WHFB – Beastmen vs Dwarves – SELWG Competition Game

On Friday I faced off against the second opponent in my group, Martin and his Longbeard heavy Dwarves.

It was another game I was looking forward to immensely, as I’ve played Dwarves a lot in this edition but I’ve not played against them in some years and with his three stubborn blocks of Longbeards, cannon and Organ Gun, I was about to have a taste of my own medicine! On top of that, I’d never played Martin, so it was a double bonus!

As normal, any mistakes are down to memory and notes.

Khazbar was secretly pleased. Bashor’s decision to relocate the herd to new grounds was not going down well. There had been constant grumbling and he had already been forced to put down 3 challenges to his leadership. That they had failed was slightly vexing, still there were plenty more fools who could be goaded into stepping up. The important thing was to ensure that if they failed, they didn’t live to cast aspersions on him.

The one doubt that had been gnawing at him was the route of their migration. It followed a pass that was dangerously close to the holds of the stunted ones. He looked around and tried to console himself with the size of the herd. Surely they wouldn’t try anything against the might arrayed before him. Would they?…

Terrain

For the second game in a row, map pack 5 was randomly selected from the terrain table, which consisted of 4 buildings, 2 walls/fence sections, 1 hill and 1 wood.

I was player A, so set down the first bit of terrain and after setup, it looked like this:

1. Terrain

Scenario and pre-match rolls

Martin rolled the Invade scenario which I wasn’t disappointed with, as I’d not only never played this but I thought my movement should give me an advantage, as the scenario required a player to have to move fortitude bearing units in the opponents half at the end of the game. This competition scenario played as per the battle of the pass scenario from the rule book so was played length wise.

In terms of spells, Khazbar had the following for the Lore of Beasts:

Pann’s impenetrable pelt, Savage beast of horros, The amber spear and Wyssan’s Wildform.

Wazzock took Melkoth’s Miasma from the Lore of Shadow.

In terms of secret missions, I took raid the baggage and Martin took take a message.

Deployment

I won the toss to decide on ends and as it was pretty even, chose the side that all the models were on (purely for ease). As normal the chaff was laid first, with the Ungor Raiders deployed as a forward screen to give hard cover vs the Organ Gun. One Chariot, the Doombull and Harpies were all deployed behind buildings to give them cover from the Cannon and other ranged units in the dwarf army.

Martin deployed his units in a double rank, horde formation, forming a wall of stubbornness blocking the open terrain on his right flank. The warmachines were interspersed between the blocks and his Gyro’s were placed to make use of the cover of the buildings.

Despite Martin finishing deploying his units first, I sneaked the first turn.

(Note: Martin forgot his movement trays, hence the McGivered envelopes used instead).

2. Deployment

2. Deployment3. Deployment4. Deployment5. Deployment6. Deployment

Beastmen Turn 1

With an almighty roar, Cattleclysm flew forward into the shadow of a house near the dwarf lines. The rest of the herd responded in kind and stampeded straight towards the mass of stunties.

The two units of raiders tried some speculative shooting towards the war machines but failed to do anything. Magic was similarly ineffective with the 2 Runesmiths smothering the winds of magic before they could coalesce into a form Khazbar could use.

3. Turn 1 - Beasts

7. Turn 1 - Beastmen8. Turn 1 - Beastmen

Dwarf Turn 1

The front ranks of the dwarf lines consolidated their positions, with the right most unit advancing slightly. The Longbeards in reserve executed a reform into a column and moved in lockstep towards the buildings. The quarrellers spotted the nearby Doombull and hurried into the nearby building. The two Gyrocoptors flew up in support throwing their bombs on the frothing bull beneath them. The lack of air at altitude had obvious affected the judgement of the dwarf daredevils, as despite multiple explosions, the Minotaur remained unharmed.

The Organ Gun opened up on the Beastmen runts who had dared to target it and obliterated 3 of the twisted ones. Under the stern gaze of Bashor, they held their nerve.

The cannon the targeted one of the Razorgor and the crew could only stare as the shot ricocheted off one of the tusks, leaving it unharmed.

4. Turn 1 - Dwarves

9. Turn 1 - Dwarf10. Turn 1 - Dwarf

Beastmen Turn 2

Cattleclysm charged at the cottage, smashing the door from its frame. Despite tearing the first three quarrellers apart, their sacrifice gave the others enough time to repel the assault.

Khazbar could only growl in frustration as spell after spell was nullified by the runepriests. To top it off his increasing irritation then caused him to lose concentration. Something would have to be done about them!

With a look of feral cunning on his face, Khazbar sent the Razorgor charging into the flanking unit of Longbeards, taking control of it’s primitive mind he directed it to attack the interfering Runesmith. His control did nothing more than handicap it’s natural aggression and it fluffed it’s attacks and was summarily cut down.

Casting fearful glances behind them, as Bashor bellowed at them, the Ungor moved up to block the central Longbeard unit and the Organ Guns field of fire. The pressure was obviously too much for them and all the shots they then fired at the dwarf unit, failed to inflict any damage.

5. Turn 2 - Beasts

11. Turn 2 - Beastmen12. Turn 2 - Beastmen13. Turn 2 - Beastmen

Dwarf Turn 2

After barely breaking a sweat over the Razorgor, the Longbeards decided they needed some more light exercise and so charged into the nearest chariot. This was too much for the crew who legged it after the dwarves carved them up a little. Deciding they still needed a further workout, they followed up and crashed into the immense block of Gor behind.

With a bit of breathing space, after having repelled the Doombull, the crossbow armed dwarves targeted the raiders that were blocking the Orgun Guns field of fire, slaying one of the two remaining short horns but more importantly giving it a clear shot on the Bestigor.

With a shouted command from the dwarf lord, the two warmachine crews swivelled their machines and opened up on Bashor and his bodyguard. Both Gyrocoptors also moved up to support the attack and engulfed the unit in a double helping of boiling water. When the smoke and steam had dissipated, there were fourteen bodies in a dismembered and parboiled state!

5. Turn 2 - Dwarves

14. Turn 2 - Dwarf15. Turn 2 - Dwarf

Beastmen Turn 3

Cattleclysm again stormed the building. This time the Quarrellers weren’t able to contain the psychotic Doombull and 5 deaths was enough to convince the remaining duo that they ought to report the situation to their liege in the safety of the main lines.

Smelling it’s favourite food, dwarf patties, the remaining Razorgor, charged into the dwarf unit opposite. A few minutes later, it was the dwarves who were feasting on the haunch of the butchered animal. They then made short work of the chariot that had joined it it the assault. As the crew died, they cast last confused glances at the unit of smirking Bestigor that had pulled up short during the charge and left them to their fate.

In a move displaying all the courage that Harpies are renown for, they bravely moved up behind the gyro’s threatening to rear charge them.

Not liking the thought of facing the horde of dwarves and seeing easier prey, one unit of Ungors moved to attack the cannon crew. The plucky raiders managed to kill one of the dwarves whilst only losing one of their number!

The other remaining Ungor came to the realisation that by staying in the open he was dead meat and also charged forward, swerving to avoid the same horde but targeting the Organ gun crew instead, attempting to tie it up in combat. The dwarves hadn’t signed up to the game plan though and the only thing he gained for his trouble was a swift execution.

Khazbar saw yet another one of his spells dispelled, this time by one of the hated smiths invoking the runes on his stave. His temper finally snapped and he forced Savage Beast on himself. Imbued with unnatural power he laid into the Longbeards in front of him, crushing skulls with each swing. Each kill allowed him to absorb their souls and he visibly started to glow with power.

6. Turn 3 - Beasts

16. Turn 3 - Beastmen17. Turn 3 - Beastmen18. Turn 3 - Beastmen19. Turn 3 - Beastmen

Dwarf Turn 3

Neither Gyro were falling for the old ‘leave myself open for a rear charge’ trick and both moved and targeted the Harpies, with 3 of the bird women falling from the sky. However they had done their task and distracted the Gyrocoptors from attacking the more valuable Bestigor.

The organ gun crew again turned their attention to the Bestigor. After half the barrels failed to fire, they realised that an arm of the freshly killed Ungor had wedged in the firing mechanism and moved to clear the blockage.

The Ungors, getting carried away with their success, flew into a frenzy and managed to kill another of the cannon crew.

Khazbar continued his rampage and in the process drew in more souls. The Gor in his unit, followed his lead and butchered an entire rank of the longbeards.

7. Turn 3 - Dwarves

20. Turn 3 - Dwarf21. Turn 3 - Dwarf

Beastmen Turn 4

Bashor led the remaining Bestigor into combat with the Longbeards. Khazbar threw wildform on them, boosting both their strength and toughness. The dwarf lord quickly issued a challenge and Bashor, not liking the look of the heavily armoured dwarf, pushed forward the champion to accept. He looked on in shock, as not only did the lord fail to kill him but the champion managed to wound him in return! Distracted and shaking his mane in disbelief, one of the dwarves managed to also wound him. He looked down at the gash in surprise and then took down four of the dwarves in retaliation. In the general melee the dwarves and Bestigor continued to slay one another but the wiley dwarves concentrated most of their attacks on the vulnerable Shaman, swiftly bringing him down.

Seeing Khazbar swollen with power, the Runesmith desperately invoked his runes to dispel Savage Beast but the Great Bray Shaman, aided with his enchanted weapon, still continued to slay dwarves left and right, as did the Gor accompanying him.

The heroic Ungor finally finished off the cannon crew, spiked the weapon to ensure it would serve no more purpose and then looked around, drunk on power, for their next victims.

8. Turn 4 - Beasts

22. Turn 4 - Beastmen

(Edit – after writing this and looking at the photos, it looks like the dwarves may have charged the Bestigor in turn 4, with the turn 3 Bestigor charge having failed. My notes didn’t say either way but it’s the only thing that makes the photos make sense, especially with the unit positioning and lack of casualties caused in turn 4).

Dwarf Turn 4

With no other targets in range, the organ gun shredded the remaining few harpies.

The dwarf BSB and remaining quarrellers, both charged the Ungors. After slapping the frenzy out of them and cutting down 3, the final member of the group realised they may have gotten a bit too big for their boots and unsurprisingly legged it towards the edge of the battlefield.

The Bestigor/Longbeard combat continued to wage but with a brief lull in combat as the Dwarf Lord finally slew the Gouge-Horn.

With the flanking Longbeard unit rapidly depleting, there was no longer a target rich environment for the Gor, so they turned their attention to the embedded Runesmith. The Smith was made of much greater mettle than his kin any shrugged off everything thrown at him.

9. Turn 4 - Dwarves

Beastmen Turn 5

Cattleclysm, scenting blood in the air, ignored the obvious target in front of him and flew into the rear of the ongoing combat, roaring a challenge as he flew. The already wounded lord decided he didn’t like the odds of that fight and decided he was better off skulking in the ranks of the unit. His ability to hide looked far less likely as the Doombull, Beastlord and Bestigor’s combined attacks made mincemeat of the unit. It was only the power of the ancestral standard that kept them in the fight.

In the other combat, sheer weight of numbers finally won out and the Runesmith and his remaining bodyguard fell beneath the cloven hooves of their adversaries.

10. Turn 5 - Beasts

23. Turn 5 - Beastmen24. Turn 5 - Beastmen

Dwarf Turn 5

The two Gyros moved to give the Gor block their full attention and the steam guns went to work removing a number of them.

The, so far, untouched, unit of Longbeards, charged into the rear of the Doombull. His heavy armour and rage ensured he still inflicted more damage than he received.

The battered units of Bestigor and Longbeards kept their fight going and by the end, the combat had drawn.

11. Turn 5 - Dwarves

Results

Me – Win (15) + Fully Painted (2) = 17 points

Martin – Loss (5) = 5 points

Conclusion

That was a very, very close win.

To put that statement into perspective. The comp pack states that a unit must have 5 models (3 monstrous), including a standard, general or bsb, to constitute a scoring unit. After the final fight I had 4 Bestigor left and the Beastlord (so 5 models), which gave me a scoring unit strength of 3 (2 for the general and 1 for the Standard). His Longbeard unit had 3 longbeards left plus the general, so with 4 models, it was one dwarf under the 5 minimum so neither the unit standard or general counted.

If he had managed one more casualty on the Bestigor, or if I had failed to kill one of the dwarf longbeards in his general’s units it would have ended up a draw! As I said, very very close.

There were a number of mistakes made by both of us. My biggest one was splitting attacks from the Gor unit between the Longbeards and the Runesmith for two consecutive combats. Not only did he pull an amazing amount of saves out the bag on the Runesmith and the last few dwarves but there was no need for me to split the attacks. I should have directed all of them into the unit to remove the stubborn banner and then run down the Runesmith. It just shows how frustration can influence decisions as with the amount of dispels he had thrown out in the game, I just wanted to kill the Runesmith.

The Razorgor, again, each only hit with one of their four attacks. Tactics may talk about using them as ‘assassins’ but I haven’t ever had much luck in that roll. I still think the best use of them is to sit in front of enemy units to redirect/annoy.

On a side note, his lord shouldn’t have managed to avoid the Doombull’s challenge as being mounted on an oathstone he has to accept challenges.

In terms of what went well. The Gor herd was excellent. 50 is definitely the right number to pump out a shed load of attacks whilst absorbing casualties.

I also finally managed to get Khazbar into combat with savage beasts on and it was impressive. He generated a shed load of power dice from the jagged dagger and this allowed me to overcome the persistent low winds of magic rolls. With the ‘Brass Cleaver’, magic weapon, this meant he was attacking with 8 (2+3+3) strength 8 (4+1+3) attacks and on average, this generated 3 additional dice per combat round. Not too shabby at all. Going forward, if I went this build again, I would probably forgo the additional attacks from the brass cleaver and go a slightly more defensive build with the fencers blades. This would drop the maximum attacks by two but would almost ensure that he always hit on a 3+ and anyone with a WS of 4 or under will only hit him on a 5+. This would likely make the difference of attacks negligible.

Even playing dwarves, I hadn’t appreciated how much of total pain the stubborn banners can be as it effectively makes any unit with one a tarpit, as I found out! Again the Gyro’s also proved their worth, though I think they could have been more effective in the game.

Overall it was a great, friendly game that went down to the wire. Probably my closest in a long time and i’d definitely play Martin again at a future date.

 

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WHFB – Dwarves vs Orcs – part 2

I finally managed to get in my previously postponed game against Alistair’s Orcs this week. Although he is one of my opponents in the club Warhammer fantasy competition, he has barely played since 6th edition so he was trying to get in a few practice games. As such I agreed to give him a game with my dwarves, which gave me an excuse to use some of the items I either rarely or just plain hadn’t used before.

Terrain

We rolled map pack 5 from the terrain table, which consisted of 4 buildings, 2 walls/fence sections, 1 hill and 1 wood.

Alistair rolled as player A, so he set down the first bit of terrain and after setup, it looked like this:

1. Terrain

1. Terrain

Scenario and pre-match rolls

The random roll gave us the ‘Eliminate scenario‘. Place 3 bounty tokens on your most expensive units (For Alistair: Big ‘Uns, Orc Boyz and Boar Boyz, for me: Slayers, Longbeards and Ironbreakers). Points are awarded for the following at the end of the game.

  • 1 victory point for holding the central objective marker.
  • 1 victory point for each of your units that carry a bounty that have not been destroyed and are not fleeing.
  • 2 victory points for each bounty you have completed (e.g. each enemy unit with a bounty you have destroyed or who are fleeing at the end of the game).

For spells, his level 2 with power scroll received: Foot of Gork and Ere we go. His level 2 with the Icon rolled: Hand of Gork and Gaze of Mork.

Deployment

As terrain was pretty even, we just stayed on the respective sides we were already on.

The scenario followed the dawn attack deployment rules (roll each time you go to place a unit: On a 1 it goes on the left flank, 2 it goes on the right, 3-5 in the centre and 6 your choice). Alistair won the roll and had to deploy everything first. The dice gods weren’t too kind and his Trolls and one shaman ended up isolated on his left flank, his wolf riders, boar boyz and boyz mob on the right flank and everything else in the centre. All of my units went in the centre, bar the Ironbreakers, that went on the left flank. After deployment, it looked like this:

2. Deployment

Orcs Turn 1

With much yelling, the unruly mass of orcs and trolls tramped forward towards the dwarf lines. The boar boyz failed to do anything as a bout of bickering broke out as Gubbins accused Wazzoo of eating his lucky snotling.

With a squeal, the first of the doom divers was flung into the air and with a frantic flapping of his wings, landed smack, bang on the flame cannon, severely damaging the machine and killing himself and 2 of the crew. In a dazzling (for orcs) display of accuracy, the mass of orc archers opposite, then also targeted it and the final crew member fell.

3. Orc turn 1

Dwarves Turn 1

Drugin looked over the fallen engineer crew. More of his brethren had fallen to the Orc scum, however it was not yet time for revenge. That would come later and his axe would take payment from their flesh. With his lines holding steady, the flyers moved forward.

The Valkyrie flew over the trolls and as it did, the pilot threw a bomb into their midst. Their regenerative powers were not enough to heal the couple of wounds caused by the  shrapnel. The bomber also dropped it’s payload but targeted the large unit of orc boyz. After the explosions and smoke had cleared, a rank of the greenskins had disappeared.

The brotherhood of doom chose to ignore the order to hold and ran forward towards the biggest monster on the battlefield.

The guild experimental weapon teams both fired at the rapidly approaching unit of Big ‘Uns felling two. Drugin turned a stern gaze on the apprentice engineers and they immediately set to tinkering with the hand guns determined to make a better showing in their next volley.

Buggerit the old struck the anvil twice in quick succession. The armour on the Longbeards responded to the first call of the anvil, the metal becoming as hard as Gromril. The second striking was dispelled as one of the enemy shaman gibbered something incomprehensible to it’s foul gods.

4. Dwarf turn 1

Orcs Turn 2

With a spitful hiss, as the warboss lashed at it’s hide, the Wyvern flew into the slayers. Despite the wall giving them cover, two ranks of the slayers fell to the monster. In return the Wyvern was felled and the Orc General suddenly found himself very alone facing a mob of doomseekers baying for his head.

The Black Orc ordered the mob of elite orcs to charge into the Longbeards in support of his boss. When a number of them dared to question his leadership he responded by smashing 4 of them to the ground and the rest quickly moved into combat with the the dwarf unit. The Black Orc issued a challenge and Drugin growled as one of the blows stuck, pierced his armour. He activated the fiery ring and promptly incinerated his foe. His stalwart bodyguards, cut down the rest of the front rank and then watched as the remaining orcs (and embedded Shaman) turned tail and fled, exiting combat with a great more enthusiasm than they had show entering it!

The Orc Boyz attempted to charge the Ironbreakers but misjudged the distance and stumbled up short.

At this point, the boar mounted Orcs had resolved their differences but their mounts decided to be rather uncooperative and they just about managed to convince them that they would be best off facing towards the centre of the battlefield.

The Shaman babysitting the trolls realised he was rather exposed with a Gyrocoptor eyeing him up eagerly and legged it into the nearby house.

The doomdiver again launched himself into the air, hitting the Ironbreakers and making short work of their armour, killing five of the doughty warriors.

5. Orc Turn 2

Dwarves Turn 2

The Gyrobomber continued with its run, this time targeting the orc archers. The payload scattered, missing the arrer boyz (with accompanying jeering, extended fingers and jibes about the pilots dalliances with goats!) and onto Doomdiver. The Goblins threw themselves to the ground and cowered under the machine as the ground shook around them, miraculously reappearing unharmed.

Buggarit shook his head at the follies of youth and again struck his anvil boosting the armour on the stolid, reliable longbeards.

The Guild Experimental weapons teams again combined their power, this time targeting the Orc boyz mob but again the impact of the guns was negligible. Drugin was starting to seriously wonder why he had been saddled with such useless cretins.

Ethelred the Scorned launched himself out of the slayers howling and gibbering, drool hanging down each side of his mouth. With raw naked aggression he broke through the Orc generals defences opening up great gashes. This combined with the fact he was now outnumbered 10-1, was too much for the Orc and he turned tail and fled, at least for the first few feet before the rest of the slayers caught up with him.

6. Dwarf turn 2

8. Dwarf turn 29. Dwarf turn 210. Dwarf turn 2

Orcs Turn 3

Seeing their Boss put down like an arthritic dog was too much for the Big Un’s and even with the BSB nearby they kept running.

The Orc Boyz again tried to charge the Ironbreakers and again failed their charge.

The Wulf boyz has been advancing up the flank and were now in range to unleash their bows at the Ironbreakers. 10 shots and no wounds later and one of the dwarves turned to look at them with disdain, crushing the poorly made arrow that had entangled in his mail.

The Boarboyz finally got over all their difficulties and with much growling and snorting headed towards the centre of their lines to support the arrer boyz.

Without any guidance the poor trolls just looked lost and confused and decided to try out a combination of alternative Olympic sports including, pick the biggest booger and the crowd favourite, who can stare at the ground the longest.

The arrer boyz continued their competition with the dwarf hand gunners for the title of most inept missile unit and almost equalled the dwarves previous tally, by felling 2 Longbeards.

The remaining Shaman summed up the Orc turn by failing to cast Foot of Gork on the slayers.

7. Orc Turn 3

Dwarves Turn 3

The Gyrobomber started the turn by charging the Big Un’s and they fled off the table, thus netting the first bounty of the game.

Buggerits’s Anvil armour buff was dispelled by the remaining Shaman but the Orc was unable to stop the Rune of Wrath targeting the Orc Boyz and a couple fell dead with smoking holes in their chests.

The dwarf Thunderers leapt ahead or the orc arrer boyz (and slightly up in Drugins estimations) by final pulling their finger out of their backside and further whittling down another 7 Orc boyz.

The Gyrocoptor finished the turn by roasting 4 of the enemy archers.

8. Dwarf turn 3

Orcs Turn 4

Determined to make it three out of three, the Orc Boyz again failed to charge the nearby Ironbreakers (this was helped by the dwarves making a strategic retreat the previous turn).

The Shaman again tried to compel Gork to stamp on the slayers but this was summarily dismissed as Buggerit unleashed the runes on his staff.

In a dazzling display of shooting by the Orcs and Goblins (sealing the award for most inept missile troops of the game), the arrer boyz, concerned the Gyrocoptor would target them again, swift reformed and let rip completely failing to damage it. The Doomdiver likewise was launched into the air, swerved off target and only managed to kill himself. It was left to the wulfboyz to try and do anything and the plucky riders managed to fell a single Ironbreaker. Outstanding boys!

9. Orc Turn 4

Dwarves Turn 4

Sensing the decisive point of the battle was upon them the dwarfs attacked along the lines. Drugin and his Longbeard bodyguard, chose to ignore the objective sitting just in front of them, in favour of getting to grips with their ancestral foes. After carving apart a number of the orcs the rest turned tail and tried to flee but were caught and cut down with grim efficiency.

After watching the repeated pitiful efforts of the Orc mob in front of them, the Ironbreakers decided to show them how a proper charge was done and smashed into  them, scything down 6 of them for the loss of two of their number. The Orcs held due to their superior numbers but it wasn’t a situation that would continue.

The Dwarf flyers and missile units all targeted the boar riders that were now in the centre of the lines.

The Bomber’s payload scattered into the arrer boyz killing two of their number. (Edit: we weren’t sure about some of this. Although you can’t target a unit in combat, this had scattered into it. We also weren’t sure if this should be randomised between the archers and Longbeards but as the template was only touching the Orcs we just rolled for the couple it touched).

The Gyrocoptor, proving how infinitely better it was than it’s bigger brother, moved to both block and redirect the boar boyz from the central objective and then fried two of them for good measure.

The Thunderers then piled further misery onto the unit killing a further 2 of them.

10. Dwarf turn 4

Results

It ended 5-2 to me as I had three of my tokens remaining (+3pts) and his Big Un’s had fled the table (+2pts) vs Alistair having two tokens left (+2pts). No one had claimed the central token.

I include the result only to keep consistency with the rest of my reports. The point of the game was to give Alistair more practice of 8th edition and for me to field things I wouldn’t normally.

Conclusions

As I stated earlier, Alistair was put on the back foot by his deployment (early animosity didn’t help either). As ever hindsight is an easy thing but I think he made two or three early errors:

Not moving his trolls towards the centre of his lines at the first opportunity meant they did nothing all game.

This might not have been too much of an issue if it weren’t for the second mistake, charging the general and wyvern into the slayers. Apart from that being the worst possible target for the general (or more specifically, his mount), he was not backed up by anything which allowed the slayers to rip apart his mount and subsequently route him via combat resolution. I’m not sure if in 6th mounted characters were more powerful or if he thought the general would last longer, allowing the trolls to flank the unit. The slayer/general combat did bring up an interesting discussion around whether he should challenge the Daemon slayer and the pros and cons of doing so. I didn’t think there was much advantage in doing so as due to the ASF rune the Slayer lord would have gone first and the wyvern would likely have been killed in that combat anyway. However I now think it might have been the wrong advice as in the end he didn’t challenge and the slayer lord went for the general (failing to wound), whilst the slayer unit killed the mount. Challenging would have realistically have limited the potential damage to either the general OR mount, though its worth noting, the mount, general and thunder stomp killed 9 of the unit even with the -1 to hit caused by charging the defender obstacle, which in turn negated any bonus from the standard and ranks. See what I mean, a bit of a conundrum.

The other potential error was the indecision with the wolf riders on the first turn which allowed me to sneak the bomber into his lines.

Now most of this was probably down to lack of familiarisation with 8th and knowing your enemy, so although I may not be the best general in the world, I’m going to adapt and send him some thoughts on each of the armies he’ll face (including mine), as it might assist him.

So in terms of the dwarf units, what did I think?

Thunderers – I really felt the loss of the extra range as hitting on 5+ vs 4+ for longer makes a load of difference. However the save modifier meant in most cases he didn’t get any and that almost made up for it. Having pistols on the veterans meant they didn’t get to shoot for most of the game, however I still think it was the right choice as many of my opponents would have targeted these small units at an early stage. Overall I think I prefer the extra range, though I may try one of each going forward.

Runelord and Anvil

Yep, pretty rubbish. He can’t join a unit so the AP is wasted. There are only two decent spells and they are bound so it’s easy to both know which one to dispel and to dispel them full stop. For the points you could get another full unit or 2 Runesmiths + extras. He is fun and fluffy but I wouldn’t necessarily bother taking him again. If he could go in a unit in the same way as the cauldron of blood, it might temp me more.

Daemon Slayer

I’m a bit undecided on him. Running him in the unit seemed a sensible choice and I love slayers anyway and will take them a reasonable amount of time so that wasn’t a tax. The rune combo worked quite well with ASF proving it’s worth and the -3 to save also being excellent. It might also have helped if I’d remembered some of his inbuilt special rules, particularly the ward save reroll. I’ll definitely give him another outing.

Flame Cannon

It’s a bit difficult to make an judgement when it dies in the first turn without doing anything! It did drive home that one war machine is just vulnerable and if you take one you need a second.

Ironbreakers / Longbeards (w/ shields)

Both units worked well. However the ironbreakers needed more bodies. I’d say 25 at a minimum (this is probably a good benchmark number for all shield bearing dwarves as allows for some casualties without loss of effectiveness). Unlike some other games, I didn’t feel the lack of strength from not taking great weapons.

Gyrobomber

About the only thing it has over it’s smaller sibling is the greater movement flexibility. Being able to drop bombs when marching means it’s really hard to tie down and that is almost worth the extra 45pts. However it still feels like it needs an extra wound and the scatter on the bomb makes it just a bit too inefficient in an army of pinpoint accurate war machines. I think I’d rather have 2-3 Gyrocoptors instead if only as the template is more consistent.

Thane General

I like dwarf heroes and using the great weapon thane as a cheaper version of the tanky Lord, in the Longbeards, helped offset their lower strength. The build worked well with the 1+ armour, however next time he will get a rune of Iron to give him an extra wound as two wounds is a bit too fragile. (Almost dying in the challenge to the Black Orc before getting to strike, drove that home and very much was the reason I used his breath weapon).

Overall it was a fun game, definitely chillhammer (to coin a phrase).

My next game is on 8 December and is my second competition game vs Martin and his dwarves.

Throng of Karak Silvertop – Taking stock

Rather than getting on with any of my EEFL painting pledge this afternoon, when my daughter went down for her nap, I continued to procrastinate and instead dug out my dwarves to take an army shot and take stock of where I am at with them (similar to what I did with the Herd of Khazbar). So without further preamble…

Throng of Karak Silvertop

IMG_3998

Lords and Thanes

IMG_3999

Engineers

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Runelord and Runesmiths

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Ungrim, Daemon and Dragon Slayers

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Rank and File

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So we’re looking at the following to be finished:

Josef Bugman (part-painted)
Belegar Ironhammer
King Kazador
White Dwarf on shieldbearers (Bugman and Gotrek)
Thane/Lord
Grimm Burlocksson
Burlock Damminsson
Master Engineer (part painted)
3 Runesmiths (1 part painted)
40 Miners (10 part painted)
16 Quarrellers/Rangers
2 Doom Seekers (part painted)
1 Grudge Thrower and 3 crew
1 Gyrobomber/coptor (will also be magnetised to switch)

So the tally stands at:

270/344

Edit: it works out to be around 10k of dwarves under 8th edition rules (but probably only 9k fielded legally and that is using the 50% lord/thane wits allowance).

 

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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

A letter froooooom America

I love it when you get home to surprise parcels. 

A couple of months ago I mailed some of my bits box to one of the guys off the eighth edition for life forum and as a thank you he sent me this little beauty. It’s an Avatars of War model and he even painted it in in colours that matched my army theme (though liberally splattered by blood). Suffice to say I can see my next dwarf outing being heavily slayer themed!

Master of the Longbeards 

In a series of three posts, I’ll be looking at the army lists of my opponents in Group A of the competition, evaluating the army and then trying to work out how I would win the scenarios in their shoes.

Fair 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!

The first of these posts will focus on the Dwarven Throng of Martin H. Now I will state, straight off the bat, that Martins original list was partly re-written by Steve (my co-adjudicator) to make it ‘comp legal’ and then refined my myself to replace the most glaring uncompetitive elements (e.g. remove Brimstone cannons on the Gyros), fixing the odd clash of items (having both Great weapons and Runic Weapons on a character, when you can only use one) and adding additional artillery runes. Martin was very happy with the choices so kept with the revised list. So what was the composition?

Characters

Dwarf Lord (General) – MRo Gromril, Oath Stone, GW, 3*Ro Warding – 251pts

I like this lord. He is very defensive with a 1+ armour save and 4++ ward. He also pumps out 4 ASL, Str 6 attacks. Giving him an Oath stone is clever as it means his unit,  if charged in the flank or rear, never lose their rank bonus and still get their parry saves (which would be 5++ in the first round due to shieldwall). The downside is he has to accept challenges but with his saves, that shouldn’t be an issue. They also cannot flee as a charge reaction (as if Dwarves would) but this isn’t an issue for this list, as none of his main units have that option anyway due to immune to psych’.

Thane (bsb) – Gromril armour, shield, MRo Valaya – 158pts

A fairly standard bsb with 3+ save. The banner adds to the inbuilt dwarf Magic resistance and ensures they will dispel at +4 (so they will match or exceed all enemy cast bonuses from the wizard level). It has an added bonus of allowing you to dispel all ‘remains in play’ spells on a 3+, crucially without using dispel dice (and also without checking the rulebook, I believe it occurs out of sequence, so at the start of the Dwarf players turn. This means it can get rid of items that might impact movement). Suffice to say this is one of my favourite runic banners.

Runesmith – Gromril armour, shield, Ro Stone, Ro Spellbreaking, Ro Passage – 103pts

Again there is nothing surprising in this build, not that it makes it any less effective. A 2+ save with auto dispel rune. The Ro passenge allows his unit to avoid taking dangerous terrain tests but has mainly been taken as you can’t have duplicate rune combos. The great passive effect of the Runesmith is he gives his unit AP. When you are packing all Str 4 troops this is essential for beating armour saves (as combined gives a -2 to armour saves).

Runesmith – Gromril armour, shield, Ro Stone, Ro Spellbreaking – 93pts

A carbon copy of the above but without the Ro Passage. Each of these will be placed in a different unit as the AP effect doesn’t stack.

Core

28 Longbeards – Full Command (FC), shields – 394pts

This is a solid unit of elite dwarves. Immune to psychology so they can’t flee as a reaction (and ignore fear etc.) 4+ save with T4 makes them reasonably defensive and they have the numbers to stick around. My only issue with them is I’ve found them to lack punch against really tough armoured opponents.

28 Longbeards – Full Command (FC), shields, Ro Stolicism – 429pts

As above but the banner rune makes them stubborn, so no matter what they will always take any leadership test on at least a 9 (or 10 if in range of the general). This means they will hardly ever run and will have to be killed to the last Dwarf.

28 Longbeards – Full Command (FC), shields, Ro Stolicism, Ro Sanctuary – 444pts

As above but with an additional rune (again due to the runic item duplication restriction) that gives Magic resistance (1). This means that against direct damage spells their save improves by +1 (to 3+).

10 Quarrellers – standard, GW, Heavy armour – 150pts

A small unit of shooters to protect the warmachines and shoot up enemy chaff. The standard allows them to capture/score in many of the scenarios and the Great Weapons gives them Str 5 in combat as standard.

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Special

2 * Gyrocoptors (run as 2 single units of one) – Steam Gun – (2 * 80pts =) 160pts

The Dwarf chaff unit and I still rate this as one of the best chaff/harassment units (if not the best) in the game (the others being Dark Riders, Razorgor & the Ogre Cat). It is the ability to fly, drop bombs when marching and the template weapon that make me rate it so highly. The drawback is, I often find it so useful that I don’t actually like using it as a throw-away unit, which is why I labelled it also as a harassment unit. The price puts it more in line with a chariot than a true throw-away unit such as the Razor or Cat.

Cannon – Ro Forging – 145pts

The compulsory cannon. Given forging to reroll misfires. This will be deadly for my Doombull and is a priority to eradicate.

Rare

Organ Gun – Ro Forging, Ro Accuracy – 170pts

Ah the organ gun. You know it, you love it (if a dwarf) or hate it (if you are on the receiving end). With runes it will cause between 2-20 Str 5 AP hits. Hitting on a 3+ at short range, 4+ at long, rerolling one misfire dice. The 30″ range is what sets it apart and makes it superior in my eyes (and even before runes are taken into consideration) from the hellblaster. This thing can be deadly and I need to find a way to neutralise it. At the very least, a wall of Ungor Raiders, will provide hard cover for my units giving the OG -2 to hit.

Evaluation

Ok, above I stated my issue with this Longbeard build is it lacks punch. However with 3 such units and the synergies with the Lords oathstone, the banners and AP from the Runesmiths, it becomes more of a game of attrition with the dwarves blunting the initial attacks and then grinding the enemy down. It is very dwarfy and could be very effective, especially if enemy units were first softened up with shooting. They also have the advantage of hitting my blocks on a 3+ vs my 4+ back at them, though they will normally only wound on a 4+ (as will my Gor). The Bestigor will have the advantage in this though as the GW’s will wound on a 2+ and will ignore the armour save.

In general, he has 3 slow combat blocks. I have plenty of chaff that can be used to slow them down. I can see Razorgor being used to assassinate his runesmiths. The Harpies will have to target the cannon as a priority and the Doombull the Gyro’s. The chariots will be used to distract the cannon (hopefully!).

With only 8 drops to my 10, I’ll have the edge on him and with the scenarios, he won’t be able to castle (probably why he has the rarely seen 3 combat blocks).

Scenarios

So if I were using this army, how would I try and win each scenario?

Full details of the scenarios are here but I will give a small recap of the objectives of each.

1. Eliminate

His 3 bounty tokens will be on his 3 combat blocks. Mine will be on: the Gor horde: the Bestigor horde: One of my Chariots (Yikes!). Thankfully he picks the chariot before deployment. This means I will place this out of range of his cannon and as far away from his troops as possible and will play hide the chariot. The Doombull can start near it, to intercept any pesky Gyros.

With an additional token in the centre of the board, it makes sense for his 3 blocks to start centrally ready to ‘surge’ (ok shuffle, they are dwarves) forward to capture that if possible. With poor movement they can’t start too far away. He will likely try to soften up my forces first with shooting. I will definitely be trying to flank his forces with one of my blocks and will try and deploy on one side of the board (on the opposite side to the OG). If he’s smart that side will have the unit with oathstone.

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 more. He has 4 separate units with fortitude and can add the bsb and general to increase the units fortitude. This makes it likely that he will hold one quadrant with his shooters (art + quarrellers), another with his other blocks (he could have it so his fortitude was 3 in one quad and 4 in the other). He could then advance to capture one of mine.

The most I can manage is one block with fort’ of 2 and one with a fort’ of 3. However I look at it, I’m at a disadvantage and will have to destroy a number of his blocks to win (or try and pin them into just one quadrant). In theory the quarrellers is the weak link. As with everything, deployment is key. Using his blocks size and movement against him.

3. Invade

This is played lengthways and you need to get more fort’ into your opponents half. My speed gives me a bit of an advantage, however the narrow width means his shooting will be far more deadly and as soon as I get in range the organ gun could punish me. The saving grace on that is that he will have to advance his troops early to ensure he can move into my half and they may block his lines of fire with careful placement. Although I’d love to hang back and intercept and destroy his blocks in order to avoid his shooting and then advance to his half, if he times his advance to my side well and with the stubborn nature of his blocks, it would be a huge gamble.

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 four 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. Logic dictates I need to spread them out across the table rather than have them all on one side, as that will favour Martin, especially with his unit advantage and low movement. I should also consider going only 5 wide on both units as I want to grab a counter fast and hold onto it so steadfast will definitely be one to do. Chaff will be key to holding him up. The Ungor trick might be viable if one is uncontested on the far side but will have to watch out for the Gyros.

If I had the dwarves, would I play the odds game and send a block for each token or would I concentrate on two, using artillery to cover the others? I’d probably use the blocks to capture 2 of them and if unopposed try and sneak the third with my quarrellers.

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.

The question becomes if he has practiced the scenario and whether the damage that the wood causes will out him off moving in early.

Whfb – Dwarves vs Warriors of Chaos pt 2 – Battle report

As discussed in the previous list post, I had a number of things I wanted to achieve with this game: Trying out the terrain table, trying out one of the adapted scenarios and giving Luke an experience of a more gunline orientated Dwarf list.

However, after managing a measly 3 turns each in our previous game we added another item to the list and that was to beat that. How did we do I wonder?

Terrain

We rolled on the adapted KOW terrain generator that Neil previously put together for that competition and ended up with terrain table 2.  Luke won the roll and became player A for the purpose of the instructions.

  1. Player A places river 2ft from any short table edge running from long edge to long edge (4ft length).
  2. Player B places 3*hills (2*normal, 1*Anvil of Vaul [Unit within 6” has Flaming and Magical Attacks]) anywhere on the table except in DZ’s, and no more than 6” from any table edges.
  3. Player A places 1* tree base in any DZ no more than 9” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1 building with WHF touching in the opposite DZ that the trees are in, no more than 6” from any table edge.

The table ended up looking something like this.

1. terrain

Scenario

We had a discussion and decided on playing the Loot scenario which was taken from the Kings of War BRB. The adapted rules are below.

Played as per the Blood and Glory rulebook scenario, except:

  • After terrain has been set up but before deployment, place 3 loot counters on the battlefield. The first is placed in the dead centre of the board. The players then take turns to place one other counter on the centre line but at least 12” away from the other counters.
  • During the game, when one of your fortitude bearing units*** ends its move on the counter, it can pick it up. (Note: A unit can carry more than one counter). Non fortitude bearing units cannot pick up loot but may ‘sit’ on top of tokens to block other units from picking them up. NOTE: You cannot move on to, or pick up a loot counter during a vanguard move or when placing scouts (they can capture the loot counter or contest it during the players first turn. Which one depends on if they meet the fortitude restrictions).
  • Whilst carrying a counter a unit’s move is halved.
  • A unit can choose to drop a counter at the start of its move and then move off normally. (A unit cannot pick up and drop a counter in the same turn but another unit can pick up the dropped counter).
  • If a unit flees for any reason (e.g. due to failed psychology tests or as a charge reaction) it drops any counters it holds.
  • If a unit fails its break test, it immediately drops any counters it holds. If the unit that beat them in combat is a fortitude bearing unit***, then it immediately picks up the token. (If several eligible units are in combat, then the winner of the combat can choose who to give the token to).
  • If a fortitude bearing unit*** holding a counter falls beneath 5 (or 3 Monstrous) models, it still retains hold of the loot counter (unless it flees).
  • At the end of the battle, you score one point for each counter held. If you have more than your opponent, then you win, otherwise it is a draw.

Pre-match rolls and Deployment

Dwarf hatred was against all, which I then proceeded to forget A LOT (amateur hour on my behalf).

In terms of spells, Luke’s level 1 took fireball. His Daemon Prince ended up with Spirit Leech, Soul Blight, Fate of Bhuna and Purple Sun.

I laid the first unit but also finished deployment first and despite getting +1 for that and after a number of tied rolls, Luke won the first turn.

(just for a clarity the chaos knights are Marauder horsemen and oldhammer juggernaughts are the Chaos knights).

Luke surprised me by splitting his force between the flanks with nothing in the centre ground. It meant my decoy Longbeards and supporting Gyro were going to take a mauling. The only hope was that being stubborn, they would hold up that flank until the last dwarf and perhaps do some damage in return.

I forgot to take any photos of the Dwarf deployment so took a few during the Daemon first turn.

2. Deployment

1. Deployment2. Deployment3. Deployment4. Deployment

Turn 1 – Warriors

The Daemon right flank surged forward to contest the loot counter on that side from the get-go. Fearing the flaming cannon the Chimera sloped off and bravely hid behind the building.

In an uneventful magic phase, the sorcerer invoked the power of the Skull of Katam, which did nothing bar reduce his leadership by 1. He then threw a fireball into the Longbeards turning two of them into flaming pillars, for a couple of seconds, before they reduced to ash and their charred armour fell to the ground.

The Hell cannon decided to try and add to their misery but it’s shot went wide of the mark.

3. Turn 1 - warriors

5. Turn 1 - Daemons6. Turn 1 - Daemons7. Turn 1 - Daemons

Turn 1 – Dwarves

Barlin ordered the Silvergate Guard to fall back slightly to allow the shooters clear line of sight to the ravening hordes.

The gyrocoptors each removed a handful of the chaos hounds, with the surviving hound by the Longbeards failing it’s panic test and running. The quarrellers took off a few of the warriors.

In an unimpressive round of shooting, the Cannon and Grudge Thrower, both failed to wound or damage the Hellcannon. Burnnoth rolled his eyes at the incompetence of the crews and under his direction the Organ Gun hit and damaged the daemon bound into the infernal engine.

4. Turn 1 - Dwarfs

Turn 2 – Warriors

Thrud urged his daemonic mount forward and despite the rune of slowness flaring, crashed into the Flamewardens, their defensive shots deflecting off his plate armour.

The Chimera charged at the nearest Gyrocoptor and it chose to flee rather than face the winged beast.

The Warshrine on the other side of the board, likewise charged the Gyrocoptor and it to fled.

The fleeing hound failed to rally and went off the board.

Both the Chaos Warriors and the Marauders picked up the loot tokens on edge side of the battlefield.

The sorcerer again invoked the skull and again did nothing bar lose a point of leadership. 2 down and 6 to go! (at this point, 12 dice had been rolled by the sorcerer with no successful channels. Epic rolling.)

At this point the Daemon Prince decided to get involved. Spirit Leech was scrolled but Soulblight was cast with irresistible force at the Irondrakes. The resultant miscast stripped the Prince of his Charmed shield (meaning he was now a prime target for the Grudge Thrower) and the effect of the spell meant Thrudd was able to kill 2 of the Irondrakes with no damage taken in return.

The Hellcannon, deciding to follow the effectiveness of the dwarves, targeted the Organ gun figuring it was the most dangerous of the artillery. The shot scattered, hit the Grudge Thrower and then failed to wound it. At this point the artillery on both sides had been poor.

5. Turn 2 - warriors

8. Turn 2 - Daemons
Brave Sir Robin ran away!

9. Turn 2 - Daemons

10. Turn 2 - Daemons
When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled.
11. Turn 2 - Daemons
The Marauder Horse have had enough of half movement and escape the river!

12. Turn 2 - Daemons

Turn 2 – Dwarves

The Gyrocoptor couldn’t take the shame of fleeing near the longbeards and under their stern gaze, turned back towards the fight. The other Gyro didn’t have any such shame and fled the table. (I feel that I ought to mention that the older style gyro has repeatedly under performed for me in nearly every battle. As such a new model has been commissioned to be built and the pilot of the older model has shaved his head, taken the slayer oath and will likely not be seen on the field of battle again!).

The Hammerers, recognising the forces of Chaos were now in a commanding position, marched at speed towards their forces.

The quarrellers also advanced towards the centre loot counter.

Trying to make up for the previous round of combat, the cannon took a few wounds off the Hellcannon. The Organ Gun and Grudge Thrower, both aimed at the Prince, stripping him of 3 wounds (at this point he started to look very concerned sitting as he was on one wound).

With Soulblight still in effect, the Irondrakes continued to lose dwarves but remained resolute.

The Longbeards, wanting to avenge the earlier burning of their kin, charged into the Sorcerer (who was unable to flee). They easily won combat and chose to run him down rather than letting him escape to fight another day.

6. Turn 2 - Dwarfs

13. Turn 2 - Dwarves14. Turn 2 - Dwarves15. Turn 2 - Dwarves16. Turn 2 - Dwarves

Turn 3 – Warriors

Wanting to escape from the attention of the dwarven artillery, the Prince charged into the Irondrakes and completely whiffed his attacks (though the dwarves followed suit and failed to remove the last wound). The Chimera followed him in between his attention and the thunderstomps, removed 8 of the doughty dwarves. Thrud challenged out the unit champion and cut him down gaining a point of toughness in the process.

Magic was again uneventful with the dwarves dispelling or scrolling everything the Prince or Warshrines tried.

On the other flank, the Chaos Warriors, Knights and Warshrine, all charged the Longbeards. Eight of them died under the onslaught though they killed one knight in return and damaged the shrine.

The Marauder horse charged the remaining Gyro and though the horsemen failed to do anything, one of the horses at least damaged the machine. In return the Gyro’s rotors cut one of the twisted humans in half.

7. Turn 3 - warriors

17. Turn 3 - Daemons18. Turn 3 - Daemons19. Turn 3 - Daemons20. Turn 3 - Daemons

Turn 3 – Dwarves

The Hammerers charged the hounds blocking them and swiftly pulverised them.

The Organ gun fired at the nearby Warshrine taking off 3 wounds. The cannon again shot at the Hellcannon, leaving it on a single wound. The Grudge thrower hit the unit of Marauders carrying the loot, taking out half the unit. The nearby Prince and BSB ensured they didn’t run.

The Prince and Chimera finally finished off the Irondrakes but Thrud was unable to kill off the Runesmith so both him and Thrud remained locked in combat.

On the other flank, another 8 Longbeards fell under the triple attack but in return they destroyed the warshrine. The final Gyro failed its break test and fled the table with the horsemen unable to catch it.

8. Turn 3 - Dwarfs

Turn 4 – Warriors

With time rapidly running out, we decided to power on and play a final turn each. The Hellcannon attempted to charge the quarrellers but failed. In his next move, Luke managed to get the Marauder foot carrying the loot into the nearby building and with no way of getting to them and with agreeing that the Longbeards should just be removed, then Luke would have won 2 -1 on loot, so we called it. (In my turn, the quarrellers would have picked up the central loot counter).

9. Turn 4 - warriors

Results

It was 2-1 in the Warriors favour.

Conclusion

Thinking about it, I shouldn’t have called it. The cannon could have shot at the building and with D6 str 10 hits, rerolling wounds due to flaming, there was a good chance that the marauder unit would have died (or run) thus dropping their loot token meaning the game would have ended a draw. Nevermind.

So how did the scenario play. Both of us really enjoyed it. It definitely gets you thinking in a different way. The half movement when carrying the loot is a great touch and definitely messes with plans. Overall it worked really well and we felt very little had to be changed (bar some clarity on early game capturing of the tokens, as I had nothing about scouts in it. Note – the scenario rules in the beginning of this report incorporate the changes made).

The Terrain table also worked well and we were both happy with this too.

In terms of the army, the Gromril armour/GW loadout on the Runesmith was excellent. I definitely want to try that out again, perhaps on a thane. The Grudgethrower was OK. It wasn’t probably the best army to try it out against and one outing isn’t enough to make any kind of judgement. The Irondrakes are becoming a bit predictable so if I take dwarves again, I will definitely use something else, perhaps rangers and maybe some miners. I also need to commit the hammerers a lot earlier as again they didn’t do anything (bar give anything stubborn).