Friday, 1 May 2015

Dragon Rampant: Dwarves vs Graveyard Dwellers

We gave the draft of Dragon Rampant another run out a few days ago. The light quality wasn't great for photos, but looking at them now I am slowly convincing myself that this was a skirmish fought at dusk!

Two warbands faced off for a simple Bloodbath scenario (mid-week gaming, we didn't want anything too challenging).

I took a Graveyard Dweller warband, and Chum Simon used Dwarves. The Dwarves are old Grenadier models now sold by EM4, and the undead chappies are all Reaper Bones plastic models (making them a very cheap warband to put together - I think they cost less than £20).

DWARVES
LORD AND DRACO BEARER (2 models)
Elite Foot @ 6 points
3 UNITS OF HOUSECARLS (18 models)
Elite Foot @ 18 points total

GRAVEYARD DWELLERS 
NECROMANCER (1 model)
Heavy Missiles + Summoner @ 7 points
1 UNIT OF WIGHTS (6 models)
Fierce Foot + Undead (No Feelings) + Fear + Invisibility @ 9 points
1 UNIT OF SKELETON SOLDIERS (12 models)
Heavy Foot + Undead (No Feelings) @ 4 points
1 UNIT OF SKELETON ARCHERS (12 models)

Light Missiles + Undead (No Feelings) @ 4 points

My Necromancer's 'Summoner' ability meant that I could leave some units off the table at deployment, and bring them on mid-game. The Necromancer's troop type of Heavy Missiles represented the fireballs he can fling from his fingertips; there's also a Spellcaster upgrade allowing a wider variety of magic to be used, but I felt that the Summoning ability and magic missiles were power enough for this lowly Necromancer.

The first real action occurred when the Necromancer summoned his Wights close to a unit of Dwarves; subject to Wild Charge, they got stuck in at the first opportunity. Despite rolling 11/12 hits, the Wights came off worse - the Dwarves have a high Armour rating and the Wights don't. Now, Undead units have Courage 0, meaning that they'll never become Battered, but a poor dice roll can see their magical reanimation dispelled, effectively routing the unit. Anything but a 2 or 3 on two dice and I'd be fine… I rolled a 3 and the Wights went pop.

Oh.

Now this put me in an interesting position, because my hard-hitting Wights were my most aggressive combat unit. Hmmm. Meanwhile, the Dwarves advanced using cover (such as walls) to good effect: a Dwarf behind a wall if a very hard target for a Skeleton archer to hit.

Despite a few desultory casualties from arrows and fireballs, and the limited damage caused by the Wight, the Dwarves marched on. The Necromancer summoned his remaining off-table unit: Skeleton Heavy Foot, who were plonked in such a way that most of the Dwarf units would need to attack them to move forward. Bloody battle began.

The Skeletons proved pretty tough to shift, inflicting casualties on all attacking Dwarven units, despite their numbers slowly whittling down. Once again, I fell foul of a bad dice roll - something I love about games with dice! - rolling another 3 for a Courage test and the magical bubble once again bursting.

There was only going to be one winner from this point on. My missiles (magic and otherwise) caused a few more hits, and the Dwarven assault bogged down at short missile range. The Skeleton archers failed a Courage test having taken massive casualties (their ability to ignore Battered results proved handy), leaving just the Necromancer, who eventually went down under a hail of blows.

A fun little skirmish!