Monthly Archives: February 2014

Lost in the Jungle

Skratbukket’s Troop vs. Cassy’s Elegant Guard

Location: Uehara, Shibuya-ku
Date played: March 2014

“Damn damn” thought the Skaven Warlord, Skratbukket, as he chewed down on the corpse of the last of his hapless navigators.  His warband was well and truly lost. As they finally emerged from the subterranean tunnels after many weeks of scurrying, he has delighted to hear the noises and slurps of swamps all around them.  Unfortunately for the warband, and even more so for the navigators, these were not the unwholesome swamps surrounding their intended destination, Skavenblight. To start with, the undergrowth was too lush and too green.  Where were the barges with Skavenslaves busy with the unending task of collecting food for a starving city full of millions of rat men?  And then there were the constant hit-and-run attacks by intelligent lizards, called Skinks, peppering the warband with blowpipes.  This could only mean one thing.  They were lost in the fabled jungles of Lustria.

Still, it wasn’t all bad news, since Skratbukket had yet to arrange any ‘accidents’ for his officers. The Warlord fully intended keeping all the glory to himself from the recent successful raid of the elf-thing island.  The Pepperpot of Doom was his, and his alone, so he wasn’t going to risk sharing the spoils with his cousins in the war band.  If the Warlord let his greedy and ambitious relatives live there was even the chance one of them would assassinate him. As he thought about this he almost squirted the musk of fear. ‘Maybe the Skink-skinks would unwittingly solve the problem for me’, mused Skratbukket.

The other silver lining was that these jungles were supposed to be littered with decaying Slaan temples full of mysterious and magical artifacts. The promise of more loot immediately extinguished the Warlord’s anger as he barked orders to his troops to start searching …

Meanwhile, back in the forests of Ulthuan, the Everqueen was reviewing her options to win back the Pepperpot and wipe out the thieving Skaven.  There was no point even considering the disgraced and dismounted Prince Althruan who was condemned to spend a century guarding some forsaken rocks, so far from civilization that he could not do any more harm. No, it was time for a real elf to get involved.  She looked with pride at the striking figure of her Champion, Prince Sanralkran, as he was admiring his own reflection in the mirror. Here was a battle-proven elf who had repulsed many a raid on Ulthruan’s shores. As a mighty Dragonrider, there was none better suited to chasing down those vile ratmen across the continents. Just at that moment, Finklestone, her chamberlain, rushed up with news gleaned by the constant scrying of the council of wizards.  Now that the Skaven had broken the surface, they were visible to the vigilant elf mages. “Quick, Dragonrider” she commanded having read their hastily scribbled note, “make haste for the jungles of Lustria. You should find a garrison of our troops at the nearby port. Show them this ring so they stop whatever it is they are doing and lend you full assistance in bringing those rats to justice.”  “In the name of the Everqueen” he replied, saluting smartly before heading to the dragon roosts to carry out her orders …

Scenario
The Landing from the Lustria Battlefields supplement. Battle line engagement with Jungle rules. Custodian allowed to use full army and receives one stratagem (Family Heirloom). However, each Custodian unit must pass a Planning test to deploy normally. If failed, the delayed units take a Planning test at the start of each subsequent turn to see if they arrive as reinforcements.

Some days later, Skratbukket was relaxing in his tent when two rats interrupted his musings of all the power and wealth he was going to enjoy once he got back home. The first to squeak was Breek Ratscum, the Plague Priest, who traipsed in leaving a trail of ooze and pus. “We have found the temple” he wheezed, coughing up phlegm. His decaying face lit up with glee as he proudly showed off his find. “Um, it’s a moldy book” remarked the puzzled Skratbukket. “Yes-yes, but it contains arcane and magical knowledge of the Slaan. With this Book of Ashur my spells will strike-strike and kill-kill” replied the beaming wizard. “Just as long as you don’t kill-kill anyone important on our side this time” thought the Warlord with little hope or expectation.

During the pause in the conversation, the other entrant, one of the clan rat messengers, blurted out “Oh mighty one, the elf things are landing on the beach.” Skratbukket immediately called for the pack leader of his Stormvermin bodyguard and set about ordering the first wave of troops to Harass the enemy. Others would follow as soon as they could be called.

Unfortunately, the elves, as nimble as ever, had already launched a full scale Invasion. This meant that the Skaven would arrive in drabs and drabs to find the full army of High Elves arrayed in full battle order. Only Skratbukket’s Planning ability stood between them and disaster. Oh dear!

Skratbukket’s Troop (Custodian)
[WL] Skratbukket (Warlord)
General; Dawnstone; Dragonhelm; Warlock-augmented Weapon; Tail Weapon; War-litter; shield. 216
Planning 3, Persuasion 3, Guile 4+1
[QH] Queek Headtaker 215
[WE] Fizzbang (Warlock Engineer)
Doomrocket; Warp-energy Condenser; Level 2 Wizard; Skaven Spells of Ruin; Warplock Pistol. 158
[SS] Sting Sting (Chieftain)
Battle Standard; Enchanted Shield; Obsidian Amulet. 110
[PP] Breek Ratscum (Plague Priest)
Talisman of Preservation; Level 2 Wizard; flail. 184
+ Book of Ashur (Family Heirloom stratagem). 70
[CR] Grokpick’s Clawpack (24 Clanrats)
Full command; shields. 128
[WFT] Warpfire Thrower. 70
[SV] Skratpack (15 Stormvermin)
Full command; Ironcurse Icon; Storm Banner. 185
[PWM] Poisoned Wind Mortar. 65
[GR1] Ratta Rrossy’s Pack (5 Giant Rats)
Packmaster. 23
[GR2] Skratlet’s Pack (5 Giant Rats)
Packmaster. 23
[SL1] 30 Skavenslaves
Musician; shields. 77
[SL2] 30 Skavenslaves
Musician; shields. 77
[PM] Scar Pusbukket’s Chapter (19 Plague Monks)
Full command; Plague Banner. 188
[RO] 4 Rat Ogres
2× Packmaster. 176
[GRU] 6 Gutter Runners
Deathrunner; slings; Poisoned Attacks. 120
[DW] Fuzzbang (Doom Wheel) 150
[HPA] Hell Pit Abomination 235
Total 2,400+70 points
Cassy’s Elegant Guard (Invader)
[P] Everqueen’s Champion (Prince)
Shield of the Merwyrm; The Blade of Leaping Gold; Obsidian Trinket; Moon Dragon; Dragon armour. 560
Planning 4+1, Persuasion 3, Guile 3
[M] Caladriel the Impetuous (Mage)
Talisman of Endurance; Level 2 Wizard. 150
[N] Noble
Dragonhelm; Griffon; lance; longbow; Dragon armour; shield. 253
[SG1] 16 Lothern Sea Guard
Sea Master; musician; standard bearer; shields. 222
[SG2] 10 Lothern Sea Guard
Full command; shields. 150
[ER] 5 Ellyrian Reavers
Harbinger; spears; bows. 105
[SH] 8 Silver Helms
Full command; shields. 214
[SM] 11 Swordmasters of Hoeth
Full command. 173
[DP] 6 Dragon Princes of Caledor
Full command; Khaine’s Ring of Fury; Banner of the World Dragon. 279
[TC] Tiranoc Chariot 70
[GE1] Great Eagle
Swiftsense; Shredding Talons. 65
[GE2] Great Eagle
Swiftsense; Shredding Talons. 65
[SAV] 6 Sisters of Avelorn
High Sister. 94
Total 2,400 points

Deployment

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The elves advanced along a broad front unconcerned by the dangerous jungle rivers and knots of impassible jungle forest. They didn’t even blink at the blood-drenched, ruined altar on a hill to their left that would drive all nearby troops into a frenzied state. The swift Ellyrian Reavers vanguarded forwards right up to it. In the middle of the field was an arcane ruin that was leaking magical energy for the brave (or foolhardy) wizard to tap finally, on their right was a sinister ruin that might blast nearby troops with ghostly energy.

Across from the elves, the Skaven were struggling to form up. A fair part of the army had yet even to arrive in the battlefield, including Skratbukket and his Stormvermin bodyguard, the awesome Hellpit Abomination, one unit of Skavenslaves and Fizzbang, the Warlock Engineer. Finally, the Gutterrunners were sneakily trying to infiltrate the back of the elf-things lines and had yet to be seen. No doubt they would all turn up some time.

Spells were Plague and Wither for the Plague Priest; Warp Lightning and Howling Warpgale for the Warlock Engineer; while Caladriel came to the battle having memorized Fiery Convocation and Walk Between Worlds.

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Turn 1

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The jungle was benign in the first turn and caused no special effects.

Seizing the initiative, the Skaven moved first which gave an opportunity for Skratbukket, the Stormvermin and Fizzbang to turn up. Obviously, the Hellpit was still rampaging in another part of the jungle and the Skavenslaves were taking the opportunity to hide in the midst of the confusion of battle. Most of the units on the battle field edged forward, no one wanting to be first to face the wrath of the hated elf things.

None of this troubled the Doomwheel driver as it careered off towards the enemy lines. Sadly, the little rats in the wheels were obviously drained of energy from the rush to battle, so it only moved forward a short distance. This meant that the unit of Giant Rats was closest when it came time to fire up the Warp Lightning generator. The power level was just too much for Fuzzbang to hold it back and it went off, frying 3 Giant Rats to a crisp. Ratta Rrossy, the Pack Master didn’t even try and call back the rats as they fled in terror from the carnage. Indeed, she rapidly followed suit and the whole pack fled through the chapter of Plague Monks that had been using the Giant Rats as a screen. Since Plague Monks are made of sterner stuff, at least until some of the more arcane diseases take hold and bits of their bodies drop off, Scar Pusbukket’s chapter stood their ground.

Across the field, the effect of Fizzbang’s Howling Warpgale was starting to be felt.

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Now was the turn of the elves. First was a involuntary charge by the Ellyrian Reavers that had strayed too close to the blood stained altar. Once the red mist descended they spurred their horses, easily navigated the dangerous jungle stream and crashed into a unit of Giant Rats. It started well with 10 sword blows landing on the hapless rodents but only two of them were sufficiently well placed to kill. The horses failed to do any damage and the rats struck back slaying two of the cavalrymen. Still, this battle was only going to go one way, so the pack fled. Still frenzied, the Reavers had to pursue but just failed to catch Skratlet’s pack.

The rest of the army moved forward in a disciplined line. The flyers were itching to take to the skies to close with their foes but that was impossible in the teeth of a Howling Warpgale. Caladriel dispelled the foul magic with a flick of the wrist but wasn’t able to draw enough power to cast Fiery Convocation.

As soon as the skies cleared and the contrary winds fell, the well trained archers took aim and let fly. The larger unit of Seaguard led the way way and skewered three Stormvermin. Disappointingly, the many arrows of the other Seaguard, Sisters of Avelorn and chariot failed to find their mark. One well placed arrow managed to pierce the Doomwheel but did not have enough strength to get through the armor. Most of the rest of the shots went wide.
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Turn 2

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Once again, the jungle remained quiet and did not disrupt the combatants.

“Time to take the lead” thought Skratbukket. First he directed the Rat Ogres to restrain their enthusiasm for battle so that they could march into a better position facing off against the scary beauty of the Sisters of Averlorn.

Unsurprisingly, the two rat darts failed to rally and ran off the board. Undeterred, Fuzzbang powered up the Doomwheel which oh so nearly reached the Prince on his Moon Dragon after splashing unharmed through the dangerous Jungle lake.
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The second unit of Skavenslaves made it into the battle and the sneaky Gutter Runners turned up right behind the Noble on his Griffon. Off on the Skaven left flank, the Plague Monks marched forward to get just outside of charging range of the Seaguard opposite but close enough for Breek Ratscum to be able to cast Plague at them.

Winds of magic blew feebly with Breek Ratscum and Caladriel channeling a little extra power. Faced with so little magic power to draw upon, Fizzbang used it all to cast Warp Lightning at the elven Prince. Caladriel gamely tried to deflect the spell but didn’t come close. One spark hit the Prince but he was protected by his Obsidian amulet. The dragon took the rest of the blast which failed to pierce its scaly hide. Next Fuzzbang fired up the Doomwheel’s generator to create three maximum strength blasts of Warp Lighting aimed at the same target. These arced straight through armour and hide to cause two wounds on the Prince and one on the dragon.

Not to be outdone by his cousin, Fizzbang launched his doom rocket at the massed elven battle lines. It missed its primary target but landed squarely on the Silver Helms. Only a sudden burst of Elvish luck limited the toll to one rider.

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Next, the Poison Wind Mortar also took aim at the Dragon but the ancient beast snorted contemptuously at the enveloping gas cloud, dispersing it harmlessly. Finally, the Gutter Runners let loose a barrage of poisoned sling shots from behind the elvish lines, causing one wound to the Noble.

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With no combats to fight, it was the turn of the vengeful elves. No nasty surprises emerged from the jungle so it was time to declare charges. Just before they started, the sneaky Skaven raised the Storm Banner condemning the fliers to remain on the ground.

The Champion Prince spurred his Moon Dragon and charged the Doomwheel standing in the jungle lake. The dragon took a wound from entering the dangerous water when a lurking crocodile snapped at its feet. On the flank, the Noble marched forward to escape the Gutter Runners helped by a Great Eagle trying to block any pursuit. On the other side of the field, the Ellyrian Reavers swung around and moved to threaten the back of the Skaven battle line. At the same time, the Tiranoc Chariot moved forward to fill the bottleneck between the lake and impenetrable jungle. The rest of the forces made little if any movement.

Caladriel drew power from the winds of magic and threw it all at Fiery Convocation In turn, Fizzbang drew power too and, using all his skill and cunning, dispelled the enchantment.

In shooting, the eagle-eyed Sisters of Averlorn went first and killed one Pack Master and put two wounds on a Rat Ogre. Sadly, the rest of the archers could not follow their lead and, despite a hail of arrows, the rest of the Skaven emerged unscathed.

At last it was crunch time. The badly wounded Prince and Moon Dragon nearly wiped out the Doomwheel while taking no damage in return. Having lost the combat so resoundingly, Fuzzbang turned the contraption around and just managed to keep ahead of the pursuing dragon.

Neither side has yet to commit fully

End of turn 2

Turn 3

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The jungle started to come alive and a Madcap Fungi Spore Cloud infected the Swordmasters. No harm befell the elite warriors so they became braver ever than ever and Immune to Psychology. On the other side of the field, the Sinister Ruin struck out at the Noble and his Griffon, wounding the mount. As the Skaven General considered his options, there was no let up from the fell winds of the Storm Banner.

The Rat Ogres charged the Sisters of Avelorn across the dangerous river losing the last Pack Master and one wound to the stand and shoot reaction and losing another wound to the crocodile infested river. On the other flank, the Plague Monks restrained so that they could march closer to the Seaguard and get out of the charge arc of the Noble on the Griffon. Queek could no longer hold back and leapt from the unit of Clan Rats to charge into the blocking Tiranoc Chariot. In the middle of the field, the Skavenslaves failed in their attempt to charge and hold up Prince on the Moon Dragon. But Skratbukket was unconcerned since the Doomwheel rallied and turned to face the beastly pair. On the other hand, much to The Warlord’s chagrin, the Hellpit was still crashing about the jungle somewhere else.

In other moves, the other Skavenslaves and Poison Wind Mortar moved to protect the fragile war machine from the inevitable charge by the Ellyrian Reavers.

Magic was a flat bust. Despite reasonable winds, Fizzbang and Breek Ratscum both fluffed their spells leaving Caladriel with nothing to do but watch the inane mumbling, paw-waving and drooling of the two rat wizards.

Shooting was much more successful though. Despite the fell winds swirling around the battlefield, both the Doomwheel and Poison Wind Mortar were able to fire. Fizzbang’s rats excelled themselves with another maximum strength blast of Warp Lightning that completely fried the Moon Dragon. The Everqueen’s Champion looked shocked as he was unceremoniously dropped into the lake.
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Not to be outdone, the mortar team placed a direct hit on the Silver Helms though only one horse-elf succumbed to the poisonous fumes. Even the Gutter Runners were able to score two wounds on the Great Eagle.

Over to combat where Queek and the chariot traded a single wound each. The charioteers toke fright and ran, nearly crashing into a wall in their hurry to escape. Queek pursued with a more leisurely pace and couldn’t even overrun into the nearby Seaguard. Meanwhile, the Rat Ogres made short work of the Sisters and only took one more wound before crashing headlong into the Silver Helms behind.

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Now it was the turn of the elves. First the effects the Storm Banner came to a premature end so the eagles and Griffon could finally take to the sky. Then a Jungle Haze descended reducing the range of spells and shooting. Finally, the Sinister Ruin decided to leave the Noble alone this turn and instead struck down a Plague Monk.

All the pent up energy of the elves was released as most of the units charged into battle. The Swordmasters joined the fray against the Rat Ogres, the Ellyrian Reavers charged the Skavenslaves from behind, the large group of Seaguard ran into Queek Headtaker, the Noble on the Griffon swooped over the ruin into the flank of the Clan Rats sheltering Fizzbang, the smaller Seaguard unit charged into the Plague Monks while the Great Eagle plough end into the Gutter Runners. The rats all stood their ground as either their backs were against the wall or they fancied their chances in the ensuing melee.
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The chariot rallied and the other Great Eagle flew over the jungle to support the Reavers. Considering discretion to be the better part of velour, the Everqueen’s Champion moved behind the safety of the elven lines calling for the Dragon Princes to protect his retreat.

Winds of magic again blew poorly so the Fizzbang easily dispelled the bound Soul Quench but was powerless to stop Walk between Worlds moving the Dragon Princes forward and giving Caladriel and his unit a 6+ ward save.

In combat, the Rat Ogres were minced by the combined arms of Silver Helms and Swordmasters. They fled, managing to keep ahead of the pursuing elite infantry but taking a further wound as the sole surviving Rat Ogre stumbled into the jungle lake. The Ellyrian Reavers and mounts fluffed their attacks and only killed two slaves despite having the advantage. The Skavenslaves killed two of the riders to tie the combat.

A terrified Clan Rat champion was pushed forward by his frightened pack to challenge the Noble. The rat never stood a chance and was easily dispatched. His fellow rats remained steadfast and reformed to face the mounted elf-hero. Feeling confident, the larger Seaguard unit decided not to emulate this tactic and all piled in against Queek. Only three blows landed on his warp protected armour but all were reflected back killing a spearman. Queek then killed another two with Dwarf Gouger and the combat was a draw.

The Great Eagle’s shredded a Gutter Runner taking no damage in return but the plucky rats stayed for another round. Finally, the Plague Monks unfurled their rotting Plague Banner which sent them into an even greater frenzy. The opposing Seaguard did their best felling three monks but then succumbed to the rabid monks. Eight valiant spearman fell and the champion fled while the standard bearer stood his ground was chopped down protecting the flag. It was all to no avail as the scurrying rats easily overran the fleeing Sea Master anyway.
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Turn 4

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A Swarm emerged from the jungle and descended harmlessly onto the chariot. Luckily for the Plague Monks who were still in range of the Sinister Ruins, the ghosts fell silent and did not attack any one on the Skaven turn.

Instead, the Skratpack charged into the Dragon Princes closely followed by the Doomwheel. The Plague Monks failed to resist the frenzied urge to charge into the rear of The Great Eagle.

At last, the Hellpit Abomination stumbled onto the battlefield, but too late to move into action. The free unit of Skavenslaves tried to march into a blocking position but were put off by the nearby Reaver. Sneakily, the Poison Wind Mortar positioned itself out of harms way with a clear shot at the approaching elves.

Finally the winds of magic blew strongly but, as Fizzbang was tied up in combat, it was down to Breek Ratscum. First, Wither went off with irresistible force on the chariot. The resulting Magical Detonation placed a wound onto the embattled Warlock Engineer and used up some of the magical power. Next was Plague on the same unit. The caster used too much power and suffered a Calamitous Detonation which killed five Plague Monks, finished off the wounded Great Eagle and placed a wound on the Plague Priest when the magical talisman failed. The Plague did no damage to the chariot but spread to the large unit of Seaguard, killing seven before dissipating.

In shooting, the Doomwheel excelled itself with the fourth round of maximum strength hits but only managed to fry one Dragon Prince due to the protection of their Dragon Banner. Sadly, the Poison Wind Mortar scattered harmlessly off its intended target. Now that the Gutter Runners had no Eagle to attack, they were at liberty to take a couple of potshots at the Prince, but with no success.

Over to combat and the impact of the Doomwheel felled the five remaining Dragon Princes allowing it to overrun towards the Silver Helms. The sole surviving Ellyrian Reaver continued to flail around aimlessly and was killed by the return attacks of the Skavenslaves. Queek again roared out a challenge which this time was met by the Sea Master but he was swiftly dispatched. The resulting carnage would have caused brave mean to quail but the stoic elves stood their ground. Lastly, Fizzbang was pushed by the cowardly Clan Rats into challenging the Noble. The fight was swift and ended with one dead Warlock Engineer. The shear weight of numbers were still on the rats side but the Noble was unconcerned.

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At the start of the elves turn, the jungle returned to it’s more benign state and nothing untoward happened.

“Time to strike back” ordered the Prince, now that he was out of personal danger. The chariot charged into the flank of the Doomwheel while the Silver Helms and Swordmasters crossed in front of both mobile fighting platforms to crash into Skratbukket’s Stormvermin bodyguard. Two of the elite infantry drowned while crossing the dangerous jungle lake while the nimble horses managed to avoid all the hidden pitfalls. The remaining eagle positioned itself for a later charge on Queek and to block the chariot from overrunning into the jungle lake. The Prince stayed put to survey the situation and offer courage to his troops.

In magic, Caladriel fired off Fiery Convocation at the Warpfire Thrower in a bid to remove the deadly threat posed by Warlock ingenuity. True to form, he drew too much power and caused a Dimensional Cascade killing all the Seaguard and placing a wound on Squeek. Somehow Caladriel avoided the blast but was then sucked into the void anyway. Across the battlefield, the overpowered spell wrapped the Skaven war machine in flames causing another explosion as the fuel tanks caught light.

There were no unengaged elven units that could shoot so it was time for the Swordmasters to go to work. Obviously, the water had loosened their grip on their huge double handed swords since seven attacks only managed a single wound past Skratubkket’s armour. The cavalry were not much better and missed completely. It was left to horses that managed to trample two Stormvermin. In return, Skratbukket’s Warlock-augmented blade and litter bearers made short work of three Swordmasters. Despite the Silver Helms deflecting all the remaining Stormvermin attacks, the elves lost heart when faced with the massed ranks of rats and their Battle Banner. The Swordmasters fled losing their standard bearer in a Last Stand leaving the cavalry to hold up the elite Skaven (not shown).

The Tiranoc Chariot impact into the Doomwheel caused terminal damage to the vile contraption. The chariot driver then spun the horses around to face off against Skratbukket.

Finally, it was the Noble’s turn to show how to deal with rats. Having previously killed all the champions and heroes in the unit, the elf hero and Griffon killed seven Clan Rats for no loss. This was too much for the cowardly rats and, despite being under the watchful eye of the Warlord and Battle Stand Bearer, the pack turned tail and started running. The Griffon easily caught them and wiped out the rest of the unit, overrunning towards the central battle.
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Turn 5

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There was Stifling Humidity in the jungle but it had little impact as nearly all units were already in combat.

The Skavenslaves charged into the fray on the flank of the Silver Helms while Queek had a clear run at the Prince. The two Lords were clearly itching to get into a fight.

Supported by an encouraging “Squeek!” from Sktratbukket, the sorely wounded Rat Ogre rallied. With little chance of success, the Hellpit Abomination scampered after the rapidly receding flying Noble. The beast nearly made it but just came up short.

Lacking the proper coordination, the Plague Monks were unable to undertake a swift reform and so simply turned to face the centre of the battle. The Gutter Runners moved so that they could shoot at the chariot while the Poison Wind Mortar moved into position to shelter from the wrath of the Griffon while still being able to lay sights on the eagle through the melee.

Being out of range, Breek Ratscum chose to hold back on his spells. The Poison Wind Mortar was supposed to be firing their poisonous load at the eagle. However, they had never liked the way that Queek Headtaker lorded it over all the other rats. While everyone’s attention was elsewhere, they swiftly took aim at the hated Warlord and killed the heavily wounded rat.

Now that the Everqueen’s Champion was out of combat, the Gutter Runners wasted no time in letting fly 10 poisoned sling shots. Three hit home and the elven Lord’s armour only deflected two of the shots. The final one hit pierced a weak spot and overcame him. The loss of their General would have panicked his army were it not for the fact that were fighting for their lives.

In combat, the Silver Helms did their best, killing three Stormvermin, but were nonetheless routed and run down by the Skratpack.

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On the elves turn, the jungle was again quiet. The Noble charged the Poison Wind Mortar team who promptly fled. The Griffon simply took to the skies and swooped down on the terrified rats. With so few troops left, the two remaining Swordmasters continued to flee (not shown).

In a last ditch effort, the Tiranoc Chariot and Great Eagle combo-charged Skratbukket’s bodyguard. Luck was on their side and neither was harmed by the murderous lake. The combination of the impact of the chariot, the slashing talons and the strikes of the crew killed seven Stormvermin. Skratbukket and his litter bearers struck back destroying the chariot but the rest of the pack failed to harm the eagle. The tide of the battle had turned. Leaving the Battle Standard Bearer and the pack’s own Standard Bearer to make a hopeless last stand, the Warlord and two remaining bodyguard ran away. They managed to escape the wrath of the eagle by scurrying rapidly away but this flight panicked the nearby Skavenslaves who also fled.
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Turn 6

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As the battle drew to a close, the jungle quietened down. Skratbukket rallied and the Hellpit, lacking a target, splashed into the jungle lake to feed on the crocodiles lurking within. The Gutter Runners inched forward to get in range of the eagle while everyone else stood still to watch.

Three poisoned sling shots landed on the Great Eagle which overcame its natural toughness and it succumbed to the Eishin brew.

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Down to the last two men, the remaining Swordmasters promptly fled of the field of battle (not shown).
The elven Noble turned around and took careful aim with his longbow at the sole surviving Rat Ogre and skewered the wounded beast. As the only elf standing he had no chance against the rest of the Skaven horde.
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Aftermath

When the points were tallied it was clear that the High Elves had lost and only narrowly avoided a crushing victory to the Skaven (1,153 to 2,232). The Noble slunk back to the ships waiting on the beach to let them know the bad news. He needed a much better plan – and some more troops – if they were going to carry out the first part of the Everqueen’s command and Land the troops

Escape!

Skratbukket’s Troop vs. Cassy’s Elegant Guard

Location: Uehara, Shibuya-ku
Date played: January 2014

The Queen of the Elves stared frostily at Prince Althran Stormrider as he relayed his latest piece of bad news. “You let those vile Skaven succeed in Extracting the Artifact of Power?” she said in a quiet voice that brooked no argument.  “At least tell me that you have found the entrance to the tunnel they used to get onto the island you were supposed to be protecting” she demanded with a steely look in her eyes.  “Um, er, …” the usually confident and haughty Prince procrastinated.  “Well go and find it” snapped the Queen in a rare display of frustration.

With that, the telepathic connection to the Queen’s Palace was severed abruptly and Prince Althran was left to rescue the situation.  It would be a disaster if Warlord Skratbukket could get back to the Skaven tunnels with the artifact of power still in his possession. The elves would have no chance in getting it back or even finding it in those tortuous and well guarded passages called the Underway

First thing first. Prince Althran whistled for his trusty griffon, Sharpclaw, and took to the skies.  He barked orders to his commanders, emptying the entire garrison to search the island for the entrance to the tunnels and any spoor of the retreating Warlord.

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Scenario description. 

Set up the battlefield as usual with both sides deploying along the longer side. The Elves can select an army that has twice the points of the Skaven. The Elves deploy first and take the first turn.  The Skaven army must include a BSB that is also carrying the Pepperpot of Doom.

Add one special piece of terrain, the tunnel entrance, 6″ from the Elves deployment zone.  This acts, to most intents and purposes, as a very low single story building. However, it is counted as dangerous terrain for any non-Skaven. Furthermore, this roll is failed on a 1-2 if the non-Skaven unit has more than 20 models due to the increased risk with so many bodies milling around in the cramped, unstable opening. Any Skaven unit garrisoning the building at the beginning of their turn can chose to enter the tunnels proper.

The Skaven win if their BSB enters the tunnels proper, otherwise the Elves are victorious. Note that, as a BSB, this model will auto-die should it break from combat.

The Elves deploy first but at least 75% of the points must be kept in reserve. At the start of turn two, the Elves can bring on some of their reserves so long as the combined points of the starting forces and turn 2 reserves is less than 50% of the total. These reserves arrive on the right hand edge from the Elves perspective. In turn 3, the next tranche of reserves arrive on the left hand edge with the points total such that at least 25% is left for the final tranche. In turn 4 all the rest of the reserves arrive from the Skaven side of the board.  Otherwise, the reserves follow all the rules in the Warhammer rulebook.

Special rules:  In the rush to empty the garrison, the Banner of the World Dragon was left behind and can’t be used in this scenario.

The battle lasts a maximum of six turns.  The Skaven BSB is assumed to be overrun by Elven reinforcements if it fails to exit into the tunnels by this time.
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Warlord Skratbukket couldn’t believe his luck, so he put it down to his inspiring leadership and amazing vision. Here he was, scurrying back to the tunnels with most of his forces intact … well the important bits anyway.  His trusty Stormvermin bodyguard and litter bearers were running carrying him and the Pepperpot of Doom back to the safety of the tunnels.  Once back at Clan Snodisnap’s headquarters, he would be able to claim leadership of the entire clan and expand their power base. After all, he, Skratbukket, had snatched this powerful artifact right from under the snooty noses of the Elf-things. No one would dare stand up to him now.

“Quick-quick” he squeaked unnecessarily as every surviving Skaven was already running as fast as they could towards the safety of the tunnels. Those nasty Elf-things would be snapping at the ratmen’s heels all too soon. Just as the tunnel entrance came into view, he could see that some Elves had beaten them to it. Still, it didn’t look to be too many so maybe his forces could punch a way through.

Skratbukket’s Troop

  • [WL] Warlord, Skratbukket (216 points)
    General; Dragonhelm; Shield; Warlock-augmented weapon; Dawnstone; Tail Weapon; War-litter
  • [F] Warlock Engineer, Fizzbang (143 points)
    Level 2 Wizard (Ruin); Warp-energy Condenser; Warplock Pistol, Talisman of Protection
  • [B1] Chieftan, Stingsting (85 points)
    BSB, Enchanted Shield. Dragonbane Gem
  • [CR] 20 Clan Rats, Slimetooth’s Clawpack (120 points)
    Full Command; Shield; Spears
  • [PW] Poison Wind Mortar (65 points)
  • [SV] 15 Stormvermin, Skratpack (130 points)
    Full Command
  • [W] Warpfire Thrower (70 points)
  • [GR1] 5 Giant Rats +1 Packmaster (23 points)
  • [GR2] 5 Giant Rats +1 Packmaster (23 points)
  • [S1] 30 Skavenslaves, Musician, Hand Weapon (62 points)
  • [S2] 30 Skavenslaves, Musician, Hand Weapon (62 points)
  • [RO] 2 Rat Ogres + Packmaster (88 points)
  • [DW] Doomwheel, Fuzzbang (150 points)

Total: 1,237 points

Cassy’s Elegant Guard

Initial Defenders

  • [SG1] 16 Lothern Sea Guard (222 points)
  • Full Command; Shield, Spears, Bows
  • [SoH] 10 Swordmasters of Hoeth (175 points)
    Full Command; Banner of Swiftness
  • [DP] 5 Dragon Princes of Caledor (250)
    Full Command; Banner of the World Dragon  (left behind in the rush)

Reinforcements Turn 2

  • [AS] Prince, Althran Stormrider (455 points)
    General; Obsidian Trinket, Shield of the Merwyrm, The Blade of Leaping Gold; Griffon
  • [SG2] 10 Lothern Sea Guard (150 points)
    Full Command; Shield, Spears, Bows

Reinforcements Turn 3

  • [DM] Dragon Mage of Caledor (445 points)
    Dragon;  Level 2 Wizard (Fire);  Talisman of Preservation, Potion of Foolhardiness, Dragon Armour
  • [M] Mage, Caladriel the Impetuous (170 points)
    Level 2 Wizard (High Magic); Power Stone, Talisman of Endurance
  • [SoA] 6 Sisters of Averlorn (114 points)
    High Sister

Reinforcements Turn 4

  • [ER] 5 Ellyrian Reavers (105 points)
    Harbinger
  • [SH] 8 Silver Helms (214 points)
    Full command
  • [TC] Tiranoc Chariot (70 points)
  • [GE1] Great Eagle (65 points)
    Swiftsense, Shredding Talons
  • [GE1] Great Eagle (65 points)
    Swiftsense, Shredding Talons

Total:  2500 points

Deployment

The wood is mysterious while the altar turns out to be haunted and so will launch ghostly strikes at any unit foolish enough to get close.

Escape_map01

Elves deploy 10 Swordmasters (with full command) ready to rush in and garrison the tunnel entrance. On their left are 16 Lothern Seaguard (with full command) while slightly behind and to the right are 5 mounted Dragon Princes ready to charge the foe.

Battle commences

Arrayed against them from left to right (from the Skaven perspective) are 2 Rat Ogres with Pack Master, 5 Giant Rats with Pack Master, 30 Skavenslaves, Fuzzbang in his Doomwheel, a unit of  15 Stormvermin containing Skratbukket on his war litter and the Chieftain BSB carrying the Pepperpot of Doom, a Warpfire Thrower, another 30 Skavenslaves and another 5 giant rats with Pack Master.  Behind the Stormvermin is a unit of 20 Clan Rats containing Fizzbang, a level 2 Warlock Engineer, flanked by a Poison Wind Mortar.

The warlock engineer rolls Howling warpgale and Crack’s call for spells. He swaps the latter for Warp lightning to make the most of the warp lightning condenser strapped to his back.

Turn 1

Escape_map02

Elves move first, predictably occupying the tunnel entrance with their toughest unit, the Swordmasters of Hoeth. The other two units move up on either flank.

In shooting, the Seaguard manage to pick off one Stormvermin. Only 14 to go.

Escape_map03

In return, the leftmost Skavenslaves declare a charge on the Dragon Princes and make it.  The Doomwheel rats excel and power the contraption into the same cavalry unit. In magic, the warlock engineer gets off both spells, killing five Swordmasters and conjuring a foul wind to confound the Elven shooting and flying.

Shooting is more erratic.  The poison wind mortar strikes a direct hit (a first for this ill fated weapon team) on the tunnel, killing two more Swordmasters.  The rats in the  Doomwheel overdo it though causing a misfire.  It is not all misfortune though as the net result is that they will now generate an additional die in random movement!

Needless to say, the stoic Swordmasters pass all their panic checks and continue to guard the tunnel entrance.

In combat, impact hits account for 4 Dragon Princes taking the Doomwheel out of combat.  The Skavenslaves do their worst and miss entirely.  The remaining Dragon Prince champion struck first and killed three slaves but it is not enough so he loses the combat heavily and runs.  The Skavenslaves fail to catch the fleeing elf-horse-champion-thing.

Turn 2

Escape_map04

Prince Althruan arrives astride his trusty griffon on the elves’ right flank together with the other unit of 10 Seaguard. They both move forward towards the fray in the center of the battlefield. The larger unit of Seaguard moves forward at an angle to block the Stormvermin from charging the heavily depleted Swordmasters while the Dragon Prince champion rallies and faces off against the Skavenslaves.

In shooting, two more Stormvermin fall to the accurate elvish arrows since the elves used their magic phase to dispel Howling warpgale.

Escape_map05

The Stormvermin then charge the Seaguard since it is impossible to reach the tunnel this turn.  The distance is too short for the elves to do anything but ready themselves for the onslaught. On the Skaven right flank, the slaves and giant rats move into a blocking position in case any elves turn up, while making sure they don’t stray to close to the haunted ruin.

The Doomwheel, with its powered up movement, crashes into the tunnel entrance but passes it’s dangerous terrain test.

IMG_0245

On the left flank, the other Giant Rats and slaves taken position to sell their lives in protecting the Warlord from the encroaching elvish troops.

The Rat Ogres and weapons team move forward while the Warlock Engineer rejoins the clan rats for protection now that there is danger on multiple sides.

During magic, Fizzbang throws too much power at Howling warpgale to make sure it goes off. It does indeed, but the backlash kills two of the clan rats. Sobered by this experience, he holds off from casting warplighting at the lone Dragon Prince.  Over at the tunnel entrance, the Doomwheel generates a massive blast of warp lightning to fry the three remaining Swordmasters before impact hits and grinding down the foe have a chance to strike!

In shooting, the poison wind mortars view is blocked so it is down to the Doomwheel.  It excels itself and wipes put the three remaining Swordmasters with a powerful display of warp lightning.

In combat, the two unit champions fight a challenge, with the elf striking down the Stormvermin before it has a chance to strike back.  The rest of the combat doesn’t go so well for the defenders.  Despite now having 9 spearman able to reach the chieftain BSB (which was now forced to fill the gap in the front rank), the elves failed to land any wounds at all. The net result of the combat was 5 dead elves, three dead Stormvermin,  so the Seaguard lost and ran for the hills.  Skratbukket restrained his troops so that he could enter the tunnel on his next turn.

Turn 3

Escape_map06

On the elves right flank, Prince Althran declares a charge against the Skavenslaves that are blocking his path to the tunnel. They immediately turn tail and flee so the unfortunate griffon, still consigned to running along the ground, gives up the chase and comes to a halt after a few steps. The fleeing Seaguard fail to rally while the next reinforcements arrive on the elves’ left flank – the Dragon Mage atop a Sun dragon and Caladriel protected within a unit of Sisters of Avelorn. The Dragon Mage rolls Flaming sword of Rhuin and Fulminating flame cage for spells while Caladriel gets Hand of glory and Soul quench. The Dragon Prince champion leaps off his horse and rushes into the tunnel entrance determined to keep the hordes of rats at bay for as long as he can. The movement phase finishes with the fresh Seaguard marching right up to the blocking giant rats.

In magic, the haunted ruins strike down a Sister of Avelorn. Still, the winds of magic blow strongly so the Elves start with the Dragon prince champion’s enchanted Khaine’s ring of Fury. The Warlock Engineer throws all his dispel dice to deflect the magic missile. Next is the turn of the Dragon Mage who casts Flame cage which claims a solitary Stormvermin. Finally, the Dragon Prince champion receives the boon of the Flaming sword, allowing him to reroll any failures to wound.  Caladriel is out of range so can only watch for now.

Shooting next and the Sisters show their skill and kill another Stormvermin despite the long range and the intervening wall that obscures the view.

Escape_map07

Over to Skratbukket who loses no time in charging the lone elf blocking his route to the tunnel and off the island.  His unit are still under the effect of the Flame cage, which claims four Stormvermin this time. Thanks to his presence, the elite rats’ nerve holds and they complete the charge.  Close by, but at the other end of the spectrum of bravery, the fleeing Skavenslaves fail to rally and run straight past the tunnel entrance with five falling to the sword of the Dragon Prince champion on the way. “There is no helping some rats” chuckles Skratbukket, who’s only main concern was that the unloved slaves might block his own exit and escape.  The Doomwheel, being somewhat hemmed in, spins round and careers off into a fence. It fails it’s dangerous terrain test but luckily only sustains a single wound and retains control. The rest of the army position themselves to block as much as possible of the elvish reinforcements which are now arriving on all sides.  Fizzbang leaves his unit of clan rats so as to get a pot shot at the Prince.

Magic winds blow even more strongly and Fizzbang recasts the Howling warpgale and follows it up with a devastating blast of Warp lightning that kills the griffon outright leaving a bemused Prince Althran standing on his own two feet. On the other side of the battlefield the ghosts from the haunted monument swarm around the four units that have strayed into their range but fail to score any wounds.

In shooting, the Doomwheel restrains as do the poison wind mortar team who are now bereft of visible targets following the fall of the griffon.

During combat, the lone Dragon Prince challenges Skratbukket (and his litter bearers) in a final act of defiance. Exhausted from his previous exertions, the elf champion fails to wound the Warlord but is still able to parry multiple strikes from the Skaven’s warlock augmented cleaver.  In the end, it all proves too much and a sneaky Stormvermin litter bearer strikes the valiant elf down when he is preoccupied with fighting the Warlord. Trust the vile Skaven to bring five rats to what is supposed to be a noble one-on-one challenge!  Gleefully, Skratbukket, his Chieftan BSB carrying the Pepperpot and the dwindling Stormvermin bodyguard occupy the tunnel entrance. Now, if they can just scurry down before any more elves get too close.

IMG_0264

Turn 4

Escape_map08

As he leapt from his dying griffon, Prince Althruan was aflood with conflicting emotions. Mingled with the grief from losing his favoured steed, his heart swelled with pride at seeing yet more elves take to field. Proud mounted troops – Silver helms and Ellyrian Reavers – loyal Seaguard and even a couple of Great eagles had answered his call!  The vile Skaven where well outnumbered now.  Trouble was, the Warlord had reached the tunnel entrance and even now was making his escape with the Pepperpot of Doom. Yet, on the other side of the field, two powerful Mages, one astride a dragon, were racing to blast the ratmen with powerful magic. On a good day, Caladriel could flatten hordes of rats.  On a bad day … Althran shuddered remembering past explosions from miscasts that had killed large numbers of elvish troops assigned to protect the over-enthusiastic wizard. Prince Althran offered up a prayer for a miracle.

To start with, he charged the evil looking rat ogres since there was no change of reaching the Warlord as he scurried down the tunnel.  Unfortunately, like the rest of the Prince’s plan, the charge failed.  The fleeing Seaguard rallied and the rest of the troops arrived on the battlefield and moved forward.

In magic, the mages were able to coax a little more power from the feeble winds, but not enough to do more than cast the Flamecage. This scored a couple of hits but not enough to get past the natural resilience of the Skaven.  Even the haunted monument was able to score any wounds on the units massing around it.

Shooting was not much better. 23 archers took aim at the rats in the tunnel from long range, with most having to move to get at least some view of the target. Only one arrow hit but it bounced of the heavily armored Stormvermin.  In a fit of rage the dragon drew breath and flamed most of the blocking Giant Rats as well as 7 slaves. The rats nerve held and they continued to obstruct the elves on the flank.

Aftermath
The Prince ground his teeth in frustration as there was now no hope of stopping the ratmen making off down the tunnel with the Pepperpot.

Skratbukket was beside himself with glee. “Hehehe” he thought as he contemplated the new riches and power that would be his and his alone.  Unfortunately for him, the rest of the rats, following the shining example of their leader, turned tail and fled down the tunnel too.  “No matter” he thought, “I am sure there will be a few ‘accidents’ on the way back to Skavenblight”.  There was no way that he was going to share the glory with any of his relations, especially the demented Warlock Engineer Fizzbang and his cousin, the maniac Doomwheel driver.

No doubt the winds of fate were eavesdropping on his thoughts as it would be a while before the hapless rats would return of their home tunnels.  This wasn’t to be the last engagement between the High Elves and the band of Skaven.

The Prince limped home on foot to report to the Everqueen and set in motion a train of events that would the see the Skaven chased across the continents of the world

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