This past weekend we finished campaign turns seven through the day part of turn ten. It was an exciting weekend, and difficult for the players, as several heroes and henchmen did not survive. Three coffin hunt scenarios were completed, and I will break the reports into three such that each includes a battle report for one of the hunts. This first entry covers turns seven and eight, and includes a coffin hunt to Schattenwald forest. Click through for more!
This weekend we had four participants instead of our normal three. My brother Michael and wife Stacy were visiting for the holidays, and Michael agreed to run the Vampire Forces for the weekend. He would also sneak in a Shadow Elf hero to help the allies in the battles after the one described here. This would make three Michaels, outnumbering my one Jim for the weekend, with an occasional visit by a Scott.
With the dawn of our seventh day defending Nachtdorf, the town bid farewell and good luck to three heroes and six townsfolk departing to purchase needed supplies and allies in Burgenhof. Sister Isolde of the Sigmarite Sisters, Popsie of the Dwarves, and Bear Trainer Martin of the Kislevites led the shopping party, expected to overnight in Burgenhof and return before the evening of the eight day. Five hundred and fifty eight gold crowns were secured in the wagons, which hopefully would be put to good use. The wagons disappeared as the remaining heroes began setting the townsfolk to work. We set aside our list of items that would be returning with them from the trip at the end of day eight, mostly armor and hopefully some Halfling Scout hired swords. There had been suggestions that an Elf Ranger might also be a useful ally to search for in Burgenhof, but the dwarves strongly objected (“They smell of SOAP!”).
Gustav (our NPC scout) and Anton (captain of the Kislevites) headed out of town close behind the wagons on a scouting run of the surrounding area, taking five townsfolk with them, their purpose to scavenge supplies. Their efforts for the day turned up some gold, a mule, a spear, and a weighted net. Meanwhile, under other heroes’ guidance, townsfolk finished repairs on the last damaged town wall, made progress repairing an old dwarven cannon that had been found in a basement (under command of dwarven engineer Sparks, of course), fashioned some silver bullets, and improvised defenses around both the church and another town building to make it difficult for undead to break into them in the event of another attack upon the town.
Father Jonas (NPC priest of the town sigmarite temple) healed a bitten civilian, while Mother Madira (captain of the Sigmarite Sisters) and newly hired sword Father McManus both successfully produced vials of blessed water in the temple, vital both for ruining Strangulf’s coffins and for ceremonies to protect rooms harboring vampire bitten victims from the call of the fiends during the nighttime hours.
At dusk, the heroes awoke the night shift. Burgermeister Kaufmann, Captain Diedrech, and Sgt. Lowenherz directed the town milita and state troopers to their wall posts and patrols, and took watch over the bitten, as the heroes retired to their rest. During the night, Strangulf advanced his hold over Schattenturm, the ruined Necromancer’s tower to the east of town, and gained a necromantic spell as well as an Influence Point in this area.
No bitten turned into vampires during the night, but at dawn it was discovered that two new townsfolk were bitten. Worse, one of the town militiamen that had been patrolling the walls and Kislevite champion Luka were pale and weak – clearly bitten as well. Luka would have to spend the day resting indoors while her comrades ventured forth. Mother Madira would stay behind on the eight day, along with Father McManus and Father Jonas, to insure that Luka and as many others as possible were healed from the undeads’ influence. Several other heroes stayed in town this day to fashion rosewood stakes and produce silver weapons.
The majority of the player warriors decided to head to Schattenwald ruins on day eight to try to uproot one of Strangulf’s coffins in that area. The weather initially appeared sunny, but as they approached the forest clouds mysteriously rolled in and darkened the day (Strangulf using an Alter Weather necromantic card).
The warriors divided into two groups, and converged on the ruined town in the forest with one group coming in from the east, the other the west. The eastern group was led through the forest by Gustav, and all the dwarves and two sisters entered the area of the hunt from the southeast, with Gustav and a group of kislevites entering from the northeast. Captain Anton led the western party into the area, near a river winding through the old ruins. This party was composed of a small mix of kislevites and sisters.
Initial vampire forces appeared light. A necromancer in the southeast appeared to be easy prey for the dwarves, with only a ghoul and a ghast prowling nearby. In the middle of the area, forces were a little stronger, with three grave guard led by a seneschal, a giant skeleton (!), two fell bats, and a few spiders moving about the ruined buildings. In the west, just on the other side of the river, a group of six fat, poisonous spiders crept under the trees.
In the first allied turn, Big Boss, Captain of the dwarves, charged and stunned the necromancer in the in the southeast. Sparks dispatched a ghoul near a coffin just uphill from Big Boss. Two sisters on the same hill spit sling stones at a nearby ghast and Sister Salyra stunned it, leaving it exposed to the two nearby dwarven trollslayers. In the west, the allied warriors moved towards coffins and cover, doing no damage with missile fire.
In the vampire forces first turn, spiders in the east moved towards the visible allied warriors, spitting webs. Captain Anton, leaning out from behind a ruined building, suffered a direct hit from one of the sticky messes, and found himself pinned. The giant skeleton, grave guard, and seneschal moved west, away from the dwarves. No vampire forces reinforcement rolls are made on the first turn of the coffin hunt, so things still looked good for our heroes.
In the player second turn, the trollslayers charged the still knocked down ghast, with KillMeNow taking him off the mortal coil. Big Boss finished off the necromancer, and the two Sisters on the nearby hill began navigating their way down the rocky slope. The kislevites in the northeast moved into a three story ruin, beginning to climb up to a promising looking hideaway for a coffin on the third floor. In the west, Sister Anne with wardog Brother Woof, Captain Anton (breaking free from the webs), and Sister Simone moved into position to climb up to the second story of a ruin to search for a coffin.
The second Vampire Forces turn saw our heroes fortunes turn for the worse. The overcast weather made reinforcements more likely, and my brother Michael, guest starring over the holidays as our Vampire Forces player, managed to roll up six skeletons including a champion, a grave guard, and Mistress Mircalla with her two dire wolves. Mircalla is the slinkiest of Strangulf’s mistresses, preferring to use her charm and special abilities from a distance rather than engage in combat. Mistress Mircalla appeared on the board close to the eastern forces, and the skeletons appeared almost right on top of the dwarves. Apparently the necromancer Big Boss had so easily taken out had completed a spell to raise the skeletons from the ground just in time. The extra forces in the east caused Michael to change his tactics, which originally were to move away from the dwarves and sweep the small group of western allies, forcing us to the route point. Instead, he decided to wipe out the outnumbered allies in the west.
The skeletons charged the nearest dwarves – Big Boss, Spam, and Frito (lone dwarf henchman). Spam fell out of action, but Frito rallied and dispatched a skeleton. Mircalla, her wolves, and a few bats that were nearby moved towards the sisters and kislevites to the east / northeast, with Mircalla managing to beguile Sister Winifred, who turned with glazed eyes towards Sister Salyra. Spiders in the west rushed toward the building the small western group was occupying.
The player half of the third turn was largely uneventful, which considering the number of Vampire Forces that had reinforced the area on the previous turn, was not a good thing. Missile fire failed to take down any undead. Sister Salyra was forced to move away from the strangely behaving Winifred to avoid being charged, and the dwarves failed to take any of the skeletons out in close combat. One coffin was found and searched, but proved to be empty. In the west, Anton and Anne climbed to the second floor of a ruin to search for a coffin, while Brother Woof and Sister Simone guarded the area from below.
Inevitably, the third VF turn was a hammer blow to the allies. The reinforcement roll placed a minor vampire directly behind Sister Simone in the west, and added two ghouls and a ghast to the east. Spiders in the west made initiative checks and scaled the walls of the ruin to drop in from above on Anne and Anton. The vampire snarled and closed with Sister Simone. Another spider could just see Woof near Simone, and charged Anne’s loyal guard dog. On the second floor of the ruin, Anton fell to a spider bite, while Sister Anne used her steel whip to take one of the spiders charging her out of action. Below, Brother Woof latched on to a spindly leg of the spider that had charged him and snapped it off, stunning it. Beside him, though, Sister Simone was brutally taken out of action by the minor vampire that has surprised them, leaving Anne and Woof separated, alone, and outnumbered.
In the east, forces led by Mircalla charged into combat finally. Mircalla attempted to charm the kislevite Streltsi David, who had climbed to the third floor of a nearby ruin, but failed. Her forces were more effective, however. The giant skeleton crashed into the kislevites at the ground floor of the ruin in the northeast, accompanied by Mircalla’s two dire wolves. Giant bats few from her ranks towards the trollslayers. Skeletons swarmed Big Boss and henchman Frito, who were cut off from engineer Sparks and the trollslayers by a steep hill. Mircalla advanced up the hill with five grave guard, in position to charge either Sister Winifred or the kislevites next turn.
During combat in the east, the kislevite warrior Misha was dispatched by the force of the combined charges of the giant skeleton and wolves. Trollslayer IDieSoon traded wounds with a Fell Bat, and Big Boss and Frito somehow held their ground against a horde of skeletons, blows raining on their armor.
With the fourth player turn, after some discussion, we decided to voluntarily route. This would be a blow to town morale, which was already low, but with a number of warriors out of action already, more clearly to follow, and no visible chance of revealing the contents of any more coffins, there seemed little to gain in sticking around.
The scenario injury rolls resulted in no fatalities (those would come later in the weekend, my friends), there was a painful roll for Kingsbury’s kislevites. Captain Anton, after falling from the upper story of a ruin to a spider bite, came up with the “Robbed” result. He had apparently been rolled by the minor vampire that has taken Simone out at the base of the ruin. All his items were lost, and as the captain, he was well equipped. Amongst the pile of equipment lost, his family heirloom, a magical axe. We decided if a minor vampire appeared in later scenarios, there would be a chance it would be the same one, carrying his axe around.
The party made it’s exploration rolls and limped back to town, Captain Anton wrapped in a borrowed cloak and darkly cursing his fortunes. We finished up the rolls for town actions for day eight, adding one new rosewood stake, successfully healing Luka, a town militia member, and a towns-person of their vampire bites, and making some progress rounding up silver for some special bullets.
As dusk approached, the shopping trip party returned to town, along with much needed armor, Emmaline – a new Sister of Sigmar, Daft Wooly – a new Dwarf henchman, a bear for Kislevite Bear Trainer Martin, and three new Halfling Scout hired swords: Tubby Tiddletoes, Badwyck Bimpo, and Nod Nibbles (pics later, they are still being painted). The new scouts were primarily intended to help us with the Find Supplies town action, which can provide equipment and loot by scouting the town and surrounding countryside. Also we planned to use one of them on patrol at night, which can give us some benefits to starting position and turn order in a night attack scenario.
During the night, the Vampire Forces event was “Infernal Pestilence”, which makes creatures (Wolves, Bats, Rats) poisonous until another night event, and also gives Strangulf an influence point in both Bachmeir Baurnhof and Schattenwald. This event gave Strangulf three influence points in Schattenwald, which is full influence in the area, and so granted him the campaign reward for the area: a Varghulf known as the Ghoul King. In future night attacks or scenarios in Schattenwald or Stangulf’s homebase of Altschloss, a roll of five or six on the initial forces dice can be spent to put the Ghoul King into the scenario.
Finally, one bitten turned into a vampire during the night, lowering morale another point, and one new towns-person was bitten. Morale at this point was three – fairly close to a campaign loss.
This concludes the report for turn eight, next one will cover day and night phases of turn nine! Cheers for reading through!