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I am bad internetologist

I am bad at this ‘posting’ business.

Have some spacemen.

Assault Terminators-

 

Kirai’s Malifaux crew-

 

Sorry.

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2 Comments

Posted by on July 3, 2012 in 40K, Blood Angels, Malifaux, Painting

 

Sodium Levels Critical – High Elves (2000pts) vs Old Empire (2200pts)

It has taken me forever to do this battle report.  Mainly because this game was crushingly unfun and there’s nothing interesting to write about it.

Sooooo, let’s go!

Another campaign turn, another super-fun run-in with the (old) Empire.  (At least their new book is reasonable.)  We’ve actually started the next (and last) campaign turn now, so I should probably get on and finish the gigantic pile of battle reports I have lying around.

Anyway.  2200pts of old Empire versus 2000pts High Elves.  Will it feature a predictable army list, and be decided by the presence of Mortars?  Well, yes.  Obviously.

High Elf Mortar Bait

Archmage
+Level 4 Upgrade, Lore of Metal
+Book of Hoeth
+Final Transmutation, Glittering Scales, Enchanted Blades of Aiban, Searing Doom

Maybe the Lore buffs will be helpful.  Or the save-or-die, at any rate.  It’s useful against massive blocks of guys.  With the Good Book, it might even get through the bonus dispel dice of the guaranteed Arch Lector.

Mage
+High Magic
+Dispel Scroll, Seed of Rebirth
+Shield of Saphrey, Drain Magic

Useful tools in High Magic, including Shield of Saphrey, Drain Magic, and Vauls Unmaking.  I’m starting to think I should just go with the Archmage, and drop the smaller Mage; they’re rarely able to do much when I have the good book on an Archmage- it just leaves all the dispel dice for the scrub.

Noble
+Battle Standard Bearer
+Dragon Armour, Shield
+Ironcurse Icon, Helm of Fortune, Sword of Might

Reasonably cheap, reasonably protected, and he can help protect against the inevitable war machines with the Ironcurse Icon.  Sword of Might isn’t too great, but Strength 5 is probably better than anything else I can get for 15pts, and lets the Noble stab things that menace him with a degree of competence.

20 Archers
+Hawkeye, Musician, Standard Bearer

35 Spearmen
+Sentinel, Musician, Standard Bearer
+Banner of Swiftness

Hmm.  What to take as Core?  Big blocks of troops?  Vulnerable to Mortars.  Small units?  Still as vulnerable, only they also can’t break the huge blocks of Empire troops.  Stand off and shoot with Archers?  Get outshot by cheaper options.  Deploy wide and shallow to mitigate the damage?  Can’t maneuver easily through death-terrain, and you have to spend a turn reforming into a block (and then you get exploded anyway).

29 Phoenix Guard
+Keeper of the Flame, Standard Bearer
+Banner of Sorcery

The most durable thing I can take, I guess.  A useful bunker for the casters, and they might be able to do some damage and survive the counter-attacks if they hit combat.  Maybe.

7 Shadow Warriors

7 Shadow Warriors

These guys can try and poke at war mach- oh, who am I kidding.  They aren’t going to do anything to war machines, because they’ll be covered by infantry blobs or roaming space popes, and there are more war machines than their are Shadow Warriors.  Still, I may as well go through the motions of taking war machine hunters.

“The Empire Will Bring an Arch Lector, Mortars, and a Couple of Hordes, Guaranteed”

Arch Lector of Sigmar
+War Altar
+Armour of Meteoric Iron, Dawnstone

Welp, that’s a surprise.  1+ rerollable armour save, 4+ ward, Magic Resistance 2, Unbreakable, Hatred.  I wonder why this guy is in every Empire army?  Oh, wait.  Now I remember.
It’s the 1+ rerollable armour save, 4+ ward, Magic Resistance 2, Unbreakable, and Hatred, isn’t it?

Wizard Lord
+Level 4 Upgrade, Lore of Light
+Birona’s Timewarp, Pha’s Protection, Net of Amyntok, Banishment

Captain of the Empire
+Battle Standard Bearer
+Lance, Full Plate Armour, Lance
+Pegasus
+Dragonhelm, Aldred’s Casket of Sorcery

The usual choices.  Surely the new book will provide something else.  Surely…

20 Handgunners
+Standard Bearer

40 Swordsmen
+Duellist, Musician, Standard Bearer

50 Halberdiers
+Sergeant, Musician, Standard Bearer

34 Greatswords
+Count’s Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer

Welp, those are some big-ass blocks.  Fingers crossed for the save-or-die effects!

5 Pistoliers

Great Cannon

Mortar

Mortar

So, all the usual Empire toys.  Will all the war machines destroy themselves, and will I cast enough save-or die spells?  If those things don’t happen I just lose, so let’s hope so!

We roll up a Pitched Battle for some stand up face-punching action, and roll up eight pieces of scenery.  Blessed Bulwharks, two Mysterious Forests (of deadly death), an Anvil of Vaul, a Building, a River, and then an Encampment of Destruction for another two Buildings, some Fences, and a Haunted Mansion, and then a Settlement of Order, for another 2 Buildings, some Ghost Fences, more Blessed Bulwharks, some Walls, and a Sigmarite Shrine.

Movement may prove an issue here, which is bad when I have no real choice but to close the gap.  Well, I guess I can sit in my deployment zone for the entire game.

Hmm.  The Empire win the roll off for first turn, and get ready to start shooting.  The Arch Lector charges at the Shadow Warriors, who decide to Flee! rather than get murdered.  A valid choice, I feel.  It turns out the Mysterious (death) Forest is a Death Forest, a Wild Wood that bludgeons ramblers to death.  Luckily, it doesn’t bludgeon the Shadow Warriors.

The Wizard Lord tries to Net of Amyntok the Phoenix Guard, but is dispelled.  The Arch Lector uses the Jade Griffon to throw out Banishment, exploding five of the fleeing Shadow Warriors.  He then casts Armour of Contempt on the Wizard Lord, and Hammer of Sigmar on himself.  A busy turn for grimdark Jesus.

The Pistoliers manage to miss the elf Archers in a ride-by, and the laser-guided Great Cannon opens up with a shot that singles out the Mage, which misfires.  The Cannon loses it’s shot, but suffers no lasting harm.  The first Mortar manages a singularly unlikely blind shot that hits 29 Spearmen and a single Archer, exploding ten of the Spearmen.  Well, they’re no longer relevant to the game.  The second Mortar misfires, also losing it’s shot for the turn.

Resigned to their explosive fate, the elves shuffle forwards and the Archers pivot to face the bemused Pistoliers, and the Shadow Warriors rally in the  Wild Wood.
The Archmage tosses out the Final Transmutation, killing seventeen of them, but the Mage has his attempt to protect his unit with a Shield of Saphrey dispelled.
The Shadow Warriors take potshots at the Wizard Lord but fail to wound, while the Archers wipe out the Pistoliers.

The ungrateful oiks of the Empire ignore the delightful golden statues that the elves have created for them, ignoring the looting potential and pushing onwards to give the elves a kicking.  I guess the statues aren’t going anywhere.  The Captain steers his Pegasus around the building, bringing Aldred’s Casket into range of the Mage.  The Arch Lector tris to charge the other Shadow Warriors, but they opt to flee as well, leaving him lurching around on his War Altar.
The Arch Lector unleashes Banishment from his War Altar, but is stopped by the Mage’s Dispel Scroll.  Another Banishment (from the Wizard Lord) is dispelled by the Archmage, and an optimistic Net of Amyntok fails.
The Empire cannon blasts five Elf Spearmen out of existence, while both mortars manage to miss- well, one of them hits the Captain and his Pegasus, but I don’t think that counts.

The Shadow Warriors rally, and since they’re effectively out of the game,  Spearmen duck into a building to try and minimize their hits from war machine hits to deny victory points.  The Phoenix Guard shuffle forwards to try and do something, anything.
The Magic phase starts badly, with a miscast Glittering Scales.  At least it was the boosted version and buffs a few units.  A Shield of Saphrey on the hiding Spearmen is dispelled, as is an attempt at Drain Magic.

The Captain decides he doesn’t like being shot at by his own side, and charges into the Archers.  The other Empire troops move closer to the Phoenix Guard (well, except the massive fucking blocks that don’t actually need to be here).
Banishment perishes a single Phoenix Guard, and the War Altar’s bound Banishment is dispelled;  a Net of Amyntok works, making things potentially awkward for the Phoenix Guard.
One Mortar fires on the bunkered Spearmen and does nothing, so the other aims for the Phoenix Guard instead and manages to kill 2 of them.  The Great Cannon tries to blast the Spearmen in the building, too, but only manages to blast itself.
The Archers flail hopelessly at the Captain, while the Captain and his Pegasus only manage to kill two elves.  They hold, grinding things out.

The Phoenix Guard try to maneuver, but the Net of Amyntok is too much for them to handle.  Welp, they’re done.  The Shadow Warriors move to plunk at the lurking Wizard Lord with their bows, and it’s on to the Magic phase.
Glittering Scales is cast unstoppably on the Phoenix Guard, but a Shield of Saphrey is dispelled.  Enchanted Blades of Aiban might give the Archers a chance against the Pegasus, and another Final Transmutation picks off six Swordsmen.
The Haunted Mansion finally does something, after doing no damage to anyone until now- it kills a Shadow Warrior and a Handgunner. Whoooo.
Despite their buffing, the Archers do nothing to the Captain or his Pegasus, losing three of their number but holding, again.

Since the Phoenix Guard couldn’t reform, the Swordmen and Arch Lector charge into them, and it’s all over at this point. (to be honest, it was all over when the Spearmen took a single Mortar hit and lost about a third of their number)
Anyway.
Speed of Light is dispelled, the Shadow Warriors are hit with a Net of Amyntok, and then Soulfire fails.  Finally, Birona’s Timewarp is dispelled.  With that out of the way, one of the Mortars blows up four Spearmen in the building, while the other manages to shoot the Empire Wizard Lord and a couple of Shadow Warriors.  Oops.
Unsurprisingly, the flanked Phoenix Guard lose combat; even less surprisingly, they fail their Leadership test and and promptly run down.

Since it’s pointless to carry on, we call it there.  Another glorious triumph for 75pt large blast armour piercing S3 Mortars!

Oh, and some guys, I guess.

But mostly the Mortars.

 

Storm of Failure 2: Electric Boogaloo – High Elves (2000pts) vs Vampire Counts (2000pts)

Our exploration of Storm of Magic continues, as we venture bravely into the third scenario.

Okay, so we got a draw the Storm of Magic scenario.

Then we both managed to lose the Mad Mage scenario (which Aramoro has failed to battle report for some time, now).

So, drawn at 0-1-1, we moved hesitantly on to the Reign of Magic scenario, where someone might win our epic string of failures.  Well, maybe draw a series of three games with an NPC, but that hardly counts. 2000pts again, with the added 500pts of Magic & Monsters allowance led to our armies looking like this-

High Elves-

Archmage
+Level 4 Wizard, Lore of Light
+Pha’s Protection, Shem’s Burning Gaze, Net of Amyntok,

Banishment
+Living Deadwood Staff (Magic & Monsters)

Mage
+Level 2 Wizard, Lore of Shadow
+Okkam’s Mindrazor, Melkoth’s Miasma
+Dispel Scroll

Noble
+Great Weapon
+Battle Standard Bearer
+Armour of Caledor
+Wind-catcher Prism (Magic & Monsters)

14 Archers

24 Spearmen
+Champion, Standard Bearer
+War Banner

10 Shadow Warriors

27 Sword Masters of Hoeth
+Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer
+Talisman of Loec, Lion Standard

Great Eagle

Great Eagle

Repeater Bolt Thrower

Repeater Bolt Thrower

3 Great Stags (Magic & Monsters)

The Living Deadwood Staff is an Arcane Artefact that allows for dickery- moving forests, making them Blood Forests in addition to their normal effects, and letting you summon a forest as a bound spell. It’s an excellent example of asshole magic, so in it goes. The Wind-catcher Prism is… weird. It produces a random effect based on whichever Lore is ascendant in a given turn, which should be interesting. The Great Stags are fast, deal impact hits with their horns, and are magical to boot. May as well give them a try.

Vampire Counts-

Master Necromancer
+Level 4 Wizard, Lore of Vampires
+Invocation of Nehek, Vanhel’s Danse Macabre, Hellish Vigour,

Raise Dead
+Power Stone, Talisman of Preservation

Necromancer
+Level 2 Wizard, Lore of Vampires
+Invocation of Nehek, Wind of Death
+Dispel Scroll

Vampire
+Heavy Armour
+Level 1 Wizard
+Invocation of Nehek
+Fear Incarnate, Enchanted Shield, The Cursed Book, Sword of

Striking
+Wind-catcher Prism (Magic & Monsters)

28 Crypt Ghouls

34 Skeleton Warriors
+Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer
+The Screaming Banner

Corpse Cart

6 Crypt Horrors

3 Varghiests

Mortis Engine
+Blasphemous Tome

Terrorgheist

Cygor (Magic & Monsters)

4 Sabertusks (Magic & Monsters)

Another Wind-catcher Prism? This could get interesting. The Cygor brings along the hitting power of a stone thrower, and might mess with any casters who are too close- always fun when there’s a Cataclysmic Miscast table to roll on, while the Scouting Sabertusks can get places they’re really not welcome. There’s some new stuff being tried out from the new Vampire Counts book, too – the Mortis Engine, Varghiests, and Crypt Horrors. Some will be good. Some won’t. And any kind of assessment will be made difficult by the fact we’re playing Storm of Magic.

We get a surprisingly small amount of scenery- two forests (of death), a river (of death), some walls and a settlement of order- a building, more walls, and a Grail Chapel. Being a Storm of Magic, we also get three Arcane Fulcrums along the centreline of the table. Image

The Vampire Counts win the roll-off for first turn, and off they go, rattling forwards and moving in on two of the Arcane Fulcrums- except the Terrorgheist, that flaps off towards the Elf flank to annoy small units. Oh, and the Varghiests, who immediately freak out and charge at the Shadow Warriors, who turn out to be lurking in a Venom Thicket. The Sabertusks move to menace the Repeater Bolt Throwers, something that will lead to some prolonged dickery.

As ever, the Lore of Vampires is ascendant, but at least the new book prevents them spamming the same spell again and again- but since we’re playing Reign of Magic, before any kind of magic can happen, we get to roll on a table of fun! Yaaaaay! I’ll summarize it here-

1- Fuck you.

2- Fuck you.

3- Fuck you.

4- Fuck you.

5- A dead guy gets better.

6- Fuck you.

That about covers it. Aramoro rolls and gets ‘fuck you’, specifically the Eye of the Storm event. No power dice are generated, no magic happens. Welp.

The Cygor proves valuable, hucking a rock at a menacing patch of grass that looked kind of Elf-like, I guess. This will be the most useful thing the Cygor does all game. The Terrorgheist does better, shouting a handful of Archers to death and breaking the rest, who obligingly flee the table. Thanks, guys.

After taking some hits from the Shadow Warriors’ stand and shoot reaction, and then hurting themselves landing in a forest, the Varghiests manage to trade hits with the Shadow Warriors in combat, coming off second best and crumbling until only one of them remains. Image

The Great Stags charge into the Terrorgheist, and the nearby Great Eagle heads down the Vampire flank. The Mage makes a dash towards the unoccupied Arcane Fulcrum, and both Repeater Bolt Throwers shuffle out of the charge arc of the Sabertusks, as the other Great Eagle nips in behind them. The Archmage gives his Living Deadwood Staff a shake, and moves all of the forests on the table up to 6″. Yes, that’s a thing that happens. Yes, it’s very annoying. And yes, it’s hard to battle report.

The Reign of Magic roll comes up ‘fuck you’ again, as the Lore of Metal is ascendant and benefits from Ascendancy Rules. There are no Metal mages in this game, so whatever. The Elven Shadow Mage hits the Terrorgheist with a Mystifying Miasma that drops it’s Weapon Skill, and uses Okkam’s Mindrazor to make sure the Great Stags will beat it up. He gets carried away and miscasts, but it’s okay because the Dimensional Cascade he causes closes up pretty quickly, and he didn’t fall out of reality. The Archmage’s Light spells are, unsurprisingly, top priority for the undead to stop, and so Net of Amyntok and Shem’s Burning Gaze are both shut down.

The buffed Great Stags poke the Terrorgheist with their horns- wait, antlers. Yes, those. Anyway, they poke it, it pokes them, then it crumbles to death. Success! The Shadow Warriors beat the last of the Varghiests to death as well, which may leave them open to a unpleasant encounter with Crypt Ghouls. Image

Displeased by the death forests that follow them around, the Skeleton Warriors back up a little, while the Crypt Horrors shuffle around to face the threat of the Great Stags. The Crypt Ghouls advance more cautiously than expected, moving to get cosy with the Arcane Fulcrum in anticipation of shoving their Necromancer onto it next turn. The Sabertusks turn around as they continue their elaborate war machine dance routine, facing the Great Eagle.

Another Magic phase, and a double ‘fuck you’ this time. The Lore of Metal is ascendant, which the Vampires just adore, and it’s the Eye of the Storm again/still, so no casting. Again.

The Cygor tries to make up for this by dropping a rock on itself, and the Mortis Engine proves decidedly unscary as it tries it’s ghostly shout thing on the Shadow Warriors. All told, not a good turn to be undead. Image

The Archmage gives his Living Deadwood Staff another wiggle, and chases after the Skeleton Warriors with a god-damn forest. The Bolt Thrower dance continues, as one war machine shuffles sideways and the Eagle pirouettes gracefully over the giant cats to get back into their rear arc. The Shadow Warriors take their chance and slip away from the Crypt Ghouls, while the Mage snags himself an Arcane Fulcrum, ready to master some magic (by which I mean cataclysmically miscast, of course). The Great Stags and Eagle move up to the river, ready to drive into the undead flank in a way that’s almost tactical.

Magic funtimes, and the Mage has the misfortune to be under this turn’s ‘fuck you’, a Funnel of DOOM that promptly sucks him out of reality. Welp. Down to just the Archmage, who manages to get off Shem’s Burning Gaze and blast some Skeletons, making the forest beat up some more before it moves. Banishment is dispelled, as is another Net of Amyntok, but a boosted Pha’s Protection gives the nearby Elves some protection. An attempt at using the Living Deadwood Staff to summon a new forest is dispelled, sadly preventing further dickery.

The Shadow Warriors and immobile Repeater Bolt Thrower open fire on the Sabretusks, managing to break the pesky cats and send them off the board, allowing the war machines some unaccosted firing time and freeing up the second Great Eagle. Image

The Crypt Ghouls take their unlives into their hands and charge over the mysterious river at the Great Stags, and are horrified to find that it’s normal water. The Cygor moonwalks it’s way out of the forest, and the Skeleton Warriors rattle backwards too. The Necromancer ditches his Crypt Ghoul buddies for an Arcane Fulcrum, evidently not paying attention to what happens to casters after they do that. The Ghouls move after the Shadow Warriors, while the Mortis Engine and Corpse Cart move up to cover as much as they can with their support abilities.

Another turn, another spin. Lore of Vampires is ascendant!  That’s good! Reign of Magic says that the Land is Alive!  That’s… holy crap. Every terrain feature on the battle freaks the fuck out, and attacks everything nearby. The terrain promptly kills a Great Eagle, beats a Great Stag to death, roughs up some Spearmen and Crypt Horrors, some Skeleton Warriors, smacks up both the Corpse Cart and Mortis Engine, and accosts a pair of Crypt Ghouls. After that, the Cursed Book eats a power dice and casts Enfeebling Foe on the Sword Masters. After that, the startled Vampires get around to casting some spells.

Invocation of Nehek is dispelled, and then dispelled again, and then a unit of Zombies pops up in the flank of the Elf Spearmen. A third Invocation works, raising the models killed by the terrain (and then the forests beat them back down again, thanks to the Living Deadwood Staff making them Blood Forests).

The Cygor hucks another rock at a vicious looking bush, continuing to ignore the Elves. Points well spent I feel, although still better than the Cygor I once took that was beaten to death by bats. Yes, really.

Anyway. weakened by their violent encounter with a river, the Great Stags are beaten and broken by the Crypt Horrors, barely escaping the pursuing undead as they flee. Image

The Great Stags continue running, having no love for either the undead or the terrain. The surviving Great Eagle flies around to the flank of the Crypt Ghouls, ready to annoy them, while the other elves shuffle around and position themselves.

Another Funnel of DOOM strikes, but catches nothing this time, and the Lore of Light is ascendant. The Archmage rubs his hands in glee, and immediately has Shem’s Burning Gaze stopped with a Dispel Scroll. Huh. Well, maybe Banishment will mess up that Corpse Cart. Nope. Well, fine. A Magical Duel goes a little awry, and to save his fellow elves from the impending miscast, the Archmage takes over the Arcane Fulcrum after forcing the Necromancer off it. He gets off lightly, with only a Calamitous Detonation (that doesn’t hurt him) and a Power Siphon from the cataclysmic miscast table. Okay, the Vampire Counts get to summon a unit of Zombies in front of the Shadow Warriors, but that’s nothing compared to some results on that table.

The Elf Bolt Throwers pick off five more Crypt Ghouls, putting them down as fast as the vampires can raise them. Image

The freshly summoned Zombies charge into the Shadow Warriors, the first in a series of remarkably bad things to happen to them this turn. The Vampire charges out of his unit to attack the Archmage on his Arcane Fulcrum, while the Necromancer rejoins his Crypt Ghoul bodyguard. The other undead advance, the Skeleton Warriors making a move on the centre Arcane Fulcrum, while the Crypt Horrors reform to face the battle.

As ever the Lore of Vampires is ascendant, and this turns roll on the ‘fuck you’ table is another Funnel of DOOM. It misses the Archmage (who avoids being sucked out of reality), wounds the Vampire, and meanders gently down the line of Shadow Warriors and Zombies, killing six elves and five zombies.

Having avoided being Funneled to his DOOM, the Vampire throws out an Invocation of Nehek, healing himself, fixing up the Corpse Cart, and raising four Crypt Ghouls. His good works are sadly undone by the Blood Forest, which beats nine of the Crypt Ghouls back down. A Wind of Death is a) cast and b) useless, but that’s still better than the Master Necromancer, who manages to miscast Invocation of Nehek. He raises a bunch of Zombies and Skeleton Warriors, which is good, but then explodes a bunch of them in a Calamitous Detonation, which is less good. Another attempt at Invocation is dispelled, as is an attempt at Enfeebling Foe.

Once again, the Cygor drops a rock onto itself instead of the elves, seeming to have trouble with the concept of ‘throw rocks at other people’.

The Vampire’s attempt to stab the Archmage into submission is similarly successful, inflicting a measly one wound- and the Archmage remains in the Arcane Fulcrum, for good measure. The Zombies are… well, Zombies. So the Shadow Warriors shank two of them, take no casualties, and settle in for a prolonged grind. Image

With the Skeleton Warriors tucked away behind an Arcane Fulcrum the Elf Spearmen pile into the unfortunate Zombies. the other Zombies are more unfortunate, as they get charged by Sword Masters. The Great Eagle tries an optimistic charge at the Corpse Cart, but only manages to get past the Crypt Ghouls. Still, next turn.

Another turn, another ‘fuck you’ roll, and another Funnel of DOOM. This time, it DOOMs ten Zombies. Light is ascendant, and there’s an Elf Archmage on top of an Arcane Fulcrum, surrounded by the undead. Something bad happens.

Something really, really bad.

Checking the Cataclysm spells available, the Archmage tries Time Amok! to create a new combat phase. The vampires disapprove, and dispel it. Undaunted, the Archmage tries his next Cataclysm spell, Equilibrium– this one is successful, and promptly vaporizes over 900pts of the undead army– the Vampire, the Corpse Cart, a bunch of Crypt Ghouls- and the Mortis Engine, which duly explodes and wipes out the last of the Crypt Ghouls, the Zombies, some Skeleton Warriors, the last of the Shadow Warriors, a handful of Sword Masters, and the Great Eagle, and blasts a bunch of wounds off the Cygor for good measure.

Ouch.

The Repeater Bolt Throwers finish of the Cygor, and the Zombies are dealt with by the Spearmen, leaving a remarkably slimline Vampire Counts force. Image

The Crypt Horrors (possibly unwisely) make their way back towards the magical holocaust, while the Skeleton Warriors manoeuvre behind the Arcane Fulcrum, leaving the Master Necromancer to take control of it.

If you guessed that the Lore of Vampires would be ascendant, you are correct. No Funnel of DOOM this time, just the Green Glow of Madness– troops from the Forces of Destruction are frenzied. Well, whatever. The Necromancer loses a Magical Duel with the Archmage, before using Raise Dead to pop more Zombies up near the Spearmen. A Vanhel’s Dance Macabre gets the Crypt Horrors over the river, into range for an Invocation that heals them and raises more Skeletons and Zombies.

Image

Deciding that it’s better to charge than get charged, the Spearmen pile into the Crypt Horrors, while the Sword Masters start working their way around the Arcane Fulcrum to make sure the Skeleton Warriors get got.

The Lore of Light is ascendant again, but the Archmage’s ability to demolish armies is sadly out of range. Oh, well. The Reign of Magic roll turns out to not be terrible- Born Anew allows the Funnel of DOOMed Mage to saunter back onto the table a though nothing happened. He helpfully casts Okkam’s Mindrazor on the Spearmen, swing the fight definitively in favour of the elves. He does, sadly, miscast and lobotomise himself, losing all of his magic levels. The Archmage tries a Net of Amyntok to help the Sword Masters catch some Skeletons, but the Necromancer dispels it. He tries to hop to another Arcane Fulcrum using Transagar’s Transportation, but the Necromancer dispels that, too. He’s no fun. The Archmage throws Banishment at the Skeleton Warriors, and manages to kill a handful- but manages to miscast, and blast three magic levels out of himself. His cataclysmic miscast is relatively light, merely blotting out the sun with a magical eclipse.

Unsurprisingly, the Mindrazored Spearmen do a number on the Crypt Horrors, perishing three of them outright and crumbling the rest in combat resolution, before reforming to keep the Zombies in front of them.

Image

The Zombies make an optimistic charge at the Spearmen, choosing to believe.

Oddly, the Lore of Vampires isn’t ascendant this time. There is another Funnel of DOOM, though, which the Necromancer sadly survives. He throws a Magical Duel at the lobotomised Archmage, and somehow loses. That’s a shameful performance, right there. He uses Transagar’s Transportation to book it over to the unoccupied Arcane Fulcrum, choosing to grind things out to a victory point finish.

Unsurprisingly, the Zombies are outclassed and beaten down by the Spearmen, but some of the shambling corpses stand fast.

Image

The Sword Masters make a last-ditch charge at the Skeleton Warriors, hoping to sweep all but the Necromancer from the board for the elves, but botch their charge roll and stumble around ineptly instead. Still, it’s the thought that counts.

The Magic phase isn’t going to be great, as between the two elf casters they have one magic level. Lore of Light is ascendant, and it’s another Funnel of DOOM. This could be monumentally bad for the Elves, if it hits the Archmage and sucks him up… but it hits the Master Necromancer instead. Sadly, he survives this Funnel of DOOM too. Oh well. The Archmage decides not to bother casting anything, in case of a miscast costing the Elves the game.

The Spearmen finish the last of the Zombies off, and it’s all over!

Image

As both sides hold an Arcane Fulcrum, the game goes to a victory point tiebreaker- and that casting of Equilibrium that vaporised the undead swings things decisively in favour of the High Elves, for a (rare) victory!

 

An Unusual Turn of Events

Just a quick post to let you all know that I have won a game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, sweeping Aramoro‘s new Vampire Counts before me without losing a single unit.

Naturally, this is the one game I didn’t make notes/photos of, since I have about half a dozen games to write up.

I did spend 60pts on a magic weapon that I used to kill 2 zombies with, so I’m pretty sure I’m still terrible.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

You Can Use the Spears to Make Them Into Meat Lollies- Ogres vs High Elves (2000pts)

With a veritable pageant of excuses, we have successfully avoided resolving Border Prince battles.  I’m pretty sure we can grind that bad boy out until 2013, at least.  Instead, ardentbadger had brought along his Ogres, so we tried finding out how they fared against elves.

[SPOILER] They ate the elves.[/SPOILER]

I’ve never player against Ogres before, and I’d taken a terri-bad list to make things more awkward,
with only a level 2 caster and an Elf Prince on a ridden monster.  I should learn not to do that at some
point, but I’d like to not have to take a level 4 caster every time, and maybe have a dude on a monster fly around and wreck stuff someday- maybe in 9th edition.

Anyway.

Delicious High Elf forces-
Prince
+Dragon Armour
+Talisman of Loec, Enchanted Shield, Sword of Might, Vambraces of Defence
+Griffon

Caradryan

Mage
+Level 2 wizard, High Magic
+Shield of Saphrey, Vaul’s Unmaking, Drain Magic
+Dispel Scroll

Noble
+Battle Standard Bearer
+Armour of Caledor, Dawnstone
+Great weapon

30 Spearmen
+Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer
+Standard of Discipline

30 Spearmen
+Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer

27 Phoenix Guard
+Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer
+Banner of Swiftness

Hungry Hungry Ogres-
Slaughtermaster
+Level 4 wizard, Lore of the Great Maw
+Trollguts, Bonecrusher, Spinemarrow, Toothcracker
+Fencer’s Blades, Dispel Scroll, Talisman of Endurance

Firebelly
+Piercing Bolts of Burning
+Hellheart
+Extra Hand Weapon

Bruiser
+Battle Standard Bearer
+Heavy Armour, Ironfist
+Talisman of Preservation

6 Ogres
+Musician, Standard Bearer
+Light Armour, Ironfist

7 Ironguts
+Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer
+Heavy Armour, Great Weapons
+Standard of Discipline

Ironblaster
+a really big cannon, holy god look at that thing

6 Leadbelchers
+Musician
+Light Armour, Leadbelcher Guns

3 Mournfang Cavalry
+Musician, Standard Bearer
+Heavy Armour, Ironfists

Sabertusk

Sabertusk
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We stood our tiny spacemen by the table, and rolled the scenario- Battle for the Pass.  That giant
cannon looking thing the Ogres have, that’s… one of those cannon things, right?  I’ve got bad news for you, Griffon.

Nightmarish landscape- excuse me, scenery rolls follow.  Three suspiciously ordinary buildings and an ordinary hill.

It’s the stuff of nightmares.

After that it’s business as usual with a mysterious forest (of death), an Anvil of Vaul, a wierding well, some ghost fences and a tower of blood.

ImageWining the roll-off for first turn, the High Elves start forward, used to being exploded by cannons by now.

There’s some shuffling around as the elves try to get into better positions- the small unit count helps get the first turn, but you can end up badly deployed (also, I’m bad at deploying my plastic mans).

With only a level 2 caster, there’s not going to be much magic action here.  Indeed, both Shield of Saphrey and Drain Magic are duly dispelled by they Slaughtermaster.

Image

The Ogres advance too, eager to see how good they are at hitting Toughness 3  Elves with light armour (very).

The forest is mysteriously normal, as it turns out.

In the Magic phase, the Slaughtermaster throws Bonecrusher at
the Elf Prince and his Griffon, to no effect.  He uses Trollguts to buff the Ironguts, but the Firebelly’s attempt at Piercing Bolts of Burning is dispelled.
The Ironblaster plants a cannonball square in the face of the Griffon, hoping to put paid to the bird-thing and Prince at the
same time
.  Surprisingly, they don’t vanish in a puff of feathers, as it manages a single wound on the Griffon and fails to wound the Elf rider.  The Leadbelchers take their turn, and roll up an
unlikely thirty-five shots at the unfortunate Griffon.  The volume of shots manages a single wound on the Prince, and two on the Griffon.

Image

Weighed down by the amount of lead it’s suddenly carrying, the Griffon fails to charge the Ironblaster.  As the Prince donkey punches his mount in impotent fury, expecting a cannonball at any minute, the Phoenix Guard charge in to perish the Sabertusk, while the Spearmen manoeuvre back again, trying to keep up with the Ogres.

The Spearmen near the Mournfangs decide to duck into the building for safety, ready to jump out later and surprise someone.  That’s their story, anyway.

The Mage tries to use Vaul’s Unmaking on the Ironguts, hoping to get rid of that pesky Hellheart before it explodes him, but the Slaughtermaster is having none of it.  A Shield of Saphrey works, protecting the Spearmen, but an optimistic Drain Magic is also dispelled.

Unsurprisingly, the Phoenix Guard beat up the Sabertusk, and reform to face the Ironguts and Ogres.

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Denied something to kill thanks their only weakness, doors, the Mournfangs sweep around towards the other elf forces.  The other Ogres shuffle around a little, while the Firebelly abandons the Leadbelchers to get close to the Phoenix Guard.
Toothcracker is halted by the Elf Dispel Scroll, and the Slaughtermaster takes a wound thanks to his Lore attribute, as we remember Ogres have one.

The Ironblaster takes another shot at the Griffon, and this time fails to wound it.  The Prince also shrugs off the hit, thanks to his ward save.

The Firebelly uses his breath weapon and four of the Phoenix Guard fail to rise from the ashes. and the Leadbelchers somehow only kill two more despite firing twenty shots.

ImageAngered by the gunshots and donkey-punches, the Griffon freaks out and finally charges the Ironblaster- the Phoenix Guard opt to charge rather than get charged, and pile into the Ogres in front of them.  The Spearmen follow their example, rampaging at the Mournfangs.

The other Spearmen shuffle out of their building,  ready to support their brethren.

More weak magic from the outclassed Mage, as Shield of Saphrey and Vaul’s Unmaking are dispelled, but things go much better in close combat.

Using his Talisman of Loec, the Prince destroys the Ironblaster before it can swing, before failing to restrain his infuriated Griffon and rampaging off into the distance.  The Phoenix Guard beat the Ogres, but they hold thanks to the nearby battle standard bearer.  Somehow, the Spearmen manage to kill a Mournfang and break the others, but only manage a paltry 2″ pursuit.  The Sabertusk panics as the Mournfangs break, fleeing
off the board edge.

ImageThe Ironguts charge into the flank of the preoccupied Phoenix Guard as the Mournfang rallies, and the Leadbelchers move after the Griffon, determined to end it’s furious squawking/roaring/whatever noise a half-eagle half-lion abomination makes when you’ve shot it a bunch.

The Firebelly uses his Piercing Bolts of Burning, interrupting the Spearmen’s high-fiving and killing six of them.  How rude.  The Slaughtermaster manages to cast both Toothcracker and Trollguts as the Mage fumbles his dispel attempt.
The Leadbelchers unleash a fresh fusillade at the Griffon, another twenty-two shots… and both Griffon and Prince are just fine, to the Ogres increasing frustration.

Caradryan calls out the Ogres, hoping to get splattered and abuse his Mark of Asuryan ability–  I mean, die a glorious death protecting the Mage.  Yes.  Let’s say that, shall we?  The Irongut champion duly kills him, but the resulting magical explosion finishes him off, too.  The Phoenix Guard and various Ogres trade hits, and in the end the Elves lose the fight- but
only by one.  They hold… but fail to reform in defeat.

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The Elf Spearmen charge into the rallied Mournfang again, and the other unit moves up to support the Phoenix Guard, hopefully before they get swamped.  The Prince turns his Griffon around, using the Ogres as cover from the Leadbelchers as he positions himself for a charge next turn.

Before the Mage has a chance to fail at spellcasting, the Firebelly uses his Hellheart– one Calamitous Detonation later (with four dead Phoenix Guard, and a wounded Ogre, Irongut and Mage), the Mage has his Vauls’ Unmaking stopped by a Dispel Scroll, and a Drain Magic dispelled.

The weakened Phoenix Guard are able to pick off an Ogre and an Irongut, before the Ogre’s attacks break them.  The Ogres overrun, and the Ironguts reform to face the Prince.  The Spearmen fare better, breaking the Mournfang again and holding, reforming as it flees the table.

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The Ogres and Firebelly charge at the Spearmen block, and the Ironguts decide that they’ve had enough of the Prince and his damnable Griffon and pile into them.

The Slaughtermaster throws out a boosted Trollguts, before failing to cast Spinemarrow.  The absence of the Elf Mage is unnoticeable, frankly.

The Ogres are scared of the unkillable death-Griffon, managing to fail their Fear test- and then the Ogre characters refuse the Prince’s challenge.  He shanks an Irongut, but it’s just not the same.

His sorely-abused Griffon is punched out from beneath him,
but the Prince holds firm.  The Elf Spearmen beat the Ogres thanks to their rank bonus, and the Firebelly breaks and runs.

Sadly, the Ogres hold.

ImageBlocked by the Wierding Well, the Spearmen manoeuvre around it, hoping the Prince can hold out long enough for them to assist him.

He challenges the Ogres again, but they still refuse to fight him mano a mano.  Another two wounds on the Ironguts as the Slaughtermaster cowers at the back, and when the Bruiser scores some hits on the distracted Prince with a sucker punch, he saves them all.

Losing combat again, the Prince holds- again.

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The Firebelly rallies under the disapproving gaze (not to mention guns) of the Leadbelchers as they advance to fire at the unengaged Spearmen, turning back towards the fray.

Piercing Bolts of Burning fail to either Pierce or Burn, but the Slaughtermaster casts Trollguts again.

Six Elf Spearmen are gunned down by the Leadbelchers, who turn out to be much better at shooting small things in cover than large things in the open.

The last of the Ogres  kills a single Elf before breaking and being run down by the pursuing Spearmen.

Another challenge is refused by the big bad Ogres, and the Prince kills another Irongut before he’s finally beaten down by the Bruiser.

ImageThe Spearmen charge at the remaining Ogres in a desperate attempt to break them, but their puny spears won’t do much to the tough Ogres.

The Leadbelchers are beaten in combat but hold fast, while the
Ironguts pound and stomp the other Spearmen into the ground.

The survivors break and run, somehow escaping the pursuing Ironguts.

ImageThe Ironguts continue their pursuit of the broken Spearmen, who continue to evade their pursuers as they head for the hills.

Meanwhile, the Firebelly charges into the flank of the other Spearmen unit, hoping to make up for his earlier cowardice (although it turned out he was right to run when he did, sooooo…).

Between their stomps, charge and flanking bonus, the Ogres are able to beat and break the remaining Elf Spearmen, who turn and run after their comrades, leaving the Elf survivors fleeing as the game comes to an end.

Welp, an Ogre win, but a surprising performance by the Prince and his Griffon.  He should probably
have been exploded by the Ironblaster in the first turn, but some unlucky wound rolls let him get
into combat, where he was pretty useful.

Taking the Griffon did stop me taking an Archmage, which crippled my own magic and made my dispels harder- that level 4 Archmage is a must-have in future, and the Giffon can stay in the box…

 
 

Arcane Fulcrums

Whoooo, two down, two to go.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Fantasy, Painting, Storm of Magic

 

Storm of Failure – High Elves (2000pts) vs (old) Vampire Counts(2000pts)

So, we’re planning to include Storm of Magic in the last turn of our Border Princes campaign (if you roll a Battleline scenario, you’ll do one of the Storm scenarios instead), and Aramoro and myself figured we’d better try some of them out so that someone had an idea of what to do and we’d try to get all of our usual rules failures out of the way early on.

We went with 2000pts, our usual allowance, without knowing what that other would be playing (Well.  Vampires, Bretonnians or Daemons versus Warriors of Chaos or High Elves.  And we can rule out Bretonnians.), in a random Storm of Magic scenario from the ones we hadn’t played yet.

So, with no idea what we were doing (except that Arcane Fulcrums are important, but it’s even more important that you shouldn’t miscast on one) we set to work.

I decided on High Elves, so I could continue mastering magic (i.e. exploding my general)-
Archmage
+Level 4 Upgrade, Lore of Life
+Shield of Thorns, The Dwellers Below, Awakening the Wood, Regrowth
+Guardian Phoenix, The Trickster’s Pendant

Mage
+Level 2 Upgrade, Lore of Heavens
+Wind Blast, Comet of Casandora
+Feedback Scroll

30 Spearmen
+Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer
+Banner of Swiftness

20 Archers
+Champion

18 Silverhelms
+Shields
+Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer

14 Swordmasters of Hoeth
+Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer
+The Other Trickster’s Shard

Repeater Bolt Thrower

Repeater Bolt Thrower

Great Eagle

Yes, I took cavalry again.  No, I don’t learn.  The Lore of Life will hopefully protect my flimsy elves, and Heavens
holds some useful spells- although naturally, I didn’t get any of them.

Aramoro took his Vampire Counts for a last glorious battle before their update-
Vlad von Carstein
+Vanhel’s Dance Macabre, Wind of Death, Curse of Years

Necromancer
+Invocation of Nehek, Vanhel’s Dance Macabre
+Black Periapt

Vampire
+Summon Ghouls, Vanhel’s Dance Macabre
+Avatar of Death, Lord of the Dead
+Dispel Scroll

40 Crypt Ghouls

15 Skeleton Warriors
+Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer

30 Grave Guard
+Great Weapons
+Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer
+Banner of the Barrows

Terrorgheist

Hmm.  Those are some familiar units.  It’s almost as though the old Vampire Count book doesn’t have many good choices in it.

Anyway, since we’re doing Storm of Magic, we each get a bonus 25% Magic & Monster allowance.  We hit the books, and return with bolstered forces.

High Elf Monsters & Magic-
Manticore
+Lash Tail, Rending Fangs, Iron Hard Skin

4 Fenbeasts

The Manticore should help with my ‘hurting things’ problem, and with the Fenbeasts I’ve got some strong, tough
(monstrous) infantry.

Vampire Count Monsters & Magic-
Hippogriff

Dark Emissary
+Black Book of Ibn Naggazer

A smaller monster, and another caster with a super magic item that eats people for magical power.  Oh, dear.  This could be painful.

So.  Armies made, Storm of Magic confirmed, Monsters & Magic bonus spent- time to find out what we’re actually doing.  A D3 roll later, and we’re doing a vanilla Storm of Magic.  No crazy special rules (well, no really crazy ones), and a simple victory condition- there are four Arcane Fulcrums on the battlefield, and whoever controls the most at the end of the game wins.

The nightmarish magical storms help explain the wierd-ass terrain Warhammer battles are fought over, at least.  This time around, we have the four Arcane Fulcrums, an Altar of Khaine, a mist-wreathed swamp, an ordinary building, a dwarf brew-house, a Tower of Blood, a wierding well, some ghost fences, and a mystery river.  I knew the cavalry were a bad idea.  As you can deploy close to your Arcane Fulcrums in this scenario, we started off pretty snug…

The Vampires win the roll off and go first, and we’re away! The Hippogriff demonstrates that you get what you pay for, immediately failing a charge at the Great Eagle.  The rest of the undead rattle forward, and we go into our first super-magic phase.  We spin the magic spinner and find out that the Lore of Light is ascendant, getting a +5 bonus to casting rolls– and then the Vampires control the Magical Flux and shift the result to make the Lore of Death ascendant instead, as well as it’s sub-lores (High Magic, Lore of Nehekehekehahahahra, and the Lore of Vampires).  This will be a common result in the game.    As the Lore of Vampires is a minor Lore it only gets +4 to it’s casting rollsStorm of Magic uses a four dice roll for the Winds of Magic instead of the usual two, with all four used to determine power dice and the highest two used for determining dispel dice.
The Dark Emissary opens his Black Book and tries to cast Purple Sun of Xereus with two dice.  As we control the same number of Arcane Fulcrums we’re in Equilibrium, so the Black Book’s Arcane Artefact rules make it eat eleven Ghouls, adding eleven power dice to the spell.  No good can come of this.  Sure enough, another six Ghouls in a Calamitous Detonation as the Purple Sun… does nothing to the High (Initiative) Elves as they dance aside.  The Curse of Years is dispelled, as is a Wind of Undeath, and then the Vampire casters do the usual spamming of Invocation of Nehek on the Ghoul unit, leaving a net loss of six Ghouls.
The Terrorgheist shouts at the Silverhelms, killing seven of them and breaking them. They stay on the table… just.

The Manticore charges at the Hippogriff, and the Fenbeasts rampage into Vlad and his Skeleton bodyguard.  The Silverhelms rally and reform, but are unable to get away from the shrieking Terrorgheist.  The Great Eagle flies over to menace the Vampire Count’s Arcane Fulcrums, and the Elf Spearmen advance towards their inevitable end at the hands of the Grave Guard.
The spinner is spun, and the Lore of Heavens is ascendant, with no Magical Flux manipulation necessary!  A Comet of Casandora is dispelled, but the Archmage successfully makes the Manticore more dangerous with a Shield of Thorns.  A quick flick through the Storm of Magic book to check out the not-at-all-dangerous cataclysm spells, and the Mage tries to Let the Four Winds Blow!, only to be stopped by the Vampire’s Dispel Scroll.  He Wind Blasts the Terrorgheist against the board edge, but it’s not the same.  The Archmage lives up to my expectations by miscasting The Dwellers Below, and squashes another thirteen Ghouls and the Dark Emissary.  The Archmage has his own Calamitous Detonation, but is protected by the 3+ ward save from occupying an Arcane Fulcrum.  Sadly, miscasting on that Arcane Fulcrum triggers a cataclysmic miscastVrooooooooop!  The Archmage finds himself and his Arcane Fulcrum switched with the Necromancer’s Arcane Fulcrum, leaving both casters hopelessly out of position.
The Elf Archers achieve nothing shooting at the Grave Guard, but the Repeater Bolt Throwers continue thinning the Ghouls out, killing another four of them.
Vlad tries his usual methods on one of the Fenbeasts, but the swamp-monsters refuse to be Beguiled and beat a bunch of skeletons back into the ground, triggering crumbling in others.  Meanwhile, the Manticore starts chewing it’s way through the unfortunate (but delicious) Hippogriff.

The Grave Guard charge into the resigned Elf Spearmen, and the Terrorgheist charges into the Silverhelms, who actually manage to pass a Leadership roll.  This is a rarity for me.  After their rough turns of magical calamities, the Ghouls cower behind their Ghost Fence and try out the Wierding Well.  It’s hard to tell if the magical waters are good or bad, to be honest.  Yes, three dead people got back up on their feet, but on the other hand they did it as flesh-hungry Ghouls.
Again, the spinner is Magical Flux’ed to make the Lore of Vampires ascendant and giving it the attendant +4 to casting rolls.  There’s an attempt at a Vampire Counts cataclysm spell, the Malediction of Nagash, that’s dispelled by the Elf Archmage, but stopping that allows more Invocation of Nehek spamming – 10 skeletons pop back up to join Vlad in his struggle to bed a Fenbeast.  Or something.  Once the Vampire power pool has been thinned out, the Elf Archmage is able to  dispel their remaining attempts.
The Terrorgheist’s shout kills another four Silverhelms, and then it kills another one in combat.  The Elf cavalry (and their horses) rough it up and somehow win the combat.  The Fenbeasts continue to play hard-to-get, resisting Vlad’s alluring gaze and eyebrow waggles, and beat the hell out of the skeletons until only Vlad and the Skeleton champion still stand.  The Manticore finishes off it’s Snackogriff, while the Elf Spearmen kill a feeble four Grave Guard before the undead kill nine elves, who hold… just.

The Great Eagle charges optimistically at the Vampire on the Arcane Fulcrum, and the Swordmasters and Manticore pile into the unfortunate Ghouls, who are having a really bad day.  The Archers move up, considering getting into the flank of the Grave Guard…  Maybe.
The Lore of Heavens is ascendant again, and the easily-ignored (unless you’re a Ghoul) Purple Sun finally drifts off the board, and thanks to his (no doubt intentional) rearranging of geography, the Archmage is in a good position to cast Regrowth on the Fenbeasts, patching up some of the holes left by Vlad’s stab wounds.  The
Mage checks his cataclysm spells again, and throws out Fantastic Foresight, letting the Elves re-roll their failed
casting, dispel and channelling attempts.  An attempt at buffing the Spearmen with Shield of Thorns is dispelled, but the Archmage sneaks through a Throne of Vines, before trying out a cataclysm spell of his own, The Gardener’s Warcry (oooh, menacing) and creating a Blood Forest under the Grave Guard.  Naturally, as a master of magic, he miscasts it.  His Throne of Vines protects him from his regular miscast, but it can’t stop his cataclysmic miscast.  Squeezing his eyes tightly closed and crossing everything he can cross… Did the world just move?  He finds himself on a different Arcane Fulcrum, in a different part of the battlefield.  So does the Mage.  To the delight of the Great Eagle, so does the Vampire, replaced with a much more feeble Necromancer.
The overexcited Great Eagle and very surprised Necromancer both both whiff their attacks, but the Manticore and Swordmasters try to make up for it, demolishing the remaining Ghouls.  The Silverhelms and Terrorgheist trade hits, the monster slooooowly crumbling into pieces.  The Elf Spearmen outdo themselves in terms of incompetence, managing to kill a pathetic two Grave Guard before being battered and breaking from combat.  At least the Grave Guard don’t pursue and overrun them.  Vlad’s relentless pick-up artist skills eventually find a Fenbeast that doesn’t respond by punching him in the dick, and he Beguiles him/her/it.  The rest trample his Skeletons down again, leaving him all alone.

The Grave Guard make a charge over the river (of Necrotic Ooze) at the Archers.  Somehow, fourteen of them die doing this, thanks to some extremely unlikely dangerous terrain rolls.  With everything else stuck in combat, the Vampires go straight to spinning the spinner to Lore of Death (and Lord of Vampires) again, and rolling up eighteen power dice.  Oh dear.
An attempt to Unbind Monster on the Manticore succeeds, and the Mage uses his Feedback Scroll– sadly, the Vampire’s Arcane Fulcrum ward save protects him.  The Manticore rolls on the Unbind Monster table… and promptly freaks out and goes into Frenzy, making it slightly better.  A Magical Duel is dispelled, but there’s that can be done to stop a Wind of Death.  Luckily it’s terrible, killing only one Silverhelm and one Spearelf.  A Spirit Host pops into existence by the Mage’s Arcane Fulcrum, and after a couple of dispelled attempts it’s eventually pushed into combat with Vanhel’s Dance Macabre.
The weakened Terrorgheists’s shouts do nothing to the Silverhelms, and they finally kill it off.  The Fenbeasts refuse Vlad’s advances again, and while he manages to kill one of them, they kill him.  That’s only an inconvenience for him thanks to the Carstein Ring, though, and he reappears in the Grave Guard unit.  Between them, Vlad and the Grave Guard beat and break the Archers, who flee past the Repeater Bolt Throwers.  The Spirit Host and Mage flail uselessly at each other, and the Spirit Host is repelled from the Arcane Fulcrum… for now.

The Great Eagle charges back into the Necromancer, and the Fenbeasts try to charge the Vampire on the Arcane Fulcrum but just stumble forwards.  The Silverhelms move around to line up a charge on the Spirit Host, while the Archers rally and turn to face the Grave Guard, and the Spearelves continue to run.
A feeble spin leaves the Lore of Light unhelpfully ascendant, but the Elf casters do end up with twenty power dice to play with.  An unquestioned master of magic, the Archmage fails Regrowth.  Luckily, Fantastic Foresight lets him re-roll and not embarrassingly screw it up.  Four Archers pop back up, ready to get beaten down by the Grave Guard again.  The Mage tries dropping a rock on someone, but having learned the traditional Elf casting methods, miscasts.  Oh, dear.  He gives himself a magical lobotomy, and then swaps himself and his Arcane Fulcrum with the Archmage and his.
His Comet of Casandora never lands.
The Archmage tries to summon another wood with The Gardener’s Warcry, but the Vampires dispel this one.  Just as well, we’re running out scenery.  Another cataclysm spell, Storm of Renewal, is dispelled, but he annoys the Spirit Host with Awakening of the Wood before failing to cast The Dwellers Below (and then failing his re-roll, too).
Masters of magic, indeed.
The revitalised Archers and both Repeater Bolt Throwers open up on the Grave Guard, picking off a handful of them, and the Great Eagle and Necromancer again fail to hit each other.  Luckily, the Necromancer has the decency to crumble to dust, letting the Great Eagle salvage some self-respect.

The Spirit Host charges at the new Arcane Fulcrum and inhabitant before them, and the Grave Guard charge the Repeater Bolt Thrower.  The Lore of Death is ascendant, again, so it’s time to spam some spells.  Thanks to the ascendant Lore of Vampires, repeated Invocations of Nehek raise 18 Grave Guard.
Unsurprisingly, Vlad wipes out the Repeater Bolt Thrower crew, and the Grave Guard overrun into the Archers.  The Spirit Host fail to inflict any damage on the Archmage, but he manages to botch his Leadership roll and flees off his Arcane Fulcrum.  Truly, the noblest of races.

The Fenbeasts reach the Arcane Fulcrum with their charge this turn, and the Silverhelms pile into the flank of Spirit Host, hoping for a win through static combat resolution.  The Manticore crashes into the rear of the Grave Guard, hoping to do something to turn the combat in the Elves’ favour.  The Archmage rallies himself, as do the Spearmen, just before their slow-motion rout carries them off the table.  The Swordmasters and Great Eagle try to get themselves into useful positions, but they’re running out of time…
The Lore of Life is ascendant this turn, with seventeen power dice to play with.  A Shield of Thorns is dispelled, but the Silverhelms are repopulated with Regrowth.  Without anything useful left to do for either side, The Vampires dispel the Throne of Vines.
The Spirit Host crumbles under the charge of the Silverhelms, and the Vampire and sole Fenbeast that can fit onto the Fulcrum swing at each other and miss in another dramatic/terrible fight.  Meanwhile, the Manticore and Archers put down a handful of Grave Guard before being beaten thanks to Vlad’s prowess.  The Archers flee off the board, and the unfortunate Manticore has the crazy beaten out of it before being run down by the pursuing Grave Guard.

Vlad abandons the Grave Guard, striking out for the Arcane Fulcrum the Archmage fled from.  The Grave Guard turn back towards the Mage’s Arcane Fulcrum, preparing to try and drive him off it.
Again, the Lore of Vampires is ascendant.  Vlad tries to Vanhel’s Dance Macabre his way into the Arcane Fulcrum, and it’s dispelled.  He tries using Transagar’s Transportation to get into it, and is dispelled.  Another Vanhel’s Dance Macabre works, though, and Vlad takes the Arcane Fulcrum.  The other Vampire raids the cataclysmic spell book and tries to summon the Army of Doom Keep to protect himself from the Fenbeasts, but
fails.
(Rules interlude- we found you can’t use Transagar’s Transportation unless you’re on an Arcane Fulcrum afterwards.  It wouldn’t make any difference, as Vlad could just Vanhel’s Dance Macabre himself)

The Fenbeasts pile into the Vampire’s Arcane Fulcrum again, while the other elves reposition themselves.
The Lore of Heavens is ascendant in the Magic phase, which is surely what the self-lobotomised Elf Mage wants to hear.  The Archmage throws up his Throne of Vines again, and then tries a Magical Duel with Vlad, which is dispelled.  An Awakening of the Wood can’t knock him off the Arcane Fulcrum either…
One of the Fenbeasts manages to beat the other Vampire down, clearing the Arcane Fulcrum and leaving the High Elves with one Arcane Fulcrum, and the Vampire Counts with one.

With that, the game ends in another glorious draw.  We’re so good at this, we’re almost unbeatable.

Anyway.  Monsters & Magic are a fun addition, with a huge amount of options- you can take all kinds of fast-moving cavalry and monsters you usually couldn’t, beefy monstrous infantry like the Fenbeasts or Ogres, or go crazy with unpredictable but powerful Arcane Artefacts. The enhanced Magic phase with the boosted winds of magic, ascendant lores and cataclysm spells is fun, too.  We’ve played another Storm of Magic game since, using the new Vampire Count book, and their shift to more standard magic (no repeat castings, notably) seems to bring things more into line magically.  Cataclysm spells weren’t too cataclysmic (this time, anyway..), so overall things were a success!

Except for, y’know, actually winning.