The First Battle of the Lake

After centuries of slumber in the tombs that riddle their mountain homeland, the Undead have been awoken by troublesome humans to the north. Had the not-yet-dead forgotten the tales of Grim and his legions of skeletons so soon? How many years had passed? One hundred, one thousand? It mattered not as the tomb king rose from his slumber and prepared to dispatch his newest foes.

It is late November in the second campaign year and new not-yet-dead towns have been springing up to the north. One such settlement is populated by silly grail knights with their devotion to their lady of the lake. The arrogance of these upstarts to claim the lake as their own! Summoning four of his liche priests, Grim began the long walk to the human settlement assembling his forces as he went. Even though it was late in the year and there would be no way to hold the settlement over the long winter months, Grim thought the not-yet-dead needed to be taught a lesson.

This battle pits the Undead Hordes of Grim against the Bretonnian Knights of the Lake. It takes place just south of the human town on the lake's edge. In addition to the standard terrain, a point-of-interest in the form of a cursed volcano called Hell's Blister occupies a central location on the battlefield. The volcano spits out a unit of dragon ogres at the end of each turn. These monsters move in a random direction, fighting any units that they contact along the way. Grim's undead set up on the southern edge of the map, and the Bretonnians set up on the northern edge. The Undead breakpoint is 12. The Bretonnian breakpoint is 5.

The first turn began with units advancing to gain terrain and positional advantage. The Bretonians made excellent progress advancing their right flank of knights and grail knights. One brigade actually charged the Undead left flank chariot brigade, destroying all four units while suffering only one unit of losses. The Undead bowmen were able to reach the central forest. However, failed command rolls kept the Undead artillery in the starting gates. At the end of the turn, the first unit of dragon ogres from the volcano advanced to the northeast into central brigade Bretonian knights. This delay, while not killing any knights, did contribute to the brigade's inability to provide support for the right flank grail knights later in the game. After the first turn, the Bretonians held the advantage both positionally and from a breakpoint (1-4).

Figure 1: Battle Turn 1

The second turn saw the left flank of the Undead continue to erode under the onslaught of the grail knights. While an entire skeleton unit was lost along with a liche priest, the grail knights were unable to advance after their victory. In addition, a unit of knights was killed in the battle. The right Undead skeleton brigade failed its command rolls. In response, a second unit of skeletons were shifted from the center of the battlefield. Meanwhile, knightly charges into the forest-protected bowmen was largely unsuccessful. The Undead artillery moved into place on the low hill occupying the right central battlefield. The Bretonnian general was unable to advance his foot troops which were now left hopelessly behind a large lake. A charge with the Undead carrion into the right flank was used to provide a distraction for the center brigade of Undead chariots. Another dragon ogre emerged from the volcano and moved south into the now-empty center of the Undead army. The Bretonnian advantage held this turn (2-5).

Figure 2: Battle Turn 2

The third turn was a critical one for the game. The left flank of the Undead army comprised of the remaining skeletons and two units of bowmen attacked the grail knights, defeating the superior force and driving them back with casualties to both sides. The Bretonnians had been outrolled on the dice by 6:1. Meanwhile, the central brigade of knights split into two forces. Two units tried to pass between the hills and forest. However, a successful Doom and Despair spell left them stranded. In the center of the battlefield, the Undead chariots plowed into the Bretonnian men-at-arms. This battle proved to be inconsequential. The same was true for the carrion attack which managed to eliminate one unit of peasants before being destroyed. Another unit of dragon ogres moved south without engaging any Undead troops. Two units of knights were now isolated. Representing the breakpoint needed to defeat the Bretonnians, all Undead attention turned to these two units. The Bretonnian advantage required some luck to reassemble the two knight units into a unified force before the eight skeleton and bowmen units swarmed them. The score was tightening at (3-8).

Figure 3: Battle Turn 3

The fourth turn saw the final unit of right flank knights swarmed by the Undead. In order to attempt to draw the battle, Bretonnian general attached to the unit. This was a logical move since a successful attack on the knights would leave the final unit of knights at too large of a disadvantage to defeat Grim's soldiers. The Undead were successful in eliminating the knights, and the general was slain. Another dragon ogre moved southeast from the volcano. Three units of Undead were destroyed, leaving the final tally at (4-11).

Figure 4: Battle Turn 4

The Bretonnians retreated from the field of battle, and Grim's army walked into the not-yet-dead town to find some more recruits to replace their fallen comrades. It is rumored that the Bretonnin general's body was kept for later animation as a skeleton warrior in Grim's horde. This battle occurred on May 9, 2002 between Aaron Tucker (Bretonnians) and Chris Matney (Undead).

Figure 5: Battle Final Positions