WHFB – Beastmen vs Greg’s Empire – 09/10/2020

The village of Waldenhefer was not a place that any traveller would willing go. The only thing going for it, bar the overly grandiose name, was it was the only crossing of the River Talabec for 40 miles. Thus when Khazbar led his newly raised herd out of the forest and towards it, the local scouts bought word to their lord who swiftly commissioned the Grand Master of the Knights of the Stag to lead a force, including their much prized Steam tank, to confront him.

Lists

When Greg asks if anyone fancied a game, I leapt at the chance as it had been months since I’d last played. It happened to be rather fortuitous timing as the club re-shut a week later due to the increased lockdown in London!

Beastmen

Khazbar the Magnificent – Great Bray Shaman – lvl4 Death – Fencers Blades, Jagged Dagger, Chalice of Dark Rain, Uncanny senses – 330pts

Cattleclysm – Doombull – HA, sh, Dragonhelm, Gnarled hide, Sword of Swift slaying, Arabyan carpet – 353pts

Zurrock the Mighty – Wargor – (BSB) – HA, sh, Beast Banner – 191pts

Wazzock the Lame – Bray Shaman – lvl1 – Shadow – dispel scroll – 100pts

Slidlo the Weak – Bray Shaman – lvl1 – Shadow – Shard of the herdstone – 125pts

48 Gor – FC, AHW – 409pts

Tuskgor Chariot – 80pts

Tuskgor Chariot – 80pts

5 Ungor Raiders – 30pts

5 Ungor Raiders – 30pts

5 Harpies – 55pts

5 Harpies – 55pts

1 Razorgor – 55pts

1 Razorgor – 55pts

1 Ghorgon – 275pts

1 Ghorgon – 275pts

Total – 2498pts

Empire

This is an approximation of his list. The magic items are roughly correct but if you add it up you’ll see it’s quite short of 2,500pts so I’ve obviously missed a few bits.

Grand Master (General) – Full plate, shield, Barded horse, Runefang, OTS – 259pts

Wizard Lord – Lvl 4 life – Dispel scroll – 225pts

Captain (BSB) – Full plate, enchanted shield, sword of might – 116pts

Master Engineer – 65pts

Warrior priest – barded warhorse, HA, sh, dragonhelm – 95pts

Warrior priest – HA, sh, helm of the skavenslayer – 84pts

40 Halbadiers – FC – 10 archer detachment – 340pts

10 Inner circle knights – FC – banner of swiftness – 295pts

4 Demigryph knights – 232pts

25 Greatswords – FC – 305pts

1 Hellblaster volleygun – 120pts

1 Steamtank – 250pts

Total – 2,386

Bloody and Glory

The game ends immediately when an army’s fortitude is equal to or less than its breaking point.

The breaking point for each army would be 3 (1 pt for each 1,000pts rounding up).

The Beasts had a fortitude of just 4 (2 for the general + 1 for the BSB + 1 for the Gor unit standard). As all these were in the Gor unit, it just meant that Greg had to kill that unit to win.

The Empire had a fortitude of 6 (2 for the general + 1 for the BSB + 3 for unit standards).

Spells

Beasts 

Level 4 – Lore of Death – Spirit Leech + Soulblight + Doom & darkness + Purple Sun

Both level 1’s – Lore of Shadow – Miasma

Empire – Lore of Life – Awakening + Flesh to stone + shield of thorns + regrowth

Scenery

Although the mats were the one thing that we were able to use at the club, I wanted to try out my new mat and set up some appropriate scenery to mimic a small village near a river crossing.

Deployment

We laid alternating units as per the scenario and it looked like the below. You must excuse the lack of photos, I forgot to take any until after the Empire’s first turn move (out of practice on battle reps!).

As Greg finished first he got +1 to the roll to see who went first, which he duly won.

Opening Gambits

Khazbar seethed with anger. Once again men were interfering with his best laid plans! He hastily brayed commands and the herd moved into a semblance of order as the hated Empire troops advanced on the village.

He shivered with revulsion as he felt the tendrils of life magic emanating from his opposite number. He crushed the attempt of the enemy wizard to toughen the great weapon wielding men but then realised that nothing else the mage could cast would affect his opening gambits so showing his distain didn’t even worry about dispelling the shield of thorns that grew round the same unit or the prayer of the embedded priest.

The roar of the Hellblaster opening up caused him to flinch, he had seen what it could do but he settled quickly as just 4 of the Gor fell to the shots. The roar of the nearby Ghorgon was harder to ignore as one of its arms was torn off by the steamtanks cannon! (5 of the 6 wounds lost)

Khazbar could barely believe it as Cattleclysm lost all control and flew straight into the approaching knights. The demented bull laid into them in an uncontrolled frenzy but his wild swings failed to get through the metal plate. The enemy general waited for his opening and casually thrust his sword into the back of the frothing minotaur. The runefang cleaved through the armour and the bloodrage cleared from his eyes as he bellowed in pain and fear. His wings flapped as he started to try and break free but the knights allowed no escape and rode him down, crashing into the startled ungors who had been using the distraction of the great bull to sneak closer.

Khazbar grew even angrier as despite drawing on the power of the stone effigy they had raised, neither him nor his lackwit apprentices, were able to cast any spells. The vortex he has summoned faded away as the opposing wizard read desperately from a papyrus scroll.

He let out a loud bray and the forces surrounding him ran towards the hated enemy.

(Greg managed to dispel both a small miasma and spirit leech on the stank. A miasma on the knights and scrolled purple sun).

Prepared for another turn of empire shooting and knowing that at such close range, it could be devastating to his kin, Khazbar invoked the Chalice he had concealed within his cloak. The sky immediately darkened and an unnaturally rain fell, impeding the shots of the empire men.

The engineer in charge of the steam tank failed to get the great cannon to fire under the deluge of water.

The other engineer manning the hellblaster ignored the rain and it again opened up with an almighty roar, this time felling 9 of the gor.

The use of the chalice appeared to also weaken the winds of magic and the wizard was unable to cast anything

On the other side of the village, the knights of the stag made short work of the retched ungor and swiftly overran, this time connecting with one of the razorgor on that flank.

The Beasts attack!

Sensing it was time, Khazbar shouted a command at his apprentices. Wazzock’s Miasma on the Stank was quickly dispelled. Wazzock glanced fearfully at Khazbar but then looked slyly as his rival, Sildo, furrowed his brow in concentration, attempting to cast a boosted Miasma. At the critical juncture he thrust a blade into Sildo’s side. The loss of concentration caused a magical cascade. The spell went off irresistibly but a rift opened sucking the horrified Sildlo into it. Wazzocks glee was short lived as he was blown sideways into the herdstone, ribs cracking from the impact. He struggled to his feet blood running from his snout, hurt but triumphant.

Khazbar, ignoring the pathetic showing of the lesser shamans, drew deeply from the wind of Shyish, vilolet tendrils gathered round his claws coalescing into a pulsing purple ball of energy. With a roar he unleashed a massive vortex towards the empire lines. The feedback from the spell caused a backlash and the detonation killed the Gor surrounding Khazbar, as the powers unleashed earthed themselves through their bodies.

The empire wizard could only look on in dread as halberdiers and Greatswords collapsed as the purple sun moved over them. That dread became horror as their prized steam tank imploded!

The nearby harpies, seeing the wizard not only frozen in shock but foolishly out in the open, seized this moment to swoop towards him. Realising the danger he was in, he turned to flee but the bird women swiftly caught and made short work of both him and the unit pf archers. The Empire was now bereft of magic defense!

To add to the Empire’s woes, one of the chariots crashed into the Hellblaster, flipping the machine and making short work of the crew and engineer.

In support of this, the nearby Ghorghon crashed into the flank of the Halberdiers. The frenzied monster tore through the men, visibly growing in power as he was soaked in their blood.

as a side note, due to the chariot charging first, the ghorgon was unable to get fully into the side of the unit, which prevented the Gors from being able to make the frontal charge. Because the ghorgon was already flush against the unit, they wouldn’t have been able to move to shut the door against the Gor. Conversely, if the Gor had charged first, the Ghorgon wouldn’t have been able to fit in the gap between the chariot and the Gor.

as a second note, I also owe an apology to Greg. I had thought that as the winner of the combat, I would get first choice on the combat reform. This was completely inaccurate. We could both reform and would have rolled off to see who reformed first (though he would still have to make a leadership test in order to do so as the loser of the combat).

The remaining Ungors peered out of the house they had sought cover in and seeing the Demigryph riding knights riding away from them, bravely fired some shots at them. To add insult to injury, the plucky half horns even managed to cause a wound!

The battle for the bridge was short lived as the Grandmaster make swift work of the mutated pig.

Empire Manoeuvres

With their right flank secure, the two knight units moved to join the main fray. The Demi’s swiftly reforming to move back the way they came from and the Generals unit swinging round the other side of the village.

With magical superiority, Khazbar was able to crush the feeble mewing of the priests as they called out to their impotent god.

The Greatswords charged the harpies, the priest shouting out to Sigmar. The women bought down just one of elites before the Zweihanders tore them apart. Khazbar watched as their momentum carried them past him and straight into the wounded, 3 armed, Ghorgon.

The Halberdiers continued to be savaged by the other ghorgon but their numbers ensured they weren’t going anywhere.

Feeling cocky after the demise of Sidlo, Wazzock cast a boosted Miasma on the Halberdiers. His confidence was short lived as he overcooked it and suffered the same fate as his counterpart, the dimensional cascade finishing him off!

The Gor rushed into contact with the depleted halberdiers and between them and the Ghorgon, completely wiped the unit out. Both then turned to prepare to face the unit of Knights.

The wounded Ghorgon made a good showing of himself, removing 5 of the Greatswords before his final wound was removed. That unit then turned to face the village and the Razorgor that had been sneaking up on them.

Closing Gambits

The Demigryphs finally made it into combat, destroying the remaining harpies that were blocking their way and in the process avenging the death of their wizard.

The Greatswords hit the Razorgor, cleaving it apart for the loss of two of their number and then removed to face the horde of Gor.

(I initially almost fled with the Razorgor but realised that in doing so, I would probably have allowed the Greatswords to escape from the Gor)

The Unit of Knights continued their move around the village, almost getting into striking distance.

One chariot moved to again block the Demi’s, ensuring they wouldn’t be able to interfere for another turn.

Khazbar’s horde, crunched into the Greatswords and absolutely decimated them before they had a chance to strike back. They then turned to face the enemy general.

The surviving Ghorgon and second chariot moved up to threaten the block of knights and the remaining Ungor moved to ensure that if the Knights charged and chose to overrun, it would have to be towards the Gor, leaving their flank open to the Ghorgon and chariot to counter.

At this point we had to finish due to the club closing.

Results

We didn’t realise at the time but Greg losing the Greatswords, would have reduced his army’s fortitude to 3 and thus given me the win. We had thought it was a draw (in regards to the scenario objectives).

If we looked at the VP’s, then Greg had killed 1,105pts and I had killed around 1,600pts. I also gained 150pts for standards seized. As no side had scored double the VP’s of the opponent, in this comparison it would also have been a draw.

After match thoughts.

It was fantastic to finally get in a game after so long and it’s always fun playing Greg as he’s not a power gamer and it means I can try out different lists without worry that I’ll be brutally punished for it!

Myself making the mistake with the reforms for the Halberdier/Ghorgon combat, could have made a difference. Maybe not to the overall combat result, I still think the Ghorgon would have won but it would have meant he could have bought a lot more attacks into play and even with 6’s to wound they likely would have gotten some through.

I also noted that we completely forgot about the vortex after the initial cast. I’m sure there were other mistakes due to the rustiness!

I did love using the double Ghorgon (despite forgetting the chalice in my first turn!). I’d definitely run them again. I’m not sure about the herdstone though. It definitely helps make phases more reliable but in general i’m not a heavy magic kind of player.

I’ll also ignore the terrible placement of the doombull, actually looking at the enemy rather than my own board edge and combined with being outside of the BSB range was just asking for him to fail the frenzy test (which he did). He then utterly failed to wound the general (pesky high Empire saves!). I really am a bit crap using him and always seem to think he’ll destroy enemy units by himself (he never does and inevitably loses combat and is run down). That said I’ll obviously continue to take him lol.

I’ve also decided that I really dislike the lore of death. Purple sun really is quite a BS spell. The lore does work quite well with Beasts though as it helps to level them up.

If we’d have continued, how do I think it would have played out? It’s a tricky one.

Empire turn 5 – would have seen the Demi’s kill the Chariot but having to combat reform again to face back towards the centre of the board. The knights would have destroyed the raiders and if I was Greg, I would have tried to overrun into the Gor (doable though risky with the distance), looking to have the advantage of the lances in the Beastmen next turn. It would also mean that there was a good chance of the Demi’s rear charging them in the final turn, and that would likely be curtains for the unit. It would be an all or nothing play as in Beasts Turn 5, if the Knights had managed to charge the Gor, then the chariot and Ghorgon would have effectively been out of action due to poor positioning and would need to reform to threaten the rear of the Knights. Combat would be a close thing. The beasts would definitely struggle to kill the knights as they would only fail saves on a 2+. But the Gor ‘should’ remain steadfast and hold.

Ignoring the fact that the Empire had already lost on the scenario (as we hadn’t realised), I think this is the only way that he would have won and it is risky as if the overrun had failed then the remaining beasts would have all charged. This would probably spell the end of the Knight unit.

I will add that he could have retreated with the knights, rather than charging the Ungor but then the Gor would definitely move up and try and purple sun them and everything moving up should mean that the Demi’s would not be able to make combat in the final turn either and thus would likely mean the game was a draw.

Next time we play and if he brings Empire again, he definitely needs to bring at least one unit of missile troops, in order to take out my chaff. He definitely dislikes my use of chaff and may even consider their use gamey. I try not to be gamey in playing and this is one area I won’t modify my play, so fair warning for the next time Greg! (In fairness he has some Skaven on route to the table and has already threatened Rat darts – I think that is all fair!).

7 thoughts on “WHFB – Beastmen vs Greg’s Empire – 09/10/2020

  1. Great battle report, thanks so much for taking the time to write it up. I love your use of screening elements to take control of the movement phase, for example using the Chariot and Ungors to block the Demigryphs and Knights in the final turn.

    I’m jealous about getting real games in; I missed my chance during the brief window when it was allowed here and now it’s off the agenda again. I’m lucky that Wartable exists.

    Liked by 1 person

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