With the recent announcement of the return to the old world, I knew I had to get in a quick game and who else would it be against but Luke (who has recently posted a vid on his thoughts on the return of Warhammer that you can view here)
We had both decided to play fairly fluffy closed lists and had used the Triple Crown comp pack to rate our armies. Luke’s was a +10 and mine was a +3. +10 is as soft as you can get in the system, not that it was overly soft but it could have been far, far nastier!
I also wanted to take Characters on Razorgor Chariots and Harpies to show just how good they could be…
As ever any mistakes in the report are down to memory or a bit of poetic licence when writing it (especially when I swop game phases round!).
The Herd of Khazbar the Magnificent
Khazbar – Great Bray Shaman (Lore of Beasts) – Fencers Blades, Jagged Dagger, Talisman of Preservation, Ironcurse Icon – 330pts
Bashor the Bloody (General) – Beastlord – Razorgor Chariot, Heavy Armour, shield, Ramhorn Helm, Brass Cleaver, Talisman of Endurance, Potion of Strength, Shadow-hide – 399pts
Zurrock the Mighty (BSB) – Wargor – Heavy armour, shield, Gouge Tusks, Beast banner – 206pts
Skegi One-horn – Wargor – Sword of Might, Charmed shield, Heavy armour, Dragonbane gem, Potion of Foolhardiness, Gnarled Hide, Razorgor Chariot – 284pts
Tuskgor Chariot – 80pts
Tuskgor Chariot – 80pts
Gor Herd (48) – FC – additional hand weapon – 409pts
Ungor Raiders – 30pts
Ungor Raiders – 30pts
Bestigor Herd (30) – FC – Banner of Eternal Flame – 400pts
Harpies (5) – Scout – 70pts
Harpies (5) – Scout – 70pts
Razorgor – 55pts
Razorgor – 55pts
Total – 2,498pts
Chaos Lord (General) – Wizarding Hat, Chaos Familiar, Halberd, scaled skin, Mark of Nurgle – 373pts
Exalted Hero (BSB) – Daemonic steed, Great weapon, Third Eye of Tzeentch, Talisman of Endurance, Dragonhelm, Mark of Tzeentch – 236pts
Festus – 190pts
Chaos Chariot – Mark of Slannesh – 115pts
Chaos Warhounds (5) – 30pts
Chaos Warriors (21) – FC, Halberds, Banner of Swiftness, Mark of Nurgle – 444pts
Marauder Horsemen (5) – Flails, Javelins, Mark of Slannesh – 90pts
Chaos Trolls (4) – additional hand weapons – 152pts (Ogre models)
Chaos warshrine – 125pts (Doomwheel base with Perfect Truth banner)
Chimera – Flaming breath, Regenerating flesh – 275pts
Gorebeast Chariot – 135pts (steam tank base with City of Forever banner)
Hellstriders of Slannesh – shield, spears – 135pts (Chaps Knights models)
Mutalith Vortex Beast – 240pts (Marauder Giant model)
Total – 2500pts
We just pulled out some random pieces and agreed that the marsh was just dangerous terrain. The wood would be rolled for (and turned out to be a standard wood).
To make things simple we just played a straight forward battle line (kill the opponent)
Khazbar the Magnificent ended up with: Wyssans Wildform, Pann’s Impenetrable Pelt, Amber Spear and Curse of Anraheir
The Chaos Lord’s Wizarding hat, conjured up the Lore of Light (a random draw by me) and Shem’s burning gaze, Pha’s protection and Net of Amyntok.
Festus took: Miasma of Pestilence and Fleshy Abundance
Deployment & Plan
Following my normal Beastmen tactic, the main block went front and centre with chaff elements around it. Knowing Luke had Festus, the only thing I wanted to do was get the Bestigor into combat with the warriors as their banner would negate the regen (though I didn’t hold out much hope of them doing too well as they would be striking last against warriors, who are just brutal in combat.
I put two chariots and the wargor on chariot on one side with vague notions of them performing a sweeping flank manoeuvre (these things always sound good in my mind).
One unit of Harpies scouted to threaten Luke’s left flank early on (threaten is definitely an exaggeration, annoy is probably closer to the mark). The other unit I was tempted to place high up to block vanguards but held back in the end.
Luke’s Marauders and Hellstriders both decide to vanguard.
Winning the roll for first turn I debated whether to take it. The deciding factor was having the amber spear. This might allow me to remove something early on. With that set, the game was on.
One Chariot moved up to threaten the Hellstriders. The other chariots moved to counter if it was charged and the harpies moved over to support. The nearby Raiders moved to Garrison the building.
In the centre, the blocks moved up slightly, supported by the general and one razorgor. The other pig held back ready to counter any move the horsemen made. The Raiders however marched up. The Scouting harpies flew into the back of the warrior’s lines to commence operation nuisance.
The first cast of the game was curse on the Hellstriders, which was let through. The second was a 3 dice amber spear. A triple 6 miscast ensured it went off but as I forgot to boost it (amateur hour!), it failed to wound the Gorebeast Chariot. Thankfully the miscast was a very forgiving detonation and only 3 Gor lost their lives.
The warriors started their turn with the Chimera charging the lone chariot. It of course utterly failed its terror test and fled. Although I’d had a moment of genius and thought about this outcome, ensuring the other chariots were outside of panic range, my genius had failed to take into account the harpies poor placement and the chariot ran straight through them and so they of course failed their panic and flew straight off the board! Damn it. My quest to prove they were worth taking over Razorgor had suffered an early blow!
The majority of the warrior units cagily moved forward. Having to take march block moves for almost everything was definitely frustrating Luke and cumulated with his main block only able to crawl forward after a double LD9 fail! Aha! Operation success! (Excuse the excessive use of exclamation marks).
Having had enough of this, the Marauder horsemen turned to deal with the pesky harpies. They launched a volley of javelins and manged to fell one of them.
Looking to take early first blood, the hounds charged the Ungor in the building. The plucky runts killed two of the dogs for the loss of just one of their own and thus tied combat.
The beasts cagey advance continued across the battle line with a unit of raiders and a razorgor pushed up on the right flank to tempt the forces of chaos.
On the left flank, the chariot followed the harpies and swiftly left the field of battle. There would be words later!
Khazbar once again fired off the amber spear. This time he threw the full force into it and it stripped 3 wounds off the Gorebeast. The cheeky raiders added to its misery as their feeble bowshots took another wound off it. Moral victory to the Ungor!!
The remaining Harpies, unwilling to risk more casualties from shooting, flew into the marauders, looking to make their speed and attacks give them the edge over the horsemen. The shrieking bird women quickly dispatched two of the mounted warriors but the remaining thugs (or more accurately the ever dangerous horses) wiped them out in return.
In the other combat, the hounds ravaged another Ungor and this was too much for them and they fled the building.
The time had come for the forces of chaos. The Slannesh chariot crashed into the nearby Razorgor the scythes slicing the giant pig apart.
The dim-witted Trolls saw their next meal standing within easy reach and lumbered forward to eat the Ungor Raiders straight in front of them.
The Warriors moved up supported by the Gorebeast, Mutalith Beast and Warshrine. They were joined by the Chimera who moved up behind the building, leaving the Hellstriders to face the duel chariots on the flank.
It was then the Chaos turn to play the chaff game, with the remaining hounds blocking the Bestigor and the Marauder horse the Beastlord and Gor.
The champions of the Chaos horde howled out to their gods. Their entreaties were heard and they were blessed with multiple mutations. This increased the Nurgle Warrior champion and the Chaos Lord’s attacks by 1 each and Festus with +1 WS.
The Mutalith Vortex Beast then appeared to rippled and a corrupting wave of energy burst forth at the unit of Gor. 15 of the horde were ripped apart as the energies tore through them. To add insult to injury, the mangled remains of the Gor slid along the ground, sluicing together, reforming into chaos spawn right in front of the unit. (Not only did I fail to dispel this, losing concentration in the process, to add insult to injury, the random nature of the chart meant that this outcome could only occur on a 6, which of course Luke rolled. It was pretty funny though).
The Mid Game
The running Ungor raiders actually managed to buck the trend and rallied (though we forgot about them for the remainder of the game).
The remaining Razorgor charged into the flank of the chariot causing a couple of wounds, for the loss of just one in return.
Bashor downed his potion of strength and worked himself into a frenzy as thundered past the engaged chariot and tore into the Trolls. Despite being wounded twice as he charged through a wave of vomit, he utterly crushed them and then overran into the BSB exalted champion.
The horde of Gor followed their lord and ripped apart the spawn made of their fallen kindred, before crashing into the nearby horsemen.
The Bestigor also went into a frenzy and ripped the hounds apart but the chaos beasts did just enough to prevent the elites from hitting the warriors opposite that Khazbar had just cursed.
On the left flank, both chariots attempted to reach the Hellstriders. Skegi was the only one to make it and he demolished them on the charge, not even deigning to pull out his weapon.
The Crushing Blow
The Gorebeast chariot crashed into the Gor in support of the Marauders. The earlier wounds had slowed the beast as it only killed two Gor with impacts. Between it and the horsemen, another 6 were felled Gor were felled but in return the horsemen were wiped out and the chariot was reduced to a single wound.
The other chariot finished off the last Razorgor and turned to face the Gor herd.
The warriors again beseeched their gods and the Champion grew further in power as he gained a further attack, now putting him at 5! Festus’s weeping sores started to scab over boosting his toughness by +1. The Father of Plagues whispered to the Chaos Lord offering him ascension to Daemonhood. The lord rejected the offering instead gaining an extra point of initiative. (Becoming a Daemon Prince would have forced him out of combat and Luke wanted to maximise the attacks on the Bestigor).
With their gods having blessed them, the Warriors charged the Bestigor, promptly losing a third of their number to dangerous terrain. The Nurgle lord then cast a miasma onto the Bestigor reducing their WS to 2. This meant that they would only be hitting the warriors on a 6 (though the warriors would also only hit on a 4+ due to curse).
The warriors were joined by the mutalith who charged in beside them and the chimera who went into the flank. The combined attack proceeded to decimate the bestigor, slaying all but 6 of the unit. They warriors didn’t however count on the flaming banner and between that and frenzy, the severely reduced in number elite beasts, took out Festus, killed 2 of the warriors and wounded the Chimera thrice. Understandably, after taking such a shoeing, the besitigor didn’t stick around but the warriors gave them no chance to flee. The champions of chaos then trampled over the corpses of the fallen beasts (losing 4 more of their number to curse) and eager for more, crashed into the Gor herd.
The faceoff between Bashor and the exalted hero ended swiftly with the Beastlord, Razorgor and chariot crew failing to get through the damn ward and he was easily cut down in return.
Skegi swilled back his potion and charged the wounded Chimera, crushing it under the wheels of his chariot. He then overran into the back of the depleted warrior unit.
The Gor were boosted with a Wyssan’s, suddenly making that unit a hell of a lot more frightening. Losing only three of their number to attacks, the Gor then killed the chariot and assisted with Skegi hitting their rear, the warriors were killed to a man. Only the Lord was left alive (though wounded) and he fled only to be run down by the chariot.
The remaining warriors crashed into the Gor. The Warshrine and Mutalith hitting the front and the Chariot into the rear. The BSB hit the flank and issued a challenge that was accepted by Khazbar. Between them they slew 9 of the Gor and Khazbar also lost a wound. In return, the Gor absolutely fluffed their wound rolls, failing to kill the chariot, or do any damage to the Beast. The only success was against the Shrine and that took a couple of wounds. They were however steadfast and so remained in the fight.
With that we ran out of time as the club was closing so had to call it.
At the end of turn 4 each army had scored the following victory points:
Killed: Lord (373), Festus (190), Warhounds (30), Warriors (444), Marauder Horse (90), Trolls (152), Chimera (275), Gorebeast (135), Hellstriders (95) = 1,784 Victory Points + 100 (general killed) + 25pts (Standards captured) = 1909 Victory Points
Bashor (399), Tuskgor Chariot (80), Ungor (30), Bestigor (400), Harpies (70), Harpies (70), Razorgor (55), Razorgor (55) = 1,159 Victory Points + 100 (general killed) + 25pts (Standards captured) = 1284 Victory Points
If this were the end of the game, it would have been a draw as you need to score twice the victory points of your opponent (or wipe them out) to win. However there had been two full turns of the game left to run.
What could have been?
Driving back after the club shut, as normal Luke and I discussed the game and in this case, what would have been the likely outcome. While writing it up I also thought about it a bit more.
The exact outcome would have most likely have depended on the T5 Beasts magic phase, as with a +4 advantage to every cast, a large roll would have given the beasts a huge advantage with Wyssans and a bubble Savage beasts (and possibly Panns Pelt) on Khazbar and the BSB. With this, there was a strong chance of the Gor’s surviving another turn and although they likely would have been destroyed in the warriors 5th turn, it would allow the beast chariots to charge and enter the fray, which could have swung it. Conversely, a low roll would have meant just Wyssans was potentially cast. In this scenario it would have been more than likely that Gor (with BSB and Level 4) would have been killed, whilst taking out the shrine and chariot. The remaining Chaos would have then have the advantage over the Beast chariots so by the end of the game the Chaos BSB and maybe the Mutalith would have control of the table.
Whatever the outcome would have been, it was one of those games which just showed why I love Warhammer 8th over every other edition. By the end of turn three it looked like the warriors were just going to steamroll the beasts in a very one sided game but as ever, lady luck can turn on a dime and in the proceeding go, the beasts had taken a commanding points lead (however short that was likely to have lasted). And as an added bonus, both the Bestigor and the Beastlord gained frenzy from primal fury.
Either way it was a thoroughly enjoyable game and consisted of a brutal slaughter for both sides with each mighty force left as just a shadow of itself.
So how did I think the list had played? Well part of the point of taking it was to show that harpies were a viable choice. How did that work out? They were OK (alright their performance probably wouldn’t have convinced anyone to take them). Poor movement by me meant one unit just panicked straight off the board. This in itself isn’t that unusual for them, as they suffer the same poor leadership as a lot of the army and this is something that has to be managed carefully. The second unit did their role admirably. Yes they were killed quickly but they were a distracting nuisance that caused multiple march block rolls and that was definitely worth the points. I would have been better off placing both units on that flank and keeping one moving behind his lines. As such I would take them again, though probably not more than one unit with scout.
The other thing I want to take were Razorgor Chariots. In this case I used them both as mounts and they didn’t do too badly. Having primal fury on the Razorgors just makes them so much more effective. However the loadout on the Lord I’d change up. Having a potential of 8-9 attacks from him and the ability to further generate attacks if he makes any saves is good, but I’ve yet to make the most of it in any game. He just lacks the strength after the first round. If I take him again, he will get an ogre blade for the magic Str 7.
However, that said, the list does have too many characters in it and something would have to be dropped to allow more troops. The obvious choice is the Beastlord as that is 400pts that could be spent on bumping up the bestigors and adding in a further shaman or two.