After a couple of months of procrastination, here is the final report for the Vampire Hunters Mordheim / Empire in Flames campaign! Will it be victory for the stalwart defenders of Nachtdorf, or will Baron Strangulf and his undead forces conquer the small Ostermark town?
As night fell on the thirteenth campaign day, Strangulf decided he must act decisively. With three of his native soil coffins ruined, the threat from the warriors assisting the town was intolerably high. The card for the Night Event was flipped over, and it was a Town Attack!
Strangulf played all his stashed Necomancy cards that helped with generation rolls for his attacking forces. The way to swing the campaign back in his favor would be to sink Town Morale without worrying too much about taking defenders Out of Action. To this end, troops that could get over the walls quickly and get into buildings, hopefully avoiding getting tied up in long melees with defenders, would be ideal. If his minions could kill enough citizens, the townspeople would flee the region and the defending warbands would go back to Mordheim where they belonged!
The fact that the number of bitten was up to ten, including two warband-members, was also a weakness Strangulf could exploit with a Night Attack. If the bitten could be reached by a Vampire, they could be automatically turned. Also, adding a few more bitten by occupying buildings unopposed would increase chances of those bitten turning to Vampires in subsequent Night Phases and triggering additional Morale loss. To reach the bitten, fouling of the holy protections on the two buildings in Nachtdorf (Church and Inn) where the bitten were being kept would be necessary. An added bonus of spoiling these annoying protections is that the buildings would no longer discourage visits from his children of the night in future evenings.
Generation of attacking forces for Strangulf fit well with the strategic plan for the assault. For Heroes, the Vampire Forces included Strangulf himself with his two Fell Bats, his flying mistress Milagra with her two Harpies, his mistress Mircalla with her two Dire Wolves, a Grave Guard Seneschal, and campaign reward models The Ghoul King (Varghulf), Zombie Lord Ash, and special Banshee Kalt Magritte.
For core forces, the Vampire Forces rolled nine Ghouls, ten Skeletons and one Skeleton Champion, eight Zombies with one Totem-Bearer, four Ghasts, two Dire Wolves, four Spiders, and a second Banshee. The lack of cannon-fodder Rats was a good thing, and the Wolves and Spiders would get over the walls quickly. The extra Banshee was a major threat to the town, with their vicious scream attack and ability to glide right through walls.
The Halfling Scout patrolling outside of town failed his roll to detect the incoming attack, so the players had to setup first. Strangulf’s chances kept getting better, as he led his troops in under the cover of darkness to surprise the defenders.
The Dwarves and several Sister heroes along with NPC Father Jonas were huddled in the church, guarding six of the bitten including the two warband bitten. In a small hut just behind the church and near the east cannon tower, four of Captain Diedirich’s men were resting along with the town Burgermeister. Two town milita on guard duty were positioned at the cannon, and another just to the north of them at the northeast corner tower.
To the southwest, the Kislevites were concentrated in their usual resting spot, the inn, close to the south gate into town. Since the inn had been sanctified and steps taken to protect it from undead earlier in the campaign, this building housed remaining bitten on the second floor. Guarding the four bitten on the second floor were Sgt. Lowenherz of the town militia, and Captain Diedrich, formerly of the Ostermark state troops. In the town hall next to the inn, five of Diedrich’s men including two spearmen and three handgunners rested on the bottom floor.
The remaining Sisters were sleeping in the large two story home in the northwest corner of town, near the north gate.
After looking over the defenders’ positions, I opted to put the bulk of the core Vampire Fores troops in a line facing the west wall, with the Grave Guard Seneschal and Mistress Mircalla commanding from the two ends of the line. A Banshee was added to this group directly across from the inn, since her ability to move through walls and reasonable leadership would give her a good shot at ruining the protections on the inn.
To keep the Kislevites occupied in the south, The Vhargulf and Lord Ash commanded a small force of Ghouls and Zombies facing the south gate.
The key force, the one that would have the best chance of securing a strategic victory, was the force led by Strangulf himself. This force included exclusively models that could either fly, leap, or easily climb the town walls. It included the winged and feral Vampire Mistress Milagra and her Harpies, the special Banshee Kalt Magritte, all the Giant Spiders, Strangulf’s Bats, and two Dire Wolves. This force was positioned in the northeast, where only a lone militiaman and a wardog guarded the wall. The nearest opposing forces in the town were all the way on the other side of the pond in the church and the hut behind it.
Satisfied with his deployment, Strangulf commanded his forces forward, Kalt Magritte shattered the peace of the town with a horrible wail (dropping a Morale point immediately), and the assault began!
Vampire Forces Turn 1 (scenario expiration roll total: 6 out of 35)
In the south, the ground shook as the Varghulf advanced on the road towards the gate, a pack of Zombies shambling behind him. Lord Ash galloped past on his undead steed, moving adjacent to the town wall and in a protected position from any missile fire. A flanking pack of Ghouls and Ghasts with a siege ladder swung out to the right of the Varghulf, running towards the east end of the south wall.
Along the long west wall of town, Mircalla’s force reached the wall, but were unable to place their scaling ladder. The Banshee with this group moved adjacent to the wall, but not yet through it. At the north end of the west wall, the Grave Guard Seneschal led his force to the wall and they were able to get their scaling ladder raised and ready to provide access to the top of the wall next turn.
In the northeast, Strangulf’s force swarmed, flew, and pounced onto the top of the wall, surrounding the town militaman and wardog. Strangulf himself and Kalt Magritte remained at the base of the wall, allowing the lesser troops to gain the town ahead of them.
During the Shooting Phase, Kalt Magritte screamed, and the poor lone militaman at the top of the northeast tower fell Out of Action. Across town, the other Banshee screamed, but the targeted handgunner in the town hall clapped his hands over his ears and survived.
In combat on the northeast tower, Brother Woof the wardog was stunned by one of the Fell Bats that had flapped up onto the wall, freeing up all of Strangulf’s assaulting force to move into the town at will on their next turn.
Player Turn 1
During the Random Event phase, three terrified civilians burst out of a stable along the north wall, right at the feet of Strangulf’s strike-force. If the Vampire Forces could catch them, there would be a good chance they would prove to be fatalities at the end of the scenario, lowering Town Morale for each such dead civilian.
Bleary Kislevites stumbled out of the inn in the southwest in two groups, one moving to defend the south gate, and the other to defend stairs down from the southwest wall where Mircalla’s force was threatening. Three of Diedrich’s handgunners in the town hall adjacent to the inn moved to windows on the upper floor facing the west wall.
In the north, a group of Sisters including Sister Isolde of the Injured Leg and Sister Hildegarde moved out of the large house near the north gate, unsure of whether they would be needed in the west, or to the east where Strangulf’s forces were assaulting.
A mixed group of Dwarves and Sisters climbed out of the windows out of the north side of the church, while a few of each warband remained inside with the bitten. Three of Diedrich’s spearmen stepped out of the small building behind the church, screening for Burgermeister Kaufmann and one other of Diedrich’s men, who came out of the opposite side of the same building to head to the cannon tower.
A few Dwarves near the church fired crossbows at Strangulf’s forces on the northeast wall, but failed to do any damage. A crossbow bolt hit a Ghoul approaching the south wall, fired by Dwarf henchman Dorito, but the bolt failed to wound the creature.
Vampire Forces Turn 2 (expiration 10/30)
In the west, both groups of undead streamed up their ladders and gained the wall. Mircalla’s force gained the southwest wall near stairs down to the inn, and the Grave Guard Seneschal’s force commanded the northwest wall. The Banshee glided straight through walls to end up in the ground floor of the town hall. Unengaged undead in buildings would give the Vampire Forces opportunities to slay civilians at the end of the scenario, and the Banshee Ethereal ability makes them particularly effective at this.
The Varghulf and a single Ghoul made it inside the south town gate, both doors of which were shattered during a previous town attack and not yet repaired. A mob of zombies slowly moved up behind them, while a pack of mostly Ghouls with a scaling ladder reached the southeast wall just beside the gate. A Ghast and a Ghoul made it up to the top of the wall.
In the northeast, Strangulf charged the only remaining defender on the wall, a poor wardog. A Fell Bat and a Harpy flew down to catch two of the fleeing civilians from the stables, leaving one still running for the nearby smithy. Milagra shrieked and flew down from the wall, attacking one of Diedrich’s handgunners behind the church. With her came one of her Harpies, two Dire Wolves, and the special Banshee Kalt Magritte.
Both Banshees wailed during the Shooting phase, but surprisingly neither managed to take their targets out.
On the northeast tower, Strangulf managed to completely miss the agile wardog, embarrassingly rolling three ones to hit. Not good Vampire karma.
Near the church, combat swirled around Milagra’s charge, but only one spearman ended up knocked down. Not the impact Milagra had been expecting, and leaving them open to a counter-charge next turn.
In general, a promising looking town attack suddenly seemed a bit less promising after completely ineffective shooting and combat phases.
Player Turn 2
Near the church, Sisters Anne (the Augur) and Salrya counter-charged Milagra’s force. In the north, Sisters Hildegarde and Veronica ran up the stairs to help defend the northwest wall from the Grave Guard’s forces. Meanwhile, Mother Madira, a militiaman, two wardogs and a henchsister moved south from the church towards the Kislevites defending the south and southwest.
At the south gate, a gang of Kislevites including Captain Vladimir charged the Varghulf and Ghoul coming through the gate. We decided to move the combat just inside the town to allow easy access to the models.
During the shooting phase, one of the two Halfling Scouts in the church tower managed to get off a perfect shot from his shortbow, and took one of the Fell Bats in Strangulf’s force Out of Action – the first Vampire Forces model to fall. The halflings would get few opportunities for shots the remainder of the battle.
Father Jonas failed to cast his Soulfire spell in the melee by the church, and Father McManus also failed his Soulfire in the town hall in the west where the Banshee had appeared the previous turn.
The handgunners in the town hall along the west wall fired a volley, and the group cheered as one of them managed to hit and wound the Vampiress Mircalla, just visible in the torchlight.
Dwarf Captain Big Boss opened up with his pistols from inside the church, and wounded the second of Strangulf’s bats. Engineer Sparks and Dwarf Hero Spam fired at the same bat, but failed to finish it off. A shame, as this bat would cause problems in later turns. Dwarf henchman Dorito fired his crossbow from the top of the south gate, and took a Zombie Totem-Bearer Out of Action with a solid hit.
In the southwest, the line of Kislevites held their ground to fire a volley at the undead on the wall. Kislevite Heroine Luka, our knife-thrower, hurled no less than four knives and took out a Dire Wolf, two Ghouls, and stunned a second Ghoul! Probably her most impressive single knife volley of the entire campaign. Kislevite David in the same group missed his shot, and Pyotr hit but failed to wound a Dire Wolf at the top of the stairs. Misha took a shot at Vampiress Mircalla, but just missed as the agile creature ducked at the last moment.
At the south gate, Vladimir and Alex both failed to damage the Ghoul accompanying the Varghulf, and in return it landed a powerful blow that knocked Captain Vladimir to the ground, stunned. Kislevite Bear-Tamer Martin hit the Varghulf twice with his magical spear, but failed to get through its tough hide. Martin’s bear rose up and struck at it, to no effect. Stepan had better luck, wounding the thing with a hammer strike at its legs. The Varghulf roared and struck a flurry of retaliatory blows against its assailants, but failed to harm any of them.
By the church, the combat with Milagra and her support troops raged. Sister Salyra stunned the Harpy she had charged, while Augur Anne realized that she had mistakenly charged on of Diedrich’s spearman in the confusion, and held up her blows just in time. The winged and brutal Vampiress Milagra split her attacks on three of Diedrich’s men, and blood splattered the cobblestones as two of them fell Out of Action and the third barely blocked a blow from her clawed hand with his shield.
Wardog Brother Bark struggled to its feet in the northeast tower, only to be knocked down again by a flurry of blows from the Strangulf.
Vampire Forces Turn 3 (expiration 13/30)
During movement, Strangulf’s remaining Fell Bat and one of Milagra’s Harpies flew into the blacksmith’s hut near the pond, to hunt for more townsfolk. Strangulf decided to ignore the ridiculous canine he’d been bludgeoning, instead directing a Spider to finish it off, and the Vampire Lord jumped down into the town.
The Banshee in the west attempted to pass a Leadership check to enter the protected inn, but failed, while some of the Seneschal’s forces moved south along the west wall to reinforce Mircalla. Mircalla used her Beguile special ability with success on Pyotr, standing in the defenders at the bottom of the stairs, and a strange glint entered the Kislevite’s eyes.
The Seneschal and his remaining forces headed for the upper level of the northwest town gate, on the other side of which were stairs down into the town.
More Ghouls in the south streamed up the ladder and onto the town wall, hoping to flank the defenders occupied with the Varghulf at the gate, or better yet, enter town buildings unobstructed.
At the east cannon tower, two Giant Spiders from Strangulf’s force skittered across the east wall and charged into two spearmen guarding entry to the tower.
By the church, Dire Wolves flanking Milagra counter-charged into the Sisters and the remaining spearman.
Strangulf turned towards the Dwarves across the pond, and pointed at Trollslayer IDieSoon. Three shrieking souls erupted from his Cloak of Souls and streaked through the night towards the Dwarf, with two of them wounding. IDieSoon staggered, but survived – a three-wound warrior.
Kalt Magritte screamed from inside the hut behind the church, but failed to petrify the spearman she had targeted. The other Banshee in the west attempted to penetrate the protections of the inn, but failed. She screamed wrathfully at the clutch of Kislevites collected in the darkness at the base of the stairs, and Davyd, one of their Stretsis, collapsed Out of Action.
In close combat at the south gate, Kislevite Alex struck with his Axe and took out the Ghoul that had stunned his Captain. Nearby, Stepan and Bear-tamer Martin swirled in melee with the giant Varghulf. Martin ducked and jabbed up at the Varghulf with his magical spear, landing a second wound on the beast. Stepan struck as its lega again while it was distracted, wounding with both blows and taking the creature Out of Action.
A spearman guarding the cannon tower fell stunned to the bite of one of the two charging Giant Spiders. Though spasming from the poison, he managed to grab hold and did not fall off the wall.
By the shore of the church pond, Sister Salyra held firm under a Dire Wolf’s charge and counter-struck with her hammers, taking it Out of Action. Milagra and a Dire Wolf combined to dispatch another of Diedrich’s spearmen.
On the northeast tower, the Spider Strangulf had directed to take out the wardog did just that, and another allied model was Out of Action.
At this point, the “Undead in Building” count was at seven points. This is a mechanic that gives the Vampire Forces rolls at the end of a Town Attack to see if they killed any civilians, which lowers town Morale. In addition, a number of defenders had fallen, and in a few turns perhaps the defenders could be made to retreat.
Player Turn 3
At the northeast cannon tower, a militiaman in the tower ran down the steps to the wall, bravely charging the Spider that was about to feast on the recovering spearman.
By the church, IDieSoon used his healing herbs. Joined by fellow ‘Slayer KillMeNow, the two gleefully charged vampiress Milagra, a virtual blur of swords and axes whirling towards her at about three feet off the ground. Milagra was able to strike first, wounding IDieSoon again. KillMeNow erupted with his many attacks, and took the vicious Vampiress Out of Action.
While the Dwarves felled Milagra, Sister Salyra caught one of her Harpies with a roundhouse blow from a hammer and took it out of the battle, while the Augur Anne struck down a Dire Wolf. The battle by the church pond had swung to the heroes.
Meanwhile, inside the church, Dwarves Spam and Sparks opened up with their crossbows at the flowing shadow of Strangulf on the other side of the pond. They landed three quarrels, but his armor blocked all except one wound from Sparks.
Mother Madira and Sister Veronica arrived to reinforce the Kislevites in the west, charging into the Banshee that had been attempting to get to the bitten protected inside the inn. Madira muttered her Soulfire spell as she charged, but failed to get it off. Veronica struck a blow, wounding the Banshee with her blessed Sigmarite Hammer, but Madira missed entirely. The Banshee lashed back at Madira unsuccessfully.
Kislevite Misha charged a Dire Wolf that had just come down the stairs from the west wall. Luka hurled four knives at other undead coming down the stairs, taking out a Skeleton.
Father McManus, also reinforcing the Kislevites, cast his Soulfire spell and knocked down the Dire Wolf Misha had just charged, but the Banshee on Madira shrugged off the effects. Misha struck at the fallen wolf, but, perhaps distracted by the lights of the Soulfire spells, failed to dispatch it.
Handgunners with Captain Diedrich in the upper story of the town hall fired a second volley at undead still on the west wall, and knocked a Ghast off and back outside town. It survived, but would have to reach a ladder and regain the wall.
With the Varghulf down at the south gate, Martin and his bear elected to charge through it to the Zombies that had been slowly working their way up to the entrance. “No more undead shall enter here!” yelled the fierce Kislevite. Above him, Dwarf Dorito fired his crossbow from the top of the gate into the night, but failed to harm the Zombie Totem-bearer he was aiming at.
Martin skewered a Zombie at the gate, but beside him the bear fared more poorly. Zombie Lord Ashe, who had been lurking outside the town in a niche of the wall that protected him from missile fire, was granting the Zombies a cancellation of opponent First Strike when charged. This ability had amounted to nothing the entire campaign, as Zombies are initiative two and tend to go last regardless. The bear, however, was also initiative two. The bear lost the roll-off, and the Zombies amazingly swarmed it and took it Out of Action.
Electing not to charge alongside Martin, Kislevites Alex and Stepan and a town militiaman fired at the Ghouls and Ghasts that had taken the south wall near the gate, with Alex stunning one of them.
Vampire Forces Turn 4 (expiration 19/30)
Dawn seemed to be creeping up quickly (a 6 for scenario expiration roll this turn), and the Vampire Forces needed to do some more damage if they hoped for the large Morale loss they needed. The turn started off well with three Skeletons with a Skeleton Captain reinforcing the undead, as they came rattling toward the lightly defended town gate in the north.
In the west, Vampire Mistress Mircalla and Skeletons charged down the stairs leading from the wall into waiting Kislevites. She attempted to use her beguilements on the scout Gustav as she directed her Skeletons into the enemy, but the dour Kislevite resisted her charms.
In the resulting melee, Luka dodged blows from two Skeletons, answering with crisp axe strikes that knocked one to the ground and shattered the other into fragments of inanimate bone. Pyotr, dazzled by Mircalla the previous turn, wheeled towards his comrade Misha and struck at his head, but fortunately missed. Misha cursed and shoved at Pyotr, then struck down a Dire Wolf that leapt at him from atop the wall.
Close by the action at the base of the west wall stairs, the Banshee engaged with Sisters Veronica and Madira screamed, and the point-blank wail dropped Veronica to the ground, stunned. Madira yelled to draw the Banshee’s attention, then heaved a mighty blow with her hammer at the thing’s head. The Banshee crouched under the blow, and sunk her cold hands into Madira’s flesh, wounding her painfully.
In the northwest part of town, a Fell Bat and a Harpy from Strangulf’s initial party flew through the windows into the upper floor of a large house, searching for townsfolk to slay. Strangulf swooped onto the last fleeing civilian from the stable, who was huddling behind the blacksmithy, and conveniently protected himself from Dwarfish crossbows at the same time.
A Ghoul and Ghast leaped down from the northwest wall. Wardog “Brother Woof” rounded a corner and growled at them, and the two slavering creatures charged the loyal mastiff and took him Out of Action. Sister Hildgarde had been rushing to the north area behind Woof, but a Spider from Strangulf’s initial force spotted her and skittered into her way. It’s mandibles snapped at her, but she spun away and cut it into pieces with blows form her Steel Whip. The yelp from Woof would have to be investigated later, as she caught sight of Strangulf sliding through the shadows behind the smithy.
In the upper floor of the north gate, undead from the Seneschal’s forces on the west wall attempted to push through the gate to get to the stairs down into town on the other side. A town miliaman and wardog Coal Black fought them off for now.
By the church, Kalt Magritte successfully glided past the protections of the church, obtaining one of Strangulf’s strategic objectives. She wailed at a surprised Father Jonas, and the faithful defender of of Nachtdorf’s famous church fell, Out of Action. The various Dwarves peering out the north windows of the church for Strangulf turned at the shriek, and began frantically searching for their magical weapons.
At the south gate, the Zombies pressed into Martin, now without his bear’s help. Martin’s spear slashed in a blur, his anger at his bear’s fate blazing, and both Zombies engaged with him fell out of the battle. Ghouls and Ghasts that had made the wall beside the gate previously streamed down the southeast stairs into town.
Player Turn 4
The battle behind the inn at the west wall continued to rage, with Mother Madira again failing to cast her Soulfire spall and swinging wildly and missing the Banshee as Veronica struggled to rise from the ground. The Banshee grasped at Madira, but the matron dodged aside.
Luka contemptuously stepped around the Skeleton at her feet, slinging four knives at Mistress Micalla, impaling the Vampire Mistress and taking her Out of Action. Misha dispatched the fallen Skeleton behind Luka, while the recovered Pyotr held two other Skellies at bay. Gustav attempted a shot at a Zombie still on the wall, but failed to hit. The hangunners in the Town Hall facing the west wall busily reloaded, whistling to settle their nerves.
At the south gate, the Kislevites held their ground, with Martin taking another Zombie down and Wardog Boots along with Alex charging into the Ghouls in the southeast corner of town and taking one out.
In the church, IDieSoon charged Kalt Magritte, even though the TrollSlayer had no weapon that would harm the creature. His plan was simply to keep her busy until someone with a spell, a magic weapon, something – ANYTHING – could come to relieve him.
In the north, Sister Hildegarde cried out for Sister Simone’s help, and the two charged into the chief villain, Strangulf. The Lord Vampire, already down a wound from crossbow fire from the Dwarves, snarled and met the attack. His Lightning Reflexes allowed him to surprise the Sisters and interrupt their charge, raining sword blows upon both of them. Sister Hildegarde, unable to block the blows with her whip, fell out of the battle. Simone, seeing her Sister Superior fall, shrieked and struck an incredibly vicious blow with her hammer, critically wounding Strangulf and taking the vile creature Out of Action! This was Strangulf’s third appearance in battle in the campaign, but his first to be taken Out of Action.
With both Vampire Mistresses, the Varghulf, and Strangulf himself now out of the battle, the allies had lopped the head from the beast, so to speak.
However, a few command models still survived to direct the attack. Lord Ash at in the south, and a Seneschal in the west still survived. Other groups of undead already engaged with the allies did not need any direction. Considering that the allies at this point had suffered enough losses to be very close to rout checks, that a number of civilians had suffered an undetermined fate, and that a Harpy and Fell Bat were still loose in town with no one so far able to engage them – Strangulf’s minions still had a chance to further damages to town Morale.
Vampire Forces Turn 5 (expiration 24/30)
Dawn definitely getting closer, damn Vampires nowhere to be seen – the Vampire Forces fortunately have no morale to check, because things were dicey.
In the north, another Spider from Strangulf’s force skittered by in the shadows, still following its master’s directions to enter and feed on anyone found in buildings. On its way, it paused to spit a web towards the vile human that had felled Strangulf. Simone fell to the ground, stuck in the gooey strands. Inside the northwest gatehouse, Coal Black and the militiaman continued to hold back a Ghoul and Skeleton respectively, hollering for reinforcements but beginning to believe that none were coming.
In the northwest, the Banshee on Mother Madira wailed, but the Matriarch resisted the sound and struck a blow with her hammer that stunned the spirit. Nearby, just behind the inn, Luka danced and held two Skeletons at bay.
At the church, Kalt Magritte wailed at Dwarf TrollSlayer IDieSoon, but the Dwarf refused shrivel and die. The vile little thing was screaming something about “magic.”
In the southeast, by the stairs down into town, wardog Boots and a Ghoul circled each other in a stalemate. Beside him, Kislevite Alex dodged a blow from another Ghoul and struck an answering blow that stunned the creature. In the same melee, Kislevite Stepan’s armor saved him from a Ghoul’s blow, but he was unable to strike the creature in return.
At the south gate, Martin and a town militiaman were charged by Zombies, with the militiaman holding his at bay and Martin skewering his with his spear.
At the southeast cannon tower, the spearmen and spiders continued in a stalemate, with the spears being just able to keep the poisoned mandibles at bay.
Player Turn 5
With no additional forces falling Out of Action during the previous enemy turn, the allies attempted a rally.
Unengaged allies in the south and west attempted to pick off enemies with little success, however, with Dwarf henchman Dorito missing a zombie from atop the south gate, Captain Vladimir of the Kislevites missing a Ghoul clambering down into town from the southeast wall stairs, the handgunners in the town hall failing to do any damage on invaders still on the west wall, Gustav failing to wound a Zombie teetering atop the same wall, and Martin and the town militiaman at the south gate failing to bother any Zombies with their shots.
At the west wall, Kislevites charged Skeletons in support of their champion Luka, but the melee at the foot of the wall stairs continued in a standoff. Madira administered a coup-de-grace to the stunned Banshee, finally taking it out of the battle before it could accomplish its objective of invading the inn.
At the southeast wall, Kislevites attempted to stem the tide of Ghouls coming down the stairs. Alex dispatched a stunned Ghoul, but wardog Boots was stunned in turn by a another Ghoul. Stepan and his Ghoul weaved around one another in a stalemate.
At the cannon tower just a bit further north, the militiaman and spearman finally won the battle with the final Giant Spider attempting entry into the cannon tower, knocking it from the wall and out of the battle.
In the church, Dwarf KillMeNow with his Gromril axes finally arrived and charged in support of IDieSoon, stunning the evil Banshee. With no troops in support, the Banshee was in trouble. Outside the church, two Sisters along with Dwarf Engineer Sparks and warrior Spam attempted to round the south side of the large home where the Fell Bat and Harpy could be heard still wreaking havoc.
Behind the church, still near the pond, Dwarf boss Big Boss shot a Spider with his pistols with more success, blowing it off the north wall.
In the battle of the north upper gatehouse, the town militaman managed to stun the Ghast he was engaged with, while wardog Coal Black leaped up and forced the Skeleton facing him to the ground, crushing its ribcage and taking it out of the combat. Sister Salyra and Augur Anne ran to the base of the stairs leading up to the upper gatehouse, towards the sound of the combat.
Overall a strong turn by the allies, with dawn approaching. If they could just stay out of rout checks, perhaps they could hold the line.
Vampire Forces Turn 6 (expiration 25/30)
With a one on the die for scenario expiration, a bit of a break came to the remaining Vampire Forces. They needed just a few more allies Out of Action to trigger rout checks for all the factions defending the town. At the west wall stairs a small wave of Zombies and Ghouls skittered down from the wall and into the defending Kislevites. Scout Gustav held firm, knocking the a charging Ghoul down. Unfortunately, a Skeleton Champion and Skeleton combined to take Kislevite champion Luka down finally. The allied total of models Out of Action now stood at eleven. Misha and Pyotr held another Skeleton at bay, forced to watch Luka’s fall helplessly.
At the south gate, zombies swarmed Martin and the town militaman yet again. Again, Martin dispatched his Zombie, while the militiaman was able only to just weather the charge.
In the southeast, a Zombie and Ghoul combined to charge Kislevite Alex, taking him down and bringing the Out of Action total to twelve. The Ghoul on the stunned wardog Boots was unable to take the tough wardog Out of Action, a break for the heroes. Stepan continued in a desperate standoff with the slavering Ghoul facing him. The southeast defenses were beginning to collapse.
In the church, KillMeKnow dispatched the evil spirit of Kalt Magritte, ending the threat the the bitten huddled in the corner of the now despoiled building.
In the north gatehouse, a charge of additional undead into the room payed off. The Grave Guard Seneschal, one of the few commanders left to the Vampire Forces, finally broke into the room and sliced a chunk out of wardog Coal Black with its scimitar. This took the allies OOA count to thirteen, the number needed for rout checks.
The Vampire Forces might get only one more turn, perhaps two, before dawn came. But now the allies were in rout check mode. Unfortunately, some of the warbands had very high morale, and would be unlikely to break in the short amount of time left. Nevertheless, with undead forces in the southeast and northwest still considerable, and a bat and a harpy still loose, the loss of even one group of defenders to a failed rout roll would perhaps give more undead entry into building and soft, tasty civilians.
Player Turn 6
Each faction defending the town successfully made their rout test, and prepared to counterattack.
Mother Madira moved towards the battle at the foot of the west stairs, and attempted to cast her SoulFire into the melee, but once again could not master the spell. Other scattered missile fire from allies around town had little impact on the remaining Vampire Forces.
At the foot of the west stairs, Misha was struck down by the Skeleton he had been fencing with for several turns. The Kislevites were beginning to rack up a large number of warriors out of the battle. Gustav the Scout charged into a Zombie and beheaded the thing.
At the south gate, Martin advanced into the Zombie Totem-bearer, and took it out with a number of spear strikes. The town militaman at his side only managed to knock down a Zombie.
In the southeast, the Ghoul harassing the still knocked-down Boots managed to take the poor wardog Out of Action, while the Ghoul on Stepan sunk its claws into the Kislevite warrior and took him out as well. A very bad turn for the sturdy Kislevites.
In the north, Sister Salyra charged up the steps and hammered a Skeleton off the wall. Inside the nearby gatehouse, the lone town militiaman fending off several undead survived the turn.
In two areas, the battle was turning against the heroes, who looked towards the sky for the coming dawn.
Vampire Forces Turn 7 (expiration 26/30)
Zombies cheered and waved various limbs as the Vampire Forces rolled another one for scenario expiration. They would get at least one more turn.
In the center of town, the elusive Fell Bat and Harpy flew across a road and into the upper floor of the town hall, surprising Diedrich and his handgunners. The creatures did not close with the enemy, but rather hunted civilians as they had been ordered.
At the southwest wall stairs, the Skeleton that had done for Misha charged into the forbidding looking Mother Madira, and was knocked to the ground with a hammer blow for its trouble. Pytor knocked down the Skeleton he’d been dueling with, while Gustav stuck and axe blow through a Ghoul’s head. The battle in the southwest was looking to be under control of the allied warbands, although at the cost of Luka and Misha.
At the south gate, Martin felled another Zombie, but there were more coming, and some leaked around Martin and charged into Captain Vladamir who had been in missile mode for most of the battle. The Skeleton struck a beautiful blow at Vladimir’s head, but Vlad’s magical axe of parrying flashed up and blocked the blow just at the last moment. With much of his warband down, Vladimir was beginning to think about falling back in retreat before his remaining warriors were surrounded.
Just to the side of the south gate, the Ghouls continued to swarm. They charged past the last remaining Kislevite defender into reinforcing Sisters Winifred and Veronica, with Winifred standing hers off and Veronica taking hers out.
In the north, the lone militaman finally fell to the Senschal in the upper gatehouse. The undead now dominated the north wall.
Player Turn 7
At the top of turn seven, the Kislevites opted to voluntarily rout to avoid further casualties. With a few Sisters and town milita in the south, it didn’t appear that the Vampire Forces would be likely to get inside any buildings in the area.
Dwarf Captain Big Boss pulled a magical warhorn from his belt and blasted out a resounding note, giving the rest of the allies a bump on their rout check, and they all passed. Then the mustachioed dwarf twisted and fired a shot from one of his pistols at the undead on the north wall, knocking a Skeleton to pieces. Unfortunately, Sisters at the base of the stairs to the north gatehouse missed with their sling shots.
In the west, Madira dispatched a fallen Skeleton Champion, while Gustav held off another Skellie.
In the northeast, Veronica charged a stunned Ghoul left behind by the Kislevites and smashed it out of the battle with hammer blows. Wardog Snow White leaped down from the northeast wall to land near Veronica, and ripped the throat out of a Ghast.
Vampire Forces Turn 8 (expiration 31/30)
Finally the first hint of dawn began to show, and the undead retreated!
Scenario After Action
Well, that had certainly been a nail-biting battle. The effect of the scenario on the campaign now needed to be determined, and there seemed three possibilities: A tactical victory for the allies, but so large a Morale loss to the town that Strangulf might be able to claim a victory in future campaign turns, an outright campaign win for Strangulf if he managed to cost us a net of ten Morale points in the battle, or a victory for the allies on the off chance (1 in 6 roughly) that Strangulf’s injuries at the hands of the crossbow bolt from the Dwarves and Henchsister Simone’s hammer might prove fatal.
We began the resolution with injury resolution. First, the allies.
I rolled for the fallen Sister Hildegarde, and she had Full Recovery. The two wardogs belonging to the Sisters that were taken out, Woof and Bark, also survived.
The Dwarves had suffered no Out of Actions other than wardog Coal Black, so Michael Stamps rolled for the town NPC defenders. The militaman and Coal Black, who had held the second floor of the north gatehouse for so long, both proved to be fatalities. Father Jonas, who fell to the Banshee, had a hand injury (perhaps he fell on his hand after the Banshee’s scream?). Of the three of Captain Diedrich’s men who fell during the battle, two were fatalities.
Fortunately for the allies, town milita and Diedrich’s men losses do not move the needle downward on Town Morale.
Then Michael Kingsbury rolled for his Kislevites. Wardog Boots? A fatality. The very expensive Bear? A fatality. Luka, just a hand injury, thankfully. Misha proved to be blinded in one eye, and the three henchmen the Kislevites lost during battle all survived. The bear’s death and injuries were a bit of the bummer, but on the whole, not as bad as it could have been.
Next, we turned to the Vampire Forces Heroes injuries. The Varghulf survived, but found it had developed a deep-seated Hatred for Kislevites. Understandable, as every town attack the Varghulf assaulted the south gate, and the Kislevites always seemed to be defending that area. Nothing to do with the fact that the inn was near the south gate, surely.
Vampire Mistress Milagra had managed to slink off into the night somehow, Full Recovery. Vampire Mistress Mircalla also survived, but with an Old Battle Wound.
Now, for Stargulf. A 12 was rolled! That is dead. D, E, D, dead. With only 11-15 being fatal on the table, he was 5 in 36 odds on being dead. We stared at the dice for a moment, and realized we had won the campaign!!!
Sweet, Sweet, Victory!
We decided to go ahead and roll the own fatalities. Two of the three civilians that broke from the stable early in the campaign were dead, in addition the various undead unengaged in buildings during the course of the battle (particularly the stupid Harpy and Bat) proved to have killed seven townies. So a total of nine civilians died. This would have been a loss of nine of the town’s ten Morale points. In addition, when Kalt Magritte is brought along on a Town Attack, she howls before the scenario beings, and costs a Morale point, so ten. However, the allies took three VF heroes out of action, which is +3, and overall withstood the siege, so +1. The net for the scenario, had Strangulf not died, would have been -6 to Town Morale, falling from ten to four.
Only a very unlucky roll for bitten turning to Vampires at the end of the turn would have lost the campaign had Strangulf not died. But, a value of three or four on Town Morale would probably have to have been considered a strategic victory for Strangulf.
But, this was all moot, as the wicked witch was dead!
Post Campaign Thoughts
The town of Nachtdorf had outlived the vicious Strangulf. What would happen next? Would the townspeople heed the advice of Kislevite scout and spy Gustav, pack their belongings and follow him north out of Ostermark? Or would they insist on staying, and their fates be caught in the coming eruption of war from Sylvania? What of the heroes? Would they return to Mordheim? What would their fate be there? Would the Sistes of the Order of the Prophecy, Big Bosses’ Dwarves, and Vladimir’s Kislevites stay together, or go their separate ways?
Worries for another day. For the moment, the heroes and townspeople were happy to have survived. Although they also would never forget their fallen comrades, buried on a small hill just outside the town’s walls. Buried deeply.
As for the players, I think we all had a great time with this campaign. Certainly I did. I hope you, whoever you may be, enjoyed reading the reports, although many of them were very late.
All told, preparation for the campaign was about a year, and included developing the rules, painting a fair number of miniatures (thanks to my brother Michael Weaver for painting the Kislevites for Kingsbury), and creating some required terrain pieces. The preparatory work was enjoyable, and I’m sure all of that work will see some re-use in future campaigns.
It took us about a year of elapsed time to finish the campaign, playing about one weekend every six weeks, and getting in two or three scenarios with each weekend. I think in all we probably played about a dozen to fifteen combat scenarios.
We will perhaps play the campaign again in a future year. I would certainly love to try it with four players, and some of the newer undead models available from GW would be fun to include in the rules. But for now, we, your friendly players, are off to other adventures just as are our warbands!
—- jim weaver