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

I’ve been pretty quiet on the hobby front recently. I’ve not lifted a paintbrush in over a month and a half and the bit of free time i’ve had has mainly been spent on Total War – Warhammer 2. That being said, I do have a number of Bloodbowl games to finish writing up and I’ve been working on my own analysis of the Dwarf Army book for the Eighth Edition for Life forum (only 4 or so years after its release and the death of warhammer…). When complete I’ll likely add it here.

I did manage to get in my semi-final game against Neil. I think it’s fair to say I knew this would be a very tough game. Neil is a canny opponent and Lizards are probably his strongest army.

As always, any mistakes are entirely down to my notes (with a bit of poetic licence thrown in).

Having fought off the ruin’s previous skaven occupants, the herd had swiftly moved in. Bashor had taken residence in the highest temple, where he sat in a throne of made of bones a mad glint in his eye as he issued decrees every hour. Khazbar increasingly worried about Bashor. The more the madness grew, the less likely it was that Cattleclysm would deter the Beastlord from ordering his death. Something would have to be done and sooner rather than later. On top of this, his searches of the complex had failed to turn up anything of worth yet he remained convinced that there were hidden chambers still to be uncovered. His thoughts were interrupted by a cringing ungor entering the room. He listened as the halfhorn gave his report, snout peeling back in a grin. So the Lizardmen had decided to reclaim the temple had they? Perhaps this could work out to his advantage.

Lists

Beastmen

Bashor the Bloody (General) – Armour of Destiny, Sh, Ogre Blade – 238pts

Khazbar the Magnificent – Level 4 Great Bray Shaman (Lore of Beasts), Brass Cleaver, Jagged dagger, talisman of preservation, gouge tusks – 335pts

Cattleclysm – Doombull, HA, Sh, Gold Sigil Sword, Ramhorn Helm, Dragonbane Gem, Arabyan Carpet, Gnarled Hide – 353pts

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

Wazzock the Lame – Level 1 Shaman (Lore of Shadow), dispel scroll – 100pts

48 Gor – FC, AHW – 409pts

37 Bestigor – FC, Standard of Discipline – 489pts

Tuskgor Chariot – 80pts

Tuskgor Chariot – 80pts

Razorgor – 55pts

Razorgor – 55pts

Harpies – 55pts

5 Ungor Raiders – 30pts

5 Ungor Raiders – 30pts

Total – 2500

Lizards

Slann (General) – Forbidden Rod, Wandering Deliberations – 365pts

Skink Chief (BSB) – Armour of Destiny, Sh – 119pts

Saurus Oldblood – LA, Sh, Great Weapon, Dragonhelm, Opal Amulet, Arabyan Carpet – 236pts

Saurus Scar-Vet – Gamblers Armour, Great Weapon, Dawnstone, Cold One – 149pts

Skink Priest – Level 1 (Lore of Heavens) – Dispel Scroll – 90pts

8 Cold One Riders – spear, Sh, Standard, Musician – 292pts

26 Temple Guard – Musician, Standard – 384pts

25 Saurus Warriors – Standard – 285pts

10 Skink Cohort – Standard – javelin, Sh – 60pts

10 Skink Skirmishers – blowpipe – 70pts

10 Skink Skirmishers – blowpipe – 70pts

10 Skink Skirmishers – blowpipe – 70pts

10 Skink Skirmishers – blowpipe – 70pts

6 Chameleon Skinks – 78pts

6 Chameleon Skinks – 78pts

1 Salamander Hunting pack – 4 Handlers – 84pts

Total – 2500pts  

Pre-match Rolls

Spells

The skink Chief took Blizzard (from Lore of Heavens)

The Slann had Harmonic Convergence so got all the 8 signature spells

Khazbar ended up with Wyssans, Amber spear, Curse of Anreheir and Savage Beastof Horros

Wazzock took enfeebling foe

Scenario

Dawn Attack – random deployment as per the BRB but the table is divided into quadrants. You get 2 pts if you control your opponent’s quadrants and 1 pt for each of your own.

Terrain

Map pack 2 – 1 wood (ended up as a normal one), 2 normal hills, an anvil of Vaul, 1 building (with 3 walls) and a normal river. After placement it looked like this.

1 - Terrain

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

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

I failed to steal first turn so he went first

Turn 1 – Lizards

The Skink Skirmisher units surged across the board in order to get into range with their blow pipes next turn and to generally do what chaff do best (screw up movement and be a bloody nuisance). They were supported by the two blocks of heavy infantry moving up as a second wave.

Both units of Chameleons materialised in front of my right flank (I’d been careful to not leave gaps behind my lines) and targeted the Razorgor on that side. The venom of the lesser striped tree frog had been left on the darts for too long, as he took a couple of wounds from their poison but it wasn’t enough to kill him.

The Slann barely opened its eyes and nonchalantly waved a hand and launched a boosted fireball on the chariot opposite him. The resulting miscast not only made him pay a bit more attention to what was going on but cost him a wizard level and lost him that spell. It did manage to put a couple of wounds on the chariot but the trade-off might come back to haunt him. The priest then tried to cast Blizzard on the Bestigor but Khazbar dispelled it with ease.

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

Turn 1 – Beasts

Determined to clear out some of the skink cloud threatening to gum up his lines, Bashor ordered his forces forward.

The Gor Horde targeted one of the Chameleon units, who unsurprisingly ran but they didn’t get too far and were summarily cut down.

The Doombull charged the Skinks directly in front of him, who also fled but this time to safety, leaving behind a very pissed off Minotaur. He glared through red tinged eyes at the Lizard lines, death and blood at the very forefront of his thoughts.

The central chariot charged the unit next to the skinks who had fled, taking a couple of wounds from the stand and shoot reaction (Edit: what is it with all the shooting causing two wounds each time). The chariot made short work of them (helped out, as it had been given a Wyssans Wildform buff) and crushed the remaining fleeing skinks beneath its iron shod wheels as it overran. This did leave it directly in front of the Cold One Riders with it very likely to receive a charge in the following turn.

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

Turn 2 – Lizards

The Cold One riders, seeking revenge for what it had done to their smaller brethren, charged into the chariot and in the ensuing combat, neither side managed to do any damage to the other (Edit: it wasn’t helped as this was the one and only time in the game I forgot Primal Fury), however the Lizards charge and banner were enough to win the combat and the chariot decided discretion was the better part of valour and turned tail. In what was becoming a trend for the game, it didn’t run fast enough and was smashed to pieces by the chasing cavalry.

The fleeing Skink skirmishers rallied under the nearby eye of the Slann and BSB.

The Slann attempted to cast Blizzard on the Gor but was blocked by Khazbar. He was able to prevent the Frog-Mage following up with a Spirit Leech at his faithful Cattleclysm but a baleful glare at his apprentice was enough to get Wazzock to read from his scroll. This turned to dust as the spell dissipated harmlessly.

The remaining Chameleons, weaved through the Beastmen lines and finished off the wounded Pumba. The nearby horde of Gor choose this moment to fail their re-rollable panic check and ran away from the camouflaged skinks, bouncing through the chariot/coldone combat and ended up in the Lizardman deployment zone, dangerously close to the edge of the board. That definitely wasn’t part of the plan! (edit: it was part of Neil’s though, as that was why he had targeted the unit with Blizzard in an attempt to reduce their leadership. He hadn’t counted on the 11″ roll and them bouncing through the combat, which he said had caused his plan to backfire). To addfurther insult to injury, 7 of their number were cut down by the Cold One Riders as they ran through the unit (astupid amount of 1’s were rolled for the dangerous terrain check).

The Skink Cohort reached the building in the far corner of the battlefield and moved in to take permanent residence where they would take no further part in the battle (bar helping score scenario victory points).

The remaining skinks and salamander targeted the Bestigor to start whittling down their numbers but their aim faltered under the manic gaze of the embedded Beastlord and only 4 fell to the combined fire.

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

Turn 2 – Beasts

Cattleclysm, incensed by his previous foe having slipped through his claws, crashed into the Cold One Riders (who, conveniently, were unable to flee due to their Immune to Psych rule). He cut down 50% of the unit and the rest fled (Edit: I forgot the standard bearer should have been removed at that point). The Cold Ones bounced through the freshly rallied Gor horde and due to a particularly low roll managed to stay on the table in the small gap between the Gor and edge of the board. Drat!

The Bestigor charged the Skink screen that were directly in front of them losing a few of their number to poison. In combat it came as no surprise to anyone watching that the Bestigor hacked the skinks apart and then reformed to face the Temple Guard.

The remaining chariot moved to cover the flank and rear of the Bestigors in case the Oldblood decided to join the party and the Harpies moved up to protect the rear of the Doombull for the same reason.

The Ungor Raiders on the left flank moved to get in the way of the Saurus block so it would be prevented from moving fully into the Beastmen left quadrant.

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

Turn 3 – Lizards

With their screening chaff now gone, the Temple Guard had no choice but to take the initiative and charged into the Bestigor. The guard were supported by the Salamander and handlers who went into the flank of the elite Beastmen.

The Slann invoked the forbidden rod trying to boost the weak winds of magic, taking 3 wounds in the process (amusingly, one for each extra power dice). The giant frog started the phase by casting Blizzard onto the Bestigor but this was quickly dispelled. Khazbar had previous run ins with Nurgle and knew what a difference negative hit modifiers could have. This did mean allowing the Slann to get off Earthblood giving his bodyguard a weak regen to replaced the armour save they would lose thanks to their attackers great weapons. The spell also healed him of one of the wounds he had lost.

Combat saw the Temple Guard and Bestigor each killed 6 a piece but the combat ended a draw due to the additional wounds caused on the Salamander and skinks (cancelling out the flank attack and charge bonus).

The Saurus block charged the Ungor blocking them and the plucky underdogs managed to take out two of them before they were wiped out (edit – I just pulled them after seeing if they managed to kill any Saurus).

The Oldblood charged the harpies who fled, leaving him floundering around in the centre of the battlefield much to the amusement of Khazbar.

The Scar Vet on Cold One showed him up by making a long charge into the chariot and making short work of it.

The remaining Cold One riders successfully rallied and turned to face the rear of the Gor.

The Chameleon’s shot and killed 3 of the nearby Ungor but the plucky raiders held their ground.

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

Turn 3 – Beasts

The remaining 2 Ungor Raiders went for glory and found only death as they charged into a hail of poisoned shots from the Chameleons.

with a loud bray, Khazbar ordered his unit to charge the temple guard but the long speculative charge failed miserably to reach them.

He instead ordered the Doombull to move up to threaten the flank of the Temple Guard (conveniently this also moved him out of the charge arc of the oldblood).

Khazbar, rubbing his hands with glee at having a clear shot, threw a boosted amber spear at the ancient saurus but this was scrolled. His attempt to cast Curse of Anraheir on the Temple Guard was then dispelled but the Slann was unable to prevent Wyssans buffing the Bestigor and they then went on to finish off the Salamander and cut up the Temple Guard some more. The boost to their toughness also helped to prevent more than a fewof their number falling in response. The Guard held though, as with the Slann in their midst they were stubborn.

The Razorgor, seeing an easy target, moved round the Sarus block to threaten the Skink Priest who had moved out of the house.

In a move that either, was completely illegal as they may not have rallied, or my notes/photos had gotten out of sync, the Harpies moved to try and block the Cold One Riders. Either way they weren’t able to do it (having failed the leadership test to march and so couldn’t block them), so it was a moot point.

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

Turn 4 – Lizards

In a move that completely blindsided the Beastmen (I forgot that rivers only impede marching), the Saurus block charged into the flank of the Bestigors.

The Slann attempted subterfuge in order to influence the combat. A Spirit Leech onto the Doombull was let through but failed to wound it. Displeased that the wiley shaman had not fallen for the misdirection he cast Blizzard onto the Bestigor but Khazbar ensured this was dispelled. Starting to get frustrated that this lesser being had the audacity to block his spells, he put all his force into a Wyssans. The power staggered Khazbar, who could do nothing to prevent the irresistible spell. The Mage-priest blinked with worry as a second miscast went off and an audible sigh was heard as it only killed two of his bodyguard.

In a brutal round of combat for both sides, most of the remaining Temple guard were killed as were almost two ranks of the Bestigor. With only 3 Temple Guard left alive, the Slann had no choice but to step up into the front rank.

The elite Beastmen lost combat by 5 (Edit: though it should have been 2 as the Saurus rank bonus shouldn’t have counted due to them being partially in the river) but in a lucky bit of rolling (or karma due to the aforementioned inclusion of the saurus ranks) and much to my delight and Neil’s disgust, they passed their leadership test and held. The Slann was definitely in trouble now as he was in range of a whole host of great weapons and narrowed, red, bestial eyes looking with malice right at him.

On their left flank, Cold One Riders hit the back of the Gor Horde. Khazbar immediately made way to the back of the unit and Zurrock went to follow him but, incorrectly, was convinced he had to stay at the front. 2 dead Saurus later and the final rider ran back towards the edge of the board (with the standard bearer being removed this time).

The Oldblood tried to support this by charging the front of the unit but again failed to make the charge. Khazbar, swelling with power gained from slaying the Cold One Riders, snorted with glee again as he knew he had another little gift lined up for him.

Even the nearby skinks shooting up the Gor and removing a rank from his unit was not enough to dampen his mood.

On the other side of the river, the Skink Priest moved up to block the Razorgor. The piggy couldn’t believe his luck, lunch had been served!

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

Turn 4 – Beasts

Blood drunk with rage, Cattleclysm smashed into the Temple Guard and killed the remaining few and the Slann with ease. This left him out of combat and he over ran slightly.

The Bestigor and Saurus combat continued with the Saurus killing a few of the Beasts. . Combat tied and the severely depleted Bestigor reformed to face the Saurus.

The Razorgor was unable to help himself and charged into the Skink Priest who had moved to block him and he was swiftly crushed (edit: Neil just removed him without rolling combat). At this point the Lizards had no magic users left on the board!

The remaining Harpies charged the single Cold One rider to ensure it didn’t rally and he swiftly left the battlefield. They followed him off and at least would be safe from the skink shooting for a turn.

The Gor, unable to charge, moved up to support the central combat if required.

Khazbar took the opportunity to launch a second boosted amber spear at the oldblood. His opal amulet was overwhelmed by the irresistible force of the cast and a blue mist was all that remained in its wake. The shaman’s laughter was cut short as both he and Zurrock took wounds from the feedback and 5 Gor fell dead.

10 - Turn 4 - Beasts

Turn 5 – Lizards

The combat between the Saurus and Bestigor came to a conclusion with Bashor forcing his way into contact with the Lizardman unit where he promptly slew 4 of them. The Saurus hit back and killed all the unit bar the champion, Wazzock and Bashor. Again the Bestigor lost combat but this time they had enough and were run down by the vengeful Lizards. Khazbar looked on and the smile lit up his face again as he watched the Beastlord get trampled into the mud.

The remaining skink skirmishers and Chameleons moved out of the charge arc of the Gor and shot them up some more, removing another rank and causing the unit to waver. No panic took hold as the infectious glee of Khazbar boosted the spirit of the unit.

The Scar Vet attempted to charge the Doombull but all he accomplished was to add to the long list of failed charges in the game.

11 - Turn 5 - Lizards

Turn 5 – Beasts

With the path now clear, the Gor horde charged into the Saurus block, backed up with a rear charge from the Razorgor. The Gor were so eager to get to grips with the unit that had slain their leader that they went into a frenzy (Edit: first time I’d ever rolled that on a unit that wasn’t 5 Ungor Raiders). To back this up, Khazbar cast a boosted Savage Beast on himself and Zurrock (and Cattleclysm was caught in the bubble if not the combat) and between them (with their 14 re-rollable S8 attacks) and the frenzied unit (29 re-rollable S4 attacks), they tore the Saurus apart and then overran.

The Doombull then moved to try and ensure the skinks wouldn’t be out of his charge arc.

12 - Turn 5 - Beasts37. Turn 5 - Beasts

Turn 6 – Lizards

The scar vet again tried to charge the doombull but again failed to make the distance.

With very few units left, the Chameleons moved up to prevent the Gor swift reforming to face either deployment zone.

The skink skirmishers with the BSB moved so that every model was on the edge of the board to maximise the Doombull’s charge. The other remaining skink skirmisher unit moved to place themselves in front of the other unit. They then killed the remaining Harpies.

13 - Turn 6 - Lizards

Turn 6 – Beasts

The Doombull charged the one skink unit he could reach and made short work of them with his 10 S9 attacks (thanks to Savage Beast). We didn’t even roll for the BSB’s unit to see if they would panic, as due to the inability to get the Gor fully into any quadrant, even if they had run off the board, Neil would have won 1-0.

14 - Turn 6 - Beasts

Result

Win for Neil

Neil – Win (15) – Secondary Object (0) = 15

Me – Loss (5) – Secondary Objective (6) = 11

My secondary objective was ‘Cut off the head’ (kill the enemy general in close combat)

Neil’s was ‘Raid the Baggage’ (get a fortitude bearing unit in the enemy deployment zone).

Conclusions

That was one of the most brutal but fun games I’ve played in a long while. It swung back and forth several times and could have gone either way up until the end. Although getting frenzy in my fifth turn was amazing from a ‘never had it before’ perspective, it actually cost me the game as it prevented me from reforming after combat, which would have given me the chance to move into Neil’s quadrant in my final turn.

Probably the main factor in the end, really came down to the fact that I only had two units capable of capturing quadrants (combined with Neil playing an excellent running away game with the skirmishers).

This lack of units with fortitude has caused challenges throughout the tournament and was frankly down to a bad list selection from me. Or rather than bad list selection, more accurately it was me just taking what I wanted to and ignoring the scenarios that I myself had set as the tournament organiser. I have no-one to blame bar myself…

I’ll add that I may have made a mistake using the Doombull to finish the Slann and Temple guard rather than moving him to target the more slippery skink bsb. In my head, the issue was I needed to ensure I killed the Slann in combat to complete the secondary objective as I didn’t know what Neils was or if he had achieved it (he hadn’t).

It could also be argued that I probably should have used the Doombull to charge the Saurus, rather than the Gor, as at that point, the Gor held one of the enemy Quadrants but I also needed to ensure I killed the Saurus unit to prevent it capturing my quadrant and I don’t think the Doombull alone could have managed that.

One thing that did go my way throughout the game (ignoring Neil’s ability to keep failing 3 dice charges) was my primal fury rolls. I didn’t fail a single one ensuring I re-rolled almost every to hit dice.

Still, despite the loss, I’m happy to have made my first Semi-final and I still have a chance to make 3rd place overall.

I will end with a congratulations to Neil for scrapping through to the final ;p.

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WHFB – Beastmen vs Skaven – Quarter-Final – SELWG Competition Game

The quarter-finals of the club competition have taken a while to kick off due to scheduling conflicts. The first was played at the end of March between Neil (Lizardmen) and Antonio (High Elves). These two met in last year’s whfb semi-final (which Antonio won) and the KOW final (which Neil won). In this grudge match, Neil gained the upper hand and qualified for the Semi-final. This meant that the winner between myself and Paul already knew who our next opponent would be. The other two games are scheduled to be played before the end of the month.

I was looking forward to my game as I had played Paul in a pre-competition friendly with us using the same lists and in that game he had just edged victory so I was itching for some payback!

As always any errors are down to memory.

After evading the green skins on the plains the herd had sought refuge within the nearby forest. The twisted growth of the trunks had seemed a good omen. The darkness had ever been their ally and as they made their way deeper into the woods they had a sense of homecoming. The first sense that things were not right were when the Ungor scouts reported coming across a clearing, dotted with marshes, leading to an overgrown ruin. Initial reports had been sketchy, stepped pyramids, strange stone glyphs and inverted triangles crudely carved.

Khazbar frowned in thought. The ruins had the feel of the Lizards about them and if so might have arcane relics he could use but something didn’t feel right. There was something about the carv…He spun round in time to see something ricochet off Cattleclysm’s armour and the mighty bull roar as he shot off into the nearby bushes. A shrill scream started and cut off almost as suddenly and a few seconds later the bushes parted and he reappeared and cast a bloody corpse at Khazbar feet. Mangled as it was, enough remained for him to immediately identify it as a Skaven. It was then he heard the brays of Bashor and saw the Skaven force emerge from the ruins. It appeared they still needed to cleanse their new home of some vermin.

Scenario, Secret Missions, Terrain and pre-match rolls

The terrain was fairly basic with 2 normal hills, 2 woods (the one I started in was a normal wood) and two marshes (1 turned out to be Khemrian quicksand – Monsterous models are removed if they fail dangerous terrain test and the other a Earthblood Mere – 6+ regen).

1. Terrain

The Scenario was ‘Invade‘. This was played lengthwise on the table (as per battle of the pass) and the player with the most unit fortitude bearing units (basically units with standards) in the other players side of the table ,at the end of the game wins.

Because of this, (and unbeknownst to each other) we both decided to take the secret mission ‘raid the baggage’. In this you have to have more unit fortitude in an opponents deployment zone then they do at the end of the game. I figured I was trying to get in his half anyway and he would be doing the same for me so, two birds with one stone.

For spells generated:

Khazbar  – lvl 4 Great Bray Shaman (Lore of Beasts): Wyssans, Amber Spear, Curse and Savage Beast

Wazzock – lvl 1 Shaman (Lore of Shadow): Miasma

Grey Seer – lvl 4 (Ruin): Wither, Vermintide, (Plague): Pestilent Breath, (Other): Curse of the Horned Rat

Plague Monk – lvl 1(Plague): Bless with Filth

Deployment

I won the roll to decide table edge and with my normal tactic genius went for the edge where my models were already set up on the window ledge so the least amount of movement was involved. The good thing about playing length ways was you don’t have to worry about shifting table sides.

I laid the first unit and it was then alternating. After deployment, it looked like this:

2. Deployment

4 Skaven deploy5 Skaven deploy6 Beast deploy

1 Beast deploy
No the Doombull wasn’t hiding behind a tree from the cannon like a coward…

2 Skaven deploy3 all deploy

I finished deploying first and so got +1 to the first turn roll, which meant I went first with us both rolling almighty 1’s.

Turn 1 – Beastmen

With a guttural roar the herd surged forward. The startled harpies squawked and took flight as they hurriedly got out of the way of the horde of Gor. One of the horde immediately fell victim to the Khemrian quicksand, his kin snorted with laughter as his screams turned to whimpers as he was sucked under. Bashor directed the Bestigor to head towards the centre of the battlefield, which ensured the unknown marsh was between his guard and the Hellpit Abomination but more importantly so that he was closer towards Khazbar. He wanted that scheming Shaman right where he could keep an eye on him at all times.

The central unit on Ungor launched a round of speculative arrows towards the giant rats and in a shocking turn of events, killed one!

Khazbar cast Curse onto the Doomwheel but it was scrolled by the Plague Priest. He then aimed a boosted Amber Spear at it but it failed to go off.

3. Turn 1 - Beasts

7 Turn 1 - Beast
I again assure you that the Doombull didn’t choose to still hide from the cannon this turn.

Turn 1 – Skaven

The Hellpit stormed forward ensuring it angled to avoid hitting the marsh. On the other flank the Doomwheel also careened forward heading for the chariots opposite it  discharging several bolts of warp lightning into the Gor nearby, leaving one as a blackened fried corpse.

An almighty BOOOONNNNNNGGGGGG rang out across the battlefield, as the rat ogre struck the screaming bell. A gout of flame blasted from the ground scorching 2 of the harpies who fell to the ground screaming as they burnt up (edit: neither of us realised at the time that you could only roll one dice on the first ring of the bell, so this result wasn’t possible).

The Seer summoned a vermintide as his first cast of the turn. Not only did it fail miserably to reach the Beastmen lines (maybe due to the tactical retreat the Seer’s unit had done in it’s movement phase) but the resulting miscast killed 6 of his unit and damaged the bell he was mounted on.

This started the trend for the round with the ratling gun supporting the Grey Seer exploding as it’s first action of the game. The Warp Lightning Cannon then failed to hit the Bestigor (but as a bonus, didn’t explode). The warlock then fired his doom rocket at the Bestigor. It overshot clipping the back of the unit killing just 4 of them and wounding the nearby Razorgor.

4. Turn 1 - Skaven

8 Turn 1 - Skaven
The clan Eshir warlock launches the dreaded tapemeasure of doooooommmmmm

9. Turn 1 - Skaven

Turn 2 – Beastmen

Extremely worried about the Doomwheel closing in, the two chariots and Razorgor on the left flank smashed into it. Their combined impact and attacks made short work of it but not before the Razorgor was slain. One chariot over ran whilst the other refrained from doing so.

Even knowing that they had been set up as bait, the Bestigor charged into the giant rats, their strength and toughness boosted by the Wyssans Wildform cast on them by Khazbar. Bashor himself slew 3 of the vermin all the while picturing Khazbar’s face on each of them. His guard mulched the remaining 2 and their handler and then reformed to face the Skaven lines.

The Harpies emulated this move and flew into the other unit of giant rats but killed just one of them before getting swarmed by the rest. The weight of the rats dragged down the bird women and none survived to get away.

The rest of the herd moved up to maintain the battleline. At a command from Khazbar, Cattleclysm left the safety of the trees and moved up to support him.

In my first ever bit of ‘gamey’ play (as far as I remember anyway), the ungor moved round to railroad the Hellpit Abomination to ensure that at least for another turn it would not be crashing into my lines (I still feel dirty for doing so).

Khazbar seeing the mass of frenzied Plague Monks frothing at the mouth, cast Curse of Anraheir on them, figuring they would be unlikely to contain themselves next turn. The Seer recognising the danger, quickly dispelled this.

He then cast a boosted Amber spear at the Warp lightning cannon. With a chant of ‘here comes the ‘1’, sure enough a 1 was rolled to wound, much to the amusement of both players.

5. Turn 2 - Beasts

10. Turn 2 - Beasts

11. Turn 2 - Beasts
Not casualties just lazy movement

12. Turn 2 - Beasts

13. Turn 3 - Beasts
My first ever bit of ‘gamey’ play. Railroading the Abomination

Turn 2 – Skaven

The Clanrats who were supporting the hellpit, saw a chance for an easy fight and stormed into the nearby ‘railroading’ Ungor. They butchered 2 of the halfmen and the rest ran straight into the marsh, revealing it as an Earthblood Mere but importantly for Paul, meaning that he knew it was safe for the Hellpit to move through next turn. Bugger.

With scabrous sores and drooling strings of infected spittle, the Plague Monks charged at the Bestigor. The Plague Priest attempted to cast blessed with filth. The resultant  poisoned attack would help his unit get around the boosted toughness on the beasts. Despite his long term plan, Khazbar continued to try and alleviate Bashor’s suspicions  and dispelled this. In the ensuing combat, 3 bestigor were slain but in return, the elite Beastmen and their lord, cut down 7 of the monks and slapped the frenzy out of them.

The Doomflayer surged forward, looking to run down the other unit of Ungor. They took one look at the whirling death heading toward them and legged it. The Skaven ‘piloting’ it, was able to redirect it into the Doombull just behind them but he barely broke breath crushing the contraption.

The Grey Seer cast a worried look at the horde of Gor closing down on him and desperately cast Wither at them. Not taking any chances, this was scrolled.

The Warp Cannon crew, looking to gain some favour from their lord, also targeted the Gor. They chittered excitedly as their machine actually worked as expected and killed off 8 of the horde.

6. Turn 2 - Skaven

14. Turn 2 - Skaven15. Turn 2 - Skaven16. Turn 2 - Skaven

Turn 3 – Beastmen

Filled with rage at the ease of the previous combat, Cattleclysm looked around for a more challenging target. Spotting the cream of the skaven army directly in front of him he barrelled into them slaying 9 of the elite for the loss of a wound. He barely felt the scratch as he swelled further with power.

Seeing that his loyal bodyguard had secured his flank, Khazbar led the unit of Gor into the enemy warlocks unit directly to his front, backed up by a flank charge from one of the chariots. To bolster the attack, Khazbar cast Wyssans on the unit, miscasting in the process but by rolling an amazing amount of 1’s only killed just a single Gor and clanrat. The unit then went to town on the skaven and for the loss of just three more Gor they obliterated the skaven, leaving just the Grey Seer and the Screaming Bell left (thanks to it being unbreakable).

In the final combat of the turn, Bashor and the Bestigor killed a further 7 plague monks. This was too much for the unit and they turned tail, fled and were cut down. The pursuing Bestigor then ran into the lone warlock engineer who looked less than happy at the prospect of facing they unit on his own.

7. Turn 3 - Beasts

18. Turn 3 - Beasts19. Turn 3 - Beasts

20. Turn 3 - Beasts
Run awaaayyyyyy!
17. Turn 3 - Beasts
Now you see rats
21. Turn 3 - Beasts (end of)
Now you don’t
22. Turn 3 - Beasts (end of)
The Warlock Engineer tries to hide in a musk of his own fear

Turn 3 – Skaven

On the skaven left flank, the hellpit charged the Razorgor and gorged itself on prime piggy.

The supporting clanrats scurried forward in an attempt to contest the scenario. Their ratling gun misfired and unloaded all it’s shots at the Ungor, the hail of lead only slaying a further half-horn as they cowered in the marsh.

The Warp Lightning Cannon shot at the Chariot behind the Beastmen lines but failed to wound it, again to the amusement of us both (as it was a repeat of the Amber Spear situation).

The Rat Ogres charged in to support the beleaguered engineer. Bashor ripped one of them apart before they were able to strike and they were so stunned by the violence that they only managed to kill a single Bestigor before the return blows killed the remainder of them and the engineer.

Even with him up to 9 attacks, the Doombull fluffed most of them and even with the further attacks from his armour, he only killed 4 Stormvermin. Steadfastness ensured they didn’t run.

In the final combat, the Grey Seer frantically called on the Horned Rat to curse the unit in combat with him. With the Skaven force in pieces, all that was heard for an evil cackle as the Horned Rat withdrew his favour and the Seer was left with a surprised look on his face as his power failed him and he was cut down by the mass of Beastmen.

With the situation looking lost and very few options available to turn the situation around (especially with the Storm Vermin about to take a flank charge from my horde), Paul conceded at this point.

8. Turn 3 - Skaven

23. Turn 3 - Skaven24. Turn 3 - Skaven

Results

With all my units in Paul’s half of the table (with a combined unit fortitude of 5) and Paul only having a total of 3 unit fortitude on the board (with two being still in his half), victory went to the Beasts!

Neither of us completed the secondary mission.

Thoughts on the game

If it weren’t for the horrific thought of painting another horde army, I would love to add Skaven to my collection. The total bonkers random nature to them makes them hilarious to play against (as well as frightening). I don’t think you can play this army without having both a great sense of humour and an acknowledgement that the best laid plans will often go array. A combination of these in Paul was one of the reasons why this was such an entertaining game.

With regards to the game, I was pretty happy with my deployment (for once). I didn’t manage to block my own units from moving which was a bonus. I also managed to deal with what I perceived as the two big dangers. The doomwheel through combat and the Hellpit by avoiding it.

As a note on that, it may be totally legal but it felt extremely gamey doing this. I’m honestly not sure if I’d do it again (though it might depend on the opponent) as quarter final or not, it was a very relaxed and friendly game and it was probably the one thing that actually detracted from it (though it was probably more in my head than in actuality). It does raise a question for me on where does the line start that I won’t cross. Where do my gaming moral boundaries lie? Just because something is rules as written, will I play them if I think it isn’t in the spirit of the game or rules as intended? A subject for another post I feel!

Back on track…The scenario was also one that favoured me to some extent. The narrow width and size of my two units blocked a large section of the table and helped mitigate my lack of fortitude and due to the amount of chaff I was able to match the Gor herd against his Seers unit, a matchup I knew would have only one outcome.

I also made a point of remembering the scenario objectives (shock horror I hear you say) and when getting the first turn ensured I piled as far forward as possible to get on or over the halfway line. This meant Paul was on the back foot from the word go.

So overall it was an entertaining game where quite a few things went my way. It also means I’m through to my first Semi-final! The bad news is it’s against Neil and his Lizards. I’ve played him quite a few times and he is a very tough opponent (as you would expect at this stage of the competition!).

2017/18 SELWG WHFB Competition Group Stage Results

Considering that i’m running the club competition I’ve been rather slack with posting any updates on my own blog. In fairness this is mainly because i’ve been using other avenues to report on it in order to reach the actual participants.

That aside the Group stages have now finished so it seemed an apt time to post an update with a few stats.

Due to some drop outs after the start we ended up with 15 competitors and they played 20 games between them to find out who would progress to the Quarter Finals.

11 different warhammer armies were represented (out of a possible 16) with only Tomb Kings, Wood Elves, Daemons and Ogres not present. High Elves were the most popular army with 3 players taking them and Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos following behind with 2 players taking both of them (interestingly I rate these 3 as some of the higher tier armies*).

There were definitely two groups that I would consider to have been the harder groups (B & C), if only due to the players who were in them. In Group B, Antonio is the club 2016/17 WHFB champion, Chris was the runner up that year and Steve was the 2015/16 runner up. In Group C, Neil is a persistent Semi-finalist and Luke also reached them in  2016/17. It is probably not a coincidence that 2 of the lower tier armies* that qualified, Beastmen and Bretonnians, were in the other groups. (I’ll add that the only reason I qualified with the Beastmen is that Alistair dropped the ball on his final game, mainly due to animosity messing up his plans!).

* When I say higher or lower tier, I rank them by the number of options or limitations on their builds and play styles. Warhammer is still very much a game of skill and good generals, who know their armies and the game rules inside and out, will normally win against less experienced opponents no matter what army they use.

Final Group Stages - Feb 2018

So now the groups are done we have the knockouts to play. In a difference this year and to try and encourage players to work on that side of the hobby, armies that aren’t fully painted, only get half tournament points in the knockouts.

This immediately puts the following players at a disadvantage:

Quarter Final 1 – Luke (though he knows his army inside out so still stands a great chance of going though, especially as his opponent is using Bretonnians and had never used them before this competition).

Quarter Final 2 – Antonio (he has a grudge match with Neil, who lost against Antonio in last year in the Semi’s but beat him in the Kings of War final. Antonio is a great player though, so could possibly go through but Neil is also very good so this will be a great match).

Quarter Final 3 – Steve (he is using my High Elves and they are only half painted which immediately puts him at the disadvantage. Luke, although has only been playing 8th for a few years, has rapidly become a good player and knows and has played with his army far more that Steve with his, so has to be the odds on favourite. Steve’s normal army is also Warriors of Chaos, so perhaps he can use the knowledge of the army to his advantage).

Knockout Table

So players have until the end of March to play their Quarter Finals. Let the (knockout) games begin!

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).

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.