Christian Benteke smashed a brilliant 25-yard strike into the top corner to break the deadlock on 11 minutes before Gabriel Agbonlahor doubled Villa's lead with a clinical finish on the half-hour mark.
The Baggies stormed back after half time and reduced their arrears when Chris Brunt side-footed home from the edge of the penalty area.
Peter Odemwingie then spurned a host of chances before finally netting the equaliser with seven minutes remaining.
Below, Sports Mole analyses whether the result was reflective of the action at the Hawthorns.
On target: 6
On target: 6
Was the result fair?
Yes. Villa were brilliant during the first half and were well worth their two-goal lead. However, Paul Lambert's men found themselves desperately hanging on in the second period, as the hosts dominated the play and piled forward.
West Brom's performance
The Baggies were very sluggish until the second half, when Romelu Lukaku and Odemwingie took the game by the horns and ran the Villa backline ragged. Lukaku led the attack and kept the defenders occupied, giving Odemwingie, Brunt and Graham Dorrans time and space to carve out chance after chance.
Aston Villa's performance
Manager Lambert will be very encouraged by what he saw. Villa used the attacking pace of Agbonlahor, Benteke and Charles N'Zogbia to great effect during the first half, stretching the Baggies backline and scoring two very good goals. Yes, they were very much second best after the break, but West Brom are a good side, especially at home. Villa will stay up if they continue to play as they did today.
Sports Mole's man of the match
Christian Benteke: The Belgian scored his 10th goal of the season and was almost unplayable at times.
Odemwingie missed many chances today, but one stands out. With his team trailing 2-1, the Nigeria international got in behind the Villa backline and took the ball around goalkeeper Brad Guzan, only to lose his balance and shoot high and wide with an open goal gaping.
Lee Probert did okay. He showed six yellow cards, all of which were justified.
West Brom: As a result of being knocked out of the FA Cup by QPR earlier this week, the Baggies now have an 11-day break until they face Everton at Goodison Park.
Aston Villa: Conversely, Villa host Bradford City in just three day's time, needing to overcome a 3-1 first-leg deficit to reach the final of the Capital One Cup.