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Zombie hordes marching towards the beastmen
Image by jon_a_ross
A battle of magic: 1000 points of Vampire Counts in the form of two necromantic brothers and their horde’s of zombie followers vs. 1000 points of Tzeentch worshipping beasts of chaos.
Six turns (plus one), beasts of chaos deploy first and go first.
jon-a-ross.livejournal.com/948428.html For the following battle report with pictures:
This battle started out as an experiment to see if a horde of zombies could be a threat, an actually working army. In theory they are cheap enough that you can field a silly number of them, overwhelming mortal armies and dragging them down. To test this out I build a 1000 point vampire counts force using 2 necromancers and 160 zombies. I have 180 zombie models, so with 20 to spare I was all set to roll.
To face the zombies I thought I would see how my beasts of Chaos force works. I have never fielded beasts of Chaos before (and vampire counts only in small warbands battles) so this was going to be an interesting match.
The beasts of chaos got two 8 gor 12 ungor herds, one of which was sent to ambush. Leading the force was a wargor of Tzeentch in Chaos armour and shield, inside a 20 beast unit of Bestigor’s of Tzeentch (Tzaangors). Thinking about it the Tzaangors might have had a magical standard, but if they did I forgot to use it during the game. Rounding out the beasts of Chaos force was a mutated chaos giant, for punch. It turns out to have been an excellent call.
The vampire counts were all zombies as I’ve stated. So the 4 40 corpse zombie hordes with standard and musician would be the bulk. But there was one minor necromancer with the book that has the dancing zombie’s bound spell and the heal undead spell. And the final necromancer general with all three necromantic spells, the nightshroud armour and the scepter of raising the dead mounted on a corpse cart to lead them. I remembered a little late into the game that the general could share his leadership with the troops, something that if I had recalled would’ve put the general even closer to the action and trying to keep all the zombies close enough to get both that bonus and the ability to march.
The battlefield was built to be the site of some fallen settlement, already reclaimed by nature. A small grove of trees, some rocks marking the foundations of buildings and a evil monolith in the center. Looking at the field during the play I found the zombie side wishing their was less terrain on the field. With such large units they were having trouble getting more then one unit into combat at a time, and to win the zombies really needed to double team as much as possible.
In general the beasts of chaos failed their leadership to charge tests only a couple of times, but those moments when they couldn’t get up the nerve to strike bought the zombies time to re-enforce their numbers. Magic was untrustworthy in the game, as I rolled three miscasts using level one and two wizards. The Tzeentch wargor had two miscasts and the zombie general one. I also recall at least two unstoppable force castings. Otherwise both sides had enough dispel dice to counter all but one of the spells from the other. The necromancers had two bound spells and four power dice, but usually I would cast one 2 dice spell off the general and then one single die spell off each necromancer (usually the heal undead spell) followed by the bound spells.
The Tzeentch wargor had rolled up the flaming shield spell as well as a spell that could cause a unit to strike itself, only if that unit isn’t immune to psychology. As the undead are that spell was traded in for the default magic missile zap. In the game only two zaps from the magic missile were successful, but the spell did cast three times successfully. The flaming shield never was cast, it was either dispelled or miscast or even not cast at all (throwing it last after the magic missile using two dice). Magic for the beastmen was not a tipping point.
Turn 1 sees the beasts of chaos rush forward. I was thinking about having the Tzaangors meet up with the beastmen herd and catch the zombies in a pincher movement, but I didn’t want to have my beastmen caught from behind either. I waited to see how fast the zombies would approach. The chaos giant was heading off to deal with the flanking zombies. Some zombies die from magic, but their loss is barely noticed.
The zombies shuffle forward, in such large numbers as to be a threat. The corpse cart and general keep between the large zombie hordes and even summon up some more zombies to join in. The zombies on the flank alone move forward a bit, while the zombies with the necromancer escort are magically encouraged forward.
Turn 2 has the Tzaangors fail their leadership test to charge the fear causing zombies, the general summons the ambushing beastmen herd and the giant charges the zombies on the flank. The beastmen arrive right behind the corpse cart as planned and will force it into a defensive position. The magic phase sees the first miscast from the Tzeentch Wargor and ends. The giant starts jumping up and down on the zombies, something he will do for a while yet.
The zombies move forward on their second turn, pushing forward as their battle plan has already been drawn. The necromancer general summons up and re-enforces a zombie horde to stand between himself and the approaching beastmen. The zombies fighting the giant are not as lucky and find themselves reduced to only four.
Turn 3 sees the wargor of Tzeentch get his men to agree to charge the zombies. The giant will jump on the last of the zombies, and the beastmen herd on the other side will successfully charge the zombies over there. The ambushing beastmen herd will fail to find the courage to charge the zombies summoned up just to deal with them. So far over 40 zombies will have been killed but they do seem to keep on coming.
The zombies charge the beastmen herd that was ambushing them. But even as the beastmen fail their leadership they are able to do enough to win combat against the zombies, who then fail their leadership roll badly (in part because the general was too far away) and lose a number of their troops. The other zombie conflicts continue to push forward, but non zombie losses are light. The necromancer who as babysitting the zombies on the flank runs and in his haste losses the bookmark for his spellbook, casting the dancing one last time on himself to get away.
Turn 4 starts with the giant rushing after the funny little man who dropped stuff. The wargor miscasts for a second time, this time blowing up three of his men, three zombies and taking a wound for his trouble. The beastmen in combat with the zombies keep cutting them down, slashing and cutting, cutting and slashing.
The necromancer doesn’t have much like this round either, with a miscast of his own damaging both himself and the corpse cart he’s on. The zombies are able to charge the beastmen on the flank, hoping to just break them but they past their leadership. Then the flanking charge is hoped to be enough. It isn’t, the beastmen are able to push to a tie on this round of battle. Worse yet, both the zombies slowing down the ambushing beastmen herd as well as the zombies fighting the Tzaangors are both destroyed.
Turn 5 sees three out of the four beastmen units free of attackers and able to push forward to break into the zombie command structure. Only their courage fails them. Both the beastmen herd and the Tzaangors fail their leadership tests to charge fear causing units, leaving the zombie commanders alive and well. One necromancer takes a magic missile but he keeps going with his two wounds. The beastmen herd under the weight of two zombie forces breaks, taking 38 hits for running away from so many zombies.
The zombies follow up on this success by sending the smaller zombie group after the fleeing beastmen, who run further. The rest of the zombies then regroup and move to support the general, turning around and heading back into the center of the battlefield.
Turn six was a bit of a disappointment for both sides. Nothing on the beastmen side was in charge range or passed their leadership tests to charge. The fleeing beastmen kept fleeing. The zombies were able to get seven or so of the mindless buggers to charge the giant but no wounds and all wiped out in a single combat phase.
At the end of the formal game the match was clearly for the beasts of chaos. They had one unit fleeing but all three of the others were mostly undamaged. But the zombies saw a chance that one more turn could change that. It would have to be a perfect turn, but it was possible for a zombie victory.
Turn seven therefore saw the beastmen rally on the flank, as well as the giant and the other beastman herd charge. The giant just runs up to the necromancer and yells at him, ending that battle but causing no wounds to either side. The beastmen that charged the zombies failed to take into account the zombies striking first and the zombies are amazingly able to win the combat. The beastmen break and lose a number of their men to the zombies as they pull down the fleeing troops.
But the zombies do not fair much better. One group of zombies has finally worked it’s way around the monolith and stands ready to surprise the Tzaangors. If the Tzaangors break from combat, as they have already passed the leadership test to be charged by the zombies, they will be lost upon contact with the zombies. The corpse cart takes a direct hit from the giant’s club and even it’s regeneration isn’t enough to put it together. But the necromancer riding it was unharmed, but unable to damage the giant either. The zombies on the flank are lost in their reckless charge against the beastmen (I was hoping for a failed leadership test or similar to give the zombies a chance). And in the end, the zombies against the tzaangors are not enough to break them. It wasn’t even close.
The battle goes to the beasts of chaos.
Memorial Day Service at Old St Paul’s, Wellington – May 30, 2011.
Image by US Embassy New Zealand
Memorial Day Service at Old St Paul’s, Wellington – May 30, 2011.
Remarks by the President at a Memorial Day Service
Arlington National Cemetery
11:25 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you so much. Please be seated.
Thank you, Secretary Gates, and thank you for your extraordinary service to our nation. I think that Bob Gates will go down as one of our finest Secretaries of Defense in our history, and it’s been an honor to serve with him. (Applause.)
I also want to say a word about Admiral Mullen. On a day when we are announcing his successor as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and as he looks forward to a well-deserved retirement later this year, Admiral Mullen, on behalf of all Americans, we want to say thank you for your four decades of service to this great country. (Applause.) We want to thank Deborah Mullen as well for her extraordinary service. To Major General Karl Horst, the commanding general of our Military District of Washington; Mrs. Nancy Horst; Mr. Patrick Hallinan, the superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery, as well as his lovely wife Doreen. And to Chaplain Steve Berry, thank you for your extraordinary service. (Applause.)
It is a great privilege to return here to our national sanctuary, this most hallowed ground, to commemorate Memorial Day with all of you. With Americans who’ve come to pay their respects. With members of our military and their families. With veterans whose service we will never forget and always honor. And with Gold Star families whose loved ones rest all around us in eternal peace.
To those of you who mourn the loss of a loved one today, my heart breaks goes out to you. I love my daughters more than anything in the world, and I cannot imagine losing them. I can’t imagine losing a sister or brother or parent at war. The grief so many of you carry in your hearts is a grief I cannot fully know.
This day is about you, and the fallen heroes that you loved. And it’s a day that has meaning for all Americans, including me. It’s one of my highest honors, it is my most solemn responsibility as President, to serve as Commander-in-Chief of one of the finest fighting forces the world has ever known. (Applause.) And it’s a responsibility that carries a special weight on this day; that carries a special weight each time I meet with our Gold Star families and I see the pride in their eyes, but also the tears of pain that will never fully go away; each time I sit down at my desk and sign a condolence letter to the family of the fallen.
Sometimes a family will write me back and tell me about their daughter or son that they’ve lost, or a friend will write me a letter about what their battle buddy meant to them. I received one such letter from an Army veteran named Paul Tarbox after I visited Arlington a couple of years ago. Paul saw a photograph of me walking through Section 60, where the heroes who fell in Iraq and Afghanistan lay, by a headstone marking the final resting place of Staff Sergeant Joe Phaneuf.
Joe, he told me, was a friend of his, one of the best men he’d ever known, the kind of guy who could have the entire barracks in laughter, who was always there to lend a hand, from being a volunteer coach to helping build a playground. It was a moving letter, and Paul closed it with a few words about the hallowed cemetery where we are gathered here today.
He wrote, “The venerable warriors that slumber there knew full well the risks that are associated with military service, and felt pride in defending our democracy. The true lesson of Arlington,” he continued, “is that each headstone is that of a patriot. Each headstone shares a story. Thank you for letting me share with you [the story] about my friend Joe.”
Staff Sergeant Joe Phaneuf was a patriot, like all the venerable warriors who lay here, and across this country, and around the globe. Each of them adds honor to what it means to be a soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsman. Each is a link in an unbroken chain that stretches back to the earliest days of our Republic — and on this day, we memorialize them all.
We memorialize our first patriots — blacksmiths and farmers, slaves and freedmen — who never knew the independence they won with their lives. We memorialize the armies of men, and women disguised as men, black and white, who fell in apple orchards and cornfields in a war that saved our union. We memorialize those who gave their lives on the battlefields of our times — from Normandy to Manila, Inchon to Khe Sanh, Baghdad to Helmand, and in jungles, deserts, and city streets around the world.
What bonds this chain together across the generations, this chain of honor and sacrifice, is not only a common cause — our country’s cause — but also a spirit captured in a Book of Isaiah, a familiar verse, mailed to me by the Gold Star parents of 2nd Lieutenant Mike McGahan. “When I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here I am. Send me!”
That’s what we memorialize today. That spirit that says, send me, no matter the mission. Send me, no matter the risk. Send me, no matter how great the sacrifice I am called to make. The patriots we memorialize today sacrificed not only all they had but all they would ever know. They gave of themselves until they had nothing more to give. It’s natural, when we lose someone we care about, to ask why it had to be them. Why my son, why my sister, why my friend, why not me?
These are questions that cannot be answered by us. But on this day we remember that it is on our behalf that they gave our lives — they gave their lives. We remember that it is their courage, their unselfishness, their devotion to duty that has sustained this country through all its trials and will sustain us through all the trials to come. We remember that the blessings we enjoy as Americans came at a dear cost; that our very presence here today, as free people in a free society, bears testimony to their enduring legacy.
Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay. But we can honor their sacrifice, and we must. We must honor it in our own lives by holding their memories close to our hearts, and heeding the example they set. And we must honor it as a nation by keeping our sacred trust with all who wear America’s uniform, and the families who love them; by never giving up the search for those who’ve gone missing under our country’s flag or are held as prisoners of war; by serving our patriots as well as they serve us — from the moment they enter the military, to the moment they leave it, to the moment they are laid to rest.
That is how we can honor the sacrifice of those we’ve lost. That is our obligation to America’s guardians — guardians like Travis Manion. The son of a Marine, Travis aspired to follow in his father’s footsteps and was accepted by the USS [sic] Naval Academy. His roommate at the Academy was Brendan Looney, a star athlete and born leader from a military family, just like Travis. The two quickly became best friends — like brothers, Brendan said.
After graduation, they deployed — Travis to Iraq, and Brendan to Korea. On April 29, 2007, while fighting to rescue his fellow Marines from danger, Travis was killed by a sniper. Brendan did what he had to do — he kept going. He poured himself into his SEAL training, and dedicated it to the friend that he missed. He married the woman he loved. And, his tour in Korea behind him, he deployed to Afghanistan. On September 21st of last year, Brendan gave his own life, along with eight others, in a helicopter crash.
Heartbroken, yet filled with pride, the Manions and the Looneys knew only one way to honor their sons’ friendship — they moved Travis from his cemetery in Pennsylvania and buried them side by side here at Arlington. “Warriors for freedom,” reads the epitaph written by Travis’s father, “brothers forever.”
The friendship between 1st Lieutenant Travis Manion and Lieutenant Brendan Looney reflects the meaning of Memorial Day. Brotherhood. Sacrifice. Love of country. And it is my fervent prayer that we may honor the memory of the fallen by living out those ideals every day of our lives, in the military and beyond. May God bless the souls of the venerable warriors we’ve lost, and the country for which they died. (Applause.)
END 11:37 A.M. EDT