A Warhammer Skirmish Scenario
Not all battles end in the destruction of one side's general, and this is particularly true with vampires, who have a knack for returning for vengeance. Even after driving off a lord of the undead, the field of battle is a hazardous place to be. Evil magics still swirl through the air as nightfall approaches, and the dead may rise again.
Gathering Gloom is a Warhammer Skirmish scenario representing the aftermath of a battle between mortals and undead. The mortal soldiers may be recovering from unconsciousness or returning from routing the enemy, or maybe they're just collecting their wits after the terrible battle. In any case, this corpse-strewn field is still dangerous. No one will rest here tonight.
One side represents the troops of the victorious mortal army, who must rally together and leave this malevolent ground. The other side represents the malignant will of the vampire, bent on instilling more terror and maybe bringing even more death.
200 points of Core infantry troops.
1 Hero may be selected.
1 Champion may be selected.
No Flyers, non-infantry models, War Machines, Chariots or Monsters may be selected.
200 points of Core infantry troops.
No Characters, Flyers, cavalry models, War Machines, Chariots or Monsters may be selected.
Set up a battlefield 48" x 48". Place whatever terrain you wish on it. (In our case, I'm using my graveyard terrain.)
The side with the most victory points at the end of the game wins. The game lasts until the last Mortal model is dead or has left the table.
The goal of the Mortal side is to rally his troops and exit the opposite table edge. For each Mortal model that makes it off the far table edge, the Mortal side scores victory points equal to the points value of the model. For each Mortal model slain, the Undead side scores the points instead. No victory points are scored by either side for Undead models.
The Mortal side may choose a side of the playing area, and his deployment zone is 24" from that table edge. Mortal models can only exit off the opposite table edge. The Mortals are set up in the deployment zone and NOT within 3" of each other.
The other half of the table is the Undead deployment zone. The Undead start with only a few models rising from the ground as the Mortals try to escape. Once the Mortals are set up, the Undead player rolls 1d6 for each of his models: on a 1 or 2 the model starts the game in his deployment zone but NOT within 3" of any other model.
At the end of each Undead turn, the Undead player may roll to bring on more troops. Roll 1d6 and place that many models anywhere on the table, at least 3" from any other model.
WHO GOES FIRST?
The Mortal player goes first in this scenario.
Exceptions to Psychology: Since the Mortal forces already won the battle that day, they are not demoralized by this frightening situation. Mortal characters are immune to Routing and all Psychology tests, and don't suffer from the All Alone rule. As long as a Mortal character remains alive and unrouted, the rest of the Mortal troops are immune to Routing (although they still suffer from Psychology and All Alone rules).
USING ALTERNATE FORCES
Any army could be used for the Mortals except Vampire Counts or Khemri, of course. This scenario is about Undead rising again to harrass the enemy and show them nothing is finished, but the scenario could be modified to represent the Chaos Wastes, where things like death and time are merely tools of the Ruinous Powers. In that case, Chaos troops could be used for the Undead.
PART OF A LARGER BATTLE
Maybe this was a scouting mission to test the Undead's defenses before the main fight. In that case, if the Mortal side wins, he gets to add 200 points to his points in the coming battle. If the Undead side wins, the Mortal player loses 200 points before the coming battle.
10 Glade Guard (100 pts)
8 Archers (104 pts)
10 Skeletons (80 pts)
10 Zombies (60 pts)
6 Dire Wolves (60 pts)
Setup: I had just enough walls to surround a 4' x 4' area. I placed the big tomb in the middle as a centerpiece. After the game, when I came home, I realized I had forgotten a bunch of my graveyard pieces. That proved I had more than I needed! In my next battle report, I hope to fill a whole 4' x 6' table with the graveyard terrain.
Although Roy could choose any half of the table, he liked the idea of running for the gate. Technically, any Wood Elf model that made it to that wall counted as escaping the graveyard. We'll call the gate North.
Roy set up his Wood Elves on the West side of the battlefield. His 10 Glade Guard, armed with swords, shields and light armor, surrounded the 8 Archers. We decided shooting over intervening headstones counted as a -1 for shooting.
I rolled for which Undead figs started the game and got 4 Zombies, 3 Skeletons and 2 Dire Wolves. I placed the Zombies in front of his troops, the Skeletons behind them and the Dire Wolves way off to the Northeast corner. I hoped the Dire Wolves would be able to rush around the end of the Wood Elves and charge individual figures. Since they have a higher Strength when they charge, I figured they might be more useful picking off stragglers while the Zombies and Skeletons bogged down the Wood Elves.
The Wood Elves moved cautiously forward. Shooting quickly proved ineffective even for the Old World's best archers. A couple of close combats occurred in the center, as the Glade Guard tried to clear a path before they got swamped with more Undead. The Undead got lucky right off the bat, and a Zombie killed a Glade Guard with a critical hit. We determined that the Dire Wolves are technically Undead and can't run, so they moved 9" towards the Elves. My decision to try to flank them was turning out badly. I rolled a 6 and got all the rest of my Zombies. That should slow them down!
I realized then that because I had to deploy them 3" apart from other models, even my own, I couldn't form a wall between the Elves and the North end of the table.
Things turned really bad for the Elves when the Zombie and Skeleton on the West edge took out an Elf with another critical hit. There was nothing preventing the Undead from lapping around the flank and reaching the Archers. I managed to get into a lot of close combat in the center again. Elves and Undead began getting knocked down or stunned. The Wolves made another long walk towards the Elves. I only got one Skeleton to rise.
The Glade Guards began to form into pairs, which did better against lone Undead and helped protect against failed Fear tests. Up to this point, the Elves had passed all Fear tests but hadn't made many armor saves.
The melees in the middle got bigger and the Archers walked close to it. Shooting took down a Skeleton and one of the Dire Wolves. Another Archer was killed with yet another critical hit though. Three Skeletons rose and I placed them around the fights in the middle of the table.
The Archers rushed into the area of the hand-to-hand combats. The Dire Wolf managed to charge one of them though, and rolled exactly what he needed to kill the Elf. In the combats, several Skeletons and Zombies kept getting knocked down or stunned, but rarely were taken out of action. This was just bad luck for Roy, since he needed 3's to hit me (and I needed 5's to hit him), while he had 4+ saves and I had none. More Zombies should have been dropped, but Roy couldn't seem to take them out of action. I got the last 3 Skeletons and a Dire Wolf to rise, and yet again tried to block the path of the Elves.
Roy drove towards the gate and away from my fresh Skeletons. I rushed everything over to try to cut him off. (For whatever reason, I think I forgot about moving one of the Dire Wolves.) Bodies were dropping everywhere.
About this time, we realized all 6 Elves I had killed had been by critical hits. I figured I needed to kill 10 of his 18 to win, and I had 6 already. On the other hand, my reinforcements were done. I rolled the last 3 Dire Wolves.
The Elves began to cut a path towards the gate, and I realized the Archers were making it through the combats. I didn't have enough troops to fight the Glade Guard and cut off escape routes, so I tried to put the remaining Dire Wolves in the way.
The combats were taking a toll on the Elves though. Roy couldn't make a 4+ save for the life of him. My critical hit frenzy had dissipated, but I still managed to kill another Elf by surrounding him with Zombies and Skeletons. About this time, Roy's only lucky factor started to go away too: he began failing Fear checks.
The first couple of Elves were within sight of the gate, but would enough escape to be a win? I gave up trying to catch all of them. Eight Elves were dead and I needed just 2 more to win.
The Wolves did nothing to prevent the determined 5 Archers and 1 Glade Guard from moving towards the gate.
Not much happened last turn, as some Elves ran for the gate and the rest fought for their lives. I figured I just needed to surround a couple and let the Zombies and Skeletons swing wildly. I managed to mob three Elves with at least three models each. If Roy's luck changed even a little, he could win the game.
The 9th Elf fell, but the other two stubbornly held out. Two Dire Wolves got shot down and six Elves had made it to the gate! They turned to watch how many of their fellows would escape too.
Skeletons, Zombies and Dire Wolves kept getting knocked down or stunned. It's actually pretty unlikely that two Zombies could take out a Glade Guard, so we kept going with three combats in the middle of the table. Because of the 9th Elf falling, I could swing in three more Zombies and simply surrounded an Elf (the one between the tomb and the Reaper statue).
There were three Elves left fighting. The Archers at the gate kept Undead reinforcements from getting into the combat. The Undead had 99 victory points out of 204.
The most desperate fighting was the struggling Glade Guard with 6 enemies, but he managed to keep knocking one down a turn. In the center, between the tomb and the large pile of skulls, another Glade Guard managed to hold off four Undead. But a charge by a Dire Wolf tore down the Glade Guard that was closest to the gate, and the game was over.
The six surviving Wood Elves turned and left the graveyard, returning to their camp. In the distance, the Vampire knew they would see their fallen comrades again ... but not alive.