It seems to be ages since I first bought my Undead Army from Pendraken and almost as long since I painted them up.
Anyway, last Sunday at the club gave me an opportunity to get the little guys on the table, in a Grudge Match battle scenario against Richard's Dwarves. In a Grudge match, the opposing commanders hate one another and have to join in combat to try and kill the other. In this scenario, both commanders are also rated as Impetuous.
We both fielded just over 500 points of troops. Here is my centre. The large purple dice shows my command points (CP) and the orange one my magic points (MP)
Here are Richard's Dwarves.
Here is my army. Just out of sight at the bottom are my Skeletal Riders.
Both forces began to advance. My plan was to use my Riders to clear the hill and sweep round to try and roll up Richard's line. It is nice to have a plan, although they seldom work.
Richard has Dwarf Noble Riders and Rangers on the hill.
I start realigning. My initial deployment was awful and needed changing. I need to get my Undead Lord into combat, but I also need to keep him supported on either side.
We get into combat. Richard hits one of my Riders units in the flank, and then my Zombies outflank his attacking unit.
The green jewels indicate that my Necromancer has successfully cast "Dominate the lifeless host", giving Hero status to all my in-range units. I use this spell a lot in the game, because, to be honest, the Undead need all the help they can get.
The commanders get into battle. This is the important part of the table. Everything else is secondary. My Undead Lord has the Powerful and Regenerate attributes. I think he'll need them.
Both leaders stands start losing casualties. This could go either way, but at the moment, my CP rolls are not too bad.
This is just as well, because elsewhere my line is under stress. These bony warriors really cannot take much punishment.
The Dwarf Rangers see off my Riders. Oops.
But the combined power of my Zombies and the other Riders unit, cause a Dwarf unit to rout.
My only hope of winning is to defeat the Dwarf commander. Unhappily, my good CP rolls dry up but my repeated use of the "Dominate the lifeless host" spell at least gives me a chance.
The turning point comes when Richard gets two initiative rolls in a row, together with high CP and MP rolls. He uses "Spirit of the stone guardians" and "Granite Aspect" in successive rounds of play. With my Fear attribute rendered powerless, the Dwarves start to dominate and before long my Undead Lord is down to 0 MO and crumbles away into dust. Victory to the Hill Dwarves.
So, what did I think of the rules?
Overall, I liked them. They are easy to pick up and the mechanisms are pretty simple to use. There are a couple of points that seem odd, such as units that are flank attacked don't get to turn and face their opponents after the first round of combat, but you get used to that. The action was pretty quick and you don't spend ages faffing about before getting into combat. I think that with a couple of more games under my belt, I'll find more things to like and, probably one or two more annoyances, but my feelings are pretty positive really. I like the unpredictability of the CP and MP system.
As for my army, well, what can one say about the Undead? I've never come across a set of rules where they are all-conquering and invincible, mainly because they need a lot of magical support to get keep them going, and we all know how unreliable magic can be in wargaming. On the plus side, they are fun to play with, mainly because you never know what will happen next. I'd have liked to be able to field my Wraiths and Spirits and my Catapults, but we were limited to a smaller army size because Richard didn't have any extra Dwarf units to field.