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

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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.

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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.

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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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