WHFB – Beastmen vs Skaven

This week I had lined up a game against Paul. He hadn’t played 8th Edition for a few years now but he was one of the club members who had signed up to the competition and so wanted to re-familiarise himself with the rules. I jumped at the chance to have a game and not just because he is another club member who I’ve not had the pleasure playing before but also because he has a horde of Skaven and last time I fought them was in 4th Edition! Suffice to say I was looking forward to the game immensely.

I will say before writing, that it was another game cut short (3 turns). Unlike normal, it wasn’t just down to chatting whilst playing but also due to taking time out to draw the groups for the club Warhammer Competition.

Lists

Herd of Khazbar the Magnificent

Bashor the Bloody – Beastlord (General), ogre blade, armour of destiny, shield – 238pts

Khazbar the Magnificent – Great Bray Shaman, level 4 – Lore of Beasts, Talisman of Protection, Brass Cleaver, jagged dagger – 335pts

Zurrock the Mighty – Wargor (bsb), HA, shield, Beast Banner – 191pts

Wazzock the Lame – Bray Shaman, level 1 – Lore of Shadow, dispel scroll – 100pts

Cattleclysm – Doombull, Arabyan carpet, gold sigil sword, dragonbane gem, ramhorn helm, gnarled hide, HA, shield – 353pts

48 Gor, FC, AHW – 409pts

1 Tusgor chariot – 80pts

1 Tusgor chariot – 80pts

5 Ungor raiders – 30pts

5 Ungor raiders – 30pts

37 Bestigor, FC, Standard of Discipline – 489pts

1 Razorgor – 55pts

1Razorgor – 55pts

5 Harpies – 55pts

Skaven

Grey Seer – Earthing Rod, Skalm, Screaming Bell – 495pts

Chieftain – BSB – HA, Charmed Shield – 75pts

Plague Priest – Flail, Dispel Scroll – 129pts

Warlock Engineer – Warpmusket, Doomrocket – 60pts

Doomwheel – 150pts

Hell Pit Abomination – 250pts

31 Clanrats, FC, Light Armour, Sh, Ratling Gun weapon team – 210pts

31 Clanrats, FC, Light Armour, Sh, Ratling Gun weapon team – 210pts

20 Plague Monks – FC, AHW, Plague Banner – 195pts

31 Stormvermin – FC, HA, Halberd, Razor Standard, Doom Flayer weapon team – 335pts

3 Rat Ogres – Packmaster – 128pts

5 Giant Rats – Packmaster – 23pts

5 Giant Rats – Packmaster – 23pts

7 Gutter Runners – 126pts

Warp Lightning Cannon – 90pts

Scenario

We randomly rolled for the Scenario and would you believe it, I ended up with the Wicked Woods scenario again (scenario list here). As Paul had not played this before we stuck with it for the game.

Terrain and Pre-match rolls

And just to continue the trend, we rolled map pack 4 (the same as my last game) which meant a river, 2 normal hills, 2 scree slopes and a forest.

After placing the terrain (including the additional wood from the scenario), it looked like this.

1. Terrain

1. Terrain

It terms of spell selection:

Khazbar ended up with: Curse of Anheir, Wyssans Wildform, Pann’s Impenetrable Pelt and Savage Beast of Horros.

Wazzock took Miasma

The Grey Seer got: Vermintide, Cloud of Corruption, Plague and Curse of the Horned Rat.

The Plague Priest took Pestilent Breath

Deployment

Deployment is as per battle line so alternate. Paul placed the first unit and finished first so got the advantage to the first turn roll off (which he won, doubtless through some nefarious Skaven underhanded tactic!)

After the careless deployment in my previous game, I was far more rigid with it this time. The Gor Horde went front and centre to capture the woods with the Bestigor next to them. The rest of the Chaff and Chariots surrounded the two main blocks with the Doombull backing them up. This ensured that the majority of the army was within the BSB/General bubble. Again the river was impeding us but this should work in my favour with the Skaven reliance on ranks for leadership.

After his scouts deployed, it looked like this.

2. Deployment

2. Deployment3. Deployment4. Deployment5. Deployment6. Deployment7. Deployment

Turn 1 – Skaven

The chittering horde scurried forward, responding to the commands of the albino rat hiding behind the giant bell, with the exception of the elite rats who hung back waiting for their weaker kin to begin the initial assault. The battle line, if one could label a horde of vermin as such, split in two as it skirted the Wicked Woods. On one flank the gruesome monstrosity surged towards the beastmen lines at a particularly worrying speed.

In the Beastmen flank the Clan Eshin novitiates sprung their ambush, with a hail of poisoned stars announcing their presence peppering the nearest Razorgor. In their eagerness to prove their worth, the hapless rats fumbled most of their shots only wounding the animal.

The Warp Lightning Cannon, slowly built up its charge. The whine of motors could be heard from Beastmen’s side of the river. As the noise got louder the ratmen crew could be seen abandoning the machine just before it exploded.

3. Skaven turn 1

8. Turn 1 Skaven9. Turn 1 Skaven

Turn 1 – Beastmen

Bashor took one look at the hybrid WyrmRat advancing towards his bodyguard and in a fit of cunning, that had shown his right to lead the herd, ordered forward the unit of raiders to get in the way of the monster. The petrified little things unsurprisingly failed to wound it with their bow-fire. The two nearby chariots, moved so that they would each get a charge off on it depending on what it targeted next turn.

The horde of Gor advanced up to the river, ready to contest the Wicked Woods, supported on both sides by Razorgor. The other unit of Ungor Raiders also advanced up to the natural barrier of the river in order to target the Giant rats (of which they managed to slay one in a dazzling display of shooting).

The rest of the herd manoeuvred so that the Eshin scouts would be in trouble in the following turn.

The winds of magic blew strongly and Khazbar cast wildform onto Bashor and his bodyguard in order to further improve their chances vs the Abomb. His pupil, Wazzock then cast Miasma onto one of the Ratling crews as they were both lined up and had a good view of his unit too.

4. Beasts turn 1

10. Turn 1 Beastmen11. Turn 1 Beasts12. Turn 1 Beasts13. Turn 1 Beasts14. Turn 1 Beasts15. Turn 1 Beasts

Turn 2 – Skaven

Most of vermin units slowed their advance to a crawl. Now they good see them closely, none of the rats were eager to get to grips with the obviously superior humanoid specimens in front of them. The exceptions were: A group of giant rats that were driven up to provide a distraction: The Abomb, that smashed through the paper shield of Ungor, over running deep into the corner of the Beastmen deployment zone and the Doomwheel that careened up to the unit of harpies that had been edging over to the far edge of the battlefield and promptly fried one of them.

The Gutter runners, showing they were true Skaven, decided to pick on someone smaller than themselves and targeted the remaining unit of Raiders. Despite killing 3 of the 5 Ungors the plucky beasts refused to let themselves be cowed by the slinking rats (my first ever snake eyes break test – woot!).

On the other flank the two Ratling teams fired up their weapons. The first, still under the effects of a miasma, shot up an empty piece of ground. The second, lost control and managed to gun down a few of their own unit, narrowly missing the Grey Seer who had to duck inside the safety of the Great Bell to avoid being hit. A few seconds later he leapt out of the bell and grabbed hold of the frame to steady himself as the clapper struck and it let out an unholy clamour, the unit surging forward in response.

From the height of his new perch, the Seer spotted an opportunity and cast an irresistible Plague on the Bestigor. 7 of their number fell to the foul magics, which then jumped to the nearby Gor unit fully taking out almost 2/5ths of them! The feedback from the spell inflicted a wound on the Plague Priest who glared daggers at the Seer.

5. Skaven turn 2
The utterly cunning positioning of my chariots is revealed!

16. Turn 2 Skaven17. Turn 2 Skaven18. Turn 2 Skaven19. Turn 2 Skaven20. Turn 2 Skaven

Turn 2 – Beastmen

Realising that the herd had to get into combat to avoid the enemy magic, Bashor ordered his forces to advance. The remains of the Gor moved into the river, ready to capture the wicked woods in the following turn. The Bestigor also advanced up to the edge of the river.

One Chariot charged the Abomb inflicting a single wound (surprise! Oh he didn’t die, bugger). The other, backed up with one of the Razorgor, removed the offending giant rats that were in front of them. The Doombull charged the Gutter Runners who turned tail and fled, squirting fear musk. They didn’t run too far and were massacred in short order.

The rest of the chaff moved to block as many of the remaining Skaven force as possible.

6. Beasts turn 221. Turn 2 Beasts22. Turn 2 Beasts23. Turn 2 Beasts24. Turn 2 Beasts

Turn 3 – Skaven

With an excited squeak, one of the units of clanrats charged into the flank of the Razorgor. They were boosted by the Power of the Screaming Bell, as a Wall of Unholy Sound echoed across the battlefield giving them each an extra attack. The sheer number of these allowed them to make short work of the oversized pig and they reformed to face the sea of snorting Bestigor. The Seer supported this attack by summoning a swarm of rats that engulfed the nearest chariot, slightly damaging it. The Ratling weapon crew, glanced nervously at the Grey Seer and with a determination to save their skins, finished off the chariot.

The nearby Warlock crouched down and launched a rocket into the Bestigor. The resultant explosion, launched bodies everywhere and left the unit at under half its starting strength.

The Abomb made short work of the chariot that had dared to wound it.

7. Skaven turn 3

25. Turn 3 Skaven26. Turn 3 Skaven27. Turn 3 Skaven28. Turn 3 Skaven

Turn 3 – Beastmen

The harpies charged into the flank of the Giant Rats. In spectacular style they failed to kill anything and 3 of their number were slain in response. Shockingly they didn’t run.

The Doombull crashed into the Doomwheel but didn’t do enough damage to destroy it (it survived on a single wound).

The Bestigor, looking to avenge their losses on someone, charged into the river to vent their fury on the clanrats. A load of dead rats later (aided by the rank bonuses cancelled as both units were in the river), the clanrats fled and were run down (including the rat’s BSB).

In the final movement of the game, the remains of the Gor moved into the Wicked Woods, sustaining four wounds in the process.

8. Beasts turn 3

29. Turn 3 Beasts30 Turn 3 Beasts

Results

With a unit in the woods for 1 turn it was a 1-0 victory to the Beastmen (not that we were really gunning for the victory but I’ll take it as a moral one)

Conclusions

Holy shit, the Skaven are vicious. The amount of casualties his magic and the doom rocket caused was obscene (plague caused 25 in one cast with a further 12 from the rocket). I was not expecting that at all. It is random as anything though, so you can easily see how it could have also not done as well. For instance, the Doom Rocket landed directly on the Bestigor but could have massively overshot.

I love the randomness of them, sure playing Orcs and Goblins can be very fun but the Rats take it to a whole new level. It’s impossible not to laugh even as you lose half a unit!

If I have taken one thing from this battle it’s I need to be far more aggressive and storm forward my large units. They are large enough to be intimidating and should not worry too much about combat casualties from quite a few units (or should be able to inflict a reasonable number in return). It won’t work in every situation but definitely something to keep in mind.

Well that is probably it for the practice as next up the competition games.

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