The Empire took the first turn and manoeuvred into position. The gun line then opened up. A mixed blessing as the Volley gun immediately misfired and destroyed itself, but not before unleashing 30 shots at the Bestigors who lost over half their number. In the Beastman first turn the horde surged forward, ready to charge the next turn. In the magic phase the lore of wilds was negated by a dispel scroll and the use of Steed of Shadows on my general also stopped. Duncan clearly suspected there was a reason I wanted to hurl my Beastlord in to combat
Duncan then charged the Minotaurs with his knights and continued to finish the deployment of the rest of his army. His fire was hampered by my use of the Chalice of Dark Rain, but in the combat things went badly for me. The Minotaurs underperformed and were ridden down by the Empire knights. In retaliation I charged the pistolliers with my Centigors and moved the rest of the army forward. My level 2 Shaman had been contacted by the knight so I tried to use Steed of Shadows to get him out of danger but Duncan was having none of it and dispelled it, leaving him to be cut down. Fortunately my Centigors managed to cut down their opponents and overrun to a spot behind the knights.
After another salvo of fire from the Empire the Steam tank charged the Bestigors, now led by the Beastlord. Despite the loss of all the Bestigiors, I revealed my Stonecrusher mace and inflicted heavy wounds on the tank, and rolled an insane Bravery for my General to keep him in the fight. In retaliation I launched my charges, Chariots impacting along the line, but unfortunately held everywhere. By weight of number on my left, and by the insane bravado of the flagellants on the right. In the centre my Beastlord finished off the steam tank, while on my left the chariot broke and was run down, opening up a unit of Gors to be charged by the swordsman, free-company and war altar. Ont eh right the other Gors got in against the handgunners, but the chariots where destroyed by a flank charge from the spearman, despite finally finishing off the flagellants. On the other flank the knights had destroyed the Centigors and turned around to return to the fray on the centre.
The finally play was as the Beastlord charged the Grand Theogenist on his War Altar. Once again using his Stonecrusher mace he destroyed the War Altar and dodge the return blow from the Mace of Helstrom. In the next turn the Beastlord again stuck first, and landed all 4 attacks on his target, now no longer protected by the power of the War Altar. But disaster struck, only 1 wound was inflicted (despite only needing 2+ to wound), and the return below hit home and crushed the mighty Beastlord.
A victory for the Empire, but still some practice needed with the Beastman and they are definitely a more competitive army than they have been for some time.