WHFB – Beastmen vs Orcs – SELWG Competition Game

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

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

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

Terrain

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

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

1a. Terrain

1. Terrain

Scenario and pre-match rolls

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

In terms of spells rolled for everyone:

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

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

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

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

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

Deployment

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

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

After deployment it looked like this:

1b. Deployment

2. Deployment3. Deployment - OnG4. Deployment - OnG

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

6. Deployment - Beasts

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

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

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

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

6a. Turn 1 Orc

7. Turn 1 - OnG8. Tun 1 - OnG

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

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

8a. Turn 1 Beasts

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

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

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

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

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

11a. Turn 2 - Orcs

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

16. turn 2 ong
Boarboyz after the Hand of Gork

17. turn 2 - ong

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

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

17a. Turn 2 - beasts

18. turn 2 - beasts19. turn 2 - beasts

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

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

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

19a. Turn 3 - Orc

20. turn 3 - ong21. turn 3 - ong

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

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

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

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

21a. Turn 3 - Beasts

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

23. turn 3 - beasts24. turn 3 - beasts

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

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

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

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

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

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

24a. Turn 4 - Orcs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

27a. Turn 4 - Beasts

28. turn 4 - beasts

29. turn 4 - beasts
Enter a caption

30. turn 4 - beasts31. turn 4 - beasts

Results

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Blood Bowl League Entry – The Norse are coming!

I’ve posted a number of pictures in a previous post showing my full Norse Team: The Gronn Fjord Raiders (Gronn means Green in Norwegian by the way) but i’ve already repainted the edge of the bases of all the players and written their names on the bases (the repainting was to allow the names to stand out more). The names were instead of numbering them as some of the team, such as the throwers, didn’t have anywhere obvious to add numbers (bar the codpiece).

I also added various white ‘chalk’ lines to some of the players bases (after seeing something similar online). I quite like the way it breaks up the plain grass bases I normally style miniatures with (examples below).

The lighting isn’t brilliant as my bulb went but the bases show up fine.

IMG_4240

I’ve also submitted my team for the BB league to Commissioners Pete and Chris and have taken a chance in taking minimal players and an even more massive risk by taking only one reroll. Probably something i’ll regret as having less than 12 players and 2 re-rolls is always ‘chancey’.

The reason for doing this, is to allow me to take the maximum number of large guys and berserkers. With the exception of the 3 large guys the entire team comes with Block which should help to offset the lack of rerolls and I’ve taken an apothecary to try and ensure key players survive! I have a feeling the reroll will always be used on failed ball pickups though (at least until I get the sure-hands skill).

Gronn Fjord Raiders

Cadoc the Bear – Ulfwerenar – 110k
Beorn Two-Skins – Ulfwerenar – 110k
Magnus the Bold – Berserker – 90k
Eirik Lornhorn – Berserker – 90k
Floki the Swift – Runner – 90k
Uday Ragekill – Yhetee – 140k
Vali Thorsen – Lineman – 50k
Asmund Whitefall – Lineman – 50k
Mythil Strus – Lineman – 50k
Ragna Dagfinn – Lineman – 50k
Gudmund Stonehand – Lineman – 50k

Sub-total – 880k

1 * Reroll – 60k
1 * Apothecary – 50K

Team Value – 990k (with 10k in the bank)

Thoughts on players

The Ulfwerenar are STR 4 with Frenzy. A great combo but like many bigger players, it can take a while for them to skill up, hence you really need them in from the word go to maximise the chance for MVPs. Although Block is likely the most obvious skill to take on the first level up, I am tempted with Mighty Blow (MB) as that will help with gaining skill points more quickly through injuries. The issue with that is the lack of rerolls in the team to mitigate the lack of block…

Normally I wouldn’t have taken the Troll and instead taken another re-roll, however I really like the model so that was the overwhelming factor in taking it (and like the Ulfwerenar, it can also take ages to level up so getting it early can also help). Unlike other big guys he doesn’t get the MB skill to start and instead gains claws. This helps to mitigate high armour and with the FAQ changing the wording to the skill means it is again viable when using it with the MB skill (which is always the first skill up unless you are fortunate enough to roll a double, in which case block is a no brainer).

The Berserkers are key players for the team, though with Frenzy they are another player that can be pulled out of position if you are not careful.

It is worth noting that in previous editions nearly all the above players would likely have been given the ‘piling on’ skill early on to help break armour and cause more casualties. In this edition it’s an optional skill (being allowed by our commissioners) but it has been hit by a giant nerf bat. Not only do you have to use a team reroll every time you want to use it but it now also can’t be combined with the claws mutation or the Mighty Blow skill. Yes it may have been overpowered before but now I struggle to see a place for it.

The Runner was included instead of a thrower on the grounds that he is a more versitile player. Many players dislike the Thrower on the Norse team if only because he doesn’t start with surehands. I like having the option of a passing game but the Runner can be used in a multitude of ways and doesn’t just have to just play a catcher role, hence I’ve included him first.

The linemen are completely disposable at the starting level and the aim is to only level them up to perhaps the first upgrade (if possible), unless they get something really good (which normally means a doubles roll) as I want to avoid unnecessary increases to the team value and all scoring/increases to players should be concentrated on the specialist players.

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 – Dwarves vs Orcs – part 2

I finally managed to get in my previously postponed game against Alistair’s Orcs this week. Although he is one of my opponents in the club Warhammer fantasy competition, he has barely played since 6th edition so he was trying to get in a few practice games. As such I agreed to give him a game with my dwarves, which gave me an excuse to use some of the items I either rarely or just plain hadn’t used before.

Terrain

We rolled map pack 5 from the terrain table, which consisted of 4 buildings, 2 walls/fence sections, 1 hill and 1 wood.

Alistair rolled as player A, so he set down the first bit of terrain and after setup, it looked like this:

1. Terrain

1. Terrain

Scenario and pre-match rolls

The random roll gave us the ‘Eliminate scenario‘. Place 3 bounty tokens on your most expensive units (For Alistair: Big ‘Uns, Orc Boyz and Boar Boyz, for me: Slayers, Longbeards and Ironbreakers). Points are awarded for the following at the end of the game.

  • 1 victory point for holding the central objective marker.
  • 1 victory point for each of your units that carry a bounty that have not been destroyed and are not fleeing.
  • 2 victory points for each bounty you have completed (e.g. each enemy unit with a bounty you have destroyed or who are fleeing at the end of the game).

For spells, his level 2 with power scroll received: Foot of Gork and Ere we go. His level 2 with the Icon rolled: Hand of Gork and Gaze of Mork.

Deployment

As terrain was pretty even, we just stayed on the respective sides we were already on.

The scenario followed the dawn attack deployment rules (roll each time you go to place a unit: On a 1 it goes on the left flank, 2 it goes on the right, 3-5 in the centre and 6 your choice). Alistair won the roll and had to deploy everything first. The dice gods weren’t too kind and his Trolls and one shaman ended up isolated on his left flank, his wolf riders, boar boyz and boyz mob on the right flank and everything else in the centre. All of my units went in the centre, bar the Ironbreakers, that went on the left flank. After deployment, it looked like this:

2. Deployment

Orcs Turn 1

With much yelling, the unruly mass of orcs and trolls tramped forward towards the dwarf lines. The boar boyz failed to do anything as a bout of bickering broke out as Gubbins accused Wazzoo of eating his lucky snotling.

With a squeal, the first of the doom divers was flung into the air and with a frantic flapping of his wings, landed smack, bang on the flame cannon, severely damaging the machine and killing himself and 2 of the crew. In a dazzling (for orcs) display of accuracy, the mass of orc archers opposite, then also targeted it and the final crew member fell.

3. Orc turn 1

Dwarves Turn 1

Drugin looked over the fallen engineer crew. More of his brethren had fallen to the Orc scum, however it was not yet time for revenge. That would come later and his axe would take payment from their flesh. With his lines holding steady, the flyers moved forward.

The Valkyrie flew over the trolls and as it did, the pilot threw a bomb into their midst. Their regenerative powers were not enough to heal the couple of wounds caused by the  shrapnel. The bomber also dropped it’s payload but targeted the large unit of orc boyz. After the explosions and smoke had cleared, a rank of the greenskins had disappeared.

The brotherhood of doom chose to ignore the order to hold and ran forward towards the biggest monster on the battlefield.

The guild experimental weapon teams both fired at the rapidly approaching unit of Big ‘Uns felling two. Drugin turned a stern gaze on the apprentice engineers and they immediately set to tinkering with the hand guns determined to make a better showing in their next volley.

Buggerit the old struck the anvil twice in quick succession. The armour on the Longbeards responded to the first call of the anvil, the metal becoming as hard as Gromril. The second striking was dispelled as one of the enemy shaman gibbered something incomprehensible to it’s foul gods.

4. Dwarf turn 1

Orcs Turn 2

With a spitful hiss, as the warboss lashed at it’s hide, the Wyvern flew into the slayers. Despite the wall giving them cover, two ranks of the slayers fell to the monster. In return the Wyvern was felled and the Orc General suddenly found himself very alone facing a mob of doomseekers baying for his head.

The Black Orc ordered the mob of elite orcs to charge into the Longbeards in support of his boss. When a number of them dared to question his leadership he responded by smashing 4 of them to the ground and the rest quickly moved into combat with the the dwarf unit. The Black Orc issued a challenge and Drugin growled as one of the blows stuck, pierced his armour. He activated the fiery ring and promptly incinerated his foe. His stalwart bodyguards, cut down the rest of the front rank and then watched as the remaining orcs (and embedded Shaman) turned tail and fled, exiting combat with a great more enthusiasm than they had show entering it!

The Orc Boyz attempted to charge the Ironbreakers but misjudged the distance and stumbled up short.

At this point, the boar mounted Orcs had resolved their differences but their mounts decided to be rather uncooperative and they just about managed to convince them that they would be best off facing towards the centre of the battlefield.

The Shaman babysitting the trolls realised he was rather exposed with a Gyrocoptor eyeing him up eagerly and legged it into the nearby house.

The doomdiver again launched himself into the air, hitting the Ironbreakers and making short work of their armour, killing five of the doughty warriors.

5. Orc Turn 2

Dwarves Turn 2

The Gyrobomber continued with its run, this time targeting the orc archers. The payload scattered, missing the arrer boyz (with accompanying jeering, extended fingers and jibes about the pilots dalliances with goats!) and onto Doomdiver. The Goblins threw themselves to the ground and cowered under the machine as the ground shook around them, miraculously reappearing unharmed.

Buggarit shook his head at the follies of youth and again struck his anvil boosting the armour on the stolid, reliable longbeards.

The Guild Experimental weapons teams again combined their power, this time targeting the Orc boyz mob but again the impact of the guns was negligible. Drugin was starting to seriously wonder why he had been saddled with such useless cretins.

Ethelred the Scorned launched himself out of the slayers howling and gibbering, drool hanging down each side of his mouth. With raw naked aggression he broke through the Orc generals defences opening up great gashes. This combined with the fact he was now outnumbered 10-1, was too much for the Orc and he turned tail and fled, at least for the first few feet before the rest of the slayers caught up with him.

6. Dwarf turn 2

8. Dwarf turn 29. Dwarf turn 210. Dwarf turn 2

Orcs Turn 3

Seeing their Boss put down like an arthritic dog was too much for the Big Un’s and even with the BSB nearby they kept running.

The Orc Boyz again tried to charge the Ironbreakers and again failed their charge.

The Wulf boyz has been advancing up the flank and were now in range to unleash their bows at the Ironbreakers. 10 shots and no wounds later and one of the dwarves turned to look at them with disdain, crushing the poorly made arrow that had entangled in his mail.

The Boarboyz finally got over all their difficulties and with much growling and snorting headed towards the centre of their lines to support the arrer boyz.

Without any guidance the poor trolls just looked lost and confused and decided to try out a combination of alternative Olympic sports including, pick the biggest booger and the crowd favourite, who can stare at the ground the longest.

The arrer boyz continued their competition with the dwarf hand gunners for the title of most inept missile unit and almost equalled the dwarves previous tally, by felling 2 Longbeards.

The remaining Shaman summed up the Orc turn by failing to cast Foot of Gork on the slayers.

7. Orc Turn 3

Dwarves Turn 3

The Gyrobomber started the turn by charging the Big Un’s and they fled off the table, thus netting the first bounty of the game.

Buggerits’s Anvil armour buff was dispelled by the remaining Shaman but the Orc was unable to stop the Rune of Wrath targeting the Orc Boyz and a couple fell dead with smoking holes in their chests.

The dwarf Thunderers leapt ahead or the orc arrer boyz (and slightly up in Drugins estimations) by final pulling their finger out of their backside and further whittling down another 7 Orc boyz.

The Gyrocoptor finished the turn by roasting 4 of the enemy archers.

8. Dwarf turn 3

Orcs Turn 4

Determined to make it three out of three, the Orc Boyz again failed to charge the nearby Ironbreakers (this was helped by the dwarves making a strategic retreat the previous turn).

The Shaman again tried to compel Gork to stamp on the slayers but this was summarily dismissed as Buggerit unleashed the runes on his staff.

In a dazzling display of shooting by the Orcs and Goblins (sealing the award for most inept missile troops of the game), the arrer boyz, concerned the Gyrocoptor would target them again, swift reformed and let rip completely failing to damage it. The Doomdiver likewise was launched into the air, swerved off target and only managed to kill himself. It was left to the wulfboyz to try and do anything and the plucky riders managed to fell a single Ironbreaker. Outstanding boys!

9. Orc Turn 4

Dwarves Turn 4

Sensing the decisive point of the battle was upon them the dwarfs attacked along the lines. Drugin and his Longbeard bodyguard, chose to ignore the objective sitting just in front of them, in favour of getting to grips with their ancestral foes. After carving apart a number of the orcs the rest turned tail and tried to flee but were caught and cut down with grim efficiency.

After watching the repeated pitiful efforts of the Orc mob in front of them, the Ironbreakers decided to show them how a proper charge was done and smashed into  them, scything down 6 of them for the loss of two of their number. The Orcs held due to their superior numbers but it wasn’t a situation that would continue.

The Dwarf flyers and missile units all targeted the boar riders that were now in the centre of the lines.

The Bomber’s payload scattered into the arrer boyz killing two of their number. (Edit: we weren’t sure about some of this. Although you can’t target a unit in combat, this had scattered into it. We also weren’t sure if this should be randomised between the archers and Longbeards but as the template was only touching the Orcs we just rolled for the couple it touched).

The Gyrocoptor, proving how infinitely better it was than it’s bigger brother, moved to both block and redirect the boar boyz from the central objective and then fried two of them for good measure.

The Thunderers then piled further misery onto the unit killing a further 2 of them.

10. Dwarf turn 4

Results

It ended 5-2 to me as I had three of my tokens remaining (+3pts) and his Big Un’s had fled the table (+2pts) vs Alistair having two tokens left (+2pts). No one had claimed the central token.

I include the result only to keep consistency with the rest of my reports. The point of the game was to give Alistair more practice of 8th edition and for me to field things I wouldn’t normally.

Conclusions

As I stated earlier, Alistair was put on the back foot by his deployment (early animosity didn’t help either). As ever hindsight is an easy thing but I think he made two or three early errors:

Not moving his trolls towards the centre of his lines at the first opportunity meant they did nothing all game.

This might not have been too much of an issue if it weren’t for the second mistake, charging the general and wyvern into the slayers. Apart from that being the worst possible target for the general (or more specifically, his mount), he was not backed up by anything which allowed the slayers to rip apart his mount and subsequently route him via combat resolution. I’m not sure if in 6th mounted characters were more powerful or if he thought the general would last longer, allowing the trolls to flank the unit. The slayer/general combat did bring up an interesting discussion around whether he should challenge the Daemon slayer and the pros and cons of doing so. I didn’t think there was much advantage in doing so as due to the ASF rune the Slayer lord would have gone first and the wyvern would likely have been killed in that combat anyway. However I now think it might have been the wrong advice as in the end he didn’t challenge and the slayer lord went for the general (failing to wound), whilst the slayer unit killed the mount. Challenging would have realistically have limited the potential damage to either the general OR mount, though its worth noting, the mount, general and thunder stomp killed 9 of the unit even with the -1 to hit caused by charging the defender obstacle, which in turn negated any bonus from the standard and ranks. See what I mean, a bit of a conundrum.

The other potential error was the indecision with the wolf riders on the first turn which allowed me to sneak the bomber into his lines.

Now most of this was probably down to lack of familiarisation with 8th and knowing your enemy, so although I may not be the best general in the world, I’m going to adapt and send him some thoughts on each of the armies he’ll face (including mine), as it might assist him.

So in terms of the dwarf units, what did I think?

Thunderers – I really felt the loss of the extra range as hitting on 5+ vs 4+ for longer makes a load of difference. However the save modifier meant in most cases he didn’t get any and that almost made up for it. Having pistols on the veterans meant they didn’t get to shoot for most of the game, however I still think it was the right choice as many of my opponents would have targeted these small units at an early stage. Overall I think I prefer the extra range, though I may try one of each going forward.

Runelord and Anvil

Yep, pretty rubbish. He can’t join a unit so the AP is wasted. There are only two decent spells and they are bound so it’s easy to both know which one to dispel and to dispel them full stop. For the points you could get another full unit or 2 Runesmiths + extras. He is fun and fluffy but I wouldn’t necessarily bother taking him again. If he could go in a unit in the same way as the cauldron of blood, it might temp me more.

Daemon Slayer

I’m a bit undecided on him. Running him in the unit seemed a sensible choice and I love slayers anyway and will take them a reasonable amount of time so that wasn’t a tax. The rune combo worked quite well with ASF proving it’s worth and the -3 to save also being excellent. It might also have helped if I’d remembered some of his inbuilt special rules, particularly the ward save reroll. I’ll definitely give him another outing.

Flame Cannon

It’s a bit difficult to make an judgement when it dies in the first turn without doing anything! It did drive home that one war machine is just vulnerable and if you take one you need a second.

Ironbreakers / Longbeards (w/ shields)

Both units worked well. However the ironbreakers needed more bodies. I’d say 25 at a minimum (this is probably a good benchmark number for all shield bearing dwarves as allows for some casualties without loss of effectiveness). Unlike some other games, I didn’t feel the lack of strength from not taking great weapons.

Gyrobomber

About the only thing it has over it’s smaller sibling is the greater movement flexibility. Being able to drop bombs when marching means it’s really hard to tie down and that is almost worth the extra 45pts. However it still feels like it needs an extra wound and the scatter on the bomb makes it just a bit too inefficient in an army of pinpoint accurate war machines. I think I’d rather have 2-3 Gyrocoptors instead if only as the template is more consistent.

Thane General

I like dwarf heroes and using the great weapon thane as a cheaper version of the tanky Lord, in the Longbeards, helped offset their lower strength. The build worked well with the 1+ armour, however next time he will get a rune of Iron to give him an extra wound as two wounds is a bit too fragile. (Almost dying in the challenge to the Black Orc before getting to strike, drove that home and very much was the reason I used his breath weapon).

Overall it was a fun game, definitely chillhammer (to coin a phrase).

My next game is on 8 December and is my second competition game vs Martin and his dwarves.

Hobby Update – Marines and Wood Elves

The painting side of my hobby has definitely fallen by the wayside a bit over the last few months so I’m going to have to attempt to pick that up.

The logical place to start was with a model that has been sitting, part painted, since the summer. This was for a combination of reasons, I had wanted a slightly different paint scheme for this model from both the other wood elves and especially the wardancers but hadn’t been happy with the initial palette chosen. The colour I wasn’t sure on was actually the green, which is the underlying theme of the army. Nevertheless, the yellow ensures she stands out from the other models so I’m reasonably happy with her.

The other reason the Shadowdancer had hung around for so long was I had moved her to one of my bookcase shelves and kept forgetting to pull her down. Age must finally be catching up with me…

The other thing I’ve worked on this month is the biggest of my new toys, the Redemptor Dreadnought. As with most painting projects, as soon as you take photos you notice bits you need to revisit, in this case the sarcophagus detail needs a lot more work but as it is hidden most of the time I’m happy to field it as is on that front.

I’ve deliberately avoided any company or other markings, only adding the Chapter symbol on the shoulder, as this follows the ethos of the Shadow Sentinels and the misleading secretive nature so friends and enemies are unable to tell their true strength. This does however leave large chunks of empty green plate armour. I will leave this a bit before making a decision to edge highlight as I kind of like the stark nature of it.

The base was also quite deliberately done as green and fertile. I thought it was something different to the normal mud/snow strewn land inhabited by the other club players and added some positive energy (as much as is possible with a hulking weapon clad behemoth towering over it) in the form of bright vibrant plant life. I do have some tufts and other plant bits on route to add to it, to make it more interesting and I did think about adding a couple of brown mud dreadnought sized footprints behind it but I might have to use that as an excuse to buy another dread’ so I can use the foot to imprint some green stuff or a textured paint.

One bit I will be revisiting is the heavy onslaught Gatling Cannon. The front half is just way too pristine compared to the rear.

Hobby Update – Wood elves

I’ve had a set of the very first plastic wood elves since they were released. They were terribly painted by a younger me before I understood the concept of undercoating. You can get away with that on metal but plastic is far more unforgiving. So as part of my Oct monthly painting pledge I stated I would repaint them.

These 9 models were the only things I managed to paint during Oct which is a bit poor even by my standards, though there were some mitigating circumstances. 

1) Total War Warhammer 2 is still a new shiny thing and ate into my evening painting time.

2) I spent a week in the Luxembourg.

3) The sculpts are horrible. I won’t lie, these are hands down my least favourite GW WE sculpts ever. If I had to describe them in one word it would be ‘clunky’. That combined with the fact it was a repaint really demotivated me. (So I cheered myself up by building my final 10 Wildwood Rangers).

This is the closest I have to a ‘before’ shot

Being a lazy sod (on the painting front), I repeated the mistakes of the past and decided the previous paint job would do as a base coat. (Running out of white primer and not being able to pick any up helped the decision too).

As such I went with the previous colour scheme (shockingly forgoing the normal warlock purple) but this time adding highlights, washes and the flock to the base.

The one thing I wasn’t happy with was the flesh wash. I used a really liquidy, 15 year old (ish) pot of reikland flesh wash. It’s not really worked.

I also haven’t touched the original hair. I’m going to have a think what I want to do with that.

So bar the above item, I’m happy to remove these from the painting table.

 

 Next up on the table are 15 second generation plastic WE archers (I know I’m a glutton for punishment). I’m going to try and blitz these with the minimum effort necessary. I will intersperse these by trying to finally finish the Glade Lord on Stag that has been loitering for 3 months.

However I may also be distracted by the other item I bought in Oct and finished building yesterday. Something a bit different for me as it’s 40k related. More on that later.

Throng of Karak Silvertop – Taking stock

Rather than getting on with any of my EEFL painting pledge this afternoon, when my daughter went down for her nap, I continued to procrastinate and instead dug out my dwarves to take an army shot and take stock of where I am at with them (similar to what I did with the Herd of Khazbar). So without further preamble…

Throng of Karak Silvertop

IMG_3998

Lords and Thanes

IMG_3999

Engineers

IMG_4001

Runelord and Runesmiths

IMG_4002

Ungrim, Daemon and Dragon Slayers

IMG_4010

Rank and File

IMG_4003IMG_4004IMG_4005IMG_4006IMG_4007IMG_4008

So we’re looking at the following to be finished:

Josef Bugman (part-painted)
Belegar Ironhammer
King Kazador
White Dwarf on shieldbearers (Bugman and Gotrek)
Thane/Lord
Grimm Burlocksson
Burlock Damminsson
Master Engineer (part painted)
3 Runesmiths (1 part painted)
40 Miners (10 part painted)
16 Quarrellers/Rangers
2 Doom Seekers (part painted)
1 Grudge Thrower and 3 crew
1 Gyrobomber/coptor (will also be magnetised to switch)

So the tally stands at:

270/344

Edit: it works out to be around 10k of dwarves under 8th edition rules (but probably only 9k fielded legally and that is using the 50% lord/thane wits allowance).