So as I said previously, my win over Jarvis put me up to table 5 I think to face the forces of the Empire led by my old arch-nemesis Rob Gleasure. I had very little confidence going into this game to tell the truth; not only did Rob have a hard as nails list which he knew how to use but the eternal balance of victories between us was currently in my favour thus I owed him a win. Together these things were surely going to make me slip up.
War Altar, Great Weapon, Van Horstmann's Speculum, Armour of Meteoric Iron
Wizard Lord [ Level 4 ]
Lore of Heavens, Talisman of Preservation, Seal of Destruction, Barded Warhorse
BSB, Barded Warhorse, Sword of Might, Talisman of Endurance, Full Plate Armour
Barded Warhorse + ???
8x Knights of the Inner Circle
5x Empire Knights
Standard Bearer, Musician
Rob rolled up Harmonic Convergence, Wind Blast, Urannon's Lightning(Thunder)bolt, and Comet of Cassandora while I rolled Flickering Fire, Pandaemonium, Call to Glory, and Gateway (taking Fireball on the Level 1 again). Deployment plus vanguards can be seen below. Note this was a Dawn Attack scenario and I set-up first as well as getting the first turn.
The turn began awry as the Hellcannon rampaged toward the Outriders. The eastern Maruaders moved to take the flank of the Outriders while their western counterparts made a bee-line for the Cannon. The Nurgle Knights and Hounds on the same flank moved up to try and bait charges and the Marauder horde moved up just enough to stay out of charge range of the Steam Tank. The other Hounds moved within the Tank's range hoping to tempt it to come at them where the Knights were waiting; this was also an attempt to tempt Rob into using 5 Steam Points and hope for a lucky 6. Finally the Warriors moved up to take the building next turn.
Magic managed to do nothing and in shooting only a Halberdier and an Outrider were taken down by respective axes of the Horsemen units.
The Halberdiers in the west charged the Horsemen who stood and shot taking down another one. No other charges were declared as the Tank didn't take the bait; it instead moved up 12" on 4 steam points. The Outriders moved to block the charge path of the Horsemen while the Knights shuffled by a better charge path.
Magic was largely uneventful with only Birona's Timewarp going off on the ICK. Shooting was a little move successful with three Hounds shot down by some crossbows, a huge amount of Marauders killed by an exloding pigeon and 3 Khorne Knights killed by a cannonball. In combat two more Halberdiers were cut down as were 3 Horsemen, with the remaining 2 breaking but outrunning the chasing enemy.
Not so eager to sacrifice so many points by sending the two remaining Khorne Knights into the Steam Tank, the horde went in instead with the Hounds and Knights running around the back of the combat. This was my first huge mistake as I backed up my lines in one fell swoop. The Warriors moved into the building as the other Hounds failed a charge on the smaller Knight unit. The Nurgle Knights swept down the flank to sweep across the Emprie lines next turn, careful to keep at an angle so as not to be totally wiped out by the Cannon. Elsewhere the eastern Horsemen moved around the threaten the Engineer as the western ones kept fleeing.
Yet again the Empire easily dispelled the Chaos magic with their extra 3 dispel dice and the Hellcannon missed. The Horsemen had more luck, killing the Engineer with their axes. In combat the horde did one wound to the Tank and that was that.
The Empire turn put a huge turn around early on in the game with some key charges being made. The Halberderies started with a mammoth charge into the two Hounds while next to them the Timewarped Knights easily hit the Marauders. Elsewhere the smaller Knight unit charged the Hounds who fled; however they were cut down allowing the Knights to reform toward the Horsemen. Strangly the western Halberdiers stayed put with their flank exposed while the two lone characters moved in position. The movement phase rounded out with the Outriders yet again blocking the charge path of the Horsemen though they knew this time was likely their last.
In what would become a trend for the Empire magic phase the Arch Lector got off Timewarp on the ICK but that was all. Shooting hurt the Chaos forces yet again, with a Warrior killed by a bolt and a cannonball smashed the Hellcannon to little daemonic bits. The second cannon only managed to kill two Nurgle Knights thanks to their positioning and them being partly within the 12" + bounce threshold.
In an unlikely turn of events the Exalted Champion fluffed all his attacks in his challenge with the Empire BSB and was killed by the lowly hero of man. The Marauders managed to fell two Knights but suffered several casualties in return, losing the combat and their frenzy. The Halberdiers easily chewed up the Hounds and hit the Khorne Knights head on.
The Nurgle Knights did not hesitate the hit the side of the Halberdiers who fled. Because of their positioning they landed in impassable terrain, thus bouncing out the other side where they were inside a friendly unit, thus bouncing out the other side, and then yet again landing in another friendly unit meaning they were well out of the Knights' reach who had to stop at the impassable terrain. On the other flank the Horsemen charged the helpless Outriders; their brethren rallied.
In magic a Flickering Fire took down 4 Crossbowmen and Pandaemonium went up like a charm. In combat the grind continued with two more ICK going down and the BSB getting wounded however the Marauders numbers were depleting much faster. In another surprising turn of event the Khorne Knights fluffed only killing 2 Halberdiers who in turn killed one Knight and broke the other, opting to restrain test so as the reform and flank the Marauders. Elsewhere the Horsemen easily beat and broke the Halberdiers and reformed to face the Cannon and Wizard Lord.
In turn 3 the Empire's fortunes did not waver. The Arch Lector made a massive 18" charge to hit the Nurgle Knights while the Halberdiers hit the horde's flank. The other Hlaberdiers rallied while the Wizard Lord managed to march past the Marauders. The smaller Knight unit charged the Horsemen in the west also.
In magic no spells got off however the Wizard Lord still rolled no doubles despite Pandaemonium being up. In shooting the Crossbows shot all their bolts at the building but failed to wound the Warriors. The eastern cannon fired grapeshot killing 3 Horsemen while the wetsern Cannon misfired, stopping it from shooting next turn.
In combat the Marauders nerve finally failed and they broke from combat though they managed to escape capture. Elsewhere the War Altar's impact hit killed off all but the Nurgle Champion who was subsequently challenged and locked in a stalemate with the Arch Lector. Things were looking dire for Chaos.
There was little the Chaos forces could do at this point however the Dark Gods' followers never give up. The now lone Horseman charged the Great Cannon in the east as the lone Khorne Knight fled the table and the Maruaders fled past the building unable to rally. The Sorcerer Lord desparatly tried to take some points back with magic but only managed to kill a single Knight. Elsewhere the Nurgle Knight Champion was slain by the Arch Lector leaving the magistrar alone with the Exalted Hero. The lone Horseman faired better, killing two crew and pursuing the last off the board.
The Empire generals called for the army to begin cleaning up the stragglers and so the ICK and Halberdiers began to move toward to North-Eastern corner. The small Knight unit hit the BSB in the flank with a long charge as the Steam Tank stayed static and the Wiazrd Lord continued to move out of harm's way.
The assault on the survivors began as the Crossbows and the Steam Tank's cannon collectively fired at the building slaying 4 Warriors. In combat the Chaos BSB was finally borken and cut down as he defended his banner, leaving the Knights free to reform to face the fleeing Marauder survivors.
The lone Horseman returned to the battle to see the might of the Empire bearing down on him. He opted to stay in the corner as far away from them as possible. Meanwhile the Marauder continued to flee and I continued to keep making my usual mistake of playing my Warriors too passively. The Sorcerer Lord made a pass at sucking the Steam Tank into the Warp but failed.
In the Empire turn the warriors continued toward the Maruaders on both flanks as the cannons and crosswbows continued to bare down on the Warriors garrisoning the building; another 5 were killed.
The Chaos turn was quick consisting of the Marauders continuing to flee and the Lord continuing to fail at casting magic. To round out the game the Maruader horde stragglers were caught and killed by the Knights as the rest of the Warriors were killed. The lone Horseman and the Lord managed to survive.
Some good luck on Rob's part, some really bad play on my part, and some well deserved carma and this game was a well earned 18-2 to Rob. What can I say, I sucked! Risking bearing my flank to a Cannon just for a flank charge, backing up my lines with the horde, and passively playing my Warriors were my greatest faults. There's not much else to say, fair play Rob.
This loss saw me go down to table 8 to face Dwarfs and their not so bearded general Brian McKenzie. Stay tuned.