Sunday 23 June 2024


Elendaer's Watch

His sure-footed steed climbed the last few paces to the low grassy hill top, a stiff sea breeze tugging at his white cloak and golden hair, bound now beneath a silver circlet, as his silver helm bounced from his belt at his thigh. Lance in hand, Elendaer looked out over the rugged land to his left and the grey sea to his right. The wind was churning the waves into the endless rhythm of white-crested breakers that rolled in from the hazy horizon to the north. The green and grey land of the isle of Tor Helethion rolled away from him, broken by rocky pillars and crags and dark gorse-covered highlands towards the peak of Heleth Fell at the centre of the isle, far away to the south. It was evening, the last pale light filtered through ragged clouds, as the Elven lord looked out from his vantage point, scrying for a sign of the enemy.

Behind him, up the hill’s green swathe, followed a score of grey-cloaked warriors, each a longbow across their backs, two quivers of white-fletched arrows beside them, a scabbarded sword at their belts. Four carried a heavy bundle between them, wrapped in a white shawl and bound with rope. A body.

“Lord Elendaer” hailed the first, with a slight head bow in deference.

A twitch on the reins, Elendaer’s steed turned about to face them. The shadow warriors gathered before him, no well disciplined line of shields and spears here, just a informal band of hooded rangers. At least three were sporting bound wounds, fresh blood stains just seeping through the bandages, trophies won at yesterday’s fight. He already had his own. The band’s leader reported.

“The body of our Lord Captain, as requested” he said in sadness. The four warriors came forward and placed their burden down upon the ground with careful reverence, and bowed their heads low as they stepped back. “We would not leave it to the faithless druchii to taunt us and defile.”

“We must return him to the citadel. Captain Raelyn died bravely in the sight and grace of Isha, fighting the darkness he had opposed since his first sworn oath to your brotherhood. His service will not go unrewarded in the halls of Asur that await him. We will see him again there, and perhaps soon, by our current fate. The enemy are ashore in force?”

“Yes Lord. We did not have the strength to stop them. They were too many and we too few. Their curs’d Black Ark weighed anchor just off the coast and a host has been unloading ever since. Thousands already I’d say. We felled as many as we could on the beach, but such numbers cannot be stopped by our small garrison. This is no mere raiding force. They come with many beasts and engines of war. From our watchers, heavy chariots and bolt throwers are being constructed. They are unloading still.”

“Other vessels?”

“Our watchtowers at Ayrel and Aldreas reported seeing black sailed corsair vessels, heading both to the east and west. More raiding parties, they’ll seek to get ashore and cut us off from the citadel. If we stay in the field, we will be surrounded.”

“Our task is to delay the enemy for as long as we may. The Warden of the Isle knows our plight, if not the enemy’s full strength yet, but he will come to our aid, and swiftly, if we make a stand. We will not abandon the northern watchtowers unfought. The enemy are still unloading, they won’t march yet. We have maybe two days, that is enough.”

As he spoke, from beyond the shadow warriors he saw a white rider was now climbing the slope, driving his panting steed hard. Elendaer spurred his own horse forwards and down at a trot to meet the new messenger halfway, whilst calling back into the wind.

“Return your captain in honour to the citadel. Make for Ayrel tower, tell Harbinger Doldir to recall his shore riders, we’ll muster again there. Mage Eralis will join us.” Then he turned back to the rider, as the messenger reined in his horse from its long gallop.  

“I come from Prince Belhallas. The citadel is preparing spears and archers to march and all watchtowers have been warned and reinforced. My orders are for you and Shadow Captain Raelyn.”

“Then for me alone. The Lord Shadow-Captain is slain in battle, two days ago, fallen under an enemy lance. The druchii have struck us a first bitter blow. It won’t be the last, and a Black Ark has come to unleash its foulness upon us. They are ashore and massing.”

“Then, if outmatched, our Prince says your forces may withdraw via the eastern coastal paths. The route is still clear, I have just ridden hither without sight of any enemy. More reaver patrols have been tasked to keep it clear. The citadel is roused to arms. A word from you, and Prince Belhallas will lead them forth.”

“Not yet. First let us see what next move the enemy will make and how many they truly are. They are unloading still, and such a force won’t move quickly. We can yet hold here a day or two longer, and still have time to escape south. When you return, tell our Prince, Mage Eralis and I shall hold at the watchtower of Ayrel and see if we can’t yet be a thorn in the druchii’s side. Any time bought allows the citadel’s spears may come us, rather than we flee to them. Then, we may strike one great blow and drive them back into the sea. We'll make them pay for this incursion.”



This was a 1.500 point game with the Dark Elves attacking one of the High Elf watchtowers on the island's northern coast. Having got ashore, the Dark Elf army is now unloading their Black Ark and preparing to march inland, but send out a raiding force to attack and destroy a watchtower along the coast, under a young noble, Dravillo, riding her chariot and out to prove herself.  The High Elf garrison of the north, under their noble Captain Elendaer, have mustered at the tower to hold it. If they can, then the Dark Elves will not yet be able to march from their beachhead yet, giving the High Elf reinforcements time to move north and support them, with the aim of then attacking the small beachhead and driving the druchii back into the sea.

We had a few campaign restrictions and add-ons. At 1,500 points no 'lord' level characters can be taken (too small a battle) and their are no level 4 wizards allowed in the campaign yet... they'll come soon (but each side only has 1 anyway as a named character). Two units with campaign experience were included (called 'regiments of renown' as they have gained their own bonuses in previous games). The Dark Elves have the Jade Serpent spear regiment, which are now Veterans. The High Elves have Doldir's Shore Riders (reavers) with +1BS, so 5s.

I won't include the army lists in full detail, but basically -

High Elves

1 x Noble Elendaer on barded steed

1 x Mage Eralis, lvl 3 battle magic, on steed (Fireball, Oakenshield and Pillar of Fire)

3 x 16 Sea Guard with full command

2 x Eagle Claw bolt throwers

7 x Ellyrian Reavers (Doldir's Shore Riders, +1 BS) with champion

10 x Shadow Warriors with champion

1 x Giant Eagle


Dark Elves

1 x Noble Dravillo on cold one chariot

1 x Sorceress Vannea, lvl 2 illusion with a spell familiar (Black Horror, Mind Razor)

2 x 16 Repeater Crossbows with champion

1 x 20 Spearmen (Jade Serpent Regiment, Veterans) with full command

1 x 22 Witch Elves with full command

6 x Dark Riders with champion

1 x War Hydra 

The High Elves had a good defensive position, a central hill (with the watch tower on it), whilst out front were a small copse of wind-blown trees, 2 small ruins and a rock otucrop, mostly to the Drak Elves left. With the High Elves on the hill, bristling with bows, a direct attack up the centre seemed folly, so the Dark Elves would come on the right, with their witch elves, hydra and chariot supported by the sorceress. The corssbows would support in the centre, whilst th spears would try to prevent the high elves qucik repositioning aganst the attack as the flank guard, a thankless task given the amount of bows facing them. The adrk riders were at the  back, in skirmsh lines, as a quck recation force of resrrves to race wheervere they were needed, gettig near that hill was asking to be easily shot down as targt practice.

The High Elves filled the hill with sea guard, bows out, 48shots awaiting any approach, and the bolt throwers, and mage too. On the right, the shadow warriors lurked, all alone, but the rock outcrop blocked LoS to them from the crossbows and we agreed skirmish troops could clamber up the rocks. Their left was the skirmishing reavers, and the eagle, to harass, with the eagle trying to get a line to charge the sorceress if possible. 

So it began, and the elven archery proved punishing throughout. The Hydra, witch elves and chariot headed off on the right to swing around, harassed by reaver bow fire, and the bolt throwers scored 2 wounds on the hydra.  The dark riders galloped over to aid them against the reavers, and found an early target of opportunity in the eagle, so charged it. The fight saw the eagle win by 1, and the dark riders broke! Useless.. fleeing, the eagle swooped after them and wiped them out... only to thn be targeted with a mind-razor spell which killed it in turn... win for the sorceress, 'dare you try to kill me!' First loss for both sides.

In the centre, the spearmen advanced into a cauldron of arrow-death-hell, but passed their resulting panic test. Their sacrifice would hopefully mean the main attack took less damage as it closed in. They would drive-on, shields up, passed the copse and towards the slope, and be shot down as they did, until wiped out. The shadow warriors got onto the rock outcrop and opened up a missile duel with the crossbows... both sides loosing a few men, but after 3-4 turns of shooting, the shadow warriors had won the duel... very good shots, and better range, and in cover, and skirmishers, helps - a lot.

It wasn't going well for the DEs, but their attack was now closing in. The witch elves ignoring more reaver arrows to swing round, and the hydra now in charge range of the first sea guard unit - come on, eat them!. The High Elf commander had lined it up for a counter-charge, lance levelled, when the mage unleashed a fire balled that scored 2 more wounds on the beast. 1 left, and the sea guards arrows flew, bring it down! Damn, the Hydra is a bullet magnet. Things when from bad to worse, as next turn, the witch elves were shot down by reavers and another big fireball impact... killing half of them... like they care! The chariot did have a charge, at the elven leader, heroically out front of his men, and about to be run-over. The only issue, a pillar of fire vortex in the way... oh,a  chance a glory, just go for it... she charged through the flames (unluckily taking 2 wounds) and hit the High Elf noble. This would be the worst heavy chariot charge ever... 2 impact hits, whiffed. All her attacks, turned by heavy armour, shield and barded warhorse... cold ones, missed... nothing, not a single wound. Good grief... dice gods you taunt me! 

This combat would continue, the last witch elves charged in, then the reavers charged after them in a swirling mess of whirling poisonous blades, stamping horses, biting lizards, and in the end of it all, the last witch elves were wiped out, the reavers lost 3 men, Elendaer final took 1 wound (thanks to great armour saving again) and Dravillo had 1 wound left, but lost the combat, and fled! She turned her chariot and cowardly rumbled just 4"... Elendaer pursued and killed her, a lance in the back, a sad end. That ended the game... carnage on the Dark Elves, who had a few crossbows and their sorceress left. High Elf casualties: 1 eagle, 4 shadow warriors (not half), 7 sea guard (not half), 3 reavers (not half)... a VP massacre. Don't even bother adding it up... ouch!

So, the High Elves hold their coastal watchtower and can continue to threaten the Dark Elves as they unload. Next up, I think the Dark Elves will launch another attack on a second watchtower - try try again... they might need some allied aid...

Post-battle, rolling for campaign experience, one unit of Sea Guard gained 'stubborn', so become a regiment of renown, called Talia's Coastguard, maximum unit size 16. The Jade Serpent spear regiment's maximum allowed unit strength is down from 20 to 10 having been brutally wiped out.

Mid-game, and the sea guard on the hill surround the tower and launch volley after volley onto the enemy below... with bloody results. The template is a Black Horror vortex, which keeps drifting off the wrong way (for the DEs).

Shadow Warriors find cover on a rock outcrop and hammer DE crossbows with their superior archery... breaking them in the end as arrow and bolt flew back and forth. 

The DE attack is ragged... Hydra already shot (and fire balled) to death, the noble tries her luck, aiming for the hated Elven commander, small (but satisfying) victory if she can run-over and squash him... if via a 'pillar of fire'...

Death to the hated Asurii!! ... recklessly through the flames (and take 2 wounds doing it, oops!)

The two commander's showdown, inside a black horror vortex and a pillar of fire (crazy fight)... and both sides do, err, nowt.. all wounds on the chariot inflicted by the vortexes... (we didn't include these in combat res) and do Cold Ones 'hate' High Elves? We said not, but the unit has 'eternal hatred'... but not the mount (chariot) - hmm!

Note here, that the green disks are a house ruled trail system of unit by unit orders counters we are trying out... loosing the rigid turn sequence in favour of a unit by unit activation sequence... making the game much more fluid, unpredictable and tactical. Still a WIP, but big improvement in game play and player engagement. Fun stuff starts to happen... I'll keep at it to refine it.



  1. Nice looking miniatures for sure even if Warhammer isn´t my cup of tea anymore ;-)

    1. Thx, I'm not sure it is mine either. Trying to make it work for me with house rules.

  2. Great stuff, and the house rules seem interesting. Overall my gaming group is enjoying this new edition of Warhammer, though it is far from perfect IMO, at least it has got us all playing some games again and got the wider Warhammer community fired up too.