Friday, 16 September 2016

Confronting the Sylvan Vanguard

The abyss had been rumbling for some time, and its foul emanations could be felt within the Vampire Lord's castle, if one had particular sensitivities. The Vampire Lord's senses were keener than most, on both the natural and supernatural spectrums. He had no trouble noticing. What menace might lurch forth though he cared not. His domain was his own, and peril was all any interloper would find.

The Sylvan Kindred, however, did not recognise the Vampire Lord's territory. Their mages, too, had sensed the murmurings of the abyss, and an army had been gathered. Sent forth from their arboreal home to settle in the outskirts of the forests towards the abyss, it would form a forward outpost to provide early warning and defence against whatever spewed forth from the rift. Those outskirts were perhaps too far afield from the true heart of the forest of Galahir, and the Vampire Lord called it his own. Seeing a force move into his realm was not welcome, and he summoned some of his greatest servants, loosing them upon the enemy to reinforce his claim on the forest clearing.

The Lycan Alpha known as Shadow Stalker had returned from a spirit journey to find his brethren missing from their glades (see our previous tale). Blackmailed into working for the Vampire Lord on the promise of his packmates being released from undeath, he now fights alongside the Vampire's forces as a Lykanis.

The Vampire Lord himself did not see fit to join this expedition, instead sending his Revenant King, Lord Charnel, mounted upon the undead flying wyrm Plague Wind, to lead his forces.

The wraiths' ethereal forms sailed easily through the abandoned church, but were met on the other side by the Sylvan Hunters of the Wild, streaking ahead of the rest of their forces.

The Undead line advances across the battlefield.

The zombie werewolves advance to harry the Stag Cavalry (Stormwind Cavalry).

The Nightmare Legion (Revenants) advance with the Thorned Wall (Skeleton Spearmen) into the swamp. The werewolves only notice the double threat of the eagle riders (Drakon Riders) and Stag Cavalry moments before being overwhelmed.

The mindless horde of zombies, Grave Mistake, shuffle their way towards the centre of the battlefield, flanked by the Wight Horde, Brutal Deluxe.

The eagle riders swirl over the heads of the Nightmare Legion, turning to threaten their rear.

The other unit of Stag Cavalry emerge from the forest to ride down the ghouls. The wraiths, having disengaged from the Hunters of the Wild,  hit their flank but fail to cut them down.

Meanwhile, the Hunters of the Wild leap atop the wall to tear into the skeleton archers before the Wights can arrive to save them.

Lord Charnel was in a vicious melee with the Tallspears, but the Wights were surged in from the flank by the necromancer Grimgul the Wise, breaking the stalemate. They cut a swathe through the Tallspear ranks, leaving the survivors to flee the grounds. In the background, Shadow Stalker circled the rear of the Elven line, hoping to disrupt their missile support.

Having ridden over the ghouls, the Stag Cavalry turn their attention to the wraiths, left dangerously exposed by their impatience to draw blood.

Akran the Bleak, Cursed Pharaoh, heroically stands between the eagle riders and the Nightmare Legion's rear. The eagles swoop and claw, their riders stabbing with trained precision. Akran tries to regenerate his increasing number of wounds, but the necromancer's surge had drained all the accessible life energy nearby. His body cracks and falls beneath the onslaught, his fading breath cursing Grimgul's name into the dust.

The centre of the area of battle is the true goal of all the combatants, something in their bloodlust the Undead army almost forgot until it was too late.

The Thorned Wall attempt to hold the right flank.

Akran's unintended sacrifice gave the Nightmare Legion time to about face and drive the eagle riders away.

The elite Kindred Archers, the most keen-eyed of their forces, advance to take the centre.

The sun sets below the horizon, ending the battle....or would have, but for the rising of the full moon! Illuminating the battlefield enough for the forces to strive on.

Once more Lord Charnel and Brutal Deluxe coordinate their strikes, the keen-eyed Archers no match for them in close combat. The centre is now dominated by the Undead.

2000 points of my Undead versus Matt C's Elves. Dominate scenario. We finished before the store closed (rare for me). There were a lot of tipping point rolls back and forth, but the one for turn 7 cinched it. If we'd left it at 6 turns, the Elves would have dominated the centre. But with that 7th turn I was able to claim it back for the Undead. This was my first outing with this particular list composition. All fully painted models, it performed fairly well I thought.

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