Monday, 25 April 2016

A Time of Reclamation

The Vampire Lord's domain could trace its origins to back before the God War. At first just a minor village with a watchful tower nearby, it grew over time to the small barony it is today. But in those intervening years the borders shifted and bent, flowing this way and that with the pressures from the surrounding nations.

One such intruding nation, long since collapsed upon itself, was Orcish. Many abandoned villages and ruins of this old kingdom lie scattered across the edges of the Vampire Lord's territory, ignored by all but wayward travellers looking for temporary shelter in their journeys. It was, after all, close to the mountains, and storms and squalls often descended from those peaks with little warning.

Lightning flashed across the sky as the Necromancer sat in the library, refreshing his memory of local history with some large tomes. He looked up, startled by the light, and paused, waiting for the following thunder. A dozen seconds later a low rumble barely reached the chamber. The storm was quite a way off.

Villagers, woodsmen and hunters mostly, had come to the priesthood with sightings of Orc scouts around the periphery of the town's borders. Traders and travellers passing through had also mentioned rumours of a new Orc Krudger raising a clan in the mountains, intent on reclaiming his ancestor's territory. As a High Priest of the local religion, the Necromancer was dutifully informed of all such information. Collectively they signalled a threat, of that the Necromancer was sure. Yet taking the news to the Vampire Lord without having done his research first, being able to answer all the inevitable questions that are to follow, would be reckless.

Another flash of lightning, but this time the Necromancer ignored it, deep as he was in a paragraph about an Orc village, right up along the edge of the Vampire Lord's realm. It was said a mighty Krudger was born there, and although it only ever stayed a village, playing a minor part in the kingdom he carved out for himself, it was always held as sacred to his line. A small boom shook the shelves gently, the sound following the lightning more closely than before.

Cross checking his notes, the Necromancer noted the Orc scout sightings were all scattered around the site of the village. He picked up his books, and headed to the Vampire Lord's chamber.

"I believe the new Krudger seeks to reclaim his ancestor's birth place, here" the Necromancer pointed to the map in the book he held. "I do not think it wise to allow such a foothold to be established".

The Vampire Lord agreed, but did not need to explain himself to the Necromancer. They'd known each other a long time, and sometimes all that was needed was a nod. The Necromancer strode from the room, calling for a force to be assembled, while the Vampire Lord calmly strapped on his armour.

They approached the village as the Orcs were already beginning to stake camp, but the Fleabag Rider Sniffs had spotted them and alerted the War Drummers who sounded the alarm. The Krudger called his army back to form a battle line, his Giant and Trolls looming over all but the Krudger himself, who leapt up into the saddle of his mighty Winged Slasher. In the distance lightning flashed some more. Closer now, and getting even closer, as the skies darkened with black clouds rolling off the mountains, and the smell of ozone and damp earth filling the air.

Positioning the troops, the Vampire Lord weight up his competing priorities. One the one hand, he wanted to fell the Trolls, claiming their corpses to his Necromancers may add more Undead Trolls to his own army. Yet more importantly, he needed to take the village himself and fortify it, to prevent the Orcs taking up residence.

The Krudger's Giant kept an imposing presence at the rear of his battle line, and the Vampire Lord knew once it joined the fray it would cause considerable havoc.

Circling to the left flank and then wheeling back in, the Revenant Cavalry played cat and mouse with the Krudger on the Slasher and his Gore Rider guard. The winds began to pick up as the first drops of rain fell, the clouds roiling and grumbling overhead.

Re-prioritising, the Revenant Cavalry disengaged from the flank and drove through the village towards the Giant. A magical Surge from the Cursed Pharaoh saw them push forwards unnaturally quick, but their impetus fell short of contacting the Giant. The huge lumbering form stepped forward, club raised, and began swiping at the mass of armour and bones.

The rain intensified and the winds picked up, as visibility dropped and the noise made it all but impossible to pass orders. On the right flank, the Vampire Lord, his Zombie Werewolf retinue and Wight honour guard had crushed the Trolls and Orc Big Ax regiment, and were turning to the centre.

The Krudger looked over the battlefield from the back of his Slasher, seeing opportunity nearby to crush and maim. Desperation was setting in however, as the gathering storm was making the battle almost impossible to maintain.

The Revenant Cavalry crumbled under the combined assault of the Krudger and the Giant. Yet the Gore Riders were embarrassingly held up by the stubborn Undead Army Standard Bearer on his skeletal horse, which refused to yield. His Death of Angels banner hung soaked and limp, barely visible in the driving rain, yet would not fall.

As the storm's intensity grew the flash and boom of lightning grew so close together that the strikes were almost upon the field. The Krudger and Vampire Lord both reached the same miserable conclusion; they would have to withdraw. Neither side could claim the village this day.

As his forces retreated ahead of the storm, back to his castle, the Vampire Lord knew that this was not the end. The Krudger would inevitably be back, and another battle would be fought. The Vampire Lord hoped he'd be able to send his ghouls out to salvage the Troll corpses before then. Facing your own dead and resurrected warriors was always unnerving, even for Orcs.

2000 points of my Undead versus Marcus's Orcs. Dominate scenario. Once more we got kicked out at the closing of the store (well, this was Marcus's first time getting kicked out). This time at the end of turn 4. I'd done a lot of damage to the Orcs on my right flank, but Marcus had a lot more points than me towards the centre of the table and was cementing his control of my left flank. We called it a draw.


  1. Great looking game and a great game report. cheers

    1. Thanks! Local games store called Jolt Games here in Canberra, Australia, has awesome free play tables and a great selection of scenery.