Bull ogres watching as the leadbelchers run down the necromancer
Battle report here jon-a-ross.livejournal.com/950123.html
Warhammer Battle report: Ogre Kingdoms vs. Vampire Counts (zombie hordes)
Six turns, Zombies have first turn.
The battlefield itself is spread out, three clusters of terrain shaping the flow to come. Two fallen statues mark the northwest corner. Down in the southwest a patch of fallen meteorites still lay smoking. And in the middle east the monolith rises up on a hill that backs onto a small forest grove.
Out of the forest come the zombie hordes. Two necromancers, one upon his corpse cart the other on foot, lead only 120 zombies this time. 20 ghouls take up the replacement of the missing zombies. The change was made believing that the ogre kingdoms would just be able to bash down 40 zombies but might actually take some damage from the poisonous ghouls. The zombie hordes were otherwise as they appeared in their last battles.
The ogre kingdom will have their forces lead by Smashzap, the stupid (but tougher for it) ex-maneater ogre who believes he can weld magic. Seven bull ogres with standard and champ make up his escort, while three yhetee, three leadbelchers and 31 gnoblars round out the attack force.
Going into the battle I was fairly sure the ogres would be able to win. This was even after their total defeat at the hands of the Khorne daemons. So far my all zombie horde (although fun) as only had close but not enough battles before falling apart in the last two turns.
Deployment has three units and the general of the vampire counts deploy in the north. Two units of zombies and then the ghouls angled a bit towards the center with the Necromancer on his corpse cart just behind. The other necromancer on foot joins the last group of zombies in the south on the other side of the monolith which is really more of an obelisk.
Arranged against them the ogre kingdoms deploy all their units in a line down between the meteors with the yhetee ending up behind some of the statues. Starting with the yhetee in the north, then the unit of 31 gnoblars, then Smashzap and his escort, finally coming to the leadbelchers. The goal of the ogres was simple. To catch the zombie hordes in between the bull ogres and the yhetee as they came onto the center of the field between the woods and the fallen statues. The vampire counts wanted to catch the ogres between their two groups, with the far zombies being added by the necromancer with the book of dancing dead. (The book allows zombies an extra move if successfully used in the magic phase, but it runs out of magic if you roll a 1 on d6 after each use.) In addition to moving faster, the magic gives the slow zombies a chance to rake their foes first if the target unit is already in close combat.
Zombie turn one has the shuffle forward begin. The zombies in the south and their necromancer shepherd move forward. In the north the same forward shifting occurs. The necromancer general has learned that he needs to be both close and protected and does his best to do so.
The magic phase starts badly for the vampire counts, as the attempt to use the maximum power of the necromancer general fails. 2d6 looking for 5 (or 7) will fail on its own four out of the six magic phases the vampire counts have. More averagely the last two power dice are spent one from each necromancer in an attempt to raise more dead and only one out of the two will typically work. The ogre kingdoms are concerned mostly about the always strike first ability of the corpse cart, as the combats are close against the zombie hordes and the one or two wounds that striking first might cause would be enough to tip the balance to the vampire counts. So the two dispel dice for very single match will be held to counter the cart. And each turn they succeed.
So besides the necromancer failing to summon more dead, the other necromancer fails to add more undead to his herd and has the magic of the book of the dancing dead run out after the first move in the battle. So the effect of the zombie magic phase is a handful more zombies next to the general.
The ogres on their turn just move about, ready to strike turn two. The yhetee move forward at a march while remaining behind the fallen statues. The gnoblars march forward at full speed while the bull ogres next to them follow their stupid leader forward at a bit over a walk, but not a full move. These three units are encircling the approaching zombies and planning to strike all at once. The leadbelchers move forward and angle to meet the approaching zombies head on. And with that the game goes to zombie turn two.
And on the second zombie turn we mostly see the same slow shuffling forward. The zombies in the south shift forward and the necromancer lets them get further away from him. As long as they are within 18 inches he can heal them and no longer needs to keep them within 12 inches for his magic book to help them. The general and his zombies keep going forward. The zombies sandwich the ghouls, with one group of zombies clearly ready to intercept the yhetee while the other is moving for the bull ogres. This means the ghouls are lined up with the gnoblars.
The magic phase here is one of the more successful for the vampire counts, with a raise dead spell successfully going off as well as a heal dead getting more zombies added to the necromancer horde. But the battle is about to be joined.
Ogre turn two has charges being ordered. The yhetee rush across the difficult terrain and strike the zombie horde to the north of the ghouls. The yhetee with their freezing cold will make it almost impossible for the zombie horde to harm them, which is good because the yhetee need to be careful to win combat being down five points at the start. The bull ogres rush both zombie groups in front of them. The new one magically summoned and the old block of 40. The gnoblars will walk forward and throw sharp rocks at the ghouls, killing only one. The leadbelchers will fire into the approaching zombies, killing only 2 after some bad rolls.
Close combat goes better for the ogres, as the bull ogres lead by Smashzap manage to wipe out the freshly summoned zombies as well as reduce the number in the block of 40. The yhetee end up losing combat (because the zombies have their creepy musician) but pass their leadership test. It is a note as to how close the battle between zombie and yhetee will be.
Zombie turn three sees the ghouls charging into the flank of the bull ogres that rushed forward. The necromancers will shy around their flock trying to be both close and out of the way and the other zombies not engaged will walk slowly forward towards the leadbelchers. Magic phase has a handful of zombies summoned to replace the fallen, which leads us into the close combat phase.
The ghouls get two wounds on the ogres, but lose two of their number in return. The zombies lose three. The end result is that the undead win the combat, forcing a leadership test on the ogres. Which they fail. This could almost be the effective end of the match right here. The ogres lose one of their number to the claws of the zombies who rake them as they flee. Amazingly the ghouls roll only a 2 to chase and the ogres get away and are not destroyed outright.
Going into ogre kingdoms turn three we see Smashzap and his bulls fail their leadership test to stop running away. They flee at a walking pace, with lots of shouting and turn around they are over there going on. The gnoblars fail their leadership test to charge the ghouls, which I’m willing to forgive after they passed the leadership test last turn not to run after their ogre bosses. The leadbelchers will reload in the face of the approaching zombies and the yhetee continue to fight the zombies. Turn four for the zombies comes up.
Zombies on turn four rush forward. The Yhetee and the zombies keep fighting, with the undead being added to in the magic phase. The ghouls chase after the fleeing bull ogres, while more zombies line up with the gnoblars. The final group of zombies charges the leadbelchers, taking the cannon fire without shaking. Lucky for the ogres none of their units break under the pressure and ogre turn four comes up.
And on ogre turn four we have Smashzap and his crew finally passing their leadership test and turning around to lead with the chasing ghouls. The close combats go quite well to the ogres this turn. The leadbelchers have reduced the zombies they face to 15 or so, while the yhetee also have gotten the zombies down that low. The gnoblars throw their rocks into the approaching zombies but it doesn’t slow them down much at all.
Vampire counts turn five sees the vampire counts worried. So many of their undead have fallen. Sure the ghouls have had their loses replaced via magic, but the sure fire victory seems out of reach. This turn the last two undead units charge into combat, having everyone now locked up. The gnoblars manage to pass their leadership as the zombies rush them. So now it is up to the zombie magic to aid where it can. And it isn’t enough. The gnoblars win combat against the zombies, where the yhetee lose combat but pass their leadership test. The bull ogres and Smashzap have an excellent round against the ghouls. In fact the 20 strong pack of ghouls is reduced to 3 after the leadership test. The leadbelchers are the last ogre units to attack this close combat and they also have an excellent roll. They manage to smash all the zombies in front of them, freeing them to hunt down the necromancer.
Which is the only movement on ogre turn five. The leadbelchers wheel towards the necromancer and being to run him down. As they can move up to three times faster then him it doesn’t look good. The bull ogres smash their ghoul foes to pieces easily, but the gnoblars also win combat against the zombies. The yhetees are also successful against their foes, making this the seventh turn in a row the yhetee have been fighting the zombies.
The vampire counts last turn sees the necromancer finally get his 2d6 spell off, casting the dancing dead spell on the zombies fighting the yhetee. He also is able to add to their number, both of which factors will allow the one wound those magically fast zombies deal to be the tipping point breaking the yhetee. The yhetee will flee both this round and escape off the board on ogre turn six. The gnoblars vs. the zombies as the gnoblars win again but not by a large enough margin to shake the undead next to their general.
The final ogre turn of the game has the bull ogres charging the same zombies they fled from, as well as the leadbelchers charging the necromancer on foot. The necromancer on foot will issue a challenge, who the thunderfist will accept. One wounding hit on the necromancer will be countered with a wounding hit on the thunderfist, but combat goes to the ogres and the necromancer will fail leadership by one taking his final wound.
Smashzap and his bulls rushing the zombies will also pay off nicely, as between the gnoblars and the bulls all of the zombies will be lost (after leadership) allowing the bulls to follow up into the zombie general. If there was a turn seven it would have gone very badly for the vampire counts.
In the end the ogres lost the fleeing yhetee and one bull ogre (two wounds on another) and that was it. The vampire counts lost 80+ zombies, 20 ghouls and a necromancer. But there was a moment when the ogres almost lost their leader and his escort. For that moment alone I want to call this a close game. It also started to fall apart for the zombies when they were not able to keep flanking their enemies but instead got locked into one on one combats.