26 May, 2016

Tales From The Crypt – Part 1, Lay Of The Land

Back in my day White Dwarf – Games Workshop’s monthly magazine – used to contain lavish spreads of master-class painting and conversion – now found in Warhammer Visions, a different magazine – information on new miniatures  – that’s all that the weekly White Dwarf is anymore – and battle reports.  The latter has been lost it seems. Battle reports were heroic tales weaved from dice rolls and hours of maths, and if you were really lucky they formed campaigns, spanning multiple issues.

That’s kind of what Tales From The Crypt is, or at least the thought behind it all. Similar to Total War: Attila’s Can Rome Fall In A Day, I wanted to chronicle my first few hours in Total War Warhammer. It all begins in the bogs of eternal night, Sylvania…

Tales From The Crypt – Part 1 banner

Lay Of The Land

Arisen once into the realm of mortals, Mannfred von Carstein easily retook Drakenhof from the wormling necromancer Zelig van Kruger. From Drakenhof von Carstein saw only what was his by right, and what be his again; Sylvania, and the Old World beyond.

Tales From The Crypt – Part 1 map

In the mountains to the east and south the Dwarves of Zhufbar cowered in their underground holds. To the west, the vampires of Schwartzhafen, with yet more vampires to the north; the realm of van Kruger. Von Carstein skirmished briefly with the remains of Van Kruger’s Drakenhof forces, then went north to Eschen to land the first cut upon van Kruger’s fledgling domain, the first of many.

Van Kruger counter attacked, combining is own force with that of the Eschen garrison. Outnumbered quite heavily, von Carstein drove his undead into battle, unwilling to allow the enemy forces the time necessary to rendezvous and present a united front. Flocks of fell bats fell upon the enemy vanguard, but it was the mighty varghulf that punctured their ranks.

Tales From The Crypt – Part 1 fell bats

Close behind, von Carstein and his skeletal warriors raced, and shambling behind on rotting legs his festering host of zombies. Using the bogs as natural barriers, von Carstein chose to engage the numerically superior force on the narrower straight of firmer ground. He sent the varghulf and remaining fell bats south to intercept a swarm of flanking zombies and dire wolves.

Tales From The Crypt – Part 1 battle lines

The battle was a long one, a grind of attrition; bone ground to dust, flesh to rotting tatters. As was inevitable, the tide turned against von Carstein, despite his liberal use of the Incantation of Nehek to restore his ranks, his warriors were being overwhelmed. The death of the van Kruger’s lieutenant at the hands of Mannfred von Carstein himself was felt by the enemy, but not so keenly that their undead essence abandoned their bodies.

Tales From The Crypt – Part 1 mannfred combat

The outlook was dire, route seemingly inevitable, yet the numberless legions of van Kruger were nought before the varghulf, which devastated the southern zombies and dire wolves. It charged the length of the battle line and barrelled into the rear of van Kruger’s northernmost troop, where it succeeded in breaking the thickest formation of enemies and turning the seemingly inevitable defeat into a hard-earned victory.

Tales From The Crypt – Part 1 varghulf

A tense battle to be sure, but worthy price to pay for Eschen.

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