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!).

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SELWG 2018 Blood Bowl League

Hey there sports fans, Crassious Clay here to present this special episode of the Witching Hour with none other than Diego Mary-Donna.

Thanks Crass and in this special we will be looking at the up and coming Gronn Fjord Raiders (GFR). A Norse team currently residing in one of the lesser known leagues of south east Londinium.

That’s right Diego, this is a team that has come out of nowhere and quickly become a fan favourite what with their predilection for ignoring the ball to concentrate on what some have said to be an excessive use of violence in their games.

‘Excessive’ Crass? You’re not talking about PEEVS again are you. Good honest Blood Bowl fans should take it upon themselves to hunt down and extinguish the life from any member of ‘The People for the Eradication of Excessive Violence in Sport’ (PEEVS), using extreme prejudice! 

I couldn’t agree more Diego but to get back on track, under the fearsome coaching of the ‘dread Auditor’

Don’t Crass, that man’s grasp of numbers sends shivers up my spine, they say his mother slept with an abacus and he was the offspring of that unnatural union..

err I’m not sure that’s right Diego but anyway crunching the numbers seems to have worked for him as they won two of their first three pre-season friendlies at their Greenvale Stadium.

Let’s take a quick recap of those games before looking at their opening league game shall we.

Game 1 – 02/02/18 – GFR vs Marieni Daulphins (Humans) – Coach – Dan R

The GRN attracted a modest crowd of 3k vs the 10k travelling fans. The numeric advantage meant that everytime one of the opposing human players were knocked into the crowd, they were gentle escorted to the reserves box in the dugout, rather than treated to the infamous hospitality of the average blood bowl fan. Midway through the first half with most of the human team laid out, the Norse runner (Floki the Swift) lived up to his name and scored a touchdown.  The Coach of the Daulphins, Dan R, at that point decided to throw in the towel and this incensed the fans so much that they tore the team to pieces and Dan was forced to go into hiding meaning the league had one less team in attendance.

The bonus for the Raiders was that they not only gained both purses (allowing the recruitment of a thrower for the team) but gained both team MVP’s and in a stroke of luck they both went to the Ulfwerner, Cadoc the Bear who gained Mighty Blow as a result. They also siphoned off some of the visiting fans who, unhappy with their former team’s performance, decided the Raiders were the new team for them.

Final score 2-0 (we used the old BB rules where you always won by 2 touchdowns in the event of a withdrawal – though you don’t gain any SPP’s for the additional TD’s)

Daulphins thrower
Daulphin thrower

Game 2 – 10/02/18 – GFR vs The Orcward Orras (Orc) – Coach – Paul R

The second game undertaken was a favour to one of their new sponsors, who had asked them to play against a rookie coach and offer some tips. The Raiders agreed and proceeded to coach the Orcward Orras in the only way they knew how.

Word had gotten round about the new team on the block and the crowd was much larger this time with the Norse pulling in 9k fans vs the Orcs 10k.

In the first half the Norse slowly wore down the orcs using the ancient art of crowd surfing. The dice gods looked unfavourably on the Orcs and the Norse injured, first the Orc thrower (curtesy of Ragna, the No. 9 lineman) and then a Black Orc Blocker (Uday the Yhettee really took a dislike to him). Luckily for Paul they were just badly injured. In the final drive of the first half, the No. 4 Norse Berserker (Eirik) ran home a touchdown.

The second half saw the Norse team stage a classic flank attack, stacking all their big hitters on the right flank.

IMG_4310

They easily punched through on the wing and with a sure touchdown in the bag, they couldn’t resist going for a cheeky level up, cocked up the hand off from the thrower to Eirik, which allowed an audacious Orc Blitzer to nick the ball from under their noses.

IMG_4311

Not standing for that, the Raiders unsurprisingly knocked the orc into the stands but the orc fans got to the ball first and chucked it half way up the pitch. The Orc No.2 Lineman was first to the ball and passed it into the hands of the No. 8 Blitzer, who managed to scored an outrageous touchdown, using an amazing show of twinkle toes to dodge his way through a mass of tackle zones! Paul’s team then started to improve their Orc Smash! (TM – Paul R 2018) and badly hurt the Norse No.10 lineman Gudmund Stonehand but neither team were able to gain the upper hand and claim the win.

Final score 1-1.

20k winnings each and +1 FF to both.

The Norse MVP was the scorer of the touchdown and this gave Eirik enough points to skill up and unsurprisingly he decided to take mighty blow.

A very fun game and it showed how quickly fortune can turn in this game.

Game 3 – 19/02/18 – GFR vs Skavenblight Scramblers (Skaven) – Coach – Greg F

How the mighty have fallen. The Scramblers fell from grace in a large way and for several seasons were not heard from. They reappeared this year under a new rookie coach hoping to climb to back up to the lofty heights of their heyday. This fall really showed when the Norse counted 12k fans vs the Skaven’s 7k.

With a team value considerably lower than the Norse, the Skaven were able to hire a wandering apothecary for the game.

The Skaven won the toss and elected to kick. Cadoc the Bear (Ulfwerner) started the carnage by badly hurting Skik, the No. 8 Skaven lineman. Ragna Dagfinn then followed this up by fracturing the leg of Strot, the No. 5 skaven lineman (meaning he would miss the next game). The big guys spent the half knocking each other down with no ill effects to either but the rest of the team added to the casualties with a plethera of knockouts. In the sixth turn, Floki (the norse No. 5 Runner) finally managed to actually pick up the ball and he ran up the pitch and in the final turn of the first half, scored the first touchdown.

In the second half, Eirik (No.4 Berserker), outraged that a skaven player had gained a SPP for a completed pass, smashed the hand of the offending skaven thrower (Skeexranq – No. 10) to try and ensure it wouldn’t happen again. This meant a second skaven would miss the following match. Ragna then added his second casualty of the game by taking down the Rat Ogre but the Skaven apothecary leapt into action healing the damage caused (annoyingly I couldn’t find who had taken down the Rat Ogre at the end of the match which meant I missed leveling him up). With the injuries and knockouts to the Skaven team multiplying, the Norse were able to take down the ball carrier and Magnus (the No. 3 Norse Beserker) then ran in the second touchdown of the game.

IMG_4347

IMG_4348
3 dead and 3 knocked out. Numerical advantage – check!

The final score was 2-0 to the Norse, who took away a purse of 50k GP and also gained another Fan Factor for the win.

The MVP’s went to the Norse Yhetee, Uday. This was enough to level him up and to follow the trend he took Mighty Blow.

Floki (runner) scoring was enough to also enough to level him up and he took Dodge to give him the Blodge combo.

As an aside, Greg and I met after work for this game and tried out a new (for us) central London venue,  hosted by the London Wargaming Guild, a book and play style meet. It was a very friendly place and crowd, hosted at the Seven Dials Club inbetween Covent Garden and Tottenham Court tube stations (almost next door to the Cambridge Theatre). As a bonus it had a bar next to the gaming tables. The only small thing against it was the volume of the music. Don’t get me wrong I like loud music but it was a touch too loud for normal conversation when playing.

Game 4 – 23/02/18 – GFR vs Cold Sea Hawks (Dark Elves) Coach – Chris R – League game.

In the first of my league games, I faced off against Chris’s Dark Elves. There was a good crowd in attendance with 10k of the Raiders fans and 12k of the elves.

We used the alternative inducement rules for special cards, which allowed Chris to take one for 50K rather than the standard 100k.

The Hawks won the toss and elected to kick to the Norse. The Raiders played a card that allowed them to get +1 on their KO rolls for the game and the Hawks played one that allowed one player to be nominated to receive an extra MVP if they were on the pitch at the end of the game. I know you are thinking what I was…challenge accepted!

In the first half after receiving the ball, the Norse tried to undertake their normal tactics of smash the opponents and knock them into the crowd. Although Cadoc got an early casualty against the DE No. 11 lineman and the team crowd surfed a few other players, the Dark elves retaliated and KO’d 3 of the Raiders, meaning by turn 3, both teams were unable to adequately cover the width of the field. With their high agility, the Dark Elves were able to capitalise the gaps in the Norse line and sack the Raiders ball carrier but with some desperate defending against them, the Hawks failed to convert their advantage.

IMG_4351

IMG_4352

In the second half the Norse deployed in a deep defense (to maximise the number of dodge rolls with modifiers the DE’s would need to take) and with a slight numeric  advantage. They quickly increased this with Eirik badly hurting the DE No 4 Blitzer (who had Guard) thus removing the main anchor of the DE offensive threat (edit: it is possible that he was injured at the end of the 1st half rather than the very start of the second). The Dark elf team then proceeded to cage their runner and moved from one side of the pitch to the other (in a manner similar to ‘pong’) waiting for the Norse to make an error. The Norse played the waiting game, slowly closing the net on the cage removing one DE player from the field each turn. Maneuvering for the final sack, the Norse left one lane with minimal cover and the remaining DE blitzer snuck into the Norse half.

IMG_4353
Breaking the DE cage

The DE runner attempted a desperate move to clear the ball from his half and used a Heroic Feat that removed any negative modifiers from passing, giving the long bomb a great chance of succeeding. Not happy with the initial roll (due to the modifiers cast by tackle zones) he used a reroll and completely fumbled the pass leaving them in a perilous situation. The Raiders proceeded to sack the few remaining elves allowing their thrower (No. 13) to run in a touchdown in the final move of the game.

IMG_4354
Have some KO’s. At the end of the game Chris had 3 players left on the pitch!

Final Score 1-0 to the Raiders.

The Norse took home a purse of 70k and used this with their treasury to purchase another reroll. They also gained another FF moving them up to a total of 5.

Cadoc the Bear (Ulfwerner) got the match MVP, which together with the casualty he caused, leveled him up to Veteran status and he added block to his skills.

This was an extremely close and cagey game one of the closest i’ve had in a long while and a definite learning experience. Chris was unlucky not to score in the first half, a 1 rolled when ‘going for it’ really put paid to his plans. The ability of the elves to slip though the smallest gap and his insistence of dodging out of block zones to minimise hits was definitely playing to their strengths and my one slip up in the second half, again, nearly meant he scored.

oh and just to confirm he didn’t get his bonus MVP as the player was knocked out and off the field at the end of the game. Challenge completed!

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.