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 – 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.

 

WHFB – Beastmen vs Dark Elves – SELWG Comp’ game 

It’s funny how things work out. You finally manage to get a game against someone you’ve never played before (in this case Luke C) and then in the space of a month (or so) you get to play an almost carbon copy game. The difference, this one was my first game in our club competition.

Having played Luke so recently, we both had a good idea of each other’s lists and it is fair to say that of my three opponents, he was the one I was most worried about. Not just because he is a good player and knows the elements of his list inside and out, having played Dark Elves a lot but because of the mobility and potential number of his scoring units.

His list is recapped here.

The Herd of Khazbar the Magnificent is here.

Khazbar stood still, snout betraying no emotion as Bashor vented his anger at another loss on the nearest of his lieutenants. As he watched the last vestiges of life throttled out of the Wargor, he knew Bashor was probably imagining his face but the ever present shadow cast by the Doombull prevented that ire being turned on him. The gift of flight and further links forged through his magic had guaranteed that Cattleclysm acted as his personal bodyguard and even Bashor wasn’t far enough gone to challenge that hulking brute. Inside Khazbar was practically dancing with glee as the Beastlord’s hold over the herd started to slip. A few more losses were all it would take. Soon, he thought, soon they will come back to the fold. 

Terrain

To make a change we rolled map pack 3 which consisted of 2 woods (of which the central one ended up normal and the one closest to the edge, a venom thicket), 2 marshes (the one in between the woods turned out to be quicksand) and 2 normal hills.

Luke rolled as player A and after setup, it looked like this:

1. Terrain

Scenario and pre-match rolls

We ended up with ‘Secure’. Gain 1 VP for each piece of terrain held at the end of the game (2VP’s if in your opponents half). This was the worst possible scenario I could have rolled against Luke. He had 6 separate scoring units vs my 2 and he was far more mobile, so I knew I had to be super aggressive.

For spells, Khazbar (Beasts) conjured up: Wyssans, Curse, Transformation and Pann’s Pelt.

Wazzock (Shadow) got: Miasma.

The (Life) Sorceress bought: Throne, Regrowth, Flesh to Stone and Dwellers.

Deployment

Luke won the roll for sides (and following my normal philosophy) opted to stick on the side he was sitting.

The scenario followed Battle line deployment rules (alternate unit placement) and after deployment and vanguards, it looked like this:

2. Deployment

1. Deployment
You are completely imagining the cardboard being used as a movement tray

2. Deployment

3. Deployment
Beastmen Battle-line
4. Deployment
Beast centre
5. Deployment
Beast right flank
6. Vanguard
Vanguards
7. Vanguard
Deployment after vanguards

Turn 1 – Beasts

As I knew I had to, I started the game aggressively with one chariot attempting (and failing) to charge the Dark Rider unit directly in front of it (who elected to stand and shoot to no avail).  (I will say Luke was a gent and allowed me to retract a charge from the other chariot when I misread a rule. In the scheme of things it probably made no difference but I like to mention and acknowledge such things).

Choosing not to contain his natural rage, the Doombull flew into the second group of Dark Riders. In a surprising turn of events for both parties (or not, considering the pathetic show of rolling and forgetting of rules – in this case impact hits), only 3 riders were hurt during the making of this combat and easily held their ground. (Luke again offered me the chance of retracting the charge as the cold ones were poised to charge the Bull in the next turn. I was happy with this as he has a 2++ ward vs their fire attacks. Again Luke ever the gent, pointed out that his Dark Lord didn’t have flaming attacks due to magic weapons trumping that rule. However, apart from the fact that I’m a believer of learning from your errors, I also wanted his riders gone so they were unable to claim objectives and my Bull still had a very good chance of killing his Lord with his (now) 8 attacks).

In the final charge, the central Razorgor was unleashed at the riders in front of him and in an unexpected bonus, tore them apart when the cowards elected to flee.

The rest of my forces just moved forward, the Gor unit losing a few models to the marsh (which also wounded the BSB).

Magic was all about movement (or preventing it) with Curse cast on the Peg Master and Miasma on the Witches.

I was actually very pleased with the result of this turn. 2 Dark Rider units had been taken out of the scoring equation, meaning he now only had a 4 to 2 advantage. He either didn’t realise my intent, perhaps thinking after last game I wanted the riders dead at all costs or just didn’t care.

3. Beastmen Turn 1

8. turn 1 beasts

9. turn 1 beasts10. turn 1 beasts

Turn 1 – Dark Elves

To no ones surprise, the Cold One Knights charged into the Doombull. The Lord managed to score two wounds on the bull and in a phenomenal display of rolling, Cattleclysm missed with 7 of his 8 attacks. Despite the Sorceress moving over and casting an unboosted Flesh to Stone on the unit (I dispelled Throne), the 1 attack did wound the Lord but he still lost combat and was duly run down. Bugger. That was not how that was meant to go. Luke obviously was not reading from the same script which frankly was just downright inconsiderate of him. To make matters worse, his Knights over-ran into my badly positioned raiders unit.

The Dark Riders on the other flank thought they would return the favour and charged the chariot that had failed to charge them. They were somewhat more successful inflicting 2 wounds on the chariot. In return the chariot, completely forgetting they had primal fury (as they did for all the entire game), failed to removed a single model. Still at least they were now locked in combat.

The Executioners partly moved into the wood to dispute it (and avoid their rank bonus being negated) but the Peg and Witches didn’t move due to the aforementioned magic effects on them.

4. DE Turn 1

Turn 2 – Beasts

Determined to remove the Dark Riders engaged with the wounded chariot, the other chariot charged in to assist and promptly sank in the quicksand. (Annoyingly we both knew and stated it was going to happen. After the Doombull combat we both sensed it was one of those games where you could see a trend in dice rolls… On a positive note, the chariot already in combat managed to kill a rider taking them beneath scoring strength. So that was something).

The Knights steamrollered the Ungor (taking revenge for the last game where the plucky fellows had unhorsed one with a lucky bow shot and then held them up for the rest of the game) and with that flank now secured, turned to face the centre.

With a big intake of breath from me, the Harpies charged over the swamp and into the lone Sorceress. I had expected the Harpies to fail, due to the distance involved, land in the marsh and have a number die due to the terrain (yep already I had a positive mental outlook). Shockingly the bird women made the charge and instead failed to do anything apart from lose one of their number, as the horse bludgeoned her to death with its hooves. With the Cold Ones now looking at their rear, the life expectancy of the Harpies was starting to look a little short!

Meanwhile the Gor unit moved out of the marsh and into the woods the Executioners were holding, in order to dispute it, of course losing a bucket load more of their number in the process.

The Bestigor also moved into the woods in front of them to capture that.

The central Razorgor moved to block the Witches whilst the other moved up to threaten the executioners flank.

Magic was quite uneventful with Wyssans cast on the chariot and Curse on the Witches.

5. Beastmen Turn 2

11. turn 2 beasts
Ungor dead? Check!

12. Turn 2 beasts

Turn 2 – Dark Elves

The Knights charged the Harpies and after trampling their remains into the ground, reformed with the marsh guarding their flank.

The Peg Master charged the remaining unit of Ungors and not to be outdone by the Knights, made short work of them and turned to face the Gor’s flank.

The Executioners changed facing slightly so they no longer presented their flank to the Razorgor, the woods taking a few of them in compensation for their trespass.

The chariot/rider combat continued with another Dark Rider dying.

The notes got a bit sketchy here but I know I failed to dispel Throne and scrolled Flesh to Stone (but not sure on who or why, though possibly the Knights in preparation for my next turn).

6. DE Turn 2

13. Turn 2 DE

Turn 3 – Beasts

The Bestigor let out a bellow but instead of making an easy charge on the Cold One Knights, stumbled forward, an entire rank of the horde succumbing to the lethal plethora of roots and branches. Children of the woods indeed. I had a feeling I was going to pay for that.

The Gor also tried their luck and like the Bestigor, fluffed an average charge, though their target was the Executioners. They were a little more sure footed than their heavy armoured kin and only a handful were killed by ‘tree to face’. If the Razorgor, that successfully made the its charge, had been capable of thought it would have been worried about the distinct lack of support from the Gor. As it was, any thought was quickly extinguished by the multitude of Draichs that butchered the poor little piggie.

In the magic phase, Throne was dispelled but nothing else was successfully cast.

To fully twist in the knife, in a turn of failures, the Dark riders managed to finish off the remaining chariot, leaving them free to do what they do best; interfere and get in the way.

7. Beastmen Turn 3
The map isn’t quite correct as the sorceress isn’t actually blocking the Knights

14. Turn 2 DE15. Turn 2 DE16. Turn 2 DE

Turn 3 – Dark Elves

The Cold Ones Knights charged the Razorgor that had been holding up the witches and made short work of it. They then reformed to face the Bestigor on the edge of the woods, the spy in the unit surreptitiously removing the message that had been concealed on the body of the animal.

The Master on Pegasus charged into the flank of the Gor cutting down 4 of their number for the loss of 1 wound. The Gor not only survived the attack but reformed to bring their overwhelming numbers to bear. The master looked round for support but found none in his immediate vicinity.

The remaining dark riders from the 2 units, moved up to block the Bestigor to prevent them from both: repeating their attempted charge on the Knights and moving out of the woods in order to regain steadfast.

In a stroke of luck (at least for me), the Sorceress failed to cast Throne of Vines ending the magic phase.

8. DE Turn 3

17. Turn 3 DE18. Turn 3 DE

Turn 4 – Beastmen

Khazbar continued his magical molestion of the witches and again cast Curse on them  to discourage any movement.

In a combat that could only go one way, the Gor horde decimated the Dark Master and the Pegasus he had been mounted on.

In a ridiculously stupid move (not sure what I was thinking), the Bestigor finished off one the single Dark Rider in front of them and then over-ran into the final remaining unit of Dark Riders. (If I had been thinking clearly I would have instead moved Khazbar out of the unit and used him as chaff to block the witches. This would have meant only the Knights and Dark riders would have been able to charge the Bestigor, a combat that might have gone either way).

9. Beastmen Turn 4

Turn 4 – Dark Elves

The Sorceress cast Dwellers onto the Gor unit and although a number were dragged under the ground, they held their nerve ensuring the woods were disputed between them and the Executioners.

The Witch Elves and Knights then joined the Dark riders in charging the Bestigor. The Witch Elves alone wiped out the unit before they could strike back and ran down the two lords (giving Luke his secondary mission of ‘cut off the head’). The witches overrun moved them into the woods, capturing the terrain and thus winning the game.

10. DE Turn 4

19. Turn 4 DE
End game

Results

It ended 2-0 to Luke as he had captured the wood in my half.

In terms of competition points in was:

Luke: Win (15) + Mission (6) = 21 points

Me: Loss (5) + Mission (6) + Painted army (2) = 13 points

Conclusions

That was a game that started well and then rapidly fell apart. Although I couldn’t say I was ever close to victory, a draw had definitely been achievable if I’d put a bit more thought into moves.

Luke said he had not been expecting all my charges in the first moves of the game. I think it actually threw him slightly as he’s not used to other players wantonly attacking Dark Elves on the first turn, they normally avoid them. As I said to him, every time I’ve held back with Beastmen it’s put me on the back foot. And it’s far more fun to play them to their fluff, the raw unbridled savage hordes!

I hate to blame dice (though I will add them as a contributing factor) and I probably didn’t help stack odds in my favour but I did roll appallingly this game. The first turn Doombull combat and failed Chariot charge started the trend, though they weren’t critical moments. However the turn 3 failed charges by the Gor and especially by the Bestigor were all potential game defining moments where the poor rolls cost me. It was not by any means a foregone conclusion on either combat but I would have placed money on the Bestigors coming out on top.

I did blunder with the Gor unit. I would have been better off holding the marsh and staying within 3″ of the wood to dispute it as at least it would have netted me a point, prevented the number of casualties from terrain and meant the executioners would have had to do something bar sit there all game. I just have a weakness for combat.

The number of troops lost due to dangerous terrain was ridiculous but putting myself in situations where i had to make these rolls, so they could go against me, was entirely of my own making. I will have to be a bit more ‘caring’ if the lives of my troops going forward (pfftt who am I kidding, they are fodder to be used to further my own plans for world domination moo ha ha ha ha).

I can take nothing away from Luke’s victory, he played the better game and was again great fun to play against. As things stood, if we had played past turn 4, he likely would have tabled me before the end of the game.

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.

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.

img_1622

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.

SELWG 2017 Warhammer Competition Kicks Off!

As well as the game against Paul on Friday, the draw was also made for the groups in the competition.

With a last bit of recruitment on the Friday, I managed to get the numbers up to 16 which allowed 4 groups of 4.

The draw was made by the independent adjudicator: Cormac. After the draw (very low tech – names from a bag) the groups looked like this:

Group Split - 9.9.17

You will note that some entrants already have points for early submission of their lists. Alex (group D) was the person who was recruited on Friday, hence no army type is noted (though it will likely be filthy High Elves!).

Overall, we have a really good spread of armies in the competition, with 12 of the 16 possible options taken (we are missing: Ogres, Tomb Kings, Daemons and Wood Elves).

All army lists have been uploaded to the club forums (with a small delay on Group D so not to give Alex an unfair advantage).

Group A – Drakwald

Group B – Asuryan

Group C – Zorn Uzkul

Group D – Hellpit

For a reminder of the comp rules and restrictions see the earlier posts.

  1. Points and Secondary Objectives
  2. Scenarios
  3. Army Lists and Restrictions
  4. Terrain