Wednesday, 24 September 2014

"The Battle at the Tower" (or Trouble at Mill) a 5,000 point 3rd Edition Battle Report (Part Two).

Day Two of the battle started about 9:30am on the Sunday, and we had 7 hours left of the day ahead of us....

Day Two.

Turn 6.
.... and so Turn 6 began with the left and centre of my army still  routing. So it was time to pull together what remained of my army to avoid being run off the battlefield and to keep the pressure on the Wood Elves.
The battlefield, start of Day Two.
The routing left wing and centre of the army... 
...not good which every angle you looked at it!

In the centre, the Eagle Warriors charged the Wood Elven Lord's cavalry, stopping them from charging me and negating their lances on the charge. To the Eagle Warriors right, the Jaguar Warriors charged Skarloc's archers. By the mill Gurggl Greenwake and the Bull Slann regiment advance towards a large regiments of Wood Elven Kinband. Meanwhile, the Flying Gargoyles of Barda finally reached the target for which they were summoned, and charge the second treeman on my left. 
 Gargoyles flock around the Treeman. 

Before the close combat, the Venom Tribe next to the Jaguar Warriors decided to take long range pot shots at the Archers on the hill behind Skarlocs. A few lucky shots, and rolling high usufully for a change resulted in 2 dead archers.
In the melee between the Eagle Warriors and Elven Cavlary, the Elven General StarLight StarBright challenged the Level 20 Slann hero to personal combat, which was accepted. Striking first, Starbright used his magical sword with Degenerative Strike, wounding the Slann hero who's toughness was 5, and reducing his toughness by D6, which with a roll by Justin of 4, reduced it to 1. A dangerous 5 point sword against Slann heroes!  In response the kitten weak Slann failed to land wound. The surronding Elves and Slann failed to make an impact of the overall melee, resulting in the Slann winning the combat due to ranks, and pushing the cavalry back.
The Jaguar Warriors faired better, with the single combat between Skarloc and the Level 15 Slann hero resulting in Skarloc losing a wound. However, due to the Elves 'Battlecall' magical instrument and the magical 'War Banner' standard, the combat was a draw. 
The Jaguar Warriors attacking Skarlocs Wood Elven Archers (Lord's Bowmen). 

Between these two combats, the Pond Dragon continued to fight the Chariot, killing one of the crew this turn. On the far right of my flank the Spawn Band fighting the Wardancers at the river had more luck. The Wardancers attempted to use the Transfix ability, but failed, and in the resulting fight the Slann killed 3 Wardancers with no loss to themselves, and pushing the Wardancers back again.
Pushing the Wardancers back again!

On the other side of the battlefield the other Wardancers had more luck, killing on of the routing Spawn Band Slann as a result of a free hack whilst pursuing. The Gargoyles, who needed a 6 to wound the Treeman, failed. The Treeman could not wound any of the Gargolyes as he did not have magical attacks and cannot damage these supernatural creatures. This is why I summomned them, keep the very powerful Treeman tied up, a sneaky trick, but I personally did'nt think they would make it there alive as I thought there would be more magical Elven weapons. It's also why I did'nt summon anymore, as it would be a little unfair and take the fun out of the game. 
The Treeman now surrounded.

Magic wise, the Yellow and Orange Mages, for want of anything better to do drew some magic points from the Talismanic War Altar and shot a Lighting Bolt each at the Archer regiment on the hill, killing one each. Meanwhile the Green Mage had other idea, summons 7 Skeletons to bolster the Slann forces. 
Skeletons! (from Justin's collection) 

Other than the magic, the Spawn Band and Alliagator Warriors rallied, but the others still routed, failing again to re-join the battle. 

Wood Elves:
By the hamlet, theTreeman not being harrased by Gargoyles charged into the newly rallied Spawn Band, and promptly killing 4 Slann,  with a little help from a Wardancer.
The Treeman charges!

The only other Elven movement was to move the Warrior Kinband back away from Gurggl and the Bull Slann by the mill. 
Elven shooting by the Archers on the hill by the Hamlet was impessive, more for the actual imagined shooting rather than the results. Shooting thruoght the hamlet and at maxiumum range, the Archers killing 2 Bull Slann, shooting them in the back as they were fleeing! 
 Long shot from the distant Elf Archers! 

In other shooting, the Glade Riders shot at Gurggl's adopted Bull Slann regiment, killing 2 of them. 
In the closecombat phase the Dragon killed another crewman, but was still locked in combat with the Chariot. The delicate Eagle Warrior hero with Toughness 1 lost 2 wounds to Skarloc, hanging on with 1 wound, but failing to wound  the Elven General StarLight StarBright. However one of the Eagle Warriors killed an Elven Lord, and so the Slann won the combat again, and pushed the Elves back.
StarLight StarBright and the Elven Lord's Fighting the Slann Eagle Warriors, while next to them the Dragon chips slowly away at the Chariot. 

Meanwhile the Jaguar Warriors and Skarloc's regiment killed one of each other, drawing the combat again, with the Gargyles failing to wound the Treeman.
In the Elven Magic phase, Kaia Stormwitch in Skarlocs regiment casts cure light wound on Skarloc, restoring him to health. The Zoat, decides to fireball the Skeletons, cremating one of what was once buried.

Turn 7.
The Alligator Warriors had now reformed after their embassing rout, and now headed back toward the action.
The Alliagator Warriors re-joining the fray.

In addition the three Mages moved forward behind the melee's ensuing. Gurggl Greenwake and the Bull Slann charge the Wood Elven Warrior Kinband regiment which Justin thought was just out of range. On the downside the Jungle Braves routed of the table, never to be seen again.
Gurggl Greenwake and the Bull Slann regiment about to charge. Contary to Justins calculations, I had (just) enough movement to wheel and charge.

Shooting by the Venom tribes next to the Jaguar Warriors resulted in nothing hit. 
In melee, Gurggl Greenwake challenged the Level 5 Elven Hero of the Kinband to personal combat and killed him with ease. That was the only death in the whole melee, and the combat was a draw, and the regiments front ranks neated up for next turn. 
The Elven General also had good hunting, killing the Level 20 Slann Hero, but the combat ended in a draw. The Spawn Band at the river near the mill succeded in killing all of the last of the Wardancers, but were now a clear target for the Glade Riders bows next Elven turn! 
The Pond Dragon finally smashed the Chariot to pieces, with the crew failing thier armour saves and dying. The Gargoyles failed to wound the Treeman, and the Jaguar Warriors lost 3 Slann in combat, were pushed back, but held their ground. Strangely the other Treeman (three 1's and a 2 to hit! ) and the Wardancers failed to kill a single Slann, but the Slann killed 3 Wardancer, leaving only one remaining.
The Dragon now free to choose another target whilst the totem Warriors still fight it out and the Mages lurk behind them.

The Green Slann Mage flushed with Necromantic success raised another 8 Skeletons and faced them towards the Treeman. The Orange and Yellow Slann Mages decided to try Lighting Bolts again. One Lighting Bolt can be cast per level, and each does D3 damage, so using the dwindling supply of Magic Points from the Talismanic War Altar they cast the spell three times each against the Wood Elf Glade runners hiding behind the hegde, bringing down a veritable storm down upon them,  killing 9 out of the 10 of them! 

In even better news, the Bull Slann, Warriors Priests, and the Orange fleshed Venom Tribes all rallied just a couple inches from the table edge.

Wood Elves:
The lone Wood Elf Glade Runner moved over to the Archers on the hill by the hamlet, completing the Wood Elf movement phase. However the shooting of the archers and revenge of the lone Glade Runner resulted in them shooting the Orange Slann Mage, killing 3 of his litter Bearers and wounding the venerable Slann himself. The otherside of the mill the Glade Riders shot and killed 3 Spawn Band. 
In Close Combat, the Elf Kinband failed to kill any Slann but Gurggl Greenwake killed 3 Elves, and the regimental Slann Hero kills another Elf, pushing the regiment back.
Gurggl Greenwake fighting the Wood Elf Kinband.

The now leaderless Eagle Warriors kill an Elven Lord's trooper, but lose one of their own to StarLight StarBright, however they still manage to push the Elves back. 
The Jaguar Warriors wound an Elf and Skarloc, but the combat is drawn. The Gargoyles hold the Treeman in combat again without wounding him (or her?). The other Treeman kills 4 Slann in the Spawn Band, with the Slann killing the last Wardancer in return. However they are pushed back, and rout, with the Treeman killing another Slann with a Free Hack as they flee, but the Treeman does'nt pursue.
The Centre of the battlefield end of Turn 7. 

The Elven Magic phase consists of two spells. The Zoat fires a fireball as the Orange Slann Mage, but fails to wound. Kaia Stormwith cures another light wound on Skarloc. 

Turn 8. 
On the Slann left flank the Spawn Band are still routing, but this time not causing panic.
The newly recovered Bull Slann move along the back of my deployment zone, hidingfrom the long range archery of the Wood Elves the otherside of the hamlet, and the Treeman the other side of the hill.
The Bull Slann advancing along the back of the battefield towards the army centre.

Near them, the Warrior Priests also advanced to the centre of the battlefield. Meanwhile, the Orange Venom Tribe advanced on the left flank to psotion themselves behind the Treeman. One of the units of Skeletons was advanced towards the Treeman, whilst the other was moveed toward Skarlocs Elves. 
In the centre of the Pond Dragon passed his Binding Test and continued to fight for the Slann, and then charged Skarlocs regiment in the side. 
Another combat for the Pond Dragon. 

The Spawn Band the otherside of the mill was stuck in front of the Glade Riders bowfire. So they took and passed a leadership test to form a Testudo, giving them a +2 save, but halving their move, and then advanced forward towards the Glade Riders.
In the Slann shooting phase the Venom Tribe in the centre of the army had nothing to shoot at, and so retreated to the comfort and protection of the Pond. The Venom Tribe shadowing the Treeman shot at said Treeman, and rolled a Strength 6 for the strength of their posion! This lead to the Slann causing 2 wounds on the Treeman! Justin was unconvinced that posion would work on a Treeman, but I suggested the Slann had used copper nails dipping in weed killer!
Slann Venom Tribe, hunting a Treeman! 

In melee, the Eagle Warriors and the Elven Lord's fail to cause wounds, but again the rank bonus means the Slann push the Elves back. 
The Pond Dragon took advantage of being able to kill soft and squishy things for a change by killing 4 Elves, while the Jaguar Warriors lost one of their warriors. However, the result was that Skarlocs Wood Elves were pushed back up onto the hill.
Behind the same hill, Gurggl Greenwake and the Bull Slann regiment managed to win the close combat and push back the Kinband after killing 4 Elves.
In the Magic Phase the Orange and Yellow Slann Mages encouraged with their previous success with Lighting Bolts tried to thier luck at the Zoat, but failed to inflict any wounds. The Green Mage raised 11 more Skeletons, and postioned them facing the Treeman. The Warrior Priests magical 'Bane Banner' tried, and failed, to scare off the Treeman.
More Skeletons, raised to face the Treeman. 

Remarkably there was only one regiment of Slann routing, the Slann Spawn Band, but they failed to rally.

Wood Elves:
To add to the Spawn Bands woes the Treeman charged them as they were routing, and in the following combat killed 3 Slann. Also charging into combat, the Zoat charged into the melee between the Elven Lord's and the Eagle Warriors.
The centre of the battlefield.

Before the melee, the Elven shooting phase saw the Archers on the hill by the Hamlet concentrated their bow power upon the poor Orange Slann Mage. While he himself was not harmed, his last litter bearer was killed, thus forcing him to pollute his soul and walk upon the naked ground, and losing his ablity to cast anything above level 2 Magic.
 In the centre of the battle the Elven General StarLight StarBright and his Elven Lord's Eagle Warriors with the help of the Zoat. They killed 3 Slann, pushed them back, but still failed to break them from combat.
To their side the Jaguar Warriors and Skarloc's bowmen fought each other to a bloody draw, killing 3 Elves and 3 Slann respectively. Behind the hill the Warrior Kinband held Gurggl Greenwake and the Bull Slann to a draw.
As Skarloc was still on his full number of wound, Kaia Stormwitch cast cause panic on the Jaguar Warriors in an attempt to end the combat, but the Slann passed the Will Power test with ease.
The SlannWarrior Priests and War Altar heading back into battle.

Turn 9.
The Skeletons closest to the Treeman charged him, partly with the hope of scaring him off, partly with the aim of slowing him down. He did'nt runaway scared, but in the melee the Treeman did destroy 3 Skeletons, but was still locked in combat for another turn.
The other side of the mill the Testudo Spawn Band continued to shuffle thier way forward, but gave up the hope of ever reaching the Glade Riders and moved toward the buildings by the mill. 
The other Spawn band contuinued to rout off the table, whilst the rest of the army carried on advancing toward the centre of the battlefield, except for the Orange Venom Tribe who advance around the side of the Hamlet. In addition one group of Skeletons moved toward the Eagle Warriors to lend support in combat, whilst the other group moved toward the Treeman in a hope of slowing him down again when he had finished dispatching  the other Skeletons.
There was no Slann shooting, as all the blowpipes were all out of range.

The Zoat, the Elven General StarLight and the Elven Lord's suddenly sprang into bellicosity killing 5 Slann! This led to the last remaining Slann being pushed back and then routing from combat.
Look, routing again! 

To add to this routing, Skarloc's regiment managed to killed a Slann, whilst Skarloc himself wounded the Dragon. Both the Jaguar Warriors and Dragon were pushed back and then proceed to rout. Skarloc and his regiment declined to pursue, keeping possession of the hill.
Despite the routing, no one panicked, and the Warrior Priests were still advancing to plug the gap. 

Behind the triumphant Skarloc, Gurggl and his force succeded in killing 3 more Elves, pushing them back, and forcing them to rout. He and his associated regiment declined to follow up. 
Glam the Wardancer from Skaloc's regiment shouts out a challange to the Slann, while Gurgg Greenwake consolidates his forces ready to accept. 

On the otherside of the battlefield, the Treeman engaging with the Skeletons kills another 3, and the Gargoyles finally manage to wound their trapped Treeman.
In the Slann Magic phase the Skaloc's triumph is shortlived. The Orange and Yellow Slann Mages drain the last few points for magical reserve from the Talismanic War Altar (leaving only 3 points left in it) and hurl 3 Lighting Bolt spells apeice at Skarloc's regiment killing 6 of them, but failing to rout them off the hill.
In the foreground the routing Jaguar Warriors and Dragon pass by the (unrouted) Venom Tribes. Just visable are the sole remianed survivours of Skarloc's regiment; Kaia Stormwitch, Glam the Wardancer, and Skarloc himself. 

Wood Elves:
The Wood Elves on the hill by the hamlet stood their ground, preparing to defend the hill and use their elevated position to shoot their bows when a target presented itself. In the centre the Elven Lord's and the Elven General StarLight StarBright spent the turn re-organising themselves after the long melee with the Eagle Warriors. The Zoat too did'nt move, preferring to stay close to the Elven Cavalry.
Skarloc's Wood Elf archers shot at the last Eagle Warrior, failing to kill him. On the other side of the battle, the Glade Riders shot at Gurggl's Bull Slann regiment, killing one of them.
In close combat the Gargoyles failed again to wound the Treeman, whilst the other Treeman killed another 3 Skeletons.
In the Magic phase the Zoat fireballed the Orange Slann Mage, wounding, and then routing him.

Turn 10.
...never happened :(

We ran out of time. We had fought the battle for about 18 hours over two days, but we had to leave the battle at the 'what if..?' stage. Perhaps another 2 or 3 turns would have lead to a conclusive result?
The centre of the battlefield at the end of the game. 

In our post-battle discussions Justin suggested that we had fought each other to a draw. I was slightly more convinced that given time the Wood Elves would win.

 The Elves still had one active Treeman which I was convinced no amount of copper nails shot from blowpipes might kill. Also the two Cavalry regiments would be far too mobile for my footslogging Slann to chase down. The Zoat, low on magic points could still be a close combat problem, whilst the remianing Archers could still inflict some damage. Most of all the Elven General StarLight StarBright was still alive and wielding his Degeneration Strike sword.

On the positive side for the Slann, I still had my army general Gurggl Greenwake, with his 10 Bull Slann including a Level 10 hero; another 18 Bull Slann with their Level 10 Hero; 17 Venom Tribes (in two units); 10 Warrior Priests plus the War Altar and a further 4 Priest Guards; 8 Alligator Warriors; 10 Spawn Band; 8 Jaguar Warriors (ok, routing, but I still had them!); 1 Eagle Warrior; the Pond Dragon; 10 Gargoyles and 18 Skeletons (although Instablity might put pay to them); and of course 3 Mages, although they were now low on Magic points.
So maybe I could have won or fought on to a more convincing draw? 


I had forgotten how much I really enjoyed playing Warhammer 3rd Edition. It was more fun than playing current edition (although if I do game now it's usually 40K). Apart from great memories, the game just seemed to have more substaince and soul it to.

Saying that though, there was the scope for the unbalanced games which I recall from years ago. Some of the lower level spells such as Vortex of Chaos and Dust Storm are very destructive. Demons can be very problematic if you have no or few magical weapons. Justin and I did limit our magic, but perhaps some further look at either a limit on cetain spells or forms of magic might be useful. Or an all bets are off game, but that might result in Elementals and Greater Demons playing dodge the Chaos Vortices

I remembered that Treemen are very powerful, and learnt that low level Dragons are'nt. We also learnt the chariot rules as neither of us had used them much before, as well as reacquainting ourselves with lots of the other parts of the game.

Concerning the Slann Army itself I learnt several useful things.
Firstly, Slann are quite awesome, better than I recalled.  The Toughness 4 was very useful against Strength 3 bows. The army itself, like the Aztecs, is a good close combat army with useful harrasing missile troops. The Slann themselves perform respectably in melee, as are the heroes.

I was suprised how unispiring the Slann levies were, and how panic could wreck an army. There is an element of luck in any dice game, but I think is not unfair to suggest that bad luck played role in my army panicking. The rest of the army performed very well, and my approach of a balance of heroes and magic and having a large number of troops in my army worked well.

Giving the heroes magical weapons, and also adding Magical Standards and Magical Instruments to regiments can really make a difference. As some of the elite Slann units can have these I will be adding them to future armies. I will probably be dropping a lot of non magical insturments as they seemed a waste of points.

Blowpipes are good, if not always reliable. the D6 strength posion can be excellent, even wounding a Treeman, but rolling low can leave a unit with a problem enemy within 12 inches.

Binding a Dragon was a good idea, although the Binding Test can be nerve-racking. A Level 1 Dragon did'nt seem powerful enough to take on Treeman, so maybe a Level 2 or 3 maybe better. I might try taking Cold One Riders next time I use the Slann to give an impact unit, although they are expensive in points and can be very vunerable to missile fire.
Slann Mages.

Choosing two Level 20 Mages and a Level 15 was a good balance. I have already mentioned the very powerful spells, but other good spells are still usuable. Level 2 Lighting Bolts are excellent, and so perhaps a pair of Level 10 Mages rather then the Level 15 might work better. Also, Level 5 and 10's don't have to be mounted in palaquins, which can make them a target.

I made an error with the Talismanic standard. Taking it was an excellent idea, but putting it in the War Altar meaning that the Mages had to cluster around it. This meant that in I ended up having 4 Palaquins clustered together within 12 inches of each other, creating my own traffic jam. The Wood Elves had also benefitted from having Mages/Wizards present in regiments, something I might try as well. 

Overall, it was an really enjoyable weekend and game. It was great to see Justin again and game like it was 1989!  I have been looking at my armies in a different light too with the fresh gaming experence gained, so some redesign might be in order.
It has given the painting and collecting more another dimension, as well as increasing the appreciation of the many old models I have. :)

Gurggl Greenwake, still alive, and looking for a re-match!


  1. A very interesting read and a fantastic looking table full of nicely painted minis. I did wonder why you didn't have a cold one unit - worth trying them out next time. Re daemons did you use the summoning rules in warhammer armies? They make daemons a very tricky prospect indeed although I'm not sure how such rules would work when the summoning spell is cast from a banner. Personally I would argue that the warhammer armies rules would prevent one from summoning daemons from a banner unless the banner bearer had drawn up a pentagram.

    1. Thank you, it was an interesting battle.

      I did'nt take the Cold One Riders as the 3rd Edition rules state that you have to spend the turn before your first charge whipping the Cold One's into a fury so they can charge. This means that they would have to spend a whole turn in plain sight of the intented target, which when fighting Wood Elves will probably be archers. So I was concerned that they would be shot down before being able to charge.

      The demons were summoned as normal, but the magic points were drawn from the Talsimanic standard. Any spell cast using points from a Talismanic standard will automatically succeed. We are'nt sure if that did apply to summoning demons, but we were not too concerned and were still familiarizing ourselves with the rules after a 20 year gap.