With barely a rumble, the bridge pivoted up to connect to the causeway that extended out from the other side of the vast chasm, running alongside the side of the mountain. The only sign of the massive counter weights and dwarvern mechanisms powering it were the two enormous chains running from the underside of the bridge into darkened recesses within the cliff. As the two sections smoothly came together, the giant gates set back under the overhanging archway, opened and receded into the statues of the ancestor gods that stood on either side. The air was split with the sound of rasping horns and almost immediately, with iron shod boots striking the ground in lockstep, the dwarves appeared from within the depths of the silver capped mountain that gave the hold its name. The throng of Karak Silvertop once more marched to war!
As covered in my last post about the army lists, this week I had the pleasure of facing off against Luke and his oldhammer Warriors of Chaos.
Pre-match rolls and Terrain
With 5 spells to roll for, the Deamon Princes had everything with the exception of Stream of Corruption and Blades of Putrefaction.
The Dwarf hatred roll was against all characters.
The scenario rolled was battleline.
For once we decided to roll everything using the BRB including the terrain and ended up with the following:
Forest (turned out to be a Blood forest)
River (completely forgot to roll for the effects)
Magic circle (MR 2 within 6″), depicted by the blood alter on the map.
Wizards tower (You gain lore master of your chosen lore for the turn).
Nehekharan Sphinx – If you pass an initiative test you can gain either: HKB, lore master of death or something else that I cannot remember (or be bothered to look up now) for the rest of the game.
We decided that the Sphinx was massively overpowered and that only one death spell could be gained with each test.
I will say, that this is one of the things i really never liked about 8th. Why can’t terrain just be terrain. Why does everything have to have sodding magical properties. It always seemed to be unnecessary and unneeded addition to the game.
As it went all the random terrain was pretty moot, as after I won the roll for sides and we switched over, I promptly stuck the horde of hammerers on the Sphinx to block the prince getting to it and we then proceeded to completely forgot about the terrain special rules!
I nearly deployed entirely on my left flank to take advantage of the open terrain but with the sphinx dead centre, I wanted to control that and the house was ready made to protect one flank (and more importantly the organ gun) and allowed me to place the quarreller unit in there, so they would not only be able to shoot in any direction without penalty but it would also protect them in combat and give them stubborn. The two hordes were placed front and centre and the Irondrakes were placed to guard the flank.
Turn 1 – WoC
With a great cry, the forces of the dark gods pushed forward on all fronts. The Juggernauts of Khorne showed an amazing amount of restraint, keeping their wits enough to maximise the range of the organ gun.
The prince called on the favor of his deity and the juggers were the recipients, flesh toughening in response. The warriors on the shrines chanted in unison and the eye of the gods turned on their champions with Thrudd’s muscular caricature growing further.
The depraved, twisted cousins of the dwarves goaded their charge to target the hammerers but the enraged daemon broke free of it’s chains, devouring it’s handlers and wounding the nearby daemon prince.
The hammerers watched, unimpressed, as the hail of javelins launched at them all failed to clear the nearby river.
Turn 1 – Dwarves
The gyrocoptors flew towards the large unit of Warriors and although at the maximum distance for their weapons effective range, still managed to roast 5 of the putrescent ones. The irondrakes stepped up and chargrilled 4 of the dogs in front of them, the stench of cooked tainted meat was not enough to send the final member of the pack running though.
The quarrellers in a rare moment of total ineptitude, all targeted the same dog. That dog obviously died, pincusioned with bolts and with their faces flaming behind their beards the crossbow dwarves were glad the walls of the house hid their shame from their brethren.
The crew of the organ gun, seeing the Daemon Prince had been gravely wounded tried some speculative shots to finish off the fell beast but they all went wide of the mark instead shredding the trees surrounding him.
Turn 2 – WoC
The warriors charged into the nearest of the gyro’s and dispite the warped diseases that threatened to twist the flesh of the flyer, he staved them off, striking a warrior down in the process. The experience was unnerving enough that with his machine rusting before his eyes, his nerve broke and he peeled off and made for the hills.
The Maurauder horse and remaining hound attempted to charge the irondrakes but the runes on their standard flared brightly causing both units to stumble and pull up short of their target. Seeing the failure of the nearby units to charge the drakes, Thrudd instead flew across the river to set up a favourable future charge.
On the other side of the river, the dogs failed to charge the organ gun, thus impeding the ability of the Skullcrushers to do anything. Bellowing in frustration they steered their mounts to the side, determined that they would not be denied their tally of skulls.
The Daemon Prince realised staying put was just inviting the artillery to keep targeting him and determined to share the gifts of the allfather, tore into the warrior horde. Four of the brave dwarves fell beneath his claws and a further warrior was shredded from the miscast explosion that also took a further wound from the prince. (Edit: with a single wound now remaining, Luke was now somewhat concerned for the safely of the Prince!)
Turn 2 – Dwarves
The Gyro finished it’s tactical retreat and once again turned to face the warriors. His squadron partner, used the time to get into a prime position and fired his steam gun at full force. Seven of the Nurgle warriors fell to the ground with the putrid flesh sluiced off their bones as the boiling steam turned the armour into a pressure cookers.
The quarrellers, making up for their early failure, wiped out the remaining dogs, opening up the path for the Organ Gun to then target the Skullcrushers. With typical efficiency the machine cut down one of the monstrous infantry and left a second hanging onto life.
The Hammerers charged into the mauraders who fled, panicking the nearby hound. They then redirected into the trolls who also fled. The Daemon prince continued it’s one
man monster crusade of destruction, killing another 5 dwarves and healing a wound in the process.
Turn 3 – WoC
Thrudd and the nearby Warshrine both charged into the Irondrakes. The defensive fire once again proving ineffective against the well armoured BSB. In the ensuing combat the Irondrakes showed their elite status, wounding Thudd and the damaging the warshrine twice for the loss of just two of their number.
The few remaining warriors of Nurgle recharged the damaged Gyro, this time completing what they started and permanently grounding the machine.
The Skullcrushers finally managed to get a charge off, targeting the quarrellers. Much to their frustration they needed to dismount to attack the dwarves and were quickly repulsed from their building assault. The Warshrine supported this by attacking the organ gun and destroying the proud machine. The Prince continued his demolition of the warriors, again gaining a wound but unable to shift the steadfast dwarves.
The marauder horse and single hound continued their run from the battle but the Trolls rallied and turned to face the battlefront.
Turn 3 – Dwarves
In what turned out to be the final turn of the game, the remaining gyrocoptor continued to whittle down the warrior unit, this time taking out just two of them. The Irondrake combat continued with 2 more of the dwarvern elite falling but in return they bought down the enemy BSB and inflicted a further wound on the shrine, that they then proceeded to run down as it fled from the implacable dwarves.
The Prince killed off a handful of the stout warriors and they failed to inflict any damage in return.
Throgg and the Trolls once again fled from the attention of the Hammerers, who pulled up just inside the woods
Running out of time and with so little of the battle played, very little destruction had been achieved. I’d lost my Organ Gun (145pts) and a Gyrocoptor (80pts) and Luke had lost his BSB (241pts), a warshrine (135pts), the hellcannon (210pts) and a pack of dogs (30pts) which, when also factoring in the bonus 50VPs from killing the BSB, gave me a 666 to 225 victory.
On the drive back we had a chat about how we thought the rest of the battle might have played out. We agreed that the Irondrakes killing the bsb and the shrine had given me the edge.
On the left flank, the Warriors were in real trouble, they could have retreated but the Irondrakes would have been able to move across and finish them off (perhaps with the assistance of the Gyro)
It the centre, the hammerers would probably have done a swift reform and moved to attack the Prince in turn 5. If the Warriors were able to hold for another turn or two (which should have been possible due to steadfast) it would ensure the prince was held which should have allowed this. This would have likely resulted in a dead prince. However the nearby shrine might have been able to charge the dwarf Warriors (though I would have used my engineer to try and delay this), which could have swung the combat allowing the prince to avoid the hammerers. Either way the Dwarf Warriors survivability was looking as likely as their chaotic compadres.
The juggernaut riders could possibly have finished off the quarrellers but with steadfast and Lukes rolls, they likely would have taken all game to do so (especially as the xbow dwaves wouldn’t have to initiate combat in their turn).
I forget how psychological this game can be, especially if you haven’t faced a specific unit before. For Luke it was the Hammerers, he was trying to avoid it (successfully) at all costs. For me it was Throgg and the Trolls. I’ve seen Luke roll a phenomenal number of saves before so that regen was really worrying me.
In terms of the list, it played reasonably well. The ease in which Luke avoided the hammerers just bought to the forefront the major weakness with Dwarf armies, their movement and as such when taking large blocks of troops you need to ensure the options for the enemy are all bad (or that there isn’t one option that is better than another). In hindsight this meant that I should have put at least the lord in the warriors as he would have bolstered the weaker unit making neither of them a good prospect to attack.
The two Runesmiths, Banner of Valaya and 2 dispel scrolls really helped contain the magic phase and the banner especially, gave me a massive edge vs the bound warshrine spells. As it went I only used one of the dispel scrolls in the last turn and probably wouldn’t have bothered doing so if it hadn’t been the last turn.
My unit of the match was definitely the Gyrocoptors that between them they killed off 14 of the Warriors, though my Irondrakes were probably a close second once again proving their worth.
My next match may be against Luke using a full gunline but I also know that Neil is interested in a game too.