WHFB – Beastmen vs Lizardmen – Semi-Final – SELWG Competition Game

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.

Lists

Beastmen

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

Lizards

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  

Pre-match Rolls

Spells

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

Scenario

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.

Terrain

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.

1 - Terrain

Neil laid his army first. Deployment was not too harsh for either of us and most our units were centrally placed.

2 - Deployment5. Lizard Deploy7. Lizard Deploy8. Lizard Deploy2. Beast Deploy3. Beast Deploy4. Beast Deploy

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.

3 - Turn 1 - Lizard9. Turn 1 - Lizard10. Turn 1 Lizard11. Turn 1 Lizard12. Turn 1 - Lizard

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.

4 - Turn 1 - Beasts13. Turn 1 - Beast14. Turn 1 - Beast

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.

5 - Turn 2 - Lizards15. Turn 2 - Lizard16. Turn 2 - Lizard17. Turn 2 - Lizard18. Turn 2 - Lizard19. Turn 2 - Lizard20. Turn 2 - Lizard21. Turn 2 - Lizard - after panic

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.

6 - Turn 2 - Beasts22. Turn 2 - Beast23. Turn 2 Beast24. Turn 2 - Beast25. Turn 2 - Beast26. Turn 2 - Beast - after combat

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.

7 - Turn 3 - Lizards27. Turn 3 - Lizard28. Turn 3 - Lizard29. Turn 3- Lizard30. Turn 3 - Lizard

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.

8 - Turn 3 - Beasts31. Turn 3 - Beast32. Turn 3 - Beast33. Turn 3 - Beasts

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!

9 - Turn 4 - Lizards34. Turn 4 - Lizard35. Turn 4 - Lizard - coldones chg36. Turn 4 - Lizard

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.

10 - Turn 4 - Beasts

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.

11 - Turn 5 - Lizards

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.

12 - Turn 5 - Beasts37. Turn 5 - Beasts

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.

13 - Turn 6 - Lizards

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.

14 - Turn 6 - Beasts

Result

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).

Conclusions

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.

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40k First game

A few Fridays ago I played my first game of 8th ed. 40k (and only 4th game of 40k ever) vs one of the club committee members, Nick. (I’ll put my thoughts on 40k in a separate post).

Nick decided to use the game to try out a number of things he hadn’t used in this edition, mainly revolving around the Dark Imperium Primaris.

What he actually bought was a modified Guilliman ‘blob’. I believe that is what the ‘technical’ name is and it involves having the core of the force within the primarch’s bubble to make effective use of his re-rolls. His list was something like this:

Roboute Guilliman – 385pts

Chief Librarian Tigurius – 130pts

Primaris Librarian – 101pts

Troops

Scout Squad (5) incl. Heavy Bolter – 65pts

Scout Squad (5) incl Heavy Bolter – 65pts

Scout Squad (5) incl Missile Launcher – 80pts

Tactical Squad (5) incl Las Cannon – 90pts

Tactical Squad (5) incl Las Cannon – 90ps

Tactical Squad (5) incl Las Cannon – 90pts

Elites

Primaris Ancient – Standard of the Emperor Ascendant – 69pts

Heavy Support

5 Hellblasters – 165pts

5 Hellblasters – 165pts

6 Hellblasters – 198pts

Fast Attack

6 Inceptors – 270pts

Now this list only comes to around 1960pts so i’ve missed an upgrade or two. I’m also not sure on the exact make up of detachments but it must of had at least a battalion, so with that, battle forged and Guilliman he had a minimum of 9 command points (and he had the warlord trait that regained them on a 5+ when he used them – and he rolled a 5+ a lot!).

My list and thoughts can be found here but can be summed up as: try as many different unit types as possible whilst taking all my Dreadnoughts.

Suffice to say, Nick had put in somewhat more thought into his list building.

I’ll apologise straight away as I will quite likely use fantasy lingo rather than 40k in elements of this, either due to habit or because I cannot remember the equivalent terminology.

The first decision thrown up was the type of mission to play. There are 2 styles, Eternal War and Maelstrom. Nick suggested playing the first as he thought it would probably be easier for a learning game. Having watched a number of you tube battles I however completely disregarded this and suggested the Maelstrom games. The difference appears to be that Eternal games have fairly fixed capture an objective(s) style, whereas with Maelstrom you draw random tactical objective cards (which could be anything from kill something, to capture something, to charge a unit etc.). In both styles, the player with the most points at the end wins and similar to Kings of War, the game length can be variable. I also had a copy of the space marine tactical cards and wanted to at least make use of them once, hence I again picked Maelstrom!

We rolled up Escalation, where you start with one card and draw an additional one each turn and always have a number equal to the turn number. We also had the Spearhead detachment deployment, basically a triangular shape and we played lengthwise on the table.

Taking the high ground
I’ll take the high road and you take the low road
IMG_4460
Trying to prevent any deep strikes
IMG_4461
The blob

Knowing how many shots the Inceptors could pump out I tried to prevent any gaps in my back line where they could deep strike. As it was, it was a fairly wasted endeavour as Nick had no intention of moving much out of range of Guilliman and his infuriating ability to allow rerolls on all failed to hit and to wound dice and the only thing it accomplished was that half my forces had to spend too many turns unable to target anything and had to move up to get into range.

I got the first turn and the Aggressors lived up to their name and decimated the scouts in the central pyramid. First blood to me! The Ironclads popped smoke and charged forward as fast as possible.

The Sternguard (in the drop pod) and my Inceptors deployed in the Ultramarine backlines and proceeded to inflict damage. Everything else in range, shot up the nearest Hellblaster squad. Tigurius’s ability to nominate a unit and make it at -1 to hit didn’t help my Alpha strike. My lack of thought on targets and deployment also hindered it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and they should have all gone into the Hellblasters. Those guys are just brutal!

In Nick’s first turn the carnage continued and he took one Ironclad straight off the board, the Standard of the Emperor Ascendent allowed almost all of the slain Hellblasters to fire off a final Salvo before being removed (and they all overcharged of course as there was no reason not too). The Redemptor also took a shoeing from the remainder.

I won’t go into detail about the rest of the game as it basically involved me shooting up Hellblasters who refused to die straight away and who kept up a relentless barrage of plasma, tearing through everything in their path. By the second turn I was 4-0 up on points and it remained that way until turn 4 when Nick started to reap in points and then he leap frogged me in turn 5. By this point, he had decimated almost all of my force as they advanced piecemeal into his plasma fire. At the end of the game I had just 7 scouts left.

There was one turn that was very close to being potentially game changing. I was one wound off being able to target Guilliman with 5 Lascannon shots. I’m not saying I would have killed him but it was nice to dream 😀. Damn Tigurius and his -1 to hit ability, I just couldn’t get that final wound!

IMG_4463
The Sentinels push forward trying to get into range.
Whittling away at the blob
Inceptors push up to capture an objective
The Sentinels back field forces move up

Evaluation of the list

One game does obviously not give a grounding for any kind of realistic review, however that said, you can generally get an idea for what worked, shortcomings with your list and ideas of what you want to try.

General thoughts

With so many Dreadnoughts I was lacking bodies so trying to cover my backfield to prevent deep strikes, did nothing but ensure I had units well out of position all game. Next time I won’t even bother for the reason given a bit below.

Stating items were starting in deep strike, counts as a drop. Something I didn’t realise until he was able to then place his scout units on the advanced objectives before I laid anything on the table. I’ll know for next time!

Aggressors vs Inceptors. Aggressors are good fun but ultimately vulnerable to a mass of shots (the same could be said of most of the force). Inceptors perform a similar role but with a consistent number of higher strength and AP shots (12 S5 -1 AP each vs 6+D6 S4 each) and greater mobility. They also only cost around 20pts more for a squad of three.

Just saying that makes you wonder why you would take aggressors over them. The answer for that is the Aggressors ability to double the number of shots if they don’t move. Even after one game, I think I’d still rather run inceptors if only for the movement and deployment advantage and the issue with getting Aggressors into a good position without taking the Primaris tank. If I took them again, I’d probably actually use them in a defensive role, guarding an objective in my deployment zone with the ability to double tap anything that came into their 18″ range.

Sternguard in drop pod

My use of these guys was poor. Position wise I deployed them outside of 12 inches so they could double tap and still get the benefits of the Chapter tactics (tick). I then proceeded to retardedly fire them against the tactical marine squad that was (a) in cover and (b) Tigurius had put a -1 to hit on. Not sure what I was thinking. They should have targeted the Hellblasters. To top it off I completely forgot to use their unique stratagem that gave them +1 to wound. I should also have used the aux scan stratagem (where you get to fire out of turn) when his Inceptors dropped in. This might have helped the sternguard survive the barrage that came their way and at the least, could have whittled down the number of shots that helped decimate them.

The question is whether they are worth it. Their guns are basically the same as those on the Intercessors (though with -2 AP) and their points are the same. They gain +1 LD but the Intercessors get +1 wound. I do think they need a delivery system (whether a drop pod or something else). I definitely need to try them out again.

Dreadnoughts

I loved the Redemptor, the number of shots it can put out is fearsome. It is an auto include in my next game.

The venerable dread I used as a gun platform and I went the twin las/missile combo so that both guns had the same range. Against this mostly infantry force he wasn’t very effective but you can see how he could be against a different list.

The Ironclads had potential but again my use of them was sub-par. Charging them straight at the largest threat to them on the board was probably not the smartest move! I also think when I next use them (and I will), they will be sporting hurricanes to present more of a ranged threat.

Devastators vs Hellblasters

Well Nick definitely gave me a lesson in what a swarm of Hellblasters could do. Mine managed very little except be caught up in the plasma blob but I was able to see their potential. With the additional pip of armour penetration over the Lascannons, it meant nothing had a save and that really made a difference.

The 4 Lascannons I took had a great range but putting them on top of the rock meant they were out of my Captains bubble (doh!). They were also a bit wasted against much of his list. The D6 damage almost always ensured that they at least removed every Primaris they hit. They do however need a Captain and probably a lieutenant in range to maximise effectiveness.

Intercessors vs Scouts

I think they both have a role to play. Having a T4, 2 wound 3+ save model in troop choices with a 30″ S4 -1 AP gun is nothing to be sniffed at. 5 of them cost the same as 5 tactical Marines with a lascannon. Which is the most useful, likely depends on the rest of your list.

The sniper scouts did nothing for me all game but they were out of range for much of it so I can’t give any opinion on them. The bolter scouts did ok with the Heavy Bolter being great. I’d definitely take them and that heavy weapon again. It is surprising how much difference -1 AP makes.

Techmarine

He was the cheapest HQ option available and in a different game he might be worthwhile, however all the dreads were wiped out before he even got a chance to heal them. I am not at all sold on his worth in my list, especially as he needs to be within 1″ to heal. I think he favours lists with stationary vehicles. If I ever take a land raider I might well use him.

Librarian

I’m not sure if he is worth the points, at least not for the powers he brings to the table. As it went, the jump pack and relic armour made him a very useful threat. I think he will be more useful in a combat orientated army.

Captain

You almost have to bring a Captain, if only for the buffs. I liked the storm of fire warlord trait and would definitely take it again if he was near units with a high number of shots. I think he would be better off dropping in using a jump pack and then having a second Captain in the gunline.

Going forward

I definitely want to try out some combat troops, so vanguard veterans will be on the list. I also want to bring the land-raider crusader packed with hammer and shield terminators.

With a more combat centric force I’d definitely be bringing a chaplain, if only for fluff reasons.

A lieutenant will also be a must for a gun line list as re-rolling ones, would have made a huge difference in the game. He would be taken over the Techmarine.

I also fancy taking a Culexus assassin. The minus 2 to any power roll if he is in range would definitely hinder the number of spells going off. I suppose the question is whether I would take a librarian in the same list as him.

40k First Game incoming

More than 8 months after deciding to retry 40k (after a very brief unsuccessful stint in 7th Edition), i’ve finally lined up my first game of 8th edition against one of the club committee members, Nick.

He knows it’s my first game so said he will not bring one of his nastier lists (which would probably have involved some form of Imperial Knight!) and would use the models from the dark imperium set. Being a glutton for punishment, I of course said bring whatever you like, so we shall see what appears.

I’ve said it many times before on the blog, I’m sure and I’ll say it again (I’m getting older and so repeating myself is not only allowed but to be expected). I suffer from perennial list tinkerer syndrome. It’s a real thing, look it up. I just can’t help myself, I’m sure my laptop is slowly filling up with variation upon variation of lists, most of which never see the light of day but exist just for my theory/list hammer pleasure.

Phew, now I have that heavy burden off my chest, I feel I can safely post my latest creation and chosen list for the game.

The Crusade of the Stalking Tiger

Raven Guard Chapter Tactics

HQ’s

The Light that Guides – Captain – 77pts

Master-crafted Boltgun, Chainsword

The Mind Awakes – Librarian – 120pts

Force Sword, Boltgun, Jet Pack, Armour Indominus

Red Runs the Flesh – Techmarine – 57pts

Boltgun, Chainsword 

Troops

The Mist Convalesces – Scout Squad – 65pts

5 Scouts, Boltguns, Heavy Bolter

The Wind It Whispers – Scout Squad – 84pts

5 Scouts, Sniper rifles, Missile launcher

Moons Rise Together – Intercessor Squad – 91pts

5 Primaris Marines, Bolt Rifle, Auxillary grenade launcher

Elites

The Storm Gathers – Aggressor Squad – 111pts

3 Aggressors, Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets, Fragstorm Grenade Launchers

The Tranquil Garden – Sternguard Veteran Squad – 180pts

10 Sternguard, Special issue boltguns

The Emperor Draws Breath – Redemptor Dreadnought – 202pts

2 Stormbolters, Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Icarus Rocket Pod

The Enduring Rock – Venerable Dreadnought – 165pts

Missile Launcher, Twin Lascannon

The Ground Trembles – Ironclad Dreadnought – 145pts

Chainfist with Meltagun, CCW with Storm Bolter

The Mountain Comes – Ironclad Dreadnought – 145pts

Chainfist with Meltagun, CCW with Storm Bolter

Fast Attack

Swift Strikes the Thunder- Inceptors – 135pts

3 Inceptors, assault bolters

Heavy Support

The Light Should Burn – Devastator Squad – 170pts

5 Marines, 4 * Lascannons, Armorium Cherub

The Fires they Cleanse – Hellblaster Squad – 165pts

5 Primaris Marines, Plasma Incinerators

Dedicated Transport

The Sky Must Fall – Drop Pod – 85pts

Total – 1997pts

List Thoughts

The list has 1 Battalion and 1 Vanguard detachment so with it also being battleforged, will have 7 Command points to use. This seems like a reasonable number.

I have no idea how the list will play but I did have a couple of over-arching thoughts.

The main one was that I had to include all my dreadnoughts. The second was that I wanted to try out as many things as possible.

I feel a bit gamey using Raven Guard tactics (-1 to hit them when 12″ away) but I feel they are the most complementary of the list. If I weren’t using them, I’d probably use Iron Hands (due to the 6+++ save and the specific dreadnought stratagem) or Imperial Fists (due to fire ignoring cover). The advantage of these 3 are the consistent benefits, meaning I’m unlikely to forget them!

With my first few lists, I realised that I had little or no deep striking units so I revised it so that I had 3 distinct elements to the force.

The Pillar Endures

The first is the fire base. This group should do very little movement and camp any deployment zone objectives.

It will be led by the Venerable dreadnought who can, if necessary, burn a stratagem to act as a captain. He will be supported by the Devastator Marines, Intercessor Squad and sniper scouts.

This will give me 5 Lascannons (with one being a twin and one additional one time shot from the cherub) and 2 missile launchers with which to take out heavy armour. The 4 sniper shots will target characters (probably support characters as they usually have fewer wounds). The Intercessors will be used to help protect the fire base from deep strikers and will be the mobile element of the group.

The Blade is Poised

The Assault group will be led by one of the Chapter Captains. He will start within range of much of the fire base to buff them with his aura and will either stay with them or advance as needed to assist the Hellblaster squad, as their ability to overcharge will benefit most from the reroll to hit of 1’s he provides. I also like the idea of a Captain advancing to cleanse the enemy rather than hanging back. I’m contemplating spending an additional command point before I begin to give the captain an addition relic (the teeth of terra) as I do feel that bar the Dreadnoughts, the list lacks combat punch but it may be a wasted point. The other thing I’m unsure on is what warlord trait to give him. At the moment I’m gravitating towards Storm of Fire to give nearby Chapter units a chance to get an additional -1 save modifier.

The Hellblasters will be the mobile ranged hard hitters. I’ve taken the standard gun over the assault version due to the extra pip of strength.

In some ways the Captain, Hellblasters and Intercessors are fluid option, able to move between the fire base and assault groups as required.

The boltgun scouts are there to provide the second part of the deep strike area denial and if possible to capture mid-field objectives at the same time.

This group will have their own fire support in the form of the Redemptor Dreadnought who will advance with the Captain and Hellblasters. The Captains buff should again help with its damage output as moving will impede its hit rate.

The final element of the group will be made up of the units that will be barrelling forward at all due speed. The 2 Ironclads will be advancing towards the enemy as fast as possible. Their smoke launchers and Chapter tactics will infer a one turn -2 to enemy shooting, that should mitigate a lot of hits. The Techmarine will run with them to try and heal as much damage as possible (or he will help with the Redemptor if required). They will be supported by the Aggressors who have the ability to both advance and shoot and should be able to help thin out any potential horde style units that try to chaff up the ironclads. I’m hoping the 2 Dreads will present a greater threat and deflect attention from the more vulnerable Aggressors.

It is tempting to leave a deliberate backfield space near the Aggressors to entice a deep strike but I somehow doubt Nick would fall for that tactic but would capitalise on it if I moved later on.

The Crushing Blow

The final group is the strike force and is made up of those starting from reserve.

The Sternguard will be deployed in the drop pod to allow them the flexibility to go where needed and drop into short range where their special issue guns combined with sternguard stratagem should cause some decent damage and be a distraction. The increased range of their guns also means they can still benefit from the Chapter tactic when in rapid fire range.

The strike force will be led by the Librarian who will jump in with the Sternguard using his powers either as an offensive force or to help buff the unit. As a bonus, jumping in might mean he starts in range to get a deny the witch boost. I’ve given him the armour relic to boost his save and give a one time 3++ ward. It should make him more survivable, especially in combat.

The Inceptors are very much a distraction. They are to drop in to try and thin out any hordes but I’m happy to make them sacrificial and as a fly unit, they are able to fallback and still shoot.

If you are still reading after that wall of text then I’m impressed. If any of you have played many games then please feel free to off any tips you may have.

 

The Shadow Sentinels – Space Marine Chapter

Having decided that I will finally give 40k another go, I felt that I should try and put some fluff together for my Chapter. It is very much a WIP. And because I couldn’t resist, i’ve also added a couple of lists and thoughts at the bottom.

+++++ Report to Inquisitor Marleck on the origins of the Shadow Sentinel Chapter+++++

The Sentinels are a chapter of an unknown origin and founding, based around the northern outskirts of the Sementum Pacificus, near the Halo Stars. They appear to be fleet based, though they neither confirm nor deny this and if indeed they do or did have a homeworld base, the location is not recorded on any records we have been able to find.

Due to their secretive nature and proximity to the ruins of Caliban, it has been theorised that they were an unknown offshoot of the Dark Angels chapter. This theory appears to have been given credence due to their similar chapter colours and markings and may have been further perpetuated by the Chapter themselves. The Dark Angels have denied any lineage.

There is one question on their otherwise spotless record. Their first known appearance was in M.27 when they put down the Katar rebellion. Before this date, there was no known record of the Chapter and that date does not correspond to any known founding. Due to their sudden appearance, use of archaic language & prose and close proximity to the eye of terror, they were subject to an extensive inquisitional investigation after allegations were put forward that they may have been linked to the Alpha Legion. The source of the accusations is unconfirmed but Are presumed to have come from a well regarded source considering the speed they were acted upon. Any findings of that investigation were unobtainable by this agent but it appears no further action was taken against them.

What is known about them, is they are selective in their chosen battleground, favouring heavily forested or urban terrain and when they take the field they mainly deploy infantry, shunning vehicles. There is one exception to this rule, the chapter routinely deploy an unusually high number of dreadnoughts. This has led observers to question if they follow the standard codex structure and further speculate if they indeed have enough battle brothers to field a full chapter.
They have recently been seen with greater numbers of Primaris Marines deployed, so it appears that they have benefited greatly from the Primaris reinforcements offered to all chapters as part of the Ultima Founding. Who authorised this and from which gene stock remains a mystery.

++Report ends. Sector Agent Lucian Grite+++

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Ok so not finished but it gives you an idea on the chapter colour and symbol

First list attempts

If the points are a bit out in either of the below, it’s likely because I’ve tinkered with the lists since I originally posted them and missed updating something.

Also some choices (e.g only 2 scout squads) and loadouts have been dictated by models owned and actual weapons on them. I’ve done very little proxying (if only not to confuse myself when playing!).

The Crusade of the Leaping Panther

Imperial Fist Chapter Tactics

HQ’s

The Light that Guides – Captain – 77pts

Master-crafted Boltgun, Teeth of Terra

Stark is the Void – Chaplain – 102pts

Jump Pack, Powerfist

Long Grows the Night – Lieutenant – 63pts

Master-crafted Boltgun

Troops

The Mist Convalesces – Scout Squad – 65pts

5 Scouts, Boltguns, Heavy Bolter

The Wind It Whispers – Scout Squad – 75pts

5 Scouts, Sniper rifles

The Wave Breaks- Tactical Squad – 75pts

5 Tactical Marines, Boltguns, Heavy Bolter

Elites

The Storm Gathers – Aggressor Squad – 129pts

3 Aggressors, Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets, Fragstorm Grenade Launchers

The Tranquil Garden – Sternguard Veteran Squad – 180pts

10 Sternguard, Special issue boltguns

The Emperor Draws Breath – Redemptor Dreadnought – 206pts

2 Fragstorm Grenade Launchers, Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Icarus Rocket Pod

The Enduring Rock – Venerable Dreadnought – 148pts

Missile Launcher, Twin Autocannon

The Ground Trembles – Ironclad Dreadnought – 150pts

Chainfist with Meltagun, CCW with Storm Bolter

The Mountain Comes – Ironclad Dreadnought – 150pts

Chainfist with Heavy Flamer, CCW with Storm Bolter

Fast Attack

Wild Runs the Herd – Assault Squad – 144pts

9 Assault Marines, Jump Packs

Heavy Support

The Light Should Burn – Devastator Squad – 170pts

5 Marines, 2 * Lascannons, 2 * Missile Launchers, Armorium Cherub

Heavy Sounds the Call – Devastator Squad – 170pts

5 Marines, 2 * Lascannons, 2 * Missile Launchers, Armorium Cherub

Dedicated Transport

The Sky Must Fall – Drop Pod – 95pts

Total – 1998pts

 

List Thoughts

I have no idea how the list will play. My main thought was that I had to include all my dreadnoughts. The rest of the list is kind of dictated by the models I own, though I do have a 10 man squad of legion of the damned and the dark imperium primaris marines.

The list has 1 Battalion and 1 Vanguard detachment so will have 7 Command points to use.

My thoughts were the 2 devastator squads should provide the muscle to take out any enemy vehicles/monsters. They would be supported by the captain and lieutenant for the rerolls. The venerable dread’ would also act to support them with its long range payload.

The sniper scouts are there to pick on nme characters. They don’t have camo cloaks as I had to shave off points where I could to fit everything in and I chose those and kept things like the cherubs and assault launchers.

The boltgun scouts and tactical marines are there to capture objectives and put out a reasonable amount of fire. The Redemptor will support them but with a heavier amount of AP.

The Sternguard will be deployed in the drop pod to allow them the flexibility to go where needed and drop into short range where their special issue guns combined with sternguard and Chapter strategems should cause some damage and be a distraction. It also means they will avoid any first turn alpha strikes.

The assault squad will also arrive from reserves and they are very much a sacrifical unit to buy time for the ironclads and aggressors to get into range. The chaplain is there to help out against tougher models and I like the idea of him getting into the thick of the fighting with them.

I keep reading that assault marines are not very good but they, devestators and tactical marines make up the core of the chapters so it  seems wrong not to take some. Likewise, Aggressors have taken a lot of flack but I really like the models, so they remain.

I kept with Imperial Fists, even though I can tell they don’t have the strongest CT, mainly as it is what I’ve taken before and I like the idea that they ignore cover saves across the board.

I do worry that even for a marine army, I’m lacking enough bodies (with only 50 + 4 Dreads + a drop pod), especially troops (only 15) so with this in mind I created a second list.

 

The Crusade of the Stalking Tiger

HQ’s

Fiercely Strikes the Fist – Primaris Captain – 137pts

Gravis Armour, Master Crafted Power Sword, Boltstorm Gauntlet

Red Runs the Flesh – Techmarine – 57pts

Boltgun, Chainsword 

The Silence Screams – Primaris Lieutenant – 74pts

Master Crafted Auto Boltgun

Troops

The Wind It Whispers – Scout Squad – 90pts

5 Scouts, Sniper Rifles, Camo cloaks

The Mist Convalesces – Scout Squad – 65pts

5 Scouts, Boltguns, Heavy Bolter

Moons Rise Together – Intercessor Squad – 100pts

5 Primaris Marines, Bolt Rifle

Flys Well the Bolt – Intercessor Squad – 100pts

5 Primaris Marines, Bolt Rifle

Elites

The Enduring Rock – Venerable Dreadnought – 148pts

Missile Launcher, Twin Autocannon

The Ground Trembles – Ironclad Dreadnought – 145pts

Chainfist with Meltagun, CCW with Storm Bolter

The Mountain Comes – Ironclad Dreadnought – 145pts

Chainfist with Heavy Flamer, CCW with Storm Bolter

The Emperor Draws Breath – Redemptor Dreadnought – 202pts

Heavy Onlaught Gatling Cannon, Onlaught Gatling Cannon, 2 Storm Bolters, Icarus Rocket Pod

The Storm Gathers – Aggressor Squad – 129pts

3 Aggressors, Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets, Fragstorm Grenade Launchers

The Tranquil Garden – Sternguard Veteran Squad – 180pts

10 Sternguard, Special issue boltguns

Heavy Support

The Light Should Burn – Devastator Squad – 165pts

5 Marines, 4 * Lascannons

The Fires they Cleanse – Hellblaster Squad – 165pts

5 Primaris Marines, Plasma Incinerators

Dedicated Transport

The Sky Must Fall – Drop Pod – 95pts

Total – 1998pts

List Thoughts

So body wise, this has fewer than the previous (46 vs the 50). However a number of these are multiwound models. Where it differs, is having 4 troop choices (20 troops) to help capture objectives (or act as meat shields).

Many of the units are taken for the same reasons as stated in the first list so I won’t repeat it again.

The Devastators now have 4 lascannons as I feel they are stronger than the launchers but I still have the one on the dread which gives me flexibility vs flyers (with the strategem). The other devastator squad was replaced with a hellblaster squad. I thought this gave more tactical options if only because they’d be more mobile.

Both the Lieutenant and Captain have been upgraded to primaris, if only for greater durability and the Captain given Gravis armour, mainly because I like the model!

I’ve added a techmarine as the final (and cheapest) HQ unit and he will run with the ironclads to try and help them reach combat.

The ironclads lost the assault launchers as I needed to save points and having a 50% chance to inflict D3 mortal wounds felt too random. Likewise the fragstorm launchers on the Redemptor were downgraded to storm bolsters for the increased range and guaranteed number of shots (and again for cost).

In terms of what fell by the wayside, the assault marines so I could keep the sternguard and fit the additional troops and without them I couldn’t justify the Chaplain.

I did consider adding in a librarian but I wasn’t overly impressed with the powers. They all felt a bit weak but that might be a hang up from fantasy where they could be ridiculously OP.

Likewise if I put everything in a battalion, dropped the techmarine and went with a vanilla Captain and Lieutenant, I could fit in 8 assault marines with jump packs (with the sergeant having a power fist) but I’d really want a chaplain to back them up and not sure if the loss of one command point and the 8 troops is worth having.

If you have any thoughts and suggestions feel free to make them as I’m flying a bit blind with just my own thoughts and a few reviews off the web as guidance. I’ll just repeat that the only additional models I own are some heavy weapon options for the Marines, 10 or so Legion of the Damned, any other Primaris from the starter set and for vehicles, a second pod and a land raider crusader.

Cheers M

WHFB – Dwarves vs Orcs and Goblins – part 1 lists

In a couple of Fridays I’ve booked in a game vs Alistair (and his OnG list) in my comp group. However, instead of a comp game, I offered him a friendly so he could get some more practice in (because I’m nice like that 😀), which he gratefully accepted. As such I decided to not to bring Beastmen and instead bring a comp legal alternative list.

I very nearly bought my wood elves but the list I wanted to use is potentially very filthy and as he is still learning the 8th edition rules I instead decided to use the opportunity to try out a whole chunk of the Dwarf book that I normally just don’t take or have never used.

As such the following list is a bit random and contains elements that are not considered the most competitive (e.g. the Runelord). It will also be a bit of a unit review, as I’m also going to look at why certain units aren’t normally taken (at least by me) and as such this will be far longer than my normal list post.

Drugin looked round at his first command shaking his head in disbelief. Knoffles had final decided that after years of carrying the hold banner, he had gained enough experience to lead his own force and then not only lumbered him with this motley crew of engineers, testing their newfangled experiments, but sent the old Grumblers and Buggerit to babysit him. The thought was nearly enough for him to shave his head and join Ethelred and the Brotherhood of Doom! The only saving grace was a unit of the deep delvers, the Ironbreakers, had been rotated up to serve as his bodyguard and that he had also been joined by his brother Barlek who had been given the honour of raising the expedition standard.

The Throng of Karak Silvertop

Drugin Silvertop – Thane (General) – MRo Gromril, Great Weapon, Oath Stone, Fiery Ring of Thori – 161pts.

The general will go in the unit of ironbreakers where the oath stone ability of allowing parry saves to the flanks and rear, will synergise well with their permanent 5++ combat parry save. With 3 S6 attacks and a S4 breath attack, it should allow him to boost their combat output and the 1+ save should help protect him against any challenges he has to accept. I will say that the oath stone and ironbreakers isn’t an original idea at all but isn’t one I’ve ever used. The breath weapon is my own twist on the build (though I’m sure someone else has done this before too)

cropped-img_11141.jpg

Barlek – Thane (BSB) – Gromril Armour, shield, MRo Grungni – 153pts.

The BSB will go on the edge Longbeard unit so that the 6″ bubble of the 5++ ward vs shooting is able to cover the slayers. He is also reasonably protected with a 3+ save and 4++ ward.

Buggerit the Old – Runelord – Gromril Armour, shield, Ro Stone, Ro Spellbreaking, Anvil of Doom – 323pts

The first of what is considered a non competitive choice. He is reasonably well protected with a 2+ save. The anvil then bestows a further 5++ ward and (with the lord’s MR2) a 3++ ward vs direct damage spells. An additional +2 wounds from it taking him to a total of 5 with his base T5 is nothing to be sniffed at either. He also gains an additional 2 WS5 S4 attacks from the guards (in the same way as a lord on shieldbearers) and the anvil allows you to automatically gain a power and dispel dice in each magic phase (I believe this is on top of your channel). I’ve also given him a dispel ‘rune’. So far so good.

The anvil also allows you to cast 3 bound spells and this is where you start to see why it isn’t taken. The first gives a unit immune to psychology (which is a bit meh in an army that, as standard, has an LD of 9), the second is a 24″ range, 2D6 attack, S4 magic missile (which in some armies would not be bad but in an army that is normally stacked with 30″, S4 xbows as well as warmachines, is also lacklustre). The final one adds +1 to the save of any unit (this is by far the best option but it is unlikely that you will cast it often as I’ll cover below). 

There are several issues with the anvil. The first is although you get added protection and attacks, it is classed as a warmachine, rather than a ‘mount’ and so you don’t want it in combat and it can’t join units (so the AP buff of the Runelord is wasted). This means it is susceptible to being sniped and also to the characteristic ‘test or die’ spells. So you are basically paying 170pts (+ the difference of cost between a Runesmith and Lord) for 3 spells, one of which you will only likely use to draw out dispel dice and any halfway competent opponent will not dispel anyway. So you are really only going to cast 2 of the spells and as they are bound spells, any enemy wizard will already have an advantage in dispelling them as they will add their wizard level to it. So to reliably cast one, you will have to throw (probably 2) more dice than your opponent and they should easily be able to tell which one you will want to cast (missile at range, armour in combat) and will be saving dice to stop that. To put it in another perspective, for the cost of just the anvil, you could easily take a fully runed up warmachine that will be hitting from turn one, more reliably and that is why you rarely see these on the battlefield. That said, they are a great model (both new and old) and against Alistair with his two L2 shamans, it may not be a bad choice.

img_1615

Ethelred the Scorned – Daemon Slayer – MRo Swiftness, 2 * Ro Cleaving – 200pts

This is the ultimate slayer, a lord who gets 4 WS 7, I5, S4 attacks as standard. Each unsaved wound vs monsters causes D3 wounds and he forces rerolls on successful ward saves. Like all slayers he can choose to use an additional hand weapon for an extra attack or a great weapon to boost his Str to 6 (hint don’t). 

He has two weaknesses, no saves (like his brethren) and a lack of base strength to get through armour. You could argue that the latter shouldn’t be an issue with his preferred target of monsters (who in the main do not have a huge save), ability to always wound on a 4+ and option of a great weapon should a Str boost be needed. The issue with this is, with a movement of only 3, most monsters will be able to easily avoid him (especially as many of them fly!). The great weapon also means he will strike last and with the lack of defence he may not get to strike at all!

So I have looked to minimise his weaknesses. Rather than running him solo, he will be bunkered in the slayers. This will give him a lookout sir roll and unless sniped will mean he is reasonably safe from shooting, especially with the BSB 5++ ward. He still has the option of charging out/leaving the unit if he wants. I’ve also given him a Rune axe. The two runes of cleaving give him +1 Str and AP, so a base strength of 5 and a -3 to armour saves. If he gets a charge off, it becomes 6 and -4. Not too shabby. The Swiftness rune gives him always strike first (ASF), which does exactly what it says and against anyone with an initiative of 5 or under he also gets rerolls to hit. They say attack is the best form of defence, we shall see but I have high hopes for him. I will add that 200pts for a dwarf lord isn’t too expensive either.

Core

The Old Grumblers – 24 Longbeards – musician, standard, heavy armour, shields, Ro Stoicism – 367pts

Even after I don’t know how many games using them, I’m torn on whether I like Longbeards. If armed with great weapons (GW), then I’m more inclined to take GW warriors instead as you get more for your money and the drop in Str from 6 to 5 isn’t too bad. With a standard initiative of 2 for both of them, you are likely striking last anyway so taking GWs with the always strikes last rule, doesn’t really matter too much. So if I take them I’m more likely to arm them with shields to get the 4+, 6++ saves but then I feel they need a runesmith to give them a -2 to enemy armour saves as I want them somewhat offensive rather than just an anvil unit, as with dwarves you don’t get enough units/troops in a normal list to have a dedicated tarpit. 

They do have a few advantages over normal Warriors. They are elite troops so rock a WS5 as standard, meaning nearly every enemy unit will only hit on 4+, whereas they have a good chance of hitting on 3’s. They are also immune to psychology so ignore fear/terror/panic tests. They also have access to a 50pt magic standard which, if you don’t have the Groth rune somewhere, is almost certainly going to be the stubborn rune (as it is in my list).

In this list, I won’t have a runesmith in the unit to provide the additional offence (just the BSB) so this will be more of a test of their staying/grinding power. One of our group opponents, is also running 3 large blocks of shieldbeards (as they are affectionately known), so this also gives Alistair some experience of the unit.

img_1627

 

 

Guild Experimental Weaponry team – 10 Thunderers – standard, heavy armour, shields, handguns, veteran with brace of pistols – 150pts

Guild Experimental Weaponry team – 10 Thunderers – heavy armour, shields, handguns, veteran with brace of pistols – 140pts

The final units in the core selection are two units of Thunderers. These have a 4+ save and a 24″ AP Str 4 ranged weapon. The veteran is armed with pistols to allow them to pretty much always stand and shoot, something I feel is needed for them.

I’ve gone with Thunderers as I normally take xbows as I prefer the longer 30″ range over the increase in armour penetration and xbows have the option of great weapons and/or shields, allowing them to be an offensive unit (whereas Thunderers can only take shields). Only one unit has a standard for our scenarios (and I didn’t have the points for the second unit to get one, choosing instead to take a champion with pistols in each instead to try and ensure they always get a stand and shoot reaction).

4 Thunderers of Clan Silvertop
Thunderers of Clan Silvertop
Special

Shintel’s Wall – 19 Ironbreakers – musician, standard, gromril armour, shields, Ro Stoicism, Ro warding – 336pts

With a 3+ save, 5++ ward in combat, LD 10 and the stubborn rune, this unit will fight to the last Dwarf and should stick around for a while. They have pretty much the same stat line as the above Longbeards but have improved saves. The rune of warding will give them a nominal 6++ vs direct spell damage. The thane on oathstone ensures the 5++ combat ward wherever they are charged, so they will make ideal flank guards or objective protectors. They are also an ideal target for the Anvil’s +1 save boost and the only unit bar the Thunderers that could benefit from the immune to psychology. My one concern is that the unit size is a bit small.

The Brotherhood of Doom – 24 Slayers – standard, slayer axes – 298pts

If we are judging units purely on fluff, these guys are hands down my favourite unit but they are also pretty effective too as I found out when I used them in the 2016 club tournament. So what do they bring to the table? 

They are both immune to psychology and unbreakable, so basically never have to take a leadership test and will never run away. This is huge. It means you have a block of dwarves that will have to be completely wiped out and can effectively tarpit anything and operate outside of the bsb/generals bubble (it is also one reason you find excommunicated beardless dwarves using small darts of them, the shame!). As with black Orcs, they can also choose each round whether to use additional hand weapons (AHW) or great weapons (GW). I would personally only use the AHW’s if they manage to charge (as with all dwarves they get +1 to Str when the charge and this would take them to Str 4) and then only against T3 opponents. Against everyone else I’d use the GW to get a Str 5 attack. When a model dies in combat, it gets to make a final attack back. Contrary to what I’ve seen written in some places, it is a single attack, no matter your base attacks) and using AHW’s doesn’t boost the number, though you DO get the Str bonus for a GW (or runic item effects). This rule helps to overcome the glaring lack of armour. 

So this unit pretty damn good, so why is it not seen more? Well firstly, it is highly susceptible to missile fire. This is why the Grungni banner with the 5++ ward vs missiles, is almost a must take with the unit. It also has the same limited movement as all dwarf units so it is hard to get favourable matchups. The final reason is down to choices. They come out of the same section as cannons, Gyrocoptors, hammerers, ironbreakers etc. That is a lot of quality competition vying for slots and is probably the main reason for their exclusion.

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The Valkyrie – Gyrocoptor – 80pts

I won’t go into detail about the Gyrocoptor here as I have many times before. Suffice to say it is invaluable in a Dwarf list and if you haven’t taken a minimum of one (but better two or three), you need to go back to your list and revise it. Yes they are that good.

Rare

Flame Cannon – Ro Forging – 165pts

Another warmachine I’ve never taken though I’m not sure why. It is at heart a Str 5 flaming breath weapon that auto hits models that fall under the flamer template and causes panic tests on models/units that suffer wounds. And on top of that each wound caused is actually D3 wounds so it is excellent vs Ogres or other multiwound models. It also has a range of between 2″ and 22″ (much further than the standard variant due to the dwarf special rules) but it works out further than 22″ as that is the spot from where the template is laid down (though the distance is variable as it is 0-12″ + the roll of an artillery dice). It is for this reason that the Flame Cannon has been given a Ro Forging to reroll misfires or distances if required.

Gyrobomber – 125pts

The final entry in the list is the ‘coptors big brother and is another first time entry in my army list. It shares the same stat line as it’s smaller sibling (which feels odd, you’d think it should at least have an additional wound) but drops the steam gun for a clatter gun. This fires 4 Str 4 AP quick to fire (so no move and shoot penalty) shots and has a 24″ range. So it will hit on 6’s at long range and 5’s at short, so don’t expect anything ground-shattering from it but unlike the ‘coptor, the gun is not where it’s strength lays (unsurprisingly the clue is in its name after all). If it moved over an enemy unit it can drop a bomb. You place the large 5″ template and roll to scatter. Anything under the template takes a Str 3 hit (with a model under the centre hole taking a Str 6 hit with D3 wounds). Then on a 4+, place the smaller 3″ template in the same location and roll for a further scatter (though only D6″ distance) and anything hit takes damage as per the first hit. Against low toughness horde armies (looking at you Goblins), this could be devastating if you are lucky with rolls. 

The main issues as I see them are threefold. (1) You cannot add runes, so you are at the whim of the scatter dice. Other armies suffer from this all the time but as dwarves you are used to better. (2) It is only Str 3, so in most cases the best you are wounding on is a 4+. This is offset a bit by the large template. (3) The bomber is still just a 3 wound model. This isn’t a lot and as it will be operating over enemy lines, it could easily be isolated and shot down.

 

 

The Dark Tide

In the final post of this series, i’ll take a look at the final competitor in Group A, Luke C and his Dark Elves. Luke has been using Dark Elves for a number of years and I know often attends the Hockley tournament with Dan so will be a tough player to beat.

I actually played Luke for the first time recently with both of us using our respective competition lists (write up here), so we both have an idea already about the other one. His use of chaff was an eye opener and i’ll have to be careful not to make the same mistakes again.

The entry restrictions were changed between us playing and the final submission and so the below list, although similar, contains a few changes.

Characters

Dread Lord (General) – Lt armour, Shield, Sea Dragon Cloak, Ogre Blade, Talisman of Endurance, Cold One – 246pts

His general is well protected with a 1+, 5++ save. The Ogre blade boosts his Str to 6, covering the only shortfall in his stats. His attacks will be flaming if in the cold one Knights, so maybe I can use that against him.

Supreme Sorceress – Power Scroll, Talisman of Preservation, Dark Steed, Lore of Life – 320pts

Life is generally a defensive Lore and helps shore up the elves natural frailties. The exception is dwellers. That spell is based on a Str test so I have a better than average chance of resisting it, especially with the banner boosting the Str of my Gor. One thing I must do is dispel Throne of Vines when he casts it. That for me is a priority as it will reduce the effectiveness of everything else and mean he can suffer miscasts. Like Alistair, he has taken a power scroll which halves the cost of a spell cast when used. This could allow him to push through Dwellers when Im not expecting it!

She is also likely to be bunkered in one of the riders units which will mean that is unlikely to have chaff duty.

Death Hag – Rune of Khaine, Cauldron of Blood, Obsidian Blade – 390pts

The rune gives the hag +D3 attacks each turn. This is on top of her 3 standard (+1 for frenzy) ASF, armour ignoring (due to her weapon) attacks. The cauldron then gives her and the unit a 5++ save (or 4++ vs magic missiles). The cauldron bound spell gives the unit an additional attack, so the hag could have between 4-8 and the witch elves up to 4. Generally all kinds of filth.

Master – Lance, Heavy armour, Shield, Sea Dragon Cloak, Cloak of Twilight, Dark Pegasus – 188pts

Im going to call this his trouble shooter/assassin. With a 1+ save and boosted toughness (4) and wounds (3) due to the mount, he is quite defensive. The lance and cloak give him a good alpha strike at Str 6, ASF, killing blow and D3 wounds in the first round of combat. The mount adds to this, as also gets +1 Str on the charge. If I could get a charge off onto him with the Doombull it would help as he would only be Str 4 so I’d still get a 2+ save, killing blow wouldn’t work on the model and he wouldn’t get rerolls due to my i10. The D3 wounds are still a worry though, especially if he charges me as my save then becomes 4+.

Core

5 Dark Riders – Musician, Standard, Lt armour, shield, Spear, repeater xbow – 120pts

5 Dark Riders – Musician, Standard, Lt armour, shield, Spear, repeater xbow – 120pts

5 Dark Riders – Musician, Standard, Lt armour, shield, Spear, repeater xbow – 120pts

Luke has already shown me that he uses these guys to great effect and completely blocked me from moving/charging on my first turn. I’ll have to learn from that error. He is also partial to putting them in a conga line (as do many others). Something I refuse to do out of principle as I dislike doing things I feel are too ‘gamey’. It’s why you will never see slayer darts in my lists. If it could give me a bit of a handicap, so be it. This time the units are actually armed with crossbows.

27 Witch Elves – AHW, Full Command, Razor Standard – 372pts

With between 2-4 ASF poisoned, initiative 6 attacks, these ladies could mince through my units. The saving grace is their strength 3 requires a 5+ to wound, however poison, augmented with the rerolls to hit, could help bypass this entirely. On top of that they can reroll 1’s to wound. This is one of the reasons the unit combined with cauldron is so feared in combat.

They can be frenzy baited but with the bsb in the unit, it reduces the likelyhood.

The razor standard isn’t a biggie as almost nothing in my list has armour (which is why poison is such a pain as it negates my one defence – toughness).

At the other end of the scale, they are standard, T3 squishy elves and aren’t the only ones with rerolls to hit. The cauldron does give them a 5++ ward so they aren’t entirely defenceless but like my troops offence remains their best defence.

Special

Cold One Knights – Full Command, Lance, Heavy armour, Shield, Cold One, Banner of Eternal Flame – 310pts

These are some of my favourite GW sculpts. And bar a few early 90’s Marauder models are the only Dark elves I own. They suffer from all the flaws of elves and Cavalry in general, relying on the initial charge to damage and armour saves to survive the grind afterwards. The cold one mounts help with this but could also hinder due to stupidity (though with the general in the unit this is highly unlikely). My Doombull does rock a 2++ ward vs fire based attacks so could cause all sorts of issues for this unit. However, my Ungor Raiders held up the unit for almost 3 turns last game, so there are a number of options for dealing with them.

Har Ganeth Executioners – Full Command, Great Weapon, Heavy Armour – 306pts

With T3 and a 5+ save, they will fall over to a stiff breeze. However as with most dark elves, they are all about the offence, as shown in my last report. The great weapons will prevent their rerolls, but S6 will ensure they wound on a 2+ in most cases and high initiative will see them striking first. The killing blow skill will make almost no difference to me as I have very few multi-wound non monstrous models and no armour.

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Evaluation

Not much has changed since we last fought. The big changes are the Doomfire Warlocks are gone, due to the wizard level restrictions. In their place comes the Master on Dark Peg’. Smart deployment to prevent his previous game dark rider shenanigans will be key, together with knowing what I need to do to win the scenarios.

Scenarios

1. Eliminate

His bounty tokens will be placed on: Witch Elves, Executioners and the Cold One Knights. My will be on my Gor, Bestigor and a Chariot.

So if I were Luke, what would I do? As normal, the chariot is my weak link.  The Dark Peg could easily take it down but then a unit or 2 of harassing Dark riders also stand a high chance of doing so through massed shooting and there isn’t a huge amount I can do about that. Perhaps place the chariot in the opposite corner to my troops with the flank guarded by screening Ungor (the other flank by a table edge). Make it so shooting is through hard cover or else they risk a chariot charge. Again vs the Peg, the Ungor would form a screen and at least the peg would be out of the way for a turn. I could also start my doombull there if necessary but he could have better uses (it would depend on other deployment). I could also use the chariot as bait…

His witches will be gunning for any of my units in the knowledge that they should beat them in a straight fight. I’ll just have to use chaff to block them so if they charge they will overrun to an unfavourable location (trying to get a flank of course).

His Knights will be wanting to avoid the Bestigors at all costs as their numbers and weapons will give them the edge.

His executioners would take a heavy toll on either of my units but my numbers should see me through in a ‘fair’ fight.

From my side I want the Bestigor in his Knights and Gor into the executioners whilst holding up the witches.

This game will ultimately come down to chaff. Who can use it the most effectively.

It is also a game where I will want the Bestigors in bus not horde formation (though perhaps 6-7 wide).

2. Dawn Attack

The table is divided into quarters. 1pt given for each of yours, 2pts each for your opponents side. You need to have the most fortitude in a quadrant to capture it.

This is an issue for me as he has a shed load more fortitude. He has 6 separate units with fortitude and can add the bsb and general to increase the units fortitude (to a max of 9).

His General will likely be in the Knights (for a fort’ of 3, but he could move to a under strength rider unit to boost it). The BSB will go in the witches to give that a fort’ of 2.

3 of the units with standards are Dark riders, making it essential that I kill at least 1 model off them as it will drop them under scoring strength (and hope there is no regrowth). This is essential as their mobility will allow them to steal quadrants. If I can target the one that perhaps bunkers his Mage it would be an added bonus.

The most I can manage is one block with fort’ of 2 and one with a fort’ of 3. So this will be an uphill struggle.

3. Invade

This is played lengthways and you need to get more fort’ into your opponents half. This will likely end up as a battleline fight. Although taking my units in horde would effective block a chunk of the table, due to his sheer damage output and higher initiative, bus formation will likely be better for me (at least with the Bestigor – though it will be 6-7 wide).

The Doombull may have to play backfield to catch any darkriders that slip through.

4. Secure

You get one point per piece of terrain you hold (it’s double if in the opponents side). Again I’m at a disadvantage as unless I move my General or BSB into each Ungor Raiders unit (highly unlikely but you never know as it could turn a defeat into a victory or at least a draw), the most I can capture is two bits of terrain vs his 6 and so will definitely need to advance to capture terrain on his half whilst destroying any  fortitude units I encounter on route (are you noticing a trend here?). I’ll have to almost treat this as a battleline game but make sure I’m in scenery at the end. Thinking about it, the general in Ungor is looking more attractive, despite the drawbacks.

5. Loot

3 tokens placed, one in the middle and the other 2 on the central line, at least 12″ apart. The player who holds the most wins. In this case, I am considering grouping them on one side of the table rather than have them spread out as this might actually favour me, especially with his fast moving units. The question is, will he charge forward with the fast cav to capture them and then retreat trying to slip them through the gaps of the blocks moving up behind them.

This is a tricky one as I do want his blocks to have the tokens to reduce their mobility rather than the riders. The good news is they only need to lose 1 model to lose fortitude and thus the token.

6. Wicked woods

Holding the woods is key and moving into it early is essential. You have to hold it for at least 7 player turns (of 12) to ensure a win. The key will be to move as much chaff forward as possible to obstruct his blocks at every turn to maximise the turns a unit is in it. Everything not in the woods becomes sacrificial, whether chaff, doombull or Bestigor.

Last time we played he got the jump on me, so if we play this again, I need to ensure that I get the upper hand, maybe by placing the harpies centrally so their 20″ march can block any unit he wants to move into the woods.

 

My First game of the competition will be against Luke next Friday (29th)

The Green Machine

Following on from the last post, in this one i’ll look at the next member of Group A. Namely Alistair and his Orc and Goblin army.

I’ve only ever played Alistair at Kings of War and he showed a frightening ability to learn from previous games and adapt his list and tactics. As such, although he may not have played 8th for some time, I can’t underestimate him and suspect his list is based on previous, well worked lists.

Again I give a warning to readers, this will be quite long, wordy, very few pictures and is really for me, so if you have no real interest in warhammer fantasy and my list musings I’d stop reading now and no offence will be taken!

OnG’s hold a special place in my warhammer heart and are the one army where I’m almost certain to run a reasonably fluffy list. Back in 3rd edition you had to take at least 1 unit each of 20 goblin ‘warriors’ and 20 goblin archers. As such I still almost always have a unit of each (though the archers are now by default night goblins). As such I was very curious to see what Alistair would bring.

Characters

Orc Warboss (General) – Armour of Destiny, Gold Sigil Sword, Wyvern – 340pts

The basic stats of the Orc warboss match those of my Beastlord, except he has one less point of movement and initiative. This means he is naturally tough and strong without upgrades. To make up for his obvious one lacking area, he has been boosted to initiative 10 (with the bonus of having a magic sword). He’s also been given a 4+ save and 4++ ward. Mounting him on a wyvern gives a hard hitting mount and also boosts his general’s bubble to 18″.

Black Orc Big Boss (BSB) – Tormentor Sword, Armour of Fortune, Shield – 157pts

The compulsory bsb. He is as tough as the general and reasonably well protected with a 4+ save and 5++ ward. Again he has a cheap magic sword that will allow him to deal with ethereal and gives any monster or character he wounds, the stupidity rule. Being a Black Orc, he is able to quell animosity (by causing D6 Str 5 hits on his unit – basically bashing heads together!).

Orc Shaman – level 2, Power Scroll – 135pts

A low level shaman. His scroll allows him to, once, halve the cost of any spell. This can be a nasty surprise, especially if it is a low magic phase as it will allow something like Foot of Gork to be cast when you are not expecting it!

Orc Big Boss – Spear, Lt Armour, Shield, Dragonhelm, Crown of Command, War boar – 120pts

This boss will obviously go in the Boar boyz unit. He is armed to be tanky with a 2+ save and 2++ ward vs fire attacks. The Crown of Command will allow the unit to always take an leadership tests on an 8 (or 9 if in the general’s range).

Black Orc Big Boss – Sword of Swift Slaying, Heavy Armour, Shield – 117pts

Another black orc to place in a unit of boyz to quell animosity. The sword will overcome the low initiative of the Black Orc, allowing him to have a chance of removing threats to him.

Goblin Big Boss – Ruby Ring of Ruin, Giant Wolf – 72pts

The boss is a cheap way of improving the leadership of a unit that could well be out of range of the general. The Ring gives another decent cheap spell to cast to supplement the 2 shamans.

Orc Shaman – level 2, Ironcurse Icon – 105pts

Another low level shaman. Has the ability to give a 6++ ward vs warmachines to him and his unit (not that this will be of any use against me with my total lack of them).

Core

19 Orc Big ‘Uns – FC, AHW, War banner – 241pts

A fairly small unit of boyz. Upgraded to orc ‘elite’. They are comparable to my Gor (with the beast banner embedded). It is likely one of the black orc bosses will be in the unit and if they fail an animosity test it could really reduce their effectiveness due to the wounds caused. This is probably why they have the banner that adds +1 to the combat resolution.

40 Orc Boyz – FC, Lt armour, shield – 315pts

A solid block of boyz. In a straight face off, my two blocks should both be capable of beating this but probably not without suffering numerous casualties in return.

26 Arrer Boyz – FC, Bow, Lt armour – 212pts

I’ve found the best way to treat arrer boyz is as a normal block of orc boyz, that just happen to have a ranged capability too.

9 Wolf Riders – FC, short bow, Lt armour, giant wolf – 129pts

Its quite unusual to see a single unit at this size (although saying that, I also like to run them like this). This unit is a prime candidate for my Doombull

Special

9 Boar Boyz – FC, Spear, Lt armour, shield, War boars, Rangers Standard – 265pts

A very hard hitting unit if they get the charge off. Spears and choppers rule will give them Str 5 on the charge, which matches the boars. With the character added to it, combined with their 3+ save they are a pretty tanky tarpit too. The standard will mean they won’t have to take any dangerous terrain tests.

6 Trolls – 210pts

Standard trolls so no -1 to hit. The vomit attack is of no use on most of my army as I have negligible armour saves, so instead we have the standard 18 Str 5 monstrous infantry attacks. Nothing to be sniffed at. Oh and they are tough and have a 4+ regen save (of which I have no flaming attacks to negate). The downside is the low leadership and stupidity rule, meaning they will need to go near to the general to be effective.

Rare

Doom Diver Catapult – 80pts

This is the one credible threat to the doombull as it will ignore armour and causes D6 Str 5 hits. The ability to adjust any misses makes it particularly dangerous.

Ok this is my old Marauder wyvern not Alistairs


Evaluation

Sadly no pump wagons, snotlings or blocks of goblin infantry (though on the upside barely any artillery, no black orc boyz or savage orcs). A lot of the random elements that are in the book have been left out, instead a solid ‘reliable’ mass of orc boyz, backed up with black orc characters to help remove the animosity that can foil an Orc generals plans. He also has 5 units with fortitude (one of which can be bumped up with the bsb to get an extra pip of fortitude). This will give him an advantage in some scenarios against me.

As a general rule, orcs are tough and not that dissimilar to Beastmen in stats. Where they differ is they have a lower weapon skill in general (meaning my troops will hit on a 3+ vs the Orcs return hits on a 4+), have a lower initiative (so will strike last) and a lower movement. They do gain an additional point of Str in the first round of combat but also suffer from animosity which can be both a boon and a drawback. However his 2 main units of orc infantry will likely have a Black Orc big boss in each meaning they will not suffer from it (though could suffer D6 Str 5 hits if they do fail it, which realistically means the wolf riders and boar boyz are the units that might fail the test.

He has taken a gamble on magic, with only 2 low level shamans and no dispel scroll so this may give me an edge.

As with Martin’s Dwarves, he has only 8 drops to my 10 so I’ll have the edge on him which should help with some scenarios.

His general being on a monster, means it can’t join units and so cannot assist with scenarios that require fortitude (bar killing stuff of course). I might again be able to use this to my advantage.

Scenarios

1. Eliminate 

The bounties will be placed on his 40 Orc boyz, Orc Big Uns and Boar boyz respectively, whilst mine are on the Gor, Bestigor and one of the Chariots.
This means he could leave one unit (e.g. the Big ‘Uns) protected (perhaps on the central objective) and this would still leave his Trolls and Arrer boyz to assist in hunting down my two units. The Doom Diver will likely be gunning for my chariot so i’ll have to ensure it is only dropped after the diver to make sure it out of range. This will mean that the wolf riders and general will likely be gunning for it as an easy two points.

2. Dawn Attack

The table is divided into quarters. 1pt given for each of yours, 2pts each for your opponents side. You need to have the most fortitude in a quadrant to capture it.

With 5 units capable of capturing, he has the advantage here. The Wolf Riders (and to some extent the Boar Boyz) will be his quick reaction force able to run and capture anything unattended. As such i’ll want to eliminate them quickly. This would then leave us both with a combined fortitude of 5 (though he would still have the edge on capturing quadrants, as his fortitude is split between 4 units).

3. Invade

This is played length ways and you need to get more fort’ into your opponents half. No two ways about it, I can see this will end up a straight fight as we both storm forward. I’ll have to use my chaff smartly to weigh the matchups in my favour. Bestigor may have to go 6 wide and in 7 ranks for this one rather than horde formation.

4. Secure

You get one point per piece of terrain you hold (it’s double if in the opponents side).

I will really struggle with this one and will have no option but to take the fight to him to reduce the number of terrain items he can capture.

5. Loot

3 tokens placed, one in the middle and the other 2 on the central line, at least 12″ apart. The player who holds the most wins. I’ll have to treat this one in a similar way I would the dwarves. The difference is I don’t necessarily need to capture them first. With the sheer number of his units, Alistair can afford to try and capture all three if needed.

6. Wicked woods

I can’t treat this any differently to the dwarf game. Capture the woods and throw everything else forward to get in the way.