A new scenario popped up in a recent White Dwarf, Glory of Ages. Basically, you have multiple armies and take turns at being piggy-in-the-middle – one army against many. The aim is to have all armies take their turn in the middle, completely outnumbered and see how long they last. You total up the turns survived after every army has had a go, and the player who lasts the longest is the overall winner. If an outnumbered army somehow manages to beat the forces fighting against it, it gets a Glorious Victory and wins outright.
Crucially, you cannot change your army list in any of these battles, so you need to have a good defence as well as powerful offence.
So, Alan pulled together 2,000 points each of Vampire Counts and Skaven, while I did the same with my High Elves and, making a showing for the first time, Dwarfs.
We kicked off on Friday with Alan’s Vampire Counts in the middle of the table, against my combined High Elves and Dwarfs. The end was predictable (the army in the middle is supposed to lose these fights), with the undead being smashed in turn four – Alan survived three full turns and so earned three points in this mini-campaign.
We played again yesterday, with my Dwarfs in the middle against the combined Skaven and Undead hordes. Now, I tend to get pretty bloody-minded in battles like this, trying to get that elusive Glorious Victory. However, I had my doubts whether the Dwarfs could pull that off (the High Elves will be another matter, but we will have to see how far they get), but I did think they could last a long time and they had been tooled up to do just that;
Warlord: Rune of Adamant, Rune of Luck
Thane: Battle Standard Bearer, Rune of Stromni Redbeard, Rune of Battle x 2
Janna Bugman (female model of Josef)
Longbeards x 20: Shields, Rune of Battle
Longbeards x 20: Shields, Rune of Sanctuary x 3
Longbeards x 20: Great Weapons, Rune of Slowness x 2
Cannon: Rune of Forging
Cannon: Rune of Forging, Rune of Burning
I knew the cannon would not help much as they would get over-run pretty quickly, but I figured a Toughness 10 Warlord, beer-swilling Janna and a Battle Standard adding +3 to Combat Resolutions (+4 when with the Longbeards carrying their own Rune of Battle) would make this army tough to break. Oh, and all Longbeards get Stubborn, so I would always be rolling break tests on Leadership 9 or 10. And be immune to Fear.
Still, my little force looked very small when set up on the battlefield.
And it seemed to shrink further when the opposition was lined up on two sides.
Turns one and two were fairly quiet, with Skaven war machines duelling with Dwarf cannon, to little effect on either side. The two horde armies advanced and the Dwarfs manoeuvred a little to face them. Things started to hot up though as the Skaven’s Hell Pit Abomination crashed through the Dwarf lines and targeted the two cannon, wiping them out by the end of turn three.
This caused me to advance my Longbeards towards the enemy, principally because I did not fancy a charge in the rear from the Abomination! This broke the battle into two halves.
On the left flank (looking at the photo above) my Warlord and the Longbeards with him led the Skaven a merry chase. They smashed the Stormvermin (just hiding behind a rock on the picture above), then turned about to face the Abomination as half the Skaven line failed panic tests (they soon recovered, but the Stormvermin were lost).
A battle for the ages erupted as the Abomination crashed into the Longbeards, later aided by Rat Swarms. My Warlord was soon wounded and the Longbeards began to suffer attrition but not before they killed the Abomination twice (damn thing kept getting back up!). I fancy that if it had gone down and stayed down the first time, my Warlord and Longbeards could have caused the rest of the Skaven some serious issues, but it was not to be. They finally fell on turn six under the weight of rats and fleshy monstrosity.
The other two Longbeard units had made contact with the Undead – and were making good account of themselves. Despite efforts from Necromancers and Plague Carts to keep the Undead lines bolstered, the Dwarfs were winning their battles against the zombies and Grave Guard.
Even when the Black Knights joined the fray with a flank charge, the Longbeards held firm and smacked some dead horses silly in return. Janna went toe-to-toe with the Vampire Lord and managed to last a whole turn against him, before finally succumbing. In the end though, the advancing Skaven Grey Seer managed to finally get the Dreaded Thirteenth spell off against a weakened Longbeard unit, turning all of them into rats.
The last Longbeard unit, led by the Thane Battle Standard Bearer, defeated both the Grave Guard and Black Knights, then went on to scare off the Skaven that had been created by the Dreaded Thirteenth. They finally met their end against a combined force of Zombies (led by the Vampire Count!), Ghouls and Plague Cart. Just too many dead people to fight against!
However, they had made an impressive last stand, one that will surely be remembered (and plenty of entries to the Book of Grudges to boot!).
The Dwarfs had survived seven full turns, putting the tally at the halfway stage at 7-3 in my favour.
We are hoping to get the Skaven vs. the Elf/Dwarf force done this week, and Alan will have his work cut out for him. I figure he has to last at least eight turns to have a chance of countering the High Elf battle, which will take place afterwards (and will be the last in this series).
Everything to fight for!