Land the Troops

Skratbukket’s Troop vs. Cassy’s Elegant Guard

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

A panting scout scurried up to Skratbukket and squeeked “The elf-things are landing on the shore again”. Overcome as he was by the heat, Scratbukket struggled into his armour and ordered his available troops to Ambush the elves who had chosen to Invade again.

This meant leaving behind a fair part of his army. Like the Doomwheel, which was still in pieces after the last engagement. Despite Fuzzbang’s best efforts and protestations of brilliance, it was unlikely that the contraption would be ready any time soon. The Warlord would also have to fight without the Warp Lightning Cannon that he had only just purchased from nearby Clan Cringeslime. It was still being calibrated, so taking it into battle would be even more likely than ever to result in a lot of dead and singed rats. Even his bodyguard of elite Stormvermin would miss the surprise attack as they were currently enjoying Clan Cringeslime’s breeding pits. Taking them away from their pleasure would be bad for morale and Skratbukket’s life depended on their unswerving loyalty (well, unswerving for Skaven). Also, some of the weaker elements of his troop were not to be found. “Deal-deal with them later I will” grizzled Skrattbukket as he led his diminished force into the jungle to set a trap for the unsuspecting elf-things …

Scenario
The Landing from the Lustria Battlefields supplement. Surprise Attack scenario with Jungle rules. Custodian has 66% of the invading force but can pick D3 stratagems plus one further stratagem for winning the first engagement.

The elves landed without mishap on the beech. They swiftly built an elegant camp so that the Everqueen’s Champion could muse over a glass or two of fine wine and plan his campaign. All the while, a beautiful elf maiden strummed a soulful lament on a harp.

Skratbukket’s Troop (Custodian)
[WL] Skratbukket (Warlord)
General; Dawnstone; Dragonhelm; Warlock-augmented Weapon; War-litter; shield. 208
Planning 3, Persuasion 3, Guile 4+1
[WE] Fizzbang (Warlock Engineer)
Doomrocket; Warp-energy Condenser; Level 2 Wizard (Lore of Ruin); 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 (20 Clanrats)
Full command; shields. 110
[WFT] Warpfire Thrower. 70
[GR1] Ratta Rrossy’s Pack (5 Giant Rats)
Packmaster. 23h
[SL1] 35 Skavenslaves
Musician; shields. 89.5
[PM] Scar Pusbukket’s Chapter (19+7 Plague Monks)
Full command; Plague Banner + Reinforcement stratagem 188+49
[RO] 4 Rat Ogres
2× Packmaster. 176
[GRU] 6 Gutter Runners
Deathrunner; slings; Poisoned Attacks. 120
[HPA] Hell Pit Abomination. 235
Total 1,659.5+70+49 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 (Lore of High Magic). 150
[N] Noble
Dragonhelm; Griffon; lance; longbow; Dragon armour; shield. 253
[SG1] 12 Lothern Sea Guard
Full command; shields. 174
[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] 10 Swordmasters of Hoeth
Full command; Bladelord lost to Assassin stratagem. 160
[DP] 5 Dragon Princes of Caledor
Full command; Khaine’s Ring of Fury; Banner of the World Dragon. 250
[TC] Tiranoc Chariot 70
[LC] Lion Chariot of Thrace 120
[GE1] Great Eagle
Swiftsense; Shredding Talons. 65
[GE2] Great Eagle
Swiftsense; Shredding Talons. 65
[SAV] 6 Sisters of Avelorn
High Sister. 94
[EC] Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower 70
Total 2,500 points

Deployment

While the Skaven wizards were preparing their spells (Fizzbang – Warp Lightning, Death Frenzy. Breek Ratscum – Pestilential Breath, Bless with Filth), seven Plague Monk Reinforcements arrived to strengthen the weakened Skaven force. Earlier, Skratbukket had dispatched an Assassin to take out the elven general. Unsurprisingly, the rat agent didn’t quite find his mark, became disoriented and entered the wrong tent. He managed to slice the throat of the Bladelord before rapidly slinking off into the darkness of the surrounding jungle.

Alarmed by this most perfidious attack, the elves struck camp and prepared to enter the jungle post haste. Once all the equipment had been assembled, including an Eagle Claw Bolt thrower to pincushion the Skaven monsters, the Everqueen’s Champion gave a short, rousing speech. Caladriel did some very minor magic to amplify the general’s voice. It was important that the wizard didn’t tax himself so that he could be ready to cast his spells – Walk Between Worlds, Fiery Convocation – when the need arose.

After giving a rousing cheer, The troops quickly lined up in perfect formation, four abreast, and marched into the jungle following one of the many winding paths. With Giant Eagles flying at either end of the column snaking along the jungle path, the Everqueen’s Champion felt secure in the knowledge that he wouldn’t be caught unawares by the rats again. The proud elf started to daydream about the honors he would receive on returning home having defeated the vile Skaven.

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His reverie was rudely interrupted by several bolts of warp lighting that arced from a ruined temple on his right flank. The Everqueen’s Champion was so stunned to see an elf noble blasted from the back of the Griffon, that he simply froze with fear.

The Skaven were arrayed on the right flank of the elves with the Warlord, his clan rats, a Warpfire thrower, the battle standard bearer, Fizzbang and the dreaded Hellpit Abomination hiding in a ruined temple atop a small rise. It was a Blood Tower which makes nearby troops have hatred for all enemies and drives forces of destruction into a frenzied state. Any battle there would be a veritable blood bath.

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Further along were the reinforced plague monks side-by-side to the large unit of Skavenslaves with Rat Ogres and handlers behind. Finally, the Giant rats were placed near the magic protection of the Magic Tower, further along the track.

Skaven Turn 1

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The Gutter Runners moved forward to engage the Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower, while the Skavenslaves moved forwards to block the elves. The rest of the Warlord’s hastily assembled army stayed put ready to the inevitable charges from the hated elf-things.

The Hellpit Abomination lurched forward towards the Swordmasters but just fell short, right in the sights of the Silver Helms coming up behind.

Warp Lightning was the only spell cast as the rats had no useful targets.

The Gutter Runners poisoned slings felled one of the crew sheltering behind the bolt thrower.

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High Elf Turn 1

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Despite their general being paralyzed with fear, the rest of the elven troops turned hard right in good order to face the ambushing ratmen. The Silver Helms charged the flank of the Abomination while the nearby archers took shelter behind the wall flanking the path. The Swordmasters were itching to get into fight but had to reposition in order to make room for a charge next turn. Further ahead the chariots and Great Eagle swung round the impassable jungle to come upon the Skaven right flank.

With dismally low Winds of Magic, Caladriel was unable to cast a single spell. Shooting was disappointing too and the huge volley of arrows only achieved three dead Skavenslaves and one skewered Giant Rat. The enormous bolt missed completely!

Close combat was more encouraging for the invaders. Though the flailing fists of the Abomination dismounted three Silver Helms, the brave riders overcame their terror and sneaked a wound past the monstrosity’s regenerating abilities. Unnerved by being charged in the flank, the Hellpit Abomination turned tail and fled, easily outrunning the pursuing elven cavalry.

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Skaven Turn 2

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The jungle remained dormant giving the Warlord a chance to reconsider his plan. After gnawing on his tail for a bit, he squeaked “Charge-Charge!”.

The Skavenslaves did their best but quickly ran out of steam blocking the Plague monks from hurtling into the Dragon Princes. Skratbukket’s own unit didn’t dare stumble since he and his Stormvermin bodyguard would kill and eat those rats that failed him. Instead, they smashed into the flank of the Silver Helms. This meant that the Warpfire Thrower could swivel and flame the riderless Griffon.

The Hellpit Abomination rallied having been brought to its senses by splashing into the jungle stream. Unperturbed by the local piranha, it set its sights on the dragon. Off on the right flank, the Rat Ogres turned to face the oncoming eagle while the Giant Rats bravely blocked the elvish flanking force of Reavers and chariots.

The winds of magic blew strongly but Fizzbang squandered them in casting Deathfrenzy so poorly that Caladriel could easily dispel it. Breek Ratscum had no such trouble and easily cast Bless with Filth on the Skavenslaves.

In shooting, the Warpfire thrower emitted a gout of flame at the Griffon but only caused a single wound leaving it with one left. The Gutter Runners’ poisoned sling shots finished off the remaining bolt thrower crew sheltering behind the war machine and Giant Eagle.

Over to combat and the Clan rats and Silver Helms traded insults but were both unable to draw blood. It was too much for the cavalry who fled, having been charged in the flank with the momentum of many ranks of rats running down hill. Sadly for the Skaven, their early enthusiasm must have exhausted them as they were unable to either catch the fleeing elf-horse-things or even overrun into the nearby Seaguard. Still, one horse failed to clear the wall spilling its rider onto the ground. This was all too much for the Sisters of Averlorn who were more used to shooting their quarry from long range. They too turned tail and ran for safety.

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High Elf Turn 2

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Recovering his composure at last, the elven General turned his mighty dragon to face the foe. He commanded his army to Charge! First where the swift Reavers who trampled the blocking Giant Rats without pausing for breath. Then the larger Seaguard crashed into the flank of the Skavenslaves who lost but fought back like cornered rats on all the nearby units. The toll was spectacular – 2 Seaguard; one Rat Ogre and Packmaster; one dragon Prince; and 4 Plague Monks! Only the Abonimation was unharmed. The only other saving grace for Skratbukket was that all panic checks were passed. Next the Dragon Princes charged into the flank of the Abonimation who regenerated all the wounds caused by the lances. In the process though, one steed managed to get a wound through. In return, the Abonimation slew 3 riders and horses with an Avalanche of Flesh.

The tide was turning. Next the Swordmasters and Griffon combo charged the main group of Clan Rats with the characters. Despite not having Deathfrenzy, the Skaven held the combat, helped out in part by the nearby Tower of Blood which gave them hatred and frenzy. The Warlord and litter bearers made way to the corner with the Swordmasters, killing 7 for no wounds in return. At the rear of the troop, the swift Eagle killed 5 rats who were unable to takeoff it’s last remaining wound. Then the stomp killed one more Clan Rat and the High Elves held.

Finally on the Elves right flank, the Giant Eagle swooped down, killing a Gutter Runner losing a wound in the process but the sneaky assassins held.

The Reavers and Sisters of Avelorn rallied while the two chariots surged towards the Rat Ogres. The other Giant Eagle flew overhead to hide behind the Rat Ogres.

In between all this mayhem, Caladriel irresistibly cast Fiery Convocation on the Plague Monks, turning 15, including the Bringer of the Word, into blazing torches. The Plague Priest was able to calm the nerves of the decimated unit but, unless he could dispel the magical fires next turn, his troubles weren’t over yet. The resulting Detonation! killed the three Seaguard around the elf mage.

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Skaven Turn 3

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“This is not looking good-good” thought Skratbukket as he watched the hated elves pile into his verminous rats. He squeaked at his Rat Ogres to charge the Lion Chariot threatening the flank. All they managed to muster was a tiny step forward before they decided that they would rather stay put. Skar Pusbukket’s Chapter was having none of this and the frenzied Plague Monks charged into the Seaguard. The elves stoically stood their ground and loosed a volley of arrows at the Skaven and killed 4.

Then the winds of magic howled. First, Breek Ratscum’s magically assisted Pestilential Breath overcame one of the Seaguard. Then is was Fizzbang’s turn. Before dispelling the Fiery Convocation that engulfed the Plague Monks, he was itching to cast Death Frenzy on the Clan Rats. Unfortunately, he overdid it and caused a Dimensional Cascade. The ensuing explosion killed the Griffon and 7 Clan Rats but all the characters escaped miraculously and, to cap it all, the over enthusiastic mage managed to avoid being sucked into the warp. Needless to say, there was too little power left to dispel the Fiery Convocation which claimed another 3 Plague Monks.

In shooting, the Warplighting Thrower caused two wounds on the Giant Eagle on the right flank.

During close combat, the Gutter Runners and other Giant Eagle traded a wound apiece. The Seaguard felled the last Plague Monk but, despite focussing most of their attacks on the Plague Priest, failed to impress. In return, having popped the Plague Banner at the start of the combat, the Plague Priest killed 2 to win the combat. In the river, the Abonimation easily dispatched the last Dragon Prince.

Lastly, there was the main combat in which Skratbukket’s unit polished off the Swordmasters and Griffon before losing 3 Clan Rats to the rigors of Death Frenzy.

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High Elf Turn 3

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Now for kill. The smaller Seaguard leapt over the wall to join the Prince and his Dragon in charging Skratbukket’s depleted unit. On the other side of the field the Lion Chariot charged the frenzied Rat Ogres who didn’t have the whit to flee.

The Giant Eagle retreated to a place of safety while he other chariot and Reavers continued their flanking maneuver.

As Caladriel was in combat, there was no spell casting so onto shooting once the Skaven Plague Priest failed to dispell the Fiery Convocation. The Sisters of Averlorn excelled themselves and took the last three wounds off the Abomination with their flaming arrows. So, no chance of Too Horrible to Die!

In combat, the Seamaster challenged Skratbukket who foolishly accepted. While the Skaven general caused maximum overkill, he was so distracted that he didn’t realize that the Prince and Dragon were steadily killing the last 4 Clan Rats, Fizzbang and Sting Sting. As the mist of Death Frenzy fell from his gaze, Skratbukket saw that the game was up and ordered his litter bearers to spirit him to safety. Unsurprisingly, they were unable to outrun the vengeful Dragon that easily caught, bit and swapped them whole.

At the same time, the Lion Chariot killed two Rat Ogres and wounded the last one. It quickly turned tail and fled, pursued by its Pack Master and the Chariot. They has escaped for now.

Elsewhere, the other Giant Eagle succumbed to the poisoned blades of the Gutter Runners while the, once larger Seaguard unit, lost another 3 of their number to the lone Plague Priest. The elves nerves held again under the stern eye of the Prince.

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Skaven Turn 4

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It was time for all the brave rats to stand and be counted. Well, there was one. Breek Ratscum was still standing. The Rat Ogres continued to flee and the three remaining Gutter Runners marched forward to take a pot shot at the depleted Silver Helms. It was a desperate hope to remove at least one more elven unit from the field. But it was not to be as all the assassins’ shots missed. On top of the hill, the Warpfire Thrower succumbed to the inevitable and blew up.

Breek Ratscum didn’t even deign to use the available winds of magic for dispelling the Fiery Convocation. He used it to cast Bless with Filth – narrowly dispelled – and Pestilent Breath which overcame two of the Seaguard. The three remaining elven spearmen failed to get any wounds past the Plague Priest’s magical wards while he frenziedly bludgeoned the last of them.

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High Elf Turn 4

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The Lion Chariot chased the fleeing Rat Ogres to start with and then the Prince chased them off the battlefield. The smaller Seaguard positioned themselves to shoot at the Gutter Runners while the Reavers and Sisters of Averlorn faced the lone Plague Priest, being careful to keep out of his charge arc.

Caladriel passed on using any spells leaving Breek free to dispel Fiery Convocation, though to no avail.

The remaining Seaguard finally found their aim and managed to pincushion the rest of the depleted Gutter Runners. The other archers were not so fortunate and the few arrows that came close to the tough Plague Priest were deflected by his talisman.

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Skaven Turn 5

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Breek, being unable to charge, moved right up to the flank of the Reavers in the hope of taking them out in an explosion of magical energy. It was not to be but he was able to cast Pestilent Breath, though the foul vapors had no effect.

High Elf Turn 5

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The Prince turned back to the fray and the rest of the elven army repositioned to shoot at the sole rat standing. Again, the Skaven’s magic defenses were too strong and all the arrows missed.

Skaven Turn 6

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The red mist continued for Breek and he could not resist the fast cavalry right in front of him. He charged in and felled two Reavers with his staves having again failed to score any damage with his Pestilent Breath. Though the Fiery Convocation was still enveloping him, it was no more than a minor irritation and he was unscathed by the magical blaze. Finally, his luck started to turn and he was unable to dodge a nasty kick from a rearing horse, losing a wound in the process.

High Elf Turn 6

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On the last turn, the Lion Chariot charged into the flank of the Plague Priest but the impact failed to make any impression. Breek deftly avoided the swords and great axes wielded by elves, striking back to fell the three remaining Reavers. The roaring lions pulling the chariot finally put the vile rat out of the elves’ misery by taking the last wound with a wicked swipe. The chariot driver managed to narrowly avoid the overrun into a nearby fence and the battle was over.

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Aftermath

The Skaven had taken a heavy toll on the proud elven forces, but the Everqueen’s Champion looked around with satisfaction as all the vile ratmen were dead or fled. It was now time to move on to the next engagement.

2 thoughts on “Land the Troops

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