Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Creeping Dead

Mike (Skaven) vs Tim (Tomb Kings)

There were only scant miles now between the undead horde of the Tomb Kings and the Skaven capital of Spike Hole, thousands of skeletal forms marching hard toward the doomed home of the evil ratmen.

But the Skaven were far from ready to prostrate themselves before their aggressors. Despite fighting wars on many fronts and holding on to dwindling lands, the Skaven had achieved much and the string of recent victories had made them confident.

But dramatic changes to the magic of the Tomb Kings had occurred since last the unbreathing ones had fought, granting significant changes to their ability to make war; changes that might allow them to overwhelm their enemies without pause.

The Skaven had chosen the village of Willow Leaves to make a holding action, blocking the advance of the Undead Nation. They formed a battle line and surged up the slope into the village.

The Tomb Kings had formed a battle line in opposition but oddly, as the battle began, half of the army withdrew to the line of buildings, hoping to lure the ratmen closer and limit their ability to bring their numbers to bear.

Astrid, the Tomb Princess, raged at her lieutenants' imbecilic actions. The strategy was sound but it was too late for the manoeuvring. The warriors should have followed her orders and remained committed to their initial deployment!

She leapt up to the howdah of her gigantic Undead Rhino, every bit as powerful as a necrosphinx and urged it forward, hoping to undo what her lietenants' indecision had cost them. The rhino struck unit after unit, destroying them or sending them fleeing, but she could not win the battle by herself, no matter her passion and drive.

The Vermin Lord slunk past her as she battled on against the onrushing horde, going after Caleb, the Liche Priest whose magic allowed the army to exist at all but Caleb fled, keeping his distance from the towering monstrosity.

The Skaven tore through the Screaming Bell and Casket of Souls that the Tomb Kings had left in their path, mindlessly devouring the space between them and their skeletal enemies. Time was running out and the bulk of the Tomb King strength had yet to join the battle.

Astrid fought on but it was a losing combat now and in the trees a hundred yards away, the Vermin Lord caught up with Caleb and ripped the remnants of his bodyguard horsemen in seconds.

This looked like the end. The Vermin Lord pummelled Caleb over and over again, but despite his power he could not break through the Hierophant's protective magics and suddenly, with a murmur of ancient poetry, Caleb vanished, spirited away.

The Vermin Lord roared in triumph and frustration as the rest of the Tomb King force shimmered and dissolved, reappearing yet closer to Spike Hole.

The Skaven had won the battle - there was no doubt about that, the Tomb King strategy had been optimistically incompetent - but as far as the ratmen were concerned, with two great undead armies poised before their capital, perhaps the war was soon to be lost.

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