Saturday 29 May 2021

Fantastic Battles - the Battle of the Four Armies....

I was delighted to be able to play another (well-ventelated) in-person game of Fantastic Battles this week with Andrew and Jim. They presented an uneasy alliance of ratfolk (1000 points) and men (500 points), while I controlled a much more respectful federation of wyld elves (1000 points) and halflings (500 points).
Above you can see the initial deployment ahead of Mishaps. The humans occupied the right end of their line and the ratfolk held the left. On my side of the table, the halflings were deployed in the right-most third, with the wyld elves across the left and centre. 

The ratfolk deployed a large unit of assassins commanded by a rogue as an ambush in some rough ground on my extreme right, while the Wyld Hunt - also led be a rogue - were likewise deployed in ambush in some fields on the extreme right of the human lines.

Rolling for mishaps was largely uneventful with a couple of diseased units on either side and the elven stag riders being slightly late (deployed further back than intended). However, the halfling field-kitchen militia and ratfolk fire-throwers were both overly enthusiastic and advanced well forward of their orders. Because the rats of the verminkin had used the Night March strrategy, and were thus deployed further forward than normal, the two enthusiastic units started the battle already locked in melee!

The short distance between the rats and the halflings meant that multiple combats were underway by the end of the first turn. The verminkin assassins swarmed forward to assault the halfling hearthguard, thnd the great rat-god/verminkin warlord joined the fight with the halfling kitchen.

On the far flank, the elven Wyld Hunt slammed into the flank of a unit of human light horse deployed in column. The fight there was savage, but not quite savage enough to break the horsemen in a single turn.

By the start of turn two, the elven rangers were within bowshot of the human line. The large unit of human bonnaghts in the centre were badly mauled by two units of rangers, while the third unit of rangers used the human cataphracts as pin-cushions. The human warlord, taking an arrow in the eye, was among the first to fall.

Expedient use of the entangle spell by the two wyld elf magic-users fixed enemy units in place. The human bonnachts were unable to advance and so recieved another round of devestating shooting. The bonnachts scattered and fled, as did the light horse in combat with the Wyld Hunt. That brought the human army to it's break point twice (all charachters dead and more than 50% of companies fled), and opened the way for the elves to start a big sweeping advance up the flank. The unfortunate rogue leading the Wyld Hunt fell in battle meaning the unit itself was outside of command range and played no further meaningful part in the battle.

Over on while other flank, the evil looking verminguard heavy infantry were also entangled, preventing other units from moving past them and freeing up the elves in the centre to strike, eliminating the ratfolk artillery and the giant running wheel warmachine thingy. Sadly, the halfling heathguard succumbed to the rat assassins and fled. The field-kitchen militia, however, had become a tar-pit - unable to cause much damage on the rats, but soaking up plenty of attacks and locking their enemies in combat for several turns. 

Nothing lasts forever, as they say, and the same can be said for the halfling field-kitchen. There was only so much damage they could take and they ultimately broke, bringing the halfling army to its break point and freeing up the verminkin for a fresh fight with the wyld elves bearing down upon them.

The battlelines now reformed at a 90 degree axis to the initial deployment areas. Trying to defeat the elves in detail, the vermin-god/warlord sent half his ratfolk rabble into combat against a single giant tree-shepherd. However, the tree-man was soon joined by a giant eagle and even some rangers who, together, made short work of the verminkin rabble. Helpfully, that particular unit of rabble were also the captors of a comely halfling maiden that the elves were trying to rescue (the objective they rolled at the start of the game), so in defeating the unit, they also restored resolve across the entire elven line.

The wyld elf stag-riders engaged the shot-up verminguard which allowed the accompanying elven rangers to fire beyond the verminguard at the giant rat-god behind them. With a torrent of arrows, they brought him down and, with his death, the ratfolk broke and fled leaving the wyld elves as masters of the field.

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