Once again the antagonists gather to have battle in this the eighth outing in the current Mordheim campaign.
The warbands this time delve beneath the earth and venture into the mouldering catacombs lying beneath the now ruined town of Jurgenard where the bands had tracked one of the Necromancers Captains, Rufus the Beast of Dalberz who had been searching the town for an artifact.
Having dispatched the Beast and picked his bones for Intel, the bands had discovered the entrances to the Catacombs lying below the ruined town where the artifact was said to be hid.
Without much ado, the bands delved into the labyrinth in search of the artifact of unknown power to find out why the Necromancers minion had been sent in search of it.
Once again, all the Usual Suspects had gathered; Andy L and his Witch Hunters, Dave and the now much depleted Marienburger Merc's, Andy W's Skaven, Kevs Vampire led Undead crew, Ian's doughty, but very slow, Dwarves and my improving Protectorate of Sigmar.
|Initial moves and the Giant Slater's (Woodlice)|
start to cause traffic jams already
The Undead having won the Lair of the Beast round got a free move to kick things off and then the Dwarves led off with all the bands moving towards their initial targets. Trying to avoid another WH vs Marienburger-fest the Witch Hunter's tried (as it turned out to be, in vain) to move to attack the Undead, while the Undead moved towards the Protectorate (for extra XP's) while to still tender Protectorate moved tentatively towards the Skaven, who in turn made a fast bee-line for the centre of the catacombs and the likely resting place of the artifact. The Dwarves moved as fast as they could go and headed for the Skaven in turn and the Marieburger's, just for a laugh headed straight down the corridors towards the Witch Hunters (probably really just avoiding the tough Dwarves, but that's a less funny reason).
|WHs vs Mercs fight continues while everyone else|
closes around the strung out Skaven blockers
|The WH and Mercs clash in the distance while Skaven outrunners|
move to capture loot in the central crypt
The Witch Hunter's plan to avoid the Marienburger's immediately fell down when there move was quickly brought to a halt by one of the Giant Armoured Slater's (Woodlouse) which were lurking through out the Catacombs, and despite their best efforts could not dislodge the beastie. This forced them into the inevitable clash which the Merc's who un-characteristically stormed straight into the fray.
This fight however didn't last long, unlike previous encounters, with the Merc's getting much the worse of things and after a brief round or two's tussle the Marienburger's broke and left the procedings.
The Skaven continued their rush for the loot and quickly encountered two more of the Slater's but with room to spare left the combats ongoing and continued their rush towards the gaol and the central crypt where it was likely the artifact was lying.
Likewise, the Undead encountered one of the Slater's in their careful advance in pursuit of the Protectorate. They however quickly dispatched this obstacle and continued their advance.
|The WHs consolidate and move towards the centre|
while the Undead close on the Protectorate
The Protectorate encountered two of the Skaven who had been left as blockers at the rear of the band and with much joy the PoS managed to quickly drop one of their number but the second proved a bit more stubborn thus slowing the Protectorate enough for the Undead to close the gap behind them.
The Dwarves continued their own advance and also encountered a lurking Slater on their way and this proved to be of sterner stuff and took a good half the band of hammers to beat the nasty beast into submission, further slowing their movement towards the Skaven. They continued their stolid clomping into contact with a couple of Rat blockers on the Skaven flank and though these were dispatched , this allowed the majority of the Rattie Ones to pass the Dwarves and into the central chamber.
|The Skaven get cornered between the WHs and the Dwarves|
but break before the hammer falls
The Witch Hunter's having cleared the Merc's now advanced towards the goal but delayed their attack by detouring to dispatch a lone and defenseless Slater who was not hurting anyone. The delays from the Dwarves and WH's gave the Skaven enough time to dispatch one of the Slaters in the central chamber and get the rest of his band into the chamber and search for all the loot there.
Now the WH's and Dwarves began to tighten the noose and with the escalating numbers of blockers down telling along with a couple of Gutter runners Andy had to check for Break Test and promptly failed. Meaning he high-tailed into the gathering gloom, but with his loot (and as it turned out the artifact) in his grasping claws. Curses, foiled again.
With the Skaven gone and the remaining blocker vapourising before their eyes, the Protectorate were left with little to do. Either an attemp to fight the slighlty dispersed Dwarves who were still some distance away and likely to be able to consolidate before we got there, or alternatively turn and face the fairly equal in number Undead who were their arch enemies anyway and already closing on the rear and had already traded distance shots in the gloom. No contest.
An about face was performed and the Protectorate advanced towards their bitter foes with the Warrior Priest leading the charge.
|The Protectorate charge into contact with the Vampire Crew|
|...and vicious melee ensues|
Unlike previous encounters where the Protectorate had got drubbed with barely being able to raise a blade before getting pummeled, this encounter proved less one sided and though the Undead did have the edge the Protectorate were able to put up a bit of a fight for once.
Both sides stuggled to put each others fighters out of the fight with several (mainly Protectorate) being Knocked out or Stunned but for once they dished out nearly as much in return.
The joyous barney went on for a couple of rounds and in the end the honour's were even with both sides getting four of their number taken Out of Action including the Warrior Priest and (with much jubilation) the Vampire.
With both our bands looking a bit sad we both decided to call it quits due to the losses and the with mutual assent the Protectorate and Undead withdrew from the proceedings to lick their wounds. This now left the the Witch Hunters and Dwarves advancing towards the central chamber and each other.
|Final curtain draws near as the Dwarves and WH move|
towards a stand off
Andy was much non-plused as the Undead and PoS withdrew as he had hoped that they would distract the Dwarves and allow him to attack a partial Dwarf front but with only the two stalwarts left, each drawn up and consolidated, the Witch Hunters in the Central Crypt, the Dwarves in the smaller anti-chamber, a stand-off developed.
Neither side wanted to be the one to attack, thus losing a good position and neither fancied possible losses for little to gain with all the treasure gathered and the Artifact already gone, so they agreed to call it quits and a draw for Round Eight was declared. Boo! Hiss!
The Skaven however are now in possession of the powerful anti-Undead artifact the Cane of Alluminus, which puts them in a better position for the closing trials of the campaign.
And with a nominal Good victory, though with no winner, the next round will see the bands following the Dwarves and Witch Hunters nearer the final showdown and a confrontation with the Witches Coven before moving on to the final assault on the Necromancer at his stronghold of Slayer's End.