Skratbukket’s Runners vs. Cassy’s Elegant Vanguard
Date played: 04 May 2013
It was time. Since landing on the High Elf island in search of the powerful Pepperpot of Doom, Skratbukket’s Skaven forces had only managed a series of inconclusive forays into the mists. Well, actually, there had been a series of minor battles that had all ended in ignominious defeats. Still, since no important rats were involved and the Warlord had so many expendable troops, he was not about to admit defeat to the pointy-eared ones.
Now it was for real. Fizzbang, the Warlock Engineer and distant cousin of Skratbukket, led his small troop into battle. Would the cowardly rats stand and fight this time? Would they hold firm long enough to actually land a blow on the defending elves? Had Fizzbang actually mastered the magic spells he had so hastily learned before leaving the underground city? As the mists cleared, the two forces squared off against each other and there, at last, was the fabled Pepperpot.
The engagement takes place on a 3′ x 4′ board with a number of swamp features. In the exact center, place a tower containing the fabled Pepperpot of Doom.
Placement and rolling for first turn follow the standard rules.
Due to the swirling early morning mists, shooting and magic are impossible while charge and flee distances are halved. Similarly, all marching requires a dangerous terrain test.
Victory goes to the side with the closest unbroken unit to Pepperpot of Doom after turn 4. The winner takes the role of Defender in the Extracting the Artifact of Power scenario.
[WE] Warlock Engineer, Fizzbang (120 points)General; Level 2 Wizard – Skaven Spells of Ruin (Warp Lightning, Scorch); Warp-energy Condenser
- [CR] 20 Clan rats, Grokpick’s Clawpack (120 points)
Full Command; Shield; Spears
- [WT] Warpfire Thrower (70 points)
- [RO] 2 Rat Ogres (113 points)
[MM] Master Moulder, Grindfang
- [DW] Doomwheel, Fuzzbang (150 points)
Total: 573 points
Cassy’s Elegant Vanguard
[M] Mage, Caladriel the Impetuous (135 points)General; Level 2 Wizard – High Magic (Curse of Arrow Attraction, Flames of the Phoenix)135 points
[LSG] 10 Lothern Sea Guard (155 points)Full Command
[SoH] 10 Swordmasters of Hoeth (180 points)Full Command
[ER] 5 Ellyrian Reavers (102 points)Harbinger
Total: 572 points
Fizzbang took great comfort in seeing his pack brother, Fuzzbang, behind the controls of the Doomwheel. It would no doubt charge off at high speed into the tough looking Swordmasters of Hoeth with their wickedly long and powerful great swords. This meant that Fizzbang could safely lead the rest of his band from behind the massive shoulders of two huge rat ogres. He sensibly kept his claw pack of clan rats and accompanying warp fire thrower hidden out of view of the elvish wizard, Caladriel the Impetuous. Fizzbang could not help but notice that the Elf had probably forgotten more magic than the Warlock Engineer could be bothered to learn. After all, who wants to be stuck in a classroom when they could be earning fame and fortune by claiming credit for the actions of more foolhardy rats.
Vanguard Move – Cassy’s Elegant Vanguard
While Fizzbang was setting out his forces, the more prepared, better trained and generally more handsome Elves moved forward.
First were the fast cavalry of Ellyria who took a commanding position to protect the ancient monument from the scurrilous rats.
Turn 1 – Cassy’s Elegant Vanguard
This was swiftly followed by the march of the Swordmasters of Hoeth who were eager to rid the world of a pesky Doomwheel. Meanwhile, Caladriel the Impetuous led a troop of Lothern Seaguard into the relative safety of a small copse so that he could work his magic and they could concentrate on shooting arrows into his foes.
It was at this point that things started to look up for the Skaven. Much to Fizzbang’s delight, the Elf wizard called on more power than he could safely handle when casting his first spell. It certainly had the intended effect of encasing the rat ogres in the deadly Flames of the Phoenix and there was nothing that Fizzbang could do about it for now. Unless he could dispel its effects soon, the flames would burn hotter and hotter and soon incinerate his crack troops (and meatshield protecting him from arrows and worse). For now though, the flames were weak and only caused a single wound on the tough ogres. On the other hand, there was a large bang from where Caladriel was standing and five elves, including the Seamaster, were utterly destroyed in the Detonation from a spell cast with too much force. As an added bonus, the elfmage had called on so much power that there was nothing left for his other spell.
Next up were the Ellyrian Reavers who shot their bows at the rat ogres. Firing from horseback on the move is no mean feat, even for skillful elves, and no arrows hit home.
Turn 1 – Skratbukket’s Runners
Thankful that his forces were still intact and, much more importantly, he wasn’t scratched, Fizzbang urged most of his troops forward. The Doomwheel sprang into action but the rats in the wheels had yet to build up enough speed to crash into the Swordmasters, falling short by a few inches. In the middle, the blocking rat ogres moved up so that Fizzbang could still hide behind their bulk yet get a bead on the Swordmasters. The claw pack and weapons team stayed put as the elf wizard was still at large and clearly very powerful.
Now though, it was Fizzbang’s turn to call on the winds of magic. His first spell, a Warp Lightning missile was narrowly dispelled by the elvish soldiers while his second, Scorch, was cast with the maximum safe level of power (5+5+6). It was too much for Caladriel to dispel and landed squarely in the middle of the Swordmasters, frying six of them. “Yes yes. That’s how it’s done” he thought, wishing fervently that it would be enough as he might not be so lucky next time.
Not to be outdone, his claw brother fired up the warp generator of the Doomwheel to obliterate another two Swordmasters with lightning. Only two were left standing at the end of turn 1. So far so good for the ratmen.
Turn 2 – Cassy’s Elegant Vanguard
The elves were not going to let a little setback get them down however. Even with just the champion and one other Swordmaster left, that squad could still dish out a ton o’hurt.
The remaining pair of Swordmasters marched forwards to secure the Pepperpot. Unfortunately, the nearby Doomwheel unsettled them and so they could only shuffle forward slowly while peering over their shoulders at the terrifying contraption. The Reavers moved up to the hill hiding the cowardly rats in a bid to draw them out. And Caladriel, chastened after his last magical demonstration, wisely drew on less power this time. He didn’t need to recast the Flames as the Rat Ogres were being flambéed at gas mark 4 this turn, although without causing any serious harm. “Oh well, next turn the flames will be hotter still, so maybe I’ll have more luck then” thought the unlucky Mage. Instead, he focused on putting the Curse of Arrow Attraction on the Rat Ogres since they were the only target that the Seaguard could hit. Neither the spell not the arrows could do much harm though and only two wounds were scored.
Turn 2 – Skratbukket’s Runners
Skaven turn two showed what rats can try to do when they think they are winning. The Rat Ogres announced a charge on the Seaguard but did little more than stumble forward. Fuzzbang wound up his rats to get the Doomwheel into the main fray but only managed a meagre roll. Then the clan rats and weapons team marched up the hill now it looked that the coast, while not clear, was a lot less dangerous. Meanwhile, Fizzbang got into position to wreck havoc on the Seaguard with his spells. The winds of magic were relatively mild and his cast of Scorch was just dispelled by all Caladriel’s dice. This made for an easy cast of Warp Lightning and another two Seaguard were fried. Undeterred, they held firm. Then the lacklustre rats in the Doomwheel unenthusiastically managed a pitiful spark from the Warp lightning generator but still enough to take out the last two Swordmasters.
Turn 3 – Cassy’s Elegant Vanguard
The elves stoically battled on and the Reavers charged the clan rats while Caladriel once again got carried away casting. Even when not trying too hard, all three dice came up six causing Magical Feedback. With no dice left in elf’s power pool, Fizzbang used his own energy to dispel Flames of the Phoenix. The dwindling Seaguard made some use of the irresistible Curse of Arrow Attraction and wounded the Rat Ogres … once. In close combat the elvish light cavalry struck first but where unable to do enough damage and they lost to the more numerous rats by two. The horse-elves bravery was unshaken and they held.
Turn 3 – Skratbukket’s Runners
On Skaven turn three, the Rat Ogres moved forward towards the wood, just making sure that they were further away from the Doomwheel than the Seaguard. They had seen what it could do when fully wound up. Fizzbang’s warp lightning killed the last three rank and file members of the Seaguard though. Unfortunately, he got carried away when the winds of magic blew strongly and his channeling yielded an additional power dice to give the maximum his frame could handle. Half the power went on this first spell causing the inevitable irresistible force and he suffered a wound in the ensuing Magical Feedback. Worse, he couldn’t now see any targets as Caladriel was shielded behind the Rat Ogres, so Scorch was wasted. Still, at least he could dispel Flames of the Phoenix on the pesky clan rats so that they would live to fight anther day.
That wasn’t the end of the miscalculation though. The Doomwheel had no nearby enemy to shoot at, so the Warp Lightning Generator auto targeted the closest unit … the Rat Ogres. This time the little rats excelled themselves and generated maximum power, easily frying one Rat Ogre and its Handler. From now on, the last remaining Rat Ogre would act even more stupidly than usual, since it had no guiding claw. Caladriel, undeterred by his forces being slaughtered all around him, held firm. The Clan rats won the close combat again so the last remaining Reaver fled.
Turn 4 – Cassy’s Elegant Vanguard
At the start of the High Elves turn, the Reaver rallied (which was a rule error as the unit was down to 20% of its original strength). Lonely Caladriel fired off both spells without mishap. He was starting to get the hang of this. A pity it was too late. Flames of the Phoenix incinerated a whole bunch of clan rats while Fizzbang was cursed with arrow attraction. The lone Reaver needed more help than that though and missed the wounded Warlock Engineer by a country mile. Obviously, the rider was starting to get unsettled as the last elvish warrior on the battlefield (or prehaps is was simply in recognition that troops are not supposed to be able to shoot in the turn that they rally).
Turn 4 – Skratbukket’s Runners
Now the boot was on the other paw and in turn four the Skaven charged with the wild abandon of being on the winning side. Clan rats crushed the last Reaver; the weapons team scurried about looking for a target to shoot at; while the remaining Rat Ogre passed its stupidity test and smashed into Caladriel. It didn’t get the honours though as the Doomwheel crashed unscathed through the sheltering wood and into the doomed Mage. He didn’t even survive all the Warp Lightning strikes so a few sparks were aimed at the Rat Ogre, setting its hair on end. During all the excitement, Fizzbang secured the objective, well away from any combat the dangerous machine piloted by his cousin. For now, the Pepperpot of Doom was his!!
In the final tally, the High Elves were totally wiped out while all the Skaven units were still represented on the battlefield. The only disappointment was the Rat Ogres, who once again failed to land a single blow on the enemy. Skratbukket will have to save up his Warp Tokens to buy more of them if they are ever to actually make it into combat and damage someone!!
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