Roger made his way up into the hills this weekend to lead his Ghostly Pirates against my vampire-led Night Stalkers on their first outing as a completed army.
Both armies had taken Night March as a strategy, but when Roger saw how far forward the Night Stalkers deployed, be chose to deploy back towards his base edge to make the most of his shooting capacity. I was hoping to get in fast and make the first bite count - the pirates wanted to shoot me down before I made contact. Mishaps were negligible on both sides with only minor outbreaks of disease.
By the end of the first turn, the pirate cannons had blasted away scoring hits on my ghouls with every attack dice! Regardless - or perhaps because of the hammering in the shooting phase - the Night stalkers raced across the table. The impulsive ghouls managed to cover 5bw in one turn, while the ghost-pirates - almost to a man - stood still and waited. Only the behemoth/ghost whale on the ghostly left moved slowly forward through the woods.
By turn two, the ghouls were in combat! The combined shooting from the cannon batteries and the ghost pirate shot to their left was again quite devastating and it was only the use of prophecy dice that stopped the ghouls scattering before charging home. The ghouls only managed to cause two hits on their ghost-ogre-pirate foes, but that was enough to kill the pirate captain commanding them. Sadly, the ghouls were then scattered and the ogres feasted on their fetid corpses, restoring their lost Resolve.
On my right, the ghost whale slunk out of the woods to charge the vampiric knights in the flank; the whale looks side on, but that is just a pragmatic measure to allow the mini to fit. This was the point of (perhaps) my greatest error for the match; the countess commanding the knights had the Titanic Diadem of Foresight which would have allowed her to pre-empt the flank charge, but I plumb forgot about it!
Across the battlefield, the Night Stalkers were closing in. The Death coach swung around to threaten the flank of the ambushing ghost whale; a move completed in the following turn resulting in the destruction of the whale, but consuming two of my most expensive units for too long. Meanwhile, on the far flank, the dire wolves and werewolves closed on the kraken.
The lupine units attacked the kraken from the front and flank causing Roger some consternation - but not for long. They failed to cause more than a couple of Resolve loss, while the werewolves were scattered in the first round of combat!
In the centre, my succubi flew down on the ghost shot unit and while they did not cause the damage expected, nor did they suffer much in return.
Sadly, in the following turn, the ghostly mage-lord and magic -user both summoned units (another whale, and three companies of bilge rats) into the succubi's flanks and rear. The succubi routed their initial opponent - the shot unit - but were destroyed in the process, sealing the battle as a rather devastating defeat for the Night Stalkers/
So, continuing my sorry run of defeats, the Night Stalkers must withdrawal to lick (and suck) their wounds. The army is very much a proverbial glass cannon, and if they don't cause enough damage in their first round of combat, they lack staying power to continue the fight much longer.