With the stakes so high, it now became critical who won priority for the turn, as this would determine who would have the chance to charge first at the NE entrance to Arnesvelt (i.e. the Beastmen Gors, or the Empire Knights). If the Beastmen won priority and charged first, they could very well eliminate the Empire Knights and force the Empire to withdraw, leaving the Bretonnians on their own. However, if the Alliance won priority the Empire Knights could roll over the Beastmen Gors and place the Empire troops in a good position to retake the town. Moreover, the Bretonnian Knights could very well charge the Beastlords brigade and cause significant damage to the Beastmen also. This turn was going to prove to be decisive, as you will see.
Priority rolls were made for the Beastmen and Alliance, and the Alliance came up trumps rolling a 3 to the Beastmen's 2. Priority once again went to the Alliance. Even from this distance Malagor could be heard cursing the Beastmen's luck (or lack thereof).
ALLIED COMMAND PHASE
The Empire Knights, being within Initiative range, set their charge and hammered forwards charging down their hated foe.
Elsewhere, the Empire Wizard was not successful in getting the attention of the Helblaster unit. Clearly these men had been driven deaf by the loud blasts from their weird contraptions over the years and must also have been driven blind as nothing would get their attention.
The Bretonnian Hero ordered the Men-at-arms up towards the SE entrance to Arnesvelt, but was unsuccessful in getting them to push forward to engage the Ungor Raiders hiding in the nearby ruined tower.
The Enchantress was able to get the Bowmen to support the Bretonnian south-left flank by moving them into line formation around the SE entrance to town.
The Bretonnian General then gave orders for his Knights to move forward 20cm so as to not fall within the enemy's initiative range should the Knights either not hear or ignore his further orders. Bretonnian Knights are famous for their impetuousness and the last thing the General wanted was to put them so close as to let the enemy dictate when the charge would occur. The General positioned his knights just within 30cm's of the enemy. If his overly zealous Knights would follow the next command, then the charge would be on!
The General, much to his surprise, succeeded in his second order. The Bretonnian Knights thundered forwards and hammered into the Gor/Razorgor/Bestigor Beastmen brigade.
In a move that revealed either tactical genius or sheer desperation. The General, resplendent upon his Pegasus, desperate to drive a hammer stroke through the Beastmen before they could reinforce their tribesmen still within Arnesvelt, believed that in true Bretonnian fatalistic style this was a all-or-nothing moment. As such, at the end of the Command Phase, the General joined his men in the final impact of their charge.
ALLIED SHOOTING PHASE
The phase began with the Empire Cannons opening fire again on the Ungor Raiders. Despite the impressive barrage, their shots fell wide of the mark missing the ruined tower the Raiders were holed up in.
Next the Empire Crossbows fired on the Ungor Raiders. Despite being fortified within the ruins they suffered 3 hits, eliminating the last stand and leaving Malagor all on his lonesome!
With that, the Allied Shooting Phase came to a swift end, as no other shooting units were in range of an enemy.
ALLIED COMBAT PHASE
The first fight of the turn occurred between the Empire Knights and the Beastmen Gors. The Knights had charged into the Gors and seemed very eager to avenge their fallen Halberdier comrades as after armour saves the Knights scored 12 hits to the Gor's 2. This saw the Gor's loose 4 stands! The Gors had three supporting stands, one for each of their three units, and so weren't driven back far. The Knights pressed home their advantage and a rolling maul quickly followed.
During the second round of the fight, the Knights continued their mauling of the Gors inflicting 10 more hits to the Gor's single hit after armour saves. One unit of Knights had two outstanding hits on it and so lost a stand. The Gors however lost another 3 stands and gained one outstanding hit against them. The Gors were pushed back 4cm and the Knights pressed forward again rolling over the Gors and grinding them under iron shod hooves. The pursuit of the Knights took the combat into a third and last round before passing on to the next fight.
The Gors were being systematically destroyed under the relentless pursuit of the Empire Knights, but they fought on viciously inflicting 2 hits whilst negating through armour saves four hits against them. However, in the end, the Knights scored 12 unsaved hits against them in the last round of combat. With only two stands of the last unit remaining the Gors were crushed into the mud of Arnesvelt and destroyed. The Empire Knights then reformed their line, cheering their victory.
The next fight of the Combat Phase saw the Bretonnian Knights face off against the Gor/ Razorgor/ Beastigor brigade that they had charged into. In the true impetuous and fatalistic style of the Bretonnians their General had decided to personally join this fight. This meant that this could be a deciding battle for the Bretonnians as his loss would signal their withdrawal from the battle.
The Beastmen had lost 7 units and an eighth unit was down to a single stand. With the scenario special rule giving an extra unit to both sides Break Point Value, the Beastmen would have to loose another five units to be forced from the field of battle. The Bretonnians however had not lost any units and so would need to loose six units to retreat from battle. Their Empire allies still had two units to loose before retreating and so were still in the fight.
This put the Beastmen on a precarious footing. In just the last round of combat between the Empire Knights and the Gors at the NE entrance of Arnesvelt, the Beastmen had gone from being in a winning position to edging into a situation where they would be driven from the field. If this next combat did not go their way, things would become dire indeed. For the Beastmen, the secret lay in slaying the Bretonnian General. If they could achieve that, then the tides of fortune of this battle would swing back in their favour.
The Knights, with their Pegasus mounted General, scored 7 hits to the Beastmen's 6, after armour saves. Both the Bretonnians and Beastmen lost 2 stands in the melee. Due to the supporting stands of Gors and Beastigors, the Beastmen somehow managed to absorb the charge of the Knighs winning the first round of combat and forced the Knights back. Fortunately for the Bretonnians, the Knights behind their comrades were able to Make Way without becoming confused and giving room for them to be pushed back into.
The Beastmen, buoyed by their success, pursued their prey for a second round of combat. The fighting was fierce as both sides exchanged savage blows, fighting for survival. After checking for amour saves, each side scored a total of 5 hits against each other. The Bretonnians lost a unit of Knights, due to one of their stands being lost the round before. The Beastmen also loosing stands. Again however the Beastmen benefited from having supporting infantry stands with their Gors and Beastigors and won this phase of the fight. The Beastmen full of bloodlust and rage pursued their quarry again. However this inadvertently brought the Beastmen brigade into contact with the un-engaged flanking units of Bretonnian Knights.
As the Beastmen pursue their pray for a third and final round of combat, they inadvertently drew fresh units of Bretonnian Knights into the fight. This clearly had an impact of the Beastmen as after armour saves they were only able to score 3 hits to the Bretonnian's 7. Both the Gors and Bestigors were reduced to the last stand each in their respective units. The Razorgors too narrowly missed being reduced to one stand with 3 outstanding hits leveled against the unit. The Bretonnians lost a stand from one of their units and still had two hits outstanding.
Fortunately for both sides, this was the last combat round of this particular fight. This whole combat had been a bloody one and put the Beastmen even closer to being forced to have to withdrawal. It was now crucial for the Beastmen to take out the Bretonnian General as soon as they could. However, as the Combat Phase was now over, both groups reformed their lines as best they could whilst facing each other down.
The Allied turn had now come to a close with the Bretonnians having lost a unit of Knights and a second unit reduced to two stands. However, these were the first losses in the game for the Bretonnians.
BEASTMEN COMMAND PHASE
The Beastmen now had three units that were down to one stand each and another unit reduced to two stands. With a buffer of only five units left to loose before being forced to withdrawal, it was beginning to appear that the Chaos gods had abandoned the Beastmen!
The remnants of the Gor/ Beastigor/ Razorgor brigade were in Initiative range of the Bretonnian Knights, and being full of bloodlust and rage, charged forward into their hated foe.
Meanwhile, the last stand of Chaos Hounds in Arnesvelt wasn't going to hang around and become easy prey for the Empire Knights close by. Turning tail, the flea bitten monsters ran for the SW entrance of the town hoping to outrun the Knights if they dared pursue them next turn.
Jim the Wargor Hero finally managed to get his brigade of Minotaurs/ Chaos Giant/ Chaos Spawn out of the rive and onto dry ground.
Jim then amazingly managed to get the brigade moving a second time, passing his 2nd order. This placed them within just one centimeter of the Bretonnian Knights! Jim then attempted to succeed in a 3rd order to charge into the flank of the Knights, however this was too much for his dim witted troops of his brigade and they stalled within 1cm of the enemy.
Finally the Centigors stop mucking about in the river and got their backsides moving towards the far shore.
Amazingly too, after having spent the entire game so far frolicking in the river refusing to move, the Centigors passed their second order to move to within striking distance of Arnesvelt. However, the Centigor Hero failed in a third attempt to get his brigade moving one last time.
As the Command Phase came to an end, the Beastmen Heroes moved up to better position themselves for next turn. The Beastmen General however decided on a desperate move. Needing to take down the Bretonnian General in order to force the Bretonnians to withdrawal from the battle, and with so many units close to being destroyed, the General decided to join the combat in front of him. If he didn't, and the remnants of his brigade of Gors/ Beastigors/ Razorgors were destroyed, the Bretonnian Knights could roll forward to overrun his position. Moreover, for the Beastmen to win this battle, the Bretonnian General would have to be taken down. Desperate times called for desperate measures.
BEASTMEN SHOOTING PHASE
In the attempt to deal with the threat from the Empire Knights, Malagor tried to cast Power of the Herd on the last unit of Gors hidden in another ruined tower in Arnesvelt, but failed. The Beastmen Shaman also failed to do the same on the Minotaur unit facing the Bretonnian Knights.
With that, the Shooting Phase came to a close.
BEASTMEN COMBAT PHASE
The only fight of this phase was between the Gor/ Bestigor/ Razorgor brigade and the Bretonnian Knights. This fight saw both Generals facing-off against one another. This was going to be a very bloody and desperate fight. The Bretonnian General on his Pegasus in single combat with the Beastmen General on his Tuskgor Chariot. The fighting was desperate and fierce with the Beastmen scoring 4 hits to the Bretonnian Knights 7 hits, after armour saves. The Gors and Razorgors were wiped out and the Razorgors had one outstanding hit against them. The Beastmen retreated back slightly and the Bretonnian Knights, buoyed by the turning tide of battle, surged forwards in pursuit surrounding the Beastmen and their General.
Now it got real interesting. The unit with the Bretonnian General was down to a single stand with 1 outstanding hit. The Beastmen General, attached to the Razorgors, fared slightly better with 2 stands left in the unit and 1 outstanding hit. If either unit was destroyed, their sides general would go down with them, bringing a bloody end to their part in the battle.
After armour saves, the Bretonnians score 8 hits to the Beastmen's 3 hits. Both the Knight unit with the Bretonnian General, and the Razorgors with the Beastmen General have 1 outstanding hit each. This meant that both those Knights and the Razorgors were destroyed in the fighting, and so too were both Generals!
With the loss of both the Beastmen and Bretonnian Generals, their forces begin to withdraw. Only the Empire General with 1 unit left to the Empire Break Point was still standing. As the Beastmen fled the field, Malagor looked on in disgust, cursing his failed luck. The Bretonnians, recovering the body of their fallen General, turn their backs on the field of battle and returned home. Victory had been secured for the Alliance, but at heavy cost. The Empire forces retook Arnesvelt's smoldering ruins and slaughtered any remaining Beastmen hidden therein.
The Alliance could claim a Partial Victory but the Bretonnians had lost a beloved lord.
Empire = 4x Halberdiers, 1x Flagellants
Bretonnia = 2x Knights, 1x General on Pegasus
Beastmen = 4x Gors, 1x Ungor Raiders, 3x Chaos Hounds (and another unit down to 1 stand),
1x Bestigors, 1x Razorgors, 1x General on a Tuskgor Chariot.