New Year Resolutions

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In time honored blogging tradition it is that time of year where I need to sum up what I achieved in 2016 and list out what I hope to accomplish in 2017.

Year to Date

I suppose the first thing is to recap what I wanted to do during the year. Not all of these were necessarily goals at the start of the year and they mainly revolved around continuing to play and trying out various games.

  1. Play plenty of Warhammer Fantasy Battle (whfb)
  2. Continue the Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) campaign
  3. Continue to play various computer games.
  4. Try out Warhammer 40k
  5. Try Age of Sigmar (AoS)
  6. Try Malifaux
  7. Try Kings of War (KOW)
  8. Try Ninth Age rules
  9. Try Star Wars Armada
  10. Continue to game after having a baby!

So how did I do? I’ll start with the last item on the list, namely my daughter.

10. Baby

Well unsurprisingly having a baby in January  has somewhat impacted the amount of game time i’ve managed to get in over the year. My aim had been to get to the club every other week but it probably ended up closer to every 3 weeks (though it dropped over the summer), which considering all things, isn’t too bad.

1. Warhammer

I have managed to get in a reasonable number of whfb games (8 between June and Dec), though not nearly enough for my tastes. However, if you take into account GW scrapping the gaming system that is pretty good going. Having a 2nd half of the year whfb league at the club, definitely helped things. There are signs that some players are starting to get a bit bored with 8th edition (and not being supported isn’t helping as there are no new releases/rumours etc. to sustain it). A number have already reduced their time in this system and are playing Malifaux or something else. I’m not one of these but it probably helps that I only got back into 8th just before GW canned it but at that point the edition had already been going for around 4 years. I think the club will still run a league next year but it might be reduced numbers on this year.

2. D&D

Steve, Pete, Greg, Matt and myself did manage to continue (for me, the adventures of Knoffles Silvertop in) our D&D campaign over the year. I’ve not covered this much on the blog as a 2nd group is likely to start next year so Steve asked us not to cover it in depth so that the other group won’t know what to expect. We struggled to always get together for a game, especially as Friday nights clash with swimming for Gregs kids (or child). For this reason towards the end of the year we tried out gaming during the week at houses. I thoroughly enjoyed our sessions and this will definitely continue in 2017.

3. Computer

What can I say, there were a number of computer games i’ve played a lot of hours of this year. It is just too easy to log on for a couple of games in the evening to unwind. What I have found is I rarely play multiplayer, instead it is normally single player campaigns. This may have something to do with the ‘study’ becoming a nursery and so my desktop is now in storage and instead I use a laptop in the lounge and shouting and coordinating with others doesn’t go down well with the wife when she is watching (insert reality show/cosy crime drama here). The main six games I’ve put the hours in are, Blood Bowl (1 and 2), Tom Clancy’s – The Division, X-COM, Dirt Rally and the new Total War: Warhammer. I will put up a post about this at some point. Suffice to say I love the total war games and had a fan based warhammer mod for the original Total War Rome game and this version is also brilliant.

4. 40k

Like most gamers who started out with Games Workshop (GW), it is difficult to not end up owning a number of space marines, if only due to the free figures given away in white dwarf over the years. It was a simple matter to pick up some more, pre-painted and cheaply, off eBay and I was ready to go. In true feet first fashion, my first foray into 40k was to sign up to the club competition but not being a complete masochist, I lined up a couple of practice games (to learn the rules) against Matt and Pete (who are in the D&D group). Suffice to say (and as expected), I didn’t win a game although did rank quite high in the group, only through having played more games than most of the others! Most of the 40k games were played in the first quarter of the year and so weren’t reported on the blog. The games were reasonably enjoyable. The game hasn’t grabbed me but that maybe because i’ve mainly played in the comp and I still don’t really know what i’m doing.

Will I continue with 40k? Maybe. There is a Kill-team evening due to occur in Feb (lists of 200pts) which sounds interesting and I’ll likely give that a go. The Comp this year will have restrictions and will follow a highlander style (all units from 1 book and a max of 1 of each type except troops). I still probably won’t enter, as this will potentially give me the first half of the year to try other gaming systems, but will definitely try out another game or 2.

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Matt’s Tyranids
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Pete’s Imperial Guard
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Comp game vs Dean’s Space Wolves
5. AoS

Like most other bloggers, i’ve previously covered my thoughts on the move from whfb to AoS. As with 40k, my first games of AoS were as part of a competition, namely the 1 day AoS Smash event the club held at the start of the year as a warm up to the SCGT. It was very good fun, though this was in the main down to it being my first public competition and because everyone there was so friendly and a good crack.

6 + 7 + 8 + 9. Other Game Systems

Totally failed to try out any of these games/rules. I did have an evening set up with Matt to try out KOW and/or ninth age rules but my wife fracturing her foot meant I had to curtail gaming in October. In 2017 I am likely to not enter the 40K competition which will give me plenty of time to try out some other gaming systems (he says).

So 60% complete looking at purely the numbers. Realistically the first and last items were the most important as whfb was and is my first love, so if I were weighting the list they would be allocated a higher percentage.

As a bonus, I also purchased, put together and painted (almost) a Beastmen army, ticking off one of my long term aims.

Going forward in 2017

Well with 2016 ‘briefly’ recapped it just remains to try and commit to some bits for the new year.

  1. Lose some weight.

Only joking – happy with my weight and size. It just seems to the the first thing people say they will do and then fail miserably. Who am I to break with tradition!

  1. Continue with whfb but get my wood elves onto the table (and possible the high elves).
  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.
  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.
  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.
  5. Finish painting the Beastmen (10 harpies, 15 Bestigor, a Beastlord and Malagor to go, so this should be easily achievable.
  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).
  7. Continue the D&D campaign. The first session is already booked in so I can tick this one off already!
  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.
  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).
  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.
  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).

For optional bonus items, I would add the following but they may not happen.

12. Finish off several of my part completed armies. These include:

  • Warriors of Chaos army. This is almost done, it just needs a few purchases (namely disc lord/sorcerer), perhaps a few more warriors.
  • Vampire Counts. Again a few more purchases are needed to fill out the core and to cover raising up units – so namely skeletons and zombies. These will definitely be from Mantic.

13. Actually complete/build a number of the boxes purchased during 2016!

So will I achieve any of the above. I hope so but I’ll consider most of the items as a wish list. I really prefer not to use unpainted armies so painting priorities will be associated with what army I am planning to use.

 

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Hobby Update – Gor Horde

After what seems like months of procrastination, i’ve finally finished (well as finished as they are going to get) the 40 strong Gor Horde.

So I present in all their be(a)stial glory…The horde!



I just need to repair (due to a small drop when facing Paul the other week) and then paint 10 Harpies and the Beastmen comp army is complete!

To completely finish all my Beastmen, I would then have to paint a Beastlord, Malagor and 15 Bestigors. 

Beastmen vs Nurgle Daemons – SELWG whfb stage 2 – game 2

On Friday I managed to get in my 2nd competition game against Paul Baker’s Daemons of Nurgle army with the Herd of Khazbar the Magnificent. After my trouncing by Dan White’s Empire army in the first of my stage 2 games, I knew that I had to get something from this game to be in with a chance of qualifying for the knockouts. No pressure then!

Again i’ll caveat that all mistakes are due to memory (or the fact that I forgot to take any notes on at least 2 of the turns).

Scenario

We ended up with meeting engagement which is played as per the rulebook but you have to win by 100 victory points to claim the win. I’m not sure i’d ever played this scenario before (or if I had it was way back in the distance past where I don’t remember!) so even though it is one of the least favourite scenario of a lot of players, I was quite looking forward to it as it was something different.

Terrain

We rolled up 6 pieces of terrain (one short of the maximum) and they were as follows:

Statue – Alter of Khaine (gives frenzy – very top left)

Forest (ended up as a venom thicket – top left)

Hill – Anvil of Vaul (gives flaming and magical attacks – centre)

Hill – Scree Slope (Dangerous Terrain – bottom left)

Forest (top right – no one entered it so we didn’t roll to see what it was)

Hill (normal – bottom right)

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Secret Mission

I chose stash the cash and Paul chose three and four pence.

Pre-match rolls

Magic

Khazbar (Great Bray Shaman – Lvl 4 – Shadow) – Ended up with Melkoths, Enfeebling foe, Pit of Shades and Mindrazor.

Wazzock (Bray Shaman – lvl 2 – Beasts) got Wildform and Curse.

Great Unclean one (lvl 4 – Nurgle) – got Miasma, blades, curse of the leper and Fleshy Abundance.

BSB (lvl 1 – Nurgle) – rolled – Rancid Visitations

Herald (lvl 1 – Nurgle) – rolled – Plague wind

Deployment

Khazbar was nobodies fool. He would not needlessly expose himself at the outset. This time he would wait, together with the birdwomen, hidden within the trees until he could ascertain the battle plan of the enemy. Let Wazzock take the risks, he was expendable. He was puzzled though. Why had the Nurglings encroached in his domain and where were their leaders?

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Turn 1 – Nurgle

Khazbar looked slightly worried as the unit of flying drones disappeared off the field and into the trees not too far to his left. Were they trying to sneak up on his position and ambush him? He summoned the birdwomen closer to him ensuring their silence as a black nimbus surrounded his hand sucking in the light, the shadows growing around them. On the battlefield the sky ripped open and amidst a deep earth shaking roar, a giant bronze skull hurtled down utterly destroying one of the chariots. This was too much for the Gor horde who turned tail and fled, leaving nothing but their spore showing where they were once part of a solid battle-line.

EDIT: If we had read the rules correctly on the night, we would have realised that Paul could not have moved the Plague Drones off the board until turn 2 in order to complete his mission.

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Panic!

Turn 1 – Beastmen

Still glancing over his shoulder in case the drones appeared, Khazbar sent spikes of pain into the minds of Zhuroc and Wazzock, reminding them that they needed to be far more terrified of him than the enemy. With fearful looks to the treeline they whipped the panicking Gor back into a semblance of order and turned to face the rest of their brethren. Determined to impress his master, Wazzock cast Curse of Anraheir at the nearest plaguebearer unit. He shrieked as the miscast ripped all knowledge of spells from his mind, eliciting a shake of the snout in disgust from Khazbar.

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Turn 2 – Nurgle

The trees on the far side of the field of battle rippled and then melted into a toxic sludge as a great unclean daemon waddled its way forward flanked by two of its heralds, the closest of which moved straight into the nearest unit. It wasted no time and gently blew in the direction of the Beastmen lines, the breath rapidly growing into a vortex of plague that spluttered to a halt just in front of it’s own unit. It giggled as the other herald and the greater daemon both took wounds from the magical feedback.

Tongue licking the gash that had opened in its flesh, grin becoming wider, the Unclean One followed up by casting Curse of the Leper on the closest Razorgor.

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Turn 2 – Beastmen

With the magical battle now swung in favour of the daemons (and having nothing to do with the worry of those damn disappearing drones), Khazbar decided that he best get on the field and moved up flanked by the harpies. He immediately fired off a quick succession of spells at the nearest enemy unit and reeled back wiping the blood from his snout as he promptly forgot half his repertoire.

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Turn 3 – Nurgle

The nurgle units moved to form a battle-line with the BSB Herald joined the far left Plaguebearer unit. The Great Unclean One shuffled up to anchor the line and with a deep belly laugh, its hands blurred as it flung numerous rancid visitations at the nearest Razorgor, to no effect.

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Turn 3 – Beastmen

With a sudden realisation that he was on his own, Khazbar ran forward to join his unit of bodyguards and ordered the right flank to advance.

Bloodhorn bellowed at the nearest Razorgor who moved up to block the plaguebearer unit as the Doombull lost control and with splittle flying from its maw, flew into the greater daemon, the venom thicket lashing out at him on the way through.

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Turn 4 – Nurgle

With a crack of thunder the sky split open and a pestilent rain storm started, sluicing skin and muscle off one of the Razorgors. Four of the Gor in the Horde, broke out in boils and fell to the ground shrieking as they erupted.

Ignoring the its growing instability the great unclean one fired a miasma at the doombull and then taking advantage of its weakened state, smashed it to the ground.

Khazbar grunted as a third unit of plaguebearers appeared from the trees and joined the others. The herd would have to engage them soon before anymore reinforcements appeared.

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Turn 4 – Beastmen

At the behest of Khazbar the herd advanced at speed, maintaining a discipline in formation seldom seen amongst his kind. Recognising that the decisive moment of the battle was almost upon them, he cast enfeebling on one of the nurgle units. True to form the backlash and explosion took out 12 beastmen, most of them in his own bodyguard, making a charge through the venom thicket a risky proposition.

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Turn 5 – Nurgle

Khazbar looked on in disbelief as the enemy seemed to freeze. The only movement was one unit backing up slightly and the two beasts of Nurgle running behind a forest.

(Edit: Completely forgot to take any notes of this turn so its possible there was some magic and/or damage from the Reign of Chaos but with only 3 dice for Paul I’m not sure anything was actually cast).

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Turn 5 – Beastmen

With a loud bray, Khazbar ordered the herd to charge. The Horde and Razorgor smashed into the nearest unit decimating a third of them with almost no loss to the Gor. The ensuing instability further reduced the unit. Khazbar and the Bestigor charged into the greater daemon, losing a three of the unit as the thorns from the thicket delivered their deadly poison. The Daemon launched his assault and Khazbar barely flinched as his protective amulets flared and turned aside the worst of the damage and in return he buried his hatchet in the grinning face. Seconds later it was joined by a dozen great weapons as his bodyguard tore into the pulsating mass of flesh and with a final echoing laugh it vanished back into the Garden of Blight from whence it came.

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Turn 6 – Nurgle

The melee between the hordes continued. The plague bearers overcame their initial hesitance and cut down a rank of the gor but it was too little to save them and the remaining few dissipated into the ether. The Razorgor in its excitement continued forward, disappearing into the woods. Its compatriot final succumbed to the gentle administrations of the rancid visitations, its body left bubbling as it rejoined the earth.

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Turn 6 – Beastmen

Khazbar hurriedly cast mindrazor on the Gor to his left, before joining his bodyguard and the Gor horde in charging the rear most of the plague units. Although causing a large number of wounds, the bearers remained in the mortal plain at the end of the combat.

The other combat ground to a stalemate but with their numbers dwindling, position worsening and loss of their stabilising influence, the remaining daemons withdrew from the field.

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Results

Approximately 1187 vs 558 Victory Points in my favour.

Mark – Win + 6 Turns + 1 Hobby (15+1+1=) 17 pts

Paul – Loss + Mission + 6 Turns + Painted (5+7+1+2=) 15 pts

Conclusion

Oh how things could have gone so very differently. The destruction of the chariot from the reign of chaos roll and the panicking of the horde on the first turn, meant I had to take subsequent panic tests with most of my units. With the BSB routing and my general off the board, they were taken for the most part against leadership 7, so it was pure luck that half my army weren’t running from the get go! To say I was worried was putting it mildly and it really threw me, making me very cautious until I got my general back in the line. This cautiousness meant that I didn’t end up in combat until turn 5 which was almost too late to make an impact.

Once again the Gor horde proved it’s worth in combat and really went to town on the Plaguebearer unit, although this was helped by some exceptionally lucky ‘to hit’ rolls on my behalf (in the first round of combat, after rerolls, I hit with all the 25 attacks I was able to make!). Paul also played that combat very well, backing up his unit so that I was unable to get a flank charge with the ghorgon, effectively taking it out of the game. The break test roll of double ones had us on the edge of the seats for a few minutes whilst we checked the rules to see if the unit had been utterly destroyed or was back to full stength (it was the former).

Thinking that i’d lost the doombull to a dangerous terrain check on the charge, on turn 3, was definitely upsetting/deflating (for some reason Paul didn’t think so 😀) and I definitely went somewhat quiet (apologies to Paul for that) until a check of the rules revealed it was only a wound lost.

My shaman general also rode his luck, not only saving all but one of his ward saves when the Great Unclean One put all its attacks against him but then making all his saves from the plaguebearer unit too! Considering my normal 1D6 rolls are low and 2D6 rolls high (to respectively fail saves and break/panic tests), I nearly fell off my seat in shock. The dice gods must have been smiling on me!

I’m starting to get used to having to roll for a miscast every time I cast a spell (ok, a slight exaggeration as it only occurred in 4 of my 6 turns). It doesn’t seem to matter how many dice I roll. At least this time I had a variety of results rather than the repeated dimensional cascades of the last game (only 12 dead from that result this time!). Miscasts or not, i’m still enjoying having a magic phase though I have to now learn that just because I can cast doesn’t mean I should (if only to limit the miscasts!).

All in all it was a very enjoyable game. More tense than the last one, maybe as more was riding on it. I completely misread how Paul was planning on tackling the game. Castling was not something I expected. It was also one of the quickest games i’ve played, probably as there was no shooting phase and with Paul barely moving and no combat really until turn 5, we flew through the turns. One thing i’ve taken away from this game is not to faff around so much and just get stuck in (if only to avoid the Reign of Chaos).

Competition wise I’m not in a particularly good position. Although I got a win, my failure to achieve my missions in this and the last game has massively put me on the back foot points wise. On a plus note, it does mean that I don’t feel under any pressure for my final game. Of course I will be trying to win it and in the process throw a spanner in the works for Neil but Already I am in the position of having to rely on other results going my way.

My third and final game against Neil’s mixed deity Daemons is penciled in for 13 January. After that I’ll be free to try out some other things which I’ll cover in a later post.

Hobby update – Now that’s magic!

The relentless painting grind continues and today I managed to finish off another 10 Gor towards the Gor horde.

I also completed 2 shamans for the beasts (hence the Paul Daniels quote). The first is the GW plastic model. I will say this was a lovely sculpt that glued together without the need for any filling and epitomises the quality of their newer plastic ranges. Say what you like about the company but you cannot knock the quality of their plastics. I kept it simple with the red tying it into one of the smaller Gor units and used a variety of browns for the patchwork cloak. As normal I noticed after posting the pictures that I hadn’t washed the inner lining of the cloak or the red.



The next shaman painted wasn’t the malagor model I’ve been using in my recent games but one of two ‘Black Friday’ purchases I treated myself to from Mierce Miniatures. This is from their Darklands range and I really like the model. It is slightly bigger than the GW Gor models (a centimetre or two) which is good as you would expect the Great Bray Shamans or Beastlords to be the biggest and toughest of their kind. This was the first smaller model I’ve purchased off Mierce and I actually don’t think the cast is as clean as the bigger models. I’m not sure if it is a different resin used, as it seems more brittle too (2 bits of wood from the staff came off during painting and the sword almost snapped off as well, thankfully I caught the latter and superglued it in place).


The final item hasn’t been painted (just built) but was my other Mierce purchase. I’ve been on the lookout for a suitable Minotaur BSB figure for a while. I don’t like the most recent GW sculpts and the older metal one is OK but quite uninspiring. Other companies produce possible options and I did consider them and then I found this model which I love. Not just that it is unusual being a Rhino rather than a Bull but it’s also big. Bigger than my metal Doombull. It comes with a 60mm base but just about squeezed on the 40mm square base and is the normal high quality resin used in the larger models. There are a few gaps which, as normal, I’ve done nothing about. I can’t wait to use this on the battlefield once it’s finished.


In terms of the Beastmen, I now have 10 Gor and 10 harpies to go (till the comp army is done) and the above model, 15 Bestigor, malagor and a Beastlord until all models are painted.

Beastmen vs Empire – SELWG whfb stage 2 – game 1

Friday rolled on and my first game of the second tournament stage. This was against Dan and his Empire army (his list was previously covered here and my list is here). Dan is a great opponent and with a classic match up of Beastmen vs Empire I knew we would be having a good game. The only doubt was whether I would provide a decent challenge with (a) my lack of Beastmen experience (all of 1 game) and (b) as I had been rather ill most of Friday morning (I know, I know – excuses, excuses). The latter was thankfully counteracted by Dan having been on his office work bash the night before, so neither of us were as spritely as normal!

I’ll caveat that (as usual) any mistakes are due to lack of notes and trying to decipher my photos and memory!

Scenario

We rolled Battle line (victory goes to the general with 200+ VPs), which was a nice surprise. I don’t think i’d played a straight forward battle in about 9 months.

Terrain

As with my last game, just 2 pieces of scenery were rolled:

1 * normal hill.

1 * River

Secret Mission

Dan chose stash the cash using the only piece of terrain he could (the river). I chose Hero hammered.

Pre-match rolls

The Shamen/Wizard spell selections were as follows:

Khazbar the Magnificent – Great Bray Shaman (roll of – 3*4 + 2): Melkoths miasma, Enfeebling, Okkams and Penumbral

Wazzock the Lame – Shaman (roll 1+5): Wyssans and Savage Beast.

Empire lvl 1 (dispel): Light of Battle

Empire lvl 1 (power stone): Shems

Empire Lvl 4 (roll of 2*5 + 4 + 2): Birona, Speed of Light, Net + Banish

Deployment 

Being in the year 2518, it came to pass that his most Magnificent, Khazbar of the Broken Skull tribe, rose to ascendance over the other local herds. (Help me!) And in his omnipotence, did decree that the herds should go forth and reap a tally from the hated and loathsome humans of the self styled ‘Empire’. (Please save me!). His vision and noble standing were so encompassing that he did spare the life of this humble scholar in order to document his mission to enlighten the world.

And in the second week after my rescue, the Glorious one did take it on himself to educate (dead, dead, he killed them all…) all the degenerate empire peasants of the region. The local tyrant did raise a host and seek to vanquish my lord and master, his Maleficence, Khazbar. Being of superior intellect and masterful in his tactics (PLEASSSSSSEE), Khazbar did take a fraction of the herd out of the forest depths to do battle and lo did the dastardly lickspittle of sigmar cower in a corner when faced with the might of the herd (SAVE MEEEEeeeee).

 Excerpt from the Chronicle of Khazbar the Magnificent. Attributed to Hans Beckenbower. Found at the site of the Battle of Sykle Fen.

I lost the roll and placed the first unit, we then alternated and as I finished deployment before Dan, got the bonus to the first turn roll (which I then duly lost).

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Turn 1 – Empire

The mass of humans gingerly advanced, intimidated by the might of the herd. The only exceptions were the two small units of knights, the weight of armour was obviously crushing all sense from their tiny brains. Khazbar casually  dismissed the pathetic attempt of the humans to net the harpies. He growled in anger as his student failed to counter the spawn of sigmar and a chariot was blasted to pieces. The metal monstrosity made a terrible sound, clunked to a halt and steam bellowed from it, eliciting a snigger from the horde. Khazbar shook his mane as the unit of harpies that had run onto the field, immediately turned tail and fled in terror after one of them was shot down.

 

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Run away!
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Turn 1 – Beastmen

Bloodhorn roared and flew forward. The rest of the herd responded to his cry and surged ahead as fast as they could. With a contemptuous flick of the claw, Khazbar cast a miasma onto the Stank lowering it’s initiative by 3. Chest swelling up with satisfaction from the look of fear and envy Wazzock gave him, he nonchalantly cast a boosted Penumbral at the Stank, failing to wound it but in the process killing a harpy and wounding the hellblaster. There was an almighty explosion from the resulting magical cascade, that knocked the unit to the ground. Fully a third of his Bestigor bodyguard failed to get back to their feet, bodies scorched and smoking. He shook his head to clear his mind. Even in his weakened, disorientated state he noted Wazzocks look of glee and bared his fangs in anger. He would carve that look out of the insolent whelps flesh later.

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Tactical retreat
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I take your brain to another dimension!
Turn 2 – Empire

Khazbar growled at Wazzock who quickly invoked the power of the Dark Chalice. Seconds later he and his unit ducked as the harpies flew over their heads, running from the charge of the unit of knights to their front. The birdwomen would have to be punished later. Both of the horsemen units stopped when faced with the mass of the herd yet failed to show the correct level of submission. They would learn!

Still reeling from the previous miscast, Khazbar dispelled one banishment but failed to catch the second as it slammed into Bloodhorn, who bellowed in rage, the archers in front flinching from the sound. If Bloodhorns bellow had been loud, it paled into insignificance next to the roar of the Ghorgan as it caught a cannonball from the metal abomination.

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Run away! (notice a theme here)
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Turn 2 – Beastmen

With a roar the Herd crashed into the humans. Bloodhorn smashed through the screen of archers, continuing into the Hurricanum. The Bestigors cut the unit of knights to pieces, one of them stooping to pick up the fallen standard. Khazbar swelling with power as he sucked the soul from the knight he had killed. Khazbar first ordered Wazzock to cast Wyssans on the horde, which was dispelled. Eyes narrowing with feral cunning he then cast Okkums on the small unit of Gor. His adversary frantically read from a parchment, which crumbled into dust, as it blocked the spell. Despite these minor setbacks, both units of Gor made short work of the second units of knights, the survivor flogging his horse as he ran for the hills. (Edit: this should have just been removed as the unit only had a standard in it). The scent of fresh blood also reached both sets of harpies, who stopped their respective retreats before leaving the field of battle.

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Herd 1 – Knights 0
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Turn 3 – Empire

With a rumble the two large empire chariots crashed into Bloodhorn. The wounds suffered earlier in the battle meant he succumbed to the scythed wheels. Khazbar again started to grin as the empire magic phase amounted to nothing. The grin was quickly wiped from his face as the metal box carved its way through his unit, pulping most of them beneath its treads. It then turned to fear as the horde of empire men charged into his flank and he realised there was nothing between him and the mass of men! Despite killing 3 personally, with the destruction of his unit and the dying groans of the Ghorgon from behind him, he decided that he would be better placed directing the battle from the safety of the treeline…

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Now you see me…
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Now you don’t
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Combat aftermath
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I think someone was calling my name…
Turn 3 – Beastmen

With Khazbar fleeing the field and the doombull fallen, it was left to Zhuroc to salvage something from the fight. He let loose a loud bray and led his unit into the midst of the empire horde in front of him. The remaining chariot hurtled into its counterpart and a Razorgor driven wild with bloodlust, slammed into the side of the Steam Tank.

Wazzock saw his chance to gain the eminent magical position in the tribe but sadly lived up to his title of ‘the lame’ by failing to get any spells through. He took his frustration out on the men in front of him, joining his unit in decimating the horde and then steaming forward into the bunker holding all the empire wizards.

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Learning to chaff
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Turn 4 – Empire

Rightly fearing for their lives the empire wizards threw everything they had into their magic phase. Zhuroc glanced over at Wazzock, who just looked confused and was barely able to defend himself. Empire swords and staves moving so fast they blurred and an eldritch shield deflecting blows was not enough to save them however and the horde trampled their remains as they rushed into the next unit of archers, oblivious as around them the empire whittled down the remnants of the herd.

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Turn 4 – Beastmen

Zhuroc and the horde tore through the last of the archers and reformed to face the hellblaster, ready to make it pay for the inevitable barrage coming their way. Wazzock augmented the smaller Gor herd and their muscles swelled and skin hardened. Not to be outdone by his master, the resultant cascade killed 12 Gor, severely reducing the hordes numbers.

Feeling invincible, the smaller Gor Herd saw their chance and charged the spawn of sigmar who ran like a whipped cur, though they were unable to catch him.

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Lector runs!
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Turn 5 – Empire

Looking rather sheepish and hoping that no one had noticed his moment of indiscretion, the empire general turned his mount back to face the battlefield.

The Hellblaster then opened up killing 7 of the gor horde. Zhuroc peered around suddenly noticing that he was dangerously short of friendly bodies surrounding him. Things took a turn for the worst when the other remaining unit was obliterated by a combined assault from the demigryph knights and the armoured wheeled box and the Bestigor chariot was crushed by its empire counterparts.

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Turn 5 – Beastmen

In a final desperate bid to get something from the battle, the remaining Gor charged the engineer and Zhuroc issued a challenge. Wazzock tipped the odds in their favour by casting the savage beast on the wargor who duely ripped the empire man limb from limb. From the tree line Khazbar cackled as the resultant miscast killed his upstart apprentice.

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Turn 6 – Empire

Without waiting to watch the humans mop up the last of the remaining Gor, Khazbar turned his back on the field and trudged back into the depths of the forest, pausing only long enough to signal the Bestigor to bring the gibbering human scribe. He made a mental note to kill them before he got back to the tribe so none would know of his defeat.

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Tabled!

Results

Dan – Win + 6 turns + painted + mission (15+1+2+7 =) 25 points
Me – Loss + 6 turns (5+1 =) 7 points

Due to the total destruction of my force we didn’t bother to add up VPs but Dan had around 1,220 points left on the field at the end.

Conclusions

That was by far the most enjoyable game of warhammer I’ve had in a long time. I don’t think I’ve been so pleased in using new toys in an eternity. It was the little things that made it, including being able to use the counters made to denote wounds/extra attacks/banners captured. Even Dan said he’d never seen anyone so excited or happy to roll on the miscast table. What can I say, playing Dwarves, I’ve never had to and killing around 25 Beastmen through dimensional cascades was hilarious. This army reminds me very much of Orcs but not quite as crazy. It probably helped going in with no expectations and so when things went wrong it was easy to shrug my shoulders.

Dan as normal was a pleasure to play against and further to our start of game discussion on me wanting to learn how to effectively use chaff, he was giving me advice even during the pivotal turn 3. It didn’t impact the outcome but not everyone would have done so at that point of the game.

The Good

The Bestigors were as effective as I had expected them to be. It would have been interesting to have seen how much more so if I hadn’t of killed 1/3rd of them myself 😉 (and i kept forgetting they had GWs and not additional hand weapons). Razorgors look so potential on paper, with 4 Str 6 attacks on the charge, but i’ve found them less than effective in combat. They are good at holding things up though, so i’ll have to use them as a tough road block rather than a combat multiplier. Having been on the receiving end Dan’s horde of halberdiers before, I was apprehensive about getting into combat with them so I was shocked how easily my Gor ripped them apart. This was helped in part by Dan leaving his hurricanum and luminark out of their bubble range and the one poorly rolled magic phase in the game was the turn before I charged, so it had no buffs. He then compounded the error in having his wizard bunker further forward than his other archers allowing me to overrun into them. Two rare mistakes on his part.

The Bad

Not that I played a mistake free game by any means. Not knowing the rules for rivers and movement through them meant that I left the Ghorgon vulnerable to additional rounds of cannon and even then I should have just charged him forward rather than faffing around trying to get him away from the Stank. In fairness Dan did offer to let me redeploy the Ghorgon and Razorgor so they weren’t trapped by the river, which was very decent of him but as I said to him, leaving them there meant I would learn from the mistake in a more effective manner. Blocking my own troops with Chaff, meaning that I couldn’t chase down his troops was not the best use of them and I must remember that just because I can scout, doesn’t mean I necessarily should, especially as the harpies have such low leadership. I also made mistakes in the repeated piecemeal charges. I would have been better off holding back a turn in many cases and then charging in. I should also of taken Pit over Penumbral in my spell selection in order to deal with the Stank. A total balls up in my part from reading the rules incorrectly and possibly a game losing one as that thing decimated two of my units. Looking back at the photos I also see that if I’d angled my Doombull more I could have had the option of charging the flank of his horde. Whether this would have been a better use of him I don’t know, it was only due to a lucky stand and shoot roll that he lost enough wounds to be killed by the chariot impacts and that combat could well have gone my way if he had survived. Having him attack the warmachines did pull them out of position which helped the horde combat. So it probably didn’t make too much difference.

The biggest mistake made however was in my final turn. Trying to complete my secret mission I charged the unit of Gor with my characters into the engineer. I would have been better off charging the engineer with my BSB and the hellblaster with my shaman, leaving the Gor unit as a speed bump. This might have meant that one of the characters survived the game as at that point I was ahead on character deaths. Leaving them all in one unit, allowed Dan to concentrate charges/fire/magic on the unit wiping them out, thus we drew on the number of characters slain and I didn’t achieve the mission.

After this game I am very much looking forward to the next one against Paul. We’ll see if I learnt any lessons and can pick up my game a bit!