Armies of Death

A Warhammer Fantasy battle report.

Nick (Tomb Kings) vs Pete (Vampire Counts), 2000pts


King Ka'atess ground his teeth together in rage. Though it had been aeons since blood had flowed through his veins, his less-than-vital condition hadn't reduced the depths of his hatred. Other emotions, yes - empathy, affection, humility - but when it came to hatred he was still more than capable. Especially easy to despise were the blood-drinking spawn of Nagash, and especially the Vampire that had just made off with a small but lethally dangerous collection of arcana from Ka'atess' domain. His duty to Khemri and the rest of the world was clear - all Vampires were obviously still minions of the Great Necromancer, and he could not permit any of them to grow more powerful in the arts of Undeath. More than that, though, he relished the thought of removing the arrogant smirk from the death-cheating leech's face, shortly before removing its arrogant head from its death-cheating shoulders and its arrogant heart from its death-cheating chest.

His bony jaw parted slightly in what would have been a grin had he still been alive. Anticipation was another emotion he still seemed to be able to feel fully.

King Ka'atess of Numas - Tomb King

Great Weapon
Golden Ankhra

Prince T’lisp of Numas - Tomb Prince

Great weapon

Rakhoph, Hierophant to the King - Liche Priest

Hieratic Jar
Cloak of the Dunes

Apprentice Priest Ngaa - Liche Priest

2 Dispel Scrolls

24 Skeleton Warriors

Light armor, shields
Full command
Banner of the Undying Legion

23 Skeleton Warriors

Light armor, shields
Full command

3 Chariots

5 Heavy Horsemen

10 Skeleton Warriors


Tomb Scorpion

Tomb Scorpion

3 Carrion

Bone Giant

Screaming Skull Catapult

Skulls of the Foe

Count Alexei von Carstein ordered his troops to a halt. Although his strike on the temple complex had been masterfully swift and he had left the arid sands of Khemri well ahead of any pursuers, the pitiful bone-piles following his forces seemed to be gaining ground. The half-dead dabblers in the dark arts that animated them must have worked themselves even further into the grave to get them creaking forwards so rapidly. Apparently the wretched remnants of the once-great civilisation wanted to hang on to the relics of their former glory. Well, let them try. Their musty sorceries were no match for the true powers of Necromancy, their dessicated troops were weak and their mummified leaders were clumsy brutes compared to the strength and speed of a Vampire. The founders of his bloodline had already helped eradicate the Khemrian civilisation, and he would be more than pleased to finish their work.

Alexei von Carstein - Vampire Count

Great weapon
Level 2 wizard
Ring of the Night
Cursed Book
Wolf Form

Zlad von Carstein - Vampire Thrall

Battle Standard
Sword of Might
Flayed Hauberk

Abel Yemenov - Necromancer

Level 2 wizard
Book of Arkhan
Dispel Scroll

Vargas Raschid - Necromancer

Level 2 wizard
Power Familiar

19 Skeletons

Light armor, shields
Full command

19 Skeletons

Light armor, shields
Full command

9 Ghouls

9 Ghouls

5 Dire Wolves

5 Dire Wolves

20 Grave Guard

Heavy armour, shields
Full command
War Banner

Black Coach












Tomb Kings Turn 1

Seizing the initiative as his undying forces deployed from their march, King Ka'atess ordered his troops forward with the experience and precision gained from millennia of warfare. On his left flank, the Chariots and Horsemen galloped forwards, while on the right the towering Bone Giant strode ahead. In the centre the infantry advanced, urged on by Ka'atess' immortal will. The incantations of the Liche Priests sent the screeching Carrion flapping with unholy speed towards the enemy lines and the Screaming Skull Catapult into a firing frenzy, though its explosive ammunition was off-target and only managed to incinerate a single Dire Wolf. The Skeleton Archers enjoyed more success, managing to skewer a pair of their enemy counterparts.

Vampire Counts Turn 1

Count Alexei's forces advanced cautiously, though this could have had something to do with the lurking Carrion slowing them down. The Dire Wolves slunk into a position to do something about the avian pests, while the Ghouls on the flank slunk forwards into the ruins ahead, accompanied by the Black Coach. The Vampire Thrall Zlad led the Grave Guard through a gap in the rubble.

Recognising the threat posed to by monstrous war machine opposing his legions, the Count ordered his necromantic lackeys to deal with it. A deluge of dark magic poured from the Vampire and his followers, resulting in a mob of putrid Zombies bursting out of the ground and lunging at the Catapult. One of the Skeleton crew was pulled down in the melee that followed, leaving the Catapult weakened but intact.


Tomb Kings Turn 2

Infuriated by the arrogant blood-drinker's unseemly magical antics, King Ka'atess replied with his own, more measured spells. While the Horsemen charged the Ghouls, the Carrion flapped into some Dire Wolves and the Chariots went after the Black Coach, considerable magical effort was expended in trying to send a Tomb Scorpion scuttling into pincer range of a Necromancer. The Vampire and his cohorts managed to stave it off with the aid of a dispel scroll, but unfortunately for the freshly-risen Zombies, the Heirophant lurking in the woods caused the other Scorpion to lunge into their flank with unholy speed. Its venomous tail and crushing pincers ripped through the shambling corpses, but many more remained.

On the other side of the battlefield, the Horsemen managed to spit and trample a pair of Ghouls, but the vicious cannibals pulled down the entire unit and set about giving their bony remains a good gnawing. The Chariots slammed into their opposite number, though one of them smashed itself to pieces on the ruined building nearby. The small amount of damage they inflicted was rapidly regenerated as the Wraith riding the Black Coach hacked at the Chariots with his scythe.

Vampire Counts Turn 2

After finding the Horsemen to be distinctly unfulfilling, the Ghouls charged into the flank of the Chariots, hoping to find more to eat. The other pack of Dire Wolves bounded into the fray to help their lupine comrades fight off the Carrion as the Count led his troops onward. With a gesture, Zlad sent a cowering mob of Ghouls ahead to guard the flank of his Grave Guard as they marched forward.

The chanting Necromancers summoned more Zombies, bolstering the unit clawing at the Catapult and suddenly blocking the path of the other Tomb Scorpion. Count Alexei attempted to send them lurching into combat, but the winds of magic proved too fickle - even the dread power of the Book of Arkhan failed to have any effect. The starving Ghouls ripped a Chariot to pieces in their search for some meat, causing the other to fall apart as the magic binding it together faded. The massed ranks of the Zombies finally took their toll on the Catapult, disintegrating it and leaving the Scorpion looking unstable.


Tomb Kings Turn 3

If anything, King Ka'atess was now even angrier - the infernal forces of the ancient enemy seemed to have beaten off his advance elements and emerged more-or-less unscathed, while their use of blasphemous magics meant they actually seemed to have more troops than they'd started with. Still, the battle had barely begun, and he had all the time in the world to wait. The blood-suckers' ashes would be scattered to the winds before the day was out.

The other Scorpion scuttled sideways to avoid the sudden Zombie roadblock, while the Prince used the weight of his indomitable will to urge the Archers forward to engage them. The Bone Giant strode onward, bearing down on the rag-tag skeletal rabble ahead, while King Ka'atess tried and failed to send the Scorpion into decapitation range of a Necromancer or the Count himself. The magical distraction enabled the Heirophant to repair the damage the Scorpion fighting the Zombies had taken earlier.

The monstrous construct hacked and stabbed at the wall of rotting troops ahead, but soon started to weaken again. The Prince and the Archers started to wade through the other mob of Zombies reducing them to a quartet of corpses. The Dire Wolves and Carrion continued to snap and peck at each other inconclusively, although both sides had taken damage.

Vampire Counts Turn 3

Seeing the Heirophant lurking ahead behind the armoured form of the Tomb Scorpion, Zlad took the opportunity to gain some personal glory. Leaving the Grave Guard behind, he galloped forwards into the construct's flank. The creeping ghouls sprinted along with him. The Count and his Skeleton bodyguard plodded ahead, daring the Bone Giant to try to flank them. The other Skeleton unit hung back. The Necromancer left the advancing Grave Guard, taking shelter behind a mob of Ghouls as the Black Coach crested the hill next to them.

Dark magic surged from the Count and his lackeys once again, summoning almost a dozen reinforcements to bolster the under-strength Skeleton unit at the rear of their lines. Zlad was charged with the power of Hellish Vigour, while Count Alexei sent the Grave Guard charging into the Scorpion with unholy speed. The Khemrian Liches were either unwilling or unable to stop the barrage of magic.

The Grave Guard's prowess in combat wasn't matched by their impressive speed, failing to wound the Scorpion. It cut down their champion in return, but this wasn't enough to stop it falling apart, thanks partly to the magical War Banner help aloft by the Wight infantry. The Grave Guard stormed forward, smashing into the surprised Tomb Prince's unit of Archers. The heavily armoured undead managed to do slightly better in the following combat, cutting down one archer. The Prince and his bowmen finished off the rest of the Zombies, but this wasn't enough to stop some of the Archers falling apart.

Even with the unerring accuracy afforded by the magic coursing through him, the Vampire Thrall only managed to wound the other Scorpion. The beast fought back with tail and claw, but both blows glanced off his armour. Its unusual resilience notwithstanding, the construct crumbled, but Zlad's headlong charge was slowed by the thick woods, leaving him just short of the Heirophant.


Tomb Kings Turn 4

King Ka'atess judged that the time was right to join the fray. He led his Skeletons forward into the Grave Guard, while the other Skeleton unit turned and charged the flank of the Zombies with some magical assistance from a Liche. The Zombies started to rapidly collapse under the press of the disciplined skeletal infantry. The Bone Giant ignored the flank of the Count's unit and stormed straight ahead into the other Skeletons. In a whirlwind of massive swords and splintered bone, the Giant smashed thirteen Skeletons to dust. A further eight fell apart on the spot, leaving a lonely three standing.

The Tomb King's unit managed to pull down a pair of Grave Guard thanks to Ka'atess' will speeding their attacks, before the King himself smashed three apart with his massive weapon. The Grave Guard were evidently better at guarding things than attacking as they once again didn't manage to do anything. The Prince hacked a further Wight to pieces, and five more crumbled as the fight continued.

Vampire Counts Turn 4

Finally seeing something with some meat on it, a pack of ghouls surged into the front of the Liche's Skeletons, intent on devouring something close to flesh. The Count led his unit forward slightly, arrogantly positioning them straight in front of the Tomb King's battle line. Fingering the accursed tome looted from the ruins of the Khemrian city, he leered mockingly at his dessicated counterpart. The Black Coach and the other Ghoul unit crept forward slightly, ready to charge should the Tomb King take up the challenge. The lone Necromancer, deprived of his 'bodyguard', started hobbling towards the nearby ruins, summoning more Skeletons to oppose the Bone Giant as he went. The Count also lent his powers to the aid of the beleaguered unit, leaving them looking slightly more threatening.

The Bone Giant would have been taken aback at its foes multiplying fivefold, if such an automaton could actually feel anything. It pulverised a couple of undead warriors, but the press of ranks meant that no more Skeletons fell apart. The Ghouls leapt on the Liche and ripped the savoury, preserved flesh from his bones, leaving his carcass behind as they fled from the Skeletons. The bony warriors ignored them and continued hacking down yet more Zombies.

King Ka'atess crushed four Grave Guard with one mighty stroke. This was the final straw for the ancient Wights and they disintegrated, leaving their enchanted banner to be taken as a trophy. The ancient monarch stepped forward, looking for more foes to reduce to dust...


Tomb Kings Turn 5

The Tomb King's gaze fell upon the mocking Vampire Count and felt his hatred flare white-hot. Snarling for the Prince to follow, he and his Skeletons charged their hated foe before they could respond. The mummified nobles focussed their wills and sent a storm of blows raining upon their opponents, but thanks to the aura of vileness radiating from the Cursed Book borne by Count Alexei, all of them went astray. The Heirophant appeared behind the Bone Giant in a swirl of sand and attempted to obliterate the lurking Necromancer with the Incantation of Vengeance, but the wizened sorcerer managed to deflect the ravening energies. The melee between the Dire Wolves and the Carrion finally ended with two feather-covered canines emerging from the heap of avian and lupine corpses.

The Necromancer's colleague wasn't as lucky, and barely avoided losing his head to the Prince. King Ka'atess' blows missed, thanks to either ill fortune, the Cursed Book or both, while in return the Count pulverised three Khemrian Skeletons with his ornate blade. The combat was a near stalemate - not at all what Ka'atess had intended.

Vampire Counts Turn 5

With a grandiose sweep of his hand, Count Alexei gestured for his flankers to charge. The Black Coach and the Ghouls slammed into the flank of the Tomb King's unit, while the remaining Dire Wolves slunk behind the ruins. Evil magic once again flowed into and bolstered the Skeletons fighting the Bone Giant, though it was interrupted by the Necromancer fighting for his life against the Tomb Prince. Attempting to re-knit his half-dead flesh, his control slipped and he almost expired on the spot as his mind was ravaged by a magical maelstrom.

The momentum of the Black Coach crushed three Skeletons, while the poisoned talons of the Ghouls shattered another couple. The Vampire's massive sword pulverised another pair and his Skeletons stabbed two of their unarmoured Archer counterpart. The unfortunate undead mage didn't have to put up with his raging headache for long, as the Tomb Prince finished what he'd started and split his flimsy form in half. King Ka'atess hacked down a pair of the Skeletons facing him, but it wasn't enough. The carnage unleashed by the Coach caused all but one of his bodyguard to crumble, while the Prince and his unit expired completely. Lashing tendrils of magic erupted from his corpse as the curses inscribed on his wrappings caused four enemy Skeletons to explode into powder, but the Vampire aristocrat ignored the calcified rain and advanced on the King...


Tomb Kings Turn 6

The other unit of Skeletons charged the Ghouls that had stopped to eat the remnants of the Liche Priest, interrupting their meal. The press of the Skeletons' ranks won the fight, but the Ghouls reluctantly stayed and fought as they were 'inspired' by the battle standard and the Vampire carrying it. King Ka'atess attempted to smash the Black Coach with a magically aided attack, but managed to miss the creaking cart of death. The Heirophant launched a desperate attempt to summon more troops to aid his King, but was just barely foiled by the Count and his remaining Necromancer.

The King raised his great weapon to finish off the unholy Coach, but it was blocked by an equally imposing blade. The Vampire shook his head tauntingly, snarled and launched a blistering attack on the mummy, ripping deep gashes in his embalmed form. King Ka'atess retaliated, but the one blow that struck past the infernal aura of the Book was deflected by the dark power of the blood-sucker's ring. As his last faithful skeleton was cut down beside him and the enemy closed in, the King decided not to give the abomination facing him the pleasure of delivering the final blow. Raising his skeletal hands and shrieking name names of his ancient gods, King Ka'atess exploded in a vortex of magic, sand and scuttling khepra beetles. Yet more Skeletons were blasted apart and the Black Coach was rocked on its wheels, but the fate of the battle had been decided (with a bang).

Vampire Counts Turn 6

Restoring the banner of the Grave Guard to its place of honour, Count Alexei commanded his unit to turn and face the undead wizard lurking behind them. The wizened spellcaster's master might be dead, but he wasn't about to leave an adversary with powers that great standing. The Black Coach rumbled forward again, charging into the rear of the Bone Giant. Although the massive construct was too tough to be damaged by the accursed vehicle's charge, the attack from behind was too much and the Giant crumbled. The Ghouls pulled apart a few Skeletons, but were chased off and run down.

Urging his unit forward with his vile spells, the Count and his unit leapt forward and jumped on the Heirophant. Incensed at this blatant breach of priestly protocol, the ancient Liche challenged the Vampire, who duly ripped the Heirophant apart with his bare talons. Licking what preserved blood had remained in the walking cadaver from his hands, Count Alexei surveyed the battlefield. Apart from a unit of Skeleton warriors, rapidly crumbling after the death of the wizard who has animated them, no Khemrian forces remained. His prize was his to keep, and his alone.


Vampire Counts: 2029 VPs

Tomb Kings: 774VPs

Massacre to the Vampire Counts.


Deep in a vaulted tomb chamber, its walls incised with barely-legible hieroglyphs, a shuffling figure emptied a pitcher of black, viscous fluid into a sand-filled sarcophagus. As a stream of glossy black beetles emerged from cracks in the chamber walls and burrowed into the sand, it began to seethe and churn. A skeletal figure began to emerge from the boiling sand, glyph-covered bandages materialising and snaking around its bony form as it rose.

King Ka'atess strode out of the pit and past his loyal servant, intent on rejoining his eternal legions. The accursed Vampire leech might have won a small victory, but his hatred still burned strong, and he had all eternity to repay this particular debt...