Warhammer Fantasy Battle 6ed game: Skaven vs Wood Elves 1999pts
Report: Jakub Polkowski; Story: Jarosław Westermark, Jakub Polkowski
Art: Katarzyna Borek-Polkowska
Old Screetch nervously slammed his stiff tail against the tunnel floor. The slaves standing nearby shrunk in fear and started smashing their pickaxes into the granite walls with renewed enthusiasm.
The warpstone engineer was impatient and irritated - his time was
a priceless commodity, and any who wasted it deserved severe punishment ... He bared
his fangs and glared at Wordsgnaw.
“Must I wait-wait here much longer? Everything was supposed to be already done-prepared!”
The calmness of Wordsgnaw’s response impressed him.
“Very soon, oh most Wonderful of Minds! Soon-soon! My warp echo-locator shows that we are only a few pickaxe hits away from the Dwarven fortress.”
Old Screetch turned his gaze back to the slaves. Wordsgnaw was talented and inventive. The machines he constructed were almost as good as his. Besides, he has not let him down even once so far. These were highly suspicious circumstances. Was he trying to lure him into a false sense of security? What was he plotting? Screetch shook his head. At least his other subordinate, called simply the Electrician, was more transparent, with motives and methods easier to understand and beat. You just couldn’t have it all in this rat-eat-rat world. Great talent usually meant an even greater appetite for power.
One of the man-slaves hit the wall’s weak spot and with a huge rumble, a section of the tunnel collapsed, burying a dozen other slaves under a pile of rubble. When the dust settled, the Skaven saw an opening leading to a huge cavern.
Wordsgnaw released the musk of excitement.
“Yes-yes, oh Greatest One! As I promised you – this cave is the road to the Bugman fortress. It's high time for the Skryre clan to triumph!”
Old Screetch stood dumbfounded. The idea was crazy, even by Skaven standards, and yet it had really worked! When Wordsgnaw asked him to assign him some slaves and a small pack of clanrats, so he could test his new machine away from Skavenblight, he agreed without question – every engineer in the field is one less potential stab in the back to worry about. When Wordsgnaw came back after a month with information that he had managed to plot a safe path leading to the dwarf stronghold and needed more slaves, he again agreed to his subordinate’s request. He had quite a few slaves to spare and the potential profit within the clan hierarchy was worth the risk.
A week ago, when a messenger brought an encrypted message engraved in a human femur, that Wordsgnaw’s tunnel was ready and the attack could commence, Old Screetch hesitated only for a moment. He quickly gathered all of his loyal claw-leaders and ordered an immediate march through the Underway. Like every operation carried out by the Skaven, this one was also bound to succeed. The key was the flawless execution of a perfectly thought-out plan. The direction of the march of Screetch’s forces remained a mystery to other clans’ warlords.
Now the trio of engineers, Screetch, Wordsgnaw and the Electrician, stood side by side, ready to take a step forward and add another great victory to the history of the Horned One’s chosen. A victory over their eternal enemy!
“Claw-leader Snooki!”, Old Screetch called the commander of his guard, “Gather all units!” He looked at his warp chronometer. “We will surprise them and hit them at dawn. Quick-quick!”
The huge, black-furred Skaven bowed and rushed back to the camp.
“Well, Wordsgnaw! If this attack succeeds, maybe I will forget about that pathetic assassination attempt from a week ago.”
Wordsgnaw blinked with sincere surprise, as if he didn’t know what his master was talking about. Screetch’s whiskers shivered. It was almost… too sincere. Was the attempt really someone else’s doing? Was Wordsgnaw… loyal? If so, then he was no true Skaven, and not much of a threat.
Old Screetch was proud of his troops. From his honorary place at the back of the army, he admired even columns of warriors moving almost in complete silence, filling the vast cave with their numbers.
They were accompanied by wonderful works of Skaven warp-engineering – ratling guns and Jezzail teams. Slaves carried these heavy weapons behind their proud operators. Nobody could stop the children of the Horned Rat today! At the very thought of the miracles that awaited him in the Dwarven fortress, Screetch’s heart began to beat faster, and his whiskers straightened. He pulled out a small pouch from his robe and sucked in a bit of warpstone powder to calm down.
The substance acted quickly, sharpening all senses. A noise reached his ears, steadily growing louder with every step. The cavern ahead narrowed and turned left. The army made the turn but had to stop. The cave exit was closed off by a waterfall; cascading water illuminated by the light of the rising sun.
“What are you waiting for?! Forward-forward! Attack, ATTACK!” Old Screetch yelled.
Whip-snapping Packmasters quickly forced the slaves to cross the water barrier. Clanrats followed close behind. Then came the Skryre clan specialists and finally the trio of Engineers with their bodyguards.
Old Screetch simply hated water. He darted to the side and screeched with disgust. For a moment he saw nothing, blinded by the morning light. While he waited for his sight to return, he reached out with his other, drug-sharpened senses and quickly realised, that something was very, very wrong. Instead of forge-fumes and the stench of Dwarven sweat, Old Screetch sensed only fresh air and lush vegetation. The air wasn’t filled with shouting, but with birdsong. Old Screetch slowly opened his eyes.
“Wordsgnaw!!! You incompetent idiot-fool! What’s this supposed to be?! This is a wood-forest, not a dwarven fortress!!!”
Wordsgnaw shook nervously and mumbled to himself.
“I do not understand. The plan was perfect. I could not go wrong.”
He reached into his robe with a shaking paw and pulled out a map drawn on a piece of tanned human skin. “I do not understand…”, he kept repeating.
Old Screetch came over and yanked the map away from him. He studied it for a moment. A glance at his warp-compass was all he needed to understand the reason behind this development.
“Stupid fool-fool!!! You read the map upside-down! You will pay for your incompetence as soon as we return to…” he didn’t manage to finish his sentence. With a tremendous crash, a boulder fell to the ground just behind him, blocking the entrance to the tunnel and almost smashing him. The ground shook, the air was quickly filled with the musk of fear.
Screetch heard a soft whisper on the wind: the deadly hiss of arrows. One of his bodyguards squeaked and fell, a long, wooden shaft protruding from his eye socket. More ratmen joined him mere moments later.
The old engineer knew he had been betrayed. He should have known! Dwarf-things closely monitored their tunnels. Wordsgnaw was a fool to believe he could find a backdoor so easily. But no matter. There were foes nearby and they needed killing if the army – and, more importantly, Screetch himself – was to survive. All who oppose the Skaven must fall! Screetch reached for his bags and pulled out a hefty, corked bottle. He opened it, releasing a foul stench into the air, and called his bodyguard to him.
“One gulp-swallow each!”, he commanded. “You will fight-fight like demons, my underlings! TO ARMS!”
Ah, my dear, sweet furballs! I’ve been collecting Skaven almost as long as I’ve been into the hobby. Over two decades now. However, due to the fuss of taking out 150+ models for each game, I haven’t really played them all that much. They’ve only ever seen real action in 8th edition, really. However, I’ve lately played a couple of tourney with ‘em and figured I’d take them out for a spin one more time. On one of the tourney’s I actually met Kuba’s Wood Elves and managed to fight him to a draw, with a slight points advantage (which I shall cherish forever!). So I was feeling pretty confident that I could get even further this time. Ah, overconfidence – the best weapon of the Skaven!
I’ve never really tried using frenzied units, but figured that since it’s 1999 points, I could really afford the interesting stuff. That’s why I went with a contingent of plague monks and censer bearers to complement my regular Clanrats, slaves and Ratlings. I also picked a unit of Stormvermin to by my general’s bodyguards and decided to give said general, Old Screetch, some Skavenbrew, so that he can make his unit even hittier. There’s nothing in the Wood Elf army that can take on a full block of hatred/frenzy Stormvermin, right? Especially if they carry a banner which protects them from arrows (to some extent).
I rounded out the force with 10 Jezzails and a Gutter Runner unit to disrupt the Elven lines. The plan was to move Slaves forward, keep the rest slightly back and fire away with magic and warpstone weapons, then charge with frenzied units when the time was right.
What could go wrong?
Wood Elves army
Hello after a long, long break.
It’s been a while since I have played WFB and I must say that I missed it a lot! The huge time gap between reports was the result that both Jarek and me were preparing a tournament – Rada Par Parada which turned out to be huge success.
Now, let’s go back to the report. This time my Wood Elves will have to fight against a chittering Skaven horde led by Jarek. Our forces met once on a tournament in Zduńska Wola and it was a draw (Yes Jarek, I remember that You have scored more ‘small’ points!). But it was a 1500pts battle. Playing 1999 is quite a different story.
My army is very similar to the one I have used against the Druchii invasion – the main difference is that I will use Wild Riders for the first time – a unit I’ve been painting for years. Those were painful miniatures to assemble and even more to paint. I am quite sure I won’t buy any more of those.
Apart from that, I took a 1st level Spellsinger – Alethir – with 2 scrolls, who as usual will be my army general. Karodras, an Alter noble with a double-handed sword, shield, light armor and an obvious magic items combo: Stone of the Crystal Mere and Helm of the Hunt. There is always a place in my list for the Dongaer – the Army Battle Standard bearer. Especially if he is equipped with a Hail of Doom Arrow.
From the core section, I opted for 3 units of the Glade Guard (11 with a musician, 10, 10), 3 units of Dryads (9 models in each unit) and one unit of Glade Riders with a musician.
The special section was filled with 2 units of Wardancers (8 with musician and 7) and Wild Riders (with Warbanner and musician) that I have mentioned earlier.
In rare section there were no surprises – the Treeman for me is a must.
As far as it comes to strategy – I am almost sure that my opponent will bring a Skryre-heavy army. It will probably consist of 3 upgraded Skryre engineers, many ratling guns, Jezzails, a Warp lightning cannon and a bunch of Clanrats assisted by a slaves.
From my point of view, the main thing that needs to be done in order to win this battle would be to neutralize (as soon as possible!) at least one of the engineers. Those damned auto hitting and ward save-negating lightning bolts are a bane to almost everything in my Asrai army. With only one Spellsinger I should be able to defend my army for the first magic turn.
The second one will be probably very painful and if on turn 3 my enemy will still have all 3 of his magic casters on a battlefield, I will surely lose this game.
The second unit that I am really afraid of is the Jezzails. This is the only threat for my Treeman that Skaven can field and what is very important – they have better range than any of my units…
I would be very happy to use the Hail of Doom arrow to neutralize them. The Warp Lightning cannon, on the other hand, is very random so in my opinion, not as dangerous as the Jezzails.
My army strategy will be quite simple – divide and conquer. I plan to use my “free” forest to separate Skaven units and destroy them one at the time. I have the advantage of manoeuvrability and I hope to use it extensively by putting fast units on the flanks and trying a refused-center strategy. There I hope to deploy my archers and make the rats pay dearly for every inch they gain.
Sounds simple, but with Skaven led by Jarek, it is never an easy trip.
Mission: Pitched battle
Alethir: Tree singing (Lore of Loren)
Old Screetch, Wordsgnaw, the Engineer: Warp Lightning
Skaven won the roll-off for the side selection, first deployment and first turn!
Skaven turn 1
At the beginning of the battle, the Stormvermin consumed the Skavenbrew that Old Screetch prepared beforehand. The effect was incredible powerful, as the unit was affected by both frenzy and hatred for the rest of the game.
After that, units began to move. Due to the fact that the Jezzails had occupied the forest in the center of the battleline, other units in the center had limited options and simply moved forward, leaving small gaps for the Engineer and a rattling gun. The Censer Bearers were looming behind the Stormvermin and Plague Monks.
On the right flank a unit of Clanrats with a Ratling gun moved behind the rock of skulls.
On the left flank, Giant Rats and Slaves were forced to move forward. The Clanrats with Wordsgnaw and a Ratling Gun took position behind those 2 units.
The Magic phase started with the Engineer casting Warp Lightning at the Dryads standing in front of the Glade Guard. He succeeded, but the spell died when the Alethir used one of his dispel scrolls. Then Old Screetch tried to fry the Glade Riders, but failed to cast the spell on 3 dice.
The Engineer used his Stormdaemon to kill 2 Dryads.
Wordsgnaw ate his Warpstone token, but the effect wasn’t quite what he expected – he lost a wound, as well as rolling a miscast!
Skryre’s finest lowered their barrels and aimed at the Glade Riders rushing through the forest. Warp-enfused bullets flew through the air and 3 riders were killed instantly. But the brave Elves held their nerve.
One of the Stormvermin fell dead due to the extreme side-effects of the Skavenbrew.
Wood Elves turn 1
The Asrai rushed forward with a mighty shriek, determined to purge their sacred domain of the ratmen’s filth.
On the right flank the Spellsinger moved behind the Glade Guard unit, which moved to be in shooting range of the Clanrats. The Dryads ran to the right side of the battlefield, giving the archers a clear line of sight. The Treeman came out of cover behind the obelisks and headed to the forest in the center of the map. The Wardancers with the Army Battle Standard followed suit. The Dryads that suffered casualties moved away from the Glade Guards and left them with a clear line of sight as well.
Two survivors from the Glade Rider unit decided to sacrifice themselves – they rode as close to the frenzied Stormvermins as they could.
On the left flank Karodras, the Wild Riders, Wardancers and Dryads took safe positions near the rock of skulls.
The Treeman managed to cast his bound spell at the forest occupied by the Jezzails, but was out of range, so no damage was inflicted.
Dongaer took an arrow from his quiver. A very special one. He whispered a spell at its tip, pulled the string of his bow, aimed at the Jezzails and released it. In mid air it split into 13 black arrows, which pierced through bodies of 5 gunners. That was more than enough to make the rest run away.
The Glade Guardians let loose their arrows next. The unit on the right flank killed 2 Clanrats. The unit in the middle shot at the Plague Monks and killed 2 of the unnaturally resilient Skaven. The unit on the left flank also shot at them, but their arrows had no effect. One more monk was shot dead by brave Glade Riders.
Skaven turn 2
The Glade Riders were now positioned in front of the frenzied Stormvermin and Plague Monks. However, due to their clever manoeuvring, only the Stormvermin could actually complete a charge against them. The Monks could not intervene. And so the general’s unit – drunk on Skavenbrew – had to hurl itself at the Glade Riders, who decided to hold.
Next, the tunneling team emerged from the ground, but their tunnel exit appeared to be far, far away from the intended position.
“We are lost-lost! That cannot be our target-place!”, Squeaked one of the Gutter Runners.
“Do you mean-say that great Engineer Old Screetch is wrong?”, responded Zinni, the unit leader.
The younger rat opened his jaw to answer but in time spotted the trap that what Zinni had set for him.
“No, no. Never! You are right-right. This must be it!”
Zinni smiled. He just killed two birds with one stone: asserted dominance and reeled in his worrisomely promising right-paw rat. It wasn’t always easy with these younglings, keeping them in line. But to be true… he also had some doubts. There were far too many tree roots underneath for the supposed dwarf stronghold. But he kept his thoughts to himself. He raised his chronometer. It was the time.
“Quick-quick, for the last time! Concentrate! According to the infallible Old Screetch’s plan, we’re just under the dwarf-thing forge. We enter and kill all that are left there. The main assault will begin soon-soon, so there will be panic-fear and all shall fall before the Claws of the Eshin!”. Zinni waited a few seconds more, just to make sure his warriors wouldn’t have to face too much of an opposition.
“Now! DIG UP!!!”
Still – they were able to charge the Glade Guard, who decided to stand and shoot and killed two of them before reaching for their elegant swords.
The Jezzail unit continued to flee and proceeded to run away from the battlefield.
The Clanrats on the Skaven right flank circled around the rock of skulls, leaving a tiny gap for the Endineer to cast his deadly spells against Karodras.
Slaves at the left flank moved to intercept the Treeman. The Giant Rats moved closer to the Dryads. In the center of the battleline, the Censer Bearers moved forward and stood right next to the Plague Monks.
As Old Screetch was in close combat and couldn’t cast any spells, Wordsgnaw cast Warp Lightning with Irresistible Force against the Treeman and managed to knock down two wounds from the ancient forest spirit.
The Engineer was not so lucky – his result was a mistast, which meant that he couldn’t cast any more spells. He also tried to use his Stormdaemon but this was dispelled by Alethir.
The Ratling Gun on the right flank opened fire and 3 Dryads were annihilated. The Ratling in the center opened fire at the Dryads standing in front of the Wild Riders and even though he inflicted 11 hits, only 2 fell dead!
Old Screetch has had enough of his warriors’ incompetence and slayed both Glade Riders on his own! The Stormvermin unit, due to being frenzy, had to overrun and expose their flank but miraculously, the roll for distance was only 2 inches!
The Gutter Runners killed one of the Glade Guard but were outnumbered, so the fight had ended in a stalemate.
Once more, one Stormvermin died due to the side-effects of Skavenbrew.
Wood Elves turn 2
The Dryads and the Alter noble were the only units able to charge the exposed Stormvermin’s flank.
The Wardancers on the left side of the battlefield charged the Clanrats who held.
The Dryads in the center charged the Gutter Runners, who surprisingly passed their fear test.
On the right flank the Wardancers and the Dryads charged the Slaves who fled and managed to run away and avoid destruction.
Magic phase was simply omitted.
In the shooting phase, the Glade Guardians on the right flank killed 2 Clanrats and the unit on the hill seized their opportunity – the Engineer had lost the protection normally granted by the proximity of friendly troops (since they were now in combat). The Elves shot him dead without mercy. The Treeman aimed his Strangleroot attack at the Clanrats, but was out of range.
Karodras didn't think; he acted. The flank of the enemy unit was unprotected, and he saw the lightning caster there. He started to run toward the heavily armored ratman. At the edge of the vision, he noticed that the Dryads also saw the opening in the enemy formation. Good.
He had fought against Skaven before. The horrid wounds he suffered from one of their guns still hurt when the winter months came around. He learned a hard lesson then and would now take his revenge.
The Stormvermin were so blood-frenzied after killing the elven riders that they haven't seen the upcoming Asrai. The Dryads reached them first. Two of them attacked Old Screetch with their razor-sharp branches, but his enhanced reflexes saved him from harm, save for one grazing his which wounded his arm. The third Dryad run straight into the Stormvermins and butchered two of them, spraying blood onto their comrades, which caught their attention.
Now was his moment! Karodras jumped into the middle of the unit, slashing with his blade as he descended. The blade danced in a circle and one of the Skaven elite warriors was cut in half. Before the blood from his arteries hit the closest ratman, Karodras made another two lightning-fast slashes, and decapitated another two other Skaven. The unexpected violence of this assault shocked the Stormvermin. The one closest to Karodras and the Dryads dropped his halberd and began to flee. The rest quickly followed suit. Karodras howled and chased after them, cutting them down left and right. Revenge was his.
The Wood Elves won the combat in the center by 1 point and the break roll result was a 9. The Dryads and Alter Noble decided to run after the ratmen, but it was Karodras who caught them.
As a result of panic, two Ratling Guns and the Slave unit started to run away.
The Wardancers killed only 4 of the Clanrats and lost the combat by 1 point. But luckily – they passed their break test.
Skaven turn 3
The only charge that happened was by the crazed Censer bearers against the Dryads.
Both Ratling Guns failed their morale checks and ran from the battlefield. The two panicked Slave units continued to flee.
Wordsgnaw left his unit of Clanrats, which in turned moved backward – as far from the Treeman as they could.
There was only 1 Warp Engineer on the table and he failed to cast Warp Lightning against the Treeman.
The last remaining Ratling Gun opened fire at the Alter noble. It hit 7 times and inflicted 3 wounds. Which all were saved by the Stone of the Crystal Mere.
Before the the combat begun, the poisonous gas killed 2 Dryads and one of the Censer Bearers. But those who were still alive smashed all the Dryads into splinters.
On the right flank, the Wardancers couldn’t kill a single Clanrat as all their blows were blocked the ratmen’s armour and shields. In return, one of the Elves was killed and this time the Wardancers failed their break test. They just barely managed to escape but the Clanrats pursued into back of the Wild Riders!
Wood Elves turn 3
Karodras charged Wordsgnaw, who decided to flee rather than stand and fight. He was so eager not to get killed
by the Shapeshifter that he ran away from the table.
The Dryads on the right flank charged the Giant Rats, who fled, but were too slow and were butchered as they ran.
The Treeman moved closer to the Ratling Gun. The Glade Guard reformed and the Wardancers moved closer to the forest.
On the left flank, the Wardancers rallied.
Once again there was no magic phase for the Wood Elves.
All the archers shot at the Censer Bearers, but none of the crazed rats were harmed!
The Treeman attacked the Ratling Gun with his roots and inflicted 4 hits and 2 fatal wounds.
The Clanrats attacked the Wild Riders in a way that best suited them – stabbing from the back – and managed to kill one Elf without suffering any losses themselves. That meant that the Wild Riders had lost the combat on a -6. The dice were rolled and a result was 1 and 1. The Wild Riders HELD!
Skaven turn 4
The Clanrats on the right flank passed the terror test and charged the Treeman. One of them was killed by the stand and shoot reaction.
Both Slaves units ran away from the battlefield.
The Censer Bearers moved closer to the Glade Guard in the center and the Plague Monks closed in on the embattled Wild Riders.
There were no more magic casters nor shooting units.
In close combat the Wild Riders killed 2 of the Clanrats. One of their number fell to the
overwhelming numbers of the ratmen. The Elves had to take another break test. This one
was with a -4 modifier and miraculously they passed again.
On the other side of the battlefield the Clanrats were unable to pierce the thick bark of the ancient forest spirit. The Treeman swung his huge arms in crude arcs and simply annihilated 5 of the assailants. Despite such a massacre, it was the Skaven, who had won the combat by having a musician in their ranks. And the break test was failed. Luckily, Dongaer was nearby and provided a much needed reroll. With that the Treeman had held
Wood Elves turn 4
On the right flank, the Dryads charged the Clanrats’ flank and it was enough to make them run away.
On the left flank, the Wardancers charged the Clanrats one more time.
The Dryads moved away from the Censer Bearers, the Alter noble moved to the center of the battlefield and the Wardancers moved to be just out of Censer Bearers’ charge range.
The Treeman was in range of the running Clanrats, so he used his root attack again and this time it was deadly – 6 vermin were dragged under the ground, screaming in terror.
The Gluade Guard in the center managed to put down 3 of the Censer Bearers. One more was shot by the archers on the hill. But still – there were 5 of them left standing.
The Wardancers attacked the Clanrats with righteous fury and killed 5 of them. The Wild Riders added 5 more from 6 attacks! That was more than enough to break them, but they managed to run away and avoid final annihilation. Both Elven units were chasing after them though.
Skaven turn 5
The only charge was the Censer Bearers against the Glade Guard. The brave Elves held the charge.
Both units of Clanrats rallied.
The Plague Monks moved toward the Glade Guard on the hill.
The Censer Bearer attack was brutal. The poisonous gas itself killed 3 of the archers and the rest were simply beaten into a bloody pulp.
Wood Elves turn 5
The Clanrats on the left flank were charged by the Wild Riders and the Wardancers and decided to flee. But they were cut down by the pursuing Wild Riders.
On the right flank the Clanrats were charged by the Alter noble, the Treeman and the Dryads. They also opted to flee and were also chased down and butchered.
The last unit of Dryads decided to attack the Censer Bearers.
The archers on the hill backed a little and then shot at the Plague Monks killing 3 of them.
The poisonous gas killed 3 of the Dryads before the combat begun. The forest spirits killed 2 of the Skaven and in return the Censer Bearers murdered the exact same number of Athel Loren’s defenders. That meant a -3 to break test and the Dryads held.
Skaven turn 6
The Plague Monks tried to charge the Glade Guard, but were too far, though two of them were killed as a result of a stand and shoot reaction.
In close combat, the Dryads killed 2 Censer Bearers and won the combat by 1 point. The Skaven failed their break test and were finally killed while trying to escape, their mad rampage ended with a whimper, not a bang.
Wood Elves turn 6
The Wood Elf units moved around to grab table quarters.
The only thing that happened was one more volley of arrows that hit the Plague Monks – one of them fell.
With that, the battle was over.
Wordsgnaw was badly hurt. His wounds still bled black ichor. But he will overcome this. Much worse was the pain that he had to endure due to the lack of Warp powder. His eyes were bloodshot and his whole body trembled like those cursed leaves on the wind. He accidentally bit his tongue so many times that he was wondering if he will ever be able to speak clearly again.
He was running through the tunnels, alongside the few surviving Clanrats and some Stormvermin from Old Screetch’s unit. Those were not Skaven tunnels and he had no idea where they were leading to. To keep his fragile leadership over this pitiful band, he had to lie that he knew exactly where they were going. At least lying still came easy to him.
Wordsgnaw tried to focus. It was getting harder and harder. His heart was beating with unnatural rhythm and the vein at the back of his head was pulsing.
“Move-move, lazy imbeciles! We are not far away from the safe of the Underway!”
They didn't hesitate, which was good. They wanted to run anyway, but not it seemed like they eagerly followed his order. He was one among many, which meant that for a time he was safe… and with that thought he lost his balance and hit the cave wall with his shoulder. The collar bone broke flooding his body with a new wave of pain. He cursed.
“I must have had offended the Hornet One! That’s why all this happened”. Then he recalled how Old Screetch was cut down by a shapeshifting Elf and how the Engineer was pinned to the ground by the cloud of arrows loosed by distant archers. 'Maybe I am not so unlucky after all' he thought. Sure, they lost a lot of clan's masterful designed Skaven technology during this battle, for which he would surely be punished. On the other hand, he was now two tiers higher in the hierarchy of the clan. If he could just present this failure as a result of Old Screetch’s incompetence, he could still be forgiven. He might even benefit from this disaster… if his story was good enough.
Wordsgnaw stopped suddenly when an idea materialized in his twisted mind. A brilliant one. Indeed, only a Skaven with a mind as extraordinary as his could develop such a plot!
Yes! They broke into the dwarven stronghold. But it was a trap. Yes, they fought bravely, like all members of their supreme race were bound to do. But the dwarves were prepared for the attack – someone must have warned the stunties. He, all alone, managed to break through enemy lines and escape the slaughter just to let the Council of Thirteen know that Skavenblight became infested with dwarven sympathisers. And that’s not all! During his long and dangerous journey back, he managed to find a new route to Athel Loren! The the Lords of Decay would surely be impressed by his deeds.
There was only one problem. No-one could tell the truth. And a Skaven couldn’t can't trust anyone with even the smallest secret. Wordsgnaw bit his tongue once more while he gathered all the willpower left in his body. Green sparks jumped over his artificial claws and after few seconds the amplifier attached to his backs did the rest. All the survivors in front of him were engulfed in a storm of Warp Lightning. In a single heartbeat, they were all turned into ash. Wordsgnaw was leaning against the cave wall, coughing blood from exhaustion.
“Now quick-quick”, he told himself. “Back to Skavenblight!”
Skaven 287 (0) : 2441 (20) Wood Elves
Oh man! So many missed opportunities! The Skavenbrew was obviously a bad idea, three Frenzied units in one army is a lot to deal with, and Jakub capitalized on my lack of skill perfectly. Once I saw that his Glade Riders could easily pull my General’s unit from the rest, I knew I had an uphill battle in front of me. I shouldn’t have gotten the rats drunk. I should have pulled my General out of the doomed unit. I should have put the Censer Bearers forward or pushed the Monks a little further than the valuable Stormvermin. I should have averted this disaster. Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve…
However, I felt I could still snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat. I had a lot of tools at my disposal and was far from beaten. Alas! In true Skaven fashion EVERYTHING FAILED! The Ratling which shot the Alter square in the head didn’t manage to wound him. The Warp Lightnings fizzled, my engineers miscast, their Warp tokens gave them indigestion. The Clanrats failed to catch the Wardancers, and later to break the Wild Riders despite inflicting significant losses. The tunnelling team emerged on the wrong side of the Glade Guard line. My Stormvermin got absolutely slaughtered by the Noble (1 wound less would save me!). The things that did hit, underperformed whenever it truly mattered. I just couldn’t catch a break, really-really! There seems to be one feasible explanation – sabotage. And I’m sticking with it.
Lessons learned: 1. be VERY careful with Frenzy when facing an experience opponent, 2. Bunching up units in the deployment zone can lead to disaster, 3. Learn to roll better (or get loaded dice)! The Skaven are Warhammer dialled up to 11. If you roll well, they dominate. If luck isn’t with you in a couple critical moments, they scurry away fast enough to make your head spin.
This marks the 13th battle I played with Skryre-themed Skaven. Time for a change methinks. Funny how I regularly switch armies after playing Jakub’s Wood Elves. Damn those beautiful, tree-hugging bastards! Until next time.
Skaven unit of the game:
The Censer Bearers of course! The one professional unit in the game. They did their part, ignoring the sea of mediocrity that surrounded them. They moved up, killed some Elves, moved up again and killed some more. If only I could have given them even the smallest amount of support! Ah well… so many missed opportunities!
That was a really strange game. It was a mix of good and bad luck for both of us. In the end the dice responsible for the break tests, not the brilliant strategy, decided who was victorious.
My plan to outflank the Skaven army and to concentrate on killing the Engineers and the Jezzails worked out quite well. I had a hell of a lot of luck with a flank charge of the Dryads and Alter noble into Stormvermin, as well as with passing two break tests with the Wild Riders. On the other hand, the bad performance of the Wardancers attacking the Clanrats could easily cost me a flank, as well as the unit of Glade Guard on the hill.
Also, my shooting (except for the Hail of Doom Arrow) was very ineffective. I feel like it was almost useless to field so many of Glade Guardians. MAYBE I will find some points for the Treekin in my list after all… And more Dryads :)
What surprised me was that at the end of the game I still had one dispel scroll, so this alone can say much about Jarek's dice rolls in the magic phase...
Still – I am very happy to be back at playing. Fighting against Jarek and his beautiful armies is always a real pleasure and I can't wait for our next meeting.
Wood Elves unit of the game:
I had a real headache when trying to choose who should earn this title. I couldn't decide if it was the Alter noble with the Dryad who caused enough damage to break and kill the Stormvermin, or maybe the Glade Riders who sacrificed themselves to make catch the Stormvermin in a mouse-trap. But sometimes the real heroes are the ones who are not at the front line. That was the case with this battle – Dongaer, my Army Battle Standard Bearer had a huge impact on how the battle went – he eliminated the Jezzail threat and allowed the Treeman to rumble around the battlefield without fear of being shot. What is more – his presence allowed the Treeman to reroll a failed break test, which would cost me losing a hell lot of points and possible a flank.
So here it is. Well done, Dongaer!