WHFB – Beastmen vs Orcs – SELWG Competition Game

The 5th of January saw me face off against Alistair’s Orc and Goblins, in my final group game of the Warhammer Fantasy Competition.

Having given him a practice game with my Dwarves, at the end of last year, I had some idea of what to expect from his army. As such, in a straight fight I was reasonably confident that I would come out on top. How wrong I was! But I’m getting ahead of myself. As normal, any mistakes in this report are down to memory and notes.

The migration of the Herd continued. They may have taken casualties against the stunted ones but they had successfully navigated the mountains and made it into new lands. A great plain had spread out before them, dotted with small woods. The scouts had reported to Khazbar that a significant forest lay ahead which promised refuge and a new home but they had also reported roving bands of Greenskins in the vicinity. It was one of these that the Vanguard had wiped out but under his instructions, they had allowed some of the wolf mounted goblins to escape. This, he knew, would ensure that more of their kind would be drawn to them as a moth to a flame as the greenskins, even more than his beastmen, loved any excuse for a scrap and wouldn’t stand by whilst a herd of their strength passed through. The trick would be to eradicate all the Orcs in the immediate vicinity so more wouldn’t gather to continually bleed away the strength of the herd. It was for this reason Khazbar had gone against the orders of Bashor and let survivors escape. Who knows, he thought, perhaps the greenskins would succeed where the stunties had failed and kill off the troublesome Beastlord.

Terrain

For this game we rolled up Map Pack 6, which consisted of 2 woods, 2 hills and 2 marshes.

Alistair was player A and started by laying the 2 woods and after setup was complete, it looked like this:

1a. Terrain

1. Terrain

Scenario and pre-match rolls

Alistair rolled the Dawn attack scenario. This competition scenario is played as per the Dawn Attack scenario from the rule book so had the random deployment element (which never goes well – as was the case here!). The comp scenario differed from the book as the table is divided into 4 quarters and to win you must control more quarters than your opponent (with your opponents half worth 2 points each and your half worth 1 point each. This gives you an incentive to move forward and not castle).

In terms of spells rolled for everyone:

Khazbar (level 4 beasts) had: Savage beast of Horros, Curse of Anraheir, The Amber spear and Wyssan’s Wildform.

Wazzock (level 1 Shadow) took Melkoth’s Miasma.

The Orc (level 2) with power scroll rolled: Brain Buster and ‘ed Butt

The Orc (level 2) with Ironcurse Icon bought: Hand of Gork and Gaze of Mork.

In terms of secret missions, I took Hero Hammered and Alistair took raid the baggage.

Deployment

Deployment was a bit of a nightmare for me with everything ending up boxed in the right flank with the exception of the 2 units of ungor raiders, one Razorgor and the Doombull in the centre.

Alistair’s units were spread between his left flank and the centre of the board. There was one signal lonely unit of Boar boyz that were placed opposite the mass of my troops.

After deployment it looked like this:

1b. Deployment

2. Deployment3. Deployment - OnG4. Deployment - OnG

5. Deployment - Beasts
Both chariots were suffering from the well known disease, limp spear.

6. Deployment - Beasts

With the entire Beastmen army entering the field from the far corner, the Orc forces had free range over their right flank. The wolf riders and trolls (accompanied by the BSB) pushed forward. Frustrated with how far away the enemy were, the Big Un’s started to complain and drag their feet. Not putting up with this, Grashnik pulled out his choppa and summarily executed 4 of them.

Although all Orc’s enjoy a good brawl, even the Boar Boyz were smart enough to realise that the forces arrayed opposite them would snuff them out as soon as look at them and moved with all haste towards the rest of their forces.

With a squeal, the first doomdiver was flung into the air. His aim was true and he struck the Doombull dead on. Snorting with pain, Cattleclysm wrenched the body of the goblin from the wound it had opened up with its impact.

Sensing the Hand of Gork start to coalesce under the orc archers, Khazbar quickly snuffed out the spell, sneering at the feeble magic of the green shamans. His disdain grew further as  the other shaman called upon his other god and twin beams of green light tore up the ground but fell well short of the Beastmen lines.

6a. Turn 1 Orc

7. Turn 1 - OnG8. Tun 1 - OnG

Determined to get to grips with the unruly mass of greenskins, the two hordes of beastmen pushed up, angling towards the nearest Orc units. Everything else moved forward, towards the centre of the battlefield.

Attempting to ensure his bodyguard would survive the further attentions of any flying goblins, Wyssan’s was cast on the Doombull.

8a. Turn 1 Beasts

9. Turn 1 - Beasts10. turn 1 - Beasts11. turn 1 - beasts

The Orc right flank continued to advance at pace swinging round to head towards the enemy units.

The Boar Boyz continued their redeployment (running away!) and this was further aided by the Shaman casting hand of Gork. The Orc Shaman scooped up the unit and deposited it square in the middle of the orc lines (and conveniently out of the range of the Beastmen units).

The Doom divers continued to rain down, this time targeting the unit of Gor dimembering a handful of them on impact (4).

The archers, showing why Orcs shouldn’t be trusted with anything bar a blunt instrument, fail to hit, let alone kill, any of the barn door sized unit of Gor in front of them.

11a. Turn 2 - Orcs

12. turn 2 - ong13. turn 2 - ong14. turn 2 - ong15. tunr 2 - ong

16. turn 2 ong
Boarboyz after the Hand of Gork

17. turn 2 - ong

Determined to avoid any further attention from the Goblin artillery, the Doombull attempted to charge the nearby archers but the earlier wounds had damaged his wings and he was unable to make the distance. The rest of the herd continued forward maintaining the battleline.  The flock of harpies swept round the side of the orc archers. A lone Razorgor moved forward to tempt the orcs into doing something rash.

Although Wyssans was again successfully cast again on Cattleclysm, when Khazbar casually followed up by throwing the Amber spear at the nearby cavalry, it dissipated before reaching them, with one of the enemy shaman cackling. At that point Khazbar knew it would have to die.

17a. Turn 2 - beasts

18. turn 2 - beasts19. turn 2 - beasts

Unable to contain themselves, with the Razorgor nearby, the Orc boys tried to get to grips with it but with a breakdown of communication the back ranks fell over the front and the charge ground to a halt.

The Orc shaman, in another show of cunning, again called on his God who this time scooped up the orc archers and placed them behind the beastmen hordes in a very threatening position. Worry lines appeared for an instance on Khazbars face before he hardened his gaze, determination overcoming his fear of the seemingly omnipotent Orc Gods.

The Orc ranged units again targeted the horde of Gor with the archers again failing to wound despite firing almost point blank into the rear of the unit. The Doom diver only managed marginally better, killing a single Gor.

19a. Turn 3 - Orc

20. turn 3 - ong21. turn 3 - ong

The harpies let out a shriek and flew towards the flying goblins. In their eagerness they tangled up and fell to the ground well short of their target.

The Doombull, snorting with excitement at the blood to come, smashed into the side of the orc boyz and went to town killing 7 of them. Despite the slaughter, they remained steadfast and reformed to try and bring their overwhelming numbers to bear.

Bashor and his bodyguard reformed and moved forward to face the archers. Khazbar and his Gor moved further and were now in a position to threaten the enemy lines. The two chariots moved up to support and the two Razorgor were sent forward to get in the way.

The Ungor raiders, that had done nothing so far apart from avoid being killed by moving through the marsh, managed to beat all expectations and actually kill a wolf rider with shooting.

21a. Turn 3 - Beasts

22. turn 3 - beasts
The Bestigor did reform honest! (We just moved the lord and standard to save time).

23. turn 3 - beasts24. turn 3 - beasts

The Orc Boar riders could only hang on as they lost control of their mounts and they charged into the Razorgor, their animal instincts recognising and wanting to kill a corruption of one of their own. To the surprise of no one, the unit made short work of it.

The other Razorgor met a similar fate but at the hands of the Goblin cavalry. It didn’t go down easily and dragged two of their number down with it.

The Orc General, decided to make his move and moved up ready to charge the Doombull and support the block of boyz.

The elite Orcs again started infighting as their path to the enemy was blocked. Grashnik only needed to decapite a single orc this time to get the others in line. Gork then intervened and moved the unit closer to the enemy and clear of the backlog or friendly units (and in the process achieving Alistair’s secondary mission).

In a show of desperation, the arrer boyz finally managed to shoot something successfully (in this case 3 bestigor). They were supported by the Kamikaze goblin who flattened a further five when it impacted the unit.

The Blood drunk Doombull continued to carve through the orc boyz, his armour preventing any damage in return.

24a. Turn 4 - Orcs

25. turn 4 - ong26. turn 4 - ong27. turn 4 - ong

Sensing the pivotal moment had come, the forces of the herd charged where ever possible. The Gor horde piled into the flank of the Orc Boyz in support of Cattleclysm  (we diced this to see if it was a front or flank as it was an even split to both).

The Bestigor horde tore into the arrer boyz and led by Bashor crushed the Orcs, slaying a full 17 of them before running down the remainder.

The two chariots charged the boars, squealing pigs were thrown into the air with the impact (we didn’t actually get to complete the combat due to time).

The shrieking harpies finally managed to make it into the goblins and the bird women quickly surrounded their prey (again we didn’t complete the combat due to time).

Both sets of Ungor Raiders again excelled themselves with one unit taking out another wolf rider and the other shooting two Big ‘Uns.

The mass of Gor in close proximity to the enemy shamans unnerved them enough that Khazbar was able to cast both Wyssans on the Gor horde and Savage Beast on himself, the detonation from the miscast merely killing a single Gor, Orc and putting a wound on the Beastmen BSB. He grinned as his body swelled with power and made full use of it as he personally cut down five of the pitiful orcs in front of him sucking in the pure essence released in their death. Zhurock planted the herd standard in the ground and added 3 deaths to the tally of Orcs. Cattleclysm, his wounds finally getting to him, slumped down and failed to cause any damage. The rest of the horde made up for the Doombull’s deficiency and butcher a load more Orcs. Even with the General nearby, the losses were too much for the boyz and they dropped their weapons and legged it for the hills. The Gor horde followed but crashed into the staggering Doombull, failing to catch the fleeing orcs.

27a. Turn 4 - Beasts

28. turn 4 - beasts

29. turn 4 - beasts
Enter a caption

30. turn 4 - beasts31. turn 4 - beasts

Results

Me – Loss (5) + Fully Painted (2) = 7 points

Alistair – Win (15) + Secondary Mission (6) + Fully Painted (2)  = 23 points

Conclusion

Yet another really, really close game but unlike the match against Martin’s Dwarves this one went against me.

At the end of the game, the Bestigor had control of one of my quadrants (1 point for me) and the Big ‘Uns and Wolf riders had control of my other quadrant (2 points for Alistair). The Doombull blocking the Gor overrunning, meant that they missed capturing one of Alistair’s quadrants by a minuscule 1.5″ (you have to be wholly within a quadrant to capture it and frustratingly, they were slightly overlapping his two quadrants). This gave Alistair a win, by 2-1 points.

Dawn attack always presents a challenge with the random deployment and this game was no different. Even I was taken back by nearly everything going in one corner and of course most of Alistair’s was always going to go in the other. Reality meant that a good chunk of the game involved trying to get to the middle of the table in good order to even get into combat.

I knew that movement spells were good but I was taken aback with just how good the Hand of Gork was. Not only does it allow an out of turn movement but it also allows you to completely change a units facing, which I think is unique even among movement spells. Now I will say that the spell is tempered by having a random movement distance but Alistair rarely rolled under 18″ for this and almost every time it was used, it really disrupted my game and had me on the back foot. Even having a +2 bonus over him on dispelling, I was rarely able to stop the spell. It also allowed him to complete his secondary mission by moving the Big ‘Uns into my deployment zone (to capture the baggage). Moving his Boar Boyz out of range of my units helped prevent me getting my mission and threw my units out of position.

My plan (such as it was) to engage single units while ‘chaffing’ up others, worked well and in each combat my troops overwhelmed his but time was against me and these games were about scenarios not kills and Alistair played a good game and secured the win and his secondary object, maximising his points.

Overall it was a fun but slightly frustrating game (mainly down to the deployment) and leaves my qualifying in a precarious position. At present I lead the group with 42 points, however I’ve played all three games and the others in the group have only played 1 game a piece. Luke is second on 26 points and Alistair is third on 23 points. This puts them both in a strong position and another solid win could easily put them above me. Still, if I do go out, it allows me to concentrate on the Blood Bowl league (and just administrating this competition).

The cut off for the group stages is the 2nd February and I know Luke and Alistair have their game booked for later in the month, so I will just have to wait and see what happens in the group (though if Luke doesn’t clean up, i’ll be surprised, so I suspect the only question is who gets the second place spot).

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Blood Bowl League Entry – The Norse are coming!

I’ve posted a number of pictures in a previous post showing my full Norse Team: The Gronn Fjord Raiders (Gronn means Green in Norwegian by the way) but i’ve already repainted the edge of the bases of all the players and written their names on the bases (the repainting was to allow the names to stand out more). The names were instead of numbering them as some of the team, such as the throwers, didn’t have anywhere obvious to add numbers (bar the codpiece).

I also added various white ‘chalk’ lines to some of the players bases (after seeing something similar online). I quite like the way it breaks up the plain grass bases I normally style miniatures with (examples below).

The lighting isn’t brilliant as my bulb went but the bases show up fine.

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I’ve also submitted my team for the BB league to Commissioners Pete and Chris and have taken a chance in taking minimal players and an even more massive risk by taking only one reroll. Probably something i’ll regret as having less than 12 players and 2 re-rolls is always ‘chancey’.

The reason for doing this, is to allow me to take the maximum number of large guys and berserkers. With the exception of the 3 large guys the entire team comes with Block which should help to offset the lack of rerolls and I’ve taken an apothecary to try and ensure key players survive! I have a feeling the reroll will always be used on failed ball pickups though (at least until I get the sure-hands skill).

Gronn Fjord Raiders

Cadoc the Bear – Ulfwerenar – 110k
Beorn Two-Skins – Ulfwerenar – 110k
Magnus the Bold – Berserker – 90k
Eirik Lornhorn – Berserker – 90k
Floki the Swift – Runner – 90k
Uday Ragekill – Yhetee – 140k
Vali Thorsen – Lineman – 50k
Asmund Whitefall – Lineman – 50k
Mythil Strus – Lineman – 50k
Ragna Dagfinn – Lineman – 50k
Gudmund Stonehand – Lineman – 50k

Sub-total – 880k

1 * Reroll – 60k
1 * Apothecary – 50K

Team Value – 990k (with 10k in the bank)

Thoughts on players

The Ulfwerenar are STR 4 with Frenzy. A great combo but like many bigger players, it can take a while for them to skill up, hence you really need them in from the word go to maximise the chance for MVPs. Although Block is likely the most obvious skill to take on the first level up, I am tempted with Mighty Blow (MB) as that will help with gaining skill points more quickly through injuries. The issue with that is the lack of rerolls in the team to mitigate the lack of block…

Normally I wouldn’t have taken the Troll and instead taken another re-roll, however I really like the model so that was the overwhelming factor in taking it (and like the Ulfwerenar, it can also take ages to level up so getting it early can also help). Unlike other big guys he doesn’t get the MB skill to start and instead gains claws. This helps to mitigate high armour and with the FAQ changing the wording to the skill means it is again viable when using it with the MB skill (which is always the first skill up unless you are fortunate enough to roll a double, in which case block is a no brainer).

The Berserkers are key players for the team, though with Frenzy they are another player that can be pulled out of position if you are not careful.

It is worth noting that in previous editions nearly all the above players would likely have been given the ‘piling on’ skill early on to help break armour and cause more casualties. In this edition it’s an optional skill (being allowed by our commissioners) but it has been hit by a giant nerf bat. Not only do you have to use a team reroll every time you want to use it but it now also can’t be combined with the claws mutation or the Mighty Blow skill. Yes it may have been overpowered before but now I struggle to see a place for it.

The Runner was included instead of a thrower on the grounds that he is a more versitile player. Many players dislike the Thrower on the Norse team if only because he doesn’t start with surehands. I like having the option of a passing game but the Runner can be used in a multitude of ways and doesn’t just have to just play a catcher role, hence I’ve included him first.

The linemen are completely disposable at the starting level and the aim is to only level them up to perhaps the first upgrade (if possible), unless they get something really good (which normally means a doubles roll) as I want to avoid unnecessary increases to the team value and all scoring/increases to players should be concentrated on the specialist players.

Gronn Fjord Raiders

With the new club Bloodbowl league fast approaching I finished off repainting my old Norse team and the new additions to the team (in the form of 2 Ulfwerners, a snow troll, linemen and an Empire Great Cannon crewman as the coach (to allow me to argue the call!).

I have a few items still to do with them, I want to add a couple of white lines onto some of the bases to simulate the chalk lines of the pitch (something I saw on a google image but looked pretty good). I’m also going to pick up a white pen to write the names on the bases. I think I prefer this to putting numbers on the players.

I did paint the full 16 figures on the team, even though I haven’t yet finished deciding on the starter roster.

On one hand I really want to have a minimum of 12 players, an apothecary and 2+ rerolls but this limits the number of non-linemen I can field. On the other hand I really want to include the 2 Ulfwerner and Troll in the starting roster, though this means I would struggle to field more than 11 players (but would have the compulsory apothecary) and would also lack any number of reasonable rerolls. Decisions, decisions!

The humans are the classic GW norse miniatures. The Ulfwerner are by Willy Miniatures (purchased from a Spanish company called Comixininos). The Snow Troll was from Gaspez Arts (an Italian company). Both specialise in Blood Bowl miniatures.

So without further preamble I present the Gronn Fjord Raiders.

IMG_4185
The team of 2018
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The Linemen (fodder): Vali Thorsen, Asmund Whitefall, Mythil Strus, Ragna Dagfinn, Gudmund Stonehand, Sigurd Thurmondson and Odin the Grey.

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Throwers and Runners: Floki the Swift, Bjorn Grimurson, Ulysses the Beholden, Holgar the Red (hair colour to be repainted!)

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Berserkers: Magnus the Bold, Eirik Longhorn and the dreaded Head Coach: ‘The Auditor’

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The Big guys. Ulfwerner: Beorn Two Skins and Cadoc the Bear. Snow Troll/Yhetee: Uday Ragekill

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2017 Recap and New Year Resolutions

nye-big-ben

First off a happy new year to you all, I hope the upcoming year brings you everything you want it to!

In a completely unoriginal post I’m going to recap my 2017 and what I will be aiming for in 2018.

2017 Objectives

So at the start of the year I listed the following objectives. I’ve noted how I did against each of them in Red.

  1. Continue with whfb but get my wood elves onto the table (and possible the high elves). I played one game with the wood elves. The High elves were loaned out to Steve, for him to use in the whfb competition which somewhat stopped the ability to use them.
  2. Finish painting my dwarves. This means around 40 miners, 16 Quarrellers, a gyrocoptor, grudge thrower and crew, 2 doomseekers and a load of characters (3 runesmiths, 4 engineers, Bugman, a dwarf lord and the white dwarf on shieldbearers – in this case Bugman and Gotrek). I’ll ignore the raft of unit fillers I have lined up. Ok after  listing them out, it’s more than I first thought, so realistically i’ll be happy with completing the miners, quarrellers and the Gyro. Failed miserably. I managed to finish the gyro and a few of the characters. Basically the models I used in games.
  3. Continue painting my wood elves (you can see where this is going). Most are painted but I definitely want to finish the 3 hunters (being used as treekin), the 10 Wild Riders and flock the bases of most of my older models. Although I didn’t finish the models listed, I did start to make strides into the Wood Elves, rebasing the older models and getting through a chunk of the unpainted older archers. 
  4. Continue painting my High elves (ok, ok, so I enjoy building models and not necessarily painting them). Quite a few are painted but I definitely want to finish the Sisters of Avelorn, the remaining 10 Phoenix Guard and the Lion Chariot. As noted above I loaned out all the HE’s.
  5. Finish painting the Beastmen. 10 harpies, 15 Bestigor, a Beastlord and Malagor to go, so this should be easily achievable. Done! (with the exception of Malagor). I have also picked up some additional Minotaurs (and have more due in 2018 through a kickstarter) that will also need painting.
  6. Buy a house. Not at all gaming related but may definitely impact on it through time/stress. If we find the right place, I may even be able to finally move up all my other gaming stuff from storage at my folks (especially my legion of lead/white metal orcs and gobbos). Failed! The new aim is for summer 2018.
  7. Continue the D&D campaign. The first session is already booked in so I can tick this one off already! Done!
  8. Try KOW. This will definitely happen in the first 3 months. I just need to book in a date. The more I read up on this the more I want to try it. I’ll probably be shot for saying this but in some ways the mechanics are similar to AoS, if only as each unit has a fixed value that is needed to be rolled to hit or to damage (rather than looking it up on a chart). The main difference (that matters to me) is that KOW is ranked unit combat rather than skirmish and that is why I have limited interest in AoS. Mike Carter from the Blog, Until Somebody loses an eye, has written an excellent article on switching from Warhammer to KOW. Done! I did enjoy KOW and played a number of games in the inaugural club competition. 
  9. Possibly try out Ninth Age rules. I was very much up for trying this out but after what seems like just a year of their version 1 being released, they are again revising the rules. Changing after such a short time period is putting me off slightly as it seems that there is potentially a lack of consistency. Either that or  after the initial beta the game was still rather unbalanced. (Although I do know that one of the changes with the next version is reducing the number of magic lores substantially – which is for the best as they went overboard last time with far too many). Failed!
  10. Try Malifaux. We do have an official henchman at the club, so he should be able to hook me up with a game. I may still end up buying a starter set anyway as there are a few of the models that I really like (The Viktorias, Lady Justice and Lillith). You’ll notice a theme around the masters having swords. Failed!
  11. Try one of the Starwars games (Armada or X-Wing). My preference is Armada, as who doesn’t want to use a Star Destroyer, however there have been a number of starter games of X-Wing at the club and a few of the chaps have already bought into that game so it may be the easier one to try (and potentially cheaper). Failed!

Lessons Learnt

So what did I learn. Stop making unrealistic goals and being too specific with them! Having a young child throws the best laid plans out of the window!

2017 Achievements 

So what did I achieve in the year?

Kings of War – Played 6 games and entered the club competition.

Warhammer Fantasy Battle – Played 10 games. This included finishing the 2016 competition and starting the 2017 competition.

D&D – Continued the ongoing quest line with the group.

Battle Reports – I ensured I wrote reports for every game played. This is an element I enjoy almost as much as the games.

Painting – I did get through a chunk of miniatures and the standard is definitely improving. Possibly for the first year in a while, the number of models purchased may have been less than the number painted!

2018 Objectives

So for 2018, i’m going to keep my objectives simple.

  1. Continue to play Warhammer Fantasy. This will, as ever, be my primary objective. What can I say, I love the game, flaws and all.
  2. Continue the ongoing Dungeons and Dragons campaign.
  3. Continue to paint.
  4. Try out the new 40k.
  5. Enter the club Blood Bowl competition.

Although I would like to enter the 2018 Kings of War competition, I think realistically I won’t be able to commit to it due to time constraints.

And with the Blood bowl competition due to start in Jan, I was thrown a curve ball by my other half when she bought me these for xmas (New Edition of blood bowl, Dwarf Giants with dice and pitch and the Goblin expansion pack). Hmmm new team option now available!

Hobby Update – Hobbitses

I’ve been a bit slack on the painting front recently. It’s been a bit of a combo of things, mainly work related but also hitting a bit of a painting wall (I think due to the old wood elf plastics I’m half way through). It has meant that I currently have 6 different batches of miniatures half painted on the table and i’m switching between them without finishing any of them.

After saying that, I have however managed to finish one set of figures, 4 hobbits. My mum is a huge LoTRs fan and has around 8 GW figures in a display cabinet with various other figures. I thought i’d surprise her by buying the same figures and painting them up as a present for xmas. The other 4 will be done when I remember to take a picture so I know which ones she has!

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WHFB – Beastmen vs Dwarves – SELWG Competition Game

On Friday I faced off against the second opponent in my group, Martin and his Longbeard heavy Dwarves.

It was another game I was looking forward to immensely, as I’ve played Dwarves a lot in this edition but I’ve not played against them in some years and with his three stubborn blocks of Longbeards, cannon and Organ Gun, I was about to have a taste of my own medicine! On top of that, I’d never played Martin, so it was a double bonus!

As normal, any mistakes are down to memory and notes.

Khazbar was secretly pleased. Bashor’s decision to relocate the herd to new grounds was not going down well. There had been constant grumbling and he had already been forced to put down 3 challenges to his leadership. That they had failed was slightly vexing, still there were plenty more fools who could be goaded into stepping up. The important thing was to ensure that if they failed, they didn’t live to cast aspersions on him.

The one doubt that had been gnawing at him was the route of their migration. It followed a pass that was dangerously close to the holds of the stunted ones. He looked around and tried to console himself with the size of the herd. Surely they wouldn’t try anything against the might arrayed before him. Would they?…

Terrain

For the second game in a row, map pack 5 was randomly selected from the terrain table, which consisted of 4 buildings, 2 walls/fence sections, 1 hill and 1 wood.

I was player A, so set down the first bit of terrain and after setup, it looked like this:

1. Terrain

Scenario and pre-match rolls

Martin rolled the Invade scenario which I wasn’t disappointed with, as I’d not only never played this but I thought my movement should give me an advantage, as the scenario required a player to have to move fortitude bearing units in the opponents half at the end of the game. This competition scenario played as per the battle of the pass scenario from the rule book so was played length wise.

In terms of spells, Khazbar had the following for the Lore of Beasts:

Pann’s impenetrable pelt, Savage beast of horros, The amber spear and Wyssan’s Wildform.

Wazzock took Melkoth’s Miasma from the Lore of Shadow.

In terms of secret missions, I took raid the baggage and Martin took take a message.

Deployment

I won the toss to decide on ends and as it was pretty even, chose the side that all the models were on (purely for ease). As normal the chaff was laid first, with the Ungor Raiders deployed as a forward screen to give hard cover vs the Organ Gun. One Chariot, the Doombull and Harpies were all deployed behind buildings to give them cover from the Cannon and other ranged units in the dwarf army.

Martin deployed his units in a double rank, horde formation, forming a wall of stubbornness blocking the open terrain on his right flank. The warmachines were interspersed between the blocks and his Gyro’s were placed to make use of the cover of the buildings.

Despite Martin finishing deploying his units first, I sneaked the first turn.

(Note: Martin forgot his movement trays, hence the McGivered envelopes used instead).

2. Deployment

2. Deployment3. Deployment4. Deployment5. Deployment6. Deployment

Beastmen Turn 1

With an almighty roar, Cattleclysm flew forward into the shadow of a house near the dwarf lines. The rest of the herd responded in kind and stampeded straight towards the mass of stunties.

The two units of raiders tried some speculative shooting towards the war machines but failed to do anything. Magic was similarly ineffective with the 2 Runesmiths smothering the winds of magic before they could coalesce into a form Khazbar could use.

3. Turn 1 - Beasts

7. Turn 1 - Beastmen8. Turn 1 - Beastmen

Dwarf Turn 1

The front ranks of the dwarf lines consolidated their positions, with the right most unit advancing slightly. The Longbeards in reserve executed a reform into a column and moved in lockstep towards the buildings. The quarrellers spotted the nearby Doombull and hurried into the nearby building. The two Gyrocoptors flew up in support throwing their bombs on the frothing bull beneath them. The lack of air at altitude had obvious affected the judgement of the dwarf daredevils, as despite multiple explosions, the Minotaur remained unharmed.

The Organ Gun opened up on the Beastmen runts who had dared to target it and obliterated 3 of the twisted ones. Under the stern gaze of Bashor, they held their nerve.

The cannon the targeted one of the Razorgor and the crew could only stare as the shot ricocheted off one of the tusks, leaving it unharmed.

4. Turn 1 - Dwarves

9. Turn 1 - Dwarf10. Turn 1 - Dwarf

Beastmen Turn 2

Cattleclysm charged at the cottage, smashing the door from its frame. Despite tearing the first three quarrellers apart, their sacrifice gave the others enough time to repel the assault.

Khazbar could only growl in frustration as spell after spell was nullified by the runepriests. To top it off his increasing irritation then caused him to lose concentration. Something would have to be done about them!

With a look of feral cunning on his face, Khazbar sent the Razorgor charging into the flanking unit of Longbeards, taking control of it’s primitive mind he directed it to attack the interfering Runesmith. His control did nothing more than handicap it’s natural aggression and it fluffed it’s attacks and was summarily cut down.

Casting fearful glances behind them, as Bashor bellowed at them, the Ungor moved up to block the central Longbeard unit and the Organ Guns field of fire. The pressure was obviously too much for them and all the shots they then fired at the dwarf unit, failed to inflict any damage.

5. Turn 2 - Beasts

11. Turn 2 - Beastmen12. Turn 2 - Beastmen13. Turn 2 - Beastmen

Dwarf Turn 2

After barely breaking a sweat over the Razorgor, the Longbeards decided they needed some more light exercise and so charged into the nearest chariot. This was too much for the crew who legged it after the dwarves carved them up a little. Deciding they still needed a further workout, they followed up and crashed into the immense block of Gor behind.

With a bit of breathing space, after having repelled the Doombull, the crossbow armed dwarves targeted the raiders that were blocking the Orgun Guns field of fire, slaying one of the two remaining short horns but more importantly giving it a clear shot on the Bestigor.

With a shouted command from the dwarf lord, the two warmachine crews swivelled their machines and opened up on Bashor and his bodyguard. Both Gyrocoptors also moved up to support the attack and engulfed the unit in a double helping of boiling water. When the smoke and steam had dissipated, there were fourteen bodies in a dismembered and parboiled state!

5. Turn 2 - Dwarves

14. Turn 2 - Dwarf15. Turn 2 - Dwarf

Beastmen Turn 3

Cattleclysm again stormed the building. This time the Quarrellers weren’t able to contain the psychotic Doombull and 5 deaths was enough to convince the remaining duo that they ought to report the situation to their liege in the safety of the main lines.

Smelling it’s favourite food, dwarf patties, the remaining Razorgor, charged into the dwarf unit opposite. A few minutes later, it was the dwarves who were feasting on the haunch of the butchered animal. They then made short work of the chariot that had joined it it the assault. As the crew died, they cast last confused glances at the unit of smirking Bestigor that had pulled up short during the charge and left them to their fate.

In a move displaying all the courage that Harpies are renown for, they bravely moved up behind the gyro’s threatening to rear charge them.

Not liking the thought of facing the horde of dwarves and seeing easier prey, one unit of Ungors moved to attack the cannon crew. The plucky raiders managed to kill one of the dwarves whilst only losing one of their number!

The other remaining Ungor came to the realisation that by staying in the open he was dead meat and also charged forward, swerving to avoid the same horde but targeting the Organ gun crew instead, attempting to tie it up in combat. The dwarves hadn’t signed up to the game plan though and the only thing he gained for his trouble was a swift execution.

Khazbar saw yet another one of his spells dispelled, this time by one of the hated smiths invoking the runes on his stave. His temper finally snapped and he forced Savage Beast on himself. Imbued with unnatural power he laid into the Longbeards in front of him, crushing skulls with each swing. Each kill allowed him to absorb their souls and he visibly started to glow with power.

6. Turn 3 - Beasts

16. Turn 3 - Beastmen17. Turn 3 - Beastmen18. Turn 3 - Beastmen19. Turn 3 - Beastmen

Dwarf Turn 3

Neither Gyro were falling for the old ‘leave myself open for a rear charge’ trick and both moved and targeted the Harpies, with 3 of the bird women falling from the sky. However they had done their task and distracted the Gyrocoptors from attacking the more valuable Bestigor.

The organ gun crew again turned their attention to the Bestigor. After half the barrels failed to fire, they realised that an arm of the freshly killed Ungor had wedged in the firing mechanism and moved to clear the blockage.

The Ungors, getting carried away with their success, flew into a frenzy and managed to kill another of the cannon crew.

Khazbar continued his rampage and in the process drew in more souls. The Gor in his unit, followed his lead and butchered an entire rank of the longbeards.

7. Turn 3 - Dwarves

20. Turn 3 - Dwarf21. Turn 3 - Dwarf

Beastmen Turn 4

Bashor led the remaining Bestigor into combat with the Longbeards. Khazbar threw wildform on them, boosting both their strength and toughness. The dwarf lord quickly issued a challenge and Bashor, not liking the look of the heavily armoured dwarf, pushed forward the champion to accept. He looked on in shock, as not only did the lord fail to kill him but the champion managed to wound him in return! Distracted and shaking his mane in disbelief, one of the dwarves managed to also wound him. He looked down at the gash in surprise and then took down four of the dwarves in retaliation. In the general melee the dwarves and Bestigor continued to slay one another but the wiley dwarves concentrated most of their attacks on the vulnerable Shaman, swiftly bringing him down.

Seeing Khazbar swollen with power, the Runesmith desperately invoked his runes to dispel Savage Beast but the Great Bray Shaman, aided with his enchanted weapon, still continued to slay dwarves left and right, as did the Gor accompanying him.

The heroic Ungor finally finished off the cannon crew, spiked the weapon to ensure it would serve no more purpose and then looked around, drunk on power, for their next victims.

8. Turn 4 - Beasts

22. Turn 4 - Beastmen

(Edit – after writing this and looking at the photos, it looks like the dwarves may have charged the Bestigor in turn 4, with the turn 3 Bestigor charge having failed. My notes didn’t say either way but it’s the only thing that makes the photos make sense, especially with the unit positioning and lack of casualties caused in turn 4).

Dwarf Turn 4

With no other targets in range, the organ gun shredded the remaining few harpies.

The dwarf BSB and remaining quarrellers, both charged the Ungors. After slapping the frenzy out of them and cutting down 3, the final member of the group realised they may have gotten a bit too big for their boots and unsurprisingly legged it towards the edge of the battlefield.

The Bestigor/Longbeard combat continued to wage but with a brief lull in combat as the Dwarf Lord finally slew the Gouge-Horn.

With the flanking Longbeard unit rapidly depleting, there was no longer a target rich environment for the Gor, so they turned their attention to the embedded Runesmith. The Smith was made of much greater mettle than his kin any shrugged off everything thrown at him.

9. Turn 4 - Dwarves

Beastmen Turn 5

Cattleclysm, scenting blood in the air, ignored the obvious target in front of him and flew into the rear of the ongoing combat, roaring a challenge as he flew. The already wounded lord decided he didn’t like the odds of that fight and decided he was better off skulking in the ranks of the unit. His ability to hide looked far less likely as the Doombull, Beastlord and Bestigor’s combined attacks made mincemeat of the unit. It was only the power of the ancestral standard that kept them in the fight.

In the other combat, sheer weight of numbers finally won out and the Runesmith and his remaining bodyguard fell beneath the cloven hooves of their adversaries.

10. Turn 5 - Beasts

23. Turn 5 - Beastmen24. Turn 5 - Beastmen

Dwarf Turn 5

The two Gyros moved to give the Gor block their full attention and the steam guns went to work removing a number of them.

The, so far, untouched, unit of Longbeards, charged into the rear of the Doombull. His heavy armour and rage ensured he still inflicted more damage than he received.

The battered units of Bestigor and Longbeards kept their fight going and by the end, the combat had drawn.

11. Turn 5 - Dwarves

Results

Me – Win (15) + Fully Painted (2) = 17 points

Martin – Loss (5) = 5 points

Conclusion

That was a very, very close win.

To put that statement into perspective. The comp pack states that a unit must have 5 models (3 monstrous), including a standard, general or bsb, to constitute a scoring unit. After the final fight I had 4 Bestigor left and the Beastlord (so 5 models), which gave me a scoring unit strength of 3 (2 for the general and 1 for the Standard). His Longbeard unit had 3 longbeards left plus the general, so with 4 models, it was one dwarf under the 5 minimum so neither the unit standard or general counted.

If he had managed one more casualty on the Bestigor, or if I had failed to kill one of the dwarf longbeards in his general’s units it would have ended up a draw! As I said, very very close.

There were a number of mistakes made by both of us. My biggest one was splitting attacks from the Gor unit between the Longbeards and the Runesmith for two consecutive combats. Not only did he pull an amazing amount of saves out the bag on the Runesmith and the last few dwarves but there was no need for me to split the attacks. I should have directed all of them into the unit to remove the stubborn banner and then run down the Runesmith. It just shows how frustration can influence decisions as with the amount of dispels he had thrown out in the game, I just wanted to kill the Runesmith.

The Razorgor, again, each only hit with one of their four attacks. Tactics may talk about using them as ‘assassins’ but I haven’t ever had much luck in that roll. I still think the best use of them is to sit in front of enemy units to redirect/annoy.

On a side note, his lord shouldn’t have managed to avoid the Doombull’s challenge as being mounted on an oathstone he has to accept challenges.

In terms of what went well. The Gor herd was excellent. 50 is definitely the right number to pump out a shed load of attacks whilst absorbing casualties.

I also finally managed to get Khazbar into combat with savage beasts on and it was impressive. He generated a shed load of power dice from the jagged dagger and this allowed me to overcome the persistent low winds of magic rolls. With the ‘Brass Cleaver’, magic weapon, this meant he was attacking with 8 (2+3+3) strength 8 (4+1+3) attacks and on average, this generated 3 additional dice per combat round. Not too shabby at all. Going forward, if I went this build again, I would probably forgo the additional attacks from the brass cleaver and go a slightly more defensive build with the fencers blades. This would drop the maximum attacks by two but would almost ensure that he always hit on a 3+ and anyone with a WS of 4 or under will only hit him on a 5+. This would likely make the difference of attacks negligible.

Even playing dwarves, I hadn’t appreciated how much of total pain the stubborn banners can be as it effectively makes any unit with one a tarpit, as I found out! Again the Gyro’s also proved their worth, though I think they could have been more effective in the game.

Overall it was a great, friendly game that went down to the wire. Probably my closest in a long time and i’d definitely play Martin again at a future date.

 

Bloodbowl – Selecting a team

Bloodbowl is by far my favourite GW ‘board game’ of all time. In the last 3 or so years alone I’ve racked up hundreds of hours of play, however I’ve not touched my figures or the board. This is because I’ve been playing it online instead. This has mainly been down to convenience. My club time is limited and so it’s far easier to log on and find a game this way. Whilst this is fun, it’s not the same and so I will be entering the blood bowl league. This will likely mean skipping this years Kings of War comp but I think it will be worth it.

So with this in mind, I dug all the (mainly) 3rd Edition models I could find (and the game) and bought them up to town.

As much as I love the 2nd ed. board, it is considerably narrower and so that and the box were left at home.

I don’t own a profusion of teams as some didn’t interest me, so what are my options?

Human – The jack of all trades team. They aren’t outstanding at one area but are pretty good in all of them. I still love the sculpts (with perhaps the exception of the blitzers) and also have an addition 4 metal human sculpts and an original Ogre, to go with the box set.

Wood elf – Probably the team I’ve played the least but I love the models (which I believe are more of Jes Goodwins). They were part painted and I’ve primed them for a repaint. This probably the team I’m least likely to go with.

Undead – There are several flavours of undead teams (khemri, vampire etc) but I have the original mixed team, with Mummies, ghouls, wights etc. They are very fun to play and have a wide range of quality (or not) available to be fielded, from total shite (zombies) to solid blockers and blitzers. They have the added advantage of being able to ‘recruit’ opposing players killed and almost never dying (or permanently falling apart) themselves. They are definitely a contending team entrant.

Orc – I really like the Orc team. They are a tougher version of humans. More armoured on average but not quite as flexible. I’ve had some great success with the team and have just gotten the new troll (as I couldn’t find my old one). I just need a Goblin or two to round out the team. These are a potential contender as the team, as I know them reasonably well and enjoy using them, however they come as standard in the new box, so I’m not sure if a number of players will be using them and I have a penchant for using teams/armies that others don’t, if only to add variety.

Norse – These were one of the newer teams before GW re-released the game (that still makes them, damn, maybe 15 years old?). They have all the flexibility of the standard human team, with throwers, catchers etc. but almost every player has the block skill. If they don’t have that, then they have at least a strength of 4 and frenzy. That is my kind of team. Where they fall down is having low armour. Still I like the fluff of having a bunch of raving nutters (more so than even the average player), on the pitch. As you may of guessed, at present, this is looking to be my number one team choice. I’ve even ordered 3 players I’m missing, 2 Ulfwerner from a company in Spain and a Snow Troll from Italy!

A yet to be purchased team. There is however still a chance of throwing in a wildcard. Black Scorpion Miniatures sell a range of teams at a reasonable price. I can’t comment on quality (having not bought any myself, though I know a few players who love them) however many of their sculpts look fantastic. They sell a great looking Greek themed human team and I also like their Amazons but the one that caught my eye was the new halflings releases, with their Knight helmets. They just look amazeballs! (I will add that I’ve seen similar halflings elsewhere but these just had a crisper feel). The only issue is, even with 2 treeman on the team, they will get butchered. But they look so pretty 😉.

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