Battle of Hel Fenn

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Battle of Hel Fenn
Hel Fenn Map.JPG
Final stages of the battle
Conflict Vampire Wars
Date 2145 IC
Location Hel Fenn
Outcome Victory for The Empire
Combatants
The Empire and Dwarf allies Undead
Commanders
Elector Count Martin Mannfred von Carstein
Strength
Unknown, between 20-300,000 undead. Likely approximately 150,000, mostly zombies and skeletons but also including the Sylvanian Levy
Losses/Survivors
Total destruction of the Undead army, Mannfred slain.


The Battle of Hel Fenn was a decisive battle between the forces of the The Empire, their Dwarf allies and the Undead of Mannfred von Carstein. [1a]

Build up

Mannfred had led an invasion of the Empire that had fought its way all the way to Altdorf before being turned back by the Grand Theogonist reciting the Rite of Unbinding. Since then a series of battles had forced him to return to Sylvania, pursued by the imperial forces united under Martin of Stirland who diplomatically maintained good relations with his fellow electors and the Dwarfs]]. [1a]

The Battle

Inital Deployment

The warriors of the Empire began to search the dark, dank woods and swamps of Sylvania and finally found Mannfred at Hel Fenn where he had gathered a huge force of undead to fight his pursuers. Stirland began to deploy his army as night began to approach, creating a strong position on a ridge that stood before a hill, nicknamed Thunder Ridge by the artillery crews who were positioned upon it. His left flank was guarded by a walled farm and thick forest whilst his right flank was anchored by an abandoned fort. [1a]

Each of the two flanking anchor points were manned by the Ostland Black Guard, an elite Greatsword regiment whilst priests of Taal including the Archlector Axelbrand were spread amongst the army to try and counter the magical threat of the vampire and his necromancers. A large portion of the army he kept hidden behind the ridge showing relative weakness in the hope of luring Mannfred to attack the Empire army. As his forces deployed, Count Martin had sent urgent messengers to the Dwarf army urging them to come to his aid. In response the vast numbers of zombies and skeletons slowly and silently shuffled and marched into position from the depths of the forest. [1a]

Mannfred's first attack

The first assault by the undead was launched at the fort guarding the right flank with skeleton cavalry and infantry charging the walls but these were held back by the Black Guard supported by hand gunners. Repeated assaults by the dead made little impression on the defenders and as time passed, the Dwarfs arrived in the woods to bolster the left flank of the Empire army. Mannfred dispatched chariots, levy archers and Dire Wolves against the left, but again they were unable to make any headway against the stubborn defence. The Undead reserves were committed fully against the two bastions but to no avail. [1a]

Centre Engagement

The bulk of Mannfreds army now marched agaisnt the centre of the Empire force, massed regiments of skeletons and hordes of Zombies with packs of Dire Wolves behind them. The artillery battery behind the human defenders now unleashed a massive barrage against the dead, cutting huge holes in the advancing enemy. Stirland sent forward spearmen and crossbowmen to meet the initial attack forming a so called forlorn hope on the ridge, holding much his force back to respond to the battle ebb and flow. [1a]

The thin line held, archers killing Bat Swarms with fire arrows and the crossbows and artillery still pounding the oncoming undead until Mannfred to the cheers of the Forlorn Hope ordered his army back, only the flanking forces still engaging the two defiant bastions. Then Mannfred called forth his Black Knights charging down avenues left by the retreating infantry, whilst Martin quickly signalled for his own heavy cavalry to gather behind the ridge. [1a]

Cavalry

The Forlord Hope retreated and Mannfred saw victory in his grasp but this hope vanished as they were replaced by six hundred of the empires own cavalry forces charging their opposite numbers who were still trotting forward. The charge was led by General Jaegar who smashed through the enemy knights even as the vampire lord fled, however the Empire cavalry did not reform and head back to their lines as had been instructed but instead continued on to the massed infantry before them. Mannfred countered with massed spear blocks and packs of dire wolves and the knights now found themselves cut off, the artillery unable to support them for fear of hitting them. The cavalry tried to fight their way back to the Empire lines, but only a hundred made it back, Jaegar fighting hard to give his men time to escape before falling himself. [1a]

Final Moves

Furious with his fallen cavlary commander, Martin ordered his remaining cavalry, the templars of the Order of the Divine Sword, led by the Grand Theogonist himself to engage and destroy the dead attacking his left flank whilst he held the centre with his veteran swordsmen and halberdiers, supported by skirmsh line of archers, crossbows and Free Company. Mannfred sent his remaining infantry forces against that line worried about the reports of another knight formation getting ready to engage. [1a]

Once again the line held, many of the soldiers having fought the undead before in the long campaign until Stirland ordered them to make a feigned retreat even as the vampire once again sent in his Black Knights. Such a tactic was always a difficult and dangerous tactic but here it worked as Mannfred remained completely focussed on the battle for the centre even as his flanking forces were destroyed. [1a]

The Dwarfs and heavy cavalry now smashed into the flank and rear of the once mighty undead army and proceeded to carve it apart even as the Empire line reformed and pushed forwards themselves. Mannfred himself knew all was lost and departed but was pursued by Martin and his retinue who caught up with him in the marshes as Shadow Lake, defeated his Wight bodyguards and struck him down with his Runefang. [1a]

Notable People

The Empire

Undead

Notable Regiments

The Empire

Undead

Quotes

That revolting aberration Mannfred was ordering his host forward and using his devious magic to give his zombies and skeletons animation. I prayed to Sigmar that my allies would arrive by morning when the first attack was sure to fall.

~Count Martin.[1]

Sources