October 13, 2013

Escalation League Battle Report: 750 pts. vs. Empire

Today I played a League game vs. Empire. Here's the List break down, and remember this is still under the restriction of only core + 1 hero.

Skaven Forces
1 Warlock Engineer, lvl 2 (Warp Lightning and Crack's Call), Warp Energy Condenser, Ironcurse Icon, Dragonbane Gem
20 Stormvermin w/FC and Storm Banner + Warp Fire Thrower
30 Clanrats w/FC, Spears and shields + Poison Wind Mortar
30 Slaves w/ musician and shields
5 Giant Rats w/Packmaster

1 Warrior Priest w/helm of the Skavenslayer
19 Halberds
2 detachments of 5 Handgunners
6 Knights
6 Inner Circle Knights

We played a straight fight. After placing terrain and deploying our battle lines looked like this:
Turn 1 - Skaven
All units marched forward except the Mortar. The Giant Rats wheeling behind the forest to head off the knights. My thoughts were that if I could get forward fast enough to his generals unit I could avoid the knights.
    In the magic phase, Warp Lightning kills 4 of the 5 gunner on the east detachment and they panic.
The Mortar fires despite being out of range, hoping for a scatter, but wouldn't you know it? I rolled a hit.

Turn 1 - Empire
I elect to activate the Storm Banner this turn, not wanting to get pelted with shots before getting close. Granted, one unit is fleeing off the board, but I may as well get use out of that banner.
    The Knights swift reform and move towards the center. The Halberds move sideways toward the center, and the IC Knights march forward by the hill.
    The priest does his bound spells, not that it matters at this point. The handgunners try to shoot despite the -2 from the Storm Banner, needing 7+ to hit. And one makes it killing one Clanrat! He'll get a marksman honor badge if he survives.
Turn 2 - Skaven
Alas, the Storm Banner deactivates on this turn. The Giant Rats charge the IC knights and make it. The rest move forward. In hindsight, I should have marched and gotten into combat sooner.
    In the magic phase, Warp Lightning is dispelled, and Crack's Call goes off but comes up short on the distance roll. The Mortar scatters harmlessly.
    In combat, the Rats do nothing, and 1 rat dies in retaliation. Despite the charge and high ground, I lose combat by 1 due to a War Banner on the knights. Grrr. They break and are run down.

Turn 2 - Empire
The knights move up a little bit. He then moved the IC knights to be in position for next turn charge. The Halberds move sideways to reduce LOS from WFT.
    Again, the magic phase is uneventful. But shooting manages to kill a couple Clanrats.

Turn 3 - Skaven
The Clanrats charge the Knights and roll enough to make contact, but the knights flee. The Slaves and Stormvermin march forward. The Mortar moves back away from the IC knights.
    Warp Lightning outright kills the last Handgunner detachment. Crack's Call is dispelled. The Mortar decides to blow itself up and takes 4 Clanrats along with it. The Warpfire Thrower sprays the Halberds and offs five of them but they make their panic test.

Turn 3 - Empire
The Halberds charge the Stormvermin who hold despite the terror. The IC Knights charge the Clanrats who elect to flee then redirect into the Slaves who also elect to flee. This was a big gamble on my part. Crappy Ld values but I didn't want to give up a flank or rear charge to the Knights. Speaking of which, his fleeing Knights fail their Ld and run off the board.
    His priest gets off Soul Burn and offs a couple Clanrats. I dispel the ward save and he gets off the prayer to reroll wounds. In combat, the Stormvermin manage to kill five Halberds. Unfortunately, with Hatred and rerolling wounds, they kill 8 Stormvermin. They break and flee, causing the Warpfire Thrower to panic as well.

Turn 4 - Skaven
Everything is fleeing! It didn't look good. First, my general's unit rallies. The Clanrats rally. Warpfire Thrower keeps running. The slaves, needing a 3 to rally make it! So everything but the Thrower rally! My opponent was a little vexed by that. (This is the second game in a row where my slaves needed a 3 to hold or rally and made it)
    In the magic phase, Warp Lightning fails to do anything again the IC knights. I get off Crack's but with IF. I only kill one knight and I lose all my wizard levels.

Turn 4 - Empire
The IC Knights charge the Stormvermin who hold. The Halberds charge the Clanrats.
    Soul burn offs a couple Clanrats, the reroll prayer is dispelled and he gets the ward save. In combat, the Priest issues a challenge ot the unit Champ who refuses. The Rats kill 2 halberds who kill 4 rats in return, but the Rats hold. The Stormvermin kill one knight, and the knights kill 1 Stormvermin in return. Alas, the Stormvermin lose by one and break and get run down.

Turn 5 - Skaven
The Slaves try to charge the rear of the Empire general's unit, but fail their Terror test. The Warpfire Thrower rallies. In combat, it ends in a tie with only a couple casualties on either side.

Turn 5 - Empire
His IC Knights swift reform and move into position for a rear charge on the Clanrats. Soul burn and rerolls are dispelled and once again he gets the ward save prayer. This turn, my Clanrats fail their fear test (to be honest he kept forgetting to have me test for it and so did I), but apparently it spurs them on as they win combat by 1, but the Halberds hold.

Turn 6 - Skaven

This is it. If my Slaves can get the rear charge, I can probably win this game... but they fail their Terror test and once again do nothing. Apparently they figured they could watch and scurry away while everyone else was dead or running! Never trust slaves!
    The Warpfire Thrower manages to tag one knight, but he makes his save! The Clanrats fail to kill any halberds but take a few wounds and lose combat and flee, no longer having steadfast.

Turn 6 - Empire

The Halberds charge the Clanrats who flee out of range, but not off the board, then redirect into the Warpfire thrower who stand and shoots, rolling a Misfire! I prayed for a 3-5 result (where they run around then explode) but only got a 6, which is a fizzle. The Thrower manages to get a wound on the Halberds, but the ward save prayer saves it. They kill the Thrower team outright.

So, a bad day for the Skaven! I thought I would be able to turn it around when they all rallied, but the slaves failing to charge the back hurt. That could have turned that combat around and possibly won me the game. To be fair, I took some risks in the game, and fortunately they didn't blow up in my face (like the mortar did!) like I thought they would. My whole army could have easily kept running when they were all fleeing. When my Clanrats were engaged with the Halberds I got really bad dice rolls. My 15 attacks vs. his 8 were not winning out.

Still a fun game! Next time Empire! Next time!

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