I am playing a narrative campaign with a few Dwarf players (friends) . This is a brief description of the third battle.
In the campaign two Dwarf armies have travelled to Khardon Island to reclaim an ancient Book of Grudges lost by their forefathers in wars long forgotten. The armies have landed two different places on the island and are slowly moving across the map to find out where the Undead forces are located.
The campaign is described here (always available from the top menu too): Khardon Island
March 21: The King of The Dead
After roughly a month on the Island of Khardon, the forces of King Gorrin have chosen to push towards the West after the succesful battle at the tower 14 days ago. Soon it became apparent to the King that these lands were under the rule of great Undead being known only as The King of The Dead, who took to the field on a great black zombie dragon! King Gorrin thought that his final hour had come and prepared for battle.
I had brought a very sportsman like army featuring NO magic. I knew that it would probably rile the Dwarf player a bit if he had bought into a lot of ANTI-magic, but it would never outweigh the disadvantage of not being able to raise/cast spells of any kind. Still I thought a “Wight”-army was a fun concept so that I what I brought. Basically I wanted to go completely elite and have heavy armoured skeletons to back up the Wights, but didn’t have any painted yet. I might still go for a Wight army again in the future when I get my foot Wights painted. The army was lead by a Wight Lord and had almost only Wights or Skeletons. We had agreed to allow “herohammer” type armies, which meant that I could spend as little as 25% on troops, but it was never really relevant with this type of army.
The Dwarfs had a lot of classic Dwarven dwarfiness and were getting more and more savvy:
We played at Jonas’ house and I did not bring terrain for a special scenario or something like that. Instead we rolled on the table in the Warhammer Renaissance book and rolled a 3 for deployment and 1 for objective, which meant that we were deploying 18” in from opposite ends of the table and up to 12” into the board. The objective was “the one with the most units of >5 at the end the game” get the the objective (=1000 VP). Not exactly the dream objective without magic… on the other hand – WITH magic it would almost have been too easy it seems?
Having never been at the dealing end with a zombie dragon before I was a bit at loss as how to pursue my enemy with it. I kind of wanted it to do everything. The breath attack was simply too good to ignore… I kind of couldn’t both charge and use it though. Or so I thought. The rules actually stipulate that the dragon can indeed breathe during CC. So I guess it can charge, fire and then kill in CC. Seems very good. With a Wight Lord on top though, that would probably have been the way to go.
My first mistake of this battle was to rush headlong into a charge with my Wight Knights. They crashed into the Dwarven Iron Breakers only to learn that a Dwarf General with a Rune of Swiftness was awaiting. He cleaved no less than 4 of the Wights. Leaving only 4 (2 had succumbed to very good crossbow shooting). The remaining 4 Wights promptly died to Crumble.
The Wights in Warhammer Renaissance are not as durable as their 4th ed. counterparts and have just 1 W, not 3. They do still have the Wight Blades, but that hardly makes a differnce against rank and file Dwarfs. Truth be told I am not very sure about how to use these troops. They do not appear to have much going for them, as they are neither killy nor durable… but I am sure there’s something I haven’t thought of.
Well, on with the battle. My Wight Lord landed next to the Dwarf warriors and 14 of them fell over from the stench of the pestilent breath by the Dragon. The Dwarf Runelord tried to hit the Wight Lord with his flying weapon, but failed to wound. We weren’t actually sure if the flying weapon was allowed to target the rider, but as it is allowed to target characters in regiments we thought it made sense.
Next I flew the Dragon to the other end of the table to save the day, where my main force was suffering… having the general be the rider turned out really badly as it meant he needed to be EVERYWHERE at once. But the model kind of begged him to be the general. At least in this one game – it is an undead KING after all.
I thought, that as I had lost the game no matter what (I literally had nothing but the Dragon that could make a dent in the Dwarfs) this sacrificial move would perhaps be entertaining, and maybe – with the right amount of luck – it would even turn the table… after all I would force terror tests on almost the whole army, and at a -1 LD due to my Hell banner being within range.
Any way – he flew, he blew, 8 Iron Breakers died (the Dwarf player started complaining about everything ignoring armour saves, I started explaining how having a good armour save will make sure you face something that ignores it…) and then the Dwarf King charged the Wight Lord and chopped his head off. Next, the Horsemen and the unscathed skeletons crumbled, and I conceded.
Another enormous defeat. However, this time at least it was less to do with the actual game, and more to do with the armylist. I think it is fair to say that a no-magic army list with plenty of Wights is not the way forward. It does annoy me a little that I have such a hard time killing anything without Vampires in the front rank of the units. But I guess that is just how it is. With this army I was definitely trying to squeeze a square block into the round hole on the Lamaze toy.
If you think you know how to use Wights to their best – why don’t leave a comment! I’d say either version of Warhammer is legit, as they have had more or less the same role through the various editions.