As we left the action, The Undead right flank was shambling into a trap set by the Bishop of Keinetotehierstadt while far to the south the Bishop's own right flank was cut off and surrounded by Kraust's unearthly forces. What will be the outcome? Read on to find out!
Satisfied that the trap in the landscape gardens is well laid, the White Wolves turn aside to reinforce the Bishop's centre which is sure to be overwhelmed shortly.
The trap is sprung as a furious fusilade begins, skeletons disintegrate and are replaced by puffs of smoke as a rain of magic fireballs does the worst damage.
The magically enthused rabble of Kraust Market mill around, jeering at the departed Halberdiers. "You're going home in a healer's handcart!" They cry jubilantly. They are, however, unwilling to leave behind the perceived safety of their hamlet.
The second group of rabble join in the singing and jeering. (Note; an Undead army summoning Humans was too good an idea to turn down).
Meanwhile, on the outskirts of Kraust Market, the Bishop's right flank secures it's defences as best it can. The light cavalry dash from left to right to plug gaps as they appear and are able to shoot down the carrion which had been dive-bombing the Halberdiers. In the end, Halberdier casualties are light while the carrion are wiped out. The fight between the skeleton cavalry and the Dwarf irregulars degenerates into an attritional struggle which surely favours the stunties.
Further along, the retained Knights are winning against the chariot. They kill both crew and it looks as though the Bishop's right will prevail in spite of being surrounded.
The Good Alliance centre begins to retreat in good order, leaving the depleted Halflings to act as a rearguard. Cries of "Racists!" leave no impression on the Humans.
As the White Wolves threaten a skeleton archer wedge and the Wraiths, the Zombie Dragon senses an opportunity to feast on horseflesh.
The skeleton cavalry and infantry assaulting through the landscape gardens towards the rotunda are subjected to a withering hail of fire but so far their progress has not been halted.
The skeleton cavalry make it to within an easy charge of the archers, the Bishop's men will have one last chance to make their missiles count before they are speared like fish in a barrel.
Whoosh! The skeleton cavalry survive the crossbow fire and bow fire, only to be completely destroyed by fireballs!
The light cavalry finally begin to tire as they fail to redeploy effectively but the Dwarf irregulars now have the death riders encircled and are lashing out uncompromisingly with their iron-shod boots.
The retained Knights have destroyed the chariot and charge the skeleton infantry beyond it.
Kraust's centre is finally brought to bear against the Bishop's screen, the Undead Cyclops crashes through the wattle fence and slaughters the Halflings while the Manticore ploughs through the militia's ranks, snapping and snarling. The light cavalry are forced to charge some skeleton infantry in a desperate attempt to rescue their comrades. "Wooo'ait for me!" Says the Ghost.
The supposedly 'elite' White Wolves decide that discretion is the better part of valour and perform an abrupt about face as they weigh up the odds stacked against them.
The trap by the rotunda is having a real effect now, the death riders are all gone and barely half the skeleton infantry remain.
Perhaps too late, the folk of Kraust Market form up into ranks in the hope of attacking the Bishop's men from behind.
The situation for the Bishop's right seems very secure though, the way to their objective is almost cleared except for some Ghouls and death riders in reserve. The Dwarf irregulars have redressed their ranks after crushing the last of the death riders attacking them.
The Ghouls, perhaps unwisely, leave their fortified position and advance towards the enemy. They are at least supported by a fresh unit of death riders.
The retained Knights are winning the fight against the skeleton infantry. Bobmore Timos begins to cast some devastating combat spells upon himself in order to come the the rescue. As Baron Kraust's accountant he knows how expensive corpses can be to come by!
At the rotunda, the pitifully small number of skeletons that make it into combat are swiftly destroyed by the archers, but not before they kill the wizard who tormented them with his fireballs! The Bishop's army is now without any magical protection, what will this mean?
The Bishop shows complete disdain for his own safety as he leaps over a wall into the pack of Ghouls. He lays about him with blade and staff, forcing the cowardly cannibals to flee back to the graveyard.
This allows his men time to form up in preparation for the battle with the Undead reserve cavalry which is the only thing between them and the vulnerable graveyard.
Though he is unable to prevent the destruction of the skeleton infantry, Bobmore kills a Knight with his bare hands as a nimbus of dark energy plays about his fists and the shock of being attacked in the flank causes the Knights to recoil.
The Zombie Dragon shrugs off the storm of bolts and arrows as if it were summer rain, the previous loss of the wizard is now keenly felt as the crossbowmen levy is torn to shreds without the Bishop's forces being able to provide an answer. (Note; as GM I was horrified upon reading Mr Priestly's 2nd edition stats for the Zombie Dragon in the issue of White Dwarf Thantsants brought along and I promptly cut them all in half. Even so, the poor crossbowmen were no match for this Undead horror.)
Kraust is close to completing the ritual now, yet still the Bishop's forces have a long way to go. It is a time for reckless heroism and desperate risks.
The light cavalry of the Bishop's right clash with the Undead reserve cavalry in a mismatched fight that could buy enough time for the Bishop to consecrate the graveyard which is a source of power for Kraust's ritual. The Bishop himself cleaves his way through the Ghoul pack scattering them to the wind and makes it to the Graveyard!
The Knights recover from their shock and cut down Bobmore, leaving the Undead short of control cover on their left. The way is clear for the priests to make a dash to both graveyards and aid the Bishop in his work.
Though the Bishop's centre is easily crushed, too late the Undead realise it was all a feint. The Ghost turns back in an attempt to reach the central graveyard before the priest does. The presence of the Cyclops and the Zombie Dragon has caused the White Wolves to flee unceremoniously, their reputation is taking quite a beating even if they don't seem to want to themselves.
Now outside Victor Reaver's control, the Zombie Dragon feasts on the flesh of the crossbowmen and settles into the defile for a snooze. (Note; the Dragon's 'infinite control' rule was also nerfed.)
With the Zombie Dragon occupied and the Wraiths badly out of position, the way is clear for an assault on Kraust's tower!
The conflict between the opposing cavalry forces drags on and the Bishop abandons his attempt to consecrate the graveyard in order to help out. Once more, skirts flowing, he leaps heroically over a wall and brings his sword down on a skull.
The Ghost is losing the foot race to the graveyard and now the retained Knights have diverted to help out the priest.
Some skeleton archers are thrust into combat in a desperate attempt to slow down the assault on the tower. A risky Skull-Chucker shot is taken, the chances of accidentally hitting the tower and instantly ending the game in a defeat are calulated at 15%! The dice fly, and a 19 is scored, perfect hit! The foot knights are almost wiped out.
The Zombie Dragon remains in a slumber while the White Wolves have fled the table but will be allowed to return if they can rally in their next phase.
Having taken to the air after the defeat of the Bishop's centre, the Manticore is now able to plunge into the Bishop's right near the graveyard. This creature seems unstoppable but the intervention may be too late.
Indeed, the Bishop returns to his work with the help of one of the priests.
Though they kill all the skeletons facing them at the base of the tower, the archer's only reward is to be pulverised by another deadly accurate catapult shot. They panic and flee back to safety.
The archer wedge from the Undead centre reform and charge the two remaining foot Knights, they get extremely lucky and kill them both, ending the threat to the tower! The ritual is very close to completion!
The Wraiths have fallen back to prevent any sudden moves from the Knights by the central graveyard.
The Ghost is going to be too late to stop the priest, the Knights ride out to take revenge on the catapult for the terrible toll it inflicted throughout the game.
Eureka! One of the priests uncovers Baron Kraust's Phylactery of the Trick Back in a tomb! The Baron's back is notoriously unsound and he relies on this magical macguffin to be able to overcome his awful sciatica, by destroying the phylactery the priest is able to cause the Baron's back to lock up completely and stop the ritual at a stroke! The game is won by the Good Alliance!
Annoyed and embarrassed at the weak performance of his White Wolves, the Good Alliance player is allowed to play on just long enough for the Knights to return to the field and win a round of combat against the Cyclops, huzzah! "I just want a photo of them doing something other than running away" he says, pleadingly.
And lo, the clouds did part and a ray of sunshine split the heavens to bathe the Barony of Kraust in glorious light for a single hour, causing the Undead to recoil and retreat, allowing the Bishop's battered army to recover their dead and wounded before returning to their homes. Though most of the world will never know it, there will be a tomorrow after all thanks to the heroism of the brave Men, Dwarfs, aye, even Halflings, of Keinetotehierstadt.
Thanks for stopping by!