmen, I ordered charges all across the battle-field. The Skink Priest was chased off and shredded by the Bat Swarms, a Skink unit was annihilated by a combined charge from Dire Wolves and Fell Bats and the Salamanders were surprised by my two very fast Thralls in wolf form … catching them after they fled and one of them redirecting into the Saurus Cavalry. Unfortunately the brave/foolish Thrall suffered from rubber-sword syndrome and he killed only one of the Riders … so he went “pop”.

… not a bad turn huh? :)

... uhm ... did I forget something? :confused:


… yes, I know. This is the point where every experienced player wonders what happened to my magic-phase. It seems that buying the starter-set has also caused me to start making newbie-mistakes again. After all those charges I simply forgot to move the rest of my army and do the magic-phase … :glare: So my impressive battle line of the shambling undead hordes hadn’t shambled this turn and my Count was having so much fun cheering on the Wolves and Bats that he forgot to summon more bodyguards.

… uh oh.

Turn 3:

At this point I was definitely in the mood to surrender … after cursing at my self a few times I decided to fight on. Who knows what might happen?

With an evil glint in it eye the Slann wiggled his fingers at the Count and his remaining bodyguards … but the results were somewhat less than expected. The last few skeletons exploded into tiny pieces, but the Count himself shrugged off all blasts and zaps … and now that his unit was gone, the Skinks couldn’t target him because there was a large unit of Levy nearby.

… at that moment the comet crashed into the battle-field. It nice a nice big hole … behind my units, no casualties at all.

At that point we heard that it was almost time, so this would be the final turn. Going last certainly has some advantages I and made full use of them. One levy unit charged and chased off the last Skink unit and several Wolf and Bat units moved into position to claim or contest quarters. Enough to secure me a minor victory. If there had been time to finish the battle I would have been in a good position for it:

- the left flank was all but overrun by Wolves, Bats and a Thrall
- on the right flank my Bat Swarms and some Wolves were about to flank and trap his Kroxigors
- in the centre two large units of Levy and the Count were within reach of his Temple Guard

… no certain victory of course, but a better position than I had been in just one turn earlier! :)

Results: Minor Victory

Medals: The Count, for surviving a magical storm!

Next up: The Skaven

14-09-2006, 17:22
Skaven …. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Previous tournament I used a 1k Druchii test-army and they didn’t like fighting Skaven at all. All that painful magic and shooting, not to mention the special rules every unit of them seems to have. Still, this army should be a bit more resilient when it comes to shooting and such … I hope.

Battle 2: Sylvania v. Skaven (aaaaaaaaaargh! … the dreaded SAD army!)

I wonder if my 3 dispel dice can handle his 15 power dice :eyebrows:

Grey Seer + Screaming Bell
3 Warlock Engineers

3 units Clanrats + Ratling Guns
4 Rat Swarms
2 units Gutter Runners
unit Globadiers
Warplightning Cannon

The terrain on our battle-field had quite a big impact. The let flank was largely open terrain, but the right flank was divided by a long wall down the middle and a building on my side of it as well … the perfect bunker! The Skaven positioned themselves on the left flank … the open flank … the flank with great line of sight. My Sylvanian veterans decided that the best way to face a Skaven SAD army would be from far away, and behind cover. So they positioned themselves on the right flank … behind walls and buildings.

Turn 1:

The Skaven started their long march towards my lines. The Grey Seer made the Rat Swarms frenzied with some spell, didn’t bother to dispel it … they’re just swarms anyway. No shooting … everything was just fine.

A few brave Dire Wolf units moved towards the extreme right flank where the wall left an opening, the rest of my units moved around a bit … making sure they stayed in cover. A few more zombies crawled from their graves, nothing special.

Turn 2:

The Skaven units marched forward again … the Grey Seer stayed behind the wall and lead his unit on an intercept course with my sneaky Dire Wolves. Magic and Shooting still wasn’t very impressive … things are so much easier when you’re far away and behind cover! A Tunnel team popped up in front of my Wolf units …

After chasing and catching the Tunnelrats, some Dire Wolf and Fell Bat units were feeling lucky and moved around the wall into full view of the Warplightning Cannon. If the Skaven couldn’t kill them all the Cannon would be dead meat! My Count noticed that one of the Ratling Guns had ran a bit faster than the other units, putting it in front of the rest … Undead don’t shoot anyway so that should be safe. A well-aimed Gaze of Nagash blew it away. Both Levy units now moved from behind the building to close the gap before the wall … my Cavalry stayed behind in cover.

Turn 3:

The Swarms and two Clanrat units behind them moved towards my Levy blockade while the Grey Seer lead his unit to deal with my flank attack at the Cannon … which he did quite successfully. All Wolves and Bats coming from that flank were zapped, shot, plagued or disappeared beneath a tide of vermin (damned magic). :(

Now that the battle-line of the Skaven was somewhat drawn out I decided to press on with the attack to further distract and disrupt his units. Using their bloodpowers, all Vampires summoned more Wolves and Bat Swarms behind enemy lines … behind the Warplightning cannon and close to a Ratling Gun as well. The Count fired another Gaze of Nagash at the Globadiers, who were getting awfully close to my Cavalry … the survivors panicked and ran away.

Turn 4:

The Skaven were no longer advancing in a coordinated battle-line … threatened from all sides the units were all over the place. Reacting to me, instead of acting for their own goals. The frenzied Swarms were drawn into my Levy unit, one Clanrat unit stuck behind that combat, another unit turning to the threat from behind, the Grey Seer leading his unit to defend the Cannon and the Globadiers rallied. After the dust settled, my Bat Swarms were still alive and a small Wolf unit as well.

The Warplightning Cannon disappeared in a cloud of Bats and the Wolves scared the Ratling Gun away! More zombies clawed their way from the ground and joined the Levy unit in combat. I kept my Cavalry still in reserve though … still too much firepower around.

Turn 5:

With the Grey Seer and his unit stuck behind a wall and Swarms of Bats and both other Clanrat units stuck behind his own Swarms fighting my Levy … the enemy couldn’t do much to influence the combats. The one thing they could do however (breaking the rules by using their special rules … damn them!), was shooting into combat … and that they did. Plague killed a dozen zombies, Ratling Guns and Warplightning some more, but enough remained to keep the Swarms stuck in combat.

Ready to take advantage of the distracted Skaven units, my Cavalry moved from behind the building and got a magical nudge (Book of Arkhan … he should have seen that one coming!) to charge into the Globadiers … who ran, so I redirected into the flank of a Clanrat unit … who also ran. To bad we ran out of time though because now I was in a great position to roll-up his entire line.


Nice game. It started very slow and careful, but after the first few clashes things escalated quickly into an all out war with a lot of casualties. I made good use of the terrain … and I’m not so sure my units would have survived so well if the Skaven had been able to concentrate their firepower better.

Results: Minor Victory (almost a solid victory)

Medals: again the Count, for great timing with his magic

Next up: more Skaven … Clan Eshin! :eek:

15-09-2006, 10:49
Nice battle reports, thanks

15-09-2006, 12:48
Battle 3: Sylvania v. Clan Eshin

This battle had the potential to become a turn 1 defeat. In previous battles the skitterleaping Master Assassin had already killed a Daemon Prince and a Treeman Ancient in one single round … and my Count would be doomed to the same fate it seemed, and with him the entire army. :(

The enemy …

Master Assassin, Fell Blade :eek:
2 Mages

4 units Night Runners
2 unit Gutter Runners
2 Triads

This battle was going to be fought on the same terrain-heavy table as the previous one, too bad a wall doesn’t help against skitterleaping assassins. To counter this threat, I deployed my combat regiments in a column-like formation:

- both my important characters (Count and Wraith) would be positioned in the middle of the front rank of their units
- both Levy units would be deployed in front of them, leaving no room for the Assassins to land between the units
- the Thralls would remain inside the Levy units and act as bait for the Assassins …
- all fast support deployed far behind to provide overlapping cover for each other and anything that might pop-up behind my lines

… let’s hope the strategy works.

Turn 1:

A wave of skirmishing Skaven swarmed forward while the Master Assassin took the bait! The killer magically leaped at one of my Thralls, killed him in the blink of an eye … but had to run from the mass of zombies threatening to engulf him. He ran, but not far enough and the Levy unit caught him! The other Assassin skitterleaped behind my column and bombarded my Cavalry with nasty throwing stars … killing one.

Excellent! The biggest threat dead and the other one cut-off from the rest of his army and unable to skitterleap away. :evilgrin:

I ordered the column forward and my fast support units spread out to strap the Assassin behind my lines and intercept the rest of the Skaven forces. Another regiment of Levy clawed their way from the ground … more units are always a good thing to have.

Turn 2 … and the rest:

The enemy tried to turn the (undead) tide by ordering several combined charged on my advancing infantry … failed fear-test however crippled his assault and the units that were brave enough to charge bounced back.

From that moment on Clan Eshin was doomed … and they knew it! The Assassin got caught by Fell Bats and eventually caught and dragged down during the pursuit. Gutter Runners appeared and found themselves surrounded by hordes of zombies and other undead creatures … so they also ran. The rest of the Skaven tried to fight, but either were too afraid or simply not able to defeat the growing regiments of zombies.

My column slowly moved on forward while individual regiments moved out to pursue the defeated Skaven forces. Only the two Mages and their small guards units remained safe … hiding behind the wall.

Yes, the strategy worked!

Results: Massacre :D

Medals: The Thrall, for sacrificing his (un)life to lure the enemy General to his doom.

Next up: Dwarfs

15-09-2006, 13:32
Haha, that sounds like a great short battle there!

15-09-2006, 19:12
Battle 4: Sylvania v. Dwarfs

I like Dwarfs … always have and always will. They don’t try to mess you up with ultra-killy sneaky tricks. They have rock-hard units, but always easy to see coming and even easier to avoid. And best of all, they give a lot of victory-points delivered in handy bite-sized war-machine shape. I like them so much I will actually start an army of them!

The Dwarfs:

Lord (shield bearers), some runic armour, some runic axe
BSB, +1 CR runic banner
Thane, great axe

unit Hammerers (lead by King and BSB)
unit Warriors, great weapons (lead by Thane)
2 units thunderers

Grudge Thrower (runed up)
Cannon (runed up, unbreakable)
2 Bolt Throwers (runed up, lot of strength)

Most of the battle-field was open terrain, but on the left flank of my deployment zone was a handy piece of wall (I like walls!) … great way to shelter expensive Cavalry against long-range artillery! The Dwarf General deployed the Wariors and a Thunderer unit on the right flank … which I left clear. The Hammerers and more Thunderers in the centre … against my infantry line. And the artillery on the left flank, unsupported … which was where most of my fast support units were hiding behind the wall.

Turn 1:

The Hammerers and the right flank units (they must have noticed they were a bit out of position) started to move forward. His artillery battery launched an impressive volley towards my lines though. Both Bolt Throwers turned out to be runed-up monstrousities with strength 9 or 10 … very effective at penetrating ranks. Needless to say, a lot of zombies died (again).

Determined to stop that shooting as soon as possible, I ordered all Wolf and Bats towards the left flank and summoned more with the bloodpowers behind the Dwarf warmachines. One unit of Fell Bats flew to the right flank, ready to fly behind enemy lines next turn. My infantry line advanced towards the Hammerers and the Cavalry decided to hide one more turn until all would be safe from nasty cannonball and super-bolts. With the help of a few freshly filled graves, the Count topped-up the depleted Levy unit to nearly full-strength.

Turn 2:

The Dwarf artillery crews tried to blast their way out of trouble, but only managed to kill a few models here and there. The Hammerers marched quickly (for a Dwarf that is) towards my Count and his Militia while his right flank Thunderers tried to shoot down the Fell Bats … but caused just a single wound.

The entire battery of Dwarf artillery disappeared beneath a horde of undead Wolves and Bats … some crews died, some ccrews ran and some were unbreakable, but they wouldn’t be doing much shooting from now on! My Count decided to let the Levy units go first against the Hammerers and directed them to a front and flank attack on the enemy. The right flank Fell Bats flew behind the Thunderers and with a very effective magic-phase I strengthened both Levy units with a dozen or so zombies and raised a new fully-ranked regiment in front of the centre Thunderers.

… my Cavalry rode onto the battle-field from behind the wall looking very brave (and unscratched). :D

Turn 3:

The battle raged on and a few more artillery crews died or ran … but the battle in the centre didn’t go quite as planned though. I expected that Hammerer unit with the Lord and BSB to be a bloody hard combat unit, but seeing my Levy unit go from almost 30 strong to just 10 in a single round did come as a nasty surprise. :( The centre Thunderers blasted a close range volley into the Levy unit that had appeared just in front of them … but didn’t kill enough to make a difference.

A fast wolf form Thrall dashed over to the last remaining (unbreakable) cannon crew and resolved that situation quickly. One Levy unit charged the Hammerers in the flank while another unit charged the centre Thunderers and caught them during the pursuit. The right flank Fell Bats charged the other Thunderer unit in the flank, but failed to kill anything and lost the combat. My Cavalry turned to the right flank, to intercept the Warrior unit. The Wraith didn’t come along because he had to help out with the Hammerers … who were still crushing zombies left and right.

Turn 4:

My opponent moved the Warriors towards my Cavalry, but couldn’t do much more. All his other units were either dead or in combat … so the battles raged on. The Fell Bats still failed to do much to the Thunderers and the Hammerers were still smashing zombies to pulp. Having the Cursed Book nearby and being in a flanking position did help a lot though … the frontal attack might have been destroyed, but this fight I could keep up for a very long time!

With his left flank destroyed and the centre under control, I now turned my attention to the remaining Dwarf units on the right flank. A wolf form Thrall ran over to help the Fell Bats next turn, and I raised a new unit as well for more support. The Cavalry charged the Warriors, but only managed a draw.

Oh yeah, battles in the centre raged on, zombies died … the usual.

Turn 5:

With no choices left, the Dwarfs simply went on doing what they had been doing so far … killing undead. The Hammerers smashed more zombies, the Thunderers held their ground against the Fell Bats and the Warriors won against my Templars … one crumbled.

Instead of waiting for more Levy support, the Thrall charged into the Thunderers on his own. He of course failed to do much, the Thunderers wounded another Fell Bat and the Thrall went “pop” due to crumbling. All other combats raged on without anything exciting happening.

… raised some zombies.

Turn 6:

More of the same. The Hammerers didn’t kill enough zombies to get them below half-strength, so that battle was a success. The Fell Bats didn’t manage to defeat the Thunderers with their flank-charge and help from the Thrall, that was a big disappointment (and a 360 VP swing in his favour). But the Cavalry finally broke the Thane and his Warriors and ran the littlebuggers down into the ground!

A very good and intense battle … I should have reacted better (and sooner) to the right flank situation though. Ah well, lesson learned!

Results: Solid Victory (… and 1st place overall) :D

Medals: The Levy unit that held it’s ground against the Hammerer unit of Doom!

Next up: Nothing … well, probably a cuppa tea.

18-09-2006, 00:21
Great reports. Really enjoyed reading them.

Curious on how you baited the Skaven Assassin to attack your thrall. Why didnt he go for broke and attack the unit with your genenral?

I must have missed something.

Congrats on winning the tourney by the way. I am a BRAND NEW VC general and have never played Skaven before. Could you give me a few pointers?

Also I know nothing about this Sylvanian list. Can you point me in the right direction as to where I could find the list or maybe even give a few pointers?

Thanks in advance for your reply.


18-09-2006, 08:33
Great reports. Really enjoyed reading them.

Curious on how you baited the Skaven Assassin to attack your thrall. Why didnt he go for broke and attack the unit with your genenral?

I must have missed something.

He couldn't reach my Count or the Wraith because of their position in their units and the deployment of the other units:

- They were somewhere in the middle of the front rank (so no way to reach them from the flanks)

- A Levy unit was placed directly in front of their units, less than an inch away (so no room for the Assassins to land between them)

My main characters were "sandwiched" between the troops this way, very safe fromm the assassins ... but the Thralls in the front ranks of the leading units weren't.

Congrats on winning the tourney by the way. I am a BRAND NEW VC general and have never played Skaven before. Could you give me a few pointers?

Your strongest assets should be numbers and magic. Skaven can produce a sickening amount of firepower and every unit of yours that attacks on it's own or is without magical back-up will quickly be destroyed.

... give hims more targets than he can handle.

Also I know nothing about this Sylvanian list. Can you point me in the right direction as to where I could find the list or maybe even give a few pointers?

It's one of the Storm of Chaos lists, all legal and official but no longer allowed on all of the big tournaments:


... some of these lists have a bad reputation, but the Army of Sylvania well balanced:

- It's basicly a Von Carstein VC-list without any Necromancers. Most of it's magic comes from Grave Markers (3 in 2k battles) which are scatter on the battle-field and Summoning bound spells within 6 inch each turn.

- This means you will have almost no to very limited magical defence because your General will be the only wizard the generate dispel dice and/or take scrolls ... my list for example has only 3 dispel dice in 2k battles.

- Your own magic will be quite reliable and hard to stop (3x bound spell lvl4, spell from your General and bound spells from items) ... the down side is that this is very locally concentrated on the battle-field due to the limited rabge of the Grave Markers and experienced opponents will know what to stop and what to ignore.

- Your zombie and skeleton infantry all have light armour and shields which gives them a 4+ save in combat ... this is a very big boost against enemy infantry.