I play vampires. My brother plays skaven. It's actually good humoured and not bitter at all. Here's our first 2500pts battle.
Scenario: meeting engagement - the diagonal one
Lists (from memory):
Me: level 4 mounted vampire lord
level 2 necromancer
level 1 vampire hero
30 grave guard
10 black knights
4 blood knights
My brother: grey seer on bell
35-40clanrats (with bell) with PWM
level 2 plague priest
level 2 warlock engineer
25-30 clanrats with PWM
6 rat ogres with associated packmasters/master moulder
6 plague censor bearers
24 plague monks
In future I'll take a picture of the board to show terrain, but for now I'll describe it from my battle line's point of view. In the far left corner was a watchtower surrounded by walls. Moving right was a large forest that stuck a little into the middle of the board. On the far right was an arcane ruin. In the near left corner were some fences and to their right a lake. Further right was a hill and on the right flank was a marsh. The board was divided up this way "/" so that my brother got the watchtower while I got the hill.
My brother won the roll to set up first and did so. None of his units were held in reserve. His setup involved hiding a unit of clanrats behind the walls around the watchtower (with chieftain and warlock engineer), keeping bell and unit with BSB to the right (all descriptions as seen from my table edge) behind the slaves with the - at present - hidden assassin. PWMs to the right of each unit. Behind the forest on the right of his deployment zone he placed his plague monks behind his censor bearers. On his protruding left flank were the rat ogres and the doomwheel, angled towards the centre.
I set up centred around the hill. My blood knights were held in reserve, but the rest of the army didn't. On top of the hill I placed my zombie bunker with necromancer. To the left and on the slopes, I placed a unit of 40 skeletons and just in front of those the unit of 38 with vampire hero, all facing left towards the oncoming rat ogres and doomwheel. In front of the hill, facing the forest went 30 grave guard with banshee. Eschewing conventional wisdom, I placed my vampire lord with his black knight bodyguard in front of and to the right of the hill, on the flank of my army. My spirit host went to the right, hidden in the marsh, while my wolves were scattered about the battle field. One unit was placed just behind the lake, facing the enemy. The other two were placed at the edge of the forest, one facing the plague monks, the other angled slightly to the left.
The game: Summary
An eventful match. 4 miscasts leave a warlock engineer dead and my vampire lord level 1. My tactic is to hold the centre and move my lord and retinue round the right flank, eventually aiming for the bell. It works very well and I only lose 2 units of wolves and the grave guard, the latter being beaten in turn 4 as the skaven finally broke through my centre. Best spell of the game goes to wind of death. The vortex sweeps through 4 units and cripples the skaven. Best move of the game goes to a unit of wolves, who lead a frenzied unit of rat ogres right into the sights of some blood knights from reserve, who charge in the flank and destroy the unit.
The game: Long Version
1a. I failed to sieze the initiative so my brother began with turn one, which was pretty uneventful. His rat ogres, plague monks and censor bearers all passed their restrain tests against my wolves - lucky for him - so he went onto just moving. His plague monks wheeled and marched left, running away from my knights which were bearing down on them, while the censor bearers moved forwards a little. The rat ogres started moving towards the skeleton blocks, out of LOS of the wolves on the left. His slaves moved forward and a PWM followed beside them. The doomwheel rolled a 4 for movement and started heading towards the skeleton blocks.
Magic was pretty uneventful. His plague priest was now facing the wrong way to cast anything and his grey seer was too far away to do much. The bell rolled a 4 I think and didn't do anything. It was left to his warlock engineer to warplightning the wolves on the left but I easily dispelled with all my dice, thinking that'd be the end of it. Not so - with his last few dice he cast death frenzy on his slaves with his grey seer and I elected not to use my scroll.
In the shooting phase one PWM misfired and went off target (I couldn't reach one of his units so I just put it safely away from my wolves, the original target). The other landed among my skeletons with vampire, killing 7. His doomwheel failed to restrain shooting, and fired at his rat ogres killing two packmasters. At the end of the turn 6 slaves died to death frenzy.
1b. I began with a charge - one of my wolf units at his PWM beside the slaves. He thought he could hide behind the forest, he was wrong! They reached the PWM and I continued moving my other units. Skeletons moved a little towards the far left corner, trying to angle to meet the inevitable charges as best they could. My wolves on the left flank moved back into the front arc of the rat ogres, facing away from my table edge. Meanwhile, my blood dragons came on from reserve to their right, moving to face the wolves. On the right flank my spirit host moved 12" forward, aiming to go round the censor bearers. My knights moved 4 or 5 inches, getting in charge range of the censor bearers.
Magic started off well. I rolled 11 and channelled a 12th. My brother also channelled a dispel dice. I started with the book of arkhan on skeletons which was dispelled with one dice. Next, 2 dice invocation to raise more zombies (and raise back skeletons) - double 6's! I raise 6 zombies and all the skeletons, while the miscast kills 2 zombies and drains 5 or 6 dice from my magic phase. Sod. I try casting a couple of spells with my lord, but they're both dispelled.
In combat my wolves easily kill the PWM, but take a wound in return. They overrun into the bell and its unit.
2a. Everything goes to hell for the skaven. The slaves attempt to charge my skeletons, and roll way too low. They shuffle three inches forward. The censor bearers and plague monks pass their restrain tests and don't charge either wolf unit, but the rat ogres are not so lucky. They crash into my wolves on the left and too late my brother realizes the trap - the blood knights will be set to flank charge on the next turn if he doesn't overrun off the table! The doomwheel rolls very poorly again and rolls uselessly another few inches towards the skeletons. The PWM on the left moves to face the blood knights while the plague monks turn to the edge of the forest, facing me. They take a couple of wounds from the mysterious terrain.
In the magic phase, I dispel his first couple of spells. He then casts plague on 16 on my grave guard. Not taking any chances, I decide to use my scroll. The bell rolls to allow him to reroll leadership tests for the rest of the turn. Not very useful.
Shooting, his remaining PWM misses the blood knights and the doomwheel restrains firing at the weapon team. Nothing to write home about.
In combat, his bell unit beats back my wolves without casualties and his rat ogres do the same. Unfortunately for him, they don't overrun far enough to escape the blood knights.
1 slave dies from death frenzy.
2b. Blood knights charge the rat ogres in the flank! While my vampire lord and black knights charge the plague censor bearers. My remaining wolves move to the centre of the field, just in front of the slaves and at an awkward angle for a charge. The spirit host moves left behind enemy ranks and the skeletons shuffle about a bit more.
In the magic phase, the book of arkhan is dispelled, I manage to raise a few more zombies and my vampire lord throws out a wind of death vortex on double 6's! the vortex moves through the censor bearers, the plague monks and passes right through the bell unit. The censor bearers lose two models, the monks 5-10, while the bell unit loses about 10. Meanwhile my vampire loses 3 magic levels and I run out of power dice.
In combat, my black knights lose a model to the censors fumes but my vampire lord easily destroys the unit. We restrain overrun and reform to face the bell unit, though it's still two turns away. Meanwhile, my blood knights kill two rat ogres and take a wound of the master moulder, while the shock prod-wielding skaven slays a vampire. It's not enough to prevent the unit breaking, though, and the remaining 3 blood knights run the unit down and wind up behind the lake.
3a. At this point my brother is really hoping for a bit of luck. It doesn't come. His slaves fail to reach the skeletons and move another 3 or 4 inches forward. His doomwheel rolls abysmally again and doesn't look like it'll ever see combat. He moves his warlock engineer out of his clanrats and his plague monks move into the forest without taking damage. The bell unit moves away from the vortex beside them and towards the centre of the board.
In the magic phase, the bell allows rerolling leadership tests while the warlock engineer fires a magic missile at my skeletons, killing 3 or so. The real threat comes from the plague priest who attempts to use plague, and I fail to dispel using all my dice. My grave guard lose 6 models and my banshee takes a wound. For a moment, things look good for the skaven, but the spell backfires and bounces to his slaves, who lose 10 models, before ending. With only one power dice left, I think I'm safe, but his grey seer eats a handful of warpstone tokens and casts the dreaded thirteenth on my grave guard, with double 6's! 15 or so grave guard are turned into rats. The miscast is not so bad, killing 4 or 5 rats but failing to harm the grey seer or the bell. I'm left with one rank of grave guard and a half dead, undead banshee. The vortex moves through both the bell unit and the slaves, killing 17 slaves and 7 clanrats.
Shooting, his PWM misfires and the shot goes wide. The doomwheel again restrains shooting.
I slave dies from death frenzy.
3b. As my grave guard are no longer a threat to the plague monks, I move the banshee out of the unit and towards the monks. The spirit host and knights move towards the bell unit and my blood knights move around the lake and over the fences, trying to get a better position. Sadly, 2 horses never make it over the fences and I'm reluctant to enter the last horse into the darby. My skeletons move forward to meet the doomwheel.
My magic phase is uneventful and it's pretty much all dispelled. The vortex moves one last time through the bell unit, taking it below 10 models and the bell can no longer move.
In the shooting phase my banshee is determined to make some noise, and for her first ever scream she rolls double 6's! 7 plague monks fall dead leaving only the command and the plague priest alive.
4a. It's looking pretty hopeless but the skaven fight on in an uncharicaristic manner. The plague monks charge the weakened grave guard but the slaves fail to get into combat with the skeletons yet again. At least the doomwheel finally makes its charge, though! The now immobile bell is also presenting it's flank to the approaching knights and spirit host.
The winds of magic don't blow very strongly, the only spell that works is warplightning cast at my skeletons, the only visible target. The spell backfires and the warlock engineer takes a wound, though.
In the shooting phase, the PWM fires at the skeletons and it scatters into my grave guard, killing 3 or 4. The doomwheel is now closest to my skeletons, who take 2 wounds from shooting.
In combat, I lose another couple of grave guard to the plague priest's censor before he eats up the entire unit before I get to fight. He overruns, heading toward my zombie bunker on the hill. The doomwheel kills a few skeletons, but loses combat and flees. The skeletons don't reach it with pursue.
2 slaves die from death frenzy.
4b. I'm fed up waiting for the slaves to meet me in combat so my skeletons with vampire charge them... and fail to reach. Even though we're 10 inches apart. My vampire and knights, as well as the spirit host, charge the flank of the bell unit. My remaining blood knight moves is out of range to charge anything, so moves to face the remaining PWM. My necromancer, fearing for his safety, leaves his zombie bunker and runs down the hill, away from the plague monks. Lastly, my banshee turns around to try to catch up with the plague monks.
In the magic phase, nothing useful occurs. Everything is dispelled or fails, and the vortex moves away from the fighting.
In the shooting phase, my banshee kills the remaining two plague monks.
In combat, my vampire lord destroys the BSB and my spirit host deals a wound to the unit. The unbreakable skaven remain where they are, though there are only 2 models and the bell left.
5a. Seeing that it's hopeless, we agree to end at the end of my next turn. His plague monk charges the zombies, his doomwheel finally charges the skeletons, his slaves still fail to meet the vampire and his unit. (It may be that he didn't charge, I can't quite remember with certainty.)
When magic comes round, my brother throws all his dice into plague, hoping to hop it from unit to unit. He casts it at my zombies with irresistable force, killing 10 or so but the spell goes no further. The miscast deals him a wound and also gives one to the warlock engineer, killing him.
In the shooting phase the PWM misses its target yet again and the doomwheel fails it's restrain test, killing the little weapon team.
In combat, my vampire finishes off the bell's unit and hacks at the bell, but to no avail. The plague monk kills some zombies but the unit survives its crumbling.
2 slaves die from death frenzy.
5b. My banshee charges the plague priest, and reaches him. The remaining blood knight charges the doomwheel, and runs it down. The skeletons finally hit into the slaves with the wolfs hitting the flank for good measure.
In the magic phase, everything I do is dispelled sucks not having a level 4 wizard.
Shooting comes around and my banshee screams the plague priest, taking his last wound.
In combat, my vampire's unit fails to finish off the bell but the combination of wolves, vampire and skeletons breaks the slaves, who kill 3 wolves and 2 skeletons as they disperse.
The game ends a victory for the vampires!
There are lots of things we could have done differently, I'm sure a couple of things we played wrong, but we had fun and I'm happy with my first win in a while.