I've been eager to get the humans out against the undead again; I've played more than a few games, but nothing proper and coherent. This game finally saw them get out against the undead. Along with that, this game was played using the Pillage scenario, which I'd been reluctant to try, but it was excellent. I am looking forward to crafting some more scenarios for the game now!
The story begins as a horde of Undead lead by Rimoena, Vampire Lord was ravaging the borders of Rim, the human realm in Mantic's world. The Lords of the border provinces of Rim appealed to the King time and again, but to no avail. It wasn't until the great Lord Eldernoth heard of the sourge defiling the lands of Rim. Burning to gain a name for himself, he mustered an army and lead them to the borders to stop the raiding...
The armies set to face off. The Pillage scenario requires players to capture objectives. The objectives are marked with skulls in the picture.
Rimoena lead her hordes of shambling undead deep into the realm of Rim, raiding and pillaging as she went. She was unworried about any retribution, for the humans were a weak empire, squabling with dwarves and elves to the north... So, it was much to her surprise that she crested a hill overlooking a village to see a fully-assembled human army ready to repel her.
The armies being their maneuvers in an attempt to gain the upper hand. The undead have focused their forces on their left flank, while the humans have spread them equally across the board.
Rimoena gave her orders through the ether to her army of undead to advance in force. The ghouls ran for the trees, hoping to harry the humans from the cover of the trees, while the rest the the shambling dead clawed, crawled, and scraped their way towards the humans. During their advances, both the humans and the undead managed to inflict some casualties with ranged fire, but to no real effect.
With three of the objectives very close together on the undead right flank, Lord Eldernoth of the forces of RIM deployed a unit of knights and a unit of musketeers to secure them from the undead. Rimoena sent some ghouls to harry the flank until she could focus on it in earnest...
Rimoena eyed the Lord Eldernoth from her magial flying steed and judged him feeble. She surveyed his line and noted that it lacked force and she outnumbered her enemy greatly, at least on its main line. Not realizing the weight of the human forces on her right flank, she sent her slathering ghouls towards the forests to contest the objectives there. Little did she realize that the force of knights and musketeers on her right were formidable.
Before the lines properly clash, Rimoena drives her evil steed into a unit of human Jinite light cavalry, wavering their resolve.
Frustrated at the slowness of her forces, Rimoena urged her flying steed forward to smash into a unit of the human cavalry. The devastation she caused forced the nerve of the jinites to waver, breaking their will to do anything other than withdraw until they could take the time to regroup. Meanwhile the human cannon poured fire into the undead Revenant cavalry, doing considerable casualties, but failing to stop their impetuous advance. Despite the volume of fire from both the human and skeleton archers, they failed to do any considerable damage.
Lord Eldernoth takes the battle to Rimoena, inlficting grievous damage to her, but failing to drive her from the field of battle, while the humans secure the undead right flank.
Lord Eldernoth saw his peril on his main lines and ordered the wavered jinite light cavalry to withdraw while they regrouped. To stop their waver from becoming a route, he through himself into the fray! With a war cry of deafening volume, he slashed and tore at the vampire Rimoena, inflicting considerable damage to her undead being. Despite this, he could not drive her from the field. Before his charge however, he ordered his other unit if Jinites to charge the flank of the ghouls lingering on the edge of the forest. The charge proved worth it; the ghouls were driven off and Lord Eldernoth's army took control of the undead right flank.
The savage attacks of the udnead Revenant cavalry left the human cannon crew all but destroyed; those who remained fled in terror, never to be seen in civilized company again!
Driven by an urge to kill the living, Rimoena's Revenant cavalry ignored the human spearmen and slammed into the cannon crew, shattering their cohesion and sending them fleeing the field of battle. Unfortunately for the human army, this gave the Revenants control of the undead left flank... It appeared to all observers that the battle would now become a race between the two opposing regiments of knights holding each flank of the battle field; which unit could fold up their enemy's flank first would likely decide the battle...
As arrows darkened the sky, the battle began in earnest. With the humans dominating the right flank, the undead looked to be woefully surrounded...
Rimeona felt the danger that was posed to her shambling forces now that her right flank was exposed to the crushing charge of the human knights, and the agile, pistol-wielding attacks of the jinite light cavalry. The skeleton archers, realizing that they would have better efficacy with hand weapons than with their bows, charged into the jinites to keep them from having unfettered access to the rear of the undead army. Meanwhile, Rimoena and a unit of skeletons brought the battle to Lord Elderoth himself, but could not drive him from the field. Finally, the human spearmen, sensing the undead cavalry bearing down on them, mustered their courage and charged the zombie horde! Despite inflicting casualties, the zombies remained in the battle.
Rimoena continued her assault on Lord Elderoth, their fight, now a personal one, would likely be fought to the death... Meanwhile, her amry prepared for the inevitable flank assault while it struggled to gain control of the centre.
The undead rained catapult and archery fire on the human jinites on the right flank while battle raged in the center. Rimeoena herself, along with her stolid skeleton regiment, hacked and slashed at Lord Elderoth, but were unable to route him. The human spearmen however were not so lucky. Face with a charge from the front by the rotting zombies, and a crushing flank charge from the Revenant cavalry, their spirit broke like a twig from a dead tree, and they fled the field in panic.
The threat of the human knights and jinites on the right flank forced some undead units to turn to face it; despite their shambling attempt to firm up their right flank, the skeleton archers are crushed beneath the hooves of the human knights.
While the battle in the centre leans in favour of the numerically superior undead, the battle on the right is firmly in control of the humans. The jinites use their maneuverability to make rooom for their knight compatriots to smash the skeleton archers that had the audacity to charge them. The skeleton archers are quickly crushed by the attacking knights. Unfortunately, the jinites attract the attention of the other unit of skeleton archers and the undead catapult, and sustaint a growing number of casualties as a result. To deal with the threat, the unit of undead Revenents on foot turn and promise to challenge the humans knights...
The Revenant cavalry continue their attacks on the human flank; after the human jinites in the center were routed by Rimoena herself, the Revenents and skeletons attacked and finally drove Lord Elderoth himself from the field of battle!
In the centre Rimoena the Vampiress charged into the remains of the human jinites that still lingered there; given their heavy casualties from their first encounter with her, they fled the field and did not look back. Unfortunately for Lord Elderoth, their failure to stand paved the way for the undead Revenent cavalry to aid the stolid skeleton regiment that he was battling, breaking his will to remain in the fight! As he fled the field, his sorceress and her unit of peasant archers stayed to contest their lands!
The humans in the end sacrificed much to save their lands, and ultimately they drove the undead to a stand still, ultimately forcing them to leave this province of Rim.
After the human Lord Elderoth had fled the field, the human army refused to give in. Using their living cunning, they managed to contest the key objectives of Rimoena and her undead horde. Rimoena, forced to acknowledge that the massacre that she had caused would not be enough for her to secure victory, was forced to chase down and route the human army standard bearer to capture one key objetive, which she did with much difficulty. Furthermore, despite routing the peasant archers, the skeletons and Revenant cavalry could not stop the human sorceress from contesting the objective in the very centre of the board, which would ultimately afford the humans with a narrow victory...
At the battle's end, the undead failed to entice the human knights into their trap. And so, the human knights and the human musketeers, despite having not fired one round of shot during the battle, dominated the battlefield by holding three objectives and contesting a fourth!
And so it was, as the Revenants and zombies of Rimoena's undead horde were forced to stare blankly across their right flank at the human knights, the Vampire Lord was forced to admit that she failed to secure victory. The human knights and the threat of their musketeer comrades kept the Vampire Lord from carving the province entirely from the realm of Rim... but before she withdrew, she vowed revenge!
In the end, the humans had secured three objectives, while using a hero (the sorceress) to contest a fourth, giving the humans a technical draw, but what I would consider clearly to be a narrow victory. The human army managed to avoid common pitfalls, and with a steady focus on the objective of the battle, very much deserved the victory as well! It was a well played, nail-biting game! Which is of course, the best kind :) Given that the undead managed to drive Lord Elderoth from the battlefield though, I am sure that Rimeona and Lord Elderoth's province will come to blows again, and perhaps then the end of the realm of Rim will be at hand...