WHFB – Beastmen vs Orcs – SELWG Competition Game

The 5th of January saw me face off against Alistair’s Orc and Goblins, in my final group game of the Warhammer Fantasy Competition.

Having given him a practice game with my Dwarves, at the end of last year, I had some idea of what to expect from his army. As such, in a straight fight I was reasonably confident that I would come out on top. How wrong I was! But I’m getting ahead of myself. As normal, any mistakes in this report are down to memory and notes.

The migration of the Herd continued. They may have taken casualties against the stunted ones but they had successfully navigated the mountains and made it into new lands. A great plain had spread out before them, dotted with small woods. The scouts had reported to Khazbar that a significant forest lay ahead which promised refuge and a new home but they had also reported roving bands of Greenskins in the vicinity. It was one of these that the Vanguard had wiped out but under his instructions, they had allowed some of the wolf mounted goblins to escape. This, he knew, would ensure that more of their kind would be drawn to them as a moth to a flame as the greenskins, even more than his beastmen, loved any excuse for a scrap and wouldn’t stand by whilst a herd of their strength passed through. The trick would be to eradicate all the Orcs in the immediate vicinity so more wouldn’t gather to continually bleed away the strength of the herd. It was for this reason Khazbar had gone against the orders of Bashor and let survivors escape. Who knows, he thought, perhaps the greenskins would succeed where the stunties had failed and kill off the troublesome Beastlord.

Terrain

For this game we rolled up Map Pack 6, which consisted of 2 woods, 2 hills and 2 marshes.

Alistair was player A and started by laying the 2 woods and after setup was complete, it looked like this:

1a. Terrain

1. Terrain

Scenario and pre-match rolls

Alistair rolled the Dawn attack scenario. This competition scenario is played as per the Dawn Attack scenario from the rule book so had the random deployment element (which never goes well – as was the case here!). The comp scenario differed from the book as the table is divided into 4 quarters and to win you must control more quarters than your opponent (with your opponents half worth 2 points each and your half worth 1 point each. This gives you an incentive to move forward and not castle).

In terms of spells rolled for everyone:

Khazbar (level 4 beasts) had: Savage beast of Horros, Curse of Anraheir, The Amber spear and Wyssan’s Wildform.

Wazzock (level 1 Shadow) took Melkoth’s Miasma.

The Orc (level 2) with power scroll rolled: Brain Buster and ‘ed Butt

The Orc (level 2) with Ironcurse Icon bought: Hand of Gork and Gaze of Mork.

In terms of secret missions, I took Hero Hammered and Alistair took raid the baggage.

Deployment

Deployment was a bit of a nightmare for me with everything ending up boxed in the right flank with the exception of the 2 units of ungor raiders, one Razorgor and the Doombull in the centre.

Alistair’s units were spread between his left flank and the centre of the board. There was one signal lonely unit of Boar boyz that were placed opposite the mass of my troops.

After deployment it looked like this:

1b. Deployment

2. Deployment3. Deployment - OnG4. Deployment - OnG

5. Deployment - Beasts
Both chariots were suffering from the well known disease, limp spear.

6. Deployment - Beasts

With the entire Beastmen army entering the field from the far corner, the Orc forces had free range over their right flank. The wolf riders and trolls (accompanied by the BSB) pushed forward. Frustrated with how far away the enemy were, the Big Un’s started to complain and drag their feet. Not putting up with this, Grashnik pulled out his choppa and summarily executed 4 of them.

Although all Orc’s enjoy a good brawl, even the Boar Boyz were smart enough to realise that the forces arrayed opposite them would snuff them out as soon as look at them and moved with all haste towards the rest of their forces.

With a squeal, the first doomdiver was flung into the air. His aim was true and he struck the Doombull dead on. Snorting with pain, Cattleclysm wrenched the body of the goblin from the wound it had opened up with its impact.

Sensing the Hand of Gork start to coalesce under the orc archers, Khazbar quickly snuffed out the spell, sneering at the feeble magic of the green shamans. His disdain grew further as  the other shaman called upon his other god and twin beams of green light tore up the ground but fell well short of the Beastmen lines.

6a. Turn 1 Orc

7. Turn 1 - OnG8. Tun 1 - OnG

Determined to get to grips with the unruly mass of greenskins, the two hordes of beastmen pushed up, angling towards the nearest Orc units. Everything else moved forward, towards the centre of the battlefield.

Attempting to ensure his bodyguard would survive the further attentions of any flying goblins, Wyssan’s was cast on the Doombull.

8a. Turn 1 Beasts

9. Turn 1 - Beasts10. turn 1 - Beasts11. turn 1 - beasts

The Orc right flank continued to advance at pace swinging round to head towards the enemy units.

The Boar Boyz continued their redeployment (running away!) and this was further aided by the Shaman casting hand of Gork. The Orc Shaman scooped up the unit and deposited it square in the middle of the orc lines (and conveniently out of the range of the Beastmen units).

The Doom divers continued to rain down, this time targeting the unit of Gor dimembering a handful of them on impact (4).

The archers, showing why Orcs shouldn’t be trusted with anything bar a blunt instrument, fail to hit, let alone kill, any of the barn door sized unit of Gor in front of them.

11a. Turn 2 - Orcs

12. turn 2 - ong13. turn 2 - ong14. turn 2 - ong15. tunr 2 - ong

16. turn 2 ong
Boarboyz after the Hand of Gork

17. turn 2 - ong

Determined to avoid any further attention from the Goblin artillery, the Doombull attempted to charge the nearby archers but the earlier wounds had damaged his wings and he was unable to make the distance. The rest of the herd continued forward maintaining the battleline.  The flock of harpies swept round the side of the orc archers. A lone Razorgor moved forward to tempt the orcs into doing something rash.

Although Wyssans was again successfully cast again on Cattleclysm, when Khazbar casually followed up by throwing the Amber spear at the nearby cavalry, it dissipated before reaching them, with one of the enemy shaman cackling. At that point Khazbar knew it would have to die.

17a. Turn 2 - beasts

18. turn 2 - beasts19. turn 2 - beasts

Unable to contain themselves, with the Razorgor nearby, the Orc boys tried to get to grips with it but with a breakdown of communication the back ranks fell over the front and the charge ground to a halt.

The Orc shaman, in another show of cunning, again called on his God who this time scooped up the orc archers and placed them behind the beastmen hordes in a very threatening position. Worry lines appeared for an instance on Khazbars face before he hardened his gaze, determination overcoming his fear of the seemingly omnipotent Orc Gods.

The Orc ranged units again targeted the horde of Gor with the archers again failing to wound despite firing almost point blank into the rear of the unit. The Doom diver only managed marginally better, killing a single Gor.

19a. Turn 3 - Orc

20. turn 3 - ong21. turn 3 - ong

The harpies let out a shriek and flew towards the flying goblins. In their eagerness they tangled up and fell to the ground well short of their target.

The Doombull, snorting with excitement at the blood to come, smashed into the side of the orc boyz and went to town killing 7 of them. Despite the slaughter, they remained steadfast and reformed to try and bring their overwhelming numbers to bear.

Bashor and his bodyguard reformed and moved forward to face the archers. Khazbar and his Gor moved further and were now in a position to threaten the enemy lines. The two chariots moved up to support and the two Razorgor were sent forward to get in the way.

The Ungor raiders, that had done nothing so far apart from avoid being killed by moving through the marsh, managed to beat all expectations and actually kill a wolf rider with shooting.

21a. Turn 3 - Beasts

22. turn 3 - beasts
The Bestigor did reform honest! (We just moved the lord and standard to save time).

23. turn 3 - beasts24. turn 3 - beasts

The Orc Boar riders could only hang on as they lost control of their mounts and they charged into the Razorgor, their animal instincts recognising and wanting to kill a corruption of one of their own. To the surprise of no one, the unit made short work of it.

The other Razorgor met a similar fate but at the hands of the Goblin cavalry. It didn’t go down easily and dragged two of their number down with it.

The Orc General, decided to make his move and moved up ready to charge the Doombull and support the block of boyz.

The elite Orcs again started infighting as their path to the enemy was blocked. Grashnik only needed to decapite a single orc this time to get the others in line. Gork then intervened and moved the unit closer to the enemy and clear of the backlog or friendly units (and in the process achieving Alistair’s secondary mission).

In a show of desperation, the arrer boyz finally managed to shoot something successfully (in this case 3 bestigor). They were supported by the Kamikaze goblin who flattened a further five when it impacted the unit.

The Blood drunk Doombull continued to carve through the orc boyz, his armour preventing any damage in return.

24a. Turn 4 - Orcs

25. turn 4 - ong26. turn 4 - ong27. turn 4 - ong

Sensing the pivotal moment had come, the forces of the herd charged where ever possible. The Gor horde piled into the flank of the Orc Boyz in support of Cattleclysm  (we diced this to see if it was a front or flank as it was an even split to both).

The Bestigor horde tore into the arrer boyz and led by Bashor crushed the Orcs, slaying a full 17 of them before running down the remainder.

The two chariots charged the boars, squealing pigs were thrown into the air with the impact (we didn’t actually get to complete the combat due to time).

The shrieking harpies finally managed to make it into the goblins and the bird women quickly surrounded their prey (again we didn’t complete the combat due to time).

Both sets of Ungor Raiders again excelled themselves with one unit taking out another wolf rider and the other shooting two Big ‘Uns.

The mass of Gor in close proximity to the enemy shamans unnerved them enough that Khazbar was able to cast both Wyssans on the Gor horde and Savage Beast on himself, the detonation from the miscast merely killing a single Gor, Orc and putting a wound on the Beastmen BSB. He grinned as his body swelled with power and made full use of it as he personally cut down five of the pitiful orcs in front of him sucking in the pure essence released in their death. Zhurock planted the herd standard in the ground and added 3 deaths to the tally of Orcs. Cattleclysm, his wounds finally getting to him, slumped down and failed to cause any damage. The rest of the horde made up for the Doombull’s deficiency and butcher a load more Orcs. Even with the General nearby, the losses were too much for the boyz and they dropped their weapons and legged it for the hills. The Gor horde followed but crashed into the staggering Doombull, failing to catch the fleeing orcs.

27a. Turn 4 - Beasts

28. turn 4 - beasts

29. turn 4 - beasts
Enter a caption

30. turn 4 - beasts31. turn 4 - beasts

Results

Me – Loss (5) + Fully Painted (2) = 7 points

Alistair – Win (15) + Secondary Mission (6) + Fully Painted (2)  = 23 points

Conclusion

Yet another really, really close game but unlike the match against Martin’s Dwarves this one went against me.

At the end of the game, the Bestigor had control of one of my quadrants (1 point for me) and the Big ‘Uns and Wolf riders had control of my other quadrant (2 points for Alistair). The Doombull blocking the Gor overrunning, meant that they missed capturing one of Alistair’s quadrants by a minuscule 1.5″ (you have to be wholly within a quadrant to capture it and frustratingly, they were slightly overlapping his two quadrants). This gave Alistair a win, by 2-1 points.

Dawn attack always presents a challenge with the random deployment and this game was no different. Even I was taken back by nearly everything going in one corner and of course most of Alistair’s was always going to go in the other. Reality meant that a good chunk of the game involved trying to get to the middle of the table in good order to even get into combat.

I knew that movement spells were good but I was taken aback with just how good the Hand of Gork was. Not only does it allow an out of turn movement but it also allows you to completely change a units facing, which I think is unique even among movement spells. Now I will say that the spell is tempered by having a random movement distance but Alistair rarely rolled under 18″ for this and almost every time it was used, it really disrupted my game and had me on the back foot. Even having a +2 bonus over him on dispelling, I was rarely able to stop the spell. It also allowed him to complete his secondary mission by moving the Big ‘Uns into my deployment zone (to capture the baggage). Moving his Boar Boyz out of range of my units helped prevent me getting my mission and threw my units out of position.

My plan (such as it was) to engage single units while ‘chaffing’ up others, worked well and in each combat my troops overwhelmed his but time was against me and these games were about scenarios not kills and Alistair played a good game and secured the win and his secondary object, maximising his points.

Overall it was a fun but slightly frustrating game (mainly down to the deployment) and leaves my qualifying in a precarious position. At present I lead the group with 42 points, however I’ve played all three games and the others in the group have only played 1 game a piece. Luke is second on 26 points and Alistair is third on 23 points. This puts them both in a strong position and another solid win could easily put them above me. Still, if I do go out, it allows me to concentrate on the Blood Bowl league (and just administrating this competition).

The cut off for the group stages is the 2nd February and I know Luke and Alistair have their game booked for later in the month, so I will just have to wait and see what happens in the group (though if Luke doesn’t clean up, i’ll be surprised, so I suspect the only question is who gets the second place spot).

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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.

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.

Hobby update – Orcsies

I happened to be down at my folks at the weekend and opened a cupboard in my old room to be presented with some of the standards of my Orc army. As with nearly all my older lead models, they are not fully finished (nothing was ever based). 


The figure on the right is an old maurauder model (I always loved their range) and was used as the BSB due to having the largest standard. The tiger stripe(ish) theme is repeated throughout the army, mainly on the shields but also on shoulder pads of the big bosses and generals (it was where I got the inspiration for my space marines). 

I actually prefer the old standards to the current solid plastic ones as it allowed me to draw icons using a combo of pencil and pen and then colour in the remainder with paint. A medium I’m far more comfortable in as you can probably tell by the quality of the standards vs my normal paint jobs!