Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vampire Counts vs. Dogs of War Battle Report

The rain began to fall on the peaceful town of Pleasant Prairie as the Coin Collectors made their way to the outpost. The locals had already gathered as was customary every couple weeks to socialize and play games of chance. The paymaster enjoyed the leisurely atmosphere of the outpost and its patrons. These were mellow people who enjoyed a good game and well brewed ale.

In this battle report, I play a league game against Ben and his beautifully painted Vampire Counts army.

Ben’s Vampire Counts
Vampire w/ +2 Power Dice
Vampire Thrall w/ +2 Power Dice
Wight King BSB w/ Regeneration Banner
40 Skeletons w/ Full Command
40 Skeletons w/ Full Command
40 Grave Guard w/ Great Weapons, Full Command, and Banner of the Wights (+1 To Hit)
Black Coach

Since we scheduled our game in advance of playing it, I admittedly tailored mine to include a unit designed to deal with vampires; the Witchhunters. I love these old models, but at 230 for the pair and them counting as a hero choice, they are a very conditional unit that really can only be justified when I know I will be playing a force that they are effective against.


When it came to the scenario, we rolled Battle for the Pass. I was happy to have finally rolled a mission that was not Dawn Attack or just a generic bash in the middle. While setting up, we discussed our differences of opinion when it came to Dawn Attack and random deployments. It was great discussion and really helped settle into what was going to be a fun game.

Early Turns

One of the things about this game that I was interested in trying was the special deployment rules for scout and ambush. Since the long board edges were impassible terrain, I knew my unit elves were only coming in from behind Ben’s lines or way back in my deployment zone. As for Vespero and company, I had a chance to take the offensive with him and deploy him such that I could get the jump on a unit.

The first turn started with Ben moving forward with the coach, grave guard and skeleton regiment with his vampire general. The other skeleton unit with the thrall swung around to face Vespero. During his magic phase, the thrall was able to cast its magic missile spell with irresistible force at Vespero’s Vendetta. Everyone in the regiment but Vespero was killed in the volley. In exchange, the thrall rolled a 4 on the miscast table and killed 13 skeletons and wounded itself.

In the second turn of the game, the black coach hit my ogres and paymaster and effectively broke them while only scoring a few wounds. This caused the orcs to panic and also make a break for the woods. During my turn, my elves moved onto the board near the exploding skeletons and were able to drop a few more with longbows. My crossbow units were also able to drop a few grave guard, but not in any numbers that truly mattered.

To say that the undead were swarming the paymaster’s lines would have been an inaccurate description. Instead, they moved in tightly formed ranks that stretched forever. At the front of each regiment, the glaring eyes of a sentient undead could be seen leading its soulless minions. This was not a fight the paymaster felt he could win.

Middle Turns

The middle of the game saw me charge the grave guard with my merchant lord and knights. It also saw me charge the vampire lord and skeletons with the witchhunters. Thinking this could be a chance to turn the tide; I took my shot… …and missed. The failure of my units to actually kill anything caused both the merchant lord and witchhunters to break from combat. In comparison, the combined efforts of Vespero and the elves were able to deal with the skeleton unit and thrall that had stayed behind.

Late Turns

With most of my big units either wiped out, Ben had little trouble with wiping out what remained of my army. Braganza’s Besiegers took a charge from the vampire lord, but died in a wave of skeleton delivered blows. With only the elves, Marksmen and wizard remaining, I declared defeat and congratulated Ben on a well played game.


This was an interesting game for a number of reasons. One, Ben was a great guy to play against. Second, his army gave me a chance to test how to handle dealing with large blocks of undead. Finally, I never felt out of it. I feel like my biggest mistake was being too aggressive with the charges. Not sure how I would have changed my approach, but I can say that it should have been done differently.

Lessons Learned…

1. I really like the double punch of scouting Vespero’s Vendetta and ambushing with the elves. The combination worked well and gives me a strong option for dealing with warmachines and attacking the rear lines of the enemy.
2. I don’t want to drop the cavaliers as I really like the conversion work I have done with the models. With that said, I need to find a better approach to using them.
3. Until I can build my version of hot pots, I may need to rely on a lore with a template.

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