Here's a quick picture based battle report from a game I played on Sunday. I was playing Waiqar and my friend (who has technically played before, but not in a really long time) was playing Daqan.
The field of battle:
My friend really didn't want my archers on the Stone Terrace so he put some spikes out in front and also mined it with Volatile Runes. I returned the favor from his side. I don't track the runes this game, but there were about four or five runes active per turn and hardly any orange.
I sent my reanimates cautiously out either side, looking for any easy targets and hoping for eventual flanks. Each had a Carrion Lancer to run interference on major threats if the need arose. My friend tested the waters, sending troops down the middle, but staying out of range of my archers. Hawthorne shouted words of encouragement to the troops while Kari scouted out the surrounding area.
Excess magic hissed and crackled across the hills of blowing grass. The horses were jumpy and the Oathsworn knights found it difficult to control their mounts. An ear-splitting concussion echoed in the distance as a horde of skeletons stumbled across a volatile rune. A cheer went up from the Daqan ranks, but the celebration was short lived as the skeletons began rising almost at once in the heavy flow of natural magic. The sound was too much for the horses however, and they panicked, running up against a regiment of spearmen rather than advancing down the hill as the knights had intended.
Thinking my Reanimates were more than a match for Kari (who I'd spotted taking up a sniping position on the stone terrace), but not wanting to miss a charge I wheeled my reanimates around for an assault on the elevated position. I have my first unit of skeletons fire a volley at the huge formation of spearmen descending the hill, a moss covered golem at their head. The shafts fall short, but by the time the second unit of archers fires the spearmen are in range. I see no soldiers fall, but cries of dismay can be heard over the wind as the necrotic effect of the arrows sets in. The cavalry is still in chaos and collide with the spearmen a second time, but matters are made worse as the knights discover they are now sitting on top of a volatile rune themselves. The scream of the horse who tread on the rune hangs in the air.
The battle is in full swing now. The spearmen have charged forward through the volleys of arrows and smashed into the waiting mob of skeletons. The huge rusted beams of metal that pass for the golem’s swords wreaks havoc and rank upon rank of undead fall before it. On the opposite side of the field Kari valiantly defends herself as the reanimates begin their assault on her position. The knights, still in disarray lose another rider to the runes.
Hawthorne watches the battle unfold before him and his heart sinks as he sees Kari fall under a rain of arrows. “Get your horses off that rune!” he bellows spurring his own horse forward. “Get them moving!”
The cavalry finally get their act together, and in a cacophonous thunder of hoof beats charge into the battle. The carrion lancer falls before their onslaught and they continue on towards the remaining reanimates.
The spearmen, already pinned down by the barrage of arrows turn as a new threat is spotted. The undead are now swarming over the Stone Terrace towards them.
The cavalry smash into what remains of the battered skeleton unit while the spearmen meet the fresh mass of skeletons approaching from the Terrace. Their ranks thinned by the archers and incapacitated by blight, the spearmen cause no skeleton casualties and it is only Hawthorne’s mighty charge that does any damage.
The battle is over. Hawthorne strikes in fury and skeletons seem to evaporate before his onslaught, his shield just as deadly as his sword, but he knows in his heart that he has lost. As the golem falls he sounds the retreat, deflecting an arrow with his shield as he does so. He and his cavalry will live to fight another day and Kari will be avenged.
Kari’s last stand.