The Green Machine

Following on from the last post, in this one i’ll look at the next member of Group A. Namely Alistair and his Orc and Goblin army.

I’ve only ever played Alistair at Kings of War and he showed a frightening ability to learn from previous games and adapt his list and tactics. As such, although he may not have played 8th for some time, I can’t underestimate him and suspect his list is based on previous, well worked lists.

Again I give a warning to readers, this will be quite long, wordy, very few pictures and is really for me, so if you have no real interest in warhammer fantasy and my list musings I’d stop reading now and no offence will be taken!

OnG’s hold a special place in my warhammer heart and are the one army where I’m almost certain to run a reasonably fluffy list. Back in 3rd edition you had to take at least 1 unit each of 20 goblin ‘warriors’ and 20 goblin archers. As such I still almost always have a unit of each (though the archers are now by default night goblins). As such I was very curious to see what Alistair would bring.

Characters

Orc Warboss (General) – Armour of Destiny, Gold Sigil Sword, Wyvern – 340pts

The basic stats of the Orc warboss match those of my Beastlord, except he has one less point of movement and initiative. This means he is naturally tough and strong without upgrades. To make up for his obvious one lacking area, he has been boosted to initiative 10 (with the bonus of having a magic sword). He’s also been given a 4+ save and 4++ ward. Mounting him on a wyvern gives a hard hitting mount and also boosts his general’s bubble to 18″.

Black Orc Big Boss (BSB) – Tormentor Sword, Armour of Fortune, Shield – 157pts

The compulsory bsb. He is as tough as the general and reasonably well protected with a 4+ save and 5++ ward. Again he has a cheap magic sword that will allow him to deal with ethereal and gives any monster or character he wounds, the stupidity rule. Being a Black Orc, he is able to quell animosity (by causing D6 Str 5 hits on his unit – basically bashing heads together!).

Orc Shaman – level 2, Power Scroll – 135pts

A low level shaman. His scroll allows him to, once, halve the cost of any spell. This can be a nasty surprise, especially if it is a low magic phase as it will allow something like Foot of Gork to be cast when you are not expecting it!

Orc Big Boss – Spear, Lt Armour, Shield, Dragonhelm, Crown of Command, War boar – 120pts

This boss will obviously go in the Boar boyz unit. He is armed to be tanky with a 2+ save and 2++ ward vs fire attacks. The Crown of Command will allow the unit to always take an leadership tests on an 8 (or 9 if in the general’s range).

Black Orc Big Boss – Sword of Swift Slaying, Heavy Armour, Shield – 117pts

Another black orc to place in a unit of boyz to quell animosity. The sword will overcome the low initiative of the Black Orc, allowing him to have a chance of removing threats to him.

Goblin Big Boss – Ruby Ring of Ruin, Giant Wolf – 72pts

The boss is a cheap way of improving the leadership of a unit that could well be out of range of the general. The Ring gives another decent cheap spell to cast to supplement the 2 shamans.

Orc Shaman – level 2, Ironcurse Icon – 105pts

Another low level shaman. Has the ability to give a 6++ ward vs warmachines to him and his unit (not that this will be of any use against me with my total lack of them).

Core

19 Orc Big ‘Uns – FC, AHW, War banner – 241pts

A fairly small unit of boyz. Upgraded to orc ‘elite’. They are comparable to my Gor (with the beast banner embedded). It is likely one of the black orc bosses will be in the unit and if they fail an animosity test it could really reduce their effectiveness due to the wounds caused. This is probably why they have the banner that adds +1 to the combat resolution.

40 Orc Boyz – FC, Lt armour, shield – 315pts

A solid block of boyz. In a straight face off, my two blocks should both be capable of beating this but probably not without suffering numerous casualties in return.

26 Arrer Boyz – FC, Bow, Lt armour – 212pts

I’ve found the best way to treat arrer boyz is as a normal block of orc boyz, that just happen to have a ranged capability too.

9 Wolf Riders – FC, short bow, Lt armour, giant wolf – 129pts

Its quite unusual to see a single unit at this size (although saying that, I also like to run them like this). This unit is a prime candidate for my Doombull

Special

9 Boar Boyz – FC, Spear, Lt armour, shield, War boars, Rangers Standard – 265pts

A very hard hitting unit if they get the charge off. Spears and choppers rule will give them Str 5 on the charge, which matches the boars. With the character added to it, combined with their 3+ save they are a pretty tanky tarpit too. The standard will mean they won’t have to take any dangerous terrain tests.

6 Trolls – 210pts

Standard trolls so no -1 to hit. The vomit attack is of no use on most of my army as I have negligible armour saves, so instead we have the standard 18 Str 5 monstrous infantry attacks. Nothing to be sniffed at. Oh and they are tough and have a 4+ regen save (of which I have no flaming attacks to negate). The downside is the low leadership and stupidity rule, meaning they will need to go near to the general to be effective.

Rare

Doom Diver Catapult – 80pts

This is the one credible threat to the doombull as it will ignore armour and causes D6 Str 5 hits. The ability to adjust any misses makes it particularly dangerous.

Ok this is my old Marauder wyvern not Alistairs


Evaluation

Sadly no pump wagons, snotlings or blocks of goblin infantry (though on the upside barely any artillery, no black orc boyz or savage orcs). A lot of the random elements that are in the book have been left out, instead a solid ‘reliable’ mass of orc boyz, backed up with black orc characters to help remove the animosity that can foil an Orc generals plans. He also has 5 units with fortitude (one of which can be bumped up with the bsb to get an extra pip of fortitude). This will give him an advantage in some scenarios against me.

As a general rule, orcs are tough and not that dissimilar to Beastmen in stats. Where they differ is they have a lower weapon skill in general (meaning my troops will hit on a 3+ vs the Orcs return hits on a 4+), have a lower initiative (so will strike last) and a lower movement. They do gain an additional point of Str in the first round of combat but also suffer from animosity which can be both a boon and a drawback. However his 2 main units of orc infantry will likely have a Black Orc big boss in each meaning they will not suffer from it (though could suffer D6 Str 5 hits if they do fail it, which realistically means the wolf riders and boar boyz are the units that might fail the test.

He has taken a gamble on magic, with only 2 low level shamans and no dispel scroll so this may give me an edge.

As with Martin’s Dwarves, he has only 8 drops to my 10 so I’ll have the edge on him which should help with some scenarios.

His general being on a monster, means it can’t join units and so cannot assist with scenarios that require fortitude (bar killing stuff of course). I might again be able to use this to my advantage.

Scenarios

1. Eliminate 

The bounties will be placed on his 40 Orc boyz, Orc Big Uns and Boar boyz respectively, whilst mine are on the Gor, Bestigor and one of the Chariots.
This means he could leave one unit (e.g. the Big ‘Uns) protected (perhaps on the central objective) and this would still leave his Trolls and Arrer boyz to assist in hunting down my two units. The Doom Diver will likely be gunning for my chariot so i’ll have to ensure it is only dropped after the diver to make sure it out of range. This will mean that the wolf riders and general will likely be gunning for it as an easy two points.

2. Dawn Attack

The table is divided into quarters. 1pt given for each of yours, 2pts each for your opponents side. You need to have the most fortitude in a quadrant to capture it.

With 5 units capable of capturing, he has the advantage here. The Wolf Riders (and to some extent the Boar Boyz) will be his quick reaction force able to run and capture anything unattended. As such i’ll want to eliminate them quickly. This would then leave us both with a combined fortitude of 5 (though he would still have the edge on capturing quadrants, as his fortitude is split between 4 units).

3. Invade

This is played length ways and you need to get more fort’ into your opponents half. No two ways about it, I can see this will end up a straight fight as we both storm forward. I’ll have to use my chaff smartly to weigh the matchups in my favour. Bestigor may have to go 6 wide and in 7 ranks for this one rather than horde formation.

4. Secure

You get one point per piece of terrain you hold (it’s double if in the opponents side).

I will really struggle with this one and will have no option but to take the fight to him to reduce the number of terrain items he can capture.

5. Loot

3 tokens placed, one in the middle and the other 2 on the central line, at least 12″ apart. The player who holds the most wins. I’ll have to treat this one in a similar way I would the dwarves. The difference is I don’t necessarily need to capture them first. With the sheer number of his units, Alistair can afford to try and capture all three if needed.

6. Wicked woods

I can’t treat this any differently to the dwarf game. Capture the woods and throw everything else forward to get in the way.

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Master of the Longbeards 

In a series of three posts, I’ll be looking at the army lists of my opponents in Group A of the competition, evaluating the army and then trying to work out how I would win the scenarios in their shoes.

Fair warning to readers, this will be quite long, wordy, very few pictures and is really for me, so if you have no real interest in warhammer fantasy and my list musings I’d stop reading now and no offence will be taken!

The first of these posts will focus on the Dwarven Throng of Martin H. Now I will state, straight off the bat, that Martins original list was partly re-written by Steve (my co-adjudicator) to make it ‘comp legal’ and then refined my myself to replace the most glaring uncompetitive elements (e.g. remove Brimstone cannons on the Gyros), fixing the odd clash of items (having both Great weapons and Runic Weapons on a character, when you can only use one) and adding additional artillery runes. Martin was very happy with the choices so kept with the revised list. So what was the composition?

Characters

Dwarf Lord (General) – MRo Gromril, Oath Stone, GW, 3*Ro Warding – 251pts

I like this lord. He is very defensive with a 1+ armour save and 4++ ward. He also pumps out 4 ASL, Str 6 attacks. Giving him an Oath stone is clever as it means his unit,  if charged in the flank or rear, never lose their rank bonus and still get their parry saves (which would be 5++ in the first round due to shieldwall). The downside is he has to accept challenges but with his saves, that shouldn’t be an issue. They also cannot flee as a charge reaction (as if Dwarves would) but this isn’t an issue for this list, as none of his main units have that option anyway due to immune to psych’.

Thane (bsb) – Gromril armour, shield, MRo Valaya – 158pts

A fairly standard bsb with 3+ save. The banner adds to the inbuilt dwarf Magic resistance and ensures they will dispel at +4 (so they will match or exceed all enemy cast bonuses from the wizard level). It has an added bonus of allowing you to dispel all ‘remains in play’ spells on a 3+, crucially without using dispel dice (and also without checking the rulebook, I believe it occurs out of sequence, so at the start of the Dwarf players turn. This means it can get rid of items that might impact movement). Suffice to say this is one of my favourite runic banners.

Runesmith – Gromril armour, shield, Ro Stone, Ro Spellbreaking, Ro Passage – 103pts

Again there is nothing surprising in this build, not that it makes it any less effective. A 2+ save with auto dispel rune. The Ro passenge allows his unit to avoid taking dangerous terrain tests but has mainly been taken as you can’t have duplicate rune combos. The great passive effect of the Runesmith is he gives his unit AP. When you are packing all Str 4 troops this is essential for beating armour saves (as combined gives a -2 to armour saves).

Runesmith – Gromril armour, shield, Ro Stone, Ro Spellbreaking – 93pts

A carbon copy of the above but without the Ro Passage. Each of these will be placed in a different unit as the AP effect doesn’t stack.

Core

28 Longbeards – Full Command (FC), shields – 394pts

This is a solid unit of elite dwarves. Immune to psychology so they can’t flee as a reaction (and ignore fear etc.) 4+ save with T4 makes them reasonably defensive and they have the numbers to stick around. My only issue with them is I’ve found them to lack punch against really tough armoured opponents.

28 Longbeards – Full Command (FC), shields, Ro Stolicism – 429pts

As above but the banner rune makes them stubborn, so no matter what they will always take any leadership test on at least a 9 (or 10 if in range of the general). This means they will hardly ever run and will have to be killed to the last Dwarf.

28 Longbeards – Full Command (FC), shields, Ro Stolicism, Ro Sanctuary – 444pts

As above but with an additional rune (again due to the runic item duplication restriction) that gives Magic resistance (1). This means that against direct damage spells their save improves by +1 (to 3+).

10 Quarrellers – standard, GW, Heavy armour – 150pts

A small unit of shooters to protect the warmachines and shoot up enemy chaff. The standard allows them to capture/score in many of the scenarios and the Great Weapons gives them Str 5 in combat as standard.

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Special

2 * Gyrocoptors (run as 2 single units of one) – Steam Gun – (2 * 80pts =) 160pts

The Dwarf chaff unit and I still rate this as one of the best chaff/harassment units (if not the best) in the game (the others being Dark Riders, Razorgor & the Ogre Cat). It is the ability to fly, drop bombs when marching and the template weapon that make me rate it so highly. The drawback is, I often find it so useful that I don’t actually like using it as a throw-away unit, which is why I labelled it also as a harassment unit. The price puts it more in line with a chariot than a true throw-away unit such as the Razor or Cat.

Cannon – Ro Forging – 145pts

The compulsory cannon. Given forging to reroll misfires. This will be deadly for my Doombull and is a priority to eradicate.

Rare

Organ Gun – Ro Forging, Ro Accuracy – 170pts

Ah the organ gun. You know it, you love it (if a dwarf) or hate it (if you are on the receiving end). With runes it will cause between 2-20 Str 5 AP hits. Hitting on a 3+ at short range, 4+ at long, rerolling one misfire dice. The 30″ range is what sets it apart and makes it superior in my eyes (and even before runes are taken into consideration) from the hellblaster. This thing can be deadly and I need to find a way to neutralise it. At the very least, a wall of Ungor Raiders, will provide hard cover for my units giving the OG -2 to hit.

Evaluation

Ok, above I stated my issue with this Longbeard build is it lacks punch. However with 3 such units and the synergies with the Lords oathstone, the banners and AP from the Runesmiths, it becomes more of a game of attrition with the dwarves blunting the initial attacks and then grinding the enemy down. It is very dwarfy and could be very effective, especially if enemy units were first softened up with shooting. They also have the advantage of hitting my blocks on a 3+ vs my 4+ back at them, though they will normally only wound on a 4+ (as will my Gor). The Bestigor will have the advantage in this though as the GW’s will wound on a 2+ and will ignore the armour save.

In general, he has 3 slow combat blocks. I have plenty of chaff that can be used to slow them down. I can see Razorgor being used to assassinate his runesmiths. The Harpies will have to target the cannon as a priority and the Doombull the Gyro’s. The chariots will be used to distract the cannon (hopefully!).

With only 8 drops to my 10, I’ll have the edge on him and with the scenarios, he won’t be able to castle (probably why he has the rarely seen 3 combat blocks).

Scenarios

So if I were using this army, how would I try and win each scenario?

Full details of the scenarios are here but I will give a small recap of the objectives of each.

1. Eliminate

His 3 bounty tokens will be on his 3 combat blocks. Mine will be on: the Gor horde: the Bestigor horde: One of my Chariots (Yikes!). Thankfully he picks the chariot before deployment. This means I will place this out of range of his cannon and as far away from his troops as possible and will play hide the chariot. The Doombull can start near it, to intercept any pesky Gyros.

With an additional token in the centre of the board, it makes sense for his 3 blocks to start centrally ready to ‘surge’ (ok shuffle, they are dwarves) forward to capture that if possible. With poor movement they can’t start too far away. He will likely try to soften up my forces first with shooting. I will definitely be trying to flank his forces with one of my blocks and will try and deploy on one side of the board (on the opposite side to the OG). If he’s smart that side will have the unit with oathstone.

2. Dawn Attack

The table is divided into quarters. 1pt given for each of yours, 2pts each for your opponents side. You need to have the most fortitude in a quadrant to capture it.

This is an issue for me as he has more. He has 4 separate units with fortitude and can add the bsb and general to increase the units fortitude. This makes it likely that he will hold one quadrant with his shooters (art + quarrellers), another with his other blocks (he could have it so his fortitude was 3 in one quad and 4 in the other). He could then advance to capture one of mine.

The most I can manage is one block with fort’ of 2 and one with a fort’ of 3. However I look at it, I’m at a disadvantage and will have to destroy a number of his blocks to win (or try and pin them into just one quadrant). In theory the quarrellers is the weak link. As with everything, deployment is key. Using his blocks size and movement against him.

3. Invade

This is played lengthways and you need to get more fort’ into your opponents half. My speed gives me a bit of an advantage, however the narrow width means his shooting will be far more deadly and as soon as I get in range the organ gun could punish me. The saving grace on that is that he will have to advance his troops early to ensure he can move into my half and they may block his lines of fire with careful placement. Although I’d love to hang back and intercept and destroy his blocks in order to avoid his shooting and then advance to his half, if he times his advance to my side well and with the stubborn nature of his blocks, it would be a huge gamble.

4. Secure

You get one point per piece of terrain you hold (it’s double if in the opponents side). Again I’m at a disadvantage as unless I move my General or BSB into each Ungor Raiders unit (highly unlikely but you never know as it could turn a defeat into a victory or at least a draw), the most I can capture is two bits of terrain vs his four and so will definitely need to advance to capture terrain on his half whilst destroying any  fortitude units I encounter on route (are you noticing a trend here?). I’ll have to almost treat this as a battleline game but make sure I’m in scenery at the end. Thinking about it, the general in Ungor is looking more attractive, despite the drawbacks.

5. Loot

3 tokens placed, one in the middle and the other 2 on the central line, at least 12″ apart. The player who holds the most wins. Logic dictates I need to spread them out across the table rather than have them all on one side, as that will favour Martin, especially with his unit advantage and low movement. I should also consider going only 5 wide on both units as I want to grab a counter fast and hold onto it so steadfast will definitely be one to do. Chaff will be key to holding him up. The Ungor trick might be viable if one is uncontested on the far side but will have to watch out for the Gyros.

If I had the dwarves, would I play the odds game and send a block for each token or would I concentrate on two, using artillery to cover the others? I’d probably use the blocks to capture 2 of them and if unopposed try and sneak the third with my quarrellers.

6. Wicked woods

Holding the woods is key and moving into it early is essential. You have to hold it for at least 7 player turns (of 12) to ensure a win. The key will be to move as much chaff forward as possible to obstruct his blocks at every turn to maximise the turns a unit is in it. Everything not in the woods becomes sacrificial, whether chaff, doombull or Bestigor.

The question becomes if he has practiced the scenario and whether the damage that the wood causes will out him off moving in early.

Hobby update – The herd is close to completion.

Close to completion. Those are words I never thought I’d say. I suppose I should clarify that. Of the Beastmen models I currently own, I have left to paint:

10 Ungor Raiders

2 GW Minotaurs

And to both build and paint:

1 Mierce Minotaur Standard

1 Mierce Gor Standard (probably to be used as the bsb).

This then is likely to be my first ever ‘completed’ army. It doesn’t sound natural saying that and to be fair there are still additions I’d like to add, another 10 Gor, 10 Ungor Raiders, Razorgor chariot etc. But that is something for a later date. 

But I digress (no surprise there…), this post is about the latest updates. In particular, about the models I need to complete for the club comp’ in order to garner maximum points.

So last night, I finished off 16 Bestigor (taking the total to 40 in all and Bashor the Bloody, the Beastlord General. So now I just need to now complete the 10 Ungor to get the bonus points per game.

The Bestigor match the scheme already painted. I put in a bit more effort on the lord. His hair will make him stand out from the rest of the herd and that is emphasised by him appropriating the most unique cloth for his outfit (from the body of a Bretonnian Knight he had slain). The hair was too bright (even after the red wash), as was the tabard, so I liberally applied nuln oil to both to ‘dirty them’.

One thing I have decided is the armour on the Bestigor is way too pristine so I need to add some sort of rust or other effect. If anyone can advise a simple method, it would be appreciated. (Edit: And as normal, once I posted the photos, I realised I hadn’t given the wood items a wash so will go back and do that!).

SELWG 2017 Warhammer Competition Kicks Off!

As well as the game against Paul on Friday, the draw was also made for the groups in the competition.

With a last bit of recruitment on the Friday, I managed to get the numbers up to 16 which allowed 4 groups of 4.

The draw was made by the independent adjudicator: Cormac. After the draw (very low tech – names from a bag) the groups looked like this:

Group Split - 9.9.17

You will note that some entrants already have points for early submission of their lists. Alex (group D) was the person who was recruited on Friday, hence no army type is noted (though it will likely be filthy High Elves!).

Overall, we have a really good spread of armies in the competition, with 12 of the 16 possible options taken (we are missing: Ogres, Tomb Kings, Daemons and Wood Elves).

All army lists have been uploaded to the club forums (with a small delay on Group D so not to give Alex an unfair advantage).

Group A – Drakwald

Group B – Asuryan

Group C – Zorn Uzkul

Group D – Hellpit

For a reminder of the comp rules and restrictions see the earlier posts.

  1. Points and Secondary Objectives
  2. Scenarios
  3. Army Lists and Restrictions
  4. Terrain

 

WHFB – Beastmen vs Skaven

This week I had lined up a game against Paul. He hadn’t played 8th Edition for a few years now but he was one of the club members who had signed up to the competition and so wanted to re-familiarise himself with the rules. I jumped at the chance to have a game and not just because he is another club member who I’ve not had the pleasure playing before but also because he has a horde of Skaven and last time I fought them was in 4th Edition! Suffice to say I was looking forward to the game immensely.

I will say before writing, that it was another game cut short (3 turns). Unlike normal, it wasn’t just down to chatting whilst playing but also due to taking time out to draw the groups for the club Warhammer Competition.

Lists

Herd of Khazbar the Magnificent

Bashor the Bloody – Beastlord (General), ogre blade, armour of destiny, shield – 238pts

Khazbar the Magnificent – Great Bray Shaman, level 4 – Lore of Beasts, Talisman of Protection, Brass Cleaver, jagged dagger – 335pts

Zurrock the Mighty – Wargor (bsb), HA, shield, Beast Banner – 191pts

Wazzock the Lame – Bray Shaman, level 1 – Lore of Shadow, dispel scroll – 100pts

Cattleclysm – Doombull, Arabyan carpet, gold sigil sword, dragonbane gem, ramhorn helm, gnarled hide, HA, shield – 353pts

48 Gor, FC, AHW – 409pts

1 Tusgor chariot – 80pts

1 Tusgor chariot – 80pts

5 Ungor raiders – 30pts

5 Ungor raiders – 30pts

37 Bestigor, FC, Standard of Discipline – 489pts

1 Razorgor – 55pts

1Razorgor – 55pts

5 Harpies – 55pts

Skaven

Grey Seer – Earthing Rod, Skalm, Screaming Bell – 495pts

Chieftain – BSB – HA, Charmed Shield – 75pts

Plague Priest – Flail, Dispel Scroll – 129pts

Warlock Engineer – Warpmusket, Doomrocket – 60pts

Doomwheel – 150pts

Hell Pit Abomination – 250pts

31 Clanrats, FC, Light Armour, Sh, Ratling Gun weapon team – 210pts

31 Clanrats, FC, Light Armour, Sh, Ratling Gun weapon team – 210pts

20 Plague Monks – FC, AHW, Plague Banner – 195pts

31 Stormvermin – FC, HA, Halberd, Razor Standard, Doom Flayer weapon team – 335pts

3 Rat Ogres – Packmaster – 128pts

5 Giant Rats – Packmaster – 23pts

5 Giant Rats – Packmaster – 23pts

7 Gutter Runners – 126pts

Warp Lightning Cannon – 90pts

Scenario

We randomly rolled for the Scenario and would you believe it, I ended up with the Wicked Woods scenario again (scenario list here). As Paul had not played this before we stuck with it for the game.

Terrain and Pre-match rolls

And just to continue the trend, we rolled map pack 4 (the same as my last game) which meant a river, 2 normal hills, 2 scree slopes and a forest.

After placing the terrain (including the additional wood from the scenario), it looked like this.

1. Terrain

1. Terrain

It terms of spell selection:

Khazbar ended up with: Curse of Anheir, Wyssans Wildform, Pann’s Impenetrable Pelt and Savage Beast of Horros.

Wazzock took Miasma

The Grey Seer got: Vermintide, Cloud of Corruption, Plague and Curse of the Horned Rat.

The Plague Priest took Pestilent Breath

Deployment

Deployment is as per battle line so alternate. Paul placed the first unit and finished first so got the advantage to the first turn roll off (which he won, doubtless through some nefarious Skaven underhanded tactic!)

After the careless deployment in my previous game, I was far more rigid with it this time. The Gor Horde went front and centre to capture the woods with the Bestigor next to them. The rest of the Chaff and Chariots surrounded the two main blocks with the Doombull backing them up. This ensured that the majority of the army was within the BSB/General bubble. Again the river was impeding us but this should work in my favour with the Skaven reliance on ranks for leadership.

After his scouts deployed, it looked like this.

2. Deployment

2. Deployment3. Deployment4. Deployment5. Deployment6. Deployment7. Deployment

Turn 1 – Skaven

The chittering horde scurried forward, responding to the commands of the albino rat hiding behind the giant bell, with the exception of the elite rats who hung back waiting for their weaker kin to begin the initial assault. The battle line, if one could label a horde of vermin as such, split in two as it skirted the Wicked Woods. On one flank the gruesome monstrosity surged towards the beastmen lines at a particularly worrying speed.

In the Beastmen flank the Clan Eshin novitiates sprung their ambush, with a hail of poisoned stars announcing their presence peppering the nearest Razorgor. In their eagerness to prove their worth, the hapless rats fumbled most of their shots only wounding the animal.

The Warp Lightning Cannon, slowly built up its charge. The whine of motors could be heard from Beastmen’s side of the river. As the noise got louder the ratmen crew could be seen abandoning the machine just before it exploded.

3. Skaven turn 1

8. Turn 1 Skaven9. Turn 1 Skaven

Turn 1 – Beastmen

Bashor took one look at the hybrid WyrmRat advancing towards his bodyguard and in a fit of cunning, that had shown his right to lead the herd, ordered forward the unit of raiders to get in the way of the monster. The petrified little things unsurprisingly failed to wound it with their bow-fire. The two nearby chariots, moved so that they would each get a charge off on it depending on what it targeted next turn.

The horde of Gor advanced up to the river, ready to contest the Wicked Woods, supported on both sides by Razorgor. The other unit of Ungor Raiders also advanced up to the natural barrier of the river in order to target the Giant rats (of which they managed to slay one in a dazzling display of shooting).

The rest of the herd manoeuvred so that the Eshin scouts would be in trouble in the following turn.

The winds of magic blew strongly and Khazbar cast wildform onto Bashor and his bodyguard in order to further improve their chances vs the Abomb. His pupil, Wazzock then cast Miasma onto one of the Ratling crews as they were both lined up and had a good view of his unit too.

4. Beasts turn 1

10. Turn 1 Beastmen11. Turn 1 Beasts12. Turn 1 Beasts13. Turn 1 Beasts14. Turn 1 Beasts15. Turn 1 Beasts

Turn 2 – Skaven

Most of vermin units slowed their advance to a crawl. Now they good see them closely, none of the rats were eager to get to grips with the obviously superior humanoid specimens in front of them. The exceptions were: A group of giant rats that were driven up to provide a distraction: The Abomb, that smashed through the paper shield of Ungor, over running deep into the corner of the Beastmen deployment zone and the Doomwheel that careened up to the unit of harpies that had been edging over to the far edge of the battlefield and promptly fried one of them.

The Gutter runners, showing they were true Skaven, decided to pick on someone smaller than themselves and targeted the remaining unit of Raiders. Despite killing 3 of the 5 Ungors the plucky beasts refused to let themselves be cowed by the slinking rats (my first ever snake eyes break test – woot!).

On the other flank the two Ratling teams fired up their weapons. The first, still under the effects of a miasma, shot up an empty piece of ground. The second, lost control and managed to gun down a few of their own unit, narrowly missing the Grey Seer who had to duck inside the safety of the Great Bell to avoid being hit. A few seconds later he leapt out of the bell and grabbed hold of the frame to steady himself as the clapper struck and it let out an unholy clamour, the unit surging forward in response.

From the height of his new perch, the Seer spotted an opportunity and cast an irresistible Plague on the Bestigor. 7 of their number fell to the foul magics, which then jumped to the nearby Gor unit fully taking out almost 2/5ths of them! The feedback from the spell inflicted a wound on the Plague Priest who glared daggers at the Seer.

5. Skaven turn 2
The utterly cunning positioning of my chariots is revealed!

16. Turn 2 Skaven17. Turn 2 Skaven18. Turn 2 Skaven19. Turn 2 Skaven20. Turn 2 Skaven

Turn 2 – Beastmen

Realising that the herd had to get into combat to avoid the enemy magic, Bashor ordered his forces to advance. The remains of the Gor moved into the river, ready to capture the wicked woods in the following turn. The Bestigor also advanced up to the edge of the river.

One Chariot charged the Abomb inflicting a single wound (surprise! Oh he didn’t die, bugger). The other, backed up with one of the Razorgor, removed the offending giant rats that were in front of them. The Doombull charged the Gutter Runners who turned tail and fled, squirting fear musk. They didn’t run too far and were massacred in short order.

The rest of the chaff moved to block as many of the remaining Skaven force as possible.

6. Beasts turn 221. Turn 2 Beasts22. Turn 2 Beasts23. Turn 2 Beasts24. Turn 2 Beasts

Turn 3 – Skaven

With an excited squeak, one of the units of clanrats charged into the flank of the Razorgor. They were boosted by the Power of the Screaming Bell, as a Wall of Unholy Sound echoed across the battlefield giving them each an extra attack. The sheer number of these allowed them to make short work of the oversized pig and they reformed to face the sea of snorting Bestigor. The Seer supported this attack by summoning a swarm of rats that engulfed the nearest chariot, slightly damaging it. The Ratling weapon crew, glanced nervously at the Grey Seer and with a determination to save their skins, finished off the chariot.

The nearby Warlock crouched down and launched a rocket into the Bestigor. The resultant explosion, launched bodies everywhere and left the unit at under half its starting strength.

The Abomb made short work of the chariot that had dared to wound it.

7. Skaven turn 3

25. Turn 3 Skaven26. Turn 3 Skaven27. Turn 3 Skaven28. Turn 3 Skaven

Turn 3 – Beastmen

The harpies charged into the flank of the Giant Rats. In spectacular style they failed to kill anything and 3 of their number were slain in response. Shockingly they didn’t run.

The Doombull crashed into the Doomwheel but didn’t do enough damage to destroy it (it survived on a single wound).

The Bestigor, looking to avenge their losses on someone, charged into the river to vent their fury on the clanrats. A load of dead rats later (aided by the rank bonuses cancelled as both units were in the river), the clanrats fled and were run down (including the rat’s BSB).

In the final movement of the game, the remains of the Gor moved into the Wicked Woods, sustaining four wounds in the process.

8. Beasts turn 3

29. Turn 3 Beasts30 Turn 3 Beasts

Results

With a unit in the woods for 1 turn it was a 1-0 victory to the Beastmen (not that we were really gunning for the victory but I’ll take it as a moral one)

Conclusions

Holy shit, the Skaven are vicious. The amount of casualties his magic and the doom rocket caused was obscene (plague caused 25 in one cast with a further 12 from the rocket). I was not expecting that at all. It is random as anything though, so you can easily see how it could have also not done as well. For instance, the Doom Rocket landed directly on the Bestigor but could have massively overshot.

I love the randomness of them, sure playing Orcs and Goblins can be very fun but the Rats take it to a whole new level. It’s impossible not to laugh even as you lose half a unit!

If I have taken one thing from this battle it’s I need to be far more aggressive and storm forward my large units. They are large enough to be intimidating and should not worry too much about combat casualties from quite a few units (or should be able to inflict a reasonable number in return). It won’t work in every situation but definitely something to keep in mind.

Well that is probably it for the practice as next up the competition games.

If you go down to the coast today, you’ll be sure of a big surprise.

Sorry not the teddy bears picnic but something even more pleasing. 

Last week I was holidaying in Cornwall and my wife and I did our normal thing of popping into second hand book stores. Her, to stock up reading for her classroom and me, well because I love trawling through shelves to see what I could find. And this time I frankly hit gold in a large oxfam bookshop. Being British I’m not normally one to show off but I’m f**king chuffed to bits with this haul, especially at the bargain price it cost, so had to post about it.

So the first book we are looking at, is a first printing of the enemy within WFRP from 1986, complete with all the pullouts.

I also picked up Parts 1-4 of the campaign (the 1995 hogshead reprint). Ok in the reprint,  Shadows over Bogenhafen actually contains that + The Enemy Within so I have a duplicate but never mind, I can always sell that on. Apart from the covers having some of the most iconic oldhammer pictures this is something I’ve wanted to get my hands on for a long long time. 

The final item is just a source book for Dwarfs. Did I say ‘just’? Everything Dwarf is obviously fantastic and this book contains some gems such as information on lesser known holds such as those in Norsica. It also provides the most detailed map of the holds in the Western realms I’ve come across. 

Between all of these, this will keep me in reading for some time. Ahh happy days indeed.

Now I just need to find the wfrp rule book (though 2nd ed. not 1st).

P.s. When you are in a car for 5 or so hours with a young child endlessly singing the same nursery rhymes to keep them quiet, for the last hour of the drive, they tend to permeate other areas of your life. I can only apologise now if kids references become a more common factor in my posts. It’s these little details that no-one warns you about…

The Herd of Khazbar the Magnificent – 2017 SELWG whfb competition list

As I am running the comp this year, I committed to bringing an army that no one else was using (if possible). One of the reasons was so I’d not bias the army restrictions as I wouldn’t know what I was taking. Of the many I own, it was looking likely to be a toss up between Wood elves and Beastmen. I actually had no preference between them as would happily use either but with the majority of lists in, there was a good chance that one of the other entrants would be using wood elves so I duly submitted my list to Steve M (my nominated 2nd adjudicator) so he could check it (and ensure I qualified for the bonus points of course). If you are curious, the other possible options not being taken were: Tomb Kings, Daemons and Ogres – non of which I own.

So with the army chosen by process of elimination, I decided to use the list taken in my last game.


Khazbar was perplexed. It wasn’t a feeling he was used to or even understood. His position had been clear, he was the voice of the gods and leader of the herd. Sure there had been a few set backs but that hardly warranted the rise of Bashor to usurp his position as head of the tribe. Only his quick thinking, mixed with a fair amount of grovelling had allowed him to keep his position as shaman and indeed his head. It had been a calculated risk to ‘gift’ the suit of armour and axe of strength to the new chief but that combined with the hint of more to follow had allowed him to retain a semblance of power, second only to Bashor.


Herd of Khazbar the Magnificent 

Bashor the Bloody – Beastlord (General), Ogre Blade, Armour of Destiny, shield – 238pts

Khazbar the Magnificent – Great Bray Shaman, level 4 – Lore of Beasts, Talisman of Protection, Brass Cleaver, jagged dagger – 335pts

Zurrock the Mighty – Wargor (bsb), Heavy Armour, shield, Beast Banner – 191pts

Wazzock the Lame – Bray Shaman, level 1 – Lore of Shadow, Dispel scroll – 100pts

Cattleclysm – Doombull, Arabyan carpet, Gold Sigil sword, Dragonbane gem, Ramhorn helm, Gnarled hide, Heavy Armour, shield – 353pts

48 Gor, Full Command, Additional Hand Weapon – 409pts

1 Tusgor chariot – 80pts

1 Tusgor chariot – 80pts

5 Ungor raiders – 30pts

5 Ungor raiders – 30pts

37 Bestigor, Full Command, Heavy Armour, Standard of Discipline – 489pts

1 Razorgor – 55pts

1Razorgor – 55pts

5 Harpies – 55pts

Total – 2,500pts

I’ve again gone with a Beastlord as my general. Putting him in the Bestigor with their standard gives him a 12″ LD 10 bubble, which should ensure units stick around or at least rally. The Ogre Blade gives him S7 and together with hatred will allow him to match the Bestigors damage output. The armour should provide an element of survivability.

Khazbar is tooled for combat to try and generate additional power dice. The cleaver will help get more attacks and if he goes in the Gor horde with the bsb, he will be on S5 with AP, before any buffs, which should help with units the Gor by themselves would struggle against. He has kept Lore of Beasts, if only due to the abysmal showing last time. I’m still not convinced that Shadow isn’t the way to go but at least this way I’ll get a good run of games to give Beasts a go, to finally make up my mind.

The BSB and Doombull are running the same loadouts as normal. The BSB will likely go in the Gor to bump them to S4. The Doombull will fly around making a nuisance of himself.

Wazzock is being used as a scroll caddy. I dropped the chalice as I found it too situational. He went Shadow rather than Beasts due to the low casting cost of miasma.

The raiders are fantastic value for money, I can’t believe it took me so long to use them. I currently only own 10 so two units of 5 it is. They together with the Razorgor and to some extent the Harpies and chariots, will be used as chaff and some as force multipliers.

The Bestigors are the hard hitters but like the Gor they are still rather frail. Horde formation, doesn’t allow the most flexibility in movement either.

I’m still not 100% convinced about the list, 10 drops isn’t a huge number and with only 2 units with standards, i’m going to struggle to win some of the scenarios. However, the two units I do have are large and should help to ensure I maintain/capture objectives. It will also mean I need to destroy as much of the opponents unit fortitude units as possible, whilst chaffing up everything of theirs I possibly can.

All I have left to do is finish painting the remaining 15 Bestigors and 10 Ungor Raiders before the comp starts.