I’ve been pretty quiet on the hobby front recently. I’ve not lifted a paintbrush in over a month and a half and the bit of free time i’ve had has mainly been spent on Total War – Warhammer 2. That being said, I do have a number of Bloodbowl games to finish writing up and I’ve been working on my own analysis of the Dwarf Army book for the Eighth Edition for Life forum (only 4 or so years after its release and the death of warhammer…). When complete I’ll likely add it here.
I did manage to get in my semi-final game against Neil. I think it’s fair to say I knew this would be a very tough game. Neil is a canny opponent and Lizards are probably his strongest army.
As always, any mistakes are entirely down to my notes (with a bit of poetic licence thrown in).
Having fought off the ruin’s previous skaven occupants, the herd had swiftly moved in. Bashor had taken residence in the highest temple, where he sat in a throne of made of bones a mad glint in his eye as he issued decrees every hour. Khazbar increasingly worried about Bashor. The more the madness grew, the less likely it was that Cattleclysm would deter the Beastlord from ordering his death. Something would have to be done and sooner rather than later. On top of this, his searches of the complex had failed to turn up anything of worth yet he remained convinced that there were hidden chambers still to be uncovered. His thoughts were interrupted by a cringing ungor entering the room. He listened as the halfhorn gave his report, snout peeling back in a grin. So the Lizardmen had decided to reclaim the temple had they? Perhaps this could work out to his advantage.
Bashor the Bloody (General) – Armour of Destiny, Sh, Ogre Blade – 238pts
Khazbar the Magnificent – Level 4 Great Bray Shaman (Lore of Beasts), Brass Cleaver, Jagged dagger, talisman of preservation, gouge tusks – 335pts
Cattleclysm – Doombull, HA, Sh, Gold Sigil Sword, Ramhorn Helm, Dragonbane Gem, Arabyan Carpet, Gnarled Hide – 353pts
Zurrock the Mighty (BSB) – Wargor, HA, Sh, Beast Banner – 191pts
Wazzock the Lame – Level 1 Shaman (Lore of Shadow), dispel scroll – 100pts
48 Gor – FC, AHW – 409pts
37 Bestigor – FC, Standard of Discipline – 489pts
Tuskgor Chariot – 80pts
Tuskgor Chariot – 80pts
Razorgor – 55pts
Razorgor – 55pts
Harpies – 55pts
5 Ungor Raiders – 30pts
5 Ungor Raiders – 30pts
Total – 2500
Slann (General) – Forbidden Rod, Wandering Deliberations – 365pts
Skink Chief (BSB) – Armour of Destiny, Sh – 119pts
Saurus Oldblood – LA, Sh, Great Weapon, Dragonhelm, Opal Amulet, Arabyan Carpet – 236pts
Saurus Scar-Vet – Gamblers Armour, Great Weapon, Dawnstone, Cold One – 149pts
Skink Priest – Level 1 (Lore of Heavens) – Dispel Scroll – 90pts
8 Cold One Riders – spear, Sh, Standard, Musician – 292pts
26 Temple Guard – Musician, Standard – 384pts
25 Saurus Warriors – Standard – 285pts
10 Skink Cohort – Standard – javelin, Sh – 60pts
10 Skink Skirmishers – blowpipe – 70pts
10 Skink Skirmishers – blowpipe – 70pts
10 Skink Skirmishers – blowpipe – 70pts
10 Skink Skirmishers – blowpipe – 70pts
6 Chameleon Skinks – 78pts
6 Chameleon Skinks – 78pts
1 Salamander Hunting pack – 4 Handlers – 84pts
Total – 2500pts
The skink Chief took Blizzard (from Lore of Heavens)
The Slann had Harmonic Convergence so got all the 8 signature spells
Khazbar ended up with Wyssans, Amber spear, Curse of Anreheir and Savage Beastof Horros
Wazzock took enfeebling foe
Dawn Attack – random deployment as per the BRB but the table is divided into quadrants. You get 2 pts if you control your opponent’s quadrants and 1 pt for each of your own.
Map pack 2 – 1 wood (ended up as a normal one), 2 normal hills, an anvil of Vaul, 1 building (with 3 walls) and a normal river. After placement it looked like this.
Neil laid his army first. Deployment was not too harsh for either of us and most our units were centrally placed.
I failed to steal first turn so he went first
Turn 1 – Lizards
The Skink Skirmisher units surged across the board in order to get into range with their blow pipes next turn and to generally do what chaff do best (screw up movement and be a bloody nuisance). They were supported by the two blocks of heavy infantry moving up as a second wave.
Both units of Chameleons materialised in front of my right flank (I’d been careful to not leave gaps behind my lines) and targeted the Razorgor on that side. The venom of the lesser striped tree frog had been left on the darts for too long, as he took a couple of wounds from their poison but it wasn’t enough to kill him.
The Slann barely opened its eyes and nonchalantly waved a hand and launched a boosted fireball on the chariot opposite him. The resulting miscast not only made him pay a bit more attention to what was going on but cost him a wizard level and lost him that spell. It did manage to put a couple of wounds on the chariot but the trade-off might come back to haunt him. The priest then tried to cast Blizzard on the Bestigor but Khazbar dispelled it with ease.
Turn 1 – Beasts
Determined to clear out some of the skink cloud threatening to gum up his lines, Bashor ordered his forces forward.
The Gor Horde targeted one of the Chameleon units, who unsurprisingly ran but they didn’t get too far and were summarily cut down.
The Doombull charged the Skinks directly in front of him, who also fled but this time to safety, leaving behind a very pissed off Minotaur. He glared through red tinged eyes at the Lizard lines, death and blood at the very forefront of his thoughts.
The central chariot charged the unit next to the skinks who had fled, taking a couple of wounds from the stand and shoot reaction (Edit: what is it with all the shooting causing two wounds each time). The chariot made short work of them (helped out, as it had been given a Wyssans Wildform buff) and crushed the remaining fleeing skinks beneath its iron shod wheels as it overran. This did leave it directly in front of the Cold One Riders with it very likely to receive a charge in the following turn.
Turn 2 – Lizards
The Cold One riders, seeking revenge for what it had done to their smaller brethren, charged into the chariot and in the ensuing combat, neither side managed to do any damage to the other (Edit: it wasn’t helped as this was the one and only time in the game I forgot Primal Fury), however the Lizards charge and banner were enough to win the combat and the chariot decided discretion was the better part of valour and turned tail. In what was becoming a trend for the game, it didn’t run fast enough and was smashed to pieces by the chasing cavalry.
The fleeing Skink skirmishers rallied under the nearby eye of the Slann and BSB.
The Slann attempted to cast Blizzard on the Gor but was blocked by Khazbar. He was able to prevent the Frog-Mage following up with a Spirit Leech at his faithful Cattleclysm but a baleful glare at his apprentice was enough to get Wazzock to read from his scroll. This turned to dust as the spell dissipated harmlessly.
The remaining Chameleons, weaved through the Beastmen lines and finished off the wounded Pumba. The nearby horde of Gor choose this moment to fail their re-rollable panic check and ran away from the camouflaged skinks, bouncing through the chariot/coldone combat and ended up in the Lizardman deployment zone, dangerously close to the edge of the board. That definitely wasn’t part of the plan! (edit: it was part of Neil’s though, as that was why he had targeted the unit with Blizzard in an attempt to reduce their leadership. He hadn’t counted on the 11″ roll and them bouncing through the combat, which he said had caused his plan to backfire). To addfurther insult to injury, 7 of their number were cut down by the Cold One Riders as they ran through the unit (astupid amount of 1’s were rolled for the dangerous terrain check).
The Skink Cohort reached the building in the far corner of the battlefield and moved in to take permanent residence where they would take no further part in the battle (bar helping score scenario victory points).
The remaining skinks and salamander targeted the Bestigor to start whittling down their numbers but their aim faltered under the manic gaze of the embedded Beastlord and only 4 fell to the combined fire.
Turn 2 – Beasts
Cattleclysm, incensed by his previous foe having slipped through his claws, crashed into the Cold One Riders (who, conveniently, were unable to flee due to their Immune to Psych rule). He cut down 50% of the unit and the rest fled (Edit: I forgot the standard bearer should have been removed at that point). The Cold Ones bounced through the freshly rallied Gor horde and due to a particularly low roll managed to stay on the table in the small gap between the Gor and edge of the board. Drat!
The Bestigor charged the Skink screen that were directly in front of them losing a few of their number to poison. In combat it came as no surprise to anyone watching that the Bestigor hacked the skinks apart and then reformed to face the Temple Guard.
The remaining chariot moved to cover the flank and rear of the Bestigors in case the Oldblood decided to join the party and the Harpies moved up to protect the rear of the Doombull for the same reason.
The Ungor Raiders on the left flank moved to get in the way of the Saurus block so it would be prevented from moving fully into the Beastmen left quadrant.
Turn 3 – Lizards
With their screening chaff now gone, the Temple Guard had no choice but to take the initiative and charged into the Bestigor. The guard were supported by the Salamander and handlers who went into the flank of the elite Beastmen.
The Slann invoked the forbidden rod trying to boost the weak winds of magic, taking 3 wounds in the process (amusingly, one for each extra power dice). The giant frog started the phase by casting Blizzard onto the Bestigor but this was quickly dispelled. Khazbar had previous run ins with Nurgle and knew what a difference negative hit modifiers could have. This did mean allowing the Slann to get off Earthblood giving his bodyguard a weak regen to replaced the armour save they would lose thanks to their attackers great weapons. The spell also healed him of one of the wounds he had lost.
Combat saw the Temple Guard and Bestigor each killed 6 a piece but the combat ended a draw due to the additional wounds caused on the Salamander and skinks (cancelling out the flank attack and charge bonus).
The Saurus block charged the Ungor blocking them and the plucky underdogs managed to take out two of them before they were wiped out (edit – I just pulled them after seeing if they managed to kill any Saurus).
The Oldblood charged the harpies who fled, leaving him floundering around in the centre of the battlefield much to the amusement of Khazbar.
The Scar Vet on Cold One showed him up by making a long charge into the chariot and making short work of it.
The remaining Cold One riders successfully rallied and turned to face the rear of the Gor.
The Chameleon’s shot and killed 3 of the nearby Ungor but the plucky raiders held their ground.
Turn 3 – Beasts
The remaining 2 Ungor Raiders went for glory and found only death as they charged into a hail of poisoned shots from the Chameleons.
with a loud bray, Khazbar ordered his unit to charge the temple guard but the long speculative charge failed miserably to reach them.
He instead ordered the Doombull to move up to threaten the flank of the Temple Guard (conveniently this also moved him out of the charge arc of the oldblood).
Khazbar, rubbing his hands with glee at having a clear shot, threw a boosted amber spear at the ancient saurus but this was scrolled. His attempt to cast Curse of Anraheir on the Temple Guard was then dispelled but the Slann was unable to prevent Wyssans buffing the Bestigor and they then went on to finish off the Salamander and cut up the Temple Guard some more. The boost to their toughness also helped to prevent more than a fewof their number falling in response. The Guard held though, as with the Slann in their midst they were stubborn.
The Razorgor, seeing an easy target, moved round the Sarus block to threaten the Skink Priest who had moved out of the house.
In a move that either, was completely illegal as they may not have rallied, or my notes/photos had gotten out of sync, the Harpies moved to try and block the Cold One Riders. Either way they weren’t able to do it (having failed the leadership test to march and so couldn’t block them), so it was a moot point.
Turn 4 – Lizards
In a move that completely blindsided the Beastmen (I forgot that rivers only impede marching), the Saurus block charged into the flank of the Bestigors.
The Slann attempted subterfuge in order to influence the combat. A Spirit Leech onto the Doombull was let through but failed to wound it. Displeased that the wiley shaman had not fallen for the misdirection he cast Blizzard onto the Bestigor but Khazbar ensured this was dispelled. Starting to get frustrated that this lesser being had the audacity to block his spells, he put all his force into a Wyssans. The power staggered Khazbar, who could do nothing to prevent the irresistible spell. The Mage-priest blinked with worry as a second miscast went off and an audible sigh was heard as it only killed two of his bodyguard.
In a brutal round of combat for both sides, most of the remaining Temple guard were killed as were almost two ranks of the Bestigor. With only 3 Temple Guard left alive, the Slann had no choice but to step up into the front rank.
The elite Beastmen lost combat by 5 (Edit: though it should have been 2 as the Saurus rank bonus shouldn’t have counted due to them being partially in the river) but in a lucky bit of rolling (or karma due to the aforementioned inclusion of the saurus ranks) and much to my delight and Neil’s disgust, they passed their leadership test and held. The Slann was definitely in trouble now as he was in range of a whole host of great weapons and narrowed, red, bestial eyes looking with malice right at him.
On their left flank, Cold One Riders hit the back of the Gor Horde. Khazbar immediately made way to the back of the unit and Zurrock went to follow him but, incorrectly, was convinced he had to stay at the front. 2 dead Saurus later and the final rider ran back towards the edge of the board (with the standard bearer being removed this time).
The Oldblood tried to support this by charging the front of the unit but again failed to make the charge. Khazbar, swelling with power gained from slaying the Cold One Riders, snorted with glee again as he knew he had another little gift lined up for him.
Even the nearby skinks shooting up the Gor and removing a rank from his unit was not enough to dampen his mood.
On the other side of the river, the Skink Priest moved up to block the Razorgor. The piggy couldn’t believe his luck, lunch had been served!
Turn 4 – Beasts
Blood drunk with rage, Cattleclysm smashed into the Temple Guard and killed the remaining few and the Slann with ease. This left him out of combat and he over ran slightly.
The Bestigor and Saurus combat continued with the Saurus killing a few of the Beasts. . Combat tied and the severely depleted Bestigor reformed to face the Saurus.
The Razorgor was unable to help himself and charged into the Skink Priest who had moved to block him and he was swiftly crushed (edit: Neil just removed him without rolling combat). At this point the Lizards had no magic users left on the board!
The remaining Harpies charged the single Cold One rider to ensure it didn’t rally and he swiftly left the battlefield. They followed him off and at least would be safe from the skink shooting for a turn.
The Gor, unable to charge, moved up to support the central combat if required.
Khazbar took the opportunity to launch a second boosted amber spear at the oldblood. His opal amulet was overwhelmed by the irresistible force of the cast and a blue mist was all that remained in its wake. The shaman’s laughter was cut short as both he and Zurrock took wounds from the feedback and 5 Gor fell dead.
Turn 5 – Lizards
The combat between the Saurus and Bestigor came to a conclusion with Bashor forcing his way into contact with the Lizardman unit where he promptly slew 4 of them. The Saurus hit back and killed all the unit bar the champion, Wazzock and Bashor. Again the Bestigor lost combat but this time they had enough and were run down by the vengeful Lizards. Khazbar looked on and the smile lit up his face again as he watched the Beastlord get trampled into the mud.
The remaining skink skirmishers and Chameleons moved out of the charge arc of the Gor and shot them up some more, removing another rank and causing the unit to waver. No panic took hold as the infectious glee of Khazbar boosted the spirit of the unit.
The Scar Vet attempted to charge the Doombull but all he accomplished was to add to the long list of failed charges in the game.
Turn 5 – Beasts
With the path now clear, the Gor horde charged into the Saurus block, backed up with a rear charge from the Razorgor. The Gor were so eager to get to grips with the unit that had slain their leader that they went into a frenzy (Edit: first time I’d ever rolled that on a unit that wasn’t 5 Ungor Raiders). To back this up, Khazbar cast a boosted Savage Beast on himself and Zurrock (and Cattleclysm was caught in the bubble if not the combat) and between them (with their 14 re-rollable S8 attacks) and the frenzied unit (29 re-rollable S4 attacks), they tore the Saurus apart and then overran.
The Doombull then moved to try and ensure the skinks wouldn’t be out of his charge arc.
Turn 6 – Lizards
The scar vet again tried to charge the doombull but again failed to make the distance.
With very few units left, the Chameleons moved up to prevent the Gor swift reforming to face either deployment zone.
The skink skirmishers with the BSB moved so that every model was on the edge of the board to maximise the Doombull’s charge. The other remaining skink skirmisher unit moved to place themselves in front of the other unit. They then killed the remaining Harpies.
Turn 6 – Beasts
The Doombull charged the one skink unit he could reach and made short work of them with his 10 S9 attacks (thanks to Savage Beast). We didn’t even roll for the BSB’s unit to see if they would panic, as due to the inability to get the Gor fully into any quadrant, even if they had run off the board, Neil would have won 1-0.
Win for Neil
Neil – Win (15) – Secondary Object (0) = 15
Me – Loss (5) – Secondary Objective (6) = 11
My secondary objective was ‘Cut off the head’ (kill the enemy general in close combat)
Neil’s was ‘Raid the Baggage’ (get a fortitude bearing unit in the enemy deployment zone).
That was one of the most brutal but fun games I’ve played in a long while. It swung back and forth several times and could have gone either way up until the end. Although getting frenzy in my fifth turn was amazing from a ‘never had it before’ perspective, it actually cost me the game as it prevented me from reforming after combat, which would have given me the chance to move into Neil’s quadrant in my final turn.
Probably the main factor in the end, really came down to the fact that I only had two units capable of capturing quadrants (combined with Neil playing an excellent running away game with the skirmishers).
This lack of units with fortitude has caused challenges throughout the tournament and was frankly down to a bad list selection from me. Or rather than bad list selection, more accurately it was me just taking what I wanted to and ignoring the scenarios that I myself had set as the tournament organiser. I have no-one to blame bar myself…
I’ll add that I may have made a mistake using the Doombull to finish the Slann and Temple guard rather than moving him to target the more slippery skink bsb. In my head, the issue was I needed to ensure I killed the Slann in combat to complete the secondary objective as I didn’t know what Neils was or if he had achieved it (he hadn’t).
It could also be argued that I probably should have used the Doombull to charge the Saurus, rather than the Gor, as at that point, the Gor held one of the enemy Quadrants but I also needed to ensure I killed the Saurus unit to prevent it capturing my quadrant and I don’t think the Doombull alone could have managed that.
One thing that did go my way throughout the game (ignoring Neil’s ability to keep failing 3 dice charges) was my primal fury rolls. I didn’t fail a single one ensuring I re-rolled almost every to hit dice.
Still, despite the loss, I’m happy to have made my first Semi-final and I still have a chance to make 3rd place overall.
I will end with a congratulations to Neil for scrapping through to the final ;p.