Friday, August 26, 2016

The Battle of Pebble Horn - Battle Report

The small Coastal Village of Pebble Horn had an extremely juicy Graveyard . All but one of the villagers (fishermen and sheepherders) were buried there just recently. A wasting disease had swiped the place clean and only one old sheepherder and his animals had survived.

These events had not gone unnoticed. A laid back liche living in a dark brooding tower nearby summoned his troops right after the snows melted and roads opened. His name was Leeroy Yankeez and those of his subject, who knew how to speak called him stinky.

Leeroy had hordes of skeletons, but this was an opportunity to add more "fresh corpses" to the battallions. Skeletons were great, no doupt, but high maintenance. Zombies on the other hand, you could get so much more of them with the same effort.

All night the tireless host marched and just when the first light shoen from the east they saw the village through a dissipating mist. Stinky had not bothered to send a scouting force because the opposition as far as he knew was supposed to be an old man and his sheep.

Also he was old school. A line of skeletons appearing silently from the outskirts of town sending spirals of mist from their feet, that was what unlife was all about. The survivors would surely crap their pants he thought to himself with a glee.

A few moments after stinky saw the first headstones of the sweet graveyard he also saw something unexpected. Rats, hundreds of them, walking upright through the village and around it were closing fast. Those stupid creatures had probably been the cause of the pestilence, and now they were defending their newfound home. Leeroy the liche tried, but even with his intelligence of 10+3, he could not understand why the things couldn't just let him raise the late villagers from the ground, and let him go home.

It was going to go down in the village outskirts, there was no other way. Leeroy Climbed a hill. He had clothed himself in his best witch kind attire and that was the best place to show it off. "How do I look?", he asked Mar Garetha, leader of the catapult grew. She watched him with hollow eye sockets and silently gave a thumbs up.

We played a 2000 pts battle of War Hammer 3rd edition. Skaven versus Undead with my friends table and miniatures. The battlefield was a coastal village with two patches of buildings at the Skaven side and a forest and some wet patches at the undead side. There were also some hills spread out the table and a small graveyard next to one of the buildings.

The Forces

The Skaven

Independent Characters

  • Kargshak Severtyrant of Clan Vashisk (lvl 20 Hero)
    • Hellhoned blade, Light armour + spell shield
    • No chaotic attributes
  • Slagskitter, Battle Standard Bearer (lvl 5 Hero)
    • Hand Weapon, Light Armour & Shield
    • Battle Standard - Relic Banner
    • Chaotic Attributes: Poisonous Fangs, Weapon Master
  • Ungoltwitch the Mad, Warpsqualer (lvl 15 Wizard)
    • Spear, Hand Weapon
    • Chaotic attributes: Mace Tail
    • Magic (23MP):
  • B1.4 Dispirit        2 MPs
  • B1.7 Flight        1 MP
  • B1.8 Hammerhand    2 MPs
  • B1.12 Part Water    2 MPs
  • B1.13 Steal Mind    2 MPs
  • N1.5 Zone of Life    2 MPs
  • B2.2 Cause Frenzy    2 MPs
  • B2.3 Cause Hatred    2 MPs
  • B2.6 Mental Duel    3 MPs

Clanrats of Clan Vashisk

  • Sturmratten Regiment ”Der Reik” - Clanrat Stormvermin (20)
    • Leader: Mortweak, Clan Warlord (level 10 hero)
    • Weapons: Double-handed Weapon, Hand Weapon
    • Armour: Light Armour
    • Special Equipment: Relic Banner (A unit accompanying the standard is immune to panic, and may re-roll the result of its first rout test of the game)
    • Chaotic Attributes: Iron Hard Skin (Adds +1 to their basic saving throw, included above),
  • Clan Vashisk Marauders - Clanrat Warriors (34)
    • Leader: usually led by Kargshak
    • Weapons: Hand Weapon
    • Armour: Light Armour & Shield
    • Chaotic Attributes: -
  • Clan Vashisk  Despoilers - Clanrat Warriors (19)
    • Leader: usually led by Ungoltwitch
    • Weapons: Spear, Hand Weapon
    • Armour: Light Armour & Shield
    • Chaotic Attributes: -
  • Zod’s Drudges - Skavenslaves (49)
    • Leader: Zod, Clan Chieftain (level 5 hero)
    • Weapons: Hand Weapon
    • Armour: -
    • Chaotic Attributes: Blood Rage (The unit is subject to frenzy).

CLAN ESHIN (all attacks from a Clan Eshin model are poisonous)

  • Sewer Stalkers - Gutter Runners (9)
    • Leader: Scritch
    • Weapons: Hand Weapon, Sling
    • Armour: Light Armour
    • Chaotic Attributes: Magically Resistant (The unit may make any magic saving throw with a +1 will power bonus, The unit may also attempt a save against magic not normally permitted a saving throw, although without the +1 bonus.), Poisonous Fangs (The unit may make an additional bite attack with every second model fighting. This attack is poisonous and any hits are resolved with a +1 strength bonus), Snake Tail (Snake tails are poisonous. Any hits are resolved with a strength bonus of +1. This confers and extra attack for every second model fighting. This attack can be to the front, side or rear.)


  • Clan Moulder Beastmasters (3) with Rat Ogres (6)
    • Weapons: Hand Weapon
    • Armour: -
    • Special Rules: Cause fear in creatures under 10’ tall.
    • Chaotic Attributes: -


  • Warpfire-thrower Team I (1 unit of 1 team)
    • Weapons: Hand Weapon
    • Armour: Light Armour
    • Chaotic Attributes: Razor Sharp Claws (The unit may make an additional claw attack with every second model fighting. The unit may add +1 to its strength when resolving the effects of hits, and any enemy suffering damage must deduct -1 from their saving throws.)
    • Warpfire-thrower: Range: 12”, Radius: 1”, Strength: 5, Save Modifier: -3, Wounds per Hit: 1D3
  • Warpfire-thrower Team II (1 unit of 1 team)
    • Weapons: Hand Weapon
    • Armour: Light Armour
    • Chaotic Attributes: Long Legs (The unit contains many individual with long legs, adding +1 to the unit’s movement), Manic Fighter (The unit hates the closest enemy unit within 12”)
    • Warpfire-thrower: Range: 12”, Radius: 1”, Strength: 5, Save Modifier: -3, Wounds per Hit: 1D3


  • Manticore
  • Chaotic Attributes: -
    • Manticores are large targets for the purposes of missile fire.
    • Manticores cause fear +1 in creatures under 10 feet tall.
    • Manticores have 3 stomp attacks plus an additional attack from the tail. Although delivered by the tail, this is another stomp attack, the tail curling over the creature’s back to attack to the side or front. Tail attacks are envenomed and so have a strength bonus of +1.
    • Any blows struck by Manticores have a better than average chance of penetrating armour. An enemy’s armour saving throw is reduced by -3 if struck by a Manticore.

The Undead

Independent Characters

  •  Stinky Leeroy Yankeez (lvl 20 Liche)
    • Magic (30 MP)
      • Zone of life
      • Hand of Death
      • Summon Skeletons
      • Wind Blast
      • Immunity from poison
      • Leg breaking
      • Steadfast
      • Aura of protection
      • Lightning bolt
      • Life in death (this was cast before battle)
      • Annihilate undead
      • Raise dead
    • No gear

Rank and File

  • Mia's Daydream Legion (25 skeleton warriors)
    • Hand weapon, shield, standard musician
    • Mia T Loaf - lvl 5 undead hero with same gear
  • Grim Fellows (20 Grim reapers)
    • Standard, Scythes
  • Bill's Stickies (25 Skeleton warriors)
    • Shields, Spears, Standard
    • Skinny Bill Hickups -lvl 5 undead hero with same gear
  • Ben's Hurricanes (3 undead chariots)
    • Scythes (in both wheels), bows
    • Ben Huzzah - lvl 10 undead hero with magical trance sword
  • 2 Carrions
  • Plague Cart
  • Undead stone thrower
    • Mar Garitha - lvl 5 undead hero with hand weapon



The whole army was deployed in scout phase
From left to right:
  • Mar Garetha and her Catapult deployed to a small hill on the left flank.
  • Grim reapers deployed between the hill and march 
  • Stinky Leeroy Yankeez deployed next to the grim reapers
  • The plague chart deployed in the march
  • Bill's Stickers deployed between the march and the woods
  • Ben Huzzah and his chariots deployed behind the woods
  • Mia T and her group of skeletons deployed behind the hill facing left
  • Carrions deployed behind the lines
Undead left flank deployed

Undead right flank deployed


The whole army deployed in scout phase
From Left to right (Skeleton left to right that is)
  • A warpfire team and some gutter runners deployed in the first patch of buildings
  • The summoned Manticore deployed in front of the buildings facing the catapult (quite obviously its target)
  • Rat Ogres and storm vermin deployed behind the hills between the building patches
  • A large Clanrat unit with army standard and a smaller clan rat unit deployed to the right of the last buildings
  • A huge unit of skaven slaves deployed to extreme right facing away from the skeletons (apparently cool 4 does not rock against undead)
Skaven army deployed mostly in cover to avoid skreaming skullz

Manticore deploys directly in front of the catapult, wonder what's he up to :)

Some frenzying long legged flame thrower guys behind cover

Skaven main force. Note how the middle units are deployed behind the hill and skaven slaves as far away from the undead as possible.

"Bird's eye view" of the deployment

The battle


Skaven begin the game. Manticore takes to the air and flies 12" directly towards the catapult. The two clan rat units to the extreme right start to manoeuvre to the midfield between the village and the forest. Warpfire teams lurk closer in the flanks. Everyone else sit tight in cover, which seems reasonable because of the panic inducing screaming skull catapult on the hill.
The Manticore flies towards the catapult at attack level.


The whole skeleton army moves slowly forwards except for the chariots, which stay behind the forest in a "perfect" ambush position. Mia's regiment begins to move around the hill. Stinky casts wind blast on the poor manticore, which will severly slow it down. Carrions wheel towards the manticore and the left flank. Catapult shoots at the gutter runners, but miss shooting wide.


The skaven clan rats move closer towards the middle. The manticore flyes closer the catapult, but because of the magical wind can move only 4" or so. The warp fire teams skulk closer and gutter runners too. Skaven slaves move to the extreme right as far away as possible from the action and taking a hill in the process.
Warpfire thrower team skulks closer the undead left flank

Gutter runners decide to keep back for now
As does practically everyone else


A discussion on the nature of summoned hosts and when the "leaves battle" event is triggered by the possibility of the carrion making a flyby attack on the manticore and triggering said condition ensues. In the end everyone agrees, that it would be stupid and the Carrion decide to fly nearer a warp fire team for a flyby attack. Rest of the skeleton army moves towards the skaven lines except for the chariots off course. Mr. Yankeez maintains wind blast on the manticore and Mia's regiment keeps wheeling around the hill on the left flank. Catapult tries to shoot at a clan rat unit, but deviates on a warp fire team destroying it.
Carrion close on the warpfire team threatening undead flank


The manticore fails its str check, but chooses to land for charge (My friend thought you have to land with flyers to charge to close combat, which you don't). Clanrats move to the middle field between the forest and the buildings and storm vermin + rat ogres march from behind the hill adding to the clan rat line. The skaven sorcerer casts zone of life, which seriously ducks up the skeleton chariots' plan to flank charge them. 1 chariot and some skeleton warriors from Bill's stickers crumble to dust faced with this mighty magic.
The mighty swarm moves for the kill

"Mmmm don't you just love the grass on this side of the yard Bob."

The general's clan rat unit fails to charge because of the fear (failing 6 or 7 check to do so)

The warp fire team shoots at the grim reapers, but the shot deviates 12" forward missing (actually it could only deviate 6", but we missed that bit of rules). Before the shooting the GM and my opponent make careful measurements from the warp fire team to the unit, which was quite suspicious. After the game they told me that the unit had long legs and hatred chaotic attributes, which was hilarious. It meant that they would have had to charge from within 10". The fire thrower has 12" range so to shoot, the rats had to be between 10" and 12" of the target :)


The Carrion make a flyby attack on the left flank warp fire team scaring them off the field. They then proceed to turn towards the right setting their undead eyes on the large unit of skaven slaves on the far hill (the other side of the board). Mia's unit which has thus far spent the whole game wheeling around the hill. Charge the manticore and winning the ensuing melee, which automatically routs the beast.

Stinky now free to cast spells instead of keeping the manticore in check, calls 3 lightningbolts from the heavens almost totally annihilating the gutter runners sneaking towards his left flank (5 kills, rest run away).
Catapult shoots and kills 7 clan rats from the large unit, which is immune to panic because it carries a relic banner.

Ben Huzzah's chariot unit wheels to the right and gallop away from the zone of life effect. The skeleton line at the middle backs up a bit to get away from the effect.
Ben makes a tactical decision to relocate himself away from the Zone of Life


Things look great for the Skaven for a moment. The whole line moves forwards (2 units of clan rats, 1 unit of storm vermin and the rat ogres). Then the wizard chants to the wind of life magic for another zone and rolls an 11!!! FAIL.


The carrion speed up towards the skaven slave unit in the far right.

Grim reapers charge the rat ogres.
Bill's Stickers charge the clan rat unit with the poor wizard.
Ben's remaining two chariots charge the skaven slaves.

All three units rout.
Storm Vermin panic.

Stinky casts aura of protection and strolls towards the graveyard picking a straw from the ground and whistling to himself


Try to rally but fail.

Aftermath and thoughts

What did just happen!? Apparently both of us felt the whole game like we're gonna get wiped. For me it felt the undead were very expensive and the sight of the skaven line was daunting. My opponent knew the rules somewhat better than me and appreciated the fear and how the ratmen would respond to it with their Cl of 4 to 5.

Basically the first few turns we manoeuvred and my general's mojo was spent on keeping the manticore from decimating the catapult crew. When the forces met, the skaven line exploded into an uncontrolled rout. After the game we concluded, that the odds weren't actually so bad for the skaven. They should have won at least one of the melee's in the middle, but instead lost all due to his bad rolls and my good ones. In any case the undead must be the worst possible matchup for the Cl5 skaven.

This is generally how the combat went. I might have forgot one round or some manoeuvres, which did not have a big impact on the game. I think the catapult hit one more squad killing 7 clan rats, but can't be sure.

I'd like to thank my friend for hosting this game. The miniatures, battlefield and terrain were all amazing and inspiring (so much so that I already set up the next game of whfb3rd edition and begun painting some beastmen, the ones I got just this week).


  1. Fine armies and a nice report. Well done!

    1. Thanks! I must say it was nostalgic to play with old minis like that. My friend really has a great collection.

  2. I agree the armies are beautiful. The undead list is quite stacked; catapult, chariots and carrion? Either the undead player had no idea how tough the undead are for the Skaven to play or he wanted a power win. Either way, poor sport in my book.
    I've got a Skaven army as well, I've played against nearly every army in the armies book and a few scratch built opponents as well.
    I realize just how hard this match up can be. If you would ever like a few tips for a rematch against the undead hit me up.

    1. They're actually both my armies (thanks for the compliments!) and I wanted to try this match up as the skaven knowing it would be tough. The original poster selected the undead army based on a list of models I gave him. I very much enjoyed the challenge and it was a fun game to play.

    2. ahhh My army was overpowered!? Lm, you trying to trick me into liking this game? ;) It's working...